Are Myon & Shane 54 Planning a Classics Tour?

Myon & Shane 54 have recently been teasing the idea of doing a “classics tour,” on which they would play only their own tracks, remixes, and mashups over a full set. On last week’s edition of their podcast, International Departures episode 280, host Shane 54 talked about the realization that they have enough back material to play their songs 6–10 hours straight through.

“We will talk about Gabriel & Dresden‘s new Classics Tour, when they play as [if] it was 2004. We are also preparing for our ten-gig tour, since in Dallas we also decided to have a classic set – after all, we’ve been working together for more than seven years, and we just realized we could play only our stuff more than six hours straight without repeating anything. Well, if we think close enough and count the mashups as well, we could entertain a large crowd for ten hours even. That would be something! But we highly doubt it will happen like that. However, we are excited to be back on the road, and if you will come to see us, you’ll see how much!” (Emphasis added.)

Despite Shane 54’s caveat, yesterday, the duo asked on Twitter what songs people would like to hear on such a tour.

The tweet mentions “our classic live shows” – so even if we don’t get a tour, it sounds like we can expect at least a few one-off shows like Dallas in the future. And that’s good news.

Embarking on a tour in which an artist plays only their own productions is a huge accomplishment; in the EDM world, it’s an achievement that solidifies your legacy as an artist. Among the few DJ-producers who do it are Deadmau5, Porter Robinson, and Madeon.

What do you think? Is this going to be the Summer of Love for Myon & Shane 54? Leave a comment below, or shout out on Twitter.

The EDM Dictionary: Big Room (n. or adj.)

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Big room music is made to fill large venues like clubs, arenas, and festivals while bringing in a lot of revenue.

Definition

Big room is a commercial style of EDM made for big clubs, festivals, and arenas. Like pop music, it is designed for mass appeal in order to generate large profits for the artist. Because of this, big room music is frequently criticized for being uninspired and less creatively challenging.

Related terms include mainstream and mainstageEDM is often used as a synonym for the highly commercialized big room sound, although EDM also refers to the broad spectrum of dance music including underground and less-commercial genres.

Explanation

The typical big room EDM song has a strong four-to-the-floor beat using a heavy kick and snare, a simplistic structure, vocals (with lyrics about dancing, partying, drinking, drugs, or love), several large buildups and big drops. Big room songs often rely on a very simple melody (such as Martin Garrix‘s “Animals” or Avicii’sLevels“).

The term “big room” comes from dance clubs, where the most accessible or popular music is usually played in the biggest room of the club in order to fit in the most people. Some clubs offer multiple rooms with other DJs playing at the same time to accomodate customers with different musical tastes. The music in these smaller side rooms is likely to be less commercial and more underground, experimental, or genre-specific.

Big room artists include Tiesto, Martin Garrix, Avicii, David Guetta, Calvin Harris, Swedish House Mafia, and many of the most famous DJs and producers in the EDM scene.

Song Review: Matt Lange Nails Remix of NIN’s “Discipline” [Free Download]

Matt Lange has released a dark, downtempo, and altogether incredible remix of Nine Inch Nails‘s “Discipline.” If you’re a fan of NIN, and Lange’s signature broody, moody production style, this is something you can’t miss. Luckily for you, it’s a free download from his Soundcloud page.

The original is a straightforward rock song off the band’s 2008 album The Slip, propelled by a catchy riff and drum beat. Under Lange’s touch, the song is transformed into a subtle, melancholy meditation that builds from a spare and etherial start into an aggressive and defiant climax, in a fitting tribute to a band known similar song structures. The production is stunning – and of the caliber you’d expect from this talented Anjunabeats producer. The overall sound recalls his Counterstrike Global Offensive music kit, which he recently uploaded to his Soundcloud page.

With his “Discipline” remix, Lange integrates all of the elements that make NIN great – from the overall depressed-yet-determined mood to the glitchy effects – with skill, style, and creativity, while making the production uniquely his own. I was certifiably obsessed with Nine Inch Nails for a good four years, so I feel pretty qualified in saying that this is a high-quality remix that pays tribute to the band in a very faithful way.

