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In literature, movies, and TV, there are two classic narratives that we’re all familiar with. The first is the group/company retreat where the characters leave their ordinary lives of drudgery behind for a wild escape that gets a bit crazy but also ends up being exactly what everybody needs to rest, reset, and tackle their next challenge. The second is the utopia; a fantasy world governed by its own rules and separated from normal society. Everybody there is in a state of bliss that’s simply unattainable in the real world. These narratives are important because Groove Cruise embodies both, while also being like the sleepaway camps of childhood. Groove Cruise is way more than a festival that you compare with Ultra, EDC, or even Tomorrowland. Groove Cruise is, for most attendees, a floating slice of heaven that appears for 4 days out of the year, as described by Groove Cruise President Jason Beukema (@traveljason). The only event that comes close is Burning Man, according to Groove Cruisers I spoke with.

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As I embarked on my third Groove Cruise in 2024 aboard the Norwegian Encore, the full value it provides came into focus. Of course, it’s a fun festival with a solid lineup and excellent production, but it goes way beyond that. Everything is curated to be more than that, even if it’s not immediately apparent. As an EDM blogger and admitted music snob, I was not initially wow-ed by the lineups when I first learned of Groove Cruise years ago. Sure the lineup is good, but it’s not a direct competitor to Florida festivals like EDC Orlando or Ultra. Upon first arriving, you’ll note that the crowd is totally different in its makeup than any major festival you’ll go to, and is not what you’d expect from a party cruise either.

And yet, all of these things are part of what propels Groove Cruise into a whole different stratosphere than regular music festivals. The lineup is curated to feature the latest and greatest right along with a slew of talented up-and-comers topped off with a sprinkling of nostalgia and fan service. It features DJs who understand the Groove Cruise ethos and will enjoy the experience like an attendee and not like a celebrity. The crowd is not your Ultra Music Festival or EDC crowd, but a crowd spanning multiple generations of partiers. Groove Cruise revives PLUR (peace, love, unity, respect) from the ashes and reminds you of what it actually means, where everybody, including the staff and artists, is friendly and fun af. The Groove Cruise team invites you and the artists into the family, and you feel part of it by the end of the trip.

The Music

The array of subgenres is way more varied than you’d expect because it caters to a wide variety of fans. It features more trance than most festivals in 2024, something very much appreciated by the #trancefamily. It includes DnB and dubstep even while it features some of the biggest stars and ones to watch. The lineup is curated for fans who just come for the party and those who have discerning tastes at once. John Summit played Groove Cruise a few years ago when he was relatively new to the scene, but he totally embodied the GC lifestyle, and that lifestyle is a huge part of his brand now. Now that role is being filled in 2024 by Max Styler (keep an eye on him), who played a b2b with John Summit on the closing night. GC features an extremely solid undercard of hidden gems and underrated artists that kill it year after year, like Gene Farris and Anthony Attalla. This year Lilly Palmer was an artist who’s rapidly on the rise and killed it at Groove Cruise. There’s so much programming when you have 4 days of nonstop parties, that you will 100% discover a new artist that you will love going forward.

It’s amazing to have an event where I don’t feel the pressure to see the biggest name all the time, and I can go back to my roots in trance, or see a Tiesto set for the first time in years. I will be honest, after being a techno snob for the last few years, seeing Tiesto play on the beach in the Bahamas for us was ridiculously fun and refreshing. He played a surprisingly good mix of new trendy styles, but he also peppered in some golden-era classics that had everybody going bonkers. This is not a festival to be pretentious about anything, so just go check out all of the music and have fun.

Some amazing sets this year were from Joel Corry (even playing a techno set at one point), Markus Schulz, Gene Farris, Lilly Palmer, Diplo, Max Styler, Tiesto, and of course John Summit. Next year for 2025, Jason tells us that he has booked the #1 most requested artist over the past 15 years. My guess is Armin van Buuren but we shall see soon enough.

