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C’est Qui, Dim Mak, Chris Liebing, Flug, Neverdogs, Michael Mayer, The Unstoppable Influence of EBM, Giorgio Moroder, Music Reviews, Hannes Bieger, Nicky Romero, KSHMR & more...

Project Leader UCG BAN Director Hernán Pandelo Jace Jinsun Yu


안녕하세요! 你好。 こんにちは。 Hello! It is with tremendous privilege and pleasure to be a part of the launch of DJ Mag Asia at a time when dance music is more prosperous than ever in this continent. The team behind DJ Mag Asia comes from various musical backgrounds and spaces within the industry. We have all united under the theme of dance music to deliver to readers our new platform to share and learn the latest news and trends. As the cover story of our inaugural issue, it is a great honor to present an article on one of Asia’s most beloved artists, David Guetta. With the recent release of his new album, David Guetta has once again electrified fans with tracks featuring a range of mega vocalists and collaborations. We are also thrilled to review Ultra Music Festivals, Ultra Korea and Ultra Japan, two of Asia’s largest dance music festivals that are widely popular in Asia. Furthermore, we are delighted to share the excitement with fans of artists such as RL Grime, Nicole Moudaber, KSHMR, and many more. While the Asian continent is filled with rich languages from over half of the world’s population, the magazine will be published in the most common diplomatic language, English. However, several main articles will be available in Korean, Chinese, and Japanese. Via the website, more articles in Korean and English are available, with Japanese and Chinese additions coming in 2019. It is truly exciting to provide a publication that will be available in multiple Asian languages. Through DJ Mag Asia, our mission is to serve both new and seasoned lovers of dance music with news across all facets; from the producers and DJs, to events, venues, technology and lifestyle, and of course the fist pumping, bass dropping music that unites us all.

Editor Team Daehwa Lee Tiffany Kim Binna Kim Ariel Jo Tetsuya M Mengdie Hu Web Team Sean Hwang N.K Oh Photo & Video Team Marco Tessiore Matthew Martin Jihee Yoo


Director Alejandro Ramos Art María Laura Sánchez Jay Kim Pagination Sergio Aguirre


Jason Roh Sungah Han Leo Jurjevich Jeehak Koh Sukyung Yoo


Sang Park Bros Ma Hankyoo Moon Muti Siddiqi


Managing Director Dudley Chou Accounting Manager Elizabeth Choi

CONTRIBUTORS Sae Chang Ashton Lee Jamie Kim

Ssab Kim Camillia Lu Mizuki Asakura


Sincerely yours,



CONTENTS 52 한국어 데이빗 게타: F**k Me, I’m Famous. David Guetta’s Pop Life 울트라 코리아: 18만 동원하며 한국 최대 음악 축제로 레이든: 아시아를 넘어 세계로 한걸음씩

62 中文 DAVID GUETTA: F**k Me, I’m Famous. David Guetta’s Pop Life Ultra Korea: 吸引18万观众的韩国最大音 乐庆典 Raiden: 冲出亚洲,稳步迈向世界

72 日本語

デヴィッド・ゲッタ: F**k Me, I’m Famous. David Guetta’s Pop Life


ウルトラコリア: 18万人動員して、韓国最大 の音楽祭に

ライデン: アジアを超えて世界へ一歩一歩

F**k Me, I’m Famous! David Guetta’s Pop Life…


One of the biggest movements of electronic music as we know it turns 30!

32 CAN WE STOP CALLING ALL DANCE MUSIC GENRES ‘EDM’? Charlotte Lucy Cijffers explores the rise of EDM.

35 ‘NOVA’, OBSESSIVE IDEATION ON GROWTH AND TRANSITION We speak with RL Grime about his newest album.

38 ADE 2018 IS COMING!

One of the largest and most encompassing event in the industry…

40 BEYOND ASIA, TOWARDS THE WORLD Korean DJ/producer Raiden is a true globetrotter.


Electronic music legend Giorgio Moroder opens about this gamechanging disco classic...



To know the future, first you must know the past.


Nicky Romero & KSHMR reveal us the tracks that affected them the most.


8 COMIN’ UP Zoukout, Kygo, It’s the Ship!, Space Ibiza, Paul Oakenfold plays Stonehenge, What’s Hot in Asia?, Get to know C’est Qui, Neverdogs & Flug, Take Ten with Michael Mayer, Steve Aoki’s Vital Label, Chris Liebing in the Hot Seat.



The missing piece for special fans.

82 ON THE FLOOR Justin Oh’s Jockey Journal, Ultra Korea: Korea’s Largest Music Festival, Attracting 180,000 People, Ultra Japan: Wet & Wild.


94 MUSIC REVIEWS Disclosure, Calvin Harris, Aphex Twin, Deadmau5, Helena Hauff, Chris Liebing & more…


104 TECH New Traktor DJ, Pioneer DJM-REC, Xone:96, Hannes Bieger, Korg’s Gadget for Nintendo Switch.


110 EVENT CALENDAR Check out what’s going on in Asia from October to December.





ZOUK, THE WORLD’S NO. 3 CLUB ON DJ MAG TOP 100 CLUBS 2018 HOSTS ANNUAL ZOUKOUT DANCE MUSIC FESTIVAL The 18th edition Zoukout will take place at Siloso Beach, Sentosa in Singapore on December 1


very year, ZoukOut festival is held on Sentosa Island, the most fascinating island of Singapore. This year will mark the 18th edition of ZoukOut, an outdoor dance music festival organized by Singapore’s popular club, Zouk. It has become an international festival with attendees from Singapore and its neighboring Asian countries, America, and Europe. Starting from the year 2000, the festival has been using Siloso Beach of Sentosa Island as its stage. ZoukOut is Asia’s one and only dusk-to-dawn festival that should not be missed. It will take place for only one night on December 1.


ZoukOut will feature various genres including electro, trance, house, techno, hip-hop, and pop music. This year, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, the Belgium superstar duo will make their debut performance. Also, The Swedish dance music duo Galantis and W&W who ranked 14th on the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs will join the lineup. In addition, artists of Asian stages including Malaysia’s duo DJ Goldfish & Blink, Zouk’s resident DJ Ghetto, and Nash D will perform. Given the stellar lineup of DJs, the excitement among music fans is evident. Exclusive and advanced tickets are already sold out. For more info, n


LEADER OF TROPICAL HOUSE, KYGO VISITS ASIA THIS FALL! Internationally Famous Norwegian DJ Kygo’s Special Tour


ygo, a Norwegian DJ and producer known to popularize tropical house, a subgenre of deep house and a beloved artist with fans all over the world is visiting Asia this October.

Kygo will commence his Asia tour in Bangkok, Thailand on October 22 after he completes the Oceania tour in Melbourne, Australia on October 20. This will be his debut in Thailand. Kygo will also perform in Manila, the Philippines on October 25, Tokyo, Japan on October 27, Seoul, Korea on October 30, Jakarta, Indonesia on November 2, and Singapore on November 5. Kygo is one of the artists that popularized tropical house with his emotional melodies, crystalline, exotic, and bright sounds, and relaxing musical style, Kygo fascinated fans around the world, and he is expected to receive a huge welcome from his fans during his Asia tour. n


IT’S THE SHIP Raising the Beat with Famous Captain and Thrilling Lineup!


sia’s largest festival at sea, It’s The Ship will start its party from November 4-7, sailing from Singapore to Phuket. Celebrating its 5th year anniversary, It’s The Ship announced its bigger than ever lineup, thrilling music fans. This year’s captain of the ship will be the viral sensation turned rapper, Big Shaq. Cash Cash, the headliner for internationally large-scale festivals will perform on live stage, evoking excitement from the audience. Boasting great popularity in the trance genre, Vini Vici will play a huge role in attracting the audience. Paul Van Dyk will close the show with a bang featuring his unique and wild musical style. In addition, the winners of the 2nd Deck Selecta DJ Competition - two South Korean DJs Juncoco and Hyun Woong An and the Malaysian DJ Yusef Kifah will perform at It’s The Ship 2018. It’s The Ship offers special cabin discounts as one of the most affordable cruise festivals. Guests can book a cabin by visiting It’s The Ship website n




Voting has now ended for the biggest music poll out there...


ANNOUNCES NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH CARL COX AND 3 OF THE BIGGEST PLAYERS IN IBIZA Pepe Rosello, Carl Cox, Dave Browning & Juan Arenas join forces to drive the Space Ibiza brand forward. really exciting, and now forming a partnership with Pepe, Juan, and Dave Browning, to run the newly formed team, it feels solid in the way that we are a family team, and I feel we can bring everything back to where it belongs. We already have some exciting news for next year, and we will tell you all more about that nearer the time. But for now I am very happy with my new role for Space, and I can happily fly the Space flag high.”


he intention is for four partners who all have a long history with the brand to nurture, grow and ultimately to secure the legacy of what is one of the best known, loved and certainly the most awarded club brands in history. The partnership is made up of Pepe Rosello, the owner/founder of Space in Ibiza. Pepe who alongside Martin Ferrer of Amnesia and Ricardo Urgell of Pacha positively changed the face of Ibiza nearly 30 years ago. “Space is a way of living the music, which is part of our shared experiences in the most vibrant moments of our life. The roots of Ibiza extend to new destinations with the joy, passion and enthusiasm for this adventure, to return to our house, the island.” Carl Cox ended his 15-year residency the year closed its doors and his love of Space is well documented: ”Space club Ibiza, has always been my home for the last 20 twenty years, and now to pave the new way for the future of Space is


Dave Browning, Ibiza promoter of many of the biggest and best parties of the last 15 years and Juan Arenas, Space general manager for the final 8 years in its Playa Den Bossa home. Space was more than just a building but a meeting of like-minded people with a shared love of music a feeling, a coming that shouldn’t be lost after the closing of Space’s spiritual home 2 years ago. The idea is to take Space’s original concept of a spiritual coming together of like-minded people to dance and party, regardless of your status or background, across the globe, bringing it to a new generation of people and venues. Suffice to say that the next chapter in the history of the “best club in the world” will bring a muchneeded injection of optimism to the current generic clubbing by numbers music scene that used to be Ibiza. At the time of print, none of the partners can neither confirm nor deny the many rumours of a new venue in Ibiza suffice to say this is just the first page in the next chapter the story of the ‘best club in the world’. n


HOSE DJ sets have been the jawdropping, show-stopping highlights of your year so far? Well now it’s time to know, as the annual Top 100 DJs poll is about the be revealed in a couple of weeks during a new edition of the Amsterdam Dance Event! This year, DJ Mag is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the awards –yes, it was a quarter of a century ago that DJ Mag first featured 100 top DJs, to mark the 100th issue of the magazine in October 1993. Last year, top of the pile once again was the youngest ever DJ to take the No.1 trophy - Martin Garrix - for the second year in a row. In hot pursuit were assorted Lowlands big-hitters like Belgian duo Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, and Dutchmen Armin van Buuren, Hardwell and Tiësto — all previous winners. But who will be riding high this year? 2017 saw a number of house and techno acts make their poll debuts, challenging the established EDM and trance duopoly. People such as Solomun, Black Coffee and Claptone catapulted into the chart, while Richie Hawtin and Andy C were among those who crashed back into the 100. With house and techno fans re-engaging with the poll, will DJs like Nina Kraviz, Adam Beyer and Jamie Jon Jones make it this time? We’ll have to wait and see! With over one million votes cast, Top 100 DJs is a truly worldwide affair. For this edition, DJ Mag once again partnered with global children’s organization UNICEF and will be donating all profits of the digital sales of the Top 100 DJs print edition to the charity and implemented an exclusive fundraising competition and raising awareness through the voting platform and awards ceremony. Voting opened 11th July and ended last 19th September. The winners will be announced during DJ Mag’s party at the Amsterdam Dance Event. Who will get to the top? n


The brittish DJ becomes the first DJ to legally play at the sacred site…


aul Oakenfold made history on September 13th when he became the first DJ to legally play a set at Stonehenge, the famous 5000-year-old prehistoric monument in Wiltshire in the south-west of England. Oakey was recording his new album, ‘Live At Stonehenge’, at the Stones, and afterwards the Perfecto man was joined by Carl Cox for a special back-to-back session. The sunset session took place amongst the amazing standing stones, a UNESCO World Heritage Site lit-up in assorted colours for the occasion. Now managed by English Heritage, the stones have several mythical tales surrounding their erection and ancient use, and were the site for several free festivals - featuring bands like Hawkwind - in the ‘70s and early ’80s before access to them became much more restricted.

Mark Moore and others in attendance - was full of jovial Spinal Tap references and complimentary 808 whisky. However, on arrival at the stones, most were in awe at the illuminated monument and behaved with sensible reverence. It’s not the first time Oakey has played a set at a world famous landmark. In 2003 he played a gig at the Great Wall Of China, and last year he trekked to base camp Mount Everest to host ‘the highest party on Earth’ and also recorded a live CD to mark the occasion. Oakenfold eschewed his usual club¬type set, playing a blend of film soundtracks, deep trance and even the ‘Theme From Harry’s Game’ by Clannad - an early ‘80s folk ditty that remains the only British hit single ever to have been sung entirely in Irish. Taken from the band’s ‘Magical Ring’, most attendees agreed that it was a brave but inspired selection.

The event was organised by rave brand Universe, headed up by Alon Shulman, who negotiated the event with English Heritage. A small invited industry-only audience witnessed the landmark event, wearing Silent Disco-type headphones to hear the tracks that Oakey and then Carl Cox were segueing together.

When Carl Cox finished on Paul Rutherford’s Balearic classic ‘Get Real’, it was another proper ‘moment’ for some of the acid house originals in attendance. “I am so lucky to be able to share my music from such an iconic site,” Oakey said. “The energy here is like nowhere else on Earth.”

The coach journey down to Wiltshire - with acid house originals like Terry Farley, Danny Rampling,

Oakenfold’s ‘Live At Stonehenge’ album will be out in the coming weeks. n




ith an ever-increasing number of DJs and producers around the world, it’s getting harder and harder for artists to stand out from the crowd. Releasing good music alone isn’t enough anymore. In a digital world filled with budding musicians, your success is based on your marketing strategy. We asked the marketing experts from Moon Jelly Agency how a structured marketing plan can get you closer to your fans and goals in today’s digital world. As artists are constantly competing against each other to get included in Spotify and YouTube playlists, devising a marketing plan to promote your song is vital. “If a release plan details all the promotional activities, it becomes much easier to visualize a roadmap to success - such as more Spotify plays, more tickets sold to your show, and even more followers on your social accounts,” says Remko, chief strategy officer at Moon Jelly. Melvin, Moon Jelly’s head of marketing, adds: “As a producer, you need to make sure that any social content you’re distributing appeals to the target audience so that it becomes engaging for people who view it. If you’re able to create content that’s interesting, it will significantly increase the overall engagement on your social platforms.” If you want to drive traffic and engagement to your social media pages, it is important to understand the demographics of your audience. Remko: “It helps you engage with similar people that aren’t already following you. For example, you could run Facebook ads against dubstep fans of a similar demographic to your existing audience.” Also, analyzing the marketing plans of successful musicians is a great way to write out your own. Melvin: “For example, Marshmello regularly collaborates with influencers from multiple niches (such as gaming) to drive attention to his music.” One thing is clear: you won’t survive without a proper marketing strategy. With our attention regularly focused on just a few social media platforms, it’s crucial for artists to spend time and financial resources in these areas in order to get your music heard. Voting opened 11th July and ended last 19th September. The winners will be announced during DJ Mag’s party at the Amsterdam Dance Event. Who will get to the top? n


WHAT’S HOT IN ASIA? The best clubs in Asia reveal their hottest tracks at this moment


1. Mewloud & HAITAI Feel that Complex Drop Records 2. DJ ISSAC - Down With Me (Extended Mix) Dirty Workz 3. Raiden & Tom Tyger - C’est La Vibe (Extended Mix) Protocol Recordings 4. Hardwell & Timmy Trumpet - The Underground (Extended Mix) Revealed Recordings 5. Groove Coverage, W&W God Is A Girl (Extended Mix) Mainstage Music 6. Dimitri Vegas, Like Mike, Nicky Romero - Here We Go (Hey Boy, Hey Girl) (Extended Mix) Smash The House 7. FISHER (OZ) - Losing It Extended Catch & Release 8. TV Noise – 808 Extended Version STMPD RCRDS 9. Juncoco x Advanced Atmosphere (Extended Mix) ScreaM Records 10. Fedde Le Grand, Raiden Hit The Club Original Mix Darklight Recording



1. Zedd, Maren Morris, Grey The Middle Original Mix Interscope 2. DJ TORA - LOVE SUNSHINE feat.SHiON Hanabi Recordings 3. DRAKE - In My Feelings Republic Records 4. Meron Ryan, KSUKE - Pool (feat. Meron Ryan) (Original Mix) WM Japan 5. Martin Garrix, Bonn - High On Life (Original Mix) Epic Amsterdam 6. Don Diablo - Anthem (We Love House Music) (Extended Mix) HEXAGON 7. DJ Khaled, Justin Bieber, Chance the Rapper, Quavo No Brainer (Original Mix) Epic/We The Best 8. Dimitri Vegas, Like Mike, Nicky Romero - Here We Go (Hey Boy, Hey Girl) (Extended Mix) Smash The House 9. HiRAPARK & VIVID Annihilate Hanabi Recordings 10. Samb Adagio – FIREFOX



1. Maddix & DJ Junior(TW) – Trabanca (Extended Mix) Revealed Recordings 2. DJ Junior(TW) - Where I Want To Be Ignite Recordings 3. Tom Staar - Flight Of The Buzzard (Extended Mix) Armada Music 4. Hardwell, Mitch Crown, Blasterjaxx - Big Room Never Dies Feat. Mitch Crown (Extended Mix) Revealed Recordings 5. Grey, Zedd, Maren MorrisThe Middle (Curbi remix) UMGRI Interscope 6. Armin van Buuren - Blah Blah Blah (Bassjackers Extended Remix) Armada Music 7. Afrojack & DubVision New Memories (Original Mix) Wall Recordings 8. Avicii - Without You Avicii Music AB 9. Martin Garrix, Bonn - High On Life (Original Mix) Epic Amsterdam 10. Raiden, Matisse & Sadko Light Me Up (Extended Mix) Protocol Recordings


1. Maurice West, SaberZ - Rhythm Of The Night (Extended Mix) Mainstage Music 2. Junior Caldera, Nicola Fasano, Ken Roll- Pressure Cooker (Miami Rockets Edit) disco:wax (Sony) 3. Hardwell, Steve Aoki, Kris Kiss - Anthem (Extended Mix) Dim Mak Records 4. Zedd, Jon Bellion - Beautiful Now (Zonderling Remix) Interscope 5. MOGUAI, Dimitri Vegas, Like Mike, W&W - Arcade Mammoth (Extended Mix) Smash The House 6. Blasterjaxx, Bassjackers – Switch (Original Mix) Maxximize 7. Hardwell, Maddix - Bella Ciao (Extended Mix) Revealed Recordings 8. Fitz and the Tantrums Handclap Big Beat Records 9. Lost Frequencies, Zonderling - Crazy (Dash Berlin Extended Remix) Found Frequencies


They have a wide range of music; deep house, acid, disco, techno, recently even experimenting with breakbeat. If there is mainstream and underground in house genre, they would be underground. The songs that dominate Beaport house chart are not attractive to them. For them, DJing is so much more than just playing hits. “Or A.I will replace you (laughter). My favorite pastime is digging. Finding a record that no one knows about. I am usually very chill, but the thing that I’m too obsessive about it, is interesting. I enjoy the process itself. Sometimes I even buy expensive Balearic vinyl and don’t even use them. DJs should be opening their eyes to tracks others have never seen; the chart is meaningless in that sense.” Naone nods and adds, “That’s cheating. You got to find your own stuff.” The duo became a thing after an improv backto-back at Contra in Itaewon. “At the spur of the moment, we said why not and had way to much fun. What I was always criticized for was that I lacked the flow from start, build-up to climax and end. I am always hyper, so I need to let go and calm down. Closet is really good at this. I thought she has what I need.” They also have a lot in common other than their complementary style. “It’s a perfect fit. We both prefer talking in English, though we are Korean. Being women was another advantage. There was no reason not to get together.”

C’EST QUI FROM: SEOUL, KOREA FOR FANS OF: BEESMUNT SOUNDSYSTEM, CHAOS IN THE CBD, YOUNG MARCO NEXT GIG: CONTRA, SEOUL, OCTOBER 19TH C’EST QUI’s Naone and Closet just came back from their first overseas tour a month ago before their interview with DJ Mag Asia. They had toured five cities including Bangkok, Amsterdam, London, Sicily and Berlin. “I am not tired, not one bit.” Naone would say with a playful grin after partying all night before the

interview. “We were out till 10 am after DJing in Berlin and went straight to the airport. I am such a people person. I like getting to know the staff, bouncers after DJing and I am always open to new friends.” Closet on the other hand, is an introvert. “Naone is full of energy and wants to be at the scene. I enjoy being the outsider, observing from the outside.” C’EST QUI is ‘Who is that?’ in French. Closet and Naone created the group in 2017 when they were circling the Itaewon scene in Seoul. Though one year, they have grown so fast. They mixed at the Boiler Room with world renown DJs like Hunee and Nobu.

The response was immediate, and it seems they are on the perfect trajectory, returning from their first world tour. However, they are wary about getting cocky. “We have so much to do, so much to improve. There are times when I feel I just got the hang of it, and then I am lost. It’s embarrassing sometimes,” says Naone. However, it is regardless to say that they are steadily growing after standing on large stages, like the Boiler Room. Closet, especially has grown to trust in her music. “House is a sub-genre when you look at the Korean music industry. I was worried that there wouldn’t be any place for my kind of music, but I am still here. Guess I am doing something right.” Naone is growing too. “I am more confident. My hands used to tremble during performances. Not anymore, I can breathe.” We asked both of them what they really want to achieve next. Naone said, “Being called back. Performing once is easy, but if you don’t deliver, that’s the end of it. Dekmantel, the Boiler Room means nothing when you invited once. Constant transformation is what I want.” Closet is preparing an EP currently. C’EST QUI also has been producing plans and a single in the pipeline. n




TOMMY AND MARCO got hooked into dance music since a very early stage of their lives. “The first time I went to a club was in 1989”, Tommy remembers that time when he was 14 years old. “I saw the figure of the DJ in the booth that was making people dance and be happy in a perfect combination with the lights in the club. So after


this first experience I felt in love with this other world”. Marco was born in a family where the music has always been in the center. He’s father and uncle were DJs so he grew up listening to 80s music on vinyls. “In the early 90s, when I was 14 years old, I began to follow my uncle to his gigs in my hometown and then I started to DJ”, he recalls. Both were born in the same town and they knew each other just by name. During the summer of the 1998, they had the chance to play b2b for a few hours in a club in the Calabrian coast. “We realized that the feeling we had humanly and musically was in perfect sync so from that moment we decided to start working together. Then in 2000 the Neverdogs project was born”, the duo remembers. After that, they dedicated their life to be able to live with their passion. The relationship grow bigger over the years and Neverdogs reached the highest in 2011, when they joined the

Music On family. “That was the most important moment of our carreer. We had the to work alongside artists like Marco Carola and many others international artists”, they remind. They’ve spent almost the whole year travelling all over Europe, South America, United States and Canada, playing big clubs and festivals. “It was a very busy year. In addition to traveling we worked hard in our studio in Ibiza on our first album, which we’re really happy with. At the same time we have been also working on the opening of “Bamboleo” our record label”, the duo comments on their plans. The album is almost finished and it will for sure cement their status as producers. The Bamboleo label and party, which is starting in October in London, will be monthly and they’ll present international guest DJs, trying to develop a brand like the one that helped them to grow. There’s no doubt we’ll still be hearing them in the future. HERNÁN PANDELO n




THE SON of a Spanish father and an Argentinian mother, Sebastián Lopez was born in Buenos Aires but he has lived in Barcelona for 17 years and he says he feels Argentinian and Spanish in 18

equal amounts. At a very early age, his brother Gustavo, who was part of an important DJ collective in Argentina called Urban Groove, turned him into electronic music. Their father owned a music shop that sold records and instruments and was located next to the neighbourhood’s night club. ‘I remember when I was a little boy I would use Technics SL-1200 as if they were my toys, plug instruments to the mixer and create my first few beats with a 606 that we had at home. I also hanged out with my brother in the booth from time to time, watching him do his job,’ he recalls. At 15 he formed an electronic music band and from then on, he took his profession seriously. In 2001, following the economic turmoil in Argentina, the family relocated to Spain, where Sebastian’s parents had siblings. ‘The new beginning was hard,’ he says. ‘At age 17 I arrived in Asturias, a small town in the north of Spain, fresh from huge Buenos Aires. It was a real challenge,’ he explains. He didn’t last long there: 20 days later, young Sebastián travelled to Ibiza,

where he attended clubs and saw the artists he had worshiped for years. Then he spent three years in Madrid, where he released his first few records on vinyl, and later moved to Barcelona. 2018 has been a major year for Flug, with bigger releases than usual. His track ‘Ego Games,’ released under renowned Spanish label Suara, was very well received, and something similar happened with ‘Kontrol,’ issued by Sam Paganini’s label. Thanks to the recognition gained, he was called on to play at big European festivals – the standout event was his second gig at Barcelona’s DGTL. At the apex of his career so far, Flug dreams of expanding even further. ‘I’d say opening my own label, Rawcuts Musik and releasing some of my favourite tracks under it is what I’m most looking forward to,’ he explains. He also reveals he has been working on a new album for some time, with a tentative release date early next year. Immersed in the electronic world since his early years, Flug is reaping the rewards of perseverance. n


HOT SEAT We throw a few curveball questions the way of...



e sat down with the great Chris Liebing a few days after the release of his studio album, “Burn Slow,” under Mute Records, one of his favourite record labels. The album marks a departure from the previous work of the German artist, who has been a leader of techno music for 25 years. “The bottom line is, if we allowed ourselves to live more in the present, if we could stop thinking so much about the future, the world would be a much more peaceful place,” he explains. With this in mind and accompanied by great collaborators, Liebing embarks on a new project and says there will be more to come in the future in this style...

You’ve released a new album after 12 years. What is the feeling after releasing something with so much work on it? Is there ever some kind of regret about not releasing this kind of work for so long? “Yes, there is a sort of regret about not releasing this kind of work for so long, because it was such a fun process to do and I told myself that I am not going to wait for another twelve years with the next one – rather only one or two years. But due to the heavy DJ touring, working on a label and releasing club tracks, you never really, really have enough time to think about a studio album. In order to do that I had to create a lot of new free time and space in my life by stopping other undertakings, so the next one won´t be so long.” Gary Numan is one of the great additions of the album... What comes to your mind when we talk about him?

“‘Down In The Park’ is the first thing that comes to mind. Of course “Cars” and “Are Friends Electric” are amazing tracks too, but one of my favourite albums is definitely “Replicas” by Gary Numan & Tubeway Army from 1979. I was very young when this one was released.” In 2008 you released an amazing compilation of remixes on CLR with own remixes and own songs remixed by others. Last year you’ve remixed Depeche Mode. Which is your stance about remixes and how important are they for the dance music industry? “I always find that remixes are a very special addition to originals. It´s always amazing to see what some artists do with the original material of other artists and of course it´s important for the industry as well, as it is a promotion tool. But it also is a great way to get your music played in clubs, which may usually only get played on home stereo systems. I am already looking at

a very nice list of remixes for the “Burn Slow” album, so we will have a new, hopefully amazing compilation of remixes coming out.” Do you miss CLR? In retrospective what can you say about it? “I don´t really miss it as it´s still here. It´s just put to bed for a while (let´s put it this way) in order to create some space for the album. But in a way I am sure that one day I will start to release some singles on it again.” How prepared is the music industry to meet your vegan needs? Do you find it hard sometimes? “Yes, it is hard sometimes, but it is getting better and easier and easier. As most of the promoters are aware of the fact that I am vegan you usually get catered in a very nice way and even hotels are starting to be much more helpful and prepared for vegans.”. n



Michael Mayer The German DJ/producer and Kompakt co-founder tells us his most influential tunes...

COMIN’ UP 01. Alan Parsons Project ‘I Robot’ (Arista, 1977)

“Alan Parsons were my first favourite band, and although they also did some gruesome stuff I still love them to death. Every time I listen to ‘I Robot’ I’m entering this deep state of shock because the production still sounds so good — after nearly 40 years!”

02. The League Unlimited Orchestra ‘Things That Dreams Are Made Of’ (Virgin, 1982)

“While growing up in the ‘80s, I was crazy about British synthpop. ‘Love And Happiness’ is the instrumental dub version of Human League’s album ‘Dare’. Again, the production still sounds shockingly fresh. I still play ‘Things That Dreams Are Made Of’ in my sets here and there.”

03. Mr Flagio ‘Take A Chance’ (Squish, 1983)

“This track was on a mix-tape recorded by a neighbour of mine who was a DJ at a local discotheque called Drops. In hindsight, I can say that it’s his fault that I became a DJ. I nonstop listened to that Italo-disco mix-tape all summer long and Mr Flagio’s vocoder voice remains engraved in my heart until this day. I’m still playing this track whenever I can.”

04. Adamski


namoured by electronic music culture at a young age, Michael moved to Cologne just as his teens came to an end and got a job in a record store — Delirium. Riding the first minimal techno wave, a few years later he co-founded Kompakt — now a distributor, record store, booking agency and recording studio, as well as a pioneering electronic label. He started his own Total Confusion parties too, a concept he has exported to various other European cities over the years — including to Fabric, which led to him recording one of their earliest mix CDs in 2003. Kompakt has been immeasurably important for techno in Germany and across the world, and when not DJing at weekends Michael spends his days overseeing the operation and sometimes making his own music. Equally at home working solo as collaborating (most notably with Superpitcher for 2007’s SuperMayer album ‘Save The World’), he released his third album, ‘&’, in 2016. As you might expect, the ‘&’ album consists of twelve collaborations with acts as diverse as Agoria, Miss Kittin, Prins Thomas and Kolsch. “After some solitary studio years, I felt the urge to open my doors again,” Michael tells DJ Mag. “Half the fun was putting the team together. I’ve opted mainly for long-time companions but also people I relate to in my many ways and whose music continues to inspire me.” From widescreen motorik opener ‘We Like To Party’ with Roman Flugel through popcorning electro burbler ‘State Of The Nation’ with Brazilian don Gui Boratto and onwards, the album is an understated creative triumph. Here are the tracks that Michael says helped shape him into who he is today…

‘Killer’ (MCA, 1990) “’Killer’ might be my most played record ever. It just doesn’t get old. It encapsulates a moment in time for me when a new record could literally change everything. The future was wide open and the overall vibe was so uplifting. The flipside title perfectly says what I felt when I first heard ‘Killer’ — ‘Bassline Changed My Life’.”

05. Project 86

‘Legends’ (Nu Groove, 1991) “I could have chosen any other How & Little productions from that time, they’re all amazing. They were instrumental in the creation of Brooklyn hardcore, but it was their deeper side that really got to me. So simple, so sexy. They suddenly disappeared when Nu Groove went belly-up in 1992. I’m still wondering where they have gone…”

06. Photon Inc

‘Generate Power’ (Strictly Rhythm, 1991) “I had to pick another record from 1991 because that was the year when it all became clear to

me — house and techno are the best music on this planet. I’ll never forget the first time I was dancing to ‘Generate Power’. I truly felt the power, and it became the beginning of my long and hefty love affair with DJ Pierre’s Wild Pitch sound.”

07. Motorbass ‘Flying Fingers’ (Motorbass, 1993)

“In the early ‘90s, I used to listen to a lot of hip-hop. De La Soul and all the Native Tongues acts ruled my car stereo. Then I slowly lost interest in downtempo music. The enigmatic ‘Transphunk EP’ with its graffiti-style artwork, organic sampling and excessive scratching sounded like instrumental hiphop on speed. Three years later Motorbass released their album ‘Pansoul’, which for me in terms of innovation almost equals Daft Punk’s ‘Homework’. Almost!”

08. Grungerman ‘In Tyrannis’ (Profan, 1995)

“When Wolfgang Voigt released his first ‘Grungerman EP’, it was such a revelation. By sampling German folk singer Reinhard May, he broke a huge taboo. Combining German pop vocals (our parents music!) with abstract techno — that was so radical and new. It was an important moment of empowerment for the German scene. Don’t be afraid of your roots. Just let your creativity flow and if something’s uncool, make it cool.”

09. Closer Musik ‘One, Two, Three... No Gravity’ (Kompakt, 2000)

“This short-lived project by Matias Aguayo and Dirk Leyers is responsible for some of my favourite Kompakt moments. Closer ‘Musik’ is as much techno as it is pop and experimental. It’s very cloak-and-dagger but full of love and beauty.”

10. Westbam & Nena ‘Oldschool, Baby (Piano Mix)’ (Low Spirit, 2002)

“Like most of the guys of my generation, in 1982 I fell in love with Nena. With her red leather mini-skirt, blue top and red creoles hanging from her ears, she was the coolest girl I’d ever seen on TV. Westbam, on the other hand, was another teenage hero of mine. In 1989, he was Germany’s answer to Coldcut, S-Express, M/A/R/R/S and all that. More than a decade later Nena and Westbam recorded this track together and it instantly turned into one of my signature tracks.”






STEVE AOKI How and when did Dim Mak come about? “It was 1996 and I was 19 years old. I was very much involved in the punk/hardcore scene. I was in multiple bands and throwing shows in my living room. I had my own zine and also wrote a regular column in a punk/hardcore magazine. The only thing that I could do that I wasn’t already doing was helping bands put out music. I had the expertise to release a demo and circulate it amongst friends and people that were in the scene, so I was like: ‘Okay, we’ll start DIY and we’ll start from a very, very humble place’.” Did you have anybody helping you in the beginning? “In the very beginning, the help that I got was working a summer job where I accumulated about $400 in cash. My roommate was working as a manager at Kinko’s. He would


im Mak is the touch of death in martial arts but in the music industry, it’s the name of a mammoth label that has been going strong for over twenty years. It was founded by the great Steve Aoki in 1996, driven by his love of the punk and hardcore scene, and it gradually built a reputation with a wide range of releases. As a teenager, Aoki moved to Los Angeles in 2002 and started playing music and hosting parties for the label. Slowly, Dim Mak’s after parties gained considerable popularity and, a few years later, young Steve took to remixing these bands’ music, as electronic culture continued to climb. It was around that time that Steve was able to afford an employee to realize a project he had been running on his own for years. What started almost thirty years ago as an outlet for Steve’s interests has become a reputable company and, for many, a lifestyle. Without boundaries for music styles, Dim Mak is a creative, disruptive label that manages to deal with cultural challenges and brings talents to the world in a unique way. n



let me go in there and steal inserts and we’d print all the covers on them. I would use their machines to cut all the covers up and handnumber them. I did that for free because he was working there -we were basically stealing from the place. But it was a corporate place so we thought it was okay. So that was the start and we did not have investing rounds or marketing budgets. We just wanted to put out records and help out friends. And that’s how it started, very humble.” How was the electronic music scene in that moment? “In 1996, I was putting out mainly hardcore punk emo bands. I knew nothing about electronic music.. When I moved to LA in 2002, I started DJing and throwing Dim Mak parties. We had a lot of indie bands at the time, and we started a little culture around them by hosting after parties. I started remixing tracks from these indie bands in 2004, and an indie/electro era started brewing. Electro was starting to grow into a much larger culture.” What are the main differences between this stage and the beginnings of the label? “It started out as an outlet for me to help support a very small culture of punk/hardcore music. I was a huge advocate of that culture. Dim Mak started out as a tool to share and spread music with more people. Now it’s evolved into more of a proper business, a music lifestyle brand. We think about not just the music, but also the lifestyle, the clothing line, the events, and how our brand is presented. Through all these moving parts, we support the artists.” What is the best about Dim Mak? “The best thing about Dim Mak is our artists and their constant flow of music. It’s been a pleasure witnessing the change, evolution, and transformation of the culture. It’s great to be a part of it and I’m excited for everyone to hear all the new blood that we have on Dim Mak.” What are the things that separate the label from the rest? “We put out all kinds of music. We haven’t just stuck with one genre. We like to be creative and disruptive, challenging our culture by bringing in new talent that you wouldn’t expect. You’ve got to do things like that in order to stimulate excitement and growth. Why are we different? You’ll have to see for yourself.” What does a track need to have to be signed to Dim Mak? “It’s got to make you feel something that you haven’t felt before. You’ve got to feel something where you think, “Wow, this is blowing my mind.” Something that can change you. At the end of the day, music tends to your emotions, to your gut, to your core. If it strikes a chord, I’m listening.”



possessed the five Billboard top-tens, was nominated to be a Grammy candidate for 8 times, and sold 9 million albums and 30 million singles. For some time, he had featured three performances within a day. According to what he said in the ‘Jonathan Ross Show,’ he visited three countries in a day when the album ‘Nothing But The Beat’ was released. “I just go and play for one hour with music from the album, and immediately run to take a plane and go to the next country. It was really, really insane.” Guetta is always grateful to his everyday life, as it is a kind of life someone else may be dreaming of. “No word can describe how blessed I feel when being able to do what I love every day.” However, there are pains as well. “The downside of living this life is that I cannot see my family and friends all the time.” Guetta may sometimes feel that he wishes to clear the entire schedule which hardly gives him time to breathe and return to the time when he had been a resident in France. “No,” he spoke by the card, “I love where I am right now. But I also wouldn’t change those times either even if I could. I cherish all those memories, and they made me who I am today.” Words: DAEHWA LEE


avid Guetta is one of the DJs who are the most difficult to meet in the world. You can hear his music everywhere and therefore may feel that he is quite friendly, but this is why he is one of the hardest DJs to meet in person. It is not easy to hold him for a long time, even for a famous media. Such a particularity is not because he wishes to avoid exposure to the public nor he dislikes the journalists. If he doesn’t behave in such way, he will not have any time left for himself. Even a person who cannot write a single line about the EDM knows what ‘Titanium’ is. Imagine how many interviews he might have been asked for. When I actually asked how many interviews he had done for the day I interviewed him, he did not answer in accurate number, but he answered, “A lot, actually.” The life of managing several interviews a day is an everyday life for him. As a journalist, I know and understand to a certain extent from my own experiences that it is not easy, and is actually very tiring, to talk in front of many people and for a lot of interviews. I wondered how Guetta, who must be experiencing the toughest schedule, maintains his physical strength. “Taking good care of yourself! I’m all about eating healthy food and exercising to keep my body in the best shape. Working out really helps me feel better. Moreover, the fact that music is my biggest passion also keeps me moving forward even when I’m exhausted.” Interestingly, one of the ways he enjoys while taking a rest is to remain still without doing anything. “I, actually, always like to zone out before my performance. It might sound a little boring, but I sit in the dressing room with my eyes closed. Just like meditation. After doing so, I can be super-hyped when I get onto the stage!” While going through the murderous schedule, it is inevitable for him to have less time to make music. In order to produce new albums regularly while going through the jam-packed tour schedule, a magic that makes what is impossible to be possible is necessary. Guetta always makes time to work on his music no matter how busy he may be. When it is urgent, he puts everything aside and sets music as a priority. “Well, I’ve taken 3 months off recently from almost everything to finish my album. So, I do really make time to make music. When traveling, I also work on the plane, but when I need to finish important projects, we make sure that we have time for this.” To the bedroom DJ’s, it may look like the life of happiness with no pain. Guetta is a DJ who has achieved what the DJs dream of. He

Becoming a world star It was 1987 when Guetta first heard house music. Let us go back to this moment. 1987 was the year when house had moved up to number one on the mainstream chart for the first time. ‘Jack Your Body’ by Steve Silk Hurley had ranked number one in the British chart in January of 1987. According to the DJs of the Great Britain, there had clearly and distinctly been the vigorous party scenes but it had been boring because of the stagnant music style. The house music gave the fresh shock, and it had become an enormous trend to the extent that the cataclysms had been caused in the undergrounds of London and Manchester in 1988, although it was mistreated enough to have liquor bottles thrown here and there in the beginning. During this era of transformation, David Guetta listened to the house for the first time, when he was twenty years old. To him, who had already been performing as a DJ, ‘The 2nd Summer Of Love’ must have been a new world of which his heart started to pound. In 2007, after 20 years had passed, Guetta had become one of the most famous DJs in Europe. ‘Love Is Gone’ was ranked the 9th on the British Singles chart, and had become one of the most beloved house music of the year. His music pieces in the latter half of the 2000’s had greatly contributed to the underground house music to come up to the mainstream. ‘When Love Takes Over’, sung by Kelly Rowland of Destiny’s Child, was very popular in Korea, a country which takes 11 hours on airplane from Europe. A telephone call which he received after winning the fame with ‘Love Is Gone’ changed his life once again. of Black Eyed Peas proposed him to work as a producer. At the time, Black Eyed Peas had been gaining the worldwide popularity with ‘Monkey Business’. Guetta made his first step in the United States, the country of the biggest music market. It was his first time to work as a producer for another artist. It was also his first time to work in the professional-class studio. ‘I Gotta Feeling,’ which was the outcome of this process, became a hit song that will remain for a long time in the history. This song was ranked number one for 14 weeks on the Billboard chart. This music had advanced the popularization of the electro house, which had been rising up at the time. Electro house refers to the house, which uses the rough electronic sounds, like the rock guitar. Although it possesses the party DNA of the house, the dark and intense vibes are the special features as well. ‘I Gotta Feeling’ is a piece of music, which combined the electro house with the dance pop, represented by the sizzling bass sound. The Swedish House Mafia had ranked the 6th on the Billboard chart with ‘Don’t You Worry Child’ in 2012, but


Guetta ranked the number one for 14 weeks 3 years earlier. Guetta certainly is a pioneer. Guetta is one of the most famous DJs in the world now. When a new piece of work is released, it is introduced on the first screens of the music sites. People can easily listen to his music at the club, at the neighborhood mart, and from the earphone of somebody sitting on the next seat in the bus. His music exists everywhere. His popularity and influence can be found from the collaboration list as well. From Rihanna, Snoop Dogg, Akon, Nicki Minaj, Usher, Sia, Lil Wayne, Charli XCX, to Justin Bieber. He is engaged in the activities on the top floor of the pyramid of the music industry.

