Meet the talent of Minimal Effort: Ardalan [Exclusive Interview]

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Meet the talent of Minimal Effort: Ardalan [Exclusive Interview]Adalan Credit Justin Martin

What does an Ardy Party look like? The new, all-encompassing entity launched by DIRTYBIRD veteran Ardalan is the culmination of all things he loves: music with a healthy dose of funk, good energy, and an an overall wild time among fans and colleagues with the intimate feel of a house party. Ardalan certainly knows how to provide all these things in spades to his audience, after years of honing his production down to the most danceworthy beats and behind the decks reading and tending to crowds from tiny warehouse gatherings, to large-scale festivals.

Ardalan’s had quite the busy year, having recently come off counselor duty at Dirtybird Campout West and, according to him, preparing to release a solid chunk of new music as we move into the tail-end of 2018. He also had a hit on his hands with his wildy infectious Escape In Acid EP on Christian Martin’s Trippy Ass Technologies, earning support from far and wide within the house realm. Prior to that, however, he’ll be bringing Ardy Party to Los Angeles’ Minimal Effort festival for what’s primed to be a memorable performance. Minimal Effort has been known for booking top acts bubbling to the top of the underground, and tapping Ardalan’s newly-unveiled character fits into their ethos. He’ll be joining the likes of whomadewho, Tim Engelhardt, Boys Noize, and more on October 27.

Ahead of bringing the Ardy Party to Minimal Effort, we picked Ardalan’s brain on the festival, his current inspirations, and what’s next in his pipeline. Purchase tickets and view more information on the festival in the meantime here.


What type of legacy are you trying to leave behind with your music?
I want to leave behind a positive legacy in which I can inspire more people through my music. I hope I can help shape a better future for our planet through my music.

What goes into preparing for your sets?
Lots and lots of digging for new and old gems. Going through a matrix of subfolders and getting what I would think is the right vibe for the set. Also a nice light meal before the show is important to the performance.

What can fans expect from your Ardy Party performance?
They can expect a healthy dose of space funk and some new music I have been cooking lately.

What track/body of music are you most proud of and why?
It’s hard to say which one. I am proud of all of them. Even the one’s I think were bad. The tracks I have done with Justin Martin (Mr.Spock) & Christian Martin (Super Moon) make me super proud!

How have you seen the electronic scene evolve over the last decade?
I think its safe to say that social media has evolved every music scene in a profound rate. Everyone has gained more knowledge through the increasing rate of information in the electronic scene. Whether it’s EDM or underground music. There are more parties happening because of it.

How do instrumentals/electronic production coexist within your music?
I would say 95% of my music has been mostly instrumentals. I think instrumentals can be as or even more powerful than tracks with lyrics, if done right. But I have been having a lot of fun speaking/singing and using singers/songwriters in my music. It is a exciting territory for me personally.

How has your music evolved since you first started?
In terms of the way I make music, I still use the same creative process. But I think I have learned more in how to make my tracks sound tighter and better over the years, with the help of referencing and constructive feedback. Also now that I have more hardware in the studio, I have endless fun!

What excites you most about Minimal Effort?
The unique line up and beautiful venues they choose has always made them stand out. This year’s Minimal Effort has the most insane line up I have seen!

If you had to pick an artist from the Minimal Effort lineup to be, who’d you choose?
It’s too hard to choose. I guess I would wanna be myself because I’m too excited to see what they are gonna play!

Which artists are you most excited to see at Minimal Effort after your set?
I am really stoked to see what Christian Martin ,Kill Frenzy, and Worthy are going to play in the Ardy Pardy. But I am excited to see Boys Noize, Nicola Cruz, Tim Engelhardt, and Butch as well.

There is a lot of good music happening all over the party.

