If tonight’s Richie Hawtin profile on bpm Spotlight has you jonesing to hear more of his stuff — a lot more — then a solution is at hand.
Arkives 1993-2010 is a frighteningly comprehensive box set assembling the entirety of the Detroit techno innovator’s immense output under the Plastikman moniker. Available in various configurations, by pre-order only (from plastikman.com), the limited edition set includes 15 CDs, a DVD, digital downloads and a 100-page book. (There’s an “Analog” edition, too, that includes six vinyl records.)
Arkives is designed to be an instant collector’s item. According to plastikman.com, they’ll be manufacturing only as many copies as are pre-ordered. The latest word is that — after production delays occasioned by the last-minute discovery of some previously overlooked material — sets will start shipping at the end of April.
Music critic Greg Barbrick had a listen to the press sampler, and shares his thoughts here.
Presented by GEM, Embrace and Z103.5
Reviewed by Scott Willats
Is there any DJ in the world who has a following that can even come close to the masses Tiesto requires? If there is I have yet to see them. Weeks — and I’m talking almost 10 weeks in advance — people were not only talking about the Dutch Master but preparing to buy tickets to an event that was two weeks away from being available to purchase! No matter what would happen — I mean, Tiesto’s Pioneers could break for all anybody cared — the show was going to be a triumph.
Going to a Tiesto concert is like going to a Rolling Stones or U2 concert. It’s so much more than the music. It is an event. I can still remember the days when Tiesto would come to Toronto and play a club. A club!? Not even the capacity of Guvernment could hold this man anymore; he is simply bigger than his music. He is the Sidney Crosby, the Lebron James, the Lionel Messi. He is the Number One.
Before we talk Tiesto, we must first give a strong and healthy round of applause for North America’s number one prospect: Wolfgang Gartner. If you like electro … no, if you like house … no, if you like GOOD MUSIC, then you like Wolfgang Gartner. This. Man. Has. Skills! Earlier in the day I was lucky enough to sit with Gartner (look out for that on bpm Spotlight!) and talk a little about his North American tour. You could see in his eyes that this is his time. Gone was the predictable show with good cuts and precise mixes. We are now talking about entertainment at its finest. Lights fit for the Bloody Beetroots, a stage usually only seen at Mau5 shows and beats … oh my, beats that few, very few DJs could match. He killed the show.
I was running around trying to get five minutes with Tiesto, so I did miss some of his performance — but what I saw was special. The reason I speak so highly of this man is because he has something most artists lack: consistency. I’m being perfectly honest when I say I like every single one of his songs. Now, I like most electro, so I’m a tad biased. But I also appreciate top-class stuff, and this man has it all. His version of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony stopped the crowd in their tracks. The heavy violin pulsating through Ricoh Coliseum’s speakers: so dramatic, the bass line so heavy, and the response so necessary. “Illmerica” stepped up with its flirting strings “egging” the beat on. He bumped “Forever” with Will.i.am on the vocals, giving the crowd something to sing along with, and killed us with his best track at the moment, “Space Junk,” which is simply indescribable. All the while blessing us with songs we’ve not yet heard (look out for the album) in between his hits. Well done to the man from California, who is sure to be a household name very soon.
On to the entrée. I was wondering how Wolfgang Gartner could open for Tiesto — Tiesto being the absolute Godfather of Trance and Gartner such an electro-inspired artist. But no problem for the Dutchman, nothing lost in translation. It was funny, because when I got to talk to Tiesto I noticed that he didn’t like being referred to as a Trance DJ. He really doesn’t want to be pigeonholed in a genre. His show proved to me that he is on an adventure almost to redefine himself as an artist, as he ranged from his own classics all the way to dubstep tracks like the Skrillex remix of Benny Benassi‘s “Cinema.”
The crowd was young and energetic and fit the bill perfectly, but I noticed that a certain song almost went unnoticed: “Turn Up the Volume,” by Toronto’s own Autoerotique. (Btw, this is so far my choice for Video of the Year. Check it out here and support Canadian artists, my friends.) He also played two tracks featuring Martina Sorbara of Dragonette: Martin Solveig‘s “Hello” and Kaskade‘s “Fire In Your New Shoes.” And our Vancouver girls Tegan and Sara featured in his banger “Feel It In My Bones,” from his last album Kaleidoscope. A huge smile spread across my face to see Tiesto paying homage to our country. A class act by the man more than many regard as the BEST DJ EVER!
The concert was a triumph — and was it really ever going to be anything else? On a night when Boys Noize, Kaskade and Axwell were less than five minutes down the street, Tiesto’s turnout says no more about the man than we already knew. This is Tiesto’s world, and we are all lucky to be living in it.
