Digital Dreams 2014 Review

July 25th, 2014

Posted by Gosia Mrugala

It’s been a little while since Toronto’s Ontario Place morphed into an electric wonderland but the excitement continues to linger in the air. Thoughts and memories of the harmonious music and good vibes still give goose bumps to my entire body.

This year Electronic Nation made Digital Dreams a “cashless festival”. Attendees were given a Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) wristband which became your wallet for the weekend. Scanning your wristband was the only way to pay for drinks, food and merchandise. Festival goers loaded their “digital wallets” online before they left home or at ‘top-up’ stations scattered throughout the festival grounds. At the end of the day, the RFID bracelet was a great idea! Line-ups moved quickly, the stress of wasting time lining up for drinks, food and festival merch was eliminated. The only lineup was the one to pick-up your bracelet at will call, with wait times up to two hours! There’s nothing worse than standing body-to-body in the heat, waiting an ungodly amount of time whilst hearing music from your favorite artists pounding in the other side of the fence. Next year make sure to buy your bracelet ahead of time! Everyone that did this year had their RFID wristband sent to them via snail mail – they just walked right in, with no delay.

The cell phone charging station was convenient but in my opinion unnecessary. Call me old-school but I think ‘technology’ distracts us from enjoying the moment. Ten years ago, looking out across the crowd all we would see was a sea of hands in the air and fans enjoying each note of music to the fullest! These days we see thousands of cellphone screens in the air capturing the moment. Come on people! Reliving the moment later on your computer screen is just not the same as being present in the moment that is playing out in real time.

This year we had four stages to choose from: The Dream Stage, Echo Beach, Bacardi House of Boom and Fantasyland/No.19 Social Experiment, the setup of the venue was perfect! The stages were spaced apart enough so that there was no overlapping sound from stage to stage.

The Dream Stage was the most intense! Lighting and sound unlike anything we have ever experienced in Canada before. The DJ booth hosted international superstars such-as Tiësto, Justice, Eric Prydz, Nervo, Dzeko & Torres, Fedde le Grand and our hometown boy Jelo to name just a few. Carnage’s was unforgettable; his energy and interaction with the crowd was adorable and his track selection was diverse. If you missed it I strongly suggest you keep your eyes open for his set online! Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike sent the crowd into an animalistic frenzy when they played Nirvana’s classic “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. And one experience I’ll never forget was the moment Mother Nature decided to let the sky dance with rain during Dash Berlin’s set. He played “Till The Sky Falls Down” and the crowd stayed put and danced in the down-pour. Thinking of it still sends a euphoric chill down my spine.

Echo Beach offered a more laid-back and heart thumping vibe, with stunning sets from Sydney Blu, Daniel Dubb, Danny Tenaglia, and many more. The vibe was Ibiza-like, standing in the sand with music dancing through the air, house music and tech music that just blew away all our expectations! Nicole Moudaber delivered a hard hitting techno set; but of course we expected nothing less from the Techno Queen. When Electronic Nation announced Deep Dish, anticipation grew and expectations were high. Boy did this duo deliver! It something I’ll tell my grand kids about. This was the reunion everyone was hoping for.

Before stepping into the Bacardi House of Boom tent you had to brace yourself… take a deep breath of the cool air and enter the hot, packed tent. Heat stifled the air and enveloped your body while the hard, grimy music took control of your soul. It was impossible to be in the House of Boom and just stand still. Sets that are imprinted on my mind are Flux Pavilion, I Am Legion, Keys ‘N Krates, and Excision. Yes, the heat in the tent was unbearable, but if you didn’t suck it up and enter, believe me you missed some hard, primal music.

One of the festival’s hidden gems was the fourth stage – Fantasy Land/No. 19 Social Experiment – a haven for trance enthusiasts. Unless you stumbled upon it or were informed by friends, you may not have ventured to the farthest corner of the festival grounds to find it. If you didn’t go there, let me tell you, you missed out! The music and the atmosphere were psychedelic and mind-altering. At night, the lighting had texture and set a mood of euphoria across the entire area. Alex M.O.R.P.H., Green Velvet and Super8 & Tab delivered sets that just keep replaying in my enchanted dreams.

