BC Rydah And YESKA Beatz Keep The Jungle Growing

Yeska

Yeska

“I don’t know, it’s something about those breaks, you know?” says BC Rydah. “I feel more connected to those breaks and come from that kind of chemical music.

“When I got introduced to this stuff, I was watching Liquid Television, with Alex Reece playing on the videos and stuff like that. But it’s just something about those breaks, all the elements of it are dope. Like every single break that I’ve heard, every manipulation, just brings a lot of excitement to the dance floor and to the music.”

A stunning endorsement of Jungle music, straight from the mouth of one of LA’s best practitioners of the style. A part of YESKA Beatz, who run the local magazine Jungle Juice, he has been involved in bringing Jungle to the masses for over a decade now.

“My name, BC, stands for Beach City,” explains Rydah. “That’s pretty much what it means. I go by BC Rydah because that’s what I represent and it’s just a cool name that came together following a bunch of homies just kicking it and smoking together. I’ve been running with this since about 2009; before that, I had other names and monikers, but it wasn’t until this one that I started taking music and my approach to the sound and culture more serious.

“The jungle scene found me! Like, when I was a youngster, me and the homies used to listen to tapes. Back in the late 90’s, one of my boys gave me a jungle tape and a hardcore tape, and I also came across compilations. But I was always listening to other stuff, was always listening to like the Chemical Brothers and Crystal Method because Big Beat was really big around that time. That was a part of my introduction as well as having the LA Hard House scene heavily surrounding me. So it was like I’d hear all of it: whether it was on the radio or like having DJ’s come to our school dances and playing it there with our homies battling in circles and stuff.”

Like many, he ended up finding his way to the music via raves, shows, and the culture behind it.

“I was kind of always around electronic music, but it wasn’t until I was in high school that I started going out and going to raves. I remember going to this one party, it was a club that was a gutted-out hotel that they turned into a rave club. I saw R.A.W. spinning there and he blew me away with turntable techniques. It was that and another party, at Utopia, where they had hip-hop one day and drum and bass the next day. It was pretty much after those events that I was like, ‘This is what I do now’.”

What is YESKA Beatz? According to Rydah, “We are a Junglist movement, based out of Long Beach, that started in 2012. Our goal is to bring back good, real jungle music from this area. In the beginning, I was trying to do something different but now I really like how we are putting out a different sound than the rest of what’s out on the west coast. Originally at the start, it was a skate crew that I was a part of. Later we incorporated that with the beats and now, here we are.

“The name came together while smoking a blunt in a backyard and it just created itself. We have about twenty different DJ’s and producers who are part of the crew; we also have producers from all over the world who put out stuff on our label. We stay dedicated to the cause, making sure that the culture keeps extending and people get fed that knowledge and understanding.”

Jungle Juice itself is a magazine but the events that celebrate each release are also an integral part of it as well.

“The magazine was supposed to be a monthly thing, but dealing with issues and trying to stay organized we decided to start dropping the issue without it needing to be a monthly thing,” Rydah elaborates.
“When it comes out, it comes out. But whenever we do drop an issue, we are going to do an event; this way people are informed as well as entertained. Because these are all about everyone having a good time, coming out and having a good experience. I want people to experience what it was like for me when I got into music. It’s all about experiencing that love, that vibe.”

Throwing these shows takes a huge amount of effort and planning, and it’s his genuine love for the music which drives his zeal for putting the shows together.

“I’m really excited; it’s all about all these ones we have done but really excited for the artist who is coming out. He’s a good friend and I’ve done some art shows with him throughout the years, and really want people to see his talent. Next year is going to be really exciting, as it’s going to be coming back full force with the same Jungle mind state in a new area, and ready to be in your hands.”

The future of this movement is only gaining more and more momentum as time goes on, with a blistering amount of material in the works.

“YESKA Beatz has done about sixteen releases,” reveals Rydah. “We are working on the single series, which will have stuff from R.A.W./6Blocc and Ed808 and is beginning next year. It will be single releases every month with full album releases every few months, and vinyl releases every six months. So definitely be on the lookout for a lot of new dope releases from the streets of Cali and abroad. But the focus will be on our stateside Jungle sound.

“With Jungle Juice, everyone should just come out and support! A big thank you goes out to all those involved – all the crews, different promoters, Supply and Demand in Long Beach. We are just going to keep this thing growing and spreading the vibe!”

