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Flume – The Greatest View (Feat. Isabella Manfredi)

If I got to choose a coast I got to choose the East
I live out there, so don’t go there
But that don’t mean a ni%$@ can’t rest in the West
See some nice breast in the West” – Biggie

Two and a half years ago I found out what it’s like to be a New Yorker in the City of Angels – insert all relevant stereotypes here. In the last week or so I’ve been back on forth to NYC and after fully embracing the Angelino lifestyle I’m truly starting understanding the other side of the coin. Those Biggie lyrics use to represent me to the fullest but these days I’m lucky enough to have a different perspective, one that ask why choose? LA and NYC are completely different places, so much so that there’s no valid reason to compare them, but you talk to natives of either and they’re so die hard about one or the other. I’m not knocking loving your city but I am promoting being able to appreciate it all. It seems like much of life is centered around making these drastic decisions but why do we have to limit our love to one thing? We’re forced into these limits as if humans aren’t capable of endless love. Further more why do we get caught up in the frame of mind that strongly identifying ourselves with things is so important? In my opinion we’re led into that by commerce but more on that later.

If you don’t know by now Steve Jobs is one of my idols and part of his philosophy on intelligence is that it’s all about having crap load of experiences to draw upon…

A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.”

I love that, I love the concept of having a huge bag of experiences to draw upon when it comes to anything in life. Sometimes we get caught up looking at a thing from one perspective while completely forgetting that there’s an entire world out there. Often we get caught up in the material and forget how insignificant that is compared to the divine, we get lost looking at something from the ground instead of going up and seeing it from a sky scraper. We always have to keep that in mind, that’s why I chose this song because it truly is about being objective enough to have The Greatest View.

So to that I say live somewhere else! Save your money and travel, experience new energies, new people, new cultures and make your bag of experiences as big as possible. I said we’re led into these limited identities because of commerce and I think that’s a big part of it. The world wants to make you define yourself because that makes you easy to sell to. The more of a “demographic” you are the easier it is for marketers to target you and sell you shit. But kill that noise, we’re better than that and we’re not limited to one, two or even three things. Technology and all the progress we’ve made as humans allow us to make the most of our lives, don’t take that shit for granted. There’s no limit to our love, enjoy.

Flume – The Greatest View (Feat. Isabella Manfredi)

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Fort Knox Five – The Brazilian Hipster

Today is arguably the most important day in United States football history. No, not that football. Futbol.

The World Cup has never been bigger than it is in 2014: the biggest stars, the highest sponsorships, the highest threat of large-scale civic unrest. Brazil, the birthplace of o jogo bonito, is facing a true turning point. Economic progress, hailed in international mainstream media as a sign of entry into the first world, is one side of the coin. The other is rampant government corruption, environmental degradation and class disparity that is up there for worst in the world (make no mistake, the USA is sitting pretty in that shameful upper echelon as well).

Our 2014 Men’s National Team has already defeated Ghana, our arch nemesis over the past decade (they ejected us from the cup in the last two tournaments) and now faces Portugal, a team that features the best player in the world (yes, as of right now, he’s the best), Cristiano Ronaldo. But the Portuguese team is hobbled, having lost its second and third best players to injury in the previous game, and losing one of its top defenders to a red card.

This game is seriously up for grabs. If the USA win, they will progress to the knockout stages, where anything can happen.

I often question my unbreakable addiction to sports, and televised sports in particular. Aren’t I wasting my time? I could be learning to code apps, or volunteering at the local homeless shelter. Instead I’m sitting on my ass watching a bunch of millionaires playing a game.

But the same can be said about listening to music. Sports is an art too, an art that you have to understand to appreciate. Those millionaires have trained their whole lives, just as our favorite musicians are tireless workers. There are those who believe arts are a waste of time (just ask all those educational reformers who remain obsessed with standardized testing). And too often, the arts and sports communities are divergent.

The World Cup is not a bringing together of nations, not by a long shot. If you’re rooting for someone, you’re rooting against someone else (and potentially developing real-life hatred, depending on how futbol-crazed your country happens to be). But the copa is a bringing together of individuals. When my artist partner is texting me to revel in a fantastic goal (this is a person who describes sports bars as a personal hell), you know something out of the ordinary is happening.

Fort Knox Five’s “The Brazilian Hipster” is an apt tune for the occasion. Futbol’s spiritual home is Brazil, and the Hipster’s spiritual home is the USA. And as artists repping our nation’s capital , I’ll bet FK5 will be watching.

Today, jocks will join arms with nerds, punks will link hands with princesses, and we’ll all be rooting for the home team.

Except me. I’m Portuguese. Deal with it.

