marco shuttle / the aesthetics of expression

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for marco shuttle, music is a work of art. the italian-born, london-based DJ, producer and label boss has always had an eye for aesthetics — a graduate of central saint martins with a background in visuals and fashion, his interest in beauty runs more than skin deep. “whenever you make a decision, whenever you create, it always has something to do with beauty,” he says, “besides if something sounds good, it’s about dealing with what you think is beautiful.” that much is clear; everything from eerie, his self-run label since 2012, to his productions and journey-like DJ sets speak to the foundation of his creative philosophy: aesthetics. such a loyalty to his vision is often what sets him apart from other djs; you might not always know what you’ll get with a marco shuttle set, but you know it’s going to be good.

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introducing / bolting bits collectif

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“we both love going out, meeting new people, new trends, music, and new concepts,” sarah-marie and florent tell me of their new events venture, bolting bits collectif. “we studied in different cities — paris, london, bordeaux — and these cities have really influenced us. we wanted to establish bolting bits by keeping in mind the collaborative cultural models of our favourite venues around the world.” inspired by events like saturday nights  aboard the i.boat in bordeaux, which boasts a terrasse, art exhibitions, a bassin-a-flot, and a party in the ship’s hold, florent and sarah-marie hope to bring a similar sense of mix-and-match to their collective’s events. bolting bits will host not only DJ performances, but visuals, mixtapes, and videos. “we want to offer different activities, different media,” they explain, “we want this project to be 360°.”

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music monday / sam smith

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sam smith is another artist i featured in my “artists to watch 2014” post, but another one that is so good, i felt he deserved his own music monday article. a british singer/songwriter with electronic tendencies and really weird hair, smith gained early notoriety when he collaborated with disclosure on “latch” last year. and of course, because disclosure has the midas touch right now (aka everyone is up on their dicks, literally) sam smith has blown up.

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music monday / fka twigs

i don’t know about you guys, but i have a love hate relationship with winter. i’ve admittedly been a pretty big whiner about the cold the past couple weeks (really though, negative 40 degrees is just not natural) but i do love snow. and for me, certain types of music pair perfectly with a little snowfall, especially when you’re curled up inside with a latte and your computer (like i am right now). FKA twigs is an emerging artist of jamaican and spanish descent, and her chilling, floaty vocals are a fitting complement to a cold, grey afternoon.

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what DJs listen to on their days off

it might be hard to imagine that producers and DJs ever think of music outside of the thumping bass, the bleeps and bloops, and the digital-ness of electronic music. but it’s rare that dance music makers and booty shakers spend every waking minute listening to electronic music. you’d probably be surprised to learn what they listen to when the lights turn on and the headphones come off.

i wish i could take credit for this idea, truly, but it was my friend charlie [nolan brown] who came up with this concept and suggested i turn it into a blog piece. so far, i’ve had answers from dozens of different DJs, producers, labelheads, promoters, and techno lovers. although the piece focuses primarily on DJs and producers, there are a few die hard electronic music fans who play integral roles in the scene that i just couldn’t leave out. i listened to every single one of these songs as they came in, and i hope you do too!

NB: although some people bent the rules by sending songs that leaned towards downtempo, indie electronica, and trip hop, or songs that featured electronic elements, i let it slide as long as it was outside of the genre they produce or play. read on, soldiers!

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