[Tech Tuesday] LiveNation Presents ‘Boomrat’ – a new EDM Discovery Platform

Cross Published on The DJ List

In today’s day and age when music discovery and new frontiers in technology are practically synonymous, Live Nation has partnered up with Live Nation Labs, the company’s small but highly effective start up subsidiary, to produce the next best thing in EDM – ‘Boomrat’ – a platform fully devoted to the discovery of brand spankin’ new electronic music the world over. It was only a year ago when Boomrat entered into the Live Nation Labs family and ever since, they’ve been itching to get the site launched.

By pulling data from over 300 sources – like renowned music directories like Soundcloud and internationally recognized EDM blogs and websites – Boomrat has precariously placed itself in a position to identify and analyze trends within our ever evolving music industry. To boot, the site will soon be utilizing data from both YouTube in addition to SoundCloud’s revamped – and slightly controversial – API, and plans to incorporates playlists from artists and industry bigwigs, right on down to the super-fan in all of us.

Back in 2013, Live Nation made some key business moves – primarily the acquisition of Insomniac Events, the famed production company behind epic events like Electric Daisy Carnival, Electric Forest and White Wonderland – and received a 50% stake. Now, with Boomrat on the loose – the site will actually be housed in the Los Angeles Insomniac offices and will effectively bridge the gap between the two corporations.

Developed by Ariel Lee and Andrew Silberstein while at USC’s Lloyd Grief School of Entrepreneurship, Boomrat garnered the school’s prestigious New Venture Seed Competition in 2012. Marc Geiger, head of WME , took notice of their success and connected with James Barton and Michael Rapino, the respective president of EDM and the CEO of Live Nation, to bring the pair into the Live Nation Labs family. Other Live Nation Labs companies include Rexly, Setlist.fm, Meexo and YourTrove.

“We relentlessly look for young, talented entrepreneurs to join Live Nation,” Barton gushed. “We were delighted to acquire Boomrat and have co-founders Andrew and Ariel join our team, who are leading the next generation of the electronic dance business with some smart solutions and their first product.”In addition to partnerships with Live Nation Labs, Insomniac Events and the HARD Events and Cream franchises both purchased recently, Boomrat is also paired up with Roc Nation’s Three Six Zero Group, founded by Mark Gillespie, Alan Ruthorford and Deal Wilson. Three Six Zero is an EDM Management company founded back in ’07, their clients include the likes of NERO and CALVIN HARRIS.

“New blogs and tracks are constantly launching and it’s impossible for one person to follow them all,” Boomrate co-founder Lee said. “Dance music is constantly evolving while being shared and consumed in a different manner than other genres, and this can make it challenging for fans to keep up.”

As fans – we’ll have to wonder: is this the corporatization of our favorite sounds? With the new API changes to Youtube and Soundcloud and their inclusion in Boomrat, will we still have access to our favorite independent artists -or – will we only have access to artists that are part of major labels? Also – as it currently stands, Hypem does a similar service to Boomrat by aggregating data from hundreds of international music blogs and reformatting the data within their own GUI – so how will Boomrat stack up?

By fusing technology, innovation and EDM and thanks to the acquisition of Live Nation Labs – Live Nation – alongside Live Nation Labs – is once again at the forefront of this 6.2 billion dollar music industry. With partnerships with some of the biggest names, festivals and management companies in the business – they’ll surely be a company to watch over the next five years.

[Music Monday] EDC ’14 Live Sets

Photo Credit: Alex Perez for Insomniac

This past weekend, over 400,000 smiling faces graced the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for three nights of what can only be described as a whirlwind combination of friendly faces, massive bass, eclectic costumes and immense, immersive stages.  Now in it’s 18th year – Pasquelle Rotella and Insomniac Events have been bringing people together under the beautiful, electric sky for a night of magic, mystery, euphoria and the most beautiful type of mayhem you’ll ever encounter.  From it’s humble beginnings in San Bernadino and Los Angeles, to the massive scale festival that’s now situated just beyond the bright lights of Las Veags – EDC has become an internationally renowned festival; and the Insomniac Team has it’s more than earned those bragging rights.

Between the 8 permanent stages of music and mobile art carts traversing the grounds, there was literally something for everyone.  neonGARDEN played host to the Deep and Tech House DJs for the night, and was hosted by the man, the myth and the legend Carl Cox the first two nights and hosted the likes f Claude VonStroke, Dusky, Art Department, Adam Beyer, Booka Shade, Maya Jane Coles and Eats Everything.  The circuitGROUNDS brought in some of the more bass heavy, electro house like Afrojack, Sander van Doorn, Dada Life, Bingo Players and my personal favorite, Prydz.  Even though there were some stand outs in the line-up for me, Martin Garrix would be enough for me to avoid the circuit like the plague on the first night and any stage hosted by Avicii is reason enough for me to meander elsewhere.

Bassrush hosted the BassPod and brought in crowd favorites like 12th Planet, Infected Mushroom and Seven Lions for the first two nights.  On the last night, the BassPod boasted a co-curated stage with Andy C’s Ram Records for one of the most epic nights of Drum and Bass I’ve ever seen stitched together with Wilkinson, Loadstar, SubFocus, Netsky….um, yeah. Swoon.  In what I consider a monumental move, HARD is back at EDC for it’s second year with a curated stage – bringing in a Dubstep, Electro House, Bass heavy…well, party.  They’re covering all the genres with eclectic artists like Diplo, Justin Martin, Oliver, Madeon, Flosstradamus, Knife Party, Chromeo, Brancez, A-Trak, Zeds Dead, Dillon Francis, Bassnectar, What So Not and HARD’s founder Destructo. And for the first year, the DiscoveryProject itself was expanded to encompass costume design, stage design and art installations in addition to DJs and producers.

edc las vegas schedule 2014

I consider music my religion, so when I discovered that the kinesticFIELD – the main stage of EDC – had been completely redesigned into a cathedral – the DJ booth was giant pipe organ, adorned by two massive owls with outstretched wings. At over 440 feet wide and 80 feet tall, this is the largest stage in Insomniac history.  As I burrowed through pictures on social media – my heart swooned almost as fast as the FOMO set in; yes, I get claustrophobic, sure Las Vegas would’ve been expensive this weekend, and maybe I’m not exactly all the way recovered from my amazing weekend at Lightning in a Bottle.  So what?! Oh, man – that’s when I knew I was really missing out on something.  It was the first time since EDMBiz ended that I really felt the need to physically be in Vegas for EDC.  Through an on-point digital partnership with 7Up, EDC live streamed select stages for ‘EDC Curated’ as a way to indulge those of us that couldn’t attend the spectacle – and I’m so thankful they did!  As part of this global consciousness, it’s a great reminder for those of us that’ve been part of this ‘scene’ or whatever you want to call it that we really are connected by the music; and that’s a formidable bond.  My first EDC was the last festival held in San Bernadino and my last EDC was the first held in Vegas; the event and the community that engulfs it have become a family and within that, a second home for me.  So even though I wasn’t there, it was near impossible to not feel like I was still part of the event.

From stilt walkers to aerial artists, winged fairies and masked marathon dancers – the troupe that Insomniac brings in rivals the high octane energy of each and every smiling face in attendance.  Over 400,000 people from 40 different countries and all 50 states came together to experience the epic 3 night event, and for everything potentially lost in the Vegas desert – from cell phones to wallets, id cards and brain cells – with the new friends and a welcoming community, I guarantee much more was found.

If you’re fighting against the grain this Monday, wishing you were in Vegas or itching to get back – I’m pretty sure these EDC sets will help you coast through until 5pm. Enjoy! 🙂

 

[Doing It Right] EDC Weekend in Las Vegas

I’m back from a whirlwind trip to Vegas with some of my hands down favorite people ever!  We danced, we played, we raved and now we’re paying the price.   Traffic was no joke yesterday but when you have an amazingly handsome reason to come home, it just seems to fly on by.  Not only am I back home with some epic memories and an amazing group of friends, but I also have a new outlook on Vegas nightlife and a stellar PSA for you pretty party people about the “Las Vegas hat-trick-of-terror”

Hangovers, dehydration and hunger are awful, on you and most importantly…not cute!  No one wants to carry their friends to bed, charge the bar for waters ever ten minutes or cater to your dietary needs – you’re a big kid now in a big kids playground so start acting like it! You don’t have to go home, but please GTFO of Vegas so the rest of us can get back to raging like the professionals we are, thanks much 🙂

I know I touched on the idea of Vegas being a mecca of dehydration last week but it really should be stressed more frequently: if you’re trying to go to pool parties in heats that are reaching to 103 or clubs packed to the max while drinking copious amounts of alcohol and shaking your groove thang, you should always have a bottle of water handy!  For every alcoholic drink you consume, drink two hydrating drinks – and no, soda and chasers with caffeine don’t count, they’re actually diuretics that’ll dehydrate you even worse.  One neat thing about water, the more hydrated you are – the easier the hangover on your body.  Isn’t science neat?!

Ok, enough preaching – onto the party pics!

Friday night went from tame to turntUP in like 3.5 seconds; fine by me!  We ended up gallivanting around the strip and discussing the debauchery in our near and present future the whole night.  Also, I learned that even though I don’t need an entire bottle of champagne to myself…I totally do.

Saturday was a tame day; which was necessary after drowning myself in champ the night before – and at night we headed out to Daylight at Mandalay Bay to see Skrillex play a SunSET; absolutely amazing.

Daylight at Night; amazing…

That night we ended up at Light at Mandalay Bay for some dirty dubstep and Trap music courtsey of Baauer

Baauer at Light

On Sunday, we bounced out real quick so we could get into Krewella’s party at Daylight and let me tell you – so worth it; those girls throw down hard and they’re sexy as eff to boot.  I might or might not have a total girl crush on both of the ladies in the group….

Last, but most definitely not least – we made it out to XS’s famed Nightswim for Eric Prydz from 1 til 4 am. Amazing as all hell; easily my favorite party in Vegas – where the hell else can you cannonball on people as a sick beat drops?!

For some more icing on this EDC weekend cake, check out this amazing set by Eric Prydz during day 2 of EDC weekend =)

[Doing It Right] EDC Weekend in Vegas

Sin City.

The City of Lights.

The City of Lost Wages.

Whatever you want to call it, Las Vegas definitely has a reputation that proceeds itself.

Funny fact about me and my relationship with Las Vegas: the only tables I’m there for are the type you can dance on.  I’ve never been much of a fan of gambling; Craps, Roulette, Poker, Blackjack, etc are wonderful games one can use as engaging mental tools – beat your friends, foes or simply learn to count the cards.  It’s pretty effing interesting – well, at least to me. As a Statistics major, we had to compute the odds for each Vegas game by hand  and let me tell you – Las Vegas wasn’t made on winners.  That said, I tend to stay away from those types of things – however, when it comes to getting down and enjoying myself, I can (and do) hang with the best of them and make some pretty fabulous memories.

From the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay to the Thunder Down Under at the Excalibur, Las Vegas bustles with literally thousands of daytime activities for each and every personality type .  People are constantly flocking in and leaving in just as much of a hurry – and the great thing about Las Vegas is it’s people from literally everywhere and every walk of life; to boot – Las Vegas is one giant celebration, and a mecca for people watching. There’s fireworks and people in costume, merry drunks parading the street with massive cups of booze and rowdy tables of gamblers.

Major Lazer Sunrise Set EDC Vegas 2011

Between the multitudes of Cirque de Soleil shows with residency in Vegas and the massive amounts of DJs with residencies, there’s always a hot show to see.  And do you know what’s better than just one or the other? Light at Mandalay Bay is the perfect synthesis of both ideals; the club is packed with the latest and greatest in speaker technology, performers straight from Cirque du Soleil and a whole host of DJs with residencies over the Summer months!  Not your thing? Just try one of the other dozens of clubs Vegas has to offer: swank people, sexy clothes and popping beats – they’re everywhere!

And this weekend, it’s going to be off the hook ridicu-crunk-ulous.  Insomniac’s famed Electric Daisy Carnival is entering (what I believe) is it’s 17th year as a festival and after some hiccups in Southern California, had been transitioned to the Motor Speedway in Las Vegas.  Though I’ve attended the festival in the past…six times to be exact…I don’t have any want or need to go anymore; it’s not that the events aren’t massive or amazing, but once you’ve been to a handful of festivals it’s only natural that you’d want to see what else is out there in the world of electronic music festivals.

So what am I doing instead? PARTYING (duh!) and sleeping, too….eventually. But first things first – it’s always smart to prep yourself.  Firstly, if you’re trying to ball on a budget try finding a Groupon or use a discount site to find last minute rooms and load up on your favorite drinks before you get to Vegas.

Second – putting together the fact that it’s summer-summersummertime and Las Vegas sits in the middle of a desert – the smartest thing you can do for yourself is load up on water and electrolytes.  Sure, drinking is wonderful but save that mess for when the sun goes down.  Trust me when I say being drunk and dehydrated is not cute.   Another fact:   Las Vegas has an altitude of 1000 ft.   That might not mean anything to you right now, but if you’re from Los Angeles or New York – chances are you were born and bred at sea level.  Because of the altitude, be careful while getting crazy with your crew.  Try snagging a water at the bar every other trip and you’ll save yourself from a nasty hangover the next day. Chances are you want to be up in time to snag a lounge chair at any of the gorgeous pools.  Just remember, there really is such a thing as too much fun 😉

To prepare the earbuds for Vegas, I’ve gathered a few mixes from the DJs I’ll be shakin’ my money maker to!

We’ll mostly be hitting up the pool parties at Light – Saturday for a Sunset Set from Skrillex and Sunday for Krewella; then I’ll be heading to my first offical Nightswim at XS for Eric Prydz. I’ve heard a million phenomenal things about it and I’m stoked to finally give it a whirl.  Can’t wait to update everyone when I get back on Monday!

Xoxo

[The Audiofiles] Much Ado About Dubstep

There’s something to be said for the recent and exponential growth of the Electronic Music industry – you can look at it like a supply and demand market if you want: there is a ridiculous demand for heavy drops and succulent progressive house jams right now and they’re making their way to your radio waves, commercials, TV shows and more.  Electronic Dance Music, better known to us kandi kids as EDM is more than a musical movement, or a pop culture phenomenon; this is our subculture, this is our way of life.

When I started in on the scene in 2006, I knew little to nothing about what I was getting myself into. I was open minded and wide eyed; immersing myself into a way of life that had been essentially forbidden.  Not on anyone else’s volition, mind you, but growing up I was a pretty straight edge girl with a head solidly placed on her shoulders.  The more I grow into myself, the more starry-eyed and in awe I become; the more I stay the course, the more rewarding it becomes.  No longer am I confused by genre infused mashups or the DJ that flocks to vinyl over CD-Js: I’m in it for the music; I’m in it for the love.

My first big event was Electric Daisy Carnival.  Just remember, this is pre-Vegas, pre-LA even – this was back when the event was a one day, family friendlier festival out at the NOS Center in San Bernardino.  I remember walking in, arms firmly linked through a best friend on each side. I was trying to figure out which side of the rabbit hole I wanted to wake up on; I was trying to come to terms with my world spinning  inside out and upside down. Girls in neon tutus blocked every other turn but we were always greeted with friendly smiles, open arms and PLUR handshakes.

About ten minutes into the festival, my friends nodded in symmetry and announced they wanted to sit down and chat. I nodded in turn, but in silent agreement that I wasn’t in the mood for those kind of shenanigans.  I did a quick gut check and dove right in; or at least – tried to.  I must have looked as out of place as I felt, because immediately a charming sprite of a girl grabbed my arms and insisted I follow her to the dance floor. “Is this your first EDC?” she mused, but didn’t wait for a reply because she already knew the answer.  “You need to let it go…” she continued, her eyes dilating with excitement “…let it all fall down; shake it off and breathe it in.” She was speaking in tongues but I understood every word.  One by one, my hands wound up entwined between her delicate fingers and then, with glee, she announced my next move: “Spin! Faster! And now, just let it go…”  For the next five minutes,  I twirled with the delight of a toddler and every preconception I had about that night washed over and off of my like Spring rain.  She smiled whimsically, like whatever magicians trick she pulled actually produced a rabbit out of a hat.  She smiled with satisfaction; I smiled back in wonderment.  We hugged and danced off in different directions – but the lesson remains:  I haven’t been the same since.

Yo Dawg - Yo dawg, I heard you like subgenres So we put some chiptek in your jungle trance so you can glitchstep while you trapstyle

That night, I was exposed to live Trance and Progressive House for the first time: Above and Beyond floored me,  Kaskade’s deep house struck a chord, Benny Benassi could do no wrong behind the decks and Guetta was still a respectable name in the business.  But what my friends didn’t tell me about Trance and House was that they’re gateway genres.  What they should have said is: this is your brain on bass; this is your brain during the drop.  The Bloody Beetroots lead a nice segue into Electro House, and I was blown away by the rock infused Drum & Bass that I got from Chase & Status.  There was Deep House, Breakbeats, Minimal, Vocal Trance…..head on over to Beatport right now and just see for yourself: it’s genres on genres on genres.

