To our beloved international community,
Today, we’re proud to announce a partnership with Javelin Ventures, a seasoned group of investors and entrepreneurs, that have recently provided us with the necessary financing so that we can focus on continuing to deliver a great product for you.
At plug.dj, we are dedicated to building positive international communities for sharing and discovering music.
Before we explain what this means to all of us, I’d like to briefly share how we got here.
In February 2012, after only two months of development, a small team launched a working prototype of plug.dj. Steven, plug.dj’s founder and an underground house DJ for 20 years, sought to bring the personal music experiences he found at parties and concerts into the digital realm while overcoming the limitations of the solitary way music is consumed online. Although the first version of plug.dj was just scratching the surface, it became clear just how many people from all around the world saw its potential as the future of sharing and discovering music online.
When I met Steven and Jason, we talked about plug.dj extensively and got to know each other well, I was comforted to learn that they were exploring solutions to the same issues I also experienced with discovery and consumption throughout my life.
As a musician and tech enthusiast, I had to be involved.
In October 2012, we officially decided to partner up. In parallel with attending many networking events and pitching plug.dj, we began leveraging the tools that were in place so that our international audience could grow organically. We were very fortunate to have many of you as strong and loyal early adopters that provided highly constructive feedback, inspiring new features and ways to empower your communities.
The last year has been very exciting. You have helped us build a community of millions of people from over 190 countries and we are just getting started.
We’re excited to partner with Javelin Ventures because they strongly believe in our vision for the future of music sharing and discovery. Our partnership with them is enabling us to grow our team, particularly on the development side, so that we can more quickly improve the plug.dj experience.
Community is at the forefront of the plug.dj experience. For the past five months, Sachi has been instrumental in restructuring our Brand Ambassador program, managing our social media, and serving as the community representative for us to improve plug.dj.
At plug.dj, we value quality, not just in music but art, as well. Mike has been hard at work creating a whole new look for the next era of plug.dj. So far, you’ve seen just a glimpse of his work from the new Tastycat and winter backgrounds on the recently released version of plug.dj. Much more of his incredible art is on the way for everyone to enjoy.
Thank you for being part of our amazing international community. As a fellow community member, I ask everyone to join us in being positive and respectful of people’s different cultures, languages, and musical tastes. We appreciate your patience as we scale to support our growing population and, as always, take your feedback seriously as we continuously work to improve the experience for everyone.
I’m looking forward to seeing you all on plug.dj to share and discover new music!
P.S. As always, we strive to communicate to people that speak all languages. If you’re interested in translating this post from English to another language, please let us know, as we’re happy to post it.
Congrats to Caleb, our Brand Ambassador of the month! Although a fairly new BA, Caleb has proven himself hardworking, a solid team member, and exceedingly helpful. He’s also done a lot to assist with outreach to outside developers, and supporting new communities. Plus, he’s shown some surprising talent at reviewing albums, which we’ve already shared on the blog. We’d like to officially thank him for his help, and let you get to know Caleb a.k.a. DerpTheBass a little better.
What is your username on Plug.DJ and where do you like to hangout?
My username is ,DerpTheBass’. Way back when I joined plug I decided that I really need a permanent username and it just stuck, haha. I generally chill in TastyCat, mainly because there is always someone to talk to and the staff are really cool to hang out with. Recently I’ve been spending a lot of time in the new rooms that have popped up due to Turntable users migrating. One room really stands out though. YouTunes is a ‘play any genre’ room that came over from TT. I try to spend some time in there whenever I can. It’s really a phenomenal room that I hope will stay on plug and grow bigger.
What music and artists are you excited about right now?
I’m not paying a lot of attention to new music or anything in particular. I decided a bit ago to get back into rock and death metal, so I’ve been listening to a lot of Lamb of God, some Pink Floyd, Supertramp, and a ton of others. Although I’m still really deep into the EDM scene so my regular listening has consisted of a lot of old school, ‘roots of electro’ stuff as well as some minimal dubstep and trance.
Where are you from? What do you do for fun when you’re not on Plug.DJ?
