The Desert Hearts 2018 Train is Pulling Into The Station

*written by Lizzie Rose for Electronica Life

The Desert Hearts boys have certainly been up to so much this year! With tours and a packed 2017 festival season, they have become a nation-wide recognizable name. Though they have grown drastically in popularity, there is only one place that Desert Hearts Crew truly feels like home- On top of the speakers at Los Coyotes. The festival has gone from a coveted and protected yearly event, to a homecoming of sorts for the Desert Hearts Community. Desert Hearts has truly grown from a community to a movement- It has become something that allows us to check in with ourselves and our friends and express ourselves in a comfortable space. My last three Desert Hearts experiences I’ve experienced deep, deep learning about myself and perspective shifts that have changed my life thereafter. As living and breathing humans, experiences shape our personalities every day. Our cells regenerate and we change our hair, clothing styles, and favorite songs. Events like Desert Hearts, with pure vibes and good intentions, help us to pull back to center and observe these changes.

The fact that we get to celebrate with the Desert Hearts crew in a few weeks (April 27th – April 30th) has us like little kids on Christmas. The festival was pushed to a later date, so the weather will likely be warmer and snugglier than freezing years past. Desert Hearts kicks off the festival season this year, bringing an awesome lineup to Los Coyotes Indian Reservation once again for three days of techno. Damien Lazarus, Dance Spirit, Egyptian Lover, Sacha Robotti, Kevin Knapp, Anabel Englund and more headline the gathering, with the beloved Desert Hearts Crew with Mikey Lion, Porkchop, Lee Reynolds, and Marbs

Desert Hearts is truly an example of what happens when intention meets motivation. The crew has slowly built a fire that is now spreading rapidly, with no intention of slowing down. Not only is Desert Hearts a pinnacle example of music culture, but also fashion and art abound. The kind of place where you wouldn’t be surprised to see champagne and waffles on the dance floor at sunrise, festival fashion influencers strutting the runway in the afternoon, or the DJ’s whole crew on stage with him- Desert Hearts is the hottest festival you have to hit this spring.

Getting Introspective With Dutch Musician MaRLo

*written by Lizzie Rose for Electronica Life

As I sat across from Dutch musician and Electronic artist MaRLo the Thursday of EDC week in Las Vegas, I was struck by how kind and polite he appeared. I could tell immediately how genuine and appreciative he was and that his presence made those around him feel comfortable. When listening to his music, I realized that there’s a dynamic range of sound, going from a beautiful dreamy sound to pumping heavy beats. Lucky to be able to grab a conversation before his performance at the Marquee Day Club pool party during EDC week, we got into all sorts of topics – from intention to inspiration.

Lizzie Rose: When did you get to the point when you knew this was something you were supposed to be doing?

MaRLo: When I was little I used to like drawing a lot and painting and creative things. I also really liked computers and I started making creative animations. Those things kind of fused together and for that, I started making music as the sound effects- So that got me into starting to make music which I enjoyed just as a hobby for a few years, but I got given a tiny opportunity when one of my friends submitted one of my tracks for a radio show contest. Now it didn’t win, but the fact that it was even submitted got me thinking- “Hey, I could do this for a living- This could be something real instead of just a hobby.”

It wasn’t until I was working at a venue in Holland carrying other DJ’s equipment and experiencing the backstage experience and what it was actually like- seeing it from the other side. That’s when I decided this is what I wanted to do with my life.

Lizzie Rose: Was being around the culture and being around others who were excelling in the electronic space inspiring for your progression?

MaRLo: Not so much the success part, I’ve never been focused on or hungry for some sort of success- because in my opinion, success means you’re doing what you love to do. So in that respect, I am already very successful. Because I love what I do, Every day. Once you have that, everything that comes after is just icing on the cake.

Lizzie Rose: Who are some of the artists whose music you’ve connected with throughout your career?

MaRLo: There’s a lot of people who have inspired me, especially early on I am originally Dutch and moved to australia when I was very young. Because of my european background I’ve instinctively felt a connection to the Dutch DJ’s like Armin van Buuren, Tiesto, and Sander van Doorn. One because I really liked their music, and two because they were Dutch.

Lizzie Rose: What was the feeling like as you started sharing your music with more and more people.

MaRLo: As soon as you’re standing in front of a crowd, you know exactly why you’re doing what you’re doing. When you are following your passions, you know you are on the right path because your heart is in it.

