On December 3rd, Dutch production/DJ team W&W (AKA Ward van der Harst & Willem van Hanegem) will release their new single “Lift Off” through their Mainstage Music label.
“Lift Off” embodies what makes W&W such a special act. While “Lift Off” has classic trance influences and a sense of flow and journey, it quickly brings in punchier house elements that create a multidimensional sound.
W&W are the forerunners of the new sound that has come to shake things up. Fusing styles and mixing influences, their visionary productions have ever appealed to a wide and open-minded audience. Infectious, rebellious and highly energetic, their list of productions stretches far beyond the average discography of today’s young upstarts. From the depths of ‘Arena’, to the acid-rubbed ‘AK-47’, synth- driven ‘Alpha’, floor pounding ‘Shotgun’ and playful pre-album taste ‘Impact’, each of the tunes leaving the W&W studios is a sure-shot of dance floor thrill. Tipped by Armin van Buuren as ‘the best up-and-coming production duo out there’, it was a great honor to have their ‘Invasion’ voted as the official anthem to the “A State of Trance 550” world tour.
As the fields of dance industry stretched out in front of them, the guys embarked upon a new adventure in September 2011: ‘Impact’. The debut album of W&W has been 1,5 years in the making, pushing the boundaries of everything danceable. 2012 saw them navigate around the pigeonholes, through the all- shattering beat of ‘Moscow’, the weaponry of ‘Trigger’ (in collaboration with Marcel Woods) and now the telltale of ‘Lift Off!’. Inspired by releases on its own Mainstage Music label, W&W decided to kick off an official compilation series based on the label. ‘Mainstage Volume 1’, released in September 2012, brought the highlights of the label, of both past and future. As remixers, W&W’s rewires have proved equally as popular - most notably on Armin van Buuren’s ‘Rain’, classic ‘Delerium – Silence’ and those of Dash Berlin, Allure, Aly & Fila, Marcel Woods and Cosmic Gate, some charting the Beatport Top 10 for weeks.
Now a regular standing fixture in the trance enthusiasts listening schedule, W&W’s Mainstage radio show exports their diverse sound around the world every week. Mainstage is all about showcasing the freshest music and exposing new talent to the world. Broadcasting weekly on Sirius XM, Kiss FM (Ukraine), Dance Paradise Radio (Brazil) and many more stations. In and amongst the intriguing Mainstage ID feature, where every week they’ll be playing a track so hot-damn fresh-off-the- desk, it can’t even be named. Mainstage is also available as a podcast on iTunes and can be heard over HERE!
Keep an eye out in the coming months for info about new W&W releases and North American tour dates
W&W North American Tour Dates
November 30 – SoundGarden Hall – Philadelphia, PA
December 01 – BLVD22 – Vancouver, BC
December 08 – Palladium – Hollywood, CA
December 31 – Oracle Arena – Oakland, CA
December 31 – Wamu Theater – Seattle, WA
So yesterday I posted a Le Castle Vania track that the producer gave out for free download. Well it just keeps getting better and better. With the influx of producers and DJs collaborating with Pop artists, there has been a considerable amount of dance music remixes that are being played in clubs and festivals all over. Artists like Usher have worked with Diplo and Swedish House Mafia on tracks that were produced to be electro bangers and have been remixed in the same norm. Ken Loi comes with this new remix of "Scream" that has a heavy bassline and a synth drop. Most importantly, its fo' FREE..
Dash Berlin has given Trance a new dimension in a time where Electro House rules the mainstream market. He is known for his mashups or "Dashups" as he likes to call them and does not disappoint in this one. He played this at EDC Las Vegas this year and for a Trance producer to remix a classic hip-hop anthem with soulful melodies and synths is a major risk. But Dash proves to be flawless as always. Grab this.
