This AirBnB-Certified "Grime Scout” Wants To Show You Around London’s Music Scene

Photo courtesy of Butterz

Are you a fun-loving American rudeboy with a thirst for adventure? If so, strap on your best chino tracksuit and head on over to AirBnB, where the cultural experience of a lifetime is waiting. The home-sharing site has announced a new immersive program called City Hosts, in which locals take tourists on multi-day field trips deep into their native habitat. One of thesea London excursion titled “Grime Scout“features a man named Dominique, whose bio on the site states that he’s “an advertising marketeer and reportage photographer,” as well as a “repertoire coordinator for Slip Records.”

We reached out to Dominique, who explained that he got his start listening to grime on pirate radio a decade ago. He tried his hand at becoming an MCwhen that “didn’t go too well, ” he switched to event photography and working behind the scenes.

“As I was going round taking shots at gigs,” he explains, “people started to ask me to connect things, using my network from growing up in London and being into the sceneartists Greatness Jones and Pops.”

As for Slip Records, it’s a “collective/label of creatives and like minded people” focused on grime and rap, in which Dominique’s “involvement changes all the time, from A&R type of responsibilities to more of a managerial overseeing standpoint.” Additional info on the imprintfrom Dominique or elsewhere on the internetis conspicuously scarce.

But what exactly does the Grime Scout experience offer entail? According to the listing, Dominique has lined up three days of fun. Day one: he’ll escort you to “the best gigs of the night, on either end of the city. Wherever we go,” he promises, “I’ll teach you how to spot amazing talent.”

On the second day you’ll visit a grime studio, where the two of you will “sit in on a live recording session or warm up our own vocals.”

The third night of Grime Scout is basically the same as the first”We’ll groove to the beat at one or more of my favorite underground London clubs,” Dominique writes, “and might just end up partying in the same spot as Pharrell Williams, Ed Sheeran, or ASAP Rocky.”

The chance to meet a grime star like Ed Sheeran seems worth the price of admission alone; it’s a measly 190 quidonly $230 post-Brexitwith six drinks included! That’s less than you spent on ASOS buying out the look from Kano’s File after that cute girl in HR told you she likes Skins.

AirBnB’s business model offers endless possibilities for global expansion. Maybe someone in East Atlanta could offer a Segway tour of the neighborhoods where Migos and Gucci Mane grew up. At night you could roll up to Magic City, with singles provided.

If this all sounds dangerously close to Westworld, don’t worry”Dom has a genuine host persona,” wrote one AirBnB user named Leo last October in his 5 star review. For now, at least; you never know when he might discover his core programming, wake up, and attack an innocent guest live on NTS.

Maybe you’re skeptical about this kind of surface-level touristic immersion in a complex musical culture. Understandable, but here’s something you might not knowSkepta was once an environmental studies major from UC Santa Barbara who bought an AirBnB experience package on spring break. His host took him to BBK’s studio where Wiley let him jump on the mic. The rest is history.

Ash Koosha Shares Statement Opposing "Unjust" Travel Ban

Photo by Ozge Cone

London-based experimentalist Ash Koosha today shared an impassioned statement in response to President Trump’s new immigration ban. Koosha won’t be able to tour in the US because of the ban, and he calls the executive order signed Friday a threat to global progress.

Koosha relays events from his own experiences as a refugee in the letter, including descriptions of the painful journey from his birthplace of Iran to the UK taken in order to freely pursue making art, losing friends in the aftermath of exile, and having to cancel his first US tour because of “administrative processing” problems with his visa.

He also says that the future of humanity can only be great if it involves contributions from people of all nationalities, and that the executive order will “prove ineffective in its supposed goal of defying terrorism.” Read the statement in full below, conveyed via his label Ninja Tune.

I grew up in post-revolution Iran, an environment full of conflict between revolutionary values, global progress and social freedom. This conflict was reflected daily in my own life. I was discouraged from learning music and practicing any creative expression that was at odds with 1979 revolutionary values.

