Mindful Massive is a collective stemming from South Lake Tahoe, California since 2011. Founded and inspired by Ryan Kandell, aka: Irieyes, they’re known for their eclectic, fresh, and awe-inspiring conscious events, they are known for massive elevating growth, from a event production stand point and from an inside-out experience. The crew also engages in lighting, staging and design, sound, concert touring, and visual craft! Their mission is “to create, inspire, and invent new ways to bring music to the Massive.” I first heard of the Mindful Massive crew Winter of 2014 when I was writing Nas-Ja’s bio!
I was definitely inspired when I was traveling around that region of the U.S.A a few weeks ago, and was lucky enough to check out one of their events which featured Andreilien, Digital Rust, Dubcoling, Oneness, Blue Louie, Nas Ja, Subdocta, & Benjah Ninjah. The stage design was next level, very geometric via laser woodcut creation, two stages made for an ever growing experience as hundreds of music lovers danced away. A spectrum of kaleidoscopic lighting and psychedelic visuals were present, as they featured mind-altering visions through dope talent, Fractaled Visions and Sophos collaboration gave a balancing effect that was well received.
Design by Irieyes
Sound was of high quality, smooth, crisp, and mind-expanding feel.Overall, the evening was an experience to be remembered. If you’re in California, or anywhere else in the United States, I highly suggest checking out one their gatherings as they’re as fresh as it gets. Mindful Massive is expanding their concert tour, so don’t be surprised if you start seeing this collective growing through the nation. Aside Mindful Massive, Ryan has recently jumped on board with the Re:Evolution family as a Talent Agent. His networks have been of continuous collaboration and growth, I’m eager to see the projects that Ryan continues to build within the artistic and creative underground.
Bluetech set I can already predict will be very lucid, elevating, and legendary. Stoked on my first IAMNOBODI’s set as I’m a fan of the Soulection crew. Looking forward to Project Aspect live set in a hot minute, I’m sure he will throw down some magic. I am especially stoked to check out my friend Ricky’s (The Digital Connection) set as he always impresses! I haven’t experienced a live set since his last one in Austin, TX, stoked to listen some new , esp that new drippy downtempo ( Chasing The Midnight Sky release). Present now speaking, I am embarking on a continued journey into my old stomping grounds, Boulder, Colorado, next week for the rest of Winter and am eager to experience a Cervantes show (Denver) for the first time in a few years.
Sonic Bloom’s initial lineup will be revealed on January 11th, so be sure to stay tuned, as they are known for giving light to rising talent stemming from all over the underground electronic scene. Having already announced 2 nights with the legendary Tipper, they are expected to gear growth through innovation and consistent lineups full of dope, eclectic, and underground gems.
Sonic Bloom 2015
Listen to The Digital Connection – Chasing The Midnight Sky ( released September 2015 ) out on Gravitas. Experience a full-length album, 10 tracks, full of fresh downtempo feels, Ricky Shine is continually perfecting his craft. Embodying fresh underground talent with eclectic creation through music production, he always puts forward a next level phase. The chillout side of The Digital Connection is immersed with emotive depth, acoustic instrumentation, psychedelic vibes, and bass magic.
The past few days I’ve spent a lot of time thinking what I would want to accomplish with the website back in action. I’ve had numerous talks with Sofia about it.
At its core it’s a place where music is showcased. There are hundreds of music blogs out there and obviously want our site to have a unique theme to set it apart. The reason I started the blog in the first place was to have an outlet for sharing music but also to fill the void of a break up. It eventually became almost like my own personal journal. The post were more about telling a story or account of meeting the producer and describing who they were to me. It’s crazy to think that some 7 years have gone by now.
Reflecting on everything and thinking ahead, I’ve decided to make the website be more of a story again. Speaking about the music more in a personal way versus a technical writing piece. It’s so common to have a detailed album review. I want Afro Monk to be more of a journal. Expect rants, commentary, thoughts, ideas, and all sorts of nonsense about different topics. I let Sofia know that and to embrace her creative side with the website as well.
I want people to be aware that this is what I foresee the website to be as I reconnect with it. I also want to thank all the people who have shared their stories with me over the years. Starting the website changed my life and brought so many new people into my life. I’m looking forward to meeting new people again as well as reconnecting with the old.
It has been a rough 2015 for me. I think I’m finally getting back to a stable emotional place in my life and excited to be back. 2016 is definitely going to be refreshing to bring in. I have high hopes for AfroMonk.com.
