Weekend Weapons: Soul Clap’s 8 Labor Day BBQ Bangers

No matter how you’ll spend this long US holiday weekend, music is a must. So, for this edition in our ongoing Weekend Weapons series, we needed some bona fide party-rockers for you, whether you’re throwing a poolside gathering, crashing a poolside gathering, raising a rooftop rager or a kicking back at a classic backyard BBQ. Enter Soul Clap, the Boston-based duo who delivered these selections with a simple dedication: “This is the ultimate Labor Day BBQ playlist. For cooking, eating and then dancing.”

Settle into what Soul Clap’s got cookin’ this weekend on their playlist below, including delicacies from New York garage veteran François Kevorkian, Seven Davis Jr., Bosq, and more.

Soul Clap’s Weekend Weapons playlist

“P-Funk affiliates FSQ turn out a sunshine-dripped remix of Crew Lover Navid Izadi. Put it on when you fire up the grill.”

“Life On Planets’ debut album is full of gems, but this one has been our ultimate opener for so many sets this summer. Make sure you have it on when people arrive to get them in the mood.”

“John Camp grew up with the guys from No Regular Play and is a master of the keys. This one features NRP’s Greg Paulus on trumpet and sets the mood just right for chowing down on those dogs.”

“So psyched that Joey Negro put out this compilation of classic garage house jams all re-mastered. There are tons of essentials on here, but this François K remix of Fonda Rae was a Body & Soul anthem and has been in our DJ bags for years. Play this when you’re done eating and ready to start grooving.”

“The Boston don of Afro-Latin disco house brings the multi-cultural funk on his new EP. This one goes straight to the Caribbean with Puerto Rican legend Tempo Alomar on vocals. Throw this one in for extra booty shaking.”

“A cosmic dancefloor re-work of Venezuelan disco legend Daniel Grau. Been bumping this at our basement jams at Brooklyn’s Black Flamingo. Drop this jam when it’s time to get sweaty.”

“Auntie Flo’s Highlife label always brings that multi-culti party vibe. This is the standout on the latest World Series release featuring collaborations with Kenyan musicians. Afro-footwork to keep the party moving.”

“Our other favorite Davis Jr. (Roy is the other one, duh).”

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Dusky Bring Global Communication Back from 18-Year Hiatus on New Remix

Though they carry the torch for house and techno, Dusky cull from a wide range of musical influences, from hardcore to drum & bass. Following the release of their latest EP, Ordinary World, the UK duo have called on ambient outfit Global Communication for remix duties, marking their first production outing in nearly two decades.

Global Communication, comprising Tom Middleton and Mark Pritchard, are revered in their field as creators of critically acclaimed 1994 album, 76:14, which Dusky describe in a press release as one of their inspirations and “a truly immersive listening experience” that “has stood the test of time like few other albums.” Middleton and Pritchard last released a record in 1997, but Dusky say that when contemplating potential remixers for their track “Skin Deep,” the ambient icons “made perfect sense.”

This time, though, it’s only Middleton behind the remix, but even as a solo act he manages to bring back the 90s by turning the originally deep and groovy track into a blissed-out blend of ambient and jungle. “I just had to take the track into anthemic one-more-tune warehouse party territory to induce a screwface, eyes-closed bass and beats moment.”

Listen to it below and head over to Beatport Pro to grab the Skin Deep remix EP. and check for it during Dusky’s sets as they head out on a North American tour this month. It starts this Sunday (September 6) at Nocturnal Wonderland in Southern California, followed by stops in Chicago, Detroit, San Francisco and Vancouver.

Dusky North American Tour Dates
September 6th – Nocturnal Wonderland, San Bernardino, CA
September 11th – MID, Chicago, IL
September 12th – Populux, Detroit, MI
September 18th – Public Works, San Francisco, CA
September 19th – Celebrities, Vancouver

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Watch Fiat Try to Play a Giant Record With a Car

Vinyl is an interesting market in 2015. It’s not solely relegated to the cult, niche fetish we may have expected 10 or 15 years back, although that too exists, obviously – new vinyl shops, vinyl-only nights, vinyl at Whole Foods. Vinyl brunch is a thing. In fact it’s a national trend that involves brunch and vinyl-only soundtracks. Headlines tell us vinyl sales were up 38% in the US as of July, and over 56% in the UK, and if things stay on course, 2015 will be the best year for vinyl sales since 1994.

Obviously when surging sales meet retro trends, brands come a calling. Championing the vinyl revival, beers, banks, even condom companies have gotten into the groove, using either wax or turntables in ads. We’ve also seen records in car ads, as a device to sell MINI’s Pacemaker in 2013.

Taking things 12 steps further, Fiat has now launched a new campaign featuring UK singer Ella Eyre performing the Emotions’ “Best Of My Love” on a giant vinyl record stage “remastering an iconic track with a car.” In other words, the ad depicts a Fiat driving awkwardly around the singer, apparently “triggering different parts of the track.”

Why does the brand think this is interesting? Because vinyl. Why is it troubling for the vinyl industry? Because vinyl hype is creating an unsustainable bottleneck. Production is operating above capacity, resulting in quality concerns and a shortage of materials.

In an industry where labels and artists must wait up to four months to produce a vinyl record, with pressing plant staff working three shifts a day through the weekend, manufacturing problems are still routine. There is a dearth of operational pressing plants – the US only has 15 or so – so delays have become almost expected. The process is fraught with setbacks, frequently damning fledgling labels before their releases see the light of day.

Watch below as the Fiat drives around the vinyl stage and the singer sings, and actors pretend to enjoy the baffling spectacle. Why understand the market when you can be #ontrend?

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5 Mixes to Get You Hyped for North Coast Music Festival

5 Mixes to Get You Hyped for North Coast Music Festival

Today begins Chicago’s “last stand of summer,” otherwise known as the North Coast Music Festival. Independent local promoters React Presents, Silver Wrapper, Cold Grums and Metronome have teamed up to bring out some of the biggest artists across the music spectrum, from soul maestro D’Angelo & The Vanguard and veteran rockers Widespread Panic to hip-hop group The Roots and jam band Joe Russo’s Almost Dead.

Electronic music fans will also have plenty of incentive to spend the extended weekender at Union Park. Iconic block-rockers The Chemical Brothers are finally back with a new album, Porter Robinson’s bringing his anime-inspired Worlds live show and Chromeo are getting future-funky, among other performances from the likes of Snails, Booka Shade, Kill The Noise, Sweater Beats and Haywyre. Of course, it wouldn’t be right to have dance music in Chicago without some house, courtesy of Roy Davis Jr., Green Velvet, Terry Hunter and more.

There’s no work or school on Monday, so why not come early and stay late? If there are holes in your festival agenda, here are five mixes that just might fill the void – and if fans still can’t get enough, all the more reason to keep the party in full swing at the afterparties.

[Photo via North Coast’s Facebook]

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KNIFE PARTY

Fresh off a string of European festival dates, Knife Party are heading overseas to close out North Coast’s first day on the 630 Stage. The Australian duo always bring the energy with their self-described “seizure music” and are still showing their debut album, Abandon Ship, much love in their sets, but trust that there will be some new tracks slipped in to keep avid fans on their toes – case in point: their recently unveiled, as-yet untitled collaboration with Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello.

When: Friday, 8:45-10:00pm
Where: 630 Stage

Booka Shade

BOOKA SHADE

As electronic music veterans with over two decades to their name, Booka Shade aren’t exactly the first names to come to mind as an opening act, but the title is almost a prestigious one when warming up the floor for D’Angelo. The duo are presently taking their live show across the US, along with a new EP, Wildest Thing, so festival-goers looking to head up the main stage early are in for a mesmerizing experience at the hands of the German stalwarts.

When: Saturday, 4:45-5:45pm
Where: 312 Stage

JAUZ STEREOSONIC

JAUZ

After two years of climbing the dance music ladder, Jauz has broken through the surface in a big way. The LA producer’s gone from just bootlegging heavyweights to working alongside them, from contributing a guest mix for Diplo’s radio show and officially remixing ‘Song of the Summer’ “Lean On” to collaborating with Skrillex and booking a ton of festival gigs.

Jauz maintains “music has no boundaries,” but one can find him commanding the rowdiest of crowds with the bass dialed to full volume. Though he’s locked in for a mid-day set, expect him to perform with headliner-worthy fervor.

When: Saturday, 3:30-4:30pm
Where: 630 Stage

Green Velvet

GREEN VELVET

North Coast wouldn’t be a true Chicago festival without some house music on the program to celebrate the genre’s birthplace – and that’s precisely where Green Velvet comes in.

The hometown hero otherwise known as Curtis Jones (and as Cajmere) is briefly stepping away from his collaborative project with Claude VonStroke, Get Real, to show crowds just how the Windy City gets down with heaping portions of jacking house, funky techno and sizzling acid. In short: it’s going to get weird, but Green Velvet wouldn’t have it any other way.

When: Sunday, 5:30-6:30pm
Where: 630 Stage

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TYCHO

After a sweaty dancefloor workout from Green Velvet comes a major cool-down session from Tycho. The rock-electronic live band, headed by producer Scott Hansen, make music that’s expansive and calming – appropriate as the festival heads into its last leg on Sunday evening. Enhancing the music are the psychedelic visuals (created by Hansen himself) buried in color-saturated washes to create a vibrant and hypnotic experience. If the timing goes well, this could be the ultimate sundown set, so be sure to catch it.

When: Sunday, 7:00-8:00pm
Where: 630 Stage

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5 Mixes to Warm You Up for Sun City Music Festival

5 Mixes to Warm You Up for Sun City Music Festival

This weekend in El Paso, TX is going to be a scorcher, and in more ways than one. On September 5 and 6, Sun City Music Festival is coming to town for its fifth year at Ascarate Park with an artist roster packing more heat than the weather forecast.

Hardwell and Armin van Buuren have been tasked with headlining the event, with a strong supporting cast that ranges from main stage heavyweights Galantis, NERVO, Dash Berlin and DVBBS to bass-mongers Brillz, Borgore, Jauz and Zeds Dead; along with a Beatport stage boasting some solid house and techno. To prepare for the festival, we’ve compiled a few mixes that will get your ears and muscles warmed up for the long days and nights ahead.

[Photo by Rukes]

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LANE 8

Before he officially starts on his US tour next week, Lane 8 is bringing major house heat to Sun City. The San Francisco-turned-German transplant will be hitting the festival’s first day on the Beatport stage just as night falls, setting the tone for Claptone, Hot Since 82 and Dubfire.

Having recently released his debut album, Rise, there’s high probability that Lane 8 will bust out more than a few cuts to celebrate, but the 90-minute slot gives him ample space to explore the deep, dark and progressive corners of the house spectrum to fit the occasion. His latest mix for Anjunadeep makes for a good primer.

When: Saturday, 8:15 – 9:45pm
Where: Beatport Stage

GTA

GTA

As GTA’s mantra goes, “Death to genres,” and it definitely applies to their mixes. The boys are less concerned with labels than they are about making dancefloors move with a widespread arsenal packed with everything from jungle terror and big-room to ear-wormy rap acapellas and a lot of bass.

With a primetime slot booked at the Main Stage, GTA’s set will seem less like a regular festival gig and more like a massive, raucous house party with thousands of your friends. Let the debauchery commence.

When: Saturday, 9:30 – 10:30pm
Where: Main Stage

ODESZA_2

ODESZA

For those looking to take the first day relatively easy, Odesza’s headlining set atop the Bass Dunes stage will be a dreamy session beneath the stars.

The Seattle-hailing duo have been on the ascent for nearly three years, and can already count appearances at Coachella and Lightning in a Bottle among their achievements; but their second album, 2014’s In Return, helped elevate them to a new level of stardom with its experimental-yet-accessible approach to chilled-out bass music. Catch them in El Paso before they jet off on the next big step in their career: a bona fide world tour.

When: Saturday, 12:45 – 2am
Where: Bass Dunes Stage

NERVO

NERVO

In a packed touring schedule between dates at Electric Zoo and their Omnia Las Vegas residency, Mim and Liv of NERVO are squeezing in an appearance at SCMF with their newly released their debut album, Collateral, in tow.

The Australian twin-duo are tasked with following high-octane acts such as Jauz, Borgeous and Zeds Dead on the Main Stage, so expect to hear them at their energetic best before handing the floor over to headliner Hardwell. The latest episode of their Nervo Nation radio show is an example of their ability to pick out the hits that will get the crowd’s hands up in the air from start to finish.

When: Sunday, 11:30pm – 12:30am
Where: Main Stage

Adam Beyer

ADAM BEYER

El Paso is a long way from Stockholm, but leave it to Adam Beyer to bring the essence of Swedish techno overseas to Sun City.

The Drumcode boss is bringing his room-filling, heads-down sound to the Beatport stage on SCMF’s second day alongside partner Ida Engberg and fellow techno torchbearer Chris Liebing with a peak-time slot prime for late-night dancefloor demolition. What better way to close out the weekend than in a blaze of glory?

