Maybe I should retitle this blog NotableRock.com?? The trend of rock guitars and energy infiltrating electro and stadium tracks continues, and the team of Carl Nunes & Jake Shanahan elevate it to a new level.? Adding an emotionally-textured vocal from Shaun Frank, lead singer of the Canadian rock band The Envy, over stadium house-style dropouts makes a perfect contrast to the full-throttle aggression of the electro-with-a-rock edge production.? If you are a fan of recent Hardwell/Showtek productions or the deadmau5 track “Professional Griefers,” this track is for you. The lyrics, about uniting through commonalities, are heartfelt and simple yet surprisingly well-written (let’s be honest, most toplines feel as computer-generated as autotuned vocals). The “ohh” chant is perfect for crowd sing-a-longs well.? The video is quite well-done, letting us see the producers at work and the singer in the studio so that we can put a face with the name of the people making this great music.
The big Dutch EDM producers pretty much fall into two categories – trance or dirty.? Hardwell stands out as one who blurs the lines, combining the aggressive electro of the Dirty Dutch with the pretty, melodic feel of the trancers.? Current single “Apollo” is a great example of this as it starts out progressive, pretty, and trancey. ? Ninety seconds in, the dropout builds up to a stop, and then full-on electro banging madness ensues.? The progressive melodic feel floats over the harder beats until the next dropout when the vocals of Amba Shepherd come into focus.? Amba sounds amazing, as always, and this is a great follow-up to her last track with Giuseppe Ottaviani, “Lost For Words.”? With massive singles (“How We Do,” “Cobra,” “Spaceman”), remixes (Example, Knife Party, and Rihanna), and rising to #6 on the DJ Mag list, 2012 has been quite a good year for Hardwell.? Topping the club chart with “Apollo” is a great way to end the year and have us DJs/EDM lovers salivating for what he will “Reveal” in 2013.
Panel – ‘Meet the Australians’ – Amsterdam Dance Event brings together industry professionals from around the world and this panel was a great off the cuff? discussion about the EDM scene down under.? A thriving economy and nightlife scene has led to the growth of both festivals and club nights whereas the two often cannibalize each other.?? Just like in the US, different cities have different scenes – psytrance, techno and dub step are all strong in different markets along with the big room commercial sound.? The importance of Australian artists breaking in their home market as well as the international market was discussed by the artists on the panels – producer / djs / reality tv show stars Stafford Brothers and underground producers turned pop star Yolanda Be Cool shared their stories.
Hot discussion topic – Throughout the day, I overheard many talking about who the top DJs on the DJ Mag list would be.? There are quite a few different theories: the winner is from a different country, the top 5 stays the same,? there will be some big surprises in the top 10.? All eyes (and ears) will be on the Convention Factory tomorrow.
Speaking of the DJ Mag list, I interviewed one of last year’s top new entries Hardwell and UK production/remix duo Bimbo Jones.? Watch for both to pop up here really soon.
While in the press room, I experienced one of those surreal moments when I just couldn’t believe what happened.? I bumped into three of my all time favorite DJs – the legends of the Def Mix posse – David Morales, Frankie Knuckles and Hector Romero.? I watched them do interview after interview and it amazes me how they are all so professional – fresh faced, enthusiastic and in good spirits while coming up with fresh answers and witty stories for each one.? It made me wonder which of the current batch of superstar DJ/producers will have achieve such long and vital careers.
The evening events for me were all about celebrating with friends.? One of my first panels I was ever on was at Winter Music Conference in 2001 where sitting next to me was Lainie Copicotto, then of ClubPlanet.? I was instantly drawn to her extensive knowledge, vibrant wit, boundless energy and creativity.? She harnessed those traits and launched Aurelia Entertainment in 2002 which has blossomed into a management/promotional force to be reckoned with.? The dinner at BIHP celebrating the first 10 years of success brought together people from all over the industry.? We shared stories and enjoyed the celebratory night.?? A bit of jet lag (and a touch of overindulgence) shortened my stay at the Mint Pig management party afterwards and forced me to call it an early night.