The People

Groove Cruise is so amazing because it is the place for people who partied hard af during an earlier/simpler time in their lives, but have had to grow up and become responsible adults. These are people who were raving in the 90s and experienced Sandstorm when it was being played out live for the very first time in nightclubs (I spoke to several veteran ravers who shared that experience). Now they have (well-paying) jobs, families, responsibilities, and not so much free time. These are the people your younger self thought would never grow up but managed to grow up all the same. Groove Cruise is the annual retreat for these people just as much as it is for the people who are still very much work hard, play hard people. So for your friends who know how to party but would rarely pull an all-nighter at Space anymore, they come here.

People you talk to will tell you it’s their 5th Groove Cruise or it’s their 11th, or they met their spouse on GC and got married on GC years later and continue to come back every year. You’ll frequently see the same groups of people coming together every year. There are die-hards on here but also mixed in with people who probably don’t go to many festivals in a year besides GC. Once you get it, you start trying to convince new people to come experience it, and then they turn around and do the same. So after 21 years, Groove Cruise is hosting 2025 on the 2nd largest class of ship in the world, and it’s selling fast with a year to go.

The amazing thing about this is that you make friends and connections that are unlike any other. Like a sleepaway camp, you make friends here that you may only ever see or hang out with during Groove Cruise, but they become some of your deepest connections. These are people who literally only know you at your wildest and happiest. There is no life in the way of making new friends or romantic partners during GC. When you see these people year after year, you get right back on the same note that you left off on a year or more ago, without missing a beat (pun intended). These are people who may only ever see you dressed up in crazy theme costumes. When debarkation finally comes, seeing everybody in their real-world attire is jarring because you no longer even recognize anyone.

The Ethos

Work hard, play hard is the mantra here. The entire ship is going feral most of the time, but this crowd is mature and knows how to handle themselves (for the most part). People are enjoying the open bar package and more. This even extends to the ship’s main dining room and the elevators. You might find women there in nothing but pasties, or an entire table in coordinated costumes for that night’s theme. There is a different costume theme for each day and each night. There will be at least one person blaring dance music no matter where you are, even in the line to get off the ship when you’re running on no sleep and want to die. Everybody is friends with everybody. You get into an elevator and the people will be chatting you up, asking how many Groove Cruises you’ve been on, who you’re going to see, or giving you random thoughtful trinkets.

The random little quirks and inside jokes become a way of life. One of the favorites is when, each morning (at some point), Jason will get on the ship’s PA system to wake everyone up with a “Gooooood Morning Groove Cruisers” and proceed to talk for about 15 minutes. You’ll hate it but end up loving it at the same time. It’s yet another way that Groove Cruise feels a bit like a sleepaway camp. On the very last day back in Miami, the PA system will play a track produced specifically to wake everyone up in time to get off the ship. Funny moments like this continue all throughout the experience and become shared jokes among the entire GCFAM (as it is called).

The artists enjoy the experience and understand the vibe as much as the attendees, by design. Jason picks artists who he knows will hang out amongst the people and want to have a good time. If an artist is a bad sport and shows up only for their set and then hides in private areas, they probably won’t be back. This is an event that feels like it has no VIP, and it barely has a backstage. Everybody is equal and the artists are hanging in the crowd with their management teams just like everyone else. You can hit the gym with Joel Corry and then watch a Joel Corry set with Max Styler right next to you on the same day. You can chat up the DJs like they’re anybody else, and if you don’t meet or talk to at least one DJ you’re doing it wrong. Even now that John Summit is selling out MSG in 2 hours, he enjoys mixing and mingling in the crowd like everyone else and has no problem chatting it up and taking pics with everyone. The important thing is to enjoy a good time and a good party with friends new and old.

