Find Me at Ultra 2016 for Free Stickers and Wristbands!

This weekend I’m in Miami, Florida, for Ultra Music Festival 2016. After years of livestreaming the event, I’m excited to finally be here to experience it in person. Day 1 is already over, and it did not disappoint. I’ll be posting a review about the whole experience soon. In the meantime, make sure to follow me on Snapchat (username: theEDMist) for live stories straight from Bayfront Park!

But more importantly – if you spot me inside, be sure to come say hi! I’ve got 200 wristbands to give away and a whole bunch of stickers.

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The EDMist wristbands say “E PLURibus Unum | One Beat. Much Love.”

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The wristbands say “E PLURibus Unum | One beat. Much Love.” As a refresher, E pluribus unum is a Latin phrase on the United States seal that means “From many, one.” I like how the idea can apply to EDM – many genres united in one community. (As a bonus, it happens to have the word PLUR – short for the rave credo of Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect – baked into it, so it seemed too perfect not to use.) The second part – “One beat. Much love.” – gets at the same idea of electronic dance music sharing certain base elements like a 4/4 beat while encompassing a staggering diversity of musical styles (not to mention the fans!).

I’ve also got a whole bunch of stickers with the same phrase and my Snapcode printed on them. Look for these in the crowd and try to find me!

 

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About to head into day 2 to see Nero. See you at Ultra!

 

The EDMist Has a New HQ – in Austin, TX!

Austin calling. © J.T. Fales

Austin calling. © J.T. Fales

When I started The EDMist blog almost a year ago, I set out to cover the national dance music scene with a specific focus on the San Francisco community. The Bay Area EDM scene is one of the most vibrant in the country, and has an outsize national influence (SF only ranks 13th in the nation by population at 800,000 people but is one of the top tastemakers and creative centers for dance music today). I felt privileged to be a part of it and I wanted to create something that invited others to share in the special, diverse, welcoming vibe of that community while discovering new music, artists, and subgenres that reflect exciting new developments across the country.

Last month, I moved to Austin, TX. As the sole contributor to The EDMist, that means that the site’s focus will move with me. From now on, I will no longer be covering shows and gatherings in San Francisco, and will instead focus on the community and scene here in Austin.

Austin has a lot to offer. It can be described in very similar terms to San Francisco: It is a youngish, smallish city (founded 1835; population 900,000). As a progressive stronghold, it fiercely embraces its diversity and uniqueness. It is a booming tech hub with a young, tech-oriented, and increasingly wealthy population (earning it the nickname “Silicon Hills”). And it has a rich musical history with a staggering number of music venues.

The Austin Boardwalk. © J.T. Fales

The Austin Boardwalk. © J.T. Fales

Yet it offers many contrasts with San Francisco too. After just a month here, it’s clear to me that the EDM scene is not as expansive or developed as it is in SF. There are only a couple of venues that consistently book EDM acts. And Austin’s disposition towards live music (it is known as the “Live Music Capital of the World”) means that electronic music is more of a niche here and less of a movement.

I see these realities less as a sign of a weak scene than as an indication of the potential for explosive growth. People are pouring into Austin for the jobs and prime real estate available here, and with that influx of people is likely to come a horde of electronic music fans from cities all around the country (and beyond!). I want The EDMist to be a resource for them and a tool for helping bring together and expand the EDM community here.

All of that being said, I won’t be abandoning SF completely. Because I think the scene in San Francisco is so special and worth paying attention to (and because so much of my network is there!) I will definitely be more aware of what’s happening in SF and it will likely still play a large role in this new chapter of The EDMist blog and podcast. I just won’t be able to cover it from a first-person perspective.

Going forward, you can expect reviews of shows, events, and festivals in and around Austin (notably, South by Southwest and Austin City Limits) – starting this week! And as I have for the last year, I will continue to post music reviews, recommendations, and other stories that are not specific to Austin or any other city. The EDMist is aimed at a broad audience and I hope you can enjoy what I post here no matter where you live.

Thanks for reading the blog and for sticking with me on my journey. Be sure to follow me on Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for the most recent updates and recommendations from the blog and podcast.

