London-born producer and singer James Blake is arguably one of electronic music’s best hidden gems. His debut album, James Blake (2011), was nominated for a Mercury Prize but it wasn’t until 2013 that Blake’s talents earned the prestigious award through his sophomore album, Overgrown. Winning out over major competitors such as Disclosure and David Bowie, the accolade has enhanced the young producer’s credibility and momentum as a musician to a new level.
In a recent interview with Billboard, Blake admitted that it’s difficult even for him to characterize his sound in words. Earlier this month, he was in a New York City cab explaining to the driver that he was to perform at the famed Terminal 5. When asked what kind of music he produced, Blake responded, “It’s kind of electronic.”
House takes on progressive house, or at least that’s the case with Michael Brun‘s remix of Tiësto’s summer hit, “Take Me.” Brun told Rolling Stone, ”I wanted my remix to to be groovy and sexy but still energetic, while also emphasizing the great vocals from Kyler England.” The Haitain DJ and producer’s approach comprises a smooth and consistent beat that still maintains the integrity of Tiësto’s big-room sound. While there is a steady chord progression throughout, Brun’s approach simultaneously tones down the frame of the track to give it a more sultry feel.
Parametric Records’ Canadian duo Sultan & Ned Shepard released their new single today, and it’s a feel-good track that you won’t want to miss. Between the heartfelt vocals of Zella Day and Sam Martin, and featured organic instruments like acoustic guitars, pianos, and horns, these Montreal natives create something different here. “We wanted to make a song that would be timeless, something that you could listen to long after whatever style is fashionable at the moment had changed and moved on to something else,” Shepard told Billboard.
Watch the official video after the break.
Although some music fans are unaware of the impact the Grateful Dead have had on the way live music tours are presented and consumed, the groups influence is undeniable. “Community, communication, fan accessibility, direct-to-fan ticketing, touring outside of album cycles, creating immersive experiences, moving-target set lists, and live recording of concerts all were first implemented in a broad way by the Dead,” explains Ray Waddell of Billboard. The Keynote Case Study at the 10th Annual Billboard Touring Conference will examine these influences with a star-studded panel including dance music poster boy Skrillex. While touring is important across all genres, its relevance and use in dance music are unparalleled so it makes sense that Sonny Moore will speak alongside Warren Haynes, Lee Anderson (AM Only), Sam Hunt (Windish Agency), Gregg Perloff (Another Planet Entertainment), and former Grateful Dead manager Rock Scull.
Interested parties can register for the panel here.
After seeing its official release only two days ago, Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories” is steamrolling its competition and heading straight for a debut at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Predicted to sell over 300,000 copies by the end of the week (Sunday, May 26th) “Random Access Memories” will be the duo’s first #1 album on a Billboard chart and will be the second largest debut week this year following Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience.”
In only one week Daft Punk’s latest will have sold more copies than “Human After All” has since its release in 2005 – a staggering accomplishment for two of electronic music’s most iconic talents.
Although the highlight of the Billboard Music Awards may have been Miguel’s leg drop on an unsuspecting fan, dance music mainstays David Guetta, Skrillex and Baauer all took home awards for Best EDM Artist, Best EDM Album, Best EDM Song and Best Dance Song before the night was over. Not suprisingly David Guetta took home the Best EDM Artist award, acknowledging in his speech that;
“When they put me on the cover four years ago and said EDM would be big, I thought ‘these guys are crazy – this will never happen.’ Imagine how I feel today.”
Skrillex took home the award for Best EDM Album while viral-sensation Baauer won both Best EDM Song and Best Dance Song – bringing the “Harlem Shake” legacy full circle with two awards.
After climbing the charts for the last 32 weeks, Krewella’s breakout hit “Alive” has just overtook Zedd’s “Clarity” for the top spot on Billboard’s Dance/Mix Show airplay chart. The ranking criteria takes into account the total weekly plays by full-time dance formatted stations. It is the trio’s first number 1 single and further augments the group’s already incredible momentum on their continued rise to stardom.
At the Grammys this evening Kaskade was vocal with reporters about his hopes for the future of electronic dance music and the genres new found acknowledgement by the iconic awards ceremony;
“The Grammys have embraced us and are figuring out ways to include us, this year better than ever. The categories had some great artists in it and it was representational of what’s happening in my world.”
With Skrillex once again sweeping the dance music category and electronic music making waves at the 2013 Grammys, it’s no surprise that Kaskade believes that dance music is ready for ‘the big room.’ While mainstream popularity is often met with considerable disdain from devotees of the ‘scene,’ dance music’s effect on the global conversation is an important step to solidifying it as a genre and not a marketing fad.
In anticipation of his Clarity remix compilation due out Feb 12, Zedd teased Tiesto‘s rendition of the powerful production today. Last year his concept album by the same name became a defining release in the young producer’s career. “Spectrum” — the first single off the album — reached number one on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Songs chart and a remix EP featuring reworks from artists like A-Trak & Clockwork, Arty, and Armin Van Buuren to name a few. Zedd is ready to give “Clarity” the same treatment with another extended play via Interscope Records.
Billboard Magazine has officially debuted its new Dance/Electronic songs chart, which will be the first song ranking system that will track the nation’s top dance songs based on digital download sales, radio airplay, streaming data, and reported club play according to a hand-selected panel of 140 American DJs.
According to Billboard.com, the Dance/Electronic songs chart will follow the same methodology of its other ranking systems, such as Billboard Top 100. Though the chart will not allow remix crossovers:
Dance remixes of titles categorized as pop, rock, R&B, rap or another genre would not make a song eligible for Dance/Electronic Songs, even if the title appears on the Dance Club Songs or Dance/Mix Show Airplay chart.
The magazine implemented a Dance/Electronic digital sales chart in 2010 and will be following the same determination when declaring a song dance or electronic. Currently topping the chart is the will.i.am produced Britney Spears‘ track “Scream and Shout” followed by Swedish House Mafia‘s “Don’t You Worry Child.”
Billboard also expanded its charts adding a Streaming Songs ranking, which will rank tracks based off radio streams and on-demand audio from leading services including Spotify, Muve, Slacker, Rhapsody, Rdio, MySpace, Xbox Music and Guvera.