Editorials

Here is the place to find all my editorial work I have done on various topics in the world of EDM for Relentless Beats:

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Hunter Siegel Is All About That #RetroFuture

Hunter Siegel is a diamond in the rough for fans who enjoy house, yet grow tired of the recent mainstream sensibilities the genre has had to offer. With a genre moving at lightning speed, the past is becoming quickly forgotten in the technological age, but Siegel’s sound may be the solution to our problem. Although we are no stranger to shining light on niche genres that reflect the old-school production styles a little better, Hunter Siegel ladens his Soundcloud with hashtags depicting #RetroFuture, upon which combines classic thumping basslines mixed with intelligently-produced modern synths. What makes Siegel’s approach to house slightly different is his attention to not only “trends” of the old, but combining them in such a way that doesn’t make the track sound dated, or lose integrity.

[Deep House]  Jack U Ft. Kieza – Take U There (Hunter Siegel Remix)

For the past year, Hunter Siegel has been tirelessly remixing tracks like Take U There (by Jack U), but also making originals like “Still Waiting” which shows his hand at crafting original tracks. Most of Hunter’s tracks contain ambient and space-y production values that send some of his more retro sounds into a “sprocket” infused mojo that gives a “Jetsons-like” vibe, as in the past jelling oddly yet fluidly with the more “future” side of his #Retrofuture sound. All throughout his Soundcloud you will find tracks like OTF, a piece he did with AutoErotique that reflects him using darker tones that don’t take away the integrity of the house genre, but laces it with trap and dubstep influences.

Autoerotique & Hunter Siegel – OTF

Although OTF came out two months ago and is still pretty fresh on the scene, Hunter Siegel is fresh off of his August 28th Pool Party (which by the way you shouldn’t have missed). Keep an eye on Hunter Siegel for pulsating bass sounds of the past mixed with the cold and expert production techniques of modern times that give it a cutting edge. Hunter Siegel should definitely stay on your DJ Radar.

Connect With Hunter Siegel: Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud 

Originally published for Relentless Beats on 09/08/16

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Gryffin Ignites Our Hopes To Create A Better Future For The Community

After all the people saying how our favorite musicians can’t play a single instrument, aren’t we sick and tired of this stereotype? Although we know very well our favorite DJs and producers have a wealth of musical knowledge, both classical and other wise, that makes them major players at any table, our non-dance-loving counterparts have continually bashed us for supporting artists with, in quote, “no talent is required to perform electronic dance music.” The shame about that article is, not only was it written in 2012 at the beginning of the massive growth in our musical movement, but it also precedes and succeeds many artists who have arrived and passed us along who in-fact had musical talent simultaneously.

Do we personally have a hero in our midst? No, I am not speaking of the great Harvey Birdman, but something more unifying, I suppose you can say. There is a part of us that, before EDM found mainstream acceptance,  people simply stated our musical artists are not legitimate, and bashing us for our donning of other accessories close to our hearts. What has this grown into? Well, all of that bad press eventually culminated the backlash of the culture that gave us homes outside of our own.

All of these events that have left old ravers disenfranchised by the ever-increasing commercialization of the industry, and the new slew of “ravers” that might not understand the narratives I am presenting you with today, all lead up to this. This is our year to finally come together after years of discomfort with the changes that are happening within this industry, and this might be the first article in the state of Arizona that finally recognizes that. In the Arizona rave community, we have many scars, but also many memories that have not been published by outlets to avoid causing further schism between the two bases of “new” and “old.” In turn, since we have no written history, the only past that older ravers can look back on are the damages, or the fond rose-colored memories.

This old-new connection to bridge us together goes by one name: Gryffin. “But Logan, aren’t you just using this editorial to plug ANOTHER artist into the fold?” Well, actually, no: Gryffin represents something deeper to the Arizona community that many haven’t realized yet: as mentioned above, we have had people lambast us for our lack of talent, and many other aspects that have created bad press. Now, where does Gryffin come into play? Gryffin acts as the silencer to our enemies: the artist who can not only produce music, but perform with his professional set of electronic instruments, and create beats as they are coming out, not just on a switchboard. If you have seen the insanity that goes on as soon as he hits the stage, the energy he gives is what we truly need. We have constantly tried to wipe our slate clean by hiding our past as a community, but here comes somebody new; not just your average progressive house DJ, but someone who represents the musicality needed to appease the haters with his own musical talent, but also represent and welcome the new energy that breathes life into it.

So, what does this mean for the little people like us? It means that Gryffin can be added not only to the list of artists that legitimize our genre in the eyes of the angry, but produces a level of music that combines a love for the mainstream, but a love that wishes to innovate instead of stagnate. Simply listen to the playlist below to get a full example of the adjectives we are trying to convey here: 

Gryffin – Best Of Megamix 2016

Clearly, Griffin is offering us something that hasn’t been offered in quite a long time since we saw our favorite DJs become something as almost as unrecognizable as a pop star to us. Gryffin combines the local notoriety and respect for original tunes that the old school remembers, but provides a taste in music and implementation of live instruments played solo on stage that transcend the current state of the genre, and puts us in a better direction than we are going. You know for a fact that I, and many others will be celebrating these changes on the October 20th, 2016 at Shady Park in Tempe, AZ. This is our time, Arizona; this is our time to once again build a true community out of respect for the past, but embracing the newcomers and accepting culture that we promised to uphold. Take a stand with Gryffin, and more importantly, keep feeding those positive vibes that we all need to continue what our forefathers started.

Connect With Gryffin: Facebook | Official Website | Twitter | Soundcloud
Sources: Straight, NY Times, StereoGum, Only The Beat

Originally published for Relentless Beats on 08/20/16

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Lane 8 Proves A Cellphone-Free Event Wouldn’t Actually Be That Painful

In the technologically-based world we live in, it  was sincerely difficult to imagine a time when we didn’t rely on the invention of the cell-phone so devilishly. The moment I realized that technology had surpassed my expectations and whatever it would become, is when I witnessed the revelation that many children born after the year 2000, like my younger fifteen-year-old brother, never realized what it was like to NOT live in a world governed by the “helper” that is our cell-phone. How can you blame him? If I didn’t have my phone on me at all times, I could find everything I have built in my life so far crumble before me: I wouldn’t get messages from my lovely editor at RB, I would miss engagements with friends, and I would even miss happy hour if my phone didn’t let me know when my local bar would offer discounts on well-liquor.

Possessing our cell-phone has become so much of a “Smeagol-esque” topic, and when we lose our phone or even feel our pocket and not come in contact with that square, flat brick, panic sets into our senses and we make it our mission to find it, or accept the fateof the loss we experienced. Lane 8 took this theory to the extreme when he not only announced, but conducted an experiment of 21st-century: June 3rd, 2016 marked the first installment of the conceptual set entitled, “This Never Happened.” What made this planned show special was that cell phones of any kind were banned from the show, including recording audio or sound. This may seem odd in an increasingly technological world where even artists are having a hard time putting the “no photography, no video” rule on venues because of the versatility of the cell phone and photography.

lane-8-this-never-happened-600x288

According to attendee and journalist Luc Hancock, “Throughout the set, phones were non-existent, not even a balloon drop mid-set could entice the crowd to whip out their devices. There was a genuine and engaging energy reverberating throughout the club, and Lane 8 fed off of it.” You would think, just like when the large security guard tells you to stop taking photos at a large event, people would disobey this rule and go bananas that ANYONE would dare tell them what to do with that important electronic device other than keep it out.

