Archive: March, 2011

Video: DJ Craze Schools Us on the Traktor Scratch Pro 2

There’s no denying that DJ Craze has talent; we’ve seen him perform on multiple occasions and he’s wowed us each and every time. If you’ve never had the pleasure – and even if you have – click through check out a video of him demoing the new Traktor Scratch Pro 2. The guy’s got skills for days

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Posted in DJ, Video

Trentemøller Chats with HiFi at SXSW

During our time at SXSW, world renowned DJ, producer, and live musician Trentemøller was gracious enough to set aside some time to chat with us after finishing soundcheck for his show at La Zona Rose. Read on to gain some insight into his experience touring with a live band, and what we can expect from him in the future.

The HiFi Cartel: So I understand this is your first time at SXSW? What’s your impression so far?

Anders Trentemøller: Well, I’ve only really been in the bus because I was in Mexico yesterday playing and got a little sick so I bascially just stepped out of the bus to come to sound check. We’re leaving quite late tonight though so we should have some time to go get a beer after the show. We’re not sure where to go though… the bars close so early!

HFC: You’re performing this show at SXSW with a live band. How do you feel that this is different from performing a traditional DJ set?

AT: It’s really two very different things. It’s possible to do much more improvising when you’re playing with a live band. Things can sometimes get a little out of control and I really like that,. When you’re playing as a DJ it’s basically just about playing some records in the right order. Our set has really changed from the first gigs that we played in Europe. The whole set list and the way we play the tracks is always developing while we’re playing; like the guitar player or drummer will have an idea and pick up the tempo, for example. What I really love about playing in a band is that suddenly you’re getting more input, because usualluy I’m sitting making music on my own.

HFC: You’ve always incorporated a lot of live instruments in your sound; do you find it is difficult to translate that complexity to the live performance?

AT: No, it was actually quite easy for me, also because I started playing in bands before I ever did electronic music. When I write music I of course use my skills as a musician, so it’s actually quite easy to transform the album sound to the live stage. Something I also want to do is make different versions of the tracks so the live performance isn’t just like hearing a louder version of the album. Sometimes it’s like remixing yourself for the live stage, and I really like that.

HFC: Do you feel like you’re drawing a lot of inspiration from your time playing in bands in your current sound?

AT: Yeah, but for me it’s always been a part of my music making. In the beginning I was creating more club music, but I was still doing other kinds of music on the side that just wasn’t released. It was great when I had the opportunity to make my first album to be able to show that different side of my composing.

HFC: Will you still be touring as a DJ in the future?

AT: Yeah definitely, it’s very fun for me. It also helps with the live tour because we have a big complicated set-up, so sometimes playing a DJ set here and there can be helpful.

HFC: Do you have a strong hand in the visual aspects of your show?

AT: For every show our drummer Henrik Vibskov and I do the stage design together and think about what we can do live. That has always been a big thing for me because most of the music is instrumental so I think it’s quite easy in a way to get this more cinematic feel when you’re playing the music if you have not only visuals but also complex stage design to create layers on the stage.

HFC: Your sound has eveolved a lot over the years. Where do you draw your inspiration from?

AT: It’s always so hard to explain because there are so many different things that inspire me. It can be a feeling or a mood… most of the time it’s like that. For this album I didn’t want to work so much with a computer but more in an old fashioned singer songwriter sort of way. So I started a lot of the tracks just playing my piano in the studio and then later tried to transform the meoldoies and chords into the electronic world in a way. Because of this it’s much more melodic rather than the first album, which was much more loops and glitch. For me it’s a natural development… I listen to so much different music and it’s just natural for me now to use my skills as a musician. Maybe next time it will be pure elecronic or folk, who knows. As long as it’s good quality… I think that’s what’s great about music; there’s really no limits and boundaries if you really try to take in elements from many diferent styles and do it in your own way.

HFC: What kind of equipment are you using in your live performance?

AT: We have Ableton Live that’s running our sequencing, and then we play a lot of instruments on top of that. Two guitar players, a drummer, and a bass player, as well as two singers. Pretty much the same people that toured with the first album.

HFC: What’s life like on the tour bus?

AT: I really like it because there’s much more time to get together and just have a good time. Flying is much more stressful. I like that you can just play a gig and then go to the tour bus and hang out with your friends.

