Categories
Music

Shura – Indecision (Jungle Remix)

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I’m beginning to see indecision as a form of reckless passivity, another self-deprecating behavior that justifies itself via chronic remorse. In a world stimulated by action and reaction, where fear and love are the driving forces behind the choices we make, it becomes necessary to realize that indecision is a choice and duality is the human condition. Embracing the power of opposites is necessary when striving for balance; as such our choices are usually motivated by attaining pleasure and avoiding pain. Oftentimes we overestimate the ability our ability to exercise control over the events in our life and we are overwhelmed by the multiplicity of choices. The chaos of indecision can be extremely debilitating; feeling scattered and anxious, we end up wallowing in a mire of self-doubt, exhausted and feeling stagnant as ever. Enslaved by the ego, our resistance to facing our own truth ends up perpetuating that which we fear most.

When no risk is taken there is no freedom. 

“We are accustomed to think that, if there is any freedom at all, it resides, not in nature, but in the separate human will and its power of choice.

But what we ordinarily mean by choice is not freedom. Choices are usually decisions motivated by pleasure and pain, and the divided mind acts with the sole purpose of getting ‘I’ into pleasure and out of pain. 

But the best pleasures are those for which we do not plan, and the worst part of pain is expecting it and trying to get away from it when it has come. You cannot plan to be happy. You can plan to exist, but in themselves existence and non-existence are neither pleasurable nor painful…”

-Alan Watts

Rant inspired by this groovy track. If you so choose to indulge:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Ek6mY9Ksqk&w=560&h=315]

Categories
Music

EMPT Presents: Le Miel du Mois Summer 2014

Relax your mind, and folks unwind and be kind to a rhythm that you hardly find
And off we go, let the trumpets blow
Well hold on, because the driver of the mission is a pro, 
The Ruler’s back…” – Slick Rick (The Ruler’s Back)

That’s right folksthe underground’s most eclectic, most uninhibited, most poetic, futuristic, most imitated, but never duplicated mixtape is back in action, and as expected from all tapes worthy of the name LMDMin grand fashion. We don’t release for the sake of releasing here, our intention is always to be the best, offer the best and be real at every minute in the process. So if you’re wondering why the hold-up, it’s because life has been happening and we weren’t just going to put something out we didn’t feel. As long time readers know: we don’t fake it here…

I live by the funk, I die by the funk…” – Notorious B.I.G. (Machine Gun Funk)

The last time I saw Steph she was at her wedding. We know each other and connected years ago because of music, and here I am at her weddingdamn. How does this mixtape start Steph – “So you come a long way, huh!?”

It was so inspiring to be around so much love and family. It was an honor to see her take that step, to be there amongst her most-cherished because she is certainly one of mine. On behalf of the EMPT army, congratulations!

I represent the Space Age where all institution is up for revamp, examination, and ready to be destroyed or challenged, but one thing that stays true is the importance of family. Sure, there are corny people that abuse love and family itself, but when a group of people understand the bond and importance of blood and use that as support, there is literally nothing stopping them. Believe me when I say this, the people who run the world are the tightest families you’ll never know of. The institution is being destroyed on purpose because a world without people who would die for one other is easily malleable, but we can’t let that get diluted or forget it’s value. So why was LMDM on hold? Because Steph was building a family, you basic bitches!

But we still love you all & here we are, back with LMDM Summer and like I said earlier: it’s heavenly.

As usual there’s 360 degrees of styles uniquely bound by Steph’s masterful mind. Everybody knows that no two LMDM‘s are the same, and this one is no exception, so don’t take the title for granted.

This is truly a summer-tape perfect for all your hot weather activities. I think Steph spent her honeymoon in Thailand and Cambodia or something amazing like that. Or as Steph put it…

Pure, calm and escaping love ❤️”

I can easily picture myself with my close ones bumping LMDM Summer while chilling in an infinity pool somewhere in the middle of a forest or some futuristic shit like that. As usual, I highly recommend pressing play and letting the tape rock till it stops. The adventure is beautiful, it’s custom-made for the Space Age kids, for you. Enjoy.

Relax your mind, let your conscience be free.
And get down to the sound of EPMD EMPT. – EPMD (You Gots to Chill)

Tracklisting:

  1. Jungle – Busy Earnin
  2. Coucheron – Deep End
  3. Phoria – Once Again (Layzie Edits)
  4. Haring – Us
  5. Racing Glaciers- First Light (Backstroke Remix)
  6. The Aston Shuffle – Tear it Down (GAMPER & DADONI Remix)
  7. Wild Ones – Row (Francisco Y Madero Remix)
  8. Panama – How We Feel
  9. Lykke Li – No Rest For The Wicked (Joris Voorn Remix)
  10. Peaking Lights – Beautiful Son (John Talabot’s Acetate Dub)
  11. Wild Nothing – Shadow
  12. Twin Sister – Daniel
  13. Goldfish – Moonwalk Away
  14. Sons Et Al – Day by Day
  15. Bronze Whale – Weird Dark Things (Ft. Khai)
  16. Bright Moments – Tourists
  17. SOHN – Bloodflows
  18. The Shoe – Dead Rabbit Hopes