The Cruise

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I’ve talked about all these reasons why GC is so amazing, and haven’t even talked about the most obvious part. It’s a tropical cruise on one of the world’s largest and most gorgeous cruise ships. This year was the Norwegian Encore, which upped the ante. The pool deck area was massive with an equally massive LED wall, enough to create a festival crowd as big as you’d see at a major event. The ship has waterslides, go-kart racing, VR experiences, multiple dining venues, a state-of-the-art theater, a fantastic spa and thermal suite area, a great atrium area, and clean beautiful cabins. Even without GC, a cruise is always a fun vacation. There’s everything at your fingertips, always. A drink, a meal, the bathroom, and your bed are never more than 5 minutes away. Where else can you eat pizza in a hot tub while watching the DJs perform on the main stage? How much easier is it to party all night when you can go to eat or to your room for a disco nap at any time, hit up the Whet Oasis for a pillow party and back massage, or go to the thermal suite for hot tubs, heated loungers, a steam room, and a snow room? You can hit a DJ set, have dinner, hit the spa for an hour, nap for another hour, and then be ready to party until the sun comes up before hitting the breakfast buffet.

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It’s not a cruise to nowhere either. It goes to the cruise line’s private island, Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas. This means that even when you get off the ship in paradise, it’s only GCFAM on the island and your food and drinks packages continue to work. Gene Farris played an impromptu DJ set on the tender on the way back to the ship when the party ended. You can go zip-lining, jet-skiing, or just rage on the beach watching Tiesto. Having the island party on the 3rd day is perfect because it really feels like the culmination of the experience. The GC Beach Party is really unlike anything you’ll ever experience. When they say “it was a movie”, that’s the type of experience they talk about. It’s something that will never be duplicated in the real world. You have a beautiful private island inhabited solely by EDM ravers with unlimited food and open bar packages wearing Naughy Nautical costumes watching DJs play all afternoon. The Beach Party is when nirvana is reached. What more could you ask for?

The Team

The thing that makes Groove Cruise so special is the team around it. Like the artists, the Groove Cruise team is totally accessible to the attendees. This starts from the moment you book and you are let into the Facebook group for attendees. All of the attendees and the GC team are there answering questions, hyping people up, and asking opinions on things. The key to this is Jason Beukema, because Groove Cruise is his baby. He is so inextricably linked to the Groove Cruise ethos and experience, that everybody attending the festival is cheering him on. The 20th Anniversary was celebrated in 2024 and it was an especially emotional experience for Jason. Not only did he get to see his life’s dream realized with one of the biggest DJs in the world in tow, but the moment almost didn’t happen at all. El Nino made the area weather way cloudier, rainier, and colder than it would normally be at this time of year in Florida and the Bahamas. The previous several days were cloudy, windy and rainy. If the weather was too rough, the tenders would not be allowed to go to shore. Yet the clouds parted as we arrived onshore and the sun’s rays created the most perfect weather you could dream of.

After Tiesto wrapped his set, Jason’s teary-eyed speech describing his elation had the whole crowd sobbing along with him. The GCFAM is emotionally invested in Groove Cruise and Jason’s vision for it. Jason is the fearless leader in this utopia, but it’s all for the better. If you have an issue or a question you can speak to him directly and he will answer you, whether online or on GC. It’s the same vibe that Pasquale Rotella aims to cultivate, but taken to a much more personal level. While Groove Cruise has grown and become a bit less intimate than it once was, people love it more than ever as it continues to grow.

The Future

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Groove Cruise has become such a phenomenon that it is upgrading again in 2025 to the Allure of the Seas, while EDSea and Friendship are staying put on the Norwegian Breakaway-Plus Class from this year. With a year to go, Groove Cruise 2025 is selling out already. There’s a reason that most of the people on GC come back year after year. It’s not about the headliners, lineup, the ship, or the destination. It’s about this temporary slice of heaven and the people inhabiting it can’t be replicated anywhere else. Do yourself a favor and gather up your 3 best friends or family members to book your own little slice of heaven in 2025.

The post Groove Cruise 2024 – Escape the Ordinary, Find Utopia appeared first on EDMTunes.

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By: Scott Lombardo
Title: Groove Cruise 2024 – Escape the Ordinary, Find Utopia
Sourced From: www.edmtunes.com/2024/02/groove-cruise-2024-escape-the-ordinary-find-utopia/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=groove-cruise-2024-escape-the-ordinary-find-utopia
Published Date: Fri, 02 Feb 2024 14:41:28 +0000

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A State Of Trance Top 1000 #1 Is Revealed!

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After 30 years of nothing but Trance excellence, with all the feels, and all the incredible talent, Armin van Buuren‘s legacy prevails. A State of Trance Top 1000 Award revealed the number one track of the label. We can’t imagine how hard it was to pick their top track ever. Cue the drum rolls please… The award goes to none other than Dutch Trance producer RAM and German DJ Jorn van Deynhoven. The honorary title is thanks to their remix of the 2009 masterpiece ‘RAMsterdam’.

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A post shared by ☆ R A M ☆ (@ramofficial)

The Duo took it on their social medias to showcase the plate they received to commemorate the award. We can’t forget the track has earned over 10 million streams on spotify. The track embodies Trance in its rawest form. Its true nature and drive summarize the power the genre carries from decade to decade. Naturally, ‘RAMsterdam’ (Jorn van Deynhoven Remix) reigns supreme over 999 other songs that have moved millions of people since the inception of A State of Trance. Furthermore, RAM mentioned on his Facebook post that after he earned the title, DJ Mag announced his residency in the number one Trance club in China for 2024.

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Both artists are one of a kind, and the award deeply recognizes the mark they continue to leave on a State of Trance and the scene itself. ‘RAMsterdam’ (Jorn van Deynhoven Remix)paved the way for more unique sounds to evolve and develop to this day. RAM and van Deynhoven have what it takes to carry the title of worldwide phenomenon.

Congratulations to these two legends! Now, go ahead and leave ‘Ramsterdam’ (Jorn van Deynhoven Remix) on replay. After all, it is the number 1 ASOS Top 1000 track.

The post A State Of Trance Top 1000 #1 Is Revealed! appeared first on EDMTunes.

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By: Jay Seabrook
Title: A State Of Trance Top 1000 #1 Is Revealed!
Sourced From: www.edmtunes.com/2024/04/a-state-of-trance-top-1000-1/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=a-state-of-trance-top-1000-1
Published Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2024 13:54:55 +0000

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[EVENT REVIEW] Ultra Chile Returns After Nearly A Decade, And In Full Force Too

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The large ‘U’ festival celebrated a fantastic return to South America recently.

When you think of Ultra Music Festival, you likely gravitate towards Miami straight away. But we’re lucky enough to have them all over the world, celebrating parties far and wide. That is certainly a blessing for energetic crowds living in somewhat further places in the globe, like South America.

I’ve been here for a while, and it’s safe to say it’s growing a strong community of Dance-devoted madmen like me. I’ve been lucky enough to get to know the Argentinian scene fairly well, and also those in its neighbouring country, Chile. This is a country where Hardstyle reigns supreme, and genres like Techno and its branches are seeing a roaring uptrend in the number of fans and followers. So much so, that Ultra themselves decided to pay a visit. A two-day visit, mind you.

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Ultra Chile: Its History

Chile had its first Ultra in 2013, with the next two years also calling artists from around the world to come together on the far southern end of the globe for Ultra Chile 2014 and 2015. The year after, Chile received a more compact Road To Ultra, as well as in 2017, for the Ultra host of those years was the continental giant, Brazil. After that, Chile would have to wait some time before the brand set foot on it again.

2023 saw Road To Ultra return to the long country for a Halloween party, headlined by Marshmello, Nicky Romero, Oliver Heldens, and Two Friends. And this year, the acclaimed main branch returned in full force, with two days of unstoppable beats coming from a handful of places, and showcasing an impressive plethora of talents, established, up-and-coming, returning… everything.

It was held on Friday, April 19th, and Saturday, April 20th, in Santiago’s iconic go-to place for massive events, Espacio Riesco.

Day One: Friday

Day One kicked off late in the afternoon, at 7 PM to be precise. The crowds started to appear from very early on. Once inside, it was time to have a look at the place, and, oh dear, they truly made the most out of the venue. Three of the four stages were on that day, the Mainstage, on the back of the property and boasting an impressive open-air setting, the Resistance stage, a blacked-out, massive former plane hangar to welcome the best Techno represents in the world, and the Carolina stage, a local-lineup filled stage out on the open.

Day One Winners

Jumping between the Mainstage and the Resistance stage allowed me to watch basically all artists for a little. That’s life at a festival, you can’t really marry one particular DJ. That said, I think I’ve got my favourite artist of the night, and it is Stephan Bodzin.

I had never watched him play, so I was basically going in not knowing what to expect. Add to that, I was at the Main seeing Armin before, so I didn’t really know what I was about to witness. Walking into Resistance, the first thing I noticed was that there was A TON of space to dance and just be yourself. The Mainstage was filled to the brim with people, and well, that left the Techno-devoted stage with a crowd that was truly enjoying Bodzin’s magic. I did too.

I swear, ten minutes in I was already fully hooked. Eyes closed, moving side to side, that kind of hooked. Him playing a live set was a tenfold amplifier as well, since he was interacting a lot with the audience, and the audience interacted a lot with him back. Ask me to name one track from his set, I can’t. But what I CAN recall vividly is how happy he was managing his instruments, and how happy the people dancing beside him were. I was one of them, fully gone away in a trance. A star for you, mate.

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Day Two: Saturday

Day Two started quite earlier, promising twelve endless hours of good music. My friend — who flew in from Buenos Aires for the festival — and I entered the place just past 2:30 PM. And after a little day tour of the venue, we headed straight to the brand-new Resistance Square stage. Reason being, Daniella Da Silva was on at 3:00.

The stage itself was really interesting to me, since the Ultra guys turned this giant conference place into the host for the darkest, most energetic beats of the entire day. I remember my highschool once took me for University speeches or something of that kind literal years ago, and seeing it changed to fit a literal Ultra festival blew me away.

The other stages were just as breathtaking as the day before, and now places like the Mainstage enjoyed the geographic surroundings of Espacio Riesco: mountains for days. It was another level. Point for you, day parties!

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Day Two Winners

Daniella Da Silva

My friend wanted to see her so badly, and I wanted to learn from someone new to me. Good. Lord. Those were 90 minutes of nonstop dancing. There are pictures and videos of me absolutely losing it during her set which I won’t show for, reasons, but let me tell you, her energy is sensational. Dark, Hard Techno. I’m not of the kind to enjoy that in a car ride or on a normal day, but I for sure allowed myself to enjoy her beats at Ultra. I felt slightly sore after that, and that should tell you enough of how good of a set hers was.

Hardwell

My childhood hero. How wouldn’t I have enjoyed Hardwell’s set when he was my role model when I was in school back in the day? Growing up loving ‘Encoded’, ‘Spaceman’, and his remix of ‘Man With The Red Face’, it was about time to see him again. Absolutely nuts. Lots of what he played I had heard before at his Ultra Miami set from earlier this year, but far from taking away from the experience, it allowed me to sing my lungs out. Special shoutout to that ‘Strobe‘ x ‘Save The World‘ mashup which nearly got me crying.

Kasablanca

These guys take the gold for me, no question. Seeing Hardwell, you know beforehand that it’s going to be a phenomenal show, but I had never seen Kasablanca before. I’d only heard their Anjuna tunes. And so my friend and I got to the very front of the Mainstage to see them. We could not have decided better.