When: Sunday, 11pm – 12:30am
Where: Beatport Stage

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Avicii Cancels His Remaining Tour Dates for 2015

With the release of his second album set for October, Swedish chart-climber Avicii is stepping out of the spotlight for the remainder of 2015. As revealed by Billboard, the DJ-producer’s remaining performances for this year have been cancelled and rescheduled for 2016. The official word from Team Avicii: moving the dates to the new year will allow for a “larger tour initiative and a well deserved break.”

“I look forward to keep being innovative with my team in leading a bigger change than just with my music,” Avicii wrote (or approved) in a statement to Billboard. “In moving my tour promotional responsibilities to next year, I have a great opportunity to focus on myself and spend time trying to grow up in a way I never got the chance to – normal, or as normal as it could get. My team, label and family have encouraged me to do that and I realize not many in my position get that opportunity.”

Of course, this isn’t the first time Avicii has made a sudden exit from the tour circuit. In March 2014, following the blockbuster chart success of his album True, Avicii’s return to the Ultra mainstage was thwarted at the last minute. The DJ was rushed to hospital to have his gall bladder removed, leaving his headline slot open for Deadmau5 to step into. Later that year, Avicii cancelled a string of shows – including TomorrowWorld and a tour of Asia – to recuperate from ongoing health issues.

This time around, the affected dates include festival bookings in Asia and his Las Vegas residency at XS and Encore Beach Club. According to the Billboard report, the DJ’s reps are tying the cancellation to fatigue from Avicii’s stacked summer schedule, prepping for the release of the Stories album and directing two of its music videos. Stay tuned for updates.

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Avicii’s Album is “Finally Finished,” Has a Real Release Date

Avicii’s Album is “Finally Finished,” Has a Real Release Date

After canceling a string of shows and taking time off in 2014 for health reasons, Avicii has been plotting a definitive comeback. Already this year, he’s made his return to the Ultra main stage, performed at Tomorrowland Belgium, and remixed Faithless, all of which build to the release of his “finally finished” second album, Stories.

The Swede has finally announced the project’s official release date, October 2, and shared two new singles, “For A Better Day” and “Pure Grinding.” Already, fans have heard its lead track, “Waiting For Love,” along with “Broken Arrows.” In all, Stories will have 14 tracks and features collaborations with Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Zac Brown, Jon Bon Jovi, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, Wyclef Jean and Matisyahu and more, according to Rolling Stone.

The album, which Avicii describes as more “song-oriented,” is the culmination of “all the songs have a story I wanted to tell,” he stated in the press release. It “refines what I didn’t feel was perfect last time. I think there are more layers to the songs than before, and every song has been written on acoustic guitar, so the structure is different.”

Listen to “For A Better Day” and “Pure Grinding” over on Spotify before Stories’ release on October 2 via PRMD Music/Island Records.

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Weekend Weapons: Borgore’s 8 Dubstep Detonators‎

Since 2009, Borgore has been one of the most name-checked producers in bass music. Now, the Israeli dubstep boss, born Asaf Borger, is set to embark on his most ambitious stateside tour ever, with 20 confirmed stops across the country.

While on tour across the heartland, one banger he’ll likely be banking on will be “Forbes,” his new single which drops next week (Sept. 4) on Buygore, featuring Bay Area rapper G-Eazy.

What else has Borgore got in the cue? Find out the top tracks that make up his current playlist below, including surefire hits by Royal Disco, Sam Farber, Snake and more. And be sure to catch Borgore on tour when he hits your town this fall.

Borgore’s Weekend Weapons playlist

“Snake is tight, the flow on this is outrageous.”

“This shit is on lock, hella fire.”

“Loose Cannon is my homie, the rap always gets the crowd going!”

“A modern twist on dubstep. Bad Royale kills it!”

“Dan’s track is hella lit, reminds me of being back in the motherland.”

“The piano thrown in at the beginning is really unique and by the time the bass hits, everyone’s amped.”

“This one’s dirty, Brittney Taylor’s vocals before the drop are rad!”

“Bass to the face!”

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7 Standout FYF Sets That Didn’t Happen on the Main Stage

While many FYF-ers were lounging about in the grass or claiming front and center position at the main stage, a herd of electronic music fans huddled anxiously in the shade outside the Los Angeles Sports Arena. Inside, Kaytranada was commanding a full house – full enough, in fact, to hit capacity, leaving a line of security guards to be the bearers of bad news.

