Tag Archives: EDM

Catching up with Netsky at 1015 Folsom, SF 11/23 [TMN Exclusive Interview + Event Review]

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Come Alive

Ambitious may be an understatement in describing Belgian producer Boris Daenen, better known as Netsky. By the age of 23, he had released two innovative drum ‘n bass albums showcasing his brilliant brand of liquid funk and placing himself in electronic music’s elite as part of Hospital Records. Taking advantage of the energetic percussion and wobbling bass of DnB, Netsky layers cross-genre melodies that draw influence from soul, jazz, hip-hop and funk making for an undeniably infectious sound and living up to the origins of his moniker.

In 2012, shortly before releasing his second album, Boris turned his attention towards performance assembling a band of talented musicians capable of keeping up with his fast-paced productions. Dubbed Netsky LIVE, the band consists of Netsky, keyboardist BABL, drummer Michael Schack, London’s Script MC and vocalist Billie. Not only is playing EDM live a tall feat from a technical perspective, but logistically it is a much more costly and risky endeavor. Nevertheless, Netsky, who could easily sell out shows worldwide as a solo DJ, takes this risk because he believes that it is the most powerful way to convey his music.

We caught Netsky LIVE at the intimate 1015 Folsom in San Francisco last weekend and it was without a doubt one of the most electrifying, energetic performances we have seen all year. The band seems fit for a stadium, which made seeing them in a smaller venue a special experience for the crowd whose feet were off the ground more often than not. With over two years of experience under their belt, every part of Netsky LIVE feels polished–Netsky takes on the overarching melodies, BABL absolutely shreds on the keyboard, Schnack keeps up with seemingly impossible breakbeats and Script gets the crowd amped as the musicians focus on their respective roles. Although Billie marvelously took on most of the vocals, at one point Boris even busted out the vocoder breaking his mostly quiet on-stage demeanor. We were honored to have the opportunity to sit down with Netsky, one of EDM’s most genuine stars, before the performance to talk about Netsky LIVE, his musical influences and his upcoming album. Check out the interview below and Netsky LIVE’s upcoming US tour dates here–it’s not a show you want to miss.

TMN: How’s the tour life treating you?

Netsky: It’s the first time with the band that we do a full 30-day tour with the bus, which is fucking mental. Because it means 30 days of no privacy and sleeping in a bunk. But it’s fucking amazing, I’ve got to say. You need the right team for it but once you have the right people for it, it’s amazing.

TMN: So, this is your third stop in the US after a couple shows in Canada. How’s the reception been so far? Anything different you’ve noticed in the crowd?

Netsky: Yeah, I think so. We started in Canada with Victoria and Vancouver and the day after we did Seattle. Even that was a bit of a change from Canada. It’s been fun. The crowd in Seattle was amazing and Portland was really good. Portland was a bit strange because they had to block off half the club for 21 over folks. It was funny because the left side was jumping the whole time with all the younger crowd and the right side was just getting wasted basically. It’s really cool to see the difference between those two.

TMN: Can you talk a bit about your musical background?

Netsky: I got into music at quite a young age. My dad is a massive record collector. He just loved showing me music that I hated back then. He just wanted to be the cool dad that showed me good music while I was listening to just pop music when I was young. After a while it worked because he got me into 70s, Motown and Marvin Gaye to 80s music and Prince and some reggae even. He just got me really interested in music. I started researching music and actually becoming a fan of bands. I started watching bands play. And then for some reason I started getting into electronic music, which was a fucking revelation. I loved the idea of being able to make music on your own on a computer. I was really obsessed with that when I was younger. I got into drum ’n bass then because I love the energy and how you can combine it with different sounds. I was listening to a lot of hip-hop back then and soul. Some producers would take those samples and make them into dance floor versions of them. I love that.
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[Trap] Basscrooks – REAL TALK EP

