On Supping Through Baja, Mexico

Electronic dance music is more than just a trend, it’s the soundtrack to the digital revolution. That includes the blurring or cultural lines via lighting fast communication on the Internet and the ability to travel all over the world. Let’s start our new travel column off with a place close to home. And what better way to explore it than balanced precariously over a pod of killer whales on your new paddle board? (Supping is the water sport of the digital revolution.)

 

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Canada denies Russian DJ’s by Proxy

Evgeny Pozharnov aka Proxy
Evgeny Pozharnov aka Proxy

There will not be any Russian DJ’s spinning in Canada for awhile. Proxy, an electro producer from Moscow who you may remember from the super awesome label Turbo Recordings, was recently denied a VISA to enter the country for Veld Festival in Toronto. He posted this statement on his Facebook page:

A MESSAGE TO MY FRIENDS AND SUPPORTERS IN CANADA…

I am very sorry to all promoters and fans in Canada for this, I have tried many times but sadly, being Russian has not allowed me Visa entry into Canada AGAIN. I am very upset and sorry for this and cannot explain this as the reasons are ridiculous. My manager, Agent, Visa rep and various lawyers have tried but sadly nothing has worked. I would love to come to Canada but this is out of my control. My apologies again. I am truthfully so upset with this as people will say ‘he did not turn up’. The truth is I WANT TO TURN UP, but I cannot come in illegally. I am so so sorry : (

An inspection of the other three most famous Russian DJ’s, that is Arty, Swanky Tunes and Hard Rock Sofa, reveals that they have no plans to spin in Canada either. So what the hell is going on? Some kind of war over the North Pole? Possibly a hockey game gone horribly awry?

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No, silly. It seems that Canada is in the process of restructuring their immigration department to make it more centralized. This is coupled with a strike by Canadian foreign service workers, 285 of whom were recently laid off as part of the process. According to the Calgary-Herald, the computer system used by the foreign service is ‘backlogged’ meaning that they will have to do the transition the old fashioned way. The strike is slowing things down even further. But officials assure us that once the system is up and running again, it will function even more quickly and smoothly than ever before.

Meanwhile visitors from Mexico and Lebanon are also experiencing wait times over over 120 days for their VISAs, including medical professionals. But Russia is a nation that has a fondness for bureaucracy so it is not surprising that the events in Canada have raised some red flags.

Officials are uncertain as to when the strike will end. Canadians will have to cross the border to the US for their fix of Russian House. In the meantime, please enjoy these music videos!

Follow me on Twitter @blackbettyblog by clicking the bird!

EDM capitals of the world

EDM capitols (2)

If you are a fan of electronic dance music who is tired of so many music festivals, then you may be considering backpacking for the summer. These are some of the most important cities in the history of house music, dubstep and other genres. Even though some cities like Dubai or Rio de Janeiro are full of dance music they have not been included on the list for lack of space. Some of them are the world’s biggest cities, others are beach getaways and still others are smack in the middle of nowhere. Just look at that nifty map!

1. Chicago

chicago-house-music

Music Festivals: Pitchfork Music Festival (July), Lollapalooza (August)

Famous DJs: Bad Boy Bill, Frankie Knuckles, Felix da Housecat, Tommie Sunshine

Everyone should know that house music was actually born in Chicago during the Eighties. It happened somewhere between some gay discoteques and a handful of prominent radio DJs. Eventually the movement spread across the ocean where it really took off in London during the Nineties before the Dutch took over. Anyone that wants to know about the history of electronic dance music has to start in Chicago — unless they want to go back further to disco, in which case I don’t even know. I was not technically alive for half of the Eighties and even then I was an infant.

2. London

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Music Festivals: Global Gathering (July), EDC London (July), Southwest Four Weekender (August)

Historic Nightclubs: Fabric, Ministry of Sound, FWD

UK DJS like Chemical Brothers, the Prodigy and Fatboy Slim crossed over into the pop charts during this time. The Nineties rave scene in the UK was pretty epic and I’m basing this on some movies I saw. As I understand it recreational Ecstasy use became a serious issue amid young people who were also experimenting with drum and bass music. Then in the 2000s someone in the underground London scene invented dubstep and it spread back across the Atlantic like a virus.

