Ahh. There’s nothing this ninja loves more in the EDM realm than some hard pounding electro house. Thankfully US based Producer/DJ duo Case & Point has provided us with just that. First up in their newly released Upgrade EP is the title track. “Upgrade” features razor sharp electro synths and a leg exhausting beat. This is one of those tracks that would instantly light up a dancefloor, and it probably will many times over in the coming months.
“Razor” has a much calmer build up, a funky bassline, and a beautiful progressive melody that plays nicely with the driving beats. This track was the perfect compliment to it’s much more aggresive brother, making quite the well rounded EP. Make sure to click “buy” and head on over to Beatport to pick this pack up. It’s sure to keep the party going, whether at home or at the club.
Moguai’s label is back, and rumor has it that it will be joining forces with a large label as part of a partnership. To build a little bit of intrigue, official internal sources in Moguai’s camp have hit us up with…well…an unnamed track, and a release date. That’s all we have for you. We’re not sure who made the track or what the track will be called. All we know is that it’s the first release on the newly revived PUNX, and it’s due out June 24th.
Our best suggestion to keep tabs on this is to make sure to keep up with Moguai via facebook and twitter (links below). At this point, he’s the only person with the knowledge of this track. In the mean time, enjoy this clip. The marching synths and driving drums provide a really intriguing build up to a groovy house drop. With summer almost here, we can safely assume this dancy tune will be getting some play time in clubs and venues.
There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that Miami during WMC is absolute insanity. Artists, Label Reps, Publicists, Bloggers and fans are rushing around the streets of South Beach, bouncing from party to party, trying to get the most out of their experience. This year was our first year working it, and we definitely had far too much stacked on our plate.
With that being said, we unfortunately couldn’t sit down with Seven Lions in person. As many of you know from posts in the past, Seven Lions is a TMN favorite. His melodic and often aggressive style is something that’s truly unique. We’ve supported every almost all of his music, and will continue to do so. On top of loving his production, we’re also huge fans of his live show. We caught his set at the Anjunabeats Pool Party, and it ended up being one of the most memorable ones from our trip. We highly encourage you head out an see him live. In fact, if you’re in the LA area, you can catch him this Friday at his first headlining gig in LA at CONTROL.
TMN: It goes without saying that you have been one of our favorite producers of all times, blurring the lines between genres. The Cosmic Love (Florence and the Machine) remix just left us floored. What is your primary source for discovering new independent music?
SL: The internet was my primary means of finding new bands, especially when I was first really finding my love for music early on. None of my friends listened to metal back in the day so I would spend countless hours just searching through websites for bands. When I am listening to more mellow music, like acoustic stuff, I will use Pandora. Also, Erik Mongrain radio is my jam. I don’t listen to a lot of new stuff to be honest. I tend to fall back on metal albums I’ve listened to for years.
TMN: We know you love a good beer, tell us what is your favorite?
SL: Russian River’s Pliney the Elder, or Dogfish head 90 min
TMN: Not a lot of people know this about you but you are a big fan of Metal music, what are some of the bands you listen to and does it influence your music?
SL: Surely does – Ensiferum, Opeth, Wintersun, Porcupine Tree, Cephalic Carnage, Blind Guardian, At the Gates, Behemoth, Dimmu Borgir, Amon Amarth, Novembre
TMN: Out of all the tracks you have released, which one do you think had the biggest impact, not popularity wise, but in promoting what you are all about.
SL: Tyven, for a lot of reasons.
TMN: What do you think is the biggest difference between dubstep now compared to 3 years ago.
SL: Honestly, I really never liked dubstep back then. A lot of really cool/melodic stuff is coming out now, not just dubstep either. It’s for sure changed since I first heard it a few years ago. It seems like most of the popular stuff is really well produced and it wasn’t always that way. I remember one of the things that really turned me off about dubstep at first was how poorly it sounded sonically.
TMN: With every release, your sound keeps evolving, how do you manage to continually come up with a new set of sonic experiences? And how much is that influenced by outside factors?
SL: A lot of influence has come from playing shows lately. The more I play to a larger crowd the more I think about that while writing music. It’s added a whole new thing to think about while composing/producing a song. On the other hand, I have realized that not every song needs to be a dance floor track, when I am working on a song on not worried about how it will sound on a big system, I feel much more creative.
TMN: What is the biggest difference for you between “Days To Come” EP and “Polarize”?
SL: I think Polarize was a collection of songs that I spent years experimenting on and getting my sound right. Days To Come was less experimental and more focused on where I wanted to go with the project.
TMN: Is there anyone in particular that you would like to collaborate with?
SL: Ellie Goulding, Imogen Heap, Sigur Ros
TMN: As one of the most blogged about artists in the scene, often topping the charts on Hype Machine, what role do music blogs play in bringing more exposure to less known artist?
