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Buraka Som Sistema – Kalemba (Wegue Wegue)

I meant to go home early last Friday to get this track up and give the Space Age a little something for the weekend, instead ended up in a mansion somewhere in Los Feliz doing an impromptu DJing till about 4 in the morning. I’ve been making a lot of new friends lately and going on these magical and sometimes weird LA adventures, “I can’t complain but sometimes I still do.” – Joe Walsh

These days I’m infatuated with tropical music, so much so that when I go to parties it’s the only thing I want to play, hear and dance to and it turns other people like it to. The party was pretty tame as the hosts were playing the typical fair of trap, hip hop and dance. It’s funny how even the edgy stuff is safe these days. Anyways, I love all that but I’ve come to realize that the purpose of my life is to go around offering something new so when my new friend suggested I DJ, I didn’t say no. Like I said, I’m an island boy infatuated with tropical so I played a set of all Kuduro, Baile Funk, Zouk and Dembow that as the kids say got shit ‘turnt up.’ It started with Kalemba which is a track from 2008 that sounds like it’s going to be released in 2017. I wasn’t sure what to expect since it’s aggressive, in Portuguese, sounds future ghetto and is nothing close to the shit people are used to but once the beat hit there was a dance circle around the bon fire and the rest is history. It was a beautiful thing but to think that I could go to a party in Los Feliz and play a Caribbean set was so inspiring, LA might need that kind of party and I may just start DJing again, we’ll see.

I love where music is, I love how exposed and open we are to new sounds. I love that I could bring the Dominican Republic, Portugal, Martinique and Brazil to Los Feliz and no one missed a beat, welcome to the Space Age. I know most of you are still in the office so play this with caution, unless you’re ready to start jumping up and down in your seat. Best to save it for the gym or weekend, you will lose your inhibitions and want to move, you’ve been warned.

Buraka Som Sistema – Kalemba (Wegue Wegue)


Mating Ritual — Hum Hum

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It doesn’t matter if we’re miles apart, I can still see the crazy on your face”

The moment I hit play on Mating Ritual‘s day old Hum Hum, I got chills. First of all, let me just say that I’m rocking these killer new headphones that someone gave me to test out, so maybe that has a lot to do with it, but DAMN what an intro. Thumping bottom ends that vibrate vigorously and a groove that attacks you the moment it touches your earlobes. The melody of the digitalized hums are instantly catchy and once the opening line kicks in you will find your head bopping, feet tapping and yourself at complete attention as Pacific Air’s lead vocalist Ryan Lawhon, aka Mating Ritual sings to you a glimpse of his life for the next four minutes.

I know it’s not easy to be in my bed when I’m gone, but there’s no reason to wonder which side you should take.”

After the first verse we get a classic Rock & Roll chorus that’s all too easy to recall, stress-relieving to chant along to, and simply—goooood.

They always say that music is about the places or moments in time that it takes you to. Well, this took me to a time when my life felt like chaos because of a love that I caught myself chasing and that no longer existed. It was a love that once was, and a fairytale love that would never again be. I’d find myself sleeping on her side when she wasn’t around, and not even sleeping on the same bed whenever she was. She was living a horrible nightmare and, I, was actually the ghost in her world. You see, for a very long time I thought that she had been the ghost in mine, until I realized that her nightmares had nothing to do with me or the love that we once shared.

You’re living a mad, mad, mad, mad dream, you’re sad, sad, sad, bad, bad, bad dream”

The funny thing is that earlier this morning, before I even got Ryan’s email about this latest creation of his,  I was reflecting about just how much my life has changed in the last two years. I was reflecting on why it is important for us to stay in our current moments, and why I will always, ALWAYS! continue to stay within whatever is happening right in front of me because yesterday’s photos are all too often sadness waiting to happen.

Anyway, as I prepare to take off to SXSW next week and check out my friend Saigon‘s show (check him out in the upcoming Entourage movie this June) while I’m out there interviewing a countless number of acts from all genres, I can mentally prepare for the speedball that’s about to be my life with this instant classic. Fuck the rain in NYC this weekend and enjoy today’s gorgeous energy by blasting this baby and getting ready to take on the city today and tonight. It’s worth putting on repeat and pounding your soul’s dance legs to.

Hum Hum baby are we done, done yet?”


Jay Prince – Good Right Now

I guess I’m feeling good right now, a little something for the hood right now…”

I turned 31 today. 31 years in outer space is nothing short of a miracle and today I’m overwhelmed with feelings of gratefulness. The ghetto programming I have to overcome is strong man. Sometimes I can’t accept why I’ve been so lucky to be privileged. I work hard so it’s not that I don’t deserve or think down on myself but I just feel like I still have people behind. As long as the ‘hood’ exist I’ll always have that feeling though and I’m understand that it’s my calling to help eliminate that place.

Give a damn how you feel, we just tryin’ a keep it real.”

Keeping it 100 is my absolute obsession right now. I just watched a documentary on Netflix about Marina Abramović called The Artist is Present. In it she spoke about her come up as an artist and how she never once compromised. People didn’t understand her, critics asked her if her performance art could even be classified as art and she was so broke that she lived in a van. It’s at that breaking point that most people get a job or seek forms of comfort but she held on to later find acclaim, fame, respect, stability and fortune on her own terms. She kept it 100 through thick and thin.

I guess I’m feeling good right now, a little something for the hood right now…”

I love that and it’s reigniting my inner Howard Roark. People are going to disappointed when you do your own thing, they’ll dislike you, you’ll let them down but at the end of the day you’ll find power in staying true to yourself. The price of compromise is much more than any of us truly comprehend…

Indeed, the truth that many people never understand, until it is too late, is that the more you try to avoid suffering, the more you suffer, because smaller and more insignificant things begin to torture you, in proportion to your fear of being hurt. The one who does most to avoid suffering is, in the end, the one who suffers the most: and his suffering comes to him from things so little and so trivial that one can say that it is no longer objective at all. It is his own existence, his own being, that is at once the subject and the source of his pain, and his very existence and consciousness is his greatest torture,” – Thomas Merton, The Seven Storey Mountain.


Sykes — Best Thing

Spring is sneaking in and New York City feels vibrant. The snow has nearly all melted away, and with it the woes of yesterday. Today is a new day and the South London electro crew: Sykes has blessed us with a beautiful new indie release that sounds very 80’s in a way that we will all surely embrace. Yes, the 90’s were cool—we had the golden era of Hip Hop, Saved By The Bell, cool screen names for our AIM/AOL accounts (DaddyMacPlayer4U69, j/k), and of course Air Jordans, which some of you guys still go gaga for. But the 80’s still have a way of claiming the classics. Things like the Cosby Show and Transformers, Super Mario Bros and E.T., Pac Man, the Ninja Turtles, New Kids On The Block and Dirty Dancing; the list goes on and on, so when I say that “Best Thing” by the Sykes band has an 80’s sound to it, I am simply comparing it to the classic sound of all the greatest hits of that era because it was all just too good.

We’re talking about hit records that share the same vein as Kate Bush‘s “Running Up The Hill” (1985) or Olivia Newtown John’s Magic (1980) and even Ready For The World’s Oh Sheila, that list goes on and on as well. The difference between Best Thing and these other songs is that Best Thing sounds like a crunked up super hi fi version of them all. The production is crisp, the vocals are tucked beautifully in a way that allows the poppy highs to take them over in order to give them that retro 80’s sound, and the melodies have a familiarly simplicity to them that allow us to love the total song with so much ease. And let us not forget to mention the hardcore drums that set off this instant classic and lead us right into the lyrics you will find yourself easily recalling.

Sometimes it’s good to forget about yesterday’s woes, but it’s always great to remember yesterday’s gold because when we look back at our lives, it is those very things that will define what kind of life we lived.

Enjoy the gem.


An Artist’s Life Manifesto

1. An artist’s conduct in his life:  

– An artist should not lie to himself or others  
– An artist should not steal ideas from other artists  
– An artist should not compromise for themselves or in regards to the art market  
– An artist should not kill other human beings  
– An artist should not make themselves into an idol  
– An artist should not make themselves into an idol  
– An artist should not make themselves into an idol  

2. An artist’s relation to his love life:  

– An artist should avoid falling in love with another artist  
– An artist should avoid falling in love with another artist  
– An artist should avoid falling in love with another artist  

3. An artist’s relation to the erotic:  

– An artist should develop an erotic point of view on the world  
– An artist should be erotic  
– An artist should be erotic  
– An artist should be erotic  

4. An artist’s relation to suffering:  

– An artist should suffer  
– From the suffering comes the best work  
– Suffering brings transformation  
– Through the suffering an artist transcends their spirit  
– Through the suffering an artist transcends their spirit  
– Through the suffering an artist transcends their spirit  

5. An artist’s relation to depression:
– An artist should not be depressed  
– Depression is a disease and should be cured  
– Depression is not productive for an artist
– Depression is not productive for an artist  
– Depression is not productive for an artist  

6. An artist’s relation to suicide: 

– Suicide is a crime against life  
– An artist should not commit suicide  
– An artist should not commit suicide  
– An artist should not commit suicide  

7. An artist’s relation to inspiration: 

– An artist should look deep inside themselves for inspiration  
– The deeper they look inside themselves, the more universal they become  
– The artist is universe  
– The artist is universe  
– The artist is universe  

8. An artist’s relation to self-control: 

– The artist should not have self-control about his life  
– The artist should have total self-control about his work  
– The artist should not have self-control about his life  
– The artist should have total self-control about his work  

9. An artist’s relation with transparency:  

– The artist should give and receive at the same time  
– Transparency means receptive  
– Transparency means to give  
– Transparency means to receive  
– Transparency means receptive  
– Transparency means to give  
– Transparency means to receive  
– Transparency means receptive  
– Transparency means to give  
– Transparency means to receive  

10. An artist’s relation to symbols:  

– An artist creates his own symbols  
– Symbols are an artist’s language  
– The language must then be translated  
– Sometimes it is difficult to find the key  
– Sometimes it is difficult to find the key  
– Sometimes it is difficult to find the key

11. An artist’s relation to silence:  

– An artist has to understand silence  
– An artist has to create a space for silence to enter his work  
– Silence is like an island in the middle of a turbulent ocean  
– Silence is like an island in the middle of a turbulent ocean  
– Silence is like an island in the middle of a turbulent ocean  

12. An artist’s relation to solitude:  

– An artist must make time for the long periods of solitude 
– Solitude is extremely important  
– Away from home  
– Away from the studio  
– Away from family
– Away from friends  
– An artist should stay for long periods of time at waterfalls  
– An artist should stay for long periods of time at exploding volcanoes  
– An artist should stay for long periods of time looking at the fast running rivers  
– An artist should stay for long periods of time looking at the horizon where the ocean and sky meet  
– An artist should stay for long periods of time looking at the stars in the night sky 

13. An artist’s conduct in relation to work:  

– An artist should avoid going to the studio every day
– An artist should not treat his work schedule as a bank employee does  
– An artist should explore life and work only when an idea comes to him in a dream or during the day as a vision that arises as a surprise  
– An artist should not repeat himself  
– An artist should not overproduce  
– An artist should avoid his own art pollution  
– An artist should avoid his own art pollution  
– An artist should avoid his own art pollution  

14. An artist’s possessions:  

– Buddhist monks advise that it is best to have nine possessions in their life:  
1 robe for the summer  
1 robe for the winter 
1 pair of shoes  
1 begging bowl for food  
1 mosquito net  
1 prayer-book  
1 umbrella  
1 mat to sleep on  
1 pair of glasses if needed  
– An artist should decide for himself the minimum personal possessions they should have  
– An artist should have more and more of less and less  
– An artist should have more and more of less and less  
– An artist should have more and more of less and less

15. A list of an artist’s friends:  

– An artist should have friends that lift their spirits  
– An artist should have friends that lift their spirits  
– An artist should have friends that lift their spirits 

16. A list of an artist’s enemies:  

– Enemies are very important  
– The Dali Lama has said that it is easy to have compassion with friends but much more difficult to have compassion with enemies  
– An artist has to learn to forgive  
– An artist has to learn to forgive 
– An artist has to learn to forgive  

17. Different death scenarios:  

– An artist has to be aware of his own mortality  
– For an artist, it is not only important how he lives his life but also how he dies  
– An artist should look at the symbols of his work for the signs of different death scenarios 
– An artist should die consciously without fear  
– An artist should die consciously without fear  
– An artist should die consciously without fear  

18. Different funeral scenarios:  

– An artist should give instructions before the funeral so that everything is done the way he wants it  
– The funeral is the artist’s last art piece before leaving  
– The funeral is the artist’s last art piece before leaving 
– The funeral is the artist’s last art piece before leaving

Marina Abramovic


Shawn Mendes — Never Be Alone (Rex Buchanan x Invoker Remix)

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Here is a delectable Deep House collaborative remix of Shawn Mendes‘ hit track “Never Be Alone“. For this track, Invoker worked alongside his friend Rex Buchanan from NYC to bring the whole world a taste of the summertime to come as we patiently watch Winter’s cold grasp disintegrate in the weeks to come. It’s a sped up and pumped up version of the original that still manages to maintain its comforting and relaxing vibes; maybe it’s the whistling throughout, or maybe it’s just the clean vocal that remains untouched on this remix, but it’s perfectly soothing for this mellow hump day.

I decided last week that I will be moving back to Cali soon. I lived there for three years between NYC and LA a few years back and completely fell in love with its natural energy. They say that the people there aren’t so cool and that everyone is simply trying to see what the other can do for them, but to be candid, I met some of the most beautiful souls there. I met a guy from Texas who is a famous dancer and we became great friends. I met a famous choreographer who I still keep in touch with and still pound out drinks together whenever we find ourselves in each other’s towns. I met a rapper from Detroit who would go on to become famous and who smiles brightly at me and hugs me like a brother every time we run into one another backstage at a show in some random city. I met a beautiful Brazilian jazz singer who was my bartender at the Andaz on Sunset and whom I would later fall in love with on the sands of Hermosa Beach. It was a brief love affair, but it was one of the most profound. I met creatives of all sorts, and beautiful energies from all over the world all in LA to follow the dream of being a dreamer on this planet, and I find that entire experience to have changed who I am today. So you see, California is full of golden sun and golden souls and I can’t wait to get back.

For now, however, this remix will have to hold me down and shine its sonic golden sun rays at me until I get back to the left coast because something about it reminds me of all of those people and moments that I briefly touched on above, and if you could see them the way that I remember them, then you too would have this on repeat and allow the day to just mozy on by without a care in the world except to see the summer once again.

*whistles off and fades to black.


Tali Kouch — The Moon Is My Witness

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A few apartments away from mine there is an old man who sings and practices singing everyday for approximately 2-3 hours. He makes me remember why there are so many artists out in the musicsphere that never make it. He makes me look at artists who released their last creation about 6 months or more ago, and he reminds me of why the industry is in disarray, and how we are stuck here with so many delusional artists who feel entitled to a shot at the big show without an inkling of what it truly takes to get there.

Whenever I meet an aspiring singer, I always ask them how long they have been singing and if they have any formal training, but the most important question for me to ask them is: how many hours a day to you practice signing? Until this day I have not been surprised by anyone’s answer because it’s mostly an uncomfortable gulp and the same four-lettered word—none. Being in the music industry and seeing so many hopefuls come and go, it naturally has made me lean towards the truer talents that exist out there rather than the dreamers. Don’t get me wrong, I am still one of the biggest dreamers of them all, but  I have learned that without hard work it is extremely rare to make it in any field. This is why this morning I gravitated towards the young and talented Tali Kouch (pronounced koosh).

Tali Kouch is a Toronto based singer, producer, writer and overall true artist. Within her vocals and the placement of her tones at the perfect distances from the microphone, one can instantly tell that she has been singing for quite some time. She describes her own production on “The Moon Is My Witness” as: “a funky blend of saxophone, drums, and other sounds”,  where  I would describe it as a jazzy blend of smooth R&B with angelically soulful vocals that spurt sonic honey into one’s ears.

This morning I gravitated towards the unassuming artist with the subtle masterpiece hidden under her arm whom humbly works hard at something she loves rather than the narcissistically entitled dabblers and hobbyists of music, pretending that they work hard when their last song was months, if not years ago. I’m kind of sick of people that release music under their own personal agendas rather than the art, love, and honest passion for it.

Break a leg, Tali.


EMPT Wednesday Mini Mix: Hermosa

I remember when I wrote my first post on here and Hec told me that it was all wrong. Immediately, I had picked apart a song and shitted on every aspect of it. The bass wasn’t right and the vocals were off and the claps were too bare. So went my first few sentences and then hec reminded me what EMPT was all about.

EMPT is about the positive nature of music rather than any negatives about it. Back then I had no idea how that mantra would change my life. I guess many of us are taught or trained or inadvertently conditioned to think of the glass as being half empty. I guess that my life was once dark too. But then that all changed. It was EMPT and its mantra that sparked the first fire within me. Later on, a girl would come into my life and show me that even on cloudy days the sun existed, no matter if we could see it or not. These energies combined would slowly change my view of the world back to what it was when I was young.

Today, I tear when I hear music that touches me, and I laugh at cheeky lyrics that tickle me. I dance to groovy basslines and skip to funky trap. But I also see the world so differently than I saw it growing up. I romanticize every thing in my path, no matter how bad others might think things could be.

I see a world full of gold roads and people made of diamonds. I see smiles made of stars and laughters that come from the ocean. I see a pretty girl and all I imagine is how happy she must be because the sad parts are worthless in my world; they cost nothing and have zero value.

This Wednesday Mini Mix is just that. It is the music that allows me to live in this world of mine that is so different and more romantic than most. Sure, some of us have problems that never go away, and others are suffering through something so big that life seems worthless, but for me just being able to listen to gold and diamonds and stars coming out of my speakers is reason enough to live because it means that anything we truly imagine can become so real.

I like my world, and hopefully you will like it to once you hit play. I named it Hermosa because that is where I imagine being when I listen to this. I imagine myself sitting on the end of the pier in Hermosa Beach, California, with my laptop and sunglasses—typing away…


Cannons – Evening Star

The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” — WB Yeats

The world as we can perceive it is already a wondrous place but imagine how much there is around us that we aren’t yet able to perceive because of where we are in evolution, what culture dictates or what Hollywood portrays. It’s quite possible that we are much further into the future than we are able to perceive. It’s quite possible that we are far more advanced beings than we realize or have been taught to believe.

A mind, once expanded by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

Since moving out to Los Angeles I’ve had so many mind altering experiences that I’m starting to understand why Paramahansa Yogananda came to LA to introduce Kriya. There’s something about where this land sits in relation to the sun, moon and the stars that makes you want to see more, be more, create more and as limitless as the universe.

People cut themselves off from their ties of the old life when they come to Los Angeles. They are looking for a place where they can be free, where they can do things they couldn’t do anywhere else.” – Tom Bradley

It’s hard to explain because it’s a vibe, which is a different language than words. To my point earlier, there are some things that can’t be comprehended using the tools we’ve been taught. Music is one of those very strange and abstract languages, a glitch in the matrix that when used right can communicate the marvel of the Universe in a way no other language can. In this case my point about the city of Angels is made much better in the form of music by local LA band Cannons. Evening Star feels like those epic nights I’ve had in this city, staying up till dawn and watching the beautiful sunrise on my friends roof top. Those are the moment when you’ve been up for over 16 hours literally sucking the juice out this precious life and the wonder of the world unfolds before your eyes. This song is the audio translation of what it feels like to be flying through a Los Angeles night, enjoy.

I wanna take you high into the night
Like the stars in the sky, we could live our own lives.”


DOJA CAT — SO HIGH (JANET JACK’s SON edition)

Blow Weed Coke pop X
Speeding up the heartbeat
Banging in my chest

When you put it on me
You relieve my stress
You got me so high
Takin’ deep, deep breaths”

Because Mondays can suck. Because Mondays can be awesome. Because Mondays are the start of the week for many people. Because Mondays don’t matter for others. Because so many people have so many different opinions about Mondays, here we are blessing you with something smooth to start the week and something mellow and swaggy to ease you into the end of the work day, and that wonderful feeling you are about to feel when you wake up tomorrow and Tuesday has arrived.

Maybe your weekend was awesome, and maybe it was a mess full of drama. Maybe you had the best escape and the most relaxing time, and maybe you had your life turned upside down, but all any of that really means is that you are in desperate need of some good music, and that’s exactly what we have for here you right now; so just listen.

Janet Jack’s Son remix of Doja Cat‘s “So High” is truly all the stress and tension relief that you will need today. It’s full of a Timbaland style bounce that although sort of found on the original versoion, Janet Jack’s Son manages to beef up tremendously here on his edit, creating more of a never-ending bottom that vibrates up powerfully from the floor and right into your chest. Doja Cat‘s super sexy vocals are a lot more sultry on this edit to than they are on the original, making this overall edition pull itself together beautifully to give her smash tune a HELL of a lot more—oomph.

Crush a bit, little bit, roll it up, take a hit”

Whatever your passion or plans are afterwork today, enjoy this tune before you bolt out of the office or as you get home, get comfy and reach for your bowl, or, on the commute home to help you escape the Monday Blues and help you to prepare for a fast week to end the fastest month.

Rock out.