This past Sunday at the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego the stress of an impending Monday seemed non-existent amongst the droves of weekend warriors who showed up to witness the audio visual spectacle of the French electronic music veteran Joachim Garraud. With the acclaimed debut of his live AV Invasion Tour set in LA just weeks ago, the guarantee of a one-of-a-kind set, drew out a mix of die-hard fans and casual spectators alike. Yet neither of which, could not have anticipated the performance he had in store.
Joachim Garraud arrived to this past Sunday’s Wintervention (the colder season offshoot of the summertime Intervention parties) and took to the stage to be greeted by hundreds of, not smiling faces, but rather, a sea of space invaders staring avidly in his direction. Iconic to his Invasion tour, this scene has probably become second nature to Garraud since everyone in attendance was personally outfitted with 3D, space invader glasses, designed specifically for this
sonic & visual experience, unlike any other. And, as if preparing for cosmic battle, he wasted no time in asserting his audio visual assault on the crowd. His weapons of choice: a keytar and expertly timed visual displays, customized for this very show.
Garraud’s music selection for the evening certainly lacked no excitement, but the main attraction of the show were the 3D visuals that accompanied most of the tracks. There was no need for substance enhancement to enjoy what he had prepared, just a space invader mask and a healthy appetite for surprise were all that was needed for this adventure. Cues directed the crowd to the appropriate times to wear the masks and when to focus on his mixing and keytar skills instead.
The words “3D ON” flashed and I wasted no time in securing that elastic around my head, in preparation for an out of focus, red and blue dog to materialize and leap from the LED screen, appropriately to the tune Swedish House Mafia’s famous, “Greyhound.” Even my half-second initial thoughts of its severe over played status were immediately erased, as I became entranced by a creature that seemed to have detached itself from its two dimensional world. Throwing all my typical pretentions aside, I danced as if I was new to the EDM scene and hearing the song for the first time.
Even if you do not consider yourself an electro-house fan there was a lot about Garraud’s set to occupy the senses, not just as visuals go. On top of mixing music and visuals, he also made time to play his keytar – a severely underrated instrument. But with so much going on within his set, it was not overwhelming. He did not crowd the separate elements together, allowing the attention to be focused on each individual component, thoughtfully & harmoniously intertwined into this experience, that we watched him personally construct, just for us.
Live AV shows are still quite rare in the electronic dance world. Before Joachim Garraud’s solo, pioneer efforts – handling both the music and 3D visual portion – the world of visuals and music was largely a job for two or more people. An early foray into the live, 3D AV show was seen at the famous, We are Your Friends parties starting in 2010. Resident DJ, Ste-V-Something paired up with VJ, Rebel Overlay to create the earliest 3D experience for its fans. Rebel Overlay has since expanded into a visual company to create visuals for such acts as Mat Zo, Above and Beyond and Paul Oakenfold.
Needless to say, the integration of visual components – whether 3D or not – into the standard DJ and live set has become expected by EDM fans. In the history of visuals within electronic music sets, simple strobe lights and lasers became obsolete with the introduction of LED screens and fancier technology. LED screens were then crafted into elaborate structures, think: Deadmau5’s mask and more recently, Amon Tobin’s three dimensional video projection technology and installations.
In the economics of the EDM scene, it is safe to say that the demand of its fickle fans will be met so long as artists continue to challenge themselves by integrating new technology into their sets. Joachim Garraud created a precedent for new talent to strive to surpass and we cannot be more excited for the future.
By: Shea Kopp
Psychemagik have built a reputation for themselves as the go-to guys where music is vinyl-y concerned. Their vast collection is the product of year’s of hunting and includes multiple rare recordings. It is only natural that they should craft their edits and remixes with the musical influence of the era’s, mere inches from their fingertips. Their recent version of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams‘ topped Hype Machine charts for weeks and is only one of multiple re-works that transcend the simple label, ‘remix’. They released an original EP, ‘Lunar Escape’ in December that embodies a disco sound that has been reinvigorated with their cosmic touch.
