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Interview: Polar Youth features on Quality Goods Records annual compilation

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Polar Youth, TSHA, DJ Seinfeld, O'Flynn
Polar Youth, TSHA, DJ Seinfeld, O'Flynn

Image credit: Yaqine Hamzaoui

UKG producer Elisabeth Verstraete has unveiled her single ‘You Say’, which features on Quality Goods Records’ sixth annual compilation QGRC-006, under her Polar Youth moniker. The Red Bull Elektropedia award-winning creative has previously mingled with DJ Fresh and had her name and sound appear in Vice and Complex, two prominent publications that most music fans will quickly recognise. Listening to her latest offering, fans will uncover similarities in the driving percussions of London-based musician TSHA. Let’s break the ice with Polar Youth:

Stream / Download: QGRC-006 Compilation

How did the new single speak to you as a musician?

I wanted to try a different approach. Focus more on the danceability of the track. I had to step out of my comfort zone a bit, and it turned out really well!

What is the message of ‘You Say’?

When I heard the words “You Say”, I immediately thought about two people arguing. The piano in the track reflects the calm before the storm. Then you have the heaviness in the drop that reflects the argument itself.

Can you tell us a bit about how you got into music?

I’ve been into music since I can remember, to be honest. At the age of 9, I played the guitar and sang a lot, and at the age of 12 I discovered FruityLoops, and I’ve been making music every day since that point.

Give us a sense of the music scene where you are based.

Where I live the most dominant genres are Techno and Rock music, but people here are open-minded which gives other genres a chance to shine too.

Tell us about your studio set-up and gear.

I have a home studio packed with way too many microphones, midi keyboards, and cables. The 2 pieces I’m most proud of are my Adam Audio A5X monitors and my Korg Minilogue XD.

What are some of your key musical influences?

I’ve always been heavily influenced by Hip Hop, which you can hear in what bass sounds I use. My melodic side has been influenced by Coldplay and Destiny’s Child when I was young. I’ve always admired how they use and convey their emotions in tracks.

As an artist, how do you infuse your music with emotion?

Whenever I start a track, it’s always about the chords. The chords and melodies I put into my tracks really portray the emotions I feel at that point.

In your opinion, how has bass music evolved over the last few years?

I’d say pretty good! Producers are being influenced by different genres outside the EDM scene and are trying to mix these genres together which creates new and surprising sub-genres. Music is all about creativity so I’m a huge fan.

What has been a memorable highlight of your career so far?

First DJ set I did back in 2014. It was in my hometown at a big venue, in Ghent, nobody knew me or my music, but everybody went nuts and danced through my whole set! That’s really something I’m going to cherish forever.

Who do you look up to in the DJ world?

As a producer myself, with my background, I have a tendency to focus way much more on the production side of things. DJ-ing to me is a different kind of experience and a different kind of challenge. Producers that I admire and are DJ-ing too are Kito, TSHA, Salute, and Conducta.

If you weren’t a musician what would you be?

When I was younger I always wanted to be a trucker transporting pigs, which I would then release into the wild next to the highway. Now I’d say I’d probably be a vet assistant or have my own garage with lots of vintage motorcycles.

What can we expect from you in the near future? Any upcoming projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?

I’ve been producing for other people for so long and now, I’m finally going to release LOTS of new music of my own. I’m very excited to put out music that is me, and it’s going to be with really dope labels!

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Twosome artist Weval offers new song ‘Don’t Lose Time’

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WEVAL, Daft Punk and LMFAO
WEVAL, Daft Punk and LMFAO

Image credit: Dennis Branko

Amsterdam-based duo Weval (made up of Harm Coolen & Merijn Scholte Albers) announce their long-awaited new album Remember, out on 3rd March on Ninja Tune imprint Technicolour. With the announcement, the duo shared a new single ‘Don’t Lose Time’. The album embarks on a high-energy journey of nostalgic memories and euphoric emotions, seeing the electronic duo reminisce on their own musical journey while reflecting on key influences and inspiration over the years. “We played and embraced this with unshameful nostalgic feelings around discovering music as young music fans” they commented. 

