The weekend we’ve been waiting for is finally just a couple weeks away. On Thursday July 31st, the HARD team drops down on the famous Red Rocks amphitheater – featuring sets by Nero, Dillon Francis, Rudimental, Destructo, Julio Bashmore, and Samo Sound Boy. Then, just two days later, HARD returns to its home base of Los Angeles for HARD Summer 2014 – a two-day festival at the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area featuring a massive lineup of some of the best DJs in the world. Headliners for HARD Summer include Jack U, A$AP Mob, Axwell, Flosstradamus, Tiesto, Disclosure, Dillon Francis, and Nero. Tickets for both events are still on sale but they are going fast! Let’s dig in to HARD Red Rocks and HARD Summer 2014 a little deeper and see why these have the potential to be the biggest parties of the Summer.
Over 160,000 plays in one day alone. More than 53,000 Likes. Almost 6,000 reposts. And guess what – that’s just on SoundCloud. Nero are fucking back, and they’re back with a vengeance. It’s been a while since we heard new material from the British duo-turned-trio, all the way back to 2011 when Nero released the critically acclaimed Welcome Reality LP, featuring the platinum-selling hit “Promises”. And yes you read that correctly: Daniel Stephens and Joe Ray have invited vocalist Alana Watson to join Nero full-time, a move I highly approve of since Alana’s voice is so powerful and she is mesmerizing to watch live. “Satisfy” was premiered by Zane Lowe as his “Hottest Record in The World” on BBC Radio 1 and it hints at Nero’s long-awaited return from the shadows. With little other information offered, Alana’s haunting tones and the deep rolling bass of “Satisfy” can’t help but make me anxious for more material.
Nero, from a production standpoint, are so talented and so unique that it’s hard to hold them to nothing but the highest standards. When I read today that they were releasing a new single I instantly opened SoundCloud for a listen. Maybe it’s because they had been on hiatus for so long, which to me means they were hard at work in the studio, or maybe because I’ve come to expect perfection from them, but I knew Nero would not disappoint with “Satisfy”. And boy was I right. My reaction when hearing the first drop of “Satisfy” was “WOW”. It’s an incredible track falling into a genre I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s almost like heavy metal meets dance music, with eerie highs and devastating lows. The BPMs come in around 124, technically making it a House track, but it definitely doesn’t feel that way. I’m reminded of something the Chemical Brothers might put out if it was 10 years ago. Either way, Zane Lowe is accurate in calling “Satisfy” the hottest track in the world and I can’t wait to see what’s next. Make sure you catch Nero live this Summer!
Dubstep, now a house-hold name, has been an integral part of enlarging the EDM culture in our country and continues to be a thriving genre of music distinguishable musically in its own right. The term dubstep has many different interpretations to all people of all walks and colors and is a hotly disputed genre. But this evening we would like to take a stab at what we consider to be the best dubstep of 2012. Although times have changed and we have been introduced to so many new artists due to the increasing access to music production technology and new and improved ways to share these products and software with, this list certainly consists of some of the forerunners that now have become household names such as Skrillex, Flux Pavilion, and Monsta . So please take some time and observe this nice list that we have put together for you, we welcome comments and polite discussion so please feel free to tell us what you think. We are very excited for what 2013 has to bring us in music and culture.
- Monsta – Messiah (Alvin Risk Remix)
- The Prodigy – Smack My Bitch Up (Noisia Remix)
- Birdy Nam Nam – Goin’ In (Skrillex Goin Hard Remix)
- Knife Party – Bonfire
- Flux Pavilion Ft Example – Daydreamer (Radio Edit)
- Above and Beyond – On My Way To Heaven (Seven Lions Remix)
- Skrillex & Damian Marley – Make It Bun Dem
- Monsta – Holdin On
- Nero – Won’t You (Be There)
- Foxes – Youth (Adventure Club Remix)
A few weeks back, UK dubstep duo Nero unleashed their new track “Won’t You (Be There)” to the world for free. They now follow up that release with a full EP, featuring another new original track – “Etude” – and remixes from Baauer and Club Cheval. The preview of Baauer’s remix from the Annie Mac show had us excited and the final release does not disappoint. Baauer is straight up on fire these days since he exploded with “Harlem Shake” and he turns up this already awesome Nero song to the next level with his trap treatment. “Etude” is also a nice track that features syncopation similar to that KOAN Sound style,
though it doesn’t quite touch the title track, in my opinion and really gets more and more awesome the more I listen to it.
I first posted about the UK Dubstep trio MONSTA when Zedd’s Spectrum EP first came out. I selected their version of “Spectrum” as one of my favorite remixes of the track, alongside Deniz Koyu and Armin Van Buuren. More recently we posted about Monsta when the Skrillex & Nero remix of “Holdin’ On” dropped. And now we post about the trio (producers Rocky and Rufio and vocalist Skaar) for a third time as today is the day their first EP was unleashed to the world.
From MONSTA’s website:
MONSTA have been described as having the melodic synth thrum of Flux Pavilion, the tech-soul vocal drops of Moby and the reverberant snares of trip-hop act U.N.K.L.E. -but their sound is instrument-based and largely sample-free and it was Skrillex who found them.
“I was at South by Southwest with my manager Tim [Smith] and a few friends,” says Skrillex. “Tim says, ‘I got something,’ and pulls up [MONSTA's ‘Holdin' On’]. I said, ‘That’s a sick track and a cool vocal sample. Where’d they get that from? Is that Aretha Franklin?’’ But it wasn’t a sample. It was Skaar’s powerfully androgynous performance of an original song written and recorded by the group.
This EP has something for everyone – lots of melodic Dubstep, some Moombahton, some Drum ‘n’ Bass, and everything in between – an eclectic mix for sure. With three original tracks and those three tracks remixed by Skrillex & Nero, Dillon Francis & Kill Paris, and Alvin Risk, it’s truly hard to pick a favorite. Since the trio have a singer that means all six tracks give us some powerful vocals to go along with deep kicks and wobble bass lines. I really do not dislike a single song on the MONSTA EP and my guess is you won’t either (Skrillex and his OWSLA label know how to pick them). If you like what you hear don’t hesitate to show some love and purchase on Beatport HERE.
**Grab the full Zip Package HERE**
As we all gear up for a surely balls-to-the-wall Halloween weekend, it’s nice to hear a few chilled out and calming songs that clear up some room in your head for mental preparation and will help soothe your way through the rest of the workweek. Satin Jackets, German-based producers, teased this song to the internet last week, finally releasing it for a quick free 24-hour download yesterday, which has now ended. No worries, we’ve got the download below and this song is a gorgeous seven minute journey of blissful, downtempo beats and vocal samples.
Next, Illo takes an interesting approach on Nero‘s older hit “Promises”, which got its most notorious remix treatment from Skrillex and Nero themselves. His remix is a “RNB-808-TRAP-SLOWED” affair, which sums it up quite right. It’s a nice refresh to the track and the now-infamous vocals.
Chris Malinchak, whose song from a few months back “If You Got It” still has me grooving, just dropped another free track through the French Express Soundcloud. The track starts off sounding like the intro to Soul II Soul’s “Back 2 Life” and then the track opens up into a beautiful vocal track accompanied by a driving yet open and airy beat.