Archive: June, 2011

Major Lazer: German Elephant Killer


Though Diplo and Switch are still down in Jamaica, finishing up their new follow up to Guns Don’t Kill People…. Lazers Do, they decided to give the rest of us a little pre-4th of July surprise. Their new track German Elephant Killer made it’s way to the internet this morning, and has spread like wild fire. The song was originally posted on the groups Facebook Band Page, and could only be accessed if you “Liked” their page. Smart boys. However, Mad Decent just posted it on Youtube for the world to hear restriction free. The mildy abstract and minimal beats are a great aberration from the current over saturated and abundant, ear thumping, four to the floor beats. Enjoy the summer tune, and tell us what you think! (If you’re having an issue viewing the track, please click here.)

Posted in DJ, Editorial, Music News, New Music

Pack Your Bags: Flow Festival hits Helsinki August 12-14


Last summer, we had our first taste of Scandinavia at Øya Festival in Oslo, Norway. After a fantastic experience, we’re ready for more and this time we have our sights set on Flow Festival in Helsinki, Finland.

Flow takes place in the historic Suvilahti power plant area and is a celebration of music, urban spaces, visual arts and good food. The line-up features a wide range of musical styles from both up-and-coming and established local and international artists. This year’s performers include Kanye West, Lykke Li, Röyksopp, James Blake, Q-Tip, Mayer Hawthorne, Tensnake, Ramadanman (a.k.a. Pearson Sound)… we could go on and on, but we’ll just let you check out the line-up for yourselves.

Three day passes are sold out, but single day passes are still available HERE. And if you’re coming from out of town, The Scandic Continental and Scandic Marski hotels are offering special rates for Flow attendees.

Posted in Festivals, Live Music, Travel

Ooh La La! Fool’s Gold Records is Headed to Paris


… and so are we. That’s right, next Friday, we’ll be joining the Fool’s Gold fam in the city of lights for what is sure to be a massively fun party. The night will feature a live performance by Chromeo and DJ sets by A-Trak, DJ Craze, Breakbot, Kavinsky, Nick Catchdubs and Rogerseventytwo. If you live in Paris or the surrounding area, there is absolutely no excuse to miss this event. Advance tickets are available HERE.

And if you can’t make it, fear not – Nick Catchdubs has your back with a special Fool’s Gold Takes Paris Mix. The sampler has music from everyone playing that night, along with some brand new Fool’s Gold releases, including Duck Sauce’s brand-new yet-to-be-released single, “Big Bad Wolf”. Stream or download the mix below.

Fool’s Gold Takes Paris Mix by Nick Catchdubs

Posted in Concerts, DJ, Downloads, Events, Local Flavor, Mixes, New Music, Travel

Fool’s Gold Opening: N° 536


Last Friday afternoon, heavy rain clouds were pulling the sky down, far below my 26th floor office window, casting a black shadow over Times Square. I was sitting at my desk, praying the rain would hold off for just a few more hours, or better yet, hoping it wouldn’t touch down in Brooklyn. A few days ago, HiFi had received an email inviting us to the opening of No 536, Fool’s Gold’s first retail store. Luckily, I was the one who had the pleasure of attending the event. As the clock struck 5 o’clock, I rushed out the door and onto the subway, sporting a giddy smile. I switched from the F to L, and exited the Lormier stop just as the rain was beginning to hit the ground.

As the press release rightfully stated, this is “Your one stop for music, merch and more from the Fool’s Gold family of artists, including brand new product collaborations, collectable items, and surprises.” The store itself blends perfectly between its two neighbors, and from the outside looks like an old school saloon. Any other day of the week, I would have passed this clandestine store without a second glance.  However, on Friday, the sidewalk was over flowing with men in black clutching DSLRs and hipsters exhaling Marlboro smoke.

But rightfully so, since A-Trak himself was sitting only a few feet away, speaking into a camera on behalf of KarmaLoop TV. Right behind him, his brand new shop was bustling with life. I walked through the doors and was pleasantly surprised by the décor: simple, bare, minimalist, with a modern yet vintage touch. A yellow printed pastel paper plastered all four walls of this small room. The right wall hosted a series of framed vintage posters, strategically placed into an accidental pattern. The left wall was the home to the product. The first thing that caught my eye was the series of to-die-for graphic Fool’s Gold shirts, all custom made. Duck Sauce collectables and TMA-1 DJ Headphones. Adjacent to the first exhibit stood the gold. CDs, 6”, Vinyl (music in all tangible forms) were out in the open to be handled by the buyers. The antique checkout station along the back wall was giving away free cocktails made with the A-Trak friendly, Bushmills Whiskey.

