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Lucidity – A Transformational Experience feat. Optimystic Media Interview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t cut out the watermarks.

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

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Afro Monk Mix Series – 002 – spacegeishA

time March 18th by Sofia authorTags: , , , ,

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Presenting Vol 002 of our ‘Afro Monk Mix Series’ featuring: spacegeishA!

Artwork: Supersillyus

spacegeishA spirals down to Earth to bring forth mind-expansive experiences through complex soundwaves. She fuses a myriad of ancient and futuristic melodies including glitch, glitch-hop, cave bass, psychedelic bass, tribal, breaks, dubstep, psydub, progressive, house, and more.

Doubling as the Label Director at Street Ritual, her taste is refined to cutting edge mid and high tempo psychedelic bass music. With a release catalogue of over 100 albums representing USA, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, and more; she represents the underground across the globe. spacegeishA enchants artists across the globe working in Artist Relations and Talent Buying for a wide range of international events including Enchanted Forest, Symbiosis, BOOM Festival, Burning Man, & many more. Withholding an eclectic knowing of forth-moving and ground-breaking auditory sensations, she creates feels of depth through eclectic tempo designs and fusions composed of genre-blending and picturesque soundscapes. She lands here on Earth solely to provide ethereal explorations for your auditory pleasure; sure to help any listener resonate with far out vibrations. Step into a known dimension of timelessness as you glide seamlessly through bass growls and intricate beat patterns.

Category: Afro Monk Mixes, Bass, Downtempo, Glitch Hop, Mid Tempo, Mixes, Music, News, Psychedelic, Reviews | commie No Comments »

Numatik – Enseñame [ Benefit for Cloud Forest Conservation Initiative ]

time March 15th by Sofia authorTags: , , , , ,

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Numatik releases “Enseñame” EP on Merkaba Music. An intentional approach and benefit for “Cloud Forest Conservation Initiative “, “Enseñame” (“Teach Me” in Spanish ) which reveals 3 in-depth/profound tracks: 1 original by Numatik, 1 remix of the original, “Eseñame”, by Liquid Bloom, and 1 chill mix by Kalya Scintilla. Filled with organic and ambient roots, these tunes are their prayers of the Earth. 100 % of the profits will be donated to the CloudForest Conservation Initiative in Guatemala. Through these frequencies, experience soothing and meditative states through rhythmic vibes, melodic depth, organic nourishment, and ancient production – an overall collaborative atmosphere. Art by Francis McKeon – Aeonic Art!

Original track recorded & produced by Numatik features vocals written and sang by Natalia Clavier (from Thievery Corporation), Acoustic Guitar – David Brown (of Rising Appalachia), African Drums – Biko Casini (of Rising Appalachia), Percussion – Trey Crispen, & Vocal Mixing – Anthony Thogmartin.  “Enseñame – Liquid Bloom remix” features Alvin Young – Bass. Ixchel Prisma – voice , Rara Avis – voice, & Amani Friend – shakers, percussion, remix production

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These songs are our prayers of gratitude and respect to the Earth today.
May we remember her land as our own flesh and her forests as our own lungs.
Through our music, may we hear her heartbeat.

Category: Bass, Downtempo, Music, News, Reviews | commie No Comments »

Sonic Geometry – Sunken Cities (Feat. Second Species) [ Artist Spotlight ]

time March 8th by Sofia authorTags: , , , , , , ,

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Sonic Geometry – Sunken Cities (feat. Second Species) [ EDM.com Premiere ] on March 7th, 2016.

On March 15th, 2016, Sonic Geometry will be releasing his first official debut EP, “Islands of the Blessed”, on Street Ritual. A departure from SG’s previous singles of rock-fueled, glitch & electro-funk, Sonic G takes us on a chillout and psychedelic expedition into an astral dive where an amalgamation of deep sub bass, exotic melodies, rich textures, alluring rhythms, & guitar leads come to life. Echoing, layered, & aquatic atmospheres reveal a new found vision as lucid triggers are felt within emotive and spiritual elevations – it’s an entrance into timelessness. Experience a transformational shift through sonic time travel, experience a fresh and evolving state where ambience will trigger conscious & creative breakthroughs.

“Islands of the Blessed is the debut EP release from Sonic Geometry. A departure from SG’s previous singles of rock-fueled electro-funk, this EP is an escape to a celestial sea where an alluring blend of aquatic sounds and ambient melodic textures create an elevating and pensive atmosphere. Themes of love, dreams, and catharsis travel across expanses of space-time in ships of our imagination, weaving their way through electro-organic layers in a deep ocean that reflects our own emotional and spiritual transformation. ” – Sonic Geometry

Category: Afro Monk Exclusives, Artist Spotlight, Downtempo, Future, Music, News, Psychedelic, Reviews | commie No Comments »

The Untz Festival [ 1st Annual Extravaganza ]

time March 8th by Sofia authorTags: , , , , , , , ,

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The Untz Festival is here.  The creators of an underground and fresh web-magazine, The Untz (founded in 2009), are hosting their first annual “The Untz Festival” at the Mariposa Fairgrounds in Mariposa, California from June 2nd – 4th, 2016.  Built on a foundation on connecting, they align the electronic music community of fans, artists, and promoters.  A collaborative experience and interactive approach with their artists and promoters, they allow them to add information and music to be discovered and heard!   Being an avid reader for years now, I am happy to see a new vision, extension, and real life experience has arrived .  All ticketing include walk-in-camping upgrades, so be sure to arrive early to take on this opportunity! The Untz Festival.

Experience a dope, fresh, and underground experience in soothing temperature’s of 80’s during daylight and 50’s at night, an in-depth uplift is approaching.  A stellar lineup has been announced, I am eager to see The Untz Festival continue to inject ideas in the industry and expand underground visions into the mainstream.

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Dope lineup.  Legends such as Kalya Scintilla & Eve Olution, The Desert Dwellers, Mr. Bill, Merkaba, Kaminanda, Treavor Moontribe, Amani, & Illenium will be gracing transcending soundscapes and providing fresh sets as they always create a vivid and ever-growing experience.  Rising artists such as Marvel Years, Tribone, Dynohunter, Sixis, Blunt Force, CharlesTheFirst, Outersect, LabRat, and more will be revealing fresh feels throughout the weekend.  I dig that the lineup is diverse in style and genres, you have everything from electronic to live expeditions in realms of psytrance, bass, dubstep, word music, glitch, glitch hop, live electronica, downtempo, and future funk!

The Untz is also hosting The Untz Challenge:  two winners of the Untz Challenge VII will be playing at 7 major music festivals across five months!  Those festivals include Summer Camp Music Festival, The Untz Festival, SONIC BLOOM, Electric Forest, ARISE Festival, Imagine Music Festival, and Backwoods Music Festival! ORIGINAL tracks can be submitted beginning February 29th, and we will continue to accept submissions until March 18th at 11:59 pm PST. MORE INFO CLICK HERE

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Mindful Massive

time January 8th by Sofia authorTags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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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

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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.

Ryan, aka: Irieyes, Founder of Mindful Massive | Stage design: Mindful Massive

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Discover sounds of the Mindful Massive crew:

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Majestic Ent & EC Presents: The Road to Sonic Bloom: Bluetech, IAMNOBODI, ProJect Aspect, The Digital Connection

time January 6th by Sofia authorTags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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Majestic Entertainment & Euphonic Conceptions Present:  The Road To SONIC BLOOM featuring Bluetech, IAMNOBODI, Project Aspect, and The Digital Connection!  Taking place on January 14th in Denver, CO at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom, this is as fresh as it gets on the regular out in the mountains!  Leading the industry in Colorado, and outside states, both of these communities will continue to inject fresh talent into the music industry. I remember experiencing endless Cervantes and EC Presents shows back when I used to reside in Colorado during their years of developing stages (2007 – 2011). Ticketing: Limited Availability

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.

Bluetech sound:

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.

Stay Connected w/ Majestic Entertainment and Euphonic Conceptions

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The Goal of Afro Monk

time December 22nd by John-Michael authorTags: None

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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

– JM

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Afro Monk Resurrection

time December 14th by John-Michael authorTags: None

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It’s time.

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!

<3

JM aka Afro Monk

 

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Tipper – Its Like EP

time November 2nd by Sofia authorTags: , , , , ,

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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.  

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