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Theophilus London – No Particular One

The only thing that matters to me at this point is family. The unconditional, deep love I have for my brother, my sister and my parents is the feeling I want to have with anyone who gets to spend more than 20 minutes with me outside of a professional environment…

If I could be born again, I live my life through my son
And tell him never have a friend, Just family
Reincarnated I’ll show him the time that I waited to get paid,
Tell him never be afraid” – Jay Z

The concept of family is being strategically challenged these days because at it’s core is the power of the clan, concentration of energy, unity, cohesion and strength. You don’t go to war with your friend, you go to war with your brother because blood runs thicker. I turned 30 this year and as I look toward the future these are the type of thoughts that come to my mind. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t some weird isolationist thing, in the future the whole world will feel like the connection we all have as family but at the moment with all the race baiting politics etc we’re not even close.

Theophilus London’s highly overlooked bonus track ‘No Particular One’ makes me think of this in relation to the girls in my life…

I don’t have, no particular one. I don’t see, no particular one…

As my instinct for concentrated love and cohesion between a group of people grows it’s hard to relate to most girls still having daddy issues or trying to figure out if they want to stay with the boyfriend they’re cheating on. The concept of family is perhaps the most powerful force there is against any sort of oppression. That’s why it’s being redefined these days to mean something else or not mean anything at all.

As a guy it’s interesting to start thinking about these things. First and foremost because if you hold such a high standard for everyone you meet you’re probably not going to get to know anyone. Secondly, boys will be boys which makes it harder to step away from the scene or only focus on the important stuff.

We are human… after all
Much in common. After all…” – Daft Punk

Deeply rooted ambition makes you seek the highest truths because you want to build real, lasting and solid things. It makes you be introspective and form a deep bond and connection with yourself that begins to dictate your actions. Prior to how I feel now, I would let the outside world dictate my inner thoughts and actions but that’s not the truth.

No I still don’t have, no-no I still don’t have, no particular one…”

And it’s all good, kicking it with girls about real shit isn’t exactly a problem. I mean these days I find myself speaking like this to everyone I meet and I can feel it bringing me closer and close to manifesting a world where the bond and strength of family is the driving force and it’s a beautiful thing. In the mean time I don’t have no particular one and as I search for the one, as a young ambitious uptown kid from the Space Age living and doing his this in the city of Angles that’s not the worst thing that could be happening. Enjoy.

Theophilus London – No Particular One

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Coldplay – Magic (AlunaGeorge Remix)

AlunaGeorge kill it again after a year of silence in the remix world. This time they take on Coldplay’s “Magic” from their recently released album, “Ghost Stories”. If you haven’t listened to it, DO IT! It’s been almost 2 months and by now you have no excuse (the album’s non-existence on Spotify isn’t an excuse, btw). It’s hot, trust me.

AlunaGeorge strip the song of its soft strumming guitar and piano to make way for the quintessential short electronic sounds George regularly adds to Aluna’s vocals. Chris Martin’s voice is the only bit of Coldplay left in the song. The beginning of the track is reminiscent of “Your Drums, Your Love” by the duo, off their forthcoming album “Body Language”. I was lucky enough to be front-and-center for their show at the Governors Ball Music Festival last month. For many reasons, this was one of my favorite shows of the weekend. I knew the songs by heart, was there with one of my best friends, and it was something I definitely didn’t want to miss that weekend. I love music festivals, but sometimes they can go oh-so wrongly. The people, the sun, $9 beers. All these things are likely to play a prevalent role in your mood. But at 3:45 on Sunday June 8, the conditions were perfect. You’ve been to that show- you’re energized, happy, and ready to dance your ass off. Almost just as importantly, you’re surrounded by people in the same mindset! Set those conditions up as perfectly as you can before heading to a fest. Bring the right people, the right supplies, and the right mentality. And don’t you dare forget your dancing shoes!!

Coldplay – Magic (AlunaGeorge Remix)

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Falcon Punch & Pixelated – Flying High

It’s been over three years since EMPT introduced the world to the sound of Falcon Punch. Since then, the now Boulder-based Colorado producer has made a habit of popping up a couple times a year to release re-imaginations of old school, feel good tracks.

Typically, Falcon Punch tackles really obscure tracks–or parts of tracks–and gives them a second life. This time, Falcon teams up with Pixelated and takes a song we thought we never wanted to hear remixed again– Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good”–and gives it a perfect summer makeover.

The song may be played out, but you likely haven’t heard it with this kind of funk, energy, and hope. The duo takes the typically downtrodden (Nina does sound kind of sad for someone feeling so good) vocals and puts some breezy, summery winds behind her sails.

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day.”

And it’s a song that’s all about hope. Every day–especially on rough Mondays after a 4th of July weekend–we wake up, look at the alarm clock, and wonder if anything will change. Today, something did change: Washington became America’s second state to sell legal weed.

If that can happen in our lifetime, I have faith that one day, perhaps one of my crazy dreams will come true.

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Ella Eyre – If I Go (Billon Remix)

She was clearly upset. I asked her what was wrong and she just kept saying she was suffocating. That’s all. The love was there, I could tell. I could feel it still. But she wasn’t. She was losing herself in the relationship. She was calling from that place where you realise you don’t remember the last time you slept alone. Her nights filled up with plans and dinners, committing nights once spent on personal time and space to sitting around each other because you don’t know what else to do.

But I try, but I try
And I need time, and I need space
I need to live without your face”

There are always the pangs of guilt felt the first night you say “I actually think I am going to just stay at mine tonight”. The guilt you feel when the other person doesn’t seem to be on the same page for that much needed night in your head.  Alone time.  Taking a step back to give yourself a break and process where you are is as necessary as sleep or working out your body. This is something you come to realise with heavy shoulders, comes a heavy mind.

She was still sad. She didn’t have an escape. She was more accommodating than most. But really that isn’t fair either. You’re tired, you take a break. Should there be such a taboo on taking a moment to build yourself back up? After all, that is the person who your lover fell for.

I could be what you want me to
Can you hold out and let me do what I want?
What I want?
Tell me how long could you wait till you move on
And tell me it’s too late! It’s too late. “

This song by Ella Eyre is an anthem for this realisation. For this moment. That voice in your head saying to” take a break” is just as loud as the one who is telling you if you” take a step back, then you will lose what you created”. Ella is a rising star from the UK with her vocals that sounds like she was out all night and a bravado which says she doesn’t care.

Will you want me like that?
And if I leave, will it end?
If I go, will you love me?
Will you love me when I come back?”

Ella Eyre – If I Go (Billon Remix)

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Et Musique Pour Tous Presents: Les Auteurs — Cyrus Pavel

HarlemEMPT

But you know this already, my hood the coldest and deadly
Soldiers is ready, I am boastful, forgive me”—NAS

My play list represents “perspective“. Lately, some of you have been deeming us:Music Elitists“. Now, let me tell you why it really doesn’t bother us when you YELL it our way:

New York City, a.k.a., the “Melting Pot“,  is the land where people flooded to in order to become cool. Our parents, our great grandparents, our cousins, aunts, sisters, brothers, whoever. It is the city were dreams come true, the town where fantasies become reality, and the place that everyone wants a slice of. In that process, we were taught to always be humble, always be extremely respectful, and NEVER talk about ANYTHING unless you were a MASTER of it.

A few years ago, a friend of mine named Nick Azarm taught me exactly what perspective was, and precisely why we should, at all times, respect perspectives. It wasn’t until then that my mind opened up to new music, new lifestyles, and all the different combinations of ways to grow up in this world that existed. I learned that the more perspectives you could appreciate, the more you could learn. California was a trip. (‘and I mean that in every form of the word.’) 

This is a glimpse into who Cyrus Pavel is. Cyrus Pavel is someone who loves being in-love. He actually loves being in-love more than being not “in-love”. A writer who protects his loved ones, loves his protected ones, and enjoys laughing every single day of his life. These songs represent a little bit of the city I was born in, some of the music that I enjoy on a daily basis, moods that I find myself in on a weekly-basis, energies that I love to indulge on on an hourly-basis, and more parts of where I am fromwhere I have come from, and where I hope to stay.

Thanks for listening, and I hope that you enjoy these next 8 songs/35 minutes. Please don’t bill me personally if you find that those 35 minutes were a waste of your time, but take it as a lesson to never ever listen to my musical suggestions again. Why not, right? I mean, sometimes we trust the worst kind of people on our own until we find out about them, no? 

We are not music snobs at all. We just want to humbly provide a different perspective, and we hope that you came here looking for just that, respecting it in the process.

This play list also showcases my cultures, on both ends (latin & hip-hop), the music and sounds I dig, and the energies that I am on, every, single, day.

Enjoy. [Shout out to New York fucking City.]

