My new obsession is NYC electro-pop duo The Knocks. Though they’ve been around since 2007, putting out substantial remixes and originals, it’s only in the past six months that, for me, they have really started to shine. The distinctive way they blend electro with pop-funk gives you a sound that’s been missing from today’s general noise. And their remixes offer clear proof of musical knowledge well above the norm. They know how to preserve what you love about the original song while adding something that feels like it should have been there from the beginning. Right? Right!
What I didn’t know about B-Roc and JPatt — and shame on me! — is their mixing ability. They’ve just released a 15-minute mix that features no less than 46(!) different songs. For those of you who constantly flip radio channels in your car or skip tracks on your iPod faster than Usain Bolt on race day, this mix will be right up your alley. As for those of you who appreciate tracks from start to finish … well, I urge you to do just that: listen to this mix all the way through. It doesn’t feel at all like a clusterf**k of pop tracks; it’s a perfectly balanced blend of familiar tunes and hidden gems that you probably overlooked in the past.
This summer isn’t just about fabulous festivals — EP releases are dropping fast and furious, too. Exhibit A: the latest from talented Toronto producer Poupon and Montreal duo Prince Club, who have pooled their creative juices and poured the resulting cocktail into their DAW of choice … and voila: the Technique EP.
Fans of their last collaborative EP (Platinum) should be thoroughly impressed with what they’ve come up with here. The title track sounds almost filtered, but in a classy, polished way — as though it’s already bumping from your basement. The (sampled?) vocals are mesmerizingly catchy. Those arresting ahhhhhs feel at once tribal yet utterly modern. Like “Iron & Water” by Gingy & Bordello or “Something” by Meech, this track has the kind of consistency that makes you want to loop it for hours and hours. Deep.
“The Block” is dangerous. It borrows the immortal 20th Century Steel Band sample from “Heaven And Hell,” famously lifted by Jennifer Lopez — and you immediately get why J.Lo’s effort fell short. But this track is more than just the sample: it has a pace to it. Though it stays at the same 122 as “Technique,” it seems to make you move faster. A perfect track to throw on at your party just when everyone is comfortable on the dancefloor.
So. Another Canadian EP, another success. And again, a reminder of why EPs are so essential. As much as I love albums, I wouldn’t be able to wait until Poupon and Prince Club release an long-player. This is the tease and taster we crave and need. Technique‘s technique will leave you satisfied.
So remember Feed Me – the lovely British fellow who signed to Deadmau5‘s Mau5trap label? You know, the guy whose beats are so fat you leave the club full and needing a cigarette? Yeah, that guy.
Well, it’s been a while since we heard from him. There was the Escape from Electric Mountain EP back in the winter, which was out of control. But since then he’s been pretty quiet.
But no longer! Dude is back — and dude is deadly.
What he’s made is a little guest mix for BBC Radio 1′s Annie Nightingale. Except there’s nothing “little” about it. This is 23 minutes of purest pleasure. He has not forgotten any of his technique — in fact, he’s enhanced his style a bit. His mixing ability is second to none, and the track choice … well, you’ll see.
Something to get you through your Thursday: FEED ME in da mix!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Here we go again. Back to Echo Beach — this time to see a man who hasn’t traveled to Toronto … scratch that, Canada … no, wait, scratch that, North America … in 12 years. Eric Prydz is headling the Identity Festival in Toronto on Saturday, and I am amped.
I really don’t know what to expect. We’re talking about one of the pioneers of this genre. Somebody who was bending boundaries in the studio before the term EDM had even been invented. Who was making his mark as a live performer when DJs were still mainly associated with hip-hop acts. Who’d established the pseudonymous Cirez D as a household name well before alter egos became all the rage in dance music. Basically: if you’re in Toronto this Saturday there is only one destination.
And the awesome doesn’t stop with Pryda. Other heavy names featured at Identity include none other than Nero — currently number one on the bpm:tv Hot 20 Dance Chart with their single “Must Be The Feeling.” It’s a while since I’ve seen this UK duo perform, and I’m excited about how their sound has evolved. The latest album, Welcome Reality, has been a massive success, I’m looking forward to this set — not just to see the crowd’s reaction, but to hear their choice of remixes. Should be a performance to remember.
Then there’s Madeon and Le Castle Vania: Both young, both heavy electro — and both awesome. The 18-year-old Frenchman Madeon has built a rep in Europe as something of a prodigy, as been a favorite on BBC Radio 1 for quite a while now. The Atlanta-based Le Castle Vania, meanwhile, is part of the tide of fresh blood from North America blood sweeping across face of the EDM world. Both should be great sets, so be sure to check them out.
