Luke with Blunt Instrument sent over their new release “The Pocket” over a week ago and it has been my nonstop soundtrack for all my mountain adventures this week. I was feeling guilty that I couldn’t get to town sooner to get a post up about these killer tunes. These guys are coming out swinging and can backup the noise they are creating. Dropping their first release in over a year on Simplify Recordings, Blunt Instrument worked hard in the lab to bring some fresh tight productions to the table. Each tune is polished and ready to destroy some dance floors. I can tell you from personal experience that these tunes put your brain in a perfect mindset for playing in the powder slopes! My favorite tune on the Ep is the title track, the pocket, with its driving beats and its energy filled bass, but I’m just a ski bum with a music addiction. Don’t take my word check this release out for yourselves.
Must admit if I had to pick 3 acts that I would be really excited to watch perform this summer, Blunt Instrument, would be on that list. Hopefully they will make it stateside. Make sure to keep up with with their plans and any new tunes they release on their facebook page. Http://facebook.com/bluntinstrument
K Theory kills it with this huge mid-tempo release due out January 25th on Simplify Recordings. Teaming up with Blunt Instrument for two tunes combines the talents of these producers to bring us some fantastic sounds. Dylan and Dustin have been hard at work making some fantastic remixes and they plan to bring us lots more from their workshop this year. Strange how I was just struggling to find new tunes that I enjoyed and now K Theory brings me the 3ed release this week that has gotten me excited about music. Both tracks on this release are excelent, but my favorite was “Good and Gone” because of the blend of funky blues with the future sounds of glitch. I’m a sucker for the mixture of old and new. Check out the teaser now.
Just last week K Theory dropped a remix of Modest Mouse’s track Float on that I have already pictured going over huge at parties around my home in the northwest. Great remix of a old favorite. Grab a free download from the Simplify Recordings website!
Kalya Scintilla is ready to beam you to a totally different dimension with the new release “Dance the Spiral Never Ending” Ever release I have heard of his as been excellent in pulling my head out of every day life and transport me to somewhere totally new. This multidimensional tranmission is no exception. Grabbing influences of dubstep, glitch hop, and sounds from his home star system,”Whomp” and blending them naturally with the seductive sounds of the middle east and traditional gypsy. Hard to believe I’m sitting here watching snow fall as I listen to the release because my mind is somewhere all together much more exotic. Pick up “Dance the Spiral Never Ending” over atKalya Scintilla’s Bandcamp!
Knowa Knowone is back with with a brand new EP out on January 24th on 1320 Records. Things in my life have been super busy as of late and I have felt overwhelmed by the amount of new releases that find their way to my inbox, but when I heard news of this release I immediately contacted Knowa about getting a preview of these tunes which he was super generous with providing. Truth be told, my musical taste is all over the place right now and I’m personally struggling in what direction I want my musical journey to unfold. This release by Knowa brings things into focus and reminds me exactly why I fell in love with mid-tempo glitch hop. Full of booty shaking crunk vibes, deep bass, and psychedelia sounds that are uniquely Knowa!
iONik’s debut EP “Sexy Shapes” on Simplify recordings melds many diverse musical flavors together into one complex groove that is all win. I heard his mini mix a few days ago and was dying to get my hands on this release which Ian was nice enough to send my way today. Sexy Shapes quickly became the soundtrack to my day off from the mountains. What grabbed my attention first was the beats. He must have had funk on his mind when designing these beats because they are all types of sexy. The synths are layered all over with crazy complexity and detail, but keeps a clean sound without all the excess busyness. My favorite song on this release was Slightly Digital which is a straight up party destroyer. I only listened to this through headphones, but I can imagine it rocking a large sound-system with quite a punch! Pick up this release from additech.
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!
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!
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!
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!
Shadow Attack’s new album Aqua Dipped out now on Deepblip records was a real surprise when it showed up in my mail box earlier this week. I spend a lot of time sorting through numerous submissions to this website and every once in awhile the time pays off. The sounds that move me are constantly changing, but a few of the tracks on Shadow Attacks release really grabbed me and made me do a double listen. Thank You! He nailed it on this one. Tracks like “You Work For It” and “Simply Beautiful” are gorgeous demonstrations of sound design. Both of these tracks are on the mellower side of this release, but the combination of beats that propel the mood forward towards some unknown dark space and complex eery atmospherics really work for me. This is one of those Albums you should put on a good system or headphones lean back and enjoy!
Ali Berger is only a junior in college and already killing it. His new Ep 110 Love which will be released on Dec 5th on Street Ritual Records has been on constant repeat this week as my motivation to move into my new home. Resulting in a few unexpected dance parties! This celebration of funk, delivers 4 sexy tracks with flavors of glitch hop and old school electrofunk! If your looking for Rhodes synths, amospheric pads, classy wobbles, and a solid drumbeat to match there will be something here for your fancy! I have yet to catch a live show, but from what I hear his live PA shows are a funky mixup of on-the-fly arrangements, remixes, and mashups. With his sound starting to blow up hopefully I will be able to catch a show in the next year. Until, then we can hear him on his frequent visits to Glitch FM where he rolls with the Lost In Bass crew from Boston
Here is what Ali had to say for himself after I chased him down this week!
