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If you haven’t heard of Deon Custom yet stay tuned. Not long ago the Dutch producer dropped a new track and it’s very cool. Drenched in shimmery synths, “Ice Cream” is a high energy number that we definitely can appreciate. Kind of reminds us of a Wave Racer gone wild plus a touch of some chemical x. Enjoy.

Blackbird

San Francisco’s Mikey Maramag, who produces under the alias of Blackbird Blackbird, has brought to our dreary winter days the refreshing sonic platter of spring in his latest release, ‘Sakura’.  Fittingly, the title translates from Japanese ‘桜の花’ to ‘Cherry Blossom’ in English.  With this track, Maramag takes a step away from the dark dreamy psych-pop that pervaded his 2014 album, Tangerine Sky, allowing his pop sensibilities to transcend into a futuristic realm where trap snares clap below a tapestry of bouncy synths and playful sound effects.  A background of lively chopped vocals whets the listener’s appetite for the lighthearted whimsicality of spring, and for Blackbird Blackbird’s forthcoming EP.  An impressive union of complicated electronic textures and carefree video-gamey hooks, ‘Sakura’ will have its listeners dancing their way through the rest of winter, in anticipation of spring cherry blossoms.

– Arielle

Soundcloud  Facebook

Babel

Wow. This was my initial response after hearing ‘Incredibly Close’ by BABEL featuring the breathtaking voice of Wrenn. As suspense builds with BABEL’s silky pads and Wrenn’s vocals, minimal percussive elements are introduced leading into a plethora of bells and saxophone riffs. If you aren’t familiar with this Belgium-based producer and Los Angeles-based singer / song-writer, I would highly recommend you listen to their other work because it’s all absolutely fantastic.

– simon

Facebook  Soundcloud

Dirty choc emogi

Up and coming producer Emmanuel Osemene is better known as the phenomenon that is Dirty Chocolate. Ever since releasing ‘3 d s D r e a m s’ about a year ago, Dirty Chocolate’s effortless diverse sound has earned over  18,000 followers on Soundcloud. His newest release ‘Emoji Girl’ is nothing short of the high expectations he has set for himself. When hearing it first, ‘Emoji Girl’ might seem like just another cool track. But there is some serious stand out  percussion in the song. Listen a little bit closer and you will realize the layers of cymbals and shakers fluctuating softly in the background, making the foundation of this song. It’s definitely worth checking out this wavy groove.

Oh, with a few clicks download ‘Emoji Girl’ for free here.

-Arielle

Facebook  Soundcloud

alaya. mt - Elyn Kazarian
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We had a chance to talk with the LA-based designer Elyn Kazarian about her work and inspirations. On Elyn’s website she writes that her art aims to, “provide an atmosphere of orchestrated pulse which effects people in a subliminal way.” Elyn is the head designer for TeamSupreme as well as a graphic designer for Souletiquette and Italdred. She has also done freelance design and other artistic work around LA and beyond. Read our interview with Elyn below and head over to her website to discover some inspiring artwork.

Hey Elyn, how are you?
Hey, I’m doing well, thanks.
How did you get into art?
I never got into art. Art was just always a part of me; something I grew up with and always had a passion for.
What is your preferred medium of art?
If you’re asking what medium do I prefer working in, then I’d say digital. I was strictly painting while in school, and was determined to be a painter for the rest of my life, but then I discovered the possibilities that working digitally offered, so I stuck to it. People working in areas outside of my expertise using their own mediums always fascinate me too; just to see how they translate their thought processes using the materials they’re using to create something.
What do you do for Los Globos?
I was their art director, making posters, banners, and social media promo for in-house shows. I don’t work for them anymore though.
Can you tell us a little bit about the work you’ve done for Team Surpreme?
Just a little back story, I used to actually go to the same school as Hoodboi – Art Center College of Design – and we ended up having a business class together. We started chatting one night in class, and somehow the conversation progressed into talking about music. I asked him if he knew about TeamSupreme, and he was like, “Yea, I’m part of the crew”. And then I was like, “Do you know about The Melt?” And he was like, “Yea, I’m one of the founders”. Funny how small the world is. I loved both labels, and never thought anything like that conversation would ever happen. I don’t even know if he remembers that. From there, I ended up one night just emailing the email address provided on the TS website while I was on the hunt for a job – I had just graduated from ACCD – and told them how much I admired each and every artist on their roster, and what they were doing. I ended up exchanging a few emails with one of the founders, Preston…he really liked my work, and the rest was history. I’ve been working with them since January 2014 as their graphic designer creating their weekly cypher artwork, promo material for shows, some things here and there for each individual artist, and who knows what in the future!
Who are some of your favorite graphic designers?

