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Alrighttt alright, enough business! Have you heard of the DJ duo Knife Party yet? Knife Party has risen quickly to stardom since last year because of their unique sound and addictive high-speed beats. They are one of my favorites right now!

Check out Knife Party’s video for “Centipede”:

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Get an EDM boost for your Workout Playlist

Summer officially ended but the party’s not stopping in the EDM World. Dillon FrancisDada Life and Boys Noize just announced their fall tours today. In order to prepare for this epic madness, and extensive dancing, I came up with some EDM playlists and ideas that’ll help keep you pumped at the gym. How else are you going to keep up on the dance floor?

At 3 o’clock in the morning, where will YOU be?

For each category I listed the artists that have many songs that work great for that category, specific songs that are super effective, and Pandora stations I listen to that usually have a good mix.

Warm up Routine

For a warm-up, I need some beats but nothing too fast yet. My best example would be LMFAO, most of their songs have a good rhythm to get your heart pumping. Think “Sexy and I Know It” and “Shots”.

Artists: LMFAO, Dada Life

Songs: “Heads Will Roll” (A-trak dub remix) by Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “I’m in the House” and “The Pursuit of Happiness” (Steve Aoki Remix) by Kid Cudi, “Animal Rights” by Wolfgang Gartner and Deadmau5

Pandora stations: “Steve Aoki”, “Deadmau5”, “Bloody Beetroots”

Cardio

Fast, bumping beats help me enjoy running on the treadmill. And I need the most help I can get. One of my favorite artists to run to is Wolfgang Gartner, his songs are fast-paced and I can play on shuffle without needing to constantly skip songs. He has many hit songs such as “Spacejunk” and “Illmerica”.

Artists: Wolfgang Gartner, Dillon Francis and most Jungle or Drum and Bass artists

Songs: “Bounce” by Wolfgang Gartner, “Grand Theft Ecstasy” by Feed Me, “Rage Valley” by Knife Party, “Through the Loop” by Pendulum, “Masta Blasta” by Dillon Francis

Pandora stations: “Wolfgang Gartner”, “Knife Party”, “Pendulum”, “Skrillex”, “Drum & Bass” (If you need super fast beats, try “Happy Hardcore” on Pandora)

Muscles

Usually I work on muscles after cardio, so I like music that isn’t as fast or pumping but still keeps a steady rhythm so I stay motivated. I like to stick to trance or trance-y music.

Artists: Daft Punk, ATB, Kaskade

Songs: “I Remember” by Kaskade

Pandora stations: “Swedish House Mafia”, “ATB”, “Gareth Emery” (I don’t recommend the “Trance” station on Pandora, some songs that play are too slow for me)

Cool Down

For cool downs, or if I want a slower playlist for muscle workouts, I like listening to dubstep artists or slower beats.

Artists: Nero, Flux Pavilion, 12th Planet, Porter Robinson

Songs: “Got 2 Know” by Flux Pavilion, “We Can Make the World Stop” by The Glitch Mob, “Woo Boost” by Rusko

Pandora Stations: “Dubstep”, “The Glitch Mob”, “Subfocus”

Most of these suggestions are based on Pandora, a free music app available on smart phones. Not a fan of Pandora? Find out what app works for you (more extensive list of apps at bottom of linked page).

Have suggestions of your own? Add them to the comments below!

Trick or Treat? Knife Party, Major Lazer, Justice for Hard Halloween

Hard’s annual halloween festival, now deemed “Day of the Dead”, released their lineup yesterday including DJ giants Knife Party, Justice and Major Lazer as headliners. But it’s not only the headliners that will sell the show; Zed’s Dead, Tommy Trash, Jack Beats, Dillon Francis, Kill the Noise and Diplo cannot be missed!

Tickets are going on sale August 11th at noon. Make sure to get tix before time runs out! And buy them asap, ticket prices will increase quickly!

Halloween raves are fun because everyone dresses up in lavish costumes. I met “Aang” from Avatar The Last Airbender last year, he actually shaved his hair and painted a blue arrow on himself! You also get to dance to great music and party all night long.

For the past few years I have gone to halloween raves and they are always a blast! I definitely recommend going to a rave for Halloween; you get to dress up in whatever costume you want, it’s on the weekend, and you’ll be in a fun atmosphere. What could beat that?!

