Ever wonder where the "House" in "House Music" comes from? In 1977, a young DJ named Frankie Knuckles started DJing at a club called the Warehouse in Chicago, bringing the new style of continuously mixing dance records with him, and perfecting it, just as cheap electronic drum machines enabled anyone to put together a dance record in their basement. All the people whose minds were being blown by the new music went to the local record stores to demand "Warehouse Music", and the world of music was changed forever. Frankie Knuckles died today, leaving a legacy that started in the '70s and carries on to the Grammy-winning success of acts like Daft Punk today.
BE-AT.TV features live DJ performances from around the planet. It also has a huge archive of shows. It's currently featuring live performances from the BPM festival in Mexico.
“When I was doing my Post-Doc at UCL I used to go to the British Museum to relax, and work in the beautiful library there, so I chose the space for the mix. I wanted to capture the ambient atmosphere in the central courtyard, so I did some binaural recording to include in the mix. I also wanted to make the mix something of an exploration through history and ideas in line with the contents of the museum, so I brought in lots of disparate music spanning the centuries and continents. I also mixed it in a way to be like a journey though the museum, turning corners and regularly coming across something totally different and unexpected, with each track being like a different exhibit. Hence the name of the mix, in that, each piece of music almost has a visual content.” -- Max Cooper & The British Museum [more inside]
The new Will.I.Am single sounded very familiar to trance producers Mat Zo (previously) and Arty. But that's only one example of his serial plagarism of EDM artists: [more inside]
BBC's Essential Mix has been running two hour DJ sets for nearly 20 years, usually continuous mixes of current club tracks. Nicolas Jaar took things in a decidedly different direction this week, with an eclectic mix of sound track music, jazz, hip-hop, IDM and pop music with just a sprinkling of deep house here and there. Truly essential listening.
Chuck Brown: DC Legend, Godfather of Go-Go and originator of some of the breakbeats that laid the foundation for hip-hop has passed away. Here's his live set at the 9:30 club from a few years ago. 2, 3, 4
It's December so it must be time to list the best songs of the year. Pitchfork's Top 100 Songs and Top 50 Albums, MTV's Top 10 Songs of 2011, Billboard's 20 Best Singles, Spin's 20 Best Songs and Top 50 Albums, AARP's Top 10 Albums For Grown Ups, The A/V Club's Best Music of 2011, Rolling Stone's 50 Best Singles and 50 Best Albums, NPR Music's 100 Favorite Songs of 2011, BET's 100 Best Songs of 2011, NME's Best Albums of 2011, MixMag's Tunes of The Year, Metacritic's Top 10 Albums of 2011, Pop Matters 75 Best Albums, Songs and more. [more inside]
Do you like listening to DJ mixes? The Mixes DB has tens of thousands of them, going back 30 years, broken down by genre, radio show, club, artist. Most pages have the mix embedded. Here are the most popular. [more inside]
Need something to distract you from the howling winds outside? Here's two hours of gorgeous house, techno, disco and garage from Mercury-winner Jamie XX from the XX. (The actual mix starts at around 3:30) Download link here.
Decades before "You Got the Love" was covered by Florence and The Machine, it was a little known gospel record originally recorded for an 80's dieting video by Candi Staton. [more inside]
In Defense of Pop Music -- New York Magazine takes a look at the rise of pop and dance music and the death of rock in the charts.
Kashiwa Daisuke is a japanese post-rock musician, (formerly in Yodaka) who specializes in gorgeous, epic, glitchy piano pieces that constantly seem on the verge of falling apart... Stella, April 02, Write Once, Run Melos are my favorites.
Notch added music blocks to minecraft last week. Predictably, people have been making awesome stuff with it: Minecraft Rave., Deadmau5's I Remember in minecraft. (original, also, Deadmau5 playing Minecraft with fans), Billie Jean, Tetris, The Theme from The Office [more inside]
Music is Math (lots of different variations on the page. Watch this one in full screen and with headphones.)
In 1980s New York, two songs - Planet Rock and Let The Music Play - hit the Latino club scene like an earthquake and the aftershocks created a new genre of dance music - Freestyle. Characterized by funky electro-style breaks made on a Roland 808, with Latin rhythms and uplifting vocals about love and loss, often sung by unknown and untrained singers, the sound has remained a force in pop music and has influenced house and breaks music to this day. [more inside]
"Trance music" is not a new phenomenon. The ability for music to drive dancers into ecstatic frenzies has been known at least since Euripides. The Shakers got their name from the ecstatic behavior they exhibited when dancing to their simple, repetitive hymns. Voodoo rituals are built around complex, trance-inducing rhythms. It was well known that trance-dancing can produce ecstastic states, but until the later part of the 20th century, and the invention of the 'extended dance remix', it was rare for commercial music to reach for it. [more inside]
iNudge Is a software music toy that lets you create and share short snippets of music.
The Sad Song (single link Vimeo video)
Kraftwerk and the Electronic Music Revolution. (amazon) A 3 hour long documentary detailing Kraftwerk's influences and career. [more inside]
Hungary may be the gloomiest country on earth. Believed by its people to be suffering from a centuries long curse, it's most famous modern musical export is probably the "Hungarian Suicide Song" - Gloomy Sunday. Originally popularized by Billie Holiday in the US (with an upbeat ending tacked onto the original lyrics), it's been covered dozens of times since then. Links to a few of my favorites inside: [more inside]
The Top 10 Samples in Hip-Hop History. -- Well, not really the 'Top 10', but it's 10 samples and loops from hip-hop history, brought to you by a somewhat goofy bedroom DJ. He followed it up with 14 more sets of 10 -- 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. (List of tracks discussed in each part in the youtube descriptions.) [more inside]
The bastard offspring of New Age, Techno, Industrial and Acid House, trance is one of the most popular and most maligned musical genres of the 21st century. Trance can be bombastic or delicate, psychedelic or rock and roll, spacey or deep, euphoric or dark, commercial or underground, lush or funky, melodic or monotone, hard or laid back. You can try making some yourself with this toy, or go in depth with this tutorial. You can find it online, but if you want to really experience it, you need to hear it at a club.
DJ Inferno is a former world DMC champion, but he's taking turntablism to the next level. No longer content with 'two turntables and a microphone' he's added a whole suite of new gear to his sets, allowing him to remix songs on the fly. -- Crazy, With or without you, Another Brick in the Wall, ... More viceos...
Traditionally, (video) a DJ uses two turntables, but recently a series of new products has challenged the primacy of vinyl. While local record shops have been closing left and right, online stores have begun offering digital downloads. One digital-only outlet recently sold their 1,000,000th mp3. And now, a new store has taken the DJ completely out of the equation by making mix cds on demand.