For DJ duo Manufactured Superstars, dance music led to more than a stage, it led to creating the world’s largest electronic music store. Before Shawn Sabo and Brad Roulier were playing to thousands of fans at EDM mega fests like Ultra and EDC, they were part of the Denver-based team that founded the online music store, Beatport. Sabo and Roulier parted ways with company in 2013 prior to a controversial acquisition by SFX entertainment, and after two years of writing material and performing they’re ready to release their debut, full-length album, Party All The Time. Manufactured Superstars will swing through Anaheim and perform at the Heat Ultra Lounge on Saturday, December 19.
Long before Manufactured Superstars were playing to the masses and making guest appearances at The Kennedy Center, they were embracing an underground music scene in Denver. Stage setups were a far cry from today’s elaborate productions and shows were still referred to as raves. Sabo recalls DJ booths being propped up on cinder blocks, promoter’s logos hanging on a tarp in the background, and sweaty crowds dancing in place while rocking Jnco jeans and Adidas visors. Amidst these humble beginnings, the two DJs were aligning mid-western visionaries to create Beatport.
“It was six people and a dream,” Sabo says. “Eloy [Lopez] was one of the original people who said ‘Hey, let’s start a site that sells dance songs as MP3s!’ When we first did it, people thought we were crazy. They were saying no one will ever buy stuff on MP3s, you’re a bunch of idiots.”
Charting on Beatport is considered an accolade to this day, and one of the most recognizable brands in the EDM world. Sabo and Roulier left Beatport at the height of its success, just before it was acquired by entertainment conglomerate, SFX. Over the last two years SFX has suffered immense financial losses in their pursuit and mass consumption of EDM related businesses, namely this year’s abysmal TomorrowWorld festival that left thousands stranded due to storms. The parent company continues to struggle, but Sabo has faith that Beatport will persevere.
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“Beatport isn’t going anywhere,” Sabo says. “It’s too important to the industry. They still sell a ton of records, and charting on Beatport is exciting for anyone’s career. All of the brands SFX bought are sufficient businesses. They’ll all continue to flourish regardless of what happens with SFX.”
Focused on their music, Manufactured Superstars are taking their party-centric sound on the road in support of their new album. Party All The Time lives up to its namesake, filled with fluctuating BPM’s and uplifting hooks. Vocalist Danni Rogue appears on the road-tested track “Like Satellites” as well as the album’s new single “Great Escape,” and Sabo’s drum and bass roots show on “Swagger Right.” Their debut, full-length effort is an upbeat party album built on years of working and performing in the EDM industry, and reveals sixteen tracks of material that’s fit to light up dance floors at any hour.
“We’re both old school ravers,” Sabo says. “We’ve been there as the scene evolved and we’re going to continue to evolve with it.”
Manufactured Superstars perform at Heat Ultra Lounge, 321 W. Katella Ave. Anaheim, 714-776-4328. www.heatoc.com. Doors at 9 p.m., tickets $20 - $30, 21+. For more information on Manufactured Superstars visit www.manufacturedsuperstars.com.