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!
What happens when you fuse together festival masterminds, transcendent melodies, awe-inspiring art, sage healers, and inquisitive imaginations in an extraordinary wooded location? A complete synergy that is Lucidity Festival: Universe. This joyful jubilee, held at Live Oak Campground in the Santa Barbara hills on April 11-13, will be sure to please all revelers in attendance. Now in its third year, Lucidity Festival has sprouted from its primary seed and blossomed into an immersive and thriving ethos. Everyone is a participant in this open-source journey; all you need bring along is a sense of curiosity, an open heart, and intentions set on growth and awakening. We will cultivate harmony and collaboration and nourish our souls in unity. Expect the unexpected and be ready to experience a formulaic chaos like none other. Lucidity will be a pleasant reminder for our spirits not to take life so seriously while embodying our truest essence. Prepare for mind warping music and visuals, elaborate art and stage design, thought-provoking workshops, rejuvenating yoga, delectable organic and locally-sourced food, holistic soothing healing, and soul-warming connection.
Tipper. Need I say more? I will never tire of Dave’s intricate and lush soundscapes; seeing him at the Lucid Stage may very well be the highlight of my experience. Love and Light’s bubbly thwomping bass is sure to please. The Human Experience’s “prismatic” stunning melodies will be happily soaked in by listeners. I am beyond excited to witness Haywyre’s performance as I have yet to be graced with his presence. Kalya Scintilla’s tantalizing eclectic bass never lets me down. Other favorites on the Lucid Stage bill include Bird of Prey, Mr. Rogers, Digital Rust, Nominous, 2Nutz, Mumukshu, Soulular, Nanda, Alia, and the homie Irieyes. The Alive stage incorporates some most excellent live vibrations with incredible lyricist Eligh, the ever-enchanting Quixotic acrobats, and the positively energetic Poor Man’s Whiskey. The Rainbow Girls will bring some boisterous fun into the mix. Cello Joe will grace the stage with his unique “Classical Hip Hop”. The party will be continually thriving at the Audiowaska Stage; we’ve got passionate, genre-paving Trevor Kelly, effervescent and melodic MiHKAL, hyphy Stylust Beats, and many more.
Partake in one of Lucidity’s seven villages and its respective archetype; there’s the Vivacious Jaguar of the Goddess Grove, the Courageous Dragon of the Family Garden, the Humble Tiger of Warriors’ Way, the Wild Monkey of Nomads’ Nook, the Loving Dove of Lovers’ Nest, the Wise Owl of the Healers’ Sanctuary, and the Playful Coyote of the Tricksters’ Playground. These niches will each be alive with their unique mood and identity.
Art Art will be much of the fabric of Lucidity Festival, weaving together a story between the music and the environment, the people and Gaia. With aesthetics ranging from luminous textured installations to obscure and thought-provoking creations, your eyes will feast on the art that is intertwined so seamlessly into the gathering.
Workshops& Healing Learning is a perpetual process. Expand your mind and senses to ideas unknown before and leave the woods a different and more enlightened being than as you came. Workshops at Lucidity will be inspiring, uplifting, meditative, interactive, creative, informative, empowering, musical… you name it. Don’t miss your chance to grow and perceive together with Wisdom Keepers in the most stunning of outdoor classrooms. Nothing is beyond our cognizance. I can’t wait to practice yoga among the trees with amazing instructors. Healers will also aid in the well-being (mind and body) of participants.
So the Lucidity saga continues, full to the brim with synchronicity and a beautiful sort of pandemonium. Awaken your senses to the visceral thrill of letting go completely among the timbers and sunshine of the rolling Santa Barbara hills. Discover the exquisite divinity that resides within you and all beings alike. Get your tickets for Lucidity here; please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like a discount code.
I’m proud to announce a new writer to the AfroMonk.com team, Georgette! We have been friends for a few years now and she has been a big supporter of AfroMonk.com since the beginning.
Georgette is quite active in the music community as well as runs an incredible adult community, BohoCrush. I highly recommend checking it out! She recently started to DJ and thought that this was a perfect place for her to showcase all the amazing music she runs into.
