British DJ/producer/musician Alex Metric has certainly come into his own in the past year. Having released a steady stream of EPs since 2007 and choice remixes for Depeche Mode, La Roux, N.E.R.D, Phoenix, Ellie Goulding and Bloc Party, Metric just dropped his Hope EP on OWSLA/Big Beat. Working with Los Angeles-based collaborator Oliver, the pair lay down some funky and dirty house grooves on the title track and “Galaxy” with Metric ripping it up on his own on the synthy bass heavy rave-up “Spiritism.” Before Metric’s gig at Bassline Festival 2014 in Helsinki on April 25, we caught up with the man of the moment and asked him to share his five favorite artists of the moment on SoundCloud. Keep hope alive!
Former turntablists Round Table Knights have long churned out popular club tunes, but on the Swiss duo’s EP on Berlin’s Exploited label they get a lot more sensitive, musical and darn right jazzy, especially on the first of the two tracks on offer.
Said first tune is “Midnight Spark,” with its tooting trumpet lines, cutesy chord stabs, swaying drums and claps and airy synth work. It’s a great house track that will truly stand the test of time and is certainly one of the pair’s finest jams. On the flip side is “Morning Delight,” a little more lazily stuck in its groove, with lots of piano stabs and criss-crossing synth lines hinting at old-school vibes and subtle acid alike. It’s a fine effort but the A-side is the one that really stands out and sticks in the memory here. Tip!
While much has been made in the media about the resurgence of vinyl in recent years, indie music shops — especially ones that carry wax — have been quietly holding their own for years in Japan. A culture that appreciates sonic quality and the fine art of package design, an excursion to a record shop in the Land of the Rising Sun rails against the digital music revolution that changed the entire music industry. Pay a visit to one and you’ll see salarymen on their lunch breaks, corporate IDs tucked inside their shirt pockets, digging through stacks in search of new jams and rare nuggets.
One of Tokyo’s finest vinyl emporiums is Technique Records. Located in Shibuya on the second floor of 33-14 Udagawacho, a side street off the main street called Dogenzaka, Technique Records is a haven for techno and house DJs and enthusiasts. Carrying an amazing selection of new and used vinyl, the shop’s selection is incredible.
The first thing that strikes you upon entering the well organized store are the walls. They’re adorned with autographed white record sleeves from an array of world-class DJs such as Move D.
“Thank you Technique for keeping vinyl alive,” reads an inscription from Boys Noize.
Currently touring Australia, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, a.k.a. Prince William and Kate Middleton, paid a visit today to The Northern Sound System, a youth community center located in Elizabeth, a suburb of Adelaide. The couple were shown the organization’s music program, met students and staff and were given a brief tutorial on how to DJ. After a few quick pointers from the teacher, DJ Shane Peterer, Kate approached the decks with ease and seemed to get the hang of it right away. As she walked away from the pair of Technics 1200s, Kate gave the crowd of onlookers a big smile and two thumbs up. Prince William’s scratching over the track “Gourmet” by local producer Delta, was, well, awkward, and the future king didn’t seem to get the hang of scratching despite some hands-on coaching. While Kate clearly won the DJ battle, Peterer put the exercise into perspective: “She was fantastic but he can fly a helicopter. So horses for courses,” the DJ said.
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The lineup for HARD Summer 2014, taking place August 2 and August 3 at Whittier Narrows Recreation Area in Los Angeles, has been made public. While headliners include many of the usual festival suspects — Diplo and Skrillex’s Jack U, Tiësto, Axwell and Disclosure — the bill is rounded out with sets from techno stalwart Josh Wink, Belgian mashup kings 2manydjs and hotly-tipped newcomer Gorgon City. Full lineup is below. You can see a watch trailer here.
