Riding The Greyhound

July 3rd, 2012

Posted by Jesse Ship

ABSOLUT GREYHOUND UNLEASHED feat. MSTRKRFT @ The Hoxton, Toronto – June 28, 2012


Absolut Vodka has a long history of supporting and curating the arts, so hosting a massive global booze-fueled promotional party campaign makes perfect sense for the brand. It also makes sense that they would hire superstars Swedish House Mafia to compose the “Greyhound” tune, what with being a Swedish product and all. Haven’t seen the commercial yet? It features robotic dogs in the desert, chasing after a quicksilvery blob, with cut scenes of Angello, Axwell and Ingrosso DJing inside the minds of the dogs. Which happens! Check it out:

So, last Thursday night, Absolut launched the Toronto arm of the “Greyhound” cocktail tour at The Hoxton, with local electro-celebs MSTRKRFT headlining. The set was some serious high-energy stabbing and bassy business, working far better in a mid-sized club environment rather than at the Rogers Centre, where the duo were seen last November opening for Deadmau5. The club was decorated with statues of the Voltron-esque cyberdogs, and select bar staff were outfitted with costumes and masks reproduced from the “Greyhound” video, lending to the overall Gaga-ish masquerade theme of the evening.

According to Absolut Senior Brand Manager, Chris Bhowmik, the idea behind the event was “to create a multi-sensory experience that tells you what your cocktail should sound like.” The evening’s spotlighted cocktail was the classic Greyhound, a summery concoction first introduced back in the 1920s. CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE. Stay tuned for more sonic adventures from Absolut, as Chris hinted at future cocktail collaborations featuring mellow indie-rock and jazz flavours..

CLICK HERE TO SEE JESSE SHIP’S COMPLETE PHOTO GALLERY


 

Q&A With Neon Knights

June 26th, 2012

Interview by Gosia Mrugala

Neon Knights is the dynamic rock/electro duo of talented drummer Kane G and rocking guitarist Sean L – both noteworthy producers and DJs. Watching them live is wild beyond words. To call the pair unique performers would be an understatement: they mix DJing with live instruments in a rock-grimy style, creating a powerful vibe between themselves and the crowd that’s a rare pleasure to witness. They’re going to be rocking The Hoxton in Toronto this Friday June 29. I can’t think of a better venue for these guys, so consider the show STRONGLY recommended. Look forward to seeing you on the dancefloor!

 


IAMMUZYKA: What’s the story behind the alias “Neon Knights”?

SEAN: The name Neon Knights came from our background in rock music with the song “Neon Knights” by Black Sabbath. We thought this would be the perfect name for us, as we incorporate our rock influence with EDM and bring neon colours with our live instruments. Kane’s Glo kit is what really helped drive this name home for us. We hope to one day have futuristic knight suits that glow and tie into our neon theme.

IAMMUZYKA: Where did you meet and how did you guys start working together?

SEAN: We met in our first year at Ryerson in one of our business classes. We got along real well, had very similar musical interests and one day just decided to form Neon Knights. We haven’t looked back since!

IAMMUZYKA: Who are your biggest inspirations and what have you learned from them?

KANE: My biggest inspirations have to be drummers like Travis Barker, Neil Peart and Daniel Adair. These are the guys who inspired me to learn how to drum in the first place and I will always look up to them for the great musicians and role models they are. Through my high school days I would spend hours and hours improving my drum skills and it’s amazing to see where it has taken me today. Sean and I both look up to and respect Matt Jones and Pat Doody from the Sour DJs. They’ve helped us so much and we’re so happy they have taken us under their wing in the EDM scene.

SEAN: My biggest inspiration of all is Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin. He’s the reason I learned to play the guitar. The list could go on and on, but here are some more of my inspirations just to name a few: Angus Young, Jack White, Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Metallica. Artists like these inspired me to want to learn guitar, which I would practice for hours and hours. I used to stay home Friday and Saturday nights in high school to study and master the craft of guitar. I wanted to learn everything from shredding, classical, riffs, etc. Music inspires and motivates us, and if it wasn’t for my inspirations I would not be where I am today.