Over on the L.A. Times music blog, Jeff Weiss talks up Bowser, the debut release on Alpha Pup Records from Angeleno beatmaker Jonwayne. The album’s trippy sound is described as “melding the smoke-scarred dizziness of [Intelligent Dance Music] with faded 16-bit videogame melodies.”
Weiss: “Hewing to an almost all-instrumental sample-free bent, Wayne splashes woozy synthesizer against tense tiptoeing drums. His goal is to conjure the pressure-wracked moments that preceded childhood video game victories — the heart palpitations that ensued when you finally reached the boss level, the soaring euphoria when you dispatched a giant animated Koopa that had an unnatural fixation for trapping princesses.”
Read the whole thing (and download an mp3) here.
More info from Alpha Pup here.
You’ll want to mosey on over to the Review section to check out Scott Willat ‘s eyewitness report on the Annie Mac show at Webster Hall in New York this past weekend.
Scott’s review features a thumbs-up for SAVOY, the up-and-coming Brooklyn-based electro-house trio that opened for Annie Mac. If you drop by SAVOY’s home page, you’ll find a totally excellent selection of recent tracks, including killer remixes of “Like a G6″ and — we couldn’t believe it, either — “Money For Nothing.” As in, we’ve got to move these refrigerators, we’ve got move these colour TVs.
Get on the N train. Off at 8th Street. Hit the pavement. NYU Hospitality, Soho Swag, welcome to Webster Hall, welcome to New York City.
The minute I arrived at Webster Hall for their latest version of “Girls & Boys” the city was talking to us. A couple of hipsters from the Lower East Side had raved that you will not see an electro genre show in a better place than Webster Hall. I told them it would be tough to impress a bpm:tv reviewer because we have access to the best concerts in the best venues. But he was sure I would leave tonight feeling a complete sweet sensation.
My newfound L.E.S friend said, “The key with Webster Hall is the three floors. If you’re a real electro fan you’ll eventually end up downstairs, no matter how good the DJ is on the main floor. Who are you guys planning on checking out? Oh, Annie Mac? Yeah, she might be the rare DJ to keep you satisfied on the main floor.”
You have no idea.
What can you say about Ms. Mac? Is the woman ever angry? Has she ever played a dated tune? Is she the most likeable personality in the house/electro scene? Whenever I look at Annie Mac, I think that she would make the most amazing best friend. Always friendly, always eager to hear new music, and always willing and wanting to share.
Before I get into the absolute phenomenon that was her show, I must give a very big shout-out to Savoy, who opened for her. Specific club DJs sometimes get overlooked, and I have to admit my anticipation to see Annie was so high that I didn’t think much of Savoy. But the Brooklyn DJ opened my eyes in a hurry with tunes like “Get Static,”, “Money for Nothing” and a track that I had to run backstage to find out what the name was: “Hella Good Remix.” A very talented DJ/producer with a great “big room” sound. Check him out here.
On to our main squeeze and her performance. The crowd — some of the most knowledgeable dubstep and drum ‘n’ bass fans I’ve seen in a while — were screaming for Mac the minute Savoy finished. Up comes the skinny, pale-faced, crazy-hair beauty, with an assortment of Heineken, water and juices to her right. She starts us off with Justice’s “Civilization,” and suddenly the atmosphere is just like the Adidas commercial that track features on: competitive. It feels like she wants to outdo each song with the next. The show felt like Friday night on BBC Radio 1: non-stop energy. Let’s be honest, though: the dubsteppers were in the building, and they were very pleased when she broke the floor with Rusko’s “Everyday.” Try and picture it: 3,000 in-your-face lunatics going nuts … and then pause. “The Sun is Shining Everday.” BAM! Skank and Stride with Your Screwface Pride, UGLY!
She’s unique because she doesn’t divide her sets with genres. She literally plays the next best song that matches the crowd’s energy. The Rusko chuune was very deep and massive, but the real highlight track of the night was Dr. Gonzo‘s “Springer.” If Dr. Gonzo doesn’t sound familiar to you, you’re not alone, it’s a new name for the all-star collaboration of Crookers, Wax Motif and Neocentric. “Bust Em Up” is their main release, but “Springer” might be bouncing and bumping its way across dancefloors all summer. You must check it out; just another gem in Ms. Mac’s arsenal.
The night became a blur after that. The combination of drum ‘n’ bass, electro and dubstep with a hint of reggae was so precise and so fine that only a skilled DJ could perfect this kind of set, and with such ease. She sent us home with a song she has been playing on a regular basis for the past two months on her show, Chase and Status’s “Blind Faith” — which if you haven’t heard yet, you can thank me later. Such a perfect song to exit on, it actually left me feeling sad. But there was nothing to cry about. Because just like the song screams, Annie Mac and Webster Hall gave me such a “sweet sensation.”
