1 Letter F rom The Ed itor 2 Electric Forest 6 Crywolf 7 Zeke Be ats 8 Dirty Au dio 9 Troyboi 10 Workou t Mix 11 Miami: The City Th at Never Stops Danc ing 12 Afrojac k 16 The Dow nload 18 Bassjac kers 20 RICOH: Ultimate Ra ve Camera 22 Inner C ircle: Ubi H ernandez 24 Cheat C odes 26 FATUM
M O R F R LETTE THE
R O T I ED This month in Raver Magazine we put you front and center of some of the top producers from all over the world. That being said, I ask myself, what makes a producer a producer? What makes one track better than another? Dance music in general is so broad these days. One moment you are listening to some sick head banging Dubstep or Trap, the next you’re listening to chill Deep or Tech House. You may even cross over into Trance or Techno if that’s where your mind takes you. The same goes for producers. One producer can, at any given moment, be focusing one type of genre and then suddenly switch it up all in the name of creative freedom. The reaction is normally that they are selling out, or crossing over into something that doesn’t suit them. Sometimes we agree, but for the most part we feel that producers should have the ability to create amazing music without limitations. In this edition our goal was to bring you an inside look into the mindset of some of the best producers in the world. We hope that you like their take on things and we also hope that you dive deep with us as we take you into the hottest events on the rave scene of the month. We hope you enjoy it and ask that you share your thoughts on all of our social media that can be found by visiting us @RaverMedia
CEO of Raver Magazine
OUR STAFF EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Michael Beas PUBLISHER Wid Bastian Genius Media Inc. OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Kristine Kennedy CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Stephanie Piedrahita LEAD VIDEOGRAPHER Bobby Ben-Gal
PHOTOGRAPHERS Mike Pfeiffer Wes Cunningham SENIOR WRITERS
Kylie Parham Amberlynn Anderson
STAFF WRITERS Sandra Santana 1
PHOTOS BY ZACH LIEBMANN
ELECTRIC FOREST B2B WEEKEND ADVENTURE
WRITTEN BY A M BE R LYNN ANDER SON
The smell of pine, the vibrant electricity of colors oozing through the gaps of trees, the epitome of Mother Nature at the palm of your finger tips... Electric Forest is unlike any other festival I have attended by far; the Forest vibes are very real and other-worldly at the same time. Nature and dance music lovers joined together for week one In addition to the beautiful scenery, there was art not only in the branches and leaves but in the people setting up murals and intricate installation was something that made it very special. The time and passion it took to enhance the beauty of it all was something that would bring a tear to anyone's eye, the love that is behind the tedious construction of the stages and art exhibitions is something to admire! Walking around the forest, you definitely see some things you normally wouldn't at any regular festival. In the forest, there are creatures speaking in foreign made up languages, trying to convey a message you wouldn't understand until you've experienced this festival. At some point, I found myself sitting in a drum circle as they banged on Djembes and felt connected to these complete strangers even if it was only for a little. I made my way further in and found myself around a large piano, smack in the middle of a sea of endless trees, where a festival attendee was playing fun and funky tunes! There are surprises at every bend and turn you take. The best performance of the first weekend would have to be Big Gigantic with some old throwbacks of theirs! Not to mention Dom was a surprise guest in the Hangar. I had a lot of fun at Troyboi's set too, you can tell how much energy he had brought to the table and absolutely threw down! How could I forget about ODESZA though? The live beating drums and intensity of it all was magnificent...they played all of the right songs at the right time. I always try and check out new and upcoming artists at festivals and I stumbled upon an artist named PLS&TY, his set was fast paced yet mellow and calming. It's hard to describe the tone that was set but it felt right for the Forest, drawing in other dancers on a quest to discover new sounds. That calm, alluring effect the trees have on you starts changing as the sun dips lower...especially when Bassnectar is about to take over. When Lorin started his set, of course, a couple mellow tunes to start out with. This set was different, Lorin had messages that were being played that hit very close to home. A Carl Sagan speech named "This Is Just A Ride" was included, a lot of the lines are things brought to a lot of others attention about injustices in the world and to be honest it got me very socially aware for a minute. To all bassheads, if you have a Facebook account I suggest you go to a group named "You Know We Love It" and watch the video of Bassnectar's performance. That was my twelfth time seeing him play but that was not only the filthiest set but very inspirational. I definitely was looking forward to what he'd do the next weekend of Electric Forest.
