Music Music Festivals News

Primavera Sound reveals 2019 lineup, featuring more than 50 percent women

06/12/2018
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Primavera Sound reveals 2019 lineup, featuring more than 50 percent women

Robyn, Richie Hawtin, Nina Kraviz and SOPHIE are among those booked for the Barcelona festival next spring.

Primavera Sound 2019, going down from May 30th through June 1st, has announced its lineup.
Among the headliners for the Barcelona festival are Robyn, Erykah Badu, SOPHIE, Charli XCX, James Blake, Stereolab, Richie Hawtin (performing his CLOSE live set) and Modeselektor. In terms of DJs, they’ve lined up Joy Orbison, Helena Hauff, Yaeji, Laurel Halo, Avalon Emerson, Jayda G and a back-to-back from Eris Drew and Octo Octa. Live sets will come from Objekt, Anastasia Kristensen, Apparat, Tim Hecker and his Konoyo Ensemble, Veronica Vasicka and plenty more.
This year, Primavera seeks to highlight “equality, eclecticism and audacity” in their lineup, according to a press release.
“Equality in the lineup between men and women, a stylistic eclecticism that is patently obvious and the drive to constantly take risks to connect to the times we live in are central concepts of the Primavera Sound 2019 lineup,” the statement adds. “All of this without abandoning the presentation of a lineup that is absolutely unique in the world, risky and convincing, as it is every year.”
For the full lineup, check out the flyer and event listing below.

 

Music News

DJ Mag Best of British Awards 2018 – Voting now open

16/11/2018
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The nominations have been announced for DJ Mag’s annual Best Of British poll, powered by Relentless energy drink.

The poll – a celebration of UK talent  – is now in its 12th year. Positioned as a counter-balance to the global Top 100 DJs poll, Best Of British is our chance to shine a spotlight on the homegrown stars who fill the pages of our UK magazine each month.

Voting closes on Friday 30th November ahead of the awards party on Thursday 13th December at EGG LDN.

The awards party will feature a wide array of DJs from across the UK scene. The first names to be announced to play are tech-house titan Eats Everything, Deep Sea Frequency and Meine Nacht co-founder Breakwave, Abode resident Ellie Cocks, BBC Radio 1Xtra’s Jamz Supernova and emerging talent Mason Maynard. With many more DJs to be announced to play for the party, alongside very special guests, it’s set to be an unmissable night. For more information, go to the event page here.

Check out the full list of categories and nominees below…

Vote here!

Best DJ
Andy C
Denis Sulta
Eats Everything
Joy Orbison
Shanti Celeste

Best Group

Bicep
CamelPhat
Clouds
Ivy Lab
Slam

Breakthrough DJ

DEBONAIR
Donna Leake
Jamz Supernova
Mason Maynard
Willow

Best Resident DJ

Blasha & Allatt (Meat Free)
Charles Green (Patterns)
Ellie Cocks (Abode)
Gwenan (The Pickle Factory)
Mantra (Rupture)

Best Live Act

The Chemical Brothers
Four Tet
Giant Swan
Nabihah Iqbal
Orbital

Best Producer

Daniel Avery
dBridge
Objekt
Rebekah
SOPHIE

Breakthrough Producer

Benny L
Forest Drive West
Harrison BDP
Rian Treanor
Solid Blake

Best Label

BBE
Central Processing Unit
Houndstooth
Sneaker Social Club
Whities

Breakthrough Label

Dr. Banana
Femme Culture
Needs – Not For Profit
Solä
Western Lore

Best Album

Blawan – Wet Will Always Dry [Ternesc]
Blocks & Escher – Something Blue [Metalheadz]
Nabihah Iqbal – Weighing of the Heart [Ninja Tune]
Pariah – Here From Where We Are [Houndstooth]
SOPHIE – Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides [Transgressive Records]

Best Track

Big Miz – The Hadal Zone [Dixon Avenue Basement Jams]
Pangaea – Bone Sucka [Hessle Audio]
Ploy- Ramos [Timedance]
SpectraSoul – Untitled Horn [Ish Chat]
Weiss – Feel My Needs [Toolroom Records]

Best Compilation

James Zabiela – Balance 029 [Balance Music]
Kode9 & Burial – Fabriclive 100 [Fabric Records]
Mount Kimbie – DJ-Kicks [!K7 Records]
Mumdance – Shared Meanings [Shared Meanings]
Various – Splinters [AMAR]