I was jailed for organizing and performing a concert in Iran. Later I was accused of promoting Western values and in turn revealing the extent of Iran’s censorship and ban on many forms of contemporary arts. Consequently, I found myself, my family, and friends in exile, both in Europe and the USA. This was a sad drain of creative minds, and youthful energy from a country that desperately needed its younger generation.

We suffered through anxiety, distress, and a crisis of identity while in exile. We even lost friends to death in the aftermath of this transition. We became refugees; not celebrated artists.

In a newfound freedom in the UK, after a battle with these newly imposed dilemmas, I was able to speak out via music, sound, and technology. I released an album that celebrated the future and explored technological ideas that could push our experiences of sound forward. I was able to see beyond my geography and contribute to what it is to be ‘human.’ Be it music, film, exploring the future of humanity and tackling issues such as Universal Basic Income, climate change, and more.

I was about to travel to the USA last summer for the first time. It was time for me to see a great country that contributed to art and technology for generations and stood for progress, peace, and freedom. Even though I spent a lot of money to start a petition in order gain entry (which was accepted) I still didn’t receive my visa on time. So my first tour in the US was canceled due to ‘Administrative Processing.’ All of my ambitions, contributions, and efforts were reduced to bureaucratic paperwork that left me feeling betrayed and burdened because of my ‘place of birth.’

No one chooses to be exiled and no one chooses to be born in one place or another and it is in no one’s interest to ban global progress, something that many people from different nationalities are contributing to daily and they are doing it all for the future of humanity. The global progress, unfortunately is being threatened by executive orders of Donald Trump in an unjust entry ban on refugees. A ban that also affects scholars, students, family members, artists and the mere tourists with no intention of settling in the USA.

This executive order will prove ineffective in its supposed goal of defying terrorism. It is the outcome of petty political pandering to the detriment of thousands. Personally, I won’t be able to go on my USA tours, share my discoveries in sound and music, or promote the first VR album experience in the biggest market in the world. More importantly, refugees won’t find safety, families wont be reunited, academics wont be able to continue their research, and people are stranded in a limbo of unknown future.

Donald Trump came to power claiming that he’ll make America great again. But this seems impossible without the contribution from many many people of whom I am only one.

Over the weekend, electronic musicians including Deadmau5, The Black Madonna, and Scuba spoke out against Trump’s executive order. Grimes and Sia have also pledged to match donations to organizations fighting the ban.

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Grimes And Sia To Match Donations To Organizations Fighting The Immigration Ban

Photo of Grimes courtesy of the artist

Experimental pop musician Grimes and Australian artist Sia have both stepped up to help prominent civil rights and advocacy organizations in response to President Trump’s controversial immigration ban. On Saturday Grimes matched $10,000 in donations to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and Sia pledged to match $100,000 in donations to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), asking fans to “help our queer and immigrant friends.”

Trump signed the executive order on Friday, barring entry into the US for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen) for the next 90 days. It also blocked Syrian refugees indefinitely, as well as the entry of all international refugees into the country for the next 120 days. Because of the order, hundreds of people arriving at US airportsincluding many green card and visa holdershave either been placed in detention or deported.

Protests erupted across the country this weekend in immediate response to the ban. Club music figures including Deadmau5, The Black Madonna, and more also took to Twitter to speak out against Trump’s order.

The THUMP Guide To Shitting In Nightclubs

All illustrations by Joshua Hanton

This post ran originally on THUMP UK.

There are people in this world, definitely millions, possibly billions in fact, who love nothing more than shitting. Having a shit, to them, is the utmost joy, the purest pleasure imaginable, an ecstatic experience that brings them closer to God than they ever thought possible. These are people who’ll wolf down the greasiest burgers or the finest caviar with a smile on their face, content in the knowledge that in several hours time they’ll find themselves astride a porcelain throne, faces puce and perspiring. They sigh with joy, relishing every single second of their extended shitting session. The final flush is the saddest sound in the world.

