Dancing Astronaut Presents 5 Under 5k: Vol. 8
5 Under 5k is a feature on Dancing Astronaut dedicated to spotlighting talented upcoming and undiscovered artists who we believe deserve more exposure. Each edition of 5 Under 5k will highlight five artists from a wide variety of genres with under 5,000 followers on SoundCloud (at the time of writing).
Mau5trap has been hitting gold mine after gold mine by signing very promising young talents and allowing them to develop as distinct artists. Newcomer Draft is no exception to this trend, and it’s a wonder he still falls under the 5,000 mark.
Draft’s most recent release, a free EP by the name of Left Behind, is right at home on the label, with the distinctly mau5-like arpeggiated polyrhythms present throughout “Forfeits” and “June.” The second track on Left Behind, “To Oblivion,” was played by ATTLAS on Mau5trap Presents… Episode 8 and ventures into electro-metal territory. Similarly, “Deliverance,” also uniquely blurs the boundary between heavy breakbeat electronica and rock – at times sounding a little like The Prodigy or The Crystal Method.
It seems that a very small percentage of modern-day music producers specialize exclusively in production, with a majority opting to act simultaneously as DJs and/or live musicians. Probably an even smaller portion of producers consider themselves to be composers as well. Babokon is one of the rare breed that, according to his SoundCloud description, considers himself to be both a composer and a producer.
The composer side of Babokon can be seen in his symphonic approach. The structured movement of his tracks and his particular use of each sonic aspect entails that no one layer drowns out any other. In “All We Are,” Babokon strikes the balance between production and composition by intertwining creative elements with powerful sound design.
LIFU, the acronym for the verbosely named artist “Lately, I’ve Felt Unusual,” lives up to his moniker. Though the producer’s tracks aren’t unusually avant-garde, the level of quality and creativity that LIFU puts forth in his releases is certainly unusual for an artist with under 2,000 followers.
LIFU’s music retains an authentic, modern jazzy sensibility, which will appeal to a great variety of musical tastes. His most recent release, “Hello,” ventures down a much more ambient, atmospheric path than the majority of his other tracks, particularly in regards to its breaks. However, the simple, logical beats and powerful synth work which pervade the track keep it well-grounded.
Colleen D’Agostino is yet another testament to the growing breadth of the Mau5trap family. D’Agostino had already proven her successful working relationship with deadmau5 prior to signing on with the label when their collaboration, “SeeYa,” from while(1<2), went platinum in Canada early in 2015. Zimmerman and D’Agostino reprised their partnership on “Stay,” the lead single from her 2015 EP, Collide.
Also included in the EP is the “Drop the Poptart” edit of “Stay,”which sees the track in its original form; “Stay” first appeared on deadmau5’s SoundCloud as “Drop the Poptart.” A simple piano chord progression underpins Colleen’s heartfelt vocals until the first drop, where a distinctly deadmau5 progressive house beat takes over the song. There are some subtle differences in the synth-work across both versions, but the most notable difference is in their structures – one features a steady progression throughout, where the other features two nearly-identical builds.
Japanese producer Konac sems to be one of the many young artists that has drawn inspiration from the smooth, funky disco house stylings of Madeon, Daft Punk, and countless other influencers. With his most recent release, “Home,” Konac continues the disco house tradition in his own way. Similarly to many of Madeon’s songs, there is a perfectly complementary balance between powerful emotion and carefree feelings; a balance that gives the song meaningful depth alongside its youthful bliss.