Michaelangelo Matos

  • Deadmau5, David Guetta, Tiesto

    We Major: How the Record Business Finally Learned to Sell EDM

    In the United States, electronic dance music is known for selling three things: tickets, drinks, and black-market goods. And with the gold rush of the past few years, the numbers on those sales have skyrocketed.What EDM had never sold to America in big numbers — not even during the late-'90s electronica boom — are recordings.

  • Zomby / Photo by David Gordon Oppenheimer/Getty

    Zomby, 'With Love' (4AD)

    Though it's cuter than a Guy Fawkes mask how hard Zomby works at being an enigma (electronic music apparently didn't have enough of those lying around), his sprawling discography is becoming worrisome. The anonymous English electronic-dance producer (his favored headgear has included the aforementioned post-V for Vendetta cliché and an all-seeing-eye-laden, skull-encompassing pyramid) traverses dubstep, old-school jungle, grime, and ultra-pixelated video-game-soundtrack 8-bit with nonchalant freedom. Though he's a miniaturist – only six tracks from his six major releases (three albums and three EPs) exceed four minutes in length — he's not a minimalist, even when the arrangements are spare. He likes to make an impact. He just likes to do it from an oblique angle.The very outline of With Love gives it an out feel.

  • Daft Punk circa 1995 / Photo by Kevin Cummins/Getty

    Discovery: The Oral History of Daft Punk's First American Show

    On Memorial Day weekend, 1996, electronic music history was made on a muddy, rain-soaked Wisconsin campground. Two young humans known together as Daft Punk — who ultimately would become far more famous in robot guises — played their first American show. The soggy, chaotic setting was the 1996 Even Furthur, the third installment of the infamous Furthur outdoor festival and campout series thrown by Milwaukee rave producers Drop Bass Network. Daft Punk touched down at Eagle Cave Campground not only before their debut Homework was released the following year, but before anyone in the Midwest aside from a few DJs knew who they were at all. Drop Bass leader Kurt Eckes — along with his Furthur promoting partners, Minneapolis' Woody McBride and Chicago's David J.

  • Fitz and the Tantrums / Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty

    Fitz and the Tantrums, 'More Than Just a Dream' (Elektra)

    When Fitz and the Tantrums' debut, Pickin' Up the Pieces, came out in 2010, it was easy to find them a little ersatz. They were from Los Angeles, with a modified Mod look, as though they'd been formed for the express purpose of landing a slot on Last Call With Carson Daly. As the suits indicated, they played Daptone-style retro-R&B, a scene that had already been around for 15 years: retro upon retro, great. Plus leader and co-vocalist Michael Fitzpatrick sounded uncannily like Daryl Hall — and Daryl Hall, to certain lines of thought, is ersatz to begin with.But Pieces was one of the sharper, more authoritative albums in that style: What might have been shtick was done with so much gusto that reservations became beside the point.

  • DJ Koze, 'Amygdala' (Pampa)

    Stefan Kozalla, the Frankfurt minimal-techno producer known as DJ Koze, has been the most creatively restless dance musician of the past decade, and perhaps the best. By the time he got to Kompakt in 2003, he was fully ready to flex. In 2004, he had gospel organ erupt into the tensile minimal techno of "Let's Help Me," and let giddy noise bursts interrupt the hypnotic pulse of "Brutalga Square." In his hands, no groove was safe from gleeful deconstruction — which, in turn, only served to strengthen the grooves.Koze grew more elaborate, more restless, and more willful (a friend calls him "DJ Crazy," adoringly).

  • Daphni, 'Jiaolong' (Merge)

    "Retro" is easy. In dance music, producers with the right sample packs and presets — and DJs with the right records — can all do it, and then do it, and do it some more. The last half-decade has given rise to the genre's first major assertion of its throwback impulse; oddly, it's stadium EDM that's doing the most blatantly futurismo stuff, twisting dubstep's low end every goddamn way. At first, it was a jolt to hear a Trax classic suddenly dropped into a podcast set of otherwise London-bass-y stuff, or serve as punctuation amid a slate of newer house jams.

  • Cooly G, 'Playin Me' (Hyperdub)

    Merissa Campbell, the London dance producer who records as Cooly G, debuted three years ago with a 12-inch ("Narst" b/w "Love Dub") on Hyperdub, the label run by dubstep pioneer Kode9. That made it easy to slot her music into the teeming, dubstep-leaning but outward-flaring style then coalescing in London clubs (and, for curious outsiders, via FACT Magazine's DJ-mix podcast series). But it was also slightly misleading.FACT's Tom Lea described this genre/scene as "a broken space between hip-hop, dubstep, R&B, and techno," though in Cooly G's case (particularly on her own FACT Mix, also from 2009), the coordinates were house music and the skipping, rhythmic sound dubbed UK funky.

  • Lindstrom

    Lindstrom, 'Six Cups of Rebel' (Smalltown Supersound)

    "In Norway, there was no 'disco sucks' campaign," Norwegian cosmic-disco producer Hans-Peter Lindstrøm told the Daily last year. If that's the reason he makes the music he makes — synth-driven grooves that feel communal and cosmic at the same time — then we can wager that there wasn't much backlash against jazz-fusion or progressive rock, either. Guess that the Miami Vice soundtrack probably sold a few copies up there, too. But this all describes a significantly different sort of "disco" experience than Lindstrøm's U.S. fans have encountered. For Americans old enough to remember disco's mass-culture monopoly, the music's connotations amounted largely to inherited cultural shame, followed by the gradual realization that the genre had been demonized far beyond reason. No shame accompanies the shiny tunes and giddy chants winding through Six Cups of Rebel.

  • 111024-rapture.png

    Crystal Castles and the Rapture Set NYC Firehouse Ablaze at SPIN CMJ Party

    Nobody in the audience wore sunglasses at SPIN's Flip Out showcase at CMJ on Saturday, but they didn't need to. The event at lower Manhattan's DCTV Firehouse was a see-and-be-seen kind of place — fitting the strong lineup, announced only a week earlier. (The party was presented by SPIN and Ray-Ban and sponsored by Kanon Organic Vodka.) Fire in the disco! Photos from SPIN's CMJ bash. DJ A-Trak looked very George Michael in his black leather bomber jacket and neatly trimmed beard.

  • Sage Francis, 'Human the Death Dance' (Anti-/ Epitaph)

    "This is hip-hop for the people," says Sage Francis early on his fourth album. "Stop calling it emo." Stop bellyaching and maybe we will. Francis' relentless self-examination can strike real sparks -- he's a clear-eyed lyricist and his unorthodox flow is plenty energetic -- but he falls into mawkishness far too often ("All they ask is why I wear these glasses / And all I can tell them is, hell, it's good fashion"). Still, this is more mature than 2005's A Healthy Distrust, boasting straightforwardly soulful production and smarter punch lines ("If you ain't dead / You ain't a suicide girl"). Now Hear This: Sage Francis - "Civil Obedience" DOWNLOAD MP3 BUY: iTunesAmazon

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