Thank you all for the support over the years. You have no idea how much it means to me. The blog was never meant for money, fame, sex, popularity, or ego. It’s a place where I could express myself freely. Thank you for supporting that and reading my emotional out pours <3
I’ve stepped away from the website due to some technical issues that arose. There were too many things going on in my life at the time to address them. Thankfully with my incredible developer we migrated everything over to new hosting.
The golden age of music blogs has ended. There was a time where music blogs where were people found new music. I can’t thank every person enough when they approach me and thank me for introducing them to X producer or DJ.
My initial thought of overhauling AfroMonk.com was to bring something new and adapt to modern look and feel. I’ve decided to wait to see what the initial response is of this return. There are many possibilities I’ve been considering for 2016 but lets see what the future holds. The website will stay in the same fashion when first launched for now.
2015 was a dark time for me and looking forward to reconnecting with the music community. I recently lost all my music and Ableton projects. Rebuilding my collection from scratch will inherently be reflected on the producers and music that will be featured going forward. Please feel free to reach out to me personally if you’ve worked with me in the past. I’ll be looking to hear how your music has evolved over the years.
I also want to announce that I’m naming Sofia the editor of the blog. I’ll be looking to her to set the tone of the blog again. She was doing a great job before the website starting encountering issues.
Thank you again for all your support over the years and hope to bring you some music you’ll enjoy in 2016!
Tipper releases “Its Like” EP on October 14th, 2015 on Tippermusic. Nu skool breakbeats set the theme for this release as it’s fused in with a leading funky, heavy bass, downtempo, and midtempo beats and feels – an overall experimental electronic experience. I dig how all of Tipper’s releases always go specifically unannounced and unexpected, a mystery slowly unraveling itself from the get-go. Creating endless suspense, leading intriguement, and fresh innovation to his sound presentation, our ear pineals are in treat for more glitchy feels in comparison to a more downtempo approach earlier in 2015 – Fathoms EP. Tipper’s gestures are legendary in variety as he’s truly an authentic master for various themes: intricate sound design, flawless melodies, ethereal soundscapes, hard hitting drums, mixdown, & live focus.
“Its like” EP consists of four-track escapes into glitch hop feels: Its Like, Distal, Table Flipping VIP, and Flares At Dawn. “Its LIke” is a funky fresh glitch hop beat introduction as it reveals the theme to the EP – glitchy breakbeat. Turntablism takes a leading role in this track as crescendos and squish beats give of a glowing effect of brain strategization through alien gestures. “Distal” is trickling melodic beats of intertwining rhythmic and glitchy soundscapes through intentional taste and variety. Melodies on melodies on fresh fuse together to create an elaborate effect as elevating crescendos groove into discovery. “Table Flipping VIP” takes on a percussive role as its like a re-lived experienced and new vision of the original “Table Flipping” track he released on his EP, Forward Escape. Illuminating and geometrical sound design over exceeds the gift of creation. “Flares at Dawn” is a more downtempo approach than the latter – an ambient meditation can be felt as soothing synth effects expose in-depth yuminess. It’s as if angelic drones through instrumentation is displayed in higher consciousness.
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 keyboardistEartha 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.
•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]
Kaminanda (of Re: Evolution booking) released “Liminal Spaces” on June 17th, 2014 on a forth moving conscious label based in Australia – Merkaba Music.Liminal Spaces is a journey into the nearest distant star and back into the future, it is a transition. A futuristic ancient ritual, a maze of the found, a blanket of stardust, a discovery of a universe, a foreshadow of the unthinkable. I’ve had the pleasure of catching Kaminanda’s sets multiple times since my discovery of his blessed sound-waves at Sonic Bloom 2012, and I will continue to do so. I befriended him one year later at my friend Kati’s (Hibri Designs) birthday party in San Antonio, TX and was brought to life as he sprinkled glitter sparkles on my forehead. His live performances and stellar dance moves are magically uplifting as they will leave you in a transcendent state where time is forgotten, and the mind will become more clear as his deep psychedelic dubs and organic yet tribal journeys will breeze in through you leaving you feeling fresh and in an awakened state. Shout out to Francis Mckeon for the breathtaking artwork!
