itor d E he T al v m i t o r s Fe rF e c t i t s e u 3 L agine M 4 Im K 6 M ll Clarke lle i e 8 W nsis Der ra F ds n 0 1 a L st sta o n L o 12 eM i k o o 14 C ntcase u 16 F K ad F o l A n 18 ow D e ix h 20 T orkout M 23 W
M O R F R LETTE THE
R O T I ED The hype this month is centered on Imagine Music Festival. At Imagine we had the interview house icon MK, Dirtybird DJ Will Clarke and rising star Fransis Derelle. We also got lost in the middle of a frenzy with our fellow bass heads at Lost Lands. This month we also bring you exclusives from AFK, Cookie Monsta and Funtcase. As with every month there is nothing like tuning into our top four downloads of the month and our exclusive selections for your workout mix. If you havenâ€™t already, download our FREE mobile application in the App store so you can catch all the news on the go. Also share and follow us @RaverMedia.
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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 Wes Cunningham JJ Gagliardi SENIOR WRITERS Eubin Jin
STAFF WRITERS Sandra Santana Dakotah Swafford
From the expansive view atop the bleachers walking into the festival, to the aquatic play area (with a raver lifeguard of course) filled with attendees, Imagine Festival brought us into a magical underwater world where good music and vibes came in waves through out the three day event. The Atlanta Speedway, 30 minutes south of Atlanta, Georgia, is a massive space that was perfect for a festival of it’s kind due to successes with other brands like EDC in Las Vegas. It was a cool opportunity to see that logistical effort applied in the south eastern part of the country, the camping option gave fans an even bigger chance to be a part of the fun. The most impressive thing I saw during my time at Imagine Music Festival is how hard fans go for artists, familiar and new. Over the course of a few hours, starting with Leah Culver’s set and ending with Datsik’s, the Oceania photo pit increasingly got smaller and smaller due to the powerful headbangers gripping and pushing forward the rail. Because this area is also meant as a path for emergency response teams, Imagine staff quickly fixed the issue by restricting access to the then dangerous zone for the remainder of the night and by placing cements blocks to ensure a clear pathway the following day. Another moment that is burned in my head is the
entire festival crowd moving from one end of the venue towards the main stage ten minutes before the beginning of NGHTMRE’s set. I’ve been to so many festivals who struggle with giving their audience an ample amount of space to walkthrough but that wasn’t the case here at all. The Dirtybird Players came out in full force on Sunday at Disco Inferno, a stage with insanely dope pyrotechnics artists like Claude Von Stroke, Will Clarke and Shiba San were a part of.They definitely brought the heat that day, effectively finishing the weekend off strong as people begged to stay longer. Chris Lake was there the night before, drawing in a huge crowd and endless dance floor. We saw creative productions here too; a silent disco in the campground keeping the after hours going, a shipwrecked rave site and nostalgic carnival rides were part of the welcoming, open atmosphere. What most don’t see are the enormous staff teams who make the event possible; medical, logistics, artist liasons, media teams and production crews are the back bone of all festivals. Given it’s in it’s fifth year and has gotten better and better as time passes, Imagine Festival showed us that they’re dedicated to it’s growth and bringing dance music closer to you. Can’t wait to dance with mermaids again next year!
When did you know that you wanted a career in music? I knew that I wanted a career in music since I was like...12. When I was younger than 12, I hated music. But at some point, something just snapped and I started loving music. At that point, I started playing keyboards, I began to learn how to produce, and I never wanted to stop since then. Was there a musical artist who inspired you to get started? There wasn’t, I think. Since I grew up in the 80’s when the electronic sound came or it started...when the synthesizers came out, the drum machines came out that’s what got my interest in [music]. Like if there was no electronic instruments, I would never do music. So it was that, for sure. What current projects are you working on right now? My album. I’m doing a remix for Tove Lo. [A track with] Camelphat... I just got a request with Diana Ross. It never stops though, so it’s a lot. The musical journey? Yeah. I turned down a lot more than what I’m working on. Like my offers are up here [points up] and what I do is like down here [points downward]. So I have to pick from that. It sucks a lot of times because the stuff I want to work on I just can’t do. It’s either that or I have to stop doing so many shows. Are there musical artists dead or alive who you would want to collaborate with?
