What’s been your favourite dance music moment this year?
This year has been especially fertile for memorable events, sets, releases and stories. Some great, some shocking and some that are completely personal to you and your raving crew.
There’s been loads of mad moments in the last two months alone… Were you online when Feed Me announced a new Spor album on Twitter? Were you there when Carnage shot $10,000 out of a confetti cannon? Were you that girl Richie Hawtin pushed a speaker into a girl at Timewarp New York? Were you there when Zhu’s curtain dropped at Stereosonic to reveal Skrillex?
Our contributors have teamed up to salute 2014 with their own favourite moments. Wholly personal and in no way authoritative, these highlights and discussions help to document some of the many interesting twists and turns this year has taken.
We’d love to know what your favourite moment has been this. There’s a comment box below, don’t leave it hanging.
The Yousaf sisters being told to turn to porn since Kris left Krewella
The reason I wanted to bring this situation up is to showcase the harsh reality our culture is facing in the sense of losing our credibility. With dance music becoming so popular it’s no surprise new fans are being introduced to acts like Krewella through the drama around the three of them. What’s unfortunate about the past year is how the demand for dance music has risen and how uneducated fans really are on the history of electronic music and the true icons of our time. The internet is full of negative stories around dance music ranging from drug use to law suits to ghost producers and selling out and 2014 was a dramatic year for this.
The major problem I have with this entire scenario is the amount of sexist comments the Yousaf sisters have to endure, while no one does anything about it. The year is 2014 and we still have a situation of gender discrimination that is so incredibly inappropriate and overlooked. None of us will truly know what went on between the sisters and Kris, and to be honest it’s none of our business. Rumours and hearsay will never be grounds to use someone’s gender against them. Telling the sisters to turn to porn, calling them “sluts” and “whores,” and degrading them as human beings all because one member of the team has parted ways and fans don’t understand any of the background story. This is a disgrace to our culture, our music and our generation. Being a female trying to make a career in this industry, I know how hard it is and I know the troubles of working alongside 90 per cent men and barely any women, but this shouldn’t matter if we were truly equal. Within a culture so influential to further generations, gender discrimination should not be happening in 2014. Period.
Andy C’s Drum&BassArena Award Acceptance Speech
Let’s be honest, Andy C winning Best DJ at the Drum&BassArena Awards was about as predictable as England getting knocked out early at a major tournament. But his speech was a thing of beauty.
The Ram boss has a lot of experience in giving acceptance speeches now, after becoming so used to scooping awards, but this speech was special thanks to one sentence in particular: “once it gets under your skin it’s there forever, and it never leaves you” – a phrase which resonates with all drum & bass fans.
The undisputed legend also praised how healthy the scene is over in America and of course thanked everyone for their part in crowning him as the finest selector in the business once again.
Although it was predictable and some will argue that awards in drum & bass mean nothing, it’s still nice to see the forefather of the genre so passionate about it. See the speech right here.
Calvin Harris at Coachella 2014
Music critics will argue most things, but one thing they can agree upon is that Coachella is king of all US festivals, boasting one of the trendiest and diverse lineups on American soil.
So why was it significant that a Scottish DJ named Calvin Harris earned the second largest crowd at Coachella, ever? Because it marked the moment that electronic dance music truly took over the music scene.
Harris beat out legends Outkast, Muse and Arcade Fire in the currency of festivalgoers’ attention and excitement. As the lyrics “There’s no stopping us right now” blared over Indio, Calif., it sounded like a victory anthem for EDM around the world.
We all remember the media response, much of it negative. The LA Times asked, “Who really headlined, Arcade Fire or dance music?” Artists dissed DJs for not using “actual instruments.” Thankfully, Dancing Astronaut responded with an eloquent editorial on why dance music is not the question, but the answer.
Say what you will, but Calvin Harris is now reportedly the highest paid DJ in EDM, and the ninth highest-paid musician in the world, according to Forbes. Billboard has also ranked his set in the Top 15 Coachella Performances Ever. We certainly feel it deserves a place in our Top Moments of 2014, as well.
Image source: How To Coachella
Calibre’s 6 hour Fabric Set
The event of the year for me has to be Calibre’s 6 hour set in Room 3 at Fabric, with DRS on hosting duties. The man himself is an enigma. I’ve always been fascinated by what a private individual he is, and by the fact that he has SUCH an extensive back catalogue that may never see the light of day. There are tunes Calibre plays in his sets that you may never hear again, so to have the opportunity to hear him play for 6 hours was incredible. I have never seen a DJ captivate a crowd like he did and build a vibe the way he did that night. His tune selection (which was filled with mostly his own tunes!) proved how versatile a producer he really is, and DRS was a perfect host. The room was absolutely buzzing from start to finish, and for a good four hours I’m pretty sure I didn’t even take a toilet break, I was too busy getting lost in the music with a ridiculous smile on my face.
Nero Live at Reading 2014
One of the biggest, and definitely one of my most anticipated acts that performed at the annual UK festival were the electronic trio Nero. After making a triumphant return to the scene with their excellent single Satisfy, the group opened to a salivating crowd to play out an hour and a half of one of most insane displays of bass music I’ve ever witnessed. Showcasing a variety of new forthcoming tracks as well as fan favourites like Promises, their performance was a sight to behold both sonically and visually, and was my favourite live set of the year. And that’s why it’s also my moment of the year. We’re going to be in for something very special indeed when Nero drop their highly anticipated second album in 2015.
Skrillex championing Trollphace in his Reddit AMA
In March, industry juggernaut Sonny Moore, more commonly known by his stage moniker Skrillex, took to Reddit to host his own AMA (Ask Me Anything). During this AMA, Sonny championed two rising artists for their particularly raw and aggressive style of dubstep. The result was a deluge of traffic being directed towards their social media platforms and a seemingly instant bump in notoriety. For one of these two artists in particular, Trollphace, this announcement marked a monumental time in his career. From officially joining the OWSLA family, to standing mainstage during Ultra 2014 as Jack U dropped his original tune, Venegeance Like a B0:55, Trollphace receiving the official nod from Skrillex propelled not only his career but also his style of raw and punishing bass music. For the remainder of the year, we saw headlining artists once again celebrating the heavier side of electronic music. Despite the prevalence of the heavily preached belief that dubstep is dead, Trollphace’s meteoric rise in popularity serves as a testament to the genre’s relevance in the current and future culture of the industry.
Fresh From The Fort
UKF teamed up with EXIT Festival for the X-Bass Takeover on the Main Stage for the second year running in 2014. Combined with headliners Skrillex, Rudimental and Pretty Lights, it was just an incredible and varied selection of artists at one of the most energetic festivals we’ve ever been to. We set ourselves a challenge of shooting, editing and uploading a Fresh From The Fort feature every day. It involved a lot of hard work, very little sleep and far too much Gorki List but it was a blast! We chilled with Adventure Club, Gorgon City, Koven, My Nu Leng and Fred V & Grafix backstage sampling the local delicacies and we caught so many stand-out moments – Skrillex’s insane production, Dimension and Gorgon City both playing way past sunrise, grooving to Pretty Lights, Dub FX tearing it up with a live band, and even an articulated lorry edging through the main stage crowd during Andy C’s storming set!
(Dave Jenkins – Editor)
Like all of us, I’ve enjoyed loads of great moments this year – many of which have involve being lost on foggy dancefloors and getting stuck and sticky in various muddy fields – but launching UKF’s editorial arm with a team of really talented designers, developers and writers has to be my personal favourite.
UKF’s passion for the most exciting new music has been well-established for five years, but translating that into editorial and news content is a whole new animal. Like our YouTube channel curation, we’ve done things our own way and sourced a huge range of totally exclusive interviews with the creators behind the noises and grooves we love in the process. We didn’t know what level of interest fans and the industry would have in these stories, features and interviews in an already competitive and crowded market… But the fact that tens of thousands of you visit this site daily from all corners of the world suggests that many of you do. And I file that fact under: awesome.
Sure, this favourite moment might seem a little self-indulgent, but the whole team behind this site genuinely love the music and artists we support here. And we want to thank you for reading, sharing, commenting and returning on the regs… It truly means a lot. Please stay tuned – we’re only just getting started!