No.1 DJ in Asia I went to the third day of Ultra Korea 2018, the day David Guetta performed. Guetta stood in front of the Korean audiences at 8:00 p.m., the main time of this day. Ultra Korea is the most popular EDM festival in Korea. This year’s event successfully attracted 180,000 spectators, and this is the highest number to be recorded. Guetta appeared at Ultra Korea in 2015, too. Both then and now, the ticket power of Guetta in Asia is enormously strong. While Guetta was preparing for the public performance, the spectators who were scattered at four stages gathered to the main stage. Later, people filled up the entire venue, reaching to the hindmost part where the liquor booths were located. The Olympic Main Stadium, where Ultra Korea is held, is one of the biggest event venue in Korea. When the first music piece, ‘Like I Do,’ began, the enormous crowd all went wild and began to shout as if they were watching the open chance during the soccer game. One of the scales for determining the popularity of an artist among the public is the sing-along at the event venue. ‘Titanium’ led the crowd to shout out as soon as the intro came out. When the volume was reduced for the vocal part, the loud sing-along burst out as if it had been waited. In fact, ‘Titanium’ draws the sing-alongs not only in Korea but also in the entire world. All of the spectators at the 2018 Ultra Miami sang along together by following the direction of Guetta. How would it feel when the EDM fans in the world sing along with his own song? “I get goosebumps every time. Honestly, it’s one of the most amazing feelings ever.” The spectators of the festival usually love to hear a song that they know. They like it even more when the music is played by the original artist. This is why the stage of David Guetta, who has a lot of the hit songs, obtains such an enthusiastic reaction. He has five Billboard top-ten songs, and the most hit songs in Asia in particular. At Ultra Korea, too, the crowds were excited to shout out whenever the hit songs, including ‘Titanium,’ ‘Bad,’ ‘Ain’t A Party’ and ‘Play Hard,’ came out. The audiences had smiles on their faces, telling oneself that ‘It is the song I like!’ To the extent the Asian fans like Guetta, Guetta loves the fervent and favorable responses of the Asian fans as well. “People always let themselves move to the music and party, but the Asian fans REALLY let themselves move and enjoy. They don’t care whether other people are watching them or not, and just enjoy the music without any limits. Ultra has always been amazing. A lot of the preparations had taken place for the show, but the outcome was magnificent. Everything was perfect, including the spectators, atmosphere, and the entire show.” The reason why Guetta is so popular in Asia is closely related to the special occasion in Asia. As it cannot generalize the entire Asia, let us give an example of Korea. The popularity of EDM in Korea is markedly lower compared to that in the United States and Europe. The number of the audiences of the


festivals has beaten rock, and the press unavoidably writes about ‘the era of the EDM,’ but there indeed are only a small number of the people listening to EDM every day at home and on the streets. Most people are not familiar with the musical arrangements focusing on the beats, the repetitions, and the electronic dance grammar. Moreover, many people who do not prefer the electronic sounds claim that these sounds are artificial. It is very rare or extremely difficult to release songs without vocals, especially when the songs are led by the kick drums and bass. Ultra Korea, which successfully gathered the biggest number of audiences in Korea, had to endure many years to attract a lot of the audiences to be crowded on the Resistance stage where mainly featuring techno. When Porter Robinson visited Korea for the World DJ Festival in the spring of this year, most of the audiences stood up still during the long breakdown; they only reacted when the strong sounds came out. Of course, the house, techno, and bass scenes exist in Korea. Faust, a techno club located in Itaewon, Seoul, sometimes hosts the shows of the super stars like Seth Troxler and Ben Klock. But, except for a few clubs that have been doing very well, most of them have been

Doesn’t music business interfere your creativity? “I have people I love around me. They give me the good energy on my side. I do not see such negative things.”

What is your dream? “My dream is to make music and perform for a long time, until it is possible.”

Isn’t this enormous expectation from peoples a burden for you? “I am a person too, so I am burdened, as a matter of course. But, it also becomes power which drives me to improve further every time.”

You personally appeared in the ‘Flames’ music video. How was this experience? “First, although I am not an actor, I liked the idea for the music video very much. Acting a villain in my music video was really fun.”

Although your role was a villain, you presented some comical acting too. Didn’t you feel the burden that this may influence your image as an artist? “Absolutely not.”

satisfied with the maintenance of the status quo. In addition, number of fans has been stagnated, compared to that of the DJs, which has continuously been increasing. Due to the current circumstances, David Guetta’s music certainly has advantages. First, vocal melodies, which easily attract and appeal the listeners, appear in his hit songs all the time. Korean people tend to feel difficult about the dance music without any vocals. This is why the Facebook page which introduces the popular EDM with the vocals has become Korea’s largest EDM community. Furthermore, Korean people like the explosive drops rather than the continuous grooves. In this regard, David Guetta, who enjoys using the intense build-ups and drops, is more advantageous to come up with hit songs. The fact that EDM media are rare in Korea is also advantageous for him. There is almost no magazine specialized in dance music, and if there are media for dance music, the influence is relatively small. Hence, it is hard for the artists and the albums to be widely publicized among the public if the music cannot be ranked high on the Billboard to attract attention of the mainstream media. David Guetta, whose name always emerges together with the keyword ‘EDM,’ is certainly at a more advantageous position than that of anybody else.

Pop EDM It is probably not the situation only in Korea. As a direct example, if we take a look at the Billboard Dance/Electronic chart, there is almost no floor-friendly music in the upper ranks of the Beatport. Most of them are the radio taste pop EDM. Of course, the situation in the United States is much better than in Korea. Regarding the United States, because the size of the underground is big, there are much more people who will listen to 7-minutes long house music. But, there are some similarities between what is going on in the United States and in Korea. When a DJ gets away from the underground, one must be determined to take a huge step towards pop, possibly like Justin Bieber. With the EDM reaching out to YouTube, the radio, and the Spotify, away from the festivals, the song structure and the popular melody has become more important. This has been the case after The Chainsmokers who ranked number one on the Billboard for 12 weeks with ‘Closer.’ Now, the bass music artists, like RL Grime, are releasing the pop fusion music, too. It is obviously the era of pop EDM. Judging from the recently released singles, Guetta does not intend to go against this trend. Instead, he had strengthened the pop elements. ‘Flames’ is a good example. This song could simply be called pop, instead of pop EDM. Synthesizer is usually placed in the center for the drop part, even when EDM has strong pop elements, but it is different for ‘Flames.’ It is the vocals, taking the lead in front, both in verse and chorus parts. This is not a fusion form with pop; this is a 100% pop music. Each and every piece of music may differ from one to another but how they are directed may be similar. ‘Don’t Leave Me Alone’ is a song that is good to listen to at home rather than on a dance floor. This song starts with dreamy sound and vocal without any beats. It sounds more like ballad music. The change is witnessed from the song he worked with the big room producer. ‘So Far Away,’ collaborated with Martin Garrix, is a sad R&B which begins with the bluesy guitar. The drop with the future bass style appears, but in general, it is a song which sounds stronger with the earphones than on the floor. This does not mean that all of Guetta’s interest has been leaning towards the Billboard only. He is still a DJ. For example, ‘Like I Do’ and ‘Your Love’ are big rooms for the festivals. Guetta did not forget where he started from. By arranging music, optimized for the EDM Festival and the clubs, he had not been negligent on being both a pop hit maker and a DJ. Strengthening of the pop style does not mean giving up the experimental attempts. Guetta says, “I love experimenting with sounds and coming up with unexpected things. Just wait and see what’s coming next!” u








t’s thirty years ago this summer that acid house was created: an electronic music style that influenced virtually all DJs in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Doubtless, it was a turning point for electronic music. To celebrate the occasion, we decided to look back and go over the artists, tracks and labels that laid the groundwork for this incredible music style. But first things first: as the name describes, acid house is a subgenre of house music, a genre that had been prevalent in clubs for a few years, with stalwarts such as Frankie Knuckles, Ron Hardy and Lil Louis, all of whom were resident DJs at various Chicago clubs. But that’s another story. The truth is, with the decay of disco music and the boom of house music –with collaborators in radio stations, record labels and record manufacturers pushing the style forward–, a group of producers experimenting in these genres began to incorporate the Roland TB303 synthesizer to their work. From then on, the style never ceased to expand, spreading to several international markets such as Europe and becoming a phenomenon in Britain. In the end it was the perfect excuse that drove an entire generation towards a youth revolution.


London’s club Shoom opened in November 1987. Owned by Danny Rampling and his wife, it was one of the first clubs to introduce acid house in Britain and it turned hundreds of talented musicians into the new music style. It was extremely exclusive and featured thick fog and, of course, acid house, creating a dreamy atmosphere. This period began what some still call the ‘Second Summer of Love’ –a movement that takes its name from the famous Summer of Love in the USA in the 1970s–, credited with a reduction in football hooliganism: instead of fights, football fans were going to clubs and joining the other attendees under the effects of a few psychotropic drugs. Shoom was the first club to introduce acid house across the region and, to many, it was a way of life. Located in a gym called Fitness Centre that held 300, where there were walls of mirrors, the club attracted a very broad mix of people, such as Boy George and Paul Rutherford from Frankie Goes To Hollywood. ‘Clubs in the 1980s could be quite rough in England, full of idiots who liked drinking and violence’, said Pete Heller to The Guardian. Heller DJed at the Rampling club when it reopened at Busby. ‘But in Shoom there was none of that. They insisted on an open-minded, positive, friendly vibe. If you didn’t have that, you weren’t coming in. It was quite a commitment. It wasn’t somewhere you could sit down comfortably in the corner. Shoom was a sweatbox.’

Around this time, the following year, a club called Trip opened in June, led by DJ Nick Holloway, who had travelled to Ibiza in 1987 with Danny Rampling, Johnny Walker and Paul Oakenfold to celebrate Oakenfold’s birthday. The quartet had come back home inspired by the incredible Balearic sound. Trip was located in London’s West End, and it was geared directly towards the acid house music scene. It was known for its intensity and stayed open until 3 AM, at which time the patrons would spill into the streets chanting and drawing the police on regular occasions. The bad reputation that occurrences like this created along with the UK’s stringent anti-club laws started to make it increasingly difficult to offer events in the conventional club atmosphere. Because of this, and because after-hour clubbing was considered illegal and against the law in London during the 1980s, the groups of clubgoers began to assemble inside warehouses and industrial venues in secret to avoid police raids, marking the first developments of the rave. Two well-known groups at this point were Sunrise, who held massive outdoor events, and Revolution in Progress (RIP), known for the dark atmosphere and hard music of their events. The Sunrise group threw several acid house raves in Britain which gathered serious press attention. In August 1988 they threw what is considered the biggest acid house rave ever, near Reigate, Surrey. The event was held in fields adjacent to a school and it ran from Saturday 10 pm to Sunday evening. Approximately 20,000 people attended, and the lines of cars exceeded 5 kilometres. It received significant press coverage. From then on, acid house stood on its own two feet and didn’t depend on anyone to be considered a genre in its own right.

Sleezy D - “I’ve Lost Control” Trax (1986)

As far as is known, Marshall Jefferson’s ‘I’ve Lost Control’ was the first acid house track to be released on vinyl. We hear a 303 over TR-808 beats, with a scary vocal losing control over the top. The most acid stuff ever made by Marshall Jefferson. Armando - “Confusion’s Revenge” Westbrook Records (1987)

In 1987, Armando Gallop released an acid stormer on Westbrook Records entitled ‘Land Of Confusion.’ Once again the 303 was the protagonist but this time the drum machine was a TR-707 giving a more jerky feel to the beat in contrast to the more rounded analogue vibe of the 808. On a 1988 acid house compilation is this remake ‘Confusion’s Revenge’ which ramps up the trippiness a few degrees by adding a great vocal about the story of acid. Bam Bam - “Where’s Your Child” Desire (1988)

The Westbrook Records label, which released Armando’s ‘Land Of Confusion,’ belonged to a guy named Chris Westbrook, better known as Bam Bam. This track is his finest hour, a rather slow paced dark acid tune, with pitched down vocals and satanic sounds over a steady 808 beat. One of several acid house tracks released by Bam Bam on Westbrook. Charles B & Adonis - “Lack of Love” Desire (1988)

Another track released in the UK by Desire. It’s got a real vocal sung in an un-effected voice, the beat changes in different sections, and there are piano chords and amazing acid sparks. It’s a great production by Adonis, who gave acid a more traditional approach. It’s one of many outstanding productions released by the Chicago-born pioneer. Maurice - “This is Acid” Trax (1988)

To many, this is kind of the theme song of acid house – Maurice rapping over an equally acid and funky line, with the 808 cowbell as heard on many records of the era. ‘This is Acid’ appeared on the same EP as two other superb acid tunes: ‘Feel The Mood’ and the smutty ‘I Got A Big Dick.’ Fast Eddie - “Acid Thunder (AA AACCID)” DJ International (1988)

Iconic artist Fast Eddie’s Jack To The Sound LP includes the original version of this track, a rather cheesy number with strings and vocals, but this version from a later vinyl release is pure acid. It features great 303 and 808 action and a theatrical ending that never loses the acid vibe. A timeless piece. Phuture - Acid Tracks Trax Records (1987)

The original title for this song was ‘In Your Mind.’ DJ Pierre from Phuture had given a tape of the track to Ron Hardy to play at the Muzic Box in Chicago and Hardy labelled it ‘Acid Tracks.’ So the name stuck and the song was issued under this title. According to DJ Pierre the ‘acid’ in the title of the tape was a reference to LSD as this was a popular drug at the club. It was not a reference to the sound of the Roland 303. Whatever the case, it ended up giving a whole movement its name. It runs for 11 repetitive minutes and to many, it is the theme song of acid house. It still gets played and everyone considers it a timeproof classic.


The earliest recorded examples of acid house are a matter of debate. It is generally considered that the Phuture’s ‘Acid Trax’ is the genre’s earliest example, with its typically acid sound given by the TB-303. DJ Pierre, a member of Phuture, says the song may have been composed as early as 1985, but it was not released until 1987. Others point out Sleezy D’s ‘I’ve Lost Control,’ released on vinyl in 1986, was the origin, but it is impossible to know which track was created first or which one was the genre’s precursor. The only certainty is that ‘I’ve Lost Control’ was the first track released on vinyl and that both songs were important for the genre to flourish. ‘The whole thing wasn’t just based on drugs, that’s a misconception,’ said Danny Rampling to The Guardian in November 2017. ‘Yes, there was a revolutionary new music, acid house, and with that came a stimulant, ecstasy. They kind of went hand in hand and it was a very positive, profound experience for a lot of people. But for me, primarily, it was about the music’, he said, in defence of one of the key periods of the electronic music scene and its strong connection to British society. Dave Haslam, a DJ at The Hacienda and author with first-hand experience of the phenomenon, remembers those times as a true social explosion that still needed to establish a few ground rules. ‘No-one knew how to dress. People wondered, “Should we wear shoes or sneakers to dance to this music?”, “Should I put on a T-shirt or a button-front?” By early 1988, there were still people coming to The Hacienda with shoulder-padded suits and, all of a sudden, it was all jeans and T-shirts.’ In London, a few DJs –such as Maurice and Noel Watson at Delirium, Colin Faver and Eddie Evil Richards at Camden Palace, Jay Strongman and Mark Moore at Heaven and Dave Dorrell at RAW– were the first to play house music, but in 1988 things really exploded. A new generation of clubs such as Danny Rampling’s Shoom, Nicky Holloway’s Trip and Paul Oakenfold’s Spectrum were the scene’s main venues in the capital, along with The Hacienda in Manchester and Sheffield’s Jive Turkey to the north. ‘It was so new, and so different to anything you had experienced,’ explained Paul Roberts from K-Klass, who described being torn between his wish to tell the whole world about it and the need to keep it secret and special. But isn’t that one of the internal battles one has to fight when one belongs to an underground movement? This time, it couldn’t be kept secret. The speed at which acid house exploded in the summer of 1988 took everyone by surprise. In a pre-Internet era, the phenomenon spread by word of mouth and the urge of club-goers to share their experiences made numbers grow week after week. The revolution was so great that it spilled out of the clubs. Those people who had been touched by the second summer of love recognized each other when they passed by on the street. The tell-tale signs were their clothes, their hair styles and their absent-minded smile when they looked out of a bus window, waiting for the weekend to go dancing at one of those novel clubs. Groups of friends started to be divided between those who had had their revelation at one of the clubs and those who hadn’t been converted yet – although, sooner or later, they would be. From then on, acid house has followed its own path... u



Can we please stop calling all dance music genres ‘EDM’? DJ Mag Digital Editor Charlotte Lucy Cijffers explores the rise of EDM, attempting to once and for all settle one of the most divisive arguments in dance music…


t first happened at a media dinner about five years ago. I was sandwiched rather uncomfortably between two older international journalists — one from Amsterdam and one from New York. As we sat watching a slideshow about a dance-musicmeets-yoga festival heading to Thailand that following summer, Mr NYC commented that he hoped Carl Cox was playing because he was his “favourite EDM DJ right now”. Heads swivelled and hands were raised to mouths as Mr Amsterdam and I let out a gasp of unadulterated horror. “Carl Cox and EDM? You must be confused,” Mr Amsterdam managed to stammer as a slideshow of smiling festival-goers blitzing smoothies flashed up on a giant LED screen. A heated argument was had across my lap for much of the remaining presentation, giving me time to ponder how on earth Coxy and EDM had ever ended up in the same sentence — let alone one being uttered by a music journalist. Seven elderflower cocktails later and Mr NYC was still insisting that EDM stands for Electronic Dance Music, and therefore includes all genres of music made with machines, from techno to breakbeat, Chicago house to jungle. Mr Amsterdam, on the


other hand, was insisting that the term EDM was a product of American ignorance. “DJ Mag is British,” he said, gesturing towards me as I pretended to be fascinated by a plate of mini quiches. “In Europe, we class EDM as a sub-genre of dance music. EDM is that big room Martin Garrix crap that’s suitable only for the Disney Channel!” The next thing I knew, someone had received a fast-flying mini quiche to the face. It wasn’t the first time I’d seen tempers flare over this issue, and it certainly wouldn’t be the last. Over the last few years I’ve moderated countless comments about the meaning of EDM on DJ Mag’s social channels — very few topics spew up as much toxic bile from trolls as the great EDM debate. So perhaps it’s time to finally unpack what the term ‘EDM’ really means and settle the score once and for all. Is it a genre-spanning term or a label for a specific sound — for “Disney Channel” dance music. To understand the root of this community-dividing confusion, we need to go back. Way, way back, in fact, to early 2002. At the time, most kids Stateside were busy playing beer pong, drinking out of red plastic cups and flocking to the cinema to see movies about frat houses (Van Wilder,

OPINION DJs were commanding stadium-sized crowds who weren’t willing to pay £80 a ticket just to see a middleaged man standing behind a set of CDJs. We needed pyrotechnics, we needed visuals, we needed stage managers running around in tiny headsets, and private jets, and Vegas residencies and ridiculous men with marshmallows on their heads because dance music had, suddenly, become a show. anyone?). Musically, mass marketed hip-hop reigned supreme, as Eminem famously spat out the words “Nobody listens to techno” in his charting-topping single, ‘Without Me’. His album ‘The Eminem Show’ would go on to be the biggest selling LP of the year, while Nickelback’s ‘How You Remind Me’ was the top single (FFS). In the UK we weren’t doing much better. Ronan Keating was topping the charts with insipid ballads, and manufactured acts like Sugababes and Atomic Kitten were at their latexwearing, auto-tuned peak. But there was one key difference between America and the UK in 2002, and that was the physical truth of Eminem’s sentiment. Nobody was listening to techno — in America at least — and not in anywhere near the numbers it commands today. House and techno had been all but ousted by American audiences following trance’s rise (and fall) in the early noughties — ironic considering the origins of dance music in Chicago and Detroit respectively. Both scenes in those origin cities had been pushed even further underground by the early2000s, as acts like Richie Hawtin, Kevin Sanderson and Stacey Pullen decamped to Europe in search of bigger bookings and wider-scale appreciation. 2001 had also seen introduction of the federal RAVE act — the law that officially put the kibosh on raves nationwide and famously saw legendary New Orleans promoter Disco Donnie sent to jail. The end of Sasha and John Digweed’s iconic Twilo residency in 2001 had signalled a turningpoint for fairweather trance and prog fans in the States, though the genre still reigned supreme in European clubs. Dutch DJ Tiësto took the Top 100 DJs crown in 2002, 2003 and 2004, for example, before handing over the title to PvD and Armin van Buuren for the rest of the decade. Trance’s reverberations would begin to be felt once again in the States by 2007, as young Canadian producer Deadmau5 pioneered “nu-prog” with tracks like ‘Not Exactly’ and ‘Faxing Berlin’, best summarised


as cleanly produced re-rubs of the progressive house sounds Sasha and John Digweed had been pushing several years earlier. What’s really key is that despite dance music’s ups and downs during this time, the UK maintained an unflinching mainstream interest in dance music as a whole — something the States hadn’t managed to achieve since the fall of disco three decades earlier. Tracks like Eric Prydz’s big room, discosampling house pumper ‘Call On Me’ hit number one in Britain, while the same track skirted the U.S. countdown at a disappointing No.29 on Billboard’s Hot Dance chart. Several years earlier, Daft Punk’s ‘One More Time’ — a tune that would be repackaged as a classic of the EDM generation over a decade later — ranked at a poorly No.61 in America while hitting the No.2 spot in the UK. Big house tunes continued to rule the roost in Britain for much of the ’00s, with tracks like Mylo’s ‘Drop The Pressure’ or a raft of soulful Defected records hitting the commercial charts. It’s fairly obvious, then, that when it came to dance music in the mid-noughties, the US and UK had very little in common. It was thanks to two disparate scenes on opposite sides of the globe that dance music would be able to break (once again) in America, and where EDM — as a genre, at least — would fully take hold. Unlikely heroes of the forthcoming EDM movement, it was in fact French duo Justice that helped plant the seeds of EDM in American eardrums — much to their shared horror now, I’m sure. Their genredefining LP ‘†’ proved ultra-successful Stateside, opening the door for similar-sounding producers like Fake Blood (‘Mars’), Boys Noize (‘& Down’), Bloody Beetroots (‘Warp’), Crookers (‘Limonare’) and early records from Steve Aoki and his Dim Mak gang. Justice’s ‘A Cross The Universe’ documentary (which followed them on their ’08 American tour) proved just how popular their metal-meets-dancemusic formula had become, as the duo got into

Chuckie bloody fist-fights, body-surfed through mosh-pits and had questionable interactions with young girls in green rooms (eurgh). Thrash electro and fidget sounds also resonated strongly with club kids in Australia and Justice’s homeland of France, as well as trickling into the UK alongside the booming dubstep and minimal scenes of the late ’00s. Dubstep (and later post-dubstep) would also prove hugely influential in the States, with young acts like Skrillex building on the template of UK producers like Skream, DJ Hatcha and Benga, before splintering into sub-genres like trap — something we don’t have time to go into now. The influence of David Guetta (the man who almost single handedly brought dance-music-infused pop music to the US charts) was equally pivotal in paving the way for EDM’s explosion — so much so that his story probably deserves a feature all of its own. But why did Justice and co’s sound have such a pick-up in the United States? The answer is simple: because this format — to American audiences at least — felt very, very familiar. It wasn’t dance music described as ‘rave’ (which conjured up scary images of ecstasy-dosed teens sucking on pacifiers in fluffy boots) but instead this was just a rock show with a few synths on the side. This new, non-threatening format was something that both hip-hop fans (Eminem) and frat boys (Nickelback) could get on board with — and this meant big, big bucks for anyone lucky enough to spot this trend first. Over in Europe and running concurrently to the dance-rock and fidget scenes, another style of club music that would hugely influence EDM was reaching stratospheric popularity. Referred to as dirty Dutch, the scene was named after the label and radio show started by DJ/producer Chuckie, a man who had been attracting snapback-capwearing teenagers in their droves throughout much of the mid-2000s across the Netherlands. This big room sound with its enormous kicks and repetitive vox would go on to musically inspire much of the first wave of young EDM producers to really make it in America. Producers Nicky Romero and Hardwell had just hit the circuit when Chuckie’s ‘Let The Bass Kick’ landed in 2008 and would go on to form EDM’s first wave, followed by acts like Martin Garrix, Kygo, DVBBS and more. If fidget and electro-house had opened the door


OPINION on instant gratification with a focus on huge drops and catchy chords, rather than the subtle peaks and troughs of more traditional dance music genres. Unlike underground purists, EDM artists haven’t spent years fetishising the origins or founders of their sound — because EDM as a genre simply didn’t exist before 2010 — making them freer to move onto something new.

Carl Cox & Martin Garrix to EDM, then Swedish House Mafia were the first group to really grab it by the horns. They were the first real rockstars of the genre, complete with private jets, supermodel girlfriends and Beverly Hills mansions, commanding the kind of fervour (and fees) previously reserved for pop stars and the Hollywood A-list. Similar to fellow Swedish star Avicii (RIP), SHM weren’t just writing and producing club tracks — they were penning radio-viable records that also sounded great on a Funktion One. SHM failed to chart as successfully in the US as they did in Europe, but they once again represented the kind of non-threatening, formulaic and sing-along-style dance music that could delight both your festival buddies and your 12-year-old sister. But it wasn’t just the music that was morphing format. Trance events like Sensation White had already made a name for themselves with big and expensive productions, but now DJs were commanding stadium-sized crowds who weren’t willing to pay £80 a ticket just to see a middleaged man standing behind a set of CDJs. We needed pyrotechnics, we needed visuals, we needed stage managers running around in tiny headsets, and private jets, and Vegas residencies and ridiculous men with marshmallows on their heads because dance music had, suddenly, become a show. Dance music’s new adopters in the States weren’t just presented with the records of artists like Martin Garrix et al — but with the big budget, high gloss musical experience that came along with it. Artists like Garrix, Avicii, Hardwell, even Steve Aoki’s cakes, represented not just a trendy music style, but a new opportunity of hedonistic escapism funded by corporations with endless cash. Rolling on Molly, talking about PLUR and making pilgrimages to Tomorrowland were all tropes of dance music’s new mega cult — and the industry was now worth more than anyone could have ever dared to imagine. The term EDM doesn’t represent just a style of music, a group of artists or a specific sound. It is, in fact, a way to describe the quick, lucrative and global commodification of dance music between 2010 and now. It’s a way to describe the conversion of DJs into brands — complete with complex social media strategies, image consultants and full-time security details — and festivals into retail marketplaces where people gather together to be sold things en masse. The shift from physical to digital formats in the last decade has diminished music sales as a revenue stream — instead, bolted34

on ‘experiences’ that kids are willing to pay big bucks for are filling the void. Merchandise, tickets and VIP tables feed dance music’s all-powerful corporate juggernaut — no wonder Electric Daisy Carnival founder Pasquale Rotella wants to turn his festival into an “adult Disneyland”. When I met Martin Garrix after his first Top 100 DJs poll win in 2016, he said something that crystalised why some EDM acts were more likely than others to remain successful post-EDM’s bubble. “What I hate right now is that there is so much music out there that is just a copy of something else,” he told me. “I hate when everything sounds the same… I wanted to try something different. There’s so much music out there in this whole EDM thing that sounds so similar. I want to make my label more diverse.” No matter what you think of the music of Martin Garrix (and other EDM producers of his ilk), it’s evident that the guy can pump out a wellproduced, crowd-pleasing tune. More importantly, Garrix’s generation of producers are just as at home making millennial pop or mumble rap as they are making bangers for the Tomorrowland main stage, allowing them to shapeshift into new sounds far easier than the established house and techno elite. What’s truly interesting about the DJs and producers who have successfully surfed the EDM wave is how little loyalty they have to the sound itself. And why would they? It’s a medium based Ultra Miami

Garrix has already stepped away from the ‘Animals’-esque chart-toppers that made him a star, preferring to pump out radio-friendly future bass cuts like ‘In The Name Of Love’ and ‘Scared To Be Lonely’ — a subtle but seemingly calculated shift as EDM’s popularity begins to wane. Armin, on the other hand, has continued to keep his toe in the trance pond with a smattering of vinyl-only sets and Tiësto recently released a deep house album, while Hardwell, Alesso and countless other EDM acts have begun dabbling in tech-house in an attempt to slowly transition into something deeper. Ultimately, it’s the ability of these types of EDM artists to predict and follow trends that will make or break their careers in years to come — and why smart EDM producers are starting to actively build an audience outside the confines of the genre. Even DJ Mag’s (publicly voted for) Top 100 DJs poll experienced an influx in underground-leaning acts last year, showing it’s not just the artists that are slowly moving on — it’s the fans too. Maceo Plex, Black Coffee, Claptone and Solomun all entered the poll for the very first time in 2017, while Andy C, Paul Kalkbrenner, Disclosure and Richie Hawtin all re-entered after a few years out of the chart. What fans need to accept is that the term EDM does NOT mean d&b, techno, ambient, deep house or anything else for that matter, to anyone who’s been into dance music for longer than the last half a decade. It’s not an umbrella term, it is a way to describe the mutation of a music scene into a marketable product, symbolising a brief moment in time when the corporate world finally stepped on our turf. And just like pop punk, nu metal or any other mass-appropriated genre that’s come before it, EDM has already begun to exceed its expiry date. The EDM crash has well and truly begun, and as the last glowing embers of the genre gently fizzle into obscurity, it’s making way for an all-new and potentially even bigger trend. After all, techno is the new EDM — don’t you know? u






t the end of last year, you completed the ‘NOVA’ tour where you performed in 31 different cities in North America. How do you feel about that? “It was an amazing run. I was able to play a lot of new music and put together a set that was, for the most part, comprised of my own music. I also added some live elements to the performance which opened up a lot of doors for me.” Please tell us about some achievements of the ‘NOVA’ tour that you feel really proud of. “There were many things that made me proud about the ‘Nova’ tour. First of all, those rooms I performed at were the biggest rooms I had ever played on my own. The stage design and execution was incredibly advanced and the fact that we were able to bring it into the majority of the rooms was amazing. I was also very proud of the set. I wanted to showcase all of my music in a coherent package, and adding in live elements (triggering lights, drums pads, etc) was something brand new and incredibly fulfilling for me.” Recently, you have become so popular in Asia as well. What’s so special about the Asian audiences? “People in Asia are so open-minded when it comes to dance music. Every time I come out here, people are so kind and excited, and it encourages me to keep coming back.” I know that you were born in an artists’ family. Was there any special or different mood in your family compared to others? “I grew up in a very tight knit family. I’m very close with my mom, dad, and sister. My parents live in LA so I’m able to see them every week. My sister lives in New York so it’s little more difficult to see her, but we still talk very often. They are such an amazing supporter in my life.” How did your parents influence you? “My mom is a fine art photographer and my dad used to be (and now retired) an architect. They both came from very creative fields, so as a kid, I was easily exposed to a wide variety of music, art, film, etc. I think this helped nurture my creative side and allowed me to pursue what I wanted to do.” I know that you’ve loved hip hop since you were young. When did you start to love hip hop? “I cannot pinpoint exactly when it started, maybe when I was 6th grade? I was listening to everything from 50 Cent, to Young Jeezy, to A Tribe Called Quest, to MF Doom. As I went through high school, I was especially more captivated to producing.” Could you tell us some albums or artists you enjoyed listening to at that time? I’d also like to know the reason why you liked them. “These were some of my favorite albums from my adolescence (but I’m sure I’m missing a bunch). 36

MF Doom ‘Doomsday’ - not only he is one of my favorite rappers, but also this album opened my eyes to a lot of sampling techniques. Mos Def ‘Black On Both Sides’ - still one of my favorites; I remember listening to this album every day when I was driving to school. Diplomats ‘Diplomatic Immunity’ - I remember the first time I heard this album; it was when I was like 12 years old in this skate shop in LA and they were playing it and I thought it was the hardest shit I’d ever heard. Young Jeezy ‘Thug Motivation 101’ - one of the first times I was exposed to actual ‘trap’ drums. Mannie Fresh was one of my favorite producers

I wanted to try something totally different and express what I truly wanted to. That’s when I started RL Grime.

from my adolescence, who greatly influenced the music I ended up making.”

I’ve always been attracted to find something soaring, something anthemic in that darkness. That was ‘VOID’. With ‘NOVA’ I was eager to emerge from that darkness a bit, but not to abandon it.

I’m curious about the stories of Clockwork. From what I know, you started producing for the first time when you were in high school. I’d like to hear about how the workspace (or studio) where you produced music looked like. “My workspace when I was in high school was composed of just me on my couch or in bed trying to figure out how to use Reason. Not much has changed now, except that I’m now working at a desk and using Ableton.” After Clockwork, what made you decide to start RL Grime? “I think I felt stuck doing the Clockwork stuff. It was very much confined to one BPM, one feeling, one structure, and so on. I started becoming sick of it. It had lost the magic it once had on me. I wanted to try something totally different and express what I truly wanted to. That’s when I started RL Grime.” It’s been a while since we have heard a release from Clockwork. Do you have any plan to restart Clockwork sometime? “Not at all.”

“Miguel is such a raw talent and he totally understood the vibe of my music after coming to one of my shows. We connected soon after and wrote ‘Stay For It’”.” I’d like to hear about the collaboration with Miguel. Why did you choose Miguel for collaboration? “I met Miguel through my booking agent, who brought him to one of my shows. Miguel is such a raw talent and he totally understood the vibe of my music after coming to one of my shows. We were connected soon and wrote ‘Stay For It’.” In the light of the collaboration, what do you think is great of him? “Miguel grew up in LA as well, so it was very easy for us to get along and relate to one another. We got in the studio and on the first day, he got in the booth and laid down the majority of ‘Stay For It’ in one take. It was such a surreal experience for me.” I’d like to hear about ‘I Wanna Know.’ Why did you choose Daya for collaboration? “She has an incredibly unique and powerful voice, so when I first made the song I knew she’d be perfect for it. I sent her the demo, met her up the next day, and she knocked it out the park.”

‘I Wanna Know’ has more pop elements than your previous music. What was the motivation for change? “In a certain regard, I wanted to firmly plant my feet and show people that this album won’t just be standard bangers. In fact, I wanted to take it further than that. It was my first time really lending a big hand in the song-writing process. Production wise, it’s not too far off from my previous songs, like ‘Because Of U’ or ‘The Hills’ remix I did. I’m really proud of this record.” What did you want to express through ‘NOVA’? “’NOVA’ came from obsessive ideation on growth and on transition. The art, and stories, and the moments that inspired me through this record tend to explore this as well. It is this feeling of leaving the past behind, and of welcoming the foreign or the unknown. The music I’ve made in the past all seems to live in this sort of dark, looming cavern, or deep underground. That is how it exists at the least

in my mind. I’ve always been attracted to find something soaring or something anthemic in that darkness. That was ‘VOID.’ With ‘NOVA,’ I was eager to emerge from that darkness a bit, but not to abandon it. To take the sounds that before seemed to emanate from somewhere down below, and, to put it literally, bring them up into the skies, and into space. I wanted to find that same sort of power in something light. To find something that felt like a stampede, but that you’d still want to sing to.” I felt that you didn’t like your music to be specified as a genre name ‘trap.’ Is this because it may become a stereotype to the listeners? “I just hate when artists or music is put into a box. I listen to a very wide variety of music and therefore have a wide variety of influences, so to be put into a box or labeled as one thing is something I will always try to avoid. I want to make whatever I feel like to make.” u



One of the largest and most encompassing event in the industry is about to start in beautiful Amsterdam…


rom October 17 to 21, Amsterdam will become the worldwide hub of electronic music, as it gathers together an unthinkable number of people who contribute their various skills to what is known as “the scene.” For years, this event has been a rich learning experience for artists, producers, promoters, electronic music actors and lovers of the various subgenres, bringing them closer to an immense level of information covering all areas of today’s vast electronic world. Featuring 7900 representatives of the worldwide electronic music insdustry in 450+ events over five days, the Festival will eventually attract more than 395,000 visitors from more than 90 countries who will come to get lost in the Netherlands’s


capital city, a beautiful place that not only offers music and innovation but also is the perfect spot to loosen up and enjoy. This will be the 22nd edition and the expectations are high. From Wednesday October 17th to Sunday 21rd, this edition of ADE will, once again, be rife with avant-garde concepts and experimentation. Over the years, based on quality content, the Amsterdam Dance Event has become an international platform for the electronic music scene and they try hard working to maintain this, offering the possibility to discover the latest trends in electronic music while knowing new and upcoming artists and learning directly from true pioneers.

For this year, they already confirmed lots of guests, from the biggest DJs on the scene –combining perfectly different genres- to some key players of the industry all together into one big yellow flag. Whether you are just a fan of electronic music who wants to go see your favourite artists in one of the great clubs of Amsterdam, you want to attend a workshop to learn about the new products offered by one of the key manufacturers in the industry, or you’re interested in discussing the future of electronic music with one of its spotlighted or behind-the-scenes actors, the Amsterdam Dance Event has what you’re looking for.

The Korean Wave hits Amsterdam South Korea has been named as ADE’s focus country this year! South Korea is ADE’s 2018 focus country because it is one of the most dynamic, technically advanced and productive music markets in the world right now. Global sales of the genre known as K-pop made South Korea the 8th largest music market in the world by revenue (bigger than India and China), generating $4.7 billion in global sales last year. But more relevant to ADE delegates is the fact that, alongside the synchronised dance moves and pop melodies that typify K-pop, the country is also home to a thriving and highly productive underground and crossover electronic scene – I guess that’s why DJ Mag Asia is here! This year’s ADE will focus on the very best the country has to offer across a wide range of festival and conference events, featuring some of Korea’s most talented acts, most active agents, promoters, party organisers, distributers, publishers and technology providers, revealing what the national market is really like. ADE’s conference sessions will also be revealing what you need to do to have a chance of selling your music or breaking an artist there, who to talk to in order to book shows and tours, how local musical tastes are evolving, and how best to interact with Korea’s entertainment market leaders. And of course, we’ll be there too! Following the success of last year’s China Pavilion, which was located in the Vondel Park at Vondel C.S., and which operated throughout ADE Saturday attracting hundreds of visitors, ADE is committed to growing the day and nighttime activities once again in 2018, in part by adding new pavilions focused on countries. The addition of these pavilions creates extra possibilities to meet and network for music industry professionals but also provides a means to show the innovative power of individual territories and their leading artists in front of an international audience. u




aiden is soft-spoken. He is a gentle soul. His eyes are pretty big for having monolids. When playing back the interview recordings, I had to crank the volume way up for the first ten minutes. He sounded nervous and his voice was a low-whisper. Though timid and quiet, this guy gets on the mainstage in front of thousands of people, towering over the sea of people and performing his written songs. He even gets up on the booth and performs improv. “Sometimes I even surprise myself. Jimi Hendrix also used to be shy, but on stage, would set his guitar on fire. I think I am that kind of guy.” Raiden is one of the few Asian DJs that have reached the most inner circle of the world EDM scene. Though he is less exposed compared to the others, he is definitely the most influential DJ in Asia. Looking at Beatport’s Protocal Recordings top ten tracks, Raiden’s ‘C’est La Vibe,’ ‘Acid Love’ are 3rd and 8th, respectively. Search Martin Garrix’s STMPD RCRDS top ten; Raiden’s ‘Keep My Light On’ is 4th. Raiden also was the first Korean for Ultra Miami’s main stage in 2017. He performed for Tomorrowland the


same year. This year, his DJing performance was live broadcast to billions around the world during the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games. “I went to Martin Garrix’s party in Ibiza recently, and met Dyro and everyone you can imagine. I was the only Asian. The DJs there asked Julian Jordan, “Who is that dude?” As Julian told them, “It’s Raiden.” It felt good when they exclaimed they had heard about me. I have finally made it this far. I have more fans in Europe than in Korea. In Europe, they sometimes notice me on the street. Though I am nowhere near being famous, I do have some hard-core fans.” This did not happen in a day. These are the fruit of years of dedication without any guarantee. Raiden spends more than one-third of his time abroad. Not only to perform at festivals, but to actively network with artist and collaborate with them. “Being in the same room is best when collaborating. Emails aren’t enough to get the right details. If the mountain won’t come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain.” Raiden’s suitcase has circled the world countless times; jetlag and time difference are the norm. These are the small prices Raiden has paid, to break stereotypes about Asians and to actually be accepted as ‘one of them.’ He went to Africa and Europe for collaborations, even if he didn’t have any performances there. Sometimes, it gets overwhelming and he feels exhausted. But he learns first-hand about their success stories straight from the source. “DJs must go to Ibiza. That is where history happens. For example, I was invited to Martin Garrix’s party, and The Chainsmokers was there. Everyone

a raw representation of myself. On the other hand, DJing felt rather distant because during the performance all you do is hit the play button to a prerecorded track. But I found out there are various dimensions in excitement. Communicating with the crowd through the booth was a whole different experience to playing in a band. When I ride that flow, nothing feels better.” Recently he has started playing the guitar on stage more often. The closing ceremony for Pyeongchang Olympics was a splendid example. He had written a song solely for the ceremony, playing his guitar on live. He took his guitar with him to Ultra Korea too. He also had a live drummer beside himself to play a full sound of Muse’s ‘Knights of Cydonia.’ “It seems people are getting tired of just DJing. We are instinctively drawn to live performance. I gave an Avicii performance at World DJ festival before Ultra Korea and saw people screaming at the top of their lungs when I got on stage with a guitar for ‘Wake Me Up.’ I hadn’t even struck a chord yet, but they went crazy because they knew what was coming.”

was there. Around midnight, after the Martin Garrix party, everyone chants ‘let’s go to the David Guetta party!’ That’s how it is all week. No meeting rooms, just bonding over drinks and good music. The best way to collaborate.” There is another reason why he has to go to Ibiza other than networking. “Techno and underground music are more dominant than EDM there. Being fully immersed in the music made me remember what house music is really about. Even people drinking expensive champagne are here for the underground scene. The interior of clubs change drastically from partyto-party. It’s almost like magic, looking like a different place within 24 hours. A few days fully immersed in techno, already changed my style. That means that the vibe was already flowing in my veins. That’s really inspiring for me.” Yes, there is a lot of criticism that Ibiza is too commercialized, but the Ibiza that Raiden was describing seemed true to its core. “Commercial? Maybe a few years ago, when EDM had exploded. From 2012 till 2014, I did get that vibe. But it’s been changing ever since, for three years. In the past, you would see Hardwell, Fedde Le Grand, Calvin Harris’s posters just all over town. But not anymore. My friends don’t have shows. Only the biggest DJs get booked. EDM is played at Ushuaïa, commercial spots and tourist traps, but of course those places aren’t the main attraction. You don’t see a lot of EDM parties; the Marco Carola party and the Solomun party are the parties that you can’t miss.”


