Fast Cars, Booze, & Good Music This Weekend at Re:Mix Lab’s Four-Day Party

I wasn’t going to write this week. I’m moving, and with the packing and a couple of DJ gigs I’m doing, it was too much, but here I am with my fifth article in so many days. When I don’t write I miss talking to you, and some of you say you miss me too.

I’m moving just a couple blocks from where I am now, into a better space for the same rent. I dwell in Williamsburg which is, to me, a little slice of heaven on earth. The Williamsburg/Greenpoint renaissance at first captured my imagination, and then my body, just like my second wife. New places to eat, drink, or play pop up faster than you can say "Bushwick.” A Manhattan snob friend was shocked that I wasn’t returning to Little Italy faster than you can no longer say Ray’s Pizza said to me, " Yo, I’ve been to that Williamsburg main drag two times, whatta ya call it, Bedford …didn’t see what all the fuss was about, yo Stevie, ya gots to come back to your peeps.” I told him that would be like judging Manhattan by the strip
of Broadway between Houston and Canal.  Bburg is built for me and mine. The delis, the restaurants, the boutiques, the furniture stores are geared to people with tastes like me. Most of the places in Manhattan these days cater to the old bridge-and-tunnel crowd which came in to occupy all those tall dormitories built in the last decade or so. So be it. Bburg certainly is becoming yuppified, and the baby carriages are becoming more common, but for now it’s my happy home.

Last night I missed the opening reception for the Re:Mix Lab. It was the kick-off of four days of fun, fun, fun till her daddy takes the Hyundai away. Hyundai has their cars on display and invites people to check them out while providing talent and a great party. Fast cars and booze are combined without danger since the cars can’t be driven . Yesterday I was DJing at Hotel Chantelle but am told there were live performances by Blonds, Skaters, and Opossum, as well as "Action Bronson, RL Grime, Sound Remedy, Hyperbits, Huge Euge, Nick Thayer, Sazon Booya, along with product demos from emerging technology companies such as Songza, Mixify,Beamz, Scratch Academy.” The events continue at Chelsea Market, 410 W.16th Street.

Here’s the programming for today through Sunday.

Friday, September 28
12:00PM – 6:00PM: The Future of Music Is Now (open house format)
                  – Vehicle displays, exhibits in collaboration, interactive art display, social media photo sharing, technology start-up village
8:00 PM: Music & Technology Keynote and panel discussion
   10:00 PM: Live performances
                  – RL Grime & Action Bronson: Solo performances, plus live on-stage collaboration to create a song for Hyundai Remix Lab. Recorded and remixed moments later by Sound Remedy to demonstrate how songs evolve into remixes.

Saturday, September 29
12:00PM – 6:00PM: Scratch Academy hosted by DJ Dasmatic (open house format)
                  – Vehicle displays, exhibits in collaboration, interactive art display, social media photo sharing, DJ mixing sessions, Learn to DJ demos
7:00PM: Closed to reset venue
9:00PM – 2:00AM: Live Performances (presented by ELEKTRO Magazine)
                   – Hyperbits: Electronic dance music duo based out of NYC, known for energetically fusing together big room progressive house, electro and trance
                   – Huge Euge: Resident mashup DJ at Pacha NYC
                   – Sazon Booya
                   – Nick Thayer

Sunday, September 30
12:00PM – 5:00PM: Scratch Academy, vehicle displays

I caught up with Zev Norotsky, president of H360 Group who told me all about it.

I caught the last five minutes of this last year and didn’t understand much of what was going on. The idea is to mix music with fast cars to build a consumer base.
At its core, the Re:Mix Lab represents the fusion of music and technology. The cars themselves are the focal point and give a reference for the entire event. The exhibit is the perfect backdrop to showcase these amazing one-of-a-kind vehicles and celebrate the spirit of collaboration, which is ubiquitous in today’s pop cultural lexicon. The car and gallery experience creates an amazing environment to bring together all these influences and create an amazing dialogue with consumers.

This is happening in a number of locations with different musical pairings. Tell me about the event.
Re:Mix Lab is a four-month, seven-city tour with events in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami (during Art Basel), Vegas, Austin, and Seattle. Each event features different musical programming curated for that specific market, with the goal to include all genres. Using New York as a guide, tonight is indie, tomorrow has more of a hip-hop/DJ mixing flavor, and Saturday is electronica.  In some markets we pair artists from different genres together who, in addition to doing their own sets, create original music live on stage, staying true to the notion of a remix.

Is there a bucket list-type mentality pitch with some of the patrons who are young and possibly unable to afford but are (excuse the pun) upwardly mobile?
If anything, the reason Hyundai has been so successful is that they are affordable and represent the best value proposition for young adults. A Veloster Base starts at $17,000 est.

Is this a think-outside-of-the-car show/tv commercial box marketing?
The marketing is steeped in our understanding that our core consumer lives at the intersection of all these cultural influences. By creating the Re:Mix Lab, Hyundai has embraced their ideologies and given them an amazing experience with high-badge value (read: bragging rights) that fuses live events with social media and beyond.

