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Converse Rubber Tracks: A Public Service Announcement

I don’t have time for anything anymore because I’m doing everything. Every second of the day is spent either learning how to program Swift, writing music for multiple projects, curating thousands of brands around the world, trying to wrap my head around the ever-changing global financial crisis or deepening my relationship with creativity and self-expression. I’ve become fascinated with being a beginner again and working my way from ignorance to knowledge. We overlook that concept, but if you think back to your youth, the world was a magical place because everything was new, everything was a learning process and a challenge. Why do we get older and suddenly settle into roles? The answer my friend is too long for this casual blog post but the lesson to take from it is to keep learning and challenging yourself, take on the hardest thing you can find and forever be a beginner.

That brings me to the subject of today’s post – a public service announcement brought to you in part by the good folks of EMPT regarding an awesome thing called Converse Rubber Tracks.

With music, it’s hard to be a beginner these days because the art is so heavily disrespected. Just look at what Apple, the company whose culture is based on a respect for creativity, just tried to pull (RIP Steve Jobs, that damn board of directors is ruining your name). But it’s not just royalties. That extends into everything in music, especially sound quality and the recording process. Back in the days sound engineers wore lab coats because the shit was dead serious. Those Beatles albums sound like that because fools at Abby Road who were recording them knew what they were doing, artists weren’t even allowed in the control room. Do you have any idea how hard it is to take the art of music serious these days?

That’s why I love this Converse Rubber Tracks thing, they go around taking high quality music and sound, dead serious. If you’re an artist on the come up they offer the opportunity to record for free.99 at one of their permanent studios (Brooklyn, NY, Sao Paulo, Brazil…), yes they still have those, or pop-up things all over the world .

Sure, you can record your album in your bedroom on a $100 mic through your Duets stock preamp, all MIDI, with the sound of your mom yelling in the background and that’s exactly how it’s going to sound. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about content, a good song doesn’t need to sound good to be good, but it should because that’s the full realization of the art.

Again, that’s why I love the Converse Rubber Tracks, because they bring people to legendary studios where their ideas can be realized at the highest level because tools matter. For the record, I get nothing for talking about this, but all this marketing about how “great” project-studios are in order to sell you gear has been on my mind lately, and ‘it ain’t right’. Morning Phase, Random Access Memory, and Modern Vampires of the City won the Best Album Grammy’s sounding like that because they took the sound serious. You got a vintage U67 or 1176 in your bedroom broseph? I don’t think so. You gotta respect the game, work hard and earn your way to recording your music the right way. That or take advantage of this opportunity and register for a chance to record at a legendary studio this September… last chance to register is tomorrow, June 24th so don’t sleep.

Global registration begins today, Tuesday, May 26 and runs through Wednesday, June 24, featuring an online submission process that requires applicants to rank their top three studio preferences, and encourages all to enter a brief artist biography or description via a video or written application. If selected, chosen artists will be notified in early July. Following a thorough planning session with studio producers, artists chosen will be taken to one of their studios of choice in September this year, with most travel accommodations arranged and select expenses covered by Converse.

As any long time Space Age kid will tell you, this site is for music lovers by music lovers. The people behind EMPT aren’t bloggers, we literally live and die by music. Music is how we make our money, how we discover life, how we make memories, how we find romance and how we make our mark on the world. We don’t get behind anything really, but Rubber Track is the type of shit we will support, because it respects music and it’s dope. Get with it and register here – http://www.converse-music.com/rubbertracks/

Thank us later.


Fitness Club Fiasco — Ghost Dance

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After a long weekend I needed a little bit of a pick-me-up to get my Monday morning going. I try not to let any negative energies in, but sometimes that seems impossible when you’re stuck in a city with so many negative minds. People will look at you funny for no other reason than to just look your way in this town. Everyone seems to have something to say about everyone else, so I find myself constantly moving away from those types of people. Sometimes I’ll just sit there quietly and pretend to listen to them when they’re yapping to me and gossiping about others, but I’m never paying any real attention. I learned this cool trick years ago on how to make people think that you are listening, and it’s basically to just always repeat the last few words they say whenever they pause and look over at me. It always works.

