Afro Monk Afro Monk

Keep it Fresh!

Last updated by at .

Kalya Scintilla & Eve Olution – A Lucid & Inspiring Journey [ Lucidity Interview ]

time April 7th by Sofia authorTags: , , ,

Kalya Scintilla & Eve Olution are an infinite, evolving, and inspiring vision stemming from our artistic and creative community.  Expressing an awakening feel through sound through movement, both entities make up a unifying experience into profound truth made possible through in-depth exploration of the self.  Kalya Scintilla is a pioneering, worldwide known artist stemming from our underground, world fusion, bass scene and has been in a flourishing state for years now, is the mastermind behind psytrance project MerKaBa, and his label, Merkaba Music. Kalya Scintilla’s frequencies revolve around intricate & lush, glitch, bass beats fused in with infinite psychedelia, ancient, & middle eastern melodies. Eve is a awe inspiring Storyteller and Visionary Director revealing stylistic and intentional mythical ritual and comes from an exhilarating background in Theatre. She has illuminated extensive training in numerous fields within this art form such as performance, directing, performance art, and production and has opened her own Children’s Theatre & has evoked further through Evokation Sacred Art, once called Soulvoice

Nuemos

Eve Olution @ Neumos-23

Meeting in 2012 in West Coast, USA, the two merged and began to write ‘Open Ancient Eyes’, a sound healing and theatrical journey which would be brought into balanced existence through ancient literary truth, expansive sonic frequencies, and known and mythical expressive nature.  They eventually began touring Australia together, and have now announced more touring around the world.  Both Yaegon and Eve come from an in-depth, passionate, and expressive understanding of unifying triggers as they’ve been evolving their passion through collaboration, infinite inspiration, and passionate drive which brings transmissions forward with intentional and profound awareness – an activated amplification.  An energetic shift is brought into existence as they share their passions with the world around them.  Intrigued by both Yaegon and Eve’s intention and their numerous accomplishments, I reached out and connected with them as they reveal their inspirations, visions, story behind ‘Open Ancient Eyes’, the next chapter, creative processes, Merkaba Music, the self, harmonic tuning, rituals, writing, their world tour recently announced, their first approaching full theatrical performance at Lucidity this weekend, and more! Like a story unfolds and a tapestry weaves together, they provide a place of remembrance and ancient knowledge which has fractalized into Universal, Cosmic consciousness existence. 

Symbiosis

2015-Symbi

 

Kalya Scintilla & Eve Olution Interview – Profound Truth

1. Such an honor to connect!  I want to congratulate the both of you on all of your creative and inspiring energy, thank you for sharing ancient sound healing & theatrical performance.  What does the present moment feel like? 

Thank you so much. The present moment…feels infinite, expansive, limitless if put into words. haha.

2. Yaegon, you emerged from a Ten day total darkness retreat during the middle of January.  Eve, did you participate as well?  Share with us your experience. What exactly is does it entail?

Yes, we both took the journey. Highly recommended for those who are very mentally active as this experience unravels thoughts (both waking & subconscious) in the most physical and powerful way. Mantak Chia has a center dedicated to this work and you can google his name along with the words “dark technology pdf” and read in detail all the physical benefits of this work, there are many. We are personally hooked and plan to do another one but go for 14days next time. Ideally we’d like to do one once a year. A great “reset” button for the body and mind and super powerful experience on many levels. The best way we can describe it is it’s a time of stripping back the chatter of the mind (this happens without willing yourself to focus on presence) and every day the mind/body slowly peels back the layers until you are physically experiencing your body as palpable presence. After we emerge there is sharp mental clarity, a natural feeling of peace or stillness, and overall tranquility.

3. Eve, you’re a lively, enchanting, energetic ancient myth storyteller, theatrical performer, and art director. Your expression is flawless and intriguing. You’re an intuitive & rhythmic journey. Tell us more about the importance of movement & theatre, and how your personal experience within it has created a profound state of bliss & the overall healing process.  Could you reflect on what occurred in 2009.

Wow, first thank you. It means a lot to me to be received in this way. I’ve felt for a long time the art of live performance  has yet to truly be acknowledged as a powerful medium of transformation in this sub culture. My work aims to anchor in that potential with performance being the conduit for the amplification of being truly alive. I strive to be as raw, real, and ever present as possible in my art and strongly feel that this is an important role to play in igniting audiences and fellow artisans with inspiration to do the same. There is a quote I love, “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” -h.thurman. That’s what I think has been profoundly healing for me, the awakening and action of coming alive which has lead to moments of states of bliss as well as  indescribable challenges, and sometimes when I’m lucky states that transcend words. 2009 in San Diego, I met exquisite souls who inspired me to co create a performance based on mythological deities. Everyone in the community kept speaking about being a “goddess” or attending “goddess” gatherings but when I asked them if they knew the actual stories of these goddesses they said no. So as a theatre director, I thought “perfect then let’s do that!”. 9 months later we put on the show with this theme, and something palpably powerful happened. The women were bringing thru these archetypes in such a magnetic visceral way…all of us were in awe and changed our lives after that night. This experience opened the doors of ritual theatre to me and true ritual magic. I’ve been creating with these themes ever since under the project now named “evokation sacred art”.

4. Yaegon, was there a particular moment in your life that truly awakened you? Share with us the experience.

There were a serious of awakening events the first being a late night listening session with Herbie Hancock’s album “man child” on vinyl. In this moment I knew in the depths of my soul that music was my highest joy. The second was at an outdoor festival or “bush doof” as we call it in Australia. It was in the northeast of Aus where i received very clearly a deep remembering that music was to be my dharmic path on the earth. Everything changed after that moment.

Yaegon & Eve

KalyaEve

5. ‘Evokation Sacred Art’ is a “Ritual Theatre collaborative creations of intentional performance with the focus on healing, awakening, and activating the divinity within all those who are connected to the experience in any way.”  Can you elaborate more on this art form?

Sure, so after the first performance I became enthralled with exploring if this experience could be replicated or was it something that would forever be a mystery. I found I could repeat it and there was a formula to it. Keep in mind, each performance would be different but what would be the same is the strong personal experience of the performers and the strong reactions of the audience. In the past three years I’ve had to travel solo with Yaegon as budget wouldn’t allow us to realistically travel with a troupe of performers. So I began creating one woman shows and began focusing my intention of evoking presence vs. archetypes. Now the experience I collected over all those years are now being funneled into our new productions debuting at Lucidity this year. We are in the very beginning phases but I’m excited to see  how it all comes together as we gain some momentum.

6. Yaegon, ‘Open Ancient Eyes’, is your latest LP.  It’s a beautiful and in-depth journey; it’s a story of the human awakening that follows the plot layout of the Hero’s Journey by Joseph Campbell.  It’s a story of truth, love, ancient remembrance, & deep collaboration.  Both of you wrote this together starting in December 2012.  What was the creative process like? Can we expect a follow up?  

I thoroughly enjoy musical story telling and having intention and vision be the framework thru which the vibrations come to life, but this journey in particular was the most challenging because of the nature of the hero’s journey itself. Even if I could fully understand what it means to enter one’s underworld before I took the journey, would I have still have taken it? Definitely.

OAE is the first chapter in multi part saga. OAE is the story of the human awakening and our human bloodlines of the earth , the next chapter will see us diving into the earth itself…not to give too much away.

7. Where are you based out of at the moment? You’ve just announced a European tour, congratulations; What do you guys hope to accomplish in this approaching Summer journey?

Santa Cruz, CA. This summer is about connecting with the global family and bringing our work to festivals we’ve never been to. A big one for us that we are finally getting to be a part of and experience in the legendary Boom festival in Portugal. Often described as the Mothership European festival leading a global example of sustainability/eco consciousness and so much more.

8. How do both forms of your art reflect and help to grow each other and the world around you? What is the overall intention and message behind Kalya Scintilla & Eve Olution?

We both are driven by our art and because of that deep dharmic commitment to devotion to our soul mission we grow exponentially as we cheer each other on and live our dream. The living of our soul passion is a beacon of inspiration for others , they cheer us on , we cheer them on and we ALL start thriving. That’s what has been the biggest gift living in a community of people who do that more often than not. The intention and message behind us?…I think we leave that one up to the ones who come to witness. We wear our hearts on our sleeves and if anything I think people really connect with that in whatever way they need that to be.

Symbiosis

Symbi15-Kalya22

9. Share with us the importance in tapping into yourself.  What can evoke during the deep exploration of the self?

Simply? Experiencing your soul’s song and waking up to that as your guide for life. Feeling awake  to the grandeur of creation itself. Being able to look out and see the sublime beauty in the smallest things in every moment. Gratitude, deep real gratitude for all of it.

We live so much of our lives in the confusion of our minds which is just one small aspect of our self , our heart is our true compass and guide , so if we can remember and learn how to go inside and touch this place , we will connect more deeply with the truth of who we are and where we are going.

10. Congratulations on Merkaba Music!  It’s been super amazing watching your label flourish into divine existence, thank you for providing Harmonic tuning.  Congratulations on all your personal music/projects as well of course!  Could you elaborate more on the science behind healing through frequency & into Chakra balance?

First and foremost, healing comes thru intention to heal and intending to be healed, so the science of the tuning and frequencies is not as important as a soul connected intention. However, it does make sense to search for a way to deliver this intention with more accuracy. The current western tuning standard of equal temperament is almost completely disharmonic. And even if we pitch our music down to a=432hz , we are still using a disharmonic temperament . Understanding that melody is a key to accessing the emotion body and the cellular memory of a human it makes perfect sense to me to use tunings that create harmonic relationships between the notes.
As far as Chakra balance goes there are equations that show through a scientific lense that the relationship between light and sound is in fact different from the current new age chakra healing model. I feel it is important that we base our methods on solid research and not just follow a trend blindly.
Sound healing does not only mean entering states of bliss. Healing is bringing the light of awareness to the denser parts of us, where old energy is stuck. So we cannot expect to liberate this energy if we just bypass it into realms of imaginary bliss. That is why we move between the shadow and the light in Kalya Scintilla.
Lastly we need to understand that being a healer does not mean forcing healing on those who we might think need to be healed. We have to understand that not everyone is ready to look at their shadow material, let alone transmute it. I feel it’s about creating a realm of potential that others can choose to receive if they are ready.

