hile most relate the early 1990’s to the emergence of dark pounding metal, nerd liberating grunge rock, and of course the pivotal boy band, EDM enthusiasts around the world recall these years as the era where dance music first put its foot in the door, and caught everyone’s musical attention. These were the times where many revolutionary artists began showing the world what dance music really was, and began to lay the foundation for many other artists to come. Besides the birth of techno and early house, America really didn’t seem to have much to show internationally in the world of electronic music. Shutting ourselves off from the world by thriving through our top 40 pop music ways, we essentially created a bubble around our own listeners - protecting us from the musical growth that
Words: Alexia Chuck Photos by: Carlos G. Rodas
was emanating in other countries around the world. Little did everyone know, while it seemed as if we were struggling to nurture our own dance music scene, we did happen to carry a few secret weapons in our arsenal. Pushing the boundaries and essentially becoming a world-wide household name connected to dance music, meet America’s secret weapon: The Crystal Method. Slowly changing the way America saw EDM, The Crystal Method had a way of luring new listeners from all wakes of life. They were a group that not only did our country justice, but eventually grew into becoming a very important catalyst in the evolution of our very own version of Dance Music history. Created by musical masterminds Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland, The Crystal Method began in 1993 when the two friends moved from their hometown in Las Vegas to the main American musical epicenters: Los Angeles. Producing from their underground studio nicknamed “The Bomb Shelter” it was not long before they caught the ears of many listeners
around the world. In 1996 The Crystal Method released their first album ‘Vegas’ which went gold in 1998, and continued on to became platinum in 2007 (A honor that many American EDM producers cannot claim that they have had the privilege of achieving). Along with two highly acclaimed albums (Tweekend - 2001, and Legion Of Boom - 2004), The Crystal Method also released two continuous mixes which were based off of their weekly radio show called ‘Community Service’, which aired on the local Los Angeles radio station: Indie 103.1 every Friday. ‘Community Service’ and ‘Community Service II’ contained several mainstream remixes (Electronica, pop, and rock alike), as well as a few new originals by the group. These compilation mixes would go on to rank high on the electronic dance music charts, as well as the American billboard charts (at a time where EDM artists were rarely marked high on American charts). Releasing these mixes caught the attention of many non EDM listeners, and essentially showed many people a side to electronic music that no one here in America had heard before. After releasing their album ‘Legion Of Boom’ in 2005, The Crystal Method began constructing their new studio which would later be known as ‘Crystalwerks’. In this new creative space between the years of 2006 – 2009 they would go on to produce their 4th full length album ‘Divided By Night’ which proceeded their Divided By Night tour. They would also be approached by Nike start off a series of “Work Out” mixes called: DRIVE - With their mix named DRIVE: Nike + Original Run. 2011 continued on to be another productive year for the duo – Going on a nationwide tour with Identity Fest, as well as participating in a ground breaking documentary Re:Generation. Priding themselves in creating a sound that bridged the gap between all musical genres – mainstream and underground alike, Ken and Scott have easily become two of the vital brick-layers in the path to EDM in our mainstream world today. Magic and revolution do not happen overnight. We caught up with the guys to see how they feel their own personal endeavors and accomplishments have changed modern American music culture: We know you just finished your tour with Identity Festival, how was your experience going on that tour? Ken: “Identity was great. It was a very ambitious tour all over the country and they hit a lot of places that don’t really have an existing strong EDM scene. They’re in it for the long haul so I think there’s going to be identity festivals for years to come. We met a lot of other really cool artists, and we’re going to continue to work with them, or at least be friends with them.“ Scott: “Yeah it was great. Dylan, who is Le Castle Vania was on tour with identity as well. We’ve met him before the tour, but on that tour we became friends and he has been a fan of us since he was in high school and we’ve been fans of him since he’s been…not in high school - Haha. But yeah the identity tour was fun, the people on the tour were amazing.
