Review: Analogue Monsta

This post is syndicated from Indie Shuffle

Sounds like: Flying Lotus, Teebs, Nosaj Thing, Tokimonsta, Suzi Analogue

What’s so good?

By  | August 11th, 2012

The cultural scene in East Los Angeles has been exploding for quite some time, and in the electronic music community there’s one night commonly known as the place to be. It’s called the Low End Theory, and it goes down every Wednesday night at a unassuming location called The Airliner in L.A.’s Lincoln Heights.

Once a low-key local night attended by DJs and aspiring producers, art students and their significant others, the party has quickly grown to become a world-renowned launching pad for heavy-hitting electronic artists like Flying Lotus and Nosaj Thing.

Two of these talents have teamed up for a duo unlike any other. The group, aptly named Analogue Monsta, is comprised of Suzi Analogue and TOKiMONSTA. And together, they forge the perfect blend of emerging talent and nu-school artistry.

TOKiMONSTA is a producer at-large – a highly-sought after femme fatale whose textured electronic landscapes have just the right amount of deconstruction to elegantly cross genres while defying what we’ve traditionally come to define as mainstream appeal.

Like many of her peers in a similar genre (Flying Lotus for one), Toki has the flawless ability to deconstruct drum patterns, implement arresting bass lines, and keep the most cynical of listeners guessing at each turn. If the walls of the food truck begin rattling, it’s likely that Toki has just taken the stage.

Suzi, known for signature sultry vocals falling somewhere between Erykah Badu and the late Aaliyah, brings a new panache that is raw and defining of a new generation.

On “Boom,” Suzi Analogue’s vocals lend just the right amount of footing and upright persuasion to make each song on the full-length collaboration a thoughtful listen.

“Boom” is out now via Scion A/V.

Bandwidth: Where Music Meets Technology

Music, technology, and cocktails – what could be better?  Maybe the fact that it’s happening in one of my favorite cities of all time. And at a great location to boot!

In a couple of weeks I’ll be heading north to attend the annual Bandwidth Conference happening at the Kennedy School in Portland, a joint venue and hotel that also serves as a significant cultural landmark. The school, owned by the McMenamin brothers, is part of a chain of quirky microbreweries, music venues, and historic hotels specific to the Pacific Northwest.  Each venue is markedly unique — including the Kennedy School, formerly an elementary school dating all the way back to 1915.

The Bandwidth Conference brings together select individuals in the digital music space to encourage thoughtful discussion about the state of our industry. Topics to be covered include new media, marketing, and digital trends and technologies.   Attendees are invited on a case-by-case basis — the invites are intentionally curated — with the goal of producing quality conversations for attendees to learn more about the issues that matter most to them.

From the site:

Bandwidth 2012 will focus on current trends and innovations in the industry. We’ll also feature some sessions focused on the theme “Fast Forward” — reaching beyond the imminent changes in the industry, technologies and culture. “Fast Forward” will examine what comes beyond simply “next,” considering the longview and the impact on our work today.

Bandwidth features inclusive, boardroom-sized conversations led by music, technology and digital leaders. That’s right – no large panels. These are discussions where you’re sitting at the same table with exciting thought leaders and an intimate group of bonafide music and industry professionals.

Personally, I’m really looking forward to making new connections and discussing what’s next. In a time of significant technological change, I can’t wait to take it all in and report back to you with my findings!

-Nic.

*If you work in digital music and are interested in attending, make sure to e-mail me for a discount code along with a special sign-up link.

homepage_large.f761460b

39: Indie Chop Chop

 

Frankie Rose – Interstellar
Imagine Dragons – Amsterdam
Two Door Cinema Club – Next Year
Stars – Hold On When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It
Sea Wolf – Old Friend
Frank + Derol – Barely Love You Too
Mates of State – Lullaby Haze
Cat Power – Cherokee
The xx – Chained
Alliyah – Enough Said (feat. Drake)
Analogue Monsta – Time To
Alt-J – Something Good
Foals – Red Socks Pugie
Metric – Speed The Collapse
Jack White – Weep Themselves to Sleep
Temper Trap – Trembling Hands

Get it?

