Why Tiësto Became an Indie-Inspired Electro Chameleon

Tijs Michiel Verwest, a.k.a. Tiësto

Tijs Michiel Verwest is more than just an electronic-dance-music (EDM) DJ and producer. He is the quintessential originator of the iconic brand Tiësto, which has continued to revolutionize itself and change the game for dance music artists all over the world for almost two decades. With Grammy nominations, numerous awards, collaborations with Guess Clothing, a Sirius XM Club Life Radio Channel, the No. 1 podcast on iTunes, his own Madame Tussaud's wax statue, residencies all over the world, and headlining every major festival including Coachella's main stage, plus being the first DJ to play at the Olympic Games in Athens, as well as the highest paid DJ on the Forbes list, Tiësto has proven to be larger than life, with no signs of slowing down.

Though he suffered a minor touring setback due to back problems on his 2012 College Invasion Tour, he is making up the missed dates this winter, including a stop at the Staples Center March 2. Presented by Goldenvoice and Insomniac, this performance marks the second time a DJ will play a show at the Staples Center -- Kaskade was the first DJ to sell it out with his Freaks of Nature Tour last summer. So in honor of Tiësto's Los Angeles comeback (he was last in LA in 2011 as a part of that year's College Invasion Tour, which hosted 26,000 fans at the Home Depot Center), we chatted with Verwest right as he hit the tour bus with fellow DJ friends Tommy Trash, Quintino and Alvaro. The Dutch artist covered everything from cultivating his sound to impromptu gigs to what's currently on his iPod.

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Myndset is an Old School DJ With New School Head Gear


There are some local artists who are destined for the lime-light, even if Orange County doesn't always have much to offer in that regard. This is something Myndset learned early on in his career as a hip-hop DJ. At the time he went by a different moniker and played every major club in OC feeding the masses their weekly dose of top 40 and hip hop beats. He felt hip hop was getting stale and was drawn by the sounds of electronic music - something that hadn't reached the popularity it has now and which he says "feed his soul." He enrolled in OC Weekly's DJ competition to play at Ultra Music Festival in 2008 and won, landing himself a coveted spot at one of EDM's biggest festivals in the world.

"That was one of the best days of my life and such a cool experience, Myndset says. "I was like it's there for the taking if anyone wants but I can do this. So I practiced the shit out of my routine and brought out all my tricks as a true turntablist." Yet the biggest thing he gained from that experience is that you can make it as a traveling DJ (something he had always dreamed of) and the world was his oyster with hard work and perseverance.

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Plastician at DUBtroit - Detroit Bar - Feb. 20, 2013

Robert Sorey

Plastician at DUBtroit
Feb. 20, 2013
Detroit Bar

Last night, DUBtroit returned to Detroit Bar for the second time this year after migrating to the Observatory in 2011, followed by a brief stint in the LA club scene. DJ teaLong, 12th Planet, Drew Best and Danny Johnson of the SMOG Records crew teamed up to bring back the monthly DJ staple, which was notorious for the best dubstep, bass, booze and babes that OC had to offer on a Tuesday night. This evening, they brought aboard U.K. bass king Plastician, not to be confused with techno king Plastikman, to take the crowd on an incredible two-hour journey from the roots of dubstep to its current North American explosion.

See Also:
SMOG Records Celebrates Six Years of Bringing Dubstep to American Dance Floors

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Justin and Christian Martin - Yost Theater - January 17, 2012

Dale Takes Pictures
Justin Martin at the Yost Theater

Justin & Christian Martin
Yost Theater

Straying away from their usual format the White Rabbit Group hosted a Dirtybird Record Label party last night at the Yost Theater featuring the deep grooves of Justin Martin and Christian Martin along with the resident DJs at Focus Tuesdays (the local house joint right here in Orange County). The Bay Area brothers allowed us to tag along with them both during and after the show for a night that was unparalleled and special to what we normally see in Santa Ana. After lots of beer, dancing and after party madness we are still trying to piece together the evening as we cure our massive hangover.

The Focus crew which includes Nonfiction, Wobs and Josh Billings played a unique back to back opening set to warm up the crowd as the room began to fill with house heads, burners and dance music aficionados up until a little past 11p.m. The guys did an awesome job of syncing together to splice deep house and tech house tracks in seamless fashion for this 18 and over crowd, much like they do at Focus in Newport Beach every Tuesday. Our favorite was a Pablo Fierro track titled "I Want It" which had us grooving as we knocked back a few beers and waited for the Martin brothers to arrive.

See Also:
*Free Ticket Tuesday: Justin Martin at the Yost Theater
*Five EDM Artists We'd Like to See at Coachella This Year
*Damian Lazarus Plays Music For 24-Hour Party People...Literally

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PeaceTreaty Are Enjoying EDM Stardom as Part of the Dim Mak Family

Angelo Patino-Patroni and Josh Anaya of PeaceTreaty

It's hard to believe all that the Chino Hills duo PeaceTreaty has achieved in the mere couple of years they have been making electronic dance music together. Since we last spoke to Josh Anaya and Angelo Patino-Patroni they have continued their momentum on the OC native Steve Aoki's Dim Mak Record Label touring the world including at Insomniac's Nocturnal Wonderland in San Bernadino and Electric Zoo in New York. With remixes for artists like Robbie Rivera and Hot Mouth out now their primary focus is to finish their full length debut album which has been in the works since they released their EP in 2011. Tonight they are bringing their eclectic big room house sound to White Rabbit's Havoc Thursdays at the Yost Theater in Santa Ana. We caught up with Josh, Angelo and their cute pug Ziggy at their studio in Newport Beach where the two reside, to catch up on what life has been like for the OC duo as a part of the well known Dim Mak family.

See Also:
*Five EDM Artists We'd Like to See at Coachella This Year
*Pendulum DJ Set - Yost Theater - November 15, 2012
*PeaceTreaty's Name Was Coined as a Joke By an Ex-Girlfriend -- But It Suits Them Perfectly

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9th Annual Holiday Groove - Playhouse Hollywood - December 5, 2012

Courtesy of Robert Sorey Photography
Dave Dresden and Josh Gabriel of Gabriel & Dresden

9th Annual Holiday Groove
Playhouse Hollywood
December 5, 2012

On Wednesday night, we headed to Hollywood for the 9th Annual Holiday Groove Toy Drive at Playhouse hosted by Groove Radio, Chemistry LA and We Simply Rule. Swedish Egil, the European DJ who made a name for himself as a radio personality on KROQ, has built an incredible institution with Groove Radio for 20 years now and is often called the "Godfather" of dance music. Some of the biggest names in EDM have joined Egil on not only Groove Radio, but at his massive year end party Holiday Groove which benefits the "Spark of Love" charity for kids.

Over 40 DJs such as Trent Cantrelle, Shogun, DJ Dan, Christopher Lawrence, The Crystal Method, Tommy Lee & DJ Aero and Paul Ahi played at Playhouse on Wednesday while live on Groove Radio for a fabulous evening that celebrated electronic dance music and it's Los Angeles pioneers. Decorated in Christmas cheer complete with a Santa Clause, Playhouse has been a successful staple in EDM with their Monday Night Social, Dirty Sexy House Fridays and events like Holiday Groove year after year. Imagine speed dating your favorite DJs as each played a short 30 minute set of everything from house, trance, electro and dubstep.

See Also:
First Listen: Minaya & Vikus, Spiro "Overdrive"
Top Five Holiday EDM Parties You're Not Allowed to Miss
Richie Hawtin Uses His CNTRL: Beyond EDM Tour to Educate Your Ass, Then Make it Shake

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Rebecca & Fiona Vow to Never Be Boring Beatport Jockeys

Courtesy of Erica Nusgart Images
Rebecca Scheja & Fiona Fitzpatrick at Escape From Wonderland

See Also:
*Rebecca & Fiona - Dim Mak Studios - 7/12/12
*Richie Hawtin Uses His CNTRL: Beyond EDM Tour to Educate Your Ass, Then Make it Shake
*Top Five Best and Worst Parts of Escape From Wonderland - NOS Events Center - October 27,2012

Rebecca Scheja and Fiona Fitzpatrick are best known for their seductive long eyelashes, sky-high platform shoes and being one of the few electronic dance music female DJ duos out there. What most people don't know is that besides their chic thrift store apparel they are also skilled producers, songwriters and vocalists. With a debut album I Love You Man under their belt and collaborations with artists such as Tiësto and Kaskade the Swedish pair is ready to affirm that they are more than just two "drunk girls" with famous DJ boyfriends.

Rebecca & Fiona have been playing world-class nightclubs and the largest festivals worldwide since forming in 2010. Tomorrow they roll through Exchange LA for Insomniac Event's Inception Saturdays were they will show Angelinos what they are truly made of. We got the pleasure of chatting with the Swedish pair backstage at Escape from Wonderland where we talked about repetitive DJs in EDM today as well as how their current boyfriends are influencing them.

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SMOG Records Celebrates Six Years of Bringing Dubstep to American Dance Floors

Alejandra Loera / OC Weekly
Danny Johnson, 12th Planet, SPL, Flinch and Drew Best of SMOG Records

The SMOG crew has single handedly helped pioneer the dubstep music movement in Los Angeles and Orange County. Starting as a promotion company to throw dubstep shows at a time when there weren't many places to hear this new sound, Drew Best and Danny Johnson teamed up to create an event called "An Experiment in Dubstep" in downtown LA on August of 2006. Soon this underground dance movement grew exponentially and so did SMOG which became a record label a year later with12th Planet (born John Dadzie) as the main artist and partner.

This weekend SMOG Records celebrates their six year anniversary with artists like Antiserum, Truth, SPL, Noah D, Pawn, Kelly Dean, Steady and more at the The Roxy Friday November 23rd. We met up with Best, Johnson, 12th Planet and Adam Glassco better know as Flinch as well as Sam Pool or SPL as he is known in the bass world, to talk about their incredible success as a record label, artist development hub and lifestyle brand.

See Also:
*Best Record of the Past 12 Months - Flinch's 'Light It Up'
*Rusko Talks About Bringing UK Dubstep to Cali and Shares His New EP for Free
*Turbulence: OC's Latest EDM Experience Moves Into the Observatory, Stages a Takeover

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Pendulum DJ Set - Yost Theater - November 15, 2012

Courtesy of Daniel Yoshinari
Pendulum DJ El Hornet & MC The Verse

Pendulum DJ Set
Yost Theater
November 15, 2012

Though original Pendulum band mates Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen have taken a break from touring live to work on their side project Knife Party, Paul 'El Hornet' Harding and MC Benjamin 'Verse' Mount have continued DJing and just embarked on a 12 stop North American Tour. They stormed through the Yost Theater last night in downtown Santa Ana as the second stop on this highly anticipated tour. This special 18-and-over event though booked by San Diego based LED, was mostly promoted by OC's own White Rabbit Group for an evening of banging beats and bass-in-your-face goodness which ignited a raging party despite the rain.

LED favorite FYOR was one of the opening selectors who had the privilege of warming up the crowd and sharing the stage which such an iconic band in the electronic dance music scene. We might have still been recovering from the madness at the Datsik show a couple of weeks ago, but we noticed the sound was a tad lower than normal this time. Regardless FYOR did a respectable job of splicing in some house with the electro hits the 18 year old crowd loves. Our favorite was Gesaffelstein's "Control Movement" which had the perfect warm up groove. By midnight however, those on the dance floor were packed like sardines and ready to be taken back by Pendulum's old school drum & bass sound.

See Also:
*Rusko Talks About Bringing UK Dubstep to Cali and Shares His New EP for Free
*Top Five Best and Worst Parts of Escape From Wonderland - NOS Events Center - October 27,2012
*Datsik Firepower Tour - Yost Theater - Monday October 22, 2012 [with VIDEO]

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Sonar Festival Brings EDM Insanity From Spain to the States

Courtesy of James Moriarty

On Saturday November 10th, "Sonar On Tour"--Barcelona's international and world-renowned festival of electronic music and new media art-- ends it's eight day circuit at the Shrine Expo Hall in Los Angeles. While the tour had an abrupt cancellation due to the impact of Hurricane Sandy at the New York Roseland Ballroom, the Spanish mega festival creators have been making their way through the East Coast and Canada with stops at the Chicago Congress Theater to the Metropolis in Montreal. Boasting a mix of live acts and DJ sets from Die Antwoord to Nic Fanciulli we decided to talk to the Sonar head of international media Georgia Taglietti and one of the bands on the tour AZARI & III about their coming to America.

"You already have a lot festivals in America so we choose to bring a tour to see how the public reacts and get a feel of how you perceive our brand," shares Taglietti the EA to the directors of the Sonar Festival brand. "What we bring on tour is a microcosm of what we do in Barcelona, which is 100,000 people over a three-day weekend for night and day parties." Established in June 1994 by the same three directors today, Sonar's principles were to blend artistry with entertainment while honoring the avant-garde and experimentation that comes with the possibilities of electronic music and it's culture. Hosting four outdoor stages, "Sonar by Day takes off pure entertainment and the feeling you get from learning about new music, media and art exhibitions," explains Georgia. "Sonar by Night goes into a 25,000 person venue which has a stage set up that supports our live acts as well as our DJ sets."

See Also:
Damian Lazarus Plays Music For 24-Hour Party People...Literally
Orbital Tell Us How to Make it in the EDM Scene
Top Five Worst Places to Get Your EDM News

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