Elohim and Whethan – Sleepy Eyes

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They’re not actually sleepy eyes; I’m just not high enough to be completely okay with promiscuity in a summer festival setting despite the aid of empathogens. And this song, with its cute horns and Odesza beats circa In Return, isn’t locking in because beyond the melodic summer vibes and faux-PLURness, it reminds me of how dependent I still am on other people for validation, how I still struggle with feelings of attachment, and how I still can’t reconcile with the unpredictability of the future. But sure, if it’ll make you feel better, I’ll open my eyes when I kiss you. Whatever makes you happy, dear.

The 5 W’s Of Going To FYF Fest 2017

What: Boasting what could be the coolest name for a festival, Fuck Yeah Fest is an LA gem that’s a smidge smaller than Coachella, but just as cool (if not more so). It’s a pretty straightforward festival experience—with a strong focus on music instead of corporate sponsors, FYF is a good fit for jaded fans like me who want to kick it to some incredible acts in a low-key, quirky setting. Plus, a GA pass is relatively affordable for a lineup as heavy as this one: at $329, the still-available face value tickets are far more reasonable than other festivals’ very expensive scalper prices.

Who: Frank Ocean is SUPPOSED to be performing, but avid fans know that until the ever-elusive Frank is physically on stage, nothing is set in stone. Even if we don’t get to see Frank, it’s okay—this lineup is STACKED. Kehlani, Mura Masa, Anderson .Paak, Run The Jewels, Arca, Slowdive, Erykah Badu, The Black Madonna…. I am thisclose to just putting the entire lineup in my “must-see” list. It’s that good.

When: July 21st-23rd, 2017. Plenty of time to fully heal our alcohol-riddled bodies from the Fourth of July. Happy birthday America, now give me an aspirin.

Where: Exposition Park, in Los Angeles. I know very little about this park, but it looks nice and is home to the California Science Center, so bonus points for that. Science!!!!!

Why: If you’re bored of the massive festivals like Lollapalooza and Coachella, but still want to see big-name acts, FYF is the place for you. Hell, Kanye and Lady Gaga have made appearances in past years, so it’s worth going for the guests alone. Goldenvoice’s festival has somehow avoided the “sellout” trap that many festivals fall into after a few successful years, and that’s worthy of celebration. You can grab a three-day pass on the FYF website and check out 2017’s offering for yourself.


Epsom – Vulture Talk

Article by Chuck Trash

When creative pioneers first introduced the synthesizer to the world of popular music, the entire idea of the sound they were creating was heavily rooted in strict compositions, not totally unlike minimal classical music. The idea of having to be musically trained in order to create any type of music has long since been abandoned with so many improvements in the world of technology. Although the world of electronic music has been flooded with cliché melodies and over the top live performances, there are still a handful of extremely talented artists who still make music with the intention that people will pay close attention and fully appreciate the full scope and nuances of the product.

Epsom, a Los Angeles based electronic artist, has undoubtedly mastered the fusing of minimal classical compositions with the sounds of a hard-hitting synthesizer. On his new LP, “Vulture Talk”, Epsom is breaking down all sorts of musical boundaries, creating an atmosphere that is necessary to experience multiple times in order to recognize the enormous weight and depth of this project. At times, these complex and wonderfully written compositions are lined with minimal drums, but never to an inappropriate or unnecessary extent. The drumming instead creates a proper companion to his electric soundscapes. There are heavy echoes of classic drum n’ bass drum patterns across some of the tracks on this record, further adding to the assumption that Epsom has likely studied music in depth and is utilizing his knowledge of the past to create a modern amalgamation of a variety of genres.

On one of the stand out tracks, “Ferragamo,”  Epsom toys with his MIDI, creating a surface melody that sounds like a successful drum n’ bass banger. In a matter of seconds, he fades out the lead synth and drum track into a captivating but minimal synth progression, one that sounds as though it was pulled from an early 2000’s video game soundtrack. Towards the end of the track, he really brings both sides of the possibility spectrum full circle, transitioning into an exhilarating and fast-paced finale with harsh, somewhat ambient noise. The song last about four minutes or so and it pairs well with the way the album begins. The project wouldn’t quite have the same effect without the subtle melody changes near the halfway marks.

At times, Epsom sounds as though he was heavily influenced by another Los Angeles great, Flying Lotus. To build on those early Flylo “Los Angeles/1983” roots, there are portions of this record that sound like they wouldn’t exist without significant electronic pieces by German groups like NEU! & Kraftwerk. Blank Body’s influence cannot be taken for granted either. The project is really complex, and more than anything, it positively reinforces one of the more artistic directions that electronic music has taken over the past four or five decades. Not only is Epsom making catchy, smart and puzzling pieces of work, he’s talented and not afraid to utilize that talent in his music.

Different Sleep – Last Nerve EP

The highs and lows of Different Sleep‘s Last Nerve EP are staggering. The San Diego native turned Chicago resident (now turned L.A. resident) isn’t a producer who adheres to one style or genre. On this release, his second with L.A. label Friends of Friends, there are no two tracks that sound the same.

The EP starts with “Night Depository”, a track which sounded to me like the eerie entrance to some type of mystical reggaeton action/adventure game. It’s structure is spacey and light, but the tracks drums add an extra bit of intensity that echos throughout the whole EP. “Lost Profit”, featuring vocalist Angelina Lucero, is a more typical sounding Different Sleep record, with obvious trance influences scattered in his production. “Movement” however, is my favorite track. As someone who has been following Different Sleep’s music closely over the last 4 years, it makes me giddy whenever he takes a crack at making a more intense sounding track. “Movement” is exactly that. If “Night Depository” is the intro track to Different Sleep’s hypothetical reggaeton video game, “Movement” is the games boss level track.

Different Sleep’s Last Nerve EP is a defining release for the young producer. We’ve seen him virtually dominate the Majestic Casual YouTube channel over the years, but this is his graduation from simple internet producer. The range exhibited by Different Sleep on this project shows his incredible music taste as well as his knowledge and skill to tie different genres into his musical creations.

You can purchase Different Sleep’s Last Nerve EP on iTunes here.

Mac Miller – Brand Name

To me Mac Miller seems like the friend you want to have around, easy going, good natured and a funny dude who happens to be pretty talented at music. He’s incredibly business minded, creative and appears to be comfortable with where he’s at in life. I mean rightfully so since he is making millions of dollars as a 23 year old who essentially created a brand with little to no help from a major label, a feat that has always been impressive to me. He’s good at what he does and I’ll continue supporting him because he’s a humble artist with drive, which is opposite from almost the entire rap culture. I’m not highly anticipating GO:OD AM but I am glad that Mac Miller exists and continues to pursue art however he wants.

Mac Miller – Brand Name

The Palms – Breaking (Into Summer)

Unfortunately I don’t live in LA, and over here in Chicago we’re breaking out of summer, but I can still appreciate some funky warm weather vibes. The Palms is a duo of guys named Johnny Zambetti and Ben Rothbard hailing from Los Angeles California. They’re like your typical beach boys, but sometimes they wear leather jackets; that pretty much describes their music too. They’ve committed themselves to making upbeat music uninhibited by the barriers of genre, but there are definitely some beachy-pop influences that come to life in their music (“hip-POP” as they like to call it). They just recently released a track called “Breaking (Into Summer),” which shows off their unique style. The production of the track is clean and the track roles along effortlessly against an iridescent beat. Check it out above and stay up to date with these guys.

Mic – Smock Me (Prod. by Lid)

Pronounced “Sh-mohck.”

Shout out to Mic for shouting out Big Bird. The track opens as a slow burner, and we’re only treated to one verse from the relative newcomer coming from Los Angeles before the beat breaks down into some baby-making grooves. We know everybody is losing their shit for G-funk right now, so get on this if you’ve already played out Warren G’s new EP. We also hear that Mic rides around LA in his slingshot with his pet pig Mr. Meat, so there’s that.

shonHayes – Paint (prod. by Mikezilla)

Los Angeles by way of Flint, Michigan rapper shonHayes comes through with a wobbly, grime-induced doozy of a single. As if left out in the heat and subsequently ran through a meat-grinder, the originality in “Paint” lies in the stark contrast behind Hayes’ laid-back, stream of consciousness style flow and the driving production, which doesn’t necessarily evolve as much as it hypnotizes.

Hayes, a member of the Innovator Co. crew, can also balance contradictions within a few bars, rapping, “Only reason I be with the drinkin’ and the chiefin’/ is so that I can get higher than all the reasons I be griefin’ homie/ They want me that these devils steady be lurkin’/ certain, ain’t hurting/ ain’t searchin’ for no purpose…” Bonus points for existential woe. Nothing to be done. Give this one a listen and you may hear an artist stumbling across that long lost purpose, to “paint the perfect picture with precision.”