Author Archives: Damion Pell

Dancefair founder Norman Soares has sadly passed away

In a sad day for the Dutch music industry and wider electronic music scene, founder of Netherlands Dancefair has passed away after a 4 week battle in intensive care. Our team at Decoded Magazine has enjoyed our close working relationship with Norman and the Dancefair team for many years and pass on our condolences to his family.

In a statement release by Dancefair, those wishing to pay their respects are able to do so on August 1st.

Dear artists, exhibitors, friends and colleagues,

As many of you already may have heard our beloved founder and CEO of Dancefair Norman Soares has passed away last Friday after receiving intensive care for the past four weeks. It is hard to accept that Norman is no longer among us and the loss is huge.

To describe Norman in a few words is simply impossible. How could you describe a person in a few words if for that person himself a few words never sufficed? Lust for life, charismatic, passionate, enterprising, full of enthusiasm, always a twinkle in his eyes and a smile from ear to ear, inspiring and inspired at the same time, ambitious, intelligent, adventurous, driven, hilarious: Norman was it all and so much more. In an event full of stars from the music industry Norman was perhaps the biggest star of all. He visibly enjoyed all the attention, often taking his time to chat with everybody while making sure that nothing and no one escaped the lens of his phone camera. 

When he wasn’t busy imagining his next great idea or event then there was always the podcast. For hours on end he spoke with producers, DJs and music industry professionals in his podcasts and if there was no one to interview he just as easy filled an entire episode himself. He knew exactly what upcoming talent needed to hear and he always found a way to give producers and DJs hope and encouragement to continue pursuing their dreams. If Holland ever needed its own Joe Rogan then it must have been Norman.

Many of his podcasts have experienced a revival over the past couple days. Not only among us, but also among his family, friends and business relations. Despite the fact that it can be hard at times to hear his voice again, these podcasts often best showcase how special he was. As a true artist he played with the choice of his words and the inflection of his voice. As a pure-bred percussionist he perfectly timed the rhythm of his sentences. Much like his events and podcasts Norman elevated life to a true art. There was simply no room for mediocrity. Life had to be seized with two hands and lived, felt and experienced to the fullest. There was no middle ground.

We truly hope that his brief life may inspire you to make the most of your life as well. To live your life with full intent and with complete passion and dedication. To find new challenges, to get to know new people, and to learn new things. Because that is how Norman lived as well: always chasing his dreams, always open for new people and experiences, always living life to the fullest.

Dear Norm: thanks for all your beautiful inspiration and boundless energy. We hope you may rest easy and that you keep the party going in the hereafter as well. Drive ’em crazy.

<3 Team Dancefair

“Be positive. Really. Push yourself to do two positive things a day. And you will see that if you keep pushing, at one point it will become a part of you and positive things will come your way.”

Farewell ceremony
Due to the special circumstances we are forced to say goodbye in limited company. The ceremony will therefore be recorded and broadcasted on Saturday 1 August at 4pm CET. The broadcast will be available online for a brief period of time via  


You can send your condolences through this link (in Dutch). In case you wish to send a funeral bouquet you can send this to the following address:  Diamantdijk 205, 4706 HE Roosendaal, The Netherlands.

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Berlin’s Tresor launches Startnext campaign: Tresor Never Sleeps

Like many venues and cultural institutions around the world, Tresor has remained empty since March. Therefore, they’ve decided to dig through the archive of classic records, iconic images, and produce new merchandise items for those who want to help the club at this time.

Importantly, 5% of the total raised from the campaign will go to the Detroit Justice Center to aid their ongoing project to achieve racial justice and economic equity in the United States. 

Leading the campaign is a new release from legendary Detroit-based producer Terrence Dixon. The third volume of his celebrated “From The Far Future” series will first be available as a digital download exclusively to supporters of the campaign, they will also receive the vinyl pressing of the album prior to its general release in November.  

Also made available for the first time are two high quality prints featuring iconic images from the old Tresor, strictly limited to 100 units each. Record and CD bundles from the deep Tresor Records archive are also featured, alongside the custom handmade Tresor banner seen at parties around the world since 1991 and the chance to play your own behind-closed-doors set on the famed Tresor PA. 

