Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ultra High Expectations

Next month, I'll be going with GoLive Travel to sunny Florida for the Miami Music Week with the Ultra Music Festival as the main event, I've written about UMF before, but I wanted to share some of my expectations to this epic all week EDM event. Even though the UMF lineup features super star names like Tiesto, David Guetta, Miike Snow, Justice and Fatboy Slim, it's actually some of the many other "smaller" names I look forward to the most, names like Zedd, Hard Rock Sofa and Alvin Risk.

There's literally hundreds of parties, festivals, concerts, showcases, workshops, rooftop, poolside and yacht raves and unfortunately, I can't be at them all at the same time, so my travel partner and I, have tried to schedule our way through the Miami party jungle, guided by our taste in music. Below you'll find a musical walk through of our overall schedule during Miami Music Week.

Admitted, this is also just an excuse to showcase some of the many greats tracks from different genres, that is out right now and present you for some artists that you might not know yet.


Wednesday march 21n
Axwell, from Swedish House Mafia, and his label Axtone hosts a showcase with some of the other artists on the label, like Thomas Gold, No_ID and Jacques Lu Cont at the huge nightclub Amnesia Miami. We'll be going directly from the airport to this party so it'll be our first night in Miami. What a start to the 5-day long party!

I guess Axwell has been pretty busy with SHM, but he's managed to do some utterly great remixes lately though, like the remix of "Resurrection" by Michael Calfan and the track below, currently topping the Beatport top 10).


Ivan Gough & Feenixpawl feat. Georgi Kay - In My Mind (Axwell Radio Mix)

Thomas Gold - Marsch Marsch (Willdo Club Edit)

 
Friday march 23rd
UMF kicks of with it's epic line up. Besides Tiësto, Kraftwerk, Skrillex and Miike Snow, great names like Kaskade, Benny Benassi, Afrojack, Tommy Trash, Wolfgang Gartner, Porter Robinson, Dada Life, Alvin Risk, Dirty South, Nicky Romero and Camo & Krooked to name a few, will also perform and I have to see them all.


Wolfgang Gartner - Undertaker
 
Dirty South and Those Usual Suspects feat. Erik Hecht - Walking Alone

Kaskade - Eyes (Alvin Risk Remix)


When the first day of the Ultra Festival closes around midnight, we plan to attend the H50 Rooftop Pool Party on the top of Viceroy Hotel featuring legendary DJ Paul Oakenfold, Lazy Rich, Alex Kenji and a couple of handfuls of other DJ's. Partying poolside on the 50th floor roof when the sun sets, with outstanding view over the Miami Bay, should be fun.

Lazy Rich - Better Wipe That Up


Saturday march 24th
This second day of the UMF holds several great European house artists like two of my electro favorites Mord Fustang from Estonia and Zedd from Germany, Hardwell from the Netherlands as well as UK (based) dubstep artists like Flux Pavilion and Doctor P, Skream and Benga, Pendulum (playing a DJ set, not from but based in UK). I also hope to catch Northamericans Datsik (Canada), Zeds Dead (Canada), 12th planet (LA), Dillon Francis (LA) and the Swedish electronica band Little Dragon.

Hardwell - Spaceman (Original Mix)

Skrillex & The Doors - Breakn' A Sweat (Zedd Remix)

Dillon Francis - Falling Up
 

Sunday march 25th
What could be better for closing the UMF and the MMW than a live performance from my favorite band Knife Party (2/3 of Pendulum btw)? In my mind, they are the ones I look forward to the most, but this last day of the festival will also include performances from Magnetic Man (UK), Lazy Rich (Canada), Hard Rock Sofa (Russia) and SBTRKT (UK), the so-called "post-step" band.

Labrinth - Last Time (Knife Party Remix) 

Hard Rock Sofa - Quasar (Radio Edit)

SBTRKT - Wildfire

This is going to be a week packed with music and partying like nothing I have ever experienced before. I guess a couple of days at the Hyatt in Key West afterwards will do me well.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Feed Me Music

Feed Me, the Deadmau5 padawan, recently released a brand spanking new EP on Mau5trap called Feed Me's Escape From Electric Mountain.

There's at least three great tracks on this EP, but Whiskers has to be my new favorite Feed Me track, claiming the no. 1 position from "Cloudburn" from the album Feed Me's Big Adventure from early 2011. Besides this monster track, I have to mention the mega-banger One Click Headshot and the mesmerizing house track Trichitillomania, which reminds me a bit of "Flat beat" from Mr. Oizo (gotta love head bopping Flat Eric).

Feed Me is a pretty productive guy, he released both the before mentioned album around new years 2010/2011, he remixed Innocence by Nero and Robyn's Call Your Girlfriend and later that year, summer 2011, he released the 4-track EP To The Stars, with great tracks like Pink Lady and Chain Smoker. Before this, he's remixed single from Gorillaz, Chase & Status and Muse, all available on his Soundcloud.

Even though Jon Gooch (aka Feed Me aka Spor) is British by origin, his sound is very American, and right in hot spot between Skrillex, Deadmau5 and Knife Party, drawing on the aggressive and glitchy sound from Skrillex, the melodic and hypnotizing riffs from Jedi master Deadmau5 and the details and eargasmic buildups from Knife Party.

What's not to like?


Feed Me's Escape From Electric Mountain 

Feed Me & Tasha Baxter - Cloudburn 

Feed Me - Pink Lady

Robyn - Call Your Girlfriend (Feed Me Remix) 

Friday, February 17, 2012

UK's finest

As you might already know, I had a very hard time putting together my 2011 dubstep top 5 chart. There were just so many tracks to choose from and sadly not all could fit into the short list.

With this in mind, I would like to share some more of my dubstep favorites, and while the US "brostep" is getting all the attention these days, let's remember who invented the genre and pay a humble tribute to the UK style dubstep.

The general perception of the birth of the genre is that it was conceived in the early 00's by the likes of Skream, Benga and Artwork in a local record store in Croydon outside London, UK. I had the pleasure of seeing pioneers Skream and Benga at Terminal 5, NYC back in October 2011 and Benga playing the world's largest home built sound system Valve (that was mental!) at RAW CPH, the excellent 1-day EDM festival at the grounds of the old Carlsberg brewery back in August 2011, outshining legend Roger Sanchez, who played the same timeslot on the big stage. Even though the rugged Manhattan venue fit the purpose, the young American neon clad audience didn't quite get it. They went nuts, of course, to the bass, the double tempo riddims and the immense energy from the British lads, but there was never a real connection between these dubstep pioneers and the Skrillex raised and brostep fed youngsters in Mario Bros outfits armed with glow sticks. Here's some footage from that night at Terminal 5:




Here's another video from that set at Terminal 5.

Anyway, I love the UK style dubstep for its detail, its attention to the melody, with roots closer to uptempo drum n' bass, rather than the electro/glitch related US brostep, it always keep me smiling and moving. So here's a handful of my UK favorites for you!

PS: OK, Camo & Krooked is in fact not British, but from Austria, and Netsky is closer to drum n' bass, but you get the general picture.

Rusko - Hold On ft. Amber Coffman (Sub Focus Remix) 

Camo & Krooked ft. TC - Get Dirty

Nero - Must Be The Feeling (Delta Heavy Remix) - Download for free here

Doctor P - Sweet Shop (Flux Pavilion Remix)

Skream- Anticipate (Netsky Remix)

Joker - The Vision ft. Jessie Ware


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Ride the "wup wup wave"

Nowadays, it's seems that every mainstream artist need to have a dubstep remix to keep (or rather cling on to) some coolness and connect to the "underground". Most of them are, in my humble opinion, sad and calculating attempts in the sub-genre and even more depressingly, attempts to leach on the growing popularity of dubstep, that inevitably is going to be the nemesis of the genre within a couple of years.

Skrillex for one has been very active remixing (and cashing in on) popular mainstream artist like Lady Gaga (Alejandro and Bad Romance), Black Eyed Peas (Rock That Body) and even Avicii (Levels, OK result though). Most of his remixes just get's "Skrilled up" and this brosteppy glitchy sound is easily recognizable and very popular at the moment with the younglings. The best remix he has done though, that has real musical value, has to be Cinema by Benny Benassi ft. Gary Go (no 2. on my 2011 top 5 dubstep chart).

