International News

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“Insane. There’s no other word to describe that country. That expression ‘From Russia with Love’ also now has a totally different meaning for me too.”

Six years after 300 delegates and 1,300 guests attended the very first Sochi Winter Music Conference (SWMC), numbers have swelled to 1 500 delegates, and 7,500 guests including Soundcloud new business manager Nils Westerlund.Nils, a Berlin based 20-something Swede whose floppy fringe haircut, designer spectacles and carefully ruffled understated attire apparently means he looks EXACTLY like a Moscow hipster, admits he’s thoroughly enjoyed the 3 day/ 3 night event.

“How much do I think Russians deserve their ‘crazy’ reputation? They do in full,” he says, “Vodka instead of water, I think that should explain most of it,” he laughs.

Legendary Czech nightlife institution Roxy was summarily closed this week after safety officials decided the Prague venue’s recent reconstruction violated building codes.

"The equipment of the establishment is in serious breach of fire-safety regulations and some of the construction work that’s been implemented also wasn’t what was agreed and approved, “ said councillor Veronica Blazkova.

Multi-millionaire property developer and anti-rave fanatic Rick Caruso vowed to step up his campaign to ban electronic music events at stadiums in the US this week after more revellers were hospitalised following the New Year’s eve party at the LA Sports Arena.

“I'm going to continue to fight for a ban on the raves and I frankly think they should be made illegal in the city and the county,” he told LA Weekly reporter Dennis Romero.

80s disco diva Teena Marie died over Christmas from natural causes according to Pasadena police. She was aged just 54.

Famous initially for being Motown’s first ever signed white singer, she once described herself as “a black artist with white skin’ and became a global star with 1982 crossover hit Behind the Groove. The track was later licensed to video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and she also earned a Grammy nomination in 2005 though struggled with addictions to prescription drugs, according to press releases.


British rap star Mike Skinner admitted this week that becoming famous with the Streets didn’t make him any happier at all, revealing that he’d instead became ‘unnerved’ when he realised he was responsible for his own mental wellbeing irrespective of external events.
 
“Before you're famous, you think that that pendulum of emotions is down to your circumstances. You think: I'm having a good day; I'm having a bad day – something shit's happened,” he told the Observer’s Caspar Llewellyn Smith.

“You put in [to the equation] the incredible amount of money and opportunity with women and free clothes and screaming audiences… but you still have good days and bad days,” said Skinner.

His realization matched the assessment of British celebrity hypnotist Paul McKenna, who this week published a new book called ‘I can make you HAPPY’ in which he listed various techniques for dealing with depression.

As well as recommending visualizing yourself stepping into the persona of someone you admire, the lifestyle coach advised looking upwards as much as possible instead of downwards, to avoid feeling ‘hemmed in, with few possibilities’

“Some of my clients are rich and famous and some are not, but I’ve discovered that money and fame ultimately make no difference,” he added.

“I’ve also worked with people who had everything — a great job, a family and good health — but they still weren’t happy. Indeed, they felt guilty and angry with themselves for not enjoying their good fortune, and so depressed that they couldn’t see any point to their lives.” (Daily Mail: http://bit.ly/fgczDt )

Uber-rich New York star Mark Ronson, meanwhile, admitted ‘taking the money and running’ from being one of the last decade’s first ‘celebrity DJs’ this week, though likewise revealed his fame has come with unexpected consequences.

"Sometimes when I meet someone, they'll say, 'Wow, I expected you to be a (jerk),” he told the Daily Gleaner, "I don't particularly know why that is, maybe it's because of the way I look in my videos,” he speculated.


Article by Jonty Skrufff: http://listn.to/JontySkrufff

Vegas superclub Rain announced this week that they’re to launch a weekly ‘electro’ night called Clash, with resident DJs including Tiesto sideman Diplo.

Rain publicist Jimmy Aston said ‘Clash Fridays’ will run alongside Paul Oakenfold’s long running Perfecto Saturdays and told the Las Vegas Review Journal ‘we still kill it every Friday and Saturday’.

"Electro is doing more numbers bodywise than regular house music," he added.

Details of the new electro Clash night emerged just as Vegas’s newest superclub ‘Marquee at The Cosmopolitan’ opened for business with a residency hosted by house veteran Erick Morillo.

The Las Vegas Sun reported that US$4million dollars of the $60million spent on the 4,000 capacity club went on the DJ booth alone though said its ‘main attraction will be ‘amazing women serving as hostesses and cocktail servers (wearing) provocative mini-dresses with naughty garters and stockings.’

Trance titan Tiesto also kicked off a season on monthly Saturday night Vegas parties last weekend at the Hard Rock Hotel’s club The Joint, while Puff Daddy made two personal appearances at Pure at Caesars Palace and LAX at the Luxor.

“You will have to go to the plastic surgeon to get that smile surgically removed from your face upon getting the chance to hang with Sean Combs not once, but twice this weekend,” Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Jason Bracelin advised before the parties.

“Well, you don't really get to hang with him, but you can stare at the man awkwardly from a distance,” he added.


