“All’s fair in love and war” – a cliché, perhaps, but one with a deep, underlying meaning, and an interesting choice for the title of this great track. “All’s fair in love and war” — meaning that love, like war, brings out both the best and the worst in people; it’s a battle of the heart and soul – a battle that cannot be controlled or contained.
“Love & War” was released yesterday on on Ultra Music. (CLICK HERE to buy it on Beatport.) I’m not sure what battles of the heart Gartner went through to bestow this panacea upon the EDM community, but I would say he won his war.
Gosia Mrugala is a Toronto-based blogger and reviewer. You can read her blog HERE, and follow her on Twitter HERE.
I can still remember the feeling I got when I first heard “Put Your Hands Up For Detroit.” I don’t think I’ve ever been disappointed by Fedde Le Grand – and on the brand new track “Sparks” we see him come together with another talented Dutch DJ, Nicky Romero, to deliver the quintessential club banger. Look out for this one: it’s sure to get your ears ringing and your body moving. Prediction: “Sparks” is going to be one of those progressive house tracks that defines the summer of 2012!
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..
Dunno about you, but this weekend feels like Christmas to me. The dance music season is in full swing, and Canada is playing host to the best parties in the world! Can you feel it?
This is our weekend. There’s Bassmentality — sorry a Super Bassmentality happening in Ottawa, along with the Escapade fest. As for Toronto … well, you may have heard about a little something called the Digital Dreams festival. Homie! Iz going down. I said, can you feel it?
In this spirit of celebration, I’ve put together an extra-special “Sweets” — not so difficult, when you consider that this has been one of the better weeks of 2012 in terms of new music. Special praise for The Knocks, Zeds Dead and, of course, Dillon Francis. CAN YOU FEEL IT?
I love Ryan Enzed. If ever there was producer who deserved to be famous worldwide — as in right this minute — it’s this guy.
I couldn’t possibly wait for Friday’s” Sweets of the Week’” to share this one. DC and Hooks — better known as Zeds Dead — are back in the lab brewing up some remix shit. This time they’ve taken a personal favorite of mine, “The Fight Of My Life” from Colin Munroe and Lil Wayne arch-enemy Pusha T, and slathered it with grime sauce till it sizzles.
Right, I know I’m being corny as f*ck — but this track is massive. How massive? So massive I’m doing a post just for the f*cking two-minute preview. That’s how massive.
What can you say about Kaskade? Complacency just isn’t a word in his vocabulary. He’s like the Energizer bunny of EDM, constantly challenging himself to create innovative music. Little wonder so many of his fellow artists rank him high on their lists of the best in the game.
Currently holding down the number 30 spot on DJ Mag’s definitive Top 100 list, Kaskade (a.k.a. Ryan Raddon) has always been a music junkie. When I got the chance to sit and chat with him at the release party in Miami for his 2010 album Dynasty, it was obvious just how much this man loves making music., and loves collaborating with other talented artists. He was full of praise for the sounds coming out of Canada, too — and had put his money where his mouth is, teaming up with Deadmau5 on the massively successful “I Remember,” and with Dragonette‘s Martina Sorbara on “Fire In Your New Shoes.”
Something else that was clear: he loves seeking out and discovering new music. I’ve often found that artists tend to stay narrowly focused on their own music, their own sound and genre. And fair enough: this is their career, after all, and you always have to look out for number one. But before they were artists, they were fans — and sometimes there’s a risk of losing touch with the passion that got them into the game in the first place. Kaskade, for his part, is still as much a fan as an artist. He talked fondly of going to the record store with friends every Tuesday (new release day!) and sitting there for hours –maybe with some adult beverages — listening to new music.
He told me he was still obsessed with finding new sounds and new artists, and wondered if fans aren’t missing out on something now that this whole part of the experience has moved from the record stores to the online world. It’s a point open to debate — I happen to agree with him strongly — but what’s enlightening here is the way he approaches music: as a listener as well as a creator.
And then there’s his ability to relate with fans. Let’s face it, a lot of artists in this genre are only around for a cup of coffee. Some even skip out on the bill. But with nine albums under his belt since 2003, Kaskade has proven his longevity. His countless world tours, singles and EP releases have confirmed him as an EDM superstar. If there’s any DJ who would be within his rights to pull a “diva” attitude, it’s this guy. Yet he’s the polar opposite: friendly, approachable and always up for a chat about new music. Very refreshing.
This, by the way, is quite possibly my favourite tour video in the history of tour videos.
Once again, I urge you to grab whatever tickets remain available for the Digital Dreams Music Festival this weekend. With a lineup that has soooo many big names, Kaskade will bring his all. His set will be one to remember — and that alone should be worth the price of admission!
The week before a Canada Day long weekend is always such a tease. Nobody wants to be at work, but the promise of an unforgettable holiday keeps us all slugging away.
