Good thing they’ve decided to throw in the towel. Because honestly, with a track like this, they can’t keep up this charade. For those of you who are just tuning in, about a month ago the Swedish powerhouse trio announced to the world that they were calling it quits after this tour to seek out other opportunities. It sounds like the decision was an amicable one, which is good, and probably means we’ll see a reunion tour in only 4 or 5 years with ticket prices double or triple what they are now. Let me tell you that I was at the Ultra when they first unveiled “One” to the world. I saw that shit happening live and will never forget how that felt. “One” was something truly exceptional and it still is. As time progressed, these boys got catapulted to fame and became rock stars, with hardly a house music fan not knowing every single one of their names. And together – when they got together to play – it was like a house orgasm, a housegasm if you will. I only got to see them as a group twice, not including the live stream of their MSG set last December, and I will never forget either show. Say what you will about them but they sure know how to entertain, both with their productions and their live sets.
“Save The World” was my first hint that they were beginning to lose their inspiration. The track grew on me, sure, but it was no “One”. “Antidote” was simply breathtaking, but I can’t give them all the credit for that (read: Knife Party). “Greyhound” for me was a tour-de-force but I know not everyone felt the same about it. But now, with their supposed last track ever, “Don’t You Worry Child” is simply nothing special, far from a high note to leave on. In fact, it grossly resembles “Save The World” and not just because they invited singer John Martin back to record the vocals for it. It’s a bittersweet track in that it just doesn’t live up to their legacy but also affirms the need for them to part. Independently, I have no doubt that they will continue to churn out the amazing productions they have both before and during the reign of SHM (*cough* Axwell *cough*). Sometimes it’s not about the world wants, but what we need, and I think right now we need something other than the Swedish House Mafia. It’s been a hell of a ride.
I’m not really going to say much here, I’ll let the music do the talking. By now you really should be aware of Knife Party – the side project of Pendulum‘s Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen. They’ve been producing hard-hitting Electro-House, Dubstep, and Moombahcore (basically Dubstep meets Moombahton), releasing songs like “Internet Friends” (played by every DJ at Ultra 2012 it seems like) and the widely popular “Antidote” in collaboration with the Swedish House Mafia. Every song goes hard and although the beats per minute might vary, the insanity surely doesn’t. To be honest, I haven’t heard a song by them I didn’t like and I’m excited for my first chance to see them (hopefully it will be before Electric Zoo 2012).
This EP contains four songs and is released officially next week. Yeah, it was leaked yesterday and chances are you saw that or heard some of the tracks. Well, we don’t give a fuck because it goes hard and we want you to hear it here. Figure out your favorite tracks, but the early leader for me is “Bonfire”.
As you may or may not have heard, Daft Punk’s camp released the news that they were officially teaming up with the frontman and guitarist Nile Rodgers, who recently recovered from cancer, to help them in the production of their new album. Here’s what Spin Magazine had to say:
The godfathers of contemporary electronic dance music appear to be working on their next album with one of the godfathers of dance music’s original American chart takeover. On Monday, Houston’s Culture Map reported that Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers, who gave disco a healthy jolt of funk before going on to produce such albums as David Bowie’s Let’s Dance and Madonna’s Like a Virgin, would be meeting with Daft Punk about the French duo’s upcoming fourth album. And now Rogers has reportedly confirmed the collaboration, which is potentially awesome news for anyone with ears and/or asses.
Responsible for such resounding hits as “Love Shack”, Diana Ross’ “I’m Coming Out” and Madonna’s “Like A Virgin”, alongside an extensive catalog with his original band Chic, Mr. Rodgers certainly knows good music and will undoubtedly lend a certain extra something to Daft Punk’s already extraordinary talent to create what we can only hope is another (long-overdue) groundbreaking album for them. No word on the album release date so how about some remixes in the meantime? First, an incredible live mashup of Daft favorites by Betatraxx off his FREE “Bootleg EP”, which you can find on his SoundCloud here. Second, Schoolboy, who just shut down the internet this week with his “Antidote” remix (see bottom), with a big-room dub take on “Da Funk”. Finally, fellow French producers Cherokee give their take on the already smooth nu-disco track “Something About Us”.
