Music

Going to Symbiosis Re:Union?! Here’s a crash course for the Lineup this year.

Planning on hitting Symbiosis 10 Year Anniversary this September?!  You’ve absolutely made the right decision.  After almost 16 years of events under my belt in the realm of the electronic music festival world here on the Left Coast, I have constantly said now for years that Symbiosis is by far, THE BEST, hands down, no questions asked.  The venues they choose, the attention to detail in production, the crowd they draw, the incredibley diverse lineup, and more make this your one festival to never miss when they actually decide to throw one.  It’s usually once every two years with a one back to back occurrence in 2012/2013.

Due to the fact that their lineups are so massive and diverse, you may not know who or what it is you’re looking at exactly when it comes to these artists.  That is why I am here today.  Here is my Official Crash Course to the Symbiosis 2015 Lineup:

:: ABSOLUTELY NOT TO BE MISSED ::

Nicolas Jaar (DJ Set)
http://www.nicolasjaar.net/

If you don’t know who Nicolas Jaar is at this point, you’ve obviously been on another planet for the past few years.  Since about 2011 Nico has made an incredible dent in the more mature and jazz influenced side of electronica.  Literally everything he touches is gold, and thankfully, he just started his own imprint, Other People, to further the exploration into the world of his tastes.  On Other People you can also find artists like Valentin StipDarkside, and other classy acts.  His live show I saw a few years back was nothing short of amazing, and as much as I’m not usually into DJ Sets from prolific producers, Nico should bring it proper as this year’s main headliner.

CocoRosie
http://cocorosiemusic.com/
https://soundcloud.com/larealcocorosie

Ahhh yes, the two beautiful lovely ladies that make up the Indie Folktronica group CocoRosie.  I was turned onto these lovelies around 2009 and dabbled a bit into their music with a girlfriend at the time.  They ended up passing through Seattle and I bought us tickets to go.  Suffice to say, that show made me a firm believer.  What really caught me was how incredibly unique and avant-garde their whole performance was – I’d never seen or heard anything like it.  They had a whole table with an array of children’s toys, plastic music boxes, and more that were implemented into almost every song played.  These beauties are not to be missed!

Tipper
http://tippermusic.net/
https://soundcloud.com/tippermusic

Dave Tipper.  The man who is almost solely responsible for the squelching Left Coast bass music sound.  A god amongst music producers.  I’ve been fortunate enough to have watched Dave play back in his humble beginnings right after he moved to Seattle in 2003 or so.  From the moment I saw him scratching with a CDJ over his own live beats, I knew something special had just landed on the West Coast.  Over the past 15 years now Tipper has released countless EP’s, a few LP’s, a surround sound masterpiece, and most recently kicked a heart bypass surgery in the ass!  Thank the gods Dave is still with us.  If you want to see this man in his absolute element, do not miss EITHER of his sets here at Symbiosis this year.  His downtempoish set during the eclipse at the 2012 Pyramid Lake Symbiosis was and still is in my Top 10 dance-at-a-festival moments EVER.

Four Tet
http://www.fourtet.net/

Kieren Hebden is one of my favorite musicians.  Ever.  The man has attributed to some of my very favorite songs, that have been on repeat now for fifteen years!  We’ve seen Kieren’s Four Tet moniker go from 99’s ‘Dialogue‘ minimal electronic jazzfest to 2005’s quirky downtempo IDM filled ‘Everything Ecstatic‘ to teaming up with Burial in 2009 for some of the sexiest slow techno ever to 2010’s gorgeous slow house love fest on ‘There Is Love In You‘ only to end up here in 2015 where he just released ‘Morning/Evening‘, two twenty minute long Hindu chanting micro-house ambient opuses.  Oh yah, in 2011 he did some work with Thom Yorke as well.  Basically the man is a genius, and makes amazing music.  Constantly.  I’ve seen Four Tet now a handful of times, and depending on what style of set he’s booked for (Live vs DJ), the level of awesome can vary.  That said, you’ll still more than likely see me in front of the stage when he plays!

Sylvan Esso
http://www.sylvanesso.com/

I was just recently turned onto Sylvan Esso through my What.CD geekings.  They’re straight up in this whole new wave of Hipster Folktronica, and I absolutely love it.  Don’t know too much else about them except that their LP debut from last year is a must hear.  Be careful, it may be on repeat in your room soon!

Ibeyi
http://www.ibeyi.fr/

So I just looked up these 19 year old twin beauties today.  Instantly fell in love.  If you liked the Sylvan Esso vibe above, you’ll definitely dig Ibeyi’s Afro-Cuban take on Hipster Folktronica.  I’ll definitely be trying to catch these ladies at Symbi.

The Acid
http://wearetheacid.com/

https://soundcloud.com/the-acid-sounds

Like the past few projects mentioned here, The Acid I just recently discovered.  Leaning on the Hipstertronic side of things, they are in that same vibe minus the Folk aspects.  You could almost call it ambient lyrical moody house/techno…or something.  Regardless, I just listened to their first LP ‘Liminal’ and totally dug it.  I’ll definitely want to check this live electronic trio out this year!

Pantha Du Prince
http://www.panthaduprince.com/
https://soundcloud.com/panthaduprince

Normally you would only see Pantha at something like Decibel Festival (Seattle) or Mutek (Montreal), and not at some hippie styled festival here in Cali.  This is an absolutely perfect example of why I consider Symbiosis to be the best Left Coast festival – booking artists of this nature.  Pantha separates himself from the usual techno world with his ever so sleepy beats making you feel like you’re floating through the falling snow of some Norse country in the dead heart of winter.  By infusing all sorts of bell and glass instrumentation, the music while thick underneath, sounds heavenly and full of light.  I was fortunate enough to stage manage for Pantha at Decibel a few years back, and was astounded when he set up his rig – a computer, a midi controller, and sixteen different pieces of glassware – all randomly filled with different amounts of water – that were then mic’d and played throughout his live performance.  While I don’t expect this to happen out at Symbi, I do know he’ll deliver one incredible set for us all OUTSIDE.  Don’t miss it!

edIT & Ooah Present: Crying Over Pros & Of Porcelain
https://soundcloud.com/edit
https://soundcloud.com/ooah
http://www.theglitchmob.com/

