k?d @ The LOFT 5/19

by Annette Lucero

Known for a style of compellingly grotesque electro, k?d makes his presence known over a speaker system. Glitch melodies and creeping snares paint the wistful, futuristic dark side of a hypnotic, looming nightmare. If that wasn’t enough, k?d’s sound could be characterized as a *dream* Porter Robinson and REZZ collaboration waiting to happen. The up-and-coming artist is also known as a social media recluse, touching upon his socials much more lightly when compared to the likes of REZZ, Ghastly and The Glitch Mob. Interviews with k?d are additionally scarce; much of the material online only touches upon teased tracks and fan interactions.

With tracks such as “Genisis”, “Vindicta” and “Fourth Impact” growing larger in popularity, one cannot help but wonder what this up-and-coming artist will bring to the industry in 2017. k?d’s melodically dark style, as well as his teased artwork online, point to an artist pushing the molds of music production. Much of the artwork featured on k?d tracks are done by the artist himself, and can often times be found teased on his Instagram account mid-process. The more important question, however, is what additional tracks are enroute in 2017?

If you’re looking for a ridiculously talented, local lineup and an up-and-coming artist about to break out, the LOFT is the place to be this Friday night. Don’t say we didn’t warn you; k?d is about to destroy the summer festival circuit. Tickets are still available for this Friday night, buy them here.

GRiZ @ Summer Set Music Festival 2017!

by Bradley Loiederman

Beyond stoked to have the one and only GRiZ back at Summer Set for a very special closing set on Sunday!

Posted by Summer Set Music & Camping Festival on Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Adding to the most electrifying Summer Set lineup yet is a young funk producer from Detroit that in just a few short years has created his own movement: GRiZ. Grant Kwiecinski, also known by his stage name GRiZ, kicked off his astounding career with a free-download album release in 2011, and has seen a nearly exponential popularity growth that has him headlining major festivals and receiving notice in both national and international publications a-plenty. GRiZ will be coming back to his Midwest roots, and joining us for the last day of Summer Set Music Festival for 2017!

GRiZ started his journey into electronica in 2011 with his release of his debut album, End of The World Party. The success of which kickstarted a career for this young artist and got him on lineups supporting acts such as Bassnectar, Pretty Lights, Gramatik, and Big Gigantic. In early 2012 he formed his own label, All Good Records, and released his second album, titled Mad Liberation, in the same year. The success of his label and album gave him the opportunity to collaborate with Big Gigantic later in the year, planting the seeds for the wildly popular live performance Big GRiZmatik.

Since the start of All Good Records, GRiZ has released three additional albums, been named as The Untz’s “#1 Breakout Artist”, and has created supergroup side projects with Gramatik and Big Gigantic. When he’s not making tracks, GRiZ tours internationally playing to massive audiences. Summer Camp, Electric Forest, Electric Zoo, and TomorrowWorld are just a few of the summer festivals where one can regularly catch GRiZ. Grant has come a long way since his start in suburban Detroit, but his talent and open heart hasn’t slowed throughout his career!

Not only does GRiZ strive to build community through his music, but he utilizes his label to create a family of touring artists. All Good Records has become the hub for electro-funk in recent years and has given numerous new acts a spotlight to shine. All Good’s roster includes breakthrough artists SunSquabi, Russ Liquid, The Floozies, and Manic Focus. GRiZ has built a career surrounded by love and unity, and his actions to help out other artists shows that he’s willing to practice what he preaches.

25-year old electro-funk hot-rod GRiZ has shown the EDM community that it’s certainly possible to get back what you put into your passions. Since the beginning, he has been active in support of his community. From releasing all of his music for free to providing platforms for new artists to showcase themselves, GRiZ has brought a new level of love to electronic music; and his closing set on Sunday will be sure have the Good Times Roll.

Tickets and camping passes to Summer Set Music Festival 2017 are available here! For a limited time only, every 3-day ticket purchase includes FREE Afterparty tickets for both Friday and Saturday.

Tritonal @ Rev 5/5/17

by Bradley Loiederman

One of the most impressive things about music is how much artists grow in a short period of time. That is definitely the case with Tritonal! Since their last time in Minneapolis back in 2015, Tritonal has released numerous tracks and an album, toured around the world, and proven to the house community that their skills stretch farther than trance. They will be coming back to show us what they’ve got on Friday at Rev Ultra Lounge!

Tritonal started back in 2008 when Chad Cisneros and Dave Reed met online and decided to partner up. They quickly started refining their skills and churning out some legendary trance tracks. Soon after, they received hefty notoriety and signed to Anujabeats and then moved to Enhanced Music, which they currently co-own. After their 2009 rework of Ferry Corsten’s “We Belong” and their phenomenal debut album Piercing the Quiet, Tritonal started getting media attention, hitting #65 on DJ Mag’s Top 100 Djs of 2012. Rather than releasing one EP following their album, they released a trilogy of Eps titled Metamorphic EP in 2013 to huge success. Some of their breakthrough tracks from these Eps include “Now or Never”, which hit the top 5 on Billboard’s Airplay Dance chart, and “Follow Me Home”. The Metamorphic EP series was the turning point that made Tritonal rise to the top.

