If you’ve watched any Bernie Sanders presidential campaign event you probably noticed there’s a damn good selection of music being played at these shindigs: classic soul, uptempo funk, chilled downtempo and even some disco, dance and alt-rock thrown in for good measure. We’re talking about everything from Deee-Lite’s “Grove Is In The Heart” to Funkadelic’s “Not Just Knee Deep” and David Bowie‘s “Starman.” The man behind the flow of quality tunes is Mel Sandico, a.k.a. Mel Cavaricci, a.k.a. DJ Mel, an Austin, TX-based mixmaster and talent buyer for Lollapalooza.
Sandico’s foray into the political DJ booth dates back to 2008 when he met John Liipfert, who oversees music for the Democratic Party and President Obama. That connection led to his gig playing for Obama’s re-election night as well as the 2013 presidential inauguration and multiple White House Easter Egg Rolls. When Liipfert offered Sandico the DJ gig with Sanders, he was considering supporting Hillary Clinton for president. After learning more about the Vermont senator’s policies he felt the Bern and has been on the road with the maverick politician ever since.
“I’m a music person, since I was a little kid. Always bought records, always been up to my neck in it,” Sandico told The Observer. “So with that said, I think people who aren’t don’t actually know the importance of music. But everyone loves music. Doesn’t matter where you’re from, what school you went to, what color you are and how much money you make. I don’t think these other candidates fully grasp the importance of music. It’s obvious, listen to what they’re playing!”
A cursory scan of Twitter shows that people are taking notice of his work behind the decks and are loving what they are hearing:
If you’re wondering how much the gig warming up crowds for Sanders pays, it doesn’t — he’s spinning for free. But Sandico isn’t sweating it because he thinks of his gig more as a contribution to the 74-year-old candidate’s grassroots presidential campaign.
“I don’t want any money from it,” he says, a departure from the
greedy capitalistic mindset of most top 1% DJs. “I just think this is an honor.”
Image via DJMel.com
When OFF Recordings was in the midst of celebrating its fifth anniversary, label boss/producer extraordinaire Andre Crom told us his goal for his label has always been to release excellent, uncompromising house music. Two years later the imprint’s sound continues to evolve in exciting and unexpectedly new directions. Case in point is Melokolektiv’s Blame EP set for release on February 15. The Frenchman, who has co-released tracks on Crosstown Rebels, Get Physical and Kindisch and is now working solo, presents three killer tech-house tracks and a brilliant remix of “Children Of Alep” created by Scottish low-end specialist Sei A. We’re pleased to world premiere the hypnotically deep title track that’s already received support from mega jocks including NYC hard and soul progenitor Danny Tenaglia. Go hit the play button below and soak up a track crafted by a producer who has found his creative stride.
- Myles Sergé – “The Village” (Thema)
- Myles Sergé – “Tolo” (Metamorphic)
- Claude Young – “Dear 1” (Djax Up Beats)
- Relay – “Untitled 1” (Circula Sound)
- Monobox – “Realm” (M-Plant)
- Yim – “Man In Two Suitcases” (Hybrid)
- Gemini – “Crossing Mars (Remix)” (Planet E)
- Dan Curtin – “Mind Sweep” (EPMMusic)
- Hakim Murphy – “Black Robots Having Sex” (Metamorphic)
- Timeblind – “I Was No Mind” (Missile)
DJs, submit your top 10 chart along with a photo and we’ll publish.
After beginning his musical journey in drum ‘n’ bass and hip-hop, Jena, Germany’s Douglas Greed (a.k.a. Mario Willms) gravitated toward house and techno.
His production work first caught our ear back in 2013 when we heard his bad-ass cut “Raw & Order” on The Gym’s Muscle Tuff label compilation. He went on to release acclaimed singles and albums on a variety of respected labels (Kompakt, BPitch Control, Infiné and Freude Am Tanzen) and has flipped the script in a meaningful way with each release.
Greed brings his vast talent to Shir Khan’s Exploited Records for the first time on “Guilty,” an utterly sublime two-tracker. We’re thrilled to world premiere the techy title track brandishing an emotive groove that subtly coaxes you into a state of somber euphoria.
“I made this track — or rather the sketch for this track — on a long train ride which took me almost through all of Germany on a south to north route from one gig to another,” he tells us. o”The time flew by — even though it was an almost seven-hour trip. I was just nodding my head and got caught in one of those special moments that I even forgot to pay for my coffee in the train restaurant. That’s why it’s called ‘Guilty.'”
Douglas Greed’s “Guilty” is released February 15 on Exploited.
Serato has long been regarded as one of the industry leaders when it comes to DJ mixing software. The brand has taken their technology mobile by launching Pyro, an iOS music player app that seamlessly mixes your music from Spotify, iTunes and MP3. The Serato Pyro App, which took two years to create, is available for free from the App Store on iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch in 16 languages in over 150 countries.
The powerful Serato algorithms inside Pyro allow it to break down each song, finding every beat, then blending them smoothly so it’s hard to tell where one song ends and the next one begins. Serato Pyro actually changes the speed of the incoming song to match the one currently playing for an unbelievably smooth listening experience. If the tempos of the two songs are too far apart, Pyro uses an old DJ trick called the “echo out” to make a smooth transition.
Pyro allows you to create your mix by selecting just one song and letting The Echo Nest do the work, curating your playlist yourself in the app from any source, or using playlists already available from DJ Jazzy Jeff, A-Trak, Diplo, Steve Aoki, The Roots and more. The brand has promised more updates throughout the year, including Android.
Obligatory press release gush from A.J. Bertenshaw, co-founder and CEO, Serato: “We created Pyro so that everyone can experience their music, beautifully mixed. Almost two decades ago, Serato changed the professional audio industry forever, and our software has been revolutionizing the industry ever since. Now, with Serato Pyro, we’re ready to mix it up again and change the way music lovers everywhere listen to music.”
On his own and alongside Kenny “Dope” Gonzalez in Masters at Work house music legend Louie Vega continually pushed musical boundaries on the dance floor and beyond. Vega seems to have outdone himself on his upcoming solo album, Starring…XXVIII, out February 26 on Vega Records.
Starring…XXVIII features the iconic DJ/producer exploring a wealth of musical styles — house, R&B, disco, gospel — on collaborations with a veritable who’s who of dance music including: Funkadelic & George Clinton; The 3 Winans Brothers and The Clark Sisters; Jocelyn Brown (who appeared on Nuyorican Soul’s star-studded album released in 1997); Nick Monaco & Soul Clap; N’Dea Davenport; Lisa Fischer; Cindy Mizelle; Anane Vega; Monique Bingham; Caron Wheeler (Soul II Soul); Josh Milan; Bucie; Tony Momrelle; Kaylow; Vikter Duplaix; Cassio Ware; Adeva, Covertion & Leroy Burgess; Kenny Bobien; Zara McFarlane; Luis Salinas; Roberto Roena; Diviniti; and Byron Stingily.
Obligatory press release gush from Vega: “Today’s listener wants to feel good and that’s exactly what our songs and tracks do. We celebrate the gift of love, art and music. My inspirations came from various visits around the world and experiences in life. As far as the album’s sounds, I revisited lots of R&B, soul, gospel, nu jazz, even some disco, all within the backdrop of house music, took it back to the artist and song tailoring.”
Vega added, “The album came together naturally, it was a growing process. It was like planting a tree, each branch represented an artist, a sound, a groove. The entire process happened within a few years. It started with a few songs and then this past year, I was in a creative state and the music happened back to back. As I travelled and toured, I met artists on the road and would record with them a few weeks later. The experience with the artists on the album was magical; they are all so talented and very unique and have their own special quality.”