I first caught wind of Ooah back in 2005 when I spent four months on Maui with my girlfriend at the time and a whole posse of hippies.  EPIC times those were.  Ooah, Random Rab, and the late Rodman had come out during those four months as well, and were basically playing every or every other party during the whole time I was there.  It was awesome.  Ooah’s quirky, but hard hitting breaks to hip-hop sets were something to lust for over and over.  Rab’s gear hadn’t been stolen yet and he was not playing via laptops.  Then by the next time I saw Ooah, The Glitch Mob had happened.  I couldn’t believe my ears.  For one it was nothing like I was used to with Ooah.  Two, edIT, this random name in IDM who I’d heard of from his mind blowing glitch quest entitled ‘Crying Over Pros For No Reason on Planet Mu in 2004, was up there on stage with Ooah and Boretta and a whole slew of other folk churning out this psycho glitch glam hop that made me (personally) want to run away screaming.  Regardless, the Mob’s (and Bassnectar’s) sound literally took over the Cali music scene for a good four years from 2006-2010.  During that time however, Ooah self-released his own answer to edIT’s glitch quest, titled ‘Of Porcelain‘.  Both of these emotive downtempo styled glitch fests are two of the boys best works, and possibly will be for a long time to come.  To see this performed dually and live at Symbi will be a real treat that honestly will probably never happen again.  Be there.

Max Cooper
http://maxcooper.net/
https://soundcloud.com/max-cooper

I first caught wind of Mr. Cooper like many artists – through catching him deliver an over the top excellent set at Decibel Fest a few years back.  From then on he was on my radar.  Then he was booked at the Juke Shack at Symbi 2013 – again another excellent set of diverse techno, blended perfectly for the time and slot given at the fest.  That dancefloor was raging!!!  Since 2013, the world has seen Max diversify his sound incredibly from mostly techno into the world of expansive IDM sounding downtempo electronica and more.  2014 saw the release of his debut LP ‘Human‘, which is an instant classic in it’s own right.  2014 also saw Max stepping up his game even further by launching his own Live A/V (Audio/Visual) tour called ‘EMERGENCE‘, which thankfully he debuted at Decibel Fest.  This live set brings forth everything about Max that you love already, while placing sharp and crisp visuals programmed by the man himself behind it all to fully encapsulate your brain, heart, and body.  If ‘EMERGENCE‘ comes to your town – do not miss it.  I know Max will fully deliver another epic dance set at Symbi this year – I’ll see you on the dancefloor!

Bob Moses
https://soundcloud.com/the-bob-moses

Thanks to the brilliant brain of the one and only KDJ aKa Kadeejah Streets aKa Dirty Ice do I get turned onto many incredible musicians I may have not found on my own.  Bob Moses is yet another perfect example of KDJ playing something for my ears, and instantaneously am I finding myself addicted.  (I probably wouldn’t have started spinning dubstep if it wasn’t for addictions like this, but that’s another story for another time.)  This time it was through Bob Moses’ ‘Inner City Odyssey mix from about eight months ago.  I think I played it out something like 10-12 times the first week I got my hands on it (and it is still available for download via the link above, FYI).  The mix is a heartfelt and laid back sunny day house set, with beautiful vocal melodies swimming around your head throughout most of it’s hour long play time.  While I don’t know much about Bob Moses, I do know they’re relatively new to the house music scene, and so far have done nothing but turn heads wherever they play or their music is played.  I’d fair to say this may be the one biggest dance set I’m lusting after at this year’s Symbi – I can only hope they get scheduled at that perfect moment!

Thugfucker
http://www.thugfucker.org/
https://soundcloud.com/thugfucker

Thugfucker.  Say it again with me: THUG-FUCKER.  What does not come to mind when you say this brilliant moniker is a tech-house duo.  What does come to mind might be Master P or Dr. Dre’s new protege or something of the sort.  Regardless, the Fucking of Thugs is definitely oriented towards house and is one of those odd projects that has randomly released some tunes here or there for the past 10+ years, has never released a full LP, and really only plays out every so often (from what I can tell).  Honestly due to the name I’d skipped seeing them at a few previous festivals until I caught the tail end of their set over a Funktion One soundsystem at Symbi 2012.  My love of house had full on returned at that point and I dug what I heard.  It wasn’t until Symbiosis 2013 that I was fully converted into Thugfucking.  That year from 5am-7am the duo laid down what has now been deemed the ‘Fogrise Set of a Lifetime’ by our whole crew who had been camped out at the Juke Shack for close to eight hours already.  The music being DJ’d matched the time and setting so well that I was finding myself nearly brought to tears multiple times.  Melodic, emotive, dance-forward tech-house perfectly mixed for two hours.  Pure bliss.  I can only hope they get a similar timeslot this year.

Thriftworks
https://soundcloud.com/thriftworks

In a land that is overly saturated with immature bass music for days, comes the mature answer to that sound: Thriftworks.  Introduced to me through The Jess a few years back, I’d heard the name a few times, but had dismissed it due to my jaded mindset on most Cali bass music.  Then I pulled my head out of my ass and discovered Thriftworks’ not overly produced, not overly squelched, and not overly repetitive bass heavy goodness.  The man has releases for days.  They start to sound a bit similar if you go on a binge, but they really do all stand apart in their own ways.  My personal LP favorite is ‘Terry-D‘.  The title track alone gets my brain bouncing and laughing so hard at the same time, that I am only hoping he drops this one on large sound this year!

TRUTH
http://www.truthdubstep.com/
https://soundcloud.com/truthdubstep

I discovered TRUTH when I was full on binging in my new lust for the dark, minimal, and grimey sounds of halfstep dubstep a few years back.  Side Note: Remember folks – real dubstep is at 140bpm.  Just because there’s annoying squelching sounds and lots of bass DOES NOT MAKE IT DUBSTEP.  In fact it probably isn’t.  Okay, that said, TRUTH was one of the few heavy hitters not from the UK that caught my ears.  The duo has released a fair amount of tunes through most big name dubstep labels at this point including Deep Medi Musik, Black Box, and Tempa.  While it definitely takes a bit of sifting through their catalog to find the gems, once you find those gems, you’re stoked.  This was a bit of an odd booking to me for this year’s Symbi, as there is literally almost nothing like it on the lineup besides them.  Regardless I’m curious to see what these guys pull off on large sound, and I just hope that it’s some form of a live set!

