Thursday, October 20, 2011

Top 100 DJ's 2011 Results: Thoughts & Reflections

Well, you knew this post was coming… DJMag’s Top 100 DJs poll has been released and the reactions all across the world have been interesting, to say the absolute least.  Many are happy, many are pissed, and some (like me) are left scratching their heads at some of the results.  Let me just start off by saying I am very disappointed to see that Armin van Buuren has been dethroned from his #1 spot to land at #2.  Sure, a 4 year reign as the king of DJs and electronic dance music as a whole is pretty much unheard of (the previous streak was Tiesto with 3 years at #1), but many in the trance community believed he was due for a 5th go around as the top dog.  I certainly did.  Who wouldn’t?  Some could argue this year was as big as last year if not bigger.  With the release of his Mirage Remixes album, Armin Only dates, continued world tour, and let’s not forget: ASOT 500!  I can’t stress this one enough.  ASOT 500 alone was a worldwide event that alone should have had the power to catapult any DJ to the #1 spot.  The whole world was tuned in during all 5 dates in 5 different continents.  It was such a massive event with so much hype, even twitter couldn’t handle the #ASOT500 tweets that were flooding the twitter servers; resulting in a ban of the hashtag.  In my humble opinion, no other DJ has the capability of connecting the world like that through music and technology.  I’m sure he was somewhat disappointed as well, but in a way expected.  Can’t be the top guy forever (just ask Tiesto).   Music is changing, tastes are changing, and new names are coming into the ranks.  Which brings me to our new #1 winner…

Passing of the torch
David Guetta.  Say that name in any group of EDM enthusiasts and you will have a polarized debate with lots of opinions.  You either love him or hate him (with a small margin in there indifferent to his fame).  He’s THAT controversial.  Not to say that those who “hate” him actually HATE the man, but he represents something different in dance music that we are not used to: mainstream attention.  He’s brought house music to the masses with his cross breeding of hip hop with house.  He’s become the go to guy for rappers and R&B singers who want a club friendly record to get the dance floors jumping.  Just look at his track record.  He’s done tracks with or for Akon, Black Eyed Peas, Snoop Dogg, LMFAO, Usher, and Madonna, just to name a few.  A pretty big selling point if you ask me, and that’s exactly what I think has attributed to his #1 status.  EDM sells.  The industry has figured that much out, and David Guetta has become their dealer.  I guess one could argue this dilutes the genre.  What’s been the result?  Regular producers are trying to make house records, hardcore rappers are trying to make  club records, and everyone who used to shun “rave music” has dance friendly tracks somewhere in their iTunes playlist.  It was inevitable.
Now let’s look at some notable spots on the rest of the list since this was the main concern coming into this DJ poll result.  Guetta won, Armin couldn’t 5-peat, end of story.  Let’s get over it.  Moving on:

-Why is Deadmau5 still on this list?  Better yet, why is he still in the top 10?  Even better yet, why are people still voting for him?  Don’t his “fans” know that he doesn’t give a damn about this list.  He never did.  He never promotes it and never well since he doesn’t consider himself a “DJ”.  Go figure.

-I’m happy to see Avicii climbed the ranks.  He even made it a notch above Afrojack!  I was very surprised to see that.  I know he’s had a big year, but I don’t think he’s had one as big as Afrojack’s.  Good for him.  Way to keep a fanbase happy and growing.  That’s how it’s done ladies and gentlemen.

-Speaking of Afrojack, don’t be surprised to see him in the top 5 in the next couple of years.  His fanbase is increasing at a David Guetta rate.

-How did Tiesto not decrease in rank?  He’s still a big household name; let’s not get that confused.  However, he’s had no album, no major releases that became chart topping hits, and he’s pretty much alienated his former trance loving fanbase by playing only house records in his sets and compilations.  Guess loyalty knows no bounds.

-Sander van Doorn!  He actually decreased a few spots?!  How the hell did this happen?  He had every reason to appear in the top 10 (in my opinion again).  Huge compilation with Dusk Till Doorn 2011, huge album (Eleve11) that got great reviews, lots of DJ support, big releases on his label, and bigger fanbase by making more house friendly hits.  I don’t know, I really couldn’t figure this one out.

-Markus Schulz decreased 1 spot?  Well, at least he moved this time around.  And he’s still top 10 despite everyone loving house music these days.  We couldn’t really ask for much more.

-How did Dash Berlin not only maintain his status, but gain?  Even above Swedish House Mafia and Markus?  Explanation please…

-Ferry Corsten had a notable decrease, but that was almost expected.  He didn’t put much out this year.  Next year I anticipate to see some gains with the release of his new artist album and tour that I’m sure will follow.  Same goes for Paul van Dyk.

-Skrillex is in the top 20.  Yes, sign of the times people.  Dubstep/glitch/whatever the hell you want to call it is here to stay because the kids love it.

-I knew Arty would come in big and strong.  Way to make an impact!

-Glad to see Dada Life has climbed up the ranks quite a bit.  They still deserve higher though.

-SteveAoki actually made it this year.  Good for him.  For as big of a name as he is, I was surprised to see his lack of presence in this list.  Like him or not, he belongs.

-Wolfgang Gartner is only at 56? wow.

-Tritonal made it!  Their hard work and campaigning paid off!  After being snubbed last year, they got their wish and made it into the top 100.  I’m happy for them. 

-Porter Robinson had a huge year, and I’m surprised to see him in at 96.  I would have predicted a little higher, but I’m sure he’s happy he made it.  He’s only 19 after all.

-Noticeable omission: Michael Woods!  I thought the man had a killer year!  Killer past couple of years actually.  Really shocked about this one.

-Overall, trance as a whole went down and the house genre continues their rising popularity.  It seems like most of the trance artists had to work harder just to even maintain their ballpark spot.

Well there you have it everyone.  Maybe one of the more opinionated columns I’ve ever written.  Agree or disagree, that what makes EDM so great.  It’s so big and diverse, we can have an infinite amount of opinions but still come together for the love of music.  Whether or not your favorite DJ made it where you wanted him/her to or not, take solace in the fact that they appreciated your vote and most likely won’t stop what they’re doing anytime soon.  A chat I had with Tritonal earlier this year showed me that in the mind of a DJ, falling short of any expectation is more motivation to push boundaries and work harder to achieve greater things.  They will work harder and continue to do what they do best; entertain us with their music.  Like baseball; there’s always next year.


Trance Thursday Throwback: "Roadkill (Breakfast Remix)"

Welcome to another edition of the TTT brought to you by yours truly, Mark Menjivar.  Forgive me for not posting; last week was certainly hectic.  Now that we have come back to normal speed of life (for the most part), let’s look back and dig into the old record box for this week’s throwback.  One of my favorites of all time in trance game is Ferry Corsten.  His style is comparable to no one; as is illustrated in his productions, song selection for live sets, and radio show.  While he hasn’t made the biggest impact this year necessarily, it’s definitely understandable as he’s been immersed in studio work for his next artist album which I’m sure will end up to be another classic.  That being said, if you remember his live release for his set at Dance Valley 2007, you’ll no doubt remember this week’s classic.  Let’s take a look:

Dubfire – Roadkill (Breakfast Remix)

Breakfast is definitely a name that has a close association with Ferry Corsten since he is regularly featured on his compilations and radio show.  However this was the track that really grabbed my attention at the time and showed me he was a force to be reckoned with.  The spin on Dubfire’s house hit “Roadkill” made a HUGE impact on that Dance Valley live album by completely revamping it and transforming the original version into a full blown trance record.  Definitely one of the stand out points in that set and one of my favorite trance records to date.  The buildup is still one of my favorites of all time and really shows the essence and structure of a classic trance anthem.  Still gives me goosebumps.  Now, excuse me while I go listen to that live album again, and again, and again…. 

Till next time, cheers!


