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!
Profresher, formerly known as Billy Blacklight, has been pumping out insane quantities of tracks for a few years now, turning his soundcloud and especially Bandcamp into a treasure chest for DJ’s, lyricists, and listeners alike. Profresher has developed and perfected an extremely unique and interesting sound that doesn’t limit him, but instead allows him to successfully experiment and work within a large range of sounds, tempos, and styles, while still staying clear of any type of cookie cutter sameness. His background is in piano and keyboard, which is very obvious when listening to his melodically based beats. Many of his tracks carry a soft, whimsical sound that could easily serenade the listener into a state of comfort and bliss. Excellent for relaxing, doing work, or driving to, as well as often times being very friendly to rap or sing over. But he is also quite competent at producing heavy hitting dancefloor ready tracks, laced with fat bass and a retro reminiscent feel.
His bandcamp is currently home to TWENTY SEVEN self released albums, twelve of which create his recently finished Zodiac Project. The Zodiac project was one of the more challenging and unique ventures I’ve seen from an electronic musician and I find it even more exciting and beautiful now that it’s in it’s finished form. As you can probably guess from the project’s title, Profresher wrote an EP for every Zodiac sign. Each EP had three tracks and was started and finished within the duration of each zodiac sign, beginning in April 2012 with Aries and ending this past March with Pisces.
Profresher wrote the music as he always does, but when listening to each album within it’s time period as I did, one can’t help but notice the natural correlation between each release and the feel and vibe of the time. I figured I would find instant solace and love in mine (and his) sign, Gemini, and although I did adore and appreciate that particular release, I found myself really falling for some of the other signs, especially Aries and Aquarius. Below are some of my favorite tracks from the entire project and rumor has it, if you contact Profresher through his artist page, he’ll give you your sign for free Keep an eye out for his next release on 4/20, Zentai, as well as music from his brand new label, Anamnesis.
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.
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.
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!
Dave Tipper is one of the most talented producers alive. He has helped pioneer many genres of music including the Break and Glitch Hop sound. He has set the standard of recording in 5.1 surround sound and has released a collection of music that most would consider divine in nature.
I’ve had to luxury of seeing many live performances by him over the years. There’s two distinct sides to Tippers music. There’s the uptempo glitch-hop bass sets that will get you moving and then there’s the organic downtempo sound journey. I can say that his downtempo set at Symbiosis 2012 was the most unique and beautiful pieces of auditory sound that I’ve ever experienced in my life. I felt as if I was a small child rediscovering sound.
This February in Austin, Texas, Dave Tipper will be doing a special one time performance with the theatrics group, Quixotic. They are an artist collective comprised of aerial acrobatics, dancer, film makers, fashionistas, musicians, and visual artist. I had the pleasure of seeing them at Wakarusa and was totally blown away by the amount of production that goes into their show.
The Tipper Quixotic Experience is what they are calling it and assure you that it’s something you won’t want to miss. Once I saw the announcement of the show I immediately looked up plane tickets to Austin, Texas and bought a flight.
It is rumored that Tipper will also be moving more towards the live downtempo sets in 2013. There is no confirmation of this but you better believe that I’m praying with all my heart to get at least half set of downtempo. The event is a post Valentines Day called Cirque de L’amour. The events name translates to Circus of Love. I can’t tell you enough how excited I am to return to Austin, where I left a big piece of heart. It only seems like the proper time to revisit one of the most amazing cities in the States.
If you’re a follower of Tipper, enjoy theatrical performance, and never been to Austin, Texas I highly recommend considering flying or driving to this event. Many of you might have a strong opinion of Texas but I can create an endless list of why Austin is one of the greatest cities in the country. One of the best ways to describe Austin is by comparing it to New Orleans except it’s WAY CLEANER and super progressive compared to the rest of Texas. It’s the live music capital of the US and for good reason. There are tons of quality venues, bars, bands, DJs, etc that reside in the city. It’s also quite cheap and filled with tons of educated young people who attend The University of Texas.
If you’re reading this. Thank you for what you have done for the electronic music community. I think I’m speaking on behalf of all your fans. We want another downtempo release (feel free to make it another surround sound album).
For more details visit the Cirque de L’amour FB event page.
Also if you plan on attending be sure to say Hi if you see me =)
If you need some convincing on why this man is one of the most talented.. Click this to stream one of the greatest pieces of music created in my opinion, Broken Soul Jamboree.
I have a very personal love for Greg Jones’s music. He lives in my hometown of Santa Cruz, California and I have seen him play countless times, mostly at small bars and our much loved outdoor parties, more commonly referred to as renegades. Known originally as Grizzly J, he was easily one of my favorite local DJs; never disappointing me in a set, never sounding like the person before or after him, and always keeping me dancing from start to finish. Eventually I started to notice his original productions. Tracks like his “Totoro” Remix and “Stardust” genuinely impressed me with their melodic and whimsical feel. Enamored with his somewhat distinctly Bay Area sound, I soon realized he was going to become an important part of the local bass community.
A couple years down the road, a name change, and a jump in popularity later, G Jones is making some of my favorite music out there. His work in 2012 landed him a spot on both me and Afro Monk’s top of the year lists. His latest EP “Transmissions”, released on the wonderful MalLabel Music is a fantastic mix of heartfelt melodies, thick basslines, and hyphy undertones. “Heart Cave VIP” took a quick lead for my favorite track, as I had fallen in love with it in his excellent New Originals 2012 Mix last summer, but by my second or third listen, the complex movement and glitchy aesthetic of “Kretek” had me sold. Oh, and did I mention there’s a freaking Widdler remix on there?
G Jones’s live sets are a mix of epic originals and really well chosen works of others. I was lucky enough to see him perform last weekend at a great warehouse party in Tacoma, Washington and it was probably my favorite set I’ve seen so far in 2013. I highly recommend checking him out if he’s on the bill of a show you’re attending. Or even better, try and get your favorite local promoter to book him now, cause I know this kid is only going up from here.
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!