Bassline Drift is a unique duo emerging in the underground bass scene. An enchanting fusion of heavy bass & world beat roots spark truth through angelic drones of the vocalist. The act involves Keli Marks, a creative and dope producer hailing from Austin, Texas, and an alluring vocalist, “Sink” Lindsay from New York, whom happened to encounter each other on soundcloud. Aside being spectacular artists, they’re both genuine beings with passionate drive. I met Keli at the Green Belt in ATX last two Summer’s ago through a good friend of mine, Alex (he’s also an artist). And this past summer, I got the chance to meet Sink when she flew down from NY to ATX for their first live performance together at Spider House Ballroom. Awaiting their first performance together, I was eager to check them out. Flawless. Imaginative. Intriguing. Passionate. Dynamic. They blew my mind away!
This September, they released their first full-length album entitled, “Ten Moons” – it’s an in-depth, emotive, and elevating experience through hard hitting basslines, hauntingly beautiful lyrics, genius composition, and mysterious feels – it’s an escape into duality, a conjoining force of two breathtaking souls. Be ready to embark on a journey of endless feels as each artist brings a unique voice to the groove. The release consists of 7 tracks: 6 original, and 1 remix of “Bassline Drift” by Froogle. The duo also soon fell into the eyes of Gravitas Recordings, and since have released a couple singles through that outlet. Discover a fresh taste of innovative style as each artist inspires each other through growing life experiences that have brought them together.
[Stop the TTP ] “In Their Hands (Feat. Sheri)” single released on Gravitas a couple days ago! Knowledge is power. Together, we can stop TPP, but we have to act fast!
Read the TPP analysis and talking points yourself: bit.ly/TPPanalysis
Then take action, Stop TPP: bit.ly/NoTPPDeal
If you were to ask me to name some of my favorite producers, right now. I’d absolutely list Staunch. If you’ve heard me DJ in the past year you’ll probably realize I throw in at least one Staunch track into my set depending on when and where appropriate.
My live DJ sets pretty much consist of tons of what we call modern glitch-hop. This duo are by in a whole different world when it comes to this style of music. It’s extremely funky and some may even it call it electro funk. I generally use to play chill downtempo music but recently I’ve moved to more dance based music and Staunch is my go to.
This album sums up all the incredible music they’ve put out over the years. It solidifies that they can put out some original music outsides of their staple remixes. It’s not common to have a full release that every single track is worthy enough to play on a dance floor and know it’ll crush. I can only hope that we’ll be seeing much more music from them. They are truly raising the bar.
5AM releases ‘Deep See’ EP on Aquatic Collective today, December, 18th, 2015. It’s a four-track amalgamation through the depths of visions into the ocean, through breakbeat, glitch hop, live instrumentation, downtempo feels, and jazz vibes – it’s a true masterpiece. Currently residing in New York, NY, Sam Andrus’ creativity is a breathtaking experience that syncs up magic into the now, a gateway of endless expressions has entered his soul. It’s full of depth, intricate patterns, grimey & squishy glitches, rhythmic melodies, and awe-inspiring composition.
Each track provides a story of its own, an evolving phase through higher levels of consciousness. Experience a collaborative creation with friends: production/live guitar (Sam Andrus), live trumpet (Moses Cicero), acoustic guitar (Eviali). This sonic journey will open up your chakras and reveal to you visions through the mind’s eye of the Universe and into the Akashic Records, a Deep See. 5AM is a producer to keep your eyes pealed for…he’s definitely one of my favorite producers, he’s had a few releases within the year that are pure clarity, always keepin’ it fresh. Dope art work by 5AM himself!
Skytree releases Mineral Logic EP on TIMEWHEEL on 09/22/2015, it’s an experimental 5-track mineral-journey through Earth’s atmospheres. This release screams out psychedelia, transcending vibes through crystal healing, and originality – its feels are enchanting, and full of great depth. I met Evan back in 2012 in Austin, TX for a festival we brought him out to, Alloveus, back when we used to throw events/gatherings. I do have to say….I’ve been following Evan’s music ever since, and he continues to impress…he’s an ever-evolving artist. He is consistently creating and pushing through into the music industry, and because of that, I have mad respect for Evan.
Layers of intricate patterns, fresh composition, percussive leads, psychedelic grooves, rhythmic beats, experimental fusions, and illuminating synth makes for a journey into the now and into a place far away from human existence, it’s Universal. Choric Lumina’s angelic vocals fuse in beautifully with Evan’s production, making for a unique collaboration, it’s like the Earth created these Gems in sonic formation. The first collection of new, original Skytree material since 2014’s Cirrus Sapiens, Mineral Logic is a melodic dream state. Aligning a visual aspect is the artwork and photography by Hayley Carloni.
One of my favorite tracks that I jam to on the regular is “Objective Reduction”, a collaboration between Mumukshu and KarmasynK (International artist from India), released on Shanti Planti earlier this past Summer, 05/17/2015. It’s 1 of 3 tracks in Mumukshu’s “Abstract Systems” EP. Jake and Ruturaj are very good friends, they became good friends after meeting in CalArts in Los Angeles, California two years ago. When they lived together, Jake (Mumu) was the only other person in CalArts who knew what “psy” was …. they instantly bonded and became friends & roommates.
“Jake (Mumukshu) introduced me to West Coast flavours and showed me Tipper..and he was friends with this psy artist, luuli, that I would drop tracks of and thus because of all this we really connected. I have been working on music literally every second I can for the past 2 years…no break, no movies, no traveling, no fun weekends at all.” – Ruturaj (KarmasynK)
Ruturaj Wankhede, aka:KarmasynK, is a 22 year old International producer hailing from Pune, India, and is currently living in LA, California, and has recently sign to Street Ritual Agency! He’s an ever evolving and innovative sound alchemist in roots of Glitch-Hop, Bass, IDM, Drum & Bas. He has had multiple releases out on several different labels from all of the world including Street Ritual, Swamp Music, Glitch Hop Community, and Shanti Planti. He’s currently a Senior at the California Institute of the Arts and is expected to graduate w/ a BFA in Music Technology Summer of 2016. He’s played at several festivals such as Serenity Gatherings (USA 2014), Mo: Dem (Croatia), Blessed Coast Gathering (SoCal), and club shows in LA area. He has shared stages and opened up for leading artists in the electronic music scene such as Thriftworks, Random Rab, Bluetech, Akasha Experience, HeavenlyFather, Bwoy De Bhajan, Machine Drum, Phutureprimitive, Landswitcher, Mumukshu, Mr Rogers, and kLL sMTH.
It’s been quite awhile since I’ve personally written a review for the website. A Path Untold is one of the few releases I actually listened too in its entirety in a long time in one sitting. Everything about it I enjoyed. The problem was that when I was listening to it, I didn’t realize it wasn’t tagged properly since it was sent to me via zip and couldn’t find anything about A Path Untold. It took me a few hours to track down the origins of the zip. It was from a close friend Mike Folk (1/2 of Aligning Minds).
The reason I couldn’t find anything about A Path Untold was because this was the first release coming out of the new label Aligning Minds Records. I was completely floored and excited at the same time because it meant a new label to showcase the chill, downtempo, psychedelic vibe. This album encompasses all of those emotions and tones. This is the perfect album to put on when you want to relax and meditate.
I don’t know much about A Path Untold personally but Mike just let me know there will be a remix album coming out soon. I’m looking forward to hearing the reinterpretations of some of these tracks. Mike also let me know that Aligning Minds Records will be putting out a new Aligning Minds album in 2016 as well as an entirely new release from A Path Untold. Keep your ears out for those as I’m sure they’ll be top notch releases for 2016.
Clear Shadow (Removal of Blockages) is an Alter Ego I’ve created- it’s my creative journey here on Earth through poetic writing through sounds. I had a vision a couple years ago, and removed a blockage two years later. I’m a creative/conscious writer for the conscious underground music, art, culture, and psychedelic/transformational community; I’m also currently experimenting & putting more focus in music production, still learning…I will tell the story of how I cleared my shadow (removed blockages), and let go of fear, through an intuitive following of passions, an alignment with truth- and how engaging in those mediums has helped me to heal, allowing me to enter a new phase…
For my mix, Transcending the Shadow, I am using music that has been released within the past 6 months, music that has inspired me and helped me to heal and clear my mind. Afro Monk Mix Series 2014! – Clear Shadow (Sofia Raisanen).
This mix was made September 2014 , before the blog experienced a web hosting 1&1 malfunction, which caused internal errors, & shut it down, it was a VERY sad day. Now We’re back, 12/2015.
I’ve stepped away from the website due to some technical issues that arose. There were too many things going on in my life at the time to address them. Thankfully with my incredible developer we migrated everything over to new hosting.
The golden age of music blogs has ended. There was a time where music blogs where were people found new music. I can’t thank every person enough when they approach me and thank me for introducing them to X producer or DJ.
My initial thought of overhauling AfroMonk.com was to bring something new and adapt to modern look and feel. I’ve decided to wait to see what the initial response is of this return. There are many possibilities I’ve been considering for 2016 but lets see what the future holds. The website will stay in the same fashion when first launched for now.
2015 was a dark time for me and looking forward to reconnecting with the music community. I recently lost all my music and Ableton projects. Rebuilding my collection from scratch will inherently be reflected on the producers and music that will be featured going forward. Please feel free to reach out to me personally if you’ve worked with me in the past. I’ll be looking to hear how your music has evolved over the years.
I also want to announce that I’m naming Sofia the editor of the blog. I’ll be looking to her to set the tone of the blog again. She was doing a great job before the website starting encountering issues.
Thank you again for all your support over the years and hope to bring you some music you’ll enjoy in 2016!
Tipper releases “Its Like” EP on October 14th, 2015 on Tippermusic. Nu skool breakbeats set the theme for this release as it’s fused in with a leading funky, heavy bass, downtempo, and midtempo beats and feels – an overall experimental electronic experience. I dig how all of Tipper’s releases always go specifically unannounced and unexpected, a mystery slowly unraveling itself from the get-go. Creating endless suspense, leading intriguement, and fresh innovation to his sound presentation, our ear pineals are in treat for more glitchy feels in comparison to a more downtempo approach earlier in 2015 – Fathoms EP. Tipper’s gestures are legendary in variety as he’s truly an authentic master for various themes: intricate sound design, flawless melodies, ethereal soundscapes, hard hitting drums, mixdown, & live focus.
“Its like” EP consists of four-track escapes into glitch hop feels: Its Like, Distal, Table Flipping VIP, and Flares At Dawn. “Its LIke” is a funky fresh glitch hop beat introduction as it reveals the theme to the EP – glitchy breakbeat. Turntablism takes a leading role in this track as crescendos and squish beats give of a glowing effect of brain strategization through alien gestures. “Distal” is trickling melodic beats of intertwining rhythmic and glitchy soundscapes through intentional taste and variety. Melodies on melodies on fresh fuse together to create an elaborate effect as elevating crescendos groove into discovery. “Table Flipping VIP” takes on a percussive role as its like a re-lived experienced and new vision of the original “Table Flipping” track he released on his EP, Forward Escape. Illuminating and geometrical sound design over exceeds the gift of creation. “Flares at Dawn” is a more downtempo approach than the latter – an ambient meditation can be felt as soothing synth effects expose in-depth yuminess. It’s as if angelic drones through instrumentation is displayed in higher consciousness.
Somatoast is the creation of Mark Rubin, a young producer from Austin, TX with a futuristic and innovative mindset. A member of the Majestic Entertainment & Temporal Talent families – his original dub frequencies and real-life connections of creative energy are being aligned, ultimately leading him on his path, his life purpose. With having his first EP release, Withinity, just last year on April 30th, 2013 withone of the most creative underground outlets, Gravitas Recordings, and having recent compilation features [such as Jerry’s Dream (more in-depth description bevlow the interview)] on other forth-moving and conscious labels such as Merkaba Music and Shanti Planti, Somatoast is destined to a bright and uplifting future. His downtempo, psydub and glitch frequencies illuminates space and rhythmically syncs up with deep intricate beat pattern and squishy melodies – he with twirl your imagination into a new state. I met Mark in 2012 while immersing myself in the Austin underground music scene mid- 2012, back when he was formally known as Crazy Fingers. Somatoast has opened up for talented artists such as Bluetech, Infected Mushroom, Kalya Scintilla, Whitebear, Soulacybin, Mumukshu, and Defunk, to name a few. He has also played alongside Bird of Prey, Thriftworks, Tipper, The Polish Ambassador, and Desert Dwellers at multiple festivals including one of my favorite festivals, Art Outside, soon approaching, the 10th annual Art Outside 2014 (October 24th – 27th 2014 in Apache Pass, TX -45 minutes outside Austin, TX). Mark has been in California all Summer, so I decided to catch up with him! We talked about his musical background, timelessness, the mediums he uses for music production, his inspirations, life and his upcoming release on Shanti Planti in November.
• When did you start getting into music production, was there a specific moment that triggered an inspiration towards wanting to create/produce music?
I’ve been creating music my whole life. I started playing the drums when I was about 5 after watching the drummer in my dad’s band. I took lessons in drums and percussion throughout my childhood years and I eventually also picked up the guitar early on. By the time I was 13 or 14 I was recording music with a dinky little computer mic, and by the time I was 16 I had a small home studio going. There wasn’t really a specific moment that I can recall, it’s been more like a long process that continues to develop throughout my life. Though, my freshman year in college, I started with Ableton and realized I could make the same stuff I was listening to. I guess it was then I realized music production might be a real career for me. Especially being in Austin– my surroundings made me hopeful that I may be able to actually pull it off. There is so much creativity and inspiration there.
• What is the mission behind Somatoast, what kind of messages are you trying to spread through sound?
I didn’t start Somatoast with any sort of message in mind beyond an alias to make electronic music under. It was new to me then and I’m still discovering and learning more and more. At this point, I really want to succeed in making music that is not only unique, but also timeless. There is so much electronic music out there and so much of it sounds the same. When it comes to even some of my favorite artists that I think are cutting edge, the music can get stale after listening a while. For me, folks like Tipper and Bluetech have created music that is truly good, timeless music. I can go back and listen to their albums over and over again and I will continue to be impressed and hear things I didn’t hear before. I think this partly stems from the more classical elements in their music that don’t die out with the trends. My goal is to make timeless music like this. I’m not sure I’m there yet.
Aside from timelessness, I try and make music that is intellectually stimulating. I like music that provokes thought whether it’s through the music itself or speech that is sampled. Sampling speech can get cliché sometimes, but I try and get creative with it.
• Mac or PC? What production software do you engage in when producing music?
Mac, Ableton Live 9! I’d like to take the time and dive in to Bitwig, but I haven’t had the time since it has come out. Instead I’ve been on my grind in Ableton, which is totally ok!
• You’ve been in California all Summer, tell us about your time there this Summer. What have you been doing out there?
I was a film student at UT Austin and was finishing my degree through a program called UT in LA. It’s a program for anyone with ambitions in the entertainment industry. I was working at a music production studio. I don’t think LA is the place for my type of music industry, but it was interesting to experience for two months. Honestly, I’m glad my time is over there. I spent most of my free time working on my next release, which I’ll say more about in the next couple of questions. But now I’m done with school and I’m traveling up the West Coast camping and visiting cooperative houses. After I’m done traveling, I’d like to take Somatoast to the next level and give it my full attention.
• Who is your favorite producer right now? What sound are you diving more into?
Obviously Tipper, Quanta, Grouch, Auma, and Bogtrotter, just to name a few. I’m always impressed with everyone on Shanti Planti. I have a hard time picking favorites, and lately, I actually haven’t been listening to a lot of electronic music. For my own music, I just want to get away from the trends. For a while I was trying too hard to create stuff like what I was jamming, which just isn’t the right approach because it wasn’t coming naturally. But recently I’ve started getting super weird and just not caring what comes comes out (in a good way). Just simply rolling with it, which brings me to my next release….
• Are you working on any projects? When do you plan on releasing your next EP? Should we expect something similar to your latest release, “Withinity”?
Yes, my next EP is almost finished. I plan to release it in November on Shanti Planti. I’m trying to add the finishing touches but it’s been hard because I haven’t had, and still don’t have, a home base to create. Most of the EP has been made in a shitty LA apartment with little to no gear. Jake (Mumukshu) and I have been hanging out a bit and he let’s me mix some of the tunes in his space which is super cool of him. I’m excited to find a space where I can hammer the finishing touches out.
I’m not sure it’s very much like Withinity. Most of the tracks on Withinity are coming up on two years old now. I’ve learned an exponential amount in all areas of production since that release. Besides the reggae/bouncy touch and squishyness, I’d like to say it will be something totally new! I’d describe the new tracks as twisted, off kilter, and sometimes silly. Bent and broken strings are used repeatedly so it evokes a weird eastern but trashy feel.
•What are some of your hobbies besides music?
Well, like I mentioned before I’m a co-opper. I’ve lived in a cooperative the last three years and have no plans of stopping any time soon. I always love to talk co-op life and sustainable ways to live and/or eat, and I’m always interested in visiting new houses or communities.
Jerry’s Dream is, without a doubt, one of my favorite tunes of this Summer. I have been playing it non-stop ever since its release on Kalya Scintilla’s “Resonant Mind” compilation released on Merkaba Music on May 5th, 2014. This track has a mysteriously elegant vibe to it and it creates a rhythmically squishy and psydub flow – a magical uplift as you hear Jerry Garcia’s featured voice. This creation was induced while collecting samples on YouTube that he could sample, and came across an interview with Jerry discussing the Grateful Dead achieving fame. When he took it out of context, it sounded, to Mark, as if he were talking about something cosmic. Having initially started this track a year before its release, this was the tune that personally opened the doors to more experimental sounds. This track showcases similar themes and styles to be revealed in his upcoming release in November, so get exited, I’m sure he’s cooking up something creative and fresh. Somatoast is on the right path of discovery.
Listen to Preview of Jerry’s Dream, Click Link on SC for full version