Tag: electronic dance music

New Audio: Internationally Acclaimed Omar Souleyman Returns with a Swooning, Club Banger

Omar Souleyman is a Tell Tamer, Syria-born, Istanbul, Turkey-based Sunni Arab vocalist, whose music career started in earnest back in 1994 when he was a part-time wedding singer. His overall sound has largely been influenced by  the incredibly diverse milieu of Northeastern Syria — and as a result, Souleyman and a rotating cast of musicians and producers he has worked with since his early days have found a way to draw from and mesh the sounds and themes of the Kurdish, the Ashuris, the Turks, the Iraqis and the larger Arabic world in a way that’s familiar and novel. In fact, Souleyman is considered the region’s pioneer of dance music/wedding music. 

Amazingly Souleyman has managed to be wildly prolific, releasing well over 500 stdio and live albums with about 80% of those releases made at weddings. Those recordings are first presented to the newlywed couple and then copied and sold at local kiosks. Over the better part of the last decade, Souleyman has released four compilations 2006’s Highway to Hassake, 2009’s Dabke 2020, 2010’s Jazeera Nights, 2011’s Haflat Gharbia: The Western Concerts and 2011’s Leh Jani and three full-length albums to the West, 2013’s incredible Wenu Wenu, 2015’s Bahdeni Nami and 2017’s To Syria, with Love –and all of those efforts have brought the sounds and grooves of the Middle East to the West, while expanding the Tell Tamer-born, Istanbul-based vocalist’s profile internationally. Adding to a rapidly rising international profile, Souleyman has played sets at some of the world’s biggest festivals, including Paredes de Coura, a Caribou co-curated ATP Festival, ATP Nightmare Before Christmas, Bonnaroo, Roskilde Festival, Mostly Jazz, Funk and Soul Festival, Pukkelpop Festival, Electric Picnic,  Treefort Music Festival — and oddly enough, one of the strangest House of Vans bills I’ve ever seen, in which he opened for Future Islands. And before I forget, he’s also collaborated with Bjork, contributing vocals for three remixes, which appear on an Biophilia.

Dericing its title for the Arabic word “how” or more literally “which color,” Shlon, which is slated for a November 22, 2019 release through Mad Decent/Because Music is the first batch of new material from Souleyman in a couple of years. The forthcoming album features double keyboard work from Hasan Alo, a fellow native of the Hasaka region of Northeastern Syria, who has recently been active in Dubai’s vibrant nightlife scene, a well as saz work from Azad Salih, a fellow Syrian, who currently resides in Mardin, Turkey. The album also finds the Tell Tamer-born, Istanbul-based vocalist continuing his longtime collaboration with Syrian-born, Turkish-based lyricst Moussa Al Mardood, who the wrote most of the album’s lyrics spontaneously during the recording sessions. 

Unsurprisingly, his fourth album is vintage Omar Souleyman — 6 songs which mesh the dabke and baladi music of music beloved by the Lebanese, Jordanians, Syrians, the Kurdish and Iraqis with thumping, synth-led techno — but at its core, the material is comprised of swooning tales of devotion, adoration and love. “Layle,” Shlon’s propulsive, club banging first single is centered around Alo’s dexterous and arpeggiated synth work, layers of tweeter and woofer rocking polyrhythmic percussion and Souleyman’s imitable vocals. And while the track instantly reminds me of the sounds of my home borough — particularly Astoria and Jackson Heights — the song is centered around some gorgeous poetry,. describing a woman’s lips as sweet as the dates of Hillah, making the song a slick synthesis of the classic and the modern. 


New Video: Introducing the Genre Defying Globalist Sounds of Ekiti Sound

Leke a.k.a CHif is a Lagos -born, London-based multi-instrumentalist, producer and singer/songwriter, who has carefully honed his skills with a variety of artists and producers both in Europe and Africa, and briefly as a sound designer in Nollywood — and unsurprisingly, all of Leke’s experiences have influenced his solo recording project Ekiti Sound, a project that finds him adding his name to a growing list of genre-blurring artists that draw from an eclectic array of sources — while being undeniably Nigerian; in fact,  the slickly produced “Ife,” Leke’s latest single off his forthcoming Ekiti Sound debut Abe No Vex pairs thumping tweeter and woofer rocking Chicago house music, African polyrhythm, arpeggiated synths and an anthemic, club rocking hook with shouted traditional lyrics by frequent collaborator Prince G, creating a seamless (but incredibly subtle) synthesis across the African Diaspora. As Leke explains “Ife” in Yoruba means “the greatest love,” and the swaggering club banger manages to gently swoon a bit at its core, as it promotes the sort of love that should unify all creatures on this planet.

