It has been awhile since I’ve made a post but Molly and Tara have been holding it down =)
Alright, now to business. Adam aka Ahab is someone I had to bring your attention too again. It has been awhile since I’ve moved back from Texas and Adam is one of those producers I got to connect with while there. People ask me all the time who I’ve been jamming too and figured that the next few post should be about those up and coming producers that I see a bright future ahead of them.
Ahab has had a few releases on his own and with Black Market Pharmacy.
I got a small taste of some freshies directly from him the other day. Now as I’m going through some music for some upcoming shows I’m playing, I thought to myself. Man, I need to make sure to hype this guys name out there because it’s only going to get better. If there’s a young new producer that is really standing out but making music that reminds me of the past lazer bass stuff, it’s Ahab.
I think we’ll be hearing the name Ahab a lot more as time progresses. He’s young and developing into an extremely talented producer. It’s always great to see a friend mature and develop their sound. Not to mention there’s the whole Black Market Pharmacy project that he is part of which consist of some other close friends.
Be sure to check out his Soundcloud to keep up with all his upcoming music! =D
Thriftworks just released a fresh new mix this week filled with unreleased material. As many of you know I’m a Thrifty fanboy. This mix is nothing but lush new material that will please any previous fan and/or any newcomer to his music.
The only thing that I can complain about this mix is that it’s not as long as I’d like. The mix run for a tad bit over 30 minutes. I just didn’t want it to end. Too be honest I was completely taken back by the release of this mix. If you told me that Jake had a new mix in the works with the bulk of the music being unreleased material I wouldn’t have believed you. It just makes me wonder how much music Thriftworks is really sitting on. I’m also sure we’ll be seeing a release of a collab EP with Russ Liquid that doesn’t even have much presence on this mix as much as I’d think.
Now sit back, relax, hit play, and dive into the world of Thriftworks!
WMC 2013 is shaping up to be one of the most diverse years for electronic music. Many of you know about Ultra as the main event but I’ve gone ahead and put together a list of shows that I feel caters more to the bass music lovers out there. There are so many options this year in all spectrum of EDM, that any electronic music fan will be sure to find something for them. This by no means is the end all be all but these are the parties that caught my attention and think you should know about.
As crazy as this sounds, this is not the completed list. There will most likely be more additions but I am still waiting for confirmation.
Great Dane’s debut on Alpha Pup Records, Alpha Dog, is one of my favorite releases of the year so far. It has been awhile since I heard such a diverse and stylistic composition of beats on a release. The style of beats and instrumentals has erupted in the music community as of late but I always have a hard time enjoying more than one or two tracks on most of these big names blowing up the internet waves. The moment I hit play on the first track it gave me a nostalgic original feeling. This wasn’t just going to be like everything else out there I thought. You can tell that there was time and thought put behind this.
This release definitely caters to those beat heads, anyone into that open atmospheric hip-hop, and even those lush tunes. The variety that is inside this release truly showcases that Great Dane is someone we all need to be following and looking out for his next cut at all times. Great Dane clearly has a grasp of what is going on in the beat scene and provides a stellar take on all these diverse styles and forms out there. Overall this is a must have. The official release date is set for March 12th, 2013. A massive shout out to Daddy Kev and all the people over at Alpha Pup. They are truly releasing some of the freshest music out there.
Colorado is one of the greatest states in the US. The music community there is booming! They recently just legalized a certain something. There’s tons of world class skiing. The legendary Red Rocks. Gorgeous women. The list can go on and on about Colorado.
With all this around in the state of Colorado you could only hope for incredible festivals that would showcase all of the above. Snowball is exactly that. It is a three day music festival that happens in the month of March. You can everything from skiing, outdoor stages, snow, pioneering music, and late night showcases that will keep you going all through the week-end.
This is one of those unique events where everything comes together quite nicely. There’s a little of everything for everyone. I’m really looking forwarding to attending as it means I’ll get to reunite with the Colorado family but also kick it with tons of other homies who are coming in for the festival. Winter Park is a fantastic meeting ground for everyone all around the States. It’s absolutely gorgeous out there. It’s one of those few festivals that you’re out in the mountains while it’s snowing. I do warn you all that plan on attending to be ready for snowfall and cold conditions. Personally I think it’s worth it as it’s always memorable catching some of your favorite artist on stage while snow falls down. It’s something I hope you all can experience! See you out there at Snowball 2013!
