RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest – Day 5 Report

July 15th, 2012

Posted by Caelin Meredith

Day 5 action on the RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest Electro Stage kicked off at 2 pm with a lineup that included Toronzo Cannon, Flight Distance, Lukas Nelson and Drastik (another Red Bull Thre3style finalist).

But it was local heroes A Tribe Called Red who really blew me away.

One of the benefits of a festival setting is the opportunity to discover an unknown act. Since hearing A Tribe Called Red perform live, I’ve become mildly obsessed, to the point of downloading their free album. For a taste of what these guys are like, CHECK OUT THEIR SOUNDCLOUD.

A Native Canadian trio, DJs  Bear Witness, Shub and NDN are into “mixing pow wow with contemporary club sounds,” as their Web site describes it — but that understates their impact. Performance-wise, they juxtapose politically charged visuals of First Nations culture against remixes of Adele and UK bass drops. All in all, a bass-heavy set with some truly organ-shifting moments.

“The set felt good, though very different from a club gig where you have four hours to get it going,” they told me afterward. Still, the crowd clearly appreciated their hard work. “The applause at the end was overwhelming; I had Goosebumps on my arms.”

On the other Bluesfest stages that day, the acts included Orgone

Down with Webster for the shrieking pre-teen set (a suitably PG-13 set with no thrown underwear) …

.. and Seal — who, for all his MOR rep, delivered an impressive performance and remixed a lot of his hits (but, thankfully, stayed true to “Crazy”).

Day 5 Electro Stage closer Chromeo turned in the BEST set I’ve heard all week — one that will go down as one of the standout performances of this festival. Sunday’s crowd showed no signs of fatigue and “raved” harder than previous nights.

Dave 1 and P-Thugg were generous in their selection and full-on with their performance, even coming around from behind the decks a few times to join the party. “When The Night Falls” and “Heads Will Roll” were big favorites, but it was the extended full mix of Duck Sauce’s “Big Bad Wolf,” with accompanying visuals, that had everyone jumping and howling.

Toward the last half-hour, the set shifted gears into “Ball So Hard” and a steady hip-hop interlude featuring the likes of Kanye, DJ Khaled and Rick Ross. It all wrapped up stunningly and had the crowd begging for an encore — a sentiment clearly appreciated by the band — but once again the strictly enforced injunction against music after 11 pm left those hopes dashed.

More Bluesfest Electro Stage recaps still to come …

 

Sweets of the Week – February 17

February 17th, 2012

Posted by Scott Willats

   

It’s Friday! TGIF! This weekend feels like one made for the inner socialite in all of us. Since the single people of the world had to endure the shame of being alone on Valentine’s Day, you can expect the clubs to be packed with people redoubling their search for Mr. or Ms. Right. And if that’s true, then the DJs best come correct with tunes to help you bolster the courage. On the other hand, if you’d prefere to keep it low-key with a house party or a small gathering, we’ve got you completely covered with this week’s best tracks. Have at it!


SWEETS

No hesitation about jumping into the warm waters with this one. Bingo Players have a banger with help from Heather Bright.

Bingo Players featuring Heather Bright – Don’t Blame The Party (Mode) (Adria Vila Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


From here on in let it be known: any new Kill The Noise release will immediately be posted. That is all.

Nero – Must Be The Feeling (Kill The Noise Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


I am definitely not one to highlight an artist in the aftermath of his or her death. That has to be said. However, I am one to highlight anything that features Chromeo. Whitney had what may have been one of the best voices in the history of time — so we can hope that, among the truckload of remixes that will be doubtless appear over the coming weeks, we get more gems like this.

The Hood Internet – When The Night Knows (Whitney Houston x Chromeo): LISTEN TO IT HERE


When I chatted with Chris Lake last year, all he could talk about was Tommy Trash. Tommy this and Tommy that … apparently he knew something the rest of us didn’t, cuz Tommy is killing it right now.

PNAU – Unite Us (Tommy Trash Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


A little R&B twist on this one. Nothing says Valentine’s Day like a good break-up song. This beat is good — almost too good. Don’t go too far to the dark side, Diplo!

Diplo – Climax: LISTEN TO IT HERE


Enough of that soft and slow s**t — let’s get into the nitty-gritty. If you hear this song at the venue tonight, grab him / or her / or both and get to it. Your choice.

Dilemn – Always Continue: LISTEN TO IT HERE


Why is it that Paris always seems to be two steps ahead of everything else happening in EDM? Who knows? But if you can’t beat em, join ‘em

The Mekanism – Can’t Believe (Mario Basanov remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


Last, our favourite dinos …

Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs - Tapes & Money [SoundCloud Edit]: LISTEN TO IT HERE


VISUAL SWEETS

AC Slater is Mr. Bass, and Mr. Bass is a joker. Here’s a little clip about his preparations for a tour Down Under, for all you kangaroos.


Sometimes proper remixes need proper visuals — as for example, Gingy & Bordello‘s reworking of ZZT‘s “Work.”


