In a sea of memetastic totems and “That’s Cute” envoking shirts was a big watershed moment. It was the first time I’ve seen so many people unanimously come to terms with so many conflicts. Internal, existential, qualms. Perspectives and perceptions finally stepped out of that morose gray area of ignorance and apathy. The key to their breakthroughs was music, because their hang ups were music to begin with.
I worked a local festival this weekend. A real festival. Not just a random stage in some field and a couple of social media mavericks trying to play music tycoon. There was three, impeccably planned areas for the discerning tastes of modern flavors. The layout was smart enough to keep all the people, who typically have no common ground, as far away from one another, and to keep the music, and the crowds, from being subversive. The staff, the execution, the setup, even the line-up was professional and commendable. After everything was said and done, there still was a lingering feeling. Not one of emptiness, but one of resolution. I think we’re finally ready to let go of our blind defensiveness when it comes to the Electronic Music as a whole.
Kandi is the new pogs. Yes, it shows my age, but I remember what it was like to be eight, nine and ten, and being totally engulfed by a hobby. It’s good to see people have some clean, innocent fun and not be trying to capitalize on a supercharged fad. Handing each other nice little trinkets instead of trying to sell them to each other was sweet. It reminded me of the playground antics. Then there was the mirth of looking for the most sardonic and blunt t-shirt to wear to a festival must be a solace from daily uniformity. “Here to DTF”, hahaha. It’s probably even more of a hoot to decide what giant sign to hull along to the fest. Some of those things looked complicated and quite frankly, scary. I wouldn’t want to assemble a 6 ft. by 6 ft. “Heavy Breathing” saucer eyed fat cat or that dark skinned, WTF Girl. It’ll probably be a hilarious story to tell one day; like that time I got my pogs and… well I don’t really remember any pog stories. I just remember I had them.
Did I hear “Animals” seven times? Yes, I did. Did the John Legend’s “ All of Me” Remixes earn the Adele “Rolling In the Deep” Award for most remixed song of year? Yes, it did. Some people don’t want new music, or to have a life changing experience. Some people like what’s played on the radio and just want to hear their favorite song on titanic speakers, no matter the countless times they’ve heard it before, and sung along word for word. “Alchemy” by Above and Beyond with no music at all, alleviating. None of those interrupting beats and harmonies. Just the feeling. The hard work of composing a song is good and all, but the familiarity of what you’re used to feeling, astounding. It’s great to know people are letting go of their pretentiousness and just letting an artist play whatever they want. It doesn’t matter if there’s any notes in it at all or if the last three acts played the same song. As long as the audience is comforted and cooed, that’s truly what matters. I’m glad people are finally understanding this. Just no more Nancy Sinatra remixes, please.
There was one act that didn’t go. I’m kinda glad I worked, because they were the main reason I had bought a ticket. My cousin got to enjoy the festival, in my place. Instead, another act was put in their place. I really wasn’t disappointed that the act I hoped in hearing didn’t show up. That happens a lot. At least at every major festival I’ve been to. Flying really sucks now and it’s a coin toss on who will actually make it. Ok, I know you want me to get to my typical shit talking, but first I have to say that the artist put in the headliner’s place not only played three sets that day, but is primarily a Trance artist and played a very good deep house set on a stage typically known for Techno. My disillusion is that Techno stage is known for converting unsuspecting festival goers to the deeper side of our musical genre. So this year, when a Trance artist’s opportunity to show people the other side of the genre, not only did people not like it, but people thought it was the headliner who didn’t even show up. And those are people who constantly talk about how good the missing headliner is and can recite tracklists from their important mixes. So, either they didn’t give the Trance guy’s set chance or just thought the absent headliner was having a really off day. What chagrin it was, to hear all these people’s opinion. People who share my belief about progress and change, to not give this poor exhausted man, who bravely stepped onto a stacked stage, a chance. It was fairly obvious that this year’s festival was Trance oriented. Next year’s will be more so by the simple fact that they tried to sneak in on opposing genre act; instead of letting one of the more respected, established acts finish out the night. That watershed moment I spoke about earlier, was my own. I think people should just accept that things are finally changing. That there’s no room for real heads anymore. At least, of the Techno virtue. We should embrace the change and go back to the underground that we belong to. That old switcharoo not only shows that we are trying to be coerced into liking the popular demand but that we don’t even recognize your own heroes. Pish posh…
This Week In Free Music
NINE FREE DOWNLOADS THIS WEEK!! I saved a couple of these, knowing that the festival was coming up and knowing that they would be played. Also, I have the other side of our music. It sucks letting go of the old ways, but I love Techno. I share songs because I know people will appreciate the variety. This edition has Festival, Trap, Big Room, but also has the dance, house, classic reworks, and dark and sexier tracks I like to showcase. Really there’s a little something for everybody. Except empty, lyric only remixes. I’m just not that evolved yet…
Elliphant feat. Skillrex – Only Getting Younger (TJR Remix)
They had a 5 pack of free remixes if this is your type of thing. Elliphant keeps putting out that high energy club tracks that I know people like. You can hear touches of Skrillex’s style hovering in the back. For one, I’m tired of the Skrillex hate. I think people are just angry at how popular he got and because the people who made him popular were the uninitiated. Well if they got into Skrillex around the same time as the rest of us, then that means you’ve had almost four years to let your musical tastes expand and mature. If you still on that old shit, then I don’t know what you’re doing reading this column. But most people have already migrated into other genres so it’s nice to have a touch back into the springs that nourished your original journey into Electronic Dance Music.
