Reviews

Monstercat

Several years ago, I was introduced to Monstercat. The song I listened to was Au5’s song called “Snowblind” featuring the beautiful lyrics of Tasha Baxter.

Recently, I started listening to the Monstercat podcast released weekly which features different artists every week. In episode 118, Eminence took over to promote his new EP “Hollow Mind” released on Monstercat. Monstercat is a Canadian based EDM and dubstep labeled founded by Mike Darlington and Ari Paunonen in July 2011. Monstercat allows DJs to sign to release single tracks, giving them the flexibility of bouncing from label to label. Artists such as Nervo, Eminence, Krewella, Dirty Audio, Marshmello, Project 46, Slushii, and Vicetone have released music on this label.

Eminence is a DJ duo consisting of Dillon ‘DLN’ Wong & Mathew ‘Kazmo’ Kazmierowski. I am Chinese, so naturally I was excited to see that one of the members was Asian, as this industry is predominantly Caucasian males. The festival lineups these days are mostly Caucasian males, and with the entrance of Eminence into the scene, there is a little more diversity. On festival main stages, DJs and DJ groups such as Krewella, Nervo, and Steve Aoki have proven to society that females and Asians were talented as well. However, it is important to still choose lineups and judge music based on the talent and ingenuity, not by a person’s ethnicity/race or gender.

 

Borgeous New Album Vibes ’13’

I was listening to House of Borgeous Episode 079 while at work, which also happened to be Borgeous’ new album takeover, much to my delight since I was waiting the whole day to go home and listen to his new album. The result was Borgeous’ long awaited album “13” which finally come out on August 13 on Armada after 9 months of hard work. The DJ is well-known for his club bangers such as “Tsunami” and one of my personal favorites (my raver’s anthem) “They Don’t Know Us.” However, Borgeous says in an interview with Las Vegas Weekly that

“This sound and direction was geared toward something you can play driving to the beach, just throw it on and vibe.”

So give it a try and get a taste. Listen to the album while you work.

DJ Snake’s First and Last Album?

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DJ Snake has come a long way since his hit single “Turn Down for What”, with smash after smash including “Get Low”, “You Know You Like It”, “Middle”, and “Propaganda.”  I wasn’t expecting this album at all, because after so many singles, I had at least expected an EP before a full artist album. To my happiness, Snake recently released his 2-year baby “Encore” on Interscope Records and claimed on his Twitter that it was his first and last album.  I read the tweet a few days ago, and tried to get the screenshot to put in this post, but was not able to find it today, potentially due to the controversy around his statement. Cementing the position of Number 1 on Billboard’s top Dance/Electronic Album chart, Snake’s new album really grabbed the attention of the public. One of the songs “Let Me Love You” in his debut album features Justin Bieber, an increasingly present pillar in the electronic dance music industry. Check out his new album, because it may be his last…

The album cover art represents the two facets of his life, Africa and France.

Party Favor EP “Party & Destroy”

Check Out Party Favor’s new EP “Party & Destroy” featuring artists such as Dillon Francis, Gent & Jawns, Sean Kingston, Rich the Kid, Gucci Mane, and Georgia Ku. Under the umbrella of Mad Decent, Party Favor or Dylan Ragland produces festival trap anthems, some of his most notable songs being “Bap U” and “Booty Loose”. This EP showcases his immense talent, as Party Favor has performed at major festivals worldwide such as Tomorroworld, Ultra, EDC, Lollapallooza, and Coachella as well as Mad Decent’s block parties.

To get a teaser of the album, listen to a 2 minute clip of the album here on his website where you can download the mix as well.

 

Mad Decent Block Party Brooklyn Day 1

The Review for Mad Decent Block Party Brooklyn Day 1 is in and it was an event for the books:

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Security: By the time I got there at 7, there was no line and we were ushered into the venue fairly quickly. We were patted down and had to take off our shoes and socks. They looked within our purses, but they had managed to miss the hand sanitizer and lip gloss I had brought along. Meanwhile, I saw that they had confiscated multiple lipsticks and packages of gum.

Weather: There was an inclement weather warning where it rained for a good half an hour around 5pm, during which the event was at a standstill. Luckily, I was so hungover from the night before that I was still driving to Brooklyn so by the time I got there when Tory Lanez was performing, the sun was out and the stadium seats were dry. It was the perfect timing.