And then there’s Excision. Canada, stand up! The dubstep demon from Kelowna, BC will definitely be excited to play such a high-profile fest in his home country. And whenever you get a bass DJ hype to play for you … well, consider your pants soiled. Be prepared to get grimy.
So with all that said, I think it only fair that this week’s Sweets should showcase the artists performing at Identity. Enjoy!
A very late-breaking edition of Sweets of the Week here, tendered with apologies: what with the jam-packed summer schedule of festivals and events, it can sometimes be tough to get the weekly playlist assembled in time for Friday. But don’t you stress — I will always provide for my homies.
This week we hear a massssssssive new big-room track from Laidback Luke, which has owned my iPod for the past couple of days, plus new stuff from Toronto’s Dzeko and Torres, Riva Starr and Butch Clancy, aaaaaand a sexy, sultry ballad from Ellie Goulding. These taste sooooo good! Have at it, kids!
Los Angeles-based DJ MORGAN PAGE — a bpm:tv favourite — headlines on the Electronic Stage at Edgefest ’12 in Toronto this Saturday July 14. He took a few minutes from his hectic touring schedule to field some questions from Toronto’s DJ Soundbwoy (a.k.a. Chris Wilson).
DJ SOUNDBWOY: How important was it to you to find a unique “Morgan Page” sound, and how long into producing did it take to find it?
MORGAN PAGE: Well, I think its always changing. I put out his tweet the other week basically saying that I’m just finding my sound recently, and that it’s more on a club tangent. I’m just finally getting that sound that is chilled nicely, has the right amount of toughness and the right amount of melody and vocals. I think I’m finding this nice balance now, and it has taken along time — the earlier stuff I did was much deeper, and after playing and touring a lot it’s really shaped the sound. This is a very different sound now, but emotionally it resonates. It works for a crowd that knows my music and also for people who are new to the music.
DJS: If you had to name one particular song or artist that heavily influenced you to begin producing, what/who would it be?
MP: I would say Daft Punk was a heavy influence and I’m sure you hear that a lot, since it’s like an obvious one. During their early stuff like “Around The World, it was just a major influence and I can remember thinking that I can’t even imagine playing this. I would play it on my mix show and it was just a real pivotal record — I can remember buying it on vinyl.
DJS: You’ve been busy traversing the globe this year and have been working on your live show. What has been your most memorable show of 2012?
MP: Playing Coachella was probably number one, and it was also pretty amazing to play Electric Daisy Carnival. Also “Body Work” becoming a gold record recently, it’s definitely my first gold record in any country and I think it’s the first one for Tegan and Sara for a single. It was such an unlikely thing, I’m amazed it all kind of panned out that way and it just happened to be the right song at the right time.
DJS: What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen while playing a show?
MP: It’s usually something technical, like something blowing up at a show — I had a mixer blow up at one show because of the air conditioner. The club was so packed that it overloaded the air conditioning and it started to rain onto the mixer. The mixer ended up being covered in about four inches of water, shorted out, and made a white noise — and then of course the club went silent. This all happened at a show in New Mexico. Thankfully they had another mixer there and we eventually got it back after about half an hour.
DJS: Since you have so many originals and remixes out, how do you pick which ones you’re going to use live?
MP: Good question. It’s so hard, because inevitably someone is going to be pissed that you didn’t play that one song in your arsenal. I have about 250 remixes now so I prioritize by originals. I don’t want to be the DJ that just plays his own stuff, ’cause that gets kind of boring. But I know that’s what the fans want, I know they would be happy if you only played your stuff, so I play about 80% of my music and 20% of others — and to me, that keeps it fresh. When people are coming to your show they want to hear all your originals. Typically at a festival that’s easy, but at a show you have two hours or more than that, and each song has to be the best one of someone’s life. So you have to get all your originals in and your favourite new music in, and the transitions have to be seamless and the key matching has to be perfect, so a lot of expectations.
DJS: There seem to be so few American producers/DJs currently in the game. How do you feel about the recent rise of EDM in the U.S. and where it’s headed?