Leading to their arrival on the west coast and the launch of their USA tour, The Mixster caught up the psychedelic gods of disco edits to get their thoughts on all things vinyl, their approach to remixes, and their top musical picks going into 2013. Read their words below:
Q: So you’re kicking off a nice little 15 date tour at the beginning of next month, what’s one thing that you’re looking forward to seeing/doing/eating in the States?
Psy: It’s gonna be an awesome way to see America…we’re really looking forward to all the people we’ll meet along the way.
Q: You guys have built up your reputation as ‘crate diggers’, or vinylphiles (if you will). Do you make an effort to track down record stores when you are on tour?
Psy: Yeah…definitely want to hit as many record shops as possible on this trip!
Q: Traveling can only add to the uniqueness of your collection. But with such a huge collection, I imagine that coming across rare gems is a little harder these days. What was the last album that you were completely siked or shocked to find?
Psy: Fortunately finding amazing new records is a daily occurrence, it seems to be a bottomless pit, we’re constantly astounded at how many incredible records were made in the 70s & 80s, those were truly golden era’s.
Q: How do you manage to travel with records? I imagine you’d have to buy an extra plane ticket for some of your more valuable ones.
Psy: One of the reasons we use CDs for Djing is to save space for sacred vinyl in our luggage. On the last Oz tour we had to pay for another check in bag just for vinyl purchases and had to Fed Ex a crate home.
Q: On average, how many pieces of vinyl do you guys travel with?
Psy: Depends what we find. The last tour we came back with over 250 records.
Q: What other properties, earthly or beyond, would you say possess or encompass “Psychemagik”?
Psy: Black Gold.
Q: How do you go about playing for new ‘scenes’? Every city seems to have their niche crowds; do you find that some cities are more responsive to your music than others?
Psy: There are a lot factors involved…we definitely do a bit of homework prior to gigs to look for trends if there are any. Sometimes we will tailor our sound for a night but mostly we have found crowds near and far to be really responsive to our sets.
Q: In the studio (or technically speaking), how do you first approach a remix?
Psy: Usually we start by stripping the track back and picking the elements we like and think we might keep. We really like to put our own stamp on a remix so often we don’t end up using much of the original. It’s an opportunity take an idea on a totally new journey so we like to go deep in terms of production.
We’ll throw a load of ideas and riffs at it to start with and see which feels right. Sometimes it’s about reaching a balance between a few ideas and then it starts to take shape.
Feeling and vibe have so much to do with it and these can be completely altered by the slightest tweak. Often the direction will find itself and we just follow the funk!
Q: Your last EP, ‘Lunar Escape’, is self described as a ‘cosmic’ trip which is not too hard to envision when you listen. What do you think it is about the elements used in your music that make it ‘cosmic’?
Psy: Vintage analogue synthesizers help a bit!
Q: You have a track called, ‘Bass Purr’, that is undeniably heavier than most of your tracks. Where did the inspiration for this come from? Any specific influence come to mind?
Psy: We’re constantly playing and experimenting with different styles…obviously this has a Dubstep influence from the Bass sound. We spent time crafting this sound to try to make it unique. As each note is triggered the bass starts mono then spreads and modulates over time…a good headphones experience!!
Q: Which THREE artists/labels are you excited about right now?
By: Shea Kopp
TALK ABOUT THAT MEGA BOUNCE!! New collaborative between Justin Martin & Eats Everything is ALL about that big bounce ting, coming out large on the FUN end with two tracks on their forthcoming “FEATHER FIGHT EP” out on the standout HYPERCOLOUR imprint on February 11th. The title track certainly lacks no spunk, but the b-side “Harpy” no doubt has heaps of high-energy buzzy swing of its very own. Stream the samples of the soon to come goodness below..
What better way is there to get your fan-base stoked on your upcoming album than to release two amazing tracks that didn’t make the album’s final cut. Well that’s exactly what UK bass juggernaut Reso decided to do, and I am absolutely STOKED on his long awaited debut album, Tangram, set for release on November 5th.
About a month ago he released an extremely atmospheric-driven drum n bass track that demonstrates his complete control across all the land of EQ and Frequency (if this wasn’t apparent already). This track has a sort of minimalistic, dreamy quality to it that, in ways, resonates with me in the same way as Minnesota’s Astral Projections EP—even though they are both pretty different stylistically. Take a listen.