For more information about tickets, after parties, ski lift passes, etc… Snowball 2013
Trip Down Memory Lane, is a collection of some of my favorite trip-hop classics. I’ve always wanted to put something together that showcases the music that I love and have so many memories tied to with Love. Happy Valentines Day <3
Featured Artist: Me, Bjork, Portishead, Wax Tailor, Massive Attack, Hooverphonic, Lamb, Tricky, Jem, Team Sleep, I Monster, Bang Gang, 8mm, Zero 7, Air, Halou, Dj Krush, Frou Frou, Lovage, Goldfrapp, & RJD2
You should NEVER let anyone brand your music. I will admit that I’ve done it in the past and had AfroMonk.com Exclusives but back then Soundcloud and YouTube worked very differently. This is not to say that don’t let others repost your music but noticed how I use the work repost vs brand your music.
If you actually use marketing or advertising techniques (high recommend) you’ll lose all that data and information from people who listen or play your music. There are TONS of analytics that you should be looking at OR have a marketing/advertising person monitoring. When you hand over permission for someone to upload or use your music via their outlet, all of that is gone. You’re ultimately letting them capture your audience and even give them the power to advertise to these people and make money from your audience.
How could you leverage other networks to support you via their Soundcloud, YouTube, Blog, etc… You make sure they SHARE/Re-POST your soundcloud tracks or videos. The major issue is Soundcloud and YouTube. You lose the plays on your account and the opportunity to have the new listeners find you on other social media outlets that you can leverage by pointing them to which ever you want (Facebook Like to Download). If the channel SHARES your track anyone who Follows or Like’s their channel will STILL see it and they are leveraging their audience for YOU not THEM.
There are also advanced strategies that allow anyone who hits their page/channel and plays your track to be added to their list versus yours. All this can be prevented if you simply require them to point to YOUR track or website. YouTube channels are a big culprate of this. I can’t tell you enough how bad it has gotten on Soundcloud. Websites and networks should be building GROUPS not profiles. If they are posting a track on a blog post make sure they are using YOUR account or profile versus theirs.
Don’t be a fool and think that they are helping YOU vs them when pushing your music for you. They are ultimately using your music to help themselves. Just look for banners, ads, sponsored links, etc… All that traffic they are getting for your name and music is making them money. I’ve been running this blog for three plus years now and always made it a point to not advertise or take money for post. I might be running banners for festival events but assure you that all I receive in return is a ticket to cover the event.
I just want to make sure producers are aware of this and it’s a very real thing that’s happening. Times are changing and you deserve the gains versus others. If they are really out to help you they’ll use your links and mediums versus theirs and share it properly to help you not them.
Let me close this rant off with introducing you something that you might of considered… If you’re a moderately successful producer and want to take it to the next level you might want to consider bringing in someone who specializes in Marketing or Advertising. It’s a common practice to have an agent or manager but their roles and skill set usually and almost never in building your market share. PR people help out with this but deal more with keeping your name in the media but not DIRECTLY reaching people. Think about it like this if any business wants to grow or reach more people they invest in public relations, marketing or advertising. This is why I’m building an agency with a talented artist manager to address these issues and make sure artist aren’t taken advantage of.
* Note: The old Soundcloud does not have the SHARE feature. The new Soundcloud allows you to SHARE someone elses track and appears on their feed so anyone who Follows the profile will see that they shared the original track from the Producers profile.
This is an experiment and might even delete this post but I wanted to create a post on one of my random rants today. It’s become common knowledge that if you’re a producer or band that the money to be made is performing live and going on tour. Album sales are low but do provide income none the less. Yet where do all your favorite big name acts make their money? Live shows.
Now that we have this cleared up… You would think that if you’re paying to see someone live you’d get a unique experience versus just hitting play on your media player, right? I don’t know if it’s just me and because I use Ableton to DJ that I’ve become jaded. I can’t tell you how much of a let down it is to see someone use CDJs or even vinyl for that matter today. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE a solid turntablist but if you’re not scratching when playing on vinyl then you’re just I don’t know… Hell why would you even do that when 90% of clubs don’t have solid turntables to use?!
