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Tag: EDM (1-10 of 16)

Dillon Francis, DJ and 'normal hipster dude from L.A.,' talks about his new record

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Los Angeles-based DJ Dillon Francis is about to release his first album, Money Sucks, Friends Rule. Out on Columbia Records Oct. 27, MSFR is not your typical EDM collection. Over the course of 12 tracks, he offers smatterings of pop, traditional club dance tracks, a few surprisingly downtempo tunes and, of course, some of his signature moombahton. The collaborators, understandably then, are equally cross-genre—the album shares credits with Twista, Mad Decent labelmates DJ Snake and Major Lazer, Panic! at the Disco’s Brendon Urie, Martin Garrix, Simon Lord, and others.

Non-album track “When We Were Young (Grandtheft Remix),” which EW is premiering exclusively, is a slowed down, synth-pop take on the original’s classic house-anthem vibe. Stream it below and read on, as EW talked to Francis about putting together an album, planning his first tour (kicking off mid-November), and how he’s still just a normal 27-year-old dude.

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This Week in Diplo: Diplo turns 10

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There was a time pre-Diplo. Really. Ten years ago—long before the Vegas residencies, the star-studded recording sessions, headlining festivals, and all the many, many hits—a 25-year-old Diplo was just releasing his first album, Florida, on Big Dada Records. He threw the collection up on his Soundcloud page this week and announced that the album would be reissued with unreleased tracks on Black Friday (Nov. 28).

On his celebratory Instagram he captioned: “10 years ago.. i made my first album, ‘Florida,’ between a small apartment in Philly and my mom’s house in Florida.. i was working late nights and taking a bus through the city every night, smoking some weed, putting on headphones & just making things I never heard before and could just imagine.. making this record created an entirely new world for me. now that i think back it’s a very strange beginning and it’s crazy it’s been 10 years since it’s first release but really this record represents my first 23 years of life.. what i had inside of me and where i came from so i’m excited to revisit it.. i put it up on soundcloud for all of you to hear.. a special re-release will come black friday”

The album is remarkably up-to-date, but given that Diplo has been the zeitgeist in music over the last handful of years, his future-casting ability should perhaps not be too surprising.

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Big Gigantic on turning down versus turning up, and how they're like the Dead

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Big Gigantic, the jazz-and-hip-hop-infused electronic duo from Boulder, CO., brought their act to Madison Square Garden this weekend for the eighth annual Bass Center show—performing directly before Bassnectar (and after Rusko and Paper Diamond).

It’s been a big year for saxophonist/producer Dominic Lalli and drummer Jeremy Salken. They toured Australia, they played Coachella, they were part of Srillex’s Superjam at Bonnaroo, they sold out two nights at Red Rocks in September. Now they’ve helped sell out MSG, giving an expectation-defying hourlong performance and bringing out legendary beatboxer (and former Roots member) Rahzel. Oh, and they also performed at almost half the Mad Decent Block Parties. Oh, and they also released their fifth album, The Night is Young.

The day before their set and the launch of their Touch the Sky Tour, EW sat down with the duo to chat about their festival-filled summer, hanging out with Diplo, and what its like straddling the gap between so many genres.

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Rave Jedi-style with Flux Pavilion's 'Star Wars Rebels' theme remix

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Following in the legendary footsteps of Meco’s disco version of the Star Wars theme song, U.K. dubstep star Flux Pavilion has brought his remix skills to bear on a DJ-friendly new version of the theme to Disney XD’s new animated series Star Wars Rebels. 

Combining the epic sweep of a John Williams score and a generous amount of tweaked-out EDM bass, the track should come in handy when you need to turn up your function to intergalactic levels.

The remix goes on sale Tuesday, Oct. 7 here.

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This Week in Diplo: The last Block Party and a few Jack U adventures

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The 2014 Mad Decent Block Party Tour ended last weekend and went out the only way it could: with an insane amalgamation of live sets, after-parties, after-after parties and surprise sets. At one point, fans were swinging from the ceilings, and that is not a metaphor.

Berkeley, CA,

San Francisco after-parties,

Eugene, OR,

And then off to Canada for the final stop.

After which Diplo took a minute to thank his fans as it ended.

The MDBP started in 2008 as a one-off in Philadelphia as a literal block party, not a stadium tour. As you can see in this caption, as well as from the countless social media posts and media coverage throughout the summer, it has grown extraordinarily. Twenty-two stops (not counting after-parties or pop-ups), most of which were sold out and almost 170,000 attendees is no small feat—nor, I would imagine, is putting on a traveling festival of sorts.

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 4.34.54 PMFull disclosure, the tour isn’t exactly over. The first Mad Decent Boat Party sets sail from Miami through the Caribbean mid-November. This is either the most exciting or terrifying announcement I’ve received recently. (I’m leaning toward the former.)

2014_MDB_11_LineupGraphic_MarqueeYou might be tempted to think Diplo would, I don’t know, take a week off after the tour. Relax, even. While I see your thought process, I’m here to tell you, you would be wrong in such assumptions.

Diplo and Skrillex have been hard on the campaign trail for Jack U and their MSG New Year’s Eve show. They released a YouTube video. They tweeted and Instagrammed incessantly. They gave tickets away. They tweeted and Instagrammed more.

And then, presumably, once they realized everyone already wants to go, they went to shoot a music video for “Take U There” with Kiesza.

Release details on the video are still unreleased, but the excitement on social media from fans is palpable.

And, lest all the Jack U excitement distract us, let’s remember Diplo is also a formative member of Major Lazer, who also had a pretty sweet summer. They posted a highlight reel on their homepage of the season on Wednesday. If you have a high tolerance for FOMO and/or are comfortable dreaming of next year’s tour this early in the game, give it a watch.

Aside from that, Diplo went to a baseball game (with Skrillex because, obviously) and the dentist. Stars—they’re just like us… sort of.

 

 

This week in Diplo: The kandi debate goes on, the Block Party takes Vegas

This week in Diplo was all about the shows, their after-shows, their after-after shows, and the continued debate over the kandi ban.

Diplo played his Friday night set in Toronto with Walshy Fire (as mentioned last week, one-third of Major Lazer),

and then back-to-back after-party sets, first at Parts and Labour’s basement club and later at The Hoxton.

Saturday, he took himself to Detroit and the trip was not without incident. There, a fan snuck in some kandi (yes, people are still salty over the ban) and threw it at Diplo during his set.

Kandi is primarily plastic, colorful beads woven into bracelets or onto backpacks and clothing and has long been a part of the rave and dance-music scene. PLUR (stands for Peace Love Unity Respect) community members promote them as a bright, positive way to send messages, start conversation and give gifts at relevant events—someone who doesn’t have any kandi gets some from someone covered in it, starts making their own to share, and the tradition grows.

While it all may seems harmless, the flip side of the equation is that kandi has also traditionally been a way to identify a drug dealer at a rave or EDM event; someone covered in kandi might be selling various party favors and could easily be found due to, well, being covered in neon, plastic beads. They are also another apparatus by which people can sneak in drugs (i.e. molly/ecstasy pills which can look like a bead) for personal use.

After the two deaths early in the MDBP tour, organizers needed to take special measures to ensure the safety of concert-goers and banning kandi was one of the steps chosen, to the consternation of many.

In Detroit, however, Diplo responded as we all should when bearing witness to a child throwing a tantrum: He told everyone to give the dude who’d thrown kandi at him a hug.

After Detroit, Vegas happened. On Sunday, the Block Party.

On Monday, Mad Decent Monday at XS Nightclub with RL Grime.

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Most of the photos can’t be posted. But here are a couple that won’t get you fired from work.

Outside of live music, Diplo also released a new Major Lazer track,

changed his Twitter name,

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invented a new word,

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and found time to go swimming.

The Mad Decent Block Party continues this weekend with stops in Denver and Nashville. Get excited (for it or your weekend) with MDBP Official Spotify Playlist.

 

This week in Diplo: Banning Kandi, new Jack U and the Mad Decent Block Party rolls on

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Before we get to the wheres and the hows, let’s answer the age-old question: What is a Diplo?

Diplo is a DJ (playing upwards of 300 shows per year), producer (working with Usher, Snoop Lion, Justin Bieber, Lil Wayne, No Doubt, Beyonce, Madonna, Pharrell, plus more), rapper, songwriter, one half of Jack U (the other half being Skrillex), previously one half (the other half having been Switch) but now one-third of Major Lazer (the other two-thirds being DJs Jillionaire and Walshy Fire), spokesman (Blackberry), Mad Decent label founder (artists include Dillon Francis, Flosstradamus, Baauer, plus many more), the inspiration behind an Adult Swim cartoon on Cartoon Network (well, alright, it’s a Major Lazer cartoon), entrepreneur, and sometimes model (hello, Alexander Wang campaign). And the list goes on. It has, most likely, expanded since I began typing this.

