Everything in my life is pretty steady right now and nothing has gone terribly wrong for close to a week. This is something novel for me and it feels unreal, so I hope that most of you are going through a similar uplifting stint of good fortune. But just incase you’re not, please take these musical tokens as padding to soften all the bullshit-related blows currently being jousted at you from whatever corners of karma fucktown you may have angered; god knows I’ll be right back in your situation at some point or another.
Everything Flosstradamus has been producing as of late has tickled me in a way that if Loretta tickled me I’d say, “Oh ya, that’s nice…that’s the spot.” The same goes for modern Trap music production in general.
Love him or hate him, Quentin Dupieux has one of the most sadistically brilliant minds in the world of french experimental music, and film. Whether it be a tire on a mission to kill, or a pint sized stuffed animal playing chess with William Fichtner, the bearded madman never ceases to spew creativity and this new release is but another extension of his dizzyingly irregular take on the world. I for one cant get enough of both his music (past and present) and his films, and will continually be a flat eric fanatic for as long as the man has breath in his body and a beard on his face.
Although I have been very attached to Oliver’s music for quite some time now, it really wasn’t until I saw U-Turn (1/2 of the duo) spin here in Toronto @ The Gladstone Hotel that their music became entrenched in every play list I create. Their funky ‘Justice-esque’ basslines and whispingly elegant synth and vocal work puts me in an unshakably good mood, especially in peak rush hour traffic. My review of said concert will be surfacing shortly, so you’ll be able to see exactly what im talking about.
To be perfectly honest im really not that impressed with Flux Pavilion’s new original release, nor am I with Dillon Francis’ Remix, which is funny as they are two of my current favourite artists and I had been anticipating this specific release for quite some time (thanks to twitter). But I guess things don’t always turn out the way you plan, so let’s just all be thankful that Jack Beats’ name was amongst those on the remix list; I don’t think I’ve ever disliked anything they’ve produced.
The Danny Byrd Remix is also quite fantastic. I’m not too sure how many of you TIT readers I’ve converted into DnB fans yet, but I do hope its more than zero, cause if not you guys have no idea what you’re missing out on (both musically and culturally).
The Buraka bregade have been slated to open for Justice and M83 here in Toronto on August 4th, and I cannot wait to see what all the fuss is about. After stumbling across the Portugese musicians via Caspa’s remix of their recent single The Hangover, I rifled through most of their discography contently but really didn’t get much of that ‘shit my pants’ feeling. However, I have been assured that their live presence is a force to be reckoned with and accents their Kuduro style of music far beyond the levels achievable through an electronic listening device.
Here are the top 10 things that happened to me over the course of 2011; a year that took this website from an abstract idea into a household name. I owe everything to the artists I have covered, every promotion company that have booked them, and every person that attended their shows and/or read my reviews. I’m just happy I survived it all with some money left in my account and my hearing intact. Can’t wait to see if 2012 can top its predecessor.
There have been very few instances this past year where something life changing has happened to me and I decided against blogging about it. Meeting Josh Guard is among them. After purchasing tickets to cover the back-to-back shows he played in August, I informed him of how excited I was via email and didn’t think much of it, as I had just recently come in contact with him following our interview. When the Toronto show finally came, Josh greeted me after his set with open arms and happily adorned the TWG shirt I gave him. I told him I would be seeing him the following night, exchanged numbers, and sauntered back to my ex-girlfriends apartment happier than a pig in shit. Then things somehow got more awesome.
During my subsequent coitus session, my trusty iPhone began buzzing violently on the side table and I glanced over in panic as I read the caller id: FIGURE. Before I could even say or do anything, my ex assured me that answering the phone was not the best idea if I hoped to retain my current predicament, but I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I guess thinking with your head sometimes is a good thing, because as it turned out Josh was wondering if he could catch a ride with me to London later that day, instead of struggling to make his red-eye at Pearson airport. I of course obliged.
