I hope you all had amazing weekend! Rather than the regular morning update today, we have an evening update of the top stories in the world of Electronic music. On this rainy day in Los Angeles we are catching up on news from Underworld, HARD X MOUTH TAPED SHUT, the Occupy Movement, MTV’s Top DJ’s, and DEADMAU5’s death hoax.
Underworld Announced As Music Directors For The Opening Ceremony Of The London 2012 Olympic Games
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) today announced that British electronic music pioneers Underworld have been appointed Music Directors for the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. The appointment completes the team of senior creatives that will lead the direction of the London 2012 Ceremonies.
Underworld duo Rick Smith and Karl Hyde will work alongside Oscar winning British filmmaker and producer Danny Boyle, Artistic Director of the Opening Ceremony and will be responsible for all the music in the three-hour ceremony taking place on 27 July next summer.
Underworld and Danny Boyle have enjoyed a long and diverse collaboration since Underworld’s track ‘Born Slippy’ featured in Boyle’s film ‘Trainspotting’. Over the following fifteen years the three developed a close relationship, with Smith and Hyde supplying specially created music for ‘A Life Less Ordinary’, ‘The Beach’ and co-scoring the 2007 sci-fi film ‘Sunshine’. In 2010 they came together again to work on the critically acclaimed National Theatre production of ‘Frankenstein’.
Danny Boyle said: ‘Appointing Underworld to direct the music in the Olympic Opening Ceremony is the final piece of the jigsaw for the team of leading British creatives who will deliver the ceremonies.
‘What’s interesting about working with them is how much broader their taste is than you might imagine. With ‘Frankenstein’ we really saw how far we could take a broader approach than we’d used together on the films.’
Rick Smith said: ‘The ‘Frankenstein’ project at the National Theatre was our opportunity to test ourselves as writers and music directors in a completely new environment – Danny asked us to take responsibility for every aspect of the sound and music and encouraged us to draw on a wide musical palette. It was a challenging piece of work with its roots in classic literature, that turned out to be the most fun I’ve ever had.’
Karl Hyde said: ‘We want to leave people with a musical memory of the show rather than a purely visual one. It’s a great honour to be asked to do this and one we’re taking very seriously – it’s certainly not something we’ll get the chance to do again.’
LOCOG has put in place a talented team of leading British creatives to lead the direction of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic ceremonies.
In May 2010 Stephen Daldry, Mark Fisher, Hamish Hamilton, and Catherine Ugwu, were appointed as Executive Producers across all four Ceremonies, and Danny Boyle, was appointed as Artistic Director for the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.
In February 2011 Take That’s creative director Kim Gavin was appointed Artistic Director for the Closing Ceremonies of both the Olympic and Paralympic Games. He was joined by multi-award-winning stage and costume designer Es Devlin and Bond film composer and record producer David Arnold as part of the Closing Ceremonies team.
In June 2011 Jenny Sealey MBE and Bradley Hemmings were appointed as Artistic Directors of the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Hard X Mouth Taped Shut is accepting reservations for SECRET Los Angeles & SF shows
Hard is teaming up with Mouth-Taped-Shut bringing the exclusive and highly secretive Dance party to Los Angeles and San Francisco. The December 11 show in Chicago featured Swedish DJ Sebastian Ingrosso and an opening lineup including James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem.
If the Chicago show is any tell tale sign HARD X MOUTH TAPED SHUT are not messing around with this one.
Thom Yorke and Massive Attack’s 3D Discuss the Occupy Movement
The Occupy London website has posted a new video interview with Thom Yorke and Massive Attack’s Robert ‘3D’ Del Naja, in which both artists voice support for the Occupy movement. The interview was filmed at a holiday party for Occupy London where, as previously reported, both artists performed DJ sets.
According to the Occupy London site, “The performances have been recorded for an album and HD video, to be made available to help raise money for Occupy London and the wider Occupy movement. Both will soon be available on a ‘pay what you want’ basis from the Occupation Records label.”
Yorke explained that the film Inside Job helped him understand the financial crisis. “The banking system, it’s like the law of God, it’s like beyond us, we’re not allowed to think about it,” he said. “Most politicians don’t understand the banking system at all. They’re told they’ve got to mop up, they just mop up.”
When discussing the Occupy movement, he said, “You don’t need to be an anarchist, you don’t need to be someone who smashes the state to have sympathy with that viewpoint.” He added, “I think if the British government is not prepared to really make amends to the British people for this, by penalizing the banks the way they should, then I think we should do it ourselves.”
Del Naja said, “[In America] Congress are trying to back a few people, to protect the wealth of a very few,” he said. “That, on any level is ridiculous and sad.” He added, “It’s organized crime on a global scale.”
Best EDM Artists Of 2011 – MTV counts down the top 10 electronic dance music artists of the year
We’ve been covering the movement, but this year we tapped some of our EDM pros to commemorate a seminal year for the genre. MTV News’ Akshay Bhansali and Adam Stewart, MTV Coordinator of Music & Talent Rawley Bornstein and MTV World Music Director Micah McKinney sat down for a roundtable discussion — moderated by MTV News’ Sway Calloway — about the biggest players this year and crowned our top 10.
10. Martin Solveig
When Irv Gotti stopped by MTV News’ “RapFix Live” in October, he joked, “We’re just one record away from Kanye or Jay [being like]: [sings hook to Solveig’s ‘Hello’] ‘I just came to say hello — Hov!’ ” Gotti was kidding, but it’s true. Rap dudes beware: Songs like “Hello” and guys like Martin have seen such widespread success that the hip-hop industry, which has long enjoyed club and radio dominance, is shook. In addition to being a technically superior producer and DJ, Solveig has also proven to the world that he has a sense of humor. His “Smash” video series — including “Hello,” “Initial S.H.E,” “Ready 2 Go” and “Big in Japan” — are some of the funniest and most well-produced clips of any genre. Kudos to Martin and his “manager” Lafaille for making us laugh and dance in 2011.
Veteran DJ/producer Tiësto might not be trance anymore, but judging by his popularity, fans don’t seem to care. How else do you set a record for the largest single DJ event — 26,000 fans attended his Carson, California, show — in U.S. history? T had hit collabos this year with Mark Knight, Hardwell, Diplo and, oh, Kanye West (sure, the Yeezy track hasn’t been released yet, but everyone’s heard it!). And if you can’t produce like Tiësto, at least now you can look like him: The EDM titan’s Club Life clothing line just hit select stores in New York and L.A.
Coming off a massive 2010 highlighted by Dynasty, Kaskade watched as his 2011 studio album, Fire & Ice, quickly became a staple in a healthy EDM diet. With features from Skrillex and Dada Life, and even vocals from rising star Skylar Grey, you’d be hard-pressed to find music lovers who couldn’t identify with or enjoy his breezy music in one way or another. The Illinois native pioneered the Identity Festival, which brought real-deal dance to America’s small cities. He also conquered Las Vegas’ day and nightlife and was named America’s Top DJ of 2011. Not a bad year for Mr. Ryan Raddon, not a bad year at all.
7. Calvin Harris
2011 was a marquee year for this Scotsman. Riding high on the success of Ready for the Weekend, Harris “Bounce”-ed and “Awooga”-ed with his adoring EDM fans the world over. He also infiltrated the mainstream by teaming up with Rihanna for a pair of hit collabos: the chart-topping “We Found Love” and “Where Have You Been.” As he gears up for his third studio album, Harris’ presence in EDM and pop culture is undeniable, and at this pace, he’ll be unstoppable in 2012.
This year, Avicii underscored his place as dance music’s “Piano Man” (sorry, Bill Joel fans!). It started with “Blessed” (featuring Shermanology), continued with “Fade Into Darkness” (and Leona Lewis’ “Collide,” let’s be real) and capped off with the eagerly awaited release of “Levels.” Yes, Avicii’s keys and vocals went pop in ’11, and Flo Rida would certainly back us up on this as his Etta James vocal is sampled on Flo’s “Good Feeling.” To close out the year, Sweden’s Tim Bergling (stage names: Avicii, Tim Berg, Tom Hangs) is nominated for the Best Dance Recording Grammy with David Guetta for DG’s “Sunshine.” But before that Big Apple ball drops, Avicii will rock New York with a sold-out New Year’s Eve show.
Holland’s towering bleep-bender put on a spectacle of versatility in the past 12 months. Afro-beats scored monster mainstream U.S. radio singles for Beyoncé, Chris Brown and Pitbull. And then there’s his EDM game: Nearly a dozen collabos bearing his name charted in Beatport.com’s top 10, with Nervo, Steve Aoki, R3hab and Quintino onboard for a few. He wrapped up the year with a Grammy nom and the earth-shaking single “Lionheart,” and we can only pray he’ll deliver a video for it in ’12 … with a Jean-Claude Van Damme cameo.
4. Swedish House Mafia
Dubbed by MTV News as the “holy trinity of house music,” the rock stars of dance were everywhere this year, from “Miami 2 Ibiza,” Las Vegas to Brazil and all points in between. Not only did they succeed as a unified front, but Axwell, Steve Angello and Sebastian Ingrosso also soared as individual brands. And thanks to their Size, Axtone and Refune record labels, stellar acts like Thomas Gold, Swanky Tunes, Junior Sanchez, Third Party, Max Vangeli, AN21 and buzzworthy young rookie Alesso are on the verge of becoming household names. On the heels of a historic show at New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden this week, and a 2012 Grammy nod for “Save the World,” the Swedish Flag has been firmly planted in the American EDM soil.
“4×4=12″ cranked out hit after hit after hit. He nailed well over 100 live tour dates on the Meowingtons Hax Tour, earned RIAA gold with “Ghosts N Stuff” and headlined the traditionally all-rock Lollapalooza fest. Did we mention the wonder born Joel Zimmerman turned a skyscraper into a 4-D experience in London and bid farewell to a Playmate? I mean, who else can say they did that? The dude has balls N stuff.
2. David Guetta
David Guetta’s career has definitely gone pop this year — including the radio hits “Where Them Girls At” (featuring Nicki Minaj and Flo Rida) and “Without You” (featuring Usher) — but for EDM purists, his Nothing but the Beat had plenty to offer too, like stellar co-productions with Afrojack (“Lunar” and “The Future”) and Avicii (on the Grammy-nominated “Sunshine”). DJ Mag crowned Guetta the #1 DJ on the planet, and he headlined the world’s biggest festival’s, including Belgium’s Tomorrowland, Miami’s Ultra Music Festival and Las Vegas’ Electric Daisy Carnival. Guetta’s American Music Awards performance with Minaj seems to indicate that “Turn Me On” will be the next single from Nothing but the Beat, and fans can expect a shocking new video (and much more, we’re sure) early next year.
MTV’s EDM Artist of 2011 scored a whopping five Grammy nominations this year, including being the first DJ to land a Best New Artist nod. Indeed, Skrill’s musical background — both on his own and as a member of his former group, From First to Last — has carried over into his brand of fiery electronica. Skrillex has garnered an audience the world over that includes ravers, house heads and rockers alike. In today’s laptop generation of music, Skrillex is the new “rock.” From his remix of Benny Benassi and Gary Go’s “Cinema” to the recent Avicii pop song “Le7els” (not officially released yet), Skrillex dropped massive re-workings in ’11, in addition to his More Monsters and Sprites EP. He scored video games, produced records for Korn, launched his own OWSLA label and hit almost every major festival in the States, including Coachella and Lollapalooza. An exceptional catalog of releases coupled with an incessant touring schedule has made Skrillex the biggest EDM star of the year, and in 2012, he plans to tour 322 of the 365 days.
Deadmau5 Mocks Latest Death Hoax: ‘Thought We Had All Agreed on Acid…’
(photo via Rukes)
Deadmau5 is not dead. Again. He is dead funny, though.
The superstar DJ also known as Joel Zimmerman woke up Monday morning to yet another death hoax making its way through the twittersphere (and one gullible Australian music news site) after pranksters altered his Wikipedia page to read: “On December 11, 2011, a day after performing at the 2011 Spike Video Game Awards Joel collapsed in his hotel room in Los Angeles due to exhaustion and apparent Alcohol intoxication.”
Whomever edited this wiki got pretty darn detailed, considering it allegedly happened only hours earlier, writing: “After friends attempted to enter his room but were unable to get a response, they reportedly called his phone, then asked management to open the door after he didn’t answer. They found him on the floor, not breathing. He was subsequently rushed to the emergency room and pronounced dead on arrival.”
In reality, Deadmau5 did perform at the VGA awards and, according to his later tweet, “did get pretty wasted last night.” But mostly Zimmerman just seemed disappointed at how boring his supposed death was.
“Once again, extremely disappointed by the insanely uncreative death rumor,” he posted on Facebook. “i thought we had all agreed on acid spitting koala’s skydiving and volcano? oh well… still glad to see some ‘press’ taking this s— seriously.”
This follows CNN allegedly reporting that Skrillex had snuffed it in a plane crash on Dec. 9. While the dubstep producer tweeted his disappointment (“Third death rumor about me this year…wtf?”) we’re sure Deadmau5 was totes jealous that his DJ peer got a more interesting death hoax than, y’know, getting drunk.