Prowling the Airwaves and the Underground for the best in EDM

Posts tagged “music

PLUR Profile: Deadmau5

PLUR Profile: Deadmau5

Shocked? I am a little bit to be honest. So why does the often outspoken, highly opinionated man of the mau5 get a shout out in the name of PLUR? Here’s why:

Deadmau5 is a troll. I’m not debating that fact, however I’d argue that he trolls for the greater good. I’d wager that for every inflammatory insulting tweet he sends bashing those that piss on genres of music they don’t fully understand, there are many easter eggs amid his other tweets highlighting truly great music and the talent behind it. Example? When Arcade Fire threw a piss-fit over “artists playing real instruments“, Joel informed them that real music can be found in the opera. Well played sir, well played.

Why I’m choosing to highlight Mr. Zimmerman is largely because of his dedication and appreciation for music.  With everyone left and right getting hopped up on “the drop” or what tracks will ‘break into the Beatport top 10″ list, Joel is giving shout outs to producers who take the time to master their craft (as well as dishing heat to those who treat music production like a cash cow).  For late-to-the-party fans like myself, I find that the ‘coffee run series’ Joel hosts often contain hidden educational gems. In certain videos how makes mention of how to master an album for vinyl, how certain amps influence the final product, and has even called out mistakes made by more amateur producers and DJ’s and how to fix them. Though the man is an accomplished internet troll, he is also a representation of what every nerd wants to be growing up.

By which, I don’t mean every nerdy kid wants to grow up to be an entertainer with the kind of hype and respect that Joel Zimmerman has managed to achieve in the last few years. Put simply, seeing the kid with the spiky yellow hair and love of video games, Pokémon, and electronic music become a household name and become accomplished and successful is highly motivating. By the same token, despite Mr. Zimmerman being the ‘big deal’ that he is, its refreshing to see him give back to the community and nurture other talents looking to emerge from the woodwork and hone their craft (I’m being blunt here and referring to Mau5trap’s Le Castlevania…because I can).

The next time you see this man tweet something inflammatory (or incredible) just remember that he started out and a fun-loving nerd like the rest of us.

Here’s to you Joel 🙂

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

-The Hound


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


Track Spotlight:’Razor’ by ASTR

ASTR

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Perhaps its the 90’s baby in me, but when I first discovered this little electronic pop gem, I couldn’t help but spotlight this upbeat and sassy track by ASTR. The vocals remind me of one of my favorite feisty 90’s popstar loves paired against a more modern take on pop (post-Gaga of course). What it lacks in depth is makes up in pure fun.

To learn more about ASTR, follow them on social media:

Facebook

Twitter

**All spotlights are selected exclusively by myself, and I am not getting paid to endorse any artists featured**


Track Spotlight: ‘Jaguar’ by What So Not

What So Not

For this week’s spotlight, we’re venturing into trap territory (not bat country) with australian duo What So Not’s track ‘JAGUAR’. What really helped this track make the cut were driving vocals, and a more subtle use of signature ‘trap drops’ which is common for many of their tracks.

I’ll admit, I’m more of a newcomer when it comes to trap and am not as well versed in the finer points of what makes  a distinguished piece of trap…but this I like. Much of the group’s work has a strong use of female vocals and more euphoric-influenced feel. It’s something a little different and I like it.

To learn more about What So Not, follow them on social media:

Facebook

Twitter

**All spotlights are selected exclusively by myself, and I am not getting paid to endorse any artists featured**


Track Spotlight: Kiven – ‘The Irony’ (Clinton VanSciver Remix)

Clinton VanSciver

I’ve decided that every so often, I will call out a new track I find particularly interesting as part of a spotlight series. This week, I’ve chosen to call out Clinton VanSciver‘s remix of  ‘The Irony’ by Kiven.

