Good morning! Today’s stories feature Treasure Island Festival (lineup pictured above), Live Nation x HARD, Jamie Jones, Madonna, and Huxley. Please read on after the jump.
Treasure Island Music Festival 2012 Lineup Revealed
On Tuesday morning, Another Planet Entertainment released the full lineup for the 2012 Treasure Island Music Festival, and it’s a doozy. This year’s headliners include Girl Talk, Public Enemy, The XX and M83.
As done in years prior, the sixth annual sonic celebration in middle of the San Francisco Bay has sorted bands by genre, with electronic/dance acts kicking off the festival on Saturday and indie-rock closing it down on Sunday.
The festival runs the weekend of October 13th and 14th.
With parking on the 535-acre man-made island extremely limited (and biking not exactly a viable way to make it halfway across the Bay Bridge), shuttles will run constantly from the parking lot of San Francisco’s AT&T Park. Packing thousands of bright-eyed festival goers on buses is a guaranteed recipe for a good time.
The relatively small space allocated to the festival necessitates a setup where the two stages are set up on opposite sides of a single field. Acts on each stage trade off sets, with one beginning the moment the previous one finishes. There’s no waiting and no missing anything–it’s an ideal situation
Tickets go on sale Wednesday, June 27.
(via Huffington Post)
Electronic music promoters Hard Events purchased by Live Nation
Big money is flowing into electronic dance music. In the latest example of corporate interest in this once-ignored market, Live Nation Entertainment said on Tuesday that it had acquired Hard Events, a Los Angeles company that has put on popular festivals and concerts across North America.
Yet such investments are fueling fears that a bubble is taking hold in the world of electronic dance music, or E.D.M., jeopardizing the creative and commercial health of the music. The issue has been intensely debated inside the music business, and recently some of the genre’s stars have sounded alarms as well.
“E.D.M. has turned into a massively marketed cruise ship, and it’s sinking fast,” the D.J. and producer Deadmau5 wrote on his Tumblr page on Tuesday. “All I’m trying to do is put on my life jacket and swim as far away from this shipwreck as fast as I can.”
The stakes are high for dance music. So far this year Live Nation has also bought Cream Holdings, a major British dance promoter, and the media mogul Robert F.X. Sillerman has begun what he says will be $1 billion in acquisitions. Young and relatively untested D.J.’s like Avicii have had mixed success playing in amphitheaters and arenas this summer, leading some industry leaders to say they are preparing for a “market correction.”
For many of the independent promoters who have dominated the dance market over the last two decades, Wall Street investment could provide a welcome cushion in a risky business, and fuel expansion in to new markets. But they also worry that corporate involvement will damage the culture of E.D.M.
In an interview earlier this year with The New York Times, Gary Richards, the veteran promoter and D.J. who founded Hard Events, was one of those people voicing concern, saying, “You can’t just franchise this like McDonald’s.” On Tuesday, he defended his decision to sell to Live Nation, saying that the deal would help him expand Hard, while maintaining its character.
“I’m always going to fight the good fight,” Mr. Richards said. “The reason I’m different from other festivals is that I bring the new thing, develop it and bring it to the masses. This will only be able to help, because now instead of just L.A. and New York, I will be able to do this in South Africa, South America. It’s only a good thing.”
Financial terms of Hard’s deal with Live Nation were not disclosed. In interviews, Mr. Richards and Michael Rapino, the president of Live Nation, both said it would expand into new markets, although they indicated that nothing was imminent; Hard’s major festival, Hard Summer, will be held in Los Angeles on Aug. 3 and 4, with Skrillex, Chromeo, Squarepusher, James Murphy and dozens of others.
Live Nation has taken steps to establish itself as a credible force in electronic music. When it bought Cream Holdings, it made the company’s respected founder, James Barton, president of Live Nation’s electronic division. Mr. Barton said he had the confidence of Mr. Rapino to build stable dance properties.
“Are we going to be put under tremendous pressure to change?” Mr. Barton said in an interview. “No, not frankly. I don’t see that today, and I’m not seeing that in the future.”
Others in the business worry that the integrity of the festivals, which have developed an idiosyncratic culture since the music first became popular in the 1980s, would be compromised under corporate control. Neil Moffitt, the chief executive of Angel Management Group, a live entertainment company in Las Vegas, was critical of Live Nation’s stewardship of major dance music events, citing a joint venture deal in 2006 for the British festival Global Gathering, which he said quickly deteriorated.