Directed by Sam Campbell, the recently released video for “Ife,” was shot on location in Ikeja, the capital of Lagos State and features three beautiful. traditional Nigerian dancers, who do some of the traditional dances of the Yoruba, Ibo and Hausa tribes with an infectious and life affirming energy.


New Video: Introducing the Sensual and Club-Banging House of Up-and-Coming Italian Producer Matthew S.

Matthew S is an up-and-coming Vicenza, Italy-based electronic music producer, sound designer, and electronic music artist, who emerged in the European electronic music scene with his 2006 debut EP with helped him establish a reputation for a genre-defying sound and an wildly experimental approach that includes samples and other manipulated samples, as well as the use of Ableton Push and Livid DS1. As a sound designer, he has collaborated with web magazine like Espresso and thIS, which resulted in the release of an experimental album with fashion designer Von Felthen, Call Me By Your Name an effort that was centered by a mix of downtempo electronic music and ambient music and featured a series of manipulated and sampled sounds; in fact, the effort was so forward-thinking, that in 2016 it caught the attention of MTV Italy’s New Generation, which he won that year. 

Since then, the Vicenza-based producer, sound engineer and electronic music artist has been very busy: he’s currently, a Production Professor of Ableton Live at the Instituto Musicale Veneto of Thiene — and he’s been building up a fanbase, while further developing and refining his sound. “Touch” the sinuous and sensual first single off his much-anticipated full-length debut is the result of several years working on his sound and its centered around pulsating and arpeggiated synths, tweeter and woofer rocking beats and Leiner Riflessi’s sultry vocals. It’s big, club-rocking house with a sensual thump reminiscent of Giorgio Moroder and Octo Octa’s Between Two Selves. 

Edited by Daniele Sciolla, the recently released video features alternating light colors, dark colors and shadows with each person taking a variety of colored pills, and the result is a video that emphasizes the song’s sensual and undulating textures. 

Rachel K. Collier is a Swansea, Wales, UK-born, London-based singer/songwriter, producer and electronic music artist, who achieved both commercial and critical success across the UK relatively early in her career; in fact, Collier is credited as a co-writer or producer or several chart-topping, smash hits including Ray Foxx‘s “Boom Boom (Heartbeat),” which peaked at number 12 on the UK Singles chart back in 2013; Mat Zo‘s Grammy-nominated album Damage Control, which peaked at number 1 on the iTunes Dance Album charts; and on pioneering garage producer Wookie‘s comeback single “2 Us.” As a solo artist, she recorded a cover of Jimmy Cliff’s Hard Road to Travel,” which landed at number 79 on the UK Singles chart, and her debut original single “Predictions” was named Sarah Jane Crawford’s “Smash of the Week” on the radio personality’s BBC Radio 1Xtra show. Collier has also received airplay and praise from the likes of Annie NightingaleCapitol XtraTiësto and Oliver Heldens, which has added to the growing buzz surrounding her in electronic music circles.

Building upon a growing national profile, Collier released her self-produced, debut EP Words You Never Heard through Love and Other Records in late 2015 and followed that up with “Ships,” a single she released during the last few months of 2016. Now, as you may recall, last year I wrote about Collier’s “Paper Tiger,” a slick yet un-fussy club banger, which she followed up with extensive touring playing sets at clubs and festivals across the European Union and unsurprisingly, with the release of her latest single “Darkshade,” her experiences touring throughout 2017 have influenced her creative process and her sound, as the new single finds Collier pairing what arguably may be the most emotionally direct lyrics she’s written with a sound that manages to be simultaneously radio and club friendly — all while further cementing her reputation for crafting rousingly anthemic hook.

“I’ve been heavily inspired from playing live at clubs and festivals throughout 2017 -playing my synths on stage at full volume is so satisfying and fulfilling that I’ve been incorporating synth solos and counter melodies way more into my actual production rather than just doing it on stage for fun!” Collier explains in press notes. “Darkshade feels like a song I needed to get off my chest — many of us will go through life hiding, disguising or playing down a physical/emotional element that we have but we don’t like. This song is about that and how I deal with it.”

This year may be a breakthrough year for the Swansea-born, London-based singer/songwriter, producer and electronic music artist as her full-length debut is slated for a September release.



Damocles is a rather mysterious Leicester, UK-based electronic music artist and producer, who according to his Twitter page, “uses technology to create different genres of music but with a coherent running thread.” His latest single “Entertainment Business Control” is a dance floor-friendly, classic house and 80s New Wave-inspired track featuring thumping 808s, cascading synths, and a looped, soulful vocal sample paired with PSA-styled vocals warning people that dancing is now against the law. And while sonically, the Leicester-based electronic music artist and producer’s sound manages to nod at Big Audio Dynamite — in particular think of “C’mon Everybody Beatbox” — but with a dry, winking, British irony.