MP: I’m really excited about it. I think we saw a major sea change in 2011 and it is largely a result of the social media catching up on things and people being empowered to find music on their own. I think there are going to be more American producers and right now there should be a lot more — if you look at it right now we have Diplo, Kaskade, Skrillex, me, Porter Robinson and Wolfgang Gartner. There should be more headlining festivals, but its cool. There are also a lot of good Canadians ones, but when you’re boiling it down to just the American ones it’s kind of a small group of people. It would definitely be nice to have more Americans and Canadians at these festivals.
DJS: What advice would you give you a new DJ/producer starting out in this industry?
MP: There are so many little things that I could talk to you for like a week straight about it. I would say the most important thing is to put in the time, I know its not the sexiest tip in the world, but it’s totally true. Even these guys who look like the blew up overnight, like Avicii and Alesso, they’ve been doing it since they were 11 and 12 years old. I started when I was 14. You’ve got to put your ten thousand hours in, ultimately, and that’s sort of the theory that’s out there. I would say you have to be spending a minimum of three hours a day making music, and doing it as early as you can.
DJS: What’s one thing that our readers should definitely know about Morgan Page?
MP: The most important thing to know about right now is the radio show. Beyond the album and all the singles that are coming out, it’s the best place to hear a new mix every week, there’s a one-hour mix and it’s free. You can get it on iTunes if you search for my name and it’s also on Sirus XM every Thursday. The radio show is very important: it brings a lot of people to the shows, a lot of people work out to it and it has become part of a lot of people’s lives, just having that fun mix to listen to, to get you through those Monday mornings. So people should definitely keep up with that and let me know what you think.
Well, if you didn’t already know, it is GOING DOWN tonight at Sound Academy, as Embrace Presents brings Porter Robinson to the stage with guests The M Machine. Porter is a very busy man, so take full advantage of this opportunity and get your ass down to Polson Pier.
Of course, Porter isn’t the only one who’s been rocking the sh*t out of crowds over the past couple of weeks. Which brings us to this week’s Sweets of the Week. With the Digital Dreams fest just around the corner, the heat is on for DJs to find that elusive key to a killer set. Don’t be surprised if you hear a few of these heavy-duty tracks from your fave DJ this coming Canada Day weekend.
No need to go into detail about them — the sounds speak for themselves. Enjoy! I’ll see you tonight at Sound Academy!
We take a break from Porter Robinson week to give you our latest edition of Scott’s Selections. Our mini-mix for June is 17 minutes of the freshest bangers on the planet: a collection of tracks that will turn your party into a rager in a matter of minutes. Brodinski, Felix Cartal, and Pleasurekraft are just a few of the artists to make this month’s cut. Download the mix from SoundCloud, then grab the tunes you like at Beatport.
So this week I focused on the UEFA EURO 2012, a tournament many say is harder to win than the World Cup. A good chance to take a look at some of the powerhouse nations in the EDM game and see just how many A-list artists they’ve got on the roster.
With all that said, though, it bears pointing out that North American is making a pretty convincing bid for EDM supremacy, too. This week, in fact, we have one of the year’s biggest fests taking place down in Vegas. Electric Daisy Carnival is finally here — and this year’s looks to be one for the ages. The set lists are incredible, and too numerous to list here, so I’ll just pass on the images I’ve been drooling over for the past two months. If can’t make it, don’t worry — I’ll have you covered next week with info all the best sets.
Until then, some sweets to turn your weekend into a Vegas vacation. Let’s get to it!
From one side of the country to the other: Felix Cartal lends his touch to Autoerotique‘s “Roll the Drums.” An absolute banger.
A little tardy with this one, but whenever you come across a new Pleasurekraft track you wait until the full version is released. We were teased with a preview a few weeks back, but it didn’t do the tune justice. It’s truly out of this world — particularly once it hits the four minute mark. (PS, Pleasurekraft are in Toronto tomorrrrrrrrrow night at SPACE IBIZA at Sound Academy. BE THERE!!!!!!!!!)
Speaking of previews, Tits & Clits have given us a glimpse of their latest track — and this one can’t wait. It’s a remix of Demon Superior‘s “Creepy Little Doll.” Something about T&C in the studio: they know how to pick just the right chord for every part of a remix. This will be a definite download when the full track becomes available; until then, this two-minute snippet should hold you.
Mau5trap is well represented this week with the latest from Moguai: a remix of a track he released back in February. He must of heard something in the past four months that he wanted to incorporate, because this version is miles away from the original. Both are good — but this one’s better.
One of my favourite acts, T.E.E.D., remixed by none other than Miguel Campbell. Huge!
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 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!
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.