3. Amsterdam

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Music Festivals:
Dance Valley (August), Mysteryland (August), Amsterdam Dance Event (October)

Famous DJs: Tiesto, Armin Van Buuren, Dash Berlin, Nicky Romero

House music really took off in Amsterdam for some reason, possibly because it is legal to take so many drugs. Now most of the world’s top DJ’s call the Netherlands their native country. Amsterdam has shown mad support for it’s native sons like Tiesto, Armin Van Buuren, Ferry Corsten, Sander Van Doorn, Paul Van Dyk, Dash Berlin, Headhuntrz, Nicky Romero, W&W and more! Okay some of them are from Sweden like Avicii, Sebastian Ingrosso, Dada Life or the gentleman of the Swedish House Mafia.

4. Ibiza

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Music Festivals: International Music Summit (May), Ultra Music Festival Ibiza (May), Ibiza Rocks (June)

Historic Nightclubs: Space, Pacha, Amnesia, DC10

Some of the most famous house music nightclubs in the world are in Ibiza which is sort of like the Cancun of Europe. Legendary venues like Pacha and Amnesia are still on the map of the electronic dance music kingdom. Every year David Guetta has his Fuck Me I’m Famous party there while his wife stands in the DJ booth behind him. The town is also notorious for their summertime booze cruises in which famous DJs throw parties on yachts. Ibiza is an excellent destination for sunbathing during the day and dancing all night.

5. New York

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Music Festivals: EDC New York (May), Camp Bisco (July), Electric Zoo (August/September)

Historic Nightclubs: 54 Below, Marquee, LAVO NY, Cielo

Of course New York is an EDM capital it is the creative center of the planet. New York is an important capital for American history period. Disco happened there, house music took off and some other important cultural stuff too. Brooklyn in particular is known as the hipster capital of the planet. And a lot of famous DJs still call New York home because it gives them access to so many resources, venues, fans, contacts and neat outfits. International plane tickets cost slightly less and the lights are all a little brighter in New York.

6. Miami

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Music Festivals: Holy Ship! (January), Ultra Music Festival Miami (March), Miami Music Week (March)

Historic Nightclubs: Story, Mansion, Bamboo, Club Space

House music legends flock to their residencies in Miami, Florida where the luxurious nightspots pay more and are filled with models in Brazilian bikinis. Miami is the origin of the Ultra Music Festival, Miami Music Week, as well as famous nightclubs like Story, Mansion and Bamboo. Tourists from around the world visit Miami’s white sandy beaches every year where as I understand it clubbing is considered the thing to do. The price of real estate is high and the ambiance is trendy.

7. Las Vegas

Las Vegas Scenic Images

Music Festivals: Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas (June), EDMbiz (June)

Historic Nightclubs: XL, Surrender, Drai’s Hollywood, Hakkasan

The world’s most profitable nightclubs are the EDM giants in Las Vegas like Surrender, XS, Drai’s Hollywood, Hakkasan and more. In general if you are visiting the strip there will be a world famous DJ playing a set there that night. For example Surrender residents include Afrojack, David Guetta, Cedric Gervais, Diplo, Bassnectar, Knife Party, Porter Robinson and dozens more. The great thing about Vegas is that it is in the middle of the desert so they keep prices down. There are deals on delicious food and drinks, not to mention all of the pool parties and conferences.

8. Los Angeles

losangeles

Music Festivals: Nocturnal Wonderland (April), EDC LA (June), Hard Summer (August), Day of the Dead (November)

Famous DJs: Skrillex, Steve Aoki, Dillon Francis, Morgan Page, LA Riots

Historic Nightclubs: Avalon, Playhouse, Exchange, Dim Mak Studios

About fifty percent of the DJs in the world live in Los Angeles which has enjoyed a revival of sorts in the downtown club scene. The fact is there are more artists per square foot in LA than any other city on the planet. Some of the most famous nightclubs in the world — Avalon, Playhouse, Exchange — are there, where the Hollywood elite go to get inebriated and mingle with each other. DJ’s love LA because there are plenty of collaborators, beautiful actress/models and people who are willing to act like they are a really big deal.

Manufactured pop music, literally

This is old news if you are Japanese, but for the rest of us, the latest trend in pop music is literally manufacted pop stars. Meet Hatsune Miku they biggest pop sensation to hit Japan since karaoke. The teenage pop star is a hologram projected on stage using mirrors. She sells out stadiums in Tokyo, appears in car commercials, and has her own video game series. She is 5’2″ and weighs 93 pounds; all legs and hair. Her voice is based off samples obtained from the Japanese actress Saki Fujit.

Unlike the music industry here in the U.S. the Japanese are encouraged to use their favorite pop music to creative art of their own. Rather than stealing, Japanese music industry leaders see it as a promotional thing that increases sales. The fans have gone crazy over Miku, and amateur song writers can use her program to make her sing their songs. Some of the more promising are even sold back to the record company.