This show is only available until the next one airs

Subscribe to the podcast

tune in to Moheak Radio

Data is the new Journal. (part 1)

I don’t have much room for storage in the small bungalow apartment where I live. I like to tell people that I adhere strictly to a “one in, one out” policy. When something new comes in, something old must go out. This helps to reduces clutter and the accumulation of “things.”

One mainstay that continues to grow is a small collection of boxes. They’re called “memory boxes” as loosely defined by my cryptic writing penned with a black Sharpie.

One is stuffed with ticket stubs, conference badges, matchbooks, and other random mementos. Another is filled with dog-eared journals. It’s not that I have no memory (this is debatable), but having these boxes of information helps to recall random events upon which nothing interesting happened “at the time.”

The journals are tattered and full, evidence of everyday journeys jotting down random notes during pause. They contain to-do lists, random thoughts, poetry, un-sent “love” letters, and general wordplay at-large. There’s a specific notebook I wrote in every day for about two years in high school. I’ve kept it securely in each apartment I’ve had during the last decade.

It’s funny because reading that particular journal now, I wrote about predictable teenage dilemmas like dating and school. I dutifully noted milestone events – like graduating from college – which makes me wonder why I wanted to keep it hidden in the first place.

I’ve written juicier stuff in a moleskin that sat next to the subject as he unknowingly rode in my car.

Point is, these boxes of artifacts and journals, although surface level at times, are rewarding to read now. Looking back, I wish I would’ve documented more.

Many of these physical tombs have since been superceded by the digital equivalent of the lesser friendly one and zero. The digital medium cancels out the physical product we’ve come to know and love under the genre of “things” and/or “stuff.” Digital documentation makes slightly more anonymous my own personal story, style as a writer, and self-described position as social misanthrope.

I imagine how it would have came across if it were possible to capture those same stories online back then. Would I have captured more detail? Would I have captured less? Would my writing appear authentic, or would it come across as impersonal because I was using software, an app, or had the option to make it available for all to see?

On my birthday last year, I happened to check Facebook only to notice a little box on the homepage where ads are typically placed. It read that on my birthday, two years ago, I ran 2.3 miles. Did I? Come to think of it, I did! I went home early from work and went on a run before going out to dinner with family.

The run was logged by Nike run, which was connected to Facebook. I wouldn’t have remembered what I did that day without the help of this little reminder.

If sites and services can tap into the information we enable it with, they should in turn deliver back useful patterns and information about ourselves we weren’t previously aware of. This creates a data journal of its own.

When everything else is going digital it only seems natural to document our lives in a way that makes technology work for us. Tools make it easy to document everything from how we slept last night to where we’ve been.

So, if our information is being collected to sell to others, where’s the payoff? There should be long-term personal gain from the use of it. At the very least, we should have increased control over where it travels to.

An app called Path is a step between Facebook and Twitter. It’s more exclusive than Facebook, and doesn’t speak to everyone like Twitter does.

The app has a limit to the amount of friends you can have. Specifically, it’s set at 140.
It allows you to connect with loved ones – people you actually know in the real world.

From their website:

“Path was designed with the people you love, your close friends and family, in mind. Share in a trusted, intimate, environment like the dinner table at home.”

I experimented with posting a few personal thoughts and opinions to Path – things I would never trust going to Facebook or Twitter or where everyone else is.

I felt that I was confiding in folks I already know, and trust, and don’t see very often. I also found that people were willing to express heartfelt thoughts and emotions back.

Journaling takes on many forms. The part where we monitor little things like where we were, what we were listening to and how we were feeling seem ok to share and syndicate to our social networks.

But deeper insights are long-form and will always be best applicable to the old-fashioned paper and pen. Don’t get me wrong, it can still be digital – I appreciate bamboo products just as much as the next nerd (maybe more), but that kind of stuff doesn’t need to go public. It’s more personal than anything else – critical to one’s personal expression, growth, and discovery for later on.

Continue to Part 2

Record Review: Virtual Boy

This post is syndicated from Indie Shuffle

Sounds like: Ratatat, Nosaj Thing, Caribou What’s so good?By  | August 2nd, 2012What happens when classically-trained musicians go head-to-head with electronic instrumentation? Answer: a place where theory clashes happily with informed chaos.

