Tag Archives: Dance Music

[The Audiofiles] Coachella 2k17: Choose Your Own Auditory Adventure

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Photo:// Daniel Zetterstrom for Do LaB

Over the last two decades, Coachella has transformed from a simple music festival to a cultural time capsule.  Between the LA Weekly ranked munchies to the immersive artistic experiences, and of course the exceptional musical talent – the Coachella Music and Arts Festival provides an adult playground while tickling the senses in all the right places.

In event, and in ethos, Coachella is an elite gathering of international tastemakers and up and coming West Coast talent, ranging from musicians and artists, to stage designers, lighting and sound techs, production managers and more.  The festival curates from the creme of the crop, and the energy surrounding the event is palpable as everyone is operating at their highest frequency. And when I say everyone, I mean everyone. For two consecutive weekends, Coachella plays host to 125,000 domestic and international audiophiles, ten stages of music and around 200 musical acts spanning literally every genre, and then creating some live, over a 72 hour span. That’s just on site – so, if you found those numbers overwhelming, now – imagine being there.

That said, one of the many beautiful facets about Coachella is that it’s truly a choose your own adventure type festival, making the weekend anything you want to be. You can go to a punk show at the Sonora Stage one moment, then indulge your inner lyricist with Hip Hop artists from Travis Scott, Denzel Curry, Kendrick Lamar, and Schoolboy Q. Between the Heinekin Stage, Do LaB stage, Sahara Tent, Gobi and Yuma you can spend the weekend at a dance festival – wholeheartedly embracing the PLUR vibes that the event was made for. Or, you can only go to two days of the three day festival and spend the third having an actual vacation in Palm Springs, attend Desert X and come home revived for once instead of coming home burnt out. It can be a fashion show, a foodie’s wet dream or a family reunion, a chance for musical discovery and treasure trove of timeless favorites.  Sometimes it seems like the adventure chooses you, and not the other way around, but either way we all go in with one set of expectations and habitually have them slapped in the face, swirling at 180’s by the time we’re leaving.

The XX, Bon Iver and Bonobo were both gorgeous touches on the main stage, providing an oasis of calm in a colorful, and at times overwhelmingly overstimulating, storm; while in beautiful contrast, Kendrick Lamar closed the stage down on Sunday night, leaving the crowd with something to really think about. Per usual, the Sahara tent opened the doors to significantly more Rap and Hip Hop acts this year, once again providing a proper dance party with artists ranging from SNBRN, Galantis, DJ Khaled, Anna Lunoe, Gucci Mane, Autograf, GRYFFIN and more throwing down while keeping the energy up.

As with previous years, dance music has matriculated through the lineups on other stages beyond the Sahara. The Yuma provided a delightful disco den of deep, tech and progressive house with an internationally acclaimed roster of talent like Nora en Pure, Sasha, Tale of Us, Allison Swing, Dixon, Loco Dice, Hot Since 82, Four Tet-Daphni-Floating Points, and Maya Jane Coles.   Artists from Madeon x Porter Robinson, Justice, Tycho, Nicolas Jaar, What so Not, Jai Wolf, and Tourist were scattered from the Mainstage to the Gobi, and the Mojave to the Outdoor Theater. While the Heineken House and KROQ House both provided refreshing reposes from the rest of the grounds, with ample amounts of shade and air conditioning – two creature comforts that you have a hell of a lot more respect for after several days sweating to the beat in the desert. Last, but certainly not least, my home base and the place that always feels like a family reunion – the Do LaB stage.

As should be expected from Southern California’s premiere party planners, Do LaB’s stage designers outdid themselves with the construction of The Beacon, a bright and bold structure that will be coming with the crew to Lightning in a Bottle. Boasting a unique and expertly curated lineup for each weekend of Coachella, Do LaB’s stage is a wet, wild and whimsical artistic experience, fully equipped with dancing DJs, supersoakers, and high flying acrobatics; a festival within a festival, and a stage that’s a party within a party, quintessentially becoming a gateway drug to the beauty and beats of Lightning in a Bottle.

I think I’ve said this every year of Coachella, but kudos to the Do LaB for their impeccable bookings – perpetually and passionately giving us a birds eye view of the top acts in dance music.  If you’re in the mood for raw, upcoming talent – look no further than the first act each day: KNGSPRNGS, divaDanielle, Jonnie King, Oscure, Gone Gone Beyond and BOGL. Want a proper Sunday Funday dance party? Try the Desert Hearts squad on for size. And when it comes to big name artists, Do LaB provides an arena for artists to return to their roots – or just forge new ones, allowing for musical exploration and artistic experimentation.  For the first time since Chase & Status brought down the Sahara tent nearly a decade ago, Coachella had a true taste of Drum and Bass from Netsky and Liquid Stranger, oh – and then some guy named Skrillex showed up for a secret set and shut the place down, touching nearly every genre of music ever created and even creating a few new ones on the spot.  Other secret sets at Do LaB over the two weekends included Classixx, Richie Hawtin, Louis The Child, Rufus du Sol, Tycho and Autograf.

Two years ago, there was a giant caterpillar that roamed the festival grounds, metamorphosing into a lovely, large butterfly.  That was amazing.  Last year, there were corporate hippos, which were not nearly as cool as the butterfly but art being art, whatever – I liked them a lot more than the giant chairs and lamps which made me feel like my name was Alice, I ate something and now I’m in Wonderland…but Wonderland is just an Outdoor Ikea; anyways.  This year…well, this year someone let Dr. Seuss’s dildo collection loose among the main stages and though it provided some laughable moments, I just wanted that damn beautiful butterfly back.

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Coachella and the Goldenvoice name have grown exponentially over the last decade: adding more days, stages and weekends. But this year, for the first time in a long time – the festival increased in capacity as well, adding 25% in ticketed attendance and finally feeling the growing pains.  As festival population increased, the local Coachella Valley population also exponentially increases – and at a faster rate, to boot: consider the percentage of friends who would come and not even attend the festival, additional amount of event workers to handle the new stages, paired with a gross increase in the amount of events that occur in tandem with the festival – Goldenvoice’s LED Pool Party, Desert X and the menagerie of private parties for and by the musicians.

To combat the population  growth, the grounds were expanded and pushed back – but I actually had no idea where three stages were the first day, because fuck a map apparently. Yes, there’s a lot of room for activities but Coachella might finally be at the point of too much room for activities, when you actually get FOMO mid-festival because you simply can’t experience everything.   Handling the growth of the festival from inside it became relatively manageable by the end, but what wasn’t manageable was the parking situation which became exponentially worse as attendees trickled in through Sunday: causing up to a 3 hour backup as reported by the Press-Enterprise.  And if you wanted to forgo day parking and try using Uber, who has been touted as a partner with the festival itself, users were charged a disgusting minimnum of $175 – sometimes upwards of $250 – due to surge pricing as reported by the LA Weekly.  These two factors alone were enough to drive a variety of non-camping festival attendants to either exit stage left early Sunday and forgo favorite acts from Kendrick Lamar to Galantis, or take to social media to rant and rave about their first world travesties.

The adventures we choose at Coachella forge the musically monumental paths of the weekend, but I think the real testament to Coachella are the adventures we choose after we leave – did we find ourselves wanting more of a specific artist or genre?  Have we been rock fans our whole lives and suddenly find our niche with Dubstep and Trap?  Do we enjoy witty lyricisms in music and have a new appreciation for the incredible hip hop artists that were featured at this years event?  Do we snag our ticket to Lightning in a Bottle immediately upon returning home to decompress because we feel like we’ve finally discovered a hub of technicolor creation that mirrors the kaleidoscopic nature of our soul?

Despite the gradients of heat waves we endured for over 72 hours, each and every festival attendant left Coachella left feeling emotionally recharged, refreshed and revived – even if our sore muscles felt anything but.  We laughed, danced and discovered – not just music, but the true nature of ourselves: that child who had been forced to grow up that we’ve been shoveling under 40 hour a week jobs, forgetting that there’s another part to our soul that has needs and wants to – and fun in the sun with like minded souls to amazing music that touches every subject and genre is a large part of that. The idea of festival is necessary, when the only difference a stranger and I might disagree on is what our favorite act was – not which way they voted.

Keep your eyes on The DJ List as we dish on our top acts, best musical discoveries from the weekend and so much more.  To keep up on all things Coachella and their content curators, follow the links below – and be sure to keep your eyes and ears open because tickets for next year’s gala featuring Beyonce will probably go on sale any moment now.

Coachella // Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Goldenvoice //  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud

Do LaB // Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

KROQ // Website | Facebook | Twitter

Photo:// Watchara for Do LaB

[The Audiofiles] The BPM Festival Goes Global With Expansion Events in Portugal and Brazil

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For a select group of audiophiles, the New Years celebrations have continued far into 2017 as they dance with delectable House and techno rhythms in Playa del Carmen at The BPM Festival, deep into the heart of the night. But for others – including the team behind the BPM Festival – this has been a time of change, growth, and transformation. With this year’s event in full swing, The BPM brand is excited to announce their plans to expand the franchise internationally with two new festivals in Brazil and Portugal in 2017.

From April 28th through May 1st, frolic in the gorgeous beach resort towns of Praia Brava, Itajai and Balneário Camboriú with Brazilian partner Gustavo Conti, owner of the esteemed Warung Beach Club. Known for their fabled sunrises over the open air venue, Warung Beach Club finds itself in the top quartile of The DJ Mag’s Top 100 Club polls. Meanwhile, across the pond in Europe, The BPM Festival’s Portugal iteration will descend on an untapped beach region in September and will be partnering with none other than Will Gregory of Goldfrapp fame.

Curated in almost a decade ago in 2008, the evolution of The BPM Festival has been a testament to the creative ethos cultivated by friends, Co-Founders and Directors Craig Pettigrew and Phillip Pulitano.

“…after 10 years of honing our craft, we’re ready to take our grand show on the road. We hope to continue our commitment to diverse and forward-thinking lineups and expand to new territories and show the beauty of the different countries to our international fans who are the true techno tourists.”Phillip Pulitano, Co-Founder + Director

For more on The BPM Festival, head to their socials:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

[The Audiofiles] The Road to the Desert Hearts Spring Festival is Paved with House, Techno and a Whole Lot of Love

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Over the last five years, Southern California’s Desert Hearts troupe has blossomed from a homegrown hub of House and Techno into a global party sensation. After taking the Fall season off this year, much to the dismay of Desert Hearts fanatics all over – Desert Hearts is proud to announce their triumphant return to the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation from March 31 to April 3, 2017.

Playing host to an intimate number of attendants, the festival is capped at 3,500 and the warm, bubbly ethos that the size of the event curates is delightfully palpable. Between the various Desert Hearts virgins and assorted Desert Hearts vets, the weekend is as much a festival as it is a family reunion…with the grooviest soundtrack on the West Coast. Musical tastemakers to grace the decks have included Tiefschwarz, DJ Harvey, Monkey Safari, Rodriguez Jr., DJ T, Claude VonStroke, Marc Houle, Olivier Giacomotto, Mark Henning, M.A.N.D.Y, alongside the usual suspects – Mikey Lion, Lee Reynolds, Marbs and Porkchop.

The road to the Desert Hearts Spring Festival is paved with House and Techno from coast to coast as the squad heads out on their 21 tour date City Hearts Winter Tour. The mobile micro-festival vibe will takeover premiere festivals in previously unexplored markets for the burgeoning brand including Brazil’s Som & Sol Festival, Costa Rica’s Ocaso Festival, Tucson’s Gem and Jam, plus return trips to Brooklyn, Denver, Miami, Salt Lake City, its prized home turf of Los Angeles and San Diego, and many more standout shows.

Tickets for the highly anticipated and long awaited Spring 2017 Edition of Desert Hearts go on sale Tuesday, December 6th at 12 PM PST.

RSVP on Facbook and Rally Your Squad | Snag Tickets Here!

For more on the Desert Hearts squad and their upcoming roster of events, head to their social media channels –

Website | Facebook| Twitter | Soundcloud | Instagram

[The Audiofiles] Day Zero Returns to Tulum For a Mystical, Musical Journey

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One part musical journey, one part mystical experience – what the Ancient Mayan Calendar surmised about the cultural significance of Day Zero has catapulted into a once in a lifetime, or once in a year if you’re lucky, party in a jungle paradise. Since 2012, Crosstown Rebels have frequented Tulum, encouraging revelers, moonchildren and wanderers from across the globe to dive in and celebrate the wonder of one of the world’s most singular events, entranced by an international roster of artists.

Old world magic meets new world sound as Day Zero continues to make a name for itself in the Mexican wilderness. Nestled deep in the heart of the jungle, Day Zero reflects the constant ebb and flow of the natural habitat. With each consecutive sunrise and sunset, the ethos of Day Zero seeps deep into the soul, while the palpable energy from the caves, cenotes and natural amphitheater linger around every corner.

With the new chapter of Day Zero comes a new cast of cohorts; in addition to Crosstown Rebels’ bossman Damian Lazarus, this year’s music will be supplied by Dinky, DJ Three, Serge Devant, Mathew Johnson, and Metrika, as well as representatives from other like-minded global crews such as Innervisions Ame and Dixon.  Day Zero makes its triumphant returns from January 13-14th.

Purchase Tickets Here | RSVP on FacebookFor more on Day Zero, Damian Lazarus and Crosstown Rebels – head to their social media channels and websites:

Day Zero Festival: Website
Crosstown Rebels: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud
Damian Lazarus: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

[The Audiofiles] Get a Dose of ‘Honesty’ With The Russ Liquid Test

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All Photos from Daniel Leist Photography

Back in 2015 when Russ Liquid brought Andrew Block onto the stage at the Gem and Jam Festival to debut his side-project ‘Stupid Americans’, it was evident that their musical bond extended far past what had manifested in front of us on stage. Between our elated eardrums and happy, dancing feet – we were fully immersed in musical bliss, swimming sweetly through sonic waves.  In a musical culture that more often than not rewards pre-programmed sound and demands levels of perfection that only pre-planned sets can deliver, it’s refreshing to experience the ever-evolving complexity of intelligent music that stems from live instrumentation and musical improvisation; the Russ Liquid continually dishes out just that.  As we walked away from Gem and Jam, we couldn’t stop gushing about how their sound, and their inspired, live collaborative process could blossom into something bigger than either performer could have imagined.  Fast forward into 2016 and a year and a half later, The Russ Liquid Test quartet is actively shaping the sound of the future.

The collaborative brainchild of Andrew Block, AJ Hall, Alvin Ford and none other than Russ Liquid himself – The Russ Liquid Test is in a genre all of its own: an avant-garde mix of Future Jazz and Livetronica, seamlessly pulling elements from Big Band, Funk and Soul.  They made their festival debut at this past Lightning in a Bottle, winning over the dancefloor with a Special Sunday set.  The Russ Liquid Test’s debut EP 1984 is set to drop on November 11th on Griz’s imprint All Good Records. Until then – we have a few salacious new singles to chew on and digitally digest.

Their debut track is the soulful, gritty ‘Honesty’, a single that both pays musical homage to the greats of the New Orleans Music Scene while manifesting their ethos for a new era of music. Moody and atmospheric, the vocals pull at the listener’s heartstrings with a slow, seductive quality that’s echoed by the Big Band sound of vibrant brass.  Joining The Russ Liquid Test on the track are Alvin Ford Jr of Dumpstaphunk and Pretty Lights notoriety on drums, and a horn section fully equipped with New Orleans players like Eric Bloom of Lettuce and the Aaron Neville Band. “Honesty” is available for streaming and download.

We wanted to create something that embodies both the modern sound of electronic music with the rich heritage of New Orleans music. so we mashed up electronic production with the sounds of New Orleans second line in a very unique way that is both future and vintage.” – Russ Liquid

The second single off of 1984 is the Hip Hop heavy ‘Land of the Free‘ with none other than Mr. Lif.  Pairing poignant lyrics on our current social and economic climate against the wailing, rally cries of the guitar – ‘Land of the Free‘ capitalizes on a cross-pollination of genres, expertly fusing Rap, Jazz and Live Electronica into a musical masterpiece.

