Labor Day Weekend: America’s Vacation & EDM’s Realization [NCMF Review]

Labor Day Weekend represents a holiday unlike any other. With summer coming to a close and the weather taking a bittersweet turn towards fall, many Americans used the long weekend as a chance to unwind before the so-called school year gets underway. Unfortunately, a portion of this great nation have been mislead in their definition of downtime.

For the EDM community, last weekend was no vacation. Instead, it was a realization.

Death never comes easy, especially when it involves our youth. In the coming months, our industry will be chastised and berated for the unfortunate events that occurred at Electric Zoo over the weekend. It’s a tricky debate. Drugs, alcohol and music festivals seem to go almost hand in hand nowadays. Electronic dance music skyrocketed into the mainstream limelight quicker than any genre in music’s history. It wasn’t the booze, the drugs, or party atmosphere that kept the ball rolling.

Nothing can be done about the past, but something can be done about the future. Water is becoming more readily available at shows. Searches at entry are becoming stricter. But at it’s core, it is up to us, the audience to make a change. Tragedies are going to happen, that’s a part of life. And as we all know, it’s how you respond to adversity that attests to one’s character. Death creates but one positive element, and that’s a fresh perspective on life. EDM has a shadow cast overhead and it’s about time we step out of the dark.

What was it that made you fall in love with EDM?

Our relationship was fading, but after experiencing North Coast Music Festival over the weekend, we found the answer.

And on that note, here are our Top 3 most memorable sets from the weekend.

3. Passion Pit
Gotta hand it to these guys. Due to mother’s sassy nature, opening night at NCMF got quite the twist. Passion Pit’s equipment was destroyed, and the band was forced to perform a DJ set. There’s no question the crowd came to see the poppy funk of Passion Pit in live form – but shit happens.

I can’t imagine it’s easy to inform a massive crowd of fans (awaiting the opening night headliner) that they won’t be playing a “real show”. But as they put it, there’s no reason they can’t stay around, have fun, and play some music. And boy was it fun. As a matter of fact, they played like 3 or 4 of the songs on our Top 10 EDM Songs of 2013 (so far). Ergo, these indie punk playboys know their music.


2. A-Trak
This weekend’s best two sets (from our ears) came back-to-back. But maybe that’s not a coincidence. First up, one of the best turntablists in the world, and a live performer that never disappoints: A-Trak.

You know what you’re getting when you go to an A-Trak show. One of the most talented performers in the game, and somebody that knows how to read a crowd. The coolest part of this set was the up-close camera on A-Trak, previewing his masterful skills on the turntable – and extinguishing any skepticism as to why he is sponsored by Adidas.

1. Madeon
Words can’t express how excited we were to see this juvenile phenomenon. The French DJ known as Madeon played the best set of the entire weekend. Mixing in his hits with a lot of the tracks we heard him sample on the very popular Triple J mix, Madeon had every foot off the ground, and every hand in the air for a full 60 minutes.

Opening with his captivating electronic melody ‘Technicolor’ – Madeon was relentless throughout – mixing some progressive house with electro, and dropping one of our favorite releases of the summer: Audien’s ever-enchanting ‘Iris’. Although I felt like I was watching my little cousin DJ in front of thousands of people, it only heightened the excitement of what’s to come from this rising superstar.

Let’s just hope he doesn’t start hanging around you know who (it rhymes with Miley Cyrus).

Deadmau5 – ‘My Pet Coelacanth’ [EPIC]


(side note)

Deadmau5 gained notoriety for a few specific reasons. The Mau5head. The Cube. Discovering Skrillex. Calling out Madonna. Calling out A-Trak. Calling out Afrojack. Calling out Avicii. Calling out your mom. Calling out his mom.

And last but certainly not least….


Avid SoundCloud listeners will agree, there is nothing more annoying than an artist posting a :30 second preview of a song leading up to the break. And then you don’t even give us the break!? What’s up with that?

(side, side note)

ATTN: Producers, DJ’s, Composers, Musicians

These are your fans talking. Stop posting previews. Nobody likes listening to them. They are a waste of your time and a waste of our ears. How about instead of posting ten separate snippets of a song, you allocate that time towards your production process? We may not know how to make music, but we DO know how to critique it. And nothing grinds our gears harder than a shitty, un-developed preview.

By the way, Deadmau5 released a real song! Or maybe it’s just a really long preview…

I don’t know, I’m just the messenger.

Laidback Luke & Hardwell – Dynamo (Will Sparks Remix) [Mixmash Records]

And. Here. We. Go.

Will Sparks, the 20- year old DJ and producer from Melbourne, Australia, has a unique musical style known for its’ electro house rhythm with a twist of big room house. He is most well known for his remix of ‘Hello’ by Stafford Brothers feat. Lil Wayne & Christina Milan that reached #1 on the electro-house Beatport charts earlier this year as well as his own single ‘Ah Yeah’ that reached #3 on the Top 10 Beatport charts. His tracks have received support from some huge names like David Guetta, Dada Life, Madeon, A-Trak, and Chuckie.

Wills’ productions are known for their deep bass lines and hard hitting synths, and his latest remix of Laidback Luke & Hardwells’ ‘Dynamo’ does not disappoint. The song starts with a low EQ clap that rises into a growling kick drum just begging to be dropped. And when it does, prepare to head bob like never before.

We’re talking head in the clouds and back down to the ground, faster than Usain Bolts’ brother, Insane.

Repeat head bobbing until song completion.

And then, press replay.