This uplift of audible soothingness consists of seven lengthy spiritually galactic cosmic wonders: “Moment to Moment”, “Elements”, “Opal Eyez”, “Empathic Spaces”, “Mystery School”, “The Jade Palace”, and “Euphoric Stillness”. Moment to Moment is initiated by a crescendo of melodic glare accompanied by drum and snare. A symphony of differentiating auditory drum composition which tell a story of the importance of every moment to moment, and each journey within it felt through glitch twirls. Elements is a tropical dreamscape of nature bird calls wrapped in psychedelic whomps. Each beat gives light to the next making it a heart-felt moment to treasure accompanied by vocals by Atreyu Harvest Moon.Opal Eyez has a very lively melodic feel to it with plenty of tribal instrumentation which fade in and out. Are you ready for a drive into infinity? Glitch frequencies illuminate a different feel, making it an unforgettable tale which teleports me into the eyes of the Opal, the national gemstone of Australia. Empathic Spaces has an organic galactic sound to it, gentle whomps blend well with the rhythmic downtempo sensual vibes. Bright future for endless possibilities.
Mystery School is an upbeat psychedelic journey. Atmospheres and landscapes full of organic tempos create visions of lively heart beats. Tribal theme sounding melodies and brass instrumentation will bring forth energies meant to heal. The Jade Palace is deep mystical glitch hop space heaven initiated by Buddhist gongs, bells, and chants. The melody and beat to this tune is nourishing and oriental-esque, and will ignite new dance moves. Welcome to The Jade Palace. Euphoric Stillness is glitch euphoria at its finest. Feels of downtempo wonders will enter your brain waves, and spiritual water glitch wurbbles will clear passages and expand breakthroughs, creating a deep shamanic ritual cleanse. The incorporation of Gemma Luna’s voice adds to the heavenly feels of this magical tune.
Kaminanda is a spiritual shamanic sound guide who wants to show you possibilities of not only endless dimensions, but of endless encounters in spaces. Composed of sacred geometrical alignments, this alien being will ignite fresh new beginnings within you. With “Liminal Spaces”, he will create deep dub psychedelic realms and tribal glitch frequencies full of wonders that will ultimately open the mind’s eye. Yes, the third eye – the gateway to higher levels of consciousness. He’s hit countless festivals and performances this summer and will continue to do so. He will be at The Parish here in Austin, TX on Friday, July 11th, so be sure not to miss an uplifting experience sure to create an experience within itself.
Sonic Bloom 2014, the Unified Field, will be taking place at a new location, The American Safari Ranch in South Park, Colorado for its 9th annual gathering, an electrifying experience waiting to happen. Sonic Bloom was my first music camping festival, an initial inspiration into my musical journey – a trigger of transformational light. This is honestly, hands down, THE festival to experience during the Summer. Not only does it consistantly showcase forth moving and ground breaking talent, but it is an eye-opening experience both inside and out. It is a transformational gathering destined to nourish the mind, body, and soul. Aside it’s stellar musical lineup this year, they will also be hosting, as always, a wide-variety of unique features such as live painting, performance art, yoga, movement, speakers & workshops! Tickets are moving, time is passing, the moment is approaching…let’s all bloom creatively this summer!
Four predominant and forth moving headliners were announced in this vibrant lineup, a futuristic blessing: Tipper, Shpongle, Eoto, & Opiuo! Tipper will be performing TWO sets, his only appearance in Colorado in 2014, so don’t miss out on this special synchronicity of uplifting sound waves- he is known for his mastery of electronic music ranging from mid-tempo, glitch hop to downtempo melodic composition and recently released a new album “Forward Escape“…so come out and listen to his latest sounds in a sweet sound setting provided by the largest Funktion-One sound system to ever be showcased in Colorado. Along his set, will be the LEGENDARY visual artists Android Jones & Johnathan Singer…is this real life? Shpongle (Simon Posford Dj Set), of Twisted Records, was the final headliner announced, the perfect addition. I’ve caught his dj sets a couple times, and he never fails to satisfy with his downtempo yet psychedelic sound waves that will open new gateways within you. I am so stoked on Eoto, and so should you. Eoto, the dubstep duo that is 100% improvisational – a mix of organic sounds of live drums, bass, and guitar through a variety of programs come together to create a unique experience, and consists of members of The String Cheese Incident- Michael Travis and Jason Hann. Opiuo, a blooming funk and bass producer who has given me the ultimate brain massage every time is currently on tour, “World Tour”, and his mid stop is in CO – I caught him recently here in Austin, TX and experienced yet another fresh set.
Over 100 more artists will be performing at this years BLOOM. The entire lineup is too fresh, it consists of a plethora amount of rare talent surrounding the Zilla, Re:Evolution, familymoons, Merkaba Music, and sub.mission families. Such artists are continually rising from today’s national/international conscious electronic music scene: The Polish Ambassador, the premiere of Michal Menert Big Band, Zilla, OTT, Random Rab, Quantic (live band), Zion I, Break Science, Benji Vaughan (Younger Brother Dj Set), Quixotic, Vibesquad, Kalya Scintilla ft. Eve Olution, Desert Dwellers, Zoogma, Dopapod, Kaminanda, Mr. Bill, Supervision, Bird of Prey, Paul Basic, Fort Knox Five, Janover & Resunator, The Human Experience, Dirtwire, & Merkaba. I honestly can’t wait for The Sonic Bloom Orchestra which will feature a collaborative performance with names such as Eoto, Break Science, Zilla, ill-esha, Kaminanda, etc. The rest of the bill still showcases VERY talented up and coming national and international artists, so be sure to look out for: Skytree, Whitebear, Polar Vortex (a new audio-visual collab project from ill-esha & S∆UCEmonster), Mumukshu, kLL sMTH, Futexture, Deloscinari, Soulacybin, Dubvirus, Shwex, Quanta, Akasha, Psymbionic, D.V.S*, Sunsquabi, Marvel Years, Dynohunter, Michael Garfield, Sixis, andLiving Light. I’m getting all giddy over here just by looking over the lineup and writing about it… it’s like a dreaming state about to hit reality. I’ve had the pleasure of catching a great majority of these artists live within the past few years and I can assure it’s worth your time, both mentally and spiritually. I walked into this scene unexpectedly and am so happy I discovered this community. If you happen to be unfamiliar with this lineup or are only familiar with some of the artists, I highly suggest taking little time to discover something rare that will inspire you and potentially ignite the fire in your life purpose.
Featuring a breathtaking 360 degree mountain panorama and views of the continental divide, the new site in South Park adds to the magical touch of Sonic Bloom. The size of the site will allow for a car camping option, allowing just a short walk from the stage to cars/campsites. There will be an indoor saloon with late-night music and VIP packages will include optional on-site lodging packages. Among the many spaces and zones will be The Oasis Bath-house complete with private hot showers, a woof-fired sauna and Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap “healing hub” where you’re able to kick-back, relax, enjoy the sauna, and get sprayed by delightful smelling soapy foam meant to rinse and cool you down. The Glassblowing Dome by the Colorado Project, the interactive recycled glassblowing demos by the Nectar Collector, Boomtown by Jimmy Bleyer & Temple of Visions, and the Hammock Zone by the Elevated Movement will definitely be lively and interactive. Beyond that, there are numerous amounts of other workshops, yoga classes, speakers, and live painters who will keep you learned and entertained.
A time to consciously unify on a beautiful weekend is approaching, so I hope you are ready for the ultimate life experience full of endless possibilities. Unifying a cast of some of the world’s most electrifying musicians, performers, visionaries, and artists, SONIC BLOOM, is an inspiring showcase of Colorado’s forth moving Conscious Music Scene. It has been credited for helping to break the careers of artists such as Bassnectar, The Glitch Mob, Beats Antique and Pretty Lights, so come out and engage in discovery of some of the most progressive electronic innovators and live electronic acts with styles that are out of this universe. Words can’t express how excited I am to return to a place that initially inspired me and will continue to inspire me. Thank you Jamie Janover and the whole Zilla and Sonic Bloom family for making this possible.
Watch Android Jones create the album art for the new Dave Tipper album “Forward Escape” in this time-lapse video:
Proud to present the Afro Monk press release on Emissions Festival 2014!
Emissions is one of our favorite festivals here at Afro Monk. Check out what Tara had to say about last year’s event here! AND We love Emission so much, we’re also giving out TWO free tickets! Check HERE for more information on the contest!
Camp ? has graced the West Coast with so many amazing parties and events over the years, not to mention five legendary Emissions and some seriously epic Burning Man camps. I am super grateful for what they have contributed to the community and love to support them in any way. Their brainchild, Emissions, is a one of a kind festival that I look forward to every year. It’s relatively small in number, keeping it quite intimate; it’s casual, yet well organized; and it’s high energy, heavy hitting array of bass music is unmatchable. The family vibe is strong, seen and felt in abundant smiles, laughs, and hugs; the music is fresh and poppin all day; and the PK rig, BANGIN, to say the least.
