“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.
Collaborations in music today are so commonplace that almost nothing comes as a surprise anymore. If Garth Brooks teamed up with Wolfgang Gartner, I’m not sure I’d even even bat an eyelash. And to me, anyway, that’s a positive. Bringing together vastly different sounds and genres in unlikely combinations can leading to something unique. The results may be awful, interesting, strange, enticing or immaculate — and sometimes all of the above.
EDM really seems to lead the way when it comes to collaborations. Maybe it’s the big role that festivals play in the genre. These gatherings are about more than just celebrating the music: they give artists a chance for artists to catch up, listen and share their new sounds.
All of which brings us to the mysterious new duo known as Dog Blood.
Rumour has it that Dog Blood is actually a collaboration between heavy hitters Skrillex and Boys Noize. I’m inclined to believe it. Why? Well, their debut release “Next Order” comes to us via OWSLA and Boysnoize Records — so that’s, you know, a little bit of a hint. Many of my industry friends and fellow bloggers are certainly convinced it’s them. And frankly, this teaser sounds exactly the way you’d expect a Skrillex/Boys Noizes superhero team-up to sound.
Now, say what you want about Skrillex (and many people do). But the superiority of Boys Noize is not up for debate. He reinvents himself, disappears, and then reinvents himself again — the perfect artist’s template, in my mind. This project sounds tight, so let’s hope we hear more. Lots more.
The three amigos are back at it again — but this time around, it’s to deliver their swan song.
We still don’t know exactly why Swedish House Mafia have decided to call it quits, but the fact that all three members are gearing up to pursue their solo careers suggests it may be a while before we see the Scandinavian dons together again. For now, they’re embarking on their “break-up tour,” and dropping a few new tracks that you can count on hearing again in a few years time, when they play the inevitable reunion shows.
Whether you think this split is a promotional stunt or the real deal, you can’t deny that these guys have been as important to EDM as any DJ in the history of the genre. They helped put EDM at the front and centre of the public consciousness, and established themselves as international icons. They were one of the first acts to make me feel truly starstruck when I encountered them in Ibiza. There has always been a special aura around this trio, and it will be sad to see them go their separate ways.
Still, you knew they wouldn’t part without some proper goodbye gifts. Their latest release, “Don’t You Worry Child” is as reassuring as the title promises. It’s the sound that’s synonymous with their name, with those enrapturing vocals the whole world loves to hear. This is only a radio rip, but it’s well worth the listen until the official release comes along.
As good as these guys are as individual performers (Axwell, for me, standing head and shoulders above Ingrosso and Angello), I can’t help but wonder if they’ve taken for granted the special quality they share as a trio. Granted, their image and profile have taken a bit of a dip with the emergence of North America’s new wave of superstar DJs — but make no mistake, you still want to be at a SHM concert.
OK, so it’s not like The Beatles are breaking up, but it does draw a little tear. This is the end of an era.
And here we go. Y’all getting sick of me talking about festivals? Well sorry, but tuff f***ing luck. Because this weekend Toronto the place in the world to be for EDM. Or any kind of music, actually.
Sure, Montreal has Osheaga happening, which promises to be nuts in its own right But Toronto is bringing the heavy, what with VELD and HARDboth going down this weekend.
What’s HARD, you ask? Just a little gathering featuring the likes of M83, Buraka Som Sistema, Austra … oh, and Justice. Sorry, let me rephrase that: JUSTICE!!!! The French icons make their looooooooooooooong-awaited return to Canada in style. Fort York is a special place to be this weekend.
And then there’s VELD, the brainchild of Canada’s own EMD titan, Deadmau5. Check out this lineup: Avicii, Kill the Noise, Mord Fustang, Bassnectar, Cosmic Gate and soooooo many others are busy tearing Toronto’s Downsview Park a new one. Rain is in the forecast for Sunday, but it’s gonna get real messy long before that. Canada, this is our weekend!
And with that, it’s on to …. THE SWEETS!
This will get your weekend going just right. A free download that hits the spot.
Continuing with a look at some new videos, I have a treat for the trance addicts: a new one from Dennis Sheperd. This talented German has been busy these past five years establishing himself as a headliner, and his newest track — featuring vocals from Molly Bancroft — shows exactly what he’s capable of: a satisfyingly rhythmic collection of keys, melodies and just enough bass to keep that smile on your face.
