As summer begins and the pandemic’s vibe-killing restrictions finally find their way down in the Asian front, this also means that travelling is back in its natural state. Bit by bit, IRL on-ground festivals have been inching their way back and we’re definitely dancing inside due to the excitement of jumping back into festival season.
For the past year, we’ve been watching our western counterparts enjoy mass events with little to no restrictions, while we were still a bit behind here in Asia. However, with events such as the return of Creamfields in Asia and S20 spreading its wings across the region, there’s no doubt that we’ll be seeing more festival dance floors in the months to come this summer.
To welcome back a refreshed and familiar summer festival vibe outside the four walls we’ve been contained to over the past two years, here’s some selected tracks right from our region that were released this year to satisfy your summer festival palate.
1 GATTÜSO x Frogmonster x KZ Tandingan ‘Somebody Like You’
Just as summer hits, ‘Somebody Like You’ paves its way through our musical playlists for a mainstage winner as GATTÜSO links up with China’s Frogmonster and Filipino’s KZ Tandingan. The track is paired with a Chinese version — a recent common bilingual theme that sits amongst artist collaborations — that will definitely make waves in the Eastern market.
2 Yellow Claw & Weird Genius ‘Lonely’ Feat. Novia Bachmid
Yellow Claw never fails to disappoint, especially with tracks that fit like a glove in lists like these. Their most recent release with Indonesian trio Weird Genius and Novia Bachmid titled ‘Lonely’ is bound to take centre stage across both regional and global festivals with its bright and upbeat production.
3 KODEINE & Dustee 'Countdown'
Coming in hot, straight from Vietnam — where the production of electronic music seems to be at an output of 100% — KODEINE & Dustee’s ‘Countdown’ is aimed directly towards the dance floors and energetic rave explosions. Its hard-hitting sound and crisp tech house drums seem like it’s on a trajectory headed straight to the clubs and beyond.
4 22Bullets & Tia Ray ‘It Isn't Me’ (with KSHMR)
It comes as no surprise that KSHMR’s track would land on this list. This time he partners up with Thailand’s 22Bullets and Chinese singer-songwriter Tia Ray for ‘It Isn’t Me’. Loaded with catchy hooks and blazing vocals, there’s no doubt that crowds would be singing along to this track whilst dancing all night to its groovy bassline.
5 BEAUZ & NINEONE# ‘RAVE GAME’
American-Indonesian duo BEAUZ starts off this year with a bang through their 3-track EP titled ‘RAVE GAME’. The lead track, also titled ‘RAVE GAME’, features Chinese vocalist NINEONE#, who has been featured in a number of electronic dance tracks recently. The track sure doesn’t disappoint as the boys infuse their signature mainstage sounds that they’re known for into the three-minute single.
6 Grimes ‘Shinigami Eyes’
If space is one small step for mankind, Grimes take on ‘Shinigami Eyes’ is a mini step into cyberspace. Along with Jane of BLACKPINK, this club-ready techno-tinged track is derived and is inspired by the Japanese anime ‘Death Note’. The music video is one to not be missed, as Elon Musk’s baby mama stars Dorian Electra and Instagram influencer Ryon Wu as well.
7 Red Hood Squad & RayRay ‘Harsh’
Dubstep and hard dance female honcho of Taiwan, RayRay, teams up with Red Hood Squad that features her signature vocals for ‘Harsh’. The single focuses on soft tones which then leads us into the harder sounds of dance. “It’s a song which expresses the sadness of being alone, and a desire to break loose,” is how RayRay described the track.
8 Bleu Clair ‘Funk Accelerator’
Coining the term “new age house”, Indonesian artist Bleu Clair adds to the genre with ‘Funk Accelerator’. Stamping his signature trait between futuristic house, classic house and tech house, the track stems from his previously released single ‘Have Me All’ that Bleu intended to turn into a darker, more underground vibe.
9 Manila Killa ‘Dark Places’
Manila Killa’s cross-continental upbringing brings us a soulful journey with this number titled ‘Dark Places’. Stewed from his experiences over the past 2 years, the output of dark and deep feelings fuelled this track and to be honest, we could definitely see ourselves getting lost on the dancefloor with this number. His album is set to come out this summer and we’re not surprised to receive more tracks like this one on the release.
10 22Bullets & Fedde Le Grand feat. JAMIE ‘Wouldn’t Be Me’
Thai-based artist 22Bullets is on fire this year with another output fit for this summer's mainstages. Collaborating with K-Pop star JAMIE and globe-trotting dance magnate Fedde Le Grand, ‘Wouldn’t Be Me’ was released via the Asia-focused dance imprint WHET Records. From a writing session between 22Bullets and Le Grand, they’ve brought back an oomph through the 80s dynamic synth sounds coupled with JAMIE’s alluring vocals.
