Prowling the Airwaves and the Underground for the best in EDM

Posts tagged “Producer

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


Perception and Music

I’ve been pretty vocal lately: about the impact Electric Zoo’s cancellation and the effect that mass ‘molly-scare’ is having on our scene and on our community. But I thought today it might be pertinent to touch on something I rarely bring up in editorials: perception.

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I’ve been incredibly blessed to have met several of my favorite DJ’s and producers face-to-face, often making incredible connections and in some rare cases even staying close friends. Without naming any names, some have even come up to me and instantly recognized me at show (yes, ME, a tiny little twittersona in a mask).

While musicality is most of what draws me to a performer, and stage presence often affects how I enjoy the bulk of a performance, interacting directly with a musician of any kind often has a strong lasting effect on how I enjoy their music.

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For example, I was very much still in the discovery period when I first met ‘crunkstep’ DJ Crizzly on my birthday. Having only taken a quick glance at his Soundcloud and curious to hear what it would translate to live, meeting him and his hype man Cool simply added a new dimension to their understanding of their music. Chris himself, though boasting a big sound, is refreshingly down-to-earth and comes somewhat quiet; whereas Cool is brilliantly intellectual, fills a room with energy, and while larger-than-life on stage is incredibly humble off-stage.

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Similarly, meeting some of the New York local DJ’s has proved an incredible experience: having met Tyler Sherritt, Hyperbits, and 1/2 of Live City has added a more personal connection to their sound whenever one of their tracks pops up in their playlist: I understand a bit better how their individuality comes across in their production and arrangement choices.

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Even HUGE inspirational DJ/producers whose tracks have been my support system and my anthems in times of need have managed to add dimension to the tracks I so dearly love. After winning a ticket to see Dash Berlin after EDC NY I somehow managed to see him face-to-face and shake his hand. Though very few words were spoken, and he now wears my ‘Silence in Your Heart’ kandi…I feel that whenever that track comes on, I am even more in love with it and him than ever before.

In rare cases where I met performers whose shows I attended as a discovery experience, I was met with incredible acceptance and kindness: Dirtyphonics stayed behind to sign a poster from their Irreverence tour and took a moment to meet me and thank me for coming. Le Castlevania was even kind enough to offer me water: though his music is aggressive and wholly immersive, the man himself is incredibly shy, yet down to earth.

If you ever have the chance to attend a meet and greet, or even score the rare opportunity to meet the maker of your personal anthem, DO IT. It can add such a rich dimension to your appreciation of their work.

What DJ/Producers have you been blessed to meet? Tell me in the comments 🙂  


Where I Stand on The Electric Zoo Victims; An Apology

Within the first few seconds of receiving news that Sunday of Electric Zoo was cancelled, I was devastated. Distraught initially because I would once again be missing Armin and would not be seeing Vicetone. And like many, I took my fury to Twitter, lashing out angrily to every corner of the internet, blaming irresponsible people for single-handedly ruining my weekend.

That was incredibly selfish, and I’m sorry.

There were multiple factors in the cancellation of Electric Zoo, the most prominent and most reported being the two deaths due to drug overdoses. However these were not the only problems present at the festival itself. As I go on to list these issues I want to make it VERY VERY CLEAR that I am of the opinion that it was in NO WAY Made Event of the Electric Zoo 2013 officials’ fault for these problems:

  • Security was not sufficient.
  • Medical staff, while available did not check surrounding areas for fallen ravers.
  • Certain volunteers / staff not only endorsed frequent ‘molly’ use, there was an incidence of a ‘we want molly’ tip sign at one water station.
For example, why these two were not immediately ejected from the premises for endorsing illegal drug use is FAR beyond me (found by @RJM_PLUR)

For example, why these two were not immediately ejected from the premises for endorsing illegal drug use is FAR beyond me (found by @RJM_PLUR)

 

  • Certain ‘rented’ security staff was not only discourteous, they made unwanted flirtatious advances on female ravers such as myself.
  • Apparel promoting drugs use was permitted at the event, only contributing to the ‘hype’ of drug use.
  • Excessive shoving and general misconduct from attendees exacerbated already dehydrated ravers, only adding tension to already negative situations of crowding and overheating.
  • Songs about ‘Molly’ including Tyga’s ‘Molly’ and Cedric Gervais’ hit song were dropped, only adding to unnecessary hype of the drug

