[Photos] Vh1 Supersonic Festival in Goa, India Day 1

Henrik B For Vh1 Supersonic, Candolim

Ask DJ connected to dance music in a global way and they will tell you that India is coming on strong when it comes to electronic music culture. As DJs from all over the world now make sure to visit the country on their tours, India’s thirst for EDM seems almost insatiable. The surge in interest has given rise to a local contingent of talented artists and a spate of well-produced music festivals.

The first installment of the five-day Vh1 Supersonic Festival, held on the sands of Candolim in Goa, kicked off yesterday. The festival serves as a testament to the exploding rise of dance culture in India, with a lineup filled with Indian and world-class mixing talent.

The Laboratoire Supersonique stage was highlighted by Goldfish + Blink, with Sweden’s Henrick B and the Netherlands’ Alvaro bringing their pumping brand of epic house in prime time. The Spectrum stage featured psy-trance, progressive and trance, with India’s finest acts, Helium Project and Audiogramme, serving as examples of the country’s burgeoning electronic music scene. Likewise, Pulse and Tristan held court, keeping the crowd on their feet, wanting more, more, more.

Day two of Vh1 Supersonic Festival takes place today featuring Norman Doray, Sander Kleinenberg, Midival Punditz and more. Watch the live stream here.

Alvaro

Alvaro For Vh1 Supersonic, Candolim

Audiogramme

Audiogramme For Vh1 Supersonic, Candolim

Goldfish & Blink

Goldfish&Blink For Vh1 Supersonic, Candolim

Helium Project

Helium Project For Vh1 Supersonic, Candolim

Joel

Joel For Vh1 Supersonic, Candolim

Navin

Navin For Vh1 Supersonic, Candolim

Nikhil Chinapa and Ramona Arena

Nikhil Chinapa & Ramona Arena For Vh1 Supersonic, Candolim

Rohit Barker

Rohit Barker  For Vh1 Supersonic, Candolim.jpg

DJ Tristan

Tristan For Vh1 Supersonic, Candolim

Skrillex and Diplo Played Secret L.A. Party Last Night For DANCE (RED), Save Lives [Gallery]

Skrillex and Diplo at RED DANCE

Last night Grammy nominees Skrillex, Diplo, Kaskade, Nero and Tommy Trash played a secret pre-Grammy party in Los Angeles at the AT&T Building. The bash featuring the cadre of respected DJs had a noble purpose: to raise awareness of DANCE (RED), Save Lives, the electronic music branch of Bono and Bobby Shriver’s RED charity that’s engaging businesses in the global fight against AIDS. It was an intimate evening to say the least: only 20 sets of four tickets to the private event were auctioned off via global charity auction site Charitybuzz.com. An auction featuring loads of memorabilia and the opportunity to meet artists from many genres ends tonight. If the auction is too rich for your blood (or you simply don’t fancy paying a few grand to hang out with Steven Tyler or Barry Manilow), then take the path of least resistance by purchasing the DANCE (RED), Save Lives Presented By Tiësto album.

Photos by Getty Images

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Live review: Bonnaroo 2009

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It’s no secret that after eight years the Bonnaroo Music Festival is a Southern style free-for-all and camp-out that kicks off the summer. In fact, it has become an institution, drawing loyal fans much like mardi gras and NASCAR. But what keeps Bonnaroo fresh and important is the venue — a 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee — that allows fans and bands to let it all hang out and defy the norm. This year once again brought together newcomers and legendary headliners Tennessee’s largest music venue.

If you never been to Bonnaroo, it’s somewhere between Coachella and Burning Man. Great performances are simultaneously going on around the clock. It’s impossible to see every band; I can only mention what I saw.

The photo pit at Passion Pit’s set was quite a scene. It was early on Thursday night, but the band with the most buzz going into the festival delivered by throwing down a high-energy. After dodging crowd surfers and the giddy press corps, I stumped a good few fans by asking them to describe the band. I heard everything from ‘80s music to pop. Nonethless, the synth-poppers got down and the festival got off to a great start.