I picked him up the next day and we spent a good 3 hours meandering through Moog Audio in Queen West, and grabbing some Big Fat Burritos in Kensington Market before hitting the highway back west. On the drive he sat beside me on his laptop and happily worked away on his music while amusing my questions, which continued all the way into my apartment and throughout dinner. I then drove him to APK that night where he threw down a sensational set, and following the show he decided to bypass the hotel room that was booked for him and opted to come back and crash at my place. We stayed up until 4 am looking for the best 90s hip-hop to sample while reminiscing about both shows, and the following morning I dropped him off at the airport where we said our goodbyes. It was truly the best 48 hours I’ve had as a music fan to date, and I’m just lucky that Josh was awesome enough to have allowed for it to happen.
This one was actually a double-whammy, as arranging the interview with Steve involved attending the set he spun on The River Gambler in the middle of Lake Ontario this past May, which also featured a crew member that I had a hunch would be on board: Joel Zimmerman. For an entire sunny afternoon, the small group on board had an intimate DJ set courtesy of both Steve and Joel, as we sailed around the Toronto harbour side. This setting was also isolated enough to socially interact with the two of them in a civilized manor, and following his set I shared a couple of cigarettes and some light conversation with Steve, where he gave me the green light to rendezvous back at his place the following week for an interview.
After reading the address, I realized that Steve owned the bachelor loft adjacent to Joel’s in Toronto, which has since been purchased, destroyed and amalgamated into what is now Deadmau5′s new super studio/lair downtown. The interview itself was the first I had done in video format, and Steve was a pleasure to have as the debut artist. His wealth of knowledge on almost every aspect of the music industry was simply astounding, and it was an incredible honour to sit as the lone audience to his muse for over an hour. Furthermore, he showed us a bunch of the new tracks and software VSTs that he’d been working on at the time, and graciously delivered my care package of cat-nip cigars and Whiskas treats next door to Prof. Meowingtons.
If you follow this website with any sort of regularity, it’s not hard to see why this event made the top three. Devin has been my closest internet friend since we met on Skype last January, which gave me a front row seat to watch him evolve as a producer and climb his way up the Beatport charts. I have learnt more about the inner workings of the North American EDM industry from his tales than any other medium combined, and have had a great time befriending him in the process. He’s the only guy that always has got my back, and I love the dude to death. Look out for our first actual interaction to be nestled atop this list come next year.
I was a big fan of Porter Robinson when I first began this website, which has fostered a healthy amount of posts dedicated to his music for the past year or so since. His reputation has done nothing but skyrocket in 2011, and thus I was given ample opportunities to go and see him live in and around Ontario, and even Quebec. By the time his Hamilton show in September rolled around, he had taken notice and was nice enough to invite the whole TWG crew to his dinner and pre-show party. The show itself had a couple of mishaps here and there, but in the end we all got blasted and had a lot of fun in the process. I sincerely hope that it wasn’t our final encounter, as Mr. Robinson has a healthy sense of humor and I’d love to put it to the test once again.
When Anton Zaslavski gave me my first interview last November, he was sitting at #4 in the Beatport charts for his remix of “Scary Monsters & Nice Sprites” and was still looking to get bookings outside of Germany. 4 months later, Zedd had already become a household name on blogs across the world and had finally been booked to play a show in Toronto. Meeting him for the first time was just as I expected, as his live demeanor was just as gentle and humble as his online one. However, what I never could have expected was that he would allow me to stand alongside him in the booth for the entirety of his show, and furthermore, encouraged me to jump around as emphatically as my body would let me. When it was all over I handed him over the first TWG shirt ever made, which I later learned he had been repping all across America during the inaugural OWSLA tour with Porter Robinson and Skrillex this past summer.
Upon hearing that Madeon was scheduled to make his first overseas appearance at Webster Hall in New York, I tweeted him congratulations and assured him that I would do anything in my power to make my way to the big apple to see it. About a minute later, a wonderful lady named Laura (Webster Hall’s twitter-master) jumped into the conversation and assured she’d have a pass waiting for me if I made it down. Without thinking twice I grabbed my trustee sidekick (Dan O. Photos) and made the necessary bookings and arrangements. The concert itself was phenomenal, and served as the center-piece to what was an incredible weekend of roaming around Manhattan with a video camera. And to top it all off, I just happened to have been standing next to the founder of Elektro Magazine while I was documenting Madeon’s show, which in turn landed me with my first actual writing job. I still have yet to finish compiling and editing all the footage from the trip, but the moment it’s finished you’ll be the first to know.
