Monthly Archives: March 2013

Oh, Snap: Street Art Vol. 3

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Though the neighborhood I live in doesn’t have a catchy name like my old stomping grounds, ‘Korea Town‘ or ‘Miracle Mile‘, the conveniently named ‘Fairfax District‘ is home  to a plethora of graffiti artists and connoisseurs alike; one of the best things is that the graffiti gets reworked, repurposed and enhanced on a weekly basis.  A lot of the street art that I’ve coveted for the last year is on the outs, and a lot of this stuff has gone up in it’s place – enjoy!

*All pictures taken and edited by Moi! 

The Audiofiles: The Post-Miami/WMC/UMF Rx

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After being in the Electronic Dance scene for the better part of the last decade, I have one small confession to make: though we get epic onslaughts of DJs, Festivals and all night dance-a-thons in Los Angeles, there’s just something about going to Miami for Winter Music Conference and Ultra that I just have to do.  I’ve had friends go for the past three years and tell me that it was the time of their life – problem is, living in LA, the mecca of most things EDM in America it’s incredibly hard to justify spending all that money for a weekend in Miami.  But, One of my best friends went with her boyfriend and I had the pleasure of living vicariously through them and their friends all weekend; and I have to say, I’m insanely jealous!  Now that I’ve gone through the live streams, the sets, the Instagram feeds and through Facebook I feel the need to take part in this epic debauchery; thank goodness there’s always next year!

There are a few great blogs that capture the moment and the music of festivals in an A+ fashion – specifically, Dancing Astronaut – and they definitely didn’t disappoint when it came to Miami Music Week – here are some of my favorite sets from this past weekend; they’re doing a proper job of getting me through my day so hopefully they’ll do the same for y’all.

Enjoy! ♥

P.S. Looks like dates are already set for Ultra next year – March 28-30; you can bet your bottom bassline I’ll be thre!

Hot Since ’82 Pool Party:

SubFocus:

Umek:

Krewella:

Knife Party:

Bingo Players:

Adventure Club:

Porter Robinson:

Kaskade:

Deadmau5:

Ferry Corsten:

Armin van Buuren:

Trying to Find a Balance

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So far, 2013 has been quite the exhilarating year; one of my life’s motto’s is “Never a dull moment” and so far, it’s been an incredibly accurate one.  Sometimes I wonder if I should just take a breather from it all – a stay-cation, a me-cation – just to ensure that my priorities are where they should be and see that my ducks are really in a row, not off having a Harlem Shake-off. But taking a break wouldn’t be very me like in the longrun; I need a way to regain perspective without altering my view – but isn’t that just a paradox within itself?  My music collection has been piling up and I easily have over a years worth of music I need to sort, categorize and label – all in due time, of course. This morning my gmail account had over 5000 unread emails; granted, it’s now down to 2893, but still – that’s a shit load of reading and deleting to be done.

“Wisdom is your perspective on life, your sense of balance, your understanding of how the various parts and principles apply and relate to each other. It embraces judgment, discernment, comprehension. It is a gestalt or oneness, and integrated wholeness.”
Stephen R. Covey

The Kitty Bungalow calendar is up to date and all spankin’ pretty, my social life has been in full force lately and Beatnet, the music forum I helped to co-found, is taking off; it’s been an insane whirlwind and I couldn’t ask for anything more – well, except maybe a few hours in the day, but I’m viewing this all as one big learning experience.  One thing that I don’t talk about much is the little bit of OCD that I carry around in my back pocket – it doesn’t appear often, just when the world seems like it’s collapsing on itself into a black hole of a moment, but when it does it definitely comes out to awkwardly frolic.  It presents itself in various forms, but mostly through something called dermatillomania – it’s basically as unsexy as it sounds but suffice it to say, for a long time it took up most of my time.    It’s in no way glamorous, sexy, cute or even remotely attractive – in all honesty, it’s something that I despise about myself; but to love myself is to embrace my everything, even my shortcomings: and this is one of them.