Friday, October 7, 2011

Skills LovEvolution/Love After: The Love came back with a BANG

Well it’s been almost two weeks now since the Love invaded the grounds of coliseum and the dust has settled.  Now we have rolls full of pictures, heads full of memories, and hearts full of satisfaction to endlessly remind us of the great time that was had that chilly day/night Saturday, September 24th.  Speaking of which, the chilly (and almost rainy at times) weather wasn’t enough to slow down the day portion of LovEvolution.  Wetness and clouds aside, the masses came in flocks from all over the Bay Area to enjoy some of the best world class electronic music there was to offer.  The layout was really reminiscent of the LovEvs of old in the Civic Center of SF with floats surrounding the outer rim and each float being from a specific “crew” or promoter.  One thing I’ve always loved was the unique designs and themes of each specific float.  Always makes it hard to choose which one you want to spend more time with.  Luckily, there was enough time in the day to wander all around.  With each float having their respective grounds, the shaded (although not really needed) chill area, the main stage with top popular EDM acts, and easy access to facilities/food, I think the overall set up was a big win for Skills.  The music was great from all the stages and it’s always good to see lots of support for each one. Once the sun (or lack thereof) started to set and the party people were warmed up, it was time for Love After.  The lineup was huge for trance lovers, however Laidback Luke and Moby were there to provide housey and eclectic support.  As expected, the stage was massive and the lighting & screen set up was out of this world.  The Oracle Arena was a much better venue for an event such as this vs. the old Bill Graham Civic Auditorium and the Cow Palace used for ETD POP.  I thought the extensive floor space and ample stadium wide seating was perfect to provide the massive concert feel.  It really gave you the ability to walk around and enjoy the entire venue without necessarily have to “rub elbows”.  Really got me excited to hear that ETD POP will be held there next year. What can I say?  I really give Skills a lot of praise for pulling this thing off without a hitch (that we know of).  Considering the new venue(s) and location change, they did a great job of promoting and planning this LovEvolution to be just as meaningful and memorable as the predecessors.  Speaking of promoting, I thought Skills also did a great job with getting the word out through social media, word of mouth, and even billboard advertising.  Besides that, the crowd is another key element for a successful event.  They were certainly hyped and energetic throughout most of the day.  While it may have seemed a little more packed in the previous San Francisco events, this first time in Oakland had a decent turn out that I’m sure will surge in the coming years.  For Love After, the crowd was especially hot for the DJs, which kept the energy reciprocating through the entire night.  The hard media work definitely paid off and based on the DJ responses from twitter, it sounded like they were impressed as well.

Personally, I think LovEvolution has found a new home.  While some of us previous attendees may be nostalgic about long days/nights in San Francisco, I think this venue replacement was a really great choice.  I like that the grounds are still easily accessible via public transportation and there was plenty of space.  Was there room for improvement?  Sure.  There always is.  However I have full confidence in Skills for using this as a learning experience to continue bringing us the love for LovEvolution and future events at this new venue for years to come.  One thing is for sure: EDM is ALIVE and well in the Bay Area.   



Thursday, September 29, 2011

Trance Thursday Throwback (LovEvolution Edition pt. 3): "Perfect"

For anyone who was present for LovEvolution last Saturday, all I can say is BRAVO!  What a fantastic show that was.  To all the DJ's, promoters, organizers, volunteers, float crews, and anybody else who dedicated hard work to make sure this event was a success, all I can say is a big THANK YOU!  It was certainly a great night with some really great performances by the artists.  I'm glad LovEvolution is back and to celebrate, I'm rounding out the trio of TTT's dedicated to the event with another Love anthem.  Trance lovers present were no doubt in awe (as I was) of Markus Schulz's performance.  Even in his 30 minute set during the day festivities, he knows how to rally a crowd.  His performance at Love After was definitely something to not be missed.  It was nothing short of MASSIVE!  I feel very satisfied of voting the man as part of my top 5 picks for DJ Mag this year.  In the spirit of the unicorn slayer supreme, this week's throwback is a 2008 classic.  His memorable song "Perfect".  Here's the Agnelli & Nelson Remix that received immense play during Lovefest of that year and events surrounding:


Honestly...what's not to love about that track?  Agnelli & Nelson put the perfect spin on it with the deep dark trancey ambiance and the cut up vocals.  Lots of memories of long nights and early mornings to this one.  Also, for whatever reason, it was one of the tracks usually saved for later on the night when things were really getting interesting.  I can dig it.  Definitely one of those timeless jams you can play over and over again and it still feels fresh.  Also, if you have time on your hands, watch the video that this youtube user put together for this.  I guess they have their own view of "perfection" lol.  Way to kill em back then and today Markus.  Timeless music from one of the greatest producers in the world.


Any special requests to include in the Thursday Throwback?  Send me a message via twitter @MarkyMark925 or to TFSF @TranceFamilySF.  Let me know what you think of the column as well.  Always open to ideas.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

LovEvolution Preview: The Love is BACK!

On the day of September 24th, 2011, things will look a little different around the Oakland ( & Oracle) Coliseum grounds.  As the sun rises over the city, instead of sports buses there will be floats.  Instead of tailgating there will be dancing.  Instead of jerseys there will be lights.  And instead of the raider nation there will be the EDM nation.  This day marks the historic return of the Bay Area's premier event for electronic music: LovEvolution.  It's been a pretty bleak year for dance music since Love has graced us last.  A lot has changed since October 2009.  We have experienced a detrimental series of unfortunate events at key events in California, resulting in the reputation of EDM events being put in the crosshairs of politicians and local media.  Support has stepped back, other scenes have stepped up, and the Bay Area has been limping on ever since as far as putting on world class events like we are so used to.  However, 2011 is a year of hope.  This year we've seen unity like never before manifested in the Save The Rave movement.  We are also seeing the resurgence with our crown jewels in LovEvolution and the announcement of ETD POP's return  in 2012.  The vibe has once again become optimistic and it's a great feeling going into Saturday's event.  This IS the showcase of the Bay Area for EDM and all eyes are on the pretty lights and pretty people that will be dancing into the twilight this weekend.  That being said, it is important for us to show all the naysayers and politicians that we value our community, we value our music, but most importantly, we value ourselves.  Let's do our best to keep this event as safe, friendly, and loving as possible.  Let's not forget why we became part of not just a group of music enthusiasts; but a family.  Let's have fun everyone :). -The TranceFamily SF Team   Now, a word from our team members about LovEvolution:  

Kendra and Sony, TranceFamily SF Co-Founders

Love is in the Air! We are ready to immerse ourselves in love, music, colors, and dance, surrounded by beautiful people. As the co-founders of TranceFamily SF,  we  have the responsibility of representing all the SF Trance music fans at the event & spreading our message of  love, "In Every Beat, We Are Closer".  We are looking forward to the priceless smiles we get when we giveaway the bracelets,  followed by those special warm hugs.  There is nothing more satisfying to us than the feeling of being loved.  We are going to LovEvolution to find love, feel love, & give out all the love we got <3  


Our statement above pretty much states it all.  It is a big key for this event to go off without a hitch as this is probably the most important Love yet.  I'm excited about the potential that the new venue has.  While it will be quite a shift for me (having attended Lovefest since 2007), The grounds around the Oracle arena and the stadium itself have some definite potential for a massive event.  In all honestly, I'm surprised there hasn't been an EDM event here yet (if I'm not mistaken).  I have all the faith in Skills that they will put on a successful and safe event in the spirit of the previous ones before.  Having experienced 3 years of Love in the Civic Center of SF and the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, this event is very special to myself as I'm sure it is for hundreds of others in the Bay.  2007 converted me into a full blown electronic music lover and Lovefest was the reason for that.  I haven't looked back ever since.  I personally know several others that have experienced that same discovery.  It's a great event for people to get introduced to what our scene is so it should be a goal to protect the integrity of that.  All mush aside, the lineup couldn't be any better for the new event.  The after party lineup is stellar and the day party's floats look awesome as well.  In short, I'm very excited!  Slay 'em Markus!  

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Trance Thursday Throwback (LovEvolution Edition pt. 2): "Beautiful"

Well, the time has come upon us: LovEvolution is so close the Bay Area can almost taste it!  The glorious return of the premiere EDM showcase in the Bay Area is back and the anticipation is killing us!  I know it's definitely doing a mind job on all of us here in the TranceFamily SF HQ.  However, before we get to all the fun stuff like contests, promos, interviews, and bracelet giveaways, let's not forget that today is Trance Thursday and another Throwback is in order.  Since LovEvolution is in t-minus 2 days, let's take it back to another great Lovefest anthem from back in the day.  Rewind to 2007, the renaissance year of electronic music for me and my first Lovefest ever attended.  Trance was new and exciting for me and one of the first artists I turned to was Ferry Corsten.  His energy and uplifting style immediately grabbed my attention.  Anthem of that year's event?  The now classic and still highly played "Beautiful".  While the song first saw the light of day in 2006 on Ferry's L.E.F. album, a single release and repeated set plays later, it was still going strong in 2007 for Lovefest.  Let's go back down memory lane and reminisce it in all it's glory:

Ferry Corsten - Beautiful

Oh mean doesn't that just bring back so many memories?  Those of you who were at EDC this year for Ferry's set, you know what I'm talking about.  Or what about those that saw Ferry play at Ruby Skye in September 2010.  Still just as good as the first time you ever hear it.  Let's bring it back live in 2007:

Never a dull moment with that man let me tell you.  While slightly off subject (but not really), I can't wait until his new album drops.  What will his next anthem be?


