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Zeds Dead on Tour
Veterans of the EDM festival circuit, Toronto's Zeds Dead are masters of unleashing singles to the masses to get everyone stoked for their live show. And over the summer of 2019, they dropped multiple tracks to do just that. The frenetic "Lift You Up," an accelerated synth-punk sprint that's liable to turn the dance tent into a mosh pit. "Rescue" — a collaboration with Dutch producer Dion Timmer and Toronto diva Delaney Jane — splits the difference between bass-wobbled beats and edgy alt-rock energy. But "Stars Tonight" — featuring Dutch duo DROELOE — leaps from piano-laced serenity to future-bass freakery, with heart-racing ascents and queasy drops that ensure their sets strike the right balance of euphoria and anarchy.
Zeds Dead in Concert
The Toronto-based duo of Dylan Mamid (aka DC) and Zachary Rapp-Rovan (aka Hooks) first came together in the mid-2000s under the name Mass Productions, a project steeped in their love of boom-bapped hip-hop. But as EDM came to dominate the city's club scene at the turn of the decade, the duo caught the wave and rebranded themselves Zeds Dead (a quote from Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction). While the 2010 single "Rude Boy" captures them still transitioning out of old-school breaks toward nu-rave sonics, the series of EPs they released through Diplo's Mad Decent imprint over the course of 2012 and 2014 saw them change things up. They retrofitted their sound for the festival circuit (take, for example, the steep drops and subterranean bass of "Hadouken"), and they also initiated alt-rock crossovers with the likes of Twin Shadow and Perry Farrell. After launching their own label, Deadbeat, Zeds Dead released their first proper album statement, the Juno Award–nominated Northern Lights, in 2016, with a wildly eclectic guest list (Diplo, Pusha T, Weezer's Rivers Cuomo) that speaks to their ever-evolving fusion of sun-dappled EDM, gritty rap production and rock power.