October 4, 2013 |
With the boulder bearing the image of an eagle in flight lording over it, the annual Eagle Rock Music Festival celebrates 15 years on Saturday by taking over the neighborhood's business district. Featuring multiple stages, the day-long party will echo through the hills of Northeast Los Angeles with experimental electronic and ambient music, Americana, rock, global bass, jazz, blues and punk, as well as food and family-centered action. It's an impressive and adventurous roster, featuring artists Bosnian Rainbows, Poolside, Boardwalk, Nguzunguzu, Dub Club and a few dozen others, and presents evidence of the vibrant music community that has blossomed in the area. Over the span of the festival's life, Eagle Rock and its sister neighborhoods Highland Park and Atwater Village have become independent music havens, home to labels including Friends of Friends, Innovative Leisure, Stones Throw, Now-Again, Alpha Pup, Brainfeeder and others.
September 26, 2013 |
Warner Music Group Corp. has tapped Bart Cools to lead its electronic dance music strategy as it pushes to take advantage of the growing EDM genre. Cools, a key architect of EDM star David Guetta's dramatic rise, will hold the newly created position of executive vice president for global A&R and marketing for dance music at Warner Recorded Music. Cools, who will report to Atlantic Records Chairman and Chief Executive Craig Kallman, came to Warner when the record company closed its acquisition of Parlophone Label Group from Universal Music Group in July.
August 5, 2013 |
Electronic dance music is here to stay. What was once dismissed as the disco of the '90s has evolved through technology and a host of talented, determined DJs into a genre of music with as many subcategories as rock 'n' roll. That rich variety was on full display this past weekend at the annual Hard Summer festival, which attracted an estimated 70,000 electronic music fans over two days to L.A. State Historic Park in Chinatown. The stand-out star Saturday night was L.A.'s own Flying Lotus, who best represented the flexible future of EDM with his performance-based set of fluid a cappella raps juxtaposed with hazy, jazz-fueled riffs and hypnotic beats.
August 2, 2013 |
It's arguably never been a better time to be a dance music fan - or in the dance music business - in Los Angeles than right now. The annual Hard Summer festival this weekend will draw an estimated 70,000 electronic music fans over two days to L.A. State Historic Park in Chinatown, with major acts such as Justice, Dog Blood and Knife Party. Alongside it, the city is experiencing a surge in new, EDM-focused nightclubs. At least six major venues have opened or revamped in the Hollywood and downtown areas in the last two years, including the 1,700-capacity Exchange L.A. along with Create, Sound, Lure, Greystone Manor and A.V. They join a field of established clubs like Avalon, smaller dance-focused bars like Pattern Bar and roving parties like A Club Called Rhonda, and a galaxy of semi-legal warehouse parties along downtown's fringes.
July 22, 2013 |
One of the more interesting things happening at the fringes of dance music right now is that artists are re-defining what it means to be dancey. In one corner, you've got artists like Nicolas Jaar and Maya Jane Coles who play all the big tents at mainstream dance music festivals, but who also feel free to lose that throbbing four-on-the-floor template to play around in weirder, atmospheric musical spaces. And on the other end, you've got a band like Soft Metals, an experimental L.A. duo who use all the basic tools of dance music - hard, repetitive kick drums and tangles of arpeggiated synths - but the end result is moody and punky and definitely un-celebratory.
July 8, 2013 |
Here's one sure sign that contemporary electronic dance music is getting better: It's slowing down. The amped-up tempos and overeager productions of the late-EDM era were the last refuge of insecure, overcompensating producers. That's why "Comfort," the languid and melancholy full-length debut from the young London producer Maya Jane Coles, feels so assured. Its dozen tracks are a model of restraint, poise and pacing that does the real job of dance music - creating a world to get lost in. The album's standout house tracks, like "Burning Bright" and "Everything," should place her next to Disclosure and Seth Troxler as outsiders with crossover potential (she's already remixed the xx, a perfect stylistic fit)