Yesterday brought us a huge re-release and a remembrance of one of the biggest milestones in the history of Electronic music. 15 years ago, The Prodigy unleashed a monster, The Fat Of The Land, that would become one of the most prolific and game changing albums of its genre, and of music in general. They have re-released it for this massive anniversary in all of its glory. Songs like "Firestarter", "Breathe", and "Smack My Bitch Up" are some of the most quintessential tracks of not only the 90's but the Electronic genre as a whole. It evens holds a Guinness World Record for the fastest selling UK album (and over 10 Million copies sold to date). Now, we all know this brilliant piece of music history, so lets move on to the best part of this release.
Not only have they given us the original 10 tracks (enough on its own, especially since the younger ravers need some reeducation), you also get a bonus package of some of the dirtiest, filthiest remixes to date from each of the artists lucky enough to be chosen to do this. The 6 remixes are from the likes of Major Lazer, The Glitch Mob, Alvin Risk, Noisia, Baauer, and Zeds Dead. I have included links to check out each, but below I wanted to include my favorites and the ones I felt best suited to be here. The Noisia remix is a raw, punch-in-the-gut type, bass heavy leviathan of a track that (in my mind) pays homage in the best possible fashion to the dark, grimy world of The Prodigy's genius. The second is the remix by Alvin Risk. This badboy is just insane. Major Lazer and The Glitch Mob are not too far behind in the incredible factor.
Buy the album now on iTunes, or if you already have it (which you should...) definitely grab the remixes. They will not disappoint.
Fresh off of celebrating his 24th birthday at EDC Las Vegas, dubstep producer/DJ Troy Beatles, better known as Datsik, has been making huge moves in the EDM, not only launching his own record label, but also taking his new-found talent and closest friends along with him on tour in support of Firepower Records. With support from AFK, Getter, Delta Heavy, Terravita, Bare Noize, and xKore, the Firepower crew has already taken over such as Denver and Baltimore, with Datsik showcasing his state of the art 3D vortex visuals during his headlining sets (be sure to check out the video below the interview). Lucky for us, we were able to catch up with the man himself before anything got too hectic, as he prepared for a show out on the East Coast -
DxE: So the tour is just getting started, how’s it going so far?
D: It’s going sick man, all the shows have been awesome. We’re traveling with a crazy ass sound system so we’re pretty much breaking lights and windows around the country and it’s really a lot of fun.
DxE: Where are we talking to you from right now?
D: I’m in Worcester, Massachusetts. Walking around the venue right now, completely empty and I’m just looking at the vortex.
DxE: Tell us a little about that vortex. Is that something you guys designed specifically for the Firepower Tour?
D: Ya, totally. We needed to travel with something this time around and it was an idea I came up with when I was on a plane. I drew it on a piece of paper and it was just the shittest drawing ever. I thought about how it would have to work in terms of, you know, having front projection mapping, but basically the concept is that I’m standing in the middle of this tunnel light and all these visuals are rushing in towards me, putting me as, I guess the focal point and then behind me is another big piece of lycra and there’s a rear projector as well shining on the back of that. So it looks like I’m completely immersed in visuals and it looks seamless.
DxE: Wow and then are you having a VJ actually perform live with you or is this something you guys are planning out ahead of time/during soundcheck?
D: I got my friend, Jesse, who works with V Sqaured Labs – he’s my VJ and he’s been killing it so it’s been great. It’s makes job a bit tricky though because I’m changing my set nearly every single night so he kinda just has to go with the flow and, you know, try to match up as I’m doing my thing but it’s working.
DxE: That’s make it more fun for the both of you though, no?
D: Ya, exactly. It makes it more exciting.
DxE: Very nice. How did you decide on your crew to go on the tour with you?
D: Well AFK and Getter have put out releases with me already. Bare Noize, I feel like, you know, they haven’t really had a solid US tour yet, the same with Delta Heavy and I know there’s a high demand for both of them so we figured they’re both really cool groups of people – there’s two of them in each little posse – I’ve played with all of them on separate occasions and they’re all really cool dudes so I figured having them all in one spot would be a lot of fun and they’re also really amazing DJs so I was really excited to have these guys on tour with me, they’re killing it at the moment so it’s really cool to put it altogether with a huge sound system, crazy production. I just felt like it was the right move and the right fit so everyone coming to the shows are stuck in bass music and that’s what they’re gonna get.