Lucky for me I was able to catch up with an old friend of mine Justin Taylor Phillips aka "Crywolf" in the media area, and was able to catch his set. His set had electronic drops while his lyrics were indie. He reached his full potential and sung his heart out and it brought hope to my heart that music will always grow, not diminish. Leaving Sherwood and venturing over to the Tripolee Stage was the game plan for weekend two; I found myself at the Sub Focus set but kept myself at the back so I could grab a slice of “Spicy Pizza Pie” pizza. Seriously, how awesome is that? Next up was 12th Planet! His deep wobbles and heart pumping bass was definitely something that carried me away. Eventually, Allison Wonderland, one of my favorite artists since Ultra Miami 2016, finally jumped on stage. Honestly I’m surprised her set wasn’t a lot louder but she powered through any technical difficulties there were and delivered a sick set. I made my way to a very lovely bassheads set named Rezz! I approached the set, getting as close to her as I possibly could without cutting people out or being disrespectful to anyone, to see
these LED glasses and what looked like pigtails. Her set was moving...I mean seeing a girl taking charge, kicking ass and deal heavy drops is something I can admire! That set was empowering to me, I suggest any fellow rave babes to check her out next time she’s around! Last but not least, actually, hands down the best performance of the two weekends…Bassnectar! I thought he had a really good show weekend one, but that wasn’t anything compared to the absolute mass destruction of human brains I have ever seen! Dropping not only Collie Buddz, but A$AP Rockys “LSD” had the crowd go insane! I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people freak out over a remix before. I don’t know if it was the stage change from week one or just Lorin doing his thing in general but all I can say is WEEK TWO NECTAR OVER EVERYTHING! To say the least I had the most amazing time, despite all of the crazy! I met a lot of amazing, good hearted strangers, became friends with security guards even, found a family, and I made it home safe and sound. In the end, I had the most eye opening experience, my vacation turned into a journey, and most importantly I had found family in total strangers. Electric Forest, thank you for everything! Can’t wait to see you all next year!
ELECTRIC FOREST INTERVIEWS
Do you have any new music coming up? I basically have the whole remix package for Skeletonsthe first one actually just dropped. So I have a whole bunch of acoustic versions coming up and for the last couple of months I’ve been working on a new album. I had seen where your bag had got stolen in Chile, so you had to rebuild and do everything that you’re doing now from that? Yeah, so basically, like $10,000 worth of stuff got stolen. Equipment and gear and as if the money wasn’t enough it was everything I had been working on for the album, and I had it backed up, but the backups were in the backpack. It wasn’t just all the new stuff that I had made but Skeletons too. So how did you bounce back from that? I almost went home, to be completely honest. I was so defeated. There were already so many issues with trip to begin with. I was out in the middle of nowhere, and organizing it myself and the logistics. It was like everything was going wrong, trying to figure it out and getting there with all of this equipment. 6
So, it was already this big clusterf*ck and then that happened. I was thinking of coming back home but then I was like ‘I have to kick life’s ass right now.’” What role do you think an artist has on society? I’ve given a ton of thought to that because most of my young adult life was spent wanting to get involved in nonprofit work and altruism, and kind of working to improve the world in that way. Hands on, directly working with people. I had moved to (Southern) Sudan when I graduated from high school when I was working to help start schools there, and then I came back and I was studying economics and international relations to study sustainable development in third world countries. So that’s where I got my start and then I had this realization I have the power to change things on a mass scale. I have the potential to do something so much bigger. It’s weird for me I feel like in order to influence the most people I have to completely disregard everybody else and focus only on my own art.
Tell me about the first record you scratched on… This one is very interesting because I never bought the first record I scratched. I was 13 years-old and my music teacher who came from the UK and had turntables at the school. I used to come in at lunch time and experiment with different records and what they sound like scratched. Do you still consider yourself a turntablist? That’s a tricky one. I do so much now I don’t know what you would call me. I’m a producer, turntablist hybrid. I definitely don’t just make beats, when you see my show, I’m scratching and drumming and more. We have to come up for a new name for that! Are you a breakbeat fan? I love them but they aren’t so prevalent these days. I was a massive breakbeat fan growing up. I just love breaks. It was like hip hop but a more sped up version. I think turntablism has become a bit like the Star Wars scenario where there’s like a few of the old guard left and the dark force is like the pre-recorded DJs invading, trying to get us all. Are you away from home a lot?
I’m thinking of moving to Portland. I have a lot of friends, producer buddies there like eProm and G Jones. I love Portland, it’s beautiful. How did you use your influences to develop into your own style of music? I am a big fan of Mr Carmack and music of the sort, and all of the things I liked about their music, I obviously tried to incorporate into my style and I feel like that is what a lot of people do, take bits and pieces from other artists through elements that they like and bring it together to form this whole new organism. And then after a while after doing that I have developed my own sort of sound and I’m like yeah I like this and that’s something that is signature to me. That is the biggest way they have made an impact. How do you cope with the touring lifestyle? This time I have been trying something new, I’ve been vegan/vegetarian for the past three weeks. The reason I say slash vegetarian is because sometimes I get food without having animal products in it and also one thing I cannot break is sushi. I f*cking love sushi and fish. So that I feel has helped me recover much quicker when I wake up. I always used to feel super sluggish when I was eating lots of meat and now since I’ve made the change, I feel a lot more energetic and I feel like it’s a really good coping mechanism.
Yes. I’m probably away from home 6 months out of the year. It’s tough which is why I’m moving to the US next year. 7
It didn’t happen quickly. It was like one little step and then another. I started when I was 14 or 15 and when I graduated high school I was touring in the US. It was time for a college and that’s when I knew I had to make a decision. Did I want to go to college because that’s what everyone else is telling me to do? Or, do I take a different path? I was like I’m going to do what I feel is right, I’m going to go with my gut. Here I am today and I haven’t looked back. Dirty Audio came to the EDM scene at just 12 years old and immediately became obsessed with making it part of his life. For the past six years he’s been travelling, remixing and making his own music turning his dreams to a daily reality. His latest remix “Ocho Cinco” is for DJ Snake and Yellow Claw on Interscope Records and he’s ready to release his new single “Firewalker,” a blazing track that rounds all the EDM bases and still clocks in under 3 minutes. I caught up with Dirty Audio at Electric Forest on his second weekend playing sets there.