I got into the EDM scene by being introduced to the music of Bob Rifo and The Bloody Beetroots back in 2008. Following the first show I ever saw them play, which was here in London, I wrote a crude review of the evening’s affairs that included videos I had taken with my iPhone, as well as audio clips of the tracks from their set. The next morning I saw that what I had written had been published to the homepage of the Beetroots’ website, and that Rifo had mentioned it in a tweet. I haven’t looked back since.
To put it bluntly, this was by far the most fun I’ve ever had at a concert. If I ever earn enough money in my lifetime to allow it, I’m going to open a club that features a dancefloor that can be doused by a simulated storm at the touch of a button. The combination of sliding around like a deranged lunatic and Deadmau5′s live presence put me in a 2 hour state of immaculate joy, and birthed what was hands down the most energetic crowd I’ve been a part of to date. Furthermore, the sight of over 250,000 muddy and destroyed Lollapalooza patrons flooding the streets of downtown Chicago is one that I won’t ever forget for as long as I live.
In October of this year, all the hard work that Embrace had put into building a previous relationship with Skrillex came to a head. Somehow they managed to ink Sonny Moore to play at 3 separate venues in the span of 2 nights, and I was lucky enough to be given permission to cover all three. It was the 6th, 7th & 8th time I was to see Skrillex spin in 2011, and the first time seeing his new live setup which he has since dubbed, “The Cell.” Furthermore he brought 2 artists along with him that I had been dying to see for the first time (12th Planet and Dave Nada), and gave me the opportunity to meet them and see them perform 3 times in a row. The only one that wasn’t having a good time that weekend was my liver.
Yep, its been exactly one year to the date that the first weekly segment of TIT music was birthed and by golly have we ever come a long way since then. Considering that im an extremely lazy and procrastinating slob of a human being, it scares me to know that this blog is the only thing in the world that I have cared enough about to work on week in and week out. My love for music has definitely kept me going this whole time, but the truth of the matter is that I would have quit this shit long ago if you guys didn’t continually take interest in what I have to say.
So thanks for tuning in every week, and I promise that the TITs will only be getting more luscious and tasty for as long as I have the Internet at my disposal.
I don’t have much to say about this one that hasn’t already been spouted by countless musical journalists who are much smarter than myself. My only advice is just listen and try to forget for a moment that the world is out to get you. Joel’s music is great for that.
The new EP release from my favoruite Italian producer is just around the corner (the 15th), and apparently its going to be coupled by some sort of new Rifo-driven lifestyle movement. I hope most of the major religious figures in the world take note, cause the way I see it, if Bob is starting up an organized gathering that is tied directly to his music, there’s gonna be a lot of empty seats in Churches, Synagogues, Mosques, etc., in the not too distant future.
I was lucky enough to see FuntCase drop both of these unreleased Circus gems last night, and with the power of 6 sub woofers behind it. Since Doctor P and Flux were withheld from this summers WEMF (due to extenuating circumstances), and Cookie Monsta‘s Montreal set was absolved for similar reasons, last night became the first time I saw a Circus artist physically manipulate turntables. The result was a set that was comprised entirely of the label’s hardest hitting released and unreleased music, and FuntCase didn’t shred any opportunity to lavish in it as much as we were.
Lazy Rich‘s style of production has been one of the remaining strains of down-home Electro-House that I thoroughly enjoy listening to on a regular basis. His bass lines are always jumpy, and the noises that the man has concocted over the years have consistently brought a smile to my face and a pep to my step. I’m sure by the time the next yearly rendition of the TITs rolls around, you’ll have seen this man’s name on this website more times than you’d like to fathom.
Although the official release of The Aftershave has within it some big remixes from the likes of Tommy Trash and Kaskade, I chose to post these two tracks for a very simple reason. Although a lot of you may hate to hear it, I presently prefer Moombahton and Dubstep music wholeheartedly over Electro-House in my day-to-day endeavors. A year ago, when I started this website, I might have laughed at myself too, but that’s the way the industry is dear friends so you might as well keep an open mind if you wanna stay afloat.