If you haven’t heard of Knife Party, here’s one of their hits. Caution: you may get hooked to the “seizure music“:

Recap: Hard Summer 2012 @ LA State Historic Park

 

Hard Summer is one of the largest summer massives in Southern California. Each year it is hosted in LA, and it is well known for always having a superb lineup. This year is my first year going, I was excited for Skrillex, Nero, Dillon Francis, 12th Planet, Bloody Beetroots, A-Trak and others.

 

This year, like most annual massives it seems, Hard decided to expand the fun into a two day event. Since most of the EDM artists were performing the second day, I only attended the last day.

Hard Summer was thrown at the LA State Historic Park. If you are familiar with LA, the park is located right off the 101. We parked like 6 blocks away at one of the assigned parking structures listed on the Hard website, so parking was easy and convenient. It only cost $6, too!

Not gonna lie, most of the early talent was not cutting it for me. Even A-Trak didn’t save it till the end of his set, where he showed off his incredible DJ skills. It made up for most of what I had to endure before 9:40pm.

That’s when we went to see 12th Planet, a rising hip-hop/dubstep DJ usually performing right before big acts like Skrillex and Datsik. He is amazing to see live. His mixture of dubstep, hip-hop and new hits cannot be beat in my opinion, it kept the crowd going wild till the end. Check him out below:

After we saw Nero. You may have heard of the sound incident during Nero’s set, where the music was skipping due to technical failures in the sound system. The sound wasn’t fixed for five whole minutes. Imagine that. It was like watching a train wreck.

It wasn’t Nero’s fault. But it’s a shame when a ridiculous accident happens to such a huge DJ. Anyway after we waited 30 minutes for Skrillex’s set to come on.

Skrillex’s set was amazing! I’m a huge fan of his live sets because he’ll add different remixes to familiar songs, and he has NONSTOP energy on stage which keeps the crowd wanting more.

I think I’m going to start a star system. Overall I would give this rave a 3.5/5. The headliners were amazing. There were water stands everywhere. I guess the downside was there wasn’t much to do between sets, I guess I became spoiled by Insomniac’s many light displays and attractions.

Recap: LED’s I Love This City San Diego

“I Love This City San Diego” brought the best of EDM to Chula Vista’s Cricket Wireless Amphitheater this past Sunday. Skrillex, 12th Planet, A-Trak and other notable DJs drew thousands of people to share one unforgettable experience.

At first I was skeptical about going to this music festival. I attended a prior event at the same venue and figured it would be too small for this type of event.

I held off buying tickets, but three days before the event I received a free ticket from my boyfriend knowing 12th Planet. Of course that meant I had to check this event out.

And I’m glad I did.

Here is Skrillex playing to the large crowd at the end of the night:

Despite my concerns, the venue ended up being perfect for this event. The music festival did draw a large crowd, but everyone was dispersed to three separate stages so there was no overcrowding and trampling. Also, each stage was spread out enough so the music did not overlap.

There were good vibes from the San Diego crowd. I met many friendly people that sported many different styles. It was like an EDM melting pot of sorts. There were no rowdy people, quite unbelievable for a 16+ event.

Here is 12th Planet:

All in all, I Love This City San Diego was a huge success! This was the first year LED threw this festival, and I doubt it will be the last.

For the fans that have started going out to see DJs or go to music festivals, know that the venue matters. I’m adamant on this because I have been to plenty of venues where the show was ruined because the place wasn’t organized or the place was too small or big, the staff was rude, etc.

Consider the promoter of the event. They are in charge of the organization of the event like the crowd control. It’s best when the crowd can flow from place to place without traffic jams. Stick with well-known promoters like Insomniac and LED Presents whom have the expertise to set up a guaranteed good time.

Look for these symbols:

Behind the Scenes: Deadmau5 Music Video – 5/20/12

On Sunday night, thousands of extras excitedly gathered in Van Nuys, California to be in Deadmau5‘s latest music video for 10 hours of filming, after being recruited from Facebook earlier in the week. How do I know this? Well, I was there. It all started when I clicked on a link on one of Deadmua5’s statuses and applied for the exciting experience.

Facebook status encouraging fans to participate

However, being invited to the location was the hardest part. It consisted of a three step process; after thousands of applicants sent in the first application, only a select few were sent a second e-mail to fill out. Finally, a last e-mail, that included an address and further instructions, was sent out to the chosen applicants.

Hundreds waiting for further direction

I showed up to the location around 7pm where hundreds of people were lingering around two trailers, waiting for some sort of action. Many were staring off to the ominous stage on the other side of the area.

