Meet DanceDeep: Batch

My name’s Chris Batchelder, but you can call me Batch.

I was born in Europe, went to boarding school in New England, I’m at university in North Carolina, and I’ve got my sights set on living in New York. I like music. Especially electronic music. I like listening to it, I like writing about it, I like experiencing it live, and I like making it. I got serious about this whole thing two years ago. The real turning point was Ultra 2013. That’s when I truly fell in love with electronic music. And that’s when I knew I wanted to get involved in the world of music, whether it be as a DJ, producer, photographer, or manager. Since then, I’ve been to countless festivals and (even more?) countless shows, but mostly as a consumer. I’ve been the front row mainstage guy. I’ve been the shuffling-in-the-ten-person-deep-house-tent guy. There’s a beauty to being a part of the crowd; I can empathize with DJs… sometimes they look curiously lonely at the decks. But I guess that’s the nature of a music genre so dominated by one-person-acts. But then again—and what inspires me the most—is the ability for one artist to stand up there and create such a dynamic environment for tens, hundreds, or thousands of fans.

Ultra 2013 Day - Night Dance Deep

The versatility of a DJ’s environment is what attracts me to electronic music. By the beginning of October 2013, I swore that Hardwell was the greatest DJ of all time. It’s funny to look back on naivety—I was pretty sure I “achieved” the kind of person I wanted to be by the end of 2012—in the context of changing tastes. I actually do think I reached a pretty solid point personality-wise after boarding school (I take pride in not becoming too different a person, or at least not a worse person) in the sense of staying incredibly positive, appreciative, and open-minded. But the tastes… boy do the tastes change. I discovered Above & Beyond shortly after proclaiming Hardwell as king. The end of 2013 was one of the most transformative music experiences of my life; Tri State solidified itself as one of my all-time favorite albums. Walking around Budapest late at night listening to Stealing Time was groundbreakingly ethereal, especially in the context of me having had tickets for ABGT050 that same weekend… but choosing Budapest and Copenhagen instead for relationship reasons. I don’t have many regrets, but missing that show in Ally Pally is one of them.

To think I had seen Above & Beyond twice in 2013, at Ultra and EDC Vegas, and had no idea who they were. I do remember thinking to myself after their set at EDC, “wow, the crowd really loves these guys.” I wish I had been able to appreciate their music more; it took a while to dawn upon me how emotional that night was. So I made up for it in 2014. Label in Charlotte, Ultra, Mansion in Miami, EDC Vegas, Wet Republic, Tomorrowland, Tomorrowworld, ABGT100… so many good memories. But, by mid-2014, I moved on to the next chronicle of musical appreciation.

DanceDeep Eric Prydz Mashup

That chronicle: Eric Prydz. You could say I’m still in the Pryda phase now—I hope I’ll always be. Having gone to so many festivals and having so thoroughly experienced the live aspect of electronic music, there have been a few times where I look back and think “I can’t believe you didn’t know better, ya dingus.” I honestly had no idea who Eric Prydz was when I saw his Ultra 2014 set. I downloaded his set the next morning and listened to it while lounging at my friend’s apartment in Coral Gables. I didn’t really get it.

Fast forward to the 4th of July. I thought to myself, “hey, I like this Eric Prydz guy. Why not listen to Eric Prydz Presents: Pryda?” Now I get it.

I was blown away. Listening to Pryda in its entirety is the greatest personal musical journey I have ever been on. Fast forward another two weeks. I’m laying on an air mattress in my freezing tent at Tomorrowland. It’s 4am. An incredible but long first day. I throw on my Philips A5s that Armin gave me in Miami. Pure musical bliss.

Now I’m fully trenched into the Pryda camp. Although Tomorrowworld 2014 was incredible, I do regret not being able to see EPIC 3.0 live. Jeremy Olander is another favorite, with Fehrplay contending for his high spot on my most respected artists (and Spencer Brown quickly rising in the ranks). I hung out with Jonas in New York last month. He really inspired me to pursue music.

All in all, I would say that house is consistently my favorite genre. Listen to any set from Data Transmission to get a feel. Progressive house takes a close second, followed by techno and then trance. Like I’ve said, Eric Prydz is hands-down my favorite DJ and producer. Fehrplay and Jeremy Olander produce incredible progressive house and techno, and I also give props to the other end of the Swedish camp: Steve Angello, Axwell, and Ingrosso. Alesso and Avicii deserve mention, too. Techno-wise, Adam Beyer, Richie Hawtin, Sven Vath, Maceo Plex, Gesaffelstein, Tiga, Cirez D, and Matt Lange take the cake. When it comes to house, especially UK house, there are too many good artists to name; I mostly gauge it by which mixes are best, and lately anything on the Data Transmission podcast is golden. Tchami comes to mind, as well as deadmau5 for his overall house-techno-progressive musical genius, and parts of Kaskade for his positivity. On the more positive side of things (i.e. progressive trance), Above & Beyond is the most inspiring and uplifting electronic music group of this day and age. Nearly all of their associated acts, from Mat Zo to Lane 8, Andrew Bayer, Ilan Bluestone, Audien, 16 Bit Lolitas, and Super8 & Tab, encompass the best elements of progressive trance and progressive and deep house. I also respect Tiesto and Armin van Buuren for their history and impact on the electronic music community.

I started DanceDeep with the intention of bringing you together with music, one moment of frisson at a time.

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