Best Remix/Edit
Au/Ra & CamelPhat – Panic Room (CamelPhat Club Mix) [RCA Records]
Bicep – Opal (Four Tet Remix) [Ninja Tune]
Mr Fingers – Spy (Kode9 Remix) [Alleviated Records]
Perc & Truss – Leather & Lace (Mumdance & Logos Remix) [Perc Trax]
High Contrast – If We Ever (Unglued Remix) [Hospital Records]

Best Large Club
Church Leeds, Leeds
EggLondon, London
Fabric, London
Ministry Of Sound, London
Motion, Bristol

Best Small Club
Cosmic Ballroom, Newcastle
Phonox, London
The Cause, London
The White Hotel, Manchester
Wire, Leeds

Best Club Event

Alfresco Disco
He. She. They.
Make Me
Meine Nacht
On Loop

Best Club Series

Ben UFO Residency – XOYO
In:Motion
Printworks
Sundays At Phonox
The Warehouse Project

Best Festival
Boomtown
Hospitality In The Park
Junction 2
Love Saves The Day
Parklife

Best Boutique Festival

AVA Festival
Bluedot
Houghton
Nozstock
The Beat-Herder Festival

Best MC
D Double E
FLOHIO
Inja
Lee Scott
MC GQ

Soldier of the Scene
DJ Rap
Doc Scott
Don Letts
Nicky Holloway
Mark Moore

Innovation and Excellence
The Loop

Outstanding Contribution
Fatboy Slim

Interviews Music News

Paul van Dyk: DJ Mag North America cover feature

26/10/2018
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A year-and-a-half after his near-death accident, Paul van Dyk returns to trance stronger than ever, with a new album, new live show, and new perspective afforded to those who have grazed the veil separating this world from the next…

 

This isn’t your average comeback story. And Paul van Dyk isn’t your average comeback kid. The Grammy-winning German DJ/producer is a legend in his own right, hailed as the man who launched an entire genre: without him, trance music might not be what it is today. Or exist at all. That’s not hyperbole; it’s fact. Paul’s body of work is enshrined in the annals of electronic music history, decorated with awards and showered with critical accolades. A two-time winner of the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs poll, his songs have been played in clubs and on festival stages for over 25 years, but they’re also queued up during weddings and birthdays, marking memories in the minds of more than a generation of ravers. And his harrowing brush with death last year only adds emotional weight to the exquisite music that has emerged in the aftermath of an accident that left him lying comatose in a hospital bed.

Events unfold rapidly in emergencies, like the flutter of camera shutters: roaring crowd, arms outstretched, swirling lights, raised stage, one wrong step, shattered body, fade to black. On the night of February 27th, 2016, Paul van Dyk fell nearly 20 feet through an ill-concealed gap while onstage at the A State Of Trance Festival in Utrecht, Holland. He was immediately airlifted to the nearest hospital, where it was determined that he had fractured his spine in two places, and had sustained severe brain damage. An outpouring of support from across the globe flooded social media channels and music news outlets. Shocked fans replayed the minute-long video of the artist’s fateful misstep, caught on a mobile phone camera: how could this have happened? For a few days, doctors received minimal neurological response when prodding Paul’s broken body. Yet, he was lucky. His vital organs remained unharmed, and although he could not feel his legs when he finally returned to consciousness, he was alive.

‘From Then On’ marks Paul van Dyk’s return to life after a glimpse of the inevitable end we all spend a lifetime avoiding. His first LP in nearly three years and eighth artist album, it is his first release since the accident and without question, his most poignant work to date. True to its title, ‘From Then On’ is a portrait of the fruits of resurrection – resurrection of health, of creative aptitude and of spirit. It is born from the ultimate shift in perspective, afforded to the few who witness the limits of their own fragility. After darkness, light always shines brighter. Paul van Dyk’s struggle to cope with new physical and mental limitations has given him a greater depth of appreciation for each breath. There is joy in standing up, in making coffee, in watching a bird scuttle to the next branch. From that gratitude, beautiful art is born.

CLEAR SKIES
“We have gray moments here, but when it’s sunny it’s really cool,” Paul laughs, gesturing at the sprawling cityscape, as DJ Mag joins him in his Berlin office on an autumn afternoon. Sunlight streams into the room through large windows. The sky is cloudless and blue, a rare event for the European city. Paul is in good spirits, and accepts a cup of coffee from his manager as he settles into his chair for the next hour. He has recently returned from New York City, where he debuted his new, visually-sumptuous live show concept, AEON by Paul van Dyk, at the PlayStation Theater, and he’s prepping for the release of ‘From Then On’ via his own Vandit label in the coming weeks. His eyes glint with satisfaction, and it occurs to us that gratitude is humanity’s most attractive asset. “I have never felt closer to my own music than with this album,” he states, taking a sip of the hot coffee.