Distinguishing his sound as ‘dirty pop’, VanSciver takes an upbeat approach which feels reminiscent of Sub Focus‘s track ‘Endorphins’ featuring Alex Clare, but a slower pace (and with a markedly more familiar ‘pop’ sound). The track has interesting moments of syncopation, smooth injections of bass (that aren’t overbearing), and gives the modest original an entirely new attitude.

To learn more about Clinton VanSciver, follow him on social media:
facebook.com/ClintonVanSciver
twitter.com/CVanSciver
instagram.com/CVanSciver

**All spotlights are selected exclusively by myself, and I am not getting paid to endorse any artists featured**


Vocal Spotlight: Power Femmes

While many producers do not rely on powerful lyrics to craft their uplifting and transformative creations, successful collaborations have enabled some voices to gain more recognition. Vocalists such as Foxes and Yuna have been put in the public eye with pieces like ‘Clarity‘ (Foxes vocal) and the Adventure Club remix of ‘Gold‘ (Yuna vocal). Trance powerhouse vocalists like Emma Hewitt and Nadia Ali have always been near and dear to my heart, but if it were up to me, here are some lesser-known power-femmes I’d like to be considered for future collaborations:

Ella Eyre

Ella+Eyre

Boasting a soulful sound that feels almost like a Lorde blended with Lana del Ray, Ella‘s track ‘Deeper’ delivers the smooth pop feel that kept us captivated with Lorde’s “Royals” but feels spunkier and younger. While her tracks have be remixed here and there and she has collaborated with Wiz Khalifa and Rudimental in the past, it would be a real treat to see her on a fresh and funky nu disco track.

Pia Mia

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Breathy and beautiful, Pia Mia has the feel of Rihanna, but with a markedly more laid-back feel. Her track Red Love is like a playground for her impressive vocal tone and range. I could easily see her voice in any genre, and hope I see her voice nestled soundly in a Beatport top 40 track soon.

RES

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Now RES isn’t a new face in her respective genre; a punchy Brooklynite with a soul-filled vocal playground of a range, her voice has been the heart and soul of the group Idle Warship since the 2000’s. She straddles the vocal quality of a Lady Gaga and a soulful crooner. Her haunting track ‘Say You Will‘ produced by Kanye West has been a favorite of mine for a while. Though her voice has always been the perfect foil to the gritty rhymes of Talib Kweli, it would be a a real treat to hear her in an EDM track. I’d put money on her dominating most subgenres.

Chelsea Ronquillo

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On the other side of the spectrum is Chelsea Ronquillo, a soulful warbler that I discovered on a complete fluke on soundcloud. Her original piece ‘Let Her Go’ feels like a dialed-down Foxes track with more soul. Though I’m not sure where her vocals would fit in an EDM collaboration, it would be cool to see her voice given a stage within an Avicii-esque ‘folk-EDM-crossover’ track.

Who are some interesting vocalists you’d like to see in upcoming collaborations?

Dreams are wishes the soul makes: This is mine.

RageMap

I’ve only ever told a few people about my goals, my dreams, and where exactly I want to go in this life. Most commonly, this has been because I didn’t rightfully know what I wanted to do. Sure, I had ‘big ideas’ and I’ve had plenty of ideas for inventions and events here and there…but never a real sense of purpose or a ‘yellow brick road’ leading to an awe-inspiring goal.

I have many idols. There are women like Lady Casa, a shining light of the concept of PLUR and starter of ‘oPLURation: Dance For Dooby‘. There are women like Cindy Gallop, an unabashed brazen media badass that dared to challenge how we discuss sex and porn…by saying ‘cum on my face’ point-blank to a stunned audience at TED and starting Make Love Not Porn. There are many people whose steadfast commitment and dedication to their brand, their ideals, and their final goal I have greatly admired.

I never started my twitter with the intention of amassing followers (though later on, I tried to challenge myself to set and meet goals of how many I had), and had never really viewed my account or ‘voice’ as a springboard for chasing a dream…but as I’ve just passed my ‘anniversary’ of joining twitter as an anon..I want to share a dream that I want to come true.

