Dancing Astronaut Presents 5 Under 5k: Vol. 15
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).
London act Leon Else (3,942), whose style brings together the best of indie-electronic, pop, and funk, sounds like he should already being headlining festivals — hopefully the masses will catch on soon to make it happen.
“Black Car” showcases his indie funk style with a wildly addictive rhythm and vocals to match. Together with layers of stylish guitar licks and subtle background synths, this is a track that would make The Black Keys proud.
“Dance” also brings out his funky side, but ventures a little farther into pop territory in almost Justin Timberlake fashion with falsetto vocals, staccato sounds and synths, and plenty of rhythmic elements. With that in mind, it makes perfect sense that this track was recently remixed by two of the masters of funk, Oliver.
Another artist from the legendary city of London, Ten Ven (1,438) also brings a level of quality to his music that belies the number of followers on his social media. Whether he is producing what is technically techno or tech house, the fact remains that all of his music is well-crafted and supremely danceable.
With his brand new single, “Lick,” Ten Ven takes a simplistic approach to reach the end goal of getting the crowd dancing — a constant house beat with uncrowded, yet still prominent, percussion keeping the pace and the guitars, which were most likely the source of the track’s title, easily keeping up. The result is a great mixture of tech and funk that would go well in just about any set.
Miami-based artist dEVOLVE (1,662) has already garnered some significant attention since releasing his first track earlier this year, even to the point of his recent dancehall single, “Higher,” lifting him up into the 1 million stream club on Spotify. To give more of an idea of the type of upward trajectory that is getting ready to happen for dEVOLVE, after less than a year, his music has been supported by the likes of Major Lazer and has been featured on Diplo & Friends, BBC Radio 1 Dance Anthem, Apple Beats 1, and SiriusXM BPM.
Since the beginning, dEVOLVE has had a well-defined sound and set of influences, which allowed him to start building a distinguished brand immediately. However, as can be heard in just about any of his tracks, this project is all about breaking down the barriers between the specific genres that inspire him, or as he puts it, “not allowing my music to be put in a box.” His latest track, “Gal Dem Roll,” is a prime example of this, proving that booty-shaking rhythm does not belong to a single genre.
It is always thrilling to find artists that can manifest their thoughts and influences in the sonic realm, as doing it effectively takes a fine balance of creativity and determination. Ontario-based producer – or in this case, more like electronic composer – Render (573), is one of those who can, as he defines it on his SoundCloud page, “bridge the gap between the internal and external musical experiences.”
“Timbra” is his latest masterpiece that is straight out of James Cameron’s Avatar. Or, for a slightly more interesting image, it could be said to sound something like the musical lovechild of Haywyre and Hans Zimmer. Throughout the entire five and a half minutes, Render constructs a sturdy yet constantly progressing theme, weaving digital and organic threads into a vibrant sonic tapestry fit for the halls of a galactic empire’s capitol building.
Finishing off the fifteenth edition of 5 Under 5k back in the land of four-on-the-floor is the South African producer and DJ So Schway (3,671). His synth and overall sound design up and down the frequency spectrum is of the utmost quality, not to mention the smoothness he exudes in every measure.
“Spotlight” and “Gas Mask” are two (free) collaborations with Kidd Kool (3,430) of the UK, in which the two artists leverage their unique skill sets to create a cross-continental fusion of tastefully bass-forward house. They don’t force the basses into the forefront of the mix, which is arguably heard a little too frequently in the industry today. Rather, they structure the tracks in such a way that allows the wide variety of riveting bass patches to have just the right amount of space.