[The Audiofiles] A Little Bit Softer Now: Red Rocks Amphitheater Subject to New Noise Restrictions

One of the few natural amphitheaters on the globe, Red Rocks Amphiteater in Morrison, Colorado manifested from enormous sloping rock monoliths that have been carbon dated back to the Jurassic Period – complete with sea serpent, flying reptile and marine reptile fossils from over 160 Million Years ago.  The Rocks have been called many things, like ‘Garden of the Angels’ and ‘Garden of the Titans’, and at one point, Red Rocks was considered one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the World‘.  Anyone who’s been there, including me, will vehemently agree with that statement.

As Dance Music continues to dominate the music industry, the landscape of musical acts at Red Rocks has shifted accordingly; and now that we’re in 2015 –  ‘Pop’ has become pseudo-synonymous with EDM.  If you’ve been living under a Rock, or at least living under ‘Rock and Roll’ – EDM is an uber generalized term for the bass heavy, synth rich Dance Music you hear coming from those Tweens, 20-anythings and young professionals in the car next to you… or, at the gym, on the sidewalk or in a State of the Union address. Honestly, it’s just everywhere at this point.  And that includes Red Rocks.

“Over the 50 years, the biggest and brightest pop stars in the music industry have graced the Amphitheater stage…” – but even that’s a loaded statement. For some, ‘Pop’ is the culmination of redundant records on the radio, for others, it’s the ‘Sound of the Youth’ and even then – you can just make the argument that ‘Pop’ is simply what sells.  All statistics aside, ‘Pop’ is a simple, watered down version of the complexities of ‘Underground’ Dance Music that’s made acceptable for approval by the masses.  Starting in the 60’s, fans at the Rocks bore witness to the musical genius of The Beatles, The Grateful Dead, John Denver, Fleetwood Mac, Rush and Jimi Hendrix. This is the location where U2’s fabled ‘Under a Blood Red Sky‘ was filmed.  As we catapulted into the 90’s – Rock Bands from Dave Matthews, Incubus and Oasis to A Perfect Circle, Phish and Colorado’s own The String Cheese Incident have all hosted musically monumental events at Red Rocks.

As we ushered in a new millennium, Red Rocks witnessed a parallel changing of the guard.  In addition to raucous rock and roll evenings, the night air at Red Rocks is filled with the delirious, delectable Electro sounds from industry greats – for at least one night a year.  In 1999 local radio station KTCL hosted the first ‘Rave on the Rocks‘ with The Chemical Brothers and Fatboy Slim; and in, 2000, Moby became the first solo EDM artist to perform at Red Rocks.   Rave in the Rocks eventually disintegrated and reappeared as Global Dance Festival – a recurring, now multiday, Music Festival at the Rocks in the Summer.  And let’s not forget,  the grounds also play host to annual events like Punk at the Rocks,  ‘Reggae on the Rocks’ ‘Opera on the Rocks’, The Mayor’s Jazz Festival and more.

As the decade wore on, there were spotted dance acts including Paul Oakenfold in 2002, Daft Punk in 2007 and STS9 starting in 06 (who never left the bill, and trust me – no one is complaining about that!) but the only real EDM show in town was Global Dance. It wasn’t until 2011 that the people of Morrison were truly taken for a spin.  Yes, it’s true that there were more shows in general – jumping from 74 events in ’08 to 98 in ’11, but a larger proportion of acts also had deep roots in EDM.  In one concert season, ears and eyes feasted on Bassnectar, Pretty Lights, The Glitch Mob, Thievery Corporation, Benny Benassi, and LMFAO – a 700% increase in solo performance EDM nights at the venue compared to previous years. The amount doubled the next year, with 2 nights of Bassnectar and Pretty Lights (not combined, mind you, I would have known about that one…), Avicii, Kaskade, Skrillex, and Justice in addition to previous performers. And it was only uphill, or downhill, from there – depending on how you want to look at it.

Between graduations, Festivals, Concerts and community events – 2014 has been the heaviest scheduled event season ever at Red Rocks with over 150 Scheduled Events – and over 10% of them were EDM.  From Flux Pavillion to Zeds Dead, Global Dance to 2 nights of Skrillex, it went off this Summer at the Rocks. Red Rocks even went HARD thanks to Gary Richard’s – and now, the city of Morrison wants us to go home.

