Corona Electric Beach: A Marathon of a Party (ft. interview with Love Taps)
Regardless of how you may feel about pale lagers, just know that Corona throws a damn good party.
Up on the roof of theWit hotel, Corona Electric Beach came to Chicago for the first time this past Sunday, June 7th, with DJs spinning from afternoon til sunset.
|Whiiite spinning at Corona Electric Beach.|
LA DJ Whiiite was the featured artist of the event, and he played a banger of a set. Whiiite mixes trap, techno and house to make some really danceable, heavy stuff, and his set saw the dancefloor the most crowded of the whole day. With his classic black on black look, long black hair and black sunglasses which stayed on the whole time, Chris White has a chill, reserved and somewhat mysterious persona. This works in interesting ways with his DJ style – giving the damn kids what they want. He played several Rihanna Top 40 throwbacks, majorly amping the bass up and throwing in some killer drops, as well as a few of the most popular tracks from the recently released Jack Ü self-titled album. I listened through a number of his Miiilkcrate Radio mixes, released on iTunes and SoundCloud every month or so, to get stoked for Electric Beach and his live set was equally as fun and skillful. Some of the greatest things about Whiiite's mixing are that he throws in a number of very different tracks but manages to keep a consistency of sound while also maintaining an energized yet well-paced momentum. Electric Beach is a 6-hour marathon, not a sprint, and Whiiite kept both the people and the bass on the floor.
Between the all-sides glass panels, the 27th floor city view and the luxury of air conditioning, ROOF, the rooftop lounge at theWit, is a fantastic spot for summer day events. The sky was bright blue and spread out on all sides, the sun streamed in and lit up the white, minimalist industrial look of the space, yet you could dance the whole night and stay totally cool. The enclosed roof also allows for much more consistency between the different levels of sound than open air venues. The dancefloor area is on the smaller side, which made elbows a bit of a hazard at times, but people tended to hang out more near their table in small groups, which made it interesting to mill about the space when a break was needed. The shoutout of the night goes to the women's bathroom attendant, who was super friendly to everyone tryna #StayHydrated.
|Sinclair Wheeler totally shredding.|
Chicago DJ Sinclair Wheeler kicked things off and continued to keep it interesting up in the booth for over three hours, which was a feat in itself. He alternated between pop remixes, club hits, rock songs and more blues-y stuff, busting out his electric guitar from time to time, hopping up on the middle tables and shredding, with the Electric Beach dancers as company.
|Love Taps really getting into it.|
Love Taps, a NYC-based duo, closed out the night with a great set that kept up the energy with a totally different sound. Their music focuses less on messing with catchy, in-demand pop and more on taking great songs that can stand the test of time and making them their own – always with a beat that gets you out on the floor. I had the opportunity to speak with Love Taps – Danny Johnson and Mike Nasen, introduced to me as Tanner – before the show, and they described some of the influences present in their sound.
“I think anything that comes from a lineage of hip hop, and our sound definitely has some of that, is a New York sound. The soil it's from is definitely New York. But we take that in a tropical direction, and I know that word is getting weird now in EDM, but when we say it we mean like actual Carribean sound, like dancehall, paying actual homage to it,” Nasen said.
Love Taps recently released their first original track, “Back for More,” featuring vocals from Toronto R&B singer Maya Killtron. It gained a lot of listens, and they followed up with a number of remixes from producer friends like Smalltown DJs and Lambo. Nasen found the anticipation of seeing what newness would come out of the collaborations almost too exciting to bear.
“... it's really cool when someone hears your song and wants to make it theirs, and to see what they do with it. Just sitting on your hands, waiting for them to email back, I'm the worst at that, I can't wait for new versions. I get so excited, I'm learning how to handle it,” he said.
With both original tracks and remixes, individuality and longevity are two goals that Love Taps always bring to the studio. Johnson is especially focused on bringing in sounds that are entirely his own.
“... I'm kind of obsessed with making things totally unique, and I like using weird sounds that I know no one else in the world has used. Like, I'll take my recorder and go record some shit and use that like, 'Well, I know that no one else has used this because it's mine,'” Johnson said.
“Danny keeps it real. Really real,” Nasen said. “I'll be like, 'Oh, yeah, let's just use this,' and he'll be like, 'No, wait, I have this sound recording I made in Tibet of a guy blowing a large blade of grass.' And then he'll use it, and it'll be the drop, which is pretty tight. There are no shortcuts for originality for Danny, which is great.”
Although their music is seen as part of the EDM world, it's important to them they're not piggybacking on the hype of any passing trends, and that fans will still be listening long after the song has dropped.
“It's funny because at first [Nasen] was like, 'Yo, let's make some fuckin' twerk shit, 'cause that's big, and we'll play festivals and we'll get paid.' And I was like, 'Yeah... Let's do that.' And we kind of tried to do it, for like ten minutes, but it was like, 'No, I can't do this.' And he was like, 'Yeah, I think you're right,'” Johnson said.
“Every fan we build is a real fan. It just takes a little bit longer to build fans,” Nasen said.
Their tropical sound is similar to a lot of popular EDM right now, like the 'chill' remixes of pop songs all over YouTube, but has more depth and complexity to it, which makes it harder to find a niche.
“Biz people with the business sense are like, 'This doesn't fit into my little frames of reference. But at the same time, you have to set yourself apart. There are so many people who are just straight up copycats. … We both realize that if we have something that is a signature that we're known for that no one else really does, then that's long-term,” Johnson said. “We sent [a new song] to this guy … and he was like, 'Guys, this is fucking great, but I have no idea what to do with it, so I'm going to pass. It doesn't fit into any of my things.' Which I think is... encouraging. We just have to find the right home for it.”
Their name in itself, Love Taps, is a nod to the genre gray area in which they create.
“We like to make shit bang, we wanna make some shit that bumps on a system in the club, but at the same time, we wanna make it pretty,” Johnson said. “We don't want to annihilate your eardrums with a bunch of oscillators. We wanna make pretty, soulful shit, but we wanna make it clubby.”
“Plus, you can get LOVE TAPS tattooed on your knuckles. If we make it really big, like in the next year, I'm gonna get [it],” Nasen added.
Love Taps will be releasing another original track soon, featuring the talented Killtron on vocals again, as well as an accompanying music video. They intend to stay grindin', making the music they love and building life-long fans.
“... that's the dream,” Nasen said, “to make music on our own terms and have people accept it. Spread massive vibes.”
|Look at that killer party.|