DxE: Is this a bus tour or are you guys flying from city to city?
D: We got 2 big ass tour buses and we're traveling with a crazy sound system too. It's really dope. We got the best crew ever for the tour. I have my girlfriend doing merch, friend's doing my photography he's really sick, my roommate is doing production assistant stuff, another friend I met at Shambhala doing the production lead and then our tour manager, Jim, is just the shit. We have all these really cool, eccentric, you know, outgoing people, on this one tour and it just makes it a lot of fun.
DxE: Tell us a little about the actual label itself. Is this something you came up with recently or have you always wanted your own label?
D: I’ve always wanted to have my own label, I just felt now was the right time to do it. I’ve always wanted to have my own imprint on the music scene, whether it be EDM or whatever, and it’s just cool that the timing worked out epicly. As the label, when we started, it was just me doing everything – from picking artists to uploading their releases to mastering their tunes to everything, I was handling the business side of things as well. Now I’ve delegated jobs to everyone so I’m really just picking the tunes, confirming the masters, confirming all the artwork and making it as easy as I can on myself while making sure that the artists get as much as they can out of the label. On top of that, what we’ve also done, is hire a PR company that works closely with Firepower. What they do is basically do press blasts, which we pay for on behalf of the label, just so the artists get more exposure and, you know, in the end if the artist is gaining more exposure, the label is as well.
DxE: Taking a step back. How did you first fall in love with bass heavy music and realize that was the kind of music you wanted to make?
D: I was making hip-hop for a long time. I first heard dubstep at Shambhala and it just totally changed my outlook on the music I wanted to make because it was so bass heavy and there was just nothing else like it. When I got home, I pretty much obsessed over it for a long time. Excision is from the same town as I am, I had met him before but had never really seen what he did all the time as a DJ and producer. We ended up linking up just through music, started working together a lot and here we are now.
DxE: One thing we’ve noticed about you is that you really enjoy collaborating with people, don’t you…
D: Ya, I love it. I think it keeps it interesting, always having other producers bring their sound and style to the table. It creates a challenge, you know, and it’s not always doing the same thing. It’s really cool to find a creative balance between two people.
DxE: What was it like working with Infected Mushroom?
D: You know what’s funny about that is that was probably one of the easiest collaborations I’ve ever done which is really weird to say because, you know, you’re taking a group of psy trance producers for the most part and a dubstep producer and putting it into one pot, along with Jonathan Davis. Somehow it just worked out – they were like ‘hey, you wanna collab?’ when I said sure they just sent over some parts, I literally cracked it out in two days, sent it back and they were stoked on it. Then like a week later, I was on the Korn tour bus with Jonathan Davis and I was like ‘dude you should sing on this’ and he was just like ‘fuck ya!’ It just kinda happened and all worked out. Honestly, that was probably one of the easiest collaborations I’ve ever done, especially considering the angles we were all coming at it from.
DxE: It’s the best when it all just falls into place like that
D: Totally and then other collaborations, you know, take forever to finish. I have a couple more in the works with Bassnectar and same with Bassnectar and Excision, we’ve done a couple three-way collabs which we still haven’t finished because we’re all just so busy it’s so hard for all of us to sit down together. I think we’re gonna try to make it happen so that once a year we all link up and get in the same room, drink some wine and, you know, try to crunch out the creative process and then me and Jeff can just finish the mix down.
DxE: You really are turning into one of the biggest components of the dubstep scene.. where do you see it going from here and what are your hopes for what this genre will become?
D: Umm, honestly, I hope it evolves, I hope it just keeps moving. We’re seeing new and exciting things coming out, you know, like trap music has been around for a long ass time but now it’s finally starting to get popular in the EDM world. It’s cool because with the whole evolution of trap, it’s pretty much bringing everything back full circle. Now in my sets I’m dropping trap tracks from like 2008 that people have never heard before because they were too busy listening to all the new stuff back then, like Skrilly and whoever else. So it’s really cool to see everything kinda coming back around and there’s a bunch more minimal type shit that’s seeming to emerge and pop up. It just makes it exciting because it sort of creates more dips and valleys in your sets, you know, because you can get away with playing those really deep, dark tracks in the middle of your set, people mistake it for trap and then it just works, you know what I mean.
DxE: Exactly. So obviously you’re dipping into other genres, but are you focusing primarily on your new tracks for the tour or are you mixing it up differently every night?