The first time there was a crack down on the musical mayhem at Red Rocks it was almost 50 years ago.  Back in the 70’s,  a rowdy group of Jethro Tull fans changed the game for the next five years as non-ticket holders attempted to crash the festival – this led to a ban on ‘heavier sounding’ acts that was finally dropped in ’75. And now, it’s happening again.  The heavy metalhead turned dubstep producer and most epices of DJs, Bassnectar literally brought the noise – busting out his own speakers and incurring over $100,000 in fines at the Rocks – on multiple occasions.  Over time, this pushed the residents of Morrison– and then the city of Denver – to enact a new noise ordinance on the area.   In a tour de force, the music community came together to help contribute to the atrocious fine as well as speak up in support of his decision to be heard loud and clear, but that doesn’t change how the legislators and residents feel.

In 2013, the city of Denver imposed several sound regulations over Red Rocks. And now again in 2015, we’re witnessing yet another schedule heavily riddled with EDM and a city with residents that want the genre banned all together. Set in motion at the beginning of the year, there are some new regulations for artists to take notice of. Instead of having a to tone down the music, 2013’s music regulations are now extended to the entire set. The entire show must be at or below 105 dB for one minute averages, and the bass levels are limited to 125 dB between 25 and 80 Hz for one minute averages.  The weekday music curfew has been moved a quarter of an hour back to 11:45 pm, and on weekends – the music has to shut off by 12:30am.  The sound levels are measured independently by the city’s equipment at the Front of House, and performers can be fined $10,000 for every five times the one minute dB limit is surpassed – not to mention $5,000 for every half hour they go over curfew.   Going into effect January 1st, the new laws stipulate that the City of Denver has the authority to ban any offending artist for the subsequent concert season.

Though some artists aren’t happy, others – including Pretty Lights labelmate Michal Menert don’t seem to take issue:

 If anything, this is going to bring more dynamic out in the music because it will allow more frequencies to breathe…It will be less in-your-face sound coming at you and more dynamic.

As an audiophile myself, I whole heartedly agree.  Though there’s a lot of music I love listening to loud and proud, when you change the volume on any song – you’re presented with new nuances in tonalities and melodies, a novel way of interpreting the melodies and a richer understanding of the song.  Generation Y, Y-Not, or Generation NOW seems to disagree – and has brought an influx of music that effortlessly blends together in a barrage of bass defaced by drops.  When you add that on top of rocks that are already breaking apart and falling on fans, well, you’re going to have a bad time.  So, bring on a new era of music at the infamous rocks and let’s see how (or if) this season’s musicians – including Adventure Club, Excision, Chromeo and Odesza – fare under new regulation.

Do you live in Morrison or does your city have amplification regulations?

Are you a musical artist that feels slightly devalued by their sonic restrictions or do you merely see this as a minor obstacle?

Or, are you a fan that just likes your music loud, bass filled and proud?

What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below?

[The Audiofiles] Go HARD or Go Home: Gary Richards and the Evolution of His EDM Empire

Cross Published on The DJ List

As a innovator and pioneer of the dance music scene in Los Angeles, Gary Richards has forged an empire of sound out of a simple mind state: just play good music. Internationally recognized as Destructo and the head honcho behind HARD, Richards had humble beginnings as a club promoter and warehouse DJ  in perpetual search of the perfect party location.  His first two ventures  – Magical Mickey’s Holy Water Adventure in ’91 and Ravemerica in ’92- were held at Wild Rivers Water Park and Knott’s Berry Farm and spoke volumes to his creative capabilities; not to mention, they’re something his current fanbase would most certainly welcome back with open arms. ‘The Sermon’, his first real parties series, was perfectly timed to open at 6am and boasted Richards on the decks as Destructo donning a priests costume as an extended family of friends rallied around as the sun came up.  As a local Angelino with almost 15 years in the industry, he proceed to throw parties at literally every venue in town – from the Roxy to the Viper Room, The Standard to the Fonda (formerly the Music Box) and The Shrine to his personal favorite The Palladium. In 2011, he was sought out by Trent Reznor to promote the American release of ‘Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’ at his Mouth Taped Shut Parties and he’s even forayed into the silverscreen as the Music Supervisor for the 2001 flick 15 minutes; though it’s not likely he’ll be back again.

“I just do what I like to do, I dont do test stuff with audiences; I just kinda go ‘Hey, let’s do this!’ The thing with Trent was way different, he personally asked me to help promote the parties – but movies, I’m good with what I’m doing right now”

As I sit silently grinning on my cell phone, a gregarious Richards sits on the other end; and as he delves into the details on his new Album, it’s easy for me to forget that the musical tastemaker and global jet-setter had literally just walked in the door from LAX. For the last few days, he’s been in Europe as part of The West Coast EP World Tour in promotion of his latest album dropping later this year. For the past few months, he’s been deep in the studio curating his signature G-House sound for ‘The West Coast’ EP and his latest single ‘Party Up’ featuring YG, one of the first releases on Insomniac’s new label.

As a DJ I always try to find something new – that’s the point of being a DJ, playing something new. I heard some stuff incorporating hip-hop into house and wanted to do a whole set, but there just wasn’t enough material.  So I went into the studio with intentions and sampled some stuff from Dr. Dre.,” explains Richards, ” I thought it’s cool – but I thought it’d probably just be better to get a real rapper instead of sampling.  I hooked up with YG before and it worked out real well, and he introduced me to other artists – and not only are the songs cool, but it’s fun.  What I do, it’s computer, programming, synthesizers – so to have someone come in as professional lyricist, or someone to who really sing and put it over all that – it’s like discovering a new planet; it adds so much more to the music, it’s exciting.

Though we can’t tell you who else he’s collaborating with, we can  tell you that he’s excited. For an artist who draws inspiration from personal favorites like Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, NWA and Dr.Dre – this album is set to be a Pandora’s box full of eclectic earcandy and creative collaborations.

From promoter to producer, father and husband, artist to audience – Richards is more or less a modern day Renaissance man. Hand picked by Rick Rubin to handle A&R for the Electronic Music division Def American Recordings, Richards was responsible for bringing in the electronic rock sound of Prodigy, Lords of Acid and XL Recordings.  As he catapulted throughout the industry, Richards forayed back to DJing and Producing when he realized that what people were really craving was the live experience.

On New Years Eve ’07,  Richards threw a the party of a lifetime – and by in just 7 years, the HARD  franchise has catapulted from a one night stand into an international empire with events spanning from North America and into England and Australia, curated stages at festivals like ULTRA and EDC,  and last but certainly not least, the cruise everyone craves: Holy Ship! Since it’s inception, the HARD brand has forever been at the crux of music festivals – offering up something a little darker and outside the norm of a more ‘mainstream’ event, and has  become synonymous with exceptional live performances from some of the most talented, multifaceted artists across the board.  Though they might differ in terms of styles and traditional ‘genres’ – they all do have one thing in common: they play good music.  Through the pursuit of exceptional artists and his annual US tours, Destructo has catapulted the careers of artists, peers and friends like the Dub Police, Boys Noize, Wolfgang Gartner, Rusko, Crystal Castles, the Bloody Beetroots,  and is responsible for bringing the awe-inspiring South African group Die Antrword to Los Angeles.

I just like good music.  It’s just about dancing and having a good time – but I always try to pepper something in with an edge.”  Take one gander at his lineups over the last seven years and you’ll find yourself wondering whether you’ve stumbled into an EDM Festival or a Rock Show – but according to Richards, that’s the point.  “HARD is like a salad – artists like Bootsy Collins, Bootsy Collins, Giorgio Mororer, Miike Snow; they keep it fresh.

Every brand has growing pains as they reach their pinnacle, and HARD is no different; take the most recent HARD Hollywood Bowl date featuring the legendary Nile Rodgers and Chic, Giorgio Moroder for example. “Sometimes when you try new things, they don’t always work – I got ahead of myself” lamented Richards, ‘We will definitely be having them for a show because they deserve the notoriety.” The main difference between some brands and this brand – perseverance. Minor setbacks aside, HARD has blossomed into a household musical name, hosting shows from LA to Miami and New York City to Colorado.

Next Thursday,  HARD’s ruckus returns to Red Rocks with Knife Party, Dillon Francis, Samo Sound Boy and Julio Bashmore and Richards couldn’t be more excited –

Red Rocks – favorite venues anywhere period.  I remember the U2 album ‘Blood Red Sky’  from when I was a little kid.  It was recorded there live. They sold out that place, and to now sell out that place with house music; I’m humbled.  And the people of Colorado are fucking awesome – they know their music!

The day after Red Rocks, he’ll rush back to Los Angeles for the 7th anniversary of HARD Summer. With LA’s Historic Park under construction – the event has migrated to the Whitter Recreation area, about an hour away from the heart of Los Angeles.  From Beyond location, fans should note some fantastic changes coming their way:

“It’s a much larger park so we have more room…and we have grass! We added a fifth stage – so just expanding and making it into a more proper festival.”

Representing each and every genre, HARD’s lineup boasts a menagerie of musicians – the HARD and HARDER stage featuring the ‘biggest acts’ and the Green, Pink and Purple tents speaking to specific sounds, according to Richards – he’s basically DJing the DJs.   On Saturday, the Pink Stage hosts the Dirtybird Crew with Worthy, J.Phlip and Justin Martin and  Sunday will showcase the G-House on Green Stage as Destructo joins Tech House phenoms Brodinski, Sharam Jey, Kill Frenzy, DJ Mustard and favorites Hannah Wants, Bones, Vanilla Ace and production partner Wax Motif.  “We all go together like butter; it’s 10 artists vibing out to the same beat.”

If we’re going to talk about every genre, we have to mention the Trance elephant in the room – Tiesto.  Though Richards admits he’d never host a whole stage, if there’s one or two guys in the Trance scene that are habitually turning it out (we’re looking at you, Anjunabeats) – they’ll be there.

Originally introduced through Zedd to, Tiesto was in talks to come to Holy Ship 2013. Though that fell through, his agent reached out to Richards again this year and after paying his own way to the cruise – Tiesto got to pull surprise of a lifetime as Zedd introduced him as the guest act of the weekend.  And after playing a late night back to back deep house set in the disco of Holy Ship!, Richards was taken back by Tiesto’s skill and sold on his abilities to bring something new and different to HARD,.

“It seems like the perfect thing.  People are excited to see him, and I’m stoked because he gets to play what he wants.  He’s an awesome fucking DJ. It’s weird when you say the word trance because what I think of trance and what you think on trance is different. When I started DJing, Trance was synthesizer, arpegiated, super deep long, electronic, synth-ed out really cool shit – and somehow it turned into vocal pop music. What happens a lot with these guys is they have to live up to their name, they have to live up to what fans think of them. But they want to do different stuff too, they don’t always want to do the same thing.”

Between developing the HARD brand and his perpetual push to fill the world with good music, Richards has built more than an empire of music -in a true reflection of our cultural melting pot, he’s assembled a brazen community of international music lovers, simply begging the world for more good music.  Catch Richards as Destructo next Thursday at Red Rocks, then Sunday 8/1 at HARD Summer on the Green Stage.

Keep up with Gary Richards through his socials – The DJ List | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

HARD SUMMER FULL LINE UP

 

[Traveling Tales] To Zion and Beyond

Last Thursday, my boyfriend and I started on one of the most epic adventures I’ve ever been on – road tripping from Los Angeles, through Las Vegas, dashing through Arizona and then into St. George, Utah – a quiet little town near the border where we took refuge for the night. In the morning, we rose with the sun and galavanted our way through Zion National Park. To be honest, I was almost okay missing the first day of Global Dance Fest so we could relax and explore – but, hey – always another time, right?

After Zion, we passed through Bryce and then zipped and zoomed through Utah as fast as we possibly could. Don’t get me wrong now – its a lovely state…to pass through. By late afternoon we’d made it to the continental divide and Grand Junction, and by early evening we arrived at our AirBnB then it was off to the races for Global Dance Fest at Red Rocks! This marks my first time here and I’m in absolute awe of all the natural beauty I’ve witnessed in the last 96 hours. Today’s our final full day in town so we took full advantage of the morning – going into town, picking up brunch, enjoying some refreshments by the Creek. And now, we wait patiently for the third and final day of GDE; I can’t wait to dish about the festival but that can wait til it’s over. Until then, here are some of my favorite snaps from the trip so far!

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Now that Ive had a taste for the open road, historic parks and epic views of nature I’m already planning another trip – the only question is: where to??! What’s the last roadtrip you went on? Or, what’s next on your bucket list?

Ps. I couldn’t leave you hanging, here’s a quick sneak peak of the magic

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[Roadtrippin’] The Road to Red Rocks

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As the Super Moon rose through swaying palm trees, I perched on the love-seat in our kitchen – breathing in new opportunities and breathing out dissuaded anxieties with every beat of my heart. Silence ebbed and flowed through the room, engulfing it one minute – then a cackling laughter would chase it away.  My mind raced in circles as my fingers traced a path on the top of my phone. 20140716-143948-52788229.jpgThere are exactly 1,000 miles from my doorstep to Red Rocks Amphitheater out in Morrison, Colorado; 1,000 miles between my bedroom and my first music festival outside of California.  And it couldn’t come at a better time.  For the majority of this calendar year, I’ve been at a mental and emotional crossroads; I’ve been made incredibly aware of my aptitudes as well as my downfalls, and through hard work and dedication – I’ve built an incredibly succinct vision of what I’d like to do with my life.  Between my craft (writing) and my crafts (and arts), I need a jumping point to get me to the next level and attending the 16th anniversary of Global Dance is just that.

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Zion National Park, Utah

For all the festivals franchises I’ve been to – HARD Presents, Insomniac Events, Go Ventures – I’m still a novice as far as the Global Dance events are concerned; and to cover the event on top of it? If there was a word that summarized – honored, thrilled, anxious, flabbergasted, stressed – the whole kit and kaboodle.

What’s more, is that my best friend – boyfriend – Danny – my partner in crime – photographer – whatever you want to call him, he’s coming with me and we’re making a huge road trip of the event.  Last weekend we celebrated one year of loving each other and what better way to celebrate than gallivanting through Zion and Red Rocks!  Back when I was in college, I spent a little bit of time in Breckenridge – but that was during the winter and under starkly different conditions!  Instead of flying in between two monstrously large blizzards, we’ll be driving from LA through St.George, Utah where we’ll be able to rest our bones for a bit before we bounce to Zion National Park! I’ve heard so many fantastic things about it but to be able to see it physically with my own eyes, I can’t properly express how monumental this is for me – for us, really.

Then – it’s off to Morrison for Global Dance! Thanks to some quick thinking and good luck with Air BnB – I found an exceptionally fantastic place within close proximity – and for only $40 it’s a certifiable steal (Like, seriously – if you’re ever going to Red Rocks let me know and I’ll give you this guy’s information!)  For all the research I’d done on GDE, I don’t know how it escaped me that there’d be more than one stage (I mean, duh; how many festivals are just one stage anymore….) – but I was truly hoping that with Red Rocks as a backdrop that it would more or less work out that way.  Anyhow, now I have to navigate through time conflicts and hold DJ death matches in my head to plot the best plan of attack.

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This is the reason I’m so willing to put up with my normal 8-5; this is why I’m so dedicated to working day in and day out on my craft.  It’s big moments like these that pave the way for monumental events to happen – and I’m so excited to share my journeys!  Now, before I get back to being a glorified excel monkey – let me leave you with some of my favorite songs from the GDE: Red Rocks arsenal – enjoy!

[The Audiofiles] The 10 Most Anticipated Sets of GDE: Red Rocks

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Whether I like it or not, it seems that my life’s mantra is never a dull moment, even when I want one.  With how crazy my life’s gotten over the past few weeks, when I finally poked my head into my emails for a breath of technologically enriched air – I realized that I had a golden ticket (two, to be precise) to my first Global Dance Festival out in Red Rocks, sitting plush in Red Rocks Park, Colorado.  A world renowned natural open-air amphitheater, Red Rocks without a doubt has been part of every music lovers bucket list.

