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B. Bravo & Starship Connection

time December 29th by John-Michael authorTags: , , ,

B Bravo

B. Bravo has to be one of the most under rated producers and musicians that I know. I don’t remember the first time I came across his music but it was probably a recommendation from NastyNasty or Epcot. There was a time where all I was into was bass music and kept hearing how Funk was coming back. I’ll be straight up and say that funk, soul, jazz, etc… isn’t something that I was too familiar with at the time.

The first time I heard Computa Love, I got goose bumps. It was game over and I understood why funk and R&B were coming back. He’s probably the first producer that really got me into the funky talkbox vocals. I’ve run into him a few times all over the country and have to say this guy is as real as it comes. He always has a smile on his face and ready to groove.

Starship Connection is one of his side projects which consist of him and Teeko. I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing it live but it’s high on the list of acts I’d like to see live. I was jamming to some funk and randomly remembered about Starship Connection. I took to Google and searched Starship Connection, hit the video tab, and was pleasantly surprised to find a Boiler Room recording. I’ve watched it twice now and had to post about B. Bravo and Starship Connection.

I also found some recent new music on his soundcloud and totally digging everything. Highly highly recommend checking out B. Bravo, Teeko, and Starship Connection’s music. It’s straight up sexy r&b funky music. Your girl/boy will appreciate the soundtrack.

Category: Downtempo, Music | commie No Comments »

The Goal of Afro Monk

time December 22nd by John-Michael authorTags: None

afroicon

The past few days I’ve spent a lot of time thinking what I would want to accomplish with the website back in action. I’ve had numerous talks with Sofia about it.

At its core it’s a place where music is showcased. There are hundreds of music blogs out there and obviously want our site to have a unique theme to set it apart. The reason I started the blog in the first place was to have an outlet for sharing music but also to fill the void of a break up. It eventually became almost like my own personal journal. The post were more about telling a story or account of meeting the producer and describing who they were to me. It’s crazy to think that some 7 years have gone by now.

Reflecting on everything and thinking ahead, I’ve decided to make the website be more of a story again. Speaking about the music more in a personal way versus a technical writing piece. It’s so common to have a detailed album review. I want Afro Monk to be more of a journal. Expect rants, commentary, thoughts, ideas, and all sorts of nonsense about different topics. I let Sofia know that and to embrace her creative side with the website as well.

I want people to be aware that this is what I foresee the website to be as I reconnect with it. I also want to thank all the people who have shared their stories with me over the years. Starting the website changed my life and brought so many new people into my life. I’m looking forward to meeting new people again as well as reconnecting with the old.

It has been a rough 2015 for me. I think I’m finally getting back to a stable emotional place in my life and excited to be back. 2016 is definitely going to be refreshing to bring in. I have high hopes for AfroMonk.com.

Thank you all for the support over the years. You have no idea how much it means to me. The blog was never meant for money, fame, sex, popularity, or ego. It’s a place where I could express myself freely. Thank you for supporting that and reading my emotional out pours <3

– JM

Category: News | commie No Comments »

Staunch – Dissecting The Groove

time December 19th by John-Michael authorTags:

Staunch - Dissecting The Groove

If you were to ask me to name some of my favorite producers, right now. I’d absolutely list Staunch. If you’ve heard me DJ in the past year you’ll probably realize I throw in at least one Staunch track into my set depending on when and where appropriate.

My live DJ sets pretty much consist of tons of what we call modern glitch-hop. This duo are by in a whole different world when it comes to this style of music. It’s extremely funky and some may even it call it electro funk. I generally use to play chill downtempo music but recently I’ve moved to more dance based music and Staunch is my go to.

This album sums up all the incredible music they’ve put out over the years. It solidifies that they can put out some original music outsides of their staple remixes. It’s not common to have a full release that every single track is worthy enough to play on a dance floor and know it’ll crush. I can only hope that we’ll be seeing much more music from them. They are truly raising the bar.