Carbon Based Lifeforms
http://www.carbonbasedlifeforms.net/
https://soundcloud.com/carbonbasedlifeforms

Another fairly out there but fantastic booking is the Swedish ambient/downtempo psydub project Carbon Based Lifeforms.  Having been around now since 1998, they are veterans to the chillout scene and all things trippy.  I’d heard of these two off and on for the past ten or so years, and always in positive discussion.  A few friends are truly avid fans, so I downloaded a few albums a while back and turned out to really enjoy the music.  It’s very relaxed, calm, and has many moments of weightless ambience throughout the songs and in between.  Just like TRUTH mentioned above, these guys are kind of in their own world out at this year’s Symbiosis.  I’d imagine an early morning sunrise set would be perfect!

:: IF YOU’RE NOT BUSY WITH THE ABOVE LIST, CHECK OUT ::

Justin Martin Dirtybird Bassline Techno
Christian Martin  Dirtybird Bassline Techno
Extrawelt – German Techno
KMLN – Cali Techno Dj Duo
Mumdance – Tripped Out British Bass Music
Filastine – Epic Political Hip-Hop
Random Rab – Warm & Fuzzy Downtempo (Especially if it’s a sunrise set!)
Tara Brooks – Super Fun Dancey House Music
Treavor Moontribe – PsyTechno
World’s Finest – Americana Dub Grass from PDX

If you have some free time to kill while you’re not dancing your ass of to any of the DO NOT MISS list, then I highly recommend you check out any or all of the above artists.  They’re solid performers, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to enjoy the show!

:: IF YOU GO TO FESTIVALS TO SEE THE SAME SHIT EVERY TIME, CHECK OUT ::

Shpongle (DJ Set by Raja Ram)
Emancipator Ensemble
The Polish Ambassador
EOTO
EPROM
Perfect Stranger
Desert Dwellers
Kalya Scintilla
The Human Experience
An-Ten-Nae
Kaminanda
Liberation Movement

Uhhhh, yah.  The Festie All-Stars.  They play every fest during the summer and some of you love it.  Not really my thing, but if it floats your boat – go sailing!  I’d personally recommend checking out some of the other music this massive lineup has to offer.

:: IF YOU’RE SUPER SPIRITUAL, CHECK OUT ::

Dub Kirtan Allstars
Fanna Fi Allah
Hamsa Lila

I actually really enjoy the above bands.  What I don’t enjoy is the excessively elevated and holier than thou vibes some of their fans bring with them.  That said, if you’re into kirtan and chanting and what not, these groups are definitely for you.

Well that’s about that.  Hopefully this has been informative, helpful, and fun.  I definitely hope you discovered something new in the music world you’re now into.  I’ll be at this year’s Symbi from Thurs-Mon, and would love to see any and all of you.  I’ll be camped in the Seattle Camp, which hopefully will be pleasantly situated by the Lake once again.  Have fun this year, and remember to DRINK WATER.


~SS~

Two New (Old) Mixes To Massage Your Brain!

While traveling I usually somehow am able to pop out a mix during the down time at chill out spots I find on the road.  This year I was able to pop out two, but only because one of them is an older mix I ended up remastering and cutting a track out of just so I could get it past Soundcloud’s psychotic ‘Automatic Content Protection System’.  The first mix, which is the new one, is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, but hadn’t quite figured out how to go about it quite yet, until this trip.  This new mix came in handy over and over on 10 hour bus rides through Indonesia and Malaysia this year!

phish

I’ve wanted to do a mix of Phish songs for a while, but was never really sure how as the band does this themselves every time they play, and much better than I could do DJing their live tracks; plus this could never be done as there is just too much awesome to choose from. There’s also a lot of songs the band just doesn’t really play as often in a live setting that I absolutely love that are on the chiller, more acoustic side of Phish. So in that thought process I thought, ‘Why not make a downtempo Phish mix?

What you have here is just over 2 hours of Phish songs, solely from the LP’s and one EP – all studio recordings. I tried to fit something in from each one of the LP’s and sadly ‘Round Room’ just didn’t produce anything for me personally for this setting, even though we all know when played live those songs are incredible! The songs within were carefully chosen as my favorite beautiful, more melancholy, and softer sounding tracks; with a few oddballs in there to mix things up a bit. There is no jamming, no noodling, and no whale calls or signaling aliens here. This is the relaxed side of Phish. To me this is some of the of the most beautiful music the band has ever released, and so I’m celebrating it here.

Some of you will love this, some of you will loathe it – BUT for those of you who think Phish is only about the jams and the guitar masturbation, I urge you to check this out – I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how calm the band gets.  You can even almost fall asleep to this!

::: Slow Enough For You? :::

Bliss > Billy Breathes (Billy Breathes – 1996)
Eliza (A Picture of Nectar – 1992)
Mist (Farmhouse – 2000)
Train Song (Billy Breathes – 1996)
Catapult (A Picture of Nectar – 1992)
Strange Design (Free EP – 1996)
Horn (Rift – 1993)
The Oh Kee Pa Ceremony (Lawn Boy – 1990)
Wingsuit (Fuego – 2014)
What’s The Use (The Siket Disc – 1999)
Length > Horse > Silent (Rift – 1993)
Lifeboy (Hoist – 1994)
Farmhouse (Farmhouse – 2000)
I Been Around (Joy – 2009)
Manteca (A Picture of Nectar – 1992)
Winterqueen (Fuego – 2014)
Driver (Farmhouse – 2000)
Waste (Billy Breathes – 1996)
Scents And Subtle Sounds #1 (Undermind – 2004)
Fast Enough For You (Rift – 1993)
Talk (Billy Breathes – 1996)
The Inlaw Joise Wales (Farmhouse – 2000)
Roggae > Wading (The Story of the Ghost – 1998)
Swept Away > Steep (Billy Breathes – 1996)
Faht (A Picture of Nectar – 1992)
Brian and Robert (The Story of the Ghost – 1998)
Dirt (Farmhouse – 2000)
Dog Faced Boy (Hoist – 1994)
Secret Smile (Undermind – 2004)
Bug (Farmhouse – 2000)
Army Of One (Undermind – 2004)
Cars Trucks Busses (Billy Breathes – 1996)
Sleep (Farmhouse – 2000)
Grind (Undermind – 2004)

