The weekend we’ve been waiting for is finally just a couple weeks away. On Thursday July 31st, the HARD team drops down on the famous Red Rocks amphitheater – featuring sets by Nero, Dillon Francis, Rudimental, Destructo, Julio Bashmore, and Samo Sound Boy. Then, just two days later, HARD returns to its home base of Los Angeles for HARD Summer 2014 – a two-day festival at the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area featuring a massive lineup of some of the best DJs in the world. Headliners for HARD Summer include Jack U, A$AP Mob, Axwell, Flosstradamus, Tiesto, Disclosure, Dillon Francis, and Nero. Tickets for both events are still on sale but they are going fast! Let’s dig in to HARD Red Rocks and HARD Summer 2014 a little deeper and see why these have the potential to be the biggest parties of the Summer.
It’s that time of year again… when you realize you didn’t plan a trip to Miami Music Week and Ultra Music Festival, while the rest of your friends are soaking up the hot Florida sun. Luckily for you, the team behind Ultra and UMF TV have once again rigged the festival with countless high definition cameras to allow us to enjoy the festival from the comfort of our homes during this year’s Ultra live stream 2014. We will update the stream links everyday as well as the set lists so that all you have to do is press play!
Current time in Miami (ET):
UMF TV/Ultra live stream schedule:
Friday, March 28: 4PM – 12AM ET
Saturday, March 29: 3PM – 12AM ET
Sunday, March 30: 3PM – 11PM ET
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.
When I wrote my post on Oliver Heldens a couple weeks ago, a large reason I predicted him to be the breakout artist of 2014 was because of his song “Gecko”, which dropped this Monday on Tiesto’s label Musical Freedom. Of course “Gecko” isn’t the only reason I’m so hot on Dutch producer Oliver Heldens – his remix of Martin Garrix’s “Animals” and part one of his mix series Heldeep Mixtape are the other two reasons. But when you have Pete Tong premiering your song at just 17 years of age, you’re doing something right. And “Gecko” is oh so right. Beatport refers to “Gecko” as a Deep House song, but to any dance music fan you’ll quickly realize this isn’t a Deep House track (you also have to take Beatport categorizations with a grain of salt). What I can say is that Oliver Heldens threw out his earlier Big Room and festival main stage sound for a much funkier, much more aurally pleasing one. If the Heldeep Mixtape and Heldens’ remix of “Animals” are good indicators of things to come, then I’m very excited to keep the teenager on my radar.
If you haven’t heard Oliver Heldens’ “Gecko” then you’re in for a treat – crank it up loud. And if you have heard it, well then you already know this is a big one. Enjoy!
Remember that feeling of pure happiness when Rihanna‘s hit “Stay” would come on the radio? Well now that the world has moved on from that song to the next big one, the New York-based DJ/Producer Branchez is bringing it back with his sexy trap bootleg. Its perfectly mastered, smooth-as-butter sound has some even comparing it to be “an orgasm to your ears”. When the original track first came out, I was just praying for the day someone would step it up and release a dope remix. There have certainly been a number of remixes for the beautiful track before this one, some of my favorite ones being produced by Tiesto and Bass King Vs. X-Vertigo⎯but I’ve decided I’m definitely putting Branchez’s take on “Stay” on a pedestal. Get your FREE DOWNLOAD of Branchez‘s bootleg below!
The ultimate trap duo that is Baauer and RL Grime have teamed up once again and created one hell of a track in support of their Infinite Daps Tour and for the next 48 hours it is free to download! The influence from both artists can be heard so clearly in this track self titled Infinite Daps, with the heavy punching bass line and perfectly placed vocal samples there is no doubt that Baauer had a lot to do with this one. Then with the drop RL Grime brings his mastery of the simplified yet exciting beat to the table. With a clear combination of both Baauer and Grimes sounds this track clearly goes hard from start to finish and is exactly what I would have expected from the duo. After seeing these guys play for two hours back to back at Global Dance Festival last summer I would highly suggest checking out the Infinite Daps tour mixtape below and dates (after the jump) because I can only hope this is what the future of trap music has in store for us. Be sure to grab the DL below and head over to support the fight against aids by purchasing the DANCE (RED) SAVE LIVES 2 compilation album which features this track and many other new and original tracks and remixes from today’s best in the game including; Avicii, Benny Benassi, Bingo Players, Calvin Harris, Dada Life, deadmau5, Ellie Goulding, Flosstradamus, Major Lazer, Martin Solveig, Swedish House Mafia, Tiësto, Tommy Trash and many more!
Tour dates after the jump.