‘Neverland’ by Tommy Girl & Nikola

Mysterious, trippy, intriguing, apocalyptic??

A lot of thoughts come to mind when hearing this song, and I always enjoy songs that make me think.

Synthy piano rifts with cinematic, explosive yet subtle background sounds and bumpin’ bass make for a stellar production by Nikola @sincerelynikola

Tommy Girl matches her tone and energy perfectly with the sound put out in this track.

I’ve never been to Neverland, but no one is truly in control, so why not?

– zimmertime

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‘happyBB’ by MOD SUN

One of my favorite songs to listen to in 2018, I wish everyone happiness in 2019 and onward!

A crazy banger all about individuality, energy, and inner happiness.

Cheers to me not giving a shit about filming this song live and just vibing in the moment:

MOD SUN – Movement On Dreams Stand Under None

Whatever brings you happiness, go get it in 2019!

– zimmertime

‘Renegade’ by Styx

The Jig is Up, The News Is Out.

If you’re from Pittsburgh, stop here, grab a cold one, and turn on your TV to gear up for the ‘LERS. You know this is a Pittsburgh staple.

If you don’t know, now you know thanks to the Post Gazette how this song came about.

Go listen to Styx

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‘Are You In?’ by Incubus #tbt

The soothing guitar, the rumbling of the drums and cymbals, the bass and DJ sound effects eerily yet beautifully coming into the mix with every sound coming all together with a toe-tapping beat and a guitar rift to get things going, makes this song one of my favorite songs, well, since I can remember.

I was 8 at the time when ‘Are You In’ was released in 2001 as a single and eventually on the album titled Morning View by Calabasas native band Incubus. ‘Are You In’ introduces sounds of jazz and swing music plus DJ Kilmore producing fluttery, ocean-like sounds on his what seems to be synthesizer at the time. The spacey, wavy sounds he puts out on this track along with a full band contribution are just unmatched. Further, after doing some research, the group created this album when they were living in and producing the album in Malibu. Every time DJ Chris Kilmore would show up to the house on Morning View street in Malibu to start recording while over looking the ocean and Pacific Coast Highway he would say, “Ahh Morning View, it’s time to rock!”

A few summers ago, I made it a point to make sure I knew when I’d be passing Morning View on my drive up Pacific Coast Highway 1 with my girlfriend, Kalie, from LA to San Francisco. Needless to say, it makes sense why they titled their album ‘Morning View.’

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When I listen to music, I don’t just listen on the surface and I mean that. Ironically, I am not too detailed of a person in everyday life – more of a big picture type person – but for some reason with listening to music, I am super detailed. I listen to every single lyric, I pick up on every instrument involved and listen for it, and I will repeat songs to make sure I fully take the entirety of it in while trying to place meaning to it throughout. If you notice on this song, there are moments when things are poignantly added in or subtly added in:

The ‘Candy Break’ scratching by DJ Kilmore for example in the beginning of the song is a poignant, right out in the open display of scratching.

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During the midpoint build up of the song, the instrumentals as well as Brandon Boyd vocally build up the energy to a peak only for the band to bring it back to earth like when you drink that glass of ice cold water after a hot day in the sun and soothingly release ‘ahhhh.’

Then come in the faintest, most subtle voice murmurs and someone quietly says – ‘That day I ate so much chicken’ around minute 3:18. Go listen for yourself, and you will hear it. That’s the kind of detail I’m talking about above.

From listening to this song hundreds, if not in the 4 digits (no joke) of times, I conjured up that this song was all about going with the flow, being down with the moment, staying open minded, not letting yourself be a sore thumb to what’s going on. Probably on the 10th time as a 10 year old I realized that, but still. Then, I read somewhere that the song kind of just started on a whim with someone playing a sound until everyone was in playing the song, creating the song on the spot. And after some additional research too, it seems that some may think this song is about being ‘in’ when it comes to Mary Jane or Swinging based on the music video they released to it. Interesting, and not surprising at all.

Whatever the case may be I’m all in on this song. Are You In?

– zimmertime

Epilogue:

‘It’s so much easier when sea foam green is in fashion.’ The band Incubus has been my favorite band long-standing. The reason why is because they are able to create sounds that literally span the spectrum of musical sound. The oriental string instruments that make up the all time most chill song ever ‘Aqueous Transmission’; Brandon Boyd essentially rapping in ‘Pardon Me’; Drive – one of their most popular songs – being an acoustic pop song; Wish You Were Here – a standard alternative rock song; The list goes on and on…

Incubus has been ahead of their time, and I think they always will be.