So what has Tritonal been up prior to their return to Minneapolis? Not only have they surpassed 53 million Spotify streams in only one year, but their tour title song “Untouchable” gained over 19 millions streams. They have also played some of the most notable clubs and festivals around the world, such as Decadence, Moonrise, and are on the lineup this year for Lollapalooza. And if that weren’t enough, they also signed a deal with the NFL in 2015 to make “Now or Never” the song for CBS’s Thursday Night Football broadcasts. They released their second album, Painting With Dreams, in 2016, showing the world that this progressive duo can also throw down some fire house. With this new style under their belt, it’s gonna be a surprise to see where their set goes this Friday!

Tritonal are the classic example of two talented artists growing their craft to the top. Only starting nine years ago, they have made a gigantic impact in the trance scene and have gained attention by multiple platforms. They will be making their way back to the cities this Friday at Rev Ultra Lounge, so make sure to tie those dancing shoes and welcome Tritonal back to Minneapolis!

GA presale is sold out, but you can still reserve tables by calling or texting 612-770-8278! And to make sure you don’t miss out on any other shows, check out the SIMshows lineup here!

On The Radar: Euphoric Nation

by Annette Lucero

On this week’s edition of “On The Radar”, we’d like to welcome Minneapolis local Euphoric Nation. Otherwise known as Don Ortega, Euphoric Nation has been one of the key individuals responsible for Trance’s survival amidst the Minneapolis scene. A few years ago, our scene’s interest in Trance was left as a dwindling vein, a stark difference to the current times of Above and Beyond’s growing popularity. Euphoric Nation will be headlining his own release party tonight at REV; Indrid Cold and Zan & Ezi will be found alongside as support. As for Euphoric Nation’s newest release, the track can be found on Beatport and is additionally featured below. If that’s not enough, this rising, Minneapolis Trance local boosts a radio show with over 300 episodes called, “Trance Paradise”. It airs on the #1 voted Trance radio station Afterhours.FM each week. We’ve scattered a few podcast links below; check out the interview for more!

Euphoric Nation’s newest track is available on Beatport

SIM: So talk to us about Euphoric Nation.  What triggered your decision to start producing, and how long have you been producing for?

Don: Euphoric Nation was originally a group of four people when it started six years ago. I was a self-taught DJ, and the other group members were self-taught producers. I learned bits and pieces with them, but once the rest of the group members left, I had to continue to learn the ways of music production on my own!

SIM: How has transitioning from a producing group to a single individual challenged you as a producer and DJ?

Don: I used a lot of Youtube tutorials to teach myself how to produce and DJ. At the time, I didn’t know of anyone else who DJed Trance specifically, so learning how to DJ Trance was purely practice. Also, transitioning from a producing group to just myself was challenging because I didn’t have a group to bounce ideas off of. But once I started meeting other producers in the scene, I created a network of people who would listen to my tracks with a critical ear.

SIM: Is Trance the only genre you produce in, or are you eyeing a few new genres down the road?

Don: I produce only in trance.  I have no experience in producing other genres…I don’t think I would ever produce anything else to be honest.  But I do have an interest in learning more about the higher BPM subgenres of trance, such as Psy-Trance and Uplifting Trance – I just haven’t really played around with them too much, yet.

SIM: Going along with production, what software did you start out with, and how has your production software evolved over time?

Don: I started out playing around on Fruity Loops but made the switch after a couple years to Ableton. I switched to Ableton because I found it easier to use. Also, Ableton is much more commonly used amidst professional artists.

SIM: After Euphoric Nation evolved into just your presence, how did you support network change with it?

Don: Funny story, I recently released a collaboration with my good friend and mentor, David Thulin. The label release party tonight is in honor of this collaboration, as it also features the voice of Avari. Before David moved on to Nashville in 2015, I used to go to his studio to produce. I’d observe his productions to learn tips and tricks, and he has probably been my biggest musical mentor. I have always felt super comfortable bouncing my ideas off of him, and he taught me how to take criticism… which was kind of a difficult skill for me to learn at first. As a perfectionist, it’s tough to hear your works of art are garbage, and you need to hear it when you start out. But I needed it to improve as a producer, and I have him to thank for that.

SIM: On the flipside of having such a good mentor, what has been one of your largest obstacles to overcome as a local?

Don: I think the biggest obstacle that I’ve had to overcome was the death of the Trance scene in Minneapolis.  Right as I started to get Trance gigs in our scene, we stopped bringing Trance artists. And in the scheme of local bookings, no one wanted to book a Trance local for a non-Trance show; it made no sense to. However, the lull in our Trance scene never caused me to change what I was doing, and it really helped motivate me to bring Trance back to Minneapolis. It made me stay true to trance because everyone had moved on to other genres. I was often asked if I would play other genres at events, and I’d say no. I started trying to create Trance events to see who else had an interest in Trance and wanted to play a set. I also created a Facebook group called Minneapolis Trance Family that now has 573 members. This was all done with the intention of continuing the Trance movement, even though promoters had no interest at the time.

