Armin Van Buuren on a new world order for EDM; ‘If something is beautiful and if something is great, then it’s just beautiful and great.’

Dancing Astronaut - EDM, trap, techno, deep house, dubstep

Throughout the span his lengthy career, Armin van Buuren has achieved more awards, accolades and acclaim than is worth counting. From a Grammy Award nomination to a record five-time run as DJ Magazine’s No. 1 DJ, van Buuren has (whether intentionally or not) achieved legend-status and carved out a permanent place for himself in the electronic history books.

Everybody’s heard all of that a thousand times already – even van Buuren himself is a little weary of acknowledging his deification. To him, the days when he looked to artists like Tall Paul and Judge Jules for advice and inspiration in the ’90s and early 2000′s don’t seem so far off at all. He still remembers the first time he experienced the power a DJ could hold over an audience from behind the decks.

“I remember seeing Paul Oakenfold at Creamfields and people chanting his name like I’d never heard before. It was really kind of a new thing, so I was really blown away by the whole atmosphere and everything that was happening.”


Even though that kind of overwhelming response has become a common occurrence for the Dutch producer, he admits that it still gives him goosebumps. “You can get used to a lot of things but you cannot get used to that. It’s a totally surreal feeling, that’s the only appropriate word,” he says. And he means it, too, with that very honest and even endearing modesty Armin exhibits whenever anyone makes him out to be anything other than mortal. Even days before several headlining WMC performances, he’s smiling, excited and quick to poke fun at the whole EDM superstar thing.

The secret to his success, both personally and professionally, is simple: he’s never let anything – not money, fame, status or pressure - get in the way of what he still incontestably considers his greatest and most sacred responsibility: making and sharing music.

“I think at the end of the day the only thing that really matters is the music and the feeling it evokes, the passion you get from it. It’s so great to have an idea for a track and to go into the studio and to create that track, and then actually see that track connect with the audience, to see that they understand you,” he says, his eyes lighting up as he tries to define the sensation. “You speak a new language, you put your emotion into music, not into words, and just the simple melodies, the notes…can spark the same emotion with other people.”


According to van Buuren, that feeling is why his career has never really felt like a job, but rather more of a life calling.

“I’m the kind of artist who wants to be heard, at the end of the day. I’m an addict to this job, to this work. I really love what I do and I’m passionate about it, but it goes beyond a passion, it goes beyond a hobby or just a way of living. Even if I wouldn’t get paid for it, I would still be doing this.”

While he’s still a producer and performer first and foremost, van Buuren has fallen into a new role over the years: that of a mentor to aspiring producers. It’s a role he embraces wholeheartedly, and one he considers part of the natural order of things, so to speak.

“When I started my career I had help from other people. Now I’m helping new people, and I think that’s the way it should go,” he says. “And I tell these new people – I told W&W as well – now it’s your job to find new talent and to help them further.” And in a culture that is quick to turn artists into idols, sometimes that help includes a nudge in the right direction and a slice of humble pie every now and then. “What I love about young people is that they’re naive in some ways, and sometimes you need to be naive,” he says, smiling wistfully as though lost in some memory from his own youth.

The most common obstacle he sees facing young producers is pressure – pressure to stand out and be the best in the shortest span of time, pressure to play as many gigs as possible in order to be seen or to pay the rent. It’s a foreign attitude to van Buuren, who maintains the only thing you cannot mix with music is money.

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“It’s not going to work,” he says, simple as that. “If you have to make a remix or a follow-up track to pay rent, the pitfall is there and you’ll often end up going for the easy way. You think, ‘well that worked last time so I’ll use the same kick drum, the same bass line, I’ll use the same chord structure…I’ll change the break down a little bit but the drop will be the same.’ And if you don’t have that pressure of having to perform you might be able to give yourself some more creative freedom and say, ‘you know what, I’m just going to throw out all the sounds that I had in my old hit and I’m going to start completely from scratch.” Nearly two decades in the business and van Buuren admits he still doesn’t do well with deadlines. “I’d rather just sit in the studio and have fun because basically that’s what making music is all about.”

Regardless of what he’s working on and with whom, one of van Buuren’s primary objectives is to always remain very aware of the changing musical landscape. The father of two says he hopes his children grow up in a world that is open-minded to the evolution and merging of styles.

“There’s a big irony in the way that humans are made. If you go to the supermarket and you want to buy peanut butter, you go to the aisle where they have the jars of peanut butter. You’d be pretty upset if you came home with a jar that said ‘Peanut Butter’ only to open it and find jam inside. That is a little bit what’s happening with music,” he says. “If you go on Beatport, everything is neatly labeled. Everything is deep house, or trance, or progressive…but the nature of music is that it keeps evolving. And that sort of conflicts with the fact that us human beings, we make Top 40s and we have charts and we have competitions so we can label stuff, so we can put stuff in brackets and in jars and put ‘Peanut Butter’ on them. But if something is beautiful and if something is great, then it’s just beautiful and great.”

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For many reasons, he says, music needs that freedom to just be in order to continue evolving. It needs to borrow from other styles, like trance borrowed from progressive and progressive borrowed from minimalism. Van Buuren’s recent collaboration with Mark Sixma was inspired by this concept of flux. Titled “Panta Rhei,” the tune owes its namesake to an old Greek saying from the philosopher Herclitus. “What he meant by that is that if you stand in a river all night, the next day you’re in the same spot but it’s different water running past your legs because the river’s moving,” he explains.

“That’s what happens with music. Everything flows.



Armin Van Buuren on a new world order for EDM; ‘If something is beautiful and if something is great, then it’s just beautiful and great.’ was posted by Amanda Mesa, and appeared first on Dancing Astronaut.

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Snowglobe Should Be the NYE Festival on the Top of Your Bucketlist

Lake Tahoe, California’s Snowglobe Festival has seen some pretty extensive growth since it’s inaugural 2011 event. Fusing incredible music and a unique mountainous, winter-wonder-land atmosphere, Snowglobe stands as one of the most intimate and ‘charming’ New Years Eve events in the US. 2013 was a year to remember for sure,  but this 2014 edition was a sight to behold. Attendance has consistently grown from the 30,000+ attendees of 2011, and 2014 was the biggest yett; the sold-out three day extravaganza hosted huge live acts, most notably from Porter Robinson & Odesza, with Flume ringing in 2015 like a boss.

Looking at their recap video alone would prove just how far they’ve come, and it gives a glimpse at what we can expect in the future. And trust us, you can expect a lot. So let’s just take a moment, and take a look at what they’ve done.

First things first. We all know about Coachella’s famous Sahara tent. Sahara tent? Who needs the Sahara tent when you have the Sienna Tent.


The Sienna tent is where some of the most memorable magic goes down. ODESZA’s performance (as pictured above) was an excellent set of electronic pop fusion, with a warmth and ambiance capable of making you forget all about the cold.


While ODESZA took to the Sierra tent, Porter Robinson set the mainstage ablaze with an incredible live performance. This was his first “announced US festival where he’d be performing his live set,” and it didn’t disappoint. The live setup was refreshing to say the least, and provided a set with soundscapes unlike any other performance on the 2014 lineup. You can check out fan videos of it on YouTube to try and relive the #SNOWSTALGIA.


If the music wasn’t enough to warm folks up, Snowglobe has them covered with happy hour on drinks. A legitimate happy hour! It even ran all day long on day 3. We all know how event drinks can be substantially more expensive than what we want to pay, so having them priced down to more humane levels just shows a little bit more about how these guys are all about you and your experience – not the money.


Come to think of it, Snowglobe’s team isn’t just about providing you with the best experience possible, but the workers and artists as well. We don’t mean the DJs and musicians (because that should be a given at any fest), nah we’re talking about all the art installations and the hard working local artists behind them.

“Here at SGHQ, we’re committed to supporting the arts in every capacity — not just music.”


Be it cardboard decor from Cardboard Safari, a film project from Honora, or large scale installations like ‘Casita Roma’ (go read up on this traveling surrealist piece, it’s pretty impressive), they’ve got it all covered.

This three day event has something for everyone. It’s got the music, it’s got the natural backdrop and beautiful snow, the cheap alcohol, incredible art from local and traveling artists, and most importantly: the NYE countdown. Everyday is special, but Snowglobe benefits over numerous other events from having their last day on NYE, so you’re destined to leave with memories that will stay with you forever. As mentioned earlier, Flume kicked 2014 out the door and welcomed 2015 in with an insane set, and you can catch a glimpse of it on video – though it’s not really to the same affect as being there…obviously.

We gush about this event because it really is one of the most sincere and charming festivals out there. It’s not rooted with a long history, yet it’s managed to explode in popularity and quality in very short period of time. Artists weather the cold just as the crowd does, and there is a sense of a true community; for those three days, everyone dances and sings together in a real life snow-globe together. It’s a home away from home, and escape to a wonderland of music and friends. Which when you think about it, is exactly what the big league festivals like EDCLV and Tomorrowland (or World) are known for, and that’s exactly why we see Snowglobe doing nothing but becoming more and more successful as time goes on.

You can check out their recap videos on their YouTube channel, and check out their extensive photo gallery on Facebook, both of which we highly recommend you do. Nothing wrong with getting hype for NYE 2015 already!


The post Snowglobe Should Be the NYE Festival on the Top of Your Bucketlist appeared first on EDMTunes.

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EDMTunes Exclusive: Arty’s Favorite Tracks That Aren’t Dance Music

EDMTunes Exclusive: Arty's Favorite Tracks Outside of Dance Music
Progressive house’s hottest Russian export, Arty, has a natural gift of stirring up excitement around every release he announces. In 2014, he remixed Porter Robinson, OneRepublic, and London Grammar as well as unleashing his main stage monster, “Up All Night.” Arty’s heart-wrenching melodies have captivated millions and his musical prowess can be recognized in every detail of his production.

With dance music being so young, every artist has a background in other musical genres that motivated them to pursue their career. Arty has indicated in multiple interview that indie-electronic band M83 and global sensation Coldplay played integral roles in his musical creativity. We were thrilled here at EDMTunes to briefly catch up with Arty and discover the musicians and bands that can be credited for his musical inspirations. From Queen to the Gorillaz to Muse, Arty’s favorite tracks outside of dance music trace back to early rock n roll and more recent alternative rock. Check out the list below to see where Arty found his artistic influence.

1. Coldplay – Clocks

2. Foo Fighters – The Pretender

3. M83 – Reunion

4. The Killers – When You Were Young

5. Muse – Bliss

6. Gorillaz – DARE

7. Linkin Park – Session

8. Queen – Who Wants To Live Forever

9. Blur – Song 2

10. Massive Attack – Tear Drop

The post EDMTunes Exclusive: Arty’s Favorite Tracks That Aren’t Dance Music appeared first on EDMTunes.

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Legendary Detroit rock venue Magic Stick will turn its focus to electronic music this spring

Dancing Astronaut - EDM, trap, techno, deep house, dubstep

When it came to indie rock in Detroit, the Magic Stick was as sacred as it gets. Part of the Majestic Theatre and capable of housing just 550 fans, the venue hosted indie rock legends such as The White Stripes, Jack Johnson, Interpol, Kings of Leon, Modest Mouse, The National and The Kills.

Intimate and boasting only one full service bar, the Magic Stick was hailed the city’s best bet to see a live show by critics from Metro Times and Rolling Stone.

Come this spring, the Magic Stick will be no more. According to an article in the Detroit Free Press, after struggling for several years to make a profit due to changing trends in music, demographics and increased competition from other nearby venues, owner David Zainea had to put his sentimentality aside and consider the numbers.

Zainea announced plans to give the storied venue and the massive 10,000 square-foot space on the second level above it a new look, name and attitude with the help of Detroit promoter Amir Daiza.

The project is estimated to cost over $250,000 and will result in an expansion of the stage as well as the addition of more service bars and brand new restrooms. A new name for the venue has not yet been announced to the public.

Shows will continue as usual at the Magic Stick while construction takes place upstairs, but come completion mid-April, Zainea and Daiza plan to feature a steady roster of electronic music bands and DJs.

Rock acts will still continue within the vicinity at the Majestic Theatre, a room adjacent to the Stick, and the Majestic Cafe. Both spaces will undergo renovation work as well.

Zainea told the Detroit Free Press that his decision was “a matter of surviving,” and that he expects to hear many complaints from fans who called the Stick home. “It broke my heart to make this decision. Financially I had no choice but to do it,” ” he told the Detroit Free Press. “But when I’m confronted with the payroll every two weeks, it’s my obligation.”

Zainea said he knows the move is a gamble, but that he thinks it’s going to work.

“I’m hoping my rock ‘n’ roll fans will transfer over to the Cafe and the Theatre,” Zainea said. “I know they have an allegiance to the Stick. But things evolve.”

From a financial standpoint, the move makes sense. Regardless of personal opinion or projected longevity, electronic music is experiencing the largest boom it has ever seen in the United States. The genre now generates over $6 billion annually in revenue, according to recent report released by the International Music Summit.

And Daiza is no stranger to the EDM world. Four nearly half a decade, he has successful run Elektricity nightclub in nearby Pontiac, MI and has had no problem filling the room to capacity. In the 1980s, he operated the notorious Asylum club which sat across the street from what is considered by many one of the birth-sites of Detroit techno, the world-famous Music Institute.

Daiza said he’s been experiencing the itch to open up another venue in Detroit’s downtown area for a while, and the current scene in America seemed like the perfect environment.

“My format has always been bringing new sounds, new artists to the market and developing them here,” he said. “Detroit is known for (electronic) music, and I want to develop that talent out of here.”

Legendary Detroit rock venue Magic Stick will turn its focus to electronic music this spring was posted by Amanda Mesa, and appeared first on Dancing Astronaut.

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The end of an era: Trouw throws its last party

Dancing Astronaut - EDM, trap, techno, deep house, dubstep

The nightlife industry is volatile by nature. Given the often enormous production costs that often go into every successful party (not even counting rent, permit and liquor license expenses), it can be a struggle just to break even on any given night, let alone maintain a successful business for an extended period of time. Nightclubs rise and fall constantly; names and owners cycle out faster than music trends. Once you’ve spent enough nights out, you come to realize it’s hardly something to lose any sleep over.

But when Amsterdam’s Trouw announced it would be throwing its last party, it fell heavy on the hearts of anyone who spent a night on its legendary dance floor and witnessed the magic that took place for over half a decade inside.

Once a newspaper printing press, Trouw was the first establishment in the Netherlands to receive a 24-hour liquor license from the city’s mayor, who of course celebrated by DJing at the club (it’s Amsterdam, after all).

“That changed everything for us – and for the city,” DJ and company founder Olaf Boswijk told Mixmag. “It basically meant that you could go clubbing whenever you want, not just when you’re told to.” Boswijk credited the milestone for helping to place Amsterdam’s club scene in the same conversation as Berlin, London and Ibiza.

Couple that with the vision and quality of talent Boswijk and his partners strove to maintain every night, and you have the recipe for the kind of venue that makes dance music history.

Photo/The Guardian

The club itself was named after a resistance newspaper published during German occupation. Trouw means faithfulness and loyalty, and since it’s first party in 2009 it has remained faithful and loyal to Boswijk’s vision: making sure that everything about Trouw, from the music to the industrial look and strategic layout of the venue (decks positioned in the center of the crowd at eye-level), had real meaning behind it.

Resident DJ Melon, who ran the club’s notorious Ratio parties, said Trouw was a “movement.”  He told Mixmag, “a lot of big names played their first Dutch set at my night, which I’m so proud of.” According to Melon, Trouw never tried to compete with other clubs that were booking the more popular artists at the time, and instead strove to find acts that were up and coming or exploring new and different directions with their music.

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Seth Troxler called the club “home,” and attended Trouw’s final three nights. “There are very few clubs in the world that have such incredible care and love for the creation they’ve made: the music, the food, the total experience,” he told Mixmag. “It will go down in the history of our times as one of the most notable spaces, like a modern-day Paradise Garage.”

On January 3, masses filled Trouw for the final time to say goodbye. There was no allowance for sad thoughts, though; Boswijk maintained that he had been preparing for this day since the club opened its doors six years ago, and he knew there would be no way to end other than on a climax. “It’s gone from something quite basic to us all creating things that we really believe in, fulfilling our dreams in any way we see possible,” he said. “We’ve always done so with the end date in mind, so it gets more intense as you progress; more energy and emotion. It’s a beautiful thing.”

While the party may have ended, Trouw will continue to live on as one of the greatest dance floors in dance music history, and as a place that changed the lives of so many who called it home.

The end of an era: Trouw throws its last party was posted by Amanda Mesa, and appeared first on Dancing Astronaut.

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New documentary explores rise of Napster and the ‘culture of free’

Dancing Astronaut - EDM, trap, techno, deep house, dubstep

The New York Times recently released a mini documentary for its Retro Report series detailing the rise and fall of Napster, and the era of pirating that it birthed. Barely over 12 minutes, the documentary skims over the lifespan of Napster, from its inception in the Northeastern University dorm room of freshman Shawn Fanning. Developer Ali Aydar, who helped program Napster, speaks in the documentary about his own moral uncertainty before agreeing to help launch the program. Once he learned there were already 40,000 people using Napster, he says he “changed his tune.”

He says he “realized that people’s emotional ties to music, their general interest in music…was more than enough to overwhelm any kind of security or privacy concerns.”

The documentary also chronicles the height and decline of the CD boom of the late 90s, and largely places Napster as the catalyst for that decline.

Former Universal VP Albhy Galuten also speaks in the interview, and he admits the record labels also played a role in the demise of physical record sales. He pretty much admits the industry was late in the game in terms of recognizing a shift toward digital music, and never paid attention to the habits and mentality of a younger consumer base.

“We didn’t really factor in the consumer adoption, the youthful lack of respect for copyright, and the anonymity would combine to make it [Napster] a pretty unstoppable as a model,” he says.

Watch the full documentary below.

New documentary explores rise of Napster and the ‘culture of free’ was posted by Amanda Mesa, and appeared first on Dancing Astronaut.

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