I think it would have to be Prince or Michael Jackson. But they’re both dead.
If you had any advice for any up-andcoming artists, what would it be?
My advice for the up-and-comers would be to not try to sound like someone else. It’s hard now with the young kids because they see who’s popular, they go home and try to make something like them. I think that that’s a really bad idea. From purchasing the same sample packs and the such? Yeah, it’s like everyone’s doing that. My example that I always use is Kygo. A couple years ago, I was sent some music from Kygo and, at the time, no one knew who he was. My manager played me some Kygo [music] and I was like, “Wow, I love him. He sounds like no one else!” But, look at him now. It’s like anyone else took him to that level. So that’s my advice. Final question: How do you tailer your sets differently between playing at intimate venues versus outdoor music festivals? I think because I play so many places, I know what to play. Like in the beginning, I would have one set that I would play everywhere. America is different from England, England is different from Spain, Spain is different from Germany, etc. It’s just the experience knowing where you’re playing. I can’t really explain how I “tailer” my sets, but you know after awhile what they like to hear and don’t like to hear. It’s only something that experience can teach you. What about reading the crowd? It’s a little bit of reading the crowd, but you have to play there before because a twenty year-old kid can’t go to these places and read the crowd like that. They won’t have a clue.
COVER PHOTO BY KRISTIAN SCHMIDT
Compared to the United States and back home, what is the scene like?
They’re different. They’re not worse or better. The club scene in Europe is different than here [in the U.S.] such as the clubs stay open longer in England. Their clubs also are generally made more for house music so they have really good sound systems. You do get that here, but not as often. Here, you guys have more “EDM clubs”, if that makes sense–like multi-genre stuff. We get the multi-genre music, but you don’t cross over the house nights in the multigenre venues if they’re usually multi-genre venues. I feel like people in America are more open to listening to different types of music. It’s not as clique-y as people in Europe. So there are pros and cons to everything. Leading into that, would you say that you prefer to perform at festivals or intimate venues?
I like all of it. I love big festivals and I love dark, dingy clubs. They have different things, they have different vibes. I don’t think you can compare them. Obviously, there are people who prefer small, underground venues, which I love. But I also love big festivals. I find that at festivals you can build more fans than at underground clubs because generally they just come to see you. Whereas, at a festival like Imagine, 80 percent of people who come to see me play have probably never heard of me or seen me until today. If I can gain one fan from playing, then happy day! You’re a heavy collaborator with the Dirtybird Camp. Tell us how that process, how you got involved, and how you’re projects are going with Shiba San, Claude VonStroke, and others.
They are just…the best people in the industry, for me. We just all have fun, which is why I love working with them, Shiba San is one of my closest friends in Dirtybird. I love his music. Obviously, me and Claude just finished a record together which is amazing. Me and Kill Frenzy play a lot together. Me and Justin have done records together. It makes sense. We’re all close friends, we make music, we like each other’s music.
Like one, big, happy family? Exactly! I’m laying off
doing collaborations next year. This whole year has been the year of collabs. I don’t think I’ve released a track this year that has been just me, which is annoying to an extent. But next year, there will most likely only going to be two collabs from me next year. Are you going to be coming out with an album or an EP next year?
I’ve got lots of stuff coming out next year. I’m starting my label, which will be called “Doing It Records”, and that label is going to be just for me. I’m not going to be releasing anyone’s music there for awhile. It’ll be just me. I’m looking forward to it. Next year’s going to be fun releasing. I’m going to be releasing a lot of music that people would not expect from me. I’d love to write an album, but I don’t feel like I’m ready as an artist for it at this point in time. I also don’t want to rush the process and I know that I won’t enjoy it at the moment. We’re working on a lot of projects at the moment that are going to be really fun for next year that I want to do as an artist. I want to know the backstory behind “Doing It For The Cuddles”. You have cool merch behind it, it’s your brand and I need to know.
