Picking That Bone: Episode 1 of ∞

I know I normally write about music itself, and I promise I will get right back to it in the subsequent days, but at this particular point in time, I’m feeling extremely compelled to offer a word of advice (in my own humble opinion) in the first of a series I’m going to call Picking That Bone. Obviously, seeing as I am just one man, your angry disagreements are inevitable, and are thusly welcomed.

“Bangers”

bangers and mash

I beg of you, the fun-loving people of the world, please discontinue your use of the word “banger,” for it has grown to encompass all that is wrong in the world of disco. I suppose a little history might be required in order to explain. Let us jump back a couple years… to 2006.

You might remember this special little time in dance music history, for it is the year that two very important events took place. First, Daft Punk brought their music to the Coachella music festival, which prompted nearly half of the United States to reconsider their position on electronic music, and second, Justice broke into the now buzzing scene, and convinced everyone else (essentially the kids that used to hang out on street corners wearing combat boots and Misfits patches) that “Woah! You can distort a synthesizer!? That’s kinda like punk, so we should definitely not hate on electronic music anymore.” And thus the new wave of dance musicians and Ed Banger minions came to be.

So where did the term “banger” come from? Well that’s easy: It came from the ex-metal-heads who wanted to like dance music but could not yet bring themselves to admit that that’s what it was. And I don’t blame them. They were all fresh out of high school at the time. Their newfound freedom had not yet kicked in, and their desire to feel wild and out of control was still burning strong. They didn’t want to make “disco.” They wanted to make metal on a computer, but since a name for that hadn’t quite been coined, the word “banger” came to be. And hey, I’m fine with that. If the music is being made, it needs a name, and far be it for me to say whether a name can or can’t be used. That’s not what bugs me. This is what bugs me:

The word banger, since 2006, has essentially become a meaningless slur, and yet an onslaught of newcomers continually insist on ramming it through our heads, again and again. In running this blog, I get about 50 emails each day from artists looking to promote their tracks, and almost 50% of those emails starts out with something along the lines of “I just finished this new banger for you.” For all those people, please, heed this warning:

  1. Calling your track a banger, when really all it is is the result of a couple hours of you sitting in front of your computer trying and failing to imitate the Bloody Beetroots synth sound, is not going to get you anywhere. We know you like distortion and angry sounds, but please, be original.
  2. Calling your track a banger clues all us bloggers in to the fact that you’ve only just made the transition from your metal band into dance music, and that you are completely oblivious to the workings of the scene.
  3. Calling your track a banger gives us the impression that you’re making this music on a whim, and that there’s a good chance you only downloaded Reason yesterday. It also implies that you’re only making music with hopes that you’re going to somehow become massively famous without even trying.
  4. If you must use the word, learn to use the word right. You may not, under any circumstances, call your track a banger if it sucks. The word banger (at least back when it was a healthy word) is supposed to refer to a tune that’s filled with so much energy and excitement that it can make a crowd…well, bang. If you make music that doesn’t have any of those qualities, don’t tell people it does! It’s one thing to be an amateur producer, but it is absolutely not okay to lie about it.

So that’s my qualm with the word. If I could, I would seek to have it eradicated from the English language, but since that isn’t too feasible, let me leave you with this:

The word “banger” is dead, and if you want to be taken seriously, do not use it. Ever.

A Couple Tunes

As you likely didn’t come here just to read my pointless slobber, here’s a couple tunes that have really taken the scene by storm. The A-Trak remix is this year’s equivalent of what Pilotpriest‘s Love Lockdown remix was last year. Needless to say, it’ll have you on your knees. And if you’re the DJ, make sure you’re comfortable with being touched by strangers before you consider spinning it.

