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]



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


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



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


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



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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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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Nero’s North American Tour Poster Hints at Unannounced Halloween Festival Date

Nero’s North American Tour Poster Hints at Unannounced Halloween Festival Date

With just weeks to go until the release of their second album, Between II Worlds, Nero have announced that they’ll be heading out this fall on a North American tour.

The bass-bringing live band are already well primed for the month-long excursion, having performed at a string of music festivals such as Coachella and Lollapalooza. Another large-scale appearance at Mysteryland Netherlands is still to come at the end of this month.

The 20-date tour kicks off on October 2 in Chicago, followed by more festival dates at Safe in Sound in Broomfield, CO and Austin City Limits. Also on the agenda are two secret warehouse parties in New York City, as well as stops in Washington DC, Boston, Detroit, Edmonton, San Francisco and more. Two dates on the flyer (below) are blurred out – as the official press release confirms a “soon to be announced” stop in Southern California, there just might be some truth to that alleged HARD Day of the Dead leaked lineup after all…

In the meantime, Between II Worlds is scheduled for release on September 11. Already, Nero have shared cuts off the album such as the title track, lead single “Satisfy,” “The Thrill,” “Dark Skies” and “Two Minds” (plus a remix). This tour, however, will give fans the opportunity to experience them as they were meant to be heard: in a live setting.

View Nero’s tour dates and cities below, and head to their website for tickets.


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Skrillex on How Deadmau5’s “Asshole” Attitude Overshadows His Music

Following this weekend’s Mad Decent Block Party, Skrillex stopped by NYC’s 92.3 AMPRadio, where the unfailingly upbeat producer was called on to discuss his misanthropic early mentor and label boss deadmau5.

Despite their personal and working history (deadmau5 took him on his first solo tour and released his second EP Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites back in 2010), the cantankerous Canadian has taken several recent shots at Skrillex for the “jack u shit” he’s been releasing with Diplo, saying the new single “Where Are Ü Now” with Justin Bieber “sucks,” and posting a parody of the song, replacing the violin sample with a kazoo.

“I’ll always have love for Joel [deadmau5] because he put me on at an early time, but he’s an asshole,” Skrillex said, neither dissing nor mincing words. “Everyone knows that, and he knows that. And that’s kinda his thing.”

Skrillex went on to lament the fact that, while deadmau5 may be comfortable with his negative outlook, it is bound to effect those around him.

“The one thing that is unfortunate about it is that he has a record label. And when you have a record label, you gotta be a leader. And he has people that are like signed to him. And I couldn’t imagine being a leader, you know, going out in the public image being such a negative attitude,” Skrillex, who is known for his overwhelmingly positive outlook, explained.

“I don’t take it personally because I’m secure with myself and what I do, I love what I do. But I almost feel bad that that’s his one way of getting attention rather than going into music and curating. I think his attitude’s changed over the last couple years. I personally have become less connected to his music because his personality is almost overshadowing that, when he is such an incredible artist.”

Naturally, deadmau5 has responded to his former label recruit’s comments on Twitter – but he hasn’t gone on the offensive. Despite writing that he doesn’t “really give a fuck” about the character assessment, he cops to what Skrillex is saying. “I’m aware that I can be a fucking diva,” he wrote. “I am aware that I have more than one complex. Very fucking aware. At the end of the fucking day, if I’m ‘miserable / moody / negative’, then that’s just me dealing with or not dealing [with] internal shit.”

Watch Skrillex’s interview here.

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Hear Kygo’s New Track, “Nothing Left,” feat. Will Heard

As he prepares to close Lollapalooza’s Pepsi Stage in  Chicago on Sunday (August 2), Norwegian ‘tropical house’ producer Kygo partnered with Uber (?) to debut his latest single, “Nothing Left,” at a secret performance at Chi-town’s Emporium Arcade Bar.

“The track got such an amazing reception when I played it for the first time in Chicago last night and I just hope everybody else is as happy with it as I am,” Kygo told Billboard.

The live show was streamed via Uber’s Periscope account, and featured British singer Will Heard, whose vocals also grace Kygo’s new single, which you check out below.

“With this single I really experimented with some new stuff so it’s a little slower and not my signature sound,” he told Uber (?) regarding the song’s departure from his typical tropical vibe. “It’s a little different, but I’m super happy with the way it turned out and how this track developed.

