Last weekend, techno fans from around the world descended upon Detroit for three days of inspiring electronic music in the Motor City. There were over 100 artists playing over the course of the holiday weekend, and as always the Internet has birthed a number of these live sets for the enjoyment of everyone, even those unable to be there in person (or in our case, make every single set we wanted to see). If you want to know what it sounded like out there on Hart Plaza, or maybe even if you are thinking about going next year, take a listen below to eight of our favorite sets from the weekend that were caught on tape.
As the popularity of electronic dance music has grown, long time fans of the genre have seen an upsurge in sounds and scenes they don’t consider representative of the crème de la crème of what the genre has to offer. Although the deep/tech house niche is burgeoning in New York City (and elsewhere), with listeners rapidly converting, it’s still eclipsed by bottle service clubs and events headlined by mainstream artists. Fans of the underground are passionate that their umbrella genres — tech, techno, and deep house for the most part — are not only the future of dance music but amongst its best outputs. When the glitz and glamour surrounding electronic pop music dissipates, they believe that the light bulbs illuminating the underground will remain lit.
Friends who had already made the switch — or at least stood with one foot firmly planted on either side — were relentless about its high class quality and in some cases, “sophisticated superiority.” Their claims weren’t solely about the music itself but the scene and its vibe as well. Despite their persistence, my attempts at understanding the underground were unsuccessful and so, I remained apathetic. I’ve never needed huge builds and drops to satisfy my preferences — not that I didn’t and don’t still enjoy them — but I was a member of the camp that found the underground boring.
Leftroom Records big wig Matt Tolfrey and exciting newcomer Laura Jones bring you this morning’s mix courtesy of a live set from a Mixmag DJ Lab performance back at the beginning of November. Laura Jones, a name associated both with big guns like Visionquest and Leftroom Records, is best known for her 2011 breakout production “Love In Me” but has been sending critics into a flurry of excitement with her fresh take on a very deep and very melodic brand of house music. Matt Tolfrey, on the other hand, seems to be hitting his stride more and more every year both with his own work and his mentorship of younger names on his label and its imprints.
The two deliver a range of deep cuts from some lesser known but well-respected producers like Voyeur, Jack Dixon, Digitaline, Landshark, and other Leftroom family members. Even if you’re not familiar with much of this tracklist, you can be sure this mix is both driving and incredibly rhythmic — just enough to get you through Tuesday morning. Check out the full tracklist after the break and fast forward to the beginning of Laura’s set at around the 17:00 minute mark on the video.