Last month, you may have come across a post on Rohan Newman,  a Melbourne, Australia-based producer and electronic music artist, best known in electronic music circles as Roland Tings. Back in 2012, while as a virtual unknown, the Australian producer and electronic music artist caught the attention of enowned Los Angeles, CA-based electronic dance music label, 100% Silk Records, who released his debut EP.  And unsurprisingly, thanks to the cosign from the renowned Southern California-based label and the international attention he received, Newman quickly became one of Melbourne’s go-to producers and DJs, performing at some of the city’s most raucous house parties and basement jams. With an even larger profile, Newman quickly signed to renowned Norwegian electronic music label Internasjonal, founded by alt-disco, electronic music star Prins Thomas, and the label released Newman’s 2015 full-length debut, an album that Triple J named their Feature Album of the year.

Each Moment a Diamond, Newman’s soon-to-released sophomore Roland Tings album reveals a change in songwriting approach, with Newman renting a studio located in Melbourne’s industrial backstreets and treating the songwriting and production process as a 9-5 job, in which Newman developed a routine deliberately based around a repetitive and dependable schedule: every morning during the writing and recording of the album, Newman ate the same breakfast, rode his bike along the same route to the studio and hung up with the same friends at familiar places.  Being at the studio all day every day was psychologically demanding. For each good idea I had, there were maybe 30 bad ones, which is hard to face when you look back on months of work and realize the majority of the material will never make the record. Eventually though I was able to see each ‘failure’ as a crucial contribution to overall whole,”Newman reflected in press notes.  “The routine also allowed me to grasp good ideas when they surfaced -– when something was different, when something sounded great, I quickly noticed and was able to follow each thread. Another valuable realization from this process was knowing when to stop, when to let go of an idea, power down the studio, get on my bike and head home.” Certainly, when you deal in a creative world, some of the lessons Newman learned while writing could be useful. . .

Higher Ground” the first single off  Each Moment a Diamond was a collaboration feating the breathy and sultry vocals of Nylo  in a percussive, Zonoscope-era Cut Copy inspired house music track, featuring shimmering arpeggio synths, thumping beats, an rousing and soaring hook, and about 3/4s of the way through some Nile Rodgers-like funk guitar are added in a slickly produced song that focuses on the urgently swooning passion of first love.  The album’s second and latest single “Garden Piano” sonically owes a debt to classic, Larry Levan-era house music and Octo Octa‘s Between Two Selves, as the song is based around a slick production featuring thumping yet highly processed processed beats and shuffling drum and industrial cling and clatter are paired with twinkling, arpeggio synths and warm, funky blasts of Nile Rodgers-like guitar. And much like the preceding single, “Garden Piano” is a certified club-banger of a song that manages to possess a deliberate yet soulful feel.

Newman will be embarking on a extensive North American tour to support his newest album, opening for Warp Records’ stalwart Clark and Ghostly Records’ Com Truise and that tour will include a May 25 stop at Warsaw. Check out the rest of the tour dates below.

