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Trails and Ways ft. Harriet Brown – Downright (Falcon Punch Remix)

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As I was half-watching Roger Federer dissect Andy Murray this weekend, one word came to my mind: finesse. It’s why Federer is the best to ever play tennis. It’s why LeBron James will never be Michael Jordan. It’s why John Stockton was better than Gary Payton. It’s why I prefer Pink Floyd to The Rolling Stones.

The ability to finesse and massage your talents and view things from not just a liner, physical line but from a more preternatural, unique way can make all the difference.

My boy Falcon Punch is no John Stockton, but the kid’s got finesse, and it’s a finesse you won’t find on generic EDM house bangaz or some recycled tropical house.

It’s why Falcon Punch is lush. The budding producer’s latest twist is another smooth, balearic one. Yes, it’s how he’s moving (give us more disco), but it’s a proper, nuanced formula with real thought and emotion.

And it’s one that continues to win:


The Code — Electronica

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Last night I caught the new AMY documentary. Last night the silent war between true art and art posers got even realer. Through the documentary you are able to feel and see where real art comes from; it makes itself so obvious. Tony Bennett mentioned that Amy Winehouse was a true Jazz singer, and that Jazz singers don’t like to perform for 50,000 people, it’s just not part of their DNA. This was one of the many complicated factors that constantly always played into Amy’s psyche as a true artist—she didn’t care for it.

Amy had also had other demons that stemmed from bad traumatic memories which she could not let go of. It was that very inability to let go of or learn to let go of those profound memories that led her to constantly seek some form of phantom balance in half-assed men, finding regular escape only in the mind-numbing effects of drugs and alcohol. But without that concoction of factors, could those true and pure works of art that came from her emotions ever even have existed?

This morning I was watching the news and they were chatting with Mr. Brainwash about his new exhibit in the Meatpacking District, and the whole time I am thinking to myself, ‘what a crock of shit’. Here you have an LA real estate mogul who has hired a team of graphic designers and publicists to get his “art” out to the masses, and successfully managed to commercialize himself and his works. Fine, I’m no hater when it comes to entrepreneurs smashing it in capitalists societies because that’s what capitalism is about, but I do have a problem when someone claims that the bullshit they fabricate is art. Call it something else, call it wannabe art for all I care, but don’t sit there and pretend that you know where art even comes from when you don’t have one original creation that your hands were involved with. And that goes the same for writers and musicians, poets and even photographers. Art comes from experience and it is those personal experiences released as bundles of emotion in whatever art form you chose to take up that create true art in its purest form.

Today is slightly grey in NYC, and this song just felt different and appropriate for what I was feeling. I’m generally always happy, but from time to time I have to roll my eyes at all the frauds out there who swear they make art and consider themselves artists. If you don’t sing everyday, you are not a singer. If you don’t write everyday, you are not a writer. Could I too have hired da Vinci to paint me the Mona Lisa and then taken all the credit for it because I paid for it, and then considered myself one of the greatest artists of all time?

“Electronica” by The Code is what I’m banging to right now. Maybe it’s because like Amy, it feels real and not just looks the part.


Hot Chip — Need You Now (Moonlight Matters Remix)

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Saturday:

Wake up, eat breakfast, daily routine of morning reads. Jump in the bath and write, do some work. Lunch at Forrest Point in Bushwick with wifi. Wedding going on in the middle of the day inside Forrest Point, have to sit outside. Ordered a mezcal and cider combination, their famous quinoa salad and some tuna tartare tacos. Drive back home.

7pm I jump on the train to Columbus Circle and head to a preview of Park View Lounge inside the Time Warner Building on the 4th floor next to Per Se. Drinks with a view only seen here in this magical town. The sun sets and it makes the buildings over on 5th Avenue look crimson; I’m on my second glass of Herradura Añejo. I stare at the empty balconies along 59th street and wonder how there is a whole world of people living in NYC that would never leave those balconies empty in that way. Sometimes we take the most beautiful things right in front of us for granted. The tall eastern european waitress asks me if I want another glass of the añejo, I decline. Cesar pops in from LA as I am just about to make my way downtown to meet the fellas. He’s staying at the Hudson Hotel a block away so it only makes sense. I hop into a cab and say: ‘Mulberry and Grand, please’.

The sky is a thick black as I happen to look up as I exit the cab, so I know the night has just begun.

