MAIN ROOM: Bal en Blanc 17

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Main Room

The main room welcomes the House side of EDM. This year’s line-up holds some lesser known talents, a home grown Montrealer, a few rising stars and possibly the best DJ in the world.

21.00 – 23.00 DJ Uppercut

uppercut  Image courtesy REDLITE

Uppercut is not new to Bal en Blanc. In fact, this will be the fourth straight year he performs at the event. He has earned his spot after many years DJing in and around Montreal. As a resident of both the Complexe Millenium and Red-Lite, DJ Uppercut is known throughout the city as one of the island’s best. He’s displayed his skills at  many other Playground events, including Resolution, Sensation 2008 and Tiësto’s show at Beach Club last year. As far as producing goes, Uppercut is an important part of KULT Records, heavily contributing with some originals, as well as their remix series of “Gotta Be Me” by Steve Sas, a celebrated song in the underground House community. Below is his latest on the label, a track called “Sensation” that he’ll surely play come Sunday.

Uppercut – Sensation: Beatport

Uppercut - Sensation (Original mix) by Uppercut


23.00 – 0.00 Manufactured Superstars

mansuperstarsImage courtesy BSK Photo

The Manufactured Superstars are a special pair very important to EDM. Based out of Denver, Colorado, Brad Roulier and Shawn Sabo make music that attempts to conjoin mainstream with electronic. These innovators revolutionized the world of dance music in 2004, when they co-created Beatport with a few of their buddies. It was through this stroke of genius that Shawn and Brad hooked up at first. Giving and taking what they liked from each others’ styles, the guys decided to team up for good. They are extremely big on mashups, easily going through 100 tracks in a span of 2 hours. They are mostly popular in the US, thanks to their weekly radio show on 94.7 FM in Las Vegas. They are no spring chickens, as they have played for crowds alongside massive DJs such as Paul Oakenfold. Below is an popular track of theirs called “Come With Me.”

Manufactured Superstars, Trent Catrelle & Jeziel Quintela - Come With Me: Beatport

Manufactured Superstars, Trent Cantrelle, and Jezel Quintela - COME WITH ME - Blu Music by Manufactured Superstars

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0.00 – 1.00 Hardwell

hardwell                              Image courtesy Gerald Henninger

Hardwell got started in EDM extremely young. He grew up in music and starting gaining knowledge about DJing at the age of 13. Learning on his own, he slowly discovered every aspect of the craft, making sure to completely grasp each part before moving on. He suddenly emerged onto the scene in 2009 with his bootleg of Steve Angello and Laidback Luke’s tracks “Show Me Love vs. Be,” which became one of the biggest hits of the summer. He began 2010 by releasing some decently successful tracks which were supported by a few big names. He caught the eye of Dutch producer Chuckie, who suggested they do a song together. They created “Guess What, “ a huge hit in the underground House community which continued to advance his burgeoning career. His 2010 summer was spent introducing himself to sold-out crowds in Ibiza which furthered his cause even more. The highlight of his journey so far is definitely one of his most recent projects. Hardwell collaborated with Tiësto on the monster hit, “Zero 76,” which has been played all around the world and is featured on Tiësto’s new compilation. Below is Hardwell’s new track which was released on his own Revealed Recordings on April 18th.

Hardwell – Encoded: Beatport 

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1.00 – 4.30 Tiësto


Headlining this year’s House room is one of the most popular and versatile DJs in the world. The first half of his career was dedicated to conquering the world of Trance and now, Tiësto is beginning to do the same with House. Arguably the best DJ in the world, the Dutchman’s achievements include a Grammy nomination, a multitude of MTV awards, one of the longest streaks of sold-out shows and an insanely popular radio show that reaches to all corners of the earth. In addition, after DJ Mag placed him in 24th in 2000, he’s consistently been in the top 10 of the poll, with only 1 year outside the top 3. From star-studded collaborations, numerous trips to the top of music charts and classics like “Lethal Industry” to playing at the opening ceremony of the 2004 Olympics in Athens, sharing decks with the world’s greatest and serving as a headliner for the biggest festivals, he has truly become a global phenomenon. Below is a video preview of his new compilation series, “Club Life Vol. One: Las Vegas.”


4.30 – 6.00 Avicii

avicii1Image courtesy Danilo Lewis

Avicii’s rise to fame was as fast as they come. After only a few months of producing, he got to work on a remix of the theme song to a video game named “Lazy Jones.” His big break came came later in 2008, when he won Pete Tong’s fast trax, receiving a whopping 70% of the votes. “Manman” was released on Bedroom Bedlam a short time later, an action which turned heads all over the world. Signing on with with Vicious Grooves, Joia Records and Ministry of Sound gave him lots of inspiration, which propelled his next track “Ryù.” It was  named “Essential New Tune” on Pete Tong’s radio show and was the track of the week on Tiësto’s Club Life in the weeks following its arrival. The next part of his story is the present, with the explosion of “Bromance,” its lyricized version and multiple appearances at the most exclusive stages in the world. It’s no secret that Avicii is popular in Montreal, as he has been in the area twice in the past few months, doing a show at Club Muzique and headlining alongside Cosmic Gate for Resolution 2011. His fresh, youthful take on EDM is a wonder and makes it abundantly clear that this young man is the future of House music. Below is “Swede Dreams,” a remix of the 1995 Marilyn Manson classic.

