Author Archives: Tōks

Back in August, the multi-instrumentalist Sebastian Carter announced his debut EP, City Lights, with the first single, “Shallow Waters,” and since then, he has seen a wealth of support from names like Jamie Jones, Lane 8, Tensnake, and more. This is particularly exciting for Sebastian as he has been working diligently on crafting a new artistic direction, while finishing up school at The Modern Music Institute in Brighton.

His City Lights EP shows him exploring ethereal electronic soundscapes embellished by organic live instrumentation, vocals from Julia Church, Atonal, and Tosca Singer, as well as dynamic rhythms, ranging from house to downtempo and everything in between. As a whole, the release is a soulful and eclectic body of work that reflects his artistic authenticity, as he seems to draw upon a pool of UK-centric influences to cultivate his own experimental, genre-bending style that truly sets him apart from the rest. Enjoy the release above and buy/stream the EP here!


Symbiosis Gathering has become an essential part of the global festival scene, and it’s continuing to influence society with its widespread offerings. Music and art are at the forefront of the “Symbi” experience, and with a venue like the Woodward Reservoir, those elements are given a gorgeous and unique water-filled backdrop. Much like every year, this year’s gathering captivated the masses and gave attendees plenty to brag about, from the surreal art installations to ripping sets from the Desert Hearts crew, Seth Troxler, RL Grime, and more. If you didn’t have a chance to make it out this year, be sure to check out this photo recap and get hyped for next year’s special total solar eclipse gathering in Oregon that is most certainly a must-attend, week-long festival.

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Mat Zo is an artist who has always been well-respected for his detail-oriented production work spanning across multiple genres. His most recent endeavor, the 3-track MAD EP, shows him exploring bass-heavy sonic territory while utilizing broken-beat rhythms, from hip-hop beat vibes to faster juke-like sounds. In conjunction with the release, the studio wizard also announced his MAD North American tour, which takes him across the U.S. and Canada through November 25th. Check out the EP and full list of dates below. The EP can be purchased here and tickets are on sale here.

MAD Tour Dates:
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Tribute groups are commonplace in the rock world, but not so much in dance music, except for Major Behavior – an homage to Major Lazer founded by Instagram star, The Fat Jew, and his friend Maachew Bentley who is a downtown New York DJ luminary. This new tribute group promises to pay their respects by delivering a true Major Lazer experience both on and off the stage, as seen in the unveiling video created by Billboard and its senior dance/electronic editor, Matt Medved. Watch the full video to get to know the emerging group through a special in-studio interview, Guitar Center shenanigans, and more.

It’s been a particularly exciting year for the LA-based producer/DJ, Justin Jay, as his Fantastic Voyage brand has come to fruition with his debut album, Fantastic Voyage (The Album!), tours around the world, and now, the launch of the label. Fantastic Voyage Records promises to be a home for Justin and his close musical friends, adding another dimension to a brand that has become known for packed-out house parties. The first release is Justin’s own Fantastic Edits EP, a long-awaited collection of edits that many of you may recognize if you’ve seen him in a live setting in the past year or so. The EP features a personal favorite, Justin’s edit of HNNY’s “Sneeze” edit, as well as a “Bangin Bootleg” of Sly & The Family Stone’s “Dance To The Music,” an edit of the Tag Team classic, “Whoomp,” and “Twinkle” with Larry “The Shadow” Muscrove. Check it out here, and download the whole EP.

Over the past year, Los Angeles’ Jason Gaffner has broken onto the scene with a string of successful collaborations with Love Thy Brother, Sam Padrul, and more. In more recent times, Jason has been focused on his solo career, releasing songs like “Losing My Mind” and this new effort, “Feel Something.” This latest song features an up-beat blend of disco-funk fit for those looking for a melody-rich groove and feel-good vibes. Check out the song above and read more about it from Jason himself. “Feel Something” is currently a free download for a limited time, but it’s also available to purchase or stream on iTunes/Spotify.

“Basically this song is about a person who has been hurt emotionally and has put up barriers all around them. Then a person comes along and helps them feel something again. It’s not an easy journey but there is something beautiful about learning to love again. I think we’ve all had times in our life where we aren’t ourselves or we’re feeling beaten down by the world. This is a story of someone who is breaking out of that state of doldrums” – Jason Gaffner


It’s going to be a big one for Avalon tomorrow night! LA’s favorite avant-garde performance collective, Lucent Dossier Experience, is taking over the Hollywood hot spot, alongside an all-star lineup of underground house acts such as Rob Garza (of Thievery Corporation), Psychemagik, and Desert Hearts’ Tara Brooks. Lucent Dossier has graced stages far and wide, but some of their most notable performances have been at Coachella and Lightning in a Bottle, where fans witnessed their unique blend of dancing, acrobatics, and fire with live downtempo electronica. With their spectacle of a show and excellent support acts to match, tomorrow night will bring diverse musical programming that is uncommon in LA nightlife, so be sure to experience it for yourself. Buy tickets here.

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Over the past few months, you may have noticed that producer Sebastian Carter has been keeping a low profile, but it’s for good reason. The 22-year-old Swiss native has been diligently working on his debut EP, City Lights, that is a display of his authentic artistry and exploratory musical direction, which picks up influences from Bonobo, Four Tet, Odesza, Maribou State, and bits of Lapalux along the way. Sebastian’s new lead single, “Shallow Waters,” is a perfect example of this with its blissful vibe driven by varied drum patterns, spacey atmospheres, layered synths, and more, striking a precise balance of energy and emotion fit for any listening environment. Enjoy the song below and follow Sebastian as he continues to roll out his debut EP until its full release on September 23rd.

“After a walk in the woods near my home in Switzerland followed by a night out in Zurich, the contrast between nature and city inspired me to create ‘Shallow Waters’. The organic, rhythmic and calm flow of the first part of the track resembles nature, while the energetic 80s influenced electronic part resembles the city. Just like my walk in the woods I started with the soothing airy lead melody and rhythmic beat and continued with the contrastive electronic part, musically telling the story of this experience. The choice of synthesizers in the electronic part is heavily inspired by 80s synth-pop, conveying a feel of nostalgia. The title ‘Shallow Waters’ comes from the tracks relaxing and river-like flowing nature, which gives it a calm and safe feel, just like wading in shallow water.” – Sebastian Carter

In recent times, there has been a lot of chatter about the famed party paradise, Ibiza, and its current state with dance music. Carl Cox famously announced that this summer season will be his last on the White Isle, and stories about parties getting shut down by police have been making the rounds. But what exactly is happening in Ibiza? I know most of us over here state-side could definitely use a little more context…

Billboard has released a 5-part mini-documentary series, The Real Ibiza, that covers all angles, from artist residents to the actual nightclubs, underground vs. mainstream, and more. Watch the all of the parts in succession above to be in the know about Ibiza, and to hear from Claude VonStroke, Seth Troxler, Martin Garrix, Hardwell, and more on the pressing matters at hand.

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In today’s music world, there are many emerging artists that have the skills necessary to make an impact in the scene, but there are few that are truly able to carve out their own lane and hold a lasting, influential presence. As a native of Athens, Greece, Nick Martin is quickly positioning himself as the latter. Although he is a new artist, he has already paid his dues and taken the time to refine his skills under a previous alias, which saw him become a local legend in the underground house and tech-house circles over the past six years.

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