The low-end leaning EDM duo of Elliot Oveson and Akbar Mohabbat, better known by their stage moniker of Basscrooks purvey a hip-hop laced brand of wubby dance music, and their latest body of work, the REAL TALK  EP got us moving in the right direction this morning. Totalling three tracks, “Gangsta”, “Neon Rain” and “Avalanch”, consisting of 11 carefully composed minutes in length, REAL TALK guides its listener on a bass fueled, mid-tempo odyssey while displaying the pair’s ever increasing talent and grasp on twerk-inducing rhythms. All of that increasing time being spent in their Denver studio has been showing up in their latest originals and we’ve been all over the music coming out of the Basscrooks camp in 2014. Be sure to stream the entire REAL TALK EP below, and try not to break out in a dance floor assault if you find yourself listening in class or at work. And for our friends in Colorado, don’t miss a chance to see them for free this Saturday at the epic Life In Color paint party by entering our contest here.

’Neon Rain Ft. TimeSplit’
’Avalanch Ft. Sonny Bamboo’
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[House] Bixel Boys – Black December EP

’Bixel Boys – Black December’
’Bixel Boys – Red October’

L.A.’s Bixel Boys blaze their own path when it comes to dance music production, fusing the energy of big-room EDM with sleek, deep-house and indie dance execution. After a solid string of remixes within the last year, taking on the likes of Michael Jackson, Drake, Seal and Robin Thicke, along with a few solid originals; Ian and Rob have put the final touches on a debut EP, Black December, on Sweat It Out Music and it has certainly been stamped with our seal of approval. The extended play’s titular track “Black December” starts things off with a bang utilizing a shuffling rhythm paired with a couple of gigantic build-ups, all executed with a clear underground sensibility while the aptly named “Red October” has a much more tech feel with some industrial sounding synths and even more raucous drops. Black December will no doubt appeal to listeners from all ends of the electronic spectrum, signalling Bixel Boys’ place as a definite act to watch for  as Summer eschews itself out the door. Stream the Black December EP above.

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[TMN PREMIERE] Astoria Kings – Shine Your Light (Josh Money Remix)

Astoria Kings
Shine Your Light (Josh Money Remix)

There’s something about melodic dubstep that soothes anything that ails you. The epic vocals, the smooth rolling bass lines, and the carefully orchestrated synths just seem attach themselves so elegantly to the mood of track.

Yes, Josh Money has produced a remix that satisfies all of those wonderful things about a melodic vocal dubstep track. It’s slow, sensual, and really allows the original vocals from Astoria Kings to shine. The track keeps the same Imogen Heap feel, with heavily treated ethereal lyrics, only this time around it’s dialed up with a beautiful EDM treatment that begs to be played at full volume, with your windows down.

This brand new release is available as a free download on FiXT’s soundcloud page, so head over and grab a copy for yourself. Once you’ve downloaded it, make sure to head over to Beatport to pick up Josh’s recently released LP Carve.

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[TMN EXCLUSIVE] Interview – Tiësto

Icona Pop
I Love It (Tiësto's Club Life Remix)

In this day and age we’re constantly barraged with new musicians. Every digital corner we turn, tucked into every crevice of the internet, we find producer after producer who are doing impressive work. With that being said, there are few names that truly embody what EDM is and how it has came to be over the past decade. One of those names, a name that is a mainstay in both the EDM community and the pop community, is none other than Tiësto.

Dutch producer Tijs Michiel Verwest has been in the game longer than most, and has experienced far more success than most. Even beyond his accomplishments in the world of electronica, Tiësto has crossed over into the eyes and ears of the mainstream. His music engages both the nightlife crowd as well as your casual listener. With a list of accolades longer than have the patience to read, we’ll get right into our quick Q and A session with one of the biggest names in music.

TMN: First and foremost, it’s an honor to have a chance to ask you a couple of questions. We’ve been longtime fans, and we really appreciate a moment of your time. With that being said, let’s get down to business!

Let’s talk about your childhood. Your moniker is actually a variation of a childhood nickname, correct?

Tiësto: That’s correct, it’s a nickname based on my real name, which is Tijs.

