Nov 20

E-Vibe – “Carpe Diem” [Single]

carpe diem

Carpe Diem – Seize the Day

Local Producer / DJ, E-Vibe, recently released his new Trap anthem entitled, “Carpe Diem.” This one has been six months in the making, and is finally ready for an audience. Throw on the monitors or turn up the system and have a listen… or ten.

 

 

“Carpe Diem” will take the listener on an epic and transcending journey. The orchestral medium becomes more intense as the plot thickens, and then slows as if the journey came to a tragic end. The only thing missing is Morgan Freeman. Elements of strong brass and alluring French horns tied together with a heavy bass line will get this one thundering through your subs (E-Vibe).

 

 

Article by Alex Stahlmann

Music compliments of E-Vibe

 

Nov 18

Julian Casablancas & The Voidz @ First Avenue 11/17/14

Art Rock

The man behind the Strokes is back at it again. Julian Casablancas is on tour in support of his recently released second solo record on his personal label Cult Records. Turns out Cult Records also represents Har Mar Superstar (which explains him as a supporting act) as well as Karen O (which explains the antics described in my first ever Beat concert review). I know the album, Tyranny, is a large departure from the sound of his first album but without having heard any of it I unfortunately can’t exactly tell how…

1I got to the venue just in time to catch the start of Har Mar Superstar. This was my first time actually seeing Har Mar perform and I have to admit I was rather impressed. I had always thought his music was probably just as goofy as his looks. Turns out that dude has a set of pretty pipes. He also has some surprising dance moves as well. He played some very soulful tunes with such emotion that I’d never think to place his face with that sound. I’d be interested to see one of his shows as opposed to just a 40 minute opening slot. Even in that short amount of time he went through multiple wardrobe changes as well as a sweaty, crowd pleasing, disrobement. The guy certainly does know how to entertain an audience.

I think it’s worth noting that though I like the Strokes, I’m by no means a huge fan. I went into the show knowing full well I wasn’t going to know half the songs played but I was expecting to hear at least a couple from Phrazes for the Young. Turns out the night was dominated by Tyranny with just two Strokes songs (Ize of the World & I’ll try Anything Once) and one Phrazes song making their way into the 12 song set.

Coming on 15 minutes late, the 5 piece Voidz + Julian kicked into the opener “Xerox,” which had quite an odd sound to it. I couldn’t tell if it was the odd sounding guitar riff or possibly a non-standard time signature that gave it such a weird feeling. Things didn’t get any more normal from there. The band moved right on through four more tracks before switching things up with a Strokes cover.

2Even with the addition of his main band’s songs it seemed difficult for Julian to pull everyone into his world. The only Phrazes song (River of Brakelights) they played didn’t even get me moving as much as the studio version. These guys were on a different level than most of the audience. I found myself appreciating what was happening more than actually enjoying it…a feeling I’ve rarely felt at a concert before. Many songs laid out full, intricate blankets of sound that just filled the room rather than envelope the audience.

You could probably get away with calling some of the material “art rock” or even “noise rock,” but for all that it is, it is not the Strokes and it is not Phrazes for the Young. I feel like this style of music is much better suited to those who already know it than for those who do not. It may have been the live mix but the intricacies, oddities and massive layers were hard to take in when being pumped at your ears at such an incredibly loud volume. If you’re strictly a Strokes or Phrazes fan (myself being the latter) this new territory Julian is hitting will probably sound strange. If you’re looking to hear music from a man shedding his skin and exploring new territory this is probably a show you’ll want to see.

 

Article by Eric Severson

Photos by Eric Severson

 

Nov 04

The Floozies @ Myth 10/30/14

Not Your Mother’s Funk

If you haven’t noticed the resurgence of the Funk, you haven’t been paying attention to EDM… at all, or perhaps you’re just riding that Deep House train so intently you missed the stop that told you Deep House is a fusion of Chicago House, Jazz–Funk, and Soul. Whatever the case may be, The Floozies graced Myth this past Thursday with their sexy, rhythmic, and extremely danceable Electro-Funk flavor. Matt (producer/guitarist) and Mark (drummer) Hill, the dynamic brother duo from Kansas, had dem booties shakin’, proving the perfect openers for headlining Grizmatik.

floozies4Although the brothers hit the scene in 2009, they’ve been gaining a hell of a lot of momentum ever since being the first artists to sign with Griz’s Liberated Music back in October of 2013. Leading up to ‘Devil’s Night’ I had been picking up on a hell of a lot of Floozies chatter, which was not unlike the last couple of times the duo hit the Twin Cities. The consensus being, “Of course I’m excited for Grizmatik, but the fuckin’ Floozies, man!”

