ill Gates was challedged to do a remix of “Aag Da Kariya” by Dr. Zeus for a BBC Asia show. They wanted him to think outside the box and work with Asian music in new creative ways. I Think ill Gates nailed it. Make sure you check out his website, ill Gates.com for free downloads!
I have been noticing a cool thing going on within our community of artists challenging each other in some new creative ways to create music. In this case, a radio show asks ill Gates to think outside the box, but I have also seen some cool communities working together to make some tracks. I love seeing folks get creative and work outside their normal workflow. I think we all benefit from the results. Hopefully in the future, we will get to hear some of these cool collabs. and multiple artist challenges!
Colorado native Ricky Shine, known as The Digital Connection, is stoked to release his first full length album, A Universal Outcome, for free today! Ricky has expressed that he enjoys all types of music across the board; the 13 track album reflects this in an appealing fusion of wubby basslines, harmonic arrangements, synthy ups & downs, and rhythmic sequences. The album has several flavors and while listening to it all the way through I found that my mood changed along with the flow of the album (and within each track, actually). One minute I was kicking back in a state of complete relaxation, and the next I’d be uncontrollably bobbing my head. I love the banger “Beasts” and can envision listeners really getting down to it on a dance floor. I also really enjoy the upbeat vitality in “Rest Assured”. Being a midtempo, emotive music lover, “The Purpose of Life” is probably my favorite on the release – he managed to make it both buttery and deep at once.
One thing that I have gotten to know and admire about Ricky is his genuine enthusiasm surrounding the bass music scene and appreciation for those who put the time and effort into producing quality music. In listening to A Universal Outcome you can tell that he devotes a lot of effort into his music and isn’t just releasing something for the hell of it. His mind state is without a doubt consistent with the premises of Afro Monk – that those who experiment with fresh sounds and strive for brilliant music, rather than sticking with the status quo of dub / brostep, deserve recognition and respect. I think that Ricky would rather have a steady and devoted fan-base that appreciates his unique music than discontentedly make what the masses are ignorantly listening to. Ricky is very down with the camaraderie in the music scene; he’s been with Got Bass Music from the get-go and also makes up part of The Mile High Sound Movement collective which is on the forefront of the Colorado bass scene (and the national bass scene, for that matter). He also regularly plays his tunes and chats with listeners, other producers, and DJs in the Afro Monk turntable.fm room
As far as live performances go, I’d love to see a live Digital Connection set. I have seen a few videos of his shows and he definitely knows how to get a crowd moving; this guy emanates some serious energy. Ricky is all about playing unstructured live sets rather than having a set queued playlist. He articulated that “it’s as important to vibe off the crowd as it is to send vibrations out. It feels wrong to me to make sets – it feels a lot more natural to go with the flow and play to the crowd”. I can appreciate this as I have been to shows where although the music is good, the crowd isn’t really feeling the atmosphere (too mellow for the setting, too many bangers in a row, etc.). I don’t think that would be an issue at a Digital Connection show – the guy is a master at sensing an audience’s vibes and mixing his set up accordingly.
Show support for The Digital Connection by downloading A Universal Outcome. Be sure to check out his 3 other releases on Bandcamp as well, and keep an eye out for his debut EP on Gravitas Recordings in 2012.