Archive for June 2012
Over the last 10 years Markus Schulz has fused the individual musical identities of progressive, house & trance into his own creative, now inimitable hybrid sound. Through a unique alignment of headlining DJ sets, Armada and Coldharbour label output and his highly prominent Global DJ Broadcast radio show, he’s spearheaded a sea change revolution in the US trance scene. This success has been reflected in weekly sets played in front of many tens of thousands, a GDJB listenership up in the millions & one Beatport chart-topper after another. Following several highly ranked positions, in 2008 Schulz broke into the Top 10 of DJ Mag’s Top 100 chart. He’s remained there for the last four straight years (polling #9 in 2011) and now stands as the busiest international DJ playing out of the United States.
Barely 18 months into his professional career, KhoMha’s music has already sent shockwaves through electronic dance music circles. The effect of this scene-stealing audio has latterly been compounded by a run of dexterous, electrifying deck performances, which display intuitive track selection and mixing sophistication far beyond his years. For visiting big name DJs, this has seen him become Columbia’s warm-up man of choice and to date he’s rocked the sound-systems of clubs like Forum, Carnival, Wild, La Kasa, Mistica and Envy. Putting these two disciplines together has marked the young Columbian’s card as an EDM star in the making.
Miguel Migs, who as new album ‘Outside the Skyline’ shows, is now moving well and truly beyond the limitations of the house scene in which he first made his name. His deep seated love of reggae and dub shines strongly through as well as his passion for classic rock, blues, funk and soul.
Not that his career to date hasn’t been illustrious enough. Just look the list of collaborators he’s managed to attract: original disco diva Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King, reggae legends Capleton, Half-Pint and Freddie MacGregor, Meshell Ndegeocello, nu-jazz singer Georg Levin and bossa nova phenomenon Bebel Gilberto all feature on the album, alongside Migs’ regular vocal co-conspirators, Aya and Lisa Shaw. No slave to metronomic dancefloor rhythms and tempos, the resulting long-player blends influences from house, jazz, reggae, soul and more, with a heavy emphasis on high-quality songwriting – and equally high production values.
“I definitely spend more time on my studio production sounds these days – I’m constantly tweaking everything!” he laughs. “Songwriting is paramount, but so is getting the EQ right, getting the separation of the sounds right, getting the songs to sound warm with depth, dimension and musicality… I’m pretty happy with this album, but really I still feel like I’m at the beginning of my career — as an artist, as a songwriter and as a producer. I plan on doing this for another 30 years.”
“Those early house records I made,” he continues, “it’s flattering when people tell you they mean something to them, but I was just a broke kid then rushing the productions to get stuff out there, figuring it all out on the fly as I went along. Now, I get the chance to work with some of my musical heroes, which is amazing… when I started work on the album, I sent out a lot of emails to different people, mostly just via their record label or management. And when someone like Evelyn or Freddie replies, and they say they love your music… that’s a pretty awesome feeling.”
But Migs hasn’t turned his back on house music entirely: when he’s not working in the studio with some of the biggest names from across the musical spectrum, he still runs much-loved house imprint Salted Music. Founded in 2004, Salted is Migs’ outlet for “the stuff I like to play as a DJ… those B-side underground dubs!”. Salted was also home to Migs’ last album, 2007′s ‘Those Things’, which saw him collaborating with the big-hitting likes of hip-hop legend Sadat X and Black Uhuru’s Junior Reid, among others. The album won Best Dance Album in the Independent Music Awards, and was also included in Virgin’s yearly Virgin Recommends 24 ECD promotion. It followed in the footsteps of 2002 debut album ‘Colorful You’on Astralwerks, which first brought Migs to the attention of the broader music community and brought him the opportunity to remix big-name artists as diverse as Macy Gray, Lionel Richie and Britney Spears (yes, really).
It was in house, however, that Migs first made his name. After playing guitar in local dub/reggae bands in his teens, he started DJing as well, and by the mid-’90s, Migs – then in his early 20s – started producing electronic dance music. By the time the new millennium dawned, a string of releases on numerous leading deep house record labels had earned him an enviable reputation among discerning dance music buyers worldwide. He’d also become a stalwart of the hugely influential Naked Music stable with his singles, remixes and compilations as Petalpusher.
