Compilation, Electro-House, Featured, Progressive House | FNT’s Top 25 Big Room & Electro Tracks of 2012

Posted by on January 9, 2013

2012 was a year of explosive growth for dance music worldwide. We have seen increasing influence from the United States in dance culture, with the “bigger is better” ethos evident in everything from sound and visual production to the massive convergence of electronic music with pop music (a charge led by top-40 radio stars like Rihanna, Chris Brown, Usher, and even Taylor Swift, who made a brief but notable foray into dubstep this year). In other words, dance music has literally and figuratively blown up. Of course, with the “mainstream-ization” of dance music comes the inevitable backlash from traditionalists who’d prefer it to remain as it was in the 80s and 90s — confined to small clubs and warehouses with little attention from the general public. This rift is notably present in the trance community, where purists who prefer the higher BPMs of the 90s and early 2000s often look down upon newer listeners who have quickly latched on to what Above & Beyond famously described as “trance 2.0.”

While there are valid arguments to be made for both sides of this growing dance music debate, at the end of the day we think you should listen to what you like, and that producers should be free to evolve artistically without fear of being branded sellouts. Of course, it is important to acknowledge and respect the long (and occasionally troubled) road that electronic music has taken to get to where it is today, just as it is undeniable that 2013 has very exciting things in store for the genre — regardless of whether you’ve been a fan for twenty years or twenty minutes.

In keeping with this theme, we bring you this list in addition to our own personal lists — a list which we think sums up the year in dance music, from the clubs to the festivals to what you played on your car speakers. We all have our own tastes, but we still must pay our respects to the EDM anthems that dominated the year. So without further adieu, a few words on how this list was decided. First and foremost, this is our list, not the definitive list from the dance music gods, so no matter how hard we try to be objective we’re sure there will be some debate. Secondly, we are talking about the biggest and best tracks of the year — so tracks that were absolutely dynamite but which failed to garner support and playtime from other DJs will not make the cut. Third, remember the genres we’re covering. No hard feelings to Sasha’s remixes of “Flutes” and “Benediction” — both crushed 2012 — but this isn’t the time or the place. We also must note that we are American, so our list will mainly represent the tracks we heard at US festivals and clubs (even though some of us spent substantial time in Europe). Finally, we must give a quick nod to all of the amazing songs that were released just before 2012 but which still had an enormous impact on the year — like Nicky Romero’s “Toulouse“, Knife Party’s “Internet Friends”, Bingo Players’ “Rattle”, Swedish House Mafia & Knife Party’s “Antidote” and the ever-enduring “Epic”. At the end of 2013, we’ll give the same acknowledgment to tracks released in December 2012, like “Easy“, “I Could Be The One“, “Like Home“, “Clash” and possibly “Rift“.

Whew. Now that we’re done with that, let’s get on to The Top 25 Big Room & Electro Tracks of 2012.


Events | Stereosonic Melbourne Live Stream

Posted by on December 1, 2012

In honor of World Aids Day, (RED) has teamed up with the well established Stereosonic Festival in Australia to live stream sold out Stereosonic Melbourne. A festival packed with some of the biggest stars like Tiesto, Avicii, Calvin Harris, Laidback Luke, Martin Solveig, all of whom are doing their part to support the cause, the festival is on its first replay right now and will be replayed again at 4pm EST. The schedule is below. Also Tiesto created a mix album for the cause that includes his remix of U2’s classic “Pride In The Of Love” and has shot up to number 3 in the US overall iTunes album charts. One more cool thing, Tiesto and Laiback Luke are trying to raise money for the cause and Tiesto is matching donations dollar for dollar up to 100,000 or his booking fee and in doing so are giving things like for 10 dollars Tiesto will follow you on twitter for 3 months, for $400 win a meet and greet with Laidback Luke and two tickets to any of his shows next year and the list goes on. Full details at the link below.

Dance (RED) Saves Lives Fundraiser

iTunes: Dance (RED) Save Lives

Progressive House | Tiësto & Allure – Pair Of Dice

Posted by on October 8, 2012

Allure used to be one of Tiesto’s many aliases alongside Steve Forte Rio, Passenger and many more. He recently passed on the torch to a different guy after the release of Allure – Kiss from the Past in 2011. It is fitting that the new face of Allure has followed in the footsteps of Tiesto in leaving trance behind and turning towards progressive and electro in his productions. It took me a little while to warm up to the track, but the infectious melody layered grungy synths grew on me, displaying yet again another quality Tiesto production.