Mr. Moffitt said he was concerned about the long-term intentions of investors like Mr. Sillerman, who in the 1990s combined regional rock promoters into a national entity, and sold it to Clear Channel Communications for $4.4 billion. (Clear Channel later spun it off as Live Nation, which since going public in 2005 has never turned an annual profit.)
“If their objective is to create a second generation of electronic music, where they’re well-funded and have great infrastructure, and the music has a great future, then I’m all for it,” he said. “But if the intent is to sweep up an untapped part of the music industry, take it to the stock market, and everybody cashes out and watches it dissipate, that would be very disappointing.”
Mr. Rapino said that while large-scale E.D.M. events have long been popular in Europe, they are relatively new in the United States, and therefore few promoters had long experience with them.
“It’s not like anyone’s been doing this for a long time,” Mr. Rapino said. “No one has a historic ownership of the space. This is a fragmented marketplace, and we believe that if we can hire credible players that have been in this space, doing what they do best, that we’ll be able to build a smart division.”
Yet promoters like Mr. Richards are part of a generation of independent operators who have been at it for as long as 20 years, and lived through more than one music industry hype cycle in which electronic music seemed on the verge of a mainstream breakthrough, only to retreat into subcultural status.
“The music business is always like this,” Mr. Richards said. “Some genre comes along, and there’s all this attention on it all of a sudden, and then when you look at it you say, who were the pioneers of that genre? And those are one ones that always last.”
(via New York Times)
Jamie Jones discusses new LP, Hot Natured’s upcoming concept album, and making music with his cat
London-based house producer/DJ Jamie Jones may just be rolling out his new solo LP,Tracks From The Crypt, which collects a bunch of his singles new and old, but that hardly means he’s sitting back on his laurels. In fact, at the same time as co-running the Hot Creations label, Jones is already knee-deep producing the next Hot Naturedalbum, in collaboration with Lee Foss, Luca C, and Ali Love.
Just before flying over to Detroit’s Movement Festival, the 31-year-old took a few minutes to chat with us, and gave us the lowdown on Tracks From The Crypt, his love for Underground Resistance, and why cats can sometimes prove useful in recording studios.
How is it in London today?
It’s good. I’m in the bat cave of the studio in Northwest London, recording vocals for the new Hot Natured album.
When do you expect to be finished with that record?
Hopefully by the end of the summer; probably releasing it early next year. The earliest would be before the end of this year, but it’ll probably be early next year.
Are you deep into it already?
Yeah, really deep into it. We’re not currently writing any new songs—we’ve got about 17, 18 songs written—and we’re working in, like, big studios and laying down all the vocals properly and doing everything in Pro Tools and adding live percussion in, touches and fills, and just working on the edits of the tracks.
When you speak about “writing” in the sense of making electronic music, especially with Lee Foss, what does that exactly entail? How would you characterize a writing session?
Well, the Hot Natured album is actually gonna be—it’s myself, Lee, Luca C, and Ali, basically Hot Natured and Infinity together. We’re moving away from calling anything—like the parties or anything—Hot Natured, because when we launch with the album, the Hot Natured project will become kind of a four-piece outfit. Which is what this album is about, with many collaborators. So the writing process usually entails myself writing a beat, a bassline, or a sound or melody, with Ali and Luca, and then we sit it down together and start writing melody hooks for vocals and instruments and then come up with a song concept that fits with the concept of the album. And then we start writing down lyrics, verses, choruses, etc., and start structuring a basic song. Then we usually have a two- or three-minute song together, and once we’re happy with that, we sort of set it aside and then it gets taken to the stage we’re at now.
It sounds like the process that a typical band would undergo for putting together a record.
Yeah, it is pretty much. It’s not the same as making club-track techno or house records or whatever, because the album is very lyric-based; it’s got a concept, and all the songs are in keeping with it, and they’re all songs that are very lyrical-based with meaningful lyrics.
So what’s the concept of the record?
Ha! That’s kind of a secret. It’s a story that ties in—it’s kind of science-fiction-based. It also kind of ties in the way that Lee and I met. I’ve not gonna give it all away but it ties in some weird stuff to do with, like, planets and spirituality, and, you know—it’s a concept.
I know you’re a big fan of Detroit music. Are you excited about playing Movement?