Fun fact – once upon a time, Red Rocks was considered as one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the World’; thankfully, it’s still revered as a wonder of the natural world – and rightfully so! Red Rocks Amphitheater is the culmination of gigantic naturally sloping rock monoliths that date back over 160 million years to the Jurassic period,  and is littered with the fossil fragments of flying reptiles, marine reptiles and sea serpents. The northern side is referred to as ‘Creation Rock’ while the southern side is ‘Ship Rock’ – and they’re both bigger than Niagara Falls.

Back at the turn of the 1900’s, a railroad pioneer by the name of John Brisben Walker discovered the area and had a pipe dream of perfect acoustics married with the breathtaking surroundings of Denver.  Within the next decade, he’d performed multiple times on a temporary platform he built in the spirit of live music.  At the behest of the manager of the Denver Parks, Walker sold the property to the city of Denver – who, in turn, took his vision and ran with it: building a permanent stage. in 1927. By the mid 30’s, it was evident that Red Rocks was in need of a formal design – but it couldn’t be just any design with a landscape like that; it has to play with the natural beauty of the park – enter esteemed local architect Burnham Hoyt.

In a length span of 12 years, the Amphitheater’s plans were drawn, the location was dedicated and then finally during Easter of ’47 – Red Rocks opened in all of her currently glory, attracting some of the most talented acts across the genres, the decades and around the globe.  In the 60’s, it was The Beatles playing the only non-sold out date of their US tour; in the 70’s,  a rowdy group of Jethro Tull fans changed the game for the next five years as non-ticket holders attempted to crash the festival – this led to a ban on ‘heavier sounding’ acts that was finally dropped in ’75. And then, the big dogs came out to play: The Grateful Dead, John Denver,  Fleetwood Mac, Rush, Jimi Hendrix,  and not to mention where U2’s monumental  Live at Red Rocks: Under a Blood Red Sky  was filmed.  While the 90’s came into focus, so did Alternative and Rock bands – Dave Matthews, Incubus, Oasis, A Perfect Circle and Phish have all hosted monumental events there; and with the turn of the century, Red Rocks witnessed a changing of the guard – in addition to raucous rock and roll evenings, the night air at Red Rocks is filled with glitch heavy bass sounds from artists like Bassnectar and Griz, jam sessions from infamous acts like STS9 and Umphrey’s McGee and deliriously delicious trance sounds from big name groups like Above & Beyond.  Last but certainly not least – Red Rocks is the official home to events and festivals like Global Dance Festival and HARD Red Rocks – which will bring in heavy acts like NERO and Dillon Francis, an offshoot of the Los Angeles HARD Festival series.

What commenced as ‘Rave on the Rocks‘ back in ’99, has triumphantly catapulted into a massive, multi-day, cross genre production that solidifies itself as the top music festival in the Mid-West; for those of you that couldn’t make it all the way to Morrison, Colorado for the event – don’t fret, there’s a sister event in Kansas City, Missouri with multiple stages and a equivalently epic lineup featuring some of the same artists. Anyhow! As one of the longest running festivals in North America,  Global Dance Festival has been bringing the lights and love to Morrison, Colorado for the last 16 years.  Back in the olden days of festivals, we didn’t have to hike up hill both ways or anything – but we did only have one stage and we were all in it together.  From beginning to end – bouncing, dancing, spinning, laughing and prancing through it all –  we collectively move to the melodies, heartbeats entwined and eyes transfixed on the glory of the artist, band or whatever live entertainment was radiating in front of us.  With only one stage this year, GDE takes us all back that simpler time: where you didn’t have to worry about a meeting place, where you didn’t have to stress about set time conflicts and where you could simply dance your worries away into the night.

