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Square One — Overdose

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Know those moments when you just want to leave your apartment or office and run so far away that you can’t recognize the streets or people anymore? Those moments fresh after a painful breakup, right after the point that you just stopped crying every other second of every single day, but still at the cusp of mourning where you’re still waking up with potent pains in the pit of your stomach that remind you that the love it was once filled with is no longer there. You know these moments, don’t you? The ones we like to use to reflect on relationships that just ended and cry a little bit about in the solace of our own religion; the very moments we use to play out the best parts of those relationships and miss them as if we will never experience anything that beautiful again in this life. Deep down inside we know that isn’t true, but what good is a breakup without the tears and sorrow? It just doesn’t have the same effect.

You’re indecisive, and cold
but I need you to know,
I can’t let you go,
I let you go.

“Overdose” by Long Island trifecta Square One makes me wish, today, that I had something to cry about because it exudes that melancholic mood that I love to mull over memories in. From deep down the lead singer’s diaphragm, straight up through his vocal chords the song makes me want to get up off this desk, walk out this building, hop on my skateboard and just ride, right now (noon in NYC) until the early morning just before the sun rises again tomorrow. It makes me wish that I had moments that I knew I would never get back with some beautiful girl that I could reflect on while using the city’s bridges, alleys, its streets, and the concrete, steel and glass landscapes as the scrolling background behind me while coasting through the profound tunnels of my own rumination.

Late night, wide eyes, blacked-out mind,
Like an overdose,
Like an overdose.

Press play and get ready to be immediately sucked in by vocals that are sang like a drug addict from his highest points, or, just a brokenhearted man who has been defeated by his own sorrows, dealing with his own seesaw of emotions while adjusting to the thoughts of having to, eventually, let go.

POWERS — Beat Of My Drum (White Panda Remix)

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For anyone that’s as addicted to dancing as I am these days, this next tune is the one for YOU!, and your feet. White Panda has remixed “Beat Of My Drum” from POWERS, and they’ve made sure that it is dance-floor ready with a progressive house production that starts at 7 and quickly gets us to 10.

There’s something about dancing that finds myself doing it more and more, recently. I guess maybe it’s the escape it provides from all the other madness going on in the world out there. Maybe it’s just the clubs that I go to in order to indulge in dancing that have gotten the formula for escaping down packed. The club seems like the only place I can crank up a song like this to obnoxiously loud volumes in order to completely engulf myself in all of its sonic glories. The drum beats, the horns and synths, the way the music can make you bob and weave in and out of rhythms is best experienced this way, and that’s the thing of it—that the music becomes more of an experience than just an occurrence. I dig that shit so much that I go through withdrawals now when I can’t get to experience music on that level.

Anyway, this is a perfect mid-afternoon, mid-week experience to get the juices going, the blood flowing and your dance shoes ready to rock. And if it just so happens that you’re at work, or in class, or somewhere that you can’t get up and dance, well at least put on your headphones and crank it up as loud as your volume will let you go, and enjoy the escape that White Panda has so generously provided.

Joni Payne – Must Have

Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form or another.” – Einstein

No, he’s not talking about photosynthesis you mark ass 7th grade level science ass buster. That’s mother f&%king Albert Einstein saying some frou-frou hippie sounding shit that could change your life.

If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” – Tesla

That’s Nicola mother f&%king Telsa bro, the dude literally invented your entire world, are you listening? I really don’t know how else to explain this to you. Everything is energy; our thoughts, feelings, sex, love, money – everything is energy. So if energy can be neither created or destroyed then nothing ever really dies and that which is once was, that which will be already is. Why am I talking about these gangster ass geniuses? Because I’m listening to a song that makes me think of the nature of things.

Joni Payne’s Must Have, a Space Age love song that captures the illmatic nature of time when it comes to love. It’s like that friend you don’t see in years but the second you’re together you pick up right where you left off. In the movie Interstellar one of the main concepts was that love and gravity were the only things that could travel across dimensions and time, if you’ve shared that with someone you know just how true that is.

Fate brings you together again and things have changed because that’s what things do, but you quickly realize that what you thought was an “ending” was just a transformation. We’re so infatuated with defining start and end points but that’s just our limited perception. So like the song says, you sit there overwhelmed with a feeling much more powerful than your thoughts, you immediately reconnect, your energies align, space and time dissolve into it’s true nature and that next level Einstein/Tesla swag us mere mortals can’t understand takes over to break it down to you in the simplest way possible…

I think I must have loved you
I think I must still love you.”

Art this raw, open and honest holds a very strong place in my heart man. Joni’s ability to make vulnerability sound so beautiful is the only perspective I want to have. Nothing ever really dies, all possibilities are simultaneously happening and awaiting for our will to write the story. We all have the same canvas on earth – you can stomp through the garden sad and angry or smell the roses about the exact same thing. There is a vital interdependence between seemingly opposites forces that needs to be appreciated, it’s too complex to understand…

I guess I’ll ride with it, can’t fight with it…

Sabella — Made It Right

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Sometimes I still think about her. It’s never at night because most of the time I am out and about in and out of parties that keep my mind focused and busy on the now. The partying is simply a drug that allows me to forget the pain of the emptiness I feel inside of me. The emptiness comes from what literally felt like having my heart ripped out.

It’s always in the mornings whenever she pops up in my mind, and it’s mostly when it’s beautiful and sunny outside that she’s there, right at the top of my head with her flawless smile and her hearty laughter. And then I wonder what she could be doing and if she’s happy wherever she may be, but I never reach out to her because of that whole thing about letting love go and it coming back someday if its real. Right?

They tell us, all of our lives, that we are too young to know what love is or that we are too young to be or fall in love, but I remember having my heart broken way before even making it to high school, so how could that be true? I guess they have been wrong this entire time because I know for a fact, after all of these years, that a broken heart is a product of love. I mention this because Sabella is only 19 years old, but the way she sings these lyrics makes me feel that she too feels the pains and anguishes that I feel, and I love that there is someone else out there that can relate to missing someone you love the way that I do.

Her delivery is sad, but beautiful in that way that only sadness could be beautiful in. Her words are pure, honest and perfectly poetic, and her tone sounds like she cried her eyes out just before jumping in the mic booth to lay her sweet vocals down. Either way, she makes me instantly connect with “Made It Right”, and she makes me realize that it’s sometimes ok to wonder about those few souls that you hold dearest to you, because while the rest of the world may not understand your connection to them long after they are gone, they don’t need to, as they weren’t there either when it first began.

It’s always just us. It’s always, just, us.

Slum Sociable — All Night

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Listening to “All Night” by Slum Sociable makes me feel like I’m watching a memory of a much older New York City through a gigantic movie screen. The filter on this film is grainy and the scenes jump erratically because there are no transitions on the raw footage and the sounds are muted. I see kids running through the streets of sprinkled waters from opened fire hydrants in the scorching summers. I see packs of children running frantically after Mister Softee trucks and packs of teens chasing each other across boulevards during endless games of manhunt. I see the loners riding trains across bridges into the smog of the city, and shirtless handballs players working their palms out as if every game were the final at Wimbledon.

There’s such a nostalgic sample-sounding element to this tune that makes it more visual for me. It takes me back to all of those summers in my childhood and combines them into that one film I am still watching as I keep it on repeat. Those summers were awesome man. Those were the summers when my only worries were getting home before curfew, and my toughest decisions were which pizzeria I was getting a slice from, but they were some of the dopest times I have lived in life, mainly because they were full of adventure and the city was still a massive land of undiscovered treasures for me; it kind of still always feels and remains that way, somehow, and I guess this song serves as a great reminder that life is the same way—one giant adventure full of priceless treasures around every bend.

No matter the memory, the sun is shining above it brightly and I can still feel its heat on the back of my neck and shoulders, now. At the top of my head, only the thought that ‘life is beautiful’ exists, consistently, in each flashback. The sidewalk is always a bright orangey color from the sun’s reflection off of it and everyone is wearing shorts; laughter, smiles and a lot of freeze tag seem to be the most prominent pieces shown from all those recollected scenes.

Oh, summer.

Stephen Bradley – Runaways

This song makes me feel like I’m in the middle of one of those amazing dreams where you realize that you’re super attracted to some girl that you never really paid attention to before. The next time you see her in real life, everything has changed. All of a sudden you’re super nervous around her. Everything about her is more appealing, and now she’s skyrocketed to #1 on your list. What was it about the dream that made you see the girl differently? Or what was it about the girl that you didn’t understand before the dream? It’s almost like you actually shared an intimate night together, and you can’t help but wonder if she had the same dream and shares this sexy little secret with you.

It’s one of those almost-lucid dreams where you’re aware enough to know it’s not quite reality, but the dream is so much fun you can’t help but hope it continues. You’re pensive, but feel free at the same time. Nervous, but confident that you’re in control. You wake up to pee, hit the pause button in your mind and dive back into bed, hoping to plunge back into REM and continue the fantasy.

The ethereal, airy feeling of “Runaways” is like helium for a balloon. Every time I listen to this I begin to mentally float back in time to a rich memory, or one of those special dreams that left its imprint on my mind. I guess if I really want those dreams to continue, I should simply keep playing this song. That’s easy enough. Isn’t that, at its core, exactly what music is supposed to do? Look at that, I figured it all out.

Night Helix — Transplant

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This goes out to all you trannys out there. Not the kind you thought of right away either, but in this case it’s the ones that have uprooted themselves from the worlds they once called home in order to follow a destiny to places that feel and seem like the complete opposite of where they’ve been:—the transplants. Whether you’ve moved to Brooklyn from whatever part of the world you were from, or you’ve moved to Europe, China, or LA somewhere from wherever part of the world you used to be from, this, goes out, to you.

Transplant” by Night Helix is like Christian Slater in the film Pump Up The Volume in which he plays Leonard Cohen‘s “Everybody Knows” while talking to everyone out there listening, only that in this case everyone Night Helix is talking to is everyone who had the balls to leave everything they knew behind in order to aggressively pursue their dreams. It’s simply just a guy letting us know that there is nothing to fear and no reason to feel lonely because there are more of us out there than we care to even imagine. It’s Night Helix letting us know that no matter what our dreams may be and what we are out here chasing as we move from city to city, town to town and nation to nation, that he is out there too if we ever need someone to talk to or listen. This is his way of talking to the world, and I for one completely dig his vibe and the page that he’s on.

Transplant can be considered something of an experimental tune with sultry spoken word delivered over thumping basslines that both keep going throughout the duration of the song. Its more like a Space Age podcast than a track, but it bangs properly enough to fit right into anything else out there that sits between the disco & house genres. It’s a weird, yet completely captivating production that has great balance between its sound elements and the vocals, and works extremely well in making us want to hear some more.

Keep talking to us sir Night Helix, we, the Rhythm Nation, are listening.

MISUN — Harlot (Lakechild Remix)

Harlot by Misun is one of my favorite songs of the past few years. I could listen to it anytime and it instantly changes my bad moods into good ones, and my good moods into even better ones.

This Lakechild Remix completely crushes it by keeping the unique vibe and fun essence that the original has with its guitar, and amping up the rest of the mix with some super space age synths and sounds that rock it out much harder, the way a deep house mix should truly sound. The bottoms are heavy and pound thoroughly to get your whole body going, and the vocal chops are a nice updated touch that breathe a whole new life into this Misun gem.

Play this at your next dance party, during your next DJ set, or when you’re just sitting at home needing a boost of energy to get you ready for the rest of your day or night.

Bang this one loudly and dance.

Sailors — Let’s Go

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Here I am, waiting for you,
waiting for you to come and take my hand,
to go, somewhere else.”

When I was engaged to Vanessa, I was the type of person that always talked big about moving away at the whim of whatever next wind came blowing across my face. I always felt that urge that many of us feel to go and explore foreign lands and see and feel and experience things we never knew even existed. The problem is that whenever the opportunity presented itself to me I always balked hard at it. I could and would find ten thousand and twelve excuses as to why I just couldn’t go at that particular moment. Excuses varied from not being able to leave my fiance behind all alone, to not being able to leave my friends here without me (as If I were that fucking important).

I won’t say that I regret not leaving and exploring the world much earlier than I did because my life has been pretty amazing, but I will say that I do regret not having  had the courage back then to just take off the way I do now.

Obviously, that phase in my life finally ended and I found a new me that was able to pick up and instantly leave from wherever he stood at the drop of a dime. I was able to see, through overcoming those particular fears, that the world is a much more beautiful place than could ever exist in our imaginations, and that the experiences that await us within these adventures are more precious than we could ever be told.

Sailors short sonic reminder, titled: “Let’s Go”, is that lesson in musical form. The instrumentation, minimalist introductory lyrics and the overall vibe is them telling you to let go of the norm of your everyday and the redundancies of your lives in order to experience what Alan, Diego and I have all experienced, which is that sometimes doing the complete opposite of everything you have been taught, trained, and raised to do is actually the best medicine for a restless mind and soul. It’s Alan & Diego (Sailors) reaching their hands out to you and pulling you into that one escape you have been so hesitant to go on,—so:

Let’s Go”

Villa — Ride Round (Ma Di Sohn)

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At the parking lot to the Ralph’s in NoHo late one night, Devon and I had just got back from San Diego. We had broken night out there partying with Fab after his performance at Stingaree and spend the day at a friend’s pool party in La Jolla, tanning, day drinking. vibing, relaxing and cavorting with some of SD’s finest. Almost back at Noho14, where we both lived, we could see a shit load of lights on in a huge circle in that parking lot, so naturally Devon wanted to check out what was going on, and so we went. Now, if you know me, I’m not the type to rubberneck, ever, and if there are any altercations happening that don’t involve me, well then I keep it moving. Too many times it’s the nosey person in the crowd sticking around to see what the fight is about that ends up getting shot, and I’ll be damn sure if I was going to the nosey person that night. Anyway, Dev is the complete opposite and he was driving, so there was nothing I could say.

As we pulled in we realized it was some sort of huge pop-up party that instantly just happened, and in the middle, probably every single dancer and choreographer in the music industry that lived in NoHo dancing the night away, and battling. I looked for the film crews and waited for a director to yell: “CUT!” as we bewilderedly walked around scratching our heads. If you know anything about the dance/choreography world, you know that practically every single dancer and choreographer lives in North Hollywood, or at least in some of the part of The Valley, nearby. We made eye contact with a few of the people we knew in that industry, and we drank and watched one of the most epic scenes I’ve ever stumbled upon for the next few hours. Before that night, California wasn’t nearly as spontaneous as NYC could always be, for me. After that night, I spend months searching for that next fix.

Ride Round by Toronto native Villa, is exactly what that memory feels like to me, because everything felt like it was moving in slow motion, because every dance move was enhanced and focused in on as if watching a movie in 3-D at the IMAX, and because it was one of the most ethereal experiences I have ever had to date, and, because this song makes me want it back, right now.