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Cashmere Cat – With Me (LCAW Remix)

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I went to the Warehouse Project in Manchester, England last month. This is a night in England which welcomed the likes of Cashmere Cat, Captain Murphy, and Flying Lotus to name a few. We carpooled up with others going to this night. We ran around getting out cash and finally parking and pouring in to a cab which would take us to the abandoned ground floor of an old factory, I can’t for the life of me remember what the side of the building set although I tried to burn it in my brain. They estimated thousands were in attendance. Once we arrived we entered a sea of people all eagerly pushing through security to get in. All of them sweating and shaking in the cold filling up on their personal cocktails, energy bouncing between people, eyes catching and then parting. Kids hold their breath as they past the drug dogs and security like you would as a child passing a graveyard, trying to make it past and keep the bad out.

We entered and found ourselves pounding doubles and skipping from room to room, each playing different music with different vibes and different dancers and lovers. From the moment we entered I wrapped my arms around his and melted in to him. Becoming an extension to him, tossing our bodies together only releasing to find more booze or exit for a some air and cigarettes.  One of the big rooms we entered was thick and hazy, even though you can’t smoke inside. Sweaty bodies grinding against one another to the heavy base. You can feel the boom in your chest making each drink, each toke hit harder. I loved it. My only mistake was wearing a soft shirt as I have never been touched by more people in my life. At the same time, there is something about the human connectivity you feel when you walk through a wall of bodies and feel all of their fingertips grazing your sides, our arms. But this is the Warehouse Project and personal space and mental boundaries seem to be as nonexistent as the drug policy.

We were gliding around and landed in the room where Cashmere Cat was playing. I remember the room alternating from neon pink to blue, although his music may be some other color, but this is what it looked like to me. I was just happy to be there with him. My man.  It is strange when you are in a room with thousands of people and can only see one. Music wove around us making it impossible to hold still, all you can do writhe in the music and breath in the scene and look at one another. A night like this can only promise an comparable comedown.

I just wanted to be with you and you with me.

Cashmere Cat – With Me (LCAW Remix)

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Bahamas – Caught Me Thinking

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When I first heard “Caught Me Thinking,” I imagined a Vampire Weekendesque trio, nonchalant in skinny jeans, picking out lo-fi WASPafarian knockoffs.

That’s not a bad thing. At first listen, the track is a light plinky plank riff that doesn’t exactly capture the memory. It’s breezy undercurrent flows through barroom breakdowns and little disco stabs. And don’t forget the maraca!

What I first thought was dead wrong.

Bahamas is Afie Jurvanen, a solo artist based in Ontario, Canada. He, in hilariously clichéd, yet apparently still effective fashion, recorded his debut album in a rural cabin.

Now listen to the lyrics, the almost-country twang, the brit-rock bass. What first comes off as beach boombox fodder reveals itself as an introspective solo record better suited for a headphoned autumn train ride.

This is the only song I’ve ever heard by Mr. Jurvanen, and I have no idea where I got it. But I’m sure glad it came around.

Bahamas – Caught Me Thinking

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Ang Low – Can’t Describe Her

New years has taken a turn I did not expect, but hey there is meaning in everything and I believe you have to embrace all of it you can’t expect anything to go your way but you can go with the flow, Happy 2014.

My mood hasn’t exactly been sweet and buttery if you know what I mean with all this blistery coldness we are having in NY and the beginnings of a New year wondering what do I do next, but I need something upbeat and sexy, with love mixed in of course.  Ang Low did exactly this for me.  I don’t really have too much that I want to say, sometimes less is more as the saying goes and I found a quote that really made this track stick out for me and wanted to share it with all you beautiful and loving readers!

“You may not be her first, her last, or her only. She loved before she may love again. But if she loves you now, what else matters? She’s not perfect – you aren’t either, and the two of you may never be perfect together but if she can make you laugh, cause you to think twice, and admit to being human and making mistakes, hold onto her and give her the most you can. She may not be thinking about you every second of the day, but she will give you a part of her that she knows you can break – her heart. So don’t hurt her, don’t change her, don’t analyze and don’t expect more than she can give. Smile when she makes you happy, let her know when she makes you mad, and miss her when she’s not there.” 

I hope everyone is enjoying the New Year and feeling love and warmth, and want to extend a special thank you to all of our readers, seriously where would we be without your support, so thanks and keep showing the no matter the imperfections!

Ang Low – Can’t Describe Her

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Entre Les Lignes by Cyrus Pavel: Troy Ave – Regretful

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Who here isn’t guilty of saying something to someone they love that they didn’t really mean?  How about, spitting this nonsensical shit out of your mouth and realizing before you could even finish the words coming out of your mouth that you shouldn’t have even said it at all?  Well, I know that I am, and I know that I have paid dearly for doing so, and I won’t even say that I didn’t deserve it because we do need to be accountable for the things that we say and do, especially when we intend them to hurt others, whether that pain we chose to inflict is out of our own frustrations, anger or despair, we do need to be taught severe lessons about learning to appreciate what we have when we have it directly in front of us.

