The Best Underground Sets That Rocked Ultra 2015

UMF 2015

During Miami Music Week, the city becomes a dance music metropolis with different sounds and atmospheres everywhere you look. In between the frenzy of grooves in club land, many artists find themselves gracing the stage at the main event, Ultra Music Festival. This year saw an array of talented artists take their underground sound to the festival atmosphere, and as expected they held nothing back. Read more

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Traktor Announces New “Stems” Audio File Format

traktorTraktor by Native Instruments, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of software and hardware for DJs/Producers, has just revolutionized the industry with the newest addition to their Traktor DJ software.

On March 27, the company announced in a press release that they would be introducing a new multi-channel audio file format called “Stems.” These files, saved with the extension .stem.mp4, will contain the original stereo file as well as four channels (each with different instruments/vox) which can be mixed and blended to taste within the Traktor software; say hello to instant remixes, edits, and mashups. Stems are an open file format, which means that anybody can create their own stem files; they are set to hit the market this summer, and the folks at Native Instruments would like to see them adopted as a new industry standard; with support from artists like MK and Luciano, and retailers like Beatport and Juno, there is no doubt that Stems will hold a prominent place in the future of DJing. For more info, check out the press release by clicking here.

2015 IDMA Award Winners and 6AM Picks

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The winners for the 30th International Dance Music Awards (IDMA) were announced last week at WMC. In years past there has been a somewhat even balance between underground and mainstream being represented in the awards, but unfortunately the same cannot be said in 2015.

Each genre was represented, but throughout the 57 various awards there was a clear bias towards the more commercially successful EDM/Pop artists with an apparent negligence for presenting an even playing field. At least the legendary Frankie Knuckles was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award; The IDMA’s did get one thing right. We ran through and critiqued the list picking out our most note-worthy categories and winners. Read more

Beatport Releases Free Mobile Streaming App

 

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Beatport, one of the most prominent electronic music retailers, has graced us with an amazing gift. The company, now owned by dance music mogul Robert Sillerman and his SFX Entertainment, has just released an app for iOS/android. The music streaming app, simply named “Beatport,” can be downloaded for free on your mobile device for on-the-go listening wherever you are. While Pandora and Spotify have always done us well, they are simply not platforms designed for underground dance music; thus, Beatport is filling a large gap in the streaming market.

The mobile app is not the only instance of the company expanding into other areas; Beatport features remix contests, sample packs, and many more resources for fans and artists alike. In the works now is “Beatport Live,” a video streaming site for live DJ sets. It’s an exciting time for the company, and their future will undoubtedly hold innovation and success.

Review: Beyond Wonderland 2015

aLIVE Coverage for Insomniac 2

Insomniac’s annual Spring festival, Beyond Wonderland, has come a long way over the years. Taking place at the San Manuel Amphitheater on March 20th, Beyond Wonderland boasted an immense lineup and an extravagant production one would expect from Insomniac. Read more

Freebie Friday: Mario Polanco

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We go coast to coast for Freebie Friday this week. EndlessLove Recordings is a New York label and they’ve recently offered up two free downloads from their roster. Mario Polanco aka M.P.C serves up two excellent slices of deep grooves that can be utilized in a variety of situations. From the warm up, to the after, to the sun soaked terraces these are two tracks you want in your arsenal. These free downloads will only be available for a limited time, so make sure to grab your copies.

Endless Love Recordings on: Facebook | Soundcloud | Official Site
M.P.C on: Soundcloud

M.P.C – Breaking Point

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Paul Kalkbrenner Signs to Sony Music International

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There’s no arguing that the majority of dance music is released on smaller independent labels. This isn’t to say that the major labels don’t like to dabble in serious techno every now and then. Prolific German artist, Paul Kalkbrenner, has signed a long-term deal with Sony Music International, and will be releasing his seventh studio album later this year through Columbia Records. Read more

Event Review: Minimal Effort – Andhim, UNER, Matador, Butch

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Minimal Effort kicked off its 2015 season in orderly fashion last Saturday at the Legendary Park Plaza featuring a rare combination of House & Techno. Leading the outdoor stage was German duo Andhim and Spanish groove master, UNER, while the indoor stage showcased Austria native, BUTCH, and M-NUS artist Matador who displayed a remarkable live set. This was a night truly made for music lovers in Los Angeles as all came together for an unforgettable good time.