The overall vibe was of pure optimism. A-Trak was also speaking about the up and coming web series, Tight Space. Fool’s Gold Records and G-Technology by Hitachi are partnering up for broadcast live performances by Fool’s Gold artists in this Williamsburg storefront. Chromeo, A-Trak, and Treasure Fingers will be giving the first performances starting mid-July. (Watch them live at Facebook.com/GTechnology.)

We are excited to see what comes next from the Fool’s Gold crew and wish them the best of luck with this new expansion of their brand. If you live in the greater New York area, we highly recommend you stop by this store and check it out.

Posted in Art, Editorial, Events, Fashion, Music News, Review

Contest: Win Tickets to FIXED featuring The Magician


The HiFi Cartel is offering you a chance to win tickets to July 9th party by FIXED. This event will feature Stephen Fasano aka The Magician, along with FIXED residents JDH & Dave P. Since splitting from Aeroplane, Stephen has been on fire, dropping awesome remixes for Lykke Li, Beni, The Aikiu, and Yuksek. Last time FIXED brought in The Magician, tickets sold out in advance. Advance tickets are highly recommended and available HERE.

Enter the contest below and click through to listen to The Magician’s “Magic Tape Ten”.

[form 63 "fixed_magician"]

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Posted in Music News

Sonar 2011 Bathes Barcelona in Beats


June in Barcelona is nothing less than magical, with the streets of the ancient city awash in golden light and the sun browned Spaniards and visitors sipping sangria at outdoor cafés and dancing the night away beside the Mediterranean. Add to this setting the multitude of the best DJs, producers, and electronic slanted bands in the world who flock to the city as part of Sonar festival, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for the best week of your life. The warm energy of the city melts seeps into the festival grounds and permeates the air, spreading a glow through the masses that is impossible to deny.

The success of a festival lies not only in the strength of its line-up, but in the wealth of details surrounding and supporting that line-up, which take a musical show and turn it into a significant life experience. The minds behind Sonar clearly demonstrate a thorough understanding of this truth, and it is this that sets Sonar apart from its competitors. The organization of the events, from the reception of press to the physical layout of the grounds, conveys a depth in consideration for both attendants and staff. The set times for both Day and Night are thoughtfully arranged, with the stages well curated and both the scope of the artist’s fan base and the aesthetics of the individual stage taken into consideration. The only exception would be Sonar Hall, which seemed to be entirely too small to accommodate the many followers of, in particular, Nicolas Jaar and Apparat with his band.

Thursday

Little Dragon exploded onto the stage in a burst of sound and spunk, with frontwoman Yukimi Nagano commanding the audience’s attention from the very first note. Their performance was captivating, intriguing, and exhilarating, with the elements of electronic and live instrument and vocals melding to form a unique sound that was brilliantly surprising. At different times, their songs drew parallels to so many different genres, including techno, 1960’s rock & roll, acid, house, and pop. While this might seem schizophrenic in words, the effect was quite the opposite. In fact, Little Dragon managed to incorporate each of these sounds and more into a set that made perfect aural sense, and kept the crowd dancing until the very end.

The best part of Sonar by Day is being able to hear and dance to music outdoors, under the sun, rather than being confined to a dark and crowded nightclub. Floating Points’ set at the open-air Sonar Village could therefore not have been more perfect, as his sound, which favored house of the deeper, bass-driven variety, lent itself perfectly to a late afternoon frolic on the grass. The aural experience that he presented was at once both engaging and meditative, with weaving melodies winding through beat patterns creating an environment of joy and unity for the early stages of the festival.

Although dubstep has arguably taken a bit of a turn for the worse recently, there are certain “real” dubstep producers and DJs that remind us of why we started listening to this peculiar branch of electronic music in the first place. Eskmo is precisely one such artist, and his set at Sonar proved beyond a doubt that while the genre as a whole has slightly lost merit, his skill and vision as an artist certainly has not. His bass driven set was creative and interesting, taking the crowd on a real journey through the lower end. It was furthermore a perfect example of skillful timeslotting, as his set was the last of the day. His performance was an ideal transition from Day to Night, as it had to not only wind down the day, but also build excitement for the coming night, without going too far and thereby exhausting the audience.

Friday

As the sun made its way across the sky on Friday, it quickly became clear that the already crowded dancefloors of the previous day were only a sliver of the madness that was to come. By Four Tet’s set on Thursday evening, Sonar by Day was so packed it was nearly impossible to move, let alone attempt to locate the bathroom or bar. The high congestion did however not plug any ears, and Four Tet’s blissful electronic melodies were therefore still enjoyable, even if all that was visible was a sea of bobbing heads. These heads bobbed particularly ferociously as the first bars of “Love Cry” became audible, and it seemed that all of downtown Barcelona quivered with emotion as the sentiment heavy track pumped its way through every person’s heart.

