Category: PREviews / REviews

An Interview w/ Stan Shkrobor, Co-founder of InDeep Events

*written by Shimmy for Electronica Life

There is something undeniably sultry about the way deep house makes you feel, makes you dance, and makes you move. The secret is out… deep house is hot and on the rise. Beatport recently released a chart containing the last 10 years of data and not to my surprise, this is how it panned out:
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I recently sat down with Stan Shkrobor, co-founder of InDeep Events, who is busy preparing for his inaugural event at King King Hollywood on Friday, September 5.

Shimmy – When did you first get introduced to electronic music?

StanShkrobor - I first got into electronic music when I was in college, so about 6-7 years ago. I attended CU Boulder right around the time when that entire Boulder Bass scene was really starting to take off, with people like Big Gigantic and Pretty Lights leading the charge. They played a lot of local shows, and the style really began to explode at CU. I slowly started to hear it everywhere. Now, I had always been aware of house music or techno from a younger age, and would listen to it sporadically, but it was really the more in your face style of bass music that really hooked me into the scene at-large for good. Being no stranger to the more traditional genres, I quickly dived back into those, with producers like Richie Hawtin and Sasha, even Todd Edwards really shaping my enjoyment of things like tech house, traditional techno, and various forms of garage. Early Skream and Benga were 2 producers that really fascinated me early on, especially when their 2-step style evolved into what people now know as their new age, higher frequency manipulation style of dubstep. I was really dabbling in a lot of different genres honestly! I kind of enjoyed them all, and dived into as many as I could. Anjunabeats and Above & Beyond, especially via Trance Around the World (and Group Therapy more recently) was a massive source of new music for me as well over the years.

Shimmy – There is a definite invasion in the US toward deep/tech house. What spurred you to create InDeep?

Stan Shkrobor - InDeep was born from mine and George Derrington’s (the co-founder, along with me, of InDeep) want to improve upon the stagnancy, lack of creativity, and boredom that we saw with the current American EDM scene. Things like big room house, trap, and electro, the glorification of “superstar” DJs who really weren’t doing much of anything, production wise or performance wise, were really starting to bog down the scene with bad music! Now, as I said earlier, I have no problem with big room, trap, or electro, I am after all the Editor of a large EDM website! However, those genres became overly saturated with really poor, unoriginal productions BECAUSE OF MAINSTREAM PRESSURE AND DIRECTION! There’s a perfectly good time for big room. That time just isn’t 100% of the time, and that sort of all or nothing attitude in American mainstream media is not good for music! InDeep’s vision is to bring balance back to our scene by way of intimate productions, at proper clubs, and a focus on an eclectic mix of traditional genres, where we feel the most innovation and cutting edge sound is being produced. Genres like deep house, tech house, techno, and future house possess some of the most talented producers in the world within their ranks. However, due to being turned off by the cash cow, everything-is-bigger-here attitude of American EDM, those producers either stay primarily within Europe, or play very exclusive places in the U.S, and actively avoid the “EDM” spotlight. The talent in this sub section of dance music is noticeably bubbling to the surface now in the U.S, with  genres like future house being perpetuated by very talented producers like Kygo, Thomas Jack, Tchami, etc. Their marketing teams have taken their amazing music and beautifully branded it to gain more U.S appeal. This is what InDeep aims to do with a lot more equally talented artists that showcases them as musicians. We don’t focus on over the top stage productions, over the top lighting, kandi, or anything like what a lot of EDM production has pushed on us. We focus on good music, dark clubs, a group of your friends, and a good time. Seth Troxler has a quote that perfectly represents InDeep: “Just, go out for a night in a dark room. Be cool.” – Seth Troxler
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Shimmy – Congratulations on your first event! Why did you choose L.A. and King King Hollywood as the venue?

Stan Shkrobor - Well, with the style of music that InDeep is focusing on at this point -deep house, tech house, techno, future house- it is just easier to be in a larger city! We had honestly tried to get something going in mine and George’s hometown of Denver (George Derrington is a co-founder of ID along with me, and is my business partner for the venture, he is a BIG reason in forwarding what we are doing with regards to creativity and vision for ID), but Denver is a small town where the club scene for that specific type of music is very cornered. In fact, there are only two “event companies” that work with this handful of clubs, and they have no reason to allow competition in. Whereas in L.A, or NYC, where our next event is, there are so many clubs and so many event companies that it turns out to be a much more open market place for new and fresh ideas. King King, being a club that is both intimate and low key club that doesn’t focus on lighting or VIP (it doesn’t have any VIP area, which is big for us). It’s just the music and a good time.
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Shimmy - Bender has a sexy, groovy sound. Who are some other up and coming artists to watch?

Stan Shkrobor - Bender is really going to blow up in the next few months, and I’m calling it here first! He is very talented, determined, and has a great team around him. I wish him all the best and I can’t wait to party in L.A with him. As far as other artists, one of the biggest things that we want to promote through InDeep are fantastic European (or American at times) artists that pre-dated the current U.S “future” house fad, and were the ones who started this current movement we’re seeing in the U.S.

Artists like:

  • Bakermat and the Koodbloe agency roster
  • Klingande
  • Nora En Pure
  • Watermat
  • Dirtybird (J.Phlip and Justin Jay in particular are SO GOOD RIGHT NOW)
  • Dusky
  • The Magician
  • MK
  • Jody Wisternoff and the rest of the Anjunadeep crew
  • #Root.Access
  • Nice7
  • Weiss
  • The entirety of the Dusted Decks roster

All of these artists make fantastic house music that really served as the bedrock for what artists like Kygo and Tchami are now doing so well.

Shimmy – What’s up next for InDeep?

Stan Shkrobor - We’re going to keep doing shows all around the country! Our next one is in NYC in early October, look out for that official announcement really soon. Additionally, ID really aims to be more than an event company. When we ask an artist to do a show with us, we also ask for an interview and a mix for our Soundcloud (www.soundcloud.com/indeepevents) that we can post on our social medias, and really start to build our very own ID discography. And while this first event with Bender will be taped and the video will be posted, we really aim to do live feeds of all of our shows in the very near future! InDeep aims to be a full platform for not only just a very proper clubbing experience, but also a place where artists and fans can come together to celebrate house music and the culture behind it.

Shimmy – When you’re not promoting, what events do you enjoy attending?

Stan Shkrobor - Being a senior editor at an EDM publication means that I am privileged to attend a multitude of events and festivals. Whether it’s a dark, small club where Lee Foss is going in for 3 hours, or the Main Stage of EDC where Calvin Harris, and Zedd are playing banger after banger, I can honestly say I love it all and most importantly, actually tried it all. I love music, especially dance, and I love writing about it and sharing it with as many people as possible. The community that we have within dance music, in the states and overseas, is incredible. I wouldn’t want to be involved in anything else. Music really is what I live my life for and I couldn’t be more happy with that! I also want to thank you so much for sitting down with me and taking the time to talk with me about InDeep. It means a lot, and I hope to see you (as well as everyone reading this) out at King King on September 5!

Buy Tickets Here For Indeep Presents: Bender!

Connect with InDeep: Facebook | SoundCloud | Twitter

 

 

“Hardstyle, Bananas and Cakes : A Day and Night at Big Slap Festival 2014 “

*written by Crystal Garcia for Electronica Life

Earlier this month, a few of the biggest names in Electronic Dance Music today made their way to Malmo, Sweden for a 2nd edition of the sold-out Big Slap festival. With wild success in 2013, this years festival harbored an even more impressive lineup hosting the likes of Arty, Afrojack, Sander Van Doorn, Dada Life, Showtek and Steve Aoki. Now in it’s second running year, Big Slap Festival has made a name for itself as one of Southern Sweden’s premiere Electronic music festivals.

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Taking place at Pildammsparken, a scenic park in central Malmo, the one-day festivals setting alone was quite the sight to be seen. The entire festival grounds were surrounded by a 360 degree high-rise symmetrical tree fence. It was easy to feel as though you had just entered an enchanted forest, waiting for Snow White and her seven dwarfs to appear in the crowd at any moment. While boasting just one stage, Pildammsparken proved to be the perfect location as the entrancing trees provided a stunning backdrop for each DJ’s performance.

The twelve hour long soiree began as hometown hero Joey Massa kicked off the days festivities as attendees began to trickle in. Local talent Massa, was also provided with creating the Big Slap 2014 anthem, appropriately titled “Anthem.” Sweden’s own Style of Eye, hit the decks next as the crowd began to get rowdy.

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Arty appeared next to prove that there’s “No party without Arty.” Well, at Big Slap that is. Raindrops poured down halfway through Arty’s set, but of course this didn’t put a damper on the Swedes accustomed to daily rain. Pumping fists, waving hands and grooving bodies filled the crowd in a dance inviting rain and soon enough it disappeared as quickly as it began.

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Big slap returning artist Afrojack, took over the stage in his casual demeanor. The audience went wild as the beginning melody of the festival season anthem “Summer”, played through the speakers and sang along to every word  of “Ten Feet Tall.“ The dutch sensation appropriately closed his set with the track that skyrocketed him to fame just a few short years ago “Take Over Control.”

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Swedish DJ’s Dada Life, introduced their dedicated following of fans to the insanity that is a Dada Life performance. Complete with blow up bananas thrown into the masses of showgoers and champagne showers, the duo proved that there are no rules in the land of Dada. “DADA LIFE” pulsated from the DJ booth as the crowd was told to put their hands in the air with every beat drop and confetti blast. Hilarious whilst also ridiculous animations came alive on screen to compliment each song including Dada Life’s personal take of the track that started the banana craze, Gwen Stefani’s “This Sh*t Is Bananas”  and Benny Benassi’s hit “Satisfaction.”

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As the sun began to set on a late summer Swedish sunset that left the sky in a scattered array of pink and purple, Dutch DJ Sander Van Doorn brought a taste of his trance background to the festival putting his signature spin on tracks such as Avicii’s “Hey Brother.” Doorn ended the set with his own heavy drop inducing tracks including one with Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike “Project T.”

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Day turned into night in the blink of an eye as Hardstyle brothers Showtek, brought the noise and pure adrenaline to the stage. Glowsticks were unleashed to the throng of fans that now filled the venue to full capacity as a sea of multi-colored glowing lights lit the crowd in a captivating view from afar. The duo released their new track with MAKJ & M35 “GO” while having the entire crowd jumping for every drop during their track with David Guetta “Bad.”

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Last but not least, Steve Aoki graced the stage for a closing set of epic proportions. Skyrocketing fireworks propelled into the night sky along with a full fledged laser show as he dropped his own set of classics “No Beef” and “Delirious.” Of course no Aoki show is complete without the infamous cake throwing. Of which there was not just one, but two cakes ready to cream an unsuspecting volunteer in the crowd. The day and night at Big Slap came to a close with a last dazzling fireworks display as the crowd sang along to a fitting acapella version of what it is that we all search for and find when we attend festivals such as Big Slap, “The Pursuit of Happiness.”

