GDD™ Morning Update: Tommie Sunshine, SBTRKT, Dope Jams, DJ Q, Vertigo Festival

• “EDM Is Growing Up” by Tommie Sunshine
• SBTRKT drops new live album
• Legendary New York record store Dope Jams announces closure
• DJ Q readies debut album for Autumn: stream new single ‘Trust Again’
• Italy’s brand new Vertigo Festival announces first acts


EDM Is Growing Up by Tommie Sunshine

I’ve been putting off my first “proper” piece for Huffington Post for six months now. People have been in my ear the whole time egging me on to speak my mind and share my thoughts with the masses, far beyond my Twitter followers & Facebook likers. That time is upon us; 2013 is the year of the Snake and although I don’t know exactly what that means, I do know it’s going to be an amazing year for EDM and the emerging culture around it.

We are four days into a new year and already so much has transpired. Zedd performed “Clarity” on The Late Show With David Letterman with Foxes & Alvin Risk, accompanied by a sit-down string section; Tiesto left his long-time management company for a much bigger one; and Skrillex released some proper listening music that pays tribute to his idols, Burial & Aphex Twin. Avicii has invited the world to help him write and produce his next track; Armin van Buuren announced that his ‘A State Of Trance’ 600th show will broadcast from Madison Square Garden; Diplo announced he’s playing four shows in one night in four different cities and MTV has turned the hashtag #EDMCASTING into everyone’s conceivable worst nightmare.

We are at the tipping point. This is it. This is what I’ve been working at for 20 years of my life now. The moment when this music becomes both a mainstream musical explosion and a cultural phenomenon simultaneously. If that isn’t something that causes growing pains, I don’t know what is. Some people who live for this music are turned off by it rising into the mainstream, but the ones who are lifers and truly love it will find their micro-scene to disappear into, while EDM takes over the world. This is a sad fact because we would love to have those people at EDC & Ultra, as they could show the younger kids the way into feeling this properly and experiencing it on a much deeper level. This is needed and I hope happens more frequently. I implore you to mentor the younger Ravers and teach them something in the confides of your brief psychedelic weekend encounters.

Earlier this week I performed at Afrojack’s Jacked party, one of the largest events I’ve ever played at in New York City and one of the largest crowds I’ve played to in the States. Pier 94, with its legal capacity of 6,500 (so let’s say attendance was 6,500) is one of the best venues for people to actually interact with each other. Massive LED walls light up the room and if you stand at the back you can very easily strike up a conversation with someone you can actually see. I heard there were food trucks outside, so Polina, my Daniela and I made our way through the crowd and the reactions of the kids were amazing. “What are you doing out here?” asked one girl. I said, “Grabbing pizza, we’re hungry!” This seemed perplexing to a room full of kids shut out of VIP, but as a former Raver, walking through a crowded event is always one of the highlights of the night for me. I took hundreds of photos with fans and passed out CD copies of my new EP. I haven’t felt so connected to a party in years; other DJ/Producers, I implore you to try this. It’s beautiful and truly amazing.

I have so much to say but don’t want to bore you with too much at once. Fans of mine are well familiar with my Twitter and Facebook rants about love, music, politics and war, so I will attempt to keep this fresh. We all have the attention spans of fleas, thanks to our phones, so I will wrap this up quickly. This week’s Billboard Top 40 is 25 percent straight up EDM tracks and another 25 percent EDM-influenced tracks (see Swift and Bieber), so essentially, we have half the chart. By 2015, I predict we will have almost 100 percent, as Europe has for two plus decades now. But to everyone reading this who loves dance music, please remember that these are the best days of it. Enjoy it while it lasts, savor every moment and go out of your way to bring all of your friends. We are on the right side of history and the whole world wants what we’ve known forever. This is essentially still a secret, even though people are making it out to be the end. It’s not the end at all. EDM is just growing up. The question you should be asking yourself is, are you?
(via Huffington Post)


SBTRKT drops new live album

SBTRKT has just released a brand new live album aptly named ‘Live’.

The producer took to his Twitter page to announce the album being available to buy from iTunes.

You can check out the track-list and live video from Shepherds Bush below and buy the album here.

1. Surely (feat. Heritage Orchestra)
2. Never Never (feat. Sampha & Heritage Orchestra)
3. Heatwave (feat. Sampha)
4. Hold On / Migration (feat. Sampha)
5. Go Bang (feat. Heritage Orchestra)
6. Trials Of The Past (feat. Sampha & Heritage Orchestra)
7. Sanctuary
8. Evening Glow (feat. Sampha)
9. Wildfire
10. Right Thing To Do (feat. Sampha)

(via Mixmag)


Legendary New York record store Dope Jams announces closure

Legendary New York record store Dope Jams will close at the end of January 2013.

Proprietors Francis Englehardt and Paul Nickerson made the announcement via their e-newsletter earlier today. The store, which was founded seven years ago and has its premises at 580 Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn, was an oasis of quality house and techno in the Big Apple, prided itself on calling out producers for their shortcomings and below-par releases, and had no time for sacred cows – their recent “best and worst of 2012″ mail-out, for instance, had this to say about Carl Craig and his remix of Recloose’s ‘Magic’:

“Carl Craig has sunk to a new low this year. He has gone from making lazy tracks that make rich spaniards feel that Detroit vibe in Ibiza to literally catering to this crowd. This record sounds like dance music you would hear in H&M, Urban Outfitters or some other shitty clothing store. You can just see Soul Clap sitting around talking about how they wish they could make a track like this one day.”

Crucially, though, they were champions of the good as much as they were declaimers of the bad, and their piss-taking was simply a product of their concern for the health and integrity of underground dance music, and of the surrounding culture.

Nickerson and Englehardt released the following statement about the closure:

“At the end of this month, 7 years to the day since it opened, Dope Jams will be closing its doors for good.

Rattling off a bunch of positive hyperbole or sentimental cliches without taking a good, hard look at the past would be a mistake. The truth is, we’ve made a lot of mistakes. Opening and holding down Dope Jams, however, was definitely not one of them. When we started working on the space at 580 Myrtle Avenue, well before it was the polished and finished form that you all know, dance music record shops were already jumping ship like the fucking Titanic. We knew exactly what kind of a logistical and financial shitstorm we were getting into. But ultimately, we wanted to devote ourselves, to put every ounce of energy and every dime saved into the perpetuation and expansion of dope music. We threw ourselves into installing the sound and the aesthetics to situate our project and our philosophy, and with that set in place, we proceeded to push music we thought was worthwhile, music that was beautiful and pure and capable of wading past the massive expanses of mediocrity and opportunism that we saw as gaining the upper hand. And along the way we did a lot of things that set us back, whether out of economics, ignorance, or idealism. We did our best to push past that, because we truly believed in what we were doing, we believed in the music we were championing, and we believed in creating a space and a community to allow that music to flourish. We gave enough of a shit then, and have continued to give a shit for 7 long years struggling through dwindling sales, personal loss, and daily disappointments. If only for the barage of weirdos, freaks and outcasts walking through that door every day, it was absolutely worth it.

There has always been a siege mentality here. Dope Jams was predestined to become a barracks where we held up and waited for the ensuing cultural apocalypse, making sure that we could at least control, and hopefully maybe even modestly disseminate, the little world we saw as still worthy of praise, adoration, and work. We did that by creating a culture of complete, total and brutal honesty. We called things exactly as we saw them, regardless of who’s panties we got in a twist, because there’s really no point in caring about music or art or culture if you don’t give a shit enough to say what you feel when you feel it to whomever you feel. We get it. Saying the things we say without thinking twice on a weekly basis (or daily if you’re in the shop), leaves us totally open. It leaves us wide open to be called mean, a bunch of dicks, hipsters, rich kids, hillbillies, arrogant pricks, hypocrites, etc. A lot of the time, all we had to do was sit back and let the wave of fad and popularity take its course, and just ride that into the sunset like a cheap whore. Or, to phrase it more politically, just issue “respectful critiques” and have “respectful opinions” and make sure not to hurt anyone’s feelings. We’d have a lot more friends, a lot more customers, and fewer enemies if we had played it that way. But, ultimately, operating in that way is exactly how dance music has gotten to the point that it is now—no one is holding anyone else accountable, and the result is a veritable free-for-all of total and unabashed bullshit. Plus, what’s the fun in holding back? At least we have a sense of humor when we do it. We don’t really have a problem with being called names or being trashed. This isn’t a Christ-complex where we feel like we’re being sacrificed to repent for the sins of a world we’ve been operating on the periphery of for years now. The truth is there’s no point for us if we can’t tell the truth about the music and the culture we love—whether that’s telling ourselves (most important), or whomever happens to be standing in front of us looking for the DFA section (still important).

But alas, our journey, at least in a brick and mortar manifestation, is finally coming to a close. Honestly, it’s really heartbreaking. Despite all the suffering for us that has been inextricably linked with this project, a lot of incredible things have come out of it, too. A lot of special people and dope music have graced our presence because of this shop. A lot of chaotic, cathartic, ultimately redemptive parties were thrown here. Ultimately, we love what we do, since adolescence we’ve devoted every ounce of energy and resource to music, DJ and vinyl culture, and Dope Jams was overall an incredible experience. No, the mean police are not shutting us down, nor did the forces of our shop’s demise originate anywhere within the dance music community (or its financial pitfalls). The truth is there are forces much bigger than our little universe: our rent has been raised threefold, and sadly our imaginary trustifarian benefactors just can’t swing it anymore. And while we’re sure a few diehards would make it to East New York to visit our new location, we’re not confident that will be enough for a fighting chance. Don’t worry: we’re going to keep the website open, just in case you thought that special Dope Jams touch would be lost in the void forever.

It wouldn’t be right to close up shop without throwing one last final in-store hurrah for the ages. So this January 26th, 2013, we invite you to our last in-store party ever. To the Dope Jams faithful, we can only express our gratitude in the best way we know how, so make the trip one last time to 580 Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn, and celebrate with us 7 years of gargantuan dreams and unrepentant attitudes.”

In closing, here are some songs that will forever remind us of 580 Myrtle Ave…

1. Analogous Doom – Living In A Zome
2. Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto – Ax Mr. L
3. Fever Ray – I’m Not Done
4. Chicago Shags – Live By The Sword
5. Theo Parrish – Can’t Keep
6. The Laughing Light Of Plenty – The Pulse
7. A Broken Consort – Something Fell
8. Paul Watkins and Brooks Poston – Young Girl
9. Nine Horses – Atom & Cell
10. Chelsea Wolfe – Movie Screen
11. Bvdub – The Art Of Dying Alone
12. Burial – Distant Lights
13. Convextion – Solum Ferrum
14. Chasing Voices – Acidbathory
15. The Djoon Experience feat. Kenny Bobien – Old Landmark

Thank You.

Francis Englehardt & Paul Nickerson
DOPE JAMS NYC : 2006-2013

(via FACT Mag)


DJ Q readies debut album for Autumn: stream new single ‘Trust Again’ 

After almost a decade of singles, 2013 sees DJ Q release his debut album.

Real name Shollen Quarshie, Q emerged as one of the stars of the UK’s Niche / bassline house explosion in the mid-’00s, teaming up with MC Bonez on the crossover hit ‘U Wot?’. He released a steady succession of singles around this time, and joined BBC Radio 1xtra as a presenter in 2006, remaining on the station until 2012.

Recent years have seen Q extend his palette to UK garage, grime and vocal pop, releasing on Unknown to the Unknown, Toddla T’s Girls Music and Local Action, the label that will be releasing Q’s debut album [disclaimer: the label is run independently by FACT staff member Tom Lea]. Although Q released a full length bassline retrospective, The Archive, through his own Q Recordings imprint last year, this represents his first solo artist album.

The album is expected in Autumn, and comes preceded by a single, ‘Trust Again’, due at the end of January. It features Brit School alumnus and past Q collaborator Louise Williams on vocals, and will be released with remixes from TS7, DJ Q (a 4×4 mix), and Karl ‘Tuff Enuff’ Brown, formerly one half of veteran UK garage duo Tuff Jam with Matt Jam Lamont.

You can stream ‘Trust Again’ below.

(via FACT Mag)

Italy’s brand new Vertigo Festival announces first acts

World, meet Vertigo – the latest European festival to spring into life, and purportedly the “highest altitude summer electronic music festival” in the game. 

Vertigo will take place deep in Italy’s Alpine region this August, and promises an intimate experience at the 1500m high Ski Jumping Hotel in Pragelato. The festival is intimate, with space available for 4000 people, but the views promise to be sweeping.

Musically, the festival is centred around label showcases, with a range of DJs and live performances on the cards. Berlin’s Get Physical crew will be in full effect, bringing along M.A.N.D.YDJ T,Smash TV, and Betoko. Switzerland’s Cadenza Records will be represented by the likes of Reboot and UNER, whereas Cuprit LA will offer up Droog, M.A.N.I.K and more. Other labels and promoters include Art Of DarkSankeysDepartureSolid GroovesTroupeVirunga and Panoptic.

Vertigo runs from August 15-17. Further details are available here.

(via FACT Mag)