As you can tell from the quote above, Hancock witnessed a transformation of the crowd: as cell phones were almost not even in place, Lane 8 devoured the crowds energy as if people came there to, this is just me putting the idea out there, but actually watch the show? As condescending as that last quip may come off, we are sometimes trapped through the lense of our cameras and Snapchat stories because we are in constant battle to prove to everyone that we were there. Showing that we attended the event gets us all the likes on Facebook, retweets on twitter, and the biggest factor, “Wows” from our friends. As a concert-going culture that almost forces us to retweet a hashtag or post a picture stating it as proof, concerts and events have sometimes transferred the “proving grounds” of who is the bigger fan, or how close you are to the stage, than actually enjoying the show.

So, from Hancock’s short summary, what can we say “happened” at “This Never Happened?” Well, to be quite honest, nothing. Nothing happened at This Never Happened because there is no digital proof that it even happened. What are we to do when all we are left with are the memories of the show? We start to resemble our parents, who, if they attended concerts, will most likely view it with rose-colored glasses and even get setlists wrong because they are thinking of what they wanted it to be instead of what it was. Isn’t that what we all want, anyway? Phones keep us tied to that alternate reality of the cyberuniverse that takes away the “magic” of the show. When someone like me says “nothing happened,” I am really trying to drill through our heads that everything happened. Yeah, the show was business as usual, but what made Lane 8’s set revolutionary was the raw energy of the days when you couldn’t bootleg a show off your cell-phone, and Lane 8 went ballistic with that energy, sharing it with the crowd as much as molding it himself.

Take it from me: I am going to get cocky for a few seconds and let you know that I have spent thousands upon thousands of my own income supplementing an addiction to attending gigs, letting people know “I was there,” and taking more than 50 albums worth of photos on my old FujiFilm: when you take the camera, cell-phone, or electronic device that binds you to the real world, you feel the release of that energy I spoke of above, and you realize what you have been missing the entire time. Next time you want to get krunk at an event, lay off the snapchat a little bit and come for what you actually paid for: the raw musical experience.

Connect with Lane 8: Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

Sources: EDM.com, YourEDM

Originally published on 6/14/16 for Relentless Beats

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Major Lazer Knows Hustle and So Do I

The Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competition has been a showcase for thirty of the world’s best bartenders all centered in San Francisco. While the drinks will always flow heavily at these types of events with only the most ideal drink ideas, Jillionaire and Walshy from Major Lazer decided to sit down with two bartender heavy-weights and one Spotify rep to not only talk shop behind the bar, but also behind the music. Zach Pentel from Spotify managed to direct questions that blur the lines behind the careers of musician and bartender by focusing on the “hustle” and entrepreneurial spirit that is required in these industries. Think you knew everything about Major Lazer? Well, within the first minute, Jillionaire manages to surprise most of us by mentioning the fact that he ran a bar and acted as a bartender in 2006. Citing that communicating with people is sometimes the most important job as a bartender, yet also in his current field of work in Major Lazer. Bringing the conversation to more parallels in their field about the term, “hustle,” Ivy Mix, 2015 Bartender of the Year from Brooklyn understands that the concept is not just an adjective, but a spirit of mind that is “overcoming anything that gets in your way.” Even Walshy had his own definition of what the hustle truly means: even if he had to sleep on a “cold stone” and drink sugar water before he gave up.

Major Lazer Roundtable at Bacardi House Party

Hustle in these two fields not only reflect knowledge of the craft, but an intense drive to accomplish something regardless of the odds, while communicating to the room no matter if it’s a sold out show, abandoned dive bar, or a tiny basement gig. To all in attendance, everyone agreed that the most important trait to succeeding in the hustle is to be a good communicator, and communicate not only who you are as a person, but wake up in the morning and ask yourself, “do I really want to do this,” and “can I be the best at this.”

So, we all just watched a video with two hot DJs who have brought the house down, two bartenders with unquestionable credentials that clearly have their life together and made a career in a field that is incredibly difficult to become renowned in. I mean, come on, even the moderator from Spotify probably has a cooler job than all of us, and they didn’t even list his position! We may clearly make an assumption that their cool-ness level is pretty damned high. I mean, we have heard this rhetoric since high school that if we try hard enough, our dreams will come true. That is all nice and dandy, but how many glimpses of the American dream do we have to take before the hustle becomes complete?

