Decided to put a quick mix together of a bunch of the tunes I have been digging lately. Bit different feel then previous mixes I have put up on soundcloud so Id love some feedback! I have only been mixing for about a year now and play gigs here and there during that time. My motivation is purely for the enjoyment of the music. I have played stringed instruments for years and felt like it was time to try something new. So here is my 2011 Mix, No fancy tricks, Just solid tunes mixed in Traktor with the S4. Hope you enjoy!
It hasn’t been a secret on here that I’ve relocated back to my hometown Miami. Truth is I haven’t really made it a point to tell anyone except my close friends. The music community is so vastly different here and knew I was giving up a lot moving back to this market. It’s not meant to be taken in a negative sense. Unfortunately the music I’ve been playing/pushing doesn’t really have much presence here. We all know the meccas are Colorado & California.
I was lucky enough to discover a market in Texas that allowed me to do what I’ve always wanted to do… Play glitch-hop. I became extremely involved in Texas and turned my life focus on music for the most part. I’d go out every night and actually network/talk to people. I’ve always been shy and moved to Texas only knowing my roommate. Texas was a scary move but once I got there it took me for one of the best rides of my life. I was only in Texas for a year but it feels like I was there for over five years. The amount of talented artist is overwhelming! The festival crowd is full force and plenty of homegrown events.
Now that I’m back in Miami I’ve started an entirely new lifestyle. I know that bass music popularity has reached a new height but it has also left me much to be desired. I don’t want to become that bitter old man complaining non-stop. I’ve decided to put this mix out there to target the Miami audience and nightlife but at the same time tip my hat goodbye to this sort of style. It’s fun, party, dance, and rave out music but truth is I’m burnt out and have been for some time now I’m sure. If you follow me on FB and Twitter you’ll know what I’m talking about. I’m a mid range bass hater. Yes, I admit it.
It’s time to focus on a positive new attitude and something different that will brighten my spirits. 2012 will be the start of many new things. As I said my lifestyle is quite different now. I don’t go out anymore and I’m going back to my anti-social recluse ways. My nights consist of me laying around my dream apartment on the beach listening to chill out lounge music and playing video games. My roots are in trip-hop/downtempo/lounge. I’ve decided to focus on that for 2012 and create a sister site that will built around that vibe. Expect a soft beta launch around Feb 2012.
This doesn’t mean this site will be executed!!! Ed and Tara have been doing an incredible job and I’ll still be writing post but come to understand I won’t be as active. It’s time to expand the market. I’ll still be around at all the events but keep in mind Miami doesn’t offer acts that I’ve been spoiled with while living in Texas. The bass scene is very alive here but it’s very brostep/moombah oriented which truthfully I can’t vibe with. Along with the sister site launch there will be a new weekly event that will be created to support the new movement here. I’m super excited to see how this pans out.
Now about this mix. It was designed on the fly to get you moving and sing along. There are times where I need to get motivated to go out to the club or bar and these tunes get me all hyped. They are mostly top 40 remixes with me giving them an extra umphhh to them and adding my glitches live. It’s been over a month since I’ve played or even mixed since I’ve been so busy with the move. Not to mention like I said I’ve kept myself isolated in Miami so not looking actively to play out. It was fun to rock out in my new studio to this. Anxious to see what the reception of this mix will be.
I hope you enjoy and have a happy new year!!!
First I want to express how honored I am to have begun writing for Afro Monk in 2011. I had been wanting to write for the site for a long while and am psyched to finally have the opportunity. It’s been a great year of music!
Top 5 Best Releases
1. Minnesota – Ancient Machine
2. Ill.gates – The Ill Methodology
3. Paper Diamond – Levitate
4. Phutureprimitive – Kinetik
5. The Weeknd – House of Balloons
For starters, I love where Minnesota’s sound has been going in the past year – very melodic and synthy but still sprinkled with some nice bass. The Ancient Machine EP is truly satisfying to me, and I particularly enjoyed Hold Up’s epic feel. Bass pioneer ill.Gates made me a happy camper with his solid ill.Methodology album – it is diverse, interesting, and deliberate. I particularly LOVE Never Alone with MiMOSA, Live and Learn, and My Special Place. Paper Diamond’s Levitate was in my headphones a lot when it came out and I was cruising around South America. It’s easy and soothing listening. He definitely has a distinguishable sound, yet each track is different, both of which I think are extremely important in successful production. Phutureprimitive blessed us with a miraculous album in 2011, Kinetik. Drippy bassy downtempo is what I really love to listen to when not raging at an event, and this LP did it for me. It is a stunning and emotive compilation that embraces what I love about electronic music. Personal favorites are Ripple Effect, Cryogenic Dreams, and Kinetik. And last but not least, I have to agree with Afro Monk that The Weeknd’s House of Balloons is most definitely top 5 material. The Weeknd’s voice is undeniably sexy and I love his ingenuous lyrics along with pleasant basslines. Wicked Games is stunning – I can’t get enough of it.
Top 5 Best Songs
1. Emancipator – Ares (Big Gigantic Remix)
2. ProJect Aspect ft. Kruza Kid – Let Me See Ya Sneakers Work
3. GRiZ – Chasin Galaxies
4. Minnesota – Sun Burst
5. Cryptex – Reset
Making a top 5 list of tracks was really difficult for me; I started by writing down all of my favorites and was facing a list of 20 solid tracks. I have narrowed it down to 5 yet still feel like there are a lot of others that deserve recognition. The tracks I chose are the ones that I consistently listened to this year, as opposed to ones that I enjoyed hearing live most. By listening through it is apparent that my tastes have evolved from heart-pounding dubstep to harmonious bass music. Anywho, I’ll start off with one of the tracks that I never get tired of regardless of playing it all the time: Big Gigantic’s remix of Ares by Emancipator. When I hear it I am elevated into a state of nirvana; it makes me reminisce about past life-changing music memories and stirs up some inexplicable emotion in me. ProJect Aspect’s contribution to Bass from Above Volume 2 (which is overall an exceptional compilation) is like a breath of fresh air that gives me a burst of energy. This guy seriously crushed it this year, as did a lot of the other Mile High Sound Movement kids. They’ve really got something good going on over there in CO, I hope to visit this winter and check out the scene. GRiZ made me stoked with Chasin Galaxies. It has a nice slow buildup, gradually adding in new elements like some lazerbass, subtle rap samples (Method Man), and effervescent high notes. I have been listening to GRiZ since his GK days and it’s pretty cool to see him hit the ground running; he has consistently brought the fire all year! Minnesota’s Sun Burst is SO dope – another track that is slow to build up but then digs deep and sweeps me off my feet. Sun Burst is brilliant, bold, and blissful; I really love how Christian draws out his notes. Cryptex’s Reset really speaks to me. Its pulsating and glitchy vibes are both innovative and profound. This track is on the Virtus In Sonus compilation brought to you by Gravitas Recordings – another phenomenal album!
Top 5 Events:
1.The Bounce Festival
2. Lightning in a Bottle
5. Boom Boom Lagoon(s)
It didn’t take me much thought to figure out the best event I went to in 2011. The Bounce Festival (as well as The Big Bounce 2010) was just too magical to surpass. Nestled in the woods in the Feather River in Northern California, the venue at Belden Town is breathtaking. Add in some of the most talented DJs, forward-thinking artists and vendors, and all-around remarkable people and there you have a perfect 3 days. I think I have to say that my best musical experiences were spent there (namely Tipper, Emancipator sunrise set, and unbelievable sets from Love & Light and EPROM). Lightning in a Bottle comes in at a very close second; Oak Canyon Ranch just feels like home. Camping with all of your best friends at such an event is nearly impossible to beat. The Bamboo Stage was amazeballs (yes, I said it), thus where I spent most of my time there. The Do LaB always does an incredible job of incorporating awe-inspiring interactive art, yoga, speeches, and workshops. There is just a warmth about it – and lots of insanely beautiful people everywhere you look. Emissions was a super heady, intimate festival in Tuolomne. It was definitely fun feeling like everyone was mingling and getting to know each other. As Afro Monk mentioned, it SNOWED on us – definitely took people by surprise and added an interesting element. Kids were still goin strong at a renegade setup haha. Earthdance was a super fun experience, and the lineup was incredible. Although the acoustics in the Temple of Electronica were subpar (they downgraded from Funktion Ones) DJs still brought it, and the Geodome as well as the Headtron pool party takeover were rockin’. I doubt that many of you have heard of Boom Boom Lagoon. For the past few summers in Lake Tahoe, my friends Zach and Zeb have thrown some bitchin’ parties on the East shore of the lake. You hike in about a mile to get there or boat in. The beach fills up with Tahoe’s party people and this summer they brought in Love & Light for the first party, and B Bravo & Ill-Esha for the second party (who has quoted it as being one of her favorite events of the summer). When I think of summer in Lake Tahoe, I think of Boom Boom Lagoon. Although it didn’t make the list, Freaker’s Ball in San Francisco on Halloween was another great party with a dope lineup and unlimited fun!
Thanks for listening, & I’m looking forward to another excellent year of music – bring it on 2012! I’ll be at SnowGlobe to bring in the New Year, so if you know me & you’re going, hit me up!
There is one driving force that keeps me going every day, Passion. Life has its way of playing that typical game of back and forth like it does for you as well I’m sure. When it comes to my career, hobbies, social life, blog, art, etc… all I use and look for is that inner feeling to express myself and let it all out.
This site is one of my biggest accomplishments and never thought I’d have thousands of visitors coming back. I built it as a place to share and showcase music I thought was worth posting about. If there is one thing I look for when listening to music it’s that feeling of emotion and soul put into it. That doesn’t mean that some of the music I don’t enjoy doesn’t have emotion or soul by any means. Trust me some of the agro bass out there has emotion just usually on a level I don’t want to touch or feel. The music I post has to capture me in some sort of fashion. I’ll usually even send releases to writers if I’m not feeling it and know I should probably write about the tracks but can’t do it if not my cup of tea. After all sometimes you want to support your friends but just don’t connect with those certain tracks.
Passion is everything. I don’t have to tell you how much competition there is in the music industry. Hell it’s so easy to become a DJ in today’s world and even a producer with all the advances in DAWs and VSTs. What’s the secret to making it somewhat successful? Passion dude! You have to live it and breathe what you do. This isn’t a competition of how many Followers, Likes, Plays, Downloads, etc… you have. It’s about being able to express yourself freely and not give a shit if anyone listens or hears your music. You have to want to make/share music. You’ve got to tune into what you feel and enjoy. There are thousands of people who can tell you it’s about who you know, who writes about you, what label/agency you’re with, etc… but in truth it’s all garbage. If you’re doing what you like forget about what people think. Seriously one of the biggest tips I tell people when first starting out is DO NOT FOCUS ON LOCAL MARKET. Think big and don’t worry about playing shows in your city or if people like you are not. Focus on what you’re doing and put yourself out there. You’ll be surprised how many people from around the world will find you if you’ve got something real. The rest will follow suite later if you keep it up.
I’d also like to mention please please don’t confuse passion for desperation. I can’t tell you how many people I see and know that just hustle and hustle but it looks so fake because they are dying for results. Trust me this trend of I’ll release a free tune if I get x number of new followers etc… FORGET THE NUMBERS. Release music because you want to. I get it you want to push further and further and all this energy and passion has lead you to bust your ass. Don’t get desperate. If you keep doing what you’re doing people will find you. Don’t force it. Plus you look like a total newb searching for attention. Passion in your work will be recognized on its own. I can’t think of one time I’ve been like ohh shit I want a new tune let me go hit the Like button on their page. No, usually I’m like OMG seriously you’re doing this?!
I can’t emphasize anymore about how you have to do what you do because you LOVE it. Most people by now realize I hope that I have a real career and only consider this blog/DJ thing as a hobby. Yeah ok so I’ve thrown a few parties, have an agent, fly around the States for music, etc… Truth is I’m just doing what I do for fun and the friends, fans, followers, etc are just a bonus. Do not focus on the fame, money, etc… If you’re trying to make a career out of this industry I’m sorry but please don’t rely on this industry for that. The way I look at is you should be stable enough to make money without it and once you make enough to support yourself with music make the switch. If this idea was put into place I’m sure there would be a lot less desperation and spam out there. Put yourself out there but don’t overdo it.
Follow and do what your heart tells you. Be yourself and if something seems like you’re forcing it you probably are. Here is another pro tip for all things in general… Make it natural.
“You are obviously getting paid….I have checked your blog and it sucks….you play everything safe…you are paid off by muti..
headtron and thats about it….you miss so much… your blog has become old news …..Your Part of the problem….Your the PEPSI of my industry……Living off us real producers…..YOUR BLOG SUCKS……”
I just got this message and wanted to share it with you all because you know how much I get paid to write blog post. LOL.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!
Guess I’m doing something right if have my first official hater.
Sucks I can’t use this to make more cash on this post. hahahaha
VibeSquaD’s new remix “Good Love” by Hellfire Machina ft. Infuze has been rocking my house today. So here in the moutains of the northwest, we have been waiting for snow for what seems like enternity, so when I woke this morning at 5:30 am to prepare for my guiding meeting I needed something that matched my mood. With 5 days of heavy snow forcasted for my area you could say I woke in a good mood, and VibeSquaD’s rmx fit it perfect. After waking all in my house to this pumping out of my system I quickly discovered that not everyone was so pumped this early in the morning. Hellfire Machina has just released this album with a few remixes available through their Bandcamp. I have only listened to the VibeSquaD version, but it got me amped enough to decide to share it with all of you. Hope it help kickstart your mornings as well!
Disciples of Headtron is a compilation made up by some of the members of the Headtron Agency. The roster includes: Sugarpill, Gladkill, Chris B, +verb, Russ Liquid, Goldrush, Stephan Jacobs, Jobot & Jupit3r. This past week they have recently just added a new member to the family, Griz!
The collection of artist that make up this team is lead by Alex Becket one of the best agents in the business. Headtron has only been around for merely two years or more and they’ve made such an impact in such a small amount of time that I can only imagine how busy Alex has been. The entire roster in some sort of fashion have played some of the biggest festivals and events in 2011. There isn’t a major event that you can’t find at least one or two members representing the Headtron family.
This compilation is a prime example of why they are such a driving force in the EDM community. There are even a few surprises that caught me off guard, Swordfight! I’ve heard much talk about this over the course of time but here is their debut! Another surprise is to find more Jobot tunes, especially one that features ill-esha! =O It’s great to have something unified and put together and this is only the beginning as this is Volume 1. I’m looking forward to Vol 2 already which I hope features more from them in particular More Champagne & Griz.
My favorites you ask? Sugarpill stole this one from everyone in my opinion with A Gift To. There is no question that tune is perfect to open up the release. It’s one of those moving tracks that you can listen to in any state of emotion. Russ Liquid’s Pars Lunae also blew me away. Chris B stepped up his game big time and only look forward to see what he and Boris have been cooking up. Also do I need to bring up how I’ve been dying for Jobot’s debut album?!
All in all I can’t wait for 2012 because this is just the beginning and there’s a lot more where this came from. Also big ups to Muti Music and Dov for putting this out. Be sure to grab it on release date Jaunary 2nd, 2012! Be on the look out for any of the Headtron members this year. I’ve had the pleasure of booking many of them in Texas and man do they deliver <3
Much Love & Respect to the Headtron Family!
1. Sugarpill – A Gift To
2. Swordfight – We Will Never Know
3. jOBOT & ill-esha – Fossils
4. +verb – Mileage
5. Gladkill – Insomnia
6. Stephan Jacobs – Groove Around You
7. Jupit3r – Shark Bark
8. jOBOT – Bottle Of Bumpy
9. ChrisB – It’s All Good
10. Russ Liquid – Pars Lunae
11. Goldrush – Katura
Emancipator has done it again. Man, Doug never fails to amaze me with his chilled out, unique sounding beats. I love the hip hop vibes that I get from a lot of his tracks – like I can imagine someone throwing down some rhymes over them, and it will sound damn good. His newest single, Elephant Survival, is comprised of a soothing blend of flute notes, a steady flowing beat, and playful vocal incorporation. It is just one of those feel-good songs that give me a feeling of delight; you can tell that he put a lot of soul into producing it. Liquid sunshine baby! Grab Elephant Survival free on his Bandcamp page.
The aura that Emancipator has during his live performances is almost luminous and god-like. He is so composed and you can watch and feel his essence seeping out of his fingertips and into your eardrums. I have seen him quite a few times, but the most memorable that I have seen was his sunrise set at The Bounce Festival 2011. I was in a state of pure bliss. Nothing beats watching the sun come up next to a river in the woods of Northern California with Emancipator and his violinist Ilya – the energy between them was unbelievable. It was the perfect culmination to a night of raging to some more heavy bass sets – it allowed me to reflect on the previous night, as well as look forward to another unbelievable day on the beach of the Feather River. I am so psyched to see him at SnowGlobe again, although I know that nothing can possibly trump my last experience in Emancipator’s presence.
Although it’s not brand new, I also wanted to share with you this inspiring song by Sadistik that Emancipator produced. I guess they are homies because Doug is Sadistik’s driver in the music video (check it out on Youtube!) – I believe that Emancipator produced the entire album. This is what I mean by his beats being prime for hip hop. I love the depth of this, and his voice almost reminds me of one of my all-time favorite rappers, Slug.
Yes, this is a review a few hours after this was released. I haven’t done a review in awhile and figured this would be fun to do after the first listen. I’d like to big up Ben Samples for being the way I found out within the hour. Thanks.
I watched that scroll bar fill up and my heart was pounding hoping that some how he could match or even top House of Balloons. As the top list made by everyone start crawling in for 2011 it’s obvious House of Balloons was one of the biggest releases of the year. If you haven’t heard about The Weeknd yet… GO DO IT. We’ve been two releases deep and this one is the third.
Opening track is something I didn’t expect at all but classy. Montreal begins and it seems like he’s just warming up. The lyrics are on point as usual. He’s definitely putting himself out there. There’s going to be a theme it feels like it. Shits blown up and he knows things are different. It’s pretty gangster and fresh R&B styles. It’s not so much on that grind stuff but it’s got its feel. We continue… Outside. Alright this is starting to warm up real nice. We might have a monster brewing with this guy. Everyone is talking Drake but there’s no question my response is The Weeknd whenever he comes up. I’ve been so bitter at where music has been going in the electronic scene and I’ll proudly wave The Weeknd as the hero of 2011 not Skrillex. You want to know what people say how EDM is on the map now because of everything has happened. Sorry dude the person you should be thanking is The Weeknd. That’s how I feel, straight up. XO / The Host is solid but still waiting for my Wicked Games baby making hit. This is great but not perfect. I know I’m going to jam them because hell House of Balloons becomes something you just hear in your head and want to freshen it up sometimes. The transition of XO / The Host is interesting. It’s pretty extreme. I’m going to chop this track up is what’s on my mind. The tracks starts winding down and ohh boy this is it…. This is what I wanted. Thank you for that massive crossover.