If you missed this year’s festival, I strongly urge you to mark it with a HIGHLIGHTER in your calendar. It’s something we can dream about and Electronic Nation does a phenomenal job at bringing our dreams to life. I am still dreaming in digital!

 

   Dash Berlin

Nervo



Gosia Mrugala Site - http://www.iammuzyka.com/ Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/officialiammuzyka Twitter - https://twitter.com/IAMMUZYKA

 

bpm:tv was there: ULTRA EUROPE! (Updated!)

July 25th, 2013

 

By Peter Palarchio

Photos: Fabijan Vuksic

CHECK OUT THE FULL PHOTO GALLERY HERE

“The biggest challenge in bringing Ultra Music Festival to Europe was to do it in a way that was completely unique and original. To enter a European market so rich in festival culture and history, with thousands of festivals happening every summer over the past 40 years, and still produce something never before done there.”Russell Faibisch, ULTRA MUSIC FESTIVAL/Ultra Worldwide Founder, Executive Producer, CEO & President

103,000 attendees. 700,000 online viewers. Visitors from 75 countries. Three days. Two cities. One amazing time.

This was Ultra Europe 2013.

For the first time ever, the Ultra Music Festival found its way home to the roots of EDM on European soil. The Ultra festivals have escaped the grips of southern Florida (Although UMF Miami in March remains an event eminently worth checking out) and has expanded the brand to a worldwide audience, touching down in new continents all year round. Ultra Europe came fresh on the heels of an insanely successful Ultra Korea, so the expectations for this homecoming of sorts couldn’t have been higher. And UMF Croatia delivered.

For many, the festival actually started on the Thursday night before the official kick-off, as tens of thousands of visitors flooded the streets of Split, Croatia, the gorgeous coastal city that played host to the first two days of the event. The streets were alive with energy, as eager festival-goers hit up the local clubs and bars in anticipation of the next day’s extravaganza, which promised some of the biggest DJs in the world.

On a side note, this reviewer didn’t have the easiest of times getting to his hotel. Having flown into Dubrovnik and missed the last bus to Split, I was obliged to take up a Croatian man on his offer to charter a van and ferry myself and seven newfound friends up north, with a quick detour through Bosnia along the way. For some reason, thoughts of the feature film Hostel started racing through our minds, and things grew quiet for spell. Finally, after getting dropped off in Split — alive and untortured — and after a couple of “lost in translation” moments that led some memorably wrong turns — we made it to our hotel. We do travel to gain experience, after all. And I can now confidently affirm that getting lost in Eastern Europe is an experience.


 

DAY ONE

Americans, Swedes, Finns, Brits and Canadians. Nope, this isn’t the Pool “A “ for Men’s Hockey at the upcoming Sochi Olympic games. This is just a partial rundown of the amazing 75 countries represented on my walk to Stadium Poljud. Normally, this facility is home to soccer or track and field. Today, it would be home to something quite different.

The location was carefully scouted and handpicked by Russell Faibisch, the founder, Executive Producer, CEO and President of ULTRA MUSIC FESTIVAL/Ultra Worldwide. In his words: “After visiting more than 15 countries, meeting with many promoters and visiting more than a hundred potential locations and venues, I ultimately chose Croatia. It is truly one of the most beautiful and special places in the world — in addition to being the newest and hottest European summer destination for party people and DJs.”


Even from hundreds of metres away, the heart thumping-bass inside the stadium could easily be felt. Ultra Croatia had officially kicked off, with the thousands pouring in to revel in mash-ups, remixes, pyrotechnics, dancers and more.

Montreal’s Adventure Club really got the party started. There might be a Canadian bias on my part, but I felt like this duo gave it their all and then some, helping to cultivate an energy that kept on until dawn.

