Listen to Mercer’s Hard Summer set

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Hailing from France, one of house music’s most sonically versatile acts, Mercer, showed little to no mercy amidst his set at this year’s Hard Summer. Hitting the stage for his highly-anticipated deliverance was an equally satisfying spectacle filled with edgy, hard-hitting grooves.

If his recent works on Tchami’s label Confession served as no indication of his uncompromising abilities, his hip-hop grooved set at HARD will definitely do the trick. It’s in-your-face performances like these that launched Mercer in the electronic sphere in the first place. Listen below.

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Pasquale Rotella discusses Gary Richards leaving HARD, big changes on the horizon for EDC brand

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In an Instagram Live address to his fans on August 6th, Electric Daisy Carnival‘s owner and poster boy, Pasquale Rotella, discussed myriad issues concerning the dance music industry, his company Insomniac, and it’s relationship to HARD Events, and big changes on the horizon for EDC structuring and mission. Here are a few keys highlights from the address.

EDC New York may not be returning. The company is putting forth new efforts to desaturate the U.S. festival market that it helped to over inflate, focusing more on “quality over quantity of festivals.” This also means downsizing certain festivals like Nocturnal Wonderland from a three-day festival to a more boutique, limited capacity sized event.

Focus will be put on EDC Las Vegas’s transportation system, especially leaving the festival. Rotella doesn’t want to make an official public statements until all changes are solidified. However, EDM Sauce ventures to conjecture that major changes may include the rumored possible future venue change to Las Vegas’ new NFL stadium.

EDC will not move to two weekends and will not be changing the experience inside the festival. Rotella emphasized that the EDC brand and experience will always stand for electronic dance music, stressing that attendees likely won’t be seeing hip-hop on the lineup beyond producers bringing out live guest appearances, a decision that belongs to the artist.

Pasquale spoke to Hard Summer Music Festival founder Gary Richards leaving HARD Presents for LiveStyle. Rotella clarified that Insomniac has actually owned HARD for the past few years, based on a creative partnership Insomniac has with Live Nation Entertainment, the event conglomerate who purchased HARD from Gary Richards in 2012. HARD was able to operate on its own up until this year when Richard’s contract ran out.

H/T: EDM Tunes, YourEDM 

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LISTEN: Dog Blood are FINALLY back with NEW music

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Boys Noize and Skrillex, together known as super collaborators Dog Blood, have been teasing new music for some time now in advance of their upcoming performance this weekend at HARD Summer festival. The duo have been on hiatus due to scheduling conflicts for some time, but have reprised the act for this single festival appearance in 2017.

Boys Noize producer Alex Ridha posted a clip of what sounds like a certified heater to his Instagram, showing himself and Skrillex working in the studio to prep some new tunes. While Dog Blood’s tracks have their own unique sound, fans of the two prolific producers and label bosses are already going wild for potential new releases from the project.

H/T: EDMSauce

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Gary Richards rumored to be pushed out of HARD Events, Holy Ship’s future uncertain [UPDATED]

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After spending more than a decade building his revered nightlife brand HARD Events, it is rumored that Gary Richards is being pushed out of it’s crown jewel event Holy Ship!

News is surfacing today from multiple sources close to HARD and parent/partner companies Live Nation and LiveStyle that due to an enduring feud Richards will not be booked to play or tapped to participate in Holy Ship’s 2018 iteration, set to sail this January 6. Sources also suggest that Richards’ future at the head of the HARD brand itself is now in question.

One source described a call received from a colleague close to HARD and Gary Richards as a heads up to those connected within the industry and a wake up call to fans whose noise on social media might impact the situation.  
“The call was more or less an explanation of todays events,” the source disclosed. “He had asked me to spread the news amongst the community as the Holy Ship! community is very much dedicated to it’s founders and HARD.” 
The source also revealed that a statement will be released to those directly involved to “keep quiet” about the events that are transpiring.

Multiple sources have suggested the root of the feud lies in the ongoing contentious relationship between Bowery Presents’ parent company AEG and Live Nation. Bowery Presents notably helped Richards arrange the first Holy Ship events by facilitating a partnership with Cloud 9.

According to interviews given by Richards earlier this year, 2017 is the last in a 5 year contract the promoter had with Live Nation which saw him at the helm of the brand and its crown jewel event Holy Ship after HARD was purchased by Live Nation back in 2012.  In a recent interview, Richards sounded less than optimistic about contract negotiations, saying he’d reached “the end” with the company.