“Ghost Dance” by Fitness Club Fiasco instantly drew me in. The synths at the beginning somehow remind me of The Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony at the tail end of Cruel Intentions, when Reese Witherspoon’s character is driving off into the sunset in Sebastian’s vintage Jag. The song puts me exactly in that mood right away as I myself drive back into Gotham from Montauk through The Hamptons getting ready to tackle a hectic work week ahead; there’s something super soothing about the cool British tones of the vocals and how the overall production seems like one beautifully lonely ride through perfectly deserted landscapes while the wind blows your hair back into the roads behind you.

This spirited tune is simply a sonic ride of blue skies overhead, warm rays of sunshine on your face, and just the whispers of nature to meditate blissfully to before the hustle & bustle on the other side of the Midtown Tunnel coming crashing head on.

Have a great week everyone, and enjoy these next four minutes of electro-pop euphoria.

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The Summer Solstice 2015 Playlist: Haves & Have Nots

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There are two sets of people on this planet. Those that create who therefore can appreciate art, and those who are incapable of creating on their own, therefore all they do is hire artists, or buy their art. It’s easy to spot either. It’s what people who base success off of how much material stuff you can pile up call: the haves and the have nots. 

The Haves, in our world, are the independent thinkers, the writers, the painters and sculptors, the poets and composers and basically everyone that creates and sees these creations through. The Have Nots are the art dealers and collectors who sadly believe that by owning these pieces of art from real creators they are automatically filled with some magical artistic energy that gives them an All Access VIP Pass to being honorary artists.

No. Just, no.

We are here to put an end to The Have Nots perceived values of art because for far too long we have allowed them to dictate and drive the pieces of art that will only benefit them rather than the pieces of art that come from places unknown to the average human. It’s time for a new day and age in thinking. It’s time to rid our societies and world of the selfishly plotted manipulations that exist in all markets. It’s time that the creators of art take over the world instead of the creators of debt and repression.

“The summer solstice is a time to celebrate the light of consciousness within ourselves and within each and every person, and to reflect upon the potential for consciousness to awaken.

The progress of the sun throughout the year symbolizes the process of attaining enlightenment, and the summer solstice is the final climax of this journey as the day of most light in the year. It symbolizes the ascension found in many great spiritual teachings.”

In order to change things we must start looking at the same exact things we have already been looking at from different perspectives. We must put ourselves in the line of sight from the vantage points of everyone else around us, so that we can see what we may not truly be seeing. It is only then that we will find clarity in the things that we want or are trying to achieve, but have not yet done so.

In order for the financial Haves to understand why the world is not in the order of which it once began in, they must put themselves in the shoes of the have nots, and view it from those standpoints. And, in order for the creative Haves to restore balance to that same world, the uncreative have nots must end the manipulated perceived values and speculations of mediocre art. Only then will we get to see a new renaissance in every aspect of this construct.

Shout out to HypeM for already starting a revolution. 

 

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My Dear — Better Dance


On The Road

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And You Know I Was Supposed To Be On My Own
And We Know All We Ever Wanted Is On The Road

I’ve taken planes by myself to places that I never thought I would see. I’ve sailed on yachts on bodies of water I never knew existed, and have taken trains to stations I could not pronounce the names to. Each time, whenever I have found myself alone in these scenarios is when I have felt the least lonely. Somehow I am stuck on the words to explain this phenomena properly, but I can only try by saying that it as a serene moment of peace where the world feels as if it is mines to do what I wish with it, and as if anything and everything in it is all mine. Have you had these moments too? When you feel like you’re on top of a mountain looking down at the world below and just want to yell: “THE WORLD IS MINE!“?

I have never been afraid to go so far away from where I am from and what I know that I will be scared to get lost. I have always thought to myself that we can’t possibly get lost, ever, because no matter where we end up we will still be right here on Earth. This is why I have always had a deep connection to being on roads never imagined and highways that go nowhere in particular. I have always had a profoundly visceral attraction to taking buses to tiny towns with minuscule populations, and frequenting the unfrequented pubs on dead end streets with unfinished roads. It has been in those places where I have always felt the least isolated, and in those places where many don’t go that I have always encountered some of the most brilliant minds.

LWNHRZ‘s remix of From Kid’s “Underground” is that escape for me today. It’s that feeling of joy that I get when I’m staring outside the window of a bus or a train, not knowing exactly where I am going or where I will get off. It is the same feeling of relaxation that I only reach when I am sitting back on a plane and meditating—wondering where life is about to take me next, with a smile.

