DJ

MELO-X KNOWS WHAT IT TAKES TO CATCH BEYONCE’S ATTENTION
October 7, 2016 12:58 pm

MeLo-X  is traveling at warp speed. Pedal to the metal. The Brooklyn-based multimedia artist has a boundless artistic vision that rejects the conventional division lines between sight and sound.

Although best known for his collaborations with Beyoncé—the free-spirited rapper and hip-hop producer has also directed and scored films, designed art installations that they have at the MoMA and Guggenheim, is a trending fashion tastemaker and an advocate for staying grounded and true to your roots.

It would be difficult to find an artist in Brooklyn with a more varied palette than MeLo-X, and that’s saying a lot.

Yoncé-X

The self-proclaimed Renaissance man—born Sean Rhoden—got his first big break in 2014 following the release of Beyoncé’s self-titled surprise album. MeLo-X released an unauthorized collection of remixes titled Yoncé-X EP  which when picked up speed and went viral, eventually catching the attention of Queen B herself.

And there’s no one more powerful, more influential in the music biz than Beyoncé.

Pop artists are often treated as gods living among mortals—transcending human existence and amassing devout worship. If ever there was a pop artist that fits—if not demands this treatment from her fans—it would be Beyoncé Knowles.

Lemonade

So when MeLo-X was asked to co-direct the accompanying film scores to Beyoncé and Jay Z’s On the Run Tour, he jumped at the opportunity and didn’t look back.

Soon he was flying out to LA to help Beyoncé co-write and co-produce tracks “Hold Up” and “Sorry” off her 2016 album Lemonade.

Keep in mind, producing a Beyoncé album isn’t a typical of the industry. Rather, to visualize the scale of such a project, it’s easier to liken the undertaking to that of a Hollywood blockbuster—dozens of writers and producers converge on each track to produce the most immaculate, pungent production possible. But that’s exactly where MeLo-X excels—collaboration.

His sparse productions, often centered around spaced-out percolating frequencies, give a dark, spatial depth to the music he touches—his voice is understated yet distinct at the same time.

Curate

Both his overall aesthetic as well as his affinity for collaboration are in full view on his 2015 solo CURATE EP which features music from buzzing hip-hop artists Little SimzKilo Kish, and Raury—he also released an interactive app to accompany the EP allowing fans to create their own remixes.

2016 has been nothing short of a whirlwind for MeLo-X. He hit the year off with another remix collection, titled Adele-X, centering yet again on the music of a pop music enigma as his subject.

MeLo-X  also recently released a track with glitch-centric electronic artist Machinedrum called “Angel Voice”—as well as helping produce track “Cleopatra” for up-and-comer Queens-via-Bengal hip-hop buzz magnet Anik Khan.  While it might be impossible to tell what MeLo-X will take on next, it’s certain he won’t be slowing down his pace anytime soon.

VIBBLE: SMALL START WITH GREAT POTENTIAL
September 28, 2016 11:18 am

Vibble, for all intensive purposes, is your personal mix board. With transitions, samples, and faders, Vibble gives you the sense of being a DJ while cutting out the complications. It is stylistic, easy and fun to play with, a for sure download for someone who asks always wants the AUX cord in the car. However, the app is pretty minimal and would need a lot of updates and expansions to amount to something of real substance.

The App runs with Sound Cloud. You can search Sound Cloud through this app very smoothly and very fast and add the song you want to a simple playlist. You can play a number of different samples right over the tracks adding air horns, drum beats, and vinyl scratches to whatever you like on Sound Cloud.

I love Sound Cloud as much as the next person, but the fact that this app only uses Sound Cloud is pretty limiting. Even artists like Flume or Porter Robinson which have a strong presence there, don’t show up with any music inside the app. So unless you know a whole mess of small time artists off the top of your head, it’ll be difficult finding anything worth mixing and fooling with. I’m not a pro with this app either, so I might be missing how to use certain parts like saving music playlists or bookmarking artists, but as of now I haven’t found a way to retain any mixes or set-lists that I’ve made.

