EDM Euro Cup 2012 – Group 3

June 6th, 2012

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.


GROUP 3

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.

AC/DC  - Thunderstruck (Crookers Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


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 …

Annie Mac Minimix: LISTEN TO IT HERE


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.

Miss Sunshine – Revenge (Tic Tac Toe): LISTEN TO IT HERE


Miss Sunshine @ Dream Machine: LISTEN TO IT HERE


Next up: we finish our tournament with Group 4– in EDM terms, the Real Group of Death.

 


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Sharam @ Cobra

March 5th, 2012

Posted by Scott Willats

 

Okay, maybe this weekend wasn’t a big one for shows in the Greater Toronto Area — but there was at least one event during the previous week that more than compensated. Washington, DC’s Sharam was the featured artist on the bill Wednesday at Cobra on King Street West, as Emergency and Provoke Media outdid themselves with a stellar show.

The crowd was primed, proper and packed, to say the least, and the location fit the occasion. All that was needed was for the Iranian-born DJ to deliver the goods. And no fear on that count: Sharam sensed what the crowd was in the mood to hear and scratched that itch with by serving up some of his classic hits.

His name may mean “modesty” in Persian, but a DJ of this calibre has no need to play it humble. The songs flowed seamlessly, and the vibe stayed dialed up to its highest setting throughout the night. Best of all was the choice of tracks. Sharam doesn’t stick religiously to his own stuff; just as in his acclaimed podcasts — or Wildcasts, as he calls them — he plays whatever he knows will get the party hype and keep it going to the small hours. Check out his latest Wildcast (below) and you’ll see exactly what Sharam aims to do whenever he’s behind the Pioneers.

While you’re at it, scope out the pics from the event HERE – and take a stroll around the Provoke Web Site: as you can see, they’re doing big things. With Pleasurekraft, Nic Fanculli, Stefano Noferini and, of course, The Martinez Brothers all on deck, Provoke and Extravaganza are burnishing their reputation for bringing the hottest EDM acts to the Toronto — and soon to the rest of Canada.

I’ll talk abut my Steve Aoki interview in tomorrow’s post. The living legend opened up about his new album Wonderland, the current state of EDM, and much more.

Sharam’s Wildcast #56: LISTEN TO IT HERE



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Steve Aoki – Wonderland Review

January 31st, 2012

 

Posted by Scott Willats

Mr. Steve Aoki (a.k.a.) Kid Millionaire is one of the pioneers of what has become the EDM boom. The founder of Dim Mak Records has circled the world, headlining at all of the biggest events with his distinctive brand of party music. Previously known more for his stage presence, Aoki has developed into one of the better producers in EDM over the past 4 years. I was eager to find out what sounds he’s been playing with lately and how it’s all panned out. So here’s my take on his brand new album, Wonderland.


Earthquakey People feat. Rivers Cuomo

For all intents and purposes, the title tack of the album. This is the Aoki you expect: heavy, distorted bass that invades your speakers with a classic buildup. Rivers Cuomo is a bit of a weird choice for this beat, though. Don’t get me wrong: I have every Weezer album. But his voice doesn’t translate as well on an electro track made for the big room as it does on a rock anthem played for stadiums. I like the lyrics; though meant for partying and partying only, they flow well. Still …I can’t put my finger on it, but something is missing. At least, it is until you check out the Dillon Francis remix. Huge!


Ladi Dadi feat. Wynter Gordon

There’s no scientific basis for this, but it’s a theory I believe in: track number two on a CD is always the artist’s favourite song. Can’t tell you why — just that on album after album, track two is the keeper. Aoki bears this out with “Ladi Dadi” — the song bangs. A radio-friendly track that lays down the perfect background for vocals from the much-in-demand Wynter Gordon. And the video is wicked!


Dangerous feat. Zuper Blahq

Some artists just have great chemistry — and that’s the case with Aoki and The Black Eyed Peas front man will.i.am. Performing as his alter ego, Zuper Blahq, will delivers the the robotic lyrics that make this tune … dangerous. The track is a banger that keeps up a steady pace until the 2:30 mark — at which point it just goes h.a.m!


