SPLASH HOUSE: ROUND 2

Theres a gamut of music concerts that hit the desert every summer. Especially this year. Whew. In SoCal, its somewhat of a ritual to pull out your magic carpets and swim suits for soaking and sun bathing — with beats by pretty much whom ever you like to thump to.

For the second time this summer, SPLASH HOUSE returns to the desert August 8-10 and  hosts some of the most explosive names in electronic music across three poolside stages in Palm Springs. SPLASH HOUSE offers an alternative experience to the shade that summer fests usually get for being hosts of deliriant dry heat, crusading campgrounds and tedious traipsing. Instead, SPLASH HOUSE proposes pool-side lounging at The Saguaro, the Hard Rock Hotel, and the Hacienda Beach Club with a wow factor line-up including A-Trak, Jason Bentley, and Chromeo — and  live performances by Flume (oh fuck yeah!), Cut Copy, Jagwar Ma and more. This could be the new wave of next generation summer-staycation, all-inclusive packaging. Well done, Will Runzel.

Tickets + things are all right here.



DIGITALLY LIVE: LOST MIDAS DELIVERS ELECTROFUSION VIA LIVE BAND IN “HEAD GAMES” VIDEO

[dropcap letter=”E”]lectrofusion guru Lost Midas has been making his own branding of electronic music for years, yet in the juxtaposition of traditional music composition aligned to modernist beat-making method, the latter is more the norm for the east coast native. In his latest video for the new single, “Head Games,” (off of his up-coming album “Off the Course”) we catch a glimpse of electronic music delivered in a way seldom than most: via a live band. Sans the visuals, the track itself peaks at its intergalactic tendencies, interweaving tinges of funk-based wavelengths and crisp percussions played by Lost Midas himself and strung together with vocals from Audris. Next week, Lost Midas will be hosting an album release party in LA’s Arts District at Fifty Seven, RSVP and get in for the free here.

 

INTERVIEW: PREFUSE 73’S MUSIC BIZ SURVIVAL TIPS 101

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Last Friday, eclectic beat masters Prefuse 73, Falty DL and Nosaj Thing encapsulated and transported the Echoplex’s sonic youth into unearthly dimensions with each of their uniquely branded electronica. The OG of the three — Guillermo Scott Heren aka Prefuse 73 — was the center piece of the triple-act, smoothing out the transition from Falty DL’s dancey, high-energy production to Nosaj Thing’s more spacey version of the type of electronic beats that Prefuse began to explore back in the early 2000’s. Though only in his early 30’s, Prefuse’s subsequent amount of experience and knowledge came from his start in the biz as a teenager, and by the looks of it, he has no intentions of slowing down — especially with the help of some echinacea. Check out the interview below to see how Prefuse survives climate change and taking his music to the grave.

LAC: How’s life?

Guillermo: It’s good, just started this tour yesterday in San Francisco and that was good. It’s a short tour – maybe only seven or eight shows – but we’re going all over the place; we’re like flip-flopping climate wise. It’s crazy, we went from like negative-ten degrees wind chill to San Francisco that was beautiful, like 50 degrees or something and then down here where there’s like, humid heat. Then we’re headed out to Portland which is colder, and from there we hit like Texas which is hot then back to progressively freezing — Chicago, Toronto, New York. And that’s all within ten days so I’m definitely gonna be sick when I get back home (to New York.)

LAC: But I mean, you’ve been going to tours all these years, I would think you’d have a method to surviving the climate madness.

G: Well yeah, you just have to push through it and be positive. But like you said, over the years, you learn how to deal with it and take of yourself. Like, don’t eat a lot of junk, cause that’s what I learned in the past is that over the course of touring, bad diet and stress can totally weigh you down, at least it did for me. I don’t even drink too much anymore when I’m on tour, or smoke weed. As you get older, you get smarter about that type of stuff.

LAC: Tour Survival 101 with Prefuse. (laughs)

G: Yeah, it’s gotten to a point where I make sure I have like, Echinacea and all these preventative medicines with me. And I always Yelp the hotels we stay in so we don’t catch bed bugs, cause those are always a bitch to deal with.

LAC: And here I’m thinking tour life is awesome.

G: I mean, it’s awesome for the 21-year-old that’s never been out of the country. I used to just deal with all the shit that comes with touring, but now I feel like I’m kind of a prude cause I’m always double-checking everything and make sure shit is right; I didn’t use to be like that, I used to just roll with the punches and be sick all the time. I think I’m this way now because I’ve been doing this for half my life and it’s all just habitual now.

LAC: So what do you have going on for 2014, following this really condensed tour?

G: I’m working on a new record and doing a lot of collaborations for my own label. There’s a lot of work right now, and I’m kind of swamped, so the timing for this tour is throwing me off a bit, but this lineup is so sick that’s it’s worth doing. I mean, the tour is only ten days, but when you really think about it, ten days in the studio is priceless because you just don’t know what crazy shit could happen – maybe even three out of the ten days something magical could happen. So when you sacrifice that time to do something, you question it but at the same time it’s like, how often do you get to tour with your homies, with a crew where the vision is similar even though the music is different.

LAC: Over the years, you’ve gone under all these different aliases that aligned with a particular project. Should we anticipate a new alias with this new record?

G: Probably. That’s the way my mind works – I always make aliases. Not to be like, ‘oh, let me over saturate the market with an alias,’ but more like to not be me, so that it’s not to be confused with Prefuse 73 or any other alias I have. It’s just like freedom from the project because aliases should come from a complete idea of concept. You’re just trying to separate from what people are used to – it’s not like a gimmick. You’re doing something with the exact same total amount of passion – you’re excited about it, and aliases are cool because it’s new. You know, you have an idea and you think you can build an album around it and that people will like it, so let me call it something – anything, whatever’s in front of you – and that’s kind of how it happened. So right now I’m in Prefuse 73-mode production-wise but in that process, I could just turn the knob the right way to make an alias happen.

LAC: Has Prefuse 73 always been your center “alias”?

G: Yeah, because I think it’s been the most digest-able stuff I make. Savath and Savalas was really mellow instrumental music, there’s only a certain amount of people that are into that: it had Spanish vocals laced onto it, so (I knew) in the US that wasn’t going to pop off. At the same time Prefuse was the one marketed the most because it aligned a lot better with the other stuff coming out of Warp (Records.) I kept on doing the aliases because I loved making music, I didn’t really care about racking up a whole bunch of dough off of the side projects I had, I just had ideas and wanted to share them. For me, I didn’t make music because I wanted to make millions; I feel like if I were to do that, it would go against my own personal integrity as a musician, and I try to stick to my guns when it comes to the integral part.

LAC: I feel like that’s a standard crossroad any musician comes across: either you get lucky by being able to make your music, hit a target audience and that pops off, or you sell your soul to make millions.