Understanding where this music comes from makes the experience of listening to it even more intense. The album carries us into expansive realms of euphoria, bursting with rapid-fire emotion, and it is quintessentially Paul van Dyk. Yet, while it retains the artist’s familiar trance signature – glittering melody, soaring strings, forward-marching kicks – there is something indescribably poignant about it. Each track is meaningful. The song titles reflect his newfound experience, quite literally: ‘I Am Alive’ is redolent of classic late-‘90s trance, a new chance to revisit old roots; ‘Close Call’ is cinematic, sharp and tense, a nod to the knife-edge between life and death; while ‘Stronger Together’ is among the album’s most euphoric cuts, a dramatic tribute to the power of community – without which, Paul van Dyk would not be alive.

When Paul emerged from his comatose state, he was met with a vulnerable new reality. “I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t go to the toilet, I couldn’t do anything. I had to learn it all again. That was a very hard point to understand.” Paul leans forward in his seat, emphasizing the enormity of such a revelation: “Think about it in a bigger philosophical sense – when you’re a little kid and you go to the toilet, and for the first time you do it alone, this is almost what defines you as a human being. Now imagine you’re an adult, and you can’t do this anymore.” Recognizing your own mortality also means witnessing your vulnerability, and while Paul appreciates the new perspective, he says that being aware of his survival has been anything but uplifting: “I can tell you, it’s the total opposite,” he states, unequivocally. “I’m far more living in fear… because I know how quickly things can be over.”

Despite that fear, Paul has focused on the positive in order to heal, and explains that he was the recipient of some fortunate coincidences. Coincidence number one: The accident happened in Utrecht, only a 10 minute drive from the top neurological center in all of Holland. “If the show would have been in Amsterdam, like one and a half hour ride away, I wouldn’t be here talking to you now.” Coincidence number two: One of Europe’s top neurological injury specialists happened to be in the hospital at 5am on Sunday morning, precisely when the ambulance delivered Paul van Dyk through its doors, because of another case. “He was there to take the right steps, rather than some assistant doctor waiting for him to arrive on Monday when it probably would have been too late. I wouldn’t be sitting here,” Paul smiles wryly.

And then there is his wife, Margarita. The first thing she did while her husband laid motionless in bed, with doctors refusing to give any concrete prognosis, was decorate his hospital room with his favorite things: his football club shirts, flowers, photos of the two of them – “so that as soon as I’d wake up, I would have the first bit of memory that connects me to something that is part of me. And these details, that’s what she’s made of as well,” Paul smiles as he recalls her care, and his overwhelming love for her is evident. “She’s just amazing. Really.”

For the first two days after his fall, neurologists tried and failed to elicit a physical response from Paul. Machines showed his brain was still functioning, but his body was unresponsive. It wasn’t until his wife arrived that he stirred. “She touched my fingers, and then she said, ‘Grab my hand.’ And I grabbed her hand while unconscious,” Paul’s green eyes light up as he tells the story, “and she ran out of the room yelling for the doctors to come in and see that I had moved. But I didn’t do it when the nurse came. Just her.”

In retrospect, that moment left a mark on the artist, profoundly changing his worldview. “That’s a clear indication there’s something else,” he states, shaking his head. “I’m a pragmatic person. I don’t believe in God. I’m not an esoteric guy… but this is outside of comprehension for a pragmatic person. There is obviously something like the soul, the inner core. As someone who believes in quantum physics I would say, it’s the Higgs Boson of us. Because I knew, my soul knew, when Margarita grabbed my hand: ‘That’s my girl.’”

STRONGER TOGETHER
The album’s opening track, ‘While You Were Gone’, features an elegant piano arrangement that sounds like an homage to its title – a soul hovering over its earthly body in an astral projection of emotion, reimagined in waveform. But that is not at all what Paul van Dyk had in mind when he wrote it. He doesn’t have a recollection of the first four weeks after his fall, laying in various states of consciousness, first in a Dutch hospital and then a facility in Berlin. The last thing he does remember is leaving his green room and heading towards the stage on that fateful night. “The brain erases a little bit of memory from before [an accident], I don’t even remember playing for the first 20 minutes before I fell,” he admits.

