Opinion: An Overdue Response to Resident Advisor by Logan Lowrey-Rasmussen

Last year in June, I penned my first piece for my new position as the editor for Anima Artist Management. Similar to a “state of the union” address, I wrote it from what I believed to be an objective position which detailed the status-quo of the electronic music industry today. The piece tackled the growing separation between the old-school and new-school realms of thought on how the industry should move forward, and highlighted the importance of being mindful of the quickly growing cultural progression which could run amok and flounder if the flames are not controlled and sustainable.

Since the piece was published, I’ve attended quite a few events since then, met a load of wonderful people, and continue writing for what I believe to be one of the most interesting industries in the world. As diverse as it can be, vibrations of uncertainty and a lack of responsible control still call the shots in what many call an oversaturated market.

This leads us to November 22, 2017, when an opinion piece published by Resident Advisor caught my attention: RA would be discontinuing their popular artist polls which originally gave fans the chance to shine a light on artists who they felt deserved to be noticed. Unfortunately, even the opinion piece admitted the industry had changed immeasurably to where the poll had unintended consequences to the scene’s culture:

“What began as a lighthearted way to praise our favorite artists and toast the year gone by had become something of more serious consequence: an industry index influencing many different parts of club culture, from event lineups to artist fees to the atmosphere of the scene in general (especially at this time of year).“

This was not a secret held back from the public; Artists and fans who follow the industry have long complained of the bias behind these polls. As the industry grew at an unprecedented rate, the line between underground and mainstream were blurred, and a community which was once small and concentrated shoved its way onto the airwaves with gusto. This turned the polls from what was once seen as a sacred and respectable institution for  new and established artists into rabid and homogenous popularity contests where the complete diversity of the scene could not be properly expressed.

In my attempt to be completely objective to the workings of the industry, this change can be seen not only as an affirmative action to a very real problem in the scene, but a necessary step to applying some level of moral responsibility to those who have the most power. In an industry which could change in the blink of an eye, the power structures established by big promoters, blogs, and record labels have been viewed more as an uncontrollable consequence to the substantial growth, rather than a blessing. As an up-and-coming artist, it is easy to become overwhelmed in an environment which could be described as oversaturated.

While the decision to remove polls might seem inconsequential to some, this piece marks the beginning of a shift of power back to the artists who might not receive the same mainstream coverage as those involved in House (and more recently, trap). To many, nothing has changed, and they have a good reason to believe that: one blog removing specific polls won’t cause any stir overnight, and the blogs who lack structure and feed off of industry pandemonium will still exist in the years to come.

But for an industry which thrives on the unpredictable, Resident Advisor decided to take a chance on reshaping a toxic part of the culture they unintentionally helped create. By admitting the changing tides of the industry, RA stepped up to the plate and introduced a concept to other big players seldom spoken of: the ability to admit remorse to artists and fans. Whether other big players in the industry follow suite and help take ethical responsibility remains a mystery, but that one RA opinion piece will always be known to me as the newest “shot heard around the world.”

Johnlukeirl Brings The Juke To Slow Magic’s “Drum” With Remix by Logan Lowrey-Rasmussen

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For artists like eclectic Slow Magic, it can sometimes be difficult to find the perfect fit in another producer to craft a remix which lets the original shine in fundamental ways. This track expresses itself in a new light. Slow Magic’s “Drum” is transformed by Johnlukeirl into a melodic, juke-hybrid paradise in this case.

To start, Johnlukeirl breaks tradition by incorporating catchy and whimsical riffs.

They aren’t always directly present in his work in the Juke genre.

Highlighting the meaning of the track’s title, his remix of “Drum” makes the use of various percussion elements which pull the track between a Blue Man Group exhibition and slow club-jam.

Johnlukeirl changes the original ambiance found in Slow Magic’s original to a pulsating aria.

You aren’t always sure what comes next. While there is a clear distinction between organic and electronic within this remix, the mash-up of both elements in the remix highlights the careful process Johnlukeirl takes to craft the track.

It’s important to note the remix’s careful attention to the multi-genre elements.

He combines traditional instrumental sounds with the out of the ordinary. The juke elements and beats carefully mesh with the frantic synths and studied percussion by the last minute of the track and create a sense of tribal fever, which slowly devolves into a slow pause before the “Drum” remix makes its triumphant last “smack-in-your-face”. There is plenty of frantic percussion to get your last fill.