Unfortunately due to this entire mix being songs that were put out by Elektra Records, I had to find not the best site that would actually intake the mix without rejecting it due to ‘Content Violations’.  You can stream the mix with annoying banter every so often without creating an account, or you can download it by creating an account.  You can do that at this link:
http://www.mix.dj/video/4786125/slow-enough-for-you/

I’ve also made it easier to download in case you don’t want to sign up for a Mix.Dj account (which I don’t blame you).  Here is that download link via Dropbox:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/do4utizfffenz5k/Sirius%20Sanuk%20-%20Slow%20Enough%20For%20You%3F%20%28A%20Phish%20Mix%29.mp3?dl=0

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Nival Sapien Adoration was recorded January 1st, 2009 at the Ashworthian Pantheon, Seattle using a Pioneer 500, two Technics 1200’s, one Pioneer CDj 800-MK2, and one Technics SL-DZ1200.  It was mixed within the walls of hibernation during the last days of 2008, and recorded on the first day of 2009.  By sadly removing the gorgeous Sigur Ros song from the beginning of the mix, I was able to sneak it onto Soundcloud finally.  I also remastered it to bump up and clean out the levels a bit.

:Tracklisting:

Arovane : Tomorrow Morning/Seaside : City Center Offices : 2000
Amorphous Androgynous : Mountain Goat : Astralwerks : 1993
Adam Johnson : Trinity : Merck : 2003
Tycho : From Home : Merck : 2006
Proem : Place Gun To Head : Merck : 2004
Lackluster : Cull Streak : defocus : 1999/2000
Telefon Tel Aviv : Your Face Reminds Me Of When I Was Old : Hefty Records : 2001
The Album Leaf : Brennivin : Acuarela Discos : 2003
Deru : Soulik (Lusine Remix) : Delikatessen Records : 2004
Lusine : Auto Pilot : Ghostly International : 2004
Playing With Knobs : Slowbird : audiblebicycleday : 2008 (SEATTLE!)
Gel-Sol : Unifactor : Upstairs Recordings : 2007 (SEATTLE!)
Osiris Indriya : Gifted : No Label/Entheogenetic Label Group : Unreleased/2007 (SEATTLE!)

You can download and/or stream Nival Sapien Adoration here:
https://soundcloud.com/skoisirius/nival-sapien-adoration-2015-rmstr

Really hope you enjoy one or both of these!

Much love.

~SS~
soundcloud.com/skoisirius
twitter.com/skoisirius

Vessel destroyed my brain in the best way last Thursday.

Without friends, life would tend to be…well, different, and honestly, probably pretty lame.  In no way shape or form can I imagine not having the incredible and massive group of friends that I have been fortunate enough to amass over the years.  Where am I going with this?  Well with the assistance of my old friend and co-worker Jefferson last Thursday, I wouldn’t have known about the fact that Vessel was playing later that night.  Thanks to Jefferson and social networking however, I was able to catch this show at Kremwerk last Thursday.

Vessel is part of the ever growing list of awesomeness that Tri Angle Records has been politely pumping over the last four and a half years.  I first came across Vessel back in 2013 at (duh) Decibel Festival.  Having heard of Holy Other and Evian Christ, I decided to bounce up to Chop Suey (which is sadly closing soon if it hasn’t already) for the Tri Angle Records Showcase.  Suffice to say, the showcase completely blew me away and I became an instant follower of all things Tri Angle.

Tri Angle was formed in 2010 by Robin Carolan split between London and New York City.  Since then they have done an excellent job formulating a sound that they are now known for, and sticking to it, something that we don’t see as much from labels in this day and age.  Ten to twenty years ago when you found an electronic label, you would more than likely be able to hunt down anything else on the label and probably be pretty stoked about it because it would encompass a lot of the same sounds and/or mood.  Labels these days tend to be putting out so many releases from so many different artists that the art of label differentiation has unfortunately been a bit lost.  This is one of the reasons why Tri Angle is special to me.  You know what you’re getting yourself into when you listen to another Tri Angle Records artists: it’s going to be moody, dark, emotive, bass heavy, industrial, all complete with hidden elements of pop buried between all those other layers.

With that said, Vessel (Sebastian Gainsborough), released his first LP through Tri Angle in 2012.  Entitled Order of Noise, this debut LP saw the Bristol based artist sprinkle his own brand of synth heavy noise across platforms such as techno, industrial, and broken apart dubstep.  Here’s a favorite of mine off the album:

Definitely making an imprint on those who listened, the news of a new LP from Sebastian in 2014 was excellent news.  Released on September 15, 2014 Punish, Honey saw Vessel returning to a fair amount of noise oriented tunes, yet this time a bit more carefully constructed.  Oriented more towards a techno style 4-In-The-Floor beat, this fairly non-dancey, but head swaying styled noisey techno can easily be eaten up by any noise and industrial fan.  It’s slow, it’s sluggish, it’s dark and dreary.  Often sounding like you’re in the middle of some sort of heavy mechanical shop filled with multiple kinds of machines all working at once, Punish, Honey will definitely put you into a certain space, and keep you there whether you like it or not.  Personally, I love it.  Here’s one of my favorites off the new LP:

Fast forward a few years to last Thursday, and a random Google+ post from Jefferson mentioning Vessel in town for $10 got my ears perking heavy.  I hit up Jefferson immediately to get the complete details, and told him I’d meet him down there later.  After a delicious dinner and toasty bowl of sativa with another old friend in Fremont, I bounced down to Kremwerk around 11.30pm.

Container was currently on the decks spinning an eclectic mix of odd IDM infused bass music.  Surprisingly the tiny little space of Kremwerk was fairly full towards the stage, with lots of room to move around towards the bar area.  You never know who is going to be out at a low publicised show in Seattle, but that said, apparently Vessel has his followers.  Vessel stepped up to his table of equipment right around 12 Midnight and began what would end up being a full on journey.

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Beginning with some deep exploratory noise like his LP’s and EP’s, Vessel brought us all into his space through a full static sound bath to get things going.  The next 65 or so minutes were then filled to the brim with all things noise oriented, swimming around in slow industrial based techno beats, hints of Bristol dubstep, random sounds of gabber at 160bpm, and of course, more thick and heavy distorted synth patches.  Beyond the sounds, watching Sebastian have just as much fun up there pushing boundaries was also part of the show.  His stage presence is as such that you know he is fully in it, completely enjoying what he is doing, making, and experimenting with – just as much as we were all completely enjoying the sonic onslaught he provided for our ears.  Kremwerk’s tiny but punctual soundsystem did well handling the raw signal he was sending, as there was definitely no laptop to be seen anywhere on stage that evening.  Here’s some video I took from the night (you may want to turn your speakers down before playing as these are raw and LOUD):

By the end of the 65 minutes, I was already begging for more.  It is truly show like this that keep me interested in electronic music, shows where you know you’re witnessing something different, something cutting edge.  If you’re into any sounds that tend to be a bit darker and more edgy, I highly recommend checking out Vessel and Tri Angle Records.  Their whole catalog is worthy of the snobbiest of ears.

Phish Falls & Twists Around Hood In San Francisco

WARNING: Phish garble overload in the following blog post.  Apologies if you can’t understand.  If you care enough, you’ll either know, or look it up 🙂 .

All hail the Phish Lords.  What an incredible show!! I only get a few shows a year these days, so I was beyond excited. To add to that, this was my girlfriend’s first show EVER, and on top of that the SF Giants madness downtown at that point just added to the awesomesauce that was these few days of Phish.

I started laughing right off the bat when Crowd Control dropped as last year they pulled the same stunt. What’s up with SF drawing this song out of the band? Well this year it was definitely the SF Giants crowd melding with the Phish crowd in the same few square blocks around BGCA, but last year? SF just has an epic crowd apparently!

You KNEW immediately the show was going to be ‘one of those shows’ when Mike’s got pulled outta the gate immediately after CC. Fairly solid 10min 3.0 Mike’s, and what do you ya know – the only true Mike’s Groove of the year (but maybe not as NYE is still coming) with I Am Hydrogen blending in to the Mike’s finish. This was great as my girlfriend absolutely loves this song. Slamming Paug to finish the Groove, and then the first breather of the night.

I’ve got 3-4 fav’s off the new album, and Wingsuit is definitely one of them being that it is by far the closest to Pink Floyd (especially on the album) that Phish has ever sounded. Besides the silly flub by Mike at the end (which was in no way detrimental to the song), I was in absolute bliss for those 10 minutes. I love the Floyd explosion that is the end of Wingsuit. SO GOOD. I’d recently been singing Water In The Sky in my head a lot so that was a fun rambler to swim in after flying high in my Suit.

Plasma, a TAB original, was fairly unexpected at first as they’d just played it in Eugene for the first time, but it gained a warm welcome by myself, and the SF crowd. I wouldn’t complain about hearing it more often personally, especially if they allow it to get taken for a ride at some point. Check it out for yourself here:

I’m a big fan of most of Page’s tunes so Halfway To The Moon was sweet to hear live and beautifully executed at the same time.  You can just see Page pouring his heart out up there on stage. Poor Heart you can never go wrong with of course (even if it’s oddly placed into a set) and then BOOM:

That Gumbo!!! Damn what was up with Page?! Killed it on the clavinet! Loving Gumbo to begin with and then getting a Page crushed extendo version?! Stoke. Only issue with that was that Trey kept trying to bring in the Sanity that followed and Page just wanted to keep going! TREY…STFU and let the man ride his glory! Great rendition of Gumbo into a mostly clear transition into Sanity (looking like SF may be the new town for Crowd Control and Sanity, both played back to back years in the same show). Sanity is always a fun sing along and gets me laughing my ass off. You could tell the set was coming to a close soon by the end of the Sanity, but they yanked Antelope out of the bag there at the end. Absolutely kickass cracked out rocking Lope. I remember my friend Trevor saying towards the finish line of Set 1 that we just got a full on Set 2 in place of Set 1 this evening. I then attempted to explain that to my girlfriend as the set break music came on and we went outside to puff a bowl.  Highlights of Set 1: Mike’s Groove, Wingsuit, Gumbo, and the Antelope.

Bowl smoking hit the spot, and by the time we got back inside the lights were dimming, so we smashed in the crowd to find our spot more mid-center, a bit towards Mike’s side. In no way shape or form was I expecting the Kills Devil Falls riff to start out Set 2, nor was anyone else. I think this has happened twice now, ever? Can’t say I was stoked at first as KDF is one of those ‘Meh’ Phish tracks for me personally, but goddamn did they once again prove me wrong this year by taking KDF and bringing it up to the Big Boy S2 opener slot and then going even further by diving into it Type II jam style! I often wonder what it would sound like if Phish (esp. 97-99 Phish) made electronic music. The answer to that question is the last 4-5 minutes of the SF14 KDF. Beautiful bliss that as an ambient musician I could’ve listened to for the entire set, but they had a PERFECTLY placed Mountains in the Mist waiting for us to continue the psychedelic chill vibe for another 7 minutes. Those 20 minutes were pure Phish bliss, and then BOOM (again), the Fuego piano notes drop, letting you know it’s about to get slamming again. Here’s the Mountains:

Really tight and crunchy Fuego capping at about 10 minutes. This being another of the few fav songs of mine off the new album, I was giddy that me and my lady got the two big guns off the album in one night. Fuego puts Phish sounding more like King Crimson and on the progressive rock side than anything else album wise I’ve heard from the group. Besides the funny lyrics, the song is a broken up odd rock masterpiece. Fishman loves it! Julius was a bit of a surprise mid-second set (for these days in 3.0), but welcomed as a loud and forward sing along the whole BGCA was ready for.

THEN – Twist. This Twist is it. Another fantastic reason why all of us addicts keep coming back show after show. A track I’d plop down in front of any non-believer and just ask them to attentively pay attention to the magnificent playing before their ears. Twist has always been a personal fav, and this was my first – STOKE. Having seen such great heights in 2013, and not really seeing much of anything in 2014, I wasn’t sure where it would go…but it ended up being the THE Twist of 2014. Intricate, jazzy, fun, and heartfelt, this will be a Twist I listen to until my deathbed. Hints of the electronic gorgeous side of the KDF 40 minutes before poked through at points as well. Page and Trey gently playing off of each other for blocks at a time with Mike and Fish creating the space to do so. Brilliant locked jamming from all four incredible musicians. They don’t even go back into the Twist theme they were so content on where it went. One of the best songs of the year IMO. Here’s the Twist in HD from LivePhish:

Fairly unexpected was the late Set 2 after an epic Twist Runaway Jim. The beginning is one of the softest ever I’d think, and I wish they would’ve played on that a bit, but you can tell Trey was ready to pick the pace back up, forcing Fish to catch on and bang the song out. (Side Note: Can we expect Crowd Control, Sanity, and Runaway all in the same show in SF every year now?) Fun and a jammy Jim it was (no crazy glowstick war this year), ending in more ambient bliss (theme of the night??) and then out of the glitter, another BOOM: Hood.

Being played at the one off earlier this year in New Orleans, 7 times over Summer Tour, and 4 out of 11 shows on Fall Tour, Hood had a big year. You could tell it was definitely one of the classics the Boys were loving all year. I imagine we’ll see a big one over the NYE run as well. Recognizing that we were only six songs into the set those of us in the know had a little feeling this could be a big one, and GODSDAMN, it was. There are a few movements within this Hood that really stand out, but honestly as a whole the entire 20mins moves along seamlessly as one piece, taking you on an up and down journey through multiple builds and even plains of Phishy goodness. Listen to this Hood – cherish this Hood. It is right up there with the other big Hood’s of 2014 (7/1, 7/12), possibly and probably beating them out. Another blissful ambient outro from the depths of the Hood and Set 2 closes. Here’s the Hood:

Goddamn what a night. The thanks and the first chords of Loving Cup from Page put that huge smile on my face and a solid Cup of Love ends what was IMO one of the best shows of the year, and definitely the show of Fall Tour. Sure Halloween night had some crazy new funk tracks in Set 2 from the Boys, but this show is one I will cherish for a long time to come. Download it, buy it, ask me for it, whatever you need to do, but as a Phan – you want this show. I promise!

A First Listen: Brand. New. Aphex Twin. Syro.

With just over a months official warning, we all of a sudden have a new Aphex Twin album.  It’s been TWELVE YEARS and some change since his last album Drukqs.  (Yes, I know technically speaking he released music under the AFX, Analord, and The Tuss monikers, but we’re not talking about that right now.)  You know where I was twelve years ago?  Drinking my face off in college.  The iPod hadn’t been released yet.  Dubstep hadn’t been invented yet.  EDM (I shudder every time I hear that term) wasn’t a genre of electronic music.  Hell, Skrillex was still screaming his face off in From First To Last.  Suffice to say the world has changed quite a bit, even further more, the world of music has changed drastically.

Apparently Richard D. James is still Richard D. James – but he’s grown up.  He’s apparently moved to rural Scotland (hey they’re voting for Independence today actually), got married, has a few kids, and takes the random small or gigantic Dj gig from times to time.  We heard the beginning of a rumor in 2009 about the possibilities of a new album.  Then an interview surfaced with Richard himself in 2010 about his ‘six unreleased albums he’s sitting on’.  Flash forward four more years and out of no where there’s a slimy green blimp with the Aphex logo on it flying over an Elephant & Castle in England and Aphex logos spray-painted in front of NYC’s Radio City Music Hall.  Something is happening.

Then BOOM – the next day, Aphex’s Twitter account (which has been active for years) posts it’s 9th Tweet ever: a random scrambled URL that is only accessible via the deep web.  If you’re a smart enough cookie to figure that out, you then got launched to a Website with track titles, an album name, and a whole slew of other seemingly useless information.  Later that day Warp Records confirmed – a new Aphex Twin album release is just over a month away.

aphex-twin-blimp

BvKfZIrCAAEle_k.jpg-large

This is a very different style review than I usually do.  It’s a ‘First Listen’ meaning I’ve just scribbled some notes down for each song as I heard it for the first time last night.  This is not the well written heady review you’re looking for.  Straight first impressions here:

Minipops 67 – The actual ‘single’ from the album.  A tame Aphex style breakbeat with warm glow from his many synths starts this ride out.  Heavily vocoded with many voices, almost R&Bish to an extent.  So good to hear his sounds again!!
XMAS_EVET10 (Thanaton3 Mix) – Stranger, murkier, slower, video garish at points, and thick with deep acid lines weaving in and out and on top of each other.  You don’t realize it’s been ten and a half minutes when it ends.  Hauntingly beautiful.
Produk 29 – Starts fairly gangster as far as Richard goes beat wise, sinks right into Aphex synth with subtle acid lines.  Jazzy to a point.  Then it gets swampy.  Very accessible while being completely full and layered.  Fucking whore!!
4 bit 9d api+e+6 – If I was to choose a ‘single’ off the album, this would be it – it’s Windowlickery to an extent.  Really.  Just massively toned down and not necessarily trying to tickle your brain in ways some might not appreciate.
180db_ – Out of no where a four in the floor groove.  Synth heavy and breakish at points.  Flat.  Doesn’t really seem like a completely finished thought, and doesn’t really fit the rest of the album so far.
CIRCLONT6A (Syrobonkus Mix) – Now we’re back in some far off land that’s close to Drukqs, but much more mature.  Drenched in all sorts of sounds flying at you…never what I’d call overwhelming like points on Drukqs, but still testing limits.  Complex.  Incredible piece of electronica.
Fz pseudotimestretch+e+3 – LoL.  If you ever owned an older organ you’ll totally appreciate the one.  Great segue.
CIRCLONT14 (Shrymoming Mix) – Back to that land near Drukqs.  More modern Aphex mastery.  It’s acid drenched, half timing, and super bouncy.  Yes please!
Syro u473t8+3 (Piezoluminescence Mix) – Possible ‘title track’?  If so I can see why.  Fairly forward acid backbone, dark and grimey throughout.  Drum heavy older Aphex sounding.  A well mastered construction of so many things Richard does so well.
PAPAT4 (Pineal Mix) – Lovers of the Amen Break will bask in the beauty of this one.  Light and fluffy, like laying on pillows, but driven in mellow drum&bass.
S950tx16wasr10 (Earth Portal Mix) – Jungle!!  He brought out the jungle!  Hints of grime on top, not so acidy as a lot of the album until the finish – absolutely love the second half of this track!
Aisatsana – A beautiful birdsong piano played nightcap to a lovely dream inside Richard’s head.  Gorgeousness at it’s finest.

Well, I’m completely sold.  Over all there isn’t as much going on as far as throwing new sounds at you consistently while changing beat patterns every 8 bars like some of his previous works.  This album is not set out to change the face of music like Richard has done countless times before – this album is about Richard doing what Richard does best – being Richard.  Nothing still sounds like Aphex, but Aphex.

Do not think to hardly when listening to this album.  It’s like when Boards of Canada released their first album after eight years last year…way too many people getting caught up in the hype expecting something so over the top, when in fact BoC did what they do best – being BoC.  Don’t go into Syro expecting anything and you’ll come out on top with a shit eating Aphexy grin as much as before.

Thank you Richard for coming back!

SYRO

A New Mix: Filthy Shed Seshions I

FILTHY

Well, well, well.  What started as a filthy, dirty, and grimey mix last year while I was living in a shed became a filthy, dirty, and kind of grimey epic mix spanning across the deeper side the real deal dubstep – at 140bpm of course.  What was interesting about this one is that the 25 minutes or so that started the whole basis of this mix didn’t actually end up making the cut in the finish, which had never happened to me before.  Really fun to watch these things change and morph as you play with different tracks and figuring out the puzzle of how they will eventually fit together.  Regardless, what this means however is that ‘Filthy Shed Seshions II’ will be birthed at some point – hopefully not too far into the future.

Really stoked on this one.  With everything from your classic Kryptic Minds sound to the futuristic genre pushing Goth-Trad to the newer Deadbeat (140 Deadbeat?!  Yes please!) to the Latin grooves of Mala to some Radiohead sampling iTAL tEK, this one is sure to keep you moving until the finish line where it eventually chills itself out.  Sit back, turn up the bass, and enjoy!

Downloadable here: https://soundcloud.com/skoisirius/filthy-shed-seshions-i

::: TRACKLISTING :::

Dusk + Blackdown – Drenched
Godspeed You Black Emperor! – The Dead Flag Blues
Dusk + Blackdown – (Keysound Rain)
Kryptic Minds – Hybrid (Biome Remix)
Biome – Two Way
Killawatt & Thelem – Kaba
Kryptic Minds – To Feel
Gantz – Cave Dance
Pinch & Shackleton – Torn & Submerged
Dusk + Blackdown – Iqbal’s Groove
Formless – Hidden Realm
Gantz – Choke
Pangaea – Neurons
DJ Madd – Secrets
Headhunter – Clone
Goth-Trad – Departure
Deadbeat – The Elephant In The Pool
Kryptic Minds – Askum
Biome – First Light
Mala – Calle F
Vancore – Who Am I
Oceania – Grow Wild
Vaun – Listen
iTAL tEK – Deep Pools
Kryptic Minds – Time Flies
Hyetal – Black Black Black
Vaccine – Anaesthetic

Way. Too. Much. Hop. Volume One.

GRILLZ

So about a month ago I needed to take a break from this dubstep mix I’ve been working on for way too long…and for whatever reason, I decided to break it up with going into some hip-hop, which I’d been randomly listening to non-stop for a week or so.  I proceeded to go through my entire library (all 2.5TB’s) and pick out a selection of tunes based around hip-hop in the sub-genres of gangster rap, R&B, underground hip-hop, trip-hop, glitch-hop, and head-hop (like Prefuse 73, etc.).  By the time I was done going through all this music, I had something like 150+ tracks picked out – obviously way too many for a mix.  Whatever, I decided to go for it anyways.

Through a complete process of randomly choosing tracks, I tossed a bunch together, finding as many seques from these albums as I could to add some comedy, and ended up with an almost 2.5hr mix.  At that point, I decided that was enough.  Anyways, if you enjoy rap/hip-hop, and the sub-genres that follow, you might get a kick out of this nonsense.

Sirius Sanuk’s ‘Thug In My Nug Vol. One” is able to be streamed here:
http://www.mixcloud.com/skoisirius/sirius-sanuks-thug-in-my-nug-volume-one/

and downloaded here (by right clicking and hitting Save As):
http://datachurch.com/subs/skoisirrius/Sirius%20Sanuk’s%20Hip-Hop%20Marathan%20Volume%20One.mp3

Thanks again to Datachurch.com for hosting the mix, as Soundcloud’s annoying copyright protection algorithm banned this one from the get go!

Ah yes, specifically for the blog post, I decided to type out the whole tracklisting, in case anyone actually cares to know:

1.  Handsome Boy Modeling School – Look At This Face (Oh My God They’re Gorgeous)
2.  The Clonious – Fogged Spacesuit (Album Version)
3.  Andre 3000 Segue
4.  The Notorious B.I.G. – The World Is Filled (feat. Too Short & Puff Daddy)
5.  Sir-Mix-A-Lot – Posse On Broadway (206 Represent!!)
6.  Mariah Carey – Breakdown (feat. Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony)

7.  Andre 3000 Segue
8.  Roots Manuva – Witness (1 Hope)
9.  Warren G – ’94 Ho Draft
10.  504 Boyz – I Can Tell
11.  Devin The Dude – Reefer & Beer
12.  Warren G – Gangsta Sermon
13.  Geto  Boys – Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangster
14.  Wu-Tang Clan – Wu-Tang: 7th Chamber
15.  Portishead – It Could Be Sweet
16.  Prefuse 73 – Silence (Interlude)
17.  Dj Krush – What’s Behind Darkness
18.  Andre 3000 Segue
19.  Pras – Ghetto Superstar (feat. Mya & Ol’ Dirty Bastard)
20.  Whatha Want To Do Segue
21.  Too Short – Cocktales
22.  Snoop Doggy Dogg – Lodi Dodi
23.  Niggaz & White Girls Interlude
24.  Tyrese – Sweet Lady
25.  Outkast – 13th Floor (Growing Old)
26.  Snoop Dogg’s Moment Of Silence
27.  Machinedrum – Uptown
28.  The Wizard – I Got
29.  Mo Thugs Family – Ghetto Cowboy
30.  Ja Rule – Put It On Me
31.  Notorious B.I.G. Fuckin’
32.  Brotha Lynch Hung – Rest In Piss
33.  Busta Rhymes – What’s It Gonna Be?! (feat. Janet Jackson)
34.  N.O.T.O.R.I.O.U.S.B.I.G.
35.  Madlib – Montara
36.  Digable Planets – Graffiti
37.  Radio W Ballz
38.  Andre 3000 – A Day In The Life Of Andre Benjamin

There ya have it folks.  Expect at least one (or two) more of these escapades before the summer’s out.  Oh yah, FYI: I wouldn’t put this on with your kids around.

Injoy!

RūdElgin Drops A New Heavy Hitter: RūdE Moods Vol 2

Well well well…it’s been way too long since any info has been pushed through this blogspace…once again.  On that note, here’s a quick lick of information regarding so BASS.  And some heavy BASS at that.

The old homie Elgin Hakala just dropped a new heavy hitting dubstep mix of the most excellent kind.  Deep, dark, agressive, and airy, completely with not a lick of cheesey Americanized falsestep whatsoever.  Having not heard a mix from Elgin in a while, I was extremely excited to see him toss out a mix of the exact same type of true grimey dubstep that I’ve been into for the past couple years.

With an incredible tracklist mixed to keep your body in the groove, this one will be loved by anyone into the deeper side of the step…fans of Kryptic Minds, Biome, DJ Madd, Truth, Versa & Rowl, Osiris Music, Deep Heads, etc will absolutely love this business.  GET IT.

Lights down, heads up, this one’s a percy and it’s for download at Elgin’s Soundcloud:
https://soundcloud.com/rudelgin/rudemoodsvol2

Spaciously Heavy New Album From Portland’s Natasha Kmeto!

On a random whim today I heard about a brand new album release from an artist I’ve heard a bit from, seen a few times, and met once or twice: Natasha Kmeto.  I first heard about Natasha through a series of events from Live’n’Love Productions up in Seattle, run by an old homie, Kyle.  Somehow Kyle had stumbled across her (as she’s from Portland, OR), and started booking her at random L’n’L events.  Believe I eventually saw her at one of the Photosynthesis Festivals of years past, and I remember being fairly stoked at how avant-garde the approach was to her own music.  I’ve since moved to the middle of no where California, and only heard a tiny snippets about her, here and there, until today.

It’s not often I toss down $10 for a 30-minute album without having heard most of it, but knowing she’s in the extended Fam, I went for it – and I’m quite happy I did.  The album starts out with the title track ‘Crisis‘, potentially my favorite off the album after a few listens.  Synth heavy and semi-retro sounding, her gut-wrenching vocal pulses wash over you as a very minimal trap beat exercises itself beneath all the other layers.  If all trap sounded like this, I’d listen to a lot more of it.  The album progresses into ‘Idiot Proof‘ which brings to the table a more vocal oriented track, letting everyone know that she ‘needs peace from all the things she’s supposed to be’.  Not knowing Natasha well enough, I’m not exactly sure what she’s talking about, but she gets the point across easily in minor chords with a very distant house beat in the background, surrounded by heavily arpeggiated synths.

The album is very mature, spacing out the tracks where her voice is the focal point, with many tracks consisting of clever vocal layers without any real singing in between.  I rather enjoy when someone who does get into vocals, uses them in this way, so that the entire album isn’t dominated with literary opinion, allowing other tracks to emotionally speak for themselves, without getting the ego involved.  ‘Take Out‘ is another vocal heavy house oriented track that has a very spaced out 80’s synth-wavey atmosphere, again, politely spacious – making it is quite obvious that Natasha truly knows how to make sure her sound voids are never messy.  Though it seems strange to admit, the album really has a dark and futuristic R&B setting going on throughout, which turns out to be quite rather brilliant.  I can’t really say it sounds like much else I’ve heard, even lately.

Overall, the spaciousness, the darker tones, and the very minimal usage of many points in electronic music make this album quite a solid output in my book.  My one complaint – it’s just too short!  Multiple of these tracks have me going strong at about two and a half minutes, and then they’re done!  I’ve never understood why certain artists love to build people up, just to drop them…Mount Kimbie and Odesza are a few others to name randomly – the builds are there, it crescendos, and finishes.  Personally I enjoy more time inside these fantastic spaces created by the artists.  That said, it’s not my music, and Natasha has created a short, but incredibly solid LP here.  Highly recommended!

More info on Natasha and the link to purchase the album (on tape for $7 if you’d like!) below:

http://www.natashakmeto.com/
http://droppinggems.bandcamp.com/album/crisis

Excellent News: A New Machinedrum LP On NINJA TUNE Is On The Way.

STOKE.  Checked my What.CD Top10 List before bed, and what did I see?  A new Machinedrum single?!  Well that’s about as good as it gets these days in the more progressive side of bass music as far as I’m concerned.  After “Room(s)“, his last major output in 2011 for Mike Paradinas’ Planet Mu, I become completely infatuated with Travis Stewart’s Machinedrum moniker all over again (as I had once before in the Merck Records days).  “Room(s)” took a look at current bass music rooting itself in juke, and spashed elements of breakbeat, jungle, drum&bass, house, and dubstep all over itself.  There’s even a gorgeous pure ambient track to finish the album out – I’d honestly never heard anything like it!  The album got me into the whole juke/footwork sound, along with expanding my palate as a whole, surrounding my intellect with just where bass music was and could be headed at that point in time.

Back on track – so to see this new single pop up, and listed as being released on Ninja Tune (only one of the best labels of the past twenty years), you could pretty much say I had a minor freak out.  Downloaded it right quick, popped my Sennheiser’s on, and let myself bask in more glory.

Immediately something is different comparatively speaking against “Room(s)“.  The tempo is all the way up at 172bpm!  We could be looking at a drum&bass track here, but no, as the track unfolds, pitch-shifted vocal edits (most likely Travis himself as on “Room(s)“), and a very broken kick drum open the track up.  About two-plus minutes in, it fully let’s itself go into a whirling drum&bass backed juke oriented head bobber.  The drum work is excellent, of course.  Politely layered and spaced well, hi-hats and snare rolls float on top of the jukey kick drum.  The new speed doesn’t muck up at all where he has been on the last album.  After a solid minute of getting hit hard, the track breaks down into a beautiful and spacious forty seconds of bliss before dropping the broken juke oriented kick drum all over your ears again.  These broken parts I can see dancefloors having an interesting time with, but when he really lets the track go, it really is clearly made for some serious breakbeat style dancing – whatever your pleasure.

Suffice to say, I am extremely excited for this release – “Room(s)” was in my Top 3 of 2011, and I could place a safe bet that this may make that same list for 2013.  Here’s the track on Youtube for ya: