September 1, 2012 |
Portland electronic quartet Chromatics wouldn't seem to make daytime music. With songs that hum with analog bass lines, the occasional strum of a guitar and a metronic rhythm that suggests midnight drives on the Autobahn, the music of Johnny Jewel's post-disco group seems crafted for groggy, syrupy nights on the dance floor. But as the sun was setting on the Spring Street Stage at the FYF Festival in downtown Los Angeles, Chromatics soundtracked the fading light perfectly. Fans stood facing them wearing sunglasses to block the sun at the band's back, skeptical and unwilling to totally let loose to the four-on-the-floor throb.
August 7, 2012 |
Various artists "122 BPM: The Birth of House Music" Still Records Three Stars Like many micro-genres that become movements, the descriptor of "house music" has lost a lot of its meaning. Today, kids at raves take it to mean almost any kind of four-on-the-floor dance tune built with synthesized instruments. But the now-omnipresent genre came from a specific time, place and culture, and the lovingly assembled "122 BPM: The Birth of House Music" should help clear the air. Over three CDs, this compilation and album-length mixtape from Still Music's Jerome Derradji tells of the invention of a new dance music template -- one forged in the Chicago black middle class by kids influenced by the '80s New Wave movement.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 18, 2012 |
In 1975, Donna Summer released a pop single unlike any before it. The singer, then an unknown in the U.S., was living in Germany and working with Italian producer Giorgio Moroder and lyricist Pete Bellotte. Together they came up with a breathy, minimalist number that sounded flagrantly sexy. Summer's coos acted as musical erotica atop a simple, four-on-the-floor drum beat. "Love to Love You Baby," all 17 minutes of it, set a template that would ignite Summer's career, and a style that defined an era: disco.
April 13, 2012 |
When the lineup for the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival was announced in January, the reaction among a particular demographic of electronic dance music fans was swift and merciless, best captured on the festival's message board by one user: "It's like a VIP-bottle Las Vegas casino nightclub has taken over the Sahara. " Translated: Many dance music snobs are disgruntled about the offerings in the big dance tent and elsewhere on the pitch. That sentiment has since been echoed often, and with good reason: The presence of superstar DJs like David Guetta, Kaskade, Martin Solveig, Swedish House Mafia - all mainstream dance producers who have taken over the top of the Billboard charts or have sold out mega-tours in the past year - suggests to many that Coachella has lost sight of the dance music vanguard, running counter to the festival's philosophy of bringing the best forward-thinking music to the desert.
November 20, 2011
UNDERRATED Dean Winters : In the DVR age, commercials are generally best suited to ignoring with extreme prejudice, but there's a playful menace to Winters' recent turn as the personification of "mayhem" that makes something as drab as an insurance spot actually entertaining. Equally memorable in regular stints on "Oz" and as Liz Lemon's dim, beeper-bearing boyfriend on "30 Rock," Winters needs to be wrecking havoc on a more regular basis. House music : It's been easy to dismiss this enduring corner of electronic music as strictly confined to the club scene with its disco roots and dedication to a hypnotic, four-on-the-floor beat.
April 1, 2011 |
It could have been a recipe for clubland disaster. Last week, DJ Adam Auburn (Balance, Afternoon Delight) and promoter Sam Gaglani (Wet Pool Parties, Roosevelt NYE and Halloween) launched their new Vanguard club night, Departure, and everything was stacked against them. They needed to fill one of L.A.'s biggest club venues on a Friday night — without a flashy superstar DJ — on a weekend when many of the city's electronic music aficionados were either recovering from Miami's Winter Music Conference or headed there for the Ultra Music Festival.