We get it forever
It’s on forever
Calm down, never
Slow it down, never

We get it forever
We do this forever
It’s on forever
Calm down, never
Slow it down, never” —Mobb Deep

Please use the comments section below to show us what your perspective is, and what great songs out there YOU are listening to because that’s truly the only way we learn. Thanks for rockin’ with us for this long.

 

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Sade – When Am I Going To Make A Living (Poolside’s Tons of Drums Edit)

Futuristic people, that’s what interest me these days, nothing else.

Look at how insanely fast technology is advancing. Don’t take your iPhone for granted man, that thing is nothing short of a miracle. My question though is how can we be getting so sophisticated in terms of tech and be a such a snail pace culturally?

I’ve never had much of an interest for tradition. I mean how much sense does it make to follow something that was established hundreds of years before, for reasons only relevant to the people who made them and could easily serve no practical purpose for the reality were a part of. If there is a better way to do something would we ignore it simply because of tradition, establishment or comfort?
Sergy Brin came out yesterday saying he wants to end individual car ownership & Travis Kalanick of Uber has been saying the same thing. I don’t know if you guys realize but for CEO’s of two of the most influential companies in the world to say those things is basically like declaring war on the car industry. The car industry represents what I was referring to earlier, systems so massive and established that it’s hard to see a world without them in it, good or bad. Remember those bailouts? The car industry was one of the biggest recipients.
Serge and Travis’s views are so forward thinking that 90% of people will actually side with the car industry and say that not owning your own car would be ludicrous. I represent the Space Age so my view is with the CEOs, self-driving cars and systems like Uber are more efficient in a multitude of ways and individual car ownership is unnecessary. It may be hard to see that now because the solutions aren’t available to the public but whether we like it or not that will be the future.
These type of changes make me think about life in general and how many cultural staples are just as outdated and in need of either being completely eliminated or totally renovated. The first thing that comes to mind is our perception of success and it’s relation to material things…

Haven’t I told you before
We’re hungry for a life we can’t afford?…

I won’t get too into this topic because its way to complicated but those lyrics capture it perfectly. Our definition of success is based on marketing and because of that we spend our entire lives working within someone else’s idea of what life is supposed to be.

When am I gonna make a living?
It’s gonna take a while before I give in, yes it is
I’m sick and tired of scratching a living
I am hungry but I’m not gonna give in, no

Without going into the mountains, swearing off civilization and meditating for days on end to unlearn the programming of the matrix it’s impossible to be immune to the power of marketing. Everything is a sell and they’re getting better and better at knowing what makes us tick and what will get us to buy. So they create this hunger within us, we don’t know why we want that car, why we care so much about a phone, why we’ll spend ridiculous amount of money on coffee etc but the hunger is real. I always wondered why I equally loved and hated the things that motivated me and this Sade song, in all it’s smooth and elegant glory explained it perfectly…

I am hungry but I’m not gonna give in, no.

Sade – When Am I Going To Make A Living (Poolside’s Tons of Drums Edit)

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Sam and Dave - Sooth Me (Live)

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I used to be up on all the new shit.

By the time you were saying “OMG have you heard of XYZ band?” I’d have downloaded their discography, played you their best songs (though at the time you couldn’t be bothered and clearly don’t remember) and moved on to the next hot sound. I can’t tell you how many times I went to shows with under 50 people for under $20, and the next time that act came through town prices were through the roof and the rooms were packed beyond capacity.

That was then.

Now, when my friends ask me to send them good new music, I feel embarrassed and direct them to my fellow EMPT writers’ posts. I’ve lost touch. Partially this is a function of new technology, especially streaming services that offer a music discovery platform that doesn’t require any effort on my part. I can build a Spotify playlist and let those proprietary Swedish algorithms do the rest. And really, I don’t have the time anymore to “crate dig” across the blogosphere. Commute+job+pet+life.

But if a friend asks me for some “good music,” I’m never at a loss for words.

If we’re being honest, the best music ever recorded hasn’t come out in the past 10 or even 20 years, with a few notable exceptions. With the rise of studio technology and autotune-esque band-aids, much of the raw authenticity that marked early recordings has vanished.

Listen to the passion Sam and Dave exude on this recording of “Sooth Me” (which I believe was recorded in Paris, 1967). The Sultans of Sweat, as they were known, knew how to put on a show. There were no backup dancers or props. There were no illusions as to what the audience was seeing or hearing. Two men and a band, on stage, in the flesh, bringing the roof down, every night – these were the men, after all, that introduced the word “soul” into the musical lexicon of white America.