Maybe that’s what you feel too once you listen to this smooth sonic jewel, or maybe you just dig it enough to appreciate the beautifully orchestrated synths and guitars that it makes you feel good, and brings on a chilled smile.

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Rock & Roll Will Never Die

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There’s a reason that Rock & Roll will never die and that’s simply because it has always represented the most badass aspects of music. It’s rebel music at its core and just about everywhere around it. It is music that pushed the boundaries of how loud guitars could be and how hard drums could pound, with no limitations on what words could or should be said. It’s music that changed and defined the teenage culture in America in the 50’s because it was the sound that became easiest defined as transracial. Rock & Roll could never die because every once in a while society needs a hardcore kick in the gut in order to be heard, and Rock & Roll is music that somehow always manages to get heard.

The Castillians bring that badassness back with their latest summertime release: “You & Me”. It’s a swift jab of Rock & Roll music that will immediately put you in the mood to seize the day at hand. The lyrics are best described as simply youthful, reminding us that this is what our youths should be like and once were—days of going to the beach, drinking beers on the sand, coming home to sleep and doing it all over again.

I got a car, 
It don’t drive too bad.
And I’ll pick you up,
from your mom & dad.”

Rock & Roll will never die because there are very few things, musically, that can say Fuck It! to any system and spread that message like wildfire. It will never die because it was never about being perfect or sounding sonically correct according to some archaic laws that music notes should follow. And, it simply won’t die because life happens in patterns and cycles that keep great things like Rock & Roll coming back.

“Rock and roll keeps you in a constant state of juvenile delinquency.”
Eddie Spaghetti – 2000

“I’d rather be dead than cool.”
Kurt Cobain of Nirvana – 1992

“Rock and roll is a nuclear blast of reality in a mundane world where no-one is allowed to be magnificent.”

Rock on.


Are You Awake?

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I live within two realities built into one world. In one reality, I go to sleep to get there, waking up in a life that I control every aspect to. In the other reality, I never remember how I got here or where exactly I came from, and everyone around me is in the same boat looking to answer the same question of: what exactly are we doing, or supposed to be doing here? 

Have you ever walked, on a bright sunny day where the sun gives the sidewalk a bright sephia-like tint, and just stared down at your feet for a while without looking up? How do you know, when you are doing that, which of the two realities you are in? Isn’t it hard to tell for you, too?

In one reality, we do the same things every day. Some of us have way more routines than others of which we stick to with utmost dedication, while others who may only seem lackadaisical are still following some sort of daily routine themselves. It is only within the one reality that we get to when we close our eyes and allow our bodies to rest that we end up going to more different places than when our eyes are actually wide open. No?

“Water” by Southes off of the TIDAL EP is an escape into a surreal moment for me. In what reality is this surreal moment happening, you ask? That’s an answer that I’m trying to figure out still. You see, When I am awake in one world, it always feels like I’m dreaming, and when I go to sleep in another world, it always feels like I am awake.

Dreams feel real while we’re in them. It’s only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange.”

It’s crazy to me how in the one place that we all believe we are truly living in we do the least actual “living”. We take the least actual risks in that reality and live with the most regrets. And then, there is the world that we get to keep to ourselves when we are supposedly just “dreaming”, where we seem to take the most chances in, do the impossible and see more of our own planet than we do when we are awake..


Your Wish

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People that love us and whom we love back, truly never leave us. Those parts of them that we grew to adore stay embedded within us becoming part of our very own DNA. It’s the same thing with the friends that come into our lives and whom the lines between friends and family get disintegrated for. Even if tomorrow their day comes, they remain a part of our lives until we no longer have the capability to remember; sometimes that’s courtesy of death, and others it’s a courtesy of some disease that affects the brain. Still, we must learn that loving one another is a part of this road we call life, and that in life, as many loves will pass us by as we will leave behind.