Sonar by Night kicked off with a thundering roar as Trentemøller and his live band exploded onto the Sonar Pub before the clock struck midnight. Their set presented the usual brilliant stage design by Anders Trentermøller and his drummer Henrik Vibskov, incorporating industrial tinged elements that gave the performance visual texture, and intricately crafted lighting. The set list leaned toward newer material, especially that which takes its influence primarily from various elements of slightly gothic rock and punk, rather than the more straightforward techno of his earlier productions. This was a clever move on his part, as it managed to set his performance apart from that of other artists who were simply delivering 4-to-the-floor beats. The surf-rock inspired single “Silver Surfer, Ghostrider Go!” went off particularly well, as did “Moan”, arguably one of the most beloved tracks of his entire career.

Judging from multiple testimonials, there was without a doubt one performance that was indisputably the pinnacle of the Sonar experience: Aphex Twin. This is not entirely surprising, as the man is a true electronic legend, with his productions going back decades to the time when he was just a young boy crafting strange noises with machines in a small British town. It did however seem that nobody was really sure what to expect, as rumors of his eccentricity and futuristic experimentation with sound are far reaching. It did not take more than a few minutes for one thing to become clear: the thousands of curious fans at Sonar Club were completely and utterly blown away. His set was nothing short of phenomenal, as he crafted techno into an interstellar voyage through beat heaven. The accompanying light design took this experience even further, with multicolored cloud formations projected onto lazers that beamed and swayed above and through the crowd. As his set came to a close, thousands of people blinked rapidly, as if emerging from a trance, and speechless friends and strangers alike could do nothing more than hug one another with giddy smiles and stars in their eyes.

Although much of today’s electro often has a tendency to border on what might be elementarily described as commercial cheese, Boys Noize, along with the majority of talent on his BNR label, has always managed to transcend this stereotype. On the contrary, his productions are groundbreaking and exciting, with a ferocity of spirit that does not seem contrived, but rather communicates a passion for creation that cannot help but to explode forth through sound. His set at Sonar was no different, with the German artist turning Sonar Club into a banging hive of pounding feet in the early hours of Saturday morning. He included many old favorites such as “& Down” and “Lava Lava”, as well some serious 1990′s ‘ardcore rave sound woven through a broad spectrum of techno and electro, both intense and aggressive, but never without a firm grasp on musicality.

Saturday

By the third day of a festival, energy starts to run a bit low, and the novelty of being constantly surrounded by a thundering bassline starts to wear off. However, Sonar hardly allowed that to happen, as silly ideas such as “sitting this one out” or “taking a nap before tonight” were quickly expelled by the promise of yet another phenomenal set. Cosmin TRG’s performance could not have come at a better time. His musical choices were highly techno driven, with a more minimal and melodic lilt rather than big room industrial. Aching feet and grumpy dispositions perked up at lightening speed when his afternoon set at Sonar Dome kicked off, providing the burst of strength that was needed to get through the rest of the evening.

With a name like Tiger and Woods, expecting anything other than excellence would seem downright disrespectful. Sure enough, the duo dropped a set of some seriously sexy deep house, integrating elements of soul and disco at perfect moments. Once again, skillful timeslotting on the part of the folks at Sonar enhanced the experience exponentially, as their set closed out the Sonar Dome by Day, and thereby served to set the tone for the transition into night.

It is rare that the opportunity is presented to experience an artist of such caliber as Underworld. The group should need no introduction, as referring to them as legendary seems like nothing short of a gross understatement. As the hour of their appearance at Sonar Club drew near, the dancefloor seemed to take on a life of it’s own, as a never-ending stream of eager fans poured steadily into the space before the stage. The excitement in the air was palpable as fans, particularly those who had clearly been believers in Underworld from from beginning, raised their voices to the wind and their hands to the sky. The performance was explosive, incorporating a carefully crafted stage and lighting design, truly summoning the essence of the mighty electronic group that helped to shape the evolution of the genre. While there remained a certain element of early 1990′s that permeated the performance and sound, this only enhanced the sense of exhilaration in the air; and awareness of how truly special it was to experience such greatness firsthand, even if it is no longer on the cutting edge.

