Movement Electronic Music Festival 2015

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The Phase 2 line-up includes:

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313 The Hard Way (DJ Seoul b2b DJ Psycho b2b T.Linder)

ADMN

Al Ester

Andy Garcia

Annix

Anthony Jimenez

Ben Christensen

Brodinski

Bruce Bailey

Calico

Carl Craig featuring Mad Mike Banks – live

Charles Trees

Classixx

D.Wynn

Darkcube – live

Dilemma

Dink & TK

DJ Godfather featuring Good Money

DJ Head

DJ Minx

Earl “Mixxin” McKinney

Eddie Fowlkes

Gaiser – live

Galaktis

Greg Gow

Heathered Pearls

Hudson Mohawke

Jay Daniel

JETS (Jimmy Edgar + Machinedrum) – live

Josh Wink

Joy Orbison

Keith Kemp

Kenny Larkin – live

Kerri Chandler

Kevin Saunderson b2b Derrick May

Kimyon

Korrupt Data

Lee Foss

Loner.9 – live

Maceo Plex

Marissa Guzman – live

Mark 8EN Moss

Marshall Applewhite

MCs Bombscare & Flow

Method Man

Milan Atkins

Model 500 – live

Neil V.

Nick Speed

Octave One – live

Oliver Dollar

Paul Woolford

PHUTURE – live

RayBone Jones

Rick Wilhite

Shawn Rudiman – live

Sian

Sinistarr

Squarepusher – live

Steve Dronez

Terrence Parker

The Saunderson Brothers

The Valley and The Mountain

Thread

Urban Tribe

Waajeed

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Second Single From Nunca Duerma “Shapeshifter” LP

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Old Tacoma Records and Young Heavy Souls present Shapeshifter. An 11-track LP combining elements of hip-hop, jazz, and electronica from Chicago-based producer, Nunca Duerma will be released on Tuesday, July 22. The full-length album will be available for purchase on iTunes and on 12” vinyl records through the Young Heavy Souls store for a limited run. Nunca Duerma was originally discovered by Eliot Lipp when the two appeared on concert bills together. Duerma’s first release on Old Tacoma was a 3-track EP, Dilated. After his debut, he produced a track that was featured on the Pretty Lights Music release of Eliot’s Shark Wolf Rabbit Snake remix album. “Each track is carried by the depth of these beautiful melodies, and the raw soul that went in to creating them. The rhythms function in a way that gives every tone its own purpose. Nunca Duerma is musically one of the most thoughtful producers I’ve come across in recent years,” said Eliot Lipp. There will be release shows in both Chicago and Detroit to celebrate. On July 18 at New Dodge in Detroit Nunca Duerma will play along with special guests Jaws That Bite, Pastel Arsenal and Heavy Color. On July 26 at the Double Door in Chicago, Nunca Duerma will be accompanied with Vapor Eyes, Nortroniks, and Hongry Bogart. About Nunca Duerma: Detroit born, Michigan-raised producer Nunca Duerma currently resides in Chicago. Nunca Duerma has created his own brand of original, sample-based hip-hop and electronica; a natural byproduct of his life in the city. His live sets include original productions, live keyboards, and drumming accompaniment by TJ Devoe. Nunca Duerma is affiliated with both Old Tacoma Records and Young Heavy Souls. Old Tacoma Records is a Brooklyn-based record label founded by Eliot Lipp. Previous releases include Dark Party, Ben Samples, Sir Charles, Eliot Lipp, and Leo 123. Young Heavy Souls is a Detroit-based record label and artist management collective. – via Young Heavy Souls Press Release


Monty Luke and Black Catalogue

Monty Luke and Black Catalogue

Recently we got together with Monty Luke, owner and curator of Detroit-based electronic music label Black Catalogue. Originally from San Francisco, Monty moved here several years ago to work with Carl Craig and Planet E Communications.

We talked weather for a minute, winter’s like this can easily make someone think about goin’ back to Cali’. As I asked Monty if this was the most eff’d up winter he’s seen out here, he laughingly asked me (Michigander my whole life) the same question.
Yes. Yes it is.

Let’s get to the music.


How do you try to get your sound and message to the people? Does the music curation and artistic duties take up most of your time, or is it the marketing and everyday responsibilities of a running business?

“It could be a general music industry thing, it’s tough man. The whole game of PR and trying to get that publicity and awareness. There are so many other labels, and so many people making music, you got to get above the fold. It can be really tough, especially when so much of your day is trying to run the label, doing day-to-day stuff and talking to artists, especially when you’re an artist yourself, it’s a grind…”

“I have to set time aside for each aspect, otherwise it’ll never get done. If I have a remix that’s due, I have to focus on that. If I have a deadline for a release, I have to schedule studio time and finish that track. I have to set separate office hours aside to meet with designers, and production related stuff. If I don’t do that, something is going to fall by the wayside. It’s some of the hardest work I’ve ever done but also some of the most gratifying.”

Monty Luke

What’s going to be happening for you and Black Catalogue in the next couple years?

“As an artist myself, I want to push myself beyond my current boundaries. I want to help push the boundaries of Detroit electronic music. I’m really happy with what I’m doing with the label right now, but I want to focus on finding underground artists, not only from Detroit, but from all over the place. Finding someone really dope that you’ve never heard of before and makes you say “Damn! Who the fuck is this?” is something I want to continue to do. But in general, I really want to push myself to get better at music production, push what is known as Detroit techno, and house, further.

To me it’s all about progress. I think the history is amazing and great, and really rich, but it’s time to push this to the next level. I think the time to rely on the history of Detroit techno is over, it’s time to push this shit forward.

That’s what I like to focus on. If you come to my house, I have all the Detroit classics, all the hot shit, and I love all that stuff to death. But, it’s time to make some new classics.”


