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David Block, who hails originally from Arizona, is a multi instrumentalist, electronic frequency landscape painter, and a whole-hearted believer in the mutual necessity of art and transformation. His main musical project, The Human Experience, has been one of my favorite discoveries of this year.

I first discovered The Human Experience at the beginning of this year at Cosmic Convergence, an incredible transformative festival held on New Year’s on the magical Lake Atitlan, Guatemaya. The sun was waking up to a brand new year as happy smiles were reverberating all across the grounds to music that was encouraging free movement to ooze out of our bodies. Keeping my eyes closed, I saw the vibrations enter my body and open my heart and body into acceptance and flow. As I opened my eyes I saw that everyone was just as elated as I was, traveling in their own world. A Journey we were encouraged to take illuminated by the conscious path created by beautiful compositions so intentional.

Every time I listen to his music, I constantly reenter this space. Wherever I am this music is always on me like a grounding/healing tool. It may be to yoga, to meditation, prancing around at night in the streets, dancing through the jungle, on my bike, at some homies chillin’…We gravitate towards the sound because we feel this fundamental Life frequency, familiar to the sacred geometry that creates us. The energy always becomes more positive, more introspective and more grounding than before. It is the Human Experience.

Since his debut year, 2010, David Block has released four incredible projects: Inaudible Sounds (2010), Harmonic Transformation (2011), Seeing is Believing EP (2011), and The Art of the Way (2012). Today Block will be releasing his fifth project, Soul Visions, in collaboration with a talented multi-instrumentalist duo from New Orleans, Rising Appalachia.

Soul Visions (art by Ryan Johnson)

Soul Visions is an incredible seven track album that continues to express the transformative art ideals mentioned above, but it is also an album that stands apart from all of Block’s previous projects in terms of sound. Block, a multi instrumentalist and primarily live electronic composer, joins forces with Rising Appalachia, a multi instrumentalist group primarily focused on vocal harmonization, traditional/tribal styled instrumentation, and the roots and soul derived from being a New Orleans native. Essentially, Soul Visions is the best of both worlds. Surreptitious snippets of beats placed with sexy basslines alongside beautifully tuned vocals, catchy lyrics, and rhythms created by the first and most ancient beat maker, the drum. Soul Visions  is less psychedelic than his previous albums. It offers more pop and folk infused tracks that brings awareness more into the external. Because there are pop, folk, soul, and acoustic elements, there’s an accessibility to this album that wasn’t available before. I think it’s a great step forward, embracing a different formula at an important time of widespread consciousness raising, showcasing the diversity and musical boundary pushing that Block as an artist is able to tap into.

It’s not my favorite album of The Human Experience because I am much more into the psychedelic expressed in his previous works, but “Downtown” off of Soul Visions is definitely my favorite Human Experience track so far. Please go and support The Human Experience!  He’s doing an awesome tour mostly at transformative festivals around the world. His Canadian appearances will include being at the Mod Club in Toronto with Vancouver’s Caravan Palace (as his awesome side house-ier project The Cats Pajamas) and at Open Mind Festival in Ontario. Check out his music below and send him some luv (All of his works are by donation) and support for all the good vibrations he’s spreading. Check out some of my fave tracks below. Bless and much luv.

The Human Experience – Mississippi (Soul Visions, 2013)

The Human Experience – Downtown (Soul Visions, 2013)

The Human Experience – Robert and Martina ft. Chris B (Harmonic Transformation, 2011)

The Human Experience – Ot Du Shi ft. Mindex (The Art of the Way, 2012)

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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!

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so, lots of things have happened since my last serious post. the montréal jazz fest. tons of shows in between. lots more coming up! i’ve got die antwoord (YESSSSSSSSSS!) tomors, meg montréal and osheaga are coming up, and i am once again heading off to new york for a week and along the way i will  be checking out flaming lips in central park! annnnnd the hard tour in nyc which features m.i.a. and a bunch of crazy fun other artists! i will mos defs be covering meg montréal but i dunno about the rest.

oh fiiiiiiiiiiiiiinally! this mixtape has been soooo long due. like for real. the original playlist for this was made probably two months ago but obviously since then i’ve been hearing a lot of new artists so the playlist is now what it is. i had to put this out before it got too crazy. there are 40 tracks so unfortunately, like last time, i had to convert all the songs to a lower bit rate just to save space and upload it to mediafire…the mp3’s that i offer are of their original quality (very good) but within the mixtape it is all converted.

this mixtape is amazing. not gonna lie. unforts i couldn’t fit ALL the new stuff like lcd soundsystem, ratatat, etc etc but managed to put some amazing tracks from new albums released by m.i.a., crystal castles…and more. there is everything in here from minimal, techno, hip-hop, rap, house, haaaaaaaaaaauss, d’n’b, experimental to psychedelic, soft-pop, israeli goodness, and xyz genre jajaja.

it’s come to my realisation that for those of you who use itunes, the playlist doesn’t quite work and you’d have to renumber them manually just so the tracks play in their proper order…maybe some of you do this, maybe some of you don’t (because you use players like mediamonkey (woohoo!) or songbird (woohoo!))…but i DO encourage you guys to listen to my mixtapes IN ORDER. most of my time spent making them is well, doing the write up, but most importantly, is picking and choosing what goes in the mixtape and how to fit it in…if it isn’t played in order, well i could just pick a bunch of songs i like and zip it up and let it be that. but that’s no fun and so impersonal. i put a lot of love and effort into these mixtapes so i hope that you guys get to hear it the way it’s supposed to be heard! soooo…enough rambling, let’s dance! playlist after the jump!

p.s. happy belated to a special mr. taha!

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Download: ATM’s Mixtape – Summer and Sangria
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I haven’t been to Mutek the previous years, but this year it is mainly focused on very lo-fi, minimal, experimental, and IDM type of music. Walking into the venue, I realised that it is not like most electronic music venues. Mutek is being held for the most part at Monument National, which is a huge venue that hosts many mini rooms that I imagine are more meant for orchestras, small theatre, plays, etc etc. I walked into the room and sat amongst everyone else, excited and curious. The huge screen was perfect for the quality of the visuals and the room, for the insulation of the music. I thought to myself after the show today, why don’t we have more of this?!?! We go to films, plays, theatre, and we sit down and we watch, we feel, we experience. We go to shows and we stand, we dance, we chat, we drink, we feel, we experience. Mutek, or at least the A/Visions showcases, combine the best of both. Sitting down comfortably disengaged with a good view and a good ear for all that’s in front. But combined with the music and the visuals, we completely become re-engaged…tripping out on our sensory neurons which are, at least for me, just going crazy!

I mean, most lo-fi, minimal, noise, IDM, and so on do usually have intense visuals because well, otherwise we’d get really bored, fall asleep, or really not get it. However, of the shows I have seen within these genres, they have been in conventional electronic music venues: standing, shitty sound, shitty sight, uncomfortable heat. I propose that all chill out, lounge, ambient, and so forth genres be held at Monument National. Seeing Air there instead of Métropolis would have been so much better. I can only imagine what it would be like seeing Flying Lotus or Fuck Buttons there. Tonight, Mutek has more than ever reiterated the importance of melding visual art together with sound, how integral they really are to each other, especially within these music genres because the creativity is just a different kind when compared with house, jazz, pop, indie, hip-hop, and how the way we experience music can go beyond just the regular…as these artists being showcased throughout the 4 day festival no doubt do.

After the jump for recap, music, and videos!

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I am going to combine my Coachella recap with my mixtape because I will save a ton of time. Plus, I only wanna talk about my top shows anyways and those artists are mostly featured in this mixtape. I named this mixtape a while back and decided to keep it. I had a little help from Kanye jajaja. Anyways, this really WAS the warmest winter I have ever had. The mixtape I was wanting to put out a month ago is significantly different now that I’ve come back from Coachella having heard so many awesome tracks as well as having had the time to do some quick updating on my music library. Check out the quick recap in the previous post here!

The Warmest Winter is gonna make you daaaaaance! And it has some pretty lovely slow moments as well. It is filled with everything from jazz, blues, funk, rock to italo-disco, pop, progressive, dubstep, d’n’b and every other genre of electronica you can think of. Like all my other mixtapes, I put a lot of soul into it, and it truly is AWESOME. Oh yes. I had a super tough time cutting it so that it would be a certain size after compression and like always I am leaving so much out that I wanted to share…and now with albums from Ratatat, LCD Soundsystem, etc etc, a lot is definitely left out of this one since this tape was made almost a month ago. But the next tape will cover it. Alors, a caveat: Some of the songs I had to compress because the total size was too large and it was going over my 200MB limit for mediafire…so I apologize in advance for ruining the high quality of some of the songs…I hate to do that but mediafire is the host of choice for myself and many of you. Nonetheless, it is still amazing!

After the jump for the playlist!

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Download: ATM’s Mixtape – The Warmest Winter
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Coachella 2010.
Wow. What a great year.
Like my flatmate was telling me today, at Coachella and other great festivals alike, you just start imagining strings connecting all of us. Strings of bodies from all over this world bound and connected by music for this magnificent weekend each year. Coachella is a world unto itself. This weekend is filled with good music, vibrant energy, worldly generosity and with the help of drugs or not, there is this feeling of inexplicable happiness, indescribable joy and overwhelming emotion when you’re with all these fucking people, seeing bands, letting go, and one way or another we are swept away by Coachella’s breathtaking panorama, the sunsets, the sounds, the sights, and the synchronicity of what we’re sharing together. And this brings me to think again of how this was my best coachella yet. Best best best yet. I had the fucking blast of my life compared to when I went in 2008 and it was because well, obviously the killer lineup, but as with most things in life, it’s about the people that you share this amazing weekend with.

Stay tuned for my mixtape coming soon featuring a lot of Coachella artists 🙂

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OK so end of school is here and the best part is…COACHELLA IN 12 DAYS! OK. So, like promised ages ago, mixtape is on the way…for real this time. Expect it within a week. It is pretty awesome. So this post is a quick recap of all the shows I went to in March. It was such a ridiculous time for concerts and I discovered some pretty great new bands. Jump ahead for recaps for Neon Indian, Braids, Silly Kissers, Air, Beach House, Bachelorette, Joanna Newsom, Flying Lotus and more!

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Outside of Four Tet, another album that has been on constant repeat for me is Beach House’s Teen Dream. Yes, I know, a bit behind the times as the album leaked a few months ago and the hype on this band is bigger than what I remember for Wavves and Vampire Weekend. I decided to wait a bit before listening to the album and I regret not buying into the aged hype which is totally deserved. This album is like Washed Out but dreamier, slower and more magnetic. It’s the Fleet Foxes of dream pop mixed with lo-fi goodness that is listenable whenever and where-ever. A++++

On the other end, I recently listened to Geoff Barrow’s (from Portishead) solo album/project called Beak>. After having had it for nearly half a year it all of a sudden popped up on the playlist right after Beach House! Just like Portishead, the great weaving instrumentals and bone rattling bass puts you in a darker mood, an absolute conversation stopper. You just gotta stop and listen. The Portishead  influences are definitely there but I feel like this album is much more psychedelic and noisier than the former. It’s a bit more abstract  but the entire album flows so well. Plus, it is a killer album to listen to stoned. Quite fantastic and Portishead lovers should cop this! A

So, I share two of my favorite songs off these albums! Also a mixtape should be out by the end of this week! It is truly great and one of my favorites so far…that’s for sure! So stay tuned for that!

P.S. Happy Chinese New Year!

MP3: Beach House – Silver Soul

MP3: BEAK> – Blagdon Lake

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Hey guys, so sorry for be absent lately…and my Best of Lists STILL aren’t fully up jajajaj oops. I’ve been super busy lately and just haven’t had time. I’ve been behind on everything and by now I can write a Best of the Year so far list with all the good music I’ve been listening to jajaja. As to when the rest of my lists will be posted, I think it’ll be another two weeks when I actually have a break! This week I wanna start off with an already classic of 2010 and a classic in general.

• Four Tet: A few months back on my last post I was so fucking stoked for There Is Love In You to come out. He released a mini EP which contained his killer single “Love Cry” as well as a very abstract jazz piece called “Our Bells” which isn’t included in the LP. I’ve given TILIY about six listens now. The first listen blew. my. mind. Ugh so effin’ good with an opening track like “Angel Echoes”…leading into the dark beats of “Love Cry”. The more I listen the better the album gets. The tribal beats, the warping build-ups, and the steady backdrop rhythms are always forcing you forward, pushing you on. It’s the kinda music that is always good, no matter where and no matter what. I don’t have to be in the mood to listen to Four Tet. He puts my in the mood. Each wave is a persuasion and before you know if your head is filled with random bits and pieces of Hebden’s art, always floating…love cryyy looove crrrry loooove crrryyy….ugh this album is so good it makes me want to cry (Taha too). Maybe that’s why there’s a track called “Love Cry”…Hebden knew all along that this album is an opening and reciprocation of emotions: unfolding, circling, echoing, reversing…all names of tracks on this brilliant LP.

A+++++++++++++++++++++++

• Nas: The Illmatic is the greatest 40 minutes in hip-hop history. I don’t think there is a sentence that sums it up as well as this one. I’ve been in a Nas phase all last week and this classic LP was on repeat the most…this is one of my favorite tracks.

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Y’all know how much I love Jedi Electro. Ever since my discovery of them since the MJF, I have vowed to go see every single one of their shows in MTL, and I have. EVERY MONTH, they usually play at le S.A.T. which is close to the corner of Rene-Levesque and St. Laurent. All three shows were ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. Though they do recycle some of the same beats, every time it’s a different product. Their music is completely improvised, and usually every show, there is a guest player/singer and the crowd always ends up being a 6th member with our chorus like wailing. Sparklers are handed out. Superman and various other blow up objects are thrown. It’s the best deal out there for 2.5 hours of SOLID music for only $10. I said this in July and I will say it again, JEDI ELECTRO IS THE BEST GROUP RIGHT NOW IN MTL! I feel like they’re like mobile versions of Kraftwerk. Creating, innovating, and Godfathers in their own right.

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EVERY single show, I bring my camera, hoping to film a part of the show to share with you guys so you know what I mean, and hopefully the word will spread, but I never end up filming anything. i can’t seem to hold still at all to film one minute’s worth. And seeing their videos does NO JUSTICE to their live act. They truly are meant to be see live…their sound and their Force will never be able to translate on record as good as they do live. But I did find a few videos fo them…keep in mind that they are 3485890346x better live than seen in these videos! You can also check out Jedi Electro’s Vimeo!

Enjoy the videos and stay tuned for my NYE and NYD mixtapes as well as my year end lists!

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