Unlike typical human pop stars Miku has no troubling vices such as cocaine, abusive boyfriends, or DUIs. Programmers can instill in her a wide range of styles. And what human girl could compete with those gams and floor length blue hair?

Read more in the LA Times.

Dead Spy Running: DJ/spy swagg

A new movie is in development over at Warner Bros about a spy slash DJ. The new project Dead Spy Running is based on the mystery novel of the same name by Jon Stock. The new movie is being produced by Kevin McCormick at Langley Park and McG’s Wonderland Sound And Vision.

“Danny” a rising star in the dance world and son of a secret agent, is forced to go on the run with a beautiful agent after being framed for his father’s murder. The DJ must stop an elite terrorist organization and clear his own name while on tour in London, Paris, Corsica, New York, and Mumbai.

The film is in development so we have a couple years to read the original. Think about it, who other than a DJ would be able to traverse so many international lines with so little trouble? It makes perfect sense. Too much sense…

Street art blossoms in post-totalitarian Myanmar

It is nice to know that with the tide of change in totalitarian dictatorships across the world, there is a ray of hope. Last week the reform era government in Myanmar abolished media censorship.

For decades past, a military dictatorship in the country meant that tagging and graffiti were strictly forbidden. Since 2011, street art bearing political messages has sprung up on walls across the nation.

The young artists are inspired by, of course, Banksy, and the local hip hop and punk scenes. Popular images include an electrical socket that trails wire and is usually accompanied by the phrase, “Plug in the city,” a reference to the power shortages. Another is a television with wings that calls for free media. There is also a washing machine that alludes to military money laundering.

There is some controversy over whether the images are art or vandalism. But the artists say they are careful never to mark up a building such as schools, churches, or hospitals. Images painted on political abodes are quickly covered.

Those who have been caught were not incarcerated, but they do have to sign a piece of paper stating that they would not tag again. The jury is still out on what to do about the new pictures.

Watch the Euronews special report.

Africa’s Channel O introduces video mixing

I told you video mixtapes were a real thing! Now I have confirmation, from famous African DJ’s.

South Africa’s Channel O has a show called The Bassment in which DJ’s have debuted a new technique known as “video mixing.” The DJ’s, or rather VJ’s, use the new technology to mix pop music videos back to back on the television screen.

Some of Africa’s most notorious international DJ’s have played host, including DJ Black from Ghana, Uganda’s DJ Mister and Aludah, Kenya’s DJ Crème De La Crème and Joe as well as DJs Caise, Neptune and Xclusive from Nigeria.

Channel O Africa Manager, Leslie Kasumba released this statement, “The inclusion of these DJ’s was yet another step by the channel that has pioneered musical television in Africa. We recognize that DJ’s drive the music culture, so we want to see them having more of a presence on our channel. We look forward to working with them and we hope our audiences will appreciate seeing them on their television screens.”

You can visit Channel O’s website here: http://channelo.dstv.com/ For some reason it was blocked for me on Firefox, but Google Plus let me see it.

For my peace of mind. Here is a video mixtape I produced seven months ago. I have a couple that are ten months old on my channel. Everything should sync up with music. What an age to be alive!

Pandora’s box is opened unleashing a terrible attack of dubstep monsters who proceed to take over the Earth!

Read more.

Travel Warning: Bali nightclubs

A new study from the Department of Foreign Affairs (Australia) reveals that one Australian dies in a Balinese nightclub every nine days. That must have been an in depth and costly venture to figure out.

No matter where you go on Earth, there is most likely some kind of nightclub or bar. That is what you are supposed to do on vacation, get really drunk and do stuff you would not normally do at home. When you mix alcohol and a lot of people together, shit starts to turn out. It is human nature.

Bali is one of Australian backpackers most frequented destinations. In 2011-2012, 39 Australians died in Bali. 93 had to seek help at the Australian embassy after being hospitalized. 36 were arrested, 18 were jailed, and eight needed life support. The most common causes for injury of Australian tourists was nightclub fights and motorbike accidents.

Sounds like those Australians really know how to party.

A DFAT spokesman noted there was a marked increase in young adult males with mental health issues.

Swedish House Mafia to conclude in India

Axwell, Steve Angello, and Sebastian Ingrosso also known as the Swedish House Mafia officially announced last June on their website that the tour they are on presently will be their last. “We came, we raved, we loved…” they posted.

With their last European festival appearance at Tomorrowland in the rear view mirror the SHM journey may end up in India.

In a statement to the Times of India the band expressed a desire to conclude touring in India.