D: I try play as different as I can every night. I mix in a bunch of different shit, a lot of hip-hop and I’m playing a lot of my old stuff too because I know a lot of people love my old stuff the most so I play some of that. I just try to find a good balance of promoting my new album while, at the same time, keeping it OG and playing all the old school shit.
DxE: Speaking of old school shit, one of our favorite tracks of yours is the remix of ‘Animale.’ How did that project come about with Don Diablo?
D: He hit me up and basically wanted to do a track together but the timing didn’t really work out. Then he was like, ‘I have this new single, I was hoping you would wanna remix it.’ I listened to it, loved the vocals and everything. It’s always really fun to get those kinda tracks with really cool vocal parts, it just makes your job as a remixer was easier. I just got this track from Linkin Park off their new album that they wanted me to remix and I did, it turned out really cool. It’s got a lot of influences from Bassnectar, the direction I wanted to take this one in. It’s really cool, been going off and such a good feeling to have a track that you’ve never really played out be played out, you know, and it’s everyone going crazy for it – it’s an awesome feeling and what I think we’re all doing this for.
DxE: Gotta ask you, what’s it like being on your own tour and knowing that people are coming out primarily to see you perform?
D: It’s exciting and nerve-racking all at the same time. Obviously, the genre is changing and, in my opinion, dubstep has probably plateaued and that’s why all these new genres are starting to kind of emerge, you know. It’s really cool though, the shows so far have been doing sick, we have a solid lineup really wicked talent on this tour, it’s doing well. We’re just hear to leave an impression and that’s why we’re traveling with a mega sound system, sick ass production and a ton of crazy music. At the end of the day, it’s really sweet because it’s like, my own thing. The fact that I’m doing a record label tour already when I just launched the label 2 or 3 months ago, maybe a bit later, I dunno and I’m already doing a tour with all these other DJs – it’s awesome, it’s such a good feeling.
DxE: So what can we expect going forward from the label, from your name, just from you in general?
D: I’d say just switching it up. I really like taking different scenes and trying to apply that to my music. So if I’m really feeling this vibe from Basssnectar, for example, maybe make a track that sounds like him but in my own way or if I’m feeling a track that’s by Noisia, maybe I’ll track to make a really kind of dark tune. The label is just really getting started, we have so much new insane talent coming out over the next couple months. Just keep your eye on the label and you’ll really be impressed.
DxE: Just one last question – does Datsik have a favorite ice cream flavor?
D: Bubble gum and cotton candy
The Firepower crew has also been kind enough to make everyone feel at home, just releasing a video highlighting all the festivities from the first week of the tour. Also featured is the new remix mentioned in the interview of the Linkin Park track "Until It Breaks."
North America's first and only touring electronic music festival experience, IDENTITY, is set to take over Northern and Southern California this upcoming weekend. Last year each of IDENTITY's San Diego and San Francisco shows drew crowds of more than 15,000. With the 2012 New York IDENTITY leg selling out in just 24 hours, demand is expected to be similarly high for the California dates this year.
IDENTITY's line-up features the most cutting-edge acts in EDM presenting them in some of America's most storied venues, arenas that were long reserved for rock bands. Eric Prydz, Excision, Paul Van Dyk, Madeon, Wolfgang Gartner, Porter Robinson, Nero, Arty, Showtek, Noisia and more will be joining IDENTITY this summer. A talent break-down for each California show is listed below.
IDENTITY welcomes back Rockstar Energy Drink as its festival stage sponsor, as well as returning sponsors Emazing Lights, Slurpee, Let's Rage, Throwed and Unique Squared. IDENTITY will also have exclusive playlists on Rdio to accompany the festival. New to the IDENTITY festival this year are Miller Genuine Draft, TIGI Bedhead and LifeStyles Condoms.
To submit to our FREE TICKET give away make sure to send your full name to email@example.com, subject line: “FREE TIX ID FEST SD”.
IDENTITY California Line-Ups are:
8/17 San Francisco - Shoreline Amphitheatre
Eric Prydz, Excision, Paul Van Dyk, Hardwell, Bingo Players, Showtek, Noisia, Doctor P, Arty, Le Castle Vania, Eva Simmons, The Eye, Audrey Napoleon
8/18 San Diego - Cricket Amphitheatre
Eric Prydz, Excision, Paul Van Dyk, Porter Robinson, Hardwell, Bingo Players, Showtek, Noisia, Arty, Le Castle Vania, Eva Simons, The Eye, Audrey Napoleon
IDENTITY is set to make it's final stop on Monday 8/19 as the tour caps off its month-long journey in Phoenix, Arizona at the Pavilion Amphitheatre.
