I am coming out of blog retirement to write about Terminally Ill, the latest album by ill.Gates. As I dusted off the WordPress dashboard, I noticed that my last blog post was in 2012 and it was when ill.Gates released Church of Bass. Apparently his music motivates me.
Terminally Ill starts out slow and steady, warming you up with melodic synths and solid bass lines. “Flying”, a collaboration with Stephan Jacobs and vocals from Jackie Rain, is a perfectly produced track that sounds like it could be on tv or in a movie. I usually start the album when I am first getting in my car. Back out of the driveway and 54 seconds into the song, you’re moving. It really is a perfect song to start the album with…gentle but energetic.
The next few of songs are great and fit the same kind of vibe and then track five starts. “Bounce” featuring Mayor Apeshit hits you with the beats that make you want to move. For someone like me who is listening in the car, this is the song that makes me say, “Screw it. I don’t care who is looking at me. I’m going to move my head around and bounce in my seat. Hell, I might even roll the window down and slam on the side of the car with my hand!” It’s that serious.
Once you get moving, it’s on and next comes “Shine” with that sweet, sweet bass and vocals from MasiaOne, Pure Powers and Nuberto. You will recognize MasiaOne’s vocals from other ill.Gates hits, including the epic “Irma Vep” from Autopirate.
Things are still going good. “Workflow” featuring DropStars changes things up a bit with some catchy synths, rapping and tongue clicks? Let me see your workflow. Love it!
“Sankar’s Lake” is a song by CloZee, who if you haven’t checked her out, you must not like music. She is a French producer who has been getting out there for awhile now and her Soundcloud is full of full length live mixes as well as original tunes and remixes. Her song Sankar’s Lake was remixed by ill.Gates and it is awesome! It has this house drop at 2:36 that I just love.
“Unsung Heros” is a collaboration with KJ Sawka, who uses acoustic drums for live drum and bass. This song has heavy basslines over some audio from Mario Savio, who was a political activist and a key member in the Berkeley Free Speech Movement. He was most known for his speech he gave in December of 1964 that was later called “Operation of the Machine”. ill.Gates included samples from the speech in this song and those vocals along with the heavy drum and bass are inspiring. “There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!”
Terminally Ill ends with two more songs that are a little slower because that’s how albums work. They wind you up and then they bring you closure. “More Tea” is my favorite song on the album. This song has 3 of my favorite things: Japanese strings, samples of someone talking about tea ceremonies, and Bruce Lee talking about being like water.
“Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”
Born in Canada and now calling California home, ill.Gates is one of the trailblazers in the West Coast bass music scene- an innovative style of bass and synth heavy, glitchy electronic beats. ill.Gates is always experimenting with the limitlessness of the genre that he helped create along with his co-conspirators Beats Antique, Mimosa, Vibesquad, Mochipet, David Starfire, Opiuo, and Bassnectar to name just a few. He is an active member of online forums about music production and teaches workshops as a certified Ableton instructor. ill.Gates started out DJing in Ableton with the Trigger Finger and more recently moved to the APC40 as well as the iPad and has great templates for these various controllers available on his website as well as an eBook on production.
The Church of Bass Tour started a few days ago and will feature ill.Gates, Stephan Jacobs, and Jay Fay. More info on the tour can be found here http://churchofbasstour.com/. The Church of Bass EP will be available on Muti Music on November 19 on Addictech.
Dubvirus is a San Francisco based DJ and Producer as well as the man behind the new monthly event in SF called “Resonate” and also the owner of ” Dubvirus Audio” which offers mastering and other audio services.
I hadn’t heard of Dubvirus before his song “Music” came out on An-ten-nae’s compilation Acid Crunk Vol. 4 in 2011. Since then he has been busy releasing several remixes including one on Stephan Jacobs Mad Era & In The Vortex Remixes. His music has that easy groove and glitch that many people have abandoned in favor of heavier dubstep beats. It is refreshing to hear original music coming out of the genre from a new producer. Listening to his Soundcloud shows that he is into experimentation, which often results in some of the most amazing music out there. One of my favorites on his Soundcloud is a song called “Belleville Bass” which he describes as Swang Step. Dubvirus is one to watch as he takes his passion for music and learns and evolves as a producer.
Along with plans for several shows at Burning Man this year, Dubvirus tells me that he will be releasing several remixes on Soundcloud next week to celebrate the release of Tesseract, his debut album out on Muti Music tomorrow, July 9. Preview Tesseract here. Buy the album on Addictech.
MiHKAL is Oakland based DJ Michael Anderson. His last mixtape Snuglife was the last mix in my library to get 5 stars and nothing has come close to replacing that mix since he released it in December. That is, until now.
I get new music everyday and a lot of it is very exciting and interesting, but something really has to be outstanding to catch and HOLD my attention. It has been 3 weeks since this mix was released, and not a day goes by that I don’t listen to it. The tracklist is fresh, his mixing is flawless, and the vibe is uplifting and energetic, something we have come to expect from MiHKAL after years of consistently solid DJ mixes.
