Crystal Fighters – Champion Sound


Transitioning from summer into fall is a slow time of the year. The days get shorter, darkness arrives before you know it. Hours tick by, half a blur but half a stairway with no end in sight.

Music’s role in life changes with the season. It plays a supporting role during the summer, but is quickly cast as a co-lead when the slowdown hits. Stow away that song ADD, and release the full album listen-throughs and endless mood playlists. Not to mention the high quality of KCRWs Eclectic 24 music feed. Talk about curation!

I’ve been going HAM on Spotify, turning over new stones, finding salamanders and getting those gems in rotation. Who would have thought that someday Burl Ives would share a playlist with Aphex Twin (quick note: if you haven’t listened to “Syro” yet…absolutely one of the best albums of any genre this year). One of my juiciest finds has been the debut album from Crystal Fighters, “Star of Love,” released by the London outfit in 2010. Not only is the music highly innovative and entrancing, but the band has one of the most fascinating back stories I’ve come across in some time.

Formed in 2008, the band is a musical project based on and named for an unfinished opera written by one of the members’ certifiably insane grandfather. After finding the opera randomly which cleaning out the ancient house, located in the Basque region of Spain, the band dedicated their intellectual and musical energies towards creating an album centered on the opera’s insights and traditional Basque music. I forgive you if you didn’t draw that exact conclusion from listening to their music, but there is no denying that the resulting sound is original and new (also now is a good time to drop a pic of this band…they are beautiful.)

Mixing traditional Basque instruments – including a beautiful pipe whistle – with manic, housey synths isn’t easy to do. Vocals at times mimic traditional chanting, always fluid and rapidly delivered.Their new album, Cave Rave continues the mission, but feels overwrought and sugary to me. Not to say it isn’t worth a listen! The story doesn’t get any more normal, but I’ll leave that to curious readers.

As we approach the harvest season, what do we never do? That’s right, drink “harvest” featured beers from your favorite secretly-corporate-owned “craft” brewer. What do we do? Dive into the stacks, get reacquainted with old friends and reflect on another year end approaching and a troubled world laid bare. Pained by a death across the world and one just next door, it can be hard to see many moments of light in the smoggy sky. Rally, my friends! You have enough, you do enough, you are enough. Be you to the ever present soundtrack.



EMPT Presents: Le Miel du Mois Decembre Best of 2013

I can’t lie, I’ve had this tape since mid December. I did have an extremely busy end of the year and going back to NYC for two weeks didn’t exactly help my productivity but that really has nothing to do with it. In fact this tape has been complete since Steph first sent it over. HP sent us one of their new Split X2 laptops, you know the one Clams Casino has been using for those beat making videos you’ve been seeing all over the net. Anyways, I didn’t want to take my army of technology with me on this trip so I put Ableton on the X2, got inspired, took it on my flight and did all the mix on it while on my way to New York. Gotta love the space age.

The truth is I have this weird thing with LMDM’s where I want to hold on to it for myself for as long as possible. I realize EMPT is this whole thing now and people have certain expectations that need to be met but I like to do what I feel and being the only one with LMDM for a little extra longer makes me feel good, sue me. Seriously though, I know it’s a problem, I promise to be better about it this year. Anyhow, Steph usually speaks through her selections but this time she graced us with some beautiful words and I won’t go on with my ramblings and distract much longer. We took a little extra time to mix and blend the tracks while keeping Stephs original track order in tack so I think you’ll guys like how this one flows. To make up for my hoarding and to step it up for 2014 I’ll be mixing all LMDM’s like this from no on, enjoy.

Putting this lmdm is always particularly special – for me, each year it’s a way to go through the endless lists of my favorite songs which in a way is to go through moment after moment after moment that made up my year – to sum up “a best of” – this took me exactly twenty minutes, at a quarter to midnight, BC I knew exactly what needed to be on this – so this is my version of a best of – each song is a piece of my year and perhaps of yours as well…each track is much more than that – it’s a distinct memory you repeat in your head bringing you back to that individual experience you associate it with. For me there’s a strong mix of emotion attached to each one and a definitive event, person, or both. Here’s to a full year-  of ups and downs, highs and lows, falls and beautiful mistakes but with each close of a year – comes a new opportunity – of renewal and most importantly, an open path – waiting to be taken…