You recently released some tracks vinyl only, and digital releases weren’t released for several months. Was that by design?

“Yes. I believe in that format really strongly. From a practical standpoint it’s more expensive, so I have to focus more on selling that more. The bottom line is I’m dedicated to that format, it’s a labor of love. They’re both beneficial; I’m not one of these people that don’t believe in the digital realm. Tangible art to me is real important.”


By the sound of your music, I can tell your heavily inspired by science-fiction. Just how deep does that run?

“This is gonna sound crazy. There is this Dutch organization called Mars 1. They want to send 4 people to Mars in 2022. Last year they had an open application process, you had to submit a 70 second video. I entered this, and out of 200,000 applicants I made it to the second cut of about 1,058 people. At the end of this year they select the next round, then it’s a seven-year training process. “I want to be the first brother to go to another planet” I actually put that in the video haha. It’s not a trip, it’s like a one way ticket, which is kinda wild. I haven’t told my mom yet, I don’t know how that conversation is going to go.”

Yea, Detroit was probably hard enough…


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PHOTO GALLERY: BIG FISH DISCO wsg JARED WILSON – Jerry Downey’s Birthday Party

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It”s 2014 now and we’re reelin’ in the big fish in celebration of Sexual Tension Detroit owner, Jerry Downey’s birthday – Detroit style.

with DJ set by Acid & Techno legend…

JARED WILSON (7777, Dixon Avenue Basement Jams, Skudge)
“Jared Wilson is of a new Detroit lilt. He has not been eclipsed by the gravitas that comes with the Motor City, instead he uses it as a bedrock from which to bring forth his own take on techno. Wilson, armed with his analogue arsenal, forces a new rawness; an unashamed baring of teeth to those who think that Detroit has had its day.”

RA DJ Page / www.residentadvisor.net/dj/jaredwilson
Website / www.j4r3d.com/
Soundcloud / www.soundcloud.com/j4r3d7777
Discogs / www.discogs.com/artist/Jared+Wilson

Opening set by STD resident DJs – Jerry Downey and Dustin Alexander.

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DSLT: Best of 2013

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Since we are new in town, we decided not to do a traditional list, that being #1 is the best and #25 being the bottom.  Instead we have compiled a list of 20 Artists/Bands that really made their mark in 2013, within in the city and our ears.

Our list will include electronic artists, indie bands, punk music, jazz, psycho billy and many other artists you may recognize and others you may have never heard of before.

Lets begin:

1. KYLE HALL – 2013 Release: The Boat Party

In electronic music, this was the year of Kyle Hall.  I recently had the pleasure of sharing breakfast with him and our Media Director, Roger Castillo.  Kyle Hall is a well spoken, intelligent, down to earth guy who shared with us stories about his travels, his influences, and even had a laugh as Roger and I attempted to guess samples he used in “Crushed.”  The Boat Party was definitely a favorite among many in 2013, with Kyle Halls dirty r&b samples with a blend of Detroit style electronic, this LP was unstoppable.  You can find this LP among many lists such as NPR, Resident Advisor, and XLR8R.  At the start of 2014, please check back for an exclusive Detroit Sounds Like This interview with Kyle Hall.

2. THE GUTTER GHOULS – 2013 Release: Motor City Murderbilly 

The Gutter Ghouls had a wonderful year in 2013, playing shows throughout Metro-Detroit, even being the highlight of the Motor City Nightmares horror movie convention.  I have never met a band that works as hard as these guys do, even with a lineup change mid year, they still show that they are capable of giving you a great show.  These psychobilly maniacs even released a brand new video for their track “Corpse Bride,” in early 2013.  Recently being signed the Splatterhouse Wreckords in Washington, we at Detroit Sounds Like This cannot wait to hear what is in store for The Gutter Ghouls in 2014.

3. MEXICAN KNIVES – 2013 Release: Other Tramps & Nightmare b/w Down To Hell

Mexican Knives were without a doubt becoming one of Detroits most looked at and talked about band.  Mexican Knives achieved so much this year not only at shows but gaining a wider audience.  Just by attending other shows around the Detroit area, we always hear the name Mexican Knives being talked about and how they opened for touring indie bands such as Best Coast, and The Fresh and Onlys.  Mexican Knives not only wowed us with killer unforgettable performances but they released not one but two amazing EP’s in 2013.  With Nightmares/Down To Hell and Other Tramps being released in 2013, Mexican Knives are definitely a serious Detroit band.  Lead vocalist Ruth the Truth, lead by lead guitarist Zach Weedon are a duo on stage not to be toyed with.  Lets not forget their amazing bass player John Salvage, and their amazing drummer Blair, who are the perfect additions to Zach and Ruth.  Enjoy their new music video for “Killer Snake,” from their 2013 release “Other Tramps.”

Mexican Knives-Killer Snake from Mexican Knives on Vimeo.

4. ROGUE SATELLITES – 2013 Release: Other Angels

Rogue Satellites never disappoint.  Their style, rhythm, and production is something so elegant, most ears are probably not even ready for it.   Rogue satellites provide you with dark synths, electric guitars and beautiful lyrics with support from soft yet deep driven vocals.  Playing a daytime show at this years Dally in the Alley, Rogue Satellites really stood out with their hour long set and amazing sound.  Enjoy and purchase their album “Other Angels” below, and make sure to follow their facebook page and check out one of their shows!

5. OMAR S – 2013 Release: Thank You For Letting Me Be Myself

A release that went almost under the radar unless you are a huge Omar S fan is one to have for your library.  This is a MUST listen to if you have any respect for Detroit Electronic Music.  Thank You For Letting Me Be Myself is a deep house master piece which displays influences of early Detroit electronic music.  This album also made many lists across many blogs and news outlets around the country.

