All posts by cwes93

Lovefool – Horace Gold

It was a humid night in Boston, Massachusetts when I met this kid.  Some friends and I were living at 10 Parker Hill where we threw debaucherous parties for our college student brethren on a weekly basis.   We weren’t a frat house, nothing like it – just a bunch of guys who wanted to pursue music at some point in our lives – so the house was filled with music equipment which we used to create a weird mix between a drug haven and clubby atmosphere.  A lot of memories with the Parker Hill boys….but that’s a different story for another time.

Anyways, a lot of people came through that house and one night this kid Horace Brooks walks in and starts talking about his passion for singing.  He went on and on about how we all had to stick together (meaning anyone doing music at the school), and under my hazy mask of Honey Jack and some weird amorphous alcoholic concoction a friend made that can only be described as a mistake the next morning, I excitedly indulged in the conversation yelling obscenities regarding how we would take over the world some day with our music.  That night, Horace got a bit too drunk and we lost him in the city of Boston for a couple hours….

Despite his drunken adventures, Horace is an incredible singer.  Donning the stage name Horace Gold and the nebulous genre of Pop as his vehicle, Horace is well on his way to follow his dream and take over the world with his music.  With an infectious jovial tone reminiscent of The Kooks, his debut EP – The Noise From Upstairs – will be released for free this January.  The single from the project below, aptly named Lovefool, follows Horace’s desires for forbidden love with a lesbian.  From the way she whips her hair out of the pool to the way she says his name, Horace Gold lets us peer through a multifaceted window into his life in his music.  Everyone has those days with their crush or significant other; Horace just decides to sing about it!

‘Lovefool’ was written when Gold was 18, which just goes to show how much this song means to him.  You can also feel that energy in the recording.  Join him on his lovestruck journey as he swoons you with his art of relationship storytelling while you dance along to the beat of his lovesick drum.

Check out LoveFool, then check out his video for Blind below, follow him on Soundcloud, and look back here for the debut EP in January.

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The Thrill Is Gone – Matthias Marlier

Lets transition back to Freshmen year of Emerson College for a second.  There was this kid with an afro and funky demeanor I met on the floor above me the second day of school.  Music was playing, some kids were freestyling, and both him and I enjoyed listening to the talent that surrounded us.  He must have been about 6’1, towering over my small frail freshmen body and I thought “for sure this guy is a Sophomore or a Junior” but to no cigar, he was exactly my age.  Over time, as we bonded over certain Hip Hop icons like DJ Quik, we started sharing music with one another (which is simply the best way to get to know someone).  Amidst forced triples and freestyle sessions, we quickly developed a solid friendship.

Now fast-forward a couple years.  After graduating from Emerson College, Matthias Marlier has been making the funkiest beats to date.  From playing the drums at a young age to maneuvering the DAW Fruity Loops, Marlier’s inspiration comes from all types of music.  Whether its an old soul groove, jazz melody, or and blues guitar riff, no sample is safe from Matthias’ MPC….which I’ve noticed after getting several snapchats of beats I’ll never hear again.  Sometimes, some magical wind will pass by and a beat will make its way to Matthias Soundcloud for everyone to hear, but that only happens once in a blue moon.  No joke.

Anyways, this is one of those beats that finally made it online.  Matthias flip of BB King’s ‘Thrill is Gone’ sample is nothing short of epic, with his skill on the MPC shining through chopped vocal samples and scattered instrumentation.  Play it loud during your commute, spit a couple bars on it, and send it his way on Twitter if you’re feeling it.

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Curb Division – Andy Stoffo

If you hang out with me, you know I like my hats.  I’ve got hats from places I’ve visited like Amsterdam and Cabo, hats from franchises like Transformers or the Golden State Warriors, beanies from labels like Stones Throw; yeah I can’t help myself when it comes to them.  It sucks because with these locks I’ve been growing for five years now most don’t fit my head but I tend to overlook that small detail.  So, when I saw this new denim hat on the market that fit my head perfectly, I said to myself “hell yeah, that’s worth $20”.  And with that, I introduce you to Curb Division, the new apparel lifestyle brand by Andy Stoffo.