IAMMUZYKA: How would you describe the sound of Neon Knights?

KANE: Neon Knights’ sound can be summed up in a few words: aggressive, heavy riffed, high-energy, in-your-face music. We thrive off the high energy at every show and transfer that into the music we make.

IAMMUZYKA: Which producing software do you prefer and why?

SEAN: We use Logic for producing as Kane has been using it in the past for rock music and drum cover. We’ve been learning it more and more as time went on and it is the main software we use. We hope to learn how to use Ableton as well so we have a few programs we can use when creating music.

IAMMUZYKA: DJing or producing?

SEAN: We feel there must be a solid balance of both DJing and producing. There is nothing like DJing to an insane crowd where you can feel crazy energy in the room. You also need that time in the studio grinding out hours on end finding that perfect sound and producing an awesome track.

IAMMUZYKA: Top three tracks at the moment?

KANE: 1.Hirshee – Bang This 2. Horny Sanchez – Caliburn (The Sour DJs Remix) 3. Nero – Must Be The Feeling (Delta Heavy Remix)

SEAN: 1. Topher Jones – Brohammer 2. Tiësto & Swanky Tunes – Make Some Noise 3. Laidback Luke – 1234 feat. Chuckie & Martin Solveig

IAMMUZYKA: In your own words, what does EDM represent?

KANE: To me, EDM represents a culture in which electronic music is what brings everyone together. It doesn’t matter the style of dance music you like, whether it be acid house or dubstep — the appreciation and love of dance music is what ties everyone together. The love I see when I walk out in front of an audience of 5,000 people or 50 people is always the same. People are there for the love of the music and that is why we do what we do.

SEAN: EDM is simply any dance music that is electronic. There are so many styles, which makes it difficult to simply define EDM. To me the EDM scene is like a family in which whenever I meet someone that is into the EDM scene there is an instant bond. EDM is my life.

IAMMUZYKA: What are some projects you guys are currently working on that we can look forward to?

SEAN: We are currently in the works of releasing the Limp Bizkit -Breakstuff bootleg that we are a part of with The Sour DJs. There will be a video made shortly for Sol Republic headphones that will feature this track. Also, our first release on Beatport is coming up. We are featured on The Sour DJs’ new single titled “Your Mum,” which has remixes done by Donald Glaude, FTampa, Andy’s iLL, Obsidian and Unit 42. We are very excited for these releases!!

IAMMUZYKA: Where do you see Neon Knights in the next five years?

KANE: We hope to see ourselves on bigger stages, bigger festivals, bigger events and all around hope to take our music to the next level. We would like to collaborate with various artist and continue creating progressive music. We will always keep our “Neon Knights” sound and look forward to whatever the future brings.



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

Hello, Boys

November 24th, 2011

Posted by Scott Willats

In any recent discussion of innovative and trend-setting DJs, the name Boys Noize has been at the top of most people’s lists. The 29-year-old prodigy turned professor has spent most of his 20’s inventing and establishing sounds that embody the music of tomorrow, today. With the upcoming release of The Remixes, today is a day to reflect on this skillful artist.

Alex Ridha, in my opinion, is one of the greatest remixers of the decade. Not to dismiss his originals or his live sets, but the track selection of his remixes, coupled with the production quality and style, put him in a class all by himself. And if you think I’m being a tad melodramatic, all I ask is that you press play on the track directly below and lose yourself in seven years of perfection.

Boys Noize – The Remixes (2004-2011) – Preview: LISTEN TO IT HERE


This little mix/preview gives you a sense of his incredible consistency. And chances are that track list features at least a couple of titles that will find themselves on your iPod real soon. The most amazing thing is that many impressive remixes didn’t even make the cut.

The album, which will be available December 5, is like a stroll down memory lane for electro enthusiasts. Some will say its release right around Christmas is purely for marketing and profit. Fair comment, but I personally like it when a DJ assembles a list like this to demonstrate his or her mastery. Not that Ridha has anything he needs to prove.

