Electronic, House, Techno | Spice’s Top 10 Tracks of 2013

Posted by on December 22, 2013

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2013 was a year of many momentous things. Including the insanely awesome above shot, which was taken by yours truly with a cracked iPhone (and it’s frankly still a mystery as to how I managed to pull it off. I mean, look at that thing. That thing is next level. Eat your heart out, Rukes). In keeping with all the seasonal nostalgia, here are my picks for the best tracks of the year.


Events | The Worst Lineup Conflicts At Electric Zoo – And How To Handle Them

Posted by on August 22, 2013


Waiting for festival schedules to drop is always a funny thing. On the one hand, you’re antsy for set times because you want to start planning your weekend. On the other, you know that when the announcement comes it will invariably serve to confirm all your worst fears about lineup conflicts — terrible, unspeakable conflicts which will surely force you to choose between two or more of your favorite artists. Such conflicts have been known to divide friend groups, start arguments, and lead to tears. Okay, we’re being dramatic, but you know you totally feel us. Electric Zoo is no different, so check out what we think are some of the most glaring and painful conflicts of the weekend — and our advice for dealing with them — after the jump.

(Note: one thing we do know is that those who enter Sunday School Grove probably won’t be racing out to hit the mainstage at many junctures during the weekend, so there aren’t too many conflicts to contend with there. Not bad, eh?)


Events | Five Things We Can’t Wait For At Electric Zoo 2013

Posted by on August 8, 2013

Summer is flying by, which is bittersweet on one hand but totally amazing on the other. Why? Because it means that we’re getting closer and closer to Electric Zoo’s blowout fifth year. If you’re not up on your EZoo life, check out our official recap video from last year and see what you missed. Yeah — it was pretty killer. Fortunately, this year is already shaping up to be bigger and better than ever for many reasons, not least of which are:

1) Two mainstages (count ’em, TWO) and an expanded festival site on Randall’s Island. More on that later.

2) A new 18 and up policy. Sorry, youths (#YOUTHS) of the world — I’m too old for your shenanigans and look forward to mingling with an older and wiser crowd. *Wheezes; testily gestures for you to GET OFF MY LAWN.*

3) A totally killer lineup — which is par for the course by EZoo’s standards. There’s lots to be excited about here, but we’ve come up with five things that we’re especially stoked for. Check ’em out after the jump.



Albums | Dog Blood Leaks Middle Finger Pt. 2 EP In Advance of Release

Posted by on August 7, 2013

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Anyone dismayed by the news about Dog Blood’s upcoming EP getting delayed until August 20th should head immediately to the duo’s Soundcloud page, where Middle Finger Pt. 2 can now be streamed in full (well, almost in full; there’s a Trapmasters remix of the titular track that doesn’t appear to be up yet). Most of this should sound familiar — between festival sets and Skrillex’s recent BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix, it’s likely that you’ve heard “Middle Finger Pt. 2,” “Chella Ride” and “Shred Sled (Kill ‘Em With The Beat)” before. Also of note: a typically great M Machine remix of “Middle Finger Pt. 2” that gets positively savage. Check it out below, and support the great work that Skrillex and Boys Noize are doing by purchasing the EP when it drops officially on the 20th.

House, Techno | Boys Noize – Go Hard EP

Posted by on June 25, 2013

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Is there anyone out there quite like Boys Noize? With his latest EP, the aptly titled Go Hard, the talented Mr. Ridha once again proves that he’s pretty much in a league of his own. His high octane brand of acid house is present in each of the five new tracks debuted yesterday (with the possible exception of “Starwin,” which is replete with acidy squelches but ultimately a buoyant disco confection), but the more remarkable feat is the level of versatility he displays. The EP veers from ominous and consummately analogue (“Inhale/Exhale”) to techno meets trap with notes of hardstyle (the titular “Go Hard”) to the aforementioned “Starwin,” which sounds like something Madeon might make after watching the full Discovery video and then sucking down a bunch of nitrous. “Excuse Me” (escoooooz me) and “Push Em Up” are both hard-nosed dance floor jams that are impossible not to move to. Go Hard is well worth the cost of an iTunes download — in the grand Boys Noize tradition, it manages to be dark, fun, energetic and fresh all at once.

iTunes: Boys Noize – Go Hard EP

Events | Ultra Music Festival 2013 — Weekend 2 Recap (Or, If I Never Hear “Clarity” Again, It Will Be Too Soon)

Posted by on April 9, 2013

“You know, the mainstage doesn’t look that awesome this year. In fact, it kind of looks smaller than it did last year.”

I was sitting on a friend’s couch drinking a lukewarm Bud Light and watching Nicky Romero’s Weekend 1 set on a Macbook. We didn’t have the good speakers plugged in because someone was napping upstairs, so the sound was tinny and easy to talk over. The TV mounted to the wall was tuned to NCAA basketball with the volume off. It was early on Friday evening and I was in the process of getting over bronchitis. A bag of Doritos was making the rounds.

“Shit guys. This stage is bullshit.” I grabbed a fistful of Doritos and gestured at the computer. “Look at it. It’s just sitting there, being purple. God, the mainstage is going to effing suck this year.” My friends nodded sagely. I leaned back, satisfied that my point had hit home, and turned my attention to the basketball game.

Of all the things I’ve been wrong about in my life, this has got to be top three.


Albums, Review, Techno | Boys Noize – Out Of The Black

Posted by on October 14, 2012

German Techno maestro Alex Ridha, better known as Boys Noize is back after an extended touring hiatus to work on his first album since “Power” in 2009 and presents us his 3rd artist album “Out Of The Black”. Fresh off of his collaboration with Skrillex, Boys Noize returns to the sound that has made him so revered in the dance music community, combining a unique mixture of churning bass lines with techno and acid influences, french house, elements of dubstep, hip hop and more ambient elements. It is clash of the dark brooding beats mixing with the lighter, more experimental sounds.

The album starts with singles “What You Want” and “XTC” that have become quiet favorites among many producers, notably “XTC” with their chugging bass lines and eclectic club nature. “Ich R U” has a stark similarity to his huge single “Yeah” in the progression with a twist of acid elements. The album moves through selections that alternate between the darker, brooding tracks and lighter more experimental pieces, going back and forth between the pieces that have become the staple of the Boys Noize techno sound like “Merlin” and more experimental like “Circus Full Of Clowns” that utilizes elements of dubstep and hip hop. The album nears its finish with “Got It” featuring Snoop Dogg, which I was initially skeptical of, but the blend of Boys Noize’s grungy bass and Snoop’s lyrical dexterity come together marvelously.

This album is forward thinking dance music that draws from a dizzying number of different genres. Boys Noize takes all of these different styles, adds his German genius to them and churns out this dark, frenetic album that is accessible to people of all tastes. Artists are criticized for changing their sound or for not evolving their sound enough and Boys Noize has found that middle ground of sticking to his dark techno roots with a good portion of the album, while also experimenting with lighter elements of dance music to evolve and expand the arsenal of tracks in Boys Noize’s personal arsenal. Check the preview below or you can stream the full album here.

iTunes: Boys Noize – Out Of The Black