Arriving at Myth just before the Floozies set I was reminded of two things. First, the hype was real – the line at the entrance extended much further than my last couple of visits to the venue. Second, winter is coming – fuck, was it cold. Upon entry I found an already sizeable crowd. Many had avoided the rush before The Floozies and had already taken in a stacked lineup including BRANX, Illumtr, Lowtemp, and Liberated Showcase. As this was a Halloween show, Matt and Mark Hill were clad as cavemen and ready to party. The two took the stage with an outburst of cheers and wasted no time unleashing some of their bangin’ tracks such as “Back On It,” “Stuntin’,” and “Love, Sex, and Fancy Things.” Early on Matt addressed the crowd stating, “I know y’all came out to get funky!” Yes Matt, yes we did.

floozies3About half way through their set Matt once again took the mic and told everyone, “Alright we’ve got one more song for y’all.” It didn’t seem right, they hadn’t been playing for that long, and I had seen the set times posted earlier that night. It was 10:36PM. The Floozies were slotted till 11:00PM. Almost immediately after, he laughed and told us, “Man, I’m just playin’. We’ve got like five more.” Later, not unlike he did at First Avenue this past July, Matt, with a smile on his face, extended his drink towards the crowd and offered a “Cheers to all y’all mutha fuckers.” It’s quite apparent the two brothers are having one hell of a time on stage, and that energy definitely makes its way into the crowd. As the set actually approached its final moments, Matt and Mark busted out their remix of “Africa” by Toto, which prompted a venue wide sing along.

Eventually 11:00PM did roll around, but The Floozies kept on playin’ and we all kept on dancin’.  I’m not entirely sure, but it seemed as if Griz and Grammatik actually had to come out and cut the set off. Maybe they didn’t, but if that isn’t the case the finish seemed a bit sloppy. I did notice Grizmatik was out setting up when the sound went off. No matter the case, The Floozies brought the Funk, the fun, and proved once again worthy of the love they get from the Twin Cities music scene. I look forward to the next time the boys from Kansas come ’round.

 

 

Article by Alex Stahlmann

Pictures by Kshitij Pendurkar of Rowdy Beats

     Peep the rest of Rowdy Beats’ pictures on their Facebook Page

Music Compliments of The Floozies

 

Oct 24

Flux Pavilion [Interview]

Safe In Sound Festival at Myth in Saint Paul was surely one of the biggest, if not THE BIGGEST, Dupstep events the Twin Cities has ever seen. Having been able to have Beat Contributors on site to interview the most influential names in the industry was quite the honor. It’s no secret that Flux Pavilion has been tearin’ up the game sine he started performing in 2008, and after talking with him, we know why. Flux is extremely talented, yet still very humble. He took the time to talk to us about the beginnings of Circus records, working on his new album, and a forthcoming live project he plans to some day take on the road.

“Flux Pavilion is the co-founder of Circus Records, along with Doctor P, DJ Swan-E, and Earl Falconer of UB40. In 2011 he produced the single “Bass Cannon,” which peaked at number 56 on the UK Singles Chart and was placed on the Radio 1 A-List. Along with Doctor P, Flux Pavilion presented the 2011 compilation album, Circus One, to which he contributed four tracks. He is arguably best known for his song “I Can’t Stop” from the Lines in Wax EP” (wikipedia).

 

TBM: Alright, so we’re here with Josh Steele, aka Flux Pavilion. Care to introduce yourself?

Flux: … I am Flux Pavilion. I am also Josh Steele. I am, indeed, both of those people.

TBM: So to begin, how about you tell us a little bit about how you started of your Flux Pavilion project?

Flux: Umm… I like that you put it like that, because in the past six months I have begun seeing it as a project, where as before it was always everything that I am. The inception of it was that I wanted to write some music and here’s the music I’m writing and here’s me, Flux Pavilion. It was kind of a title for everything that I was working on, and now I’m starting to realize there are many facets to all the things I like working on. So the actual concept of Flux Pavilion being a project that I’ve been working on has only really been around for about six months. Before that it was just an alter ego, I guess.