What a weekend it has been! I for one can say I’m honestly so stoked to have Survived this weekend in top form, having the pleasure of seeing Dave Audé (AU-DE, ALL DAY, AU-DE, ALL DAY!) on Thursday night then jetting up to Boulder Theater on Friday night, armed with one of our new high-def cameras and lenses, to document Avicii murdering the sold out show. I will be completely honest when I say that the number of times I have seen Avicii is many, the number of times I have been impressed is far fewer. Friday would certainly qualify as one of those few exceptions where the energy was just right in that theater and his song selection and mixing was on point (notice the abundance of CDJ’s and lack of a visible laptop in the photos…). Jontron, a local Triad Dragons resident DJ and one of our favorites here on the blog, warmed up the crowd adequately with his opening set to Avicii’s two-plus hour tour de force. To anyone who had to pay $200 or whatever they were scalping for at the door to go, I hope you would agree with me that it was worth it. We’ve whittled down our best pics from the show and you can find them on our Facebook page HERE. Be sure to tag yourself in the photos and look out for us next week at Big Gigantic!
In other news this week, Cochella released tickets this week and apparently even a festival spread over two weekends cannot meet the demand for such a high-profile event. The first weekend sold out in 40 minutes and the second in two hours. So much for my plans to go to Cochella. Guess what else sold out this week? Ultra. What festivals are we gonna go to now people?? However, this week also saw the announcement of Axwell’s position as headliner for the Cosmic Opera 6-hour rave/spectacle set to go down at Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC in late Feburary. If you’re gonna be anywhere near it, I would make it a priority to check it out. Still shrouded in mystery but you can find more details here.
Here’s some of the tracks from this week as you know we do oh-so-well. First, the sexy and seductive Australian twin DJ’s and producers of the duo Nervo released their newest track this week, which was originally rumored to be a collaboration with Avicii himself. Despite my diligent research, I never could get a straight answer whether it is or not but the thing is…who cares? If they keep pumping out tunes like this, with their already amazing catalog, they’re destined for the stars.
Steve Angello’s at it again, bringing innovation to the sounds of Swedish house like he’s done time and time again with songs like “Show Me Love” and “Knas”. This time, his sound is a Daft Punk-esque heavy guitar riff that lends itself well to a new house anthem. This one’s not yet released so grab it while I’ve got it.
Well, with “Antidote” quickly becoming one of the most iconic songs of the present, it is only fitting that people are gonna start taking their stab at it in the form of bootlegs and remixes. We heard this one previewed a couple weeks back but it was just released. Tommy Trash’s epic rework of the song brings a welcome electro energy to the already incredibly hyphy track.
And, last but certainly not least, new Gramatik! This Pretty Lights Music artist earned our respect for his eloquent LP Beatz and Pieces Vol. 1 released last year and he continues to deliver. We had a chance to sit down with Gramatik not too long ago and you can peep that interview here.
For anyone who might of missed it, Joman, another Denver rising star, released one of the most original and downright awesome things I’ve seen/heard in a while. Even if you’re not an Always Sunny fan (is that even possible), I’m pretty sure you can appreciate this. You can pick up a DL of the song in the video description but make sure to watch it cuz the video absolutely makes it…
EDM is an unlikely medium for an album and, for that reason, very few full LP’s of electronic music ever really get released. It’s all about original singles and remixes. I mean, we can’t complain because, being that most producers release their music in that format, we’re always busy listening to new music and always can look forward to some new track by avid producers such as the likes of Skrillex or Tiesto to be released. This year we saw the release of a lot of EP’s and a few LP’s, most of which really brought us a lot of cool music. Here’s our coverage of our top 5:
Welcome Reality by Nero – Nero was already a huge favorite for us with their crushing essential mix from last year, incredible live shows and countless list of amazing singles. While their album featured several tracks that we already knew and loved (“Innocence”, “Me and You” “Guilt”, etc.), it was truly amazing to hear them all together along with several other gems (“Welcome Reality VIP”, “Must Be The Feeling”) strung together so seamlessly in perfect sequence. Plus, it featured their song “Promises” which is undoubtedly one of the biggest songs of the year. Nobody does dubstep like Nero and this album is proof positive.
The Spitfire EP by Porter Robinson-While this was technically an EP and we did try to only include LP’s on this list, the amount of content on this compilation would certainly qualify it to make our list. This fresh-out-of-high-school electro-house beast went from nothing to something in a mere couple months: he went from playing in the small Heineken Domes at Ultra in March to playing to a packed crowd of die-hard fans on one of the biggest stages at both EDC Vegas in June and Electric Zoo in September. With the release of this EP, he solidified his position as an innovator and creative genius. Highlights: “Vandalism”, “The Seconds” and his moombahton hit “100% In The Bitch”
Weekend In America by Wolfgang Gartner – From start to finish, this album was easily one of the most impressive of the year. Including songs that we already loved like “Space Junk” and “Illmerica”, songs we’d heard him play for the previous year prior to the release like “818″ and “Menagé a Trois”, and new goodies like “The Champ”, “Shrunken Heads” and “The Way It Was”. Every song is quality Wolfgang and you don’t have any idea how much you’re missing if you don’t have this one yet.
