Eric Prydz does it again with a new track ahead of his album release, “Opus”

If you’ve followed this blog at all previously, you know by now that I fan girl for Eric Prydz, hard. He’s one of my all-time favorite producers who has managed to keep his music fresh, fun, and, most importantly, insulated from the bullshit associated with dance music these days. So when a genius like Prydz teams up with an equally talented producer like Rob Swire, you know to expect something special.

“Breathe” delivers just that, foregoing some of the qualities from Prydz’s anthemic house catalogue in favor of nostalgic, retro vibes. The track is a welcome experiment from these two stellar producers, and I can’t wait to see what else Prydz has to show us when “Opus” drops on Feb. 5.

In other exciting Prydz news, Epic 4.0 is returning this year! Here are the tour dates if you’re interested in buying tickets:

Feb. 12, 13, and 14 — New York City

Feb. 19 and 20 — Los Angeles

Feb. 26 and 27 — San Francisco

 

Jeremy Olander: Progressive House’s New King

 

Nicole and I with Jeremy Olander after his set at Ultrabar in Washington,DC on July 16, 2015.

Just like any other genre, dance music is cyclical. Artists rise like a wave, propelled both by talent and the momentum of specific cultural needs they fill for an audience; that wave eventually breaks, forcing them to slowly dissipate back into the vast body of unknowns where they were formed. Some artists manage to extend the break, but most rise and fall swiftly. The turnover, however, often feels like it’s especially accelerated within dance music.

Thanks in large part to how frequently producers release music — and that most of it can be found for free on platforms like YouTube, Soundcloud, and Last.fm — there always seems to be a great, new up-and-coming DJ making a name for him/herself in the dance music community. So, within this notoriously saturated sphere, which artists are poised to be a part of the next cycle of success? Though I can’t answer that question definitively or comprehensively, I think one of those people is Jeremy Olander.

Olander is by no means a newbie on the dance music scene. He’s been releasing EPs since 2009.

Since 2011, Olander has been a part of the exclusive Pryda Records roster, spearheaded by progressive house guru Eric Prydz. He’s released hits like “Fairfax,” “Riots,” and “Let Me Feel” through the label, though he also continued to work with other dance music labels throughout the years as well.

But it feels like the wind is picking up for Olander, and I think it’s due in large part to the U.S. deepening its relationship with more ambient-sounding progressive house music. For a long time, it felt like Americans — specifically, young people new to the dance music scene — were only interested in festival-style EDM complete with big drops, huge venues, and insane laser shows. Though that genre is still wildly popular, there’s a growing segment of the dance community here that thirsts for a sound that’s more melodic and emotional. Olander perfectly fills that need.

Jeremy Olander at Ultrabar, Washington, DC

Last night, I went on a journey. Anyone who reads this blog knows that I go to a lot of shows. I love dancing like a maniac at a trap show as much as I like swaying to the slower rhythms of a deep house set. But Jeremy Olander’s set at Ultrabar transported me to a place of pure joy. Time suddenly warped and suspended like a dream as I closed my eyes and tapped into a euphoric state that isn’t always achievable at a show. Sometimes it’s because you’re not in the right mood but more often than not it’s because the artist turns out to have no connection with the crowd whatsoever.

Olander is one of those artists who knows how to deliver. He’s fully attuned to his audience at all times, carefully controlling his pace to guide you through a steady exploration of musical ups and downs. The 2h15min set was captivating, electric, and, most importantly, varied. I was lucky enough to briefly meet Olander after the set, so I can also attest to the fact that he’s a very nice person; he even posed for a photo with my friend Nicole and I!

Olander’s career may not be breaking just yet, but its momentum is building rapidly. It’s only a matter of time before he feels the swelling energy of that wave propelling him to the forefront of his genre. And I can’t wait for it.

 

 

Weekly Mix Vol. 26: The Week’s Best Remixes featuring DJ Snake, Flume, and T-Mass

Flume at the 9:30 Club in Washington DC. July 24, 2014.

Flume at the 9:30 Club in Washington DC. July 24, 2014.

If you’re still floating in a post- Fourth of July fog, you’re certainly not alone. After a weekend of too much of, well, everything, going back to work on Monday was both physically and mentally taxing. If you’ve done nothing but head straight home to be one with your couch at 6 p.m. every day, you’ll find absolutely no judgement here.

Thankfully, another weekend now feels within reach! Whether you’re gathering the strength to rally for another round of booze-fueled festivity or planning a low-key escape at home, you’ll still need some new music to help you slug through the work week en route to two days of bliss.

This week’s playlist is essentially all remixes, but that’s only because there were too many standout tracks to choose from! I couldn’t just pick two or three, so I decided to include them all. On Monday, Thump premiered a new batch of remixes of Tchami’s track “After Life.” All of them brought something new and unique to the song, but the DJ Snake and Mercer remix was far and away the best of the bunch. Also on top of the remix game is Aussie star producer Flume. He put his signature spin on the Collarbones track “Turning,” transforming the tune into an unpredictable journey of musical sounds.

I’ve been posting a lot of music from T-Mass lately and this is largely because I’m convinced he’s going to be a big, big name in trap soon — more on him in an upcoming post on Friday! His latest effort is what can only be described as a super-remix. Sampling tracks from Jack U, Porter Robinson, Kaskade, and Deadmau5, “Language for Now” is the perfect summer mash-up song. It’s trap that isn’t too heavy on the bass drops, meaning even people who hate sounds typically characterized as “EDM Trap” can get into this tune.

In addition to fantastic remixes from Grum, Chris Lake, Ale Mora, and Krs., this mix also includes new original tracks from Pryda, ATTLAS, DIMMI & Goldfish, and Little Boots.