When we share our thoughts on the song, gushing over its etheric otherworldliness, Paul chuckles and says that the reaction is a good example of why people like trance so much. “They always go on and tell me for hours and hours what they love about it. A good piece of music gives you a sketch of the emotional surrounding of the artist. And you then take that in, you make it your own, you fill it with your own experience. Suddenly, it’s not my track anymore – it’s yours.” ‘While You Were Gone’ is filled with the sentiment of Paul van Dyk’s deep appreciation for the woman who brought him back to life with memories and love and care, and whom he says is the best reason for him to still be here.

“A very essential part of me not giving up and fighting for my life, fighting to get better, is my wife. She’s an adventurous type in a very cool way – right now she’s climbing Mount Kilimanjaro!” he boasts with a smile. “At the time I wrote ‘While You Were Gone’, she was hiking the 3 Passes Trek around Mount Everest. I was in Beijing, sitting there feeling alone and detached from the world, and I wrote the song.” The track, co-produced with Vincent Corver, is rich with sentimental melody, but it bursts into a subby, forward-rolling beat three quarters of the way through. Paul reveals that he used a sub bass to make the bass drum kick. “This is why it sounds almost like a heartbeat pumping – ‘boom, boom, boom’,” he thumps his hand against his chest, as if to remind it to keep going.

Since the accident, there has been change: Paul’s DJ sets are no longer three hours, he works more slowly, he can’t properly feel his legs. “It’s almost as if I’m walking on clouds.” There has been pain: “There were times when I was simply in so much pain that I would just burst out in tears. It was just seriously indescribable. They always ask you in the hospital, ‘On a scale of one to 10 how much does it hurt?’ And I was always saying, ‘It’s a 100.’” But there has also been love: “[The doctors and nurses] really gave me the feeling that it mattered. That I matter. That it mattered to them that I try. And all that together with the cards, letters, e-mails, videos, voice messages I got from colleagues, friends and fans – all that positive energy encouraged me. Because even on the hard days, to simply get through was enough.”

‘From Then On’ means more to Paul van Dyk than anything else he has made before. He feels it is his most successful album, simply because he was able to make it. “All the support is what made me pull through. You can’t do something like this alone. It was a joint effort, and I’m here,” he insists. “And the same goes for many other things.” Ironically, in the year and a half since Paul’s accident, he has witnessed a disintegration of communal strength on the global level: our damaged climate precipitates more tribal warfare, the rise of neo-fascism is haunting Europe, a fractured America is divided beyond repair, religious extremism codifies terrorist cells. “My moral standards and my political beliefs are still the same as they were before. But I think what my personal story is a very good example of, is this whole concept of being ‘stronger together’. To be together, to work together, and to solve problems together.”

There is something to be said for the role music plays in connecting people, and it is what Paul van Dyk says inspired his classic 2001 compilation album, ‘The Politics Of Dancing’. Though his politics remain unchanged since the accident, he speaks more passionately about the topic now, having experienced the type of healing that can only be achieved with the help of a large community. “We need to all stick together on these things. We’re all human beings, all responsible for this planet – and when a guy like Trump says he was elected by the people in Pittsburgh not by the people in Paris – you know what, this is fucking bullshit. Because if this planet goes bonkers, then it affects the people in Pittsburgh as much as the people in Paris,” he crosses his arms and sits back in his seat. “We can only solve things together.”

BEYOND THE WALL
Paul van Dyk’s Berlin of offace sits on the Spree River in the Friedrichshain- Kreuzberg borough, just a few meters from the world-renowned Watergate club and at the nexus of German history. The former East Berlin district of Friedrichshain is connected to the former West Berlin district of Kreuzberg (now reminiscent of New York’s East Village in its counterculture heyday) by the historic Oberbaum Bridge, which was once a Berlin border crossing for pedestrians. Graffiti-covered stone arches stretch from one side of the river bank to the other. Barbed wire and repression have been replaced by nightclubs and kebab shops, skateboarders and artists. Paul remembers what it was once like, because he grew up in East Berlin. “Right over there, actually,” he grins, craning his neck and pointing as he peers out of the window.

The cold, gray drudgery of life in East Berlin is not cinematic overkill, dramatically reimagined by movie directors. It was a place bent on stifling creativity, movement, passion and free will. The absence of art and beauty from East Berlin was intentional, and it meant that 10-year-old Paul van Dyk had to access music in illicit ways. “I was doing my homework, listening to the West Berlin mega stations on my radio – illegally of course, because that was forbidden – when I stopped one day and turned it up and was like, ‘What’s this?’ This music was different, and it connected with me.” The band he heard that day was The Smiths, and it turned Paul van Dyk into a self-professed radio junkie. “We didn’t have record shops or magazines, or anything at all in East Germany.”

Eventually, the sounds of early house music from Chicago and Detroit began filtering through Paul’s pirated radio waves, and by the time the Berlin Wall fell in 1987, he reveled in the clubs. Still, he was searching for something he felt was missing from dance music, a stronger connection and a more profound sensation. “The music I wanted simply didn’t exist, so I had to make it myself.” And while there will always be a debate about the origins of any genre, enough people agree that Paul van Dyk is a significant actor in the saga of trance. Queue up his 1993 remix of Humate’s ‘Love Stimulation’ for a glimpse at the genre’s genesis. The expansive harmonies, layered strings and faster BPM are familiar elements today, but in the early ‘90s, they weren’t the norm.

Although he loves house and techno, Paul believes trance represents “the most complete” form of music; one without boundaries. “With the minimal techno stuff, after five minutes you hit a wall and you’re just like, wow. That doesn’t create a landscape. And this is what I like – I like to see a horizon.

“Techno, to me, is ten meters long and then there’s a wall,” he gestures with his hands, slicing a line through the air. “Trance, on the other hand, is a horizon. You can see the sun going up and down depending on which direction you look and all that is in between, all the experience, everything that happens in the world. Moving towards the horizon is part of trance music.”

There is a track on his new album titled ‘Fairytales’ that is decidedly triumphant, ringing with bliss. And while we don’t ask what it means, we can’t help but imagine a young boy huddled over his small radio, stealing sounds from a world beyond his reach, but within his view. Paul smiles and nods at the window again. He can see his childhood school in the distance, just across the river bank to the east. The irony of literally pushing through a physical wall to get to the music and life he loves, is not lost on him. “When I was sitting in class in school as a kid, I was actually able to look toward the left which was West Berlin. I would look towards the west, look towards the horizon, look towards where I thought freedom and beauty was,” as he speaks, he looks to the west, away from us, unpacking an old memory. “Music and the horizon somehow always had something to do with my craving for freedom and movement, energy and positivity. And I guess, really, it’s still the case.”

DJMAG Article

 

Music News

Martin Garrix wins DJ Mag Top 100 DJs 2018

22/10/2018
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Martin Garrix has been revealed as the winner of the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs Poll 2018, with the 22-year-old Dutch superstar making it three in a row after becoming the youngest ever No.1 DJ in 2016 and retaining the title in 2017.

Garrix was awarded the winner’s trophy by DJ Mag managing director Martin Carvell on stage at the Top 100 DJs Poll award ceremony at the Amsterdam ArenA. The event took place at this year’s Amsterdam Music Festival at Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE).

The award continues a meteoric rise for Garrix over the past few years, beginning when his breakout tune ‘Animals’ shot to No.1 around the world in 2013. He was odds-on favourite to retain the title from 2017.

He’s had a huge year since winning 12 months ago, unveiling his new waxwork at Madame Tussauds in Amsterdam and releasing his photography book Life=Crazy. He is also reportedly working with Rihanna on her forthcoming album, has teased his new hologram visuals and has released a track every day during this year’s ADE.

We secured an incredible 1.2 million votes in this year’s poll, an increase of nearly 200,000 on 2017. The most votes came from the USA, followed by the UK, Brazil, Mexico, Italy, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Spain.

In the top 10, there isn’t a great deal of movement. Belgian brothers Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike (the Highest Group) hold steady at No.2, while Hardwell leapfrogs over Armin van Buuren to claim the No.3 slot, despite — or perhaps because of — announcing that he’s stopping touring for an indefinite period. ASOT man Armin, of course, remains the Highest Trance DJ at No.4 — he hasn’t finished out of the top four for the last 13 years.

David Guetta has had a good year, jumping up two places to No.5 — overtaking Tiësto in the process. But the big news in the top 10 is Don Diablo jumping four places to claim the No.7 slot, and cementing his place in the big league — claiming the Highest Future House DJ award in the process. Afrojack and Marshmello hold steady at No.8 and No.10 respectively, while Oliver Heldens — who slid out of the top 10 last year — jumps four places to finish at No.9. Steve Aoki slips down two places to No.11, while the biggest surprise in the top 10 is The Chainsmokers sliding down from No.6 last year to this year’s No.31.