Fire and Ice by Kaskade – This double album by the new AMERICAN king of house music brought a lot of his sound to the masses with this album. The album features collaborations with major players like Dada Life and Skrillex and with his previous muses Skylar Gray and Haley and songs like “Eyes”, “Lick It” and “Turn Me Down” really show you what how talented and diverse this guy actually is.
Beatz and Pieces Vol.1 by Gramatik – A completely blissful LP through and through, which carries much the same swagger as Pretty Lights himself, with a more hip-hop influenced and laid-back vibe. Everybody should have this album in their collection considering it’s absolutely free. Check out: “While I Was Playing Fair”, “Like You Do”, and “The Drink Is Called Rakija”… plus every other song.
While not a lot of us really ever think of the label behind our favorite beats, certain labels deserve respect nonetheless for their releases which mark some of the biggest and best tracks to come around. This year, we saw the birth of Skrillex’s OWSLA label and the growth of a lot of others, as their music and legacy began to spread throughout the EDM community. Here’s the top 5 record labels we picked for 2011:
OWSLA – For whatever it’s worth, Skrillex is a boss. The fact that he is behind 7 releases, all of which made a major impact on the dance music community (and four of which were posted here) is a sign that not only can this guy make good music, he knows good music.
Dim Mak – I can’t speak for the rest of this blog but, in my personal opinion, Aoki doesn’t make the best music around. And if it wasn’t for his record label, I might write him off as a clown. But Dim Mak simply kills it.
anjunabeats - Providing some of the best trance and progressive house around. With Above & Beyond behind the wheels, label artists Arty and Mat Zo have released some of the best tracks of the year.
Pretty Lights Music – I mean, does it get any better than a label with all free music? Arists, just to name a couple: Gramatik, Paper Diamond, Break Science and… oh yeah… PRETTY LIGHTS.
Musical Freedom – Tiesto’s label most likely holds the crown for the most major releases of the year. The man himself was behind his own tracks “Maximal Crazy”, “Work Hard, Play Hard”, and “Zero 76″ and also supported the release of the Bassjackers’ “Mush Mush”, Sandro Silva & Quintino’s epic collaboration “Epic”, and Tommy Trash’s “Future Folk”. That’s just a few.
Like albums, music videos hadn’t become a very popular thing in true electronic music (with the notable exception of Daft Punk…) in the past but, lately, they are becoming an outlet for DJ’s and producers, who, for the most part, are far from celebrities, to express themselves and share a piece of their personality with all their fans. To date, we have been thoroughly impressed with the videos coming out lately and wanted to share five of our favorites.
Welcome to Survival Sunday everybody! Very excited about this week’s tracks and I have very little else to say except that my head is pounding right now, and it’s not because the bass is beating at 128bpm…
I know I posted this track last week but this is the final, FINAL version and it is in full quality of SHM’s and Knife Party’s newest track “Antidote”. Honestly, I don’t see why they needed the big fanfare. The track is good but just fucking release it already; I don’t need week after week of teasers and previews…
Tiesto, after his huge track Maximal Cray, seems to have found a new energy and a wider audience all while honing his skills in the electro house arena. The former trance and house king has shown he can do it all… just wait until this guy starts producing better dubstep than Skrillex…
What do you know about the Bloody Beetroots, eh? It’s been a long time since I’ve had interest in this group, especially since the most salient image in my mind is hoards of people literally running away from their heavy metal Death Crew 77 set at Electric Zoo looking disappointed and with their ears bleeding. While their music used to be quite melodic, they have certainly taken their live shows in a different direction and their newest track follows on the same lines. However, definitely best thing to hear come from them in a long time and if you can stand the screaming, it’s actually a really good track.
Alesso’s latest track got released on Beatport and, if you’ve never heard it before, it’s a dark progressive track that increasingly shows this kid’s talent. “Calling” by him and Sebastian Ingrosso is my ringtone right now and, besides the fact that I embrace the irony of my phone playing “Calling” when someone is calling, it remains as one of the biggest tracks of the year. This guy is unstoppable.
BONUS: I’m sorry but I am absolutely loving The S right now. I’ve saved a couple tracks of theirs for this bonus spot down here in the past and I’m hoping that means you all are getting to know them. This high energy electro track should get you up and dancing without question.