THIS ISSUE Exclusive Interview Black & White Down & Dirty: The Detroit Techno Militia Up & Coming MightyFools: The Fools Party The People Behind The Artists Jake Schneider From Madison House On What Makes A Great Artist Photo Feature Seven Lions Miami Music Week Feature Through The Eyes Of DubVision Art Brian Lim: The Father of Modern Day Exclusive Interview Smile With Galantis Fashion JoJo Electro
Cover Feature Armin Only: Intense at The Forum in Los Angeles Underground Step Into Convulsicâ€™s Love Space PLUR Story How Electronic Dance Music Changed My Life
Exclusive Interview Dyro & Dannic Discuss Their Experiences On Tour Music Production Make Your Shows Shine With These Simple EQ Tricks
Black & White Down & Dirty: The Detroit Techno Militia by Mark Perry Last month, EDM World visited Base Camp 313, the home of the Detroit Techno Milita, as they were broadcasting their weekly radio show, “The Grid,” on Burstradio.net. Angie Linder, T. Linder, DJ Psycho, DJ Seoul, and Neil V spoke about how they came to be, who their heroes are, and what is coming next. How did The Detroit Techno Militia get started? Angie Linder: Well, it kind of started as like a little bit of an inspiration. I came up with this sweet name and then we developed everything else around it. One day at Tom’s apartment, I said, “Tom, I have this great idea...” I start a lot of our conversations this way. “Tom, I have this great idea...” and usually they’re not (laughs). T Linder: This was a good one, though. AL: Yeah, this was a good one. So I say, “Alright, if I start a DJ crew, it’s going to be called Detroit Techno Militia. Would you be one of my DJs?” When was this? A L: It was in the early 2000s. We’d all been friends for a really long time, from the mid to late 90s, I guess you’d say. We just sort of formalized it, you know. So, I said to Tom, “Would you be my DJ?” He said, “Sure,” so we started asking several of our friends. DJ Seoul: The first proposal! (laughs) A L: He said, “Alright, I’m going to make this logo. It’s going to be our temporary logo. It’s black and white. Down and dirty. We can use it on our website.” I bought the domain that night and we built the website in a couple of days. Then, we made our business cards and just went around town trying to convince everyone else to get on board, you know. T L: Yeah, it was a total do-it-yourself thing. A L: If we couldn’t do it, we learned how to do it, what we needed to do, and what to do next. DJ Psycho: What not to do. Neil V: Exactly!
A L: Well, we saw what not to do because, at that time in Detroit, a lot of the underground parties started falling off. All the big warehouse parties would get busted. You couldn’t really go out or do anything like that. Detroit had fallen out of fashion. T L: It wasn’t cool to scream “Yeah!” at The Bells. When someone would play The Bells by Jeff Mills, it was not cool to go off for that. A L: So we wanted to do something more with that and that just started Detroit Techno Militia. The name really struck a chord with people. So they’re like, “I’m in the Detroit Techno Militia! That’s me! That’s something I want to do!” That’s the movement. That’s what we wanted. There have been “spinoff” techno militias now, all over the world. DJ S: There’s a bunch of them. It’s wild. A L: No, but honestly, that’s what we had hoped. Maybe we can get a techno militia in every city and do something like that. That was our grand hope and now there’s the Bologna Techno Militia, there’s the Dutch Techno Militia, there’s the Anti-Gas Mask Techno Militia… N V: The Mexican Techno Militia. T L: The Melbourne Techno Militia, the Chicago Techno Militia… A L: It just became a universal mindset that we… All over the world, people were like, “Yes! That’s us. You’ve hit the nail on the head. And what can we do?” So, yeah. That’s it.
Who were some of your influences? DJ P: When you see me play, that is the influence of everything that Jeff Mills put forth. He was the only DJ that I studied. I studied endlessly and had access to it every day. You would turn on the radio and be rocking with Jeff Mills, The Wizard. You would sit there and study these things. It gets to the point where, with a lot of us, I wouldn’t even have to hear the mixes for years and years. You mention one piece of it and you can hear the whole next 10 minutes in your head. It was drummed into your head. How did you get the idea to become a DJ? DJ S: You know, for me, I was going to parties for at least a year before I even realized there were DJs playing records (laughs). One day I turned to a friend and said, “There’s a guy up there playing records!” He was like, “Dude, there’s always a guy up there playing records.” I started paying more attention to the DJ and thought to myself, “I’m going to do this.” At that point, I had been in bands and I played the drums. I wanted to be the one person in complete control of a room of a thousand kids, not for like superstar status, but to control all of that. There was no light shows even then; it was just about the audio system. I immediately latched on and was determined to become a DJ. I started buying records and found a way to get involved with that. N V: I guess no one ever really asked me that question. To me it feels like it just happened. I have to agree with (DJ Seoul). I started going to parties and enjoyed it. I’ve always been a music lover. Then, the next thing you know, I started buying records and turntables and, fast-forward almost 20 years later, here we are! DJ S: That’s where our influences come in being Jeff Mills and Derrick May… A L: Underground Resistance… DJ S: They would mix everything. We’re very lucky to be from Detroit and, even in our super formative years, to be able to see that on a regular basis. A L: In both intimate venues and on the radio. DJ P: It goes back again to Electrifyin’ Mojo. I mean, if you really think about it, he was laying formative blocks from ‘77 on up. Absolutely! Mojo played everything. DJ P: He played everything and didn’t care! If you break it down, that’s what it comes down to. We didn’t care back then. We’d sit up there and play a Mondre record next to a Prince record. A L: The B-52’s! DJ P: Black radio championed New Wave. New Wave didn’t have anywhere to go on the radio dial BUT black radio. That’s why The B-52’s can’t come to Detroit without playing Mesopotamia! (laughs, rousing applause)
DJ S: I work with this 19 year old kid and I played that song for him. I told him the reason that the song is popular in Detroit with the older black crowd is because of Charles Johnson, the Mojo. This 19-year-old kid bought the album. He was playing it at work and this older black couple came in and they started freaking out! I told him it is directly because of the Mojo. I just remember Mojo playing everything, every night. DJ P: Like I said, it’s the building blocks. If you break it down and you look at each element of each of these songs, when you come down to it, it’s all in there. What Prince did, what industrial did, what hip-hop did. I mean, you look at Public Enemy, Underground Resistance, and Prince and you see somebody like Moodyman. You know, it’s all circular. How much of what you play is actually techno? Or do you care? DJ P: No. T L: Everything is techno. DJ P: We don’t care. DJ S: Pretty much anything above 135 beats per minute is going to be techno. N V: Regardless. DJ S: Whatever it’s trying to be, we’ll present it as techno. DJ P: We’ll jack up the speed just to prove a point. Too many names? N V: Well, that’s just the way it is now. There are sub-genres. DJ P: All it is is marketing. It’s some way for somebody to make money over the unfamiliar. If you can put it in this little context and somebody can go ahead and Google that and run towards that end and... DJ S: …Or be the first person that said we’re doing this type of music that’s the same thing as... DJ P: …And you hear these names and you think, “That’s just house.” N V: One thing I hate is when people say, “Tech House.” To me that’s the worst name. T L: No such thing. N V: The popularity of it now is just like, “(exasperated) Oh...” But, like you said, it’s either techno or it’s house. DJ S: Okay, I’ll give you drum and bass! (laughs) It’s funny, the original Detroit techno stuff pretty much could be classified as house. The early Chicago house pretty much could be classified as techno. It doesn’t matter. It’s all in how you present it. It’s what you want to call it. It’s all subjective.