Richards continued, saying:

“there are other forces at play here that are running the electronic scene in different directions than me, and they kind of battle with me and that part of it’s not fun  — and it’s unnecessary.”

Though HARD has branched out into a series of festivals and shows, the Ship has remained one of the most cherished events in dance music due to its intimate atmosphere and, largely, the efforts of Richards himself. Many of the artists who’ve been featured on the ship were given attention and a platform on the HARD bill at crucial breaking points in their careers.

Now, in a show of solidarity, sources are reporting that those artists are pulling out of contracts to perform Holy Ship. Many are allegedly unwilling to participate in the event without Richards at the helm.

Though this information comes from sources close to the brands in question, neither company has responded to requests for statements at the time of publication. It is worth nothing that Holy Ship has yet to release an official lineup, despite releasing that information in May or June in many / previous / years.

As of publication, neither Live Nation, HARD, nor Gary Richards have responded to requests for comment, but the rumors have already begun to rock through the Holy Ship community—who have already started a petition and a hashtag #NoGaryNoShip. Sign it, here.

 

We will continue to update this story as more information becomes available. 

 

UPDATE:

Richards posted the following statement on his personal Facebook:

 

To all the HARDfam & Shipfam :

I am leaving Live Nation after this week’s Hard event to pursue an incredible new opportunity that I will share with everyone in the weeks to come. Accordingly, I will not be attending or curating the next Holy Ship cruise event in 2018. I have the utmost respect for Michael Rapino and Live Nation.Let’s make this week’s 10th anniversary show the best HARD event ever! – Gary Richards AKA Destructo

This statement is of course a stark contrast to the rumors currently circulating, and the kind of civil response one might imagine would come from someone amidst a high profile business split — especially if there are new opportunities being pursued underneath the controversy. That said, if Richards indeed has an “incredible new opportunity” in the works, this can be taken as reassurance that the beloved figure will continue to play a large role in the electronic sphere regardless of where his alliances lie. Hopefully, some more light will be shed in the foreseeable future as to what the rave magnate has in store.
One thing is for certain: his confirmed absence at Holy Ship has already sent somber shock waves throughout the community. Comments on the original post are pouring in from fans expressing their undying support and wishes that he will be able to attend the annual affair last minute.
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Destructo releases ‘All Nite’ remixes from Getter, Motez and more

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Industry mainstay and G-House legend Destructo has been known to bring out the best talent for his many events, including EDC, Hard Summer, Holy Ship!, and more. This EP is no different, featuring five remixes of “All Nite,” a track from his recent Renegade project.

The blend of house and hip hop in Destructo’s original track, which features Bay Area icons E-40 and Too $hort, allows for a versatile and engaging range of remixes. Noise Frenzy leads off the EP, dropping a dark house remix with a growling bassline fit for any dance floor.

Thereafter, Getter‘s remix follows, in which he channels his inner Herobust for a crisp yet grimy trap and dubstep output. The second half of the EP features both Motez and Brohug’s house offerings along with Parker’s energetic festival trap chaos. This diverse and refreshing remix EP means “All Nite” is here to stay and may be a staple of this festival season.

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Meet the underground talent of HARD Summer: Kittens

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In the course of a decade, HARD has become one of dance music’s most globally recognized event producers. This August marks a major milestone for the brand: the 10-year anniversary of its flagship festival, HARD Summer. To celebrate the momentous occasion, Gary Richards and co. have pulled out all the stops for their LA institution with prestigious headliners such as Dog Blood, Justice, Bassnectar, and Snoop Dogg. However, the festival’s enviable lineup extends far beyond its closing slots. Delving further into the lineup, we’ve tapped some of our favorite acts on the bill for an interview series leading up to the festival.

Those unfamiliar with LA’s Kittens, may want to check their cute and cuddly expectations at the door. A tenacious tastemaker, skilled operator behind the console, and vetted Fool’s Gold affiliate, Kittens is coming up behind dance and pop’s most venerated forces as she sinks her claws into the game. Following quite literally in the footsteps of another certain selector who got his start spinning beats for Kanye West on the road some time ago, while learning the industry ropes from her mentor, Usher, Kittens is on the rise, fine-tuning a sound that’s a spirited blend of her genre-blurring inspirations. What else would one expect from A-Trak and the Prince of Pop’s collective brainchild though?