Goodbye, San Francisco. © J.T. Fales

Goodbye, San Francisco. © J.T. Fales

Episode 3 of the EDMist Podcast Now Available

In Episode 3 of the EDMist Podcast, I talk with music critic Matt Bessey about the big stories of 2015. We discuss how Jack Ü, aka Skrillex and Diplo, reshaped the musical scene this year, and tackle the controversy surrounding their mega successful collab with Justin BieberWhere are U Now?” I ask Matt about the breakout artists of 2015, which he says include Lane 8 and Madeon (but you already knew that) , and he names a drum and bass album of the year: City of Gold by the PrototypesTowards the end we tackle the question of what genres will blow up in 2016 and where we see the EDM scene headed (hint: more diversity, which is a good thing).

This episode includes seven featured songs. They are:

1. “Blue Sky Action (Logistics Remix)” – Above & Beyond
2. “Beats Knockin” (feat. Fly Boi Keno) – Jack Ü
3. “Get Free/Cinema VIP” – Skrillex & Diplo
4. “Ok” – Madeon
5. “Urban Monks” – Jayeson Andel
6. “Slip Away” – The Prototypes
7. “Do You?” – TroyBoi

We recorded over an hour and a half of audio for this episode, which I whittled down to 34 minutes in the final cut. That means that people who follow The EDMist on Soundcloud may find some exclusive bonus content from the episode over the coming days. 😉

Let me know what you think of the podcast! Give us a shoutout on Twitter at @theEDMist or Snapchat at “theEDMist.”

Happy 2016!

The EDMist Podcast 02: EDC Las Vegas 2015 in Review feat. Joe Deza

Special guest Joe Deza

Special guest Joe Deza

In the second episode of The EDMist Podcast, I talk with Joe Deza, a raver, music critic, and friend, about our experiences of EDC 2015. Joe shares an incredible story of his last few moments at the festival, getting up close with Galantis as the sun rose over the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. We review our favorite sets and stages, and discuss our costume choices (and an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction!).

This episode is also a music special, featuring tracks from Seven Lions, Avicii, Galantis, Pretty Lights, GAIA, Adventure Club, and progressive house newcomer Alex Klingle.

Joe Deza

Joe Deza

Let me know your thoughts on the episode or your experience of EDC by hitting me up on Twitter or Snapchat @theEDMist.

J.T. and Joe recording episode 2

J.T. and Joe recording episode 2

The EDMist Podcast 01: EDC Prep and Meetups ft. Jon Guerrera

For the first episode of the EDMist Podcast, I invited my good friend Jon Guerrera onto the show. I met Jon through SF EDM, a meetup group of San Francisco-based dance music lovers that he founded. Jon has grown SF EDM from naught to 2,500 members. The group has been directly responsible for creating hundreds of friendships and countless priceless moments – which strikes me as a pretty good legacy no matter what organization you’re running. I ask Jon about how and why he started the group and where he thinks it’s going.

The EDMist Podcast LogoEDC is only a few weeks away, so we also talk about what to expect this year, how to prep for it, and who are the must-see acts. (Short answer: everyone.) Jon and I discuss the merits of daytime and nighttime festivals, whether trance is best enjoyed at a festival or at home, and the tradeoff of proper ear protection.

And the sounds of the M Machine show us the way out with the song “Pluck pluck.”

If you like the episode, follow the EDMist on SoundCloud. The podcast will also be available through iTunes soon.

Introducing the EDMist Podcast: An EDM Discussion Group

The EDMist Podcast LogoI like talking about EDM. Since you’re reading this blog, you probably do too.

The only thing is: there’s not a lot of places on the internet where you can actually talk about it.

There are a plethora of EDM-focused websites, blogs, and social media profiles you can visit/read/follow, but not so many forums for real, live conversation. Even where there are active forums, like on Reddit, you still don’t get the opportunity to hear people talk in real time.

That’s why I’m starting the EDMist Podcast: a monthly discussion group and conversation among fans about everything and anything related to the world of dance music.

I will be inviting guests on for every episode to discuss the most recent developments in dance culture. Many of the guests will be my own friends and acquaintances within the San Francisco music community, but diversity is important to me and I will be looking to highlight interesting and unique perspectives through the podcast.

Feel free to suggest topics (or guests) – email podcast@theEDMist.com or reach out on Twitter.

The first episode is live on Soundcloud and will soon be live on iTunes. Listen below.