This post is for all of you who are up on the new shit. It’s cool for a while, but how much will you really remember, or will you want to pass on to your kids? Next time you go on a blog dive, take a gander at some charts from the 30s-early 70s instead. You may be surprised at the gems you never knew existed.

Sam and Dave –  Sooth Me (Live)

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Jagwar Ma – Uncertainty (Cut Copy remix)

 

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This stellar remix is a journey — an intimate penetration of truth, eight minutes of complete immersion in disco abyss. Sometimes you just have to dance it all away and embrace the empty space of what’s to come. Seeing the void as an opportunity to create your world is key in these pressing times where humanity is undergoing so much drastic change. Indulging in the wisdom of insecurity– that is, embracing it as a fundamentally inherent state of being– opens the doors to that which we can hardly even fathom… Uncertainty is all we will ever have.

Jagwar Ma – Uncertainty (Cut Copy remix)

 

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La Roux – Let Me Down Gently (Playless Club Mix)

As we sit here letting the matrix manipulate us into giving up our freedoms for the illusion of security we foolishly tell our selves we’re celebrating our independence. Yet how many of us know what July 4th, 1776 was really about? I’m not going to sit here retelling the great American story or preaching to you about what it means to stand up to oppression. I won’t do that because some of us have been slaves so long we wouldn’t even understand freedom, much less know that we want and need it. I won’t do it because our diets are so GMO fueled, our water flouridated, our culture so dumbed down that I probably have 10 more seconds before both the reader and writers A.D.D. kicks in and we have to go to the next website or skip to the next song. I will say this though, we’re at a one of the most important cross roads in our history …

The takeover, the breaks over  ni$&@…” – Jay-Z

This country only bares a faint resemblance to what it was designed to be. What was once the result of rebel forefathers creating the Constitution, perhaps the greatest blueprint against tyranny is now a land ruled by corporate interest and other forces better left untold.

Adversity makes men, and prosperity makes monsters. – Victor Hugo

In the great Roman empires they used entertainment to keep the people distracted and their mental hygiene in shambles. Go do some research on how long you use your “smart” phone everyday. Despite incredible odds, many of us have taken the red pill and bring challenge to this cheap version of the greatest country the world has known. So a new wave of obedient to “Dreamers” is needed to support both the current state and future of the system. That’s why the borders are opened up right now, to feed a new generation of dreams the blue pill…

I throw these Maybach keys, I wear my heart of my sleeve. I know that we the new slaves, I see the blood on the leaves…” – Yeezus

So as we go to our BBQ’s and drink our minds away with high-fructose corn syrup, caramel coloring, MSG, genetically modified hops “beer”…

Killin’ ‘em, honey how I make the pain improve…” – King Louie

And gluten that suppresses the same vigor for life fight that created this holiday in the first place, remember that we’re not celebrating the day when everybody laid down because we thought the people in charge had our best interest at hand and would take care of things for us. We’re celebrating the day we stood up and fought for our God given right to take care of things ourselves. We’ve been spoon fed for so long that we’re afraid of everything now. We’re afraid of any form of conflict, we’re afraid to fight and we want the establishment to dictate the easiest way out because that’s what we’re use to hearing…

Let me down gently, that’s what I think I need
But when you let me down gently, it still feels it hard…”

It will always be difficult because that is the nature of growth. It’s through the bumps, noise and hard work that you get to the beautiful. The easy way out will always lead to more of the same. Enjoy.

La Roux – Let Me Down Gently (Playless Club Mix)

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20syl – Kodama

Lorsque l’on cherche le sommeil le soir, on pense à tout et à rien à la fois. Face à soi-même, toutes les portes de notre subconscient s’ouvrent. J’imagine bien cette musique m’accompagner, le temps d’une nuit dans les méandres de mes rêves. Puis me réveiller et tout oublier.  Elle est toute aussi mystérieuse, entraînante et éphémère qu’un rêve.

Si le Kodama de 20syl est similaire à celui de Wikipédia (recherches profondes sur le sujet), il s’agirait, dans la culture japonaise, d’un esprit habitant les arbres, pouvant être à l’origine de l’écho. Ce morceau pleinement mystique m’embarque facilement dans cette légende et me permet d’imaginer d’où provient l’inspiration de 20syl. Si cela est vrai et que les deux sont liés, je trouve ça pleinement réussi.

Sans vouloir en faire trop, 20syl un génie! Je suis un grand fan, que ce soit avec Hocus Pocus au lycée, C2C plus tard ou  en solo, je trouve tout ce qu’il fait génial!

20syl – Kodama

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