Article by Jonty Skrufff: http://listn.to/JontySkrufff

Swedish House Mafia men Axwell, Steve Angello and Sebastian Ingrosso have unveiled details of an 8,000 capacity party in Miami in March  2011 which will see them competing directly with mega-rave the Ultra Music Festival.

Announcing that their ‘One Night Stand at The Masquerade Motel’ event will take place on March 26th, the trio promised a ten hour extravaganza provided by them and ‘special guests’, none of whom will presumably be playing Ultra, given the festival’s demands for Miami exclusivity.

"To clarify, we are not doing Ultra," Axwell confirmed on Facebook. "We will do Masquerade Motel and then solo shows." (Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/swedishhousemafia )

Their announcement ignited a flurry of debate on forums and Twitter, including follow-up numerous postings from Steve Angello in which he clarified their intentions..

Black Eyed Peas star Will.i.am has revealed that he’s suffering from increasingly debilitating tinnitus, which he only partially manages to block out through listening to music as often as possible.

"I don't know what silence sounds like any more,” the American pop-house DJ told the Sun, “There's always a beep there every day, all day. Like now. I don't know exactly how long I've had this but it's gradually got worse,” he revealed.

Swedish House Mafia star Steve Angello launched a furious online tirade against Los Angeles party police this week, after cops ordered him to stop playing halfway through his set at Avalon over fears the Hollywood superclub was over-crowded.

“I had an unbelievable time . . . But extremely bad technical difficulties and cops breathing down my neck . . . Sorry Los Angeles,” he Tweeted hours after the event.

“If the cops wouldn't have shut us down we would have an amazing night ... Officially fuck the police ... Ohh sorry fire marshal. Fuck,” he added.

Paul Oakenfold has released an updated version of his award-winning Radio 1 two hour Goa Mix which became the UK station’s most requested broadcast after it was  first aired in 1994.

The newly tweaked mix includes tracks from Vangelis’ seminal sci-fi classic Bladerunner, Marmion’s proto-trance classic Schöneberg and Leonard Bernstein & New York Philharmonic’s take on Adagio for Strings plus a smattering of new tracks and re-edits.

“I've been asked to released it hundreds of times before but it wasn't till now that it seemed right to do so,” the definitive superstar DJ said in a statement explaining why he’s released it now, “I've re-crafted it so it's all in key and much tighter,” he added.

The release was greeted with cautious enthusiasm by top Indian DJ Arjun Vagale from Jalabee Cartel.

“I remember a Paul Oakenfold underground Goa mix floating around years ago and at the time the mix was legendary just like the man. He was at the peak of his career and honestly was an inspiration to us all,” Arjun told Skrufff.

“Looking at this mix, and its tracks, a lot of familiar names come up and it prompts lots of old memories of the Goa rave scene which exists no more . .
. Wow, I can’t believe he's finally releasing it,” he said.

“The man's a true legend and pioneer, in Goa, India and beyond,” Arjun continued. “For us ‘classic Oakey’ fans it was a bit of a shocker when he decided to move to the mainstream and produce pop records. But still, his Perfecto mixes of the late 90s and his Global Underground compilations remain prized possessions. Maybe this 2011 mix will bring Oakey back to the
underground: we can only wish so,” he said.

Sunburn Festival director and DJ Nikhil Chinapa was less excited about the belated release of the mix, admitting he’d paid little attention to both DJs and track titles when he first started partying in the 90s.

“The songs are from an era where all I was bothered about was dancing and I never tried to find out the names of songs being played,”  Nikhil explained.

“To borrow from a good friend of mine who said (speaking about vinyl Vs CDs), "It’s not about the medium, it's about the music. I felt at the time, that the music mattered more than who was making it. Personally, I still feel this is true,” he added.

Despite his assertions, Nikhil’s been closely involved in bringing out international DJs including Armin Van Buuren and Roger Sanchez to Sunburn and has booked headliners including Ferry Corsten and BT fort this December’s Sunburn event.

“Paul Oakenfold is not as well known here in India as Armin and Tiesto (and now David Guetta) are but he isn't an obscure name either,” Nikhil added, “People in the scene are aware of his sound and his contribution to the global dance music scene.”

Both Indian DJs also noted the legacy Goa’s original trance scene continues to have in India with psy-trance still a force to be reckoned with amongst clubbers.

“The psy scene is still very big in India and we always have DJs coming and playing. The outdoor raves have moved into smaller cubs, but Goa still has its legendary New Years Eve outdoor parties and the occasional word-of-mouth raves,” said Arjun.

“For clubbers and old school DJs, psychedelic trance is almost in our DNA, we grew up with it all around us and even today in our techno productions, you might just find hints of it,” he suggested.

Nikhil agreed.

“Psy still has a strong following in India and it's actually growing steadily. The energy in the music is something the youth can strongly relate to and vibe with. As you get more involved with the music too, its multiple sounds, layers and moods create powerful associations with the genre,” he enthused.

“Goa has been and always will be the home of psychedelic music globally.
Even though strong scenes have been established in Mexico, Brazil, Japan and Portugal, in my opinion, Goa still maintains a mystical hold and soft spot (can we call it that?) for many psy artists.”

 
Article by Jonty Skrufff (http://listn.to/JontySkrufff ) 

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