Bass Mtn Festival, held September 13-16 on the Yuba River outside of Truckee, CA, is exactly what everyone needs to wind down after the Burn yet stay funky and get down. If you weren’t at Burning Man… well, all the more reason to get that much needed bass fix with the fam! Bass Mtn is an intimate gathering designed to cultivate deep seeded friendships old and new. Rather than purchasing a ticket as a commodity like most festivals, participants get memberships for a tribe or family like arrangement that thrives on community and nurturing vibes. In its third year, this festival is going to knock everyone’s socks off with its attention to detail and unparalleled ambiance. Prepare for mind warping psychedelic bass and visuals, elaborate stage design, thought-provoking workshops, unbelievable art (both live and gallery), rejuvenating yoga, organic and delicious food, holistic soothing healing, and a soul-warming tea lounge. What more could you ask for out of a weekend in the stunning tree groves and crystal clear waters of the Sierra Nevadas? Nothing, if you ask me! It’s a weekend that is set up perfectly for pure bliss and connection…. All you have to do is show up with an open heart and mind.
Among the countless nooks there will be two stages, the Reflection Stage nestled in the pines and Crunk Creek Stage down by the undeniably refreshing waters of the Yuba River. Both will provide music blessing our eardrums with some of the best music I can think of, period. Kalya Scintilla’s tantalizing eclectic bass never lets me down; add the overall atmosphere that will be Bass Mtn and we will be howling at the moon in exuberance! Love and Light have always been favorites of mine (and they’re just so damn loveable) and I can’t wait to get down to their bubbly womps. David Starfire has blown me away multiple times (the one that always comes to mind is BM 2012 when he played an incredible Beatles remix set at Fractal Nation). Knight Riderz will bring the dirty gangster bass that is sure to please. Andreilien will melt our pineal glands with his twisted bass lines. I’m always stoked to see Stephan Jacobs with his percussive dirty bass that is impossible to stand still to (check out his newest tunes on his Soundcloud…. I am DIGGIN’). Sugarpill will always be in my top 5… I can never get enough of his futuristic party bass and enjoyable demeanor. I might be most excited to see the ever-rising Digital Rust, whose productions are flawless and put me into a trance. Lately I’ve been so into the effervescent gangster bass that The Originalz have been putting out (and they’re the best peoples!). The homie Zeb always throws down super badass reggae infused bass sets that get you moving. I could go on forever about how stoked I am on this stacked lineup that also includes a plethora of local talent, all such good peoples that deserve only the best.
Big ups to the Mindful Massive crew for working so diligently to make this event as beautiful as I know it will be. These guys are based out of South Lake Tahoe and have been killing it for three years; they started from just a seed that has been cared for with love and just the right amount of water to grow from a seedling and bloom brilliantly. If you’re ever in South Lake Tahoe on a Tuesday do not miss their Massive Tuesday event… they are constantly bringing in awesome talent and providing vibes and frequencies that will make you go home feeling better than ever before.
Check out the Bass Mtn website for information about the extremely reasonable memberships (note – memberships at the door are cash donation only, no ATM or cards accepted), music, directions, preparations, and more. See you in the woods… surround yourself with love and frequencies at Bass Mtn this weekend!
Get ready to be taken to a new dimension, because that’s what you’ll experience in listening to Sugarpill’s new album, Space Foray on Muti Music. It’s well thought-out, beautiful, and vibrant. I love the bounciness of BlipSquip. Then there’s the unique-sounding Space Foray, which I have a very hard time sitting still while listening to. I can honestly say that there isn’t a track on the release that I dislike, which is a rarity. Having been a fan of Sugarpill for years, I thoroughly enjoy listening through this album. Also be sure to check out his track “Bring It Back” on the new Gruntworthy We Are the Future Volume II; it is for sure one of my favorites from the whopping 74-track compilation. I can hear his unrelenting improvement through time; he is definitely on top of his game right now! You can see this in both this release and his unparalleled stage presence while playing live this summer. Poppin’ champagne bottles and choosing just the right tracks for the crowd at the right times, Sugarpill was a pleasure to see a few times over the summer…. highly recommended. Kids were raging and getting down like no other at his live shows; exactly how it should be! Seeing much of the Headtron crew up on stage with him at Lightning in a Bottle was pretty awesome.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Sugarpill, and he had some interesting things to say. Check it out:
1. Your latest album, Space Foray, comes out on August 16th. What inspired you in the making of this release, and how does it compare to your past releases?