 

Category: Glitch Hop, Mid Tempo, Music | commie No Comments »

A Path Untold – Secret Subtle Light

time December 16th by John-Michael authorTags: , ,

A Path Untold - Secret Subtle Light

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve personally written a review for the website. A Path Untold is one of the few releases I actually listened too in its entirety in a long time in one sitting. Everything about it I enjoyed. The problem was that when I was listening to it, I didn’t realize it wasn’t tagged properly since it was sent to me via zip and couldn’t find anything about A Path Untold. It took me a few hours to track down the origins of the zip. It was from a close friend Mike Folk (1/2 of Aligning Minds).

The reason I couldn’t find anything about A Path Untold was because this was the first release coming out of the new label Aligning Minds Records. I was completely floored and excited at the same time because it meant a new label to showcase the chill, downtempo, psychedelic vibe. This album encompasses all of those emotions and tones. This is the perfect album to put on when you want to relax and meditate.

I don’t know much about A Path Untold personally but Mike just let me know there will be a remix album coming out soon. I’m looking forward to hearing the reinterpretations of some of these tracks. Mike also let me know that Aligning Minds Records will be putting out a new Aligning Minds album in 2016 as well as an entirely new release from A Path Untold. Keep your ears out for those as I’m sure they’ll be top notch releases for 2016.

Enjoy!

 

Category: Downtempo, Music, Reviews | commie No Comments »

Afro Monk Resurrection

time December 14th by John-Michael authorTags: None

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It’s time.

I’ve stepped away from the website due to some technical issues that arose. There were too many things going on in my life at the time to address them. Thankfully with my incredible developer we migrated everything over to new hosting.

The golden age of music blogs has ended. There was a time where music blogs where were people found new music. I can’t thank every person enough when they approach me and thank me for introducing them to X producer or DJ.

My initial thought of overhauling AfroMonk.com was to bring something new and adapt to modern look and feel. I’ve decided to wait to see what the initial response is of this return. There are many possibilities I’ve been considering for 2016 but lets see what the future holds. The website will stay in the same fashion when first launched for now.

2015 was a dark time for me and looking forward to reconnecting with the music community. I recently lost all my music and Ableton projects. Rebuilding my collection from scratch will inherently be reflected on the producers and music that will be featured going forward. Please feel free to reach out to me personally if you’ve worked with me in the past. I’ll be looking to hear how your music has evolved over the years.

I also want to announce that I’m naming Sofia the editor of the blog. I’ll be looking to her to set the tone of the blog again. She was doing a great job before the website starting encountering issues.

Thank you again for all your support over the years and hope to bring you some music you’ll enjoy in 2016!

<3

JM aka Afro Monk

 

Category: News | commie 1 Comment »

Afro Monk – Glitch-Hop Memoirs | Glitch Classics

time June 3rd by John-Michael authorTags: None

I’ve put together a mix that tells the story of glitch-hop to me. This mix features some of the most influential producers that inspired me to start this blog and become a DJ.

The goal was to showcase what I considered Glitch-hop. The recent definition of glitch-hop in 2014 is very different from what I called around 2009 era. Glitch-hop was much more related to hip-hop and remixes done in the 90-110 BPM range. The common theme was that there were glitched up edits and effects. Today it’s usually tied to what I call Midtempo breaks. It’s also become a lot closer to dubstep and even into a new subgenre of glitch-hop that we call neuro-hop. It’s a cross of the heavy aggressive dubstep music at a lower BPM than 140. This is of course my personal opinion but it’s worth noting that this mix features the early days of glitch-hop or even sometimes called laser bass.

One of the underlying reason I created this was to almost say good-bye to my DJ career. I’ve stopped taking gigs for the most part and no longer play every week. I’m burnt out. The past year and a half I was playing on a weekly basis for a minimum of 90mins. It was a blast but I’m exhausted and thought creating an old school glitch-hop mix would be fun. The early days I felt like I had no clue of what I was doing but knew what I wanted to do. This is me going back and creating a mix that’s a bit more polished and could listen to and reminisce of those times. Majority of these producers have evolved for obvious reasons and cool to hear these tracks and compare to their modern day music. It’s also going to be great to reference later to all the new people

I hope you enjoy this mix.

