The festivities start at 10 pm and continue until closing. Want to get in free? All you’ve got to do is arrive between 10 pm and 11 pm, say “I’m on the GRAND BENDERS guest list” when you get to the door. Simple, no.
GRAND BENDERS guest star DJ Amy Elizabeth will be on the decks. Check out her FACEBOOK PAGE.
Don’t forget: The GRAND BENDERS world television premiere on bpm:tv is just eight days away. The original five-part docu-soap series airs Tuesdays, starting May 8, at 9 pm ET/PT, and will repeat Saturdays at 7 pm ET/PT.
Mondays seem made for podcasts and sets. I mean, it can’t be bangers all the time, right? Sometimes you just need the kind of extended, hour-plus mix that lets you vibe out while the randomness of life unfolds before your eyes. Admittedly, for those of us with musical ADD it can be hard to sit without touching your iPod for while someone else controls your playlist. But there’s a yin to that yang: when you cede control for a bit, sometimes you find hidden gems that you wouldn’t have discovered on your own. And isn’t that what we’re all about here?
Insert Kaskade. Already, Coachella 2012 is fading into a slideshow of distant recollections: Hasselhoff’s wardrobe choices, the amazing-looking girls and the appearance of Tupac’s ghost. But there’s one performance that won’t be forgotten. I’ve heard countless sources attest that Kaskade’s set was one for the ages. Like it or not, this man is becoming North America’s answer to David Guetta — and this set stands as the proof. If you couldn’t make it to Indio yourself, you’ll want to give this a listen. Tell your grandchildren where you were when you heard this.
Close your eyes and imagine being in the valley. Happy Monday.
Wow — feels like we haven’t had a Sweets for quite some time. First there was the whole Coachella thing, and then last week was a bit of a write-off. Time to get back into it! I’ve got a lot to catch up on, but only the newest for you. Leh-go!
Start off with a heater. Designer Drugs have been informating us for quite some time, via Twitter and Facebook, that PLS DNT STP drop some of the hardest tunez out there. So what could be better than PLS DNT STP dropping an original remix over one of DD’s bangers. This track is an anthem!
Blood Music‘s LeBreton is back at it again with his new EP Steam. Only two tracks but both of them are fresh to death. Steam chains you up in that Blood Music dungeon with maxed-out bass and a classic clap that will gnaw away at your soul. You know, in a good way. Pick it up!
Deadmau5 seems to be finding his rhythm. It have something to do with the fact that his condo is finally finished and he’s officially moved into a place that contains not only a state-of-the-art studio, but also thousands of stuffed mice. Whatever it is, the music seems to be getting better and better. This is spankin’ new and hot hot hot. Enjoy!
Judging by the SoundCloud upload date, it would appear that I’m quite tardy on this one. But what the hey — I love a good deep club sound. Maya Jane Coles goes completely old school Chicago on this one, giving me a warm feeling in my special places.
Flosstradamus seem to be having a moment just now. I know that sounds outrageous to some, as they’ve been dropping bangers for a while. But it does appear that a wider public is now embracing the duo from the Windy City, and that’s nothing but good news for Floss fans everywhere.
Finalement, a brand new 50-minute mix from our favourite Frenchman, Gesaffelstein. This might sound a little off-the-wall to those of you more used to traditional EDM, but variety is the spice of life, n’est-ce pas?
This seems a proper time to pay tribute to Germany. With the UEFA Champions League final — the “Super Bowl of Soccer” — slated for May 19 in Munich at the jaw-dropping/awe-inspiring Allianz Arena, it was always going to be a special time for the country. That the home team has surpassed all expectations by miraculously making it to the final – a first in the history of the competition — just makes it all the sweeter.
Meanwhile, in the competitive arena that concerns this blog, Germany current runs neck-and-neck with Sweden in terms of exporting EDM talent to the world: Moguai, Digitalism, Cosmic Gate, and Zedd — these are just a few of the German artists you’ll find ensconced in the top tier of electronic music’s own champions league.