TBM: So what inspired you to write music in the first place and insert yourself into the global music scene?

Flux: I never really knew about any scenes. I grew up in a small town where all we had were pubs and hairdressers. We had about seven barbers and ten pubs, and that was all there was. All you could do was get your hair cut and watch football (soccer). So, me and my friends started picking up guitars and doing something as a hobby. I wasn’t really interested in anything else, but I love listening to music so I figured I should probably just write some of my own, I guess.

TBM: Being from such a quaint town, which likely had a very minimal music scene, was it hard for Flux Pavilion to get legs? How did you progress and get your music career off the ground?

Flux: Well the interesting thing is that it wasn’t even a small scene. There was no scene. It was literally just a bunch of us playing guitar and hanging out, and then I kind of met up with Doctor P when I was about 12 and we started playing in bands. He was always working on Drum and Bass and stuff like that, then he went away to University and did more with Drum and Bass and started playing shows. He got signed, and I was still back at home. I then went off to Uni[verstiy]. The second night I was walking past some Uni flat, and they were playing some really loud Drum and Bass, and I thought, “Wow, this really seems like a cool place to be.” So I walked in there, and as I walked in there, somebody put on Skream – “Watch the Ride.” Then I heard Dubstep, and I’d always made really wobbly Drum and Bass music, but even Doctor P didn’t play it in his sets because it was really bad. But as soon as I heard Dubstep, I was like, “Ah! This is all the stuff I’ve been working on anyway, and at the exact right tempo.” So I decided to start writing some of that, and I started learning more about the scene, and that was my kind of enlightening point where I started realizing that there is actually loads of big industry and scenes and promoters and all sorts of cliques everywhere. It was quite simple, really. I just wanted to write some tunes.

TBM: That’s interesting that your journey was aided like that by Doctor P. You mentioned you became friends around 12, but when did you begin to talk about starting Circus Records together?

Flux: Well he was signed to this label called Maximum Boost, and he used to be called Picto back when he did Drum and Bass. I had just started writing Dubstep and releasing a few things here and there and Doctor P wrote a tune called “Streets of Rage,” which was awesome. So he sent me the parts, and I did a Dubstep remix of it, and the Drum and Bass label that he was signed to decided they didn’t really want to release it because they were a Drum and Bass label and this was some other thing. But then they started inviting me around, and said, “You know you’re clearly very into this, and you’re good friends with Sean… how about we start up a new label with the three of us?” I was still trying to get signed to other labels, but all the tunes I couldn’t get picked up I was like, “Oh at least I can put it out on Circus.” And then I realized that all the tracks I really loved, nobody wanted to sign. It was the same way with Doctor P; we were writing really weird stuff that none of the other labels were pushing, so we were like cool we’ve got Circus, let’s push this. Then stuff started kicking off, and we realized that’s what Circus always should have been. It was a way to get away from other people telling you what’s good and what’s not and more of a platform for writing what was us. That’s why we didn’t originally think about signing acts, but then we started talking to artists like Cookie Monsta and Funtcase, and they were like, “Oh we really like writing this stuff but we don’t know if it’s going to work.” That’s what Circus is. It’s music that’s been made out of love, and who knows if it’s going to work? Like, who gives a shit if it’s going to work? As long as it works for you when you’re writing it at that point, we’re gonna put it together and release it and see what people think. But it all started just as a place for me to release that first remix.

TBM: Well having an outlet like Circus Records, that began as a platform for you to publish the songs you love, what has your response or reaction been to the hyper-popularity of your biggest songs such as “Bass Cannon” or “Gold Dust”?

Flux: Just kind of been like, non-stop. It was pretty intense. “Bass Cannon,” “I Can’t Stop,” “Cracks,” and “Gold Dust” all in the same space of about three months, as well as “Got to Know.” Doctor P had just done “Sweet Shop,” so I guess in Circus I was always kind of the Dubstep guy. Sean was a friend, and the others had gotten involved because they knew business, and I was the Dubstep guy. Next thing I knew, the line-ups were going Doctor P, Cookie Monsta, Funtcase and then me… and I was like, “Shit. I’ve got to do something about this.” And then I wrote all of those tracks out of a drive. Then it all came out, and I’ve been riding it ever since. The crowds got bigger, and then I actually got more time to work on my music. It was the fundamental change where I’ve all of a sudden gotten a thumbs up from the world as if they were saying, “Yes, we quite like your music.” So I thought cool I’m going to do some more now. It’s what I always wanted to do, so the idea that I can do that is quite nice.