Just outside the top 10, R3hab and Alok are both up six places to No.12 and No.13 respectively, while W&W are non-movers at No.14. DVBBS, Lost Frequencies and Vintage Culture are all up a respectable amount of places, while — off the back of his perpetually sold-out Ibiza residency — Pryda man Eric Prydz soars into the top 20. But the standout placing here is Avicii at No.15. The dance world was shocked by his untimely passing earlier this year, and tens of thousands of his fans voted for him in 2018 to ensure that his legacy isn’t forgotten.

Just outside the top 20, Fedde Le Grand and Ummet Ozcan are up 17 and 15 places respectively, while Quintino, Vinai and Bassjackers are also up. NERVO are the highest placed female DJs at No. 27, up a healthy 15 places, while masked hardcore hero Angerfist rams up 11 places to No.29. It’s not quite enough for him to reclaim the Highest Hard DJ accolade from Headhunterz, though — his fellow Dutchman places just one spot above him at No.28. It hasn’t been a great year for votes for other hardstyle DJs, though — Radical Redemption and Brennan Heart are both down considerably, while Ukranian DJ hardcore techno Miss K8 slips seven places to No.65.

There’s two more women in the poll compared to last year, which is another small step in the right direction. Apart from NERVO and Miss K8, Mariana BO — complete with her violin — is up 16 places and Alison Wonderland is still in the nineties, but they’ve been joined in the 100 by MATTN, who is the Highest New Entry overall at No.72, and the inimitable Nina Kraviz, who makes a welcome debut appearance at No.97. Let’s hope that even more women are voted into the Top 100 next year.

Other new entries include Breathe Carolina, NGHTMRE, Rave Republic and Slander, while stalwart scene producers Cedric Gervais and KO:YU — Deniz Koyu’s new name — jump into the chart for the first time. New names in the list from the world of techno include Adam Beyer and Marco Carola, while it’s also been a good year for Carl Cox — up nine spots to No.53, again scooping the Highest Techno award — and Richie Hawtin, who is up 19 to No.61.

There’s quite a few re-entries too, proving that sliding out of the Top 100 doesn’t mean that you are gone forever. Daddy’s Groove, Wildstylez, MaRLo, Deorro, Bobina and Markus Schulz have all bounced back in, and the Highest Re-Entry is Swedish House Mafia — despite only playing one show together all year, at Ultra Miami. With more shows and music hinted at for next year, it’s a safe bet that they’ll soar back up the chart in 2019. The return of SHM has had contrasting fortunes for its individual members, though. Steve Angello is up 24 places to No.58, but Axwell & Ingrosso are down 20 places to No.41.

The Highest Climber this year is Israeli psy-trance duo Vini Vici — up 38 places to No.34 — and other acts who have jumped 10 places or more include Danny Avila, Timmy Trumpet, Yellow Claw, Cat Dealers, Martin Jensen, Will Sparks, Robin Schulz, Andrew Rayel, Swanky Tunes, Mosimann and Tchami. Ferry Corsten, who has been in the Top 100 for the best part of 20 years, rides trance’s continued revival by twerking up 15 places to No.75, while Claptone is up 12 places to again claim the Highest House award.

The unstoppable Andy C once again claims the Highest Drum & Bass DJ award in this year’s poll. Following the widening of the voting process using a 2FA SMS login option for markets without Facebook, there’s been a 28% increase in votes from China. This has undoubtedly helped the top two Chinese DJs — Carta and DJ L — climb 19 and 14 places respectively, while other areas in Asia — including Japan, Vietnam and Thailand — all saw similar increases.

The territory that yielded the highest number of votes was again the USA, with the UK, Brazil and Mexico ranking next, closely followed by the central European countries of Italy, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Spain. During the voting process, DJ Mag’s website saw 61 million pages viewed.

Check out the full DJ Mag Top 100 DJs poll results here.

Music

Trump signs Music Modernization Act, updating old copyright laws

12/10/2018
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The legislation aims to revamp existing laws so musicians and labels are better compensated by streaming platforms.

President Donald Trump signed the United States Music Modernization Act into law today.
The act, which passed unanimously through the House and Senate, aims to update antiquated US copyright and licensing laws for the streaming era.
Specifically, its goal is to simplify the process of licensing music so that rights holders are more fairly compensated when their music is streamed online. It will iron out the most complicated part of the process—figuring out who the rights holders are—by creating a single licensing database called the Mechanical Licensing Collective. The MLC will ensure that payouts end up with the correct artists and labels.
It also includes a piece of legislation called the Allocation for Music Producers Act, which specifically aims to get producers and engineers better royalty payouts from satellite and online radio (it’s the first time producers have been mentioned in US copyright law).

