Posted by Scott Willats
In the UEFA EURO 2012 tournament, the group that includes the reigning world champion and a four-time world champ is one to watch. Ditto for our EDM Euro cup. In dance music as in football, the Irish are the most fun to watch, with fans as crazy as they are dedicated. Spain has the EDM culture down to a T, as you’ll see when you check out the scenes in Madrid and Barcelona. Italy, of course, is home to some of the biggest names in house and the coolest kids in electro. And then there’s Croatia, known for crazy, and I mean absolutely off-the-hook, recover-for-a-month boat cruises and beach festivals. These teams may be relatively unknown, but they’re massively experienced — a group worth watching, indeed.
Spain – Sak Noel
For so long the Spanish were perennial underachievers. They couldn’t win the tournament if the earth opened up and swallowed the other 15 teams. They always had a strong team, always looked to finish strong, and always choked. Or they did until 2008, when they finally wrapped it up with the help of a strong core of Barcelona players. Now they can’t lose, and are bidding to become the first country to win three major international tournaments in a row. EDM-wise, Espana has always been a hotbed for house music, and Ibiza is basically global ground zero for electronic music — EDM is practically woven into the very stones of the island. Ibiza is home to some of the best clubs in the world — and those clubs play host to every A-list DJ on the planet.
Yet for all that, Spain isn’t known for producing a spectacular bumper crop of homegrown DJs. So I made the sexy pick: Sak Noel. He may be the most inexperienced DJ in bpm:tv’s Euro 2012 tourney, but he also boasts the biggest song. This is what Ibiza feels like. WTF!?
A double dose!
Italy – Crookers
When it comes to soccer, few do it better than the Italians. When it comes to Italians DJs, few do it better than Crookers. It seems like only yesterday that this duo was breaking onto the scene with their smash hit remix of “Day ‘N’ Night.” This song was more than music — its effortless mix of rap and electro was something new and special. Electro had always been big in Europe, but this track made it big in North America. It was the snowball that started the avalanche we’re seeing today. Crookers faces some stiff competition from Benny Benassi and Bloody Beetroots, as well as from up-and-comers like The S and Stefano Noferini – but I think it’s Andrea “Bot” Fratangelo and Francesco “Phra” Barbaglia who best rep team Italia.
Ireland – Annie Mac
Ireland may not have an oversupply of great producers, but there are definitely a few worth checking out: Johnny O’Callaghan and Timmy & Tommy stand out in my mind. But let’s be honest: when you think Irish DJs, you think Annie Mac. Miss Macca has been a pillar of the EDM community for close to a decade now. Loved by many for her easygoing, happy-go-lucky persona, this Dubliner knows her tunes. You want to hear something new and fresh, something you’ve never heard before? Two places to go: bpmtv.com or BBC Radio 1 on Fridays. True Say Annie Mac is Killing it!
Say no more …
Croatia – Miss Sunshine
One of the smaller countries in the tournament but by no means the weakest, Croatia is always well represented and well supported and well played. Behind the decks, their musical representative, Miss Sunshine, exhibits the same beauty the Croatian national squad displays on the pitch. Her live sets are meant to be seen and felt in a dark cave somewhere in Zagreb, where the mixture of liquor, sweat and drums put you in a trance. Her original tracks start slow and slowly began to grip at your soul, until you realize you’ve been dancing to the same beat for the past 15 minutes and don’t ever want to stop. She may not be as well known as the other artists in this group, but she can hold it down with the best of them.
Next up: we finish our tournament with Group 4– in EDM terms, the Real Group of Death.