Good morning, I hope you all had a great weekend! We have another update with a wealth of news concerning Justice on their new album, Dada Life’s live webcast, Fedde Le Grand’s North American tour, the SnowGlobe lineup, a possible Deep Dish reunion, Universal & Sony buying EMI, Daft Punk, and the electronic music scene in Las Vegas. Read more after the jump.
Go Behind the Making of Justice’s ‘Audio Video Disco’
From February 1, 2010 to June 15, 2011, Justice were slaving on Audio Video Disco in their French studio. “We just make what feels natural,” Xavier de Rosnay says in a new video series exploring the making of the disc. “Electronic music has been thought of as being music for the night and the city, and we made this album thinking of daytime and the countryside.”
When SPIN interviewed de Rosnay and Gaspard Augé for our Dance Issue, the pair gave us the ten ways they transformed themselves from hard-partying, chain-smoking Parisian club kids into an arena-rock band for the 21st century. The best of the bunch: Disavow your big pop hit and the fans it won you. “We thought ‘D.A.N.C.E.’ would be a suicide single,” Augé said. “We almost made it in reaction to ‘Nazareth,’ because people were expecting some hard, heavy song. It’s pointless to predict what songs will work with fans. It’s almost paralyzing, so we don’t think about that at all.”
Check out the duo’s introduction to the series now. Keep an eye out for the next installment where the band explains the genesis of “Horsepower” and “Civilization.”
Dada Life announce ‘Tight Space’ live stream performance
Dada Life, the Swedish electro house duo, are the second act to join forces with premium external storage solution provider G-Technology by Hitachi to present a live web broadcast as part of the groundbreaking ‘Tight Space’ streaming series of European performances and interviews.
The forthcoming web streaming event will showcase Dada Life’s DJ set broadcast live across the globe from an event at the legendary Queen Club in Paris on Saturday, 10 December at 1am GMT/2am CET. This exclusive content is only available to fans who ‘Like’ the G-Technology Europe page on FacebookÂ® where they’ll gain access to the live performances.
The innovative partnership continues the exciting continent-wide ‘Tight Space’ campaign by G-Technology Europe, touching down in one of the most exciting places for electronic music and technology right now, Paris. The event at the Queen Club promises to be exciting and energetic as Stockholm-based Dada Life takes their live set to a screaming crowd of more than 1,000 fans.
The stream with Dada Life will be the fifth in the ‘Tight Space’ series, which brings technology and electronic dance music together for the first time in a live-streaming setting. The duo join the ranks along with other DJs such as Above & Beyond, A-Trak, Treasure Fingers and Chromeo as pioneers in this global offering of live performances being broadcast through Facebook. In their quest to be leaders in the digital creative space, G-Technology’s partnership with these artists will surely send a positive message to the creative community around the world.
Said Dada Life of the campaign: “It’s always fun to work with brands that dare to try new stuff like this. And it’s really cool what all this new technology can do! In this case a lot of people around the globe – without even being in the club with us – can follow us and see all the stupid stuff that goes down when we play live. We just hope it’s all water proof…or actually champagne proof!”
Fedde Le Grand Announces Final Tour of 2011
With five number 1 Beatport hits this year alone, a summer residency at the world’s #1 club Space, debuts at Coachella in California and Exit in Serbia, a summer Takeover tour that criss-crossed the European continent at breakneck pace, and his support of none other than Coldplay in concert in Madrid, le Grand‘s status is cemented absolute as a world pioneer leader of electronic music.
Supporting Fedde on his tour will be one of the fastest rising superstars of the new generation and Fedde’s own pick as his breakthrough act of 2011, Deniz Koyu. With Tung! And Herz both released on Flamingo Recordings this year to phenomenal success, Deniz will be no doubt be adding some extra fireworks to each of le Grand’s shows.
The essential dates are:
December 7th Ann Arbor (MI) The Necto
December 8th Washington DC Lima
December 9th New York City Pacha
December 10th Chicago The Mid
December 13th Orlando Senso
December 14th Atlanta Opera
December 15th Tampa Amphitheater
December 16th Toronto This Is London
December 17th Miami LIV
Here it is if you missed the announcement last week!
