A rundown of the best events in our fair city this week.
PAIGE JIYOUNG MOON, D.W. MARINO & MORE AT LA LUZ DE JESUS
WHEN: Friday, January 3rd, 8-11pm (Opening Reception); Showing through Feb. 2nd
WHERE: 4633 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90027
WHAT: La Luz de Jesus hosts an exhibition from a diverse group of artists exploring themes that run the gamut from environmentalism to folklore. While you’re there, browse the famous gallery slash store’s multitude of kooky and eclectic goods that often mirror the broad post-pop and counter-culture themes of the gallery’s exhibitions. | more info
REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE WHEN: Friday, January 3rd, 7:30pm
WHERE: 1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90403
WHAT: Head to Santa Monica’s Aero Theatre to catch director Nicholas Ray’s iconic film portraying suburban teen rebellion, alienation, and moral decay. The 1955 film made co-stars James Dean and Natalie Wood instant cultural icons. Tickets are $7 for American Cinematheque members or $11 for non-members. | more info
CONVERSE RUBBER TRACKS LIVE X URBAN OUTFITTERS
WHEN: Saturday, January 4, 8pm
WHERE: Tower Theater | 802 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90014
WHAT: DTLA’s brand new Urban Outfitters hosts Chromatics, Glass Candy, and Doe Eyes as part of Converse’s ‘Rubber Tracks’ concert series. Portland-based headliner, Chromatics originally caught ears with their “no wave” sound but have since evolved with a modern take on italo-disco that is dreamy, dark, and hypnotically slow-grooving. | more info
SCRATCH|BAR ‘OPEN MIC’ DINNER W/ GUEST CHEF JAMES TREES
WHEN: Sunday, January 5, Call for reservations
WHERE: Scratch|Bar | 111 N La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA, 90021
WHAT: In the spirit of culinary ingenuity, Scratch Bar’s Chef Phillip Franklin Lee hosts an ‘Open Mic’ series, inviting guest chefs each Sunday to serve up a unique menu of dishes. This Sunday boasts James Trees, who plans to serve up everything from Kabocha with Black Garlic Marshmallow and Grilled Pork Belly, to Baked Apple soup with Creme Fraiche, Caramelized Onion, and Crab. $70 gets you a seven course meal and a taste of culinary genius. | more info
TINY HEARTS, NEW BEAT FUND & MORE AT BARDOT
WHEN: Monday, January 6th, 8:00pm
WHERE: Bardot | 1737 Vine St, Hollywood, CA 90028
WHAT: After you’ve bounced back to life from that ghastly NYE hangover, do it all over again and get your 2014 started off right. Monday nights are back for It’s a School Night, and they’re not skipping a beat. Beat-gifted trio Tiny Hearts headlines with accompanying acts by New Beat Fund, Monogem, Cristina Black, and resident DJ and homegrown fave Chris Douridas of KCRW. | more info
JEFF MICHAUD DINNER AT ANIMAL
WHEN: Tuesday, January 7, Call for reservations
WHERE: Animal | 435 North Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036
WHAT: Head to your favorite carnivore haunt for a one-night only dinner with Jeff Michaud. The James Beard Award-winner visits as part of Animal founders Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo’s “Cooking with Friends” series. For $75, feast on a four course meal including dishes like Pork Shank Osso Bucco and Fettucini with Braised Rabbit and Porcini, and for dessert, delight in an Heirloom Apple upside-down cake with polenta gelato. | more info
EPROM, POIRIER, GRENIER, DJ MOPPY AT LOW END THEORY
WHEN: Wednesday, January 8, 9:30pm-1:00am
WHERE: 2419 N. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90031
WHAT: Producer Eprom’s beats are hard to categorize–even with a hip-hop skeleton, Eprom’s music is reflective of the “post-millennial,” soundcloud-bandcamp-internet megaverse and its convergence of genres. His mastery of texture results in beats that transform the everyday sounds we know into distinctive tracks incorporating the churning and distortion of dubstep and grime. The result are psychedelic-friendly tracks anyone with an inkling for experimental and dark can enjoy. | more info
Soulection — if that name doesn’t ring a bell, maybe it’s about time to come out from whatever rock you’re hiding under. The label slash collective has been gaining steady progress since their inception in 2011 under founders Joe Kay and Andre Power, who have stacked the label roster higher than we can stack the empty Red Bull cans in our office. We caught up with one-half of the big dream duo, Andre Power, to talk about being the new kids on the block, why we both dig singers and worldwide takeover.
LA CANVAS: You guys started Soulection in 2011 and it just seems like everything surged upward: your popularity, fans’ reception of the music coming from the crew, it all just seemed to escalate in a short amount of time. Can you elaborate on what that’s been like?
We started with an idea, and that idea actually kind of switched once we got things going. We got the first compilation two years ago that drew in a lot of supporters and fans for us, and from then we had a lot of friends that wanted to help us out. I don’t know, everything just seemed to flow together a lot better and faster than we expected it to. I mean, there was no real plan in the beginning but everything that has happened in the last two years has definitely been a blessing. Me and Joe coordinate a lot on ideas and thoughts and we get a lot of help from the team when it comes to proper ways to market, proper ways to promote ourselves and things like that. Every aspect that we’re doing we try to not put a whole bunch of pressure to become somebody else, but just to keep doing what we do and let it flow.
LAC: Have there been any challenges or setbacks along the way?
Probably one of the biggest challenges is the communication between artists – especially because we work with a lot of artists overseas. There is so much coordination that has to go into maintaining those types of relationships because you have to factor in things like time zones and language barriers. I mean, it’s been tough, but this whole thing has been a huge learning experience for all of us.
LAC: At what point did you guys start bringing on the rest of the crew – Sango, IAMNOBODI, Esta – did things just start to fall into place?
Yeah, me and Joe were diggin’ all these crazy beats styles we found on SoundCloud, MixCloud, different blogs and stuff like that. I know we heard of Sango a long time ago, like in the very beginning — it’s funny because a lot of us became friends before we started talking about the business side of things, we were more mainly focused on the music side. So Joe and Sango were talking every day, me and Esta talked like once a week – IAMNOBODI was just making amazing music so we brought him on. We’re kind of really organic in that sense because we find a sound that fits – The Sound of Tomorrow – and we kind of just flow with it. We check out the artist, their past and current work, and see if they have what it takes to help us make what we’re vibin’ for in the future. We just have that keen air for what’s dope.
LAC: Yeah, we definitely feel that. We follow you guys on Facebook and you’re always posting dope tracks, whether its someone from Soulection or someone else’s.
Yeah, and that’s part of it too, we’re not selfish about if there’s another label out there that’s also making amazing music. We’re not going to tell you to not listen to them and to only listen to us. And the end of it all, it’s about sharing good music and keeping what we’re doing alive. Because there’s a lot of people who don’t like to look back once they get to a certain level; we don’t ever forget about the music, at all.
LAC: Being out in LA, with other crews like HW&W (Recordings) and Team Supreme, is there some kind of… friendly competition of sorts between you guys? I know you’re all homies, but…
As far as competition goes, there isn’t really any (heavy competition) but it’s like a sport. We’re all teammates at the end of the day; we’re all there for the same reason, we can all learn from each other, we can sit down and share ideas, have conversations, share goals and focus on that. But I guess you can say that there is a different kind of friendly competition, nothing too deep like East Coast and West Coast. It’s all love.
LAC: That party on Saturday, though…
I cannot wait for that. I’m performing and doing all the visuals, so all the live projections for the show. So I’ve been working that all week, making sure all the performances flow together; it’s a nice little challenge to have. Just sucks that I hurt my leg this week.
LAC: Yeah, man, what happened?
We were at Kaytranada‘s show at the Pagoda (in San Jose) last week and we were all on the stage partying hard, and I took a step back and missed the stage and sprained my ankle.
LAC: Red Bull Music Academy did a piece on you guys, basically placing you at forefront of LA’s beat scene. What place do you guys think you hold in it? Coming from Low End Theory and that entire beat scene, being named the new kids on the block, that must mean something.
It totally means something. That’s the best way to put it – we look at a lot of movements as being generational things. So we look at ourselves as part of the next generation that’s part of what Brainfeeder has done, what Stones Throw have done – because they’ve paved the way for us, because if it wasn’t for them there may not be a Soulection. We’re here to be the present day of what they have created for us and for LA and the music scene. At the same time, we’re definitely there to help the cats that are coming up behind us, because we know there are guys ready to take our spot already, you know? We just want to keep growing and do what we do and push people to follow what we’re doing.
LAC: I mean, I definitely see that you guys believe that moniker you live behind, “They sleep, we grind.” Via social media, it looks like you guys are constantly working at 3am.
That was so present up in San Francisco. Literally, we were like, drink, party, kick it, work at like 2am, watch (Mr.) Carmack and Ab-Jo work on a beat, take a quick 20-30 minute nap, then back at it. It was rare to have us all together so we were all on that good creative high so when you’re in a zone, you gotta run with it.
LAC: I heard you guys finally found a singer?
I mean, we’re always looking, it’s not like once we find someone, that’s it. We’ve been talking to a few people. But it’s just like with our producers, we’re constantly searching and growing trying to find people that are down to rock with us. One really good reason we were looking for a singer is that a lot of our producers like to sample, do remixes, flip beats and when you do that, a lot of copyright laws come into play and it got to a point where we just don’t want to have to deal with that, you know? Somebody takes a Rihanna song and flips it and blows up, they can’t really go that far from that song. But if we had someone to lay down original vocals, then that shit can be infinite. That was one of the main reasons, but we also want to cover all ground as far as future soul, future beats. We don’t want to just be instrumental or hip-hop. We want to try to reach every aspect of our sound and the future of it.
LAC: So what is 2014 looking like for you guys?
My god… (laughs) For me personally the biggest thing is European tours and touring the entire world really. That’s something we’ve been talking about for the past two years and something that we all want to do. It’s definitely a dream for me because I feel that once we do that our following will definitely probably double. It’s one thing to be on the Internet, but once you make that physical presence and start doing these shows in Europe, Asia, and Australia, that these people start showing that much more love to you. Off the top, 2014 is going to be the worldwide move for us.
Catch Andre, Joe Kay and Esta, along with their HW&W (So Super Sam, Bahwee, Astronautica) and Team Supreme (Lil Texas, Penthouse Penthouse) homies and hella more at the 4th Annual Asylum Halloween Party this Saturday. In conjunction with Assemblyline Collective, UPxUNDR, Swisher Society, Rif and yours truly, this is one for the books. Don’t miss it. Tickets available online only.
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 Midasa.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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.