Hotel Garuda should be a name familiar to anyone who follows us, as the duo has consistently been featured for its energetic embrace of dance music and meticulous approach to song craft. Throughout 2017, they’ve been shining on the strength of their summertime single “Till It Burns Out” while continuing their knack for ace remixes, and now they’ve joined their former Moving Castle alum Jai Wolf in moving over to Mom + Pop Music. Mom + Pop has established an influence in the dance music community already with acts like Flume and Neon Indian, welcoming the duo into good company. A warm congratulations this week to Aseem & Chris of Hotel Garuda, along their whole family of collaborators and supporters, for the band’s recent signing to Mom + Pop and the slate of tightly-crafted releases that will surely follow.
The duo’s Mom + Pop debut, “Dancing On The Moon” with Lemaitre, is built on a timeless funk two years in the making. That the band spent that long working on “Dancing On The Moon” should come as no surprise given their history. In fact, the band stayed wise in its high bar for releases from the start, building an intense pressure of hype for years through their DJ sets and non-original material like remixes, before erupting onto the production scene with their debut song “Smoke Signals” in March 2016.
That song reflected a perfect distillation of the pop musicality and deep house grooves they’ve honed together over all that preparatory material. It’s funny to me to think that, although we’ve been following the Hotel Garuda project at NEST HQ since inception, “Smoke Signals” will be their first streamable material in the eyes of those new fans who will discover the band in their new, more mainstream era. Perhaps that’s why I felt it was time we gave them a proper artist spotlight: to preserve that history.
Though Aseem & Chris debuted Hotel Garuda in 2014, they’ve been friends since meeting in Indonesia during middle school, and continue to produce under their solo aliases Candleweather and Manila Killa, respectively. In 2014, they released the first bootleg to boost them to fame, a hot take on Disclosure’s “White Noise,” and followed it with other timely and impactful cuts including their remix of Full Crate x Mar’s “Nobody Else.” Then in 2015, they took off on the live circuit, debuting their festival set at EDC Vegas that year and following it up across the country.
In that time, they’ve stayed abreast of the dance music trend winds, keeping fresh and futuristic with remixes of Royal, Alina Baraz & Galimantias, and Kiiara. I look to their widely-admired 2010s bootleg “Palm Sprung” as a prime example – its 2015 incarnation, made for the Splash House festival, interlocked crunk and house influences into a chopped-salad slurry, then its 2017 update whittled it down with filters and turned its wallop into a bass wall, maintaining its status as a set weapon.
By the close of 2015, they featured in our year-end Who to Watch roundup, where NEST HQ’s founding editor Jonah Berry aptly predicted that “great things will happen to these great people.” Since then, it’s been a wave of cruising atop the success of their successive singles while hunkering down in the studio, alongside top-notch remix work for the likes of Lorde & Röyksopp.
The band’s already using their newly-found, wider influence to help grow other electronic music artists by bringing out Daktyl, SAINT WKND, Kidswaste, and GEOTHEORY to support their winter headlining tour, and now that they’ve been anointed into suburbia with this Mom + Pop deal, their reach will only expand further. Check out some of their most memorable songs below, and be sure to catch the band on their “Dancing On The Moon” tour this fall.