I love my job! Have a good weekend, you maniacs………..xx

 


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Artist Profile: A-Trak

February 9th, 2012

Posted by Scott Willats

To those who live elsewhere in our beautiful country, I owe an apology for continuing to focus on Toronto shows. I appreciate that not all parts of the country are lucky enough to get the best in EDM on a weekly basis. For that reason, I try to give you something fresh and unheard in my Friday and Monday posts. But when an artist of the calibre of A-Trak comes to town, there’s no hiding my pure, unadulterated enthusiasm! After all, this man and his brother are among the best electronic artists we Canucks have ever produced.

Tonight at The Hoxton, Toronto gets an up-close look at the prodigal son — a man who’s been a crucial part of our EDM culture and a pioneer in every sense of the word. Possibly Quebec’s finest export since Patrick Roy, Alain Macklovitch is primed to drop one of his unforgettable sets for those lucky enough to be in attendance.

So who is A-Trak? First off, play this …

Sébastien Tellier – Kilometer (A-Trak Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


All right, background music in place? Perfect. Now, back to the question.

Who is A-Trak. Well, for starters, he is half of the ever stylish and trendy Duck Sauce, in partnership with Armand Van Helden. They’ve taken the EDM world by storm, mixing disco, house, electro and hip-hop sounds — all in the same four bars. But funky, always funky.

A-Trak is also founder and CEO of Fool’s Gold Records, a label whose roster includes names like Kid Sister, Kid Cudi, Jokers of the Scene, LA Riots, Donnis, Lil B and so, so many more. Fools Gold also has one of the best websites for finding everything fly. Fresh is what this label is all about. With a singular ability to keep reinventing itself, it stands to become a name that will live in infamy.

Oh, and A-Trak is also is the younger brother of Chromeo vocalist David Macklovitch. So it’s eveident that music .. excuse me, good music, runs through this man’s veins.

To put it in a nutshell: A-Trak is a perfect example of Canada’s dominance in EDM. Loved by all his peers, with an impeccable ear that serves as a window into the sounds of the future. More than just a producer, more than just a DJ, A-Trak is an icon. Before he was making smash hits and touring the world, he was winning DJ competitions (Vestax, DMC and ITF). Not just winning them — absolutely killing them. And doing it at the tender age of 15. A-Trak is, simply put, ahead of his time.


Sure, we all love “Barbara Streisand,” and “Big Bad Wolf” has a cult following. But it’s the remixes that have won the hearts of the purists. Check out this Boys Noize remix — you can hear him taking elements from the track and make them his own, while keeping it all fresh and unique.

Boys Noize – Oh! (A-Trak Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


Then, of course, there are those remixes where he touches up the song ever so slightly, yet somehow turns it into a club banger. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs already had a killer track in “Heads will Roll,” but it’s A-Trak’s re-work that has kept it in the clubs right up to this moment. The track is perfect.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Heads Will Roll (A-Trak Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


Then, of course, there are his Fool’s Gold Radio mixes, which are a must-have every month for fans of any music.

Fool’s Gold Radio – January 2012 Mix: LISTEN TO IT HERE


I won’t sit here and write endless praise for A-Trak — I really don’t think I could fit all he deserves in the time allocated to finish this article. But I will say that this Montreal born, New York (BROOKLYN!!) based DJ is going to be be a major presence in the genre for a very, very long time. And here’s an important reason why: when he was touring as Kanye’s DJ, he could easilyhave put on his ego cape and snuffed the small crowds. He didn’t. After dropping hits with Duck Sauce, he could have shut down the radio mixes and started to charge people for them. He didn’t. Not his style. He remains behind the scenes, always listening for that next new sound.

Of course it doesn’t hurt to pop his head out occasionally — say, to grace the cover of Billboard alongside Mad Decent owner Diplo and DJ-in-demand Skrillex.

The other great thing about A-Trak, after all of that? He’s a Canadian, just like you and me. So what’s up?!?!

Dennis Ferrer tomorrow…………….c’mon son!

 


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Not Another London Bloke

October 18th, 2011

 

Posted by Scott Willats

We here at bpm:tv love EDM. The only thing we love more than EDM is Canadian EDM. Canada stands among the frontrunners with some of the best electro producers in the world. From big names like A-Trak and deadmau5 to up-and-comers like Poupon and Meech, Canada has the quality to rival any other nation in the EDM world.

Enter our newest gem: Overwerk. This London, Ontario prodigy is on point right now with his mix of remixes and originals. The man behind the alter ego is Edmond Huszar, and this kid is special. All of his beats create such a thick and heavy pulse, in the 126 to 132 bpm range: electro’s holy grail. However, he doesn’t let the bass and beat ryde — on every track he creates drops and climaxes to rival the heaviest hitters in the electro house game. Picture a cross between Porter Robinson with Mord Fustang, with the clean and polished product of Aeroplane. This kid is banging!

So with that little intro, lets jump into the tunes — which are free by the way (Gotta love the Canadian swag)!


