Collaborations in music today are so commonplace that almost nothing comes as a surprise anymore. If Garth Brooks teamed up with Wolfgang Gartner, I’m not sure I’d even even bat an eyelash. And to me, anyway, that’s a positive. Bringing together vastly different sounds and genres in unlikely combinations can leading to something unique. The results may be awful, interesting, strange, enticing or immaculate — and sometimes all of the above.
EDM really seems to lead the way when it comes to collaborations. Maybe it’s the big role that festivals play in the genre. These gatherings are about more than just celebrating the music: they give artists a chance for artists to catch up, listen and share their new sounds.
All of which brings us to the mysterious new duo known as Dog Blood.
Rumour has it that Dog Blood is actually a collaboration between heavy hitters Skrillex and Boys Noize. I’m inclined to believe it. Why? Well, their debut release “Next Order” comes to us via OWSLA and Boysnoize Records — so that’s, you know, a little bit of a hint. Many of my industry friends and fellow bloggers are certainly convinced it’s them. And frankly, this teaser sounds exactly the way you’d expect a Skrillex/Boys Noizes superhero team-up to sound.
Now, say what you want about Skrillex (and many people do). But the superiority of Boys Noize is not up for debate. He reinvents himself, disappears, and then reinvents himself again — the perfect artist’s template, in my mind. This project sounds tight, so let’s hope we hear more. Lots more.
In football terms, Group 2 is the UEFA EURO 2012 tournament’s “group of death,” home to global powerhouses Holland, Germany, Portugal and Denmark. In EDM terms, too, this is an impressive stable — but not quite so evenly balanced. While Portugal has a lively, up-and-coming scene and Copenhagen is known to throw down some of the best dubstep concerts, neither can match the firepower of the Dutch and German camps. Let’s break it down.
Netherlands – Nicky Romero
The Oranje. Total Football. Clockwork Orange. The Dutch have, by far, the greatest collection of offensive players in the tournament — the kind of goal-scoring talents that bring the masses to the stadiums. In the EDM arena, meanwhile, the country fields a similarly formidable team. Just think on these names: Sander van Doorn, Laidback Luke,Afrojack, Sidney Samson, Fedde Le Grand, Hardwell, R3hab, Bingo Players — not to mention the former DJ Mag Top 100 winners Tiësto and Armin van Buuren. That’s one hell of a starting squad. Still, for my money it’s the kid from Amerongen, Nicky Romero, who’s the talent to watch right now. Blending the familiar Dutch and Swedish sounds, he seems to have found a foolproof way to make hits. Heavily respected in the game, as evidenced by his collaborations with David Guetta and most of the DJs on the list above, Nicky Romero is the Robin Van Persie of this tournament: coming off his best year yet, hungry and embarrassingly talented.
Germany is stacked: ATB, Paul van Dyk, Moguai, Cosmic Gate, Digitalism and Kris Menace — all household names in the EDM world. But there’s one young man from Hamburg who stands out from the pack. Alex Ridha, a.k.a. Boys Noize, has redefined techno — not just with his own innovation in the studio, but through his label Boysnoize Records (BNR), which can boast some of the biggest releases of the past five years. The one thing always synonomous with the German team is clinical finishing; the same can be justly said for this man.
Quick shout-out to Donna Summer: here’s an amazing tribute Boys Noize did for the late, great disco queen!
Style and flair. The Portuguese, much like their Brazilian brethren, are admired not just for their talent and skill, but for the elegance of their play. Fitting, then, that we should choose Buraka Som Sistema to carry the flag for Portugal in bpm:tv’s EDM Euro Cup. The group that messed with African kuduro so thoroughly that they ended up creating “progressive kudoro” is an act you don’t want to miss. While the Portuguese squad boasts boasts Cristiano Ronaldo, arguably the best player in the tournament, BSS boasts “Up All Night,” arguably the best song out there right now. Never underestimate the Portuguese. Por-Tu-GAL!
It may not be known as a hotbed for house music, but Denmark still boasts an impressive lineup of performers. Trentemoller, Daniel Kandi, Kid Massive and Noir are all the kind of big names you’re likely to see at any festival as an opening act on the main stage. But it’s Medina I’ve chosen to represent the Danes. Maybe, as a Canadian, I’m swayed by her Deadmau5 connection. But there’s just something about this woman’s angelic voice over progressive house chords that gets me every time. It’s always a treat to hear a brand new Medina track, and to look forward to what creative remixers will do once they get their hands on those vocals. Some forget that the Danes have been winners of the Euro tournament before. They may well be poised to strike gold once again — just as Medina did with “You and I.”
