Kudos: Resident Advisor Ends Annual RA Poll


Are award necessary? Not in many people’s view, because they often don’t reflect reality. Art is subjective and just because more people vote for x than y doesn’t make it artistically better. Lastly, who gives a fuck?

Seems like the team at Resident Advisor have been thinking this very issue for some time. Today the site announced it had ended its wildly popular annual RA Poll.

Initially launched in 2006 as a way for the website’s contributors to rank the year’s best DJ talent, RA opened voting to include readers in 2008.

But the innocence of a poll was overshadowed by artists seeking to raise their professional profile. In the same way DJs rather shamefully campaign to get fans to cast votes on their behalf for the annual DJ Mag Top 100 poll, the same electioneering became an annual occurrence for RA’s poll.

RA’s editors addressed the issue in a thoughtful post:

“What began as a lighthearted way to praise our favourite artists and toast the year gone by had become something of more serious consequence: an industry index influencing many different parts of club culture, from event lineups to artist fees to the atmosphere of the scene in general (especially at this time of year). Over time, it became our most-read piece of content.

“This added responsibility has caused us to reflect on the polls, and to consider whether they are still aligned with our mission and the best interests of the scene. After a great deal of what you might call “soul-searching”—or more specifically, discussion, both internally and with other members of the electronic music community—we decided they are not….

“On a more basic level, we decided that we don’t want to rank artists in this way. On reflection, to put artists in a list in descending order of perceived quality does a disservice to them, even the ones at the top, and creates an atmosphere of self-interested competition. For this reason, we’ll also be stopping the staff-voted, numerically-ordered polls—that is, top labels, top tracks, top albums and top mixes / compilations / podcasts.”

Big Shot has never felt the need to rank artists for all the reasons mentioned above, despite the trove of traffic and potential financial rewards it could bring. Kudos to the RA team for putting the integrity of their publication ahead of page views.

Review: Pop Ambient 2018

Pop Ambient 2018

As Pop Ambient 2018 hits the shops, a small, nagging question can’t help but arise: Do we really need another installment of the Kompakt label’s annual collection of soothing mood pieces? After nearly 20 editions, hasn’t the series said everything there is to say about its meditative brand of tunes? It would be hard to argue that this latest edition, once again compiled by Kompakt co-leader Wolfgang Voigt, brings anything truly new to the series, or that it provides any major twist — which is another way to say that the compilation, as always, is brimming with atmospheric, hugely evocative music.

There’s a hushed intimacy to much of Pop Ambient 2018 — each shudder and swoon can induce a wealth of feelings — but that intimacy is often molded into something approaching grandeur. On both “Prism” and “Nine Chains to The Moon,” both from Yui Onodera, slowly unfolding orchestral melodies elicit imagery of a grand vista, just coming into view as the mist lifts. Chuck Johnson’s “Brahmi” delivers a similar effect via its spectral shimmers and gliding steel-pedal accents, while on Würden & Pfeiffer’s aptly named “Panorama,” fluttering washes of sound and a wistful horn conjure up a sunrise over a spring meadow.

Related: The Orb’s Dr. Alex Paterson shares favorite Pop Ambient tracks

Occasionally, an ever-so-slight hint of rhythmic propulsion comes along to sharpen the soft-focus feel of these songs, as on Kaito’s “Travelled Between Souls,” where sweeping pads are punctuated by gentle percussive flourishes. “Disinclined to Vacate,” from electronic-music polymath Kenneth James Gibson, plays like a dreamland lullaby, its gently spiraling synth line rising through the clouds before reaching its bittersweet, all-too-brief coda. The Orb provides the album’s most propulsive track (granted, that’s not saying much in this company) via “Sky Falling,” with desert-moon drumming underpinning a stream of scraping textures, gracefully chiming keys, and what sounds like a particularly languid sax.

The term glacial is often employed to describe the kind of music that Pop Ambient focuses on, but that’s only half right. It’s an apt description of the pacing of these tracks — it’s the kind of music that derives its allure through placid ebb and flow, rather than angular shifts. But temperature-wise, it’s anything but icy — there’s a resonating warmth to these tunes that’s almost reflexively appealing. We may not need another installment of Pop Ambient — but as always, it comes as a welcome respite, as a soothing sanctuary from life’s turmoil.