Saturday, August 2
Jack U| A$AP Mob | Axwell | Flosstradamus
Baauer | Tommy Trash | DJ Snake | Carnage | Jack Beats
Seth Troxler |Kill The Noise | Justin Martin | Pusha T
Tiga Vs. Audion | The Martinez Brothers | Josh Wink | Griz
What So Not | Tchami | Oliver | Dusky | Rustie | Bro Safari
Alex Metric | Lunice |The M Machine | Cyril Hahn | Henry Fong
Goldroom (DJ Set) | J. Philip | Aeroplane | Juan Maclean (DJ Set)
Justin Jay | Shift K3y | Twrk | Valentino Khan | David Heartbreak
Louisahhh!!! | Sharooz | Worthy | Eprom | Harvey Mckay |
Alesia | Etnik | Cut Snake | Alix Perez + More
Sunday, August 3
Tiësto | Disclosure | Nero | Dillion Francis
2manydjs | Martin Garrix | A-Trak | Chase &Amp; Status | Maya Jane Coles
Rudimental (Live) | Sub Focus | Brodinski | Clockwork
Destructo | Julio Bashmore | DJ Mustard | The Chainsmokers
Gorgon City | Cashmere Cat | Mercer | Hucci | Breach
Jesse Rose | Claptone | Danny Daze | Wave Racer | Jacques Greene
Kastle | Jimmy Edgar |Sharam Jey | 100s | Dj Slink
Trippy Turtle | Branchez |Milo &Amp; Otis | Etc! Etc! | Kill Frenzy
Shiba San | Hannah Wants | Blood Diamonds | Mr. Carmack
Vanilla Ace | Djemba Djemba | Wax Motif | Vindata
Kry Wolf | Cory Enemy | Bones + More
A new legion of French young dance-music producers are carving out their own terrain on the dance floor in a big way. This month alone this very publication has covered two French up-and-comers, Klingande and BeatauCue, and now we’re pleased to tell you about a third: Kulkid.
After cutting a big remix for Foals’ “Out of the Woods” and an acclaimed bootleg of Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going,” the emerging house star steps out with his debut two-track EP, Forgot About Kul/I Need U (download it for free here), a pair of emotional house tracks that hints at bigger things to come.
We asked the one-named phenom to share his five favorite artists of the moment on SoundCloud, and he happily complied.
Paxahau, the organizers behind Detroit’s annual Movement Festival taking place Memorial Day Weekend, have issued a statement that their event has not been cancelled. It appears that another Detroit promoter had cancelled their event, leading to some confusion among fans. Here is Paxahau’s statement in its entirety:
Dear Movement fans,
Recent event cancellation news for 2014 has caused a little confusion for a few fans and ticket holders. As previously mentioned, the Paxahau team has been working with excitement on the 2014 Movement Electronic Music Festival, to be held on its traditional Memorial Day weekend – which falls on May 24, 25 and 26 this year – at Hart Plaza on the riverfront in Detroit.
Movement has been known under a few different names, but has always possessed the same unifying spirit – a celebration of the music and culture we all love, held in the heart of the city that gave the world Techno – Detroit.
We look forward to seeing all of you at Hart Plaza in May!
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In March Dutch trio Kraak & Smaak — Mark Kneppers, Wim Plug and Oscar de Jong — made a pilgrimage to Austin, Texas to play a string of shows at South by Southwest. Though the annual congregation of music industry types, aspiring and established bands and tech geeks is mostly focused on the rock side of the musical spectrum, K&S came to represent their brand of electronic soul and all things Dutch. Performing songs from their 2013 album, Chrome Waves (download Futurizm’s remix of “The Future Is Yours” here), K&S and their live band took Austin by storm, partying and barbecuing with locals, drinking their share of Lone Star beer and dazzling with a rockier version of their live show. K&S share a first-hand account of their SXSW experience in this exclusive tour diary.
Sir Elton John’s AIDS Foundation, in association with Def Mix, has established a charity fund in honor of the Godfather of House Frankie Knuckles, who died on March 31, to support HIV information, testing and treatment. The Elton John AIDS Foundation is one of the largest private funding institutions for AIDS in the world.
“Frankie was such a lovely man and a great talent and his legacy provides a powerful voice to reach out to people, particularly men of colour, about their essential role in helping to create an AIDS-free future.”
“Through the creation of this Fund, Frankie Knuckles’ music industry legacy will be transformed into a movement for health and empowerment in the Black community,” said EJAF-US Executive Director Scott Campbell. “In the United States, Black Americans represent only 13% of the population, but account for 46% of people living with HIV. Frankie’s name and image can help us reach into Black communities with urgently needed information and services.”
A memorial service for Knuckles is planned for today in Chicago, with a second taking place in New York City on April 22. Additional memorials will take place around the world.
Donations to the fund can be made here.
NTFO are the Romanian duo who are currently ripping electronic music a new one thanks to their highly skilled and full on sounds. Natives of Romania, this talented pairing first perked the ears of Solomun and the team at Diynamic way back in 2010, and it’s no exaggeration to say that their rise has been nothing short of meteoric since. With their latest EP, the brilliant “Composit/Metropolis” (a collaboration with regular production partner, Karmon), still going down a storm, we thought it a good time to pick the brains of Dani and Robert, who talked us through Romania, Diynamic and their future plans.
For decades musicians from all genres have written songs about marijuana. Reggae legends Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, metal pioneers Black Sabbath, hip-hop acts Cypress Hill, Method Man, Snoop Dogg and Luniz and funk icon Rick James have all sung the praises of weed. Perhaps they all took a cue from folk troubadour Bob Dylan who proclaimed in 1966′s “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35″ that “everybody must get stoned.” Songs about ganja aren’t as prevalent in dance music, but there are a few notable ones. In honor of April 20 (a.k.a. 4/20), we present a playlist of dance songs celebrating the green stuff.