How did your set today go? It was amazing! I’m still getting goosebumps. It’s such a cool vibe being out here in the forest playing music. I played here last week and now it’s one of my favorite festivals. How do you maintain your schedule? Honestly, I live for this. Other things have to work their way into this. This is what I love doing. It’s my passion, so it doesn’t really feel like work to me to figure out when I’m going to have time to produce something. This is my life now. I live to make music. I wake up every morning with the intention of making a good song. How did you get to the point you’re at today? 8
You do a lot of remixes…Yes, a lot of artists reach out to me to remix. It’s always an honor to get the chance to put my touch on someone else’s music. Then I work on my own music. And that’s where I try to find the balance. I got to remix Yellow Claw recently for “Ocho Cinco” and it’s got a Middle Eastern vibe to it and I’m Middle Eastern so it was cool. You get slotted as a “trap” DJ but seems like you’re more than that…I think “Dirty Audio” is the best way to describe my music. It’s got trap, it’s got dub and it has bass. It’s in between it all. Dirty Audio is its own genre. How important is the social media aspect for you to maintain? I like it. I get bored easily so I’ll just sit in my room and check out twitter and who is responding to me. I feel like a jerk if I don’t respond to them. The only reason I’m here doing something this great is because of them. I think of all of them like friends of mine. You’ve travelled pretty extensively, what’s the most exotic place you’ve played? India. It’s cool as hell. But you know seriously, I have to say here at Electric Forest. It’s not something you do every day you know.
What is your most meaningful song & why? Oooo, the trickiest question ever! I do like my song ‘Do You’. It does definitely have that powerful question, ‘Do you love me?’. Everyone wants to find love. It’s a very emotional song, it has feeling and the original track roots back to an old traditional song which was loved by everybody back in the Arab community. Why do you do what you do? Because I love what I do; I love music, I love creating music, it’s an outlet for me. I’m blessed to be able to do the music and to have people be affected by it, which is what I’ve been discovering since I’ve been putting out my music. So now it feels it’s my duty to keep going. As well as me enjoying what I’m doing, is to also keep going for the people that love my music that affects them because it affects me. At the same time it’s like without you guys I would be no one. What’s your background? My ethnic background is Indian, Chinese, Portuguese, and Nigerian, born and raised in England. But that heavily inspires the music I make, because of my parents. All the music from those countries I was brought up listening to as a kid, so I was like a sponge.
That’s why you can probably hear a lot of those influences in my music, and I’m so proud of it. When did your "I made it" moment happen for you? Well, when I basically put my first song on SoundCloud and it went viral. I was literally consistently putting out music, like almost 2-3 times a week minimum. Before you knew it, it caught the right people’s attention! You got any new music for your fans? Oh, hell yeah! I actually just finished up my album! So you’re definitely going to a good couple tunes from that today and in future sets! Who is your favorite artist? Like who inspires you? Such a hard question, I couldn’t pin it to one person, but if you’re talking musically-(shows me a tattoo on his arm of Michael Jackson) this guy! In terms of musical artists, what he achieved, his work rate, his accomplishments, how he gave-he gave so much back, he’s a great humanitarian, he’s great, he’s wonderful, he’s conquered every genre of music, and did it with a smile on his face! He promoted peace and love for everyone, and he’s a great role model. 9
Nora En Pure - Tears In Your Eyes (DJ Edit) Duke Dumont & Gorgon City ft Naations - Real Life (Extended Mix) EDX - Feel The Rush (Original Club Mix) Chris River & Mark Pigato - Feel It (Extended Mix) Oliver Heldens - Ibiza 77 (Can You Feel It Extended Mix) Dana Jasmine - Carnival (Extended Mix) Bakermat ft Kiesza Don’t Want You Back (Extended Mix) Planet Funk - Chase The Sun (SDJM Remix) Yves Larock - Phantasma (Club Mix) Jay Hardway - Golden Pineapple (Extended Mix) Don Diablo - Save A Little Love (Extended Mix) Clean Bandit ft Zara Larsson - Symphony (Cash Cash Remix) Robbie Rivera vs Tom Staar - The Funkatron (Robbie’s Juicy Remix) James Greene & Matt Gray - Obrigado (Original Mix) Keanu Silva - Close 2 You (Original Mix) 10
O P I N IO N CO L U M N
Oh, Miami. The city that is always alive and booming with music and excitement every single weekend. There is always a new artist to discover or a reason to go to “church on Sundays” at Space or join the seemly endless dance marathons at Heart. With that being said, the residents of downtown Miami have been making several complaints lately about the amount of noise and disturbances that the club scene have caused. This isn’t the first time that residents have complained about it, but this time they have banded together to sign a petition so that Ultra Music Festival can find a new location that has hundreds of signatures. Let’s step back in time for a little bit. The festival was founded back in 1999 and began in the beaches of Miami. Before it’s towering stages and insane production, Ultra was one stage on the sand with locals dancing all night, picking up trash on their way out. Once it began growing, it moved to Bayfront Park and then it was moved to Bicentennial Park and back again to Bayfront Park in 2012. The event brings thousands of people from around the world to the city in the span of a week, something that is as admittedly concerning as it is remarkable. It has consistently shown that it is able to bring revenue, improvements, and more diversity to the city of Miami. Ultra organizers have said before to local news stations here that one weekend brings in $79 million in economic impact to South Florida. Business owners also get compensated for having to close their stores and residents are given prior notice when the park closes down for any festival. Although these are important factors, the festival should work together with the residents of Miami in order to find a way to make money and keep everyone happy for years to come.