I walk down a pair of steps and in through a discreet door in to Mulberry Project and meet Troy and Mike there. Passed the bar heading to the back and passed the kitchen there is a set of stairs that goes up into a backyard. We sit in the pit right in the middle of the patio where we can see everything and everybody. The DJ is playing something that makes me want to dance even though there is no dance floor. I settle for bopping in my seat and order a Christy Mack. We take in the scene and then decide to make moves somewhere more intimate.

As we turn the corner onto Kenmare we see Siam at the door, he let’s us down into La Esquina and we pass by the people trying to refresh his memory of where they once met or how they supposedly know each other, he never recalls. Another DJ spinning more music that my feet want to dance to, we hit the bar. Never once do we check our watches or pull out our phones because the conversations never dry up and whenever they do we pull strangers into them and continue the banter.

12:01AM. Sunday. The night is still young.


BECOME x XYLO – Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea

If you haven’t read 1984 by now you’re an asshole.

I was recently watching Tom Ford talk about his artistic relationship with Carine Roitfeld and how well they work together because they’re both highly passionate students of the game who have the same reference points, immediately understand each others inspirations and constantly tap into the well of historical knowledge. That’s beautiful because it allows you to make incredibly informed decisions and have a universal perspective as you tackle something nuanced and culturally complex like art and fashion. Imagine a normal person talking to Carine about fashion and having a strong opinion because they started reading Hypebeast last month. It would never happen but if it did I’d imagine the universe would say something like…

Shut the f&%k up when you talk to me cause I’ll embarrass you.” – Kanye West

Many of you are long-term readers who have grown with me as I’ve grown with you and you have no idea what that means to me but if we’re not all equally hungry for knowledge and learning, constantly seeking expansion and accumulating information we’re going to fall off and turn into old people who only know what they know. That type of shit doesn’t fly in the Space Age. 1984 is a masterpiece, one of the most significant novels of the 20th century and it’s essential reading in this hyper charged BS politically correct climate because it shows you how absolute power works. It frames so much of what we see happening now, you think this is all happening at once because people are suddenly enlightened?

A bill was recently introduced to ban the words “Husband” and “Wife” because they can be considered anti-gay. Jerry Seinfeld’s said something about his daughter that captured it perfectly:

My daughter’s 14. My wife says to her, ‘Well, you know, in the next couple years, I think maybe you’re going to want to be hanging around the city more on the weekends, so you can see boys.’ You know what my daughter says? She says, ‘That’s sexist.’ They just want to use these words: ‘That’s racist’; ‘That’s sexist’; ‘That’s prejudice.’ They don’t know what they’re talking about.”

People who haven’t done homework, who have no reference points are literally regugitating words they hear without understanding what they’re saying or why they’re saying it. I’ll put it this way, there are more pawns than kings. The internet aka dummy megaphone allows for an intelligent player to have the pawns do his bidding by programming them with an agenda and ideas. It’s much better than having a king do the convincing because it’s on the ground and hence seems to be coming from the people. What something like Bruce Jenner represents is so niche that my mind can’t give it attention, thank god, but feed it to media and then populace and it’s the biggest problem on earth. Have you taken a moment to notice how things are presented as absolute now? They put it on a magazine cover, you accept it, there is no other option. Homes, comedians can’t even make jokes right now. Take a moment, a day or two to think about that.

We live in perhaps the most exciting and dynamic time in history and let me tell you something you won’t like, all the divide and conquer war games are a distraction from that. You create as many micro-divisions as possible to have everyone feel separate and on edge. Why? Because the fabricated, often orchestrated issues that are fed to us are not what’s really at play. Just like Trump is a ringer for Jeb and Jeb is a ringer for Hillary, you’re watching a show with the illusion of interactivity. You think it’s because the world is that enlightened all of a sudden that all this shit is popping up? This is a blueprint. I think it was Mark Twain that said, history does not repeat itself but it does rhyme.

We’re being reprogrammed right now, our conversations are being dictated and lines clearly drawn. Now more than ever we have to think for ourselves. The choices they give us are too limited – the devil will kill you and the deep blue sea will drown you. I love this remix but you won’t find me in between either. You’re a limitless human who can make tools, make your own path, fuck all this other noise.


Kyoto — Subterranean

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I feel like that short time period between Memorial Day and July 4th is always madness. Between figuring out what parties to hit up and destinations to take off to, life becomes shorter as our days get faster. It’s always after July 4th that I feel like I can finally lay back and breathe on a pool chair with a good book and just me, the sun and the cool summer breeze. That’s what today’s tune represents to me, and hopefully you will find it just as cool, in the most summer way.