“I think what’s so amazing about us too is that, even though we have the same idea, we all bring something unique to the table.” What does the DTM mean here, in Detroit? N V: You know, I think the bottom line for us is, what we’re doing is carrying the torch from the people that we grew up listening to: our role models, the people we respect. They did what they did and they’re still doing what they’re doing. We picked up the torch from them and kept moving. DJ S: Part of what I talk to Tom about all the time is about how I love this music so much that I won’t let it die while I’m sitting around. I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that how Detroit Techno (not any other sub-genre) is presented to the world, will keep it alive. Not for us, but for Detroit. T L: When we first started this, Detroit techno wasn’t cool in Detroit, but it was cool as shit to us. We fucking loved it, but you’d go out to parties and there’d be an old school Detroit guy playing. We’d be all in the front row screaming like crazy. DJ P: Everybody else would be sitting in the back. DJ S: ...Or that guy would be playing house music to please the crowd. T L: Right. We all come from the same background or philosophy of aggressive, harder-edged Detroit Techno. You’ll go to Europe and they think you’ll go to a record store and pull out a record of “Aggressive Detroit Techno” and when you listen to it, it’s really deep house. N V: That’s their perception of it. T L: For us, all coming to Detroit our whole lives, we have a different perception of it. When we got into it and started to come see each other play, we had a different
experience and a different perception of what a great DJ set was. We are all from the “University of Jeff Mills.” We’re all students of Claude Young and the hard, ripping style of Detroit music. We all got together, we had known each other for years, and we all congealed and went with it. That was our focus. We said, “We’re going to stick with this style. This is what we feel from the heart. We’re not going to change when something’s fashionable or something hot comes out that people are into.” DJ S: I don’t go out as much as I used to. Even when I go out a lot, though, I’ll be out at a club and I don’t very often hear musicians, DJs, or sometimes not even music that I like. Luckily I found a crew full of the people I want to hear play. It seems like we’ll go out of our way to support each other and to be there, but it’s more than that. I actually want to see them. T L : These are my favorite DJs! My favorite DJs are sitting right here in this room! N V: I think what’s so amazing about us too is that, even though we have the same idea, we all bring something unique to the table. When we play individually, our styles are all different. When we play together, though... DJ S: That’s why the 5 x 5 is very magical. DJ P: With that, for me, we are seen as steady and reliable. When you see us, you know what you’re going to get. You might as well batten down the hatches, get a seat belt, get a helmet... get a diaper, get some baby wipes. Something! (laughs) Pack a lunch, because you’re going to be here for a while. DJ S: Pack a lunch because we’re going to work! DJ P: There may be skid marks! It’s going to be a situation! (laughs) T L: We all bring a different style. Dezi comes from old school hip-hop, Neil is a hard techno motherfucker, Bill is electro guy, I’m a little more industrial, and Darkcube is more acid… A L: D and B. T L: Yeah, definitely. That’s how it is and it has all worked out for all of us. DJ S: That’s what’s made us better. That’s what’s made us really good international DJs that people are willing to pay a lot of money and drive hours to go see. It’s great that this is what we do in our house, too, just because we enjoy it. Because we enjoy it so much, it really shows when we play and it becomes a show. It’s really awesome. DJ P: Half the time, even when it’s not apparent in our own backyard, it’s apparent to everybody else. Again, it’s the brand. They know what they’re going to get when they walk in the room. T L: It doesn’t matter if no one’s at the party. When I play in front of you guys, I’m playing to make you guys go, “What the fuck was that?” I want the crowd to feel it, but I want these guys to be like, “What the fuuuuuck?” DJ S: Well, if I’m packing for a gig, I need to know if they’re coming or not. (laughs) T L : That’s the bottom line. DJ S: We keep each other honest. It’s easy to play for thousands of people. They’re going to love whatever they want. It’s easy to play for that many people. But if it’s just these three guys in the room… DJ P: There’s a serious point of checks and balances (laughs).
What does the DTM mean to the world? (Marie Staggat, a friend, fan, and photographer visiting from Berlin was pointed to this question. She works at Tresor.) MARIE: It’s something very special, personal, and from the heart. In Detroit, all these guys are just themselves, even though around the world they are big heroes. When DTM played at Tresor, the crowd loved it. This is something very special for everybody. It’s history. They are the roots. A L: Yeah, there’s always been a good strong connection. That was one of the original places in Europe that embraced the whole Detroit thing. That’s the Berlin-Detroit connection and that really was the tipping point. T L: That goes back a long way. What is it? 22? 23 years? MARIE: Yeah. 23 years. On the thirteenth of March, we had our 23rd anniversary. It’s very personal and very special. A L: I was talking to people when I went there last year. The people outside of Detroit are completely fascinated and enamored. There’s not anyone who just likes Detroit Techno, they flippin’ love it. They LOVE Detroit Techno. T L: Detroit music. A L: Yeah. Detroit music. They’re completely enamored with it. It’s fun for us to meet other people as passionate as we are outside of Detroit. That is so… You just can’t explain.
DJ S: I think what part of it is is that a lot of these people overseas fell in love with Detroit because Detroit was the first export of techno, of that style. Then, as they grew up, they remembered being the first people that were part of that. Seeing us, and presenting it the way it was presented then, with new stuff and old stuff, people get really excited when we travel. N V: The passion they have is just amazing. The last time I was with these guys over there, I met someone who said, “Oh. You know Rob Hood?” He freaked out. DJ S: They ask these questions, but that’s just business as usual for us. N V: It’s Detroit, you know. DJ S: And then there was one guy I remember meeting where he was just so excited that we were from Detroit and he kissed my hand. I told him, “Well, you know you go anywhere outside of Detroit in the U.S. and you tell them you’re from Detroit, they’re not going to kiss your hand!” DJ P: They’re going to run. (laughs) We’re spoiled because we have the potential to throw a rock and hit greatness. We could sit and talk to people. We’re always within arm’s reach of people that we admire, people that we grew up listening to. N V: Most of them are both reachable and approachable. DJ P: You put somebody in from outside of that and they’re going to be fascinated. A L: You can liken it to, if you like rock and roll, you can’t just go and meet The Beatles. The accessibility thing makes us really lucky and it’s very special. DJ P: There are not other cities that are like that. A lot of artists, when you go anywhere else, are shut in on purpose. Here, you run to the market and you run into Juan Atkins. N V: But, I mean, even though that the greatness is there, there’s so much talent here where it’s still hard to earn that respect. One thing that I always remind myself, when I think about our past, is, “Oh man, I remember I used to play with these DJs. What happened to them?” You just have to keep going, There’s so much talent here but, at the same time, you have to work hard to get to where you want to be. T L: We’ll go out to a show and look around the club and everyone in the club is a DJ or producer or promoter or whatever. N V: That’s Detroit. T L: Everyone is someone in the scene. A lot people in Europe think, “Oh, he’s from Detroit,” but, no, it’s not a free pass to start touring. DJ P: A lot of people in our city have had to figure that out. T L: Right. It’s almost harder because you have to be a bad ass to be playing outside of Detroit. N V: You have to be a bad ass to be playing IN Detroit! (laughs) DJ P: We sent headliners home with homework. A L: I’ve had conversations with people who want to be a part of the scene. “You know, I’m coming out. I’m a DJ now and I want to do this. I’m from Detroit. Can we sit down and have a conversation about what you guys do and how you run the militia?” I tell them that we just keep doing it. We love what we do and we keep doing it. “Well, if this isn’t taking off for me in 6 months, I’m out of here.” I’m like, “6 months? Just quit now.” You know, even at the 5 year mark, we’re still taking baby
steps. We’re in this for the long haul. People want to know how they can get in, make their money, and get out. It doesn’t work like that. Well, it’s obvious. You guys would be doing it anyway. A L: We love what we do. We make money to make music. We don’t do it the other way around. So tell us, what do you have coming up? A L: The Sarge, DJ Psycho here, he is working on his side project, Convergent Sound. They’re working on their next release. Hopefully, we’ll be pulling some music out of him for our label. Our next mission is to work on some more vinyl projects. We had a huge success with the Shawn Rudiman Monolithic Souls EP. That was a great success. DJ S: Tom and I are going on tour. We have 10 shows all over Europe. Then, we come back and we’re playing the festival with The Sarge. DJ P: I also have something else coming out, too. It’s sort of a meeting of the minds on the electro side with myself, DJ Digital, and DJ Mako. It’s going to be bananas. It’s a straight up and down electro record. New world electro, slower and faster. I was happy to contribute my speaking voice and some of my ideas to the record, so I’m really looking forward to that. I’m really happy to be a part of that because that’s a big old superpower. They’re all-stars because you’ve got Mako and Digital who’ve been doing things for forever, and Lenn Swann who is 12 Tech Mob, and then me in the middle of all that. I’m really really excited about that. A L: For DTM007, Tom and Darkcube... I’m sorry. T Linder (laughs), my husband... T. Linder and Darkcube are working on a project together right now. It’s in the works for DTM007 and hopefully it will make it to mastering in time for release at the festival. We have a ton of other stuff still in the works. We’ve always got irons in the fire.