SP: This album is kind of a culmination of a bunch of things that I’ve been trying to bring together in a single release for a while now. I have been really stoked on the idea of putting out a release that crosses a lot of ground all the way through. I write a lot when I’m traveling as well as at home in the studio and each of the songs on the album come from a different part of me because they were all written in different places in the space and time of my life. I wanted this album to have a lot of variation so I chose this collection of songs because they touch different musical elements in terms of tempo, melody, harmony, and sound palate, but at the same time they still connect in this way this is like a single journey to some far corner of space. My ultimate goal in putting this release together was to do it in a way that when I listen to it, I couldn’t tell whether I was on some inner journey in my mind or on a completely external journey somewhere in space. Trying to get a single expression to do both of those things is something that I’m working try to embody in my music all the time.
2. Do you have any other deep-seeded passions aside from music and all that revolves around it?
SP: I’m really into life and learning, but without getting super long-winded, I’ll just say that they pretty much stem from that.
3. You are a master of Ableton and have educated many on the program. What motivated to help others gain skill at your craft?
SP: I learn a lot from teaching. Helping other people understand things forces me to think about them in new and different ways that I would probably never arrive at without that external stimulus.
4. I’d love to hear more about your mastering process, as many have attested to your talent, and my ears most certainly agree. What outboard gear do you use, if any?
SP: I don’t use outboard gear… which is a bummer, but I’m working on upping my game in that department right now. Right now I choose software that has really good analog modeling.
5. What plugs and techniques would you recommend to others who want to master their own music?
SP: I’d recommend that anyone looking to get into it read the ozone manual, it covers all the basics and gives you a single piece of software to learn and practice on.
6. You played at a handful of shows and festivals this summer… from Cervantes to Emissions to LIB to 5 Points. What was your favorite DJ experience this summer, and why?
SP: Picking a favorite is impossible. I kind of live a constant forward motion mindset, so it’s really tough for me to isolate a single favorite. All I can say is that I’m continuously blown away by the places I got and the people I meet.
7. Do you like to change it up quite a bit, depending on what sort of crowd you’re playing to? Or do you find that sticking to your signature sound is what you prefer, for the most part?
SP: I play pretty much 100% original sets these days. So I try to write a variety of different sounds and vibes into my songs so I can play to different different sets at different times. I think all my songs probably have a sound that’s sounds like me, but I definitely have to keep it varied so I don’t get bored with myself.
8. The Headtron crew seems like an awesome group to be a part of. Would you say that this has been a support group conducive to your growth as an artist, as opposed to being on your own?
SP: Have something like the Headtron crew has definitely contributed to my growth as an artist. We’ve got kind of a song club where we can all share ideas and honest critiques. On the non-music side, we’re all pretty close as friends so being able to cross the country and have homies in most of the places is really dope.
9. On that note, may I also ask about the origins of the lesser known Steaktribe?
SP: Steaktribe is just what we call grilling and not using utensils. Im not even sure what it’s become other than that, I’m just pretty passionate about making food with my friends and I guess I can get pretty stoked about it.
10. Can you tell us anything more about your collaboration with Gladkill? I’m pretty sure people are eager to know what you guys have in the works!