And let’s not forget the Godfather of German dance. Grammy winner Paul van Dyk has managed to maintain household name status — in EDM-friendly households, at least — for a decade-plus. That alone is enough to certify him as a legend. And his new album, Evolution, finds him re-creating himself, with a sound that’s current, fresh and unique. Forget legend — try icon.
I’ll zero in on the tracks I’ve enjoyed. In fairness, though, they’re all really meant to be heard at a Bal en Blanc type of festival with thousands of other people all tuned in to the same vibe you’re on.
* Symmetries stands out for me because its 130-ish bpm tempo sets the standard for an album that is clearly made for dancing. So often, trance albums have … well, let’s call it a Cinderella storybook type of sound. Great for those long walks through the enchanted forest, for sure. But those of us who live in real life in real time, a 10-minute ballad with two minutes of full-out kick, clap and snare is sometimes just … a little much. Now maybe that pegs me as less than a fully fledged trance fan in your eyes. I assure you, to the contrary, that I am — and that the kind of trance sound van Dyk experiments with on this album is precisely the kind I’ve most come to love.
* The Ocean is something special. A trance song with female vocals is usually only going to go as far as the songstress can take it. And Arty takes it all the way to the edge of the Pacific. (Barf in your mouth at the play on words, if you will, but there it is.) There are points in this song, at 0:45 and 3:13, when the filter really starts kicking in and you feel, in your bones, what trance is about. Cinderella storybook, but with a conscious beat. Hard to describe, easy to listen to.
* Verano is a big room anthem. I mean, f**k genre boundaries. van Dyk sees what’s good, wherever it is, and goes to there. This song sounds conjures up all that’s best about Avicii, yet it’s van Dyk all the way. Proof that this established artist is still perfectly happy playing around with new sounds. Credit must go to Austin Leeds, whom I’m sure helped with the “evolution” of this track. (See what I did there?)
* I Don’t Deserve You. OK, at first I thought this was going to be a trance version of Milhouse’s “Can I Borrow A Feeling” — basically a little melodramatic and over-the-top. But the beat van Dyk lays down really throws the vocal and the vulnerability of the lyrics into sharp relief. You’re the first face that I see and the last thing I think about. I think we’ve all been there.
* Lost in Berlin. Simply put, the kind of EDM track I love. In your face from start to finish, all style and flair. Catch me dancing to this at 4am like it’s noon.
* Rock This. Now, just wait a bloodclot minute! Isn’t this supposed to be a trance album? You know, all flowers and rainbows and shooting stars and s**t? Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, man. Mr. van D goes for some glitchy, amped-up electrofunk on this one, creating the biggest drop on the album. Go on, rudebwoi!
* All the Way. Hmmm. Now, this song bit me on the ass the minute I pressed play. Something sounds awfully familiar, though. I’m getting a “Mason-Exceeder” feel — but the way van Dyk plays with the sound is so original that I say what the hell: bump it!
* If You Want My Love. Saving the best for last. It might sound pedestrian to some, but for me this jumps off the Pioneers for me. As in: potential top 40 classic. Or at least prime — and I mean PRIME — remix material. Give it a shot!
van Dyk has really experimented with an array of styles and sounds on this stellar collection. Albums really seem to be making a comeback in EDM right now, and when you see iconic artists like Paul van Dyk and Cosmic Gate at the forefront of this revolution, it gives you faith that we’re in for a good run in these next few years. No question: this is Germany’s moment.
Everybody’s favourite Swede, Tim Bergling (a.k.a. Tim Berg, a.k.a. Avicii) is back with some stellar visuals to accompany “Silhouettes” — perfect for those of us who just can’t get enough of those club lights. This is one of his lesser-loved tracks (if such a thing even exists), but I have the feeling it will pick up a lot of steam on the strength of the video.
This isn’t the only happy news from Avicii today: he’s released the listings for his Le7els tour. Hello Quebec City, Montreal, Saskatoon and Calgary! If you live in one of these cities, be sure to take this opportunity to check out young Timothy!