Toni Halonen and Michael Cina.

What is your favorite animal?

Horse

What is your favorite color?

Blue

What have you been listening to lately?

That’s a hard question to answer as I’m normally listening to an array of material every day, but I’ve been listening to Kero Kero Bonito, BADBADNOTGOOD, Majid Jordan, and Nick Hakim a lot recently. Oh, and Rhye. I love Rhye.

Mind giving us some advice on life in general?

Yea, so life is an awesome fucking ride. Be grateful for every part of it, the good and the bad. And expect the unexpected.

Thanks Elyn!

Official Website  TeamSupreme


 

Driver

In Tall Buildings is the indy rock project created by DIY musician and producer, Erik Hall. Over the last four years Erick Hall has worked patiently, carefully constructing the project’s sophomore album, Driver. Recorded in a home studio in Chicago, Driver brilliantly blends live instrumentation and electronic production to make for tasteful & modern indy folk sound. When a band decides to use more electronic production on a new album they are sometimes tempted to reach too far. In effect loosing their distinctive sound. But what makes Driver so appealing is that it sounds totally natural. With just a few clean-tone instruments, basic synthesizers, warm snares and clear relaxed vocals, Erik Hall allows his pop songwriting to reach it’s full potential. We think Driver is an outstanding album that will be a milestone for In Tall Buildings. Read a track-by-track review below and you can buy a digital copy of Driver here.


Bawl Cry Wail

What a way to open the album. Slowly building from an acoustic guitar rhythm layered with a ghostly vocal track and synths. Hall showcases his distinct style and sets up perfectly for the rest of a great album with ‘Bawl Cry Wail’.

All You Pine

The second track off Driver features loose percussion and sporadic bass lines. A low-key groove is set up around a slow repeating piano chord. The unpredictable vocal melodies on top are where In Tall Buildings showcase their creativity on this one.

Exiled

Decidedly simpler than the other tracks on Driver, Exiled nonetheless is a display of superb songwriting and musicianship. Add the intrigue of Hall’s lyrical melancholic rambles and Exiled is easily the hidden gem on Driver.

Unmistakeable

One of the more energetic tracks, ‘Unmistakable’ has catchy riffs and rhythms layered with emotional vocals to make for a pop masterpiece. It will, without a doubt, be one of the more high profile tracks on Driver and for good reason.

Aloft

‘Aloft’ is a slow rolling instrumental guitar track. An interesting choice to break up the middle of the album. It’s the perfect come down after the energy of ‘Unmistakable’.
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Flare Gun

At this point in the album I’ve realized that a song with an arpeggiated synth intro means it will be a standout. I think Hall’s song writing thrives by building & layering from a simple singular idea. This gives ‘Flare Gun’, and all of the tracks that evolve like this, an inspiring unpredictability. The vocals come in and suddenly harmonies and melodies come together to reveal a patiently composed song.

I’ll Be Up Soon

Gritty guitar with just enough delay starts out ‘I’ll Be Up Soon’. This track moves back and forth between bad-ass bluesy and soft peace of mind. The transitions are really what make this song so powerful. Nothing better after a soft chorus than the unexpected crunch of a blues guitar solo.

Cedarspeak

A 38 second acoustic fill. Just chillin-relaxing-maxing to some layered acoustic guitar licks. Very nice.