Everyone knows that Miami has grown in population over the years, that is something that can be blamed on festival organizers but it’s something to be considered. A solution that the festival can come up with to control the inflow and outflow of traffic is to lower the amount of ticket sales for Ultra next year. Coming from someone that has attended the festival for seven years straight, the traffic has gotten worse every year, making it impossible to get anywhere around downtown. Aside from the festival, downtown Miami dwellers have been getting fed up with the constant noise that circulates their apartment buildings from nightclubs like Heart and Club Space. The main complaints is loud music playing from 10PM to 7-11AM (just how we like it!) and not being able to sleep through it. However... It’s the 21st century, you would think that apartment buildings would come equipped with sound proof walls by now or that the real estate agents would be more transparent with their clients. I don’t think the party will ever stop, because in all honesty money talks and the people are very loud (see what I did there?) about their love for this music. The dance scene here IS the reason Miami is considered once of the best destinations in the world, you take that away and you’re taking away jobs, culture and money that goes back into our economy. This particular issue is an ongoing battle between older snow birds and clubbers since Miami’s inception. I do think that there needs to be certain policies in place in order to keep both the residents and party goers happy though. The reality is this: Festivals like Ultra happens only once or twice a year, and if Ultra hasn’t been moved by now then it never will be. Nightclubs will always exist in Miami, in capacities only cities like Las Vegas can reach. The city of Miami either needs to adjust and be more accepting of this or risk immeasurable losses over a few noise complaints You know the saying, if you can’t take the heat then get out of the kitchen.
Nick van de Wall, better known as Afrojack, is a Dutch producer and DJ who has taken the dance music world by storm with his talent and passion for creating music. His interest in music began at an early age, learning to play the piano at five years old and then DJ’ing in clubs in his early teens. He released his first track under the Afrojack name in 2007. Since then, he first entered the DJ Mag Top 100 DJ’s poll in 2010 at number 19 – the highest new entry of that year - was named one of the highest paid DJs in the world by Forbes and manages his own music label ‘Wall Recordings’. His dedication to his craft has made him a household name within our community. Luckily, we were recently able to link up our schedules and meet him backstage before his performance at the Marquee in New York.
INTERVIEW BY MICHAEL BEAS & KRISTINE KENNEDY
COVER PHOTO BY SANDER NAGEL PHOTOS BY FRITS VAN DEN BRINK
So talk to me about your new track “Another Life” with David Guetta and Esther Dean. It’s going well. It’s kicking ass. I think it’s number one in the media base and on the radio in dance music, number 10 or 15 on Billboard so it’s insane. I didn’t even really notice until yesterday so it’s a really nice thing to know. It’s really going off in the sets, like people singing along and stuff...which is awesome because it’s a new genre diversification for me, like a future bass kind of style. I played it for the first time here in New York and immediately a blog started to right about it asking “What is Afrojack doing?” so to see how it’s working out is insane. How did it come about? Every track has a story behind it and I know you and David have been friends for a while now too. As a producer, I’m doing so many songs a year that maybe 99% of it doesn’t even come out. Like when people ask you “How did this track come about?”...it’s like a gut feeling. Esther writes about what she feels and we make the melodies to what we feel. Music is about feelings so if you feel it, then you know. I feel that words would just deteriorate whatever the actual meaning is...like on the last drop, when it builds one more time right before the break goes up, it’s like a moment of release. Any words I put to that music wouldn’t be strong enough to raise the power of it which is why I make music and not write books. Not too many producers are on the Forbes list but you are. Your birthday is also coming up soon, how do you put it all together? What can be given to someone that has two of everything? Another car maybe? Funny thing is...we’ve been through just about everything. We’ve been through a lot of fun sh*t, you want to be able to give that back to other people. That’s the greatest gift there is. So, for my birthday I’m throwing a big party where I’ll be performing but I’m also bring some friends that usually don’t perform in Holland. It’s me trying to bring together everything I’ve been through around the world to my hometown and present that to ten thousand people. That itself is also a gift.