While variations of house and techno remained the dominant sounds throughout both Day and Night, Sonar made sure to include groups whose styles differed from more straightforward electronic dance music. One such group was Buraka Som Sistema, whose combination of traditional Portuguese beats with elements of modern electronic production creates a vibrant and intoxicating rhythm that is impossible to not shake your booty to. Sure enough, their performance at Sonar Pub inspired thousands to seriously get down, with crowd members busting out some dirty moves on the floor.

As the sun rose on Sunday morning and the pouding basslines finally began to subside, the last of the stragglers wound their way down the street, into cabs, and onto the train. Back to civilization, to jobs, to normal clothing and regular showers, to healthy eating habits, to sleep and to, well, responsibility. Until next year Sonar, thanks for reminding us all what it is to not just exist, but to live.

Stay tuned as the full photo galleries are completed HERE.

Posted in Concerts, DJ, Editorial, Festivals, Live Music, Music News, Photo Gallery, Travel

The Aftermath of the Governors Ball


As sun stretched into Saturday’s morning sky, I was bouncing around my room and impatiently trying to nudge my boyfriend out of his peaceful slumber. This day had been circled on my calendar for about a month now and after weeks of built up anticipation, it had finally arrived. It was time to go to the Ball, the Governors Ball. This was not the social gathering you would want to attend in a floor length gown or tuxedo. Instead, you’d want to trade the evening-wear for a tank top, make up for sunscreen, and champagne for water.  The Governors Ball was New York City’s newest addition to its summer festival line up, and I was ecstatic to be a part of it.

First and foremost, my main concern was arriving to the pier early enough to avoid the assumed monolithic ferry lines. It was only logical that the Governors Ball would take place on Governors Island and thought of tens of thousands of festival attendees being forced to rely on boats for the sole option of transportation sounded chaotic. However, much to my surprise, not only was this process organized, but well executed. The longest wait I heard of was twenty minutes, and the ride over was quite stunning. New York City looked tranquil, resting between New Jersey and Brooklyn.

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Posted in Concerts, Festivals, Live Music, Music News

Giant Step Presents The Yotel New York Weekender Series


Giant Step presents YOTEL New York Weekender June #1!! This is a new music series that will take place the last weekend of the month through November, and starts this Saturday, June 25th! This new monthly triple-header will bring the best in dance music to the 20,000 square foot public space, FOUR, at YOTEL New York, the largest hotel opening in NYC in 2011.

The Weekender is a 3 part event. Saturday is your typical late night dance party, from 10 PM- 4 AM, featuring A-List DJs and talent from all over the world. Part 2 is a Latin themed Sunday Brunch, taking place from 12 PM- 4 PM. Musicians will also be performing while you eat. Part 3 brings the event full circle, with a relaxed Sunday night event of dancing tunes from 4 PM- 9 PM.

The parties are all free with an email to rsvp@basicnyc.com

Yotel is located at West 41st and 10th Ave

Posted in Editorial, Events, Local Flavor

Sonar Day 3 Photo Highlights with Janelle Monáe, Magnetic Man, Buraka Som Sistema and More


We closed off our Sonar experience with sets from Yelawolf, Illum Sphere, Janelle Monáe, Yelle, Buraka Som Sistema and Magnetic Man. Click through for some photo highlights from Sonar Day 3. Full photo galleries are being uploaded HERE; check back regularly as we continue to update them with more photos.

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Posted in DJ, Festivals, Travel

Tonight in NYC: Flying Lotus


New Yorkers. Get excited. Tonight is finally here, Brainfeeder is presenting the long anticipated return of the West Coast’s, Flying Lotus. A recent press release for FlyLo’s newest album Cosmograma stated: It’s impossible to understate what Flying Lotus has created with Cosmogramma, since there is so much to unpack: The effortless musical cohesion of the historical avant-garde and the next chapter of futurism. The conversation at the post-hip-hop crossroads of two urban music traditions, American and British, and at the center of one of the most vibrant sound scenes on the globe today: the beat-and-bass-heavy corner of Los Angeles (of which FlyLo’s Brainfeeder is a mainstay). The uncommonly natural musical communication between the physical world and the spiritual, one made personal and given a cohesive form. Even the funny smells, without the slightest whiff of self-importance.

Playing alongside FlyLo will be Thundercat, Austin Peralta, Teebs, and Strangeloop. Doors open at 8, the show starts at 9. Unfortunately this show is sold out. However, you might have better luck catching these guys this Wednesday night, the 22nd, at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. We’re looking forward to seeing you there.

Click here for more information.

New Flying Lotus Track:
Flying Lotus// BJork//Shiver by Flyinglotus

Posted in DJ, Editorial, Events

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