“You like this legislation or do you hate it?” Trump reportedly asked his invited guest Kid Rock during the signing ceremony this afternoon. “I like it,” replied Kid Rock.

New legislation that calls for major updates to the United States’ music copyright and licensing laws passed the House of Representatives yesterday by unanimous vote.

The Music Modernization Act, also known as House Resolution 5477, bundles together a handful of bills that, as a key sponsor in the House put it, “brings early 20th-century music laws for the analog era into the 21st-century digital era.”
One big change is the creation of a blanket mechanical license, which digital providers can obtain as protection against copyright infringement lawsuits, and a new agency whose mission will be to track credits on streaming and other digital services and collect and distribute royalties. The agency would be similar to SoundExchange, a non-profit that is currently the only digital royalties distribution entity authorized by Congress. HR 5477’s other measures include the development of a system of market-based royalty rate standards, new protections for recordings made before 1972 and the addition of royalties for producers and engineers.
Left unaddressed are performer payments for over-the-air radio play—Inside Radio says the National Association of Broadcasters and the music industry aim to iron out a compromise on that front without a government mandate.
Industry supporters for HR 5477 include the Recording Academy, RIAA, ASCAP and BMI, along with the Digital Media Association, which represents the likes of Apple, Amazon, Google, YouTube and Spotify.

The bill passed the House with an expedited 415-0 vote—a rare display of bipartisan cooperation in US government that suggests it’ll make it through the Senate and onto the president’s desk. The Senate’s Judiciary Committee plans to begin its own deliberations in mid-May.

RA Article

Events Music

Adam Beyer announces Drumcode Halloween after-party

12/10/2018
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Adam Beyer has announced an after-party for Drumcode’s forthcoming Halloween session at London’s Tobacco Dock on Saturday 27th October.

With the main event finishing up at 10PM, those who’ve still got something left to give can head to one of the UK capital’s newest venues, the 24-hour-licensed FOLD, for another few rounds with the main man and his comrades through to 6AM.

Alongside the imprint bossman, techno big guns Nicole Moudaber, Charlotte de Witte, Slam, Paco Osuna, Alan Fitzpatrick, Dense & Pika and Marco Faraone are all down to play the daytime. So far no line-up has been confirmed for the afters, so watch this space for details as they arrive.

DjMAG Article

Music

Deadmau5 releases statement confirming indefinite hiatus

12/10/2018
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Deadmau5 has released a statement saying that he is to take time out of the spotlight.

Posting on Twitter earlier today, the producer wrote: “This has been a very difficult period and I sincerely apologize for my comments which were completely offensive and I take full responsibility for.”He continues: “Now it’s time for me to deal with my own personal issues including finally addressing my own mental health challenges that I have wrestled with for the past several years.”Admitting that he has fallen short of his goal to “uplift my community,” he says that after consulting with friends and family, he has decided that he should seek professional help to deal with his problems.“Again I apologize to all of those I have offended and I will be going off the radar and taking the time necessary to work on myself.”The move comes after the producer faced wide criticism for now-deleted tweets of a homophobic and transphobic nature, while he also made ableist remarks about the music of producer Slushii.

You can see his full apology below.

pic.twitter.com/acblerG5xF

DjMAG Article

Events Music

Fabric to relaunch Room Three with huge new soundsystem

04/09/2018
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Fabric is set to relaunch Room Three with a huge new soundsystem, it has been confirmed.

News that the dancefloor would be brought back into action first hit over summer, having been shut since the club re-opened following its temporary closure in 2016. The longstanding FABRICLIVE sessions— which lent their name to the mix series that’s just about to finish— will be the first to make use of the space, on Friday 14th September, meaning it will be available for the marathon 30-hour 19th Birthday in October.

Dancers are promised a relocated booth, adding greater intimacy, and new Pioneer rig, with the focus on showcasing rising UK talent. Tumble Audio will put the setup through its paces on the debut night, before 3000 Bass (featuring The Marcus Nasty Show), Addictive Behaviour, Then & Now and She Said So step up in the weeks that follow, making this another significant milestone to add to our list of 10 moments that defined Fabric.

Music

Is dance music suffering from a crisis of competence?

04/09/2018
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The kick-drum drops out, reach towards the ceiling, the air is filled with whoops and whistles. Then a long whoosh of white noise simultaneously builds the tension whilst signalling the fact that the kick and b-line are about to drop. When they do, everyone is briefly animated for a minute, but then the energy in the room starts to flag — but don’t worry, because they’ll be another near-identical breakdown in about thirty seconds where we can all do it again.