I know you wanna be wit ya boy
But you can’t, and it’s stressful
I ain’t mean to break your heart, but I did
I’m regretful
And it would be a lie if I said
What we had wasn’t special
Although I had to let you go, you should know
I’ll never forget you, ooh”

Here at EMPT, we have consistently and constantly been a platform full of discovery.  Whether we are discovering things about our own selves, or new technologies, the world in general, or new music, we pride ourselves on historically having and continuing to pick up on artists and songs that have broken through the elusive barriers of the music industry.  Today is no different.

Regretful” is a song by New York City native rapper Troy Ave a.k.a POWDER!  What we love about Troy more than his constantly evolving music is him and his camp’s ability to study patterns and surgically implement them into his campaigns.  What I mean by that takes a microscope to understand, and this is what Entre Les Lignes represents: the microscope to music.

If you have not yet heard about Troy Ave don’t fret, you will.  The rapper has been shooting off rounds of ammo, in form of music/mixtapes, like there is no shortage of it in his armory, and as if the term cease fire never existed.  His path is clear, and his formula is a proven one that has been successful in the rap world several times over the past decade.  If you are lucky enough to have satellite radio in your car, then you have probably heard this song here and there and most likely brushed it off as a new 50 Cent track without skipping a beat.  Your head probably bopped to the catchy  hook and the aggressive boom baps topped off by the crispy loops; a formula found in several 50 Cent songs i.e. Window Shopper, Many Men, 21 Questions, and literally most of his biggest hits.  The formula is a clean crispy sounding sample looped every 4 bars tossed into hip hop heavy percussions for aggressiveness.  A balance that works well for a hardcore street rapper in allowing room for some mainstream-ability by having the sonic space to insert catchy hooks that won’t compromise their tough guy imagery.

Remember when the catchphrase “Juh, Juh, Juh, G-UNITTT” was everywhere?  Well, sonic signatures are another formula that have been successful, repeatedly, over the past decade or more.  From producers to artists in all genres, it simply works, and Troy has his own: POWDER!, which works to do exactly what it was designed to.  We can say that aside from being a strong point in his inspirations, he chose quite wisely to take several pages out of 50‘s own blueprints.  But aside from that, he is just very influenced by a subgenre of rap that is rarely seen anymore, and even less rarely found in new artists.

The trends in the rap world over the past few years have been a mixture of fused genres and rap subgenres.  Trap music, chopped and screwed, dubstep, etc, they get mixed in with the basic foundations of hip hop and delivered to audiences for a broader appeal.  With POWDER!, we get more of a barer street rap and rawer lyrics that are what they are and never pretend to be anything more.  Troy raps about the things that he feels, has seen, and the realities of growing up in New York City, a state that has seen extreme division within the classes, yet is so grand that the opulence is all anyone outside of it really cares about and/or sees.  But, that isn’t what Brooklyn is like, or Queens or any of the other boroughs for that matter.  Sure, we have things such as a new multimillion dollar sports center (Barclay’s), but just a few blocks away from that there are homeless children (more than 22,000 homeless children, The highest number since the Great Depression) who starve daily and can barely shower let alone get educated.  This is also a reality that some of the most popular rappers have ignored either because they don’t care or because they have never truly lived it.  But I digress, for now, and move along into what Troy Ave has done to ensure his success into the music industry over time.

Around the middle of last year I started listening to a lot of rap, like Nicki Minaj and Drake. They all sing about such opulence, stuff that just didn’t relate to me—or anyone that I knew. I began thinking, ‘How are we listening to this? It’s completely irrelevant’.” —Lorde

Two of our favorite Jay Z tunes of all time are “Soon You’ll Understand” and “Song Cry”.  The appeal of these songs, and the simple formulas they carry are to make them super relatable to the listener.  One by projecting emotion through the rapper’s deliveryemotion that is felt strongly in the artist’s tone, and two by directing/dedicating the lyrics to several people throughout the song.  This is another proven and powerful formula, and this is exactly what Troy Ave does on “Regretful”.  He makes the subjects and lyrics relatable to everyone because who here hasn’t lost a love, been regretful of how a relationship went down, or lost a grandparent, or someone they loved very much and helped shaped the individual that they are today?  Right.  It’s a formula that when executed properly just can’t lose.

Last year Troy Ave released about 4 mixtapes and recently his first album, and although all of them have been independent releases he has managed to make appearances on some of the bigger rap tours of 2013, get his music played on all of the major terrestrial radio platforms and satellite radio, and continue to release material the way some of you continue to breathe to live.  It’s another blueprint laid down by 50 Cent that has proven successful for a handful of others that have followed similarly.  That formula is, at its most basic principle, to flood the streets with product.  A formula also found to be successful in the drug trade: flood the streets with good product, get them hooked and then sell, sell, sell.  It’s a formula only executed successfully by hard workers and people that are really ready and able to constantly push their limits on a daily, if not hourly, basis.

 Say your quote everyday: “no man is smarter than the next
It’s the one who works hardest that achieves success”  —Troy Ave (Regretful)

Regretful” is a simple song about regrets in love, and the memories of a dead grandparent who Troy obviously looked up to.  A sincere ode to apologies that he may not have been able to give otherwise, and moments of reflection that life may not allow the time for otherwise.

I’m a work in progress, I’m improving me”

To Mr. Troy Ave, keep pushing, keep releasing your music and we look forward to continue following your path to success in an industry that’s known for chewing people up and spitting them out into a limbo where we never here from them again.

POWDER!

Troy Ave – Regretful

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EMPT Classic: London Grammar- Darling Are You Gonna Leave Me

This is why we will never break babe. I love you!

________

I can’t think of what to say right now…

There’s a girl I know that has been nothing but a queen to her king but I haven’t treated her so hot. Something happened, sometimes it takes something to happen to realize what really matters and it did, now it’s eating me the fuck up.

We were talking last night about how it feels like we’re in a romantic comedy or something where the knuckle head realizes what a huge mistake he’s made and does whatever he can do to show the love hurt girl what he’s realized. Needless to say corny lines have been said, there’s an asshole in the way of the real thing, mistakes made left and right but all in the name of love. It’s not pretty, but there’s so much there that you feel like there’s a light at the end and you know you can’t stop trying. Well you could stop trying, but not for this one, you fight for this one.

I absolutely love and hate this song right now but it couldn’t be more in line with what I’m feeling:

I am still holding onto your waistband
Turn away and kick out the red sand
Summer is gone and now I’m bleeding
I can’t tell now you’re thinking of leaving…”

To my girl, I’m not shy about it anymore and I’m going out and saying it in public so I can get the fu&$king EMPT army behind me – come back and let’s give this a real shot. Put it on the record baby, THIS IS REAL, I will never hurt you again. You are my queen.

London Grammar – Darling Are You Gonna Leave Me

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The Presets – Ghosts

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Australia has been hot (accidental pun alert) for the past few years, sending a wave of artists across the blogosphere and into festival lineups the world over:Tame Impala, Empire of the Sun, Gotye, Nick Cave and more.

The distinguishing factor that unites Aussi exports is “uniqueness.” These bands all sound different from anything else in their genre (you know I hate that word…) and stick because of it.

The Presets are an electronic music duo that swing from emotive power pop to metal-tronica in the span of a few tracks. Their evolution over eight years and three albums is remarkable, with a completely new sound that is still pure Presets. Live shows are required for people who like to dance. Basically, they fucking rock.

“Ghosts,” the lead single off their most recent album “Pacifica,” is unlike anything the band has ever put out. It is a twisted ballad, a military dirge with an uncertain message, that rides on a bed of soft synths. If that sounds like a dissonant match, you aren’t wrong, but it works here.

 

“Once I was a very young man, and very young men are none too clever

Sailed across to faraway lands, and faraway towns of tin and terror

Ran amok in a strip called love, lost my mind in streets of neon

Now, I’m coming on back

Help me up move right, left foot forward.”

 

The Preset’s unique quality comes via singer Julian Hamilton’s vocals, which are truly unlike anyone else gracing the airwaves, and producer Kim Moyes’ insistance of building unrelenting tension that never leads to a drop. WAIT WHAT NO DROPS? WHAT WILL THE KIDS THINK?

This is electronic music for the intellectual, albeit the intellectual who wants to fight hordes of moshers in a strobe-lit pit. No drops, no jokes, pure power.

The Presets – Ghosts

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Capital Cities – Nothing Compares 2 U

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Love is treated as this whole big, amorphous concept that no one can quite explain. Is it physical? Opposites attract? Pheromones? Genetic? It’s the soul?

Who knows, and frankly, who cares?

When you’re in love, the answer is obvious. And it’s circular. Love is what I feel for that person. Your feeling becomes the definition. How I feel now is love.

Everyone experiences love in a different way. Everyone experiences everything in their own way. My orange might be your blue, but neither one of us would ever know the difference. Some love is quiet and contained, some is loud and sloppy; some is serious and some is humorous.

But one aspect of love is constant across the spectrum:

When you love someone, nothing compares to them. Nothing. That’s my definition. Take it as you will.