Lizzie Rose: Since you have the ability to influence the energy of the crowd and bring them on a journey. Do you do that intentionally and do you try to guide the experience of the crowd?

MaRLo: Every audience is as different as they are similar. Everyone wants to enjoy the social environment and feel like they are sharing an experience together, but also people respond differently to music in different parts of the world. I never pre plan my sets, so I always read my audience and feel which set our journey would fit that crowd best. A freezing cold stadium in Prague is completely different from a pool party in Vegas.

Lizzie Rose: Would you say it’s like a conversation? A back and forth exchange between you and the crowd?

MaRLo: Absolutely. It’d be like wearing beach attire to a formal wedding if I didn’t listen as well. You have to match the feeling of the music to the feeling of the crowd you are with.

Lizzie Rose: Do you have a favorite place to perform?

MarLo: Australia really feels like home. I’ve lived there for so long, I consider myself Australian. It is also cool going back to Holland but I don’t have an attachment creatively to Holland, but I do have an attachment from living there when I was a little boy, so there is a strong moment of pride when I play there.

Lizzie Rose: Would you say that your music either song by song or by set, tells a story?

MaRLo: I would like to think so. I make music first and foremost as a creative outlet. When I’m happy I want to make music and when I’m sad I want to make music. It’s a way to get my mind off of things so for me it’s something I have to do or I go crazy. Sometimes it’s dark and sometimes it’s not. I struggle a lot with making the same type of music, so I just do what I like to do. I think the audience shares in the experience with me in my story.

Lizzie Rose: When I photograph I get into a flow state, my mind shuts off and I am just the creator.

MaRLo: Exactly, there’s no thought behind it. If I went into the studio and sat down and thought, this style is very popular right now, I am going to create a song that fits within it- that’s very easy to do. But, are you really expressing how you feel in that moment or are you riding on someone else’s style and path? In the past that has meant that my career has taken longer at certain points because my style isn’t for everyone. But it’s true to me. When I create it’s like a child playing with blocks- I experiment and hit other chords until it grows.

Lizzie Rose: I feel like people are very appreciative of what you do and how you help them explore their emotions. Music can be such a great equalizer that helps us cope.

MaRLo: I think music can encourage the emotions you’re feeling and it can also neutralize them. For instance if you’re really angry at something you want to feel even angrier and listen to angry music that matches your mood. And then maybe listen to something that calms you down. I think there’s room for all types of emotions within music.
My interview with MaRLo truly proved what an awesome heart is behind the music he creates. I consider myself lucky to have been able to hear about his journey throughout his career and how it serves as such a beautiful outlet. It is my hope that more artists of all kinds can find an outlet to share their emotions with the world. Be sure to check out his pictures from this year’s Electric Daisy Carnival performance at the Las Vegas Speedway below & connect with him on facebook here.

(photo credit: Bondio for Insomniac Events)

EDC 2017- Same Same, But Different.

*Written by Lizzie Rose for Electronica Life

Electric Daisy Carnival just wrapped up it’s 21st year of production and hung up it’s fluffies for another year. Spanning three days in the steamy Vegas Motor Speedway, attendees flooded the I-15 each night hoping to dance under the electric sky. Many who attended EDC this year would agree that it definitely did not disappoint. If you’ve been to EDC, you understand what the experience is like. Stimulating and exciting, it is like the peak of joy and high energy all condensed in one space.

Each year, I know what my experience at EDC will be like. In many ways I have moved on in life to different jobs, friends, and perspectives- but walking into that speedway on Friday night will always feel the exact same that it did five years ago when I went for the first time. It was my first festival, and I was absolutely blown away at the production and energy of the space. I remember sitting in the grass by the Cosmic Meadow looking out over all of the people trading kandi, meeting each other, and dancing together. I was in way over my head, and from that point on I was obsessed with Dance Music Culture.

Standing in the same space five years later is an interesting experience. Tens of thousands of humans had experienced EDC since I had last attended. If I could watch the events of the past five years on a time lapse it would be a blur of technicolor vibrancy and fireworks. While so much had stayed the same on repeat, the production each year has been growing and morphing into more than attendees could imagine. The main stage this year was completely wild. A goddess stood with her arms open while the entire stage moved and lit up in many different ways. A hidden gem this year was the art cars, with The Kalliope and The Dancetronauts (among others) hosting an underground vibe that never stopped bumping.

