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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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Q&A and Global Vibe Radio Episode 056 feat. Rythmetic Records Boss CJ Jeff

This week’s episode of Global Vibe Radio comes from Greek producer and Rhythmetic Records boss CJ Jeff.

Last year the Greek producer, DJ and label head celebrated 15 years in the game, an achievement marked by releases on some of the most respected house and techno labels around, including Souvenir, Skint, Bedrock and most recently Objektivity and Yoshitoshi. The array of dance floor gems he has produced over the last decade have further established his reputation as one of the most exciting producers on the circuit, with more planned for his career ahead. Naturally, his prolificness in the studio has led him to launch his own record label, Rhythmetic Records. Launched in 2005 with a vinyl release from Jeff himself – complete with a remix from Maetrik aka Maceo Plex – the label as gone on to release music from likes of Nick Curly and No Artificial Colours gracing the catalogue.

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The Best European Party Countries of 2017

Summer is fast approaching, so why not make it a worthwhile one by taking an unforgettable vacation to Europe, where some of the hottest and most fun parties are being held at this time of year?

With so many events happening throughout the continent this summer, it can be daunting to plan a trip there and determine where to go exactly. Fortunately, we have prepared this handy guide that gives you the lowdown on the best countries in Europe to go to. This guide will also tell you which specific events in each country we highly recommend you check out. And while you’re at it, we give you the opportunity to learn some practical culture and language lessons that will be particularly useful for the occasion.

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Ten “Undercard” Acts You Should Check Out During Movement Detroit 2017

Photo by Amin KO Beydoun

Movement Electronic Music Festival, or Movement for short, is no doubt the biggest North American underground dance music focused festival. Celebrating 11 years under the current name and direction of Paxahau, Movement returns to Detroit’s Hart Plaza this coming Memorial Day Weekend with a packed lineup of house, tech house, techno and more.

While the headliners and bigger names on the roster draw the most attention, naturally, Paxahau did a great job in filling out the lineups’ “undercard” section with a good array of talent spanning several genres. It also appears that they reverted to their old formula of featuring three days of techno at the Underground Stage, although that will not be confirmed until set times are out in the weeks to come.

So, if you’re heading to Detroit this coming May (and you should be, here is where you can buy tickets) why not look beyond Carl Cox, Adam Beyer and Seth Troxler? Branch out and explore some new names, some of which don’t tour the U.S. often or are local to the Detroit and could be a welcome surprise to your festival weekend. In our personal opinion the Movement lineup’s undercard section includes names worthy of being above the “fold”, such as Coyu, Francesca Lombardo, drumcell, Adam X & Perc, Rebekah, etc, so we will not focus on those, but will try to provide some other acts you may have not heard of that will be worth checking out. Bear in mind that this list will be read by Movement veterans and debutants alike, so please be understanding if you happen to be one of the former and are familiar with acts we have chosen. It is also no coincidence that a large number of them are Detroit-born, or Detroit-bred, giving further weight to the quality of each artist selected.

Below are our 10 “undercard” recommendations from this year’s Movement festival lineup, listed in alphabetical order.

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Chicago’s Lollapalooza 2017 Lineup Features Zero House Music, Once Again

Lollapalooza’s 2017 lineup came out today and, surprise surprise, it contains zero house music acts.

Chicago’s role in the foundation of house music during the 1980s, and its subsequent influences on all other genres and sub-genres of electronic music since, is well known. 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. House music became popular in Chicago clubs in 1984, quickly spreading to other American cities such as Detroit, New York City, Baltimore, and Newark – all of which developed their own regional scenes. In the mid-to-late 1980s, house music became popular in Europe as well as major cities in South America, and Australia.

Yet, Chicago’s biggest music festival, Lollapalooza, fails year in and year out to feature any adequate amount of true house music, if any at all. Understandably several facets of rock music are represented en masse, as well as rap, hip-hop and pop and while the lineup does include some great Chicago artists, one of the city’s most recognized genres of music remains grossly underrepresented.

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Are We Taking The Underground Scene Too Seriously? – An Interview with Austin Gebbia (Dear Morni)

The mere mention of clubbing and nightlife evokes thoughts of dark rooms, a dance floor filled with black-clad partygoers, sunglasses and a sense of elitism that would put the Royal family to shame. In all fairness, it’s hard to not imagine nightlife, and in particularly the techno scene, as a truly serious affair. But is it really?

Early last year, I encountered a seemingly bizarre Twitter account that used the handle @DearMorni. Whoever this Dear Morni was, they clearly enjoyed making crude yet pin-pointed jokes at the expense of the DJs, clubs, and really anything that was dance music related with a focus on underground house and techno. The more tweets I read, the more I laughed. The jokes were all brutal yet innocent, and always contained at least a pinch of truth. Most were accompanied by haphazard memes that were also getting love on Dear Morni’s Instagram account. The photoshop job on each was boorish but I could sense it was part of gig  – there was sure nothing serious about Dear Morni.

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Q&A and Premiere: Milo McBride Releases “Antika” EP on [par•ka]

New York City producer Milo McBride is dropping his Antika EP on [par•ka] this coming March 14th.

Antika is Milo McBride’s debut tanz-floor release. From peak-time to the after afters – each track exists solely to serve the dynamic night clubbing experience. Drawing influence from his experiences with an eclectic range of musical styles–from punk to juke–Milo makes post-apocalyptic electronic beats for the dance floor and the bedroom. His production employs sounds from various pockets of the world: sonically combining deconstructed digital sounds with organic instrumentation and field recordings. Combined together, these textures map out the emotional territory a futuristic wasteland similar to that of Mad Max, but with laptops and pills.

Out on vinyl and digital (check out Juno), Antika is composed of three originals and an Acid remix by Peter Fonda. The digital release includes “Phul,” a bonus fifth track which we are premiering today.

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