With all this said, it doesn’t mean the app is great in concept. The accessible fading and samples are refreshing, the design of the app is bright and fun, and the potential for greatness is there. I can’t wait to see this app a couple of months from now, it’ll be the new way to listen to your Sound Cloud favorites.

 

A NIGHT OF CHOCOLATE AND CHEVAL
July 28, 2016 6:50 pm

When walking into any small time club, you can expect some loud popular music while waiting for a band to go up on stage to have fun and play some cool tunes. But last night at U Street Music Hall in Washington DC, a small club turned into a musical hot box.

20427_620380401430800_4122135562059143816_nStarting the night with some cool DJ work from local artist Dirty Chocolate, he pumped out some of his own music while playing club hits with elegantly twisted remixes. From metropolitan city Gaithersburg, Maryland, he taught himself how to make music while going deep into the internet. From humble beginnings (graduating the same high school that I did) to sick clubs, Emmanuel Osemene has a strong future ahead of him. I had a minute to chat with him about his experiences with music after the show:

I’ve always been a huge fan of music…I love discovering music and finding people who push boundaries. It’s cool to see talented people use their imagination to make music better. You wouldn’t hear it in my music but Pharrel, Timberland, Daft Punk, Juicy J, Kanye West, Justice, Radiohead, Pink Floyd, and Tame Impala have been some of my biggest influences.

After him, the crowd turned around to the main stage and there were so many switchboards and keyboards that I honestly had no idea what to expect. Then the band started to play and I was immediately blown away as the four of them played musical hacky sack, taking turns on solos and bits of the song while perfectly supporting each other.

Their name is Club Cheval, they live in Paris, France are in the states for a bit to tour. Theyed play song after song of fantastic electronic sound and mixing with a superb drummer in the back who ended the show with the gnarliest drum bit I had ever heard. I had a chance to talk to Panteros666 (the drummer) right after their set list.

Tell us about yourselves…

We live in Paris, but we we are from a little city called Lille…We have a lot of influences there from Britian and Belgium so we have that kind of culture where we just mix everything together.

Where do you get you unique sound from?

Literally everywhere. We don’t put any genres on any pedestal and have no hierarchy with our music. We listen to stuff like Hip-Hop, Balie Funk from Brazil, Slow Jam and experimental stuff. I’m into trance and lots of other stuff. Each one of us has our own certain sound and we like to mix it to create something different. It doesn’t really work well in France though, so that’s why we’re here, we can relate better with the people. Sometime we are just too powerful for them and that’s probably why we are bigger here.

How did you guys meet?

To cut a long story short, we were all doing our high level studies which actually including political sciences, sound engineering and other areas. But we got together in our small city and were really obsessed with making a new breed of electronic music. We did well in our little city and then moved to Paris and met a lot of people and now were here playing music.

It was amazing how humble and relaxed Dirty Chocolate and Club Cheval were. It was a fantastic show, great start and great end with happily ringing ears all the way home. Check out more Dirty Chocolate here and Club Cheval’s tour dates here and new album here.

DELOREAN: A MUZIK TIME MACHINE
June 29, 2016 12:04 pm

Delorean has been through more things than your average band since they last released an album. After being kidnapped in 2013 while on tour in Mexico City, the Spanish indie dance quartet have given us their fifth album, Muzik. Dance music requires the ability to be audibly stimulating, but also physically experienced. The majority of the tracks heard on Muzik rely on the driving force of the kick drum and smooth aural landscapes painted by synthesizers. While not a complete departure from their previous sound, this album shows new growth for the band.

The album is nearly 100% electronic with real drums as the only organic aspect of the sound. For this record, Delorean chose to mix their knack for indie pop with their House music influences. In a recent interview, they explained what they meant by House music, “House is a very broad term, so we did not want to focus on a type of House, but to honor all its forms and productions that we have been absorbing throughout our lives.” Those House influences are very apparent on the title track, “Muzik,” opening with an atmospheric synth pad and Ekhi Lopetegi’s vocal part while slowly adding a kick and a snappy high hat before turning into a real dance track for the last half of the tune.

Their DJ mixing abilities that dramatically influenced 2010’s critically acclaimed album Subiza have culminated here on Muzik in an ultra modern fashion. They worked with remixer DJ Kigo to open a local club called Desparrame. This was the launching pad for their remixing skills. The 2013 effort Apar met the critical acclaim of Subiza thanks to a progression in those skills. Since 2010, Delorean has become as known for their marathon DJ sets as they are for their material as a band.

Standout tracks on the new album include “Contra,” “Muzik” and the closer “Parrhesia.” Throughout their career, Delorean have created their own blend of melody and emotions. The sound that they once pioneered is more commonplace these days, yet Delorean continues to deliver the sonic quality that is expected of them. As of now, the band is only playing a handful of tour dates in Europe, but should they announce a tour in the states, they should not be missed. They have toured with the likes of Miike Snow in the past, so it would be fair to expect them on a good tour this time around.

With Muzik, you get a bit less of the indie rock heaviness and more of the 80’s disco vibes that make it easy to see why the band named themselves after a time machine from a classic 80’s film. If we’ve learned anything, it’s that Delorean can and will continue to make modern albums that take us back to a time when dance pop was king.

JOHAN ANGERGÅRD: SWEDEN’S INDIE-POP MASTERMIND
February 5, 2016 9:46 am

You know that unique feeling of gratification you get when you discover a new sound?  It’s an impulsive need, an addiction.  I’m constantly searching for that next infectious dose. Thankfully the freakishly endless Internet universe never ceases to deliver new sonic pathways.

Sweden’s bustling independent music scene is as robust as it gets.

Johan Angergård is the founder of Stockholm-based Labrador Records.  He’s a DJ, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and producer.  His career spans back to the early 90’s and his prolificacy is profound, having been a key component of several noteworthy bands including Acid House Kings, Club 8, Pallers, and The Legends.

Labrador specializes in a particular brand of indie-pop classified as “twee”.  Quaint, naive, cute. There’s a distinct nostalgic nod to early 80’s indie-pop bands like The Smiths and the cheerful innocence 60’s rock. But that’s where any easily drawn comparisons end.

Labrador is first and foremost, an electronic music label with a sleek,  distinctly Scandinavian twist, an off-the-cuff repertoire of bright, audacious, and irony-tinged pop.  Labrador’s sonic pallet encompasses the so-called “balearic Sound”, popularized in Ibiza night clubs in the early 90”s. A notable manifestation of Labrador’s nuanced grooves can be heard on the The Radio Dept.’s highly acclaimed 2010 record Clinging to a Scheme.   These influences are the glue that make Angergård’s vision come to life.

If you’re in need of some new tunes, Labrador’s SoundCloud is a vault of music worth excavating.  It’s crammed to the brim with singles, EPs, remixes, and playlists that encapsulate Labrador’s touchingly off-kilter world.  It feels like an exhibit curated by Angergård himself, which I suppose, is part of what makes indie labels like Labrador great.

According to Labrador’s Facebook page the label is gearing up for an exciting year with “something like a handful of new artists” releasing music.  In the meantime, his own band Club 8 released their 9th full-length album Pleasure.  The leading single, “Late Nights“, is a sleek synth-pop that defines both where Angergård comes from and also where he intends to take us next.

MANSIONS ON THE MOON GET SHIT DONE
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.

#FCKtheMJR – Empowering Independent Musicians
June 10, 2015 2:01 pm

Before you even start reading, watch this:

No major artist will get discovered, immediately get signed to a major label, and have their name plastered all over on the Billboard charts. Many of them hustle for years, even decades trying to get their voices heard. Here at Atypical Beasts, we’re all about supporting independent musicians, helping them grow out of their cocoons and getting their music reached to as many people as possible. There’s still a vast majority of people out there who only listen to mainstream music and don’t even make the effort to discover fresh new tunes. BecomeMajor is a campaign that helps these talented, independent musicians to go beyond their limits and “EMPOWER” them by getting their music heard.

