The Underground Electronic Music Scene Needs More Collaborations

“Let’s link up and collaborate!”

Yes I am completely aware of how stereotypical that sounds, but given the climate of the electronic music industry we live in today, the need for collaboration is higher than ever.

Here is a simple truth: promoters can choose to view everyone else around them as competition or, instead, as essential elements in nurturing the scene they themselves are a part of. In the United States the more underground sounds of electronic music are still playing catch up to the EDM beast that exploded shortly after the turn of the new century. Every week I hear and read comments from house and techno fans asking for bigger and more, especially when they compares the United States’ scene with that of Europe. They want bigger events, more production and, more importantly, acts that don’t tour in the States often. Let’s be honest here though, these acts are either really expensive to bring Stateside or are simply too high a risk for the promoter as they don’t promise high enough attendance to make the booking viable.

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The Use of Vocals In Dance Music: An Interview with Thee FFF (Felix Da Housecat and Hoopalaï )

Thee FFF is the kind of musical project that was never purposely intended, the child of a fortuitous connection that turned into something more. On November 24, Montreal’s dynamic duo Hoopalaï (Francois Lebaron & Frédéric Laurier) join forces with Chicago’s legendary Felix Da Housecat for a second time under their fresh, new alias. The result is a two-track EP perfect for late-night slots, which comes out on Montreal-based imprint Victims Music Company. Entitled Contradiction, the two-tracker is just that: a blend of groovy Chicago House elements with obscure, minimal techno twists.

6AM had a chat with Thee FFF to find out more about the project and dig into their take on the use of vocals in dance music.

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Frankie Knuckles: The (Ware)House Legacy

By the time the ’80s had come, North Jefferson was perceived as a desolate industrial area west of Chicago. But at the corner of the city and in the heart of an area that had seemed to have been forgotten by God, one venue was able to re-ignite and convey the spirituality of an entire community and transform itself into its very own temple. We are talking about the mythical Warehouse, the club/warehouse that sat right at the center of a 3-level edifice on that dark and sweaty party of town, celebrating every Saturday night the most physical of collective rites: dance music.

Frankie Knuckles, the great master of ceremonies, DJ, and  storyteller would one day recount the many years spent behind the Warehouse console: “The amazing thing was, despite being full of people of the Midwest, kids with their feet on the ground grown in bread and cereal, the environment was full of feeling. For many who came, that was the church.” Yeah, the reference to religion is rather recurring – and let’s say it – often forced to dance music, but when it comes to something unique and unrepeatable built by Frankie Knuckles at the Warehouse, then it could really not be more fitting. In an old interview with Chicago’s WMAQ broadcaster, Knuckles was ready to remember the magic at the old club: “When you’re faced with three thousand people, you’re faced with three different personalities. And the amazing thing is when those three thousand become one. In church the same happens. When the priest starts, when the choir starts, at a precise moment, when things are coming to the apex, the entire room becomes one thing. And that’s the most amazing thing.”

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Global Vibe Radio 071 feat. Alex Twitchy

Alex Twitchy is a Russian producer and DJ with an eclectic style of House that combines elements of Deep House, Tech House and Garage House.

His own productions and sets are characterized by powerful dynamics and aggressive bass lines, with releases on labels such as Audio Rehab, OneFold Records, White Widow Records, Sleazy G, Plus Recordings, Monotonik Records, Delicious Recordings, House Of Hustle, House of Bangerz, G-Mafia Records and more.

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Premiere: Listen to Knu Jé’s “Vocoder So Sexy” (Quad lBB “Funk-Tribe Original Mix)

Chicago’s Sound Reflection Records welcomes Donnie Tempo under the alias of Knu Jé with a beautiful broken beat, soulful house track entitled “Vocoder So Sexy”.

Beautiful Guitar rhythms by Richard Patterson, Jr. with additional vocals by Dovie Cote. Track is inspired by Vinicius de Moraes & Norman Gimbel’s lyrics of “Girl From Ipanema”.

Knu’jé was first introduced on Jon Cutler’s label with track entitled “Seeds of Life” with a remix by Dennis Ferrer. Knu jé is an alias used by Harold Brandon who works under various names such as DJ Quad, Donnie Tempo and Club Ice.

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Premiere: Mikey V’s “The Jones” Oozes Straight Chicago House Vibes

Producer Mikey V returns to Apollo Music Group with a vengeance, following the Mixmag UK feature and rave reviews of his last collaboration single “Revolution” with Chicago’s The Outfit.

Mikey Velazquez is a DJ, Producer & Vocalist from Los Angeles, California who has been a staple on the West Coast underground house scene since 2006. Best known for throwing the infamous HAWT parties, 2013 finds him focused on production with releases on labels such as Classic Music Company, Cajual Records & Dufflebag Recordings.

Premiering “The Jones” today, Mikey V provides that Chicago House bump that Apollo is becoming widely known for. The EP package is completed by a set of fantastic and unique remixes by the one and only JT Donaldson. The EP comes out on August 3rd and is available for pre-order via Beatport.

Wasting no time, the original mix kicks off hard, with a crisp shuffled beat, quite reminiscent of the programming heard by Brett Johnson. Mikey adds the low end and quickly gets moving on the mic; “Pick your poison, pick your vice, gotta have it all the time” is the rhyme heard in 4/4 time on this cut. With heavy delays, space echoes, all the right pans and dark analog key stabs, this track hits in all the right places. One might also assume that we all have our vices, making this an easy theme to assimilate with.

Moving on to the remix tip, we have the infamous Texas ninja, JT Donaldson. JT has been taking fools to school in the studio since his early work with Spencer Kincy in 1996. Over the years, he’s also produced alongside Chris Nazuka, Lance DeSardi and Chris Penny to name a few. JT’s work has been featured on countless timeless labels of our time including Cajual, Vista, LowDown, Aesoteric, OM, Freerange and many more.

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What is the “Underground” Really?

We often see promoters, music fans, blogs, news outlets and artists use the word “underground” in the context of electronic music, yet the meaning of the word can vary depending on the context used.

More often than not, the connotation attached to the term is that akin of a stamp of approval, signifying that the sound/music in question is pure, genuine and stands on an honest backbone of creativity that has not been marred by any type of commercialism. But in some circles the word “underground” is used to refer to music played at non-legal venues, while the same type of music by the very same artists can be found at mega-stages and parties somewhere else in the world, leading to confusion as to what truly constitutes the “underground”. On the other side of the coin, and in more commercial circles, the “underground” label can be attached to a scene that is out of touch with the rest of the world, a scene that is seen as unpolished, un-professional, dangerous and, in some cases, even “dirty.”

In this article we examine some of the positions adopted on the subject:

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Q&A and Global Vibe Radio 063 feat. Salvione

Our Global Vibe Radio podcast took a break last week while we were in Detroit for Movement Electronic Music Festival, but we are back today with a special one courtesy of one of our favorite rising talents out of New York City.

Known simply as Salvione, Michael Salvione draws inspiration from a number of diverse artists such as Adam Port, David August and Stacey Pullen. The result is a sound that is a seamless blend of funk, tribal, deep house and tech, injected with elements of hip-hop, techno and nu disco. Salvione makes dance floors groove, and he does so with the poise and ease of a veteran, despite still being a new name in the international electronic music scene. 

The result has been deserved recognition in his home cities, including gigs alongside greats the likes of Apollonia, Loco Dice, Dubfire, Mat.Joe, Chad Andrew, and David Gtronic, all the while making lasting impressions at some of the most renowned venues in NYC like Sullivan Room, Schimanski, Flash Factory, and Cielo.

Enjoy the mix below, download it here and read on for our interview with Michael.


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Premiere: Listen to Sydney Blu’s “You Know How It Goes” Off Forthcoming EP on Farris Wheel Recordings

It’s looking like another strong year for Canadian-born DJ and producer Sydney Blu who, on top of her non-stop stream of signature Blu parties, also performed at Treehouse Miami during Miami Music Week’s 7th year, while also gearing up for the Toronto edition at CODA nightclub on Friday, April 7.

Later this week, on April 28th, Sydney Blu partners up with Gene Farris’ Chicago-based label, Farris Wheel Recordings, for the release of her You Know How it Goes EP. A Chicago staple underscoring the new wave of house and tech house to come out from the Midwest metropolis, Farris Wheel Recordings is known for spinning out new, promising talent from both the city that gave birth to house and around the globe.

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Premiere: Dutch Duo ANOTR Releases ‘Cultural Decline’ On No Art

Consisting of young Jesse van der Heijden and Oguzhan Guney, ANOTR are the house-meets-tech-house revelations of their time. After hours and hours of hard work and tweaks to reach undisputed perfection, the first eye-opening works of the Amsterdam based sparked the interest of record label Armada Music, subsequently leading to the release of summer anthem ‘Strobe’ on Defected records breakout label DFTD in early October 2015.

Despite their tender age, ANOTR have played on summer festival hotspot Ibiza, rewarded their fans with multiple DJ performances during Europe’s main dance music conference Amsterdam Dance Event, and graced plenty more internationally acclaimed clubs, venues, and festivals with their distinctive sound, and unmatched, on-stage energy.

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