Kygo will headline Lollapalooza’s official afterparty at the Concord Music Hall after his performance at the festival Sunday night, and has a round of dates coming up, including a headlining gig at the Billboard Hot 100 Music Festival, Shambala Festival and Lollapalooza Berlin.

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Hear Dirty South Go “Ravey Dirty Sexy Housey“ in An Extended Set

Earlier this month, LA transplant Dragan Roganovic, aka Dirty South, kicked off his summer tour with a special holiday performance in his adopted hometown.

Within the walls of Avalon Hollywood, the number four was the name of the game, as Dirty South celebrated the Fourth of July with an extended set that ran for exactly 4 hours and 44 minutes. Whereas most other DJs have maybe 90 minutes to cram in the hits, Roganovic uses his abundance of space to showcase the different shades of 4/4 house, in a combination he described as “ravey dirty sexy.”

“I love being able to play extended sets where I can dig little deeper through my music collection,” Dirty South told us today. “I started my DJ career this way, and it’s refreshing to still be able to take a break from short festival DJ sets and take people on my musical journey.”

Press play on Dirty South’s extended holiday set below – close listeners can spot among the house classics and contemporary dancefloor fillers some new, unreleased material, including a preview of his new single, “Find A Way,” ahead of its August 28 release on Phazing.

In the meantime, he’s continuing on his summer tour, with stateside stops in San Diego, Las Vegas and Atlantic City to round out the month before jetting overseas to Europe. US fans who missed him the first time around needn’t worry, though: he’ll be back again come fall.

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Ableton is Offering a ‘Summit for Music Makers’ in Berlin This Fall

Producers who didn’t make the cut this year for Red Bull Music Academy’s annual beat-making boot camp have another chance to perfect their craft with Ableton, which has just announced its first ever “summit for music makers” in Berlin this fall.

The music software company’s event, called ‘Loop,’ will take place at Radialsystem V from October 30 to November 1. According to its official website, the summit is described as a “collective exploration of what it is to make music today and what it could be tomorrow” through a series of “performances, talks and interactive workshops aimed at exchanging ideas at the cutting edge of music, creativity and technology.”

So far, artists such as Holly Herndon, Robert Henke, Dauwd, James Holden, Henrik Schwarz and Matthew Herbert are signed up to handle the summit’s various talks and discussions, of which topics include “Flow,” “Creative Blocks and Strategies for Overcoming Them,” “Loops and Repetition in Electronic Dance Music” and more. View the primary program here. Attendees will also have full access to nighttime events presented by the CTM Festival.

Ableton has allotted 400 spaces for the summit, which will be distributed via a ticket lottery. Winners will be notified by email, and will have one week starting from August 14 to reserve their slots by purchasing a ticket. General passes cost 250 Euros, but participants between 18-25 years old can buy them for 100 Euros.

Register for Loop here.

[Photo via Loop’s website]

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Listen: Dillon Francis & Jauz Drop Their Genre-Bending “Lean On” Remix

Major Lazer and DJ Snake’s “Lean On” collaboration met massive success following its release in March, garnering a frontrunner slot for 2015’s ‘Song of the Summer’ and even a live performance on late-night television. Now, Los Angeles darlings Dillon Francis and Jauz have teamed up to throw their genre-bending magic onto the popular hit.

Music fans have been hungry to get their hands on this frenzied interpretation after Jauz premiered it during his GoHARD Dallas set this past May. The pair inject the original with their flair for all things moombahton- and trap-inspired while keeping Danish singer MØ’s infectious vocal hook as the central focus, delivering an abrupt tempo change around the halfway mark to give the track an unexpected dose of dancefloor-ready energy.

The remix rounds out the track’s official remix EP alongside previously shared renditions from CRNKN, ETC!ETC! & Ephwurd, Fono, Malaa and Moska. It arrives just ahead of Dillon Francis’ own EP, a new collection of moombahton tracks he’s cheekily called This Mixtape Is Fire.

Listen to Dillon Francis and Jauz’ remix of “Lean On” below, and buy it over at Beatport Pro.

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Chicago’s Mamby On The Beach Festival Locks in Set Times

Chicago’s Mamby On The Beach Festival Locks in Set Times

Ahead of its first edition this weekend at Lake Michigan’s Oakwood Beach, Chicago’s Mamby on the Beach festival has released its set-times.