11. Lucidity, Crossroads, approaches for it’s 5th chapter! This will be the first full theatrical production which follows the mythological story of Open Ancient Eyes.  What can we expect?  How is this different than that of previous performances?

You can expect a timeless story written in universal threads to dance us all awake inside a multi dimensional soundscape of our planet. Sound good? haha. Thus far this has been performed as mainly as a one woman show but now there will be many storytellers on stage giving life to the way this album was originally meant to be experienced.

12. Eve & Yaegon, do you have any daily ritual mantras and/or practices? Outside of music production and performance, what helps to keep you balanced?

Before our feet touch the stage, we set intention and offer to the land, the people and the earth, every single performance. Keeping Balance is actually something we are learning as we go and it is an art form in itself especially on the road. Making sure the basics are strong i.e., enough sleep, healthy eating, meditation practice, ritual, enough time in nature etc. The basics are vital when keeping our bodies, minds, & hearts healthy while traveling, which is no easy feat. We learn better and better techniques as time goes on. Oh ya, & lots of laughter along the way!

Kinnection

Kinnection-M22015

13. Transformational festivals are very much profound experiences that can trigger endless inspiration. It personally has for me, especially diving more into the self.  Do you see these transformative experiences as such evolving further and providing more in-depth sustainable living in the future?

We are definitely in an evolution. As we travel the globe we see with our own eyes this is a world movement not just here in the u.s. And what we can see now is that these  festivals are a launching pad for many souls who gain inspiration, like mind connections, then take that out into their world and begin living sustainably or learning more about living in communities or pursuing their true passions or any combination or all of thee above. There is no reason to think this all won’t continue to evolve.  

14. Eve, I’ve noticed you’ve tapped into writing! I’ve read all three in-depth explorations you’ve presented. What other themes can we expect to evolve in the future stemming from this art form?

Haha, oh awesome! Ya, I’ve been sitting on my writings actually. I have learned a lot from my journey with mythology, archetypes, invocation, evocation,  life and have a strong passion to share. I’ve waited quite awhile before I could authentically feel I had something of importance to share about these topics which now have become near and dear to my heart. Many people can speak on theories or ideas, but my interest is in sharing tangible experiences and insight I have acquired along the way. Rooting and grounding these universal metaphors into human experience. I strive to embody what I teach and always continue to learn as a student because these topics are so vast and profound to me. I’m just getting warmed up laying down some basics, I’ll start going deeper into practical ways to integrate these ideas and share more on the ancient stories themselves. I also just opened a soundcloud account to share vocally the stories, embodiment practices, and past vocal works of mine. I’m really excited about getting the stories out there through many mediums. Like I said, I’ve just started. More to come!

15. What does Lucidity mean to you?

The first thing that comes to mind in that question is life as a lucid dream. We are vivid dreamers and love playing with the idea and experience that there is a thin line between the waking and sleeping worlds. The life feels at times like a Lucid dream.

16. Anything else you two would like to share with us?

Thank you for receiving our offerings and thank you to those who take the journey with us. Your love is deeply felt and we feel so blessed to be sharing this life journey with you.

 

Category: Bass, Interviews, Music | commie No Comments »

Lucidity – A Transformational Experience feat. Optimystic Media Interview

time March 22nd by Sofia authorTags: , , , , , ,

12795137_986742961378777_1805939517951562126_o-1

Beginning with a collective dream of the community, Lucidity is a triggering open-source vision of known possible truths stemming from the depths of our transformational culture.  Created through an intentional and co-creation approach, Lucidity has illuminated a vision in 2012 where separate entities stemming from the Santa Barbara arts, music, and conscious community were fostering dreams of a greater vision than they were about to produce on their own….so together, a dream has blossomed.  During this approaching collaborative gathering, Crossroads, taking place from April 4th – 10th, 2016, we enter the second chapter of our collective journey and the fifth installment of this epic saga which brings us into the now of our socio-cultural evolution as we recognize all of the shadows that we face, and as a whole, engage in finding solutions to further and clear our growth as a society.

A movement highlighting 7 core values: Participation and Immersion in the Artistic Process, Personal Growth and Global Healing, Awake and Aware Consciousness, Environmental and Social Responsibility, Family Fun and Creative Play, & Transparency, the folks at Lucidity are gearing inside-out growth as an enlightening form of transformation.  Branching a Universal bond of connections through co-creations, we will fractalize through open channels of sound, movement, art, dance, and visual creativity; it’s an artistic wave of conscious communication.  Transformational Festivals are real triggers into higher levels of consciousness, I can vouch as I am currently on a healing and transformational path through inspiration stemming from these experiences which have been guiding me since Summer of 2012 w/ Sonic Bloom, Art Outside in 2013, Sonic Bloom 2014, and Envision, Enchanted Forest, Art Outside 2015. Exactly two years ago today, March 16th, 2014, I also aligned on a path of discovery through an intuitive following of passions and removal of blockages…I healed myself through writing.  Transformational festivals have triggered limitless depth, inspiration, & aligning patterns…they have helped me to remove blockages, and through it, I have experienced a life changing journey.  Experience a spiritual uplift of like-minded people who gather together to live, learn, discover, share, & synchronize!  I am eager to go to the ultimate transformational gathering that is Lucidity…I hear nothing but magic!

Lucidity has captured many through its meta narrative, revealing truth, discovery, realization, and deep intention – it’s what sets them apart as they focus on connecting the theme.  For more history on its previous chapters, explore their website.  Featuring a total of 6 mythic chapters, the first three years have been about personal transformation, last three are about collective transformation into the present, our culture, and finding solutions.  Through sustainable living a lucid visions, we explore next level solutions towards healing Earth.  Will you be part of the solution? We can’t do it without you… so I encourage you to come experience Lucidity.  I’m looking forward to this weekend as its profound intention has captured me.  Featuring over 40 workshops with over 90 workshop presenters from topics ranging from: activation & empowerment, art & creativity, consciousness & spirituality, dance & movement, education, flow & martial arts, food & lifestyle, gender alchemy & intimacy, healing arts, kids, lucid dreaming music, sustainability & permaculture, yoga & meditation.  I am especially stoked for some expansions on crystal healing, reiki healing, sound healing, meditation & creativity, anything along those fields!  Filled with themed and creative villages, reusable “mapdana’s”, emphasizing a zero-waste event and a “leave it better mentality”, providing mindful organic feeding, featuring dope music and visual art, they are also extending their vision into “Lucidity Course Week” happening April 4th – April 10th.  Immerse yourself in a powerful movement stemming from the West Coast and remember to bring what you experienced and learned into your everyday life.

12747989_973119636074443_6130991783259062342_o

Throughout the weekend of April 8th – April 10th, our Lucidity star family has also provided lush nourishment of sonic vibrations, visual and installation arts, & mesmerizing acrobatic movement stemming from artists and performers from all over the world including top-notch, fresh, & diverse national and local genre taste.  Musical headliners such as Keller Williams, Haywyre, & Kalya Scintilla w/ Eve Olution will be gracing us with eclectic vibes.  Over 100 other musical acts were announced and artists such as Mark Farina, J.Phlip, Bluetech, Om Unit, Kaminanda, Mike Love, Mr. Bill, EPROM, Pumpkin, Mihkal, Psymbionic, Merkaba, Whitebear, Mihkal, Yheti, Saqi, HAANA, Secret Recipe, CharlesTheFirst, PartyWave, Dissolv, Yaima, DubCOliNG, Nas-Ja, Oneness, Grymetyme, Irieyes, Shaman’s Dreams, Benjah Ninjah & more will be providing a lucid dose of bass, live-tronica, funk, conscious hip-hop, glitch, glitch-hop, sacred bass, trip-hop, acoustic, jazz, reggae, & more.

One of my favorite aspects of music and arts festivals, asides interactive workshops, are the visual artists!  Creating live art while getting inspired by their surroundings of smiles, live music, art, and other creations is truly something inspiring to visually experience.  A total of over forty visual artists ( Gallery Artists & Installation Artists ) will be present at Crossroads so be sure to tap into your surroundings to discover, learn, and engage while exploring their styles so you can feel, relate, understand, and reflect. I have so much respect and love for visual artists as they truly display themselves in the present moment and engage in co-creation, as everyone else does! Support! Last but not least, a vibrant array of Performers will be performing all over the stages and on campgrounds so be sure to keep your eyes wide open for movement all around you.

LF2016-line-up-web-image

When listening to an interview on Lucid Planet Radio w/ Dr Kelly featuring Jonah Haas ( Founder and Co-Marketing director of Lucidity ) on How Festivals Evolve Consciousness a couple weeks ago, I was eager to find out that Lucidity folks are currently seeking permanent land space to create permaculture design and to host people all year around during smaller, intimate events/retreats, culture of growing food, healing arts, & movement – a whole systems’ approach to community living. Enter ‘LucidPlanet’ as a promotional code, while purchasing tickets & save!

The time is now to come together for Crossroads at Lucidity Festival 2016!  Bring yourself, your hoops, creative tools, a clear mind, art, camping gear, but most importantly, bring your higher self and awareness!  New world change is the atmosphere of these transformational festivals, so be sure to come play to learn!  Envision lush views, smiles, laughter, silence, languages, & deep intention decorating the festival!  A nourishment awaiting to trigger life-changing paths is on its way to Live Oak so be ready to experience creative and artistic breakthroughs, aligning movement, co-creations, explorations, truth, discovery, & sustainable living.

‘Lucidity’s environmental commitment is to leave Live Oak better than before.’

Inspired by Lucidity’s deep intention, I reached out to Wesley Wolfbear Pinkham of Optimystic Media, operating at Lucidity Festival.  He shares with us his visions on the presence and future of Media.  Wesley guides us through a deep exploration of the foundations behind his creations, his affiliation with Lucidity, triggers that led to this creation, community co-op theme, breaking down the vicious repetitive cycle, transformation, the game changing solution, fearlessness, & manifesting dreams.  Wolfbear is gearing a path of innovative approaches leading into breaking down mainstream society’s stagnant ways, and how co-creation & proper tools can break through and illuminate a sustainable society.

