At the Los Angeles Grammy Event: Carmen
Rizzo+Jason Bentley+Ken Jordan+Scott Kirkland+Leslie
Lewis+Neil Portnow, President of The Recording Academy.
, courtesy BPM
Jennifer Warner (Editor of Raves.com), Angelique,
Alexandra Greenberg, Eve Falcon
written by The G-Man
A new GRAMMY Award category for "Best Electronic/Dance
Album" excites electro-pop composers and performers
around the world! Creators of sonic masterworks, including
such influential innovators as BT, the Crystal Method,
Paul Oakenfold and Deepsky, can compete against similar
artists instead of having to fit into other musical
Until very recently, the aural excitement of a BT
album like "Emotional Technology," a Crystal Method
album such as "Legion of Boom," or a Paul Oakenfold
album like "Creamfields" could get overlooked in the
GRAMMY balloting. In fact, you can find spine-tingling
electronic pop and dance music being made in all parts
of the world that might easily miss out on a chance
to have the kind of high-intensity spotlight that
results from a GRAMMY nomination.
But this year, the National Academy of Recording
Arts & Sciences (NARAS), the organization that controls
the GRAMMY Awards, has changed everything for electronic
artists with the introduction of the "Best Electronic/Dance
"This is an exciting event for everyone in the world
of electronic and dance-oriented music," stated two-time
Grammy nominee producer/mixer Carmen Rizzo, who is
a NARAS Los Angeles Chapter Trustee. "It is fitting
that such a vital form of music receives some of the
recognition it deserves." Appearing at a pre-concert
party to officially announce the category, Rizzo added,
"As someone involved in the creation of this music
as well as a listener, I feel this is a giant leap
NEW GENERATION OF MUSICIANS.
The attraction of music with a technological slant
crosses many boundaries. Brian Transeau, or BT, as
he is professionally known, is a classically-trained
musician who embraced the electronic music world at
an early age. "This is what my heroes Debussy, Stravinsky
and the like were looking for," BT stated. "Technology-
based music is the only idiom that packs such infinite
sonic possibilities," he added.
Jason Bentley, widely known for his hosting of radio
programs on KCRW and KROQ in Los Angeles, is involved
with electronically-generated rhythmic music in many
ways, as radio personality, club DJ, music supervisor
for films (including the "Matrix" series), and producer.
"It was high time for the industry to acknowledge
electronic and dance music with this album category,"
Bentley stated. "For a long time, the electronic and
dance categories have been in stealth mode in the
USA, so it is exciting to be a part of this new effort
to shine a light on a vital aspect of the music industry."
Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland, better known as The
Crystal Method, were both pleased at the announcement.
"From my first year as a voting member of the GRAMMY
Awards, several of us from the electronic music genre
have been working towards this goal. We never thought
it would happen this fast and were just thrilled with
the result. We're just so happy that this style of
music can now be recognized by our industry's premiere
awards show," Jordan stated.
AN EMERGING FORCE.
The acceptance of dance and electronic music around
the globe has been phenomenal, except in the United
States. "It's somewhat similar to the situation with
soccer," Bentley stated. "Soccer is a global force
with millions of followers, intense fans, and tremendous
marketing resources, but it is just not as widespread
in the U.S. The same thing may be said about dance
and electronic music, which makes this GRAMMY category
so much more important."
Bentley sees the emergence of underground dance
music into the mainstream as healthy and inevitable.
"A lot of people who started getting involved in this
music in the eighties and nineties are now taking
their place in the business. People like BT, Carmen
Rizzo and the others who worked on the committee at
NARAS represent something of a changing of the guard."
Bentley, drawing on his background as producer, music
supervisor and DJ, is totally committed to this form
of music. "This has been my rock and roll, my punk
rock, my movement. This was always something that
moved me, and it is gratifying to see so many people,
performers and companies coming together to back it."
BACKERS AND SUPPORTERS.
Among the sponsors of an Official Event celebrating
the new Grammy Award in Los Angeles were BPM magazine,
DTS, Life's Good, and musical equipment manufacturer
Roland, which had several pieces of gear on display,
including their SP-606 Sampling Workstation, the MC-
909 Sampling Groovebox, and the new MV-8000 Production
Studio. "Electronic music is finally garnering the
respect and recognition it deserves, and we're excited
to be a part of that," says Doug Hanson, Roland Director
of Product Management and Marketing. "It is an exciting
time for this genre and we look forward to working
with BPM in the future to co-develop events that will
generate additional public awareness of this music
style," Hanson added.
The official announcement of the new GRAMMY category
came during a reception at the Spider Room prior to
a show at the Avalon Hollywood featuring sets by Oakenfold,
Junkie XL, the Crystal Method and BT. More than 250
attended the reception, including DJ/producer DJ Irene;
DJ/producer the Angel; Second Sun's Antoine Toupin
and Adam Cavarelli; the Postal Service' Jimmy Tamborello
and Jenny Lewis; James Lamb of Skychurch; DJ/producer
David Alvarado; producer David Aude; Jason Blum and
Scott Giaquinta of Deepsky; Jes Brieden of Motorcycle;
DJ Eve Falcon; producer Charles Feelgood; DJ Mea Fisher;
Jan Johnston; DJ Christopher Lawrence; Tommy Lee;
DJ "Colette" Marino; and DJ producer Richard "Humpty"
THE G-MAN http://www.gmanmusic.com
RECORDING ACADEMY http://www.grammy.com
Continuing on the Grammy tip, Sasha, Paul van
Dyk, BT, Ken Jordan of The Crystal Method and others
will perform at BPM Magazine & The Recording Academys
celebration for the new Best Dance/Electronic
Album category at Crobar (530 West 28th Street,
between 10th & 11th Ave, New York City). Click
to view the online