And there’s no fixed rules on the way we see life
And there’s no fixed rules on the way we see life”

A couple of days ago I had a personal party for a life changing event in my own life. The people that I needed there were there, and sure, I wanted a few others that couldn’t make it, or that probably just didn’t really care to come, to be there, but I realized that day that everyone I needed to be there had showed up. It was also that day that I realized that family is such a broad term/word. Where some of us see family as only those related by blood, there are others that purely define family as only those people that would die for you, always be there to help you no matter how difficult or rough the situations get, and, who love you enough to spend their time with you. On that day I also realized that letting go of old friends who no longer seek you out, as well as family members and old lovers, is something I have to learn is o.k. to do.

Now is the day
Time to forget comes
Leave far away
Another day comes”

Sometimes people’s lives go in such different paths that you just find yourselves with zero in common, and that’s o.k. too. You shouldn’t be sad or upset that life has taken you in different directions—no. You should be excited and happy for them, especially if you ever told them that you have loved them because that is what love is—love is selfless happiness & excitement for those you say that you love. The excitement for them should derive from understanding and embracing the fact that they are about to embark on a journey that you probably will never be able to, and in essence, that is super exciting for anyone. Maybe someday they will come back and tell you all about it, and if you truly loved and love them, then all you have to do is be there to listen to their stories, smile, and enjoy where their journey took them.

Hey, pack your bags
I’ll take you somewhere
Don’t be afraid
I’ll always be there”

Soundtrack and words inspired by Talisco’s tune below, “Your Wish”, which this afternoon stood out to me in a mailbox full of loudly cloned EDM synths that just seem to all be trying way too hard. It was its own synergy between folk, electro and dance that became the breath of fresh air I needed in order to reflect on the lessons I was able to learn this past Sunday. Maybe something in it makes you reflect on lessons just learned too, because if we are learning, we are growing.


Things Gonna Be Okay

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Have you ever stressed so much that you literally made yourself sick? Headaches, nausea, stomach pains, things of that nature. What good has it ever really done? Did those pains from that amount of stressing actually help out the problem? Probably not because things somehow always have a way of working themselves out, even if when they do work themselves out they don’t seem like it’s what you wanted, they always ends up being exactly what you needed.

I learned to stop stressing about things about 5 years ago and my life couldn’t be any smoother. I don’t overreact, I don’t lose my patience or cool, I naturally just let life take its course, and I try really hard, every day, to never think about my past or my future because that is the only true way to stay in the now. I’ve heard all kind of excuses and bullshit from people about not wanting to or being able to live in their nows. Everything from people telling me that living in one’s now is selfish, to them just saying that this is no way to live; no particular reason is given, except for the fact that they have been programmed to concern themselves with a world that no longer or does not yet exist rather than the one that is existing right in front of them.

19-year old bedroom producer Caius from Copenhagen has put out his second single titled: “Things Gonna Be Okay”, and it’s a smooth tune to relax the most stressed individuals. The production features a nice and steady bottom end with just enough umph to move your body, some cool vocal cuts that give it it’s swag, and a good variety of nicely placed synths throughout the feature that give the ride a whole lot of character. At the core, it’s the vibe and energy you want to start your Saturday morning off to in prep for the weekend to come. Whether you have a photo shoot to work, a beach day to tan in, or just running errands all weekend long, this track right here will help set the tone and pace for a super chilled weekend.

Enjoy, and don’t stress because everything is truly going to be just fine.


Before The Weekend Comes

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If you need a quick-working pick me up today, Before The Weekend Comes, is it.

This fast-paced dance tune is nothing less than sexy and incredibly fun. It blasts off on 100 and never lets up. The smooth vocals are very reminiscent of any Empire Of The Sun tune you have heard before with an Electric Feel by MGMT like sound on the overall production. Point being, it’s a familiar sound that we all love and gravitate to, so it shouldn’t be hard at all to instantly fall in love with this soon to be classic.

Remember that if you want to have a better day all you have to do is think positively about everything in it. Positive vibes let off positive energy which attracts other positive people and scenarios towards you. Sure, it’s easy to think negatively sometimes because that is where our minds naturally go to, but once you understand that the control of happiness and positivity is at your grasp through just your thoughts, well then it becomes easy to turn off the negativity and even easier to stay positive.

Stop sweating the small stuff, take a five minute break, press play on this puppy, close your eyes, and let the music take you to wherever it needs to take you because this sunny day vibe of a song is guaranteed to drop you off on the platform of positivity once you are done with the ride.