: TRACKLiST :
Emancipator – First Snow (Ooah Remix) – (1320 Records)
Simplex – Theia – (Soundcloud)
R/D – Your Misty Eyes Are M.I.N.E – (The Designed Disorder)
Deathstar – Seismic – (Soundcloud)
Yeah Yeah Yeah’s – Maps (Sugarpill’s TehSlideBass Remix) – (SoundCloud)
ill-Esha – Cherry Blossoms – (True Score Theory)
Hanssen Ft. Chadwick – Rising sun (Splatinum Remix) – (Dubstep Records)
Pillow Fight – Hand on the Steel – (Prime Dub Records)
Minnesota – Push it – (Tycho Records)
Phetsta – Dance All Night – (Technique Recordings)
Stephan Jacobs & Love & Light – The One ft. Delvo – (Muti Music)
DCarls – Runaway – (Simplify Recordings)
Ben Samples – Drop Bombs (ChrisB Remix) – (Daly City Records)
Unlimited Gravity – THose Little THings – (Bandcamp)
Slim THugz – Fistful of Dollaz ft. Yound Joc – (Bandcamp)
Ghetto Sexuual – Planetary Two Step – (Abstract Logic Recordings)
ChrisB & David Block – In The Name of – (Simplify Recordings)
Sugarpill – Delirious – (Simplify Recordings)
Guttstar – Hot Mess – (Soundcloud)
Gladkill – Out of Your Comfort – (Made in Glitch)
The song that always gets me at around 21:00 after Sugarpill’s remix of “Maps” is “Cherry Blossoms” by the incredibly talented vocalist and producer ill-esha. She is a newly transplanted Canadian now living in San Francisco, so make sure to catch one of her live sets when you are in the area. Check out the single on Beatport and her new album Reverie is out now on Muti.
As any genre grows the music lover has to sift through more and more mediocre music to get to the tunes that really stand out and give you that rush of experiencing something that is unlike any other music you have heard before. It is up to the artist to consistently push their boundaries by not relying on formulas that have worked in the past. Once they push past that familiar territory and enter into the unknown, that is where the magic happens- all things are possible and amazing music is made from the willingness to experiment.
The Canadian duo known as Knight Riderz have a new album out on Muti called 12th Dimension. It only takes one listen before it is obvious that these guys are familiar with this creative magic. Every song on the album has a dreamy quality starting with the title track- a symphony of lazers and bass, moving into glitchy hip-hop beats with “Reign in the Clouds”, “Multidimensional Being”, “Synthetic Seduction”, “Brain Explosion”, and ending with an ethereal sounding sentiment with “Collective Consciousness”. These rhythms have complex layers that tell many stories at once and can relate to each persons unique experience. In the 12 dimensions of consciousness, the 12th dimension is when we return to Source and resonate in unison with the physical form of our Local Universe. We are whole.
12th Dimension is out on Muti Music June 10 and can be found on Addictech.
Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin is probably the most important chemist alive. In addition to rediscovering MDMA and popularizing its therapeutic use, he also synthesized hundreds of new psychoactive chemicals and – with his wife and companion Ann – chronicled their effects in the extraordinary detail of two legendary volumes, PIKHAL & TIKHAL.
- At the age of 85, Sasha recently suffered a stroke and now requires full-time medical care. This benefit compilation is the response from an international network of musicians whose work and lives have been enriched and inspired by the work of these two pioneers and their courageous exploration of nonordinary consciousness.
The L.A.B., or “Large Animal Bioassay,” was the pet name given to visionary chemist Sasha Shulgin’s small group of friend-volunteers who spent years exploring the effects of his newly-discovered molecules on their consciousness. This heroic team of psychonauts were the first to experience hundreds of novel states of consciousness, and it is in their honor that we name this compilation of eclectic tracks.
Just as their own journeys took them into realms of both the profound and profane, pleasure and anxiety, these two hours of music – spread over two discs, one danceable and one ambient – are the perfect accompaniment for an adventure to the human mind’s furthest horizons…
- Buy the album and contribute here.
- released 27 May 2011
organized by Michael Garfield
michaelgarfield.blogspot.comin partnership with
MartyParty is a a DJ/producer from South Africa who has been in the music business for quite awhile. PANTyRAiD, his latest project with Ooah of The Glitch Mob, has been keeping him jetsetting around the world. After touring with Freq Nasty and Opiuo on the Monsters Of Bass tour, Marty returned home with a desire to write a complete album. “I wanted to sit down and write a collection of songs that summed up the kinds of energy and emotion I found myself feeling and expressing to the audiences on tour every day,” states Marty. “This album touches on various forms of purple energy in a journey through the genre. The Purple album demonstrates the incredible range of this electronic genre and how it can express light and dark, turn from gentle to hard, but always delivers its message using only synthesized sounds.”