He has created so many tracks with such intimate sounds that you would figure them best played in the close quarters of a basement club. Right? Wrong. You’ll find them being used as festival shakers and stadium anthems. There is no rigid format, no step process — it’s just original quality: dense sound from every angle possible. The album ought to be worth the pick-up, if only for the tracks that you don’t already have. Some of the songs selected were big summer anthems, so even if you’re unfamiliar with the artists I’ll bet you’ve heard one or two of these before.

And when you’re talking about the man, you have to talk about the label:  the Young Money of electro. A collection of equally talented producers with long lists of credentials in the banger department. A personal favourite of mine being Jan Driver, who has the same heavily German electro sound that Boys Noize has polished. This track “Rattlesteak” is war music:

Jan Driver – Rattlesteak: LISTEN TO IT HERE


Rynecologist is another heavy hitter absolutely in need of checking out. This track, originally heavy, is turned into something equally gorgeous.

GUXXI VUMP – Shashtilism (Rynecologist shash-to-the-ill-ism RMX): LISTEN TO IT HERE


Tonight, Boys Noize will be live at The Hoxton in Toronto with Milano, Meech and Andy Ares. Pick up tix here.


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Sweets of the Week

November 11th, 2011

Posted by Scott Willats

   

Friday Friday Friday! 11-11-11 is todays date, and a numeric coincidence this special needs to be an occasion. Carl Cox is playing tonight at Downsview Park, Studio 3. If you happen to be around, I would definitely advise you to take that in — Cox never disappoints. This Saturday, meanwhile, Toronto will get its first look at a man I’ve spoken highly of before: Porter Robinson. Porter the Prodigy is going to be playing at The Hoxton tomorrow, and I expect him to serenade the Big Smoke. Once again Embrace Presents is the machine making this possible, so if you’re in the Toronto area be sure to grab some tix and head down to Bathurst and King!

On to the rich stuff. I got a couple of bangers for you and your crew that should fill your craving. A brand new track from a brand new artist on Fake Blood’s cult symbol and ever addictive Blood Music label. I also have remixes by some pretty influential DJ’s and a mini-mix of epic proportions. A quick warning, however: too many sweets will leave you only craving our beats! Straight heat!


SWEETS

First comes from a man who is touring with Skrillex and almost stealing the show. 12th Planet released his new singles this week and they scratch that dark-dub-itch perfectly.

12th Planet – Corner Pocket (Original Mix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


Next up is a track that will sound very familiar if you’ve checked my mini-mix already. Kaskade takes Zedd’s “Shave It” and makes it his own. Honestly, I don’t even think this should be called a remix — so polished!

Zedd – Shave It (Kaskade Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


Next up, on Fake Blood‘s Blood Music label is a young man named LeBreton. I have no idea who this guy is, but he sounds like the perfect fit for the label. His EP Glass was released on Tuesday but it’s “Ghoul” that had me wearing red all week. (Makes me wonder if this is a Fake Blood alias — and that’s a compliment.)

LeBreton – Ghoul: LISTEN TO IT HERE


Who is GRiZ?!?! This mid-Michigan kid is an absolute beast on the boards. I’ve never heard a young producer drop so many soulful tracks. I guess that’s the Motown in him. This track is a therapeutic experience.

GRiZ – Where Is The Love: LISTEN TO IT HERE


Adam Björnberg is a Swede who was born in … 1994! This is getting ridiculous. The Swedes are like the Detroit Red Wings of the EDM world: they just keep inventing new talent and staying at the top of the charts. Try this big room banger!

Bjornberg – Absolut (Original Mix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


Speaking of big room Swedes, is there any bigger than Avicii?

Freemasons feat. Siedah Garrett – Rain Down Love (Avicii & Julien Kern Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


TREAT

Aaaaaand … just in case you missed the post yesterday: a brand new mini-mix by your favourite host/writer/DJ/music whore!