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Ferry Corsten’s “Hyper Love”

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Ferry Corsten’s “Hyper Love” out August 22 on Flashover Recordings

Stream “Hyperlove” in its entirety

Ferry Corsten’s been riding a wave of momentum throughout the summer. The aptly titled “Festival Crash” has dominated the trance charts at #1, while he’s been holding it down in Ibiza with the acclaimed “Full On Ibiza” every Friday night at Club Space.  Next up; a truly massive vocal tune for big rooms all over the world “Hyper Love.”

Regarded as one of the most technically gifted artists/producers in dance music Ferry’s songwriting ability shines through with the magnificent “Hyper Love.” Light piano chords and a classic breakdown is accompaniment for Nat Dunn’s rich and powerful vocal – it’s pure class for the dancefloor.

“I’m always very open minded when working on new tracks. I’ve always been a huge fan of the UK piano break beat sound. When working on “Hyper Love” I could hear how this would fit the song. When Nat Dunn came up with the lyrics I immediately knew I wanted to take it in a more radio friendly direction,” Ferry says.

Don’t miss “Hyper Love” live throughout the summer when Ferry blasts it in Ibiza and festivals worldwide. He is also performing as New World Punx (w/ Markus Schulz) on Sunday, September 14th at Governors Beach Club in New York City. The last time the warriors conquered NYC was for a SOLD OUT show at Roseland Ballroom. Don’t miss it.

Connect with Ferry Corsten: Website | VK | Twitter | YouTube | Facebook | Instagram |Beatport

Reminiscing through A State of Trance

*written by Shimmy for Electronica Life
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It was routine for me…

There I was, late into a Thursday morning in Los Angeles in 2001, with my Netscape Navigator pointed to the internet radio site di.fm. Several thousand users from around the globe, with different backgrounds, different ethnicities, different cultures, were about to unify in the name of music. There was no iTunes, no Pandora, no Spotify. I used a program called Winamp since it allowed a higher bitrate than Windows Media Player when streaming the broadcast. Listeners online were already excited for the weekly radio show; the slang word “choon”, which was used to indicate a really good song, was already being used incessantly on the forums. The clock ticked 11:00 AM PT and the signature melodies began to kick in; it was time for A State of Trance.

The success and longevity of A State of Trance, or simply ASOT (if you want to sound like one of the cool kids) can be attributed to many factors. Armin Van Buuren, or simply AVB (these cool kids sure love acronyms), is a legend in the electronic music industry and has won a number of awards in his career. I have to admit before writing any further that AVB is one of my favorite DJs and producers of all time, so I may be a bit biased when I say that he is a true ambassador in the EDM world (if I had a “suck up” emoji or font, it would appropriately be used here).

Now approaching 700 episodes over 13 years, ASOT can be referred to as the “Simpsons” of the DJ podcast world. Even though ASOT is a bit of a misnomer nowadays, the majority of shows are filled with uplifting melodies and vocals that any trance addict, previous or current, can enjoy.

Fortunately, in today’s day and age, listening to ASOT doesn’t require setting an alarm clock on Thursdays. ASOT can regularly be found on Spotify or iTunes. Unsure as to which of the nearly 700 episodes to click play on? I recommend any of the “Year Mix” shows, where the Dutch legend has personally mixed together all of the hits of the preceding year. Don’t take it for granted, AVB has mentioned it takes months of planning to put together and then record that single show. From all of us in the EDM world, THANK YOU for the weekly free ASOT show and we hope for 700 more!

Forever Grateful,
Shimmy

Kandi Kan Stay Right Where It Is

*written by Shimmy for Electronica Life
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The electronic music scene in the United States has obviously been increasing in popularity in recent years — while I am still waiting for more non-128 bpm tracks to be directly released on terrestrial radio, it is safe to say this era is more than a growing trend, it’s a movement. A movement that I am very happy is happening real time, and not in a history book.

However, with anything that moves this fast, there comes an individual responsibility to understand it before diving right in. Kandi has a big place in US electronic music scene. While not as gratuitous as nipple pasties (not that I’m complaining), kandi is a way of instantly bonding with a fellow music lover. After a simple PLUR trade, this person’s identity can go from a complete stranger to someone who you can now add to your “rave family.”

Diplo recently took to twitter on his ban of kandi at his Mad Decent Block Party shows. As someone who is just plain awful at making the simplest piece of kandi, I am truly appreciative and thankful of every piece that’s ever been traded with me. Banning these beaded bracelets, cuffs, and masks is not a new practice at events, but Diplo’s reasoning is quite odd. Does he really think that it will make these events safer or just about the music? If there is one thing I know about kids is that once you tell to not do something, they will do it.

Electronic music is here to stay and so is the culture of kandi. Nonetheless, the high number of arrests and tragic deaths that are occurring at these events can be minimized. There are many reasons why someone will attend an electronic music event, but there are zero reasons why anyone should die at one. It’s not a secret that some attendees will use drugs (whether at an EDM event or not). Banning kandi is not the answer; being educated about the dangers of drug abuse and looking out for your fellow (old and new) “rave family” members can go a long way. The scene is growing and it’s up to us to pass onto the new generation what it means to be in the “scene.”

Be safe out there and PLUR on!

