Bad Boy Bill Brought Chicago House to Orange County

Bad Boy Bill Brought Chicago House to OC

EXPERIENCE BY: KAGAN RICHARDSON

MDA had the honor of hosting an absolute legend and pioneer, Bad Boy Bill. BBB grew up in Chicago during the house music movement of the mid to late 80s with his DJ career starting in 1985 when he was only a teenager. He built his popularity by hosting his own parties and opening for the legendary Hot Mix 5.

Success as a remixer came early for Bad Boy Bill, as he earned a Top Five Billboard Dance Chart hit at the ripe age of 19 with his remix of Dada Nada’s Deep Love. He had some tough competition as the other remixers for Deep Love included Frankie Knuckles, David Morales, and Steve Wight. As a DJ, he proved his skills by winning the DMC Midwest Finals and placing in the top three of the US championships in 1988. He is known for using up to six turntables in competitions!

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Perhaps Bad Boy Bill’s most interesting accomplishment is helping to bring the concept of commercial DJ mixes to the world. Before commercial DJ mixes, music publishing houses were not paid any royalties on copyrighted music in the mixes DJs would produce and sell. This means that the artists who made the songs were not paid if their songs were featured as part of a mix.

In 1995, Bad Boy Bill launched Mix Connection Multimedia (MCM) and became the first Chicago DJ to produce legally-licensed DJ mixes. He went on to release mix series such as Bangin’ the Box and The House Connection with Richard Vission.

BBB has countless singles and remixes credited to his name, but in 2009 he released his first full-length album which is appropriately named, The Album. I highly recommend checking it out.

Bad Boy Bill merges genres throughout the album like I’ve never heard before, but everything still has his electronic signature. He also shows how well-respected he is in the music world as his list of collaborators include JJ Flores, Steve Smooth, Alyssa Palmer, Alex Peace, and even John Taylor from Duran Duran.

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His set on Friday was very reminiscent of the album, as he blended many different genres, eras, and sounds from start to finish. No matter what everything had the Bad Boy Bill feel to it. He played some of my personal favorite tracks right now, Hood Girl by Billy Kenny and Cola by Camelphat and Elderbrook, and also mixed in some of his newest original tracks like Hustling for Horns with Ghettoblaster.

Bad Boy Bill is one of those rare DJs that has managed to stay relevant for decades, especially in today’s world when DJs are a dime a dozen. I don’t think he will be going anywhere any time soon. I just hope he keeps coming back to Orange County to play!

Until next time Ambassadors!  

Kagan Richardson

AKA DJ Moose Trax

 

RECAP: MAT ZO & MDA DJs @ EXCHANGE LA

Mat Zo Took Exchange LA on a 5-Hour Musical Journey

EXPERIENCE BY: KAGAN RICHARDSON

I swear I had never heard so many people cheer between songs, and I had never seen so many people weep cheers of joy at a DJ set. Mat Zo managed to bring all of the emotions out of the crowd from start to finish of his five hour set at Exchange LA.

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Before getting into the show, here's a little background on Mat Zo. Matan Zohar was born in London to an artistic family with his father being a painter, and his mother and uncle professional musicians. He fell in love with music at a young age, and it didn’t take long for him to shift his focus to electronic music with acts like Daft Punk, Chemical Brothers, and The Prodigy ruling the day in Europe. He was soon DJing around London and working on his own material.

When he was just 16 years old, he released his first single titled Exodus on a:LOUD Recordings. His trance and progressive house styles soon earned him the attention of Above & Beyond and their label, Anjunabeats. He released countless singles and remixes on Anjunabeats, Astralwerks, and other labels, as well as mixing the ever classic Anjunabeats Worldwide 02. I highly recommend checking it out as well as all the other Anjunabeats and Anjunadeep mix CDs. I also recommend Mat Zo’s compilation album, Anjunbeats pres. Mat Zo 01, if you want a taste of Mat Zo’s style early on in his career.

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In addition to all of the singles, remixes, and compilations, Mat Zo also has two full-length albums and an EP to his name. Damage Control was released in 2013 to critical acclaim. It reached number one on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Dance/Electronic Album. One of the singles, Easy, was a collaboration with Porter Robinson and reached the coveted number one spot on Beatport in 2012. The hit of a track samples vocals from Nothing Better by Colourblind.

Self Assemble followed just three years later and was released on his own record label, Mad Zoo, and had countless features spanning from Chuck D of Public Enemy to Linnea Schossow, Marcus Shossow’s very talented sister. The second album didn’t contain as many features as the first, but it did feature collaborations with I See MONSTAS and Sinéad. His three song EP, the Mad EP, followed just three weeks after that also under his own label.

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With such an impressive track record and vast array of productions to his name, Mat Zo had us in for a wild ride of a night. I had never seen a DJ play a five hour set, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. In the past, Mat Zo has produced drum n bass tracks under the name MRSA so I could only guess that his set would span many different styles.

Well, this was only kind of right. Mat Zo not only played samplings of his entire discography, he did so while taking us on a musical journey over the decades. He played classic electronic dance tracks right alongside his own masterpieces, and he did so all night long. His original tracks such as Pyramid Scheme, Rebound, and Get Up 2 Get Down blended perfectly with classic tracks like My Friend by Groove Armada, Axwell’s remix of In the Air by TV Rock, and No Good by The Prodigy.

 

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The highlight of the night for me was when Mat Zo dropped one of his collaborations with Arty, Mozart, to the pure elation of the crowd. Mozart is my personal favorite Mat Zo track, and it is the track the encouraged me to explore the sounds of trance and progressive house more.

While Mat Zo destroyed the dancefloor at the main stage upstairs, Modern Disco Ambassador residents Chef Boyarbeats, Fantom Freq, and yours truly, DJ Moose Trax, had the pleasure of bringing The Gallery Room a fresh supply of underground sounds. I swear the dance floor was on fire by the end of the night with the amount of dancing that was taking place.

 

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It was certainly a night that no one in attendance will forget any time soon. If you get the chance to see Mat Zo at a venue near you, especially at a club like Exchange, take it and thank me later.

Until next time Ambassadors.

RECAP: BLACKGUMMY @ MDA WEDNESDAYS

BlackGummy Made La Cave His Lair for a Night

Experience By: Kagan Richardson

Mau5trap’s own BlackGummy visited our home at La Cave on February 28, for the fourth stop on his Mesophase Tour. I was chomping at the bit to have an opportunity to see BlackGummy -who played EDC Mexico just a few days before, play in such an intimate venue. His heavy-hitting progressive style was sure to tear up the dance floor. For those who are unfamiliar with the artist, here’s a little background about BlackGummy - no ordinary DJ/producer.

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California native, Iman Marouf took a trip abroad in 2013 to the Middle East and Asia where he discovered the idol, BlackGummy. Next to BlackGummy was the Latin quote, “In perpetuum, salutem in omnibus locis; in omni loco, in omni tempore,” which translates to: “To be perpetually, a prey in all places. Are in every place, at all times.”

The idol and quote struck a chord with Iman as according to the story, he instantly formed a bond with BlackGummy and the two fused into one, becoming inseparable. The idol itself became the symbol which can be seen across all of BlackGummy’s content.

BlackGummy attended Icon Collective music production school in Los Angeles, known for educating and inspiring renown artists such as Jauz and Kayzo. There he was mentored by Steve Duda and became a beta tester for his VST, Serum. He is listed in the credits along with deadmau5.

From then on his obsession with production flourished and he devoted his time to improving his craft. His work paid off in 2015 when mau5trap, deadmau5’s record label, discovered BlackGummy and released his first song, Lullaby, and the We Are Friends compilation. Since then he has released three EPs and several singles and remixes, including SuperHuman featuring Colleen D’agostino.

In 2017 BlackGummy took that stage for his Monolith Tour. 2018 BlackGummy is back at it with  the Mesophase Tour. Other artists at mau5trap are set to support BlackGummy on different legs of the tour. They include Attlas, electrocado, monstergetdown, Notaker and Rinzen.

