THE WEEKLY: STEAMPUNK ACROBATICS, FLOSSTRADAMUS + MORE

A rundown of the best events in our fair city this week.

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LOVE NAIL TREE 7TH EDITION CHRISTMAS WAREHOUSE SHOPPING EVENT
WHEN: Thursday, December 19, 6pm-11pm & Friday, December 20, 10am-7pm
WHERE: The Warehaas | 611 Gladys Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90021
WHAT: We don’t always wear graphic tees–but when we do, we make sure they tell a story. Celebrate visual storytelling and clothing with a meaning by visiting Love Nail Tree’s 7th Edition shopping event tonight. Expect drinks, homemade desserts, Christmas music, and first grabs at Love Nail Tree’s collection. | more info

upxudndr

UPXUNDR X VIPER ROOM: ‘GRAVY’ POP-UP & PARTY
WHEN: Friday, December 20 at 8:30pm
WHERE: 8852 West Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069
WHAT: Purveyors of the ultimate casual-luxe tees and jerseys, UPXUNDR have been on our radar for a minute. This Friday they team up with the iconic Viper Room for a party soundtracked by up-and-coming beatsmiths and DJs: Esta, Kittens, Joe-Kay and Abeskees. Better yet, get 25% off all the UPXUNDR gear you can get your hands on. $10 pre-sale; $15 at the door. | more info

cults

CULTS AT HOUSE OF BLUES, LA
WHEN: Saturday, December 21 at 7:30pm
WHERE: 8430 West Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069
WHAT: NYC-by-way-of-San Diego duo Cults are making their way home and bringing their sunny, synth-pop with them from the east coast back to where it belongs. Band members Brian Oblivion and Madeline Follin’s whole surf-pop vibe brings about longings of summer, which they probably desperately need in New York this time of year, but while the two are home are the holidays, we could use our own dosage of summer, sun-kissed tuneage. | more info

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LUCENT DOSSIER EXPERIENCE AT THE FONDA

WHEN: Saturday, December 21 at 8pm
WHERE: 6126 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA 90028
WHAT: Acrobats, fire dancers, and snake charmers are just some of the many oddities you may find at a Lucent Dossier Experience show. You may have gotten a taste of this highly theatrical troupe at the Do Lab’s stage at Coachella, but this Saturday, head to the Fonda for the full experience, where steampunk meets electronica meets trapeze for a highly interactive and surreal performance. | more info

photos by Clayton Hauck for Flosstradamus

FLOSSTRADAMUS AT THE WILTERN
WHEN: Saturday, December 21 at 8pm
WHERE: 3790 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90010
WHAT: For the past eight years, Chi-town boys J2K and Autobot have made breaking new sounds to audiences all over the globe their prerogative and have become club-kings in the process. With their Major Lazer “Original Don” flip introducing them to the masses, the duo have a rep of tearing down every venue they step into:  from warehouse to mainstage, the two have taken party-rocking to a whole different level that doesn’t involve any shuffling whatsoever.  | more info

sweater

UGLY SWEATER RUN AT LA STATE HISTORIC PARK
WHEN: Saturday, December 21, 11am
WHERE: 1245 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
WHAT:  Put your hideous christmas sweater to more than one use by rockin’ it at this Saturday’s Ugly Sweater Run. The LA State Historic Park hosts this 5k run dubbed “the ugliest 5k in the world.” Ditch the gatorade and grab a hot chocolate during the run, and at the end of the race, you’ll receive a choice of Sam Adam’s Winter Lager, Boston Lager, or Angry Orchard Hard Cider. Yum.  | more info

county

LA COUNTY HOLIDAY CELEBRATION
WHEN: Tuesday, December 24, 3-6pm
WHERE: Dorothy Chandler Pavilion | 135 N Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012
WHAT: True to tradition, the LA County Arts Commission presents its 54th annual holiday celebration, complete with over 800 performers presenting music and dance representative of the many cultures and neighborhoods in our fair city. Emmy-nominated performances and there’s free parking at the Music Center? The arts commission knows how to cater to their Angelenos.  | more info

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INTERVIEW: SOULECTION’S ANDRE POWER

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. 

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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.

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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. 

21 QUESTIONS: ESTA

Enter Esta, another beat junkie from the Soulection fam, a group that seems to have witnessed overnight popularity and success with their surplus of dope beats and even doper producers. On Tuesday, we caught up with Esta in between lab sessions with his other beat-brethren and rattled his brain — and ran our fingers through his hair — for another segment of 21 QUESTIONS.

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So what’s up? Currently chillin! At my pad creating with Mr. Carmack at the moment haha.

Can we get you something to drink? Iced mocha, please.

What are you wearing? Black pants, white tee, and bapes.

Are you interested in anyone right now? Plenty. Cassie, Chanel Iman, Emily Ratajkowski. They’re all my boos.

Do anything last night? Just chilled in the lab with some homies. Always gotta connect with other creative minds.

How late did you stay up? Went home at 6 in the morning haha.

Meals or snacks? Snacks. I’ll snack on chips all day if i could.

How often do you consume alcohol? Not often anymore. Just whenever I play or attend shows.

Has anyone seen you naked recently? I dont think I should answer this because she might read it hahaha.

Blue or black ink? Black.

Ever sit down in the shower? Never that haha.

Are you listening to music right now? A lot of Soulection tunes. Not because thats my fam but the sound constantly pushes me to get better.

Ultimate festival lineup? (Not including yourself) Sango, Ta-Ku, Kaytranada, Mr. Carmack, DaM Funk, The Internet, Disclosure,  TNGHT, Rage Against The Machine, and Mos Def.

Who’s on your work out playlist? I don’t workout 🙁

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Most embarrassing moment? In 2nd grade, my first day at my babysitters house. I was taking a nap in a room by myself and woke up with pee all over my pants. I was terrified to leave the room..

If life could resemble any film… It’s not a film but Entourage. I wanna live that life.

Favorite place to go on the weekend? Nowadays probably my parents house. Just relaxing and feasting on home cooked meals.

Your dream project? Probably an album with all my favorite emcees and singers on my production. I definitely need that before I die.

If we gave you $50, what would you buy? I’d put it in my savings to help me save for a new laptop!

What are you doing later? Probably drive to LA to catch the Team Supreme event.

Can we come? If you haven’t been to one you must. It’s a party

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