The second of the two tracks that didn’t make the album’s final cut, titled “Eva,” was just released a couple of days ago. This 8 min. track also has an ethereal quality to it that makes me wish the song would never end. The awesome drum work along with the riding bassline compliment the spacey atmosphere he creates here.
If this is the quality of the tracks that didn’t make the cut, what sort of massive production are we in for when the album drops on November 5th? I have a good guess, but we’re just gonna have to wait to find out.
Tracklisting of Reso’s forthcoming debut album on Civil Music:
05. Simple Pleasures
06. Virtua Rhythm
09. Backwards Glance
10. Half Life
12. Check 1,2
By: Saro Chalian
You are guaranteed a good time if Dim Mak Studios is involved but add the music booking prowess of IHEARTCOMIX and your night has swiftly passed ‘awesome’ to sit nicely amongst the most ‘epic’ of nights.
This past Wednesday IHEARTCOMIX brought in my electro-pop dream band, Van She. Maybe not quite a household name, but chances are you have heard some kind of remixed version of their anthems, ‘Idea of Happiness’ and ‘Jamaica’. But to further harmonize this night was the late addition of Anna Lunoe to the line-up; a complete Aussie takeover!
There is no denying that women DJs and producers have been squeezing their way onto the mainstream electronic scene these past few years. If you have not been actively tracking artists like: Louisahhh, Maya Jane Coles and Anna Lunoe they have most certainly been circulating in your field of vision. With Louisahhh making a name amongst her Bromance counterparts, Maya Jane Coles’ upcoming performance at HARD: Day of the Dead and Anna Lunoe’s impressive support to such names as: Daft Punk, Diplo and Soulwax, it seems as though women DJ/producers are trailblazing into DJing’s formerly phallic territory.
Proving that she can run with the big boys, Anna Lunoe hit the decks between the live sets of Room8 and DWNTWN. She acted as interim house DJ for the night which, for those unfamiliar with Dimmak Studios, meant that the majority of her crowd faced away from her towards a stage mid-set-up. This did not stop her from laying down some disco infused tracks and heavy basslines which turned many curious heads to investigate the source of such infectious grooves. Taking things into the deeper realm of house she created a reminiscent set full of tunes that we forgot we loved but not before throwing in her summer hit, “I Met You.”
Some unfortunate technical difficulties throughout the night made the anticipation for Van She’s set simply worrisome but after working through a few kinks things came together to finish off a great evening.
Van She are everything we love about retro pop music minus: cheesy costumes, key-tar players and Bowie-esque makeup. They introduce an obvious island influence to create a perfect union between synth riff and marimba soul. It’s like breathing in Coppertone sunscreen and sipping on Piña Coladas – and yet it’s midway through October. They planned their set perfectly, opening and closing with their hits: ‘Idea of Happiness’ and ‘Jamaica.’
Seeing the crowd (myself included) lift their hands to the ceiling and scream “JAMAICAAA!” at top volume I knew that this crowd would not be satisfied ending their night on a literal high note. The encore for the night was Van She’s classic, ‘Sex City,’ not to be confused with the musically parallel Crystal Castles hit, ‘Vanished’. Though Crystal Castles sampled ‘Sex City’ so many years ago, the ending result is almost identical to ‘Sex City.’ It seems ironic that Crystal Castles’ ‘Vanished’ should have the words ‘van’ and ‘she’ within the title. Ironic or consciously done?
Scope the calendar of all of IHEARTCOMIX’s upcoming events below:
10/20 Goldenvoice, KXLU + IHC Presents: Dan Deacon, Height with Friends, Chester Endersby Gwazda, and Alan Reznick @ El Rey Theater 18+
10/26 IHC Presents: SSION, House of Ledosha, AB SOTO, and DJ Josh Peace @ Los Globos 21+
10/28 IHC Presents: Cult of Youth, Pure Ground, Plus Guests @ Los Globos 21+
11/6 Check Yo Ponytail 2: 2 Year Anniversary w/ Andrew W.K., Icona Pop, Diamond Rings, Cherie Lily, & Aleister X @ Echoplex 18+
11/8 IHC Presents: Mount Kimbie plus Grenier/ Groundislava @ Los Globos 21+
11/16 IHC Presents: Dabryne, Shigeto, Low Limit, and Colta @ Los Globos 21+
11/17 IHC Presents: Drop the Lime plus Guests @ Los Globos 21+
11/20 Check Yo Ponytail 2: The Internet and Special Guests @ Echoplex 18+
12/4 Check Yo Ponytail 2: How to Dress Well, Groundislava, and Bogo @ Echoplex 18+
By: Shea Kopp
A pretty fly fellow by the name of Cashmere Cat just put out a preview of his upcoming Mirror Maru EP—set for release on Oct. 22nd. I can honestly tell you it’s one of the cleanest productions I’ve heard in some time. Every sound—from the meowing cats to the percussion—pops. Props to whoever mastered this EP.
