DC-based artist Outputmessage (aka Bernard Farley) is no stranger to dark techno and house. For more than ten years, he has been involved with the dance music community and has graced us with classic tracks such as “Bernard’s Song,” “Goldilocks Zone,” and “Alley Cat” as a third of Volta Bureau. His newest mix, “Origins V,” is a preview of what you can expect from his set at The Honcho Summer Campout this weekend in West Virginia. “Origins V” starts off with tech house and gets into the weird, sweaty side of techno as the mix progresses – in other words, we absolutely love the mix here at Blisspop. The set list is in the track description on SoundCloud. Listen to and download “Origins V” for free:
London based artist Scuba has firmly established himself in the techno scene, so we have come to expect the fire emanating from his studio. Still, it’s beautifully produced tracks like “Glacial” that makes one wonder “who is this guy? And what planet did he come from?” “Glacial” has a perfect combination of percussion, effects, and atmospheric elements. Scuba even brings in a cowbell during the breakdown. “Glacial” was released on one of my favorite labels, Life and Death, on August 3rd. Listen here:
Audiophile Deep has been cranking out a ton of great releases lately, with one of the newest additions to the crew being Vitamindevo. The San Francisco producer is a big part of Laser Native which is a bass house collective/curator in the Bay Area. They often throw parties with killer lineups and I’m always so sad that I’m stuck on the east coast. Anyway, this two track EP is super dope, with hints of breaks and some weirdness mixed in. The drums are on point as usual with Vitamindevo and the bass lines keep your head bobbing. Make sure you grab it on Beatport, Traxsource, Juno, or iTunes!
This is ‘The Spotlight.’ Many artists pass through D.C. on a weekly basis, but this column highlights one specific artist who happens to be playing in the district during the week. That way, you may join their journey in influencing the house music landscape.
There is no question that London based artist Erol Alkan has helped shape dance music as we know it today. As a DJ, he needs little introduction – in 2006, he received Mixmag’s renowned DJ of the Year Award. Nine years later, he shows no sign of slowing down – he still plays approximately one hundred shows a year. As the label boss of Phantasy Sound, Alkan has helped bring artists such as Daniel Avery and Ghost Culture into the limelight. Alkan has gained respect from his fans and peers alike as a producer and remixer, and he has even been called the inventor of the mash-up.
Before his show tonight at U Street Music Hall, we had the opportunity to interview Erol Alkan. You will find the interview along with one of Alkan’s mixes below:
PB: In an interview with Red Bull Music Academy Daily, you said that your earliest memory of music (which may be your earliest memory) was sitting on the floor of your old home with your toy Dansette player. For our readers who aren’t familiar with Dansette players, they are record players. Most children play with firetrucks, dolls, or stuffed animals, but you were playing with a Dansette player – how did this happen? Who gave you this toy and how would you play with it?
EA: It’s true, the Dansette player is the only thing we had to keep me amused. It belonged to my parents. I don’t recall really having many toys when I was younger.
PB: When did you first know that you wanted to be a DJ? Was it an epiphany, or did you come to realize your passion over time? What inspired your decision? How old were you? Were your family and friends supportive of you becoming a DJ, or did they want you to pursue another occupation?
EA: Maybe around 2006 when Mixmag made me ‘Dj Of The Year’.. It seems weird but before that I treated it quite differently, when that accolade was given to me it made me realise what I’d achieved through quite an honest pursuit.
PB: In that same Red Bull Music Academy Daily interview, you said that your “uncle remains the person who seems to be the most enthusiastic about music.” How did he continue to support and influence you as you gained popularity as an artist? Would you say that he is your greatest influence? Who or what else had a significant influence on you as an artist?
EA: He was. unfortunately he died around 14 years ago so he didn’t really see where my love of music took me. Everything influences me in some way. Much of what I do is driven by what I dislike rather then tracing what I do like.
PB: What’s the most moving piece of music you have ever heard? What about it moved you?
EA: Impossible to answer.
“Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” Elvis Costello
PB: In an interview with Miami New Times earlier this year, you said that you “don’t read any EDM-natured magazines or websites … I live next door to a very illustrious and famous writer, and he knows I’m a DJ. I fear what he thinks I do, as his perception of the ‘DJ’ may be informed by what EDM and the media has created. I feel the need to take him to one of my gigs so he can see what it is I actually am.” Over the years, you have had an enormous impact on dance music and DJing. You have even been credited with inventing the mash-up. So why distance yourself from a scene that you helped create? What is it that separates you from EDM DJs? Is it your style of DJing? Is it the style of music you play? If not a DJ, what are you and why do you want share this with your neighbor?
EA: I’ve not followed EDM so can’t really answer this.
PB: If you could change present-day EDM in any way, how would you change it?
EA: People seem to enjoy it, so I wouldn’t wish to change something which others enjoy solely because I may not agree with it. My whole career has been focused on creating something I want to exist, and with that comes the acceptance that others can do the same.
PB: Thank you for your time. We look forward to hearing you at U Street Music Hall tonight.
Swiss DJ/producer Specialivery’s recently uploaded Autoremix of his track ATON on Safer at Night is a trip to the gates of techno heaven and back. Although Specialivery (a.k.a. Swiss Armed Forces Militia Lieutenant Carlo Bernasconi) received classical training in a conservatory setting, he didn’t start producing until 2011. Spanning twelve minutes, the Autoremix of ATON uses automation, tuned percussion, and a driving bass line to captivate the listener’s attention. Listen to and download for free here: