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PLUR Profile: Dirty Cat Designs

PLUR Profile: Dirty Cat Designs

All images are courtesy of DirtyCatDesigns, please do not replicate any of the patterns featured without Dirty's permission.

All images are courtesy of DirtyCatDesigns, please do not replicate any of the patterns featured without Dirty’s permission.

Starting today, I am going to be launching a little series called the ‘PLUR Profile’ which will highlight small businesses, individuals, performer/producers, or other notable members of the community who excel in their craft, give back to others, or who have shown excellence in their dedication to their customers.
It brings me great pleasure to kick of this series with none other than the infamous Dirty Cat herself,
the pony bead maestro behind some of the most daringly different kandi masks you will see on the festival circuit.

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Gaining recognition initially for her original Cheshire mask,  Dirty began designing unique and complex patterns as well as hand-cutting her own signature teeth. A highly flexible artist, Dirty has even created new patterns to accommodate discerning patrons who seek a more custom experience, often making the original piece A standalone design after the pattern has joined the available options. Although users must pay for Dirty’s services, the investment is justified once you consider that these masks are her sole source of income, and much of what she makes is funneled back into her high-quality faux fur, crystals, and EL wire used to make these
jaw-dropping creations.

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Dirty has made many creative dreams come true, and even repairs customers masks for free should they encounter any extensive damage. She works around the clock to execute shockingly magical designs, offers her unique teeth as a separate purchase, and even creates custom teeth and accents on request… all while planning her own wedding.

Yes, she even did a My Little Pony series

Yes, she even did a My Little Pony series

Normally, I don’t contribute to ‘send me to EDC’ requests because in my experience they are used as PR stunts, are improperly executed, and lead to resentment. However, I am asking my followers & friends one very conservative request: because Dirty is looking to secure funds for both her wedding AND EDC this year, I would like to ask anyone that is willing, to give her a bit of a hand. When Dirty opens again for commissions, I am asking that anyone who orders please leave a small tip to help her reach her goal of 2 tickets to EDC for herself and her fiancee.

For those wondering, yes, Lady Dirty was the mastermind behind the patterning, execution, and fruition of the current Ragehound 'hellhound' style mask.

For those wondering, yes, Lady Dirty was the mastermind behind the patterning, execution, and fruition of the current Ragehound ‘hellhound’ style mask.

Anyone who would like to
make a more immediate impact can donate directly to Dirty by setting up a payment by visiting her website.

Dirty’s masks are incredible pieces that leave a lasting impression, and are also built to last. Sadly, Dirty is only on Instagram, but I’m sure she would love a follow and maybe a shout.

If you think you know a person, small business, performer/producer who you think should be profiled, give me a shout at ragehound@gmail.com.

-The Hound

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EDM and Religion: Why I Won’t Write A Track Review

Here is a snippet from an exclusive piece i did for EDMNewsUpdates:

I’ve been asked often why I very rarely write track reviews. As a younger blogger in the field, I feel that in each piece I write, I subconsciously leave a small trace of myself. Music to me is very much akin to religion: people unite behind it, defend it, and decry it just as often as any gospel verse. In religion, you are taught a strict regimen and core ideology which enable you to make informed decisions. Certain religions offer varying leeway in the way you are expected to interpret scripture and doctrine. There are atheists who dispose these teachings on the whole, and varying degrees of faithful who either interpret for themselves or follow faithfully to the verbatim interpretations fed to them by authority.

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Music is not so different: ‘experts’ analyze tracks piece by piece and offer their opinion as bloggers, as musicians, or as tastemakers (some of whom have little to no music experience). As someone who isn’t a DJ, isn’t a recognized singer (though I do sing), and does not produce, I often feel discomfort assuming the role of ‘expert’. I can’t walk up to a set of equipment and produce what I’ve just heard, nor can I imagine the specific choreographed patterns uniquely designed into each individual layer of a track. I am of the school of thought that music is a personal experience, and that how we analyze music should come from within. One set of ears may hear the beautiful melodic warbling in an Above & Beyond track, where another may find the experience dissatisfying and gravitate more towards the brute aggression of Destroid.

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I personally cannot stand Avicii’s new track, ‘Wake Me Up’, and I recognize that my sole opinion is unfairly coloring another’s perception of an otherwise solidly produced piece of music. Similarly, some of the music I love may appear ‘under produced’ or ‘too commercial’ for others. No matter what genre takes you on an emotional journey, what I will have to say about it will inevitably be meaningless: it is your experience, not mine.

To read the full piece, visit EDMNewsUpdates and stuff.


Electronica Oasis Exclusive: Small Moments Like These

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In the days after the cancellation of Electric Zoo 2013 discussions centralized around the tragedies of the two deceased patrons where media outlets flocked like moths to the funeral pyre of EDM’s public reputation, shedding a dark light on the industry and vastly overlooking some positive outcomes of festivals like Electric Zoo.

