Similar to my post on Rustie, I feel the need to write this because I am completely blown away that I’m still introducing these guys’ work to people. In my humble opinion, Lunice and Hudson Mohawke are two of the most important producers in all of electronic music and when I first heard they were teaming up to create a collaboration project, I was elated to say the least. TNGHT (pronounced “tonight”) is the result of these two musical mastermind’s coming together and oh my god, is it some successful teamwork.
I feel completely silly using the term “Trap” when I feel like I have been listening to music composed in that exact fashion for years now. Maybe I’m spoiled because I grew up in the thriving Bay Area music scene, but this type of music is nothing new and I wish we could just look at music as music instead of needing to create these specific genres that get obsessed over and then for the most part almost always fall off because of it. Hip hop and electronic music have always ran parallel to one another and the similarities of most contemporary hip hop beats and electronic dance music are too extreme for me to even consider there to be a difference. But if you have found the recent popularity of the slightly minimalist hip hop/bass music hybrid we as a community now call Trap to be your forte, then you are in for quite a treat, because nobody does it quite like TNGHT does. Both of these dudes are very talented producers and are at the forefront of freshness, so you can expect basically anything that comes from them to be epic.
They released the below track for a slew of U.S. tour dates that included both weekends at Coachella. I was lucky enough to see them perform live on a great sound system in San Francisco on 4/20 and their stage presence, energy, and sheer skill made it one of the better shows I’ve ever seen. So for you first time listeners, let me introduce you to what could be your new favorite group.
Thriftworks just released a fresh new mix this week filled with unreleased material. As many of you know I’m a Thrifty fanboy. This mix is nothing but lush new material that will please any previous fan and/or any newcomer to his music.
The only thing that I can complain about this mix is that it’s not as long as I’d like. The mix run for a tad bit over 30 minutes. I just didn’t want it to end. Too be honest I was completely taken back by the release of this mix. If you told me that Jake had a new mix in the works with the bulk of the music being unreleased material I wouldn’t have believed you. It just makes me wonder how much music Thriftworks is really sitting on. I’m also sure we’ll be seeing a release of a collab EP with Russ Liquid that doesn’t even have much presence on this mix as much as I’d think.
Now sit back, relax, hit play, and dive into the world of Thriftworks!
Since first falling in love with electronic music in 2008, I have never underestimated the importance of having extremely trustworthy music sources. There is an insane amount of music out there, some great, some terrible, and unless you’re ready and willing to spend hours searching through the depths of Soundcloud to find two, maybe three, new artists you genuinely like, then you’re left with what I have figured out to be the best options: blogs(but you’re on Afro Monk right now, so I’m assuming you’ve already got this one down ) and following labels. It’s not true for every record label, but many often focus around a genre or style. To find a record label you really love is like finding a key. They are doing the dirty work for you, sifting through hundreds of promos and hours of research to find artists that are going to represent the label and their sound. There are many labels I love and follow devoutly, but my favorite is Rwina Records.
Rwina Records is an Amsterdam based collective, specializing in innovative, underground bass music, heavy in science fiction and gritty futuristic influences and not afraid to push the boundaries. Rwina means “never ending chaos” in Moroccan, and the label stays true to the title with every release. Their international array of releases is impressive and consists of some of the best in underground bass music including Eprom, NastyNasty, Starkey, Doshy, and Krampfhaft.
Although I own and love so many of Rwina’s releases, I’ve never know much about the man behind it all, Akkachar a.k.a Akka. What I definitely did not know, was that a release by him and label mate, Taz was going to become one of my favorite pieces put out by the label ever. After a series of collaborative works spanning over three years, the two recently graced us with a mini mix of their upcoming spring release, Synergy. The mix is a futuristic hip hop hybrid, blending old school video game vibes with lush and dreamy like synths, producing perfect dance floor bangers for humans and cyborgs alike. Each track is unique and brilliant within itself, but as a group, works together effortlessly. I absolutely love it and am ecstatic for the official release of the EP on April 1st.
Trip Down Memory Lane, is a collection of some of my favorite trip-hop classics. I’ve always wanted to put something together that showcases the music that I love and have so many memories tied to with Love. Happy Valentines Day <3
Featured Artist: Me, Bjork, Portishead, Wax Tailor, Massive Attack, Hooverphonic, Lamb, Tricky, Jem, Team Sleep, I Monster, Bang Gang, 8mm, Zero 7, Air, Halou, Dj Krush, Frou Frou, Lovage, Goldfrapp, & RJD2
It has been awhile since I put out a mix and posted in the blog. I’m going to try to stick to posting regularly again. Not going to make any promises but as I put this mix together I was going through tons of music that I really should write post about.
