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Last night instead of going to Mutek, I made my way to an equally important art scene in Montréal, the beat makin’ scene that ARTBEAT does so well to represent. This was the first official Artbeat show I was able to make (hosted by SevDee & Mark The Magnanimous). My mind was blown by the creativity and mad love shown by the beat builders up on stage…each sharing five minutes of their hard work in rotation. Crossing genre boundaries with no hesitation, the artists reminded me of tunes you’d hear from Shlohmo, Salva, B. Bravo, Flying Lotus, J Dilla…8-Bit, grimey bass lines, awesomely bizarre transitions and a mad infusion of hip-hop…oh! Don’t forget the FUNK! Oh yeah Artbeat you have my heart and I’m going to do my best to spread the word. What I love about hip-hop events like these is the international crowd and the mad love everyone has for hip-hop, beats, and mixin’ up the genres! Truly good music. Love. Check out their website! Check out the artists and their soundclouds posted below! ALSO! Artbeat has a radio show EVERY Saturday at 17h on 89.3FM or go online to listen or download their podcasts! Like them on Facebook!

Taken from their website:

Artbeat Montréal builds strategies geared towards the promulgation of Art within the provincial territory of Quebec and abroad. It’s Mission is to offer a platform for the Beat Builder to expand his or her knowledge of Sound, Music and Culture along with the production of distinct, refined and preeminent events dedicated to professionals, as well as enthusiasts.

ARTBEAT will set itself as the cornerstone in the establishment of a superior quality and new variety of Artistic Works, principally by Beat Builders from all genres and styles of music, which in turn, will promote cultural enrichment, as well as political, educational, economic, social and spiritual advancement.

ARTBEAT MONTREAL events unite the finest and most innovative Beat Builders, DJs, Singers and Emcees, as well as movers and shakers of the entertainment industry under one roof for a unique and uplifting experience of Sound and Light.

The BEAT BUILDER is the “Human Being possessing the ability of producing a rhythmic or harmonic arrangement or sequence with the use of new devices, beyond the limits or confines of technology, with the purpose of transmitting a specific message”

We understand that we are all related to Harmony by Blood and that we know Rhythm by heart.

ARTBEAT MONTREAL is presented by the Sovereign Prerogative Live Creations.

The artists of last night and their soundclouds:

RawLove

Christopher R.T.

Teknition aka Vincent Pryce (MurderFace/Mook-Life)

Nik Brxvkn (NBNBNB)

Griot (Akabeat)

Waahli (Nomadic Massive/Wyzah Musk)

Special Guest : Shash’U (Silence D’Or/Its Gotta Be…) back from France!

Phil Sparkz (Booty Bakery/MIMS) on the decks

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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 & FaunShlohmoSalvaNouveau PalaisPaul 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,[1] “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…!

He recently did his debut Essential Mix which you can check out here! His XLR8R mix was also awesome which you can check out here.

MP3: Nicolas Jaar – Marks (Marks and Angles EP, 2010)

MP3: Nicolas Jaar – Colomb (Space is Only Noise, 2011)

MP3: Sneaky Sound System – Big (Nicolas Jaar’s Always By Your Side Remix)


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 StipArtiste SurpriseBenoit & SergioWolf+Lamb Mathew JonsonThe 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.

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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 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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I’ve already been exposed to such great music this year and it’s not even been a full two months! And now that I am home for two weeks I’ve caught up on a lot of music as well as posts I’ve been falsely promising for months. Oops! Anyways, by far the best LP I’ve heard this year is without a doubt by the wonderful Four Tet a.k.a. Keiran Hebdan, the Londonite who perfected his album while having residency at Plastic People. His first single “Love Cry” remains one of  my favorite songs released last year and on his recently released LP, There Is Love In You. So, this mixtape is named after the awesomeness that is Four Tet but is not fully composed of Four Tet themed music. This mixtape is full of everything, the Balearic, in a sense. The lo-Fi hip-hop goodness of Gonjasufi all the way to the classic tunes of Billy Idol. As with all my mixtapes, it’s gonna make you groove =)

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Download: ATM’s Mixtape – Love Cry
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Playlist after the jump!

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This list is definitely the smallest and less encompassing than the others simply because I’ve been revisiting a lot of old school hip-hop, rap, etc albums from the 90’s. Also, since this is my last part of of the Decade’s list, and it’s already the middle of February…going through my music library was definitely more of a skim…so sorry if you’re screaming at the computer wondering where certain artists are…jajaja 😉

I also decided to go over my Top Shows as well. Back in Edmonton, I averaged maybe 4/5 shows per month depending on the season…and now in Montréal I average that every 1/2 weeks! So a lot of names on this list will be moreso the last 3 years…shows that are much more recent and those beyond that were obviously unforgettable. I wish I had the time do to Top Shows according to genre because they really don’t compare to each other…but I did my best!

***Finally I am posting these decade end lists. Gaaah I love and hate lists. They enlighten me towards new music yet at the same time they’re ridiculously subjective. From one point to the next an album can be the best and not depending on the season, the weather, my emotions, whether I’m under the influence, yada yada yada. Because of all this, the numbers on my list aren’t a ranking system of worst to best—because I think they’re all equally fantastic—they’re simply a form of organization. But, a few times on the lists I will put a clear marker on the artist/album that I feel truly outranks the rest. It’s only here where I exercise a bit of hypocrisy.

I know I’ve left hundreds and hundreds of artists out. Making a “Top 10” list per sub-genre for the decade is trifling, I know. It really should be “Top 100” per sub genre. Every day I keep remembering ones I should add but I have too much music and too little time. I did my best with what I had and what I remember and the time I had! You’ll notice that a lot of the artists are from the last 5 years and that’s because my mecca of music is back home. Home home. Like where I was born jaja. So…sorry for the lack of early 2000 albums. =)

I also dislike one shot lists! You simply can’t compare down-tempo artists to dubstep artists, etc. So, I tried to organize artists into the genres I felt fit them best as opposed to putting them all in the same pool. But obviously some artists mix into the other genres or were put there even though they have a very specific genre of their own (avant-garde, balearic, etc etc). Gaaah and genre is so subjective as well. Bear with me and keep all this in mind! A lot of these artists are featured in my NYE and NYD mixtapes or have been blogged about! So check the mixtapes out or do a quick search on ATM if you feel like more sampling.

Other than that, happy reading and check out Part I and Part II!

Soul/Jazz/Funk/Blues

10. Norah Jones – Feels Like Home (2004)
09. Amy Winehouse – Back to Black (2006)

08. John Legend – Get Lifted (2004)
07.
[re:jazz] – nipponized (2008)

06. Parov Stelar – Daylight (2008)

05. Manu Chao – Proxima Estacion…Esperanza (2001)

04. Rodrigo y Gabriela – Rodrigo y Gabriela (2006)
03. David Rotundo – Blues Ignited (2003) ♥
02. Asa – Asha (2008)

01. Tribalistas – Tribalistas (2003)

Mentionables that couldn’t fit:

Juana Molina – Segundo (2003)
Floetry – Flo’ology (2005)
Juanes – Mi Sangre (2006)
Forro in the Dark – Bonfies of Sao Joao (2006)
Deweare – High Class Trauma (2007)
Ebrahim – Goldrush (2007)
Orgone – The Killion Floor (2007)
Funki Porcini – PLOD (2009)
Sola Rosa – Get It Together (2009)
Soulive – Up Here (2009)

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***So I have my top lists compiled, I just haven’t been able to fully write it out yet. And since I will be in New York for New Year’s, my top lists will not be out until I get back. Super sorry! I am super excited for y’all to read it still! And within my mixtapes which I DID finish (phewf) are a lot of my favorites of the year and of the decade! Have a great new years and enjoy the mixtapes! Stay tuned for my top lists within two weeks!***

Hope everyone had a good new year’s! To be, it’s usually just like any other day. I don’t like the hype that NYE brings like any other major “let’s get drunk” holiday but I decided to change that this year. So whether you’re like me in the past and took it cool yesterday and chilled out, this mixtape is still for you. Relax. And if you’re like me yesterday (I am writing about myself in the future but I am sure I will be feeling this way) and partied, and are nursing physical pains all over, this mixtape is DEFS for you. Grab some tea/coffee, go for a run/swim, and decompress with some amazing chill out tunes from this year and the past decade!

Download: ATM’s – New Year’s Day Mixtape (Link 2)!

Playlist after the jump!

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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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