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MIA — Paper Planes (Eau Claire Remix)

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I’ve been sitting on this for days now ever since I caught it on Yaqui’s blog. I’ve passed it along to a few DJ friends and my closest buds only to receive nothing but positive feedback. You would think that all of these years later some of us would be tired of MIA by now, but as my friend/DJ from Switzerland put it: “this is interestingly delicious because I love MIA in general”. And quite honestly, who doesn’t?

Finding this, sharing it, and writing about it (MIA‘s “Paper Plane” [Eau Claire Remix]) here has made me realize that the world is a place meant for sharing. It’s a communal planet full of an endless amount of resources that we should be sharing rather than capitalizing on. I mean, what good is it to own everything when there are people out there suffering in the freezing cold because they can’t even purchase a winter coat, or literally dying of hunger because they can’t afford a meal? How can any of us see this as fair? How can we willingly keep our brains so diluted with the aroma of capitalism that we turn blind eyes, daily, to the problems that our fellow humankind face?

I know that some of us are taught better than others, and that many of you feel that the positions some of these people are in are positions that only they themselves are responsible for, but when do we look beyond that? At what point do we realize that the these theoretical systems that we are living in just don’t work? They haven’t worked.

Often some of our writers feel that we can’t change the world on a global scale the way it needs to in order for us to save ourselves from us just by writing. (‘we have no natural predators. so who do we hold accountable for destruction if not ourselves, right?’) But I think that writing and music are exactly the ways that we will be able to make a global change.

You may have or not have noticed, but gas prices have fallen tremendously. The reason for this is much more sinister and much more orchestrated than you are led to believe. Prices are down because there are no jobs or any money out there. Sure, those that have tons of it continue to pile it on up, but those that live paycheck to paycheck know this to be truer than anything else they are sold to believe. It’s simple: if you spend less on gas then you feel like you have more money left over, which you do, and so you are able to get out there and continue to consume. Basically, you don’t horde your cash but spend it instead, and in order for this society to keep going then you and I MUST continue to spend.

Anyway, it’s Friday, and we all want to escape into the night and into this weekend if we can, and what better way to do so than with music that can lift your spirits and make you forget your troubles. That’s what you will hear when you press play on this: something familiar, something different, but all just very good. Enjoy it, and maybe just go to your local liquor store today, buy a few bottles of wine, or whisky, or vodka, or whatever you poison is and stay in, listen to music all weekend, consume bits of content you haven’t watched before, and most importantly, share.


The Rest Between Two Notes

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My life is not this steeply sloping hour,
in which you see me hurrying.
Much stands behind me; I stand before it like a tree;
I am only one of many mouths
and at that, the one that will be the soonest.

I am the rest between the notes,
which are somehow always in discord
because death’s note wants to climb over –
but in the dark interval reconciled,
they stay there trembling.
And the song goes on, beautiful.

-Rainer Maria Rilke, The Book of Hours


Dom Rosenfeld — Something About You (EigenARTig & Nicolas Haelg Remix)

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The New Year brings a shitload of resolutions that never get fulfilled, desires that become lost to fears, and top-of-the-year energy that winds down way before it should. It is for these reasons that I decided that we could all use a taste of something full of high-energy and a ton of spunk to blast this hump day off to because well, we need it, no?

Picture waking up in a body of crystal blue seawater, not knowing how you got there, but immediately ready to swim up to the surface, and that’s exactly how this crazy electropop remix by EigenARTig & Nicolas Haelg begins. As you begin to surface from that blue grotto, you recall that you just jumped off a yacht somewhere off the Amalfi coast near Capri, and that the hardcore partying you have been doing non-stop for a little over a week is the reason you momentarily passed out. But as you swim up to the ship the bass pounding of the sound system and the voices of your guests rev you back up and place you into full party animal mode once again: fist in the air, head down, shoulders swaying and knee-tapping/foot stomping movements all the way until you are back on board, champagne glass in one hand, and a petite waist in the other. This is what you get here with this rework of Dom Rosenfeld’s “Something About You”, an energy-inducing three minute and twenty-two second moment of electro dance bliss.

Whether you need a boost of energy today at the gym, just in general to get over the hump of midweek, for a brief escape like the one I just had above, or, simply because high energy is your sonic java—this, is, it.

Enjoy. Have a great week, and remember that resolutions are made to be broken, but discipline will never be.


JackLNDN – Don’t Forget

Don’t forget.

From the Dominican Republic to a pit stop in the ol’ NYC to Phoenix now then Vegas this weekend. I came into the 2015 on the run eating and you best believe I wouldn’t have it any other way. When I left Cali back in Mid December I thought I was going away for a nice relaxing time in the carribean but I sometimes forget there’s no such thing with my family and I instead spent 10 days 100 miles and running on all cylinders from dusk till dawn. My family came from humble beginnings man, we’re better off now but we don’t mess around when it comes to appreciating what we have and taking FULL advantage of the moment. Our theme song for the trip was that Ilegale’s ‘Pasarla Bien’ single that’s a huge hit in the Caribbean right now…

La vida es una sola y hay que pasar la bien…”

Amen. So here we are in 2015 and the saga continues. I started EMPT 8 years ago man, it’s crazy. Some of you have been with me from day one and I can’t tell you how much that means to me. We’ve had great times, we’ve had bad times but through it all we’re still here, big wheels keep on turning. As I sit here, 40,000 feet in the air with the clouds below me, I can’t stop thinking about how thankful for this movie I’ve lived so far. When I tell you we come from humble beginnings, I’m not kidding man. Though absolutely beautiful, my moms town had no water system, dirt roads and some make shift electricity, there was nothing luxurious about it. My dad’s home town? Off the grid man. None of that ever bought our spirits down because our family is tight but for us to go from that to where we are now in less than a lifetime is boss.

Something else is on my mind though and it’s fear. In recent years fear has invaded my mind my life which prior to that was moving at warp speed, it’s like the less I had the more fearless and creative I was. These days fear of losing what I have, people using fear to control me, the matrix and my own weaknesses have slowed me down. I’m not moving at warp speed, now I’m just obeying the speed limit like everyone else. That shit is weak and that’s why 2015 for this guy is about making some hard decisions to face those fears and move on without them. Being back in DR, reconnecting with my roots and seeing the fact that I was at one point perfectly happy as a kid with nothing makes me realize just how much the illusion has taken over my life.

When it’s all said and done, when I’m old as fuck and looking out into the world before moving on, the things I’ll think about are my little brothers face when he was 5, seeing him have a good time with my cousins when he’s 26. Scaling a deadly mountain with my cousins then seeing my sisters boyfriend propose to her at the tallest point in Constanza and looking at my mom fill up with tears of joy at the moment. The rest of this shit is just an illusion man, money is nothing but a tool to be mastered so it’s not used against us. Fear has kept me from embracing that and it’s time to make the hard choices in my life and play the game at the highest level, it’s time to get out of rat race and back into the fast lane.

Never forget where you come from man. I’ve changed a lot and I’m happy about it, one of my aunts hadn’t seen me in almost 15 years and looked at me and said I completely changed, that made me so happy. A lot of people pride themselves in being the same but I think the opposite because I strive to constantly improve and be better than whoever I was. If someone says I haven’t changed at all, I think I’m doing something wrong. That has it’s downside if you’re not careful and I’ve become Space Age, so obsessed with where I’m going, where we can take this thing that the past became nothing but a faint memory of something that once was but no longer exists. But the time and space are illmatic, what will be already was and sometimes there’s no greater inspiration to get where you’re going than to remember where you come from. Keep moving forward at all times but don’t forget, never forget.


Ibeyi – Better In Tune With The Infinite (Jay Electronica Cover)

Not many words are necessary to describe this song, and if you watch below you’ll see for yourself. It’s simple and to the point. It somehow evokes multiple spouts of goosebumps with beautiful harmonies and minimal percussion. The twins of Ibeyi took out none of the soul of Jay Electronica’s original, but twisted it in a way that touches a different part of my inner being.

Go take a walk, listen to this song, look up at the sky, let the melody take your mind away from your physical being. Let your mind wander.. because when’s the last time you truly did?

Ibeyi’s album is set to be released in February, so keep your eyes peeled!


Oh Wonder — The Rain

I once thought that I had given all the love that I had inside of me to give, away. I believed that there were no parts of a heart that loved everything it saw left to give anymore love to anyone, or anything else. ‘How stubbornly foolish was I‘, I realized, when I fell in love right away again with the first beautiful smile that came my way.

Throughout the years, I have met many loves. Loves who I sincerely felt were the loves of my life, and loves who I knew would leave me faster than the daydreams I had built inside my mind of our futures together. It was only through a combination of those loves that I began to understand what love is..

Love isn’t a rich man on a rich island who gives you everything you want because he can. Love isn’t a poor girl in a poor neighborhood who loves you mindlessly because of who she suspects you to be. No. Love is the endless dance that you both do whenever you get together. It is the waltz that your hearts sync with whenever they are with one another, and no matter how many years or decades have walked on by. Love is the kiss that you share because you both want it and have longed for it. Love, are moments of tenderness that you willfully give to someone rather than have asked for by anyone. Love is—selfless.

The Rain”, bOh Wonder is a simple reminder to me, in this new year, of what love is. It’s a melody or sound that I can adore at first listen, the same way that I have fallen in love at first sight, time and time again. It’s a soft whisper in your ear that gently tickles it the way we all love that feeling when it happens, even if it makes us slightly uncomfortable to love it so.

I’ve given all my love to you”. 

“The Rain”, could not have been a better title for this song as it explains itself more perfectly than most of the abstract titles for tunes these days. It feels like a misty rain that starts off as a light fog, deepening just a tad into a light drizzle, but that never, ever, gets to progress into a storm; it doesn’t need to.

Love doesn’t need you to do anything else but to be itself. Remember that for 2015.


Dream Brother — UPPR DWNR

2014 was a year of beauty. It was a year of divorces and marriages. A year full of beautiful souls moving on into the afterlife, and other beautiful souls being born into this one. 2014 represented one of the most fruitful years of personal growth for me. I learned that no matter what comes my way, everything will somehow always be alright. I learned that not all loves are meant to be, but to be able to experience them in the first place is the prize in itself. I learned that we shouldn’t try to control others, especially if we cannot yet even control our very own selves and emotions. 2014 was a stepping stone into another great year to come, for all of us.

This morning I was looking for a song that wasn’t sad and that represented what a sunny year it has been for me writing for EMPT. Sure, more often than not I have let you into my personal thoughts and moments in my life that may not have been so sunny, but if you caught me out on these NYC streets you would see someone who no matter what bad things could be taking place in their life, will always have a smile. I smile because I know that after the storm comes the rainbow, and that after the rainbow comes the beautiful nights that I love so much. I smile because I know that a smile attracts more smiles, and that more smiles attract happiness.

If 2014 was a bad year for you then I wish you nothing but goodness in 2015, and, if 2014 was awesome for you, well then I wish you nothing but more awesomeness to come your way because you all deserve it.

Dream Brother’s “UPPR DWNR” is a classic sunny beach-time jam. Think The Beatles, The Beach Boys, or more recently, Vampire Weekend, and you have yourself some sonic golden sunshine for your ears and minds. This kind of tune is exactly like the smiling effect that I touched on above; countless studies prove that even forcing a smile onto your face can make you happy, so why not leave the year off with happiness and some feel-good music to bring on the eternal happiness that 2015 is promising to be.

Happy New Year friends, and many more.


Vanic X Zella Day – Hypnotic

When’s the last time you listened to a song and were immediately hooked? Well this might be the next. There’s something captivating Zella Day’s voice and the echoey horn-infusions of Vanic’s production. As if to prove a point, the song comes to a energetic tease at :53 and just builds from there, until we hover until the explosion at 1:41.

There have been several occasions lately where I’ve listened to this song on repeat to keep up my momentum. One time was in the gym after not being there a while. It was right after Christmas and I was trying to burn off the hangover. Bad idea first of all, but this song helped me push through the pain. It helped me put a little bit more aggression into the punching bag. It urged me to do one more pull up. Isn’t that crazy? Artists I didn’t know existed until a couple weeks ago, living in a cities thousands of miles away from me, somehow transferred energy to me, and now I’m passing it onto you in hopes that it will have the same positive effect; in some way or another.

Next time you’re having trouble grasping that motivation from within, blast this and drown the rest of the world out. Power through! To me, it’s something special and I foresee it being on my iPods’s “Top 25 Most Played” fairly soon. Enjoy!


Los Árboles — Nobody Cares

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Something chill. Something smooth. Something Jazzy and Electronic. Something a little different. Something out of this world yet sitting right within it.

Released a few days ago by Argentinian label Discos Robar, Nobody Cares is an extra mellow almost chillwave-like intro that sets off the latest EP by Los Árboles. It’s a funky psychedelic trip through a Space Age Jazz Club set that meshes Dance music, Latin Jazz vibes and Electronic sounds to give us a few minutes of galactic escape.

Sometimes the only way to clear our heads and get away from it all is to listen to and do the things that we could never have imagined ourselves doing. Sometimes it’s those same set of unfamiliar chords and sounds pieced together that spark the parts of our brains that we didn’t even know laid dormant. Sometimes, it’s just simply fun to hit play and see where the ride takes you.

Enjoy it on the late night tip as you scour the net for your next trip.

 


Rodrigo Amarante — Nada Em Vão

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Rainy NYC Sundays are made for whispers. They are made for quiet walks through an empty Central Park. They are made for hot chocolate by a fireplace or hot toddies behind your laptop screens. Rainy, New York City Sundays, are made for quiet hums and secret reminisces of melancholia that we have somehow already found peace with. Sundays like these are made for quiet runs with music like this plugged into your ears so that the calm of the city can be appreciated and all the unnecessary noises and sounds of it phased out.

nada em vão,
no espaço entre eu e você,
no silêncio um grito,
o som e o não “
[english] nothing in vain,
in the space between you and me,
in the silence a scream,
the yes and no.”

Rodrigo Amarante’s “Nada Em Vão” is a taste of the NYC that I speak of. It is a reminder to me that as much as I am intrigued by beautiful and perfect smiles, that from time to time I am also fascinated by the way eyes hold back tears, and faces look lost in deep thought.

It’s an NYC that is perfectly perfect in all of its imperfections with multiple layers in spaces that go unseen and under-appreciated. Nada Em Vão is similar this way when you listen to it. A smooth piano tapping softly set over a gentle guitar, bass string plucking that follows similar suit and an angelic choir that eerily whispers throughout the tune with a saxophone that gets lost somewhere between all of the pretty music.

For me, it’s simply another reminder that sadness can be as beautiful as happiness, and that sharing sounds like these is what can make that same sadness just as beautiful as all of our happinesses combined.

Enjoy the rain.