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Sting – Shape Of My Heart (LCAW Remix)

For most of the world today is Valentines Day, a day that is filled with flowers and candy and funny little cards with hearts all over it, a Hallmark day.  A day where we find an excuse to tell people we love them or break up with them.  For me February 14th holds a much deeper meaning for a couple very personal reasons and for those things I honor today.

I think you should be able to show your love to those in your life every single day.  That has always been a strict moral of mine, and those that know me know it to be true.

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. -Lao Tzu

Sting has always produced music that takes my romantic emotional side to a very deep place, he has a voice that is like watching the ocean when the sun is setting.  I know I know, pretty corny but it’s true, I get lost when I listen to his songs about love. LCAW puts a really wonderful spin on this track to make it just perfect for this blissful weekend. So whether your spending time with your loved one, hanging with friends or celebrating this day for other reasons besides love, I think this track is the perfect mood setter for any of those reasons.

Happy February the 14th, this post is dedicated to a very dear friend Miss Maddie <3

Sting – Shape Of My Heart (LCAW Remix)

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Neo Safari – Sunshine

We are nearing the end of winter. The promise of crop tops, drinks mixed with lemonade, and tan lines is coming closer. Consider this a shot of warmth for your ears.

Neo-Safari , or Dan Rogers, is a producer from Dallas, Texas. Although the exact genre of music it specializes in seems to vary, the tracks are all unique and draw you in with the layers of starry sounds and mixed decades of influence.

In Sunshine, you hear dance music from the 90′s, vocals from the 60′s and a track that will melt the chill away. With more recent releases including a rework of Broken Bell’s delicious track, Holding On for Life, Neo-Safari appears to continually release synth drenched tracks to bask in.

Neo-Safari – Sunshine

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EMPT Exclusive: Interview with The Soundmen

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EMPT doesn’t always do interviews, but when we do, we bring you the freshest names in the game.

This week, Nicky DePaul caught up with Seattle-based production duo The Soundmen, who have blown up of late (Rolling Stone, Paste Magazine, MTV), to learn about the new Seattle sound, how their musical collaborations happen, and why surfing is the best medicine.

EMPT: First off, who are The Soundmen?

JJ/SD: The Soundmen are the production duo of Justin Jamison and Scott Durday.  We have been producing together for years, are best buds since college, and just love making music.

EMPT: You’ve just released your debut EP, “The Soundmen,” but you’ve been remixing and producing for years already (formed in ’09). Tell us a bit about the journey from one-off’s to a full EP.

JJ: We formed The Soundmen in ’09, however, we started out producing hip hop records for Seattle artists before that and then gradually started shifting our production into what it is now by getting the opportunity to work with artists outside of hip hop. Scott and I have always listened to a wide range of music, so the transition into other genres felt natural.

SD: Its been quite the journey! Justin and I started heavily in the rap world. We cut our teeth producing in the streets, making and placing production with artists like G Dep (Bad Boy), Babs Bunny, Murda Mook, Ron Browz and others. We always saw ourselves as behind the scenes until we decided to make and put out a remix EP for fun.

The EP, a remixing of Grizzly Bear and Little Wayne called Veckaflyest, spread fast and got us on the radars of Rolling Stone, Paste Magazine and other music outlets. Thats when we realized the power of using the internet to release our own music.

Since then we’ve steadily been collaborating with a wide range of artists both to produce songs for them and then create our own original records to showcase our sounds. Our debut EP, is culmination of the collaborations and sound we have cultivated during 2013.

EMPT: For right or wrong, most people don’t associate Seattle with pop or electronic music. For a long time the city had the grunge label, and more recently the mainstream output has been folk/indie rock-y (Fleet FoxesBand of Horses). But with the rapid rise of Macklemore and you guys, the perception is changing. What do you think about that, and how is the Seattle cultural scene reacting?

SD: The Seattle scene has always been incredibly diverse, and we couldn’t be prouder to be a part of that. Seeing Macklemore‘s success, an artist who we and many of our peers have worked with, blow up with an almost genreless approach to hiphop has been awesome. I think it shines the light on one of the most diverse music environments in the country, that defines it sound not in pre-concieved style but in output.

JJ: The Seattle scene is one of the most ecclectic scenes around. Of course, Seattle is known for grunge and before that, Jimi Hendrix, but the music scene is very diverse. I think that labels tend to look for a familiar “Seattle Sound” when looking at this region for talent. Also, labels like Sub Pop and Barsuk have long had their style of artists, but they are even starting to venture into different genres.

EMPT:  What are your artistic goals? Are they the same as your career goals?

SD: Our career goals are twofold. One, to continue to define The Soundmen brand/sound as a diverse and consistent production sound. And Two, to increase the amount of production that we are doing behind the scenes for artists.

Artistically though, we want to continue to be a place where music fans go for GOOD music. Not music that sits in one genre, or is enjoyed because of the synth and drum sounds of the moment. Although we enjoy throwing nods to certain trends, we like to think of our music as pure electronic music that is hopefully timeless.

EMPT Many of the songs on the EP are collaborations. How did those come about?

JJ: Most of our collaborations came from previous work that we have done for artists, whether it’s a remix or original production. We built those relationships through working together in the past and they were willing to contribute to our project.

SD: Our collaborations have resulted in many different ways. Sometimes we remix an artist, and then bridge that gap to creating something new. Sometimes its simply reaching out and having a mutual appreciation and going from there. Our collaboration with Avan Lava happened that way, as we DJed with them at SXSW in 2012, had talked about working together and when we produced that song we knew it would be for them.

EMPT: Your Facebook profile lists a bunch of influences, including DillaAphex TwinOrbital andThe Neptunes. What impact have artists like these had on your development?

SD: All of those artists create or have created timeless music and stayed true to the music they wanted to make. Whether it was completely mindblowing electronic or slap heavy hiphop, they perfected their sound and craft. This is what we want to do. Not just dabble in a genre and jump back out, but perfect our blend of electronic pop & hiphop to exist as its own brand.

JJ: These are all artists that we grew up listening to and were inspired by all of them in different ways. When I started making music I learned by paying attention to the way my favorite artists did things. When we first started producing, Scott and I were primarily using samples on most of our records. Producing trends have definitely changed a lot over the last ten years and I feel like we were able to learn from some of our favorite artists but also find our own unique sound along the way.

EMPT: What are you ordering at the bar?

SD: Margarita, heavy on the salt, and top shelf on the Tequila.

JJ: I usually order a good beer. I’m an IPA guy. My other drink of choice is a good whiskey.

EMPT: If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing?

JJ:  I went to school for audio engineering and film post production so I would still be in a studio somewhere or working in film.

SD: Surfing. Its the only activity I’ve found other than music that I never get bored doing. Shredding beats and waves!!

EMPT: Who is your dream collaborator and what venue would you most like to play with that person/group?

SD: Right now ASTR, St Lucia, FTSEMapei, and The Chain Gang of 1974 are all blowing me away with their sounds and would love to bring our sounds into their worlds. But overall, I would kill to do a song with Ed McFarlane of Friendly Fires. Hands down my favorite vocalist of the last decade.

JD: Ed Macfarlane from Friendly Fires has been a long standing favorite of Scott and myself. If I could pick any venue it would be Neumo’s in Seattle, because it is the first place that I saw FF perform live. If we were in NY, I would pick the Mercury Lounge or Bowery Ballroom.

SD: As for a venue to DJ at. Initially it was Roseland Ballroom, and then in 2012 we were lucky enough to DJ a set there to a sold out crowd. So now I think DJing a festival like Glastobury or Coachella would really be our dream. Playing those tight 1-1.5 hour sets of bodymoving music to a sophisticated crowd of music lovers is what we love to do.

EMPT: You get to plan one perfect day. What does that day look like?

SD: Finishing a massive track with Justin, followed by an evening surf session in 5-7 ft surf in 80 degree water with the boys. Light offshore winds. No one else out.

JJ: It would have to be a recording session with one of our favorite artists in an area that we could take surf breaks. Possibly even catching a good sporting event at night.

Thanks to Justin and Scott aka The Soundmen. Buy the full EP on iTunes here.

The Soundmen – With You ft. Rai Knight

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LZRCAT — La Petite Mort

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They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and that words make songs complete, but sometimes when great music is by itself without any words, it becomes the picture that is worth a thousand songs.

La petite mort, French for “the little death”, is an idiom and euphemism for orgasm. This term has generally been interpreted to describe the post-orgasmic state of unconsciousness that some people have after having some sexual experiences.

More widely, it can refer to the spiritual release that comes with orgasm or to a short period of melancholy or transcendence as a result of the expenditure of the “life force,” the feeling which is caused by the release of oxytocin in the brain after the occurrence of orgasm. Literary critic Roland Barthes spoke of la petite mort as the chief objective of reading literature. He metaphorically used the concept to describe the feeling one should get when experiencing any great literature.

The term “la petite mort” or “the small death” does not always apply to sexual experiences. It can also be used when some undesired thing has happened to a person and has affected them so much that “a part of them dies inside”.[1]

I have no idea where LZRCAT is from and it doesn’t matter. He has one of the few things that most aspiring producers lack, and that’s simply a nice library of killer sounds; sounds which he meshes together masterfully to create artistic acoustic pieces that delight the ears.

“La Petite Mort” is just one of the various pieces by LZRCAT, with a quick mention to the bottom end of Portal SXNTN, that incorporates some really hi-def sounds that instantly attract your attention. It’s a chilled-out two minute and twenty eight second cerebral high that takes you far away into times long gone, or moments presciently captured.

We expect to hear more from him soon—literally, and look forward to seeing what artists get up on his knack for picking great sounds to collaborate with the LZRCAT.

LZRCAT — La Petite Mort

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As Animals – I See Ghost (Ghost Gunfighters) [Star Slinger Remix]

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Wowowow. What a weekend. As many people are forgetting their resolutions of last month, I have decided to make some. The first and foremost being to stop working after hours and on weekends. Clearly, wanting to write about music is what I would love to spend my days doing, but I “moonlight” from 7:30am-10:30pm at an advertising agency. One thing you hear often in this line of work, is if you don’t show up on Saturday, don’t bother coming in on Monday. Blinded by the sexy suits (thanks for nothing Mad Men) and plagued with the ability to sell sunshine to Florida, I know this is my wheelhouse.

But my new resolution is one I plan to keep. This weekend I went to a bingo night at a club. It is exactly what you think it is, a night club that takes 10 minutes out of the dancing and boozing to play bingo, which is run by lingerie clad ball turners. Followed by more dancing, lounging, a very cold sit on the beach. And that was just 4 hours of what used to be a very work-riddled Saturday night. Sometimes you need to take a moment and live in it. You plan and work and make lists, and sleep, and eat, and shower, and then do it all over again. I got caught in it too.

So, if you are still wondering what you should do this year to make it better (or hey, plan ahead for Lent, whatever you’re in to) then do this with me. Take a break.

And then listen to this tune. Star Slinger, killing it this past year with a many a tune to listen to, is a producer from Manchester, England. He always seems to be able to integrate a strong percussion to each of his remixed songs. Adding in a fresh synth and a tone gives this track the energy you need to do nothing you need to do and everything you don’t.

Enjoy the time we got.

As Animals – I See Ghost (Ghost Gunfighters) [Star Slinger Remix]

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EMPT Presents: Balearea by Barry Poppins

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The kid Barry sent me this literally weeks ago but somehow in the endless waltz of learning, work, music and insatiable hunger for more that’s my life I haven’t been able to sit down and post it, until now.

For a quiet guy like me, one who enjoys the dwellings of solitude so much I rarely find myself alone these days. Lately though, I’ve been stepping back and taking time for myself and man is it helping. As I write this I’m at some random Cafe in Highland Park, listening to “Balearic” and enjoying an easy Sunday morning only California could provide. I don’t even know how I got here, but my new thing is just getting in my car and going…

I hear the birds on the summer breeze,
I drive fast, I am alone in the night
Been tryin’ hard not to get into trouble,
but I, I’ve got a war in my mind
I just ride, just ride…

Say what you will about Los Angeles but you just can’t beat this weather man, it’s 61 degrees, sunny as fuck and oh yeah, it’s February! Anyways, life on this end has certainly not been smooth sailing but I feel like things are finally coming back to a peaceful place and it most certainly has to do with stepping away from the things that just don’t agree with my disposition. It’s a hard thing to do, it may even be a little bit escapist in nature but sometimes you have to trust your gut and that’s all I’m doing.

This tape is the perfect soundtrack for Sunday. Put this on and go about your business, this is vibe music, sensual, sexy and feel good. This is Space Age Bachelor Pad Music, the type of shit you would place in the morning on a Yacht coasting off the south of France or at a 6am pool party in the Dominican Republic after you’ve been partying all night. It’s beautiful and euphoric chill out music curated at the highest level. Enjoy.

“This mix took me 6 months to finalize and is an ode to the “Balearic” realm of music that can’t be defined by words, only brisk, smooth sounds. It’s a collection of tunes that make me feel like I’m surfing on a rocket or floating on a Banana Boat. It’s a collection of songs that both calms and awakens me, if that makes any sense. For me, Balearic tunes are ones that can calm your nerves but make your nipples hard at the same time. And that is what these songs mean to me.”

Tracklisting:

Psychemagik – Wake Up Everybody
Late Nite Tuff Guy – I Can Feel It
Chris Malinchak – So Into You
Reverso 68 – Piece Together (Todd Terje Spinning Star Mix)
Classixx – Supernature (Hot Toddy Remix)
Appo – Cocaine
Mario Basanov – Caribbean Girl (New Found Land Remix)
Satin Jackets feat. KLP – For Days
Air Zaire feat. Patric Baker – Sanibel
Flight Facilities – Shine A Light
Laid Back – Fly Away (Poolside Edit)
Roy Ayeres – Everybody Loves the Sunshine

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Jenny and Johnny – Big Wave

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The 85 richest humans are worth more dollars than the 3.5 BILLION poorest.

Think about that.

Articles discussing this sickening statistic say that the 85 are “worth more than” the 3,500,000,000. Wrong. Worth is a structural idea, invented by humans intutitively at the rise of barter economies, that should never be applied to any living thing. Worth more dollars than, or doughnuts than, is appropriate. But never without the quantifying article.

It’s easy to decry money, to reject its centrality to modern society, to say we’d be better off without it. But in doing so, one discounts the literal evolution of human society from day one. Every aspect of life on this earth is directly tied to money, or “money”: objects to which we assign intrinsic value.

From shells and stones to numbers on a screen, the swan dive into the rabbit hole happened, and there’s no dream to wake up from.

That doesn’t mean we should ever stop pushing for a global society of equals. Even if such a utopian dream can never be achieved, every inch gained means improved quality of life for every human. These are thorny topics, rarely breached on non-comment driven music blogs, and I could tie myself into knots all day offering proof for this thesis or examples of why it’s correct. But neither you nor I have all day, and neither does the Internet, which some time in the not-so-distant future will cease to exist (That’s a fact, get over it.)

So I want to focus on those 85 billionaires, most of whom hail from the United States and Australia. Some are, of course, genuine believers in the idea of global equality. But are even they “doing their part”?

As National Parks cut staff and hundreds of millions of poor Muslims in Bangladesh await the certainty of rising seas, billionaires buy more companies and make more money. Where is the foresight?

My Bangladesh comment may seem out of place. It’s an issue that’s been in my head for years (full disclosure: I studied climate change science and policy at university) that never gets discussed in public forums: hundreds of millions of poor (as in under $3 adjusted) Muslims live in coastal areas of Bangladesh. Climate change projections slate those area as some of the first to be completely submerged by rising sea levels within 100 years. (This is happening. Please don’t buy the propaganda paid for from our friends at Exxon and spewed by their pawns in global governments.)

Where will those hundreds of millions go? India? China? Europe? The United States?

And what, when the inevitable becomes desperate reality, will the 85 do about it?

What will you do?