So it’s not as much as for you than it is for them then? Well it’s the same thing with these guys, you know. I get to play and make my own music and the only thing that is greater than living that dream is making other people live their own dreams and making them come true. That’s honestly the coolest sh*t there is. I’ve followed your music for a long time so I’ve heard the different moves you’ve made between genres, talk to us about how that was like for you. Well that’s just the thing, when I started I did whatever I wanted. Then, I got in the business, I got managers, publicists and all kinds of people telling me “you should do this” and the more I did that, the more I became distant from my fans. Now I’m doing all this new sh*t and I see a lot of people saying “Yo man, go back to your roots” but the people who are saying that are actually the people that are not the real fans. The real fans are the ones who embrace me doing new sh*t because that’s what I was doing initially. So it’s kind of like the opposite of selling out. If I wanted to sell out, I would keep doing what I’m doing to make sure I’m not gonna make any surprises and be steady and be safe. The worst thing you can do commercially speaking, is change it up. Like, if you’re selling meat all your life and it’s going really well and suddenly you say “Now I sell bugs too!”...that’s kind of dangerous....but it’s worth it. I have really good relationships with my friends and fans in New York and they always embrace me doing me...and me doing me can sometimes be playing an hour, half an hour of hip hop. It can also be me playing all my old sh*t, it can also be me playing future bass and weird melodic soundscapes. I played Atlantic City a year ago, where I played a soundtrack to a film I love and people were vibing to it! If it’s that tight, that’s special. That way more special to me than playing “Give Me Everything” and people singing along to that. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very nice but a little less personal. Well I like that you’re spinning on your own personal vibe and creating your own playing field so to speak. It’s more fun that way. It’s a little more risky and I’ll get someone asking me “yo why you playing this Trap sh*t?” and I’ll just look back at them and tell them to keep up!
“JUST KNOW THAT WHILE YOU’RE SKIPPING OUT EARLY, THE REST OF THE WORLD WILL CATCH UP. IT’S LIKE AN INFINITE RACE.”
Apart from DJing, you’re also the CEO of your own label Wall Recordings. I’m sure you get thousands of submissions, tracks and emails a day...so how does it get to a point where you go “this is an artist I want to bring on”? Is it a look and a vibe or is it more of a gut feeling? It’s a certain understanding. Of course, the music needs to be on point and there has to be a certain skill, experience level...but it’s mostly the work ethic. It’s if they understand this lifestyle. Do you get that you have to sleep three hours a night and work sixteen hours a day to become successful? A lot of people say yes but then it’s 3 or 4AM during a session and they’ll say “Yo I’m kind of tired, you mind if I skip out early?”...sure. Just know that while you’re skipping out early, the rest of the world will catch up. It’s like an infinite race. There are people that get that naturally, those are the people I want to work with. The people that don’t even think about resting. What the f*ck am I gonna do? Play Playstation? I could do that when I’m 50. I love my Playstation don’t get me wrong, I go on it for an hour, two max a week. I remember in December I really wanted to play Final Fantasy V but I didn’t get to play it until three months later. I got on, played for three minutes and then had to run back to the studio, never played it again. Last question, inquiring minds must know. What size shoe do you wear? Size 15. At one point the size difference between the ones I have on and the Yeezys I own where an entire size up though. There are some pairs that are limited edition so I buy those in size 14 sometimes if they’re that cool.
ALOK - Brazillian Bass EP The Brazilian culture is always surrounded by an wickedly sexy musical rhythm that few cultures will ever be able to master. DJ / Producer Alok in a 5-track EP has been able to showcase a stunning sound of Brazilian Bass that is simply unsurpassable. The elements, the synths, the drops and over all beat will have you thinking you’re in Rio during Carnival EDM style. Without a doubt Alok has crafted the end of summer rhythm that all of us will keep on repeat. Check it, stream it, keep it and never let it go, because this 5-Track EP will never let you go!
TOR - “Days Gone” (Emancipator Remix) The avant-garde tunes of music is perfecting what is already considered to be perfect. This track is just sexy, with smooth drum beats and captivating baselines that will leave you wanting more...Emancipator breathed new life into the remix, adding intricate elements that give the track more profoundeness and complexity to the soundscape. If you are looking for the perfect chill track to add to your night night drive playlist then look no further, “Days Gone” is the remix for you. Let your mind wander and enjoy.
CASH CASH - All My Love (feat. Connor Maynard) Cash Cash just released their latest single and truth be told, we cannot stop playing it. Teaming up with Conor Maynard, “All My Love” has all our attention. As a follow up to the Cash Cash and ROZES hit, “Matches”, the boys deliver another emotionally satisfying hit. YouTube sensation turned pop star, Conor Maynard brings purely passionate vocals to this track. Combine that with a drop of bubbly, tropical beats and you’ve got yourself a hit of a pretty satisfying breakup anthem. “All My Love” brings the emotion and the hyped energy to the table in the most balanced manner. We dare you to listen just once!