6. BRANDON WILLIAMS – 2013 Release: Stronger & Godsend

If you have been to MotorCity Wine more then once, then you have definitely seen Brandon Williams or the B.Williams Experiment.  Brandon Williams is one guy who definitely loves his fans, he is one to always thank and give the love back to his fans.  You can see him at various spots around downtown, and make sure to check out his upcoming album XII (coming soon).  In addition to his playing he has worked with many major recording artists and he has a 2009 Grammy nomination under his belt, this is one jazz cat not to be messed with.

7. SAXAPPEAL – 2013 Release: Singles: It’s You, Time Flies, Catch the Rhythm & I Can Be

Detroit Sounds Like This had the honor of sitting with SaxAppeal (LaDarrel Johnson) to really get to know how he creates, and how much Jazz music means to him.  Johnson handles his alto saxophone in the same fashion in which he plays his music — with attention, pride, and a graceful passion.

8. Dustin Alexander (Dayda, Sexual Tension Detroit)  – 2013 Release: Bootlegs V.1

The name Dustin Alexander can be heard in two realms of electronic and house music in Detroit.  Dustin is a man with two hats, one being that of Bass heavy ghetto tech playing loudly and unmistakably from The Works.   He is also 1/2 of Sexual Tension Detroit with friend Jerry Downey Jr..  With the Bootlegs V.1 release, Dustin clearly showed the city what he is capable of and how knowledgeable he is in the bass scene and with his disco grooves.  Dustin Alexander was a name to watch in 2013, look out 2014, I’m sure this DJ/Producer has way more in store for Detroit as he is making a name for himself.

9. COSMIC HANDSHAKES – 2013 Release: 2 Delicate Details

One part Todd Modes, one part Blair French (Dial.81) and you have Cosmic Handshakes.  Maybe house and most forms of electronic don’t fit your style.  Cosmic Handshakes have elements of electronic, but infuse parts of jazz, skilled drums, and very high end production.  The very chill EP release 2 Delicate Details really takes the listener on a journey on the joyous parts of life, the album makes you want to hang out, see old friends, and of course makes you hope for Detroit.  Cosmic Handshakes have never performed together, but maybe if were lucky in 2014 we can see something amazing happen at a local venue.

10. MONTY LUKE – 2013 Release: Lonely is the Night

Lonely is the Night is probably one of the strongest deep house releases of 2013.  Monty Luke and his label Black Catalogue are putting out some of the heaviest and hard hitting grooves that are getting around the world.  Seeing him this year on my birthday at MotorCity Wine was definitely a treat, he is a vinyl only professional, dont expect to see a laptop at his show.  Monty Luke will spin the night with the rarest grooves and get everyone dancing.  Make sure to check him out for NYE at MotorCity Wine for only five bucks!

11. NIGHTMERICA – 2013 Release: The Waiting Room

Those seeking hip hop refuge from the current ramblings and nonsense of the current trend of hip hop, Nightmerica is the answer.  In addition to these 6 amazing artists, they each display a very strong solo presense with their solo projects all over soundcloud, as a group though…perfection.  This is definitely one of the best Detroit hip hop albums to be released in a long time, and they definitely need the love.

12. CLEAR SOUL FORCES – 2013 Release: Gold PP7’s

Finally a group to fill my void of A Tribe Called Quest era style hip hop with an additional 2013 production.  These guys have an unmatched flow and unreal production.  Clear Soul Forces have definitely made a dent in the hip hop circuit having recently toured Europe and getting their name out there.  With the release of Gold PP7’s, put your copy of Yeezus down and listen to hip hop the way it was supposed to be listened to.  Make sure to check them at their Ugly Christmas Sweater Concert at The Shelter.

13. JERRY DOWNEY JR. (Sexual Tension Detroit) – 2013 Release: Bad Motor Folk (Jerry Downeys Motor City Dub)

Having interviewed Jerry Downey Jr. earlier this year was a great experience not only getting to know him, but he shared his knowledge of anything disco in Detroit.  2013 was a big year for Jerry Downey as he played many Sexual Tension parties, including his North End Studios Two Year Party, with Secrets and Dr. Disko Dust.  He has slowly been releasing his own edits and they are definitely being noticed.

14. SECRETS (Gary Springs Hunting Club) – 2013 Release: Real Life – Send Me An Angel (Super Trance Edit)

Matt Abbott aka Secrets is one man who is always playing at every sleezy bar and wharehouse in the city.  His fans/party goers know him for his wild parties with Gary Springs Hunting Club and as one of the best disco edit DJ’s in our city.  He performs many live edits during his sets and always awes the crowd or gets them singing.  While his edits range from disco, to soul, and some 80’s new wave you can always find a way to get sleezy when you hear a Secrets Edit.

15. SHIGETO – 2013 Release: No Better Time Than Now

Our first Shigeto show was at the Laneway Music Festival this past September.  Shigeto did nothing but awe his crowd and played a show which showed his precision and how he treats electronic music like a craft.  His album No Better Time Than Now became a hit across the world after its release on Ghostly.  Listen below on his track “Detroit Part 1,” for his mind blowing drum sequences, eerie sounds while it takes a walk with an unimposing bass.

16. JAMES LINCK – 2013 Release: Fortress of Solitude

The first time we encountered James Linck was when the office staff and I went to check out Mexican Knives at St. Andrews, and James Linck was one of the opening acts, our ears were blown away.  James Linck and Doc Waffles took over the stage and made sure they were heard.  James Linck has worked with many other Detroit musicians such as Dial.81, Doc Waffles, Eddie Logix, and Christopher Jarvis (Phantasmagoria).   With his 2013 release Fortress of Solitude, James Linck pop vocal skills really add to the production of his tracks, whether it be electronic, hip hop or any other sub genre.

