“It is time to gather in the forest and dance in the trees. To immortalize this moment through sound, expression & people. In its 6th year, The Emissions Festival is a celebration of the rich, creative culture surrounding the west coast’s bass music & festival community. A reflection of the appreciation felt from these. It shares both a forward thinking lineup that stands out, and an intimate communal festival experience. All within a welcoming atmosphere of true enjoyment for the music & everything surrounding.
May 16th through 19th | Held in beautiful Belden, CA.”
You don’t want to miss this festival! Follow the instructions below; 2 random winners will receive full weekend tickets for Emissions.
By simply liking Afro Monk on Facebook, you are granted 3 entries to the contest.
By tweeting about this contest you are granted 2 entries.
By sharing a post about this on Facebook, you are granted 1 entry.
See below for instructions…. Now get going!
Isn’t it all about music that makes you feel alive? Music that evokes cognizance, music that invigorates you, music that immediately fills in any cracks in your spirit? Tycho has always done a stellar job at fabricating lush and refined melodies that sooth the soul; his new release, Awake, is the quintessence of this. It’s almost as though he can transform emotions into music, manifesting aural sensations that go beyond the eardrum. The exhilaration flips vice versa as well… While listening through this album your sentiments change from lively to mellow or cold to warm, depending on the track. You can tell that Scott Hansen put it all in while making this album; it speaks directly from his heart. His aim isn’t to impress the masses but rather to use music as his creative avenue for living life in its entirety. That’s how music should be.
“Awake”, out March 18 on Ghostly Recordings, is impeccably orchestrated from start to finish; I appreciate its concision and ephemeral nature. You have just the right amount of time to soak in the transient brilliance of the release without over-thinking how it makes you feel. The track “Awake” is stunningly simple and invites you to gently close your eyes and fall into the music. I love “See”; it makes my heart flutter a bit with its ambient effervescence. “Apogee” is a bit more melancholy yet also sprinkled with bright notes. The entire album is vibrant and each track is a unique puzzle piece to the cohesive whole. Listening to this release makes me nostalgic for days spent driving through rolling California coastal hills with nothing better to do than explore Mother nature’s treasures, daydream, ponder our existence, and simply let go. Let yourself surrender and awaken – check out Tycho’s Awake here.
There is no denying the awesomeness of mixes. Put one on and float away on a roller coaster of delight without having to put thought toward what is next. There’s always that perfect mix for a road trip while driving by rolling landscapes or seasides or through the redwoods, another while prepartying and getting hyped up for a show with friends, another while lounging with some bomb food and a doobie by candlelight… You name it. I love the juxtaposition of light and dark that a lot of great mixes play around with. These are some of my favorites lately; tune on in! Most of them are free mixes that are great to add to your mobile library. So, without further ado:
ODESZA -NO.SLEEP Mix Series I have been really digging ODESZA’s style (one of my favorite sets at Symbiosis ’13 too). It’s the best when you’re really feeling certain producers and then they release mixes – easy listening made even easier! Their NO.SLEEP mix series is a nice blend of instrumental hip hop vibes, fun trappy tunes, and lovely melodies. They are about to go on tour; I definitely suggest catching them at the city nearest to you!
Subdocta – “Heartbreak Lullabyes” Mix I love this mellow mix done masterfully by the homie Subdocta, perfect for a stormy day or times of reflection. My favorite thing is discovering new great tunes while listening mixes; I was very stoked to hear “A Baru In New York (Flume Remix)- Yolanda Be Cool & Gurrumul” for the first time while tuning in to this. I also love his quote: “You can’t start a new chapter if you don’t turn the page.”
MiHKAL – LiVE at CoSM I can never get enough of MiHKAL’s sultry, flowy sets. This one makes me feel like I’m going on a cosmic journey to Alex & Allyson Grey’s The Chapel of Sacred Mirrors in NYC, where it was recorded on the Winter Solstice.