Le Miel du Mois at work? That’s much better than work at work! Download
  1. Sam Smith – Nirvana (TIPs Promised Land Remix)
  2. Nicolas jaar – With Just One Glance
  3. Coma les dilettantes (Roosevelt remix)
  4. Blood Orange – Champagne Coast (Clockwork Opera Remix)
  5. Foals – Bad Habit (Alex Metric Remix)
  6. Wolf Alice – Blush (Duncan Murray Remix)
  7. Vadoinmessico – Teeo (Crystal Fighters Remix)
  8. Miguel – do you (ah yeah remix)
  9. Hermitude – hyperparadise (flume remix)
  10. Vitalic- fade away (C2C remix)
  11. Ginger and the ghost – one type of dark (ta-Ku remix)
  12. Lafayette – Mauvaise mine (Jupiter remix)
  13. Kleerup and Lykke Li – Til we bleed
  14. Ultraista – Small Talk (whomever remix)
  15. Flight Facilities – Claire de Lune (them jeans edit)
  16. The Do – Bohemian Dance (YUS remix)
Music Remixes

Feed Me & Crystal Fighters – Love Is All I Got (Friction Remix)

If election fervor confirms anything, it’s that opinions are like assholes–some stink worse than others. And that people will never unanimously agree on anything–even if it’s as overtly obvious as choosing the candidate with more integrity and compassion to be a nation’s spokesman. It sucks to see how divided a nation you live in.

Politics, like music, is a polarizing, subjective subject. People will always disagree about one of the most subjective topics around that can be backed up by no empirical evidence other than YouTube plays and Facebook fans: music. People gravitate towards music for one common cause that would make politics a lot chiller: love. And that’s what this song is all about.

“We can soar with love in the  morning, feed your soul with love in the evening, expand your soul with love on the weekend…cause love is all I’ve got.”

We live in a diverse time and a band like Crystal Fighters represents this era to the fullest. The Basqued-out group takes musical influences from all sorts of countries and eras and fuses them into a unique sound that’s impossible to pigeonhole. Most tellingly: none of their songs really sound the same–and that’s a rarity in music.  It was a little surprising to see their name pop up next to an electro heavy hitter like Feed Me, but the collaboration produced a timely anthem.

I generally shy away from anything released by Feed Me, but when a friend sent me this track, I gave it a twirl. It’s certainly the kind of music that makes me feel like my brains being sucked into an elevator shaft while someone injects HGH into my heart. But it also has got some serious depth to it and features some seriously sophisticated production.

Friction intensified the song with extremely aggressive drums, bass, and laser beams, and it will get your weekend lifted with lots of commotion and lots of love.

Feed Me & Crystal Fighters – Love Is All I Got (Friction Remix)

Feed Me & Crystal Fighters – Love Is All I Got


Le Miel du Mois by Steph Lund: Septembre 2012

A person named Hadders (if thats your real name) left this comment on our wall last week and it said…

Hi EMPT, I’ve been following EMPT for the last 2 years and my welfare depends deeply on your LMdM mixes. They’re unbelievable. Can’t wait for the next one and thanks for the music…”

That made my day and it got me going enough to wake up this morning and finally put together the September 2012 edition of LMDM and unbelievable would be the best way to describe it. As usual, Steph manages to make an amazing tape that is a complete 360 degree turn from the last –

Well, tell me then which of these various styles you think is the best then huh? 
The best I hear is the combined, the best of all styles. Put them together.”

I forget what movie I got that from but it’s the best way to try describe Stephs style – a constantly evolving blend of everything great music has to off.  I love that. If you take a look at the world around us, it seems like everyone is trying so hard to be something, to be classified, defined and identified. There are benefits to that and it certainly is comfortable and makes thing easy to understand but my problem with such thinking is that the second you become so defined you’ve instantly limited your experience. I’m not just talking about music here, it applies to all facets of life and can lead to severe lameness if not carefully observed. You ever meet someone who has it all figured out? It’s boring. The only thing constant is change and that scares a lot people but it’s a beautiful thing, the world keeps moving, everything grows and develops and in my mind that’s something to embrace. That’s the vibe LMDM gives me because I never know what to expect. Each tape continues to seduce and keep me on the edge and it’s wonderful. So Hadder (if thats your real name), I’ll join you in thanking Steph for this great experience. From start to end, month after month it truly is unbelievable, enjoy.