If you asked me 3 years ago to watch this video, I would have laughed in your face. When you tend to have a sarcastic sense of humor and a penchant for books and movies, you start to see the same trend that America loves to hang onto: the underdog rising to the top, and at a point, it almost becomes cheesy and comical. Today, I viewed the video with an almost stone cold expression, grasping each word they felt on the meaning of the hustle.

From the day I learned to properly structure my papers in junior high, I knew I wouldn’t be doing anything else. Of course I became distracted in high school when I rediscovered the same sex, and even in college when I had a short stint in the Biotechnology field, failing horribly I might add. Writing was the only outlet I couldn’t shake off, and it haunted me until I learned to love it for the fire it gave inside of me, and I couldn’t avoid it. If you are going into the field because of the high paycheck and nothing else, avoid it. We can all inherit our daddy’s business, we can always push ourselves to succeed in a field we hate, but hustle is a noun that cannot be bought. Hustle is a house constructed as hope acting as the foundation, action providing our walls of safety, and the roof being the end goal.

Sometimes we never see that house in full-completion because we begin other projects, and sometimes we have that lack of hope to support the walls of our efforts to lead it to our finished project. I would really love to quote some high-and-mighty intellectual right now, but you know who speaks to me most? Meg Griffin from Family Guy; if you haven’t watched the show, get out of your cave and learn something:

“Meg Griffin on Hope”

“Hope is what gets you out of bed in the morning when it’s the day of prom and you haven’t been asked. Hope pushes the caterpillar through the cocoon and drives the salmon upstream. Your breasts may be small and your glasses may be thick, but hope doesn’t hold up a mirror. Hope is a horizon we head for, leaving nothing behind us but fear. And though we may never reach our goals, it’s hope that will save us from who we once were.”

I remember distinctly the very first time I heard Mila Kunis’s voice coming through the screen, I realized that sometimes it’s okay if the house is never finished. Of course I have dreams to write for Playboy, the New York Times, and any credible publication, but it’s not about that anymore: Hustle is learning to love what you do, and make yourself better at it through time, dedication, and improving your craft. Every time I see an article of mine on the Relentless Beats website, it reminds me how much went into that article, and what can I do to make it better. Hustle is feeling you’re not the best, fighting in the trenches for some kind of success in that effort, but still soldiering on.

In retrospect, I’ve become less concerned about placing that roof on the top of my house and calling it finished, but instead focusing my efforts on just being the best writer I can be and feel good about myself. I can tell you all day about what hustle is, but I think only a Meg Griffin-esque Seth McFarland format sequence will show you the true meaning:

The Hustle is what made me work out after I gained weight; The Hustle is what made me dive into the very risky field of Journalism even when people told me no;  The Hustle taught me that when a publication rejects your article, to bring it somewhere else; The Hustle is what woke me up from the dream of “party life” and becoming a bit more sober; Finally, The Hustle is knowing that even if I don’t get paid for my ideas today, you still took the time to read it, and I appreciate you for appreciating a work of mine.

You ever wonder why a bunch of bartenders and DJs like Major Lazer can sit down and talk about their fields without encountering differences? The hustle does not discriminate against any sort of indicator or person, but can bring people together in the thought that fine-tuning your craft can bring you places;

Even if that place isn’t where you’d thought you would end up, Jillionaire didn’t think he would be a world famous DJ in 2006, and even I didn’t think I’d be getting any of my work published at this point. Sometimes when you get dealt a bad hand in life, that foundation of hope and the true love of your craft reminds you why you need to be alive to share that message, keep calm, and carry on.

Connect With Major Lazer: Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

Sources: Digital News Agency

Originally published on 5/13/2016 for Relentless Beats

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