17. PASSALACQUA – 2013 Release: Eagles Fly

I really hope in 2014 Detroit Sounds Like This can sit down with them and really get to know them.  We have extensively listened to their albums and they leave us wanting more.  Their beats are beautifully done, their style reminds us of Brother Ali, and early Dilated Peoples.  A lot of their tracks are just great to sit and relax to, by relax I mean light up of course.

18. ZOOS OF BERLIN – 2013 Release: Lucifer in the Rain

Zoos of Berlin had a quiet yet tremendous release with Lucifer in the Rain.  If you enjoy the styles of bands like Beach House and Wild Nothing, we would definitely recommend this album.  With beautiful melodies, soft vocals echoing throughout the album you couldn’t ask for a more relaxing and engaging album.

19. THE VONNEGUTS – 2013 Release: Automobile
The Vonneguts lured us in pretty early on this year with their funkadelic rock ‘n roll. From snatching sets at nearly every musical event to just rocking on the street in Eastern Market, this group stole our attention and vowed not to return it. They have a very promising future ahead of them in 2014, but don’t take your eyes off of them even for a second, because these men move quickly!

20. EDDIE LOGIX – 2013 Release: Eddie Logix Plays Lykke Li

Who hasnt Eddie Logix been working with these days?  It seems that I havent heard a remix without Eddie Logixs name attached to it, whether its for Dial.81, James Linck, Doc Waffles, Phantasmagoria, and many more, hip hop and indie musicians of Detroit want Eddie Logix on their projects.

In addition to our top 25, we included a “KEEP ON YOUR RADAR 2014” List

Feral Ground
SIAS
Dutch Pink
Jay Daniel
Golf Clap
Phantasmagoria
Codine

 


Education Sounds Like This

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I sit here in this brightly-colored classroom, as my teacher pulls up a file on his computer screen and suddenly he asks, “Do you see that big phallic thing at 200?”  My eyes focus on the projected image before me. “Yeah, we gotta get everything out of its way.”

That’s when I realized this was no ordinary classroom.  This was what the guys at FyouNK Collective in Royal Oak call a “Meat & Produce” session: an event in which musically-minded people come together to discuss the production process.  As the Facebook page says, “Producers of any genre are welcome – electronic, hip hop, pop, rock, etc., as long as you are open-minded.  Musicians, singers, and rappers who are looking to collaborate are also very welcome to join in on the fun.”  Essentially, as the men in charge state, “Anyone with a dedicated interest in music production is welcome to join.”  Such a vast invitation can properly explain the fact that when I walked through the doors at FyouNK Collective, the place was pretty nearly packed.  And rightly so.

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The professors on the eve of the twenty-first day of October were some of my favorite musicians in Detroit, so I simply could not miss my chance to explore this learning opportunity for myself.  This faculty included Detroit’s very own guitar-driven-bass master, OCTiV, the Detroit-raised beat manipulator, Freddy Todd, and the electronic mastermind/party-starter, ill.so.naj.  I was a little late for class and I dropped my pencil twice, but my teachers made me feel right at home and worthy of their profound lessons.

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First, OCTiV came up to the desk at the front of the classroom and told us all about the importance of equalization, or balancing sounds in music.  He summarized much of this tweaking mechanism, saying that what was most important was “getting unnecessary things out of the way of stuff you want.”

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He then explained that, though some sounds need to be made less powerful for the sake of more important ones, all is not lost in doing so.  In fact, often times those sounds that are diminished for the sake of others can still be felt in the song and have an enormous presence in the overall vibe of the piece. Thus, OCTiV showed the importance of knowing the difference between hearing sounds and feeling them.  As OCTiV revealed, however, extra sounds can sometimes be distracting.  “You need to make sure people can pay attention,” he declared, reminding composers to make cuts whenever necessary for the listener’s benefit.  Of course, it is okay to be sad about these cuts for a bit.  I mean, we are all still mourning for those sounds which were demolished by the aforementioned “phallic thing.”

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After OCTiV offered a new perspective on making positive changes to songs, Freddy Todd took the reigns.  The musician began by highlighting his philosophical approach to music, a quality which separates him from many of his composing counterparts.  Todd told his students that when you are creating music, “step one is your brain.”

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For Todd, focusing on one’s mindset is an essential part of what he called, “starting right and starting proper,” and it is a step in the music production process which simply cannot be skipped.  Todd then detailed what that meant for his own music, telling us that he needs to be inspired and in a clean room when he begins to create his sounds.  He encouraged students to develop their own rules for getting in the correct music-making mindset.

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Todd admitted that producing quality music, however, ultimately requires more than just a positive mental state.  “You can get inspired and write a whole track on your headphones, but typically if you want to put out an album you need a good pair of studio monitors.”  Thus, while the mind is the strongest tool at a musician’s disposal, it is also critical that he or she has the necessary tools available to them and knows how to use them properly.

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After explaining the process for beginning a song, Todd left the floor open for ill.so.naj to give some technical advice for the later parts of production.  The electronic artist focused his lesson on the idea of personalizing the musical experience.  He did this by showing students how to use programs, such as Ableton Live, to make improvised edits to tracks.  He encouraged everyone to take their iPods, iPads, or other beloved gadgets and “then assign them customized ‘MIDI mappings’ and touch screen layouts, creating unique ways to trigger effects or blend sounds.”

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This process allows performers to create their own unique set-ups, which cater to their individual needs and styles.  Ill.so.naj told us that, with these tools, he was even able to use a Guitar Hero controller to perform his songs on stage at one point.  The musician proceeded to play many of his own clips for the students to give them an idea of where improvisational tools might be applied.  Though he emphasized using the computer programs to be prepared for any show, he declared that:

Most importantly you gotta leave room for those happy accidents to happen. That’s where the magic is.

Here, the artist’s technical approach highlights both the immense dedication required to produce such music, and the importance of allowing for freedom in its performance.  Ill.so.naj showed us that even this freedom, however, requires much focus and effort beforehand.

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The three musician/producers took their students behind the scenes into many aspects of their artistic processes, and it was truly an educational experience for all involved.  The teachers were able to reach both the dedicated producers in the crowd as well as the beginners who had just fiddled with their friends’ computers during study hour.  In fact, each speaker made the intricacies of his musical processes seem approachable and comprehensible, even for any woefully ignorant music journalists in the building.

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All of that, of course, is to say that the environment at this Meat & Produce event was ideal for many different people with vast ranges of experience and interests.  Obviously October’s teachers brought a great deal of information to the table, and for that we were sincerely grateful.  But I know for sure that all other producers who take the time to share their wisdom in the future will do so just as admirably.  For my part, I know that I will be back at the FyouNK Collective often for more music education, and I am certain that the seats will fill just as quickly with musicians who are eager to learn.

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An Interview With Saxappeal

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When Detroit Sounds Like This sat down with LaDarrel Johnson for an interview, one of the first things to happen was a show-and-tell about his instrument, custom made and engraved with his ‘Saxappeal’ emblem.  A wealth of pride was evident on his face as he carefully handled his saxophone with loving attention and beamed with happiness as he talked about how it was made just for him.  Johnson handles his alto saxophone in the same fashion in which he plays his music — with attention, pride, and a graceful passion.

Saxappeal does not exclusively work alone; his part in the local Detroit music group Collective Peace allows for him a place to collaborate with like-minded musicians to produce spirited jazz and soul as a multifaceted unit.  Describing Collective Peace in our interview as “a nucleus . . . [members] can go out, record a solo project, then come back home and do a group project.”  Saxappeal  has received international recognition in the contemporary jazz world for his brand of “SaxSoul,” a mix of jazz, soul, hip-hop, and R&B.

You play it…and you can feel it [soul music].

Get to know more about Saxappeal and how Detroit, his experiences, and Lisa Simpson influenced him to produce the experimental, up-tempo style of sound you will hear in his performance at our Detroit Sounds Like This studio.


New EP and video from Tiny Hearts

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Tiny Hearts, comprised of Waajeed (Detroit), Dede Reynolds (Wisconsin) and Tim K (Seattle, WA), formed within the inspirational confines of Brooklyn, return.

The new EP “Stay” continues to bring us deep and edgy beats, intriguing melodic configurations, and angelic yet haunting vocals that resonate through it all.

Director Aron Kantor has stepped to the plate to deliver a stunning visual for “Centerfold” that draws artistic inspiration from Dario Argento, providing a solid introduction for the uninitiated. There is nothing small about the sound of Tiny Hearts. Check the footage below to get a taste of “Centerfold” from Tiny Hearts.
Tiny Hearts


St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival Highlights

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Candy-coated almonds are phenomenal.  So much so that one can forget that they actually contain any ounce of nutritional value in them for the entire duration of consumption.  Why am I bringing this up?  Well, certainly because Meadow Brook has some phenomenal concessions, and people should invest more in them.  But mostly because I am obsessed with candy-coated almonds.  When I was a kid, I would attend women’s basketball games at the Palace way too often just so I could convince my Mom to pick up some of those little droplets of heaven for me.  But I must confess something: at St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival on Saturday, September 14, 2013, I didn’t have a single nut.

Why is it that I never got my hands on the one thing that makes me truly happy?  Because everything else at Laneway was just too damn good.  The festival was distractingly good, actually.  My stomach awoke in almond-less loathing the next day, but it was worth it.

People keep asking me who my favorite bands at Laneway were, and I am mortified by the question much of the time.  Instead of approaching such a difficult inquiry, I will instead detail my Laneway highlights, musical and otherwise.

 

The HAERTS Persona

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Those of you who got the chance to see HAERTS open up Laneway Festival with unforgettable gusto know that they were one of the best bands on the list this year at Laneway.  They delivered several times over when it came to putting us in the Laneway mood at 12:40 pm on Roscoe Stage.  They definitely made my top 5 bands of the day, and that’s not just because I love chick singers.

A really important part of the HAERTS experience for me happened after the show, however.  About fifteen minutes after the crowd had migrated a little to the right (Derrick Stage) to see Youth Lagoon, the members of HAERTS appeared on the side of this stage behind the gate.  They walked with such purpose up to the gate, said NOTHING (no joke, nothing), and the gate guard just opened the door for them to proceed to strut right out into and through the Youth Lagoon crowd.

The few patches of people who happened to be so far to the right of the crowd that they were able to view such an occurrence became like kittens in the rain, on their toes and terrified as ever.  But get this, the band just walked on past them all like this was completely normal, and headed with so much style to what appeared to be the beer/food area.  The band was akin to Judd Nelson at the end of “The Breakfast Club,” striding across the football field with such clout.  I could hear “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” playing in the background, I’m not kidding.  Oh, and then HAERTS’ band members proceeded to go to the other bands’ shows and be super into them, which is something that I didn’t see many other band members doing much that day.  Holy cow, HAERTS is so cool.  I’ve already hung a photo of them on my dream board.

 

People Who Like ADULT.

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ADULT. represented their hometown wonderfully with their acclaimed freaky-electronic fervor.  They knocked socks off and turned them inside out repeatedly and without hesitation.  What stood out to me most about this show, however, was that the immense passion of Adam and Nicola spread like the plague onto their enchanted audience.  Instead of bouncing slightly from one leg to the next (with one pocketed hand at all times, in generic hipster fashion), as the crowd had in most other shows that day, the ADULT. fans refused to contain themselves.  People were flopping around rampantly from head to toe the entire time.  THE ENTIRE TIME.  Beers were spilling on wardrobes, shoulders were being bumped repeatedly by unknown neighbors, and beanies were falling to the ground to be immediately stomped on by combat boots.  And the characters doing the romping knew the words, they knew the beats, and they always wanted to yell about everything.  They woo-ed with greater forte every time Nicola so much as looked up at them (which seemed like it happened a lot, but it was hard to tell because she was wearing sunglasses).  The scene was an exposition of beauty I had never seen before.  So, as far as fans go, ADULT. fans won Laneway.  Well done, ADULT. fans.  Well done.

