5 Acts to Check Out at Vietnam’s Epizode Festival 2019-2020

With so many festivals stemming about, it can be increasingly difficult to decide where to go in the world. From Egypt to Istanbul and Barbados to Bali, there are plenty of beautiful places in the world to party until dawn while listening to the sounds of the top echelon of the DJ world.

With some of the most beautiful sunsets, white sand beaches, deserted islands, fresh seafood, motorbikes, and the longest cable car in the world, Epizode Festival on Phu Quoc in Vietnam is quickly becoming a prime travel destination. And the best thing is you also don’t need any special visa if coming from Europe or the U.S.!

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Danny Tenaglia talks AIM Festival, New York Clubs, and Being Yourself

There’s two things you will need to know about Danny Tenaglia: He’s a living legend of the New York scene, and he will be the nicest person you will ever talk to.

We had the opportunity to have a lengthy conversation with the artist as he prepares to headline the Montreal’s AIM Electronic Music Festival July 12-14th. A 3-day festival that takes place on campgrounds that will have some of the best techno and house acts in circulations.

Accompanying Danny this year will be the likes of ANNA, John Digweed, Pig&Dan, and the Desert Hearts Crew. Danny is scheduled to close out Saturday with a 4-hour house set on the main stage.


Danny Tenaglia is a walking encyclopedia with the entire history of the New York Club scene inside of it. Starting in the early ’80s at the age of 16, Danny’s trajectory of success is in large part due to not only his love of music, but of the scene overall too.

When we were speaking to him, we got a glimpse of how passionate he was about his roots as well as his ambitions. Multiple times, the interview would just steer off into a deeper conversation about music. It felt less of an interview and more of an enjoyable conversation. Here are some of the things we were able to talk about.

You are an award-winning producer, Grammy nominated, and a profoundly respected artist, at what point in your career did your success start to shock you?

I don’t think it ever shocked me as it all happened gradually over 3 (now 4) decades and I’ve definitely been humbled by it all. I’ve received many awards since the 80’s. Several were from DanceStar including Lifetime Achievement. DJ Magazine inducted me as the first DJ into their new Hall Of Fame category several years back, many are from The Winter Music Conference and the after The Pacha Ibiza Awards was when it probably all started to affect me and come to a realization of sorts when I started to win awards in Ibiza, most noticeably when I was given “The DJ’s DJ” award back in 2000. This meant more to me than any Grammy nomination because to me I’m much more of a DJ than a remixer, or a record producer, since that is how I started as a very young teen. Being a DJ will always be my first love.

What were your first few steps in your DJing career?

Well, I was probably about 12 when I discovered there was a new artform of entertaining with continuous non stop music by using 2 turntables and a mixer. I always knew of DJ’s being Disc-Jockeys on the radio, but this was a new nightclub thing basically replacing a live act and I was pretty fascinated by it all. The dance floor, the sound, the lights and DJ booths. It was 1976 when I got my first residency in a bar in Williamsburg, I was barely 18. After that I worked at a Roller Disco in Greenpoint 5 days a week from 1990-1983. However, it wasn’t until In 1985 that I jumped on an opportunity to work at a club in Miami 3-4 nights a week. I stayed out there for 5 years. I missed the very first Winter Music Conference, but for the following 33 years I participated every single year. It was there between 85-90 where I started getting recognized and written about in the old school way of social media, which was Billboard magazineDance Music Mags, DJ magazine and other foreign ones. I started getting a lot of attention through that media. In 1988, I went into a studio and made my first record which quickly got signed to Atlantic Records. So between Miami gigs, the WMC and remixes, this kind of put me on the map in a big way and I started to get hired to do several remixes for major labels. By 1990, I knew it was time to come back to New York because this is where everything was mainly with the various recording studios and a big dance music scene. I had already known just about everyone in the business and I knew this was where I need to be if I wanted to pursue being a producer and remixer as well as future DJ gigs.

You’ve been back and forth between Miami and New York multiple times in your career.

I still have a place out there. I got a condo back in 2004 and I use it as my winter escape. New York is and will always be home base for me. Miami is the getaway. Although, I am considering selling and finding a nice home in NJ, but I will always be a true snowbird and head south every winter to escape the frigid temps, even if I have to Air BnB.  Winters are feeling longer and colder each year.

What’s something that Danny Tenaglia would like to see more of in the industry? Is there something he feels like there’s lacking of?