>>> <<<

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Tricky reveals ‘Thinking Of’, the second single from his forthcoming album

Thinking Of’ is the captivating opening song on Fall To Pieces. As with debut single ‘Fall Please’, it demands repeat listens, drawing you in further with the unique signature that could still only ever be attributable to Tricky. The track features Marta Złakowska on vocals – the singer he discovered during a Polish tour when he was left without a vocalist on the opening night: the local promoter suggested a girl who worked in a nearby bar, and when she arrived she had already learned the chorus to Tricky’s song ‘When We Die’. 
It sounds fortuitous – much like when Tricky encountered his original female vocalist Martina Topley-Bird by chance when she sang outside his front door. But of course he has an intuition too. “Yeah, I can tell when someone is humble and down to earth. Marta doesn’t care about being famous, she just wants to sing.”

Being based in Krakow – a couple of hours from Berlin – meant that they were able to work together relatively easily. “It was meant to be,” he says of their working relationship. “The shows were so good straight away. What I liked about her was that she would never hide her feelings from the crowd. She ended up touring with me for almost two years, gave up so much time travelling the world while her boyfriend was in Krakow. And then she ended up being an incredible singer in the studio too. I lucked out.”
Tricky also announces a sizeable run of european tour dates for February – April 2021, with tickets now on sale. 

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Social Avenue is taking over a car park in Manchester’s Trafford Park

Social Avenue is taking over a car park in Manchester’s Trafford Park and turning it into a safe and welcoming music and food pop up for a series of socially distant events for six weeks from 25th July, with the red hot Mason Collective headlining the first party. Brands and DJs like Darius Syrossian, Moxy Muzik, Haus22, OC & Verde and many more will all be taking part in future events, ensuring that summer is rescued and people finally get dancing safely and legally for the first time in four months. 

You can expect huge brand partnerships and DJs from all dance music genres to take over this space on Saturday and Sundays at Longbridge Road at Trafford Park, Manchester. Social Avenue will be only powered by the best ‘Void Tri Motion’ sound system and on-site bars will be fully stocked with all of your favourite beers, gins, vodkas, whisky, brandy and much more. 

Mouthwatering eats are also available so you can enjoy a variety of delicious street food to carry you throughout your day at Social Avenue. It starts when you and those in your social bubble will be seated on a table that is exclusively for you and your crew so you can enjoy the day at a safe distance from all. 
As well as food and music there will be photo booths and cameo areas for you to get that perfect social media selfie shot all whilst maintaining a safe distance. One-way systems will be in place in toilet areas, bars and around the site to keep you safe, and face masks and coverings are advised, with sanitiser stations available throughout the site.

It all kicks off with The Mason Collective, who since their inception in 2014 have been drawing attention in the underground music scene for their explosive DJ sets and highly renowned MVSON events. The Manchester based DJ and production trio have been developing their own signature brand of high energy grooves, showcasing them at a number of high profile clubs all round the world, so this hometown gig will be epic indeed. 

Tickets are only available in groups of 2,3,4,5 or 6 and you must stay with your group in your zone for the duration of the day.

August 1stSocial Avenue | Moxy Muzik – Darius Syrossian 4hr set
August 8thHaus22 At Social Avenue | OC & Verde + Rudosa
August 15th Social Avenue | Moxy Muzik 02 – Darius Syrossian 4hr set

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Damian Lazarus reveals new album and first single

The ends of days are ones with which Damian Lazarus is familiar, but, much like his biblical namesake, he too, has come back from the brink and risen to fight on, his career is interwoven with themes of survival and re-birth. Fittingly then, his second solo album does not wallow in our current dark times, but charts a path of hope. Flourish, offers a glimpse of a new world worth living in and surviving for. 

Lazarus is a true DJ, an artist at home taking crowds on incredible journeys across the globe. He averages 150 + shows a year, including his own landmark events like Day Zero and Get Lost. He is nothing if not restless, no down time for Damian. Since February he has holed himself in the studio finalizing and reforming ideas that had been brewing for years. It took a pandemic to ground the DJ, but what emerged is a more fully realized vision of Lazarus as producer. 

Flourish takes us through the many lives of Damian Lazarus, who, as he has grown older, and traversed the globe, has come to more deeply examine the role the dance floor plays in his own life and that of others. With parties cancelled, it would have been easy to wallow, but instead urgency took hold, and isolated Italian countryside Damian took the space to tackle the larger questions he has been grappling with for years. 

“My early ideas about a new album were quite dark, pessimistic even, I had long been thinking and worrying about the problems of the world. Then the global pandemic and subsequent lockdown began and my fears seemed to become reality. But while writing these themes actually started to transform in an uplifting way. The new songs came together quite quickly, with renewed impetus, and mutated into a more positive outlook. Questions about faith, religion and spirituality all appeared amidst the darkness and fear, but in those times of quiet solitude and creation, I came to realise we can emerge into the sun and flourish on the other side.”

Our first glimpse of Flourish is the single Mountain, on which Lazarus’ vocals recall a powerful vision he experienced in isolation during a wintry night in the Alps. The single is the perfect precursor to the album that follows, heralding a producer who has raised their production game, with a nod to a deeper, more timeless feel. Remixes of Mountain are by Tornado Wallace and Tibi Dabo.

As anyone who has watched Lazarus DJ can attest, his inspirations are deep and varied, criss crossing show tunes, drum n bass, jazz, electro, soul, house, techno and everything in-between. This album reflects his immersion in a multitude of scenes over the years, from the early days of London drum n bass, to his role as a figurehead in the electroclash scene, and of course the significant impact his Crosstown Rebels label has had on contemporary underground house and techno. His shapeshifting is down to his relentless passion for new sounds and scenes, and it’s this dedication to the music that has seen him survive the boom and bust cycles and fads of club culture. It is this commitment to the outer edges of the dancefloor that has welcomed a resurgence of Crosstown as of late, a renewed reminder of Damian’s passion for showcasing the rising and revered alike 

Flourish is far from a box of functional DJ tools, in the same way as Damian’s debut album Smoke The Monster Out or the more worldly outings in his brace of albums with the Ancient Moons. It’s a personal, brave and varied body of work. It’s also the work of an artist who has grown over the ten years since his last solo album. Lazarus plays with nuances of texture, tempo and style to create a rich and dense album that takes us on an odyssey that is at times both dark and uplifting. Vocals of his own cast an intimate shadow over the album with those of his sole collaborator Jem Cooke offering a soothing balance amidst the madness. 

For ‘Flourish’ to blossom into its fullest potential, Damian has joined forces with Diplo’s Higher Ground for the album’s release in the America’s. The two artists share a deep bond around uncovering the dance music leaders of tomorrow through their respective brands. ‘Flourish’ additionally serves as Higher Ground’s first ever album release, a fitting benchmark for house music’s newest North American stronghold.  

Damian’s work reminds us that however taxing the journeys there are always moments of beauty to be found. 

Listen to ‘Mountain’ Now:

Pre-Order ‘Flourish’:

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FACE the Music alliance launches

FACE the Music, an alliance For Art and Cultural Entertainment (FACE) formed as a response to the negative economic and cultural impact of COVID-19 pandemic, has just launched its worldwide operations. This alliance exists as a not-for-profit association which will act globally, with the aim to support and enhance the electronic music industry. Founding members and associates include booking and management agencies, artists, promoters, club owners and other professionals from this industry, such as representatives of Yoyaku Agency, Toi.Toi.Musik, Fabric London, Mutek Festival, The BPM Festival, Visionquest, Avant Garden, BArtist Agency, Bleach Agency, Zero Logistics, Nomad Talent, Lola ED, Minibar, Discobar, Subsonic Music Festival and more.  

The alliance will take action in creating a dialogue with decision-makers in politics and culture and national governments to investigate ways to be supported and saved. FACE the Music will, also, serve as a platform for professionals to communicate, collaborate and educate on designing the music industry’s re-opening. Additionally, FACE considers its mission to go beyond the so-called creative economy and raises awareness of the beneficial effects of nightlife in its social, intellectual, academic, artistic, and (counter-)cultural forms. 

FACE the Music will be acting as a centralized force that will strengthen the industry’s collective needs and tackle common issues and difficulties, especially in times of turmoil such as the current global emergency. The alliance will also collate up-to-date information on measures as a response to the current crisis to provide instructions in a consistent manner. Furthermore, FACE will identify ways of driving sponsorship and/or funding which would be available to the benefits of our members,  and aim to create partnerships and initiatives with other similar associations.

As a reminder, nightlife has not only been suspended worldwide, but it’s also a sector facing the most uncertainty about how and when it may re-open fully. While national efforts to save this culture are under discussion in places recognising nightlife such as Berlin or Amsterdam, FACE has identified the need for a collective and coordinated international response in the rest of the world as well. 

All industry professionals, companies, associations are welcome to become members via the link:

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DJ Awards return in 2021

While recent events with COVID-19 have rocked the music industry,
DJ Awards has been waiting in the wings, hoping for a positive outcome, that would allow us to host the 23rd edition this year.

DJ Awards is an event that relies upon the annual activity within the global electronic music scene, and as time goes on it is still unclear when “normality” will return. Without this normal pace of movement, it has led us to the sad decision to postpone this year’s edition.

Despite the current situation, we are embracing this pause, to reflect and reset, and focus on making 2021 a bigger and better DJ Awards. We believe meaningful connections will help carry our industry forward, and whilst we may not be celebrating with our awards this year, we will be bringing you some goodies to keep you going!

Our first new venture will be a podcast series “Talking Loud Ibiza”, featuring a host of Ibiza talent. From the world of music, art, fashion, wellness, and maybe even politics. We will be getting close up and personal, taking them down memory lane, finding out how they are adapting to Ibizas “new normal”. We will be digging deep, asking those key questions like “what´s their favourite emoji” and finding out what makes them tick. 

(Coming soon on Apple and Spotify).

More exciting news about a very special project will be announced soon, but until then, the only way forward is together. We hope you´ll come along for the ride and will join us for our next adventure or two!

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Dance Music Artists and Industry make urgent plea to Government to support UK’s world leading Dance Music & Events sector

Stars from the UK’s Dance Music sector, alongside festivals, nightclubs, and industry figures are today issuing an urgent plea for support from the UK Government that the dance music clubs & events sector must be protected and recognised as an important part of the nation’s art and culture in parity with the wider Live Music sector, to ensure equal access to support.

The call to the government comes since the announcement of a £1.57bn support package for Britain’s arts and culture sector. However, the government narrative to-date on the allocation of this support has not included nightclubs, dance music events and festivals to receive funding from this package for the arts.

The campaign is supported by a host of artists who are standing up for their art including; Adam Beyer, Andy C, Caribou, Charlotte De Witte, Daniel Avery, Eats Everything, Fatboy Slim, Four Tet, Danny Rampling, Irvine Welsh, Maya Jane Coles, Massive Attack, Mistajam, Norman Jay OBE, Pete Tong, Roni Size, Simone Butler (Primal Scream), Thom Yorke.

Michael Kill CEO, Night Time Industries Association (NTIA):
“The NTIA warmly welcomes the announcement last week by the Government that £1.57bn will provide a lifeline to vital cultural and heritage organisations. But we are keen to gain assurances from DCMS and Government that dance music venues and nightclubs will be eligible to apply for the funding and that it will not be reserved purely for venues like the Royal Albert Hall and the West End. The UK is home to a rich and diverse range of institutions, all of whom should be fairly entitled to this investment.”

Greg Marshall, General Manager, Association For Electronic Music (AFEM):
“Nightclubs and festivals are the beating heart of the UK dance scene; providing collective joy to millions of fans each year, providing employment and incomes for an interdependent network of hundreds of thousands of people, while contributing hundreds of millions to the economy. We call on the government to recognise this sector as a significant part of the nation’s art and culture, and ensure fair & equal access to the support offered to the wider live music sector.”