Essentially what this year has been about is filling those voids in space and time where I’d revert  back to my old ways – there are always hiccups and moments of insanity: I might dance four steps forward, but sometimes life throws me three steps back. What keeps me from doing that is my future, and knowing – wanting – a better version of myself.  I have a habit of emotional hoarding – I keep my feelings, emotions and memories in neatly organized boxes in the back of my mind.  I used to think that while I was in my moment, enveloped by numbness and drowning out the sounds of the city, that I was saving myself – that essentially, I could fix myself.  Ironically, what I’ve come to realize is that time is truly the only remedy for old wounds: time, space, distance combined together can all give us the power to overcome.

In the days of Kings and Queens I was a jester;
Treat me like a God, or they treat me like a leper.
You see me move back and forth between both:
I’m trying to find a balance,
I’m trying to build a balance

-Atmosphere-

Quotable: Happiness Worth Having

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Quotable: Happiness Worth Having

“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings.”– Elizabeth Gilbert

Happy Tunes-day: The Trickle Down Effect of Music Festivals

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There are so many great aspects of the Los Angeles EDM community that it’s hard to narrow it down to just one – or in my case, just a few.  Not only are we home base for an epic amount of talent but artists, DJs and producers alike flock to our city of angels to pursue fame, fortune or in many cases: just a little bit of sunshine.

Insomniac Events – Beyond Wonderland

This past weekend, Insomniac Events – LA’s premiere EDM production and promotion company – threw their fourth annual event Beyond Wonderland.  Back in the day, when I started out in the scene, the Spring fling event was ‘How Sweet It Is‘; I’m beyond pleased to report that the website still works and I can still think about how damn epic the lineup was.  But, that’s neither here nor there: one of the best things about DJs and Producers swinging through my stomping grounds on the regular is that they typically play smaller, local shows around the dates of the festival.

If  I had better knowledge of the new venue that was being used for Beyond, chances are I would’ve gone – it looked absolutely luscious, almost like a combination of Lighting in a Bottle and Coachella; I’m definitely keeping my eye out for more festivals there!

Anyhow, the lineup was good – but not good enough for me – almost all the artists I’ve seen within the past year and simply wasn’t impressed with the breadth of new talent; however, of the artists that I’d seen – half of them were playing at shows around LA before and after the festival.  Maya Jane Coles and Maceo Plex gave us a dose of deep house Friday night at Exchange and Hospital Records brought their signature Drum & Bass sound to Dim Mak Studios for some Sunday Funday action.

 

Maya Jane Coles

Kicking off Friday right was Adam Auburn, one of our local house loves – I’m stoked that his set is already up, definitely a highlight of the evening!

One of my favorite new female DJs on the scene is Maya Jane Coles; I know she’s been around for a few years but I didn’t discover her until April of 2012 thanks to some amazing friends and their fabulous collection of music.  Her Essential mix is definitely worth a listen:

The night rounded out with Maceo Plex, another deep house fav:

High Contrast

Sunday night’s Drum and Bass lineup from Hospital Records was unreal – and I was excited because I’d never seen any of the acts. As a huge fan of EP’s from D&B artists, I have to admit that there’s nothing quite like seeing a live set so if you get the chance, takeit

Fred V & Grafix:

High Contrast:

Camo & Krooked:

Camo & Krooked

The Audiofiles: One Last Tour with Swedish House Mafia

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I know we’re not even halfway into the month, but I have to say – this is some of the loveliest early Spring weather we’ve had in a minute.  Even that little bit of rain last week, that was perfectly timed – the smog was cleared, the city was washed clean for a good few minutes and we got some amazing skylines, sunsets and rainbows to boot!

