Category: News

Here is a nice interview with DJ Tiesto, put together by Dutch TV station KRO. It focuses mainly on Tijs’ life throughout his career, starting from his teens all the way up to his current position. What I enjoyed the most are the truthful answers that Tijs provides when asked about his pilgrimage through the DJ world. He isn’t afraid to admit that he has changed, especially following his commercial success. While it may sound pretty douchey when he states he can now do whatever he pleases and can buy anything he wants, it’s hard to blame a guy for revelling himself when he started off with nothing. I also found it interesting (although a little neurotic) how he says Tijs is insecure as a person, but Tiesto is not. The bottom line is money does change people, and everyone has their own ways of adjusting to the fame and popularity. Tiesto used to care about others’ opinions about him, and now he does not. There are lots of cool comments from Ferry Corsten, Sander van Doorn, Fedde le Grande, and the legendary Ben Liebrand, as they all provide additional input from the DJ perspective. Whether you like him or not, Tiesto has definitely paid his dues, and he has earned the right to play whatever music he wants.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween yall!

Matt Hardwick Retires

Last week British trance DJ/producer Matt Hardwick decided to turn off the mixer and hang up his cans as he moves down a new career path. Here is what he had to say on his forum:

After spending most of my adult life traveling the world and playing at the world’s leading club events and festivals, I have decided to call it a day and hang up the headphones for good.

As some of you will recall, and as a result of other commitments in my life, last year I decided to pull back from full time touring. Whilst the intention then was to continue to play key selected events and festivals, it has since become apparent to me that I now have to commit all of my time and energy to the alternative career choice I have made.

I have enjoyed an amazing career during the halcyon years of dance music culture, I have traveled to every corner of the globe and have met some fantastic people along the way. I can honestly say that I feel privileged and honored to have been a part of a great scene. I have never had aspirations beyond just playing music and having some fun along the way.

I’d like to thank every person who ever came down to see me play and showed support for what I do. It has meant the world to me.

I have retained 3 further dates in my diary. There will be Glastonbury on 26 June and then my final UK gig will be the Ministry of Sound the following week on 1 July, with the curtain closer in Moscow the following night on 2 July. I will however continue fully with my commitments on the A&R front and generally with Kill the Lights.

Once again, thanks so much for your support over the years and hopefully I’ll catch up with some of you on the dance floor at some point in the future….

I never had the change to hear Matt spin live, but I did enjoy his Live As mix albums with John Askew as well as his Resident Transmission compilations. He is commonly affiliated with the Gatecrasher imprint, and this is where he established his skills early in his career. Matt regularly played in all of the UK’s popular clubs, and his success eventually launched him into the international spotlight. It’s interesting to note that Matt used to be a footballer before he took up DJing, so it’s not surprising this talented guy is once again shifting gears through life. Thanks Matt for all of the music you put out, I will always appreciate a good mix and you had no problem providing them. Here is a shining example of some of Matt’s best work, his Essential Mix from 2002. Thank you Narcism for the set.

Matt Hardwick Essential Mix – 17 February 2002
01 Hooligan – Hear you now (Grand Chillas Mix)
02 Minimalistix – Close Cover (Filterheads Mix)
03 Coast 2 Coast – Be With Me (Original Mix)
04 Casper Gino – Revolution Solitude
05 Yahel – Sugar
06 Örtz – We Don’t Talk Much (Aisle Mix)
07 Aquanuts – Deep Sea (Original Mix)
08 Paffendorf – Be Cool (Hiver & Hammer Mix)
09 H2J – Montenegro
10 Sagitaire – Shout (Hemstock & Jennings Mix)
11 Yves Deruyter – Music Non Stop
12 Ocean Cube – Shining
13 Push – Tranzy State of Mind (Club Mix)
14 Armin van Buuren – Star Theme
15 G & M Project – Feeling The Sun Rise (Original Mix)
16 Liquid State – Falling (Solar Stone Mix)
17 Tranquility Base – Razorfish (Above and Beyond Mix)
18 Traveller In Motion – Believe (Minimalistix Mix)
19 H2J – East & Central
20 Altitude – Altitude (S.H.O.K.K. Remix)
21 Solarstone – 7 Cities (Solar Stone Mix)

Download the set here

LovEvolution 2011

Hey Lovers,

We’re very pleased to announce that The Love is Back. Please join us as we come together for the next evolution of one of America’s best gatherings of dance, music, community, and conscious celebration on September 24th, 2011. It’s a new location and elevated production, but the same event intentions you know and love. International and local talent alike, community produced stages showcasing every shade of dance music to create a special gathering to spread the values of diversity, tolerance, respect, unity, peace – and yes Love!

