After a month off, my companion & I hugged the door lady, a delightful lightworker & old friend of mine. The bass leaked through the space as we exchanged coats for drinks, taking it all in. I FEEL has come into its own, as my previous notes on them reflect, and it was nice to see the space/community & execution becoming mature so much that it’s commonplace and the people running the show are smiling, enjoying themselves and mingling with their attendees. Everyone knew what they were there for and they were getting it in spades. Sexy, sexy spades.
This was the month where the I FEEL community really cut loose. The theme ensured a dance floor filled with leather, lace, masks, tight pants, tighter corsets & an entire wardrobe of inappropriate clothing. This would’ve made for a delightful event in and of itself, but then the music. Oh my stars, the wonderful music. After consuming our drinks, making the rounds and being only slightly disappointed the X-frame & the St. Andrew’s Cross weren’t getting active use (hey, those parties are out there, don’t judge), we nestled into the dance floor with our people. The musicvibe swirled around as Holosound‘s set crescendo’d. Holosound had been building the energy ever so subtly since we arrived and the dance floor was so excited to see where the night headed. Especially the last half of his set seemed to be one huge song, and 55min in, the serotonin was hard to refuse, as we all lifted with him.
I do love when dope producers collaborate. In true grand fashion, two of my favorite Drum & Bass producers from 2014, Netsky & Metrik join up with vocalist Stealth to re-work one of his tracks in an excellent, chilled out kind of way. It’s still fast & furious, but there’s a relaxed vibe that makes me wonder when Netsky or Hospital Records is going to work with Example. This might be seen as a little softer and more commercially friendly than some of Netsky’s earlier work, but there’s a lot to like about it and I think it’s important to give people something soothing. Relax with this tonight, only a couple of days left in the year.
Instead of being like every other website and giving a scroll-fest/listicle about the clusterfuck that is New Year’s Eve, I’m only going to make one recommendation about what you should be doing on January 1st so get Tickets here. And it only applies if you’re still standing the next day. Verboten, the Great Bulwark Against EDM in Brooklyn is continuing the insanity from their New Year’s Eve event with some further quality. The all day drinking & brunch will be soundtracked by maestros Damian Lazarus, Hector & a posse of support. This party is going until 10 PM January 1st, so even if you sleep all New Year’s Eve, you’ll be rested for this, which isn’t the worst idea. Our friends at Talon&Claw will also be showcasing their finest, but a NYD whiteowljaguar set isn’t even the best part. They’re going to be closing out the main room (!!) but wait, there’s more! DiSORIENT, the premier Burning Man camp here in Gotham, is taking over their second room.
This sets a very interesting precedent, one I hope will be copied all over the place. The idea that a burner camp/crowd will control a space inside of a permitted/retail venue is something that’s only happened a couple of times. The couple of times, are always the stuff of legend. Most L-train venues have to stay focused on making rent, generating revenue through door & bar and keeping the cops, community boards and people who moved to Brooklyn expecting quiet off their backs. This means that it’s hard to really cater to the high-art crowd that Burning Man draws. Which shifts crowd demographics ever so slightly. A small difference, but to some people that’s all that matters. This alliance will ensure that there are wacky people in Pornj costumes and a crazy side room, as opposed to just residents, vendors and a more relaxed bar. Additionally, they’re bringing their own squizzad of DJs, so you can be assured DiSORIENT’s singular take on “house + something else” issues forth all day, so really, Tickets here. Speaking of which, how dope is the music in both rooms? Check this stuff out, and know that there are half a dozen DJs I’m not even mentioning, because, you need to get there to hear it all:
Savant is exactly that. A musical font, issuing forth dozens of tracks over a relatively short period, we last visited his amazingness almost 1 year ago, when he killed the opening set for Astrix & Infected Mushroom. This track that I think he did as a joke, but it’s freaking incredible. Like, this is classic trance almost to a point. The 9min track has an ominous sample and a proper multi-minute build. With stabby synths that pluck at all the right heart strings, it seems as if he just stumbled upon a hit. To be frank, it’s one of the best vintage non-anthem trance tracks I’ve heard in years, and I don’t think he meant for it to be as dope as it as. Cause it is. Super dope. This needs as much exposure as possible, if for no reason other than hearing a Savant track on ASOT 😀 Tell your friends, and get down to the crazy hypnotic beat.
This week, I’m bringing out this melancholy gorgeousness issued forth by BIXEL BOYS. These guys have been all over the place in 2014, and for this mix they brought things down a little bit. This mix has a lot of chillstep, garage, downtempo, moody breaks and interludes of people sucking at love, which matches the feel completely. There is no track list, so the tunes will remain largely a secret, but I’m hoping I start hearing them elsewhere. I love misty, cold rain mixes like this. In so much EDM there’s this saccharine exposition of love, unity, hope and positivity. That’s not really the case for a lot of people in the scene, and these kinds of vibes, like what Ta-ku does as well, really need some more support. Sometimes we’re in a place where something like this is needed. The hashtag of #Feels is totally on point, and this free download is definitely something that you should grab. This is going on my phone and may not leave. Not all of us get good news during the holidays, so for anyone out there who is hard up this week, this is here for you.
When you create a prison system so bad we regularly joke about forcible rape as a penalty, people really don’t like breaking the law. And because of that, certain people apparently will never smoke pot. They will however, smoke a whole lot of this stuff. I should know. Someone I lived with smoked it by the fist full. To explain why K2 or Spice is popular, we need to understand what cannabinoids, the things that get you “high” are. Because there are chemicals in your brain right now, that your brain makes, that are analagous to THC. That’s right, your brain can get you high any time you want. One of these endocannabinoids (literally “internal cannabinoids”) is called CB1, and it does…quite a bit.
So, this stuff is kind of bizarre, because a lot of the early ones, were just straight CB1 stimulating chemicals, sprayed on potpurri. Literally, someone got the idea to just take the test chemicals used in lab procedures to explore this chemical system & stimulate it directly. It’s such a perfect metaphor for both the the explosiveness of a “had an experience/want stronger version “behavioral cycle, but how our markets meet the needs of our consumers, no matter how complex. These different brands littered gas stations, delis and convenience stores all over the country, as they were legal, “not for consumption” and you got a gram or two for 20 bucks. Proof of exactly what can happen when profiteering combine with poorly constructed & implemented drug laws. The vast majority of the K2/Spice/Synthetic herb brands out there are largely unlabeled and have generated state bans as early as 2010.
If you’ve been playing along on these Friday posts, we’ve seen how drug laws force people to do drugs they’re not familiar with, to keep getting the same symptoms without penalty. People that have to take drug tests still want to get high, and the market will help them. We have no idea what the effects of smoking these chemicals, or the “plants” they’re being sprayed on, largely. But until trees are legal, there are going to be people who would prefer to use this instead of the real McCoy. This is one of the dozen insidious issues with the War on Drugs. So let’s talk about this, 4:30 PM EST, using #DFFspice on Twitter & get more info on our #DrugFactFriday Pinboard.
Two min 30 sec in really speaks for itself. This kind of deep push and potent vibe that Pat Lok is making sure happens, really can’t be replaced, and I think that needs to be noted. This remix is amazing, in ways that neither Usher or anyone associated with the original could have predicted. This reworking has the elements that you need in a 2015 mix, that you don’t know you need until they’re not here. Pat Lok puts all the correct pieces into the puzzle the right way. The vocals are brought back in exactly the way they need to while the breakdown at three minutes in can still remain the dope break it is. (via FreshNewTracks)
The Joy of Violent Movement)
So, some genius that needs a raise at Power 105.1 (FM radio station here in NYC for all the out-of-towners), because they got DMX to sing Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer. You would think he’d shy away from it, but he dives, DIVES in. Provides his own drum track and everything. Because if there was one thing you needed this holiday season, it was hearing DMX catch-phrases over carols. It is. Even if you think you don’t need it, you totally need it. Play it unnervingly loud for your relatives. (via
I have been waiting literally years for this. Blackmill has created some of the most gorgeous, symphonic & ambient music in the last 5 years. Then one day, Blackmill went dark, so the people waited. And waited. And now, thanks to Mt. Eden (who deserve a medal for making this happen), there’s new snowy goodness just in time for the holiday season. This is on the lighter side for Mt. Eden, which speaks volumes to the respect they have to Blackmill’s vision. The chilled ambient is exceptional, and will give you a moment to come into the present moment. Don’t worry about the future, just be here in the Now. For as long as the song lasts anyway. Merry Christmas, to all who celebrate it.
(I was honored to speak to Strife II, one of my favorite liquid drum & bass producers, over in the UK. Show the guy some love!)1. What is on tap for Strife II for NYE 2014 & 2015? Any live shows or new releases? I hope that one day there will be some sort of live show, but I don’t know if I will ever DJ. Maybe it would be a film like Hammock and Sigur Ros do, or a live band thing. I think what I write is all about escapism rather than dancing, so who knows.
2. Are you currently a full-time performer/DJ/producer, or do you have a day job? Your music is so incredible this needs to be paying your light bill. I’ve got a really bog standard boring day job with some of the most awesome people I’m ever likely to meet. I don’t hate it because a lot of people there bring a lot of positivity to my life – I get to watch the sun rise every morning and take a few minutes to watch the world wake up