“We just loved what we were doing and went forward with it. What we have found out over the years is that a lot of people who were into those heavy bands, or even those hip hop bands have found something in our music that pulled them into electronic music”
Its great seeing the pure electronic music fan not being pushed in a dark room and told to stay up till 4 am just to experience the music they love. This was an outdoor festival, for the most part and it was an experience where dance music kind of came out of the darkness and had the opportunity to exist in sort of a different way - Which a lot of people didn’t think could happen. I would definitely think, at least from our perspective, that the tour was very successful.” How would you describe the different experiences that you had at each Identity show? Scott: “The elements had a lot to do with the different experiences. I would have to say you wouldn’t think that Boston is an area that experiences a lot of hot weather…Well maybe they do, but I’ve only ever heard that they have a lot of cold weather. When we went on stage in Boston, it was around 4pm and it was probably around 90-100 degrees with 80 percent humidity. It was just a really, really warm day. The enthusiasm and numbers that were there to represent and support the stage and to support us at that moment was mind boggling. We found that everywhere - Whether there was a storm coming in and kids had to dance in the rain, or whether it was the heat like that heat at Dallas - It was off the charts Again It was an experiment in sort of changing the mindset of the average person who doesn’t understand the culture. The culture is about the music and the people who love the music and the experience that they have with it. We were just blown away by everyone’s enthusiasm, and just grateful for everyone’s support, no matter how harsh the elements were.” Since you’ve been around since the early 90’s how would you say you’ve played a part in electronic music’s history and evolution? Ken: “Well you know for a long time there weren’t a lot of American electronic acts doing well, it was kind of just us and Moby, for the most
part. So I think our success hopefully paved the way for all the North American acts that are having a lot of success now. We thought it would happen a lot sooner, but whatever, now is good.” Scott: “Well you have to remember we released our first album in 1994, and that was a time where acts like Nirvana and Pearl jam were the kind of energy that was permeated through the culture of the United States. The mentality was all grunge and rock, - Fuck dance music and fuck the hair metal bands - This was pure, dirty, and had roots in rock and punk. So we had no idea what our potential success, or what our potential market was. We just loved what we were doing and went forward with it. What we have found out over the years is that a lot of people who were into those heavy bands, or even those hip hop bands have found something in our music that pulled them into electronic music. I think that is the greatest compliment we get, is that we were the first electronic band they listened to. And through us, they discovered all these other artists, and are deeply entrenched in this culture because of a song or an album that we put out that changed their perspective of what electronic music was.” Do you feel like your goals with your music have changed over the years? Ken: “Well early on we had small goals. We wanted to just put out a record. So we put out a vinyl record, and we were happy with that. During that time we sort of did have a plan: We wanted to release 2 vinyl singles, and then in turn try to get a record deal. When that all happened, then our goal after that was to make the best album we could. Now we have a little bit more perspective - We want to keep making albums, but we also like working on soundtracks for films and doing different projects like that.” How would you say music has impacted both of your lives on a personal level?
Scott: “Success has changed us. It has changed us in a way that I can’t even imagine. The things that we have gotten to do… I mean, both Ken and I have even met our wives at events. To be able to have the opportunity to see the world, and to do all the things that we have done - Sometimes it’s hard to believe and every day when we wake up and get to do the things that we always wanted to do for a living - And to find all these people around the world who appreciate those things…It’s just a tremendous opportunity for us, and it is all very gratifying in many ways.” What are your thoughts on the electronic music evolution/ revolution? Ken: “Yeah it’s changing and it’s always changing. Right now there have been a couple things that have put electronic music on the map. First of all there’s that whole pop success with artists like David Guetta and Lady Gaga, and then whole dubstep thing - Which is just amazing. We’re open to it all. Anything that brings more attention to electronic dance music is good news for us.” Scott: “When we first released Vegas and The Prodigy released The Fat Of The Land and Chemical Brothers released Exit Planet Dust, there was a lot of hype and a lot of energy focused on electronic music. Like we’ve said, we never bought into that this was going to be the next best thing. We always