How To Avoid Taking A Shit At A Festival

I’d like to think, though, that even these people, even the men and women of the world who look down proudly into the pan to admire their own product, have their limits, that even the shit-happy still feel a pang of shame engulfing them as they slide into a cubicle in an Asda, still want to ground to swallow them whole whenever they find themselves staring at a coat hook and a dodgy lock in a high street pub just before closing time. Surely, one has to assume, even they fear one thing above all else: needing to have a shit on a night out in a club.

Few thoughts slide in and out of my brain like the rancid slop of last night’s ill-advised fried gristle and chips with as much terror and regularity as the thought that this weekend coming I might find myself stood in a queue, absolutely fucking desperate for a shit, and that I am going to have to wipe someone else’s piss off the seat, and sit there, trousers and pants down by my ankles, trying to shit, all the while putting up with the ceaseless barrage of door-knocking an and hurry-upping.

Unfortunately the combination of alcohol, excitement, and whatever the fuck it is that you’ve slid down your Tuborg-lubricated gullet in the smoking area earlier that evening, results in quite a high likelihood of you needing to evacuate your bowels at some point during the night. Also quite unfortunately, needing to go to the toilet is a pretty non-negotiable situation. Holding it in won’t do you any favors in the long runyou’ll probably find yourself doubled over on the top of a double decker come sunrise, incapable of rational speech, limiting yourself to the occasional groan of anxiety-flecked pain. One has to just suck it up and spit it out, as it were.

To ensure that you find yourself capable of some much needed release next time you’re stood shaking in a club queue, we’ve put together a few handy do’s and don’ts. Print this out and keep it in your back pocket at the weekendyou might want something to read on the loo, if you don’t find another use for it of course.

Don’t Linger

It’s two in the morning and Anthony Naples is sending the room into a frenzy. Eyeballs are rolling, jaws are clenching and everyone’s having the time of their life. Apart from you. Because you desperately need to have a shit. You waddle over to the bathroom, braving the acrid stench of old piss and freshly cut coke, tramping through the ominously dark puddles on the floor, standing shoulder to shoulder with a bloke talking to himself, sweat threatening to send him the way of the Snowman. You’re clenching and grimacing which, handily, means you’re fitting right in with everyone else in the room.

You finally get your slot and slide into the cubicle. The lock, predictably, is fucked, so you’ve got to perform gyratory gymnastics, wedging it shut with one foot while making sure you’re sat fully on the toilet itself. Once that’s been achieved…GO GO GO. You’ve got a minute, two at most, to avoid the heckles and jeers of the waiting hordes, so push with all your might, muster all your internal energy and get the fuck out of there.

Dear Everyone, Please Stop Farting on the Dancefloor

Do Accept Your Own Fallibility

I was recently speaking to a mate of mine about shitting in nightclubswhich just in case my mum is reading, is a perfectly normal topic of conversation when you make a living from writing about the intricacies of club etiquette, honestlyand he confessed that he’s used the men’s in every single club he’s ever been to. Which, I begrudgingly admitted, is in its own way, oddly impressive.

For him, you’d have to imagine, there’s no nervousness, no stomach-churning, no sense of “oh shit, I’ve got to shit.” He can strut into the club secure in the knowledge that the bathroom is his domain, that nothing, absolutely nothing, is going to deter him from letting nature have it’s way. He is the man we should all aspire to be, so let us draw courage from this brave soul, and hold our heads high as we stumble back onto the dancefloor a few pounds lighter.

Don’t Do it on the Floor

Remember when that bloke took a shit on the floor of a nightclub in Wigan last year? Remember that? Remember seeing the video of it on LadBible and then feeling engulfed by second hand shame? Remember how it put you off doing anything ever again? Yeah? Don’t do it then. Dear god, never ever shit on any floor ever. Ever!