‘Remember’ plays around with memory and its ability to distort. As Weval elaborates, “Time is constantly escaping you and when you look back, memories distort – sometimes negatively, sometimes fake, sometimes euphoric and romanticised.” This central theme is explored in sonic contrasts as Weval employs heavily contorted beats with the potential to destroy speakers, only to be salvaged from the brink of collapse by melodically hopeful chords. Their new bombastic sound came as a result of new songwriting methods that saw Weval mashing together seemingly disparate ideas that held completely different lives and energies. Elements of pop, dance and every genre in between are thrown in and whittled down to make their most intense, spontaneous and substantial work to date.

The upcoming album follows on from the 2022 singles “Never Stay For Love”, featuring Dutch singer-songwriter Eefje de Visser, and “Forever”. Both tracks offered early previews to ‘Remember’, leaning on highly textured, driving and sophisticated electronica which the duo have become widely known for. 

Weval is well known amongst peers and critics for its beautifully composed melodies and songwriting. Previous press coverage includes impressive support from Pitchfork, Billboard, The Line of Best Fit, Resident Advisor, DJ Mag, Mixmag, Clash, SPIN, Brooklyn Vegan, Crack Magazine, Dummy, Magnetic Mag, The Vinyl Factory and more. Radio highlights include a live performance at the historic Maida Vale studio for BBC Radio 1’s Residency series (alongside artists such as Moderat, Darkstar, Gold Panda, Jessy Lanza and AKASE), plus support from the likes of Lauren Laverne, Tom Ravenscroft, KEXP, KCRW, SiriusXMU, Beats In Space and many more. Their music has been featured in TV shows Good Girls, Industry, and the HBO hit drama I May Destroy You by Michaela Coel. Weval recently completed a EU/UK and US tour with stops along Berlin, Istanbul, Brooklyn, Miami, LA, Vancouver and more. They have previously performed with a live five-piece band to emphatic festival crowds at Primavera Sound, Sonar Festival Istanbul, DGTL Amsterdam, Lightning In A Bottle, OSHEAGA, Lost Village, Lowlands, Down The Rabbit Hole, Best Kept Secret and many more. They’ll return to the stage this Spring on a run of EU/UK and North America dates. Tickets go on sale Friday, 20th January at 10 am [Local Time].

‘Remember’ Tracklist:

1. Remember

2. Everything Went Well

3. Losing Days

4. Where It All Leads

5. Don’t Lose Time

6. Never Stay For Love (feat. Eefje de Visser)

7. Day After Day

8. Changed For The Better

9. I Saw You

10. Is That How You Feel It

11. Forever

About Weval:

The first meeting in 2010, Harm and Merijn formed their formidable creative alliance back in 2012 when they were both working in film – when Harm brought Merijn on board to assist with a music video for some friends in a band. They began experimenting together, enjoying the music production more than the filmmaking. Neither had experience making music before forming Weval, so they have evolved organically together throughout their partnership. It’s an ongoing project that evolves naturally, each new release a learning experience that feeds back into their creative output.

(Tour Flyer – Download here)

Weval 2023 Live EU/UK Dates

March 9 – Milan, IT – Arca

March 14 – Amsterdam, NL – Bitterzoet

March 16 – Rotterdam, NL – Annabel

March 17 – Nijmegen, NL – Doornroosje

March 22 – Brussels, BE – Botanique – Rotonde

March 23 – Paris, FR – La Maroquinerie

March 24 – Dublin, IE – The Workmans Club

March 28 – Oslo, NO – John Dee

March 29 – Copenhagen, DK – Rust

March 30 – Berlin, DE – Zenner

March 31 – Zurich, SE – Papiersaal

April 6 – London, UK – The Lower Third 

April 7 – Budapest, HU – A38 

April 8 – Athens, GR – Oddity Club

2023 North America Dates

April 21 – New York, NY – Elsewhere Main

April 22 – Washington DC – 9:30 Club

April 24 – Boston, MA – Sinclair

April 26 – Montreal, QC – Bar Le Ritz PDB

April 27 – Toronto, ON – Axis

April 28 – Detroit, MI – El Club

April 29 – Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall

April 30 – Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry

May 2 – Denver, CO – Ophelia’s

May 4 – San Jose Del Cabo, MX – Sundream

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Dance musicians Belters Only drop new EP ‘2022 Only’

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Belters Only, Avicii and David Guetta
Belters Only, Avicii and David Guetta

Image via publicist

Irish dance music pioneers Belters Only are set to release their long-awaited EP 2022 Only, out on 30th December on Polydor.