G: You gotta make that decision going into it. I started at a time when I was lucky, I was in the right frame of mind for doing it, I was in front of a lot of people where there maybe remotely five guys that were making the same sounds that I was and that went on for like four years. There wasn’t really anyone for me to compete with, no one for me to really tour with like this – Four Tet may have been the closest one for me to tour with, but even then it was still very different from the stuff I was making.

LAC: Because your music is more hip-hop based.

My shit is so deficit of attention, so many ways for me to play it because I always like to change it up and it comes from a distinct ‘I-grew-up-on-hip-hop’ background, no matter how weird it gets, it still has that similar hip-hop beat. You’re talking about a kid that figured out to work an MPC in a really primitive era, who had a day job at a studio making prehistoric trap beats that hated making them, and out of that Prefuse was born — making trap in Atlanta before even Outkast was blowing up. I hated it, but it was something I had to get experience and learn from. It was what drove me to do something weird.

LAC: How was all that received?

G: I grew up with a whole bunch ‘hip-hop purists’ who hated it. I would play my stuff for my friends and they literally told me that they hated it, so I had to learn how to eat shit for about two years until I got a (record) deal. Nobody was feeling it, but I knew I had to keep at it, I knew it was going to work because it was coming out of me naturally, like it wasn’t contrived. People were so set on this standard formula for a hip-hop beat where you were only supposed to have like 16 bars, a hook, a kick and snare – the weirdest you could get was looping a sample lyric. So what I did was like some obscure part of a sample – like the air in between the rhymes – and make a whole song out of that. I wanted to obliterate this whole system of making a beat and turning into music and letting it mesh – that became the goal for me.

LAC: Do you ever think about what role you’ve played in this whole mashing-up-of-the-genres movement that’s been going on?

G: I leave it up to other people to give me those decorations. I’ll listen though, and see what labels they place upon me, like how they say I invited this genre or whatever, but I’m just whatever about it. There are people in Miami that were hating on me, saying like I’ll never be the best or there are dudes that are way ill-er than me, but I’m not even trying to be the best, I’m just trying to come up with some fresh shit. I recognize that for some of these new producers, I might have taken some weight in a journalistic sense because I was doing these pressing interviews where hip-hop outlets back in the day were saying shit like I’m degrading the role of the MC, and I never understood where that came from because I have the same respect for the MC as much as I do the beat. So I took all these overcomplicated, dead serious shit back in the day and I was able to take all those harsh vibes away from the dudes that do it now; they don’t have to deal with that today. Anybody can make an album, put it on the internet and as long as it’s good, they can pop off and enjoy their life and success, but they don’t have to answer up to a lot of people that I had to, which is a bunch of people that were only listening to two records at a time back then.

LAC: Do you think these new cats look to you as a uhh… I don’t want to say pioneer, because that makes you sound old.

G: Everything makes me sound old. People will call me out like, ‘he’s been in the game for 17 years,’ and I’m just like, “Damn.” Somebody tracked my whole discography all the way back to the records I don’t want anyone to hear. I mean, I’ve been making music since I was 16, but when they call me out like that it makes me sound like, I’m 80. (laughs) I don’t have problems interacting with Nosaj Thing, and I’m not on my death bed, so I don’t understand.

LAC: I would think it’s a respect thing.

G: I would hope so, unless someone’s trying to play me and be like, ‘this old motherfucker.’ I mean, I grew up listening to jazz records from my mom so I see everything from a jazz musician’s perspective – none of those dudes quit, they died making music. These guys died in their 60s-70s-80s, and not to place one over the other, but they weren’t mapping out their careers to call it quits once they make a ton of money. They were making music because they wanted to make music for as long as they could. It seems like everyone I followed in that jazz era just suffered as musicians – they had really high points and really low points and this never stopped them and that’s kind of how I came into it. And when I think about these jazz dudes, they took it to the grave. That’s how I’m going to go out, no matter what I’m making. This shit I’m making is always going to be relevant to me; it’s what I started making, it’s going to be what I’m making no matter what aliases I go under.

HYBRID PERFECTION: DJ/PRODUCER, GEORGE FITZGERALD

George Fitzgerald first caught our ears with an impossibly smooth remix of one of our adolescent favorites – Groove Theory’s “Tell Me”. Admittedly, singer Amel Larrieux’s silky vocals were the perfect material for such a remix. Though he’s been releasing music for about three years – the first being on Scuba’s Hotflush label in 2010 – the producer, DJ, and label boss has a sound that’s perfectly polished, exhibiting a finesse that peers in the industry have taken many years to develop. We’re huge fans of his hybrid sound melding together deep house, 2 step and techno, and we’re not alone. Earlier this year, Fitzgerald was selected to do an Essential Mix on BBC Radio 1, and later was featured on the “In New DJs We Trust” program–a sure sign of a rising star and where many a DJ and producer have showcased their talent to an eager global audience.

We’re happy to announce that he’ll be playing this Sunday at Medusa and have picked out some jams and mixes for you to listen to in preparation, if you aren’t already hyped up like we are:

Groove Theory – ‘Tell Me (George Fitzgerald Remix)’

George Fitzgerald – ‘I Can Tell (By The Way You Move)’

George Fitzgerald – ‘Thinking of You’

Kimbra – ‘The Build Up (George Fitzgerald Remix)’

George Fitzgerald – BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix – January 19, 2013

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Purchase tickets for George Fitzgerald’s show this Sunday at Medusa and get more info here.

ELECTRONICA AS NARRATIVE: JON HOPKINS ON THE VERY HUMAN PROCESS OF PRODUCTION

Not to be confused with the top-rated university, Jon Hopkins reigns from a decidedly more contrary world — music. The UK electronica artist crafts tracks that manage to achieve a rare combination of emotive expression and technical precision. There’s a perfection in the atmospheric pulse of Hopkins‘ tracks, a meticulousness to every sonic movement. His ability to weave resonant narratives through electronic music has caught the ears of everyone from Imogen Heap, with whom Hopkins jumpstarted his career as a guitarist, to ambient legend, Brian Eno. With collaborations and remixes with respected electronic innovators like Four Tet and Nosaj Thing under his belt, Hopkins more recently found resounding success with his June 2013-released LP, Immunity, garnering his second Mercury Prize nomination.

We caught up with the rising musician ahead of his upcoming show (Saturday, November 30 at the Echoplex) and talk movie scores, technology, and the very human process of music production.

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LA CANVAS: You’ve spoken in interviews a lot about the tension between technology and human emotion – why do you gravitate toward electronic music in particular to express emotion?

Jon Hopkins: It’s hard to answer that really, I mean my primary motive is just following my instincts – it was just as soon as I heard it when I was a kid, I connected to it. It was just more exciting to me to hear sounds that I had never heard before. it occurred to me even then that it was like an open platform – it would evolve like people do. It’s impossible to imagine the type of sounds that will be possible to make in time – and I love that idea, much more than trying to find new ways of playing the piano – which is the other side of what I was doing. But as the years went on, what I wanted to do as a kid has come true. So now I can imagine the sound and make it.

LAC: Speaking of making any sound you want – you mentioned listening to raindrops coming down a pipe and really wanting to capture that sound – what’s been the most difficult sound or image that you have tried to capture?

JH: I don’t actually try to capture the [exact] thing, it’s more like inspiration for things. So the raindrop thing was actually water running through pipes in a hotel room – it happened to be resonating in a way that was inexplicable. It was like causing this chord to happen and it was a completely random thing. It seemed like a random passage. It wasn’t like I was trying to replicate the sound but more the feeling of it. I don’t go around with a recorder.

The sounds that are on the record that are real world sounds, are ones that I captured from around the studio where I am. To me they seemed really logical to include. It’s like incorporating the world and my own reality into it. So I don’t go to lengths to capture things around me unless I am actually writing.

LAC: You’ve worked on a couple movie scores…

JH: Yes, I’ve done four actually.

LAC: If you could pick a movie score – not necessarily the ones that you’ve worked on – but just in general, if you could pick one to represent your life, which would it be?

JH: Hm, the reality of my life – it would be Twin Peaks. It has a pretty exceptional score. Theres something incredibly dark and deep and beautiful about that score that really resonates with me more than any other score has. It is just so well arranged. We imagine some art closer to our hearts than others – and that’s definitely the one for me.

LAC: When we listen to your music we get the sense that it is deeply personal. Does the process for your music ever exhaust you emotionally, or do you find that it energizes you?

JH: It’s a total mix of those two things actually. When you said ‘does it ever exhaust you?’ I found myself nodding. It’s like I put nine months of work into that album. It really takes a toll – it really takes over your life. It makes it in some ways difficult – when you’ve had an amazingly intense day, and you’re making a breakthrough on a track, it makes it difficult to come home and relate normally to a girlfriend or anyone I see – you’re in a different world. The best thing to do is take a few days off to become a normal human being again. But then after I take a long time off – after a week or so with no music at all, it feels like I am lacking something, lacking energy. Somewhere in there, there is a balance. I just haven’t found it yet.

LAC: Are there any challenges translating your productions into live shows?

JH: Actually it’s a difficult part of the album cycle. You have in your head that there is this huge fanfare and you go to mastering and you commit to it and then you have to deconstruct it all again for the live album. It is painful- you have to get right back into it and figure out how to do it live. Then it becomes fine when you actually start doing the shows, you think you’ve prepared properly. You take the tracks even further than they go on the record … there’s more you can do in the live arena. You can make them longer, heavier, more extreme in some ways and you can even feed off the crowd. It’s a great opportunity to explore the ideas you didn’t have the first time around. Again, it’s difficult, but amazing.

LAC: We’ve heard you speak about being against trends, and how they lead to a sound that can be identified as old. But, has there ever been a new trend that has caught your ear and had  you a little bit tempted?

JH: Oh yeah, I mean I talk a lot of bullocks in interviews (laughs). It’s not quite as clear cut as that. But there are some elements of my sound that I can pinpoint, ‘Oh that was inspired by this’ everything was a trend at one time. So it is difficult – you really do feel differently about what you do everyday so sometimes you will say things like that…

There is a particular type of compression that’s very common, sidechain compression – I can’t really describe the sound – its like a way of making a bass drum or whatever part you like displaced with the part behind it and it makes everything sound fat and amazing. It is definitely a trend of the moment. I try to do it subtly so that it isn’t like super obvious. There are some examples where it is being used too extremely years ago when it was at its peak.

I just prefer to cherry pick the things I love the most and not worry about what trend they’re from, I guess thats a better way of putting it.

I do like the idea of combining sounds of all different times, whether it is right now or ages ago.

LAC: Do you have any guilty pleasure listening?

JH: I prefer to call it ‘proud pleasure listening.’ I am quite an admirer of ABBA and the production in ABBA – and not everyone is into that. My dad was always playing it. And Fleetwood Mac as well. Im quite proud to announce that I like these things cause there’s a reason why these things are so enduring, it’s cause they are amazing. They have a common level of skill and writing and production.

LAC: Lastly, what’s next for you? Where do you see yourself in the next few years?

JH: I don’t really know at this point. The album has opened up all kinds of new opportunities. You know if you asked me this a few months ago I might’ve said I was going to do another collaboration – but now I want to set up my own studio. I really want to start my own place that is custom built. Eventually I want to do my own solo album – take it to another level with that. So that may well be a two year project. But yeah, you don’t know who is going to call and have something exciting for me. You never know if you are going to get a call from a director and be linked to a 4 month project.

I’m touring ’til August, and everything else is happening after that.

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Catch Jon Hopkins playing at the Echoplex this Saturday, November 30 alongside fellow European electronic musicians, Clark and Nathan Fake. Purchase tickets here.

Photo: Oddbjørn Steffensen

PREVIEW: BONOBO AT THE WILTERN, 10/28/13

It’s not uncommon that electronic music is characterized as having no soul. But with UK producer and DJ Bonobo, aka Simon Green, the world of electronica is a playground for crafting soulful, mostly-downtempo electronica imbibed with everything from jazz to moody trip-hop. But don’t mistake downtempo for boring. While distinctly independent of the overly-produced and cheesy exaggerations of high-energy, mainstream electronic music, Bonobo’s productions feel kind of cerebral — the kind of music you listen to when seeking an intimate moment in time and space, and perhaps memory.

Moving from earlier productions like the all-instrumental “Animal Magic” LP released in 2000, to 2013’s “The North Borders,” Bonobo’s more recent productions makes use of skittering beats, sub-bass, and a masterful command of melody. Somehow, his productions are tinged with nostalgia and a strange kind of energy, a certain je ne sais quois that makes his music feel distinctly human.

But don’t take our word for it, listen to some of our picks from this talented musician or check him out for yourself at his upcoming live show at the Wiltern on Monday, October 28, 2013. If his past sold-out shows are any indication, you’ll want to pick up tickets quickly.

MIX OF THE DAY: TRIPPY TURTLE’S DIPLO & FRIENDS MIX ON BBC RADIO 1

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Saturday mornings was the happiest when I was a kid — no school, a bowl of cereal and Saturday morning cartoons, and I was set. Nowadays Saturday mornings are more or less the same — no work, a bowl of leftover drunchies (usually a half-eaten burrito), and BBC Radio 1’s weekly Diplo & Friends, and you can call me a happy camper, if not a hungover one.


A few weekends back, the Diplo & Friends guest DJ was a reptilian bohemian that goes by the name of Trippy Turtle… and really, that’s all we can tell you. Thanks to the Internet, DJs, artists and producers are popping up like daisies, sometimes with little to no information on who exactly these folks are — and Trippy is one of them.