I started following this talented Norwegian on Soundcloud about a month or two ago because I knew there was something special about this cat’s production. Yea, pun intended. Cashmere Cat is clearly a hip-hop head that has no intention of staying confined to any sort of sound. Trappy snare rolls, downtempo steez, and perfectly transposed vocal samples make his poly-rhythmic sound flow and mesh perfectly. If you listen to any Kastle or Jaw Jam, I’m sure you can hear their similar influences in production.
Cashmere Cat brings you nothing but vibes in his music. He cuts all the other, often unnecessary, crapola out. Pure audible gold. October 22nd is going to be a beautiful day in music. This glorious day will be the birthday of Cashmere Cat’s “Mirror Maru EP,” and Kendrick Lamar’s album, “Good Kid, m.A.A.d city.”
Mirror Maru EP Tracklist:
1. Mirror Maru
2. Secrets + Lies
3. Kiss Kiss
Preorder on iTunes:
By: Saro Chalian
Provided until the release is slated, is a swift mix of the included original constructions. The EP opener and title track ‘Can’t Let Go’ integrates an atmospheric array of vocal delay builds and multi-faceted yet airy percussion elements, weighted down with hearty basslines before soaring too far off the dancefloor. Quite the contrast, EP backing ’4 Me’ has a sneaky side. Very minimal drums and cloud-like arpeggios experience a bit of low-end storminess from absolutely gutter deep sub bass – that only dance floors outfitted with proper reinforced sound, will be able to fully appreciate.
Release date is still TBA, but a mixed preview promo is available below for a preliminary audible showing:
Just when you thought an incredible tune couldn’t possibly receive a shiner coat, the ever lauded founder of South London’s GHOST RECORDINGS, EL-B enters the ring: Infusing Disclosure‘s stand-out hit ‘Boiling’ off their explosive “THE FACE” EP release earlier this year, with rhythmic anomalies and “off-the-grid” percussion genius that could only be ascribed to EL-B and his globally-applauded approach to club-floor provoking sound design.
While Disclosure’s ‘Boiling’ in original form does incorporate that ever-celebrated UKG percussive swing, EL-B approaches the track with both darker motives and basslines in mind. Sinead Harnett’s lusty little cooes and wails get the treatment in EL-B’s rinse and are placed at the forefront,
as he engineers a complex backdrop, integrating his unique brand of heavily sub-bassed patterns, cleverly syncopated & shuffly hi-hat hits, and choppy pitched-stripped vocals to create a sturdy rhythmic structure; and of course, one mean dance tune.
Hours early, the track title on Soundcloud included “Out Now” but at the moment it simply states a confusing “Shelfed Release!!!” This could either mean, 1. It was supposed to be released for free, but given the heavy number of listens the track has already received, it will be saved for an official release; 2. It will be released on vinyl; or 3. That it was too hot for distribution altogether.
Whatever the case may be, political, business as usual, or otherwise, the track is live for your listening pleasure. Better get into it before it is potentially shelved (?)/removed/dusted…
Well, it’s flu season. And as y’all are getting sicker, the onslaught of on-coming productions seems to be too. Set aside your Tylenol, Nyquil, and Tamiflu (if only for a second) because this week’s diverse round-up packs enough bass, glitch, and Mixster approved vibes to keep any airborne virus at bay. So whether you’re bed-ridden or just trying to stay healthy, we’ve got something prescribed for you.