ONE Nation United Under EDM: Tomorrowland 2014

*written by Crystal Garcia for Electronica Life

Over the course of two back to back weekends in July, hundreds of thousands of dance music revelers from across the planet embarked on the global trek to Belgium for the 10 year anniversary of the largest music festival in the entire world, TOMORROWLAND. With humble beginnings in 2005 as a small electronic dance music festival in the almost too fittingly titled town of Boom, it was only appropriate that festival producers ID&T, paid homage to the decade long running festivities by adding a second week of complete and utter madness. In recent years, Tomorrowland has gained notoriety as the mecca of all electronic dance music festivals. One that all EDM enthusiasts must make the pilgrimage to at least once in their lifetime.10314495_784583378228913_6866617388020042778_n
Twelve eclectic stages filled the vast festival grounds, with each stage changing daily with exception of the already massive mainstage.The variety of electronic genres represented was reflected as each of the eleven stages underwent massive reconstruction each night. Steve Aoki’s Friday Dim Mak stage became Saturday’s hardstyle Q-Dance stage which transformed to Sunday’s Legends of Trance stage hosting the likes of Cosmic Gate, Paul Van Dyk and a five hour set along with a Cosmic Gate B2B from Markus Schulz. Seasoned dance music veteran or EDM newbie, there is a style and taste to please anyone and everyone’s musical palate at Tomorrowland.

It’s difficult to translate into words and pictures the complete experience that is Tomorrowland. As I entered on the first of three days, I was taken back by the size and lush landscape. Attention to detail was perfected in every possible way. The once desolate festival grounds had transformed into a storybook playground, patiently waiting for us to release our inhibitions and become the children at heart we once were. Awe and wonder filled every single square foot of space, and there was never a dull sight to be seen. Everywhere I turned, fascination captured me. I had entered a land of pure mystery and enchantment, a place that elevates hope, nurtures love and inspires dreams.10557445_784583468228904_6195970288117722560_n
I began Friday by taking in the sights to be seen and dancing the afternoon away under a rainbow that read “LIVE YOUR DREAM.” On Saturday, I was sharing laughs and exchanging hugs with new friends from across the globe. By Sunday I thought I’d seen it all, until I was fairy dusted by a mysterious 8 ft. tall man on stilts  and found a folded love note sealed in gold ribbon no wider than my pinkie that read “The foundation of all love is life.In friendship or romance. In rich or poor.Therefore,always begin every new chapter with a great amount of heart and love. Give it your everything.Because where you invest your love, you invest your life.”

I was lost for words reading this as I knew it was exactly what I needed to hear at that exact time. In this moment I truly began to understand the meaning behind the Tomorrowland 10 year anniversary theme: “The Key to Happiness.” As the people of tomorrow we were not only meant to be here for the music, but to also be inspired to chase our dreams and guided to follow our hearts throughout the entirety of the weekend.10509629_784583328228918_5837613799745463664_n
I intended to explore every single stage and artist every day, but I was continuously drawn back to the monumental mainstage.The past two years I sat at home watching the live Tomorrowland feed, dreaming of the day I would finally be in that crowd dancing my heart out to the same beat with thousands upon thousands of fellow dance music lovers.

I felt the anticipation building as I made my way towards mainstage on Friday evening as I was saving the best for last. I climbed to the back of the enormous hill to see the stage in it’s full glory, and almost couldn’t believe my eyes. The stage was filled with details of such epic proportions, it had to be dissected in pieces to fully take in all it’s splendor.
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The flags of over 160 countries in the never ending sea of people waved high and proud in a jaw dropping view that took my breath away. I couldn’t help but feel emotional at the sheer beauty of the sight before me. Cultural, religious, political, sexual orientation and geographic differences no longer mattered, even if only for three short days. The people of tomorrow came together for THE planetary global celebration of life, peace,love,unity,respect,connection and most importantly, the love for each other.10565248_784583608228890_281802575006174914_n
Throughout the weekend I connected with people from every country imaginable. I made new friends from Canada to Australia and almost everywhere in between. Gay, straight, bisexual, muslim, christian, jewish, black, white or purple, it didn’t matter. “BE WHAT YOU WANT” was one of the messages posted throughout the festival. All three days I witnessed the same fellow make his rounds across mainstage with a “FREE HUGS” sign give more hugs than most people give throughout their entire lives. Inhibitions were no longer in existence, free love and acceptance reigned and ruled for three days.10561699_784582931562291_4222969500071257329_n
The weekend sadly came to an end Sunday night with a closing ceremony of epic proportions.“3 Are Legend” aka Steve Aoki, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike closed out mainstage as impressive fireworks fueled the night sky.In what felt as though every festival attendee was at mainstage, a sea of people filled the crowd to the point it was impossible to decipher where it began and ended. The adrenaline, passion and positive vibes incurred over the weekend was felt in full effect as the entire audience sang along in unison to every song and the crowd was lit up by simultaneously glowing wristbands matching the colors projecting from the stage. To be a part of the crowd in that euphoric energy was an indescribable feeling.10469192_784582418229009_7994386939589319421_n
I believe Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike summed up the weekend best when they stated “This anniversary of Tomorrowland proves to the rest of the world that we need to come together,because look what happens when we come together! Everyone put their flags up to show where they’re from.” It was a mind blowing sight to witness that Tomorrowland has become a primary example of exactly what humanity needs more than ever today. A place where a Palestinian and Israeli can proudly wave their flags together side by side, and it’s not only accepted but widely encouraged. I left mainstage on that last night with the confidence knowing that for years to come, the effects of Tomorrowland will leave an imprint on every single person in attendance.10469734_784581454895772_1202034267354928124_n
As the people of tomorrow we came together not only for a united love of music, but also for the lessons we take from our individual experiences at Tomorrowland that are more valuable than we could have ever imagined. We learn to let go of presumptions, fears and judgements of one another. We begin to understand that while we’re all different, we’re also all the same navigating this dance of life. We come from all different walks of life in every respect, but our hearts all beat to the same electrifying melody. The collective energy we’ve created on the dancefloor is a force like nothing else on this earth. Together we can change the world, as ONE nation united under EDM.