When You See Me Fall

‘When You See Me Fall’ is one of the most interesting songs on Driver, both musically and lyrically. Phased guitar plucks along calmly with a groovy, heavy flange lick for the attention-grabbing breakdown. Unique soft percussion samples are varied throughout. But over the easy-listening instruments are deceivingly dark lyrics “One thousand shades of red won’t be enough, when you see me fall just know it’s truly fine.” I won’t bother you with my interpretation, but a though-provoking song without a doubt.

Pouring Out

In Tall Buildings end the album Driver with this masterfully crafted song. More classic rock songwriting, reminiscent of groups like, The War On Drugs. ‘Pouring Out’ hits a familiar tone. A pretty big synth bass is able to naturally blend into the back as effect-drenched guitar echos over a melancholy chord progression played on tremolo keys. In Tall Buildings let you walk away from the album in wonder with this perfectly elusive wrap up.

Official Website  Facebook


Written by Henry

Track-by-Track by Henry & Greg

 

1 Year of Rootnote

In the last year the San Fransisco-based, Rootnote Collective, has put out some incredible genre-bending releases. The success from this diverse team of producers has built up to a one-year victory lap taking the form of a compilation album, 1 Year Of Rootnote. Already featuring some of our favorite producers and good friends, 1 Year Of Rootnote also introduced us to new artists and unique sounds. We had the opportunity to talk with one of the co-founders and contributing producers of Rootnote, Darius Giurar (aka Gypsymamaba), about this outstanding compilation album as well as the collective’s plans for the future. Take the sonic journey through, 1 Year Of Rootnote, and check out the interview below.



Interview with Rootnote co-founder Darius Giurar

Hi Darius, how have you been doing lately?

Hey Henry, what’s up man. I’ve been awesome just working on projects, tryna build.

Nice, good to hear. Could you tell us briefly about who’s involved with Rootnote and what you guys are all about?
Well there are 20+ members, but the founders are myself and Ruff Draft. We’ve been doing this for about a year now and our goal has always been to support good music without regards to genres.
I like that approach, you can definitely hear it on the compilation. Any favorite moments on the album?
Definitely a fan of Chaos Kid’s track as well as Elusive’s track. But the whole damn thing is a journey man, it has everything from jazz to downtempo, bass music even trap shit all on top of a huge hip hop burger of loveliness.
Anything you guys have set for the future that we can look forward to?
Yes indeed, we are starting our residency at the Stay gallery in Downey. Our first show is this month, it’s called Stay Rooted. We’re also doing a show in SF march 6th at F8. Gunna be big, with Go Yama/ Ruff Draft/ Flamingosis/ myself [Gypsymamaba] and others. But other than that, just working on another release in collaboration with Paxico Records. Slowly building.
Thanks Darius.Things are looking up for Rootnote. we’re looking forward to hearing more.
Thanks for taking time out to support our movement, shout out to alaya!
g

Interview & words by Henry

posthaste-abbi-p

New York based producer & vocalist Abbi Press has a new song, ‘stretched out’, released as a part of her recent posthaste EP. And boy oh boy is it worth a listen. Her voice cuts through the spacious mix with deftness. Vocal chops highlight the overall high-quality production from bine and drip-133. The mix itself is finely balanced with gentle pads and leads swirling in cloudy reverb cut with crisp, forceful percussion. And of course, the fat synth bass. This track definitely gets two thumbs up for its chill, grooving vibe. The best part is once you’ve listened to it, you don’t have to stop. Keep going because there’s a whole amazing EP to feast your ears on.

-Denis

The posthaste EP is available as name your price here

Official Webiste  Soundcloud

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David Blazer is a Los Angeles based producer who goes under the alias of A Sol Mechanic and is part of the Stereocure collective. About two weeks ago he put out an “Eden” flip that is breath-taking. His smooth instrumental hip-hop esque sound is simply wonderful and works perfectly with Stwo’s sounds. Check A Sol Mechanic out on Soundcloud here. Enjoy.