The Aston Shuffle Talk New Remix For Neo-Soul Legend Maxwell [TMN Interview]

astonshuffle-maxwell remix

This track boasts seven minutes of Neo-Soul legend Maxwell’s falsetto voice paired with The Aston Shuffle‘s groovy, deep house production and is simply stated, a perfect match. The Australian duo recently impressed us with their “Only 100s” mix and now they’ve given us a track worthy of placement in their own series. With basslines capable of inducing a trance like state of mind matched to a smooth body moving melody, The Aston shuffle have created a project to end 2016 in a bold way.

“Huge fan of The Aston Shuffle, they keep it so soulful and raw for the dance clubs.” – Maxwell

2017 is soon approaching and news is they’ll be gracing us with another original release on The Magician’s Potion label. After what we’ve seen in 2016 there’s no question these two should be on everyone’s watch list. I got the chance to ask the guys a bit about the new remix. You can stream the track on Spotify or Youtube.

TMN: 2016 has been quite the year for music – How have you guys grown throughout the year and what would you say was your greatest moment?

TAS: 2016 has been great for us! We had 3 releases (High With You, Only 1 and Make A Wrong Thing Right) come out on one of our favourite record labels, Potion (The Magician’s label). We did a few national tours here in Australia and Vance has been busy spreading The Aston Shuffle message across the US with his recent move to NY, and we’ve continued to get great listenership with our Friday Night Shuffle radio show.

TMN: MAXWELL is no rookie when it comes to music. The NYC soulful R&B singer has been around for quite some time. What did you like best about remixing this particular track?

TAS: It was all about the vocal, it’s so dope and catchy! The producers treated the vocal with some really cool effects which really grabbed our attention and ultimately drove the direction in which we took the remix.

TMN: How did it feel to have Maxwell reach out to you about this remix? Describe your reaction.

TAS: We’ve been long time fans of his since the 90’s. He reached out to us saying he really vibed on our song “Tear It Down” It was unbelievable to have an artist of this calibre resonate with our music. We’ve been in regular contact since. He’s an absolute legend so to have remixed a song off his album was one to tick off the bucket list!

TMN: Did you have a certain direction in mind for this or was it more go with the flow?

TAS: Not really, we just went with the flow like we normally do when doing remixes. It was totally unintentional but it ended up with a bit of a nod to some classic Armand Van Heldon vibes.

TMN: Not only have you released this remix but started the Only 100s mix – What do you look for when selecting music?

TAS: Between our radio show and DJ sets, we are seriously inundated with new music. It’s seriously crazy the amount of music we have to go through each and every week! So to help with our workflow we create a shortlist of club weapons. These tracks are what we consider to be the standout tracks of the moment whether it’s a Balearic house jam or a certified techno banger, if it’s dope, then we’re playing it on Only 100s.

TMN: What direction do you see yourselves going in 2017? Is there anything particularly exciting you can share?

TAS: We already have a few releases ready to go in 2017 which you’ll be hearing about very soon. We’ll be continuing our Friday Night Shuffle radio show and also building the Only 100s name. It’s going to be a busy year for us but we’re already looking forward to it!

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Thomston – Float (Anden Remix) [TMN Premiere]

anden
Thomston
Float (Anden Remix)

NYC duo Anden are known to push boundaries and experiment with music outside of the norm. We’ve heard bouncy up beat dance tracks to dark and emotional ballads and the direction that it’s taken them has proven to be successful. “Float” is another prime example of how unafraid the duo is to think outside the box. The original track by Thomston boasts emotionally driven lyrics and a deep melody, but Anden digs even deeper adding their personal experiences and history into the track.

Anden does a great job of keeping their remixes close to the original while still giving it a personal flair for those who want a taste of both artistic touches. The lead synth brightens Thomston’s original yet doesn’t hinder the darker side of the track and while this song proves to be a bit different, it’s a good different and we’re excited to see what else these two have in store. I got the chance to ask the duo a few questions about the remix; check it out below and make sure to listen to the track which is also a free download.

TMN: How did doing this remix come about?

A: We first heard the original song at the beginning of the summer and immediately reached out to Thomston’s management about doing the remix. We connected very strongly with the vocal and the songwriting and are really excited we were able to do the remix. We actually finished it back in August, so we’re happy it’s finally out now!

TMN: What was the hardest part about it?