HFC: What’s coming up next for you?

I’ve done sort of a remix swap with Unkle. I just remixed their single “The Answer” which you can download for free in the beginning. They’ve made a really cool remix of one my tracks called “Neverglade” from the album. I’m also producing a Danish girl duo called Darkness Falls, which is made up of Josephine Philip and Ina Lindgreen. They’ve just released an EP that’s out now. I’m going back to Copenhagen for a couple of weeks to finish their album, then getting back on the tour bus to play Coachella and some festivals in europe as well.

Posted in DJ, Festivals, Interview, Music News

Sonar Barcelona Announces 2011 Line-Up

As winter in New York City slowly melts away around us, festival season looms larger and larger on the horizon, with events increasing in frequency all around the world along with the rising temperatures. One such event that is particularly noteworthy is Sonar Festival of Advanced Music and Technology, which takes place in the heart of Barcelona, Spain. Sonar was without a doubt one of the highlights of last summer’s musical adventures, and we cannot wait to see what the extraordinary festival has to offer this June 16, 17, and 18, 2011.

There could not be a more perfect setting than Barcelona for such a festival celebrating new, primarily electronic based, music and accompanying technology. The city itself is warm, friendly, and free, containing the perfect combination of historical nostalgia and modern evolution. Sonar by Day takes place in the heart of downtown, with performances primarily centered around the MACBA and the CCCB. Surrounding the festival location are narrow winding streets, welcoming tapas bars and cafes, and lively watering holes brimming with Catalan spirit. As the sun sets and the energy builds, partygoers flock to Sonar by Night, which is located in an enormous warehouse space located on the outskirts of the city near L’Hospitalet. The nighttime festivities carry on far into the morning, with big name DJs, producers, and live bands keeping everyone dancing across three massive stages.

Festival passes for all 3 days can be purchased HERE, along with passes to individual days and nights. Visit Sonar’s WEBSITE for more information and for continued updates as the June draws closer.

See our coverage of DAY 1, DAY 2, and DAY 3 of last year’s Sonar and get a feel for what the event has to offer, and click HERE to go straight to the photo galleries of all Sonar by Day, Sonar by Night, and Off-Sonar events from 2010.

Check out the incredible full line-up of artists below!

Nicolas Jaar, Toro Y Moi, Tyondai Braxton, Little Dragon, Floating Points, Raime, Denseland, Open Reel Ensemble, Daito Manabe, Shuttle, Dels, Offshore, Eskmo, Astrud + Col·lectiu Brossa, Agoria, Hauschka, Atmosphere, Dominique Young Unique, Oy, Xesús Valle, Facto y los Amigos del Norte, How To Dress Well, Holy Other, Actress, Apparat, Global Communication, Hype Williams, Gilles Peterson, Shangaan Electro, No Surrender, Filewile, EVOL, Edredón, Judah, DJ Sith & David M, Downliners Sekt, C156, Steve Reich + bcn216 + Synergy Vocals, M.I.A., Aphex Twin, The Human League, Cut Copy, Boys Noize, Die Antwoord, Trentemøller, A-Trak, Scuba , Steve Aoki, Munchi, Djedjotronic, Schlachthofbronx, Annie Mac + Katy B, Benji B + Pearson Sound, Toddla T + Redlight feat. Ms Dynamite & Dread MC, Mujuice, DZA, Diskjokke, Annie, Bjorn Torske, Underworld, Magnetic Man, Janelle Monáe, Chris Cunningham, Shackleton, James Holden, The Gaslamp Killer, Surgeon, Buraka Som Sistema, Africa Hitech, Paul Kalkbrenner, Mary Anne Hobbs, Yelle, Silent Servant, Noaipre, L-Vis 1990 b2b Bok Bok, Egyptrixx, Deadboy, Jackmaster, Lory D, Redinho, Spencer, Jessie Ware, Rone, Arandel, Clara Moto, Alva Noto + Ryuichi Sakamoto, Katy B, Zinc, Tiger & Woods, B. Bravo, Brandt Brauer Frick, Daisuke Tanabe, Discodeine, Illum Sphere, kidkanevil, Juan Son, Jullian Gomes, Poirier feat. Boogat, Teebs, Venice

Posted in Concerts, DJ, Festivals, Live Music

Massive Trouble & Bass Event this Friday w/ Toddla T, Redlight and Untold

The first day of April brings up something truly historic in terms of Trouble & Bass party history; three UK bass juggernauts come to New York City to command and conquer the dancefloor at Good Units. Whether you like your bass experimental, grime-inspired or all over the place, this is the night you’re looking for. This one is truly going to be special, especially when you have the trifecta that is Untold, Toddla T & Redlight.