 @MarkyMark925 @TranceFamilySF

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Trance Thursday Throwback (LovEvolution Edition): "Lost Connection / In and Out of Love"

Hey what's up everybody and welcome to another edition of TTT - the Trance Thursday Throwback!  If you tuned in this morning to you heard a great retrospective of this year's Ibiza season from Markus Schulz on Global DJ Broadcast and yet another great episode of A State of Trance from Armin van Buuren.  Great interview with Sander van Doorn about his new album "Eleve11" coming out which I absolute cannot WAIT for.  However, while we're on the subject of Armin, this brings me to a thought: For those that don't know, the relaunch of the Bay Area's premiere event (the artist formerly known as Lovefest and the now newly beefed up and re-packaged) LovEvolution is less than 2 weeks away.  I for one am glad that this great event is back because it really embodies the spirit and enthusiasm of the Bay Area when it comes to electronic music.  It really sets the stage as a closer of the summer and the beginning of the year end's big massives (like Monster Massive, HARD, Escape from Wonderland, Together As One, etc...).  Not to mention Skills always puts on great shows so I have no doubt this will be a success despite the new venue.  It all started for me at Lovefest 2007 and every year since, the event has put together a lot of great memories for me as I'm sure it has for many of you. In the spirit of Lovefest/LovEvolution, our throwback comes from 2008.  Definitely one of the greatest memories for me was Armin van Buuren tearing up the stage at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco for the Lovefest After Party.  I've seen him perform 5 times, however this one was really special due to the crowd connection.  After a long day of dancing in the sun, the energy was electric as if the party had just started.  That's when you know you've done your job as a DJ and as a performer.  Clearly Armin just brings that out in people.  One of the highlight tracks of his set (and an overall smash that year during sets and radio shows) was his mash up of his track "In and Out Of Love" with Jochen Miller's "No Connection".   They seemed to complement each other so well as if it was the original track.  Few mash ups can get away with that and this one was one of those select few gems.  The energizing build up of Jochen's beat with the edit of Sharon den Adel's haunting vocals adds a whole new flavor to make it feel complete.  Hearing it live?  Well, you be the judge.  Here it is live at Lovefest After Party 2008 played by the man himself:

Armin van Buuren vs. Jochen Miller - Lost Connection In and Out Of Love (AvB Mashup)

If you wanted to hear it a little more studio friendly:

Truly remarkable stuff.  Shows why Armin is still one of the top heavyweights when it comes to mash ups.  This year's LovEvolution will definitely have big shoes to fill.  Good thing Markus, Gareth, Laidback Luke, Dash, and Blake Jarrell have big feet.  Wait..what?  Did I just say that?  Anyways, hope this brought back good memories for you as it did for me.  What's your favorite Lovefest moment?  Be sure to share it with us on the TFSF Facebook page:  Also share with us on Twitter: @TranceFamilySF. Peace everyone!

~Mark @MarkyMark925

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Trance Thursday Throwback: "Carte Blanche"

Hey everyone and welcome back to the Trance Thursday Throwback!  Hope you enjoyed last week's column as we should be getting into Sander van Doorn gear considering his new album that's about to drop.  For this week let's rewind all the way back to 1999 for the trance classic: Veracocha's "Carte Blanche".  This has been remixed time and time again and never ceases to amaze trance lovers and destroy dance floors when it's dropped.  In case you forgot about it, check it out:

Veracocha - Carte Blanche

Sound familiar eh?  That's probably due to the fact that you've heard it recently if you listen to A State of Trance!  Recently Armin played a brand new remix by Alex M.O.R.P.H. on ASOT 518 and it sounds great.  Definitely adds some freshness to the track.  I think Alex M.O.R.P.H. has done some great remixes lately and it reflects in this.  I think once an old track becomes a vintage gem and gets remixed by so many top name producers, taking on the next step to re-invent it is a daunting task that can only be undertaken by a true master.  This time around, I think Alex really delivered.  Take a listen to it here and rewind back to the old days when you were all about the candy and the massives:

Veracocha - Carte Blanche (Alex M.O.R.P.H. Remix)


Truly awesome stuff.  Those who are big fans of Armin may also remember the Cosmic Gate Remix spun a lot during his shows.  I know I certainly do.  So that wraps it up for this week.  Like this track?  Remember the good times?  Be sure to share with us on the TFSF Facebook page: and/or leave a comment here!  And like always, Cheers!  


Twitter: @MarkyMark925

Thursday, September 1, 2011

TFSF presents: The Trance Thursday Throwback!

Greetings everyone and I hope you all had a great time tuning into the great shows that we had this morning for Trance Thursday.  In case anyone missed it, Kendra and myself were in the TranceFamilySF chatroom live during GDJB talking about the tracks that were being played and just the greatness that is Markus in general.  It was fun and we definitely encourage you all to join us next week when we do it all over again!  Anyway, in the spirit of Trance Thursdays, I wanted to get something else started off.  Something that could get us engaged and all the while appreciate the music we know and love.. and i knew it.   As of today, this is the first of edition of ... *drum roll* ...the TRANCE THURSDAY THROWBACK (#TTT).  You know, the isn't the Triple T's already being used as Ta-Ta-Tuesday?  Anyway, doesn't matter.  I wanted to do something special on Trance Thursdays (or thirsty trance Thursdays as Ulrich calls them) besides listening to new music.  I think one of the greatest ways to appreciate the genre is to look back on old tunes and recall some of the great memories we had when they were released and reliving that part of our lives.   Perhaps a good festival? Good show? Did that track help you through a particular struggle? Did it open your eyes to new music?  In this day and age electronic music is so focused on finding the newest track, the newest smash single, and the future artist to come up, that we don't take the time to sit back and remember what got us here in the first place.  So without further adieu and sentiment, let's get it going! 

This week's pick: Sander van Doorn pres. Purple Haze - Adrenaline

Let's rewind back to 2005 for this classic smash from Sander van Doorn, and at the time, the lesser known project named Purple Haze.  While we can credit the Purple Haze name now to a lot of great releases like "Hymn 2.0" and more recently "Timezone", at the time of "Adrenaline"'s release this was a fresh sound from the Dutch producer.  This track in particular has a much more darker sound than your traditional uplifting trance track.  It's really all about the mood.  You really feel like there's something imminent going to happen that is ready to culminate when the peak of the track hits.  Really evil sounding.  And that's why I love it!  I'm thinking that's what Sander van Doorn wanted, considering the alter ego.  You really can't call this trance and it is perfect example of genre blending.  The bpm and song structure of a trance track, with some darker techno elements.  Trance is usually an uplifting genre, but this is something else.  And guess what...something else is how we make progress.  Killer track from a killer producer, take a second to spin this in a dark room by yourself at midnight and you'll feel it too. Any suggestions for next week?  Like the column?  Please be sure to post in the comments and discuss on our TFSF forums.  Until next week...Cheers!


Twitter: @MarkyMark925

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Night Out with Tritonal - Show Review | TORQ at Ruby Skye 08.25.2011

It’s almost 12 midnight on the night of Thursday August 25th, and the critically acclaimed and steady rising trance duo Tritonal is minutes from hitting the stage.  The crowd has gathered by the masses, perhaps greater than the traditional Thursday night, and local DJ John Beaver is doing what he does best by getting the audience’s energy levels up.  There’s much anticipation heading into the night, as it marks the famed act’s return to legendary nightclub Ruby Skye in over a year.  The difference this time however, is what has been accomplished by the duo since their last appearance.  Since 2010, Tritonal has seen a massive world tour, the creation of their record label Air Up There Recordings, incredible support by world class DJ’s for their single and remix releases, and the much anticipated release of their debut artist album “Piercing The Quiet”.  Indeed their fans, the Tritonians, have rallied together in 2011 unlike any other year and I was very interested to see how much the duo had grown as a musical act and as performers from their set on this particular night.