It’s LovEvolution, and yes we have evolved again. We’d like nothing better than to be dancing down Market St and into San Francisco Civic Center. Those were amazing, historic times for those who were lucky enough to be there, but the sad fact is that we just outgrew Civic Center. Our new Oakland location has lots of space for all the crews we want to involve in this community produced event, it has on site BART and parking, it has Oracle Arena for an amazing on site afterparty produced by Skills, and warm Oakland fall weather. Of all the available options, the Oakland Coliseum grounds were the best.

Of course we will do everything possible to make the event epic and vibe-tastic, as the Love event has never just been about a party, but a movement of the dance music culture and a forum to express our greatest selves. Stay tuned for more details about our floats, international DJs and producers, enhanced production elements and more.

As always, a portion of proceeds will benefit local and international non-profit groups.

Let there be Dance, Let there be Love.

– The SF Love Team

Death, Money, and Megaraves

Here’s a very interetsing article written by Dennis Romero of LA Weekly. It illustrates the increasing number of problems arising from the rave-scene here in California. What bothers me the most is reading about the usage of ecstasy amongst high school students. I have been there before and I fully understand the attractiveness of rave-culture, but it seems like there is a lot more drug-abuse and misguidance going on with this generation of party goers. It is obvious to detect if you ever attend one of these events; increasing instances of violence and cuddle-puddles leads me to believe this scene is headed in the wrong direction. I am very curious to see how local politicians and interest groups react to the ever growing popularity of these events. Although this article only touches on the surface of EDM events, it is pretty comprehensive with regards to the chain of events which occurred in 2010. Read on below…

When 15-year-old Sasha Rodriguez
died from an Ecstasy overdose in June, her mother was in disbelief. “I was supposed to be planning her sweet 16 party,” she told a television reporter. How could the teen possibly have died after joining a throng of 80,000 cheering young concertgoers at a rave sanctioned by some of Los Angeles’ top elected leaders?

One of Sasha’s friends told the Weekly she took only one pill before attending the Electric Daisy Carnival, held in June at the publicly owned Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. While baffled friends and family tried to grasp her death, attributed by the L.A. County Coroner to “complications of ischemic encephalopathy” due to MDMA intoxication — in short, vital oxygen deprivation — a curious phenomenon emerged among young rave participants: They went online to discuss their views that their favorite drug, Ecstasy, or MDMA, couldn’t be to blame.

In one online rave discussion group, called Plurlife, a reader named Maler wrote, “Someone sold her bunk shit.”

Another commenter, General Rowdy, explained, “Trust me on this she chugged a liter of water while being dehydrated that put her whole system out of whack which resulted in her falling down and hitting her head which then resulted in people walking over her.”

Twenty years after the first American raves were organized in California, bringing young people a bright new paradigm outside rock & roll rebellion and hip-hop bravado, L.A. politicians have endorsed supersized versions of the parties. But the huge, uncontrollable crowds have led to an increasing number of deaths and hospitalizations.

As the events have grown from small, illicit — but usually safe — warehouse affairs to massive, officially approved, commercial experiences, mayhem has followed in Los Angeles, but not in the nation’s other largest cities.

Raves in New York’s Central Park and Miami’s Bayfront Park don’t send nearly as many young people to the hospital. The Bay Area’s deadly experience at the Cow Palace last spring led local authorities to ban megaraves. Continue reading

Similar Melodies in Trance

Check out these very interesting videos made by K1aptcha:

Yes, I am guilty of liking some of these songs, but it really makes you think about the current direction that trance music is heading. If anybody has any thoughts about this I would love to hear them.

Allen & Heath – Xone DB4

Every once in a while a company will come out with something that is ground breaking in design, functionality, and packed to the brim with new technology. Allen & Heath is one of these companies that is fully capable of releasing products like this, and they have once again proved they can do so with the released of their Xone DB4 mixer. Benefits of owning a Xone mixer include high-end sound quality, professional features, and bullet-proof build quality. The new Xone DB4 represents the best of Allen & Heath as it sits on top of the range as the flagship mixer. The evolutionary step up from the Xone 92 can clearly be seen with its full sound card and built-in digital fx. Input selection has been improved to include analogue, digital, or USB input which can be assigned to each channel of the four channels. This is nice because now you can route one signal to four different channels, with each channel manipulating the signal in a different way. Each channel also has its own fx unit as well as a loop/roll function and individual BPM counter. The mixer isn’t Traktor certified yet, but you can bet on that happening sometime in the near future, probably before its official release. The one thing that I’m sure many will miss is the 4-band eq, which has been reduced to a funny looking staggered 3-band eq. The overall design is also questionable as it looks a little bit too cluttered, which is an unusual characteristic for an A&H product. Here is the official description from the A&H website:

The Xone:DB4 is a truly ground-breaking mixer and by far the most advanced product that we have designed. Every feature has been meticulously researched with a view to offering DJs ultimate creativity. Based on the iLive pro-touring FX system, we developed FX algorithms with BPM conscious parameters and tight spectral control, customised to perfectly fit the DJ environment.

