Rabu, 12 Mac 2014

The Star Online: Entertainment: Music

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The Star Online: Entertainment: Music

Music by Gucci ... well, sort of

Posted: 11 Mar 2014 08:15 PM PDT

The luxury brand recently launched its Spotify Music Hub.

Gucci has picked six female DJs to curate playlists for its new presence on music streaming service Spotify. Harley Viera Newton, JaKissa Taylor-Semple (aka DJ Kiss), Pixie Geldof, Leah Weller, Chelsea Leyland, The Misshapes and Mademoiselle Julia have all created lists of tracks that can be found on the brand's Spotify Music Hub.

The move is part of the wider launch of the Gucci "nouveau fringe shoulder bag", which was inspired by an archival flap shoulder bag from the late 1940s and retails for US$1,950 (RM6,240).

There's also a YouTube video starring Estonian model Elisabeth Erm that shows the model toting the new bag, followed by security cameras in a glamorous nightclub. Soundtracked by French electro artist Gesaffelstein's Pursuit, the clip comes with a fun twist when she finds herself facing her Peeping Tom.

In 2012 Emporio Armani became the first fashion label to create a branded playlist for the music streaming service with a selection of tracks by artistes including The Drums, Cat Power, Hot Chip and Bloc Party. Since then, fashion names like Pierre Balmain, Christian Louboutin and Bergdorf Goodman have all gotten involved. — AFP Relaxnews

Paul Van Dyk embraces the evolution of dance music

Posted: 10 Mar 2014 09:00 AM PDT

The German music legend continues to push forward in the dance scene.

German music producer and deejay Paul Van Dyk still has a lot to offer. He isn't one to harp on the old days despite grabbing the No. 1 DJ of all time accolade by DJ Mag in 2013.

The 42-year-old Grammy-nominated artiste, who can track back a career to the early 1990s, prefers to focus on the present day and he avoids much of the celebrity trappings associated with contemporary deejay culture. Over a recent phone interview from his Berlin home, Van Dyk was eager to reveal his plans for this year, which includes a new album.

It's also been more than 12 years since Van Dyk's first appearance at the iconic former club Movement in Kuala Lumpur. With additional appearances at Emporium (also gone), numerous Zouk KL visits and one outdoor event in Sepang, he's enough of a familiar face with the clubbing crowd here.

Back then Van Dyk even wrote a song called Movement immediately after that legendary first KL visit in 2002.

There is excitement in his voice as he contemplates another upcoming Malaysian visit as he co-headlines A State of Trance: 650: New Horizons at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur this Friday.

Van Dyk is on the bill with Dutch deejay Armin Van Buuren, American hotshot Markus Schulz and others.

"The music ... this is my passion, this is what drives me. I'm a musician at heart," said a modest-sounding Van Dyk.

"I'm lucky enough that the music connects with my audience and that audience, on the other hand, enables me to continue to do what I love doing. I'm very grateful for everything."

As a remixer, he has also remixed names like Depeche Mode (Martyr), Justin Timberlake (What Goes Around... Comes Around) and Britney Spears (Gimme More).

But Van Dyk isn't just a hired hand in the studio. He wants to be remembered for an expansive recording catalogue himself.

Two years have passed since the release of Van Dyk's sixth studio album Evolution and a year since its companion remix album, (R)Evolution: The Remixes.

On Evolution, Van Dyk stepped up his game as a producer as he stretched his music vision beyond trance music. That recent album brought to light his willingness to experiment with different dance genres and work with a wide range of collaborators (Arty, Adam Young, Plumb, Fisher, Michelle Leonard, Giuseppe Ottaviani, Fieldwork and Sarah Howells).

"Evolution was well received, especially since the record was kind of a musical statement against the over cheesy EDM hype we are seeing now. That album is actually based on what (risk-taking) electronic music is about. So a lot of people enjoyed it," he added.

Apart from a busy touring schedule, Van Dyk has also been active in the studio. Already a new album is fast taking shape.

"The new album (The Politics Of Dancing 3) is almost ready, and when I come over (to KL), I'm probably going to play a lot of the new stuff from it."

Last autumn it was announced that it would be a follow up to Politics Of Dancing 1 and 2, which weren't classified as studio albums as such.

"They were DJ mix compilations that were popular enough, and people kept on asking 'when's the next one coming out?'" he explained.

For the upcoming Politics Of Dancing 3, Van Dyk went back to dancefloor basics.

"I looked at how things came about with the previous Politics Of Dancing volumes. They were essentially deejay mix compilations.

"I thought that instead of taking the music from others and releasing it, I went into the studio and made (original) music for Politics Of Dancing 3. It's more like a proper artiste album with a lot of collaborations with people I respect very highly and whose music I enjoy very much," he said about the upcoming effort.

"I'm in the last steps of finishing everything and it should be out probably around the summer."

A virtuoso performer, Van Dyk now circles the globe 16 times each year, entertaining an average three million plus music lovers along the way.

As the label owner of Vandit Records, Van Dyk also uses the platform to break the music of like-minded contemporaries, as well as retaining the rights to his own catalogue.

A diehard radio devotee, he was one of the first deejays to fully harness the medium to widely transmit his music. He produces and presents the Vonyc Sessions weekly broadcast.

"Vonyc Sessions is available in like 32 countries and on 53 radio stations. It's one of the most syndicated radio shows in the world," he noted.

"I really enjoy the interaction from the radio show. It allows me to get feedback on the music. It's also great to play (the music) as well as to present a kind of electronic music that otherwise would not be played on radio."

If anything, you definitely have to agree that Van Dyk has his finger on the pulse of the dance nation.

> A State of Trance 650: New Horizons happens at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur on March 14. It is part of the Future Music Festival Asia 2014 big weekend. For more info or to purchase tickets, log on to www.futuremusicfestival.asia or visit www.astateoftrance.com.

Meet the lady bosses of Alpine

Posted: 10 Mar 2014 09:00 AM PDT

Indie group Alpine, which is fronted by two women, talks about making music. 

INDIE pop band Alpine are unusual for being fronted by two women vocalists. And making music together has only strengthened the friendship of Lou James and Phoebe Baker.

Speaking over the telephone from their Melbourne, Australia homebase, James, 26, says: "We're actually about to move in together. We're pretty much just like an old couple at heart, I guess. We know each other so well and we're pretty much like sisters."

The two met at boarding school "halfway up a mountain" in Australia when they were 13.

As James puts it: "At first, I thought she was a bit weird and couldn't really stand her. It wasn't until a year later that we were at school and talking and suddenly, it just kind of clicked. Oh my gosh, we have so much in common and we have a really similar sense of humour."

They get along so well that even the stress of touring does not get to them and they never argue.

James says: "I can't imagine ever being in Alpine without Phoebe."

The band line-up includes guitarist Christian O'Brien, bassist Ryan Lamb, keyboardist Tim Royall and drummer Phil Tucker.

It were formed in 2009 and originally called Swiss because "it sounded like the early stages of our sound – simple, light and airy and it had that pop music kind of element".

It eventually changed its name because of another band called The Swiss. But it stuck to the Swiss mountain theme with Alpine and their first EP, Zurich (2010). In 2012, it released its first album, A Is For Alpine.

The band's debut record hit No. 1 on the Australian iTunes chart and the band has since been touted as one to watch by international press such as Guardian and Rolling Stone magazine.

James says of the attention: "It's the best thing ever. It's always really surprising when you hear that publications that I read myself, write about us and are excited about our music. If it all ended tomorrow, I'd be pretty stoked with all that."

That seems most unlikely at this point as Alpine is working on new material.

James says: "We seem to love having a groove to the songs. It's taking a different direction and it's getting more adventurous and we're trying to experiment with different instruments. It's exciting."

And the good reviews for their first album have bolstered their confidence.

She says: "As a band, you just have to make sure that you write music that you enjoy and like so if anyone else likes it as well, that's just an added bonus really. I'd hate to write music just to try to fit in with what's on trend at the moment. We all want to write music because we want to be on stage and enjoy what we're performing." – The Straits Times, Singapore/Asia News Network

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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