Isn’t it all about music that makes you feel alive? Music that evokes cognizance, music that invigorates you, music that immediately fills in any cracks in your spirit? Tycho has always done a stellar job at fabricating lush and refined melodies that sooth the soul; his new release, Awake, is the quintessence of this. It’s almost as though he can transform emotions into music, manifesting aural sensations that go beyond the eardrum. The exhilaration flips vice versa as well… While listening through this album your sentiments change from lively to mellow or cold to warm, depending on the track. You can tell that Scott Hansen put it all in while making this album; it speaks directly from his heart. His aim isn’t to impress the masses but rather to use music as his creative avenue for living life in its entirety. That’s how music should be.
“Awake”, out March 18 on Ghostly Recordings, is impeccably orchestrated from start to finish; I appreciate its concision and ephemeral nature. You have just the right amount of time to soak in the transient brilliance of the release without over-thinking how it makes you feel. The track “Awake” is stunningly simple and invites you to gently close your eyes and fall into the music. I love “See”; it makes my heart flutter a bit with its ambient effervescence. “Apogee” is a bit more melancholy yet also sprinkled with bright notes. The entire album is vibrant and each track is a unique puzzle piece to the cohesive whole. Listening to this release makes me nostalgic for days spent driving through rolling California coastal hills with nothing better to do than explore Mother nature’s treasures, daydream, ponder our existence, and simply let go. Let yourself surrender and awaken – check out Tycho’s Awake here.
There is no denying the awesomeness of mixes. Put one on and float away on a roller coaster of delight without having to put thought toward what is next. There’s always that perfect mix for a road trip while driving by rolling landscapes or seasides or through the redwoods, another while prepartying and getting hyped up for a show with friends, another while lounging with some bomb food and a doobie by candlelight… You name it. I love the juxtaposition of light and dark that a lot of great mixes play around with. These are some of my favorites lately; tune on in! Most of them are free mixes that are great to add to your mobile library. So, without further ado:
ODESZA -NO.SLEEP Mix Series I have been really digging ODESZA’s style (one of my favorite sets at Symbiosis ’13 too). It’s the best when you’re really feeling certain producers and then they release mixes – easy listening made even easier! Their NO.SLEEP mix series is a nice blend of instrumental hip hop vibes, fun trappy tunes, and lovely melodies. They are about to go on tour; I definitely suggest catching them at the city nearest to you!
Subdocta – “Heartbreak Lullabyes” Mix I love this mellow mix done masterfully by the homie Subdocta, perfect for a stormy day or times of reflection. My favorite thing is discovering new great tunes while listening mixes; I was very stoked to hear “A Baru In New York (Flume Remix)- Yolanda Be Cool & Gurrumul” for the first time while tuning in to this. I also love his quote: “You can’t start a new chapter if you don’t turn the page.”
MiHKAL – LiVE at CoSM I can never get enough of MiHKAL’s sultry, flowy sets. This one makes me feel like I’m going on a cosmic journey to Alex & Allyson Grey’s The Chapel of Sacred Mirrors in NYC, where it was recorded on the Winter Solstice.
STWO: From Paris with Love French producer STWO has been absolutely crushing it lately; I have been seeing him pop up all over the place. With good reason, too! This chilled out mix features some other up and coming French producers… check it out. I imagine listening while eating a crepe and sipping coffee at a Parisian corner cafe (as cliche as that is).
Afro Monk – Late Night Sessions 009 – Bliss Soak in Afro Monk’s auditory euphoria with this mix. I enjoy all of the Late Night Sessions he has been putting out; they remind me of tranquil nights spent with friends and loved ones talking about life, existence, and truths. Intoxicating.
JOKER – Winter Mix JOKER never got out of the game. I used to jam his purple synth-driven tunes regularly and this mix reminds me why. I love his sense of adventure with ranging BPMs and blurring of genres here. I’m beyond excited to see him perform for the first time with MartyParty next week!
Mr. Rooney – Future Strange Mixtape Vol. XXVI I have really been enjoying my friend Mr. Rooney’s style lately, and this mix exemplifies it quite well. Laced with groovy beats, tasteful remixes, and stellar mixing style, this one is satisfying from start to finish. Check out the other Future Strange mixtapes; these kids are doin’ good things!
Ta-Ku – Triple J Friday Mix If this doesn’t put you in the zone then I’m not sure what will… This one is hypnotic and well mixed> Love Ta-Ku’s low-key sexy vibes.
The Widdler – Fall All Original Mix All original mixes are always fun, and this one has a lot of “Oh, WOW” moments. At times it goes hard and heavy and at others evokes totally chilled out bliss. That juxtaposition of light and dark that I was talking about before
Nicoluminous | Exodub – We Got This Mix Series The homie Nico and Exodub keep it fun and fresh with this mix. The incorporation of hip hop, future sounds, and 808 is intriguing and stimulating… check out this straight FIYAH!
The Do LaB presents In the LaB feat. Kaminanda at Coachella 2013 Weekend 1 I was very grateful that The Do LaB posted many of their Coachella sets from last summer for free download. I am a sucker for Kamininda’s style that fuses eclectic percussion, low frequencies, and squishy goodness. Another favorite set from the weekend is jOBOT’s.
I hope you enjoy! I would love to hear back about some of your favorite mixes as I am constantly adding to my listening repertoire. Love and Light
I’m all about soulful, funkadelic tunes with nice electronic elements sprinkled about, so I was delighted when a friend tipped me off to Autograf. Their remixes are stellar; they are expressive and succeed in smoothly blurring the lines between genres. Who needs genres anyway? Stir up a pot of uplifting rhythm, futuristic blips, deep vibrations, and mellow flow and you’ve got Autograf. Their sound is full and hypnotic yet crisp. It’s more on the house-y side than I am usually drawn to, but I am diggin’ their sound. Groove to this!
Dub FX has been on my radar since day one… I remember seeing ridiculous videos of him absolutely killing it busking back in the day. He (deservedly) became a worldwide phenomenon with his incredibly talented looping; he adds layer after layer of beatboxing which eventually culminates in a beautifully intricate and dope beat. He weaves together a story during live busking performances by beatboxing, singing soulfully, and adding pedal effects. You have to watch a video of him – believe me you will be mesmerized by this dude’s abilities. Check it out below. He travels and performs with his fiancée, Flower Fairy (if you hadn’t already been intrigued enough) and together they do everything on a completely independent basis.
I guess I didn’t realize until lately that the Aussie has multi-faceted talents. Not only does he manifest a badass live performance, but he also produces some radical beats in the studio. I love his new album Theory of Harmony; the name is quite fitting as it is feel-good music that encourages togetherness and peace within and without. Dub FX says about the release, “I’ve been traveling so much over the last seven years, meeting people from all continents and all walks of life. I’ve developed a conscious philosophy of peace, positivity, joy and healthful pursuits…”. It shows through his soulful and uplifting music. The lyrics inspire listeners to look at the big picture and see life in a positive light.
Reggae isn’t normally really my thing but Dub FX has managed to make me lean towards that type of sound. Perhaps it’s the pleasant blending of hip hop, reggae, drum and bass, and dub vibes that tugs on my heart strings. This infusion makes me just feel damn good. There is a richness as well as a authenticity about this album that can’t be ignored. Check out Dub FX for some awesome unique tunes that anyone would enjoy – support this talented artist by buying his new album here.
Was Symbiosis a dream? I truly felt that I had to pinch myself throughout the weekend to ensure that what I was experiencing was reality. Well… some sort of twisted, exquisite, surreal reality at least. What does “reality” denote anyways? Symbiosis Gathering encouraged participants to question it, play with it, and create their own universe. All while having the best soundtrack imaginable. Every facet of Symbiosis was a delight and it made me feel the most free I have been. My senses were awakened to a height beyond belief… Just when I thought that my eyes were tricking me because of the astonishing sights, an aromatic enchantment would cross my path. Just following that sweet sweet smell I would hear booming eclectic bass echoing my way. Just as I was drawn to that soul-quenching music I would feel soft blades of grass brushing up against my legs or the refreshing lake water on my skin. This, my friends, is LIFE at its best. I get swollen up with zealous emotion just thinking about the weekend.
I will be honest, I was a skeptic when I first heard that the gathering would take place at a reservoir near Stockton, CA. I imagined smelling cow shit, feeling so hot that I would die, and having to look at brown mounds of dirt. I could not have been further from the truth… Woodward Reservoir was one of the best venues I have been to for a music festival. There were oak trees lacing the lake shores, dainty foothills surrounding the vicinity, and beautiful blue skies. Probably the most wonderful aspect of the location was the crystal-clear lake that was just asking for you to frolic in. During the daytime we all delighted in floating in the rejuvenating waters. We were lucky enough to have a badass lakeshore camping spot, just close to and far enough from the main action.
The stages were all set out on their own sort-of islands as the peninsula was broken up into bubble-like spaces. If you tired of one stage another completely different environment with its own unique mood and ambiance was just a short walk away. The location of Symbiosis was definitely a large part of what made the weekend so amazing. I hope that the rumors I have heard about signing a 5-year contract have some validity; in that case I would feel no qualms about attending each gathering.
One day at Symbiosis the heavens suddenly turned ominous and chatter of an oncoming lightning storm was rampant. The sky indeed was grey and drops began to fall. It then turned into a torrential downpour, forcing us to batten down the hatches and gather at camp. We thought the lovely day might be ruined, but what happened next….. the skies gradually cleared, making for a spectacular sunset followed by a warm jubilant twilight. It felt as if we had all survived the crazy storm together and were bonded even more by this. It was magical!
Music Symbiosis’s lineup was uniquely satisfying. Performances ranged from live all-encompassing concerts to tribal percussive jamborees to booty banging bass to galactic melodic dubs, and then some. Many of my all-time favorites played and I was also stimulated by some previously unknown sounds. This is important for a festival – having the ability to revel in the comfort of those who have nurtured your passion for music but also venture out to experience fresh music with confidence that it will satisfy. Some of my favorite sets of the weekend included Odesza, Lapalux, Phaeleh, STS9, Mount Kimbie, Cashmere Cat, Michael Menert, Kalya Scintilla, and Pumpkin.
The Jabba Barge by night
Probably my favorite moment was while Pumpkin played at the Juke Shack during the sunset after the storm that I spoke of before. The Juke Shack was just what it sounds like – a janky cabin with a disco ball spinning through the window at the top and playful lighting, all surrounded by tall waving blades of grass. Pumpkin’s masterful fun mixing combined with this atmosphere was unbeatable.
I was stoked to camp and kick it with the masterminds who created the Jabba Barge. I had the pleasure of literally barging around on this badass art car with Funktion One sound, rad people, and the best views of the festival from up top. While riding around on the mutant vehicle you feel as if you are voyaging to uncharted lands (or dimensions for that matter) with your comrades. The sound effects made it amusing and delightful. Also, those guys know how to party!
Art was embedded in every inch of Symbiosis. It was almost the flowing lifeblood of the festival, weaving everything together to remind us of the world’s splendor. Everywhere you looked there was beautiful artistry to soak in. Everyone used their unique imaginations and then brought them together to co-create something unbelievable. I particularly enjoyed the expansive mandala of crystals, the Empire of Love stage’s incredible tin can pyramids, the luminous spinning cube calendar, the portals, the climbable wolf installation, and the barbed-wire heart fence with flames. Every creation was breathtaking and thought-provoking.
Overall I was blown away by Symbiosis Gathering; the weekend far exceeded my expectations which frankly does not always happen at music festivals for me anymore. The gathering was like an escape from reality into an alternate universe filled to the brim with beauty, connection, nature, and eternal frequencies.
Yesterday LA based producer, Falcons dropped his debut EP, BirdCall. This talented beat maker already has a grip of super dope remixes and originals on his soundcloud, most with significant attention, so this release definitely had some anticipation behind it, especially after he put the four track EP up for streaming a couple weeks ago.
I’m absolutely loving this EP. Falcons rocks a really unique style, merging club like energy and a soulful jazzy aesthetic with hot hip hop beats. There’s a consistent bouncyness throughout the EP that I’m really feeling, beginning with the first song, “Falcon Eye (Reprise)”, a buttery, flowy beat, as sexy as it is flossy, super reminiscent of late 90’s-early 2000’s R&B vibes but with more futuristic elements. The second track, “Be Quiet” is probably the most clubby of the bunch with whispering samples and bubbly synths laid on a way hyphy beat. Next we have “Cell”, a deliciously smooth beat and probably my favorite of the release. The EP finishes off with the ultra fresh, “2me”, in which he perfectly incorporates vocals from one of my favorite songs ever (hint: “he belongs to mee”). All in all, a well made, fun, and flavorful release that I’m stoked to support. Killer album art too.
I could imagine this is a weird time for hip hop producers. There is a lot of really bad and somewhat shallow productions circulating the internet and freaking like spewing out of DJ’s sets all over the country, many created by producers that have taken a gander at this whole trap movement without recognizing the wide range of elements that make a trap-esque hip hop beat an actual good piece of music. It’s producers like Falcons and the whole crew over at my new favorite label,HW&W, that keep this style so fresh and interesting for me. Falcons covers all the bases in this EP, showcasing both his advanced skills and personal taste. I’ve got a feeling this one is going to be huge on the dancefloors this winter and I look forward to getting really, really down to it.
Welcome to a place filled with endless possibilities– welcome to Art Outside. I say “endless possibilities” because of the immense amount of creativity and inspiration I felt and witnessed this October weekend. The seventh annual music and arts festival that was hosted by Art Seen Alliance took place on October 18th-21st 2013 at Apache Pass, TX – about an hour drive outside of the nation’s music capitol –Austin, Texas. Alongside music and art, other features included: onstage performances, yoga, workshops, and camping, which brought light to this collaborative effort of like-minded individuals.
One of my favorite aspects of this year’s musical lineup was its showcase of a wide variety of musical genres! Walking through the grounds of this family-friendly gathering, my ear-pineal was in for a treat. Dispersed over three stages (The Main Stage, The Dome, and Folk stage) were the sounds of folk, psychedellic, funk, glitch, down tempo, and bass – all which encompassed a soulful approach. Musical acts included both local and national acts such as: Bluetech, Bird of Prey, Brede, Desert Dwellers, Earphunk, Erika Maassen, Flying Balalaika Brothers, Happy Happy James, Ishi, Itchy-O, Kayla scintilla, Kyle Hollingsworth Band, Love & Light, Luminaries, Michael Garfield, Nadis Warriors, One4All, Psymbionic, The Fungineers, The Polish Ambassador, Thriftworks, Wildlight, Zoogma and tons more!
The art installations surrounding the entire campsite were remarkable. There was literally Art Outside. Some favorites included “The Cathedral of Celestial Mathgic”, -an interactive mathematical musical experience like none other designated as the Cafe Portal for Burning Man 2013 and created to expand your mind. Also displayed was visual artist Jason Smith’s (aka Bild ∞D’s, a member of ‘Third Coast Visions’- a collective of live artists) 9-foot watermelon tourmaline installation, which triggered lighting by an RGB LED, creating interchangeable coloring throughout the weekend. Other creative visual artists collaborating throughout the fest included the names of Tourmaline Todd, Miranda Lewis, Todd Bot, Chance Roberts, Michael Garfield, and Erin Guthrie. These Austinite artists live-painted throughout the event -some having their personal art displayed throughout the fest and/or having their art featured in an air art open gallery that was built by the Main Stage.
Aside the music, visuals, and décor, there was more yumminess in store: food and beverages. Favorite meals of mine were the mouth-watering savory and sweet crepes. One could also find themselves devouring on organic and luscious nourishment such as homemade chocolate smoothies, gyros, fruit, veggie meals and other treats. One sweet new feature at this year’s Art Outside fest was a Tea House, which featured rugs for lounging, a very peaceful environment featuring mind-blowing artwork.
I walked out of ArtOutside feeling inspired and rejuvenated. It’s like everyone I interacted with during the fest was feeding off of each other, communicating on another level, and growing together with collaboration. I definitely recommend this local festival to anyone and everyone of all ages, all of my out-of-staters. Come get down in downtown Texas and come experience an intimate setting full of fun, creativity, friends, and talent…but be sure to bring your own piece of the puzzle. Thank you Warren McKinney and the whole Art Seen Alliance crew!
**Check out what some of the visual artist’s at this year’s Art Outside had to say!
“Art Outside is an artist’s paradise, which provides free range to paint whatever, wherever and whenever. It invites patrons to reflect and participate in the experience of the weekend.” -Tourmaline Todd
“It’s rare to feel so at home at a festival but AO really makes you feel like you just don’t want to leave. My favorite part, honestly, was the people –the artists and the guests. They were the most beautiful souls I’ve had the pleasure of co-creating with in a great while (since last year’s AO)…I could go on tirelessly about how brilliant all of the visual art was that I saw on display throughout the grounds and especially inside the gallery. In the meantime, I’ve noticed a resurgence of inspiration and motivation from myself and fellow artists of wanting to prolong the feeling that we shared at AO. I’m sure I speak for many of us when I say that Art Outside was, in fact, a transformational event.” -Todd Bot
“Art Outside 2012 was the first time I had ever built an installation. I went into it feeling very unsure and apprehensive, wondering if I even had any business doing it at all. I left AO feeling very different. I was so welcomed as a new artist and inspired by literally everything, that I couldn’t wait to work harder to be able to contribute more to this electric, eclectic environment. I still feel this urge today and it drives what I do artistically. I adore Art Outside for giving me this… but the best part is… this year.. I was given the pleasure of witnessing the same confidence and inspiration being sown into countless others, and I am beyond proud to be a part of it all. Art on my friends. Art on.” –Jason Smith
“Art for me is all about those feel good endorphins you release when you are doing something that is creative and unique. Laying down colors, images, and patterns that represent my day and night. Dreams are what really gets me going creatively. I juxtapose my inspirations from various artists such as Alphonse Mucha and Gustav Klimt, images I photograph on hikes, and patterns from fabrics that I have collected either physically or digitally. I have chosen painting as a medium because you can even get up to your elbows in it if you need to and really feel the energy. Get messy. Show your process. Cover it up. It’s me that I’m painting in one way or the next. It’s a window. I don’t even know what it means most of the time. And that’s life.” – Miranda Lewis
“I make art because it’s the only thing that feels right, it connects me to things I cant begin to describe in words; sometimes it even looks good and can take other people on the journey with me. There is something to be said in the power of making something with your hands, and then sharing that experience with people; it dissolves barriers and allows you to connect in a very personal way. It’s the only way I know how to open my heart to people, in all honesty. I am beyond blessed with the company I get to share life with, and my art is my offering to all of them; it’s an attempt to raise the vibrations of everyone involved and to help us grow into the best humans we can be.” – Chance Roberts
I was so very pleasantly surprised upon listening to KOAN Sound & Asa’s new release on OWSLA, Sanctuary. The collaboration between KOAN Sound and Asa is genius; by coming together these guys were really able to reach an enhanced level of sound. These guys are taking steps in the right direction…. never before have I seen such a positive evolution from hard-hitting bass to softer, more melodic soundscapes.
