Posted on 31 August 2010
As if the Electric Zoo festival hasn’t already gotten us beyond excited for this coming Labor Day weekend, the ambitious minds behind Blkmarket Membership, ReSolute, and Esthetik are putting their heads together to give New York City music lovers yet another reason to strap on our dancing shoes Sunday night – the Bpitch Control Showcase. We’re not ashamed to say we quite literally jumped for joy when we first glimpsed this incredible line-up. Ellen Allien, Sascha Funke, Nicolas Jaar, Kiki, Alexi Delano, Taimur & Fahad, and Steven Letigre will all get behind the decks for a no holds barred journey into techno heaven sure to carry you late into the next morning. You better start resting up now, as you will not want to miss a second of this musical event of epic proportions that promises to go even above and beyond the stellar events we are used to seeing from these party facilitators.
As a DJ, producer, label owner and fashion producer, headliner Ellen Allien not only crosses universes, but rather tries connecting multiple genres through the creation of an independent culture. Her label Bpitch Control, which she founded in 1999, is one of the most successful independent labels in Berlin and beyond, and has released a host of boundary pushing techno, electro, and breaks from international producers like Sascha Funke, Kiki, Moderat, Modeselektor, Paul Kalkbrenner, Thomas Muller, Telefon Tel Aviv, Jahcoozi and more. Bpitch’s mentality is influenced by Berlin’s counterculture, and thus in some ways Bpitch Control represents the musical and thereby cultural and creative movement that has flourished in Berlin over the past ten years.
Ellen Allien – Flashy Flashy (Nicolas Jaar Remix)
Along with Ellen Allien, Bpitch’s second in command Sascha Funke will bring his particular brand of techno that sways between the polarity of emotional overload and concrete rationale. In addition, Kiki will be making his long awaited return to New York and will be adding his unique style which encapsulates everything new and exciting about electronic music, and New Yorker Alexi Delano, who has been a very important part of electronic dance music for the past two decades, will also be delivering his trademark sound. Have a listen below to one of Sascha Funke’s new collobarations with Nina Kraviz.
Sascha Funke vs Nina Kraviz – Moses
Completing the Bpitch Showcase will be electronic music’s new wonderboy Nicolas Jaar, who will be performing a very special live set. Nicolas Jaar was born in New York but quickly relocated to Santiago de Chile in the 90′s only to come back to his birth place as a teenager. Haunted by Mulatu Astatke and Erik Satie, Nico started to make organic electronic music in 2004 at the age of 14. At 17, he made his debut with “The Student EP” on Wolf and Lamb Music with a remix by Seth Troxler who called him “one of the most talented minds dance music is about to see develop”. In recent years he has continued producing and played live all around the world, and has even started his own label, Clown and Sunset. Have a listen to one of his mixes below recorded live inside Brookyn’s own Bunker.
Nicolas Jaar – Wolf & Lamb Showcase Live at The Bunker 3.13.09 [Download]
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to learn the location. Advanced tickets through Resident Advisor are sold out, but tickets are still available from Halcyon Records in DUMBO, Brooklyn, or at the door on the night of the event.
Posted in DJ, Downloads, Events, Live Music
Posted on 30 August 2010
Monday is immediately made better with the release of Dub Kweli, a new mashed masterpiece from the mind behind Jadiohead and Mos Dub, Max Tannone. Brilliantly layering Talib’s rhymes over ’60′s reggae and dub plates straight from the Trojan record vault, this creation will make your ears smile. Hit the jump for immediate aural pleasure, and be sure to catch Talib Kweli this Friday when he DJs at Webster Hall with Questlove and Nina Sky. Continue Reading
Posted in Mixtape, Music News, New Music
Posted on 30 August 2010
Last Tuesday night, we made our way to Highline Ballroom for Chiddy Bang’s Opposite of Adults’ Release Party. Featuring Chiddy Bang, Donnis, XV, 2AM Club and Samuel, the night had many surprises in store for eager fans. We arrived just in time to catch 2AM Club’s great crowd interaction. As they sang “Worry about you,” the audience chimed along. Next up, XV stepped up to the plate, commanding the stage with an awareness as he delivered sharp verses to some heavy beats. Playing several tracks from his mixtape, Everybody is Nobody, the audience took heed to every word. From Smallville, Kansas, XV showed that he has game, and that he can certainly play with the rest.
Donnis blew the roof off the house when he jumped onto the stage. The Atlanta-based rapper exploded with metaphors and presented a fresh accent of country cool and grammar. One of XXl Magazine’s 2010 freshmen class, Donnis exercised crowd control like an experienced pro. Having seen him several times, he has certainly grown up from his freshmen days, but still knows how to play. When he brought up Jim Jones for a number, the audience erupted in fervor and excitement, and it didn’t stop there. Following up, the live and instrumental infusion of Chiddy Bang added a fresh touch of indie hip-hop to the music depository of the night. With a hodgepodge of styles, Chiddy Bang has a knack for creating great combination of melodies intertwined with lyrical play. Their live variations and tracks from ther new album, The Opposite Of Adults, was a treat for the audience – especially when they unveiled a new song produced by Pharrell Williams.
Overall, the entire show had a great vibe, and for their first sold-out show in New York City, we’d say Chiddy Bang hit this one out of the park. The audience came for fun, and by the expressions around the room, they certainly got it. Check out photos from the night by Oliver Correa.
Posted in Concerts, Live Music, Local Flavor, Photo Gallery
Posted on 27 August 2010
In today’s awesome collaboration news, Robyn will debut a brand-new version of “Dancing On My Own” when she performs with Deadmau5 at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards. Deadmau5, the evening’s in-house DJ, is also set to collaborate with Travie McCoy and Jason Derülo to rework some of their current hits. Other scheduled performers include Eminem, Usher, Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Drake, B.o.B, and Florence + The Machine. The MTV Video Music Awards will be broadcast live from Los Angeles on September 12 at 9 PM Eastern Time.
Posted in DJ, Events, Extracurricular, Music News
Posted on 25 August 2010
Last Saturday, HARD Summer Tour hit New York City’s Terminal 5 as the second to last stop on their nationwide journey bringing dance music to the masses. Terminal 5, whose capacity is set at 3,000 heads, was completely sold out; packed wall to wall on every level with enthusiastic partygoers who were nearly bursting at the seams with energetic excitement. New Yorkers JDH & Dave P started off the night with an opening set of disco tinged house music, which provided the perfect appetizer for Destructo’s heavily electro influenced set, heating the dancefloor up in earnest. By the time Sinden took the stage, the crowd had been reduced to one heaving organism that was pressed up against the barrier as he spun a set of solid bass music, bring in elements of house, dubstep, and garage. Canadians Crystal Castles closed out the night with their explosive performance of experimental electronic music created through the use of a live band.
Thanks to our good friends over at URB Magazine, we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to sit down and chat with UK producer/DJ Sinden who has revitalized the club scene with his own brand of forward thinking remixes and productions, clever mash ups, and genre-melting DJ sets. Although Sinden’s sound is associated with different forms of house music, his original influences while growing up stemmed from hardcore hip-hop, the kind that you have to be over 16 to purchase (in the UK), and that your parents would confiscate and destroy if the records were ever found. He sights Public Enemy and N.W.A. as primary influences, which then lead him to branch into the discovery of electronic music through jungle and garage. Pulp Fiction’s “Alex Reece”, which he describes as soulful, sparse, quirky, minimal, and different, fundamentally changed his perception of electronic music and inspired him to truly embrace dance music.
His new label, Grizzly, is in many ways set to reflect Sinden’s own eclectic taste and his desire to keep things fresh and constantly pushing forward. Although house has always been the unifying focal point for the music Sinden has been involved in with regards to both his own production and DJ sets, Grizzly in many ways represents a move away from the traditional 4×4, and an attempt to create and experiment with new patterns and ways of looking at club music.The direction that the label will take is still very fluid, with Sinden’s own innate sense for sound acting as the primary compass – certainly nothing to complain about. Sinden’s own transition into UK Funky and more cutting edge sound has mostly stemmed from a boredom with the over-saturation of generic basslines, which stirred up a desire to move forward and keep things interesting, through tapping into unique micro scenes from all around the world, such as guarachero and old go-go rhythms. In this sense, he has never been much of a “genre” artist, preferring to dabble in many different areas and switch up his production, keeping us hanging on his every release.
Sinden will head back to the studio at the end of this year to work on some solo material, but there’s plenty from Grizzly to keep your dancing shoes moving until then. You can look forward to the release of a collaborative record between Felix Buxton of Basement Jaxx’s disco alias Jon Gionvanni and Sinden, as well as new material from Bassanova (Grahmzilla and Jess Jubilee’s project). You should also keep your ears peaked for Sinden’s remix of Lone’s “Once in a While”, which is sure to be a killer track, and as always, future releases from his role as one half of The Count & Sinden.
Check out the full photo gallery from this edition of HARD Summer HERE.
Posted in Concerts, DJ, Interview, Live Music, Photo Gallery
Posted on 25 August 2010
Fresh off the “All Hearts” tour with Robyn and Kelis, Dan Black is stepping out on his own with a headlining engagement at Bowery Ballroom on September 9. The British singer-songwriter has been on a bit of a hot streak lately – his new single, “Alone”, will be released this week with a remix by MJ Cole, and his video for “Symphonies” has been nominated for two MTV Video Music Awards.
CLICK HERE to buy tickets for his show on September 9th, and in preparation for what is sure to be a fantastic show, check out his Weird Science mixtape HERE and his VMA-nominated video for “Symphonies” after the jump.
Posted on 24 August 2010
With the recent release of Body Talk Pt. 1 and the imminent release of Pt. 2, I was eager to see how Robyn’s performance has evolved since I last saw her in 2008. The good news: Robyn’s headlining performance on Friday was everything I could have hoped for and more. The bad: she left “Konichiwa Bitches” off an otherwise strong set list. But personal gripes aside, Robyn’s set was hands-down my favorite of the week.
She started things off with ”Fembot” and went straight into “Cry When You Get Older” before kicking back to 2005′s Robyn with a retooled version of “Cobrastyle”. The set list was perfectly balanced between old and new songs, and included almost every track from Body Talk Part 1 (“Dancing On My Own”, “Dancehall Queen”, “None of Dem” and “Don’t Fucking Tell Me What to Do”). As with “Cobrastyle”, Robyn offered up fresh interpretations of several old favorites, including “Be Mine”, “Who’s That Girl” and her breakout debut single, “Show Me Love”. She also played “Dream On”, a collaboration with Swedish musician/producer Christian Falk, and closed the show with an epic rendition of “With Every Heartbeat” in its full original glory.
The creativity that Robyn displays in her impressive body of work has already set her apart from the droves of pop stars that have come and gone over the course of her fifteen-year career. Add her showmanship to the mix and she is completely untouchable. Robyn had me captivated from the moment she took the stage for her first-ever U.S. show at Highline Ballroom in February 2008. She began the show with “Cobrastyle”, delivering the first four lines with a rigidity that matched the form of the song, then suddenly broke into a dance so uninhibited and natural, I can still remember the audience’s collective awe and delight.
What I find so admirable about Robyn (aside from her music, of course) is how high she set the bar back in 2008, and how easily she cleared it two years later. Almost all of the artists I’ve seen on multiple occasions have failed to live up to magic of the first time, but Robyn is a clear exception. Not only did she wisely wait until she had new material before embarking on a major tour, her effervescent personality is so infectious, it makes you wish she was your best friend.
Body Talk Pt. 2 will be released in the U.S. on September 7 with Pt. 3 on the horizon, also slated for a 2010 release. Click through for photos of Robyn’s amazing Øya performance, and CLICK HERE to see more photos from the festival.
Posted in Festivals, Live Music, Photo Gallery, Travel
Posted on 24 August 2010
According to his own description, Claude VonStroke does not scowl and look mean while he DJs. He does not pretend to know everything and he will be nice to you and your friends. He is grateful to be doing music for a living and he knows that the reason people go to parties is to have fun. If you want to act cool and not have any fun then please do not book him.
It’s probably due to this attitude that dirtybird has always been synonymous with sweaty bass-lines, quirky ideas, bumpin’ funk, and most importantly, FUN. It is therefore only fitting that a label based on a philosophy of bringing smiles to the dance-floor was created by a party. Claude VonStroke’s enigmatic tech funk label released its first record in Janaury 2005, but the idea actually began in 2002 during the production of “Intellect,” one of the most intensive studies on DJs and producers of house and techno music ever filmed. Director Claude VonStroke (aka Barclay Crenshaw) created the concept of the label in order to supply tracks for the DVD soundtrack, and in 2003 his friend Christian Martin purchased a massive portable sound system and began throwing outdoor parties in San Francisco called “dirtybird” with the grand idea of changing the landscape of San Francisco house music by throwing an epic free party in the park based on a new sound.
In 2005, “dirtybird” the record label began releasing vinyl. At the same time, the DJ alias “Claude VonStroke” was created as a joke, but the name stuck forever after the debut record “Deep Throat” sold through more than 11,000 vinyl copies worldwide. Since then, both the label and the dirtybird party have enjoyed great success, particularly through the release of classic dirtybird records such as “Deep Throat,” “Stoopit,” “Who’s Afraid of Detroit?,” and “The Whistler.” Artists on the label are mostly from San Francisco (like Justin Martin, Worthy, and Claude VonStroke), but the label has recently been expanding beyond its West Coast home base to include a more diverse roster of talent.
As for the man himself, since 2005, VonStroke has released two artist albums as well as a Fabric mix and over 25 remixes for a wide range of commercial and underground artists from Indy rock group “The Rapture” to Detroit techno legend Kevin Saunderson. Tour wise, Claude has headlined almost every major club, festival and basement after-party in the world. He will be appearing Saturday, September 4th on the Sunday School Grove stage at Electric Zoo Festival, an opportunity to experience the tech house master for yourself that you definitely do not want to miss.
To celebrate the five year anniversary of one of America’s quirkiest labels, a 3 CD package with over 50 tracks has been put together representing the past, present, and future of the label.
Disc One – The Past: Includes all the greatest hits and most loved dirtybird tracks including everthing from Claude VonStroke’s classic “Who’s Afraid of Detroit?” to the Martin Brothers hyphy-house anthem, “Stoopit.”
Disc Two – The Present: Justin Martin, the man behind DB001, one half of the Martin Brothers, and one of the original founders of the dirtybird party represents the full catalog with a superb DJ mix using bit, pieces, and parts from over 30 dirtybird classic and future tracks.
Disc Three – The Future: Claude VonStroke spent almost a full year A&R-ing this cd filled with new classics and crazy cuts representing the future of the dirtybird sound, further expanding the label from SF to Europe, Canada and beyond.
Visit the dirtybird WEBSITE to pick up a copy of Five Years of dirtybird, as well as other releases from the label’s impressive array of talent, and to see what else the dirtybird gang is up to.
Just remember, Claude VonStroke is only coming to see you if you want to enjoy yourself and get sweaty and nasty. If you want to wear a sweater and frown in the VIP section, he is not the right DJ for you. With that in mind, we’ll see you Saturday at Electric Zoo, stage front and center.
Posted in DJ, Festivals, Music News
Posted on 21 August 2010
Just in time for his appearance at Electric Zoo this Labor Day weekend, pioneer beat master Flying Lotus has announced a September 21 release date for his new EP, Pattern+Grid World, through Warp Records. Still riding the wave of epic success that was Cosmogramma as well as touring all over the globe, it’s astounding to think the man had time to produce a new EP so soon – not that we’re complaining. Flying Lotus’ abstract and jazz-tinted style of electronic music pushes boundaries and challenges listeners in the best possible way, creating an aural journey that is thought provoking, inspirational, and often downright extraordinary. Judging by the evolution of his talent for production and his artistic vision, this new EP promises to be just as incredible and forward looking as his other releases, if not more so.
Make sure to catch FlyLo’s set Saturday September 4th at the Red Bull Music Academy Riverside Stage during Electric Zoo. You can also pre-order the EP in either CD or 12″ vinyl form here, as well as other material from the innovative artist.
Just in case you’re not excited enough about the prospect of this, FlyLo has released his first track “Camera Day” off the new EP, which you can stream below. Feel free to dance around the room, we know we are.
Check out the over art by Theo Ellsworth pictured above, and the EP’s full tracklist after the jump…
Posted in Festivals, Music News, New Music
Posted on 20 August 2010
What’s left to say about Major Lazer? After attending every single NYC appearance, I thought I’d tire of seeing them live. Not so. Diplo and Skerrit Bwoy took over Øya’s Vika stage with lazers blazing for one of the most explosive sets of the week. Though there were familiar elements I’d come to expect from a Major Lazer show – Skerrit Bwoy’s “Pon De Floor” moves, girls dancing on stage, and a touch of Ace of Base – there were definitely some surprises in store.
Assigned the sunset time slot, Major Lazer ushered in the night with a full-blown party, transforming the stage into outdoor dancehall. Flaming Lips lead singer Wayne Coyne joined us in the photo pit to take some choice shots of his own, a testament to Major Lazer’s growing popularity. Coyne wasn’t the only one who made a guest appearance – Die Antwoord joined the action and clearly had a blast on stage, wearing Pokemon and Stitch onesies, no less. Unpredictable as always, Skerrit Bwoy took advantage of the scenic atmosphere, disappearing for a moment only to emerge in one of the trees surrounding the stage.
All in all, it was one of my favorite Major Lazer performances to date. I had to take off a little early to catch Robyn, but given their recent collaboration, I have to wonder if La Roux made a cameo after I left.
Catch some snaps of Major Lazer’s set after the jump… and CLICK HERE for more photos from the festival.