The idea that dance music is in some kind of creative crisis has become more popular in the last few years. There is a lot more music being produced and released than ever before, and if we’re honest, not all of it is destined to become classic. Instead, we have seen a growth in competent, reasonably well-produced but utterly beige, boring music.
Every week, there are hundreds of tracks released that sound as though they’ve been put together quickly, with little thought or creativity, and by the sound of it with no struggle, pain or emotion. Based on templates, sample packs and presets, the hi-hats, snares and claps are always in the same place, the same bass sounds are endlessly recycled and the parts are set out into virtually identical arrangements.

These tunes get knocked out and then polished and preened through high-quality plugins to sound big, fat and shiny. They might get sent off for professional mastering for a final prettification, but they’re still empty. It’s all surface sheen with no emotional depth — it’s merely competent: the kick and bassline EQ’d together nicely, all the parts sitting neatly in separate areas of the frequency section, just like producers are taught to do.

But the question surely has to be: who wants competent art? Surely we should demand art that is bone-marrow-meltingly good, music that burns its way deep into our souls, never to be forgotten.

This glut of competent music is the result of several factors — the lowering of access to production is obviously a big one, as is the ongoing improvement of Digital Audio Workstations like Ableton and Logic. The increase in quality of sample packs might be cited too, as might the change in the cultural perception of the DJ. The frighteningly quick turnover of new releases makes some producers feel that they have to keep churning out a few EPs every month — and inevitably this has to affect quality. But there is also a larger cultural malaise, and it’s the result of living in a society where every release/remix/DJ gig/statement/ move is instantly available for judgement, outside of its original context, on social media.

Fear is a terrible thing; its ripples wash over people far away from its initial source. Fear of the new, of stepping outside the production comfort zone, of producing something vastly different to what’s currently ‘big’, fear that one’s ‘profile’ might fade if a frantic release schedule isn’t maintained. These have all influenced many producers and have subtly changed our dance music culture. And these fears directly affect the quality of the club-nights we go to — be it DJs making safe boring tune selections or producers releasing safe, competent music.

Prior to the digitisation of the music and media industries, if a producer or artist made a shit album they would get completely slated, but the only people who read the reviews would be the people who bought the music magazines. Now the rare sighting of a searing review is spread far and wide. Wrenched from its original context, criticism is re-branded as ‘hating’ — as though having a strong opinion on music is hate. It isn’t. It’s the opposite, it’s love — love for brilliant, awe-inspiring music. A negative review is the result of a deep passion for the kind of tracks that create life-lasting memories, over just another competent utterly lifeless production.

We are in danger of accepting a new standard in music, that of competency. It’s the artists’ job to kick back against this process. Competent dance music promotes the ideals of simplicity, of playing-it-safe, and celebrates banality over invention. In these troubled times, with the rise of the far-right, and bearing in mind the roots of house music in black, Latino and gay American subculture, kicking back against this trend becomes a moral imperative. Because music that is fresh and challenging, music with depth and real emotion, music which consists of more than a few generic sample loops strung together, that’s the kind of music that can engender community and encourage critical thought; and critical thought is the single biggest threat to creeping authoritarianism.

In short, all of us — producers, labels, DJs, even reviewers — need to be a lot fucking braver.

Dj Mag

Music

Paul van Dyk announces special Printworks album launch show

14/08/2018
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Paul van Dyk has announced the release of his new studio album, ‘Symbols’.

Set to drop this autumn, the new LP follows his celebrated 2017 release ‘From Then On’ and will be launched with a special headline show at London’s Printworks on 12th October.

Earlier this month, PVD teased the new album with a mysterious tweet. ‘Symbols’ will be the ninth LP from the trance legend who released his debut ‘45 RPM’ in 1994.

In an official statement, van Dyk said, “‘Symbols’ is an album deeply rooted in story-telling, mystery and adventure. It’s an exploration of trance, a journey through the breadth and depth of a genre that continues to enthrall me as an artist.”

‘Symbols’ will be debuted in London’s incredible Printworks venue on 12th October. The recent DJ Mag North America cover star will be the first trance DJ to headline the massive venue since it opened in February 2017.

In July, van Dyk also released the eponymous track from his 2018 SHINE Ibiza residency.

Recently, the German trance luminary took to Twitter to remind fans just how much trance still means to him after nearly three decades in the game. “Trance is more than music,” he wrote. “It’s a lifestyle. It’s about community. It’s emotions turned into sound.”