Last week Vegas got to me. There was no time to get to my computer, let alone sleep. But with great privilege comes great responsibility. The good news about my adventure last week is that I got to see some sick DJs play brand new tunez. And therein lies my responsibility: to relay these hot tracks to you while they’re still poppin’ fresh. Let the baton passing begin.
This week brought a double dose from Montreal hit men Adventure Club. One track takes the vocals from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs‘ “Maps” and chops it up quite nice, while the other is the background sound for the new Krewella track. Both go hard. Both are free.
The next comes from Ado. Part of the Blood Music stable, he has switched teams to Twin Turbo for the release of Pressure. This new EP is full of raunchy electro techno that will keep you up all night — but it’s the track “Right On” that has me on the edge of my seat. Worth the purchase all on its own. You can get it on Beatport HERE.
The latest Boysnoize Records release is exactly what you’d expect from BNR: innovative, different and completely mental. Les Petits Pilous always seem to find a sound nobody is messing with. You might not like it at first, but like a fine wine…
And speaking of Boys Noize, I have an absolute gem from him right hurrrr. He has created a four-minute tribute to Donna Summer, in a style I could only describe as: washy flossy techno. I think it’s absolute fire. Perfect for your next party!
Shook, possibly the coolest cat in the game, has released a track that lives up to his reputation as one smooth hustler. If you got the one you’re crushing on in the car, this is the tune your mojo is dying for you to play.
Sticking with that sexy vibe, we got something here from two of the most soulful artists in the game. Ellie Goulding takes on The Weeknd‘s humungous banger “High for This” and puts her own adorable touch on it, while Xaphoon Jones from Chiddy Bang gives her a different beat to play with. Together, they come up with something simply breathtaking.
Get used to this one. Avicii gives away a brand new track as a thank you to his fans for hitting 2 million likes. Hate if you want, but there’s a good reason Avicii is maybe the second or third biggest name in EDM — and this song is living proof.
Speaking of big name DJs: Afrojack has taken on a classic and given it his trademark electro touch. I’m always a little hesitant when I hear a Michael Jackson track remixed, and to be honest I’m not 100 percent on board with this one. But decide on your own — you may well find yourself giving it more than one listen.
This song has been remixed, like … what? A million times? Hip-hop, rock, dance — it doesn’t matter, the strings in Phantom of the Opera have been tried and tested. Many times the result have been indifferent, but this time it’s done right. It feels like Ryan Enzed makes music every second of his existence. And why not, right?
Aaaaaaaand … I’ll stop there. Be sure to check in next week. In honor of UEFA EURO 2012 kicking off in Ukraine and Poland on June 8, I’ll be breaking down group by group, country by country. Soccer, you say?!? No, amigo … we’re going EDM with this. We’re going to take a look not at the footballing ability of the competing countries, but their music-making ability. Sweden, Spain, Italy, England, France, Germany, Netherlands — all home to heavy-hitting, world renowned DJs. To say nothing of Ireland, Portugal, Croatia, Denmark, Russia, Greece, Czech Rep, and Poland — all with hidden gems of their own, all capable of competing with the big boys.
So grab your flag and lift it high — cuz bpm:tv presents The real Euro 2012!
We’ve seen it many times, and in many different worlds. What happens when you take two elements in top form, and combine them? The outcome isn’t always remarkable, but it’s usually at least … memorable. Though Lebron James and D-Wade didn’t win a championship last year, they came pretty close and were hands-down the highlight of the NBA season. I mean, if you had a chance to see any Raptors game last year, who would you want them to be playing? But I digress. Gretzky and Messier? The perfect pair. Some would say one was never as good without the other, but that can only be left to the daydreamers. Music-wise R. Kelly and Jay-Z tried it out, to a lukewarm response from music fans. But when Jay and Kanye linked up last year, they hit it out of the park.
So why am I wasting my time talking about these duos from the past? Easy: today I’m dropping you the new EP from Handbraekes. And just who are Handbraekes? They’re the EDM world’s newest and illest duo: a Marvel Comics-worthy superhero team-up of the German master of sound, Boys Noize, and Parisian trendsetter Mr. Ozio. Together they braek hands.
The release of the self-titled EP is scheduled for February 6 through Boysnoize Records. Based on an early listen, it has exactly the creativity and originality you’d expect from these two artists. Four tracks — each with a different style, but all with the same energy. In the past I’ve found that both of these artists can sometimes get lost in their tracks and go to places I can’t follow — an impression that’s been dispelled somewhat by seeing them live. Parts of a couple tracks here give me that same feeling, but I find myself too hooked to turn them off. Something’s working to make this EP truly addictive. Give it a try and find out for yourself!