As the sun set and the DJs continued to delight the main crowd, it was time for a quick break to check out the Carl Cox & Friends stage, just in time to catch yet another Canadian duo: Toronto’s Art Department. Kenny Glasgow and Jonny White delivered a laid-back deep house set that won the clear approval of the crowd — an inspired a swell of hometown pride in the heart of this festival-goer.


As darkness fell and UMF’s always-impressive lighting display illuminated the crowd, electro house wunderkind Porter Robinson took the stage, enthralling the crowd with his expertly-deployed drops and mixes. The night marched on, and before I knew it, one of my personal favorites was taking the stage: Avicii, a.k.a. Tim Berg. This Scandinavian superstar had received mixed reactions from the crowd in Miami earlier in the year, with a set that highlighted his progression toward a newer sound. There was no such ambivalence here. The 23-year-old Swede, sporting a Toronto Blue Jays cap no less (I swear, I was on European soil), smashed the decks with classics like “Levels” and new hits such as “Wake Me Up.” Nicky Romero closed out the night, and soon enough the sun was rising on a new dawn. Ultra Europe day one was already a thing of the past.

Best Set: Avicii


 

DAY TWO

Yeah, things really are a little different in Europe. What with festivals running until 5am instead of midnight, crowds tend to be smaller for some of the earlier acts of the day, as the multitudes rest up and hydrate in preparation for another marathon.

Spanish newcomer Danny Avila delivered a standout set during the early hours, and bpm:tv had the pleasure of speaking with the 18-year-old house sensation afterward. (Stay tuned for the interview coming soon). But there was no about what the crowd was waiting for: it was the Dutch invasion of Afrojack, Armin van Buuren and Hardwell, all DJ Mag top 10 heavyweights. Props to UMF for saving some tricks for Day Two, as the firework and pyrotechnic displays were kicked up a notch for these world-class acts.

Afrojack delighted the masses with the top tunes in his repertoire, including “As Your Friend,” which has been getting tones of radio play worldwide (the crowd sang along to prove the point). Armin Van Buuren also had the crowd lustily belting along when he closed his set with the summer anthem “This Is What It Feels Like,” with a pretty-darn-cool superimposed Trevor Guthrie on the screen and fireworks lighting up the whole stadium. Next up, with the world tuning in to to a live stream on YouTube, came the 24-year-old phenom Hardwell. He opened his set with a blast, rewarding the crowd’s anticipation with “Spaceman,” one of the biggest tracks of the the past year. And from 3:30 am to 5:00 am we were treated to the very best the EDM world has to offer: a masterfully crafted set that mixed in a few classics from the past — even a tune from grunge-rock faves Nirvana.

With daylight in full flight, it was time to catch a couple of winks before the boat ride to Day Three.

Best Set: Hardwell

Honourable Mention: Bingo Players


 

DAY THREE

How on earth am I going to do this?

That was pretty much my first thought as the alarm went off. Two days of Ultra Europe had taken their toll. Three hours of sleep, a quick shower, and before I knew it, I was on a ferry to Hvar Island bound for the Amfora Hotel — and for a Vegas-style pool party that was destined to become the highlight of the trip.

Judging from the hundreds of festival-goers passed out on any available floor space, I wasn’t the only one feeling a little tuckered out. But this feeling quickly dissipated when I caught a view of the stage setup straddling the divide between the pool and the sea. Vegas: you now have your work cut out for you, if you plan on topping this.

It was the party of a lifetime, as anyone was lucky enough to get tickets (it sold out in 10 minutes) would surely agree. With acts like Nervo, Cazzette and Dada Life supplying the auditory bliss, this splash-fest was an afternoon to remember.

And then … there was Chuckie. Chuckie, Chuckie, Chuckie — wow, thank you! As the sun began to dim on what would turn out to be a nine-hour show, this was the artist who kept the ecstatic energy alive — a DJ perfectly in tune with his rapt audience. Whether it was serving up the newest Beatport chart-toppers on Beatport or dipping into the throwback file for a mad Linkin Park mash-up, Chuckie always seemed to nail exactly what the crowd wanted to hear. And after three days of the top names in EDM, I can assure you this was no easy feat.