knew the power of radio and keeping the status quo, but we’ve always said that electronic music would continue to influence other music. With things happening like 10 years ago Timbaland putting in sounds and beats that reflected electronic music and Lady Gaga’s album being released a dance album. And even dubstep has so many elements of hip hop - The tempos, the energy of heavy metal and rock, and all those electronic sounds that came from those early days. I think it’s an evolution to the point that it’s going to continue to evolve but it’s here and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.” With the new generation of EDM listeners or ravers are you worried about this new crowd forgetting EDM’s roots? Ken: “You know I guess there’s always a chance of that. I think young kids making rock music today might not know who little Richard is. So it’s possible, but that’s just the way it goes. I think there will always be people that will look back at history and recognize the roots. If people love the music, then that’s
great. If they make new music, that’s great as well. They’re not required to know the history of it.” Scott: “Honestly, I’m just waiting for the classic dance channel to come out!” Tell us about your work for the movie Re:generation? Ken: “It just turned out to be an incredible project. It looks so amazing and sounds so amazing. There were 5 electronic artists working with 5 legends in other genres. We got to work with Martha from the Motown years. “ Scott: “Everybody had a great time breaking out of their comfort zones. For us it was really not that far from where we normally live because we have already loved funk and soul. That era and that time was really an inspiration for The Beatles and even The Rolling Stones. Those albums you could listen to today and still people are trying to capture the energy and soul from those projects. We were lucky enough to work with Martha who was around in that era of Motown, and was a big part of the Motown sound. She is as energetic and determined to bring that sound to her fans and support the city of Detroit as she was when she first started. We couldn’t be happier with the track, and can’t wait to see the final documentary looks like. It was just a blast.” With the continued attention The Crystal Method has received, Ken and Scott have truly proved that their footprint in dance music history will forever be embedded in our hearts. In for the long haul of where electronic dance music has and will take them, Ken and Scott True veterans in the American electronic music world. There is method in our madness, and the world has gone completely crazy for American electronic music.
TOP 10 US FESTIVALS
r 3, 4, 5 (2011) ekend! (Septembe Date: Labor Day We and Park, New York City, New York n Doorn 's Isl , Rusko, Sander Va Location: Randall lvin Harris, Kid Sister Ca o, ss Ale ts: tis Past Featured Ar icZoo eevent.com/Electr Weekend at Website: www.mad York on Labor Day thing can Island Park in New No 's . all on nd mo Ra d at an . u yo n.. s await r the su in spite A little bit crazy fun every genre of electronic music unde the show continued ying, en t wh ge ar u ye s Yo o. thi t Zo tha sa d the ve Electric to pro y up d the d live s An going on! t promoter stop the show from ngs issued that weekend. The even rni of the hurricane wa ow must go on!” e sh “Rain or shine... Th and more, they , Wolfgang Gartner, Chemical Brothers ing production, and killer vibes. e Th lo, Dip as ch Bringing in artists su weekend with bumping beats, amaz sic going off. They made it hard are able to fill up the d, there was a different selection of muluded a face and body painting ne Everywhere you tur wanted to be! Made Events also inc u . to decide where yo t remix station, and the Garden of EZ hir area, as well as a t-s ll, I think it's safe to tter than that?” We . What could be be an event that no one will be able to s.. nd mi le's op pe “Our job is to blow le to accomplish that. Electric Zoo is ab say that they were forget easily.
LOVEVOLUTION Date: September 24 (2011) Location: San Francisco, California Past Featured Artists: Pendulum, The Glitch Mob, Jes, The Plump DJ's Website: www.sflovevolution.org If you're looking for something crazy, fun, and unique, LovEvolution in San Francisco is definitely the way to go! This event is in so many ways, unlike any other event; I mean, what other events that you've been to has provided massag e therapists and live painting? Running on it's 7th year, this event fills the streets of San Francisc o with festive partygoers, following float after float to the grounds of the Oracle Arena and the O.co Coliseum. If you for some reason can't make it to the parade, don't worry! Skills, the company behind the scenes, throws an immediate after party at the Oracle Arena. “LovEvolution exists to produce a celebration of the highest forms of electronic music culture and technology, in the belief that dance promotes peace, love, unity, and respect.” And that's exactly what you get from them! There are nothing but positive vibes radiating from each and every person in attendance. Everywh ere you look, there are smiling faces, and nothing but good times had. LovEvolution is the closest the states will get to the famous Love Parade in Berlin. So go, have a blast, and dance your heart away!
LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE Date: May 27, 28, 29, 30 (2011) Location: Silverado, California Past Featured Artists: Pretty Lights, Lucent Dossier Experience, Claude VanStroke, Android Cartel, Beats Antique Website: www.lightninginabottle.org Looking for something a little different from your average “rave?” Look no further, because Lightning In a Bottle will satisfy your needs. Filled with workshops, yoga sessions, art installations, and an agglomeration of activities, this event will help you relax and “zen-out.” Lightning In a Bottle is more of a celebration than a music festival. It celebrates art, music, performances, sustainability, and life. It has been taking place annually for over a decade, creating miracles of sorts. LIB commits to bringing an array of speakers for their workshops, and the Do Lab, the company behind it all, brings in amazing, top notch art installations. LIB is a family friendly event, with areas set up just for the children; helping not only the children, but their parents and families as well, with finding ways to connect with each other, and of course with themselves. LIB has perpetually set the standard for all US festivals. They've even won the 2010 Outstanding Greener Festival Award. If you need something that will help you relax and help you shed the negativity, check out Lightning in a Bottle. I promise you won't regret it!
TOP 10 US FESTIVALS
NOCTURNAL WONDERLAND Date: September 23, 24 (2011) Location: San Bernardino, California o, Gabriel & Dresden, Wippenberg, Glenn Past Featured Artists: Aly & Fila, Sebastian Ingross Morrison Website: www.nocturnalwonderland.com out the year, and Nocturnal Wonderland is Insomniac throws some pretty intense events through rland theme, the venue as well as the Wonde their to true Staying best. their of definitely one ingly. accord ted decora and up d dresse all performers, are to Nocturnal Festival in 2006 and recently Nocturnal Wonderland, whose name was converted event, and this year, they were able to top running t longes iac's changed back this year, is Insomn able to bring out more talent, spread out were they days, 2 all previous Nocturnal's. Expanding to Gate feat Emma Hewitt, and more! Cosmic Avicii, e, among 5 differently themed stages; Kaskad ts, to gogo dancers, to stilt walkers, And you can't forget the performers, who range from aerialisfestival grounds that will grab your the and fire twirlers. They create an atmosphere among the gates. through step you t momen the you re enraptu and n attentio leave you mesmerized, and you set off for But most of all, they leave you in a state of awe. They experience.” And that's exactly what you the about all it's all, “After ures. a night of fun and advent nce. experie able memor and g amazin get with their shows... An
Date: October 29 (2011) Past Featured Artists: Armin Van Buure n, Nero, Erick Morillo, Caspa, The Gasla Website: www.monstermassive.com mp Killer Ghouls, monsters, zombies... ine any frightening entity, and it will proba Monster Massive. Thrown by ImagVentu bly be at res, Monster Massive thousands of festive party-goers,Go ts thousands and all dressed up in their costume ofattrac choice. Going on it's 14th consecutive of operation, Monster Massive has consi one of the highlights of the year.year stently been Filled with several fright-filled scena rios, decorations, and hauntings, it can be quite the adve nture something different. Last year for exam . Each year, the team surprises everyone with pop out and scare you at rando Theyple, they set up an area where “creatures” would also had characters walking around the who would scare you at sporadic m. venue moments throughout the night. In previous years, they have been host to & Status, and Steve Angello. This year, top name artists such as Markus Schulz, Chase they present an “Armin Only: Mirage” set, with Nero, performing live, Moby, and along the Gaslamp Killer. The musical selection for this year's Mons ter Massive is unlike any other Halloween costumes ready, your get your faces on, and be prepared for one! So suspenseful night of the year! Unforscare of the most tunat ely, due to unfor esee n circum Monster Massive had to be cancelled. Howe stances, this year's ver, I have faith that they year with something bigger and bette r to wow their fans once again! will come back next
Allen & Heath Db2 The Allen & Heath Xone:DB2 is a fully digital high-end 4-channel mixer
Allen & Heath have launched two exciting new products at BPM 2011. The Xone:DB2 is a fully digital state-of the-art mixer with two multi-FX engines. It retains all the main features of the top-of-the-range Xone:DB4, but has a much more competitive price tag. The Xone:K2 is a compact DJ controller with an internal 4channel soundcard. The four input channels each feature a flexible input matrix which can select from four USB, four analogue and two digital sources. The DB2 also inherits the “trimodal EQ” of its big brother. This can be configured as asymmetric EQ (+6/25 dB), total kill (+6/off with a 24 dB/octave slope), or as a high-pass / low-pass filter system with adjustable resonance.
