This is the kind of pad work I love to hear in my prog-lectro. The piano chords echo throughout the playful remix of Azealia Banks, giving her soaring vocals wings made of euphoric major chord energy. This two-drop track is going to be a summer standard, especially if it gets picked up for Ultra like I’m expecting. The breaks, especially the one at 3:40, bring some powerful low-end without overpowering your senses or getting too bro’y. While the era of big room is over, the world of big melodic, or the return of progressive, heralded by many, is seemingly upon us. Kudos to Apocalypto & Mr. Fluff for doing some great work on this remix and can’t wait to hear what they’ve got up their sleeves for when the winter thaw finally comes.
(This is a repost of my EDMTunes feature article about The Prodigy. Show them some love for giving me the platform to write about talent that either no one’s heard of yet, or no one cares about anymore. Here’s to hoping I’m right and The Prodigy remind everyone in 2015 why they’re the best at what they do. The Wolverine of the Main Stage as it were.)
We’re at the precipice of another major shift in EDM. No, it’s not big room finally dying, or progressive house returning to center stage. It’s a little more base, a little more primal than that. The Prodigy are releasing a new album, and with it, an entire industry will pivot, as they say it will “wipe the floor with dance djs.” It’s easy to forget how crucial The Prodigy is to American EDM. Whether they’re headlining Lollapalooza (1997), Coachella (back in 2002) or being one of the biggest acts to play Ultra Music Festival twice (2006 & 2009), all the way back when it was only a 1 Day/weekend festival, most DJs you hear today draw inspiration in one way or another to The Prodigy.
In case you need a refresher, The Prodigy was formed by Liam Howlett in 1990. Maxim & Keith Flint are two of the more visible faces of the group (the two guys yelling and having crazy body modification in every video). This group was one of the ones there, pretty much at the beginning. To note, MDMA had been illegal for less than 15 years when this group showed up on the burgeoning UK open air & warehouse rave scene. They pioneered a sound called “big beat” which is the genre you’re thinking of when you think of The Prodigy, Fatboy Slim, Chemical Brothers & even The Crystal Method. This hard-hitting, aggressive & at times, terrifying (especially if you lived in the UK/US suburbs) sound was essentially the brostep of the 90’s. This sound, roughly approximating the halfway point between a rave and a soccer riot, took the UK by storm. This early work didn’t make it over the pond, but as they got bigger, they moved decidedly toward the soccer riot end of the music spectrum.
1. How is 2014 ending out for you? Any crazy summer stories or projects started early on that are coming along nicely? I don’t even know where I could possibly begin. There’s so much going on right now, I have so much music about to come out. I have a television show in development with Red Bull, a lot of things.
Tonight, get your urban tribal jam pants on (I kind of want to know what those look like now). I’m bringing you everyone’s favorite electronic dance music equivalent of a soccer riot, The Prodigy. Warrior’s Dance is a song I’ve actually seen performed live, and trust me, it’s a weirdly exhilarating experience to mosh at Ultra Music Festival. Put the music into your face and then smash your enemies/to-do lists/workouts.
1. What does it feel like to be responsible for what hundreds of thousands of event attendees see for hours at a time every year? It’s a great feeling to have and with a lot of good energy, it’s enjoyable. It’s a group experience they’re all contributing to to make something special.
2. This may be too broad but, when a club kid sees what you’re able to do and likes it and wants to do it themselves, what advice would you give them about how to start? The best way to get started is to start experimenting with trial versions of performance software. There are trial versions of most commercial visual programs, with student discounts available as well. Plenty of opportunity to get your hands on the software & experiment with it. Get yourself a good laptop or desktop or whatever you can afford and start rocking. Continue reading
10/10 Would Troll Again. I can support DJs starting to actively troll dancefloors that expect silly ass moron-breaks like we’ve seen on the Beatport Top 10 the last year or so. Kudos to him. Can’t wait for this to become a thing. (Update: IT’S A THING! deadmau5 dropped the remix on the unsuspecting Ultra crowd after he replaced Avicii on the main stage.) Old McDonald Had A Party!
This is the declaration by the City of Miami that, in no uncertain terms, the second week of Ultra Music Festival is not going down. I think it’s kind of amazing that the city is contemplating being just like NO. And while there is definitely still time for palms to be greased, I severely doubt the situation is going to be cheered forward, especially with fewer than 3 months to go. The breakdown of DJs was never posted, but what strikes me was the weird lack of thinking on the part of the festival extenders. I’ve been to Ultra twice, once when it was a one day festival & once when it was a two day extravaganza. Either I’m getting older or the Red Bull is getting stronger, but the idea that people would just continue to kick it in Miami for the week then rock out again the next weekend exhausts me just thinking about it.
I think we can sometimes forget just how completely psychotic the amount of detritus, destruction and dumb-ass people an event the size of Ultra Music Festival generates. The systems created to deal with the people are masterful and work as well as they can for the generally understood “long weekend of shenanigans” that UMF generally inflicts. The Winter Music Festival is a much more polite affair, without so much of the explodey drunk of UMF. The amount of time/manpower/resources the city consumes to clean up the event must be enormous and I think they took one look at what not only the second weekend, but the incidental week of ridiculousness that was incoming between them, and went, oh HELL no.
But, so, you heard it here folks, as of now, Ultra Music Festival may be back to a one weekend affair. Any bets on whether this will change or not?