The scene outside the Arena was indicative of electronic music’s growing presence at the festival, which has come a long way from its roots as a small DIY event showcasing punk rock acts. Over the years, it’s grown both in size and clout by curating trendier, more diverse lineups that liken it to a smaller, inner-city Coachella–just with skyscrapers standing in for mountains.

This year’s festival, held at Exposition Park, was its biggest yet, and in ways that organizers couldn’t have initially anticipated. After headliner Frank Ocean bailed just days beforehand, they replaced him with Kanye West, who blew up social media by bringing out Rihanna and Travis Scott during his set. Meanwhile, Flume–the only electronic producer to play the main stage–instantly proved worth the hype when he invited Miike Snow’s Andrew Wyatt onstage for “Some Minds.” Then, to top it off, Lorde made a cameo that not even he saw coming.

Further validation of this groundswell could be heard across the festival’s other four stages, including a brand-new area booked exclusively for DJs. Though two of its biggest draws, Joy Orbison and Ben UFO, pulled out due to visa issues, replacements Flying Lotus and Bonobo, plus Dixon, Nicolas Jaar, DJ Harvey, Leon Vynehall and Shlohmo, kept the card strong. Here are seven sets from FYF 2015 that prove the genre’s right at home.

[Article photo by Jose Negrete for FYF Fest]

HORSE MEAT DISCO

On day one, the London-based collective broke in FYF’s new fifth stage, The Woods, which was the smallest of the lot and also the barest in regard to stage production. Despite its size, it wasn’t hard to find, thanks to its central location in the park and the glittering waves of multi-colored streamers swaying with the breeze above its dancefloor.

While the other stages were about showcasing forward-thinking artists and music, the four horsemen threw back to the golden days of groove with jovial disco cuts that thrived in the open air. The all-ages crowd skewed somewhat young as dancers got down to tunes from their parents’ heyday; still, a mix that built from Dimitri From Paris’ remix of Diana Ross’ “The Boss” into Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” inspired an impromptu Soul Train line that made for one of the festival’s heart-warming moments.

GOLDROOM

Meanwhile, The Trees stage nearby boasted a new half-dome setup nestled among, well, the trees. For Josh Legg, the production brain behind Goldroom, the occasion was a special one on multiple fronts: he was performing across the street from his alma mater, USC, and it was the first time he was performing with his now six-piece live band.

The timing of Goldroom’s sunset stint couldn’t have been more appropriate. It had the warmth and laid-back air of a breezy summer day as their nu-disco, tropical-tinged sounds and sugarcoated vocals transported the slow-grooving crowd out of the Expo Park and onto the beach. The seamless transitions between songs made for a well-balanced hybrid of live performance and DJ sensibility, though mid-set, Legg took a page out of Win Butler’s book, telling the crowd, “Thank you for being down to hear real instruments and shit.”

SHLOHMO

Though Shlohmo immediately followed Goldroom on The Trees stage, the atmosphere for his set did away with the feelgood vibes. By the time the Wedidit staple hit the stage, night had fallen, and fog machines and pulsing lights against the darkness turned the half-dome into an ominous, pseudo-UFO landing.

Much of the crowd seemed like they were pulled in by sheer curiosity, but Shlohmo’s focused performance gave them reason to stay. With the help of a live band, he drilled through the audience with heavy bass and harsh sounds bordering on industrial–hey, X-Files is coming back, right? If they’re looking for a music scorer, this just might be the guy for the job.

JON HOPKINS

FYF’s increasing popularity proved both blessing and curse last year, as the electronic lineup–housed mostly in the Sports Arena–drew a crowd that overwhelmed the enclosed space, leaving many waiting outside in the heat. This year, organizers opened up part of the seated section, which helped greatly for the most part: the only time the Arena hit capacity was during Kaytranada’s set. Once his set ended, his legion of fans left with him, leaving the stage wide open for the LA festival debut of Jon Hopkins.

Fans of the UK mastermind have been anticipating his return to Southern California since his impressive Coachella debut back in April. Though he was performing another live set, the addition of trippy, intricate custom visuals put the show on a new plane, though technical difficulties unfortunately marred an otherwise awe-inspiring performance.

The majority of his set was heavy on intensity, building momentum with a combination of dark, organic and atmospheric beats fit to soundtrack a meteor hurtling toward Earth. “Open Eye Signal” got the biggest reaction, being his most recognized recent work of late; but 2009’s “Light Through the Veins,” coupled with mosaic-like visuals, was a true highlight.