Subterranean” by Kyoto is a chill-house musical composition that is all too perfect for this weekend that has just begun. If you’re heading east to The Hamptons or Montauk and want something smooth to enjoy the ride then definitely add this to your weekend playlist. As a matter of fact, you can add this to your poolside playlists, your boating playlist or just about any other playlist(s) that you have prepared for this weekend because sunny vibes and relaxing energies with a pulse that still leaves a little room for some dancing is exactly what you will get.

Enjoy the first weekend in the Summer where you can actually take some time to breathe the summer in properly, as it is meant to be inhaled, and make the days last longer than yours normally do. Take it in, get golden and chiiiiill.


Hold On To Me

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Yesterday I had a flashback reach out to me. It was the one where I found myself frequenting gatherings with good friends while making certain to keep my eyes wide-open for girls with exceptional smiles. The same flashback that found her very own self with her ears keenly aware for boys of fracturing intelligence. And the same flashback where I mesmerized her with metrics and dazzled her with data while she kept right up with her sharp wit and her beautiful banter. It is always a welcomed flashback, but one that makes us wonder if living these two lives worlds apart that we are living is how it’s even all supposed to be.

and it’s hard to breathe when your lungs are hollow”

Maybe she was reaching out to me to ask me to hold on to her, and maybe my mental response was my way of telling her to “Hold On To Me”, too. I sit her and wonder if I know anything at all. Just when I think I have found the most logical answers to complex situations, those complex situations turn back to becoming simple scenarios where just the complex answers I can only speculate about seem to make any actual sense.

See I got blues now, got sorrow
Feed you news, it’s hard to swallow
She won’t move, but she won’t follow”

Sample Answer’s sweet serenade: “Hold On To Me”, is a fistful of soul wrapped around it with carefully crafted brass knuckles that pack an intense jab straight into your heart alongside its sentimental strings. The beauty of the song comes in the heartbreaking mood the guitar and Sample Answer’s introductory vocals put you into while then creating the feeling of overcoming a breakup and finding strength in a beautiful brass section that’s topped off by anthemic vocals and fit perfectly into one another like the rhythmic lovemaking of intertwining DNAs. It’s the oxymoron of sounds and love that make it so good to listen to, and it’s on repeat for a while this morning as I reflect on that flashback long gone.

And it’s hard to see when the lights are shadow”


Holy ’57 — Island Kids

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Growing up in NYC I can only imagine what growing up on a beach must have been like. There were times when I was much younger that I would have traded our brutal New York City winters for a life laid out on hot sands and crystal blue beaches. “Island Kids” is what I imagine a day in that life to be: waking up to another picture perfect sunrise, rushing to the coastline with your friends and floating the beautiful mid-morning to early-afternoons away staring up at the skies, living somewhere between heaven and reality.

My NYC summers were the complete opposite. They were early mornings full of some cartoons and a lot of imagination, late afternoons found playing stoopball or skellies on the streets between the cars and public buses zooming by, and just about the only water we got to see outside of our apartments were sprinkler caps attached to fire hydrants (johnny pump) that someone’s older brother or dad would set up until the Fire Department came and shut them off. It wasn’t quite the blissful vibe you are able to grasp by listening to this Holy ’57 jam, but it had its moments.

Anyway, for those of you like me that can’t escape the concrete jungle, or don’t have the luxury of waking up and chilling at the beach on this Monday, turn this on and let it play and take you away to those places for the next few minutes. What you will get is an entire day at the beach without any worries wrapped up into four minutes plus of peaceful bliss.

Enjoy.


Fekky — Way Too Much (feat. Skepta)

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I think the UK rap scene has finally broken through into the American Hip Hop culture and it’s in form of Fekky Skepta. These two rap MC’s have recently seen more and more success in their own individual careers throughout The Kingdom and with some of the U.S.A’s highest musical influencers. Fekky popping up late last year in 2014 on California rapper The Game‘s UK tour, and Skepta performing a Kanye collab with Kanye at his secret show at Koko in Camden a few months back. Since then the world has taken more notice of British rappers in general, and two authentic MC’s like Fekky and Skepta only help to solidify what up until now only a few other rap purists knew—that the UK Rap is much too fresh.

With a sound that exudes the fun party-like feel of 80’s rap, the harder cored lyrics of the 90’s when rappers had to rap and actually be good at it, and the new wave sounds of trap music, Fekky Skepta‘s latest collab: “Way Too Much” does a lot for British rap in just one song.

