Dance music has has exploded in the years since this blog began, but for fans size is not all that counts. The interest of the majors in EDM is here to stay and it represents the mainstream arm of a global dance sound still driven by boutique, vanity, and independent labels. After all, no matter how big the festival or bright the headliner, tunes from new and established independent labels dominate the sets. These labels are the primary incubators of dance music talent.
This series of posts recognizes that fact that interest in EDM comes from the ceaseless drive of individual tastemakers and tunemakers to make dance music available to people who want to listen to it. I will point out five more or less new labels that are worth listening to—the only thing they all have in common is releasing amazing music. None of them have been around for more than 5 years but all of them release some of the best dance music out there!
Today, Gabriel and Dresden’s new double CD mix Mixed for Feet is released. The title could not be more fitting. Reunited after three years on solo projects, Gabriel & Dresden are now in the middle of a North American and European Tour. This weekend, in fact, they are headlining New York’s Electric Zoo festival on September 4th. That’s good news for fans of house music–a trance influenced direction of the house sound has taken hold of popular taste. The call of the day continues to be genre-crossing, and Gabriel and Dresden are on the pulse of the moment with this mix. Along with tracks from Gabriel & Dresden themselves, there are tunes by Tiësto, Umek, Felguk, Dada Life, and Fedde Le Grand in the mix here. That type of range in selection is the surest sign of the current era of electronic music. Continue reading →
House has its history like every other form of music– therearebooks about it; documentaries about it; it even appears in movies (what’s that playing at the Hacienda?). It was born recently enough that more often than not the story is told by the people who were there to see the beginning. A classic house song like Phuture’s Acid Trax, therefore, is no secret but known the world over. Phuture began as a trio of Chicagoans in early house music: Spanky, Herb J, and DJ Pierre, who had a rare gift for minting new genres as he made music.
North Carolina is rapidly becoming a center of talent in electronic music. One of the biggest names to emerge from the state is also one of the youngest talents to make serious waves. Anyone who keeps up with electronic music knows that Porter Robinson exploded onto the festival and touring circuit by making music that’s good. “Say My Name” the song that made him famous managed to use the word “honor” in way that was not out of date and actually seemed kind of cool. . .all that, and face it the theme of the song was unexpected given the title. Not yet out of high school, Robinson is one of the wunderkinds emerging in global dance along with other producers such as Madeon from France and Temabes from Russia. These kids continue in the tradition of The Belleville Three, Felix Stallings, Jr (now Felix da Housecat), Tevo Howard, and Steve Porter all of whom were in high school or, even, middle school when they began making club hits.
Being in North Carolina right now, it’s only fitting to take a moment to point out Porter Robinson’s new remix of Lady Gaga. Undoubtedly it’ll be a huge track a huge track. As I write this it’s been up for a less than three hours, and is approaching 600 plays…that’s about three plays a minute. Wow. This remix shows that Robinson is an artist who looks to challenge himself in production. Hardest part of being a wunderkind is, well, being a wunderkind, rather than say just another little Johnny one note. Porter Robinson is working hard, and his remix shows it. For that reason it pairs well with Gaga’s latest hit, the result of her own tireless grind.
Its been forever. But its summer again, and content is king so its time for some updates. I figured that it would be best to get things going with some upcoming brilliance of the tech house variety. A little while I had the pleasure of catching Marco Corona on Ustream.tv when Ritchie Hawtin flashed the news on Facebook. It was a remarkable set to watch even if beamed through cyberspace. Glad I saw it. Recently I’ve had the pleasure of grooving to Corona’s Tech House ’70 vol. 1. . .Spectacular tunes on that one! Here’s one of them: