It’s been nearly a year since the inception of Skrillex‘s multi-purpose media platform, Nest HQ, and now the curatorial site will also serve as home to a free-release label known simply as Nest. Today Bassline aficionado AC Slater kicks things off with his club-ready inaugural EP, Back To The Floor. AC Slater has compiled a collection of five club-ready jams, in which the heavy bass champion provides a call to action to return to a focus on music and not so much the DJ. AC explains – “Back to the Floor is just a statement of where my head is at musically. Taking the focus from the superstar DJ concert back to the clubs. The whole “put your hands up” and shit is cool but it’s kinda played out for me personally. I want to focus more on the music and how it makes the individual feel. Everyone having their own experience and vibing out in the club rather than watching someone tell them what to do. It doesn’t have to be on 10 all the time. It’s okay to zone out and get lost in the music…” We couldn’t agree more with what AC Slater says and his music truly lifts up to his words. Download the EP here or through the Soundcloud links below.
Bristol, UK. A breeding ground of Electronic and Dance music. The city, located in South-West England, is known for throwing some of the best parties in the world and being home to some of the globe’s biggest Dance music producers and DJs. Artists like Eats Everything (check out a cool video of how he came to be HERE), Addison Groove, Breach, Danny Byrd, Julio Bashmore, Riva Starr, Massive Attack, Lee Burridge, Dodge & Fuski, and plenty more all saw their start in Bristol. Know who else did? KOAN Sound. The pair, consisting of Will Weeks and Jim Bastow, were recognized by Skrillex for their unique and polished sound and signed to his label OWSLA, launching them into a world of touring and record release after record release. Today, April 1, KOAN Sound released their effort called the Dynasty EP.
I know KOAN Sound for their unique Glitch sound and the Dynasty EP certainly delivers plenty of that. The four-track release spans just under 20 minutes and KOAN Sound’s press release writes, “The EP’s lush atmospheric soundscapes will undoubtedly enrapture both critics and fans alike, while the duo’s ever-sophisticated signature Funkstep, which belies Glitch, 70s Funk and Bass, will set feet in motion.” To me, Dynasty has two halves. The first half, containing the title track “Dynasty”, sounds like two tracks I’d pin as KOAN Sound productions without knowing who produced them – plenty of Glitch and Funkstep throughout. The second half of the EP contains songs with live instrumentation and brings artists like STS9 and Lotus to mind. “Infinite Funk” contains an awesome slap-Bass line under some Glitchy overtones – Funky as hell! – while “Lost in Thought” is a very mellow track with female vocals samples and a Break Beat.
Overall the EP is very well constructed and gives music fans an understanding an appreciation of KOAN Sound’s wide range of talents. You can pick up the EP over at iTunes by clicking HERE.
Additionally, you can catch the boys on tour this Spring with Bass Music party-starter Minnesota. The tour kicks off right here in Boston at the Middle East and continues through:
4/23 Portland, ME Port City
4/24 Pittsburgh, PA The Rex
4/25 Austin, TX Euphoria Fest*
4/26 Newark, DE University of Delaware (daytime show)
4/26 Philadelphia, PA District N9ne
4/29 Madison, WI Segredo
4/30 Lincoln, NE Bourbon Theater
5/1 Grand Rapids, MI Intersection
5/2 Detroit, MI Elektricity
5/3 Minneapolis, MN The Loft
5/7 Vancouver, BC Celebs
5/8 Victoria, BC 9one9
5/9 San Francisco, CA 1015 Folsom
5/10 Chicago, IL Concord*
5/14 Seattle, WA Foundation
5/15 Phoenix, AZ Monarch Theater*
5/16 Los Angeles, CA Avalon
5/17 Kansas City, MO Uptown Theater
5/21 Virginia Beach, VA Peabodys
5/22 Washington, DC The Howard
5/23 New York, NY Webster Hall
5/24 Chilicothe, IL Summercamp*
5/25 Tampa Bay, FL Sunset Music Fest
*Minnesota not on these dates
If you’re one of the lucky ones traveling from all over the world to attend one of the biggest party weeks of the year then this post is for you. If you won’t be attending Miami Music Week or Ultra Music Festival 2014 you may want to skip to the next post – envy could ensue (especially those of you up here in Boston bracing for yet another Winter storm).