Tour Dates


May 1 – Santa Ana, CA – Constellation Room @ The Observatory

May 2 – Santa Cruz, CA – The Catalyst Atrium
May 4 – Portland, OR – Holocene

May 5 – Vancouver, BC – Imperial

May 6 – Seattle, WA – Neumos

May 7 – Eugene, OR – Wow Hall

May 9 – San Francisco, CA – Mezzanine

May 10 – Santa Barbara, CA – Soho Music Club

May 11 – Los Angeles, CA – The Regent Theater

May 12 – San Diego, CA – The Belly Up

May 13 – Santa Fe, NM – Meow Wolf

May 14 – Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater

May 16 – St. Louis, MO – Firebird

May 17 – Nashville, TN – Exit In

May 19 – Washington, DC – U Street Music Hall

May 20 – Boston, MA – Together Boston Music & Arts Festival

May 21 – Hamden, CT – The Ballroom

May 23 – Baltimore, MD – Ottobar

May 24 – Philadelphia, PA – Coda

May 25 – Brooklyn, NY – Warsaw

May 26 – Montreal, QC – Theatre Fairmount

May 27 – Toronto, ON – Velvet Underground

May 28 – Detroit, MI – Ghostly Intl/Warp Movement Afterparty @ The Shelter

May 30 – Pittsburgh, PA – Rex Theater

June 1 – Indianapolis, IN – The Hi-Fi

June 2 – Cleveland, OH – Grog Shop

June 3 – Chicago, IL – Concord Music Hall

June 4 – Minneapolis, MN – Fine Line Music Café

June 5 – Omaha, NE – Slowdown

June 6 – Kansas City, MO – Record Bar

June 7 – Dallas, TX – Trees

June 8 – Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall

June 9 – Austin, TX – The Mohawk

June 10 – Mexico City, MX – Sala Corona



If you’ve been frequenting this site over the last few months of 2016 and the beginning of 2017, you’ve most likely come across a couple of posts featuring the , Paris, France-based electronic music producer and electronic music artist Behad Netjabakshe, best known as Uppermost. And as Uppermost, Netjabakshe has received attention internationally for material released through a series of renowned labels including Sony BMGMinistry of SoundBugEyed RecordsStarlight Records and his own Uppwind Records — with singles like “Equivocal”landing at number 3 on Beatport’s electro house charts in 2009, his Biscuit Factory EP ranked first on the JunoDownload electro-house charts.And adding to a rapidly growing international profile, Netjabakshe has had his work playlisted by superstar producers and artists such as TiestoArmin van Buren and Steve Angello. Netjabakshe has also received attention for his remixes of Daft Punkdeadmau5BurialCrystal CastlesJonathan CoultonSyl JohnsonCongorock and others.

Uppermost‘s soon-to-be released full-length effort Origins 2011 – 2016 is a 23 song LP that features some of the French producer and electronic music artist’s most popular songs, including Flashback,” “Beautiful Light,” “Reminder” “Mistakes” as well as a new material including the shimmering and anthemic M83-channeling singles “Thousand Colors,” and “Emotion” and the Pink Floyd-channeling, funky and cinematic “Reminder.”Origins 2011 – 2016‘s latest single “Alive” will further cement Netjabakshe’s reputation for slickly produced synth pop as the Paris-based electronic music artist and producer pairs layers of shimmering, arpeggio synths with a sinuous bass line, Nile Rodgers-like guitar and and a rousingly, anthemic hook; however, where two of the album’s singles were reminiscent of M83, the album’s latest single leans a bit more towards 45:33 and Sound of Silver-era LCD Soundsystem, thanks to a club-friendly and accessible style.




Eric Martin is a renowned programmer and producer, who can trace the beginning of his recording career to when he was a programmer for Zomba/Jive Records — but he first came to fame as a a founding member of 90s house music act Technotronic, with whom he co-wrote their smash hit single “Pump Up The Jam,” a single that sold more than 14 million copies worldwide. Interestingly, Martin has been incredibly busy over the years –as a producer and songwriter, he’s credited with writing and producing with a diverse array of artists including Maxi Priest, Capleton and Jeff Beck, and under his hip-hop recording project Me-One, Martin has collaborated with the likes of GURU and The Roots.


Martin’s latest single “Be” is a slickly producer, club-banger that’s clearly indebted to early 90s house music as Martin’s production pairs stuttering drum programming, undulating synths, an enormous drop, various electronic bleeps and bloops with London-based R&B vocalist Lifford‘s soulful crooning. And much like the period it’s clearly influenced by, the song possesses a simple but powerful message — that throughout your life you’ll have people telling you who you should be and what you should be doing with yourself; but that you have to be you, no mater what the cost.

Sofia Kourtesis is a Berlin, Germany-based DJ, producer and activist, who as a producer and DJ has developed a reputation for a sound that possesses elements of tech house, dream-pop, new wave and others while frequently using anything at her fingertips to create something unique — and interestingly enough has been described by some as falling somewhere between the minimalism of Aphex Twin and the ambiance of Jai Paul.

Over the holidays, Kourtesis released a sensual and atmospheric remix of Me Succeeds‘ “Cool Kids” in which she uses a chopped and reversed sample of her uncle’s voice, skittering drum programming and layers of shimmering and  gently undulating synths which gives the original a mischievous yet hopeful air — and a result, a completely different air from the slow-burning and industrial-leaning original.

As Kourtesis explains of her remix “The Cool Kids remix is really energetic and playful, I thought about our new generation, these people who are young and cool on their own special unique form. Kids wanna change things and maybe save the world someday.”



55 Lakes is a mysterious and fairly anonymous EDM/tropical house music production and recording project of two Toronto-based ghost producers, ghostwriters and musicians for several top Canadian artists — and their latest project together was specifically designed for the duo to create, have fun and anonymous collect the credit for their own work. Their debut single “I’ll stay for you” is a slickly produced track that has the duo pairing finger-snap led percussion, twinkling keys, layers of shimmering and undulating synths and electronics, a looped vocal sample and an infectious hook in a propulsive yet breezy and tropical song that sounds as though it drew from Larry Levan and classic house, as well as Zonoscope-era Cut Copy.