But support from some of the industry giants and the endless count of “top female DJ lists” aren’t Kittens’ highest interests. She’s out to make a name for herself as a cultural influencer, and DJing is just the vehicle that’s getting her there. Dabbling in trap, hip-hop, club and house genres, Kittens isn’t contained by one sound, making her a crafty wild card behind the decks. She’s even coined her own splinter-genre term, “LA Club” alongside Hoodboi, Falcons, and Promenite as a member of the Athletixx collective.

Since Kittens’ emergence in 2013, she’s proven to be a captivating, vivacious talent who’s steady upward trajectory has been entertaining to watch, and hear, although it’s still very clearly just the beginning for this burgeoning soon-to-be jet setter. With a number of high profile bookings under her belt, including Fool’s Gold’s Day Off series, Coachella’s Heineken House, and HARD’s Holy Ship and Day of the Dead, Kittens is no stranger to the booming LA dance circuit, though this summer, she’s taking on LA’s biggest dance event of the year for one of the biggest outings of her career.

Read our interview with Kittens below.

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What has been the biggest breakthrough of your career?

DJ’ing for Kid Cudi. I was going to college at the time and working a marketing job at a nightclub (where sometimes I was able to DJ). I happened to be playing the right stuff at the right time apparently, because one thing led to another and next thing I knew — I was touring with Kid Cudi. I went from playing small local parties to full on stadiums and festivals plus, was able to meet some incredible people who have been huge supporters throughout my career. That was really one of those “meant to be” fate-type of moments in my life.

What are you looking forward to most about HARD Summer?

I’m really excited to be playing alongside so many artists I really love and look up to. HARD Summer has always been a big deal for me because I started attending many years ago and Gary just always gets really cool people booked who you don’t get to see too often.

What is different about your experience performing at festivals now as opposed to the beginning of your career?

Definitely playing at better times has been a huge difference. It’s nice playing to a crowd that already had a minute to get settled in and warmed up for the day but more than that, I think just being much more comfortable with myself has made a huge difference. I was always so nervous to the point where I couldn’t just really let go while I played. I was more focused on not messing anything up, lol. Now it’s just really fun and exciting.

If you could be another artist for a day, who would you pick?

Diplo probably. He really gets to do it all from the traveling to crazy places, to working with the best artists…playing and attending really dope events in general. His life seems pretty fire.

If you could recommend three artists to catch from the lineup, who would you pick?

Uniiqu3 (she’s got the most amazing energy and is just such a goddess), Skepta (you don’t wanna miss out on the heaviest UK turn up vibe of the century), & Mike WiLL Made-It (we all know he’s gonna be bringing out all your favorite rappers for this one).

If you were recruited to provide an Essential Mix in 2017, what’s the one song you couldn’t leave out?

Anything by Future lol. I’ve been the biggest Stan for Future since his first mixtapes and my love for him just grows. It’s become an obnoxious joke amongst my friends at this point.

Prepare for Kittens’ HARD Summer set with her HARD Day of the Dead 2015 mixtape:

Information and tickets for HARD Summer are available here.

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Meet the underground talent of HARD Summer: Madam X

Meet the underground talent of HARD Summer: Madam X

This post was originally published on this site

In the course of a decade, HARD has become one of dance music’s most globally recognized event producers. This August marks a major milestone for the brand: the 10-year anniversary of its flagship festival, HARD Summer. To celebrate the momentous occasion, Gary Richards and co. have pulled out all the stops for their LA institution with prestigious headliners such as Dog Blood, Justice, Bassnectar, and Snoop Dogg. However, the festival’s enviable lineup extends far beyond its closing slots. Delving further into the lineup, we’ve tapped some of our favorite acts on the bill for an interview series leading up to the festival.

Call it American arrogance, but it’s always a bit of a surprise to come across an artist who has never visited the US, given the ever-expanding dance festival scene which has pervaded the country in the last decade. This year’s HARD Summer will mark the first time that Madam X steps stateside. However, a look over the British DJ’s résumé indicates how much her presence is needed across the pond.

In 2010, Madam X began her integral career in Manchester’s dance music scene as the co-founder of Big People Music (BPM), a label and producer of regular club nights in the city. In the years since, she has become a fixture in dance music broadcasting, with experience hosting programs on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra, Channel 4, Rinse FM, and NTS Radio.

Madam X has also garnered a reputation as a key tastemaker in the UK bass scene because of her acute blending of the genre with elements of grime, techno and garage. For the last three years, she’s established herself perhaps most notably through her own KAIZEN imprint, which takes its name from the Japanese business philosophy of seeking “continual improvement.”

Since launching KAIZEN, Madam X has certainly continued to improve on her legacy, earning coveted DJ slots at Reading festival, a Bristol-set broadcast of the Boiler Room, and, most recently, Glastonbury. Indeed, HARD Summer is fortuitous to be the first American setting to become a part of the artist’s upward trajectory.

Read our interview with Madam X below.

madam x press shot

 

What was your first label release? Would you still play it in a show?

Biome’s Griddled EP. Still bang it out today!

What has been the biggest breakthrough of your career?

Hard to say. There wasn’t really a pivotal moment or catalyst but I’m most proud of getting my KAIZEN label up & running and gigging all over the world. Djing at Manana festival in Cuba was so surreal, I didn’t even know they’d be into the music I play but it was so much fun

What are you looking forward to most about HARD Summer?

I’ve never been to the US! Really excited to fly over for the first time and see how you guys get down!

What is different about your experience performing at festivals now as opposed to the beginning of your career?

My style’s definitely developed as I’ve grown into my sound. I’m starting to see familiar faces prop up at the front row which is so cool. The crowds are definitely bigger now but I still find it mental that people take time out of their day to come and watch me. It’s honestly the nicest feeling!

If you could be another artist for a day, who would you pick?

DJ Khaled – he’s so extra

If you could recommend three artists to catch from the lineup, who would you pick?

Jackmaster and my girls Nina Las Vegas & Uniiqu3

If you were recruited to provide an Essential Mix in 2017, what’s the one song you couldn’t leave out?

Fargo – Biome (it’s not out yet but coming soon to KAIZEN. Absolute belter!)

Get a sense of Madam X’s style with her March 30 mix for NTS Radio.

MTV Live to air documentary around HARD events

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Gary Richards, sometimes better known as Destructo, has grown his HARD brand over the past 10 years from a grassroots electronic movement into a behemoth institution and a pillar of American EDM culture. Known for its cutting-edge lineups, which have included the likes of Ice Cube, Justice, and deadmau5 v. Eric Prydz plus the introduction of the brand’s cult-favorite Holy Ship!, HARD indeed has a very impressive resume.

Its success over the years has attracted a partnership with MTV Live, who developed a special documentary on Richards and HARD. Titled Hard 10 – A Decade of Crashing Sound Barriers, the special will cover the the evolution of HARD over the years and feature a wide array of old and new footage, as well as interviews with some of the most prolific acts to grace the HARD stages. Famed journalist Steve Appleford was in charge of the film, indicating a quality piece of work.

“It’s incredible how much the HARD audience has grown and I’m thankful for all the fans around the globe that have come to celebrate with us at our festivals, stages and aboard HOLY SHIP! I am thankful for all the amazing artists who performed at the festival over the years,” said Richards his brainchild’s growth.  I hope this MTV piece sheds some light on the past 10 year history of HARD and my life.”

Streaming for Hard 10 begins June 10.

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Dog Blood reveal HARD Summer will be their only festival in 2017

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Perhaps the best surprise of the HARD Summer Musical Festival 10th anniversary line-up was the news that Dog Blood would be topping the bill in 2017. As the supergroup side project conceived by Skrillex and Boys Noize, the two haven’t appeared together since HARD Red Rocks nearly two years ago.

On May 18th, however, Dog Blood took to their Facebook socials to express their excitement for HSMF, but also to announce to fans that it would be their only show in 2017. The announcement most likely comes as a joy to HARD founder Gary Richards, since Dog Blood is sure to draw in a massive crowd on their own. Now that it’s been confirmed as their first and only show in nearly two years, tickets should be start flying off the decks.

Maybe there’s a possibility for the return of Dog Blood in 2018? There’s no way to know for sure, but their HARD Summer appearance is sure to be the 2017 festival set to see. Grab tickets here to join Dog Blood August 5-6, 2017 at The Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.

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Check out a 360° view of Holy Ship

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The wonders of 360° photography are allowing people to have an even more immersive streaming experience when it comes to events they cannot attend. This year, a fan operating under the guise of EDM Daycare took a camera to Holy Ship’s first weekend to capture a snippet of the action for those wondering what it might be like to party with Destructo and his crew onboard a ship en route to paradise.

The clip clocks in at a brief two minutes, but images of people happily partying on the beach and on the boat decks along with crowds of people walking happily through vibrantly-lit rooms transformed into dance spaces is just enough to spark enough intrigue for potential festival-goers to try joining the party in 2018. Explore the ship’s majesty in the video player above.

H/T: EDM Daycare

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