A: Our first ideas for the remix were to expand on the writing in the original and build out a longer arrangement. The initial sketches for the remix were around eight minutes in length (much like the final version), and so it was tough at first to commit to something that was already a bit unconventional. With a song this long, we wanted it to evolve and progress in order to stay interesting, so that was a really fun challenge we took on in our approach to the remix.

TMN: Favorite part about creating this remix?

A: Writing the lead synth part in the main breakdown of the song. We were hoping to have something more hopeful and elevating to contrast the darker feel of the chords and bass, and we’re really happy with how that section of the song came together. Technically speaking, we made that instrument with our Korg MS20 (a hardware synth), so the whole process had a very natural and organic feel to it.

TMN: You guys have been experimenting with darker and more emotional music, why is that?

We had a collection of experiences earlier on in the year that inspired this new sound – many were music specific experiences (parties we went to, etc), but others were more personal ones. One important personal experience was quitting a day job to do music full time. Along with the happiness and excitement of doing music for a living came an increased amount of anxiety and stress. Experiencing such an intense range of emotions definitely played a part in wanting to create music that captured that same feeling – something that is dark and melancholic, but also uplifting and beautiful.

TMN: Can you give a little insight on your production process for this remix? Did you try anything you may not have tried before?

A: Most of the writing actually happened very quickly, we wrote pretty much all the instrumentation in just about a day. There was still quite a bit of tweaking and fine-tuning after the fact, but we find that the songs where the ideas flow out quickly and naturally are often our favorite ones in the end. In terms of new things, not using a normal 4×4 kick drum pattern was a first for us!

TMN: When will we see another original track from you guys? and what does 2017 look like?

A: We actually are in the process of signing our first original record (more details to follow soon!) and are working with a few artists on a remix pack for it. That should be out early next year, along with a number of other remixes and originals we’ve been writing. We also recently started a monthly radio show called Sound Room, which you can check out on iTunes and Soundcloud. For performances, we are wrapping up the year with a show at Hammerstein Ballroom for NYE, and we will be hosting our 3rd popup party in NYC early next year. These popups have been an awesome way to showcase our recent work and take a unique space in the city and convert it into a house party for one night only.

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Helena Legend Talks New Direction, No Explanations Series & 2017 [TMN Interview]

helenalegend-noexplanations-2

It’s not easy for artists to master a new sound. It’s even harder for them to commit to trying something new, especially when they’ve had so much success with a signature style. However, that didn’t stop Helena Legend from putting together her strongest project yet, appropriately named No Explanations.

Helena’s EP marks a new chapter for the UK born, Australian bred DJ/producer. She’s conquered the world with her powerful house sounds, but now she’s diving down a different path, bringing fresh bass sounds to new BPM territories and even providing her own vocals. We previously covered her excellent EP, but we wanted to catch up with her and talk about this new direction and what comes with it. Moreover, we recap 2016 and find out, perhaps most importantly, where Helena thinks the best food in the world is. Enjoy our chat with Helena Legend, as well as some songs off No Explanations Pt. 1.

’Helena Legend – Illusion’

TMN: What prompted this change in direction for your music?

HL: Personal tastes change, I wasn’t vibed anymore on what I was making and I needed to do something fresh, I have found my new direction to be way more inspiring for me and more fulfilling than anything I have ever done.

TMN: How have fans reacted to these new sounds, both in a live atmosphere and online?

HL: The reaction has been incredible, I have had better feedback and more interaction on this EP than any of my previous work. the tracks are still fairly new to the world to get a really good reaction live, though it still has been good, but the more they know the tracks the bigger the reaction will be, so I just need to get the awareness of the EP out and get people listening to the new sounds.

TMN: When did you decide you wanted to hop on “Illusion” and make your vocal debut?

I wrote “Illusion” with me in mind to sing it, it was something I always wanted to do, I just needed the guts to actually push myself to do it. I was pretty nervous about putting myself out there singing on the track, but the reaction has been amazing, so maybe i’ll do more in the future.

TMN: Are you planning on getting any remixers for No Explanations?

HL: It’s still being decided, I think we’ll just push this EP and see how it goes. Maybe I’ll follow it with remixes.

TMN: No Explanations is listed as being Part 1, is Part 2 already in the works?

HL: Part 2 is already finished, set to be released Feb 10th, another 3 tracks this EP changes it up a bit more.

’Helena Legend – RU Feeling It (feat LYRE)’

TMN: As I was digging through some of your past interviews and work, it seemed to me that you have been always evolving as a creator. What drives you to keep advancing/evolving as a creative human being?