I once saw a quote written on a wall at Bonnaroo, and it said: “Life is so scary, theres planes gone missing, there’s people getting shot, there’s wars going on- Anytime you can get thousands of people jumping up and down in a field together that is the most beautiful feeling.” I think that this quote defines why EDC is so special. Why is it that I, having gone to countless smaller festivals and multiple years of Burning Man, desire so strongly to return to EDC each year? It feels like returning to my roots, helping others along their journeys, and being part of what started it all for me.

The largest selection of music diversity available at a festival, I heard everything from house music to drum and bass. Walking from one side of the festival to the other is like visiting EPCOT in Disney World- You can dip into one culture for awhile and then move on to another. Highlights for me were Space Jesus, Liquid Stranger, Griz, Dillon Francis, and Sacha Robotti.

A whirlwind of different sounds and feels, the energy at EDC is amazing but can definitely be intense. I want to formally thank The Zendo Project and commend EDC for having them onsite. This year someone close to me needed their help, and I am so thankful that we are part of a community that is conscious of making sure each attendee is safe and as comfortable as possible. Overall, EDC was everything I had hoped for and more.

The Global Journey DJ Battle – Presented By Brussels Airlines

Four DJs will battle it out at HAUS (NYC) July 12th, 2017 for their chance to win a slot at this years Tomorrowland!

According to DJTimes, the four competing DJs are as follows:

1) Fatum
– Grammy-nominated artist
– Releases on Anjunabeats, Armada Music, Ultra Records, and Big Beat/Atlantic
– Performed Escapade Festival on Anjunabeats Stage
– New hit single, Fatum feat. Angel Taylor: “On My Own” (Armind)

2) Damien Anthony
– Resident mixshow on the nationally syndicated “Weekend Throwdown with Jagger”
– Collaborator with the Disco Fries and JayCeeOh
– Releases on Perfecto Records
– Billboard magazine’s #1 charting remixer

3) Sheni Doko
– Beatport “Top 25” charting artist
– Collaborator with Laidback Luke
– Winner Discovery Project: EDC 2016

4) Mike Saint Jules
– Former Pacha NYC resident
– Performed EDC NYC & Dreamstate 2016
– Supported by Markus Schulz, Ferry Corsten and Armin Van Buuren

The DJ competition will have two (2) winning DJs who will be each awarded an expense-paid travel package for two to Belgium and a DJ time-slot on the Brussels Airlines Stand at Tomorrowland.

The two grand prizes include: round-trip flights from NYC to Brussels, private accommodations for two at Dreamville, weekend festival passes and the DJ-set for two (2) winning DJs – one DJ on weekend #1 of Tomorrowland (July 21-23), and the other DJ on weekend #2 of Tomorrowland (July 28-30).

Tickets for the Global Journey DJ Battle can be purchased by clicking here

Lightning in a Bottle 2017: Transformation Included… Just Add Water

*Written by Lizzie Rose for Electronica Life

Lightning in a Bottle just wrapped up it’s 2017 experience for festival goers all around the west coast. One of the most famous events and a cornerstone of the American festival culture, LIB always sets the tone for the rest of the summer’s events. A segway between Coachella and Burningman, Lightning in a Bottle always tends to cause an internal change in those who attend. From my personal experiences, LIB has always inspired me to be more confident and humble at the same time. It has elevated my moods and humbled me to the ground more than once.

This year, my favorite joke was that the headliner of LIB was “water”. The number one thing that I heard people talk about was how thankful they were that there was water on the grounds and that they could cool off between sets. Having attended LIB for the last three years, the mood was much happier with the water offsetting sweltering temperatures. Floating down the lake with my friends and the sun on my face felt like bliss. Here’s to hoping that LIB books water as it’s headliner for years to come.

The music at LIB provided something for every listener with heavy hitters Bassnectar, Bonobo, Rufus Du Sol, and Kaytranada. The Woogie bumped all day and night long with legend Richie Hawtin and many other amazing artists. Bass rang through the grounds from the Thunder Stage with Troyboi, Paper Diamond, Perfect Stranger, ad Machinedrum. The music selection was definitely different than any other festival this year.

The fashion of LIB was an expression of the festival itself, with vibrant colors and daring outfit choices. I saw so many different types of beautiful people, from dark gothic style to glitter princesses and everything in between. The overall vibe of the crowds was upbeat and so much fun, a vibe that is unique to LIB as its attendees discover new things about themselves and their surroundings.

When we attend a festival like LIB, we let our energy loose in a container for experimentation. We see things that inspire us, and some that may make us feel uncomfortable. With a drastic change in environment, we lose all of the day to day routine that we have learned to identify with. With a stark contrast to normal life, we learn again who we are and what we stand for. The world needs more experiences like Lightning in a Bottle, especially in times like these. Amongst wars and arguments, we can all agree on one thing… That water was amazing 😉

Dance Music Based Social Justice Organization Give A Beat Hosts Airbnb Experiences In LA & SF

*Written by Crystal Garcia for Electronica Life

Los Angeles based dance music organization, Give a Beat recently became one of the very first nonprofit organizations to curate and host a social impact experience on Airbnb’s new Trips platform, a people-powered platform designed to make travel both easy and magical by bringing together where people stay, what they do and who they meet all in one place. Through booking Social Impact Experiences offered on the Trips platform, guests can support great causes alongside passionate people and 100 percent of the funds go to the cause. As part of the Trips launch, Give a Beat experiences were one of the very first featured on the platform.

Since last fall, Give a Beat is currently hosting two experiences, “Life-Changing Music” in Los Angeles, and “Inside Out Music Experience” in San Francisco that both support their mission by bridging the dance music community with youth and families impacted by mass incarceration.

“We had a great time at the DJ lesson with the group. It is catered to anyone regardless of their past exposure to music and DJs. Sean’s passion for music and DJing is infectious and I walked away with great interest and respect for this art in addition to the things I learned.” -Kaiyi

The LA Experience: “Life-Changing Music” is a one-day immersive hosted by founder of Give a Beat, Lauren Segal. The experience includes a tour of Homeboy Industries, lunch at Homegirl Café, a private DJ lesson at Point Blank Music School, and ends with a night out at one of LA’s best nightclubs. To learn more or to book a date, visit the experience here.

The SF Experience: “Inside Out Music Experience,” is hosted by Zach Reisler, a freelance journalist for SF Station. This experience includes a private two-hour DJ lesson at Pyramind Music Production school, followed by VIP access to one of SF’s grandest nightclubs. To learn more or to book a date, visit the experience here.

About Give a Beat: Give a Beat is a nonprofit organization that serves as a catalyst for social change by bridging electronic dance music culture with youth and families impacted by incarceration. Through DJ workshops and mentorship programs, they offer creative outlets for youth and job creation opportunities for the formerly incarcerated.

About Mass Incarceration: The U.S. is the world leader in locking up people for minor offenses for excessive lengths of time, in inhumane conditions, without proper legal representation, and at a stunning cost to the U.S. economy of $1 trillion a year, according to the new study from Washington University in St. Louis. Due to the launch of the war against drugs in 70’s, the criminal justice system has been called a “Holocaust in slow motion.” It has had global repercussions such as the disenfranchisement of Black voters heavily impacting the outcome of the last election. Give a Beat aims to represent the dance music community’s response to mass incarceration through innovative grass-roots driven music programs.

Connect with Give a Beat: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

EDC Las Vegas 2017 could NOT come soon enough!

EDC Las Vegas, one of the most anticipated events of the year, has almost arrived. Occurring from June 16-18th, this event is basically Christmas day for the thousands of people who anxiously look forward to it all year long. About a month out from the festival, Insomniac released its highly anticipated hard-hitting EDC 2017 lineup, and it definitely has something for everyone. This years lineup is being called one of the best, and those who used to attend EDC years ago are talking about returning to their roots. EDC is often the introduction to electronic culture for many people, and this year it is attracting young and seasoned listeners.

The lineup this year boasts something for every listener. A wide range of genres tucks mini communities into each stage of the festival. Artists I am excited to see include Above and Beyond, Liquid Stranger, Space Jesus, The Desert Hearts Crew, Hardwell, Major Lazer, Oliver Heldens, Gramatik, Griz. Datsik, and Bleep Bloop.

Every year, EDC’s lineup encompasses a selection of the best diverse talent in the industry. The energy at EDC is unlike any other festival, as there are so many different types of people gathered from all over the world. We’re so excited to return and see what awesome changes and improvements Insomniac has made to the festival. Electric Daisy Carnival represents all that is happy in the world, the guilty pleasures that society causes us to shy away from, and the utmost essence of childlike wonder. Oh yeah… and A LOT of glitter.

Lightning In A Bottle 2017 Has Returned When We Need It Most!