‘2022 Only’ features the duo’s latest drop ‘Superstar’, an infectious, pumping house version of the 90s classic. It also includes a VIP of ‘Superstar’, alongside their euphoric 2022 single ‘Call Me’. Their Gloria Gaynor disco classic sample ‘I Will Survive’ also makes an appearance, as well as their collaborations with vocalist Jazzy – ‘Don’t Stop Just Yet’ and the viral ‘Make Me Feel Good’, with the latter peaking at #4 on the UK Singles chart and #1 in the Irish charts – whilst also clocking up 335 million streams Globally. 

Belters Only have just hit an impressive 60K TikTok followers and 50K on Instagram, and are fast approaching 40K YouTube subs. They finished up the year as the 6th most viewed TikTok music page across all genres in Ireland. After releasing their Soundcloud-only project ‘Irish Only’, the entire album held the top of the New & Hot chart in Ireland. The duo also played at the 2022 Capital Jingle Bell Ball this December, alongside superstars including Coldplay, Stormzy, Dua Lipa & more.

Selling out The Academy in Dublin this year in under a minute (faster than Harry Styles), and currently, with over 300 million combined global streams, Belters Only have had a mega 2022, and are showing no signs of stopping! 

2022 Only Tracklist

Superstar

Superstar-VIP

Make Me Feel Good

Don’t Stop Just Yet

I Will Survive

Call Me

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Artist GAWM and Eater creates surrealism in new collab

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GAWM and Eater, Excision, Zomboy, Datsik, and Skrillex
GAWM and Eater, Excision, Zomboy, Datsik, and Skrillex

Image credit: Garrett Duncan

Under Quality Goods Records, Potent musicians GAWM and Eater released their latest collab ‘Zombie Walk’ on the 16th of January lifted from the upcoming compilation QGRC-006 by Quality Goods Records. Producer Eater hails from Italy and trap and dub musician GAWM originates from Los Angeles, USA. Zombie Walk’ is comparable to the musical sound of  Hype, and Dubstep Don among others. 

Pre-save QGRC-006 Compilation

True to its title, Zombie Walk’ is menacing in both the sound arrangement and the chosen instrument. The fast tempo beats accelerate and chase the base synths relentlessly until spoken-like vocals provide a mid-tempo rest that consequently creates an atmosphere of surrealism that gives listeners the impression that they are at the mercy of the track’s musical vibrations and the intent of the musicians.   

GAWM elaborates on the excitement of their leading up to the making of Zombie Walk’: “The last time Eater and I got on a track together, we got the most support I’ve ever gotten on a track. The track was called “Machine Gun” and it was in the tour sets of NGHTMRE, ATLiens, Excision, and SLANDER. People have been anticipating another collaboration from Eater and myself for quite some time now”.

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musician Idris Elba raises the temperature with ‘Biggest’ video

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Idris Elba, Technotronic and Raffa FI
Idris Elba, Technotronic and Raffa FI

credit Alex Piper

In need of no introduction, Idris Elba juggles a blossoming music career with his status as one

of the most sought-after actors on the planet. As one of the UK’s best-loved Polymaths, he makes a welcome return to the music world with somewhat of a surprise single before the summer is out. 

His new single ‘Biggest’ sees the producer/DJ deliver a sweaty Moombahton-inspired club track to get waistlines whining across the world – packed full of heavy synths, filthy basslines and his vocal performance with a uniquely London swagger.

This follows his previous singles, the tech-house-flavoured ‘Body Shots’ and the energetic Afro-pop jam ‘Ashobi’ which saw him collaborate with Sierra Leone’s biggest contemporary artist Drizilik. This recent flurry of music releases showcases Elba’s ability to cross genres in his unique way, always with a focus on the dancefloor whilst embracing his West African roots.

His other biggest tracks include ‘Girl With The Bat’, ‘Apple Crumble’ and the global smash ‘Boasty’. Also recently, Idris teamed up with the likes of Davido, Koffee, Lil Tjay and The Fanatix on monster collab ‘Vroom’, while his 7Wallace imprint continues to provide a platform for established talent, having released music from Che Lingo, Q-Tip, Cypress Hill, Little Simz, Toddla T and Chip.

With ‘Biggest’ Idris Elba continues to demonstrate a vastly impressive versatility and musical range.

