Digging Deeper with John Norman

“Firmly rooted in Detroit sound, but holds the mark of the Canadian landscape,” according to Faze Magazine, Toronto’s John Norman has just released his highly-anticipated debut on Todd Terry’s Terminator Records. “Withdrawal” showcases  his blend of driving-hypnotic techno to excellent result.

6AM had the chance to chat with John ahead of the single release, which comes out tomorrow September 22nd on Beatport and other select music stores.

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Interview: ANNA Talks Asia, the Touring Life, and Upcoming Projects

The Brazilian-born and Barcelona-based ANNA has quickly climbed to the top of the techno charts, and for great reason. Her heavy and industrial productions continue to enchant people around the world. Anna’s most recent release, Haze Moons, was received with open arms, or ears I should say.

She started at her dad’s popular nightclub in Brazil at the age of 14 and after some difficult times she saw her  hard work finally start to pay off. A bucket list item of hers was to play at Movement in Detroit, the iconic festival held yearly in the birth place of the genre that she loves so much, and she did just that this past Memorial Day Weekend.

It is in Detroit that 6AM caught up with her to talk about her time in Asia, what it’s like to be touring all the time, and new projects in the pipeline.

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Claude VonStroke Discusses the Dirtybird Campout on the Rave Curious Podcast

The annual Dirtybird Campout has become a major event on the West Coast festival circuit, thanks to a programming that sees it present every shade of the label’s beloved sound — from house and techno to bass and hip-hop — and combining it with adult updates on good old-fashioned summer camp activities (sexy musical chairs, anyone?).

Dirtybird boss Claude VonStroke sat down with the Rave Curious Podcast to reveal a couple of surprises he has in store for this year’s gathering. He also offers up advice on how to make it as a musical entrepreneur and explains the back and forth it took him to arrive at his destination as one of America’s most successful DJ/producers.

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Q&A: Tim Engelhardt Talks America, Studio and Live Setup while on Debut United States Tour

One of Cologne’s youngest and brightest electronic music stars on the rise, Tim Engelhardt didn’t crash the scene out of nowhere, but started his path as a young kid, first trying to rewrite the piano pieces he had to practice at the tender age of eight, already showcasing the creative and musical mind that would eventually lead him to become the respected and prolific electronic music producer he is today.

Tim discovered the music of Robert Babicz early on and, under his influence and mentorship, became churning out track after track, growing his portfolio with plenty of releases on labels such as Traum Schallplatten, WIR, Babiczstyle, Amuse Gueule, Ostwind Records, Popart Music, Playmusic Productions, Parquet Recordings, Manual Music and Steve Bug’s iconic Poker Flat Recordings – all in just four short years, before eventually showcasing his music on imprints such as Dixon’s Innervisions and Cityfox.

Currently in the midst of his debut USA Tour, Tim took the time to talk with us in between his successful debut at Cityfox in New York and his stop at Chicago’s Spybar for 3feetdeep tomorrow night.

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Resiliency: How TOKiMONSTA Recovered Lost Speaking and Musical Abilities Following Brain Surgery

If you are feeling down and hopeless today, let the story of Jennifer Lee, known as TOKiMONSTA serve as inspiration.

In an interview with Pitchfork, Lee shared for the first time what she went through during the past 12 years. The Los Angeles-based artist tells of how she had been suffering from persistent migraines for 10 years, but doctors hadn’t detect anything unusual. Fortunately a health scare in 2015 led to specialists finding the culprit: an extremely rare and potentially fatal brain disease called Moyamoya.

“‘Moyamoya’ is a Japanese word that means ‘a puff of smoke,'” she said. “When your main arteries start shrinking, the blood still wants to reach your brain, so it starts taking these smaller, weaker collateral vessels. Usually you wouldn’t be able to see those little veins, but because they’re taking more blood to compensate, it looks like a puff of smoke is coming from the base of your brain. If your arteries start to shut down and the blood starts to take these weaker vessels, you’re either going to have a stroke or an aneurysm or thrombosis. It just explodes, basically, because those veins are not meant to take on an artery’s worth of blood.”

“Without any treatment, most people don’t live past 40… I didn’t know how much time I had, and I was leaving on tour… It’s a really convoluted process to get treatment. But I was a ticking time bomb. I was really desperate and scared shitless,” Lee adds. She sought treatment at Stanford, the leading institution for the treatment of the disease; upon diagnosis, she was advised to immediately undergo a brain surgery.

