Wednesday
Oct292014

Cool Free Stuff: SBTRKT-Something Goes Right (Gant-Man Rework)

Juke heavyweight Gant-Man’s remix of SBTRKT’sSomething Goes Right”. This originally dropped way back in 2011 in companion with the infamous masked man’s debut album, but Gant-Man recently reposted it on his Soundcloud so am just catching wind of it for the first time. (As SBTRKT’s second album hits store shelves mind you). The remix keeps the tempo quite similar to the original as opposed to diving into 150+ bpm territory, while also retaining its staccato marching beat. The drums are replaced with Gant-Man’s signature kits; he primarily reworks the bottom end while leaving the vocals alone. Check it out below.

Wednesday
Oct292014

Ticket Giveaway! Jaminic, Nick Minieri & Les Deux @ 49 Social, 10.31.14

So the lines have already started to form at every alcohol-serving institution in Salem for Halloween this coming Friday. Legions of basic people dressed up in generic costumes getting uber-plastered to the tune of top 40 at some bar so crowded you can’t even move, does this sound like a fun night to you? If you’re like me and “totally over” the whole Salem Halloween on a Friday thing, you might consider heading downtown where the atmosphere is less chaotic and the parking spaces are ample. And if you’re looking to dance, 49 Social (49 Temple Place) might be right up your alley.


Hosted by local DJ/producer JAMINIC and North Shore Sessions, 49 Social is opening up their downstairs dancefloor and rocking a costume contest with prizes and all sorts of other shit. I’ll be playing house and disco jams there, alongside JAMINIC and my good friends Cost Carma and Mercedes, also known as Les Deux, who have been throwing Friday sessions over at nearby Ames Hotel. 

Hell you don’t even have to wear a costume to possibly win a prize to this, as we’re giving away a free pair of tix as well. All you need to do is “like” Beantown Boogiedown on Facebook, and leave your name and email in the comments section below. I draw the winner at 12pm this coming Friday, good luck!

Facebook event invite

Tuesday
Oct282014

On the Boogiedownload: Mix 087 by EHT (Drum & Bass)

When it comes to cutting-edge drum and bass, one of the first DJ’s in Boston who comes to mind is Exploding Heart Technique (aka EHT). Always the first to preach the virtues of getting his hands on that brand new promo, test press, or Soundcloud exclusive, EHT consistently stays on top of a genre that stylistically changes almost every few months.

Click here to read more and check out the podcast!

Monday
Oct272014

Ticket Giveaway! Breach at Make it New, 10.30.14

Breach. A guy who became a household name a year ago thanks to an infectious track that gained both critical and commercial success, a rarity in the world of dance. 

Jack” may have given Breach worldwide recognition, but his humble foundations actually lie within the faster-paced world of drum and bass. His early work with DJ Die was where he cut his teeth as a producer, his vocals often adding instant appeal to the formula. Few producers can produce house AND drum and bass in parallel, but Breach wears these hats quite well. The volume of his back catalogue is not extravagant, but the quality of each piece makes up for it more than tenfold.

 
 

Breach’s most significant project in 2014 is his collaboration with Kelis titled “The Key”. With its hooks and catchy riffs, this track works on the radio without watering down the house formula. Hell even legendary rave producers 2 Bad Mice came out of retirement to pen a remix. 

This coming Thursday the Make it New crew (hot of the heels of their tenth anniversary party) bring Breach to play his first show in Cambridge. Thanks to the promoters we are giving away a free pair of tix to the show! All you need to do is “like” MMMMAVEN and Beantown Boogiedown on Facebook, and leave your name and email in the comments section below. Drawing is 12pm Thursday. Good luck!

Facebook event invite

Monday
Oct272014

Cool Free Stuff: Pink Elephants-Dead Funk (Gramophonedzie Remix)

Nice grooving freebie from Monster Disco Records, a small digi-label outta San Francisco. Appropriately titled for the final days leading up to the scariest day of the year, Gramophonedzie’s remix to “Dead Funk” by Pink Elephants luckily conveys more of the last word in its title than the omniscient first word. With a heavy swing, a chugging rhythm section, an omnipresent baseline and a chorus that sounds like it was extracted from some dusty old doo-wop record from the 50s, this remix definitely succeeds in both unique and catch factor. Grab it today and add to your Halloween playlist this coming weekend.

Friday
Oct242014

Cool Free Stuff: Bicep-You (Ejeca Remix) (House)

You” was one of the tracks that helped put Bicep on the map almost three years ago. A slowly evolving track that builds progressively with fast-paced vocal edits and a brisk tempo to match it, Belfast producer Ejeca had an unreleased version of his own that made plenty of appearances in his DJ sets. His version is a bit more contemporary, with a standard swinging groove and a nicely-reworked lead and bassline. It finally gets a proper release, in the form of a free download on Soundcloud!

Friday
Oct242014

Ticket Giveaway! Keys N Krates & Gladiator @ Middle East, 10.30.14

Keys N Krates are no strangers to New England; they grace us with their presence around these parts at least twice a year. Not only are their chops heavily in demand in the studio, but they back it up by being able to re-create their tunes entirely live. The latter is what has enabled them to tour as frequently as they do, as it adds an organic and unpredictable factor to a growing audience normally accustomed to watching DJ sets.

2014 has been a milestone year for this trio as they’ve gone from strength to strength off the back of their hook-and-bass heavy Every Nite EP, their trap anthem “Keep it 100” with Grandtheft, and countless appearances on DJ mixes by Annie Mac, Diplo, Plastician, and other heavy hitters. 

 
 

Sponsored by Mass EDMC and NV Concepts, Keys N Krates are touching down next Thursday (October 30th) in Cambridge at the Middle East Downstairs. Gladiator on opening duty. And thanks NV, I’ve got a free pair of tix to give away to the show. All you need to do is “like” NV Concepts and Beantown Boogiedown on Facebook, and leave your name and email in the comments section below. I draw the winner the day of the show at 12pm. Good luck! 

Facebook event page | Purchase tickets

Thursday
Oct232014

Cool Free Stuff: Banks-Stick (Kastle Remix) (Bass)

Boston alumni Kastle has been doing big things on the left coast in recent years, particularly on the avenue of providing the remix treatment for shit-hot vocalists. His most recent example is a re-work on track called “Stick” by heavily-hyped (and notoriously reclusive) L.A. singer Banks. While the delicate drums and atmospherics in the original really allow Banks’ vocals to shine, Kastle manages to reinforce the lower frequencies in his version with heavier percussion and a baseline without disrupting the overall balance. It’s a free download, you just need to sign up for his mailing list to grab it. (And he doesn’t spam on said list, trust me).

Wednesday
Oct222014

Cool Free Stuff: Tone Ra & Kaan Erbay-Stutter (Juke)

Up-and-coming Boston producer Tone Ra has been firing off juke shots like crazy in recent months, turning the tempo well past 140 beats-per-minute and collab’ing with the likes of Graphs and Kaan Erbay. While the juke and jungle war has been heating up globally, these guys have had their own bouts shot-firing on the local level. Everyone wins because of all the tunes we get to hear. 

One of the more interesting by-products of this all out war is Tone Ra and Kaan Erbay’s “Stutter”, posted just a few hours ago. It’s a juke track distinguished by its dramatic use of silence and negative space with the drums, pads, and the vocal samples in the second half. If you dig, check out Tone Ra’s Soundcloud, where you can peep some other ideas he’s currently got brewing with Erbay as the war continues to unfold.

Wednesday
Oct222014

A Decade Developed in a Dark Room: Make it New Celebrates Ten Years of Freshness

In an underground music scene, throwing events is no small order of business. It involves a venue, lots of accommodating and patient people who work at said venue, money, and people on Facebook who won’t rake you over the coals for shoving event invites down their throats all the time. Get roped into making it a weekly event, and watch the stakes skyrocket. It’s a lot of thankless work, which is why it’s rare for most repeating events in any dance scene to surpass more than a year or two.

While many successful parties are thrown by tight-knit crews of veterans with long-lasting friendships, other times you’ve got people who come together with entirely different backgrounds…and somehow manage to still make it all work. Make it New is an example of the latter. With this night you have the likes of a “purveyor of agoraphobic stoner bedroom techno” from Worcester, a 20+ year local veteran with a ridiculous vinyl collection supposedly from Three Way, Tennessee, a DJ who prefers to keep it all in the box using just a laptop who will lead you to believe he’s from Baltimore, a guy who’s currently scoring points with glowing write-ups from Resident Advisor and FACT Mag, another dude who used to be in an indie rock band, and finally the visionary and jack-of-all-trades who hails from Kansas of all places. And that’s just the ones currently involved with the night, not the alumni who have either moved on (or away) since Make it New’s 2004 inception.

A gang of quirky personas who play as hard as they work 

While each of these dudes may have different personalities, musical tastes, and degrees of “veteran” status here in Boston, their involvement has been part and parcel to our local backbone. The guys I’m hinting at (respectively) are Coralcola, Alan Manzi, Baltimoroder, John Barera and promoters Alex Maniatis and David Day. All six of them prefer to stay out of the spotlight at their night, letting the darkness of their venue (The Middlesex Lounge) push them into the background while the music takes the spotlight. And patrons don’t seem to be complaining.

Even camera flashes are quite rare in the darkness that is the Middlesex 

But what is it that has kept these guys going, when there were surely enough tempting opportunities to just say “fuck it” and throw in the towel? “Club support has been pretty crucial”, started David Day when I recently spoke with him and Alex Maniatis over email about the longevity and success of the night. “When turnout was light or a DJ was cranky in MiN’s early years, JB and Nate from the Middlesex had our back and believed in the night. Club support goes a long way in maintaining a night over such a period of time. When I get on the mic and say “tip your bartenders” I mean it. They work hard keeping our crowd happy.”

Keepin’ the patrons happy ain’t always easy 

Maniatis was equally as enthusiastic to give the Middlesex staff the hat tip they obviously deserve: “It’s really a big family. JB (in the beginning) and Nate really understood what we were going for. As well as their security team (Dave and Primus); those dudes know what’s up and I cant thank them enough for being so damn cool and keeping it positive. We’re really all a big family. We also couldn’t do it properly without Corina Hernandez and Charles Mazzola running on-point pre-production.”

Following that, Maniatis echoed my sentiments above about Make it New’s overall aesthetic: “MiN is about being NO frills”, he stated matter-of-factly. “We don’t rely on gimmicks. We don’t do bottle service. We keep the lights off in the room and about the music. Period.”

Eats Everything doesn’t even get bottle service at Make it New. But free donut service, on the other hand… 

Make it New was faced with plenty of obstacles in their fledgling days. In 2004, “EDM” was only an acronym for “Enterprise Data Modeling”, something I doubt required any knowledge of Serato or Traktor. Hell most were using Final Scratch back then. The economy was in better shape, but dark clouds still loomed over the post 9/11 landscape. Many veterans were starting families and moving on, while the energetic kids who were supposed to replace them were off in other venues indulging in indie rock and emo. “Luckily our crowd in those early days consisted of post-graduates and Doctoral candidates (from nearby educational institutions), so we were sort of shielded from brutal economic times”, stated Day.

Both Wall Street and Electric Avenue, two entirely different levels on the economic food chain, suffered quite a few shake-ups in 2008. When the real estate bubble burst that year, investors frantically sold their stocks, while DJ’s who lost their day jobs frantically sold their vinyl collections too. The overall musical landscape made a dramatic shift towards electro house and dubstep. Many weekly events were wiped completely out of existence because of these seismic shifts, but luckily Make it New didn’t skip a beat. 

But how was that accomplished…was it due to consistency, or a complete re-invention?

Focusing on quality allowed them to persevere even in the tough years 

“Well for us, consistency has been key”, said Day when discussing that turbulent period. “The night isn’t beholden to any one genre, just newness. The consistency is constant reinvention. As Brian Eno famously said, “repetition is a form of change”.” Maniatis had quite a bit to add to this as well: “It’s definitely not about booking a certain genre for us. The only consistency we strove for was to keep the room moving and energy positive. We do that by carefully selecting the guests we bring to the night. We’ve had DJ’s like Matthew Dear come in and knew from the get go it was going to be good because he’s a storyteller and a positive guy.” 

Max Cooper in autograph-signing mode, 2012 

It can be argued the overall economy and electronic music scene are better in 2014 than 2008, but only when asking Day and Maniatis about the changes they’ve seen locally in the past decade do their strides locally really start to come into focus. “International artists are finally recognizing that Cambridge and Boston are great towns for parties.” exclaimed Maniatis. “Years ago these headliners were few and far between, but geographically we’ve since turned out to be a great stopover city. We may not have a ton of venues but the energy and enthusiasm at the parties in this city make the underground really thrive.”

While things change, other things remain the same as well. Maniatis went on to exclaim the media coverage Make it New has consistently gotten from the beginning. This includes the Boston Music Awards, where they have been nominated for the “Best Dance Night” award this year. Day also gave many of Boston’s veterans the head nod: “People like Bob Diesel, Bruno, Lenore, KC Hallett, and Pat Fontes set the stage for us; they’re all continuing to play out and stay relevant to this day. And Alan Manzi and Baltimoroder as well; the day they hang up their headphones it will be a sea change. I don’t see that happening anytime soon though.”


Bicep’s first Boston appearance, 2013 

Even with ten years on the resume, a packed venue almost every single week, and world-class headliners (including the likes of Breach, Roman Flugel, Martyn, and of course Tiga who will be playing the “official” anniversary show), Make it New still encounters obstacles from time to time. One of the hottest topics in Cambridge has to be gentrification. Corporate entities are buying up property all along Mass Ave, with independent boutiques and bars forced to shutter in favor of Starbucks, Walgreens, and Dunkin Donuts. Even MIT’s recent expansions have hit close to home, as they’ve been buying and demolishing property surrounding every side of the Middlesex Lounge. I was keen on asking Day and Maniatis their thoughts on gentrification, and how it may affect the night in the long term.

Someone remind Ben UFO not to look at the construction cranes outside the window 

“Well for one I personally got priced out of Cambridge, so even as the founder I now live far away”, stated Day. “The crowds seem a little better off and maybe even a little better looking, but aesthetically, they have joined us in our journey. At one of our residents nights a party bus rolled through and we were all concerned they’d want to hear top 40 from the 90s or whatever. The birthday boy comes up to the booth and says: “I have a request…I want you to play as deep as possible—deep house and techno all night long.” And we all looked at each other and said: “We can do that!”

Looking further down the timeline reveals some other ideas Day and Maniatis have had brewing in case someone decides to turn the Middlesex’s entire block into a research lab or Wal-Mart. “The dream is for Alex to get his hands on a club and book it all week long,” said Day. “Alex is a strict professional and the industry knows it at this point. He has the clout and ability to make a club rock all week. Middlesex is dope, it’s like a giant wooden speakerbox, but nothing lasts forever. Someday, one day, Alex will get his own club. It’s fate.”

Soul Clap taking control of the wheels at the Middlesex, 2011 

With both the hindsight to observe where Make it New humbly started, as well as the foresight to see where they may boldly be heading, it’s great to watch them become part of a very select group of promoters managing to keep a party going for a decade. While I wish Day and Maniatis all the best, I wanted to close by asking both of them to reflect on their favorite DJ performances there, both from headliners as well as locals.

“Oh daddy, that’s a tough one,” started Day as he conjured up the early years before Maniatis was involved. “In my era, the Wighnomy Brothers’ U.S. debut was a stand-out. We screened my movie Speaking in Code earlier that night so they got to see it. Then they blew the lid off the place. Barack Obama was recently elected and I remember them playing the entirely of his acceptance speech over the course of the last thirty minutes, riding the beat. It was special.”

Jacques Greene, certainly a crowd favorite, 2013 

David proceeded to discuss his favorite performance in recent years: “Once Alex became involved and MMMMAVEN was launched, I feel the first appearance of Jacques Greene stands out the most. He played a wildly-diverse set, from dancehall to hip-hop and house and more. It represented a big change for the night and a very good turning point. I vividly remember how much I wanted every night to be like that, it was very sexy. Also, Make it News during the Together Festival every year are always special…Andres in 2013 was incredible.”

Alex also agreed with David on the Wighnomy Brothers and Jacques Greene’s sets alongside Daniel Avery’s one during Together week 2014.

Volvox, 2012 

As far as local DJ’s go? Mike Swells, exclaimed Maniatis. “It was a special treat to have Mike back last month.” David went on to shout out the performances former resident DJ Volvox used to play there before moving to Brooklyn. “She was crucial in a lot of ways to the night—from creating the flyers and logos, to coming into her own as a DJ. I’m not surprised she’s become a big deal in Brooklyn. Her aesthetic and dedication to the craft is unique in many ways…a badass, straight up.”

With that said, Make it New celebrates a decade of grooving in the dark this Thursday at the Middlesex (512 Mass Ave). Tiga is returning following his still-talked-about set from The Sinclair last year, so it would be in your best interest to get there early. Come by to toast these guys for ten years of hard work keeping the underground scene thriving!


#BUGATTI