 

The Frightened Rabbit Accordion

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The Frightened Rabbit performance was a phenomenal one by all measures: great tone, balanced set list, and ability to make you groove from yards and yards away.  They also had that whole “being Scottish” thing going for them, which only made the audience more fascinated by their every move.  Oh, and the frontman Scott Hutchinson swore a lot.  In a Scottish accent.  Ladies and gentlemen, it’s everything you’d ever hoped it could be and more.

As it turns out, Frightened Rabbit also has a knack for hyping up the audience with opportunities for their participation.  So, in line with such a skill, Scott Hutchinson requests that in one of their songs the audience acts as an accordion, holding one foundational tone the whole time as accordions are often want to do.  So, of course I’m freaking out about this because it just so happens that one of my childhood dreams is, in fact, to be an accordion for a Scottish band.

When the time comes, Hutchinson holds up his hand and we all make this “ahhhhhh” sound in unison with the tone he has given us moments earlier.  And we’re holding it and we’re holding it.  And it’s wonderful because I find myself looking around at other audience members who are floundering a bit with their note after a minute or so.  Then I spot those proud vocalists in the crowd who are still hanging in there.  Suddenly I feel my diaphragm closing in on itself and I look to others who are also gasping for air to complete the job.  But the thing is: we don’t even know when this song ends!  But we still want to try our hardest to fulfill our collective destiny which was just made for us by Hutchinson.  And suddenly we are all brothers and sisters in surrender, understanding the silliness of our overwhelming devotion to our accordion.  We start breathing again.  And we laugh.

 

CHVRCHES, in General

CHVRCHES went up on stage with the freedom of the majestic African antelope and the confidence of its predatory lion combined.  Lauren Mayberry’s exquisite voice bellowed their famous track “Gun” through the crowd, and I was in a trance.

This band was my favorite of the bands I saw perform at Laneway for a number of reasons.  Firstly, I believe their stage presence attained the ideal level of liveliness and unpredictability.  The life came from the sounds themselves: electronic tones with powerful lyrics.  The unpredictability stemmed from the band’s primitive and almost spiritual body movements on stage.  All three members just danced like crazy pretty much the entire time, ceasing only when absolutely necessary.  I especially enjoyed when instrumentalist and vocalist, Martin Doherty lost complete control and just started flailing around like crazy.  Even the bassist, Iain Cook couldn’t help but bounce around for the entire set.  See, a lot of bands at Laneway were kind of scanning the crowd in the hopes that loads of people would be grooving to their tunes, but CHVRCHES did enough grooving for all of us.  In fact, it seemed like they didn’t even notice us at points because they were too lost in the sounds.

CHVRCHES was also memorable for me because I felt like I never knew what they were going to say and I was fascinated by that in an obsessive way.  For instance, at one point, Mayberry started talking about the fact that Madonna grew up in “this fair state,” and how it was safe to assume that we would catch a glimpse of the pop phenomenon just wandering about at Meadow Brook on that very date.  This was incredible to me because:

  1. The way she said “this fair state” had the be the cutest way in which anyone has ever said anything.

  2. I imagine someone must have told her a few facts about Michigan (or potentially Detroit) before the band stopped here on their tour.  After being informed of the basics, she consciously thought, “Well, I figure of all the people I know of who grew up in Michigan (famed Detroit-ers included), I definitely feel most comfortable talking about Madonna (who actually grew up in Bay City, turns out).”  That was a thought she really had, and I think that’s the best thought ever because no one else would think that.

  3. After saying all of the this, she started to tell us that she couldn’t hear a lot of our responses to what she said because of her elaborate headset bit.  But she revealed that she would sometimes just imagine that we were all saying such things as, “We most certainly will spot Madonna today,” and, “You’re just so intelligent,” and, “Your shoes look really nice today,” etc.  She may have thought her mention of Madonna was awkward (which it wasn’t), so she diffused it by being the coolest person in the world.

After getting to know how much Mayberry resembles a kitten, we were all blessed to catch a glimpse of Doherty taking the reigns and whipping out his ever-hypnotic vocal tones.  At this point, after seeing him get down (and I mean, GET DOWN) for the past few songs, I think we all were dying to dive into his psyche in whatever way possible, so this worked out.  He proceeded to offer some of the most sincere and sacred vocalization I had seen that day.  Oh, and he did not stop dancing.  In fact, he took this opportunity to dance more!  I am almost certain his well-worn Nikes did not touch the floor for full minutes.

chvrches

Finally, CHVRCHES chose to play “Science/Vision,” a phenomenally ethereal surge of peacefulness.  The words “Breathe, don’t speak, it’s leaving your body now” seemed to pulsate through the crowd, and it was perfection.

This performance topped my list because it offered a superior sound even than their recordings, and it felt wild and spiritual.  I never stopped being impressed by the amount of personality on stage, and for that, CHVRCHES was my Laneway favorite.

 

The Science of Sound

At one point, I could hear Frightened Rabbit on Roscoe Stage, AlunaGeorge on Meadow Stage, and Katy Perry’s “Roar” on the speakers by the entrance simultaneously.  So cool.

 

Kindness

Last, but certainly not least, I want to address something that made me happier than all others that day.  The simple virtue of kindness is often disregarded in life when one has a goal for oneself, and even more often when one is in a large group of strangers.  Laneway folks were an exception to this rule, and for that I was very grateful.

