The M Machine. Simply hearing the pseudonym for the San Francisco trio brings a few prominent images to mind: captivating electronic synth and bass melodies, a common theme of their love of high-tech throughout the group’s music and imagery, and finally, the unmistakable illuminated “M” logo that looms behind the stage. As fans anxiously await previews of new music and projects, Andy of the The M Machine explains developments of the group’s complex and intricate live set up for future touring performances. Andy begins by delving into the birth of the original The M Machine idea, divulging that the group has always placed a strong emphasis on visuals, where the concept for the original LED light-up “M” wall was first established. He explains, “for every piece of audio that we triggered in our live show, I programmed a corresponding light sequence on the M. By syncing audio clips in Ableton with their corresponding light sequences we could showcase a perfect visual representation of every sound we performed.” After touring with Porter Robinson earlier this year and debuting the “M” creation, the trio began to feel limited by the light-up pixel wall and yearned for a fresh artistic way to represent The M Machine sound.
Here, Andy introduces The M Machine’s latest development. The ‘Virtual M’ is a 3D visual composition created by TouchDesigner that allows the group the ability to play with space and dimensions while still displaying eye-catching imagery and staying true to the ‘M.’ As a teaser for what’s to come from the trio, a video remix example of the ‘Virtual M’ playing in correspondence with “Tiny Anthem” displays the entrancing abilities of the group’s new visual tool.
“By automating clip speed, video effects, and masking in Ableton, I can create synchronized video mixes to expressively represent the audio in nearly limitless ways … creating a truly immersive visual experience that more perfectly represents our sound and approach to pushing the boundaries of creative technology as far as we can.”
The nine and a half minute after movie of Above & Beyond‘s 50th episode of ‘Group Therapy,’ and 500th radio show overall, do this monumental landmark little justice. Ten thousand people were in attendance at Alexander Palace on October 26th, with millions more tuned in to their special, two hour set. Having debuted five new productions at this show, including “Mariana Trench” and “Sticky Fingers,” the trio delivered an earth-shattering performance that only a few had the chance of seeing, feeling, and listening to live. ”The first time I saw Above & beyond, I felt like I touched God,” one fan accurately stated. Featuring live footage, behind-the-scenes interviews, and ten thousand blissful fans, the after movie is only a snippet of the magic and raw emotion that was truly experienced.
The EDMpire that took Wall Street has been amassing growing companies of the Sillerman-coined “electronic music community” consistently over the past year, with intentions now far beyond the festival market after going public in October. SFX has recently increased ownership in ID&T to 100%, finalized a notorious planned acquisition of Made Event, and extended internationally with the collection of Germany’s i-Motion and Brazil’s Rock in Rio. Those gains, however, are only one facet of the all-encompassing EMC titan that SFX is en route to becoming. Already equipped with Beatport, Sillerman has recently strengthened digital content with Arc90, Tunezy, and Fame House.
Now SFX Entertainment is picking up another piece of the puzzle. A vital piece. Live event ticketing. Acquiring 75% of Paylogic, Sillerman’s grip now consists of one of Europe’s fastest growing ticketing companies, one that the CEO states “has consistently proven its ability to handle unprecedented ticket requests” after providing services for the inaugural TomorrowWorld in September. Valued at $22 million, Paylogic has sold over 20 million tickets to fans across the world, operating out of European offices and already handling ID&T events such as Mysteryland and Sensation, domestically.
Paylogic CCO, Jan Willem van der Meer, notes the opportunity to “further advance and develop the most optimal ticketing and data solutions for this market and beyond: web, mobile, and social.” He also says that SFX has a “strong vision” and the “partners, brands and strategy that can really make a difference.”
Due to become an integral piece of the unprecedented connective design that SFX aspires to frame with the electronic generation, the ticketing department is expected to be of the new generation model being set in place. On Paylogic’s role in SFX’s big picture, Robert Sillerman says it will be “invaluable to us as we connect the millions and millions of EMC fans to the content and events they love, and to each other through integrated social media.”
In a collision of dub meets dubstep, UK legends Bar9 have signed on as the latest collaborator with Canada’s Datsik. Released on the duo’s latest EP, Brand New World, the collab blends both verbal and aural storytelling with progressive-like leads before unleashing the tiger, so to speak. With stabbing distortion, screeching synths and a deadly drop or two, the sound doesn’t fit nicely into either Bar9′s classic box or Datsik’s alienesque vibe but instead blends the two into a new whole. A welcome return for the original bass baddies and an applause-worthy extension for the man formally known as Troy Beetles, “Droid” proves that dub can never truly die.
It’s no secret that Chromeo’s latest, “Sexy Socialite,” is stuck in everyone’s head. From the velvet-smooth, upbeat original the duo offered up earlier this year, to the ultramodern, groovy Boys Noize remix, the multifaceted electro-pop number has inspired a lot of creative reworks. The latest addition to the sexy selection of remixes comes by way of Salva’s bouncy take on the tune.
Salva saturates “Sexy Socialite” in his distinct, thumping brand of bass-infused dance music. Layering Dave1′s irresistibly silky lyrical work with energetic, bumping drum loops, Salva’s remix is primed for dance floors. Extracting key elements from the original, Salva molds it into a club track with big room elements, while maintaining Chromeo’s unmatched funkiness.
Adding Salva to the list of remixing artists, Chromeo’s second single off of their forthcoming album, White Women, should keep us dancing and grooving until the official release next year.
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.