NITTI GRITTI - Sick Nitti Gritti is unstoppable. This new track is just one more way he showcases his musical versitality all while being upfront with his true sound and message. It’s just different. It’s unapologetic. It’s what we need to hear more of in this music scene. ‘Sick’ is an interesting take on a trap track with some heavy future bass influences, a style many try out but haven’t fully mastered. I don’t think anyone else can get away with making a diss track sound so elegant the way Nitti does. The breakdown after the 2:20 mark...You know at events when the whole crowd goes “oooooooh” at a nasty drop? That’s going to happen every single time this track get’s played in a set. So dope. WRITTEN BY STEPHANIE PIEDRAHITA 17
INTERVIEW BY MICHAEL BEAS & KRISTINE KENNEDY What goes through your mind when you get up on stage, especially in front of a New York crowd? I mean, New York has always been a special place for us. It always brings a high energy crowd, the people who really support the heavyhitting big room sound. We’ve been working on a lot of new music so it was really exciting to play all these new tracks and see how it was going down. I [laughs] got really happy because every new track I played was like BOOM...then I would switch back to some of the old stuff. What’s the working relationship between you and Ralph? So when we started out, I was a local DJ and he was one of my good friends who was a producer. I was just a DJ, didn’t know how to produce and I thought “how can I separate myself from the rest.” So, I hit up my buddy Ralph. I told him I had all these ideas and I asked him if he would be down to make the kind of music I had in mind and play it out in my sets. We got in a studio, did our first track 18
and we came up with the name “Bassjackers”. He didn’t know if he was ever going to DJ, I didn’t know if I was ever going to produce. Our first show turned out great and after, he told me“I will never, ever DJ”. So it was decided that I was going to stick to DJing and that he would stick to producing. He sometimes comes out to the shows, I fly back and forth all the time to join him in the studio to give
my feedback and input. I’m really good at having a vision and direction for the music but he is the man behind the scenes. The evil genius! [laughs] But he needs me to make the music that we make. Without me, the tracks would never be as they are because as a DJ I’ll know how the crowd will react.
What message do want to tell the true Bassjackers fans? What do you want them to take away from your sets? We really appreciate you coming to our shows and going crazy. The energy you give us, we give back. What Ralph produces in the studio, what I play on stage....when you bring that energy, I feel it all through my body and I go harder. We love that, we’re all
about it and will always be about it. We try to do different things now, experiment in our music with new BPMs. I played a new track today which is 100 BPM, then one with 150 BPM but both tracks have that same thing that connects them. So yeah, Bassjackers fans we’re all about that energy. Thank you! You’ve toured the world, appeared on the DJ Mag list and created many great vibes for people. So, what’s next for you? It’s always an interesting question to get my answer is always going to get bigger and get better. To be honest, I’ve already exceeded my biggest fantasies. From the moment I got booked to play in another country. It was more than I could’ve ever dreamed of. We played the mainstage of EDC. This year we’ll get to play the mainstage of Tomorrowland, which is a huge milestone. I would’ve never, ever imagined doing any of that. It’s sometimes hard to keep up, you see some artists peak and then you know... they lean back. We just keep trying to release new tracks every month, keep it interesting and work with different people while touring full time.
P R O D U CT R E VI E W
Raver Magazine put the Ricoh Theta S to the ultimate Rave test this past month. To say the least it performed beyond expectations. With ease and perfection it took our photos to the extreme. The Theta S has 14MP of effective resolution onto two 1/2.3” sensors. Basically, there are two lenses, one on each side, and they feature 7 elements in 6 groups with a maximum aperture of f/2. Meaning that this camera puts you and those seeing your photos and videos in the heart of technology and all the action. The best thing of all with the Ricoh Theta S is that it’s small. Not as small as other cameras in the market, but it is easy to put in your pocket. It does both video and photo and with one click you can switch it back and forth. Imagine being at a festival with your friends and you take the Theta S out in the middle of the crowd. You lift it up into the air and you start capturing your memories with a click of the finger.
With the Theta you can take spherical images so you can literally scroll 360O right or left, and scroll your image vertically up and down to the sky and the floor. Its pretty crazy that you can take a picture facing forward and the camera will capture the world behind you. You can video all around you instantly and it has 8GB of memory that’s about 1600 full-res photos or a total of 65 minutes of 1080p video. If that is not enough, the Theta S has an easy to use application that features HD live streaming from your Smartphone. Posting and streaming and editing photos and videos have never been easier and you don’t even have to wait to get back to your hotel or house to make it happen. At the end of the day if you are going to any event, festival or rave you need to pick up the Ricoh Theta S. It will blow your mind and it will capture images that you could only dream of with your friends and rave family. 5 of 5 stars from us at Raver Mag.