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UP & COMING
MIGHTYFOOLS: The Fools Party by Andrew Lazar
The name Mightyfools was inspired by your personality. Can you get into some detail on how the fools party? We are fools on the decks and we love to party; thatâ€™s just our personality. We try not to take our DJ sets too seriously because we like to have fun with it. We try to have as much fun as possible during our DJ sets. What has been the biggest struggle for you being on tour this year? The biggest struggle has been the lack of sleep and constantly being on a plane. Do you ever get to the point where you become delirious from no sleep? All the time, actually. This job requires a lot of Red Bull. The energy of the music also really helps us stay awake. After our sets, we head straight to sleep and then on to the next gig.
Congratulations on getting booked for main stage at Mysteryland USA. How are your sets different when you are playing at a large festival or club? Do they differ or do you bring the same kind of energy to both? First of all, thank you. Yes, it is very different. In the clubs, we play with more of an underground feel. We also tend to experiment more and change up BPMs more in the club than we would at a festival. At festivals we play a bit more of the anthem style of music. Do you enjoy playing festivals more with big crowds or do you prefer the intimate feeling of a club? Personally I enjoy festivals more because there are more girls and the sun is out. Everybody at a festival is just smiling and having a good time with great vibes. You get that summer magic feeling at festivals. Even though clubs are really awesome, festivals always have that extra thing going on. If you could recommend any two up and coming DJs and Producers who would you suggest? Why do you feel they deserve the attention? GLOWINTHEDARK and Mike Hawkins. GLOWINTHEDARK are from Holland and have been working with Chuckie doing Dirty Dutch for a long time. Now they are expanding into their own unique sound. All the tracks they have released have been great and we love to play them. They are just really talented guys. Mike Hawkins is from Denmark. He is not really that well-known at the moment, but he just did the track Soldiers on Spinnin Records. He showed us some of his upcoming work and it is really some next level stuff. What can we expect from you in the next few months? We have a collaboration with Yellow Claw. We are also doing a lot of touring: Mysteryland Mainstage, parts of Asia, Avalon in Los Angeles, Ruby Skye in San Francisco, as well as a lot of other festivals this year. Unfortunately, we cannot say which ones at the moment. Youâ€™ll just have to wait and see!
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THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE ARTISTS
JAKE SCHNEIDER FROM MADISON HOUSE
ON WHAT MAKES A GREAT ARTIST by Craig Caliendo What are some common frustrations you have with artists? Some artists have egos that are hard to work with, but the biggest frustration is when an artist wants to tour just to tour. We want a tour to be associated with something, whether it be a release of an album or something of that nature. We donâ€™t want to have people touring if there is not a promotion backing it. How do you go about your talent selection process? We get new talent a number of different ways. Sometimes, artists or promoters reach out to us or sometimes our staff will come across a youtube channel or soundcloud page that they like and we will reach out to them. The biggest thing for artists looking to get noticed nowadays is their online social presence. What would you say makes a great artist? Itâ€™s a combination of talent, drive, and the right team supporting them. You need to have a solid promoter that knows how to use social media and can really sell the people they represent. Without that, you can be really talented but will likely never be discovered.
“... A COMIBINATION OF TALENT, DRIVE, AND THE RIGHT TEAM..”
What is the most difficult part about your job? I would have to say the hours. This is definitely not a 40 hour a week career. It’s a lot of weekends, late nights, and headaches. When you are running multiple shows most weekends, there are always problems and they tend to be late at night, so you have long weekends. You really have to love your job! What are the differences between a show and a festival? The biggest difference between a show and a festival is the crowd. When you put on a show, you know that the large majority of people attending are going to be your fan base. However, at a festival, you can have a black keys fan walk past Bassnectar and like the set. Then, you have a new fan that may not have listened to them before. Do you have any up-and-comers our readers should check out? Yes, we are working with a couple of really talented artists. Check out Thomas Jack, Keys n Krates, and Lindsay Lowend. Where do you see EDM going? What should we expect the next few years? The biggest innovation I see coming in the next couple of years is the end of a song being replayed over and over at festivals. I think artists and fans both are going to be sick of playing/hearing the same song remixed 6 different times at a festival, so artists will concentrate more on their own production and songs to support their sets.
Jake Schneider, who began his career promoting shows in the upper-Midwest, moved to Boulder, Colorado in 2005 to join the booking, management and event promotions company Madison House, Inc. As a recently promoted Partner and Director of Agency Development, Jake has garnered a reputation as one of the music industry’s young leaders, booking an impressive roster of some of today’s most successful and cutting-edge acts - including BASSNECTAR, Beats Antique, Lotus, Paper Diamond, Keys N Krates, Hieroglyphics and dozens of others. Jake works tirelessly with his clients to revolutionize the space in which fans relate to a show, maximizing the experience within outdoor festivals, arenas, amphitheaters and venues across the country. Jake lends his insight to many organizations and panels, Insomniac’s EDM Biz, Pollstar Live and IMFCON are a few who have tapped into his expertise for their various events. Jake sits on the Advisory Board of the not-for-profit Conscious Alliance, an organization that works with music communities and events to raise much needed money and food donations for impoverished Native American Reservations. His passion for all things technology and geekdom, and his seamless adaption to the Rocky Mountains’ relaxed lifestyle, may very well make Jake the world’s first “music agent/fly fisherman/comic book nerd.”
P H O T O F E AT U R E
by Spencer Flohr
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M I A M I M U S I C W E E K F E AT U R E
Through The Eyes Of
DubVision by Andrew Lazar
How would describe your production style? The most important things in our production are our melodies because we like to take our listeners on a journey getting their emotions going and tell a story with the track. That’s the main part of our production style. We really like to spark emotions. Do you consider your production style unique? I think if you say you are unique, it means you make up your own stuff in your head, your own interpretation of it, so no one is really original. I think that everybody listens to other types of music. Whether it’s classical or pop music, everything has already been done, so it’s about mixing from what we hear and how we interpret it. We translate it to our own style so, yes, we have our own style, but we listen to other stuff besides EDM, like Classical music, which has a lot of layers and emotions. We also listen to pop music like Lady Gaga. In your opinion, what is the key to making a hit track? Nowadays, it’s about a hard drop and a catchy melody. I don’t know, though. I think it depends on the style and the moment. If you think you’re going to make a hit, it won’t happen. Hits are songs that are unique, so there is no real formula on how to make one. When you go into the studio and you think you’re going to make a hit, it probably won’t happen. It’s important to have an open mind. You have to make as much music as possible and the hit will come all on it’s own. So when you’re making music, you’re not focusing on making a hit, you’re focusing on what you’re feeling at the time? Yeah, if you’re going to work as though the next track needs to be a hit, then you’re going to slow down the process of making a good track rather than making a hit. It’s not wise to think, “I need to make a hit I have to make a hit.” It won’t happen.
When you’re sitting in the studio, what’s going through your head when you’re producing music? Do you have a certain mindset you get into before you start, or do you just do it? I like to start with playing piano, randomly playing chords and playing all kinds of riddles until I find a hook. It could be a few chords next to each other with a good progression that makes me feel as though I’m already on main stage playing it. If I have that feeling, I go on with it and the track happens. I like to focus, so we go into the studio where we have this little box that is sound proof. When I go to make music, I cut everything else off and focus. How do you stay so focused in the craziness of DJing, producing, and traveling the world? If you want to enjoy yourself as much as possible, you’re going to want to stay focused and pay attention to what you’re doing and what your next steps are. It’s important to stay focused. I don’t know how we have actually stayed focused thus far. Yeah, we are at the point where we have a tight schedule but, for us, the most important aspect of it all is producing and after that is DJing. It just shows that making tracks and playing them in front of an audience is insane and something different. I think we would turn down live gigs to do more in the studio because that’s our job: making music for an audience. What gave you the idea for the music Video “Rockin” with Fire Beatz? We did not think of the idea ourselves; it was Spinnin Records’ connection with different video directors. They pitched the song and came up with the idea. The sample in the break, “Get the party rocking,” sounds like these kids singing, so I think that’s how they came up with it. It’s great, we love it, and it’s funny. What, do you feel, has been the defining moment of both your careers up to this point? I think our defining moment has been when Axwell played our track. We heard that all the guys from Swedish House Mafia picked up our track and played it and asked us for a remix. The feeling of those guys who are legends in the game noticing our music saying “Your shit is on point. We want to play it,” is such a good feeling. It’s just as great as standing up in front of the crowd and seeing people’s hands in the sky. That’s the other side of the industry, getting that, “Yeah you did a good job.” It’s such a good feeling.