(Almost two years ago in a GQ interview Diplo, born Thomas Wesley Pentz, called himself “a cultural distributor.” I could have stuck with that.)

To keep track of it all, each week, we’re going to amuse ourselves recounting his various cultural distributions.

Heading into last weekend, Diplo banned kandi from his Mad Decent Block Party tour. (His most recent statement can be found here.) Some people got pretty mad, but Diplo apologized:

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He then pointed out an alternative to those most upset and got on with playing four kandi-free and completely sold-out sets in three days.

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He spent Friday with his favorite Philadelphia ravers,

Saturday with a few of his nearest and dearest New Yorkers out on Coney Island,

and Saturday 2.0 at the MDBP after-party at Webster Hall. Katy Perry was there.

Sunday, the MDBP crew rolled over to Boston, where the venue was less than ideal but the party pressed on.

On the non-live music front: BBC1 Radio broadcast a recent set from Diplo’s residency at XS Nightclub at the Wynn Hotel, Las Vegas, and what did listeners hear at the 29:50 mark? A new Jack U track. He’d discussed the duo’s new mix-tape during a recent Reddit session, and if this tune is any indication of what’s in store, we’re all in for a seriously  good time.

Somehow, he also found time to get to the studio with this group…

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and this one…

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And then curated a SoundCloud “Random White Dude Be On Kiis FM” mix (it’s awesome) in his free time. Feel free to start your weekend early, stream it here.

The Mad Decent Block Party continues this weekend with stops in Toronto, Detroit and Las Vegas. A full list of tour dates and locations can be found here.

'Billboard' Hot 100 recap: Vine stars and a new European import

Vine is beginning to follow in YouTube’s footsteps as an unlikely social-media launchpad for musical talent. Last month, Shawn Mendes—who got his first real break when a six-second clip of him singing Justin Bieber’s “As Long As You Love Me” went viral on the video-sharing platform—debuted his first single, “Life of the Party,” at number 24 on the Hot 100. Mendes had virtually no radio support or traditional marketing, but he does have 3 million followers on Vine, and the single sold 148,000 copies in its first week.

The latest Vine celebrities to land a song on the Hot 100 are Jack and Jack, a pair of recent high school graduates from Omaha, Nebraska who currently have 4.3 million followers on their shared Vine account. Their fan base skews young and female—a profile in their high school newspaper says it “consists almost entirely of 12- to 17-year-old girls,” and in the piece they claim to tailor the content they produce for that demographic. READ FULL STORY

Hear Claude VonStroke's acid-drenched banger 'CaliFuture'

Claude VonStroke has spent the decade pushing dance music’s boundaries while maintaining a strong link to the style’s roots, something a lot of bigger EDM acts just don’t have. On his latest, “CaliFuture,” he fuses the gnarly, squelching synths of vintage Chicago acid house with a funky vocal line that sounds like it could have been lifted right off some super-rare ’80s electro 12-inch.

“I moved to California over 17 years ago with big dreams just like everyone else,” VonStroke says of the song’s lyrical theme. “Originally I thought I would be a filmmaker but I was always better at music. I worked every job from fake perfume salesman to tour guide at Paramount. I got screamed at for many years by Ari Gold-type movie producers but always with a blind belief that someday something good would happen. That’s what this song is about: the underlying belief that no matter how bad it is, you can be plucked out of oblivion and make it big in California.”

“CaliFuture” is available now on Beatport.

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Diplo's new remix turns the lights on Lorde's 'Tennis Court'

Globetrotting DJ/super-producer Diplo was one of the first big artists to give Lorde a co-sign, and judging by their social media presences, the two have remained buddies throughout her rapid ascent into pop’s A-list. Today the two took their friendship to the next level with the release of “Diplo’s Andre Agassi Reebok Pump Mix” of “Tennis Court,” the opening track from Lorde’s breakthrough album Pure Heroine.

The original (currently at No. 78 on the Billboard Hot 100) juxtaposes huge vocal hooks, a gothy minimalist synthesizer arrangement, and some precociously over-it lyrics. Diplo being Diplo, his remix splashes neon light over Lorde’s brooding pop with pitch-bending keyboard arpeggios that candy ravers will go cuckoo over.


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