Musicians. Artists. Creatives.

Are You In?

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Artist Spotlight: Mako – Live @ Brooklyn Bowl

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What happens when you combine a classically trained Juilliard grad, a DJ, soulful vocals, and an indie electronic sound?

The answer: A refreshingly unique and brilliant group called Mako… aka the most talented group you’ve never heard of.

Lead by Alex Seaver, a classically trained musician who was originally planning on joining an orchestra, Mako first entered the music scene in 2013 with their debut single Into the Light produced alongside Sander van Doorn & DubVision.

After a few releases in the progressive house / electronic dance realm like Beam, Sunburst (now I Won’t Let You Walk Away), and Our Story, Mako took a step back, and according to Seaver, began “redoing the entire notion that we were DJ’s at all and kind of using a live band now. It’s an alternative electronic thing with our new album.”

Speaking of their new album, Hourglass was released on December 9th and features an array of authentic, emotional, and uplifting tunes like Let Go of the Wheel, Way Back Home, and Craziest Day I Ever Had.

Throughout the album, Mako transcends genres and Seaver’s ability to effortlessly tell stories adds a genuine and personal layer to the music.

I had the chance to experience the above first hand this past Friday when Mako performed at Brooklyn Bowl in Brooklyn New York.

Below are a few videos from the show, highlighting their musical range and ability to translate songs from the album into a raw, creative, and powerful performance.

Enjoy.

Until next time,

-Trachstar

p.s. Be sure to follow Mako on the socialsphere and catch them at a city near you

Soundcloud

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Louis the Child – Love is Alive ft. Elohim

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Chicago bread electric duo Freddy Kennett & Robby Hauldren, better known as Louis the Child recently released their newest single “Love is Alive” featuring Elohim.

I first heard this track a few months back while seeing them play in Brooklyn NY. Upon announcing they were playing a new track at the show, the duo jumped up on their stage table and immediately assumed ‘grooving positions’… Robby with some sort of swimming motion and Freddy nodding and slowly pumping his fist. It was hard to tell, but it looked like both of them had their eyes closed, basking in the rolling bassline and encouraging vocals from Elohim.

“This song is very special to us and carries a message we feel is very important especially considering the state of our world at the moment,” Louis the Child said in an emailed statement originally reported by Billboard. “We need more love,  and we hope this song helps spread love.”

I have to say I agree. And if you think about it, things are quite simple… We’re all here together, in one big ship called the Earth zipping around the Sun at 67k mph. So while we’re along for this supersonic ride, let’s remember that no matter how disheartening and chaotic things seem, we can throw on a tune like this and embrace the unique and extraordinary love we all share for one another.

Until next time,

– Trachstar

Sunday RnR: TWRP – Ladyworld

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TWRP is back on Sunday RnR with their sick ass electro-sync rock sound. The sound is great, the bass lines are amazing, the beats and syncs carry the song to higher places, and the guitars come in to add just a little something extra. Not many groups are doing what TWRP is doing, and none of them are doing it as well. I don’t have any specific recommendations off “Ladyworld”, they’re all worth a listen, and since the whole thing is under 30 minutes long, why not just enjoy it all?

Jaggernaut

SHELTER LIVE TOUR: PORTER ROBINSON & MADEON BACK TO BACK LIVE SET @ Madison Square Garden

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You know when you’re looking forward to something for a very long time, whether it’s hot date, vacation trip, new movie, etc. and you play out the “ideal” sequence of events in your head over and over?

You try and imagine yourself in the situation, the emotions and gratification you’ll feel, the possible obstacles you’ll encounter, and even the specific things you want to say / do.

Then the day finally arrives. You’re nervous, excited, and more than anything hoping the experience lives up to your expectations.

I want to narrow in on the few experiences that surpass your highest expectations. Those experiences that leave you with and sense of gratitude for having had been a part of it.

For me, the Porter Robinson & Madeon Shelter Madison Square Garden show was one of those experiences.

As part of their nationwide and soon to be International Shelter Tour, Porter and Madeon played back to back sold out shows at MSG November 17th and 18th. I was lucky enough to attend their second show with a few pals from college.