Listen to “Drum” (Johnlukeirl Remix) by Slow Magic:

Link

Johnlukeirl’s remix is a fully-fleshed love song to Juke elements and unfamiliar sounds which cannot be crammed under one genre.

“Drum” acts as a tribute to not only the world of percussion but an example of Johnlukeirl’s expanding sound. If this “Drum” remix shocked your ears properly, get the download here and keep on the lookout for more sick juke from Johnlukeirl.

Follow Johnlukeirl:

Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

Follow Slow Magic:

Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

Sean Raya Presents Pyramids Podcast Featuring Frankie Bones by Logan Lowrey-Rasmussen

On November 15th, the father of the American rave scene, Frankie Bones, will be playing a full techno set on Pyramids Podcast hosted by Sean Raya. Frankie is best known for his work in pioneering the underground music scene with a series of illegal parties known as “STORMRave” in New York City and developing the face of electronic music which influenced the way DJs create and perform their work today. Before his entrance into the music world, Frankie Bones and his brother, Adam X, were also the same graffiti artists who created the “Peace Love Unity Movement” during a time when the city faced a large level of crime and violence. The movement later evolved into the well-known community mantra, “Peace, Love, Unity, Respect,” when Bones publicly spoke out against the violence he saw at a set he performed at in 1993.

While Frankie Bones is primarily known for presenting himself as the cultural powerhouse who developed the underground rave scene from its humble beginnings, one of his most notable music successes comes from his 1989 single, “Call It Techno.” The track became a cult classic in Germany and cemented him as the first American DJ to achieve large cross-over success in the U.K. and beyond.  In honor of the track’s past success and influence, Frankie released a brand new E.P. which reworks the original track and features two new remixes from Carlo Lio and Raito.

His upcoming Techno set on Pyramids Podcast will be an incredible honor for the show and listeners alike when Bones takes his place behind the boards and gives a proper example of what it means to play a techno set.  Frankie Bones’ set will begin at 2 PM EST / 11 AM PST  on Pyramids Podcast presented by Sean Raya, on Diesel.FM’s Techno channel. The podcast will be available on platforms such as ITunes, Google Play, and Soundcloud 24 hours after its airdate.

Follow Frankie Bones: Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

Follow Sean Raya: Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

Frankie Bones Talks Breakfast, DnB, and The Electronic Status Quo by Logan Lowrey-Rasmussen

 

Originally published for thatDROP.com on 11/08/17

The legendary New York producer and DJ, Frankie Bones, recently performed a rare Drum + Bass set for Bass Movement: Rise. This was hosted by Arietta and Junglist Radio. This radio show seeks to showcase major change-makers in the EDM scene. Before Frankie went behind the boards, journalist Logan Lowrey-Rasmussen sat down with the myth of a man who coined the words “rave” and “PLUR” and the underground scene as we know it.

Check out the interview below to catch up with the Father of Rave himself, Frankie Bones.

On terms of your work with Bass Movement: Rise, how does it feel to be doing a Drum + Bass set opposed to your Breakbeat background?

“I’ve been playing as a DJ for three decades now. So, basically Drum + Bass is still more of a hobby. I’m a big fan of the music. It feels good to get out there and play genres other people play. I have fun doing it.”

Watch Frankie’s full set with Bass Movement: Rise with Arietta below: 

Set link

Are there any D+B artists you’re deriving inspiration from in this upcoming set?

“Oh, of course! Any genre is going to have artists that inspire. I guess with Drum + Bass, Marcus Trevino. He passed away a couple months back in May. He was definitely one of the guys in the scene who I would like to call an underdog. He was working on a Techno project called Trevino, and I appreciate people who end up doing different genres and different types of styles. But I wanted to list Marcus first, we lost him at a young age. I would also like to mention DeathboyBad Company, and I actually like dBridge.

Bailey does Soul In Motion in London. I actually went to one of his shows last year. Great guy. Great DJ. Also, the Metalheadz label, not to mention Goldie, but all of Metalheadz’s artists. Even the old school artists, like Doc Scott, from back in the day are worth mentioning. Another artist would be Special Request, and I know him from house music, but he has this side thing. It’s more break than jungle. It’s definitely old school rave vibes. That is probably everyone I get D+B vibes from.”

Are there any genres you haven’t dabbled in yet but can see yourself playing in the future?

“Well, I mean, there’s a new subgenre every day. I haven’t heard them all [laughs]. Coming from a rave background, house, techno, break, and trance were the four main genres in the 90s. Now you have more Dubstep and Trap. I don’t dabble in any of that. That’s probably the one thing I wouldn’t touch. It’s more for the kids. I’m an old dude now. I’m an old head.”

What normally is the reaction of your longtime fans when they see you playing a genre you’re normally not associated with?

“Well, I’m known for three different styles. I do break, I do techno, and I do house mostly when I play. I come from Brooklyn. When I started DJing in 1979, I played block parties and parks. A lot of music in New York at that time derived from disco. You had a lot of funk, hip-hop, and disco. We were mixing up different genres.

I’m out playing what I like to think is club music, but it could be techno house breaks all smashed into one. If I do a Drum + Bass night, yeah, people tend to think that’s weird. When you go into a genre you don’t normally play and do a set, people don’t really appreciate that. When you DJ, it’s like anything else. When you’re good at what you do and once you prove yourself, people tend to think it’s pretty cool.”

What sort of changes or improvisations do you make in a live setting opposed to being in the studio?

“It all kind of jells together. Usually when we do work in the studio, it’s taking different parts of different tracks, different breakbeats, and the same application. I play out the work I make in the studio and I make in the studio the work I play out.”

From being an industry veteran, what key changes have you seen under the umbrella electronic world as a whole? How do you feel about these changes?

“The largest change was the fact the internet became something everybody kept using after Y2K. People used the internet in the 90s, but it didn’t really explode until MySpace became the main social network around 2004. Everybody’s a DJ now. Everybody’s on the grid. So the change is that it doesn’t take much to be a DJ in present time.

When I started, you had to go buy the equipment, but now any kid can get on the internet, burn, and get out there. There’s a lot of competition, a lot of people doing it, and you’re one person. There are a million DJs and it’s hard to keep the momentum going. I think when you have love for something and you do it for yourself instead of trying to make money, you’ll stick around longer, because it’s a passion.

Out of your entire catalog, which E.P./LP/Single/etc do you feel influenced the Frankie Bones we know and love today?

“Yes, very. The track would absolutely have to be my track called “We Call it Tekkno!” I wrote this track in June of ’89 before I went on my first tour of London. I wrote this song so I could have something to perform when I was DJing. It actually has words in it.

It’s something over the years that just stuck with me. I have new remixes coming out of it pretty soon. Hopefully we can get a second life out of it. The track describes what techno is and what it meant to me at the time.”

 

If you could go back to the time when you were creating, would you change anything about the track “Just As Long As I Got You” with Lenny Dee?

“I wouldn’t change anything about it. I loved that it was a loop of an old disco track along with a sample of Led Zepplin’s “Whole Lotta Love”. It was probably the first time anybody put a rock guitar in a track. It was a pop record in Europe. It didn’t go Top 40, but I think it was like Top 100 in the U.K. around #75. But on the dance charts, it did very well. With everything I’ve done, I wouldn’t change anything, but do things a little differently. Maybe I could have become a millionaire and had a mansion with a yacht, but I’m still working on that. I feel like I’m a kid out of high school. I’m 18 and trying to live my dreams still to this day.”

 

Fun question – It’s 3 AM, you just finished a track, and you’re starving. What’s your favorite late night munchies/party food to pig out on?

“Well, it would probably be some kind of pizza, but I don’t know any pizzeria open that time. So, I mean, if it was 3 o’clock in the morning and I wanted some type of food, I would probably go to the diner and get some breakfast at that point.

When you used to come out of the club and played at 4 am, we would go out to the diner. I would always get two scrambled eggs with bacon, sausage, and then an english muffin. I like chocolate milk with my fucking breakfast. I don’t know [laughs].”

Frankie Bones’s new E.P., Call It Techno, will be released on November 10, 2017 on Beatport.

Follow Frankie Bones through the links below. Also catch his upcoming techno set on Sean Raya‘s Pyramids Podcast through Diesel FM Techno on November 15th, 11 am to 12 pm PST.

Follow Frankie Bones: Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud | Official Website

 

Arietta Debuts BASS Movement: RISE with Frankie Bones by Logan Lowrey-Rasmussen

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Although we always recognize Arietta for her large contributions to the Drum + Bass scene, she has been hard at work building a following of listeners with her Junglist Radio segment, BASS Movement with Arietta.

While her current show highlights the contributions of local artists to the scene, Arietta will be launching a new segment entitled, “BASS Movement: Rise.” “Rise” will focus on a slew of international DJs who have made their cultural impact on various genres in the world of electronic music undeniable. .

On Sunday, August 26th, the “Godfather of the American Rave scene” known as Frankie Bones will be making his debut appearance on the brand new radio show. While Frankie tackled genres like techno, house, and breakbeat in the past, Bones will be throwing all normal conventions aside by performing an exclusive Drum + Bass set. This will be a huge surprise for fans who are used to his other material, as his impact on the electronic scene has spanned over three decades. While D+B might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think “Frankie Bones,” there is no question that the experience will be unique for fans and himself alike.

Pictured: Arietta & DJ Sluggo

Pictured: Arietta & DJ Sluggo

Aside from Frankie Bones, Arietta will be inviting DJ Sluggo to the boards next episode as he shows us why he’s one of the most respected faces in the Dubstep scene. Arietta and Sluggo definitely go back, and are known for “tag teaming” during her sets. It will be both an exciting moment in music, but also for the two DJs as they reconnect over the good ole days.

BASS Movement: RISE will be making its debut on August 27th, from 3 PM to 6 PM. Check out the event page when the show goes live; RISE is surely going to be a musical smackdown you won’t want to miss!

Introducing The Maya Spectra Part III: Donald Peña Jr by Logan Lowrey-Rasmussen

For the past few weeks at Anima Artist Management, we have been slowly introducing to you one of the most eclectic musical trios around. In “Introducing The Spectra,” the Anima Blog has taken the time to get a true taste of what it takes to bring three creative minds together.

In the third and final installment of the series, we will be introducing Donald Peña Jr, guitar player and former “B-Boy.” Unlike most musicians who started their craft young, Donald discovered his love of “B-Boying” or breakdancing through his friends and cousins. From hearing the music of James Brown, Erykah Badu, A Tribe Called Quest, and a slew of 90s Hip Hop, Donald began his relationship with music in a very different way than most instrumentalists.

 

At the age of 17 and still practicing his passion in dance, brother and musical partner Julian Peña received a guitar for his birthday. After dabbling with Julian’s guitar, Donald began to slowly foster what would later become a serious interest in the instrument. As we read in the last installment, Julian would eventually trade the guitar in for drumsticks.

After graduating in high school in 2003, Donald began studying Psychology, while also attempting to invent his own method of playing guitar. After seeing Julian’s progress with learning an instrument through traditional methods, he would later change his own style to help him reach his full potential.

Due to this experience as a B-Boy, Donald took the rhythm and elements he learned through his former passion and incorporated it instrumentally with the guitar. Later, he would begin to tune into more progressive rock, as well as garnering more inspiration for the guitar.

After dropping out of school, Donald began playing the guitar almost constantly, finding ways to develop his craft and turning it into something great.

Artists like John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Bill Evans gave Donald inspiration through their playing styles, as well as specific training in the realm of jazz guitar.

Donald’s contributions to The Maya Spectra are not unlike what his other two counterparts wish to accomplish. While the band includes many global sounds, Donald makes it a point to avoid appropriation of culture, and only bring appreciation and acknowledgement to those genres. A melody for Donald can start as easily as sequencing a sound on a guitar, while also mentioning the slow and thoughtful process that the trio can go through in developing their sound.

Refined ideas are the name, and creating a balanced artistic synergy from jamming are the game. Donald’s unconventional musical journey from B-Boying to learning jazz elements on guitar offers a unique perspective to The Maya Spectra. From his own words, working with the group is like opening a “hodge-podge of artistic vessels and conduits” that come together in essential moments.

We want to thank The Maya Spectra for allowing us to detail their journey’s up to this point, and thank the readers for tuning in every few weeks for the skinny on how their music comes together.

Stay tuned for their full-length upcoming LP, as well as tuning into their last release, Music Box E.P. available on Bandcamp

Donald Peña Jr

The Maya Spectra 

Arietta Releases Introspective "Turn Of Fate" (Summer Liquid Mix) by Logan Lowrey-Rasmussen

Inspiration can become reality at the tip of a hat, or sometimes can much slower and arduous process. In drum + bass maven Arietta’s case, a rush of emotion and looking back over one’s shoulder can create enough material for a new DJ mix. If you’ve been keeping up with the mistress behind the boards, Arietta’s style and recent tracks have evolved to a point where most artists hope to venture sonically.

Arietta gets intensely introspective and personal with her newly released 40 minute mix she unexpectedly stayed up, on a singular night making. Almost like a personal “greatest hits” of life, the artist herself compiled every track she felt the need to “let go” of in the past year, and completely analyze what has transpired in the current stage of her life. In her own words, she believes the only way to reconcile her emotions with these tracks was to do a proper farewell in an unplanned mix.

 

The “Turn of Fate” Summer Liquid Mix is Arietta on the raw, and certainly contains emotional brevity for any listener who has followed her work. Unlike her usual meticulous stylings, this mix highlights an impromptu attitude that contains imperfections that only contribute to the humanity of the set. Arietta’s approach to this mix comes off as a much more ambient and softer side that isn’t always found in her “harder” sets.

“Turn of Fate” marks an important moment in her catalog as the present meets the past, and is a proper send-off to everything that has culminated into her career up to this point. As chaotic as the sounds can get, Arietta is the anchor holding the mixes together and truly delivers a set with history and soul.

Check out the mix through the link above.

Johnlukeirl Releases Psychotic Mix and Experimental Minimalist Track by Logan Lowrey-Rasmussen

 

For the past few weeks, Anima’s own Johnlukeirl has been busy in the studio crafting some juicy riffs. Known for his eclectic style of combining not-oft-heard sounds with heavy Juke elements, these two new tracks capture the controlled chaos he is known for.

LIT8 is a welcome return to form as energetic, pounding percussion fades in and out with a slew of samples in this 28:18 - length mix. What makes this track especially exciting, is the careful balance between chaos and melody. Mixed with organic sounds only a Hollywood sound engineer could access, Johnlukeirl solidifies LIT8 into his catalog. By the end of the mix, you are treated to a hyphy set of sounds that make you question how all those sounds came together.

Next on the menu, Johnlukeirl has a little experiment called “Holly - Demo 1949 (JOHNLUKEIRL Battle Remix). After being exposed to a plethora of sound in the first track we featured, Holly is a musical test in minimalism that delivers just enough punch, reminiscient of a Sega Genesis game soundtrack. Holly takes you to the next level as you sit back and absorb a bare-bones mix that contains more surprises than you might think.

Check out the links above and listen to both of the tracks now!

 

JOHNLUKEIRL

Anima Potpourri Party Playlist by Logan Lowrey-Rasmussen

 

Once a week we will be posting lists of tunes we think should be on your everyday playlist. We will be showcasing all artists, from those right at home in Anima, to everything from the popular to obscure. Check out the links below for a blast of fresh air:

Arietta - In The Air (WYGHT Remix) 

Sonofawhatsherface - Transcendent

Leandro De Silva & Gary Chaos - Cafe (Jack of Diamonds ReRub)

Reflectis Indexia Featuring Judy Garland - Promise Land / Get Happy

GRiZ & Big Gigantic - Good Times Roll (Ephwurd Remix

Jam out to these five tracks as a meager appetizer, and stay tuned for next week when we lay ten new tracks that you absolutely need on your everyday playlists. 

RESIST VOL 2: In the Air with Arietta is OUT! by Logan Lowrey-Rasmussen

In the second installment of Anima Artist Management’s releases otherwise known as The RESIST Project, Arietta presents her powerhouse collection of tracks for her E.P. dedicated to the troubling acts of discrimination in all forms, all around the globe. The “In the Air” E.P. will feature a slew of accomplished artists ranging from those at home with Anima and some exciting surprise appearances.

Although Arietta is known for her meticulous musings in the world of Drum and Bass, Binary Hertz and WYGHT from Anima will be delivering some of their best work yet from the world of house, and dark techno. Surprising guest appearances on the E.P. show WB x MB flexing their seasoned Dubstep gains, while other guest spots occupied by the diverse multi-genre Jersey Trap maven Matalo and full-time bassist aficionado, Kaveh Rastegar, who shares credits with the likes of Sia, John Legend, Kneebody, and his own entire merits that keep the virtuoso-vibes flowing. 

Don’t worry on missing out on your usual Drum and Bass fix, because almost every track contains left-over stylings from Arietta herself. Each artist is giving their take on a musically complex piece of work that visits each of the genres mentioned above. While the term “discrimination” may have a tone of generality, the RESIST Project is using this E.P to highlight a topic very close to Arietta’s heart, and to bring focus to minority groups, individuals, and life stories that have ever stood in the face of adversity; be that race, sexuality, gender-identity, religious, or minority status.

“In the Air,” as a work for music stands for something bigger, and the RESIST Project is encouraging you to stand up to those who disparage others based on the elements above. If we can “resist” the elements of oppression that pit us against each-other globally, we can come together as a stronger community, and take one step closer to living side-by-side. 

Check out the new E.P. on Soundcloud and get your own copy on Beatport!