Backbeat: Hard's Gary Richards Talks Live Nation Acquisition, DJing With Roses In His Hair at EMI's Electrospective Party in Hollywood
Backbeat: Hard's Gary Richards Talks Live Nation Acquisition, DJing With Roses In His Hair at EMI's Electrospective Party in Hollywood

POSSO DJing at Hollywood's AV Nightclub for the Electrospective launch and Magnetic Magazine's birthday celebration (Photo by Catie Laffoon)

EMI launched their Electrospective campaign on Tuesday night at the AV Nightclub in Hollywood. The industry-filled soiree was an excuse for the EDM scene to come together - over live music and an open bar - to celebrate the new EMI initiative as well as Magnetic Magazine's one year birthday. The bar was packed and scoring a free drink was not an easy feat and conversation space was sparse. We were, however, able to hook up with several key players in the EDM world to get the rundown on the latest in the Los Angeles scene.

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(Photo by Catie Laffoon)

KCRW's Music Director, Jason Bentley (above), introduced the evening, giving the crowd the background on Electrospective, which he is set to host as a one hour radio series that will chronicle the electronic music catalog of EMI Music, Mute, Virgin, and Astralwerks. Bentley announced 15 planned one hour long episodes that will feature interviews with "electronic music visionaries," producers, and DJs including Paul Oakenfold, Steve Angello (Swedish House Mafia), Miike Snow, Daniel Miller (founder of Mute Records), Steve Aoki, ATrak, and more.

He told Billboard.biz that the project is very near and dear to his heart as he came up as a DJ through the 90's era of dance culture in Los Angeles. "To be able to document and appreciate the whole scene is really important to me." Bentley emphasized that while the program will focus on veteran DJs, he will also introduce the public to some "new kids" of EDM. "It's looking like we'll have a good mix of subjects and they'll be able to help us shed some light on today's electronic music scene."


Electrospective partners: EMI's Angelo Scrobe (left), Director of radio promotion and marketing, and KCRW Music Director Jason Bentley. (Photo by Catie Laffoon)


EMI's Director of radio promotion and marketing, Angelo Scrobe,
says that Electrospective will kick off in October and will launch weekly on different platforms. In addition to the radio show, the full Electrospective campaign will feature "live events, merchandise, app launches, social/print media partnerships and other various promotions. We'll get more into that in a couple of weeks," explained Scrobe who revealed that a compilation - Electrospective: Electronic Music Since 1958 and a remix album - Electrospective: The Remixes - A Collection of Rare Electronic Mixes - will simultaneously be released on Oct. 9th as part of the campaign.


From left: EMI Enrique Pulido, IT Lead; Sig Sigworth, VP, Core catalog, Bill Gagnon SVP/GM of Catalog - Gagnon told Billboard.biz that he was excited to see so many people come out to have cocktails in Electrospective's honor. (Photo by Catie Laffoon)

The party was swarming with industry execs including Red Light Management's Richard Bishop (Head of EDM division), Keith Gelman (VP Brand Partnerships), Steve Satterthwaite (artist manager - Photek, Borgore, Emika, The Heavy), and Sadaf Ahmed (day-to-day manager for The Crystal Method/Jason Bentley). We also spotted EMI's VP of Core Catalog, Sig Sigworth hanging with SVP/GM of Catalog, Bill Gagnon and Scrobe. The Recording Academy's Daniel Mendoza, Michiel Groeneveld (3D Management), Matt Colon (Deckstar), Chris Monaco (SVP strategic marketing & brand development- with Universal), and Jared Barboza, who manages Morgan Page, were also on site.


Moby (left) hanging out with Daniel Mendoza, West regional operations manager at The Recording Academy. (Photo by Catie Laffoon)

Among the artists who attended were: Moby, Photek, Paul Oakenfold, Borgore, Junkie XL, and POSSO.

We ran into Gary Richards, founder of Hard Events who touched on the latest news with his company's acquisition by Live Nation.

"Basically we're just integrating now. We're building out our department. We're looking for people to come in and join us and just expand electronic music on a national level." Richards said he doesn't see his HARD festivals changing much due to Live Nation's involvement.

Junkie XL who told Billboard.biz how excited he is about the electronic music scene being better than ever. He also said that he makes a point to listen to 20 - 30 new electronic tracks a day - he subscribes to various blogs and follows people on Twitter to stay up on what is happening in the EDM world these days. (Photo by Catie Laffoon)

Video: Hard Festival's Gary Richards on Why EDM Is Hot, How He Keeps His Events Safe

"Everything that we do is going to stay the same. I just have more resources to work with - more people to help me produce the festival, help me with finances, taxes, contracts - all the stuff that you gotta deal with when producing large shows. That's not what I want to really be doing so by working with Live Nation, I can go out and be more creative and do more of the fun stuff and not have to get bogged down with a lot of that nonsense. Everything will still come out of my head; they are just going to help me piece it together a lot more efficiently and run it a lot better." Richards says Live Nation will make HARD more efficient than ever: "Before we had an old Chevy and now we have the Ferrari that's rolling on all cylinders."

CEO Michael Rapino on Live Nation's Global Dance Music Strategy: 'Acquire or Hire'

Live Nation is in the process of putting together some big shows for the fall: "We have a national tour in North America which we're doing with Boys Noize for the first time ever. He's performing live and has a new album coming out. We're doing a few shows with Wolfgang Gartner as well in New York and LA. We got a lot of shows coming in the fall," said Richards.


L-R: Jared Barboza (Morgan Page's manager) grabbing drinks with Matt Colon (Steve Aoki's manager) (Photo by Catie Laffoon)

There will also be several Halloween HARD events including HARD Haunted Mansion in Los Angeles on 11/3 and Halloween themed gigs with Knife Party in New York on 10/26 and Oakland on 11/2. Richards will be DJing at the events and plans to dress up in accordance with the theme. "I'm going to wear my Dia De Los Muertos makeup and the roses in my hair. I'm gonna go big!" he exclaimed.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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