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The Father of Modern Day Gloving
by Diane Tamulavage
Love it or hate it, it is no secret that the art of gloving has become a quintessential asset of the raving scene. And yes, I refer to it as an ‘art’ because that is exactly what this swift and meticulous movement of LED-fingertips has become. Rolling Stone recently took an inside glimpse into gloving by examining the success of 26-year-old Brian Lim,the CEO and founder of both EmazingLights and iHeartRaves. Collectively, the two aforementioned websites havebecome “the world’s largest rave retailer” creating a $5 million dollar enterprise- not bad for a guy who used to sell gloving essentials out of the trunk of his car at an In-n-Out Burger shop.
Lim, who realized there was a market for LED gloves after drunkenly messing around with his girlfriendâ€™s light gloves in a club back in 2009, has since moved on to open his first retail shop in West Covina, California, and is currently operating from a 15,000 square foot warehouse in Anaheim, California, as well as four other retail stores located in California and Texas, with future locations planned to expand into Florida, New York, and Illinois. Plus, his online businessremains extremely prosperous and allows the allure of lights to expand across the U.S.
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However, not all are impressed with the magic that light gloves can provide at ‘raves’. I have a friend who absolutely despises when “people shove their lit up fingers all up in his face at shows.” Famous EDM promotion company Insomniac (think: EDC) is also notorious for its banning of light gloving. Although Insomniac CEOPasquale Rotella respects the hobby of gloving and admits the skill of some glovers, the mid-festival “cuddle puddles” of gloving-audiences provided both a hazardous environment and negative drug connotations as fans sat down and ogled over the pretty lights. Insomniac made the decision to ban light gloves in 2010 claiming that “Between the fire marshals and the media perception, [gloving] was putting the events in jeopardy and was not helping the health of the culture.”
“This was like a natural disaster that hit the gloving scene hard,” Lim said in reference to Insomniac’s ban of light gloves. “We’re still trying to recover.” It is understandable why many tend to place the stigma of drug use onto gloving considering the stereotypical rave drug MDMA is notable to increase sensorial effects; however, skilled light glovers have the ability to impress even the most sober fans. Lim, who strives to differentiate light gloving from the drug-infused culture, has continued to defend the art form stating that, “You need to practice daily and have a clear [sober] mind” in order to achieve some of the more difficult gloving techniques. Speaking of practice, gloving is not just your ordinary rave hobby anymore. Glovers from around the country gather regularly for gloving competitions, where the winners are able to collect cash, prizes, and the best of all: credibility. Lim, who hosts these monthly competitions, utilizes a community of top-tier glovers to help judge the participants on a points system based on five criteria: execution, musicality, cleanliness, variety, and trick difficulty. Lim has also established the International Gloving Championship held at the Yost Theater in Orange County, California, which allows the world’s top glovers to execute their skills on a platform other than a rave-like atmosphere. With the success of such competitions, and the overall increase in interest of light gloves, Lim and the Emazing crew are currently creating the first professional gloving team, the Light Theory, which will be comprised of paid glovers who will perform at EDM events and festivals around the country.
Since the rise of LED gloves, gloving has been featured on television shows such as The Voice, Americaâ€™s Best Dance Crew, and Shake it Up, proving that this art form is able to expand across ordinary rave scene boundaries and disseminate itself into other varieties of media and culture. So, love it or hate it, gloving is only increasing in popularity and acceptance as an art form. Might as well embrace the glow, no?
Article courtesy of www.edmsauce.com
smile with GALANTIS by Craig Caliendo
How did you guys realize that together you would be able to create such a great sound? Christian: We were a good match in the studio in terms of vibing and having a good time in the studio. Just very high energy in the studio, even though we have different backgrounds we are similar in the same in the fact that we go to the studio everyday and work hard. How did you come up with the name Galantis? Linus: We don’t know. (Haha) C: We didn’t, I don’t know where it came from. It was in the process, we actually were going though names for a long time and that name popped up somewhere and it matched.
How did you originally think of the Seafox? C: It came up from just trying to come up with a visual concept for Galantis. We had a visual artist (Matt Mayland) who we have been fans of for a long time and he helped us out with the concept. And its an on going process and were always building new Seafoxes.
How were you two involved in the making of the video “You”? C: It was our concept, and we collaborated with the director who took our concept and made a real video. He put more depth into the Seafox girl and filmed her life, and all of the people and every reaction is real not staged. And the whole budget went to making the mask. Where do each of you find inspiration when you go to the studio and make music? L: Its like I don’t have a choice, music chose me. It’s like a feeling like I have to do it. Life is boring without it. C: Its crazy how it interferes with normal life like I will hear something and its like not appropriate to go away from the dinner table but I need to record this melody right now. I have it and I am going to hate myself for not recording it; or if I am at a club and I hear a song I like I need to know what it is right now. I need to go to the studio to get this music out of me or it feels like I am going to explode, it’s like a crazy itch. Why did you choose to get into Electronic music? L: I was more all over the board but got into electronic early on when I started. I was really into Jazz, and mixed that up with instrumental hip hop, and that went onto more of the rave scene. I got into the early house stuff like in 99 and that’s where I found my home and I knew I really wanted to do something with that.
C: I started in Punk Rock, I came from skateboard culture I have been skateboarding all of my life and Hip Hop came in and mixed with the Punk Rock and that how I learned to make beats and write songs. But the pure dance music didn’t come until Daft Punk for me. How did you guys come up with the concept for “Smile”? C: Smile was a long process we had a vocal idea early but the whole track structure changed like 5 times and it finally landed to a point where we were happy. And that was one of the key moments where we found what Galantis sounded like. It was just really feel good but in an organic way. As far as the lyrics I don’t like to talk about the lyrics because there is no wrong way to analyze them and there is defiantly a twist to it and its up to everyone to decide what they hear.
You have said that Coachella was an amazing experience; do you have any specific stories you want to share? C: Well it was only 12 days after we released the EP, and that’s scary to go up on a stage that fits 10,000 people and we thought that it wasn’t enough time for people to get to know you and your music but we were wrong it was enough time. There was a full tent with people singing along to all the EP songs and it was pretty unreal to us. So there is word that you have a CD coming out can you tell us more about that? C: We have written an album but there is a lot of work left in production. But it’s going to be sooner than later.
You are wrapping up the North American tour what do you have next planned for this year? C: Well first studio, but we are going to be out playing more. We need to do Europe but we are just planning now, well see we may stop back out to the states this summer. What does your production process look like? L: Well its very different from song to song. Some take a week, some songs take a day, and some songs take a year. Normally the foundation is there very early which is very important, but we may go back and change a word. C: We write first the song and then produce second. I don’t think many people in the EDM world do that, and I don’t know how many write their songs. The make the track but then they bring in their lyrics. We start from the piano with a melody and lyrics finish a track and move on, then we come back to them and add the production, which is very different from a lot of other people. To me sometimes songs sound like a remix like they are pushing a vocal into a song, and it wasn’t meant to be and you have to push it together some how. Which sometimes works but my ears as a producer I can hear when someone makes a track and you kick in a vocal that doesn’t belong there and maybe the track was better without the vocal. As far as collaborations for this year can you tell us about anything you have planned? C: We have something coming very soon. L: Something big (Haha)
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FA S H I O N
by Amina Otto Mike, what made you decide to launch a clothing company? I owned half of a very successful bar/restaurant/club at the Hermosa Pier called Dragon for 7-8 years. I had the best known house music weekly day party in L.A. When we lost our dance permit in a lawsuit years back, I wanted to keep my interest in business and house music alive, so I started selling merchandise online globally to keep my foot in the door of the scene that I’ve been passionate about for a long time. What’s the design process for your products? We try and put out designs that won’t be dated (hopefully) and focus only on the different genres of “electronic dance music” i.e. house, breaks, DnB, trance, techno, trap, nu-disco, and dubstep. How is your brand different from other clothing companies in this scene? I’d say the majority of brands in this community focus on raves, rave music, glow items, neon colors, furry boots, etc. This is cool, but it is just not what I’m focused on entirely. I’m trying to cover all bases of this wide ranging community by working with people in the classic house world, techno underground, nu disco scene, etc. Our tee designs and other merchandise paint this picture. Plus, we have a news blog that covers world dance music news and an active podcast on iTunes that also covers all genres from soulful house to DnB. Where do you see this company going in the next five years? Ten years? Great question. I think about this often. I think the stuff is too niche, so I don’t envision it ever being in chain stores. However, I would like to see it continue to grow online and continue to expand through our “collaborations.”