Now – though Red Rocks stands as a natural Amphitheater, that doesn’t go to say that sound hasn’t been artificially enhanced – nor does it mean that it’s gone over well. The heavy metalhead turned dubstep DJ Bassnectar decided to bust out his own speakers, and has seemingly racked up over $100,000 in fines at the Rocks – on multiple occasions.  Over time, this pushed the residents – and then the city of Denver – to enact a new noise ordinance on the area.   In a tour de force, the music community came together to help contribute to the atrocious fine as well as speak up in support of his decision to be heard loud and clear.   As of June 1st, 2013 several changes were put in place: the noise level at the festival can’t reach above ‘105 decibels one-minute averages after midnight‘  As for the bass, it ‘can’t exceed 125 decibels at the low-frequency levels of 25-80 hertz for one-minute averages’; music also ends at midnight on weekdays and 1am on the weekend.  Measured by the city’s own equipment at the front of house position, performers can be charged $10,000 for every five times they’re found in violation of the new law. Though some artists aren’t happy, others – including Pretty Lights labelmate Michal Menert : If anything, this is going to bring more dynamic out in the music because it will allow more frequencies to breathe…It will be less in-your-face sound coming at you and more dynamic.

10 Must See Acts of GDE

With just 10 days until we get down with our bad selves at Global Dance Festival, it’s only right that I present the 10 artists that you definitely have to catch over the weekend.  From Trance to Trap, Dubstep to Drum & Bass – this festival has it all, so open your ears and get your dancing feet ready for three nights of massive music.

Adventure Club
Somewhere between the emotive, dubstep laced soundscapes and the high energy, glitch fueled basslines – I feel head over heals in love with the music from this dynamic Canadian duo.  Best known for their emotive remix of ‘Crave You’ from Flight Facilities’ and their Superheroes Anonymous Podcasts, Adventure Club has more than earned a spot on my top 10 ranking.

Andy C

Essentially known as the Godfather of Drum and Bass, Andy C not only turns out some of the most beautiful beats in the business but he’s also been the bossman at RAM Records he was 16.  22 years later, and the label is currently home base to acts notable acts like SubFocus, Chase & Status and Wilkinson.

Odesza

Hailing from Seattle, Odesza has been on the rise over the last few years with “My Friends Never Die” – their debut EP – releasing in ’13.

Destroid – which, technically, counts as 3.

With their powers combined, Excision, Downlink and former Pendulum member KJ Swaka have formed bass heavy uber group – Destroid! The trio don’t perform together often, so suffice it to say: bring your ear plugs – things are about to get 100% bonkers at the Rocks…

Because I couldn’t find any live recordings of the group, enjoy some individual ones:

Infected Mushroom

Sometimes they play DJ sets, other times they play as a live band – but any way you spin it, this Israeli Psy-trance duo is one of my favorite live bands I’ve ever seen.  Formed almost 20 years ago, they’re currently one of the top performing and best selling groups in Israeli history both in domestic and international sales; if you don’t understand why, you’re in for a real treat.

Kastle

Expertly fusing R&B with dark, dubby beats and wobbles – Kastle has more than made his mark using his signature sound.   One of my favorite remixes of his, Drake – Hold On, We’re Going Home – is to this day one of my favorite, feel good tracks.  I’ve only seen him live once so I absolutely can’t wait to get my fill of him a second time!

Gabriel Dresden

Trance me!! If there’s one thing that GDE is severely lacking this year, it’s trance – in the past, the festival’s been home to the likes of Armin, Oakenfold and BT but as the tunes changes, so do the times – and there’s a lot more of a demand for body rattling bass than there is for uplifting, ethereal trance.  Thank goodness we’re leaving it to Gabriel & Dresden to change the game on that over the weekend;  best known for their epic track ‘Without You Near’, the two have a combined 26 years in the business and are just as adept solo as they are collectively

Zedd

Last, but certainly not least – how could I forget: Zedd! The 19 year old German prodigy has had his youthful little paws  on some of your favorite remixes and albums – and quite possibly without you ever even knowing.   Gaining notoriety via Beatport remix competitions, Zedd has produced muliple songs on multiple albums for Lady Gaga, not to mention assisting in the Bieb’s -‘ Beauty and a Beat’.  Not only can Zedd read the crowd, he knows how to play them, to elevate them and to move them – so make sure those dancing shoes are on tight, we’re about to have the ride of our lives.

Even though this post was initially about the ten acts to not miss at Red Rocks, the truth of the situation is that with only one stage: as long as you’re physically present, you’ll be seeing the entire breadth of the roster. So to send you off, is a playlist of my favororite songs from each and every artist that’ll be gracing the stage of Red Rocks next weekend – enjoy!