As soon as the lights dimmed, the Tritonal graphics appeared on the background screens, and the first track of their set hit the speakers of Ruby Skye’s elite sound system, it created an explosion in the crowd; one that would not let up for about 2 and a half hours.  They ripped through their time with many of their singles, cuts from the album, club remixes, and other tracks from some of their favorite artists (the likes of BT, Above & Beyond, Markus Schulz, and Gareth Emery).  What really garnered my interest was the fact that they did not lose crowd command for even one moment.  From beginning to end, the audience was engaged singing lyrics to all the songs played (Tritonal classics in particular) and jumping with excitement at every beat drop.   It was definitely remarkable stuff seeing the ocean of Tritonians not missing a beat throughout the entire set.  A big part of that was the duo’s interaction with their loving fans.  I’ve always stated that the DJ’s greatest tool during livesets is to have a connection with their audience, and Tritonal pulled this off to a T, having just as much (if not more at times) energy as the spectating crowd.  Through making very important eye contact, sing alongs of favorite tunes, messages to the crowd on their iPad, and dancing on stage like they never have before, Tritonal proved why they have gained so much ground with the fans since their start a few years ago.  It’s just simple; they are that damn good.

Having had the chance to interview the guys right before their set, I was able to gain somewhat of a unique perspective on their music, their goals, and on them as professionals.  What really stuck out about them to me was despite their enormously successful career in the past few years alone, they have maintained very humble and down to earth.  It was a breath of fresh air to meet two guys such as these who have kept true to themselves, true to their fans, and keeping positive as they make and play the music they love.  What I saw on stage that night was two individuals having fun with what they do, all while giving their adoring Tritonians everything they came for and more.  The best part?  We had just as much fun with them; loving every minute.  Lots of great things await the guys of Tritonal in the coming years.  You need not look farther; the future of trance is now. -Mark


Post show comments: Big ups to Torq SF and Ruby Skye for together another great show.  Also big thanks to Chad, Dave, and Erin at Theory X for taking the time to chat with us! Be sure to keep checking back for our full length exclusive interview with the guys as it will be posted soon! Also big thank you to Ryan Russell of Torq SF for the great pics he took this night. Questions? Feedback? Comments?  Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.  Also be sure to follow me on Twitter at @MarkyMark925!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tritonal Preview - TORQ - 25 August 2011

If you love clubbin, then Tritonal is a perfect fit for you. Then aren't just trance or club, rather a perfect combination in their sets. With their first album being released this year I was beyond impressed. Some of the versions needed club mixes but the vocals were amazing. I know Tritonal just finished a club mix in the studio for "Still With Me", so San Francisco is lucky as they will be testing it there for the first time. Over the last few years they have really worked hard in the studio and finally started touring a lot this year. So I would highly recommend this set tonight. The few times that I've seen Tritonal they're always had great energy and amazing sets. I would expect nothing less for them tonight. I can see them playing a couple of club mixes from their album, lots of new trance tracks and maybe a few ID tunes. Considering that it's 18+ I think there will be a few extra people in attendance, not a packed dance floor, and them closing on time around 2. It's definetly worth going to because it's only $20, at the best SF venue, and Tritonal is worth more than that! I could see them coming off the stage afterwards to greet fans, maybe even giving away a couple of albums and t-shirts.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Big announcement!

For any of you that read this blog (which you are very cool for and I thank you endlessly), you should also be reading  Well guess what, I am officially part of their team now as well!  I've done a few guest blogs before but it's gone a little more official now.  That doesn't mean I won't be posting here anymore.  I will still be updating this blog regularly with my normal postings as I am doing my thing for them as well.  I am very excited to be able to take this thing to the next level and reach out to a whole new level of fans with my good friends at TranceFamilySF.  In case you don't know, reach out to us at @TranceFamilySF!  Here is my first (official) posting for them:

Really excited for the future.  Viva Trance.


Sunday, July 31, 2011

It's Top 100 DJ voting season again!

 Hey everyone!  In case you've been living under a rock in the DJ/Producer world of EDM, it is once again voting season for the coveted prize of being named on the Top 100 DJ list from  I think this is a really exciting time for everyone involved because each DJ does their part to rally their fans in attempt to earn votes.  Some good viral marketing, contests, promotions, and special events are usually done to make it all that much more exciting.  Now while I have my top 5 in mind (something I will post about later), my biggest gripe is that we can't vote for a top 10.  I know this would make a lot more work for the magazine and for the voting, but it's just too hard to narrow your favorite DJ's/producers of the year into a list of only 5.  I definitely have 10 (at the very LEAST) that I would like to support.  Oh well, business is business.  And speaking of which, here is a little gem from Sied van Riel about the whole concept of this voting and the DJ business.  Sure gave me a big LOL.  Check it out:

Happy vorting.  Please be sure to visit to place your votes!


This Week's Artist Spotlight: Ben Gold

This week's artist spotlight is the UK's finest Ben Gold.  One of my favorite producers of last/this year, aside from being one of the leading men of Gareth Emery's Garuda Records with a string of big singles and being a remix juggernaut, edged his way to be this week's artist spotlight because of a dream collaboration with his boss (and one of my favorites), none other than Gareth Emery.  The video however has Gareth's humor written all over it.  Check it out:

Gareth Emery & Ben Gold - "Flash"

I love this track.  Such a big sound and a great mashup of styles from two of my favorite artists.  All the patches used, arrangement, drum patterns, and other plug ins could be the work of either/or, which in my opinion makes a collaboration the most successful.  When everything comes together so well and blends, that's the makings of a beautiful collaboration track.  However, like true Garuda fashion, we won't see it released anytime soon.  The tentative date is in early September.  Remember when Ben Gold's "Pandemic" was supposed to come out in mid-March?  Ya, about that.. I hope we see it released sooner than later, because this could really rip up dance floors while the summer season is still hot.

But wait...this week's spotlight was about Ben Gold and not just Gareth right?  That's correct!  So that being said, let me leave you with some more gems from Mr. Gold that you may have missed:

John O'Callaghan - Big Sky (Ben Gold Festival Remix)

Ben Gold - "Pandemic (Sied van Riel Remix)"

Tritonal & Sibicky - "Suzu (Ben Gold Remix)"

Hope you enjoyed the tracks.  Any requests for next week's artist spotlight?


Monday, July 18, 2011

EDC 2011 Flashback: Porter Robinson hits a home run

Porter Robinson proved after EDC Las Vegas that he's a force to be reckoned with and he's here to stay, no doubt about that.  Anyone that managed to catch his set, albeit early, understood the future of the biz within that 1 hour of music that he spun.  While EDC is a great spot to see the juggernauts of the business, it's also a great place to catch who the juggernauts will be later down the line...and Porter is the man.  Catch out a snapshot of  his set:


EDC 2011 Flashback: Dada Life's Marching Band

Another "blink and you missed it" moment from the epic extravaganza at Electric Daisy Carnival 2011 in Las Vegas.  I just so happen to be there, and it just so happen to be awesome.  It was already getting late in the night on the Saturday evening that the Dada took the stage at Cosmic Meadow, but they certainly found a way to wake the crowd up like they always do.  Marching bands, inflatable bananas, pounding beats? ...just for starters.  Take a look for yourself!

what a night that was mannn.  EDC next year anyone?

Today's LOL: OZI - Juicy Pen #MusicMonday

In perhaps one of the greatest electro house tunes of all time, without further adieu, DJ Ozi's "Juicy Pen":

I'm your friend, Juicy Pen!

Classic Stuff lol.

Monday, July 11, 2011

This week's artist spotlight: Heatbeat

This week's spotlight definitely goes to my Latino brothers from Argentina: big time up and coming trance duo Heatbeat out of Buenos Aires. Now while they aren't new to the trance world, they have a refreshed sense of momentum due to their recent appearance at the Buenos Aires chapter of the awe-mazing (see what I just did?) ASOT 500 worldwide extravaganza and much high praise from Armin van Buuren himself. Having remixes and singles in heavy rotation on weekly ASOT and having him personally shout you out on twitter is kind of a big deal:

"@arminvanbuuren: @heatbeatmusic You guys are on fire dude!! Love all your recent stuff"

Ya...pretty major. Couple that with their most recent single, "Ask The Angels", you can be sure to place your bets on these two to make a lot of big moves this year. Check out the single here and let me know what you think!


Thursday, July 7, 2011

#NowPlaying: Afrojack - "Bangduck" (Moguai Remix)

Ladies n gentlemen, we officially have a banger:

While the original was pretty cool, Germay's Moguai put an awesome touch to the track on his most recent remix, pretty much changing the feel of the track altogether.  It really flows now and he's made it really danceable...big room status.  Sometimes it's the little things that can make a remix so huge.  You don't have to change everything, just a few key elements and you can transform a track into something major.  Look forward to hearing this played all summer long.