Every year Miami Music Week/Winter Music Conference – whatever you want to call it – gets bigger and better. With more parties than you know what to do with, and one of the world’s largest dance music festivals taking place, it’s hard to be bored during this last week in March. For those who don’t know, there is a comprehensive list of all the events taking place this week, found on MiamiMusicWeek.com – everything from pool parties to all-night parties to club events to sunrise and sunset cruises. There is literally something for every type of dance music fan. Personally speaking, I think it’s great that more of the underground or “less mainstream” artists are getting their chance to shine at these parties.
While I can’t attend every party – or even begin to talk about all of them – I’m here to call out some of the key events I’m looking forward to, and ones that you should definitely consider attending if you haven’t made your plans yet.
We were witness to Amtrac‘s breakout year in 2013 as he turned heads and lifted feet with his up beat house grooves opening for the one and only Kaskade. Amtrac then found his way into many the country’s premiere festival lineups all while releasing free originals and remixes to his streakily growing fan base. 2014 will be more of the same for Amtrac as he is set to storm Miami this week with gigs at OWSLA‘s Good Times and a Skrillex and Friends show at the Mansion before taking the stage at Ultra Music Festival on Sunday afternoon. The fresh waves of music aren’t going anywhere either as he recently teamed up with the POSSO babes for this incredible single. “Don’t Know” leaves the indie disco side of Amtrac at home leaving the heavy house anthem to drown out the beach bound crowds this weekend.
Last night, Skrillex cleverly delivered us a stream for his new album through his new smart phone app/game, Alien Ride. With the announcement of his second Mothership Tour featuring such artists as Dillon Francis, DJ Snake, What So Not, and Milo & Otis, It was a perfect time to release his 11 track LP titled, Recess.
Most people who weren’t on the third annual voyage of Holy Ship!!! (the exclamation points represent how many years it has taken place) are likely one of two things: insanely jealous of those who were, or sick of hearing about it (likely both). When I wrote my wrap-up piece about the Holy Ship!! last year, I explained that at the time I was constantly being asked about how it was. So far it’s been a lot of the same and although I’ll do my best to write about this year’s adventure, a person truly doesn’t understand how magical and how ridiculous it is until you experience Holy Ship first hand. I still haven’t fully wrapped my head around the three-night experience (Jan 9-12), I’m not sure if I ever will, and it’s hard to say where to begin. But I’ll do my best to share as much as I can with you. Again: no one truly understands what Holy Ship is like until you experience it first-hand.
When the lineup was announced months ago, I was absolutely floored by who would be on board. Sure, you have your big names like Skrillex, Diplo, Duck Sauce, Boys Noize, Zedd, Laidback Luke, etc (all of whom I am a fan of), but I always like to do a full survey of the entire list. And within that list I saw names like France’s G-House revolutionaries Amine Edge & Dance, Dirtybird chief Claude Vonstroke, UK duo Disclosure, reinvented Disco-maniac Skream, master of bounce TJR, and oh-so-soulful Slovenian Gramatik (to name but a handful). Oh yes, and the brain behind the whole experience: DESTRUCTO. And let me tell you – when everything was said and done, not one artist on that list disappointed. Well, one of them did but I won’t mention who that was.
Wednesday evening January 8th was the annual pre-party show at South Beach’s Story nightclub. On the docket were Destructo, Oliver, and Zedd. Story is a pretty insane nightclub and holds true to South Beach’s renowned night life scene. Zedd pulled out all the stops and as much as I like to think I’ve moved on from him, he just does not disappoint. Banger after banger, crowd pleasers, sing alongs, and rapid-fire track selections that will keep even the most ADD-riddled human happy. We met some Shipfam, we partied with strangers, and we highly looked forward to setting sail the next day.
One thing about Holy Ship that I learned last year is that there is a lot of waiting involved from start to finish. You wait in line to get on the boat, you wait for your luggage to arrive, you wait for the ship to set sail/for the music to start, you wait to get off the boat for the island parties, you wait to get back on the boat from the island parties, and finally you wait to get checked back in to the U.S. But despite all that waiting the trip is 100% worth it. Why is it worth it? Four stages of music from sun down to sun up. Two private island beach parties. Friends new and old from all over the world. Rubbing shoulders with some of the biggest and best dance music artists in the world. All-in-all it’s about sun, skin, surprises, and letting loose in the Caribbean.