TBM: So Flux has clearly been doing well, but I believe I’ve caught wind of some alternate musical project that you’ve been working on?

Flux: Well it’s not necessarily a new project yet. I’ve been working on a new album, and I’ve got so many songs. Rather than writing certain kind of songs, I’ve just been sitting down with an idea and working with it. So I’ve got some 80’s kind of disco stuff, as well as some slow jam 808 groovy stuff with me singing on it, and some massive Dubstep tracks and Big House tunes. I’ve just kind of been realizing there’s a separation there for me as a creator. There’s a thing that makes Flux Pavilion what it is, and then there’s other stuff, these other ideas that I’ve been chasing that don’t tickle the boxes for me for what Flux Pavilion is, but I’m still equally happy with the writing. If I start imposing that upon Flux Pavilion, then Flux Pavilion at the core of what’s great about it gets frazzled and worn down. So that’s where the idea of a secondary project comes in. Once I’ve finished this Flux album, I’m going to try to buy some time to work on these other ideas and see where that takes me.

TBM: Do you have any alter ego or alias or any other branding elements that you’ve developed for your forthcoming musical tangent?

Flux: Not yet. At the moment I’m just focusing on finishing this Flux album. That’s what’s taking focus, is making sure this album is the strongest thing that Flux Pavilion has ever put on. I want to capture everything that has ever made Flux Pavilion great, and not necessarily in the way it sounds, but the way it feels. I want the record to feel good the way a Prodigy album does. It’s not any particular kind of style. I’m taking the same approach with this record, there’s a lot of stuff that doesn’t feel like Flux Pavilion, so it’ll start feeling like something else at some point.

TBM: Is there anything more you can tell us about what you’ve been creating for this upcoming Flux record?

Flux: Well I was playing a bunch of stuff to the Destroid guys the other night, and I realized there’s way more four to the floor kind of rhythm stuff that I’ve ever written in my entire life.

TBM: By that do you mean that you’ve been writing tracks that capture a sort of house feel or are you taking that rough template and putting your own spin on it?

Flux: There are many varying tempos. Some stuff is at 140, some at 175… all the tempos pretty much. But for some reason, with the idea of really trying to capture that… you know when a track hits and you get goose bumps and you put your hands up because you want to and not because someone’s screaming at you to put your hands up. I’m just trying to capture that in the music itself so that I can just play any of those tunes and people can vibe off of it and feel it. That’s come across as much more of a four to the floor styled rhythm, which is something that I’ve never done in my life. I was kind of like, “Shit, where did this come from?”

TBM: Have you ever experimented with using live instrumentation elements in your shows?

Flux: Well I actually do have a live band. We played one show in the UK. We’re ready to tour now. It’s me playing guitar and singing, a woman doing vocals, a guy playing all the lead lines on a keytar. We’ve also got another guy playing a bass guitar that also picks up midi notes so he can play all the bass samples as well as a live drummer. So it’s basically re-creating the music with the intent to elaborate on top of it. But I stopped it, not a full stop, but I’ve put a comma on the project because I haven’t put out a really big, fresh lot of music. If I was taking it on the road now, it would be all the same stuff, and I want to take the show on the road where it’s all new music in a way people have never heard it before.

TBM: Well thanks so much for meeting with us! I look forward to hearing what Flux Pavilion has in store for the world.

 

TBM Contributor, Dan Crittenden, with Flux Pavilion. “Let’s do a thug one.”

 

Article by Dan Crittenden

YouTube Vid / Music compliments of Flux Pavilion

Photos by Mike Orgeman

 

Oct 24

The Polish Ambassador @ The Cabooze 10/22/14

Party With a Purpose

It’s been awhile since I’ve been to The Cabooze, so when I heard that the Polish Ambassador’s ‘Pushing Through the Pavement: A Permaculture Action Tour’ was gracing the South Minneapolis venue, I was pleased to say the least. There’s just something about the place… I like it there. Anyways, I made my way towards Cedar Riverside, drove around for a bit, and eventually found a place to park. I don’t always go on solo missions, but there I was walking towards the venue’s iconic marquee by my lonesome. Upon entry I was quickly greeted by an onslaught of familiar faces. Apparently I wasn’t going to be at this one alone after all.