Axwell has been telling us for years to visit India. We’ve been watching from afar and he has already played there and says it is one of the most vibrant scenes in the world. We’re working hard with Nikhil to make that a reality and bringing our last tour to India for the first time!

The band has been negotiating with Nikhil Chinapa’s events management company about a tour through India this November. EDM has enjoyed a rise in popularity in India in recent years despite a negative reputation for encouraging drug abuse. Raving is illegal in India and people caught raving are arrested and tested for drugs. Nikhil has released this statement:

The stigma attached to dance music with the misinformed perception of events being dangerous is slowly disappearing with the genre’s mainstream success and audience reactions. We hope to see profitable and beneficial brand associations for Dance Music as a genre going forward. We are hoping to draw Swedish House Mafia fans from all across the region as this epic farewell act is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for fans to see them in India.

The Times further notes that, “A (Swedish House Mafia) concert in Phoenix Park, Dublin, led to chaos with numerous fans being stabbed and other fatalities being reported.

Rave busted in Mumbai; 44 test positive so far

Poolside at the Oakwoods on the night of May 20

On May 20th Mumbai police broke up a “rave party” at the Oak Woods Hotel. They arrested 92 people including TV actor Tapurva Agnihotri, fashion designer Rocky S., cricketers Wayne Parnell and Rahul Sharma, and the owner of the hotel, Vishay Handa. Arresting everyone caught raving is the standard procedure in India, where dubstep and EDM have become a cultural phenomenon.

This month 44 of those people have tested positive for narcotics. They will soon be arrested according to the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substance (NDPS) Act. However, no one was caught distributing drugs, so they should be eligible for bail upon their arrest. They can later apply for drug rehabilitation rather than the alternative.

27 tested positive for cannabis, 16 for MDMA plus cannabis and one for Ecstasy. Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik told news channels yesterday that nearly 97% of those arrested had tested positive for illegal substances. 110 grams of cocaine and MDMA were also seized on the premises.

Agnihotri, who tested positive for MDMA and cannabis, and his wife, claim they had no prior knowledge of the rave, and were out on a casual date. Tests for 44 others, mostly women, are still pending.

Sticker Lady of Singapore

Meet the Sticker Lady from Singapore who is facing charges of vandalism after decorating the streets of the conservative southeast Asian city with humorous stickers. These include phrases such as “Press for time travel” on traffic crosswalk signal buttons; and other phrases in Singapore slang like “My grandfather road” and “Press until shiok.”

Samantha Lo, as she is also known, is 27 and runs a online arts magazine. She faces a fine of two thousand Singapore dollars or $1574. Her arrest has sparked a debate in Singapore the Singapore art community. Over 14,000 people have signed a petition on Facebook calling for leniency in her case.

Nightclub manager plunges 31 stories to death

On Friday night a Queensland nightclub promotions manager plunged 31 stories to his death from a hotel room on Australia’s Gold Coast. Local homicide detectives are busy trying to determine whether foul play was involved or if it was a tragic accident.

The 29 year old was the manager of the QLD Nightclub located in Surfer’s Paradise. Neighboring units at the Beachcomber’s Resort reported a loud disturbance before the man’s body was found in the landscaping shortly thereafter.

In 2007 a 19 year old man named Jack Walker died at the same hotel when he fell 27 stories.

Read more: http://www.skynews.com.au/topstories/article.aspx?id=749636&vId=

Arabian revolutionary street art

El Seed in Tunsia

You may be wondering what street art has to do with electronica. But in the same way a musician remixes one of their favorite tracks, graffiti artists are, in their own way, paying tribute to public spaces through artistic expression. Much to the chagrin of major labels and public officials alike, these two modern trends are part of the same remix culture.

It’s one thing to paint a picture on the side of a building in the middle of the night. But to risk death to express your message in the face of a totalitarian junta is true rebellion. It is no wonder then that the fastest growing medium in the ultra conservative middle east should be street art.

Professor Charles Tripp is an expert in Middle Eastern politics who argues that street art has been a fundamental part of the seeming wave of revolution against totalitarian dictators in the Middle East and Africa. He is not above employing graffiti as a form of political expression himself.

In Tunsia dictator Ben Ali fled the country in early 2011. Overnight a giant poster of his face appeared on the side of a building. As the sun rose a growing crowd surrounded the picture murmuring in discontent. Encouraged by the jeering crowd, a group of men pull down the poster to reveal another sign underneath. It reads in Arabic, “Beware, dictatorship can return. On October 23rd VOTE.” You can watch the event unfold above.

Read more about Tripp in the Guardian: How Arab revolutionary art helped break the spell of political oppression

Bearded lady of Cairo or whore with her hair showing?
Conflict poster in Tel Aviv.

