A collective history of electronic sound, compiled by the good people of OWSLA.
This marks the summer that EDM became Officially A Thing: the subject of a thousand thinkpieces on music, the pulsing beat behind the top-charting Billboard songs, the chief contender for sound-of-a-generation status. Electronic music today is audio sprawl; a constantly spreading and shifting sonic landscape. Much of what we hear shares a (spiritual) home in an independent collective called OWSLA, founded in 2011 by Sonny Moore.
As OWSLA approaches it’s 3rd birthday (September 13, 2014, if you want to send a fruit basket), we’re cataloguing and counting down the label’s most notable releases — with music from Skrillex, Porter Robinson, Zedd, Seven Lions, Jack Beats, What So Not, Alex Metric, Hundred Waters, and more. So, listen up. Here’s a 20-track compilation of OWSLA sounds. Download the Bundle, and unlock new music, classic songs, videos, art, and more.
Enter your email address to grab a 1-month subscription to OWSLA’s Drip.FM service, a 15% discount to OWSLA’s webstore, and the chance to win a Skrillex box set, OWSLA x Long bomber jacket, and OWSLA x Wonderland sunglasses.
OWSLA X BitTorrent Bundle
01 Zedd: Shotgun (Audio)
02 Dillon Francis: Falling Up (Audio)
03 Birdy Nam Nam: Going In’ / Skrillex Goin’ Hard Remix (Audio)
04 Support OWSLA (HTML)
05 Yogi: Burial ft. Pusha T (Audio)
06 Valentino Khan: Make Some Noise (Audio)
07 Moody Good: Hotplate ft. Knytro (Audio)
08 Snails + Antiserum: Wild (Audio)
09 David Heartbreak: Rebel / Trollphace Remix (Audio)
10 Alex Metric: Rave Weapon (Audio)
11 Jack Beats: Beatbox (Audio)
12 What So Not: Jaguar (Audio)
13 Henry Fong: Stand Up / Milo & Otis Remix (Audio)
14 Hundred Waters: Xtalk (Audio)
15 Seven Lions: Days to Come ft. Fiora (Audio)
16 KOAN Sound: Introvert (Audio)
17 The M Machine: Ghosts In The Machine (Audio)
18 Alesia: Andrea (Audio)
19 Kill The Noise: Saturn / GTA Remix (Audio)
20 TC: Get Down Low / Silverback Remix (Audio)
21 Phonat: Identity Theft (Audio)
22 Kill Paris: Foreplay (Video)
23 Hundred Waters: Cavity (Video)
24 KOAN Sound: Funk Blaster (Video)
25 Alex Metric: Heart Weighs A Ton (Art)
26 Alex Metric: Heart Weighs A Ton (Art)
27 KOAN Sound: Dynasty (Art)
28 KOAN Sound: Sanctuary (Art)
29 OWSLA (Art)
30 OWSLA (Art)
31 Hundred Waters: Cavity (Art)
32 OWSLA 15% Merch Discount (Coupon)
“Good People. Good Times.” A few words with OWSLA’s Blaise DeAngelo.
BitTorrent: How did OWSLA come together? What was the goal?
Blaise DeAngelo: OWSLA was founded to be a place where musicians can come together and be creative without having to worry about the traditional pressures of a label. A lot of our friends were expressing frustration with their record deals or having trouble getting their music heard independently. We saw a need for an artist-friendly label to support forward-thinking music.
BitTorrent: Experimentation, maybe, is one way of describing the OWSLA sound — artists who recast and reimagine genres like dubstep, techno, and hip hop. What’s been your approach to curation, to building your roster?
DeAngelo: Yeah, I think the only way to define our sound is that it’s indefinable. Our approach to A&R is never about a specific type of sound or genre or aesthetic – just GREAT music.
We look for artists who are forward-thinking and hungry – who wake up every day with a driving need to innovate.
Our focus is very much on the artists themselves – not just the songs. We look for the potential in the artist and what he or she might be capable of.
BitTorrent: The idea of experimentation also captures your approach to building out your business — beginning with the intention of doing it digital first. Why does experimentation matter? What’s been your path to making digital music work?
DeAngelo: I think that’s sort of the essence of this whole dance music thing in 2014. Dance music has been around for decades, but in this new era, with the barriers to entry lower than ever — and the resources more easily accessible than ever — we’re starting to see some really exciting new styles of music emerging.
To me, the idea of digital is about much more than MP3s or streaming — it represents the idea of fluid and seamless creation and collaboration.
That’s what the whole culture is about. Making a beat and sending it to your homie across the world and him adding a synth line and so forth. Then sending the finished song to 5 of your homies and asking them to interpret it in their own way for 5 different remixes. That’s the essence of dance music today, and the essence of digital. Vinyl is awesome, but you obviously can’t do that kind of stuff.
BitTorrent: What’s the role of the record label in the Internet age? What should labels be challenging, or changing?
DeAngelo: In this digital age, where artists can write, record, mix, master, distribute and market their music 100% on their own, I think the role of the record label becomes more about curation and creative guidance than infrastructure. There are a LOT of young artists out there messing around and making a LOT of very cool music, and I think a good label knows how to a) identify those artists and b) work with them to help them find and develop their signature sound and realize their full potential.
It’s easy to maintain the status quo, and follow the trends, but we pride ourselves on pushing boundaries. One of the most important things Sonny has imbued on us is to challenge everything, question everything and never accept anything at face value – whether it be music, artwork, videos, events, or even social media.
BitTorrent: We’ve seen mad thinkpieces on “The State of EDM”. How have you seen the genre change over the course of the past couple years? Why do you think it’s so resonant now?
DeAngelo: The ability for artists to collaborate and share ideas in real-time over recent years has really accelerated the advancement of dance music in a way unlike any other genre, and I think that’s why it’s so much more exciting.
Artists are changing their sets each night, songs are morphing and evolving into new versions and mixes, and everything is fluid. And the fans feel like they are a part of it – they’re not watching, they’re participating. And that’s why it’s so much more exciting than rock or country or hip-hop or anything else right now.
BitTorrent: We’re coming up on the 3-year anniversary of OWSLA. What’s next?
DeAngelo: Hopefully the 4-year anniversary! Ha. We have a ton we still want to accomplish – we’ve barely scratched the surface yet. We’re tryna throw a party on the moon!
About BitTorrent Bundle
BitTorrent Bundle is an alpha project made with and for the web’s creative community. Our mission is to help artists connect directly with fans, inside the content they share.
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