Decentralized digital currency Bitcoin is all the rage this month. Following its spike in value to an all-time high of more than $1,200 last week, everyone ranging from Virgin Galactic to a university in Cyprus wants a piece of the action. It was only a matter of time before Bitcoin made its way into dance music, and it’s no big surprise that it’s forward-thinking label Monstercat carrying the torch in support.
The eclectic dance label announced it would accept Bitcoin in exchange for its music, pricing each release at $4.99 (currently .00484 BTC) and the entire discography at $29.99 (currently .029089 BTC). We’ve seen artists like Gareth Emery and Knife Party take to Twitter to support the open source currency, but this marks the first time a significant label has actually taken the plunge. Fans of the music and/or the move can head here to put their Bitcoins to good use.
Still confused about what a Bitcoin is? Here’s a charming children’s story to bring you up to speed.
There’s electronic music and then there’s Flying Lotus. Opening up with his Great Aunt, Alice Coltrane’s, “Galaxy in Turiya” the Los Angeles born, experimental producer showcases his pragmatic approach to sound design throughout his allotted 2 hours on Radio 1′s iconic show. Dubbbed California’s answer to Aphex Twin by Pete Tong himself, Flying Lotus’s 2008 outing has long been heralded as one of the best Essential Mixes of all time, a sterling example of electronic music’s deep roots in jazz and blues and its potential to be much more than a few sawtooth synthesizers and gut wrenching drops. Taking the lead as that of a composer rather than a simple DJ, FlyLo moves through countless classics including “Robertaflack, “Dissecto” and “Breathe” as well as cuts from Burial, Hudson Mohawke, Daedalus, Portishead and Zomby — rounding out the 2 hour mix with 70 tracks across a broad swath of electronic soundscapes. If you’re looking for something a bit more cerebral for your morning consumption then look no further, this is electronic music with a brain.
Returning to his Revealed stomping grounds, Dannic finds himself atop this week’s list of premier electronic releases. This time on remix duties, he makes way for Mako, a young producer who’s been buzzing as an independent artist all year long. Together, they’re hitting fans with a high-spirited big room effort dubbed “Beam.” Vocals grace a subtle lead in a manner not indicative of its imminent magnification — or simply put, these two manage a main stage track without spoilers.
With 2014 only weeks away, Rolling Stone visits this concluding year in music with the ranking of the 50 Best Albums of 2013. It’s been a strong year for electronic music, in terms of albums, as the genre as spawned more full-length records, while also raising the bar on quality, than in previous years.
Perhaps the most hyped release in all of music this year, Daft Punk‘s Random Access Memories is the standout electronic album on the list, ranking third only behind Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires of the City and Kanye West’s Yeezus (which has the duo credited twice in the top three due to their production on a bulk of the record.)
Next in line is another not-so-surprising list occupation. Disclosure‘s Settle ranks high amongst the year’s top offerings at number 13, coming ahead of top 20 commercial successes such as Drake’s Nothing Was The Same. A-Trak’s Fool’s Gold imprint also gets a nod, with rapper Danny Brown slotting in at 17.
Deeper in the shuffle, Avicii finds his debut album, True, toward the bank end ranking at 45. The positioning of his indisputable top-50 selection gives Avicii his fair shake, beating out albums from Franz Ferdinand and M.I.A.
Widely regarded as the most in-demand and prominent electronic music festival across the globe, Tomorrowland is doubling up for its 10th anniversary festival in Boom. Sources in Belgium confirm permits have been issued revealing that the festival will expand to take place over two weekends. Slated for its annual July dates, Tomorrowland’s celebratory expansion follows suit of Ultra Music Festival’s back-to-back 2013 event. Given the efforts put into building the meticulous festival, along with the international demand and limited supply for tickets, the two-weekend expansion is a sensible move that will have fans around the world as the beneficiary to the mystery and allure of Tomorrowland. Organizers ID&T have yet to comment on the news, but more information should make way across the pond sooner than later.
Over the course of the past five years, Wippenberg has made his mark with authentic progressive house, most notably on hits such as “Pong” and “Chakalaka.” But the veteran has been perfecting the craft of electronica production since the 1990s, and has historically avoided genre typecasting with unrestrained dance floor gems. Perhaps his most notable contribution had been 1995′s “Neuro Dancer,” his acid house-meets-hard trance record that remains one of the world’s most stipulated vinyls to date.
Resurrecting the namesake, Wippenberg brings his heralded tune back to life almost 20 years later with the release of “Neurodancer 2013.” The follow up from Doorn Records has the original’s thumping blend of acid and trance polished and warped around a progressive backbone. While the newest visit of “Neurodancer” has a “2013″ prefix, it remains true to the era in which the original was born as Wippenberg gives Doorn a modernly mastered effort without jeopardizing timelessness.
Gorgon City is the collaboration between talented UK producers Foamo and RackNRuin. Combining their potent production abilities, the two have released some truly stunning deep house tunes under their collaborative guise of Gorgon City. Their newest track alongside MNEK, “Ready For Love,” was recently dubbed Zane Lowe’s Hottest Record in the World. Now MNEK’s refix has been previewed, offering a slower, more R&B-centric take on the single, and showing off MNEK’s own production abilities. Both versions of “Ready For Your Love” will be released on January 19th.
The Shermans are back with another lesson in Shermanology, as their latest original recording makes way through their home imprint of Wall. This time around, Andy, Leon, and Dorothy form a minimalistic, electro house production that remains on the darker side of the euphoria spectrum. Steering away from the overdone sound of anthemic records, Shermanology still manage to deliver a mastered product that’s true to what they’ve represented, and “Revolution of Love” allows Dorothy’s soulful vocals to serenade through another venue.
Sporting a unique brand of originality, Cazzette have sonically come into their own following a three-part, Spotify-exclusive artist album. Now ready to release Eject in full through global outlets next month, Alex and Seb are sporting “Run For Cover” as their new lead, an appropriate representation of the classic Cazzette sound. Always known to serve engaging and entertaining music videos, the Swedish outfit have followed suit with the visuals for “Run For Cover.” While witty and artistic, the brief storyline brings new life to the Eject mainstay.
As Skrillex spends the rest of the year finishing up his new music, the beginning of 2014 will see Sonny Moore embark on a new Takeovers tour, hitting San Francisco, Brooklyn, Amsterdam and Barcelona for a total of twenty one shows. As part of his Takeovers concept, Moore will play multiple back-to-back shows in each city, performing from a different venue each night. San Francisco has the biggest lineup of performances thus far with seven shows listed, yet each city boasts at least four nights with the beloved OWSLA champion. Head to Skrillex’s website to purchase presale tickets, and find dates and locations below.