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.
Dennis Ferrer turns the clock back to the 90s on a soulful remix of Nick Curly’s “Underground.” The veteran house producer bolsters the low-key tune with a classic house backbeat and a meandering synth bass line, perfectly complementing its catchy vocals through builds and breakdowns. His climactic organ line has a refreshingly human feel to it, a throwback to the analog era that Ferrer came up during. While this remix has been moving dance floors from Ibiza to New York this summer, you can finally own the release today on Defected Records.
While Steve Angello catered to the masses with his SHM-style set at Size in the Park, his after-hours appearance at Pacha NYC was where New Yorkers got a chance to understand why he is one of the best in the game. After finishing up his first set of the day, a damp-yet-energized Steve teased that his set at Pacha would be nothing like the one he had just played. “I’ll give you $1000 if you can ID a single track,” he said to me, before dropping a familiar yeah, you wanna mess? style smirk that embodies his signature charisma and confidence.
Well, just a few hours later I would find myself right in the thick of things: standing directly behind the man at Pacha NYC as he played one of the most memorable sets I have ever heard, with the fewest amount of songs I’ve ever known. If that isn’t the mark of a good DJ, I don’t know what is.
Chuckie’s most recent mix, his third installment of 54 Minutes of Funk, changes it up from the pure Dirty Dutch beats and adds in some underground tracks. Already known for his versatility, Chuckie pushes the envelope even further with an a
mped up selection of tech-house beats. The sudden burst of inspiration came from his recent set at Sensation Chile, an event that is known to strip music down to its underground roots. Finally, a mix without track predictability or easily identifiable bootlegs; check the tracklist below the break.
2010. Man, what a huge year for house.
This past year was clearly monumental for EDM as a genre. Artists, DJs, and everyone else involved were busy year-round as the market for the music we all love grew larger and larger. Outside of its traditional grounds in foreign clubs, EDM was granted big exposure in the United States in 2010. Songs like We No Speak Americano, Stereo Love, Take Over Control, and Bulletproof all found major airtime on the largest radio stations. Swedish House Mafia performed at the American Music Awards. Deadmau5 was nominated for a Grammy and played at MTV’s VMAs, while David Guetta won his own Grammy. It’s safe to say that 2010 was the year where house officially made its way across the pond – in huge, panty-dropping fashion.