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 Zo – Easy | Norman Doray & Nervo – Something To Believe In (Carl Louis & Martin Danielle Remix) | Swedish House Mafia feat. John Martin – Don’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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 …
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.
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!