Artist Profile: A-Trak

February 9th, 2012

Posted by Scott Willats

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.

So who is A-Trak? First off, play this …

Sébastien Tellier – Kilometer (A-Trak Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


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.

Boys Noize – Oh! (A-Trak Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


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.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Heads Will Roll (A-Trak Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


Then, of course, there are his Fool’s Gold Radio mixes, which are a must-have every month for fans of any music.

Fool’s Gold Radio – January 2012 Mix: LISTEN TO IT HERE


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?!?!

Dennis Ferrer tomorrow…………….c’mon son!

 


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Sweets of the Week

November 18th, 2011

Posted by Scott Willats

 

Hola amigos! Happy Friday to all! I had a Thomas Edison moment the other day and thought I would share: I think it’s time to have a contest for all the independent DJs out there. I want to hear your mixes! Nothing is official yet, just thinking outside the box here, but I think it should be 10-minute mixes with whatever tune selections you choose, the best mix to be showcased on our site and posted throughout our social media networks. Again nothing’s written in stone yet, but it’s something for all you bedroom producers and DJs to think about. Let me know what you think — hit me up at @Sawstruck or on the bpm:tv Facebook page.

Excited? Good, because I have some sweets here that are definitely mix-worthy. Let’s get to it!


SWEETS

One of Sweden’s Rookies of the Year is back with a remix, and it’s exactly what you would expect: a big progressive sound made for stadiums. I swear, all the Swedish artists need to get together and do a joint tour. (And I need to copyright that idea.)

Titanium (Alesso Remix) PREVIEW: LISTEN TO IT HERE


A week after I posted about his 52-songs-in-52-weeks challenge, ZHU releases an absolute beast of a remix for week 9. This time the West Coast electro whiz kid takes on a Canadian household name, and gives Lights‘ new track “Toes” a progressive trance feel. The result will be playing from The Hoxton to The Guvernment in no time.

Lights – Toes (ZHU Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


Bart B More is more than just an up-and-coming DJ nowadays. The kid is official. Mr. Bart Van der Meer’s remix of Cubic Zirconia is the evolution of an anthem. Keeps it fresh and funky at the beginning to ease us in, only to take us to the absolute height of aggression at 2:00. A must-have.

Cubic Zirconia – Take Me High (Bart B More Remix Edit): LISTEN TO IT HERE


FREE, FREE, FREE! Did I get your attention? Remember Caesars‘ almost cult classic track “Jerk It Out”? A couple years back you couldn’t watch five minutes of commercials without hearing this track. Well it’s reared its ugly head again — but this time its face is filthy. Sawgood has decided to add a few kicks and drums — plus a s**tload of attitude — to spice it up a bit. This track is so sexy you’ll be happy to jerk it out all over the dance floor. What am I talking about?

Caesars – Jerk It Out (Sawgood Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


One thing I love is hearing an artist take on a song that’s in a completely different lane. I love seeing how the producer makes up for those pieces in the track that need to be changed. This one is a must-hear.  I suggest you listen to Two Door Cinema Club’s original, and then check Feed Me’s version right after. Spectacular!

Two Door Cinema Club – What You Know (Feed Me Cover Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


I’m a little tardy on this one, but it is without a doubt my track of the week. Le Castle Vania has been releasing some of the heaviest remixes over the past year, while staying pretty low-key. This is going to change all that. I’ve been in love with Kaskade‘s “Turn it Down” from the minute I heard it — that is, until I heard this. The ATLien takes what already is an arena anthem and turns it into the ultimate banger. Simply put, THIS IS HUGE! Check the footage of him dropping it at Escape from Wonderland. The audio is a little dodgy so be sure to cop the tune in all its 320 glory. Buy it!


Turn It Down (Le Castle Vania Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


BONUS SWEET!


Have a good weekend! Boys Noize next week. It’s going downnnnnnnnnn……………………….xx


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