Andy’s a weird kid.  Not in a “Oh I won’t hang out with that kid” way, but more like “I can’t put this dude in one box”.  A multifaceted mix of skater punk, photography buff, and extensive music head, he’s the type of guy that never wants to do something someone else has already done.

Stoffo’s Curb Division is a burgeoning lifestyle brand.  Only a month old, Curb Division currently has three items in its product line.  From custom denim hats like this

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to embroidered tees

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to skateboards satirizing the apparel industry giant Tommy Hilfiger brand for use solely at country clubs in New England

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look to Curb Division for authentic gear to express your individuality.  Being the first item on the market, the denim hats are now completely sold out, but with a solid push here more will be sure to come.

Make sure to check out the storefront and shoot him a message here if you dig the digs!

Here’s a nice pic of Andy drinking red wine with class.

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Also be sure to follow Andy’s digital outlets like his website, Tumblr, Instagram, and Flickr!  Oh and if you’re hungry, Andy works at a bagel shop in New Jersey, but its up to you to find out which one – good luck!

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DLRN – Neon Noir (Deluxe)

I’m not gonna lie, I tend to distance myself from new hip hop releases.  I’m not talking about just any hip hop, I’m talking about hip hop from my generation in particular – the millennials.  Influenced wholeheartedly by the Golden Age of Hip Hop, we grew up when Tribe Called Quest, Tupac, NWA, and Jay Z were not just artists, but cultural icons.  We matured during the commercialization of the genre, realized it was a suitable career path, and found ways to revamp it to suit our own needs, desires, and the audience that was quickly multiplying with new fans.

But what does this lead to?  Nowadays, the game as Hip Hop is called, has become so diluted with releases each day on all of these multiple respective digital platforms (Soundcloud, TIDAL, Spotify, Apple Music, Bandcamp), that artists have begun to distance themselves from portraying only one genre. It’s not enough.  New age artists commonly mix styles amidst sultry electronic synths in between a singing/rapping medley of talent to attract a larger fan base.  We see artists who bridge the gap between two career lanes ruling the music business with an iron fist (picture Drake, Pharrell, Kanye), and new artists follow their path because the formula works.  That’s just the way it goes.  In one way, it’s exciting – so much talent being diversified lends itself to incredible musical performances and eclectic bodies of work.  In other ways, its representative of our culture’s complete disapproval of a one track mind, and our inescapable vortex of ADHD.

So, when I hear something that’s fantastic, I’m not going to bead around the bush.  And this release right here is superb.

The name: DLRN.

The project: Neon Noir.

What is it? Glad you asked.  Neon Noir is an enigmatic reflection of golden age lyricism mixed in between dark roaming synths that take you on a journey through the evolution of Hip Hop.  While the duo (Jon Reyes and Sean LaMarr) are reminiscent of an older sound, the combination still distinctively speaks to a new age of Hip Hop that can’t be streamlined to one style.  No, these guys take it a step further with anthemic builds characteristic of electronic music, breaks in linguistic wordplay so LaMarr can explore his own vocal range, and multiple features who each give a breath of fresh musical diversification to the project.

Truly, this album is fantastic.  Take a listen, relax, and be sure to connect with DLRN on all of their outlets.

Website

Soundcloud

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

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Black Coffee – Spiritual DJ Set @ Mixmag Live, London

But Cyrus, what are we going to listen to for this weekend?  I don’t know what I should play….

If you’re looking for something to blast on your speakers for that friendly get together in the sun, or you just want to play video games in your house to a soundtrack, well I’ve got you covered.  Let’s start off by saying this mix right here is pure perfection.  I’m not sure if I’ve heard something thats so intrinsically complicated and complete to the key that I’ve played it 3 times in a day.  This mix is 3 hours long and yes, I played it all the way through, 3 whole times.  That’s how good it is, I’m not messing with you.  This mix is purely fantastic and the fact that the video comes along with it so you can see his workings around the CDJs and mixer is amazing.  Mixmag, well done.

But enough about me blabbering on with how great this mix is.  Let’s talk about the hero of the story: Black Coffee.  Born Nkosinathi Maphumulo and hailing from South Africa, Black Coffee is one of (if not the biggest) house musician from South Africa.  In 2004, he helped put South African’s dance music scene on the map by participating in Red Bull’s Music Academy.  Now 4 albums later, his record label Soulistic Music has churned out house tunes with irresistible dancefloor grooves, forcing you to move your feet and bop your head.  He has even worked with artists like Hugh Masekela, just to give you some insight on how versatile Black Coffee truly is.

Black Coffee – the album, was created using very basic music-making software. “I don’t know how to explain the production stages of my album because all I did was put down the basic ideas that I had, I didn’t use any MIDI controllers everything was played with a computer mouse” – Black Coffee

Check out Black Coffee’s website here.  Props go out to Mr. 415 for sending this to me.

 

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A Tribe Called Quest – Bonita Applebum (Pharrell Remix)

“I did not have a style back then.  I was just then discovering A Tribe Called Quest, which led me to the understanding that I could be whatever I wanted to be, even if at a minimal level, it was just being different. That’s when I learned I could be different. And then my identity started to really come out. And then, right around 1990, I started having style.” – Pharrell Williams in Elle Magazine, 2013 

Christmas came early!!

Rewind the track back to 1999 when I first listened to Tribe Called Quest.  I believe my brother and I were in my basement in CT playing Zone of the Enders (if you don’t know the game, check it out here since it’s awesome) and he had put a mix tape of instrumentals together.  Tribe was fully supported by the mixes, with plenty of instrumentals from Midnight Theory, People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm, and Low End Theory.  It was that type of energy that made me consider Hip-Hop and the music industry as a fun area to be in when I grew up.

But this – this was too much to handle.  For Tribe’s reissue of their genre defining LP People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm due out on November 13th, the never-aging Pharrell Williams has just put his own spin on Tribe’s anthem ‘Bonita Applebum’.  In classic Pharrell fashion, the remix sports a funkified tribal rhythm full of shifting hats, kicks and toms all surrounded by booming bass stabs.  It’s as if we’re traveling through a jungle full of wildlife with Q-Tip as the soundtrack, as we fall over in blissful reminiscence of Hip Hop’s Golden Age.

Oh there’s more.  Other than the fact that this will be a free download with the reissue, there will also be two other remixes by J Cole and Cee Lo Green.  J Cole will be blessing ‘Can I Kick It’ and we’ll see Cee Lo on ‘Footprints’.

Check out the Rolling Stone article for the full article and more information on this release.

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Drazn – Ride (Original Mix)

Have you ever had that feeling when you can’t take a song off repeat?  No matter what does it for you – the infectious build, a pounding kick, a growling synth – something keeps you from clicking the stop button.  That’s how I felt the first and most recent time I played Drazn’s (FlowState’s alter house-infused mechabot personality) ‘Ride’.  Take a minute (actually its 5 minutes and 20 seconds) and bless your speakers and your eardrum with this one.

Now a little bit about Drazn // FlowState since you won’t find anything on the interwebs (sorry I checked).  Amidst his travels to Menlo Park for his daily work at the Facebook campus, this guy simply loves music.  His tracks might get finished millennial style on the shuttle back to the city, but he makes genre eclectic tracks like this one with ease.  His heart though is in trance, and elements from it always seem to find it’s way into his production.  It’s that same unique edge that’s going to keep him pumping out dance floor hitters like this, so stay tuned for more from FlowState.

After you download ‘Ride’, follow FlowState on his Soundcloud! 

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Red Bull Thre3Style: 40 DJs, 40 Turntables, 40 Mixers

Wow. Simply superb.  Amazeballs. Magic.  Pure genius.

Ok, let me explain.  Imagine going to a club and seeing a professional dance circle full of some of the most recognizable dancers in the world.

Now, imagine that you’re in Tokyo at the Red Bull Thre3Style competition and those dancers are DJs from all across the world who have come together to create something magnificent.  Randomly selected and sectioned off into teams of 4, DJs such as QBert, D-Styles, Jazzy Jeff, Z-Trip, and DJ Craze among others, came up with separate 16 bar scratch solos in their teams over a couple days.  The solos then got performed in a fantastic eight minute live mix combining styles from all across the globe!

