A good introduction to Tiesto that to this day makes me laugh my ass off... and it's how I can pretty much say most of my early feelings on Tiesto were...
(It's only 57 seconds long and it's a riot, so just watch it, k?)
"When making a track what I usually do is take 8-9 shots of scotch, watch re-runs of the Real World while my dog licks my anus. My dog makes some strange noises, I play those noises on my Casio and then I get paid." lol...
I've gone many years within my love for electronic music struggling to hide an ugly addiction from my friends that would give me MUCH HELL for this... but much like a heroin addict will try to hide their track marks, at first anyway, I try to hide how much I love Tiësto (hereafter referred to simply as Tiesto to save myself the insanity of adding the proper umlaut accent to the e).
Yeah, shut up. I already beat myself up over this one.
Let's go over what we know about Tiesto (some of which is new info to me), taken from his IMDB profile:
-He's the first DJ to give a solo stadium show, as well as the only DJ to sell a sold-out show to over 25,000 people.
-As later mentioned, he performed live at the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic fucking Games, viewed by over 3 BILLION PEOPLE in 2004. (wow.)
-He is the only DJ to be given the distinction of being awarded DJ Magazine's #1 DJ three times in a row - 2002, 2003, and 2004.
-He was nominated for a Grammy award in 2008 for his Elements of Life album in Best Electronic/Dance Album category.
-Delerium ft. Sarah McLachlan's 'Silence' was the first house track to ever be broadcast on daytime radio in North America.
All very impressive, Tiesto...
So, personally, it's not exactly that I think he's some super-talented artist; I just happen to think that he's a neat guy for working with such a variety of artists on his most recent album and singles.
I'm always pleasantly surprised when I hunt on Youtube for the new Electronic category videos when I see something rad, because they normally kinda suck ass in that department and don't post new things often... but then I see the likes of "Tiesto featuring Busta Rhymes & Diplo." Say whaaaaaat? I love that Busta Rhymes! And of course it's a bitchin' track...
Tiesto, Diplo & busta Rhymes make me dance in my seat.
I also found that Tegan and Sara were featured on a track on Kaleidoscope, therefore I felt compelled to hear the entire album after hearing the terrific tune they churned out with Tiesto...
(One of the best on the album, in my humble opinion. Tegan & Sara should do more trance tracks.)
So in an effort to really find out a comprehensive list of folks who have worked with Tiesto on a track or two, I begin searching for a list of such a thing... I have YET to find one, which is kind of aggravating, considering that he's the "World's Most Popular DJ" and has played the fucking OLYMPIC GAMES. Come on, Internet, you're failing me. Don't make ME have to make the list, okay? Ugh, but I did the legwork and looked up ALL the names on the albums that I didn't already know.
Either way, I read a blurb somewhere on Tiesto's site (that I now cannot find to quote directly, unfortunately) which said something to the effect of Tiesto really enjoying Sigur Ros and Bloc Party. He think Jonsi (of Sigur Ros) has an incredible voice (100% agreed, Mr. Tijs) and that Bloc Party has a really great energy and are innovative (indeed so again!), but it was hard to come up with a way to approach people who don't work with dance tunes to be interested in working with him for a track.
Dude, for the record, I could be singing in a DEATH METAL band and still wanna work with Tiesto. The end. Thanks.
Anyway, after reading that Tiesto actually liked artists that I personally really super-respect, I had a little more admiration and a little less shame about liking the guy and his music. The scales were tilted more in the direction of respecting Tiesto; at least for what he does.
So I'm doing my usual information-delving, and I start to get really excited when I realize that HALF the artists that are named as "featured" on tracks on Kaleidoscope, are people I already KNEW but didn't know them by their fuckin' government name, just their band's names:
Emily Haines of Metric,
Jonsi of Sigur Ros,
Tegan and Sara, obviously knew that one,
and Kele Okereke of Bloc Party.
Now I don't really follow or know of some of the other folks on the album, but notably, Cary Brothers is also featured on the song "Here On Earth," and after some of said research, I found that he's worked with a slew of artists on their tours and albums that I really dig... dude toured with Imogen Heap, Aqualung, and Liz Phair to name a few big ones, and he has a track on the Garden State award-winning soundtrack as well.
I'm going to digress a bit here into how important I find producers to be; but follow me and bear with me, as it comes back to Tiesto's album.
