RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest – Day 2 Report

July 6th, 2012

Posted by Caelin Meredith

This year’s RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest in Ottawa is heavy on the electronic dance music, light on the blues. A bold move considering the festival’s history, but a shrewd way to tap into a younger market and draw larger crowds to this incredible site.

One field with five stages and an indoor theatre (showcasing comedy), the festival site is just outside the downtown core and on the river, allowing for spectacular vistas and gorgeous sunsets. Attendees have the opportunity to experiences many different genres, all in one location.

[Photo: Patrick Doyle]

Opening night saw Tiësto rocking out on the main stage to thousands of his followers. Other EDM heavyweights on the bill this year include: Dragonette, LMFAO, Paul Okenfold, !!!, DJ Aero and Tommy Lee, Mustard Pimp, MSTRKFT, A Tribe Called Red, Chromeo (DJ set), Adam K, Arty, Drop The Lime, A-Trak, Diplo, Tyga, Skrillex and Wolfgang Gartner.

The Day 2 highlight: Paul Oakenfold on the Electro Stage going to head-to-head with LMFAO on the main stage.

[Photo: Sean Corby]

First on the Electro Stage was local up-and-comer Mister Parker. When asked what it was like to play Bluesfest, he said, “This is one of the biggest festivals to hit Ottawa — and playing for a hometown crowd is always a big rush. People were freaking out.” He was clearly excited to be on the bill with a legend like Oakenfold.

You could tell he was a hometown favourite, with the smattering of supporters he had in the crowd all sporting his t-shirt.

Next up was Cole, who delivered an energetic performance to those gathering for the Oakenfold show. Physical and present, he DJ’d on the Star Trekish Emulator and let old school Fatboy Slim dance alongside newer, harder tracks.

Dragonette played the Claridge Homes stage, which is perpendicular to the main stage but equal in size. They belted out hit after hit in 30-degree weather (at 8 pm!) and the crowd sang every word.

The band treated fans to an autograph session after the show, and Joel said they are still in disbelief after their Juno win with Martin Solveig.

LMFAO were the headliners on the main stage. Because it’s right next to the Claridge stage, they don’t schedule acts simultaneously, thereby preventing noise competition.

With SkyBlu injured, the backstage was closed to media, which made photographing the show challenging. Redfoo, however, put his all into delivering one hell of a solo show.

Despite the absence of his partner, he held court comfortably for the 20,000-plus who turned up for some “party rockin’” and kept up the carnival atmosphere with gusto.

Meanwhile, over on the Electro Stage, nestled alongside the river and tucked behind the building away from the main site, British elder statesman Paul Oakenfold delivered. What looked at first like a thin crowd soon blossomed to 1,500 strong.

Oakenfold laid down some of his most popular tracks, including remixes of “We Are Your Friends,” “7 Nation Army,” “Personal Jesus” and “I Need Your Loving.”

The set was definitely less trance-oriented than I’m used to hearing from Oakenfold — but he was playing for the crowd and reading them like a true professional.

He ended ceremoniously with his own anthem “How long.” Though the crowd was furiously chanting for an encore — “Oakenfold! Oakenfold!” — he couldn’t oblige, as Ottawa stringently enforces its noise bylaws, requiring the festival to end all its music at 11 pm sharp.

Tonight: !!! and Tommy Lee with DJ Aero.

Stay tuned over the next eight days for reviews, highlights and everything EDM from the Ottawa Bluesfest!

 

Scott’s Selections – Leap Year Edition

February 29th, 2012

Posted by Scott Willats

Today we got a fresh new mix from yours truly, featuring the latest from Wolfgang Gartner, Hypercrush, Kill the Noise and Datsik, Lucky Date, Helicopter Showdown and Flosstradamus. Whether you’re jogging, working out at the gym or just looking for some hype background music at your spot, “Scott’s Selections” gotz u covered like a bad rash on Poison Ivy Island, ya dig?

Feel free to download and stock this bad boy in your library for the hot nights that await us. And remember: if you want to get your own mini-mix featured on bpmtv.com, hit me up at scottw@bpmtv.com and we’ll check out your skillz and song selection.

Enjoy, amigos! 

Scott’s Selections – Leap Year Edition: LISTEN TO IT HERE


TRACKLIST

* Hyper CrushManiac

* LMFAOSorry for Party Rocking (Wolfgang Gartner Remix)

* Kill The Noise & DatsikLightspeed

* Lucky DateI Want You

* Helicopter ShowdownGet Tuff

* FlosstradamusTotal Recall


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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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The Monday Mash

September 19th, 2011

 

Posted by Scott Willats

A Monday morning after a relatively quiet weekend always brings the ambition to find new tunes.  If your weekend was like mine, it was a good chance to catch up with old friends and really dig into what they have been listening to over the summer now that we are approaching the always new-album-infested fall.  Whether it’s the third-quarter push or the back-to-school plunge, for some reason this time of the year always has heavy names dropping some decent tracks.  This is a collection of what I found over the weekend.


DEVolution feat. Amy Pearson – Good Love (Alesso Remix)

I have no idea what these Swedes do in their studios or in their spare time to make them all stadium big room DJs, but I believe more study should be put into this. Swedish House Mafia, Eric Prydz, Avicii, Dahlbeck and so on and on.  Right now, and for at least the past year (if not two or three) the Swedes have been running the big room game.  Dubstep, electro, trance — all great genres in their own right, but none has the selling capacity of the big room house music.  It’s a monopoly the Swedes possess, so it’s no surprise that the newest big room DJ comes from the land of Ikea.  Alesso is that man.  After completing the absolute summer smash “Calling” with Sebastian Ingrosso, he’s back at it with a remix of DEVolution‘s “Good Love” featuring Amy Pearson. This has all the elements of a classic big room banger.  The vocals create great emotion, and Alesso plays with that to produce a tune fit for stadiums.

LISTEN HERE


LMFAO – Sexy And I Know It (Mord Fustang Remix) 

We also have a brand spanking new track from Mord Fustang, my pick for 2011′s rookie of the year.  The Estonian mastermind behind “Lick the Rainbow” and “The Electric Dream,” he continues to perfect his remix game — this time taking on bpm:tv favourite LMFAO‘s “Sexy and I Know It.”  Great synths on this track, with the chorus vocals almost massaging the beat.  This isn’t exactly going to blow the roof off, but it will definitely get your head nodding and feet moving in unison.

DOWNLOAD THAT BAD BOY HERE.


Aeroplane – Big Boys Don’t Cry [Tribute to DJ Mehdi]

There is something very elegant about Aeroplane. Ever since the “break-up” I feel a new page has been turned for the DJ. His tracks have become very melodic, very catchy and extremely funky. I have had his recent remix of the club classic “Cassius – The Sound of Violence” on repeat for the last month; he has continued to stay true to that simple yet excellent format, and is really evolving into a hit for hit producer. This one is all him: no remix, no samples, just fire. It also happens to be a DJ Mehdi tribute. Classy.


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So those are my three bangers for The Monday Mash– and here are three that just missed the cut but are too good to leave unheard. Some Toronto dubstep, Some moombahton and some house. Wolfgang Gartner‘s album drops tomorrow!!!!!! I feel like it’s Christmas Eve. PS. Check the Keys N Krates Web Exclusive: those guys are next level.

Jesse Fex – The Gentlemen – Nightmare


Lucid – I Can’t Help Myself (Tim Mason Remix)


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ETC!ETC! – Indian Flute 2011 (Moombahton)


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Let the Riddim Ryde……xx


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