Deep Dish “Talking” About Reforming
In a recent interview with Mixmag Sharam admitted Deep Dish are, “talking about” reforming for a new project. The Grammy award winning house DJ and producer says, “We’ve been talking about it. We’ve all been really busy doing our own thing…but we have been talking about it.”
He explained the reason they split is because they, “felt limited.” He says, “We achieved things one could only dream of. It was frustrating because at times you would go to a gig, and they would not really respect you because the other guy wasn’t there. We’re two individual people.
So now we’ve achieved that, the idea (of reuniting) is becoming more pleasant.”
See the full interview below.
Universal and Sony Buy EMI
EMI’s recorded music division includes such artists as David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Coldplay, Blur/Gorillaz, Beastie Boys, LCD Soundsystem, Queen, Roxy Music, Snoop Dogg, and a little band called the Beatles. EMI Publishing Group’s catalog features Arcade Fire, Daft Punk, Kanye West, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Amy Winehouse, Lou Reed, Drake, Joanna Newsom, Kate Bush, and many more.
The deals still have to pass European and U.S. regulating committees, however. As Billboardreports, the Independent Music Companies Association (IMPALA), which represents European independent labels such as Rough Trade, XL, Matador, 4AD, Epitaph, and PIAS,objected to the sales, telling the European Commission that such mergers would create monopolies.
The sales come just about nine months after CitiGroup took over EMI from Terra Firma Capital, a private equity firm that bought the music group in 2007 and was subsequently swallowed by debt.
Billboard reports that in a press release from Universal, Mick Jagger is quoted: “This is a very positive development and I particularly welcome the fact that EMI will once again be owned by people who really do have music in their blood.”
Daft Punk Speculation
The group’s website has changed to just a simple splash page… What do you think they have in the works?
What Happens In Vegas…
To paraphrase Hunter S Thompson on Las Vegas: “There’s madness in any direction, at any hour. You can strike sparks anywhere. There’s a fantastic universal sense that whatever we’re doing is right, that we’re winning.”
It’s a pretty accurate description of Mixmag’s debut club night in Vegas here at the Encore Beach Club. It’s 4pm on a Sunday afternoon in late September but the desert sun is really unforgiving. At 36C it’s so hot that the bars around the three pools of the club spray out a cooling water vapour to keep the crowds of clubbers comfortable enough to dance.
With the weather this hot it makes sense for Mixmag’s first monthly Vegas party to be paired with Pete Tong, who’s been hosting ‘Pete’s Pool Parties’ at the Encore Beach Club all summer. The venue is made up of 60,000sq feet of daybeds, dancefloors and decadence. The crowd are wearing board shorts or bikinis and sipping from jugs of margaritas and mojitos in the outdoor club – which cost $68m to build.
The venue is one of the most beautiful day clubs in the world and has helped spearhead the rise of the pool party, which is just one of the reasons that the last 12 months in Vegas has changed everything in clubland.
“The beach party phenomena kicked off last year,” Tongy says, sipping a double espresso in the welcomingly air-conditioned Society Café inside the luxurious Encore hotel. “I was booked to play here and noticed my set time was 1pm. I thought it was a mistake. I came here at midday and there were 5,000 people out already. I looked around and thought ‘this could turn into something’. It was definitely something we don’t have in Ibiza.’”
It wasn’t just the opulence of Encore Beach Club that made Mixmag want to make this place home, it was its residents. Along with Tongy, Deadmau5, Afrojack and Skrillex all play here regularly.
At night the outdoor part of the venue links to Surrender, an indoor club filled with strip poles and cocktails, to make the ultimate indoor and outdoor club. It’s the same spot where resident Calvin Harris set his ‘Bounce’ video. Two nights ago, under a hammering of screeching dubstep, Skrillex was stood on top of the decks lobbing oversized styrofoam glowsticks out to a frenetic mix of club kids, Hollywood producers and a stunned Mixmag team. So how did we get to this point?