DJ-Set, House | FNT Presents: Stereoshock’s Electric Nightlife: Episode #33 Feat. Feenixpawl w/ Tiesto Exclusive

Posted by on October 3, 2012

After we sponsored his latest bootleg, we are proud to present young New York producer & radio host Stereoshock’s latest episode of his weekly radio show “Electric Nightlife™”. The show features an interview with rising Australian stars, Feenixpawl where they talk about looking to release 3-4 more releases this year, including remixing Markus Schulz with Ivan Gough and a collab with Adrian Lux and their upcoming tour schedule in Asia, Brazil and finishing off the year in the US. The show also features the best from the last week or so and has an exclusive play of Tiesto’s upcoming track with the new face of Allure, “Pair Of Dice“, which releases this Monday, October 8th on Musical Freedom.

Download: FNT Presents: Stereoshock’s Electric Nightlife: Episode #33


Albums, Progressive House | AN21 & Max Vangeli – People Of The Night (Album Review)

Posted by on September 10, 2012

AN21 & Max Vangeli released their long awaited artist album “People Of The Night” this week after months of delays and teasers of tracks on the album to some mixed reviews. AN21 & Max Vangeli themselves have put out some very successful singles and blossomed into world renowned DJs in their own right, but the next step of an artist album was something they still had to accomplish. This album takes steps, but does not take the leap that we had hoped for from these two talented DJs. The listener is finishes the album not totally satisfied and left wanting a bit more. We have to wonder what were some of the other tracks that did not make the cut for the album and maybe the selection was not the best.

That is not to say that this is a bad artist album by any stretch of the imagination. The first time through you may feel that their were only a few tracks that stuck out to you and the rest were generic fillers. While there are a few tracks that do sound a bit generic, on further examination of this album, you begin to like this 15 track album a bit more. Read on to dive in to the rest of the album.


Events, Featured | Electric Zoo: A How-To Guide (Day Two)

Posted by on August 24, 2012

Middy and I are back with our picks for Day 2 of the whirlwind parade of awesomeness that is Electric Zoo. There’s no clear theme to Day 2 (it’s not the “dubstep” day or the “trance” day), but there is a wide variety of excellent talent to look forward to and spectacles that are sure to astound and delight. Without further adieu, let’s Aoki-jump right in — fun, excitement, and madness await…


Events, Exclusive, Featured, Interviews | Hardwell Interview (FNT Exclusive) + Lavo Recap

Posted by on July 21, 2012

Thursday I had the opportunity to sit down with Hardwell before his show and chat with him about his first show, touring as a teenager, his collabs with Tiesto and Porter Robinson, the importance of labels and much more. The superstar DJ / producer from Breda, Holland is now a 10 year veteran of the dance music scene even though he is just 24. He signed his first record deal at the age of 14 and started playing clubs in Holland around that time. You are all familiar with his recent singles “Spaceman (Original + Vocal)” and “Kontiki“, as well as his techy single “Three Tringles” on Toolroom Records and his huge upcoming single “How We Do” with Showtek. He premiered his remix of Example’s single “Say Nothing” that was incredible by the way (i somehow managed to not get a video of it, I apologize). He is a superstar playing main stage at all of the biggest festivals all over the world from Ultra to Tomorrowland next weekend to EDC and many more.

His set at Lavo was clinical — a lesson on how to be precise with your mixing, moving between songs like clockwork with a quality and varied track selection. He played crowd pleasers like Otto Knows – Million Voices, “In My Mind“, “Silhouettes” and “Nicktim”. He also played a variety of tracks from his own label like Dannic – Tombo and Jordy Daz – OMG, as well as many selections from his already remarkable discography. He played and bootlegged a few Hip Hop records like DMX – Party Up (Up In Here), which got a great crowd reaction and made sense if you read to the end of the interview. Anyway read the beginning of the interview below and the rest after the jump.

FNT: Lets go back to the beginning when you first started DJing. Think back to your first gig, what was like, who was there and how nervous were you?

Hardwell: My first gig was when I was 12 years old and yea I was so nervous the day before I couldn’t sleep because I was really preparing this stuff and all this music. I can still remember the date, it was fun. On the first side, I was really nervous and on the second side on I was playing for my best friends so that made really comfortable, actually it was a really funny gig.

FNT: You had to tour with your parents until you were 18 because you couldn’t enter the clubs; how strict were they with your schooling and your schedule.

Hardwell: School was the most important thing at that point and after that music because my parents really wanted me to finish high school, and I did. At that age I really had a tight schedule, I think you need it at that point.

FNT: When you started it was hard to promote yourself as artist without the help of a label, but now with Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, blogs etc; do you think is as important or useful for a young, unknown artist to sign record deals right off the bat, especially since people don’t buy music anymore.

Hardwell: I think it is still important because big record labels are taking care of your whole artist brand, so to take it to the next level, it is not about Soundcloud or Youtube, of course you can grow your artist profile too through that, but social media is just to stay in touch with your fan base and your profile as an artist you still need a big label and the right people behind you to push your name to the next level to make your name a brand. So I think in the beginning of course Soundcloud and Youtube and Facebook are really important, but then again the big labels are still important too not only for selling music, but for the branding as well.