None of us knew what to expect. There was no required dress attire, so mostly everyone dressed in casual attire as if they were going to a rave. A few fans brought their handmade ‘mausheads’, one is seen below:

a ‘mau5head’ (purple head in background)

An hour passed. Finally, the large crowd was acknowledged. Everyone was instructed to move and surround the large metal stage that many wondered about. The crowd circled around what appeared to be a metal cage. More minutes passed until the director explained to the crowd what to do.

the metal dome

After the shooting began, the crowd started to get angry when the music played multiple times in 10 second intervals. The director had to remind the crowd, “this isn’t a concert, this is a music video!”

When the director made this exclamation, I shared the same confused expression as the rest of the crowd. Although Deadmau5 was present and music was playing to a crowd, this was not the experience any of us had in mind.

We weren’t at a party, we were doing work.

Although many expected this experience to be more like a concert, what they didn’t realize is they were a part of something bigger. This built-up crowd is evidence to how influential EDM music has become today. One has to be very admired to draw thousands of people to work for free for 10+ hours.

Many of these people just wanted to be part of the phenomenon that this music genre has created. And I hope that many more similar opportunities will be on the rise that share this DJ and fan connection.

How To Discover New EDM Artists and Songs

When I was beginning to discover the EDM genre for myself, it seemed that many fans of EDM music knew so many DJs, songs, the best remixes of those songs by other DJs. I felt I would never reach their level of expertise. I kept thinking, how does one get to know all these DJs without having to do endless research?

Well, I found an app for that, and several other music programs that list who you’re listening to and provide the information you need to build your own taste. Basically all you need to do is listen, and these four programs do the research for you.

1. Pandora

Pandora helped me discover many DJs and artists when the genre was still new to me. What makes Pandora special is you start with one DJ name, or just a genre name like ‘Electro’ or ‘Dubstep’ and the program creates a ‘radio station’ based on similar artists and songs. Pandora also gives you an option to ‘like’ a song, which results in the song coming up more often, or skipping/’unliking’ a song which deletes it from the selection. As you apply these two options to more songs within one radio station, your own unique radio station forms.  Click on the Pandora icon to discover this program, which is accessible as a mobile app or as an online radio station.

2. Spotify

Spotify allows you to choose what song you want to listen to from a wide range of artists from major and independent labels, similar to Rhapsody. Spotify can also connect with Facebook so you can see what your friends are listening to and get inspired by their cool music choices. However, Spotify is restricted to ten hours of music per month and each song only be repeated five times if you use the free account. It is also not available on mobile devices unless you pay $10 a month. Although Spotify may not replace other music programs you already use, it is a great way to get references from friends on what EDM music they may be listening to and share your own taste.

3. SoundCloud

If you would rather discover unsigned and up&coming DJs, or have been trying to make your own EDM music and want to share, SoundCloud is a good place to start. SoundCloud allows users to post their own created music to share with others on social media sites, and allows other users to leave ‘timed comments’ throughout the song to show what part they like or didn’t like. SoundCloud is a good place for people who just want to listen as well, as the program makes it easy to listen and share new music from DJs and other music artists.

4. Shazam

This is a popular app among iPhone users. If you hear a song you love while at a club or on the radio, you can turn on this app and it’ll listen to the song for about 10 seconds, then tell you the artist and song title. Once the song is read, Shazam saves it so you have a list of songs that you discovered and can explore later.

This is a very limited list compared to what’s out there, but these are the programs that I am familiar with. To look at a more extensive list, check out InspiredMag’s list of 20 other music programs.

Tell me: what program has worked for you? Do you recommend a better music program to discover the EDM genres?

“You talking to me?” DJs and Social Networking

Dillon Francis, a recent up-and-coming DJ, posts daily humorous statuses on Facebook that concern his every day life. Other DJs, including ATB, Pendulum and Flux Pavilion also post Facebook statuses that are directly addressed to the fans as questions or as a conversation starter.

Screen shots of Facebook statuses from ATB, Pendulum, Flux Pavilion

Most of the success developed by these DJs derive from their heavy use of social media websites to promote their music and tour dates. But the statuses also seem to try connecting with fans at a “personal level”, even though their statuses on Facebook and videos on Youtube are viewed by several thousands of people. Should fans buy into this “down to earth” vibe from DJs?

Despite being concerned with how “genuine” these statuses may be, the technique is genius for marketing purposes. Since most of the EDM fan base is young adults, the information is relatable to the fans that follow the sites.