Tehran, Iran

MTV Sound Trippin in India

A recent article in the Times of India boldly proclaims that Bollywood has gone dubstep.

It is all on MTV’s new show Sound Trippin, produced and hosted by the lovely Sneha Khanwalkar. You can watch the first Sound Trippin music video above.

The show will consist of Khanwalkar journeying across the Indian countryside collecting sound and videos. She then edits snippets of these together with dubstep to make videos. Some in the press have dubbed her the “LSD musician.”

The show premiered last week. You can catch Sound Trippin on MTV – India at 8:30pm IST or by streaming it online.Check it out: http://mtv.in.com/soundtrippin/

Read the Times article: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/music/news-and-interviews/India-dances-to-dubstep/articleshow/12731273.cms

 

Dubstep dancers protest in the Red Light District

These girls can dance. And what’s more, they are sending a powerful message about human trafficking straight from the heart of Amsterdam’s notorious Red Light District.

After an energetic routine to dubstep in front of a crowd of whistling men and other onlookers in a red light storefront, a screen illuminates reading, “Every year, thousands of women are promised a dance career in Western Europe. They end up here.”

The ad was designed by the Belgian agency Duval Guillaume Modem for the Stop the Traffik’s ad campaign to raise awareness about and put an end to human trafficking.

Read more here: http://adsoftheworld.com/media/online/stop_the_traffik_girls_going_wild_in_red_light_district

Small Florida town bans dancing

Welcome to Weston, Florida where a recent city ordinance has banned nightclubs and dancehalls of any kind.

The ban is intended to prevent the hazards associated with the large crowds at such establishments, as well as the loud noises and street crime associated with dance music and dubstep.

According to the mayor Eric Welsh, “There aren’t those uses in Weston, there won’t be those uses in Weston, and we were never planning to allow those uses in Weston.” Here is a recent photo of the mayor’s daughter and her friends.

Footloose (1984)

Skating rinks were also banned in the ordinance because they can be used to conceal dance parties. Those who want to go clubbing can still do so in the neighboring towns in southwest Florida.

If you think banning dancing, dancehalls and dubstep is fascist then why not email Mayor Welsh with your concerns? You can find all the contact info you need here: http://www.westonfl.org/Contact.aspx

Diamond graffiti in Jewel City

A California street artist who goes by the name “ABOVE” has managed to spray paint an anti-blood diamond message in Johannesburg, South Africa. The message located outside one of the world’s biggest diamond distributors known as Jewel City reads “Diamonds are a woman’s best friend… and a man’s worst enemy.”

ABOVE offered to paint the first half of the message which was met with great appeal by JC representatives. What he did not mention was the last half of the message intended in protest of abominable working conditions of African diamond workers and the ongoing trade of ‘blood’ or ‘conflict diamonds’ in African war zones.

No word yet from the company but so far it seems that ABOVE is likely to get away with it.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/street-artist-creates-anti-diamond-mural-outside-south-203005611.html

Singapore superstar makes radio history

download Nicki Minaj 'Starships' (DJ JT remix)

The self proclaimed “Remix Master” DJ JT from Singapore is the first remixer ever to have three number one songs in the Top 40. Now he is the first one from the island to have a radio show broadcast simultaneously on U.S. and U.K. radio. It will be on American run Swurv Radio and London based Global Radio One.

DJ JT loves any music with a dirty bass line. He has worked with many radio stations including Sirius XM BPM, Native Instrumentals, 102.7 KIIS-FM, HOT 97 FM and Trance FM. Not a lot of people people have heard of him but he does have a lot of followers in his neck of the woods. You can read the whole press release here: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/4/prweb9385819.htm

Diplo gets a radio show

Diplo and the good people at Mad Decent are getting a radio show.

It’s on BBC1. “Diplo and Friends” will air every week from 1 to 3 am starting April 7th. That’s today! It will star Diplo and the other artists on Mad Decent, like Dillon Francis and Rusko. That’s 8 to 10pm on the EST and 5 to 7pm PST.

BBC1 is a legendary station that broadcasts from the UK. It is home to such world famous DJs like Zane Lowe and Mary Jan Hobbes’ dubstep and grime show. It’s a fact, most young people in the UK listen to this station, and if they are out of the country they tune in on their laptops.

If you have heard the mixes he does for Sirius XM then you know it is about time for Diplo to get a radio show. They get hundreds of thousands of hits on SoundCloud. I wonder if he will be needing a production assistant slash flat sitter soon?

It true! Check it out: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01dmw90