Finally, Steve Aoki closed out the festival in classic Aoki fashion — constantly finding new ways to interact with the crowd, dropping killer mash-ups and party remixes. And suddenly it was over, seemingly as quickly as it had begun, leaving on all of us the powerful impression that we’d experienced a festival unlike anything that can be found on North American soil.

Best Set: Chuckie

Honourable Mention: Dada Life


Once again in the words of Russell Faibisch: “After the inaugural edition’s massive success, Ultra Europe is very proud to call Croatia home for many many years to come.” Music to a music lovers ears. Take some advice, and start planning your trip to Ultra Europe 2014 right now. This is not an experience to be missed.

 

FREEDOM! (Updated with Photos!)

May 24th, 2013

INK EVENTS presents FREEDOM 2013 @ The Guvernment Entertainment Complex in association with EDMFiX – Sunday, May 19, 2013

Reviewed by Gosia Mrugala

Photos by Jason Kwan

Over the Victoria Day long weekend, Torontonians mostly abandon the city — along with its horrible, horrible mayor — and flee to cottages and campgrounds. But music addicts always have reason to stick around — and that’s the one and only annual Freedom event at The Guvernment and Kool Haus complex. This year’s lineup, courtesy of Ink Events, was positively hype-worthy. Just check out the roster:

@ The Guvernment:

Gareth Emery | Arty | Nervo | Manzone & Strong

@ Kool Haus

Ferry Corsten | Tritonal | Bassjackers | Mark Oliver

 @ Chroma:

Borgore


One of the things I admire about the crowd at The Guvernment complex is that it’s incredibly diverse, yet strongly united. This really is a close-knit musical community, and it’s very satisfying thing to be part of that environment.

As for the evening itself, it was filled with some mind-blowing music. So many new tracks, such an animalistic frenzy on the dance floor: it was like finding yourself in some wild, harmonious jungle. It was quite the adventure to try cutting your way through the crowd, from the Kool Haus to Chroma to The Guvernment’s main dance floor and back again — but not matter which room you came to be in, you were welcomed by euphoric melodies and heart-stopping bass

Ink Events organizes many such annual events, but I have to say Freedom is always the one I most look forward to. If you haven’t experienced it yet, I can can assure you that you’re missing out. I love lazing on a beach at the cottage or toasting marshmallows by a bonfire as much as the next Torontonian — but come next Victoria Day, I’m pretty sure I’ll be lured back to The Guvernment and Kool Haus. You might want to succumb to the temptation yourself.



Gosia Mrugala is a Toronto-based blogger and reviewer. You can read her blog HERE, and follow her on Twitter HERE.

PHOTO GALLERY: Nervo with Walden @ Uniun

January 15th, 2013

Couldn’t make it to Nervo‘s show with Walden last Friday at Uniun in Toronto? Check out this gallery of images from photographer CONSTANCE CHAN to see what you missed. Really, why does anyone stay home on a Friday night?

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL GALLERY.

Special thanks to Gosia Mrugala.



 

Norman Doray: The bpm:tv Interview

January 9th, 2013

Posted by Gosia Mrugala

bpm:tv blogger Gosia Mrugala chews la graisse with French housemeister NORMAN DORAY


GOSIA MRUGALA: Hey Norman! What have you been up to?

NORMAN DORAY: I’ve been touring quite a lot in the USA recently. I love being here, always a crazy atmosphere. I’m also a lot in the studio, to come back with some new music.

GM: Your track with Nervo, “Something To Believe In,” has gotten rave reviews — congratulations on that. How did the collaboration come together?

ND: The collaboration with the girls was so much fun! We loved what each other was doing, so we decided to get in the studio in London for two days. We worked hard and came up with “Something To Believe In.” It’s a good combination of classic house vocals with progressive sound and vibe.


GM: Tell me about “The Freshmakers.”