Raiden’s obsession about music started with the guitar when he was 14. He saw a guitarist’s face, performing solo. It was the face of ecstasy in a trance state; he wanted to know how it felt and bought his first guitar. He took lessons for a year, created a band and worshiped rock. When he was 17, he even had the opportunity to learn from the famous Korean guitarist Sangwon Han, a relative of a relative. “I was into the latest rock music. But Mr. Han would make me practice blues, and stuff from the past, telling me that the rock music I was obsessed with originated from blues. I just did what I was told. After graduating from high school, I got into a music school in Japan. But after hearing me play, the professors there asked me, “Why are you here?” This was a school that taught fundamentals, and I was far beyond that level. It was only then; did I know the true value of Mr. Han’s teachings.” As a hard-core rocker at that time, he wasn’t interested in DJing instantly. “You can express what you feel at that very moment through your guitar. The guitar is an extension and

The level of maturity of his guitar skills is another reason why international artists want to collaborate with Raiden. “Nicky Romero and Fedde Le Grand are surprised and love it when I play at their studios. Because I have been playing all my life, the guitar is a medium I am truly comfortable with. The music flows through me and my guitar, as an extension of myself. The Pyeonchang Olympics performance was based on who I am as an artist and what I am passionate about.”


What was the main reason behind Raiden’s success? What was the first turning point for you? He answered these questions in a heartbeat. “Releasing ‘Heart of Steel’ on Protocol.” What about your career as DJ at Ultra Miami? “No, a released on Protocol trumps everything.” He said. “Performing without any fanbase and DJing after getting a response are two totally different things. When I first uploaded my videos on Youtube the majority of the comment section were like, who is this? Now, the comment section looks very different.” “Nicky Romero used to mostly play progressive and electro, but after I signed the contract, I see a lot of future bass. I can’t believe it. I released the song in January of 2017 and went to perform in Thailand the next month. Nicky was also booked. He shouted at me to get up on the stage. I had no idea what was going on. I didn’t even ask for help. Fedde and Martin also supported me and encouraged me. And here I am today.” ‘Heart of Steel’ had to go through a lot of rejection. He had recorded the chords for the first time in 2013 and made tons of arrangements. Bright Lights, the famous singer had collaborated, but still no label was willing to release it. He had no choice, but to consider letting users download it for free. But as soon as he changed the genre from progressive house to future bass, the winds started to change. “A future bass version just popped into my head when I was lying in bed. We were contemplating about what to change. As soon as we heard the future bass version, my manager and I exchanged that looks of certainty. We pitched it to Protocol. They said they’ll get back to us in a week. The A&R told us that Nicky really liked it. My manager was shouting in the café, like a crazy person. (Laughter)” What is Raiden’s final goal? “Being number one in Asia at the least. Life is a gift only given once, and I want to grow and push my limits to a whole new level. To be written down in history.” But there was a premise. “Being in the entertainment business, you see those that take the easy path of fame and celebrity status. But that type of success doesn’t guarantee happiness. I want to be true to myself and to my music. My fans like my music, not my celebrity status. The road of fame seems far from the truth.” u




ne of the most prolific and pioneering electronic music composers of the ‘70s and ‘80s, Giorgio Moroder was born in Italy and started playing guitar in a jazz band at the age of 16. “I was a musician for more than 10 years with a small group,” he tells DJ Mag, backstage at the Top 100 DJs party where he was presenting the No.1 award. “Touring as a musician was a nice life but I thought I might end up at 50 or 60 and still playing the clubs, so I thought I should become a composer. I was offered an engineer job in Berlin, and started working in studios.” He did some moderately successful solo stuff and started making his name as a producer, learning the new technology and recording a lot of synthesiser music. Giorgio tells how he blew his first producer’s royalty cheque “in a big


champagne evening. I was so excited, suddenly the bill was 10 thousand and then I found out I wasn’t getting paid for two more years! He met an Englishman called Pete Bellotte, who became his co-producer, and in 1971 they cowrote the song ‘Son of My Father’. “That was the first pop song using a synthesiser,” claims Giorgio. “I gave the tapes to a publisher friend of mine, she went to England and presented it to a publishing guy called Roger Easterby. Immediately, the same day, he went to the studio with a group called Chicory Tip, and it became No.1. Basically, they stole it. In America, my version got into the Top 100 but didn’t do too well.” Unfazed, Giorgio produced another couple of hits for Chicory Tip and then met a black American singer who had been touring a production of

Hair: the Musical around Germany. “I used Donna Summer and two English girls to do background [vocals] at first, and she obviously had a beautiful voice,” says Giorgio. “So Pete Bellotte and I had an idea of doing a song called ‘The Hostage’. Donna was extraordinarily good, a great lyricist.” This Donna Summer single did well initially, but just as they were about to perform it on a big TV show, says Giorgio, the Director of the Deutsche Bank was killed by hostage-takers holding him captive. “So the song died. But then I said, ‘Whenever I have a great singer, I should do a sex song’!” he continues, smirking. “I told Donna to come up with an idea, so she came a week later with her idea for ‘Love To Love You Baby’. At that time I had a studio [Musicland in Munich], but I would rent it out and at that time the Rolling

Stones were in - or it may have been Deep Purple, one of the big guys. But that day was empty, so I went down to the studio with Donna and we did the basics. ”They recorded the rest of the disco track with musicians a couple of days later and completed the three-minute single version. “A friend of mine took it to MIDEM and called me back saying ‘Everybody loves it’,” Giorgio recalls. “Then I went to America and presented it to Neil Bogart at Casablanca, and he loved it,” Giorgio continues. “A week or two later he called me one night and told me that he was at a party - he was at an orgy, that’s what I heard later - and the girls wanted to hear the song over and over. He called me at three o’clock at night and told me to record the song extended. And that was the first extended song ever.” One of the first 12-inch singles, clocking in at 17 minutes, the orgasmic ‘Love To Love You Baby’ was a smash in the discos in 1975 and in the pop charts in its neutered three-minute version. But how did Giorgio get Donna to do ‘the sexy orgasmic bit’? “At the beginning it was a little bit of a fun thing, I said to her ‘Look, we can’t just have the song going “Love to love you baby”, you have to give me a little more,” Giorgio says. “So after half an hour she started to moan a little bit, but she was not ready. So I threw everybody out. “Her husband was there, Pete Bellotte, the sound engineer, one or two friends, and I said ‘OK’. We turned all the lights down and she just did it. I think she did one track, and she moaned for like 10 minutes. I think she had an orgasm! I’m not sure though, I could see her, but not that well. Then I cut it in.” The track was a smash, but still followed the basic orchestral tenets of disco. With his next single with Donna, however, Giorgio would really change the game. “With ‘I Feel Love’, I wanted to do a sound of the future,” Giorgio explains. “How

could a song sound in 10 years? So I did some research, I looked into musique concrete and I couldn’t find anything. Then I listened to a Star Wars scene, the one where the musicians are in the cantina and I thought, ‘This is not the song of the future’. So I said the only way to do it was to use only synthesisers.” Giorgio explains how he started with a Moog Modular and put in eight notes. “The tuning was hell at the time, after 20 seconds it was out of tune, so I would play [sings half the ‘I Feel Love’ bassline] dunng-dunng-dunng-dunng-dunngdunng-dunng-dunng, and then when it was out of tune I’d start it again. “He added some white noise, hi-hat, snare, bass drum and keys to the track - all using a synthesiser. “Then, when we mixed it in New York, the engineer - instead of putting in reverb - did a delay, and suddenly it sounded ‘duddleluddle-umm-da-duddle-luddle-umm-da’. It was a revelation, that was it.” Little did Giorgio know that he’d effectively kickstarted Eurodisco and helped lay the template for trance, techno and much of modern-day dance music. Brian Eno, hearing the record in Berlin on its 1977 release, in the middle of recording the ‘Berlin Trilogy’ of albums with David Bowie, said to Bowie: “This single is going to change the sound of club music for the next 15 years”. Which was more or less right. “I knew that it was definitely a sound which had never been [heard] before,” Giorgio tells DJ Mag. “I just didn’t know that it would have that big of an impact. In fact, in America at the beginning, the song didn’t do that well. But it started to do really well in Europe, especially in England, and then it came back in the States. We went to No.2 or No.3 there, whereas in England it went to No.1.” Most disco tracks up until 1977 were made with orchestras or with a live band like Chic and Earth,

Wind & Fire, but from ‘I Feel Love’ onwards Giorgio was just using synths — by himself. The parallels with DJ/producers today are obvious. ‘I Feel Love’ became an enduring anthem in the gay clubs way beyond its release, and in the mid-‘80s UK synthpoppers Bronski Beat released a version with Marc Almond, formerly of Soft Cell. “I liked their version, Jimmy Somerville told me that ‘Love To Love You Baby’ was the reason he started singing falsetto,” Giorgio says. Read virtually any copy of DJ Mag today and some reviewer will invariably refer to a “Moroder bassline” on a trance, breakbeat or nu disco track. “Once you hear it, it’s difficult to find a better line,” says Giorgio, modestly. ‘I Feel Love’ has subsequently been re-packaged, covered and re-released umpteen times since, and has sold over a million copies in the UK alone. Giorgio went on to work with The Three Degrees, Sparks, David Bowie, Blondie, Japan and many other acts, and produced award-winning movie soundtracks for Midnight Express, American Gigolo, Scarface, Flashdance and The Never Ending Story amongst many more. After a successful solo career, Donna Summer, sadly, died last year. A few years ago Giorgio was mainly playing golf with his wife, semi-retired, but then he had lunch with Daft Punk in Paris and they asked him to come to their studio to tell his story. That track became ‘Giorgio By Moroder’, one of the standout tracks on ‘Random Access Memories’, and now as well as producing again - Giorgio has started DJing himself - at the age of 73. “I lurrrrrve it,” he purrs. n


greg wilson’s discotheque archives



DURING THE EARLY ‘80s it seemed that the whole of New York was buzzing with new ideas, but one area more than any other caught the spirit of the times. This was, of course, the Boogie Down Bronx, where hip-hop had been developing more or less in isolation since DJ Kool Herc began to rock the block in the early ‘70s. New York was primed for something big to happen and at the turn of the 1980s, Sugar Hill Records found itself at the forefront of a musical revolution. Dubbed ‘The Mother Of Hip-Hop’, former ‘Pillow Talk’ hitmaker Sylvia Robinson and her husband/label co-owner, Joe, were pioneers of the emerging hip-hop sound, scoring a worldwide hit with The Sugarhill Gang’s ‘Rapper’s Delight’ in 1979. This was just a taste of things to come, however; the label was later responsible for the trailblazing cut-up ‘The Adventures Of Grandmaster Flash On The Wheels Of Steel’ by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, a record made purely from other records, whilst Flash & The Five’s ‘The Message’ in 1982 would announce hip-hop’s coming of age. This would also spell the end of the relationship between Flash and rapper Melle Mel — the split resulting in two Grandmasters, Mel going on to record another Sugar Hill classic, ‘White Lines (Don’t Don’t Do It)’, a cautionary tale of cocaine, as Grandmaster & Melle Mel. 1982/83 were the years that the electro sound began to re-define dance music, with Afrika Bambaataa, Arthur Baker and the Grandmasters at the vanguard of this new musical movement. There was a great openness of expression in New York at the time with black musicians drawing influence from white artists like Kraftwerk, Human League and Gary Numan, mirroring developments in downtown New York, where white artists were taking inspiration from black music. The rulebook was being rewritten throughout NYC, and this would have a huge impact both in the US and overseas. In a sad twist of fate, Sugar Hill and another innovative label of the time, 99 Records, would both fold as a result of a dispute surrounding the copyright of ‘White Lines’, which had been clearly based around Liquid Liquid’s underground favourite ‘Cavern’, but without any credit. A legal battle ensued that was eventually won by 99, but Sugar Hill couldn’t pay up and declared itself bankrupt. Under the stress of it all Liquid Liquid gave up a very promising career, no doubt deeply embittered by the whole experience. It wasn’t until 1995 that a cover of ‘White Lines’ by Duran Duran (of all people) finally brought its originators some long-overdue royalties.


CLASSIC VENUE: THE TWISTED WHEEL, MANCHESTER WHILST MOD ORIGINATED IN LONDON’S SOHO during the late ‘50s/early ‘60s, by 1967 the club scene in the capital had moved more towards psychedelia. Mod, however, continued to hold sway up north, with the weekly all-nighters at Manchester’s Twisted Wheel — a magnet for the scooter-riding hordes. The Twisted Wheel had opened in 1963 at its original location in Brazennose Street, with DJ Roger Eagle, a black music evangelist who’d moved to Manchester from his home city of Oxford in 1962. Eagle is regarded as the forefather of Northern soul, even though he’d gone off in a different musical direction before the scene took root at the club’s subsequent Whitworth Street premises towards the end of the decade. The music played there, predominantly soul releases on labels like Motown, Stax and Atlantic, might be described as the original discotheque music. The scene found a new momentum when at the Twisted Wheel and other soul music strongholds in the North and Midlands, DJs began to dig ever deeper in their quest to unearth rarer records, especially those released by smaller labels from Detroit, where Motown was based. One of the main DJs pioneering the shift towards ever-rarer singles was the wonderfully named ‘Farmer’ Carl Dene. He dug back into his collection whilst resident at The Catacombs, a smaller but important Wolverhampton venue, building a reputation for unearthing previously hidden gems. These he’d loan to the DJs at the Wheel where they’d receive greater exposure, kick-starting a vinyl gold-rush, unsurpassed in terms of the sheer insane passion and commitment it would engender. As funk came to the fore in the early ‘70s, there were a significant amount of people who clung onto that ‘60s soul vibe. This trend had been spotted a couple of years previously by Dave Godin, a champion of black American music since the ‘50s who was largely responsible for the formation of the Tamla Motown label in the UK. It was Godin who coined the term Northern soul in reference to the type of records Northern football fans who stopped off at his London shop, Soul City, might buy on their trips to the capital in the late ‘60s. After visiting the Twisted Wheel, Godin, also a writer for Blues & Soul magazine, eagerly enthused about the energy of the scene up North, becoming one of its biggest advocates — causing the movement to gain greater profile. It’s thanks to individuals like Godin, Eagle and Dene, who, via their obsessive love of black American music, laid the foundations for the remarkable subculture that was born of this venue.



Mr Mancuso illustration by Pete Fowler

A SEMINAL DJ WHO DOESN’T EVEN REGARD HIMSELF AS A DJ, PREFERRING THE DESCRIPTION ‘MUSICAL HOST’… At the start of the 1970s, with the hippy ideal of peace and love in tatters and the Vietnam War dividing Nixon’s America, a revelatory presence emerged in New York to help sow the seeds of disco culture. David Mancuso had attended lectures and private parties at acid guru Timothy Leary’s League For Spiritual Discovery HQ in NYC. Following Leary’s lead, Mancuso experimented with LSD in his own New York loftspace home, making eclectic and atmospheric ‘journey tapes’ to provide musical accompaniment for these gatherings. People got up and danced from time to time and, when this aspect of the experience started to gain momentum, Mancuso improved his soundsystem and re-organised his space. Gay/ straight, black/white — all

were welcome so long as they brought the right vibe through the door. The Loft parties, as they organically came to be named, were very much an inclusive experience. Two decades on, when — following acid house — some people began to talk about DJs as though they were shamanic figures, they were perhaps guilty of taking their ecstasy-induced euphoria a bit too far. However, if there was anybody worthy of this title, it would surely be Mancuso — often described as a somewhat mystical figure. For he was consciously guiding his guests on a sojourn of self-expression, helping them lose their inhibitions in a safe environment, in order for them to move closer to their essential/ childlike nature. The Loft was a rite of passage for the great and the good of the New York club scene — Levan, Siano, Knuckles, Krivit, Humphries, Kevorkian and so on.

It would also set the standard with regards to sound reproduction in a dance space, inspiring the systems at NYC’s Studio 54 and Paradise Garage further down the decade, and later UK superclub Ministry Of Sound. Gradually fading into obscurity during the following decades, despite his parties continuing throughout, Mancuso experienced a major renaissance with the new millennium, the release of the first ‘David Mancuso Presents The Loft’ retrospective by Nuphonic in 1999 serving to belatedly bestow him the reverence he merits. Regular London Loft parties brought him to our shores, then, in 2004, Tim Lawrence put the meat on the bones of Mancuso’s extraordinary acidlaced adventure via his book, Love Saves The Day — A History Of American Dance Music Culture 1970-1979.

THERE ARE CERTAIN RECORDS THAT ‘SPLIT THE ATOM’, creating a totally new sound – serendipitous moments in time when an artist pulls a rabbit from the hat and forecasts a change ahead. This is the sort of musical alchemy mustered up by Radio London reggae presenter Tony Williams when, in 1980, he produced ‘Love Money’, his first attempt at a dance track, inspired by two then recent hits — the Sugarhill Gang’s ‘Rapper’s Delight’ and Dennis Brown’s ‘Money In My Pocket’. The twist was that he did this track with reggae musicians, inadvertently creating a hybrid sound in the process — it was funk, but not as we knew it, its dub sensibility setting it apart. The vocal side, which, to the best of my knowledge is the first example of a rap on a British release, was called ‘Money (No Love)’ and credited to Bo Kool, whilst over on the flip was the instrumental version, ‘Love Money’ by T.W. Funk Masters. The UK jazz-funk scene was then in full swing, and this became a big underground tune, which went bigger still when the following year another, even more dynamic version of ‘Love Money’ was made available on the Champagne label. I’d later come to learn that ‘Love Money’ in its various guises would also become a classic underground tune in New York and then in Chicago, and is included in both The Loft and Paradise Garage’s top 100 lists. Fast-forward to 2004 and I’m reading a selection of 12 tracks picked by Master At Work, Louie Vega, in Wax Poetics. ‘Money (No Love)’ is included, but it’s a case of mistaken identity — the magazine under the impression that the Tony Williams behind this record was the American jazz-drummer. I mentioned this to Wax Poetics’ Andrew Mason, and he rectified the error in an article based around an interview I did with the real T.W. The incredible part of the story is that Williams had absolutely no idea that he’d been responsible for such a momentous record, inspiring New York DJs towards a more dub-based approach to their production and remixes, changing the parameters of dance music in the process. Only last year, during a panel discussion on edit /remix culture at London’s ICA, François Kevorkian confirmed that this was the catalyst record for his dub leanings, his next mix, of D-Train’s ‘You’re The One For Me’, starting the ball rolling in 1981. ‘Love Money’ would later be referenced in 1986 in the Larry Levan-mixed ‘Love Honey, Love Heartache’.






or a music enthusiast, more might be needed than just listening to the playlists of one’s favorite music festival songs and touching melodies and lyrics of favorite artists. If so, official merchandises that remind the high-spirited festival vibes along with fashion and lifestyle goods showing the symbol of the artists could be the missing piece. We present hand-picked items which you can literally ‘wear’ festival vibes and spirit of your favorite artists for 365 days. n


ANJUNABEATS A T SHIRT Undoubtedly Above & Beyond’s best-selling official merchandise, printed with the ‘A’ logo of its record label, Anjunabeats. The stylish ‘A’ that stands for Anjuna, a place of music and culture where people from all around the world gather to share their colorful ideas, captured the hearts of global fans. 100% cotton for soft texture and available in aqua, blue and black. ​


ULTRA KOREA BASKETBALL JERSEY & CROP TOP Ultra Korea 7th Anniversary Basketball Jersey in refreshing colors. Check out the details of the back number that feature the 7th anniversary of the premier music festival. A new crop top for women was released in the same colors, which makes both good matching couple items. The new jersey is available in L and XL. If the oversized jersey is too much, the mesh crop top would be a great choice. Not only does the texture gives a sporty look but its daring cutout alone will turn heads at the festival. ​






A water bottle in refreshing colors with a nonslip design. This appealing eco-friendly, BPA-free bottle will give you another reason to work out right away with the playlist of Above & Beyond.

An eco-friendly tote bag with the print ‘MUSIC UNITES US ALL’ which is always shown on the screen when Above & Beyond is on stage. The very identity of Above & Beyond seems to be printed onto this practical 100% cotton canvas bag, which will bring you back to that day’s performance. Undoubtedly the top seller from the last S/S season.

A cool dad hat available in various colors including pigment dyed red and suede pink. As a daily fashion item, it offers design and colors that go well with any clothes.




ARMIN VAN BUUREN BLAH BLAH BLAH JACKET A khaki jacket with the print ‘Blah Blah Blah,’ the title of Armin van Buuren’s song that became one of his setlist songs since it was premiered at Ultra Music Festival Miami 2018. Fancy, but easy. Appropriate for any occasion. Now available for pre-order at the official website of Armada Music Shop.







The song ‘Blah Blah Blah’ beloved by global fans from Miami, Amsterdam and all the way to Sydney for its iconic lyrics, the intro full of significance and an outstanding kick & bass combo is visualized on this T-shirt. On the front is the catchy line ‘ALL WE EVER HEAR FROM YOU IS’ while ‘Blah Blah Blah’ is pressed on the back. When asked about the inspiration for his psytrance tune, how Armin answered? ‘Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah.’ How witty!

This 100% organic cotton pleats sweater is embroidered with a maze that symbolizes Martin Garrix, giving a unique and stylish vibe. The ‘+x’ logo on the hood which stands for his name is another eye-catching detail. Available in red, white and black.


ASOT LETTERS T SHIRT A T-shirt with the letter ‘ASOT,’ which stands for the title of a radio show hosted by Armin van Buuren, ‘A State Of Trance.’ The essence of trance music seems to be captured in the four neat white letters, which will bring you to the state of trance. Available in sizes S-XXL to fit all body types.



BANANA TEE A long T-shirt made of 100% cotton that offers a cozy and soft feel. A stylish unisex item with a round neck captures the fun and groovy music style of Oliver Heldens. Available in S, M, L, XL.




IPHONE CASE A leather iPhone case specially designed by Martin Garrix. Made of the finest leather, it protects your iPhone without adding weight or compromising its slim design. You might not want to miss this unique cover with the ‘+x’ logo inspired by his name that glows bright orange when exposed to UV light.


LONG FRONT SEAM T-SHIRT A long fit, heavy weight fabric T-shirt that Martin Garrix often wears on stage. Wearing the same clothes as Martin. A perk me up on any kind of day. 100% organic cotton. Martin Garrix’s signature ‘+x’ logos printed on left bottom of the front and under the collar of the back are eye-catching.






A stylish panel cap in pastel blue of clear autumn sky with cute white dots. The label of Oliver Heldens embroidered on the front and even the pink detail of the brim looks fashionable. 100% acrylic. Size adjustable.

Do not miss socks-hipsters’ must-have fashion item to show your uniqueness especially during transitional seasons. Koala-patterned socks that remind you of the song ‘koala,’ one of his greatest hits, and Oliver Heldens logo socks are hot-selling items of Oliver Heldens online merchandise shop, boasting its high quality and fun design that are a favorite of fashion trend-setters.

A stylish crewneck with its sleeves printed with ‘MUSIC IS THE ANSWER,’ the catchiest line of “The Answer” (Oliver Heldens Edit) by HI-LO. With durable texture and modern cut, its lining is 100% cotton, offering a sense of coziness. The printed sentence on the sleeves will be Oliver Heldens fans’ mantra. Find out about this stylish item perfect for when it gets chilly.






데이빗 게타가 아시아를 열광시키는 이유

데이빗 게타(David Guetta)는 그의 2007년 앨범 제목처럼 ‘Pop Life’를 살고 있다. 헐리웃 배우들만큼 유명하고, 전용기로 월드 투어를 돌며, 포브스(Forbes)의 ‘가장 많은 수익을 올린 디제이’ 상위권에 항상 이름을 올린다. 최근엔 음악 스타일도 좀 더 팝적으로 변했다.


글 : 이대화

이빗 게타는 세상에서 가장 만나기 어려운 디제이 중 하나다. 그의 음악이 어디에나 있고, 그래서 친근하게 느껴질지 모르지만, 바로 그런 이유로 그는 ‘직접’ 만나기 가장 힘든 디제이 중 하나다. 이름 있는 매체라도 그를 장시간 잡아두긴 쉽지 않다. 이런 까다로움은 그가 대중 노출을 꺼리거나 저널리스트를 싫어하기 때문 이 아니다. 그렇게라도 하지 않으면 여유시간이라곤 한 줌도 남지 않기 때문 이다. EDM에 대해 한 줄도 못 쓰는 사람도 ‘Titanium’을 안다. 얼마나 많은 인터뷰 요청이 들어오겠는가. 실제로 “오늘만 몇 개의 인터뷰가 있는가?” 물 었더니 정확한 개수는 얘기해주지 않았지만 “굉장히 많다”고 답했다. 하루 에도 몇 개씩 인터뷰를 소화하는 삶이 그에겐 일상이다. 저널리스트도 매체와 인터뷰할 일이 많아 어느 정도는 알고 있다. 낯선 사 람들 앞에서 많은 말을 하는 게 얼마나 피곤한지 말이다. 그런 경험을 가장 고되게 겪고 있을 게타는 도대체 어떻게 체력을 유지하는 걸까? “건강한 음 식을 먹고 운동을 해서 가능한 최상의 상태로 몸을 관리하는 데 신경을 많 이 쓴다. 운동도 기분을 좋은 상태로 유지하는데 많은 도움을 준다. 음악 이 나의 가장 큰 열정이라는 사실 또한 피곤한 상황에서도 계속 나아가도 록 해준다.” 흥미롭게도 그가 즐기는 휴식 방법 하나는 아무 것도 안 하고 가만히 있는 것이다. “난 사실 공연 전에 멍하니 있는 것을 항상 좋아한다. 조금은 지루하 게 들릴 수도 있겠지만, 눈을 감은 채 대기실에 앉아 있는다. 명상처럼 말이 다. 이렇게 하면 무대에 올랐을 때 매우 업될 수 있다.” 살인적인 스케줄을 소화하다 보면 음악 만들 시간이 부족해질 수밖에 없 다. 빽빽한 투어 일정 속에서 정기적으로 새 앨범을 내려면 불가능을 가능 하게 하는 마법이 필요하다. 게타는 아무리 바빠도 음악 만드는 시간은 꼭 빼놓는다. 급할 땐 모든 걸 제치고 우선순위로 놓는다. “최근에 앨범을 마 무리하기 위해 3개월 동안 거의 모든 것을 멈췄다. 나는 정말로 음악을 만 들기 위해 시간을 낸다. 투어를 돌 때는 비행기 안에서 작업하기도 하지만, 중요한 프로젝트를 끝내야 할 필요가 있을 때 우리는 이를 위해 확실히 시 간을 낸다.” 베드룸 디제이들에겐 고통 아닌 행복의 삶으로 보일 수도 있다. 게타는 디제 이들의 꿈을 이룬 디제이다. 다섯 개의 빌보드(Billboard) Top 10을 보유했 고, 여덟 번 그래미(Grammy Awards) 후보에 올랐으며, 9백만 장의 앨범 과 3천만 장의 싱글을 팔았다. 하루에만 세 개의 공연을 소화한 적도 있다. ‘조나단 로스 쇼(Jonathan Ross Show)’에서 밝힌 바에 따르면 ‘Nothing But The Beat’ 앨범이 나왔을 때 하루에 세 나라를 돌았다. “앨범 수록 곡들 만 가지고 한 시간을 플레이하고 얼른 달려가서 비행기를 타고 다른 나라로 넘어갔다. 정말이지 정신이 없었다.” 누군가에겐 매일 바라는 꿈이기에, 게타는 자신의 현재에 항상 감사한다. “내가 사랑하는 일을 매일 할 수 있다는 것이 얼마나 축복받은 느낌인지 그 어떤 말로도 형언할 수 없을 것이다.” 그러나 단점도 있다. “한편으로는 가족들과 친구들을 매번 볼 수 없다는 점을 감수해야 한다.” 혹시 게타는 지금의 숨 쉴 틈 없는 스케줄을 청산하고 프랑스에서 레지던트 하던 때로 돌아가고 싶을 때도 있을까? “없다. 나는 지금이 아주 만족스럽다. 그러나 또한, 그때 그 시절들을 바꿀 수 있다 해도 바꾸지 않을 것이다. 그때 의 모든 추억들을 소중히 여기고 있으며, 그것들이 지금의 나를 만들었다.”

세계적인 스타가 되기까지 게타가 처음 하우스(House) 음악을 들은 건 1987년이었다. 잠시 시계를 거 꾸로 돌려보자. 1987년은 하우스가 처음으로 주류 차트 1위에 오른 해였다. 스티브 실크 헐리(Steve Silk Hurley)의 ‘Jack Your Body’가 1987년 1월 영 국 차트 1위에 올랐다. 당시 영국 디제이들 말을 들어보면 분명 활발한 파티 씬이 있긴 했지만 정체된 음악 스타일 탓에 지루했다고 한다. 하우스 음악은 신선한 충격을 줬고, 처음엔 술병이 날아들 만큼 홀대 받았지만, 1988년엔 런던과 맨체스터 언더그라운드에 지각변동을 일으킬 만큼 거대한 트렌드가 됐다. 이 대전환의 시기에 데이빗 게타는 처음으로 하우스를 들었다. 그의 나이 스무 살이었다. 이미 디제이도 하고 있던 그에게 ‘제2의 사랑의 여름’은 심장이 쿵쾅거리는 신세계였을 것이다. 20년이 지난 2007년, 게타는 유럽에서 가장 유명한 디제이 중 한 명이 됐다. ‘Love Is Gone’이 영국 싱글 차트 9위에 오르며 그해 가장 사랑받은 하우 스 음악 중 하나가 됐다. 그의 2000년대 후반 곡들은 언더그라운드 하우스 음악이 주류로 상승하는 데에 크게 공헌했다. 데스티니스 차일드(Destiny’s



Child)의 켈리 롤랜드(Kelly Rowland)가 노래한 ‘When Love Takes Over’ 는 비행기로 11시간 거리 한국에서도 인기가 많았다. ‘Love Is Gone’으로 이름을 날린 뒤 받은 전화 한 통은 그의 인생을 또 한 번 바꿨다. 블랙 아이드 피스(Black Eyed Peas)의 윌.아이.엠(이 프로듀서를 맡아달라고 제안한 것이다. 블랙 아이드 피스는 그때 ‘Monkey Business’로 세계적인 인기를 끌고 있었다. 그렇게 게타는 거대 음악 시장 미국에 첫 발을 내딛었다. 그가 다른 아티스트의 프로듀서를 맡은 것도 그 때가 처음이었다. 프로페셔널급 스튜디오에서 작업해본 것도 그때가 처음 이었다고 한다. 그렇게 만들어진 ‘I Gotta Feeling’은 역사에 길이 남을 히트곡이 됐다. 빌보 드 차트에서 14주간 1위를 거뒀다. 이 음악은 당시 떠오르던 일렉트로 하우 스(Electro House)의 대중화를 앞당겼다. 일렉트로 하우스란, 록 기타처럼 거친 전자음을 쓰는 하우스를 말한다. 하우스의 파티 DNA를 갖고 있지만 어둡고 강렬한 바이브 또한 특징이다. ‘I Gotta Feeling’은 댄스 팝에 일렉 트로 하우스를 접목시킨 곡이다. 지글거리는 베이스 사운드는 특히 그렇다. 스웨디시 하우스 마피아(Swedish House Mafia)도 2012년에 ‘Don’t You Worry Child’로 빌보드 차트 6위에 올랐지만, 게타는 그보다 3년 전에 14 주 1위를 기록했다. 게타는 선구자다. 울트라 뮤직 페스티벌(Ultra Music Festival)의 유명한 MC 보이스 오브 댄스 뮤직(Voice Of Dance Music)은 게타를 이렇게 소개했다. “지금의 우리를 있게 한 아티스트.” 게타는 지금 세계에서 가장 유명한 디제이 중 하나다. 신작이 나오면 음 원 사이트 첫 화면에 소개되고, 클럽에서도, 동네 마트에서도, 버스 옆자리 에 앉은 누군가의 이어폰에서도 그의 음악을 들을 수 있다. 그의 음악은 도 처에 있다. 콜라보 명단만 봐도 그의 유명세와 영향력이 드러난다. 리아나 (Rihanna), 스눕 독(Snoop Dogg), 에이콘(Akon), 니키 미나즈(Nicki Minaj), 어셔(Usher), 시아(Sia), 릴 웨인(Lil Wayne), 찰리 XCX(Charli XCX), 저스틴 비버(Justin Bieber)까지. 그는 음악 산업계 피라미드의 꼭대기 층 에서 활동한다.

No.1 DJ In Asia 데이빗 게타가 출연한 2018 울트라 코리아(Ultra Korea) 3일째 현장을 찾 았다. 게타는 이날 메인 타임인 저녁 8시에 한국 관객들 앞에 섰다. 울트라 코리아는 한국에서 가장 인기 많은 EDM 페스티벌이다. 올해엔 무 려 18만 명을 동원해 자체 최고 관객수를 갱신했다. 게타는 2015년에도 울트라 코리아에 출연했다. 그때나 지금이나 게타의 아시아 내 티켓 파워 는 막강하다. 게타가 공연을 준비하는 동안, 네 개 스테이지에 흩어져 놀던 관객들이 메 인 스테이지로 모여들었다. 나중엔 경기장 맨 뒤 주류 부스까지 사람들이 찼 다. 울트라 코리아가 열리는 잠실종합운동장은 한국에서 가장 큰 공연장 중 하나다. 거대한 인파를 말해주듯, 첫 곡 ‘Like I Do’가 시작되자 축구장 노마 크 찬스의 함성이 울렸다. 아티스트의 대중적 인기를 판가름할 수 있는 척도 중 하나는 공연장 떼창이 다. ‘Titanium’은 전주가 나오자마자 환호의 함성을 일으켰다. 보컬 부분에 서 볼륨을 줄여주자 기다렸다는 듯 우렁찬 떼창이 터져 나왔다. ‘Titanium’ 은 한국 뿐만 아니라 전 세계에서 떼창을 이끌어낸다. 2018 울트라 마이애 미(Ultra Miami) 관객들도 게타의 지휘에 맞춰 다같이 따라 불렀다. 자신의 노래를 세계 EDM 팬들이 따라 부르는 느낌은 어떤 것일까? “항상 닭살이 돋는다. 여태껏 느껴본 가장 멋진 기분 중 하나다.” 페스티벌 관객들은 아는 노래가 나올 때를 좋아한다. 원곡자가 직접 틀면 더 좋아한다. 히트곡이 많은 데이빗 게타의 무대가 열띤 반응을 얻는 이유다. 그는 다섯 개의 빌보드 Top 10 곡을 보유했고, 아시아에서도 정말 많은 히 트곡을 보유했다. 울트라 코리아에서도 ‘Titanium’, ‘Bad’, ‘Ain’t A Party’, ‘Play Hard’ 등 대표 곡이 나올 때마다 뜨거운 함성이 일어났다. 관객들은 ‘ 내가 좋아하는 노래야!’라는 행복한 표정을 지었다. 아시아 팬들이 게타를 좋아하는 만큼, 게타 역시 아시아 팬들의 열광적인 호응을 좋아한다. “사람들은 보통 파티에서 그저 몸을 맡기곤 하지만 아시 아 팬들은 정말로 그렇다. 다른 사람들이 보든 말든 상관하지 않으며, 아무 런 제한 없이 그저 음악을 즐긴다. 울트라 코리아는 항상 멋졌다. 쇼를 위해 많은 준비를 했는데 그 결과는 굉장했다. 관객들, 분위기 및 쇼 전체가 훌 륭했다.” 아시아에서 게타가 유독 인기 많은 이유는 아시아 내 특수한 상황과 관련 있 다. 전체를 일반화시킬 수는 없으니 한국만 예로 들어보자.


음악 비즈니스가 당신의 창의력을 방해하진 않는가? 나는 내가 사랑하고 좋은 에너지를 주는 사람들을 곁에 두고 있다. 나는 그런 부정적인 것들을 보지 않는다.

당신의 꿈은 무엇인가? 내 꿈은 가능한 오랫동안 음악을 만들고 공연하는 것이다.

사람들의 엄청난 기대 때문에 부담되진 않는가? 나도 사람이라 당연히 부담된다. 하지만 그것이 매번 스스로를 발전시키는 동력이 되기도 한다.

‘Flames’ 뮤직비디오에 직접 출연했다. 후기를 듣고 싶다. 우선 나는 배우가 아니지만, 그 뮤직비디오 아이디어가 매우 마음에 들었다. 내 뮤직비디오에서 악역을

한국 내 EDM 인기는 미국과 유럽에 비하면 현저히 낮은 수준이다. 페스티벌 관객수가 록을 제쳤고, 언론이 마지못해 ‘EDM의 시대’라 쓰지만, 집이나 길 거리에서 일상적으로 EDM을 듣는 인구는 소수다. 대다수는 비트 위주 편곡 이나 반복 같은 일렉트로닉 댄스 문법에 익숙하지 않으며, 여전히 많은 사람 들이 전자음을 인공적이라며 싫어한다. 보컬이라도 있지 않으면 킥 드럼과 베 이스가 주도하는 곡은 히트도 어렵고 발표되는 일도 드물다. 한국에서 가장 많은 관객을 모으는 울트라 코리아도 테크노 위주의 레지스탕스(Resistance) 스테이지에 많은 관객이 몰리기까지 몇 년의 시간을 인내해야 했다. 올해 봄 월디페(World DJ Festival)를 통해 포터 로빈슨(Porter Robinson)이 내한했 을 때도 대부분의 관객들은 긴 브레이크다운(Breakdown)에 가만히 서 있다 가 센 사운드가 나올 때만 반응했다. 물론 한국에도 하우스, 테크노, 베이스 씬이 존재한다. 서울 이태원에 위치 한 테크노 클럽 파우스트(Faust)에선 종종 세스 트록슬러(Seth Troxler), 벤 클락(Ben Klock) 같은 슈퍼스타들의 공연도 열린다. 하지만 잘 되는 몇 클럽을 제외하면 대부분 현상유지에 만족하고 있으며, 늘어나는 디제이 숫 자에 비해 팬 규모는 정체되어 있다. 상황이 이렇다 보니 데이빗 게타의 음악이 많은 점에서 유리할 수밖에 없 다. 일단 그의 히트곡엔 늘 대중성 강한 보컬 멜로디가 등장한다. 한국 사 람들은 보컬 없는 댄스 음악을 어려워한다. 보컬 위주의 대중적 EDM을 소 개하는 페이스북 페이지가 한국 최대의 EDM 커뮤니티가 됐을 정도다. 한 국 사람들은 또한 지속적인 그루브보다 폭발적인 드랍(Drop)을 좋아한다. 강렬한 빌드-업(Build-Up)과 드랍을 즐겨 쓰는 데이빗 게타가 히트에 유리 할 수밖에 없다. 한국에 EDM 매체가 드문 것도 그에게 유리하다. 전문적으 로 댄스 음악을 다루는 매거진이 거의 없고, 있더라도 영향력이 작아, 빌보 드 상위권 랭크로 주류 언론의 관심을 끌지 못하면 대중적으로 널리 알려지 기 힘들다. ‘EDM’ 키워드와 늘 함께 언급되는 데이빗 게타는 누구보다 유 리한 위치에 있다.

연기하는 것은 정말로 재미있었다.

악역이기도 했지만 코믹한 연기를 선보이기도 했다. 아티스트 이미지에 부담되진 않았는가? 전혀.

Pop EDM 단지 한국만의 상황은 아닐 것이다. 단적인 예로, 빌보드 일렉트로닉 댄스 차트를 보면 비트포트(Beatport) 상위권을 차지하는 플로어 친화적 음악은 거의 찾아볼 수 없다. 라디오 취향 팝 EDM이 대부분이다. 물론 한국보다 미 국 상황이 훨씬 낫다. 미국은 언더그라운드 규모가 커서 7분짜리 하우스를 내도 들을 사람이 훨씬 많다. 하지만 미국도 어떤 점에선 한국과 비슷하다. 언더그라운드를 벗어나는 순간 반쯤은 저스틴 비버가 될 각오를 해야 한다. EDM이 페스티벌을 벗어나 유튜브(YouTube), 라디오, 스포티파이(Spotify)로 뻗어가면서, 팝 형식과 대중적 멜로디의 중요성은 점점 높아지고 있다. 체인스모커스(The Chainsmokers)가 ‘Closer’로 빌보드 12주 1위에 오른 이후로는 더욱 그렇다. 이젠 알엘 그라임(RL Grime) 같은 베이스 뮤직 아티 스트도 팝 퓨전 음악을 발표하고 있다. 완연한 팝 EDM의 시대다. 최근 발표한 싱글들로 판단하건데, 게타는 이 흐름을 거스르려 하지 않는 다. 오히려 팝 요소를 강화해 정면승부를 벌일 태세다. ’Flames’가 좋은 예 다. ‘팝 EDM’에서 ‘EDM’을 빼도 상관 없을 노래다. 보통은 팝 요소가 강한 EDM을 만들더라도 드랍 부분엔 신시사이저를 중심에 놓지만, ‘Flames’는 버스(Verse)와 코러스(Chorus) 파트 모두에서 보컬이 전면에 나선다. 팝과 퓨전한 형태가 아니라, 100% 팝을 추구했다. 곡들마다 정도는 다르지만 방향은 비슷하다. ‘Don’t Leave Me Alone’은 댄스플로어보다 집에서 듣기 좋은 음악이다. 초반부는 마치 발라드처럼 비 트 없이 몽롱한 연주와 보컬로만 시작한다. 빅 룸(Big Room) 프로듀서와 협업한 곡에서도 변화는 느껴진다. 마틴 게릭 스(Martin Garrix)와 콜라보한 ‘So Far Away’는 블루지한 기타로 시작하 는 슬픈 알앤비다. 퓨처 베이스(Future Bass) 스타일의 드랍이 등장하지만 전체적으로는 플로어보다 이어폰에서 강할 음악이다. 그렇다고 게타의 관심이 온통 빌보드에만 쏠린 것은 아니다. 그는 여전히 디 제이다. 단적으로 ‘Like I Do’와 ‘Your Love’는 빌드업을 길게 몰고 가다 터 뜨리는 페스티벌 겨냥 빅 룸이다. 게타는 자신이 어디서 출발했는지 잊지 않 았다. EDM 페스티벌과 클럽에 최적화된 음악을 안배해 팝 히트메이커와 디 제이 어느 하나에도 소홀하지 않았다. 팝 성향 강화가 그 자체로 실험적인 시도의 포기를 의미하지도 않는다. 게타 는 이렇게 말한다. “나는 사운드를 가지고 실험해보고, 예상하지 못한 것들 을 생각해내는 것을 매우 좋아한다. 그저 기다려주고, 다음엔 무엇을 가지 고 나올지 지켜봐 달라!” u



18만 동 원하며 한 국

최대 음악 축 제로

ultra korea a’s Largest Music Festival,


Attracting 180,000 People

울트라 코리아는 올해도 자체 최다 관객수를 갱신했다. 작년 기록을 가뿐히 뛰어넘어 18만 명을 동원했다. 이렇게까지 성장한 비결이 뭘까? 글 : 이대화_


숫자가 모이자 ‘관객’ 아닌 ‘인파’란 표현이 적절해보였다. 비가 내린 둘째 날 저녁엔 옷이 젖기 싫 은 사람들이 실내 메인 통로에 한꺼번에 몰려 5m 전 진하는 데에 1분이 걸렸다. 옆 사람과 어깨가 닿았 다. 지인 한 명이 음료를 사러 갔다가 30분이 지나 돌아왔다. 울트라가 2012년 포문을 열었을 때만 해도 대부분의 음악 관계자들은 ‘오래 가지 못할 것’이라고 내다봤다. 한국 내 EDM 인기가 페스티벌 규모를 감당할 정도로 크다고 보지 않았기 때문이다. 한국 내 EDM 마니아가 소수라는 사실은 지금도 변 함없다. 하지만 성공적이었던 초반 몇 회가 입소문을 일으키자 막연하게 EDM에 호기심을 가졌던 일반 관 객들이 대거 몰렸고, 결국 록 페스티벌을 제치고 울트 라가 여름 핫플레이스가 됐다. 이렇게까지 성장한 비

결이 뭘까? 크게 세 가지다. 첫째, 라인업이 화려하다. 페스티벌 관객들이 가장 바라는 건 핫한 글로벌 아 티스트를 로컬에서 보는 것이다. 울트라 코리아는 그 바람을 꾸준히 충족시켜왔다. 올해도 체인스모커스 (The Chainsmokers) 악스웰ㆍ인그로소(Axwell Λ Ingrosso) 데이빗 게타(David Guetta) 등 2018 마 이애미 헤드라이너들이 거의 그대로 내한했다. 둘째, 접근성이 좋다. 울트라 코리아가 열리는 잠실종합운 동장은 대부분의 EDM 팬들이 거주하는 서울, 그중 에서도 교통이 편리한 잠실에 위치해 있다. 울트라 코 리아는 지하철로 길어야 한 시간이면 세계적인 라인 업을 볼 수 있는 시대를 열었다. 셋째, 선구자라는 브 랜드 파워를 가졌다. 우려 속에 시작해 결국 성공했다 는 신화, EDM 트렌드를 재빨리 캐치해 앞서간 이미 지가 사람들의 뇌리에 암암리에 각인되어 있다.

