Pray for Paul van Dyk

Last night during Paul van Dyk’s set at A State of Trance Festival 750 (ASOT 750), he took a fall and was immediately transferred to the hospital where he is being treated with the best medical care. Apparently, during his set he suddenly disappeared from the stage with the high-energy uplifting trance still playing in the background. The fans were unaware of what was happening until Armin announced his hospitalization and that the mainstage was closed for the rest of the night. I couldn’t possibly expect Armin to play his awaited all vinyl set with the somber atmosphere so props to Armin for showing that respect for his friend. Having attended a Paul van Dyk show, PvD is truly one of the greats in trance and truly makes his concerts about the music. Pray for Paul during this time that he has a quick and speedy recovery.

 

Home by Dzeko & Torres

Some of you may know Dzeko & Torres from their highly anticipated yearly 10 minute mixes that represent the entire year’s worth of music. I know that one of the highlights of the past new year was “2015 in 10 minutes”. Get the free download on their facebook page.  Or, you may know them because Tiesto basically took the talented duo under his wing. Check out their new song “Home” released under Tiesto’s label Musical Freedom Records.

“Under the Electric Sky” film review

“Under the Electric Sky” is a documentary film created in 2014 by Insomniac Events, the organization created by Pasquale Rotella that spearheads major worldwide festivals such as Electric Daisy Carnival, Electric Forest, Beyond Wonderland, Nocturnal Wonderland, Countdown, Escape, Crush, and many other festivals. The film was first premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Pasquale, a past underground raver himself, is most well-known for Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) which is held in many locations worldwide such as Las Vegas, New York, Mexico, Orlando, United Kingdom, Puerto Rico, and Brazil. These large-scale events feature the festival goers as the headliners. Arguably, EDC Las Vegas is held in the most popular location. I would consider this film basically a long 85 minute commercial for Insomniac Events, however I had no trouble re-watching it over and over again. Every time I watched it, I would be moved to tears with the people’s stories of how electronic dance music changed their lives in a better way. Not only is the movie a promotion for the Insomniac brand, it is also a tribute to electronic dance music culture and a great introduction to non-ravers about the fact that EDM is not just a music genre, but a way of living. By that, I mean that people within this culture practice PLUR (Peace Love Unity Respect), four ways of treating people that will make this world a better place, and this is evident when attending raves and festivals. Pasquale defines PLUR perfectly in another post that I wrote here.

The movie follows multiple story lines: a long-distance couple who reunites at EDC LV every year, a couple who gets married at EDC LV years after having their children, a group of friends that are closer than family honoring a lost friend, a woman who was literally saved by electronic dance music when she was going through difficult times, and a disabled man in a wheelchair. The film not only features an electrifying soundtrack along with spectacular footage of the 3-day festival and interviews with top DJs, but shows the lively and warm spirit of electronic dance music culture. The touching stories of how despite the circumstances and different situations each person represents, everyone is ultimately united under the electric sky. The film does a great job of showing that EDM is not just music, but a lifestyle that is beautiful and truly welcoming to people from all walks of life.

Check out the trailer below.

 

Gareth Emery’s 100 Reasons to Live

Last Friday, Gareth Emery gave me a reason to live, with the announcement of his album “100 Reasons to Live” that would be released April 1. This album has 15 songs including the beautiful “Hands” which was debuted several months ago. The first single in this album is “Reckless” with the vocals of Wayward Daughter, and is a delightful taste into his album. I was first introduced to Gareth Emery with his album in 2013 “Drive” which I still listen to constantly. Check out his website and see if he is coming to your city for an album tour and pre-register because there are limited tickets. http://100reasonstolive.garethemery.com/tour/

 

Pre-order his album today because you’re going to want it. https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/100-reasons-to-live/id1083976859?l=en&app=itunes

PLUR

I always found it difficult to define PLUR, a mantra within the rave culture that meant “peace, love, unity, respect.” We are essentially the hippies of this generation in this respect, with hippies in the past saying “Peace”. It is a way of treating people so that the world will be a better place. I see PLUR practiced at raves and festivals where people from all over the world gather under the same sky. A pick up line used at some raves I have been include “How many times have you seen this artist?” and it is unheard of to see guys touching or grinding with a girl without first introducing themselves to the girl and asking for permission. I personally feel much safer at a rave than at a club. However, PLUR goes beyond female and male interactions, it allows everyone to be friends with each other and to help each other unconditionally and selflessly. If only this could be applied to the entire universe as well.

Pasquelle Rotella, founder and CEO of Insomnia Events, described PLUR perfectly in this facebook post, which I quote below

