I have some strong feelings about the politics of silent disco. I have expressed to a number of friends and family members that I think it is a type of suppression of culture. It exists in spaces undergoing gentrification to limit the types of parties which take place and allow for higher rent to be charged by shitty landlords. Less artistically interesting neighborhoods and communities replace the spaces where we used to be able to go to express ourselves. Another feature which sucks is you have to pay to get the headphones – it turns it into an exclusive activity. Think of how different the vibe is from the jams in the parks or yards of jamaica or the bronx which laid the foundation for this music shit.
Still there are some interesting aspects to it. The principal one for me is the competition. You have three djs on a stage and three channels of music to choose. The djs and the audience members can all see who is listening to which dj based on the color of the headphones – you have a recipe for a soundclash. I think competition is incredibly important in hip hop culture – really the foundation of hip hop culture. Last night I saw the scene in “the get down” where shao shuts down the disco with the first breakdancing demo which really brings this home. If you don’t think graffiti or mcing are competitive think again. I saw a live graffiti competition in wynwood not long ago (secret walls miami) and king of the dot and URL are doing big things in the Americas while don’t flop and others are making money on battle rap around the world.
Regardless of my opinions when Ant Smith is rocking somewhere I gotta go and support. I even got to play a couple tracks (usher yeah and lil jon get low were my selections). There was a fun opening set from Obnoxiousrich and Latenite with selections reminding me of a trippy turtle or schlohmo-esque vibe. Latenite also hit us with some classic hip hop playing Biggies “Only You” and no I didn’t want it to stop.
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It is always an impressive homecoming when I get to DJ in Pittsburgh. There is a wonderful energy in this city in the Spring. I got to rock with one of my all time favorites DJ Nugget and celebrate his one year anniversary. I got to eat fries at the Original, had a Mineos pizza, and took a long walk through Blue Slide Park. I celebrated an extremely memorable passover seder and even survived to return back home to South Florida.
Thanks to Michael George, Grace, and Irene for holding down the dancefloor early. I was happy to record my 80 minute opening set and thought it went pretty well – made a couple mistakes but wanted to present it exactly the way it went down in Pittsburgh for you all. I dug deep on this one but also played some of the songs I think are going to be hits in the next few months including aminé’s “REDMERCEDES” and mansionz’ “Dennis Rodman.”
Check the rest of the pictures after the break
If you’re a lover of dance music at some point you’re going to have to make the pilgrimage to Miami for Ultra Music Festival. This year Crocmode decided to kick off festival season in the Magic City and find out how this festival that began in 1999 on the beaches of South Beach has managed to take over the world. What we learned is that concrete and palm trees are one hell of a backdrop for an epic dance party!
On Day 1 Miami greeted us with cloudy skies and long slow lines as both revelers and the security staff figured out how they were going to work the three check-points prior to entry. It took us about an hour and a half to get inside and once we did it was a full on auditory assault as we were confronted with the deafening sounds of Bro Safari. Of all the acts at the Ultra Worldwide stage, Bro Safari pulled off his brand of trap and dubstep the best. And while younger fans that are still forming their musical preferences may be enamored with that bombastic style, we were anxious to see what other surprises Ultra had in store for us.
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It’s time for you to go back home. Home to the home of techno. Detroit. The word is french for jack your body till your feet fall off and the concrete cracks beneath you.
Each Memorial day weekend for the past 10 (plus) years paxahau promo has brought us the music festival a true techno freak cannot miss. You might not have been before and might be envisioning a different music festival – something like a bonnaroo with camping and diverse musical genres – movement features neither. You might be envisioning something like lollapalooza where 13 and 14 year olds trample you on your way to hear a band that mattered when you were their age perform songs you cared about as a child – movement doesn’t pander to your sense of nostalgia and it doesn’t book acts that don’t matter any more. The reason movement matters so much is it is curated. This is a difficult concept to grasp because I know of no other festival (burning man? but I worry that much of the art is created “on the fly” and not officially sanctioned) where this occurs to any great degree. Sure in 2014 there was the trap stage in the woods where the kids could go to play, and in 2013 they booked Skrillex – well the festival returns to its purist roots this year in a big way.
The headliner doesn’t get much purer as techno heads go – Kraftwerk – yup the german dudes who stand in front of the computers and make electronic music (in 1978). While you could argue these dudes haven’t really been relevant in a long time and go against my whole diatribe against lolla it doesn’t matter because they are the TRUE OGs and invented everything electro. The other concern is this is the 3D tour which has been going on for some time now (they played the olympia in Miami last September) and many of us may have seen it already (not me). As for additional heat rocks and surprises – I could rave for days about the quality of the artists booked – and also the scheduled times! So many Summer fests screwed up the set times and double booked crucial performances (HELLO LOLLA).
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Joey Badass was building a lot of steam after the XXL freshman class of 2013,
getting featured on Mac Miller’s “Macadelic” (where I heard him for the first time and enjoyed the verse).
Mac Miller, along with Homeboy Sandman (Stones Throw’s NYC golden child), and Run the Jewels (although Mike and El have the unfortunate circumstance of touring with an unlistenable dj currently) are some of the dudes doing the underground/commercial hip hop tightrope walk without falling off. I’m not convinced by Joey anymore. The debut album B4.Da.$$ was a failure to me, mostly because it felt bloated with tracks (mixtape rapper’s first release perpetual challenge), and unoriginal. It’s really hard being a backpack sounding rapper in 2015 and if you’re gonna do it you better have some INCREDIBLE rhymes to deliver over those played out jazz samples. Alternatively this dude is touring with one of the best DJs and hip hop producers currently active in Statik Selektah. Statik deserves all the praise, he’s awesome live and his albums are consistently dope with all the right features and collabos. Pluse he supports battle rap in his home state of Massachusetts!
Another MAJOR surprise was Miami’s own Denzel Curry. He had a great stage presence and a ton of fans came out to support (he’s from Miami Gardens so they didn’t have far to travel). The combination of nerdiness and rap has always appealed to me, exemplified by the recent DOPE film. Denzel does it with finesse using video game imagery and even starting his set with this incredible Goku Dragonball Z performance where he has sound effects from the show and has the crowd “move the energy” back and forth while he is in a deep squat.The video and track for “Parents” is definitely what appeals to me most among the projects he has posted currently and I hope he continues in this direction and doesn’t go all Meek Mill on us.
Here’s some of the shots from the show. Hit the FACEBOOK PAGE for all of the pictures.
Bingo Players is Bingo Player. I learned that last night. Maarten (above) played his hits “Rattle” and “Cry (Just a Little)” which samples Brenda Russel’s “Piano in the Dark” along with an assortment of uptempo and big room anthems. He also took a break to play one hip hop song (let me clear my throat?) which was cool but also – Skrillex has been doing that since 2011. I would have liked to have heard more of the openers. When I showed up there was a female DJ absolutely roasting but I didn’t get any pics or video.
Here’s the new single “Knock you Out” what do you think?
Here are some more shots from the night.
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So dope getting to hang with these dudes at Scratch DJ Academy Miami!
Shouts to Ant Smith for putting me onto this event. Really awesome how including they were of me with my limited scratching abilities. They were legitimately going in check the video above and pics below.
Full album of photos on the crocmode facebook as always. Stay tuned by following us on instagram and twitter!