So, it’s a joke between me and my friends. It was a hashtag that came up from me being me [laughs]. This was also years ago–like five years ago–I think. It just started through friends and it caught on. I’ve toured the Cuddle brand, but the label will be called “Doing It Records”; so “Doing It” is the kind of brand I want the label to have. It’s really cool to bring a project like that and watch it grow over the span of a few months. It’s
kinda cool. I don’t necessarily see the growth when it’s like… It’s like when you lose weight, right, you don’t see it until somebody notices and tell you. It’s still a very slow process, but I don’t want it to be like we launch it and it blows up… Well I do, but I much rather it grow and each record becomes bigger and stronger each release and people respect it rather than it blows up for one big release and all the rest are known to be not as good as the one.
What inspired you to start a musical career?
Do you have any collaborations coming out?
It all pretty much started when I was in band through junior high. I started band pretty early, like seventh or eighth grade. Then from there, I quit band and didn’t really do music after that. But after high school, I started producing music as a hobby, just for fun. And it kind of lead to the career that I have right now.
I have an EP coming out on Circus Records in the next month or two. I have a bunch of dope artists on there. I have a collaboration with XG. I got vocals from Kevin Flum and Michael Caesar so I’m very excited.
What are your preferred tools for production? iMac, iPod headphones, and Ableton. Nothing too crazy. iPod headphones? Oh yeah. You feel like that gives you a good quality of sound versus expensive headphones? Yeah. I’ve never had an issue listening to music through these headphones, so I don’t see why to overcomplicate things. You learn about your equipment as you use it. That’s what I stick to! I feel like a lot of people listen to their music on those headphones anyways. So if it sounds good there to you, it’ll sound fantastic to them. I’ve mixed and mashed with
them my whole career.
And it works beautifully for you. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Yes. I agree. I agree. Everyone has their “dream gig”, a “dream” festival or venue to perform at. Do you have something like that?
I think it would cool to throw a rave at Disneyland or Six Flags. It would be cool so that you could hear the music on the rides and just hearing the DJ while their mixing on a high platform in the ride. Something like Space Mountain…that would be sick! What projects are you working on?
Speaking of exciting things, you were a Discovery Project winner. How was that like and what do you think differentiated you from your competition? I think that the song that I made…I put my heart into that song. I skipped work where I called in for three days just so that I could finish it. I was skipping work, I was broke, but I was like this song has to be like…”the one”. I think that putting my heart into that song helped it win. I guess hard work really pays off and that recognition is truly deserved. Yeah and it was really random because I entered and didn’t expect anything. It was kind of a secret. Then they called me and told me I won and I was like, “What?” I’ve heard you’re a huge Naruto fan. If you were a shinobi, what village would you be from and what kind of ninjutsu would you have? I would probably be Hidden Leaf or…uhh… Honestly, can I just be Sasuke? I mean, he’s such a boss and even with one arm he’s still killing it. And he’s got the sharingan and it’s just amazing. Yeah, so I would be everything that Sasuke is. Just dark and mysterious? Yeah, just so… I mean Naruto is cool and all, but he’s like the happy version and I’d rather be like the dark and mysterious ninja. I would just be everything Sasuke.