Based off of his Facebook posts and Tweets, Trippy might reside somewhere in Europe (he recently did a show in Norway with Sinjin Hawke and has a show at the end of November in Paris) and rubs virtual elbows with Cashmere Cat. The two frequently feature each other on their respective mixes, including Cashmere Cat’s own turn on Diplo & Friends and his recent hangout with Gilles Peterson. Many thought Trippy was a Cashmere Cat alias, but he squashed that accusation months ago.

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Trippy’s BBC1 mix is all machine whirrs, withered down syrupy R&B samples and edits, thunderous bass and stutters — a mix of sex trap and Jersey club , if you will. Really, this mix has it all. It’ll have you singing along, while simultaneously doing body rolls and that infamous trap dance that looks like you’re doing some really weird pull-ups all at once. That’s how good it is, but I shouldn’t have to tell you twice. Hit that play button.

Check out more of Trippy Turtle’s tracks and edits at his soundcloud.

RECAP: GOLD PANDA AT THE FONDA

Not too long ago, we had the privilege of catching UK beatsmith Gold Panda at the Fonda Theater. Known for his lush, electronic instrumentation, Gold Panda’s music is a textural treat to the ears.

Playing material from all three of his albums, Gold Panda moved seamlessly from track to track, demonstrating the ability to get the crowd moving to music one would not traditionally deem “dance music.” Though with an undeniably electronic heart, Gold Panda’s music toes the line between ambient, experimental and psychedelic, with a smattering of eclectic influences thrown in. It was only fitting that the accompanying visuals for his show held their own eery-trippy quality, as macro shots of aquatic life swayed and jerked in sync with the chops and drops of the beats.

We were particularly happy to hear tracks like “Marriage” and “You,” though it seemed that night that the audience of dedicated fans all had their own favorites, with each new track spun eliciting its own cheers of recognition. Reflecting on past shows attended, while Gold Panda’s night at the Fonda may not have been the most packed we’ve seen, it was surely the most crowd-involved show we’d seen in a while. Clearly those gathered there that night were genuine fans, and we left that night with a strange gratefulness for the special kind of camaraderie that exists between genuine, unabashed lovers of music.

DELICIOUS VINYL: SAME MISSION, NEW METHODS

Move over Snoop, we know you’re a D-O-Double-G, but the triple Double-OG’s aren’t going anywhere just yet.

LA-based label Delicious Vinyl originated in the late 1980s, by signing two of LA’s finest pre-gangsta rap hip-hop acts to their roster, legend Tone Loc and Young MC. Throughout the years, DV was known for signing acts that have become pioneers and forerunners for their respective genres — acts like The Pharcyde, The Born Jamericans, The Brand New Heavies and the Masters of Reality, just to name a few.

 THE BIZARRE RIDE AT DV SHOP
Bizarre Ride at the DV Shop | Photo Cred: Asato Lida

But fast forward a couple years and the label’s evolution transcended into territories that were just on the cusp of making it big – DV’s Rick Ross (not to be confused by one Miami security guard) was one of the first in LA to delve into the world of electronic music before it made its mainstream explosion in the city of angels.

Founder Mike Ross and all his cohorts were capable of recognizing what was up and coming with music, acting with some kind of musical wizardy for knowing what people were going to eat up next as far as genres go.

True to form, DV is nowhere near falling off the grid. In recent years, the label/record store began to host “DVTV Sessions,” weekly events where they would bring in a guest DJ to spin at the shop, while streaming it live on ustream.

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Aaron LaCrate at DVTV Session #50 | Photo Cred: Asato Lida

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Teebs at DVTV Session #54 | Photo Cred: Asato Lida

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Alexander Spit at DVTV Sessions #44 | Photo Cred: Asato Lida

The idea here is not only to keep up with the hottest artists in the game right now, but to also take over in a new role as a pseudo-online radio station – highlighting top DJs and artists to music lovers not only in LA, but all over the blog-o-sphere while establishing an online presence.

55 Sessions-deep and a soon to be released season 1 wrap-up on the way, the DVTV Sessions have been highly successful in that its brought in a whole range of acts – from Beat Junkies godfather Rhettmatic to new kids on the block like Soulection and Falcons.

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Blasion Maven at DV Shop | Photo Cred: Asato Lida

DVTV X DJ RHETTMATIK FROM BEAT JUNLIES
Rhettmatic at DVTV Sessions #48 | Photo Cred: Asato Lida

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Star Slinger at DVTV Sessions #55 | Photo Cred: Asato Lida

The next scheduled DVTV Sessions is October 11 with TeamSupreme, so set your calendars folks. Until then check out a few of DV’s recap videos and all the DVTV sessions on their Ustream channel.


Delicious Vinyl TV: A Day With (G)uards | Video Cred: Asato Lida


Delicious Vinyl TV Session #54: My Hollow Drum Take Over | Video Cred: Asato Lida


Delicious Vinyl TV Session #53: Nanna B. | Video Cred: Asato Lida

INTERVIEW: LOST MIDAS

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East of downtown, just crossing over the 4th St. bridge, is a warehouse complex of art studio lofts. In one of the smaller, tucked away and yet-to-be-completed sound studios sits Lost Midas a.k.a Jason Trikakis. He’s working on his craft – music making – which began when he was just 6 years old.

While considered a “beatmaker” by association, the term simplifies a more complex talent – a natural ability to create intricate, atmospheric compositions. He interplays chords, building a sound that’s poetically whimsical – relying heavily on a well-constructed melody laying over one of his freestyled drum patterns. This sophisticated approach comes from his obsession with Jazz and Classical music, which as a multi-instrumentalist he is trained to play. His recent EP Memory Flux leans on bubbly head-bobbing beat arrangements pierced by Lost Midas’ own golden touch of dreamy, melodic, electronic soundscapes.

We sat down with Lost Midas for a small chat about his history, musical approach and what to expect in the near future.

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LA CANVAS: Ok, so where are you from?

LOST MIDAS: Boston. I moved to L.A. summer of 2011.

LAC: Why to LA?

LM: That’s a good question. It was kind of impulsive. I was playing in bands on the east coast and my dream was always to be a rock star. As a matter fact, not to say that I got close, but I got a taste of that experience. In a band called The Press Project. We were a live seven-piece R&B Jazz ensemble. Our third or fourth gig ever was opening for The Roots. So things took off quick. At that age I thought this is how it’s always going to be until I realized there were seven people cooking in a small kitchen. We played Bonnaroo in 2008 and it was a steady decline after that.

LAC: If you were in Boston why not just move to New York?

I was going to move to New York but what stopped me was a pretty cool sequel of events. This girl I used to date, her best friend was dating Austin Peralta. Through her and Austin I went to New York to a Brainfeeder event. FlyLo, Teebs, Strangeloop, Thundercat, and a couple others were on the bill. I had to check it out. Producing to me was new and I was being influenced by these guys. I was sick and tired of being in bands with unreliable people. I thought this would be a great opportunity to meet the Brainfeeder crew and I did. Coincidentally, I happened to sign up for a Logic Pro certification course in LA held the next day. I was flying to LA and so was Brainfeeder, and that same night they were playing at Low End. They saw me and they were like “what the f—-“. That night left a huge impression on me and I decided to move to LA.

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LAC: Where does the name Lost Midas come from?

LM: I played in a cover band and between songs and as often is the case, patrons will shout out names of artist they wanted to hear. One guy shouted Paul Simon, but our lead singer heard Lost Midas. He says back on the mic, “Who’s Lost Midas?!” It became a bit of an inside joke within the band.

LAC: How did you get connected to your record label Tru Thoughts?

LM: Well, my buddy Roland who does artwork for a lot of musicians, him and I are pretty close friends. He has been successful in the graphic design world and some of the artists he has designed for have been on the Tru Thoughts label. He connected me with Jasmine (Label Manager) via e-mail. She heard my tracks through Soundcloud. Two weeks later we met in Silverlake and she offered me a deal on the spot, just like that.

LAC: What’s your creative process? How do you begin to put together a song?

LM: What does it for me is having… nice chords. Nice harmony. Rhythm comes later which comes contrary to what some might believe because I’ve been a drummer for over 20 years. The drums are the hardest for me. I love harmony and I love melody. I love “harmonic deception.” That’s what I think I’m good at, coming up with interesting chord changes. I don’t consider myself a beatmaker or part of the beat scene. I might be a little bit of an outsider because I might be one of those few cats in that genre that write bridges. Now, the reason why I need chord changes is that when I work as a drummer in a band my part is a reaction to the chords, so when I’m composing I don’t want to start with the drums. First, it has to have that Lost Midas harmonic thing going on.

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LAC: Do you think you’ve found that Lost Midas sound?

LM: I know it when I’m there but I don’t know the path to get there.

LAC: What are you listening to right now?

LM: Banks – Warm Water (Snakeships remix). It is absolutely beautiful. It’s so good I well up at the corner of my eye blasting it on my way to work. You can tell [Snakehips are] not just producer kids, they’re musicians. There is a difference. My staple though, Jazz and Classical. That is my heart and my soul.

LAC: When will the album come out?

LM: We’re thinking March-April 2014.

LAC: And the new EP?

November 18th in the UK and 19th in the US, and the single Dance Monkey on the 16th of October.

Listen and purchase Lost Midas’ recently released EP Memory Flux on Tru Thoughts here.

 

LISTEN UP: MOD CREW’S YUNG SATAN

So I moved to LA for a number of reasons, but let’s keep it real, I really moved down here for two things. One: of course, I found a job. And two: LA’s music scene.

Originally recognized through Low End Theory and the likes of artists like Free the Robots, LA’s beat scene has been on a huge rise in the last few years, and I don’t know what has kids coming out with these beats, but I dig it. Is it something in the water? Hell, maybe it’s the traffic or the pollution, something!

The M|O|D crew has slowly but surely breaking ground with their trap tapes and Peng compilations, but individual artists like Arnold, C.Z. and Lil Texas are starting to speed up the breakthrough process. Add in a kid like Yung Satan, and it’s only a matter of time until these guys are headlining major show festivals.

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Yung Satan | Photo Cred: Jason “OHDAGYO” Fenmore

Disregarding any “future trap” label that might come up on your Google search of the kid, Yung Satan’s sound in a nutshell in heavy bass undertones with an overlay of 80s and 90s R&B/soul samples, like in his most release, “Tell Me.”

Chopping and screwing the samples are Yung Satan’s forte for dissecting the samples to his liking but the R&B influences are there and compliment the true-to-M|O|D nature of “club” and “trap” music. What Yung Satan does is to transform that type of “trap” and “club” music into something outside of it.

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Yung Satan | Photo Cred: Jason “OHDAGYO” Fenmore

It’s a one-two punch combo that on paper lay on opposite ends of the sound spectrum but Yung Satan’s chord progressions and high hats pull it all full circle and leave you wanting something beyond a five-track EP and a sprinkling of remixes and guest mixes.

Last night the kid and the rest of the M|o|D crew and Team Supreme threw a party at The Echo, with sets from Yung Satan himself, M|O|D brethren Lil Texas and Arnold, Colta and Djemba Djemba from Team Supreme, and many more. The good thing about being based in LA is hey, you never know when his next gig will pop up in the greater LA county area, so keep an eye on his Facebook and Twitter and in the mean time, tune in to his guest mix featured on Beatflakes.

RECAP: BRITISH DUO ALUNAGEORGE AT THE EL REY

What a belle époque to be a male-female music duo: Beach House, Sleigh Bells, Purity Ring, we really could keep going. One tag-team we’ve had our ears out for is British duo, AlunaGeorge. Producer George Reid and songstress Aluna Francis have been on the scene, serving infectious originals and brilliant features on tracks of other rising acts, like UK electronic duo, Disclosure. The pair has been building buzz with their sub-genre-bending take on pop music, Aluna’s distinctive vocals, and their protagonist verses. Following the summer release of their full length “Body Music,” the Brits hit the road on their first North American tour, and recently made their LA debut to a pumped-up packed house at the El Rey.

Aluna strutted on stage robed as a futuristic boxing goddess with George boyishly bopping on synthesizer, and backed by live drums and bass. As the digital and organic sounds harmoniously flooded the venue, the audience feverishly danced and sang along to favorites like “Attracting Flies,” White Noise,” and “This Is How We Do It.” Their cover of Montel Jordan’s timeless jam was a hit! Aluna’s bright vocals called and the crowd responded in deep refrains of the song’s memorable chorus. The show capped off with another crowd pleaser, “Your Drums, Your Love,” but left with no encore leaving attendees served and eager for more, as AlunaGeorge stepped off waving, blowing kisses and thanking fans.

So, what’s next for the pair? These two are young, talented, and are certainly onto something. Let’s hope the future proves that they’re ideal music mates, unlike some other past boy-girl duos… Ike & Tina? White Stripes? Sonic Youth… too soon?

SONG OF THE DAY: THE INTERNET – “DONTCHA”

For the Syd tha Kyd and Matt Martian of The Internet, it was out with the trippy and in with the funky. Their latest single, titled “Dontcha,” features a delicate, soulful and sexy Syd over a bouncy drum line and a deep bass groove. The track serves as the blog-o-sphere’s first official taste of their sophomore album, “Feel Good,” due at the end of this month.

Syd’s vocals still come across as laidback, but are more definitive and don’t shy away from Matt’s soundscape, which had a little production boost from Chad Hugo and Mike Einziger. A year ago, very few would place Syd’s vocal capabilities alongside words like “sultry” and “sexy,” but a track like this might force many to think twice about it.

On the production front, Syd Tweeted to fans that this project is a 180-degree flip from the duo’s original electronic sound, and that it was slated to be a funk and neo-soul album – notarizing a quick maturation in their musical direction.

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With features from Chad Hugo, Thundercat, Mike Einziger, Jesse Boykins III and Malaysian heartthrob Yuna, “Feel Good” will sure to have you, well… feel good.

Catch The Internet at Low End Theory on Sept. 25th and at the Odd Future Carnival at the Los Angeles Colesium on Nov. 9.

INTERVIEW: UK DJ/PRODUCER “EATS EVERYTHING”

Eats Everything, a.k.a Dan Pierce, has seen a meteoric rise in the house music scene with a decidedly groovy and low-end-heavy breed of house. After struggling for years and even going on the dole (the UK’s equivalent of collecting unemployment), he cut a deal for his single “Entrance Song” in 2011 and the rest is history. Today he ranks #13 on Resident Advisor’s top DJs list, and is one of the most in-demand DJs in Europe and beyond. We share a conversation with the affable gent on the underground, drugs, and wrestling. Yes, wrestling. Read on for an explanation…

LAC: I read in an old interview that you were into wrestling as a kid… and that it was how you really got into electronic music. Can you share that story with us?

EE: Well I was actually into WWF as it was known then, when I was 10 or 11 years old. I had the ropes painted around the walls in my room and all the logos of Hulk Hogan, etc. painted on my walls. I used to wrestle with the pillow and listen to Radio 1. They played what I now know to be house music basically. And they played Felix’s ‘Don’t You Want Me.’ I thought, ‘wow, I haven’t really heard anything like this before.’ So I recorded the show, and every time I wrestled my pillow, I played that song.

LAC: So, basically a gay anthem became your entrance song…

EE: Yeah, exactly! My entrance song is basically a gay anthem, so just picture me wrestling my pillow, walking into my bedroom and ‘Don’t You Want Me’ is playing.

LAC: Well that’s got to be the most entertaining story of how anyone’s gotten into electronic music…

EE: Yeah, [laughs]

LAC: You’re into a lot of music, and consider yourself open-minded… why do you think electronic music in particular though, is so powerful?

EE: You want the honest truth? Because most people who get into it, take drugs with it, and they like it, the drugs give you a euphoria and I don’t think there’s anything more euphoric than a huge piano riff or, like, a big massive riff. Electronic music is very strict on its boundaries, with how it works, for example, it’s usually got a 4-4 kick drum, very definite broken beat, and so on and so on. You can really associate with it. Whereas, rock music, for example, is 4 different speeds, ranging from like from 100 to 200 BPM, I’m not saying in general, but me personally I could never grab onto anything. I like it, but house music you can grab on to it, you can grab onto the kick drum. There’s an element of that that works… It works for me and other people, it’s got something that really grabs you. EDM, it’s such a big thing in charts now, there’s a big culture around it.

LAC: Speaking of drugs, I’ve seen a rise in the use of psychedelics and there’s this discussion around the audio enhancement you can get on psychedelics. Do you think there are musicians out there who produce specifically keeping that in mind?

I do think there are definitely producers who do. But I mean, me personally, I don’t… well, I guess I do in a way. From the ages of 15 to 27 or 28 I was getting fucked up every weekend. And I mean, obviously when I’m making a record, I have an idea subconsciously how it might sound. And there probably are writers who do specifically produce for people on acid or [psychedelics]. Take psy-trance for example, it’s definitely produced for people on acid and stuff.

LAC: Thanks for answering that so frankly… Moving on, I’m curious about Claude VonStroke. What role has he played in your career and what’s it like to be a part of the Dirtybird family?

EE: He’s a real legend and amazing person. Really helpful. I mean, he’s out for himself, not in a bad way, but in the sense that he wants his label to do as well as it possibly can, he does this by signing the best artists and the best music, there’s no bad in thing in that. He’s given me a lot of advice and he’s really helped me a lot. The Dirtybird guys are my favorite guys in this industry, they’re great. Not just cause they’re my crew, but they’re really just my favorite guys in the industry. But really, there’s not really anyone in the underground-ish house scene who aren’t cool. There’s no arrogance, no cliquey-ness, anything like that. Also, we’re all a bit older, we’re all in like our 30’s, we’ve been around a lot..

LAC: There’re no egos right?

EE: Exactly.

LAC: I’ve always thought when the egos are thrown out of the mix the music is much better.

EE: 100 percent.

LAC: You’ve been in the game a really long time now. I’m sure you’ve seen the sound of the underground change from year to year.

EE: Yeah exactly, look at “Jack”, that was underground…

LAC: …But now it’s huge!

EE: Yeah, now it’s gotten to the top 10 in England! You know, I don’t even call myself underground really. I say [my sound is] underground-ish… I don’t think people and clubs and cliques could say that they’re underground but they’re not cause if you advertise on your Facebook and tell people “come to my party” or “buy my record”, then you’re not really underground. At the end of the day, you’re not underground. I would never call myself underground ’cause I advertise, lots of people know who I am, I have a Facebook, I say listen to this or that on the radio… there’s nothing underground about that. And it’ll continue to be like that forever, because the kids who are into Skrillex and you know (I mean I love Skrillex but it’s just an example), they’re always going to be wanting more or looking for something new. I just think underground will always become mainstream, because the kids will always want something new and their attention spans are already short, but I see them getting shorter and shorter. I don’t think there’s really any such thing as underground anymore.

LAC: You used to be into darker music… You’ve played everything from hardcore to jungle, speed garage to a funkier, groovier breed of house. Can you tell us a bit more about your transition from the heavy to the lighter? Would you say the heavy side still influences your sound?

EE: When I was a kid I was listening to, obviously, Felix. Then, when I was about 13, my friends who had older brothers who were basically you know, they’d go to raves and hardcore raves…

LAC: So you got into raves when you were a kid.

EE: I was from a small village, basically in the middle of nowhere, miles from anywhere. There was nothing to do, and you could either get into crime or go to parties. Luckily for my parents I got into partying and taking drugs a bit [laughs]. Yeah, I was taking drugs and enjoying myself [laughs] We’d listen to hardcore… it was all about breaks, jungle types of breakbeats and piano then all of a sudden they added all this shit… cheesy lyrics into the track, it kind of turned a lot of us off.

LAC: Are you talking about happy hardcore stuff?

EE: Yeah, happy hardcore! So basically the hardcore became happy hardcore so we got into jungle and drum ‘n’ bass, then it got darker and it kind of lost all the soul for me, so then we got into house music and into its emerging and amalgamating form. I’ve always been into the more banging heavier end of the spectrum, but, yeah, I would say I’m one of the more heavier DJs within this “underground”-ish scene.

LAC: I read that you have a collaboration album in the works in Justin Martin

EE: Yeah, I’m in San Francisco at the mall at the moment looking for a new shirt. (I’ve run out of shirts), but yeah I’m actually here to record with him, I’m staying at his house recording music! We’re trying to write an album of what we consider dancefloor-friendly, we just want to make an album of tracks that we can play and we can tour and play it in a certain way. We just want to make a lot groovier records basically.

LAC: I’ve heard a lot of your collaborations but haven’t seen so many of your own solo productions lately. Where do you see your career going, are you still thinking of opening a studio?

EE: My career, well, me and my management, my team, we basically have a plan for what’s going to happen. And the reason now I’m doing a lot of collaborations is, because at the end of the day, I’ve released a lot of singles, I’m doing a collaborations and then I’m gonna do a lot of touring, then after that I’m going to sit down and write an album, cause with this game I’ve learned more and more that things can get stale and you have to do different things for yourself, cause I don’t want to get bored. I know if I was in the studio all the time I’d get bored, so there needs to be a balance.

LAC: Understandable. Do you have artists that you’re thinking of collaborating with or artists who are just under the radar that we should keep an eye out for?

EE: There’s this guy German Brigante who makes fucking brilliant records every time. Every record is a winner. There’s also a guy Truncate who makes techno. He makes really cool, really crazy techno.

LAC: This one’s a bit random, but what are the best and worst foods you’ve had in the United States?

EE: That’s a tough one! I’ve actually never really had bad food here, I’ve liked pretty much everything. Let’s see, I had a really good meal at a place called House of Prime Rib. I like most foods so anywhere I go I’m pretty happy.

LAC: You play Splash House this weekend in Palm Springs and you just played HARD Summer here in LA. How was that experience for you? Do US audiences differ from UK ones?

EE: They do differ in that the US audience is a little less expectant of what they want you to play. US audiences seem a lot more open-minded, they kind of just let you do what you do and get down… whereas in the UK, the audiences are a bit more… difficult, in the sense that they want you to play certain tunes or records.

See Eats Everything get down this Saturday at Splash House in Palm Springs. From August 10-11, Eats Everything and artists like Bag Raiders, Poolside, Classixx, Perseus, Plastic Plates, and more take to the decks for a triple-header pool party at the Saguaro Hotel, the Curve Hotel, and the Caliente Tropics! More details here.

 

LISTEN UP: TÉLÉPOPMUSIK

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Yes, they’re back! After eight years the French electronic group Télépopmusik has announced that they will be releasing a new album by the end of 2013. Last month they quietly released a two-song EP, Try Me Anyway / Fever. This week the group released an official music video for Try Me Anyway featuring Betty Black.

 

Télépopmusik is of course best remembered for their 2001 dreamy, astral song “Breathe” which featured guest vocalist Angela McCluskey. The massive success of “Breathe” subsequently had McCluskey singing in most of the songs on the group’s followup album, Angel Milk (2005), helping to define Télépopmusik’s signature atmospheric sound. McCluskey will again lend her voice in the new upcoming album. However only two of the original members, 2 Square and Antipop, will be producing songs for the album while the third member, Dumont, continues to focus on managing his own label, G.U.M., which houses artist like Woodkid and The Shoes.

‘Til the new album drops, you can stream the new EP along with a few remixes from various producers on their SoundCloud page here.

INTERVIEW: SMALL BLACK

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Small Black, the 4-piece Brooklyn band signed to Jagjaguwar (Bon Iver, Foxygen, GAYNGS), craft the type of atmospheric electro-pop that is born from children of the 80s who’ve danced countless times till dawn in Brooklyn basements and make music for the sunrise after – i.e. euphoric electronic layers that you blast as dawn peeks over the horizon and the sun makes your beer can-covered rooftop glisten.

Though the band started as a DIY bedroom keyboard experiment by lead singer Josh Kolenik and Ryan Heyner (keys/synth) in 2009, the group’s new album, Limits of Desire, and corresponding live show feel conscientiously grander and more evolved than any prior releases; their synth-heavy hooks are bolstered by Jeff Curtin’s live drums and Juan Pieczanski’s plumped-up bass/guitar licks, their progressions are more robust, more alive, and more confident, perhaps, and yet all the while retain a delicacy from Kolenik’s creamy vocals.

It’s sad we live in a day and age where we get excited that an electro-pop act doesn’t just press play on their mac to initiate the kick drum when playing live. But it’s true. Small Black’s buddy Toro Y Moi has to get the dance party started with one hand on his laptop, one hand fist-pumping. Small Black proved real is better, last Thursday, June 13th, at EchoPlex. We caught up with the soft spoken, introspective lead singer Josh before the show.

 

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Left to Right: Jeff Curtin (drums), Josh Kolenik (lead singer) and Ryan Heyner (keyboard/synth), Juan Pieczanski (bass/guitar). (Photo by Faith-Ann Young)

 

LA CANVAS: Small Black originated as a smaller collaboration between you and Ryan. Did you always know Small Black would grow into a 4 piece?

Josh Kolenik: Yeah, well, we didn’t ever want to be two dudes on stage just playing Casios. That’s really only appropriate for recording (laughs).

 

LAC: How did you and Ryan meet?

JK: Ryan and I kind of did the EP ourselves just because we are best friends. Jeff and Juan are also best friends. We always knew Jeff and Juan were going to be in the band. Juan helped with some of the vocal production on the EP and Juan and I had this little side project we were working on.

 

LAC: What was the side project called?

JK: Cool Weed! (laughs) We never put anything out. It was totally a joke band. It was really funny music…We would jam on hip-hop loops on tape machines.

 

LAC: Haha….Beatboxing?

JK: No not like that. It was just…..psycho 4-track music.

 

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Left to Right: Jeff Curtin (drums), Juan Pieczanski (bass/guitar), Ryan Heyner (keyboard/synth), and Josh Kolenik (lead singer). (Photo by Faith-Ann Young)

 

LAC: Wow. Seriously though, hip-hop is a strong inspiration for you?

JK: Especially on the EP – the song “Weird Machines” and the song “Goons” on New Chain were all pulling from rap tempo, which is a little slower than dance.

But I’d say in the new record, we kind of let that go.

 

LAC: Have you always played instruments?

JK: I’ve played music since I was 12 years old….in bands and on my 4-track. I started as a guitar player and then got into samplers later in high school.

 

LAC: Do you play guitar less now?

JK: I definitely write songs on guitar. The whole concept of Small Black was all of us are guitar players.

 

LAC: What’s your favorite song on the new album, “Limits of Desire” (2013)?

JK: “No Stranger.” It’s a really simple pop song and our second single. It’s kind of like my baby. We almost abandoned it a bunch of times. I just kind of like the sentiment of the song…..so I had to make it work for my own personal happiness.

 

LAC: If you were to create a mixtape of artists who you are digging right now (not artists of the past), who would be on it..?

JK: Hmmm.. Cass McCombs. A lot of our friends, like Washed Out and Toro Y Moi….Heavenly Beat who we are playing with us this tour, Beach Fossils, Wild Nothing. Oh – I love the Phosphorescent record – it’s really beautiful.

 

LAC: When you say a lot of these bands are your friends…do you all live near each other?

JK: Well I live with John from Heavenly Beat – and the Beach Fossils kids and Wild Nothing – we all live within a 3 blocks.

 

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Left to Right: Josh Kolenik (lead singer), Ryan Heyner (keyboard/synth), Juan Pieczanski (bass/guitar), and Jeff Curtin (drums). (Photo by Faith-Ann Young)

 

LAC: I felt there was this very gauzy, atmospheric, beachy air to Limits of Desire. Was California an inspiration? Or what were your muses for the new record?

JK: I definitely feel it is much more city. Like “Shook Loves” is very city. We put the trumpet on 3 songs…..jazz is the sound of the city and when I hear a horn, it kind of places me there. I don’t know we get the beachy thing a lot. It’s not something that we ever really thought about……As long as it feels good as you are driving through the landscape, that’s OK.

 

LAC: Plans for the rest of the year?

JK: We are going to go on tour again in September and October through the US and Europe. And we’re going to work on some more songs when we are home!

SMALL BLACK AT THE ECHOPLEX JUNE 13th 2013

(Photos by Faith-Ann Young)

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Q&A: KASTLE

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We’ve long been swooning over Kastle, a producer whose love for philosophy and science translates into atmospheric beats with the soulfulness of R&B and the dancefloor rhythms of house and garage.  We speak to Kastle below about his influences, his favorite R&B records, and what the future holds for this talented musician.

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How does your experience as a sound engineer influence your music production?

Going to college for engineering definitely helped me think more about EQ’ing, dynamic range, frequency balance, and mastering. Knowing the frequencies of all your sounds and where they sit in the mix is essential.

R&B seems to have quite an influence on your music. What are your top 3 favorite R&B records?

That’s a tough question… but off the top of my head: Aaliyah’s self-titled album, Lauryn Hill’s Miseduction of Lauryn Hill and Sade’s Soldier Of Love.

Some people say R&B is dead. How do you feel about this? 

I think it’s just been in a transitional period the last couple of years. I think a lot of the traditional commercial R&B artists started going more pop/dance, which really made room for the indie artists like The Weeknd, Frank Ocean, etc. Now you have artists like Inc., Johnny Rain, JMSN, Xavier, How To Dress Well, etc. all doing it their own way and to me its very exciting. Feels more real.

What are some records or influences that might surprise your fans?

I’m influenced by a lot of things and I’ve made it no secret that I enjoy studying philosophy and science which has been the biggest inspiration to me. I’ve also recently started running at gyms and I’ve found it puts me in a zone that just opens up a lot of creative space in my head.

Tell us a little more about your collaborations on your recent albums. How did they come about? Is there anyone you’re just itching to collaborate with? 

All the collaborations happened very naturally. The first couple collabs were the tracks with JMSN and Austin Paul. JMSN and I worked on those two shortly after I had finished the remix for his track “Alone”. Austin just hit me up randomly on Soundcloud one day and we clicked. Same with Ayah Marar, she contacted me on Twitter and we instantly connected well. All of the collaborations were done via the internet.

Your music is often described among some of my friends as “babymaking” music. How does it feel to know that your music might be accompanying some very, uh, “intimate” moments?

It can be a little awkward, especially when I have been told in person at a show. Or people will leave Facebook comments about details. I guess I appreciate their honesty? Haha.

You are one of the most engaged musicians I’ve seen on social media, taking time to interact with fans, bloggers and followers. Why is this important to you, and has it influenced your music at all?

I try my best to keep involved and the airport downtime definitely helps with that a lot.  Honestly I don’t really think about it that much. If I see something and can respond… I just do. I know I miss a lot though and sometimes I do need a break from all that. But I think its great that we are all connected. I’m not trying to separate myself. Open, honest communication is good.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years? Will you stay in San Francisco?

Always such a hard question. But I will most definitely still be writing music. I love San Francisco. I think the only city that could possibly take me away from there in the next five years would be LA.

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See Kastle perform live tomorrow night at the Low End Theory. Cover is $10. More info here

Photo Credit: thesupermaniak

SONG OF THE DAY: LVLF – “DYING TO START AGAIN”

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One sonic rebirth after another. And here’s to hoping third time’s the charm.

Ally Young and Lee Newell originally began booking gigs as an emo-rock band in the UK before signing to Geffen Records as Viva Brother, their indie incarnate who broke up after a short-lived period of 9 months. If the two missed the formula for emo or indie, the two have now made a comeback as the Brooklyn-based R&B-electro-pop duo LVLF (Lovelife), and it seems that they’ve finally discovered a talent for producing infectious dance tunes paired with compressed synths, catchy melodies and downtempo beats. Their recent EP’s “The Fourth Floor” and “El Regresso” (available for download on their website) reflect the duo’s successful experimentation with radiant vocals laced upon an ever-infectious disco soundscape. “Dying to Start Again” especially showcases the nuance many lack which make a catchy song out of what could easily have been tacky. This song will be the first single off their third EP “Stateless,” which is anticipated to arrive this summer.

SONG OF THE DAY: THEM JEANS – “BODY PARTY” FT. CIARA

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Jason Stewart, better known by his stage name Them Jeans, has become a Los Angeles namesake, spinning at venues all over town, most notably for Dim Mak Tuesdays at the Cinespace. Aside from music, Stewart is considered a renaissance man of sorts, doing everything from designing his own record covers and flyers for events, to establishing his own denim line. Although Ciara’s “Body Party” has been remixed by more producers than we can count, we’ve been grooving to Stewart’s remix all day. Clearly a multi-talented man, this remix showcases Stewart’s ability to seamlessly mishmash genres and unlikely singles into new hybrid-genres like indie house or electro R&B.

SONG OF THE DAY: WILLIAM ARCANE – “WANT SOMEBODY”

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William Arcane is a producer out of the UK whose forthcoming EP, “Permanence was just announced by the veritable Pictures Music record label, home to esteemed artists like Lapalux and Dauwd. We’re digging this track “Want Somebody” with its tight electronic production and Arcane’s own soulful vocals smoothly gliding across. Take a listen below, and mark June 10th on your calendars, when Arcane’s EP “Permanence” drops digitally and on 12″ vinyl.

FIRST LISTEN: SHLOHMO – “DON’T SAY NO” FT. HOW TO DRESS WELL

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LA native and beatmaker Henry Laufer, aka Shlohmo, has hit on so many genres—electronic, hip-hop, dream-pop—all mixed into catchy psychedelic tracks. In his latest single from his much anticipated EP Laid Out, he collaborates with experimental-pop act How To Dress Well for a slow, soulful R&B track mixed with some consuming electronic beats. This will definitely leave you wanting more, but do not fret! The EP is to be released March 4th, with a special vinyl copy available April 2nd, and from our sneak peak we can guarantee that you’ll want to make sure to grab this one.

Listen to the new single below and look out for Shlohmo live on April 6th at the Fonda Theatre.