Everything is 100% different these days. My job was always to make people dance, to keep the dance floor full. If you failed or if you started to see people leave the dance floor, you played something else to get them back on. That’s not the case these days.
You know, what is somebody gonna say? “They’re not fist pumping?” or “They’re not holding up their camera phones?”  They’re not leaving the floor to go to the bar and wait for a better song to come on.
DJ gigs are basically a form of concerts now. We are on big stages and platforms now, plus it’s a whole different ballgame and a different attitude as far as entertainment goes with us DJ’s selling tickets.
Even musically, every DJ sounds different from each other. We’re all pretty much playing music that the other guy’s are not playing, and music that the people on the dance floors very likely never heard before, but if it’s relative enough within genres then the crowd participation is pretty much mutual with how they respond to the build ups and the break downs. Back in the heydays, we all couldn’t wait to get our hands on many of the same records being released. We would go weekly to the record pools and record labels and the various shops hunting for new songs, promos, extended versions and dubs.
You know what is definitely missing in a large way? It is the actual art-form of dancing and freely expressing yourself. I think it says a lot about this new generation that many people feel uptight about looking silly. But then again, we didn’t have to worry about people filming us and posting it on social media to shame us. Sad but true. I remember back in the days how one song could come on that everyone was in-sync and united over, and all of the sudden the dance floor is packed like Bamm! That use to happen a lot, especially at The Garage but pretty much everywhere. You would hear the very intro of the song and them Boom! People would say  “Oh my god! I was just about to take a break but that’s my song.” That level of excitement over a song or track is missing. Sweating was expected.

 

New York music scene has grown out of Manhattan and devoured Brooklyn. As a Staple in New York, how do you feel about the change?

There is something very surreal about it. Looking back, I have been a part of so many of NY’s iconic venues and it truly makes being a successful DJ so much more meaningful to me, but it’s definitely quite surreal. These days, when we drive through Manhattan and pass some of these venues and we say wow, this is where Twilo was, or this is where Paradise Garage was, The Loft, The Saint, Vinyl, Arc, Funhouse, Roxy, Cielo, Sound Factory Bar, Pacha, Crobar, Spirit, Tunnel, Limelight, Palladium, Studio 54, Better Days and so many, many more I could name. Now, they are no longer there, now the new clubs are in my backyard in Bushwick and Williamsburg, right where I was born and raised. But, many will come and go, and most will never be able to compare to some of Manhattan’s best.
What really seemed was the most strange to me was when I started playing Output because Output was only like 6 blocks away from the first bar I ever worked at back in 1976. It feels good at the same time, that I have this amazing history growing up in Brooklyn and learning from the best of best since the early 70’s, but there’s a great sadness about it too because the way it makes me reminisce and wonder what it would be like today if all of these amazing venues were still open? I’d be satisfied with half, but I also left out a whole bunch. Maybe our next interview. Hehe

Do you have any advice for producers/artists starting in New York?

The number one thing I tell people, is how important it is to make music. That’s your business card. That’s what’s going to get you attention. That’s what’s going to get your name around the world once it gets on a record label and Beatport, or Itunes, whatever it maybe.

That’s when an agency is going to find interest in you. Any DJ can go to an agency say “can you get me bookings?” and they’ll say “Well what do you have?” You can’t just put a mix on Soundcloud, you can’t hand out flash drive keys with your latest set. You have to make music. Luckily, it’s more affordable than ever to make own little home studio. It’s easier than ever to make your own track with all the plug-ins that basically throw all the familiar sounds out to you.

My other advice is: Put the phone down. Enough with the social media. FOCUS. Make some music, pay attention. If you party, separate that. Those are the things that will set you back. There are now thousands and thousands of other DJs that are now doing that. Time to prove yourself!

What’s the best thing about the music scene like out in Montreal?

I’ve always said this, it’s my favorite place to play. Especially the club Stereo. The people who come to Stereo seem to equally love what I might play at the beginning of the night, Techno middle of the night, Tribal, closing with classics. You don’t get that love everywhere; that appreciation. It’s really rare you play from the heart and it’s open-minded to it all.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?

I pray. Plain and simple. I’ve always had my moments and I’m giving thanks. It’s a very personal thing for me.

You’re going to be Headlining the AIM Festival on Saturday at the Monolithes stage with a 4-hour house set. What is the significance of house music when it comes to Danny Tenaglia?

It’s more of soulful feeling, more of a swinging house groove, more to be present. As opposed to the techno stuff, [like I won’t be sounding like] I’m going to pull out my Len Faki records and go that route. Probably be a lot of classics, personal edits, mashups and versions that I’ve done that are exclusive to myself. Not go back to a disco era, but definitely a house vibe.

You’ve been expressing this phrase “Be yourself” for quite some time now. Although the message is obvious, why are you so adamant about getting it out to the rave community?

The song was originally written by Celeda who sings it. She was always a big fan of Sylvester (American Singer known for his hit disco singles in the late 1970s and 1980s) and I was a big fan of Sylvester from day one too. I totally understood where she was coming from with that “Be Yourself”, whether it’s gay, straight, transgender and just accept one another.

I have to be careful with my answers because “Be Yourself” doesn’t mean that you can also be an asshole. But accept one another, by hair color, by tattoos, by ear piercings because we can get over opinionated sometimes. I’m just as guilty as that as well. When it comes to the dance floor, there’s this certainty that you can dance like no one’s watching, and you can “Be Yourself.”

We’re looking forward to your new release “Don’t Turn Your Back” can you tell us anything about it?

I started that song roughly about 6 years ago. I slowly kept developing it but never feeling like it was finished. Maybe because the first 3 years I didn’t even have vocals on it. Then I was in a studio one night and I decided to say “Don’t turn your back” and I did. That gave the song a whole new direction.

I started playing it out and it started getting a lot of attention. Social media hype and people asking “What song is that?” and “When is this coming out?” I finally approached Jamie Jones who asked me to be part of paradise and he said “Yes! I’d love to sign that track!” We were able to get remixes coming out from Carl Cox, Harry Romero, Mendo and I’m a huge fan of all three of them.

It was an absolute pleasure to speak to Danny Tenaglia. C

lick here If you want to see him at the Montreal AIM Electronic Music Festival

 

 

The Problem with Labeling Festivals as “Fyre Festival-Like”

Everyone knows the story about the weekend in the Bahamas that will forever live in infamy

Fyre Festival not only sparked headlines around the world, but also multiple documentaries about the fiasco, exposing the festival for the massive fraud we’ve grown to know it for. It will forever be known as the worst festival ever, for a while at least. Only intentionally can a festival stoop any lower than what Billy McFarland “created”.

Ever since that day, however, we have seen the name “Fyre Festival” come up in headlines, comparing the travesty to another festival. We’re seeing it more often these days and the comparison is the complete opposite of flattering. In the vast majority of these instances, the phrase is an unreasonable and inaccurate attempt to ruin a festival’s reputation. What we’re seeing is that festival goers will use the slur at the drop of a hat if inconvenienced the slightest. That’s a problem, and if you were at Governors Ball in New York this weekend or know someone on social media who was, chances are you couldn’t avoid hearing it Sunday and today.

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The Dusk Music Campout Debuts in Southern California With DJ Nobu, DJ Harvey, Massimiliano Pagliara, and Jennifer Cardini

A new camping musical offering is landing in SoCal on the weekend of May 17-19th.

The Dusk Camp is a three-day experience scheduled to debut at La Jolla Reservation in Puma Valley, nestled inland roughly half-way between Los Angeles and San Diego.

Dusk takes place over 3 days and nights with DJs programmed on one stage to flow in harmony with the rise and fall of the weekend’s full moon. The camp inhabits a beautiful California location on Native American land, conveniently located between the globally served airports of Los Angeles and San Diego.
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A Recap of DGTL Festival at Amsterdam Dance Event 2018

Located in Northern Amsterdam, NDSM Docklands was a quick ride into Amsterdam’s industrial area, a venue not too far from Shelter and located in a large space.

The Docklands is easily reachable via free ferry from Amsterdam Centraal, allowing people to arrive by foot and bycile also.

The Dutch built ships there in the 1980s and the empty buildings were then squatted. This made NDSM Docklands attractive to creative talents who have since built a plethora of bars, restaurants, and art in the area. This also makes it a home for great techno and house events, being that it is in an industrial area away from everything.

We arrived there soon after the party began and walked into a giant warehouse area that split into 2 directions. When we got there, Floorplan had just began playing their usual melodic and groovy set along with some gentle techno to warm things up.

Bicep then followed Floorplan with their live set which was quite mellow compared to the thumping set from Mall Grab at the other stage. Some were more into the lighter sounds and some were more into the heavier sounds, so it was good to have options.

Nina Kraviz then followed with some minimal sounds combined with some a bit heavier, before The Wizard aka Jeff Mills closed the night off with his signature techno sounds.