With the release of rock legend KoЯn's new album 'Path of Totality' a new era and genre of electronic music has begun - a fusion between rock and dubstep in what the band's lead singer Jonathan Davis calls "future metal." Their new album features a variety of electronic producers, including Skrillex, Feed Me, Noisia, Excision, and many many other big names. Back at home after hitting the east coast, DxE had the honor and pleasure of talking with Jonathan on the phone getting the full scoop on what this new beginning in the EDM scene is all about --
DxE: Your new album 'Path of Totality' is about to be the band's 10th album in only around 19 years of existence.. how much time do you guys actually spend in the studio getting prepared and everything done?
JD: It varies per record, you know. We’ve been on the road for about 18 years so basically what happens is we go on the road for about a year or two, come back, and then we go in the studio. And then writing can take anywhere from a month, two months, and then another two months to record it and mix it, and then we’re back off on the road. We did “Issues” in 4 months – wrote, recorded and mixed that in 4 months. And then when we did the album “Untouchables” it took 2 years so it just depends.
DxE: So now that you’ve started working with electronic producers how has that process changed?
JD: It's changed a lot, it was a different experience for us in a bunch of different ways. [For example] I used to write a lot of music on the road and then I’d bring the band and we’d rock it out [live]. “Munkey” (one of Korn’s two guitarists) has his thing where he’ll change stuff and we’ll just do stuff [live] in the studio writing. One time we had the producers come in, they came in with a basic idea, with a beat, then Munkey would jam out on guitar and give them an idea, and then they’d start writing the patches and treating the bass around it. That’s what we did for all the producers except for Noisia and Feed Me [because] they were in London and then [immediately travelled to] Netherlands. Noisia sent us five 32-bar ideas and I picked my favorite three. I put them in song form and then I sang on them. We did the guitars and mixed it and sent it back to Noisia. Then they did their thing to it and we mastered it. With Feed Me, he just sent me a track and I had to cut it all up and rearrange it. Basically I was working with all these guys to come up with parts and it was my job to arrange them into song form because it’s different from electronic music. [With electronic productions] it’s all about the drop and the build and I needed to have verses and pre-choruses, then a chorus...etc. Stuff like that; so that was the difficult part.
DxE: How’d you guys first come up with the idea to integrate electronic artists into your album?
JD: That’d be me. I’ve been a huge electronic fan forever.
DxE: Always dubstep?
JD: No not always. I started DJing when I was 16 so my cup of tea was the electro-hop sound like Egyptian Lover or Afrika Bumbata and then I started getting into freestyle music and Miami Bass. After that I really got into drum n’ bass stuff and that’s why I was really excited to have Noisia onboard because they're gods in drum n’ bass. Especially having Kill The Noise and Feed Mewas awesome because Kill The Noise was Ewun and Feed Me was Spor and they were one half of that group Lifted so that shit was amazing. Then I started listening to dubstep about a year and half ago, first thing I heard was Excision, Skream, stuff like that with more dub influence, you know more reggae. Listening to Excision I think he’s the one that invented heavy dubstep. Along with Datsik and Downlink he started taking their bass pack and they could distort them and make that shit heavy and sound like guitars and I really loved it. And then I called Sonny [Moore aka Skrillex] when his EP dropped and I was blown away by all the multi-genres he mixed together. I played the band two songs – an Excision song and a Skrillex song – cuz they had never heard that stuff before and their jaws hit the floor. And then I told them I have this idea of molding these two genres of music together and they’re like “Let’s do it!” So there it began.
DxE: So you reached out to all these guys individually and threw the idea at them yourself?