Since we are on the subject of risk-taking, here's another one by producers Alesia. I have heard many remixes, edits, bootlegs and mashups of Strobe and considering this is one of my favorite dance music tracks, I am fairly critical of most edits done on this. However, Alesia proves to be a worthy contender. Combining symphonic orchestral melodies with the original beat and then adding a slow but very heavy bassline to perfect the drop this is a MUST HAVE for your itunes.
Halloween weekend 2011, Insomniac held Escape From Wonderland - its first ever Halloween inspired event at their famous playgrounds the NOS Event Center in San Bernadino. With the falling apart of the competing Monster Massive, tickets to Escape were sold out weeks prior to the event. Insomniac was amazing and kind enough to hook Death by Electro up with a couple media passes as myself and compadre Jordan ventured off into the rabbit hole for what was one hell of a night...
After retrieving our passes from an off site location, the two of us pulled into the lot just as the sun was setting and the lights were slowly flickering on. The plan was to enter with enough time a couple of the earlier sets, but with confusion of where to enter and multiple walks around the event center (only negative part of the night), we got in right around 7 pm and headed directly over to the "Ghoul's Graveyard" to catch the set of the legend Andre Tanneberger, better known as ATB hearing just a glimpse of Thomas Gold's massive set from the "Slaughter House" along the way.
Before even going into the music, the tent itself was absolutely insane. Insomniac really did an awesome job with decorating even the inside of the stages, as there were ghosts and other ghouls hanging from the ceiling. The set itself was also quite the spectacle. Dropping his classics early in the set, most notably the ever-famous "Ecstasy" as his second track and then into new classics such as Arty and Mat Zo's "Rebound" ultimately ending with a live singing performance of "What About Us," Andre's set in my opinion, was one for the ages. One of the things I gotta say about ATB is that he really seems to have his audiences feeding off his energy as with every track and every drop, he'd be jumping and on the mic getting everybody fired up.
Before jumping back up to hear his closing, Jordan and I ventured back behind the graveyard tent in anticipation for the Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike who were about to take the stage next. We actually got a chance to catch up with the Thivaois brothers, chatting some about their tour and what we should expect with their set. But lemme tell you... there was nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, they could have been said that would have prepared anyone for the epicness that ensued. With only a 45 minute set, one would think that their options would have been at least slightly limited with what they could get done in such a short period of time but this could not have been any more wrong. The Belgian duo threw down what was by far my favorite set of the night, opening it up with Jacob Van Hage's "Convoi," then transitioning and mixing flawlessly from banger to banger with the crowd going absolutely ape shit. One attendee close up to the stage was awesome enough to record the first part of their set, so we can all relive the amazingness even if we we didn't catch it live.
After finally leaving the "Ghoul's Graveyard" for the first time the entire night, we took a little tour of the grounds and, as I mentioned before, Insomniac really did go above and beyond (if only that could've been a relatable pun...) in creating a design, atmosphere, and overall feeling of a Halloween-inspired event. The "Breakabout Woods" where people could sit and gaze at various statues, the lake in the middle being covered in fog, and even the haunted mansion that was quite the maze to get through all came together in the best kind of way so that no matter where you were within NOS, you were constantly stuck far deep down the rabbit hole.
Cruising around from stage to stage, caught a little bit Sub Focus' set until ending up at "Mad Hatter's Hospital," where we ended up sticking around for most of Moguai's set. Gotta say, one of the highlights of my night personally was hearing him drop Thomas Gold's remix of his own "We Want Your Soul" which has become one of the most recognizable songs out there (even if most people don't actually know the name of the track).
As the Moguai set progressed, you could feel the crowd growing larger and louder in what was anticipation for the every popular Dash Berlin. Before he even took the stage, the crowd went absolutely NUTS with their "Dash Berlin, Dash Berlin" lo and behold the man did not disappoint. Mixing in some of the newer, less trancy tracks to begin, he got the crowd going only to eventually unleash the ever famous Dash originals and remixes that EDM fans around the world have fallen in love with. One thing I've always been impressed by with Dash (this being my 5th time seeing him), is that he's always very interactive with the crowd -- whether it be with his iPad sending messages or even walking across the stage tossing out t-shirts and signed memorabilia, he truly seems to be having just as much fun on stage as those in the crowd did witnessing his prowess.
