It has been awhile since I’ve made a post but Molly and Tara have been holding it down =)
Alright, now to business. Adam aka Ahab is someone I had to bring your attention too again. It has been awhile since I’ve moved back from Texas and Adam is one of those producers I got to connect with while there. People ask me all the time who I’ve been jamming too and figured that the next few post should be about those up and coming producers that I see a bright future ahead of them.
Ahab has had a few releases on his own and with Black Market Pharmacy.
I got a small taste of some freshies directly from him the other day. Now as I’m going through some music for some upcoming shows I’m playing, I thought to myself. Man, I need to make sure to hype this guys name out there because it’s only going to get better. If there’s a young new producer that is really standing out but making music that reminds me of the past lazer bass stuff, it’s Ahab.
I think we’ll be hearing the name Ahab a lot more as time progresses. He’s young and developing into an extremely talented producer. It’s always great to see a friend mature and develop their sound. Not to mention there’s the whole Black Market Pharmacy project that he is part of which consist of some other close friends.
Be sure to check out his Soundcloud to keep up with all his upcoming music! =D
With the exception of the lucky people who attended Lucidity, most of us are anxiously awaiting the beginning of everyone’s favorite time of year, FESTIVAL SEASON!!! I know I for one am super ready to bust out my (playa) dusty tent, LED’s , unicorn swag, and of course my best dancing shoes. As of now, I’ve got my season’s plans pretty much all lined up and the first official stop of my 2013 Bass Summer is in Black River Falls, Wisconsin at the Infrasound Music Festival.
Twin Cities Dubstep joined forces with the Untz.com to bring this young festival back bigger and better for it’s second year. Twin Cities Dubstep is a major player in the midwest electronic music scene, booking everyone from massive headliners to up and coming locals to classic favorites of every genre. Needless to say, the festival has stirred up a lot of excitement in that and surrounding areas and is proving to be actual competition against some of the bigger festivals, such as Wakarusa, that happen to be sharing the same date. The location is looking absolutely lovely and thanks to the late May date, the weather should fall at that really nice level right before the wretched midwest summer humidity (not my steez!). The festival grounds are nestled among a surrounding forest and includes a small lake whose shores will be home to a daytime beach stage. One of the best aspects of this festival is definitely it’s price. I was shocked to see the earliest early bird tickets at only $50 and even now the current price is at a mere $95 and will raise to a still-relatively-cheap-for-the-lineup $120 at the door. Plus a portion of the profits are going towards a Minneapolis non-profit, Save Our Schools, and their goal to save an inner city music program. Awesome! Located about 2.5 hours from Minneapolis, 3 from Milwaukee, and 4 from Chicago, it’s a super mellow trek from many of the major music hubs of that region. So basically if you’re around, there aren’t too many good excuses not to come out and play Ok enough shit about logistics, let’s talk music!
For many of you, you’ll be so sold at the next word that you might as well stop reading this now and go ahead and purchase your ticket : TIPPER. Although this fact might change with the new announcement of the Symbiosis lineup, Infrasound is the ONLY festival this summer that will be hosting this musical mad man/genius/higher being as their headliner and not only that, booked him to play TWICE on Saturday. I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about the promised twilight downtempo set ( I’m pretty convinced a fairy is born every time he plays a song from Broken Soul Jamboree live) and I’m making a solid and public warning right now to gtfo out of my way during the second set cause this girl + outdoor sound systems + Tipper = elbow poppin, hip displacing, melted minded, third eye to toe dance floor ridiculousness. To complete the sensory experience, the legendary digital artist Android Jones will be supplying the visuals.
Another performance I’m really looking forward to is Liquid Stranger’s downtempo set. Known mainly for his masterfully produced and absolutely crushing Dubstep, Drumstep, and DnB, Liquid Stranger has toured all over the world playing bass music but Infrasound will be his first ever Downtempo/IDM set. Anyone familiar with his album “Cryogenic Encounters” or his pre Rottun work knows how magical this is going to be. Some more artists I’m personally excited to see are Haywyre, Billy Blacklight, Thriftworks, Grimblee, Mumukshu, Megalodon, Shwex, Bogtrotter, Smilodon, Loom In Essence, and Spankalicious! You can also catch some bigger name festival favorites : Gramatik, HeRobust, MartyParty, Luminox, and the beautiful Emancipator. Best part of all? Main stage is going to be on a gorgeous Funktion One rig.
The festivities begin May 31st, which is a little over three weeks away, so there is still plenty of time to get your ticket, your crew, your whiskey to share with me, and your beautiful selves ready for what’s sure to be an amazing weekend. I will see you on the dancefloor!
WMC 2013 is shaping up to be one of the most diverse years for electronic music. Many of you know about Ultra as the main event but I’ve gone ahead and put together a list of shows that I feel caters more to the bass music lovers out there. There are so many options this year in all spectrum of EDM, that any electronic music fan will be sure to find something for them. This by no means is the end all be all but these are the parties that caught my attention and think you should know about.