I have always had a passion for trying to take what I know and utilize it to help others succeed: I’ve photoshopped countless posters, re-touched I don’t know how many headshots, helped explain the basics of effective social media, and really done my best to go above and beyond for as many people as I can.

However my dream is to take all that I’ve learned and pour it into one concerted effort: My dream is to start my very own marketing agency.

I want to take local talent that might not be the best at social media, self-marketing, or even have the budget for expensive creative shops and put them in a position to succeed. I want to put on a showcase event taking female DJ’s that kick ass and celebrate their talents for one night separate from their male counterparts. I want to help DJ’s (both male, female, and gender neutral) understand the money behind social promotions and exactly what they can do (paid and unpaid) to put the right foot forward and succeed.

I haven’t set any of this in motion of course, and many of these ideas are still in the planning stages. But just as I embark on my new dream, remember to chase your own!


*UPDATE* Molly and Muckraking: The Ugly Truth

*UPDATE – 11 Alive News May Face Criminal Charges For Unethical Reporting *

muck

In the messy aftermath of various tragedies at electronic festivals and club events, mainstream media seems to be a unified parrot trained to squawk the word ‘molly’ in hopes of grabbing the attention of readers and scaring sheltered soccer moms everywhere. Despite DJ’s, festival organizers, and members of the community coming forward to speak out and stop the onslaught of scapegoating of the electronic music industry (and scene) it would appear that the mainstream has found a prized scapegoat to sink their chupacabra-like smear-campaign fangs into until they’ve sucked the industry dry.

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It is not myth that drugs are present at festivals of all kinds, not just electronic. It is also not a myth that sober patrons of these festivals exist. When 11 Alive News decided to seek out patrons using ‘molly’ or drugs of any kind viewers witness the archaic and journalistically unsound practice of ‘muckraking’, as defined above. Where other reports spoke to the music, the partons, and went out of their way to present diverse opinions it would seem that the staff of 11 Alive willfully ignored the music, and decidedly opted not to show any patrons who were enjoying TomorrowWorld sober: A regrettably biased decision.

What shocked me most about the report was how focused the reporters were on montages of ‘Molly’ apparel (it should be noted, such clothing was publicly banned and should not have been allowed to enter the premises) and pestering anyone they met about if they were ‘looking for molly’ or ‘found molly’. The entire report almost felt like a set-up: no matter what the only concern these reporters had was that they ‘found molly’ and slandered everyone as thoroughly as possible.

That isn’t reporting.

That’s muckraking.

While the full written transcript made mention of ‘amnesty bins‘ (which they seemed unable or unwilling to locate) and bag pat-downs, it was clear that the author had little to no interest in anything but painting the picture of ‘yet another drugfest’ just like every other mainstream news source. What shocked me, is in the preview for the event where they spoke about preparations being made to accommodate the event, ‘molly’ wasn’t mentioned. Leading me to wonder if their insistence for harping on the drug’s presence was some weak attempt to keep pace with the demand to demonize electronic music across the country.

Curiously enough, there were no articles after the local ‘beer fest’ commenting on drunk and disorderly patrons, nor was their any mention of marijuana users at their local Midtown Music festival. Yet somehow, the clamor to hear about another drug-fueled concert scene to further demonize EDM gave them reason to go ‘undercover’. Thirsty for a chance to increase web traffic and scare the locals into protesting TomorrowWorld (more than likely the sheltered mom demographic), they pounced on an easy story and went out of their way to present a one-sided “this festival is only about the drugs” picture that made a mockery of the practice of journalism. This, my friends, is muckraking at its very finest.

Had they BOTHERED to interview a DJ, or talk to a sober raver, or even just stop for a moment to enjoy the waves of sound, a more unbiased and equally hard-hitting report could have taken shape. What a tragic pity.

Perhaps if they applied the same jaded lens to their stories about country music, hip-hop, and rock concerts (where I am CERTAIN ample amounts of marijuana and other substances can be found) I would be more inclined to take their article seriously.


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.

~
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 ❤