Purple showcases some of the sexy bass sounds we have been hearing coming out of the heart of the West Coast bass music scene. It will be released May 31.
To celebrate the upcoming release, MartyParty would like to give away a 3 song EP which you can grab here.
Marty Party and Ooah are both huge names in the glitch and bass music scene and in late 2008, on top of Marty’s solo projects, Ooah’s work with The Glitch Mob and other various collaborations, they joined forces to create PANTyRAiD. Their mixtape released in the spring of 2009 was a HUGE success with its deep basslines and glitched up crunky vocals. People were all hyped up on PANTyRAiD and they spent months on message boards, Twitter, and Facebook begging for them to release an album. It didn’t hurt their popularity that Mary Anne Hobbs was all about the PANTyRAiD.
They gave us a taste of the album by releasing the single “Beba” and the b-side “Get The Money” in May of 2009 on Adam Freeland’s label Marine Parade. “Beba” was a huge hit and only fueled the cries for a full length album, which finally came in September of 2009 also on Marine Parade. The Sauce is still Marine Parades’ top selling album, but despite its sexy album cover and all the hype, many fans felt it was a let down. It was quite different than the mixtape that people had been listening to for a year. The crunky hip hop vocals were missing and so was much of that heavy dance floor hype that had made the mixtape such a huge hit. None of this means that The Sauce wasn’t a great album- it is a great piece of art, but many people were expecting something different. After waiting for so long, it was a huge letdown for those people who couldn’t accept the album for what it was- a deep soulful expression of Ooah and Marty’s musical vision at that time. Both of them were looking to do something different than they were currently doing musically, and The Sauce was the result.
Both Ooah and Marty are still very busy with their other projects, but they found time to come together and create The Superior EP which was released this week. This EP is 4 songs that “represent the four flavors of the dance floor inspired by the big bass sound of a PANTyRAiD.” This EP was specifically made for the dance floor, which can lead one to the conclusion that Marty and Ooah listened to the criticism of The Sauce and tried to make something that their loyal fans would like.
Let’s just indulge my fantasy that people actually read the stuff that is written here and want to know what my personal opinion and feelings on a subject are. I have some stuff on my mind and it isn’t directed at any one person. It is just all of the little things that continually add up and make me say, I can’t stand this anymore! I am so sick of people being negative about EVERYTHING. If you don’t like a release, find an album you do like and talk about what you like about it instead of talking about why you don’t like an album. The problem with this bass music scene is that there are too many hipsters in it and we all know that hipsters don’t like to admit that they like anything that is popular, even if they were the ones who made it popular. They want to be the sole owners of this unique style of music that we have all grown to love and now that it is getting more popular, they need to separate themselves from that which they think is too mainstream. But at the same time, while trying to distance themselves from the “mainstream” they are unwilling to accept change.
An artist does what they do for the sake of art, but there is always that need to make a living. People start having to consider those who view their art if they want to be able to continue to sell it. If nobody wants to buy your art, then you either have to be poor, or you have to figure out a way to compromise by giving the people what they want while also maintaining your artistic vision. Along with needing to make money, it is human nature to try to please people. I don’t know anybody who wants to constantly hear their fans complain about how much their art sucks. The goal of the person DJing or producing music is to give the fans music that they like. They actually WANT people to like their music, along with wanting to express themselves artistically. This is the part where the hipster says that the artist is now a sellout. Hey hipster! Guess what? It’s actually none of your business. Just because you helped to make something popular doesn’t mean you ever had any ownership of it.
Marty and Ooah respect their fans and listened to feedback on The Sauce and gave us four dance floor bangers with The Superior EP. These songs will get a party moving and will most likely make a lot of those fans who were disappointed with The Sauce very happy. Does that mean PANTyRAiD now deserves to be called sellouts? No. It means they put out another release that is going to be a best seller just like the first one. If you happen to dislike it, don’t worry. I’m sure there is something out there that you will like. Everything is going to be ok.
Oh I hope people will still read my blog even though I got mad… Oh gosh, what did I do?!!
It’s just music, people… buy it, listen to it, be happy.
Grab The Superior EP here!
Love and Light are Matt Madonna and Ryan Anderson from Reno and they are taking the West coast by storm! If you haven’t heard of Love and Light yet, you might want to make sure your mail is getting forwarded to the right cave! In the last four months they have released songs on two different albums, and this will be there second EP on Simplify. These guys have energy to get things done, and they are happy while they do it. Their attitude of love and light is what gets the crowds attention. The vibe coming from the dj booth is nothing but positive.
Love and Light have a new EP out on Simplify available Friday. The Light We Bring is five songs of deep whompy glitched up beats designed to get the dancefloor jumping. These beats are best served LOUD!
Grab The Light We Bring here!
Artwork by Jesse Noe.