SL: Music blogs are huge. They have as much or more power than a lot of record labels. I feel very lucky to have such support from the community.
TMN: Ok, we know you’ve been interviewed a lot in Miami. We’d like to change the pace up a little and ask you some random questions:
TMN: Who is your favorite bond?
SL: Sean Connery
TMN: What do you do for a hangover cure?
TMN: If you could only have one artist’s music in your ipod, who would it be?
Holy shit, ninjas! We can’t believe it. A week from today will mark a full year of party playlists. It seems like just yesterday we were lining up shots, talking about how there’s a lack of solid party music collections on the interwebs. Here we are today. Our livers aren’t as grateful as our ears, but we don’t care. You know why? Because it’s the weekend, and it’s time to get down. You’ve worked your ass off, and we appreciate it. So, here’s yet another tasty selection of rage inducing tracks that will please your ears, legs, and desire to light the weekend up.
After our trip to Miami, we developed an even deeper affinity for Michael Woods. We’ve seen him grace the decks before, and we’ve always been impressed. We’ve heard release after release of his, and always been impressed. However, getting to sit down and talk with Michael at length outside of his party with Chris Lake in Miami made us appreciate him as an artist even more.
With that being said, we were ecstatic when we were asked to premiere a preview of “Tripoli.” Newcomers Double Cream are making their debut on Michael’s label, Diffused Music, with this tune. The infectious and energetic festival anthem was remastered by Michael, and features gorgeous synths and massive drops. One listen through, and you’ll be dancing your way into the weekend.
“Tripoli” is out May 13th via Diffused. Mark your calendar.
There’s no doubt that every genre within the blanket term “EDM” has blown up over the past few years. New artists seemingly pop up every day producing amazing music. In the midst of new artists that people struggle to recall in the back of their minds, acting as if they could recall them all, lies a few that everyone should rightfully know. Sub Focus is one of those. That name, is a household name in every bass fiends mind.
When we cruised down to Miami in March, we had an interview set up with the legendary producer/DJ. Unfortunately the craziness of Ultra and WMC got the best of both of us, and we were never able to cross paths. Thankfully we have the internet at our behest, and we were able to still get a virtual sit down with this legendary artist. So, without further adieu, here’s Sub Focus:
TMN: It is really an honor to be able to interview you today. Our blog started in 2009 and we remember distinctly how much we enjoyed ‘Sub Focus’, your self-titled debut album. A lot has drastically changed bass driven music, give us your thoughts on the current scene of Dubstep and Drum&Bass music and where do you see it going in the next couple of months?
SF: I feel like that time was the early days of producers like us making multi-genre electronic/bass music. Its been really cool to see that movement continue.
Its always hard to predict where it’s going but I think we are starting to see a reaction away from the more noisy maximalist side of the music into sparser more spacey material. The rise of trap and deep house is an example of this movement in the music.
TMN: One of our favorite tracks last year has to be without a doubt, “Out The Blue” featuring the amazing vocals of Alice Gold. Any plans to collaborate with her again, can you tell us a little more about any upcoming releases you have set for this year?
SF: I haven’t made any more songs with Alice, but we may well get in the studio again at some point, I love the way our collab came out. My next single ‘Endorphins’ features Alex Clare, and is due out on May 12th, then I have another single coming out shortly before my album due in late Summer. I am in the finishing stages of my album at the moment so am doing lots of last minute sessions and all nighters at the moment to get it done right.
TMN: Your live performances continue to evolve and get ever more technical, they are absolutely amazing. What has been the biggest challenge in putting everything together?
SF: Thanks – it’s been a big technical challenge putting it all together and obviously I have a lot of talented people working with me to make it happen. One of the biggest challenges was putting together an audio setup that allows me to do all the things I have wanted to. I had motion sensors custom made for the show – so I can control sounds by moving my hands through air. I also had bespoke software made that I use on iPads for editing the sound and making beats from scratch on the fly. A lot of the technology for playing electronic music live is so new that I am constantly updating the live gear I use.
TMN: We know you enjoy producing on stage, and not just playing back your tracks for set. Can you tell us more about this process and the kind of software you use on the fly?
SF: I have covered some of the hardware above but software-wise it is as follows: For my live sets I use Ableton Live and some bespoke patches I have that run on the Lemur platform for iPad. Within Live I have a very complicated project running the individual parts of my songs with some of the synths (Like NI’s Massive synth for example) playing live so I can vary the parts on the fly. I also play parts, trigger fx, re-edit samples and re-do beats all within the software using keyboards, iPads, drum pads and more.
TMN: Walk us through your creative process, what tends to come first the melody? The rhythm? and on average what is the life cycle of a Sub Focus production?
