The first-ever multi-day EDM festival in downtown Toronto, Digital Dreams will feature full sets by Kaskade, Afrojack, Duck Sauce, Richie Hawtin, Dubfire, Steve Lawler, Alesso, Major Lazer, R3hab, and many more.
bpm:tv wants to send you and a friend to Digital Dreams! We’re giving away five pairs of tickets – plus, as a Grand Prize, one pair of VIP tickets! (Travel not included.) CLICK HERE to find out how to enter our Digital Dreams contest.
Contest closes Monday June 18, 2012.
CLICK HERE for more information on the Digital Dreams Music Festival.
Canadians are more than lucky this year. Usually, festival season means having to venture to some distant location to see our favorite acts in the flesh. But not everybody can afford the cost of a trip to Coachella or Electric Daisy Carnival.
This year, happily, some of the best fests are taking place right in our own backyards. WEMF you know about already — an automatic must-see. Then we have Digital Dreams, which promises to be absolutely sick: Duck Sauce, Afrojack, Kaskade — ’nuff said. And, of course, there’s the much-publicized Full Flex Expresscross-country train tour, featuring Skrillex, Pretty Lights, Diplo and Grimes.
Also on the agenda: HARD Toronto on August4, featuring M83 and Justice along with locals Austra. Another must-see, right? But wait! Turns out the VELD Music Festival , featuring Deadmau5 and Avicii, is going down the same day. R’uh r’oh!
So Toronto goes from having no electronic festivals to having too many — a great problem to have, right? I dunno. Sure, we’ve got a large number of EDM fans in the city and province — but enough to support two festivals on the same weekend?
Granted, the music on offer isn’t exactly the same. Justice appeals to more of a rugged, indie-based crowd, while the VELD fest lineup is the definition pure EDM. (I mean, the mau5 even made a song called “The Veld.”) But for most fans, it’s not going to be a question of preferring one over the other. It’s more of a scheduling conflict that could end up costing one or the other of these fests a lot of audience — not because the promoters failed to assemble a good show, but because your average EDM fan just can’t physically be in two places at once.
I kind of think this problem sucks — but I also figure it’s better to have too much choice than too little. Either, it’s going to be a helluva festival season. A lot of people will be wearing out their summer tires that first weekend in August, shuttling between Hard and VELD. And I’ll be one of them.
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.
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.
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.
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?!?!
A lot went down this week. A wicked Toronto show by Hamburg’s finest, Digitalism, was the highlight. Though it came on a damp and dreary day, the place was brought to life by the sounds from I Love You, Dude. Real humble, honest and talented is the way to describe this German pair. When I got to interview them, I was impressed by how open and forthcoming they were. They even offered to send us some T-shirts to give to bpm:tv fans. We’ll let you know as soon as they arrive.
Also, congrats to all the EDM artists nominated for Grammy Awards. This is a true example of how our genre is taking over the world. I’m not much of a Grammys fan, but you have to at least appreciate the gesture. Deadmau5 really better win one, and I’m crossing my fingers that Skrillex will claim best new artist, though he’ll have stiff competiton from J Cole and Nicki Minaj. The most interesting category will be Best Dance Recording. The nominees:
* Deadmau5 & Greta Svabo Bech – “Raise Your Weapon”
* Duck Sauce – “Barbra Streisand”
* David Guetta & Avicii – “Sunshine”
* Robyn – “Call Your Girlfriend”
* Skrillex – “Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites”
* Swedish House Mafia – “Save The World”
Those are all big songs, buuuuuut … well, it’s kinda the reason I don’t like the Grammys. But I’ll keep that to myself. In my opinion, this has to go to Duck Sauce; that song was way more than an anthem. The Robyn track is a close second — and the rest, in my opinion, aren’t even the best songs these artists put out in the past year. But I digress. With luck, we’ll see some killer performances on the show.
The leak of Bowski‘s Poppies EP is definitely the other highlight of my week — but I’ve already talked about that. So here are a few other things to take you into the weekend. Enjizzzoy!
First up: our hometown boys are killing it. Killabits in Belgium, Zeds Dead tearing up North America … Dec. 17th at Kool Haus is gonna be wickkkkkkkkkkkkked. This video is nutz.
GRiZ is fast becoming my favourite producer. Detroit What!
It’s been pretty much all Deadmau5 all the time for the past week. So: let’s take a deep breath, enjoy the fact that the Mau5 is Canadian, and move on.
Back to what we do best: search the world for the newest/freshest/flyest tracks out right now and put them directly into your speakers. This week has already started out with some memorable tracks. I try to keep this strictly EDM, but I might have to show some love to urban noise out right now. I saw that there were a bunch of fans really feeling The Weeknd’s remix of the Lady Gaga joint that we posted on the bpm:tv Facebook page last week. It’s good to think outside of the box — after all, good music is good music.
Aiight, enough blabber! Here it is, folks.
Start with some heat. How much more could I possibly say about Mord Fustang? The Estonian is in a zone right now. Enjoy his remix of the Morgan Page/Ned Shepard/Sultan smash:
And last, only because I have to save something for “Sweets of the Week,” is a track from Community star and Danny Glover offspring, Childish Gambino. This track is really special. In a week dominated by Drake‘s leaked album, it’s this track that sounds very OVO-like.