There is no denying the raw talent of D.V.S*. He manages to blend guitar and electronic frequencies in a unique and tasteful manner. His range of sounds is actually quite astounding. Throughout his new release, Hit the Clouds Running, he incorporates funk, jazz, 80’s, and other varied sounds in a way that makes listeners want to move. It’s fun, upbeat, feel-good music that’s good for your ear holes. While you’ll often find me gettin’ weird to crazy-ass beats, this type of music so speaks to my soul. It’s crisp and refreshing – just nice easy listening. However don’t mistake that for simplicity, for it’s far from that! D.V.S* is a sound wizard casting tasteful resonant spells on us all with his complex yet effortless tunes. I particularly enjoy Heartmaps; it has an awesome buildup that I love and then some radical outer-space feeling sounds, all on top of a catchy beat.
D.V.S* first got on my radar with his remix of Emancipator’s Jet Stream which was very impressive. Since then he has only climbed up from that; I also loved his 30 track double album, Coming up for Air. Quality sounds all around. I was stoked when I heard that he linked up with Gravitas Recordings, one of my favorite labels. Gravitas has been killing it lately overall, with stellar releases from D.V.S*, Ill-Esha, Goldrush, ChrisB., Aligning Minds, One4All, Mr. Bill, The Digital Connection, and so many more!
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!
It’s been quite some time since we’ve heard anything from Phutureprimitive. He’s always been one of my favorites with his smooth, gorgeous signature sound. He always manages to lure me into a trance, whether chilling and listening, or experiencing his live performance. There is always attention to detail, with plenty of texture interweaved throughout each track. This is my kind of music. As much as I can appreciate the more recent evolution into eclectic, experimental, and trap (eh actually, not really with the latter) sounds, music like Phutureprimitive’s will forever be my go-to, almost like frequencies of comfort. I love the natural ebb and flow of his style. You don’t even have to try to dance to this music and can easily lose yourself in the deep yet soothing resonations. If you let it, it will take you on a sonic journey into another dimension.
I enjoy his newest release, Searching for Beauty in the Darkest Places Pt. 1, very much. It incorporates just that… both darkness and luminosity. It gets me thinking about equilibrium; for when you light a candle you also cast a shadow. In “Only You” he incorporates darkness with the wubby dubstep sounds, but then veers off into a bright effervescent hook. That range is quite satisfying to me! I absolutely love Phutureprimitive’s remix of Jillian Ann’s “Passes Away”. It also embodies both obscurity and beauty effortlessly. Then there’s his remix of The Human Experience’s “Dusted Compass”. He does a marvelous job of reworking an already beautiful song and making it his own. It’s common for remixes to sound chopped up and unincorporated, as if there are two songs in one. Not with this one. It sounds organic and elegant… meant to be. I’m excited for what Part 2 will bring!
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
Ill-Esha’s “Making Friends at Altitude” mini-mix sings to me, both literally and figuratively. It ebbs and flows so very nicely with her dynamic beats and soulful crooning. I find myself listening it to the car constantly because it gets me in the mood for anything; it’s 13:53 of BLISS! The mix tastefully intertwines her two EPs together, Imaginary Friends and Altitude Sickness. The releases are quite a bit different so I love how she manages to unite them into one graceful melody. You can tell that she mixed this with straight-up intention. There’s no denying Ill-Esha’s raw talent and determination to be on top of the game…. That’s a winning combination. I really love where the mix goes around 7:30 with “When The Bass Drops” (original w/ I-Cue, Envloop). Overall I am really impressed by this mix that really displays her aptitude for music of all types. There’s denying that Ill-Esha’s essence is overflowing with passion!
Now a mountain girl living in Denver, Ill-Esha is a kind and unique soul. If you ever get the chance to see her live, don’t pass it up. I have seen her countless times and not only has it never once been the same, it has also always blown my mind. Nothing quite compares to her stunning live singing combined with rad beats. I have been lucky enough to be graced with her presence twice on the shores of my home, Lake Tahoe (those are definitely my most memorable times seeing her). Once was for our summer parties called Boom Boom Lagoon on a crystal clear emerald beach laced with granite on the East shore, and another this summer at my favorite and most frequented beach in North lake called Moon Dunes. My birthday was the next day and Elle drank some tequila with me then announced happy birthday to me before playing an unforgettable sunset set. Absolutely killed it and had everyone at the beach dancing! Ill-Esha is for sure one of the most influential females in the bass music scene, and with excellent reason.
Grab Ill-Esha’s Making Friends at Altitude Mini-Mix here on SoundCloud for free! Jam that ish!
It has been awhile since I put out a mix and posted in the blog. I’m going to try to stick to posting regularly again. Not going to make any promises but as I put this mix together I was going through tons of music that I really should write post about.
Future Love is a mix dedicated to all the lovers out there. I’m always looking for chill sexy tunes now. The last couple of mixes that I’ve released were experiments to see if there was a market for downtempo psychedelic music. Love Sacrifice Dream (LSD) is on pace to be my most successful mix I’ve released. You have no idea how much that means to me. I’m a firm believer that there should be more beautiful music out there to listen to on your headphones while enjoying yourself at home versus the club.
Now that I’ve become a lot more comfortable with this style of play I’ve created something a bit more experimental. I’ve become burnt out on club bangers, electronic dance music, etc… The reality of the situation is that I’ve grown out of that phase of my life. I’ve gotten old and jaded over the years. There is only so much going out to clubs, bars, raves, festivals, etc… My favorite nights are relaxing at home with friends, chill music in the background, smoking, and just pondering the universe.
The idea of Future Love was to create a mixtape for a Lover. I want to create soundtracks and mixes that I can look back in life and enjoy despite how old I get. Timeless music is something that has been a major focus of mine recently. When my future love eventually finds me I want to have something to throw on that isn’t intrusive. The point of downtempo music is to have in the background and not be in your face. This mix was literally designed for laying in bed with a lover as you share yourselves with each other.
I hope you enjoy this and appreciate all the support over the years. I’ve already begun working on my yearly Valentines Day mix. Expect something a bit more upbeat but in the style of traditional downtempo trip-hop soundscapes.
Michal Menert just put a brand new track called Silvers of Light. The track is the first of four tracks that will make up a new EP called Elements. Elements will focus around the four elements: Fire, Earth, Water, and Wind. Silvers of Light is the Fire track and was written during the summer fires in Colorado, his home state. The goal is to release the EP with the four tracks and possibly additional tracks on a 10″ Vinyl release.
I’m a huge supporter of Michal Menert and believe he’s one of the few pioneers of our time when it comes to chill out and sample based music. The way he combines and mixes classic music is unparalleled. We all know who Pretty Lights is but it’s sad to hear how few don’t know who Michal Menert is especially since the first Pretty Lights album “Taking Up Your Precious Time” was co-produced with Menert. I’ve had the luxury of spending some time with Michal this summer and the man is a true artist. Despite what you may think of sample based artist this guy has a work ethic and attitude that is quite rare. It’s not about making the biggest dance hit, it’s about creating something beautiful and long lasting.
The conversation came up online on if it’s too soon to start thinking best releases of 2012 and one of the first albums I mentioned was, Even If It’s Not Right, Michal’s most recent release. I recommend checking out his two full length LP as they are the perfect soundtrack to any mood in my opinion. There aren’t enough words for me to praise Michal on the direction he takes when it comes to music. He is one of those unique producers like Emancipator that doesn’t really focus on creating dance floor hits but creating emotions and stories with their music. It’s also always a treat seeing him play as he plays live with his MPC and APC40. There’s not easy play button in his live setup. Be sure to check him out if you have a chance as he’s on a tour with PLM label mates, Break Science.
It has been awhile since the last AfroMonk.com Exclusive. I received a collection of new tracks from the homie Guttstar recently and fell in love with one of the tracks. I first became familiar with Guttstar when I heard Kastle’s remix of his tune. After that I made sure to reach out to him and connect. Turns out he is another brother in arms in the SEO game.
His original sound was a lot more focused around the lush pretty dubstep/luvstep vibe. I’ve always enjoyed what he has done musically and finally got to see it live at Emissions this summer. Stellar guy. It makes me happy to see that despite his direction moving more towards the whole trap game that he’s still making tunes like Speaker Seduction. The track has that purple luvstep feel to it but has hints of trap and that new sound we’ve been hearing a lot of.
There’s a lot of new music come from him so be on the look out. There’s even talks of a split EP with G Jones but nothing set in stone. We will see what happens with that but I’m hoping that Afro Monk Records will be releasing that If you haven’t already checked out his collaboration with G Jones (Disko Rekah remix), I highly recommend it.
Nothing but Love and Respect goes out to the homie Guttstar and hope you all enjoy this exclusive tune <3
Here’s a mix from myself for Fire Friday Mixes. There has been so much going on around Trap music. I think that overall this trap craze has gotten a bit excessive but it’s better than other trends (style) out there. This was put together mainly as a promo mix and show you how I would mix and glitch it. Too be perfectly honest it was to see if I even had it in me. As much as we can enjoy a certain style of music the real question is can you mix it.
This came out better than I actually anticipated actually. It was also fun recording it. There’s a certain level of appeal you can go for with trap music and there’s another where you can get straight hood with it. After hearing this mix a few times due to its short nature it’s something I’m proud of. Could I mix a hour of trap? Sure, I feel confident now that I can but who know when I’ll never do it or record a mix that long of solely Trap. That’s the thing about trap, it’s something used to sprinkle up a set but not sure if I’ll go straight trap. This mix is something that works for me when that craving appears.
Hope you can enjoy this even if you love or hate trap. It’s my personal take on it.
Random Fact: I named this mix Mon Calamari as a Star Wars reference. Mon Calamari is the particular species Admiral Ackbar which had the infamous “It’s a Trap” phrase.
Bird of Prey is the featured producer for this week’s Fire Friday Mix. Whenever someone asks me or mentions the most technical and skillful producer’s Bird of Prey comes to mind. I’ve been lucky enough to spend some time around Torin and get his take on a few things. He’s one of those people who take his craft very seriously. He comes from a psytrance background which usually consists of incredible sound design and a level of quality that you rarely find.
This mix is a live recording from Boom Festival. I’ve listened to this mix about 3 times today already. The mix consists of beautiful psychedelic music the whole way through. It also features plenty of Bird of Paradise music which Torin let me know is coming out soon. The complexity of the sound and textures is unmatched. There are not many producers that can capture my attention with the psy chill sound mixed with the dance floor flow that Bird of Prey puts together.
I spent a decent amount of time with Torin this past summer at Sonic Bloom and was enlightened that he has helped influence some of the biggest names in bass music that I’m sure you’ve heard of. It so happens that Seven Lions was his roommate for awhile and helped him develop his production skill set. Another big name he helped out was Nit Grit which has had great success. I won’t lie it’s a bit disappointing to see such a talented producer get so unnoticed compared to some of his apprentices. It’s crazy how the world works sometimes. He also informed me that his tracks under the Birds of Paradise project have gone as upwards of 140+ tracks in a single tune. That’s just straight dedication.
Sit back and enjoy this hypnotic journey Bird of Prey has created with this glorious mix. Also be sure to make it a point to see him play out live. There aren’t many artists out there that can provide such a beautiful soundscapes for early morning sets or late night vibes. He should definitely be recognized a lot more and worth a listen. I consider him to be up there with Tipper when it comes to sound design and production value.