Bill Brewster Recalls His NYC Stint Living (and Record Collecting) in the ’90s


I first met Bill Brewster in 1996 when DMC hired me to serve as the founding Editor of Mixmag USA. The monthly magazine morphed out of Mixmag Update USA and later became Mixer magazine after DMC sold Mixmag was sold to EMAP.

Bill, who was running DMC’s office, was returning home to England. While dance music was blossoming in clubs and rave-music hotbeds around the world, Bill, who later went on to co-write a selection of books with Frank Broughton including How to DJ (Properly): The Art and Science of Playing Records, Last Night a DJ Saved My Life and The Record Players: The story of dance music told by history’s greatest DJs, found himself at the epicenter of New York City’s vibrant club scene that was rife with stellar parties, a bevy of DJ/producers, labels galore and amazing record shopping.

Having just released Bill Brewster presents Tribal Rites (Eskimo Recordings), a massive 41-track compilation featuring nuggets from Chicken Lips, Swag, Maurizio and Larry Heard, we connected with Bill about how living for a spell in the Big Apple made an indelible mark on his musical psyche. Continue Reading

Marcelo Demarco November 2017 Chart

Marcelo Demarco

  1. BEC – Law of Attraction (Original Mix)
  2. Spektre – Halcyon (Roberto Capuano Remix)
  3. Oliver Koletzki – They Can’t Hold Me Back (Sian’s Opiodemic Remix)
  4. Marcelo Demarco – Obey (Cosmic Boys Remix)
  5. Alberto Ruiz – Burbuja (Original Mix)
  6. Suspect One – Soulshaker (Maksim Dark Remix)
  7. Tom Hutt – Negan (Zakari & Blange Remix)
  8. Monika Kruse, Pig & Dan – Get Me On (Original Mix)
  9. Lutzenkirchen, Daniele Petronelli – Versus (Dimitri Motofunk Remix)
  10. Ashwin Khosa – Manali (Original Mix)

DJs, submit your top 10 chart along with a photo and we’ll publish.

fabric London Launches 2018 All Night Long DJ Series

fabric london all night long

Longer is often better when it comes to DJ sets. Just ask Toolroom Records boss Mark Knight, who earlier in the year released Odyssey, a short film where he interviewed peers including Danny Tenaglia, Roger Sanchez and Andy C about why playing an extended set is often the highest form of musical expression for a DJ.

Next year fabric London will pump up the volume on extended DJ sets. The legendary club will be pairing top-class DJs side by side for up to 10 hours at a time.

The series begins on January 6 with Amelie Lens, DJ Deep, Terry Francis behind the decks and a surprise live performance and runs through February. The series will feature an assortment of talent including The Martinez Brothers, Slam and Andy Butler. More dates are expected to be announced soon.

Peep the full schedule below.

Amelie Lens, DJ Deep, Terry Francis, Surprise Guest (Live)

Petre Inspirescu, Atipic (Live) aka Priku, Vlad Caia, Matteo Manzini
Adam Shelton & Subb-an (All Night Long)

Craig Richards & Nicolas Lutz (All Night Long)
Slam, Kobosil, Jay Clarke

The Martinez Brothers (All Night Long)
Boddika & Redshape (All Night Long)

Craig Richards & Ricardo Villalobos (All Night Long), Voigtmann
Answer Code Request (Live), Pariah, Artists TBA

Special Guests TBA, Andy Butler, Gideon
Jonas Kopp, Anastasia Kristensen, Terry Francis

More to be announced soon.

Andre Salmon 5 Tracks of the Moment

Andre Salmon

Ecuador DJ/producer/engineer Andre Salmon is widely known in his country’s club music scene. The proprietor of four labels — Anima Somnis, Maniacs, Ouch! and Sagmen — he’s been gaining international attention by way of his top releases on Suara, VIVa Music, Get Physical, Leftroom, Repopulate Mars and HOTTRAX.

This month Salmon will present Daddy’s Little Girl, a smashing three-track EP for Mar-T’s Wow! Recordings. It’s available exclusively via Beatport on November 20 and everywhere else two weeks later.

Ahead of his new release we connected with Salmon and asked him to give us the lowdown on five tracks currently dominating his DJ sets Continue Reading