What really makes it stand out, though, is the way it carefully builds to a powerful climax in the tradition of the best of NIN songs (see: “Somewhat Damaged,” “Just Like You Imagined,” and “The Becoming“). The high dynamic range lures us closer to the speakers during the quiet moments, forcing us to listen closely as the song gathers strength like a tropical storm. At 4:25, that hurricane makes landfall when Lange drops on us a metal-inspired, deliciously overcrompressed glitch riff that could have been taken straight from “The Great Destroyer” (or “Demon Seed,” or…). Lange rides out the fully unleashed tapestry of sound he’s built while weaving in yet more noise, tension, and glitch, until there’s just nowhere else to go, and the song cuts out. I love that he lets you go right at the point of most intensity, with no time for mental decompression. It’s a refreshing choice in the DJ mix-driven world of dance music that demands lengthy, sometimes lifeless, song intros and outros.

The track is released under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial Share-Alike license, meaning that you are free to remix or otherwise modify the track as long as you don’t sell it and you release the resulting work under an identical license. (You can thank Reznor for choosing to release The Slip under such a license in the first place.) It’s because of these terms that Matt can offer the song as a free download. I’ve embedded the file from SoundCloud above, but if you decide to download it, do head over to Matt’s page and give him a follow. And check out another of my favorite Matt Lange tracks below – his remix of Versa‘s “Illusion.”

The EDM Dictionary: Bootleg (n. or adj.)

Definition

bootleg is an unofficial or unauthorized production – usually a remix or a mashup of another artist’s work.

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Some artists, like Myon and Shane 54, specialize in creating bootleg mashups.

Explanation

Technically, any remix or mashup made without official legal permission from the artist whose work is sampled is a bootleg. Not all bootlegs will be labeled as such, though, because it’s pretty easy to figure out if a song is a legitimate release: If a song is available on music services like iTunes or Spotify, or otherwise available to buy, it’s almost certainly authorized. If a remix is only available as a free download, for example through an artist’s Soundcloud page or website, it’s probably not authorized. (This is because the original artist or their label could sue the remixer for damages if the remixer were trying to make money off of their work.) DJs big or small can still play bootlegs live – after all, mixing together other people’s work is the core of the DJ’s job description – so bootlegs will often make appearances in live settings as a special treat for the audience.

Some bootleg remixes are actually rejected remixes that had been commissioned by the original artist. Artists will frequently ask other producers to remix a song of theirs, to be released alongside the original mix on a single. When the commissioning artist is not happy with the remix, though, he or she can choose not to officially release it. Often, these rejected remixes will never see any release at all, but sometimes the remixer will release the song for free, just to get it out into the world. In other cases, the remixer may end up turning the remix into an original production of their own – as was the case with Above & Beyond‘s “Sticky Fingers.”

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The EDM Dictionary: Dub Mix (n.)

Definition

In dance music, a dub or dub mix is a version of a track in which the main vocals have been removed. This is also known as an instrumental version, especially in other genres such as pop music.

A dub mix played on episode 083 of Group Therapy Radio. Source: aboveandbeyond.nu

A dub mix played on episode 083 of Group Therapy Radio. Source: aboveandbeyond.nu

For example, in the track list of episode 083 of Group Therapy RadioJeremy Olander is credited for remixing Mendoza‘s song, “Love Druggie.” The term “dub mix” indicates that Jeremy has removed the vocals from this version of the remix.

Explanation

Dub mixes are a useful tool for DJs to create mash-ups, since the DJ can put vocals from another song on top of the dub mix. Many longtime producers will mash up their own works by putting vocals from old songs on top of dub mixes of their newer songs as a way to please old and new fans and keep the music fresh. However, dub mixes may be enjoyed as finished productions in themselves, without vocals from the original or any other song.

As a side benefit, dub mixes allow other DJs (who did not produce the music) to extract the vocals from the original mix of the song through phase cancellation, creating what’s called an acapella. The DJ can then use the extracted vocals over the dub mix of another song to create a mash-up.

Dub mixes are usually created by the producer him/herself, as it is easy for them to do so from the original project file. It is possible to remove vocals from finished song files, but the process can be tricky and the quality of the final song will suffer.