Jessie J/ Arriana Grande/ Nicki Minaj – Bang! Bang! (Caked Up& Meaux Green Remix)
Did you see that VMA performance? Wow, right… Well here’s a Trap remix. I don’t know what to say about Trap. That it really favors that oscillating scale and this song leaves Nicki Minaj’s verse prevalent. I can’t stay up on this style because it’s always pulling from contemporary music and it’s difficult to try to specialize in more than one genre. I find it false when people try to say they like everything, instead of knowing one genre well. It’s one thing to say, “This song sounds good” or “I see why people like it”. Well I go one farther and say, I know why people like this style.
Jack Bass X Lukav – Teknoir
Here’s another crossing of two styles I am not really familiar with, Trap and Hardstyle, but if you’re going to go to the festival next yeara; you need to beef up on your knowledge of them. I rarely hear a person say they are primarily into both genres equally. This song has a playful Big Room feel to it, with a pounding flux that’s commonly associated with Hardstyle. The styles are complimentary, so I will go outright and say it, I predict these two crowds merging soon.
Mr. Oizo – Flat Beat (Aaron Snapes Rework)
What easier way to get away from the modern, than with a timeless classic. This rework is no lightweight and neither is the man who made it. Aaron Snapes is coming out on Dirty Bird records, and you need to watch out for him. This has the electro vibe roots but also is a groovy, deep, housey rework, if you need to keep the dancefloor and appease the bass fiends. Definitely look forward to his new releases.
Dan Seig – Choco Ballz (Salty Edit)
This one is easy. A crafty sample featuring South Park’s Chef singing about his famous bits… The drums are saucy and rad. Those horns are a wondrous change from what I’ve been forced to listen to recently. House oriented, but with a touch of peppery Tech, albeit not a mild song. The humor adds to the dusky tempo. I dig it.
20 Fingers – Lick it (Faruk Orakci remix)
I’ve admitted to my love of 90’s club classics, for they were my start in learning about the Electronic genre. I even featured more than a few last week. This ghetto masterpiece has had asses shakings for a long time, but this is something else. Nu Disco senses, Deep House virtues, including the “a bit long in the middle” tendency, but quickly progresses. The adjustment welcomes the final loop. More groovy and seductive than the original. This represents why I support remix culture.
Vaporspace – Gravatational Arch of 10 (Matador Version)
Always putting out amazing freebies and artists to check out, Matador released five burning remixes. This one is a really spacey, Techno work is what I was hoping to hear this weekend, but heard mainly Big Room Techno (yes, I didn’t even know that was a thing either). I will always love the subtleties of Deep and Minimal Techno. I say that so you know why I featured this. We get to experience the tiny adjustments in sound and pitch. Quite a feat in a busy and chaotic world.
Dan Robbins – Chanting In The Dark (Matador Version)
Now Techno, isn’t always soft and inviting. A lot of times it’s a humble brag. One that can say it’s been around for decades and has been refined from a point of one smooth edge to another a jagged, dark sliver. Like I said, Matador always puts out amazing tracks, from all ends of the Techno medium. Get on the inside track and check him out whenever possible.
Pleasure – Tounge Kisses and Tacos
Pleasure released an EP that was free for Download, but I want to present you this Dubcentric centered piece that I found quite lovely. It’s in the Squarepusher category organic sounding machinery. One that doesn’t go overboard with the tempo or the concentrates too much on the beats. It plays on the the octaves resplendently, where a lot of tracks could quickly turn heavy handed. Trippy, and very reminiscent of the expansive Drum and Bass era. Definitely check out the EP.
Phoenix – Bankrupt! (Gesaffelstein Remix)
You may not be used to the idea of a Phoenix song being Heavy or Dark but I found something you might want to hear. This has been a favorite track since I heard it. Slightly goth, but not Underpass rave material. A controlled syncopation, then those malevolent genius influences come though. The push and pull of the synth really exemplifies why I love the deeper, more honest side of our genre. Amazing for its upfront boldness while somehow staying Chill and Airy, like a mountainside before a raging fire.
Next Week: I question why people say they like every single style of music (I think it’s a conspiracy)
Raul Chacon is a self-aware douchebag, who only listens to bands you’ve probably never heard of. His years of writing for literary reviews and magazines, lead him to a couple of scholarships for his work, which he quickly squandered by moving to Austin and going to shows six days a week, instead of class. Eventually, he became as a touring security and witnessed hundreds of shows and dozens of festivals firsthand. He would tell you how many shows he’s been too; but there’s too many holes in his brain at this point.
Twitter @SelfAwareSucio for exclusive content
Instagram @SucioRaul for the infamous #DoucheyShirtoftheDay and event pictures
Soundcloud- SometimesIGetHungry (nospaces) – for more direct music sharing
**FIND US WHEREVER YOU LIKE**
ThisIsMacro – Official Website
YouTube – MacroRecordsTV
If you enjoy The Macro Records Blog, then you will probably enjoy The Macrocast. The #1 source for news and entertainment, with the minds behind Macro Records. Subscribe on Itunes Today.
Do you enjoy Video Games? Then you will probably enjoy joining us on YouTube for MacroPLAY. MacroPLAY is the official Lets Play channel for Macro Records. Join the guys as they effectively ruin your favorite video games, and some other ones as well.