Top 5 EDM Releases This Week [12/23 – 12/29]
This is a round-up of EDM songs released over the past week that in my opinion are worthy of spotlighting!
Quackson – ‘Wasteland’
Seattle-based DJ and producer Jackson Wells (aka Quackson) recently announced that he is working on a submission for a producer contest being put on by bass music duo Pixel Terror. Quackson delivered on his promise this week with a new grimy banger titled ‘Wasteland’.
The rules for the competition are simple: producers are to create an original track using samples created and provided by Pixel Terror themselves. Producers can find these samples on the official contest page via Splice, a music site that allows musicians to collaborate and download sample packs from their database.
Quackson’s submission, ‘Wasteland’, leads us peacefully into the sonic apocalypse. After about 40 seconds of melodic synth work, the illusion of serenity is destroyed as the liquid melody dissolves, only to coalesce a few seconds later into some glitchy, hard-hitting bass. Anyone familiar with Quackson’s catalog will have likely been prepared for this; unfazed by the melodic intro.
Assuming ‘Wasteland’ meets the criteria for the Pixel Terror contest (which I’m sure it does), Quackson should have no problem climbing the ranks of this competition. But even if this track doesn’t win, it’s a worthy single on its own. Submissions to the contest are due by December 28th, and a winner will be announced January 25th, 2019. If you’re interested, rules for the contest can be found here.
Good luck, Quackson!
Pixel Terror – ‘Arctica’
Speaking of Pixel Terror, why not throw their new single ‘Arctica’ into this week’s list. Released on Christmas day, ‘Arctica’ is part of a Monstercat Christmas compilation called Holiday Hits. While most of the songs on the album are EDM reimaginings of holiday classics, Pixel Terror’s contribution seems to be a fully original jam. Featuring some cheery violins and icy chimes, ‘Arctica’ is a perfect fit for anyone who prefers supplementing their holiday tunes with EDM. Be sure to listen to the entire Monstercat compilation as well, available on Soundcloud and Spotify.
Zedd – ‘Clarity’ (sad Virtual Riot remix)
German DJ and producer Christian Valentin Brunn — aka Virtual Riot — surprised fans this week with a toned down remix of the classic EDM anthem ‘Clarity’ by Zedd. Brunn gave this remix away for free as a Christmas Eve gift, stating on Twitter that he didn’t want this song to collect dust on his hard drive for the rest of eternity. This suggests that this remix was done a long time ago, which makes sense considering how old of a song ‘Clarity’ itself is. Virtual Riot has been a prominent producer since around 2011, and his touch to this song also reminds me of some of the throwback sounds from that same era of EDM.
The original song is an upbeat house song, but Virtual Riot manages to bring the excitement down a couple of notches with serene melodic elements, like the dreamy violin lead, the low-frequency dub synths (reminiscent of Burial), and the melodic dubstep synths towards the end. Like mentioned before, it definitely feels like a remastered throwback.
Immerse yourself in this beautifully nostalgic remix below:
SWARM – ‘Take Me To Hell’ (Luxide Remix)
Christmas is now behind us, but the cold darkness of Winter still stands before us. While many producers were cooking up cheery holiday jams, newcomer Luxide was preparing a more sinister release. Luxide’s remix of Florida-based producer SWARM‘s ‘Take Me To Hell’ is an ominous reminder of evil’s presence.
As if SWARM’s original track isn’t dark enough — with its gloomy piano lead, growling mid-tempo bassline, and deranged lyrical mantra — Luxide’s remix adds a new dimension of shrill synths that sound like the collective screams of satanic banshees. This exciting release has definitely piqued my interest in the mysterious producer, and I’m excited to see what s/he will release next. Currently, Luxide only has one other track posted on their Soundcloud and it’s quite impressive.
Listen to Luxide’s remix below and be sure to keep tabs on both them and SWARM, the latter of whom is about to release an EP on January 1st, 2019.
Casilofi – ‘Create Create Create’
Many EDM fans are probably familiar with Sander Van Dijck, the Dutch musician and DJ who is better known as San Holo. Well, this week he announced the resurrection of an old project of his known as Casilofi. According to Van Dijck, Casilofi started more than five years ago as a passion project when he first got his laptop and began experimenting with music. This Friday he released a four-track EP called Create, Create, Create under the Casilofi alias. My favorite track off of this EP so far is the self-titled ‘Create, Create, Create’.
Create, Create, Create is fully instrumental and features ambient synths along with that signature guitar Van Dijck uses in a lot of San Holo’s work. Similar to what we heard in San Holo’s debut album1, this new Casilofi EP sounds inspired by ambient instrumental bands such as Explosions In The Sky. The track ‘Create, Create, Create’ stood out to me the most because it is the most experimental and is the only track that utilizes heavier percussive synths.