Enjoy the weekend and blast that latest bpm:tv mini-mix as loud as you can!!!!!!! 

 


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The Big Bad Wolf

October 13th, 2011

 

Posted by Scott Willats

Back at the start of the spring, Tiësto blessed Toronto with a visit to the Ricoh Coliseum, drawing thousands of fans from all over Ontario. But it was the opening act that stole the show that night. Mr. Gartner was truly the spectacle of the evening.

Fast-forward to the middle of fall and Wolfgang Gartner has become a leader of the North American electro revolution. Precise, polished and perfect on his beats, he dropped his album at the end of September (coinciding with the premiere of his bpm Spotlight episode) and so far the reviews — including ours — have been full of praise. And now he’s back in Toronto.

Tonight is going to be a show. He has basically been touring for the past five months — and he’s changed things up since his last Toronto visit to match his album release. Plus, at The Hoxton tonight you’ll see a much more intimate Wolfgang Gartner with a much more devoted crowd. This will be one for the books. So don’t waste any more time: get your tickets at Embrace Presents and I’ll see you there tonight.

Here are some of his besties …

A crowd favourite no matter the venue. I once saw Riva Starr turn a club upside down by playing this. No, I’m not joking: Riva Starr.

Wolfgang Gartner – Undertaker: LISTEN TO IT HERE


An absolutely huge collabo. You can really hear both artists in the track — but when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, I feel for some reason like this is more Gartner’s track than deadmau5′s. Either way, a colossal success.

deadmau5 & Wolfgang Gartner – Animal Rights (Original Mix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


This one was my absolute favourite when it came out — and somehow Wolfgang has made it better. No words do it justice … pump this right before you leave tonight!

MSTRKRFT – Heartbreaker feat. John Legend (Wolfgang Gartner remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE


Other huge tracks: “Push & Rise,” “5th Symphony” and, of course, “Space Junk.” By the way, check out as many of the “Space Junk” remixes as you can, especially the ones by Overwerk and Zhu. Just off the top of my head.

Wolfgang Gartner is 128 bpm…….xx


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Sweets of the Week – Thanksgiving Edition!

October 7th, 2011

 

Posted by Scott Willats

Long weeeeeekend baby! Gorgeous weather, hockey, football and … pumpkin pie! Doesn’t get much better! Or does it?

A relatively quiet weekend in terms of live shows, at least in the Toronto area. John Dahlbäck will be at The Hoxton on Saturday. That promises to be a pretty classy affair, and I would check it out if you’re around the way. Also Blake from Earmilk.com will be throwing his second POP Kult! event at the Gladstone. Nancy Whang from LCD Soundsystem will be there, along with Hal Kilmer. It was well represented last time, and I can see the atmosphere being very up-tempo: a great way to start your weekend.


Sweets time!  I love these sugar-coated, mouth-watering, tongue-lusting tunes we got here.

First comes a track from a real heavy hitter: a future electro house giant, if he isn’t already.  Zedd dropped a brand new track this week and a lot of people are thinking this could be his signature tune.  I’ll admit it’s catchy and well put together, but there’s something missing — for me, at least. Can’t deny it goes hard, though, just like you’d expect from a typical Zedd track. Try it out.

Zedd – Shave It (Original Mix)


I’m a little tardy on this next one, so forgive me. When I first heard the track, it didn’t exactly hit the spot.  But like most tracks I don’t like at the beginning, I’m now head over heels for it.  Luca does some mean work on this one. The strings around the halfway mark are out of this world — they make the song so deep. But enough of me bumping my gums: drop the lime, baby!

Mush Mush – Drop The Lime Bootleg


And this one … screw it.  PLAY AT FULL!

Starkillers & Dimity KO – Do U Love (Original Mix)


Bonus Sweets!

Stanky …

The Beach (The Toxic Avenger Remix)


This is a different one. Hungary has it on lock right now …

Headshotboyz – Sweton


Finally: Me Gusta. Keep this kid’s name in the back of your head. Gmorozov!

