Although the coffin dance meme took it to the mainstream over the past few weeks, the original track is far from new, celebrating its 10-year anniversary.
Tony Igy is one of those artists that has a whole lot more than first meets the eye. Born in Kamensk, Russia, Anton Igumnov took his first steps in music in high school, purely due to the fact that he was bored and had nothing better to do. So, he grabbed a simple children’s keyboard he had laying around and taught himself how to play the melodies that popped in his mind, inspired by his idols at the time, The Prodigy.
After learning that his neighbor had a synthesizer, Tony paid them a visit and played around with it. Strangely enough, the whole process felt natural to Anton and in just a couple of minutes he managed to write an entire melody, backed up by knuckle percussion on the desk. He borrowed the synthesizer and never left its side, writing music all day, as much as he could. Now a self-taught musician, Tony’s story was just starting though, and in 2006 came his first hit: Pentagramma.
It featured the now familiar synth that has found its way into some of Tony’s early tracks, and turned Pentagramma into a Russian-wide anthem, giving him a cult following in his home country. Tony had achieved the big leagues, but that didn’t stop him. He kept on trying in new genres such as trance, electro house and big beat, with releases such as Go Away, Summer Rain and Fans. Tony even did a Drum n’ Bass bootleg of Phil Collins’ In the Air Tonight, which now, in retrospective, sounds like a T-Rex munching on large rocks.
But then, on the 28th of April 2010, Anton’s life changed forever. He unleashed Astronomia onto the public, a track that would define an entire generation, featuring booming kicks, catchy rhythmic percussion and the now iconic basic saw-driven lead. This took Tony’s career to the next level: for the first time, his music was being played in radios not just in Russia, but worldwide, topping charts and racking up awards. Tony had done it, he had risen from a humble self-taught musician with no training to inspiring others with his work and etching Astronomiaa and his own name in the annals of dance music history.
But you know what they say: the higher you climb, the bigger the fall. Such was Astronomia’s success that it started being plagiarized and straight up copied by several other “artists”. Some tried to add vocals on top to make it commercially profitable, others took the melody and ripped it off entirely. There were even some who just claimed the track was theirs, and not Tony’s, involving him in several battles to claim the “birthright” that was only his to take, and that Tony managed to keep intact all these years.
This, however, didn’t stop DJs/producers of revamping Tony’s classic, sparking a slur of remixes, bootlegs, edits and mashups in several realms of dance music: from trance, to hardstyle, to big room, to Brazilian bass, psytrance, trap, and much more, the legacy of Tony’s original idea and its simplicity has been carried over a span of exactly 10 years. Arguably, the most famous version is Vicetone’s take – released in 2014 – where the progressive house masters breathed a more modern approach and punchiness into Astronomia, whilst respecting the soul of the original track. This year, Astronomia found itself in the center of the highest honor possible on the internet: it became a meme, rising to popularity and charts once more as the “Coffin Dance Anthem”, thanks also in part to the growing popularity of TikTok.
Now, you might ask: “what about Tony? What is he doing nowadays”? Well, Tony is still following his passion, releasing quality music regularly and gracing our ears. And although none of his other tracks has reached the level of success that Astronomia has, it hasn’t stopped him from experimenting and playing with his production skills. He just released his own remake of Pentagramma, reprocessing it and bringing it to 2020 levels of sound quality.
From a smash Russian hit, to worldwide success, to a generation-defining track, to meme status, Astronomia’s story has been rich and diverse, going through its highs and lows over the last 10 years. It is still far from over though: as long as a single person still remembers the melody, Astronomia will never die.
Give Tony a follow on his socials here, and check out his latest single below!