How long you been producing?
I remember finishing my first few tracks (ones that I never released) in 2008, but I had messed around before then. i really got serious in 2009.
Ableton Live. I’ve been using it since 2006 when I was doing bad but fun electric bass live looping jams.
Whats your setup for production?
I have a Windows laptop with a some free VSTs I like and Ableton Suite 8. My main controller is a Novation 25SL mk2. I also have a bunch of hardware that I don’t use very often–a Korg EMX, an Akai S2000, a Roland VS-880, and a Roland Alpha Juno 1. I did do seven tracks over the summer using only that hardware (they’re at http://alibergermusic.com/hardwareweekly), and I’m probably going to go back to that workflow for another project some time.
My laptop, the Korg EMX for live synths and sequencing, the 25SL for channel volumes, filters, and effects, and a monome 40h kit that I built, which I use for clip launching in Ableton. I wrote a script for it that makes it act like two 4×6 APC40-style grids. When I perform I play a live set, so all my tracks are in 4 stems and separated into different loops for the different sections of the song. I have two sets of four channels in Ableton, so I can have two of my tracks going at once, mix different parts from different tunes, apply effects, etc.
Play any other instruments?
I used to play electric bass. I can still groove on the bass, but now I mainly play piano–I’m taking jazz lessons for school, which is a lot of fun.
What inspires you to make this music?
Funk! Hearing anything that grooves makes me want to make tunes.
Favorite artists at the moment?
Lately I’ve been really into Addison Groove–he has a cool way of performing live and there are a lot of videos of him online. I’m also a huge fan of Space Dimension Controller. Eliot Lipp’s new album with Jasia 10 is great too; it was his Beamrider EP that really introduced me to this kind of music and he’s been killing it since then (and before then too).
When I started playing bass I was listening to Larry Graham, Parliament, Average White Band… all kinds of funk, basically. I’ve been looking for ’80s-ish synth-based stuff over the past 6 months, listening to a lot of Trouble Funk, Techmaster P.E.B., and The Time, to name a few artists. I also love Rhodes pianos. Anthony Smith, the keyboardist from my favorite band (Global Funk), used that sound a lot with that group and I use Rhodes sounds in pretty much every track. Global Funk is easily the #1 influence. At the end of high school I spent 2 months listening to just the first hour of ONE of their live shows. As in I barely listened to any other music. Positivity, groove, and most importantly honesty really drew me to Global Funk and I try to put all of that into my music.
Best moment of last year?
Probably opening for Eliot Lipp in Boston. I was just going to see him play, but then when I got there the promoter said their first opener cancelled and asked if I wanted to play. I was all over it.
Your favorite track at the moment to get the crowd moving?
Since I do the live set, it’s usually one of mine… right now it’s probably “Honey, I’m on acid”. (http://aliberger.bandcamp.com/album/honey-the-kids-are-on-acid) It’s the first track where I really felt comfortable at 130bpm. When I play it live I have a 303-type acid bassline synth going and I get to go crazy with the filter/LFO stuff.
Tour plans/release plans for the next year?
I’m actually only a junior in college, so that takes up a lot of time, but I will be making a huge effort to get booked in CA somewhere (hopefully several places), and I have to play at least one festival. I have a couple in mind that are within reach. And I’ll be playing around Boston a lot, as I always do. As far as releases, I have at least one single I’m gonna finish soon, and I really want to do a full-length concept album. I need to have a solid plan for the album and I think I’m getting close. It will involve outer space and some kind of psychological journey, I can promise that much.
What are your plans for nye?
Chilling with friends in NJ!
What are your tricks for getting creativity juices flowing?
If I don’t have ideas, I try not to force myself to work on tunes. Whenever I do that I make bad music. Sometimes I stand or dance around while I’m producing, to feel more live energy. I try and hear in my head what would make the track groove harder. Also, usually I start a track with a musical idea (like a bassline or a chord progression or a sound, beat, whatever) and try to go as far as I can with that. Then when I run out of ideas I need something non-musical to direct where the track’s gonna go. A story, or some idea of what the track is really about. Then that tells me what sounds or arrangement things I need to do to finish it.
Your From Boston, Jersey originally (same here) How is the east coast bass scene?
I was actually really surprised when I came to Boston at how great the scene is here. It’s not really good for kids under 21, but I quickly figured out some ways around that. There are a bunch of weeklies that put on glitch hop/bass music/dubstep/live electronica: Music Ecology, The Drop, The Monday Mix, and Wobble Wednesdays. Music Ecology also just started a new night called Genesis, which I think is on first Saturdays. All the people running these nights are friendly and awesome. People come out and support, and there are a lot of nights in nearby cities too. The scene isn’t huge, so pretty much everybody who makes or plays electronic music knows everybody else who does. That makes it really easy to meet people. I love the scene out here, basically.
Anybody else you are working with?
No collaborations going on right now, but I have a lot of people I want to sit down with to work on tunes and some of them will happen this winter for sure. That’s all I wanna say right now 🙂
Im picturing big things for this young producer in future years and appreciate the time he took to answer some of my questions. Go grab the EP on December 5th at Addictech!