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Oweeeeeeeeee! I’ve missed the past two springs & summers here in Montréal and I truly am so grateful to be back for such a special time of year! I am SO excited for this years MUTEK to begin officially begin! MUTEK is an incredible four day electronic music and digital art festival that showcases some of the most exciting up and coming electronic music producers, underground and local talents, old school pioneers of the game, and outside of the box visual arts designers who will blow your mind! With various showcases designed to open up your mind and ears, you can get a taste of electronic music’s palette ranging from experimental, minimal, ambient to deep/tech/disco house, funky 8bit IDM beats, future bass, and dubstep (REAL dubstep. not the brostep Skrillex shit, y’all).
I’ll try to cover the festival the best I can but for now I will leave you with my most anticipated shows and what you MUST SEE if you don’t have a full festival pass and can’t afford or go to all of the shows. Detailed reviews and more goodies will come soon as the festival progresses!
What I’m super excited for:
1. May 31st – Nocturne 2: Red Bull Music Academy; Shlohmo and Salva!
Any artist coming out of the Red Bull Music Academy roster is going to special. If RBMA stages and sponsorships have not impressed you before at other festivals, be SURE to go to this one. Silkie literally destroyed Forward Festival in DC and my face has never been the same. RBMA gives a chance to rising music producers to unleash their creativity with the best equipment possible. For this Nocturne 2 RBMA showcase, Sibian & Faun ♦ Shlohmo ♦ Salva ♦ Nouveau Palais ♦ Paul White Live are going to grace the stage…but I’mma talk about who I’m most stoked about.
Henry Laufer! Or better known as Shlohmo is an L.A. native rising star off of the Friends of Friends record label which also hosts similar up and coming artists in the L.A. beat scene such Salva and Groundislava. At 14, he started experimenting and making beats but didn’t really start taking it seriously until 17. Now, at 21 years, he has released many LPs, EPs, remixes, and has made many mixes for prominent podcasts such as FACT and XLR8R. His sound is a plethora of hip-hop, trip-hop, dubstep, lo-fi, and ambient. Psychedelic space journey reminiscent of Flying Lotus, Nosaj Thing, and even Balam Acab? Oh, yeah!
Check out his fantastic XLR8R podcast mix to get a taste…and also the Mp3′s below!
MP3: Shlohmo – Blankets (Shlo-Fi EP 2009)
MP3: Shlohmo – Sink (Bad Vibes, 2011)
MP3: Shlohmo – Parties (Bad Vibes, 2011)
Alongside Shlohmo, Salva who is also part of Friends of Friends label and the SF renowned Frite Nite crew will also be rocking out at this Nocturne 2 event. I saw him perform recently at the Foward Festival in DC with his Frite Nite homies, B. Bravo and Teeko and they created the biggest stir on the dance floor in the loft with some of the nastiest beats, gansta remixes, and funk that made my homeboy and I go, “DAAAAYUM THAT IS SOOO FUUNKAAY!”. Real effin’ funk ya dig. But for real, another talented future bass beat music maker, Chicago raised and based in L.A., Salva gets the feet twisters and shoulder poppin’ dancers going with his vintage house Detroit techno bass face funky grooves. Hint of Hip-Hop and climactic instrumentals Dan Deacon styles almost, he’s the epitomy of what beat makers are today and an example of why the beat scene is gaining more and more attention. Pan-genre at it’s finest. Mixing and mashing all styles it has no name it’s just awesome!
MP3: Salva – 40 Karats ft. Zackey Force Funk (Complex Housing, 2011)
MP3: Salva – Obsession (feat. B. Bravo) (Yellowbone EP, 2011)
2. June 01: Nocturne 3 – Nicolaas Jaar and Deniz Kurtel!
Do I really have to introduce this guy? Like the year Maya Jane Coles had last year, Nicolas Jaar has had a whirlwind of a year. Like many electronic music producers, Jaar started young at the age of 14. He was born in NY, relocated to Santiago Chile, then moved back to NY six years later. At 17, he already released a debut EP, The Student on the Wolf and Lamb label (whoa)! At 18, he was already playing in Berlin, Brooklyn and the Mutek in Mexico City. All this while studying at Brown University! Now, at 21, he has successfully launched his own record label with Noah Kraft, Clown and Sunset, which already has released some incredible productions like Prism with much more anticipated records to come.
He loves to sample quotes from speeches, movies, tv shows, samples from other samples, samples from other tunes…his compositions generally stay below 100 BPM which is lower than the house/techno standards of 130 BPM. He says, “I’m going to keep taking the beats even slower,” he says in an interview with Resident Advisor, “More unintentional things happen between the beats.” Super interesting, creative, and almost yogi spiritual like finding the peace between the breath, you find these “unintentional things” exist and are true when you listen to his various EPs and LPs (released off of Circus Company, Wolf and Lamb, and Clown and Sunset). Not all his music makes you dance but it keeps your attention, it’s emotionally intelligent and mindfully aware. It’s music and it’s Art. Hear and see it for yourself! Check out his amazing debut album Space is Only Noise! A show not to be missed…!
MP3: Nicolas Jaar – Marks (Marks and Angles EP, 2010)
MP3: Nicolas Jaar – Colomb (Space is Only Noise, 2011)
Deniz Kurtel made her deep/tech house LP debut last year with good reviews. Her single “The L Word” graced many DJ sets and her art work (she uses LED lights, mirrors, and sculptures to create interactive art pieces) continues to be admired at countless Wolf and Lamb parties. Kurtel has a Turkish background, had intensive classical piano training, and was constantly exposed to art by her mother. Her real passion for art especially grew with her studies in USA. Being a part of the electronic scene in NY, she eventually made her way to the famous Morgan and Marcy Hotel parties in Brooklyn where Wolf and Lamb host many parties and met Gadi (one half of Wolf and Lamb)…who eventually helped her DJing and producing skills…clearly evident in her debut album Music Watching Over Me (2011).
3. June 02: Nocturne 4 – A Guy Called Gerald
GANSTA TECH IN THE HOUSE. Check out the amazing mix that A Guy Called Gerald made for Mutek on XLR8R:
This week, the 2012 edition of the annual MUTEK festival will be getting underway in Montreal. Consistently presenting some of the most forward—not to mention best—assortments of electronic and experimental artists, it comes as little surprise that this year’s lineup includes an intriguing array of acts, from up-and-coming locals to widely influential legends. One of those legends happens to be UK producer A Guy Called Gerald (a.k.a. Gerald Simpson), who’s put together an exclusive mix to commemorate the impending kickoff of this year’s MUTEK festivities. Over the past 25 years, Simpson has been at the forefront of numerous electronic movements, from his early acid-house days (which included a stint in pioneering outfit 808 State) to later planting the seeds for what would eventually become jungle and drum & bass. These days, he’s located in Berlin and has musically gravitated back toward techno, most recently turning out a variant of the sound he’s dubbed “gangsta tech.” Here, he’s assembled an hour-long session that’s both tasteful and experimental—two words that are often used to describe MUTEK.
4. June 03: Piknik Elektronik – The Mole, Benoit & Sergio, Wolf + Lamb
WOW. Piknikis one of Montreal’s greatest attributes. Set on an island overlooking the city and gracing the presence of a gorgeous sunset, you can bring your family, and friends with your picnic and enjoy a fabulous day of reconnecting and dancing all afternoon and night. It is one of my favorite events of all time and this lineup (Valentin Stip ♦ Artiste Surprise ♦ Benoit & Sergio ♦ Wolf+Lamb ♦ Mathew Jonson ♦ The Mole) is just to die for! House, funk, techno, and soul all in one place with these incredible artists. See you there
5. ANY of the A/Visions series. Check out my previous coverage of them here to better get a glimpse at just how incredible this series is.
6. Any of the FREE series! Mutek is quite an expensive festival but there are some shows that won’t hurt your wallet and will give you a taste of what the scene is about! Check out Alicia Hush on June 1st!
Those are my recommendations! Come back for reviews later. Stay safe, have fun, and drink plenty of water! See you on the dance floor
To check out all the events, click the link below to get better descriptions courtesy of Mutek or go to the Mutek website.
wow it’s been a long time since my last update. there are so many good tunes i want to share and have been meaning to make a mixtape but for now…some tunes that will definitely keep you warm and lift your soul in the winter. these are tracks that i’ve been repeating NONSTOP for the past little while. some MONTREAL representation too with JACQUES GREENE. watch out for him, he is going to be big. he’s already done remixes of radiohead and the weeknd which are super dope. NEON INDIAN‘s new LP is a fantastic listen, though not as good as their first. APPARAT as always is on point and the track i featured from him is off his new LP Devil’s Walk which is very dark, moody, yet spiritually uplifting despite the depressed tones throughout his production. worth listening to though. NEW LOOK, another up and coming CANADIAN group from Hamilton (who woulda thought?!) are making some great pop tunes. MIGUEL CAMPBELL‘s track “something special” is one of the tracks that DEFINED burning man for me. it was dropped when everyone had not eaten, slept, or stopped dancing in over 36 hours at least. toronto’s ART DEPARTMENT through this track down and it lifted us up high…high high high up. campbell is off the HOT CREATIONS label. he’s gon be massive. truth. lastly, i threw in the most wonderful TENSNAKE remix of little dragon‘s CRUCIAL and probably one of the most remixed tracks of the year, “ritual union”. enjoy.
Mp3: New Look – Janet
MP3: Apparat – Goodbye
hi everyone! it’s been a little while since my last post and since then i have been catching up and listening to soooo much music and there is soooo much good music out right now it’s ridiculous. a bunch of new albums, a bunch of a new up and comers…but this post is about what i’ve been obsessed with lately…new and old…but within the year or so. this post is filled with good beats. trust. let’s start with the rapture’s incredible new single from their forthcoming album! have been dancing to it all morning since hearing it.
i got into big boi‘s latest album, sir lucious leftfoot, pretty late but since hearing it i haven’t been able to stop. having been disappointed with his previous lp i just didn’t think something like this would come from him. fantastic fantastic beats. it’s good hip-hop with catchy lyrics that isn’t all just kanye and jay-z shit you know? in the sense that the lyrical content of Ye and Hov has less relevance than News of the World nowadays. sure, their beats sometimes are awesome like sampling Otis Redding in their new single “Otis” for upcoming lp watch the throne, but their lyrics are just so horrible to listen these days (like rhyming D’ior Homme with homie) that it’s refreshing to hear tracks like “Tangerine”, “Turns Me On”, “Hustle Blood”, “Back Up Plan”, and my favorite, “Shine Blockas” from Big Boi where the beats of the rhythm and the cadence of his delivery is just sooo sooo soo good. it’s light enough to give you that pop encouragement to dance and get down and dirt, lyrically interesting to keep your mental in check. such a fantastic album.
flight facilities is a group from sydney, australia. that’s all i know about them jajaja at the moment. their track “crave you” is gettin’ pretty big here and their release of the crave you ep with a bunch of remixes from the likes of cassian, c90′s, ted and francis, was back in april and i’ve just gotten a chace to to listen to it now and it’s quite good. so i’m sharing the original and my favorite remix done by the c90′s.
bag raiders are a house duo also from sydney. they’ve only had one album release but have done a ton of eps released from the formidble fool’s gold label and bang gang…as well as having done remixes for cut copy, kid sister, and midnight juggernauts. their track, “shoot stars” was released in 2009 and is what got them noticed in australia. such an amazing pop track.
adrian lux is a dj/producer from sweden. his most popular track “teenage crime” gets quite a bit of play here in australia and errrybody knows it and gets their groove on. it’s a good one.
lastly, i want to share one of the greatest songs of this year. yes, that’s right. a pretty hefty claim but to me, it’s true. as y’all probs know, fleet foxes released their new album this year (and are currently on tour), helplessness blues. it is another heartfelt soul belting lp and it just warms my body like a cleanse. “grown ocean” is the most inspiring track, i feel, on the album…and of this year for me. every time i listen to it, i feel like i’m in the mountains looking at a never ending sunset driving through the sky with the clouds as my road. windows down. the title from this post is derived from this song. turn it up guys.
currently, i am in the warmth that is mexico! have been travelling around here for roughly a three weeks now and i have a lot more to explore! before that, as y’all might know, i was at burning man and made a west coast to east coast roadtrip out of it…camping in as many national parks as possible, being with nature, doing amazing hikes, and reconnecting. since my first burn, my music expansion became exponential. the new music i was listening to was an integral part of my travels in america too…a lot of music in this mixtape i was listening to when the sun was setting or rising, when i was cruising on a long and winding road down a mountain, when i was just being.
the music in this mixtape means a lot to me and i hope y’all can feel it. there’s a mix of all of the new influences i was introduced to, as well as some old school love. there’s everything from grime dubstep drum and bass to indie rock pop. thanks for waiting for so long for it to come out!!! like with all the mixtapes before…it’s really important to listen to it in order. from what i gather, most of you guys have itunes, which is shit for my mixtapes ’cause it still doesn’t play it in order even if i renumber the tags myself. please click on the playlist file, so it plays the files in order. using vlc, mediamonkey, songbird, or winamp is the best
playlist after the jump! get ready to get GRIMEY!
download: atm’s mixtape – new beginnings
what an epic epic weekend. meg montréal had an incredible lineup, especially for the boat. osheaga had a disturbingly amazing lineup which made this horribly organised festival all the more worth while. so yeah, before i talk about the music, i wanna talk about the osheaga festival.
what mainly pissed me off was this whole “green stage” thing…why not have a GREEN FESTIVAL?!?! oooooh, one stage! ONE! raw/vegan/vegetarian green food stand! great way to really show how committed one is to the enviro movement. what is even WORSE is the amount of trash left lying around because we had to walk minutes just to get to a garbage can. the state of the grass and grounds around the toilettes was horrendous as the one picnic table became a dumpster! and that fountain that was nearby that was spritzing water…for what purpose!?!?! to cool people off, sure, but running it at that level for the entire two days is the biggest waste of water ever. why not have a water fountain that people can USE to REFILL our water bottles?!?! instead of charging 5$ for people to buy new ones. we have such good LOCAL food and produce, good LOCAL vendors here yet none of it was represented in the midst of the digustingly expensive hot dogs at la fleur, beers at budweiser, and even fresh fruit, chips, and water at the smaller vendors.
the only good thing about osheaga outside of it’s incredible lineup this year is the fact that you were allowed to bring in your own food and water. so my friend and i made delicious salmon arugula and baby tomato salad along with egg sandwiches and saved ourselves from unhappy stomachs and wallets. yes the music is important but, ultimately it is the experience as well, and at 75 bucks or 150 for both days, it isn’t less affordable when you have to spend more than 30 bucks each day on little food or drink to sustain yourself. 5 dollars for a hot dog?!?! voyons donc c’mon! though osheaga isn’t as large or as aged as coachella or bonnaroo, the food there is filling and well proportioned, there are good options for all types of diets, and NOTHING was at least 10 dollars like it is at osheaga. the corps and sponsors rent out the space only to make more money by ripping us off. fuck dis shit! as snoop dogg would say.
i look forward to the day when osheaga will continue to have good music, be true to their environmental initiatives, and support local independent quebec food and produce!
but, enough of the ranting! overall, the weekend was faaaantastic for great music and dancing. so, recap of meg boat and osheaga weekend after the jump!
ok folks, am off to osheaga and am already late! this is gon be super quick! so yesterday was the biggest night for meg, boasting a ridiculous lineup with holy ghost, in flagranti, and the well popular french scratch djs, birdy nam nam. club soda was the perfect venue for it despite some minor sound issues, small enough to have a cozy dance party (except for the horrible frenchies who were taking up too much space, were too drunk and literally, literaally fell on top of each other and disturbed everyone in the back), and large enough so we didn’t end up killing each other.
holy ghost! the rising duo from brooklyn started off the night and i was excited to hear them live, especially some of their songs off their recently released Static on the Wire EP. it was…a disappointing performance. the live instrumentals were fantastic, the beats rocked but the vocals were just incomparable to their studio recordings and brought down the level of the show quite a bit. maybe it was a bad day? not sure. but hopefully the rest of their tour with chromeo will be fantastic. i share with you my fave off their new EP!
next up was in flagranti! sasha crnobrnja and alex gloor roam the scenes between new york and europe. their most recent album released in 2009, brash and vulgar, is exactly that. unforts i didn’t stick around long enough to hear their entire set because it wasn’t very good at all…sticking more to a dj mash up style as opposed to playing more of their actual songs, i just wasn’t pulled in whatsoever.
finally! the parisien group birdy nam nam comes on stage and ROCK THAT SHIT! the floor was insane with stompers, ground pushers, and head bangers. i felt like their set was the black keys and the rapture and hard rockers kiss all blended into one and then spit out into this crazy electronic tight set, scratch, remixed, and replayed. they are a club band. they are a dance band. and they know how to throw a party. but other than that, musically, it’s not too special. their turntable skills are fantastic, and the one thing i really have to complain about with club soda is that with djs, esp scratch djs, you need to show their hands on the screen! but no one could see what they were doing, so it took a lot of emotion out of their set…and as a friend of mine said, it was seeing like life of a monotonous society. and it was exactly that. there isn’t necessarily rhythm like something that juan maclean can pull off with a tee, it’s just super technical and super tight. but, there’s nothing wrong with that either. such a good night, such a fucking good show. and when “abssesses” came on, well. the already torn off roof blew onto pluto. they played for 2 HOURS! how fucking cool is that!?!? please check them out nowwwww!