EDC Video: The Dash Berlin Experience

Holy smokes that video is stellar!  Makes me really sad that I missed the set :(.  However, its a good point of view from one worldwide renowned DJ as to what the greatness of EDC truly is.  I think the clip speaks for itself.  For those that didn't go to EDC Las Vegas, that wasn't the biggest stage of the event.  Yep, that huge.  Can't wait to see him in Oakland this September (yes you read that right lol).


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

EDC 2011 Flashback: Afrojack shout out with Skrillex

Remember this moment when Afrojack got on stage with Skrillex?  It was kind of a "blink and you missed it" kind of moment, but it was pretty memorable for considering the love that's shown between genres these days.  I wouldn't expect a 5 ft tall American dubstep artist to be cool with a 7 ft tall Dutch house juggernaut, but that's just EDM these days....awesome!  I'm sure a lot of people in the crowd didn't even realize it was Afrojack on the mic.


This week's artist spotlight: Ummet Ozcan

Let me just start off by saying if you haven't picked up a copy of Sander van Doorn's Dusk Till Doorn 2011 compilation, you are greatly missing out. This is an awesome collection of great tunes for the trance or house enthusiast alike. Which brings me to my real point here...Ummet Ozcan. This man has 2 amazing tracks on this compilation. I've been a fan of his ever since I heard "Arcadia" (my snowboarding anthem), but everything I've heard since then has been nothing but winning. He has a very unique style, especially on "Reboot" (try categorizing that doozy). That particular track sounds amazing live too btw (see SvD @ ASOT 500 Miami). I'm sure he will continue to crank out tunes this year that will find themselves on several end of the year top lists before 2011 is said and done. That being said, let's skip ahead to the tunes and enjoy the genius.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

LovEvolution is back! And everyone is excited! ...well, almost

Well in case you didn't hear the big news, the Bay Area's premier edm festival LovEvolution is back! Noteworthy for its infamous cancellation last year due to lack of cooperation from the city of San Francisco, this year its back with a facelift and new venue: the Oracle coliseum grounds in Oakland. Now while I am happy for Skills getting their premiere event back and the edm enthusiasts of the Bay Area having something to be happy about (without having to drive to LA or Vegas for an event like this), this still presents a problem. That problem is one little word: Oakland. Good that the artist formerly known as Lovefest is back; Bad that its in the worst city to put together an event like this. Its no secret that Oakland has a problem with crime, theft, and drugs. With the edm scene having a bad enough image problem as it does in California (last year's POP and EDC deaths), having it the bay area's crime capitol will not help our rallying cry of "saving the rave". Don't get me wrong, in all the years Lovefest was in SF, 100% of the population were not angels. I know there was plenty of drugs, crime, vandalism, and property destruction to go around, but for the most part SFPD kept things under control and the city had the civic center spotless by the next morning as if an event had never happened. Oakland presents a problem in the sense that they hold one of the poorest police departments. Layoffs and budget cuts to this PD have been pretty drastic, which only bodes poorly for those looking to have a good time in Oakland. Add into the fold that for the type of event that Skills is planning to organize at the coliseum grounds, considering the location and lack of police, you would probably need some EDC worthy security; something I'm not sure can be provided given the past incidents at past events. Having LovEvolution in Oakland has the potential to harm the edm/dance/rave image even worse than it already is. Imagine if we have even more deaths and/or overdoses? Let's not even mention drug dealers looking to make big scores, cars being broken into, pick pocketing, and other things that could happen in the surrounding areas. This would be pretty much catastrophic to the "Save The Rave" movement. I don't mean to be a negative Nancy, but I'm sure if you put together the statistics of drug use, drug sales, theft, rape, and other crimes of edm events thrown in Oakland vs edm events thrown in San Francisco....the numbers would speak for themselves. I am very excited to read about Dash Berlin, Laidback Luke, and most of all Gareth Emery being added to the bill. Good for Skills for their clout. I just hope they put this together the right way. Edm in the Bay Area needs some big time help and this event has the potential to make our break our case. I, like many, love electronic music and hope to see our issues in the Bay Area rectified.


Friday, July 1, 2011

This week's artist spotlight: Erick Strong

Who? ...I find myself asking that same question. The mystery man Erick Strong is pretty much a John Doe in the edm world, yet we all know his name due to the release of recent singles that have gotten a lot of rotation from the big name producers in the business. The first track I heard was "Orchids" on Corsten's Countdown. After that was "Hopeless" on Gareth Emery's podcast, and I was sold. The latter track has such a haunting melody that I could see being played at Halloween festivals this year. A unique producer with a knack for catchy melodies and captivating drops. I'm hooked. So for having such high profile podcast spins, tracks on Sander van Doorn's latest compilation, and so many youtube has he remained such a mystery? Come out of the shadows Erick! We need to see this mastermind. Below are some of the mentioned tracks, and I'm sure you'll dig them too:


Monday, June 27, 2011

#MusicMonday: Vintage Jam from Green Velvet; "La La Land"

who was at circuit grounds on Saturday at #EDCLasVegas?  I surely was.  I love old school jams, and anyone who was present for Green Velvet's set will remember this one.  Classic Stuff.  Love it.

I hope to see you soon in....La La Land.


The EDC Hangover: Some post event thoughts from a crazy weekend in Las Vegas!

Well...another EDC is over and in the history books, and once again I've been left speechless.  Insomniac has outdone themselves again.  For anyone that was in attendance, holy crap this event was the most insane thing I've ever been to.  Forget a rave or edm festival or whatever you want to call it...this was nothing short of a spectacle for the ages.  Anyway, today is involving much rest and relaxation to tackle the work week (today was already happily survived) and as I am going to import all the pics and video I took over the weekend, a review is in order.  However, I can say a few things now (keep in mind I only attended Friday & Saturday, flew back home to SF Sunday)...

1)  I love Las Vegas for embracing this event and EDM as a whole.  Really love the fact that the Vegas clubs like Marquee, XS, and Tryst held their beach parties and day events in conjunction with EDC with the DJ's here.  Really set the tone for the entire city that EDM is here and is taking over.
2)  The big headliners were outdone.  I'm sorry, but in my opinion, most of the music to see was not at Kinetic Field.  Matter of fact, Kinetic Field was way too small of an area for the size of stage that was created; but that's another issue.  You let me down Tiesto!  He's far from the man who created big room anthems and commanded the crowd.  As he's abandoned his trance roots and fully embraced house, his set felt like a beatport top 40 playlist.  No bueno!  There's plenty more people who do house and do it Porter Robinson!  Young dude on the come up and he was one of the greatest (if not the greatest) sets during the entire event!  Amazing stuff, and his mixing & cutting skills on the decks (no laptop in sight) were unbelievable.  Keep an eye out for that man.  Some of my other favs during the event:

  • Dada Life on Saturday: goes without saying but who brings marching bands & giant bananas on stage? These crazy swedes do.  And guess what, we got RICK ROLLED!  Lol you'll have to watch it on youtube to understand.  You might as well youtube their entire set from Saturday.  Yes, do it.
  • Wolfgang Gartner on Friday: sadly I missed a big portion, but from what I heard, he did pretty damn good.  
  • I know I already mentioned Porter Robinson, but I can't speak enough on how much he impressed me and the entire crowd.  I'm pretty sure a lot of the people at this stage hadn't heard of him yet, but once he hit it, everyone flocked as soon as they heard the beats and remixes he was dropping.  Talk about commanding the crowd.  
  • Roger Sanchez can pump the crowd up.  I was actually there in waiting for Cosmic Gate to hit the decks and stumbled upon the last part of his set.  He got me going no doubt.
  • Cosmic Gate...ahh how I am saddened to have missed a big chunk of your set :(.  We shall be reunited later in time.  Always a treat these two.
  • Calvin Harris: nice!  Always a treat.  Really like that "Awooga" jam.
  • The veteran Curtis Jones aka Green Velvet was awesome.  It was certainly more of a vintage style and I really dig it.  I like vintage.  Need to download more and see what I've been missing out on.
  • I managed to catch Bloody Beetroorts Death Crew 77 for about 10 minutes as I was buying more beer.  Luckily in that 10 minute span it included the smash "Warp 1.9".  Woop woop!
  • Skrillex is here to stay.  Make no mistake about it.  His following has gotten pretty insane.  While not the biggest dubstep fan, I got into it pretty fierce.
  • Afrojack on Saturday was a rallying cry for the masses getting them nice and erect for Benny Benassi and David Guetta (did I just say erect?).  The man can certainly cut it up and proved why in such a short span of time has rocketed to the top in the house music scene.  He has a unique style and has earned some points with me I must say.

