Tag Archives: Playlist

[The Audiofiles] Usher In Winter with Lane 8’s Latest Mixtape

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With Los Angeles trapped within it’s version of perpetual Summer, I tend to forget that other seasons exist until we’re thrust into them feet first. Thankfully, I’ve begun to anticipate them thanks to timely mixes from none other than Lane 8, a rising star on Above & Beyond’s Anjunadeep imprint. Now with a host of large festival tour dates like Northern Nights, Spring Awakening, What The Festival and Global Dance Festival – not to mention, with his second album ‘Rise‘ and second North American Tour of the same name under his belt, Lane 8 has perfected his stage presence and ability to feel the crowd, which have both forayed into his exquisitely curated mixtapes.

Over the last year, I’ve found myself drawn to both his moody and brooding downtempo original tracks as well as his magnificent mixes that pull inspiration from each and every pocket of House Music. Deep, Indie, Tech – you name it, he’s mixed it into his wondrous works. Though I’d missed out on attending several of his shows around Southern California, I was delighted to be front and center while he brought the house down at Coachella’s DoLab Stage to watch him turn some of my bass buddies into tried and true Lane 8 believers. Each and every time I dive into a mix, I’m absolutely enthralled and blown away by his musical maturity and his latest Winter 2015 Mixtape is an absolute testament to that fact. Dive right in and see what you think!

For more on Lane 8, make sure you keep tabs on his socials –

Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

Photo by Daniel Leist

Cross Published on The DJ List

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[The Audiofiles] Funky Beats for a Funky Mood

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 Originally, when I was getting ready for today’s post I had nothing but House, Techno, Love and Desert Hearts on the mind; if you’re not familiar with the group, trust me when I say over the next few years you’ll be hearing this name more and more frequently.  A band of merry music makers and rump shakers from in and around San Diego, the Desert Hearts tribe is more than just a community of conscious music lovers – they embrace the yearning, creative fire that burns inside all of us and manifest it into a whirlwind of a weekend.  From Friday morning through Monday morning, I’ll be grooving and moving to 72 straight hours of House Music.  If you think of EDC like a race, and Lightning in a Bottle was a marathon – ths might just take the title of Hippie Olympics in my book (sorry, LIB – it was good while it lasted!).  Plus, don’t get me started on the time, energy, love and passion it takes to last a week in the Desert for Burning Man – especially since I’ve yet to experience my own Playa Magic!

But, apparently – life had other plans for me. In the last 24 hours, I’ve dealt with and processed more emotions than I care to know about or share.  It should’t seem so convoluted that the world can turn on top of itself in the same amount of time it takes to breathe, blink and iterate a heartbeat – but at the end of the day, it still is.  I’m aware that we can only conquer or emotions if we make a conscious choice to control them, and doubly so that the people in our lives can give us expectation hangovers.   On a personal level, I absolutely am enthralled by people who are passionately, unequivocally, unapologetically themselves – almost to a fault.  I love the humanity it in, however flawed it potentially could be.  But somehow, all of a sudden – because I’ve never installed rules, guidelines or boundaries – it all backfires. You know, those fast friends where you invariably said some familial form of ‘I Love You’ much too soon without getting to actually know them; the people that you accept at 110%, but then refuse to give more than 25%.You don’t adopt a dog expecting it to meow, and you certainly don’t acquire friendships for the flippant sake of social guise.  The friends that I keep close to my soul are the ones that love me for the person I’ve become and constantly challenge me to be the best version of myself.  At moments of stagnation, of static movement – we’re not just standing still but we’re moving backwards; especially in a world where we have to run so fast just to stay in place.

‘When words fail, music speaks’ so I’m going to shut up and let these songs take it from here.  My heart hangs heavy, but my eyes are hopefully and my mind is open.

[The Audiofiles] Alt-J: Changing the Game

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In the current state of the music industry – genres are merging, producers across the board are collaborating and the end result is a smorgasborg of music that simply put moves the feet and soothes the soul. Guitar riffs layered over gritty, emotive lyrics; basslines pulsing in time with your heart beat; ethereal melodies dichotomized by dissonant chords and tense moments dispelled by eerie moments of quiet.  Partly thanks to advances in modern technology like streaming media, though in part also due to piracy problems, today’s music makers are sitting on an epoch of music history; commercial ‘pop’ music is as readily available as what the rest of us consider ‘underground’ tech house, trap, glitch, minimal and all of those other nuanced sub-genres that might or might not actually exist anywhere beyond our minds.