Gmorozov – Me Gusta (Original Mix)

Music to be thankful for! xx

 


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Toddla T, Alex Metric and The Sweets of The Week

September 23rd, 2011

 

Posted by Scott Willats

The weekend is here — and the first weekend of fall is usually accompanied by a rush to get the last bit of summer partyin’ in. The weather should be nice, and the number of artists playing across Canada is enough to keep you occupied.

The people at Embrace Presents never cease to amaze me. Whenever an artist is in high demand, they seem to have a way of getting them to come to Canada — and to their prize venues. Tonight is no different, as Toronto’s Mod Club will host UK riddim rocka Toddla T. T has been a buzzword for the last couple months with the release of his long-player Watch Me Dance. The album is everything you would expect: a lot of drum’n'bass-like backbeats to go along with some hard hitting dancehall vibez fit for a soundclash in Kingston, Jamaica. The thing about T is, he’s a showman — not quite a Steve Aoki, but I guarantee that if you’re at Wrongbar tonight, he’ll find away to send you home kissing your teeth and yelling “Bombahclottt!” to your local cabdriver. I expect it to be madness. Lots of tunes to choose from, but this track has been bumping throughout the bpm:tv offices for the past month.

Toddla T – Body Good (with Timberlee): LISTEN TO IT HERE!

Brand new video HERE for a track that I posted last week. Cutting edge vybez, uzeeemi!


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It doesn’t end there. Remix king Alex Metric will be at The Hoxton on Saturday. He’s touching down in Toronto for the first time in a while, and it just might be the show of the weekend. Expect to hear one of your favourite songs completely changed into something more dance friendly. I’m really hoping to get five minutes with him, because I want to know what goes into his remix recipe. Song selection, vocals, synths, bpm … how does he make them all so effortlessly? Maybe these questions aren’t supposed to be answered. Like why is the sky blue? Why is blue blue? If a tree falls in the woods and nobody’s there to hear it, will Alex Metric remix it? You let me know. I hope to see you there!

La Roux – Quicksand (Alex Metric Remix)


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Here’s his new shhhh.

Alex Metric – Raveageddon


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And, of course, it’s Friday, so here are my Sweets of the Week:

Hail Social – Heaven (Designer Drugs Remix)

 

Neo – Change (T*ts & Cl*ts Remix): LISTEN TO IT HERE!


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This last one is bit special …

ConspiratorOfficial – Gypsy Lane

 

Pick your poison without poisoning your pick … xx


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A Man Named Blood

September 13th, 2011

Posted by Scott Willats

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of a certain British DJ who was in Toronto last week. Theo Keating, a.k.a. Fake Blood blessed Toronto for the third time in a calendar year with another set to remember.

Earlier in the day his Twitter spoke of his excitement to be back in Toronto: “What you guys got planned for me tonight, always a great show in this town” was the tweet that left the mouth salivating. He was back, but this time with some of his new tracks. Big tracks.

I won’t go into the details of his show, because it’s always good and the way The Hoxton is set up it made it very intimate and fresh. These new tracks, however, are something else. He has such a specific style that you can immediately tell it’s one of his songs the minute you hear the first bar. So to have a whole venue full of loyal and knowledgable fans accompanied by new sh*t, you couldn’t go wrong.

Fake Blood: “Voices” (Original Mix)
First track is off his new Black Ghost project and it’s my fave. I heard it in his set when he debuted at Rockness Festival along with “Deep Red” and “Yes and No,” but this one is in another league (Deep Red is pretty heavy too.) When the bass drops try not to say ew … go ahead, try it.


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Fake Blood: “Medieval”
Second track is a little bit of an older one. It should also be coming out on this Black Ghost project, but please don’t quote me on that. I had a copy of this track before but it was a rip version and he has really tightened and polished it up. This track brings emotion out especially around the 3:30 mark….enjizzzoy!


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Fake Blood: “I Think I Like It”
The last track is the classic. The video is as catchy as the tune, in fact I adore this video. Bright colours, great slow-mo shots….just dope! Disco Inferno being chopped up with the excellent touch of Mr. Keating! I know I like it!!