JD: Yeah, I picked out all the producers myself; I had a wishlist. When we started out we were gonna do an EP, just a couple of songs with with Skrillex and Excision. The first dubstep song we did was with Excision, Datsik, and Downlink and it’s on the album called “Tension”. That was just straight dubstep – no guitars, no nothing it’s just me singing. And that got me really hooked and so I called Skrillex in the meantime and he came down for 3 days, we wrote 3 songs and we did “Get Up!” in like 3 and a half hours. We were having so much fun and being so creative and feeling like we were pioneering into creating like a completely different genre of music that we just kept going. I had a wishlist and I just kept calling these producers and asked if they’d be down to work with us and they were like “fuck yes, we’re huge fans” which made me freak out again because I didn’t know these people knew my band. My last freakout was when we played New York and they took me to a Nero show and the Nero guys came in the dressing room going “holy shit, Jonathan Davis.. we’re huge fans!” so I was like oh my god and they’re one of the pioneers.
DxE: You mentioned the song “Get Up!” was that the first song to preview from the album? Cuz we were at Coachella in 2011 and saw the crowd go absolutely ape shit…
JD: You saw the reaction right? Yeah that one we debuted because we had that song in the can for like 6 months and I kept bitching at my manager like if we don’t get this single out right now someone else is gonna be doing this shit, we need to make our stamp and we made this song and it’s great and it represents both sides – the integrity of KoЯn is there and the integrity of Skrillex is there – lets drop it. So we dropped it that day that we did Coachella
DxE: So right now you’ve got the Path Of Totality tour going on.. your first West Coast stop is this upcoming Tuesday at the Hollywood Palladium (which is the same day as the release of the album). How are the shows different actually performing with the DJs?
JD: Well we play all the tracks live. [The DJs] open up for us; [for example] Downlink opened up with a 30 minute set then Datsik did a 30 minute set and then we came out and did our set. The actual dubstep stuff we do live where we have over 30 drum sets and they’re all automated triggers so they’ll be playing the verse and then when the chorus comes up the triggers change to chorus triggers. We got a keyboard player playing all the lead lines. Only thing that’s on tape is all the percussive stuff and all the bass wobbles cuz they’re tempo sensitive. Pretty much it’s all live.
DxE: So in your opinion is KoЯn the same band it was when you guys started or have you evolved into something new?
JD: I think over the years we’ve evolved, but we’re still the same band. We still have the goal to try and pioneer and do different kinds of music so each of our records is different. But I think over the years, after being together for almost 19 years, we’ve matured and we’re a lot better at what we do and this album we finally got to actually experiment with something we really like doing and it shined through.
DxE: Are you guys still focused on the same target audience or what’s the focus with it all?
JD: We’re branching out to electronic fans and we’re still embracing our fans. We still remember where we came from when we were a metal band. A lot of those fans hate [the new stuff] but we still play all our old songs so, you know, you lose some and you gain some. But we’re getting a lot of new electronic fans because of this new genre we’ve created.
DxE: Have you come up a name for that genre yet?
JD: No… I call it future metal.
DxE: Haha I like it. So now that this future metal hast started, where do you see it going from here?
JD: Oh I can guarantee people are gonna start doing it. It happened it to us in ’94 when that album dropped, how we fused funk and hip-hop together and then we had all the bands that came after.. I can guarantee you’re gonna start hearing bands put dubstep in their music.
DxE: And what’s the next step for KoЯn after this album?
JD: Keep it going man, we love playing together and we’re already 19 years deep so why stop? I mean I don’t do this shit for money or any of that, I do it cuz I love to play and I love to make art. And if that stopped then I wouldn’t do it, so that’s why this album is so important to me – we created art and we didn’t give a fuck what anybody thought.
DxE: I think that pretty much summed it up right there haha is there anything else you’d like to say to electro fans who may apprehensive about listening to KoЯn or a heavy metal rock band?
JD: I just want to thank all the electro fans that have accepted us, I want to thank the electro fans that have come out to my DJ shows cuz I’m a crazy electro head. I love the genre, I love to rage and I just want them to all know that I’m not a bandwagon jumper I’ve been in this game a long time and love the music. It just now, at this time, is starting to shine.
DxE: Awesome, alright Jonathan, on behalf of all of us from Death by Electro, wanted to thank you for taking the time to talk with us.
JD: Sure thing brotha.
KoЯn continues their tour with a stop this coming Tuesday, December 6 at the Hollywood Palladium. As Jonathan mentioned, they'll be joined once again with some of the best in the dubstep business - Datsik, Downlink, and 12th Planet, just to name a few- in what will no doubt be a show for the record books. Tickets are still available right HERE! And make sure to grab your copy of 'Path of Totality' also, set to release in the US on the same day as the show