This blog is no longer updated, as of the time of this post.
I am migrating to arbiterblog.tumblr.com, for more of a well-rounded blog experience.
peace and love
On a positive note, some things have been happening for me lately, both personally and in the realm of DJing, and I’m actually excited for the first time in a while to share some of the news:
Dan Juhl, Aaron Tang, and myself are the new guys behind Mixology at Gabe’s in Iowa City.
The three of us have been dabbling with events here and there for Gabe’s and Yacht Club for the better part of a year, and just recently we were offered to take over Gabe’s Thursday weekly EDM event Mixology from Keith (KAGE) Garnant, who is devoting his efforts to the weekly Free Bass parties at Blue Moose. While the decision to switch control of the night from Keith to us came from Gabe’s management (not Keith), I’m thrilled to say that the changes made have been agreeable to all and I couldn’t have asked for more positive circumstances under which to inherit this awesome weekly event.
Keith will still be doing his thing at Blue Moose and we’ll be doing our thing at Gabe’s, supporting each other’s parties along the way - the switch up was 100% amicable. If you ask me, this is some of the best news the admittedly tiring Iowa City dance scene has had in a while.
As for what’s going to be changing with Mixology, it actually won’t be a whole lot. The wheel has already been invented — we’re just replacing the tire, so to speak. Among the changes: intelligent lighting every week (big ups to Mr. Eric Baker), a wider variety of DJs, specifically themed nights (we had an excellent moombahton night last Thursday with Luis Eduardo and Dat Cheat), and a cohesive image/branding scheme that will make Mixology as robust and defined as it was when it first started. There’s a ‘mixoloblog’ coming soon and we’re already scouting new people to book for October and beyond (send us an email if you wanna get involved). Really can’t express how excited I am to not only be working on this, but to be doing so with the Electrocity guys? Icing on the cake.
I have very quietly ended my run on The IC Essential Mix and KRUI 89.7 FM.
The IC Essential Mix was first started by DJ Avant Garde (Andrew Tait) way back in 2007. I started listening to the show in the months before coming to University of Iowa and was a frequent guest on the show until Andrew ended it in May of 2010. With Andrew’s blessing, I revived the show in August of 2011 and ran it until last week, in its original time slot from 6-8pm on KRUI.
When I asked Andrew if I could revive the show, he specified that he would not have given his blessing to anyone else but me. While he and I have done our own things in life lately and haven’t stayed in very close contact, I still respect his word and what he’s done for me (after all, if it weren’t for this guy’s teaching, there would not be an Arbiter to speak of). I have one extra semester to finish, a professional life that I really ought to be planning, and a heap of other odds and ends. Combine this with the fact that I’ve really squeezed the most out of my time at the station, and it’s the right time to call it a day.
KRUI has opened more doors for me than anything else at this university, and my decision to phase out my involvement with them and other student orgs has been really bittersweet, but when is the end of a great thing anything but? I’m so thankful I got to play music for people literally around the world by way of this station, but I’m even more grateful to the dedicated group of weekly listeners who made being alone in a room with a mixer and a microphone a surprisingly exhilarating experience.
I’m actually still in university until December.
A year abroad and finicky transfer rules will do that to you. ‘Finishing college in four and a half years’ is the new ‘finishing college in four years.’
I’ve got some really cool shows coming up, too.
8/23 — Mixology, with Kill OG. Gabe’s, Iowa City. $1 entry for 21+/$5 entry for 19+
8/24 — Pornstar’s Ball XVI, with Mike ‘All-Night’ Long, Christian Bruna, and Matt Rissi. Woody’s, Cedar Rapids. $20 entry, 18+, 21+ BYOB.
8/31 — TBA at Gabe’s (just added!!)
9/13 — Mixology - Adventure Camp Pre-Party, as Arbocity (Arbiter vs. Electrocity) and DvsD (Defender vs. DarkGrey). Gabe’s, Iowa City. $1 entry for 21+/$5 for 19+
9/14-15 — Adventure Camp Music Festival, multiple sets. Decorah, IA. $30 weekend passes (includes campsite and free keg beer for 21+).
9/20 — Mixology, with DJ Scarecro. Gabe’s, Iowa City. $1 entry for 21+/$5 entry for 19+
I’ve done a Summer Sun mix now for three of the last four years, and while they vary in sound, they’re identical in the inspiration behind them: bright, hot, beautiful summer days.