Download

Categories
Critiques Music

Jungle – The Heat

Not much hay has been made over the fact that two white men are producing music under the name Jungle and mostly featuring black men in their videos and collateral. Maybe this is because the duo is still (relatively) underground, but they’ve definitely set themselves up for a media firestorm of sorts should they break through to the next level of popularity. In fact, a slew of thinkpieces could boost Jungle’s name recognition, and it’s not like there aren’t other non-PC artistic projects out there.

Let’s get out ahead of the controversy. Yes, there are obvious problems with associating the term “jungle” with people of African descent. Racism is alive and well across the world, and perpetuating that even through semantic and visual reference remains unacceptable. But I don’t think that’s what’s happening in this situation.

I’ve gone over my extreme distaste for the artistic tactic of identity hiding (it’s a play for attention, and it can’t hold up long term), and must give Jungle a slap on the wrist for using it. They go by single letters,  don’t do interviews (until they did), and play live swathed in a thick smoke screen. In Jungle’s case, they appear to have purposefully led their audience to believe that they were the two black men featured in the video for “The Heat” and in their press photos.

Their sound is firmly steeped in the culture of R&B, funk, and disco, with a psychedelic lo-fi twist, and they’re aiming for an audience still generally located in the indie rock/electro-pop/accessible electronica spheres. Most artists in that world are white, and non-whiteness becomes a selling point and interest generator (recognizing that this is not always the case, of course, and plenty of non-white acts rise to prominence based only on the quality of their artistic output).  Jungle has, without a doubt, gotten more coverage because they branded themselves as cool, tracksuited, barefoot black men, when in fact they are pale white brits who don’t look any different from the other acts in their cohort.

But is this so wrong? It’s the content producing media outlets and the consuming public that jointly decide what’s cool and what isn’t. Black music culture remains “cool,” especially in the hipsterdom populated mostly by white American, English and Western European young adults.  Jungle made a risky play to generate coverage and grow a following, and it seems to have worked.

The music is what matters most, and luckily it’s very good and a novel take on an old theme. The nu-disco revival in electronic music and crossover with R&B-style vocals offered the perfect entry point for Jungle’s brand of washed-out disco. An audience was waiting.

So why the need for the secret and arguably offensive branding? I don’t get it.

What I do get is that it’s becoming harder and harder for bands to break out of the underground, and we’ve not seen the last questionable publicity stunt or strategy. To all the artists out there: creating a stage character is fine, and it’s ok to have fun with it (see: Gaga, Lady). Just remember that if your art isn’t authentic, people will see through it.

Jungle’s art is authentic. I hope their image grows up.

Jungle – The Heat

Categories
Music

Jungle – Busy Earnin’

Jungle’s bittersweet 70’s inspired jam is my new theme song but what it represents is a lifestyle I’ve been at for a long time.

So you come a long way
But you never had things for a normal life, it’s hard
Too busy earnin’…

Everything I do I love. I don’t mean that in a cliche kind of way either. My job is my passion. I live in the abstract where I make money from curating music. Let me tell you something about money and music, they don’t go together. All those rappers you see are an illusion, 90% of your favorite bands are struggling. What I do is rare and I’m lucky. It’s a gift because I’m doing what I love, it’s a curse because it never turns off. You know how some people go home after work and leave their job behind, I don’t know that…

And I get it always
But I bet I won’t change, no
Just busy earring’
You can’t get enough.

Earning. I know what you’re thinking, money but it’s not a monetary thing, it’s about living and appreciation. There’s not a day in my life where I’m not extremely grateful for being a human being on planet earth, in the United States. I have this intrinsic need and desire to return the favor, to not just consume during my time on earth but to greatly contribute. While at Coachella I did a lot of thinking about the future and had an epiphany that the best way to contribute is to disrupt. You have to see the world beyond what already exist and create from that point of view. One day in the not so distant future the iPhone will be looked at like a fax machine, what and how we consume information, music and life in general will be completely different. By creating from that perspective you not only solve the problems of the present but you create something new at the same time.

My mother knows me by now but she still wonders why I check out from time to time. I’m just trying to give back man, just trying to earn my keep in this gift called life, I’m..

Just busy earnin’, Can’t get enough.

Press play and let these epic horns bring out the creator in you, let them inspire your day. Some of us have been at this for a long time and have no intention to stop but rather to figure out how to keep going at full speed, it’s what we’re meant to do and everyday we’re understanding the intricacies of that purpose more and more, here’s to those folks. Get busy people, we’re just getting started.

Jungle – Busy Earnin’