The result might just be one of the coolest things to ever be filmed in DJing history on 40 turntables, 40 mixers, and six PAs.  Seriously check it out.

 

Yeah I know, amazeballs doesn’t quite cut it.  For the full list of DJs involved and more info on the competition, be sure to check out their website.

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Adventures in Cabo!

Frankly put, Cabo is the place of dreams.  Whether you’re looking for a vacation from the constantly moving life of the city, or you’re looking for a spring break get-away, San Lucas offers it all and more.  I came here to take a break from my post-graduate life of never-ending resume building and cover letter writing (for positions that don’t pay me nearly enough money for the amount of time they take away), and loved every moment of it.  In toe of my mother, father, and my brother Paul, I basked in the warm sun and relaxation that comes with Pueblo Bonito resort life, while enjoying the beauty of the world around me.

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It’s easy to get caught up in your work world when living in the United States, even in my hometown of San Francisco.  Having been born in Stamford, Connecticut and attended school in Boston, Massachusetts, I’ve seen just how people living on the east coast spend their time.  And so, a message for you New Yorkers and other east coasters:

“Take some time to relax!”

Seriously, that’s what Cabo San Lucas is for – relaxation, meditation, and fun.  Hell, there’s even a resort meant for meditation called Pacifica Pueblo Bonito if you’re really into taking your mind off of things. And if you want to spend your time elsewhere, check out the beach at Pueblo Bonito Rose and go paddle boarding! Sure, its a major work out on your thighs, hips, arms, core, basically everything….but it feels amazing to treat the water as a surface on which you can travel the Earth.  Plus if you get tired, simply lie down on your board and look up at the ocean blue sky as waves crash around you, rocking you from side to side.  You’ll most likely hear shouts from announcers of the infamous bar on the beach called Mango Deck like

“Who’s ready for the wet t-shirt contest?”

“Free Shots!”

“Now it’s time for Mango’s Lapdance on Vacation!”

 

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as you try to enjoy solitude on the ocean.  I urge you to try it all out; its all part of the Cabo experience.  And if that wasn’t enough, you can try skyboarding – an invigorating experience where you essentially fly off the water with a water vacuum propelling you into the air.  It’s not easy, but you’ll be sure to get the hang of it; your instructors will be sure of that.

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As for my family, we spent our free time idling around our jacuzzi-included patio at Sunset Beach Pueblo Bonito.  Everything from tequila to Bloody Mary’s, Corona’s, and Red Label was consumed, as we explored the area around us.  Pueblo Bonito has an amazing spectrum of assets ranging from their therapeutic massage parlor to a sky pool overlooking the Pacific Ocean from the heights of the Cabo hills.  And when we weren’t enjoying the height of luxury at the resort – we were snorkeling of course.  Snorkeling with a crew of excited bilingual tour guides and beautiful tourists who just wanted to enjoy the grace of fish in the ocean and an open bar on a party boat.  Seriously, incredible.

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Thanks for a great time Cabo, we’ll be back!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Project Soli

Let me just be completely honest – the future is here.  Google, Facebook, Apple – they’re all at the center of it bridging the gap between us and the Jetsons.  Sure, the multitude of tech companies in Silicon Valley are definitely affecting the city of San Francisco (which I hold dear to my heart), and its a problem that should be addressed.  But at the same time, when they’re creating something like this wearable tech that responds to movement via radar, it’s kind of hard not to be impressed.

Project Soli is just that, Google’s way of introducing radar into wearable technology.  Created by Google’s ATAP skunkworks division (a division with the sole purpose of creating cool things that we will actually use), they unveiled the new tech at the latest Google I/O event.  While its still in the early stages of development, Project Soli intends to make every user interface, other than your own hands and fingers, obsolete.

The system works by incorporating a small radar into your wearable technology (such as a smart watch) and then delivers that signal through API’s in your other technology (such as speakers, your television, etc).  Of course I’m just describing entertainment uses here, but theres so much potential for this tech to be used in any industry.

For now, I guess we’ll have to wait and see.  Check out the video below and let your mind be sufficiently blown.

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