It is being held for it’s second year at the lovely Belden Town, an adorable mini town nestled in the Feather River Canyon in Northern California. Belden is an excellent host for festivals with it’s shady camping and flowing river. The beach stage is an awesome space and I can’t wait be to kickin it there listening to bomb music in what’s sure to be gorgeous weather. Mmmm….perfection.
Emissions’ lineup this year has shaped up to be, in my opinion, their best ever. I love and admire Camp ?’s dedication to bass music. They’re not trying to be overly trendy or #toofuture4you, nor are they adhering to what seems to be the standardized festival lineup we have become oh too familiar with on the west coast. They’ve instead done what hardly anybody else has been able to really grasp thus far this summer and created, simply, a solid lineup of high quality producers and DJ’s that are killing it right now. Let’s look closer at some of those artists:
Doshy: Long before I became a writer for Afro Monk, I was an avid reader of the blog. JM (Afro Monk)’s posts introduced me to a ton of music in 2010-2011, but by far the best discovery I ever made from the blog was the introduction to bass music producer Doshy. Hailing from Germany, this is Doshy’s first ever U.S. appearance! This a huge deal to me, being a crazy fan of Doshy since JM’s article in 2011, and I was starting to think I would never catch him live in the U.S. I’m sure there’s a grip of other Doshy fans feeling the same way. Sure to be a highlight of the weekend.
Deltron 3030: A man who needs no introduction, Bay Area native, Deltron, is the perfect headliner for this event. The influence of hip hop on bass music is evident in the work of essentially everyone on this bill, so I think it’s definitely crucial to have such a prominent and incredible rapper headlining. His most recent album has a super fun, higher energy feel throughout so I’m sure his set will be super tight(of course I’m hoping he’ll play hella from Deltron 3030 though!)
NastyNasty: A bay area bass music scene legend and one of my favorite producers of all time, NastyNasty sets have been a consistently amazing part of my experience within the west coast electronic music scene for 4+ years now. A cultivator of science fiction influenced sound design and polyrythmic soulfuness, his unique take on bass music is always on that next level tip. His live sets are flawless and always a great time. Can’t wait for his set!
G Jones: Anyone who reads Afro Monk regularly is well versed in the work of G Jones. I consider him to be at the forefront of the West Coast bass music sound, killing it harder than pretty much anyone right now. I love his music and am always impressed with new releases. His performance is sure to be one of the best of the weekends and you can catch him a second time alongside Minnesota.
Starkey + Dev79: What can I even say about Starkey?? His signature Street Bass sound defines everything I love about future bass music and his live sets have been some of the hardest I’ve danced in my life. I’m super stoked to see him alongside Dev79, who I have yet to see live. Unmissable for sure!
DJ Pound: Another proprietor of the “street bass” sound, DJ Pound is sure to be a seriously epic set. I’m really stoked on this booking and to get to catch some of DJ Pound’s monstrous tunes played by the creator himself on a PK system. Associated with some of the most forward thinking and respectable labels in the game, Seclusiasis and Saturate , DJ Pound has been making moves this last year and his music speaks for itself.
Perkulat0r: I was just recently introduced to the sounds of Perkulat0r when he played a show in Seattle and I can assure you he’s not to be slept on. I would consider him to be one of the most exciting up and comers in the scene, rockin an already highly developed sound, reminiscent of the type of glitch hop I used to really love but don’t hear as much anymore. Don’t miss this one!
Quarry: Dark, dreary, beautiful Quarry. I frequently go through phases where I lean towards darker sounds and Quarry’s post-sad aesthetic fits in perfectly with my current obsession with that feel. I was stoked to see him on this lineup and can’t wait to get catch his set!
Some more artists I look forward to seeing are The Widdler, Bleep Bloop, Boats, Cestladore, J:Kenzo, Guttstar, Hypha, Smashletooth, The Pirate, Pressha, Intellitard, VNDMG, Yheti, Son of Kick, Bogl…realistically I could go on and on, as the talent is rich this year and the lineup is nothing short of stacked! And as usual, the Bay Area and Northern California are being represented in their fullest majestic form by everyone from the headliners to the local favorites. Big ups West Coast artists and everyone else coming through for the event. And huge ups to Camp ? on their epic choice in lineup.
This is sure to be one for the books! Tickets available now but selling fast! First and Second tier already sold out, so get on the third ASAP. You can buy tickets here and follow the Emissions Event Page for information and updates on the event. And as mentioned before, don’t forget we are doing a contest for two tickets! This festival is not too be missed and entering only takes a sec! ENTER HERE!
Euphoria Music & Camping Festival is back this year with a whole new and re-amped look, a futuristic mind set, and a fresh new feel. Taking place the weekend of April 25th-26th at a new location, Carson Creek Ranch, the master minds of Vivid Sound Entertainment, Inside OutPresents, and Havin’ a Ball Productions have you covered with a whole new experience. Kevin Woods, a Co-Owner of Euphoria and founder of Inside Out Presents, sets his expectations:
“This year, expect to see a lot more live music, live art, yoga, workshops and art installations. We’ve been working really hard to provide Euphorians with an experience unlike anything they’ve seen before.”
Aside from an incredible and forth moving music lineup and a variety of key features, Euphoria will be hosting a camping environment for the very first time. This mixture of collaborative efforts has transformed and brought light to Euphoria’s third year with major diverse headliners already announced earlier this year: Beats Antique, Lotus, Zeds Dead, and Gareth Emery, and predominant acts such as Bonobo (DJ Set), Koan Sound, BoomBox, Singularity, The Motet, The Floozies, Bro Safari, Keys ‘N Krates, Luke the Knife, DVS*, Eminence Ensemble, SunSquabi, Late Night Radio and much more.
The second round of the music lineup was recently announced on Thursday, March 6th and my heart was instantly filled with music love. Artist additions include a wide variety of talented acts such as: The Crystal Method, MAKJ, Styles and Complete, Opiuo, Crash Alchemy, Earphunk, Daft Phunk, Yonic, and The Magic Beans. Let’s rewind a little bit…The Crystal Method, the electric music pioneers, will be making their first North American festival appearance of 2014, so get ready for some old-school break beats. Earphunk and Earphunk plays Daft Phunk aresure to put on unique and vibrant performances and will bring the funk out of you, these guys are truly something special and I can’t wait to see them live once again. A favorite producer of mine that is sure to give you the ultimate brain massage with his syrupy bass sauce and funk is that of Opiuo. I had the pleasure of catching one of his live sets when he toured with VibeSquaD in 2012 and I can attest that he will give your feet the dance of a life time.
A plethora of local favorites in the Austin, TX community has also given this roster more love and light. Local producers/dj’s such as Blunt Force, Cactus Bath, Brede, and DJ Manny are not to be missed as each of them will bring with them distinct and fresh sounds surrounding genres of glitch, bass, psychedelic, and downtempo beats. I’ve seen each of these artists multiple times since living in Austin and they’ve got me hooked with their fresh sets – never failing to entertain the crowd with their creativity. Live acts such as: A Live One, Dimitri’s Ascent, Holding Space, and TranscontinentalTrip will bring powerful sounding vibes, so be prepared to be mind blown. Do you all like Phish? A Live One is a Phish tribute band and they are on point when it comes to recreating their musical improvisation, extended jams, and blending of musical genres. Dimitri’s Ascent brings forth a celestial explosion of pure expressive art . They perform a wide variety of instrumental/vocal music ranging from jazz, disco, funk, rock, and electronica. Holding Space will transcend and fill up the Euphoria space with their powerful yet innovative style and bring light to your consciousness. Be sure not to miss Transcontinental Trip as they never fail to impress with their live sets, bringing with them loads of energy and funky grooves.
Euphoria Music & Camping Festival 2014 has a multitude amount of surprises and love in store for us, so be sure to get your camping pass as they are on capacity to selling out. A collaboration of creative minds came together and have brought an incredible music lineup full of fresh international, national, and local acts mixed with numerous visual artists and workshops which will be released in detail soon. Taking place in a new location, Carson Creek Ranch is one of the oldest existing ranches in Texas consisting of two 20-acre pastures separated by Carson Creek on the banks of the Colorado River. Conveniently located just minutes from Downtown Austin, the grounds provide a picturesque camping setting while still being close to the comforts of the city. Come get down at the “Live Music Capital of the World” on April 25th-26th, 2014 to experience cutting edge visuals, unique stage design, improved dance tents, top of the line talent, wide variety of work shops, and creative live visual artists. A sunny weekend sure to bring a one of a kind experience for all of us.