Written by: Trevor Yagen
TEENAGE ENGINEERING OP-1 Style Meets Function Taking a look at the newest incarnation from Swedishbased Teenage Engineering and one can only wonder what they put in the water over there. At first glance, Teenage Engineering's OP-1 seems like another toyish synth that's fun for a few hours and then shelved with the rest of the nonprofessional novelty items, but upon taking a closer look that is definitely not the case. The Interface Teenage Engineering has paid meticulous detail to quality and engineering in this masterpiece, which is made evident right off the bat with it's CNC Machined aluminum casing and it's active-matrix organic LED screen which in my opinion is the best looking display screen I have ever seen on a synthesizer. The front panel is laid out in a very clean fashion and enables for a very good workflow, which is important as this little beast is being pushed as an all in one workstation. Under the Hood Inside the OP-1 lies a synth, sampler, drum machine, multitrack recorder, effects unit and a controller. Although all the front-end buttons and knobs transmit MIDI data, the lack of velocity sensitivity on the keys means this little unit might not be the one that replaces your MIDI controller just yet. Maybe this will be available in a Mk2 version? We can only hope so. Synthesis There are seven types of synthesis thus far which comprise the sound creation portion of the OP-1. Needless to say after the Sweden being home to such synth gurus as Elektron, you can expect that the synthesis is anything but conventional. You would be correct in doing so. The OP-1
employs synthesis ranging from the traditional 4-op DX style synthesis to the diverse and alien “oscillator cluster” type synthesis and everything in between, including a magnificent 8-bit sounding “frequency domain” synthesizer called “Dr. Wave”. There are four adjustable parameters for each synth, and they can be accessed with those bright colored knobs on the front panel. Although some of the synthesis methods adopt a not so traditional approach to creating sound. It's not that difficult to quickly generate something for your next project with ease. Another bonus is that Teenage Engineering has promised additional synthesis engines to be added in future upgrades. Workability As Teenage Engineering has advertised the OP-1 as an all in one workstation, you would expect is workflow to be very clean and to inspire creativity without too much of a learning curve. The OP-1 offers a (again) not so traditional approach in it's recording section. Instead of using the common MIDIbased recording, which is used in most popular workstations, the OP-1 has adopted a “four-track tape” audio recording system. Now don't let that terminology fool you. The OP-1 has an audio recording system that is much more functional that your tape recorder from the past. It supersedes that antique technology with such functions as being able to slide takes around on the timeline, copy and pasting, and arrangement and effects tricks such as Breaks, loops and reverse recording. It's onboard endless sequencer and 16-step sequencer enable you to create all of your synth and drum ideas with ease and the LED screen makes it easy to focus on your mission at hand: To keep your creative flow going and
produce your musical ideas with ease. Other Features The OP-1 has a 16-hour rechargeable battery inside, making it the perfect candidate for an international flight or just a family holiday when you feel that inspiration coming on and need a standalone unit who's battery won't crap out on you right when you get in the rhythm. That being said there is a USB port onboard enabling you connectivity to your computer to transmit and receive full MIDI control (minus the keyboard velocity sensitivity of course) and also the ability to transfer audio and data files over USB as well, making it an excellent addition to your already existing DAW. In Conclusion I'm always a sucker for innovation, and this unit falls nothing short of innovative. Both in vanity and in function, the OP-1 shines and exceeds my expectations in what I thought this sleek little unit could produce. With a graphical interface that looks like it was designed by the most top-notch graphic designer and a front-end layout that just screams quality and planning, one could not go wrong with giving it a try, unless, however, you look at the daunting price tag of $1,100.00. But all in all, with the OP-1's rugged casing and a full load of internal features, Teenage Engineering is definitely giving you your money's worth.
TRACK REVIEWS Gammer & Klubfiller Future Fuzz Muffin Music This is a track by the world's number 1 hardcore producer DJ Gammer, along with one of the most promising hardcore producers coming out of the UK Bounce scene, Klubfiller. These two take you on a melodic trip into the 'future' with a track full of melodies, buildups, and a nice side of that electro-core sound that has been taking control of the dance floors worldwide. If you like that funky bass you will be sure to love this tune.
PICK OF THE MONTH
Shadow Feat. Marie Louise Raver Bill Time After time (Rhythmics Remix) Jump around Yorkshire core records Betamuse CLASSIC REMIX ALERT! What a tune we have here by a STRONG up and comer in the hardcore scene. Rhythmics has done a great job by keeping the old school feeling in this tune, by adding heavenly feeling melodies and vocals that will sing to your soul. Expect to hear this release worldwide for all the cheesy crowds.
Sy & Joey Riot F_cking Sh_t Music Quosh Records It's hard to know where to start with this tune. With this absolutely smashing remix of a VERY well known tune by AC Slater called 'Rave music'. This remix of the classic has been properly redone by 2 strong artists in the hardcore scene. In my opinion this is one of the best tracks to be released in 2011. A proper review for this cannot justify how amazing this track really is, don't take my words for it, LISTEN AND FALL IN LOVE. This tune is absolutely amazing.
Re-Con The New Style Twista (Direct)
Even though this is a new release, this tune certainly brings back the style that Re-Con first showed when breaking through the hardcore scene. This tune is full of funky sounds, uplifting melodies, and lasers â€“ really giving it that old hard house feel. Re-Con has really brought back his roots with this "new style". Fear not because it is certain that you will be hearing this tune worldwide at your next big rave.
An amazing re-hash of the classic hit House of Pain - Jump around! This fresh up and comer is straight out of Glasgow and he has been producing some bouncy, rough tunes. For the remix enthusiasts and abstract hardcore fans, this tune will fit perfectly into your mix. Be on the lookout for more Raverbill as Yorkshire records will be releasing more of his music in the future.
Re-Con & Ramos Dirty B*tch. RSR Recordings Where oh where did the rainbows and love go in hardcore? If the lovey-dovey hardcore isn't for you, then this offensive release is right up your alley. Sex, profanity, and dirty beats is where these two artist's take you. Is this a remix of the famous release "Suck My Dick."? Not quite, but while this mix does have some of the same melody and vocals, it is a new mix all together.
HARDCORE / HAPPY HARDCORE
ALBUMS REVIEWS PICK OF THE MONTH
Format:B Restless Tech House Formatik Franziskus Sell and Jakob Hildenbrand have definitely found their market, and that is thriving, pulsing, 'make you want to move' - Tech House. Their LP Restless is the first release on the duo's own imprint “Formatik”. While it is currently topping Beatport's Top 100 Releases chart, it makes this album even that much more intriguing. “Desire,” while it is pretty, has no correlation to the rest of the songs on the album, and quite frankly, in my opinion, is just holding me back from hearing awesome music. “Liquid” featuring Fran, is how the album should've started. Great chord progression, and the lyrics are wonderfully sexy and borderline inappropriate. “Socks & Sandals” is a great Eastern European groove, it's reminiscent to Umek's Slovenian style. “Warped” has a great break down that sort of deconstructs the track and slows it down. The transition back to the original beat is where you start to feel warped! “Atomizer” has, by far, the best slap bass of any house song ever created. “Oversexed,” needs to be played on every single dancefloor. It has a great build that borrows a little bit of old school vocal stylings to the mix. “Country Girl” gets the award for most innovative way to use a harmonica in a Tech House track—and extra kudos for actually making it sound cohesive. “Piano Man” has a great bass melody that is easy to become in love with. I'm also a fan of the “boing” sample. I expect a lot from a song entitled “Biker Meth,” but sadly, it's one of the “chiller” songs on the album—a little disappointing, but still a good transitional track. Finishing off this great LP is “Between The Lines.” again, taking a chilled out approach. I thought they would end with a little more high energy but it is still a consistent track. I encourage you to get this release. It's one of the first albums in a while where I can honestly say, I like every single song.
Hartmut Kiss Water Games EP Progressive House
Porter Robinson Spitfire EP Electro House/Dubstep Owsla
Gui Boratto III Techno Ko
Being one of the highest selling releases on Beatport in October certainly gives this German producer Hartmut Kiss something to brag about. The Water Games EP is, in a nutshell, epic. Granted, there are only two songs on the EP, but the original is a little over 10 minutes, and the Eelke Kleijn Vintage Remix is over 9 minutes, so it's not like you're being jipped by any means.
Spitfire is the tale of a boy growing up. If you listen to his earlier tracks, and compare it to the songs on the EP, there is a definite change in production--and that's not a bad thing in the slightest. Porter was already good. Now with the amount of festivals he's played at, in addition to the amount of heavyweights he's met while being on tour, his production has seen a major upgrade. He's taking more risks with his timing, sequencing, and genre juggling and it's paying off in a big way. The tracks sound more complete, they are a bit darker, and there is variety in each measure.
