Beetroots, Aoki, Oizo, and a Bunch of Other Textual Nonsense

You know what the best park about the music industry is? As counterintuitive as it may seem, the highlight of it all–the selling point that causes it to attract such wonderfully colorful people–is its failure to have become organized in any way at all. Make a comparison to the other (largely lamer) forms of media out there: You’ll notice that film, for example, looks like a prison compared to music, what with its organizations dedicated to delivering “official” ratings and awards and such. What gives a corporation the right to tell me how good my movie is on the one to ten scale. Hasn’t art always been subjective?

music

Now you’re likely itching to point out that I’ve failed to notice the giant corporations that surround the music industry as well, and you’re certainly not wrong in letting your mind wander so, however, you’re failing to factor in one important observation: the music industry is awful. Point and case: iTunes can give my favorite tracks whatever rating they want, and it’s not going to mean a thing to any of us. Danger’s 11h30, undoubtedly a stepping stone on the path to electro as we know it, was given 1.5 of 5 stars upon its iTunes release, and all this says is that Steve Jobs (and the loyal fan base of tone-deaf tools which he’s managed to create by means of the iPod) doesn’t care for electronic music, which (I can only assume) doesn’t play much of a role in choosing whether or not to buy a particular track. Naturally, this lack of agreed upon ratings keeps music, and the creation thereof a dynamic process: People (at least the ones who care enough to realize that songs that are played on the radio are not necessarily required listening) have never been restricted to the cut of tunes deemed “appropriate” by some hypothetical checklist. Needless to say, we’ve been quite lucky.

So He Just… Plays Records?

Chances are, if you’re reading this, you either are, have been interested in, or know someone that has decided to seek enlightenment through the art of dj’ing. That being the case, chance also says that at some point in recent history, one of your friends (likely one with less than half as many cool points as you) has made the foolish mistake of asking you the forbidden question: What exactly does a dj do, and why does he get so much credit for it?

Of course, the intolerant anger starts to well up in your stomach. How could someone even ask that question? Isn’t it obvious just how much of a phenomenon it is that a single man can capture the hearts and minds of musically ignorant crowds on a nightly basis, purely through his use of music? Does this ignorant inquisitor really think his record playe–ahem–iPod can give him that same experience that a DJ can? Unfortunately, the answers are no, and sadly, yes, respectively. And the worst part is, you’ve got nothing to say that’ll make him think any different; Or at least you didn’t, until now.

What does a dj do that makes him so special? How is spinning a record, (or to be more politically correct with these a-changing times, pressing play on a midi keyboard) such a respectable deed, and what exactly is is that keeps the creatures of the technicolored night so faithfully returning? It is the plain and simple fact that no matter how many DJ sets he’s studied, and no matter how many times he’s encountered success in the past, there simply is no correct and guaranteed-to-work method of DJing. In contrast with all other forms of media, a DJ cannot simply make a playlist out of fivestar-ed iTunes songs and rest assured knowing his audience will be satisfied. Rather, DJ’ing is the art of adapting to an audience, and convincing them that though their minds tell them that they aren’t particularly fond of a particular song, that their bodies perceive every minute of it as exactly what they want to hear.

The Bloody Beetroots & Steve Aoki

Steve and Beetroots

So how does all this relate to anything at all? It’s quite simple, really. See, in a scene where musical taste is so incredibly inconsistent, it becomes important to get a grasp on the general reception of each particular release, despite the enormous difficulty associated with doing so. For example, releases like the latest from Simian Mobile Disco are frequently propelled into a massive collection of opposing poles, comprised of those in love with, and those disgusted by the band’s new direction, which makes it difficult to assess a particular individual’s response. There are, however, exceptional cases, one of which happens to be the latest Dim Mak release entitled “Warp”. When a track has been featured in a mix tape by just about every major artist before its actual release, has been remixed by that same lot, as well as by quite a few lesser known producers, has seen the attention of more than one false music video, and (here’s the kicker) has an official music video that grants us the privilege of staring at Steve Aoki‘s screaming face for a solid 20 seconds, it becomes clear that there shall be no controversy over the response; A thousand sweating bodies is all the five star rating I need.

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The Bloody Beetroots – Warp (Feat. Steve Aoki)

I’m wondering just how many regulars I’ve lost due to the drastic increase in the text to music ratio on this site. Perhaps I should step it up in the way of audio contributions…

Oizo‘s Back

oizo

Although, whether he even left in the first place, I’m not quite sure. The guy’s approach on music is certainly a strange one. While most prominent artists (granted most fail to withstand the test of time) make a conscious attempt to produce music similar to that which has already found celebrity within the disco scene, Oizo has chosen to cling to the sound he pioneered nearly a decade ago, and to allow it to drip through its hypothetical IV so as to maintain a constant presence within the club scene.

Brilliance, consistency, and a wicked beard. What more can you ask for?

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Erreurjean feat. Error Smith (Original Mix)

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Mr. Oizo feat. Uffie – Steroids (Mr. Oizo Remix)

One last thing. I feel the need to give my greatest respects to those who have somehow managed to actually read this highly nonsensical post. Seeing as much of my writing makes so little sense upon looking back, having done so seems a most notable accomplishment.

Reader’s Choice: Animal Collective – My Girls

03

 

Every so often a song comes around that seems to inspire every musician to try his hand at remixing. But it’s often hard to sort out which remixes are actually worth listening to. Some are certainly better than others, and playing two different variations of the same song at a party is out of the question.

 

The goal of this new series, READER’S CHOICE, is to find the best remix of a given song. Of course, to do that we are going to need help from our loyal readers. Let us know in the comments section which remix you like best so we finally know which one to blast on Saturday nights. And if you know of a great one we didn’t post, make sure to send it over.

 

 

animalcollectivemygirls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first song in this series comes from Baltimore‘s Animal Collective. Their eighth studio albumcame out this past January to some of the best reviews in recent memory.  So it’s no surprise that the first single, “My Girls”, has made it’s way into the electro-dance community by way of some killer remixes.  The album version is the kind of psychedelic, avante-garde composition that gets stuck in your head for three days after you first hear it.  You listen and think “This song would be great at a party if it were more danceable.”  Well, the six tracks below should solve that problem (and help you score some points with your indie, hipster, Pitchfork-reading friends who will instantly recognize the chorus). But remember, we need help deciding which remix we like best.  Take a listen to the songs below, then discuss and debate in the comments section.

 

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Animal Collective – My Girls (HATCHMATIK Disco Bootleg)

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Animal Collective – My Girls (Swine Forkbeard Remix)

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Animal Collective – My Girls (Skinny Friedman DJ Edit)

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Animal Collective – My Girls (Mexicans With Guns Remix)

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Animal Collective – My Girls (Gigamesh Proper House Remix)

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Animal Collective – My Girls (Dave Wrangler Remix)

To Norway and Back on a Tangent

So, would you rather sacrifice your vision or your hearing?

I’m sure the question’s been presented to all of us at some point in our lives (granted many of you are far less bizarre than I, and have likely managed to avoid the inquiry upon graduating the fourth grade), but in all honesty, have you ever been able to answer it? I mean, yes, there is the possibility that you happened to stumble upon this page at random, in which case your answer is likely an immediate, “I’d sacrifice my hearing, no contest,” and in fact, this is likely a good thing, seeing as the prevention of Soulja Boy’s voice from emerging from any form of speaker is always a win for humanity. However, for the rest of us (especially those of us who aren’t consoled by fast cars and football), it’s hard to imagine living life without either one.

Photo Contest

camera

I can’t quite recall what got me thinking about all this, but I’ve been thinking nonetheless, and in doing so, I slowly became aware of a fundamental flaw in this lowly old website: Seeing as the disco scene is built around music and dance, I foolishly made the assumption that the best way to make a connection into this world was to share music, and though I wasn’t entirely wrong to do so, I had failed to address the many other fundamentals that make our nights out complete. Sure, Daft Punk does an incredible performance, but what would it be if they did the whole thing in pure darkness? They would lose the sparkle that transforms a simple collection of songs into an experience. Clearly, music alone is a mere slice of the pie we call disco, and as such, I have decided that UhOhDisco shall no longer lack the ingredients necessary to facilitate such an experience, and will, from this point onward, cater both to those who lack the support of a worthwhile tune, as well as to those who could use a visual compliment to complete their experience.

Children of the blogs: Photos @ UhOhDisco is born, and with it, I hope to bring the spirit of photography and the energy of the moment to UhOhDisco. I encourage you to check it out by following the link at the top of this page, or by clicking here.

Binärpilot

In all my enthusiasm, I do tend to get carried away sometimes, and what better remedy for a particularly disorienting tangent than a soberingly original artist?

binarpilot

He works out of Norway under the alias Binärpilot, and seeing as his sound is clearly inspired by more than just the collection of standard influences that have come to make less admirable artists produce bleak and uninteresting music, it would be among the most epic of fails in history to try and fit him into any currently existent genre. Where most artists manage to define their particular approach to music within the realm of a single track or two, Binarpilot keeps himself apart from his music, and though he certainly has a characteristic style, his sound and overall direction refuses to be in the least bit predictable. If I had to guess, I would likely go for something along the lines of 80’s hit single meets Aphex twin, however the drastic changes from track to track continue to thrust me into a state of pleasurable confusion.