Again, none of these are Made Event of Electric Zoo’s fault. It is important to note that in 2012 Electric Zoo had no deaths. As pop stars and rappers have begun to bolster the hype of drug use and wild partying, our festivals are getting inundated with unsafe expectations that tons of drugs and drinking are required to make the EDM scene enjoyable…encouraging newcomers to create their own ‘Project X‘ at shows like EDC and EZOO instead of simply coming to enjoy the music.

Spoiler Alert; You Don’t Need Drugs To Enjoy EDM

DJ’s such as Bassnectar and Brillz have released official statements about the situation, pleading with their fanbase to be safe and take accountability for their actions. Videos such as the the vimeo clip featuring major acts like Kaskade, Tommie Sunshine, Steve Aoki, and A-Trak have been circulated begging those who do partake in substances to be extremely careful of their actions.


Actions such as taking “6 hits of molly”, leaving a friend by themselves if you know that they are intoxicated or impaired, and buying illegal substances from someone you’ve never met without testing it are just a few examples of unnecessary risks that were taken and contributed to the deaths of these two young individuals. Preventable actions.

While some have made the argument that shutting down the zoo because the poor decisions of 6 people should not affect thousands who have shelled out hundreds of dollars to enjoy their favorite musicians, its important to understand that the decision was ultimately Mayor Bloomberg‘s. While it angered many, like myself it was a wake-up call: if we do not tackle this problem head-on more and more EDM events will be cancelled, banned, and characterized as ‘death fests’, ‘drug sprees’, and ravers like you and me will be labelled ‘drug addicts’. While you can’t convince major news networks to undo the damage they are doing by stigmatizing us with each and every false depiction of all ravers being drug abusers who yell ‘popped a molly I’m sweating’ every 2.5 seconds, what you can do it this:

  • Don’t buy anything endorsing ‘molly’, ‘mdma’, or drugs of any kind
  • Demand that your favorite DJ’s stop the endorsement of drug usage of any kind
  • Demand tracks promoting ‘molly’ and other hard drugs be removed from their set lists; Heck, even walk out as soon as they come on
  • Demand harsher security that ACTUALLY checks for drugs THOROUGHLY

If purging molly from our shows means we can continue to have our major festivals and enjoy our favorite acts free of stigma and death, I say let’s do it. Who’s with me?


Social Savvy Raver

So as you may or may not know, in addition to be a wild and crazy raver clad in anything from a neon bikini to bedazzled bras to lace / leather…I’m also adept in social media.

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What has always confounded me, is how much time and effort agencies, Producers, DJs, and blogs put into maintaining a social presence…without ever bothering to track their progress. Simply hopping onto Twittercounter and charting success by follower count  and number of retweets is all well and good…but are you really measuring your progress effectively?

Spoiler Alert: No, you aren’t. And here’s why:

Are you tracking all your mentions?

Chances are, if all you are looking at are retweets and how many people slapped the ‘follow’ button, you aren’t actually tracking how many people mentioned you and endorsed you to their friends. In many cases, sharing links from Soundcloud and other music sharing sites do not always share and tag your twitter handle. Similarly, sometimes your fans can’t remember your handle and simply tweet mentions of you with your name. Try searching for you name instead of just your hashtag.

Do you actually know which network you’re having the most success on?

Source: Klout, statistics from @Ragehound

Source: Klout, statistics from @Ragehound

If you’re going off of strict follower counts alone, you might not be valuing how many people interact with you on each medium, and not taking into account the value of interactions on more effective mediums.

Do you actually know how well-liked or influential you are?

Source: Social Mention, @ragehound account

Source: Social Mention, @ragehound account

Tools like Social Mention are able to track your mentions as well as sentiment by looking at how many positive, negative, and neutral mentions there are of your account. If you aren’t sure if people actually like you or your brand…this is a pretty handy ‘stats at a glance’.

Do you know who your advocates are? Or your most popular hashtags?