Lucidity Festival feat. Exclusive Interview w/ Wesley Pinkham of Optimystic Media 

1. Hey Wesley, happy to connect.  I want to say that I’m intrigued by Optimystic Media, I want to congratulate you on a new found vision!  Lucidity Festivals are the key into “transformational” culture, share with us your affiliation with Lucidity and how you plan to further the vision via Optimystic Media.

I had a friend of a friend doing promotions for some event and I visited the website. When I got there, I watched this video at a TEDx in Canada, this guy driving around a magical spaceship tour through this world I’d never heard of: Transformational Festivals. That video was Jeet-Kei Leung (founder of The Bloom Series). I packed up my car and I went up a few days before the gates opened. Instead of throwing me out, the production crew put me in the box office, where I spent the next 3 years of the festival, building a system and taming the chaos.

By 2014, I was writing and photographing about 12 festivals a year, including coming full circle and working with Jeet-Kei on The Bloom, Festival Fire, LostinSound, Reinhabiting the Village… A lot of other organizations and publications. Working with so many different publishers, marketing firms, festival producers, I was developing an idea of what I, as festival media, needed to do my job better.

For the 2015 season, I took the torch from the ineffable Spencer Weiner as Media Coordinator at Lucidity. My natural tendency is to create systems that are replicable and open-source. There’s so much time and energy that goes into making things that work, prototyping and testing, getting feedback. I was lucky to inherit a realm that had a lot of excitement and previous successes. But we got a whole new set of feedback from a new set of hands working the spreadsheets and application cycle, the media dumps and the follow-ups.

Those systems, and a desire to work co-operatively and not competitively, that’s where Optimystic Media was born. From the connections and experience of creating a truly remarkable Media experience on-site, we realized just how many things were missing to create the sort of footage we needed to tell the story of this rapidly changing movement.

2.  What initially triggered the inspiration to create a new vision with Media at Lucidity?

There were quite a few triggers in creating a new vision for Media at Lucidity. First of all, the festival itself is a major driver for communal change and best practices in festival prouction. Industry insiders in the Transformational Festival scene know that Lucidity is one of the best-run small festivals in the country, one of a small handful of events that is building open-source systems to improve the entire scene. Festivals such as Enchanted Forest Gathering (Mendocino), Envision (Costa Rica), Desert Hearts (SoCal) and Beloved (Oregon) all have Lucidity producers in major roles.

Once you have the basics under control, when you know there are the systems in place to keep the bathrooms clean, the cars parked, the stages from falling apart, you get to move up the Maslowian pyramid. You go from checking the boxes for safety and security to trying to fulfill the emotional, spiritual and metamotiviational needs of your community.

So it’s only natural for Lucidity to try and push the edges of Media to match the cutting-edge programming on-site. Last year, I noticed on the schedule that there were 12 different workshops going on at once during some parts of the weekend. We produce more content than Lightning in a Bottle but have maybe 1/8th the population.

We’ve needed to expand our Media plan to reflect the intentionally wide diversity of experiences, ages (young and old), genders, cultures and interests both curated and developing organically.

We got tired of seeing the same recap videos, the same soundtracks, the same language being used over and over. At Optimystic Media, we call these media products “Hot Chicks and DJs®,” just slow motion booties, bass, hands on laptops. Where were the stories? The dialogue? We want to create narratives that invite you on a journey, your own adventure, where you already feel like you belong before you ever get to the gate. So we’re working on doing more of that. Our cut of the Lucidity promo for this year reflects that direction.

3.  You define your vision as “A Community Co-Op”, could you please elaborate?

The overwhelming sense in this industry has been that in order to succeed, you need your own brand, your own identity, your own clients, your own systems. Setting up Optimystic as a community co-operative is the chance to break down the competitive, winner-takes-all approach to the limited resources of festival marketing budgets. It is a direct rejection of the scarcity mindset, viewing ownership and opportunity in terms of contribution and participation.

A Co-Operative business means that it is owned and operated by its employees. It is democratically administered, and is part of an evolving set of business models beyond the traditional top-down organizations traditionally seen in creative agencies. Some of the processes of creating agreements and bylaws are still on hold while we try to establish revenue streams and core systems.

In the mean time, we’re an open tent as we try to build bridges between the many elements of the Mediasphere: the few PR firms in the scene, the shooters and production companies, the myriad blogs and writers…

4.  Mainstream Media is something that needs to change.  Through your vision, how do you intent to break the vicious repetitive cycle, and instead push forward feels of sustaining and empowering independent storytelling?

“The Media” seems to be the kind of boogieman both politicians and New Agers like to agree to hate. I’ve had people confront me with at a festival and tell me I was the problem since I couldn’t participate with a camera in my hand. The truth is, this is the way I participate. This is the gift that I bring to the table, and the way I love to contribute. The Media is not the problem, Capitalism is. And the conglomeration that hides hidden agendas of the major players in the scene. Today, we have more conglomeration than ever, but we also have a vast array of democratic channels by which we can distribute information.

Our vision is one bred by the thoughts, hopes and work of many media practitioners, theorists, futurists and entrepreneurs. Antonio López’s The Media Ecosystem is a seminal guide to our goals: viewing media as an essential expression of global ecology, of making media that speaks not just for the humans but for the animals. If we are to give a microphone to the quieted voices, we must put a microphone to the earth as well.

That book came to me by way of the publication wing of Evolver Network. The work of its founder, Daniel Pinchbeck, informs the moral compass that drives our efforts. It’s so easy to look at our world and be drawn into hopelessness, a lack of power. By aligning with groups such as the Center for Planetary Culture, we become bigger than ourselves, part of a powerful coalition of changemakers.

Optimystic Media has its vision written right into its name. We’re optimistic about the future: we live in the most interconnected, global and fast-moving era of all time. We have, at our disposal, the tools to bring down companies and governments, shed light on darkness and review the best beer selection in the history of mankind. We also call on the mystical to bring us back

5.  Define the “Game Changing Solution” and how it evolves through Optimystic.

During the coverage over racial frustration in Ferguson, I saw a story about the Media getting muscled out of a local McDonald’s where they had set up for the week to cover the developing drama. How can we expect our media streams to remain journalistically neutral when they’re setting up in such a toxic and corporate environment? What if we could set up a mobile environment that provides the core needs of power, wifi and hospitality while also instilling a sense of community, collaboration and democracy?

Festival Media is a source of immense joy and love for the shooters and writers that find themselves mixed up in this world. It’s a place to truly capture honest, magical, beautiful moments and it feeds your creative side throughout the year.

But there’s little to no money in it. The publications pay their photographers in writers in a comp ticket, which means they aren’t even paying for it, the festival is. The shooters and editors that work in-house sometimes get small stipends, but it’s nowhere near their day-rate. It’s a passion project for some, a weekend with a camera to play and collaborate. For others, it’s something that they truly want to succeed and become financially independent doing.

The Game Changing Solution was the creation of a system where Media can thrive and producers can tell more complex stories. We create a better working environment, called the Optimystic Media Hub: a cleaner set of operations, a central point-of-contact, hospitality, power, wifi, coffee and the reliability of Media Coordinators who are on-point, not on drugs, phones charged, ready to help. For those that want to develop their economic models, we’re developing systems that allow us to diversify our revenue streams, including direct media sales, vending and merch opportunities, licensing and collaborating on leads and projects.

6.  How many years have you attended Lucidity? What is it about Lucidity that screams out transformation and possibility?

I have been at Lucidity since its first year in 2012, in the muddy, chaotic hilariousness of a first year festival’s box office. I was immediately changed, my own experience screams out transformation and possibility. I had gone to bluegrass festivals, raves, world music events, large civic festivals, but nothing like this. I was immediately swept up and enamored with the community.

Now, five years later, I see that so much of the scene has hit a stride, we’re comfortable with what we’re doing and creating. There’s all the makings of a culture or sub-culture: style of dress, music, art, insider language. Some festivals just take these elements  and put them on a poster and expect “Transformational” results. It takes a lot more than that.

What makes Lucidity different is that we’re constantly pushing ourselves to collaborate with new and different ideas, concepts, directions. We create a container for a vast array of co-creation. Last year, we upped the permaculture game by creating three different programs: a pre-event intensive, a permaculture action day with The Polish Ambassador and Ayla Nereo and an on-site hub that provided programming and demonstrations throughout the event. This year, we’re expanding our pre-event intensives into the Lucid University Courseweek where we’re offering 5 different tracts of learning: Reiki Healing, Permaculture, Art and Creativity, Leadership and Embodiment and Lucid Dreaming.

7.  What is(are) Lucidity Festivals mission(s)?

Lucidity is an open-source transformational arts and music festival. When we become lucid in our dreams, we realize ourselves as infinite potential, we let go of fear, and we are free to create that which we want to see in the world. Bring those visions, those possibilities, and that delicious conscious energy with you to Lucidity and wake up in the dream.

Our economic model creates a strong balance between music, art, workshops and sustainability. We don’t use our lineup as a way to sell tickets, our community has come to a sold-out festival every year because they trust our values. They’re written clearly and inform everything that we do, as an organization:

  1. Participation and Immersion in the Artistic Process
  2. Personal Growth and Global Healing
  3. Awake and Aware Consciousness
  4. Environmental and Social Responsibility
  5. Family Fun and Creative Play
  6. Communal Reciprocity
  7. Transparency

The long term goal is to collectively purchase land, move away from the build/strike cycle and create a community resource for learning and education. Lucidity belongs in a place, we aren’t just a floating, nomadic community. We are deeply connected with the Santa Barbara scene, including the SOL (Sustainable, Organic, Local) Food Festival, the Santa Barbara Food Co-Op, programs for community building in Isla Vista, and many other projects. We’re hoping to find land nearby to create a needed permanent resource in the community.

8.  Share with us the importance of personal growth, letting go, being fearless, tapping into creativity, and losing the ego.  What can manifest?

I think many of us understand, theoretically, that the Ego is the enemy of success. But our society rewards the Ego, especially in the Media landscape. We judge our famous people by their Instagram followers, their book sales or the size of their fortunes. My own Ego has gotten me quite far at times, but it all comes crashing down eventually. The space between how you project yourself to be and what you truly are becomes discordant, leading to external and internal lies. The Ego gets in the way of personal growth, convincing you, manipulating the facts in order to see yourself in the best possible light, despite the realities of your behavior.

