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BADBADNOTGOOD – Kaleidoscope (Kaytranada’s Flip)

BBNG2

Badbadnotgood just keeps getting better and better. Notorious for their boundary-pushing and genre-fucking ways, these guys are are absolutely killing it these days. Not your typical jazz conservatory grads, this Toronto-based trio (Matthew Tavares on keys, Chester Hansen on bass, and Alexander Sowinski on drums) initially garnered attention with their bad-ass jazz interpretative stylings of some popular hip-hop tracks and they’ve gone on to collaborate with artists such as Ghostface Killah, Tyler the Creator and Frank Ocean just to name a few. They released their third album III earlier this year– their studio work is pretty damn spectacular, but let it be known that their live set is where the real alchemical shit goes down (improvisation, yo)…

BBNG’s sound is impossible to define (duh) but my best attempt right here right now is something along the lines of ‘jazz-informed harmonic bliss infused with experimental hip-hop-y beats with a dash of post-bop electronica and some punk-ass virtuosic fusion vibes’. In other words, there are no words. Only listening to be done.

On that note, BBNG + Kaytranada = magic. Not a remix, but a flip. Pretty aptly named in my opinion.

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Banks – You Should Know Where I’m Coming From

Monday night I went to have a drink with a friend at the pub. Both of us came from our day jobs which are in banks in Shoreditch, but we are both dating people in Clapham so the destination is generally this bar that always has seats a bit out of town and £15 bottles of wine. Wine nights always feel more honest. Before the first glass was half gone, we we are already getting to the grittier girl talk.

Her situation was about a somewhat recent sweetheart who has been getting texts from a girl. He showed her. She acted fine with it and he continues to be open about it. But there is the little green monster. Which I think most girls fear the most.  The green eyed monster is jealousy and by definition is the emotion you have when you feel insecure that you are about to loss something of great value to you. In language today, envy and jealousy are nearly synonymous and both have a negative connotation as far as emotions go. Yet, the idea is that when you feel one- it is more of a fear of loosing rather than wish someone was without.

This wine fuelled honesty about relationships came together as we played devil’s advocate. But as much as you try to be empathetic/understanding there is nothing like the flip in your stomach you feel in those instances. It is not in all relationships but remembered this feeling from my boyfriend at 18, you feel almost dirty or ashamed for hating the person who is texting or calling. But the end conclusion of this was we don’t plan to stop texting our friends or guys so we can’t expect our lovers to. But really, why would you want your partner to only interact with you?

This whole bit then led to the conversation of are we really supposed to be with just one person for our whole lives? We evolve in our friend groups (miss you old friends) and our surroundings. Whys do we think that loving someone can’t evolve as well. I just really got hung up on this. Some guys friends joined soon after this kicked off and the conversation was astonishingly pretty unanimous. We all had the idea of love. The want for it, but all believed that we are able to love and belong to more than one person in life. The social norm of finding the one and getting married and that is it – is a bit dated (and not bad at all, just a different path). But this new train of thought on the idea of relationships being more of something you can do through life is sort of frowned upon. But why? This is an honest feeling.  Why is it that we put such a high premium on the one and life when we can evolve or explore more? Why is this looked at like it is a lesser love? Just because your love with someone didn’t last forever doesn’t discredit it, or make it less. It makes it the perfect bit in a life of perfect little bits.

I don’t know. I think when you ask this question to people you get some interesting answers back. Although this was a girl talk topic, I think we have evolved alot from the “Does he like me” context.

I love this song by Banks. I listened to it alot this past week and it fits this whole thing so well. I think when you have the doubt that there is one person, you worry about hurting people more. Because you care about this person. I hurt when they hurt. I laugh when they do. And I’m scared because being with them now is the best, but I remember a quote I heard when I will younger, “It is easy to change a mind, it is hard to change a belief. One lives in the mind and the other in the heart.” As much as one sounds like a good idea, you know what you believe and the door is not as far as you think. Sweet, sweet Banks.

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Misterwives – Reflections (Gryffin Remix)

Press play.