Source: Social Mention, @ragehound account

Source: Social Mention, @ragehound account

Chances are, you’ve been valuing your ‘advocates’ by their follower count. That is somewhat effective, but what you should really be looking at is who interacts with you most and what value they bring in addition to their follower count.

Finally, are you using any tools?

If you aren’t you should. Klout, Social Mention, Twittercounter, Hootsuite, and Topsy are all free and extremely easy to use. Hopefully, by being smarter about how you track mentions and who your true advocates are, you can start to make smarter decisions on social (and heck, maybe even a return on the investment of your time and energy).


Interview With Ignorant Noise

HOLY CRAP ITS BEEN A WHILE.

So I contribute to ElectronicaOasis and White Raver Rafting as an editorial voice, so be sure to keep an eye out! Go me!

Anywho, here is an interview I had with Ignorant Noise that I did for Soundgrail (sadly, they do not exist anymore). Because Dwight is a dear friend of mine, I am reposting it here 🙂

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An up-and-coming electro-hop / dubstep producer, Ignorant Noise is one of Chicago’s most colorful characters.  Hard to miss at a show with his ‘Noise’ hat and spiked leather jacket, his appearance is as unique and individualized as his sound. With his newest EP release ‘Pump The Noise’ making its way up to #40 in dubstep on the Beatport charts, we took some time to sit down and chat with Dwight Poole about his inspiration, and how his career began.

Full interview after the jump

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Interview with Excerpt

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Jordan, aka ‘Excerpt‘ is a progressive house producer from Indianapolis, IN, a growing scene with an increase in dance music events, one of the biggest being Identity Festival. With his most recent EP ‘Beta’ accepted to Pandora, and available on iTunes and Beatport as of July 1, I was very excited to get a chance to speak to him! Before taking to the computer, Jordan was a member of a local rock band. However in the past three years he has begun experimenting with mid-tempo electronic and electro sounds to produce a more ‘energetic’ sound. Getting his first taste of techno through established names such as Daft Punk, and later delving into Wolfgang Gartner and Deadmau5, much of Jordan’s earlier work is ‘mellow’ and more down-tempo than his more recent additions.

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Interview with Tyco

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At just 16, Tyler Guyton (aka. Tyco)  is part of a new wave of young talent entering the EDM scene. A producer, DJ, and local favorite in his hometown of Phoenix, AZ, the high school junior juggles schoolwork and sound production with ease. I got a chance to ask Tyler about his influences, his music, and where he is headed next.

So where did the name ‘Tyco’ originate? Tyler says he wanted to incorporate his name into his stage name, and the ‘Ty’ just  paired well with ‘co”:

“I thought of Tyco because it’s apart of my name “Tyler” & the co part came up because it fit just right.” Tyler Guyton

Drawing inspiration from House staples such as Tiesto and Laidback Luke, Tyler began producing just as EDM exploded into the American scene and house tracks began to appear on top 40’s radiostations. A devoted fan of Hardwell, Tyler hopes to one day master sound production and live performance and plans to attend Icon Collective, an alma mater of Protohype, MakJ, and various other successful DJ/Producers in the scene. Discovering music from Soundcloud, some of Tyler’s favorite songs he’s discovered recently are ‘Footlocker’ by Mightyfools and the Hardwell remix of Krewella‘s ‘Alive’. He describes his music as ‘Dirty Electro’, Tyler produces on FL Studio 11 and has most recently released his original mix ‘Bassgasm’ on Soundcloud.

He’s notably played at events such as Imaginationland, and is rumored to have a possible  appearance in Miami later this year, but Tyler says his ultimate dream would to be to play at Ultra Music Festival alongside greats like Hardwell, W&W, Tiesto, Armin van Buuren, Nicky Romero, Dash Berlin, Dyro, Krewella, and Porter Robinson. Tyler had just one thing to say about what he believes will be coming next in the EDM scene:

“Prepare for the new generation of bass music!” Tyler Guyton

When he isn’t producing, DJing, or in class, Tyler is an avid gamer.

Don’t forget to check out some of his work on Soundcloud!

Tyco is managed by We Run Society, information about them after the jump

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