 

Photo credit: Justin Martin

Minimal Effort’s All Hallow’s Eve lays down noteworthy phase one lineup: Boys Noize, Kill Frenzy, Tim Engelhardt, and more

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Minimal Effort’s All Hallow’s Eve lays down noteworthy phase one lineup: Boys Noize, Kill Frenzy, Tim Engelhardt, and moreBoys Noize Shane Lopes 5

Minimal Effort has announced it will resurrect All Hallow’s Eve this year on October 28 at its newly confirmed venue, New York City’s Belasco Theatre. With a top-notch phase one lineup now underway, including Dirtybird‘s Christian Martin, German techno/house sensation, Tim Engelhardt, Worthy, Boys Noize, and many more, All Hallow’s Eve is poised to be among NYC’s premiere Halloween hotspots.

The 100+ year-old Belasco is the ideal setting for a spooky affair, and an distinguished, antique backdrop for the event’s new installments, such as a live candlelit performance from Rodriguez Jr. in the Mobilee Basement. The venue will be sectioned into several deliciously wicked dance spaces and lounges, each housing a specifically spine-chilling theme. Minimal Effort has exerted anything but their ironic namesake — permeating throughout the North American underground dance scene, booking clandestinely cool acts like, Dusky, Lee Burridge, and Damian Lazarus, to name a few. View the full All Hallow’s Eve lineup below.

Minimal Effort’s All Hallow’s Eve lays down noteworthy phase one lineup: Boys Noize, Kill Frenzy, Tim Engelhardt, and moreMinimal Effort Halloween 2018 Lineup

 

DJ Three & Öona Dahl prepare for Minimal Effort NYE with curated Orbit playlists

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For underground fans in Los Angeles this weekend, Minimal Effort is the party to ring in the New Year. Stacked to the brim with the scene’s top talent, the holiday event will host names like Maya Jane Coles, Ardalan, Jimmy Edgar, Justin Martin, DJ Three, Öona Dahl, and more.

To get ready for the NYE affair, DJ Three and Öona Dahl have stepped up to the plate to curate their own Orbit playlists to help attendees prepare to dance the night away. While DJ Three takes listeners on an ethereal techno and underground journey, Dahl offers up an eclectic batch of her favorite tunes from all over the electronic music spectrum.

Listen to both playlists below, and for LA residents, last minute tickets for Minimal Effort are still available here.

 

DJ Three about his playlist:
“I drew up a cross-section of all things psychedelic from dub disco to cosmic techno. Expect twists and turns that somehow never break flow.”

 

Öona Dahl about her playlist:
“Here is a selection of music that I love. I wanted to incorporate sounds that currently inspire me, from dj tracks to artists I listen to on the plane. Anything from techno to dream pop.”

 

Read more:

Ardalan releases exclusive mix ahead of Minimal Effort NYE

Minimal Effort imports underground techno veterans to a major LA setting [Review]

Maya Jane Coles revealed as Minimal Effort NYE special guest

Minimal Effort issues apology over Halloween shutdown

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Minimal Effort has become one of Los Angeles’ most well-known underground brands. From their annual NYE parties, to one-off events like Flying Circus, they consistently throw some of the city’s largest house and techno events.

Last Saturday, Minimal Effort once hosted their annual Halloween party, taking place at Enox Events in Downtown Los Angeles. Unfortunately, the event was marred by early closure when authorities on-site made the call to shut the event down. At approximately 9:45pm, the party was was forced to close their doors, leaving hundreds of patrons barred from entry.

“We were told by the Sheriff and Fire Marshall that even though we had not reached our permitted capacity they would not let anyone else in,” the event organizers wrote on Facebook. “We had a permitted capacity of 3000, 2100 people were already safely inside, 300+ remained outside. Authorities told us we could either close the doors on the 300+ or risk shut down of the entire event. We complied, choosing the option we felt was the lesser of two evils.”

The event featured headliners Lee Burridge, Claptone, MK, and Damian Lazarus, and by all other accounts, was likely the best production executed by the team thus far. The new venue provided ample space for attendees (a large complaint following their NYE event), as well as upgraded sound and lighting production.

While it’s easy to point fingers at the event organizers in situations like this, it’s worth remembering they are ultimately looking to help foster LA’s house and techno community — which, in a city wrought with overregulation on electronic events, is no easy feat.

“We are dance music fans first and promoters second, and it is our passion for the music that drives us to put our life savings and debt on the line to try to provide the type of experiences that we ourselves love,” Minimal Effort wrote on Facebook in the aftermath of the event.

Despite the setback, Minimal Effort will return for NYE. Read their full statement regarding Halloween below:

Techno Tuesday: MK talks Detroit techno and Halloween

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Techno Tuesday is a feature on Dancing Astronaut documenting the culture of underground dance music. We’ll bring you exclusive interviews, tracks, and narratives from artists within the techno, tech house, and deep house world in an effort to shed light on some of the best talent outside the world of mainstream dance music.

Few people have been in the scene as long as Marc Kinchen, known to most as MK. Looking no further than the hundreds of releases under his name, it is obvious that he has clocked in his time as one of the underground’s top tastemakers. His catalog and career, spanning over three decades, features both commercial and underground successes. MK is one of the very few acts lucky enough to have learned from two of techno’s founding fathers in Detroit — Juan Atkins and Kevin Saunderson — and also work as Will Smith’s in-house producer.
His story is one that many people already know, as Kinchen remains quite the legendary figure. From his his humble Detroit roots, the artist has gone on to create a slew of chart topping tracks. He initially found international acclaim in the 90s, with singles like “Always” and “Burning ’95” gaining commercial success — especially in the United Kingdom. However, MK’s star-power lies in his ability to craft an amazing remix. From Bobby Brown to Nightcrawlers, Disclosure to Lana Del Rey, and countless more, the producer has the capacity to add his sound to almost any song he sees fit.
Now a seasoned veteran DJ, he can spend some of his time simply observing the culture around him. He has seen the recent growth in the city of Detroit, while also noticing the growth of a certain fall holiday in the UK. Dancing Astronaut had the chance to sit down with MK for a quick chat about Detroit, Berlin, and a DJ’s role in the social sphere, all ahead of his performance at Los Angeles’ extravagant and well-curated “Minimal Effort” Halloween event.
MK
You grew up in Detroit, which is the revered and recognized home of US Techno, how would you describe the difference in the vibe over in Berlin, birthplace of ‘European techno?’
It is incredible how different both cities are from each other. Even though the music from both cities have common threads, the scenes are so different. Techno in Detroit started in the clubs like the Music Institute where on any given day you could see people like Juan Atkins, Eddie Fowlkes, Kevin Saunderson, Mike Banks from Underground Resistance or Derrick May, it was about dancing and sweating and just losing yourself in the music. The scene was influenced by Detroit life and culture, but in Berlin it always seemed like it was a bit darker a little more industrial. The dark mysterious vibe probably had something to do with the actual city of Berlin (after all thats where the Germany was split up with the old wall)  Also, there was a huge underground art the scene in Berlin influencing the music, it brought us a lot of industrial techno in the beginning and then there was Kraftwerk, who were a part of the German trailblazers for Techno, it became a movement and a lifestyle..   Both cities were great for nurturing early techno and I think that is what matters the most.
While we are still on the subject of Detroit, what do you think about the changes you see over there in the city?
I don’t live there anymore, but my sister and brother and their families do so I go there several times a year. The differences are really incredible, I can see it changing every time i visit. A lot of new construction, renovation and new businesses popping up. A lot of kids come there to live especially music and arts peeps, the rent is still pretty reasonable and you can still get enough space to have your music or art studio. I love going there, it’s like new discovery every time.
The event you are going to do “Minimal Effort” is an annual sort of Halloween celebration. We all know what Halloween is like over in the States, but what is it like overseas?  Do they dress up and make a huge party like we do in the states?
When I first started going to the UK around Halloween, it was not a really important or popular holiday, but in the last five or six years it has gotten bigger and bigger. Everyone dresses up and they are really creative and serious about their costumes and parties over there. I think it might even be getting bigger over there now than it is in the States. It’s a lot of fun though. Those English love to dress up.. haha (they call it fancy dress)
It’s really hard not to talk about all the devastation the US has just gone through with the hurricanes, floods and storms affecting so many people. Why is it that more DJs don’t talk about these tragic events or discuss the different that affect us all? 
I wish i could answer that better, I don’t really know. I definitely think about it a lot and we all talk about these things when we are together. Trust me, we care, we all care. I mean to see all the suffering and then feel like should i say something or should i not; will i sound preachy or upset anyone even more. After all, a big part of what we do as producers and DJs through music is try to provide an escape from all the bad stuff. And to make it worse, I have been on the road while all these things are going on and day after day i would wake up and hear about the earthquakes in Mexico and all the hurricanes, flooding and devastation. It is all so overwhelming and hard to process, it would actually be great for some of us to talk about these things to see how we could help not only deal with it but also help with the recovery efforts in some way.
We see you have a new single out “17.” It seems self explanatory, but why don’t you give us some little background on what it’s about.
Oh, you know when you are like 17-ish, that is just the way it is, most of the time you have a best bud or a few of them and sometimes even a crew. everyone is in it and everyone is together and love of friends and loyalty are everything. You know i got your back and you got mine. It’s also about the first big love, it’s about remembering being seventeen and taking a peek backward
If you dress up for the party, what are you going to be?
I am not going to tell you because then you will know it was me… you will see soon enough.
Tickets for “Minimal Effort” can be found here
Feature photo credit: MK – Facebook
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Minimal Effort releases eloquently curated phase two of lineup

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Amidst the numerous Halloween-timed events popping up across North America, Minimal Effort has taken a step forward to ensure their All Hallow’s Eve show remains one of a kind with the release of the second phase of their lineup. Already populated by influential hard-hitters MK, Damian Lazarus, and Dusky, attendees can expect a night full of steady techno and house tunes, incorporated into an immersive Halloween experience.

Already at an advantage with this praised lineup, Minimal Effort’s second phase satisfies every dream and desire of house-heads in the vicinity. The latest additions include Claptone, Lee BurridgeEagles & Butterflies, Adam Auburn, Bones, and Matt Ossentjuk, solidifying one of the grandest lineup for this seasonal event. Hosted at the recently opened ENOX Event Center in Los Angeles, this warehouse location offers the perfect surrounding for this underground event.

Minimal Effort - All Hallow's Eve 2017Tickets for All Hallow’s Eve are on a flash-sale for the next 24 hours, and can be purchased online.

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Minimal Effort imports underground techno veterans to a major LA setting [Review]

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MK, Damian Lazarus and Dusky top Minimal Effort: All Hallow’s Eve phase one lineup

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Minimal Effort, LA’s iconic underground electronic music series, has unveiled the lineup for its annual Halloween affair. MK, Damian Lazarus, Dusky, Brodinski, Destructo, Amine Edge & Dance and Human Resources are among the first names to be revealed for the October 28 event, which is slated to take place at a brand new location: ENOX Event Center.

The 2017 edition of Minimal Effort: All Hallow’s Eve will stay true to its signature warehouse essence while offering patrons unparalleled sound, visuals and artistry. The day-into-night soirée will contain ample dance floor space both inside the warehouse and outdoors, in addition to industrial art installations. Tickets will go on sale here August 9.

minimal effort

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Minimal Effort imports underground techno veterans to a major LA setting [Review]

This post was originally published on this site

Techno has been an unshakeable force in American electronic music culture since its stateside inception in 1980s Detroit. In recent years – particularly since the unofficial “EDM boom” of 2010 – techno has served as an underground resistance of sorts to many of dance music’s more commercial iterations. Since assuming this role in the US dance music dichotomy, techno has appreciated a substantial surge in popularity. As taste-makers become compelled to form their own events, and as event producers become more tasteful themselves, there has been a visible push to elevate the sounds of the underground to a broader stage.

In Los Angeles, Minimal Effort stands at the forefront of this endeavor. Founded in 2013 by industry veterans including Cyril Batar, Minimal Effort set out to create something “raw,” that would appeal to the underground tastes of seasoned club connoisseurs, but would also attract broader audiences in an effort to expand the Los Angeles techno scene. As Bitar puts it, “Our vision is to instill the existence of awareness and appreciation of sophisticated dance culture in LA—but above ground so it’s accessible to all.”

Three years since its establishment, Minimal Effort continues to grow as a major influencer in the LA techno renaissance. The company’s success – particularly with their benchmark Halloween and New Year’s Eve mini-festivals – has been the result of their resilience, adaptability, authenticity, and most importantly, their tasteful bookings. Though inevitable complications led Minimal Effort to switch their NYE 2016 event to Downtown LA’s Globe Theater at the last minute, the show was resoundingly successful in bringing the underground to the city’s surface.

Henry Saiz Live Band. Picture by Chris Soltis.

Henry Saiz Live Band. Image by Chris Soltis.

For their New Year’s Eve event, Minimal Effort refashioned the Globe Theater into a three-tiered manifestation of club culture’s different facets over the course of a 12-hour party. Upstairs, nestled just past the VIP viewing balconies, the Space Yacht stage hosted the lineup’s most widely-accessible acts in the venues most upbeat setting. Evoking the essence of a lounge, Space Yacht recruited the talents of tech house and deep house fixtures such as Amtrac, Kastle, and Sacha Robotti, offering respite to those wishing to socialize or take a brief break from the warehouse sensibilities below.

The Basement stage, as its name suggests, provided quite literal representation of underground house and techno. Led by Mikey Lion, Porkchop, Lee Reynolds, and Marbs, the Desert Hearts Crew took command over the party’s subterranean level. The Southern Californian collective reveled in the darkened cavern’s sonorous acoustics, taking advantage of the warehouse ambience afforded by its minimal lighting as the ideal forum to promote their core mantra of “House. Techno. Love.”

Minimal Effort Basement Stage Photo By Jamie Rosenberg

Basement. Image by Jamie Rosenberg.

Desert Hearts bookended the Basement stage’s itinerary with a diverse blend of house, techno and wildly divergent samplings throughout their intermittent tenures. From 7:00-9:00, the cabal of performers heightened attendees’ energy for the tribal stylings of South American luminary Nicola Cruz, the eldritch techno of the quickly ascending German bellwether &ME, and dutifully-woven, electro-infused offerings from legendary British duo Simian Mobile Disco. From 1:00-4:00, Desert Hearts returned to their post, allowing underground carousers to continue the Basement’s bacchanalia well into the wee hours of 2017.

Minimal Effort’s main attraction for the evening was, of course, the Theater stage, which allowed attendees the rare opportunity to see icons of techno’s underground in a full-fledged concert setting. As the bulk of attendees filed into the venue in the hours leading up to the ball drop, Human Resources (Bitar’s own duo with Ahmed Elwan) and Francesca Lombardo took center stage. Lombardo would reprise this role the following day, presiding as the headliner for Minimal Effort’s New Year’s Day recovery event, to which concertgoers were given complimentary access.

Audion drops the ball. Picture by Chris Soltis.

Audion. Image by Chris Soltis. 

The sacred responsibility of ushering in the new year was bestowed upon Audion, the experimental techno alias of veteran DJ Matthew Dear. Indeed, no performer on the festival’s bill could have proved to be more fitting than Dear for two reasons. Firstly, Audion’s electrifying brand of techno matched the raucous energy of the NYE countdown far better than the more somber tones of his successors would have. Secondly, there is an ephemeral, perhaps epochal nature to any Audion set; Alpha, Dear’s 2016 album under his alter-ego, came after a decade-long hiatus from the Audion project. Among the crowd, there was a tacit appreciation for the ability to catch the Texan techno maverick in 2017, as it may be quite some time before the opportunity re-emerges.

Recondite provided the Theater stage’s first set of 2017, and likely, the event’s most-anticipated. In November, the German producer purveyed an EMOTY-nominated Essential Mix consisting entirely of his own music, cementing his status as one of the year’s most fervently-acclaimed techno artists. Amid the uninitiated, Lorenz Brunner’s primely-slotted set invoked a palpable sense of wonderment regarding how he would translate the essence of his definitive BBC Radio 1 set into a live context. Indeed, Recondite did not disappoint, as he transported his audience into an abyss of ominous, cerebral, and deeply mesmerizing techno. Arguably one of the night’s most scintillating moments revealed itself in the climax of Brunner’s “Warg,” as the crash of its inaugural snare pervaded throughout the venue in a cold, sonic eruption that would not leave spectators’ spines until the next day’s hangovers arrived.

Stephan Bodzin. Picture by Chris Soltis

Stephan Bodzin. Image by Chris Soltis.

If Recondite was Minimal Effort’s darkest act, then Stephan Bodzin was the festival’s albatross – guiding wayward listeners back into the light with his utterly transcendental instrumentations. Yet, this light would prove to be beguiling, as Bodzin plunged into more sinister realms. Evoking the essence of Mercury, Bodzin’s minimal, yet shimmering visual backdrop set an awe-inspiring stage for the legendary techno pioneer’s auditory journey. Standing solemnly behind a Moog synthesizer, Bodzin traversed a wide range of emotions and sensibilities, never pigeonholing his performance to one reductive essence.

Minimal Effort’s attendees concluded their night at the Theater stage with the psychedelic visuals and celestial stylings of the Henry Saiz Live Band. Providing the most ethereal set of the night, the outfit’s live instrumentations displayed a different facet to the techno festival, and offered a hope-inspiring transition out of the festival and into the new year.

At the end of the 12-hour dance marathon, it was clear that techno is continuing to become a much larger force in the Los Angeles club scene, and Minimal Effort is going to be a large part of this ascension.

 

Mikey Lion curates ‘Best of 2016’ playlist ahead of Minimal Effort

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Minimal Effort has set itself up as the premier New Year’s Eve destination for underground dance music fans in Los Angeles. Taking place at the Globe Theatre, three stages will host twelve hours of cutting-edge talent that includes Stephan Bodzin, Audion, Chrome Sparks, and more.

California’s beloved Desert Hearts crew will be having their own bash at Minimal Effort, and ahead of the event, the group’s de facto leader Mikey Lion has compiled his favorite dancefloor weapons from the past year to guide us into 2017. Having spent the year throwing a variety of widely successful City Hearts showcases across the nation — in addition to Desert Hearts flagship festival in Southern California — Mikey Lion definitely knows how to get the party going.

Mikey Lion said of the mix: “From Desert Hearts to Symbiosis, Brazil, & beyond, these were my favorite heaters that rocked 2016 for me. Can’t wait to finish the year off in Los Angeles at Minimal Effort NYE. House, Techno, & muthafuckin Love! We Are All Desert Hearts!”

Tickets for Minimal Effort are available here.

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Contest: Win 2 VIP passes to Minimal Effort NYE in Los Angeles

Contest: Win 2 VIP passes to Minimal Effort NYE in Los Angeles

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Minimal Effort has been bringing finely-curated lineups of house and techno to Los Angeles for several years now. The brand has done an impeccable job at selecting their list of artists to ring in 2017 at the famed Globe Theater for their NYE edition. In fact, the roster boasts such formidable talents as Recondite, Stephan Bodzin, Audion, and more. For twelve hours across three stages, revelers will end their year on a blissful note, celebrating with music from some of the world’s foremost electronic talents.

Dancing Astronaut has partnered with Minimal Effort NYE to give away a pair of VIP passes to the affair. The winners will also be awarded Minimal Effort-themed t-shirts. Enter the contest below.

Tickets to Minimal Effort NYE are available here.

 

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Cyril Bitar on the branding and evolution of LA’s foremost Halloween underground party: Minimal Effort