Prowling the Airwaves and the Underground for the best in EDM

Posts tagged “rave

‘…they only told you you’re good because they wanted to get in your pants’: Feedback I received on my gloving.

Recently, I’ve picked up gloving and have found myself using the art of gloving as an escape from the daily stresses I encounter at work and elsewhere. In the daily practices of perfecting the fluidity of a finger roll to experimenting with a tech concept I see in a tutorial video, I find a quiet little LED oasis where my mind can be at peace. The process is emotional satisfying and mentally relaxing, but recently I received a highly insulting piece of feedback I felt the need to share.

 

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PLUR Profile: April Cooper & Ethan Sparkles

PLUR Profile: April Cooper & Ethan Sparkles

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Every now and again we hear about incredible patrons who stick out in the ‘EDM scene’ (most often Lady Casa comes to mind). Today I wanted to honor two people who represent the roots of the type of electronic music I started listening to and the ‘scene’ I came from before the days of daisies and ‘rave bras’.

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Meet April & Ethan; two ravers who have been around for years and despite the changing fashion around them have largely stayed true to themselves and the music they love. Often found at events decked in neon, FX contacts, and what I would love to dub “high-fashion cyber” these two embody a lesser-known staple of the underground.

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Nowadays, when we think of ‘rave scene’ we think tank-topped bros and daisy-bra ladies, but these two rave on as a gentle reminder of the more dark and creative subculture where older rave-kids like myself got their first taste of both music and fashion. In a time when we are so quick to piss and moan about how much is “wrong with the scene” or what is “ruining the scene”, it is refreshing to see two bright-eyed individuals who are continuing to enjoy and explore all that this scene has been and will become.

Here’s to you April & Ethan 🙂

You can find April on Instagram as @apescooper and Ethan as @ethansparkles, I’m sure both would love a follow!

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


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About my Kandi Masks

I felt it was about time to post this. I wrote a post a while back on a PLUR profile on Dirty Cat Designs.

After wearing these masks out to shows, I was getting a lot of heat for paying for them because they were considered ‘kandi’ and should have been traded. I wanted to address why I am ok with paying Dirty for such unique and high quality creations.

For more on Dirty, visit http://www.dirtycatdesigns.com


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


Dreams are wishes the soul makes: This is mine.

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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!


Rave Makeup Tutorials

Hey all! So I actually had several people ask me how I do my rave makeup in the past, but had never properly addressed it. Compared to most “rave makeup” tutorials I’ve seen on YouTube, the looks I’ve created never seem to be quite the same as these tutorials, and often appear (to me at least) more complex than the usual ‘slap on some gems with lash glue’ approach I see a lot of girls at festivals using.

An example of a much simpler look.

An example of a much simpler look.

Now don’t get me wrong, I think these simplistic looks are cute and perfectly fun looks to wear out. I just do my face differently; very differently.

I like to mix, match, play with eye proportions, and even bedazzle my entire eyelid sometimes

I like to mix, match, play with eye proportions, and even bedazzle my entire eyelid sometimes

So because people have asked how I create the bizarre eye looks that I do, I have decided to create a YouTube channel dedicated to teaching the steps I take when creating specific eye looks for both my kandi wolf-mask, white skull-mask, and classic wamcraft tribal print mask!

I will try to get the first tutorial up soon, but until then book mark this link:

Click Me!


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 ❤


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?


Kandi Kids vs. Club Scene: What Real Ravers Are

Something that has been irritating me for a considerable amount of time is the concept that all EDM events are ‘raves’, that all that listen to EDM as ‘ravers’, and that ‘PLUR’ can be mindlessly spewed and even defecated on with alterations like ‘PLURNT’ and ‘PLUR Bitch!’