Each lawn show had its own crew of front-rowers waiting earnestly for the band’s arrival to the stage.  The difference between these front-rowers and the front-rowers at most other shows, however, is that these people weren’t going to push you to the ground if you suggested with your body movements that you wanted to get closer to the band.  I saw so many people weaving in and out of the crowd to evaluate the sound wave quality in different grass patches, and there was no conflict whatsoever in these instances.  I even saw people giving up their seats in the Pavilion during Sigur Ros.  Sigur Ros, people!  I personally felt free to stand anywhere I wanted without being hassled by anyone, which is very rare for someone as paranoid as I am about mosh casualties.  People were giving each other the opportunity to see the bands they loved in a more real way, and I found that absolutely amazing.  Special shout out here to the guy who walked up to me at the beginning of the National’s show and handed me an All-Access pass for no reason so I could see them from anywhere I wanted.  Kindness.

crowd

At several points during the Washed Out show especially, I noticed pure gentleness and sincerity in the acts of others.  Washed Out was ever-glorious (among the top 5 as well), as always, but they took a little while to get started.  No fault of their own, of course, because there were some apparent technical issues at the beginning of their set.  Aside from a few joking hollers of “At Least One Song” (in place of “One More Song”), the fans were stationary and respectful.  They looked at it more as a chance to catch the Washed Out crew candidly handling the situation and just being as chill as you would expect about everything.  During what seemed like a rather long delay, after all, the crowd just loved one another and made friends.

Within minutes of the power being right again, I spotted a decent-sized dance circle in the middle of the mass.  I built up the courage to ask these awesome people if I could dance with them, and they made me feel like I had just handed them the golden ticket straight from my own Wonka Bar.  They were stoked to have me join them for some reason, and they never once made me feel weird about it (even though I was dancing at my utmost weird).  As the concert continued, this group grew in number with strangers who felt comfortable participating in the dance.  By the time I left there were people dancing next to each other and shaking hands all around me and I couldn’t feel my limbs anymore.  That’s what happens to me when I am overwhelmed by kindness.  Props to the Laneway attendees for loving one another so wonderfully.  The rest wouldn’t have mattered in the least if they hadn’t.


Cosmic Handshakes-2 Delicate Details

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This weeks Track of the Week comes out of M1 Session artists Dial 81 & Todd Modes of Cosmic Handshakes.  Cosmic Handshakes recently released an EP entitled “The Delicate Detail,” back in mid July off of the label M1 Sessions.  To read a review and find out more about the album click here.

Have a nice week Detroit!

To purchase “The Delicate Detail” Click Here!


STAYING IN THE D: “IN DETROIT, WE’RE KEEPING IT GOING” SAYS DJ RICK WILHITE

STAYING IN THE D: “IN DETROIT, WE’RE KEEPING IT GOING” SAYS DJ RICK WILHITE

Rick Wilhite, talented House DJ/Producer and native Detroiter, has the world to choose from as far as where to be based but decided to stay in Detroit.

And, it’s always good to see the D get a little respect in regional ink, especially one based in Chicago.

Detroit’s music scene is one of the reasons he has stayed.

“There was one, Soul Night on a Tuesday once a month, that got between 2,000 and 3,000 people,” said Wilhite (also known as “The Godson”) in the interview which ranges across topics like the difference between vinyl and digital DJs, his warm reception in Japan, and how things have changed over the years.

In Detroit, we’re keeping it going. I know I’ve put my own time, effort and money into doing something and doing it consistently. I’m not talking about setting up one speaker in a room and charging $20 for people to dance around it. You can do that anywhere. We’re talking about good sound, good music, and something worth your time. Rick Wilhite: ‘There’s Too Much In Detroit For Me’ on 5Chicago.com

It’s amazing the amount of music that still comes from Detroit, even to this day. A recent Crain’s Detroit Business study by the Anderson Economic Group showed that music was a billion-dollar industry in Metro Detroit. We (and they) are pretty sure they’re undercounting.

Here’s a link to the full piece in 5Magazine and below you’ll find a Soundcloud player of a recent remix Wilhite did. If you like the beats, support the artist.


Laneway Makes Its Way to Michigan

Laneway

Back in 2004, two men by the name of Jerome Borazio and Danny Rogers were steadily booking several up-and-coming indie bands at St. Jerome’s Bar in the Caledonian Lane area of Melbourne, Australia.  The music started out inside of the bar during the summer month series, and after a request from Borazio and Rogers to the band The Avalanches, the music was taken into the street, closing down the lane and beginning the very first installment of the now internationally known St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival.  The spontaneous excitement and organization that was in the air over the very first Laneway in Melbourne is now coming to the United States for the first time, where hundreds of music fans looking to see what is happening in the contemporary indie music scene will come to Meadowbrook Music Festival in Rochester Hills, MI on September 14.

The size of the festivals, the locations and the way we encourage community all form part of the way in which the Laneway team strive to present an urban music experience like no other.

-St. Jerome’s Laneway Festival Philosophy Statement

The Laneway Festival began expanding throughout several cities in Australia beginning in 2006, including Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth, and now covers Singapore as well as the United States.  The announcement of the festival coming to Michigan came during Laneway’s party at the SXSW Festival in Austin, TX this past March. Not only does this mark the first time that Laneway has come to the United States, it also marks the first time that an Australian music festival has come to North America. When the curiosity began to buzz about why Laneway organizers chose the Detroit area as a sensible location for the festival, Danny Rogers shared that he believes “Detroit is having its rebirth and as Laneway continues to evolve, we can identify with a city that is continuing to evolve as well.”