Capital Cities – Nothing Compares 2 U

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A Lot Of Something Out Of Nothing (A.O.S.O.O.N.) — Under

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Dreams are reality, reality is all make-believe.”

She was at work today, feeling as if she was lost in a maze of ideas and desires that had no end goal.  Working the days away full of agendas and tasks that were not her own, yet somehow feeling that all of this should have fulfilled her because this is, after all, what she wanted, isn’t it?

Years of schooling, thousands upon thousands of dollars and loans in the mix, and a pride on her parents faces of the likes she had never seen, this dream job of hers had to be her own, right?

How many of her friends could say that they had their own apartment?  How many even make anywhere near the six figure salary she has?  How many of them even know what they want to do with the rest of their lives?  In those moments of reflection and deep thought, her boss rang and reminded her of the deadline that was coming up in less than an hour.  ”Silly, foolish little schoolgirl thoughts“, her mind would say, and off like a toy that simply needed rewinding she went.

Had she learned that what everything she is, and that every single thought she has were not her own, she wouldn’t go into these moments of unsurety.  She wouldn’t give into that profound feeling in her gut that keeps leading her to question the path she is on because she would know her own gut better than anything else in life, and have followed it somewhere far away, long ago.

life is no coincidence
it’s what you make it.”

From birth, and sometimes even before that, our paths are shaped.  Our tastes are taught to us, hate, and love, are taught to us.  There is no coincidence in where we end up, and only in that philosophy/truth is where Ayn Rand and I agree.

Under“, is a minimalist masterpiece of pure humanism masked within lyrical content beautifully executed by Marisa Hylton, and tucked gingerly within Manny Folonruso‘s equally hypnotizing guitar and subtle keyboard, reminiscent of the piano version to Stevie Nicks’s Kind Of Woman;  a melancholic tone that makes you feel as if the world is over, but that if you want for it: hope still exists.  It’s everything that humanity needs to be taught about being able to uplift itself from the rubble regardless of the bullshit that this indifferent life can surround us with.  The same bullshit about makers and takers that it is irrelevant when your (Ayn Rand) philosophy essentially concludes that we can all give and take equally and fairly on our own…

when we go under
we dont stay down
we come up
it’s a crazy world
you better keep your spirits up.”

Under” is the very simple message that whenever you feel that the Day After Tomorrow has arrived, and that life all around you is about to end, simply stop what you are doing, eradicate all thoughts of the future (stress) and past (sadness) out of your mind, and simply — meditate.

When you awaken, you will find all the answers and strengths needed, within the realm of your very own gut and thoughts.

so just breathe and exhale
just breathe and exhale
breathe and exhale
just breathe and exhale.”

A Lot Of Something Out Of Nothing (A.O.S.O.O.N.) — Under

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Disclosure – January (Kaytranada Edition)

This has been quite a year for these two forces, which really made waves in the 2013 electric music scene. Disclosure and Kaytranada have each contributed some of the top tracks of the year in their respective areas and also pushed the envelope in sound and collaborations bridging genres of music in a very successful, forward way.

I am excited to be able to write about Kaytranada once more time (I believe this is the 3rd or 4th time). And each time, I fall in love with his style again and again. Here he adds in his nearly eery sounds to the Disclosure number with the vocals of Jamie Woon. Something to kick-off the new year too.

And under that dance-riddled façade, are lyrics dripping with soul.

“And we cannot regret
The aesthetical feel
We had our brighter day
Was it synthetic or real?”

Disclosure – January (Kaytranada Edition)

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The Monkees – Daydream Believer

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Alex Trebek: At their peak in 1967, this band outsold both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. 

Sean Connery: Your mother.

Oh Sean Connery, you dog. This answer is, of course, The Monkees, the original made-for-TV band that unexpectedly became a legitimate musical group during filming and after their sitcom ended.

Their breakout hit, “I’m a Believer” (now aka “that song from Shrek”) went gold in two days, and is one of the few singles ever to sell ten million or more physical copies worldwide (per Wiki).

Truly one of the oddities of the past half-century in music, a collection of bit actors who had basic musical training joined together for a sitcom about a band that “wanted to be the Beatles, but was never successful.” While you could argue that the band really did want to be the Beatles, you can’t argue against two number one singles in the span of two years. The charts were a much better indicator of success in the pre-internet era, and the Monkees sold out shows all over the world.

That other single? “Daydream Believer,” a hopeful ditty that gave some respite to wartime America and the young men serving and dying in Vietnam. Singer Davy Jones has one of the weirdest pop voices of all time, and I can’t tell whether I like it or not. The song, however, is beyond reproach. It’s corny, jubilant and surprisingly heartfelt. Hope it boosts your spirits.

The Monkees – Daydream Believer

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