As crazy as this sounds, this is not the completed list. There will most likely be more additions but I am still waiting for confirmation.
Oh Camp ?, words cannot describe the fun I have had getting down on your dusty dance floor. Whether it be on the playa, or at their festival, Emissions, or at all night parties in the bay, their shows and gatherings have been the backdrop of some of the best nights of my life. What always not only impresses me, but totally wins me over, is their tendency to book a ton of truly up and coming artists. And not just a few thrown at the bottom of the billing with a shitty time slot, but awesome quantities of them. Youngins’, innovators, the potential next big thing, Camp ? is paying attention and trying to get them on a sound system near you. I can not express how important this is to me. There are so many incredible producers getting zero bookings while the same mediocre DJ’s and producers play at every other show or festival. Yes, I understand that is where the money lies (In NAMES. People love them big names.) and although the electronic music scene often times promotes the facade of being some kind of ultra conscious, society defying movement, money is still the driving factor of many of these parties. But whatever, that notion just makes me appreciate communities like Camp ? and their party philosophy even more. With that being said, I love and support Camp ? in any way I personally can and here is a chance for you to do the same (and score some amazing tuneage while you’re at it!)
I introduce to you, The Campilation, an 18 track compilation released on the ever killing it, MalLabel music, to raise funds for Camp ?’s 2013 Burning Man camp. The compilation is home to tracks from a range of artists and styles, including some more established names such as Minnesota, Stylust Beats, Love and Light, and Sugarpill, as well as a collection of other very talented producers. I’ll admit my devout obsession to glitch hop has been dwindling over the last year so it was so refreshing to hear some great stuff from the genre, especially from two of my favorite, and in my opinion, highly underrated artists, Kll Smth and Mad Zach. The variation in style makes it hard to choose a favorite, but Guttstar, an amazing producer who if you aren’t familiar with, you should be, really brought it to the table with his atmospheric yet bangin track, “Where Do Dead Stars Go?”. I also may or may not have listened to G Jones’s “West Cliff” 4-5 times before changing to the next song. But we all already know how I feel about him ;)
Whether you’re planning on attending this year’s Burning Man or not, know that by buying this album you are supporting a truly great organization of bass loving humans. And if you are hoping to make it to the playa this year, know that your financial support will be going to one of the most poppin camps in all of Black Rock City. Regardless of the philanthropic aspect, this is a great release for all kinds of bass music lovers and I hope you all love it as much as I do.
Sixis may be a new name to you, but the influence on and from his sound is closer to ancient. Heavily textured and deeply organic, Sixis’ music represents to me the holiness of the merger of technology and nature. Alien like pads, swampy bass, and rhythmic drums create a natural yet unique experience, encompassing the listener in a deep, hypnotic embrace- warming the soul, exciting the conscience.
Sixis is the moniker of Bay Area native to Pacific Northwest transplant (hey, like me!), Ben Taecker-Wyss. Ben is currently attending Evergreen State College (hey, like me!) to study music production on a serious level. His first official release, Transhuman EP, put out by Substruk Records, blends tangibly thick bass with earthy elements to create a powerful energy, full of movement and oozing with psychedelic creativity. His sound design is excellent and his music complex and interesting, reminiscent of early work of the legendary Heyoka. After extensive listening of his soundcloud, I can hear the improvement in his most recent work and am really looking forward to seeing what this up and coming artist has in store for us in 2013! Big ups, Sixis!
It is not very often that I completely obsess over all a producers work. You’ll hear me talk a lot about diversity frequently. I haven’t felt so good about telling you all about a producer in awhile because the spark is rarely there for me. Now I present to you one of my favorite producers. He has reminded me that sometimes it’s ok to dance around and just party. It’s going to be really hard to play sets and not play 3-4 tracks from him, it’s that good.
Alright so there’s no way to describe this guys music besides that he’s a master of using samples and creating some of the most elaborate remixes. This is not to say that he strictly does remixes but he brings some classic pieces of music into this new world of electronic music that will have you wonder if the original is even worth listening to anymore.
Defunk has generally one common factor in all his work, It’ll make you move! I’ve been shying away from listening to dance music but wow if I ever wanted to remind myself that sometimes music can be tasteful as well as create a party, this is it.
I will also say that as I start preparing to dive into the studio and produce my first release. Defunk is becoming a major inspiration for me. Right now I’m stacking tons of classic funk, soul, swing, jazz, etc… and I hope to create a classic downtempo release. Defunk’s music has many of these elements as its backbone and it’s mind blowing to hear how he has restored an old sound into something so breath taking. I only dream of being able to accomplish such a task.
