Dennis Ferrer @ Maison Mercer

February 15th, 2012

Posted by Scott Willats

Last Friday I was lucky enough to catch Dennis Ferrer‘s show at Maison Mercer in Toronto. Dennis is an icon in the underground world — some might even say he is the underground world. Whatever your opinion may be, one thing is indisputable when it comes to Dennis Ferrer: you get your money’s worth. While most DJs are in an out in a two-hour set, Dennis plays tracks for a good four hours before even breaking a sweat. And his fans are similarly tireless. It doesn’t matter if the bar closed at 2 am, they aren’t leaving until Dennis leaves — which on this night was 4:30!

Here are some video highlights of the night, and a quick chat with Dennis about his favourite underground DJs. Enjoy!

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Dennis Ferrer and Sweets of The Week

February 10th, 2012

Posted by Scott Willats

The end of what can only be considered a slow week in terms of new releases.  Hey, they can’t all be winners, right?  Sometimes you have to wait a week or two — and in the end, that new track you uncover is all the more Sweet.

I am, however, running into Dennis Ferrer tonight, which I am super stoked about. So I figured this would be the perfect time to reminisce on some of the goodies he’s delivered over the span of his career. This is the man who became the face of EDM in 2009.  While the mass audience was going crazy for David Guetta‘s “Sexy Bitch,” Dennis Ferrer had the night owls on the floor till the sun came up in the red room baby!  He created a cult following, and that cult is still alive and kicking. We’ve been  aching … no, dying  for some brand new DF.  Tonight, with luck, we’ll hear some new joints.

So let’s take a look at the man of the moment, and then enjoy the sweets.

We’re going to get to the anthems eventually, but it’s these first two tracks that really define Dennis.  He’ll take a simple looped melody and make it darker, balanced against other elements that brighten it up.  The best part is that he keeps the rhythm at such a level of anticipation that you don’t even know it’s happening.

Dennis Ferrer – Sinfonia Della Notte (Original Mix): LISTEN TO IT HERE

If you liked that, you’re going to love this one.  It can either sound to you like a huge clash of percussion, or the perfect underground symphony. Obviously, I choose the latter.  Released in 2007, “Destination” is one of those tracks that the Ferrer cult adores, but that wins over non-believers as well. It’s like Tango on E

Dennis Ferrer – Destination: LISTEN TO IT HERE

My two favourite Dennis Ferrer songs are up next.  Nothing else need be said — if you don’t have them, get them!

Touched the Sky – Dennis Ferrer: LISTEN TO IT HERE

Dennis Ferrer- The Red Room: LISTEN TO IT HERE

Just an ordinary day…

If you’re in Toronto  tonight, be sure to check Dennis Ferrer out at Maison! CLICK HERE FOR INFO & TICKETS


Speaking of kings of underground house, Nic Fanculli is worthy bearer of the title. A track that Dennis Ferrer has been bumping for a minute now has surfaced for me and you online.  Enjoy this one!

Subb-an – This Place (Nic Fanciulli Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE

Yeah, I already dropped a post about Feed Me earlier in the week. But this, my friend, is a chuuuune!

Feed Me – Relocation: LISTEN TO IT HERE

Otto Knows this and Otto Knows that….Otto Knows what the masses want

Otto Knows – Million Voices: LISTEN TO IT HERE

Sound Remedy don’t seem capable of making bad songs.  Took a dubstep track I didn’t care for (hold the spit and vinegar, please) and turned it into an electro banger.

Crush On You (Sound Remedy Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE

Can’t have a week without grime, right? Right? Right Right!

Imogen Heap – Headlock (JCRNDA Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE

My boy ZHU is on a rampage right now.  There’s a quick teaser out for his documentary, and if the minute-long trailer is any indication of what to expect, it will be a treat.  On the production side, he’s still plugging away at the 52  to ZHU project, and he’s not slowing down.