Fort Knox Five – The Brazilian Hipster

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C.Z. – Lovin’ Your Smile


I’m all smiles today, giddy with sunshine as usual. The city is flooded with light and there’s a whole lotta love in the air. I can’t help but indulge in a (solo) solstice dance party to celebrate this lovely summer day and this track is the ultimate groove-facillitator. I found this track thanks to xxyyxx’s  MOMA Ps1 mix almost a a year ago and I’m so glad to have stumbled across it again today. The melting synth line + elements of U.K. bass make for an irresistible combination and with such solid production this track is definitely a go-to for getting down…

C.Z. – Lovin’ Your Smile

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Ghost Beach – Been There Before (Shook Remix)

Changing, changing

Shook’s remix of “Been There Before” takes the original, strips it substantially of its lyrics and focuses on beat-tastic piano and disco bass. The bongos make me feel like i’m sitting by a beach-side cabana, the beat makes me want to shake my booty. The piano has a Chilly Gonzales-esque sound to it; the in-your-face-can’t-leave-your-mind kind of piano. Shook is notorious for his prevalent use of the bass, radically transforming pop and indie songs into nu-age disco.

Shook eliminates all words save one particular chunk. In this sole verse, there’s a heavy emphasis on changing. I like this topic. Life is change, change is life, yet we have such trouble accepting it! We take time to adjust to the new situation, and this is where the hardship sets in. As a military child being displaced every 2 years, by the time I left home I had the “uprooting” thing down. I grew to accept this feeling of discomfort- this “transitionary period” as I have since labeled it. It’s the period before your brain adapts to whatever situation you’ve put it through. Because of my inconsistent childhood, I’ve been a skeptic of the permanence of the present, and what I’ve grown to accept is the ephemerality of life. Whatever you feel now will pass in X amount of time. How quickly we adjust plays a large role in our happiness in such new situations.

Don’t fall into the trap of stagnation or you’ll get “Lost in a vision of where you are now,” as Ghost Beach puts it. Enjoy the moment, engross yourself in it, but don’t lament on it once it passes.

Ghost Beach – Been There Before (Shook Remix)


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Deerhunter – Back To The Middle

Le titre Back To The Middle est sorti en 2013 dans l’album Monomania. Un style garage, un son brut, un retour aux sources. A l’heure où les chaleurs estivales nous poussent à nous prélasser sirotant menthe à l’eau ou autre cocktail, où le chill est la quête ultime, le maître-mot, Deerhunter me donne envie de secouer ma tête pleine de sueur au milieu d’une foule en délire, une peinte à la main.

Je ne sais pas, c’est peut être une façon d’exprimer un ras-le-bol général. Le fait est que de temps en temps la vie nous amène sur un plateau un tas de choses dont on n’a pas envie. Je ne cherche pas à me placer en victime mais parfois c’est un sacré foutoir et on se demande “Pourquoi moi, pourquoi maintenant??”. Et pourtant il faut le faire, aller de l’avant et passer ces obstacles.

Le lien entre cette chanson et cette passade? Le Rock. Balance tout et avance! Parfois c’est peut être la meilleure solution. Who cares? J’aime bien la deephouse mais à un moment donné il va falloir commencer à faire attention, ça nous rend trop passif! Back To The Middle reste tout de même très agréable à écouter sans avoir envie de tout casser, on peut en profiter tout au long de l’été!

Deerhunter – Back To The Middle


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Et Musique Pour Tous presents Les Auteurs – Nicky DePaul

Today I am excited to offer the second entry into EMPT’s “Les Auteurs” playlist series, in which our writers share playlists built around a theme of their choosing. The design of the EMPT is not condusive to author recognition, and we devised this series as a way for our loyal (unpaid) writers to put a name to the voices you know and love.

In the first “Les Auteurs” entry, Ashley H. (yes, there are multiple Ashleys!) shared an Indie Shuffle playlist built around the broad theme of love, and constructed to lead listeners through the phases of a romantic relationship. This week will be, well, different.

See, I have a love affair going on in my life. It’s been going on for a while now, and after a few years on and off, I’m glad were finally able to be together again. Whenever I find a spare moment, I’m running in my love’s direction, eager to bury myself in the wetness that awaits.

I admit it: I’m head over heels in love with the beach.

My youth was spent in a coastal community in West Los Angeles abutting Venice, considered the home of modern American skate and surf culture. The beach was a regular presence. My friends and I would bike or skate the few miles to the sand and post all day, surfing, flirting and growing up. Though I was undoubtebly the “Squid” of the group (I never could get the hang of that balance thing…), I found that the beach, and coastal settings in general, became the preferred haven for my soul. I’m a nature guy, an ecologist and climate scientist by training, and am absolute Wild (in the Thoreau-ian sense) addict. Nothing is more wild on this planet than the ocean, and I embrace the mysterious deep as my church. We could dive deep into naturalistic mysticism, but that’s for another day.

My “Les Auteurs” entry is entitled “BYOBeach,” and it’s sculpted to bring the ‘tude and feeling of a summer beach day to your earholes, wherever you may be physically located. Beach culture exists across the world in different forms, and I’m not trying to provide a comprehensive survey. “BOYBeach” mixes the haze and liberation of Australian psychedelic rock, the rebellious voice of long-haired teenagers at war with everyone, the prophetic calls of reggae forebears, and the ebullient promise of a life spent in the salt and sun.

Some of the tracks are retro classics. No beach playlist would be complete without The Beach Boys (“Catch A Wave”), Bob Marley and the Wailers (an incomparably great early recording of “Lively Up Yourself”) and Toots and the Maytals (“Sweet & Dandy” off the album that brought reggae music out of the Caribbean, “The Harder They Come (OST)”).

Others are brand new and laregely unknown. Howler (“Beach Sluts”), the brainchild of singer/songwriter Jordan Gatesmith is pure beach punk out of distinctly not-beachy Minneapolis. Elliphant (“Music Is Life”) aka Ellinor Olovsdotter, is another rising Swedish pop sensation who pays tribute to dancehall and reggae in her own unique fashion (look for her at the Mad Decent Block Party concert series this summer). And, because I’m obsessed withKevin Parker (of Tame Impala fame), I included tracks from two of this other projects: Melody’s Echo Chamber, where he serves as the producer for the brilliant French singer Melody Prochet, and Pond, where he plays drums.

Rounding out the playlist, we have tracks by The Babies, Superhumanoids (with whom I conducted an EMPT exclusive interview a few months back), Liam Lynch, Pete Rodriguez (you don’t know him, but you know the song), and reggae toaster Anthony B.

I selected “Danca Ma Mi Criola” by Tito Paris, out of Cape Verde. This song was on a random compilation album of music from island communities across the world I listened to as a child. It truly encapsulates what The Beach, for me, is all about: peace, relaxation and mutual communion through a shared love of the miracle of life.

Please listen to the playlist in it’s established order, as if an LP. It is structured to lead you through a full day at the beach, leading off hot and heavy, and letting you down gently as the final grains of sand fall from your towel.

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SBTRKT – Never Never (Featuring Sampha)


How does it feel to be part of a class that is known to be notoriously self-focused, procrastinate inevitable adulthood and have a devastatingly insatiable appetite for change? These sweeping generalisations don’t help either. As I killed time this week at an office job (I loath), I binge watched TED talks. This is nearly as detrimental as listening to the 4-Hour Work Week at your desk, which I did during my first week of work at a real office job on Wall Street one week after graduating university. Something that has come up in multiple TED talks are topics like “How 30 is not the new 20“, and we should not be procrastinating our lives asking for more time to soul search or explore our career options or partners. Or the traits of a healthy relationship, somehow can be matched to if you smiled in pictures as child and you should also be able to find a great person, not the perfect person.

The irony of all of this guidance aimed at our peer group is that we are living products of what was created. We got gold stars in school, so we strive for all gold stars. We were told we can be whoever we want, and when we don’t get it, we are left unsatisfied, in our cubicle on Wall Street or in Oxford Circus, going home where are schedules are loosely dictated by TiVo. We can create our images and morph them as we see fit, yet we are constantly recreating ourselves in real life each day as we are influenced by the millions of images we see of friends in cooler places, of ex lovers and their new lovers, of inspiring quotes printed over images which really at the end of the day, leave us wanting more beautiful things to look at from the windows of our life. We are a generation which has accumulated more debt and come in to the world at a time of war and poor economics and been told we are the group who doesn’t work enough and are unsatisfied with life.

The truth about that first sentence is that it hurts because it is a bit true. In some small truth or another. I made a list of things to accomplish when I was 8, and I recently ticked off the last one. Now what? I moved across the world for someone and they want to move? Now where? I am not rich, but I make more than I need and still feel like so much of the world is out of my reach, so what do I have left? I had a conversation with my darling today. She put it in a way I thought made sense, atleast it may for some of us. “We are taught to be independent and when things settle or we have someone we can lean on, we don’t know what to do.” It is hard to break the drive, to put on brakes when we get close to those things we were raised to aim for. In love and life. The perfect mate. The job. The friends. When do you stop? The key is identifying the difference between satisfaction and gratitude. I think most people can collectively say they are grateful, we are grateful, for the fruits of life. But we are still left searching for the meat.

We want to be satisfied, and not being able to be satisfied is a big worry. Envying those who have purchased furniture for their place they plan to stay in, or making commitments a year in advance, or being able to see yourself old next to the person you are in bed with, finally unpacking.

This song spoke to me for that. The opening verse, the way I interpreted it, says all of this, more eloquently put. But it is hard to sort yourself out, it’s hard to talk about it when the problems we face and are struggling to understand are what we are generalised to be like and worry about. Thinking of our personal journey, thinking of our personal satisfaction. Wanting more.

“It’s complicated when you gravitate towards yourself
On the other hand it’s hard to talk to anyone else
You can’t help, can’t help where your mind goes”

SBTRKT – Never Never (Feat. Sampha)

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Phonat — Never (Icarus Remix)


A few days ago I met with a friend for the third day in a row who is going through a breakup. A few days ago this friend mentioned to me that the last two days before that, were the best two days she’s had in some time.

Time is a blind man
And he never looks back
Time is a blind man
You can never look back”

Never is about: “those meaningful and defining moments you’ve experienced that you’re trying hard to recreate. The irrational and impossible desire of human beings to rewind as opposed to looking forward, which only produces nostalgia.” [1] —phonat

This fresh ass Icarus Remix takes that original feel of the song and seems to try to do quite the opposite with it by speeding it up and grooving it out as if you’re in a car speeding through the city on the fast lane of life, moving forward with zero time to look in the rear view, and with all of the glory waiting for you right at the finish line—whatever that finish line might just be. It takes various disco elements, adds some electro production to it applying some of those traditional synth sounds, and covers the entire floor with some steady hard hitting Hip Hop bottom-end that provides the actual groove interlaced with the magical medley of sounds carefully constructed by Icarus.

Our ability to learn how to stop focusing on the past is our ability to control our own minds and thoughts. Controlling our own minds and thoughts is the power to do anything we wish to do, in any amount of time we wish to do it in.

Who says that we have to be sad during a breakup, especially if the main reason you are breaking up is because of all the sadness it causes you in the first place? Why is it that you feel you can’t go out and not feel what the world thinks you should feel, in turn figuring out that the best times of your life are still ahead?

I’ve been practicing taking situations from my past where it took me months to get over something and bottling up all of those emotions, while compressing them, in order to get over things much sooner. Basically, realizing that if time truly doesn’t exist then who is to say that we cannot learn to get over something that would take us months within minutes or hours?

I don’t know, maybe that’s all too much for some of you, but it makes sense to me, specifically because I’m sick and tired of following all of the old rules of a game that has consistently already evolved way ahead of us.

Phonat — Never (Icarus Remix) 

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Ben Khan – Savage

Travis Kalanick is the man behind that last unicorn since Facebook. It’s a company that has changed transportation forever, has in just 5 years expanded to 130 cities globally, it fights industries and government and doubles it’s revenue every six months. The company is called Uber and it represents a shift in paradigm most of us aren’t even ready to understand.

But Uber in it’s current form is only the start, Kalanick believes that his company can replace car ownership entirely. That in the future it will be more cost effective and convenient to ditch ownership and embrace the Space Age. I wholeheartedly agree, and while it might sound crazy to some to picture a day when most people don’t own cars but numbers are already speaking. Parallel to Uber’s success is Google’s developments with driverless cars, Elon Musk releasing all of Teslas patents and the micro-location movement picking up full pace. The truth is that the world has already changed, my question though is how can we be getting so sophisticated in terms of tech and be relatively 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. Further more, what sense does it make in the context of your life, of your needs, desires, experiences and ambitions? We can pick up a little slim device and tell a freaking car to come exactly to where we are yet we’re living like savages culturally. You know why Uber is in constant battles with existing industries? Because the old systems can’t survive through innovation, they survive but suppressing competition. That’s why we don’t have cultural innovation, because this entire system is based on us being trapped in it. Do you know what that means? It means we could be more than what we are but through bs culture and tradition we’re limited to be something that upholds the matrix, that shit cray. I know we’re hyper progressive here but that’s what it’s going to take, we have to become more man, I’m not trying to be a fuckin savage to support someone else’s system. Enjoy.

Ben Khan – Savage

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Adam Tensta – My Cool (Al Azif Remix ft. Dr. Alban)

Due to some administrative confusion, my earlier post on Autograf’s “Gust of Wind” remix has been taken down…as the track was written up already yesterday! Ah, the pitfalls of an international remote team sharing a Dropbox account.

So in the interest of keeping all you EMPTers satiated with Sunday summer jams, I offer you this rare example of good dance rap. It’s very Euro, and I never heard a peep out of any of the artists after I initially discovered the track a few years back. But fuck if it isn’t the perfect soundtrack to a sunny day. I’m a major sucker for elated reggae vocals and happy-hardcore synth lines, and this little number has both in excess.

Regular readers know that I’m all about the summer jams, and I advise you to be on the lookout this week for my entry into EMPT’s nascent playlist series, “Les Auteurs.” It will be beachy.

Adam Tensta – My Cool (Al Azif Remix ft. Dr. Alban)


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