As much fun and excitement as we were having with all those tronces, we realized the clock was about to strike midnight and almost completely forgot about Le Italiano Benny Benassi who had been rocking the "Size Matters Slaughter House" since 10 pm. Booked it over there as quick as the crowd would let us and couldn't have arrived at a better time. First off, props to Benny for being probably the only performer sporting a Halloween costume as he rocked the Superman fit and cape. Just as we arrived before the closing of his set, we were lucky enough to witness this...
He had the crowd going absolutely INSANE as he dropped the crowd favorite Skrillex remix of "Cinema." When walking out from the madhouse Slaughter House, we could hear him closing out his set with another crowd favorite -- J. Rabbit's dubstep remix of "Satisfaction."
With dubstep fresh in our minds, we decided to head over to one of the last 2 stages we had yet to visit -- "The Chopping Block." Got there about half way through Pendulum's set and even with a DJ set, those guys still know how to tear the roof of a place. The bass was so loud you could almost feel the rafters about ready to fall to the ground as they went from banger to banger, nonstop energy flowing through the entire crowd. Now that they've branched off, I gotta say one of the acts I'm most excited of catching in the near future is that of Knife Party, the side project of 2 members of Pendulum. (If you haven't heard the song "Internet Friends," you should probably put this reading on pause and peep this). Right afterwards, one of the biggest names in the dubstep business stepped up to the stage -- Borgore. Right from the start, he had everyone doing their own version of that dance people call dubstep and even as we were leaving, caught a hint of him dropping the Knife Party remix of "Crush On You."
As most rave-goers do, we ended up heading back over to the Slaughter House to catch Mr. Steve Angello but not before making a quick stop for a little leftover tronce as Markus Schulz had Ghoul's Graveyard packed from front to back. 'Twas really interesting to see the difference in both the crowd and atmosphere from the beginning of the night as the Graveyard shifted from a more electro scene into the melodic, euphoric trance beats.
Finally arriving at Angello's set, you could just tell how amazing his set was -- every person in the crowd either had their hands up, over their hands, or all over someone else (in a good way, of course). The Swede did an awesome job playing the Swedish House Mafia classics as always, but also mixing and mashing in a variety of songs with those that we've becoming accustomed to hearing. The set all culminated in 4 of the most favorite and best songs of 2011 as he went from the mashup of Alesso's "Pressure" and Coldplay's "Fix You," into Dirty South's "Walking Alone," followed by both the original and Knife Party remix of "Save The World," and finally into a bootleg of "Fade Into Darkness" with "You've Got The Love." Not quite sure how to put it into words, but it kinda looked like this...
All in all, Escape was hands down one of the best events I've ever attended, especially of the Halloween variety. The lines getting in weren't too hectic, there was plenty of room for people to dance and/or sit, and the overall decor and atmosphere of the NOS Event Center was like I had never witnessed before. A really really huge big ups to Insomniac for proving why they are the best in the business with yet another amazing and successful event!
The scene at the end with all the cars leaving was in and of itself quite the experience, as fans of every EDM genre blasted their favorite tunes in one big collaboration as the cars slowly filed out.
In case you missed out on the Spooky madness, or even if you just wanna relive your favorite sets, here are the ones we were able to get a hold of from the night:
I know we're known as DxELECTRO, but I gotta say that one of the artists I'm mostly looking forward this weekend features some of the best trance tracks since the turn of the century. The self proclaimed "Future," Dash Berlin jumped up 5 spots up to number 15 in this year's DJ Mag Top 100 DJs. His world-wide recognized singles, such as Till The Sky Falls Down and Waiting, have a deep melodic feel but I've grown to love his "4AM" mixes of both his own original tracks and others, such as his Armin edit (download below), just a bit more. Give it a cha-, I mean trance, and I promise you'll be pleasantly surprised.