Avicii – Le7els Tour: DATES
* May 17 — Houston, TX @ Reliant Arena
* May 18 — Fort Worth, TX @ Fort Worth Convention Center
* May 20 — New Orleans, LA @ UNO Lakefront Arena
* May 22 — Detroit, MI @ Joe Louis Arena
* May 24 – Kansas City, MO @ Sprint Center
* May 25 – St. Louis, MO @ Chaifetz Arena
* May 26 – Minneapolis, MN @ Target Center
* May 27 – Winnipeg, MB @ MTS Centre
* June 6 – Atlanta, GA @ The Arena At Gwinnett Center
* June 7 – Tampa, FL @ Tampa Bay Times Forum
* June 8 – Miami, FL @ AmericanAirlines Arena
* June 14 – Pittsburgh, PA @ CONSOL Energy Center
* June 15 – Boston, MA @ TD Garden
* June 20 – Buffalo, NY @ First Niagara Center
* June 21 – Quebec City, QB @ Colisee Pepsi
* June 22 – Montreal, QB @ Bell Centre
* June 26 — Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre
* June 28 – San Francisco, CA @ Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
Released just two weeks ago on Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak label, Datsik‘s album Vitamin D is the banger his followers were primed for. The B.C. artist has described dubstep as “totally the punk rock of electronic music,” and on this debut LP he explores his limits, merging a wide range of musical inspirations — most notably Wu-Tang Clan and its MVPs RZA and Method Man. The album definitely captures something of the spirit of Wu-Tang, with its ominous, futuristic sound and gangster vibe.
My personal favourite here has to be “Complete Control” — but the whole of the album is a dark, euphonious mental roller coaster ride. Let’s break it down:
1. “Annihilate” – Definitely a track to entice the listener into playing the entire album. A perfect introduction to Vitamin D’s diversity of dark and captivating sounds.
2. “Fully Blown” (feat. Snak the Ripper) – Here, Datsik displays his affinity for hip-hop. He wastes no time on this one, jumping right in, without any buildup at all, and enlisting Snak The Ripper to provide some heavy-duty rap vocals.
3. “Syndrome” (with Downlink) – This track starts off with a classical vibe, then drops in some overwhelming bass. For me, it’s a standout for merging two such seemingly incompatible genres with surprising artfulness.
4. “Bonafide Hustler” – It’s almost like a biographical anthem for Datsik, the quintessential dubstep hustler. The sound is grimy yet cutting edge, pretty much ensuring that this will be a “bonafide” banger in the clubs and on the airwaves.
5. “Evilution” (with Infected Mushrooms & Jonathan Davis) – A collaboration with trip-hop duo Erez Eisen and Amit Duvdevani (a.k.a. Infected Mushroom) and Korn lead vocalist Jonathan Davis results in psychedelic/trance/electronic rock track that opens the darkest corners of the musical mind. I pressed replay more than a few times — as will you. It’s one of those tracks that invades the mind and refuses to leave.
6. “Need You” – This one sounds a bit like a mash-up of music and sound effects from old arcade games. It creates a certain musical clutter in the mind (a bit of everything all over the place) — but isn’t that what dubstep is? Mashed-up, unpredictable and a bit cluttered (in a good way)?
7. “Don’t Feel Right” – Here he starts with a playful electronic rhythm, then shifts into memorable sample from Shakedown‘s 2002 hit “At Night,” and from there into an overpoweringly grimy sound. Quite the mash-up, but definitely worth a replay or two.
8. “Light The Fuse” – A track with a very catchy, bob-your-head-along kind of kick to it. Dubstep usually conjures a dirty, borderline-rebellious feeling for me, but this one put me on a playground playing hopscotch — at least until it reached the 1:09 mark and it took on a different spin: grimy, anarchic and overpowering.
9. “Complete Control” – A fitting title for this superlative banger. With everything from intriguing build-ups to filthy drops, it takes you on a dark, fantastical. I put this one on repeat, letting Datsik take “complete control” of my mind.