ND: My first project, I’ll never forget. I was 23 years old and decided to create this band with Pierre de la Touche and Arno Cost. We came up with [our brand of] French house music, which made us what we are today.

GM: What or who would you say has most inspired you and your music?

ND: I’m inspired by nearly everything in day-to-day life, to be honest! I’m inspired by the people I’m meeting, by the weather, by the places I’m going to. And for sure, listening to other music inspire me a lot too


GM: Your top three tracks at the moment?

ND: Porter Robinson & Mat ZoEasy | Norman Doray & NervoSomething To Believe In (Carl Louis & Martin Danielle Remix) | Swedish House Mafia feat. John MartinDon’t You Worry Child

GM: When you’re not touring or producing, what do you do on your down time?

ND: I try to spend as much time as I can with my family and the people I love. It’s so hard to see them and share time with them. That’s my number one priority.

GM: What’s the biggest “Oh, shit” moment you’ve experienced during a set?

ND: When another DJ comes to the booth 45 minutes before his set and starts plugging in his computer, without saying “Hi,” in front of 10,000 people. At that time you have to be really strong, mentally, not to punch him!


GM: How do you feel social media outlets have influenced the EDM scene?

ND: A lot — in every aspect. Now, fans and artists are like a big family. Everyone knows what others are doing. I think it’s really good — but I still think an artist should have a bit of privacy on his own personal life

GM: Any upcoming projects or collaborations in the works?

ND: New singles: some solo, some in collaboration. More news soon!

GM: Where do you see yourself in five years?

ND: I hope I’ll be spending more time in the studio! I love touring, but it’s really exhausting!



Gosia Mrugala is a Toronto-based blogger and reviewer. You can read her blog HERE, and follow her on Twitter HERE.

 

Gosia’s Track of the Day: Nervo & Hook N Sling, “Reason”

December 19th, 2012

Nervo & Hook N Sling – Reason: BUY IT ON BEATPORT

The cadence to this track is pleasing to the senses, the lyrics unique and compelling: “When the puzzle connects it’s like you’ll never forget the way it’s got to be.” Certainly the puzzle pieces are perfectly connected on this production: not a one has gone missing! Aussie twin sisters Miriam and Olivia Nervo have been taking the EDM scene by storm, and I’ll be looking forward to seeing them in Toronto in the new year! Hope to catch you all on the dancefloor when NERVO brings their distinctive sound to Union Nightclub.


Gosia Mrugala is a Toronto-based blogger and reviewer. You can read her blog HERE, and follow her on Twitter HERE.

 

Sweets of the Week – June 22

June 22nd, 2012

Posted by Scott Willats

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!


THE SWEETS

Porter Robinson – Language: LISTEN TO IT HERE


Skream & Example – Shot Yourself In The Foot Again (Eclectizm Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


J. Cole – Werk Out (OVERWERK Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


Cassian – I Love It (Original Mix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


Kanye West – Mercy (Figure Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


Metric – Artificial Nocturne (Love Thy Brother Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


Giselle – Silk (Sound Remedy Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


Nervo – Y.G.L.A. (Pleasurekraft ‘Happily Never After’ Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


KDrew – Last Train To Paradise: LISTEN TO IT HERE


Diplo – Barely Standing feat. Datsik & Sabi: LISTEN TO IT HERE


SUPER SWEET!

Scott’s Selections – June Edition: LISTEN TO IT HERE


VISUAL SWEET



Follow Scott Willats (SAWStruck) on Twitter

Attention shoppers: bpm:tv DANCE 2012 compilation in stores today!

April 3rd, 2012

And the awesome continues. (Who said April is the cruelest month? Oh, right: this guy.)

So anyway. Our long-awaited bpm:tv DANCE 2012 compilation CD hits the streets today, with a lineup that includes Deadmau5, Swedish House Mafia, Martin Solveig & Dragonette, Nervo featuring Afrojack & Steve Aoki, Sak Noel … and many more, as they say on the television. Mixed, as always, by the estimable DJ Marky D.