Yeah, of course I am. I love Detroit. I’ve been going there for the festival—I think this is my fourth festival? I’ve also been there outside the festival; I’ve got many friends from Detroit now. The city’s got a great energy. You really feel it’s a city with people who’ve been through hard times but have a super-positive attitude towards everything besides that. And obviously out of a situation like that comes so much creativity, and you just feel the raw energy and vibe of the city when you’re there from walking down the streets, when you’re in bars, restaurants, meeting people. You go back there and the bellboys in the hotels remember everybody’s name. It’s just really nice, so it’s a really special time to go back there. The city comes to life for the festival. And it’s also very music-based. I mean, I love Miami, and I’d never wanna compare the two, but the difference is Detroit’s very underground-music-based, and all weekend it’s people you wanna hear play, and it’s much smaller and intimate as well.
Who were some of the first Detroit artists that caught your ear?
I would say probably the first people were Underground Resistance. ObviouslyDerrick May and stuff, I’ve always liked the big “Strings Of Life,” and all those things, but that properly caught my attention maybe even before that was Underground Resistance. I remember being into them from almost the beginning of my buying records, maybe 15 years ago—records like Galaxy 2 Galaxy, and obviously ”Knights Of The Jaguar.” I remember being in Ibiza in Cocoon when it was still a proper German techno night, like in 2000. My mate who I lived with at the time was a real techno head, and back then techno meant techno—there was nothing under 132 BPM,Richie Hawtin still had a bald head and glasses, and was doing his Decks, EFX & 909 thing, and I remember Sven Vath there—and then it was, you know, a third busy of what it is now, probably—and he dropped “Knights Of The Jaguar.” And I already knew the record ‘cause it had been out for about six months or a year, or even more, but it’s such an amazing piece of electronic music, and probably that’s one of the most important things for me.
What do you want people to get out of your music?
Ummm… happiness? [laughs] Maybe a mood-changer, you know? I think music just changes your mood. You can be at a party or in a car or anything, and if a piece of music that touches you comes on, it can completely change your mood. You can go from sad to happy in a second. And if I can do that to someone at any point in the day…
Which songs on Tracks From The Crypt are particularly meaningful to you?
I would say “Tonight In Tokyo” with Luca C. I was in Tokyo last year and we hung out there for a few days, and it was kind of the first time that we made music together. It was just done in one night in the place he was staying. It was cool ‘cause it’s a moment in time, and each track is a snapshot of what’s going on with me. My life moves so quickly, so it’s kind of nice that those tracks just bring me back to a point in time and remind me of it.
What makes a track—like yours or anyone’s—memorable for you?
That’s the key for me when you’re making records—there’s loads of tracks that kind of do nothing and are great, but they don’t stay in your memory for very long because they haven’t got something interesting or quirky. Whether it’s a catchy vocal hook, it does something tricky in the production… I think that’s the defining thing between an average producer and somebody who makes magical records or who can really set their own standard in what they’re doing—being able to take a good groove, good melody, good beat, whatever, and catch people’s attention with it in a weird way. For big records, I think there’s always a moment where you can go to another person and say, “You know, the one that goes like that.” That’s talking about club records, now. Obviously, lyrics are something that make a lot of music memorable when you’re discussing hip-hop or vocal-based music.
I think that definitely applies to a lot of your tracks. I was listening to “Our Time In Liberty” and was just thinking that it’s such a weird tune.
That’s another moment, going back to the previous question, that was made during my second or third time I’d been to Toronto, and I was hanging out with the Art Department boys at Johnny White’s house. We were all at an after-party at his house, and we said, “Should we make a tune?” And we just started knocking it out on my laptop, and Kenny [Glasgow] was literally singing into the laptop, and I think that’s still the original vocal. It’s called “Our Time In Liberty” ‘cause Johnny White’s street is Liberty Street.
Was there a certain vibe you were going for with it, because it sounds like it was improv’d—there’s a silly, playful element to it.
Yeah, it was just spur-of-the-moment. I think that’s the fun thing about house and techno. We’re sitting in the studio doing this Hot Natured album and as we want it to go as far as it can, and reach as many people as possible, without compromising anything, we’re making sure it’s suitable for radio and it’s more polished because that’s what we want to go for with this, but the fun thing with house and techno is you can literally do anything—you can sound as raw and quirky as you want to. And that’s a prime example, something like “Our Time In Liberty.”
When you go for those quirky sounds, is it just you experimenting by running up and down the keyboard, or do you have a compositional background where you kind of know what sound you’re looking for—and maybe it’s more calculated than it seems?