Nothing but love goes out to these artist. I can’t thank them enough for providing such incredible memories. I was going through a rough time in my life when I first started this blog and DJing. Music really got me through this pain and filled that empty hole.

Producers Featured: Virtual Boy, Samples, edIT, NastyNasty, EPROM, Ooah, ill-ēsha, ill.Gates, The Glitch Mob, Freddy Todd, Mimosa, MartyParty, Of Porcelain, Kraddy, Nosaj Thing, Pretty Lights, Nalepa, and Bil Bless

Category: Afro Monk Mixes, Glitch Hop, Music | commie No Comments »

Sonic Bloom 2014 | June 19th-22nd | South Park, Colorado

time March 27th by John-Michael authorTags: , ,

Sonic Bloom 2014 has moved to a new location, The American Safari Resort, and tickets are selling faster than they have ever sold over the 9 previous years.

I’ve been attending Sonic Bloom for over three years straight now. It has a special place in my heart due to the intimate nature of the festival and the fact that it is one of the main events in Colorado. Year after year the artist they book, the vibe created, and the community of people from all over come together to make it one of the premier summer festivals. I’ve done my fair share of traveling all over the US and believe that Sonic Bloom is the go to festival this year.

It has been awhile since I have writing about something and had decided not to write blog post anymore but Sonic Bloom I hold dear to my heart. This year I’ve decided to cut my festival travels down significantly but told myself that this is the one for me. Why? Tipper! The fact that there are TWO Tipper sets means there will be a chill downtempo set which is worth the cost of the travel and ticket easy. There are so many other talented artist worth mentioning as well but I can’t express how excited I am to see Tipper this year considering the new album just around the corner.

This year The Road to Sonic Bloom has officially kicked off. Here are the remaining dates and the talented artist that will be performing all over the States to help build the hype for the main event! I’ll be playing at the Miami, FL date so be sure to come out to The Nest =)

April 4th – 1904 Music Hall, Jacksonville, FL
The Malah, Futexture + Deloscinari, Spankalicious

April 5th – The Nest, Miami, FL
The Malah, Futexture + Deloscinari, Spankalicious & Afro Monk

April 10th – The Parish, Austin, TX
The Malah, Janover & reSunator

April 11th – Easter Island Festival, Keetonville, OK
The Malah, Futexture + Deloscinari, Spankalicious, Psymbionic

April 12th – Sons of Hermann Hall
Janover & reSunator

April 25th – Omaha, NE – Abbott Sports Complex
Kaminanda, Nadis Warriors, MuzzY, Marvel Years, Krooked Drivers

May 2nd – 3rd – The Unified Field: official SONIC BLOOM pre-party at Cervantes, Denver, CO
Opiuo, Random Rab, ill-esha, Zoogma, Janover & reSunator, Whitebear, Defunk & more TBA

Be sure to grab tickets ASAP since pre-sales and tier one tickets have already sold out! The one thing that really stood out to me about this year is that due to the new location you won’t have to worry about taking shuttles to and from the parking area since there will be car camping available. The location also features an indoor saloon with a bar and DJ booth for some of your favorite artist to entertain. I’d also recommend looking into VIP passes as this year they include tons of goodies!

Keep checking back for the final announcements of artist and possible gives aways! This poster is for the 1st and 2nd wave of artist announcements. Believe it or not they still have additional artist to add =D

Category: Downtempo, Dubstep, Events, Glitch Hop, Mid Tempo, Music, Psychedelic | commie No Comments »

Welcome Georgette to the AfroMonk.com team!

time February 19th by John-Michael authorTags:

I’m proud to announce a new writer to the AfroMonk.com team, Georgette! We have been friends for a few years now and she has been a big supporter of AfroMonk.com since the beginning.

Georgette is quite active in the music community as well as runs an incredible adult community, BohoCrush. I highly recommend checking it out! She recently started to DJ and thought that this was a perfect place for her to showcase all the amazing music she runs into.

I’m really looking forward to her posts because I know they won’t be limited to just music. Georgette has close ties to people into fashion, art, photography, and more. Historically this sites focus has been about music but I know she’ll add some flare to the site.

Not to take the spotlight off her but I just wanted to chime in and say thank you to all of you who have supported us over the years. The site no longer pumps out as much content as it use too but I’ve brought on new writers to help keep the site alive. We might not be posting as much anymore but we try to bring you the best of the best when we do showcase music. I personally have taken a hiatus from writing as my focus has been on my career but I may start putting some stuff together =)

JM

Category: News | commie 1 Comment »

Welcome Sofia to the AfroMonk Team!

time November 20th by John-Michael authorTags: ,

Introducing the newest member to the AfroMonk.com staff, Sofia!

She’s a good friend of mine from Texas that I totally adore. Sofia is one of those people who will always bring a smile to your face no matter how terrible of a day you’ve had. She has tons of energy and highly motivated. You can find her in Austin, Texas raging all the EDM parties.

Sofia is a co-owner of Yatra Productions. They are local to Austin as well as Colorado. This past year they held a small festival called ALLOVEUS which showcased tons of incredible talent and art. They have tons of plans for the future and if you’re local to Texas be sure to reach out to her.

I think Sofia will added diversity to the website as her musical taste aligns with the overall vibe. She is also always pushing fresh new bands and producers that are up and coming. I haven’t kept my ear to the ground as much and think she’ll be a valuable addition to the team as she expands her experience as an event promoter.

I’m not going to hide the fact that the website has sort of died off and a big reason is due to the fact that I don’t write as much. To be honest I’m ready to retire from the blog. There are lots of projects I’m working on as well as focusing on my career. Many close friends have been reaching out to me for reviews and coverage but I’m going to say this is the perfect opportunity to reach out to Sofia and the rest of the team.

This is also a call to writers who are interested in contributing to the website. Ideally I’d love someone who writes consistently. There are lots of artist who I’m still in contact with and will push their music to you for review. This does mean access to loads of awesome music before it’s released. Please leave a comment or e-mail one of the lovely women who currently write for the site (I’m hoping this gets this more motivated as well) =D

I also want to thank everyone who has supported and been a follower of this website. It’s incredible how much this website transformed my life. Thank you for reading and listening <3 JM

Category: News | commie 1 Comment »

Omega | Fearless EP

time October 21st by John-Michael authorTags: , , ,

I’m such an Omega fan boy. This guy is the mad scientist of our community. The amount of talent and knowledge he has is incredible. Chris is also one of the most loving humans I’ve met. The music he puts out is HUGE and gets quite intense compared to what I’m use to listening too. What’s also interesting is how gnarly his music can be but he’s in full control and sometimes you can hear his giddy laugh during his sets. It’s almost as if Omega has this dark evil nature but his true nature is almost shy by how massive his sound comes off.

Omega is by no means a new kid on the block either. He has be an integral part of the rising Colorado electronic music scene. You might not see him out as often but don’t worry he’s working inside his lab creating and mastering tunes. One thing that many people don’t know about yet is his project YuYu (1/2 Omega, 1/2 Cualli). If you’re not that into these aggressive massive basslines and live more for the funk you’ve got to keep your ears out for the YuYu material. It’s more along the lines of live instrumentation. You’ll have to hear and see it to understand.

You don’t usually find such explosive dubstep on this blog but I have nothing but respect and love for my friend, Omega. Check this out and support music. Major shout outs to UnMess for such amazing album art on this one!

Category: Dubstep, Music | commie No Comments »