As the loops and FX are automatically synchronised to the tempo of the track, it is very easy to build some amazing grooves and soundscapes without problems of latency, low fidelity and the general hassle often associated with using software and laptops.

The icing on the cake is the flexible input matrix, where any audio source can be selected on any or all of the channels. Different processing can be applied to the same track on separate channels and you can fade between them, or a phrase sampled in the looper of one channel can be added to the mix later in the track. Our digital design team has done an incredible job to ensure that this is one of the most innovative and exciting DJ mix tools to date.

Quad FX Core
The heart of the Xone:DB4 is the powerful Quad FX Core DSP engine, enabling each channel to have its own FX bank and BPM detection system, which automatically adjusts all time-related FX and loops to the tempo of the music. There are 5 studio quality FX types optimised for DJ use – delays, reverbs, modulators, resonators and damage – plus each FX type has a patch library of different effect variations. Each FX bank has a dedicated expression control and a rotary pot to set the wet/dry level, whilst further tweaking can be performed using the global controllers in the FX master section.

Each channel has a built-in looper, with selectable loop length from 1/16 beat to 4 bars.The DB4 will always record the full 4 bars, so the loop can be expanded or shrunk at will.

Xone:DB4 comes equipped with the Xone dual filter system.

Source select
Each music channel can select any of the available stereo music sources: Analogue Line 1-4 (switchable to Phono on 2-3), Digital 1-4 or USB 1-4.

EQ / Filter
Each music channel has a 3-band EQ that can be configured as standard asymmetric EQ (+6/-25dB), Isolator (+6dB/OFF with a 24dB/octave slope), or reconfigured as a High-Pass/Low-Pass filter system with adjustable resonance. EQ knob pointers change colour to show which type of equalization is active.

Mic/Line Input
The Mic/Line input has 2-band EQ, gain, cue and mix level. This can also be routed to channel 1 for adding FX.

Integral Soundcard
A built-in, high quality (24-bit / 96kHz), multi-channel, fully patchable USB2 soundcard allows replay and recording from audio software for 4 stereo sends and 4 stereo returns.

But with all of these exceptional features comes an exceptional price tag. With an estimated retail price at around $3000USD, this will be one of those most expensive mixers on the market. However, with this price you are pretty much getting a mixer with a complete audio interface, as well as a full effects board and midi capabilities. So is all of this new technology worth the price? Unfortunately I haven’t been able to get my hands on one yet, but from the long list of  features, I think the price is justified if you are looking for a complete hybrid mixer and don’t want to spend more money on a full setup. Obviously this will be targeted towards club owners, but for those bedroom DJs who can afford it, you can expect these in your Christmas stockings by the end of the year.

Check out some more pictures of the DB4 here
The DB4 on the official A&H website

A State of Sundays on Sirius|XM

Here is some great news from Armin’s website on September 10, 2010:

Today, on the day of the release of his fourth artist album ‘Mirage’, Armin van Buuren announces a new concept on SIRIUS XM Radio: ‘A State of Sundays’. A State of Sundays is a weekly 24 hour radio day of which the first episode will be broadcast on Sunday September 12th.

A State of Sundays will feature  van Buuren’s critically acclaimed and award-winning ‘A State of Trance’ radio show. Every week, the two-hour show, that showcases the world’s best trance and progressive music, is listened to by over 10 million dance-lovers. In addition to the show, listeners of A State of Sundays will hear an exclusive hour with Armin’s personal collection, ranging from trance to progressive, house and down-tempo electronic music. Next to that, the show will feature a ‘Favourite Future DJ’ segment and special DJ sets by the likes of Markus Schulz, Dash Berlin, John O’Callaghan, Andy Moor, Ashley Wallbridge and W&W.

Armin van Buuren:“Next year I’m celebrating 500 episodes and 10 years of my weekly radio show A State of Trance  and I was looking for ways to expand the show. SIRIUS XM gives me the unique opportunity to provide my fans with even more new tunes and exclusive mixes from around the world. We’ll also look back on the history of the radio show and trance music in general. It’s a dream that comes true to be able to program 24 hours of music and that some of the top DJ’s from around the world will do exclusive shows for A State of Sundays.”