Zev Norotsky On the Launch of New Electronic Dance Music and DJ Magazine “Elektro”

Electronic music has changed nightlife forever, for better…for worse. It has made DJ’s rock stars, strange and remote places destinations, and has filled clubs and stadiums. It’s inspired Woodstockian festivals. It has defined, along with mash up/mixed format, a renaissance in nightlife. When clubs were going through their doldrums just a few years back, it was argued that there had not been a new genre of music to lead us out of the boredom. Mixed format combined other genres and was considered by some to be a sort of wishy-washy sound for the musically-challenged masses. DJs like AM certainly shattered that misconception. Electronic was lumped in as a progression of house and not much new. This has proven to be an inadequate description of the sound that has swept the world. Many DJs I have spoken to speak of how it has united people worldwide, as superstar DJs play for hundreds of thousands, from Asia to South America.

Zev Norotsky formerly of Mirrorball and Get There PR, has joined Harris Publications as president of its H360 Group. They are launching elektro, a new magazine…
"[It’s] geared toward electronic dance music/DJ fans… elektro’s mission is to take you behind the turntables and into the lives of DJs, sharing their passion for the music, giving fans an all-access backstage pass. From Tiesto’s sold-out gig, to David Guetta’s new album and the Swedish House Mafia’s unreleased track, elektro will show you the tools to make the music and the lifestyle they live. Electronic music is now the fastest-growing genre in music. DJs are the new rock stars and are selling out arenas around the world. elektro brings you face- to-face with the fans that attend these events, along with powerful marketing solutions including print, online, and experiential activations at sold-out shows and festivals across the globe."
Tiesto is on the first issue’s cover. It will come out quarterly. I sent Zev a few questions (electronically of course) and got these answers:
 
What is elektro?
elektro is a new platform for electronic dance music enthusiasts to learn about DJ culture and their favorite artists and producers. It’s definitely much more than a magazine as we have also built in a comprehensive digital ecosystem and a large special event calendar for 2012 to round out our presence nationwide. This includes our online hub at www.elektrodaily.com, very active social media engagement, and strategic partnerships with Spotify, future.fm, mixcloud etc. We will also be distributed at all the large festivals including Ultra and Electric Daisy in New York and Las Vegas, etc.
 
You have been a promoter/marketing guy;  is elektro an exit strategy…a way out of nightlife’s day-to-day, er… night-to-night, or a natural progression and a deeper commitment?
I must refer to a quote from Steve Jobs where he said, "You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards." I got my start in nightlife very early working the doors at Limelight and Kit Kat Klub when I was in college, striking out a few times on my own and eventually landing with Eddie Dean at Pacha NYC.  Nightlife is my absolute passion and I like to say that I got my Masters following Eddie around as we launched the Pacha brand in America. That was, by far, the most valuable experience of my life as I learned not only the importance of branding and guidelines, but also how vital nightlife can be to the world of marketing and how strong the connection is between consumers and brands. I have been jumping up and down on corporate board room tables for the last four or five years, begging brand managers to pay attention to what’s going on in electronic dance music (EDM) and people are finally paying attention. It’s an amazing feeling and now I have elektro to make sense of it all. I never could have imagined this starting out but when I look back it all makes perfect sense.
 
Everybody in the world is going electronic..or is it elektronic… as online is more and more the way people want it…why print?
We are very in tune with the digital space. I actually moderated a panel a few weeks back during Social Media Week based on a theory that the explosion of EDM in America is intrinsically tied to social media; that’s why we have created an extensive online presence across every single medium there is for us to share content. We are curating playlists with Spotify, streaming from events with future.fm, YouTube, Instagram, etc., you name it. The honest answer is you need everything to succeed and we take a 360 approach here. The sweet spot for me is how everything connects from the live events, the social media, and the print piece. That gives us maximum leverage as both an editorial property and a marketing vehicle for brands.
 
How did Tiesto become your first cover boy?
This was such a no-brainer for me; he is arguably the most iconic DJ of all time and truly personifies how far dance music has come in America, from the initial burst in late ’90s, to now. I literally made a mock-up of elektro about a year ago with him on the cover to show my partners what I look at every day to remind me how this all started.
 
It’s a quarterly; will there be events to celebrate each issue at various clubs around the world? Will the cover boy be the DJ? Will the distribution of the magazine at these events be a huge part of the marketing strategy?
Absolutely. We are gearing up for a massive launch during Miami Music Week. In addition to a private launch party with Roger Sanchez that we are hosting for the industry on Thursday, March 22 at The Setai, we are going to be distributed in the VIP section at Ultra, are an official media partner of Winter Music Conference, and will be hosting events all week at the National Hotel, Villa221, Mansion, as well as a big in-store event with Guess Jeans on Saturday 3/24. We’re also working on an official launch party in New York on April 14th at Pacha NYC which will be a sort of homecoming for me I guess, so I’m definitely looking forward to that.