Lost Lands, a unique event that caters specifically to headbangers and bass music culture, no other festival really compares. A personal project of dubstep legend Excision, this was meant to be the go-to event for any headbanger. There were many who had reservations about how the festival would play out, but after having gone and experienced everything that Lost Lands had to offer, this was one of the best weekends of my life. Let’s start with the most basic and important aspects of any festival, the music; and trust me when I say, Excision went above and beyond in that department. Excision promised 750,000 watts of bass and PK Sounds delivered. One of my favorite memories of this festival was entering the photo pit of the main Prehistoric Paradox stage and seeing the entire stage was built on top of a double layer of enormous subwoofers. The vibes I felt at this festival were some of, if not the best I have been blessed with. Every person I met and interacted with was kind, generous and considerate. The festival itself was relatively small, there were only two stages on the festival grounds, but the lineup was entirely stacked. AFK was the perfect way to kick off my Lost Lands experience; a high energy set that really helped set the tone and show off just how awesome the sound system was. Day two was just as intense as the first. It started off with a surprising set from Sullivan King. Not only was his set heavy and intense, he also blessed us with his godly guitar skills by shredding it on stage towards the end. Funtcase and Cookie Monsta followed soon after and these two legends of the bass music scene did not disappoint. I had the rare opportunity to speak with
both artists and their love for the culture was apparent, but the amount of love they had for the Lost Lands crowd was incredible to experience. After spending most of the weekend at the Prehistoric Paradox Stage, I was glad to see all of the sets I wanted to see take place at the Cave of Souls stage. Starting off with PhaseOne, an artist I have been following since his early days and one of my personal favorite. Suffice it to say, I have never seen that many people go that hard for that long before. The intensity of the crowd and the size of the mosh pits were probably some of the biggest all weekend. Immediately after PhaseOne was Dubloadz. As I predicted, he mostly played music from his album and it was earth shattering. The secret special guest of the weekend was Ganja White Night and even though their Electric Forest sets were some of the best they have ever played, they blew everyone away at Lost Lands. They played a beautiful combination of their iconic, wobbly sound and hard hitting bass vibe that permeated the entire festival; hands down my favorite set from GWN so far. And what better of a way to end this magical weekend than with Excision B2B Datsik. I was worried that with Excision playing all three days that it would grow repetitive; boy did he show me. Not only was the set heavy, but the main focus wasn’t about raging out or headbanging, it was about showing love. Throughout the weekend Excision’s words held true; we are One Tribe. We are a bass family that came together and made Lost Lands my favorite festival EVER.
From a very early age Cookie Monsta was always into music. From around 11 years old a PlayStation game called ‘Music 200’ caught his eye and that’s where it all began. He would play on this game making loops, playing on it for ages. Then around 17 he had as many music games he could find, but he wanted more. Cookie Monsta never really knew about music production and came from a group of friends that were not into that sort of thing. When he applied at college he was frowned upon for doing this simply because people thought music was pointless to study. He first opened up Reason 3 in September 2007 and the first ever Dubstep tune he heard was Midnight Request line from Skream, He never knew it was Dubstep, but he loved it even though none of his friends did. Then hearing all the upbeat and darker side of Dubstep made Cookie Monsta get into it completely and ever since then he has been expanding his knowledge of Reason 4 by religiously using it as much as he could. A lot of people ask him for tips and tricks for producing but the best bit of advice, according to him is, ‘If you’re passionate about making music and you know you want to make music then knuckle down and stay on it. If people doubt you carry on, no matter how bad things get. Music isn’t my hobby, it’s my life’.
How does playing a full bass music differ from one that has a wider range of genres? There is more of a sense of community. We are all here doing the same thing and wanting the same thing. At other festivals, I don’t know half the crowd, I don’t know half the people, I don’t know half the DJs. Here, I know all these people, like we are all friends and we are here for the same reason, so you know it’s going to be a good time. That is one of the reasons I always call for mosh pits! Unlike older generations, we don’t have metal or anything like that to let out our emotions in a healthy, but passionate way. There is no release for us except for in a dubstep mosh pit and the crowd has been nothing but phenomenal in that aspect. You have been in the scene for a long time. What are your opinions on how the bass music scene has grown, changed and evolved into what it is now? It has been crazy. It started as something super underground, and I was a part of that scene when it was just starting, and now it has exploded across Europe and the US and all over the world. I’ve been in the scene long enough where I’m comfortable and have a more mature outlook on its rise, and it almost rose too fast. At its peak, there was just too much, it was almost like cannon fodder. Dubstep was just everywhere. But now I think the scene is in a good place; there is just so much GOOD music out there nowadays.