HL: I am certainly not the same person as I was 10 years ago or even 5 or 2 years ago, people change, life changes, tastes changes, hair color changes haha.. you need to move with life and roll with it, being stuck and not evolving creatively will give you a very limited career.

TMN: How would you sum up 2016 for yourself?

2016 for me was good but it was a bit of a weird year to be honest.. I was lost for half of it trying to figure out what direction I wanted to go in and spent the other half creating a new direction. I have kept my head down and worked hard in preparation for 2017 and I’ve never been more excited than I am right now.

TMN: What can we expect to see from Helena Legend in 2017?

HL: A ton of music, I feel now I have my new path set, there is nothing in my way, I will be going hard. I just make a kick ass music video for “RU Feeling it” featuring Lyre, in Shanghai I can’t wait to see final version, this is out in Jan, a tour with my homeboy Kennedy Jones of North America Jan-March plus so much more. I feel my best is still yet to come.

TMN: I think New Year’s resolutions are ridiculous, but what’s one goal you have for yourself, creatively or personally, for 2017?

HL: Don’t let up. This is my time I feel to show what I can really do.

TMN: One last question: You’ve traveled the world playing shows, so I must ask, who has the best food?

HL: AUSTRALIA OF COURSE!

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Quinn XCII Speaks On New Track Straightjacket [TMN Interview]

Quin XCII-straightjacket
Quinn XCII
Straightjacket

You wouldn’t think the temperature is starting to drop when listening to Quinn XCII’s music, including his recent single “Straightjacket.” This vocalist/songwriter has seamlessly melded electronic, hip-hop, soul, and pop and brought heat to everything he’s touched this year. His singles and EP’s have landed him a tour with Louis the Child, #1 spots on HypeMachine, over 40 million plays on Spotify, and regular spins at Top 40 radios around the country.

The single, produced by The Wiild, is a buoyant tune that floats just in between hip-hop and electronic, a skill that Quinn has mastered. The simplified melody keeps focus on the lyrics and the story behind them telling a relatable story that some, if not all, of us may have experienced when dealing with love. We were excited to catch up with Quinn and ask him more about his year and the single.

TMN: What got you into music? Have you always been a singer?

Q: I can remember being a fan of music since I could walk and hearing my parents play it around the house. That, and I was always into creative writing. It wasn’t until my freshmen year of college, though, that I really put the two together and started writing my own content and sharing it with friends. At the time it was actually more indie-rap stuff, but then I started focusing on singing and things started to evolve into my current sound.

TMN: Detroit is a huge hub for music and art in general, has growing up in Michigan influenced your music in any way?

Q: Definitely. The older Detroit music I feel has strongly shaped my writing in terms of melodies. Motown, du-wop style melodies that have that ear-candy quality about them has always attracted me, and I think have definitely crossed over into my own music.

TMN: A lot of your work is in collaboration with ayokay, did he help with “Straightjacket” or did you work with someone new?

Straightjacket was actually produced by The Wiild, a very talented producer from Australia who works with a lot of the pop acts out there. ayokay and I are still working very closely on my new music though, he’ll be producing majority of my next project again. We live together and have a studio in our house so we’re constantly writing new things together – it’s a really creative environment.

TMN: Almost a year ago you released the Bloom EP – Is “Straightjacket” just a single or can we expect something more after this? Another EP or LP?

Q: Straightjacket is the first song from my upcoming debut album. We’ll be releasing a few more singles from the project in the coming months and then we’re expecting to have the full album out by Spring/Summer of 2017!

TMN: Any specific inspiration behind Straightjacket?

Q: The idea behind Straightjacket was really about shedding light on the girl that has secrets, more bad ones than good. She acts a certain way in public and in front of your friends, but behind closed doors is a bit of psycho and can’t be contained. The two-faced mentality was very appealing to me to try to put into words and narrate.

TMN: You were on tour with Louis The Child, what was that like? What would you say was your favorite stop?

Touring with LTC was amazing. They’re both super talented guys and it’s really inspiring to see them at such a young age connect with people the way they have been. I’d say my favorite stop on the tour was in Minneapolis.. All the stops were amazing but that show has stuck out to me since getting off the road.

TMN: How would you sum up your 2016? Any specific moments stick out in particular?

Q: I signed with Columbia Records over the summer, which has definitely been one of the most memorable moments of the year. I’d say 2016 as a whole can be summed up as a big stepping stone for both ayokay and myself. I think we really made a big stride in our careers and are finally beginning to get placed on the platform we’ve been striving for. Now it’s just a matter of how much we want this to continue, and putting in the work is what will dictate that. I’m ready for it.