The new cut eliminates all the CGI global catastrophe stuff (our favourite part, but whatevs), placing the emphasis on La Brit’s energetic dance moves (and allowing way too much time to contemplate the ensemble’s Mad-Max-meets-German-leather-club outfits.)
So here’s a thought: Who cares if she used a body double in a few shots? It’s make-believe. Nobody expected James Franco to actually cut off his own arm in 127 Hours. (Though he probably would have, come to that.)
Check out the new version …
And the original …
No blog post on MWH would be complete, of course, without reference to the Renaissance Faire-ish video for “Safety Dance,” an important landmark in the gratuitous use of little people, jester outfits and pantaloons in late 20th century music videos.
Hello to all our Montreal peeps! Miss Raquel from electronica is going to be in your fair city for a special event this coming weekend. If you’d like to meet-and-greet, you can find her Saturday night, April 16, at Stereo Nightclub. (She may even have some bpm:tv swag to give away…)
Here’s the what and the wherefore:
D-Unity (Toronto, Canada) l Beat Therapy, Toolroom, Yoshitoshi, Stereo Productions, Ultra
To get on the guest list, just email firstname.lastname@example.org
Stereo Nightclub: 858 Ste Catherine E, Montreal QC, H2L 2E3
BEAT THERAPY RECORDS - https://www.facebook.com/beattherapyrecords
BEAT THERAPY RADIO - http://www.beattherapyrecords.com/radio.htm
See you on the dancefloor!
Miss Raquel hosts electronica on bpm:tv. Visit the show page here.
NEW FEATURE: MISS RAQUEL’S VIDEO PICK OF THE MONTH – CHECK IT OUT BELOW!
Charlie Sheen’s Social Media Intern Tiger Blood competition has been victoriously running for a month in search of the one who will keep Charlie Sheen “#winning” within our ever changing social media sphere.
I made it to round 3 where I had to answer one of three questions in becoming Charlie Sheen’s #TigerBloodIntern. It had to be two minutes or less and my answer had to be filmed.
I answered the question “In your opinion, what is the best company using social media today and why?”
I wasn’t in the 250 who made it, but I tried with all my tiger blood. And I will continue #winning in all I do! I wish all those in the running the best of luck! Go get ‘em Tiger!
I was a host of Columbian DJ/producer Mario Ochoa’s night with Evan G and Bassline Jack at Toronto’s fancy-pantsy Dolce. This was Evan G’s night as I felt he brought nice, bouncy and sexy beats to the dancefloor.
This is the first club I’ve been to that had washroom attendants who showed me to an available washroom. Upon first arriving at the washroom the door looks to be a glass window which you can see through. The attendant then told me to ensure I lock the door once I’m inside; by doing this the door’s once see-through glass turned into a frosted glass which was no longer see-through.
The washroom was so nice it was like being in my own. It had pictures on the wall, a stylish sink and white cloth towels. No paper brown towels or hand dryer here, only freshly white towels to dry my hands with. Not many venues can afford or would want to offer white towels that they would have to clean after every weekend.
I’ve hosted many events at many clubs but this one was my worst; I only had one person on my guestlist. I know why: my awesome peeps are more underground, don’t care for the VIP bull, and don’t mind brown paper towels.
The long-running Fabricated crew focuses on underground house, tech house, and techno events. Their Fabricated Fridays at Stone Lounge (located in Toronto’s Little Italy) is the perfect place to dance and for musical inspiration.
March they booked UK’s Neil Quigley with Fabricated resident Matt Coleridge. Quigley brought his brand of deep, tech house and ‘electronic house with soul’. If you missed him then you can hear him on his recent mix compilation for Renaissance.
Quigley’s early mixes were so revered that when one fell into the hands of John Digweed, the result was a residency alongside him at his world-famous Bedrock parties.
You definitely have to check a Fabricated party. And Stone Lounge plays electronica on occasion; after all, we shot the show there!
Follow me into the launch of DBR Recordings as I interview MC Flipside, Hatiras, Robb G and Nick Cenik.
Toute la Nuit l Overnight – Samedi 16 Avril l Saturday April 16
D-Unity (Toronto, Canada) / Beat Therapy, Toolroom, Yoshitoshi, Stereo Productions, Ultra, Armada
Stereo Nightclub 858 Ste Catherine E, Montreal, QC H2L 2E3
I’ll be in attendance at this great event at this fantastic nightclub! Be sure to come join me and say “HI”!
My monthly video picks are classic throwback to current vids which I find to be creative, unique, risqué, different — even sexy! Either way I find them to be great eye candy.
My March pick is a competitive 1997 throwback vid featuring Sofia Coppola: The Chemical Brothers, Electrobank (Virgin Music Canada)
See you on the dancefloor!