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There you have it.  For those of you who didn’t know who this man was, enjoy looking for and finding his tracks — and when he comes to a city near you, he is most def worth the $30.  For those of who who are Blood fans, I truly believe we are on the eve of a classic.  He got his remix bug out of the way (pray for more), and now it’s time to unveil his classic masterpiece.  (PS, Boy 8 Bit is my new Fake Blood, but we’ll save that for another post.)


BONUS! I’ve also included my two favorite remixes from the remix legend.  Oldies but goodies, real goodies.

Little Boots: “Stuck On You” (Fake Blood Remix)


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Noah And The Whale – L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N (FAKE BLOOD Mix)


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Blood is thicker than water….xx


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Three Chord Revolution

September 6th, 2011

As we kick off 2011-2012, bpm Spotlight host SCOTT WILLATS joins us as resident blogger. He’ll be posting frequently on all things EDM, so bookmark the bpm:tv Blog and stop by regularly for updates. Follow Scott on Twitter.


 Welcome to my first official post! Aw, what a beautiful thing this will turn out to be. I’m gonna be coming  by as often as possible to drop off a few bits and pieces of info, music, swag, knowledge or whatever I can find that will help us (you and I) stay on top of the world of Electro.

What an absolutely perfect weekend for us to pop our cherry! I was lucky enough to get immersed in the posh yet punky place that we now know as The Hoxton. Who would be the DJ to christen this experience for me? Well, Embrace Presents, the kings of this s**t, brought us none other than the maniac we know as Fake Blood, along with bpm:tv favorites Poupon and Meech opening and closing respectively. Goosebumps. The show had an underground vibe, as it was full of some of the most knowledgeable fans you’ll find anywhere. With everyone decked out in the proper fashions and hipster chicks galore, the scene has never looked better. More on that event in the next couple of days.

The Hoxton’s showcase of electro could only be trumped by one thing: the unique event that takes place each year at the world-renowned Guvernment: Labour of Love.

Benassi, Crookers, Bloody Beetroots, Deko-ze and Avicii turned the heat on so high the crowd was more of a pool than a dancefloor. Soaked and loving it. To be honest, I can’t even think of an accurate number to tag the head count: 5,00o? 7,000? 10,000? It was full! So many surprises, so many right tracks at the right moments, and so much love in the air the crowd had no choice but to fall into that zone we call LOL! More on that in the coming days as well.

So: two nights of extreme partyin’ — you can imagine how the body feels. Wouldn’t change it for the world, though.

As I write this post, I’m prepping to interview Mr. Tim Berg aka Avicii in the next few hours. I can’t wait for you to see the footage that we got of him at Labour of Love. An absolute Big Room DJ! But before I take off, I’ve got some goodies to drop off …

Justice: “Audio, Video, Disco”
Number one is a new Justice track. What? Huh? Did I say Justice? Yezzzzir! How beautiful is this relationship going to be when Justice puts out a new track for our first post? Brilliant. I haven’t listened to it more than twice and it is only a preview, but if I’m correct in my first observations … it’s Justice. Lol — enough said! BUY MUSIC FROM JUSTICE ON BEATPORT.


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Avicii: “Three Chord Revolution”
The second treat I will leave you with is a new Avicii track that is climbing into my heart and becoming one of my faves. This is his moment, what can I say? Try it out: very Big Room, feels like it’s lacking some vocals, but I’m sure they’re coming. BUY MUSIC FROM AVICII ON BEATPORT.


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F.O.O.L: “Too Arms”
The last one is a personal gem of mine. If you’re a fan (and you are) of Scott’s Selections, then you know I have a soft spot for the darker area of the electro world, and nobody is doing it better than F.O.O.L. So put your combat boots on, war paint and fatigues! Turn this one up to 1,000 and enjoy. War music! BUY MUSIC FROM F.O.O.L ON BEATPORT.


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This is gonna be good! xx

SW