Decided to get a jump on the new year by shifting the schedule around yet again. Figured everyone can use a burst of new music Monday morning, so here it is folks.
Skrillex picked up Tennyson (previously mentioned on the blog here) and pulled together an amazing song & music video. While the song speaks for itself, the music video is truly out there. It’s almost as if Skrillex decided to round up a couple dozen street kids (are there even street kids anymore?) and throw an impromptu Christmas dinner for them. Which includes blowing up a car and liberal use of fire works. There’s something very raw to the emotion in the song and the video. I hope Skrillex is feeling loved and that he’s able to care for people this holiday season. He seems like a Peter Pan to OWSLA & Diplo’s Lost Boys. Though, that video looked hella dangerous to shoot.
What So Not is one of the production aliases that Flume takes part in, so keep an eye on it. TheGemini EP release is the closest we’re going to get to some new Flume before 2016, so check it out. The quintessential Future Bass groove is in full effect. Featured vocal work of KLP and the impressive, almost LA-infused bassline will keep your attention and grooving in your chair.
The new Wavewhore hit two weeks ago and I’m so glad I didn’t miss it. Classic breaks with modern production values, there’s a hipness to it that you can’t find with a lot of EDM. Breakbeat is the unsung hero of dance music, and artists like Wavewhore are keeping it going. The breakdown is heavy, synthy & almost too future. But, he brings it back for y’all and drops a “funky ass bassline” to quote the song itself. And, unlike a lot of music, the song is right!
V-Man made sure I didn’t miss this tune from a totally unknown producer named Egzod. It’s like a combination between a Souza march, a movie soundtrack and a festival set that involves a harpsichord & an orchestra. The Soundcloud has fewer than 650 followers, so let’s change that. The rest of their page is epic as well, so let’s thank Fresh New Tracks for the tip and blow up this producer’s page.
Funkerman’s Coming Home gets a fresh coat of paint from Crazibiza. Not only does Crazibiza win the contest for cleverest DJ/producer name of the month, it’s a dope tune. Funky house with no pretenses to any of that future garbage out there being pushed by overzealous younglings. The tune is catchy, jazzy and uses the vintage elements from Coming Home excellently. It’s a sunny little tune, kudos to CYFI Recordings for letting it fly.
(Super honored to bring you this chat I had with rising star DJ Alex Funk. If you were at Bonnaroo last year, you know what I mean.)
1. Headed back to Bonnaroo this year? What’s on tap for 2015? I have no idea, but if they want me, I’ll be there with bells on! At Bonnaroo 2014 – as an unlisted act – I built a crowd of 200-300 people into a crowd of 5000 two nights in a row during the my set on Friday night and my set on Saturday night on the Kalliope Stage (both recordings on my SoundCloud). Skrillex showed up on Saturday after his SuperJam, liked the party and asked if he could jump on. I was drenched in sweat and dead after two insane hours, so Skrillex and Mija (OWSLA) took over and it was the surprise – now infamous – Secret Skrillex Morning Party. (Check a clip from his stupid good Bonnaroo set below)
This winter I’m really focused on the NYC after-hours scene and production, production, production – there’s no real DJ career without original music. Definitely Burning Man 2015, where I’ll have a curatorial role besides DJing at several camps.
2. Now that you’ve performed in a number of different cities in the USA, do you have preferences? Do you think one city “gets it right?” Phoenix, AZ (period). They are totally open-minded to new sounds while giving tons of respect to the history of dance music. You can hear talented local DJs like Sean Watson, DJ Ascension, Steve Hill, etc and big touring acts like Diplo, Dillon Francis, Zedd, etc…All the pieces are there.
Most local party scenes are big on “personalities”…this is nothing worse for the music. Inevitably,when the popular kids are in the DJ booth and it just becomes selfie sticks and bad bootlegs. If you want great music, ask the music nerd, not the popular kid. Phoenix respects and elevates artistic talent over personality appeal. That’s what makes it a great scene.
Now that the big game is over and you’re wondering what’s going to entertain you until August, take some time to absorb some non-NFL related entertainment. In tonight’s case, check out this soulful D&B remix of Jack U’s insane Take U There track. The super group of diplo & Skrill is going to have a banner year and I’m so glad that other artists have gotten on the stick and started reworking the anthems Jack U is known for. Netsky’s one of my favorites, for this very reason. Taking the track, smoothing it out, while remaining true to the original, he still brings his signature d&b vibe to it. This is a dance track, but it’s not a track to RAGE to, like the original. This is more of a track to groove to. I know, it’s a subtle distinction. Check it out, and show both Jack U & Netsky some love.