3) It was freakin HOT!  I think that speaks for itself for anyone else who was there.  Thank goodness for those water stations
4)  The production was out of this world.  Skydivers with sparkling streamers, marching bands in tron suits, costumed people on stilts, costumed people in general, artsy attractions burning man style, lit up rides, BUMPER CARS, and every single massive stage (even the Bass Pod was huge)...speechless.  The motor speedway felt like it could have had its own zipcode.  I had no idea such a thing was possible to organize.
5)  I loved the fact that it was 18+.  Thank you Insomniac for finally making this possibility a reality.  Felt like a much more responsible crowd and less 14 year olds there for the drugs and not the music.  Aww, EDC has grown up ;).  Bigger and better things people!
6) tired *yawn*.

In closing...what else can I say?  I had a blast...the time of my life.  I've never been to such a fun event (I said this last year EDC too) in my life and already I can't wait for next year.  This has become the corner stone for dance music (and possibly its saving grace) this side of the world.  Viva Las Vegas indeed.


P.S. Remember... I need to upload all the pics and video I took on my possibly water damaged camera (water proof? suuure).

Also be sure to check other coverage of EDC at the following links (more to come):

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Electric Daisy Carnival: Viva Las Vegas! The Preview (Las Vegas, Tiesto, and the new hub for EDM)

 The Event

ahhh the calm before the storm.  I'm sure right now all is quiet in the desert of Las Vegas, as it's the night before the madness that is the Electric Daisy Carnival.  Being the first time that this massive has hit Vegas, It's really great to see the city has welcome the event and the culture with open arms.  The city has even gone so far as to declare this past week "EDC Week".  Check out the press release.  It's no secret that electronic dance music is the rage in pop culture right now, and certainly a big ticket for any city to attract tourism.  The kick, however, is what kind of tourism.  The rest of the country has pretty much deemed this event an abomination of drugs and dangerous behavior.  Don't believe me?  Check this out.  EDC is feared to be a "dangerous drug fest" by most of the nation, as so aptly put by that news article from Colorado.  The sad truth is, not much changed about this year to make them change their opinion as detox centers were pretty busy.  LA couldn't handle it, Colorado feared it, and now we most recently lost another ally in Dallas.  Dallas embraced it last year, only to be marred with the same kind of bad press the Los Angeles event last year suffered with a death and over a dozen hospitalized: read it here.  Yet through it all, the general feeling about this weekend in Las Vegas is a good one.

City of Sin is now City of EDM
 What makes this particular city so different to embrace the event even with such bad press?  Even after all the negative banter about EDC and dance music as a whole, the general vibe looking into this weekend's festivities is a good one.  The promoter Insomniac is excited, the DJ's are excited, the fans are especially excited, and the city is expecting a huge turn out of EDM enthusiasts from around the country ready to relish in the good times.  Well for one thing, Las Vegas embraces all forms of tourism.  EDM is hot right now, which means EDM is money.  Vegas likes money; Vegas wants money; Vegas wants ALL your money.  That's just how it is.  Thousands of young adults ready to dance the night away means hotels make money, restaurants make money, stores make money, casinos make money (for those over 21), and clubs make money.  Clubs like Marquee, Tryst, XS, and Rain have centered all their events this weekend around EDC.  They know what's happening this weekend.  Is it a coincidence that the most popular clubs in Vegas these days have EDM DJ's spinning on the regular?  I don't think so.  It has become the new capitol for dance music, with several credible magazines calling it "the new Ibiza".  It all makes sense.  And all bad press aside, this will be a huge money maker for the city and a positive thing for us (especially if nobody dies).  This festival is the last chance we have to improve the image of the scene.  Be happy for the good news: Las Vegas has embraced dance music, and we should embrace them back accordingly.

Now, all sentimental mumbo jumbo aside, whose excited??  I know I sure as hell am.  I will be touching down into LAS at 7:30 am tomorrow morning (early as hell in layman's terms).  Hope to check in, relax a bit, soak some sun poolside, rest some more, and be ready for a looong night because this is going to be one hell of a ride.  If you haven't seen the construction and the pictures of the fairgrounds, don't be a fool and go check out the pictures right now at  Also make sure to check this out:

If you aren't excited after seeing that....something must be wrong with you.  For organization of the event, I really have to praise everything that Insomniac has done differently with the west coast chapter of EDC this year's go around.  Free water stations, free parking, shuttle service from the strip, and lockers....all key events for a successfully safe night.

The Talent

Remember that little piece I wrote about the acts that I wanted to be there?  I was 4 for 5!  Markus Schulz, Benny Benassi, Dada Life, and Tiesto will all be there!  Daft Punk...let's be honest, I know it was a nearly impossible request, but I'm sure Insomniac did the right thing by at least reaching out to them.

I'd have to say I'm most excited about seeing Tiesto.  The man is a legend, and no other word can do justice when describing who he is, what he's done for dance music, and his body of work.  Nothing short of legendary.  I haven't seen him perform since 2008 in San Francisco during the now infamous weekend of the new defunct ETD POP.  For those that live in the Bay Area, the "power went out" 1 hour into the set only to find out it was most likely due to police intervention that the event was shut down.  Fast forward to the 8:30 mark:

Anybody that went to Ruby Skye afterward saw a rarity: a Gouryella reunion as Ferry Corsten let Tiesto hit the decks with him side by side; taking turns with tracks.  What a night.... oh yeah I'm getting sidetracked.  Anyway that was about the time of the Elements of Life album, and his style has certainly changed since then.  He is the definition of a big room DJ and I'm sure he still knocks it out of the park every time.  I can't wait to see what his live show looks like right now.  Although he's pretty much abandoned his trance roots entirely and has embraced house music to the fullest, it is refreshing to see he has reinvented himself.  Which brings me to another point....

EDC is all about house music!  Let me repeat....EDC is all about house music.  While the lineup has a broad range, look at 90% of the main stage acts (aka the money makers).  They know the music trends.  Look at least year's insane pop culture popularity with Lil Jon and Black Eyed Peas joining Benny Benassi.  Look at the circuit grounds on Sunday (the Trance day).  All of those top draw trance DJ's (Ferry, Markus, ATB, JOC) would be on the main stage at any other festival around the world.  That's just the nature of the business in the United States.   It's nice to see that they haven't forgotten about the minorities though.  Trance (the whole Sunday at circuit grounds), Dubstep (Skrillex), and Techno (Umek), and DnB (i honestly haven't checked for it) are all represented.

In closing, let me just say that I hope everybody has a great weekend and I wish you all a safe and incredible journey through this electronic music odyssey.  This will certainly be one for the history books and as the feeling was least year, we are all part of something incredible being brought together for our love for electronic music.  Oh and to my good friends in the TranceMafia and TranceFamilySF, please believe I'll be wearing my bracelet ;).  Ciao and Cheers!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

This Week's Artist Spotlight: Michael Woods

 When you talk about consistency, none come more on top of the game than British sensation Michael Woods.  After cranking out smash after smash, year after year, season after season, you can hear his tracks on rotation from a wide variety of DJ's.  Trance, House, Progressive, doesn't matter...he's THAT good, and that diverse.  He's pretty much got his own style that when you hear the track, you're not surprised when you find out that Mr. Woods is behind it.  After much rotation in my favorite radio shows like Markus Schulz's Global DJ Broadcast, Ferry Corsten's Corsten's Countdown, and Gareth Emery's weekly podcast, I'm always in the know when he drops his next smash single or killer remix.  After the release of "Fruitcake", I have to show everyone a little taste of what I'm talking about.  If you don't know, now you do.  Here are some gems from the man.  Enjoy!  ~Mark

Comment and let me know what you think!

Monday, June 6, 2011

"Rain" in San Francisco

Hey what's up edm lovers.  Sorry I haven't posted in quite the while.  It certainly has been a long time...but who could really stay away from writing about the greatest music in the world?  Certainly not I.  So in that spirit, I'm back to share a little bit of sentiment.  Part of the reason for my lack of blabber is the fact that my schedule has gotten quite hectic with a new job in San Francisco.  That's right, workin it up in the big city.  Love the lifestyle and working there has been quite interesting to say the least.  So....for all of those awesome people who work/live/play in San Francisco, I'm sure the same idea has come across our brain at least once in the last week....WTF is up with the weather??  You know, for June and the beginning of summer, it sure is pretty damn cold in Northern California.  I for one, am not down with that.  As I looked out of my office and actually saw it raining, it made me think of a couple of tracks: aptly named "Rain".  Quite deep no? Two of my favorite tracks when I look out of the window and see rain are the "Rain" tracks from Armin van Buuren & Markus Schulz.  Not familiar with them? No?  Well get to it.  Here below are those two favorite tracks of mine remixed.  Enjoy!

Markus Schulz - Rain (Phynn Remix)

Armin van Buuren - Rain (W&W Remix)

'Till next time...turn it up!

Monday, April 11, 2011

EDC Update: It's getting official now...

 Have you paid a visit to lately?  If not, take a look.  EDC is starting to take full form and really becoming official.  So official in fact, that the lineup of the Colorado show has been announced.  Among the names:

Ferry Corsten
Sander van Doorn
Bart B More
LA Riots
Feed Me
...and others (click here to see the full lineup)

The Colorado is always a good indication of the names that are due on the far West Coast event (usually including most or all of the lineup).  So far so good.  However, I'd be lying if I said I'd be completely content with the headliners of this show being the biggest names that the Las Vegas show had to offer.  Nothing against the mentioned DJ's are they are the best in the world and deserve every bit of praise, however certain things need to be taken into account:

1. The Venue: with how much capacity the LV Motor Speedway can hold, there is much more possibility and buying power to bring headliners that can truly have a crowd of that magnitude up in arms.
2. The change: with the west coast EDC show being in Las Vegas, this put many traditional goers at a huge disadvantage as far as transportation goes.  I think I speak for everyone when I say I hope Insomniac has some sort of surprise planned.
3. The schedule: if you've missed it, EDC is now THREE FREAKIN DAYS!!!  I definitely feel that this is unusual and unnecessary, as two days was more than enough for the pandemonium that ensued last year in Los Angeles.  Do I think that Insomniac is biting off more than they can chew with this one?  Absolutely.  This means they will have much more pressure to sell out all of those days to be able to afford enough talent to fill 3 entire days worth of performances.  Sidenote: I also feel that the 3 day schedule is inconvenient and unfortunate to those such as myself who work on fulltime schedules.  Hard enough to get Friday off, but even harder to get Thursday AND Friday off.  Traveling to Vegas isn't your regular drive to LA.  3 days most likely won't happen for the majority of visitors, and will mean that one big headliner will be missed.

There is still much to be announced and much work to be done on Insomniac's part, but it looms ever so close to have the lineup announced for our Las Vegas Electric Daisy Carnival 2011.  Let's get ready!


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Trance on Guitar: Blurring the lines of musical genius

Soo...ever wonder how you can make a trance song out of guitar?  Well, most haven't wondered that. But this guy has...and successfully turned it into something I can only call genius!  Take a look for yourselves!

The hat..not so genius.  But then again he looks like Raiden from Mortal Kombat. Take that back...genius definitely.  How many more times can I say genius?  Lots...

Just goes to show; don't let your tools (or lack thereof) keep you back from creating something awesome.


Thursday, March 31, 2011


So on my birthday, I found out some HUGE news that has me all smiles from ear to ear.  Let's not spoil it with words, lets let the images do the talking:

'Nuff said. Let's get WEIRD!


Sander van Doorn & Armin van Buuren bromance (ASOT 500)

Dutch brothers
Still listening to these sets from the ASOT 500 party in Miami at Ultra...and what can I say, I still get goosebumps.  I can just imagine what it must have felt like to be there with all the madness going down.  If you haven't downloaded the sets from you are sorely missing out.  Anyways...while I listened live to Sander's set and while i replay it, one thing seems pretty noteworthy...Armin constantly giving props to Sander van Doorn.  To have the announcement come on saying that they saved "THE BEST FOR LAST" and Armin constantly calling him a "legend"...that is HUGE props to come from the four time #1 DJ in the world!  I was actually really shocked to hear that.  I know they're friends, but I guess the bromance runs deep between these two.  Maybe not as close as Armin and Markus or Armin and Ferry, but pretty damn close.  Definitely the musical respect is there.  So in that spirit and in the spirit of Throwback is Sander van Doorn's remix of Armin van Buuren's "Control Freak".  Enjoy!


Sunday, March 27, 2011

ASOT 500 In Review: Day 2 Miami (Tracklist)

Millions around the world, thousands in attendance, and dozens of fellow DJ's and producers who are most definitely in awe of the epicness that was the 2nd day celebration of A State of Trance 500 in Miami, FL at Ultra Music Festival.  This one was definitely important for me to speak on considering it's the only celebration that takes place in my home country of the USA.  That coupled with the fact that more than half of my top 10 was on stage for this one...I had to tune in.  Let me just say...words cannot do this show justice.  Even while I was not in attendance, the pictures that are being tweeted, the songs that are being played, and the worldwide communication that is happening all because of this historic occasion is certainly making not only trance history, not only electronic music history, but music history as a whole.  Could anybody else other than Armin van Buuren bring the entire world to tune in for such a momentous occasion?  I really don't think so.  It really boggles my mind how much the internet was ABLAZE during the entire show and all sets involved.  The music was incredible and so was the fan reaction.  This is definitely one for the books and will be interesting to see if the ASOT 500 show in Den Bosch can top this one.  Argentina will definitely be a great one to tune in to for my boys HeatBeat, Markus Schulz, Jochen Miller, John O'Callaghan, and Dash Berlin.  Oh yeah... also another cool thing to take note.  Why did Twitter ban #ASOT500 from being a worldwide trending topic like it was during the Johannesburg show?  I really don't see Twitter's logic behind this as this is a worldwide event that cannot be denied, but oh well.  I don't make the twitter rules and apparently neither can the #TranceFamily.  Day 1 also had Leon Bolier become a trending topic which was completely awesome as well.  Haven't had much of a chance to check out his set but it's definitely on my list to do, on top of all these tracks played today that I have to track down.  Between downloading and discovering new music, when will one ever have time to do anything else?  No wonder DJ's get so busy.  But before I get ahead of are the tracklists of today's sets in Miami for ASOT 500.  Enjoy!

Marcus Schössow

01. Schossow & Sagstad - Dome
02. Marcus Schössow - Swedish Nights
03. Marcus Schössow - Alright
04. BT - The Emergency (Marcus Schössow Remix)
05. Above & Beyond – Sun & Moon (Marcus Schössow Remix)
06. Leon Bolier vs. Marcus Schossow - 2099
07. Yep & Lang - Nevertheless (Nifra Remix)
08. Conjure One feat Jaren - Like Ice (Marcus Schössow Remix)
09. Judge Jules - The Greater Good (Marcus Schossow Remix)
10. Leon Bolier & Marcus Schossow - Ost Kaas (Mozarella Mix)
11. Gareth Emery vs. Alex Speaker - Exposure (Ben Nicky Mashup)

Alex M.O.R.P.H.

01. Star Wars - Imperial March (Alex M.O.R.P.H. Intro Edit)
02. Sylvia Tosun & Bellatrax - Worlds Keep Turning (Alex M.O.R.P.H. Club Mix)
03. ID
04. Jose Amnesia feat. Jennifer Rene - Louder (Alex M.O.R.P.H. Remix)
05. Deep Voices Ft. Alexander Klaus - Autumn Leaves (Beltek Remix)
06. ID
07. ID
08. Dada Life – White Noise/Red Meat (ID Remix)
09. Protonica - Northern Storm (Original Mix)
10. Skytech - Rocket Science
11. Alex M.O.R.P.H. feat. Ana Criado – Sunset Boulevard
12. ID
13. Winter Stayed - Triple A (Alex M.O.R.P.H. Remix)
14. Veracocha - Carte Blanche (Alex M.O.R.P.H. Remix)
15. Glenn Morrison feat. Christian Burns - Tokyo Cries (Alex M.O.R.P.H. Remix)