What has made Minimal Effort a staple isn’t just the line-up they book, but rather the unique and diverse crowd they attract and the vibe it brings to each series. It was a nice treat to see some old familiar faces, industry colleagues, along with meeting new people throughout the night. Something rare when we go out these days or maybe we’re just going to the wrong events

The Legendary Park Plaza was a great location providing two stages, which allowed the party to have two separate sounds, and the venue layout allowed for a great flow through both rooms. Drinks were served quickly from the friendly bar staff and bathrooms were plentiful once they opened up the ones inside.

OUTDOOR STAGE: The atmosphere coupled with the cool weather really made this stage standout as music flowed impeccably from Dadon to Human Resources to UNER and Andhim. The standout of the night that had everyone raving was UNER’s remarkable set that had the entire party erupting with beats after beats. This does not take away the mind-blowing closing set by Andhim as the duo took us right through until the end. The horizontal stage set up made things a bit cramped in the back for people trying to pass through; you really had to be in the meat of the dance floor or the outskirts to really get your groove on. We would suggest next time to make the outdoor stage vertical next time as it’ll create a longer space for more people to dance while minimizing the sound bleed in the indoor room.

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INDOOR STAGE: If Techno is your answer then this was the room to be. The indoor stage provided a moodier side of Minimal Effort with its pitch black setting giving it the mysterious underground warehouse vibe that is notorious here in LA. We caught the tail end of DAVI’s set which perfectly set the tone for the much anticipated showing of BUTCH, who delivered a stellar set that balanced between hypnotic and driving techno leaving the dance floor in awe. Matador finished the night off with a grand live set further exemplifying his unlimited arsenal to destroy the dance floor and close out the night.

This was one of those parties that people were in shock and awe when the lights came on in the end as those remaining simply craved more. If that’s not a sign of something special we’re not sure what is.

One criticism from event-goers was that the sound could have been louder indoors as the bass didn’t really quite kick as hard as desired. Minimal Effort returns on Saturday May 23rd with Audiofly hosting their Flying Circus series with Nina Kraviz plus more to be announced. We know we’re not the only one to say that “we can’t wait for the next Minimal Effort”. See you soon….

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Free Download: Vakant Mini-Compilation

VAKANT

The Berlin based label, Vakant, just launched a free download of their mini compilation which includes productions by Avatism, Livio & Roby, Sons Of Tiki, CW/A (Clockwork + Avatism), and Anonym. The five track download exemplifies the true sounds of Vakant as they recently just celebrated their ten year anniversary releasing a two part compilation series. We couldn’t wait until Friday to share these freebies so be sure to grab your download now.

Follow Vakant: Beatport / Soundcloud

Free mini compilationTracklist:

1) Anonym – I’m a Dancer
2) Sons Of Tiki – Vudaka
3) Livio & Roby – Hatzumoto Song
4) CW/A – Conducting the Method
5) Avatism – Serpentine (CW/A remix)

Video: Kevin Saunderson & Matthew Dear Collecting Samples

Kevin Saunderson

“Ford moves people with cars. I move people with music” – Kevin Saunderson

Inspiration can strike in many forms. In the industry rich city of Detroit, Kevin Saunderson grabs his Zoom H4N and ventures into the Ford Assembly Plant to embrace the machines and technology. The process of collecting sounds is complete…the result? Well now we’ll just have to wait and see what the Detroit mastermind comes up with.

Just like Kevin Saunderson in the Ford Assembly Plant, Matthew Dear embarked on a similar sonic journey at one of the General Electric factories. Tuning in to the frequencies and energy of the environment, these artists are able to interpret sounds and translate that into music that is widely appreciated throughout the world.

Take a look at the two videos below to see the process behind two techno visionaries taking the music directly to it’s core.