Album/Song/Artist 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.

 

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

 

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.

Yellow Claw’s album Blood for Mercy

There’s no doubt that Yellow Claw’s fame and popularity is only soaring, with the epic release of their latest album “Blood for Mercy” and the accompanying Blood for Mercy Tour. I too wanted to participate in the debauchery of one of his raves, but he has only stopped by NYC one time, during the new year in which I was visiting family on the other coast. I even contemplated going to DC to see him at one of the arguable best venues I have ever been to, Echostage. The first time I heard about Yellow Claw was when someone had died after falling off the balcony during one of his concerts, specifically while “Till it Hurts” was playing. RIP Cody, I have withheld all judgment regarding the circumstances of his death, as it is another young person’s life lost and cut too short. Naturally, “Till it Hurts” was the first song I heard, and I was in love.

I became introduced to the genre of trap, and started delving into Diplo, Jack U, Flosstradamus, Major Lazer, Dillon Francis, etc. Similar to Armin spearheading trance with his label Armada, I felt that Diplo had spearheaded trap with his acclaimed label Mad Decent.

The release of Yellow Claw’s album “Blood for Mercy” was eye opening for me. Every song in it was bold and each subsequent track better than the one before, as if that was possible. My favorite songs? “Drowning in Champagne”, “Nightmare”, and “In my Room.” So listen up, because this album is lit.