Finally we have arrived back at the beginning of my Chicago-related journey. It’s been a good few weeks since then, but most of the conversations I have had in that time have involved stories from the Perry’s stage – the ever-overcrowded Lollapaloozian home of overdosed American youth. There, I had the pleasure of seeing 4 of my favourite electronic musicians play in succession, in one of the most massively long and sweaty tent structures I’ve ever stepped into. For half a day I got a vivid taste of what it means when America decides to throw down in a metropolitan city setting, and my body has been wartorn from the experience ever since…
Unfortunately for me, the set I was looking forward to the most that day happened to be the earliest. Since Lollapalooza is an all ages festival, Feed Me’s set at 3.30 served as the perfect time for all the kiddies to rail some lines off their iPhones and congregate at Perry’s. The difference between being in a crowd full of cokeheads, and being in a crowd filled with any other kind of heads, is basic concert-reated manners; which seemed to be nonexistent at that point of the day. There was definitely no lack of energy, and Jon’s set covered everything we wanted and more, but having 14 year olds relentlessly shoulder me every 20 or so seconds became extremely irritating after a while, especially when its easy to tell that they dont give two fucks about the artist – who happened to have destroyed it that afternoon (as per usual).
For myself, any opportunity to lavish in the musical stylings of Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo is always a treat, but again the crowd hindered my ability to focus on the show. However, my pent up frustration from Feed Me’s set reached its tipping point the moment a “make shift” mosh started brewing between a gaggle of beater clad thumbsuckers to my immediate right. They figured that shoving each other flamboyantly was the appropriate thing to do whilst Pistols & Hearts was pumping, so to educate them (and better my own situation) I began violently thrashing around like a good Torontonian boy knows how, and single-handedly cleared every shred of prepubescent garbage out of the area. After that me and my buddies had more than ample space to enjoy our favourite Italians properly and without unwanted interference, which unfortunately was a small victory that wouldn’t last very long…
The moment that tiny, glasses-clad bundle of joy made his way to the podium, the Perry’s stage crowd numbers ballooned astronomically (as was expected). It was here that I took my leave to the safe confines of the side fence to catch a breather and by some greasy fucking food. My meal for that hour was insanely entertaining for me, but horridly devastating for others. From the side of Perry’s one is able to gain a great vantage point of the entire crowd, who began dropping like flies during Sonny’s set (literally). The heat, humidity and lack of free oxygen and water began taking its toll on the tent dwellers, and one by one a symphony of fainting patrons unfolded; which to me of course is hilarious.
Amidst the paramedics and stretchers, the rest of Skrillex’s set was pretty enjoyable to tell you the truth. Sonny tested out a couple of new tracks that I had not been privy to the 6 other times I’ve seen him this year (like his DnB re-edit of Rock N Roll), and the decreasing number of people able to stand consciously allowed me to penetrate the masses and end up in the front row for the last 15 minutes of the set.
The real reason why I had fought so vigorously during Skrillex’s set to get to the front row, was to ensure that I experienced Afrojack’s set in all its wonderfully high pitched glory. By then the sun was in it’s last minutes of setting, and most of the little kiddies had scampered off home. What was left was the true EDM lovers that had attended the festival that day, and by golly there was a shit heap of them. Every square inch under the canopy was packed tighter than a corsette on Chris Farley, and after waiting and extra 50 minutes after Skrillex’s set (due to rehabilitation of the direly fatigued) I was going to have the best seats in the house for Mr. Van De Wall.
If you read part 2 of this ‘Worstapalooza Saga’, you’ll already know that it was at this point in the evening where my sunglasses were taken from me. Afro had whipped into the first 20 min chunk of his set, and just as he began mixing in a little dab of Daft Punk, the security dink behind the front gate grabs me and pulls me out of the crowd – tossing my sunglasses under the stage simultaneously. Outraged, I implored Mr. Fatty-with-a-goatee to prompty grab them for me, to which he laughed as if I had told him McDonalds went out of business, and hauled me off forcibly from under the tent.
Instead of coupling my now deaf and tired state with anger, I chose to party with the rest of the overflow outside the tent without much of a fuss. Normally this would hinder the sound quality dramatically, but some brilliant fuck decided to add a whole set of speakers to cater to the out-of-tent crowd, and the party that ensued outside was one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had to date. The original 50 minute delay also allowed Afrojack to play much later into the night, and his set was eventually capped off with a re-edit of Replica and a dazzling array of fireworks.
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