 

Finally, not included in the mix but absolutely necessary as a part of your life, here is the new Migos track. There’s nothing like some Migos to put a smile on my face, no matter how absurd the lyrical value of the song. “Pipe It Up” will appear on the group’s new album, “Y.R.N.: Tha Album” set for release July 31.


 

*Special note to DC-based friends: DJ Snake will be at Echostage on August 18! I saw him at Ultra Music Festival 2014 and his show was a raucous, high-energy dance party. If you’re into his music, he’s worth seeing live.

 

Booze and Beats: Your 4th of July Playlist for a Perfect Weekend of Festivities

Happy 4th of July from the nation's capital!

Happy 4th of July from the nation’s capital!

The smell of juicy burgers sizzling on the grill, cheerful bursts of laughter as friends catch up, and buzzed feeling of joy from a few too many beers — ah, yes, it’s the annual celebration of America’s birthday! A day of partying and indulgence that should only be fueled by the best summer tunes.

Though I’m still not entirely sure how I’ll be celebrating over the holiday weekend (hopefully by a pool sipping an endless supply of mojitos) I expect to be happy, buzzed, and listening to great tunes. And since it’s ALWAYS a bad idea to assume the music will be good at a party, I’ve created a nifty little Fourth of July mix that I will stealthily be trying to play anywhere I go — and you should too.

This party playlist starts out with some upbeat tropical/funk house/future house vibes and gets more progressive as it unravels. There are some definitive songs of summer on this mix as well as some lesser-known tracks. No matter what you vibe, there’s something for everyone here!

Have a happy, safe, and vibin’ Fourth of July, everyone! xx

Weekly Mix Vol. 21: Jamie XX Has Me Way Too Excited About His New Album

Jamie XX at the Union BBQ in Washington, DC

Jamie XX at the Union BBQ in Washington, DC

As I danced into the wee hours of the morning at Output in Brooklyn, NY this past weekend, I couldn’t help thinking about how fortunate I am to be able to attend as many shows as I do. Discovering new music at home through platforms like Beatport and Soundcloud is great, but nothing compares to walking into an amazing venue and taking in the sweet sounds of a new DJ or a favorite artist.

Though it can’t possibly compare to stumbling into a Brooklyn warehouse and dancing until your feet hurt, I hope these weekly playlists provide some semblance of those same joyful feelings when you discover an awesome new tune or artist!

In honor of my 5 a.m. night (they are few and far between lately!) I decided that this week’s playlist would be filled with nothing but straight bangers. So, if you’re a fan of deep house or more mellow genres like tropical or Nu Disco, this week’s tunes may not be to your liking. You were warned!

This mix kicks off with my favorite track of the week: Jamie XX and Young Thug’s collaborative effort “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times).” It’s very different from the straight disco vibes Jamie XX has explored in the past, but you can still hear his very distinctive flavor throughout the entire track. The intricate production coupled with Young Thug’s wild vocals makes for a surprisingly catchy effort. The track is from Jamie XX’s upcoming album “In Color,” which is set for release June 2. I’m waiting very impatiently.

With the exception of Jamie XX’s complex tune, everything else on this playlist is pretty much beat-dropping craziness.

Happy listening : )


For this week’s set, I chose Oliver Nelson’s mixtape for Dancing Astronaut. It’s a groovy exploration of sound sure to get you through that afternoon slump! I’m particularly fond of the direction the mix takes around the 17-minute mark. Woof!

Turn Up Tuesdays Vol. 19: New Tensnake, Kito, and More to Get You Through the Week

This weekend I did something I haven’t done in quite some time: hit up back to back shows on a Friday and Saturday night. When I woke up Monday morning I severely felt the repercussions of the fun I had, but it was totally worth it for What So Not and Duke Dumont. There’s nothing like spending the evening dancing your woes away surrounded by friends.

Needless to say, the weekend put me in the mood to find some great new tunes for this week’s playlist!

You know what to do — headphones, play, dance.

Happy Tuesday!

Turn Up Tuesdays Vol. 18: House Heaven

Since I shamefully dropped the ball on uploading a new playlist last week, I spent a lot of time carefully picking this week’s tracks — and I included a couple more than usual!

It starts off with deep house vibes, moves into more progressive beats, and ends with a trap bang. Personal favorite from this week is the new track from prolific Swedish DJ, Jeremy Olander. If you aren’t familiar with him, I suggest listening to his Group Therapy Radio Guest Mix from last year. It’s only 30-minutes long, but you can get a strong sense of his unique sound. He’s gaining a following in the U.S. now, so hopefully if we close our eyes and wish really, really hard he’ll appear in DC for an extended set sometime in the not-so-distant future.

Get at this week’s playlist, right here:

If you’re as into trap as I am, you should also check out Flosstradamus’ “Soundclash EP,” released over the weekend:

 

 

Turn Up Tuesdays Vol.15: From Trap to Deep House, It’s All Here

When I heard the Flosstradamus remix of O.T. Genesis’ unexpected hit song “CoCo,” I almost had a small seizure sitting on the bus. This track is an absolute banger, which is why I deemed it the perfect intro for this week’s playlist.

As the tracks progress, this compilation flows into some groovy deep house to finish things up.

Happy rest of the week : )

Turn Up Tuesdays Vol.14: New Miguel Migs, Du Tonc, and Plenty of Sweet Remixes

Get in the groove of the workweek with these dope tracks! Happy listening!


 

Unrelated to the turn up, if you have yet to listen to Kendrick Lamar’s new Album “To Pimp A Butterfly” I recommend you take the next hour and twenty minutes out of your day to do so. It’s a complex mix of musical influences that aren’t necessarily easy to listen to, or digest, but Lamar’s lyrical work is brilliant as always. I was underwhelmed after my first listen, but halfway through the second run at it, realized I was very wrong.