Sunday, June 9, 2013

Big Business Is Nothing New In Dance Music

This is my actual ticket stub from the infamous Sasha & Digweed Delta Heavy Tour in 2002.  As you can see from the very cool pink arrow, international conglomerates were already making money from electronic music in the U.S. while most of the country's scene still relied on half-empty venues and back rooms of bigger clubs to host international DJs.  Meanwhile, the locals were "spinning Top 40, House and Breaks".  (For those of you who were clubbing in the U.S. back then, that phrase should sound very familiar.)

So it's nothing new that large-scale corporations are a huge part of this industry today.  As much as the U.S. lacked in so-called dance music culture, it apparently made up for in business savvy. Good or bad?  That's not my call to make.  

It's just funny to hear the EDM spokespeople of today boast about how they are now taking over the entire music business after "living underground" and "nurturing the scene since '88", when the reality is that the largest work for this "takeover" was done by colossal entertainment firms.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Out With The Old, In With The New

What is it about being young that makes artists compose their best music?

I read some things about the neuroscience behind all that, and from my understanding, after a certain age our brain remains wired to our past influences etc. and it can’t really change much.

So, if that’s the case, does it mean that our creativity reaches its peak at our early twenties?  Do we just re-hash our old self after that?

Also, is that the reason why the a lot of older artists can’t make the music they used to? Is it merely a physical progression?

Giving Life Back To Music?

Could I be quiet about the Daft Punk hype?  No I couldn’t.

They make some great points: “Technology has made music accessible, but when everyone can make magic, it’s like there’s no more magic”.

And some of the songs on “Random Access Memories” are indeed magical.

However, have we crossed over to the complete opposite side where we are now considering what is essentially a funk album as the saviour of Dance Music?

1605 Ways To Deal With Christian Cambas

This week I put together the latest installment of 1605’s Beatport mixes and made it a point to focus on the tracks that meant the most to me both sound-wise and, of course, emotionally - just because I’m such an emotional guy.

Since I made the first ever “1605 Ways To Deal With…” compilation a couple of years ago, things have definitely changed in our scene and in the ever-evolving 1605 sound.  But while the choice of tracks might seem like a retrospective of sorts, it is in no way a nostalgic look to the past, but a firm nod to the sound that established my identity as a producer.

Another very important aspect regarding the artists who appear on this compilation is that I have developed a personal relationship with pretty much all of them, either by playing together at events, getting together for drinks or just even chatting online.  And I’m not talking about strictly business relationships, but just plain-old messing around, most of the time.

In a recent talk I had with Bizzy from Dataminions, we were wondering the usual: where the sound was going, what would be the next wave to evolve, the standard stuff.  I told him that after struggling with my own sound, I came to the conclusion that it’s probably better for me to be consistent with my tracks even when trends come and go.  My initial “1605 sound” is what I’m into 100% and it’s also what most of the people who support me, associate me with.  So, to honor all of the above, I chose these 13 tracks that sum up everything I do :)

Here is the link for you to check out the mix:

Clockwise from top left:  Umek, Spartaque, Piatto, Bizzy from Dataminions

And the cover from the first “1605 Ways To Deal With Christian Cambas” from 2011:

You can check it here:

Carl Cox, UMEK and me!

OK, time for me to get emotional.  Carl Cox was the first DJ I ever opened up for.  That party also marked my first proper gig as a professional DJ, so it was a pretty lucky break, if you ask me :)

Over the years, I played with Carl once or twice again, I can’t really remember.  And of course, I have
done quite a few things with lord Umek who is the nicest guy in the business.  So this past weekend, more than 10 years after the first time I shared the stage with Carl Cox, we played in my hometown of Athens, with a lineup that summed up a lot about what we know about Techno and Tech House these days: Carl Cox, Umek, and Ramon Tapia. And it was a fucking blast.  It was fun.

So, looking back over a decade, there is only one thing for me to say: As long as we are having FUN, that’s all that matters.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

From Start To Finish

Today I listened to a whole album.  It wasn’t a planned “aural experience”, I just had my iPod with me while walking around, and on my way back home I realized that I had listened to the whole thing.

It’s been a while since I’ve done that, and it’s been a while since artists of any genre made an album that you can actually sit through and enjoy.  (This one wasn’t some classic album from yesteryear, it was very recent and nothing groundbreaking, genre-wise.)

In our short-attention-span, singles-driven market, does a full album even matter?

Sabotage Records Is Back!

After almost a year, I have decided to relaunch my Sabotage label.  The reason I had paused it all this time was that I wasn’t really feeling the whole direction that the sound was evolving towards.
On one hand, I wanted Sabotage to reflect the style that I play, but on the other hand, I didn’t want to release tracks that sounded exactly the same. Also, quality was a great issue and I did not want to put anything out that would not satisfy my loyal Saboteurs 100%.

So now, I am starting fresh and will try to make each release as special as possible.  In view of that, the Sabotage plan for now is to release just one-track singles with no remixes, so that each artist can shine properly in his release.

Where do you think Sabotage should go?