And today? Well, there’s ‘Outside the Skyline’ of course, a stunningly diverse album that’s sure to win Migs countless thousands of new fans across the globe; at the other end of the spectrum, he continues to run Salted Music to service the needs of deep house dancefloors, “pretty much on a part-time basis, for fun. It’s almost like a side project… but it’s also important to me, to be able to keep pushing that sound, and push new artists.” And of course, he continues to DJ worldwide – he’s been touring constantly since the late ’90s.
Yet despite his A-list status, in a music industry long on supersized egos, Migs is something of a rarity. Despite achieving levels of success – both critical and commercial – that most in the deep house community can only dream of, he remains a genuinely humble, self-effacing individual. He’s a superstar DJ, he’s been nominated on a Beatport poll as Best Deep House Producer, but rather than constantly bigging himself up, he prefers to let his music to the talking.
Thankfully, Migs’ music more than does the talking – it speaks to people. Just listen.
- DJ Dan -
To say he is an American institution wouldn’t be far from the truth when it comes to DJ Dan who has been synonymous with good old American home-grown talent for over two decades now; a record collector, house innovator and true legend of the scene.
Born and raised on the West coast, Dan was entrenched in music from an early age, 1989 to be exact, a time when the rave scene was enduring its birth. It’s a sweeping understatement to say Dan has been at the forefront of dance music culture since the late 1980’s, especially when you consider how he’s shaped trends and sounds in his homeland all his musical life, taking the baton from house luminaries such as DJ Pierre, Frankie Knuckles and Ron Hardy. Drawing influence from a wealth of musical genres, Dan charts disco, jazz and funk as precursors to his interest in more industrial forms of music including freestyle and some forms of rock.
Sharpening his skills with wax at small clubs in Seattle, Dan’s experience in the late 80’s behind the decks converted into a profound knowledge of what people want on the dance floor, a trait still ingrained in him today.
The early 90’s saw Dan move to Los Angeles, feeding the roots of the emerging underground scene in the US, Dan’s after-hours shindig ‘No-Doz’ rounded off debauched weekends for the fledgling DJ, holding down multiple dance floors each Saturday. As the scene exploded Dan was at the centre of a musical revolution; underground promoters snapped up his ability to blend breaks, disco and all things funky that inadvertently placed him as the leading figure on the rave scene.
In 1993; a move to San Francisco with a re-invented sound that lended itself more to acid house and electro, Dan instigated the formation of the legendary group Funky Tekno Tribe that sought to push the boundaries of house music. Dan’s innovative eye for promotion saw him implement the recordings and distribution of ‘mixtapes’, a simple yet revolutionary method that soon developed into a frenzied culture that remains an electronic music mainstay, in various forms, until today. With an ear for good music and eye for new talent, it was at this time that the FTT brought an unknown French duo to tear up one of their parties… Daft Punk never looked back.
This period marked the beginning of the burgeoning breakbeat genre that encapsulated house, dubs and techno. At the heart, DJ Dan, who generated the fused rhythms that were dubbed the ‘West Coast House Sound.’
As global demand grew for his skills behind the turntables, Dan’s 1995 single under the moniker Electroliners was a result of a shift in the American who decided to dedicate more time to producing music. ‘Loose Caboose’ proved to be one of the definitive tracks from the breakbeat era and encompassed the talents that inspired many to follow.
Many visionary artists have queued up to bottle Dan’s unique sound; with a remix discography that reads like a music industry hall of fame; Depeche Mode, New Order, the Pussycat Dolls and a Tribe Called Quest have all enlisted the boss of breakbeat to tap into his hailed production abilities. Earning his first Platinum record in 1999, Dan’s remix of the Orgy cover ‘Blue Monday’ was revered around the world and reaffirmed his reputation on a global scale; re-working seemingly untouchable records with expert precision.