I’m from a really small suburb outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Not very exciting and not much to do around here :P. I don’t think I’d rather live many other places though. When I’m not on Plug I’m generally working or doing schoolwork, otherwise I’m on Plug whether I’m actually active or AFK. But, most of my time outside of work and being an Ambassador is spent coding. I’ve come a long way with my web development skills thanks to Plug, and I have probably put in an insane amount of hours just learning the intricate inner workings of Plug and making scripts for Plug. After work, Plug, school, and coding I have little time for many other things but I do enjoy building computers, gaming, and doing some projects in After Effects and Photoshop. Along with all of these computer related activities I also try to find time to ride dirt bikes and ATVs in the summer.
Are you in school, or do you have a job?
I’m currently a junior in high school (11th grade). I decided to go to cyber school though as it grants me some more time for learning web development and hanging out on plug. I also work as a cashier so that takes up about 22 hours of my week.
What are some things you hope to accomplish personally next year?
Next year will be a big event in my life, I’ll be turning 18 and a lot of things will be happening. Getting a job in web dev or IT will be a big challenge for me, coupled with searching for a college and trying to save for college. I suppose most of those things will be coming quite a bit later in the year, so a closer goal I have is trying to advance my lesser used skills such as backend development.
What inspires you to be a Brand Ambassador?
Too many things to list, honestly. It’s a great feeling being able to work with the rest of the Plug staff on such a massive website. I really enjoy being able to help advance the popularity and stability of Plug, however small of an impact I may make. Of course, nothing can match how nice it is to have the opportunity to help so many users, whether they are new users trying to find their way around Plug, a host having problems with their room, a user looking for help with the API, or a whole excess of other scenarios.
On another note, I have learned so much just in the short time that I have been a BA. It’s a seriously amazing chance to learn about all kinds of stuff involving user experience or even marketing. Who knows, someday I may be able to put this on my resume, haha.
How do you contribute to the Plug.DJ community as a BA?
As stated in the last question, I try to help out users in any way I can. I also try to help out the admins by reporting bugs, user issues, or ways to improve the site. A big contribution that I am fairly proud of is putting in many hours helping out the new users who have come to plug due to the TT.fm shutdown. I’ve helped as much as I can, and been in contact with many TT users outside and on Plug to help them out with Plug’s API, or just to answer any questions they may have.
Why do you love Plug.DJ? What’s the most exciting thing about Plug.DJ?
The community. Seriously, I have met so many awesome people through Plug, it’s just crazy. It’s really insane to imagine sitting in a webpage sharing music and chatting with people from all walks of life around the world. Another reason I spend so much time on plug is because of the opportunity it gives me to be able to code. Whether it is an entire site with and extensive backend dedicated to a room or an extension to elevate the control that people have over Plug (coming soon haha), or a bot to help moderate a room. The most exciting thing about Plug to me is how quickly it has grown. Back when I first joined around April 2012, the top room was the EDM Basement with around 50 users on a really good day. Now, the top room is supported by 2 of the biggest EDM promoter channels on youtube and has peaked at over 3500 users in the room at once. Quite the accomplishment, I must say.
What’s the most common question you get about Plug.DJ, and how do you answer it?
I think lately the most common question I get generally involves private messaging on plug from TT users. I typically answer this with ‘It’s coming soon enough, we know everyone is looking forward to it’.
Any final thoughts, advice, or shoutouts you’d like to share?
I’d like to give a shoutout to Debs_Stylus, former Turntable user and host of YouTunes. She is really an amazing person and has been really chill about all of the recent issues that Plug has been experiencing while still managing to help tons of users migrate from her room on Turntable, and maintaining one of the coolest communities. I’d love to give a shoutout to all of the other great users like Fungus, who does a crazy good job at keeping TastyCat running with hosts who aren’t present too often, but it really isn’t possible.
Just like I do in all of the new rooms I visit, I’ll leave all of you guys with my contact info in case you have any questions or just want to say hi. http://derpthebass.com/contact
Meet Wiyaala, a talented and passionate Afro-pop artist from Ghana. BA Latanya got a chance to interview her, and learn more about fierce songstress. If you’d like a chance to chat with Wiyaala be sure and drop by the Make Me Dance Listening Party for her new remix EP, exclusively on Plug.dj!