I’m really looking forward to her posts because I know they won’t be limited to just music. Georgette has close ties to people into fashion, art, photography, and more. Historically this sites focus has been about music but I know she’ll add some flare to the site.
Not to take the spotlight off her but I just wanted to chime in and say thank you to all of you who have supported us over the years. The site no longer pumps out as much content as it use too but I’ve brought on new writers to help keep the site alive. We might not be posting as much anymore but we try to bring you the best of the best when we do showcase music. I personally have taken a hiatus from writing as my focus has been on my career but I may start putting some stuff together =)
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.
Jumbii is the creation and the soul of Andrew Blanchard, a melodic glitch/bass producer that currently resides in Fort Worth, Texas. Deep rooted in the music scene, he’s produced events in the past, has been djing for eight years, and picked up music production three years ago.
Dedication, creativity, and passion are three qualities that Jumbii withholds. I met Andrew the summer of 2011 while residing in the Dallas area and was instantly drawn to his lively character and passion for music. Being very integrated in the music scene has ultimately led him to becoming a music producer. He had the opportunity to debut his project a few weeks ago on Friday, December 27th at Lights All Night in Dallas, TX.
The Beloved EP was co-produced with a dexterous pianist by the name of Michael Palma and was released on a record label last month, which instantly received a lot of hype. Though it was released on a label last month, Andrew, as of yesterday, has solely decided to make it a free release for all audiences to enjoy.
I highly suggest turning your speakers on full blast right now and giving your ear pineals a chance to experience the unique creation of the ‘Beloved EP’. Full of rich/smooth bass lines, with the integration of intricate melodies, these sounds will have you fully engaged. After listening, I felt as if the inner superhero in me was unleashed.
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.
During my time at Art Outside, I had the pleasure of sitting in with Bluetech, a psybient producer who creates a varied selection of downtempo/ambient music using digital synthesizers and software production. Evan Bartholomew’s passion for music and tropical plants is unreal. He talks about what inspires him on a daily basis, giving back to the community, and his view/opinion in regards to what he thinks is key in today’s highly competitive music production/styles.
“…every morning I go out and I go check, with my cup of tea, and see what’s got new leaves on it- that totally inspires me to go in the studio.”
“… and it’s not even a particular style, it’s music that has soul and you can hear it right away whatever the genre is.”
“…you know, if music is about community, and about life, and about love, and about creating energy, then it should also give back and feed something other than just me and my own ego…”
“…the only way to win at the quote on quote, “game”, is to not play the game… to focus on being the best you can possibly be with your own individual voice; to speak the things that are in your own heart; to strive for the goals that you set for yourself, and respond to the things that move you…”
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
Introducing the newest member to the AfroMonk.com staff, Sofia!
She’s a good friend of mine from Texas that I totally adore. Sofia is one of those people who will always bring a smile to your face no matter how terrible of a day you’ve had. She has tons of energy and highly motivated. You can find her in Austin, Texas raging all the EDM parties.
Sofia is a co-owner of Yatra Productions. They are local to Austin as well as Colorado. This past year they held a small festival called ALLOVEUS which showcased tons of incredible talent and art. They have tons of plans for the future and if you’re local to Texas be sure to reach out to her.
I think Sofia will added diversity to the website as her musical taste aligns with the overall vibe. She is also always pushing fresh new bands and producers that are up and coming. I haven’t kept my ear to the ground as much and think she’ll be a valuable addition to the team as she expands her experience as an event promoter.
I’m not going to hide the fact that the website has sort of died off and a big reason is due to the fact that I don’t write as much. To be honest I’m ready to retire from the blog. There are lots of projects I’m working on as well as focusing on my career. Many close friends have been reaching out to me for reviews and coverage but I’m going to say this is the perfect opportunity to reach out to Sofia and the rest of the team.
This is also a call to writers who are interested in contributing to the website. Ideally I’d love someone who writes consistently. There are lots of artist who I’m still in contact with and will push their music to you for review. This does mean access to loads of awesome music before it’s released. Please leave a comment or e-mail one of the lovely women who currently write for the site (I’m hoping this gets this more motivated as well) =D
I also want to thank everyone who has supported and been a follower of this website. It’s incredible how much this website transformed my life. Thank you for reading and listening <3