TMN: What’s 2017 looking like for you?

Q: 2017 will include the release of my debut album, a lot more touring, festivals, some really cool collaborations, and hopefully a lot more.

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Pre-Show Chat with Scott Kirkland of The Crystal Method [TMN INTERVIEW]

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TMN: Hey Scott – so stoked to have you back in the Mile High City again. This city, and Beta Nightclub, seem to be one of your favorites. What keeps bringing you back here?

TCM: To try and have as much fun as the last time at Beta! The room sounds great, you are close to the crowd, and who doesn’t love the big cryo moment? Denver has always been one of my favorite places to play.

TMN: We’re curious – when was your first show here in Denver?

One of our earliest shows was at the Bluebird back in ‘97 I believe. Our first show at Beta was at least 5 or 6 years ago.

TMN: This time around, you’re flying solo. Can you fill us in on the situation with Ken? Is he taking a touring hiatus?

TCM: Ken and his wife Janine are happily building a new life in Costa Rica and I am very happy for him. I am also excited about the music I am making right now in the studio.

TMN: There’s so much to cover with you guys, considering your long and impressive tenure in the scene. But, let’s look back on Vegas. For older fans, tracks like “Busy Child” and “Keep Hope Alive” help define their adolescence. Is it weird looking back on that for you guys, especially given the meteoric rise of dance music?
Continue reading

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End The Year By Catching Up With Amsterdam’s Shermanolgy [TMN Interview]

shermanology
Shermanology
Silly Games

Sometimes working as a duo isn’t easy, especially over an extended period of time; and especially when the other person in the group is also a family member. That hasn’t been the case for Shermanology, a duo from Amsterdam that has been kicking out original house beats for several years, including before the EDM craze began.

2016 has been a good year for the duo. It’s another step in their illustrious career that continues to get brighter each passing day. One of these recently passed days, Shermanology dropped their latest single, “Silly Games,” that you can listen to above, if you haven’t clicked play already. Aside from streaming their single, you can catch up with the duo, who we met up with for a little chat on what they thought of this year, how their career has stayed strong, as well as what is coming. If you don’t already know Andy & Dorothy Sherman from their previous work, you’re in for a real treat. They’ve got plenty of more goodies coming in 2017.

TMN: How has 2016 treated camp Shermanology?

Andy: 2016 was a pretty liberating year for us. We put the focus back on our music and finding what WE wanted to represent, we found a new manager and really focused on creating a long term vision for Shermanology as a musical brand. It sounds short and simple in writing but in practice that is a hell of a lot of work, not to mention hours and hours in the studio. That said, it’s been one of the most rewarding for us on a creative level. We are currently in Stockholm making music and life feels good!

TMN: Tell us about how your new single ‘Silly Games’ came into existence?

Dorothy: We went over to London earlier in the year to lap up some new influences. Back in the day Andy was a vocalist for Artful Dodger, so he got to experience the UK in a golden time for garage and R&B. That whole era of music was such a huge inspiration to us both, so the London trip was about hitting up those influences and finding a new energy for them. We hit the studio with MNEK and the creative sparks were off the hook. We wrote three songs in a day, one of which was the basis for ‘Silly Game.’

Andy: We got it back to Amsterdam and started playing with it. What we liked was the idea of fusing piano house and garage influences with Dorothy’s soulful voice and alongside the very talented Dennis Quinn (Simma Black) we really found that balance. I think the final version came out perfectly in respect of what we set out to make.

TMN: As an act Shermanology has survived so many different peaks and troughs in electronic music. Has that been a relatively tiring experience for you guys?

Dorothy: Not really, I think it’s made us who we are today. So much of this year was spent working out what mattered to us and we pretty quickly learned that genres were not high on the agenda. We want to stand for something with a shelf life – records that mean something and bring out genuine feelings and emotions in people. When you put the focus on that the genre is really irrelevant, for us Shermanology is about electronic pop music with soul, heart and stamina. If 2017 plays out as we are planning it to then I think fans new and old are going to really see what we are all about.

Andy: The fact is that right now acts new and old are facing the same challenges. The way we listen to music is changing so fast and people like to find the next big buzz and replicate it. Replication can get you some short term gains and those big numbers, but the big question is will that stuff matter in 10-15 years’ time. We aren’t here to tell anyone how to structure their career, everyone is on their own journey, but I think we are more confident in what we want to stand for now than ever before.

TMN: You’re ending 2016 with a bang, but what’s the plan for the New Year?

Andy: If 2016 was about focussing on music, 2017 is about getting that music in front of people and continuing the exciting journey we started back in 2015. We have some sick collaborations on the way alongside Rene Amesz, Ferreck Dawn and a few others. On top of this we have a handful of records that we are super proud of. They are new and fresh for us, but they still represent Shermanology in a way that I think people who have been into us since day one are going to dig. There is one more record on the way that we co-wrote alongside MNEK that takes things into a more garage-inspired focus and we cannot wait to spill more info on that one. On top of this, we hope that 2017 will be the year we show the world our new live act. We are working tirelessly behind the scenes to make this an amazing musical experience and I think it is going to be a huge career highlight for us.

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Axel Boy Shares His Thoughts On 2016, What’s Coming & New Single [TMN Interview]

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Axel Boy
Bun Up 'N' Tun Up

At the end of each year, artists and their teams look to not only bring things to a close, but get ready for the next year. One artist who is doing that in a huge way is Axel Boy. 2016 has been a wild year for the Bristol beatmaker who has seen releases on labels like Buygore, Kannibalen Records, Elysian Records and Never Say Die.

Through all this, the people over at Slvyvll had their eyes on him, eventually taking him on board their management roster. Now, things are looking better than ever for one of bass music’s finest gems. To celebrate this, Axel Boy has released two free downloads in the past two weeks, with the most recent being a return to dubstep in “Bun Up N Tun Up.”

We had the pleasure of having a quick chat with Axel Boy to give us a recap of his 2016, as well as give us some insight on what’s to come. Stream the single, read the interview; most of all, enjoy.

TMN: Looking back, how has 2016 been for the Axel Boy project?

AB: 2016 has been very progressive and productive! The beginning of the year saw my first tour of Australia which was life-changing, it really set me up with a ton of motivation to enter into the year with. I’ve really worked on my craft over the last year, wrote a load of music and learnt a lot about myself and the music I enjoy making! I played my biggest show to date in Paris in October which was an unbelievable experience. And of course I’ve linked up with SLVYVLL which is the real landmark of the year, I really feel a sense of optimism now I’m part of the team! Besides Axel Boy I also managed to graduate at University, so it was an excellent feeling to accomplish that alongside working on my own music project.

TMN: You recently got involved with the Slvyvll team, how did you get connected up with them?

AB: I met Steven and Christina back in 2015 when I spent a few weeks in LA. My previous manager Daniel helped me A LOT in taking my first steps towards cementing myself in the industry, credit to him, he helped me make some vital connections & SLVYVLL was one of them! He moved on in his own career and lead me to begin working with the SLVYVLL team. It was a natural progression for both off us, I couldn’t be happier with how things have worked out!

TMN: Can you tell us a little about your most recent release, “Bun Up N Tun Up” that you just dropped?

I was working on various styles of music before my show at ANIMALZ in Paris & I decided it was time to make some fresh dubstep to play. So I worked on some VIPS of other tracks and also decided to write a dubstep original. I wanted to push myself in creating some really fresh sound timbres which I haven’t necessarily heard so much before. I kind of went down a metallic route for the sound design in this track which is fairly obvious, so using Serum I tried to push the boundaries of the sounds I can come up with.

I wanted to capture a few different vibes in this track. One was a very trappy, hip-hop influenced theme which is very obvious in the structure, beat & lead melodies! And the other was a more Halloween & sinister vibe which comes across best in the chords and their progressions! I then proceeded to record and process vocals to put the cherry on the cake! The lyrics just came straight to mind during the production process which in turn helped me christen the track ‘Bun Up ‘N’ Tun Up’. I must say I absolutely love it when a track name comes to mind during the production process, it just makes everything feel so right!

TMN: In 2016, you released a ton of originals with only a few remixes including an official one for Black Tiger Sex Machine. Do you want to keep up focusing on original work next year?

AB: Original work is the number one priority for me. So you guys can expect a lot more of that, I have lots of originals lined up and ready to go. But I think early next year I will be more than happy to start releasing more remixes and collaborations, working with others can really help breathe new light into my inspiration for writing!

TMN: What can fans expect from you in the upcoming months?

AB: I’m going to continue dropping originals of all different styles! I have some singer-songwriter/future stuff on the way, some house/breaks hybrids & of course some more dubstep to come. There is also a big announcement around the corner that I think the fans will be pleased to hear, so stay tuned for that! 2017 is definitely going to be the biggest year for me yet.

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