Don’t you worry about this first one. I assure you, he hasn’t worsened the bedroom producer awful Daft Punk remix epidemic.

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Daft Punk – Aerodynamic (Binarpilot Remix)

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Binarpilot – Tokyomatrix 3000

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Binarpilot – Bend

Thoughts On a Needless Estrangement

It’s almost obscene just how long it’s taken for the electronic music scene as a whole (and I do, indeed, mean “as a whole” in the most enveloping of senses) to develop a universal umbrella under which all forms of dance (as extraordinarily different as they often time are) can feel at home. And while there was most certainly a point in time (namely the early 80’s) where the amalgamation of the considerably smaller number of existing electronic acts might have provided for some rather unsettling results (NWA meets Dj Pierre?), the speed with which our modern day hip hop and disco producers are adopting each other’s styles seems to emphasize the fact that times are indeed, a changin’, and that there remains no excuse for the separation of the many growing worlds within our collective parent universe. To put things a little more concisely (and to satisfy those of you who are probably at this very moment considering informing me of my ridiculous tendency toward needlessly long sentences): We all belong in this scene for the same reason, no matter the genre. We all like to party, and we all like to dance.

dancing

That’s not to say that we should feel the need to make an attempt to enjoy music that our ears have already warned us not to listen to, but rather that though there’s more than a subtle difference between the those out to see MSTRKRFT and those more inclined to watch RJD2 juggle his beats, there’s very little difference between our bodies’ natural desire to dance (regardless of what to), and the undefinable high that comes from being a part of the music that moves you. (Except in the case of those glow stick kids. That’s a scene I’ll never quite understand.) Truth? Truth.

Once this point has been addressed, the ridiculousness of it all becomes blatantly apparent; Why should we form cliques? Why should record labels, most of which are designed to represent a small group of similar artists rather than a larger, more encompassing motif, be the sole deciders in the formation and representation of musical groups? They shouldn’t; We should be united over the aspects of music that al genres share.

DBM Labs

DBM Labs

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Jonathan Cham, the man in charge of the Los Angeles based electronic music (and yes, that includes everything from the dirtiest electro to the chillest hip hop) apparel company, DBM Labs, and having been a fan of his mission statement for quite some time (one that is aimed largely at stitching together the above mentioned severance), I felt compelled to seek an interview. When asked to explain his company, Jon had a lot to say:

“When i first got into music, I liked everything dance, from, house to hip hop to trance,
so to me, there never really was a “genre” that I tried to be part of.
Whereas lot of clothing companies try to hit on a particular genre, DBM Labs is focused on the artist themselves, whether it’s hip hop, house, dance, electro, or whatever.
We take elements of art from different genres in our designs, sort of like how a producer might incorporate different genres of music into their productions, and in doing so, we’re hoping to build a community that really doesn’t exist right now.”

We had a long talk, but it basically all boiled down to us agreeing upon the fact that as long as these collections of sub cultures remain divided (and a lot of the time, strongly disliking each other), we’re missing out on a world of potential that could be derived from the unification of differing ideas and approaches. Considering DBM could vary well be teaching you lessons in dance floor methodology at some point in the near future (as well as the fact that a good 60% of the world we know revolves around who has the cool t-shirts first), you might want to check out DBM’s site, and get yourself straightened out.

disco

Though I can type out a thousand words (and probably have) in an effort to convince you, the disco fanatics, of my obnoxious perspective, I can be fairly confident that anyone motivated enough to reach this blog is a firm believer in the fact that a simple mp3 speaks considerably better English than I. I shall therefor, abstain from boring you any further…

Classixx

Here’s a weird phenomenon: Some particularly talented artist takes the initiative to pioneer his own, innovative and original sound, and ends up producing a track that’s exciting in a fashion that most producers had never before imagined. As a result, The Hype Machine becomes littered with strange artists with names like Telephone Sally, or some other contradictory and punny phrase, who seem to take pride in the fact that they are quite good at making exact replicas of that song. Are they original? No. Are they boring? Yes. What can we do? We can listen to Classixx instead.

Classixx

While there are, indeed, more than a few producers who break away from this obnoxious pattern, it’s a rare occasion that one manages to do it with the style and grace (and not to mention with the inclusion of a multitude of exotic influences that avoid the exclusion of any single genre) as Classixx. Their sweeping reverb (which is in no way trancy) accompanied with heavy, yet appropriate, beats and almost jazzy synth melodies embody a part of music that really, has not been enveloped before. In fact, it almost begs the question, “Do you like bass?”

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Classixx – I’ll Get You feat. Jeppe (Royal Rumble edit) (Removed by request)

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Classixx Cold Act Ill