By developing Optimystic Media into a Co-Op, the goal is to manifest something that is hard to take individual credit for, something much larger than myself or any of our other core team. By developing open source systems that regenerate back into a project that shares our values and interests, we hope to manifest something that any of us can step away from at any point to take care of ourselves, to treat our own wounds without the fear that another world will come crashing down if we walk away from it. Much of our traditional workforce teaches us this panic, that if we let go, the world will collapse. There is power in numbers, especially knowing that there are people you’ve never even met who will help you along your journey.

By tapping into a more collective creativity, we allow the free flow of movement from professional to amateur, from traditional to experimental. We know who has the right gear and knowledge to capture hyperlapses or long-exposure light painting or who is developing a new technique for a certain kind of shot or post-production style. We can also keep each other honest with our intentions, ask for help when we need it and get more perspectives into the creative process.

9.  Are you also expanding Optimystic Media into other festivals outside of Lucidity? If so, which ones?

Yes. Optimystic Media is a collaborative movement that belongs to the festival community, as a whole. Lucidity is a driving force, our home base, but we’re developing systems that are useful to organizations at different budgets, sizes and existing systems.

Though we function as a visual brand of our own, we are ultimately a white label solution. You might see some of our branding in a space, but at Lucidity, we run the Lucidity Media Hub. We’re a business-to-business project, and our many members are involved in almost every major festival in the Transformational Festival movement. We were down at Envision supporting Justin Brothers, Alexa Rae and the fabulous folks at The Confluence. We’ll be at Boogaloo Mountain Jam providing media support and slinging organic, fair trade delicious craft draft nitrogen infused cold coffee. We’re deeply involved with the squishy magical goodness of Enchanted Forest Gathering in Mendocino. There are a host of other events, vendors, sub-projects that we support with media creation, creative direction, copywriting, websites… You name it. Check out our website for an ever growing list of our community.

10.  Anything else you would like to share with us?

Don’t cut out the watermarks.

And check us out at our website, on our Facebook or, better yet, come by Lucidity Festival’s Media Hub – open to the public – by the Lucid University.

Category: Events, Film, Interviews, Music, News, Reviews | commie No Comments »

Spoken Bird – Liquid Soul Mantra

time February 2nd by Dalton authorTags: , , , ,

spokenbird

Alex Gonzalez, more commonly known under his stage name ‘Spoken Bird’, is back with another solid installment in his panoply of cutting edge tracks with Liquid Soul Mantra. After 6 years in the mix, 28 year old Gonzalez is undeviating in releases that are growing in popularity throughout the future sound arena. Gonzalez has made a lot of advancement in his sound composition from earlier releases while continuing to manage his unique statement bass. He began djing parties in his college town and a quickly noticed a hunger for experimental sounds in the local community, so he began throwing renegade events to create an outlet for those in want. Once his eyes were set on making music and producing original content, he joined a round robin work group compromising of artists such as Devin Kroes, Itsurite, Urple Eeple, and Mia Lolita where they shared material and constructively critiqued each other’s work.

Feeling more seasoned and inspired, he was then able to open up and share his music with others.  While prolifically maintaining his solo endeavors, Spoken Bird also balances side projects ‘Lucid Solutions’ and ‘Triple Threat’ with friends and fellow artists Lazertooth and Elevated Mind. Along his journey there have been many stand out moments such as opening up for Polish Ambassador and Wildlight for a crowd of over 3,000 people and getting asked to perform at the festival that solidified his relationship with bass music, Symbiosis, in 2013. Fast forward a few years and the epic continues, with Alex’s newest chapter in the story of Spoken Bird.

This compilation highlights Gonzalez’s idiosyncratic style with distinctive bass lines, tastefully playful melodies, and pulsing composition. With his forward thinking sound design paired with a steady progression, this glitch hop collection will keep the energy high and the fairies moving. It was a pleasure to get to open up the space and detail a little more into the inner workings of this fresh EP release. Enjoy some inside perspective to the foundational mechanics and esoteric understandings of one of Afro Monks favorite new releases.

1393972_630659890288572_270125021_n

Exclusive Spoken Bird Interview

Can you lend us some clarity into the title “Liquid Soul Mantra”?

The name actually came from an old poem of mine, which sadly has been lost in the digital ether on an old hard drive that failed. Essentially though it represents my own connection with water and with constantly being in a state of flow. It connects with the idea that our bodies are simply a vessel and our souls are eternal able to flow from one container to the next like water. If you fill a cup with water, the cup is the vessel and the water is the soul, if you drop the cup and it shatters, the vessel may be gone but the water is still there, if you dry it up with a towel the water is now in the towel but if you wring out the towel the water flows out, its fluid and free.

As always I love the signature lazer bass. I like how your style notably advances but the bass lines and kits seems to remain intrinsic to your sound. Is this something you try to achieve intentionally or something that ends up happening on its own?

A little bit of both. I try to use a mixture of new sounds and old sounds, and I have a big library of bass patches, synths, etc that I have created over the years and keep coming back to because I love the way they sound, other times I challenge myself to make new sounds and push the envelope. A lot of it also has to do with the nature of the synths I use (A lot of Razor for Reaktor and Serum from XFER Records) and the kinds of sounds they tend to be good at making.  

This is a very solid 3 piece release. Was this intended to be only three tracks or did it start as a single or the beginnings of a full length release?

It was actually a 4 track EP but sadly one of the tracks was an older one in a different version of Ableton, on an older computer and when I got my new macbook I wrote the other 3. When I came back to the older track [which I had managed to salvage from the failed hard drive I mentioned before] all of the patches and synths had reset themselves to the default synth sound so I basically lost everything. Instead of trying to redo all the sound design and synthesis I decided to just keep writing new songs, work on remixes for friends etc and just release this one as a 3 track EP.

Is there anything you might be trying to evoke in listeners through these new tracks?

My music has always been about painting pictures on silence with sound. Honestly I just hope that people can get lost in their own imagination or lost in the movement of their body on the dancefloor while listening to the music!

11182053_908177425870149_9166298245848587732_n

From the start to the final product, how long was the process for this collection of tunes?

I’ve gotten faster at writing over the years and especially after getting my first EP out, which took me a looooong time to get together and get released [2 years of going back and forth], I dedicated myself to writing for at least an hour a day and trying to really focus on getting songs completed. For this EP I would say that from start to finish the whole writing process took me about 3~4 months and then getting together artwork, release strategy, a record label etc was another 3~4 months.

It’s hard for me to call, but I think I would have to say that “Moments of Clarity” stuck out to me most. All of the tracks embody a very bouncy, playful spirit, but MoC really paints a vivid picture with a banging lead verse, beautifully arpeggiated melody, and then to a glitchy, atmospheric break down. Can you give us any insight into the influence behind the title? a little bit of the process behind making it? Personal connection to it?

At the time I was going through a lot in my life, just kind of stressing out about student loans, finding a place to live, not having a fully stable relationship/being in a long distance relationship, struggling with the decision to quit my job and switch to working part time so I could focus more on writing music. Then it kind of hit me one morning, when I got into an argument at work with my boss and decided right then and there that it was time to quit and start focusing on music. I was so frustrated with everything and with working for someone else and not having enough time to work on my true passion, music, that it was kind of a moment of clarity for me. I put in my 2 weeks the next day and almost immediately found a part time job working 20 hours a week with extreme flexibility and 4 day weekends to go play gigs and write new music. It really marked a big shift for me, and I was super inspired after quitting my previous dead end job, so after putting in my 2 weeks I went home and began working on Moment of Clarity which was actually the fastest song of the EP to be written (from start to finish it took me 3 days which is the fastest I have ever completed a song).

As for the song-writing itself, I actually took a lot of inspiration from listening back to eDIT’s Crying Over Pros, hence the glitchy break down.

Could you shed some light into the assembly of your works? Take us into a day in the studio with Spoken Bird. Where does it start, how do you push through stagnation, how do you know when a piece is done?

I don’t really have a typical day in the studio as for me the inspiration always hits at different times and for different reasons though lately I’ve been noticing a trend of either getting inspired super late at night when I am coming back from a gig, etc and writing music into the wee hours of the morning, or getting really inspired right after waking up, taking a shower and drinking a cup of coffee.

Essentially though, when I get inspired I will open up Ableton and usually start with a melody or chord progression I am hearing in my head, and then build from there, usually adding rudimentary drums, and then a bass line to fit the chord progression, which will usually be super simple at first, and then once I have the notation for the bass line down I will go back in and tighten up the drums, make them more intricate, move kicks and hihats around to better fit the groove, etc. Then I will go in and add automation and different bass sounds to the bass line to start getting the signature “Spoken Bird” lazer bass sound. From there I will start adding more melodic elements like pads, stabs, ear candy, etc.

I think a big part for me as well is knowing when to drop a track or when to push through. A lot of producers talk about the idea of knowing when to stop polishing a turd, which is true, if you polish a turd, it’s still a turd at the end of the day. So you kind of have to know when an idea just isn’t good and to move on to something else.

With that said, I also think it’s important to know when to push through and keep writing. Sometimes I will have something I am just not feeling and will be thinking about scrapping it, and then I’ll take one element and change it to a different patch, or arpeggiate it, or maybe I’ll change the patch on a particular bass sound and all of a sudden BOOM! Now the track is banging and im feeling it and super inspired to keep writing.

I think it’s also important to know when to take breaks, give your ears a rest, or just simply stop listening to the same half a bar over and over again trying to get it exactly right. As that tends to happen a lot haha, sometimes my roommates will be like, “DUDE! IF I HEAR THAT SAME HALF BAR LOOP ONE MORE TIME!”.

Do you have any plans for Liquid Soul Mantra? Are you hoping to open up the space for some more touring or shows or simply keep the bass kittens prring?

I’m hoping that some of the right people take notice of the new music and I can begin to get more shows, play some new festivals and just keep spreading the music to dance floors across the country, but ultimately I am happy to just get the music in people’s ears. If I can convert one more person into a bass music fan, I am happy 🙂

Alright my friend, any last words you would like to share with your fans or the community?

Love more, fear less.

If you believe it, then live it and be it or leave it be.

Category: Artist Spotlight, Bass, Glitch Hop, Interviews, Mid Tempo, Music, Reviews | commie 1 Comment »

Living Light [Sonic Bloom Interview] [AfroMonk.com Exclusive]

time June 30th by Sofia authorTags: , , , , , , , ,

Discover Living Light

Sonic Bloom, the Unified Field, the place of Discovery. “Discovery” has been a key word for me within the past couple years, a place of the found into consciousness and open awareness, especially through music in the transformational festival lifestyle. Living Light was a recent discovery for me through a compilation called “Resonant Mind” released by MerkaBa Music in May. Living Light is the solo project of Psylab keyboardist Eartha Harris and she illuminates world beats with soothing dub electronic beats & melodies meant to lighten your mind, body, & spirit.  Prior to the 9th annual Sonic Bloom venture last weekend, I discovered that her soothing presence would be performing and so I sought to discover more upon her upbringing, and the story behind Living Light. After a stellar performance at the Hummingbird Stage on Saturday, we sat down for a chat about inspirations behind her music, past music projects, upcoming album releases, intuitive dreams and experiences guiding her way, and her overall intention in life, all whilst being surrounded by the breathtaking panoramic mountain views of South Park, Colorado – and thus, a very profound and powerful conversation formed.  Shout out to Lovemore Creations for a beautiful moment of life that was captured through photography.

•How long have you been producing music and was there a certain event(s) in your life that inspired wanting to become a music producer?

Well, music and I go way back – haha!… Apparently when I was one years old I often would wake up my parents singing! As I grew older, playing music was always my top fascination. I was lucky to have very supportive parents that were always able to provide me with musical outlets. It started out with a little Organ that I played through my toddler years, then a Commodore 64 in elementary school with a music program on it, and then I graduated up to portable Yamaha synthesizers through my elementary and teens years, eventually with built-in sequencers that I wrote my first full pieces on!

But when I was in college is when I first started learning music production on computer. My first electronic project that I was involved in, which I was a part of for about a year, is a group called The Machine of the Garden and it was the first time I was actually involved a real professional electronic act. Then, from 1998-2006, I had a solo project called Project Sphere, all of which was self-produced. The music is somewhat similar to what I produce now under Living Light but with my own added vocals. That said,  I wasn’t really a part of a sub culture that was ready for that sound back then, so around 2007 I joined up with a band named Psylab, and I actually stepped away from production and dove into 100% live-keyboard playing. I’d often play 4-5 keyboards live at any given show. It was a wild ride!

•What kind of genre is Psylab?

All electronic, but also all live, and we’d play multiple genres. Some called us “livetronica”, but we were often categorized with jam bands since we did a lot of modal improv stuff even though we were electronic dance music.  We played everything from dub to house to psytrance to drum & bass. We honestly felt we could experiment with any genre since we were playing it all live. So that was an amazing experience, but it was definitely like going through a touring boot camp though. It was grueling to be on the road all of the time with all of our massive amount of live gear that we needed in order to perform.

Performing as Psylab Keyboardist

When did Living Light come to Light, what’s the story behind it? ( Continuation ) 

It was actually born on December 21, 2012. I was fortunate enough to have a friend of mine who is a Biophoton Therapist (which is a very cool healing modality) lead a ceremony that weekend at our house in Boston, and I remember seeing this viral video of a Mayan Elder Speaks on 2012 and he said that between December the 20th and 22nd:

“You’ll have one idea, and that idea is your life’s calling, write it down right away because it could be fleeting, but when you have it, you’ll know it…”

And so while I was in this ceremony I had this vision of our sun cresting on the Earth’s horizon, and our whole galaxy cresting on the edge of a giant wave in space-time, and all matter and space connected through frequency, and all existence coming from star-stuff, from light. I then began talking with my friend about Bio-Photon Therapy, and at that moment she mentioned that it translated to “Living Light”.
I then jokingly said…

“That would be such a great band name!”

…and that’s when I realized that was the personal vision. And the more I thought about the meaning behind the name, the more it made sense to me – light as in photons, and light as opposed to heaviness. I had an insane desire to travel the world with my music, but I needed to lighten my load in order to do so. I couldn’t get past the East Coast with the full band since we had so much gear – and it was nearly impossible to afford to fly out to festivals.  I realized those multiple meanings behind the name in that instant, and that I could live lightly by starting up this side project – putting a whole band on my back! And that’s when I decided to take this break to go back to music production.

And there’s more meanings – like living non-materialistically and environmentally responsibly – living lightly upon the Earth. We are technically all living light – we come from stars, ancient sunlight, and now finally our culture is working in earnest towards using environmentally responsible renewable resources.

There’s also even a mind set of living lightly. I was very bogged down into the western fear mentality behind news and politics for a long time. We have an almost cultural obsession with the negative. Then I went away to southern India, where technically things are also dangerous, but there is also a colorful playfulness that permeates, and there isn’t this nonstop fear propaganda that you see in the western world everywhere. But then I came back home to Boston just a few days after Boston Marathon Bombing tragedy, and I was greeted with intense terrorist propaganda everywhere – from billboards to infomercials on wide screen TVs all asking if I was “ready for a terrorist attack?”. The contrast was striking, and I quickly came to realize there was no greater fear than fear itself.

So all of these are meanings that are open for interpretation for each listener, and all of these are influences behind the sounds of the first album “Ecliptic Visions” –  subtle messages I like to hint at through the music, through tones, textures, and samples of people you’ll hear in the tracks.

•Musically speaking, which artist(s) have been an inspiration to you?

One of my main inspirations is this obscure group called the Saafi Brothers. I first heard them in 1999. They have this beautiful dub groove that when you listened to it, no matter what mood you were originally in, you just started to feel so at peace. They incorporate such uplifting frequencies. They are definitely one of my main musical inspirations and have been for the last 15 years or so. It was only recently that I discovered the other light-minded & inspirational frequencies such as OTT, Bluetech, Kalya Scintilla, and Desert Dwellers.

Living Light

•Your track “Perihelion” was just featured on “Resonant Mind” by Yaygons’ “Merkaba Music”, how does it feel to be featured on such a forth-moving conscious music label?

So blessed. I mean, between Yaygon and Desert Dwellers. Desert Dwellers actually found me at my second Living Light show and they signed me on the spot. They’re my main label, Desert Trax, and they’re such lovely people to work with.

It’s all a wonderful family that I give thanks every day to now be connected with. Everyone knows each other and works together so symbiotically and peacefully.

•What festival did that happen at? When the Desert Dwellers signed you?

PEX Summer Festival 2013, The Philadelphia Experiment in Maryland. I still have my wrist band on because that was a moment that changed my music career.  I had an intensely vivid dream the night before where I was talking with two of my favorite musicians about how I really wanted to travel with my music, and well, long story short, they said,

” Find a festival we are both playing at and we’ll show you the way…”
I then suddenly woke up, immediately opened my laptop, and at the top of my Facebook news feed was the PEX Summer Festival lineup and  – boom! Both artists were listed right there as headliners. I do a lot of dream work, so I immediately thought to myself, “I’m supposed to go to this.” I immediately bought a ticket, and a camp invited me to play a couple of unscheduled Living Light sets at a chillout dome. Treavor Moontribe and Amani Friend from Desert Dwellers were at one of those sets, and after I finished, they offered to release my music on their label, Desert Trax. I had been a fan of their music for years, but this was my first time meeting them, so needless to say I was pretty honored!

They’ve been a great support team in getting my music and name out and plugging me in with other light-minded individuals within the US festival circuit. In all my years as a musician, this is the fastest any project of mine has taken flight, and I would not be where I am today without these 2 beloved brothers and this whole beautiful sonic soul family.

Me: “So this was only a year ago?
LL: “Yeah, yeah!”

Aside your track, what other artists did you dig on that compilation, was there a new discovery?

Yes, all of them are great, but a new pleasant surprise was Mr. Squatch. I just discovered him on this comp and absolutely love his work!

If you could live anywhere in the states, or world, where would it be?

Well, I’ve been in Massachusetts my whole life and knowing I’ve lived in Boston for 18 years, I decided that this Spring I wasn’t going to do a 19th Winter in Boston [chuckles]. So, I am actually currently checking out areas. I recently stayed for a week in Santa Cruz right before playing at Enchanted Forest. Santa Cruz is pretty lovely, so right now that’s looking like my next destination. But [looks around] Colorado is really beautiful too! and Asheville, NC also has a really great vibe to it. So I am definitely spreading my wings. Relocation is on the horizon!

__________________________

Living Light is on the right track of discovery as she is building momentum in the conscious and transformational lifestyle, she’s ultimately found her life purpose, a light of inner calling. This certified Yogi has new projects in store, so make sure you keep your eyes pealed for this one as her magical and transcendent vibes will embark a transformation within you! The newest release will be coming out this September, a remix album of her current full length “Ecliptic Visions” called “Ecliptic ReVisions” and will feature remixes of her tracks by predominant and forth-moving psydub, tribal, and sacred bass master minds: Kaminanda, Bluetech, Suduaya, Skytree, Smokesign, Erothyme, Supersillyus, Icaro, Heiss, Pr∆na, Om Frequency, Subcreature, and more.  The next Living Light full length album “Tales from the Karman Line” is already in the works with a projected release date of Winter 2015.  Step out of your shadow and let the living light clear your being and align your chakras. Take a moment to escape and return to your spirit origin of light and let the universe’s synchronicities flash back and forth through light triggers of imaginable twists and deep-rooted intuitions composed of dub frequencies.

•Other recent appearances have included tracks on Heiss’s “Awaken(D)” remix album, and an upcoming Desert Dwellers remix EP•

Living Light -Perihelion [MerKaba Music]

Living Light – ‘Ecliptic Visions’ Preview [Desert Trax]

Living Light – First Light  [Ecliptic Visions]

Category: Afro Monk Exclusives, Downloads, Downtempo, Interviews, Mid Tempo, Music, News, Reviews, Uncategorized | commie No Comments »

Interview with the Founder of Euphoria Music & Camping Festival

time April 16th by Sofia authorTags: ,

Euphoria Music and Camping Festival 2014 is back for its third year with a whole new transformed look and fresh new feel that was made possible by the collaboration of creative and forth moving mindsets, and it’s less than two weeks away, so get your passes if you haven’t already! I sat down with Mitch Morales, the founder of Euphoria, at Cenote, a restaurant off of East 6th here in Austin, TX and we talked about the creation of Euphoria, their expectations, their stellar diverse music lineup, and the new features for this year’s event such as camping, yoga, workshops, and art/installations! Mitch had some very interesting things to say, check it out:

What was your initial inspiration to create a festival three years ago?

It all started with going to a bunch of festivals the summer of 2011, all different kinds – EDC, Outside Lands, Electric Forest, and Art Outside which extended to the Fall of 2011, and really falling in love with the community, the crowd, and the experience of it. That feeling of going into a festival for a couple of days and somewhere along the way losing yourself and being able to find something there that you aren’t able to experience in a three or four hour concert. I feel that within the first two hours of a concert people are worried about getting drinks, finding their friends, and then the next thing you know the headliner comes on, and it’s all about the headliner, and then it’s over. So yes, just falling in love with the idea of creating an experience for people.

We initially thought it was going to be an easy thing to just, well, to create a festival, we had no experience in booking music, no experience on the actual stage production, we had nothing. I mean, I had like some basic marketing experience with ads and had a decent handle on social media, but, from besides that, nothing. We took the next six months and tried to figured it out and when day one of Euphoria’s first year in April 2012 came around… it was definitely a real eye opener….we realized it wasn’t going to be that easy – we had a lot to work on. I’ve always really wanted a challenge that I was passionate about and I think this was it. Fast forward to now and we’ve assembled a solid crew and we’re looking really good for two days, the venue is awesome, probably, I don’t know, maybe close to double the amount people from last year, which was about 3,000 per day…we added camping, which is probably the biggest addition that I am happiest about – being able to provide that experience for people so that they can show up Friday morning and not leave the experience until Sunday.

Why did you choose to name it Euphoria?

At the time we were trying to come up with a name, we had made a short list, but a lot of the names that we thought about were already taken. Really tried to keep it simple, but wanted to give it a powerful, uplifting vibe. I mean, it is the place where you’re “Happy” right? It can obviously have some interesting connotations, you know, a lot of things do, but we are trying to transcend away from those connotations and ultimately just want people to experience a euphoric state through the music and culture at Euphoria; we want to create a space where you can escape from the real world for a couple days and find your happiness.

So, you did mention camping earlier, what are other new features are included at this year’s Euphoria?

On top of camping, being back close to Austin was really big for us…also finding Carson Creek Ranch, which is an amazing venue on the banks of the Colorado River – you can see downtown, the skyline from the property, it’s surreal. See, we want everyone to camp, but we know that’s not everyone’s thing, so being close is key. We want people to be able to easily get there and it also adds to the safety of things because we can offer free shuttles from downtown through Bus to Show.  Also, just the time of the happenings this year, the doors are open at 12pm and go into 2am each night, and it allows us to put in a lot of additional programming in, and not just music but also art, performance, and bringing in art installations from, one being “The Fractoid” all the way from California which is really cool, so yeah, just basically developing the full festival experience versus last year, which was more of like a glorified two day concert.

One huge difference I noticed about this years Euphoria is the musical lineup and it’s diversity to its previous yeas.  Tell me a little about that and what triggered that change.

Well, I’ve always had a very wide musical taste…growing up in Texas I was more into Texas Country and Houston Rap, and my dad always had me listen to a lot of music from the 70’s such as The Eagles….a super wide variety. I also moved to and lived in Australia for a year and it was almost never impossible to not be exposed to house music, which is really big there, it’s still really big there, everywhere around the world. It was then that I fell in love with electronic music like trance and house, definitely European styles. So still at the time, I was way more into that genre of electronic music and it got a little tricky when it came to bookings acts knowing we didn’t have any experience with it… agents would throw all kinds of everything at us. I always wanted to have Jamtronica flavors in there too…we booked artists such as Archnemisis and Zoogma in 2012, and we had a stage dedicated to non-Euro styles with artists such as Supervision and Govinda, so it’s not like this years lineup just came out of nowhere, we have slowly been diversifying the music lineup as we continue to build Euphoria. And last year, we tried to keep the diversity going stronger but due to space limit at White Water Amphitheater more acts were limited, but we added artists such as Eoto, The Polish Ambassador, Conspirator, and Michal Menert.

Austin’s live music scene has really flourished this year…we felt the need to bring that vibe even stronger so we partnered up with Having a Ball Productions in Houston, and Kevin Woods with Inside Out Presents in Austin, TX to re-create and twist the feel of Euphoria for its third year. They were already entrenched in that scene and had buy-in through The Parish and through some other venues here in Austin, and it was through that and belief and trust that made everything come together, which really made me feel comfortable. I’m not going to lie, it’s hard because some people mention they only recognize half of those names on the lineup and, you know, if that’s what people want then that’s fine but for me, music festivals should be 50% of seeing the artists you really want to see and 50% of discovering artists that you didn’t even know existed but are going to fall in love with. I hope that people that aren’t too much into EDM are going to really dig Simon Patterson and others that are used to EDM will discover Beats Antique and be completely mind blown! That allows them to look them up after the festival and discover other acts that are similar to Beats Antique… it’s all about discovery and potentially finding your nitch you never really knew existed.

Which artists are you most excited about seeing live the end of the month?

It has got to be somebody I haven’t seen before…I’ve seen the majority of the bigger acts, but I think somewhere between The Floozies, Koan Sound, Simon Patterson, and Boombox. Well, the artist that I listen to the most is Simon Patterson, he has a lot of different styles that he can bust out at any given time, a very versatile artist. When we were booking the talent, a lot of people seemed worried about the lineup’s diversity, but that shouldn’t be the case. Something I am very interested to see is how all of the different genres, and the fans of those genres kind of co-exist. I mean, one doesn’t leave the stage right away, you know, so seeing that flow of people discovering different styles of music — just giving the audience the opportunity to discover something that’s not Mainstream EDM– there’s a ton of amazing music out there waiting to be discovered.

What kind of impact do you want to leave on people after the festival? Is there some sort of message you want to spread?

As far as a message, I think it’s about acceptance, I think that the “scene” has become so fractured. Being able to be open to new experiences and music – if it’s good music, it’s good music , if it makes you dance, it makes you dance – that’s all that should matter, and I hope this is a stepping stone for Austin to start bringing some of those fashions back together. Who cares if it’s one way or the other, or if it’s this type of person generally at a show versus another, that shouldn’t matter. People should be smart to understand that you just don’t have to like one thing, and, on that same note, I hope that just doesn’t stick to the music. There are things that are associated with…like, I don’t want to go as far as to say that we are a transformational festival, yet, but that’s the direction we aspire to be. It’s one of the reasons we are bringing the workshops, the music, the yoga, and the art all together in one place. I think it’s important to be able to give people exposure to a new environment that they didn’t even know existed…especially people coming from small towns. I grew up outside of Austin, and the world was very small to me, and traveling and living in a different country for a long time gave me the awareness of other things being out there. I don’t know if everyone else will get the chance to travel and live in a different country, but if that’s what you want to do, then do it. Giving people a global music movement perspective can definitely start opening doors. The goal is just really being part of the movement, having a positive impact, and I think we can help with that.

Category: Interviews, Music, Uncategorized | commie No Comments »

Bluetech Interview: LIVE at Art Outside 2013

time December 19th by Sofia authorTags: , ,

 During my time at Art Outside, I had the pleasure of sitting in with Bluetech, a psybient producer who creates a varied selection of downtempo/ambient music using digital synthesizers and software production. Evan Bartholomew’s passion for music and tropical plants is unreal. He talks about what inspires him on a daily basis, giving back to the community, and his view/opinion in regards to what he thinks is key in today’s highly competitive music production/styles.

“…every morning I go out and I go check, with my cup of tea, and see what’s got new leaves on it- that totally inspires me to go in the studio.”

 “… and it’s not even a particular style, it’s music that has soul and you can hear it right away whatever the genre is.”

 “…you know, if music is about community, and about life, and about love, and about creating energy, then it should also give back and feed something other than just me and my own ego…”

“…the only way to win at the quote on quote, “game”, is to not play the game… to focus on being the best you can possibly be with your own individual voice; to speak the things that are in your own heart; to strive for the goals that you set for yourself, and respond to the things that move you…”

Category: Interviews, Music, Uncategorized | commie No Comments »

ProJect Aspect | Automagically | Interview

time October 3rd by Taradactyl authorTags: , , ,

ProJect Aspect, CO producer, DJ, and co-founder of the legendary Mile High Sound Movement, has been absolutely killing it lately! His new full-length album, Automagically, comes out on October 6th…. and you’re in for a treat. Throughout Automagically listeners will revel in the upbeat vibes that he thoughtfully lays out. Each song perfectly different from the last, the album takes you on a pleasant roller coaster ride through Jay’s spirit. It encompasses so many different rad elements, making for a diverse and absolute album. One minute you’ll be listening to a soulful track with gorgeous piano notes, and the next you’ll hear one with beautiful world music-like components. Then after that, a wubby and percussive piece. I also love the contributions that his homie Kruza Kid makes throughout the album; they are quite the dynamic duo. The track entitled “Mouth and a Half” pretty much made my day when I listened through. He also included “Pura Vida” which always makes me feel like I am sippin on a ice cold beer on the beach in Costa Rica; one of my favorites of his.

I can’t really illustrate how much I dig ProJect Aspect’s signature sound that fuses lazer bass with beautiful harmony. His music gives me an indescribable rush of emotion. It’s seriously really difficult not to move when I am listening to his music! This guy has obviously got a knack for creating frequencies that lift you into a state of bliss. He has an excellent sense of rhythm and an amazing ear for melody. He definitely brings that all to the table during his brilliant live performances, which is a blessing to us all! The guy knows how to get a crowd moving, there’s no doubt about that.

Did I mention how genuine of a guy Jay is? I had the pleasure of seeing and chilling with ProJect Aspect (and his girlfriend Ashley most of those times as well, who is one of the raddest chicks I know) a few times this summer, and he was great to be around every time. I look forward to seeing them again which will be soon, I’m sure! I got to ask Jay some questions about music, life, and more… see what the mastermind has to say!

1. You have been out to California/Nevada a few times in the past couple of weeks, and you were also on the bill for various music festivals this summer. Is it awesome to get out of CO where you get to experience new places and faces? Must feel pretty good J!

