Beats, the new film from director Brian Welsh, tells the tale of two Scottish teenagers attending their first rave in 1994, just as the Conservative government are cracking down on the free party scene. It’s set on the brink of passing the Criminal Justice & Public Order Act — which infamously banned large gatherings around “sounds wholly or predominantly characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats”.
And for dance music fans in particular, the film could be a reflection of moments in countless lives — those nights when you’ll do anything and everything to get to the party.
Coming out of the Cineworld IMAX on London’s Leicester Square after the first UK showing of T2: Trainspotting, the critical mutterings are about ‘a nostalgia-fest’. But nostalgia isn’t always a dirty word. Whenever a group of old friends get together, there is always some reminiscing. It’s as natural as night follows day. It’d be impossible to attend a school reunion without talking about the past.
Seven days of festival can seem like a lot to even the most hardened clubber. Even Craig David took Sunday's off. But that's exactly what The Garden, Croatia, have been providing festival goers for the past decade. Seven days of non-stop club, beach and boat party action featuring the world’s most splendid house and disco talent.
After a long KLM flight from Amsterdam, we arrive at Guayaquil Airport and immediately catch up with Mr C and his partner Xo Chic. It was Mr C who had suggested a DJ Mag party at Lost Beach in Ecuador — and it would’ve been rude not to have taken up the offer really.
Modular seems to be the buzzword of the moment within the dance music fraternity — everywhere we look we are encircled by the new modular way of working. Moog champion the modular approach that has always made them a popular fit in electronic circles, whilst Roland look to push the modular approach onto a new wave of future producers with their new Aira system. Then there are all the bespoke guys utilising the love of all things modular who are creating some pretty tasty systems in their own right.
Manchester’s Parklife festival exists in an alternative dimension where EDM doesn’t exist. You won’t find any cake throwing DJs or the latest celebrity selectors throwing down beats in any of its arenas. What it does offer though, is a festival full to the brim with the latest cutting-edge DJs, producers and bands, which have made it there on merit, and merit alone. Meticulously programmed from start to finish, the festival offers something a bit different — something with a little bit more substance.
The big news from Image-Line the makers of FL Studio (or Fruity Loops as some of the older readers still call it) is that a brand-new version is dropping — and there are more than a few upgrades in there that will be sure to excite existing users and quite possibly attract more than a few converts.
If there is any downside to writing the Tech Section of DJ Mag it certainly isn't getting to see all of the latest equipment from the various manufacturers many months before anyone else. But there is a price to pay for this quantity of digital gluttony and that is the fact that very little equipment truly excites our jaded eyes.