Future Love is a mix dedicated to all the lovers out there. I’m always looking for chill sexy tunes now. The last couple of mixes that I’ve released were experiments to see if there was a market for downtempo psychedelic music. Love Sacrifice Dream (LSD) is on pace to be my most successful mix I’ve released. You have no idea how much that means to me. I’m a firm believer that there should be more beautiful music out there to listen to on your headphones while enjoying yourself at home versus the club.
Now that I’ve become a lot more comfortable with this style of play I’ve created something a bit more experimental. I’ve become burnt out on club bangers, electronic dance music, etc… The reality of the situation is that I’ve grown out of that phase of my life. I’ve gotten old and jaded over the years. There is only so much going out to clubs, bars, raves, festivals, etc… My favorite nights are relaxing at home with friends, chill music in the background, smoking, and just pondering the universe.
The idea of Future Love was to create a mixtape for a Lover. I want to create soundtracks and mixes that I can look back in life and enjoy despite how old I get. Timeless music is something that has been a major focus of mine recently. When my future love eventually finds me I want to have something to throw on that isn’t intrusive. The point of downtempo music is to have in the background and not be in your face. This mix was literally designed for laying in bed with a lover as you share yourselves with each other.
I hope you enjoy this and appreciate all the support over the years. I’ve already begun working on my yearly Valentines Day mix. Expect something a bit more upbeat but in the style of traditional downtempo trip-hop soundscapes.
Here’s a mix from myself for Fire Friday Mixes. There has been so much going on around Trap music. I think that overall this trap craze has gotten a bit excessive but it’s better than other trends (style) out there. This was put together mainly as a promo mix and show you how I would mix and glitch it. Too be perfectly honest it was to see if I even had it in me. As much as we can enjoy a certain style of music the real question is can you mix it.
This came out better than I actually anticipated actually. It was also fun recording it. There’s a certain level of appeal you can go for with trap music and there’s another where you can get straight hood with it. After hearing this mix a few times due to its short nature it’s something I’m proud of. Could I mix a hour of trap? Sure, I feel confident now that I can but who know when I’ll never do it or record a mix that long of solely Trap. That’s the thing about trap, it’s something used to sprinkle up a set but not sure if I’ll go straight trap. This mix is something that works for me when that craving appears.
Hope you can enjoy this even if you love or hate trap. It’s my personal take on it.
Random Fact: I named this mix Mon Calamari as a Star Wars reference. Mon Calamari is the particular species Admiral Ackbar which had the infamous “It’s a Trap” phrase.
Bird of Prey is the featured producer for this week’s Fire Friday Mix. Whenever someone asks me or mentions the most technical and skillful producer’s Bird of Prey comes to mind. I’ve been lucky enough to spend some time around Torin and get his take on a few things. He’s one of those people who take his craft very seriously. He comes from a psytrance background which usually consists of incredible sound design and a level of quality that you rarely find.
This mix is a live recording from Boom Festival. I’ve listened to this mix about 3 times today already. The mix consists of beautiful psychedelic music the whole way through. It also features plenty of Bird of Paradise music which Torin let me know is coming out soon. The complexity of the sound and textures is unmatched. There are not many producers that can capture my attention with the psy chill sound mixed with the dance floor flow that Bird of Prey puts together.
I spent a decent amount of time with Torin this past summer at Sonic Bloom and was enlightened that he has helped influence some of the biggest names in bass music that I’m sure you’ve heard of. It so happens that Seven Lions was his roommate for awhile and helped him develop his production skill set. Another big name he helped out was Nit Grit which has had great success. I won’t lie it’s a bit disappointing to see such a talented producer get so unnoticed compared to some of his apprentices. It’s crazy how the world works sometimes. He also informed me that his tracks under the Birds of Paradise project have gone as upwards of 140+ tracks in a single tune. That’s just straight dedication.
Sit back and enjoy this hypnotic journey Bird of Prey has created with this glorious mix. Also be sure to make it a point to see him play out live. There aren’t many artists out there that can provide such a beautiful soundscapes for early morning sets or late night vibes. He should definitely be recognized a lot more and worth a listen. I consider him to be up there with Tipper when it comes to sound design and production value.
Sissy Ross is one those hidden gems that I believe deserve more attention. I became familiar with her when I was living in Dallas for awhile. She played a few Silent Discos that I was at and never really gave much attention too for some reason. I had added her on Facebook and started to see her make really inspirational post as well as posting AMAZING music. I finally took the time to check out one of her mixes online and totally was blown away. I’m not a huge fan of hip-hop if you believe it or not but I decided to check out a few of her mixes and realized how wrong I was assuming what it would sound like.