This first track comes through in a big way–courtesy of glitch-hop visionary, Opiuo. You’d think that at this point in the game, we would just expect this sort of production from him but Opiuo never ceases to amaze me. His music displays the perfect combination of bounce and grit—each track having a life of its own. This remix of Kimbra’s “Come Into My Head” preserves the main features of the original while cranking up the fresh-factor. I love the classic rock vibe that Opiuo takes and makes his own in this track. Reminds me of Def Leopard…Opiuo style. Listen and see for yourself.
Mixster favorite Valentino Khan just released some FIRE FLAME. His remix of Kreayshawn’s “Go Hard” does, in fact… go hard. The big room sound he’s got going on here at 105 bpm is absolutely money. This is a perfect change of pace tune for all you DJs out there. I’d love to hear more of this style from him. It just seems so natural—building off his experience producing moombahton. Blast this over some nice speakers and enjoy.
Doombahton. LeTrvp. Now this. LeDoom’s versatility in his production is undeniable. His latest project was a remix of “Pyramids” by Frank Ocean. This track blew my mind on first listen and continues to do so. Is this LeDoom?? Sure as hell is. I don’t foresee him changing his name to LeSuave nor do I see him spending most of his studio time producing this style of music, but let’s just say I wouldn’t be opposed to it if he did.
Definitely scope out the original Frank Ocean track as well.
Labrat is back at it once again. This time it’s by way of a huge remix that Halo 4: Awakening fans can enjoy. I’d be a little more inclined to play some Halo if tracks like this were included in the actual soundtrack. Maybe they’ll catch a tip. Shooting lasers while listening to Labrat unleash his very own arsenal of lasers? I think so.
I’ll leave you with a remix of Gravity’s track “Rage” that has UK grime written all over it. The original song, which I only heard after hearing this remix, goes hard as fuuuug. So props to Gravity for the dope lyrics and solid production. But BadKlaat & Requake take this track to whole new heights and the sub-bass to whole new lows. A solid sound system to blast this on is definitely necessary.
By: Saro Chalian
For a weekend of globally diverse music selections, the anchoring leg of FILTER MAGAZINE‘s 3rd annual Culture Collide Festival seemed ironically and unquestionably American. The block party took place in the heart of Echo Park where hipster families sat in their yards mere feet away from the action.
Receiving the email confirmation for this free event was more like getting directions to an unfixed location. There was no exact address or venue to look for, but rather directions that stated, “Reservoir Street (between Sunset Blvd and Alvarado Street.)” But this is exactly what a block party should be!
There was something perfectly homegrown about this entire event that made it feel less like a concert and more like a family get-together. It was set between two neighborhood streets where curious children sat overlooking the banisters of their homes to get a better glimpse of the festivities happening in their backyards. And there was no shortage of sounds or sights for any curious onlooker.
Around sunset our favorite tropical troupe, Poolside, took the stage to play a time slot that seems to have been engineered just for the group’s sultry grooves. Having made the transition from DJ sets to live sets this past year, they seem to be improving with every performance. They played all the crowd favorites including, “Do You Believe” and a lovingly prolonged synth version of “Harvest Moon.”
It is a guarantee that wherever Of Montreal performs it will be accompanied by fantastically obscure production. Lead singer and visionary Kevin Barnes’ sexually ambiguous lyrics seem almost normal set alongside performers costumed in sequins, silk and fake-plush titties. Yet despite Of Montreal’s eye-catching and promiscuous performance, my favorite set for the evening was by Swedish electro-pop duo, Niki and the Dove.
It must have something to do with the fact that most Scandinavian countries seem to spend their time indoors – on account of the frigid weather – and have nothing better to do than produce music. Whatever the case may be, there is no denying that the Viking homelands are outputting some awesome music at that. This is made all the more apparent in the strangely euphoric tunes of Niki and the Dove. Malin Dahlström’s lyrics are metaphorically enigmatic, and yet, they seem to reflect the uncertainty of life decisions. These vignettes placed on top of pop-infused tunes create the contradictory sound of Niki and the Dove. The two delivered an energetic set that proved memorable even amongst multiple stellar performances.
By: Shea Kopp
All photos via FILTER Magazine (view full gallery)