SF: The inspiration for a song can come in lots of different ways, but I think my best material comes from ‘the inspired route’ – where I have an almost fully formed concept for a tune or a distinct melody idea in my head and I work on it until it is done. Other times an idea might come when just messing around but the best ideas come more fully formed. I spend a lot of time trawling the internet for inspiration and ideas for new concepts for tracks.
TMN: In your long and illustrious career, you’ve played all over the world. What are some of your highlights?
SF: There have been a lot of very memorable gigs – Glastonbury 2010 when I played with my first live show was a real highlight, my current residency at Amnesia in Ibiza has been great as its been an ambition of mine for a while to do that. The first EDC in Vegas in 2011 was also great, there are too many to mention really.
TMN: Have you ever had a moment in your career where you’ve stepped back and said, “Oh shit” at something that just happened?
SF: Probably doing my first official remix for The Prodigy back in 2005 – a couple of months before that I had just finished college then my career started to take off.
BETS stole our hearts and ears with her release of the quirky single, “Rooftop Lover.” If you haven’t heard it yet, you’re missing out. Her unique tone pairs perfectly with the lazy strumming on the track, creating a overwhelmingly enjoyable indie pop jam. After hearing this song ad nauseam (it was quite the favorite here at the office) we decided that we wanted to know more about the woman behind this longing rooftop wanderer. So, we fired over some questions to get to know her better.
TMN: Hello BETS! Thank you so much for taking some time to answer some questions for us. As a newcomer to the scene, we know a lot of our readers would like to get to know you better!
BETS: Hi! Thanks for having me.
TMN: First up, why don’t you tell us how you got into music. Did your parents encourage you as a child, or was it something you were just interested in personally?
BETS: I definitely was encouraged as a child to be creative. We didn’t have a TV growing up, so instead we did things like draw, make music and run around inventing things –pretty unheard of in this day and age. I also come from a very artistic family, so I think it was the combination of those things that definitely ignited the spark in me to create things and to be an artist.
TMN: When was the turning point in your life where you had the confidence to know you wanted to be fully involved as a singer?
BETS: I always dreamed of being a singer, but it’s only very recently that I got the courage to step out onto the stage. I’ve been writing poems and songs and singing since I was a teenager, but I always kept it to myself. It was my own little secret. Somewhere along the line I realized I couldn’t hold it in anymore. I just wasn’t going to die happy without music being my life.
TMN: How many instruments do you play? Do you have one that you gravitate more than the others?
BETS: I don’t play any instruments, but I wish I played ALL instruments. I do own a few though with high hopes…so you never know! Oh, and I love bass in a big way.
TMN: You’re currently splitting your time between NY and LA. What’s the reasoning behind that?
BETS: That’s really something that happened rather than being something that was planned. I moved to LA from Brooklyn 3 years ago, but I go back and forth so often for work & family stuff that really I just live between the two. For music, it seems perfect actually and I love both cities too much to let one go…for now.
TMN: If it were solely based on food alone, which city would you rather live in?
BETS: LA for the healthy fresh food, NY for the restaurants and falafel…see, I’m torn.
TMN: Let’s ask another food based question. If you were on Death Row, what would your last meal be?
BETS: Artichokes, greek salad, and my famous homemade ice cream cake.
TMN: Your voice is just as unique as some of the instrumentation on your record, who are other female singers you look up to or enjoy listening to?
BETS: Why, thank you! I love listening to old school stuff…people like Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, and Aretha Franklin. Grew up listening to a ton of oldies, so I guess it stuck.
TMN: We absolutely loved “Rooftop Lover”. It was definitely on repeat at TMN HQ for quite some time. What was your inspiration behind that song?
BETS: I wrote that tune because I would always go with my girlfriend and songwriting partner, Christina O’Connor, to make music on a roof in Hollywood and I started calling us “the rooftop lovers” and then decided to write a song about it. It became a love song… don’t they all.
TMN: Name three musicians you would love to collaborate with in the future.
BETS: Oh, so many! Would love to do musical collaborations with Haim, Lykke Li, and The National. And while I’m making wishes, I’d also like to collaborate with Lena Dunham on something creative someday, please.
TMN: This one is a little off the wall, but we always love hearing what people have to say. If your music were an animal, what would it be?
BETS: If my music was an animal it would be a Bali Bird of Paradise… or just a puppy dog named Bear.
TMN: Ok, one last one for fun. If you were stuck on a deserted island with only one musicians catalogue of music, who would it be and why?
BETS: I’d be stuck with the Beatles catalogue (for obvious reasons) and some coconut water.
TMN: Alright, thanks so much for the virtual sit down! Feel free to talk about anything else you’d like to share with our readers at this time.”
BETS: All I want to say is thanks to all the listeners for helping me leave my secret songwriting life behind, I love you all. Lots of exciting new songs, videos and shows coming this summer so stay in touch here: www.betsmusic.com xx