INNE R CIRCLE C I RC L E INNER
UBI HERNANDEZ A&R AND MUSIC DIRECTOR INTERVIEW BY STEPHANIE PIEDRAHITA 22
You wear many hats…and we’re not speaking about the snap back or fitted kind. What roles do you currently take on? You know I love my hats girl! Well, let’s see - currently I’m deep into two projects. As you know, I handle A&R and anything that has to do with our brand over at Revolution Radio Miami 93.5 FM in Miami - so that’s pretty exhausting and time consuming but also very rewarding at the same time. If that wasn’t enough I’ve undertaken the management role for Carabetta & Doons, an up and coming techno duo out of Miami, FL. I’m putting a lot of time into my guys lately now that we’ve broken the “locals” threshold. We’re slowly becoming an internationally respected act - so keep your eyes out for them on some respected labels and festival lineups! Was there a specific moment in your life that was pivotal in your decision to dedicating your professional life to dance music? Well that point came early in life, i think I was 15 years old and at some crazy rave in Fort Lauderdale, probably listening to DJ Icey or Baby Anne rip the decks at The Chili Pepper or maybe it was still The Edge at that time…unfortunately, at that time, electronic music was not an option for myself as a career so I enlisted in the military and served my country for nine years. Something of which I’m very proud of and glad I was able to do. After my enlistment was up, I transitioned back into the civilian where all my buddies where either DJ’s or Promoters of some of the best clubs in Miami / South Florida. Let’s just say I paid my dues at these clubs and I am where I am today through the knowledge and musical inclination of some of my closest friends. When it comes to DJs and artists, we don’t really get to see all the work that is done in the background. Aside from producing and performing, what other responsibilities does a DJ have? What kind of team does an artist need behind them to see their careers launch? Let’s speak on Carabetta & Doons as an
example - these guys are some of the hardest working guys i’ve ever met. One is a Construction contractor for a reputable firm and the other is US. Postman, go figure, on those hectic schedules I find it crazy that they find any time whatsoever to produce music and DJ. I also see the love they have for music though so it doesn’t surprise me when they’re up late nights making the magic happen in the studio. Cant leave this out either, Doons is also a Husband and proud Father so add those tasks amongst the rest and try to keep up, lol. It’s tough, but we all sacrifice ourselves in life for that which makes us complete. When it comes to having a team behind us, that is very important. It takes everyone on the same page, striving for the same goal. As a young artist in the scene, the guys and I have to do THAT much more to standout. We also have some pretty kick ass friends who defiantly support us.
Shoutout to all the graphic designers, public relations professionals and label managers who’ve helped guise us along the way! As a music and A&R director, how can an aspiring producer do to get the attention of someone like yourself? Just be different! Don’t be scared to push the
envelope. I listen to a lot of music everyday and I have to say that a lot of producers nowadays are scared to take chances and to experiment. Those who do are clearly playing the top festivals and releasing on the cutting edge labels I respect. As an avid dance music lover, how have you seen the music and community change over the last ten years?
Is there anything you would personally change concerning the direction this movement is going in? Music is evolving daily it seems like, but over the last 10 years I’d have to say that instruments are making the biggest impact in the scene as a whole. I love the fact that artists are sampling live instruments and pushing boundaries even further through genius methods. These new mixers and live production kits are changing live sets and making them more unpredictable. As far as community goes, we’ve always been a tight bunch so I have faith that we’ll continue to support each other and persevere into the biggest format in the U.S. following closely in the steps of our European brothers and sisters. What separates a fan from someone who is “industry”? What advice do you have for anyone that wants to cross over to the dark side and work professionally within dance music? Passion and commitment! Anyone
can go to a club and call themselves a fan but it takes a little more to actually study the genres and the people behind every moving part which makes that club or festival operate. It’s a tight knit community we might all be working to be the best club or festival - even radio station in my point of view but at the end of the day we all support each other in some way shape or form. Advise wise, just work harder than anyone around you - you’ll standout. Theres always someone watching and appreciating your work ethic. Which artists are you personally a fan of? You’ve probably met a few of them through your work but is there anyone you still haven’t met that you can’t wait to run into? There’s no hiding that I’m more of a
techno and tech house enthusiast but I also love other artists for what they bring to the table. My top five right now are: wAFF, Adam Beyer, illenium, Will Clarke, and Carabetta & Doons. I’ll tell you who I would have loved to have met, that would be Frankie Knuckles and/or Prince. Such influencers of where we are today musically that some will never know.
Los Angeles based trio Cheat Codes consists of original members Trevor Dahl, KEVI, and Matthew Russell. Formed in 2014, the group is young, but their mantra is empowering, strong, and clearly working for them. We recently had the opportunity to sit and chat with these super chill guys and they let us in on ‘the Cheat Code way’ and how that propelled them from producing tracks together in the very apartment they shared to touring with The Chainsmokers. They believe anything is possible and with that mindset they’re not settling for anything less than what they set out to achieve. Here’s what Cheat Codes had to say about their big break in the industry, defining goals, and how everyone can find their very own “cheat code” in life. The song “Sex” with Kris Kross Amsterdam is one of our favorite songs that really captured our attention. We have always wanted to ask, how did that song come about?
[Matthew Russell] The original came out in 1991. The original was embedded in my brain somehow. At the time we were working on a completely different instrumental track and out of nowhere I started humming out that song. I left for a like 45 minutes or so and when I came back these guys already had a verse and a pre-cord written. Not long after, we finished it up and sent it to Spinnin Records. They messaged us back telling us that they would like to work it with Kris Kross Amsterdam and not long after we had a track. It literally came together that fast. It’s amazing though. The bigger you get the more hoops you have to jump through. So when you’re independent it feels like things come together faster.
[Trevor Dahl] Its true though, like none of the songs that we released really cost us a lot of money. It all comes together it seems. It’s just like us doing things in our bedroom. We would just make a song, put it on Spotify and it would get 400M plays. The technology is here and if you have a good sound the sky is the limit. How was it going on tour with The Chainsmokers?