There is still the bad music, but we have all followed the train enough to know where the good stuff is. The scene is to the point where you can start from nothing and once you drop something sick, you will be playing on stages, the music will do the talking. That is what is so awesome about the bass music scene right now. What led you to create dubstep and bass music? I have always been fascinated with bass. It is honestly a strange thing to be so in love with bass. I used to listen to drum and bass and UK garage and so many different types of music and what I was making at the time was kind of weird and strange, but it was where I got my start creating music. Then dupstep came along and it kind of had everything I wanted in music rolled into one. It wasn’t too fast where I was getting tired and it wasn’t too slow, it was just perfect. I absolutely fell in love and haven’t looked back. It all starts and ends with bass for me, it is just so freaking good! Any shoutouts you want to give? Literally everyone! The people who love the scene and the music, you know who you are. You guys are awesome and the best thing you can do is continue to show that love and appreciation for the music and scene as you have been doing all this time!
How does playing Lost Lands compare to other festivals? Well first and foremost, the vibe is excellent. Everyone here loves each other as much as they love the music. But when it comes down to the details, a lot of festivals won’t look after the DJs as much as you’d think, unless you are a huge name, and cater more towards the fans. However, Excision is running this festival and he knows not only what the fans want, but we as DJs want. So you can see we have these trailers to prepare and hang out in, catering, wi-fi, the DJ monitors are top of the line and that all trickles down to a better fan experience too. We get the best equipment to make the best sound for the fans. We get PK sounds and amazing visuals, and the fans get to experience PK sound systems with amazing visuals. Everything has been perfect! Growing up in the UK with the earliest iterations of dubstep, how does bass music now compare to bass music back then? Well I started creating music in 2009 so I guess you could say I was late to the scene, but very early dubstep was underproduced. Back then it was all about making a unique sound and making something different, where nowadays there is a lot of pressure to sound as good as you can and make your tracks sounds the best. The scene now is so much more competitive and everyone is striving to be at the top. In your opinion, who is really pushing the envelope forward in the bass music scene? He doesn’t release too much, but Moody Good.
He is making, the “freshest” sound I would say while keeping true to his style. I mean at this point, the enveloped has already been pushed, like generally, every sound has been made so anyone who comes with something new at this point is nice. Moody Good is probably the best for me at this moment when it comes to weird and different vibes. How does your creative process differ when you collaborate with another artist? Collabs are hit or miss, but when a collab works the music pretty much writes itself. Sometimes if you work on a track yourself you get stuck or end up creating something stale, but when a collab works you have a fresh mind that adds to music and you make something great. What are your thoughts and opinions on the bass music scene? I love it. People dedicate their lives to this music and the scene now where a few years ago no one would say that. A while back a girl walked into a room, saw me and began to cry. She told me that the music I made saved her life. She was suicidal at the time and somehow, my music pulled her off the bridge and she lived on. It is crazy to see how music effects people and can changes lives. Any final thoughts or shoutouts? Just some words to aspiring artists out there. Work hard, be positive and take constructive criticism. Don’t get butthurt over people who don’t like your music because you can’t please everyone!
Who are some of the big music inspirations for you both in and out of the EDM scene? I would say System of a Down, Goo Goo Dolls, and I know it sounds stupid, but NSYNC. Like all those NSYNC beats are so fire. Must Die and I went on a road trip awhile back and we just listened to all the old NSYNC albums. All their drumbeats were pretty much drumstep, but 15 years earlier. For dubstep, Rusko and Doctor P would be my main two. What do you pull from other genres and styles of music that help create your own personal sound? Whenever I have writer’s block I watch anime until I can’t read subtitles anymore and then instantly 3 songs will pop into my head. That and playing a lot of video games. I draw a lot of inspiration from anime and video game soundtracks. It’s not only the sound, but the atmosphere and construction of it. How was it getting to tour and experience the music scene with bigger names like Getter? He is honestly one my best friends in the scene. We toured back in like 2012 before he blew up and even after touring with him last year, he is still the same person as he was all those years ago. It’s been an amazing experience getting to know him and everyone else in this scene. The Prehistoric Paradox stage has to be one of, if not the biggest and loudest stage you’ve played on.