Catchy hook in hand, boisterous flows and some killer production, this song has anthem potential and fits perfectly into any DJ rap sets at any party. Even just playing an instrumental version of the first set of sounds (synth) that play in a 6,3 pattern will get your juices flowing at any party that you would least expect this tune to play. And surely, for anyone who knows it well Way Too Much will make them go crazy as everyone else watches, wondering what those few with their hands in-the-air stomping their feet hard onto the ground know and what they themselves are missing out on.

Too add to an already really dope song on its own, the collaborators have also dropped a video (seen here) that is sure to amp up the song for you even more and understand why these two British representers are the face of the British Rap scene for us over here at EMPT, right now. The video shows influences from Fabolous‘s “Lituation”  video featuring some really fire graffiti artwork, classic throwback fashion pieces and even a smooth nod its lyrics:

Might catch me in the BM with your BM” — Fekky

I got your BM in my BM nigga.” — Fabolous

It seems only right that as we celebrate our Independence from those cheeky Brits here in the states, they celebrate their own independence in the rap world with rap that is consistently only getting stronger.

Cheers.


Alex and The Talai Lama — Ghost

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When I am listening to this Alex and The Talai Lama tune titled “Ghost”, it takes me back to a period in time that now seems like one small moment. I find myself alone on the streets of NYC’s Financial District and I’m in the middle of a bunch of skyscrapers built of glass. As I look up and around, the glass reflects the sky and everything feels blue. The temperature isn’t cold, but there is a cool breeze that feels like an air conditioner is on somewhere. I look around and there are no people or cars or hot dog vendors or cops, and the girl that once stood there with me when those same streets were filled to the edges of the curbs with people is just another ghost in this now haunted ghost town.

There are moments when I slip from being in-the-moment and my mind wanders into the past that feel like that movie Inception to me, and where I find myself with this ghost. We walk the streets for hours because in my mind what looks like a few seconds to you on the outside are really a long set of hours, and sometimes even days that are taking place. It’s only when I can’t recognize the buildings and I notice that there are no street signs with street names that I realize I am living in the past, and then as I look back to her she begins to disintegrate into thin air, and that world begins to integrate itself into the one in front of me pulling me back into the present. But when I am in that world, and in that town that is full with all those people, it’s fast moments of happiness that are occurring as if on repeat, with that girl, that continue to haunt my heart as if it is missing something in order to complete it.

I know that a heart should not need pieces of someone else to be completed because those pieces that others leave within our hearts actually strengthen it, but from time to time anxiety takes over and the mind and heart and soul look for something to soothe it.

Ghost” is a story about love that has come and gone, and I guess that is why my mind found a moment in time that I could relate it to. This is how I connect with music, and this is how music connects with me. My stories are never meant to hurt anyone in my current life because I love deeply, but I have learned that they should not be tossed and forgotten either because they are integral pieces of a path that is constantly being paved in order for me to continue walking and finish a journey that was destined to be.

I live my moments, day to day, as if they will be my last and is if someone is going to tell them later on in some pub or in front of some campfire, so I live them to-the-max no matter what anyone thinks. I will continue to love and I will continue to strengthen this heart of mine through love because for as many ghosts as it has had that have haunted it, I too have haunted and will continue to haunt many hearts as well.


Sam Padrul — Why Do I Do (Ft. Jason Gaffner)

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The world is constantly moving and I find myself moving right along with it. Sometimes we’re ahead of the Earth’s curve when we find ourselves pacing right alongside it, but it’s only when we are running at full speed that we find ourselves on an entirely different orbit.

Today is Wednesday, it’s a new month and the day is bright even if it is cloudy with a chance of miserable wherever you’re from, and the reason for all this sunniness and vibrant energy is this cool new jam from Sam Padrul featuring Jason Gaffner titled: “Why Do I Do”. The entire song is catchy on every level; from its harmonies to its super catchy hook down to its percussions, synths, shakers, its super cool groove and its sexy brasses, the track exudes a brilliant dance-floor seduction that will get you moving. It’s perfect for the middle of the week and getting us ready for this holiday weekend’s festivities.

Sometimes the music is simply about connecting with our inner soul in a way that is more innate on such a level that it naturally makes your senses tingle and body move involuntarily. Sometimes there is no other deeper connection than what music does to us on the inside, and sometimes, we don’t need it to mean anything to us other than a good time. This is what you will instantly feel and get with this perfectly pieced production and nothing more. I mean, what more is there to life than the feeling you get when something seems amazing?

Ready to dance?