Meet Virtual Boy: the duo comprised of Preston Walker and Henry Allen, two former music students from Chapman University. Recent grads studying under the infamous talent and mad scientist Steve Nalepa, they’re part of the East L.A. scene that gave birth to the rise of other prominent electronic music artists like Flying Lotus, Nosaj Thing, and The Glitch Mob.

Regulars at Low End Theory and promoters in their own right for a new project called Team Supreme, Virtual Boy are part of a movement that shakes up electronic music in a big way.

The self-titled album, released earlier this year, is a thoughtful and meticulously constructed blend of the old informing the new. Each song flows into the next, sequenced and with a particular movement in mind – not dissimilar from material of the classical variety. The album remains varied yet consistent. Songs like “Empty Place” are arresting from the start, grabbing one’s attention with a deep bass line; while other tracks like “Memory of a Ghost” are haunting and slightly more textured.

The informed present of a musical past – the future is here.

You can grab a download of the first single from the album, “Memory of a Ghost,” in addition to remixes of Grimes and more at their SoundCloud page.

“Virtual Boy” is out now on Alpha Pup Records.

38: Indian Summer

 

Wild Nothing – Summer Holiday
Indian Summer – Highasakite
Bloc Party – I Still Remember
Temper Trap – Need Your Love (RAC mix)
Regina Spektor – Don’t Leave Me (Ne Me Quitte Pas)
Fiona Apple – Every Single Night
Kendra Morris – Shine On You Crazy Diamond
Analogue Monsta – Time To
Washed Out feat. Caroline Polachek – You and I (InterestingSomethings Remix)
St. Lucia – We Got it Wrong
thenewno2 – Make It Home
Northern Youth – Los Angeles
Avalanche City – LoveLoveLove
Gemini Club – By Surprise
Erika Spring – Hidden
Frank + Derol – Barely Love You Too

 

Get it?

tune in to Moheak Radio

 This mix is only available until the next one airs

41cFhsJmabL

37: The Rebound

Metric – Artificial Nocturne
Matthew Dear – Earthforms
The Reflecting Skin – Year Of The Knife
James Blake – Limit To Your Love (Alex Dimou remix)
Khotin – And I Feel Much Better Now
Matthew Dear – Her Fantasy (Instrumental)
Frank Ocean – Lost
Nas feat. Amy Winehouse – Cherry Wine
Res – Besame [Prod. By Imagina]
Avalanche City – Love Love Love
Twin Shadow – Five Seconds
La Femme – Sur La Planche
School of Seven Bells – How To Love (Lil Wayne cover)

Get it?

music-only version (mix only – no voice over)

 

 This mix is only available until the next one airs

 

Subscribe to the podcast

visit Moheak Radio

 

Life Essentials: Core Values + Relationships

If you’re like me you’ve probably had many jobs over the course of your career. And as the first generation to grow up truly digital, we live in a hyper-connected world that allows — and even encourages — the ability to try many kinds of roles in a relatively short amount of time.

Even within specific types of work, titles and set responsibilities are changing. They’re becoming loosely defined — either due to the adaptation of technology, or the evolution of industries acclimating to change.

We’ve gained the freedom to break from the mindset of keeping a job for two years or longer, an informal rule created to establish credibility in the working world. We also have the ability to take on our own clients, work with friends, and start companies with little overhead — provided we’re willing to break from our personal comfort zones and venture into the unknown to do so.

The great news? The unknown is where incredible things happen! And now is a great time to go for it.

Ultimately, it’s up to us to create this change. And if creating change were easy, everyone would go about it. Yet whether we invoke it or not, change is inevitable.

During shifting times it’s important to stay steady and focused, whether you’re going out on your own for the first time or seeking direction in your present position. After all, someone wise once said that everything comes from within.

I’ve found that in my own journey so far, these two little things help.

1.) Have a set of core values.

Core values are, simply put, the words you live by.

Pick 3-5 words that you sincerely believe are key to who you are and what you stand for. You’ll notice that these words inform your interactions with others and your day-to-day working process.

They can be anything. Love, perseverance, influence, peace…you get the idea. If you’re someone whose core value is money, then you’re willing to do anything for money. Live by a set of beliefs, or values, and it becomes easier to prioritize everything in your life. You’re also setting a moral compass to help navigate through tough decisions.

For what it’s worth, mine are Respect, Honor, Passion, and Integrity. I’ve left jobs because actions made on behalf of the leadership team were not something I agreed with based on these values. If your heart isn’t in the game, the resulting output won’t be great. And who wants to do anything less than great? Life’s too short for that!

For me, having respect for others – and respect for myself – helps to build better relationships. I often feel that it’s my duty to honor the passion in others. I also try to work with integrity, which in turn makes the quality of my work better.

2.) Build and maintain core relationships.

Core relationships are the relationships we have with others. They are personal, professional, and sometimes a combo of both.

Grow these relationships and nurture them without any expectation of return. When you hit a roadblock, your network will be there. These people are a deep well of knowledge, support, and connections to help navigate through tough times.

When I lost my previous job, I was overwhelmed with gratitude at how quickly folks in my network came calling. I was amazed at the incredible support I received — simply from putting forth some effort into building relationships over the years.

Here’s the most important part: Put the needs of your network first. It’s never about you. Help them. Find out what they need and what you can do to help. Check in regularly. It may sound too much like The Secret, but it really is true — after you put it out there, you’ll be helped in more ways you can ever imagine.

I’ve always experienced overlap in my personal and professional life simply by finding ways to network and being curious about the individuals I met along the way. These relationships come in different shapes and sizes and often don’t reveal its true meaning until later on.

For example, a casual Friday afternoon meeting once yielded a good relationship with a client. Over time, we began to meet regularly for happy hour and began including others, too. This created a little network that eventually expanded and gave everyone involved a sense of community and professional connectivity. And as it turns out, one of these connections led me to my next full-time job!

The point of telling you this is to underline how individual philosophies are helpful in bridging the gap — not only across personal and professional environments, but in reinforcing our personal goals and objectives in a changing working landscape.

We must know ourselves well enough to know what drives us.

It can sound tempting to take a job with a company with a cutting edge product and forward-thinking staff, but if you don’t agree with their underlying philosophies it may be better to wait and research other options — then, consider a position with a company that does.

If you adhere to these two principles, you’ll find your way regardless of path or circumstance. Having them will give you solid ground to stand on and support your underlying goals. It’s critical that we connect with the passions that drive who we are as individuals — and as workers in today’s changing economic world.

THE XX

36: Paradise Circus

Orbital – Halcyon And On And On (live)
Massive Attack – Paradise Circus (Gui Boretta Remix)
Chemical Brothers – Velodrome (written for the 2012 Olympic Games)
Moby – God Moving Over The Face of the Waters
The xx – Angels
Frank Ocean – Sweet Life
Little Dragon – Sunshine
POP ETC – Keep It for Your Own
Noisettes – That Girl
Black Light Dinner Party – Older Together
Northeast Party House – Empires
Tame Impala – Apocalypse Dreams
Taken By Trees – Dreams

Get it?

Subscribe to the podcast

This show is available until the next one airs

34: Lazy Summer

 

Memoryhouse – Walk With Me
Sea Wolf – Miracle Cure
Tame Impala – Apocalypse Dreams
Lonely Trees – No Man’s Love
James Blake – Limits to Your Love (Fiesty Version)
Frank Ocean – Sweet Life
Poolside – Slow Down
Dwele – Too Fly
Nick Waterhouse – Say I Wanna Know
The Asteroids Galaxy Tour – The Sun Aint Shining No More
Roxy Music – Love Is The Drug
Northeast Party House – Empires
Little Dragon – Sunshine
Simian Mobile Disco – Seraphim
POP ETC – Keep It For Your Own

Get it?

This show is available until the next one airs

33: Survival

 

Ladyhawke  – Black, White & Blue
Muse – Survival
Lightouts – The Big Picture
Chapel Club  – Sleep Alone
Japandroids – The House That Heaven Built
Mark Ronson & The Business Intl. – Bang Bang Bang
Freedom Fry  – Earthquake
Midi Matilda – Day Dreams
Django Django – Waveforms
Simian Mobile Disco – Seraphim
Azari & III – Reckless With Your Love
Hot Chip – Let Me Be Him
Sam Sparro – I Wish I Never Met You (Azari & III remix)
Metric – Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright (Bob Dylan cover)
Beach House – Myth
Fiona Apple – Feel Everything (Djemba Djemba remix)

Get it?

This show is available until the next one airs