December 30, 2015 5:27 pm

In the music biz connections are your lifeline. No, that doesn’t mean you can’t establish yourself purely on the merits of your own raw talent or dedication to perfecting your craft. It’s just, competition is fierce. In a world saturated to the bursting point with MIDI laptop DJs and YouTube divas, it doesn’t hurt to know someone.

Mansions on the Moon are your textbook example of how to get it done. Back in 2011 they jumped on the festival-centric EDM hype train and rode it for the victory lap. Although they attracted an avid fan-base with their brand of hook-friendly synth pop, again, it doesn’t hurt to know someone.

Mansions are the collaboration between Pnuma Trio members Ben Hazlegrove on keys and Lane Shaw on drums, along with guitarist and singer-songwriter Ted Wendler. Pnuma Trio achieved a considerable following sharing stages with live music heavyweights such as String Cheese Incident, Disco Biscuits, and Michael Franti, eventually culminating with the release of 2007’s Character via Columbia. Upon forming Mansions in 2011, high-profile acts were eager to help the startup find their footing.  Again, it doesn’t hurt to know someone.

Their first release, Paradise Falls, was ‘presented’ by DJ Benzi and Diplo. The album is packed with collaborations from other notable names such as Xaphoon Jones of Chiddy Bang and Big Gigantic.  In 2012 the group followed up with another EP, Lightyears, this time teaming up with N*E*R*D.  Believe it or not, being produced by Pharrell Williams can dramatically boost your grade on the Hype-o-Meter.  Did I mention it doesn’t hurt to know someone?

In 2014 Mansions self-produced their Full Moon EP to commemorate their move to LA.  Most recently it seems Mansions has been someone dormant–while their Facebook page is rife with news of other EDM peers, very little recent actively can be accounted for other than a timely vinyl pressing of a few of their singles just in time for the holidays.

Soundwave is Facebook for Music Lovers
July 17, 2015 11:00 am

Soundwave is a social media app that allows users to connect their phone’s personal music library, as well as online accounts like Spotify and Pandora, to their Soundwave account and share what they’ve been listening to. The user can look up and add friends from Facebook and Twitter to find out what they’ve been listening to as well. 

The format of the app is also similar to Facebook. Users can view a feed of what their “friends” have been listening to, and are able to hear a clip of the song posted. The app also supports video playback from YouTube. A “Groups” feature allows users to form chatrooms where they can share songs privately, and create playlists together.


Launched in 2013, the app is available in 14 languages and has been downloaded by 1.4 million users in over 194 countries. As a result, the most interesting feature offered is “Music Map”, a map of the world where users can zoom in on any country or city and see what songs are popular there. A cursory search of the New York City area reveals popular choices in music to be Muse, The Prodigy, and Meek Mill. In Sydney, Australia it’s Meg Mac, Gotye, and Diplo.

While sharing the music you love is great, there is some concern about the app merging into TMI territory. We’re all guilty of the occasional Taylor Swift binge, and it’s not something our friends need to know about. There is an option in the settings to hide songs for 60 minutes, but for any real auditory privacy, it looks like users need to log out of the app completely. Not ideal, but having the option is valuable. 

Soundwave was recognized in the “Best of 2013” collection in the Apple App Store. On the Android platform, Soundwave was featured in the “Staff Picks” section of the Google Play store in 2014, where it also won Editor’s Choice.