LEON VYNEHALL

The Woods’ dancefloor was noticeably more crowded on the second day, starting off with festival newcomer Leon Vynehall, who was a late yet entirely welcome addition to the lineup. Whether it was due to the sweltering heat or simply to Day Two exhaustion, there was a lot of dancing-while-sitting beneath the shady edges of the dancefloor.

Regardless, the Brighton-based jock kept up the previous feel-good vibes of Horse Meat Disco with two hours of smooth and soulful boogie, funk and deep house. One track that went over particularly well was Osunlade’s transcendental “I’m Happy,” whose pseudo-chorus the crowd took to heart as they bounced across the dancefloor with smiles all around.

DJ HARVEY

Next up at The Woods was DJ Harvey, who’s been to the FYF rodeo a few times. While he was well deserving of his coveted closing slot last year in the darkened Arena, the Sarcastic Disco don’s music felt better suited for the open air.

He started mid-afternoon, just as a cool breeze began to set in, and he kept the crowd at a relaxed groove, building to more sweat-inducing cuts that even caught the attention of Dixon, who briefly stepped into the crowd–shades on and popsicle in hand–before disappearing backstage. A pair of fan-wielding, moss- and flower-covered voguers added some whimsy.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a music festival without someone getting weird: while it’s usually the artists who do the stage-diving, this time it was an audience member who catapulted himself into the DJ booth before being escorted away. Harvey, like the pro he is, didn’t blink an eye. In the words of the Instagram user who caught it on camera, “Don’t drink and dive, kids.”

NICOLAS JAAR

After a solo appearance back in 2012 and a legendary performance last year as half of Darkside, Nicolas Jaar returned to FYF for a spell that many were quick and confident in declaring it one of the best electronic shows they’d ever seen.

Jaar’s set was the most-attended after Kaytranada; the Arena floor filled to about three-quarters of the way, and nearly all the upper-section seats were taken. Those in the latter, perhaps, opted to view the spectacle like a film–and that was very much what it was like at first. With darkness swallowing the space, save for a dim light on an American flag, the 20 minute-long intro – a cinematic crashing of spoken word against harsh atmospherics – had some disconcerted walk-ins heading straight back towards the exit. The devotees who stuck it out, however, were immensely rewarded for their patience.

Backed by pulsing lights, rotating sheets of lasers and blankets of thick fog, Nico thundered through the set with mesmerizing techno that hit so hard, it rattled the arena well up into the furthest seated section; and the heaving masses approached collective insanity with each swell. By the time it was over, the rumbling drones of Jaar’s last winding moments were almost drowned out by the massive roar of appreciation from the dancefloor.

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Martin Garrix Splits From Spinnin’ Records and its Management Company

In an open letter to his fans, Martin Garrix announced that he has parted ways with both his label Spinnin’ Records and its associating management company MusicAllStars.

Citing a need to clear up “rumors in the music industry,” the 19-year-old Dutch phenom revealed that he has “recently nullified/terminated my agreements with MusicAllStars Management B.V. and Spinnin Records B.V.,” over a “difference of opinion between us regarding the reasonableness of the agreements.”

Thanks to his his boy band-worthy good looks and career DJ work ethic, Garrix recently ranked as the youngest person on the Forbes ‘Electronic Cash Kings’ list (this is the list’s fourth year), earning an estimated $17 million over the past 12 months. Despite wearing a constant smile while playing 116 dates and inking an endorsement deal with 7UP, it appears that all was not well in the Garrix empire.

“From the beginning of this year I tried to get back the ownership rights of my music from Spinnin Records and to keep my confidence in MAS,” he writes in the carefully worded Facebook post that you can read in full below. “I am extremely disappointed that the discussions have not led to a change in the agreements or return of the ownership rights, and that is why I nullified them.”

Very little else is disclosed in the letter. Garrix gives no indication of future label plans, nor where the dispute with Spinnin’, the Dutch powerhouse that also presides over close to 40 imprints, and its sister company MusicAllStars began.

Another thing we don’t know, but can speculate about, is Scooter Braun’s role in the decision. Braun, whose company also manages Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, signed Garrix to Scooter Braun Projects in 2013, in a split management deal with MusicAllStars Management, the first of its kind for MusicAllStars.

After deciding to bank on Garrix, SB Management now represents Steve Angello as well. Combining pop stars with EDM producers appears to be working for Braun, who helped facilitate Diplo and Skrillex’s hook-up with Bieber, which of course became Jack Ü’s smash single “Where Are Ü Now.”

Perhaps Garrix’s departure from Spinnin’ marks a similar career turn, leaving his fellow Dutchmen behind, escaping a world where a house DJ can only get so big (which is huge, but still), as the rest of the world anticipates EDM’s inevitable decline, meeting Bieber somewhere on the EDM/pop crossover axis, to become a pop star of the Calvin Harris variety – the kind that headlines Coachella, dates Taylor Swift and maintains his rule as electronic music’s reigning ‘cash king.’

It’s possible Garrix has plans to start his own label. Or perhaps he simply signed an unfavorable deal at a time when his leverage might not have been what it is today. Signing off his note, he promises to reveal “an exciting new project” soon. “Hopefully I can share good news with you during Amsterdam Dance Event,” he writes.

Edit: Spinnin’ boss Eelko van Kooten has since made a statement of his own, claiming that while Spinnin’ and MAS were “willing to meet Martijn in his wishes to negotiate the current agreements in his favor,” yet he “decided to unilaterally end the cooperation as of now.”

NEWSDue to rumours in the music industry I think it is necessary to inform everyone as follows.It is correct that I…

Posted by Martin Garrix on Wednesday, August 26, 2015

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There’s a New Movie Coming About the Days of Legal Ecstasy in Dallas

Remember the days when ecstasy was legal in Dallas, Texas? No? Good thing there’s a movie coming to school you, then.

As reported by Variety, a scripted feature film about one of the most fascinating chapters in US rave history has just been green-lit. It’s set in Dallas, Texas during the 1980s era of legal ecstasy, when clubs and warehouse parties across the city were feeling the uninhibited serotonin rush.

The project has a pretty intriguing team behind it, too. Former NBA player Steve Nash is one of the executive producers (he spent six seasons in Dallas), local dance music trailblazer Wade Randolph Hampton (aka DJ WishFM) is involved, and the director is Dori Oskowitz, whose resume includes music videos for Pharrell, Cee-Lo and Jack White. Oskowitz also directed the 30-minute original film Blackout for Thump, which no doubt helped him land the gig.

“I am excited to bring this remarkable story and piece of cultural anthropology to the screen with my partners at Meathawk and Prettybird,” producer Braxton Pope told Variety. “Dori is a skilled visual storyteller with a narrative sensibility, and with his extensive music background is the perfect choice to explore this world.”

The Dallas story also inspired an earlier film project, the low-budget documentary Warriors of the Discotheque: The Starck Club. Director Joseph F. Alexandre focuses on the reign of the Starck Club, a converted warehouse that hosted the city’s wildest parties in the 1980s. After ecstasy was made illegal in 1985, the club found itself at the center of a police crackdown. The Starck Club closed in 1989. You can watch the eye-opening trailer for Warriors of the Discotheque here.

There’s another documentary coming on the subject, too. After raising funds on Kickstarter, filmmaking team Michael Cain and Miles Hargrove are putting the finishing touches on The Starck Club. As Hargrove put it to the New York Times, “There’s this image of Dallas that it’s all big hair and big boobs and vacuous people. [The Starck] was the first time that Dallas was put on the map for something else, something that was cool and ahead of the curve. That’s probably the reason why it still resonates with people to this day.”

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Calvin Harris Gives a Rare Interview; Actually Gets to Talk Music

If you were to run a Google News search on Calvin Harris right now, you’re going to see a lot of results about Twitter spats and Taylor Swift. Given how rarely the producer/Armani model grants interviews, it seems the world is resigned to working with scraps.

Annie Mac, however, was recently granted a rare audience with the most lucrative man in dance music during the BBC Radio 1 Weekend in Ibiza. As it turns out, the Ushuaïa booking was the DJ’s only White Isle date this season, with Harris preferring to stay close to Las Vegas.

The subject matter of this interview: his life outside the tabloids. Given the chance to talk about music, Calvin Harris still has some interesting things to say. You can’t watch the video in the US, so we’ve rounded up some of the highlights for anyone without a UK VPN.