Jenny and Johnny – Big Wave

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Moby – Dream About Me (Booka Shade Remix)

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My father dreams of flying, circling with gulls among the billowing sails of the clipper ships pulling into harbor. He recounts his reverie in giddy excitement over a cup of coffee, his hair still tousled from the whipping wind.

My sister dreams of a haircut undesired. “You’ll need to cut it all off if you want to leave this place.”

My neighbor dreams of chocolate, a bathtub full of the good Belgian stuff that his grandmother used to give him when his mother wasn’t looking.

My friend dreams of the perfect wave, curling into a never-ending barrel she can ride into the sunset.

My grandfather dreams of angels in the clouds. They stroke their lyres and call to him. The warm light of a life well lived floods his bedroom.

My boss dreams of sleeping in, and having breakfast with his family. But the alarm sounds and he’s off into the dawn.

The woman sleeping in her car in front of my apartment building dreams of a time before. There had been a fire and a family. But no longer.

My cat dreams of lizards, scampering across his eyeline and dying with grace as he tears their bellies to shreds and purrs with pride.

I dream of losing all my teeth. First they fall out, one by one, before pouring from my mouth in a torrent. What does that mean?

You tell me your dreams when you wake up, huddled close for warmth. You tell me that you dream of adventure, of sleeping in, of flying, of a cozy winter night. You tell me what your dreams mean. Who am I to say if you’re right or wrong?

Who am I to ask, that you dream about me.

Moby – Dream About Me (Booka Shade Remix)

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Niki & The Dove — Last Night

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Last night, we got married in a taxi.”

Did I ever tell you about the time I fell in love and got married? Well, that happened. It was the Winter of 2009 when I met one of the most beautiful girls I have ever laid eyes on, and it all happened so fast.

We met out in the city, at a place in the Lower East Side called Stanton Social. I guess that the atmosphere, the music, the drinks and her smile contributed to the extreme intoxication of a whirlwind romance that I could never forget. Just a few days later we would end up living like a couple that had been happily married for decades, and the city was ours. We never ate in the same places twice, we never went to the same neighborhoods more than once, and we kissed everywhere. I guess that’s how one knows when they are truly in love—when all the two of you do is kiss like no one else exists on the planet, and as if kissing in any particular place is like the mandatory foursquare of love.

Being in-the-moment is something that you have to be bred to do or taught at some point because if you aren’t then it is almost completely impossible for you. Some people are meant for relationships and are completely miserable without them, others are not meant for relationships yet find themselves truly happy within them. Some people are meant to be single and are happy in their solace, while others that are meant to be unattached find the most misery living that way. “Last Night” by Niki & The Dove is precisely about solely living in-the-moment, where none of “what you are supposed to be happy or unhappy with” matters.

If you learn to live as if there is no tomorrow, well then that’s when you learn to remove those armors that you wear so well around your body and, more importantly, around that fragile and timid little heart of yours. You do so more because tomorrow and the day after, or the next five years after that don’t matter. You live for today and get swept away by the moments because doing so makes life more beautiful, and every single thing around you more fun.

Tomorrow can’t matter because if I have to leave you then it will only break your heart when I do, but if you stay with me today and live it with me to the fullest, well then we can be married until one of us has to go.

Last Night” is me and you falling in love and making love slowly, and then the hook chimes in to change the pace up on us as we move from place to place, truly living in-the-moment, and truly experiencing our surroundings to the fullest—no watching the same flicks, no eating the same old dishes, and no kissing on the same corners wearing the same threads over and over again.

I swear I love you, yes I love you like it’s not tomorrow
And I got no time, for second thoughts now
We’ve got tonight and then I have to go.”

Niki & The Dove — Last Night

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Cookin Soul x Trademark Skydiver x Young Roddy x Curren$y – Jet Life to the Next Life

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Unattributed quotes to live by:

Turn on, Tune In, Drop Out.

Keep It 100.

Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.

Pedal To The Metal.

I’m claiming the right to be unhappy.

Stay Fly.

Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.

Just Do It.

Maybe this world is another planet’s hell.

Cookin Soul x Trademark Skydiver x Young Roddy x Curren$y – Jet Life to the Next Life

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