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Driving Force Behind US DnB Scene Justin Hawkes Drops Debut Album

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Justin Hawkes
Justin Hawkes
charged onto the DnB scene under his Flite moniker with the self-released track Blue Spark in 2013, with Liquicity featuring the seminal track on their influential YouTube channel. His ability to span soft-toned character to sheer euphoric brilliance through the dark, earth-shaking depths of bass music soon found him many fans, including some of the world’s top DJs, such as Andy C, Porter Robinson, RL Grime, Netsky, Friction, Sub Focus, Wilkinson and many more.

His relationship with UKF started when they featured his releases Featherfall and Colorless in 2014, released on Bass Explorer’s label Sup Yo! And Liquicity Records, respectively. His 2017 EP ‘The Cure,’ however, dropped on Liquicity, truly marked a momentous shift in his music career, releasing a flurry of bangers on labels such as Hospitality, Monstercat, and UKF and a slew of festival appearances in Europe and the US.

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In 2020 dropped the Flite moniker in favor of Justin Hawkes, arising like a phoenix from the ashes with roof-tearing releases Lift Off The Roof (D&B Arena) and The Underground. He channeled his experiences in the US rave scene with songs such as IJDK and a remix for REAPER’s Barricade. And even though these releases were incredibly successful, the controversy surrounding the Flite moniker, with personal attacks against Hawkes’ honor during a global pandemic and huge politically uncertain times, left a serious mark – one that he would explore on his debut album ‘Existential.

“Existential manifests as a self-portrait,” says Hawkes. “It weaves between my thoughts, philosophy, and history, both within my career as a Drum & Bass artist in America and internally through the unknown future. The title itself represents the existential scenarios that have formed who I am, exploring my journey through crisis, the weight and forgotten wisdom of the past, and even the sometimes-comedic power of being an outlier.”

Having grown up in a small town in Virginia, Justin wasn’t born into the DnB scene. Influences such as Justin’s early stint in his school’s marching band playing trumpet and his love for blues, rock, jazz, folk, and gaming, have found their way onto the album. His family was deeply entrenched in more ‘traditional’ American music genres such as Country and Americana, with his uncle Andrew Hellier playing guitar for Modern Yesterday and Rotoglow. His family, as well as his family’s influences, can be heard on the standout single ‘Better Than Gold,’ featuring none other than his uncle on vocals and father on mandolin and acoustic guitar. If there was ever a genre-busting tune, this Country Rock-meets-DnB would be it.

But it’s not all fun and games – Existential explores deeper themes, such as the idea that humanity is encouraging its own extinction and what it means to be alive at a time when the world feels like it’s collapsing in on itself. Tragedy, humanity is one such track that describes the many beautiful yet tragic paradoxes humans go through or create for themselves.

Featuring 15 tracks that showcase Hawkes’ flawless and diverse style as a producer, ‘Existential’ feels less like an album and more like a sonic journey through the artist’s psyche. From the opening notes of tracks like ‘Inheritance’ and ‘Arbiter’ (featuring PAV4N from Foreign Beggars), which convey power and intensity, to the more mellow and rock-infused ‘The End of an Empire,’ Hawkes brings a fix for a very wide palette of emotions. Says Hawkes: “I’m a big film guy, often leaning towards the existential questions and mysterious possibilities of human progress. The organic and moving sounds of composers like Jon Hopkins and Hans Zimmer really interest me as well, and that played a key part in my mindset while producing the album. I am pleased that ‘Existential’ as a body of work grasps the essence of what makes me think, feel, and makes me myself, all within a musical format I am exceptionally passionate about.”

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Hi, my name is Erick Ycaza. I have a BA in Advertising & Graphic Design. This blog is to provide you with daily music news and share my personal style.

Electronica

This New Album Features Electronic Background Music For Videos!

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electronic background music for videos
Creative minds don’t cease in their efforts to find electronic background music for videos. The good news is that Shizo van de Sunflower shares his anniversary album which will be of great benefit to your projects!

Whether you’re uploading clips on YouTube or TikTok, here’s a 14-track material entitled ‘Works 2006-2016’ that will truly enhance your visuals. Despite the upbeat nature of most of these tunes, there are also a few ones showcasing a delightfully laid-back touch.