It used to be a lot less calculated. Now, I’ve obviously been producing for many years, so I can put down a lot of stuff that’s in my head—whether it’s a sound, effect, melody—I can get most things down onto the keyboard or into the machines now. But it used to be a lot more playing about and seeing what happened. But yeah, the way that I work in the studio is literally pressing Record and just playing about with the synthesizers. I mainly use hardware, so sometimes you’ll get a crazy noise just out of switching patches on a synth—just the sound that’s in between things switching. I just recorded a cat for a remix for Hercules & Love Affair, so just mad things like that—anything that’s a bit different, I guess.
What have you learned from Lee Foss working together over the years?
I’m really forward-thinking, always looking for the new thing, the new sound, this and that, whilst Lee has a kind of staple thing that he’s into, which is probably less techno-oriented than I am. Maybe it’s more American hip-hop that he’s got a background in. And that’s how Hot Natured started—a combination of my love for disco and old music, and his as well, but I’m more concerned about being different and fresh and new, whilst he’s more concerned about keeping the original ethos of what we’re about. And it kind of balances out the sound nicely.
What are you most excited about musically these days?
Artist-wise, these guys called Digitaria and Funky Fat—it’s kind of a group that makes music altogether. Their first release is not the next Hot Creations but the one after. They’re both working on album projects. It’s great—it’s got a huge crossover appeal, one of the girls sounds a bit like Miss Kittin but kind of softer and with a different accent, but really nice. All the lyrics they write are great. The music’s kind of electro, kind of house, but not electro-house, you know what I mean? Like the original, analog-sounding stuff—it’s brilliant.
Katy B Sticks Up For Madonna’s Use of Dubstep
Katy B has come out in support of Madonna and her use of dubstep on latest album ‘MDNA’.
The veteran popstar has come under fire after using the underground sound for her own means. Her track ‘Gang Bang’ breaks into dubstep at around the 3.30 minute mark (see video below). But Katy reckons she’s just trying to keep up with the times.
“The thing is to stay a relevant artist you have to evolve. If [Madonna] went and made ‘Like A Prayer’ again it would be a bit boring. To stay interesting you have to work with your contemporaries. I think everyone jumps on a bandwagon in some ways, it just depends on what level,” Katy said in a recent interview.
Madge has been mocked for jumping on the dubstep hype, with her most high profile hater being Deadmau5. The outspoken man in the mask has referred to her as a ‘funky grandma’.
So why do world-beating artists rip off new sounds? Ever the level-headed lady, Katy B can explain. The South Londoner also said: “When I first started writing songs I was jumping on a bandwagon a bit, even if it was a bit lower down the food chain so to speak. I guess Madonna is doing the same thing but just with the whole world looking at her. As long as she’s passionate about it, that’s all that matters. She’s been making dance music before I was even born.”
Huxley Mixes 1trax Three
As Kristan J Caryl found out in this month’s Breaking Through feature, Huxley is a young house producer whose sound has become increasingly garage-tinged over time, an evolution that began with records on Tsuba and Cecille Numbers and led most recently to the likes of Hypercolour, who released his most acclaimed record,Let It Go, earlier this year. With 1trax Three he continues on this tack, coursing through club-friendly house tracks with a bit of UK flair. The mix includes two of Huxley’s own exclusive remixes: one of Shenoda’s “Moments,” the other of “Dazed” by Maya Jane Coles, both of which will be available on a 12-inch extraction due out shortly before the mix.
01. Huxley & Sam Russo – Don’t Undastand
02. Shenoda – Shots
03. Jordan Peak – Work
04. Shenoda – Moments (Huxley Remix)
05. Joshua Iz & Diz – It Iz What it Iz (Luke Solomon Main Mix)
06. Maya Jane Coles – Dazed (Huxley Remix)
07. Nyra – Best Of
08. Gavin Herlihy – Get Loose
09. Huxley – Let It Go
10. AND.ID – Erotica
11. Baunz – 808s Pausetapes And Other Shit
12. Robert Owens – I’ll be Your Friend (Dzeta n Basile Rmx)
13. Little Fritter & Zare – I Want it Back (Luna City Express Rmx)
14. Nina Kraviz – Okain’s Scream (Sebo K Rmx)
15. Mosca – Square One (Julio Bashmore Longhorn Remix)
16. 24Hour Experience feat. Lorraine Lowe – Give Me That Love (Groove Mix)
1trax will release 1trax Three on August 13th, 2012.
(via Resident Advisor)
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