This is also a foray into house and techno, genres that I’ve under-represented in my music of late. I also brought back one or two choice tracks from previous SS installments — two years is plenty long enough of a window to allow for that, yeah? Add a kiss of garage and tasteful dubstep, and I’m left pretty happy that I whipped up this mix. Enjoy!
- - -
summer sun # 3
Colonise - SBTRKT
Heater - Samim
Blender - Kieran Bradley and Calvertron
Una Peña - Stimming
Coma Cat (Treasure Fingers Remix) - Tensnake
Burnin’ - Daft Punk
Doin’ Ya Thang - Oliver $
Beat That Bird - Justin Martin + Claude Vonstroke
GO! (Filthy Disco Remix) - Diplo + Oliver Twizt
Hold On - SBTRKT
It’s been a long school year. I missed doing this. Glad to be back. If you’re interested, I have news for Iowa City fam:
-Skeets + Feetz at Gabe’s tonight, with Matt Rissi and BTsunami supporting. $7 for 19+/$5 for 21+. One of the best acts from last week’s Interfuse Festival along with two of the best techno dons in Iowa — do not miss this.
-LiMBS, HALF NaKED, Sean Tripp, & Kage at Blue Moose. $3, 19+. LiMBS is easily the best thing to happen to the Iowa City music scene in years, encompassing diverse musical styles that unite fans from all genres. Toss in a Kage DJ set and other tasty tunes and you’ve got yourself a spot to hit up before/after Gabe’s.
-Free Bass, as always, tomorrow night at Blue Moose. KAGE, Robot Dentist, and Luis Eduardo ring in Summer properly.
Video: Jack Trash on mainstage. People to the horizon. In the middle of a thunderstorm, 30 seconds before security shut down the festival for safety concerns.
515 Alive was fucking bonkers.
Despite the rain shortening the actual festival (but not the afterparty), this year’s 515 Alive was on par with, though different in sound from, last year’s festival — a very enjoyable crowd, but a bit more geared to the rave side this year.
I must say, you won’t find me complaining about that — I absolutely love the rave crowd and a ton of you have given me gobs of encouragement lately. I’m truly thankful to once again be a part of the EDM scene in Iowa.
Album art by MrCatbr3ad/Dan Juhl
To make matters crazier, Crowd Control (real name Jason Hoth) has released his first moombahton EP, comprising three original tracks and two remixes. Put simply: this is the EP that ought to get this guy noticed. The Kreayshawn remix is nothing short of stupifying, with elements of Thom Yorke, Diplo, and Aphex Twin influence shining through. Likewise, “Dar” has a slow-rolling rhythm that feels like gangsta rap, trance, and a Jack Beats drop all rolled into one. Sleeping on this next-level EP from Mr. Hoth is simply not an option. Free download links located on each song’s page.
Also, I’ve whipped up a shit load of edits in recent weeks for my sets, two of them I feel are good enough to share around a bit.
First one is a simple edit of Munchi’s remix of the Brazzer’s Theme, by Dillon Francis. Just sped it back up to Dutch House tempo, then threw in a cheeky B-More break :)
Secondly, a HEAVY funky house rework of Devil’s Town, the new tune from Baskerville, as remixed by Bart B More. If your booty doesn’t move to this one, it’s dead.
It’s a party at the end of the world. No, seriously. We’re gonna end this bitch, because there won’t be a damn thing left to do after this party.
515 Alive is the annual Christmas in August of all things DJ — it is the only Urban and Electronic Music Festival in Iowa, and as such, it’s a chance for ravers, DJs, and noobies alike to gather at one spot. Each year I’ve been (as a spectator), it’s been an absolute blast, and I’m excited as ever to earn a spot in this year’s lineup.
Since the list of DJs is SO huge, I’ll rattle off a few of my personal recommendations for each stage, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid any of the acts I don’t list — you don’t get into the 515 line-up by being a shoddy DJ.
All times are (obviously) PM, unless otherwise stated.
The Big Show Stage
4:30-5:15 — Mike ‘All Night’ Long (An OG of house music in Iowa… Unmissable.)
6:00-6:45 — DJ Uplift (Another top-notch house and techno guru from Cedar Rapids.)
7:30-8:15 — Matt Rissi (The hardest-working DJ and promoter working in Iowa right now, hands down.)
9:45-11:00 — Brad Goldman (The man who runs 515 Alive. Sheer energy in music.)
The Lime Lounge Stage
7:00-7:45 — Beat Resonance (Iowa’s kings of crunk. You will bounce to them.)
7:45-8:30 — DJ Avant Garde (Iowa City’s prodigal son returns.)
8:30-9:15 — Kinky Kyro (This dude is weird, but so, SO good.)
The Bass Camp Stage
6:15 - 7:00 — DJ Arbiter (‘sup.)
7:00 - 7:45 — KAGE (Rumors are that he’s got a whole new set ready to unleash.)
10:00 - 10:45 — HooDTeK (Glitch music at it’s finest. He’s out there, but in a good way.)
10:45 - 12:15am — Dirty Talk (Girl power from Minnesota in the form of heavy electro and dubstep.)
The House That Jack Built Stage
10:45 - 12:15am — Vinyl Bitchie and Jen HA! (Girls that play house music better than most guys. ‘Nuff said.)
Probably got some original DLC coming for y’all in the next week or so too… See you at 515 :)
Exit Swag v1, enter vacation to Key West.
Exit Key West, enter return to (a pretty fucking great) reality, with a stop in Des Moines first.
I know it’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted an update, but there’s a big week ahead for readers and ravers in Iowa, along with some mixes/tunes/news you ought to be aware of, no matter where the hell you are.
Tuesday - $PENCELOVE, Konsept, and Arbiter — Flight School @ Yacht Club — $3
I’m playing with two pretty legit dudes from Omaha at one of my favorite places on earth for my second appearance there this month… There’s just something about summer dance parties at Yacht Club that make them so much more special. Pretty good primer for two slightly larger parties…
Friday - 12th Planet, Jesse Jamz, and KAGE — Blue Moose (Iowa City) — $15/17
If you’re paying any attention at all to the direction of American dubstep, 12th Planet has most assuredly popped up on your radar multiple times. He’s done collabs with Datsik and Skrillex, he’s remixed for MIA and Le Castle Vania, he’s without a doubt someone with oodles of talent. 12th Planet is yet another artist to ride the ever-growing rave wave in Iowa, and with two other blog favorites on the line-up, you’ve got Friday plans sorted (until the insanely early hour of 12am — who throws a dubstep show that ends at 12?)
Saturday - Dillon FUCKING Francis, Arbiter, Ill + Natti, Basstoven, Hector, Wildcard, and HooDTeK — Gabe’s IC — $10
Here’s a better bang for your buck… while 12th Planet is fun and all, NO musician out there (and I do include every artist that comes to mind presently) can combine sexy, danceable, and aggressive sounds like Dillon Francis can. I cannot underscore how big this show is for EDM in Iowa — it is going to be the best show of the year, without any debate. Better yet, this one goes until 2am, there are gobs of great supporting acts (myself humbly included), and rumor has it that Dillon wants to rage with everyone for afties. This is worth a commute and several times the ticket price — don’t be stupid, be here.
Music and stuff (aka the real reason anyone comes here)
New mix from Nemo is fire as usual. Dubstep flavours.
I sat by and offered opinions as KAGE did the dirty work on this low tempo mash-up. The Jabba laugh at the beginning was my meager contribution.
T.E.E.D. — Blood Pressure. Late to the party on this one, but I’ve had it on repeat all week.
-There are two very big shows coming to Gabe’s IC during the first week of the UIowa school year… I’m cannot say more just yet, but I advise you to keep your ears to the ground, as these are two more massive EDM events for everyone to enjoy.
-It’d appear that a full-length Deadmau5/Cypress Hill album is coming soon. Asked by DJ Chuckie about it on twitter, Deadmau5 responded that we’d hear more “all in good time” — hardly an affirmation, but definitely an indication that a collaboration exists.
There was a time where I was not sure I wanted to take a gig so close to coming home.
That was a really DUMB time.
SWAG v1 takes place tonight in Iowa City and will be featuring the absolute best in the midwest, including blog faves KAGE, Colossus, Audiomatic and Ricco Suave (as Blackman and Robbin), Crowd Control and Beat Resonance.
Gabe’s Iowa City (330 East Washington Street, Iowa City, IA)
19+ entry/21+ to drink
$8 tickets (avail. on the door)
10:15 - Zeaphy
10:30 - Colossus
11:30 - Arbiter
12:30 - Beat Resonance
10:00 - Kage
11:00 - Blackman and Robbin’
01:00 - HoodTeK
It’s over. 10 months, countless nights out, countless hours spent DJing, countless incredible times I had with amazing friends… oh and I suppose I went to university in the UK too. It’s incredibly strange in a wonderful way to be able to say that I lived in England for a year (note the past tense).
It’s a superbly bittersweet feeling— on the one hand, I’m very happy to return home and get started on the next big thing, but on the other, I know that a part of me is left behind in England and that said part of me will never be reclaimed until I go back.
To mark that, I reflected a bit on my musical style and how it’s changed as a result of where I was. This mix features predominantly UK artists (along with a French guy and a Canadian or two thrown in there) showing off a patently UK sound— deep, dark basslines and broken beats, combined with euphoric tempo and lightning-quick pace. Each Sarcasmix volume will have a different sound to it, but all of them will carry the level of intensity that the UK could instill in me where the US could not (no offense to my American friends).
Crack open a cold one, it’s America day— only proper to celebrate it with Chinese-imported fireworks and tunes from the country we defeated for independence.
Sarcasmix Vol. 1 — UK Bass
1. Pianorama (Dephas8 Remix) — Habstrakt
2. Roof Back — Minnesota
3. Guilt — Nero
4. Boomer — Jakwob
5. United Kingdom — Benga
6. Left The Room — Skream feat. P-Money
7. CTO (Croydon Takeover) — Skream
8. Next Hype (Ashburner Remix) — Tempa T
9. Everyday — Rusko
10. Louder (Doctor P & Flux Pavillion Remix) — DJ Fresh
11. Louder (Drumsound & Bassline Smith Remix) — DJ Fresh
12. Shoreless — Camo & Krooked
13. I Remember (J Majik & Wickaman Remix) — Deadmau5 & Kaskade
14. War Machine (Arbiter Rage Edit) — Reso
15. Lassitude — DJ Fresh & Sigma
16. Tonight — Danny Byrd & Netsky
17. Where’s My Money? — TC
18. Mr. Muscle — Rusko
19. Smack Your Bitch Up — Benga
20. Days Go By (Mimosa Remix) — Dirty Vegas
21. Flying Into Tokyo (Azedia Remix) — Magnetic Man
Special thanks to Emily Duffy for coining the name for this forthcoming series of mixes.
This mix is dedicated to all of the many incredibly wonderful individuals who went to extraordinary lengths to make me feel at home during my stay in the United Kingdom for nearly 11 months. I feel blessed beyond words to have had this opportunity and I will be grateful for this time forever and always.
If you enjoyed the music that you heard in this mix, PLEASE support the artists by seeing them live or buying their merchandise. This mix is exclusively for promotional purposes and is not intended to infringe copyrights nor is it to be sold at any price.
Holy canole, I blink for one moment, and by the time I open my eyes again, I’ve done 4 shows in as many nights, gone to London (and back) for a music festival, took off to Dublin for five days, got a cold, went back to London, and now I’m just 11 short days from moving out of the UK. Time needs to stop going so damn fast.
Updates to the blog, naturally, have decreased as the hectic nature of my travel schedule has increased, but two blips have popped up on my radar that I wanted to pass on to you all:
[New Mix] June Mix - Luka
I had a listen to this on my way into London this morning, and I have to say that Luka’s found his fire again (if it even went away in the first place). A bit harder fare from the Midlands-based DJ than what you might initially expect, but it’s territory well-explored on his part. There’s even a good bit of moombahton/core in there, if you’re so sexily inclined. Download this if you need some pre-drinking tunes that will turn your small party of friends into a goddamned riotous gathering.
[Big Show Alert - Iowa City, USA] Crowd Control and Electrocity at YACHT CLUB
Crowd Control (aka Jason Hoth, aka the moombahton don of midwest) is making his DJ debut tonight at Yacht Club. Rumor has it he’s got a slew of new stuff, including originals, hidden up his sleeve. Closing for him are the always wonderful Electrocity. Cheap drinks and big beats — this is an essential summer dance party tonight, one worth rearranging some plans and driving to town for.