A little over two weeks ago I met this beautiful person while hanging with some close friends at The Spare Room, one of my favorite spots in Hollywood. In the sea of people I felt compelled to not be shy as I gravitated to this particular energy and suddenly found myself talking about my intense wheat, dairy, sugar, processed food and alcohol free lifestyle, I went on about my new-found obsession with reductionism, music and all the other things you’re not supposed to talk about when you meet a pretty girl…

I got no game it’s just some bitches understand my story.” – NaS

Long story short, the vibe to which I gravitated was real and I met another soul on a spiritual journey that seemed to parallel my own in many ways. For weeks we hung out, went on day trips, talked about the true nature of things, shared music, knowledge and enjoyed the new friendship. The bittersweet part about it is that when we met she was already in transition about to move to NYC so however wonderful our time was, the days were numbered from the start. Yesterday she went to see her family and this Thursday she moves to the Big Apple. Traditionally these things would make a person sad but you realize that when you meet kindred spirits there’s no such thing. Instead of saying goodbye in sadness or anger it was a beautiful wishing for the best and see you when I see you. We’ll remain good friends and at the very least I’ll have a spiritual sister for life.

Reflections. This song has been around for a while but Gryffin has completely reinvented it and bought it to the Space Age. I love it’s meaning because it’s about things that could be something but remain the same due to repetition of patterns, uncertainty and the overall in-between. The middle is the place that does a lot and a little, it’s the easiest place to be in and the hardest to get out of. It’s where you let things slide and never forgive actions get hall passes only to create more problems in the end…

My recent experience was a fearless departure from the in-between; an existence free of doubt where two people truly brought out the best versions of each other. Those were two weeks of hope for me. To meet someone with such a beautiful disposition, full of light and showing limitless capacity for growth makes you feel good about the idea of a significant other. In this world of insecurity, vindictiveness and fear you can easily forget what that relationship is really about. Saying goodbye was tough but how much more wonderful it is to reflect on the passing of something beautiful than something miserable. Note to self, life should always be this way, enjoy.

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Misun — Superstitions

and life goes on.

The horoscopes to me are like superstitions. They’re just a bunch of noise that generalizes things that at some point we did not understand as a species. Millennia ago we were praying to 100 different gods for a hundred different things, and all because it was easier to believe that an invisible force was responsible for every little thing that happened rather than understand why things happened. It’s like humanities take on love these days to me.

How we are today is a product of where we come from—who are parents are, how they raised us, how they disciplined us, our experiences in schools, our childhood and neighborhood friends, other family members, things we saw on tv and experienced in our lifetimes. The variables to that are endless. Later in life we start seeking out love depending on those variables, and, depending on those variables we begin seeking out specific types of lovers which we think will be perfect for us. Somehow our egos cloud our minds and we fail to realize, until rejected, that not everything we want may want us. Our pride and egos also cloud our minds even when we do manage to obtain the ideal lover we wanted because we don’t even begin to understand that just like us, this person’s past dictates how they are now.

Many times we put on hats or sweaters for others that don’t really manage to show where we really come from. We begin to live a life of fantasy doing things for the positive reactions and reinforcement of others rather than doing them because it is what we like, want, and it is who we are. This is why some people find themselves in jobs they don’t want to be in, listening to music they hate, watching sports they couldn’t give a fuck about, running to see movies they know they have zero interest in, and, in constantly more fights with their lovers than any actual love-making. They find themselves stressing more about a lover who won’t give into their wants and needs than they find themselves in any smiling or laughing sessions.

If we all lived our lives based on the superstition of  horoscopes we would all be fucked. I’m not saying that you are not free to believe in what you will, but I am saying that at some point we have to realize what a generalization is, and that in realizing that generalizations exist you realize that the only consistent denominator in this life is that we are all so very different. That as much as our doctors and scientists can pinpoint our DNA sequences, they can never pinpoint the sequence of our souls because where we come from is so different for every single being past, present, and future included.

Misun‘s latest manifestation is this delicious little tune below titled: “Superstitions“. It’s a mini-anthem driven by an ear-erecting arpeggio of variegated synths with Ms. Wojcik‘s signature retro-futuristic vocals blanketed on top of the production. Traditional to Misun‘s already classic sound, at least to us here at EMPT, it remains feel-good music that can be played at any time of the day, in any season and at any moment.

su·per·sti·tion

noun \ˌsü-pər-ˈsti-shən\

: a belief or way of behaving that is based on fear of the unknown and faith in magic or luck : a belief that certain events or things will bring good or bad luck

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Lido – I Love You

Have you ever wondered how circumstances affect who you are and have become to someone or who they are and have become to you?

For example, you bump into a guy or girl on the street and they accidentally knock your phone to the ground while you we’re on an important call. You look at that person in a mean way, get really mad and walk away. Later that night you see that person at a bar and because of you’re still bitter from earlier you don’t say anything and keep it moving. This could be the most wonderful person for you, he or she could be the love of your life and that seemingly bad chance meeting could be the universes way of literally connecting the two of you but the initial friction stopped that from happening.

Could the person that brings out the worst in you also be the one who brings out the best of you?

When people have negative histories they’re no longer dealing with each other but rather with versions of themselves that are defined by the negative events they experienced – If we’re not careful the things that happen to us can become us. The person you first met is no longer there and neither are you because you became your problems. That’s why being in a bad relationship cycle can literally make you feel like another person, act out of character, lose sight of yourself, do enormous harm and U.O.E.N.O.

Do you ever feel like you’ve become the worst version of yourself? That a Pandora’s Box of all the secret hateful parts — your arrogance, your spite, your condescension — has sprung open. Someone provokes you and instead of just smiling and moving on, you zing them…” – You’ve Got Mail

When you meet someone and fall in love under beautiful circumstances you get know that version of them and yourself. When life happens and problems arise you get to meet a second version of each other. What version the two people can coexist in is what usually determines the outcome of a relationship. With the exception of never forgive actions, most things in life have little meaning but dire consequences so how you choose to look at them is entirely up to you. So could the person who brings out the worst be the same who also brings out the best? The answer is no, that version of the person won’t but the other might. Perpetual transmutation of energy is within us all but you won’t effect positive change without coming from a place of love, and you can’t fake or lie about that.

I finally came to love you…”

Those are the only lyrics in the hook for Lido’s I Love You, the Space Age R&B jam that perfectly sums up this post. My friend Nick said something profound recently,

When faced with faith or doubt, choose faith.”

If you’re in love with someone, your doubt will do nothing but harm that situation. It will have you saying one thing and doing another and since you can’t fake vibe you’ll project one of a phony. If you’re in a rough spot with someone you care about you have to let go of the version of you that is causing harm or let go of the situation all together. If you’re not ready to do that the cycle will never end and you could end up doing the opposite of your true intentions. You have to find the version of yourself that is ready to love, not doubt. Then and only then will you leave room for magic to happen, enjoy.

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Made In Heights – Ghosts

The electrifying duo that make up Made In Heights have recently released this single, “Ghosts,” which is almost too catchy. Producer Sabzi and singer Kelsey Bulkin work remarkably well together, and this track is a case in point. The first time I heard it I did a double take.. “Who IS this?? I must know!” I love discovering music this way- an accidental catch. I love the app “Shazam” for this reason- I only Shazam songs I reallllly wish to pursue! The songs I don’t want to lose the chance to listen to again. And so many of the songs on my iPod originated in my Shazam “Tags” list!

Try listening to “Ghosts” in the morning; try to resist the urge to hop out of bed and move your feet. It’s the added motivation, the energy necessary to get you moving. It moves me right. And that cowbell! Please give me more ;)

There’s not much I’d like to say about this song other than LISTEN! It will surely heighten your happy mood, or just be a spark of good feelings. Need another excuse to smile? This could quite possibly be it!

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Blockhead – The Music Scene

The music scene has got me down, cause I don’t want to be a clown…”

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Busta Rhymes – Ill Vibe (Tom Misch Remix)

Stories are boring. We don’t watch stories, we watch the characters. Their characters, their drama and what they do. The story is a small part of it.”

I heard this at a dinner last week from Richard Ayoade as he addressed a room full of aspiring filmmakers and creatives. That bit just hit me like a brick. The value we put on our stories and the value we put on character are skewed, subjective. This reminded me about the quote “it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.” But I don’t buy that. Not really.

With an ever-peering eye on our social happenings, our likes and what we deem interesting to share and read and come back for – there is a new pressure to be interesting. To create a character. I love this idea. Stories are long and drawn out and usually predictable but a character surprises you. You can change and morph. You can harvest interests. You can study a new language. You can buy a ticket alone. You can surprise even yourself.

I never really thought about this concept, the character being bigger than the story but as soon as I heard him say this I got a new perspective. A new way of seeing, of valuing situations and traits. I thought about the best stories I had heard or even experienced, and all were made that way because of the people involved.