One of the things that I find most intriguing about the EDM Industry itself is their consistent ability to essentially reinvent the electronic wheel;  the best examples of these are Trap and Dubstep.   Personally, I don’t know how many times you can reinvent the wheel before it’s no longer a wheel but that’s besides the point right now. Most people would be (incorrectly) lead to believe these are band spankin’ new areas of uncovered music, those of us that have been around longer than a minute recognize the first as an homage to the bass heavy instrumentals from mid to late 90’s hip-hop and rap songs and the later is very reminiscent of the heavy, industrial rock sound of the 90’s that was fueled by groups such as Korn, System of a Down, Disturbed and more.  For those of you that have been in a mosh-pit at an Atreyu show and then tried to navigate one at a Borgore or Noisia show, you’ll find that the crowds and subcultures themselves have eerie similarities.

There’s been more than a little debate about the roots of Dubstep.  Korn, for example, believes they played a pivotal role; in an interview from 2011, their frontman Jonathan Davis claimed that “Dubstep is the new metal” and I 110% agree; then, on the other end of the spectrum is the famed Timbaland, who also believes he should be accredited with the rise of the genre, claiming that his bass heavy music of the 90’s helped the genre rise to its current state.  But what exactly is Dubstep? Glad you asked!

Dubstep evolved from the intermingling of the Garage and Reggae scenes in the UK during the early 80’s and late 90’s. Some of Dubstep’s biggest giveaways are the syncopated percussion and drum patterns layered over sub-bass that’s all over your face: it can rattle you, floor you, bring the house down and bring your spirits up.  The average tempo on any given House song can range from 115 to 135 BPM, Trance can be from 130 to 160 BPM and Dubstep tends to stick to 140 BPM for beat heavy tracks – but when there’s ’empty space’ between the notes, which is one of the primary differences between UK Dubstep and the tracks coming out of the USA, we consider it to actually be around 70 BPM. Though it’s been around for the upwards of the last three decades, the genre didn’t nosedive into popularity until the early 2000’s when a clear distinction could finally be made between 2-Step, Dubstep and Grime and it’s really been in the last two years that the US has seen its exponential rise in popularity.

Acts like Bassnectar and Nero give you more than a show, they give you an experience.  I’ve been to a Bassnectar show where he spun live using not two, but four Ableton machines.  About halfway through his epic set, a fire alarm was inadvertently set off – being the genius that he is, Bassnectar, better known to his friends as Lorin, created a beat that covered up the fire alarm for the rest of the night.  It wasn’t until the house lights were brought on that we recognized it’s faint screeching. Nero got together with BBC’s Philharmonic Orchestra to produce the first, and hopefully not last, Dubstep Symphony.


Of all EDM genres, one thing I’ve discovered is that Dubstep is by far the most polarizing; by far the best example is Skrillex, who’s either hailed as a musical genius or mocked as the modern day version of a dial-up modem.  Love it or loathe it, one thing’s for sure: Dubstep is here to stay. But is it really music?  Though there are throws of young 20-somethings that would agree quicker than the bass drops, there are multitudes of music aficionado that would vehemently disagree: it’s nothing but noise.  But thanks to the evolution of technology, and some daring and creative individuals in the past – we have valid argument for the actual genius of Dubstep.

As with most trends, this one has gone mainstream and in a big way.  Just to get a picture of the reach and popularity that the genre has attained, take into account the following:

For the State of the Union Address the other week, the White House released a very socially savvy and media forward YouTube announcement that included, believe it or not, Dubstep.

The hilarious and ever on point Key and Peele poked fun at Dubstep in one of their most recent skits:


And last, but definitely not least – the Harlem Shake has swept our Nation faster than an epidemic.  It’s hard to pick a favorite video, but someone’s gotta do it.

For a final and definitive look into what actually made Dubstep explode onto the scene, peep the infographic below – and don’t forget to shove a little bass in your face; it is the weekend after all!