Sissy has a way of incorporating so many different genres and styles together. This is the reason I had to post something about her. She blends jazz, swing, funk, hip-hop, etc… all into her sets. It really disappoints me that I didn’t really get to connect with her while in Dallas. She recently started a new weekly event on Thursdays that I’d love to have down here in Miami. The mix below is actually a promo mix she put together for it.
All in all Sissy is someone who inspires me greatly as a DJ and human being. She is always post things on Facebook that I have to Like and listen too. Not to mention she has also caught the Electro Swing bug and posting songs I adore. It’s not very often you find people who constantly post new music that impressed with. I HIGHLY recommend you check out her mixes on Mixcloud!
I wish her the best of luck with everything. Hoping she continues to put out fresh new mixes on a regular basis even if she does run off to law school. She’s definitely my DJ crush right now. She’s cute, smart, plays great music… What more could you ask for?! Ha.
Definitely check her out and follow her!
I’ve put together this mix series for all those people who crave for music to jam to on their headphones. I wanted to create something that you can put on when you want to sit back or lay around with relaxing music.
The internet is filled with so much dance music and club bangers. I’m tired of it and too be honest I know that there’s so much good music that is overlooked at times because they aren’t meant for the dance floor. I’ve looked back at all the mixes I’ve done and wasn’t content with it and felt like I needed to do this. I want to be remembered for creating something that is for the chill music lovers.
Right now I’m at a weird place in my life where I’ve become burnt out on bass music and even typical club music that is expected when you go out to a show. This is my way of showcasing where my heart has been. I hope the day will come where I’ll be able to find bookings on the regular where this is type of music I’m asked to play vs the banging hits.
I can’t thank you all enough for even downloading this collection and reading this. I want YOU to know that I am grateful. This is for YOU and no one else. Share this and enjoy it with your lovers and friends.
- JM aka Afro Monk
ARTIST INFO INSIDE ZIP ABOVE & INCLUDES ALL 3 MIXES
I consider Pressha one of the greatest strictly DJs out there in bass music today. The first party I ever planned and promoted Pressha played. Didn’t know much about him but my good friend Shilo assured me he was incredible. He showed up and totally blew me away. There aren’t many DJs who mainly only use Serato to play out and using Turntables that I enjoy. Ever since he came to Miami and crushed it for my WMC party we’ve kept in close contact. He really works hard and understands the importance of building a network and relationships in the music industry. There isn’t a line up in the NW that I’ve seen where it be a major event and not seen this man not playing at it. His network and ear for music is almost unmatched entirely but when talking solely DJ and not producing music there is no other I can think of besides Mihkal.
I’ve had the pleasure of kicking it with him out in Seattle and showed me around a bit during Decibel Festival. He’s a super chill dude who likes to party but also collects and plays dubs like it’s nobodies business. I know when I was focused more on putting out mixes that I had to beat Matt to the punch of releasing a mix because if not he’d probably be playing a lot of the stuff I’d be playing also. Now that I’m focusing less on playing out I’m glad that he’s still going strong and playing out and making a huge name for himself.
It has been awhile since we last kicked it but I’m really looking forward to getting to spend some time with him at Emissions this year. We’ll both be out there playing at it and if was still playing glitch-hop I’d probably have to check with him what he has planned because this guy always has the headie tracks that most don’t have access too. If you haven’t heard of this man and looking to become a DJ in this culture I highly recommend going back and looking to see the work he has put in. He’s the true model of what most DJs should be like…
Everything in Moderation Tracklist:
1.) Sugarpill – A Gift To
2.) Gladkill – Stay Awake
3.) Kastle – Walking Away Mc Armanni
4.) Goldrush – It’s when I miss all of you (Gladkill Remix)
5. ) Sugarpull – Say you want to
6.) Kastle – I Know (Bokator and Jock Styles Remix)
7.) Drake – November 18th (Stratus Remix)
8.) Sugarpill – Tanktop
9.) Minnesota – Roof Back
10.) Sugarpill – Cats used to harmonize
11.) Matty G – Back to the Bay ft.Ugene
12.) Ginuwine – Pony (Molecule Remix)
13.) Polish Ambassador – Space Leaf Dub (Gladkill Remix)
14.) Frequent C + kLL sMTH – Something for Everyone
15.) Guttstar – Waking
16.) Awol-Nation – Sail (Slim Thugz Remix)
17.) Paper Diamond – So Precise
18.) Chris B – Be Cool
19.) Oh Tebins – Tickle Parts
20.) Samples – Capture the Flag