Since I compared him to Mord Fustang, this seems like a good place to start. As you’re aware, Mr. Fustang has been somewhat the flavour of the last 6-10 months, and I have been shouting his praises. And before I make my next comment, let’s bear in mind that there is no remix without the original, and that Fustang has been on top of his game in creating a signature style. Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut, this track is heavy. Overwerk takes the original Magic Trooper and absolutely flips it on its head, yet keeps the original tempo intact. In bumps so precise, especially around the 2:45 mark, when the song just takes on a mind of its own and becomes greater and more powerful than the original. Enjoizzzzzzzzzoy!

Magic Trooper – OVERWERK Remix: LISTEN TO IT HERE


It’s not just remixes, either: he creates masterpieces of his own. The Nth ° is a track bursting with emotion, which becomes evident in the first two minutes. He gives the intro a sort of motion picture feel. Something out of an Eighties movie like Flight of the Navigator, but with more attitude. And then the chords come in, and it’s over.

OVERWERK - The Nth º (With Intro): LISTEN TO IT HERE


Lastly, and only because I can’t resist throwing one more into my post — entirely gratuitous, since I know you’ll want to check his entire SoundCloud collection — here’s the remix of Night by Night. Already an immaculate track on its own (with one of the best remixes brought to you by Skream), it’s a tough song for Edmond to make his own. But he pulls it off, creating something that isn’t out there. Keeps the melody feeling slow and sexy like the original — but the tempo goes up like a rocket. The anticipation at the beginning for the first drop is colossus in a cathedral. Ch-Ch-Check it out!

Chromeo – Night By Night (OVERWERK Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


Plenty of other tracks there for you to browse through: Space Junk, Midnight and Stop, Drop & Roll stand out for me — but to be honest, every one of his songs has a distinct sound to it and it’s refreshing to listen to the whole lot. If you’re in Toronto this week, he’s playing a show on Friday at 340 Wellington St. with Andy’s iLL. A cheap event with cheap drinks and wicked music … if I wasn’t in New York, I’d be there!

While the London Knights gave us Perry, Kane and Kadri, the London nights gave us Overwerk………..xx


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DJ Mehdi (1977-2011)

September 13th, 2011

DJ Mehdi (born Mehdi Favéris-Essadi), the Parisian electro/hip-hop producer renowned for his work with the likes of Daft Punk and Chromeo, has died at age 34 — apparently the result of an accidental fall. Friends, collaborators and his many admirers are paying tribute.

Chromeo: “We lost our brother. No words.”

Theo Keating (Fake Blood): “We have lost one of the rare beautiful people in this business. A true gentelemen and a friend. I am in pieces. My heart goes out to his boy.”

Martin Solveig: “Devastated. We all loved Mehdi. My warmest thoughts to his relatives and Ed Banger crew.”

Uffie: “I’m so sad I couldn’t be at the hospital with the rest of the crew to see your face one last time. You knew how to light up our heart as did a dancefloor. Life wont be the same without you in it… we will miss you more than words can say… I just cant believe this…love you.”

Annie Mac: “I’m speechless for the loss of DJ Mehdi. Sending all my love to his beautiful family and to Pedro Winter and Ed banger Records in Paris. X”

deadmau5: “rest in peace Dj Mehdi :( didn’t get a chance to meet you, but fortunate enough to know you through the amazing music that inspired millions, myself included.”

MORE INFORMATION HERE.

Catch a Free Preview of bpm:tv on EastLink in February

February 3rd, 2011
Canadian electropop acts Dragonette (top) and Chromeo are profiled in February on bpm Spotlight.

Here’s some good news for EastLink subscribers. bpm:tv will be available in free preview until March 1. Flip over to EastLink channel 177 to see what’s on. To subscribe, call 1-888-345-1111 or visit http://www.eastlink.ca/

Here’s a taste of what’s on the menu for February:

Meet two of Canada’s hottest electropop acts on bpm SPOTLIGHT: Montreal’s Chromeo (Tuesday Feb. 8 at 8:30 pm ET) and Toronto’s Dragonette (Thursday Feb. 10 at 8:30 pm ET).

Catch spellbinding concert performances by some of the world’s biggest acts every week on LONDON LIVE. Coming up: UK girl-poppers Sugababes (Feb. 7, 9, 14 & 16 at 10 pm ET) and British acid jazzmeister Jamiroquai (Feb. 21 & 23 at 10 pm ET).

Experience the world’s best DJs working at the top of their game on LIVE SESSIONS. Coming up: Sander Van Doorn (Monday Feb. 7 at 8:30 pm ET), Robbie Rivera (Monday Feb. 14 at 8:30 pm ET) and Ferry Corsten (Monday Feb. 21 at 8:30 pm ET).

Don’t forget to catch bpm:tv’s all-request hour BACK @ YA! with host Jorie Brown every night at 7 pm ET — and tune in for the HOT 20 DANCE CHART Mondays through Saturdays at 9 pm ET/PT.