Smooth Enters 'The Black Hole'

Posted: February 26th, 2015

The ever-essential Luka Smooth returns from the depths of Slovenia with yet another pair of dancefloor monsters sure to have the kids climbing up the walls. “The Black Hole” is the angrier beast of the two. Centered on a spiraling cosmic theme, this is pure anthem territory sure to deliver the chaos in the vein of last year’s “Virgo Cluster.”

The vibe switches up on the flip as “Rollercoaster” rolls it out with a funk- and disco-inspired workout that is meant to keep things buzzing and humming on the grooviest of dancefloors. The blissful vibes in contrast with the growling A-side make for a nice combination for all the selectors looking to flex on different vibes throughout the night.

Out now on Viper Recordings, so grab it!


 By Chris Muniz

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In The Studio: ETC!ETC!

Posted: February 25th, 2015

Cutting his teeth in production before entering the world of DJing, ETC!ETC! (aka Jose Guerrero) has mastered the art of making moombahton, trap and electro. In this interview, the multi-faceted, genre-defying musician talks about his creative processes and the story behind the making of his forthcoming single on Firepower Records with Tha Trickaz entitled “Supa Hot Fire.”  


What motivated you to start producing?
I started making music in bands when I was 17 years old. I’ve always loved the whole creative process of writing and making a song, which was always in me. When I started making my own music, I downloaded a bunch of production software and started tracking guitars and drums. Of course now it’s much easier with all the software that is out. 

What is your preferred DAW of choice and why?
After trying tons of DAWs I landed on Ableton and I stayed with it. To be honest, it’s very easy for me to use and I’m so used to it by now. I know all its ins and outs, but I’m always learning new things. A lot of my close producer friends also use it, so it’s very easy to sit down and collaborate on a bunch of things. 

What’s the first thing you do when trying to get your drums to sound good?
Hit up Bro Safari! [Laughs] honestly, his drum work is crazy. His production is on point. Whenever I want to get feedback on something I send it to him and he kinda guides me to where I need to go. A lot of the time it’s hit or miss—just keep messing with filters, EQ or anything to try to get it to sound right, or at least to the point where my ears are happy. 

When it comes to bass, do you feel synths or sampling is better?
I feel like making your own synth is better because you are able to manipulate it or make it any way you want. There are times where a sample might be the “right” sample, but most time I feel like a real synth gives the track the best piece of sound.

What’s your most sought-after piece of gear at the moment?
That’s a tough one because there is gear that I definitely want. I think maybe some more monitors. [You can] never go bad with a good pair of studio monitors. 

Out of all the tracks you start, how many would you say you actually finish?
I will say that I try to finish every track I start. Mostly I would say I end up finishing two songs out of five. 

What is your monitoring setup like?
I keep it simple with two Adam 7s. They do their job and I’m happy. 

Favorite pair of headphones?
Sol Republic HDs. 

How did your collaboration with Tha Trickaz come about?
I’ve known Julien from Tha Trickaz for a few years now. I did my first tour on a bus with him. We always talked about a collab, but this past March I was in Paris and we hung out and really went in on a track. When I got back to the States, I had a sample of something he started in my mailbox. [I] got the stems and we went back and forth. I was really stoked about the tune, so we finished it pretty fast. 

What’s your best piece of advice for new producers?
Always be open to criticism. Don’t feel like someone is putting your track down if they give you feedback; it’s always a way of growing. Also, be patient—quality over quantity. Take time on the tune, you’ll get the best end result.


By Amanda Ross

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Krakota Brings On The Shivers

Posted: February 25th, 2015

The Bournemouth-based Sebastian Inwood flexes hard on the two dark head-twisters he turns in for his second outing on Hospital Records. The track titles alone, “Ice Hands” and “Ghosts,” should give you a sense of what kind of chill-inducing atmospheres await, but this is no mere exercise in hard and heavy dark vibes. Instead, Krakota unleashes a pair of subtle burners that walk that fine line between the deeper end of the dancefloor with just enough bite to keep you on your toes.

Dancefloor tunes through and through, the groove at the core of each is enough to keep you locked until the cascading beats push things over the edge. Essential listening that hits the streets March 2 so keep your eyes and ears peeled!

By Chris Muniz

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4 Questions With Noisia

Posted: February 25th, 2015

If you’re anywhere in or around the L.A. area tomorrow night, chances are good you’ll feel the reverberations emanating from Exchange as Noisia, Dieselboy, and Downlink pound the Bassrush faithful into submission. On the eve of their arrival, Noisia’s Nik, Martijn and Thijs found time to answer four of our most burning questions.


What’s the hardest lesson you’ve ever learned? How did it make your life easier—or more difficult?
It’s pretty weird realizing somewhere along the way that the thing you set out to do, because you were really into it as a teenager, ended up becoming the thing that defines a huge part of your life. It’s not easy staying true to what you believed in from the start, and it’s easy to get caught up in pragmatic thinking when you’ve seen how the music world works. But at the same time, it’s a huge badge of honor, of course, to be able to say that you chased your dreams and are still doing so. 