Do Plan Ahead

I think it was John Fashanu who once said “Prior preparation prevents poor performance,” and largely speaking, he’s right. Especially in this context. If you’re going clubbing regularly, you’re probably at an age where you’ve got at least some idea of what you can and can’t put in your body without creating some pretty adverse conditions for yourself. For example, if you know that drinking six cans of premium strength lager followed by two of those little Goodfellas microwave mini-pizzas is going to send your stomach into a whirling dervish of degradation, try not to consume two mini-pizzas and three litres of gassy gut-rot before going out. Try a nice refreshing glass of tap water and a bowl of wilted lettuce. Iceland do big bags of it for about 50p. Quids in!

Similarly, if you know that various substances have a noticeable effect on your digestive system you’ve got two options. The first is to forgo them, and in doing so avoiding any potential need for the toilet, bar the odd piss. The second is to bosh away with reckless abandon all the while taking ownership of your body and its numerous unpleasant needs.

Don’t Forget to Check for Loo Roll

This one sort of applies to life in large, actually. Few things are more immediately distressing than realising that you’ve not made the necessary checks before plonking yourself down on the toilet. You’re grasping for a safety net that’s not there. Years ago you would have wailed “MUUUUM, MUUUUUUUUUM, MUUUUUUUUUUUUM,” over and over until mother dearest alerted to you to salvation with the gentlest of knocks. Now you find yourself sitting in a cubicle for 20 minutes or so until you’re utterly sure that you’ll be able to waddle to safety without being caught and subsequently lambasted forevermore.

What do you do, though, if this happens in a club? Frankly, the thought of it is too terrifying to contemplate. Sorry kid, you’re on your own.

Wash Your Hands

You might be shitting in a sweat-lacquered plywood cupboardbut you’re not an animal.

Josh is on Twitter

RJD2 Writes Passionate Rejection Of Trend Followers, Embraces Artistic Rebels

Photo by Nick Fancher

In recent years, Twitter has become a notable platform for artists to share their views about current events and the contemporary music scene. On Saturday, producer RJD2 utilized the platform to discuss “the pack,” or trend followers in the creation of music.

Over the course of a handful of tweets, the producer lamented the influx of trend followers. However, he also embraced greater number of trend followers as a way for artists to experiment, stand out and “light a match to the establishment.”

“The more the crowd zigs, the more a zag stands out,” the producer wrote. “The larger the group of white coated sheep are, the more a black sheep stands out.”

For the producer, rather than viewing “the pack” as a liability, he views it as “a big asset” and believes historically it has facilitated the growth in genres of music such as hip hop and rock.

Read all of RJD2’s thoughts below. In November, the producer lent his support for the first amendment and said newly-elected officials should “grow a pair.”

One Man Has Died At This Year's Rainbow Serpent Festival

Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

One man has reportedly died at Rainbow Serpent, a dance festival in Victoria, Australia. According to reports from the Herald Sun, the man died at 10:15pm Saturday after police and paramedics were called to the scene.

The man’s death has not been declared suspicious. According to the Herald Sun, it is the second death at Rainbow Serpent in five years.

“We want to forward our condolences to the family and friends of the deceased,” said Tim Harvey, the director of the festival in a statement issued yesterday after the death. “The thoughts of all our staff and volunteers are with them during this extremely difficult time.”

An investigation is currently underway regarding the death.

Chicago’s Hugo Ball Creates “Security And Safety” In An Increasingly Frightening World

Photo via Eris Drew.

Launched in 2012, Hugo Ball is a monthly party dedicated to the freedom of personal expression for its DJs and for its partygoers. Influenced by the Dada movement and 90s dance culture, the party aims to channel warehouse spaces and nightclubs of the past with its attention to diverse representations of music, art and culture.

Here, resident DJ and Hugo Ball co-founder Eris Drew explains the origins of the party and why it matters in 2017.

DJ Justin Long and I had these long mix sessions in 2010 and 2011 in my apartment. We were legitimately a little bit disenfranchised from other things that were happening at the time in the city. We were just staying in a lot.