 “Yesterday is history, Today is a gift, Tomorrow is a mystery.”

The Jedi Force Behind Yoder Productions – An Interview w/ Chris Yoder

*written by A’Damaged Pro for Electronica Life

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I would have to have to say that I am a believer in serendipity, at least to some degree. When it comes to the entertainment industry “make it or break it” scenarios can result from a handshake, a well-worded email, or from someone saying “you have to see this or listen to this.” There’s no replacement for hard work but no one frowns when the stars align either. Chicago has one of the premier electronic scenes in the states. From hosting globally-renowned massives to featuring some of the most established venues in the biz, Chicago is definitely a locale where you can easily realize a little funky beat never hurt anybody, and Chris Yoder, of Yoder Productions, calls it home.

A’Damaged Pro – Have you always lived in Chi-Town?

Chris Yoder – I grew up in the NW suburbs of Chicago all my life and then did 5 years at Illinois State University and have recently lived in Chicago for the past 4 years.

A’Damaged Pro – When did you first get introduced to the scene? In your opinion, are there any noticeable differences in the scene between now and then?

Chris Yoder – I first got introduced to the scene when I was still on my 5th year at Illinois State. I came up to the city for the weekend, tagging along with a buddy of mine who was DJ’ing Chicago’s legendary night club, SPYBAR. I was introduced to one of SPYBAR’s resident DJ’s, KALENDR who has ever since opened big doors for me.

Notible Differences: I would say that the scene has grown tremendously. Especially for what I do. I remember when I first started filming nightclubs in Chicago there was really only one other videographer in the city that was doing what I was trying to do. I think with the education and rapid growth of dance music there are a lot more people tuned into the scene. I see more and more videographers tapping into the scene and trying to make a name for themselves.

A’Damaged Pro – What about EDM and the community particularly speaks to you?

Chris Yoder – The connection between the music and the people as well as the energy at shows. It’s a different scene unlike any other. It’s cool that the majority of the people that I work with I can call my friends.

A’Damaged Pro – Who were some of your favorite artists growing up?

Chris Yoder – Truthfully, when it came to house music or “EDM” I had never really heard of it until I was on my last year of college in 2011. I was your typical college kid that drank keg beer and listened to frat-rap. As for “outside” the electronic scene, I grew up on Dave Matthews Band, Incubus, O.A.R. and that type of music in my high school years. Then in college I went through my Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller or “Frat-Rap” phase. (Still refreshing to listen to stuff like that on occasion.)

A’Damaged Pro –  How did you feel stepping into your first event/festival?

Chris Yoder – Honestly, the first music festival I had ever filmed was Ultra Music Festival which was 4 months after I had gotten my first “real camera”. I was invited down to film for an artist and had NO CLUE that festivals like Ultra exsisted. I was mind blown. It was like being a little kid at a carnival or something except I had an all access pass.

A’Damaged Pro – What inspired you to get behind the camera for the first time?

Chris Yoder – I grew up skating, so I always used to make skating videos with my friends when we were young. I lost interest in skating during my high school years but I usually still had a camera just to document stupid things. Then once college came around I dropped the camera until my last year at State. I went and bought a crappy $300 hand held camera from Best Buy and started filming my “last days of college” and started making little edits in iMovie.

A’Damaged Pro – What was your first gig?

Chris Yoder – My first paid gig was a music video for a rapper down at State. My first paid club gig was for a promoter in Chicago at a club called V-live that closed a couple years ago.

A’Damaged Pro –  You’ve had some pretty great opportunities come your way. How did you start linking up with artists and getting on the festival circuit? Who was the first artist to give you a shot?

Chris Yoder – I first started at SPYBAR while being “taken under the wing” of a well known & respected Chicago DJ named Kalendr who happens to be a resident at SPYBAR. I started linking up with all the dopest Chicago DJ’s, Kalendr, Inphinity, Bad Boy Bill, Steve Smooth, Alex Peace, Dj Bam Bam, Mixing Marc, Jordan V and the list continues. After a year of doing videos at SPYBAR, I started working for a company called REACT PRESENTS, who owns and hosts events at such venues and festivals as The MID, Concord Music Hall, Aragon Ballroom, Spring Awakening Music Festival, Summer Set Music Festival & North Coast Music Festival. They bring some of the biggest talent to Chicago. So, being their in-house videographer for all their events, I was shaking hands with the best of the best and since then have been doing work for artists outside of Chicago venues/festivals. But as for the FIRST artists that I received a check from was 3LAU. We did a promo video of him at Congress Theater when he was first on the come up.

A’Damaged Pro – What’s the most interesting environment you’ve shot in before?

Chris Yoder – I just recently did two weeks in ASIA with Carnage. That was pretty dope. We saw a ton of cities and different lifestyles while we were out there.

A’Damaged Pro – Helicopter POV…exhilarating or nauseating?

Chris Yoder – Exhilarating / Scary as shit. Especially when your hanging half way out of the copter to get a shot you want.

A’Damaged Pro –  Do you have any established residencies or is it all freelance?

Chris Yoder – I would consider myself a freelance videographer at all times but also with “residences” at SPYBAR, The MID, Concord Music Hall & all REACT PRESENTS events.

A’Damaged Pro –  Any events you’re looking forward to closing out the summer with?

Chris Yoder – Summer Set Music Festival. Its another event that REACT PRESENTS puts on that takes place in Sommer Set, WI. Its one of those outdoor festivals that you tent out. I get very limited time to “be in nature” with living in the city and traveling so it’s nice to do a festival where you’re out in the middle of nowhere, with your friends, doing what you love while filming some of the biggest acts. And then in Sept. I’ll be hopping on the Carnage “Parental Advisory” Bus Tour. A bus tour has been something I’ve ALWAYS wanted to do, at least once.

A’Damaged Pro – Do you ever just attend events or are you always working? How do you find a balance?

Chris Yoder – I would say I’m usually always working. Especially if it’s a festival. Every once and a while I’ll go to the clubs/or a venue in Chicago if I have the night off to check out an artist I really like.

A’Damaged Pro –  Ever thought of making a documentary, given the diversity of source material?

Chris Yoder – I’m actually in the beginning process of working on a documentary for Carnage. Pretty sure it’s going to be called “UNO”. Another talented videographer Chris Cordova and myself have been filming Carnage for and entire year from EDC Vegas 2013 to this past EDC Vegas 2014. Capturing highlighting events as well as the progression of how fast he blew up.


A’Damaged Pro –  Is there a festival that simply stands out to you as a “must film?”

Chris Yoder – Well, as of this moment I was supposed to be out in Belgium with Carnage for Tomorrowland but had a ton of family stuff going on that I couldn’t be far from. I’m beating myself up as Carnage is sending me pictures along with seeing everything on social media. I definitely want to experience that next year.

A’Damaged Pro –  Coolest fan moment caught on film..

Chris Yoder – Coolest fan moment caught on film.. I would have to say a couple months back I was filming for a pop artist named Guinevere. She had a high school kid facebook message her fan page asking her if he could take her to prom (since he had never been). She never responded to his message but instead contacted his parents to get in on the plan and bought plane tickets to fly to his hometown and suprise him on prom day. We snuck up to his house the day of, with the local news covering the event. We walked up to his front door and when he answered the door the kid was in complete shock. He continued to explain to everyone that the music Guinevere produces has helped him through some really hard times in his life. It was a reminder that this music that artists are making REALLY impacts individuals lives.

A’Damaged Pro’s final words…

What started off as a pet project to help him document the last days of college has evolved into a monster of unchartable potential. It’s truly surreal when you can see how far someone has come in such a short time. A genuine element of depth is achieved when they can attest to never forgetting where they came from and how much they truly appreciate the opportunities they have been afforded. I don’t even have to wish him continued success because I know he wants to continue honing his craft and perfecting the art of immersing you into the experience.  Although EDM hasn’t always been the beat that his heart bounced to, I’m sure it’s found a happy home there now. Whether he’s in a helicopter or a rickshaw, my money is on that he’s still rolling…

Connect with Chris Yoder: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Insomniac’s Longest Running Festival Returns For It’s 19th Year… Nocturnal Wonderland 2014

North America’s longest running dance music festival Nocturnal Wonderland, returns to the San Manuel Amphitheater & grounds in San Bernardino, CA on September 5th and 6th for a two-day end of summer celebration. Now in it’s 19th year, Insomniac’s longest running festivals finds it’s way back home to Southern California.

Festival attendees are encouraged to explore a world beyond their wildest dreams as the San Manuel Amphitheater transforms into a land of wonder and enchantment complete with electrifying carnival rides, jubilant performers, interactive art installations, innovative production, and multiple stages of world class music. Fans are also invited to camp on the festival grounds for the weekend long festivities. A water park, silent disco and much more will be offered to the camping community for a complete weekend of activities.

Two-day passes and single-day passes, along with camping passes are still available. Get your tickets now before Nocturnal Wonderland sells out!

For more information & to purchase tickets: http://nocturnalwonderland.com
nocturnalwonderland_2014_lineup

Open Your Heart To Its Destiny – An Interview w/ Ryan Farish

*written by A’Damaged Pro for Electronica Life

(watch this first)


They say that a flower needs water to grow. The same applies to nourishing an individual’s aptitude, whether it be intellectual, athletic, or musical. Some people spend their entire lives searching for their true “calling.” It’s a very rewarding and illuminating process, with exponential benefits, when this calling is found early on in life. Some are more fortunate than others and upon self-realizing their purpose, they are able to focus all of their energies towards honing the craft of their destiny. Ryan Farish was one of the ones lucky enough to hear this calling and answer it. I caught up with this talented young man to get the inside scoop on his new album “Destiny” and what his journey to this point has taught him.

A’Damaged Pro – Where were you born and where did you grow up?

Ryan Farish – I was born in Norfolk, VA, and I grew up in and around Norfolk in what is called the Hampton Roads area of VA.

A’Damaged Pro – Were any of your immediate family members musically-inclined?

Ryan Farish – Yes, my mother is a piano teacher, and my grandmother was a self taught pianist and organist.

A’Damaged Pro – Did you play any instruments growing up? Were you ever in a band?

Ryan Farish – Yes, I started with music when I was four, with the violin. I studio violin for 13 years, and picked up the piano when I was about 10, and the drums when I was 14. I played in various bands/groups all through high school and college, everything from Rock bands, Reggae Bands, and Jazz groups.

A’Damaged Pro – What were some of your favorite groups/artists when you were younger?

Ryan Farish – The Pat Metheny Group, RUSH, Sting, Eric Johnson, Bob Marley.

A’Damaged Pro – What inspired you to start producing music?

Ryan Farish – When I was very young, maybe around the age of 9 or 10, I remember sitting down at the piano in the living room and composing my first song…from there I would take two tape recorder/boom boxes, and use them as a multi track tape recorder. I would rec the drums first on one boom box, then I would sit the two close together, press play on the first boom box with the drums recorded, and press play, while I would play along with the piano, letting all that sound be recorded on the second boom box/recorder. Then in high school for Christmas one year I got a KORG keyboard with a sequencer. Life has never been the same. ;0)

A’Damaged Pro – What kind of equipment did you start with?

Ryan Farish – I started with a few synths, and a Roland VS1680. I still have this 1680, it’s a dinosaur but I can’t part with it for sentimental reasons now.

A’Damaged Pro – Did you get into trouble as a kid? (only discuss if the statute of limitations has run out  ;-)

Ryan Farish – No I didn’t get into any trouble as a kid, I think it’s because when I wasn’t in school, I was either practicing music or having band practice with my buddies in our bands. I always felt really bored in school, didn’t make great grades really, just average… I spent most of my time in school working on getting my band another gig, or day dreaming about rec music.

A’Damaged Pro – Describe your most memorable experience at an EDM event/festival where you were a guest and not an artist.

Ryan Farish – ATB in D.C. at Glow. Andre’s music was probably the first trance album I ever bought, it was his album called “Dedicated”. So, after listening all these years it was very special to me to see him DJ, close to my home town.

A’Damaged Pro – Do you enjoy producing or DJing more?

Ryan Farish – That’s a tough call, because my recordings have been heard more than my DJ sets at this point, but I’d have to say that since 5 hours can slip by in a flash doing either for me, it’s probably an equal passion for me.

A’Damaged Pro – What about EDM speaks to you directly?

Ryan Farish – Uplifting, positive music. Music to me, is all about helping lift ourselves to that special place where we can forget about all the real world things that we all go through. Music is a language, and therefore when we play/create music, just like when we choose our words, we should have something positive to say, and strive to contribute something meaningful to share with those listening.

A’Damaged Pro – Do you believe that there are therapeutic applications of music? Please explain.

Ryan Farish – Absolutely. In fact I often receive a message from people who study this aspect of music. Again, just as positive, encouraging words can be therapeutic, music obviously speaks to the heart and soul of all of us. Its a powerful force.

A’Damaged Pro – You just released your album “Destiny.” What was the creative process like for you and is there any personal significance to the title?

Ryan Farish – The recording process was similar to all my albums from the past few years. I’ll usually create about 100 songs, will find which ones have melodies and aspects to them that I think are forming together to create a real album experience. I’ll meet with a few of the vocalists, we’ll talk about making music, ideas, vision, then I’ll start to send the ideas I have to them… and then it all takes shape from there.

A’ Damaged Pro – You incorporate a wide spectrum of styles on your album, “Destiny.” What was the selection process like for deciding who to collaborate with for it?

Ryan Farish – Well, deciding who to collaborate now is getting a little harder than it used to be, because everyone I work with is so talented, and there are only a limited amount of songs I have started, so I have to carefully choose which song I think will work best and compliment both myself and the vocalist in the best way.

A’Damaged Pro – I know you’ve got to be partial to all of the tracks, but are there a few that instantly overwhelm your mind with happiness?

Ryan Farish – Yes, “Good Day Sunshine”, “Brave”, “Heart of Valor”, “Round and “Round” “The Great Divide” and “Infinite” are my favorites from the album, but they all are special to me in their own way.

A’Damaged Pro – The track list has some extremely vivid and profound titling involved. Is there a thematic inspiration that was channeled or a specific emotion that you were aiming to evoke?

Ryan Farish – No, I spend a lot of time thinking of titles, because in almost every case I title the song before lyrics or any vocals are added… so the title really sets the songs direction in motion, and I do love lots of imagery in the lyrics.

A’Damaged Pro – Did the tracks start off unnamed when they were being produced or did you have a particular framework in mind for each, considering the title?

Ryan Farish – They usually don’t have a name until I’m close to rendering the first draft out to play for my vocalist. It’s at that point that I really give a lot of thought to the title, because it will most of the time decide on the lyrical direction the song will take.

A’Damaged Pro – Where in the creative timeline was the title track produced? How did you celebrate after it was mastered?

Ryan Farish – The title track was created about halfway thru the album…I don’t remember celebrating for more than probably a couple minutes, I’m always just like now “onto the next”

A’Damaged Pro – What about performing excites you the most?

Ryan Farish – Meeting the fans, and leading a room to just an incredible experience with the music. Giving the songs new life, and the mix of leading and serving the room with the music.

A’Damaged Pro – What’s your dream gig?

Ryan Farish – It would really mean a lot to me if I ever shared the stage with ATB for a min

A’Damaged Pro – If you could collaborate with any artist, throughout time, who would it be and why?