A State of Trance has expanded its reach into Sundays, which is now comprised of a crazy 24 HOURS of continuous trance.  Channel 80, which used to be called Area, has been renamed as Electric Area. On Mondays-Saturdays, it will still broadcast all the same programs currently in the lineup, including shows by Tiesto, PvD, and Oakenfold, but it now also hosts new shows by Chuckie, Josh Wink, as well as Steve Aoki. Armin is now in complete control of the Sunday schedule, so it will be interesting to see how he fills the time slots. At first I was a little bit skeptical about this idea, mainly because  that is a lot of hours of music to play by just one man. But then again, since Armin is receiving a lot of help in the form of guest mixes, maybe this isn’t such a bad idea. Having a whole day to broadcast entirely trance music will expose a lot of listeners to the many wide ranging styles of trance. I will be a happy camper on Sundays now that I can turn on XM radio and have a channel completely dedicated to trance. The concepts of future favorite DJs and old-school tunes are a great starting block for the show, but I am very curious to see what Armin has in store for us.

The show is now in its second week, but I have uploaded three random sets from the first week’s show. I recommend alldj as a great source for downloading these aired sets that you missed out on.

A State of Sundays – Markus Schulz – September 12, 2010

A State of Sundays – Andy Moor – September 12, 2010

A State of Sundays – W&W – September 12, 2010

A State of Sundays – John O’Callaghan – September 12, 2010

Download Markus’ set here
Download Andy’s set here

Download the W&W set here
Download the JOC set here

For when to tune in, check out the Sirius website

DJ’s United – Remember Love

Here is the product of a collaboration between Paul van Dyk, Paul Oakenfold, and Armin van Buuren, created to benefit the victims and families of those affected in the 2010 Love Parade incident. Proceeds from this song will go directly to the Association of Non-statutory Welfare in North Rhine-Westphalia Germany. The track will be available exclusively on Beatport, so go grab your copy when it is released tomorrow. The song itself is ok, but it is the message and the concept of it which is important. It is a shame what happened at this year’s event, and from what I hear the annual dance celebration will no longer be continued. The world’s largest free dance event which symbolized love and peace has been tragically crushed forever, and all we have left to remember it by is this song. Pretty bad deal huh? The dance music scene has been getting a lot of crap lately (especially here in California), I really hope there’s some better publicity coming in the near future while the scene improves its reputation… RIP to those who passed.

Perfecto Records Joins Armada Music

In a move eerily similar to that of Vandit’s, Paul Oakenfold’s UK record label Perfecto has joined forces with the Armada conglomerate. That’s three major labels (including Future Sound of Egypt) which Armada has absorbed into its giant belly in 2010. Armada is now pushing some serious weight with the majority of the trance market cornered, and its reach has no end in sight. I can understand why these smaller labels want to merge with the big boys, and that reason is simple. Sales are down and they need more exposure. Perfecto tracks have been flying under the radar, and while this is bad for the profit mongers, I actually think this preserves some of the uniqueness of the releases. When tracks get published on Armada, they receive a lot of attention and this usually results in higher sales volumes. On the downside, these tracks get played out faster at a higher frequency. It’s sort of a win-lose situation, but I am curious to see what the scene will be like 10 years from now. Without smaller labels putting out their own releases, will there be only a few major labels in control? In business, large corporations usually remain inert with little to no innovation due to their large sizes and lack of focus. It would be sad to see creative levels drop as multiple styles of trance merge into each other. Unfortunately money always seems to trump individual freedom/creativity, so we’ll see what happens. Here is the excerpt taken from the Armada website:

Perfecto Records, the UK record label of Paul Oakenfold, has joined forces with Armada Music.

Perfecto was set up by UK producer/DJ Paul Oakenfold in 1989, as the young dance movement was just coming up in Europe.  Aim of the label was to find new talent and encourage them, rather than pressuring them to produce for commercial purposes. Oakenfold, who was nominated for a ‘Best Electronic/Dance Album’ Grammy twice and whose 2004 mix album ‘Another World’ has turned into one of the biggest selling dance albums of all time, felt it was the right time to start a collaboration with Armada Music. Paul:”I’m really happy to be involved in this joint venture with Armada. I think they are one of the most cutting edge electronic labels out there and I look forward to a fruitful relationship.”

Perfecto Records and Armada Music are both looking forward to working together. The first release after the joint venture will be the new Paul Oakenfold single, ‘Firefly’, a collaboration with UK singer Matt Goss, who used to be the lead singer of 80’s pop group Bros. (‘When Will I Be Famous’). Following ‘Firefly’, are releases by Robert Vadney and Kenneth Thomas, as well as a Perfecto Mix Compilation and Perfecto Classics album.

See the official news release here