As a matter of fact, the low quality of royalty-free music was the motivation behind Shizo van de Sunflower’s wanting to help video creators. So, back in the 2000s, he went to Creative Commons and marketed the tracks on Jamendo.

In subsequent years, the evolution of his production techniques meant a dope flow while channeling his emotions into sophisticated melodies and rich instrumental tones. Consequently, he remastered his gems and decided to move his productions to popular streaming platforms.

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Shizo van de Sunflower is still making a name for himself after his recent success with the previous album ‘Drone 1.

To the surprise of many, he has surpassed over 20k streams on Spotify. Not to mention, his DnB single “Changes” is currently the best song in his catalog.

Well, from now on, if electronic background music for videos is exactly what you need, whatever first comes into your head should be his timeless body of work. At the end of the day, inspiring and encouraging others to visualize something with his sounds must be a rewarding experience for him.

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Electronica

MerlinMoFo Unleashes Impressive Electronica, “Adagio For Soul”

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MerlinMoFo
MerlinMoFo
offers a captivating dose of electronic music that leaves a lasting impression. Through his new single “Adagio For Soul, you can take a sonic journey where instrumentals speak more than words!

So intense and at the same time so relaxing, there’s a rich atmospheric soundscape that gives you goosebumps straight away… Just close your eyes, clear your mind, and reconnect with your heart thanks to the contrasting textures, the floating beats, and the bassy nature of the whole tune.

It magically builds to an uplifting crescendo in the middle of mysterious harmonies and whimsical energy.

With this release, the UK-based producer, soul coach, medium, and influencer shares a preamble for his upcoming 11-track album similarly titled ‘Adagio For Soul.’

Make sure to mark your calendars as it will be released via streaming platforms on November 25th.

And please allow me to reveal that listening to his work is quite a spiritual experience. Indeed, the outspoken and authentic artist promises a wide range of synthesized melodies inspired by the stages of soul evolution.

“The music will keep coming in all shapes, guises, and genres. The new album release covers all tempos, slow, fast and rolling bass… euphoric and deep.” — Ben Rosenberg aka MerlinMoFo

On a side note, he has announced a 2-hour masterclass to learn the truth of your reality. This mind-expanding event is called Soul & Mind – Change Your Life Now! and everything sums up in tools to release mental and emotional blocks.

If music is his passion and the awakening of consciousness his forte, you can conclude MerlinMoFo is still full of surprises, so let’s see what’s next on his socials below.

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Electronica

NASAYA’s ‘RÊVES’ EP Is A Love Letter For The Rave

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RÊVES
Quickly emerging as a dynamic talent within the Indie Electronic music scene, NASAYA has become a force to be reckoned with. Staggering to new heights, the Los Angeles-based artist and producer joins ODESZA’s Foreign Family Collective for his Electronica EP, ‘RÊVES.

Following his latest successful single “RUMMELSBURG” and after recently supporting ODESZA on their Last Goodbye tour, ‘RÊVES’ brings a refreshing and immersive new perspective to the dance floor scene in this musical masterpiece. Including four experimental tracks with pulsating beats and rich tones, the EP is sophisticated, yet romantic at the same time. Across the EP, fans can expect a consistent flow of mesmerizing and immersive bursts of energy. Fit for dancefloors from the UK, Berlin, and beyond, the featured tracks include “CIEL,” “REVES,” RUMMELSBURG,” and “TES YEUX” all personalized and best described as a love letter for the rave.

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“When I was living in Paris, the change of scenery drew me to start writing some solo music. It felt very liberating for me to write songs on my own. The EP is definitely ‘darker’ and more visceral than songs I’ve previously released. I’ve always wanted to release a project like this because I feel like it’s the only way for me to channel certain emotions – and I feel like this sound is a big part of what I wanted my project to sound like when I originally started it.

I don’t think it’s about anything in particular but it does reflect this state of introspection/dreaminess that I experienced when I first moved to Europe. That’s why I named it ‘REVES’ – it means ‘dreams’ in french.” — NASAYA

With every release, NASAYA simultaneously paves the way for a new and invigorating era for the genre landscape. Combining nimble breakbeats, chopped vocal samples, and complex polyrhythms, NASAYA’s work is more than music but a spectrum of art. Making a name for himself and his eccentric productions, NASAYA has the capacity to show current fans a refreshing sound sure to leave a mark on the rave industry.

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