As for the Trance Family, as a whole it is a global movement. It’s a group of people who love Trance and eventually evolve into friends and family. We have our own Minneapolis Trance Family out here in Minnesota; we enjoy going to events with each other, or just hanging out too!

I couldn’t be happier with how things are turning out for the scene.  In the last year and a half alone, we’ve brought a lot of major Trance acts, such as Aly & Fila, Jaytech, Judah, UCast, Cosmic Gate and now Sean Tyas and Kyau & Albert. It couldn’t have been done without the support of SIMShows and the Minneapolis Trance Family.

SIM: Is Euphoric Nation currently managed, or are you flying solo for now?

Don: It’s currently self-motivation!

SIM:  In your experience, how difficult is it as a local to have people give your material a chance?

Don: It is difficult, but only if you are too busy thinking about it instead of hustling. You should be thinking of strategies to get your music (whether it is mixes or productions) to the people that matter, and also finding your healthy balance between sharing and over-promoting your material.  Today, everyone can be a DJ with ease.  So, what makes you different from other DJs?  Are you in it for fun or glory?  I’ve been told by several people that my presence emits a passion for the music, and not a conceited attitude..  But, honestly I’m just having fun.  I’m doing something I love every day and I wouldn’t change a thing.

SIM: And what has been one of your proudest moments as a local?

Don: My proudest moment was being direct support for Cosmic Gate.  People were really psyched about me opening, and they found out before I knew I got the spot.  The reaction afterwards was incredible.  It was the most challenging set to date.  It’s actually really difficult to warm up a crowd… teasing them for the talent while making sure they don’t fall asleep in the process.  Most people don’t realize that I actually get really nervous before each set, even though I’ve been playing in front of crowds for six years.  I put a lot of pressure on myself to make sure people are having a good time.  I was so proud that I my set was a success that night.

SIM: How have you challenged yourself to become a better DJ?

Don: I learned DJing by practicing beat matching for months with mostly the same song.  I trained my ears to detect when tracks aren’t aligned, meaning I don’t have to rely on digital outputs or cues to tell me I am off.  I would even cover the displays and randomly alter the BPM to see if I could still match them!

SIM: What are some of your next milestones that you hope to accomplish?

Don: One of the major milestones is to have a track of mine featured on “A State of Trance”, or any other major radio show.  The only way to get there is to continually produce and improve on my sound.  I have great support around me to make this a realistic goal.

SIM: And lastly, what is something you hope never changes about yourself as you become more successful?

Don: The one thing I hope never changes is remembering why I am doing what I am doing.  I love Trance music.  I love the way it mixes together.  I love being able to find unknown tracks that make people dance, and I love building relationships and friendships with the people who also love Trance music.  I think no matter how successful I become, these are cores to my being that will never be lost.

We’d like to thank Euphoric Nation for taking the time this week to speak with SIMshows. Make sure to stop by REV tonight to check out this rising local’s release party. Interested in keeping up with Euphoric Nation for more new music? Follow him below on his respective channels:

Snapchat: euphoricnation

ZEDD @ Summer Set Music Festival 2017

by Bradley Loiederman

It’s not every day that a Grammy-award winning artist headlines the Summer Set lineup, but that is changing for 2017! A couple weeks ago, the lineup for Summer Set Music Festival 2017 was released, featuring everything from heavy dubstep to hip-hop to jam-funk. Closing out Saturday night’s main stage is none other than electro pop-house sensation ZEDD!

Originally from Russia and currently living in Germany, Anton Zaslavski (ZEDD) has always had a foundation in music. He was born into a family of musicians, including his parents, and is classically trained himself. After playing the piano and drums throughout his childhood, ZEDD started playing music commercially in 2002 with a German deathcore band. After staying with the band for eight years, ZEDD left deathcore for his newfound passion, house music.

ZEDD quickly released numerous remixes in 2010 and won two Beatport remix contests in the same year. His first ever original track, “The Anthem”, hit the top 20 on the Beatport electro house chart. He started getting commissioned by larger artists, such as Lady Gaga and The Black Eyed Peas, to remix their work in 2011. He signed to Interscope in 2012 and released his debut single, “Spectrum”, which hit the top of Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Songs.

Later in 2012, ZEDD released his debut album, Clarity, with both “Spectrum” and “Clarity” being lead singles. This is when ZEDD really hit stardom with not only the EDM world, but in the mainstream: not only did “Clarity” hit the top ten in Billboard’s Hot 100, but it also sold over two million copies and hit certified platinum. He has had two other songs hit certified platinum and has been seen in the Hot 100 numerous times since “Clarity.” His newest single with Alessia Cara, “Stay,” is already claiming top spot for sales and climbing the charts across the country.

ZEDD has come a long since playing in a German deathcore band, and his continued growth and diversity in his music keeps this artist electrifying. Make sure to catch ZEDD on the main stage at Summer Set Music Festival 2017!

Passes and camping packages are available here.