“✌??? A few Words about P.L.U.R. When I was first introduced to this concept it was in the early 90’s at undergrounds. At that time it was a Spoken thing. A discussion. Sometimes it was written in the corner of a flyer here and there. But they were definitely the overriding Principles of attending an Event….and also for trying to live your Life Outside of Events.This was Pre-Kandi, Pre-Merch, Pre-Just about everything. Promoters were breaking into Warehouses in LA by Bolt Cutting Locks, there was maybe 1 or two lights, and all the money was spent on a booming sound-system. Security was sometimes Non-Existent. Which was always amazing to me because then Drag Queens, GangBangers, Goths, Breakdancers, and Kids like me and my friends from Westside would Get Along. Better that that, WE PARTIED! ?The concept of P.L.U.R held people together then. In a very REAL way. It still holds the same Gravity for me now.? I’m not sure when it became popular or “Cool” to clown on “PLURRRRR Bro”.?? But I just laugh and give those people a Big Hug, because they don’t get it. PLUR is O.G…PLUR is why I keep doing Events, and The spirit of PLUR saved my Life a few times when things got sticky back in the Day! ??? More on this Later, but I will leave you with this… ‪#‎PEACE‬ – To be in the same place as another, to exist similtaniously without conflict or adverse effects/reactions.?‪#‎LOVE‬ – To unconditionally feel great affection for a fellow being, and offer friendship regardless of race, sex, or creed.?‪#‎UNITY‬ – To come together and defend common interests and give a sense of well being among those who feel unaccepted, to allow any and all to be a part of you and your friends. ?‪#‎RESPECT‬ – To allow yourself to be who you are without expectations, and allow others to do the same while helping each other, giving those around you the pride, courage, and honor you would yourself.‪#‎PLUR‬????✊”

 

Congratulations to Diplo and Skrillex for their Grammy!

Trap has finally gotten its fame. Diplo and Skrillex, the duo who together pioneered Jack Ü, a sound that has only been gaining more and more popularity, has won a Grammy for the Best Electronic/Dance album “Skrillex and Diplo present Jack Ü.” Over the past months, I’ve seen Jack Ü headline and perform at many major festivals like Decadence NYE, Life in Color, etc. Their performances are distinctive with them inviting the people behind their vocals like Justin Bieber and CL to perform live on stage, along with the infamous giant Febreze bottle. Who doesn’t remember Bieber dancing at Ultra Miami and clearly lip synching? This album is mostly trap, and features artists like 2 Chainz, Missy Elliot, and Kai. Of course, the song that put Jack Ü on the map to raise awareness for trap involves Justin Bieber with “Where are Ü Now.” With that song comes a strong fan base, which shows that despite Bieber’s fondness for electronic dance music influence and the duo’s talents, the ultimate reason this duo got their Grammy is because of Bieber’s fan base. I’m not saying they aren’t talented. The album is great, and does deserve a Grammy, however with the genre of electronic dance music not taken as seriously as pop or rock, awareness and exposure on any level is healthy for our genre. So congratulations to my boo Diplo and Skrillex, because tonight they finally get some of the fame and honor their talents deserve. Better late than never.

Check out Justin Bieber’s killer dance moves at 16:00 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaDFo7hbCKs

 

Thank ü @thegrammys

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Maxximize NYC

A few days ago on February 13, my sister and I attended Maxximize NYC, a huge rave held annually in NYC by the duo Blasterjaxx. Last year, the party was held at Governer’s Island. This year, the rave that featured DJs such as Lestat, Jewelz and Sparks, Zaxx, MOTi, Blasterjaxx, and Firebeatz was held in the acclaimed Hammerstein Ballroom. I was super excited and told all my coworkers about my President Day weekend’s plans, even mispronouncing the venue’s name wrong a bajillion times before being corrected. Clearly, I am not a New Yorker or have Jewish ancestries. My sister, who had attended raves with me in the past but was not as big a fan as me, was skeptical about attending a 7 hour rave. She was concerned about being able to be on her feet that long, especially since it basically meant pulling an all-nighter. However, I had created her a Spotify playlist featuring the artists performing at this event, so she was psyched. Being a “non-raver”, she enjoyed music with lyrics. She had not enjoyed the previous rave I had brought her to where we saw Paul van Dyk, because there weren’t enough “words.” Thus, based on my friends and my boyfriend’s opinions, none of whom are fans of electronic dance music, I believe that people who enjoy pop, hip hop, and rap can easily be converted to ravers by being exposed to progressive house and electro house, genres that have more vocals.

Aside from introducing non-ravers to the world of raving and plur, the rave was phenomenal. Even my sister was able to stay on her feet and dance. Even without knowing the majority of the songs, anyone can enjoy the build ups and the epic drops. The environment is better as well. Guys politely ask girls if they would like to dance or trade kandi, rather than grinding against them. A pickup line that my sister and I have experienced at both Maxximize NYC and PvD at Terminal 5 was “How many times have you seen this artist?” Clearly, most of the people attending these raves are not attending to pick up chicks, but to enjoy the talent, which is why I prefer going to a rave rather than attending a nightclub where a DJ is performing.

The venue is phenomenal. We had plenty of space to dance because the venue was large and spacious. Me being very short, I had no problems with elbows in my face, or people stomping on my feet. The stage was phenomenal as well. The acoustics were perfect, with just the right blend of bass and sound. Being in the back, the middle, or even at the front (to the delight of my sister and I while Firebeatz was performing) did not matter in terms of the sound. My ears were not ringing after the rave. There were carbon dioxide cannons, lights, lasers, etc. to make each performance absolutely perfect. Each DJ  had a different style that contrasted enough so that we would be refreshed with a different sound for each DJ. The PLUR was evident, with the majority of people donning kandi, no pushing, respect for all around them, and the love of the music and the culture involved.

I am definitely going to attend next year. Blasterjaxx advertised this event as the hottest party in NYC during President’s Day weekend and they lived up to their word. Even non-ravers can appreciate the talent and culture that makes up Maxximize. At the price of only $50 to see 5 amazing DJs, this is truly the party of the year.