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atm-humanexperience

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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Nujabes (Jun Seba) was a Japanese DJ and hip-hop producer who has produced many albums and compilations filled with soulful and heartfelt beats also influenced by his extensive love of jazz. He’s all I’ve been listening to for the past few days and it makes me sad to think of his passing just a year ago. So thankful for the music and love he’s given me and I hope you can feel it too. Turn it up.

MP3: Nujabes – Sky is Falling (feat C.L Smooth)

MP3: Nujabes – Counting Stars

MP3: Nujabes – Luv (Sic) Part 2 (feat Shing02)

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hi everyone! hope all is well. i have started my travels and have left my home of montreal and am now in san fran, then eventually burning man, and then the wooooooooooooooooorld! so updates are gonna be pretty rare from now on i imagine…though they aren’t that often to at this moment anyways. i thought i’d leave you guys with three tracks from this amazingggg israeli band habanot nechama. incredible women, beautiful voices, reggae chill and soul. please buy their music here!

mp3: Habanot Nechama – Lies

mp3: Habanot Nechama – No War

mp3: Habanot Nechama – So Far

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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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atm-soulive

Soulive is this funky jazz soul trio consisting of two brothers, Alan and Neal Evans, and Eric Krasno. All hail from the great state of NY. I had no idea who they were but my friend guaranteed I’d love them. And so off we went in search of the Bowery Ballroom. Inside lies black leather couches, candle lit tables, and an almost 20’s esque ambiance to it. I felt as if everyone should have been wearing beaded dresses and pearls…but alas, we presumed the pretense of the place and fitted in accordingly with all the hipster attire. Drinks were quite expensive but at least the sound is amazing at this venue. Upstairs we went! Towards the sounds of saxophones, soul, and funk!

Live in Show: Soulive
@ the Bowery Ballroom (NYC; 15 10 09)

If I could make a comparison to other genres—for I don’t listen to too much of soul, funk, or jazz on record, rather, I go see the live shows ’cause they’re a million times better—I would say they are the innovation behind Dan Deacon and the life force behind Architecture in Helsinki of funk, the improvisation and reversed electronica of Jedi Electro…of souuuuuuuuuuuul music! The songs they played were at least 7 minutes each time. Building, layering, skipping and playing in between beats, creating an amazing composition causing us to cheer, awe and dance. When they brought on their guest singer (does anyone know his name…I wish I remembered), I felt like I was listening to some D’Angelo infused music. It touched our hearts and we all felt warmer through just the way he’d caress us with his voice, and then at times, preach to us with high pitched intonations.

I was having immense amounts of fun when Zoidis came on. HOT DAMN I love anything saxophone and this man sure knows how to use it. At some points I stopped moving because I couldn’t believe the solo shit he was pulling. Two and half hours and pints of sweat on the stage later, the band ended the show. And like I tend to say after shows like these, I am officially a fan for life and vow to see every live show possible in MTL…as long as it doesn’t empty my wallet too much 😉

PLEASE buy their new album Up Here. If you like their live stuff (which IMO is much better), buy their live albums and also go see their shows!

MP3: Soulive – Cannonball

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