Over the two days (July 11-12), attendees can expect to enjoy the festival’s massive roster of artists across three stages from 1pm until well after nightfall. Saturday’s main stage hosts Robert Delong, Classixx, Cashmere Cat and others before closing out with Royksopp and Empire of the Sun; and over at the house-swaying Tent stage, enigmatic Zhu headlines following sets from Felix Da Housecat, Matthew Dear, George Fitzgerald and more.

On Sunday, Klingande, Com Truise, Tanlines  Tei Shi and Phantogram warm up the main stage for Passion Pit. Meanwhile, The Tent will see performances from No Regular Play, Moon Boots, J.Phlip, Route 94, Cut Copy on the DJ decks and Claptone before capping the weekend with Art Department.

Once the music on the beach stops, there are multiple afterparties from which to choose: Goldroom, James Murphy, Moon Boots and Felix Da Housecat each headline Saturday’s four events; and Sunday will see its own post-festival performances from Tanlines at Progress Bar, Art Department at The Mid, and DJ sets from Holt and Glass party at Beauty Bar.

View Mamby On The Beach’s set times below. Head to the official website for tickets, and find more information about each night’s afterparties here.


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Here’s Why You Should Download Reason 8.3

Propellerhead Software has announced the release of Reason 8.3, featuring updated controls, and browser, access to the newly introduced Propellerhead music-making service, workflow enhancements  and a new reverb effect – RV7000 is now MkII and boasts an advanced convolution mode.

The browser update was apparently Propellerhead’s #1 feature request, while the convolution mode allows users to sample room characteristics, so you can “explore space with an expertly sampled library of rooms that add inspiring depth and dimension to your music.”

The Reason 8.3 browser update allows access to the browser window from both the sequencer and the rack window. “Hit the Z key and quickly zoom to and from your selection. Set MIDI focus in the rack without going to the sequencer,” the press release explains. “Plus, you get numerous other enhancements and bug fixes to make music creation even smoother.”

Here’s why you need it: Reason is now a fully fledged, well-developed DAW, and since the update is free for registered Reason 8 or Reason Essentials 8 users, the answer is simple – download it and see if it’s for you. If you’ve gone this long without Reason, you probably have your… reasons, so you probably haven’t read this far anyway.

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Premiere: Henrix vs. Digital Lab, “Drop Low” [Arkade]

Miami producer Henrix has been doing his thing in 2015, releasing collaborations and originals on labels like Thrive Music and Mixmash Records, and his next release, “Drop Low,” a collaboration with Digital Lab, has been handpicked by Kaskade for his new label Arkade.

The track was officially debuted by Kaskade at Coachella, receiving the distinct honor of being the only non-Kaskade track in his set, and is now ready for a worldwide release – and we’ve got the premiere.

“When we sat in the studio our mindset was to create something a bit different,” Henrix tells us. “So many people reuse or copy the same sound over and over – we didn’t want to do that, or it would just be another track.”

Check out “Drop Low” below!

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Ultra South Africa Shares its After Movie, Locks in 2016 Dates

After pulling in a record-breaking attendance for 2015, Ultra Music Festival has announced its 2016 return to South Africa, and their third year will see the event expand to three days.

South Africa’s largest dance music festival comes back from February 26-28, 2016, when it’ll hit two cities and venues over the extended weekend. Its first stop is at Johannesburg’s Expo Centre, Nasrec on February 26 and 27 before moving to Cape Town’s The River Club on February 28. Tickets for each location will be sold separately on the official website, with pre-registration starting on June 22 and early bird tickets going on sale June 30.

If you’re still on the fence, watching the 2015 aftermovie might be the push you need. The video features young gun Martin Garrix as he looks back on his Ultra South Africa debut, along with rapid-fire cameos of Tiesto, Oliver Heldens, Hardwell and more. Garrix also contributed two exclusive collaborations with Matisse & Sadko to the soundtrack.

Get into it below and head to the official website for more information.

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Deadmau5 Leads Treasure Island Festival’s Dance-Heavy 2015 Lineup

Deadmau5 Leads Treasure Island Festival’s Dance-Heavy 2015 Lineup

San Francisco’s traditionally indie-swaying Treasure Island Music Festival has announced its 2015 lineup to reveal some massive names in the electronic music sphere.

Leading the bill alongside The National from October 17-18 is dance maverick deadmau5, who recently debuted his new live show this past weekend at Governors Ball. STS9, Hudson Mohawke and Gorgon City (in live mode) will also be venturing to the small SF island, where they’ll partake in a dance-heavy event that includes Viceroy’s summertime nu-disco stylings, Norway’s future bass champion Cashmere Cat, Animal Collective’s Panda Bear, Vampire Weekend bassist-turned-producer Baio, Bob Moses and more.

Though rock and pop remain a strong focus at this year’s festival with bookings of Chvrches, The War On Drugs and other indie-pop artists, organizers Noise Pop and Another Planet have continued to favor an eclectic mix of dance and electronica to follow up on last year’s lineup, which included UK trip-hop veterans Massive Attack, Russian-German electro house prodigy Zedd, Ryan Hemsworth and XXYYXX.

View Treasure Island Music Festival’s 2015 lineup below, and purchase tickets when they go on sale Saturday, June 11 at 10am PST. For more information, head to the main website.

(Photo by Jason Speakman for The Village Voice)


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Spring Awakening Music Festival’s Day-by-Day Set Times Are Here

Spring Awakening Music Festival’s Day-by-Day Set Times Are Here

Ahead of its return to Chicago’s Soldier Field, Spring Awakenings Music Festival has come out with the daily schedule to help partiers plan out their weekend. (It’s a good time to get the official app, too.)

Over the three-day event (June 12-14), the main stage is packed with options: Friday kicks off with Borgore, Martin Garrix and Zedd; Saturday goes on with Headhunterz, Oliver Heldens, Jack Ü, Flosstradamus and Hardwell; and Sunday wraps up with DVBBS, Zeds Dead and Tiesto. It spills over onto the Equinox stage, which features Diplo, Afrojack, Adventure Club and Excision; plus progressive house don Eric Prydz, Duke Dumont and Thomas Jack.

Things get especially bass-y at the Phoenix stage. Sets from Mija, DJ Sliink, and Slander get things started on Friday, while Party Favor, Hucci and Branchez look to take no prisoners on Sunday; sandwiched in between is a generous serving of house and techno with Lane 8, Skream, Dusky and Nicole Moudaber.

Trance fans can get their fix at The Hangar on Friday night with Paul van Dyk and friends before the stage turns into the Bass Kitchen led by Zomboy and Bro Safari. Then, on Sunday, Beatport hosts Chicago house legends Cajmere, Derrick Carter and Soultech; plus Justin Martin, MK and Jamie Jones.

View Spring Awakening’s timetable below, and head to the official website to create a customized schedule – chances are you’ll need it.


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Why ‘Eden’ is the Movie That House Music Deserves

Why ‘Eden’ is the Movie That House Music Deserves

Finally there’s a film that gets house music right. Eden, from French director Mia Hansen-Løve, is an unabashed ode to the music and the ups and downs of a life lived for it. It’s also just a great film, one that combines a refreshingly authentic take on the underground with intelligent, bittersweet drama about friendship, fleeting youth and disappointment.

It’s earned a lot of acclaim from critics and film buffs at its various festival screenings around the world ahead of its release in the US on June 19. You don’t have to be a house head to appreciate Eden – but if you are, no doubt you’ll see many echoes of your own experiences in it, and the awesome soundtrack will make your pulse pound.

Eden is based on the true life story of director Hansen-Løve’s brother Sven Løve, who co-wrote the film. The story follows a writer and DJ named Paul (Sven’s surrogate) and his friends over 18 years on the Paris club scene from the ’90s to the present day. We watch Paul as he goes from being a hungry up-and-comer to wielding influence over the French scene with his weekly party Cheers.


He tours the world, releases his own tracks, meets and works with some of the biggest names in the industry (including Tony Humphries, India, Arnold Jarvis and Terry Hunter, who appear as themselves in the film) – and then eventually burns out, mired in drug and financial problems.

Telling a life story in a series of episodes, and mostly avoiding heavy drama in favor of ordinary day-to-day happenings, it could be compared to Richard Linklater’s epic Boyhood. Like that film, Eden has a loose, meandering quality and a naturalistic, lifelike feel that’s both hypnotic and surprisingly moving, as the narrative recreates the cumulative weight of years of small moments of joy and pain over two and a half hours.

Among Paul’s friends are a pair of geeky musicians named Thomas and Guy, who go on to revolutionize the French music scene and take the Paris house sound to the world – you may have heard of them. Thus Eden is often referred to in the media as “that Daft Punk film,” but that’s not very accurate. The pair are supporting characters who disappear from the story for long stretches – though their skyrocketing fame forms a great running joke, and the soundtrack makes excellent use of four of their songs.