Initiation starts off and you think the whole album is going to go somewhere else. It does but not what you might of expected. I’m started to get a bit worried and questioning myself. This isn’t going as well as I hoped but it’s not bad. Not bad at all but just not hitting the spot for my personal taste. Same Old Song seems like a title I’d lean towards to be what I’m search for on this listen. BINGO. Same Old Song has hit the spot and man it’s perfect for how I’m feeling. Sold. This is the one tune I’d bump. The end of the track is hilarious. It’s Christmas!!! hahaha. The Fall sweeps in as your finish laughing to yourself. Another bump n grind tune?! It resembles a lot of what made us all fall in love with this guys style for. The track is almost over but it shoots off into next level business as it hits half way point. The emotion and rawness is there. This one is another instant classic. What sets this one apart is the closing. Damn. Chop that up son. Man, this one is going to be fun to play live. Makes me want to setup my gear to mess with it. Could he deliver another one? Please keep this vibe. Next delivers. All my doubts have vanished. This release has approval written all over it after this streak of fire. Next is going to be an anthem. Lots of babies will be made to this one. Echoes Of Silence closes this one off this release perfect. This is the sort of music I’m in love with right now. Expect this sorta thing from me when you hear something… beautiful piano work.
The Weeknd you’ve officially done it again. Thank You.
I don’t care what anyone says this is the energy I’ve been waiting for.
The reason I’m so critical and harsh with a lot of things I hear is because there’s music like this being made. Drake’s new release was alright but nothing stood out. This release has a few that you can’t help but go back to and think damn that’s real. Thank you for one of the best Christmas presents sir.
DOWNLOAD: The Weeknd – Echoes Of Silence
So most of you don’t know me or have interacted briefly via the crazy digital world so you might be thinking who cares what this guy thinks! This year has once again been a major transitional year for me music wise. I have played so many different genres of music over the year that it amazes me where my musical journey will take me. Ever sense becoming involved with Afromonk my experience has been heighten. Thanks to demo submissions, JM recommendations, and all my letters to artists in our community I have had an average of 5-10 releases, tracks, or mixes in my mailbox a day! Overwhelming, but I love it! I am really finding the sounds I like and what works for the crowds I play for. I thank JM a million times over for the opportunity. So Here is my list of tracks and releases that I loved for 2011. It was a hard choice thinking back to music I loved in January of the year and not just picking things that Im super hyped on right now. My tastes have changed a lot, but I felt it best to honor the songs I listened to the most, rocked the parties, and will keep me dancing for years to come. Hope you enjoy, and If you think Im missing the boat and should have your tracks on my list for 2012 all I can say is submit them to the site and educate me. I love this journey of discover of new sounds!
Top 5 Best Releases:
1. Opiuo | Squiggle EP
2. Love & Light | The Light we Bring EP
3. Kalya Scintilla | Shimmer EP
4. Mimi Page | Harmonious HeartBEATS
5. SuperVision | Telescopic
Top 5 Best Songs:
1. Lokid | Fear of Heights
2. Mokhov | Fragile Memories
3. Enya | Boadicea (Vespers Remix)
4. Nominus | Rim Shock
5. GRiZ | iLL Type Moves
Being newer to this community of creative musicians I would have a hard time coming up with lists of my favorite new producers and events. This year my highlight was Decimal Festival in my town of Seattle where I got to catch a lot of the sounds and beats that had been on constant repeat around my home. I’m really hoping to make it to some of the other large festivals around this country next year. Lighting in a Bottle is my top choice for next summer. I just need an invite to camp with some new friends and would love to start getting to know all you people face to face instead of in the virtual world. This world we live in is pretty amazing and inspires me each and every day. Pretty excited about the coming year and all that it will bring. Wish you all the best for the last days of 2011 and lets ring the new year in with some bass!