Gui Boratto is quite possibly having the best year ever. His remix of Massive Attack's “Paradise Circus” received both underground and commercial success, as it was chosen to be the song in the background for the Lincoln MKX advertisements. III takes on a deeper persona unlike Gui's earlier work. I believe old fans will enjoy his newer diverse sound.
Reminding me a little of Pryda's “The End,” the original mix of “Water Games” has a very cool, mixedmeter/syncopated intro—you know the kind where there isn't a steady beat at all, and you're certain that there has to be one in there, but it just confuses you even more to even try to figure it out? But, on the same token, that's what pulls you into the original in the first place. And the sitar-like instrument that is used is equally as innovative as is mysterious. The Eelke Kleijn Vintage Remix takes an entirely different approach. If the original was comparable to a person drowning, consider this mix to be when they finally come up for air. Still keeping the effected bassline, this remix adds a more transient, aerated feeling—perfect for the beginning to any Progressive, Tech House, or Chillout set.
Wolfgang Gartner Weekend In America Electro House Ultra Wolfgang Gartner's (Joey Youngman), long anticipated debut album "Weekend In America," is comprised of 11 tracks, all of which follow the "melt faces" agendum. For the most part, the album essentially sounds like the Wolfgang we know and love, but with a kick... and a proverbial long white tee. Space Junk", "Ménage à Trois", and "Circus Freaks (featuring Jim Jones and Cam'ron"), "Forever (featuring Will.I.Am)", and "Illmerica" should all sound familiar to you since they've all been released for 1-2 years already. And even though I like them, I am quite surprised that "Space Junk" and "Illmerica" made it on the album considering how long they've already been released. "The Champ" is my personal favorite, which takes on a very high-energy journey, feel, and style. This track is the purest Wolfgang Gartner sound on the whole entire CD. It's a powerhouse song that exaggerates every niche that Wolfgang is known for, and leaves you with a headache from all the thrashing you just did. All-in-all, Weekend In America is a good first album attempt. I wish that Wolfgang would have stayed true to the style that made him famous, but since he is trying something new, and different, I will give him credit for it.
Highlights on the EP for me are: Moombahton meets Jersey in “100% In The Bitch.” “The State” is quite dark. Like, make me want to move to Europe and say 'screw you America,' dark. And then the production is even deeper, like very Datsik and Excision-y. “The Seconds featuring Jano” is quite good. Like Above & Beyond sounding good. The bassline of this song reminds me the same forward thinking exemplified by the European trio. The “At Dawn We Rage” remix is exceptionally wonderful, crossing back and forth between Drum and Bass and Dubstep seamlessly.
“Galuchat” is a dark and twisted “slow jam.” “Striker” features vocals from Gui himself. “The Drill” is by far my favorite track on the album. Instead of using the usual 4/4, 8 bar time signature, Gui chops it up to only 6 bars, reminding us of his masterful mind and brilliance. Another highlight of the album is “Destination: Education”. This is where the true fans of Gui will latch on. Keeping a slower approach, this song shows off his architectural mind that got him to where he is today. “This Is Not The End,” featuring his wife Luciana Villanova (also the same vocalist on his popular track “Beautiful Life”), this song exudes perfection. From the soft and subtle vocals, to the simple strum of the guitar, “This Is Not The End,” you get a sense of passion and magic that pours all over you. With eyes closed, and hands held high, embrace III and celebrate its artful masterpiece.
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TRACK REVIEWS Pete Tong “Wardance” Tribal House, Deep House Toolroom Records
PICK OF THE MONTH
Pete Tong proves yet again why he's been a worldrenowned producer for well over 20 years. The jungle/tribalistic vibe you get within the first couple of seconds in the track is the same steady theme throughout. Tong was very smart in the organization of this track, in that he maintained a constant looping of progressive instruments and samples so that the songs' rhythm and your rhythm sync together to create a listeners psychic “auto-pilot,” if you will (your mind and body still know what the song is doing, even though you are no longer making a conscious effort to pay attention). But when the build starts, you're automatically sucked back into the song. The probability that you will have no idea what the tribe-chant sample is saying, is quite low, but you'll sure wish you did know once it gets stuck in your head. And then when the drop hits, it takes you back to tribal looping like before, but with a much more dynamic drum layer. Tom Flynn remix is also amazing.