When I first listened to Sanctuary pretty much sat there, mouth agape in wonder. I later listened again and soaked in the complexities and beauty of this album. The chill factor of this release is undeniable. It is masterfully produced with sophisticated sound design, exquisite melodies, and thoughtful sampling. You can tell that the album is inspired and from the heart; it tells a story and does indeed serve as a “sanctuary” from the grip of day-to-day life. Kick back and give this release a listen all the way through and notice the sensations and thoughts it evokes in you. The album artwork for this release is also stunning and very well done; it portrays the ethereal state, void of ego, that one may feel while allowing oneself to let go and free the mind.
Found some really great tracks this week that I’d love to share with you all. There is constantly amazing new music being released, but when searching this past week these four tracks stuck out to me admist the hundreds. Hope you enjoy.
Lovers of downtempo will already be familiar with San Francisco producer, Tycho. His soft, pensive sound is well represented in this track from his next release. Pulling tough at the heart strings, this guitar heavy creation is a gorgeous, emotional, and comforting song. Paired with the always stunning album artwork by Tycho himself, this release is sure to be a heart melter.
Chris Brown- Till I Die (LabRat and Jamburglar remix)
Vibey as f*ck remix of Chris brown’s “Till I Die” done by California producers, LabRat and Jamburglar. This track rocks a dynamic combination of heavy gangsterism and smooth hip hop vibes. The majority of the tune is lively and pleasant, but the switch up to a heavyier flavor in the middle works really well and would make this a great song to drop on the dancefloor.
This man can do no wrong. Kaytranada is one of the hottest beat producers around right now and I am consistently impressed with the music he’s releasing. This new track was released today in a two song EP along side the also killer beat, “At All”. Huge bass lays the groundwork for this expressive and luxuriously saucy beat. So.Much.Steez.
And my favorite: The Lion Kngs-Down To The Garden
Such a dope track. I really love this. The arrangement is interesting and captivating. I really dig the drums*those snare rollssss*, choice of sounds, vocals, and the production quality, although admittedly a little distorted through soundcloud, is top notch. It’s got a bit of an eerie feel to it, making it soo perfect for this time of year. Start to finish, this super smooth and dynamic track really hits the sweet spot for me and I can not stop listening to it. Check it out for yourself. Plus it’s a free download through their facebook!
Happy Thursday everyone! I absolutely love this time of year for music! I hope fall is treating you well and you are revelling in all the amazing music being dropped left and right. Keep it real, readers.
From the very first note, Whoa! by Alizzz had me completely captivated. Been sitting on this one for a little bit now and am definitely excited to share this with all you people out there. The EP is a combination of high energy, epic, and emotional maximalism with sultry, heart string pulling r&b vibes. I’m personally totally obsessed with this shift towards a futuristic r&b renaissance that’s become so prevalent in the beat and bass music scene recently, so electronic music in this style has been taking up pretty much all of my time in the last year (as you can probably tell from my posts on the site). The energy throughout the EP is blissed out and passionate, totally winning me over with it’s dynamic flavor and gorgeous synth work.
Barcelona based Alizzz as well as the label releasing the EP, Arkestra Discos, were completely new names to me when I came across this EP, but I was instantly impressed with his obvious production skills and melodic, highly musical technique. Each track on the EP is dynamic and interesting, ranging in style and tempos, but working harmoniously to create an atmospheric and vivid listening experience. It’s safe to say, I’m obsessed.