To whom do you owe an apology?
To people we wrongfully cut off in traffic. To Konflict for sampling a break of theirs for our first release. (Never again!) To the world for not winning the World Cup. Leonardo da Vinci, because we’ve been playing Assassin’s Creed. Also because his name is on so many Italian restaurants; he must have been quite the cook!

What do you remember about your first kiss?
Thijs: It was smoky and dark. Her name was Cornelia Fluitmossel. 

What’s your drink of choice?
Right now it’s White Russians, but soon we will explore the spectrum of mixes possible with the magic that is Rivella Light. We can’t wait!


By Anum Khan


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Bensley Surfaces With 'Fandango'

Posted: February 24th, 2015

It may be hard to believe, but names like Sub Focus, Culture Shock, and Rene LaVice have all been signed to Ram based off demos that were submitted to Ram HQ. But none have had quite the success that 20-year old Toronto native Bensley has had right out of the gate.

After submitting a demo to Ram when he was only 19 years old, the label quickly put him on lock, asking him to keep all of his music offline. When the announcement went out early last year that Ram had signed Audio, Stealth and Bensley to the imprint exclusively, the name Bensley immediately stood out. No one had heard of him, and a quick check on the internet yielded no results.

Flash-forward to the present and the first release from the Ram prodigy has finally surfaced, with word of a full-on LP (aptly titled Next Generation) set to drop in early April. Centered on an ethereal, melody-driven soundscape, “Fandango” hints at the technical prowess and emotional depth that is sure to become the signature Bensley sound. For now, strap on your headphones, close your eyes, and check the future.


By Chris Muniz

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Sky Hi Kids: Experimental Clothing

Posted: February 24th, 2015

Sky Hi Kids is an apparel, photography and film crew based in trend-setting Southern California. Through their strong ties in the dance music scene, the team behind SHK (Sky Hi Kids) continues to inspire artists and fashion lovers alike with their bold and edgy clothing line. We went behind the scenes to learn a little more about how the collective was founded, and the bass music that influences their creations. 

What’s the backstory behind Sky Hi Kids?
The idea of Sky Hi Kids started in high school, back in 2010. Our first few designs were drawn on a pad of paper, really just for fun. It soon became a speedy race to create our first collection. The crew consists of Pup Boulger, Kevin Conner, Anthony Milone, James Swubz, Adrein Horan, and the Kotob family.

What inspired you to start designing apparel?
What motivated us to start designing apparel was the fact that we knew we had ideas that were worth something. Not necessarily money, but the fact that we knew we could catch the public’s eye through apparel.

Where do you draw inspiration for your designs? 
All of our designs have been created through something we have experienced in life. Whether it is slang we use, something we have seen, or people we have met. We make sure to carry the impact it has made on us to our clothes so we can share the experience.

Tell us about some of the musicians Sky Hi Kids has been involved with? Which musicians are currently repping the brand?
We met a lot of producers through our relationship with Future Events and by reaching out to other artists who we thought highly of. We have our own SHK mix series that has featured mixes from Trollphace, Vodex, D-Jahsta, Dark Elixir, Shiverz da Butcher, Bloodthinnerz, JPhelpz, and we’ll be featuring a new artist for Volume 8 soon. We did an interview with SpaceGhostPurrp & Raider Klan and filmed their Boiler Room cypher in L.A. Over the course of a few months, we filmed an artist profile video for Protohype, which ended up being one of our favorite projects. We have been very fortunate overall to gain support from many artists with our clothing: Beezy, Protohype, Getter, Trollphace, Jakes, Hatcha, Definitive, Gentlemen’s Club, Dark Elixir, Megalodon, Vodex, Twiitch, D-Jahsta, Pavarotti, Badklaat, FuntCase, 12 Gauge, Shiverz da Butcher, Mutated Mindz, JuJu, Roto, Raider Klan, Bones & Xavier and Wulf. 

What is your most popular piece, including past collections?
Our most popular piece to date is our
Lucy Tabs Tee. The graphic consists of an I Love Lucy silhouette, where we placed what looks like a sheet of acid over her face.

Who are some of your favorite DJs/producers at the moment? 
Zhu, Trollphace, Protohype, Jakes, Getter, Definitive, Oliver Heldens, Metro Boomin’, Dog Blood, Shxdown, Coffi, Don Cannon, Deemed, Wobad, and Ponicz.

Tell us about the other aspects of SHK media like event photography?
It started as a way to showcase our clothes that were being worn at music events, and [just] grew from there. Our first video project was of Megalodon’s 2012 European tour. Following that, we made after-movies for almost all of the Future Events shows! We do all of our photo and video work in-house, but are not opposed to working with other photographers/videographers in the future. 

What projects should we look for this year?
We are nearing completion of our first ever SHK collaboration with a well-known dubstep artist. This has been a long time coming, so we’re stoked to finally see it happen.  

What street wear trend do you feel is on its way out this year?
People will probably get tired of all the hats that started from the Pharrell-style hat he wore at the Grammys two years ago.


By Amanda Ross

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