What is the message you want to send through your apparel? I want to cover all the genres of “dance music” and do it well, so house heads as well as trance addicts (and all other genre-lovers) can feel like there’s a brand out there representing their love of music. What is your best selling product? Currently, we sell a lot of the shirts I did for Traxsource called “Not Everyone Understands House Music” coming from the old Eddie Amador classic as well as the “Eat Sleep Rave Repeat” garment we put out. I was also the first person I knew of at festivals years ago selling the rubber rings and bracelets with different dance music words and phrases on them. My Rubber Clubber line still sells really well after all these years. For just a few bucks, you can wear your interest in dance music on your wrist or finger.
What is the next big step for your company? I would really love to align myself with a guy like Pasquale or Disco Donnie. We could utilize our artist connections to collaborate, manage, and grow artist merchandise on a larger, more global scale. You say on your website that “the word ‘electro’ means many things to many people.” What does it mean to you? The word “electro” for me elicits subconscious thoughts of late nights, loud music, fun parties, dancing, drinking, etc. I didn’t choose the word for its conscious definition of music style. I was just looking for a brand name I thought would paint a global picture covering all genres. The word “electro” doesn’t need a translation anywhere in the world and I was hoping to create a global brand.
Would you say your brand supports the PLUR culture often intertwined with the EDM scene? It definitely supports it. I’m actually friends with Frankie Bones, who coined the term. The term covers the whole “underground” scene much better than what we now know as the commercial rave scene. However, you generally see the younger festivalgoers embracing the term more visibly. Go to a show at 7 a.m. in Berlin and you’ll see much more “Peace Love Unity Respect” there amongst the people than, say, at a Steve Aoki event. Check this great article out here: In the past, you’ve done a lot of work with DJs and other prominent EDM-oriented brands. Are there any upcoming collaborations you’re particularly excited about? Is there anyone you would really like to team up with but haven’t yet? Great question. I have crazy respect for so many older pioneers and younger trendsetters. I don’t know where to start, but I’d love receive the green light to work with a company like Am Only, William Morris, or EFX, start at the top of their artist rosters, and move downwards. There is such a huge gap in “EDM” artist merchandise and I’d love to be able to fill it one day. Finish this sentence: I love you but I’ve chosen... Soulful House. I know younger kids don’t follow it too much, but for me, the best parties I’ve been to have been some deep soulful DJ sets at the End Up in San Francisco or the patio at Space where they play the right soulful house as the sun starts rising. For example, check out the old S.F. label Naked Music sometime - sexy, deep, female vocals. That shirt is on our site and actually sells really well to this day.
C O V E R F E AT U R E
at The Forum in Los Angeles by Damien Boulat
Seeing Armin van Buuren perform live is always special, but when the rare Armin Only show comes around, it’s really not something to miss. At 5 hours, the ‘Intense’ edition of Armin Only is several hours short of previous editions; however, it more than makes up for it with its spectacular theatrics and live performances from both vocalists and musicians. A true feast for the ears and the eyes, Armin took us through an emotional journey that left even the most blasé trance fans with a grin from ear to ear. Starting with laid-back sounds in the warm-up hour where Armin remained hidden behind a white globe, moving into recent hits from the ‘Intense’ album, and following that with a captivating section of high-bpm uplifting tracks, we danced together sharing a night that will live on in all our memories. What a night, and to top it off, we had the honor to chat with the man himself ahead of his set. Here’s what he had to say:
Armin Only Intense is coming to a close and you have seen lots of your ideas come to life. How do you top this? Are you already thinking of new ideas? Well, when I did the Imagine show with Armin Only, I didn’t think I could top it. I don’t think you have to try to top something; you just have to start from scratch and try to create something that you like. There are always ideas. For this particular show, we had maybe 120 ideas and we could only use 8 either because of the budget or because it wasn’t possible to travel with the necessary equipment. At first, for example, I wanted to have 3,000 ping pong balls to be shot with cannons in the room, now we have balloons falling from the sky. It’s a great solution and it works. I am not trying to make follow-ups; I am not trying to repeat myself. I just say, “I’ve done that, it’s great that there’s an album of it. If you’d like to listen to it again, listen to it again. That’s why you make albums.” I am just trying to go on with exciting new things; I’ve actually started working on my next album already, while I’m still touring the Intense Album. We heard a lot of great feedback from your Gaia set. Do you have plans to do more of those shows down the road? I’ll tell you something that might hurt a lot of fans. I’m not going to do a lot of Gaia shows. The idea of Gaia is to minimize it. I mean it would be so easy to do a world tour of Gaia right now and do 300 dates, but I want to keep it cool. Who came up with the cloaks you guys were wearing at Ultra? [Points to self]
Congratulations on your summer Ibiza residency which has moved from Privilege to Ushuaia. Now that you will be broadcasting some of ASOT live from there, how will it impact the show? Well it’s just like a live set, you know. My radio show normally starts at 8, local time, and my Ushuaia set starts at 9. Therefore, the first hour will just be like a normal show and then I’ll rush upstairs and play a live set. Yeah, it’s exciting, and it is another new chapter. To be honest with you, I would have preferred to stay at Privilege. I like Ushuaia and I think it is a good move, but I like Privilege for trance. It’s such a beautiful venue, but we had a big falling out after an incident that we had at the last show last year, so we just couldn’t work with them any more. You don’t treat my staff like that. You just don’t. Every person that works for me needs to be taken care of. I don’t want to go too much into detail, but I’m just really angry at them. Wow, I’m sorry to hear that. I remember you also had a bad experience that forced the cancellation of the Armin Only: Mirage show in LA a few years ago. Yeah, that’s the reason I have my own team now. That’s the reason why I don’t make money with the Armin Only shows. That’s the reason I fly 35 people in. I want to have full control now. I want to make sure that nothing goes wrong. It’s my responsibility towards the fans. If you take yourself seriously, then it’s the only way to go. We learned a lot from that experience and I had to disappoint my fans in Chicago again because my father in law passed away. That is why I had to cancel that. I think every artist is being chased by bad luck sometimes. There are stories for every artist, either health problems, or somebody dying in the family. It is unfortunate but, as John Lennon said, “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” That’s so true. You’ve stated in the past that you love giving new talent a stage to shine on. Which act are you most proud of whom you have given this opportunity to and why? Oh, many. Many talents started at Armada. A lot of careers have been made by A State of Trance and I’m proud of that, but I don’t want to make my role seem bigger than it is because I’m just the guy in the middle. There are all these great tracks, great artists, and great fans [points to bowl of apples on interview table with each group]. I’m just the guy in the middle passing along the right apples, saying, “Hey, listen to this.” I’m in a unique position and I think it’s very important to stress that, you’re talking with Armin van Buuren right now but, behind me, in the venue right now, there are about 50 people who work really hard and I’m blessed to work with. It’s so important for me to stress that because I cannot do this alone. I don’t build a stage, I don’t put a single screw in or put the lights up. I’m just really really blessed with a great team of people.
On the flip side of the previous question, do you feel like you’ve had a mentor or someone you look up to? One of the most important guys has been [Ben] Liebrand, a good friend. He’s a Dutch master mixer who deserves way more recognition for everything he’s done. Before we had EDM, before we even had house music, he was one of the very first guys to mix two records together in the Netherlands. Now it sounds crazy, but back in 1974, DJs used to talk in between two records. There was no mixing. That’s why we invented the drum machine: because drummers wanted to do drum in time so DJs could mix the track together. He’s been a really big inspiration. I remember I was 8 years old when I got a mix tape from a friend. He had these robot voice samples going on as well as the beat of Janet Jackson’s “Control.” He made tracks with Art of Noise, he made mashups that I never heard before, and I was so into that. I wondered, “How is he doing that?” That sort of sparked my interest in electronic music. Still to this day, he’s been a big mentor for me and I think, in fact, my father has been a mentor for me as well. Not so much speaking to me about it, but he was very progressive. He had Wendy Carlos “Switched on Bach.” He was one of the first people to own that record when it was still considered to be really weird to make electronic music or to actually like it. My father already used to listen to that. He was one of the very first doctors to own a synthesizer, I think. He had a Roland JX3P that, as a kid, I thought, “Wow, this is a synthesizer.” I started playing with that when I was 12 or 13 years old, which is an age when you’re looking for your identity and what you want in life. That’s when I met my father’s synthesizer. He bought another organ and a microphone. Just by playing with those made me like electronic music and I got more interested. In a recent interview, you stated that you still have big dreams you want to accomplish. Please share with us some of your big dreams you’d like to accomplish. In a way, it feels like I just started. I feel like you blink and life goes by so fast. I feel like I just started in many ways. I am learning so much every day.
