It might seem like missing the point a little to nominate a vocalist for EDM star of 2010 in our little poll here, but he’s featured on so many stellar tracks that he’s become a star in his own right. To be fair, Beatport does give him producer credit on a lot of the tracks he appears on, and though he often works with other DJs and remixers, his presence is always the most memorable element, and his flow has become one of the most recognizable sounds of the year. Collaborators abound, but without a doubt these are Sporty-O tracks.
Hey there, Beatery Nation. Sorry for the lack of posts recently, it’s been a busy week for us all. We’ll return shortly to finish up SYTYCB 2010, to share some great new music from 2011 and, of course, to rock you with some brand new mixes. In the meantime, enjoy a recent set from the Stanton Warriors, recorded live at Avalon Hollywood. Cheers!
Man, I need to stop and catch my breath. The entire holiday season came and went so fast that here it is in late January and I only now realized that back in November one of my old favorites, Digitalism, finally returned after an absence of several years. The duo was hitting their early peak in 2006, just as I was cutting my teeth in the world of electro house, and they brought a thick and unpolished yin to the bright and kitschy yang of producers like Mylo or Kris Menace*. Like Justice without the angst, or Daft Punk without the sampling, Digitalism had a knack for catchy hooks and heavy basslines, and I just couldn’t get enough.
And then they disappeared for several years. As far as I can tell, they didn’t release a single track after 2008, leaving me to wonder if they had burned all that indie electro bad-assery in one brilliant flame in the mid-aughts. Well, never fear, the boys are back with a new single, ‘Blitz‘, and sure enough it’s everything I remember: hard, full, edgy, uplifting. This track makes me want to bounce up and down waving my arms with the crowd in the video (after the break.) Crank this one on the good speakers, and smile knowing that a full Digitalism album is on the way.
Well, we obviously know what party people in San Francisco were doing on New Year’s Eve (or wish they were!) but what about elsewhere in the world?
Today’s mix Friday features an hour-long, live set by Techno super-god Adam Beyer, recorded live in the Drumcode room on NYE at Awakenings in Rotterdam. We don’t do capital-T TECHNO on The Beatery very often, and I was really grooving to this set while giving Mixcloud a spin (more on this below), so it seemed like a perfect opportunity to both focus on the genre for a moment and give their player and ecosystem a spin. Also, dude deserves some love. Despite my many musical wanderings over the years I have always found myself checking in on Mr Beyer’s work as well as the output from his label Drumcode. Speaking of Techno and Drumcode, expect a post from me looking back at the Gainlane series pretty soon.
So, Mixcloud. Apparently Mixcloud has been around for a little while though I didn’t know much about it until recently. They style themselves as the “Youtube for radio”, which basically translates to non-downloadable, user-generated content with a semi-transparent royalty structure providing the foundation for their claim of legality. On the plus side, their interface is very slick and easy to use, and they require track lists both for the end-user experience and also so they know who to pay. The downside is obviously that, like youtube, you can embed away but you can’t actually download anything.
Because of these restrictions though, some great DJs and labels seem to be embracing Mixcloud as a vehicle for releasing mixes and an alternative to iTunes podcasting, so you fine readers may start to see these players popping up around here more often. Give it a whirl (if you haven’t started it already) and let us know if you have an opinion about the format.
Britney’s new track “Hold It Against Me” caused a big hubbub when it dropped last week and incited a lot of soul searching in the dubstep community in particular. Hearing this on the heals of dubstep remixes of seemly every song under the sun, and a glut of new gifted dubstep crossover producers (see Me, Feed and ex, Skrill) bringing in legions of new dubstep converts, and it’s no wonder dubstep diehards are feeling like they need to move The Island, like Lock and Ben did on Lost.
See, I think more than any other sub-genre of electronic music, dubstep prided itself on being different. They wanted the music to be inaccessible. They took pride in it being harsh. They hoped you didn’t get it. They were like how the GOP painted North-East liberals: “elitists”; only 80% younger, dressed in black, grimy, and bringing so much bass and miscellaneous aural artillery to their debaucherous elitist gatherings that they are often mistaken for the onset of World War III.
So how will dubstep react? The underbellies of most genres get more techy or aggressive when the bulk of the sound goes mainstream (see drum & bass, tech house, gabber, glitch, etc), but where exactly down this path could dubstep possibly go? It’s ALREADY techy and aggressive!
Where do you see this going? Will be be hearing dubstep jams in heavy rotation on the radio soon? Has it reached “the tipping point”? Will the dubstep producers line up to “sell out” and go mainstream like they were at Disney World waiting to get into Harry Potter World? Do you like dubstep now any more or less than you did at this point last year?
Here’s a little light dubstep soundtrack for ya while you’re typing out your brilliant insights. This is exactly the light, entry level dubstep that I love and may be making diehards pull their hair out:
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