This weekend, though, isn’t your typical Canada Day. The Digital Dreams Music Festival in Toronto will showcase some of the best EDM artists in the world. Think of it as the unofficial kick-off to Canada’s summer festival season.
As we gear up for this extravaganza (and if you’re one of bpm:tv’s contest winners, congrats!), I thought it would be good to do a quick background check on some of the headliners who will be packing the crowds at Ontario Place. We start with the Dutch giant known as Afrojack!
For many of us, Afrojack (a.k.a. Nick van de Wall) became a household name after he dropped “Take Over Control.” But there’s more to the man than monster hits. Long before this breakthrough single, he’d been putting in his time, playing small clubs, producing quality tracks without the support of a label, and assembling the kind of resume any DJ would be proud of.
Afrojack is the sort of DJ who was born to headline big fests like Digital Dreams. Beyond the stage showmanship and the relationship with Paris Hilton, there’s a gifted artist who produces anthem after anthem — not to mention a shrewd businessman who has built his label Wall Recordings — home to the likes of R3hab (also performing at Digital Dreams) and Sidney Samson — into an industry heavy-hitter.
So how do you go from small-club DJ to pop mogul? Hard work. Let’s take a look at the product of his labours.
It was evident right from the start that Afrojack was going to be several cuts above the average. Sure, this first track, “In Your Face,” has a few bobbles — but it’s still light-years beyond your typical debut release. That ear for the perfect groove, that innate ability to make the listener’s head bob and hips swivel — it’s not a plug-in you add to your track, it’s the soul of the producer.
This is a perfect track to play at your next party. I guarantee: at least half the people there won’t ever have heard it. It’s a tune that evokes a lot of emotion — and one that lays out clearly the template for Afrojack’s future success. (The B-side, “Waho,” is worth a listen as well.
This next track, “Drop Down” (Do My Dance) was his first real taste of success. Collaborating with The Partysquad helped him elevate his game and earn wider recognition. Here’s where Afrojack found the sound he would grab and hold onto — a sound that would be mimicked and copied for years to come: blending a hard drum line, evocative of UK garage, with crazy off-the-wall sonics. I can’t think of any other producer capable of pulling this off and making it sound good.
Was it the beat? Or Eva Simons? Or the remix by Adam F? All of the above? Or something else entirely. Nobody’s every put their finger on it precisely, but one way or another, “Take Over Control” was Afrojack’s statement: a track that made the dance floors go nuts. The combination of Eva’s angelic voice and that screaming synth: it was a sound DJs and ravers just couldn’t get enough of. And it still bangs!
Simply put, “No Beef” is an anthem. For a while last summer, it was every DJ’s go-to climax track. EVERY DJ. If you were in the big room, you were gonna hear this. While the vocals by Miss Palmer certainly didn’t hurt, it was the collision of Afrojack’s synth and Steve Aoki‘s keys that put this song in a class by itself.
So there you have it; four reasons Afrojack is a perennial DJ Mag Top 100 finisher, and one of 30 richest DJs in the world. If you like what you’ve seen and heard here, I recommend getting your ass to Ontario Place this weekend. Seriously, you haven’t heard “No Beef” till you hear Afrojack spin it live.
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!
Tonight’s the night!Porter Robinson will drop the bomb on Toronto this evening at the Sound Academy, courtesy of Embrace Presents. To get you in the mood, and to wrap up our week-long spotlight on the North Carolina prodigy, we’re re-posting bpm:tv’s frontline report from his last TO appearance.
They say you never know the true quality of a producer until you see him live, a phrase I have lived by for the past five years. On Saturday, thanks to Embrace Presents, I finally had my opportunity to see Porter Robinson in the flesh. And I can say with 100 percent conviction that the boy did not disappoint.
It was a good vibe all around. The crowd showed up by the hundreds with plenty of enthusiasm. The line was incredibly long but — as with all shows at The Hoxton — it moved really well. And once you got in the scene was perfectly balanced: a blend of knowledgeable fans, there to catch a memorable performance, and the requisite contingent of gorgeous girls. The chant of “Porter, Porter” rang out before Mr. Robinson approached the tables. Once the young man reached the platform … BAM! A surge of excitement from the crowd, and then it started.
One thing was obvious from the get-go: this kid loves him some Wolfgang Gartner. Many times he used slight remixes or re-edits of Gartner tracks, feeding the crowd perfectly. It’s something I’ve been preaching for a while now: this new wave of American artists take pride in where they come from, and really want to establish their own sound. The set had a strong North American feel — and right now that really is the sound of quality.
Without going into details on each song — because if you weren’t there I wouldn’t do it justice — I’ll just say that it was a proud moment to see how Toronto turned up for Porter. I believe it was his first show in TO, and the city really welcomed him, with a crowd response that would have pleased some of the world’s top DJs.
The concert was so good it took me an extra day to write this report. True story! Just another absolute beast of a show courtesy of Embrace Presents.