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6.00 – 8.00 Armand van Helden

Armand van Helden

Armand van Helden is one of the 2 members of Duck Sauce, a group consisting of himself and A-Trak. The duo’s latest piece of work, “Barbara Streisand,” has quickly become a huge commercial hit, playing in clubs all over the world. But this isn’t the first big track Armand has produced in the world of EDM. In fact, he’s one the most experienced DJ/producers at this year’s event. His musical career began when he started DJing at the age of 15. A few years later, he started to spin in Boston clubs, which prompted him to quit his job and focus solely on music. After a few moderately successful releases, he got the opportunity to remix for Tori Amos and what would be the track that put him on the map, “Professional Widow.” In 1999, he released his third studio album, “2 Future 4 U,” which included what is his best known track, “U Don’t Know Me.” The song peaked at #1 on the UK charts and #2 on Billboards’ and is today considered a classic of the genre. On his way to superstardom, Armand produced another 4 artist albums, played what is said to be the best mashup DJ set of all-time, worked with Dizzee Rascal and finally decided to team up A-Trak. Below is his 1999 classic, “U Don’t Know Me.”


8.00 – 9.30 Freemasons


When you name yourself after a bar, chances are you like to party. That’s the case for British duo James Wiltshire and Russell Small. The two have been collaborating together for years and are known under many different aliases such as BN3, The Alibi, Walken and Funk Fanatico. Their main moniker, Freemasons, is the name under which they have produced most of their huge club hits. Although, this team doesn’t fit 2011’s House profile, it was the talk of the town just a few years back, beginning with its chart-topping remix of Tina Turner’s “When the Heartache is Over.” Freemasons’ follow-up remix was of Beyoncé’s “Déjà Vu,” a tune that got them a Grammy nomination for best remix. James and Russell continued in the same vein of the previous successes and continued to put an electronic spin on popular pop tracks, trying to bring the sound to mainstream audiences. They’ve been doing so for about 6 years ago now and show no signs of stopping. Although they have vast skills in remixing, the Freemasons can also create from scratch. In late 2010, they released a track called “Believer, “ which featured vocal from Wynter Gordon. Below is their latest work, a remix for Yasmin’s “Finish Line,” due for release in May on Ministry of Sound/Levels Recordings.


9.30 – 10.30 Yinon Yahel


Yinon Yahel, originally from Israël, discovered his musical talent at a very young age. When he was only 15 years of age, he started playing keyboard for the well-known Israeli rock band, “Enam,” a group that showed him electronic sampling, which ultimately leveraged his DJ career.  In early 2000, after a few unsuccessful attempts at breaking through the EDM scene, Yinon teamed up with fellow DJ Offer Nissim and signer/songwriter Maya Simantov, both past performers at Bal en Blanc. Together, they co-produced an album by the name of “First Time,” of which 3 tracks quickly found themself near the top of Billboards’ Dance/Club Chart. This first important imprint on dance music launched Yinon’s career, sending him to all corners of the world to perform. More recently, he has produced and written for multi-platinum artists such as Ashanti and P. Diddy and is finishing his debut artist album. Below is his latest, a track called “Tonight,” which features vocals by Emmi.

10.30 – 12.00 Sultan & Ned Shepard


Being a relatively new union, the EDM world was shocked when Sultan & Ned Shepard began banging out hits from the start of their merger. House fans have welcomed this pair with open arms, as their combined experience from years as solo artists culminate in a unique and quite pleasant sound. Both are gifted instrumentalists and have much talent as DJs and producers. In their short time as a single act, they’ve released tracks on Size Matters, Harem Records (owned by Sultan), Funk Farm, collaborated with Nadia Ali on the smash-hit “Call My Name” and remixed for artists such as Kaskade, Thoams Sagstad and Tiësto. Needless to say, these guys will have lots of fans partying until the very end.  Besides, how awesome are those dreads? Below is the music video for their recent collaboration with Fedde Le Grand, called “Running,” which features vocals from Mitch Crown. The track will be released through Flamingo Recordings exclusively on Beatport on April 25th.

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To finish, here are a few tracks that you should brush up on, because you are definitely going to hear them play more than once on Sunday:

Tim Mason – The Moment (Steve Angello Re-Edit)

Axwell – Heart is King (Original Mix)

Mark Knight & Tiesto ft. Dino – Beautiful World (Original Mix)

Funkagenda – Splinter (Original Mix)

Benny Benassi – Cinema (Skrillex Remix)

Marcel Woods & Tiesto – Don’t Ditch (Original Mix)

Hook ‘N’ Sling & TV Rock ft. Rudy – Diamonds in the Sky (Original Mix)

The Hawt’s writers have been given the privilege to fully cover the event. We will be wearing press passes, scurrying backstage, talking to DJs, capturing phenomenal photographs and reporting this event to the best of our ability. In addition, we will be giving you high quality recordings of the sets from the Trance room. Check back with The Hawt on the days following the event for a full low-down on what went on. We hope to see you there and wish you a happy Bal en Blanc!

This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 20, 2011. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

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