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.dxf – Keygen

Technology is a fascinating thing. We’ve transcended humanity’s physical limitations and tapped into an infinite resource that aids us in a variety of ways, the most exciting being advances in trading of information and creating art in my humble opinion. The fact that bits and pieces of humanity’s all-encompassing knowledge can be traded amongst one another in realtime is a powerful next step in our evolution. It’s also fascinating to me that we’ve been able to advance our modes of expression – the 20th century creation of electric guitars is one thing, but a creation like autotune that extends the possibilities of the human voice is outright revolutionary.

.dxf is a meta exploration of these modern notions as they examine the very advancements that have made their music possible. A French trio tapping into the introspectiveness of folk, the percussion of hip-hop and electronic music, the utilization of autotune – it’s a concoction that’s equal parts intelligent and emotional as they inject pathos into P2P and virtual reality. Combined with their forward-thinking visuals, the trio’s debut EP is like putting on a set of virtual reality goggles and being engrossed in a world that exists somewhere between the present and future.


Louis Futon – Royal Blood (ft. Keiynan Lonsdale)

I’ll admit that I know Keiynan Lonsdale for his role on The Flash more than his music career, but “Royal Blood” shows that I’ll have to start keeping tabs on both of the young kid’s artistic ventures. He has such a smooth voice that it feels almost conversational as he promises “I’m never gonna leave ya” (much appreciated Keiynan), not to mention Louis Futon’s slick production. Lonsdale and Futon are truly a match made in heaven as Futon has perfected a groovy vibe that’s complemented by perfectly placed horns and sparkling synths – in other words, an ideal foundation for the soulful side of Lonsdale’s vocals.

Thinking about Lonsdale’s multitalented approach, it couldn’t be more apparent that the modern artistic landscape requires its participants to be multitalented. With the rise of the internet, there’s a million dope singers out there, so what sets you apart? What’s the story behind your art? These are questions I’m constantly considering, like a mini pop quiz for every artist who I dig into…and there’s no doubt Lonsdale passes the quiz. His backstory, his artistic palette, it all feeds into an even greater appreciation for his sleek vocals and makes me very excited to see what he releases next.


Saukrates – Mysterium (ft. SonReal)

It’s not often that the old school and new school collide with cohesion these days, but Saukrates has always had an ear for what’s hot. SonReal has way more in common with traditional hip-hop than the Soundcloud rap sphere, sure, but it’s impressive how a rising star goes bar for bar with a living legend. The entirety of the track is breeze filled with lyrical gymnastics that flow with the fluidity of a world class acrobat, not to mention silky smooth sung vocals from both rappers.

I also have to give big ups to Soxx for putting on so hard for the new school. There’s so many formerly cherished rappers on the outside looking in because they’ve refused to keep up with the kids or outright denounced them, claiming the style of hip-hop they were pushing decades ago is superior to what’s being made right now. Over the years, Soxx has let his sound gently evolve without sacrificing the core style of his own music, maintaining a high level of quality by simply doing his thing. It goes to show that you can stick with your sound while simultaneously championing artists like SonReal who are prepared to be handed the torch. I can’t wait to hear how Soxx blends the past, present, and future on his upcoming album.


Sumera – Faith

I had a revealing discussion about faith last night. Short of a few months in middle school, I’ve never believed in a Judeo-Christian god. I’m at a point in my life where I need a higher power, yet my previous experiences with faith left a bad taste in my mouth – a crippled man telling a church full of believers that his life improved only once he donated money to the church, or pursuing cosmic ideas amidst the haze of a mind saddled by chronic marijuana use in college.

I thought I was onto something when I prayed to a faceless, nameless higher power in my hospital bed earlier this year, asking to not let me die. I continued to tap into that resource, what I perceived as a higher power who would amiably direct events in my life like pawns on a chess board, yet the recent suicide of a family friend shattered that slowly developing belief. If the light in so many people’s lives flamed out, then why would a greater force directly benefit me? It’s bothered me for weeks, but the discussion I mentioned put me back on the path to pursuing a higher power by understanding that there’s indeed something out of my control – life and death. If I engage in the present moment, I’m engaging in life. If I engage in life and pursue spiritual principles, I’m engaging a power greater than myself. It might not be faith in the traditional sense, but it’s faith that brings me closer to feeling whole.

I have a feeling this approach will allow me to better appreciate the beauty in the world around me. Thus, it’s likely no coincidence that I have a serious appreciation for Sumera’s gorgeous, introspective cut “Faith” today.


Two Friends – While We’re Dreaming (ft. Kevin Writer)

While we’re dreaming…as a teenager, I dreamed of writing about music, so I took the plunge and began writing. As a college freshman, I dreamed of doing PR, so I offered to run press for a few bands and began working. As a college senior, I dreamed of moving to LA to pursue my music industry dreams, so accepted an offer for my dream job and made the cross-country jump. Just looking at these sentences makes me realize how little credit I give myself for pursuing my dreams until they’re reality. At the age of 22, so many of my goals have been realized – more than some people attain in their lifetimes if we’re being honest.

Two Friends’ new song “While We’re Dreaming” captures the rush of living out your dreams and channels it into uplifting electronic bliss. The lyrics about finding a vacant rooftop to go occupy with good friends are even relevant to my life – just the other day, my friends and I found a rooftop in San Francisco to take pictures with a gorgeous view of the city. It was a soothing moment that truly put my life into perspective – I’m working a dream job that allows me to put my talents to work, visit places I’ve always wanted to go, and has led to some of the tightest friends I’ve had in my life. To top it all off, I’m not even dreaming.