It’s not exactly about the highly influential French Touch sound, either. Eden is really more about Paris’s garage scene and Paul’s all-consuming love of the American house sound. That said, the film makes clear that the French fondness for garage was a major factor in the development of the French Touch, which combined house, funk, disco, indie and electronica and made Paris one of the epicenters of dance music in the ’90s. (For a primer on the French sound of the era, check out this mix and playlist I put together for inthemix to celebrate the release of Eden.)


I’ll just say it: Eden is definitely the best dramatic film I’ve ever seen about house music. To be fair, I can’t think of what would even qualify for second place. Of the handful of films that cover club culture (Go, It’s All Gone Pete Tong, Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy come to mind), most have focused on ravier or more progressive sounds.

For some reason the gritty future-soul sound of house – “the soul in the machine,” as a running theme in the film reminds us – has been largely absent from cinema. But Eden is so good and the music in it so celebratory and so spot-on, it will make you wonder why this has been the case. I’ve always found house to be incredibly cinematic music; and as both a cinephile and a house head, I can tell you this the film I’ve been waiting for. As a human drama about a life dedicated to music, that gets the music right, Eden belongs in a class with 24 Hour Party People and High Fidelity. It reminded me a lot of both of those films in its passion and energy and intelligence, though it’s more abstract and melancholy than either.

Warning: you’ll be tempted to get up and dance in the aisles during the many club scenes. It helps that the film’s sound mix is excellent, with serious thump balanced by some pretty realistic room and crowd noise (make sure to see it in a theater with a good system). The editing flow suits a house vibe too: the patience with which Hansen-Løve and editor Marion Monnier let the club and party scenes play out feels much more “house” than the hyperkinetic editing common to club scenes in other films. It’s not all packed rooms with hands in the air (though there are plenty of those too).


Unspectacular moments we’ve all experienced, like waiting to get on the decks while another DJ finishes his set, or wandering around a club looking for a friend you lost track of, or being the last one on the dancefloor at the end of the night, are depicted here, and it gives the whole thing a nicely real quality. No movie could ever capture the unique set of sensory experiences that is being inside a club with house music pumping, but Eden gets closer to the real deal than most.

These technical achievements are matched by the film’s spirit. Passion for real house music pours out of every frame, balanced by a painstakingly accurate anthropological study of the life of a DJ and club head. Sven Løve didn’t hold back in mining the minutia of his own life – some of it painful or embarrassing – in writing the screenplay; and his sister translates it all to the big screen in loving detail.

It gets the love and the heartache exactly right: the feeling of being at a party when you’re young, the crowd singing along with “Promised Land,” fondling your vinyl, playing with the EQ, waiting to get into a club with the bass thumping through the walls, starting a crew, learning the hard way how to promote a gig. The feeling of going nuts for a classic or a new promo that you just discovered, getting a mix exactly right and the crowd going nuts, the exhaustion of being out all night, falling in love with a girl you just met at 6 in the morning, DJing at home in your underwear on a Sunday afternoon. The feeling of being at your millionth party when you’re over 35, trying to explain it all to people who don’t know what house is, relationships ending. The feeling of spending a life on it and you don’t know how time passed by so quickly, losing friends, the crowd singing along with “Finally.” Exactly right: there are moments you want to laugh out loud or shed tears at how familiar it all seems.

(On a personal note, the fact that Paul is about my age and both a DJ and a writer made the whole thing ridiculously deep for me. It was kind of hard to watch at times. But anyone who’s tried to make a living in music while balancing it with “real life,” no matter what their dayjob is, will be able to relate.)

So, now that we’ve established that you need to see Eden, let’s talk about the music. At 42 tracks, the soundtrack album is massive, and it immediately jumps onto the list of the best of all time regardless of genre. There’s no compromise with the music at all; in some ways it’s a manifesto of house music over the past 20 years. It’s obvious that Sven Løve was insistent about the music that represents the soundtrack of his own life, and that the licensing of all these classics was taken very seriously by the filmmakers. (Mia Hansen-Løve has mentioned in interviews that she switched producers twice in order to find someone willing to play hardball on the soundtrack licensing.)