Laneway has featured several artists vital to the contemporary indie music scene in their past lineups, including Yo La Tengo, Feist, Mumford & Sons, Blonde Redhead, and M83, among dozens of others. The Laneway Detroit lineup features co-headliners The National and Sigur Rós, both of whom released albums earlier in 2013 and are known for their grandiose live performances.  Rounding out the bill are other indie favorites Deerhunter and The Dismemberment Plan, as well as newly teamed Hip-Hop heavyweights Killer Mike and EL-P performing as Run The Jewels.  With a lineup that boasts several acts showcasing sub-genres under the indie music umbrella, festival attendees will get a chance to see some of the newer examples of artists who draw influence from Lo-Fi (Washed Out, Youth Lagoon), Electronica (CHVRCHES, Icona Pop, Charlie XCX), R&B (Solange), and Post-Punk (Savages).  At the end of June, Laneway organizers also announced that they would be adding a stage hosted by Detroit’s own Movement Electronic Music Festival/Paxahau, and Ann Arbor originals, electronic music label Ghostly International.  This new addition to the festival will feature 5 electronic artists on the Ghostly International label, including Matthew Dear, Adult., Beacon, Heathered Pearls, and Shigeto.

Meadowbrook Music Festival on the campus of Oakland University in Rochester Hills will feature four stages total for the September 14th festival; the Movement/Ghostly International stage, as well as two other stages which will be built on the grounds of Meadowbrook, and the main Meadowbrook amphitheatre itself. Specific set times and vendor names have yet to be announced, but festival organizers have promised that spaces will be dedicated to local food, drink, and merchandise vendors. For more information about getting to the festival, purchasing tickets ($79.50 in advance including parking fees, VIP package tickets for $199, and limited 4-packs for $64.50 per ticket are still available), and answers to other questions you may have, visit detroit.lanewayfestival.com.

 

Full Line-Up

Sigur Rós, The National, Deerhunter, The Dismemberment Plan, Matthew Dear, Run The Jewels (EL-P & Killer Mike), Adult., CHVRCHES, Savages, Washed Out, Solange, Warpaint, Frightened Rabbit, Phosphorescent, Icona Pop, Charlie XCX, My Brightest Diamond, AlunaGeorge, Beacon, Youth Lagoon, Shigeto, Flume, Haerts, Heathered Pearls, Chet Faker


Detroit (and Slovenia) vs. Everybody

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One of the best parings of newer folks in the electronic scene (YourEDM calls them “unstoppable,” and we’d be hard pressed to disagree) is Detroit’s own GRiZ and Gramatik, who originally hails from the country of Slovenia, and now in the New York borough of Brooklyn). Under the moniker “Grizmatik” their new track, “My People,” is now available free to play and download.

If you don’t know GRiZ, you should. He’s a talented 22 year old from Southfield, who has quickly become a force in the game. He has amazing skills for any age, and when he pulls out the saxophone during a performance, from personal experience I can tell you that it gets insane. And Gramatik? He’s a star of the well-known “Pretty Lights” and has moved over 100,000 tracks on Beatport.. no small feat. From a young age, he was influenced by American funk and soul.

These beat brothers are something to sonically behold, if this electro-soul genre is your type of thing.

As of this writing, “My People” has only been out for a couple hours and it’s already racked up more than 8,000 plays on Soundcloud, and the numbers keep spinning up. If you’re into beats, check out this sound above. It’s more full than dubstep, has serious funk influences, and one could imagine a Hart Plaza full of people moving in unison to this.

 

Originally posted at hellyeahdetroit.com


Tony Ollivierra

Tony Ollivierra

Tony Ollivierra is a Detroit area electronic musician and dj who got started in the late eighties. He was influenced by the Detroit club scene in the 80’s and 90’s in venues like The Shelter with Richie Hawtin, The Music Institute with Derrick May and Alton Miller, and The Majestic with Blake Baxter. He’s currently producing music under his label “Northside District”. We recently asked him a few questions:

I usually start with choosing the right kick drum. If I choose the wrong kick or eq it wrong it seems the track is destined to fail miserably.

  • You’ve been making music for quite some time. How has your style changed throughout your career? What about production and tools, has the way you start and compose tracks undergone any changes?
  • I started producing in the late 80’s with Alesis and Yamaha drum machines, an Akai s-900 sampler and a Yamaha DX-100 keyboard. I continued using hardware until 2006 when I went fully in the box with Propellerhead Reason which I used until last year. Since then I’ve been a Logic user recently upgrading to version X. I usually start with choosing the right kick drum. If I choose the wrong kick or eq it wrong it seems the track is destined to fail miserably. It many times can be the driving force in techno and house.
  • You have been on a roll lately and seem to have a new EP every month, what’s your inspirational secret?
  • My inspiration comes from God through Jesus Christ. I owe it all to him.
  • Recently you kicked off your record label Northside District. What were some hurdles you overcame and what was learned in this process?
  • I had to start a new label when others started using the Ibex name. It took months of pondering a label name as pretty much everything is being used. One day someone came into my job wearing a company shirt with Northside something or other on it and something clicked. It seemed marketable so I went with it. I think I learned that branding is crucial in this business.
  • What was your main reason and focus on starting the label?
  • I needed a platform to release my music pretty much. It started off with two vinyl releases which didn’t do well at all. So it was disappointing realizing vinyl may no longer be conducive to getting the material out there. I had to figure out how to market digital releases which is even more challenging.
  • What’s on the horizon for you and what can we expect musically?
  • I’m currently at work on the next release with one track finished. The track is called Good vs Evil and it really summarizes the theme. It starts out like a Detroit techno track and then gets full on angry progressive about three minutes in. You can really hear that there is a battle taking place which is just what I wanted to exemplify. I’m excited to get working on the other tracks, I think this ep will make some noise for sure. It will be called The Regeneration.
  • How would you describe your sound?
  • My sound is constantly changing based on what I’m feeling. I try to keep it as real as possible by only releasing what truly sounds good and provocative to my ears. It’s not easy because your ears can fool you! The tracks that stand the test of time, when you can come back three weeks later and still appreciate the track you know you have something.

http://www.tonyollivierra.com/