Come With Me (Deadmeat) feat. Polina Goudieva

For those who love airy-sounding big-room tunes, this one’s for you. Polina’s vocals leap straight off a track that could easily be mistaken for Benny Benassi or Afrojack, and immediately hook you in. For myself, I love the parts focused on the pads rather than those focused on the beats. Either way, you have to agree it’s Polina’s presence that makes this track special.

Steve Aoki feat. Polina – Come With Me: LISTEN TO IT HERE


Emergency feat. Lil Jon & Chiddy Bang

This is why you have to love Aoki. An album this diverse was always going to have some predictable elements and some wildly unpredictable ones. But on the same song? Anybody who knows anything about Aoki could have guessed that Lil Jon would turn up on this album — but Chiddy Bang? Not so much. For those who haven’t already heard of Chiddy Bang, it’s time to get familiar. The Philly duo consists of Chiddy, the world record holder for longest rap (nine hours!) and Xaphoon Jones, one of the most creative and innovative producers in the game. They bless this tune with some heavy content. Aoki saves one of his better beats for the duo, and Chiddy goes innnnnnn on the beat and eats the track alive. Add some of Lil Jon’s trademark screaming, and you’ve got a hit. I think you’ll be surprised how much you like this track. My personal favourite.

Emergency feat. Lil Jon & Chiddy Bang: LISTEN TO IT HERE


Living My Love feat. LMFAO & Nervo

It’s an LMFAO world that we’re living in. Right now they’ve got the Midas touch, and you can hear it on this track. Nervo deserves mention because it’s as much her track as theirs — but there’s just something about Redfoo and Skyblu. When you hear their voices on a tune, it immediately feels like something you’ve always known. And I think that’s a good thing. Expect this to be the next single off the album.


Control Peak feat. BlaqStarr & Kay

Bring the vibes, bring the soul. The acoustic bass is the first thing you’ll notice, lending a welcome organic feel to this soulful track. The showstopper here is Kay; when that second verse starts it doesn’t matter where you are — your head’s gonna start bobbing and your hips are gonna to wiggle a little. This tune will probably be overlooked by most EDM junkies, but it might just be the most insightful track on the album.


Steve Jobs feat Angger Dimas

Hard, heavy and hectic. Nuff said!


Heartbreaker feat. LoveFoxx

A track made for long bus rides. This has an immediate, soundtrack-y feel and plays the part just right. LoveFoxx is the perfect choice to quarterback — her airy vocals are just what’s needed to make this song worthy of the most overused word in the English language: epic. I can see this one being huge in Europe.


Cudi the Kid feat. Kid Cudi & Travis Barker

Kid Cudi must count his lucky stars at night. Not to say he doesn’t deserve all the fame and recognition, but I’ve rarely seen an artist win such open acceptance across multiple genres. He’s an EDM hero, a rap phenomenon, an acclaimed actor and a rock star. One this track he’s accompanied by another musician who has received a similarly open-armed reception: Travis Barker. The song? Good, but not great.


Ooh feat. Robert Raimon Roy

I love this track. Funky, fly and fresh. Triple R delivers some heavy vocals, and Aoki outdoes himself on the beat, nailing it right on the head. This beat is so ill – that’s the only description that does it justice.

“I’m about it allllllll….”

Steve Aoki feat. Rob Roy – Ooh (Original Mix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


The Kids Will Have Their Say feat. Sick Boy

Hmmm. If you read this blog you know I hate when artists stick rigidly to just one genre. The best part of music is experimentation. That said, sometimes you can go a little too far. For those who are strictly EDM fans (dubstep, house, progressive, minimal, trance etc.), I’m afraid you won’t like this one. Steve goes apes**t on a heavy metal ballad. You be the judge.


Earthquakey People (The Sequel)

To my mind, this version is light years better than the original, and I think he must’ve known that. Sometimes an artist will have five different versions of the same song, and end up just gambling on which one will resonate with the crowd. Sometimes I wish they’d just release all five and let the fans decide. Kudos to you, Steve, for experimenting with that idea!


THE FINAL WORD

For someone like me who loved with the classic hip-hop mixtape format — where you basically put your name on the disc and release other people’s tunes — I must say I really enjoy the style of Wonderland. It showcases some amazing beats inspired and created by Aoki. But what I love best is that every song feels like an experiment. Some work well, and others not so much — but every track is going for something different, and for that I give the creator my utmost respect. This album is proof that Aoki has come a long way.


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Tuesday’s Turn

January 24th, 2012

Posted by Scott Willats

  

A great weekend in EDM has passed us by, but not without dropping some anthems to keep on repeat on our iPods and Pioneers. It was always going to be something special, what with the large number of shows happening from Van City to Halifax.

One measure of a good weekend? The quality of the BBC Radio 1 Friday dance party. Unfortunately, Annie Mac wasn’t able to host her regular Friday show — but the replacement she found was none other than the “inventor” of dubstep himself, Skream. Mister Skream stepped into the booth and put together one of the best Radio 1 Friday mixdowns we’ve heard in a while. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the show, CLICK HERE to listen. It might be worth downloading for those long shifts when your regular playlist just doesn’t cut it anymore. (Pete Tong was not to be outshone, by the way, as he also put together a wicked collection of the best big room house anthems on the globe right now.)

Another great part of the weekend was hearing Embrace Presents, the leader in bringing the best EDM talent to Canada, unveil its list of upcoming shows,which I’ve included below. Expect to see many of these reviewed in the weeks to come.


Some treats for you …

So we’ve all heard the rumours that a certain trio of Swedish DJs may not put together the most “authentic” mixes at their live shows. But when you have tracks this big, I don’t think it really matters anymore. Enjoy this one.

Ivan Gough & Feenixpawl feat. Georgi Kay – In My Mind (Axwell Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


Nico Jaar is on fire! In his latest outing, he drops a typical Jaar 5am track that will leave you clinging to the dancefloor like a strung-out jabba wokkie! And yes that’s Demi Moore and Bruce Willis’s daughter delivering the vocals.

Nicolas Jaar – And I Say (feat. Scout LaRue and Will Epstein): LISTEN TO IT HERE


The only thing better than a new TEED track is a new TEED remix. Repeat please!

Jonquil – It’s My Part (Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs Remix) (Snippet): LISTEN TO IT HERE 


Next up is a wicked Kid Cudi remix. Cudi sounds perfect on these beats!

Kid Cudi – Soundtrack 2 My Life (TYR & CR^NKN Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


And, as promised, a list of the best Embrace shows in Toronto coming up over the next couple of months. See you tomorrow kiddies!

Saturday, January 28 - BASSJACKERS with Special Guests
The Hoxton, 69 Bathurst Street | Doors 9PM | 19+ Event
Adv. Tickets $10.00 (plus s.c.) at ticketweb.ca, Rotate This, Soundscapes & Play De Record

Saturday, January 28 - NIGHTBOX with THE BALCONIES & CHRISTIEN SUMMERS
Horseshoe Tavern, 370 Queen Street West | Doors 9PM | 19+ Event
Adv. Tickets $8.50 (plus s.c.) at ticketweb.ca, Rotate This & Soundscapes

Wednesday, February 1 - Trouble & Bassmentality Present: DROP THE LIME with THE M MACHINE
Wrongbar, 1279 Queen Street West | Doors 10PM | 19+ Event
Adv. Tickets $10.00 (plus s.c.) at ticketweb.ca, Rotate This, Soundscapes & Play De Record

Friday, February 3 – BENI with Special Guests
Supermarket, 268 Augusta Avenue | Doors 10PM | 19+ Event
Adv. Tickets $10.00 (plus s.c.) at ticketweb.ca, Rotate This, Soundscapes & Play De Record

Saturday, February 4 - SURKIN with Special Guests
Wrongbar, 1279 Queen Street West | Doors 10PM | 19+ Event
Adv. Tickets $13.50 (plus s.c.) at ticketweb.ca, Rotate This, Soundscapes & Play De Record