Cardiknox – Bad Boys

“Why do I fall for the bad boys, maybe I’m not such a good girl.”

This song speaks to me.  I mean literally it’s telling my story in terms of my dating life.  It’s actually kind of a depressing subject , maybe more dark comedy, but this track really gives the subject a happy feeling.  I cannot stop listening because the lyrics just ring me in to very recent situations.  I am not really sure why I go for the bad boys.  It’s a question I ask myself all of the time because I am not a bad girl, in all honesty not to toot my own horn but you would think I would be the type of girl most men would want, well nice men.  The bad ones don’t care about loyalty, honesty, and pure love.  I dated nice guys before but always got bored with them, isn’t there a happy medium, like a bad boy with nice tendencies? Who knows, I am probably asking too much, but for some reason I do keep going back to these bad boys, these narcissictic assholes who charm me like crazy in the beginning and then fizzle into their true self ones they see the love in my eyes.  I am sure a therapist would tell me I have daddy problems or something way to obvious along those lines.  I think I just like the adrenaline rush, these bad boys sure do keep me on my toes!

I am really digging the vibe of this track and whether you are in the most amazing relationship (I hate you..just kidding), or like me and still longing for that sexy bad boy…or girl, this one’s for you friend! xx

 

 

 


TOKiMONSTA – We Love (Felix Cartal Remix)

TOKiMONSTA is an artist who I haven’t kept up with for years until recently, but her Midnight Menu LP was a formative force in the development of my taste in electronic music. Up until that point, my knowledge of the electronic spectrum was limited to random artists found on YouTube and a user-curated blog where people shared a range of finds with one another via lists and reviews. As someone who trusted the taste of the site’s users, I was introduced to Midnight Menu after reading pages of positive reviews. While I never experienced the same level of rabid fever around the album, it became one of those late night records where I could put my headphones on, close my eyes, and slip into the woozy dream state of TOKiMONSTA’s vision.

Thus, it’s only fitting that TOKiMONSTA has recently reentered my consciousness as my life’s work now revolves around electronic music. Not only have her solo releases this year been absolutely killer, but she’s blessed us with a Felix Cartal remix of her standout track “We Love” that takes the MNDR collaboration and flips it into an airy, ultra vibey cut. Whether it’s originals or remixes, it’s awesome to see an artist who had a genuine hand in fine-tuning my musical preferences so prominently featured across blogs and playlists once more.


FARR – Rebel Soul

FARR’s newest is a versatile track that navigates electro-rock stylings like a gymnast walking across a tightrope. It’s a track that immediately makes the music industry gears in my brain start turning and recognize the potential of “Rebel Soul”. Radio airplay? Check. Spotify playlists? Check. Advertisements placements? Check! Apologies for being an enabler of the capitalist machine that is the music industry, but “Rebel Soul” could comfortably fit into so many different areas of people’s lives where they interact with music, whether it’s consciously or not.

Saying a song has commercial potential can bring a negative connotation that assumes the music is basic enough to appeal to mass audiences, but on the contrary, FARR have meticulously crafted a piece that holds its own when examined critically. It’s atmospheric, its gritty synth line and guitar-work bring forth a serious edge, its vocals are straight up soulful; there’s so much to explore with every repeated listen, and with that, there’s no doubt I’ll be revisiting “Rebel Soul” soon.


Little Dragon – Ritual Union (Auxil Edition)

On the heels of their killer Blondie flip, electronic scene newcomers Auxil are back with a brand new remix that I’m super stoked on because they’ve decided to take a swing at Little Dragon’s “Ritual Union”. They twist the indie-pop gem into a driving deep house joint that I’d love to hear pumping out of some club speakers late at night…even more specifically, from an open-air club on the beach where the vibes of the dance floor and the ocean breeze swirl together into a sweet, sweet ritual union. Is there one of these in LA? I can only hope so. Anyway, back to the music!

Between their two releases, Auxil have made flips that sound like outright originals which is a massive feat. These dudes have an ear for fine-tuning music that I can seriously appreciate as someone who’s been around musicians long enough to understand the depth of their craft. It’s amazing that their take on “Ritual Union” so subtly makes its way into your ears and has your head nodding before you even realize it. I love a track with massive percussion that sounds like a subwoofer warcry, but sometimes it’s better to slowly slip away as the music unfolds.


Golden Vessel – Right / Side

Golden Vessel’s Right / Side is a prime example of genres melting away into sonic bliss. I had the pleasure of reviewing the EP’s lead single “Shoulders” at the beginning of the summer and it was a much-needed boost of positivity at a rough time in my life. Golden Vessel set such a mood on the track that I could imagine myself slowly fading into rays of sunshine, a notion that rings true throughout his EP as each song is a self-contained wonderment of its own. While the title track blends subtle ambiance with melodic synths that would be fitting on a 2017 The Postal Service revival, Daylight flexes left-field trap percussion and head-nodding bars to match.

As I sit here writing this, I’m about to head up the coast from LA to San Fransisco for the first time in my life. Calling myself excited would be an understatement – I’m about to experience a city I’ve revered for 22 years without ever setting foot there. The overcast weather, the layout of the city, the culture, it all seems suited to my tastes. Right / Side is providing fittingly thoughtful, intricate moments that I hope are mirrored on my stay in the city up north.