CLICK HERE to RSVP for reduced $10 admission before midnight. All RSVPs will be entered to win a pair of tickets to the event. Keep reading for more info about the amazing line-up…

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Posted in Contest, DJ, Events

A-Trak To Embark on Magic 8-Ball Tour this Spring

Next month, A-Trak will embark on a cross-country tour with Kid Sister and The Gaslamp Killer. A-Trak has a knack for combining electro and hip hop (if you don’t know what we mean, CLICK HERE to check out his last mixtape, Dirty South Dance 2), and is best known for his legendary scratching skills, for which he won the DMC World Championship at the tender age of 15 (the youngest winner to date). Lately, A-Trak has kept busy as one half of Duck Sauce, who’s single, “Barbra Streisand” was an international hit. We’re hoping this tour will give us a preview of what we can expect from A-Trak’s upcoming album.

Joining the Magic 8-Ball Tour on the ones and twos is The Gaslamp Killer, who we saw this past weekend at A Taste of Sonar in London. From what we saw, GLK is a perfect match-up for this tour; like A-Trak, he has an uncanny way of mixing hip hop with electro (and has some scratching skills to boot), but the two artists’ styles are completely different.

The Magic 8-Ball Tour hits NYC’s Terminal 5 on Saturday, April 30 with special guest The Clipse. Get a full list of tour dates and links to purchase tickets HERE.

Posted in Concerts, DJ, Local Flavor

Totally Enormous Performance at Public Assembly

Shuffling into the back room of Public Assembly, we weaved over to the far side, getting cozy amongst the suby sound system and the filling crowd.  Anna Lunoe warmed up the house with a wide selection of tracks.  She was a delightful opener with striking elegance in her style to her charged delivery.  This brilliant DJ from Sidney Australia brought confidence onto the dance floor.  Cuing up tracks as well as her dance moves, one only had to follow the swish in her hips to notice she was delivering her own swing.  Staggered bass kicks, vibing Latin rhythms, and spun back decks that snapped straight into rhymes atop driving subs.  Catalyzing these first drops of sweat, Lunoe launched the crowd into their flow for the night.

Climbing the stage steps, Orlando Higginbottom of Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs dropped behind the curtain for a quick costume change.  Emerging in a black cloak adorned with silver stegosaurus spikes lining the crown of the hood, he stepped up to his table of wire woven electronics.  Anna Lunoe faded out one last song into an effected draw, allowing TEED to pick up the energy where she left off.  Immediately the crowd followed his command.  Tapping through his computer, and swiftly dodging over to his Korg we anticipated his every composition.  Shifting his attention to the mic the music emptied into a clearing allowing his effect-pedal etched vocals to drift through the space.  Shoulders relaxed and ears softened into the melodies of his lyrics.  Then only beats after his last word in the chorus, the surge plummeted.  We found ourselves in the air after the perfection of treacherous sound erupted through the floor.  These infectious drums pounded through souls the entire performance.

Never knowing what might come next kept all eyes locked on the head dressed conductor.  His slightly somber attitude asserted a confidence over his drifting set.  However the understated vibe did not take away from his music’s energy. Constantly switching between dodgy bass lines, vocal breaks, and tense builds, the set flew seamless.  I constantly found my self praying for the release of an album.  But then again, it might be impossible to translate the spontaneity of his live act to into the realm of a full-length recording.  While dropping into one song he had the crowd following his every move, clapping along with hands overhead throughout the build.  The bass finally let out and the entire audience jammed along with him, jumping and twirling, hands still clapping in the air.  In that very instant driven by his enthusiasm for carefully articulated bass and techy percussion, Orlando Higginbottom accomplished what he came here to do.  Enable this crowd to confidently unravel themselves into the undeniable joy of his sound.

2Following this unforgettable one-man band came the second Australian.  Beni hopped on deck striking quickly towards a specific direction.  His enthusiasm was not well received in part of the crowd, which soon made their exit after TEED had left the stage.  Charging through some opening tracks, the dancing feet soon started to stutter over the electronic breaks.  His selections were slightly more acute than the breadth that Lunoe and TEED had covered.  Between the faithful TEED fans leaving, and the sonic energy now sculpted into a new shape, the remaining Public Assembly patrons seemed to dwindle.  There appeared to be a longing for the familiar deep droning tribal bump that fueled the night up to this point, but this was already left behind.  Beni tried to twist through his set and grab the audience, but they had already seen what they had come for.

Despite the flickering crowd at the end, this past Saturday at Public Assembly rumbled with international talent.  Lunoe conjured up the dancing spirits inside us all and handed over the rhythmic wand to TEED.  Then orchestrating our travel through sound Orlando Higginbottom enchanted the room with his ingenious resonance.  Wandering atop the charm of his vocals and then dropping straight into shredded pulsations the crowd lost its self in his magic.  Either fully satisfied with no room for more, or just simply out of the know about the massive talent to follow, the crowd dissolved leaving Beni little to work with.  I am grateful to of had my calendar marked for this event, because if you were there that night, no matter what time you exited the doors of 70 N6th, there was certainly an echoing pulse in your step the entire walk home.

Posted in DJ, Live Music

36 Hours at Sunday School in Miami this Weekend

I personally can’t imagine anything better than dancing under the hot Miami sun to beats from some of the greatest DJs and producers in the world. Add to this my never-ending desire to keep the party going, and I can’t imagine anything better than Made Event’s Sunday School. This 36 hour party at the Ice Palace will take place from this Friday March 25 through Sunday the 27. The line-up is beyond incredible, featuring some of the best house, techno, and electro artists of the moment from all over the world (see flyer below).

This is sure to be the party of the week, so don’t miss out on this incredible event. Tickets can be purchased HERE for either the entire 36 hours, the first 12 hours, or the last 24 hours, depending on your stamina. Check out shots from last year’s Sunday School HERE, and we’ll see you in Miami!

Posted in DJ, Festivals, Live Music

Sonar 2011 Kicks off in London with Buraka Som Sistema and The Gaslamp Killer

Last Saturday, we jetted to London to catch A Taste of Sonar, the annual preview event for the three-day festival held in Spain in June. Buraka Som Sistema has been at the top of my must-see list ever since their live show was described to me as a “life-changing experience”. So I when I saw the opportunity to route my return flight through London, I jumped at the chance to catch their show.

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Posted in Concerts, DJ, Events, Festivals, Live Music, Photo Gallery, Travel

SXSW: Odd Future Gets Fader Fort Riled Up

Friday was the hottest day in Austin yet, but this didn’t deter any of the thousands of SXSW attendees who poured into the streets in the early afternoon and didn’t leave until the next morning. One of the most hyped events was the performance by Odd Future at the Fader Fort, as their rebellious musical style and in your face attitude has become legend over the past few months. Their performance was intensely aggressive and unapologetically offensive, which was exactly what the crowd seemed to be lusting for. Despite threats to from Odd Future to break all the photographer’s cameras, we managed to snap a few shots of the event. Keep your eyes open for the full photo gallery in the next few days!

Posted in Concerts, Festivals, Live Music

Mishka brings us a taste of Buraka Som Sistema just in time for A Taste of Sonar in London

Tomorrow, we’re heading to London to catch A Taste of Sonar, Sonar Festival’s annual preview event in London. Headlined by Buraka Som Sistema, the event is meant to give the London audience a taste of some of the artists playing at the Barcelona festival this June. Buraka will perform on the main stage, along with The Gaslamp Killer and Noalpre. The second stage, curated by the Red Bull Academy, will feature MJ Cole, Benji B, Axel Boman, Braiden and Tiger & Woods.

And how’s this for impeccable timing: last week, Mishka released the 24th edition of their Keep Watch Mix series, featuring none other than Buraka Som Sistema. It’s a great mix with chilled out moments and some fun remixes. Definitely check it out –  CLICK HERE to cop a free download, courtesy of Mishka.

For those residing in London,  A Taste of Sonar, is happening at The Roundhouse in Camden. Tickets are available HERE.

Posted in Concerts, DJ, Downloads, Events, Festivals, Live Music, Mixes, Travel


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