Technology has made it much easier for more artists to produce and release music. Do you feel this has helped or hurt the essence of music? I think it has absolutely helped. Take, for example, the resurgence of the Russian DJ scene when Fruity Loops or FL Studio became popular. All of a sudden, you had this sound coming from Russia, which was a big influence on the trance scene. It’s a good thing because we’re going to find the next Mozart a lot quicker because he has a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) that you can almost get for free now. If the new Mozart or the new Bach or Beethoven is out there, we will find him. To wrap this up, how is the rest of the year looking for you? Do you have any collaborations you’re working on? Yeah, actually. In LA, I have been working on the new album already, but that’s not going to be out for another year. I’ve just started really. I have some great songs that I’m really proud of, but I have to start from scratch again. I just released my track, Ping Pong, which is doing really well. The track with Lauren Evans, “Alone” is still doing really well on Sirius and a lot of other stations here in the US. I just did a video for that, too, so that’s really exciting. I just released A State of Trance 2014, which is doing really well on all the portals and it has some exclusive tracks. I have got a couple of remixes coming up. I did the one for Idina Menzel for Disney and just remixed Krewella. I can’t say who, yet, but I did a track for a Japanese artist for Avex (Japanese dance music label). She actually lives in LA, so she’s going to come down tonight. I am just keeping busy! How about that trip to space? That was supposed to happen in 2014. Is Armin going to space? I don’t think so. I haven’t heard anything. Maybe not literally, but figuratively! [chuckles]
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STEP INTO CONVULSICâ€™S LOVE SPACE by Denice Dal Braccio Some of your influences are Skrillex, Jim Morrison, and Zomboy. Which artist or track inspired you to start producing dubstep? That is an excellent question. I feel they all played a certain roll in my musical journey. All of these artists are extremely talented at what they do and I have tried to model certain aspects of my own sound from each of them. If I had to name an artist that was the most influential, I would say Zomboy has opened the door for my creative freedom. The ability to use chaotic sounds in such an organized way is something I have always found fascinating about bass music When you were really young, you heard techno remixes from the video games Zelda and Mario. Which video game today do you think has the best sounds or music? Borderlands 2, aside from being an epic title all around, has some nice bass tracks laced in. Also, Dead Rising 2 has some good music. It is amazing how many places Dubstep is starting to surface. If you pay attention to the music on commercials, you will see what I mean.
If you could choose a dream collaboration, who would it be and why? Honestly, I would love to collaborate with Skrillex. The guy is a machine at Dubstep and sound design in general. It would be unreal to just sit in the studio with him and press the record button. Who came up with the idea for your music video Love Space? Tell us about the process and/or a funny behind the scenes story. The guys at One Push Productions really put their hearts into helping me make an excellent music video. It was modeled around the emotion that the track pulls from people. I try to leave my message open for the listener to interpret how they want, and One Push hit the nail on the head. They were able to make a tangible message out of an emotion. They casted the beautiful Kaja Nelson to be the vixen and catalyst of the storyline, and she did such a good job. Man, this shoot was a lot of fun and we had loads of funny moments. One that really stands out, though, is when one of the crew got a little too close on an incoming shot of Kaja and nailed her pretty good. She was an awesome sport, though.
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What has been the “must play track” for your live sets that always gets the crowd dancing like crazy? I really like the remix that Candyland did for Three Six Mafia, “Stay Fly”. It is such a good blend of Trap and Dubstep that everyone can enjoy. What was your favorite plugin or sound to use when producing your new EP, Love Space? I definitely poured a lot of emotion into this EP and, for me, I felt that I got the most raw and real sounds just from Abelton’s operator. That synth is so powerful and fun to use that it’s easy to spill your emotions into the track. What has been your biggest accomplishment so far and how has it impacted your career? I would say it is a toss up between getting featured on Billboard.com and getting to the top 50 on the national airplay list. I feel that both of these events have boosted people’s awareness of my music and, more importantly, have helped me to define my sound. What advice would you give to a dance music fan who was interested in getting into music production? Never stop. Patience is key. I know it sounds sort of cliché, but in terms of producing music, it really is a marathon, not a sprint. The worst thing a producer can do is sacrifice quality by cutting corners. If you could change one thing about the dance music culture, what would it be and why?
I would break down the walls that people place on the music by defining it as a “genre.” That, I feel, closes the mind and limits creativity. Staying with the same format as everyone else does not make new discoveries. Besides looking at your lava lamp before music production, what else is part of your ritual to get into the music production zone? (laughs) I have definitely developed my rituals, which I am sure every producer has. One habit that I only recently developed is listening to other types of music that I do not normally listen to while I am producing. This has helped me get some pretty radical and creative ideas. You started working on your first full-length CD. What can you tell us about it? Yes, I am very excited about the album! I think that my latest EP, Love Space, has really helped open my mind for different musical ideas. I think this is mainly because of the emotion that went in to the production. I feel like I was able to find my voice, so now it’s time to scream. I can’t give away too much, but I can say that I am going to continue to drive myself to be the best for the listener, whether it is the entire world, or just one person. If anybody connects to your music, you owe it to them to make the best music you can.
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PL UR STORY
EAST COAST RAVE COMMUNITY by Jaspreet Narang My name is Jaspreet Narang, but all my friends call me Jesse. In 2010, I moved to the United States, where I made some great friends in college. Unfortunately, none of them were into the dance music scene. At the time, I felt so lost because, even if I wanted to go to a show, I felt like I couldnâ€™t really go because I had no one to go with. A few years later, in 2013, I was surfing Facebook and came across an intriguing post by Insomniac Events. They were looking for people interested in volunteering at Electric Daisy Carnival New York. I decided to apply. I ended up getting approved as a volunteer and went to the festival by myself. My time at EDC New York was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. It made me realize that, even though I went alone, I was never technically alone because I had so many other people around me who shared the same love for the music. Soon after EDC New York, I decided to make a group on facebook called East Coast Rave Community. The main purpose of the group was to help people connect with others who had the same interests in music. This way, they could make plans to attend dance music events together. Some of the people who volunteered with me at EDC New York joined the group and friendships began to grow and flourish within the community.
Soon after, I decided I wanted to go to Veld Music Festival in Canada because it had 3 of my favorite artists on the line up: Deadmau5, Above & Beyond, and Kaskade. I made plans to attend the event with some of the people that I had volunteered with at EDC New York. Even though I had only known them for 2 months, the trip was a huge success. At Electric Zoo 2013, I met even more dance music fans and some of them have become my best friends to date. Today, The East Coast Rave Community group has almost 6,000 members and continues to grow. We have 8 groups total camping together for Mysterylandâ€™s Friendship camping. We will be celebrating our one year anniversary there! Itâ€™s so crazy to me that this all stemmed from a Facebook group. I am also excited about how much it has impacted my life and the lives of others in so many different ways. All of this could not have been possible if electronic dance music was not there in the first place. Music truly does unite people.
E A S T C O A S T R AV E C O M M U N I T Y M O T T O :
one little lonely
RAVER A T
T I M E.