체인스모커스, 씬의 변화 상징 둘째 날은 비가 오는 바람에 저녁 내내 꿉꿉한 기분 을 견디고 있어야 했다. 그런데 체인스모커스가 무대 에 오르자마자 신기하게도 비가 그쳤다. 갑갑한 우비 를 벗어도 된다는 기분이 어떤 것인지 다들 알 것이 다. 마침 선선하게 바람까지 불어 상쾌한 기분이 밀 려들었다. 하늘이 선사한 웜업이었다. 체인스모커스 는 운이 좋았다. 체인스모커스가 둘째 날 헤드라이너로 섭외된 건 씬 의 변화를 상징적으로 보여준다. 체인스모커스가 먼 나라 한국에서도 메인 타임에 설 수 있는 이유는 빌 보드(Billboard) 12주 1위 곡 ‘Closer’가 있기 때문이 다. 이는 일렉트로 하우스(Electro House)의 시대, 빅 룸(Big Room)의 시대를 넘어 팝 EDM의 시대가 도래했음을 말해준다. 한때의 성공 비결이 ‘프로듀싱 을 잘해야 한다’였다면 이젠 ‘빌보드 히트곡이 있어야 한다’로 바뀌었다. 체인스모커스는 올해 마이애미에 서도 둘째 날 헤드라이너로 섰다. 마이애미는 시대의 변화를 재빨리 수용했고 한국도 뒤를 따랐다. 체인스모커스는 베이스 뮤직 위주로 선곡했다. 웅장 한 베이스 드랍이 스피커를 찢을 때마다 관객들은 ‘이 거야!’ 하는 표정으로 위아래로 뛰었다. 히트곡이 나 올 때면 셀 수 없이 많은 스마트폰 카메라가 하늘로 올려졌다. 이날 올려진 SNS 영상을 타임라인에 정렬 하면 하루종일 스크롤을 내려야 할 것이다. 홍보 부 스에서 무료로 나눠준 콘돔으로 풍선을 불어 날리는 사람도 있었고, 그게 재밌다며 영상으로 남기는 사람 도 있었다. 이들은 모두 보이스 오브 댄스 뮤직(The Voice Of Dance Music)의 바람대로 “해쉬태그 울 트라”를 달았을까? 체인스모커스 셋의 가장 독특했던 점은 라이브와 디 제잉이 공존했다는 것이다. 알렉스(Alex)가 디제잉 을 하는 동안 앤드루(Andrew)는 부스 위로 올라가 라이브로 노래를 불렀다. 프로듀서 팀 안에 보컬이 있 다는 건 대단히 큰 장점이다. 디제잉 파티가 금새 라

이브 콘서트도 될 수 있기 때문이다. 관객들은 앤드 루가 부스에 올라갈 때를 제일 좋아했다. 최대의 히 트곡이 나온다는 뜻이었기 때문이다. 앤드루가 처음 으로 부스에 올라간 곡은 ‘Everybody Hates Me’였 다. ‘Paris’도, ‘Closer’도 앤드루가 라이브로 직접 불 렀다. 관객들은 좋아하는 노래가 나오면 가만히 듣지 않고 열정적으로 따라불렀다. 떼창 볼륨이 제일 컸 던 순간은 ‘Roses’의 ‘Say You’ll Never Let Me Go’ 부분, ‘Closer’의 ‘I, I, I, I, I Can’t Stop’ 부분이었다. 체인스모커스 무대를 통해 디제잉과 라이브가 결합 된 무대가 요즘 시대에 얼마나 큰 힘을 발휘하는지 확인할 수 있었다. 요즘 EDM 메인 스테이지에 라이 브와 디제잉의 결합이 많아지는 이유는 디제이들도 그 힘을 알아가고 있기 때문 아닐까? 둘째 날 레이 든 역시 마무리 무렵 세바스찬 인그로소(Sebastian Ingrosso)의 ‘Reload’ 위로 일렉트릭 기타를 연주했 다. 즉흥연주였다. 중학교 때부터 기타를 친 그는 하 우스 만큼이나 록을 좋아한다. ‘Reload’가 끝나자 라 이브 드러머까지 합세해 뮤즈(Muse)의 ‘Knights Of Cydonia’를 연주했다. 비록 AR을 깔아놓은 라이브 였지만 EDM 페스티벌에서 하드 록 무대를 보는 신 선함은 절반 라이브라는 단점을 보상하고도 남았다. 오후 시간이라 관객은 많지 않았지만 둘째 날 최고의 순간 중 하나였다.

마니아들은 주(ZHU) 라이브 호평 올해도 라이브 스테이지는 칠 아웃 존을 겸했다. 입구 에 들어서면 팔을 들고 뛰는 앞쪽 사람들과 반쯤 누 워 있는 뒤쪽 사람들이 동시에 시야에 들어왔다. 라이 브 스테이지는 공연장이자 식당이었다. 축구장 크기 의 잔디밭을 빙 둘러 푸드 존이 형성됐고 관객들은 잔 디밭으로 음식을 가져가 삼삼오오 앉아 먹었다. 메인

스테이지에선 스태프들이 앉은 관객들을 제지했지만 라이브 스테이지에선 그런 제약이 없었다. “공간의 분위기가 중요하다. 좋은 공연은 절반은 그 게 만드는 거다.” 주는 빌보드와의 인터뷰에서 그렇 게 말했다. 그의 말은 정확했다. 음악과 쉼이 공존하 는 분위기, 뛰는 사람과 누운 사람이 공존하는 분위 기가, 댄서블하지만 가라앉히는 그의 음악에 최적의 환경을 제공했다. 라이브 스테이지 관객들이 딥한 음 악에 좀 더 열려 있다는 것도 좋은 반응에 한몫 했 을 것이다. 주는 늘 그랬듯 기타리스트 한 명과 색소폰 주자 한 명을 대동하고 무대에 나타났다. 어두운 의상의 실루 엣 위로 그의 음악을 닮은 뿌연 안개가 뿌려지자 음악 과 무대 풍경이 하나로, 화학적으로 섞여들었다. 제 4의 멤버 ‘Z’ 모양 무대가 네온사인 톤의 푸른 조명 을 발하자 서늘하고 신비로운 기운이 공연장 뒤쪽까 지 가 닿았다. 관객들은 낮 동안의 열기를 식히며 한 손에 맥주를 들고 기타와 색소폰의 끈적한 연주에 취 한듯 흔들거렸다. 주는 완급조절을 잘했다. 몽롱한 곡 뒤에 강력한 곡으 로 도약하기도 하고, 디제잉으로 일관하다가 기타와 색소폰에 솔로 타임을 주기도 했다. ‘Faded’, ‘Working For It’ 같은 팬들이 원하는 히트곡도 빠짐 없이 틀었고, 린킨 파크(Linkin Park)의 ‘Faint’를 틀어 깜 짝 놀라게 만들기도 했다. 쉼과 흥분 사이를 능숙하게 오갔고, 콘서트와 파티의 경계를 허물었다. 주와 한국 관객의 만남은 이번이 처음이었다. 빅 룸과 팝 EDM이 대세인 한국에서 그의 음악이 통할지 걱 정됐으나 기우였다. SNS에 올라온 후기만 보면 첫 날 메인 스테이지 헤드라이너는 주가 아닐까 싶었을 정 도로 뜨거운 반응을 얻었다. 열띤 찬사의 기저엔 디 제잉 아닌 라이브, EDM 아닌 딥 바이브를 원하는 취 향 변화가 있는 것 같았다. 미국과 유럽 씬이 변하고 있듯, 7년차에 접어든 울트라 코리아 관객들 역시 변 하고 있었다.



대규모 물량의 화려한 프로덕션 첫째 날 오후 8시 제드(Zedd)가 무대에 오를 무렵, 서울의 하늘이 낮에서 밤으로 기울었고, 메인 스테 이지의 조명과 영상이 낮동안 숨겼던 진가를 드러내 기 시작했다. 주경기장 전면을 꽉 채운 압도적인 규모가 일단 놀라 웠지만, 더 좋았던 건 음악과 딱딱 맞아떨어지는 드 라마틱한 연출이었다. 마치 음악의 움직임을 조명과 영상으로 재현한 것 같았다. ‘Spectrum’을 예로 들 면, 그 신비로운 브레이크다운이 나올 때 모든 조명 이 암전되고 레이저만 홀로 슬로우 모션으로 움직였 다. 몽롱했다. 빌드업에서 화이트 노이즈가 치솟을 땐 하얀 섬광이 스테이지를 꽉 채웠다. 시원하고 짜릿했 다. 이날의 공연을 녹화해 음소거로 틀어도 어디가 빌 드업이고 어디가 브레이크다운인지 맞힐 수 있을 것 같았다. 조명을 담당한 토탈 코리아 최진근 부장에 의하면 올 해 울트라 코리아엔 “무빙 라이트만 400개”가 들어 갔다. “보통 대극장 같은 경우는 70~80대 쓴다. 요 즘은 EDM 공연이 늘어나 울트라 정도의 물량을 쓰 는 공연이 많아졌지만, 유독 울트라가 많긴 하다.” 거 대한 메인 스테이지 스크린엔 LED 판 2000개가 들 어갔다. 영상을 담당한 좋은미디어 송영훈 부장은 “ 규모 있는 페스티벌이나 가수는 보통 1000장 이상 쓴다”고 말했다. 규모만 크다고 멋진 연출이 보장되진 않는다. 중요한 건 갖춰진 하드웨어를 어떻게 쓰느냐다. “똑같은 조명 기를 놓고도 어떻게 쓰느냐에 따라 그림이 달라진다. 우리가 똑같은 세트를 만들어줘도 들어오는 아티스 트의 디자이너가 바뀌면 그림은 완전히 달라진다.” 최 진근 부장은 말했다. 올해의 헤드라이너는 대부분 전담 비주얼 팀과 같이 내한했다. 조명, 레이저, VJ까지 모두 데리고 온 경우 도 있었다. 제드 무대에서 음악과 비주얼이 하나일 수 있던 비결은 아티스트와 비주얼 팀이 사전에 치밀하 게 조율했기 때문이다. 결국 비주얼 프로덕션의 감동 은 주최 측에서 얼마나 물량을 투자하느냐, 그걸 누 가 어떻게 활용하느냐에 따라 달라진다. 2018 울트 라 코리아엔 대규모 물량과 세계적인 무대 연출가가 모두 있었다. EDM의 무대 연출은 몇 가지 점에서 록이나 다른 장


CARL CRAIG 칼 크레이그 파티를 좋아하는 편인가? 그렇다. 괜찮은 파티라면 매우 행복할 것이다. 그러나 파티를 하는 내 철학은 조금 다 른데, 애초에 디제이가 아니라 스튜디오에서 음악 만드는 것부터 시작했기 때문이 다. 따라서 내가 생각하는 디제잉과 파티는 분위기를 띄우는 파티맨이 아니다. 내가 디제잉하는 이유는 좀 더 디제잉의 미학과 관련 있고, 또한 내 음악을 틀기 위함이다. 내 음악을 틀 수 있는 장소가 그저 클럽과 파티들일 뿐이다.

디제잉을 할 때 가장 중요하게 생각하는 것은? 사람들과 연결되는 느낌이 있어야 한다. 매번 그렇게 되진 않는데, 왜냐면 내가 이 공 연에 대해 어떻게 느끼는지, 그리고 사람들이 나에 대해 뭘 알고 있는지에 따라 좌우 되기 때문이다. 정말 다양한 변수가 있다. 사람들이 내 이름은 알지만 음악은 모르 는 경우도 있고, 사람들이 내 무대를 처음 접해서 뭘 기대해야 할지 모르는 경우도 있 다. 예를 들어, EDM 페스티벌에서 디제잉할 때, 나는 사람들이 뭘 기대하는지 알지 만 그들이 EDM 페스티벌에선 이런 음악이 나와야 한다고 바라는 그런 음악들을 틀 지 않을 것이다. 나는 사람들이 테크노를 듣게끔 만들려고 노력할 것이고 그런 음악 들을 틀 것이다.

투어를 마치고 디트로이트로 돌아가면 주로 무엇을 하며 지내나? 글쎄, 나는 대부분의 시간 동안 유럽과 아시아에 있기 때문에, 돌아오면 당연히 재충 전의 시간을 보낸다. 기분이 좀더 나아지려 노력하고 잠도 좀 잔다. 하지만 내가 정말 우선하는 것은 스튜디오에 가서 그저 지켜보면서 다시 적응하는 것이다. 장비들이 잘 작동하는지 점검하고, 싱크가 모두 잘 맞는지 확인하고, 그러고나면 다시 집중할 수 있게 된다. 조사나 연구도 많이 한다. 그냥 앉아서 어떤 킥 드럼이 완벽한지 찾아보기 도 하는데, 무지막지하게 오래 걸린다. 하하.

NICOLE MOUDABER 니콜 무다버 롱 셋을 틀기로 유명하다. 최장 몇 시간까지 틀어봤나? 몇 달 전에 13시간을 틀었다. 그리고 그렇게 하는 것을 너무 좋아한다. 왜냐면 내가 사랑하는 음악을 모조리 다 틀 수 있기 때문이다. 그리고 그것들을 쌓아가며 내 이야기를 들려준다. 마치 집을 짓는 것과 같다. 처음에 베이스가 들어가고, 거기에 쌓고, 쌓고, 쌓고, 쌓고... 그러다가 매번 새로운 것을 찾아내게 되고, 난 그런 과정을 사랑한다.

롱 셋과 관련된 재밌는 일화가 있다면 소개해줄 수 있을까? 재밌는 이야기라. 글쎄, 사람들은 “당신은 화장실도 안 가나요? 화장실 가는 것을 본 적이 없네요” 라고 물어본다. 정말 나는 가지 않는다. 너무 몰입해서 잊어버렸기 때문이다. 아마도 한 번 정도는 갈 것이지만, 그 이상은...

그럼 당신은 보통 공연 중에 술을 마시진 않나? 나는 공연 중에는 절대로 술을 마시지 않는다, 절대로. 물만 마시고, 비타민을 많이 복용한다. 음악으로 취하지, 다른 것들은 다 필요 없다.

테크노의 어떤 점에 반했나? 당신이 테크노를 좋아하는 이유는? 테크노만 좋아하진 않는다. 하우스부터 테크노에 이르는 모든 음악을 좋아한다. 나는 음악을 좋아하고, 음악을 살며, 음악을 숨쉰다. 퍼커션이 많고, 그루비하고, 이렇게 허리 아래를 춤추게 만드는 음악이 (실제로 춤을 췄다) 내 스타일이다. ‘손 머리 위로’ 분위기의 EDM은 쓰레기다. 더 그루비한 것, ‘내 엉덩이를 쳐봐!’ 같은 것들. 헤헤헤. 그게 내가 좋아하는 거다.

르와 다르다. 첫째, 전환되는 타이밍이 비트와 맞아 떨어진다. 송영훈 부장은 “EDM쪽 VJ들이 갖고 오는 스위처(컨트롤러)와 록쪽 VJ들이 갖고 오는 스위처가 다르다”고 말한다. 또한 “짜여진 대로 가는 일반 공연 과 달리 음악이 바뀌면 거기에 즉흥적으로 맞춰야 하 는” EDM쪽 VJ들이 대단하다고 칭찬했다. 둘째, 타 장르에 비해 유독 연출이 화려하다. 지산 밸리, 펜타 포트의 조명을 담당했던 최진근 부장은 울트라와 록 페스티벌의 차이를 이렇게 설명했다. “록은 아티스트 의 퍼포먼스가 재밌기 때문에 거기에 집중되어 있다. 반면 EDM은 디제이가 노래나 연주를 하지 않기 때문 에 시각적인 효과가 중요하다. 영상도 록 페스티벌의 경우 아티스트 중계를 주로 하지만 EDM은 패턴이나 이미지를 돌리면서 시각적인 효과를 준다.” EDM 페스티벌에서 또 하나 빼놓을 수 없는 씬 스틸 러는 불꽃 쇼다. 울트라 코리아는 매해 주경기장 천장 을 원으로 빙 돌리는 불꽃을 선보여왔다. 올해는 무려 두 바퀴를 돌렸다. 관계자에게 오프 더 레코드로 비 용을 물어봤더니 상상 이상의 고액이었다. 이젠 울트 라 코리아를 상징하는 명물이 된 데다 비용도 엄청나 기 때문에 주최 측에서도 만반의 준비를 한다. 포토 그래퍼가 대기하고 무전을 주고 받기도 한다. 거대한 불꽃 돔 천장이 나타났을 때 무대에선 데이빗 게타가 다프트 펑크(Daft Punk)의 ‘One More Time’ 을 틀고 있었다. 세계적인 명성을 자랑하는 데이빗 게 타지만 그 순간만큼은 불꽃에게 주인공 자리를 내줬 다. 관객들은 일제히 시선을 하늘로 옮겼고 신기한 움 직임의 불꽃이 나올 때마다 함성을 질러댔다. 화장실 가던 사람들도 멈춰 서서 멍하니 하늘을 쳐다봤다. 코 끝을 찡하게 하는 화약냄새가 났지만 싫지 않았다. 울 트라 코리아 2018 최고의 순간 중 하나였다. u




아시아를 넘어 세계로 한 걸음씩

한국의 디제이이자 프로듀서 레이든은 1년의 1/3을 해외에서 보낸다. 그곳에서 얻은 경험과 자신감으로 세계 EDM의 중심으로 한 걸음씩 전진 중이다.

글 : 이대화_

제로 만나본 레이든(Raiden)은 내성적인 말투의 소유자였다. 눈매 는 수수하고, 동그랗고, 쌍꺼풀도 없었다. 집에 돌아와 녹취 파일을 틀어보니 처음 10분은 긴장한 듯 작게 말해 파일 음량을 한껏 키워 야 했다. 그런 그가 페스티벌 메인 스테이지에서 쭉쭉 팔을 뻗으며 자작곡을 선보이고, 가끔은 부스를 밟고 올라가 대담한 즉흥연주 를 선보이는 게 신기했다. “저도 제가 신기해요. 옛날에 지미 헨드릭 스(Jimi Hendrix)도 평소엔 소심하고 샤이한데 무대에선 기타에 불을 지르잖아 요. 저도 그런 성향이 있는 사람들 중 하나인 것 같아요.” 레이든은 세계 EDM 씬의 중심까지 다가간 몇 안 되는 아시아 디제이 중 하나다. 그렇다고 리드 그룹에 속한 정도는 아니지만, 아시아에서 태어나 여전히 아시아 에 살고 있는 디제이 중엔 단연 앞서고 있다. 지금 비트포트(Beatport)에 들어 가보니 프로토콜 레코딩스(Protocol Recordings) TOP 10 트랙에 레이든이 만 든 ‘C’est La Vibe’, ‘Acid Love’가 각각 3위와 8위에 올라있다. 역시 마틴 게릭스 (Martin Garrix)의 스탬프드 레코즈(STMPD RCRDS) TOP 10을 검색해보니 레이든의 ‘Keep My Light On’이 4위에 올라있다. 그는 2017년엔 한국인 최초 로 울트라 마이애미(Ultra Miami) 메인 스테이지에 섰다. 같은 해 투모로우랜드 (Tomorrowland)에도 섰다. 올해 평창 동계 올림픽에선 한국 대표 디제이로 출 연해 전 세계 수억 명의 시청자 앞에서 라이브를 선보였다. “얼마 전에 마틴 게릭스 이비자 파티에 갔는데 다이로(Dyro)랑 유명한 친구들 이 다 있는 거에요. 저 혼자 동양인이니까 (거기 있는 디제이들이) 줄리안 조던 (Julian Jordan)한테 쟤 누구냐고 물어보더라고요. 레이든이라고 하니까 다들 ‘ 어! 나 쟤 알아’ 그러는 거에요. 이름은 다 들어본 거죠. ‘이젠 어느 정도는 올라왔 구나!’라는 생각에 기분이 좋았죠. 저는 한국에서 공연할 때보다 유럽에서 공연 할 때 팬이 더 많아요. 길 가다가도 알아봐주고. 인기가 많은 정도는 아니지만 그


럼에도 불구하고 매니아라고 자처하는 사람들이 있어요.” 성과는 결코 공짜로 얻어지지 않았다. 무모할 정도로 투자하고 도전해 노하우를 터득한 결과다. 레이든은 1년에 무려 1/3을 해외에서 보낸다. 바쁜 공연 스케줄 때문이기도 하지만 해외 뮤지션들과 현지에서 콜라보하고 그들과 네트워크를 쌓 는 일을 게을리하지 않는다. “음악 작업은 같이 앉아서 하는 게 정확하거든요. 디 테일하고. 이메일로 주고 받으면서도 하지만 이걸 설명하기가 힘들잖아요. 가능 하면 만나서 하려고 하죠.” 아시아 디제이를 바라보는 편견을 걷어내고 그들 사이에 섞이기 위해 레이든은 수 없이 캐리어를 굴리고 시차를 견뎌야 했다. 공연도 없는데 단지 콜라보를 위해 아 프리카와 네덜란드를 오가기도 했다. 이렇게까지 해야 하나 기운이 빠진 적도 있었 다. 그러나 그 경험들을 통해 조금씩 EDM 리더들의 성공 비결을 배울 수 있었다. “디제이는 이비자를 가야 해요. 왜냐면 이비자를 가야 만남이 생기거든요. 예 를 들면, 마틴 게릭스 파티에 초대 받아서 갔어요. 거기에 체인스모커스(The Chainsmokers)가 같이 있어요. 그런 게 한두 명이 아니고 너무나 많은 유명한 친 구들이 있어요. 마틴 게릭스 파티가 12시에 끝나면 다같이 ‘데이빗 게타(David Guetta) 파티 가자!’ 그래요. 그런 게 매일 같이 일주일 내내 있어요. 그건 비즈니 스로 만나는 것도 아니고 자연스럽게 만나서 자연스럽게 술 먹다 친해지는 거에 요. 그게 제일 좋은 거잖아요.” 이비자에 가야 하는 이유는 네트워크 쌓기 말고도 또 있다. “거기는 EDM보다 테 크노나 언더그라운드 음악이 더 세잖아요. 거기에 심취하게 되고 정신을 한 번 차 리게 되더라고요. ‘아, 이런 게 하우스 음악이었지.’ 거기는 심지어 샴페인에 돈 쓰려고 오는 사람들도 언더그라운드 음악을 좋아해요. 클럽 데코레이션도 파티에 따라 하루에 한 번 바꾸더 라고요. 저는 테크노를 하진 않지만 며칠 지내다 보면 작업을 할 때 저도 모르게 테크노적인 걸 작업하게 되 더라고요. 그 바이브가 제 몸에 남아 있다는 얘기잖아 요. 그런 게 진짜 영감이 돼요.” 최근에 이비자가 과도하게 상업화됐다는 비판을 자 주 읽었지만 레이든이 얘기해주는 이비자는 또 달랐 다. “잠깐 그랬던 것 같아요. 정말 EDM 막 터질 때. 2012년에서 14년 정도. 그런데 한 3년 전부터 바뀌는 것 같아요. 옛날에 갔을 땐 하드웰(Hardwell), 페데 르 그 랑(Fedde Le Grand), 캘빈 해리스(Calvin Harris) 이런 아티 스트들 포스터로 도배됐는데 지금은 제 친구들도 거의 못 틀어 요. 왜냐면 쇼도 없고 부킹이 와도 빅 디제이들한테만 가니까. EDM 은 우수아이아(Ushuaïa)나 커머셜한 곳들, 관광객들 많은 곳에서 하지 그게 메인은 아니에요. 이젠 EDM 파티는 거의 없고 마르코 카 롤라(Marco Carola) 파티, 솔로문(Solomun) 파티, 이런 게 핫해요.”

기타리스트에서 디제이로 레이든은 중학교 1학년 때 기타를 잡으며 음악에 입문했다. 어느 기 타리스트가 황홀한 표정으로 솔로를 연주하는 동영상을 봤는데, ‘저건 무슨 느낌일까’ 궁금해 무작정 기타를 샀다. 이후 1년 동안 학원도 다니고 밴드부도 만들어보며 기타와 록에 푹 빠졌다. 고 등학교 1학년 때는 친척의 친척인 기타리스트 한상원을 소개 받

아 배울 기회도 얻었다. “저는 그때 최신 록 음악을 되게 좋아했어요. 근데 한 선생님은 블루스 같은 옛날 음악들을 숙제로 내주셨어요. ‘네가 좋아하는 음악 다 여기서 온 거야’ 하시면서. 저는 시키니까 그냥 했죠. 그런데 고등학교 졸업하고 일본 음악학교에 유학을 갔 는데 선생님들이 제가 치는 걸 보고 왜 굳이 여기 왔냐고 하시더라고요. 제가 막 천재라는 게 아니고 거기는 초보적인 것부터 배우는 곳이잖아요. 저는 이미 다 하 는 상태에서 간 거니까. 그때 가서 잘 배운 거였구나 깨달았죠.” 천상 로커라 처음엔 디제잉이 별로 재밌지 않았다. “기타로 공연하면 그날의 필이 나 컨디션에 따라 다른 연주를 하는 거잖아요. 내가 나를 발산할 수 있잖아요. 근 데 디제잉은 녹음된 노래를 버튼 눌러 던지는 거니까 내 흥이 폭발하는 데에 한계 가 있는 거에요. 그런데 계속 하다 보니까 그런 재미만 있는 건 아니더라고요. 사 람들과 호흡하고 관객을 이끌면서 밴드할 때는 생각도 못 했던 걸 경험했죠. 음악 이 잘 섞일 때는 너무 짜릿한 거에요.” 그는 최근에 다시금 기타를 잡는 일이 많아졌다. 평창 동계올림픽 폐막식 무대가 대표적이다. 오직 그 이벤트만을 위해 작곡한 곡을 틀고 그 위에 라이브로 기타를 연주했다. 울트라 코리아(Ultra Korea) 무대에서도 기타를 들고 부스 위로 올라갔 다. 라이브 드러머까지 데리고 뮤즈(Muse)의 ‘Knights Of Cydonia’를 연주했다. “사람들이 디제이만 보는 것에 지쳐가는 것 같아요. 제가 봤을 때 사람들은 원래 부터 퍼포먼스를 좋아해요. 울트라 코리아 이전에도 월디페(World DJ Festival) 에서 아비치(Avicii) 퍼포먼스를 했는데요, 마지막에 ‘Wake Me Up’ 할 때 기타 를 메고 올라갔는데 아직 치기도 전인데 사람들이 ‘와~!’ 장난 아니게 함성을 지 르는 거에요. 그거 자체를 좋아하는 거에요.” 수준급 기타 실력은 해외 아티스트들이 레이든을 좋아하는 이유이기도 하다. “니 키(Nicky Romero)나 페데(Fedde Le Grand) 이런 친구들이 제가 스튜디오에서 기타 치면 놀라요. 너무 좋아해요. 그런 것 때문에 저를 더 좋아하는 것 같아요. 그게 연습해서 하는 것도 아니고 평생을 했기 때문에 기타 잡으면 그냥 하는 거거 든요. 그게 자연스런 제 모습인 것 같아요. 평창 때도 내가 뭘 좋아하고 레이든이 누군지 나의 루트에서 오는 음악을 다 넣자 해서 만든 거에요.”

HEART OF STEEL 레이든을 지금으로 만든 일등공신은 무엇일까? 어느 정도 자리잡았다고 느낀 첫 번째 전환점을 물었더니 1초의 망설임도 없이 “프로토콜에서 ‘Heart Of Steel’을 낸 것”이라고 답했다. 울트라 마이애미 디제잉 경력은 어떠냐고 물었더니 재차 프 로토콜 음악 발표라고 강조했다. “노래를 만들어서 어느 정도 반응이 있은 뒤 활동하는 것과 그냥 디제잉만 했을 때랑 완전히 달라요. 예전엔 유튜브에 울트라 영상 올려도 ‘이게 누구야? ’ 같은 댓 글만 달렸어요. 그런데 지금은 울트라 끝나고 하루 있다가 들어가보면 다 른 댓글들이 쫙 달려 있어요.” “니키 로메로가 원래 프로그레시브(Progressive)랑 일렉트로(Electro) 위주로 틀지 퓨처 베이스(Future Bass) 안 틀거든요. 근데 제 음악 사인 한 뒤로 계속 트는 거에요. 되게 안 믿겨졌어요. 그 노래 낸 게 2017년 1월 이었고 2월에 태국에 공연을 갔는데 가보니 니키도 부킹이 됐더라고요. 얘 가 ‘오늘 올라와!’ 하는 거에요. ‘어? 뭐지? 내가 부탁도 안 했는데?’ 그러면 서 씬에 알려졌고 페데도 저 서포트 많이 해줬고 마틴도 도와주고 하다 보 니 지금에 오게 됐어요.” ‘Heart Of Steel’은 처음엔 번번이 거절만 당했다. 2013년 처음 코드를 녹음한 후 수없이 다듬고 수정한 역작이었고, 스타 보컬 브라잇 라이츠 (Bright Lights)까지 참여했지만, 막상 완성하니 내겠다는 레이블이 없어 프리 다운로드로 공개할 마음까지 먹었다. 그런데 장르를 프로그레시브 하우스에서 퓨처 베이스로 바꾸자 반응이 달라졌다. “침대에 누워 있는데 퓨처 베이스 버전이 머리에 떠오르는 거에요. ‘바꾸 면 좋을 것 같은데?’ 딱 틀었을 때 매니저랑 저랑 동시에 ‘오! 이거다!’ 했 어요. 프로토콜에 다시 던졌더니 1주일을 달라고 하더라고요. 얼마 뒤 에 그쪽 A&R 하는 친구가 왓츠앱으로 니키가 정말 좋아한다고 말하 더라고요. 그때 카페에 있었는데 매니저 친구가 창피하게 막 소리 지르고 그랬어요. (웃음)” 레이든의 최종 목표는 무엇일까? “못해도 아시아에서 1등은 해 야죠. 한 번 뿐인 인생이고 음악을 함에 있어서도 한계를 돌파해 이루고 싶어요. 역사에 남고 싶어요.” 하지만 전제를 달았다. “연예인 쪽으로 푸는 쉬운 길도 있지만 그 렇게 성공한다 해도 내가 진심으로 행복하지 않을 것 같아요. 내가 원하는 그림이 아닐 것 같아요. 약간 꼭두각시 되는 것 같고. 저는 뮤 지션, 음악성 있는 디제이, 이런 걸 지켜가면서 성공하고 싶어요. 제 팬 들은 제 음악을 좋아하는 거지 연예인스러운 걸 좋아하는 게 아니잖아 요. 그걸로 가다 보면 본질에서 멀어질 것 같아요.” u



为什么亚洲排名第一DJ是David Guetta?

David Guetta 正如他2007年的专辑名字,正过着他的“潮流生活”。 如好莱坞演员般有名,乘坐专机进行世界巡回演出, 福布斯“收入最高DJ”前列长年榜上有名, 最近音乐风格也变得更偏向流行音乐




avid Guetta是世界上最难遇见的DJ之一。他的音乐无处不在, 所以你可能会感觉不陌生,但正因如此,他成了最难“亲自” 采访到的DJ之一,即使是知名媒体也难以长时间留住他。 其实并不是因为他不愿在大众前露面,或是讨厌媒体人士,而是因为 不那样做就会连一点空余时间也没有了。即使是对EDM一无所知的 人也会知道《Titanium》。该有多少的采访邀请呢?问及“今天内有多 少个采访?”,虽然没有告知准确的数量,但也回答了“非常多”。一天 内完成数个采访的生活对他而言是再平常不过。 新闻记者因为经常接触媒体和采访记者,所以大都知道在陌生人面前 说很多的话有多累。最常经历着这种痛苦的Guetta到底是如何维持 体力的呢?“健康饮食,多做运动,在调理身体上花心思,尽可能地保 持最好的状态。运动对维持愉快心境也很有帮助。音乐对我来说是最 大的激情来源,使我即使在疲惫的状态下也能继续前进。” 有趣的是,他最喜欢的休息方式之一就是什么也不做,静静待着。 “可 能听起来会有点无聊,不过我其实一直很喜欢在表演前发呆,我会闭 着眼坐在休息室,就像冥想一样。这样上台之后就可以兴奋起来。” 经常要完成忙得要死的行程,那么制作音乐的时间必然会变短。在紧 凑的巡演日程中,如果想要定期推出新专辑,就需要变不可能为可能 的魔法。Guetta是无论多忙都一定会留出时间来制作音乐的,甚至在 紧迫时会抛开所有事情,把音乐放在首位。 “最近为了专辑的收尾工 作,我在3个月内几乎停下了所有其他工作,我是真正抽时间来制作音 乐的。虽然巡演时我也会在飞机上创作,但当有重要的计划必须完成 时我们会为此切实地空出时间来。” 在其他DJ们看来或许这并不痛苦,反而是幸福的生活,Guetta实现 了DJ们的梦想。他拥有五个Billboard前十名的记录,八次获得格莱 美奖(Grammy Awards)提名,共售出 900万张专辑和3000万张 单曲,还曾经一天连演三场演出。据他在《Jonathan Ross Show》 中透露, 《Nothing But The Beat》专辑发行期间,他一天飞了三个 国家。 “用一小时演唱完专辑的收录曲,马不停蹄地乘坐飞机赶往另 一个国家,真是忙得晕头转向。”这是所有人每天期盼的梦想,因此 Guetta也一直对自己的现状心存感激:“能够每天做着自己喜爱的 事,是一种多么幸福的感觉,这是无法言状的。” 但也有缺点: “另一方面我必须忍受无法与家人朋友相见之苦。” 不知Guetta有没有过想要结束现在忙碌的日程,回到过去在法国任 实习医生时的念头呢?“没有,我对现在很满意。而同样的,就算可以 改变当初的时光,我也不会去改变。我珍惜着当时的所有回忆,正是 那些时光造就了今天的我。”


Guetta第一次听House音乐是在1987年。让我们暂且把时钟倒拨回 过去吧。 1987年是House音乐首次登上主流排行榜榜首的一年。Steve Silk Hurley 的《Jack Your Body》于1987年1月登上了英国排行榜首位。据当时英 国的DJ们描述,那是确实有过活跃的派对活动,但因为停滞不前的音 乐风格而显得无趣。House音乐给人们带来了新鲜的刺激,起初就像 突然飞来的酒瓶般受到了冷待,但1988年在伦敦和曼彻斯特的地下舞 台中翻身成为了巨大的新趋势。David Guetta就是在这大转变的时 期第一次听到了House,他当时二十岁,对于已经在当DJ的他而言,那 是如“爱情的第二次春天”般怦然心动的新世界。 20年后的2007年,Guetta成为了欧洲最著名的DJ之一。 《Love Is Gone》登上了英国单曲排行榜第九位,也成了当年最受欢迎的House音 乐之一。他在2000年代后期发表的歌曲对Underground House音乐 上升至主流做出了很大的贡献。Destiny’ s Child 组合成员Kelly Rowland 演唱的《When Love Takes Over》在11小时飞行距离的韩国也十分 受欢迎。 凭借《Love Is Gone》扬名后接到的一通电话再次改变了他的人生。 电话里Black Eyed Peas组合成员Will.i.am提出了请他担任制作人 的提议。当时Black Eyed Peas正携《Monkey Business》在世界获 得很高的人气。就这样,Guetta迈出了走向巨大音乐市场——美国的 第一步。那是他第一次担任其他艺术家的制作人,据说在专业级录音 室里创作也是第一次。 如此制作出来的《I Gotta Feeling》成为了载入史册的热门金曲,



在Billboard排行榜上连续14周占据榜首,这首歌促成了当时新生的 Electro House音乐的大众化。Electro House是指如摇滚吉他般使 用粗犷电子音的House音乐,它既拥有House音乐的派对基因,压抑 而又强烈的颤音也是它的特点。《I Gotta Feeling》是流行舞曲与 Electro House的结合,特别是那让人心焦的低音。Swedish House Mafia也在2012年凭借《Don’t You Worry Child》登上了Billboard排行榜第六位,但Guetta早在3年前就写下了14周蝉联的记 录。Guetta无疑是先驱。Ultra Music Festival的著名主持人Voice Of Dance Music是这样介绍Guetta的: “造就现在的我们的艺术 家”。 Guetta是当今世界上最有名的DJ之一。新作品一推出,就会在音源 网站首页上介绍,在酒吧、在小区超市、在公交上隔壁乘客的耳机里 都可以听到他的音乐。他的音乐到处可闻。仅从他的合作名单上就能 感受到他的名气和影响力:Rihanna,Snoop Dogg,Akon,Nicki Minaj,Usher,Sia,Lil Wayne,Charli XCX,及至Justin Bieber。 他活跃在音乐产业界的金字塔顶层。

亚洲No.1 DJ

David Guetta参演的2018 Ultra Korea我连续三天亲赴现场。这天 David Guetta在黄金时间晚上8点站到了韩国观众面前。 Ultra Korea 是韩国最受欢迎的EDM音乐节,今年更是动员了多达18万 名观众,更新了自身的最高观众数记录。Guetta也参与了2015年的 Ultra Korea,无论是当时还是现在,Guetta在亚洲的观众号召力都 十分强大。 在Guetta准备表演的期间,分散在四个舞台的观众渐渐聚集到了 主舞台,最后连竞技场后方的酒类展台上都站满了人。举办Ultra Korea的奥林匹克主竞技场是韩国最大的演出场地之一。第一首歌曲 《Like I Do》刚响起,场内就发出了如潮的呐喊,仿佛是在表现这巨 大的人潮。 衡量音乐家大众人气的其中一个标准就是表演场的大合唱。《Titanium》前奏刚响起,就掀起了一阵欢呼声浪,当演唱部分的音量降低 后,马上就响起了洪亮的合唱,就像等候已久一样。《Titanium》不仅 在韩国,在全世界也都引发了大合唱。2018 Ultra Miami的观众也配 合着Guetta的指挥,所有人一起跟着唱。全世界的EDM粉丝都跟着 唱自己的歌曲会是一种什么感觉?“每次都会起鸡皮疙瘩,这是我迄 今为止感受过的最炫酷的心情之一。” 当音乐节观众们听到熟悉的歌曲时会很高兴,原唱亲自演唱的话就 更兴奋了。这也是写有很多流行金曲的David Guetta表演舞台获得 强烈反响的原因。他拥有五首在Billboard排行前十的歌曲,在亚洲 也拥有多首名曲。在Ultra Korea上,每每唱出《Titanium》《Bad》 《Ain’t A Party》《Play Hard》等的代表歌曲时,都会引发热烈的 欢呼,观众们脸上露出“是我喜欢的歌曲!”这样的幸福表情。 正如亚洲粉丝们喜欢Guetta,Guetta也喜欢亚洲粉丝们狂热的回 应。 “人们通常在派对上会放弃对身体的控制,而亚洲的粉丝们就真 的是那样,全然不管别人有没有在看,毫无保留地投入享受音乐。Ultra Korea一直都这么精彩,为演出做了很多准备,结果也很棒,观众、 气氛、整个演出都非常出色。” Guetta在亚洲特别受欢迎的原因与亚洲的特殊情况有关,不能以点 带面,那就拿韩国来举例吧。 在韩国,EDM的人气远低于美国和欧洲,虽然音乐节的观众人数远超 摇滚音乐,媒体也勉强称之“EDM时代”,但无论在家里或是街上,平 常会听EDM的人都只是少数。大部分人对以强节拍为主的编曲或重 复同一电子舞曲的章法并不熟悉,仍有许多人认为电子音不自然而讨 厌它。一定得有歌唱部分,否则只靠底鼓和贝斯来支撑的歌曲很难成 功,甚至少有发行。在韩国吸引最多观众的Ultra Korea上,以Techno 音乐为主的Resistance舞台也还是要耐心等待几年才能凝聚更多的 观众。今年春天Porter Robinson因World DJ Festival来韩时,大部 分的观众在长长的Breakdown时间安静地站着,只有在响起劲音时 才给予了反应。 当然,韩国也存在House,Techno,Bass等的圈子。位于首尔梨泰院 的Techno俱乐部Faust不时会邀请Seth Troxler、Ben Klock等大牌 明星演出。但除了几家发展得不错的俱乐部以外,大部分都满足于维