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Thrilling trap musicians Stööki Sound unleash new ‘Revival’ song

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Stooki Sound, UZ, Troyboi, Baauer
Stooki Sound, UZ, Troyboi, Baauer

Image credit: Purple Contrast

Under Quality Goods Records, Stööki Sound shared their latest song ‘Revival’. Skilful Stööki Sound find its artistic expression in innovation, not only in music but in fashion and art as well. The trap musicians’ music resembles the musical sounds of the likes of  Baauer and Troyboi just to mention a few. 

Stream / Download: Stööki Sound – ‘Revival’

‘Revival’ is a track that rises like a phoenix and resembles a formidable and powerful dragon that is tasked with infinite procreation, evidently observed in its all-encompassing bass beat. Subsequently, listeners are imputed to feel incredibly powerful and rejuvenated. And also, this bass beat is leisurely and induces a deep relaxation that fosters incredible creativity and the acceptance of challenges that occur in life.

Stööki Sound reflect on the contextual significance of the new single with these words: “Revival is a representation of infinity and the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. We found a connection to the Ouroboros symbol – a serpent eating its own tail. This emblem reflects our journey and can also take the form of the ÖÖ motif we have used since the beginning of Stööki Sound. This track represents the stage we are at in the cycle, connecting old fans with new ones and it’s fitting for the track to be released with our Quality Goods Records fam who have been a part of our story from early on”.

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Gifted singer yunè pinku releases new single ‘Jaws’

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yunè pinku’s, Bronski Beat, Eurythmics
yunè pinku’s, Bronski Beat, Eurythmics

Image credit: @leandaheler

Following the success of her debut EP Bluff, hotly tipped producer/singer yunè pinku returns with the euphoria-inducing new track ‘Jaws’.

Ascending chord stabs and ghostly vocals occupy the track’s mid and upper ranges, driving the arrangement to anthemic proportions as the breaks and sub-bass rumble through the track with a thunderous effect. yunè’s voice loops and flows with aqueous character, dazzling across the gloriously chaotic broken beats and caustic synthesisers. Enveloped with attitude-soaked lyricism and hazy pads, the latest single further solidifies yunè’s reputation as a genre-blurring frontrunner.

yunè says: “Jaws to me is about being perpetually fed up of compromise, I guess in a way leaning into the inner warrior or villain that we all have inside of us; in this case I thought of a boxer! The song has existed for a quite a while now but it’s sort of a closing score to my project Bluff, I think a bit of a last hurrah for the angsty stuff and making way for the more tender, experimental on coming music.

“Jaws” and its accompanying white-label club mix will receive a very limited vinyl release in the coming weeks.

yunè pinku’s debut EP Bluff was a heady,  thrilling first statement of intent. Preceded by 3 singles,  Laylo with its mesmeric dance hooks in clever, textural ways,  Affection’s take on a dubby bassline reminiscent of experimental early 00s post-dubstep and DC Rot, an electronic ode to skate culture, armed with phased-out breakbeats and pipe harmonies, the music video was shot against the cityscapes of London and featuring pro skater / yuné’s sister Faith,  it is a perfect introduction to pinku’s world. 

Having collaborated with rising Australian dance star Logic1000 on breakout hit ‘What You Like’ and a co-sign from Joy Orbison, who invited her to contribute a guest mix during his Radio 1 residency last year, pinku’s year began with a coveted mix for The Blessed Madonna on New Years Day. The burgeoning young artist has since received extensive radio support since arriving on the scene, securing key BBC Radio support from the likes of industry heavyweights Pete Tong, Giles Peterson, Mary Anne Hobbs, Danny Howard and Clara Amfo to name a few. 

As “Jaws” rounds off this first chapter,  watch this space for much more in the coming months.

LIVE DATES

30th Sept- Yes (Basement) – Manchester, UK

1st Oct – Adaptations Festival – Leeds, UK 

4th October – Vice Presents: Roundhouse Rising – London, UK

6th – Koko (supporting George Fitzgerald) – London, UK

18th Nov – Primavera Winter – Benidorm, Spain

19th Nov – Pitchfork Paris – Paris, France 

4th March – Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival – Florida, USA

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KRONO satisfies lovers of house or electronic music with new single

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KRONO, Oliver Heldens, Nora En Pure, Duke Dumont
KRONO, Oliver Heldens, Nora En Pure, Duke Dumont

Image credit: © Eve Robert

Ascending musicians KRONO released the single ‘KARMACODA – Deja Vu (Krono Remix)’ on the 30th of September under Sola Musa Music. Having secured the support of the likes of distinguished publications YourEDM and Vibe amongst others, the twosome has set their aim beyond the stars and the brand new single both excites and demands acclaim. 

