This year is shaping up to be the most exciting in BAMM.tv history. Why is this? For many reasons, but a major one being our partnership with a company called Whrrl.
Whrrl is a social location-based application with the purpose of getting people out into the world discovering new things. When music fans check in to venues or music stores, the BAMM.tv Society (Society = groups of people who like the same things) is going to help them discover what we all love –new indie music.
They’ll get recommendations from you about where your band is playing and where to buy your tunes. And each recommendation will link to your BAMM.tv videos. Whrrl also provides incentives for your fans to share with one another and with their friends.
Be sure to check in on Whrrl from your phone at our party for a chance to win VIP Vegas packages or His/Her Audis!
This past week, 5daysoff was at the center of Amsterdam’s nightlife once again. The festival is held every year at the city’s prime popvenues, Melkweg and Paradiso, provides the audience with a coherent cross-section of what’s going on in the global electronica circuit. So despite our 3 day SXSW showcase festivities looming at the horizon, BAMM decided to enter the maelstrom of beats and synths and get inspired. So, what acts caught our attention?
Every day each venue focuses on a certain segment of the electronic scene, either by inviting prominent clubnights held in the city throughout the year, leading record labels or touring events to present themselves to the audience on one of the nights. On the first day, the Paradiso featured several hip hop acts from the influential Dutch label Top Notch, while Melkweg hosted a special edition of their new event Closer, featuring artists who operate at the frontiers and cross-sections of electronic music. Despite the strong line-up at Melkweg, including Brooklyn’s post-punk-electronica wonderboy Matthew Dear and the talented British producer Gold Panda -not to mention an amusing DJ-set by Caribou’s Dan Snaith, our pick of the day is uncontested: De Jeugd Van Tegenwoordig for the win!
“Who?” do I hear you thinking. Well, De Jeugd Van Tegenwoordig (The Youth Of Today) is definitely one of the most influential Dutch hip hop crews to hit stages and record charts in the past 10 years. These avant-garde electrofunkateers bring a unique mix of artistic beats, linguistic innovations, and playful nonsense. Starting off as a bit of a joke, their surprise first hitsingle Watskeburt?, released in 2005, immediately catapulted them to both star- and cultstatus in the Netherlands and Flanders. Six years laters, and with three full-length albums and countless side-projects and guest appearances under their belt, MC’s Willie Wartaal, Faberyayo, Vieze Freddie and producer Bas Bron reside at the very top of the Dutch music scene. Their 90-minute set during 5daysoff was riddled with bona fide dancefloor hits, including Elektrotechnique, Hollereer, Shenkie and Wopwopwop, and lots of fooling around.
The second day was a toss-up between the circus surrounding world-renowned Flemish mash-up and remix artists 2manydjs in Paradiso, and a night of techno at Melkweg. In the end we couldn’t resist checking out the Melkweg. Techno has a special place in the electronic spectre: despite being quite and old concept; and its development’s at a relative standstill compared to dubstep for instance; the scene is remarkably consistent, with plenty of audience to go around. Both Dutch pride Joris Voorn and Hamburg-based DJ Koze displayed their top form with tasteful sets of funky minimal and eclectic electronica respectively. But it was none other than Berlin’s first lady of techno Ellen Allien who was truly shining at Melkweg on thursday.
The 42-year old German dj/producer has been enlighting the scene since way back in 1992, but is far from retirement. Her label BPitch Control has released landmark works from the likes of Paul Kalkbrenner, Modeselektor and Apparat (more on him later), and off course her own releases. As a dj, she’s had good an bad moments. She’ll never be a virtuous mixer, and at times she tends to stick to flat beats and little variation, which makes for kind of a bland performance. Luckily, tonight is not one of those nights. She plays to her strengths, and mixes one surprising, tasteful record after the other. Ranging from electro to pop to ambient sounds to wobbling dubstep and back to pounding techno; ms. Allien is focused, in charge and shining. After a career spanning 19-years and countless nights in clubs like Melkweg, she is still as eager as ever. This lady demands a lot of respect.
Check in later this week for part 2 of our 5daysoff roundup.
Jasper van der Put (1987) is a member of BAMM’s music team. Working from Amsterdam, Jasper will share his thoughts on current developments in the music of North-Western Europe.
A slight sense of amazement can set in upon hearing The Ferocious Few for the first time. Surely, one thinks, there has to be more to the band than just (usually) two guys tearing it up with little more than a guitar and a drum set. Sure, the sound on their first album, Juices, is stripped-down-and-muddled, Southern-inspired rock. It’s somewhat familiar, but all the more interesting, given the intensity of the lyrics and delivery, and the band’s small size.
I can recall their gig with BAMM.TV at SXSW 2010 very clearly. I was tending to some minor technical crisis on the other side of our space in the Austin Convention Center, but wanted to meet the band. When I walked over to hear the performance of what is probably their most well-known song, Cryin’ Shame, I kept wondering to myself if their bassist was off ill or something. But little did I know. Have a listen:
What makes it all work is the fact that vocalist Francisco Fernandez’s pitch and tone remains consistently right on the mark, sustaining the magnitude of their songs. The power of the lyrics, which tend to be steeped in a tea (cocktail?) of heartbreak, despair and adrenaline, resonate loudly, creating the framework for the general sense of aural distortion that defines their sound. Sounding something like a fusion of Widespread Panic’s John Bell, mid-career Dylan and a healthy dash of Gregg Allman, Fernandez has long since stripped down his original four-piece band to the strong two-piece format, and ran with it. The Ferocious Few literally took to the streets of San Francisco with drummer Daniel Aguilar. Playing on the streets, in the park, at festivals—basically any place a busking station could be set up with a cheap portable amp and a willing crowd of passers-by—the band has become known in the Bay Area for their pop-up outdoor gigs and guerilla-like, hit-and-run spirit. This shines through clearly in their brilliant new video for Loc’d Out, also off the Juices album.
The Ferocious Few is now playing with drummer Melvin Ocassio, but none of the duo’s rampant energy seems to have escaped. As much as we want to keep hearing them kickin’ it on the corner of 16th and Mission, or outside on a warm sunny day someplace near Sixth Street in Austin, I think it’d be best to check ‘em out now, before they find that opening-band gig for the next big thing, and then become the next big thing themselves.