 


On Day 2, Jamie Jones’ Paradise took over the space, giving attendees a dose of warm tech house for the night. We arrived when Maya Jane Coles was on the decks as she played a bit harder techno than she normally does. Luuk van Dijk took to the other stage with some even heavier sounds that had the crowd erupting.

Dubfire then took to a live set playing an array of Sci-Tec atmospheric minimal sounds. It was then the turn of Jamie Jones to take over the decks while Darius Syrossian was bringing his set to a close in the other room and leaving way to Detlef & Latmun who played back-to-back. Detroit techno legend Derrick May was given the responsibility to close out the night while Richy Ahmed closed the other stage.

DGTL was surely filled with lots of energy and great sound and music. Everyone was dancing the entire night and into the early morning. When the party finally ended at 7am, many decided to keep going past that, filled with the energy that DGTL’s lineups provided over both days.

The location of the event, coupled with its varied lineups featuring Detroit techno greats, tech house staltwarts, lo-fi and deep house prowess was the perfect combination for a lineup that catered to people with varied taste.

Photo Gallery: CRSSD Festival Fall 2018

CRSSD Festival returned to San Diego’s Waterfront Park just under two weeks ago, bringing a flurry of electronic music talent from all over the world, including Dusky, Mind Against, Sian b2b Lee K, Nina Kraviz, Helena Hauff, a John Digweed sunset performance, Bob Moses closing out the Ocean View stage on Sunday and many more!

Our guest photographer Alexis Gautier was there to capture some snaps, which you can enjoy below!

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Croatia’s Dimensions Festival Features a Woman Dominated Lineup, The Sound Studio, and A Magnificent Spectrum of Techno

It’s 2018 and we tend to see more and more festivals trying to showcase techno. With that, however, often comes the inevitable recycled lineups making these events quite generic as far as quality of music is concerned. Recently, many prominent voices in our industry have also been underscoring the fact that lineups have been male-dominated, with women-identifying talent grossly under-represented despite obvious talent.

This past weekend, Croatia’s Dimensions Festival was dominated by artists like Helena Hauff, Paula Temple, Margaret Dygas, Peggy Gou, Sonja Moonear, Nina Kraviz and other women taking in primetime slots, while Helena Hauff and Nina Kraviz were featured on the lineup twice.

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Otherwordly Photos of Burning Man Courtesy of Victor Habchy

Burning Man - Victor Habchy

Note: Photos from 2016

The temporary world of Burning Man is nothing short of spectacular on the eye. Impressively unique, impactful and interactive, the artwork at the annual gathering in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert becomes the subject of dreamlike photography at the hands of amateur and professional photographers alike.

One such professional is self-taught Victor Habchy, who has been attending the festival these last few years, capturing the scenes before his eyes in ways only he can. The outcome is beyond dazzling, a series of photographs that immortalize ethereal scenes worthy of the most advanced Hollywood sci-fi blockbuster.

Ensure you connect with French colorblind photographer and videographer Habchy via his Official Website and Facebook Page to stay up to date with his art.

Burning Man - Victor Habchy

 

Burning Man - Victor Habchy

 

Burning Man - Victor Habchy

 

Burning Man - Victor Habchy

 

Burning Man - Victor Habchy

 

Burning Man - Victor Habchy

 

Burning Man - Victor Habchy

 

Burning Man - Victor Habchy

 

Burning Man - Victor Habchy

First Wave of ADE LIVE 2018 Artists Announced Including Róisín Murphy, Agar Agar, Red Axes (live) and Eefje de Visser

As always, ADE’s LIVE programming is one of the most exciting part of what is now not only the world’s largest club festival, but also the most important business platform for electronic music in the globe.

For the past three years, live music has had an important position within the ADE festival program through ADE LIVE. Paradiso, Melkweg and Sugar Factory join forces again this year during the two-day program, allowing visitors to discover the latest electronic live acts and honor established names in our scene.

Last year, renowned artists like Fatima Yamaha, Hercules & Love Affair and Marian Hill played next to (then) emerging acts such as Nambyar, Phlake and Témé Tan and showed that electronic live music deserves a prominent place within ADE’s offering.

This year’s program will leave an even bigger mark on our festival program, thanks to the queen of nu-disco: Róisín Murphy. Ever since her Moloko days, the Irish vocalist has been able to innovate and surprise us with her unusual pop music. Together with the synth-heavy electro music of Agar Agar, the punky techno of Red Axes [live] and the dreamscapes of Eefje de Visser, the third edition of ADE LIVE promises yet again to offer a wide range of musical talent.

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