喜爱我并给予我正能量的人们陪伴在我身旁, 我不会去看那些负面的东西。






亲自出演了《Flames》的MV,想听听后记。 首先我虽然不是演员,但这个MV的构思我很喜欢, 在自己的MV里扮演反面角色真的很有趣。

虽然是反面角色,但也展示了搞笑的演技。 不会对艺术家形象感到压力吗? 完全没有。

持现状。与不断增长的DJ人数相比,粉丝规模的发展停滞不前。 在这种情况下,David Guetta的音乐在很多方面都很有优势。首先, 他的热门歌曲中总会出现大众性强的歌唱旋律,而韩国人很难接受 没有歌唱的舞曲音乐,介绍以歌唱为主的大众化EDM的Facebook 页面甚至成了韩国最大的EDM集散地。比起连绵不断的节奏,韩国 人同样更喜欢有爆发性的Drop部分,因此喜欢写强有力的Build-Up 和Drop的David Guetta必然会更受欢迎。韩国鲜有EDM媒体这点 也对他极为有利。专门讨论舞曲音乐的杂志几乎是没有的,即使有其 影响力也不高,如果不能排在Billboard前列,吸引到主流媒体的注 意,那就难以被大众熟知。而经常与EDM关键词一同被提及的David Guetta就处在比任何人都有利的地位了。


这并不是仅存 在于韩国的现象。举个明显的例子,从B i l l boa rd的 Electronic Dance(电子舞曲)排行榜来看,占据Beatport前列的 偏舞池型音乐几乎是找不到的,大部分都是电台趋向流行音乐EDM。 当然美国的情况比韩国好得多,美国Underground规模较大,即使 发行7分钟的House音乐也听者众多。但美国在某种意义上跟韩国 又差不多,脱离Underground的瞬间就要做好半壁江山成为Justin Bieber的心理准备。 随着EDM脱离音乐节,朝着YouTube,电台,Spotify扩展,流行音乐 形式与大众化旋律的重要性逐渐提高。自从The Chainsmokers凭 借《Closer》登上Billboard连续12周第一位后更是如此。如今像RL Grime这样的低音音乐艺术家也都在发行与流行相融合的音乐,这显 然是流行音乐EDM的时代。 从最近发行的单曲来看,Guetta并不打算违背这一趋势,反而是加强 了流行音乐元素,打算进行正面对决的姿态。《Flames》就是个很好 的例子,这是一首即使将“EDM”从“POP EDM”中去除也毫不违和 的歌曲。一般来说就算制作有强烈流行音乐元素的EDM,在Drop部 分也会以电子合成器为重心,但《Flames》在Verse与Chorus的部分 全部加入了歌唱,所追求的并不是EDM与流行音乐的融合,而是百分 百的流行音乐。 虽然每首歌的程度不一样,但方向是一致的。《Don’t Leave Me Alone》是比起舞池来说更适合在家听的音乐,开头部分就像抒情歌 一样,没有节奏,只以朦胧的演奏和歌唱开始。 与音乐制作人Big Room合作的歌曲中也能感受到变化。与Martin Garrix合作的《So Far Away》是一首以蓝调吉他为开头,悲伤的R&B风 格的歌曲。虽然出现了Future Bass风格的Drop,但整体上还是用耳机 听更合适的一首歌,而不是在舞池中播放。 不过Guetta的关注点并不全集中在Billboard,他同时还是一名DJ。 很明显地《Like I Do》和《Your Love》就是长Build-Up后引爆的音 乐节式的Big Room音乐。Guetta并没有忘记自己的起点。他最优化搭 配EDM音乐节与酒吧音乐,实行流行金曲制造者和DJ两手抓。 加强流行音乐倾向这本身并不意味着打算放弃实验性尝试,Guetta 如此说道: “我非常喜欢用声音做实验,然后收获意想不到的东西。敬 请期待,看看我下次会为大家带来什么!” u



吸引18万观众的韩 国最大音乐庆典

ultra korea a’s Largest Music Festival,


Attracting 180,000 People

Ultra Korea 今年再次打破自身 记录,观众数突破新高。轻松打破 去年记录,吸引18万观众。发展如 此迅猛的秘诀是什么呢? 文:李大和_



而该称之为“人海”了。音乐节第二天,天空飘起 雨,不愿淋湿衣服的人们一股脑儿涌进室内主通 道,大家摩肩接踵,要前进5米得花1分钟。朋友 去买饮料,来回花了30分钟。 其实2012年Ultra刚刚拉开帷幕时,大部分音乐 相关人士还认为它“不会长久”。 因为他们认为, 韩国国内EDM的人气并没有大到可以举办庆典。 事实上,韩国EDM发烧友如今依旧是少数。但随 着早期EDM的成功,声名雀起,引得好奇之人蜂 拥而至,使得Ultra撵压摇滚音乐节, 一跃成为夏 季热门。 Ultra发展如此迅猛的原因是什么呢?大致有三 个。第一,阵容华丽。音乐节观众最希望在家门口 看到国际巨星,而 Ultra Korea 一直以来都充分 满足了观众们的愿望。今年 The Chainsmokers

Axwell Λ Ingrosso David Guetta等2018迈 阿密领军人物几乎全阵容来韩。第二,位置便利。 大部分EDM粉丝都住在首尔,Ultra Korea就在首 尔交通最方便的蚕室奥运会主体育场举办。Ultra Korea开启了地铁一小时以内就可以纵观世界级 阵容的时代。第三,拥有先驱者品牌的力量。在忧 声重重中开始的Ultra Korea书写了成功神话,迅 速把握EDM潮流,不知不觉中在人们脑海中树立 了先驱的形象。


第二天因为下雨,一整个晚上黏腻难忍,但烟鬼 组合一出场,雨便神奇般地停了。我们都知道脱 掉闷热的雨衣是什么感觉,而且刚好徐风袭来, 感觉连细胞都是凉快的。这是上天给予的恩赐。 烟鬼组合的运气真好。

第二天烟鬼 组合被 邀请为头牌嘉宾,象征性地 体现了时代的变化。烟鬼组合能够从遥远的异国 来到韩国并在主要时间段唱歌,是因为他的歌曲 《Closer》连续12周蝉联Billboard榜单第一 。 这表明electro house,Big room的时代已然成 为过去,Pop EDM的时代已经到来。如果说过去 的成功秘诀是“制作精良”的话,现在已经转变 成“要有榜单热曲”。今年烟鬼组合在迈阿密也 是第二天被邀请为头牌嘉宾。迈阿密快速适应了 时代变化,韩国紧随其后。 这次烟鬼组合以贝斯音乐为主选曲。雄伟壮阔的 贝斯乐仿佛要震碎音响,每当这时,观众们便跟 随节奏上下舞动,表情仿佛在说,“就是这个!”。 表演到热门歌曲时,多到数不清的手机、照相机被 举在空中。如果将这一天上传的视频放到脸书的 时间轴中的话,会滚动一整天。有人将宣传展台上 免费发放的安全套吹起放飞,也有人觉得有趣拍 摄并上传了视频。他们是否都像 voice of dance music 所希望的那样,都成为话题网红呢? 烟鬼组合三名成员的最独特之处就是融合了现场 表演和DJ。亚历克斯做DJ时,安德鲁走上主舞 台,现场演唱。制作团队中有主唱是一个非常大 的优势,因为如此一来,DJ派对会马上变成现场 演唱会。观众们最喜欢安德鲁走上主舞台,因为 这表明最热门歌曲即将开始。安德鲁第一次走上 主舞台时唱的是《Everybody Hates Me》,后 来演唱了《Paris》、《Closer》。每当出现自己喜 欢的歌曲时,观众们便会热情跟唱,不会只坐着 老老实实听。合唱声音最大的是《Roses》中的 “Say You’ll Never Let Me Go”部分和《Closer》中的 “I, I, I, I, I Can’t Stop” 部分。 通过烟鬼组合的舞台,让我们看到了DJ和现场表 演的结合在当今时代具有无穷的力量。最近DJ和 现场表演结合越来越多,不也正是因为DJ们深 谙二者结合的力量吗?第二天瑞德依旧在将要结 束时演奏了Sebastian Ingrosso《Reload》中

的电吉他部分。那是即兴演奏。他从中学开始弹 吉他,像喜欢House一样喜欢摇滚。《Reload》 一结束,他又与现场鼓手联合,表演了Muse的 《Knights Of Cydonia》。虽然是有AR垫音的 现场表演,但是在EDM庆典上观看硬摇滚舞台 的新鲜感足以弥补大半现场表演的不足。因为是 下午,观众并不多,但这却是第二天最精彩的瞬 间之一。

发烧友对ZHU的现场好评 如潮

今年的现场表演舞台同时也是Chill out zone。进 入现场,就可看到前方挽着胳膊纵情雀跃的人群 和后方半躺着的观众。现场舞台既是表演场地又 是餐厅。在足球场大小的草坪上围成一个食物区, 观众们把食物拿到草坪上,三五成群地坐着吃。虽 然在主舞台现场,工作人员制止了坐在座位上的观 众,但在现场表演场地上没有这样的限制。 “ 现 场 的 气 氛 很 重 要,好 的 演 出 多 半 要 靠 气 氛。”ZHU在 Billboard的采访中如此说道。他说 的是正确的。音乐与休憩共存,有人手舞足蹈有 人休闲躺着,这些都为洋溢着舞蹈风却又沉寂的 音乐提供了最佳环境。现场的观众对深度音乐持 有的开放心态,对现场氛围起到了很大的作用。 Zhu像往常一样,带领一名吉他手和一名萨克斯 演奏者走上了舞台。舞台上弥漫着白色烟雾,与 音乐和舞台背景交融在一起,若隐若现如仙境一 般。第四个成员— —Z型的舞台闪现出霓虹灯般 蓝色的光芒,一股清冷而神秘的气息弥散到了公 演场的后面。观众们白天那股子兴奋劲儿已然退 却了,他们一边单手举着啤酒,一边沉浸在吉他 手和萨克斯演奏者那撩人心炫的精彩表演中。

Zh u 特别 擅长掌控 舞台节奏。他 既会从一首朦 胧的小曲儿跳 跃到节奏强烈的劲曲,也会做着 DJ,然后又去进行吉他和萨克斯的独奏。像《faded》、《Working For It》这样特别受粉丝欢迎 的热门歌曲自然会尽情奉上,同时还会适时地放 一首Linkin Park的《Faint》,给大家制造惊喜。 在兴奋和平静之间熟练转换,打破了演唱会和派 对的界限。 这是Zhu和韩国粉丝们的第一次相遇。而今Big room风格和 E DM正风靡韩国,他原本很是担 忧自己的音乐没有人气。不过仅仅从第一天上传 到SNS的观后留言来看,反响甚是热烈,甚至被 认为可能会是第一天的头牌嘉宾。在一片赞扬声 中,他希望尝试新的东西,不是做DJ,而是进行 现场表演,抛弃EDM,选择deep vibe。就像欧 美市场发生了变化一样,接触Ultra长达七年的韩 国观众们也在发生着改变。


第一天晚上八点Zedd登上舞台的时候,首尔的 天空已然被黑夜笼罩了。白日里“韬光养晦”的主 舞台上的照明和大屏幕开始大放异彩。 主体育场的前方,人山人海,黑压压的一片,极为 震撼。不过更值得称道的是与音乐配合得天衣无 缝的演出,好似电视剧一样。灯光和大屏幕再现 了音乐的动感美。就拿《Spectrum》这首歌举 例来说吧,神秘的break down 出来的时候,舞 台灯光一下子暗了下来,只剩下激光光束在慢慢 地移动着,营造出一种朦胧美。build up上白噪 音响起,一瞬间白色的光束便填满了整个舞台。 扣 动 心 弦,响彻 心扉。尽管那天录制 演出的 时 候,使用了消音设备,不过还是能够猜中什么地 方是build up,什么地方是break down。



据负责灯光的崔真根(音)部长透露,Ultra Korea使用了400个自动灯光。一般的剧场大约会使 用70~80个。虽然最近的EDM演出大大增加, 像Ultra这样用灯较多的演出也越来越多。不过还 是属Ultra用的最多。“巨大的主舞台的大屏幕上 就有2000多个LED板。”负责视频的Good Media部长宋永勋(音)说道,“规模较大的节日庆 典的时候,或者有名气的歌手一般都会使用一千 多盏。” 一场精彩绝伦的表演并不仅仅取决于其规模,重 点在于怎样运用已有的硬件设施。崔进根(音)部 长曾说:“同样的一幅画也会由于照明灯光使用 方法的不同而变得不同,即使我们布同样的景, 但设计师不同,画面也会截然不同”。 今年的开场秀大部分都是由乐队的视觉设计团队 全权负责的,有些乐队连照明、激光灯、摄像师 等都一起来韩。在ZEDD的表演中,音乐和视觉 完全融为一体,秘诀就在于设计师和视觉设计团 队提前进行了细致的沟通和调整。视觉盛宴最终 能否获得成功还取决于主办方的投资力度和是否 能够恰当运用这些机器。Ultra Korea 2018 同时 具备了这两个重要因素:大规模的投资和优秀的 国际舞台表演者。 EDM的舞台表演从几个方面来看与摇滚和其他 体裁的音乐不同。首先,转换的时机配合节拍。 宋明勋(音)部长说“EDM方的摄像师和摇滚队 的摄像师带的机器都不同”。他还称赞EDM方的 摄像师厉害,因为“他们的表演和一般的表演不 同,除了要展现彩排好的表演,还要随时注意跟 着音乐的变化进行即兴表演。”其次,和其他体 裁音乐的表演相比尤为华丽。崔进根(音)部长 曾经负责智山Valley音乐节和Pentaport音乐节 的照明,他是这样描述EDM音乐节和摇滚音乐节 的差异的:“摇滚因其表演本身充满趣味性,所 以需要集中于表演。与此相反,EDM音乐节中DJ 不唱歌也不演奏,所以更注重视觉效果。在拍摄 方面,摇滚音乐节主要是表演者的转播,而EDM 是通过旋转画面来创造视觉效果。”

CARL CRAIG 您喜欢派对吗?

是的。开个有趣的派对是件幸福的事。但是我开派对的观点有些不同, 因为最初我不是DJ,而是在录音室制作音乐,所以我认为DJ和派对并不 是烘托气氛的催化剂。我做DJ和DJ美学有关,也是为了播放我的音乐。能 播放我的音乐的地方只有夜店和派对。


与听众有交流的感觉最重要。并不是每次都能如此,因为这是由我对这 场演出感觉如何,人们对于我的了解有多少决定的,有很多可变的影响因 素。有时候人们可能只是知道我的名字但不了解我的音乐,或者人们第一 次来到我的舞台,我不知道他们想要些什么。比如,在EDM庆典做DJ时, 我知道人们期待什么,但是EDM庆典上并不会播放他们想听的这些音 乐,我会努力给观众听电子音乐,播放这类音乐。


这个嘛,我大部分时间会待在欧洲和亚洲,回来自然会进行自我充电, 努力使心情变好,也会睡个觉。但我最先会去录音棚看看,重新适应。 我会检查一下设备是否正常运转,确认音乐同步性,然后再次集中精力。 我会做很多调查研究。我也会就那么坐着查找什么鼓点最完美, 会花费相当长的时间。哈哈


NICOLE MOUDABER 您的long set很有名。您最长开过多长时间?

几个月前开了13个小时。我非常喜欢这么做,因为我可以把我喜欢的音乐 统统播放,并且他们逐渐堆积像在讲述我的故事一样。就像建房子一样, 一砖一瓦,一砖一瓦......然后就会发现新的东西,我热爱这样的过程。


有趣的事儿嘛......人们问我“你不去卫生间吗?没见过你去卫生间......” 我真的不去,投入于其中把这事儿给忘了。也许去一次,但是再多就......


我演出时绝对不喝酒,绝对不喝。我只喝水,服用维他命。 音乐自能醉人,别无他需了。

您痴迷于Techno(电子音乐)哪方面呢?为什么喜欢 Techno呢?

我并不是只播放Techno,从House到Techno所有音乐都会播放。 我喜欢音乐,我与音乐同生命,共呼吸。像很多时髦的打击乐,能够舞动 腰下方的音乐(实际上是跳舞)是我喜欢的风格。“手举过头顶”这样的 EDM是垃圾。更绝妙的,“拍打我的屁股”这样的音乐,嘿嘿嘿...... 是我喜欢的风格。

EDM音乐节中还有一个必不可少的精彩环节就 是焰火表演。 Ultra Korea 音乐节每年都会准备 围绕表演场地天花板一周的圆形烟火秀,今年的 表演共转了两圈。向相关人士问及表演费用,令 人瞠目结舌。 现在焰火表演因其已经成为 Ultra Korea的象征,并且耗资巨大,主办方也做好万般 准备。让摄像师随时待命并且准备无线电通讯。 巨大的焰火出现在舞台上方时,舞台上的VJ就会 播放Daft Punk的《One More Time》。戴维库 克尽管已享誉世界,但他还是把光环让给了此刻 的主人公烟火秀。观众也齐刷刷地将视线转移到 天空,每到舞动的神奇烟火出现的时候人们就会 齐声呼喊,这时候就连去洗手间的观众也被这声 音吸引,纷纷停住脚步仰望天空。刺鼻的火药味 也并不令人生厌。可以说这是 Ultra Korea 2018 音乐节最精彩的瞬间之一了。u





David Guetta 正如他2007年的专辑名字, 正过着他的“潮流生活”。 如好莱坞演员般有名,乘坐专机进行世界巡回演出, 福布斯“收入最高DJ”前列长年榜上有名, 最近音乐风格也变得更偏向流行音乐


到Raiden本人,发现他话语中透出一种内向。眼神质朴,圆 圆的眼睛,没有双眼皮。回家听取录音时发现,开头的10分 钟里他仿佛很紧张,说话声音小得要把音量调到最大才能听 清。这样的他在音乐节主舞台上不断挥舞手臂,表演自作曲, 偶尔还大胆站到DJ台上进行即兴演奏,让人感到很惊叹。 “ 我自己也很讶异,以前的Jimi Hendrix平时也很拘谨害羞,在 舞台上不也火烧吉他嘛,我应该也属于那种类型的人吧。” Raiden是为数不多的走近世界EDM中心的亚洲DJ之一。虽然不在领军行 列之内,但他在生于亚洲并仍身居亚洲的DJ当中是绝对领先的。现在登陆 Beatport网站,可以看到Protocol Recordings的歌曲前十名排行中Raiden创作的《C’est La Vibe》和《Acid Love》分别排在第三位和第八 位。而搜索Martin Garrix的STMPD RCRDS前十名排行会发现,Raiden的 《Keep My Light On》也排在了第四位。2017年他作为第一个韩国人登上 了Ultra Miami(Ultra迈阿密)的主舞台。同年还站到了Tomorrowland的


舞台上。今年以韩国代表DJ的身份参与平昌冬季奥运会的表演,在全球数 亿观众前献上了现场演出。 “不久前我去了Martin Garrix的伊维萨派对,Dyro等一些很有名的DJ都 有去,只有我是东方人, (在场的DJ们)问Julian Jordan我是谁,大家听 说我是Raiden后都说‘啊我知道他’,表示听过我的名字。我觉得‘我现在 也算是小小成功了啊’,很高兴。我在欧洲表演的时候粉丝比在韩国表演时 还要多,走在路上还有人认出我来,虽然不是非常出名,不过也有人自称是 狂粉。” 成就绝对不是平白就能获得的,而是通过无限的投资和挑战,领会、诀窍 后的结果。Raiden一年里有三分之一的时间在国外度过,原因除了忙碌的 演出日程以外,更多的是去与当地国外音乐人合作,建立与他们之间的关 系网。 “音乐制作是要一起坐下来完成才准确、才仔细的。同时也会通过电 子邮件来往,但音乐是难以表述的,我还是尽可能见面谈。” 为打破他们对亚洲DJ的偏见、融入他们之间,Raiden无数次拖着他的行 李箱,忍受时差。他还曾经只为了合作,就算没有演出安排也往返于非洲和 荷兰之间。他也曾有过灰心丧气的时候: “一定要做到这种程度吗?”。但 正是这些经历,使他一点一点学到了EDM领军人物们的成功秘诀。 “DJ就应该去伊维萨,去了伊维萨,才会有各种相遇。譬如,受邀去Martin Garrix的派对,派对上The Chainsmokers也在,而且不仅是一两名, 很多名人都在。Martin Garrix的派对12点结束后,大家又会提议一起去 David Guetta的派对。这种事整个星期每天在都发生。这并不是商业上 的会面,只是很自然地遇上,一起喝酒,而后自然 而然地熟络起来,这就是最好的相遇。” 除了积 累 人 脉之 外,还 有一 个必须去 伊 维 萨的 原因。“比起 E D M,那里的Te c h n o和 U n d e rground音乐更强势。那里使我沉醉,又使我明白 了很多, ‘这就是House音乐啊’。甚至连来花钱 喝香槟的人们也都喜欢Underground音乐,酒 吧的装饰也会根据派对而每天一换。虽然我不 写Techno,但是在那儿待上几天之后,写作时会 不自觉地带上Techno风格。意味着那种震撼还留 在我的身体里。这些确实会成为灵感。” 最近经常读到关于伊维萨过度商业化的批评,但Raiden 所言及的伊维萨又有所不同。 “好像有一段时间是那样,在 EDM正火的时候,2012年到2014年左右。不过大概3年前开始 就变了。我以前去的时候Hardwell、Fedde Le Grand 、Calvin Harris等人的海报铺天盖地,而现在连我的朋友们几乎都不行 了,因为没有表演,就算有邀约,也只会请大牌DJ。EDM只在乌 斯怀亚或商业场合,还有游客多的地方播放,并不是主流。现在 EDM派对几乎绝迹,时下流行的是Marco Carola派对,Solomun派对这种。”


Raiden初中一年级时通过吉他走入了音乐的大门。看到某 个吉他手表情沉醉地进行独奏的视频后,好奇那是何种感

觉的他,就那样买了一把吉他。其后的1年里,他去上培训班,创立乐队社 团,沉迷在吉他和摇滚中。高中一年级时,经介绍认识了亲戚的亲戚— — 吉他手韩尚元(音译),得到了学习的机会。 “我当时非常喜欢最新的摇滚音乐。不过有位老师布置了作业,是蓝调一 类的老音乐,并对我说‘你喜欢的音乐都是源自于此’。既然是老师的要求 我也就照做了。高中毕业后我去日本的音乐学校留学,老师们看过我的演 奏后问我为什么一定要去那个学校。并不是说我是天才,而是学校是从最 初的基础开始学习的,而我去之前已经都学过了。我那时才知道我之前学 得很好。” 作为天生的摇滚乐手,Raiden一开始并不觉得做DJ有意思。 “弹奏吉他 会根据当天的感觉和状态有不同的表演,我可以展示我自己。而做DJ只是 按下按键把录制好的歌曲放出来,因此我能爆发的兴致有限。不过坚持做 DJ,渐渐也就发现了更多的趣味。配合人们、引导观众,这是乐队演出时无 法想象的体验,音乐融合得很好的时候真的很刺激。” 最近他重新拿起吉他的机会多了起来。最具代表性的就是平昌冬季奥运会 闭幕式的舞台,播放着只为此次活动而编写的歌曲,同时在台上用吉他进 行现场演奏。在Ultra Korea的舞台上他也手拿吉他跳上了DJ台,跟现场鼓 手共同演奏了Muse的《Knights Of Cydonia》。 “人们好像渐渐厌倦了只看DJ。在我看来,人们向来是喜欢表演的。Ultra Korea之前,在World DJ Festival(世界DJ音乐节) Avicii的演出中,最后 表演《Wake Me Up》的时候背着吉他上台,还没开始弹人们就已经兴奋 地欢呼,人们就喜欢这样的。” 高超的吉他弹奏实力也是国外艺人们喜欢Raiden的原因之一。 “Nicky Romero还有Fedde Le Grand这些朋友看到我在录音室里弹吉他都很吃 惊,他们很喜欢,可能因为这个就更喜欢我了。也不是特地练习过的,只是 我弹了这多年吉他,只要一拿起就会自发地去弹,那应该是我最自然的状 态。平昌时的那首歌,是想把我喜欢什么,Raiden是谁,我的本心音乐都 融入进去而制作出来的。”


造就今日的Raiden的头等功臣是什么?当我问及在业界稍微站稳脚跟 的第一个转折点是什么时候,他毫不犹豫地回答“是在Protocol上发表 《Heart Of Steel》的时候”。而问起在Ultra Miami(Ultra迈阿密)做DJ 的经历感想时,他又再次强调了一遍Protocol的音乐发表。 “先制作音乐,在有一定反响后再进行活动,跟只做做DJ的时候是完全不 一样的。以前在Youtube上传Ultra视频,只有‘这是谁?’这类的回 复。但是现在Ultra结束后过一天再点进去看,会显示有很多其他的回 复。” “Nicky Romero的音乐本来是以Progressive和Electro为主,Future Bass是不放的。但是我的音乐签了Protocol之后,他就一直放, 很难以置信。那首歌是2017年1月发表的,2月我去泰国表演,到了之 后发现Nicky也在邀约行列。他对我说‘今天上吧’,我还心想‘什么? 我没有拜托他啊’。这样一来就在业界出了名,Fedde也给予我很多 支持,Martin也帮助我很多,就这样我走到了今天。” 《Heart Of Steel》一开始频频遭拒。自2013年录下第一和弦以 来,经历无数次修改润色,甚至明星主唱Bright Lights也参与了录 制,真正完成后,因为没有唱片公司愿意发行,还下定决心要免费提 供下载。不过把风格从Progressive House改成Future Bass之后, 反应马上就不同了。 “我躺在床上时脑海浮现了Future Bass的版本,觉得‘换成这样 好像更好’。一播放我和经纪人异口同声说‘就是这个了’。再次 发给Protocol之后,要求我给 他们一周时间。不久后,在那边 A&R工作的朋友通 过WhatsApp告诉我N ick y很喜欢 这首 歌。当时我在咖啡店里,经纪人还很丢脸的大喊大叫呢。( 笑)” Raiden的最终目标是什么?“至少也要当亚洲的第一名 吧。人生只有一次,我希望在音乐上能突破极限,实现梦 想,希望在历史留下我的名字。” 不过是有附带前提的。 “虽然往艺人方向发展的话会简单很 多,但那样的话最后就算成功,我也不会真心觉得幸福,那 并不是我想要的画面,有点像当了木偶。我是想坚持当一个音 乐家,一个有音乐性的DJ,而获得成功。我的粉丝是喜欢我的 音乐,而不是喜欢我演艺方面的什么,假如朝那边发展的话会 离我的本质越来越远。” u




デヴィッド・ゲッタ(David Guetta)は、2007年のアルバムタイトルのような「Pop Life」を送っている。 ハリウッドスター並みに有名で、専用機でワールドツアーに飛び回り、 フォーブス誌が発表する【世界で最も稼ぐDJランキング】に常に名前が挙がる。 近年の彼の音楽スタイルも少し「Pop」な感じに変わっている。



ヴィッド・ゲッタは世界で最も会うのが難しいDJの一人だ。彼の 曲がどこにでも流れているので親近感を感じられるかもしれな いが、まさしくその親近感こそが、彼を「直接」会うのが一番難 しいDJの一人にさせるのだ。著名なメディア媒体でも長い時間を取っても らうのはそう容易なことではない。 その難しさは彼が大衆への露出を避けたり、ジャーナリストを嫌ったり しているからではない。そうでもしないと彼自身の時間が一秒もなくなっ てしまうからである。EDMについて何の知識のない人でも、彼のヒット曲 「Titanium」なら知っているだろう。一体彼のもとには、どれほどのイン タビューの要請が入ってくるのだろうか。実際に『今日だけで何件のインタ ビューがあるのか』と聞いてみると回数までは言わなかったものの、 『もの すごく多い』と答えていた。1日に何回ものインタビューをこなすことが彼 にとっての日常生活なのだ。 ジャーナリストとしてもメディア媒体を相手にインタビューすることが多い ので、初対面の人の前で多くの事を語ることがいかに疲れる事かというの は充分理解できる。それが日常になってしまったゲッタだが、その体力は 果たしてどのようにして維持しているのだろうか。 『ヘルシーなものを食べ 運動もして出来る限り最高の状態になるように体調を管理しているんだ。 運動もいい気分を維持する上で非常に役に立つ。音楽が私の一番の情熱 であるという事実も、疲れ切った状態でも前に進み続けられるようにして くれるのさ』。 興味深いことに、彼は何もせずにぼーっとして休むことが好きだという。 『 実は公演の前にはいつもぼーっとしているのが好きなんだ。少し退屈に聞 こえるかもしれないけど、楽屋で目を閉じたまま座っている。瞑想みたい なもので、こうすると舞台に上がった時、気持ちが凄く高まるんだ』。 超ハードスケジュールをこなしていると曲を作る時間がどうしても足りなく なる。ぎっしり詰まったツアースケジュールの中でも定期的に新しいアルバ ムを出すためには不可能を可能にさせる魔法が必要だ。ゲッタは多忙なス ケジュールをこなしながらも曲作りの時間を非常に大事にしている。必要 ならば全ての事を後に回してでも優先してやる程だ。『最近、アルバムを 完成させるために3カ月間ほぼ全ての事をストップさせた。私は本当に曲 を作るための時間を大事にしているんだ。ツアーに出る時には飛行機の中 で制作をしたりもするけど、大事なプロジェクトを完成させる時には確実 に時間を取るようにしている。』 ベッドルームDJ達にしてみれば苦痛というより、むしろ幸せな人生に映る かもしれない。ゲッタは世界中のDJ達の夢を叶えたDJなのだ。5つのビル ボードトップ10を保有しており、グラミー賞には8回ノミネートされ、9百 万枚のアルバムと3千万枚のシングルのセールスを誇っている。一日で3回 の公演をこなしたこともある。 「ジョナサン・ロスショー」での話によると、 「Nothing But The Beat」のアルバムが発売された時に1日で3カ国を 回った。 『アルバムに入っている曲で1時間だけプレーし、すぐに飛行機に 乗って次の国に飛ぶんだ。あれは本当に慌ただしかったよ』。彼はこんな 日常が、誰かにとっては毎日願っている夢であることを知っているので、常 に自分の「今」に感謝している。 『愛している仕事を毎日できることがどれ だけ恵まれているのか、どんな言葉でもこの気持ちは表せない』。 しかしこんな弊害がある。 『家族にも友達にもあまり会えないという事を 受け入れないといけないけどね』。 ゲッタは今のような息つく暇もないスケジュールを清算して、フランスでレ ジデントをしていた頃に戻りたいと思う時はないのか。 『それはないよ。私 は今に大きく満足している。例えその頃の状況を変えることが出来るとし ても変えたくはないね。全ての思い出を大事にしているし、それが今の私 に繋がっているから』。


ゲッタが初めてハウスミュージックを耳にした1987年まで時計の針を戻 してみよう。1987年はハウスが初めて主流チャートで1位にあがった年で ある。スティーヴ・シルク・ハーリー(Steve Silk Hurley)の「Jack Your Body」が1987年1月にイギリスのチャート1位にあがった。当時のイギリ スDJ達の話を聞いてみると、確かに活発なパーティーシーンがあったのだ がゆったりとした音楽のスタイルのせいで非常に退屈だったという。そこ にハウスミュージックは新しい衝撃を与え、最初こそは酒瓶を投げつけら れる程の扱いを受けたものの、1988年にはロンドンとマンチェスターのア



ンダーグラウンドで大きな変化をもたらすほどの巨大なトレンドになった。 この大きな転換期にデヴィッド・ゲッタは初めてハウスミュージックを聴 くことになる。二十歳だった。すでにDJをしていた彼にとって「第二のサマ ー・オブ・ラブ」は胸が騒ぐほどの新しい世界だったはずだ。 それから20年が経った2007年に、ゲッタはヨーロッパで最も有名なDJ になる。 「Love Is Gone」がイギリスのシングルチャート9位にあがり、 同年最も愛されたハウスミュージックになった。彼の2000年代後半の曲 はアンダーグラウンドミュージックが主流になる上で大きく貢献した。デ スティニーズ・チャイルド(Destiny’s Child)のケリー・ローランド(Kelly Rowland)が歌った「When Love Takes Over」は何千キロも離れてい る韓国でも大人気だった。 「Love Is Gone」で一躍有名になったある日、一本の電話が彼の人生を もう一度大きく変えることになる。ブラック・アイド・ピーズ(The Black Eyed Peas)のウィル・アイ・アム(からプロデュースを提案され たのだ。その頃のブラック・アイド・ピーズは「Monkey Business」で世界 的なブームを巻き起こしていた。これをきっかけにゲッタはアメリカの巨大 な音楽市場に第一歩を踏み出すことになった。彼がアーティストのプロデ ューサーになったのもそれが初めてだった。プロ仕様のスタジオで作業す るのもその時が初めてだったという。 そうして完成した「I Gotta Feeling」は歴史に残るヒット曲になった。ビ ルボードチャートで14週間首位の座を守り続けた。この曲により、当時そ こまで有名ではなかったエレクトロハウスの大衆化が実現した。 「エレクト ロハウス」とは、ロックギターのような荒いサウンドを使うハウスミュージ ックを意味する。ハウス特有のパーティーDNAとダークで強烈なヴァイブ が同居しているのが特徴だ。 「I Gotta Feeling」はダンスポップにエレク トロハウスを融合させた曲だ。荒いベースサウンドが特にそうだ。スウェデ ィッシュ・ハウス・マフィア (Swedish House Mafia)も2012年に「Don’t You Worry Child」でビルボードチャート6位に上がったが、ゲッタはそ れよりも3年も前に14週間の1位を記録している。まさにゲッタは先駆者な のだ。ウルトラ・ミュージック・フェスティバル(ULTRA MUSIC FESTIVAL)の有名なMC、 Voice Of Dance Musicはゲッタをこのように紹 介している。 『現在の我々を存在させたアーティスト』と。 今ゲッタは世界で最も有名なDJだ。新作を発表すると音楽配信サイトの トップページで紹介され、クラブでも、地元のスーパーでも、バスの隣の誰 かのイヤホンからも彼の音楽が流れる。彼の音楽はそこらじゅうに存在す る。コラボレーションのリストだけを見ても彼がどれだけ有名で、どれほどの 影響力を持っているのかが分かる。リアーナ(Rihanna)、スヌープ・ドッグ (Snoop Dogg)、エイコン(Akon)、ニッキー・ミナージュ(Nicki Minaj)、 アッシャー(Usher)、シーア(Sia)、リル・ウェイン(Lil Wayne)、チャーリ ー・エックス・シー・エックス(Charli XCX)、ジャスティン・ビーバー(Justin Bieber)まで。彼は音楽業界のピラミッドの頂点で活躍しているのだ。

No.1 DJ In Asia

デヴィッド・ゲッタが出演した2018ウルトラコリア(Ultra Korea)の3日 目、その現場に行ってみた。ゲッタはこの日のメインタイムである夕方8時 に観客の前に登場した。 ウルトラコリアは韓国で一番人気のあるEDMフェスティバルだ。今年はな んと18万人を動員して、総動員数の過去最大記録を更新している。ゲッタ は2015年にもウルトラコリアに出演しているが、その時も今もゲッタのア ジアでのチケット販売力は物凄い。 ゲッタが公演を準備している間、4つのステージに分かれてバラバラになっ ていた観客がメインステージに集まってきた。少し後になると競技場の後 方に用意された飲食ブースにまで人がいっぱいになった。ウルトラコリア が開かれるオリンピック主競技場は韓国で最も大きい会場の一つだ。巨 大な人の波が物語っているように、最初の曲「Like I Do」が流れ出すと競 技場の観客から大歓声が沸き起こった。 アーティストの大衆的な人気を判断できるものとして、会場の皆が一緒に 歌う「群唱」がある。 「Titanium」の前奏が流れるや否や歓声が沸き起こ った。ボーカル部分でボリュームを下げると、待っていたかのように大きな 群唱が始まった。 「Titanium」は韓国だけではなく全世界のどこに行って も群唱をつくりだす。2018ウルトラマイアミでも観客がゲッタの指揮に合 わせて群唱した。自分の曲を世界のEDMファンが一緒に歌ってくれること


は、どんな気持ちだろうか。 『毎回鳥肌が立つんだ。人生で一番素晴らし い気持ちだよ』。 事実フェスティバルの観客は自分達が知っている曲が流れると一番盛り 上がる。原曲者が直接流すとなると盛り上がりは倍増する。数多くのヒッ ト曲を出したデヴィッド・ゲッタの観客の反応が熱い理由だ。彼は5つの ビルボードでトップテンを保有しており、アジアでも非常に多くのヒット 曲が出た。ウルトラコリアでも「Titanium」、 「Bad」、 「Ain’t A Party」、 「Play Hard」などの代表曲が出るたびに熱い歓声が起こった。観客は「 私のお気に入りの曲だ!」と言わんばかりの幸せな表情だった。 アジアのファンがゲッタを愛しているように、ゲッタもアジアのファンの熱 い反応を愛している。『普段、パーティーで体をリズムに乗せたりするみ たいに、アジアのファンは本当にそうしてくれるんだ。他人の視線は気にも せずに、ただ音楽を楽しんでいると思う。ウルトラコリアは常に素晴らしい よ。ショーのために本当に沢山準備をしてくるが、その結果は物凄かった。 観客、雰囲気、そしてショーの全てが素晴らしかったよ』。 アジアでゲッタが大きな人気を得ているのは、アジア圏内の特殊な状況 に関係がある。全体を一般化することは容易ではないので、韓国を例に挙 げてみよう。 韓国内のEDMブームはアメリカやヨーロッパに比べるとまだ低いレベル だ。フェスティバルの観客数がロックフェスティバルを上回り、メディア では仕方なく「EDMの時代」などと書いているが、家や街中で日常的に EDMを聴く人口はまだ少数だ。多くの人はビット中心の曲や反復のような エレクトロニクスダンスの手法に馴染みが無く、依然として電子音はあま りに人工的だとして嫌ってすらいる。ボーカルがなく、キックドラムとベー スが主導する曲はヒットはおろか、メジャーでリリースされることもあまり ない。韓国で一番多くの観客を集めているウルトラコリアもテクノ中心の レジスタンス(Resistance)ステージに多くの観客を呼び集めるまでに数

「音楽ビジネス」という商業があなたのクリエイティブさ を邪魔することはないのか。 私に良いエネルギーをくれる私が愛している人たちがそばにいるか




私の夢は出来るだけ長く音楽に携わり、 公演に立つことだね。

大きな期待を集めているが、 それが負担にはならないのか。



「Flames」のミュージックビデオに自ら出演している。 どうだったか聞かせて欲しい。 まず私は俳優ではないが、ミュージックビデオのアイデアが本当に




悪役とは言え、コミックな演技も披露していたが、 アーティストとしてのイメージは心配なかったのか。 全く心配していないよ。

年間を要した。今春、World DJ Festivalにポーター・ロビンソン(Porter Robinson)が出演した時にも、ほとんどの観客は長いブレークダウンの 時にはじっと立ちっぱなしで強いサウンドが出て初めて反応していた。 もちろん韓国にもハウス、テクノ、ベースシーンは存在する。ソウルのイテ ウォンに位置するテクノクラブのファウスト(Faust)ではよくセス・トロク スラー(Seth Troxler)、ベン・クロック(Ben Klock)のようなスーパー スターの公演も開かれている。しかし有名なクラブの数か所を除くと、ほ とんどのクラブが現状維持の状態に満足しており、増える一方であるDJの 数に比べると、ファンの規模は停滞している。 このような状況だからこそデヴィッド・ゲッタの曲は多くの点で有利なの だ。まず彼のヒット曲には常に大衆性受けする強いボーカルメロディーが 登場する。韓国ではボーカルの無いダンス音楽はヒットするのは難しい。 ボーカル中心のポピュラーなEDMを紹介するFacebookページが韓国最 大のEDMコミュニティになった程だ。韓国の人々はまた、持続的なグルー ヴよりも爆発的なドロップを好む。強力なビルドアップとドロップの手法を 好むデヴィッド・ゲッタの曲がヒットするのは必然なのだ。韓国にはEDM の媒体が少ないことも有利に働いた。専門的にダンスミュージックを扱う マガジンはほとんどなく、あるとしても影響力は小さいので、ビルボードの トップランキングに入って主流メディアの関心を集められなかったら大衆 的に知られるのは難しい。 「EDM」というキーワードといつも一緒に言及 されるデヴィッド・ゲッタは誰よりも有利な位置にいるのだ。


このような状況は韓国だけではないはずだ。例として、ビルボードのエレク トロニクスダンスチャートをみるとビートポート(Beatport)の上位にはフ ロアー的な音楽はほとんどない。ほとんどがラジオ好みのポップEDMだ。 もちろん韓国よりもアメリカの状況がはるかに良いのは事実だ。アメリカは アンダーグラウンドの規模が大きいので、7分のハウスミュージックをリリ ースしても聞いてくれる人は大勢いる。だが一方で、アメリカの状況も韓国 と似ている側面もあるといえる。アンダーグラウンドを離れた途端、ほぼ ほぼジャスティン・ビーバーになる覚悟が必要なほど極端な市場なのだ。 EDMがフェスティバルを超えてYouTubeやラジオ、スポティファイ (Spotify) にまで進出したことでポップ形式とポップなメロディーの重要 性は更に増してきた。ザ・チェインスモーカーズ(The Chainsmokers) が「Closer」でビルボードチャート12週の間1位をキープした以降は更に そうだ。今やRLグライム(RL Grime)のようなベースミュージックアーテ ィストも、ポップフュージョンミュージックを発表している。もはやポップ EDMの時代だといえる。 最近発表したシングルから判る事だが、ゲッタにこの流れに逆らう気はな いようだ。 「Flames」を聴けば判るように、むしろポップの要素を強めて 全面勝負に乗り出す姿勢だ。 「ポップEDM」から「EDM」を取ってもいい レベルの歌ではないだろうか。通常ポップの要素が強いEDMを作るとし てもドロップの部分ではシンセサイザーを中心に置くのだが、 「Flames」 はヴァース(Verse)やコーラスパートの全てでボーカルが前面に出てい る。ポップとのフュージョンではなく100%ポップを追求したのだろう。 曲によってその程度は異なるが、方向性は似ている。 「Don’t Leave Me Alone」はダンスフロアよりも家で聴きやすい曲だ。導入部はまるでバラー ド曲のようにビットもなく幻想的な演奏とボーカルのみで始まる。 ビッグルームプロデューサーと共同制作した曲でも変化が感じられた。マ ーティン・ギャリックス(Martin Garrix)とコラボレーションした「So Far Away」はブルース調のギターで始まる悲壮感のあるR&Bだ。フューチャ ーベーススタイルのドロップが登場するが、全体的にフロアーよりもイヤ ホンに向いていそうな音楽だ。 しかしゲッタの関心の全てがビルボードにあるわけではない。彼は今でも 尚DJである。 「Like I Do」や「Your Love」はロングヒットさせ、フェス ティバルでのプレイを狙ったビッグルームだ。ゲッタは自分のルーツがどこ にあるのか忘れていない。EDMフェスティバルとクラブに適した音楽を作 り、ポップヒットメーカーとトップDJの両方である事に手を抜いていない。 ポップの傾向が強くなったこと自体が試験的な試みの諦めを意味するわ けでもない。ゲッタはこう語る。 『私はサウンドで実験したり、予想外のこ とを考え出すことが大好きだ。次に私が何を持ち出してくるか見守ってく れ!』。u