Ryan Farish – That’s really a hard question… there are so many great artists that I’ve admired over the years.

A’Damaged Pro – If you had to do something outside of the music industry, what would it be?

Ryan Farish – Attorney. I enjoy contracts and business in general, intellectual property, etc.

A’Damaged Pro – What’s the coolest hobby you’ve never tried but have always wanted to?

Ryan Farish – Pilot an airplane. Just yesterday I actually spoke with an instructor, and this fall I’m going to work on getting my pilots license.

 A’Damaged Pro’s final words…

People often wonder “where all the momentum behind an album comes from.” Often times, the global hype machine has a hand in things and does some creative marketing to get the buzz going, but sometimes (and these times normally have the most impact) the artist simply stands being the passion and the intensity that they used to create their album and the work speaks for itself. Ryan Farish has pulled together a masterful collection of tracks on “Destiny.” He invites you to open your ears and take a journey that part of you already knows you want to take.


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Connect with Ryan Farish:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | iTunes

All Tigers Aren’t Too Rough To Play With – An Interview w/ Molly Kummerle and Dave Mathes of Paper Tiger

*written by A’Damaged Pro for Electronica Life

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I was reflecting the other day on how many wonderful and talented people I’ve met since I’ve started documenting my experiences at events and festivals across the country. My mind wandered back to the very first festival I covered, Mountain Oasis, and  a conversation I had with two of the coolest people ever. Enter Molly Kummerle and Dave Mathes, of Paper Tiger. We met up midday in front of the arena where most of the madness would take place later that night and they took me on a walking tour of downtown Asheville. We decided to stop for lunch and have a more focused conversation.

A’Damaged Pro – I’ve always believed that there is power in music and that artists have the ability to reach the masses through their lyrics and their sounds. That being said, I wondered if artists felt any inherent responsibility for the well-being of the general public.

Molly - “I feel humans have a responsibility…we were playing at Camp Bisco and this girl looked like she was “in trouble.” I asked her if she was alright and took her to the first aid tent. We’re pretty responsible people in general. I think that artists should tell people to be responsible, play it safe, drink water, and if you are going to recreate you don’t have to eat every substance in your possession at one time.”

Dave – “It’s hard to walk that line because you don’t really know what you’re going to get into…”

The conversation moved towards the creative process of the album they were working on at the time (It has since been released).

A’Damaged Pro – What’s the inspiration for this album that just came out? Is it a progression of the last?

Molly – It’s the next step for us. Most of these songs I’ve been writing over the last few years. Our first record started out with a lot of vinyl samples and also the songs that I started. I started on an 8-track digital recorder so I was kind of limited. So this album started in “Garage Band.” It’s a lot lusher. A lot darker. More synth-driven. I am very excited about it.

A’Damaged Pro – Do you guys still find the time to keep additional creative projects in the works?

DaveWe haven’t been writing together a lot lately because we’ve been so focused on the new album.

A gentleman in plain clothes walked up to where we were eating and asked if we would like these books on, what appeared to be, meditation and guidance from a Krishna mystic. He claimed to be a monk. I offered him some of my venison chili while we chatted. He kindly declined and said it was because he was a vegetarian. We were waiting for the punchline or the sales pitch and here it came. The books, although a gift, were only made possible from the kindness and donations of others. We became the “others” without hesitation only to reflect moments later.

Molly – What just happened?

A’Damaged Pro – We just got rooked by a monk. If you could incorporate another instrument or synthesizer into the mix, what would it be? Do you have a wish list?

Molly – We already put the Moog mini-tar on it, several Native instruments…Dave has an  analog synthesizer, called “The Prophet” on it. We’re also going to have an assortment of brass instruments, particularly the trombone. I used to play trombone in the marching band in high school.

A’Damaged Pro – Have you ever considered recruiting someone from the Jazz capital (New Orleans)?

Pretty Tiger – Oh absolutely. Trombone Shorty, Big Sam, and Preservation Hall Jazz Band, just to name a few.

While the punctuation of Molly’s last comment is still floating through the air another gentleman approaches our patio area. He’s rocking the full monk wardrobe and shaved head. As soon as our collective eyes lock on his, we already know what’s about to happen. With a friendly salutation, I hold up my beer and a copy of one of the books that he’s holding. “Your boy already touched down here.” He bows politely and continues his path of enlightenment that leads somewhere else downtown.

A’Damaged Pro – What’s the last song you listened to?

Dave – “Reach for the Dead” by Boards of Canada.

Molly – Some Stevie Wonder.

A’Damaged Pro – Dave, any fantasy collaboration in mind?

Pretty Tiger - Ulrich Schnauss (Dave), Boards of Canada..my biggest influence on me…the only band that I truly love.

A’Damaged Pro – I’m sensing a trend here.

A’Damaged Pro’s final words…

Kind people, crazy interactions, and beautiful scenery have a way of manifesting into a wonderful experience. Paper Tiger’s Molly and Dave have found the way to balance being caring, soulful individuals as well as driven musicians. They love the music. They love the scene. I’m sure you can find them at festivals across the country, whether performing or taking in the vibe with everyone else. They support the art and the craft itself and respect the power of music. Their unique sound and their respective drive to create something new and entirely their own should not be mistaken for anything other than the magic it is.

Even though I can’t place the context and I’m sure I smiled, this was the quote of the afternoon for me:

Dave – “Music is my video game.”
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Connect with Paper Tiger: Website | Facebook