You can find bpm:tv DANCE 2012 at Best Buy, HMV and Walmart, or BUY IT ONLINE.

Own it!


TRACKLIST

INTERNATIONAL LOVE (CLINTON SPARKS & DISCO FRIES RADIO MIX) – PITBULL feat. CHRIS BROWN

BODY WORK (CLUB MIX EDIT) – MORGAN PAGE feat. TEGAN AND SARA

BIG IN JAPAN (DENZAL PARK REMIX) – MARTIN SOLVEIG & DRAGONETTE feat. IDOLING!!!

TURN THIS CLUB AROUND – R.I.O. feat. U-JEAN

PASO (THE NINI ANTHEM) – SAK NOEL

ANTIDOTE – SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA VS. KNIFE PARTY

MUTATE (ORIGINAL EDIT) – SIDNEY SAMSON & LIL JON

AURAL PSYNAPSE – DEADMAU5

WE’RE ALL NO ONE – NERVO feat. AFROJACK AND STEVE AOKI

LONELY TONIGHT (ORIGINAL ENGLISH RADIO EDIT) – HOLD UP

I COULD STAY (CHR REMIX) – KREESHA TURNER

MR. KNOW IT ALL (BILLIONAIRE REMIX) – KELLY CLARKSON

…AND MORE!


 

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.


Follow Scott Willats (SAWStruck) on Twitter

Sweets of the Week – Friday the 13th Edition

January 13th, 2012

Posted by Scott Willats

    

TGIF on what has been a sluggish week. Most people I’ve talked to are still trying to get out of that holiday slump and get the gears moving again. Last weekend, the city of Toronto was pretty much a ghost town where concerts were concerned. While this week definitely has more in the way of shows on offer, the winter grind is in full effect; it might just be easier to turn on the iPod and invite a couple of friends over.

And if that’s your choice, wicked! I got a couple of tracks to keep you warm and toasty!


THE SWEETS

While searching my gallery of songs I noticed that I didn’t have a single remix of this track. For some reason, that surprised me. Natalia Kills‘ anthem “Mirrors” takes on a whole new persona courtesy of Omega.

Natalia Kills – Mirrors (Omega Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


A track that definitely deserves some recognition. Tommie Sunshine adds a nice up tempo backbeat to what is already an amazing song. Arcade Fire are indescribable.

Arcade Fire – Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) [Tommie Sunshine's Quaalude Edit]: LISTEN TO IT HERE


A little pop never hurt anyone. This track is made for both clubs and radio. With luck, a video will accompany this — because I personally wouldn’t mind seeing Neon Hitch provide some visuals specifically for this track …

Neon Hitch – F*** U Betta: LISTEN TO IT HERE


Sweden, Sweden, Sweden! They don’t even know how to make an ordinary track. It’s either go big or go home. With industry hotshot Nervo teaming up with Mister-Stadium-Anthem-Only Avicii, there was only ever one possible outcome.

Avicii and Nervo – You’re Gonna Love Again 


Want to be a successful producer/DJ? Follow the R3Hab formula: consistency! Drop so many tracks that even your haters will be believers. I can smell Pacha in this song!

Porcelain Black – Naughty (R3hab’s Pacha NYC 6AM Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE 


Two of your favourite artists (kiddddddddddding) … but let’s be honest: Chris Brown and Pitbull are two of the industry’s biggest acts right now. So if you can’t avoid ‘em, join ‘em — preferably with extra bassssssss! Clinton Sparks is a G!

Pitbull feat. Chris Brown – International Love (Clinton Sparks & The Disco Fries Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE 


Last but not least, something to really rock to. I love anthems like these: they seem to put a smile on my face no matter where I’m at. Hope it does the same for you! Sound Keepers don’t play around!!

Hellfire Machina feat. Infuze – Good Love (Soundkeepers Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


VISUAL SWEETS

I’ve just heard about this song and have already fallen so hard for it. The video is simple but stylish. Gotta love it!


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