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On February 28, Orange County DJ duo, Double D’s, took the stage when doors opened and warmed up the dance floor perfectly with their progressive house beats. Rinzen, who had opening duties for the night, built off of their energy for an hour and a half set before BlackGummy took control at 12:30 p.m.

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BlackGummy mostly showcased his taste in music during the first hour and a half, then unleashed an onslaught of originals and remixes until the end of the night. The highlight for me was when he mixed in Iconoclast off his most recent EP, Monolith. The crowd went absolutely nuts and kept begging for more and more. BlackGummy obliged!

 

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BlackGummy was one of the first of many amazing artists joining us at La Cave this year. Check out the lineup for upcoming shows.

Until next time Ambassadors.

Kagan Richardson

AKA DJ Moose Trax

Photos courtesy of Joseph Paparazzo and Modern Disco Ambassadors.

 

Win Tickets to Autograf at The El Rey

Catch AUTOGRAF LIVE and special guests on 5/5 at The El Rey Theatre

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Recap: Matoma at The Fonda Theatre

Matoma Never Disappoints

Experience by: Kagan Richardson

Matoma never disappoints and neither does The Fonda. Last Friday, Norway-native Tom Lagergren, aka Matoma, embarked on his One in a Million Tour and made a stop at the legendary Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles. In addition to popular American metropolitan spots, such as New York City, San Francisco, and Las Vegas, Matoma will take the stage in Hungary and Norway, as well. Matoma has been killing it ever since he came onto the scene with his unique remixes, starting with Big Poppa by Notorious B.I.G. in 2014. He went on to release his Hakuna Matoma EP in 2015, along with countless singles and releases over the years. He was even featured on Jason Derulo’s Try Me with Jennifer Lopez in 2015.

This tour, however, was to promote his first full-length album, One in a Million, which is set to release on March 9. Matoma is rumored to have many features joining him on the album, and the first single is proof of that. Slow was released on November 17, the same day tickets for the tour went on sale, and features Noah Cyrus - little sister to Miley Cyrus. In an interview with Billboard, Matoma said he was looking to do something different and with Noah on Slow, it felt right. He heard her first single, Make Me Cry, and loved it so much that he knew he had to get her on a track. Noah is also set to release her debut album in 2018, and she recently released We Are F**ked with MØ.

Matoma hinted at some other awesome collaborations with his tour schedule as he brought many other great artists along with him. Two Friends, Elephante, Naations, Youngr, MAX, Robotaki, and BKAYE all joined on different legs of the tour. Youngr took the opening duties on Friday night with MAX joining Matoma on stage to play their new song together. The talent didn’t stop there as Noah Cyrus and Yashua made surprise appearances to showcase their collaborations.

Matoma himself absolutely killed it all the way through his hour and a half set. He masterfully mixed his originals and remixes while showcasing his vast musical taste by throwing in Yeah 3X by Chris Brown, Still D.R.E. by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, the Candyland remix of Axwell & Ingrosso’s More Than You Know, and Rumors by The Kemist, just to name a few. He kept us guessing all night long.

It was my third time seeing Matoma and the first two times he only DJ’d. This time he brought along a Nord Stage 3 with his normal DJ setup. He fused live elements into his set especially when he had company on stage, showing that he is not just a DJ.

If Friday night is any indication, One in a Million is set to be one of the best albums so far this year. My only complaint of the night was that it ended at 1am, not 2am and we wanted more!

Until next time. Keep your antlers up.

Don Diablo Ticket Giveaway

DON DIABLO is performing at The Fonda Theatre alongside LOST FREQUENCIES on Saturday, February 10!

Enter for a chance to win two tickets below:

 

TICKETS:  HERE  // FB RSVP:  HERE

TICKETS: HERE // FB RSVP: HERE

NEON INDIAN @ EXCHANGE LA RECAP

NEON INDIAN & FRIENDS TAKE OVER EXCHANGE LA W/ MDA DJs

EXPERIENCE BY: KAGAN RICHARDSON

Live performances verse DJ sets are both amazing to experience, but in different ways. Seeing a musician or band express themselves through different mediums is like seeing the legendary Hugh Jackman star in a movie and then catching him on stage for a musical in a theatre. Neon Indian, likewise, a master of their craft for indie dance music, was a performance that I could not miss and being a DJ (and music lover), myself, I was excited to see what was in store for their DJ set at Exchange LA

If you haven't been to Exchange LA or don't know what it is, here's a little background. The building began construction in 1929, just a few days before the stock market crash. It's prime location is on Spring Street in Downtown Los Angeles. In 1931, it opened as the Los Angeles Stock Exchange, 35 years later it became the Pacific Stock Exchange, and in 1986 the facility made a final move from the location.

 

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That's right, the dance floor was once used for trading stocks, but now trades memories of legendary performances. The halls that once echoed of shouting numbers and figures, now chants songs and melodies, with thousands of guests dancing to the same rhythm in unison. If you stand in the middle of the dance floor, facing the main stage and look directly up and to the right, you can see where the clock used to be for the trading floor. 

In more current history, PAX America purchased the building in 2006 and opened doors for a new dance club, Exchange LA in 2010. However, in 2013 PAX filed for bankruptcy, which paved the way for Insomniac to take over and establish the venue that we know and love today.

In my opinion, Exchange LA is one of the best clubs in the city. Insomniac truly does an amazing job with the production. When you ascend the large marble staircase to the main stage on the second floor, it feels as though you have been teleported to a midnight set at the Neon Garden stage at EDC Las Vegas, also run by Insomniac.

The lights and lasers are always on point, and the Funktion One sound system is a force to be reckoned with. Seeing Neon Indian at such a quality venue with great support from Holy Ghost!, Gigamesh, Rambo and not to mention MDA DJs, was certainly a treat. 

 

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In the heart of Downtown, you get a true taste of life in Los Angeles, as you walk toward the venue. You can feel the bass as soon as you step onto the sidewalk surrounding Exchange LA. Immediately after walking through the door, you can spot The Gallery, a spacious side room on the first floor that typically houses lineups curated from partners. This night MDA had the pleasure of curating a stacked lineup, which included DJ Instagator, Rachel and Rozco.

On the main stage, Rambo started by perfectly building up the tasty disco beats in preparation for Holy Ghost!, who took over around 11:30 p.m. The synth-pop duo from NYC held down their set for about an hour and a half before Neon Indian took the staged, which was accompanied by a roar from the crowd.

 

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Alex Polomo, the frontman for the four piece band, Neon Indian, was a solo act during this DJ set. They were named one of the best new bands in 2010 by Rolling Stone and have three albums to their name, so far. Polish Girl, off of their second album, Era Extrana, released in 2012, is the song that got me hooked. If you haven't listened to it, I highly recommend it.

Even though the rest of the band wasn't there, the unique style of Neon Indian was shown throughout the set. The chill-wave and synth-pop sound with groovy basslines drove the dance floor to a fervor.

When the clock struck 2 a.m., I wasn't sure if I could keep going after dancing nonstop for hours, but multi-platinum selling Gigamesh had different plans for me. Best known for producing Cooler Than Me by Mike Posner and for his remix of Foster The People's Pumped Up Kicks, he took over at 2 a.m. and carried the crowd masterfully with chill, groovy vibes until Exchange LA shut doors at 4 a.m.

 

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Insomniac spoiled us with such an amazing lineup all in one night. I left the club feeling like I had just finished the world's craziest leg day at the gym. I want to say no more dancing for a few days... but you'll probably find me on the dance floor soon anyway. 

Until next time. Keep those antlers up. 

Win Two Tickets to Matoma

Catch MATOMA at The Fonda Theatre on February 2!

Enter for a chance to win two tickets below:

TICKETS:  HERE  // FB RSVP:  HERE

TICKETS: HERE // FB RSVP: HERE

Moving Castle World Ticket Giveaway

Moving Castle World will take place on January 27 at The Fonda Theatre!

Enter for a chance to win two tickets below to this killer event featuring Manila Killa, AOBeats, Robokid, Qrion, EXES, Mark Johns, Rulers, Moonbounce, Valentine, Madnap, Yung Wall Street, and Kwon:

TICKETS:  HERE  // FB RSVP:  HERE

TICKETS: HERE // FB RSVP: HERE