Corralling our latest commentary from around the web.
by Joshua P. Ferguson
Every year we deny its existence, turning a blind eye and refuting to acknowledge what has clearly become a trend across our three years on the web. Dialogue Inc. has officially hit the 2012 summer slump. Running around to festivals, fulfilling other obligations, slacking off, it's kept us off our game here. In an attempt at a make-up, here's a rundown of some of the things that have been keeping us busy.
Spring Awakening Music Fest | Soldier Field, Chicago
"L.A. electro chums Designer Drugs drew the peak-time afternoon slot, battling the heat to pound out its gritty beats. A sweltering day, the temperature might have made for some seriously lethargic dancing if not for the firehouse that came out to shower revelers in what quickly began to look like a scene from Car Wash gone raver."
— Coverage of the early DJ stages for Time Out Chicago
"If neon was the base coat, there was a lot more to the color mix than that. Many girls went the flower power route, looking like young Janis Joplins, if Joplin had been a cast member on Saved By the Bell. The '90s are back in a big way, but in a strange sort of hippie-preppie pastiche, attaching itself to evertyhing from extreme rave to typical college threads."
— Coverage of the people for Time Out Chicago
"Frat boys ran to and fro, did backflips and butted chests. Girls giggled, twirled glowsticks and raved out on the shoulders of their mostly shirtless co-eds. The whole experience was only intensified by the swirling wind and rain that overtook the second half of his set. Tweeting about the experience, I couldn't help but note that I felt like I was witnessing the end of civilization, but at least everyone was having a good time."
—Review of Skrillex's headlining set for Time Out Chicago
Album and single reviews | XLR8R
"In place of the fairy-tale harp, he's opted for washes of Jackie Gleason-style strings, adding just the slightest ray of sunshine to an otherwise stripped-down affair of warped bass, the snipped rattle of a shaker, and a padded kick. Clearly, the move from England to techno's current capital is having an effect."
— Review of Red Rack'em's "Chirpsin" single on RAMP for XLR8R
"the deepness of "Graveyard Tan" is more akin to dancing your way out of a k-hole than it is boogying to bubbly bass and jazzy riffs. These dudes are cut from the asymmetrical black cloth of Damian Lazarus. On the surface, pairing with Black, a consummate technoist, may not seem like an obvious match, but the result makes it clear that these two musical entities were meant for one another."
— Review of Art Department and Konrad Black's "Graveyard Tan" for XLR8R
"Congas and the twinkling of a piano provide the track's initial organic chemistry before its techno pulse kicks in; some atmospheric chatter and vocal chants add a sense of late-night hypnotism that surely appealed to Ryan Crosson and the Visionquest boys. A mid-song bass drop marks the entry of layer upon layer of live synth work, and the point when Uner's ode to our closest star really begins to shine. It's a slow-burning number that wears its inspiration well."
— Review of Uner's Universe EP on Visionquest for XLR8R