America hasn’t just suddenly ‘got’ dance music – they invented DJing, house and techno, remember? But dance got sidelined behind more popular home-grown genres like hip hop, rock and, ahem, country music. Eleven years ago Mixmag reported on the States’ ‘Summer Of Love’. Back then, while a scattering of cities had a modest DJ culture, raves were held in the deserts in between LA and Vegas. Events with 30,000 people became common but George Bush’s anti-rave bill (put through as The Ecstasy Prevention Act of 2001) hampered their growth at the same time cities like New York were being ‘cleaned up’ and sanitised with earlier closing times and restrictive licences.
Dance music (or EDM, Electronic Dance Music, as Americans annoyingly refer to it) has slowly risen again. Hip hop stars began to use dance producers to make chart hits, internet radio allowed Americans to broaden their musical tastes and, while all this was happening, huge festivals like Ultra in Miami, Electric Daisy Carnival in LA and Electric Zoo in New York have grown year on year to reignite DJ culture.
So how did Vegas – once home to cigar- chomping slot-lovers as opposed to the fluoro- socked beautiful people we’ve been dancing with all day at Mixmag’s event – change? The shift in Vegas is credited to the same man who was also pivotal in bringing clubbing as we know it to the UK: Paul Oakenfold.
It was Oakie’s groundbreaking (albeit mocked, at the time) residency at Palm’s Rain night club in 2008 that changed the way Vegas looked at DJs. Oakenfold’s night with fire machine, lasers, LED screens and off-duty Cirque De Soleil girls swinging from the ceiling didn’t just change how a DJ was perceived but also, crucially, the acceptable music policy for an entire city.
“We knew we were doing something different,” says Paul, now based in LA. “But that’s what made it good. At the time, every single club focused on hip hop. In my mind I thought it was a no-brainer.”
“Paul and I were told by many that we were going to fail and that it would never work,” says Michael Fuller of The Palms, who set up the game-changing residency. “Someone had to take the leap of faith and put a proper international club experience on a Saturday night, and bet the bank on it. ‘Paul Oakenfold presents Perfecto Vegas’ took Las Vegas to the tipping point.”
Today, driving down Vegas’ infamous Strip, you’ll see billboards for Steve Aoki and Armin Van Buuren where Celine Dion and David Copperfield once loomed. And those same posters for Vegas clubs are also all over LA, one of the biggest cities in the world, just a four-hour drive away.
But Oakie wasn’t the only Brit integral in realigning the Vegas nightlife. Neil Moffit (best known in the UK for setting up Godskitchen and Global Gathering) was one of the first promoters to set up a club outside of the huge Vegas hotels – no mean feat in the town he says is the most cut-throat in the world.
“If you think Ibiza is competitive, it’s nothing compared to here,” Neil tells Mixmag in Pure nightclub, which last night hosted a party for Jennifer Lopez. “There are tens of millions of dollars invested in nightclubs here. When I built [Birmingham superclub] Code in 1999 I got change out of £1m. I’ve got a project on the table here that costs $80m. It’s a whole different game.”
Vegas’ nightlife is evolving faster than you can say “No more bets, please”. Three years ago, of the town’s 130 or so bars and nightclubs, 80 per cent played hip hop. Today, it’s 80 per cent dance. The American economy slowing down has meant gambling revenues have fallen, but the clubs are full.
“It was only a matter of time before electronic music got its place over here,” says Chuckie, who plays at Vegas’ Marquee club. “It’s the perfect environment for DJs and artists because a lot of DJs have a residency now; it’s only natural that it grew this fast.”
“The crowd has changed a lot this past year,” says Zen Freeman, an LA-based British DJ who now opens for Paul Oakenfold. “The majority of people used to come to Vegas for the gambling and strip clubs. Now they come from all over for the EDM. Where else on a Saturday afternoon can you see Pete Tong, Deadmau5 and Laidback Luke at three different hotel pools, and then see Steve Angello, Erick Morillo, Paul Oakenfold and Tiësto at four different clubs at night?”
This summer American dance music had its Woodstock in the shape of The Electric Daisy Carnival, a 250,000-capacity dance festival that left LA for the first time to come to Vegas’ Motor Speedway, much to the delight of the city’s mayor, Oscar Goodman, who declared the week surrounding the festival “Electric Daisy Carnival Week” despite not actually knowing what “Electric Daisy music” was.
Vegas does have an underground scene, but doesn’t shout about it. An after-hours spot called Drai’s is the closest thing The Strip has to an afterparty. Notorious as one of the first places in Vegas to regularly book house DJs, the low-lit, plush basement venue was playing Maya Jane Coles tracks when Mixmag popped in. “Tiësto likes it here,” says manager Marc Snanoudj. “A lot of the big DJs come down here after they’ve played elsewhere.” But the real underground is downtown in an area known as Freemont East District. Lounges like Insert Coins and Vanguard are filled with hipsters who take pride in telling you they wouldn’t be seen dead on The Strip.
With its new love affair with DJ culture, the Vegas tourist board has been quick to compare the city to Ibiza.
“It’s further to travel for Brits,” says Jo Hartley, account director for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. “But then the room rates are extremely competitive and it’s not seasonal, so while you have to wait until May to visit Ibiza, here you can do it all year round.”
But not everyone likes the comparison. Back in May, at Ibiza’s IMS conference, a hall of delegates voted on whether Vegas could become an equivalent of the White Isle. The reply was a 100 per cent answer of ‘No’. Eddie Dean of Pacha New York argued that, “It’s insulting to Ibiza to compare them. Ibiza is organic and natural.”
But Markus Schulz, who has been a resident DJ in Vegas and Ibiza, says the opposite. “All the promoters from the desert raves have grown up and are running the Vegas club scene. In that way Vegas does have hippy roots in the scene. It is organic. It’s not been started by people in suits.”
The most obvious difference between clubbing in Vegas compared to the UK is the crowds. For a start, if you’re under 21 you’re not getting in anywhere. Secondly, although drugs may be easy to get hold of away from the clubs, you won’t see anyone getting messy in them because the venues have too much to lose. At many clubs, if you don’t have guest list you may wait for over an hour (and in some places two) And the best clubs can be picky about who comes in, something the UK’s clubs stopped doing in the 90s.
The Vegas crowds are mainly tourists, but it’s the rise of regular clubbers from LA that is changing the way clubbing is perceived.
“I could play tonight at Marquee and it would probably be a different crowd than last night,” says Markus Schulz. “I think the next step is boutique clubs where the music is more niche and DJs can be discovered out here.”
Vegas clubs make their money through the bars, which means tailoring for the upper echelons of the crowd with table service and VIP culture. But this also ensures clubs won’t close ’til they’ve stopped making money, which is where the 24-hour licensing comes in.
One party that is showing no signs of stopping is Mixmag’s event at Encore. Tongy drops Azari & III’s ‘Hungry For The Power’ and there’s so much dancing in the pool that the water starts forming white water rapids.
Kaskade, one of the biggest names on the Vegas circuit and a fellow regular at Encore & Surrender, tells us that “Vegas crowds are getting more knowledgeable about dance music. When I first started playing here, people were at the clubs just because they wanted to be somewhere to party, the soundtrack was not a concern for them. Now you have thousands of people seeking out specific artists and shows. That’s something new for dance music in Vegas.”
With the sun in his eyes, Pete leans over from his DJ booth to echo Kaskade’s sentiment. “You don’t have to do the lowest common denominator thing any more. I’m playing what I pretty much do in Ibiza and it’s going off! It’s taken the whole of this summer to get to this point, but it’s happening. Slowly but surely.”
Bottomless budgets, endless talent and clubs that make every night feel like NYE: Vegas has invested a lot of dollar to become clubland’s new playground. And the house always wins.
Mixmag’s monthly Las Vegas club night takes place at Encore Beach Club/Surrender. Our next event is the Mixmag Halloween party with Afrojack on Oct 28, then Thanksgiving Eve with Dada Life on Nov 23