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The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s – Heads Will Roll (A-Trak Remix) (Club Edit)

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The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s – Soft Shock (Them Jeans Acoustic Remix)

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Fischerspooner – Supply Demand (AutoErotique Remix)

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Little Boots – Earthquake (Treasure Fingers’ Epicwave mix)

Felix Cartal – Skeleton EP

Felix Cartal

At the risk of forever being labeled as a complete fool, I’m going to be 100% honest and say that prior to the release of Felix Cartal‘s Skeleton EP, my expectations for the Canadian boy could barely be lifted off the ground. I’m not quite sure why, however, I feel it’s safe to say that my insensitive assumption could not have been entirely my fault; Up until quite recently, his tour fliers have depicted him as “opener material” by consistently placing him second to artists like MSTRKFT, Steve Aoki, and LA Riots, a spot that would likely have otherwise been filled by Them Jeans or Dan Oh and the like. Not that I have anything against the guys; It’s just that they’ve all been supporting each other as remix artists for such an extensive amount of time, that it has become unusual to regard any of them as an actual recording artist, capable of releasing a fully fledged and independent album.

Felix Cartal

Needless to say, every one of my assumptions was shattered and surpassed on levels that I didn’t even have a clue existed. Not only has the young wrecka created an EP that embraces and fully displays the sounds of modern dance music, but he’s also made the art of innovation stylish once again. That is, where I expected to hear a collection of four songs that all resembled his (and everyone else’s) past work, I was startled to experience the charitable use of complex rhythms, character of sound ranging from his trademarked banger synth to lighter, poppier noises not dissimilar to that of Simian Mobile Disco, and elegant eight bar chord progressions that work hard to draw every last piece of energy possible out of those 24 bits. Long story short, it took Felix less than a minute to establish himself in my mind as far more than just a Reason remixer. Skeleton EP is wonderful. Felix is wonderful. Dancing is wonderful. Group hug.

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Felix Cartal – Redheads

Considering the poor boy put so much time and energy into this EP, I can’t bring myself to post more than a single song. If you’ve fallen as deeply in love as I have, spend the four dollars to grab a copy, and of course, don’t forget to make your way out to Cinespace tonight for the Dim Mak Tuesdays “Skeleton” Release Party!

Dim Mak Presents: Everything You Thought You Couldn’t Have

I must say it’s been quite some time since we’ve heard almost anything from the Ed Banger crew. I have this strange inkling that Justice might well have been struck with the misfortune of sailing off the edge of the earth in their gallant search for a proverbial new world, and even the immovable, longtime members seem to be shying the news as of late. But hush children, I assure you, there’s no need to worry; Though it may seem as though our beloved team of groundbreaking artists have hidden themselves away in their laboratories, you’ve simply found yourself at the mercy of a well kept secret. See, our good friends over at Dim Mak have (incase you failed to notice the exclusive appearance of Mr. Pedro Winter himself only a month ago) all the while been supplying LA’s truest disco fans with a constant stream of awe inspiring dj sets and sweaty, sweaty parties (think underground railroad), and, though it saddens me to say it, you’ve been missing out!

Fortunately, you shan’t be left in the dark yet again, seeing as Dim Mak has officially gone all out on their upcoming Avalon-strocity of a dance party and has managed (by means of some ridiculous supernatural power) to summon the dj Feadz to make Los Angeles sparkle upon the night of the 12th of September. (That means you’ve got a little over a week to go ahead and cancel all your appointments and such. Don’t worry, you didn’t really need to go to them anyway) Considering a live Feadz headliner has become somewhat of a rarity since the inception of Uffie, it goes without saying that this isn’t something you’re going to want to miss. And as if that’s not enough for your metaphorically Irish electro tolerance, I suggest you take a look at the rest of the lineup. We’ve got Kid Cudi (I’m sure you’ve heard Crookers‘ Embrace the Martian?), Paparazzi, Them Jeans (If you’re unfamiliar, you must live in a cave), and the notorious Hyphy Crunk, all waiting to help you lace up your dancing shoes. Sure, a couple of those names do indeed frequent LA, however, having them all to yourself together in one night is pushing insanity.

For those of you who’re finding yourselves a tad confused, here’s a couple tasters to get your blood running hot. I trust the next couple minutes shall ensure that I’ll be seeing you there.

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Feadz – Go On Beef (Mr. Oizo Remix)

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Feadz feat. Spank Rock – Back It Up

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Kill the Noise – Hey You (Paparazzi Remix)