11 Kylie Minogue ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head’ (Peggy Gou's Midnight Remix)
A classic that sits in the 00s nostalgia belt, Peggy Gou adds another belt notch to the global club sounds with a remake of Kylie Minogue’s iconic pop anthem 'Can’t Get You Out of My Head'. The release comes paired with pop and retro influences that are set for global dance floors that will have everyone going back into the past to the 2001 original.
12 BEAUZ ‘Keep On Dancing’ feat. Heleen
No big surprise here as BEAUZ release a second number just as summer hits. The brothers hit the actual mainstage at Creamfields Thailand last month with their latest single ‘Keep On Dancing’. Keeping true to their dance-pop sounds coupled with their signature synths, the artistic identities of Bernie and Johan sure have made their mark in the Asia electronic music scene.
13 Sihk & NATSUMI ‘We Are Love’ (feat. Vania)
Indonesian artist Sihk partners up with Japan’s Natsumi and Vania for a banger titled ‘We Are Love’ that would fire up the mainstages this summer. Stemming from the Amterdam-based label Barong Family, its high BPMs and hard bass sounds are no stranger to Sihk’s usual sounds that we have all loved over the years.
14 ARMNHMR & NURKO ‘Won't Make A Sound’ (feat. Micah Martin)
Asian-American dance duo ARMNHMR (consisting of Joseph Chung and Joseph Abella) links up with NURKO for ‘Won’t Make A Sound’ which also features Micah Martin’s vocals. From heart-warming melodies to hard-hitting, emotive drops, the track lends a pop-punk tone to the sounds of the hardships of love, sudden loss and change.
15 Carta, Ika Zhao, Eileen Yo ‘Lonely Addictions’
Centering the spotlight on Carta’s Chinese ethnicity, his latest track titled ‘Lonely Addictions’ features two Chinese artists Ika Zhao and Eileen Yo. Carta’s direction for this track heads towards focusing on the Chinese market by including Chinese vocals where it’s hopeful that he’ll garner a wider, new audience that shares a passion for electronic dance music.
16 RayRay & Gerald Le Funk ‘Ill Shit’
Making the list for a second time (we just had to) is another track from RayRay. ‘Ill Shit’ hit the summer waves just weeks ago; on the track she collaborates with Gerald Le Funk for a total melodic banger that speaks to us as we get ‘ready for some ill shit’ this summer season. We are definitely ready for more from Barong Family.
17 Timmy Trumpet x R3HAB x NINEONE# ‘Turn The Lights Down Low’ (Chinese Version)
A number that hits both the Eastern and Western hemispheres with a bilingual release as Timmy Trumpet and R3HAB feature Chinese singer and songwriter NINEONE# for ‘Turn The Lights Down Low’. The upbeat high-energy dance track is released in both English and Mandarin to connect and embrace their fans in both regions of the globe.
18 Faustix x LIZZY ‘Secrets’ (feat. MAYLYN)
A true singalong anthem, Chinese artist LIZZY aka Lizzy Wang collaborates with Dutch artist Faustix in the club-ready track ‘Secrets’ that features MAYLYN. Already knowing her way around festival mainstages plus being one of the first female Chinese DJs to perform at Ultra, LIZZY’s fun summer banger is perfectly suited for our list.
19 PVLSE and Takahiro Yoshihira ‘Brabus’
Coming from the land of the rising sun, both PVLSE and Takahiro Yoshihira take over the Japanese front for a psytrance track titled ‘Brabus’ that has our ears peeled towards the mainstage arena. PVLSE’s newcomer status has stretched out beyond his realm since coming into the scene in 2018 with sounds that incorporate hardstyle, bass and big room beats.
20 Papa Khan ‘Get To U’
Indonesian bass producer Papa Khan’s ‘Get To U’ track leads off in a gentle, emotionally-charged tone as he reaches back into Monstercat’s repertoire of artists, but it’s a sound we’re ready to see light up the summer stages. Papa Khan’s sounds of bright synth beats, gritty bassline and bouncy chords have made him an artist to watch in the electronic dance music sector and we’re bound to see more in the next few months.
For your listening convenience, we’ve compiled the list of tracks in our Spotify playlist here.
Miki Kitasako is Mixmag Asia’s Social Media and Content Producer, follow her on LinkedIn.