So rather than ramble even more about every aspect of the show, I just want to briefly run through 3 takeaways from that evening, with videos to support:

  1. Madeon’s Got Pipes

Throughout their set, Porter and Madeon (Hugo Pierre) took turns singing on their own tracks, as well as one another’s. I’ve heard Porter sing before on some of his tracks like Sad Machine, and his Shepherdess live edit, however, I hadn’t really heard Madeon.

Porter mentioned a little while back that he wasn’t revealing who was singing on his and Madeon’s collab Shelter (the tour’s title track… alliteration), but as you can see in the above video, turns out it’s clearly Madeon, who absolutely crushes the raw acoustic version of the song.

  1. Sometimes it’s Better to Embrace Ambiguity

Like most, I have a love-hate relationship with ambiguity, especially when it comes to music. We generally like hearing songs that we’re familiar with and hearing them all the way through.

That’s not Porter and Madeon’s style.

The duo masterfully weaved one another’s originals into an hour set that kept the audience in suspense and unsure what was going to come next.

A good example of this is the above video where they mashed a live edit of Madeon’s track Icarus with a version of Porter’s track Fellow Feeling which they then dropped into another live edit of Icarus at 128 bpm (much faster than the original), only to re-drop the track after 16 measures back into Fellow Feeling at 128 bpm (also much faster than the original).

You follow that?

The result was pure genius and the reaction of the crowd really tells the story. 

What a moment. 

  1. Shelter is more than a song, it’s a beautiful story

This 6-minute anime short / music video for Shelter is the product of Porter’s year long relationship with famed anime studio & platform  A-1 Studios and Crunchyroll. Porter came to them with a vision for the story behind Shelter and traveled back and forth from the US and Japan 7 times working tirelessly to bring the song to life 

And finally: I just really appreciate Porter and Hugo’s willingness to experiment and tell a story musically and visually that has never been done before. 

Their friendship is a key component to their show and the positive vibes they spread come at a time in the world when we need it most. 

Until next time,

Trachstar

P.S. Catch the duo on the rest of their Shelter Tour and follow them on the webisphere

Porter Robinson Social
Madeon Social
P.P.S. Porter & Hugo. If you’re still reading know I’ll never stop supporting you guys and the thoughtful and refreshing way you approach music and life. Forever a fan and more importantly a friend.

Diplo and Friends Mix: Gryffin Flight Log 004

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Diplo and Friends…a classic.

It’s been awhile for me since I’ve posted, but I’ve encountered way too many new tracks and artists since the time my lazy ass didn’t post all summer long so I’m motivating myself to get back started by highlighting to you guys yet another gnarly mix  by one of the chillest EDM artists around – Gryffin.

The soul Gryffin produces in his tracks is better than any other DJ I’ve had the pleasure of listening to (heavy opinion I know but still, it’s up there at the very least)

I’m actually sitting here listening to this mix for the first time and with 10 minutes in I’ve been convinced to post this article before even finishing the entire mix. Hour long mixes are perfect for any type of activity whether it’s focusing during work, chillin’ out with a brew, long car rides, you name it.

Enjoy this mix and look forward to more music coming your way from yours truly.

– Ben

The Chainsmokers – Closer (Robotaki Remix)

I know what you’re thinking… and yeah, Closer is good, there have been a bajillion remixes that have come out, and you probably don’t feel like listening to another one.

My reason for writing this post is not just to get you to listen to another remix, it’s to encourage you to tag along for Robotaki’s re-imagination of this beautiful story originally told by The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey.

In my opinion, the sign of a great remix reveals itself through the artist’s ability to create a song that could very well be a single on its own, but still retains core elements of the original. Robotaki is able to do this stylistically by creating two very different drops while bringing a funky kind of tropical scat along for the entire ride.

Around 2:35 Robotaki reboots the track and slowly layers in various elements until he catapults us into a future bass wonderland.

In the end, he brings back his funky groove to close out the journey, where honestly I found myself still wanting more (also the sign of a great remix / song).

Until next time,

– Trachstar

P.S. Show The Chainsmokers, Robotaki, and Halsey some love by checking out some more of their tunes.

The Chainsmokers:

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Robotaki: 

Twitter

Soundcloud

Halsey:

Twitter

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