For more on Russ Liquid and All Good Records, head to their social media channels –

Russ Liquid:  WebsiteFacebook | Twitter | Soundcloud | Bandcamp

All Good Records: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud

 

[The Audiofiles] The Daft Punk Rumors Have Come Alive for 2017

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daft-punk

Ahhh, 2016 – another year, another Daft Punk rumor; yet, for once, the rumors of touring, studio work and new projects might have some sound footing.  Coming hot of the release of The Weekend’s new track ‘Star Boy’, it’s very evident that the French duo has been back in the studio and laying down a little something something.  Regardless of your personal raves and / or rants about the quality of the track, it begs the question: how long have they really been in the studio?? And now, there’s the website; if you’re a tried and true DP fanatic, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

But first, a little history.  Deep in Birmingham’s  Que Club, back in 1997, Daft Punk recorded the audio for their Alive 1997 – later released in 2001.  Then, a decade later in 2007 – Daft Punk released a long anticipated follow-up album, aptly titled Alive 2007 (surprise). Both of these albums were accompanied by tours. With 2017, and their twenty year alive-aversary just a few short months away – could they be teasing a third live album, and mayyyybe even a tour?? A techno kitten can dream, can’t she? So when I saw the website for Alive2017.com – I might have freaked out, just a bit.

The website itself is a bit bland at first glance; however there is a little, itty bitty number sequence hiding right behind the I.  Plus if I’ve learned anything about the way the world works: you should never judge a book by its cover, but you can definitely judge a website by its code. So,  I dipped in – below, I break it down.

daftpunk2

The first set of numbers looks like code, and the last four lines really look like location coordinates (I might watch a lot of CSI…).With a little plugging and chugging of each line of data, and slight manipulation like inserting a . between numerical segments, the first line 48 51 24 2 21 03 becomes 48°51’24.0″N 2°21’03.0″E, which is the longitude and latitude of Paris – France’s château de Techno. Plugging in the rest, you get:

48 51 24 2 21 03: Paris
34 03 118 15: Los Angeles
51 30 26 N 0 7 39: London
40 7128 74 0059: New York
35 6895 139 6917: Tokyo
23 5505 46 6333: Sao Paulo
39 0200 1 4821: Ibiza
33 7206 116 2156: Indio

That last location might be the most important: ARE THE COACHELLA RUMORS FINALLY GOING TO BE TRUE?!

Then, we get to the end of the code – the first thing I noticed was the ‘Wake Date 2016-10-27’; put a reminder, make a note, draw with permanent pen or get a damn tattoo – this date is important.

Last, but not least – ‘Shep Logged Out’: Shep was a character in the esteemed anime movie Interstellar 5555.  And, as if we needed another nod, deep in the source index there’s an interval of 5555.  Is it fate?  Is it phony?  Either way, I’m going to put on Homework back to back with Discovery and pray to the music gods that I’m not just addicted to Mr. Robot and this is all real.

[The Audiofiles] Chet Faker: From Drop the Game to Dropping the Name

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Known as the crooning sensation that seemingly drops as many falsettos as panties, the voice of many features and collaborations with Flume including the ‘Lockjaw’ EP and ‘Drop the Game’ – plus the brainchild behind albums like ‘Built on Glass’ and ‘Work’ and – Chet Faker – is now working under a new pseudonym: Nick Murphy. Who’s name is that you ask? Well, for starters – it’s his given name. That’s right, after five years of immeasurable success as Chet Faker, Nick is ready to shed that snake skin and come back into the music circuit renewed, rejuvenated and ready. The announcement came through both Facebook and Twitter last night.

chetfaker

For now, his social media channels have slowly taken to the currents of change – his profile and cover photo from Facebook have gone dark, his given name on Twitter has officially been switched to Nick Murphy while the Twitter handle has stayed, and his Soundcloud offers a nod to the name change as well. Music fans, let’s face it: no matter what name he works under – Chet Faker, Nick Murphy, Santa Clause, The Cat in the Hat – with his raw, emotive tone, moving lyrics and delectable delivery, he could sing me the alphabet and it would sound like gold. Keep on keepin’ on, Nick – we can’t wait to see where your musical prowess takes you next.

For more, head to Nick’s socials and catch up on the latest.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud