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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These type of changes make me think about life in general and how many cultural staples are just as outdated and in need of either being completely eliminated or totally renovated.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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Monkey Safari – Coming Down (Hi-Life Radio Edit)

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We all need a good come down.

That is the moment when you have to hit the bottom. Sometimes for no other reason than to feel it. Like when you watch a sad movie just to make you sad. The come down is what makes the high points so sweet. The laughs so deep.

In a recent situation, we were in a perfect bubble we created. No fighting. The emotions were so strong but in the best way. You sweat when you think the other one is hurting. You get comfortable when you lay in bed. Plans are made in the future, thinking about calendars in 2016. What would we do next?

We don’t know the people in 2016. Who we will be then. And as perfect as all can seem, don’t we all get itchy feet? That settling feeling is the come down. The come down is when the world hits you and you slide down the wall to the floor. Arms too heavy to move. Arms tired from holding on. There is the intoxication, the high about the good times, but we find out more about ourselves in the come down. In the highs, your brain is foggy with joy and thoughts and nothing heavy. The come down is when the gravity hits. The world suddenly spins on its back and lets you flipand the heavy fog sets back in.

It’s just a come down. Calm down. The remix from Hi-Life does just that. The raspy vocals of Monkey Safari, the ability to sway to it. Not the feeling of a come down, but some place where you feel content. Not the high and not the come down. The limbo of life.

Monkey Safari – Coming Down (Hi-Life Radio Edit)

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EXROYALE — Give It Up (Ra Ra Riot Remix)

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As the Space Age kicks in and companies are beginning to use robots to do just about anything, we have to ask ourselves why we haven’t innovated in certain areas much faster. Hollywood feeds us the same shit over and over in different form with different actors. (see: Batman, Superman, Spiderman..) It’s as if creatively we have peaked somehow and somewhere down the line, but no one has taken notice.

I’m reading a book titled Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, in it the author describes America as one giant mall with a country attached and I couldn’t agree more. Consumerism in this great country of ours is at an all time high. Kids, parents, and grandparents are all trying to keep up with the Joneses and all trying to be the next Rockefellers. The hamster wheel that has become our newest version of the program titled America is slacking in the parts of humanity that inspire innovation.

Then we get to the music. People searching for fame rather than to create things unheard of have saturated this version of America I speak of. Very rarely do we get to hear good music from the selection of Arbitron darlings that they choose for you, and it’s even rarer that you will find it in a music blog or music discovery site because the same algorithms, and even executives that are running your options, have to pick them based on how much they can sell to you rather than how much it can inspire and impact innovation.

So we sit here with a dilemma (well, if we are you, we do) and while we attempt to keep up with the pop culture by outdoing one another’s sneakers, cars, cool new “indie” designer tees, big gold chains, and just about anything else you can fucking buy or sell, you sit there and are forced to follow what everyone else is listening to because how else would you discover anything cool, right? It’s hard to do so in between the time you have to pick out your next outfit, figure out your next dieting trend, or too busy listing the titles of Must See Blockbusters this summer from titles you have known your entire life.

EXROYALE‘s original version of “Give It up” is a smooth summery slower paced retro-futuristic blast of sunshine that mellows you out on the man-made beaches of Mars in the year 3355, but the Ra Ra Riot Remix you find yourself listening to on here is the version that you will hear at one of the Martian discotheques at night as you dance to the stars staring back at Earth with a cool retro lava drink in your hand, and while rocking your trendy space-aged robotic sneakers that just so happen to do all the dancing for you… #WearableTech

Ra Ra Riot’s Remix is a slight touch of innovation blended from the paltry options of sounds that we as a species have developed. Still, we are capable of so much more, and these dope ass remixers show us exactly how.

The true power exists in controlling peoples choices while allowing them to believe that they are the ones who actually decide.” —Cyrus Pavel

EXROYALE — Give It Up (Ra Ra Riot Remix)

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Grimes – Go (Feat. Blood Diamonds)

GO. That’s been the requisite action for me in the last 3 weeks.  It’s been LA to NYC, NYC to Kennebunkport, Kennebunkport to NYC and finally NYC to LA. Every stop literally filled with life changing events, revelations, realizations, missteps, mishaps and a fair share of mischief. Prior to my travels I’d been putting a lot of attention on my diet, getting in touch my thoughts and clearing my mind so during my travels I was well aware of everything that was going on in a way I’d never experienced before. Meaning there are times when we’re in the thick of it and only in hindsight do we truly understand what transpired.

We’re essentially slaves to our environment, temptation and influence and usually gain back control when it’s too late. That said, it’s interesting when the mind is clear and you have control. Suddenly what you’ve let slide in the past becomes immediately apparent and like playing a video game you decide to go left instead of right. When opportunity knocks you have to power to turn up and take advantage. When lust, temptation and romance is breathing down your neck you give it all you have . Essentially, when you focus on clearing your mind and body of the poisons related to the modern-day industrial food complex you become human again and you get the power to GO. How do you know your missing something you never know you had? The poisons are invisible, slow killers so we have to experiment with ourselves. Take a month and see what it’s like to not eat processed foods. See what that does to your mind and appetite for life. Get out of the pattern the yields the exact same results you know day in and day out and seek that 1 to 2% improvemnet. The results might shock you.

Dreams, they feel like memories when I dream of you
Time won’t stay, it’ll stretch itself out from a minute to days
And I’d like to think that we don’t dream to win it all
‘Cos I’ve been here…

I look at who I was before I started caring about these things and I can’t even recognize that person anymore. The worst feeling you can have is being in a shitty situation, knowing exactly how you got there and worst of all having been there before. Our ability to GO when life calls for it is the difference. That’s the difference between letting go of the bad things and getting to the new.

This isn’t the mid-twentieth century anymore when you have doctors advertising cigarettes or or saying that baby formula is better than breast milk for little kids. We’re in the Space Age and because of technology and science we know more about what makes humans GO then ever. If you’re feeling crappy because it’s Monday, I suggest you look into these things because the solutions and the power to change ourselves is in our hands. A huge portion of it is diet and exercise, that simple. Anyone who wants specific reading material send us an email, enjoy.

Grimes – Go (Feat. Blood Diamonds)

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BANKS – Change (Dream Koala Remix)

I’m in a very interesting place right now in my life because I’m in a complete state of flux. My business is changing, my love life has been a total mess forever and that’s changing, I’m certainly changing, my friends are all changing and though it’s unnerving, it’s also quite beautiful and fascinating. I mean change is the only thing that’s constant right? It’s only scary when you’re not focused on getting better because no matter how the flux feels, those rough emotions will themselves subside as you focus on higher truths.

I hung out with one of my old New York friends Antoine Karl and having gone through major changes in his own life he reminded my of one of his recent newsletter post about the beautiful Banks song aptly titled Change. I won’t put out his business here but after a wonderful evening his experience with the song resonated so much that I knew I had to share it with you guys. This song in particular is about the promise of change. We’ve all been in those relationships where our significant other does something to hurt us or we do something to hurt them and then everything falls apart. Someone then feels the sorrow needs to stop and tried to end it. The other than promises to change and for a myriad of reasons the offended party accepts the proposal and the cycle begins again.

The truth is though that the guilt the offender feels is only temporary and if that person isn’t truly and deeply understanding of their actions they will revert to the default human setting, i.e. “the world revolves around me and why should I be sorry for anything, it’s my right to do whatever I want and if someone doesn’t understand it’s their problem.” We’re all pretty much guilty of this type of thinking because it truly is the most basic, default human programming. In nerdy computer language it’s our machine code and it takes no effort at all to exist on that plane. Change however happens on a higher plane, and it is fundamentally impossible to do when you think the world revolves around you, it just won’t happen that way. Honestly, this subject deserves much more time than I have right now but it’s something that’s been on my mind after that amazing dinner with my old French buddies so I had to share. Great jam for your Sunday evening, enjoy.

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Ace of Base – The Sign

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While flipping through my music library last week, I came across Ace of Base’s “The Sign.” It’s a cheesy track, but at the time was groundbreaking in its fusion of reggae and pop melodies. This is the kind of song that everyone kind of knows, but no one knows anything about it.

Let me give you the lowdown. The album that featured “The Sign” (“Happy Nation”, 1992) sold 23 million copies worldwide. 23 MILLION. It’s one of the 50 or so best selling records of all time, just ahead of Oasis’ seminal “(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?” and Madonna’s “Like a Virgin.” Overall, Ace of Base has sold over 40 million records.

This quartet of Swedes (three siblings and a guy named Buddha) are one of the most random musical successes ever. You never hear about them in the media, and rarely hear any song other than “The Sign” on the radio. And yet a laundry list of big name and indie artists site them as a valuable influence: Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Robyn, Yeasayer, Trust.

It’s moments like this when you realize just how big the world is. There are Chinese and Indian artists who have hundreds of millions of fans, yet most Americans have no idea who they are and will never hear their voices. The music industry – the economic profit model of music sales – is crumbling. But the music industry – the unending production of new music across the globe – is larger and more successful than ever. How wonderful!

I recently had a very random job filming a high school wrestling tournament for Fox Sports. Fox put me up in a hotel overnight, and as I arrived back after a long day behind the camera, I ran into a very masculine looking guy walking a tiny Chihuahua with its nails painted pink. I legitimately thought I was hallucinating, even more so once we got to talking and he busted into one of the best freestyle raps I’ve ever heard.

Every moment, someone around the world is making music. From the Chihuahua freestyler to the grandmother singing the children to sleep to Ace of Base, our lives are played out to a soundtrack created by those around us. Whether their songs stay locked behind closed doors or sell 40 million records without attracting notice, we owe all music makers our gratitude.

 

Ace of Base – The Sign

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