Who is Wiyaala and how would you describe your music?
Wiyaala in my own tribal language means I am “the doer”. I’m a Sissala from the Upper West of Ghana, West Africa. I grew up in a small village called Funsi. I’m also known as “the young lioness of Africa”. That name was given to me by my manager. Why? Well, I think it’s because I roam around roaring a lot!
I do mainly Afro-Pop music, but there are elements of my tribal folk music and western rock music also in what I do. As I was a child, in the village not many people had TVs and we used to look through their windows to watch. I saw Madonna and Michael Jackson and I was fascinated by them. I would go home and put on my own shows for my family and friends imitating them. I think they influenced me a lot in the music, I’m making today.
You are the first artist I have ever listened to that is from Africa, but I am sure there are many other talented musicians. Can you name a few?
Wow! There are so many talented musicians of all kinds in Africa, let me mention some of the notable ladies… Angelique Kidjo, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Miriam Makeba and Brenda Fassie. They are all on YouTube.
The biography on your website says that you are known to stand up for women’s right, how do you incorporate that in your music?
I have this warrior song called Tinambayai which will be on my album. I sing it in Sissali. Basically it says “Hey you! We are just preparing and already you are running for your lives!”. Although this song is not specifically about women’s rights, it does represent my attitude to the exploitation of women in Africa. Even In the next 10-20 years, I think women will redress the balance and become more influential. It’s already happening in the Ghanaian movie industry, but the music industry here is dominated by men. I hope that I will be part of changing that perception.
What do you like to do for fun?
I like being around young kids, going to a park where there are trampolines, see-saws, swings and we all just laugh and play together.
What can we expect from you in the near future?
I have a song called “You Got the Power” coming out soon. It’s Afro-Pop and I sing it in three local languages, Waali, Sissali and Ga as well as English. The song says, no matter the difficulties in our lives, the power rests with each of us to change it. It is a song about personal responsibility. I’m hoping to get my full album finished by March 2014. That album should be really interesting because it fuses western style music with traditional African village life.
I read that your mother is your inspiration and taught you how to sing, do you ever ask for her advice when making a song?
I talk to my mother everyday. She has always believed in me. And yes, I have definitely been influenced by the stories she used to tell us as children. Some of those stories are now in my songs like Arijanah. But, now I’m grown she says that she will leave the music to me and just enjoy listening.
What is your thought process when making music? How do you go about it? Any routines or just whatever feels right?
I don’t force it. An idea usually comes to me when I am in a good mood and seeing the positive side of life. That is good because I won’t always be complaining!
In the future you said you want to work on an album that mixes your tribal songs and western influences and those songs will contain messages from Upper West of Ghana which reflect the Sissala outlook on life. Can you go into a little more detail about the Sissala outlook on life?
They see life as it is. My song Tuma says there is no food for the lazy man. That’s how it is.
What role does Ghana or Africa as whole play into your music?
All musicians around the world are a reflection of where they come from. But we all come into contact with different people and cultures even through TV and the internet. This influences what we already have. So, whilst I will always be Ghanaian, how could I ever ignore Rihanna, Beyonce or other major international stars? Sometimes I hear that musicians will just stick to what they know. Do they live in a bubble?
We would like to thank everyone who has continued to support us, while we work to sort out the many issues on the site right now. These are not the standards of service that we strive to provide, and we are working on gathering the resources that we need to do a better job supporting our communities.
Translated into BR Portuguese by BA Nantes
Translated into Spanish by BA Orlando
Translated into German by BA Lukas
Translated into Dutch by BA Max
Essentially, almost all the bugs on the site right now are caused by lag issues. Interest in the new design of the site and Turntable shutting down has resulted in a surge of people visiting the site. This has been on top of the substantial growth we’ve been experiencing for the past year, which began to strain the site several months ago. On busy days, we now get about 100 times more traffic than when most of the backend code of the site was written. That’s a lot for any site to handle, and is completely unrelated to the new design.
Yes, we were aware of these problems, and we’ve been working to address them. Prior to these bugs, we had already launched a new, robust chat engine, and had begun testing a more efficient media player. Though it may seem like nothing has been done for a couple months now, many of the changes are not explicitly visible on the front end of our site. Still, we will admit that development has not moved as quickly as we would like, mostly because our Development Team is very small. For months we’ve been trying to find the right, talented developers to join our team, and we have only just found the talent that we need.
Based on the incredibly helpful feedback of our community on our help desk, we’ve identified the following common issues:
- When a song ends, the player does not automatically advance to the next song
- Points are not updating correctly
- After a song plays it does not automatically move to the bottom of a playlist
- People are unable to join communities or load the site
- Changes to staff do not update correctly
- Banning and unbanning do not update correctly
- Changes to the DJ waitlist do not update correctly
- When people leave the site, their avatar stays in the community
Additionally, Soundcloud has been having their own stability issues completely independent of our issues. We have been working with Soundcloud’s support team to resolve these issues.
Thank you so much for the offers for help and donations. We cannot express how deeply your support touches us. Reading through your comments always puts us in a better mood. We are financially healthy, and we’ve just hired a new developer this week. So for now, we will not ask any more of our communities than their continued patience and support.
Please remember that we’re still a small, startup company with limited resources, working around the clock to bring you plug.dj for free. We do this because we are dedicated to building positive international communities for sharing and discovering music. The same bugs that affect you, affect us. We are not happy about it either, but we can’t afford to get frustrated. Instead, our team is staying positive, and working for you through Thanksgiving, because we are thankful for every member of every community on our site.
If you are experiencing any issues we did not mention, please make sure that you submit them to our help desk.
The Plug DJ team would like to extend a very warm welcome to all the amazing turntable.fm communities that have transitioned to our site over the past week. Although the increase in traffic has put some strain on our website, we are more than happy to help you. Your feedback has been heartwarmingly positive and your offers for help have been incredibly uplifting.
New Turntable Import Feature
To show our thanks, and to make your transition as easy as possible, we have launched a feature that will allow you to import your turntable playlists. Because music is the most important thing, right?
Our turntable import feature is still in beta, but here’s how it works.
Export From Turntable
- Head over to turntable’s export tool to export your turntable playlists to CSV.
- Right-Click on the “Click to download CSV” link and choose “Save link as…”.
- We suggest naming each file to the names of your playlists and saving them to a folder on your desktop.
A quick note for people with more than one playlist:
When we tested turntable’s export feature ourselves, sometimes when we changed the playlist in the drop down and clicked on the CSV link, it wasn’t the current playlist’s data. So, we recommend you double-check each file after you download it to make sure it is the correct playlist. We were able to fix this issue by changing to another playlist and back to the playlist we wanted for it to “stick”.
Import To Plug DJ
Go into the plug.dj playlist panel and click the Import button in the bottom left corner.
Click our turntable.fm import button.
In the file dialog that opens, navigate to one of your playlist files and open it.
Give a name to your playlist and click Import This Playlist.
plug.dj will begin the import process.
Repeat for each of your exported playlists.
How It Works
Currently, the import feature searches YouTube by the artist and song name and uses the first result. While this is, unfortunately, not 100% accurate, especially for rare remixes, b-sides, and live performances (which may not be available on YouTube), it will save you a lot of time. Once you’re done importing, you can go through and find the few missing or incorrect songs on a case-by-case basis.
plug.dj playlists are capped at 200 items for technical reasons. If your turntable playlist is longer than 200 items, plug.dj will automatically create as many playlists as needed to import your entire turntable playlist.
Thank you so much for taking the time to transition to plug.dj. We wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. Personally, we could not be more thankful for people like you. Additionally, please check out the following resources that we offer to help you manage your communities.
Ask questions and get help – http://support.plug.dj/
Suggest a new idea – http://support.plug.dj/forums/20806957-Feature-Requests
Volunteer to help out our community more – http://blog.plug.dj/brand-ambassador-application/
Let us know about your next event so we can help promote – http://blog.plug.dj/plug-dj-parties/
BA Ciaran got to see Zedd perform at the Academy in Dublin, Ireland on October 27th, 2013. Luckily he took some photos and wrote up this review, so fellow fans can live vicariously through him.
Also, our apologies for this belated post. We’ve been really busy here at Plug.dj lately. In addition to launching the new UI, we’ve got some other big things in the works that will be announced soon. Stay tuned for updates!
After seeing his Facebook post about playing in my home city, I instantly went online to my ticket to see Zedd in the Academy. Last night was the big night. I have been to many gigs before ranging from metal to punk but this was going to be my first electronic gig.
I got to the venue at about 22:10, doors were set to open at 23:00 and the queue was already quite long and had doubled by 22:30. After some antics with people hopping the barrier and security escorting them to the end of the queue or on their way, the doors finally opened. Being an 18′s and up event, we got ID checked, stamped and headed over to the bar for a drink. It was about 23:30 when I decided to go upstairs and check out the view and take some shots of the setup. It seems like they were only letting certain people up so I was glad I got the chance to get the view from the upper level. The dance floor below was completely packed with people raving it out to the music being mixed on the fly by the house DJs. They mostly played the popular “club bangers”.
This went on until Zedd finally made his grand and warmly welcomed appearance on stage. The crowd were armed with glow sticks, glow wands and some people were in costume, such as the Ninja Turtles and more notably, horse heads like the ones used in the Organ Donors video for Ketamine.
He opened with ‘Spectrum’ and the crowd went wild. The set consisted of ice cannons which were also loaded with confetti, a cool lights setup and a huge LED screen right behind where Zedd was standing, playing colourful designs and Zedd-themed animations that were in perfect sync with the music. During ‘Clarity’ the ice cannons shot off for the first time with a burst of “smoke” followed by confetti and then again about another 5-6 times throughout the event. Never a dull moment in the crowd, as they were constantly jumping along with Zedd to the beat, some people even crowd-surfing. The bass was absolutely pumping and as Zedd interacted with the crowd, they began singing along to the tracks. He also threw in ‘Wake Me Up’ by Avicii, ‘Animals’ by Martin Garrix and some other popular tracks with heavy bass. In my opinion the speakers were a bit too loud, but otherwise it was an amazing gig to be at. and one producer I recommend highly!
After Clarity went platinum in the US in July, Zedd has gone from strength to strength. You could tell he really enjoyed what he was doing and was passionate about his music and fans. If you see Zedd playing in your area, get those tickets, you will not be disappointed.
One of our newest Brand Ambassadors, LiftHeavy, reviews one of his favorite albums to come out this year. Anyone else appreciate a little gritty guitar music? If you do, you may want to check out the room where he also serves as co-host, Metal/Rock 24/7.
Alice In Chains a band very close to my heart. I grew up listening to them in the 90s, and they are a very popular and loveable band. Also, I am happy to say they are still kicking in 2013 with their newest album, The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here. Here is some information for people who haven’t become big fans of Alice in Chains yet.
- Formed in Seattle, Washington, U.S.
- Genres: Alternative metal, grunge, heavy metal
- Years active: 1987–2002, 2005–present
- Labels: Columbia, Virgin/EMI, Capitol
- Members: Jerry Cantrell, Sean Kinney, Mike Inez, William DuVall
- Past members: Mike Starr, Layne Staley
The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here is the fifth studio album by the American rock band Alice in Chains, released on May 28, 2013. It is the band’s second reunion album. Following a worldwide tour in support of its previous album, Black Gives Way to Blue (2009). My favorite songs on the album are “Hollow”, “Stone,” and “Voices.” To me these songs have a great balance of a chill flow but not losing any of that heavy sound I grew to love about them. As always the crisp vocals that hardly anyone can dismiss. I will let the songs do most of the talking, here are some of the singles from the album!
The cover artwork features the skull of a Triceratops with a second skull image cryptically hidden in the background. The two skulls, when revealed, combine to form the image of the Devil. Which i thought was very unique.
The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200, the band’s highest chart position since 1995′s Alice in Chains, which debuted at #1, selling 61,000 copies in its first week of release. As of July 31, 2013, the album has sold 120,000 copies in the US!!
The reason I love “Stone” so much out of the other songs on the album is that the sound is heavy and the rifts are so catchy that it can be stuck in your head for hours! William DuVall’s vocals on this song really stands out, kinda reminds me of Wayne Stanley a bit. The drums are not to strong but it has a balance that works so well. Another great song from the album “Hollow” a slow and heavy feel to it, that A.I.C is known for. With some sludge elements to it very great sound.
Compared to Alice in Chain’s past albums, which seemed somewhat ensnared in the grunge-metal formula the band invented, this record seems liberating and enlightening. To me with this new album it shows their musical rebirth without changing their sound that we fans grew to love. What really makes Alice in Chains a poignant artistic statement is the band’s unflinching dedication and will to continue on after so many years. Even with a huge blow in 2002 when vocalist Layne Staley died, they didn’t call it quits, and I think any inspiring artist or band can learn a thing or to from these legends!
To sum this review up, Alice In Chains a very good band I think anyone can come to love them as I do. The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here is an amazing album, but some A.I.C fans believe their older albums are better, so feel free to give the other albums some love to. Hope you guys enjoy the music.
Here at plug.dj we love EDM, but we also love a lot of different genres. We think eclectic tastes lead to better music discovery, which is something that we’re all about! BA DerpTheBass has already reviewed a couple electronic releases for us, but now he tries a new direction and takes on some guitars.
I’ll be reviewing A Day to Remember’s new album, Common Courtesy. This is an extremely new album, the album was digitally available on October 8th, and CD/vinyl copies will be available November 25th. I will say that I have never listened to A Day to Remember, but I have been meaning to for quite a while now. This should be fairly interesting and I look forward to listening to all of the songs. Although I’ve never listened to them before I’m fairly sure I know what to expect. I’ll be doing a segment for each of the songs that really stand out along with a summary at the end.
Track one: “City of Ocala”
It starts out with a classic metal sound that I would expect. I was ready for more of a scream-centered song but I was surprised with the vocals, they’re definitely great, and it really reminds of Green Day actually. As a huge Neil Peart fan I was also paying close attention to the drums and they did a great job, although the drums did sound a bit generic. Overall the song gave me a great first impression of A Day to Remember and I really liked the feel of the song.
Track three: “Sometimes You’re The Hammer, Sometimes You’re The Nail”
I got really into this song, it’s got a nice rocking beat to it and was exactly what I was expecting from this band. The scream to regular singing ratio was great on this song as a bonus. I used to be a huge death metal fan so I can always appreciate some good screaming.
Track five: “Best of Me”
At this point I’ve really fallen in love with A Day to Remember. This song is absolutely amazing. It does a great job at creating a unique sound and feel and the lyrics are totally flawless as well.
Track six: “I’m already gone”
I’ve been following the indie/folk rock scene for a bit now and I’m really into it lately, so this track really catered to my taste. It has a real indie rock feel with quite a bit of acoustics and great vocals. They really hit the nail on the head with this song. It’s actually pretty relaxing too, it’s almost a song you could fall asleep to.
“Track thirteen: I Remember”
This is the last track in the album and I don’t think they could have made a better song to close off the album. It has a chiller vibe as a few of the songs in this album do and if I’m interpreting it correctly, it’s the band members reminiscing on their experiences together as a band. They end the song with a fairly long segment of themselves talking about their memories together which I thought was great, although I can see a lot of people not liking it. All in all, this song gives off a mad nostalgia vibe that I could really get into.
So overall I thought the album was great. It certainly did a good job of converting someone like me who has never listened to them nor listens to this type of music. If you’re a fan of A Day to Remember I assume you’re already planning on picking up this album as I hear it’s been fairly anticipated, but if you’ve never listened to them before I would definitely say it’s worth your time to give them a listen.
This interview was conducted and written by Ciaran, one of our newest BAs. If you see him on the site, be sure and say hi! Or, leave him some support in the comments section.