STWO: From Paris with Love French producer STWO has been absolutely crushing it lately; I have been seeing him pop up all over the place. With good reason, too! This chilled out mix features some other up and coming French producers… check it out. I imagine listening while eating a crepe and sipping coffee at a Parisian corner cafe (as cliche as that is).
Afro Monk – Late Night Sessions 009 – Bliss Soak in Afro Monk’s auditory euphoria with this mix. I enjoy all of the Late Night Sessions he has been putting out; they remind me of tranquil nights spent with friends and loved ones talking about life, existence, and truths. Intoxicating.
JOKER – Winter Mix JOKER never got out of the game. I used to jam his purple synth-driven tunes regularly and this mix reminds me why. I love his sense of adventure with ranging BPMs and blurring of genres here. I’m beyond excited to see him perform for the first time with MartyParty next week!
Mr. Rooney – Future Strange Mixtape Vol. XXVI I have really been enjoying my friend Mr. Rooney’s style lately, and this mix exemplifies it quite well. Laced with groovy beats, tasteful remixes, and stellar mixing style, this one is satisfying from start to finish. Check out the other Future Strange mixtapes; these kids are doin’ good things!
Ta-Ku – Triple J Friday Mix If this doesn’t put you in the zone then I’m not sure what will… This one is hypnotic and well mixed> Love Ta-Ku’s low-key sexy vibes.
The Widdler – Fall All Original Mix All original mixes are always fun, and this one has a lot of “Oh, WOW” moments. At times it goes hard and heavy and at others evokes totally chilled out bliss. That juxtaposition of light and dark that I was talking about before
Nicoluminous | Exodub – We Got This Mix Series The homie Nico and Exodub keep it fun and fresh with this mix. The incorporation of hip hop, future sounds, and 808 is intriguing and stimulating… check out this straight FIYAH!
The Do LaB presents In the LaB feat. Kaminanda at Coachella 2013 Weekend 1 I was very grateful that The Do LaB posted many of their Coachella sets from last summer for free download. I am a sucker for Kamininda’s style that fuses eclectic percussion, low frequencies, and squishy goodness. Another favorite set from the weekend is jOBOT’s.
I hope you enjoy! I would love to hear back about some of your favorite mixes as I am constantly adding to my listening repertoire. Love and Light
I’m all about soulful, funkadelic tunes with nice electronic elements sprinkled about, so I was delighted when a friend tipped me off to Autograf. Their remixes are stellar; they are expressive and succeed in smoothly blurring the lines between genres. Who needs genres anyway? Stir up a pot of uplifting rhythm, futuristic blips, deep vibrations, and mellow flow and you’ve got Autograf. Their sound is full and hypnotic yet crisp. It’s more on the house-y side than I am usually drawn to, but I am diggin’ their sound. Groove to this!
What happens when you fuse together festival masterminds, transcendent melodies, awe-inspiring art, sage healers, and inquisitive imaginations in an extraordinary wooded location? A complete synergy that is Lucidity Festival: Universe. This joyful jubilee, held at Live Oak Campground in the Santa Barbara hills on April 11-13, will be sure to please all revelers in attendance. Now in its third year, Lucidity Festival has sprouted from its primary seed and blossomed into an immersive and thriving ethos. Everyone is a participant in this open-source journey; all you need bring along is a sense of curiosity, an open heart, and intentions set on growth and awakening. We will cultivate harmony and collaboration and nourish our souls in unity. Expect the unexpected and be ready to experience a formulaic chaos like none other. Lucidity will be a pleasant reminder for our spirits not to take life so seriously while embodying our truest essence. Prepare for mind warping music and visuals, elaborate art and stage design, thought-provoking workshops, rejuvenating yoga, delectable organic and locally-sourced food, holistic soothing healing, and soul-warming connection.