Amy Lamé, Night Czar, London:
“London’s dance venues and nightclubs are the envy of the world. They are a social hub for so many communities and a key part of our economy at night, but the Government has failed to provide them with specific support or give an indication of when they can open their doors again.

“Like so many night-time venues, they have been hit hard by the impact of months of closure due to Covid-19 and are in urgent need of help. The Government must make clear its commitment to protecting jobs in this vibrant sector to ensure that London’s nightclubs not only survive this pandemic, but thrive beyond it.

Sacha Lord, Nightlife Advisor Greater Manchester:
Last week’s recognition and rescue package for Arts and Culture by the Government was very much welcomed. However, I am astounded and confused that they do not recognize the UK Dance music industry as a part of this. There has always been an elitist snobbery towards Electronic and Dance Music, however, I would argue that this sector reaches more people in terms of culture, as some of our theatres do. I call out the government, not only to recognize this part of the industry, but also put in place guidance and support to protect our venues, festivals, artists, freelancers, and supply chain. That is why today, I’m fully backing the #LetUsDance Campaign.”

Nick Sabine, Co-Founder/CEO, Resident Advisor:
“The UK’s electronic music’s ecosystem is unique and wide ranging, built from a deeply interdependent network of organisations, large and mid-sized companies and thousands of micro-companies, freelancers, contract workers and the self-employed. At the centre of this environment are live events. Without significant government intervention to support nightlife and festival events one of the country’s most important cultural, social and economic sectors will be decimated forever. Looking further ahead, in a post-Brexit UK it is impossible to overstate how important a vibrant nightlife and festival culture will be for Britain to try and maintain a position of international cultural relevance in decades to come.”

Irvine Welsh, novelist & playwright:
“Without the dance there’s only the drab and the dark. We were made to move to the groove. They ought to have started the funding at dance music and worked their way down from there. #letusdance”

Andy C, DJ/Producer:
“Please support #LetUsDance. We need the UK Government to recognise the value of dance clubs and electronic music festivals and give them an equal opportunity to access the Arts and Culture funding available.”

Maya Jayne Coles, DJ/Producer:
“The UK is renowned internationally for its Dance Music Clubs and Festival culture, if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have my career, it must get the recognition it deserves and be given an equal opportunity to apply for the Arts & Culture funding, in line with Live Music and Classic arts sector. This also goes beyond just a love of music, for example, with the LGBTQIA+ family, for many people these are the only spaces where they can be entirely themselves and meet people like themselves without a threat of violence and hate.”

Roni Size, UK – Drum & Bass Artist:
“We have to make sure that the UK Government includes our nightclub venues, dance festivals (and all the businesses & artists involved) in its financial support plans. Clubs are being forgotten and the discussion on festivals remains unclear. WE NEED YOUR HELP AND SUPPORT! I want to see you back on the dance floor soon.”

Supporting Info and Stats:
The Culture Secretary has previously said he “would not let the arts down” as the creative industry recovers from the impact of Covid-19 but, when asked about potential support for music venues and festivals on the 9th July within Parliament, suggested funding would “cover grassroots music venues, concert halls and indoor arenas……those wholly or mainly used for performance of live music for the purposes of entertaining an audience”, with no mention of nightclubs or festivals.

Dance music clubs and festival culture are a vital part of the British heritage as well as generating millions of pounds in revenue for the economy, it adds to the ever-growing nightlife tourism figures boasting 300 million visits a year across the UK. There are over 1600 nightclubs across the UK which play a significant role in supporting the wider The Night Time economy which generates 66 billion in revenue per annum (6% of the UK’s total). Festivals (across all genres) contribute £1.75bn GVA to the UK Economy annually and support 85,000 jobs.

But, because businesses are unable to operate under the current social distancing measures, dance festivals, events, and nightclubs are unlikely to take place again in the UK for the foreseeable future. Thousands of redundancies have already been made, with the potential for tens of thousands to follow this year. Until these businesses can operate again, government clarity on the roadmap for reopening safely and access to support for the arts will be crucial to prevent mass insolvencies and potential demise of this world-leading industry.