The video starts off a little awkward (check out the dancers in the background!), but the strength of the song really makes this one worth putting on repeat. You’ll be able to buy it on Beatport on August 13.
At a time of year when festivals come and go like the subway, an artist really has to stand out to draw huge crowds during one of these events. Your set list, of course, is always going to be the main attraction — but a little originality in your stage presentation can go a long way.
Few events offer a more unusual or original platform than the Tomorrowlandfestival in Belgium, which just wrapped its 2012 edition. Going to Tomorrowland is like falling down Alice in Wonderland’s rabbit hole and landing in the middle of Woodstock. Inaugurated in 2005, this fest is as much about the stage and the environment as the artists who perform. Words really don’t do it justice, which is why I’ve dug deep to find a live set worth watching.
Skrillex is one of the most hotly debated artists on this site, and with good reason. But one thing is undeniable: he puts on a good show. Check out his set at Tomorrowland: it really gives you a fantastic sense of the environment. Epic!
Another week, another amazing show. If you’re in Ontario’s capital today, I urge you to head over to Yonge and Dundas Square, where the Mad Decent Block Party is raging even as we speak. Local heroes Zeds Dead will be wrapping things up later tonight, and I predict they’ll be shaking the concrete in such a manner as to have the walls of the nearby Eaton Center clinging on for dear life. It’s an extravaganza, amigos – and it’s FREE!!! Say no more.
Speaking of Zeds Dead, we start this week’s Sweets with the brand new EP the duo dropped earlier this week — a collaboration with Omar LinX and, as you’d expect, a classic. Elsewhere, Montreal duo Botnek have a heavy-duty remix on their hands and Alvin Risk takes Fun.‘s “We are Young,” plus a few other goodies. Onward!
Here we go again. Back to Echo Beach — this time to see a man who hasn’t traveled to Toronto … scratch that, Canada … no, wait, scratch that, North America … in 12 years. Eric Prydz is headling the Identity Festival in Toronto on Saturday, and I am amped.
I really don’t know what to expect. We’re talking about one of the pioneers of this genre. Somebody who was bending boundaries in the studio before the term EDM had even been invented. Who was making his mark as a live performer when DJs were still mainly associated with hip-hop acts. Who’d established the pseudonymous Cirez D as a household name well before alter egos became all the rage in dance music. Basically: if you’re in Toronto this Saturday there is only one destination.
And the awesome doesn’t stop with Pryda. Other heavy names featured at Identity include none other than Nero — currently number one on the bpm:tv Hot 20 Dance Chart with their single “Must Be The Feeling.” It’s a while since I’ve seen this UK duo perform, and I’m excited about how their sound has evolved. The latest album, Welcome Reality, has been a massive success, I’m looking forward to this set — not just to see the crowd’s reaction, but to hear their choice of remixes. Should be a performance to remember.
Then there’s Madeon and Le Castle Vania: Both young, both heavy electro — and both awesome. The 18-year-old Frenchman Madeon has built a rep in Europe as something of a prodigy, as been a favorite on BBC Radio 1 for quite a while now. The Atlanta-based Le Castle Vania, meanwhile, is part of the tide of fresh blood from North America blood sweeping across face of the EDM world. Both should be great sets, so be sure to check them out.
And then there’s Excision. Canada, stand up! The dubstep demon from Kelowna, BC will definitely be excited to play such a high-profile fest in his home country. And whenever you get a bass DJ hype to play for you … well, consider your pants soiled. Be prepared to get grimy.
So with all that said, I think it only fair that this week’s Sweets should showcase the artists performing at Identity. Enjoy!
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!
Los Angeles-based DJ MORGAN PAGE — a bpm:tv favourite — headlines on the Electronic Stage at Edgefest ’12 in Toronto this Saturday July 14. He took a few minutes from his hectic touring schedule to field some questions from Toronto’s DJ Soundbwoy (a.k.a. Chris Wilson).
DJ SOUNDBWOY: How important was it to you to find a unique “Morgan Page” sound, and how long into producing did it take to find it?