Female pop stars like Adele (Rolling In the Deep) and Robyn (Call Your Girlfriend) has been dubstepped (Robyn by one of my favorites; Feed Me), along with Blue Foundation (Eyes On Fire) who was remixed by Zeds Dead. All fair attempts by respectable EDM/dubstep artists, but for me, they lack something.

Eos, an ambitious 15 y.o. kid (!?) from LA is going straight for the big league "dubstepping" mega hits like Maroon 5 (Moves Like Jagger), Rihanna (We Found Love), David Guetta (Titanium) and Jennifer Lopez (On the Floor), getting millions of Youtube hits. The list is endless, just check out dubstep-remix.com, a blog dedicated to dubstep remixes only, and you will find proof of that. Hell, you can even make your own dubstep remix with the.wubmachine.com.

But it's not all about just riding the "wup wup wave" or milking the lucrative dubstep cash cow, there's actually some good tracks amongst the endless list of measly dubstep remixes. While most of the crossover remixes lack artistic value, the most successful ones seems to be remixes of songs from other electronic genres. These seem to survive the transition from one electronic sub-genre to the other. Some good examples of these, that actually surpasses the original, would be:

Calvin Harris - Feel So Close (Nero Remix)

Afrojack - Take Over Control ft Eva Simons (Adam F Remix)

Benny Bennassi - Cinema (Skrillex Remix)

La Roux - In For The Kill (Skream Remix)


Thursday, February 9, 2012

My 2011 dubstep top 5

So, this has got to be the most difficult one of my three 2011 charts. It's so hard to choose from so many HUGE dubstep bangers from 2011. I've told myself to only include one track per artist to keep the list diverse. Otherwise the first 5 spots would probably just be one or maybe two artists (like Knife Party or Nero). I couldn't resist including a couple of bonus tracks below as well. Please enjoy!

  1. Knife Party - Fire Hive
  2. Benny Benassi - Cinema (Skrillex remix)
  3. Nero - Crush On You (Knife Party remix)
  4. Zomboy - Organ Donor
  5. Figure - Must Destroy
  • Bonus: Feed Me - Cloudburn
  • Bonus: Kaskade - Eyes (Alvin Risk remix)

Knife Party - Fire Hive

Benny Benassi - Cinema ft. Gary Go (Skrillex Remix)

Nero - Crush On You (Knife Party Remix)

Zomboy- Organ Donor

Figure - Must Destroy


Bonus tracks:

Feed Me - Cloudburn ft. Tasha Baxter

Kaskade - Eyes (Alvin Risk Remix)

My 2011 progressive house top 5

Tough category, many amazing progressive tracks out in 2011. Avicii, Morten Breum, Hardwell and Nicky Romero could also easily fit in the chart . But this is where I settled, my top 5 for the best progressive house tracks for 2011.

  1. Ingrosso/Alesso - Calling (Instrumental mix)
  2. Michael Calfan - Resurrection (Axwell's Recut Club Version)
  3. Joe Garston - The Promise
  4. Michael Woods - First Aid
  5. Tim Mason - Anima

Sebastian Ingrosso & Alesso - Calling

Michael Calfan - Resurrection (Axwell's Recut Club Version)

Joe Garston – The Promise

Michael Woods - First Aid

Tim Mason - Anima

My 2011 electro house top 5

This is my top 5 for the best electro house tracks (in my opinion) for 2011. Although many other great tracks could appear on the list or just below, this is what I came up with looking back on an amazing 2011. Enjoy :)

  1. Swedish House Mafia vs Knife Party - Antidote
  2. Deadmau5 & Wolfgang Gartner - Animal rights
  3. Mord Fustang - We are now connected
  4. Dada Life - Kick out this epic motherf**ker
  5. Zedd - Slam the door

Swedish House Mafia vs. Knife Party - Antidote

Deadmau5 & Wolfgang Gartner - Animal Rights

Mord Fustang - We Are Now Connected

Dada Life - Kick Out The Epic Motherf**ker (Instrumental)

Zedd- Slam The Door