18万人動員して、 韓国最


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ウルトラコリアは今年も最多観 客数 を更 新した。昨年の記録 を く超え、18万人 を動員したのだが、この成長の背景 にはどんな秘訣があるのか。 ライター:イ・デファ_ _


という数字にもなると「観客」ではなく「人 の波」と表現した方がいいように思えた。雨が降っ た二日目の夜には、服を濡らしたくない人達が室内 の通路に一気に押し寄せて5m進むのに1分もかかっ た。隣の人と肩がぶつかった。知り合いはドリンクを 買いに行って戻ってくるのに30分もかかっていた。 ウルトラが2012年にスタートした時、音楽関係者の ほとんどは「長続きしない」とみていた。韓国国内の EDM人気はフェスティバル級の公演を実現させる 程ではないと見ていたからだ。 韓国国内のEDMマニアが少数だという事実は今で も変わりはない。しかし成功だった最初の何回かが 口コミで広がると、なんとなくEDMに好奇心を持っ ていた一般の観客が詰めかけ、結果的にロックフェ スティバルを抜いてウルトラが夏の人気イベントに なったのだ。 この成長の背景には、3つの秘訣がある。第一に、

華やかなラインアップだ。フェスティバルの観客が 期待することは、有名なグローバルアーティストをロ ーカルで見ることだ。事実ウルトラコリアはいつもそ の期待に応えているといえるだろう。今年もザ・チェ インスモーカーズ (The Chainsmokers)、アクスウ ェルΛイングロッソ(Axwell Λ Ingrosso)、デヴ ィッド・ゲッタ(David Guetta)等、本場マイアミの 2018年度ヘッドライナーがほぼそのまま訪韓した。 第二に、アクセスの良さがある。ウルトラコリアが開 かれるオリンピック競技場はほとんどのEDMファン が暮らすソウル、その中でも交通が便利なチャムシ ルに位置している。ウルトラコリアは、地下鉄で1時 間も行かないうちに世界的なラインアップを見られ る時代を切り開いた。第三に、先駆者というブラン ドパワーを有しているという事だ。懸念する声があ る中で始まり、成功したという神話、EDMトレンド をいち早くキャッチして先頭を走っているというイメ ージが皆の脳裏に焼き付かれている。

ザ・チェインスモーカーズ、 シーン変化の象徴

二日目は雨で夕方はジメジメした気分だったが、不 思議なことにザ・チェインスモーカーズが舞台に上 がるや否や、雨が止んのだ。湿っぽいレインコート を脱ぎ捨てる時の気分、それは言わなくても伝わる と思う。ちょうど涼しい風まで吹き始め、スッキリし た気分になった。このウォームアップは天からの贈 り物だ。ザ・チェインスモーカーズは運に恵まれてい る。ザ・チェインスモーカーズが二日目のヘッドライ ナーに決まったのは、シーンの変化を象徴している。 ザ・チェインスモーカーズが遥か彼方の韓国でメイ ンタイムに立てる理由は、ビルボード12週首位の曲 「Closer」の存在があったからだ。これはエレクト ロハウスの時代、ビックルームの時代を超えてポッ プEDMの時代が始まっていることを匂わせる。成 功の秘訣が「巧みなプロデュース」という時代は過 ぎて、今や「ビルボードでのヒット曲があること」へ と変化している。ザ・チェインスモーカーズは今年マ イアミでも二日目のヘッドライナーとして登場した。 マイアミは時代の変化にいち早く乗り、韓国もその 後を追った形となった。 ザ・チェインスモーカーズの選曲はベースミュージッ クが中心だった。勇壮なベースドロップがスピーカー に鳴り響く度に、観客は「これだ!」という顔で飛び 跳ねていた。ヒット曲が流れると必ずスマホのカメ ラが向けられた。この日にアップされたSNSの映像 をタイムラインで並べると、一日中スクロールできる ほどだ。PRブースで無料配布したコンドームを膨ら ませて風船のように飛ばす人もいれば、それを面白 がって動画に撮る人もいる。果たして彼らはみんな ヴォイス・オブ・ダンス・ミュージックの望み通りに『 ハッシュタグ・ウルトラ』を付けていたのだろうか。

ザ・チェインスモーカーズのセットで一番ユニークだ った点はライブとDJが共存していた事だ。アレック スがDJする間アンドリューはブースに上がってライ ブで歌った。プロデュースチームの中にボーカルが いるという点は非常に大きな強みになる。DJパー ティーを一瞬にしてライブコンサートに出来るから だ。観客はアンドリューがブースに上がる瞬間を一 番楽しんでいた。一番のヒット曲を流すという意味 でもあったからだ。アンドリューがブースで最初に 歌った曲は「Everybody Hates Me」だった。 「Paris」も、 「Closer」もアンドリューが直接歌った。観 客は好きな曲が出るとただ聞いているだけではな く、一緒に大声で口ずさんでいた。歌う声が一番大 きくなった瞬間は「Roses」の『Say You’ll Never Let Me Go』のパート、そして「Closer」の『I, I, I, I, I Can’t Stop』のパートだった。 ザ・チェインスモーカーズの舞台を見ていると、DJと ライブが融合された舞台が今の時代にどれだけ大 きな力を発揮するのかが分かってくる。ここ最近の EDMのメインステージでライブとDJの融合が増え ているのも、DJたちがそのパワーに気付いているか らではないだろうか。二日目の終盤、ライデン(Raiden)もセバスチャン・イングロッソ(Sebastian Ingrosso)の「Reload」に乗せてエレキギターを即興 で演奏した。中学生からギターを弾いてきた彼は、 ハウスミュージックと同じ位にロックも愛している。 「Reload」が終わるとライブドラムまで合流して、 ミューズ(Muse)の「Knights Of Cydonia」を生 演奏した。AR付きのライブではあるもののEDMフ ェスティバルでハードロックの舞台を見るという斬 新さはそれが持ちうる弱みを十分にカバーしてい た。午後の時点では観客は多くなかったが、二日目 の最高の瞬間の一つだった。

マニアの好評を得たZHUの ライブ

今年もライブステージにはチルアウトゾーンが用意 されていた。入口に入ると、手を上げて飛び跳ねて いる前方の人達と、ほぼ寝転がった状態の後方の人 達が同時に目に入ってきた。ライブステージは公演 会場でもあり、レストランでもあるのだ。サッカー場 程にもなる大きさの芝生を囲んでフードゾーンが形 成され、観客はフードを片手に三々五々集まって芝 生に座って食べたりしていた。メインステージではス タッフにより座っている観客を取り締まっていたが、 ライブステージではそのような規制がない。 『空間の雰囲気が大事なんだ。素晴らしい公演の半 分はそういうもので出来ている』。ZHUはビルボー ドとのインタビューでその様に語ったが、彼の言葉 は確かだった。音楽と憩いが共存する雰囲気、飛び 跳ねる人と寝転がる人が共存する雰囲気こそが、ダ ンサブルで落ち着きもある彼の音楽に最適な環境 を提供した。ライブステージの観客はディープな音 楽に理解があるということも良い反応に繋がったは ずだ。 ZHUはいつものようにギタリストを一人、サックス奏 者を一人連れて舞台に表れた。ダークな衣装のシル エットの上に彼の曲に合ったスモークが舞台に漂う と、音楽と舞台が一つに、化学的に融合される。第4 のメンバーである「Z」の形をした舞台がブルーのネ オン照明を発すると、ひんやりとして神秘的なムード が会場の後方にまで届いた。観客は昼間の熱気を 冷まし、ビールを片手にギターとサックスのしっとり とした演奏に酔いしれてリズムに乗っていた。 ZHUはテンポコントロールが巧かった。幻想的な 曲の後に強力な曲で跳躍したり、DJ一本にしたり ギターやサックスの上にソロタイムを乗せたりもし た。 「Faded」、 「Working For It」のようにファン が期待するヒット曲も必ず入れ、リンキン・パーク


JPN (Linkin Park)の「Faint」を流してみんなを吃驚 させたりもした。興奮と落ち着きのテンポを上手に コントロールして、コンサートとパーティーの境界線 を崩した。 ZHUと韓国の観客との出会いは今回が初めてだっ た。ビッグルームやポップEDMが主流の韓国で彼 の音楽が通じるか不安だったが、それは余計な心 配だったようだ。SNSにアップされたコメントを見 ただけでも、初日のヘッドライナーはZHUだったの ではと思うほど反応は熱かった。熱い賛辞の背景に は、DJだけではないライブを、EDMだけではない ディープなヴァイブを求める変化があるようだった。 アメリカとヨーロッパでシーンが変化しているよう に、7年目に入ったウルトラコリアの観客も、やはり変 化していたのだ。

大規模で華麗なるプロダク ション

ㅌ初日の午後8時、ゼッド(Zedd)が舞台に上がる 頃にはソウルの空は昼から夕方に移りつつあり、メ インステージの照明と映像は昼間には隠していた真 価を表し始めていた。 競技場全体をギッシリ詰めた圧倒的な規模も驚き だったが、音楽とぴったり合うドラマチックな演出に さらに驚いた。まるで音楽の動きそのものを照明や 映像で再現した様にも思えた。 「Spectrum」を例 に挙げてみると、その神秘的なブレイクダウンが現 れる時には全ての照明が落とされ、レーザーだけが スローで朦朧な動きを見せていた。ビルドアップか らホワイトノイズが鳴り響く時には、白い閃光でス テージがいっぱいになった。この日の公演を録画し てミュートにしてから観ても、どこがビルドアップで どこがブレイクダウンなのかが伝わる。照明を担当 したトータルコリアのチェ・ジングン部長によると、 今年のウルトラコリアに『ムービングライトだけでも 400個』が導入された。 『一般的な大きい会場の場 合でも70~80台しか入らない。ここ最近ではEDM 公演が増えてきて、ウルトラのレベルで使う公演も 増えてきたが、ウルトラは特に多い』。巨大なメイン ステージのスクリーンにはLEDパネルが2000個も 入る。映像を担当しているジョウンメディアのソン・ ヨンフン部長は『規模が大きいフェスティバルや歌 手は普通1000個以上使う』という。 規模が大きいことだけが素晴らしい演出に繋がるわ けではない。最も大事なことは用意されたハードウ ェアをどのように使いこなすかにある。『同じ照明 があってもその使い方によって画が変わる。私達が 全く同じようなセットを用意しても入るアーティスト やデザイナーが変われば画は完全に違うものにな る』とチェ・ジングン部長はいう。 今年のヘッドライナーは、ほとんどが専属のビジ ュアルチームと一緒に訪韓した。照明からレーザ ー、VJに至るまで全てを連れてくる場合もあった。 ゼッドの舞台で音楽とビジュアルが一体になってい た秘訣は、アーティストとビジュアルチームが事前 にきめ細かく調整してきた事にある。結局、ビジュ アルプロダクションによる感動は、主催側がどれだ けの投資するのか、そしてそれを誰がどのように活 用するのかに掛かっているといえる。2018年のウル トラコリアには規模と世界的な舞台演出家が揃って いた。 EDMの舞台演出は、いくつかの点でロックやその他 のジャンルとは異なると言える。第一に、転換のタイ


CARL CRAIG カール・クレイグ パーティーは好きか?

もちろん。 「いい感じ」のパーティーなら本当に幸せになる。でもパーティーに対す

る私の哲学は少し異なっていて、そもそもDJではなくスタジオで曲を作ることから 始めていたからかもしれない。それで私が考えているDJとパーティーは、テンショ ンを上げるだけのパーティーマンではないんだ。私がDJする理由は、もう少しDJ

の美学に関連があり、私の音楽を流すため。私の音楽を流せる場所がただクラブと パーティーであるだけなんだ。



の公演についてどう思うのか、そして人々が私について何を知っているのかによって 左右されるから。本当にたくさんの変数がある。観客が私の名前は知っていても音

楽は知らない場合もあるし、私の舞台が初めてで、何を期待すればいいのかわから ない場合もある。例えばEDMでDJした時、私は観客がなにを期待しているかはわ

かっていたけど、彼らがEDMフェスティバルではこんな曲が必要だと望んでいたよ うな曲は流さないんだ。私はみんながテクノを聴きたくなるようにしたいし、実際 そのような曲を流しちゃうんだ。

ツアーが終わってデトロイトに戻ったら、普段はどんなことをしてい るのか。


フレッシュするね。気持ちをリフレッシュさせるために努め、ぐっすり寝たりもする。 でも一番優先してやるのはスタジオに行って、ボーっとしがらまた慣れようとする


しているうちにまた集中できるようになるんだ。それに調査や研究もする。座ってど んなキックドラムが完璧か調べたりもするんだけど、めちゃくちゃ時間が掛かるん だ。ハハハ。

NICOLE MOUDABER ニコール・マウデイバー ロングセットを流すことで有名だ。最長は何時間か。

数カ月前に13時間流したの。そしてそれが本当に大好き!私が愛している音楽を丸 っきり全部流せるから。そしてそれを積み上げながら私の話を聞かせてあげる。こ

れは基礎から家を建てるのと同じことなのよ。最初はベースが入って、そこに積み上 げて、そこにまた積み上げて、積み上げて、積み上げて…そうしているうちに毎回新 しいことを見つけだしたりする、そういう過程が大好きなの。

ロングセットにまつわる面白いエピソードがあれば紹介して欲し い。


に行くのを見たことがない』と聞いてくるの。本当に行かないのよ?没頭しすぎて忘 れちゃうの。多分一回くらいは行くかもしれないけど、それ以上は…


私は絶対公演中はお酒を飲まないの。絶対に。飲むのはお水だけで、ビタミンをた くさん取る。音楽に酔いたいし、他は何もいらないの。


私が流すのはテクノだけじゃないわ。ハウスからテクノに至るまであらゆる音楽を 流すの。私は音楽が好きで、音楽に生きて、音楽で呼吸する。パーカッションが多

く、グルービーな感じで、こんな感じで腰を振りたくなるような音楽(実際に踊って くれた)が私のスタイルなのよ。 「プット・ユア・ハンズ・アップ」みたいな雰囲気の

EDMはゴミ。もっとグルービーなもの、 『私のお尻を触って!』みたいな感じ。へへ へ。それが私が好きな音楽なの。

ミングがぴったり合っている。ソン・ヨンフン部長は 『EDMのVJが持っているスイッチャー(コントロー ラー)とロックの人が持ってくるスイッチャーは全然 違う』という。また『組まれた通りに進む一般公演と は違って、音楽が変わればそれに即興的に合わせな ければいけない』とEDMのVJの素晴らしさを褒め ていた。第二に、他のジャンルに比べ、演出が特に 華やかである。ジサン・バレーやインチョン・ペンタ ポートの照明を担当したチェ・ジングン部長はウル トラとロックフェスティバルの違いについてこのよう に語った。 『ロックはアーティストのパフォーマンス が楽しいので、そこに集中される。一方でEDMはDJ が歌唱や生演奏をしないので視覚的な効果が重要 だ。映像についてもロックフェスティバルの場合は アーティスト中継が主だが、EDMはパターンやイメ ージを回しながら視覚的な効果を与える』。 EDMフェスティバルにおいて欠かせないもう一つの 名脇役は花火だ。ウルトラコリアは毎年、競技場の 天井に沿って丸い形を作る花火を披露してきた。今 年はそれを二周もさせたのだ。関係者にオフレコで 費用を聞いてみると、想像を絶する額だった。今や ウルトラコリアを象徴する名物になっている上に、 費用も高額なので主催側でも準備を万端に整える。 フォトグラファーが待機して無線機でタイミングを 調整するという。 巨大な花火のドーム天井が現れた時、舞台ではデ ヴィッド・ゲッタがダフトパンク(Daft Punk)の 「One More Time」を流していた。世界的な名 声を誇るデヴィッド・ゲッタだが、その瞬間だけは花 火に主人公の座を譲った。観客も一斉に視線を空に 移し、花火が見事に打ち上げられる度に驚きの喚声 を上げていた。トイレに向かっていた人までも立ち 止まって空を眺めていた。鼻をくすぐる火薬のにお いも嫌ではなかった。それはまさしく2018年ウルト ラコリアの最高の瞬間だった。u





韓国のDJでありプロデューサーであるライデン(Raiden) は1年の1/3を海外で過ごしている。 そこで得た経験や自信で世界のEDMの中心 に一歩ずつ近づいている。

ライター:イ・デファ_ _

際に会ってみるとライデン(Raiden)は話し方がどこか内気な人だ った。目つきは素朴な感じで、丸くて、二重瞼でもなかった。家に戻 り録音したファイルを聴いてみると、最初の10分は緊張したかのよ うな小さな声だったので音量を最大に上げたほどだった。そんな彼 が、フェスティバルのメインステージの上でガーっと手を上げて自作 の曲を披露したり、時にはブースの上で大胆な即興演奏を披露した りするのが不思議だった。 『自分でも不思議だと思います。昔、ジミ・ヘンドリッ クス(Jimi Hendrix)も普段は内気でシャイですが、ステージに上がるとギター を燃やしたりしましたよね。自分もそんな性格なんじゃないかと思います』。 ライデンは、世界のEDMシーンの中心まで近づいた数少ないアジア出身DJの 一人だ。リードグループレベルではないにせよ、アジア生まれで今でもアジアで 暮らしているDJの中では断トツだと言える。今、ビートポート(Beatport)に入 ってみると、プロトコールレコーディングス(Protocol Recordings)のTOP10 トラックにライデンが制作した「C’est La Vibe」、 「Acid Love」がそれぞれ3 位と8位に上がっていた。そしてマーティン・ギャリックス(Martin Garrix)の スタンプ・レコード(STMPD RCRDS)のTOP10でもやはりライデンの「Keep My Light On」が4位に上がっていた。そして2017年にはウルトラマイアミ(Ultra Miami)で韓国人として初めてメインステージに立った。また同年のトゥモ ローランド(Tomorrowland)のステージにも立った。今年開かれたピョンチャ ン冬季オリンピックでは韓国代表DJとして出演し、全世界十億人余りの視聴者


を前にライブを披露した。 『最近マーティン・ギャリックスのイビザパーティーに行ったのですが、ダイロ (Dyro)や有名な人が揃っていたんですね。アジア人は自分だけだったので( そこにいたDJ達が)ジュリアン・ジョーダン(Julian Jordan)に私を誰なのか 聞いたりしていました。ライデンだよと言ったら「あ!知ってるよ!」と言われま した。みんな名前だけは知っていたんですね。 「結構昇り詰めてきたな」と思え てテンションが上がりました。私は韓国で公演する時よりヨーロッパで公演する 時の方がファンが多いんです。街を歩いている時に気付いてくれたり、大人気と まではいかないですが、それでも自分の事をライデンマニアだと言ってくれる人 もいるんです。』 彼の成果は、決してある日突如得られたものではない。無謀とも思われる自己 投資にチャレンジし、ノウハウや経験を積み上げてきた結果なのだ。ライデン は、1年の1/3を海外で過ごしている。詰まっているスケジュールの為でもある が、自費で海外のミュージシャン達と現地でコラボレーションをしながら彼ら とネットワークを築いているのだ。『音楽制作は、顔を見ながら進めるのが一 番確実なんです。メールでやり取りしたりもしますが、全部説明しきれないんで す。出来るだけ会って進めたいんです』。 アジア出身のDJに対する偏見を壊して彼らの間に入るために、ライデンは数え 切れない程キャリーバッグを引いて、酷い時差ボケにも耐えてきた。自分の公演 があるわけでもないのに、コラボレーションの為だけにアフリカやオランダを行 き来したりもした。 「ここまでしないといけないのか」と気落ちしたこともあるが、 その経験を通じて少しずつEDMリーダー達の成功の秘訣を学んできたのだ。 『DJなら必ずイビザに行かないといけないんです。イビザには沢山の巡り会い があるんです。例えば、マーティン・ギャリックスのパーティに招待されて行って みると、そこにはザ・チェインスモーカーズ(The Chainsmokers)だけでは なく、本当に多くの有名人がいるんです。マーティンのパーティが12時に終わる と、みんなが口を揃えて「デヴィッド・ゲッタ(David Guetta)のパーティーに 行こう!」と言うんです。そんな毎日が一週間ずっと続きました。ビジネスで会う のではなく、自然に巡り会い、一緒にお酒を飲みながら仲良くなるんです。それ が一番いいことじゃないですか』。 イビザに行かないといけない理由は、ネットワーク構築以外にもう一つある。 『

そこではEDMよりテクノとかアンダーグラウンドミュージックの方が影響力が強 いんです。それに心酔しているうちに、ハッと気付くんです。 「あ、これこそがハウ スミュージックなんだ」と。そこでは普段シャンパンにどれぐらいのお金を費や そうと悩むのが日課の人でも、単純にアンダーグラウンドミュージックを楽しむ んです。クラブのデコレーションもパーティーによって毎日変わります。私はテク ノはやりませんが、そこで何日か過ごしているうちに、作曲する時に知らぬ間に テクノ的なものが出来上がったりします。イビザでのムードが私の中に残ってい るという証拠ですよね。それこそが本当のインスピレーションになるんです』。 ここ最近ではイビザが過度に商業化へ走っているという批判をよく見かけた が、ライデンが話してくれたイビザはまた違った印象だった。 『そういう時期もあ りましたね。本当にEDMが熱くなり始めた頃じゃないでしょうか。2012年から 2014年の間かな。でも3年くらい前から変わってきているようです。昔行ったと きは、ハードウェル(Hardwell)、フェデ・ル・グランド(Fedde Le Grand)、 カルヴィン・ハリス(Calvin Harris)などのポスターでいっぱいだったのですが、 いまは私の知人ですら流せません。ショーもないし、ブッキングがあってもビッ グDJ達にいっちゃうんですね。EDMはウシュアイア(Ushuaïa)とかコマーシャ ルな所、観光客が多いところでやってますが、それがメインではないんです。もう EDMパーティーはほとんどなくて、 マルコ・カローラ(Marco Carola)のパーティ ー、ソロモン(Solomun)のパーティーの方がポピュラーなんです』。


ライデンは中学1年生の時に初めてギターを握り、そ こから音楽の世界に入門した。あるギタリストが我を 忘れた顔でソロ演奏をする動画を見た時、 「一体どん な気分なんだろう」と気になり、当てもなくギターを購 入した。そこから1年間はギター教室に通ったり、バ ンドを組んだりしてギターとロックの世界に浸って いた。高校1年の時には遠縁の親戚で韓国の有名 ギターリストであるハン・サンウォンを紹介され、学 ぶ機会を得た。 『私はその頃最新のロックミュージシャンにハマっていま した。でもハン先生はブルースのような昔の曲を宿題に出し てくれたんです。 「君が好きな音楽のルーツは全てここにあるん だよ」と言って。私は言われた通りに学びました。高校を卒業して から日本にある音楽学校に留学したのですが、先生方が私が弾い ているのを見て、なんで敢えてここに来たのかと問うのです。私が天 才だとかそういう事ではなくて、そこは基礎的なことから学ぶ場所だ ったんですね。私は既に基礎が出来上がっている状態で行ったわけ で。そこで初めてハン先生から学んだ事が実感出来たんです』。 根っからのロックミュージシャンで、最初はDJはあまり楽しくなか ったという。 『ギターで公演するとその日の感情や体調によって違 う演奏が出来るんですね。自分で自分を発散するみたいに。で もDJは、録音された曲をボタンを押して皆に投げかける事だか ら、私のテンションが爆発するには限界がありました。でも、続 けてやってみたらDJとしての楽しみ方はそれだけではなかった

んです。人と息を合わせたり、観客をリードしてみたりと、バンドでは想像もでき なかったことを経験できました。音楽が上手く混ざり合った時、本当に痺れるん です』。 そんな彼だが、近頃ギターを握ることが増えたという。ピョンチャン冬季オリン ピックの閉幕式がその良い例である。ただそのイベントだけのために作曲した 曲を流し、その上に生のギターを演奏した。ウルトラコリア(Ultra Korea)舞 台でもギターを持ってブースに上がった。ライブドラムまで組み入れ、ミューズ (Muse)の「Knights Of Cydonia」を演奏した。 『観客はDJだけを観ることに疲れていると思います。元々人はパフォーマンス が好きなんです。ウルトラコリアの前には ワールドDJフェスティバル(World DJ Festival)でアヴィーチー (Avicii)の曲をパフォーマンスしたのですが、最 後の「Wake Me Up」でみんな大歓声を上げてくれたんです。そういう事自体 を楽しんでいるんだと思います』。ハイレベルなギターの実力は、海外のアー ティストがライデンを好きな理由の一つでもある。『ニッキー・ロメロ(Nicky Romero)やフェデ・ル・グランド(Fedde Le Grand)のようなDJ達が、私が スタジオでギターを弾くと驚き、楽しんでくれるんです。それで私の事をもっと 好きになってくれているんだと思います。それは練習してやれるものではなく て、一生やってきたからギターを握ると自然と弾いちゃうものなんです。それが ありのままの自分の姿だと思います。ピョンチャンの時も、私は何が好きで、ラ イデンがどんなDJなのか、私のルーツから生まれる音楽を全て込めようという 気持ちで作りました』。


今のライデンを創りあげる一番大きい要素は何なのか。ある程度落ち着い てきたと思えた最初のポイントは何か聞くと、迷うことなく『プロトコールで 「Heart Of Steel」をリリースしたこと』だと彼は答えた。そしてウルトラマイ アミでのDJキャリアはどうかと聞くと、またもやプロトコールでの曲のリリース だと強調した。 『曲を作ってある程度の反応を集めてから活動する事と、最初からDJだけをし た場合では全く違います。昔はYouTubeにウルトラでの動画を載せても「誰こ れ?」というコメントしかなかったんです。でも今はウルトラの一日後に入ってみ ると全く違ったコメントが見られます』。 『ニッキー・ロメロはもともとプログレッシブ(Progressive)やエレクトロ (Electro)を中心に流すDJで、フューチャーベース(Future Bass)はあまり やらないんですが、信じられない事に私とコラボレーションしてからはずっと流 しているんです。その曲を出したのが2017年1月で、2月に公演でタイに行った のですが、行ってみるとニッキーもブッキングがされていたんです。彼に 「今日上がってきてよ」と言われて「え?上がらせてって頼んでもいない のに?」と思いました。それからシーンでも知られているフェデも凄くサ ポートしてくれて、マーティンも力になってくれて、それで今に至っている んだと思います』。 「Heart Of Steel」は最初は何度も断られた曲だ。2013年、最初にコー ド録音した後、数え切れない程に手直しを入れて力を込めた曲で、スター ボーカルのブライトライツ(Bright Lights)も参加してくれたのだが、い ざ完成させてみるとリリースしてくれるレーベルが見つからず、フリーダ ウンロードで公開しようかと思った程だ。そこでジャンルをプログレッ シブハウスからフューチャーベースに変えてみたところ、反応に大きな 変化が現れた。 『ベッドに寝転がっていたら、フューチャーベースのバージョンが頭に浮 かんだんです。 「こう変えてみたらいいかも」と思って作って流した時、マネ ージャーと同時に「お!これだ!」となったんです。それをプロトコールに 投げかけてみたら、一週間時間をくれと言われました。少し後でA&R 担当の知人がWhatsAppでニッキーが気に入っていると伝えてくれ たんです。その時カフェにいたのですが、マネージャーが叫び出して ちょっと恥ずかしかったです(笑)』。 ライデンのゴールは何処なのか。 『少なくともアジアで1位にはな りたいですね。一回限りの人生で、アーティストとしても限界を超 えてやっていきたいです。音楽業界の歴史に残りたいんです』。 しかし前提付きだった。 『芸能界で実現していくという簡単な道 もありますが、それで成功したとしても私は心の底からから幸せ にはなれないと思います。私が描くものではないというか、操り人 形になったみたいだし、私はミュージシャン、音楽性のあるDJ、そう いうものを守り抜きながら成功したいんです。私のファンは私の音楽 が好きなわけであって、芸能人としてのライデンが好きなわけではな いんです。その道に進むと本質から離れてしまう気がします』。 u



JOCKEY JOURNAL e world’s The on-the-road diary of th top DJs treading the globe


Food! I love food. You love food. We all love food, right? From touring, I have been very fortunate enough to experience some of the best foods from around the world in some of the best restaurants. But, what is more interesting to me is checking out some of the local foods. Here is a picture from my tour in Hanoi, Vietnam. After the show, I asked the artist hospitality staff to show me something more local so we checked out some street food and street Pho on the outskirts of town. It was definitely the best Pho I’ve ever tried and really glad to have made the adventure out there. You can really appreciate the culture a lot more! There are some amazing eats in every country.


Love the people of Seoul. This is my hometown and I always love playing at Ultra Korea. The crowd and energy was crazy. But, with my new style of Djing and music, I get to play more softer and story-driven emotional music alongside the hard banger stuff. This is really awesome to see how Korea’s musical taste has evolved and grown over the years! It gives me a lot of hope and confidence to play different styles of music and take bigger risks rather than the typical club music you normally hear when going out and partying. What I love about this picture is the fans are all super happy and repping Justin Oh and Monstercat flags. I also love to see this when travelling around other countries in Asia. Together we have come a long way in dance music and we have more to go in the future!


There are cool people doing some cool shit in all genres of music. I’ve been lucky to meet some other amazing musicians during my shows and work. This is a picture with some really amazing hip-hop acts in the k-hiphop/k-pop scene, GroovyRoom, Sik-k, and Haon. They killing it right now and we thought it would be dope to have special surprise guest appearance for one of my shows for the fans. It was a ton of fun and the crowd loved it. Korean hip-hop has exploded in the past years and there has been a wave of Asian rap sweeping globally as well. It’s always awesome to embrace and celebrate change and the evolution of music. Maybe we’ll do a song together in the future!?



This one is pretty random, haha. But, I always don’t know what to do with my hair. Never really dyed it. Don’t know if I want to dye it. I tried perming my hair a couple times to get some sick waves. But, maybe I should just stick to wearing a hat? What do you think?


I never had a fear of flying. It felt normal to me like driving a car or riding a bus. But, that all changed. A while back when returning from a show in Tokyo, our flight was grounded for a good couple hours. There was a hurricane passing through that was delaying and grounding the entire airport. Two hours passed with no end in sight. All the food ran out from concessions and we weren’t allowed to leave our seats. Small cheers arise when the hero pilot announced that we would take off and start going home. But, by the time the plane was airborne that all changed very quickly. It was the rockiest ascent I have witnessed. Felt like a baby was shaking a rattle and the plane was the rattle. People were praying in the next aisle over and the passenger next to me left fingernail marks from gripping my arm so tightly. It started to feel like Mother Nature was going to win this one. Luckily, the pilot eventually managed to break out of the storm and we hit clear skies for the rest of our journey home. I still don’t have a fear of flying, but I do get small flashbacks from PTSD every time my plane hits a little turbulence nowadays. If I do a USA tour soon, I would want do it old school tour bus or gig van style. Road trip between gigs and hit some tourist places like Grand Canyon and Texas BBQ spots. Sometimes though, it isn’t always practical and flying is the only option.


A cool thing about playing festivals is that it’s always fun backstage! The staffs are really friendly, there is good food, and everyone is having a great time at the festival. You can also hang out with other artists and talk music. The vibe is always really chill and cool. Here is a picture when I bumped into Marshmello. n



ultra korea a’s Largest Music Festival,


Attracting 180,000 People 180,000 people.


You don’t see individual faces anymore, it’s more like a sea of shades of skin. On the rainy second day, the indoor main entrance was so packed that we were shifting our feet at the meagre speed of 1m/s. Shoulders bumping into shoulders. A friend looking for something to drink was lost in the sea of people for half an hour. When Ultra Korea started in 2012, most people in the industry predicted it would fizzle out soon, thinking the Korean EDM fanbase was too small to sell all the tickets. It is true that EDM is not mainstream yet in Korea, but after Ultra Korea gained traction and rumours spread, the festival grew to rightfully claim its place amongst other established festivals.

What was behind this success? Largely three reasons. First, the line-up was top-notch on a global scale. Korean audiences want to see the hottest global artists at their doorstep. Ultra Korea was swift and smart on catching that trend. This year’s line-up was of The Chainsmokers, Axwell Λ Ingrosso, David Guetta—the majority of headliners during Ultra Miami. Second, the festival grounds were so accessible. Ultra Korea is held at Olympic stadium at the heart of Seoul, where most EDM fans live. The world’s finest line-up of EDM artists less than an hour away by metro. Third, the brand power of being the first mover. Although swimming through uncharted waters can be risky, Ultra Korea was successful in positioning itself as a trend setter, not a follower, differentiating itself from other festivals.


THE Chainsmokers, Signalling a Change of Scene It rained during the second day. Humidity and heat rising from the ground. But as soon as The Chainsmokers got on stage, the rain suddenly stopped. How refreshing it was to take off a sweaty clinging raincoat as the evening wind picked up, changing the mood immediately. Heaven’s best warm-up ever. The gods were smiling on The Chainsmokers. The fact that the band was chosen as the headliner for the second day shows the change of winds in the festival scene. The Chainsmokers had earned their spot as headliners in a distant country like Korea, because of ‘Closer.’ ‘Closer’ had dominated the Billboard charts for 12 weeks straight. The time of pop EDM had come; electro house big room’s gone. A few years ago, great producing put you on the map; now that was not enough—you had to have a Billboard hit. The Chainsmokers had been the headliner on the second day at Ultra Miami. Miami rode the changing tides quickly and Korea was no exception. The Chainsmoker’s set list was heavily on bass music. Whenever the bass drop would rip the speakers, the audience went crazy. As hit songs were performed, a sea of neon blue electronic screens would follow. Social media was flooded with pictures and videos with related hashtags. Free condoms given out at the booths were blown into balloons, floating around the floor. This fun mess was recorded from all angles. Considering not all videos were not using the official hashtag #ultrakorea as Voice of Dance Music had repeatedly requested, this was just the tip of the iceberg.

What made The Chainsmokers stand out was their perfect blend of live performance and DJing. Alex mixing at the booth, more like massive steps toward the alter of music; Andrew climbing them and jumping up and down at the top, singing with the audience. It is a massive advantage for a DJ duo to have strong vocals, because a DJ party can smoothly transit into a live performance and back-and-forth anytime. Screams were loudest when Andrew was standing at the top of the alter. Chants loudest when familiar hit songs were heard. ‘Everybody Hates ME’ was followed by ‘Paris’ and ‘Closer.’ The audience sang along, screaming their hearts out when their favourites were played. The loudest segments were lyrics ‘say you’ll never let me go’ in ‘Roses’ and ‘I, I, I, I, I can’t stop’ in ‘Closer’. The Chainsmoker’s stage showed how powerful DJing and live performances together can be. More bands with this combination are emerging in response. Raiden supported Sebastian Ingrosso’s ‘Reload’ with his improv guitar. Raiden has never let go of his guitar ever since middle school and loves rock as much as house music. As ‘Reload’ faded out, Muse’s ‘Knights of Cydonia’ started with the drummer joining their ranks. Though AR was played in the background, the hard rock performance was not only fresh amongst the long string of EDM songs, but genuinely enjoyable even by hardcore EDM fans. This was definitely one of the highlights of the second day, even if the stadium was not packed yet.

Zhu’s Positive Reviews This year’s live stage functioned as a chill-out zone, too. Once passing the entrance tunnel, several types of audiences could be seen: jumping up and down, half-lying on the grass. The stage was a place of music and a cool space to chill and hang out with friends. Food trucks surrounded the football stadium-sized arena, and people were having picnics in circles. Only the mainstage had restrictions—a standing area—but the general live stage was pretty lay-back. ZHU had stated in an interview with Billboard, “Environment is key. That’s half of what makes a great show.” Rightly so, his smooth but danceable music was perfect for such atmosphere and chill vibes. People were jumping, standing, sitting, lying and doing whether they felt like. The audience being open to a more tranquil softer beat was another factor for the warm reception. ZHU, as always, stepped onto the stage with a guitarist and a saxophonist. The dark silhouettes faded into the stage fog, as psychedelic noir music seeped through out the stage. The famous ‘Z’ shaped stage lit up into a piercing neon blue. The whole stage frozen in a mystical time or space. The stage, even called the fourth member, goes everywhere with the band. The audience, with beer in one hand, seem to be sinking into the slower tone of the saxophone after the previous band’s hype and high energy. ‘Faded,’ ‘Working for It’ and all the other hit songs were played for the fans. Linkin Park’s ‘Faint’ was sneaked in for a delightful surprise. ZHU is a master in tightening and laxing strings of the stage, constantly shifting the mood from a concert to a chill party.


ON THE FLOOR This was ZHU’s first time to Korea. Though questions were raised whether his music would be well-received in Korea, where big room and pop EDM is dominant, those speculations were silenced quickly. Just looking at the social media space, ZHU’s exposure was enough to mistake him as the day’s mainstage headliner. Audiences were thirsty for live performances than DJing, deep vibe than EDM. Ultra Korea, 7 years and counting, was evolving, as the US and European scene had.

Mind-blowing Visuals Supported by Massive Equipment Only after 8 p.m. as the sun set, did the main stage lights and display show its full scale and just in time, as Zedd came up on the stage. It is impressive to see the massive main stadium filled with pillars of light; What is more striking is the visual effects of production stage that shift and swerve on the beat. Music is visualized onto the screen and through the lighting. For example, the breakdown in ‘Spectrum’ was highlighted by laser beams sifting through the pitch-black stage in slow motion. At the build-up, white noise at its peak, the stage was vibrating in white light. Shivers sent down the spine. Tears build up. You could tell when the build-up and break-down were by just the visuals and no sound. Total Korea’s Jingeun Choi, lighting director, stated that 400 moving lights were used for Ultra Korea, adding that most large theatres have 70 to 80. More lights in huge volumes is the trend as EDM is catching on, but Ultra Korea is exceptional. The main stage LED screen consisted 2000 panels. Younghoon Song from Good Media said large music festivals and famous artists usually utilize around 1000 panels. Of course, size does not guarantee impact. “The best equipment can only come to life with great vision. Even with the same set, each stage transforms entirely according to the designer’s directions—some masterpieces, others tolerable.” states Choi. Most of this year’s headliners brought their own visual teams. Sometimes, even full teams of lighting, laser and VJ. Zedd’s majestic performance of light and music of perfect unity was only possible due to the close collaboration of the visual team and the artist. The impact of the visual production depends on how much the organizers invest in equipment and how well the hardware is utilized. Ultra Korea 2018 was the best, in both hardware and stage production. EDM stage production is different from other genres, including rock. First, transitions happen on the beat. Song mentions, “the 86

CARL CRAIG Do you usually like parties? “Yeah, I mean, definitely when is a good party, I’m really happy about it. I think my philosophy though for doing parties might be different. Because I didn’t start out as a DJ. I started out making records in studio and stuffs, so my connection with DJing and parties is never to be the scene of attention of being the party starter, to be Mr. Party man. My intention of becoming a DJ was more about the art of playing music, being able to play my own music. So it just all happens that places to be able to play my own music are clubs and parties.” What do you consider as the most important thing when you’re djing? “There has to be a connection with the people. That does not happen all the time, but it’s down to how I feel about the event, and then what the people know about me because there’s many cases where people who might know the name, but they might not know the music. People that are hearing me for the first time, they don’t know what to expect. So, like if I’m playing at some places that’s just EDM festival, then in most cases, I know what to expect, but I’m not gonna play what people think that should be played at EDM festival. I am gonna play to convert people into techno fans.” What do you usually do when you come back to Detroit after tour? “Well, because I’m in Europe or Asia so much part of the time, of course recovery, you know, so just try to feel a bit better and get some sleep. For the most part what I really anticipate doing is going into my studio and just watching so just getting used to be in there again, making sure other equipment is working and everything is syncing correctly. Then I can start to concentrate but I do a lot of research and development, so I sit around and try to find the perfect kick drum that takes like fucking years, haha.”


NICOLE MOUDABER You’re well-known to have played long sets. What’s the pleasure of playing long sets? “Few months ago I played 13 hours and I love doing that, what’s because it allows me to play all the music that I love. And build it and tell my story. It’s like building house, you start, you know with the bass, and then you just build, build, build, build… and you come up with something new each time and I love it.”

Do you have any funny story to tell us regarding these long-set plays? “The funniest stories... Well, people ask me ‘you don’t go to the toilet? We never see you go to the toilet’ and I don’t because I forget, I’m like so taken, maybe once I did but not….”

But you usually don’t drink while… “I don’t drink alcohol when I’m playing, never. I only drink water, take lots of vitamin and I get high on the music, I don’t need anything else.”

Which aspect of the Techno music attracted you? Why do you like Techno? “Well, it’s not just techno, it’s house, all the way to techno and anything between. I like music, I live it, I breathe it. Anything that’s percussive, groovy, anything that’s from the waist to below that makes you dance like this is my kind of music. None of those ‘hands in the air, nah nah nah’ EDM shit! None of that. It’s more groove, it’s more like… “hit me in the ass baby!” hehehe it’s that.”

switch controllers for EDM and rock festivals are different. EDM VJs have a harder task at hand, considering they have to switch the settings impromptu as the music flows—no list of directions. Kudos to them.” Jinguen Choi, in charge of lighting at Jisan Valley and Pentaport, also gave his ten cents about the difference. “In rock, the artist’s performance is captivating enough on its own; for EDM, the visuals are much more important, considering there is little live performance or strong vocals. For rock festivals, the mega display zooms-up on the artist’s face; for EDM festivals, neon colour patterns and images are painted on the screen.” Another must-see is the fire effects. Ultra Korea is famous for fire effects that cover the ring of the main stadium’s ceiling. This year, the stadium’s ring was wrapped around twice in flames. This effect was way more expensive than what had been expected by us. But as a signature stroke of Ultra Korea, it was now a must and the organizers had prepared for it most thoroughly. Photographers communicated with walky-talkies to catch the exact moment. When the dome was lit with the brightest shower of flames, David Guetta was playing ‘One More Time’ of Daft Punk. Though THE David Guetta, during that moment, even he made sure that the main spectacle was the fire effects. Everyone looked towards the sky; you could hear gasps and screams all around as the fire lit up. The visuals so stunning, even those frantically looking for the toilet would stop to marvel. Wisps of smoke and gunpowder tingling the tips of our noses. This was definitely the highlight during Ultra Korea 2018. u




Photo by RUKES


DAY 1 THE DAY STARTS OFF with a downpour hitting the city of Tokyo that might dampen the spirits of festival-goers and everyone involved in Ultra Japan on its first day. The music festival comes back to the capital of Japan for the 5th consecutive Ultra Japan this year – a true milestone for the city. Today’s lineup is assorted and there are options to suit every taste, with a much-anticipated finale by Axwell Λ Ingrosso, the cherry on top for the first of three days of celebrations. We make our way in at around 3 pm, alongside a good number of people looking forward to living the true Ultra experience. We are greeted by Jonas Blue on the mainstage playing “By Your Side,” an interesting piece released by the British artist with Raye on vocals. He catches 90

the audience’s attention as we walk on to do a venue reconnaissance. We go round the edge of the mainstage and the massive dancefloor in front of it, past the VVIP area to the right of the stage and on to the Resistance Stage, way in the back near the food stalls packed with people and the third stage. Popof is in charge of entertaining the fans seeking underground sounds at the indoor stage where house and ever-growing techno are kings. We feel assured by the fans grooving to the beats and we head for the interview area, where the affably mellow Oliver Heldens awaits us. We talk to the Dutch artist, who tells us he just finished a remix of Chic’s classic, “Le Freak,” and then we go back outside in the Tokyo sun. We walk around, taking in the colours of festivalgoers that are well-prepared for the occasion.

By now, Heldens has taken over the mainstage, and he gets everyone moving with his EDM with tech undertones, a style that is going strong on major stages, thanks in large part to his contribution. The transitions are swift, and after performing his brand new remix – announced a few minutes before–, he plays a slew of tracks that have the fans going wild. With every step we take, the venue becomes more attractive and the atmosphere warmer. We move on as Helden’s “This” blasts out of the massive speakers of the main structure. We head to the back side of the venue to check out the food area, which also includes the Ultra Park Stage, a space devoted to more commercial sounds that has been reserved for a majority of local acts, with a few exceptions. Ethnic vocals fill the air and we catch a sight of the Yurikamome


passing behind the stage; meanwhile in the food area, a trap drop makes the diners get up from their seats and rush to the edge of the stage to dance alongside their friends.




By 6 pm, Butch is taking ravers on a hypnotic ride. His set has acid touches and the fans find it perfect. The overall production of Ultra festivals is out of this world. This stage could not be better. With rain clouds looming over us and the kind of humidity that makes your body clammy, the Resistance Stage becomes an intimate, moist club run by the German artist. His occasional drops combined with the fog billowing from the stage make the fans go wild. A few minutes before 7 pm, we decide it’s time to head back to the mainstage. The night is falling in Tokyo, so Oliver Heldens veers towards techno grounds, at least for a while. Five ravers dressed up as the Power Rangers catch our eye at the beverage area, as Oliver’s set keeps blowing fans’ minds: Backstreet Boys’ “Everybody” is followed by Fatboy Slim’s “Right Here, Right Now” and a tribute to Avicii, “Levels,” that has fans going wild. Tim will remain etched in our memory. We walk the distance to the Resistance stage, where Butch is closing his set like a shaman that is taking resistants on a ride. And what comes next is even better: a first-time back-to-back set by John Digweed and Nicole Moudaber that is pure energy. There are no words to describe what goes on inside this tent. As the minutes pass by, they make impeccable choices. You can tell they’re having a good time, as the red and blue lights blind us from time to time. We head out of the venue because we need to rest for what will be an equally intense day 2. From afar, we hear Axwell Λ Ingrosso’s closing set as he gets the crowd to sing along to One Republic’s “It’s Too Late To Apologize.”

Photo by RUKES



Photo by RUKES

DAY 2 FEELING PUMPED UP, we enter the venue with a comforting knowledge of its size. Steve Angello graces the mainstage, paying tribute with “Levels” and taking the mic to remind the crowd that “It’s all about love”. There seem to be more people than on Saturday and we wonder if the fluctuating numbers have to do with the day of the week or the lineup. It might be the time of day. As Steve mixes “Leave The World Behind,” we walk away to see what’s shaking on Resistance. There’s a sea of people and as we approach the tent where Nastia is gigging, we can feel her powerful bass sounds as we gaze at the sun setting behind the rainbow-shaped structure. I wonder if there’s a pot of gold? Maybe. Nastia plays powerful techno as she smiles and dances sensuously, in a deep connection with the fans. A few minutes after the start of her set, she’s the captain of the resistance and everyone is on board. It’s reassuring to watch. We decide to check out the smallest stage and it’s not easy to get there, as we have to dodge the people who have sat on the floor to have a bite to eat. Sean Paul’s “Shake That Thing” and a big room drop gets quite a few fans shuffledancing. The artist on the Ultra Park Stage is 22 Bullets. “I need you guys to jump,” he urges on the mic, and everyone obliges. Over on the mainstage, Armin Van Buuren is about to begin his set, so we head there as we don’t want to miss the beginning. Damian Pinto is haranguing the crowd as they wait for the Dutchborn trance icon. After Pinto’s shout-out to Floyd 92

Mayweather, who’s watching from the VVIP area, Armin starts his gig and he’s holding nothing back. Psytrance is blasting from the mainstage. The massive crowd is following his every move, and it is clear that many have come to see him primarily. Bass guitars, violins, synths... also lights and fire! Everything adds up to perfection. It’s like the sky is cheering when “Our Origin” plays, and the crowd’s arms wave in synch with the music as if it had been rehearsed. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a DJ connect so much with such a large audience, and I’m thinking “This will be hard to top.” For a whole hour, Armin has us hypnotized with his energetic performance. At around 7 pm, we go to see the great Sven Vath’s closing set at Resistance Stage. We get there a few minutes early and Nastia is still dancing to powerful techno. There are fewer people now outside the tent. Many have gone inside to see Nastia and many others have surely made their way to the mainstage to see Armin. Attendees don’t seem to mind. We know what to expect from Sven. Ten minutes after starting his set, we are already caught in his spiderweb and brimming with curiosity. He gives us a glimpse into his magic to keep us engaged, but he doesn’t bring in the full artillery yet. One hour later, we’re still here. Sven dances holding the vinyl he just took out of the turntable. Although we’re sad to leave, we head over to see DJ Snake’s closing set. He wins the crowd over with his dubstep, interacting with them often on the mic. When “Propaganda” starts playing, we feel fulfilled. At the end, his “God bless Japan” touches a chord with the audience.

Photo by RUKES




DAY 3 IT’S THE LAST DAY and nostalgia takes over us. The day started incredibly sunny but a storm is expected for the evening. It’s really muggy weather. As we get near Odaiba Ultra Park, we see there are many more people than the previous days. Today is a Japanese public holiday: Respect for the Aged Day. Cash Cash is on the mainstage giving his all, as it starts to look like rain. There’s a big audience and when we decide to roam, Tchami and Malaa present No Redemption on the mainstage with thumping beats, followed by Tchami’s track “My Place,” featuring BROHUG and Reece.

Photo by RUKES


It’s almost 5 pm and we arrive at the most underground stage, where Eats Everything is showing his skills. We had to elbow our way through the crowd enjoying the holiday at one of the region’s largest events. The British artist is delighting the fans of the darkest sounds with a good dose of tech house. Next up is techno icon Carl Craig, decked out in a

black Adidas T-shirt, a mafia-style hat and dark eyeglasses. Slowly, the rain starts to fall and the indoor stage works as a shelter as we listen to the Detroit-born idol. After a brief dose of techno, we head back to the mainstage, where one of the big headliners –also a crowd favourite– takes to the decks. The rain is heavier now but no-one leaves. They’d rather get wet than miss the set by the big-body DJ and managing producer of Wall Recordings. Songs like J Balvin’s “Mi Gente,” Calvin Harris’ “How Deep Is Your Love” and a “Do You Think You Are Better Off Alone” remix force the crowd to stay in spite of the rain. By now we’re all soaking wet and it’s pouring down. It’s not easy to walk from stage to stage without an umbrella or rain boots. A lightning bolt lights up the sky, and it combines with the visuals on the massive stage. When everyone sings along to “Ten Feet Tall,” we get up the nerve o go to see Nina Kraviz’s closing act at Resistance. We see soaking-wet fans that don’t want to miss the beats of their favourite DJs. The indoor stage area is packed and the humidity is offthe-charts. The rain has brought us all together and we feel we’re at an intimate club as we listen to the TRPN label owner. Nina is dancing to acid techno and hypnotizing the revering mob with frenzy beats in a never-ending loop of darkness with occasional bass sounds that blow the fans’ minds. It’s definitely a well-chosen closing act, and Nina fits the bill. The striking visuals are a good companion to the synthesized beats of her acid techno, and the smoke bombs play an important role in haranguing the crowd. The end is near and the cards are on the table. Noone leaves until it’s over. n

Photo by RUKES



The Hottest Dance Tracks Now At The Present Time

Axwell Λ Ingrosso & RØMANS Dancing Alone Astralwerks 9.0

Martin Garrix, Bonn

Universal Music


Funky Sensation 9.0

High On Life 8.5

During August, there was a week where the Lawrence brothers released five songs in five days, each inspired by an entirely different sort of sound. From that selection, our obvious choice was ‘Funky Sensation.’ The song is a tribute to disco music and it sees the duo flipping the Alka Lino’s version of the classic song by Gwen McCrae and delivering a stunning work with a renewed soulful adaptation, available to blow every dancefloor.

Martin’s recently released tracks were strongly pop. ‘So Far Away’ and ‘Ocean’ strongly rooted in R&B. ‘Scared To Be Lonely’ and ‘There For You’ more future bass than house style. ‘High on Life’ is progressive house. The melodic drop is a strong sniff of 2012. This song was handpicked out of the many, as the closing statement of Tomorrowland. The hype of that day recorded on the official music video. Huge fire installation drawing eyes toward the live vocal performance of Bonn. The song’s release was the next day and it sold like gold. Since this performance received the attention of all the EDM fans over the world, the song got a huge reaction when it was officially released next day.

Calvin Harris

Adam Beyer, Bart Skils

Columbia / Sony


David Guetta & Black Coffee

Detecting signs of the best synth line of the year and it’s only the intro. Though loud masses are impressive, reemerging trance can also be particularly fresh for tired ears. The main melody line is pops with flavor. It’s addictive. The high expectations of fans were met, when this track was first performed at Wish Outdoor in May in Mexico. It steadily defended its place at the upper rank in Beatport Dance category for longer than two months after its official release in July. Paris Hilton was printed on the cover. The designer revealed that Paris herself requested the title to be moved to the center, so it wouldn’t cover her face after seeing the draft.

Promises 8.0

There’s no doubt that Calvin body of work is at least, surprising. He has collaborated with an ever-growing list of artists including everyone from Rihanna to Kylie Minogue, Chris Brown and Róisín Murphy. Now he has worked with one of the most sought-after singers. In ‘Promises,’ the British artist teams up with the great Sam Smith to deliver a house song full of glamour and a sensual vocal to boot. It’s good to see such a mainstream artist going back to old school sounds from time to time.



Your Mind’ 9.0

‘Your Mind’ has shaken all techno floors from Ibiza to Seoul. This is the track of this year for sure. Though released in June, its presence is long and strong on the Beatport Techno chart. Bart initially had produced it for fun and had no intentions of releasing it. But as the clubs went crazy, he had no choice but to create the full track. The seductive vocal hook is sampled and re-recorded from 1972 Can’s ‘Vitamin C’. Alluring spell-like vocals set the tone of awe and fear at techno parties. Interestingly, the original lyrics were ‘You’re losing, you’re losing, you’re losing your Vitamin C,’ not ‘your mind.’


Ultra Records 7.5

At first, this collaboration may seem unlikely, but it’s not really. Its protagonists go a long way back and they have created a very exciting track that proves that David Guetta’s music is more than just pyrotechnics. ‘Drive’ is in line with Black Coffee’s signature sound, heavy on percussion, incorporating Delilah Montagu’s vocals, which blend well into the beat, shaping up a pop aura for a track that will surely get radio airplay around the world.

Dynoro, Gigi D’Agostino In My Mind TIME 7.5

‘In My Mind’ started to slowly rise on Spotify global charts, reaching the top ten in August. The fire had caught on in Belgium, Sweden, Germany, the epic centers of electronic dance. The vocals had been sampled from Ivan Gough and Feenixpawl’s 2012 classic, ‘In My Mind.’ Supersaw part removed and the build-up toned down. Other than the fact that he is from Lithuania, nothing much is known about him. Even his official channel on YouTube states “Who Dynoro is, remains a mystery.”

Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Nicky Romero

Here We Go (Hey Boy, Hey Girl) Smash The House 8.0

The rap in ‘Here We Go’ was sampled from ‘The Roof Is On Fire’ of Rock Master Scott & The Dynamic Three (1984). It gained traction after it was used in ‘Hey Boy, Hey Girl’ by the Chemical Brothers in 1999. Everyone can sing to the lyrics, making it one of first-picks by DJs to get a party started. Although the sampling might seem common, the drop is more than enough to justify that. It feels like you are on spectacular roller-coaster ride. The track is a must for all mainstage DJs’ lists. The track was released for the purpose of being published during this year’s Tomorrowland.


Aphex Twin


Jean Michel Jarre




Columbia / Sony

Kling Klong

‘T69’ 9.0

‘Monophobia’ 7.5

Coachella Opening 8.5

Finder (Carl Cox Remix) 8.5

Richard D James has a way of grabbing one’s attention in unexpected ways, be it with his murals around the world or with his twisted hyperkinetic beats. This time, the campaign for his Collapse EP kicked off with the release of its first single, ‘T69,’ which ended up surpassing expectations – even considering that a lot is expected from him. From beginning to end, this track by the Cornwall-born artist is a synthesis of all his facets, with melodies that get cut off by the chaos of acid lines, jostling together heavy metal and ambient sounds. A track that is worthy of its producer.

Joel Zimmerman and Rob Swire have repeated the success formula. Ten years after ‘Ghosts’n’Stuff’ they reunited to deliver a new masterpiece. ‘Monophobia’ sounded like an instrumental until Deadmau5 found the perfect condiment in Swire’s vocals. The producer’s peculiar, progressive style, with clean passages and a melody that straddles gloom and joy, was truly a gift to the fans of the old mouse. The music video is even more insane.

As the song name describes, the French icon created this track to open his set at the great American festival. ‘Coachella Opening’ has his signature hypnotic sequence, the one that has led him to the privileged position he enjoys in today’s scene. His jarring chords and powerful progression, accompanied by constant keying, build up the intensity and will keep any listener on tenterhooks. The track is included in ‘Planet Jarre,’ an incredible compilation that marks his 50th anniversary making music.

House producers will think of ‘Finder’ rather than ‘Under the Sea’ when asked about steelpan. Few house fans have not been to these groovy tropical parties. This music rampant throughout all Ibiza clubs in 2013. Five years have passed, ‘Finder,’ Carl Cox’s remix, has caught on again. On the Beatport Top 100, ‘Finder’ recorded number one on the Beatport top 100 with Fatboy Slim version in 2016. How long will this go? Carl Cox’s is more techno than the original, keeping the famous steelpan drop, making the kick drum and hihat sound firm and darker and enhancing the lower ranges. The layback tropical party still goes on and maintains that high level of energy that fans demand. This is the method of a good remix.


Ali Love, CamelPhat


RL Grime

Armada Music


Catch & Release



‘Tim’ comes from Avicii’s real name, Tim Bergling. This song commemorates his legacy as he passed away recently on April 20th. Arty mentioned in an interview with Billboard, “It was more than losing just the really good person, it was losing probably the biggest music talent that’s been around, It was really hard to talk about it, to get the words out and think straight. I thought it would be easier for me to speak with the music”. The working title was ‘For Tim.’ First shared to the world in San Diego’s Basement on June 16th, Arty uploaded a video on his twitter account commenting, “I made a song for my friend and played it the first time last night. I could barely hold my tears...” ‘Tim’ was streamed one million times on Spotify within ten days of its release.

Dopamine Machine 8.0

CamelPhat’s life can be broken into two, before and after ‘Cola’ in 2017. Cola was a million-seller hit and was nominated for a Grammy and Ivor Novello. Even non-house fans could recognize the song. Cola was the beginning of a never-ending winning streak. ‘Right Here, Right Now’ remix, ‘Panic Room’ followed. ‘Dopamine Machine’ didn’t disappoint. CamelPhat was the golden boy of one-bar bass variations. With drums, effectors and modulation, no stanza is the same and the suspense continues. Ali Love’s vocals breathed life into tech house that can easily become robotic. Her sticky raspy vocals wrapped around the beat. Ali, a very talented dance scene’s star, singer-songwriter has only worked with the bests like The Chemical Brothers’ ‘Do It Again,’ Justice’s ‘Civilization,’ Hot Natured’s ‘Benediction.’

Losing It 8.5

According to DJ Mag UK, the most heard song of this year’s Tomorrowland, is FISHER’s ‘Losing It.’ It was played at least fifteen times -that is amazing, thinking that Avicii’s ‘Levels’ was played 12 times and Calvin Harris’s ‘One Kiss’, 10 times. This definitely shows how strong the tech house trend is. It is not going anywhere. ‘Losing It,’ though tech house, actually has the depth and fatness of big room. Sound waves fill the room with the horn on full reverb. FISHER is known for his minimalistic music till now, but ‘Losing It’ is perfect for the mainstage, bringing maximum impact.

Light Me Up ft. Miguel & Julia Michaels WeDidIt Records 8.5

“To find something that felt like a stampede, but that you’d still want to sing to” was how RL Grime explained his new album ‘NOVA’ to DJ Mag Asia. ‘NOVA’ seems to be his way of expanding his fanbase from the rather limited and niche bass music.” ‘Light Me Up’ is a case on point—as the heavy aggressive bass drop mix with lighter pop vocals. Collaboration with artists, like Miguel, Julia Michaels also help with exposure. Feat. Diplo and Skrillex. This a mega project packed with big players with raw talent.


Techno REVIEWS with Paul Mix on the flip couldn’t be more different. Dreamy and laid back, it is filled with hazy vocals and characterized by its chasmic break downs.



A Moment Of Insanity Clone Aqualung 9.0


At the risk of sounding jaded, there just aren’t enough EPs like ‘Sampla’ any more. Within the space of four tracks, Derrick May favourite Jon Dixon goes from spaced out ambience (‘O Inicio’) to teeth rattling, percussive workouts (‘Paulista Avenue’), but it’s what happens along the way that really impresses. Both ‘Five 15’ and ‘Our Love Goes Over’ are glorious, jazzy grooves that contain enough punch to work on tougher floors. Factor in Kynadi Echols’ sweet vocals, and you have the making of a fine if all together rare release.

Reedale Rise From Harbour To Harbour EP

Spæcial Recordings 9.0

Taking inspiration from Detroit electro and techno, Simon Keat aka Reedale Rise nonetheless forges his own path. ‘Harbour...’ follows his appearance on the recent ‘Emotions Electric’ split EP and gives full vent to Keat’s deeper than deep sound. ‘And The Rain Fell’ is a particularly beautiful slice of deep techno, with electro drums and claps underpinning warbling melodies, but ‘Lithium’ is just as seductive, with mournful synths comparable to early Carl Craig or E.R.P. By the time the warbling acid of ‘Hiccups’ and the dreamy ‘Recovery’ drop, it feels like an electronic soul overdose.

Perseus Traxx Simulacra

Distant Worlds 8.0

Nigel Rogers is best-known for his acid-heavy tracks as Perseus Traxx, but he follows in the footsteps of Derek Carr and John Shima who have authored previous releases on this label, and opts for a deeper approach. ’A New Mystery’ is a reflective affair, with the 303s resigned to an understated role. Although the title track’s electro beats and dense claps make for a somewhat more upbeat combination and ‘Circumstantial’ sees Rogers relive the blustering acid and rough drums of the typical Perseus Traxx approach, this release also 96

contains ‘The Map Is Not The Territory’, a beautiful piece of mournful deep techno that recalls the freeform approach of New Electronica compilations.


Drummer Downstairs FIT Sound 9.5

There aren’t too many techno producers who have a unique sound, but Anthony ‘Shake’ Shakir is certainly one of them. ‘Drummer Downstairs’ shows why he is such an innovative producer. It starts off with the slamming disco house of ‘Trackin’’, before Shake moves into the twitchy drums and percussion of ‘Drummer Downstairs’, a wonderfully lopsided rhythm track. The release just keeps on getting better: ‘Frayed’ starts off as a relatively understated affair, but raw electronic squiggles, hyperactive percussive ticks and a melancholic sensibility all combine to make it a standout piece of techno.

Paul Mix & Freddy Fresh Northern Axe Scent Analog Records 7.5

To use a football analogy, this is a game of two halves. On one side, US techno veteran Freddy Fresh dons his Modulator cloak to deliver the tweaked, machine-led acid of ‘Dazed’. ‘Whirlybird’ is more intense, with Freddy upping the pace to deliver a pounding, pared back techno workout that gradually reveals acidic undercurrents and spacey filters. Fresh’s collaboration

Recorded in 2001, during the same period as Transllusion’s two studio albums, ‘Moment Of Insanity’ was recently discovered on a DAT tape. Spread over four ‘Moment’ tracks, it provides an insight into the mind of the late James Stinson, one of electronic music’s most intriguing, enigmatic producers. ‘Moment 1’ is a sombre affair, with electronic soundscapes conjured up from below the surface, while in contrast, ‘Moment 2’ is a sparse dancefloor track that resonates to a plunging bass and interstellar tones. It’s only a brief dalliance with the DJ world however, and Stinson’s abstract thoughts are captured on ‘Moment 3’ and the lopsided drums of ‘Moment 4’.

Plant 43

From Deep Streams Shipwrec 8.5

Emile Facey is best known for his futuristic electro as Plant43, but on ‘Deep Streams’, he shifts the project’s focus. Although acid-soaked, atmospheric synth workouts like ‘Sea Of Stardust’ and ‘Banished Voices’ provide a connection to his trademark sound, this release also sees him navigating a path that is far from his comfort zone. In particular, the understated ambient drones of ‘Brush Of Twigs’ and the dreamy ‘Hawthorne & Hornbeam’ demonstrate an artist that is capable of effortless adaption and re-invention.


The Human Race Is No Longer Available, Please Select Another Lifeform Borft 8.0

Winning the prize for this issue’s best title is Rittowski, aka Peter Kadergard, an artist who has been active since the early ‘90s. The music isn’t half bad either: ‘Air Electric’ is a low-slung funk workout, ’I Belong To A World That Is Destroying Itself’ combines glistening synth lines with rickety electro drums, and ‘Entropic Force’ is an irresistible slice of electronic disco. Rounding off this remarkably diverse EP are the warm bass tones and catchy hooks of ‘Cold Steel Rang Against My Bare Skin’. The apocalypse rarely sounded so sweet.


‘Acetat’ FiedelTwo Ausgang ‘Acetat’ from Fiedel’s label, is a danceable techno track highlighted by the rough but solid groove.


‘oli gumm 2-2’ trip ‘Oli gumm 2-2’ is golden for raves.


‘Stell’ Ternesc Blawan never gets old with his signature dubby style.


‘Cxema’ Rassvet Records ‘Cxema’ is stylish and trendy, rhythmical trance and acid line. ‘Cxema’ is the best party crew name of Kiev.


‘D-LERIA’ Dreamteam Productions No one can hate a mix between bullet train hi-speed rhythm and lovely acid line.


‘Sirius’ Curle Efdemin’s track resembles nature’s thinning morning fog and heavy rains.


‘Snow Falls’ (PTU Remix) RAAR Do you have the right footgear to dance right now?


‘Monsoon’ Ameniia After this summer’s release in Ameniia, the album of Polarfront was polarized, maintaining warmth and cool at the same time.


‘Dissolve’ Dekmantel Randomer’s track that is irregular but also refined is always a good choice.


‘Fünf’ 47 Into the rabbit hole of techno, here we go.


De La Swing

Face To Face EP Elrow Music 8.5

This release possesses all the fun of the infamous Elrow parties. A hard kick and supportive bass satisfy the low-end on ‘Face To Face (Enter The Rave Rework)’; popping toms doing the work in the mid-range under a shower of tidy and bold top-end percussion, and a cocky four-bar rap loop to finish it off. Lowriding toms take the lead on Shaf Huse’s remix as he creates a catchy, dub-like version of the original, while the package is wrapped up with a more seductive rhythm on ‘Dihue’.

Davide Squillace & Butch Sancho & Pancho In Wonderland This And That 9.0


‘Breath Hold’ (Baldelli & Dionigi Remix) Delicieuse Records Today, I want to drive.


‘Divisive’ Ran$om Note While feeling the wind on my skin, listening to ‘Divisive’.


‘Ganz Falsch’ (Simple Symmetry Remix) Roem Recordings Go a little bit faster.


‘High As A Mountain’ 44,110Hz Social Club LISTEN TO THE ECHO. HIGH HIGH HIGH!


‘Breathe’ (Man Power Remix) Roem Recordings After the drive, lying on the beach looking at the pink sky


‘Gold & Silber’ Dischi Autunno BBA BBA BBA BBAM! Cheers! Let’s drink!


‘Feitw’ (Olsvangèr Remix) TOM TOM DISCO Grab a drink and let’s dance! One more!

08. PINO

‘Thorn’ (Freudenthal Remix) Night Noise Is it raining?

09. TKUZ

‘Delincuente’ (B Side mix) NEIN Records This is nothing. Stand in the rain with me.


‘Dark Dancer’ Biologic Records We can dance on the sea in the rain. Heaven within our reach!

This release possesses all the fun of the infamous Elrow parties. A hard kick and supportive bass satisfy the low-end on ‘Face To Face (Enter The Rave Rework)'; popping toms doing the work in the mid-range under a shower of tidy and bold top-end percussion, and a cocky four-bar rap loop to finish it off. Low-riding toms take the lead on Shaf Huse’s remix, as he creates a catchy, dub-like version of the original, while the package is wrapped up with a more seductive rhythm on ‘Dihue’.


Customer Is King EP Diynamic 9.5

The 100th Diynamic releases couldn’t have been better celebrated than by label-head Solomun returning to release his first full EP in three years. ‘Customer Is King’ is due to be included in Grand Theft Auto 6 (2019). Yes, commercial, but we applaud the nifty licensing; this release is huge. The lead track is a bold and progressive deep houser, ‘Dre’ is a dark and futurist, bass-squelching classic and, on ‘Ich Muss Los’, Solomun shows how he pays the bills with a dramatic and energy-filled dancefloor bomb. Give the man his dues, this is brilliant.

Martin Eyerer & Markus Homm

revisions on the recent Blond:ish two-tracker, itself a standout pairing from the duo. Bloem, Santiago Garcia, Leo Janeiro and Boghosian all take their turn, and all deliver something in-keeping with Blond:ish’s contemplative and alluringly moody tech-house.


Los Pastores

This is the pair’s second collaboration, and it’s a nofrills, double-headed, techhouse delight. Both of the originals deliver some hearty, honest, and rolling deepness: ‘Springline’ with more bumping sub-low rumbles, ‘On And On’ with a hypnotic four-note bass synth. Visionquest’s Ryan Crosson adds his unique technical flair — that sliding sub bass is something else — to make ‘Springline’ a powerful, highly rhythmic number.

Decay Records

Springline 8.0

Various Artists

Blond:ish - Mountains Of The Mind/Mouth: Remixes Warung Recordings 7.5

If you like your tech-house with character and feeling, this remix package from Brazil’s Warung Recordings camp is for you. Four gorgeously atmospheric

Reminder EP 9.0

Decay Records invite the Valencian duo Los Pastores for their first full EP, and it’s technical, moody, and concentrated, but above all danceable. It’s full of tech flair; deep and low-riding house, tripped out vocal samples/licks, and hypnotising percussive loops. There’s beautiful percussion arranged on their original ‘Cap Down’, but the balance comes from rough-edged pairing ‘Reminder’ and ‘Challenger’. Up steps Matt Tolfrey for a bruising proto tech-house refix (‘Reminder’) and Igor Vicente smooths out ‘Challenger’s’ rough and tumble construct. Oh yes.

Tommy Vercetti Beaux EP

Origins Rcrds 9.0

Opening with a graceful nod to the soulful, funky and deep house classics circa 2000, ‘Beaux’ is crammed with contemporary flair too. On the flip, ‘Freedom’ heads a little deeper into the tech-house spectrum. It pushes that big room sound, but retains a glorious underground quality and could bounce on for days. Lastly, Origins boss Josh Butler gives ‘Beaux’ an Ibizan polish: his remix has wide, stabbing keys that will see this work at any time of the night.

Hector Couto Tambora EP Roush 8.0

In five short years, Roush has hit the 100 mark, and who better to deliver a landmark release than its founder Hector Couto? He doesn’t disappoint, with three slick, percussive tech-house joints that will delight those into their big room, upfront tech sound. All are full of tribal vibes and thick, low-riding bass. Fellow Spaniard and scene player German Brigante breaks things down on his ‘Tambora’ remix, opting for a breaks-led arrangement and acid bass. It’s a bold but brilliant offering to lift this EP even more.


House REVIEWS TWO TONE SHAPE disco of ‘Red Haze’ is enveloping, a pulsing bassline providing the propulsion, with unexpected sitars at the break. Superb.

As One Sphere EP

Garage Hermétique 8.5


Neuromancer Correspondant 9.5

Jennifer Cardini’s Correspondant is on some blazing form right now, with this from Brazilian producer and Hotflush alumnus Terr, aka Daniela Caldellas, among the most powerful house releases we’ve heard in some time. ‘Neuromancer’ is a pulsing voyage into space, a soundtrack anthem with nods to synth legends Jean-Michel Jarre and Tangerine Dream. It’s magnificent. And just when you think things surely can’t get any better, ‘Multiverse’ on the flip arrives to knock your socks off yet again, with more galactic disco vibrations. A mix from Krystal Klear completes a dizzying release.

Massey & Paulette

Seb Zito

Black Riot

Play It Say It

Sheroes 8.0

On It 8.0

Manchester house music maven DJ Paulette has been part of the fabric of the city’s club scene since year zero, and here, with Sprechen Music’s Chris Massey, she doffs her cap to those women who have given as much back as she has. Over a mucky, burbling 303 bassline, she name checks a wealth of female dance music icons from Smokin’ Jo to Cosmo, DJ Heather to Maya Jane Coles, a la Daft Punk’s ‘Teachers’. On the flip, ‘Violins And Things’ is actually light on the violins, but heavy on the acid.

Seb Zito, of Fuse and Seven Dials fame, turns out this relentless, driving slab of after-hours house music for Seth Troxler’s Play It Say It, a deep and understated vocal workout — though the vocalist involved must, for reasons unknown, remain anonymous. It’s a tad frustrating, but nonetheless, Fuse main man Enzo Siragusa himself turns in a trippy, murky, underwater version on the flip, while the dub pares things down to the basics for the deeper dancefloors. Scorching.


XOA & Wayward/ DrumTalk

Untidy 006 Untidy 9.0

Argentine producer Jonas Kopp drops five stunning slabs via his Untidy alias: dusty, crackling warehouse tracks that sound like they’ve been discovered buried at the bottom of a crate somewhere. Alphabetically annotated, ‘A’; is a surging jam, tempered by irresistible electric piano chords; ‘B’ is deeper, bigger, a throbbing monster best experienced through towering stacks as the sunlight floods in; ‘C’ goes dubby, with blasts of synth scything through the murk; ‘D’; swings like old Deep Dish; and ‘E’; beams its ecstasy vibes in from deep space. 98

Koto/Ariel Cin Cin 9.0

Fort Romeau’s Cin Cin label debuts this three-way collaboration EP, showing off the skills that have been bestowed on X.O.A and Wayward, and Crosstown Rebels alums DrumTalk. First up, on the A-side, X.O.A. and Wayward hurl together clattering Latin drums with warm synth chords for a frisky dub on ‘Koto’, while Afro vibes permeate the sumptuous, rolling ‘Wayo Wayo’. On the flip, DrumTalk go all loose and wild on the intense ‘Ariel’, a DFA-style bombshell. Meanwhile, the deep, chugging

Figuratively found down the back of the sofa, these muscular jams from the don himself Kirk Degiorgio were drafted in 1995, before being lost and recently uncovered again on an errant DAT. Despite their advancing years, this is all fresh as a daisy. ‘Sphere’ is an airy technoid excursion, lovingly crafted and sparingly produced. ‘Perspective’, with its deep pads and gutsy stabs, is a lesson in restraint, but it’s an astonishing mix from the originator Juan Atkins of ‘Asa Nisi Masa’, with its rhythmic gating, which clatters this EP out of the park.

Rhode & Brown Wave 100 EP Slam City Jams 9.0

Rhode and Brown (aka Friedrich Trede and Stephan Michael Braun, the gents behind Munich’s sparing Slam City Jams) explore some sterlingly classic vibes for this generous slab of intoxicating house music, following their many excursions on Munk & Kapote’s Toy Tonics. ‘Wave 100’; has echoes of Raze’s ‘Break 4 Love’, lovelorn chords wrapping themselves around a slinky bassline. ‘Sparkle’ ups the stakes, a restrained, perfectly balanced italo-style house moment to savour. ‘Love Lane’, meanwhile, with its skippy 909 vibes, is a joy to behold.


Spirale EP The Bricks 9.0

French producer Romain Nouhi aka Sunrom concocted this in the bucolic setting of Saint-Germainen-Laye, just on the outskirts of Paris, for the fledgling The Bricks imprint. It is as classy as its rarified surroundings. Title track ‘Spirale’ blends layer upon layer of blissful arps, hanging strings, and mallets, all to joyous effect. ‘Pray’, meanwhile, breaks up the kick drums, with breathy vocal samples, plucked guitars and a dramatic, melancholy bassline. Elsewhere, Paxton Fettel of Copenhagen hurls in a sturdy remix of a track called ‘Superfly’, an understated, hands-in-the-air piano anthem, while DJ Normal’s brooding breakbeats offer old school prog vibes to ‘U Doing’. A special release.


‘The Beginning’ Brainfeeder It feels like this track wants to tell us a fascinating story which happened on a dance floor last night.

02. KINK

‘Teo Techno’ (Radio Slave Disco Dub) Running Back Records Radio Slave remixed KiNK’s track. Should we say more about it?


‘Do You Still Think Of Me?’ Keinemusik An interesting combination of two different elements.


‘Essential Nine’ DEEWEE Another good example of ‘Essential’ acid tune.


‘Acid Bath’ Craigie Knowes Straight acid bass with soft synth on top.


‘Dancer’ Mood Hut Sweet harmonic improvisation of percussion and keys.


‘Addis’ !K7 Records We’d like to give a big applause to their seeking for the true sound and style.


‘Loser’s Hymn’ (Powder Remix) R&S Records The bassline on this track is such a remarkable idea. It changes the atmosphere like magic.


‘The Bee Won’ Lumberjacks In Hell Main time club disco bomb.


‘Day And Night’ Novaj 新し We think it’s always meaningful that someone brings lovely our native song to the dance floor like this


E-Unity FTD009

From The Depths 9.0


TrollPhace ‘Mecha Doodle’ NSD: Black Label A track from NSD: Black Label, included in BLACK FRIDAY VOL. 21. Subtronics, who has collaborated with Svdden Death, Dirt Monkey, Zeds Dead, now collaborates with TrollPhace.


‘Programmed to Love’ Repost Network Ray Volpe well-known for writing breath-taking melodies and vocal lines. This my first pick for the closing track.


Tisoki ‘Hold On’ Bassrush Records ‘Hold On’, takes your breath away. You MUST listen to the whole track. Though epic on its own, it sounds like the preview to something big.


‘Decimated’ Bassweight Records The wobble bass vibrating against your body. Feel your blood pump hard? Sub Artillery even included warnings. Definitely not for the faint-hearted.


‘Gunslinger’ (ft. Pistol) Wakaan One of the few true genius in dubstep. To describe ‘Liquid Stranger’… no words are needed. Just shut up and listen!


‘Shutdown’ Disciple The constant tension between the lead synth and bassline. Brings back the 90s, Nintendo 64. OMG!


‘Threat’ Uplink Audio Downlink’s tunes remind me of being in space. The track Threat. This time is reminding me of being attacked by aliens.


Space Laces ‘1 On 1’ Excision Music Excision and Space Laces are purely mad. Mixing and mastering skill-wise, no one comes close to their level. They keep the secret to themselves.


‘Kneel Before Me’ (Feat. Asking Alexandria) Monstercat OMG!! Asking Alexandria! Post hardcore!! Never did I believe dubstep could be this phenomenal.


Kayzo ‘FOREVER’ Ultra Leaving Gammer and Kayzo out is a mortal sin. They are dominating the charts. Their unique style alone is enough to appeal to both the art scene and mainstream audiences.

Maybe it’s a symptom of having been born in the mid '80s and knowing all too well the pain and ugh, the fucking drag of having Windows ‘98 crash and burn on you that warms me to E-Unity’s ‘Tallarita’ — which uses the clatter of computer sounds I associate with a pixelating cursor as its main melody. On ‘3.6’, there’s an extremely welcome sparseness that seems to suction the brittle Amen-chopped drums down into the void of pseudo melody. Lovely weirdo stuff.


Without You

Locked Concept 8.5

This might end up being our favourite track of the summer: the energy is intense, inspiring and intoxicating. The intro brings us a classic crashing jungle drum pattern and begins our nostalgic journey; shortly after, we’re greeted by early rave style riffs and an old school pitched up female vocal. ‘Without You’ is brought into 2018 with techy synths and a rumbling sub, which rises and falls throughout. After falling for this sampler, we can’t wait for the album.

Djrum Sex R&S


The prelude to an album’s worth of material on R&S, ‘Sex’ is a wide and broad ravine that’s filled with pointedly precise riffs, periods where there are hardly any snare drums and enticingly splashy open hats. Of course it wouldn’t be a Djrum cut if it didn’t morph it something else entirely; something that’s wholly tribal and yet very tropical at the same time. The ending is like going all out at a luau while listening to nothing but a Swamp81 Rinse FM show.

Mickey Pearce Sad

Box of Toys 9.0

Taken from Pearce’s studio album ‘One Hundred Smiles’, ‘Sad’ is instantly emotive, using its frenetic, harmonic scale hopping to tug at the loneliest part of you before that overly bonkers chirping chorus refrain


Hospital Records 9.0

It’s no wonder these three wise men are ruling the scene now. They’re known for their exciting sets, which cover the width of the scene, and prime production which only comes from pure passion and encyclopedic knowledge. As part of their first release on Hospital since their exclusive signing, ‘Euphoria’ is unleashed, with flicking throwback synth flashes that nod to early rave. Calming waves of soft pads and Eastern, meditative melodies nestle in the midst of the track, intensifying the hard, stepping drum pattern and down right dirty sub. Excellent. chunders and splutters into earshot. Honestly, the balls on this lad: to make a 10-track LP full of such wayward, weirdo cuts and have it coalesce the way it does. ‘Sad’ is pretty and significant, yes, but it’s also indicative of the overall calibre of the album.



Low Down Deep 8.0

To celebrate its 100th release, LLD will be dropping what looks to be one almighty album. To whet our appetites for the main event, we’re offered a track from jump up’s hottest property: Simula. Starting with a cinematic, sci-fi intro filled with bleeps, screeches and big neuro-worthy risers, we’re left wondering where this track is taking us. But the drop reveals a dark, hearty sub, big bouncy drums and gutter scraping, filthy synth with little whoops of humour.

Amduscias 7th Floor EP

Space Hardware 9.0

This is the work of someone you

should probably already know, so I won’t spoil it by pulling the rug out from under their feet; but this is also some ‘outerrealms-of-what-he’s-alreadydone’ type shit. ‘War On Venius’ has the type of stuttering drum beat/hi-hat triplet interplay that really, truly drives me wild and ‘Amduscias’ is the sound of a gully siren getting submerged in elements of dub techno without the out and out swing beat. Parts of this are incredible.



Roska Kicks & Snares 8.5

Yo, I know it’s a cutesy thing to say, but the “Roska, Roska, Roska” vocal tic that the producer of the same name deploys as his trademark STILL makes me smile — especially when it’s just the first syllable of it being teased out over the top of a hard stomping UK funky beat. Working with heads such as Gemmy, Jammz, Mista Silva and more on his new LP, this title track is the perfect assertion of everything you’ve forgotten about Roska’s production. Banger.


Trance REVIEWS Supernal


Supernal AVA


The work of Temple One’s Joe Garrett, at ‘Supernal’s melodic core lies the slenderest of samples (a masterfully understated lift from Mr Mister’s ’Kyrie‘). Joe knows what he has in hand will make your night, is assuredly in no rush to give it to you and then only delivers in the most nominal of measures. It’s a wickedly efficient trick, and guaranteed will make it the track you’re searching for come dawn.

Three Drives

Sunset On Ibiza (BLR Remix) Armada

PAUL VAN DYK PRESENTS SHINE SHINE Ibiza Anthem 2018 Vandit Records 8.5

‘SHINE Ibiza’s pads swim, its bass swells, alluring sub-melodies chime and its keyline is underplayed elegance incarnate. However, it’s not a sound that’s the track’s absolute pinnacle, but a technique. Falling halfway through its drop — without kick or snare in sight — it’s the deftest of key and chord changes that takes you there. As moments in trance go this month, there’s few to beat its effect.

Oliver Smith

Cold Blue


Kearnage Recordings

Java 8.5

Rush 8.0


There have been days when I preferred ‘Sunset’ to even the seemingly insurmountable ‘Greece 2000’. Thanks to BLR (aka Leon Bolier), today’s one of them. ‘Sunset’s mainline (brilliantly evocative, but sharp, overt and no wallflower) can be a bit of a handful. That goes twice if you’re coming at it from a slower, deeper perspective, as is the case here. With zero compromise to tone, he drops the riff dry and then cannily truncates, amending its feel to the surrounding tone.