SP: We’ve been talking about making music for a while and we made a track a while back when I was in sf for a show. We actually got the chance to get in the studio for a few days after 5 points. I think our sounds work really well together because they’re already kind of similar in some ways so when we get together we can really expand on the sound because it’s like getting to work double time. We both come from pretty similar music backgrounds and have a lot of the same tastes so we’re already on the same page in the way we think about the music. I should say that it might be a minute before we finish this release though because we are only working on it when we can physically be in the same studio together. I’m really excited about that fact actually because I think the email collabs have become so prevalent these days. The difference between collaborating on music when you can look at each other and talk is huge. It’s that type of shared experience that makes the output so much more human than the email/Facebook/Dropbox collabs where I think it feels like you’re playing a video game with someone who could just as well be a stranger you’ve never made eye contact with.
11. Have any collab name ideas been thrown around yet?
SP: Rigatoni Danza is the working code name. But seriously no, right now it’s just Gladkill and Sugarpill
12. And how about Swordfight, can we expect something from you and ChrisB. anytime soon, or is that more of a casual affair?
SP: There will be more swordfight. The lazer battle is ongoing.
13. Where did your signature comment, “(.Y.)” stem from, and do you actually say “that’s tits” or something of the nature in real life?
SP: One of my students was really into making ascii genitalia a while back. I mean like really into it… he thought it was one of the funniest things ever and at some point I noticed people saying “that’s tits”, so it started as a joke on that phrase.
14. How do you feel about the controversy over music leaks and illegal file sharing? Do you think this is a serious issue for growing artists, or should they focus their energy on other things?
SP: I think making music is the most important thing, and I think artists should focus their energy on making music that they really want to hear. I think music lovers can tell when something is good, and if there is a way for them to support that in order to keep the music happening, I think they will do that. And if no one pays for it at the end of the day and all along you’ve been making music you actually love, then your energy was well placed.
Thank you Sugarpill, we look forward to jamming to your beats come August 16th!
ONE4ALL is one of Texas’ best-kept secrets. Augustine lives in Austin and is ready to start turning heads. He caught my attention awhile back before I even moved to Texas with his Lil Wayne Deuces remix. During the time I lived in Texas I got to spend quite a large amount of time with him and also rage a few shows together. He’s a great guy and his music just keeps getting better and better.
Augustine has been hustling the past few months releasing tons of new material and just put out a single with Sugarpill that crushes. Not to mention his Beat King’s Crush remix absolutely makes a crowd explode. I just got back from Wakarusa and while watching the homie Wizard throw down he dropped Augustine’s Crush remix and it totally set the tone for the rest of the set. I’m happy to share another new fresh beat by ONE4ALL. This is a remix of another Texas resident Anna Love. This remix is super chill and adds a great vibe during any set. Augustine totally warped the original into something sweet and melodic. I’ve been using this one quite a bit since I heard it and happy to share with you all.
ONE4ALL is one of the hardest working guys online to me. He is a Mod in my turntable.fm room and always previewing his new material in the room or playing originals. He deserves your attention and worth scooping out more of his music. Don’t be surprised to be hearing more of his name especially with his upcoming EP and collaboration (Connect4) with The Digital Connection out of Colorado. I’ve had the opportunity to hear some of the music they’ve written together and know that you’ll all love it as much as I do. I only wish the best for Augustine and know he’s headed on the right track to the top.
Disciples of Headtron is a compilation made up by some of the members of the Headtron Agency. The roster includes: Sugarpill, Gladkill, Chris B, +verb, Russ Liquid, Goldrush, Stephan Jacobs, Jobot & Jupit3r. This past week they have recently just added a new member to the family, Griz!
The collection of artist that make up this team is lead by Alex Becket one of the best agents in the business. Headtron has only been around for merely two years or more and they’ve made such an impact in such a small amount of time that I can only imagine how busy Alex has been. The entire roster in some sort of fashion have played some of the biggest festivals and events in 2011. There isn’t a major event that you can’t find at least one or two members representing the Headtron family.
This compilation is a prime example of why they are such a driving force in the EDM community. There are even a few surprises that caught me off guard, Swordfight! I’ve heard much talk about this over the course of time but here is their debut! Another surprise is to find more Jobot tunes, especially one that features ill-esha! =O It’s great to have something unified and put together and this is only the beginning as this is Volume 1. I’m looking forward to Vol 2 already which I hope features more from them in particular More Champagne & Griz.
My favorites you ask? Sugarpill stole this one from everyone in my opinion with A Gift To. There is no question that tune is perfect to open up the release. It’s one of those moving tracks that you can listen to in any state of emotion. Russ Liquid’s Pars Lunae also blew me away. Chris B stepped up his game big time and only look forward to see what he and Boris have been cooking up. Also do I need to bring up how I’ve been dying for Jobot’s debut album?!
All in all I can’t wait for 2012 because this is just the beginning and there’s a lot more where this came from. Also big ups to Muti Music and Dov for putting this out. Be sure to grab it on release date Jaunary 2nd, 2012! Be on the look out for any of the Headtron members this year. I’ve had the pleasure of booking many of them in Texas and man do they deliver <3
Much Love & Respect to the Headtron Family!
1. Sugarpill – A Gift To
2. Swordfight – We Will Never Know
3. jOBOT & ill-esha – Fossils
4. +verb – Mileage
5. Gladkill – Insomnia
6. Stephan Jacobs – Groove Around You
7. Jupit3r – Shark Bark
8. jOBOT – Bottle Of Bumpy
9. ChrisB – It’s All Good
10. Russ Liquid – Pars Lunae
11. Goldrush – Katura
Sugarpill, the one person I owe the most to in my musical career. Evan is the first DJ I ever caught live on Glitch.fm and from that moment on Evan and I have been friends. We’ve had endless conversations over IRC and multiple Q&A sessions online via gchat. He is one of the first people I ever met in real life before this all blew up and traveled all around meeting others. I’ve always been routing for Sugarpill since I met him because of all he has done for the community and continues to do. Two years ago I knew right away that Evan would rise to the top but he hadn’t put the time into production but time into the community. He always said to me and has resonated so much with me was “You’ll start making music when you know exactly what you want to hear but can’t find it”. He’s right but the problem is I get sent so much music and constantly on the hunt for music that it’s filled me with enough to be satisfied and in turn also giving my time to the community as well.
Fast forward to 2011 and you’ll notice just like I have how much Evan has produced in the recent year and what quality of work. I remember the days of wanting to support him and playing his one Busta remix just because I wanted to play something from this upcoming legend despite knowing it wasn’t the best work around. Times have changed since way back when. Now it’s almost impossible not to find myself listening or playing one of Evans tracks. After putting in tons of hours and hard work into the community Evan has begun his climb to the top of most well known producers in the glitch-hop community. He has had his fair share of fame already, headlining big festivals, joining Headtron, and much more but don’t think for a second he’s going to take a step back now. Expect this producer to put even more time and dedication to his art. Evan might be in law school, mastering tunes for many, touring around States, and being an overall active member in the scene he somehow finds time to make original music on top of all that.
Madeup Places is an incredible diverse piece of work. You hear Sugarpill’s signature soul behind every glitch and bass line but you can tell his sound is maturing and flexing. Despite being a bit more aggressive than I’d like you can still hear how fresh and unique his take is on brostep and heavier basslines (FrownyFace). Don’t get me wrong even though it gets a bit aggro on some tunes it’s got its moments that leave you stepping back and thinking WOW. This is exactly what happened with I first heard the final master of Zone 4. This is a must buy for anyone who follows glitch-hop or dubstep. The amount of sub bass and range this release has is the TITS!
Thank you my friend Evan. You’ve been one of the biggest inspirations in my life. Your dedication, hard work, integrity, and soapy ( . Y . ) are unmatched.
Sugarpill is a glitch/bass producer out of Los Angeles. I’ve been bumping his latest release “Mind Machine EP” in my car a lot lately.