Tipper. Need I say more? I will never tire of Dave’s intricate and lush soundscapes; seeing him at the Lucid Stage may very well be the highlight of my experience. Love and Light’s bubbly thwomping bass is sure to please. The Human Experience’s “prismatic” stunning melodies will be happily soaked in by listeners. I am beyond excited to witness Haywyre’s performance as I have yet to be graced with his presence. Kalya Scintilla’s tantalizing eclectic bass never lets me down. Other favorites on the Lucid Stage bill include Bird of Prey, Mr. Rogers, Digital Rust, Nominous, 2Nutz, Mumukshu, Soulular, Nanda, Alia, and the homie Irieyes. The Alive stage incorporates some most excellent live vibrations with incredible lyricist Eligh, the ever-enchanting Quixotic acrobats, and the positively energetic Poor Man’s Whiskey. The Rainbow Girls will bring some boisterous fun into the mix. Cello Joe will grace the stage with his unique “Classical Hip Hop”. The party will be continually thriving at the Audiowaska Stage; we’ve got passionate, genre-paving Trevor Kelly, effervescent and melodic MiHKAL, hyphy Stylust Beats, and many more.
Partake in one of Lucidity’s seven villages and its respective archetype; there’s the Vivacious Jaguar of the Goddess Grove, the Courageous Dragon of the Family Garden, the Humble Tiger of Warriors’ Way, the Wild Monkey of Nomads’ Nook, the Loving Dove of Lovers’ Nest, the Wise Owl of the Healers’ Sanctuary, and the Playful Coyote of the Tricksters’ Playground. These niches will each be alive with their unique mood and identity.
Art Art will be much of the fabric of Lucidity Festival, weaving together a story between the music and the environment, the people and Gaia. With aesthetics ranging from luminous textured installations to obscure and thought-provoking creations, your eyes will feast on the art that is intertwined so seamlessly into the gathering.
Workshops& Healing Learning is a perpetual process. Expand your mind and senses to ideas unknown before and leave the woods a different and more enlightened being than as you came. Workshops at Lucidity will be inspiring, uplifting, meditative, interactive, creative, informative, empowering, musical… you name it. Don’t miss your chance to grow and perceive together with Wisdom Keepers in the most stunning of outdoor classrooms. Nothing is beyond our cognizance. I can’t wait to practice yoga among the trees with amazing instructors. Healers will also aid in the well-being (mind and body) of participants.
So the Lucidity saga continues, full to the brim with synchronicity and a beautiful sort of pandemonium. Awaken your senses to the visceral thrill of letting go completely among the timbers and sunshine of the rolling Santa Barbara hills. Discover the exquisite divinity that resides within you and all beings alike. Get your tickets for Lucidity here; please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like a discount code.
Dub FX has been on my radar since day one… I remember seeing ridiculous videos of him absolutely killing it busking back in the day. He (deservedly) became a worldwide phenomenon with his incredibly talented looping; he adds layer after layer of beatboxing which eventually culminates in a beautifully intricate and dope beat. He weaves together a story during live busking performances by beatboxing, singing soulfully, and adding pedal effects. You have to watch a video of him – believe me you will be mesmerized by this dude’s abilities. Check it out below. He travels and performs with his fiancée, Flower Fairy (if you hadn’t already been intrigued enough) and together they do everything on a completely independent basis.
I guess I didn’t realize until lately that the Aussie has multi-faceted talents. Not only does he manifest a badass live performance, but he also produces some radical beats in the studio. I love his new album Theory of Harmony; the name is quite fitting as it is feel-good music that encourages togetherness and peace within and without. Dub FX says about the release, “I’ve been traveling so much over the last seven years, meeting people from all continents and all walks of life. I’ve developed a conscious philosophy of peace, positivity, joy and healthful pursuits…”. It shows through his soulful and uplifting music. The lyrics inspire listeners to look at the big picture and see life in a positive light.
Reggae isn’t normally really my thing but Dub FX has managed to make me lean towards that type of sound. Perhaps it’s the pleasant blending of hip hop, reggae, drum and bass, and dub vibes that tugs on my heart strings. This infusion makes me just feel damn good. There is a richness as well as a authenticity about this album that can’t be ignored. Check out Dub FX for some awesome unique tunes that anyone would enjoy – support this talented artist by buying his new album here.
Was Symbiosis a dream? I truly felt that I had to pinch myself throughout the weekend to ensure that what I was experiencing was reality. Well… some sort of twisted, exquisite, surreal reality at least. What does “reality” denote anyways? Symbiosis Gathering encouraged participants to question it, play with it, and create their own universe. All while having the best soundtrack imaginable. Every facet of Symbiosis was a delight and it made me feel the most free I have been. My senses were awakened to a height beyond belief… Just when I thought that my eyes were tricking me because of the astonishing sights, an aromatic enchantment would cross my path. Just following that sweet sweet smell I would hear booming eclectic bass echoing my way. Just as I was drawn to that soul-quenching music I would feel soft blades of grass brushing up against my legs or the refreshing lake water on my skin. This, my friends, is LIFE at its best. I get swollen up with zealous emotion just thinking about the weekend.
I will be honest, I was a skeptic when I first heard that the gathering would take place at a reservoir near Stockton, CA. I imagined smelling cow shit, feeling so hot that I would die, and having to look at brown mounds of dirt. I could not have been further from the truth… Woodward Reservoir was one of the best venues I have been to for a music festival. There were oak trees lacing the lake shores, dainty foothills surrounding the vicinity, and beautiful blue skies. Probably the most wonderful aspect of the location was the crystal-clear lake that was just asking for you to frolic in. During the daytime we all delighted in floating in the rejuvenating waters. We were lucky enough to have a badass lakeshore camping spot, just close to and far enough from the main action.
The stages were all set out on their own sort-of islands as the peninsula was broken up into bubble-like spaces. If you tired of one stage another completely different environment with its own unique mood and ambiance was just a short walk away. The location of Symbiosis was definitely a large part of what made the weekend so amazing. I hope that the rumors I have heard about signing a 5-year contract have some validity; in that case I would feel no qualms about attending each gathering.
One day at Symbiosis the heavens suddenly turned ominous and chatter of an oncoming lightning storm was rampant. The sky indeed was grey and drops began to fall. It then turned into a torrential downpour, forcing us to batten down the hatches and gather at camp. We thought the lovely day might be ruined, but what happened next….. the skies gradually cleared, making for a spectacular sunset followed by a warm jubilant twilight. It felt as if we had all survived the crazy storm together and were bonded even more by this. It was magical!
Music Symbiosis’s lineup was uniquely satisfying. Performances ranged from live all-encompassing concerts to tribal percussive jamborees to booty banging bass to galactic melodic dubs, and then some. Many of my all-time favorites played and I was also stimulated by some previously unknown sounds. This is important for a festival – having the ability to revel in the comfort of those who have nurtured your passion for music but also venture out to experience fresh music with confidence that it will satisfy. Some of my favorite sets of the weekend included Odesza, Lapalux, Phaeleh, STS9, Mount Kimbie, Cashmere Cat, Michael Menert, Kalya Scintilla, and Pumpkin.
The Jabba Barge by night
Probably my favorite moment was while Pumpkin played at the Juke Shack during the sunset after the storm that I spoke of before. The Juke Shack was just what it sounds like – a janky cabin with a disco ball spinning through the window at the top and playful lighting, all surrounded by tall waving blades of grass. Pumpkin’s masterful fun mixing combined with this atmosphere was unbeatable.
I was stoked to camp and kick it with the masterminds who created the Jabba Barge. I had the pleasure of literally barging around on this badass art car with Funktion One sound, rad people, and the best views of the festival from up top. While riding around on the mutant vehicle you feel as if you are voyaging to uncharted lands (or dimensions for that matter) with your comrades. The sound effects made it amusing and delightful. Also, those guys know how to party!