Well we definitely learned how to take some Fireball shots. All kidding aside they really know how to cater to their audience. They are entertaining and great at getting the crowd into their music. At the time, not many of us had been to a dance music show and it was there that we realized how connected the whole dance music community is. 24
It’s amazing how the crowd interacts with the DJ. It comes to life. The Chainsmokers do that. They bring the party to life and that is one of the main things that we took away from going on our first tour with them. We do that now. We cater to the audience and break genres so that at every show you leave wanting more of the music we create. You are genre breaking; there is nothing you guys can’t top. Talk to us about the versatility of your music and why that is important to you?
Our sets blend a lot of different elements, like pop, hiphop, EDM, Trap. We try to be accessible to everyone. Even if you are not a dance music fan you can come to one of our shows and still take something away from us. The album that we are putting out is a reflection of those different elements that we feel everyone, no matter what you like, will be able to take something away from. We want to push the boundaries of music. We believe in unification of people and that is the beauty of dance music. Everyone here is together for the love of music and that is the message that we are always trying to get
across. Itâ€™s the universal sound that everyone is able to vibe with us as one. What is on the radar for you for the rest of 2017 and beyond?
We are working on mix tape with a bunch of songs that we have put together over the past two years. We are going to release an eight-song mix tape and then we are going to be finishing up our album. We are excited about everything so tune in for a lot of new music that we are going to be putting out over the next 12 months. 25
INTERVIEW BY MICHAEL BEAS & KRISTINE KENNEDY
Tell us about FATUM. FATUM is a group of four – a quartet. It’s kind of like an EDM boy-band if you will. We call it a dance music act. The group is made up of Bill Hamel, Chad Newbold, Bruce Karlsson and myself, Daniel Davis. We’re most predominately known within the trance community – we’re mostly rooted within the Anjunabeats family. We’ve also branched out to Armada and have been working with Armin van Buuren on his label as well. So a lot of our success that we’ve had thus far, outside of the GRAMMY nomination that we did with Jes Brieden in 2016, is based in the trance community. If I had to say where we find our audience and our core group of supporters, it would be in the trance genre. We do have a new pop record out right now with Angel Taylor. It’s a new single called “On My Own” released on Armind. We’ve also had releases on Ultra Music, Black Hole Recordings and Big Beat/Atlantic Records. Talk to me about the GRAMMY nomination. So you’re sitting there with the group and thinking “Wow – we just got nominated for a GRAMMY.” That doesn’t happen every day. What was going through your head? Bill Hamel from our group was nominated back in the 90’s for a remix of a song by Seal and he has been working with the GRAMMY Organization and NARAS (National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences) ever since then. Bill submitted our remix of Jes Brieden’s song, “Hold On,” and long story short, we were notified that we’d earned a GRAMMY nomination for “Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical” in 2016 for that remix! My heart just dropped and I thought “this is the real thing.” You’re a group of four. Can you explain the logistics of how you don’t step on each other’s toes while on stage performing together? Some DJ booths can get pretty tiny… FATUM: [laughs] We’ve learned how to smile and back off and be cool about it. There are various DJ styles out there with all the different leveling using gains or faders. Blending the actual performance took a few tries and fortunately we had opportunities in the beginning to perfect it without it being overwhelming. But we rarely will have all four of us at one event. We’ll usually do two or three on and rotate and we’ve found that this is a good balance.
It’s hard to mesh well with so many people and to also find your own element within yourself. How did it all come together for you four? It came pretty organically, actually. Bill and Chad first started this idea together of FATUM. The reason they named the group FATUM is because it was fate that we came to be. Bill was working on high-end aquariums and Chad was buying one so they were listening to music together and that led into them making a few tracks. Then they thought they needed someone to get them to the next level so that’s when Bruce and I started talking to them offering suggestions and then they said to us, “Well, why don’t you both just be a part of it?”At first we were a bit reluctant just because we had other bands we were in but then we decided to make it all one face because we all worked so well together. We mesh so well because we all have our own roles and we do them all very well. Bruce is more of the driver of the production. I’m good at strategically doing all of the DJ sets and making sure everything is prepared with the live performance sets. Bill is a nonstop networking man and Chad is the visionary. We all know our weaknesses and strengths and we are humble enough to allow each other to support us in any areas we can offer help and also to step back in other areas where someone else may be able to do something better. It’s a really great team. We put the ego aside. It’s never looked at as individual contributions, though. It’s not “Daniel did this or Bruce did this. It’s FATUM did this.” So you’ve mentioned Anjunabeats, Armada and Armin van Buuren. Can you talk about what they mean to your success? We pretty much got our big break on a few releases with Armin. We had the networking capabilities to be a part of that family. Armada referred to us as ‘the super squad’. So now most of what we have released has either been on Anjunabeats or Armada. You can tell when we make an Anjunabeats record and when we make an Armada record. Even though there are a lot of similarities, they allow certain leeway for us to experiment. We have a lot coming out on both labels this year. At the end of the day, the music speaks for itself and I can speak for all of us that when we create our music, it’s all for our supporters who love music. We have some really dope releases coming-out in the next several months, plus some live club dates we’re super excited about.
Published on Aug 1, 2017
This month in Raver Magazine: Exclusives with Afrojack, Bassjackers, Cheat Codes, FATUM, and more. Get the lineups for the best in Dance Mu...