All posts tagged A Trak

6 Posts

A-Trak’s Killer Return to Columbus


The crowd on Saturday was a mix of die-hard A-Trak fans (one I talked to traveled from Indiana to see the Scratchmaster himself) and young professionals hot off their weekly business bender of 9 to 5 shifts. Whether there for the music, the madness, the mocktails, or all of the above, they were all there at Sway and ready to see the place burn down in proverbial flames from the heat anticipated off smoldering spins, scratches, and samples.

At midnight, as if the sea of people was transformed bibbity-bobbity-boo style courtesy of Cinderella’s fairy godmother and a trio of talking mice- #squadgoals- the vibe immediately went from typical Saturday night to totally turnt as A-Trak appeared a la Prince Charming. The intimate space of Sway felt more sophisticated and culturally ahead of the curve of its High Street competitors, as if it was the Royal Ball and those not in attendence were in for some major FOMO.

The Canadian born DJ is known for his flexible sets and intuitive mixes based on the crowd’s reactions… this night was no different and perhaps one of the highlights. His ability to switch from old school hip-hop to a hard dub step mix of Martin Solveig’s “+1” then back to a Top 40 rap banger satiated the ear-candy cravings of all involved. He transitioned from song to song organically and in the moment. An overall A-grade night out can be completely created off an effortless atmosphere alone in which each song played is “your” song…. A-Trak did just that.

He began with a scratch and bass-heavy track followed by a series of phenomenal drops of which the beat would build and held onto just long enough to keep the crowd on their toes (and anxiously awaiting to press the button to record their Snap Chat videos). “Place On Earth”, by the artist and Zoofunktion, began with its peppy piano-rich house sound but was then masterfully mixed to further funkify the synths and repetitive kick bass. It went from a big, bright anthem to a moombah tribute…but wait, it got even better. From there he spun it into Rihanna’s “Bitch Better Have My Money” for one of the most raucous moments of the night.

While cell phones were held high and inhibitions on the low, the DJ then went into a series of newer rap chart toppers like Rae Sremmurd’s “Come Get Her” before putting his thing down, flipping, and reversing it with, wait for it, Will Smith’s 1990 “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” theme song. Mind blown and so many nostalgic feels (cut to me doing the “Carlton” pressed up against other 80s babies thoroughly enjoying the flashback).

I could argue that A-Trak is best at his hip hop and rap-influenced mixes, but what he wrapped up with makes me question not only that, but also my entire human existence. He busted out nearly every recent single of his, from “Place On Earth” to “Out The Speakers” to “We All Fall Down”. Literally the only cherry that could have topped his double-decker extra fudge sundae of a set would have been “Ray Ban Vision”, a 2010 collab he did with Cyhi the Prynce.

Sweaty and satisfied. That’s my takeaway. If it’s not quite eloquent enough, I’ll leave you with the parting words of one club goer that went from stranger to instant bestie within a moment of exchanged wide-eyed glances…. “It is lit, fam.”


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The Perfect Playlist for an Entry-Level EDM Listener


Think about graduating from college: you don’t just walk into the job market and take the CEO’s spot (unless your Dad owns the company, lucky). You have to start somewhere, and that’s why entry-level positions exist. Here is that equivalent for those looking to get their feet wet in the vast, refreshing pool that is Electronic Dance Music.

If you like “Where Are U Now” by Justin Bieber f. Skrillex & Diplo
A little music math: add more Diplo and subtract the Biebs. Now you’ve got the makings of a club hit that newbies can comfortably transition towards as a wavering toddler would when taking his/her first steps. This 90s-inspired track from Diplo is a departure from his other latest as one-half of Jack U, with a catchy AF sampling of Jade’s 1992 “Don’t Walk Away” and a dance hall worthy, synthesized baseline.

If you like “Renegade” by X Ambassadors
Crooning, reflective vocals take on an electronic edge with “Firestone” by Kygo and Conrad Sewell. This track is slow and smoldering, building only at each chorus much like “Renegade”. Both songs are soulful, relying on consistency throughout, and provide smooth melodies for chillaxing during a low-key weekend.

If you like “Downtown” by Macklemore
Kitschy is your middle name if you wore this song out with your stock model speakers on a sweet moped, and I can’t help but love ya for it. “Intoxicated” by Martin Solveig and GTA has the same retro vibe with plenty of cowbell (though I could argue that there’s never enough cowbell); however, it will help you explore entry-level electronic elements like a grooving set of house horns. Both songs are guaranteed to force you to publicly showcase your signature dance moves like the lawnmower or wax on-wax off.

If you like “Love Myself” by Hailee Steinfeld
Congratulations! You’ve already been listening to a crossover hit… this whole time you thought you were basic, but turns out your foray into EDM started earlier this year with the upbeat, commercial house sound of “Love Myself”. Take it up a notch with the self-loving, playfully sensual sound of Galantis’s “Peanut Butter Jelly”. The lyrics beg for explanation similar to Steinfeld’s and the tracks share big builds with pulsating beats to give you all the good vibes.

If you like “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars
I see your funk factor and raise you with “Money Makin'” by Dillon Francis and A-Trak. There’s a ton of techno elements to this track but it also lends an irreverent feel similar to that of “Uptown Funk”. Keep your 70s-style burnt orange pimp suit on, Google basic shuffle moves, and you’re good to go.

If you like “Good For You” by Selena Gomez f. A$AP Rocky
Take the “love is a drug and I’m addicted” sultriness of this R&B song and add a little more vocal auto-tune…now you’ve got the oh-so orgasmic “Temptation” by Bondax and Erik Hassle. Both songs crave a replay with muted melodies and equally compelling, undulating beats that beg you to stay. You are officially not testing the waters anymore, young Jedi, you’re drowning and you definitely don’t want saved.


Must-Haves For Your #NYE16 Playlist


Getting ready for a fun-filled New Year’s Eve can be stressful; even more so if you’re dubbed the official host of the party. Getting your finger foods and hors d’oeuvres chosen can be easy. Alcohol, another easy choice, but what about your music?

Music is the MOST important part of a party; it keeps people moving and livens up the place. The right music selection creates the right ambiance which will determine the mood of your guests. Play some Céline Dion at your NYE party if you want people to cry softly and hold each other’s hands. Play some A-Trak, DJ Snake, or Deorro, and your guests are sure to have happy spirits and be lively and energetic–none of that sappy-crap–even though we should all appreciate Céline Dion.

So, for the up and coming New Year’s Eve, I have my personal top 10 EDM tracks you should consider using at your party. A small selection of Deep House, House, Electro, and Progressive for all hours of the night. Kygo is the perfect closer, And Major Lazer will start your party with a track everyone knows, even those poor souls who are out of touch with EDM. A-Trak’s “Push” (remixed by the Chainsmokers) will get the energy going through the night, even better when the drinks are flowing. Of course my favorite, “Perdóname” by Deorro, is a sure way to move and groove! I hope you enjoy these selections as much as I do!

Have a great New Year’s Eve, fam!


A-Trak Slated to Slay at Sway


As a DJ who has won several world titles, only the most epic of performances can be expected of A-Trak, as his current tour makes a stop at Sway in Columbus next month. A-Trak’s reliable track list is full of methodic, building bass lines and highly-contagious melodies but also big sound club bangers worthy of a few ear-gasms like “We All Fall Down”.

His latest releases seem to blur the lines between electronic, dance, and pop with house influences marching masterfully to each clean chord progression. This should be no surprise by the guy who commonly speaks out against pigeonholing artists into genres. What matters is that his technique is on fleek- as the cool kids would say- and even the most mild EDM enthusiasts (hello Beliebers) will find something to latch on to.

A-Trak is slated to play Jan. 2 downtown at a newer space on the scene, Sway. The part tapas lounge, part nightclub has had a steady stream of reputable DJ’s spin including Eric Prydz and Sidney Sampson. Michael Mercer, Director of Operations and Marketing at Sway, said A-Trak has brought in the largest “day one” ticket sales since opening; impressive with everything going on around New Years Eve and that weekend.

For avid A-Trak listeners, myself included, here’s to hoping he brings his signature scratching to Ohio. Watch his YouTube channel original “Short Cuts” videos to get up to speed on the mind-blowing madness that is his undeniable skill set below. A personal favorite is Episode 8: Beat Steady where he rips apart “Beats Knockin” by Jack U then sews it back together with the agility and precision of a master tailor. That’s one bad ass seamstress. “Landline” is another scratch-heavy hit that only A-Trak can be accountable for, as his transitions are virtually seamless.

A-Trak as a whole is such an amalgam we may even hear a hint of trap or full-on hip hop to his set (he has, after all, work with Yeezus himself Kayne West). You never know with the DJ and yet you do know all at the same time…make sense? Expect songs you can sip on all night like a high-quality liquor of your choosing but also what I call “treadmill tracks” which you can take straight to the dance floor.

Buy your tickets to see A-Trak @ Sway on 1/2/16 here


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A-Trak in costume at Haunted Fest 2014

Stream: Cam’ron & A-Trak – “Humphrey”


Have you ever seen that Family Guy episode where Stewie and Brian travel back in time? Or a similar episode of Nickelodeon’s Jimmy Neutron? If you don’t watch television, did you ever wish you could return to a past era? Well, if you’re trying to re-imagine a different time–recall an old memory, perhaps–then music can take you there. Songs hold an immense power in that regard, capable of evoking untold quantities of emotion and sensory remembrance that place you back within particular moments.

Cam’ron, a hip-hop legend and an esteemed member of The Diplomats aka Dipset (a group that helped run rap in the late 90s and early 2000s) has joined forces with yet another music legend in A-Trak, the DJ for Yeezus himself and founder of Fool’s Gold Records. The result is superb; “Humphrey” is like a long last key, a recovery tool to revitalize a largely lost sound in urban music. A classic Motown-era piano actually thumps at the beat’s forefront while pure soul laces its undertones. As for ‘Ron? He’s still got it.

“HARLEM!” Cam hollers at the track’s soulful beginning, as if the earlier days never left. Even Dame Dash receives a shout out–Jay Z’s former business partner-in-crime serves as the executive producer for Federal Reserve, A-Trak and Cam’ron’s upcoming EP set to feature the other two members of Dipset, Jim Jones and Juelz Santana. Stream “Humphrey” below and enjoy the journey.

Duck Sauce Presents: Duck Tape (Mixtape) [Fool’s Gold]

Duck Sauce Presents Duck Tape

Duck Sauce (A-Trak and Armand Van Helden) dropped a new mixtape titled ‘Duck Tape’. ‘Duck Tape’ is 1 hour of the coolest disco-house songs from A-Trak’s Fool’s Gold Records and may other exclusives as well. Can’t help but notice the tandem’s exquisite turntabilism featured on this tape because they blend the transitions between songs fluidly and naturally. Duck Sauce’s ‘Duck Tape’ is also a free download, but listen to the stream below via Duck Sauce’s soundcloud.

Download: Duck Sauce Presents: Duck Tape (Mixtape) [Fool’s Gold]