What was it like up there in front of all those people playing your music? It is both life-fulfilling and frightening. Playing my music and watching all those people go crazy is the best feeling ever, but also wanting to put on the best show I can for them makes me stress and worry. Overall, it was fantastic, but I was nervous as hell. So you’ve been making and mixing music for a long time, what are your views and opinions on the growth and status of bass music as it stands? So I started DJ-ing in 2008, and at the time I had never heard of dubstep. I was listening to Electro House and stuff and then Fidget House with people like Jack Beats, but then I started listening to Rusko and Datsik. The first actual dubstep show I went to was 16-bit back in the day and when I left the venue I said to myself, that is what I want to make. It was really cool to see dubstep evolve and become the beast that it is. It began to grow stale and I fell out of it for a bit, but then 150 BPM dubstep came about and now I am all about it again. I just love seeing it’s slow rise and being a part of the scene since early on. Any final words or shoutouts you want to give? Shoutout to my cat Tinders who is the greatest cat ever created!
Conrank - “Set It Off” & “Vitamin C” Conrank is simply a legendary producer. In 2016 he performed alongside the legendary Skrillex on Boiler Room and now he is at it again with Circus Records as they announce the release of two new tracks in the form of “Set It Off” feat. Killa Kela and “Vitamin C” feat. Goldfinger. In short, his sound rooted in UK grime, dubstep, and dnb, but his production is unique and all on its own. Both tracks are true to his nature with sick dubstep, some kick and snares and the drops are literally fire. Definitely check them out today and tune in later for news on his Big Smoke Fall Tour of the US coming soon.
SAINT WKND & MAX - “Survive” With over 7 million streams, ‘Survive’ follows the release of SAINT WKND’s debut EP ‘Golden Youth and support from BBC Radio 1. The synths and bass-heavy, trap vibes take ‘Survive’ to a higher place. This track for us screams dance floor, while the vocals give hints of youth and a willingness to conquer the world. SAINT WKND is only 22 and he is mountains above the rest as he dominates the airwaves with pure production capabilities that surpass even some of the veterans. MAX is a New York City born pop-soul singer, actor & dancer. His last solo single Lights Down Low’ got over 70M streams and gained him over 1.2M followers. He’s been on MTV and performed on NBC’s TODAY show.
Mike Williams - “Melody (Tip Of My Tongue)” After reviewing the track I can truly say that this should be the one track that leads us all into 2018. It is literally one of the best productions that I have heard in quite sometime. From start to finish the endless drops get your heart beating faster then anyone can shuffle, the smooth transitions blend the rhythm with ease, the uplifting tempo will sweep you into a world that you never want to leave. Having interviewed Mike in Amsterdam for ADE we got a taste of his gentle persona and modesty. He has an endless attention to detail that cannot be overlooked and in the span of less than 2 years he has grown to become one of the Top 100 DJs in the world.
Wasback & D3FAI - Flight 49 (Blasterjaxx Edit) “Flight 49” by Wasback is definitely a throwback for me. The track reminds me of house and electro music from years ago with shades of Swedish House Mafia, Benny Benassi and the like. This is the sound that I grew up with; the sound that started off my EDM career. The high tempo, yet subdued bass and laser sounds keep the crowd moving without being overwhelming. The second buildup makes use of huge synth sounds that is truly reminiscent of that era of EDM. While I have been praising the song for taking me back to my roots, I really want to commend Wasback for being able to produce this kind of music beautifully and bringing this old sound into the present. If there was one word I could use to sum up this song, it would be nostalgic; I hope to hear Wasback continue to create and expand this style of music going forward.
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This month in Raver Magazine: Download your FREE Copy TODAY! Exclusives MK, Will Clarke, Cookie Monster and more... Also this month exclu...
Published on Nov 17, 2017
This month in Raver Magazine: Download your FREE Copy TODAY! Exclusives MK, Will Clarke, Cookie Monster and more... Also this month exclu...