Venue: MCU park was the perfect venue for a block party. There were ample awnings where the food and beer was sold, perfect for when it hailed that day. The bathrooms never had a line because there were so many stalls. Plenty of stadium seating allowed concert goers to eat and drink, relax and enjoy the music from a distance, able to see the crowd and have a nice view of the stage from the comfort of a seat.

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Food/Drink: There were plenty of food vendors and beer carts. The block party was sponsored by Bud Light, with a beer being a standard $8.50 along with other mixed drinks such as margaritas. Nathan’s Hot Dogs sold their famous hot dogs as well as their chicken tenders and fries. There were also risotto balls and ice pops. It was a great sight seeing someone double fisting two beers, taking a sip and spitting out the foam as he walked. Lovely! Around the stage, people walked around selling beers, water, and ice pops. HUGE downfall though, to my surprise they cut off the beer at 9pm. I was extremely disappointed that we as concertgoers were not warned that alcohol service stopped early.

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Culture: Diplo is infamous for his Mad Decent label throwing block parties all over the US, as well as boat parties, and the newly announced beach party. He was the first DJ/business man to ban the attire and paraphernalia that people imagine about when they think about raves and festivals. Kandi (the color bracelets that ravers exchange with each other), LED lights/gloves, hoops, banners/signs, totems, masks, pacifiers, etc., were among the items prohibited. The emphasis of his parties are truly on the talent and the music, with nothing else to distract from the main point. That’s how it should be.

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Artists: Dillon Francis and Diplo ended the night. Dillon Francis’s set was amazing, with comedic backdrops like febreeze. Diplo’s set started with a ratchet drop and it was drop after drop after drop, until suddenly it mellowed out before he ended with a bang. It was truly a night for the books. The energy in the crowd was uplifting with people shuffling and enjoying themselves on the dance floor as well as near the food stands and in the stadium seats.

 

How to Become a DJ Parody (CVNT5)

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Sup Peasants, read my commentary about the music video below, otherwise skip to the bolded text at the end for my thoughts:

  1. It’s pretty sad that we still live in our mom’s basement. I just want to be rich and famous, how can we do this quick? I know! We’ll just become DJs, it’s so easy and these guys make mad bank. I think our faces are douchey enough.
  2. DAYUMM look how much money these DJs are making!!! We can be the next Calvin Harris. BEST. GET. RICH. FAST. SCHEME. EVER.
  3. I’m not sure how to make music, do we use apps? Or what? Let’s just get a ghost producer. I don’t know any, but we can google everything, right? We can pay him later after he makes us rich and famous.
  4. Next step, we have to practice fake pressing buttons and twisting knobs. I don’t have time to learn that shit. Let’s do it in front of the mirrors so we can make sure we look legitimate, make sure to pump your fist a lot and jump up and down. And don’t forget to scream “EVERYBODY FUCKING JUMP” because that’s what I saw this DJ named Hardwell do and he was Number 1.
  5. We need a name. It has to be something dirty to show we got swag. CUNTS! GDI the domain name is already taken. It’s porn, let’s take a short masturbation break. But back to reality. Let’s just alter “CUNTS” so we’re politically correct, we have to be like deadmau5 and 3LAU and MOTi. We’ll just change the U to a V and the S to a 5! CVNTS. Dang we have the coolest name ever.
  6. Publicize, publicize, publicize. First we’ll upload one song on Soundcloud, that’s how all the DJs get discovered right? I mean, isn’t #SELFIE what put The Chainsmokers on the map? I have a few dollars saved from making sandwiches at the deli in high school, we can buy some Instagram and Twitter followers since no one knows who the fuck we are.
  7. Next, we will just sit back and watch our numbers grow. Our views increase, followers increase, clubs start booking us, then we’re headlining every major festival in the world! It’s just like dominos, no effort necessary. Why didn’t we think of this earlier? I could have been using Heinz ketchup on my hotdogs instead of that generic stuff.
  8. All we need to do now is make money, press some buttons, jump up and down and…have some sort of creative signature stage move. We’ve got the DJs who give champagne showers, the ones who throw cake into the crowd, and the ones who pour Grey Goose into fan’s mouths. We’ll urinate on a really hot girl’s face – it’s unique, it’s different.The chicks will beg for it. Maybe we can invite them behind stage after the show so they can give us blowjobs while their boyfriends watch.
  9. We should start practicing our duck faces and our “I’m rich and I don’t care about other people” looks in our bathroom mirrors. Thus, when the big magazines contact us for photoshoots, we will be ready with our game faces. I can instagram pictures of my face plastered on billboards and tweet articles about me talking about life! It didn’t even take much talent!
  10. The real talents and greats don’t even know who we are. Whatever, I have money.