The entire dance music community, from world famous DJs to sound engineers, festivals, nightclubs and dance music fans across the industry are being asked to post photos of the last dance festival, dance event, or nightclub they attended under the banner #LetUsDance on Thursday 23rd July in a show of support for the UK’s world-leading dance music industry and its contribution to arts & culture.

Dance Music is the world’s third most popular music genre, with an estimated audience of over 1.5 Billion according to the IFPI. But, despite the global influence and economic importance of British dance music, government support and clarity on the future of the sector has been very limited.

Contact your local MP: here.

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Budakid makes his Disco Halal debut with new single ‘Ochre Tuesday’

The lead single from the EP of the same name, ‘Ochre Tuesday’ is a hypnotic house cut that combines retro grooves, chopped vocals and haunting melodies, delivering an effortlessly cinematic track that leaves a lasting impression.

As well as being a more uplifting and motivational follow-up to‘Blue Monday’, ‘Ochre Tuesday’ is also a metaphor to the world and human beings to move on and not stand still. Designed by Budakid himself, the symbol in the artwork is an alternative design for the symbol of ‘Tuesday’ in astrology.

Influenced by the likes of Trentemoller, Massive Attack, Radiohead and Caribou, Budakid also known as Kevin Huizing is a self-taught producer and talented drummer who has curated his own trademark sound, whilst carving his reputation as a successful artist from a young age.

Heavily supported by an array of acclaimed artists such as Solomun, Sasha, Joris Voorn and Kolsch, Budakid’s 2019 single ‘A Molton Arrow’ garnered 2.5 million streams on Spotify, and more recently released single ‘Walkman’ which received heavy BBC Radio 1 support.

Budakid has gone onto release music under iconic labels Diynamic, Exploited, Last Night On Earth, All Day I Dream and Lost & Found, whilst performing at globally renowned festivals Tomorrowland, Sonar Festival, Fusion Festival, ADE and playing animated sets at clubs such as Watergate, Katerblau and Sissyphos, firmly cementing his position as a tastemaker artist in the scene.

A masterfully crafted retro house jam, ‘Ochre Tuesday’ sees Budakid make an instant impact on his Disco Halal debut.

Listen / Order here

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Sydney’s Mantra Collective launches Pandorea Records

Mantra Collective · Pandorea Records 001 by Mantra Collective

Mantra Collective Records proudly announces the launch of sublabel Pandorea as a platform dedicated to high quality minimal music from Australian artists.

Taking the name from a native species of flower, Pandorea is an ode to our country’s flourishing minimal music scene and a platform through which we can celebrate the sounds of our own landscape.

The first release is a V/A compilation showcasing the distinct sonic identity of four artists who have been an integral part of Mantra Collective’s musical vision.

In Tower of Thought, Cooper Dodge balances kinetic percussion atop his trademark punchy groove. The release’s most club-centric track builds to a euphoric moment as cosmic vocals dance with an infectious melody. Taking a deeper approach, Mike Watts’ bass driven Ode to the Doof is a heady trip with plenty of momentum. Dark, hypnotic rhythms bubble below subtle  organic details, transporting the listener to the quintessential psychedelic landscapes the track takes its title from. Thomas David’s markedly intricate contribution Only You, draws from a wide sonic palette in a spacious and meditative arrangement. A dynamic bassline ebbs and flows through an elegant collage of lush synth-work. Tiril closes the release with Dreamtime, an ethereal roller with a delicate touch. Squiggling synths create a vibrant atmosphere above tight, brisk percussion, appealing equally to minds and bodies.

Each cut perfectly adept to its own time and place, yet all marked by a sound that is unequivocally Mantra Collective. We are delighted to present this window into our growing scene.

Mastering by David Harman.

Pandorea Records 001 – VA

1. Cooper Dodge – Tower of Thought
2. Mike Watts – Ode to the doof

3. Thomas David – Only You

4. Tiril – Dreamtime

Available via Bandcamp

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