(Check out this long-form opinion piece I dropped on EDMTunes this week. Give credit where credit is due and hit them up for all of the latest news & info on diplo. In addition to every other DJ ever of course.)
The EDM blogosphere has been obsessed with diplo’s latest “faux pas” this week, for possibly/maybe getting booed. He played Turn Down For What (a Billboard #4/#1 Dance Hit) at Robot Heart, a Burning Man camp/soundstage. Pulse Radio & Consequence of Sound were two of the first sites to break the story, which metastasized and quickly became the only thing dance music internet was talking about. A bunch of armchair DJs & bloggers gleefully complained about how diplo had no crowd sense, didn’t “get” Burning Man, had no idea what minimal tech house (the scene Robot Heart caters to) was, and on and on. By the time Burning Man attendees woke up in the default world Wednesday morning, the internet had exploded about this to the point that you could be convinced nothing else actually happened at Burning Man except Turn Down For What. While editors, bloggers and site admins high-fived each other for getting the scoop, the important people (i.e. the burners who were there, <insert famous person here>) offered commentary on why he did what he did. There’s a whole lot of meta-discussion about how this track selection was a mistake, which I find to be taken at this point, something just assumed. Like, OBVIOUSLY that wasn’t the correct choice. Frankly, the idea that this was a mistake is hilariously incorrect. Anyone making it clearly has no idea just how big diplo has gotten and how much of a social media master he’s become over the years.
Electric Zoo just can’t seem to catch a break this year. After the huge controversy over Camelbaks, the last day of the Zoo was cancelled after a brief rain delay. Your phone has probably blown up with flash flood warnings at least once today if you’ve been in the area, which shook the leadership of Made Event enough to shut it down. While the storm didn’t last very long, it was severe enough to scare the organizers. The attendees huddled in the tents to keep away from the thunderstorm, but there, it didn’t take long for the crowd to start to get agitated.
By around 5/530, with the rain seeming to taper off, Electric Zoo was cancelled. Kaskade, Netsky, Seven Lions, Skrillex/Diplo’s Jack U, Alesso, & Dash Berlin were slated to perform, with Myon & Shane 54 interrupted 25min into the set. The kids were greeted with a seriously disorganized departure plan from Electric Zoo, with shoeless ravers walking across the RFK Bridge to get home. While the ravers lamented the overall disappointing experience of the weekend, artists were struggling to either lift moods or find alternative gigs. While we’re not sure what’s going on this evening, it seems that most venues are going to be mobbed with eager ravers trying to make up for the lost day.
Even before the rain, there were reports of attendees passing out in line before even entering, with people waiting anywhere between 30min to over an hour to get in. Overall, with the reports of abuse by the NYPD streaming in & the terrible way the attendees, press and locals were treated, I’m going to be hard pressed to recommend EZoo as a destination. While we can all be thankful no one died this year, the way this has gone down will seriously damage the relationship Made Event has with its fans here in the tri-state area.
Super glad that I can bring this out to share for y’all. A bunch of my peeps at EDMTunes put together this fantastic 90min of dance music for you. New illness from The Chainsmokers, deep gorgeousness from Matt Lange off Anjunabeats, Bassnectar’s summer jam & 17 more tunes. From trap bangers to progressive anthems, if you want to know what Electric Zoo sounds like right now, you’d be hard pressed to find a better sampling of tunes that are big right now. Strong by Arno Cost & Shadow of the Sun’s Mako remix are highlights as well. Hit up EDMTunes and thank them for making this happen with Spinnin’ Records. Don’t worry, I’ll make sure you know when the next one comes out as well.
Over on Soundcloud, there’s the next session of InDeep. These cats are quickly becoming my go to source for deep, future, tech & “insert sub-genre of house here” house. The list comes in at a manageable 72min and with new Hot Since 82, Amtrac, a fun little snippet from Marcapasos, a FANTASTIC deep house remix of Bittersweet Symphony (must listen), a joint from Mixmag featuring Jody Wisternoff & a whole lot more. If the EDMTunes playlist is your Turn Down For What list, this is your grooving, deep dark set that happens later in the night. Or now while you’re walking around cleaning the house on the long weekend before shenanigans later. Or yachting, elephant polo’ing or jousting, whatever you’re into. The tunes are quality so enjoy the almost 3 hours of music between these two playlists and rock out your weekend!
I’ve backed off the motivational quotes lately because I didn’t want to be tossed into those wacky positivist blog clusters that the internet is building. However, this is a bit too close to home. Skrillex wasn’t even Skrillex when he started working on playing in front of thousands of people. Don’t stop doing what you love, no matter how crazy people think it is. This advice is invalid if you love anything terrible like child pornography or big room house.