She eventually went through two brain surgeries in January 2016 as the disease affected both sides of her brain. The procedures were successful and at first she was doing fine. However, afterwards she found herself not able to talk or understand speech. Lee recalls, “I could still think thoughts, but all the words I knew were gone. I even tried texting people and my texts were complete gibberish. It was almost like suddenly I spoke a different language than everyone else… But the worst part was that I couldn’t understand any kind of music whatsoever. It didn’t sound right.”

For Lee, the thought of not able to produce music anymore was the worst part. Her language became better as time progressed but, having spent so much time in the hospital she lost muscle tone in her body, so she had to learn how to walk again on top of overcoming the biggest struggle: making music again. “I opened Ableton and I couldn’t understand what I was doing, even though at that point my speech was at 90 percent… The part of my brain that knew how to put sounds together was broken,” Lee relates. “I didn’t want to pity myself, but it was a heart-wrenching pain.”

Compounding the difficulties she faced physically was an emotional struggle she was not expecting to face: her boyfriend broke up with her after surgery. “That moment was probably the worst I’ve ever felt in my entire life. But that sadness allowed me to regain some clarity. I knew I had to overcome it.”

She decided to stop for a while and gave herself room to recuperate, something she was glad to have done looking back. “I think if I had pushed myself I would never have found the music again…I gave myself a couple weeks with music to be like, ‘Just don’t touch this shit—chill out, work on other aspects of your life, try to be normal again.'”

Lee eventually got back to music again, and the first song she managed to write after the surgery was a track titled “I Wish I Could Be.” “I wrote the instrumental and finally felt a sense of completion, like, ‘I’m back! This is a good song.’ I was given that glimmer of hope that everything would be fine.” Belgian soul singer-songwriter Selah Sue wrote the lyrics for the tracks, touching on deep meaning for both Lee and listeners.

The song would be the first of the many tracks she was able to make after recovery, all  featured in her upcoming third album Lune Rouge. As Lee talks about the album, it becomes clear that making it was a cathartic experience. “This album isn’t going to be made to satisfy the needs of an industry or the needs of a trend. I’m just going to make songs that make me happy, and I really hope they make other people happy, too,” she adds. “It’s my most personal piece of work…each of these beats—all these songs I put together—tell a story.”

Two months after the surgery she went to SXSW and on the following month, in April, she played at Coachella. This was followed by full tours with no one knowing about what she went through. Lee hopes that her story will help bring light to Moyamoya, as well as to give attention to all personal struggles people may be facing in their lives.

“We all go through really terrible things and face hardships. Being able to play Coachella three months after having the surgery was very significant to me. If I can do something like this, anyone can,” she shares.

Titled Lune Rouge, TOKiMONSTA’s new album is coming out October 6th through her own Young Arts Records imprint. Along with the aforementioned song, the Fovere follow-up effort includes collaborations with Joey Purp, Isaiah Rashad, and IO Echo. Said to be “her most personal body of work to date,” it also comes with “We Love”, a glimmering, summer-ready single featuring MNDR, which you can listen to below.


Lune Rouge Tracklist:

01. Lune
02. Rouge
03. Thief (feat. SAINTS)
04. I Wish I Could (feat. Selah Sue)
05. We Love (feat. MNDR)
06. Bibimbap
07. NO WAY (feat. Isaiah Rashad, Joey Purp & Ambré Perkins)
08. Don’t Call Me ft. Yuna
09. Rose’s Thorn
10. Early to Dawn (feat. Selah Sue)
11. Estrange (feat. IO Echo)

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Q&A and Global Vibe Radio 078 feat. Sandy Turnbull

For this week’s episode of Global Vibe Radio we welcome Galleria Records boss Sandy Turnbull, who has fast become a prolific artist in recent times, his distinctive Disco House fusions championed by the likes of Derrick Carter and Groove Armada to Soulclap, Mark Farina and Sonny Fondera, among others.

Listen too the mix below and read on for both track list and our exclusive chat with the Sheffield lad as he reveals his exciting new “Night Talk” series.

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Digging Deeper with Judge Jules

Spanning 30 years of work in the electronic music world, Judge Jules‘ career is one that has touched all corners of the globe.