Ill Vibe has that edge, the bravado that makes someone like Busta Rhymes a character. You listen to you and feel it.

I put my best foot forward, when I play in life
Cause this world as I live it, chill’s like a double edged knife
In the jam we regulate, cause we organize
Logic-a-ly thinking when along’s enterprise”

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Billie Black — I Don’t Need Another Lover

Smooth Sade-esque vocals begin right after familiar Hip Hop boom baps of drum and bass that make our heads nod and fingers snap to this seductive tune.

From the conception to the close
I can see who I need most
I can see who I’ve been host to
And I can see who tries to compromise me,
and I don’t need another bother!”

Lately I’ve been reflecting a lot on relationships. I’ve been wondering why I don’t really have a desire for any new ones, aside from the ones that I already have: relationships with friends, relationships with family and the occasional mini-relationships that play out like small pieces of a Broadway play based on a much larger life still yet to be fully lived.

I don’t find myself needing the affection as much as the thrill of fresh connections. I guess my affectionate self is enough for me these days because sometimes I find myself bringing it to someone who either hasn’t had it in a while, or someone who completely has forgotten what true affection even feels like. I think it’s sad when anyone has either of the two and I feel as if the world is a colder place the more connected we are to the Devil’s Bibles, aka, these fucking smartphones that you all swear by and worship every five seconds of your silly little lives.

I’m not going to apologize for my tone, but you should apologize to the last person you had lunch or dinner with, or the last person that you spend time with and interrupted that precious moment to check your Instagram likes and snapchat messages..

Anyway, I don’t crave the redundancy of a marriage anymore. I don’t crave the systematic life of a robot-servant built only to please its master as if a piece of property made solely for selfish demands and commands. No. I have been there and vowed to never go back. So yeah, “I Don’t Need Another Lover” either, the same exact way this prodigious songbird: Billie Black belts out loudly with her irresistible vocal chords. Instead, what I will take are the small moments in life that are least expected the way new songs that you will love are. I’ll take the moments of laughter that you couldn’t see coming even if you were a psychic, the kisses that make your stomach flip upside down, and those moments of fresh and new loves that excite you to your toes and make you sing little love songs all day long inside of your head.

It isn’t that I am afraid to commit to something new and long term. It’s more that I am afraid of the bottle of wine going stale before I can finish it all.

Yeah, our hands will get more wrinkled
And our hair will be grey
Don’t think I could forgive you” —Prayer in CLily Wood and The Prick

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Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – Inspiration Information

Just having fun, just laughing smiling having fun…”

Here I am sitting by the beach curating the music for a steakhouse in the 49ers stadium. My dad came from the smallest of small towns in the Dominican Republic, I mean small like they just got a full electrical system a decade ago man. The Playlist Generation has  software that can run on WiFi so I can take my Air and do my job from anywhere in the world. My dads town didn’t even have a phone man. When they finally got a line, we use to have to schedule phone calls with my grandmother in advance because there was only one person in the town with a line. Ask my sister, our Grandmother had to be there at exactly that time for us to speak with her.

Now I’m sitting by the beach in California using wireless software on a computer the size of an envelope curating music for the world, helping one of my best friends build a company. Do you know what that means to me? I swear man, it makes me cry sometimes. I’m thankful for my grandparents, dad, my mom, for Dr. Walter Turnbull and for Michael Smith…

You, making me happier,
Now I am snappier while I’m with you.”

Saying that we’ve come along way doesn’t do it justice. I hope anyone around me understands why I don’t wanna ill or have little sympathy for first world problems. Ask my little brother, when we first moved to New York we lived in a studio apartment for like a year before we got a proper place. Thankfully we we’re little midgets back then, that was 3 kids to one bed. I sung for Nelson Mandela when I was 13, I sung Blackbird with a Beatle man. I could go to Paris tomorrow, curate amazing list and bring my mom with me if I feel like it. Do you know what that means to me? Don’t talk to me about nonsense man, talk to me about lovely things.

My perspective is deep-rooted and I’m thankful for those who came before me, your lives are what make mine and I’ll do everything I can to show how much I appreciate it. Everything you tell me, everything you’ve done is my Inspiration Information. I’ll never disrespect that progress by taking it for granted or being unappreciative or indulging in any wackness.

Jumping, laughing, smiling, having fun.
Laughing, smiling, loving, get on down.
Smiling, laughing, loving, get on down.

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – Inspiration Information

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