After getting a bit of sleep, I made sure to see Animal Collective and Santigold on Saturday afternoon. Santi’s official name change from Santogold to Santigold was still fresh news, and made no difference to the screaming crowd, who seemed to know all the lyrics. “You’re the best crowd in the States!” Santi White belted out. It was definitely one of the best shows all weekend. The antics at the Of Montreal set included a gas mask and what appeared to be a Christmas celebration. Of Montreal drew an excited and surprising reaction from the fans. Later that night, Public Enemy got plenty of love from the ‘Rooskis, as did the late-night sets from Paul Oakenfold and Pretty Lights.

Keeping it fresh on the farm seems to be a goal of the festival’s organizers, and they did it quite well. The effort to evolve included an iPhone app for tech-hungry fan,s and increased recycling and composting as a general rule of the thumb was a definite positive. But the greatest addition may have also been the festival’s greatest critic, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, who made his inaugural visit. He definitely gathered some material deep in the “tent territories.”

DJs did gain some well-deserved prominence this year. Money Mark played the enormous What Stage prior to the Beastie Boys’ set. The Scratch DJ Academy setup a tent and brought out New York City turntablists willing to educate cadets looking for a diploma. The solar powered Solar Stage held performances all weekend by the Hunab breakdancing crew, with DJ Brett Rock in the mix. The Xbox360 sponsored arcade/discotheque and Silent Disco provided the late-night dance floors, where DJ Quickie Mart and Motion Potion played multiple sets.

The love of music new and old is central to Bonnaroo’s ideology and helpful in fully appreciating the weekend. Otherwise, Bonnaroo 2009 served was one of Nine Inch Nails’ last US show, and the first time I’ve ever seen MGMT. Both were exciting and a bit disappointing, but fun nonetheless. It wasn’t the best of times or the worst of times, but it was well worth the trip.

Words & images: Blake Becker

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Live review: Starscape 2009

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By some guesstimates over 6,000 revelers from as far as Michigan, New York and North Carolina gathered under a luminous full moon to the 11th Annual Starscape Festival on June 6th at Ft. Armistead Park for 18 hours of music on five stages on ten acres of beautiful Baltimore park land on the Chesapeake Bay. Despite torrential rains that plagued the area for days before, Starscape enjoyed partly cloudy but starlit skies.

Had it rained, as it did in 2006 when rains of Biblical proportions all but flooded the early part of that year’s Starscape, Steez Promo & Ultraworld were prepared this time with tents for the dance areas. Despite scattered obstacles (technical and mud-related) which were overcome, production-wise they triumphed with a top-notch experience for the record turnout which was taken in by hundreds of bright-eyed first-timers who came to see for themselves if the stories they’d heard lived up to the legend.

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Guy Gerber’s DEMF Diary

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Tel Aviv’s Guy Gerber is a force to be reckoned with in the DJ booth and studio. When Big Shot found out that Gerber was making his debut appearance at DEMF, we asked him to keep a diary of his trip to Detroit. He enjoyed himself so much that he can’t wait to return to the Motor City.

After playing a fun show with Save The Cannibals at Rebel in NYC on Saturday, I headed to DEMF on Sunday to close up the Beatport stage. It was an exciting prospect. I had played in Detroit only once before three years ago, and I was naturally exited and honored to have the chance to go back and visit and play the spiritual home of techno.

I’ve always heard great things about DEMF from friends like Richie Hawtin, so I was looking forward to seeing what changes they had made for this year’s event. What’s great about festivals like Detroit is that they give you chance to connect with your peers. Lots of friends from the DJ community all in a small space. It was really cool to catch up with the Tiefschwarz boys, Luciano and Loco Dice and to say hello to my friends at Innervisions. It’s always fun to swap some stories and have a few drinks together.

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