They played a live set, just like Bodzin had done the day before. The difference here was the setting: While Stephan Bodzin played inside the warehouse vibe of the Resistance stage, Kasablanca did it out in the open. And their set just so happened to occur during the last hours of the day and into the night, sunset included.

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They absolutely rocked it. From synths to vocals to literal choreography, their set had it all. They truly made good use of the Mainstage speakers as well, with their fat-bottomed tracks. I can’t tell you just how magical that time was, even the landscape fit the vibe of their music. Mountains all around, the clouds turning slightly red at sunset (see a few pictures above), and the moon reigning high aloft by the time they dropped their remix of Above & Beyond’s ‘Black Room Boy’. The duo take the gold, and my heart with it. I won’t turn down the possibility of seeing them in the future.

Final Thoughts

It had been a while since I last attended a big festival, since I’d been much more inclined to go to artist-focused events. It was a refreshing treat to come to Ultra Chile and soak in the festival experience again. My mate and I had a great time, enjoyed the food (shoutout to Papa John’s), the Gin Tonics, and the feel-good atmosphere. For now, be right back, I’ll be listening to Kasablanca!

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The post [EVENT REVIEW] Ultra Chile Returns After Nearly A Decade, And In Full Force Too appeared first on EDMTunes.

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By: Felipe Latorre Cabello
Title: [EVENT REVIEW] Ultra Chile Returns After Nearly A Decade, And In Full Force Too
Sourced From: www.edmtunes.com/2024/04/event-review-ultra-chile/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=event-review-ultra-chile
Published Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2024 18:43:56 +0000

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Adriatique’s ‘Beyond Us’ (Hatshepsut Version Alex Wann Remix) Is a Mystical Voyage

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As time goes by, some songs become timeless classics. Even more when artists reimagine different emotions and moods. This is the case with Eynka‘s ‘Beyond Us‘. It wasn’t long until Swiss Electronic duo Adriatique made their own renditions of the track. They amped it up a notch when they immortalized their rendition at the Hatshepsut Temple in Egypt last year for Cercle. Finally, we’re delighted to get an even more magical version of the track, brought to you by Deep House Parisian Icon Alex Wann.

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A post shared by Alex Wann (@alexwannmusic)

‘Beyond Us’ (Hatshepsut Version Alex Wann Remix)

How do you remaster and refresh a track that has so much influence and power, you may ask? Well, it seems like Alex Wann found the right formula for his ‘Beyond Us’ remix. From Eynka’s melodic touch, to Adriatique’s deeper and darker undertones, Wann manages to deliver an ethereal track with powerful afro elements. The percussion calls out to your ancestors, and the groove represents the vast deserts phenomenally. After a successful run with his Kelis’ ‘Milkshake’ Remix, the producer continues to influence the world around him.

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A star in the rise, Alex has received the support from House legends Keinemusik, Pete Tong, Swedish House Mafia, Diplo, and Blond:ish. This remix furtherly proves his ability to produce with different elements and styles, such as Adriatique’s unique sounds. Earlier this year he embarked in a North American tour, visiting major musical capitals such as Miami, New York, Toronto, San Francisco, and Montreal. Next Up, Alex Wann will make his rounds around Ibiza, Milan, Dubai, and La Bourget.

Watch out for Alex Wann this summer! He will most likely reign supreme with this delicious version of ‘Beyond Us’.

The post Adriatique’s ‘Beyond Us’ (Hatshepsut Version Alex Wann Remix) Is a Mystical Voyage appeared first on EDMTunes.

—————————–

By: Jay Seabrook
Title: Adriatique’s ‘Beyond Us’ (Hatshepsut Version Alex Wann Remix) Is a Mystical Voyage
Sourced From: www.edmtunes.com/2024/04/adriatique-beyond-us-hatshepsut-version-alex-wann-remix-is-a-mystical-voyage/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=adriatique-beyond-us-hatshepsut-version-alex-wann-remix-is-a-mystical-voyage
Published Date: Mon, 29 Apr 2024 01:18:32 +0000

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