With a firm finger on the pulse, Dan has seen trends and sounds come and go, remaining in the leading pack when it comes to what the public want. Holding down numerous dance floors around the world, from clubs to festivals, including Amnesia Ibiza, Fabric London and Ultra Music Festival Miami to name a few. In 2000, Carl Cox handpicked Dan to share the stage with him on his Phuture tour, whilst Moby recruited his skills to add to the astronomic line up on the Area2 – David Bowie, Tiesto, Busta Rhymes and John Digweed keeping company.
By the time 2008 swung round, Dan had turned his sights to promoting his own label ‘InStereo’; a mammoth North American tour provided the perfect outlet for the innovative label that hosted the epic trip and the even more epic 2×4 DJ sets with Donald Glaude – that have gone down in dance music history.
Having re-worked global megastar P.Diddy, 2009 has followed suit with household names clambering for a piece of Dan. His timeless remix of ‘Paparazzi’ by Lady Gaga did not fail to fill dance floors, whilst his re-touch of the much hyped new single from the new queen of pop ‘Bad Romance’ looks like it will make the same impact. As if that wasn’t enough, Dan has added his electronic music clout to Janet Jackson’s next hit ‘Make Me’ which will see the light of day as we hit 2010.
In 2010 it seems never more appropriate for Dan to have released his first ever artist album. Released in September, ‘Future Retro’ is a retro-cum-futro-spective celebration of the industry that has engulfed Dan for the last twenty years. Exploring the tracks that influenced his own rise to the top, he offers his own fresh versions of classic anthems in a present day context. From Chicago to Detroit to San Francisco, the album’s adventure via the past will take you back to the future on an astronomic journey with the one and only… DJ Dan.
Veering away from the dark, serious side of the sound Rusko bought a highly driven energy and fun approach to the dubstep massive, quickly coining his own take on the genre that infected . His sound appealed to many people outside of the dubstep world as his productions became more adventurous in formula, sound and energy. His huge hit “Cockney Thug” has been played by everyone from Pete Tong, Switch, Diplo and Santogold. And has been remixed by Buraka Som sistema, Diplo, Drop the Lime and the Scratch Perverts. Now part of the Mad Decent Camp with collaborations on the horizon with the likes of Switch, Diplo , Santigold, Trouble Andrew, Hot Chip and more…the future sure is looking bright. Currently setting the radio airwaves alight with his own productions and remixes of artists such as The Prodigy, Basement Jaxx, Little Boots and plenty more, Rusko is only going in one direction. Onwards, upwards and far beyond any other young producer could dream of.
Respected by fans far and wide in the Electronic Music/Dance community, Messinian‘s commanding voice and stage presence have brought countless club and festival goers to expect the unexpected. A natural at fusing genres and uniting the masses, Messinian brings a raw emotion and intensity that consistently burns the roof down. His life is all about controlling microphones and turntables in front of wild crowds and taking the energy in the venue to a higher level. Currently residing in North Philadelphia, he was born into a humble upbringing in Los Angeles, California. He never imagined that his passion and drive for music would one day have him performing in front of jam packed audiences around the globe. Armed with a dream and an uncanny ability to sneak into clubs as a teenager, he was performing at major venues up and down the East Coast before he was legally old enough to get into them. With the endless support of his friends and fan base in Philadelphia and a relentless work ethic, his musical path was paved.
URGENT: WHIIITE File
Please read. FOR YOUR EYES ONLY.
Report formulated in response to disappearance of DJ Chris White. Believed kidnapped from alleyway near Hollywood & Vine, adjacent to AVALON: Premier venue for elite international DJ’s. Birthplace of CONTROL. Modern spin mecca for Los Angeles electronic music. SUMMARY: Agents believe, based upon recently discovered information that Mr. White was abducted as part of TOP SECRET underground “PROJECT: ELECTRIC ANNIHILATION” conducted by rogue terrorist cell in attempt to achieve world domination through the “unification of souls”. A revolution of sound. A violent uprising using electronic music. “The music of the people”.