Cosmic Gate

01. Cosmic Gate - Back To Earth (Arty Remix)
02. Cressida feat Roxanne Barton - Heart On My Sleeve (Kyau & Albert Remix)
03. Mat Zo - Synapse Dynamics (Arty Remix)
04. Moguai - We Want Your Soul (Thomas Gold Remix)
05. Dune - Heiress Of Valentina (Alesso Remix)
06. Cosmic Gate - Barra
07. Ferry Corsten - Punk (Cosmic Gate Essential Rework)
08. Nadia Ali - Rapture (Tristan Garner Elevation Remix)
09. Randy Katana - In Silence (Setrise Remix)
10. Cosmic Gate - Raging (Alexander Popov Dub Mix)
11. Cosmic Gate - Fire Wire (Cosmic Gate's Back 2 The Future Remix)
12. Store N'Forward vs. Gabriel & Dresden feat. Molly Bancroft - Donut Tracking Treasure Down (Store N'Forward Mashup)
13. Cosmic Gate - Exploration Of Space (Cosmic Gate's Back 2 The Future Remix)
14. Vincent De Moor - Fly Away (Cosmic Gate Remix)
15. John O'Callaghan feat. Sarah Howells – Find Yourself (Cosmic Gate Remix)

Gareth Emery

01. Gareth Emery feat. Brute Force - Arrival (Ashley Wallbridge Intro Mix)
02. Yves-Y vs. Fred Baker - Start Again (Original Mix)
03. Gareth Emery feat. Mark Frisch - Into The Light (ID Remix)
04. Steve Angello & Faithless - Knas Insomnia (East & Young Mashup)
05. Pendulum vs. Rank 1 vs. Nic Chagall vs. Wippenberg - The 100 Islands (Triarchy Edit)
06. Above & Beyond feat. Richard Bedford - Sun and Moon (Original Mix)
07. Gareth Emery & Jerome Isma-Ae - Stars (Hardwell Remix)
08. Gareth Emery feat. Roxanne Emery - Too Dark Tonight (John O'Callaghan Remix)
09. Zombie Nation - Kernkraft 400 (Chris Kaeser Bootleg)
10. Gareth Emery feat. Emma Hewitt - I Will Be The Same (Dennis Sheperd Remix)
11. MEM - Forza (Original Mix) w/ ID
12. Gareth Emery - Global (Jordan Suckley Remix)
13. Lange & Andy Moor vs Tiësto - Lethal Stadium Four (Gareth Emery Mashup)
14. Gareth Emery vs Markus Schulz - Not The Same Citadel (Armin van Buuren Mashup)
15. Gareth Emery feat. Lucy Saunders - Sanctuary (Original Mix)
16. Gareth Emery vs. Motorcycle - As The Exposure Comes (Gareth Emery Mashup)
17. Gareth Emery feat. Lucy Saunders - Fight The Sunrise (Daniel Kandi Remix)
18. Marc simz - Forbidden City (Heatbeat Rapture Mashup)
19. Delerium - Silence 2009 (Gareth Emery vs Black Army Mashup)
20. OceanLab vs. Gareth Emery - On A Metropolis Day (Myon & Shane 54 Mashup)

Ferry Corsten

01. Kyau & Albert - On The Way
02.Cliff Coenraad - Oh!Mega (Bootyshakin Mix)
03. Steve Hill & Gaz West - Can U Feel It
04. Tellur - What You Think
05. Klauss Goulart - Maximum
06. ID
07. Ferry Corsten feat. Betsie Larkin - Made Of Love
08. Ferry Corsten - Beautiful
09. Dogzilla - Without You (Rafaël Frost Remix)
10. Coldplay - The Scientist (Maarten De Jong Bootleg)
11. Jacob van Hage - Spotfire (Original Mix)
12. Ferry Corsten - ID
13. Ferry Corsten - Brain Box (Original Mix)
14. Ferry Corsten - Punk (MarLo Remix)
15. System F Feat. Armin van Buuren - Exhale

Armin van Buuren

01. Armin van Buuren feat. Ferry Corsten - Minack
02. Marcel Woods - BPM (Kristof Van Den Berghe Remix)
03. Ørjan Nilsen - Between The Rays (Original Mix)
04. Ørjan Nilsen - Go Fast!
05. Armin van Buuren feat. BT - These Silent Hearts (Ralphie B Remix)
06. Bjorn Akesson – Painting Pyramids
07. Shogun - Skyfire
08. Arty & Mat Zo - Rebound (Original Mix)
09. Above & Beyond feat. Richard Bedford - Sun & Moon (Club Mix)
10. Klaus Goulart - Turbulence - Gufman Celebration
11. Gareth Emery vs. Alex Speaker - Exposure (Ben Nicky Mashup)
12. Tom Colontonio - Reflections (Heatbeat Mix)
13. Markus Schulz pres. Dakota - Sinners
14. Leon Bolier - Capetown
15. Armin van Buuren pres. Gaia - Status Excessu D (ASOT 500 Anthem) 
16. Armin van Buuren feat. Winter Kills - Take A Moment (Alex M.O.R.P.H. Remix)
17. Aly & Fila feat. Jwaydan - We Control The Sunlight (Original Mix)
18. Signum - Beyond This Earth
19. Push - Universal Nation (Dash Berlin Bootleg)
20. Jorn van Deynhoven & Manuel le Saux - Nardo (Jorn van Deynhoven Mix)
21. Paul Van Dyk - For An Angel (ID Remix)
22. Armin van Buuren - Communication 3


01. ATB - Ecstasy (Special US Intro Mix)
02.  First State feat. Sarah Howells - Reverie (First State's Pounding Club Mix)
03. Estiva - Festival (Original Mix)
04. Jaco - Excuses (Original Mix)
05. ID
06. Rammstein - Du Hast (Gerayd Remix)
07. Ultra Dj's - Me & You (Ernesto vs. Bastian Mix)
08. ATB feat. Melissa Loretta - ID
09. MuseArtic - Last Saturday (Original Mix)
10. ID
11. Anton Firtich pres. AF Project - Something Wrong (Original Mix)
12. ID
13. ATB - LA Nights (Original Mix)
14. ATB - What About Us (Original Mix)

Sander van Doorn

01.Intro ID
02.Taylor & Close - Come With Us (Original Mix)
03.Sander van Doorn feat. Carol Lee - Love Is Darkness (Original Version vs. Ummet Ozcan Remix)
04.Sander van Doorn - Koko (Original Mix)
05.Green Velvet - Flash (Nicky Romero Remix)
06.Erick Strong - The Monster (Original Mix)
07.Radion 6 - Streets Of NY (Original Mix)
09.Jacob van Hage - Spotfire (Original Mix)
10.Tiesto vs. Marcel Woods - Don't Ditch (Original Mix)
11.Sander van Doorn - ID
12.Sander van Doorn - Renegade w/ Setrise - Kernkraft 400
13.Ummet Ozcan - Transcend (Original Mix)
14.Ummet Ozcan - ID
15.The Killers - When You Were Young (Jonas Stenberg Remix)
16.Ali Wilson & Matt Smallwood - Morph (Mark Sherry's Outburst Remix)
17.Sander van Doorn pres. Purple Haze - Hymn 2.0 (Original Mix)
18.Sander van Doorn - Daisy (Original Mix)
21.Sander van Doorn - Daddyrock (Original Mix)
22.Paul Ercossa - Ercogen (Original Mix)
23.W&W - Alpha (Original Mix)
24.Evol Waves - Everything In Its Right Place (Original Mix)
25.S.O. Project - Direct Dizko (Sander van Doorn Remix)

Tuned in too late to miss Marcus Schossow, Alex M.O.R.P.H., and Cosmic Gate (that one I'm especially disappointed in missing because I heard it was out of this world).  However, I did get to catch all sets at Ferry Corsten and afterward.  Amazing things by all parties involved, especially Sander van Doorn for the closing.  He tried out a lot of different style tracks than what was played all day (dubstep breakdowns at a trance show?), and definitely got the crowd to explode for the closing hour of the party.  Trance-step, dub-trance?  He might be onto something here.  As one of the most prolific producers of our time for electronic music, Armin knew what he was doing by letting Sander close.  That was definitely a MONSTER set.  Big ups also to Gareth Emery for delivering a completely amazing set.  Always a pleasure to hear a set by Ferry Corsten as well.  and Armin?  Well you can already imagine how that one went.  Big tunes and BIG crowd reaction.  He is the king.  Plain and simple.  Will most definitely be tuning in next week for the Argentina show.  Will you be?


P.S. I wanted to add some of my favorite TwitPics of the night that DJ's were putting to this blog...but guess what...twitter BLOCKED me for tweeting too much about #ASOT500.  Go figure..  I'll add them later!