By DJs adding a personal touch to their Facebook pages, they gain trust with the fans by appearing down-to-earth. This seems to keep fans interested in artists longer; fans feel as if the artist still appreciates his fans and has not “sold out” to the mainstream.

However, in contrast with other celebrities and their popular Facebook pages, most DJs actually respond to several of their fans’ statuses. Also, DJs post more statuses that seem appreciative of their fans, like reminding their fans how much they mean to them and how none of their success would have been accomplished without them.

Although appreciating fans seems almost like a cliche from musicians in general, it seems to be more prominent from DJs. These statuses represent DJs as still having a grasp on the values of being a musician. This is rarely seen from pop music icons, Beyonce, Britney Spears and others merely perform and have various publicists take care of their pop culture “empires”, no longer caring to establish a real connection with their fans (if there ever was one).

Listening to EDM still feels as if one’s part of a community, despite the recent proliferation of up-and-coming DJs and fans into the scene. Although the outreach from DJs still seems genuine, only time will tell if this will form into long-term appreciation.

As you decide, here is Flux Pavilion’s Got 2 Know:

The Controversy of Rave “Gloving”

EDM started as just another music genre, but has evolved into a lifestyle. This lifestyle is defined by various practices and hobbies that have allowed fans to express themselves and publicly share their talents at raves and shows. Until recent legislation has prohibited these actions.

One of these practices is the ability to give “light shows” with “rave gloves”. This is when a person wears gloves with LED lights at the end of each finger and performs distinct motions with their hands to match the rhythm and beat of a song. The motions create a “light show” for the captive audience. Here’s one of the acclaimed best glovers, Gummy, giving a light show:


Unfortunately, rave gloves are not allowed in most venues. This ban and others are against most of these seemingly harmless hobbies within the EDM scene. These bans started happening almost two years ago, when the Electric Daisy Carnival was banned from Los Angeles after a 15 year old girl died of a drug overdose.

But why ban rave gloves or light toys? Some people, such as California Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, claim it’s because there is a drug connection with the hobby. She mentions this accusation in this video from 4:18-4:52 :


Let’s be rational here. Although the rave culture has a controversial connection with drug use, how do light toys like rave gloves encourage people to use drugs?

This hobby is not inherent with drugs, but with an understanding of EDM music and a passion for the music and lifestyle. One does not need to be on drugs to enjoy the Gummy video or the practice of gloving. In a sense, gloving is a new art form similar to dance. It involves motions to a beat of a song and creates a performance for people to enjoy.

Hobbies like gloving have become icons of the EDM scene. Many people have learned the skills to become advanced at the hobby and have spread their performances and knowledge throughout the internet, mostly on Youtube.

Recap: Gareth Emery & Dillon Francis @ Sutra – 4/19/12

Gareth Emery performed this past Thursday at Sutra, a popular nightclub in Newport Beach, CA. Gareth Emery is a British DJ that specializes in “Essentially trance, with lots of house and progressive influence”.

The opening act was Dillon Francis, a rising DJ in the EDM scene. Dillon Francis claims his music is “Moombahton, Luvstep, and Everything In-Between”. The fresh, speedy beats in his songs are quickly creating a buzz in the EDM world. Francis’s set was great overall; he  matched the atmosphere of the club perfectly and kept the crowd dancing. At the end of his set, he left the crowd wanting more, a rare feat for an opening act.

Dillon_francis from Chanel Hawkins on Vimeo.

When Gareth Emery started his set, the crowd went wild. His music is a mix of David Guetta, Kaskade and Tiesto; basically hard, progressive trance. The crowd’s energy was high until the very end. The lights looked amazing and matched his set perfectly.

Gareth_emery from Chanel Hawkins on Vimeo.

Sutra is a EDM hot spot in Orange County. The nightclub hosts many notable DJs throughout the year, from up-and-coming DJs to veterans that have been around since the early ’90s.

Sutra is a “relaxed” high-end night club; although the place looked prestigious, girls were in cocktail attire and most guys were wearing button-up collared shirts. Mostly men were in attendance.

The layout of the club was ideal. It is smaller than most clubs, but everything is central: upon entering the club, the dance floor and DJ stage is right in front of you, the bar and VIP tables surround the dance floor on both sides. Although the club was packed, the security kept movement fluid at the sidelines of the dance floor so it wasn’t impossible to move around.

All in all, a great experience. I cannot wait until the next time I see Gareth or Dillon, or go to Sutra!