10. “Punisher” (with Downlink) – Okay, the build-up was a little irritating, but the drop won back my attention. A daring, musically capricious piece of production that I can see entrancing listeners, whether on the dancefloor or chilling with headphones in the “grimy” comfort of one’s home.
11 “Napalm” (feat. Masinian) – The opening recalls the start of Skrillex‘s “First Year of (Equinox),” until the rap vocals swoop in and ambush the listener. Can’t say I was a big fan of this track or came away from it feeling the urge to press replay. But it does offer a unique sound.
12. “Double Trouble” (with DJ Z-Trip) – “We came here tonight to get started.” Except it kinda felt like it was taking a bit long to start. Still, once it revs up, this one repays your patience. A suitably filthy track from one of Canada’s brightest young bass music stars, this does what every good album-closer should: leaves the listener eager for more.
Gosia Mrugala is a Toronto-based blogger and reviewer. You can read her blog HERE, and follow her on Twitter HERE.
Flux Pavilion is dirty. Stinky stanky dirty when it comes to creating that bass sound we’ve come to love. So when you get a chance to listen to Joshua Steele sit down for two hours and drop some of the songs that inspire him, you listen. No, scratch that: you download asap. This is Josh’s Essential Mix for the BBC Radio 1 series, and it’s something special: basically, a dive deep into the history of Circus Records, a label that has led the way in showcasing innovative new music. A perfect listen for a Monday, and I strongly advise you to give it a run-through. Class, my friends, is in session.
Happy weekend, bpm Nation. Say hello to our most favourite new thing — and maybe yours, too. Morgan Page, our man-crush of the moment, has remixed the single “Leave The Lights On” by up-and-coming L.A. indie-pop singer-songwriter Meiko, and it’s pretty epic. This goes on our summer playlist, right alongside Morgan’s Tegan and Sara collab, “Body Work.”
We’ve put it up on our SoundCloud for you to give a listen. If you’re into it, head on over to Meiko’s Web site, where it’s available as a FREE DOWNLOAD.
Meiko describes herself on her site as a “Singer, Songwriter, Shit Talker, Lover, Fighter, Over User of The Word ‘Balls,’” which kind of makes us love her. Her sophomore album The Bright Side is due out May 15 from Fantasy/Concord Music Group. She had a big hit with the 2008 single “Boys With Girlfriends,” off her self-titled debut LP, and if you watch Grey’s Anatomy, Pretty Little Liars or The Vampire Diaires, then you’ve probably heard her stuff. You can check out the original version of “Leave The Lights On” here:
The fun does not stop after 4/20. And what better way is there to chill after 4/20 than to hang in a record store buying up some rare vinyl? This year Record Store Day is 4/21 and it’s the one day of the year when you can buy limited edition records along with that warm and fuzzy feeling for supporting a local business.
Lately we’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about Canadian artist Datsik and his debut album on Steve Aoki‘s powerhouse label Dim Mak. Now, those of us who live and breathe bass go to sleep at night grinding our teeth at the thought that Datsik isn’t already crazy famous. Sad to say, there are lost souls out there who don’t eat bass for breakfast — and it takes a special kind of sound to get these folks sitting up and really taking notice of bass.
Datsik has that sound.
This B.C. native has been ripping up dancefloors for a while now with his patented mixture of glitch, synth and bass, and his followers now are growing in number. For the past three months, I’ve been raving like a madman about “Lightspeed,” his collaboration with Kill the Noise. At an astonishing 128 bpm, it’s the absolute Platonic ideal of a bass track.
And then there’s “Fully Blown,” his track with Snak the Ripper. It’s got a sound that is recognizably Canadian: grimy in every sense of the word, and blending rap and bass with a facility matched only by fellow Canucks Zeds Dead.
While “Fully Blown” is very slightly dated, there’s a great reason to be checking it out now: the ever-innovative minds at Dim Mak recently ran a contest to see who could come up with the best remix of the track. These are some of the top dogs: