Attend: Open Up 100 – Astrix & Simon Patterson At Slake!

(I’m going to be covering this for ElectronicNightLife later this month, and if you’re interested in the harder end of the dance music space that doesn’t involve diplo, you’re in luck. This is going to be an astonishing night of trance, with a focus on hard & psy-infused variants I’d wager. This is going to be a big one, so don’t miss it,)OU100_A6 FLYER- BACK_ORANGE FINAL1 ASTRIXIf you’re not at OpenUp100 on January 31st, you’re going to be missing something very special. Simon Patterson, the trance genius he is, realized what NYC hasn’t had since New Years Eve last year. Astrix hasn’t been back since his legendary performance with Infected Mushroom at Best Buy Theater. Boy have we missed him. The Israeli psytrance guru has been knocking clubs & parties around here on the East Coast for over a decade (as my ticket to his performance at Nation in DC back in 2004 reminds me). He’ll be bringing his signature brand of hard trance & psy-trance to the stage of Slake, the increasingly crucial venue for people who can’t tolerate big rooms here in NYC. Here’s one of his better progressive & psy mixes to sink your teeth into.

It’s hard to introduce Simon Patterson properly. When you’ve had 17 straight Beatport #1 releases, explaining how dope your sound is can get kind of tiring. Open Up has become one of the most listened to DJ podcasts, especially in the trance & psytrance arenas. This guy is going to do some amazing work on the 31st, I have no doubt in my mind. As a vintage (read: old) fan of this tempo, space & genre of music, I’m gonna be raging hard all night. If you can’t figure out why, check out his mixes here:

Get tickets here and I’ll see you guys there. This is definitely going to be one for the record books. Psy is so hard to come by in NYC & if you’re into the genre but haven’t heard either of these headliners play live, you owe it to yourself to check this out. Just in case you don’t believe me that this is a match made in heaven, check out a collab between Simon & Astrix. It is some potent psytrance, and that’s what I know we’re going to be served up all night at Slake. Esscala has been killing it with these bookings lately, and this event is going to ensure they start 2015 with a bang.

Midnight Music: Infected Mushroom – Kazabubu

Infected Mushroom - Kazabubu I’m 10 days late on this, so apologies are in order. I should’ve been yelling about this a week ago. To get you excited for 2015, 1/6 brings Friends With Mushrooms, their new full-length album. The 17 track juggernaut will include a couple of the highlights from their massive “Friends With Mushrooms” EPs that have dotted the release cycle over the last few years. To celebrate, Dim Mak wanted to make sure you knew what they sound like and to remind you just how dope their production values are, even to this day. This album is going to have a lot of surprises, but the quality you’ve come to expect will be there in spades. This track fuses the electro, world-beat, psy, big beat and dubby elements with the end of the tune really punching into some fun bass sounds. Pre-order the album here on iTunes & get ready for some sharp, effective mushrooms in 2015. (via Thump)

Broke On Holiday: Turkey Football Hate Family Weekend!

That’s right, the holidays are upon us again, and hundreds of thousands of people will be coming home for the weekend. To spend time with family, get uncomfortably close to barfing up that 3rd helping of mashed potatoes and then hate the people they’re surrounded by so much, they need to get to a freaking party as quickly as possible. To that end, I’ve rounded up some of the fairer bargains that ensure you have a good night instead of  playing the “argue with Uncle about immigration” game with your cousins.

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Album Of The Week: AMB – Going Down [Psy/Techno/Future Garage]

I’d not heard of AMB before I got a note about this new album in my email, and I’m so freaking happy I did. This is some advanced crazy awesome stuff right here. The atmospheric power of this stuff is tremendous, and you can tell the production values required to make this were through the roof. Make Me is a fun, psy-garage (is that even a genre?) tune with some fun rifts, that seem to be played on some Jamaican oil drums, but in space. The vibes are strong with this one. Going Down is a more melancholy song that features some fun little wind-up samples & the wind chimes you hear in bad video games, used to excellent effect. Sweet Bronze slows the action down even further to an almost meditative pace, while invoking some classic rock vibes in between the spacey keyboard/synth work. Night Slide adds the first female vocals on the album, bringing a feel that manages to be both future and retro simultaneously. One 11 One 10 has a vaguely West Coast Gangster style to it, in between exploratory strings & mellow synth work.  First Light manages to be both groovy & yawning at the same time. The haunting, Beats Antique-esque tune is definitely a highlight on the album. The Widdler joins AMB in remixing Night Slide, which rounds out the album with a future garage kind of feel, a sound that I think totally works in this space. The offering was a pleasure start to finish, and I can’t wait to hear more from AMB & Gravitas Recordings.

Psy & Snoop Dogg Get Wasted.

I’m not really sure how an idea like this gets storyboarded. “Ok, Snoop, we’re gonna need you to get real drunk with Psy.” And then they just put cameras on them? Where did the skipping come from? Also, the beer goggles within karaoke is nice. Expect this to get shared a bunch of times but not to go mega viral like Gangnam Style. They can’t all be winners, but this is amusing enough.

Double EP of the Week! Infected Mushroom’s “Friends on Mushrooms Vol. 2” & Shpongle’s “Museum of Consciousness”

You should be excited. If you’re not. Get excited. This week, I’m bringing you not one, but two psychedelic locomotives for your face.

First up, Infected Mushroom are continuing their fantastic collaboration series “Friends with Mushrooms” off Dim Mak. This time around, 5 tracks, featuring 2 guest artists and a vocalist, really punch up the muscle when it comes to bass, synth and wobble. It seems Erev & Duvdev have really gotten into dubstep, but as opposed to using loops/beatpacks or something, they’re doing what they do best, making the sounds themselves. If you don’t believe me, listen to the first track with Savant on a system with bass. Savant’s a surprisingly heavy choice for the track, but 4:40 into the tune, you find yourself in a very nice trancey place, with the Inf. Shroom vocals teasing you. Make sure to check out Savant’s tunes here (and his video game, which is pretty ill as well).

Now is Gold has the quintessential IM feel, with their triumphant vocals, guitar-driven beats, and everything you remember about Meduzz, Muse Breaks & Becoming Insane. The beat remains on point and there’s an almost groovy feel to the chords that dance along the persistently hard pacing & beat. Definitely a new favorite when it comes to a track to play people when they ask what the hell the Israeli dudes with the crazy mushrooms at festies is. Bomp it. You’ll thank me. Nerds on Mushrooms brings in the Pegboard Nerds, a sound I wasn’t familiar with before. There’s a glitchy, dubby, almost ragga feel to the collab that jives (what? it works.) with the rocking style of IM.

Trance Party is my favorite of the 5 tracks. I know, you’re super surprised. Totes. But their full-on, rock-drenched psy-trance chops come swirling back into view and you wonder why they ever left and for how long they’ll be staying this time around. The answer is almost eight minutes. It’s the dance-y, driving stuff that they melt faces with all over the world. There’s a lot to like here, and I hope it finds its way into a set or two before the end of the summer. The French is a track to round out the EP, focus on the rock side of IM, let them cut loose and confuse the fuck out of us when it comes to titles. The tune has some stabby synth work and heavy guitars to back them up. There’s a signature focus on original sounds and big room sounds at that. The lack of vocals give it a muted feel and it lets you down a bit more gently as the last track. Hit it up in the youtube below, and get at the iTunes and Beatport portals to pick it up.

Next up, I am delighted to present the next offering from Shpongle. The jaw-droppingly talented, well outfitted and completely insane duo of Raja Ram & Simon Posford return to bring you a circus of delight and some creepily gorgeous music. Brain in a Fishtank was released a week or two ago (the days, they bleed together), and less than a minute in, you’re being whisked into a fantastical world with the sounds of Simon and the flute of Raja pulling you deeper into this swirling miasma of sound. The bass drops and you’re off. Top-notch vocals compliment the totally original soundscape, building a lush jungle of harmony and discord. It goes a bit mad at times, but comes back to itself as your mind often does. I’ve been a fan of Shpongle since 2004, and they remain some of the best producing duos around. How The Jellyfish Jumped Up The Mountain both continues the long, storied tradition of Shpongle tracks having superbly surrealist names, but it’s pretty cool too. The bass that it pulls into is barely there but really keeps it hurtling along, like a rock skipping across a lake. As if it slowed down it would sink. The song pushes into more of the wacky universe that is the mind of Simon Posford, and makes me think of a lot of people dancing around a fire. The classical violin, the banging organic drums and the tribal feel will keep you jumping in the night. Plus, creepy-as-shit vocals at the end.

Juggling Molecules brings in some fun world-beat-y & power guitar work. And some wistful, chanty vocals, some bizarrely appropriate…is that banjo work? You really never are sure, at least when you listen to it sober. Oh, and there’s some weird jolly sounds too, so run around and enjoy. Further Adventures in Shpongleland starts ominously, as many of Shpongle’s can, but smooths into the echoic beats that we’ve loved since Tales of the Inexpressible. The more downtempo track throbs along and gives a good background to a nice glass of red wine, if that makes any sense.

The Epiphany of Mrs. Kugla starts off vaguely panic inducing. There’s a surprisingly operatic feel to the tune that reminds of Zimmer, with the same level of swarm as a Batman movie theme. There’s a pull down into some fun bassy string work, with some past-invoking chromatic steel drums that remind strongly of Nothing Lasts to my delight. The vocals combined with some lovely strings swing the track back into this euphoric feel that almost shimmers at times. Tickling the Amygdala (really spell check, you don’t know that’s a word? For shame.) has some fun with tuning bowls and modulated resonance and harmonics in ways only Shpongle can. It almost feels like it stalls and melts into your ears, being replaced by a much more high-powered beat that almost baits you to keep up and rambles forward ahead of you, spouting gibberish to throw off your focus. All the while the actual soaring guitar powers into your mind. There’s a fun dovetailing of a lot of the elements heard over the EP on the back end of this track, as you’d expect from the Impresarios of UK Psy. It glides away and leaves you wanting to go play the Shpongle discography. Put it into your face, and don’t stop rocking.