Monday, February 6 - Presented in association with Drambuie: THE ASTEROIDS GALAXY TOUR with VACATIONER
The Hoxton, 69 Bathurst Street | Doors 8:30PM | 19+ Event
Adv. Tickets $16.50 (plus s.c.) at ticketweb.ca, Rotate This, Soundscapes & Play De Record

Thursday, February 9 - A-TRAK with Special Guests
The Hoxton, 69 Bathurst Street | Doors 9 PM | 19+ Event
Adv. Tickets $20.00 (plus s.c.) at ticketweb.ca, Rotate This, Soundscapes & Play De Record

Friday, February 10 - KEYS N KRATES with GRANDTHEFT
The Hoxton, 69 Bathurst Street | Doors 10 PM | 19+ Event
Adv. Tickets $15.00 (plus s.c.) at ticketweb.ca, Rotate This, Soundscapes & Play De Record

Tuesday, February 14 - DIE ANTWOORD with Special Guests
The Phoenix, 410 Sherbourne Street | Doors 8PM | All Ages Event
Adv. Tickets $29.00 (plus facility fee & s.c.) at ticketweb.ca, Rotate This, Soundscapes & Play De Record

Wednesday, February 15 – Bassmentality Presents: 12TH PLANET with FLINCH & CRIZZLY
Wrongbar, 1279 Queen Street West | Doors 10PM | 19+ Event
Adv. Tickets $12.50 (plus s.c.) at ticketweb.ca, Rotate This, Soundscapes & Play De Record

Thursday, February 16 - JOHN DAHLBACK with Special Guests
The Hoxton, 69 Bathurst Street | Doors 10PM | 19+ Event
Adv. Tickets $15.00 (plus s.c.) at ticketweb.ca, Rotate This, Soundscapes & Play De Record

** NEW DATE ** Thursday, February 16 - THEOPHILIUS LONDON with Special Guests
Wrongbar, 1279 Queen Street West | Doors 10PM | 19+ Event
Adv. Tickets $17.00 (plus s.c.) at ticketweb.ca, Rotate This, Soundscapes & Play De Record

Saturday, February 18 - Presented in association with Live Nation: SLEIGH BELLS with Special Guests
The Phoenix, 410 Sherbourne Street | Doors 8PM | All Ages Event
Adv. Tickets $24.00 (plus s.c.) at ticketweb.ca, Rotate This, Soundscapes & Play De Record

Saturday, February 18 - DJ KRUSH with THEVINYLKILLER
Wrongbar, 1279 Queen Street West | Doors 10PM | 19+ Event
Adv. Tickets $16.00 (plus s.c.) at ticketweb.ca, Rotate This, Soundscapes & Play De Record

Wednesday, February 22 – Bassmentality Presents: TWO FRESH with NiT GriT
Wrongbar, 1279 Queen Street West | Doors 10PM | 19+ Event
Adv. Tickets $12.50 (plus s.c.) at ticketweb.ca, Rotate This, Soundscapes & Play De Record

Saturday, February 25 - HOOK N SLING
The Hoxton, 69 Bathurst Street | Doors 10PM | 19+ Event
Adv. Tickets $12.50 (plus s.c.) at ticketweb.ca, Rotate This, Soundscapes & Play De Record

Wednesday, February 29 – Bassmentality Presents: DREAM & BOY KID CLOUD
Wrongbar, 1279 Queen Street West | Doors 10PM | 19+ Event
Adv. Tickets $10.00 (plus s.c.) at ticketweb.ca, Rotate This, Soundscapes & Play De Record

Saturday, March 3 - TRUST with ELL V GORE
Wrongbar, 1279 Queen Street West | Doors 10PM | 19+ Event
Adv. Tickets $10.50 (plus s.c.) at ticketweb.ca, Rotate This, Soundscapes & Play De Record

Tuesday, March 6 - An Evening with MOE.
The Mod Club, 722 College Street | Doors 8PM | All Ages Event
Adv. Tickets $29.00 (plus facility fee & s.c.) at ticketweb.ca, Rotate This, Soundscapes & Play De Record

Thursday, March 8 - BINGO PLAYERS with Special Guests
The Hoxton, 69 Bathurst Street | Doors 10PM | 19+ Event
Adv. Tickets $15.00 (plus s.c.) at ticketweb.ca, Rotate This, Soundscapes & Play De Record

** NEW DATE ** Friday, March 16 - DEANER OF FUBAR with Special Guests
Wrongbar, 1279 Queen Street West | Doors 10PM | 19+ Event
Adv. Tickets $15.00 (plus s.c.) at ticketweb.ca, Rotate This, Soundscapes & Play De Record

Saturday, March 24 - Presented in Association with Hospital Records, Destiny Events & Electronic Nation: HIGH CONTRAST, NETSKY, CAMO & KROOKED, MYSTICAL INFLUENCE, LUSH & HYDEE
Kool Haus, 132 Queens Quay East | Doors 10PM | 19+ Event
Adv. Tickets $35.00 (plus s.c.) at ticketweb.ca & Play De Record

Monday, April 2 - METRONOMY with Special Guests
The Hoxton, 69 Bathurst Street | Doors 9PM | 19+ Event
Adv. Tickets $16.00 (plus s.c.) at ticketweb.ca, Rotate This, Soundscapes & Play De Record

Wednesday, April 4 - FIRST AID KIT with Special Guests
The Great Hall, 1087 Queen Street West | Doors 9PM | 19+ Event
Adv. Tickets $18.00 (plus s.c.) at ticketweb.ca, Rotate This & Soundscapes

Thursday, April 5 - HOWLER with Special Guests
The Drake Hotel, 1150 Queen Street West | Doors 9PM | 19+ Event
Adv. Tickets $8.50 (plus s.c.) at ticketweb.ca, Rotate This & Soundscapes

Friday, April 20 - HOCKEY TEETH
Wrongbar, 1279 Queen Street West | Doors 9PM | 19+ Event
Adv. Tickets $10.00 (plus s.c.) at ticketweb.ca, Rotate This & Soundscapes

Tuesday, May 1 - Presented in Association with Live Nation: MIIKE SNOW with Special Guests
Sound Academy, 11 Polson Street | Doors 8PM | All Ages Event
Adv. Tickets $26.50 (plus s.c.) at ticketmaster.ca, Rotate This & Soundscapes

Wednesday, May 2 - SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS with Special Guests
The Hoxton, 69 Bathurst Street | Doors 9PM | 19+ Event
Adv. Tickets $15.00 (plus s.c.) at ticketweb.ca, Rotate This, Soundscapes & Play De Record


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Maniac

November 2nd, 2011

 

Posted by Scott Willats

Something a little offbeat today. I try my best to show you all that’s new and relevant in the electro world. I try to keep it focused strictly on our genre, but sometimes there’s a story or a piece out there that needs a light shed on it. Though originally for a hip-hop song, I believe this video is something many fans of pop culture might want to see.

Kid Cudi has a new video out. Well, not sure if you’d label this as his video, but it’s for a track (I suppose) that was on his album. The track was “Maniac” featuring Cage, and was quite delightful in that east New York-slums-type of way. Cage, for those who don’t know, was part of the almighty Smut Peddlers featuring Mr Eon some time ago. A couple of Brooklyn white kids making their name in the rap scene by being as grimy and as violent as possible. Not quite as nasty as Necro, but vicious nonetheless.

So why am I talking about 1990 rap? Because Shia LaBeouf has directed a very graphic tale of life as, well, a maniac. Basically, it’s Cudi and Cage on a murder spree, both trying to get to their 8. I’ll just leave it at that. While definitely aiming for shock value, the video is extremely well done. The cinematography and the French dialogue gives it a very classic feel — a Clockwork Orange vibe that resonated with me, and should for other fans of Kubrick’s masterpiece. You never really hear the song in its entirety through the video, so just enjoy it as though you’re watching a short film.

A quick warning: Some scenes might be tough to watch.  Discretion is advised.


And here’s an electro remix of the original track by FSTLANE, just so you get your electro fix. See? I got you covered.

Maniac-Kid Cudi Ft. Cage (FSTLANE REMIX): LISTEN TO IT HERE


“… the guilty one isn’t the one who commits the sin … but the one who causes it”……xx

 


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