This past weekend, Swedish House Mafia cruised through Los Angeles and threw two epic nights of EDM whompage at LA’s State Historic Park; now, I wasn’t about to shell out upwards of $150 to see a bunch of acts I’ve already had the pleasure of rocking out to – but I got to send my friends off in style and then hear about it all at the after party.  Literally the next best thing to enjoying a mini-festival like these were is living the night vicariously through your friends.  Based on the stories, pictures and videos – I know they had a phenomenal time…and how could you not?! Besides getting a hat trick of Swedish House, there were stellar sets from the likes of Nero, Mat Zo, Sub Focus, Clockwork, Alesso, Zedd, Monsta and more!  To be fair, if I knew the supporting acts ahead of time – I would have most definitely bought my ticket – but all is fair in love and raving, and there will always be another kickass show with another phenomenal lineup.   That said,  if you happen to be going to either weekend of Ultra, the Masquerade Motel is not to be missed.

And to get you through the day, here are my favorite live sets from the main stage acts at Masquerade Motel; if you missed out, turn the world off, turn up the love and enjoy the ride!

Unless you’ve been able to strategically place yourself under a rock, you should be more than familiar with SHM – who are better known to the EDM world as Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso and Steve Angello.  They’ve been busting basslines together since 2007 when they released ‘Get Dumb‘ with Laidback Luke, another favorite house legend, but didn’t officially form their supergroup until 2008.  Their first official single was ‘One’ in instrumentals and with a vocal version featuring Pharrell – both were amazing and catapulted their notoriety. Then came the success of ‘Save the World‘ which was coupled an the adorable, puppy infused video one can’t help but swoon at. As of late, they’ve teamed up with Knife Party (formerly, Pendulum) on the epic club banger ‘Antidote‘ and have been pushing this “One Last Tour’ for the last few months. Now, don’t get it twisted – they’ll still be touring solo and you’ll have a chance to hear them play the hits of SHM, but it sounds like they won’t be touring together for a hot minute.

If it sounds like SHM, walks like SHM but there’s only one of them – chances are you’ve stumbled across their up and coming protege, Alesso. First recognized for his innate remixing ability, the youngster released has released hit after hit on Sebastian Ingrosso’s label, Refune Records.  Alesso is best known for his remix duties on ‘   ‘ by the Starkillers and Alex Kenji with seductive vocals from the Queen of Trance herself, Nadia Ali (formerly the vocalist of Iio), Swedish House Mafia’s ‘Save the World‘ and DEVolution’s ‘Good Love‘ featuring Amy Pearson while his original singles ‘Calling’ and ‘Years’ both reached #1 on Beatport.

Being fresh on the scene isn’t a problem for Zedd.The first time he popped onto the scene was in 2010 after winning Beatport contests for Armand Van Helden’s ‘Witch Doktor’ and the classic Fatboy Slim track, ‘Weapon of Choice.’  He moved to the big leagues in 2011 by putting his mark on Skrillex’s ‘Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites’ and Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.” In turn, both artists recognized his talents and returned the favor –Skrillex released Zedd’s “Shave It”on his label OWSLA and Lady Gaga has enlisted him to produce her upcoming album, ARTPOP.  His latest singles, ‘Clarity’ and ‘Spectrum’ have both hit the #1 spot on the US Dance Charts and have garnered much support, as well as ample amounts of kickass remixes.

Speaking of ones to watch, Mat Zo is a DJ that you simply shouldn’t take your eyes off of.  Musically inclined since a young age when he first got his hands on an instrument, Mat Zo started off on the famed Hospital Records as a liquid Drum & Bass producer under the pseudonym MRSA; that influence is so easily seen in the effortless fusing of songs, and genres, in each one of his mixes. His hits like ‘The Fractal Universe‘ become instrumental journeys into the heart of trance music, while bumpin’ beats like ‘Bipolar‘ and ‘Stubby’ simply want to make you move your feet. And then, to top it off, he has vocal hits like ‘The Sky‘ with Linnea Shossow that just wow the pants off of you.  If there’s one DJ on this list that’s a must see, I’d say it’s Mat Zo.