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As John Waltmann (Client Opportunities Manager) sums it up, their inspiration came from a series of events that happened here and there. “First and foremost, the music industry is in a time of change. Major record labels are struggling to make a profit with the price of music getting increasingly lower and lower, to the point of being free” he explains. “In addition, we also wanted to voice that the truth is, getting signed to a major record label will not always represent success. Once you’re signed to a major [label] your music becomes a product, and depending on the label’s plan, you might lose creative power over it and are now at the disposal of creative teams backing your music and creating opportunities for you.”

fliers on ouside nightitme railing

BecomeMajor decided that they would kick-off their campaign at this year’s SXSW conference since it was a great place to get themselves recognized by music industry professionals and like-minded people. With the help of their street team, they got posters and stickers saying “#FCKtheMJRS” and “Major Record Label Free Zone” placed strategically around SXSW venues, which clearly engaged fellow music enthusiasts in joining the movement.

As of now, they’ve distributed over 40,000 artists and have worked with about 4,000 independent labels so far.

So how DOES BecomeMajor actually help these artists? “We help artists in a number of ways. First of all we help them get their music to outlets worldwide like iTunes, Pandora, Amazon and emerging platforms like Tidal and Deezer. In addition, we’ve also introduced services that allow for musicians to make more money from their music and collect more of their royalties, such as Publishing Administration, YouTube monetization, Neighboring Rights and music licensing. We aim to be a one-stop shop for the music industry.”

Deadmau5

Deadmau5

Overwerk

OVERWERK

They’ve had great success in working with Deadmau5 (that electronic DJ with his trademark mouse helmet which I’m pretty sure we’re all familiar with). “It was great to see his success from the sidelines and how his popularity grew in the scene.” They’ve also been working with Canadian Producer Overwerk. “He has been riding the indie wave for sometime now and has been doing great things with just a small team. He’s gotten several offers from major labels and have turned them down.  So we are really proud of his success and to be able to help and support him every step of the way.”

If you’re an independent musician struggling to break through the plateau, maybe applying to be on BecomeMajor’s roster will help you!  They’re constantly looking for hard working and active artists who aren’t afraid of taking risks and stepping out of their comfort zone. “We want to hear from them – we want to know what they are doing to get to the next level. What are their challenges? We want to be able to offer our services to them and fill in the blanks to any services and needs they may have.”

In the near future, you’ll see them hosting some local music events with local talented artists in the Tampa/St. Pete area. Check out their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube to get their latest updates. There’s a great chance you might find your next favorite band that you’ll be jamming to all summer!

niggas in street fckmajrs

digibilly quote

annandale

aaron simpson quote

#fckthemjrs

 

James Murphy To Open A Wine Bar In Williamsburg
May 14, 2015 9:26 pm

James Murphy, the front man and producer for the dance-punk band LCD Sound System will be opening his very own wine bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The bar titled “The Four Horsemen” is set to make it’s grand opening in early June and can be stumbled upon 295 Grand st.

Having toured the world with LCD Sound System in addition to debuting himself as an independent DJ, Murphy has been fortunate enough to try a plethora of different culinary delights as well. A self-proclaimed foodie, Murphy has described himself as having the same eating habits of a 14th century noble. He has also befriended a number of people in the food industry, having relationships with Chefs David Chang and René Redzepi. Murphy himself has been a fluent beer and whiskey drinker throughout most of his life, but was finally turned into quite the wine connoisseur after being introduced to a number of delicious wines on a trip to Paris in 2008.

The Four Horsemen will feature a variety of natural wines, which are fermented with little human alteration. The bar is also owned by Katrina Birchmeier, a natural wine advocate hailing from Australia.

This is a spot you simply have to check out this summer.