I can’t speak for ZHU, but I have a feeling the two of us share the same respect for Wolfgang Gartner‘s music.  As I have posted earlier, I’m in love with Gartner’s newest, “There and Back” — and guess who decided to put his own spin on it? Playing off the right elements and adding his own special Mace Windu-style Jedi touch (much as he did on “Spacejunk”) ZHU takes us There and Back and There again with his remix. Cop it!!!!!

Wolfgang Gartner – There and Back (ZHU Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


What’s hotter than Dubstep in a 40-degree-plus club? Dubstep girls in a 40-degree-plus club. Name: Scott W. Sex: Yes please…. had to bring it out.

That’s it. Dillon Francis EP dropping next week. You know I got that covered!


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Chris Lake @ Maison – Video

January 18th, 2012

Posted by Scott Willats

Last month, EDM pioneer Chris Lake blessed Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto with amazing performances. During his Toronto stop, I got a chance to catch up with him and see how things have been. Naturally, he wanted to talk about “Sundown” — and I was more than happy to chat about this massive anthem.

In this quick little Web exclusive video, you’ll get to hear about the origin of what is sure to become an automatic on your spring playlist. I feel like this track is just lurking around, waiting for the first sign of good weather to smile upon us. When that time comes, you’ll find me on a boat cruise, listening to “Sundown” at full blast!

And in case you haven’t already seen it, here’s the video for Chris Lake’s “Sundown.”

Finally, a quick shout out to the folks at Provoke for making things easy for bpm:tv. Be sure to catch Extravaganza Presents Dennis Ferrer at Maison in Toronto on February 10! Never miss a chance to see Dennis Ferrer! Never! More details on the show HERE.

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ADE 2011

November 7th, 2011


Posted by Caelin Meredith


Amsterdam, Europe’s most risqué and cutting-edge city. It also happens to be the host of the premier Electronic Music (EDM) networking event of the year: the Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE). Unlike the Winter Music Conference in Miami, which, let’s be honest, is more play and some work, the ADE prides itself on bringing together the finest of every aspect of the EDM culture. As Tommie Sunshine put it: “If you’re doing business with someone and they aren’t here, then you shouldn’t be doing business with them.”

For five nights in early October, the streets are filled with the who’s who of dance music: DJs, producers, label movers and shakers, agents, promoters, PR reps, press and managers. It’s the classiest of everything — and funny enough, all of our North American taboos and assumptions about Amsterdam’s vibe actually fall to the wayside; the red light district and the coffee shops take a back seat to the main stage event of first class talent. It’s the perfect host city: small, walkable and relaxed. The laissez-faire attitude of its residents serves to chill everyone out.

The ADE is divided in two: the Conference and the Festival. The Conference, which takes place at the Felix, consists of meetings, panels, interviews/discussions and sometimes debates. Then there’s the Festival at night, which takes place at various venues in and around town, chock-a-block with unbridled sonic ecstasy. This year two new additions were added to ADE: the Hard Dance Event, which “aimed to connect professionals in the harder styles of dance music to discuss, experience and continue current and new developments in this genre,” and ADE University, “dedicated to the next generation of music professionals, featuring appearances by leading representatives from a range of music industry.”

Here are some of the highlights day by day:


This is the main arrival day and the day the conference officially kicks off. In the past, programming has been lighter on this day than others, but this year the organizers decided to start with a bang. In order to set the stage for the “flavour” of this year’s ADE there was a featured “DJ Cook Off,” promoted as a new way of “mixing and dropping.” Household names like John Aquaviva, Olivier Giacomotto, Dubfire and The Stafford Brothers all had to cook a dish invented by the Keizer Culinary Institute in front of a live audience. The results were judged by — who else? — other DJs. This is the type of social event the conference likes to present: a way for everyone to blow off a little steam, and as Ryan Saltzman from the Bullitt Agency put it, “It’s exciting to see DJs out of their element, in another atmosphere, creating something.”

That night was the official music kick-off, although there had been some satellite events earlier in the week: heavyweights such as The Glitch Mob and Carl Cox at the Paradiso Club and Groove Armada at Melkweg (meaning Milky Way), plus Afrojack at Air. It was an ambitious way to start the five-day schedule. And while in a normal scenario moderation would be key, this was ADE and every night was gonna be a Saturday night.


At the Conference, the key panels this day were “How To Score a Hollywood Movie,” “The Killer App,” “The New Ibiza … is Ibiza,” and a Q&A with Carl Cox. This was a formal and informal situation. Everything had been thought of: there were media lounges, press rooms, gathering places, bars and coffee shops all on site. It’s the epitome of professionalism, yet it retains its informality: after presentations, it’s easy to get access to moderators, panelists and artists to talk to them on a one-on-one basis.

After all the “work” that day came the 8th annual ADE Network Bash, a gala-type affair hosted in a converted church space with religious relics still adorning the walls. Free champagne, fresh cocktails and nibbles were served as a rotation of talent took to the decks. After a day of meetings, it was the perfect place to blow off some steam before the night got going. The feature on this night was the Pure Liner boat cruise: The Pirates of Cadenza. Boat cruise + Amsterdam canals + Top rated talent = Perfection, and a 6 am docking time!

Day 3 – FRIDAY

The mood on Friday is still upbeat despite two late nights under everyone’s belt. The enthusiasm is still there and the vibe is energetic. There’s so much business happening everywhere that one can’t help but be carried along with minimal effort and maximum output. Every direction you turn there is an opportunity to connect, network or socialize. The featured panels this day were “Wanna Cross Over – Watch Out For Pop Stars,” “End of the Free Era,” “How Relevant is Radio for the Next Generation,” “State of Blogs,” and “How to Crack America.” Then everyone relaxed for the Warner Music and Atlantic Records cocktail hour. bpm:tv was lucky enough to score interviews there with Hardwell, Tommie Sunshine and Busy P.

That night was another huge night of music at a cross-section of venues, from Gregor Tresher at an intimate space called the Chicago Social Club to Armin van Buuren at The Passenger Ferry Terminal, which houses thousands on a convention-type floor. The latter was the Dutch God in his own playground, as his legions of fans paid homage to their deity on his turf. I don’t think there was a purer “Dutch” moment than this all conference. Finally that night, Fedde Le Grand and company, including Chocolate Puma played at Air, a multi level club, with tiers of balconies all pressed vertically towards the stage. By the way, nothing ends at 4 am, everything goes until 9 am or 2 pm, but those people actually trying to do business usually call it a night at 5 am.


Another informative and exciting day — further proof that the programmers for this conference are talented at creating a diverse spectrum of forums. The highlights were “Off The Record: Labels in a Digital Age,” “Q & A with Frankie Knuckles,” DJ to DJ – Too Many DJs , Not Enough Decks: What You Need in Terms of Skills to Stick Out From the Rest of the Jocks Out There,” and finally a “Demolitions Party”: You drop your demo into the collection box and see if Dave Clarke picks it.

It was also the 1605 Label Press conference, with UMEK and Hertz. A good example of labels pumping up talent and showcasing new artists, catered with fine fare and lots of swag. When asked what was so special about ADE, Hertz responded: “We’re normally screaming for ourselves, we should be screaming for each other. This is a place we can come to do that.”

This night was a trip outside the old city that required two expensive taxi rides — but they were well worth the price. The Objectivity party was at Toko MC, a stylish music venue with a huge, polished room and raised stage. Dennis Ferrer was the main act, hitting the crowd repeatedly with huge vocals and massive drops. Then it was on to Trouw for the Resident Advisor party. Trouw is a large, not quite dirty but definitely “urban” and minimal warehouse space, reminiscent of underground raves and parties of the 90s. You enter through the basement into a low-ceilinged sweat box with concentrated lighting and effects, then walk up a narrow staircase into a main room pulsing with hedonism and thunderous applause.

Day 5 – SUNDAY

There was no official day programming, but the night was capped with closing parties hosted by Roger Sanchez and Sander Kleinenberg. Sander rinsed out with a six-hour set and we pulled the rock star move: heading straight from the venue to the airport, club attire still on. One couldn’t imagine a better send-off from ADE.