Good morning! Today’s news features Kaskade, Ultra, James Zabiela, Gaslamp Killer, and Buzzmedia. Please read on after the jump.
Kaskade on EDM Critics: “Anytime Something’s on Top, People Will Be Ripping It Down”
Oh, yes, America. The freaks are living (and dancing) among us.
Ever since EDM went massive in 2011, kids with glowsticks have been controlling popular music charts, invading the nation’s arenas and stadiums like little ecstatic fireflies, and flooding the Internet with YouTube videos of themselves raving alone at home,moshing to dubstep, and/or humping trees.
Currently, we are sweating through the second summer of this madness. And along with electronic dance music ringleaders like Deadmau5, Skrillex, Swedish House Mafia, and Avicii, a man namedKaskade is laying down the soundtrack for the freak parade.
We recently spoke with the EDM critics and whether too much success and too much money can be toxic for an EDM freak like him.
Crossfade: After two years of electronic dance music’s pop dominance. Do you see any signs of its popularity slipping? Or is it just gonna keep cruising?
Kaskade: We’ve barely even cracked into the radio. So we’re really just getting started. This is probably the beginning of a much longer story.
Well, where do you see the EDM story going?
It’s hard to say. I never even envisioned it going to this place. I was never one of those guys who was good at reading the crystal ball. Like, I always thought it could get bigger, but I’ve enjoyed dance music so much as a nightclub thing that seeing it go into these arenas and stadiums is kinda tricky. I think a lot is riding on how these big shows go this summer and how they’re perceived.
At the moment, I’m in the middle of my tour. And I have to say … [Laughs] … As long as people’s tours are going as well as mine, I think EDM’s just going to continue to grow on this larger scale. Right now, it’s just a few guys who can do these huge tours successfully. But with growth and increasing interest in the music, these concert-type experiences will become more regular.
Do you think too much success and too much money can be toxic for EDM?
Nah, not really. There are guys who are selling out and doing stuff that I never would’ve done artistically. But they would’ve gone the more pop route anyway. And that’s never interested me. I’m not signed to a major label and I’ve never had a song on the radio. But I can come play a huge outdoor venue in Miami and sell tickets.
There’s just separate paths. Different artists in this community have chose different ways to make dance music. And that’s cool. It just shows the maturity of the sound. You know, compare me to somebody like Lady Gaga or even David Guetta and my stuff is way more underground than what they’re doing. But the great thing is there’s room for everybody. And I don’t have to write a pop tune or feature Lil Wayne.
Even though electronic dance music’s continued to win fans and kill charts, there has been some backlash against its rise. Say, Dave Grohl’s allegedly anti-technology Grammy speech or Deadmau5’s frequent rants against the most commercial aspects of the genre. Do you think there’s any basis for that kind of griping? Anytime something’s on top, there are going to be people ripping it down. You know, I’m sure guys strumming guitars feel a little frustration, like, “What’s all this computerized junk?” So with dance music on the charts and the spotlight shining on us, the backlash is inevitable.
But I don’t think it’s going to be anything like what happened in the late ’70s and early ’80s when it was like, “Kill disco!” and there were people at Comiskey Park blowing up 10,000 party records and Chicago was rioting. [Laughs] I just expect some subtle grumblings, like, “Oh, it happened so fast.”
Ultimately, pop culture is so fickle. Somebody’s gonna come out with a song featuring some girl strumming a guitar and that’s gonna become the flavor of the week. And everybody will be like, “Ahh, people want to hear that song. Let’s all copy it.” But with electronic music, we’ve been here so long, literally post-disco, that we’re going to keep doing it whether or not anyone’s paying attention.
I love house music. It’s what I’ve been doing my entire life. And I’ll never stop. The trends will come and go.
(via Miami New TImes)
Ultra Launches YouTube Channel
As dance music continues its march into the U.S. mainstream, the boxes keep getting ticked off. They’ve got the mega, DJ-led festivals like Electric Zoo, Ultra Music Festival and Electric Daisy Carnival, the product tie-ins (Ralph Lauren tapping Avicii, Diplo spruiking Blackberry, Hyundai launching the Re:Generation Music Project, and so on)…and now, a dedicated global ‘EDM’ YouTube channel. The people behind Ultra Music Festival have teamed up with filmmakers Final Kid (who put together the festival’s high-sheen after-movies) to launch UMF TV. While it’s a project hatched in the U.S., the channel will be available ‘worldwide’ with “the very best HD videos of electronic music featuring original and unique content”.
So, what exactly can we expect to see? For the moment, it’s set to be Ultra-centric. From Wednesday 11 July, the channel is featuring an ‘artist special’ focusing on Avicii both backstage and onstage at the 2012 edition of the festival at Bayfront Park, Miami. Then from Sunday 15 July you can watch the feature-length documentary Can U Feel It, which is all about, you guessed it, Ultra Music Festival. Can U Feel It features performances and footage from Boys Noize, Tiesto, Laidback Luke, Fedde Le Grand and other big players. It also follows Carl Cox as he prepares his custom ‘mega-structure’ stage, that featured Richie Hawtin, Loco Dice, Sven Vath and Magda.
Despite the Ultra focus, “live streams, flashbacks, specials and video recaps” from other worldwide events are promised in the future.
“We even have a logo!”: James Zabiela talks new label
U.K. whiz James Zabiela is the latest in line to mix a Resident Advisor podcast, and the accompanying interview found the DJ in a typically inspired mind-set. As well as working on a new remix for Hot Chip, Zabs has been notching up the frequent flyer miles on a tour that covered Dubai, Italy, Ukraine, India, Bosnia and Russia in just the last month alone. In the summer months ahead, he’s taking on Monegros Festival in the Spanish desert, famed English weekender Global Gathering, the insane, two-week-long Kazantip Festival in Ukraine and plenty more.
However, the place where he’s truly coming into his own is the hallowed Space Ibiza, where he’s back at We Love…Sundays for another year. This season, he’s presenting a string of parties at the club under the Born Electric banner, which is also the name of his soon-to-be-launched label. Zabiela told RA he’s “working with my label partner on getting the first few Born Electric releases up and running. It’s been a long time coming but it’s finally becoming a reality now, we even have a logo!” The line-ups for the Born Electric nights at Space reflect where the DJ is at musically right now, with guests like Scuba, Midland, Shackleton, Modeselektor, Simian Mobile Disco and fellow We Love… regular Paul Woolford going back-to-back with Appleblim.
“Lately I’ve been playing stuff from Dark Sky, Dense and Pika, Clubroot (the new LP is immense),John Talabot and George Fitzgerald,” Zabiela recently told DJ Mag, while also name-checking Scuba. In that interview, he also revealed that his dance music mentor Sasha has remixed the first release set to come on Born Electric, which will be included on the forthcoming Involver 3compilation. “So far, its sound is closer to the first one than the second one,” Sasha has said of his much-anticipated re-entry to the Involver world. Good news all round, then.
The Gaslamp Killer Readies Breakthrough
“The Gaslamp Killer is raw,” wrote RA’s Jeff Weiss when he interviewed him in 2010. That much is obvious from a casual glance at the tracklist for Breakthrough, which contains titles like “Fuck,” “Meat Guilt” and “Peasants, Cripples & Retards.” As co-founder of Los Angeles’ famed Low End Theory club night, Gaslamp has championed an eclectic sound which brings together unlikely genres into his energetic live show and recordings for Brainfeeder. For his first full-length, he invites a host of guests associated with the club night and label to contribute: Gonjasufi, Daedelus, Shigeto and more all feature throughout.
01. Breakthrough Intro
02. Veins (with Gonjasufi)
03. Holy Mt Washington (with Computer Jay)
05. Critic (with Mophono)
06. Dead Vets (with Adrian Younge & MRR)
07. Flange Face (with Miguel Atwood-Ferguson)
09. Apparitions (with Gonjasufi)
10. Impulse (with Daedelus)
11. Peasants, Cripples & Retards (with SAMIYAM)
12. Meat Guilt (with RSI)
14. Nissim (with Amir Yaghmai)
15. Keep It Simple Stupid (with Shigeto)
16. Seven Years of Bad Luck for Fun (with Dimlite)
17. In the Dark…
Brainfeeder will release Breakthrough on September 17th, 2012.
(via Resident Advisor)
Buzzmedia Buys Spin Magazine
L.A. blog network Buzzmedia has made its biggest push yet into the music world, acquiring the prominent yet struggling Spin Magazine.
Buzzmedia announced Tuesday morning that it had purchased Spin Media LLC McEvoy Group for an undisclosed sum. Besides the iconic print magazine, Buzzmedia also picked up Spin’s iPad application and events business.
Buzzmedia Chief Executive Tyler Goldman said the company will expand Spin’s digital distribution.
“Buzzmedia seems to be aggregating everything it can in online music media,” said Henry Eshelman, managing director of Platform Media Group, a Los Angeles boutique PR firm.
Two months ago, Buzzmedia bought electronic music site XLR8R, adding to its already extensive list of music offerings, including Pure Volume, AbsolutePunk and Pop Matters.
Now, with Spin, Buzzmedia, “has a marquis title in its portfolio,” Eshelman said.
Spin was founded in 1985 by Bob Guccione Jr., son of the Penthouse publisher. It soon became one of the leading music industry magazines behind Rolling Stone. Guccione sold the magazine to Miller Publishing in 1997 for $42 million.
But the magazine soon began to decline as the music publishing industry moved online; most recent owner McEvoy Group acquired the magazine for just $5 million in 2006. Since then, McEvoy has tried to boost Spin’s digital presence, adding an iPad app last year. Yet the decline in ad revenues continued and this year, McEvoy reduced Spin’s print publication from 11 times a year to just six.
(via LA Business Journal)