Alright now back to the Ableton thing… Tons of people can bitch and complain about how using laptops or whatever controller isn’t really DJing or whatever they want to say. The fact of the matter is that there’s this program that they’ve made that lets you use all the tools you’ve used to make the fancy music the producer makes LIVE?! Wait what?! You can remix, edit, manipulate, cut up, screw, etc… all with the flick of a button, knob, fader, touch screen, etc… If all this time is put into creating a track or release why isn’t the same amount of effort being done when you’re getting paid to play live. The idea of simply mixing track to track isn’t really that hard, seriously. All you beat matching purist who yell about Sync buttons, Warping, Beat grids, etc… are annoying. The “old school” DJ uses a 3EQ, pitch shifter, and volume faders. There’s nothing special about beat matching and moving the pitch to match the beats. Anyone can be a DJ as we’ve seen with people like Paris Hilton taking it up. Not to discount her at all but it’s something that be learned fairly quickly.
Why am I even writing this? Well because it’s beyond frustrating when you’ve put so much passion and time into a live DJ set where my goal is to create a unique new experience of every track I play with all the things I have available in front of me with Ableton. I may not be considered a producer now but it’s not as if I’ve never made a track before. I spent most of my time in Ableton actually when listening/working on music. My issue is that if I’m not making records on the regular basis but have been using Ableton for a few years now, why don’t these producers who probably have way more experience with modulating sound do it more often live? Don’t even get me started on the fools who play pre-recorded sets and simply just add filters or random efx here and there to make it seem like they are mixing. I’ve seen many producers play in arrangement mode and it baffles me. How can you justify doing that at all?! Oh you made the music and that allows you to just be lazy since all the work was done in your studio? Come on! If you’ve taken the time to master your craft creating music in FL Studio, Pro Tools, Logic, etc… trust me it’s not hard to pick up on how to use Ableton. Even someone who isn’t an experienced producers can pick up Ableton for DJing and create something different when I play others music. Why can’t you do it with your own?!
I also have heard people say that if you’re playing to a MASSIVE crowd it should be PERFECT and don’t want any issues and that’s why they don’t mix live or try remixing live. Something tells me that if your music is that good to be playing at that level of a crowd they’ll appreciate you’re actually doing something up there. I use to think to myself oh man this might not sound perfect or be super weird but it shows that I’m actually doing something up there and not just hitting play. It’s LIVE and I hope people understand that you’re taking a risk doing something that might actually take some practice, skill, talent, etc… to do these things vs the guy after you just mixing track to track. In a way I think those people who use CDJs and Vinyl are the ones who fall into the category of people who “just hit play”. You dance around and let the track play the same way it would just like it sounded on the album or release. There’s no unique experience in that other than just selecting tracks. Now on the other side of the coin there are fools who are even insane enough to simply have about 10 tracks up in Ableton and just move between channel 1 and 2 with their crossfader. Now that’s just ridiculous. You give laptop DJs a bad name as well as Ableton users.
I will say that this is a very exaggerated opinion of mine but there’s a lot of truth in this, more than you think. Majority of people simply just go to hear music live to dance, party, rage, etc… but if you’re going for the music and in it for the music there are some things that you just can’t help but notice sometimes. Sure I’ve taken a stab at producers and DJs in the post and that’s not to say there aren’t people out there who perform their heart out. There are many, trust me. Go watch Shigeto, Mux Mool, NastyNasty, Project Aspect, etc… The complexity and skill level varies more than you think in the live performance aspect. I just come from the school of thought that things should be done with serious passion especially if you’re playing live for a group of people. Unfortunately most people aren’t that big into that and just want to hear music played no matter what the medium is. After all it’s all about having fun at the end of the day.
I’m not trying to say that using Ableton is superior to CDJs, turntables, etc… I’m just saying that there should be more time and passion put into live sets from producers and DJs. If the money is in that don’t start thinking what type of stage, lights, lasers, etc… you have when you show up before you’ve considered spending a good amount of time into a unique experience when you’re playing the music live. Now imagine if all those things you can do to manipulate the sound are mapped to your stage… Now that’s what I’d love to see more. This is not to say that it’s not done by some but I think this topic deserves some more light in the industry.
Dave Tipper is one of the most talented producers alive. He has helped pioneer many genres of music including the Break and Glitch Hop sound. He has set the standard of recording in 5.1 surround sound and has released a collection of music that most would consider divine in nature.
I’ve had to luxury of seeing many live performances by him over the years. There’s two distinct sides to Tippers music. There’s the uptempo glitch-hop bass sets that will get you moving and then there’s the organic downtempo sound journey. I can say that his downtempo set at Symbiosis 2012 was the most unique and beautiful pieces of auditory sound that I’ve ever experienced in my life. I felt as if I was a small child rediscovering sound.
This February in Austin, Texas, Dave Tipper will be doing a special one time performance with the theatrics group, Quixotic. They are an artist collective comprised of aerial acrobatics, dancer, film makers, fashionistas, musicians, and visual artist. I had the pleasure of seeing them at Wakarusa and was totally blown away by the amount of production that goes into their show.
The Tipper Quixotic Experience is what they are calling it and assure you that it’s something you won’t want to miss. Once I saw the announcement of the show I immediately looked up plane tickets to Austin, Texas and bought a flight.
It is rumored that Tipper will also be moving more towards the live downtempo sets in 2013. There is no confirmation of this but you better believe that I’m praying with all my heart to get at least half set of downtempo. The event is a post Valentines Day called Cirque de L’amour. The events name translates to Circus of Love. I can’t tell you enough how excited I am to return to Austin, where I left a big piece of heart. It only seems like the proper time to revisit one of the most amazing cities in the States.
If you’re a follower of Tipper, enjoy theatrical performance, and never been to Austin, Texas I highly recommend considering flying or driving to this event. Many of you might have a strong opinion of Texas but I can create an endless list of why Austin is one of the greatest cities in the country. One of the best ways to describe Austin is by comparing it to New Orleans except it’s WAY CLEANER and super progressive compared to the rest of Texas. It’s the live music capital of the US and for good reason. There are tons of quality venues, bars, bands, DJs, etc that reside in the city. It’s also quite cheap and filled with tons of educated young people who attend The University of Texas.
If you’re reading this. Thank you for what you have done for the electronic music community. I think I’m speaking on behalf of all your fans. We want another downtempo release (feel free to make it another surround sound album).
For more details visit the Cirque de L’amour FB event page.
Also if you plan on attending be sure to say Hi if you see me =)
If you need some convincing on why this man is one of the most talented.. Click this to stream one of the greatest pieces of music created in my opinion, Broken Soul Jamboree.
I’ll NEVER forget the moment I was introduced to Aligning Minds music. It was while I was in Asheville, NC for a show. Mike Folk, 1/2 of Aligning Minds, was playing an early morning set in the small barn they had set up. I was totally blown away by everything he played. After that set Mike and I have become close friends and stay in touch on a regular basis.
I recently finally met Daniel over the summer and was beyond impressed by the live dynamic both of them bring to a live performance. The quality and detail that goes into their music is rare. Lets not even get into the fact that beautiful music like this doesn’t come around often enough.
Give it up to Gravitas Recordings to bring you Aligning Minds most recent release, My Heart Is Love. The title track might be a bit familiar to you as it was released on Vermin Street earlier last year. This is the completed LP that includes the full spectrum of sound behind Aligning Minds.
I’m extremely bias and adore these guys so much but it’s for a reason. They make some of the most inspiring music out there. My Heart Is Love is a piece of work that showcases a gorgeous vibration of sound and emotion. I can’t encourage producers enough to produce more music like this. It’s a blessing to finally hear the final mastered versions of these tracks. Chances are you might have heard some of these in my recent mixes.
Be sure to grab this album and give it a proper listen. Also big congratulations to them for being added to the Re:evolution Agency. Word on the street is they’ll be all over the country in 2013.
Much Love goes out to both Mike and Daniel!
Stunning piece of work <3