Art was embedded in every inch of Symbiosis. It was almost the flowing lifeblood of the festival, weaving everything together to remind us of the world’s splendor. Everywhere you looked there was beautiful artistry to soak in. Everyone used their unique imaginations and then brought them together to co-create something unbelievable. I particularly enjoyed the expansive mandala of crystals, the Empire of Love stage’s incredible tin can pyramids, the luminous spinning cube calendar, the portals, the climbable wolf installation, and the barbed-wire heart fence with flames. Every creation was breathtaking and thought-provoking.
Overall I was blown away by Symbiosis Gathering; the weekend far exceeded my expectations which frankly does not always happen at music festivals for me anymore. The gathering was like an escape from reality into an alternate universe filled to the brim with beauty, connection, nature, and eternal frequencies.
I was so very pleasantly surprised upon listening to KOAN Sound & Asa’s new release on OWSLA, Sanctuary. The collaboration between KOAN Sound and Asa is genius; by coming together these guys were really able to reach an enhanced level of sound. These guys are taking steps in the right direction…. never before have I seen such a positive evolution from hard-hitting bass to softer, more melodic soundscapes.
When I first listened to Sanctuary pretty much sat there, mouth agape in wonder. I later listened again and soaked in the complexities and beauty of this album. The chill factor of this release is undeniable. It is masterfully produced with sophisticated sound design, exquisite melodies, and thoughtful sampling. You can tell that the album is inspired and from the heart; it tells a story and does indeed serve as a “sanctuary” from the grip of day-to-day life. Kick back and give this release a listen all the way through and notice the sensations and thoughts it evokes in you. The album artwork for this release is also stunning and very well done; it portrays the ethereal state, void of ego, that one may feel while allowing oneself to let go and free the mind.
I’m not sure why I haven’t checked out Globular before… man was I missing out! This guy’s music is stellar. From Bristol, UK, you can just tell that this guy puts an immense amount of energy into making his detailed exotic sounds. It’s feel-good music that seems to offer energy and healing power as you listen. His sounds are very organic and have a soothing, natural flow, yet are delightfully psychedelic and drippy. It’s kind of like very controlled chaos in the best way possible. This music invokes a sense of tribal roots blended oh so nicely with electronica that is so on point. If you’re into Ott, I have no doubt in my mind that you’ll enjoy Globular’s tunes. His most recent release, Magnitudes of Order (out September 28) takes you on an intricate journey through the cosmos and back; it’s great for easy listening while kicking back or road tripping. I hope that this guy will tour in the states sometime soon… I believe that he would be very well received by our music and art community!
The Originalz have been crushing it lately. Hailing from Sebastopol, CA, this talented duo keeps shit fresh and fun! This summer they have been popping up on festival lineups left and right and I have to say that it’s much deserved; I have had the pleasure of catching them multiple times live and they give off an incredible radiant energy. There’s never a dull moment in a performance by The Originalz… every time I have seen them everyone is getting DOWN and dirty. Having kicked it with them on a few occasions, I have to say that both Troy and Derek are charming, super chill dudes. They’re spreading just the right love and positive energy that our bass community thrives upon. Catch them next at Trill God Campout in Ashland, Oregon next weekend (September 27-30), which looks to be off the chain!
The Originalz’ newest release, Get Lucid, out on Gravitas Recordings, is like a cosmic journey through a seamless soundscape. I would highly recommend checking out and downloading this stellar release (name your own price). If you give your eyes a rest and let go it can actually evoke a sense of lucid dreaming (and the radical album artwork doesn’t hurt with that). I am a sucker for melodic innovative beats and these guys deliver that along with slapping gangsta bass, futuristic glitch, and sultry frequencies. Their tunes will satisfy music lovers across the board, with influences ranging from hip hop to purple. Their sound is full and exuberant. They recently did a remix for my boy SELBY and it turned out to be quite delicious! I actually can’t seem to get it out of my head. Their newest track, Holla’, is fire as well! The Originalz are only going upwards with their dope beats, killer performances, and authentic personalities… watch out for these guys!