Musicians are compounded, creative beings, constantly evolving from generations and artists before them.  Unknowingly or in tribute, time and time again artists sonically ingrain their surroundings into their source material – only to remix, rework, regurgitate, and revolve the cycle of the arts once more.

It was a typical Tuesday morning – scouring Soundcloud and hunting through Hypem.  Lido’s remix of ‘Left Hand High’ came through my feed and I was instantly hooked. Repeat Button. Within moments, I was having a one person dance party in my living room, grooving to the deliciously layered drops and almost ethereal vocals. Twenty minutes later, I emerged from a trancelike haze – instantly yearning for more.  Instead of doing the typical – researching the remixer, I pulled back a layer to find Alt-J.

Though Alt-J(∆)’s been around for the better part of the last decade, they’ve only been releasing music for since 2012 and I didn’t discover them until literally a week ago. A triumvirate of creativity, Alt-J is constantly pushing back on the boundaries in the most beautiful way.  In the Venn Diagram of Alternative Rock, Indie Electro and Hip-Hop Syncopation, Alt-J sits proudly front and center. Diving further into their discography, I’ve come to a unique conclusion – I almost don’t like any remixes of their work.  And why would I? Did the Mona Lisa need a Lo-Fi filter? Great work needs no retouching, and almost every remix I’ve heard seems like a building block of their intricate design – not an homage to their work or a complex re-imagining of their harmonies.

If you don’t believe me, try this on for size: after logging at least 100 listens to ‘Left Hand High’ (and no, I’m not kidding), I matriculated on to Story 4: Sleeplessly Embracing. So, for a second – take all I knew of Alt-J. I’ve heard Tessilate and Breezeblock on the radio, and then all a sudden – a glitching, booming bassline takes over – grimy, street smart lyrics overflow my headphones as the bass fills my body.  Combine that all into one compact musical package, and what you have borders on genius.

[The Audiofiles] Throwback Thursday: Rockin’ to the 90’s

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Last Weekend, when Danny and I gallivanted up the California Coast for our friend’s beautiful wedding at the Falkirk Cultural Center – we took a necessary deviation from what’s seemingly become our standard road-tripping playlists, bass heavy, glitch infused tracks that more often than not lack a vocal track.  Don’t get me wrong, I thrive on the complexities, deviations in structure and the plethora of noises that stem from Electronic Music.  But, now that I’ve had my ‘Robot Ears’  on for the better part of the last decade – songs from individual genres seem to blend together effortlessly into musical amalgamation of Dubstep, Deep House and Trance.

If it weren’t for the varied live groups like Modestep, Odesza, Keys n Krates, EOTO, Emancipator Ensemble and STS9, expertly fused live DJ sets from the likes of Bassnectar, Andy C, Beardyman, Kastle, Disclosure, Bonobo and Shpongle and exceptional one off live Trance shows like Armin van Buuren’s Armin Only and Above & Beyond’s Acoustic at the Greek – I wouldn’t lost my faith in the umbrella genre of EDM long ago.  So, for this 10 hour cruise – we put up our disco duds and busted it old school thanks to some help from Spotify, and a whole lot of great memories from our childhood.  On my infinite list of things I love about Danny, it’s that even though we didn’t grow up near each other nor share any childhood memories – we both used to rock out to the same ol’ songs and that fact brings us so much closer together.  Music, as it already stands, is a building block of our relationship (hell, we met EDC weekend 2010, said the magic words at LIB then got engaged at Shambhala) – but it’s also an emotive, binding force.

As only children, a lot of the time we were left alone with music and our own thoughts – meaning that these artists had a substantial impact on our childhood, as well as our world view.  For the drive, we listened to it all.  From Rock and Roll like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sum 41,  blink182 and Sublime to Linkin Park, Foo Fighters and the Barenaked Ladies to Hip Hop and Rap  from Run DMC, A Tribe Called Quest, The Fugees, Nas, Puff Daddy (back when he was actually Puff Daddy), Notorious B.I.G. and some guilty pleasure pop music a la Celine, Whitney, Mariah, Alanis and Fiona – we went back, way back – and it was the best time ever.  So good, in fact, that I’ve made a collaborative playlist on Spotify and y’all can add your favorite 90’s tracks, too!  So take your hair down, put your feet up and let’s kick it old school for Throwback Thursday.