TMN: What was your upbringing like in regards to music? Were you classically trained on piano? How many different instruments have you learned how to play throughout the years?

Tiësto: I do not play any instruments. What I do is create a melody on the keyboard and then fine tune it with computer software programs to make it perfect.

TMN: What about the early days as a DJ – what was The Spock like? What were your sets like way back then?

Tiësto: It was both amazing and terrifying. Of course I love music and so wanted a stage to spread the music I care about to other people. Still, just starting out and playing in front of a crowd those first times was nerve racking – especially in front of my home crowd!

TMN: What do you feel was the biggest influencing factor in your success from back in the mid to late 90’s?

Tiësto: Well it was really good timing. Trance and dance music was huge then plus I had a string of big releases. My remix of “Silence” by Delerium really brought me to international audiences and my album “Just Be” was enormous. Momentum kept building and building.

TMN: With so many chart topping tracks, it’s a little difficult to narrow down a few to talk about. However, we would like to know what some of your personal favorites are.

Tiësto: “Take Me” – because it sounds like the old Tiësto melodic sound but also is a more current new sound, similar to the records I am producing today.

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[Concert Review] Little People-The Larimer Lounge, Denver

little people
For Rosie DJ mix

I’ve been a fan of Little People for quite some time now: readers may remember my review of the artist’s latest album We Are But Hunks of Wood (http://themusicninja.wpengine.com/little-people-we-are-but-hunks-of-wood/).

I was pretty excited to have the opportunity to do a live performance write up of the artist, but to be fair to the reader, I’m not a huge fan of the proverbial on-stage DJ. It’s not really my scene as I tend to prefer the more head banging, guitar slamming variety of on-stage performance. I typically save my electronica for home.

It was with this sensibility in mind that I donned my Neurosis band tee shirt before heading to the show: an invitation for Little People to impress a diehard metal fan. In the few DJ shows I’ve seen, I’ve never spontaneously started dancing. I’m adverse to even the thought of it.

I spontaneously started dancing at this performance. I just couldn’t help it.

Little People took the stage in an unassuming tee shirt and jeans and promptly got to work. And it was work. This guy is one of the hardest working DJs out there, I’m convinced. He immediately dropped some up-tempo beats, faster than his albums it seemed, and began weaving some of his signature piano licks from Basique, Moon and Start Shootin’ into the faster tunes. I was impressed at the following he had there and the hoots of pleasure as each piano lick trickled over the speakers.

His new album made some appearances as well, Marzipan Children, Aldgate Patterns, and Eminence Grise were present along with others, sometimes tweaked and often juxtaposed between other songs. At one point, Little People was flipping back and forth between four songs, matching beats perfectly, never losing any of the impact of the songs. How could you not dance to that!? It was a great show and a great time.

On a side note, I had the great privilege of sitting in on the interview between the Little People (Laurent Clerk) and The Music Ninja. Not only did I like the Clerc’s reverence for the Wu-Tang Clan and A Tribe Called Quest, I enjoyed the artist’s down to earth, shy and somewhat overwhelmed responses to his own popularity. The indie music industry is full of prima donnas, appropriately! It’s nice to see someone who is aware of his talent but isn’t personally defined by it. Check out Little People. Very worth it!

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[Progressive House] Cookie, Norman Doray, NERVO – Something To Believe In (Original Mix)

French producer Norman Doray is back again with a new release, this time collaborating with Cookie and my favorite Australians NERVO on “Something To Believe In”. With crisp production and excellent progressions, “Something To Believe In” is a song that resonates with the ’90s style house, with simple, yet powerful vocals, and classic piano stabs. But this song is still very 2012, with the strong lead synths and arpeggiated melodies that characterizes the progressive house genre as we know it. It is well worth a listen, and does not disappoint.

’Norman Doray & Nervo ft. Cookie – Something To Believe In (Original Mix) Out Now on Spinnin Records’

“Something To Believe In” was released this week on Spinnin’ Records and can be purchased on Beatport.

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