*Written by Lizzie Rose for Electronica Life

Woah – It feels absolutely crazy that it’s already almost May! More specifically, we at ElectronicaLife are filled with excitement that it’s time for Lightning in a Bottle! Rapidly growing in popularity, the festival has truly become an iconic event that you don’t want to miss on the American festival circuit. The festival is occurring from May 24-29th in Bradley, California and is the perfect fusion of the best music, amazing food, stimulating workshops, and engaging speakers and panels.

The child of transformation and high stage production, LIB is truly unique in it’s ability to welcome all festival goers. From those who just found out about The Do Lab through Coachella to those who have been attending religiously over the years, Lightning In A Bottle is sure to provide the perfect atmosphere for whatever experience you need at the time.

Over the last two Lightning in a Bottle festivals that i’ve attended, I have been a different person each time. I’ve grown and learned different things, with various experiences drifting me around in life like the tides. When going to this festival, you drive far away from your reality, eventually landing nestled up in Bradley, California.

No other festival has managed to pull such incredible talent while remaining cozy and maintaining comfortable family vibes. Lightning in a Bottle manages to retain the small gathering vibes on a large scale. This year’s lineup includes major hitters like Bassnectar, Bonobo, Rufus DU Sol, Troyboi, Paper Diamond, Jhene Aiko, and Paper Diamond.

With beautifully designed stages, The Lightning Stage hosts the biggest acts, followed by the Thunder Stage, The Pagoda Bar, The Grand Artique, and The Woogie. The bright colors that make up the different stages present a vibrant atmosphere complete with the pulsation of a stellar sound system.

Lightning in a Bottle is definitely not to be missed! You can snag tickets here. Get em before they sell out!

Andrew Rayel Announces ‘Moments’ (Armada) Album & World Tour

MOMENTS is the second full-length studio album from the internationally recognized electronic dance music DJ and producer, Andrew Rayel. The first single from the album is out now and it’s titled, Andrew Rayel featuring Eric Lumiere, “I’ll Be There.”

“Unstoppable. Ferocious. Magical. The live DJ-performances of Andrew Rayel are an art form and all the world’s a stage. Rayel’s ever-expanding legions of admirers have been clamoring for his next full-length studio album since 2014’s Find Your Harmony. After a three year period of nonstop touring and stints of intense focus in the recording studio, Rayel is ready to release his second studio album, Moments (Armada) on May 5th, accompanied by a world tour. The first single from the album is out now and it’s titled, Andrew Rayel featuring Eric Lumiere, “I’ll Be There.” – prweb

Listen to Andrew Rayel, Moments: here

Tour dates:

Minimal Sessions Los Angeles Is Gaining Speed

*Written by Lizzie Rose for Electronica Life

Detroit is often known for its excellent techno and minimal house. There is one promoter in Los Angeles who is quickly establishing itself as the premiere promoter for techno and minimal house music events – Minimal Sessions. Over the course of the past few years, Minimal Sessions has quickly gained a solid fan base of techno and minimal house lovers in the LA area. Minimal Sessions prides itself on exposing people to the best minimal and tech house artists at its monthly residency at Outspoken (formerly Couture) in Hollywood, CA.

On Saint Patrick’s Day I had the pleasure of attending the latest installment of Minimal Sessions featuring acclaimed tech house producer and DJ Matt Sassari. The Saint Patrick’s Day event marked a landmark date for this event. With over 500 people in attendance, it was by far the largest Minimal Sessions event to date, and the crew was elated. Outspoken provided an intimate environment and the dance floor was absolutely packed. Attendees showed up in green to celebrate the holiday and united together to share their love of techno.

The Minimal Sessions crew decorated the DJ booth in giant four leaf clovers and provided drink specials in honor of the holiday. Sassari played an amazing set, as did Durtysoxxx of Funk’N Deep Records (co-presenter on the show), and Minimal Sessions label owners, Shmitty and Tyler Rouse who played a special B2B set. Tyler Rouse of Minimal Sessions said, “It’s so exciting to see so many people excited about techno in LA, especially on a holiday when there are so many other choices. It seems like it’s actual techno fans, not just holiday fans”.

Be sure to catch the next Minimal Sessions event featuring Barbuto and Remmington on May 19th. Minimal Sessions also has a boutique record label that is renowned for its excellent minimal and tech house releases.

Visit Minimal Sessions on the Web for More Info!