Now, I am big on following producers as well, which I find is a later-developed interest as a by-product of simply feeling like I know everything there is to know about the artists that I like, so to further it, I began actively paying attention to the people involved behind-the-scenes in their music. I start noticing after that that people I normally do not listen to might put out a single that's for some ODD reason appealing to me... Most recently, that damn Kesha (that I am violently opposed to as a "musician" of any kind) put out that single "Blow," which caught my interest since the video featured James Van Der Beek (whom I personally like, fuck the haters) and rainbows and unicorns. yeah Kesha, I'll listen to your song if the VIDEO is on, 'cause it's cute. Anyway, I wondered why this track was far less annoying to me than her others (although still nearly un-listenable), and after some keystrokes, was led to the fact that Benny Blanco of Spank Rock produced the track. Well there ya go!... I love Spank Rock's sound. Mystery solved.
This producer business all started when I learned several years ago (about 2005 or so) that The Dust Brothers produced tracks and albums WAY before I discovered they did the score/soundtrack to Fight Club, which if you're a fan, you probably love as much as I do. That was their only full-length album they've ever put out under their name, but before this, lo and behold, I find they've produced some of the most amazing and/or popular tracks of the past 20 years. They produced tracks for Tone Loc, and two tracks for the Young MC's back in the 1980s (guess which tracks they were? ...yeah, the popular ones.) And then to round off the 80s, they produced and made the music for the Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique, which is considered one of the greatest albums of all-time. Good start, right? hah... They went on to work with Beck on Odelay, and not surprisingly the ONLY track they produced for the kiddie-group Hansen, "MMMBop," was the only one that was really popular and everyone knows to this very day. At the end of the 1990s, David Fincher asked them to arrange the score (soundtrack) for Fight Club, which was huge. In the 2000s, they produced Tenacious D's self-titled debut, and They Might Be Giants' album The Else... among others, but yeah, just to name A FEW.
After belatedly realizing that production was a huge engine in creating a real hit song, I started paying closer attention to people who produced music, or who went from production into making their own music, since it normally meant I would dig it on some level. I can write a whole blog on producers alone, so before I get carried away....
To bring it back around to Kaleidoscope, Calvin Harris is featured on the track "Century," which quite frankly, I dig the fuck out of and listen to pretty often. It's one of those songs that as soon as I heard it was stuck in my brain for DAYS, and I couldn't seem to listen to it enough to get it out of there. I'd first heard it on a really super-fun dance mix album that my good friend's boyfriend (Donnie Jewell) made just for the hell of it... more or less, I think it was to shut us girls up for begging him to make mixes, hah... and I needed to know what it was right after that. Calvin Harris has a career that I'm not really into or informed on, but he's toured in support of the likes of Groove Armada, who is pretty bitchin', and Faithless, who of course anyone who's into some techno will probably recognize his "God is a DJ" tune.
But for the production values, well, Calvin Harris is pretty cool for having done some shit for Katy Perry and Kylie Minogue. Also a funny side story, he evidently was offered an opportunity to work on some Lady Gaga track about a year and a half before she hit it big, and he said "nah, no thanks" because he "didn't think the track he heard was all that good." El oh el. But he also says he thinks she's a good artist, just that he didn't like what he heard and therefore doesn't regret saying "no" to it or anything.
So I find it very easy to see why it is that I think "Century" is the stand-out track on the entire album, even as much as I love and adore Tegan & Sara and their contribution to the album.
Tiesto ft. Calvin Harris, "Century"
The large, glaring reason for me writing about good ol' Tiesto in my music blog is that my opinion of his evolution from "mindless button pusher" to "respected artist" has taken quite a long time, and I think that coming from someone who prefers drum & bass (me, obviously) it's kind of a big compliment. I feel like some of his earlier tracks are of course catchy, just for fun dance party type stuff (tracks like "Traffic," linked below) that have really great builds, yeah I can say they're fun to listen to but it's nothing to write home about.
"Traffic" official music video (poor quality but whatever, it's still fun to see Tiesto jumping around and grinning like an idiot. That dude really loves performing.)
And then there's also a track that I was surprised to find on my Dieselboy's Dungeonmaster's Guide album, Flight 643, which is a HUGE track for Tiesto, after doing some reading. Not mad about it, and in fact, it's one of my favorite songs on the Dieselboy album. The mix is done by Paul B & Subwave, but it's Tiesto's track.
"Flight 643" on Dungeonmaster's Guide.
Now that Kaleidoscope has become such a stand-out album in my collection, I felt it was time to do the big dirty thing I've been avoiding:
Admit to be among the billions of people who call themselves Fans of Tiesto.
There, I said it. For all the interwebs to see.
Don't hurt me too badly, my EDM friends.
On a funny end note, I realized while writing this entry that I actually didn't know how to spell the word "kaleidoscope" before now. It's a word one says and rarely writes, I assume. Thanks, Tiesto. I am now clear on it's spelling. hah