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DYRO & DANNIC D i s c u s s T h e i r E x p e r i e n c e s O n To u r by Spencer Flohr
The last glimpse of sunlight had been claimed by the horizon as the lines begin to form outside of Epic Entertainment in downtown Minneapolis. The sound of massive speakers inside can be heard on the street. Anticipation grips at the hearts of the anxious people waiting outside. With bright neon outfits, handmade signs, and kandi up to their elbows, the crowd waits patiently for the moment the doors will open and reveal the awe inspiring lights and sounds. Finally, the moment arrives and the crowds flow into the once empty venue and occupy every inch to witness the first stop on Hardwell’s North American Bus Tour. The night begins with Zach Morin laying down the big tracks and energizing the crowd. As Dannic takes the stage, the crowd grows wilder and the music louder. The energy can be felt throughout the venue and can be seen on the faces of the adoring fans. A large flag black flag with the name “DANNIC” is proudly displayed amidst the crowd. Some fans are wearing his t-shirt while still others have his name painted on their faces. The love is palpable. Hardwell is on deck to perform. As he steps up to the tables to perform his set, the roar from the crowd is stunning and overshadows the sound coming from the massive speakers. The crowd moves in unison to the beat of the music. With each song, the cheers grow louder and the smiles bigger. We truly were the lucky ones. Dyro is next and will finish out the evening’s concert. A smile dawns his face as the crowd screams his name. “DYRO! DYRO!” The crowd shouts at the top of their lungs and jump as high as they can to the sound of his music pounding through the speakers. I see tears rolling down cheeks on faces filled with joy. PLUR is in the air. The night is beautiful. The lights are mesmerizing, the lasers fascinating, and the music extraordinary. Before the night is over, even air cannons are filled with one dollar bills and shot into the air so what singles rain down onto the crowd. “THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE!” one fan screams standing in the front row, hands raised, as the dollar bills fall all around her. It is a remarkable evening, definitely one for the books. I was lucky enough to get the chance to sit down with both Dyro and Dannic and ask them a few questions about their music, careers, personal lives and upcoming projects.
WE TRULY WERE THE LUCKY ONES.
DYRO What’s it like when you start to play a song and within a few seconds of it starting, the crowd recognizes it and starts to go crazy for it? “It’s the recognition to all your hard work. I really like to produce music; I’m more of a producer than a DJ. I mean, I like to believe that I’m a good DJ at the moment, but I started with making music. I spent a lot of hours in the studio and to have gained so many fans because of my music. It is the best feeling ever. If they recognize it straight away, it’s recognition [for my work].” In a previous interview, you had mentioned that Dannic was a big help with tips on mixing techniques. Can you share with us the best tip he gave you? “I think the best tip he gave me is... let’s say you have 128 on the left and 130 on the right, and they’re both on the main BPM, if you want to raise 128 to 130 it’s 1.6% of the pitch. That’s one thing he told me that was really helpful and I still use that today. He taught me that and just some tricks of the trade, you know?” If you could go back to when you first started producing music, what would you tell yourself?
“I would tell myself how important it is to maintain friendships. I said it earlier; you lose a lot of friends doing this job. It’s really hard to keep contact with all these people you used to hang out with. For me, especially because it blew up so fast, I was traveling all over the place and it seemed as though I vanished from where I lived before. I lost a lot of friends. The good thing is, this career has given me a lot of new friends. It’s so great to share all these great moments with these guys who have the same experiences and inspirations as you. It’s good.” You know the importance of fan-following and you like to schedule meet-and-greets with your fans. What is the most inspiring story that a fan has shared with you? “A while ago, this really die-hard EDM fan was attacked by somebody and he went into a coma. His friends were collecting letters and autographs [from artists and DJs he was following] for him. When he woke up, there was support from his favorite artists. I participated in that and it felt really good to do something like that.” If you weren’t making music right now, what would you be doing? “I have a degree in engineering, but I think I would probably just gypsy my way through life. I don’t know. I have no clue. Maybe I would be a thief or a professional criminal.” (laughs) “I had at least 10 jobs when I was younger. I just can not work for people who are bossing me around. It’s just not me.” What’s your favorite place that you’ve performed? “The thing is, every single city you come to has its own special thing about it. I could name a lot of cities that are my “favorites,” but I’m not going to because every city is different from the other, so it’s not really comparable.” With the market being so saturated because EDM is becoming so popular and is booming right now, how do you stay “unique” with your music? (Dyro pondered this question for a moment and took his time choosing his words.) “Not doing what’s popular. If you’re going to follow ‘hype,’ like we discussed before, people are not going to recognize your music. It will only be a popular tune and people are not going to relate it to you. I try to stick to my sound and really do something that I like. I create a fanbase out of that.”
dannic Describe your early years spinning in Breda and one thing you are most grateful for having learned there. “I started when I was 17 and I’m 28 now, so it’s been about 11 years. I started because a friend of mine was a DJ there. He was ill and looking for a replacement DJ. It was just a regular bar, so I played 70s and 80s music, hip hop, and everything in between. The best thing I learned, though, was interacting with the crowd. Really feeling the crowd and knowing what to play and at which moment is something that I learned there. Timing is very important and when to play a certain song is everything. What has been your favorite mash-up or remix that you’ve done to date? “The ‘Oh SH*T Bootleg’ released on Facebook has been like a gimmick in my set for over a year now. It works so well. For a remix, I think the one I did for The Wanted was my favorite because it was like a really soft BPM track that is really poppy and I made a totally different track out of it. It took me a while and it’s something I’m really proud of.” In your life today, what’s the biggest challenge you are currently facing?
“Missing friends and family because I’m always traveling and I’m always working is a huge challenge for me. Whenever I’m home, I need to wash my clothes, I need to produce my new music, etc. It’s really important to keep spending time with my friends and family and that’s something that I’m struggling with right now. Whenever I have spare time, I try to call my friends and do something that regular guys do like go to the movies, play soccer, or whatever.” Do you separate your personal life from your work life? “Yeah, like I told you before, it’s really difficult to balance it out because my personal life is really involved in my work life. I’m still struggling to balance them. I’m always working.” How has Revealed transformed your career? “Actually, I don’t know if a lot of people know it, but the first track that I ever released on Revealed, I produced with together with Robbert Hardwell. At the time, Revealed wasn’t as popular. Now it’s one of the biggest EDM labels. Now, whenever I release a track on Revealed, all eyes are on that track. It’s huge. Everyone is expecting quality music from the label and there’s a certain quality about the label. I send Robbert all my tracks and all my ideas and whenever he wants to sign something, who am I to say no? Now I have about 4 tracks coming up this year already. I’m happy. It’s a great label.” What’s it like tour with Hardwell and Dyro being that you’re all good friends? “It’s the best feeling ever. I mean, in the beginning, we toured a lot together. However, last year, we all had our separate careers so we didn’t see each other that often. Now it’s so good to be back together and do this tour. It is big fun. It’s all been fun.” If you could go back in time, what’s one piece of advice you’d give yourself? “At the time, I had a regular day job. I finished my studies and had my bachelor’s degree. I worked for three years. I quit after three years, but I think I needed to quit after one year. That’s something I would tell myself: quit earlier and just go for it. It was always a risk because I never knew if I was going to succeed in this. It was a big jump and a big risk but I’m super thankful for everything that happened.” If you weren’t in music, what do you think you would be doing? “I would probably be doing what I used to do as a regular day job: marketing manager for a company.” What’s your opinion on ghost producers and have you ever used one?
“I’ve never used one, no. I did ghost produce a track for someone in the past, but I think that, in general, ghost producing is ok as long as the artist is honest about it. Don’t show up on a stage and say, “Yeah I produced this track!” I don’t get that. The best feeling in the world is if you produce a song and everyone goes nuts for it. That’s one of the best feelings, in my opinion, and nothing can beat that. I don’t know why some of these guys they just go buy a track and play it like, “Oh it’s mine now” and they are super happy about it. I don’t get that. Just be honest about it.” Steve Angello once tweeted, “Some people should just stay away from our scene, makes us look bad and de-values our culture, please stay away! Listen to the radio.” Do you agree with this and what are your thoughts on it? “I definitely agree with that. I’m in here because music is my passion. Music is on my mind 24/7. It’s what I live for. I think some people are in it for the wrong reasons; money, fame or whatever, you know? I don’t think those people will get far.” What does it feel like, to you, when a crowd recognizes a song that you start to play just seconds into it? (smiles) “I get chills all over my body. It’s the best feeling in the world. Yeah, it’s the best feeling.” Do you have a favorite city/place to perform? “I get the question a lot, but it’s super difficult. Every country and every venue has its own special thing. I love Asia because the people are not really familiar with our music. Half of the time, they don’t know what song I’m playing, but they go nuts for it, for the music, and it’s great! Then, on the other hand, USA is amazing for us. There is so much energy, people are really educated, and they really know you and all your songs. Sometimes, they even wear self-made costumes. It’s amazing man, it’s great, and that’s something that I live for.” How does the Netherlands EDM scene compare to the USA EDM scene? “Basically, in the Netherlands, there’s a big House culture, but it’s been there for over 15 years already. We’re a pretty small country, but we have ten or fifteen big festivals. So yeah, the House scene is still really big. However, the people are a bit spoiled and they’ve seen it all, so sometimes it’s not really about the music anymore. That’s something that I dislike. Then again, in America, if you take this night, for example, the crowd is so into it. You give a lot of energy, but you get a lot of energy in return.” What some projects are you working on right now? “I’m finishing up a collaboration with Dyro and it’s going to be really interesting.