KARMACODA – Deja Vu (Krono Remix)’ equally invigorates and excites the senses with a rhythm that is set to satisfy fervent dancers who love mid and up-tempo. This rhythm implores good times and the track is like entering a cosmos inundated with carefully experimented sound laden with a feast of remarkably accelerated beats.   

Stream / Download: KARMACODA – ‘Deja Vu (Krono Remix)’

KRONO tells us the origin as well as the intended musical destination of the single “The KARMACODA – Deja Vu (Krono Remix) is somewhere between experimental world house music and electronic music. Driven by a deep ‘80s bass, Jessica Ford’s sensual voice gently sets the mood and atmosphere of the track, which slides into a kind of modern melodic house track”.

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Musicians Aluna and MK collaborate on new single

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Aluna & MK, David Guetta, James Hype
Aluna & MK, David Guetta, James Hype

Image credit: Hillary Kim

Platinum-selling stars Aluna and MK have joined forces for the first time on the new single ‘Kiss It Better’, out on 30th September.

Combining euphoric breakdowns and a slick, pulsating bassline with Aluna’s sensual vocals, ‘Kiss It Better’ is vocal-driven dance music at its very best. The track sees her continue her flurry of recent collaborative releases that include ‘Mine O’ Mine’ with Jayda G, ‘Nowhere To Hide’ with Prettyboy D-O and Kooldrink, and ‘Follow You’ with Kornel Kovacs. The jet-setting official video for ‘Nowhere To Hide’ also dropped earlier this month.

“During my pandemic Twitch era where I was DJing from my living room every week, I started to get to know who the pioneers of dance music were and who was making the freshest stuff now,” Aluna explains. “MK is both of those things so naturally I wanted to work with him. Turns out we were both looking for each other so when we finally got into the studio it felt like something that was a long time coming. ‘Kiss It Better’ is a contrast of MK’s raw techno roots and my yearning story of lovers helping each other through those hard times we’ve all been through.”

Aluna is one half of AlunaGeorge and builds upon the UK electronic duo’s sound in a solo context to venture further into eclectic dance-pop territory. She debuted with the 2020s stylistically elastic Renaissance, with follow-up standalone singles ‘Trouble’ and ‘Forget About Me’ appearing in 2021 and 2022 respectively.

Boasting over six hundred million career streams, MK is one of the most idolised figures in the world of dance music. With over 30 years in the game, he is best known for his revered remixes of ‘Push The Feeling On’ by Nightcrawlers and ‘Look Right Through’ by Storm Queen, as well as his platinum-selling global hit ‘17’, which has sold more than one million copies in the UK alone. ‘17’ was preceded by ‘Piece of Me’ in 2016, another platinum-selling record to add to MK’s pile of growing accolades.

Bringing together two masters of the genre, ‘Kiss It Better’ is an infectious house jam with serious crossover appeal.

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Music producer jackLNDN explores ‘Bad Decisions’ with new song

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Ben Bohmer, Jan Blomqvist, jackLNDN,Yotto
Ben Bohmer, Jan Blomqvist, jackLNDN,Yotto

                                                                   Image credit: Jane Greer

We all have our vices we get drawn to when life gets tough and we can’t see the light at the end of what feels like a long winding tunnel. Emotionally honest and groove-laden as always, music producer jackLNDN explores this theme of losing grip with your reality after trauma with his latest single ‘Bad Decisions’.

Stream/ download:Bad Decisions’ on SpotifyiTunes

Shared via indie label Jack’s House, this single follows after the release of the minimal and progressive track ‘Deep Space’. jackLNDN shares further insight on this latest release: “I feel like this is a highly relatable song. It’s about self-destructive tendencies and those moments when we knowingly make poor choices to escape the reality of our lives. We all turn to different vices for escapism, be it drinking, substances or sex. When you know what you are doing is unhealthy & a poor life choice, but you still engage in that behaviour with a deliberate desire to cause chaos while running from or numbing your own pain.”

A thought-provoking quote from the man himself, almost anyone can relate to the feeling of wanting to drown out or numb their pain in some way. jackLNDN continues to shine a light on serious matters through an ethereal and laidback electronic lense.

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