MORGAN PAGE: Well, I think its always changing. I put out his tweet the other week basically saying that I’m just finding my sound recently, and that it’s more on a club tangent. I’m just finally getting that sound that is chilled nicely, has the right amount of toughness and the right amount of melody and vocals. I think I’m finding this nice balance now, and it has taken along time — the earlier stuff I did was much deeper, and after playing and touring a lot it’s really shaped the sound. This is a very different sound now, but emotionally it resonates. It works for a crowd that knows my music and also for people who are new to the music.
DJS: If you had to name one particular song or artist that heavily influenced you to begin producing, what/who would it be?
MP: I would say Daft Punk was a heavy influence and I’m sure you hear that a lot, since it’s like an obvious one. During their early stuff like “Around The World, it was just a major influence and I can remember thinking that I can’t even imagine playing this. I would play it on my mix show and it was just a real pivotal record — I can remember buying it on vinyl.
DJS: You’ve been busy traversing the globe this year and have been working on your live show. What has been your most memorable show of 2012?
MP: Playing Coachella was probably number one, and it was also pretty amazing to play Electric Daisy Carnival. Also “Body Work” becoming a gold record recently, it’s definitely my first gold record in any country and I think it’s the first one for Tegan and Sara for a single. It was such an unlikely thing, I’m amazed it all kind of panned out that way and it just happened to be the right song at the right time.
DJS: What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen while playing a show?
MP: It’s usually something technical, like something blowing up at a show — I had a mixer blow up at one show because of the air conditioner. The club was so packed that it overloaded the air conditioning and it started to rain onto the mixer. The mixer ended up being covered in about four inches of water, shorted out, and made a white noise — and then of course the club went silent. This all happened at a show in New Mexico. Thankfully they had another mixer there and we eventually got it back after about half an hour.
DJS: Since you have so many originals and remixes out, how do you pick which ones you’re going to use live?
MP: Good question. It’s so hard, because inevitably someone is going to be pissed that you didn’t play that one song in your arsenal. I have about 250 remixes now so I prioritize by originals. I don’t want to be the DJ that just plays his own stuff, ’cause that gets kind of boring. But I know that’s what the fans want, I know they would be happy if you only played your stuff, so I play about 80% of my music and 20% of others — and to me, that keeps it fresh. When people are coming to your show they want to hear all your originals. Typically at a festival that’s easy, but at a show you have two hours or more than that, and each song has to be the best one of someone’s life. So you have to get all your originals in and your favourite new music in, and the transitions have to be seamless and the key matching has to be perfect, so a lot of expectations.
DJS: There seem to be so few American producers/DJs currently in the game. How do you feel about the recent rise of EDM in the U.S. and where it’s headed?
MP: I’m really excited about it. I think we saw a major sea change in 2011 and it is largely a result of the social media catching up on things and people being empowered to find music on their own. I think there are going to be more American producers and right now there should be a lot more — if you look at it right now we have Diplo, Kaskade, Skrillex, me, Porter Robinson and Wolfgang Gartner. There should be more headlining festivals, but its cool. There are also a lot of good Canadians ones, but when you’re boiling it down to just the American ones it’s kind of a small group of people. It would definitely be nice to have more Americans and Canadians at these festivals.
DJS: What advice would you give you a new DJ/producer starting out in this industry?
MP: There are so many little things that I could talk to you for like a week straight about it. I would say the most important thing is to put in the time, I know its not the sexiest tip in the world, but it’s totally true. Even these guys who look like the blew up overnight, like Avicii and Alesso, they’ve been doing it since they were 11 and 12 years old. I started when I was 14. You’ve got to put your ten thousand hours in, ultimately, and that’s sort of the theory that’s out there. I would say you have to be spending a minimum of three hours a day making music, and doing it as early as you can.
DJS: What’s one thing that our readers should definitely know about Morgan Page?
MP: The most important thing to know about right now is the radio show. Beyond the album and all the singles that are coming out, it’s the best place to hear a new mix every week, there’s a one-hour mix and it’s free. You can get it on iTunes if you search for my name and it’s also on Sirus XM every Thursday. The radio show is very important: it brings a lot of people to the shows, a lot of people work out to it and it has become part of a lot of people’s lives, just having that fun mix to listen to, to get you through those Monday mornings. So people should definitely keep up with that and let me know what you think.