TRANCE / HOUSE
Maceo Plex “Can't Leave You” House Crosstown Rebels
Zedd “Shave It” Electro House Owsla
Still reveling in its Beatport chart success, “Can't Leave You” is bound to be one of those songs that will be around for quite a while. Listeners are first drawn in by its grooving down tempo beat and a simplistic rumbling bass sample—a sound that can best be described as a syncopated, muted, stomach growl. And curiosity grows as faint whispers fill a negative space in the background, coupled with easy electric guitar picking and a creepy distorted vocal sample. By the time you hear the first spoken words, “I like it; I can't leave you alone,” you have already found the chill rhythm the song exudes by dabbling in the ever-so-popular “head-bop” and/or “two-step.” Be sure to check out the “Tale Of Us” remix as well, which is a hauntingly dark and beautiful take of the original.
If you don't start clapping to this song within 15 seconds, you're dead inside. The energy of “Shave It” is utterly contagious and more importantly, it keeps the energy and my interest for its entirety. I am head-over-heels with the percussion and drum layers of this track. There is either a clap, kick drum, or snare that fills every measure, so there is no dead space. Equally as entertaining is the Super Mario synth melody that will get stuck in your head with repeated listen. Towards the latter of the track, the bridge, brought to you by that catchy synth, propels you into a modulating sustained electro note along with a delayed wind-up, and intense drum fill that drop kicks you to the same pulsating beat you were dancing to earlier. Think of “Shave It” as a summer anthem, holding fall for ransom.
Green Velvet, Harvard Bass “TechYES” Techno Relief Recordings
Tritonal, Cristina Soto “Still With Me” Tech/Progressive Trance Air Up There Recordings
Pillowtalk “The Comeback” (Life & Death Remix) House Life & Death Recordings
Talk about Techno, this song is the epitome of it all. Steady forward momentum with a relentless siren throughout the entire song that never lets up. If you're looking for a song that confuses you and makes you forget who you are, where you came from, and why you're here, look no further. It begins so innocently; standard fourmeasure kick, claps on counts two and four, and a hi-hat on every off-count. And then, about a minute in, a resonating wailing siren rudely interrupts your regularly scheduled program. Keep in mind that the entire track is 10:06, and the siren is non-stop for 9 minutes. Just when you start to think the sound is annoying you, it changes. And every build is so intense, your ears almost beg you for a break. But if you can handle it, it's definitely worth it.
The intro of this song is almost as intriguing as the song itself. Tritonal incorporates rests at the beginning of every eight-count, making a more captivating bite. But the intricate sound samples and glitchy, tech/electro effects, are just the calm before the storm. Cristina Soto's vocals add this air of a dark, tempestuous mystique that sends chills up your spine. The bridge has an ethereal chorus of ambient strings and a soft echoing piano roll. The driving bass line makes you want to grind your teeth and the drum fills on every build, are perfectly done. This track has everything going for it. Think of it as grimey trance with an infectious groove.
SICK TUNE ALERT! Consider yourself warned. At about 125 BPM, this song is not rushed, and that's what I like most about it. “The Comeback” proves that you do not need to load your track with a billion different “things.” You will first find solace within the steady down tempo drums and simplistic bassline—the two of which make for a harmonious soulful marriage. The intro vocal is the first thing that sticks with you; “come back baby come back, come back baby come back, come back baby come back.” In the background, you can always hear a combination of claps and snaps in every measure, making for an obligatory joining in. Play this song in the car, play it while you do the dishes, play it on your boombox while you're standing on your ex's lawn, just play it.
Fatboy Slim “Ya Mama (Push The Tempo) Moguai Remix”
Electro House Skint Records In its very short life span, Moguai's remix of “Ya Mama (Push The Tempo)” has taken over every chart around the world. Reason being, it packs a highenergy punch! I'm usually very weary about remixes of classic songs that have already had success. Fortunately, Moguai kept the integrity of the original but added his twist on it, making a organized frantic Electro tangent. Be prepared to hear this song everywhere you go. Not only is it well produced, but it's a song that people already know and love. Every DJ's dream! Enjoy this amazing piece of music.
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