Mapping the trajectory that led us to the ever-increasing multitude of new and hybrid genres of music today isn’t easy, but one brave programmer has taken up the task, charting the evolution of Western dance music from its folk-culture roots to the sounds of the present with a new, interactive map.
Last weekend, from September 27-29, Dutch concert promoters ID&T brought TomorrowWorld, the American spin-off of their legendary Belgian event Tomorrowland, to Chattahoochee Hills just outside Atlanta for the first time ever. We went down to check out the action, and we can say the festival was nothing short of breathtaking in every possible way. Being a brand-new festival, at least for the American market, nobody really had any idea what to expect, but Tomorrowland has a reputation for being one of the most unique and well-thought-out concert experiences around the world, so the stakes were high. Concert-goers and overnight campers were treated to three full days of amazing music consisting of over 300 DJs and performers. The crowd seemed like an embassy of the world with tens of thousands of dance music enthusiasts proudly waving flags from all over—even from places as far off as India and Australia. TomorrowWorld‘s production and setup was extremely meticulous and considered, with mind-blowing visuals and fireworks going off for what seemed like an eternity every night. All together, the experience truly felt like walking into a fantasy world where everyone could forget about real life and do nothing but dance and love life. Patrons could even visit the bookstore, go for a swim at the pool club, enjoy a beer at the Belgian beer cafe, or even send some outgoing mail at the Post Office, if they were so inclined. The festival site was so large that it took about 30 minutes to walk from one end to the other, and even involved crossing a bridge that ID&T built to cross a river. But that’s to say nothing of the music—our highlights of which follow, along with a slew of crowd shots from the weekend by Film Magic.
If there’s one thing that can get you stoked for an upcoming festival, it’s watching the revelry of said event’s last installment in documentary form. Heading to TomorrowWorld at the end of the month? Or just a huge fan of one of the biggest spectacles in dance-music history? Then you need to peep Tomorrowland’s video wrap-up of their recent party-to-end-all-parties in their hometown of (the appropriately named) Boom, Belgium, which you can do below. So what are you waiting for? Get psyched, or just watch how one seriously epic festival unfolds, with the following clip.
“To its fans, it’s the last true subculture. To its detractors, it’s boring music listened to by nouveau hippies filling the years between Goa and Goldman Sachs.” So says Clive Martin, the British reporter tasked with examining the still-going psytrance phenomenon in this great mini-documentary by Vice’s Noisey site for their Big Night Out series. “Is there some worth in it, beyond promoting the use of hemp?” he asks. To answer the question, Martin headed out to the forest with a bunch of dreadlocked dervishes and college girls on their gap year to experience what he refers to as a party more like “Cirque du Soleil than Berghain.”
If you’ve taken your decks anywhere outside the normal club conditions—heck, even those can be dangerous—you know that the poor things, despite how well-built they may be, are susceptible to all kinds of damage. Throw in extreme heat, unexpected dust storms, and all sorts of other mayhem—ahem, Burning Man—and you’ve got yourself quite the set of circumstances under which you must protect your gear and still play a flawless set. What to do, what to do?
Happy Friday! Today, we take a look at some of dance music’s raddest screen visuals, via interviews with the VJs for Skrillex, Swedish House Mafia, Avicii, and others. Plus, we’ve got your usual dose of music news and a whole lot more, so step right up.
As you likely know, last year’s Sensation event at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center was a huge hit. This year, the Dutch franchise brings the festival nationwide, with stops in Oakland, Las Vegas, Miami, and again New York. And slated to perform on the stage are: Fedde le Grand, Nic Fanciulli, Sébastien Léger, Michael Woods, Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano, and Prok & Fitch, with hosts Mr. White and McGee.
First of all, who knew Idris Elba (aka The Wire‘s “Stringer Bell”) was a fan of dance music? Second of all, who knew he had an English accent? Okay, the details: Last year, the native Londoner, along with the BBC, assembled a solid documentary on the history of clubbing—basically a top-20 countdown of the most significant events in dance music’s legacy.
Trance fans, get your warm-up gear on and tie up those laces tight, because things are about to get a bit faster on the dancefloor. Check out what Armin Van Buuren has in store, plus a whole lot more, in today’s roundup.