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I’m sorry, but Kandi kids aren’t necessarily the club crowd and the club crowd isn’t necessarily the ‘kandi-kid’ crowd that is celebrated on instagram. EDMsnob wrote a fantastic piece explaining the rich history of those wearing kandi, so I don’t feel the need to go into depth (especially since I’m a much newer face in that arena). But I will say is this:

Of the many people I’ve come across that tweet things tagged with ‘#PLUR’ and initiate projects that claim to be  ‘PLUR’ and hock product with the false pretense that they are truly ‘ravers’, I have found that a startling few are who they claim to be. Very seldom do you meet someone whose Twitter handle or association precedes them, and find a genuine representation of what ‘ravers’ truly are.

After spending a night unwinding with some of the very first people to ever recognize me as ‘Ragehound’, I took a minute to look back on all the hard work I’ve put into taking the time to connect with anyone who has every reached out to me. Some have been incredible: they have accepted me with open arms, made me feel like a family member, and given me a sense of acceptance that no one ever could previously in my life. Some have taken time out of their day to come and meet with me, to teach me how to use a perler board, how to make a cuff, even gotten me a water and helped me to the front row my first time seeing a certain DJ. Some have held my hand and sung along to my favorite lyrics and cried with me when ‘that moment’ of a festival when it ends and the ‘comedown’ effect sets in full force. Some have stayed with me when I’ve stupidly tested my limits with drugs and alcohol and gotten too out of control and made sure I got home safe.

These kandi-clad people have been more of a family to me than my own at times, and that is why I get livid when their lifestyle is equated to a joke.

I view those who hock PLUR as a marketing tool as a joke. I also look at those who have begged and pleaded me to tweet their crap, promote their shitty venues, and support their jaded causes which wind up just being another marketing tool as jokers as well. Nonetheless I tweeted, I facebooked, I supported and championed them because that’s the person I am. I suppose what irked me in some cases, was when it came time when I needed that same favor, some magically found it ‘not feasible’ or suddenly ‘just didn’t have the time’.

What I largely discovered, was that these were the people who didn’t arrive at festivals with kandi they’d spent hours and hours making especially for people they knew and loved. These were not the people who sometimes went as far as to coordinate with their friends to match costumes, made sure everyone was hydrated, or took the time to explain subtleties of the music to newcomers who had seen a trailer for a festival on Youtube and yearned to experience an EDM festival for themselves. Instead, these were the people who wrote condescending articles in response to kandi kids, who scoffed and laughed at articles like my own explaining the connection between PLUR and charity, and who would leave comments like this on pictures of girls dressed for raves:

 

And these people are largely the ‘club’ crowd: the crowd that goes to ‘fine establishments’ to enjoy bottle service, listen to a carefully curated selection of ‘techno’ that they feel is far superior to the ‘drop heavy’ sets one hears at festivals (which I can respect), and views the ‘raver’ crowd as a mass of drug-addicted youngsters too jaded to understand what real music is. These are the people who will belittle you for the music you listen to, the clothes you wear, and wave their smug sense of entitlement about like a magic wand. They will tell you the ‘kandi kids’ are awful, tell you how they yearn for when no one knew about Tiesto or Hardwell, and when EDC wasn’t a neon parade of girls in underwear. They probably won’t let you get to the front of the stage, or offer you water. They may instead sneer at you with your parched mouth, thinking you ‘popped a molly and you are sweating’, and as a result think of you as some colorful insect pestering them.

So when individuals such as this tweet about ‘PLUR’ and wave their smug sense of self-importance at others while trying to call themselves ‘ravers’, I get frustrated. These were the individuals  pouring beers from the VIP balcony onto shuffling ravers below at Pacha during Tyler Sherritt’s set (oh don’t worry, I saw you bunch of fools and I’ll return the favor). These were the assholes who elbowed a girl in the face next to me at Zedd when she tried to edge in front of a taller person to see.

These people aren’t ‘ravers’. They don’t preach ‘PLUR’, and probably can’t tell you where it originated. Don’t call them ravers; it’s an insult to those of us who are.

Thank you,

~The Hound