I’m very happy with that. I have a collaboration coming up with the guys from Italy, Merk & Kremont. Besides that, I have a new vocal track coming up. Hardwell just premiered a new song of mine at his Ultra set. I’m working on so many new tracks, it’s crazy. What was it like playing at Ultra Music Festival? “I’ve been there before, but only as a visitor and, actually, I was there with Hardwell backstage. This year, I was playing. At first, they closed down the stage because of the weather and I was so disappointed. When we were in the car on our way back to the hotel, we got called back, “Please stand by, stand by.” We rushed back and in about 10 minutes I went on stage. Then the crowd was already coming in because they had closed it down for an hour. When I started my set, there were only 20 people and it was pouring rain. There were no visuals, there were no lights, and it was really ghetto. Then Hardwell was there and he said, “Give me the mic.” He grabbed the mic and said, “GIVE IT UP FOR DANNIC!” and within like 10 minutes it was full! I only had like ten minutes left for my original set and then Dyro was on. We said “Let’s play, the three of us.” It was back to back to back set. That was the most intense set that we ever did. The whole place was over capacity. Six thousand people were there when it could only hold four thousand. It was great.”
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MAKE YOUR SHOWS SHINE WITH THESE SIMPLE EQ TRICKS by Alex Andrews
THE EQUALIZER (EQ) IS A VERY POWERFUL TOOL THAT IS EVERYWHERE. SERIOUSLY.
Open up iTunes and click on the “Window” menu. There it is. As a musician, you’re going to see some form of EQ on virtually every soundboard and amp you play through. This is fantastic, because if you spend a bit of time developing your EQ skills, you’ll suddenly be able to bring a lot more control to your sound—no matter what venue you’re playing in. This article is for new bands looking to take control of their sound and bring it to the next level. Looking to get your head around the basics? You’ve come to the right place. Welcome.
Primer: what’s an EQ anyway? There are many different types of EQs—graphic, parametric, semi-parametric, and so on—and though they’re each used a little differently, they all do a very similar thing: an EQ makes a group of frequencies louder or quieter. For example, think of the “Bass” knob on a stereo: it’s just a simple EQ that controls the low frequencies. Getting comfortable with the idea of frequencies is a great first step in gaining control of your live sound. Let’s take a look at the iTunes equalizer (if you have iTunes, just click “Window” and then “Equalizer”). You’ll see a 10-band EQ like the one on the right. Those numbers at the bottom of each slider are the frequencies—e.g., the slider labelled “32″ controls the very low sound around 32 Hz. Our ears generally hear between around 20 Hz and 20 000 Hz (that’s 20 kHz), so this EQ has us covered!
The graphic EQ in iTunes controls 10 frequency bands
Different frequency ranges have different qualities, different characters, different feels—and knowing this stuff is the foundation of your future EQ mastery! For example, too much volume around 1 kHz is going to sound nasal; too little 8 kHz will sound dull. Knowing this, we can just turn up or down the right sliders to fix the problem. We’ll hear some examples of this once we get to the video! EQing the band: it’s a team sport! Before we get into some specifics, there are two HUGE points often overlooked by beginners, and I can’t emphasize them enough: 1. Even if all instruments sound great on their own, they may not sound good together. EQing a group of musicians is about making sure they sound excellent
as a unit. If you take a great sounding band and have one member play on her own, don’t be surprised if it doesn’t sound great: a bass may sound dull, a guitar or vocal may sound thin. That’s OK! All these instruments leave a bit of space in their sound so they can jigsaw together into one impressive band sound. At a show, you play together—so that’s how you should EQ too. EQing is a team sport. 2. To make one instrument sound its best, consider everyone’s settings. For example, if the bass guitar has its highs turned up loud, the guitar may not pop through. Just turning that guitar up—instead of tweaking the bass’s settings—could cause more problems. So what do you do? A rule-of-thumb for beginning EQers is to let each instrument own a zone. In a classic four-piece (guitar, bass, vocals, drums), give the bass the lows below ~200 Hz (turn these down on the guitar and vocals), give the guitar the mids (up to roughly 1 Hz), and let the vocals pop by owning the high-mids (around 4 kHz). A simple way to cut high-mids on an electric guitar or bass is with the tone knob usually found on many electric instruments. And this can be quite a small change too - even just a 1/8 turn can do wonders. The vocals: making them pop To get a good vocal sound out of a basic soundboard, you can do a few simple things. (We focus on vocals here, but many of these tips will apply to all instruments.) Turn down the lows. Women generally don’t sing much below 200 Hz; for men it’s 100 Hz. So, any sound below those frequencies that makes it into the microphone is probably not what we want. Maybe it’s the rumble of nearby traffic, or some low-frequency electrical hum. Let’s get rid of it!
A semi-parametric EQ controls the volume of sound at a specific frequency.
The next step depends on your equipment. You’ll likely have at least one semi-param etric EQ for the vocal track mids. (Wait, what’s a semi-parametric EQ? It’s just two knobs: one for the frequency, and one for the level.) Now listen to the vocals (with the whole band playing), and pick the problem that’s most obvious: muddiness, a nasal sound, lack of warmth, or lack of presence. Picked one? Then follow the instruction below that fits. If you have four of these semi-parametric EQs, then you can move onto the other three instructions when you’re done. If not, you’ll need to choose carefully!
Turn up the presence range. Sometimes you put on a record or go to a show, and you can clearly hear everything: lead vocals, harmonies, guitar, bass, drums— it all sounds terrific. And yet, you find one particular instrument is highlighted— usually the lead vocals. While you hear everything, you find yourself listening to that one instrument above the rest. You can place an instrument at the forefront, just like this, using the presence range (around 4 kHz). For example, if you want the vocals to really pop through, turn up this range on the vocals and turn down this range on everything else. Changes of even 3 dB (that’s small) can do a great deal. Cut the mud or increase the warmth. The muddiness/warmth region is around 250 Hz. If your vocals are muddy and the words just aren’t making it through, you may want to cut this region. On the other hand, if the vocals sound weak and need some warmth, you’ll want to raise it. Reduce the nasal sound. The nasal region is around 1 kHz. If you find the vocals are getting too nasal, cutting this range a little can make a noticeable improvement. Finding the frequency. Now that you know which frequency range to adjust, let’s improve that vocal sound! We’re going to assume you have a semi-parametric EQ control for mids (explained above). To start, crank the level knob most of the way high or low, depending on if you’re cutting (e.g., to reduce mud) or boosting (e.g., to increase presence). Then have the singer sing normally (not just say “Check.. 1… 2…”!), with or without the band, as you slowly turn the frequency knob around the frequency range you want to change. For example, scan from 2 kHz to 8 kHz for presence. Somewhere in that range the effect will really stand out—that’s the magic frequency, and it’s a little different for everyone. Bring the level back to something a bit more subtle, and you’re good. Remember: when you’re EQing the vocal, your goal is to make it sound good with the band, not just on its own. Make sure you always do some EQing with everyone playing! The caveats: EQing is great if… Building your EQ skills can lead to a giant improvement in how your songs sound to the audience. But, just like any effect, they aren’t a fix-all: songs still need to be awesome, and the performance should still be both engaging and tight. Music comes from the heart, makes its way through your instrument and sound equipment, and connects to your audience. Knowing your effects, like EQ, makes sure it gets there in one piece! And for you vocalists, know your distance to the mic! If in doubt and you’re using the usual SM58-style microphone that you’ll find in most clubs—stay very close!
Train those ears: enter hearEQ! Developing good EQ skills involves building both knowledge and experience—and that practical experience can be tough to get at first. That’s where hearEQ comes in. If you’re an iPhone or iPad user, you can check out the hearEQ app—a 99¢ app that teaches you about different frequency bands, and then helps you practice EQing using custom exercises—all on your very own tracks. Understanding how the different frequency ranges sound—so you can say “hey, sounds like the bass could cut the highs a little” or “vocals could be warmer, let’s boost around 300 Hz”—is a powerful skill and hearEQ helps you get there. We are super proud of this app, and we hope you find it as useful as we have. Check out our video below to learn more—it’s also got some cool EQing examples!
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Article courtesy of www.diymusician.com