From all corners of the EDM scene, artists and fans come Together

Together — now in its fourth incarnation — is back. Above, Soul Clap.
Together — now in its fourth incarnation — is back. Above, Soul Clap.

From the Central Square offices of Together’s headquarters, marketing manager Charles Mazzola looks out and imagines what Cambridge could look like in the near future. “Imagine this block,” he gestures with a broad sweep of his hand. “Every door packed.”

It’s a plausible estimate that Together 2013 — an international celebration of music, art and technology — will bring in 50,000 people. Will that make this year’s edition, the fourth overall of the electro-fest, the biggest and best one yet? That’s a question that Mazzola and managing director Alexander Maniatis answer with a resounding “Oh yeah!” Electronic music (and hip-hop, and electro-pop, etc) is more than just their passion. It’s their mission.

The Together team has deep roots in the Boston scene, and in many ways, it embodies the many virtues that enabled the EDM explosion. They are young, quick to use any emerging technology and able to connect to their dedicated fanbase with a unlikely grassroots approach: word of mouth.

“This is different than a big outdoor thing,” says Mazzola, explaining how Together’s ground tactics — namely infiltrating all the clubs — make the whole thing work. “We have no big stage that holds 50,000 [people] to pay the bills.” But that doesn’t mean the talent pool the fest pulls from is small.

This year, Together presents some of its biggest showcases yet, including performances from cross-over acts like Canadian synth-pop duo Crystal Castles, experimental electronic/jazz artist Flying Lotus and UK house superstar Duke Dumont. These genre-bending artists represent what Mazzola and Maniatis consider the biggest trend in EDM — music that breaks barriers.

“This festival loves to exploit that,” says Maniatis. “Before, there were people who only listened to house music, people who only listened to drum ‘n’ bass, etc. But now you have producers such as Four Tet who are producing really experimental music, but also making banging house tracks. Or you have people like Scuba who are dubstep producers who are now leading the charge for house music.”

Those interested in more intimate venues might check out Thursday night’s show at Middlesex, where patrons of Make It New will get a chance to hear the down-tempo grooves of Detroit underground legend, Andres.

Andre Obin
Andre Obin

Searching for a playground

Part of Together’s mission is to present Boston’s best talent alongside reps from the vibrant international scene. This helps to get EDM acts on historic stages (such as the Middle East downstairs, which dedicates an entire week to the festival) as well as to establish a need for new mid-level, electro-friendly venues.

Soulclap’s Eli Goldstein built an internationally-known house/funk act from Cambridge’s Phoenix Landing. According to the producer, Boston has places for the huge acts, but lack spaces for “the really cool shows that aren’t as commercial,” like UK avant-electronic artist Four Tet and Canadian house-producer and Turbo Records-founder, Tiga (both Together highlights).

One of Boston’s fastest rising acts, electronic-based songwriter André Obin, agrees. While his live instrumentation and vocals work well in Boston venues, Obin would love to see a venue with “that perfect combination of DJ culture and live acts that would make modern performers feel more comfortable.” If you build it, they will come.

Whether you want to dance, watch, listen or learn, one thing about this particular fest remains true: We’re all in this Together.

Don’t miss

Soul Clap
Dancing On The Charles: Crew Love BBQ
With Wolf+Lamb, Tanner, Slow Hands, NRP
May 19 from 2 p.m.-8 p.m.
The Central Quad
Corner of Landsdowne and Auburn Streets, Cambridge, Mass.
$20
togetherboston.com

André Obin
With Hooray for Earth, Mean Creek, Guilermo Sexo
May 15 @ 8 p.m.
Middle East Downstairs
$12
mideastclub.com

Together runs May 12-19 at venues across town. Festival passes are $150; $225 VIP. 


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

News

Mets mascot Mr. Met target of Bill Clinton…

Mets mascot Mr. Met has told how he ended up in the crosshairs of a Secret Service sniper rifle. The man behind the Mr. Met…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Local

African couple claiming misidentification in robbery case to…

At a bail hearing today for Vickson and Lorfu Korlewala, charged in the robbery of an 80-year-old woman, bail was reduced from $1 million total to $500,000.

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

NHL

Rangers draw first blood against Flyers in Game…

Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored power-play goals 47 seconds apart to lead the Rangers to a 4-1 win.

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.