12 tracks for September. With one bonus. A month that rolls from one season to the next, September leaves us desperate to keep the sun but the season will change no matter how bad we might not want it to. heres to celebrating what was and whats to come… “

Le Miel du Mois at work? That’s much better than work at work! Download


  1. Crystal Fighters – At Home (Passion Pit Remix)
  2. Elite Gymnastics – Here in Heaven
  3. ALPINE – Hands (Goldroom Remix)
  4. Yuno – Sunlight
  5. Night Panther – Snudge
  6. Silent Rider – I Was A Bomb
  7. Cheers Elephant – Leaves
  8. ODESZA – Above The Middle
  9. Chromatics – Circled Sun
  10. Teen Daze – The Future (Jess Ruins Remix)
  11. Pale Seas – Bodies (Tropics Remix)
  12. Work Drugs – License To Drive
  13. Bonus: Tears for Fears – Everybody Wants To Rule The World
Music Remixes

Crystal Fighters – At Home (Passion Pit Remix)

Once upon a time, I used to DJ for an independent radio station. I would spin all kinds of electro/hiphop/funk from 3AM to 6AM. My favorite pastime, aside from dancing all over the studio, was the last song of my 3-hour set. For me, it was a culmination of neurotic, sleepless energy and several hours of talking essentially to myself whilst spinning the best music I could find. For my listeners, I imagined it to be a heralding of the sun, an anthem for the new day. Crystal Fighters’ At Home was one of those such representative songs. The band incorporates traditional Basque instruments like the txalaparta and txistu to set themselves apart from in the folktronica world. Crystal Fighters first album Star of Love (2010) covered a wide range of energetic sound and eclectic feeling, but At Home always stood out from the rest. With the txalaparta on the main stage, the collective vocal effort of the band is powerful and emotive.

Remember everywhere, everything is in this place,
Take a place if you found a place to take,
And if you don’t have anything nice to say,
You can tell it while you take it to your grave,
Wake me up when I’m on the throw to paradise,
Lift me off the ground and take me to the garden of paradise.
I left alone, I left the world I was running,
To be by your side I was dying,
alone by your side I was flying.
I came alone, I’ve come a long way to get here,
The leaves they fall to my feet, at home, they mean nothing to me.

Passion Pit‘s remix bumps up the tempo and sprinkles their signature sound into the mix. The beat kicks a litte harder and the melody soars a little higher in the atmosphere. Where the original showcases the lyrics of love and togetherness, Passion Pit pulls the stops out and pushes the song off one plane of existence and into another. Contagious with body-moving danceability, play loud and dance hard. Say hello to a new kind of sun.

Crystal Fighters – At Home (Passion Pit Remix)

Music Remixes

Vadoinmessico – Teeo (Crystal Fighters Remix)

Happy July! What a beautiful weekend it has been. I came across this song last week on a run. I like to download music to my iTunes without necessarily listening to it so that the experience is raw and emotional when I’m out and about. This came on just as I was approaching the middle of the Williamsburg bridge on my run, a tricky spot seeing as I sometimes turn around halfway if I get too hot…As soon as this track started to pick up speed, I found myself doing the same. I love the way the vocals are chopped up and served like a raw sushi delight, delicate and flavorful. I wanted to chop up my own pace so that it matched the beat, flailing my arms and shaking my butt, since it’s New York City after all. No one really cares. But I didn’t do any of that. Instead, I finished the rest of the bridge and turned around just as I’d hoped I would.

There’s truly not a better feeling in the world than being able to successfully reach a goal, even if it’s just a running distance goal.

I think this is the perfect track to kick off July. It’s light and airy but present, the kind of tune that will happily get stuck in your head. It’s strange and rare that we find tunes stuck in our heads that we actually enjoy.

And with that, happy listening!

Crystal Fighters – Teeo (Crystal Fighters Remix)



Treat My First Like My Last & My Last Like My First

I’m just, tryin to stay above water y’know
Just stay busy, stay workin
Puff told me like, the key to this joint
The key to staying on top of things is treat everything like it’s your first project, know what I’m saying?
Like it’s your first day like back when you was an intern
Like, that’s how you try to treat things like, just stay hungry” – Notorious B.I.G. Interview

I love hearing Biggie say that, it never fails to remind me how important it is to stay fresh, active and always pushing. Have you ever noticed how people always put their best foot forward in the beginning but when they get comfortable you’re left with a mediocre version of what you initially met. It’s amazing how we have the nerve to wonder why a boss might be unhappy or why a lover may lose interest.

The key is to treat everything like it’s your first project…”

Stability and routine are important aspects in the pursuit of happiness and success but repetition can kill you if that’s all you do. For example, remember that first time you went for a run after slacking for a while? You were dying but pushed your way to finish line and now that same run is no problem and you do it everyday. That’s good and all but if you don’t push yourself to feel like you did that first day every now and then you’re getting nowhere fast. You gotta find a way to put a little extra into the things you do because it makes all the difference. I mean if you’re going to do it just to get by what’s the point really? Also when you give something everything you have and it doesn’t work out, you don’t have to think twice about it. So don’t be afraid to show a little passion, go the extra mile or be exhausted after that workout. Always remember what the first time felt like and indulge in that feeling of newness and challenge, it will make your try harder and give more every single time and that’s where it’s at.

Anyways it’s Friday folks! I have all my boys coming to pre-game the evening, the weather in New York City is autumn bliss and there’s nothing but good music in the background, time to be unstoppable. I’ve been listening to the following collection of songs all morning and will probably continue to do so all day so I thought I’d share that with you, enjoy.

Alex Winston – Velvet Elvis (Crystal Fighters Remix)

Kavinsky – Nightcall (Feat. Lovefoxxx)

Jay-Z & Kanye West – Niggas In Paris (VOODOO FARM DUBSTEP REMIX)

Chip Tha Ripper – The Truth

Birdy Nam Nam – Jaded Future

Pompeya – 90 (Korablove Remix)

Clubfeet – Last Words (RAC Maury Mix)

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Crystal Fighters – I Do This Everyday

It’s a full house here; my roommates just returned from traveling. One of them returned from the Benicassim Festival in Valencia, Spain. She came back not only raving about the beach/festival experience, and she couldn’t stop praising a Spanish band  called Crystal Fighters.

Chrystal Fighters are a noteworthy group because, at least in this album, every track is super different, contributing to an unpredictable dynamic that keeps your feet moving. The variety of sounds combine rock, dubstep, and African beats.  These seemingly disperate genres are all adapted in a digital and unique way. These past days I’ve been having a lot of conversations about “The Ego” and the persona that we put forth to other people. What other race does such a thing, put up walls all the time to disguise who we are?  The lyrics of this song remind me of the idea that we need to be aware of the barriers we create for our selves.

“You have a Hammer, break down the wall”

Crystal Fighters – I Do This Everyday



Crystal Fighters – In The Summer (Picture House’s ‘Summer In The Balearics’ Mix)

I’ve been hearing some people talking crazy about how excited they are for winter. Let me put it on the record, I do not share those feelings and though I look forward to spring and maybe early fall I have zero to negative 2 interest in the New York City winter, maybe for a few days upstate but that about it. That said, I’m off to Long Island this weekend and wanted to post this fantastic beach made remix of Crystal Fighters’ In The Summer. The feeling you get when listening to this song is euphoric, I mean with the right state of mind and music like this around you can mess around and take over the world.

I love music for many reasons but one of them is the power it has to capture you and make you enjoy the little things about the moment at hand. I was having a conversation with my friend Roy yesterday about how we tend to worry about things that have little or nothing to do with the reality we actually live in. What your doing now, not now but right now, that’s your life, I would definitely get up from wherever you are and take a walk to think about that. I can’t spend to much time on the subject but Roy put me on to a quote that says it all:

This moment is your life…”

Alright I have a meeting with Darren Kapahi, the mastermind behind my Hear No Evil logo and I have to get ready for South Hampton all in the next few hours so get some friends, get out of the concrete jungle, put on those bathing suits, grab drink and kick it to this gem, EMPT loves you, enjoy.

Life is inspiration. if at the moment, my life is you, then you’re my inspiration for the moment…” – Roy Perez

Crystal Fighters – In The Summer (Picture House’s ‘Summer In The Balearics’ Mix)