We felt like so much of the club scene was moneyed and straight and white in the city. We really wanted to get back to a party that was about mixing people up and having straight and gay people in the same space. You know, not tailoring to these very specific demographics. We wanted it to feel more like the lost party scene we came out of in the early 90s that was incredibly diverse and brought people from different socio-economic realms or sexual orientations or racial lines. So we came up with this secular, yet religious and polysexual party idea.

Justin began art school and we were talked a lot about Dada . We came up with an idea to give the party itself a personality rather than using a narrative about the DJs.

We named it Hugo Ball. That is an actual person. He was one of the founders of the Dada movement, a German poet and one of the creators of sound poetry. A lot of people don’t even know that. They just think it’s a cute name for a ball or a party.

For us, Dada seemed to usher in the new age, essentially. People were looking for a sense of spiritual connection or mythology in a very secular world. These spiritual ideas went through the 20th century, whether it was through the Dada art movement or Music Concrete in the 50s or DJing in the early 90s. People in the Dada movement used irreverence and uncanniness. They were kind of punk in a sense in that they took existing media forms and really mixed them up. In doing so, they revealed certain truths about the society and the very nature of existence.

We felt that the artistic practice of DJing is connected with these ideas. That essentially, we are auditory collage artists. Dada is sort of known for collage or at least bringing collage into fine art.

All of our live shows are done on hardware and all of our DJ sets are always done on vinyl. It isn’t to be elitist. We felt that this was a practice that is disappearing. We knew there were people out there that thought it was still neat and worth doing. At the time we started, we wanted to try to create a place where it was safe and where these old practices could still be carried out.

One of the main things we’ve done is transform the space and the experience of the space. Smartbar has a big mural on the back wall. It’s a colorful place. We subverted the space. We blacked everything out, took every logo away and created the same kind of feeling you would experience in a warehouse. The reason we did that is because we felt like we were having a sort of surreal, almost religious dance experience in those kind of spaces and not in night clubs. Nightclubs are really branded. They’re very bright. They’re based around the flow of people to the bar.

Now granted, Smartbar is already not like that. But we really took it to the extreme, even going so far as to bring in our own lights. We wanted to bring people out of reality and build that notion of uncanniness.

And we’ve removed professional photography at the party. Well frankly, I wanted closeted people to be able to come to the party and not feel like there’s going to be some photo of them up for their family to see. We wanted to create more of a feeling of security and safety in this world where everything is fucking frightening all the time. I think we’ve accomplished that.

Deadmau5, The Black Madonna, Eats Everything And Others In The DJ World Speak Out Against The #MuslimBan

Photo via Tommie Sunshine Twitter.

On Thursday President Trump issued a new executive order restricting entry to the United States from seven countries in Africa and the Middle East, including war-torn Syria, Iraq, Iran and Somalia. Since the executive order was enacted, some green card and visa holders from the United States were barred from re-entering the country and detained in the airport. Mass protests broke out across the country before a federal judge in Brooklyn ordered a stay on the restrictions for those held in the airports.

As the news quickly spread across the globe, many in the nightlife world expressed their support for the protestors and decried the new restrictions. Below, see what Scuba, Nick Catchdubs, The Black Madonna and others had to say about the issue.

Scuba:

The Black Madonna:

Laneway Music Festival Now Offers A "Women's Safe Space" For Festival Guests

Photo via Flickr user hafitz maulana.

Auckland’s St. Jerome’s Laneway music festival will introduce a “women’s safe space” for this year’s festival.

“Designed to be a sanctuary for anyone who identifies as a woman, the space offers non-judgemental support and an area for those needing space away from other festival goers,” said Josie Campbell, a publicist for the festival, in a statement.

The space was created as part of an increased effort to address harassment and sexual assault at music festivals, said the Waikato Times. Last year, TV journalist Kim Vinnell was harassed at the festival on live television.

“I think it’s good they are doing this because it starts a conversation, at least,” Vinnell told Waikato Times.

This year’s St. Jerome’s Laneway festival in Auckland takes place on January 30. Scheduled performers include Clams Casino, Floating Points and Tycho. Last year, we asked if female-only campgrounds can stop sexual assault at music festivals. In 2015, we wrote about why Laneway rules.

Is Calvin Harris Collaborating With Frank Ocean?

Still from Calvin Harris’ video for “Summer”

Frank Ocean likes to work with a variety of different collaborators on his music. With the release of Endless, his visual album, and Blonde, his latest solo album, Ocean’s list of collaborators expanded to include Beyonce, Jamie xx, and Wolfgang Tillmans, among others.

Now, the internet is speculating that Ocean has teamed up with an unlikely collaborator: Calvin Harris.

Harris posted two clips on his Snapchat of an unidentified song, reports Your EDM. Toward the end of the second clip, a voice that sounds eerily familiar to Ocean’s can be heard.

Thus far, Harris hasn’t confirmed or denied the rumors. Earlier this week, when a fan asked Harris if he had any new tracks planned for this year, he said 10.

Berlin Producer Odeko Of Gobstopper Returns With Two Glitchy And Propulsive New Tracks

Photo courtesy of the artist.

Odeko, the Berlin-based producer known for his glitchy interpretations of grime, returns to Mr. Mitch’s Gobstopper records for a new, two-track single, Digital Botanics/Construct Conduct.

“Digital Botanics,” is a bright-sounding wonder full of trap-like beats and punchy pieces of noise. “Construct Conduct,” the second single on the release, was reportedly inspired by 80s synth music. A quick listen confirms as much, with heavy industrial synths and acid-like melodies easily make it a prime dance floor selection.

Digital Botanics/Construct Conduct is out now. Stream both songs below and purchase the release here. In 2015, we spoke with Mr. Mitch about the Gobstopper imprint.

The Best Things We Saw On The Dance Music Internet This Week

Art installations at Day For Night 2016. Photo by Greg Noire.

Every week, we round up a list of our favorite videos, stories, mixes and other dance music-related news from our own site and other places across the internet. Here’s our list. We think you’ll enjoy it. And don’t forget to check out our Seven Most Played tracks, which features Dawn Richard, Anthony Naples, Abra, and more.

1. How to throw a DIY rave

In this Guide to Life, we teach you everything you need to know about throwing your own rave, from finding a venue and supplying alcohol to acquiring a guest list and handling the cops. You’ll want to bookmark this one.

2. Algorave

It’s like a codeathon, but for electronic music. Kind of. Sort of. And it’s awesome.

3. Texas: the new EDM capital

Oneohtrix Point Never plays at Day For Night 2016, in Houston. Photo by Julian Bajsel.

It’s not as strange as you think. Writer Jeff Gage explains why the Lone Star state is embracing EDM at full force.

4. A guide to underground electronic music in Mexico

The oqko collective created this guide to the best elements of Mexico’s underground electronic music stars. It’s up now at CLASH and it’s worth your time.

5. Jamiroquai return

After a very long hiatus, 90s funk band Jamiroquai return with a new sound, new video and new album. Check out the video for “Automaton” above.

6. Remembering Mark Fisher

100% Silk artist Maria Minerva reflects on Fisher, a music critic, cultural theorist and her former professor at Goldsmith’s.

7. The 9 best synth shops in the U.S.

We break down the best shops to purchase and play with synths across the country.

8. Clubbing with care

Our friends at i-D spent time in Glasgow to meet the socially-conscious clubgoers and promoters turning the scene on its head.

9. Nightlife and adulthood

I don’t need to conform to some staid linear maturation. I’m going to live forever, aren’t I?

Do you have to choose between loving nightlife and embracing adulthood? Our pals in the UK investigate.

10. They Call it Acid


Watch the trailer for a new documentary, They Call it Acid, on the birth and rise of acid house.