Digging Deeper with Italy’s Stiv Hey

On July 14, techno’s ascending leader, Stiv Hey, unchains three gripping tracks for his Interference EP on Loose Records. Characterized by hexing rhythms and villainous basslines, Hey’s sound is best described as tantalizing, futuristic techno. Additionally landing himself on Dubfire’s SCI+TEC label, Hey has received support from such torchbearers as Richie Hawtin, Marco Carola, and Adam Beyer. Now, Hey debuts a refined, dark, and groovy triple-threat in the release of his first solo EP which available for pre-order via Beatport.

We have the pleasure of premiering “Transitions” from the EP, a track that immediately takes off with a rolling bassline and mesmerizing rhythm. Synths circulate and add further depth to the record, resulting in a overall deep-seated effect.

Listen to it below and read on for our interview with the Italian-born producer and DJ.

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Own Daft Punk’s Roland TR-909 Drum Machine

That’s right, you could be the owner of Daft Punk’s Roland TR-909 drum machine. All you have to do is win an online auction for it.

The Roland TR-909 in question once belonged to Thomas Bangalter of Daft Punk and has been listed on Facebook as a “collector’s item” on Facebook, set to go to the “highest bidder.”

The 909, which has been put up for action by Vintage & Analogue Occasion, comes still loaded with the presets recorded and used during the French duo’s seminal Homework album which was released in 1997.

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Lee Burridge’s All Day I Dream Announces 2017 World Tour

Lee Burridge’s roving open-air soirée, All Day I Dream, is traveling the world. Dubbed, All Day I Dream: A Summer of Love, the upcoming World Tour’s ethos will continue to spread that very feeling out across the planet, connecting Dreamers along the way with it’s unique vibe and feeling.

In an array of iconic settings, All Day I Dream’s recognizable decor and artistic structures play their own part, complimenting the music while enveloping and enchanting the crowds of international musical nomads, artisans and adventurers. Each play their own part in creating one of the world’s most unique and exciting parties. Lee will be joined this Summer by many of his superlative label’s artists. Each weaving a part of the day’s story through their own musical mastery.

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Coyu: “Nowadays Who Made The Track Is More Important Than What Made It”

Coyu, Suara label chief, producer, DJ, philanthropist and now clothing line boss, has taken to his Facebook page to lament on the state of releases in today’s underground dance music scene.

The reason? Coyu feels that unless a large name is attached to a track, the release isn’t getting purchased despite amazing reception when played live in front of packed dance floors.

“Big labels don’t care about people like you,” he states, explaining how large imprints do not take the time to listen to demos from unknown producers, subsequently failing to give great tracks the release they deserve. He thengoes on to take the conversation full circle, “But then one day, maybe today, you have a gig later at night, you go to Beatport because you wanna buy some new tracks to blow up the dancefloor and then… You only buy music from big names. You don’t care about newcomers or non well-know profiles because you only trust on those names you have been listening for years releasing on big labels and those names which tracks everybody play because they are hype, they are hot, they are cool. And then you realize you don’t support people like you.”

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The Lincoln Speakeasy: A First Anniversary Milestone

It’s been one year since The Lincoln Speakeasy first opened its doors in the West Los Angeles area. Despite being a relative newcomer compared to the other nightclubs in Los Angeles, it didn’t take long for it to make quite the impact in the LA nightlife scene. In such a short period, the club has made a name for itself thanks to its exceptional service, exclusive access, and, most especially, showcasing some of LA’s finest local and international underground artists, musicians,  and DJs. Names such as Matthew Dekay, Francesca Lombardo, Hoj, Powel, Marques Wyatt, Lars Behrenroth, Lonely Boy and MightyKat  have performed in the club and treated guests to some unforgettable party nights.

Despite being relatively young, the Lincoln Speakeasy, or TLS for short, was built on years of experience and tradition set in place by its owner, Jamesen Re. In fact, Jamesen himself has made history in his home country of Australia for having started what would become the longest running club night in Australia dance history. That party was Sunny Side Up, a brand and party series he began 20 years ago. Fast forward to today and comparisons are being made now between Sunny Side Up and the TLS here in Los Angeles.

While there are plans now underway to bring TLS to other locations in the U.S. and beyond, for now all energies are focused on the preparations for TLS’ 1 year anniversary party happening on Friday, March 24th. We recently caught up with TLS founder Jamesen Re to provide more details on the event, the first year of TLS, as well as his 20-year history of throwing parties down under and beyond.

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The DGTL Revolution: Leading The Way In Festival Sustainability

Born in Amsterdam as a two-day festival, DGTL has quickly expanded with editions now taking place in Barcelona and São Paolo in Brazil, as well as hosted curated showcases during ADE.

The DGTL 2017 edition will take place on April 15th and 16th during Easter Weekend, once again providing a differing festival experience than its competitors by bringing in heavyweights in techno and house, paired up with local and international emerging talent. The roster of talent, which this year includes acts such as Speedy J, Maceo Plex, Dixon, Lee Burridge, Motor City Ensemble and Mind Against, is all housed on impressive stages within a raw, industrial setting and cutting-edge audio-visual productions.