20141022_234531I’ll admit I didn’t know much about the supporting acts Mr. Lif, Ayla Nereo, or Wildlight before last night, but I was open and curious. After head nods and hellos I found a nice little spot towards the wall opposite of the stage where I could take in some of Ayla Nereo’s set. She had a beautiful voice and a captivating stage presence. Accompanying Ayla was Liminus. At first I figured he was her DJ, but then later realized he was live controlling the visuals that were being projected onto what is best described as an amphitheater like backdrop.  Also present was David Sugalski, perhaps better known as The Polish Ambassador, but for this portion of the night, Ayla had the spotlight. After a few songs I stepped outside to kick it with the homies Train and Jared (they are their own show in itself).

After taking in the scene on The Cabooze’s patio, I made my way back inside. The crowd had thickened a bit and now both Ayla and Mr. Lif, the night’s MC and talented freestylist, were performing together. I don’t remember if it was during this time or once Sugalski joined the crew to make Wildlight, but a vocal looping performance by Ayla and Mr. Lif had me quite impressed. I remember thinking, “Damn. Ayla’s kind of like a sexy Heat Box.” A little later (at this point I was for sure witnessing Wildlight) Mr. Lif segued into one of the group’s final songs by talking about the importance of living simply. The song itself, especially coupled with Lif’s intro, felt a little preachy, but that’s ok – the message struck. As I listened, I reflected upon my happiness and couldn’t help but to ponder my own materialistic tendencies.

20141023_002740Around 10:50PM Polish Ambassador, clad in his iconic yellow jumpsuit and yellow tinted visor, took the stage. Although Sugalski had been involved a good chunk of the night, the crowd was now going wild. It was time for the main event. Just as promised, the set started out bass heavy and gradually increased in the Funk as it went on. It’s pretty rare that those in attendance at The Cabooze aren’t dancing – this night was no exception. I dug what was being dished out and spent the entirety of the set rockin’ some of my own dance moves, but I don’t know Polish’s material well enough to relay any particular songs. The exception coming towards the end with the mind altering glitchy remix of Radiohead’s “Fake Plastic Tress.”

Coupled with Polish’s funky beats were some truly radical live visuals thanks to Liminus. The two artists work extremely well together – from their physical cues signifying visual cuts to their free and groovy dance moves. They’re definitely having one hell of a time when on stage. Joining the fun for a very fast and bass heavy jungly track was the beautiful Jasmin (a member of the Permaculture team). She displayed an excellent choreographed dance routine along with a massive smile, and only intensified the crowd’s excitement.

Due to the ‘Minneapolis Permaculture Action Day’ that was scheduled for the next morning, Polish Ambassador’s set was meant to end at 12:15AM in order to encourage concert goers to get some sleep before participating. A novel idea indeed, and one that a full time, regular office hours working employee such as myself, readily welcomed midweek. When the witching hour eventually arrived Sugalski did indeed bring his set to an end. He very humbly thanked the crowd, a crowd that was by no means ready for the show to be over, and a crowd that was perhaps the loudest I’ve ever witnessed at The Cabooze (indoors). It didn’t take long for The Polish Ambassador to return after persistent chants of, “One more song!” As he put it, “Of course I’m back. You knew I was coming back. That was really just a formality. There isn’t really anywhere for me to go back there anyways.” Wildlight was then welcomed back for the encore, an encore for which the crowd went silly. Upon completion, Minneapolis was still not ready to let Polish go. Hootin’ and hollerin’ persisted until Mr. Lif told us that for the first time this tour, they were performing a “second bonus round.” The second encore consisted of some nice beats laid down by Polish, but also freestyles from both Mr. Lif and Ayla. When the show came to an end we were graciously thanked for being such an awesome audience – sentiments that were genuine, heart felt, and well received. Mr. Lif shed light to the family vibe that he had sensed throughout the night. A vibe no doubt present many nights at The Cabooze, but one that, this night, was embellished by the obvious presence of the Polish Ambassador Fanatics within the Infrasound / TC Dubstep community.

 

Article by Alex Stahlmann

Photos by Alex Stahlmann

 

If you’re a fan of The Polish Ambassador, like collecting concert posters, want to contribute to the Nomadic Green House Project, enjoy supporting local artists, or, all of the above, grab one of Megan Hamilton’s 11×17” Polish Ambassador Prints. They’re pretty rad.

Polish Poster

Support the cause, support local art, buy yours HERE!

 

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