Amir Alexander on the move


Amir Alexander is one of the leading names in US house music in the last few years.

The Chicago-based house music producer has won for himself fans all across Europe with his Vanguard Sound label.

Alexander will play at ADE along with the likes of John DalyYouandeman,Roman FlugelGiles Smith, and James Preistley.

Alexander came onto the scene after starting an association with the Secretsundaze label which has backed Midwestern US artists such as Smith, Patrice Scott, and Chez Damier.

After spending many years as a starving artist, the now 40-year-old Alexander, who first became exposed to electronic music at age 7, is glad for the opportunity to ply his trade, develop his skills, and further his discipline.

And he says while his mentality hasn’t changed it has certainly evolved and being able to play out regularly enables him to see what works and what doesn’t and in what context.

He notes that his life changed forever after he heard the full version of ‘Planet Rock’ played on the radio for the first time.


It’s been 25 years for DJT


DJT is celebrating 25 years in the business in 2013 and according to the DJ it does feel like a long time.


The DJ sat down for an interview with Electronic Beats and said that because life and clubculture had gone through so many changes in the last two and half decades he feels like he has lived several lives since then.


DJT, who is releasing two albums to celebrate the milestone, went into the business after discovering his passion for music, dancing, and collecting vinyl records.


“I can remember when I did my first mix as if it was yesterday. We prepared the birthday-party of a friend and I had two pitchable turntables in my hands for the first time. There was one hour to go till the start of the party and I had nothing to do, so I instinctively started to play around with two records of Kool & The Gang”.


The albums, AGES, will feature one track from each of the 25 years in business. The first has already been released and a second is being worked on.


“The main aspect of the concept was to mainly get tracks that were never available digitally before and are timeless enough to be played in contemporary sets,” he said.


“When I started digging deep in my vinyl collection to select the tracklist, there were too many great tracks coming my way. I simply couldn’t resist making a second volume with the same concept”.


America is still the place for Claude VonStroke



For Claude VonStroke, America is still the place where his music is most accepted.


The DJ, who calls Detroit home, is based in San Francisco but despite playing his techno gigs all across the world especially in Europe he likes to return to his home base.


The owner of the dirtybird and Mothership labels admits that two years ago he wouldn’t have admitted that America is his major market and that he believes his homeland is ready for his dirtybird label music.


Most DJs do want to play their music closer to home he says.


While VonStroke admits that the myth of his home city is bit overblown he says that the city has one of the coolest vibes in the world and one which is different from anywhere else.


Detroit is also home of the soul music and the Motown labels as well as hip hop star Eminem.


The city recently filed for bankruptcy and is selling off just about everything from its parking metres to its art collection at the city’s Institute of Arts but VonStroke, who recently visited his home town, says most residents don’t even care about that.



Venice, Queen of the Adriatic

Venice is a city in Italy on the banks of the Po and Piave Rivers. The city is renowned for its canals, bridges, beautiful setting, architecture, and artwork.

The city and its lagoon are listed as Unesco World Heritage Sites and is known as the Queen of the Adriatic.

Its beauty makes it one of the most demanded tourist destinations in the world and visitors can embark on a Grand Tour which takes them through cityscape, musical heritage and culture. One of the most famous aspects of the city is being able to take a tour through the canals on a gondola.

The city also hosts several international conferences and festivals as well as the Carnival of Venice annually. The Venice Film Festival is world renowned; other attractions include St. Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s Palace, Ca’ d’Oro, Grand Canal, Piazza San Marco, and Lido di Venezia.

Music is also very important to the culture of Venice as is food which relies heavily on seafood.

Risi e bisi, fegato alla veneziana and risotto with cuttlefish are a must try. For food try La Cantina and for bacari try the Alla Vedova.

The city has a humid subtropical climate with cool winters and very warm summers and is served by the Marco Polo International Airport.


British musicians on the rise

British musicians such as Adele and Calvin Harris have helped the country’s music revenues go past the £188m in royalties from overseas.

PRS for Music collects royalties from overseas on behalf of UK songwriters, composers, and music publishers and the body says the big hits from the two top performing British artists have helped push revenues.

In 2011 alone, UK songwriters and composers earned £187.7m. That was a 10% from 2010. The income earned overseas has also doubled over the last ten years.

Revenues are said to have increased within the last ten years primarily because of how popular British music is and because of improved licensing.

Harris and Adele are popular amongst American singers who have also asked them to write their songs.

Those include Rihanna and Nicki Minaj. Amongst the biggest consumers of British music are Brazil and China.

British artists also show interest in the country by performing in Brazil since it was awarded the 2014 FIFA World Cup of Football and the 2016 Olympic Games.

Royalties received from online sales by UK songwriters, composers and music publishers have increased within the last few years and should double by the year 2022.


Bydgoszcz, visit Poland


Nestled on the banks of the Vistula and Brda Rivers in Poland is the city of Bydgoszcz. The city, the eighth largest in Poland, has in recent years become one of the most important in the country.

The oldest building in Bydgoszcz is the Fara Church or Church of St. Martin and Nicholauswhile the Church of Poor Clares is a landmark. Water sportsArt Nouveau buildings, thewaterfrontmusic, and urban greenery are some of the things for which Bydgoszcz is noted.

The largest city park in Poland (830 hectares sits in the city. Culture is very important especially music and the city has housed an Academy of Music since 1974. The Opera Nova sits on the banks of the Brda River and it is possible to take tours along the river.

Many famous opera singers have performed in the theatre. The city is served by a local airport and railway which connects it to other parts of Poland including the capital Warsaw.

The city also boasts a tram line and this is an easy way to get around and see the sights. The old town is easy to walk around in with many gothic style buildings.


Dance music hitting the high notes in the Uk

Dance music is gaining popularity in the UK. The latest data from the BPI (British Phonographic Industry) says that dance music is the most popular it has been in the Isles since 2006. The genre has a market share of 16.3%. That is behind the two largest market shareholders pop and rock.

Singles in the genre have also gone up by 19.1% in the first six months of the year and dance album sales are up by more than one third.

At least ten dance songs have sold more than a quarter of a million copies in the last seven months.

Calvin Harris beat Michael Jackson’s record for the most top ten hits from a single album in April with the album 18 Month. Harris has had eight top ten hits while Jackson’s previous record was seven.

Dance music single sales are up by 19.1 per cent.

Other interesting facts see that more than one in six singles sold in the UK between January and June were dance tracks; six of May’s top ten selling singles were dance songs, and 46.9 per cent of dance songs were downloaded.

Among the most popular acts are Daft Punk, whose album Get Lucky took 69 days to sell 1 million copies in the Uk.


Google tackles the UK Internet music


Internet Company Google has decided to tackle the United Kingdom music streaming market.

The company has launched Google Play Music All Access in the UK, entering an already crowded market in an attempt to challenge Spotify, Deezer, Rdio, Xbox Music, Sony’s Music Unlimited, and Rara.

The new service will cost £9.99 per month but new customers will get it for £7.99 until September. The other services have free options while All Access does not.

All Access has already been launched in the USA, New Zealand, and Australia and there are plans to launch the service in other parts of Europe such as Austria, Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal and Spain.

The service will offer a range of features including unlimited “on-demand” access to millions of tracks; Smartphone apps; recommendations for new music, and a personalised radio feature.

The UK is the fastest growing market for streaming music in the world. Over 20 million people paid for subscription music services last year.

People in the UK streamed more than 3 billion tracks in 2012 earning more than £49 million in income for British record labels.


Crete, cradle of European civilisation


The island of Crete in the Mediterranean Sea is the largest of the Greek isles and the most populous.

The second largest island in the Mediterranean after Cyprus- Crete is teeming with history. It was once the centre of Minoan civilisation which is recorded as the earliest known European civilisation.

The culture is rich. Known for Mantinades poetry and music, and dances the most notable being the Pentozali. Crete is also rich with archaeological sites such as Knossos and Phaistos and there are also Minoan, Roman, and World War II ruins.

Crete is mountainous and has three different groups of mountains forming part of a range running from east to west. The island is plush with fertile plateaux, valleys, caves, and gorges. The climate is primarily temperate and there is snowfall in the mountains between November and May.

Heraklion is the largest city and capital, with more than a fifth of the island’s 600,000 people.

Crete has a road network larger than that of Britain and is well-served by ferries from the mainland city of Athens.

Crete is a veritable den of flora and fauna not seen anywhere else in Greece or other parts of Europe. There are no large or dangerous mammals or snakes on the island.