The Internet. Just a series of tubes. When things get humming on the Web, however, they can start singing real quick. Combine the Web’s power with an über-hip music genre and it gets even louder. Just ask PLUS MOVE, two New England Art Institute students and Allston rockers who started making dance music and soon found themselves on the lips of some of the dance floor’s smartest tastemakers. The phenomenon has been coined “blog house” because of its proliferation on MP3 blogs. “I’m not sure how I feel about the term, but whatever, it’s part of our lives now, so what are you gonna do,” says video major Paul Mihailoff, one-half of Plus Move.
The guys found themselves in the middle of the phenomenon with an unlicensed remix of “D.A.N.C.E” by the hot French act Justice. They started with just a leaked recording from BBC Radio. “We were working with the radio rip, and by the time we got the better version, it took just a couple of days to have that final edit. We knew we wanted to get our shit out there because, you know, Justice is huge, and people will eat that shit up.”
People did. Top MP3 blog Discobelle.net posted the remix on March 16, and it’s been a bit of a whirlwind for Plus Move ever since. Blogs from the Netherlands to New York were picking up on the pair’s dirty rocking dance sound. Audio major Josh Shifrin is the other half of Plus Move. “We met at school and realized our similar tastes in music and art,” Mihailoff writes via e-mail. “At that time we both had discovered Daft Punk, which led to us falling in love with the sound of all the French electro artists.”
Before Plus Move, Shifrin played in an indie-rock band and Mihailoff in a Rage Against the Machine cover band. The hard sounds of the French scene appealed to them. “It’s a combination of something familiar with something completely new,” Mihailoff writes. “We are always trying to find new music, we always are looking to hear fresh sounds. People are drawn to this punk attitude of the new French sound — i.e., [French electronic-music label] Ed Banger. People hear heavy distortion, funky synths, hard kicks . . . we’re all familiar with these sounds but have never heard it quite like this. It’s got punk-rock attitude without the glitzy, pretty-boy type of a lot of dance music. People can just go rock out and have a good time. Daft Punk has a lot to do with it. They were doing this before anyone but still had that rock influence . . . and everyone loves to dance.”
Dance music, and the ease with which tracks can be remixed on laptops, is leading the way on MP3 blogs. “I see it as an outlet for kids who would have a radio show, but radio is dead,” says Mihailoff later over the phone. “So it’s a place to show off cool new music. And the Internet is bigger than ever, so it’s a great way to share the music. When I got a kid interested in and hooked on the whole Ed Banger thing, he started his own blog! He started his own contribution to the thing. So much of it is based on that whole scene with blog house. It also makes it really accessible from all over the world. It’s got a huge following in Europe and Australia, and for kids in America to be able to get it, I think that’s a good thing.”