I ‘ve attached his recent Winter mix below but be on the look out for a new release from him in the coming future. Ultimately this mix consist of a little of everything and totally love how he has pieced it together. I will warn all of you that it does get pretty heavy but it’s not the focus. It’s definitely a party mix and highly recommend listening to it. Now if you want to have a crazy experience just skip all the mixes and listen to each of his tracks one by one. The best part is that you can download almost everything on his soundcloud. Big up man. This is a DJ’s goldmine. Enjoy!
I’m aware that this is much delayed, but this release is much in need of an AfroMonk writeup. Minnesota’s Altered States EP is unbelievably catchy, textured, & bassy. I can’t get enough of his synth lines, sample choices, and overall finesse with frequencies. To The Floor is now my go-to party jam. I can’t quite comprehend how Christian is so able to diversify his sound in the most successful and tasteful manner. Too often does such an endeavor go awry. Minnesota is always pushing the envelope and providing us with new ear candy constantly, but at the same time sticks to his roots and what he knows is good. Somehow his musical taste coincides perfectly with mine…. I don’t have to try to like his stuff, it just happens naturally. Sometimes I’ll play stuff and have to think about if I like it or not – nope, not with this guy’s work.
I love how humble the kid is, too. Oh ya know, like touring with Zion I is no big thing. And having phone conversations with Lorin. Normal everday stuff right? One Facebook status that comes to mind was something along the lines of, “Guys, chill out. Stop giving me shit about my DJ name… I’m from Minnesota and couldn’t think of anything else good at the moment, and I didn’t think I was gonna get this big” (to which ChrisB. responded, “Yeah me too man”). Haha.
I was one of the few that had the pleasure of seeing Minnesota at the EP release party, thrown by Camp ?. If you’ve been to Emissions before or their Burning Man camp, you know damn well that these guys aren’t messin around; they know how to throw a PARTY. This one was at the Old Spaghetti Factory warehouse in Oakland… It was intimate, cozy yet raging, and very conducive to having one hell of a time! Minnesota killed it of course. Just like he crushed it at Ego Trip at Burning Man, at Mezzanine in SF, everywhere the guy goes! So if you can, get to one of his shows on this tour (Sebastopol tonight), or just get to SnowGlobe, it’s gonna go offfff! Afro Monk and I will both be there raging!
Download Minnesota’s Altered States EP for FREE here!
It has been awhile since the last AfroMonk.com Exclusive. I received a collection of new tracks from the homie Guttstar recently and fell in love with one of the tracks. I first became familiar with Guttstar when I heard Kastle’s remix of his tune. After that I made sure to reach out to him and connect. Turns out he is another brother in arms in the SEO game.
His original sound was a lot more focused around the lush pretty dubstep/luvstep vibe. I’ve always enjoyed what he has done musically and finally got to see it live at Emissions this summer. Stellar guy. It makes me happy to see that despite his direction moving more towards the whole trap game that he’s still making tunes like Speaker Seduction. The track has that purple luvstep feel to it but has hints of trap and that new sound we’ve been hearing a lot of.
There’s a lot of new music come from him so be on the look out. There’s even talks of a split EP with G Jones but nothing set in stone. We will see what happens with that but I’m hoping that Afro Monk Records will be releasing that If you haven’t already checked out his collaboration with G Jones (Disko Rekah remix), I highly recommend it.
Nothing but Love and Respect goes out to the homie Guttstar and hope you all enjoy this exclusive tune <3
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.
Elysha’s back with another release on Muti! This one is called Imaginary Friends. I’ve been sitting on this one for awhile and glad to finally see this one with a proper release. It’s a fun collection of tracks that she has put together. The one thing about ill-esha is that she has so much dynamic range. You can never know what to expect what she’ll do next. This time there’s a little sample of midtempo, glitch, funk, trap, glitch-hop, jazz, and soul. It’s all in there with a hint of her voice here and there. The overall sound of the release is warm. Its got those pretty synth lines and bass lines you can expect from her previous releases.
I’m a HUGE fan of Mood Swings and The Only Cure. The rest of the tracks are actually quite exciting but there’s no question which are my favorites. I totally love the name she gave this release. All the names of the tracks are well thought out and pair up quite nicely. I always think to myself how the internet has totally bred all these imaginary friends in a way. You network and meet all these people over the internet but never really hang out with them in person. It’s always interesting when you do. Thankfully whenever I’ve had the luck to kick it with her she’s been absolutely amazing. It’s always great when you get to share your friends music on here. It’s so amazing to have such talented friends all around the world like Elysha. Overall I’m a fan of this release and her music go grab it when it’s released.
If you’re in Sebastopol, CA be sure to check out the release party on November 1st. I highly recommend checking her out live if you get the chance. She’s a true performer and can find her singing live vocals in her sets. It’s always a treat to see her sing!
Here are some sample tracks to hold you over. They bring a LOT more heat than the album but will be sure to fit in nicely in your DJ sets…