Jay: Yes, it feels amazing to get out to different states and communities, every experience is truly unique and special. I make music to express myself, it speaks for me, so I feel blessed when I can share that with new people in person.

2. What do you enjoy most about mixing live? You seem to love every second as much as the next… at least according to your epic bass face!

Jay:  The thing I like most about performing live is the potential of limitless possibilities. When I play live, i walk up to my set completely unplanned. I usually don’t even know what song to start out with until I’m ready to go. I use Ableton live and I have roughly 100 original tracks in front of me at my disposal. Anything could happen. I love being interactive with my music, I love playing live just as much if not more than creating the music, but the combination of creating and performing is magical.

3.What’s your most memorable experience regarding music? Can you describe it to us a bit?

Jay: My most memorable experience regarding music would have to be my first time seeing a show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO. This venue/Park has been very special to me in my life. Going rock climbing and hiking as a kid, this legendary spot holds a dear place in my heart. In 2005 I saw my first Red Rocks concert. The music consisted of; The String Cheese Incident, Yonder Mountain String Band, Umphreys McGee, Keller Williams, Micheal Franti, and New Monsoon. This 2-day event was truly life changing and eye opening for me. I looked at music in a different light.

4. I know that you have a lot of genuine love for your fans. Multiple people I know have been impressed by your shining personality and humble demeanor. What do you have to say about musicians who become egotistical?

Jay: I really have no place to talk about other musicians personalities, everyone is different and handles situations in their own manner. Most musicians I meet are very good to their fans and personally I look at my ‘fans’ as friends because I feel like i only gain friends, not fans.

5. Who in your mind is leading the scene from a production standpoint versus from a live performance standpoint? Who are your favorite producers at the moment?

Jay: There is SO MUCH good music out there it’s difficult to say who my favorite producers are. I would have to say my favorites are my friends, The Mile High Sound Movement. Other than that I would have to say Tipper is a boss and will always run the game.

6. Any other inspirations in general?

Jay: Other influences musically are Umphreys McGee, String Cheese Incident, Phish, and STS9. In general my family is my biggest inspiration. I am surrounded with so many beautiful, talented people, I am constantly inspired every day.

7. How has everything been so far with 1320 Records? What a great thing to be a part of!

Jay: Being with 1320 is a dream come true. I have looked up to STS9 for as long as I can remember and it is an absolute honor to be a part of their family. Honestly it is still a bit surreal and will probably remain that way for a while. I am just very grateful to be on a label with so many great artists.

8. You have an album titled Automagically coming out on October 6th… what inspired you in the making of this album?

Jay: This new album is a collection of music I have written in the past year. Everyone I have met, every piece of visual art I have seen, every sound I have heard, and every experience in this past year has been my inspiration for writing this album. It captures the beauty I am surrounded by every day.

9. Who are your go-to mastering engineers, if any?

Jay: I do everything myself, from start to finish. It may not be the most professional approach, but it works for my style and it fits my live sound.

10. What are the top 5 plugins / VSTs / synths that you use and/or recommend?

Jay: I use a ton of VSTs, I’d have to say my favorites are Massive, and FM8. I use Maschine for my drums.

11. I had a great time seeing Unlimited Aspect live… do you think that you and Ronnie (Unlimited Gravity) will continue to collaborate?

Jay: Unlimited Aspect is an indefinite project. We are just scratching the surface with our writing and collabing. We are practicing a new live set feat. guitar, Vocals, Keys, and other live instrumentation. Ronnie and myself are only beginning our UA journey. Stay tuned for our debut album to be released early next year.

12. Can we expect any collaborations with anyone else from the Mile High Sound Movement crew?

Jay: I’m always collaborating with Kruza Kid(The other founding member of MHSM), you can definitely expect to see more collabs with other artists as well.

13. You helped found the MHSM. Is it still going strong in CO? I have been seeing you guys pop up on a lot of Denver bills, as well as ones outside of the state.

Jay: MHSM is still going strong, we are helping with the 10/6 show at Cervantes with myself, Mochipet, Thriftworks, and Kitty D. We are trying to expand and hope to start up a MHSM tour soon!

14. It seems like your amazing girlfriend Ashley gets the pleasure of traveling to a lot of events with you. Does her presence at a performance push you extra hard to crush it?

Jay: I am so grateful to have my girlfriend by my side. She inspired me to stay grounded and creative. She hears my music more than anyone so it is important to me to keep my music and live sets interesting. It is amazing that she is able to travel with me, it definitely helps me feel comfortable in new places.

15. And lastly, a completely unrelated but important question… what are you going to dress up as for Halloween? I know your fans are dying to know.

Jay: I honestly haven’t had a chance to think about my Halloween costume. Always been my favorite holiday so we’ll see what i come up with. I’ll be playing with MartyParty on the Saturday before Halloween in Boulder, that should get pretty freaky!

THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME JAY! Looking forward to the release of Automagically on October 6th!

~Taradactyl~

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

Sugarpill Interview | Space Foray

time August 17th by Taradactyl authorTags: , , , ,

Get ready to be taken to a new dimension, because that’s what you’ll experience in listening to Sugarpill’s new album, Space Foray on Muti Music. It’s well thought-out, beautiful, and vibrant. I love the bounciness of BlipSquip. Then there’s the unique-sounding Space Foray, which I have a very hard time sitting still while listening to. I can honestly say that there isn’t a track on the release that I dislike, which is a rarity. Having been a fan of Sugarpill for years, I thoroughly enjoy listening through this album. Also be sure to check out his track “Bring It Back” on the new Gruntworthy We Are the Future Volume II; it is for sure one of my favorites from the whopping 74-track compilation. I can hear his unrelenting improvement through time; he is definitely on top of his game right now! You can see this in both this release and his unparalleled stage presence while playing live this summer. Poppin’ champagne bottles and choosing just the right tracks for the crowd at the right times, Sugarpill was a pleasure to see a few times over the summer…. highly recommended. Kids were raging and getting down like no other at his live shows; exactly how it should be! Seeing much of the Headtron crew up on stage with him at Lightning in a Bottle was pretty awesome.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Sugarpill, and he had some interesting things to say. Check it out:

1. Your latest album, Space Foray, comes out on August 16th. What inspired you in the making of this release, and how does it compare to your past releases?

SP: This album is kind of a culmination of a bunch of things that I’ve been trying to bring together in a single release for a while now. I have been really stoked on the idea of putting out a release that crosses a lot of ground all the way through. I write a lot when I’m traveling as well as at home in the studio and each of the songs on the album come from a different part of me because they were all written in different places in the space and time of my life. I wanted this album to have a lot of variation so I chose this collection of songs because they touch different musical elements in terms of tempo, melody, harmony, and sound palate, but at the same time they still connect in this way this is like a single journey to some far corner of space. My ultimate goal in putting this release together was to do it in a way that when I listen to it, I couldn’t tell whether I was on some inner journey in my mind or on a completely external journey somewhere in space. Trying to get a single expression to do both of those things is something that I’m working try to embody in my music all the time.

2. Do you have any other deep-seeded passions aside from music and all that revolves around it?

SP: I’m really into life and learning, but without getting super long-winded, I’ll just say that they pretty much stem from that.

3. You are a master of Ableton and have educated many on the program. What motivated to help others gain skill at your craft?

SP: I learn a lot from teaching. Helping other people understand things forces me to think about them in new and different ways that I would probably never arrive at without that external stimulus.

4. I’d love to hear more about your mastering process, as many have attested to your talent, and my ears most certainly agree. What outboard gear do you use, if any?

SP: I don’t use outboard gear… which is a bummer, but I’m working on upping my game in that department right now. Right now I choose software that has really good analog modeling.

5. What plugs and techniques would you recommend to others who want to master their own music?

SP: I’d recommend that anyone looking to get into it read the ozone manual, it covers all the basics and gives you a single piece of software to learn and practice on.

6. You played at a handful of shows and festivals this summer… from Cervantes to Emissions to LIB to 5 Points. What was your favorite DJ experience this summer, and why?

SP: Picking a favorite is impossible. I kind of live a constant forward motion mindset, so it’s really tough for me to isolate a single favorite. All I can say is that I’m continuously blown away by the places I got and the people I meet.

7. Do you like to change it up quite a bit, depending on what sort of crowd you’re playing to? Or do you find that sticking to your signature sound is what you prefer, for the most part?

SP: I play pretty much 100% original sets these days. So I try to write a variety of different sounds and vibes into my songs so I can play to different different sets at different times. I think all my songs probably have a sound that’s sounds like me, but I definitely have to keep it varied so I don’t get bored with myself.

8. The Headtron crew seems like an awesome group to be a part of. Would you say that this has been a support group conducive to your growth as an artist, as opposed to being on your own?

SP: Have something like the Headtron crew has definitely contributed to my growth as an artist. We’ve got kind of a song club where we can all share ideas and honest critiques. On the non-music side, we’re all pretty close as friends so being able to cross the country and have homies in most of the places is really dope.

9. On that note, may I also ask about the origins of the lesser known Steaktribe?

SP: Steaktribe is just what we call grilling and not using utensils. Im not even sure what it’s become other than that, I’m just pretty passionate about making food with my friends and I guess I can get pretty stoked about it.

10. Can you tell us anything more about your collaboration with Gladkill? I’m pretty sure people are eager to know what you guys have in the works!

SP: We’ve been talking about making music for a while and we made a track a while back when I was in sf for a show. We actually got the chance to get in the studio for a few days after 5 points. I think our sounds work really well together because they’re already kind of similar in some ways so when we get together we can really expand on the sound because it’s like getting to work double time. We both come from pretty similar music backgrounds and have a lot of the same tastes so we’re already on the same page in the way we think about the music. I should say that it might be a minute before we finish this release though because we are only working on it when we can physically be in the same studio together. I’m really excited about that fact actually because I think the email collabs have become so prevalent these days. The difference between collaborating on music when you can look at each other and talk is huge. It’s that type of shared experience that makes the output so much more human than the email/Facebook/Dropbox collabs where I think it feels like you’re playing a video game with someone who could just as well be a stranger you’ve never made eye contact with.

11. Have any collab name ideas been thrown around yet?

SP: Rigatoni Danza is the working code name. But seriously no, right now it’s just Gladkill and Sugarpill

12. And how about Swordfight, can we expect something from you and ChrisB. anytime soon, or is that more of a casual affair?

SP: There will be more swordfight. The lazer battle is ongoing.

13. Where did your signature comment, “(.Y.)” stem from, and do you actually say “that’s tits” or something of the nature in real life?

SP: One of my students was really into making ascii genitalia a while back. I mean like really into it… he thought it was one of the funniest things ever and at some point I noticed people saying “that’s tits”, so it started as a joke on that phrase.

14. How do you feel about the controversy over music leaks and illegal file sharing? Do you think this is a serious issue for growing artists, or should they focus their energy on other things?

SP: I think making music is the most important thing, and I think artists should focus their energy on making music that they really want to hear. I think music lovers can tell when something is good, and if there is a way for them to support that in order to keep the music happening, I think they will do that. And if no one pays for it at the end of the day and all along you’ve been making music you actually love, then your energy was well placed.

Thank you Sugarpill, we look forward to jamming to your beats come August 16th!

~Taradactyl~

Category: Artist Spotlight, Downloads, Interviews, Music, Reviews | commie No Comments »

Ali Berger | 110 Love EP

time December 4th by Mr Ed authorTags: , , , ,

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.

DAW?

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.

Performance setup?

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).

Major influences?

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!

Category: Glitch Hop, Interviews, Music, Reviews | commie No Comments »

Asa | Interview | Artist Spotlight

time April 12th by John-Michael authorTags: , , , , , , , , ,


Asa recently posted that he was looking for some blog support on an interview done over at the Greek Dubstepforum. I gave it a quick read and decided that I’d help him out. If you follow me on Facebook or some of my rants on this site I’m sure you’ll see why I agreed to this. It seems like the movement and attitude is spreading. Let’s not forget to mention genuinely being embraced by everyone with a free mind. This dude has a lot of passion behind what he says and isn’t afraid to speak his mind despite knowing it’s going against the ‘norm’. This is one of the reason I’m building a label right now. There aren’t enough outlets and places to get things like this pushed. That traditional dubstep sound is dying but that’s ok as long as it keeps evolving. The idea of 140bpm and heavy bass isn’t a formula to live by in dubstep. Hell if it was up to me forget about the bass lines and just fill it in with more melodic synth lines.

Here is the interview!

So who are you ?

My name is Asa, that is my birth name as well as my ‘alias’ or whatever you want to call it. I am a producer/songwriter from the UK, i am based in a small city on the south coast of the country, about half way between London and Bristol.

When did you started with producing and where does your style derive from?

I started ‘producing’ back in school, when i was about 15, i guess? but of course it was nothing serious, at the time my musical background was in choirs and i played piano – which has definitely contributed towards the way i write a lot of my music now. But in all honesty I’d say my production derives primarily from being sick and tired of hearing so many generic artists, i just wanted to hear something different. I make tunes for myself mostly, it’s like therapy, ya know? its personal and it’s intimate, well it’s intimate until it’s released anyway. then it’s the listeners property, which is the way it should be. For me, it just has to evoke an emotion in the listener, wherever that be on headphones in a dark room by themselves or it be on a huge sound system amongst thousands of other people – it’s got to induce some sort of emotional response. that’s the purpose of music, right? otherwise there is no point. In terms of dance music, I grew up listening to mostly garage, just a lot of 2-step and some dnb really, amongst a lot of other music of course. Bands like Sigur Ros & Incubus amongst plenty of others have as much influence on me as my contemporary ‘dubstep’ producers. But that is definitely where a lot of my rhythmic patterns stem from, for sure.  The Skippy 2-step drum patterns, i love them. I still find my garage collection to be the most varied and interesting music i have, obviously there is a lot of nostalgia involved with my relationship to the tunes, but garage did get killed off and recycled into dubstep and grime pretty much. That’s the way this music works, there is this continuum of bass music in the UK that just keeps churning out new ideas. hence why i get so frustrated with generic production traits – it’s the downfall of scene’s in the context of this music, you HAVE to do your own thing, and i think that principle is where my style derives from. I do my own thing.

What do you respond to the whole thing about dubstep and heavy bass. Is it just a trend?

Well it’s just the ridiculous amount of mid range lfo abuse i hear. I mean, i mostly only hear it when residents are playing that stuff before me at bookings. But don’t get me wrong, the producers I’m closest with like KOAN Sound, Statix & Culprate – they  make some of the hardest stuff around – but it’s so well executed, i get just as excited about a new Culprate tune as i do about a new Burial one, and that’s the way it should be i think. Good music is good music. But there definitely is a lot of poorly produced dubstep, i know that much. there is not enough space in the mix downs in most dubstep tunes now. No room for the sub frequencies to be the prominent focal point in the mix. Which was the only ‘rule’ in Dubstep in the first place, if you can even call it a rule. It had to be around 140bpm and have emphasis on sub bass, the rest was up to the producers individual creativity. That’s how it should be. Me and a few of my friends have all been writing music around 100bpm recently, after becoming somewhat disillusioned with what people think ‘dubstep’ is now, we have just reached a point where making music defined by one tempo just isn’t plausible. We don’t want to do that, as much as dubstep is and will continue to be the home for our music. There really has been a very notable divide in the scene over the last year or two; it’s clear to everyone involved on either side. A lot of people on one side hold a lot of animosity towards what is now commonly associated with the tag dubstep; as a result they are deliberately pushing further and further away from the cliché production techniques which is a positive creative drive for sure, but I for one am still more than happy for my music to be tagged as dubstep. I still think the best thing about the genre is its diversity, so if producers like me try and distance ourselves from dubstep, and then what hope does it have? Creating sub-genres is like pushing yourself into a corner, setting up more boundaries; it will only limit people’s creativity.

Your last release is ‘Sweeter Things EP” and let me tell you, we like it so much. whats next? are there unreleased or new tracks coming up?

Ahhh that’s awesome, i am glad you like the EP – i was a bit hesitant about it, i mean, it’s music i make for me and a few close friends to listen to and I know it’s not what most people are used to hearing. So it’s really good to know that some people have picked up on it and get the point of the tunes, that sort of thing is really cool. I really appreciate it whenever anyone tries to connect on a personal level and say that they like the tunes, that sort of thing really means the world to me. As for new releases myself & KOAN Sound just done a remix for Kito & Reija Lee’s EP on Mad Decent, which has been getting huge support and a great response recently which we are really happy with. Right now I have a whole bunch of remixes due for release – the list is so long i wouldn’t even know where to start. The same applies to collaborations, I’m still working with my core group of friends more than anyone, mostly KOAN Sound, but I’m now getting to work with some of my favorite artist’s, which is something i am really happy about. I apologize about being so vague and not mentioning artist’ names, but i have realized recently that it is good to keep such things under the radar until they are completely finished and on top of that I’m simply just not allowed to talk about things until certain dates etc. I write music all day, everyday. So there is no shortage of new music, it’s just an odd period for me and my friends at the moment – a lot of decisions being made with labels and all that kind of stuff, so a lot of our tunes are in a state of limbo at the moment.

Where do u see dubstep/step/future garage going? *just another trend like minimal techno

I really do not agree with the whole genre branding thing, as I’ve said. To me – ‘Future Garage’ is one of the most ridiculous tags i have ever come across. I could sit here for hours and moan about why i disagree with it, but it’s not worth it. i just don’t agree with it. It’s dubstep, don’t call it anything else. there is something in it for everyone – that has been the whole point of this music from day one, it was the main principle that attracted me to it, ya know? The scene is thriving, regardless. There is so much good music consistently being put out. that’s all that counts – it is not a ‘fad’ or ‘trend’. its just another part of this constantly evolving bass music continuum that we are so lucky to have in the UK. Creativity is thriving, the underground really is glowing…

What u know about Greek Dubstep in Greece in general and if u have any thoughts to play here?

I have a dear friend of mine who guys by the name of ‘Skru’, he goes by other alias’s also, but he is a great soul and has so much passion for the music. He has always supported my stuff since i started, but other than that i know very little about the scene in Greece. I hear about events occasionally from my friend, but that is about it. it is obviously a place i would love to come and play, meeting people and traveling is one of the best things about music – it is what I am most thankful for out of all of it. I hope i am lucky enough to have a Greek promoter want to book me someday!

Tell us some of your favorite source for sounds. VST plugin’s , DWA’s, hardware…

I don’t like to talk about production methods so much, for a lot of reasons really… I think sharing knowledge about production and such things is one of the most important things, no doubt. But i prefer to do it on a one to one basis – I would happily teach or show anyone how i go about putting this sort of music together if they were willing to just sit there and learn. Making tunes brings people together, the people I value the most in my life are the ones I have met through music. the whole networking side of it so important. Production tutorials and things like that seem to be a bit too ‘paint by numbers’ for me, it cuts of that human experience of writing music. The fun and the vibe you can get from working on music with someone who approaches it in a completely different way is one of the most exciting things for me. Sitting around with KOAN Sound and just working on tunes have been some of the most beneficial moments of my life. Do you know what I mean? i will say this though – i record all my own foley sounds, i have my own production palette. Well, i hope i do anyway..

“I made this for you” , i have to admit that was my first ‘contact’ with ur music, its one of my fav mix’s and i have the question if the title and the hole mix is ‘personal’ to you. maybe a girl ?

Well, i really don’t know if i should talk about these things… but it’s ok i guess. i mean, I am personally invested in it all for so many reasons. But they are not going to be the same reasons for the listeners, if that makes sense? I really don’t want to come across as pretentious. I just like making tunes, that all. so yeah, Essentially, a lot of the music i have made in the past was as a result of a very messy, break up from a long term relationship –a lot of it is about telling stories for me. It’s like therapy, it really is. That situation is well in the past now of course. so in regards to the mix entitled ‘I Made This For You’, it is in relation to another person… the key is in one of the first track names, that is all i will say. she knows who she is and that is all that matters

5 tracks I am into at the moment

Ed Sheeran – The A Team (KOAN Sound Remix)

Culprate, Tekka& Sticky Disco – Finger

Earl Sweatshirt – Earl

Joy Orbison – Sicko Cell

Asa – Sweeter Things (eleven8 Remix)

Interview done by: dubstepforum.gr

Category: Artist Spotlight, Dubstep, Interviews, Music, News | commie 1 Comment »