Can you introduce yourself briefly for our readers?
Hey, my name is Robert. I’m 21 years old, I live in Germany, and I make music on my computer under the name of Teqq.
You have released tracks through Tasty Network and Monstercat. Can you describe the feeling you got from your first releases?
My first release gave me an amazing feel, because if you release on Monstercat you have this huge amount of people hearing your track. I still can’t think that there are thousand of people out there listen to something I made sitting here in my bedroom in front of my computer. It’s both amazing and very surreal to me.
You recently released your latest track collaboration with Hellberg, featuring Taylr Renee – Air, which has already been picked up by multiple promotion channels. Would you consider it your best work so far?
Well, my best which is released to this date, yea.
How much of an impact do you think Plug.DJ has on your current success as a producer so far?
Plug.dj is really cool, I never regretted going there haha. I met so many nice people there which I do not want to miss in my life. Also, there are so many young and upcoming talents there; its crazy.
Does music run in your family?
Nope, at least not that I know of.
Do you have any projects going on right now? If so, do you have any planned release date?
Ya I have some projects I’m working on, but no date yet. Sorry!
Have you got any tours or international live shows planned? Where would you most like to perform?
We got something planned, but sadly not international. Also I cant give any info about that just yet! My absolute dream is to perform in Webster Hall or Red Rocks!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?
I don’t know. This music thing is great and it has so many surprises, at least for me. I can’t tell you where I am gonna end up with this. All I can say is that I will never stop making music.
Who would you consider your biggest inspiration(s)?
Alesso, every song that guy makes is an anthem! and Mako, those guys are amazing. Can’t say I’m not amazed by any of their releases.
Do you have any advice to offer new producers or those aspiring to learn?
My advice is pretty simple but its true: NEVER give up. Especially for me, because I don’t play any kind of instrument, so I can get stuck with chords and melodies pretty easily. But, never ever give up. Every minute you spent on this will be worth it.
A dear friend of plug.dj, Mike Nigro, went on our behalves to the BEMF over the weekend, and wrote us up this review so we could live vicariously through him. Though it sounds like things were a little hectic, we dearly wish we could have gone. The festival highlights some of the most progressive, innovative artists from a variety of different electronic sub-genres.
Last weekend’s Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival hosted nearly 70 performers on nine stages in the heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Performances took place at multiple venues simultaneously, forcing a number of questions on attendees: Who do I want to see? When are they playing? When should I get there? How do I get there? As only one guy, I set out to make sense of the Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival and find as many answers as I could.
My first show on Friday evening was at 285 Kent, which began with a bubbling, psychedelic DJ set from Bryan Kasenic. The main attraction for me was Outer Space, brainchild of John Elliott, formerly of Emeralds and the man behind the Spectrum Spools label. Based on his CV, I had high hopes of swirling, technicolor clouds of analog synthesis, but instead Elliott and his two lab assistants presented a short set that started with plodding string pad drones and then switched midstream into a thumping house-kraut groove. It was a bit of a one trick pony, but the trick was pretty good, and the guys looked like they were having fun twiddling their knobs and smoking a one-hitter, so I decided to let it slide.
Next door at Glasslands, I found DJ Reck mixing, scratching, and sampling his way through an eclectic, beat-heavy set with impressive calm and ease. Despite the bona fide ruckus that he was creating, the crowd largely stayed to the back of the room, did a half-hearted two step, and downed Brooklyn Lagers.
Up Wythe Ave, Lunice put on one of the best-received performances that I witnessed at the Festival; his aggressive brand of rave-rap was exactly what the party-hearty audience at Music Hall of Williamsburg wanted on Friday night. The show was deafeningly loud and heavy on strobe lights, and Lunice upped the intensity by mixing in angry-yet-crowd-pleasing cuts like “Black Skinhead.” He seemed to be having as much fun as the audience, headbanging along to his own set and making sure to run laps around the equipment table every few minutes.