Prince’s tumultuous relationship with Warner Bros., which led the famed artist to change his name and talk smack for years about the label, has been resolved. Today the label announced it had struck a deal with the Purple One, which will allow for the release of unreleased music and giving Prince ownership of master recordings of his work. The deal formalizes the label’s relationship with Prince through an exclusive global licensing partnership that covers every album released from 1978 into the ’90s. The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Obligatory press release gush from Prince: “A brand-new studio album is on the way and both Warner Bros. Records and Eye are quite pleased with the results of the negotiations and look forward to a fruitful working relationship.”
Obligatory press release gush from Cameron Strang, Chairman & CEO, Warner Bros. Records.: “Everyone at Warner Bros Records is delighted to be working with Prince once again: he is one of the world’s biggest stars and a truly unique talent. We are also very excited about the release of new and re-mastered music from one of his greatest masterpieces.”
The surprise announcement comes just in time for this summer’s 30th Anniversary celebrations of the artist’s breakthrough album and film, Purple Rain, which were released in 1984. For the first time, Prince will be releasing a digitally re-mastered, deluxe version of this classic album. According to the label, Other planned projects will follow.
Update: April 19, 2014 At midnight Prince released a brand new song, “The Breakdown.” It’s available for purchase on iTunes.
April 21, 2014 marks the first Boston Marathon after last year’s event was horribly marred by a shocking terrorist attack which killed three people and injured an estimated 264 others. While every city unites and shows its resiliency in times of tragedy, Bostonians are a particularly thick-skinned lot who keep on keeping on in the face of adversity. Since the city’s club scene boasts a wealth of DJ talent, we wanted to show our support for Boston by paying tribute to some of the city’s most notable DJs. See more of them in action next month alongside electronic talent from all over the world when Together Boston returns for its fifth year, taking place May 11-18, 2014. Remember: Boston strong!
1. Soul Clap
From playing local parties and clubs to early productions, Elyte and Cnyce have worked their tails off to become a globally-touring act. Along the way they’ve stayed true to their soulful sound and vinyl roots while releasing their timeless EFUNK album and continually nurturing new talent along the way.
2. Mike Swells
A DJ, producer and promoter, Swells is a triple threat. Known for his fluid sets at Rise, the city’s preeminent after-hours spot, he’s forged a style that embraces house and techno. In addition to continually evolving as a selector, he’s played a big role in bringing world-class DJs to spin in Boston.
3. DJ Kon
Arguably one of the best DJs/re-edit masters currently on the scene, Kon, who is aligned with Soul Clap’s label, stays true to a style rooted in the tradition of disco and overflowing with soul and funk. If you’re not familiar, do yourself a favor and watch his Boiler Room set from 2013.
4. John Barera
Known for traipsing around the intersection of house and techno both as a DJ and producer, Barera runs the Supply Records label, which has released tracks from various local mixmasters. His production discography includes releases on Soul Clap, Dolly and Dirt Crew. Like the mailman, this guy always delivers.
5. Patrick Barry
Looking at Patrick Barry’s schedule of gigs around Boston, Cambridge and Portsmouth could well deem him as one of the area’s hardest-working jocks. He’s also brought his house grooves to cities all over the U.S. and has shared bills with everyone from Juan Maclean to Danny Howells.
6. DJ Knife
A veteran of the city’s club scene, Knife is one of Boston’s most eclectic spinners. Comfortable dropping old-school hip-hop to speaker-rattling dubstep to Baltimore Club, his Strange Brew mixes posted on his SoundCloud are the next best thing to catching him live.
7. Joe Bermudez
A past contributor to Big Shot, Bermudez has toured with the likes of David Guetta, shared bills with countless world-class jocks and has worked in the studio with pop stars such as Britney Spears and P!nk. He also keeps Boston moving via his mix shows.
Working behind the decks for the better part of 15 years, Moldy, who is a resident at the long running Boston party BASSIC, has been carefully refining a dubstep sound that’s deep, dark and experimental. Having cuts tracks for Heavy Pressure, ‘Earwax, Embassy and TUBA, he’s also no slouch in the studio.
After taking to the decks in 2005, Laura “D-Lux” DeLuca’s career has gone from strength to strength. She’s held down a residency at RE:SET, played at Rise and has toured the Northeast. As a producer, her no-nonsense tracks are minimal and techy. According to her Twitter, she has a track coming out this year on Soul Clap’s label. We can’t wait to hear it!
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