Despite how humorous the music video is, the underlying topics brought up are not entirely false. Gareth Emery and Ashley Wallbridge intend to mock multiple aspects of the electronic dance music industry that are not widespread, but lead to an overall negative impression by outsiders. Issues such as using ghost DJs, buying Instagram and Twitter followers, fake DJing, being a performer more than an artist, and general hedonism and debauchery are raised in this parody. The few DJs that use these tactics undermine the majority of the other DJs who don’t, giving an overall undesirable reflection of the entire electronic dance music industry as a whole, causing outsiders to lose respect for the “real” DJs. We need to focus on the positive aspects of the industry and remember the multitudes of talented DJs from a diverse range of backgrounds that bring us great music cultivated through talent and hard work. Congrats to Gareth Emery and Ashley Wallbridge on an amazing song!

Check out their hilarious parody Twitter that makes references to real events: https://twitter.com/wearecvnt5

 

Armin @ BKWHS Review

Warehouse vibes!

A post shared by Armin van Buuren (@arminvanbuuren) on

  1. When I heard it was a secret Brooklyn warehouse party, I knew it was going to be good Armin. Two and a half hours of Armin, not just 45 minutes of Armin at a festival. 45 minutes really limits a DJ and they’ll end up playing a bunch of basic songs to appeal to the crowd. I respect him because as his music evolved, similarly to Tiesto, he delved further away from trance especially with his new albums “Intense” and “Embrace.” However, because he had a longer set he was able to incorporate both elements.
  2. There was an outside and inside stage. Of course it rained that day. It’s always like that in NY. It was so appealing to be crowded and trampled inside the venue (Brooklyn Hangar), only to walk outside to stand in the wet mud which was also super crowded. Alternatively, I could escape that to walk into the urine puddle of a portapotty. They said the event would go on rain or shine, but because of the massive rainstorms the outside stage was cancelled.
  3. $6 for a bottle of water. This is a great time for me to invest in a camelbak. Do I want to pay $6 for a drink that hydrates me or $10 for a beer that dehydrates me?  Recommendation to hosts: provide free filtered water at events. People will still pay for bottled water and if someone dies from dehydration, it’s ultimately their fault, but it still makes you look bad. At least there were food concessions. I was genuinely surprised as I’ve never been to a night event where food was being sold.
  4. Paint dropped from the ceiling every time the beat dropped, whether it was into my drink or onto our sweaty bodies, I didn’t know it was paint, I just wondered why there were chunks falling me.
  5. The music was amazing. The lineup was Ruben de Ronde, Khohma, MarLo, and of course the king of trance Armin van Buuren. There was no lack of Armin Jesus throughout the night and the energy in the crowd was high. Going alone as a short girl, I wasn’t able to join the crowd, so I watched from the sidelines to avoid becoming the next headline. I didn’t get to see the lasers or the carbon dioxide cannons or experience the full sensory overload of the show, but I had a great view of Armin’s side and I was able to fangirl him with a spacious spot at the barrier. He mostly looked ahead, but occasionally he acknowledged those on his sides and when I waved to him, he pointed at me – and that is when my heart melted. I know to him that I’m just a random fan girl, but to me he is everything. I personally enjoyed MarLo as well. A lot of people left after Armin’s set, because they wanted to rest before FSOE with Aly & Fila on Governer’s Island the next morning, but not me. Because the crowd became less like sardines and more breathable, I was able to get a spot in the crowd with enough room to dance. MarLo was phenomenal. Not only was the music perfect and synced with the vibes of the warehouse, but the lasers were spectacular. They were able to use the lasers with the carbon dioxide cannons to create a beautiful cloudy sky.
  6. Armin allowed multiple people to join him on stage, including a man who had cerebral palsy. It was a touching moment.
  7. Lastly, RPM Presents, despite you holding so many great events and bringing in so much great talent, it is disgusting how you oversold tickets. I met a guy there who said they barred everyone behind him from getting in. It could have easily been me if I had hit a lot of traffic or if I had a work shift that ended later. These are paying people who were denied admission to a show. Some people make long drives, take off days of work, buy airplane tickets, and go lengths to go to these events. Despite not allowing a number of people to enter the venue, the venue was still crowded regardless.

RPM Presents, get your shit together. I love Armin, but I don’t love Armin so much that I’ll pay for a ticket that only MIGHT get me admission to see him.

 

Highlights of EDC Las Vegas

I missed EDC Las Vegas. Again. No worries,

  1. Marshmello trolls crowd by pretending to reveal himself but it’s actually Tiesto. I actually believed Tiesto was behind Marshmello’s identity for 10 seconds, then realized that I was being ludicrous.
  2. BassPOD Stage literally catches on fire because of a pyrotechnic device. Talk about pyro gone bad…and here I was thinking that the fire was part of the stage.
  3. Anna Lunoe and Alison Wonderland become the first solo female DJs to perform mainstage at EDC.
  4. Sad festival goers are turned away at the gate because of counterfeit wristbands. My heart broke for them. Moral of the story: don’t buy tickets from sources not to be trusted. Only ever buy tickets from the original ticket provider.
  5. Paris Blohm raving with the crowd even though he has performed at EDC before. He started out as a fan and he’ll never stop being a fan even with all his fame.
  6. Ravers showing their love and support after the tragic Orlando shooting and uniting together
  7. KSHMR’s set literally blows out the speakers during his set Saturday morning. Poor KSHMR, even a few minutes of silence cannot hold his fan base down. I would have stayed for the former ex-Catarac.
  8. No one died. That’s actually great news for a festival of this magnitude.

Maybe one day we will be headliners uniting under the electric sky. But for now, we’re just broke. Peace

Tiesto the troll:

BassPOD is lit:

Catch the sets here:

Jauz

I have been enjoying a free two-month trial of SiriusXM satellite radio. Basically, I can listen to my podcasts without having to plug my phone in and ensuring that my phone’s app “Podcast Addict” is consistently downloading all of my favorite DJ podcasts, which is more difficult than you think. Recently, Electric Area has been exclusively streaming Electric Daisy Carnival New York live, and I was thrilled to listen to my favorites like Dash Berlin and Yellow Claw. I was even more pleased to listen to an interview with Jauz, a twenty-two year old DJ who is already playing Electric Daisy Carnival New York. Sam Vogel aka Jauz started making music early, but specifically delved into electronic music as a 15-16 year old. A few short years later and he is already playing alongside greats like Diplo and Skrillex, performing at huge events like Insomniac’s Audio on the Bay, Life is Beautiful, Mad Decent Block Party, and this past weekend, Electric Daisy Carnival. Native to Northern California, my beloved home, Jauz is an inspiration to all of us who are aspiring to be something great.

I don’t see his climb up the electronic dance music ladder slowing down any time soon. The music he produces and the sounds he plays cannot be put into a category. His music defies boundaries and incorporates many elements of music such as trap, house, hip-hop, and dubstep. DJs like Excision, Skrillex, and Datsik have inspired him. Jauz claims his name is an inside joke, and says that it has nothing to do with Jaws or sharks. Regardless, it is inevitable that fans are calling themselves the Shark Squad. I am looking forward to his EP.

Meanwhile, listen to one of his recent singles “Rock the Party” because I am loving his style.

 

KSHMR’s new EP “The Lion Across the Field”

KSHMR, aka Niles Hollowell-Dhar, has put out a new EP called the “The Lion Across the Field.” I have been listening to KSHMR for the past few years, raving to songs like the epic “Burn” and “No Heroes” and recently “Dead Man’s Hand” and “Secrets.” He has come a long way from being part of the duo the Cataracs. I was so intrigued by the song “Burn” and was excited to learn that a member of the Cataracs had produced it. A few years ago in my undergraduate years even before I discovered my love of electronic music, I was a huge fan of the Cataracs. I danced to songs like “All You”, “On Top of the World”, “Big Dipper”, “Bass Down Low”, and so many other countless party anthems. When I found out that my school had brought the Cataracs to perform at a free concert, I was elated. However, a few days before they were scheduled to perform, the duo had broken up. I was torn, thinking that I would no longer be able to experience their talent. I was glad to learn that KSHMR lives on as an amazing DJ who puts out great records on the label Spinning Records.

He has been putting out singles for years, and he has finally put out an EP, which includes the hits “Wildcard” and “Touch.” Enjoy this album and turn it up.