The accolades have poured in over the years, with Mixmag crowning him the #1 DJ, Dancestar Awards naming him the Best International DJ, winning Best Radio DJ from Smirnoff’s Dancestars and continually featuring in the DJ Mag Top 100 poll, peaking at #3 alongside the industry’s greatest. Judge Jules’ touch is multi-dimensional, and spans far more than just one area of the industry. He is a producer, a DJ, a radio host, a promoter, has worked record label A&R duties and has also been involved with quite the number of TV work.

In England Judge Jules ruled the radio waves with shows on Kiss FM and the iconic BBC Radio 1, and now his show The Global Warm Up is broadcast on over 70 stations across the globe including the colossal Sirius XM, and notches up a gigantic 750,000 downloads every single week via his podcast. And what about his famous Ibiza brand Judgement Fridays, formerly known as Judgement Sundays? The residency packed out its balearic home every week, with 15 years experience.

Somehow 6AM found the time to chat with Judge Jules in the middle of his packed summer schedule. Our aim was to dig a little deeper and talk about how he juggles it all, exploring the personality outside of music too.

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Q&A: Jon Rundell Explains Why He Switched To Free Streaming to Democratize Music Sharing

Jon Rundell‘s new release “Poetry” marks a controversial new direction for the British producer, DJ and label owner, as he seeks to challenging the status quo by giving away his music and the individual parts to them for free.

The moves is complete counter-current to the way the industry has been operating for years. Rundell has decided enough is enough. Increasingly frustrated with the underground music industry’s general resistance to change across the board, he’s decided to ditch the traditional DJ-only focused way of releasing music for multi-platform streaming, ensuring free to listen (in both senses) access to his tracks and even encouraging remixing in fans’ bedrooms across the world by releasing individual parts to this new track.

How? Rundell has decided to revive his own ETCH label to release a brand new single entitle “Poetry,” the first of a series that will see the label churn out tracks that will go straight to Soundcloud, Spotify and Youtube. Each track will be available for free download on SoundCloud, with its parts also available for download to make it easier for aspiring & professional producers to remix it or do whatever they want with them. Eventually, Rundell plans to keep an eye open for anything that may stand out to him from the result of his project and, if appropriate, release it in the same way on the label.

Rundell has been around for years, and this is in a way how he has decided to give back to the younger demographic of dance music fans that he knows have been coming out to party and dance to his music.

6AM caught up with the producer to get more details about the project and how it came about.

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Dubfire b2b David Guetta: A Friendship that Transcends Time and Music Genres

Some of the best friendships are often the ones hardest to explain, which can seem to be the case with David Guetta and Ali Shirazinia, commonly known by his stage name Dubfire.

Yet, a quick glance at the past and you can instantly spot where their paths crossed and their friendship began, born out of musical respect, as well as an instant personal connection. In a recent interview for a forthcoming Dubfire documentary, the two stars sat down with Pacha Magazine and explained the origins of their lasting friendship, which began roughly ten years ago when Deep Dish and David Guetta swapped duties for remix projects on each other’s music.

It all startedwhen Deep Dish added their twist to David Guetta’s “The World Is Mine,” whilst the French start remixed the duo’s iconic “Flashdance,” setting the two stars on a personal friendship that remains strong to this day.

It’s safe to say that since that time both of the artist’s sounds have changed. The Deep Dish project was put on hold for several years before it was picked up again a couple of years ago, although Dubfire remains focused on is solo career more than ever. Guetta went on to collaborate with some of the world’s biggest pop and hip-hop artists, becoming one of the biggest EDM artists in the world.

When it is all said and done, however, Guetta credits the Deep Dish remix as a really important part of his early career:

“I was really huge in France but I was struggling at a international level,” said Guetta. “It was the first time my record was playing everywhere because they were really hot at the time — so I’m really thankful for that.”

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Digging Deeper with Mark Knight

DJ, producer, label owner and businessman: Mark Knight has proven a rare and wonderful breed of musical heavyweight. He is the second highest-selling Beatport artist of all time with no less than eight Number 1’s, and a career that has spanned over a decade with releases on labels such as Suara, 1605, Stereo and of course his own Toolroom Records.

Mark remains one of the hardest-working DJs in his field, a constant champion for the tech house sound that has made Toolroom and his own brand one of the most respected in the industry world-over. It is thanks to his music that Mark has remained a firm fixture on the worldwide touring circuit with a number of key residencies around the world under the Toolroom Live banner and performances at dance music bastions Space Ibiza and Amnesia as well as a host of landmark festivals.

6AM caught up with the globe-trotting DJ ahead of a weekend that will see him perform at Heart Nightclub in Miami and in New Jersey.

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