Calvin on why the UK and Europe isn’t as EDM-obsessed as North America: “It’s not really happening over here, is it? That whole EDM sound. Part of my theory on this whole thing is the [UK] recession fed the music. And then when the bigger clubs shut down, the smaller clubs were the only thing that was happening. And you can’t play a big Swedish House Mafia style thing, a big Alesso style track, in a small club. You play vibey records. But as long as those huge festivals are happening in America…which need that sound, you can’t go to a 100,000 person festival and play vibey house music; you just can’t.”

And why he traded being a frontman for a new lease on life: “I wasn’t even going to be a DJ. I was more planning on being a producer. It was mostly that I didn’t want to sing on my own songs anymore, and I had songs in the bank that didn’t suit my voice. [Being a frontman] is a nightmare, because you’re singing the same songs again and again, and then when you do another tour you have to change the old songs slightly for the new tour. I was thinking, this isn’t creative, I’ve written 15 songs but I want to do way more than that. So 2011 and 2012, I worked more in the studio than I ever did in my entire life.”

As Harris tells his interviewer, the move from live act to DJ meant trading his old fan-base for a new following. “It kinda cut off the fans of the old music,” he says. “But I was over it, because I felt like it was done, and it was.”

During the chat, the producer also gives his philosophy on releasing music, which could double as veiled advice to his EDM peers. “If you have enough success in dance music, you have a responsibility to release really good music,” he says. “You know a lot of people are gonna listen to your records and say, ‘That’s dance music, that’s EDM.’ Make something good! You can have a good song that goes off, as well as a bad song that goes off. So make the good song! Please. That’s what I’m trying to do with my new song [“How Deep Is Your Love”]. It doesn’t go off in traditional ways that I’ve made my songs go off in the past.”

The full interview is here (if you are in the UK).

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Ben UFO Cancels North American Shows Due to Visa Issues

Ben UFO Cancels North American Shows Due to Visa Issues

UK DJ Ben UFO is the latest foreign artist to be forced to cancel upcoming US and Canada dates due to visa issues.

The Hessle Audio boss was scheduled to play B2B with fellow UK DJ Joy Orbison, landing in Vancouver tonight and moving on to San Francisco on Friday (Aug 21) and LA’s FYF festival on Saturday, along with a warehouse party or two, all of which have been canceled.

Ben cited “technical faults” on the US State Department’s side, which apparently have stalled or forced quite a few artists to cancel tours this summer.

“The embassy are still in possession of my passport,” Ben explains in a Facebook post which you can read below, concluding “as to what this means, your guess is as good as mine.”

Joy O will reportedly continue to play the SF and LA dates solo, but the Vancouver show has been canceled. Total bummer, Ben UFO is one of the best DJs out. Well, here’s his latest Rinse FM podcast.

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Banksy’s Twisted Theme Park Dismaland is Open, and It Has DJs

Banksy’s Twisted Theme Park Dismaland is Open, and It Has DJs

Of all the parties in the world, getting the call-up to play Friday night at Banksy’s just-opened ‘bemusement park’ has to rate highly. Over the next month, a lineup of DJs and live acts – including Massive Attack, Run The Jewels, Sleaford Mods, DJ Yoda and Peanut Butter Wolf – will travel to the UK seaside town of Weston-super-Mare to join in the Dismaland weirdness.

Taking over a 2.5-acre derelict site, Dismaland is described by Banksy as “a festival of art, amusements and entry-level anarchism,” and it has already kicked off a blitz of media coverage in the UK. (You can watch the BBC’s video tour here.)

The park is open five weeks only from this weekend, and it’s not exactly fun for all ages. As you’ll see on the detailed ‘park plan’ at the official website, the attractions include a boat pond peopled by asylum seekers, a loan shop for kids, the Grim Reaper riding a bumper car, and Cinderella’s Castle, which ominously simulates “how it feels to be a real princess.” Meanwhile, a riot control vehicle used on the streets of Northern Ireland is reimagined as a water feature.

Three large galleries showcase a sprawling collection of art from Banksy, Damien Hirst and others. “I banned any imagery of Mickey Mouse from the site,” Banksy writes in a statement. “It’s a showcase for the best lineup of artists I could imagine, apart from the two who turned me down.”

We’re not exactly sure where in this fairground of fucked-up dreams you’ll find the musical acts on Friday nights, but it certainly looks like a good time. Massive Attack in particular – with their steely political convictions and charged live visuals – feel perfect for this setting. (It won’t hurt that Pussy Riot is warming up, too.) Check out the live events schedule below, and all the other attractions you don’t usually see in a sleepy seaside setting.

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