Ron With Leeds The One I Lost

Between this, his own Meramak remix of ‘Lovingly’ and most recently ‘Zero’, Oliver is currently at his most industrious in half a dozen years. The aforementioned certainly have their moments, but ‘Java’s the pick. Smith’s not lost an ounce of his instinctive feel for the goosebump popping melody, and ‘Java’s is as redolent and memorable as they come. Anjuna’s once ubiquitous start/stop/stab leadline mechanic is on the bench too, so ‘Java’ just flows on beautifully.

As hard as it is to excel with an intro, ‘Rush’s really is the proverbial featureless desert. Contextually, does that make what follows more gratifying? Well possibly. Either way, its quality trajectory from the break on (full of lovingly curved and crafted synths) is sharp. Piano notes fall like rain, while the sub-melodies hanging in its background have ether to burn. Amazingly, its mainline thrust (enjoying some definite ‘eau-de-Airscape’) manages to equal it. One, conclusively, for this month’s ‘yes’ pile.

Vini Vici

Stoneface & Terminal

Paul Oakenfold & Jam El Mar

Alteza Records

Future Sound Of Egypt

Perfecto Fluoro

Where The Heart Is 8.5

Any concerns about Vini Vici being de-clawed following their Iboga/Armada move, by now are largely allayed. Don’t let the schmaltzy title fool you either, ‘Where The Heart Is’ is going straight for the jugular. A few of the psy eccentricities have been dialled down, but energy and production polish are up. A gripper first beat to last: fast, fierce, with some killer sequence development, this’ll put the thrill up ya. 100

Airflow 8.5

‘Airflow’ follows an exemplary 2017 release run for Stoneface & Terminal on FSOE’s outside-thebox offshoot Clandestine. In light of this, seeing them back on the parent label might trouble a brow or two. Fear not: the first track from their forthcoming ‘Altered Floors’ LP does shift footing, but only so far as progressive trance. It’s a sleek-as-hell number, that structurally, technically and sonically hits all the highs of the sub-genre with verve.

Future Sound Of Egypt 8.5

As door-openers go, having one of the most unusual artist names in the genre serves Ron With Leeds well. Such is ‘Lost’s quality level, especially in its million-dollar vocal, that on first listen you’ll wonder if it’s not a bigger artist masquerading. But no, these two lads from the Ruhr have cooked up one of the coolest, most assured and sophisticated trance-progressive numbers of the summer.

Lost In The Moment 8.0

‘Lost In The Moment’ cherrypicks four key items from the studio boxes, and with absolute dedication, develops them into one knockout track. Within its first minute, it gets a right hook of a production trick in, throwing a catchily looped sub-melody at you. Acid swirls, as pathos-laden chords and harmonies hang in the surround. Over many a minute, its intro lick morphs and develops into (mild spoiler warning) a heavy-lifting mainline.

01. RANK 1

‘L.E.D. There Be Light’ (Cosmic Gate Remix) High Contrast Recordings Breakdown, buildup, drop, an immaculate track, beyond compare!


‘Fly Away’ (KhoMha Remix) Armind KhoMha rejuvenated the classic trance sound released in 2000. Simple but very powerful.


‘Gods’ Garuda Banger that is released through Garuda. The immersive synths and intense vocals are unforgettable.


‘Loneliest Night’ (Tenishia Extended Remix) Black Hole Recordings A track that tells you are not alone during painful nights. Renown Maltese DJ Tenishia’s progressive trance’s tender undertone touching you.


‘I Want You Here’ Black Hole Recordings I like it Pure! This song purifies the soul. The whispering vocals provides solace.


‘Lily’ FSOE Fables Uplifting Trance that is truly beautiful. Melodies that resonate with your soul. The majestic sounds transports you to a higher dimension of bliss.


‘Kinetic Energy’ Otographic Music A track from Japan’s Otographic Music. The perfect combination of a soft sorrowful melody, funky bassline, and acid sound.


‘Enthusiastic’ Sunstate Records Korean trancers’ newest collaboration. It’s a great song that was introduced at the Corsten’s Countdown Episode 578.


‘Neutralize’ (HP Source Remix) Afterdark Tech trance that will break the floor! Dance like there is no tomorrow.


‘Solo’ VII Master of walking the line between trance and psytrance. Respect!

Further Listening Eleven or so odd years after forming, and after 15 or so releases on various labels, Ancient Methods has come out with a debut album that catalyses many of the concepts of his musical project since the beginning. Within Berlin-based Michael Wollenhaupt’s oeuvre are seven thematic EPs that came out on his own Ancient Methods label; they reference specific biblical pictures and storylines that are now sewn together with this heavy-duty prequel release, ‘The Jericho Records’. Much like with all things Ancient Methods, Wollenhaupt’s heady blend of complex and meticulously produced sonics reigns supreme on this LP; a fusion of purist techno with post-punk and industrial influences that lay heavily on the cerebral with a healthy dose of propulsive rhythms and clattering percussion. The opening track wastes no time in diving deep into sinister waters with its pulsating sub-bass and demonic-sounding spoken word passage, and ‘The Jericho Records’ remains relentlessly dark and melancholic right through to the lugubrious piano and orchestration that closes it out. A few dancefloor-focused collaborations speckle in even more deviations to Ancient Methods’ already varied productions; Prurient’s EBM-laced stomper, Ophx’s hypnotic mesmeriser and Regis’s searing soundscapes are definite LP highlights. Cindytalk and King Dude each guest on a track, but their offerings are less body-centric and more song-based with their haunting and brilliantly executed vocals. However, ‘The Jericho Records’ is certainly a sum of its parts that remains devout to its epic concept, and its best foot is forward when listened to in one go. ZARA WLADAWSKY

ANCIENT METHODS The Jericho Records

Ancient Methods



Gui Boratto


Chris Liebing

Blood Orange


ACP Recordings



Pentagram 7.0

A mixed adventure Brazilian Gui Boratto has always been a perfect fit for Kompakt: his mature, melodic techno is the sort of slow release, grandiose music that requires patience. His fifth studio album is a development of that which dips into pop and main room rollers, but also veers off into more experimental territory. It’s not always a success: ‘The Phoenix’ is distinctly uncool Eurotech and ‘Forgotten’ sounds like dated electro-house, but ‘Pentagram’ is an interesting fusion of organic piano chords and colourful synth modulations, and ‘Forgive Me’ is an adventurous bit of multi-layered minimal that journeys to the heavens. One track that stands out as a break from the pristine metal surfaces all around it is ’Scene 2’, a sombre bit of classical piano laid over heavy hearted drums that could soundtrack the climatic moment in a spy thriller. KRISTAN J CARYL 102

Monsters Exist 5.0

Knee-jerk material Two splits and comebacks later, the dance duo return with a new album that’s a touch jaded. Paul Hartnoll, the younger of the two brothers, said the tracks came “tumbling out” after a long stretch out of the studio, and this record does seem spontaneous in places. Among those tracks, their first single, ‘Tiny Foldable Cities’, tries too much over a half-time beat, while a bizarre Brian Cox appearance on ‘There Will Come A Time’ takes the edge off a fairly well thought out instrumental. ‘Analogue Test Oct 16’ and ‘Dressing Up In Other People’s Clothes’, meanwhile, both on the second disc, prove that restraint yields better results.Of course, maintaining consistency over thirty years in the business is a tall order, and the Orbital faithful will likely be satisfied with some new material – something they’ve been starved of lately. JACK PEPPER

Burn Slow 9.0

Beautiful bleakness Whatever you think you know about techno titan Chris Liebing, you should forget it before turning into his latest album. He says it’s the record he has always wanted to make, but has only been able to having finally found a collaborator — Ralf Hildenbeutel — who can help him realise his vision. And that vision is a beautifully bleak one, where droning landscapes, paranoid spoken word utterings and deep, supple rhythms add up to something hugely absorbing and melancholic. Gary Numan, Mute artist Polly Scattergood and readings of Alan Watts, Liebing’s favourite philosopher, add layers of depth to an album that bares all the hallmarks of the Mute artists the German grew up on, from Depeche Mode to Nietzer Ebb. Despite the overall moodiness, the record’s darkness soothes, comforts and seduces you and is an utter success. KRISTAN J CARYL

Negro Swan 9.0

National treasure Devonté Hynes, once Lightspeed Champion — though that now seems a long time ago, and even longer since his synth-punk days in Test Icicles — presents his fourth album as Blood Orange, having since jammed his CV with co-productions for everyone from Solange Knowles and FKA Twigs to Carly Rae Jepsen and Charlotte Gainsbourg. ‘Negro Swan’, an “exploration into my own and many types of black depression,” is a sprawling, dazzling mash of superlative falsetto soul, synthladen galactic funk and wonky, tapestretched street ballads. ‘Hope’ brings together the delicately whispered vocals of Canadian singer Tei Shi and Puff Daddy, an indication of his now impressive reach and skill in crafting an irresistible soul track. ‘Runnin’ is a thing of beauty, and ‘Jewelry’, with its sleazy clarinets, is a joy forever. Watch it rock up in every good ‘best of 2018’ list. BEN ARNOLD

Further Listening

Tony Allen & Jeff Mills

Matthew Dear

Auntie Flo

Jun Kamoda

Blue Note Records

Ghostly International

Brownswood Recordings

Black Acre

Tomorrow Comes The Harvest 8.0

Rhythm kings. It’s not the first time that Nigerian Afrobeat pioneer, Fela Kuti collaborator and drummer extraordinaire Tony Allen has worked with an electronic artist, but his new release with Detroit techno original Jeff Mills is certainly his most exciting link-up of this type. On ‘Tomorrow Comes The Harvest’, Allen’s famous polyrhythmic beats collide with Mills’ drum machine hits, bass and electronics in an astonishingly natural way. The opener ‘Locked & Loaded’ is a statement of intent, its blasts of distorted sub and 909s clicking into place with Allen’s cascading drum attack, and slivers of richly textured organ funk. ‘On The Run’ adds subtle acid bass to ambient tones and drums from Allen that, despite their restrained nature, constantly shift and contort. Short but sweet, ‘Tomorrow Comes The Harvest’ is the combination we never saw coming. More! BEN MURPHY

Bunny 8.5

Smash hits If the last three fulllengthers from Matthew Dear set a steady path from micro-tech mogul to crossover electronic superstar (even if his exposure remains surprisingly niche), then ‘Bunny’ is the logical next step on that journey. It’s a record that grabs listeners by the lobes and loses none of the artist’s pinpoint production precision while genuinely deserving a Top 10 position in any national chart. To explain, Talking Heads could have released ‘Duke Of Dens’, and it’s questionable whether Byrne et al would have done a better job. ‘Echo’ is a minimalistic alt-pop triumph, Dear’s delivery retaining that drug-addled troubadour quality despite playful musical tones and sing-a-long potential. And ‘Bad Ones’ has the hallmarks of a bonafide smash hit, defining the vibe of this entire album — proud, irreverent, anthemic, bold and yet wonderfully universally appealing. MARTIN GH



Ninja Tune



Radio Highlife 5.5

Heavily stamped passport If one conclusion is to be drawn from Auntie Flo’s latest album, it’s that the producer travels a lot. His influences, ranging at least four continents, stretch the record in places: sunkissed Cuba, the green landscapes of Uganda, and Indonesia’s islands are amongst those drawn for. Funky and soulful house furnish this full-length with a distinct West London feel, though d’Souza is at his best when he moves away from that. ‘Isbjørn’, driven by a Norwegian trip, is a little different with its cascading synths, while ‘Lights In The Northern Sky’ unfurls in a more experimental way. ‘Radio Souk’ is an orientalist’s hazy vision of an Arab marketplace, brought up to speed with a kick-drum; ‘Kampala’ more traditional than anything else on here. Having tossed his entire travelogue into a sonic cement mixer, Flo pushes enough buttons to get plenty of props. JACK PEPPER

Jun Kamoda 9.0

For 15 years, Japanese producer Jun Kamoda made glitchy, neoncoloured hip-hop tunes under his Illreme moniker, also as one third of hip-hop trio Baleine 3000. That boom-bap sensibility hasn’t left his solo work under his own name, which debuted in 2016 as an EP for Mister Saturday Night — which gained plaudits especially for his sample-heavy floor-slayer ‘Physical Graffiti’. Since then, Black Acre have snapped up the producer for a couple of partycentric EPs, before commissioning a self-titled debut album. From the off, it’s block-rocking hip-hop beats with Japanese vocals (‘Surreal Tongue In Northern Osaka’), before getting straight into some weirdo disco house on ‘Nightmare Club’, a track that’d easily feel at home at a Rhythm Section party. A collection of peak-time beauties. FELICITY MARTIN

Helena Hauff has quickly become one of the most fawned-over DJs of her time. After establishing her sound as a resident at Hamburg’s revered Golden Pudel club, she’s been catapulted onto the global circuit and made the transition perfectly. Importantly, she has never compromised or conformed. Her blistering sets mix up acid, EBM, techno, electro and post-punk into utterly in-your-face and arresting affairs that smash you over the head again and again. People love the sheer power of her playing style, and are likely to feel the same way about her new album, ‘Qualm’. Track titles like ‘Primordial Sludge’, ‘Fag Butts in the Fire Bucket’ and ‘Entropy Created You And Me’ should give you an idea of the sounds on offer: they are raw and guttural, frazzled and fucked up. All twelve tracks are based on live hardware jams. They are often bare bones affairs with only a few main elements, but despite the minimal number of tools used, the effect is truly maximal. Opener ‘Barrow Boy’ is a prime example, with clattering 909s and distorted synths, coarse claps and overdriven machines making for a wall of noise that would make Phil Spector cry. The high tempo acid of ‘Lifestyle Guru’ is impressively wild and off grid, and the frantic ‘Hyper-Intelligent Genetically Enriched Cyborg’ is sure to prove disorienting in a strobe lit warehouse. There is brief respite from the aural assault with ‘Primordial Sludge’ and ‘Qualm’ — a pair of thoughtful sci-fi ambient tracks that still manage to be edgy and attentiongrabbing — and after that there is a sense of serenity and ‘mission accomplished’ as the closing tracks bring you back down to earth. Electronic music with a genuine ability to inspire shock and awe is hard to come by these days, but ‘Qualm’ does that and then some. KRISTAN J CARYL 103



Native Instruments churn up a whole new era for Traktor DJ


ou’ve probably read all the teasers we kept printing about Native Instruments and a whole brace of impending new products coming your way. It was very hard to keep this advance knowledge under our hats, but the cat is well and truly out of the bag – Native Instruments has finally announced the news digital DJs have been waiting for: the release of new Traktor hardware and software. Many have been trying to second-guess what could be up Native’s sleeve for what seems like an age — and now the wait is over. Eagle-eyed viewers would have spied two of the new products recently in our Tech Awards live-streamed event that happened at the end of September and we can happily announce the next generation of Traktor products, starting with Traktor Kontrol S4 MK3 and S2 MK3 hardware and Traktor Pro 3 software are here. Let’s start off with the hardware. A while back Native introduced the Kontrol S8 and S5 completely doing away with jog-wheels for performance and touch-strip pads, attempting to push the linear approach to DJing. All this was designed to aid with the STEMs integration, a bold hardware move somewhat akin to Novation’s Twitch controller, which some would say was way ahead of its time. However, DJs are

a traditionalist bunch and the whole concept of spinning vinyl, jog-wheels and the whole circular movement notion wasn’t prepared to give way to any new variants anytime soon. With this in mind and with thorough consultation with the DJ community, NI decided to revisit two of their most popular and original controllers — the S4 and S2 — and bring them smack up to date with a host of new innovations to appease the forward-thinking clan while holding true to the original ethos of turntable DJing. The new controllers are minimal in design, but for all the stripped-back styling they’re packed with features to control the new Traktor Pro 3 software. The new controllers now have that similar look and finish as the Maschine and S-Series range of products — angular styling with blue LED metering. They’re a lot more compact but have more controls on offer. When placed alongside Mk2 and Mk1 versions there is a huge step up in how the new controllers look, a more professional feel, which makes the originals look almost amateur in design — which isn’t a dig considering that the original S4 was released in 2010 and the Mk2 2013. The S4 Mk3 now has two new hi-res displays per deck that show all vital information about the track that’s playing.

S2 Mk3


However, the real revelation is the Haptic feedback motorised jog-wheels that now sit on the top panel of the controller. Borrowing a trick from Denon DJ’s book, Native have given their S4 Mk3 motorised platters but have gone a step further as these platters now give haptic feedback to the user — when we got hands-on at a private one-to-one session we were pretty much blown away by how they felt and worked, and these were on the pre-production models. The haptic touch gives DJs another dimension of tactile sensory feedback that is applied to hot cues, start-points of tracks, spinbacks and other performance features associated with the jog-wheels. There’s so much more next level tech going on here, all in a controller that takes up less space than its predecessor. The S2 Mk3 doesn’t disappoint either – tagged as an entry-level controller, we would say that this is a title that doesn’t befit it. It doesn’t have the haptic motorised jog-wheels but it still has some tasty features of its own, and one in particular — the ability to hook it up to iPad devices makes it one of the best iPad DJ controllers doing the rounds. Watch out for our in-depth feature reviews soon. £719 S4 Mk3, £239 S2 Mk3 • n

S4 Mk3




A really simple and fast way for DJs to record their sets.


No Android version as of yet.


Record your mixes live with Pioneer DJ’s new app, DJM-REC... ioneer DJ seem to cover a lot of bases with their product range. Initially all DJorientated, they shifted their sights to the production arena with their TORAIZ product line and other areas with developments like KUVO and RB-DMX1 lighting interface. Now with their DJMREC app DJs can easily record their sets live and share them instantly on social media platforms.


recording will start to be drawn across the screen. Above the middle screen section are the Volume level controls, which can be adjusted to increase or decrease the volume of the signal. The meter display is highly accurate and very clear to read. Above this, the user has the option of selecting which digital recording format they wish to record in: WAV or Apple’s own AAC at varying bit-rates.

The new app is currently for the iOS platform but we hope to see it soon on Android as well — there are a wealth of Android users who would like to be able to reap the benefits of the new app.

There are also handy markers to let the DJ know how much recording space is available on the device, both in terms of time and memory space. The app will also indicate if you’re connected to a DJM mixer or using the in-built mic: everything is very clear and easy to navigate around. Oh, and there’s also a useful lock button next to the record which, once engaged, locks out the screen so that nothing accidental can happen during your recordings.

We’ve already seen the likes of Evermix that utilises an app and a bit of equipment for DJs to record their mixes and then post to social media, but with Pioneer DJ’s app it’s solely designed to be used with Pioneer DJ’s range of DJM mixers — no need for additional hardware as the app works by plugging in your iOS device to the mixer via Apple’s USB lighting cable. There’s a list of current hardware that will work with DJM-REC which can be found on Pioneer DJ’s website, generally most of Apple’s iPhones other than the really early incarnations and anything above iOS 8 will work. The current compatible mixers that work with DJM-REC are DJM-TOUR1, DJM-900NXS2, DJM-450, DJM-750MK2. Once downloaded, using the app is pretty straightforward. In fact, it’s really easy and doesn’t take any setting up at all — it’s literally ready to record. Let’s navigate around the app. There are five tabs at the bottom of the main viewer screen — Rec, Live, Play/Edit, File and Settings. Each of the five tabs allows the user to access each mode. Rec is for recording your sets — once connected to your mixer, simply press the red record button on-screen and your recording will start and the red button will pulsate to indicate you are in record mode. In addition, the waveform of your

Once you stop recording your session, the app automatically jumps to the Play/Edit screen. The screen in this mode is split into three areas. The top shows the level control meters, the middle section shows the complete mix waveform and then a zoomable waveform for fine-tuning and editing, which is really easy to operate again. Start points and end points can also be easily adjusted. Open up the Time tab and users can then go in and time-stamp track positions and input relevant track information. The app will also do this automatically (if you’re using CDJs), depending on the accuracy and quality of the data of your tracks when they have been through rekordbox and will identify fader positions as part of this process. Editing, adding and deleting timestamps is very easy as well.

A really useful and simple app that allows DJs to record their sets and share around the web.

VERDICT 9/10 Another subpage is Sound, which allows the user to tweak the sound of their mixes with a Loudness control which normalises the recorded audio. Normalising is a production process that makes the recording as loud as it can possibly be without clipping. There’s also a parameter to do a similar thing with the bass. Live Mode allows the user to live-stream their mixes to a host of social media platforms: YouTube, Facebook Live, Periscope, Instagram and Snapchat. File Mode is where all of your recordings and mixes are saved and where they can be uploaded to Mixcloud, Dropbox or other applications from the app. And finally, you have the Settings Mode, which has a few basic settings for the general running of the app. DJM-REC can also use your device’s in-built microphone for any recording use like field recording for your next track, or even for interviews. The app is so easy to use, which is what a DJ would want – simply hit record and go. n 105


XONE OUT Allen & Heath unveil new Flagship XONE:96 mixer Words: MICK WILSON


s reported a few months back Allen & Heath finally confirm the release of their new XONE:96 mixer, the heir apparent to their ultra-popular XONE:92. An analogue mixer which became a firm favourite with DJs, the XONE:92 is still requested on riders and found in booths worldwide. All the more amazing as the original XONE:92 was released fifteen years ago. Since then Allen & Heath released a few other quality mixers but nothing has really captured the attention of DJs like the 92 has. The DB4 and PX5 were digital mixers with a wealth of FX and other innovations and still had that famed Allen & Heath sound, but DJs were hanging on to the 92 and its analogue demeanour, one of the reasons being that a certain Ritchie Hawtin had adopted the mixer into his DJ set up. In fact, the XONE:92 was one of the inspirations behind Richie Hawtin’s and Andrew Rigby-Jones PLAYdifferently Model1 mixer – Andy was the original designer of the XONE:92. Jump forward to now and Allen & Heath have released the XONE:96 based around the familiar design and layout. Incorporating the features of the 92, the 96 adds additional innovations to bring it up to the present day. Rumoured for some time, DJs can now delight in the fact that it’s now a reality. The XONE:96 is an analogue mixer with state-of-the-art digital connectivity featuring precision four-band EQ with those famous Xone VCF filters and CRUNCH harmonic distortion to really add a bit of analogue dirt to your sound. Plus there’s now a dual 32-bit USB soundcard (24 channels at 96kHz) with Traktor Scratch certification straight out of the box. The potential of the XONE:96 being the partner mixer for the new range of Traktor software and hardware looks very likely indeed but that’s just us speculating. Xone:96 will enable users to easily connect their entire rig, from laptops and turntables, to pedals, synths and drum machines via one USB connection. There are two dedicated FX sends, four stereo input channels with fourband EQ, two stereo inputs with all-new threeband parametric EQ, two auxiliary stereo return channels and a separate master insert for outboard FX hardware.’ A serious feature rich arsenal available at the hands of the DJ.


The XONE:96 also offers two independent cueing systems as well as the dual soundcard allowing for smoother set transitions and back-to-back performances. Mix engineers and DJs can take full advantage of dedicated booth outputs featuring a new three-band booth EQ that allows precise tuning of a venue’s monitor rig. DJs can now dial in (or take away) tops, mids or bottom to get a sound that they are happy with in the booth. The mixer comes in a 6+2 channel layout and features

innoFADER Cross Fader as well as two master outs, MIDI out for controlling equipment and Allen & Heath’s own X-Link protocol for connecting up Allen & Heath controllers like the K2 as well as a host of send and return channels. As mentioned, the 96 doesn’t deviate too far from the layout of the XONE:92 so will be instantly familiar. The overall look of the mixer certainly shouts quality and professionalism, and as to how it sounds? Well it is an Allen & Heath it is going to sound bloody amazing... n

TECH Especially when it comes to bass response, every room sounds so different. Many people told me that they have never experienced such a stable centre image like in my studio. I put a lot of effort in getting to that point, and sometimes other places can be a bit frustrating. But there is one thing that really changed my life in regard to monitoring: Audeze headphones. They provide a great additional reference in my own studio, and using them, for the first time in my professional life, I have the feeling I can make more than just educated guesses. I am using the LCD-3 and LCD-4 at my own studio and the closed back LCD-XC when I am traveling, and I don’t ever want to work without them again.”


Hannes Bieger is a mix engineer who has mixed some very cool artists — Dixon and Âme being just two of the names on his esteemed client list. But what is the job of the mixing engineer? DJ Mag Tech spoke to Hannes in his Berlin studio to find out more about this side of the production process... What is the job of a mix engineer?

“The way I interpret it is that I am helping people get to the finishing line with the creative part of the production process. My main goal always is to make the artists sound like the best possible version of themselves. There is no ‘Hannes Bieger sound’, I think of it along the lines of polishing raw diamonds so that they shine the brightest in the end. On the one end of the spectrum there are producers like Stephan Bodzin, who create amazing productions to begin with. So first and foremost, the objective is to not screw anything up. Many clients tell me that they were unhappy with other mixing engineers because they have completely changed the sound picture.This might sound contradictory, but my objective is to make it better without changing it. And then it’s about taking the right steps, and precisely no more than that, to get to the end result. Bodzin’s tracks would be huge even without my touch but getting the last few percent out of them can be very satisfying. On the other side, many mixing clients consult me already in earlier production stages to help them with the final arrangement decisions. A bad arrangement never sounds good, and a great arrangement is sounding almost like a finished production even before the mixing process. In essence, I am not just tweaking knobs. People seek my advice, and I give my input wherever I see fit. In the end it’s all about the results, and my job is to determine the 108

best way to get there, employing whatever means it takes. I think the experience of many, many years in the trenches comes into play. It’s about knowing when to stop. Like Picasso said, ‘You can always do one more stroke with the brush, it’s about knowing when to put it away’. I like this thought.” How did you get into this area of production? “I started to build my studio many years ago to have a workspace for my own productions. Only later people who heard my stuff inquired about the engineering because they liked the way it sounded, and all I could do is tell them that I did it myself. Mixing other people’s music basically started from that point. I also did mastering for a while at Calyx Mastering in Berlin, and this collaboration is still very valuable to me. I learned a lot from Bo Kondren, owner and senior engineer at Calyx, and during this time I met many people in Berlin. This era was even before Innervisions was founded, but a little later Dixon and Âme were among my first mixing clients. Everything else developed from there. First slowly and pretty much under the radar, only through word of mouth, and at some point, everything I did became more and more visible.” Some engineers are used to their own set ups and speakers, is this a challenge for you when working out of a different studio? “Of course, this is a big challenge for everyone!

Is it important that you allow space for the different elements to breathe within a mix? “This might be an overused phrase, but I really aim to tell a story with a track, take the listeners and dancers by their hands and lead them through musical and sonic landscapes. Excitement comes through contrasts. When everything is super big, nothing is big! And when all signals in a track sound super wide there is no reference point for their width. Only the combination between mono elements and super wide sounds opens up the whole spectrum, and this applies to all other parameters like frequencies and dynamics as well. Building these arrangements and creating the transitions is almost like sculpting — carving out gaps between the sounds, adding something back, shaping the whole thing to become a fluid tale. Again, the arrangement is the key here, not just the mix. When my tracks are ready for mixing, this final step usually goes super-fast. But I take a lot of time for the final arrangement decisions. Nowadays many people tend to have too many elements in their tracks, for a multitude of reasons. The key is to have a few really good sounding main elements, and then you don’t need a tonne of layers to create excitement. And when you don’t have too much stuff going on and everything fits well, there naturally is space in the sound picture.” What do you do differently from when you first started? “I think the most important change is that I’m much more focused now, because I gained so much experience in all the years. And I have learned to trust my gut feelings better. If something doesn’t feel right I take this sentiment very seriously. Bo from Calyx once gave me this Brian Eno card deck, ‘Oblique Strategies’. The idea is to pull a card and do what it says when you are in a creative deadlock. My favourite card is ‘Gardening, not architecture!’ This could be a life motto as well, but to me first and foremost it explains the creative process like nothing else. Even if you started with a plan, at some point the track might develop in a different direction. And then the music has to take control and tell you what to do. It’s not wise to work against it, better to sow the seed and watch it and water it and help it grow rather than designing all details already in the beginning. It’s about taking a step back, about patience, your instincts — a rather humble approach. Ultimately, it’s more about listening, than about thinking. Lose yourself in the music and let it guide you…!” n




An incredibly versatile music production environment on the go!


No ability to export your work. A great time-killer for gamer musicians on the go but the lack of export options make this hard to recommend over other portable versions of the software..



DJ Mag Tech enlisted the help of self-confessed gamer and techno geek Kutski to try out Korg’s Gadget for Nintendo Switch... Words by KUTSKI


love computer games and I love music, simple as that. For me the two go hand in hand, so when DJ Mag Tech approached me to check out Korg’s Gadget for Nintendo Switch I jumped at the chance of combining my two passions. I recently picked up a copy of Nintendo’s quirky cardboard creation tool, Labo, with the intent of constructing the cardboard piano and seeing if there were any real-world studio applications. Alas, despite having a fun afternoon constructing it, the toolset is the basic of basics and really didn’t offer any value for me, not even any classic Nintendo sounds I could sample to use in a real production environment. Merely weeks after this failed experiment I saw Korg Gadget was released for Nintendo’s latest hit console Switch, and as a lifelong gamer and music producer I refused to admit defeat in uniting my two passions.

appropriate plugin and tweaking it to your liking rather than any form of in depth sound design. Thirty plugins is way too much to cover in this review, so I just wanted to pick out a select few and touch on my favourites. Marseille is a sample-based synth with a strong nod visually to its inspiration that is Nexus. This offers a wide variation of sounds from leads to strings and even a preset of the Korg’s iconic M1 house piano. Chicago, in both look and sound, is a clone of the classic TB-303 providing screaming acid basslines. London is my go-to drum machine offering wide range of presets including several paying homage to classic 808 and 909 patches. Bringing this back to the realm of videogames, I also have to give a nod to Kamata, a wavetable synthesiser modelled on the ‘Namco Custom 30’ sound chip used in many arcade hits of the ’80s giving that authentic 8-bit nostalgia of yesteryear.

Korg Gadget is a diverse collection of synth, sampler and drum machine plugins based on classic hardware, offering more than enough variation to compose music of all genres within its self-contained production environment. Each micro synth or ‘Gadget’ offers minimal control, which I found to be a refreshing change of pace to the pages of parameters we can sometimes be paralysed with in modern day VSTs. Each Gadget has a distinct sound and use, so after you become familiar with the synth it’s more a case of deciding the sounds you want, picking the

Gadget also comes with its own built-in sequencer to arrange your compositions. This is surprisingly intuitive with a workflow reminiscent of the classic Notator software for those old enough to remember, or its more contemporary successor, Session View in Ableton Live. Of course, this can be a little fiddly with the small touch screen or standard video game controller but considering the input methods available on the Switch it is surprisingly functional once you learn the shortcuts.

For me the main downfall of the software is the inability to export your work. When I said at the start of this review it was a self-contained production environment, I really meant it. There is no way to export your project out of this version of the software, or even render a final version of your track. This is not a limitation of the software, but an issue with the ‘locked down’ nature of Nintendo’s hardware. Currently there is no way to even back up your saved games on the Switch so without developer access to the SD card directly there is simply no way to get anything out of the system. The Switch does have an option to capture the last 30 seconds of gameplay and post to social media so this is an option to share short compositions, but I defaulted to the old-skool method of sampling from the headphone jack of the console into a digital recorder. Hopefully as the Switch firmware evolves, developers with have lower level access to the hardware and Korg could patch in some form of export function via the micro SD card, cloud servers or the USB C connection, however because of this limitation I simply couldn’t recommend the Switch version ahead the iOS or Mac version. However it’s a lot of fun and great for kids or anyone to get into the realms of music production in a light-hearted game environment. And if like me you travel a lot with a game console and simply want to use it for a fun pastime to create projects with no intent to develop them further it’s certainly a winner. n 109

EVENT CALENDAR 2018 A music festival with the sun on your face, wind in your hair. A concert to create unforgettable memories with family, loved ones and friends. Words: ARIEL JO

October [FESTIVAL]

ARCADIA JAPAN WHERE? Tsumagoi Resort Sai no Sato, Kakegawa, Japan WHEN? October 6th – 8th HOW MUCH? 23,800JPY - TBA HIGHLIGHTS: Arcadia Japan’s groundbreaking huge metal spider-like stage, where fans can see the world’s best DJs in 360 degrees, will herald the string of festivals showcasing the hottest dance music. www.


uring October till December 2018, the Asian concert/ music scene is releasing amazing line-up after lineup, sending an open invitation to all around the world. After seeing these line-ups, the only thing is to ask yourself, “Are you ready for the party of your lifetime?”


SUNBURN CITY FESTIVAL INDIA WHERE? Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East, Mumbai, India WHEN? October 5th – 7th HOW MUCH? 1,500INR – 2,999INR HIGHLIGHTS: There are upcoming music festivals in the heart of Bengaluru on October 5th and Mumbai on the 6th till 7th. Above & Beyond, Yellow Claw, Malaa, Moksi & Kristian Nairn have been released as the first line-up. www.


OFF ROUTE FEST KOREA WHERE? Nanji Hangang Park, Seoul, Korea WHEN? October 6th HOW MUCH? 88,000KRW HIGHLIGHTS: A festival full of powerful performances mixed with a variety of street culture. The line-up is strong and will be showing a hip-hop music of quality, especially seeing Jay Park, Dok2, Simon Dominic, and Loco in the mix.


SHI FU MIZ FESTIVAL HONG KONG WHERE? Cheung Chau Island, Hong Kong WHEN? October 27th -28th HOW MUCH? 402HKD – 932HKD HIGHLIGHTS: Two days filled with music at the beautiful Hong Kong bay. Ben UFO, Dan Shake, Skatebård, Glenn Underground are playing. www.

November [FESTIVAL]




WHERE? Bangkok, Manila, Tokyo, Seoul, Jakarta, Singapore WHEN? October 22nd – November 5th HOW MUCH? TBA HIGHLIGHTS: Leader of tropical house and Norwegian DJ Kygo visits Asia staring his tour from Bangkok. [Bangkok: Oct. 22nd, Manila: Oct.25th, Tokyo: Oct. 27th, Seoul: Oct. 30th] [Djakarta: Nov 2nd, Bali: Nov. 3rd, Singapore: Nov. 5th] www.

WHERE? Yes24 Live Hall, Seoul, Korea WHEN? November 3rd HOW MUCH? 99,000KRW HIGHLIGHTS: The Platform Music Festival continues the proud tradition of hosting just one genre of music. Aly & Fila and Giuseppe Ottaviani are a just few examples of the amazing trans line-up. www.



WHERE? Korea, Japan, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong WHEN? October 25th – November 11rd HOW MUCH? TBA HIGHLIGHTS: World-wide famous Khalid’s Asian tour starts with Seoul on October 25th. [Seoul: Oct. 25th, Okinawa: Oct. 26th, Shinjuku: Oct. 29th, Bangkok: Oct 31st] [Manila: Nov. 2nd, Kuala Lumpur: Nov 4th, Singapore: Nov. 6th, Djakarta: Nov. 9th] [Hong Kong: Nov. 11st] www.

WHERE? KL Live / Chin Woo Stadium / Medan Pasar / Urbanscapes House / River Of Life / Lorong 2HK / Lorong 2 Hang Kasturi / The Zhongshan Building / Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia WHEN? November 3rd – 18th HOW MUCH? 279MYR HIGHLIGHTS: The oldest art & music festival in Malaysia will be held at 9 locations for 3 weeks. Kahlid, Wolf Alice, Bodega and Se So Neon are confirmed as the line-up bringing the heat to Malaysia during the 3 weeks.



SENSATION RISE INDIA WHERE? Gachibowli Stadium, Hyderabad, India WHEN? October 27th HOW MUCH? 2750INR – 9350INR HIGHLIGHTS: Sensation Rise India is more than enough to attract music fans from all corners to India. www.



OWL CITY CINEMATIC TOUR JAPAN & KOREA WHERE? Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Seoul WHEN? November 7th – 11th HOW MUCH? TBA HIGHLIGHTS: Owl City expanding into electronica and synth pop will invade Japan and South Korea. Come and witness Owl City’s expanded reach at this winter’s concert. [Tokyo: Nov. 7th, Nagoya: Nov. 8th, Osaka: Nov. 9th, Seoul: Nov. 11st] www.



WHERE? Central Harbourfront, Hong Kong WHEN? November 9th – 11st HOW MUCH? 890HKD HIGHLIGHTS: The largest music & art festival in Hong Kong. Interpol, Khalid, David Byrne, Anpu, Caribou, The Vaccines and other fresh artists are here to rock your world. www.

WHERE? Fort gate, Fort Canning Park, Singapore WHEN? November 9th – 11st HOW MUCH? 199GSD - 279SGD HIGHLIGHTS: A beautiful music festival collaborated by local Singaporean and world-class artists. Yuna, Interpol, The Vaccines, Caribou and more line-up artists will give you an experience to never forget.



IT’S THE SHIP SINGAPORE WHERE? Dream Cruises, Singapore to Phuket Thailand WHEN? November 4th – 7th HOW MUCH? 928SGD HIGHLIGHTS: It’s The Ship is a one-of-kind music festival hosted on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean. Vini Vici, Cash Cash, Paul Van Dyk, Sander Van Doom, Showtek is here with their electrifying performances.



ARCADIA TAIWAN WHERE? Dajia Riverside Park, Taipei, Taiwan WHEN? November 10th HOW MUCH? 3600TWD - 4030TWD HIGHLIGHTS: Arcadia’s metal spider will finally land at Taiwan after Arcadia Japan. Arcadia Taiwan celebrates the third year of its Final Landing. An impressive line-up including Showtek and Zomboy awaits you.



WHERE? The one entertainment park Yangon, Myanmar WHEN? November 30th HOW MUCH? TBA HIGHLIGHTS: What began six years ago on the magical island Ibiza, is now a worldwide phenomenon that takes place in stadiums and arenas around the globe. Don’t Let Daddy Know is coming to Myanmar.


THE WEEKND ASIA WHERE? Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, Manila, Bali, Taipei, Seoul, Tokyo WHEN? November 30th – December 18th HOW MUCH? TBA HIGHLIGHTS: The Weeknd, a rising star in PBR&B, reflecting the change in pop music will reveal his new performance to Asian fans, starting with Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Nov. 30th, Bangkok: Dec. 2nd, Singapore: Dec. 5th, Manila: Dec. 7th, Bali: Dec. 9th, Taipei: Dec. 12nd, Seoul: Dec. 15th, Chiba: Dec. 18th



ZOUKOUT MUSIC FESTIVAL SINGAPORE WHERE? Siloso Beach, Sentosa, Singapore WHEN? December 1st HOW MUCH? 148SGD – 248SGD HIGHLIGHTS: The only Asian festival that parties dusk to dawn, hosted in Singapore. Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Galantis, W&W and many more world-class DJs are here to the oil-burning through the night.



WHERE? GWK Cultural Park, Bali, Indonesia WHEN? December 7th – 9th HOW MUCH? 1,600,000IDR – 3,300,000IDR HIGHLIGHTS: Started with underground party, DWP is celebrating its 10th Anniversary. Alesso, Armin Van Buuren, DJ Snake, Major Lazer Soundsystem, Porter Robinson and RL Grime will be waiting for you at DWP.

EPIZODE VIETNAM WHERE? Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam WHEN? December 28th – January 8th HOW MUCH? 4,565,793VND - 6,980,509VND HIGHLIGHTS: Epizode celebrates its third anniversary and is needless-to-say the largest techno festival in Asia. The amazing line-up of Nina Kraviz, Praslesh, Ricardo Villalobos, Seth Troxler, Sonja Moonear, Zip will maintain the hype for 11 days.




WHERE? Live Park Rama 9 Bangkok, Thailand WHEN? December 8th – 9th HOW MUCH? 2,999THB HIGHLIGHTS: 808 Festival 2018 will be the 6th installment of Thailand’s leading EDM festival. A state of trance with Armin van Buuren on 8th December.

WHERE? Oxford Golf Resorts, Pune, India WHEN? December 29th – 31st HOW MUCH? 2999INR - TBA HIGHLIGHTS: Sunburn season 12 does not only shake India, but also the whole world. Sunburn festival has a large array of attractions, such as the flea market, F&B, experience booth, and of course, its eye-catching stages.


Lucky Seven is a page where we can see what music has influenced the great DJs in their past days, throwing seven common questions to each of these DJs. Nicky Romero and KSHMR have been loved throughout Asia, and we are more than happy to share with our readers the music that these two great artists consider most important. Listen to not only their awesome new music, but also to the precious tracks that affected them.




‘GOOD VIBES SOLDIER’ Following a huge summer schedule, innovative DJ and producer, KSHMR, is back, with the release of his latest single. Released on his Dharma Worldwide label, ‘Good Vibes Soldier’ follows reggaeton tones which are of stark contrast to his previous massive big-room production. KSHMR has always gone out of his way to be creative, specifically through the incorporation of traditional Indian elements in his productions. While we now know that big room works perfectly with KSHMR’s production style, it seems that the same can be said about reggaeton.

Multi-Platinum DJ and producer Nicky Romero teams up with 2x Grammy-nominated DJ and producer Steve Aoki and certified multi-platinum pop singer Kiiara to release his latest powerhouse single, ‘Be Somebody’. ‘Be Somebody’ opens with a smooth melody met by self-empowering lyrics lead by Kiiara’s delicate but assertive vocals. At the bridge, the dynamic DJ duo, Steve Aoki and Nicky Romero, deliver an energetic beat in perfect tandem with Kiiara creating an addictive sound that will have you dancing while feeling empowered.


“Billie Jean’ by Michael Jackson. His melodies always captivated me and he was one of the first inspirations I had to pursue music of my own. There will never be some like him again.” THE TRACK THAT REMINDS YOU OF YOUR CHILDHOOD?


“‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ by Coolio.” THE FIRST RECORD THAT YOU EVER BOUGHT?

“I guess it’s ‘Electro’ by Outwork because it was the first record I really loved in 130bpm, or plump djs electric disco.”

“‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ by Coolio.”



“I listen to a lot of older song writers like Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen. Their songs and storytelling inspire me and create incredible emotion.”

“Actually I mostly listen to non-dance music: The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Coldplay, The Killers, and Hans Zimmer.”

“If I have to pick one, ‘Songbird’ of Fleetwood Mac.”

“‘Tears In Heaven’ by Eric Clapton.”



“‘Voicenotes’ by Charlie Puth.”

“Brooks is a great producer. I love his recent work.”



“‘Thriller’ by Michael Jackson.”

“‘Illmatic’ by Nas and ‘Abbey Road’ by The Beatles.”



“‘Man In The Mirror’. Because of its message, with starting with yourself if you want to change the world.” u

“‘Let It Be’ by The Beatles.” 114



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