I’m here to report on one such positive outcome largely overlooked by the mainstream media.

Amid a sea of more than 110,000 people, two individuals shared a unique moment they will remember for the rest of their lives. Known on Twitter as ‘DJ Boyfriend’ and ‘DJ Girlfriend’, Chris and Ashley have been lovers of music ever since they met at the State College of New York’s Albany campus. Ever since their first date at Webster Hall, the pair felt a strong connection to dance music, and felt a strong connection to their fellow patrons who they affectionately refer to as their ‘family’.

To Read the full piece, check out Electronica Oasis ❤


Electronica Oasis Exclusive: The Rise of The DJ: How Technology is Saturating the Market

Since its inception,the art of music production and song operation has been defined by the originality and skill level of its creators. From the very first gramophone production in 1892 to the introduction of the term ‘disc jockey’ in 1935, the art form has evolved and expanded past the initial ‘discs’ that were used in its inception.

DJ’s today come in many forms: the radio Top 40 DJ, the mashup/remix DJ, and the producer who DJs…along with every permutation in between. As with all endeavors, new technologies inevitably come along with stubborn critics and eager adopters. The introduction of mixers and turntables allowed for more creative innovations such as slip-queing and the induction of the ‘break’.

Today, a DJ has access to a veritable treasure trove of mixing tools, all of which can interact with everything to a classic mixer to a laptop to an iPad or iPhone. Innovations like Ableton Live, Traktor Pro, Serato, and a plethora of other programs allow anyone with a laptop and the dedication to learn a chance to play music live to an audience. Arizona-based House producer Joshua Li, known as ‘DJ Secsay‘ explains that it has made his craft much more portable:

“They’re no hassle and its industry standard and easy to set up. I only bring 3 things with me when I play a show. My VMODAs, my USB and my back up USB. “-Joshua Li

Chicago native DJ/Producer Anthony Attalla, who started out DJing before taking to Logic for production, says that innovations such as Pro Tools and Logic allow him the flexibility he needs to give new tracks a ‘test run’ without being worried about sacrificing sound quality. However in terms of live performance, her prefer the more intuitive feel of using CDs:

“Regarding my live performance, I don’t use a laptop.. I still manually dj with cd’s. It’s a nice reprieve from being in front of a computer all day in my studio. I was a dj before I ever started producing, so I like holding on to that organic feeling.”-Anthony Attalla

Those who have adopted these mediums often tout the amount of flexibility and portability of using a laptop-based program as opposed to a more traditional approach. One major point of contention however is raised by detractors of the ‘sync’ button available on many of these programs. Zach Cwieka, a Philly-based producer known as ‘Sweekuh‘ says that this view is understandable, but unwarranted:

“If youre playing records out because you think its the only way to DJ
then you should be using a phonogram instead of turntables. These people who are anti traktor are anti sync, which i understand. Im against it too, unless its needed. At some points I have three songs playing on seperate decks and I need to throw an acapella over it (I got known through mashups and I like to play them out live) and that is impossible to beatmatch while mixing with an acapella that doesnt
start on the 1.”-Zach Cwieka

While admittedly, many newly-converted fans of EDM remain mostly unaware of the subtle differences in equipment, the ‘sync button’ snobbery can be attributed to many of the more negative instances where major celebrities have tried to ‘jump on the scene’ as DJs, often with very negative results. Most famously, the scene painfully remembers the fateful day in 2012 where Paris Hilton took to the booth in Brazil (she attempted a comeback which went sour, and took her ‘auditory car crash’ to Ibiza). In the wake of newer and more adaptable technology (such as Traktor releasing an app for iPhone) many more DJs have emerged from the woodwork, creating a stifling saturation of ‘talent’ across the country. But has this new accessibility crowded out the market of true innovators with over hyped imitators?

To read the full article, click the link below!

The Rise of The DJ: How Technology is Saturating the Market.


DJ Top 100 and Advertising – Electronica Oasis Exclusive

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Recently, Gareth Emery issued a statement in regards to the cost of advertising and how he would not be putting money towards paid social advertising to support himself competitively for the DJ Mag’s ‘Top 100′ chart. Claiming the costs were too high, and that DJs who spend upwards of $15,000 on Twitter alone could just ‘have their number’. Instead, Gareth offered fans a chance to decide where the proposed money would go as a donation to a charity.

In short order, Gareth’s message was retweeted, applauded, and even changed the mind of Australian producer tyDi, who followed suit by pulling his banner and removing his social ads.

more after the jump

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Electronica Oasis Exclusive!

Hey guys! I now also write for the stellar team at Electronica Oasis! Come check out my first exclusive editorial piece on their site !

Stop Shaming, Start Being Responsible


Soundgrail Exclusive: 3 Assets Every DJ Should Have

Hey guys! I got to write an exclusive piece for SoundGrail!! Check it out!

3-THINGS-EVERY-DJ-SHOULD-HAVE