The final stop of the night was Output to see John Digweed, where I was scheduled to meet some friends who had made it inside earlier. The line for the 452 person-capacity dance club stretched around the block, and after 20 minutes in line and minimal progress, it was announced that the venue was at capacity. Having done my due diligence, but upset I was unable to make my appointment, I made a mental note to show up earlier for the headliner on Saturday.
People attend festivals like Brooklyn EMF for a variety reasons. While some are drawn by the sheer number of artists, others pay full price to see just one of their favorites. My experience at Output on Friday helped me clarify my goal for Saturday: get inside Glasslands to see Oneohtrix Point Never.
I arrived early and saw Thug Entrancer, whose all-analog setup was a welcome respite from the laptops and CDJs that populated most Festival stages. He pitted hyperkinetic drum programming against longform melodic and textural developments, resulting in a sound that seemed to move in two time zones at once. Despite being well-paced overall, the set ended abruptly after he was signaled from offstage to wrap it up.
Oneohtrix Point Never’s abstract electronica is a lot of things, but repetitive is not one – a mindset that’s clearly at odds with the body-moving trance that many performers aim to achieve at the festival. Occasionally, he would repeat a phrase long enough for you to get familiar, and as soon as you had, he would pull the rug out from under it – with silence, a jarringly juxtaposed sample, or most often a uncomfortably loud bass rumble. Though he gave a faithful rendition of his sound, his desire to play dancefloor bait-and-switch and his utter lack of showmanship made OPN a rather difficult pill to swallow in the context of Brooklyn EMF.
I skipped next door to 285 Kent for a taste of Actress’ deconstructed techno, but despite arriving after the scheduled 2 AM start time, I was greeted by a wall of hard and heavy house. With no visible performer at the front of the room, I suspected that I’d arrived in-between sets. I was unable to determine who it was (if anyone), and when (if at all) Actress would be performing. My sleep schedule got the best of me, and as I headed home, my concert buddy noted that despite our planning and high expectations, our chance encounter with Thug Entrancer ended up being the highlight of the night.
Just a few days before the festival kicked off, Norwegian space disco king Todd Terje cancelled his Sunday set due to a family emergency. Since I had originally built my schedule for the night around seeing him, I was left scrambling to find other acts that piqued my interest. I was also unaware, heading into my third round of Brooklyn EMF, that the Festival’s go-all-night scheduling was about to take its toll on me.
A friend suggested I check out Cameo, which turned out to be charmingly unkempt a la 285 Kent. Lamin Fofana was first on the bill, spinning a groovy, pleasant mix of house and disco, but the room was populated by only a few dozen wallflowers who weren’t doing much moving (myself included). I stuck around long enough to see Blacky II take the stage – though I had to look carefully to be sure that’s what was happening. His selections didn’t make any noticeable detours, and Cameo was quite poorly lit except for the glowing Red Bull logo that was placed in front of every performer at the Festival. Sensing that the room wasn’t really picking up, I headed for the door, and then Glasslands.
I was surprised to see a sizable, slow-moving line in front of the venue. After scrambling for a bit – Is it sold out? Are there two lines? Who’s playing in there? – I discovered the answer: the doorman had left his post without explanation. When he reappeared, he didn’t seem to think it was his problem that the folks in line were confused.
Once inside, Jerome LOL was spinning a groovy, pleasant mix of house and disco – nearly identical to the sets at Cameo. However, he’s a higher profile name who’s able to attract a critical mass of fans. That was all it took to give the room a great party vibe, even after midnight on a Sunday.
Speaking of which, despite my plans to survey a few more spots, including Output, which I think was a central venue of the Festival, my eyelids were falling fast and I decided to throw in the towel. I’m only one guy, and I felt like I wasn’t going to be able to answer any more questions at that hour.
Overall, I found was that despite impressive shows of creativity from many of the performers at Brooklyn EMF, it was occasionally difficult to answer the fundamental questions of who, when, and where. Additionally, issues with basic festival logistics such as capacity, scheduling and presentation showed up frequently and consistently enough that I felt distracted from the music as often than I felt lost in it.
You can follow more of Mike Nigro’s musical musings and discoveries on his tumblr, Imperfect Sound Forever.