On top of its musical programming and curated attendee experience, DGTL is also leading the way in festival sustainability thanks to its DGTL Revolution initiative. The program aims to always keep sustainability top-of-mind, through various concerted efforts that see the festival not only raise awareness on the subject of sustainability but constantly search for technological innovations to reduce waste, lower CO2 emissions and stimulate participation from attendees to do the same. We recently tackled the urgent need for sustainability in the music industry, a goal DGTL has been tackling for years now.

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Watch Daft Punk Deliver Lackluster Grammys Performance

 

The Daft Punk hype continued this past weekend as the masked French duo took to the Grammys stage alongside The Weeknd, or at least that was until the three actually performed.

The trio played “I Feel It Coming” off of The Weeknd’s Starboy album, leaving little to the imagination with what turned out to be a truly uninspired performance from all involved. Naturally, Daft Punk played while donning their familiar helmets as well as black capes, as The Weeknd sang in front of their iceberg-shaped control station for most of the duration of the song.

As expected, the performance wasn’t followed by any confirmation of a 2017 Daft Punk tour. Considering the lackluster performance last night it’s no surprise that Twitter and other social media networks remained pretty quiet on the tour rumor mill that usually surrounds anything related to Daft Punk.

Watch the full performance below:

 

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12 Open Air Venues You Need to Visit This Summer

If there’s one supreme thing to look forward to during the summer it’s open air parties. Warm weather and blue skies overhead as lush house grooves emit from the speakers – it’s a hard scenario to beat.

Throughout summer it’s not uncommon to see open-air pop up parties such as Richie Hawtin in Plaça de la Boqueria, tINI hosting beach events in Ibiza (until they get shut down by authorities), or Subtract and Sublevel taking over a golf course in Malibu. But pop-up parties aside, there’s established venues that will be grooving all summer.

Here are 12 open air venues that we have our sights on this summer.

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Opinion: What Trump’s Divisive Policies Mean to the Dance Music Community

 

Despite officials of other major cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City and Chicago publicly announcing that they will remain sanctuary cities, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez has ordered county jails to comply with federal immigration detention requests in fear of a loss of millions of dollars from federal funding. This is effectively erasing the county’s position as a “sanctuary” for immigrants in the country illegally, a response to an executive order signed Wednesday by President Donald Trump that threatened to cut federal grants for any counties or cities that don’t cooperate fully with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“In light of the provisions of the Executive Order, I direct you and your staff to honor all immigration detainer requests received from the Department of Homeland Security,” stated Gimenez’s three-paragraph memo address to the interim director of the corrections and rehabilitation department.

While Miami never accepted the label of “sanctuary city,” it has continued to act like one by refusing to indefinitely detain inmates who are in the country illegally and wanted by ICE since 2013. Now, however, the county does not want to lose its federal funding and is changing its stance on the matter, even though Miami-Dade county officials have insisted that their policy was not one dictated by principle but rather simply because the federal government doesn’t reimburse for the expenses.

via Office of the County Mayor

via Office of the County Mayor

“I want to make sure we don’t put in jeopardy the millions of funds we get from the federal government for a $52,000 issue,” said Gimenez. “It doesn’t mean that we’re going to be arresting more people. It doesn’t mean that we’re going to be enforcing any immigration laws.” Trump’s response came, of course, via Twitter.

Howard Simon, executive director of the Florida chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, went on record to speak against Gimenez’s move, claiming that it “flies in the face of Miami’s long history as a city of immigrants” and predicting it will “drive a wedge of distrust between law enforcement and our immigrant community.”

But what does this mean for the dance music community of one of the country’s most vibrant cities, and for the countless thousands who land in Miami for major annual dance music events the likes of Miami Music Week, Winter Music Conference, Ultra Music Festival, iii Points, Art Basel and more?

The cornerstones of dance music are ones of undeniable inclusiveness and pervasive acceptance. A first descendent of disco, house music found its beginnings in Chicago, thanks to the iconic parties that featured the music of pioneers such as Frankie Knuckles, Leonard Remix RRoy, Chip E and of course Farley “Jackmaster” Funk. There is absolutely no doubt that spiritually and aesthetically house music, and by default all dance music that came later, developed in the U.S. out of the need of oppressed people, African Americans, gays and Latinos, to build a community through dance. The same was true later in the UK, when the need of young people dissatisfied with the meaningless materialism of Thatcher’s England to build an alternative community of music gave birth to the Acid House movement there. The aim was to unify people of all races, backgrounds and sexual orientations, not to divide.

And now, a week since Donald Trump has taken the oath of office, we are seeing an America that is as divided as ever, with Miami going against current as the first major city and dance music hub to comply to Trump’s threat with regard to “sanctuary cities”. Miami has long been a city built by immigrants, and immigrants have for decades played a fundamental role in shaping the city’s culture into what it is today. Statistically speaking, Miami-Dade is a county where more than half of the population is foreign born, and it is safe to assume that the same can be said of the dance music community that resides there.

Then there’s the case of the visitors that roll into the city annually for the aforementioned major music events. As things stand now, with Mayor Gimenez unable to find any sort of backbone to stand up to the Trump administration for more than a single day before rolling over, if you’re in the city because you either live there or are in town for a festival, you are no longer offered sanctuary protection. If arrested and wanted by the feds for immigration-related purposes, you will face deportation or long, indefinite stints in detention centers under Trump’s new plan.

More broadly, however, there is no denying that Trump’s executive order and general rhetoric goes against the very fabric of dance music culture. The city’s new policy is hurting the dance music community rather than listening to the people of Miami and to those who come to the city every year to celebrate diversity. In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel declared: “I want to be clear: We’re going to stay a sanctuary city. There is no stranger among us. Whether you’re from Poland or Pakistan, whether you’re from Ireland or India or Israel and whether you’re from Mexico or Moldova, where my grandfather came from, you are welcome in Chicago as you pursue the American dream.” 

“We’re going to defend all of our people regardless of where they come from, regardless of their immigration status,” Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York said at a news conference with other city officials. But perhaps no official went as far as Boston’s mayor, Martin J. Walsh. “To anyone who feels threatened today, or vulnerable, you are safe in Boston,” Mr. Walsh said at a news conference. “We will do everything lawful in our powerful to protect you. If necessary, we will use City Hall itself to shelter and protect anyone who’s targeted unjustly.”

The same cannot be said of Miami now that it has effectively turned its back on the very same immigrant population that had always been considered to be the backbone of the city. It’s perhaps a little too early to predict how the immigrant community in the city will respond, and certainly it’s hard to know how the dance music community that calls Miami home will react to the events transpired just yesterday.

On Saturday January 21st, the day after Trump’s inauguration, millions across the United States and the world took to the streets to participate in the Women’s March, a worldwide protest in support of women’s rights and other causes including immigration reform, health care reform, protection of the natural environment, LGBTQ rights, racial justice, freedom of religion, and workers’ rights. Discwoman, a New York-based platform, collective, and booking agency representing and showcasing cis women, trans women and genderqueer talent in electronic music, took part in the march with a clear message for Trump: the techno community will be fighting against his divisive agenda.

 

As a member of the dance music community I cannot help but find myself at odds with Trump’s divisive immigration policy, including his absurd plan to build a wall on the Mexican-U.S. border, the constant “alternative promises” he is making that Mexico will be paying for it, and his attempts to coerce sanctuary cities into turning in immigrants under the threat of vital federal funding being pulled in case of non-compliance.

Farewell Obama, United States’ First President To Understand and Acknowledge the Power of House Music

FKalways Obama

Two nights ago Barack Obama, United States’ 44th President, gave his farewell speech to tens of thousands presents at Chicago’s McCormick Place and millions more watching around the country. While it is not up to us, as a news outlet that focuses on electronic music, to judge President Obama’s 8 years in the Oval Office, we find it important to remember Obama’s several personal links to house music and his history in supporting the scene we love so much.

Back in 2004, when he was still an Illinois State Senator, President Obama was directly responsible for facilitating the honorary naming of a day (August 25th) and street after Chicago House pioneer Frankie “The Godfather” Knuckles. Obama’s influence in the decision was explored during a recent episode of TV One’s Unsung.

Prior to the revelation, however, we had already learned of President’s Obama personal acknowledgement of house music and its importance in both the arts and as a cultural backbone that continuously shapes Chicago, the United States and the entire world beyond our borders. A picture of the Obamas and Knuckles surfaced in 2014 alongside a personal condolences letter penned by the President and the First Lady after Knuckles death that year. The photo of Barack and Michelle with Knuckles was actually taken at Oprah’s Legends Ball several years prior, where Knuckleswas the DJ. The letter, which you can read below, referred to Knuckles as “a trailblazer in his field,” stating that “his legacy lives on in the city of Chicago and on dance floors across the globe”. When you read the letter, note that the Obama’s carefully chosen words include mention of Knuckles’ penchant for “blending genres” — terminology so specific to the electronic music world it may be years before we hear another President utter or write anything so remotely pertinent to dance music culture.

FKAlways Letter

In 2015 President Obama personally recorded a message for the 25th Anniversary of the Chosen Few Picnic in Chicago, an annual music festival held in Jackson Park that features house music as a central focus of the celebration. In fact, Obama went so far as to invite the Chosen Few DJ’s to the White House, further underscoring his understanding and love for the cultural movement that is house music.

No matter your political affiliation and your thoughts on President Obama’s 8 years in office, it’s most certainly a fact that it will be years, if not decades, before we get another United States President with the same cultural understanding, appreciation and respect for house music as Obama’s.

But now it’s time to bid Obama farewell, and we choose to do so with one of Frankie Knuckles’ best tracks.

 


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