My fave track off the ep is “Peeing on the Seat” which opens at a slow burn, combining 808 snare rolls, a glitched out Hammond, and a deep bass line before the drop where party moves into full throttle with heavy lazer bass, soaring synths, and one of the more colorful hiphop vocal samples used in recent memory. Here’s previews of the tracks from the release:
You can grab a copy of his debut ep for Simplify Recordings through addictech.com: Mind Machine ep
He also has just posted this dope track which is coming out March 20th on the Bass from Above compilation through subsynthesis.com and glitchdrop.com. I highly recommend you grab this free release which features brand new tracks from some of the best glitch/bass producers on the scene right now. Straight up fire! Grab it here: Bass From Above
If you want to know more about this talented producer, check out the interview Kate did with Evan (aka Sugarpill) last month: Sugarpill Interview
Stephan Jacobs is no stranger to AfroMonk.com. He’s a great friend and amazingly talented producer. Today his new release is out on Beatport! This release has been put out by Simplify Recordings which has put out some of the best releases in 2011 in my opinion. Last week was the launch of Chris B’s debut and before that Sugarpill tore it up! These three have become some of the staple names in glitch-hop and glitchy dubstep. Things have come a long way since we first met and glad to be sharing another release! Stephan is extremely driven and hardworking. His music shows emotion and leaves plenty of room for rocking out on the dance floor.
He recently was just added to the Lightning in a Bottle 2011 line up I just posted about earlier. Last year I got to meet him there for the first time and got to see him preform at the renegade tent setup by the main stage. This year he will be playing at one of the official stages.
This release features some of my favorite tunes by him especially Closer. I remember hearing it when it was first posted and had to have a copy! Now fast forward to today and the world will get to experience Closer whenever they’d like and enjoy plenty of other tracks.
Thank you Stephan for sharing your music with us all! It is truly a honor to post about this release because honestly it’s great to see others find out a friends music. He isn’t just some other name out there, he’s a homie! Stephan Jacobs is a man with a mission and I assure you that you will only continue to hear his name more and more!
In the Vortex Tracklist
1) In The Vortex
2) Closer (feat Binah D’Amour)
3) Hold it together (feat Shay Faded)
5) Radiant Light (feat Sarah Brewer)
Chris B is one of the hardest working producers out there. He is extremely tedious with every little sound. He’s not one of those guys who bangs out tracks and doesn’t invest that extra time. I’ve had pleasure of playing Def Con with him in Vegas and getting to hang out with him last time he was in Texas.
Not only does his dedication impress me about Chris but his attitude is one of the best out there. He’s on the right path and has this new release on Simplify Records that speaks loud and clear! Whats Your Fantasy! I spend endless hours a day searching for something melodic with sexy synths but will keep the crowds grooving. I talk to popular producers and drilling them when they start moving to an aggressive sound and ask who they know who’s doing the chill stuff now.
Chris B is the answer and this, Whats Your Fantasy, release is just what I have been looking for. Imagine the sounds of Sugarpill melting into Mimosa and having something entirely new come out. The title track is one of the best tunes I’ve heard in a long time. On The Grind brings a sexy new twist to the Glitch-hop sound with some ill vocal samples sprinkled all over it. Don’t even get me started on the track with Luvstep’s legend, Gladkill.
Be sure to pick up this release on Additech when it hits the store this Friday!
Much respect and love to my homie Chris B!
Thank you for keeping it real!
As one of my favorite artists of 2010, Stephan Jacobs has churned out one addictive track after another over the past twelve months. With a decade of experience already under his belt, Stephan continues to sharpen his skills to deliver some of the most ear-catching glitch-hop tracks coming out of the West Coast right now. He just finished up some fresh magic with his remixes of Samples’ Drop Bombs and +verb’s Cough (to be released Feb. 1 on Addictech via Muti Music) as well as a collaboration on Level Attack with Sugarpill and Naada (links at the bottom of this feature). Here Stephan talks a bit about his goals, reaching his creative peak and his ultimate message to fans.
TGD: Looking into the new year, what would you say your artistic goals are? Were there any particular turning points or notable moments in 2010 that helped to shape these goals?
SJ: Well, My primary goals are to keep making music and continue to refine my personal sound. I would also like to consistently release new music and travel more with my music. Basically continue to improve doing what I am doing.
2010 had some really good highlights; Playing at Coachella was a huge turning point for me. I was really happy when we made it to #1 on soundcloud’s “What’s Hot” for my collaboration with +Verb – “Blind Dreams”; seeing that so many people were listening only pushed me harder and forced me to raise my standards for myself.
All in all 2010 has been a big year for me in all ways. My personal improvement and passion for music has never developed so rapidly as it did for me last year.
TGD: Along with the high demand for your music comes a huge amount of travel; how do you maintain your steady stream of new tracks? Would you say constantly meeting new people and seeing new places provides more inspiration, or more distraction?
SJ: Traveling in itself is so transitional. I am so grateful for the opportunity to travel with my music and bring it to different people in different places and see how they react to it first hand. Of course, I love playing in my hometown but it feels nice to get out and play in a place where you don’t often play and maybe you’re taken less for granted. I also think it’s great to get to visit a homie when you’re touring in their town and sometimes I even get to collaborate on a track with someone while I am away.Can traveling be distracting to me? Umm that depends on how much partying I do. LOL. Even if I have been gone a while I come back and it takes me time to get back in the swing of things. I think most of the time traveling pays off more than its slows me down though.
TGD: What do you require to reach your creative peak? This can be a place, a time of day, a mindset, a person; absolutely anything.
SJ: I feel like music can effect me emotionally so much and when I am making music I feel like the sounds are influenced by my state of being too. Sometimes my creative peak can come out when I am extremely happy but it also comes in a completely different way when im sad.
Sometimes to improve my creative workflow I just need something as simple as a good walk, a cup of coffee and cigarette, or just to step away for a minute and come back to it later with a fresh mindset.
TGD: What is the ultimate message you are trying to send through your music? What aspects of your own personality do you think are reflected in your work?
SJ: I think any musician ultimately just wants people to relate their music to their own lives. It feels nice when each individual person responds to music in their own way and has their own individual experience of my music. In the same way it feels nice when musicians make music in their own style. Individuality is so important, otherwise it’s not as special when you create something unless it is your own. I love that one of my songs can relate to someone’s specific memory and as [a] musician in some weird way I get to be a part of that moment.
When I choose to do a remix, I choose a song that I like that relates to my personal experience of that song. Then I want to accentuate that feeling in my own musical language.
TGD: Tell us a bit more about your collaborations with Chris B. and Sugarpill; how they came about and what effect each of you has had on the other’s artistic growth.
SJ: I think they are both strong individuals, they are my good friends and they both have very specific styles of there own. It’s nice working with them cuz it’s nice to blend those styles together and see what happens, the feeling of being in the studio and vibeing off each other is priceless.
My interview of Stephan is the final installment in a series of three features I’ve put together spotlighting him as well as Sugarpill and ChrisB (code-named the TRIPLE-THREAT TRIFECTA INTERVIEWS, or T.T.I. for short – scroll down to check those out).
For more from Stephan Jacobs, please visit his website,SoundCloud, Facebook and Twitter pages.
Download the SamplesDrop Bombs remixes album, featuring two tracks with Stephan Jacobs
I’ve mentioned several times how 2010 was a big year for a lot of us, but perhaps none understand this as well as Chris B. A long-time guitarist, Chris grew uninspired by the limitations of the instrument and eventually discovered bass music and digital production. After buying his first computer a mere year and a half ago, Chris B. is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after performers on the West Coast.
TGD: You’ve told me a bit about your rapid evolution as an electronic artist; what were you doing musically before you started experimenting with Ableton? What are the biggest ways you’d say your life has changed over the past two years?
CB: Well I have been playing the guitar since I was 11 years old so about 10 years now. The first electronic music I was ever really exposed to was Sound Tribe Sector 9 back in 2004. They completely blew my mind because they fused live instrumentation with the electronic element which I had never even seen or even fathomed before. This was right before Artifact was released when those guys were on fire. Around 4 years ago I kinda started to fall away from playing guitar because I reached a peak in my playing and became sort of uninspired musically. When I was 17 I went to my first rave and that’s when I was really exposed to straight forward electronic music. Of course most of it was electro garbage but still marked a turning point of my musical taste. I had my hippie roots and the whole candy cane rave thing wasnt really doing it for me. Raves were more of a social experiment for me and I wasn’t really into the music. Not too much longer after this I became really good homies with my hairstylist Omri. It was kinda weird because he said that I reminded him of himself when he was my age. Going to mad Grateful Dead shows and raves too. He was the one who first told me about Burning Man and exposed me to bass music. He was just getting into producing music himself so I would go over to his studio and just watch him make tracks and he would pretty much give me the watered down version of what was going on. It was all over my head at the time and didn’t realize that that would be my next musical passion. Finally when I was 18 and went to Burning Man for the first time I realized that all these new sounds that I was listening to were what was really inspiring me. At the beginning of 2009 was when I really first started showing interest in trying to Dj with Ableton. I would download the trial version of Ableton onto friends computers and burn a cd with a bunch of tracks and just start fucking around trying to teach myself since I didn’t have a computer of my own. At that moment I became infatuated with it. I naturally had an ear for it due to my prior musical training and caught on quick. That summer I would go around to several festivals like Sonic Bloom and Rothbury and set up a renegade stage with some friends and throw down late night sets. People would go nuts but it still wasn’t doing it for me, I had to start making my own tracks to fully be satisfied with my musical potential but I still didn’t have a computer of my own. To this day lack of equipment is what is really holding me back. I still don’t even own studio monitors! Anyways right before Burning Man in 2009 I got my first computer and shortly after that I took Ill Gates electronic music workshop. Not too long before that all I had done production wise was write a couple hip hop tracks for my friend who was a mediocre producer and MC. After taking that Ill gates workshop it made me realize that I didn’t know jack shit. I kinda just sat on the knowledge I obtained and didn’t really do anything with it. Shorty after that I had met Sugarpill for the first time and showed him a couple jingles I wrote and he saw the potential in me. I was still not taking it seriously at all until I went to Manifesto Gathering in Costa Rica last year. I brought my computer with high hopes of potentially playing a set out there. Now this was Marty Party’s party and people who have played it in the past were people like Ooah. Turns out I ended up playing 3 sets and people loved it including Marty. At that moment I realized that I could actually achieve this and the only way to do so was to produce my own music because I already had the dj thing on lock. That’s when I really started to hit the grind. This was exactly a year ago. Since then Ive been geeking out as much as possible. Sugarpill has definitely helped me out a lot along the way. Evan has been there for me not only as a teacher, but a close friend and mentor. I owe pretty much everything to him. It was definitely cosmic how we fell into each other’s lives, some crazy force of nature that is way beyond any of us.
TGD: In terms of artistic guidance, who would you say are your biggest influences? Why?
CB: I have tons of different influences, mostly my friends. A lot of my friends growing up were insane jazz musicians so the bar was always high musically. All my favorite shit is all stuff my friends make in all sorts of genres. I hear something they do and now I’m at the point in my production where I can come back at them with something that makes them raise their eyebrows.
TGD: Where have you yet to play that is a top spot on your list of tour stops? What are the elements of this place that make you want to perform there?
CB: Right now I would really love to play at a Do LaB event or one of An-ten-nae’s events up in SF as well as several festivals this summer. As far as places I would like to play, I dunno, thats a hard one. I’ve already played on the beach in Costa Rica which is one of the most beautiful places on earth as well as Burning Man. Europe, Australia or Canada would definitely be cool. The scene in Canada is going off right now.
TGD: You have great chemistry with Stephan Jacobs and Sugarpill both musically and socially. How important would you say it is to collaborate with other artists whose company you can appreciate both on and offstage? Would you say a friendship is necessary to achieve the best possible collaborative effort?
CB: I am definitely fortunate to have friends like Stephan and Evan. I definitely think its important to dig the other person’s music in order to collaborate and make something dope. However, I don’t necessarily think friendship is required to achieve the best possible collaborative effort but it definitely helps. Look at Pink Floyd. Those guys fought all the time and they made some of the most incredible music of all time. Also Stephan and +verb have made some banging tracks together and they haven’t even met before. Not to say they wouldn’t become good friends if they did meet, but yeah you catch my drift When Stephan and I first starting writing tracks together, we didn’t know each other very well but it definitely was the bridge to our friendship. It definitely does help to be homies with someone when writing tracks because if you are in a room with someone for hours on end working on something who your not vibing with personally, I’d imagine you would drive each other nuts.
With two fresh new releases (“Malefic Planet” w/ Sugarpill & a remix of Samples’ “Drop Bombs”), ChrisB. is already starting 2011 off on the right foot. March 4th marks the exclusive drop on Addictech of his debut EP, What’s Your Fantasy, (featuring a collaboration with another one of my favorites, Gladkill) to be released on Simplify. To stay updated on this artist’s upcoming events and new music, please check his Facebook and SoundCloud pages.
Featured on this episode of TGD:radio was Sugarpill, a high-energy melody maker based out of Los Angeles. Evan has a brand new EP scheduled to drop this February and was so kind as to share one of these highly-anticipated tracks with the TGD:radio audience. I had the chance to ask this cutting-edge artist a few questions; below are his responses!
TGD: From getting to chat a bit, it seems as though you have experience in several fields outside of music. When did you make the decision to shape a career out of your talents and what prompted the commitment?
SP: I don’t think it was really a decision in a big sort of way, things just seem to happen and I just keep working hard at whatever I have the opportunity to do.
TGD: How would you say your sound has evolved over the past year? In comparison, what would you consider to be the hallmark elements of your music?
SP: I’m pretty sure my sound has evolved a lot in the past year. I think I probably broke through a major barrier because now I actually complete way more tracks and get them sounding much more clear and polished. I used to record and produce records for a band that I was in and for some reason when it came to my electronic stuff, I was just slacking on applying those techniques up until about a year and a half ago.
I’d like think the most prevalent elements in my music are bass and glitch, but it seems like I’m really stoked [on] really strong melodic content. I feel like the melodies draw me in and chill out some of the harshness of the glitch sounds.
TGD: What do you have coming up in 2011 so far that you’re most excited about?
SP: Right now I’m stoked on my next release. It’s a 4 track EP coming out on Simplify Recordings. It’s going to be prereleased on Addictech.com on Feburary 4th. I kept to a lot of the elements I really liked about my last release and also cleaned up some of my techniques, so hopefully it shows. I also tried to add a little more of a contrast between the tracks across the whole EP so people could either play a single track out or just listen to it straight through.
I also have a little mini tour I’m working on in Feburary to support the release. Its looking like I’m going to be in Los Angeles 2/4, San Francisco 2/10, Portland 2/11 and Arcata 2/12 so far and definitely have some more to come that I can’t announce yet.
TGD: Your sets are packed with energy; for someone who’s on the go so much, where do you find the inspiration to maintain this so consistently?
SP: I don’t really know, I just really like getting on stage and playing music. I’m usually a pretty mellow person, but when I get up there I feel like its my chance to let loose and the whole thing just takes over me.
TGD: What’s your take on the creative process behind your collaborations with Stephan Jacobs and ChrisB.?
SP: Collaborations are a really interesting thing for me. I definitely think the stuff that I have made with Stephan and Chris has been some really amazing work that we’re all really stoked on. The process is pretty simple it kind of just works itself out. We just get in a room together and take turns “driving” ableton and recording each other. Its really nice to have the momentum of another person working on the same thing to push you to make something a little better or try something a little different than we might do alone.
For frequent updates on Sugarpill, please check his website, Facebook,Twitter and SoundCloud pages.
Hey friends! There’s so much good music flying around these days, it’s ridiculous! Here’s a few of my new faves. Make sure to follow these producers on Soundcloud cause they keep pumpin out the sick tracks left and right!
And I am absolutely in love with this one….
Wow! There’s so many more. It’s been a little while since I’ve posted so check back tomorrow and I’ll post some more