A couple of deep-techno classics from the early ’90s kicks off the proceedings in splendid fashion: Jaydee’s inimitable organ-drenched groovathon “Plastic Dreams,” and Derrick May’s swooningly gorgeous version of the Balearic standard “Sueño Latino,” so central to the memorable opening scene of the film.

Joey Beltram’s seminal hardcore anthem “Energy Flash,” The Orb‘s ambient epic “A Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Brain That Rules from the Centre of the Ultraworld,” and Liquid’s melodic “Sweet Harmony,” an early breakbeat standout on XL, help complete the picture of the early-’90s rave days that pull Paul into the club scene just as they did for me and my generation. “Sweet Harmony” is a particularly poignant choice, because it’s just the sort of 1992 record that would have made a rave kid curious about house music – a “gateway drug” as it were – thanks to its garagey keys and beautiful strings.

It’s the early-’90s garage and deep-house classics that form the beating heart of Eden’s soundtrack, and what a collection it is. “Follow Me” by Aly-Us, Frankie Knuckles’ “The Whistle Song” and “Promised Land” by Joe Smooth are some of the bigger and more titles. It doesn’t matter that they’re tried and true; these are rock-solid eternal tunes that you really don’t ever get tired of, that will always get hands in the air, and the way Eden translates that feeling onto the big screen is wonderful. MK’s “Mkappella,” the atmospheric dub that became the most sought-after track on 1991’s “Burning,” is here. So is Crystal Waters’ “Gypsy Woman,” and while maybe this one’s been a bit played out over the years, it’s still a great tune and so representative of the sound of the era.

There’s a bunch of somewhat less iconic but still essential mid-to-late ’90s cuts on the soundtrack too: “Making a Living” by Brooklyn’s Lee Rodriguez comes from his epochal 1994 LP The African Dream (“All the Same Family” is the more well-known track from that album). “Happy Song” by Charles Dockins on Strictly Rhythm subsidary Groove On is exactly that. Byron Stingily’s 1997 single “Get Up (Everybody)” on Nervous was one I hadn’t heard in a while and it really brought back memories.

Tak a Lickin’ (And Keep on Ticking),” an early ghetto-house cut on Dance Mania by Chicago don Paul Johnson, was new to me, but it’s brilliant – way more melodic than a ghetto cut needs to be, as if Johnson couldn’t hold back his disco instincts. “To Be in Love” by Masters at Work featuring India is the quintessential sound of New York in that era. One of the French-house classics to stand out from the American tunes on the soundtrack is Cheek’s “Venus (Sunshine People Remix)” – hands down one of the best disco-house stompers of the day.

The soundtrack rolls on into the noughties – and now it’s hard to believe some of these tracks are upwards of 14 and 15 years old and storied classics in themselves. Among them are Octave One’s string-saturated techno-soul anthem “Blackwater”; the lush “It’s Yours” by Jon Cutler featuring spoken word by E-Man; Frenchman Martin Solveig’s funky “Jealousy,” and the hair-raising, soul-uplifting “Finally” by Kings of Tomorrow, one of my favorite songs of all time and probably one of yours too. Its melancholy lyric about passing time crystallizes an important theme in the film.

Eden’s soundtrack also features a number of new exclusives from some of the biggest names in house and garage, including “Lost in Love” by Arnold Jarvis; “Sweet Music” by Terry Hunter; DJ Spen’s remix of Angie Stone’s “Brotha”; a new version of Kerri Chandler’s “We Are Here”; and a production by Sven Løve himself, “Amazing,” featuring Kenny Bobien.

Finally there are Daft Punk’s four tracks, all of which form important emotional touchstones in the film. The seminal “Da Funk” is key to an early turning point, as its monolithic groove is unleashed on an unsuspecting roomful of party people in 1995 and both a legend and a local scene are born. “Veridis Quo” and “One More Time” from Discovery soundtrack the height of Paul’s international success even as self-doubt begins to gnaw at him.

As a counterpoint to all the house, the melancholy electronic ballad “Within,” from Random Access Memories, plays at an aching moment near the conclusion, as Paul reaches the nadir of his burnout and depression. It’s revelatory how much beauty and depth it contains, in case we were tempted to write off that album after all the hype. Eden may not be the “Daft Punk” film; but the soundtrack wouldn’t be the same if the rave and American-house classics weren’t offset by their quirky, brilliant French touch.

Eden opens in US cinemas on June 19, 2015. Follow Jim Poe on Twitter.

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