What’s your go to 90’s track? Leave it some love in the comments below – or better yet, head on over to Spotify and add to my collaborative playlist!

[Artist Spotlight] MNEK + Sam Smith

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There aren’t many male vocalists that get me choked up, but over the past year a handful have popped up on my radar much to my excitement.  Each time I hear a new song featuring Sam Smith or MNEK, my heart stops until I press play – and what I’ve found with each artists, is that I’m addicted to their soulful sounds.

Sam Smith, named the BBC Voice to Watch in 2014, has  slowly but surely etched a permanent place in my heart.  I first heard his breathtaking vocals when he lent them to Disclosure for the feel good crooner ‘Latch’; if that single doesn’t take your breath away, try your hand at the acoustic version:

Then, he does it again on the Nile Rodgers x Disclosure Collaboration ‘Together.’

So far, you’ve gotten an earful of Electro – but Sam Smith’s original work is something closer to Indie Rock with a sexy, bedroom twist:

Not to mention, his voice just remixes so pretty! MK does the jam ‘Money on my Mind’ excellent justice by infusing his remix with some signature deep house grooves.

This morning when I jumped on my mandatory morning music safari, I found a new singles under the man’s belt and I’m beyond excited to share.   ‘Make it To Me’ – has me wrapped up in all of the feels and almost in tears; his vocal prowess is so beautifully honest and refreshing, and that high register – hot damn that sounds phenomenal:

Stay up to date with Sam Smith across his socials: Webpage | Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter

Another vocalist that I can’t get enough of is MNEK. Every time I find a new MNEK (pronounced Em-En-E-Kay) cover on Hypem, I’m absolutely enthralled by how he refixes the song by ignoring the original format and laying down his own, silk smooth notes. There has been a host of singles over the past year that I’ve heard MNEK re-do, and each and every one is beautiful and unique in it’s own right. 19 years young, MNEK has the vocal power of an old soul;  time after time, he infuses his sultry R&B vocals into deep house rhythms to perfection and I simply can’t get enough.  One thing I really enjoy with the singles he’s released, is playing them back to back with the original; if you want to understand the man’s genius, it’s a great jumping off point – so I’ll get that party started for you:

[Original]

[Re-Fix]

[Original]

[Re-Fix]

[Original]

[Re-Fix]

[Original]

[Re-Fix]

And then of course, there are the original tracks he’s lent his stellar pipes to – like with Rudimental, SubFocus and DEVolution – proving that his voice is so much more than just [Deep] House, it’s an instrument that producers across the genres love playing with.

Keep tabs on MNEK across the interwebs – Webpage | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter

The Audiofiles: Top 20 Songs of All Time

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There’s nothing that piques my interest like a challenge – and when that challenge involves my favorite tracks of all time? Well, that’s simply music to my ears =) So, when my best friend posted about creating a list of favorites for a friend, I couldn’t help but be inspired. We exchanged a few quick IMs and I went on my merry way through the interwebs and back in time.

Even though I’m currently living as a pseudo-raver-kitten, I’ve enjoyed my fair share of classic rock, country and slow jams – it’s just been extremely few and far between as of late 😉

It only took me about an hour, and I only thought about the fact I was limited to 20 jams three or four times; I’d call that a success in itself. So, what we have here are songs that resonate in a special way with my soul. I hope y’all enjoy this trek down memory lane as much as I do =)

  1. Van Morrison – Brown Eyed Girl (Original Version)
  2. Tina Turner – Proud Mary
  3. The Juliana Theory – We´re At The Top Of The World
  4. Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight (Full Version)
  5. Janet Jackson – If
  6. Tracy Chapman – Fast Car
  7. Metallica – Nothing Else Matters
  8. 12 Stones – The Way I Feel
  9. Michael Jackson – Thriller
  10. K-Ci & JoJo – All My Life
  11. OutKast – B.O.B.
  12. Atmosphere – Reflections
  13. Tim McGraw – Something Like That
  14. Rascal Flatts – What Hurts The Most
  15. Whitney Houston – How Will I Know
  16. Fiona Apple – Criminal
  17. Moby – Slipping Away
  18. Depeche Mode – Soothe My Soul (Steve Angello & Jacques Lu Cont Remix)
  19. Ferry Corsten – Brainbox
  20. Chase and Status ft. Plan B ft. Rage – Fool Yourself