The Bewitching Cacophony Of FNGRNLS

FNGRNLS cover

FNGRNLS cover

“I use a lot of aggressive sounds, and at one point was using a lot of dissonance and it reminded me of nails on a chalkboard,” explains Zach Shrout, the creative force behind FNGRNLS. “Which is where I kind of got the name from. I just got rid of all the vowels and capitalized cuz it looks cool!”

A fitting description and glimpse into the sound of FNGRNLS, an act characterized by its sprawling exploration of electronic music. With a few releases under his belt over the past few years, he has methodically cemented his dark and challenging sound and is set to bring us another epic dose of it in the form of his upcoming release.

“The title is Ritual Sacrifice, and it refers to the sacrifices any creative makes,” describes Shrout. “Like, it’s a really isolating lifestyle, you know? It takes a lot of your time and takes a lot of time away from family and friends and relationships. So, it’s about the sacrifices we make in pursuit of our craft.”

A labor of love culminating from years of work, much of it has been influenced by his musical development. “I’ve been playing guitar and always been a metalhead my whole life,” he expounds. “I started playing guitar when I was fifteen or sixteen and was roughly eighteen or nineteen when I started messing with Fruity Loops. I was writing a bunch of metal songs and writing my own music and looking for a way to program my own drums and also record my own stuff.

“I found Fruity Loops, although didn’t know what it was; I had read somewhere that it was something I could use to program my own drums. I opened it up and found I could do so much more with it so started making shitty techno music (laughs). It was really bad, my early stuff. But that’s how I got into it. I messed around with it for a while and ended up taking a long break from it, then got back into it and started the FNGRNLS project and taking it all more seriously.”

One listen to the album and his desire to keep things interesting becomes readily apparent, from the tempo shifts in “Redlining” or the mutating melodies “Odyssey” possesses. “I’m a big fan of variety, I just like to keep it interesting. I get really bored making the same kind of stuff over and over,” Shrout remarks. “And I get bored listening to the same kind of stuff too. So, I try to make whatever it is that I want to hear, whatever I’m interested in listening to. And always ends up being a big variety.

“Originally it was going to be a three or four song EP with like trap,” reveals the producer. “But I just kept getting ideas and just ran with it, kept going with it until I didn’t have anymore ideas. That’s the thing, once I start making stuff, I just open a floodgate and just can’t stop. So that’s where it turned into an album. It wasn’t a conscious decision, it just happened.”

The number of tracks alone signify this – but as you journey through it, the music itself reveals a wide variety of creative impulses as well. The downtempo pace of “Quench” employs a myriad of layers to create a unique atmosphere where each listen reveals something you didn’t notice before. For those desiring something to bang their heads to and fill their ears with glitchy noises, look no further than “The Temple Void.” Things get weird in the best possible way on “Double Dose (ft. VENMC),” a track that deftly blends trap with the of sound of deep dub and tops it off with some twisted vocals that make it.

“I feel that I leveled up on this album in just about every way,” says Shrout. “I feel like I’m finally at the point in production where I can make the sounds that I’m hearing in my head. So, what I’m proud of is being able to achieve what I wanted to with most of the tracks. They really capture the mood I was trying to create. “Guiding Light” or “Bloodletting” are two favorites of mine from this album.

“Guiding Light is a track I’ve been wanting to make for years. It’s kind of about loved ones who have passed on and how we keep them alive in our memories, we still remember the lessons they taught us and how they have helped us through our lives even though they aren’t here anymore. That’s kind of what the song is about and is one that I put off for a long time because I didn’t think I was a good enough musician or producer to do the idea justice. But I decided to just go with it and see if I could make it happen, and I’m really happy with the way that it turned out.”

FNGRNLS

FNGRNLS

One of the biggest challenges about electronic music is the tension between working in the studio and performing live, especially as every musician makes music for vastly different reasons. “I prefer being in the studio because it’s more relaxed and I can go at my own pace, there’s not as much pressure. I do love performing live too, but it’s just really nerve-wracking at the same time. I’d like to do more shows and have done radio shows and have talked to people about doing more of those as well.”

The production on the album is top notch, and it quickly comes across how at home Shrout is in the studio. The DnB influenced track “Doomshape,” uses the space that can be achieved in the studio to build a heavy vibe and create its dynamic sound. The subterranean bass which drives “Occultation” is another great example of his expertise, as each layer is thick and full, yet blends perfectly together without clashing.

“My whole philosophy in regard to electronic music is…like I said, I’m a big metalhead and that’s always been at the core of who I am musically. I feel that heaviness isn’t really exclusive to metal, so I’m trying to make music that is heavy without relying on guitars and insane drums and stuff. That’s a big driving force behind the sound of FNGRNLS, trying to capture and make darker textures and atmospheres and stuff to make music that’s aggressive and angry without being metal. These days I’m mostly into metal, the more extreme the better. But I still listen to it all.”

This is a lofty ambition, yet one he seems to effortlessly achieve. There is something for everyone on this album, whether you crave the heaviest of the heavy or something for dancing. Ritual Sacrifice is due for release November 20. It’s a release you do not want to pass up!

Journey Of The Kemst – Part 1

Kemst; press photo

Kemst; press photo

In today’s world of music, there are so many artists it is far too easy to miss the plethora of great art out there. What we seek out is different for everyone, but one element that always stands out is when an artist’s unbridled passion. Kemst is one of those artists; one who has deftly brought together the style of the streets and fused that with the surrealism present in beat music.

First came the creation of the name. “Originally, it wasn’t even a name for music,” he explains. “It was for graffiti and at the time, I wanted a different name. I had a few and was switching up and switching schools so I was like, I want a name. I was watching a bunch of stuff and saw Ghostbusters…. heard Keymaster and was like, ‘Whoa, that’s fresh’. After that, I realized that’s a lot to write and tag up and so I shortened that to Kemst. I had a few names to rhyme under since I was doing some hip-hop stuff but being creative I didn’t come up with another name and everyone was calling me Kemst, that’s who I was so I switch up.”

Next came the long journey into the world of music. “There was a piano in my house when I was a kid,” Kemst explains. “My sister could play, and I kind of wanted to play…. but I was doing other things so I wasn’t into it in that way. A year or so later, having been touched by hip hop as a younger kid, seeing cousins with turntables and everything, it stayed in my brain. Later, some friends of mine were getting really into it and I thought, ‘Yea, I’m down with that’.

Kemst; press photo

Kemst; press photo

“I saved up money from allowances and got some belt drive turntables. Started playing events like my sister’s engagement party, house gigs, birthday parties and whatever so I was able to upgrade to a full sound system, though not by our current standards of a sound system. That was the first time I was trying to make it and got the first consumer sampler keyboard. I would sample the b-side of Public Enemy’s “Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos”, which was “B-side Wins Again.” So, I’d get that and you had to tape the key down so it plays the sample…and you have to get the loop and it’s a real short sample time, you either got it or you don’t. I never could record the full thing cuz people would always open the bedroom door or something like that.”

The early nineties were a wild and diverse time to be into music; electronic music was first starting to make its presence known, while we still had the weirdness of rock as a dominant force along with hip-hop beginning to take over. Kemst took full advantage and dabbled in pretty much everything.

“I was DJing for a while, just doing that and wasn’t rapping or anything like that,” he elaborates. “About ‘93-’94, I got into a couple bands: one was a hardcore band I did cameos with called Hateface; and I used to get up and spit freestyles with one called LA Downset, like 90’s era hardcore style and my graffiti crews were in it as well. I was also in an acid jazz band called Indigenous Colors for a couple years, and we did record some stuff. There was one EP we recorded but it was never released. Actually, I got with them because I got on the mic at a party and afterwards the guitarist hit me up. It’s funny cuz everyone in that band had timing and desire – the trumpet player went to DaKah the hip hop orchestra; the sax player was with Ozomatli – everyone was doing something …. I don’t know if it was just luck or timing.”

Jungle music started coming into the LA scene around this time and grabbed hold of him like nothing else. “Then I was a cajoled by a friend to go to his house, to hang out with his friend who I went to high school with, but we didn’t really hang out back then,” recounts Kemst. “And that guy was Deacon, to hear his mixtapes and just know the strength of this DJ…. R.A.W., Deacon, and Machete – that was the row going down. Curious on top too, those were the local original rude boy crews you know? THAT was recognition. Before that, it was the pressure crews, and that had Markman who now does Markman Sound. He now teaches at SAE and at the Musician’s Institute and is just a heavy sound design and Ableton cat.

Kemst; CD artwork

Kemst; CD artwork

“A lot of people were just doing things because the Internet didn’t exist in its current form and so you had to really seek it out. It was still the era of, ‘I don’t know if your cool enough to have this tape’. After that, I was still making music, but it seemed like everyone was collecting the best of drum and bass because all of it was coming out on vinyl and there were ten records per city. So, if you were buying it, you were getting the most out of date stuff in the world because the timeline of a tune was that fast. It was really quick and that didn’t really interest me, I was like ‘I’ll never keep up’.”

From the get go, he sought to differentiate himself and found highly creative ways of doing that. “So, I would just buy a lot of old soul, jazz, reggae, and dollar bin hip hop,” says Kemst. “Especially the instrumental sides since nobody listens to these songs. So those instrumentals were fresh when you played it.

“I was making music, but nothing got saved; and now it’s come to, since that time and ever since dubstep manifested…work time and hustle all came together to where you could finally have a computer that recorded what you want. It wasn’t a tower or anything, but I got the stuff…maybe not all the right stuff…. I was working with Cubase at first and got monitors way too big for my space, but that setup led me to reason.”

The rapid technological development became both a blessing and a curse for Kemst. “I was frustrated and was trying to get with the learning curve!” he expounds. “This was ’06-’07 and at the time was coming back from a double hernia surgery, had a bum knee, and thought I was done. I had no diaphragm and couldn’t spin; the year prior had been in the streets for a minute….so I was really finding redemption. That setup, that manifestation and after only a year getting back into it, I’m all of a sudden being quoted as the dubstep guy even though I was still playing drum and bass stuff.

“And as I moved over and was playing these other shows, I always made room for other dudes to get on the mic too; I’ve always been cool with everyone trying to do their thing. We kicked all that around to other people a few times and using Biggie samples until I said ‘Teflon’, which becomes the tune with Kelly Dean and Steady, Orange County dudes.

“It was a wicked tune via Smog Crew, and that reverberating to where Excision and Datsik did their remix. That became the anthem for a while and to a lot of people, as far as the term dubstep goes, and was known as one of the ten greatest dubstep drops.”

The journey is just beginning……stay tuned for part two!!

CAMP TRIP Brings It All Together

CAMP TRIP is upon us and only a week away! The excitement behind it is so thick you could cut it with a knife. From its humble beginnings as an outing amongst friends, the core members (Patrick, Keekz, Daniel, Devan, Shawn, Gio, Corey, Mark) have turned it into one of the defining festivals in the LA underground.

“It’s kind of funny how it all ended up coming into place,” describes Keekz. “We used to throw house parties called Test Party. We didn’t even know at that time why we were calling it Test Party. We had CD-Js on both sides and had about four of those parties.”

“It makes no sense thinking back,” adds Patrick. “And it got to be too much cuz it turned into two stages and like, this is a house. We were going to go to Joshua Tree one weekend with a bunch of people. And it was a busy weekend and even getting there early we weren’t able to get any spots. We had two hours to figure out what was happening or to tell people not come out. We were taken to some private lands but it was all barbed wire and chained fence so that wasn’t gonna happen.

“Then, we were told about some BML land and thought, ‘Should we get in on that?’ So, we checked it out and it was just a dry lakebed. We researched for a minute and were down to the wire and told everyone to come now. I told Keekz to bring some speakers and stuff. It was tiny and only about twenty people. And it was so awesome that a month later we did it again, that being the first pre- CAMP TRIP. It was by total accident we even found that land.”

From there, the momentum started to build behind it as the event became more elaborate.

“We had one again in Joshua Tree where we brought an ice cream truck,” says Keekz. “That was the first time we hooked up with Shawn, Geode, and Daniel; they brought the lights, trussing…like full production. Nothing compared to what we have now, but at the time it was huge to us. I mean I started with bringing some Monoprice monitors I had and now we a have full Cerwin Vega setup with full stacks. That was also the first one where we got involved with the Big Booty Bass guys and bringing them out and getting them involved.”

Yet, like every festival event, unfortunately some hiccups occurred along the way.

“After that, I went and helped do a show in El Mirage,” Keekz continues. “It was like two weeks before we were gonna do another CAMP TRIP and we thought, ‘Why don’t we just do it here?’ It was a really stressful moment for me because I just wanted this party to go off without a hitch, I had put a lot of money and effort into it. And then the cops showed up.

“At that point, we knew we had to do it on private land. So, my friend Jerry, who builds bots and does the show Battle Bots, knew someone who had a property and would be willing to help us out. We met up with him and he said we could work something out.

“I went to the property and was just like, ‘This is dope. We have to do something here.’ And that was when it got crazy, when it became a real festival.”

“After the party, the owner of the property formed a bond with us; he really liked us, how we treated the land, the vibe of our people, the messages that we were pushing,” explains Keekz. “He wanted to keep working with us and since then we have a contract with him to do it out there.”

And it’s that exact thing that has made CAMP TRIP the success it is. Talk to anyone who has ever been, and they will respond with nothing but passion, love, and excitement. In addition, a genuine devotion to the CAMP TRIP slogan, “Be Human Again,” is readily apparent by all who support it.

“In this world where we are so sucked into our phones, to our jobs, the money, the status…. we’ve lost track of what it is to be human to each other; how to interact with each other without all those things clouding our vision,” conveys Keekz.

“It’s kind of like an art project, which is weird to say about a festival, but it’s like a video or a painting or all of those,” explains Patrick. “It’s a snowball we don’t control anymore. We don’t really hire anyone to do things, everything is accomplished because people want to help do the stuff that needs to get done. And there’s more people that want to help than we ever expected. The founders of CT only organize the higher end stuff really.”

“I like to say we basically build the skeleton of this beast and the people populate and make the meat,” Keekz adds. “If it weren’t for the people who come to the party, it wouldn’t be what it is.”

It’s this spirit of community and inclusivity that stand at the core of CAMP TRIP; in Keekz own words, “Every part of culture belongs at CAMP TRIP.” At every event, from the main festival to the fundraising events known as Bass Lift, there is a warmth and community presence that glues everything together in a way that is special and unique.

And it has always stood at the heart of CAMP TRIP.

“When I first got to LA, there was this wall up with everyone; everyone has something going on, but they don’t want to work together. They just want to do their own thing and that’s all they care about. But that’s the problem. I think right with where we are at, bringing all of these pieces together and breaking down those walls…. allowing people to realize, ‘Wait, if we work together, we could do something way better than we could by ourselves.’ And even after that, if someone decides they want to stop, someone will be there to carry the torch. If we build a greater community here, we could build a launchpad that would be strong enough to start sending our DJ’s out to other places instead of always importing these other DJ’s in.”

The lineup for this year’s festival is mind blowing. There is a huge lineup consisting of all the best in local electronic/bass music talent while also bringing live music acts as well. The stage production and light show are already of legendary status that must be seen to be believed. Some comedy acts will also be performing and interacting with the festival residents as well.

Yoga sessions, workshops, a tie-dye station, games, vendors of all kinds, the Surreal Saloon, the consensual butt touching zone, the Zen Den, and art displays fill out the event, further establishing the notion that literally everything really is at CAMP TRIP.

In addition, the Jenkem Jungle returns in even more epic fashion, making the bathroom area part of the festivities as well. Trash can be recycled at Recycling land for goodies and merch. And in a display of true heart, there will be a wall where pictures of those lost can be cherished and remembered.

In the end, CAMP TRIP is such an extensive event with so many facets coming together, it’s impossible to describe and convey everything there. It truly is something that can only be experienced, and easily establishes itself as something everyone needs to attend at least once in their life. Grab your tickets today while they are still available!!

As the founders of CAMP TRIP love to say….

“Come Join Us And Be Human Again!!”

Mèlay Brings The Boom

Mèlay;press photo

Mèlay;press photo

“I used to be really good at Super Smash Brothers Melee when I was 14,” explains Xavier Velarde of his DJ moniker Mèlay. “My brother used to drive me to tournaments and stuff because I couldn’t drive myself. So, I’d play and he started calling me Mèlay and it stuck.”

An LA based house DJ known for his unique style of mixing and music making, he has had an intense journey to become the artist we know today.

“My older brother and my uncle used to spin old booty breaks, stuff by the 619 boys and that stuff,” he says. “I used to sit there and watch them spin, and they spun at old clubs back in the day. I started playing with it and taught myself, and eventually they started teaching me stuff. They were like, ‘If you really wanna get into this stuff, you’re gonna have to learn the hard way’. So, yea, I got military drilled by them on how to DJ.

Mèlay; press photo“I started on vinyl and also using tape decks – you have two tape decks and in the middle is a mixer. You’re pretty much mixing tapes. I hated it; it was really hard. Vinyl was much easier cuz with tapes your rewinding and fast forwarding, it was a hassle.”

Despite the difficulties, this did little to deter him from pursuing a path in music.

“From there, just started getting into sounds and eventually started producing,” Mèlay elaborates. “I started DJing when I was about sixteen and went to engineering school for live production and audio engineering. I did that ‘til I was around 25; after that, it got to me while doing shows and seeing all these DJ’s play and just felt like, ‘I could do this’. So, I just went back to school for production and now it’s been three or four years since I’ve been producing.”

One of the most common discussions in electronic music is the debate between DJing and producing, and Mèlay has his own distinctive spin on it.

“At this point, since I’ve been DJing so long… I love DJing and its always been one of my favorite things to do. But once you get to a certain point and you know you can DJ, you don’t need to go that in depth into it, as long as you know you’re good at what you’re doing. So, I focus more on production now so I can go out and spin my own songs.”

In addition to making music, Mèlay is a founder and central figure of the collective known as Low Freqs – one dedicated to spreading much needed deep and dark house/bass grooves.

“Low Freqs started when I was going to engineering school. I had the idea but didn’t know anyone into the same music as me at my school. When I went back to production was when I met Walter Morales, aka CANDL. I brought the idea to him cuz he was the only one in my class making like UK House and all the grimy stuff. Everyone else was making pop and dubstep and country and stuff. So, I brought him the idea and after we all graduated was when we decided to dive into it and make it an actual thing. Along the way we met other people and started bringing them in. We have about ten people with us now.

“I feel like we are a little bit of everything. Events, collective, label… I’m trying to make it like a full circle thing. Lately we have been focusing more on label stuff just so we can get our music and our friends’ music out there. And trying to be an outlet for the people making the weird kind of music we are making.”

On that note, his brand-new release, The Boom EP just dropped and is filled with his trademark sound and grooves.

Mèlay "The Boom" EP cover

Mèlay “The Boom” EP cover

“My EP is something that, like the name of it The Boom, I have been trying to get out since the beginning of this year and hadn’t found the right tracks ‘til recently,” describes the producer. “And just trying to make this new genre-esque thing called ‘Sewer House’, which is House but a little bit darker and grimier. kind of like jungle infused with darker techno house. It’s a little weird. But I finally found three tracks and put them together; they are my three favorite tracks of the weird stuff that I make. Just because it’s different and weird doesn’t mean that it can’t be good.

“When I was making one of the tracks on there, it’s actually called ‘The Boom’, which I called it that cuz of the computerized sample, which was an old LL Cool J sample I used to mess with when I used to scratch,” he continues. “But the boom is pretty much… because I went through a long period of not producing because my brother passed away. For about five or six months I wasn’t producing, I was still playing shows but wasn’t producing at all. I had an epiphany one day that if my brother was still alive, he would be pissed. He would always push me to keep producing and keep producing. It was like a boom in my head and I thought of it like The Big Boom to kick me back into producing.”

All four tracks explore the deep and dark side of bass. “Step Wit” employs an infectious bass line with its steady groove that gets the body moving. “The Boom” is heavy and deep, evoking the feeling of getting sucked into the floor. The ethereal vocals and hard as nails punch of “Get Lost” create a grimy track anyone can get down to. And lastly, CANDL delivers his breaks remix of “Step Wit,” where he mutates the addictive bass of the original and fuses it into his singular vibe.

The album art is especially eye catching and pairs nicely with the music itself.

Mèlay; press photo

Mèlay; press photo

“I was sitting with Walter and he asked, ‘What do you want it to be?’ I wanted it to be simple and impactful, a simple image,” expresses Mèlay. “So, we ran through random slow-motion videos of guns shooting bullets and took a still of one of them. I just ran with it and we started dropping effects and colors on it and made it what it is now. I just wanted it to represent a big boom, like how big it was in my head to finally realize I should be doing this harder than I am.”

The future is jam packed with releases and events for Mèlay as well.

“After this EP, I’ve got a couple remixes of some underground hip hop songs I’ve been loving a lot that I’m gonna put out. I also have a desert show coming up on the 21st of September called Intercepted, which is pretty much an Area 51 themed rave in the desert. There is also the AYCE cheat day takeover for Low Freqs on October 2. After that, all the songs I’ve been building up and sending out to labels… one of those is going to become a single for Low Freqs again. And then we are releasing CANDL’s EP at the end of October. In November, we have a pretty big event coming up where I am playing the Jackson Tree Music festival. That’s one of my favorite places to ever play.”

Make sure to grab The Boom Ep today, available on all platforms!!

Airglo: Storming LA And Beyond

AIRGLO

AIRGLO

“It’s basically the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” describes Mikael Oganes, better known as Airglo, of his namesake. “It’s when you’re in the desert at one of the raves and you look up and see this giant beautiful sky and it’s all glowing and everything. But honestly, its cuz there was a show I was performing, and this chick comes over to me and says, ‘When you perform, the air is glowing around you!’ And I was also thinking about my new project and what I was going to call it and everything, and was like…Airglo, sounds cool. It’s very majestic.”

Airglo has been pumping out a flurry of music in the last new year, from remixing GOT to releasing his own productions. As a classically trained musician, he has a unique lens to look at drum and bass, with a serious passion for the genre and its high production standard.

Oganes has had an epic and storied path to get to Airglo as well. “I’ve always been in music, graduated from universities being a classically trained piano player,” he reveals. “Then transitioned into being a keyboardist/producer and started producing on Ableton as soon as I graduated around age 24. I started continuously started finding more and more inspiration from, and was very hard into the techno world for at least two and a half years. Actually, went to Texas and worked with this band called Seek Irony, and that’s where I kind of going more into electronic rock/metal and everything.”

“I always loved Drum and Bass, it was always in the background,” says Oganes. “Always listened to Dilinja, Roni Size, always, always. I wandered off of techno cuz I wanted something faster, kind of more…. I was always a metalhead and DnB is kind of like the metal/punk of EDM. So distorted bass, distorted riffs with a nice fast beat, it was just a total no brainer getting into producing DnB.

AIRGLO live

AIRGLO live

And a short time later, that’s exactly what happened. “Somehow, I started working with this band and they had this drum and bass track I really, really loved; I kind of made a remix of it, my own drum and bass remix, and remember thinking this is so cool!” explains Oganes. “When I came back to LA after working with that band in Texas, I started going to Respect shows, Xcellerated shows, and getting more and more active in the scene.”

“I released my EP called Spring, not the time of year but the coil spring, because I’ve always felt drum and bass has this spring inside,” conveys Oganes. “People ask what do I like about it and I tell them ‘I like the spring.’ They ask, ‘What do you mean?’ And it’s that every time that drum and bass plays, its like wearing spring shoes…like being elevated.”

Like many artists in the DnB scene, his love for the studio knows no bounds. “The endless possibilities!!” he declares. “Endless possibilities of mixing everything…. genres, sounds, sound design. Basically, for me the most fun part about it is grabbing something that not necessarily would be a drum and bass track and reinventing it as a drum and bass track. Or even as a bass track.”

“You can break ground with drum and bass more than any other genre right now,” Oganes elaborates. “You can do anything. Like with the Urbandawn remix of Come Together, that was crazy the first time I heard it. That’s what I love about production. With all the DAWS’s, the newer tools, and these crazy plugins; when you start going into them, you realize its unlimited. It’s literally a rabbit hole of ‘I can do anything I want.’ You can create a whole track from recording yourself going ‘Aaaah’ and you can create the whole track out of that.”

AIRGLO live

AIRGLO

Yet, he also has an intense love of the dancefloor and the live energy found at shows. “Reading the crowds, getting them to…. cooking them slowly but surely, going with them, taking them on a journey,” he affirms. “Having people go with you, like as an artist performing, and watching them go with you and respond to every little trick that you do. I’ve been through my years in different formats: as a band format, as a classically trained pianist format, there’s different formats and for a while, was even a wedding DJ! But still, when you get people dancing, and moving, and move crowds with your music…. great feeling, it’s the best feeling ever. You feel like we are all in this together and its very tribal, and it’s a very good feeling.”

Throughout rock and dance music history, classical and street music has intermingled to create some highly unusual and entertaining art. Airglo is no exception, “When you’re creating a drum and bass track, it’s more like making a collage than writing a score. You have more leeway, freedom, and movement as you’re the one telling everyone where it’s gonna go. In drum and bass, you have everyone telling you how they want it to be and you have to be, ‘here’s how it is.’

“So, I find myself writing more melodic drum and bass because I have that musical thing,” Oganes explains. “I put little harmonies in, cuz people underestimate harmonies. Harmonies and melodies, they move your soul…they get you to feel that beautiful energy, and then you crush it with a crazy drop, so it’s like a beauty and the beast thing.”

Airglo is fired up and set for a busy year of releases. Having already released the first video Chase My Desire and also recently dropping the second video of his 3-part horror series, “Rings of Saturn” you can look forward to the final installment on September 1st. Make sure to check out his remix of The Grind by Keekz along with his upcoming release on Impossible Records, Bob – O with Armanni Reign “Sick (Airglo Remix).”

In addition to all this, he is trekking cross country to spread DnB to new places as well as furthering its strength back home. You can catch him at Ernie’s Bar in Shreveport, The Green Elephant in Dallas, CAMP TRIP in September, and a Momentive later in the year!

Keep an eye on Airglo, via Soundcloud and his website!
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Taelimb – Granite EP

TAELIMB; press photo

TAELIMB; press photo

The deep, dark side of Jungle/DNB has long been known for its experimental and challenging nature. One of the most exciting producers in this vein is Taelimb, who has been dropping tracks for the last several years. With releases on labels such as Flexout Audio and Demand Records, he has firmly established a signature sound characterized by a fierce attention to detail, diverse soundscapes, and a growling timbre of low end all his own. With his latest release, the Granite EP, from The Chikara Project, he pushes even further the boundaries of his own sound.

On his first exposure to drum and bass, he was hooked. “Around the age of 18, I met a number of guys that I used to hang around with in Brixton, South London,” says Max Taelimb. “They were a good few years older than me and were all into making Jungle/Drum and Bass. I remember the first time I went over to one of their houses, they were all sitting around together making tunes on a very old version of Reason.

Taelimb - Granite EP cover

Taelimb – Granite EP cover

“This was the first time I had ever seen people making music in this way and was blown away. It had never occurred to me that people could make music on computers like this in their own home; so, after that, I started going ‘round regularly to watch and learn how to use the software and make the music. Conscience was one of these guys and I still make music with him to this day.”

Although getting exposed to various forms of electronic music, DNB grabbed his attention the strongest.

“A big part of it was the people, as mentioned before, and the other was the energy at the raves,” Taelimb explains. “Back then, it was mainly house, garage or jungle/drum and bass, and people were just going mad in the jungle rooms! I found there to be far less ego in the jungle raves too. People were there to rave and have fun, and that was that.”

However, one of the more difficult aspects to launching a music career is figuring out a name.

“Taelimb doesn’t actually mean anything,” laughs Taelimb. “I was struggling to settle on a name when I was starting out and had so many different ideas of names I should use. The problem was anything I thought of was already taken, and in many cases used by multiple people over the world. This created problems when searching for me online, etc. So, I made up a name that no one else could have; this way when searching for ‘Taelimb’ the only thing that comes up online is me.”

Not only does he have a unique stage name, but many of his song titles (such as “Breath Mint,” “The Wookie Song,” “Flo,” “A Clean Cut,” etc) seem random yet entirely intentional.

“Most of the time I just call them the first thing I see or think of,” Taelimb points out. “A lot of the time, the names of the tracks have little to do with how the tune sounds. When starting a new project, you have to call the track something to save the file; and I make so many, coming up with names for them all is a nightmare!

Taelimb; press photo

Taelimb; press photo

“My passion lies in production first. I was never massively into DJing, although I find I enjoy it a lot more nowadays than I used to! But if I had to choose one, I think I would definitely choose producing. It’s like an escape for me…I can sit on the computer for hours at a time, quite happily making music and not get bored. I get bored much faster DJing at home, it’s much more fun playing to a crowd. There is only so long I can DJ to my wall; but with production, it’s purely for me and I don’t need anyone else to make it entertaining.”

This passion is obvious and on full display on the Granite EP – from the glitchy textures found in “Titan,” the deep subterranean explorations of “Cold Outing,” the hypnotic drum work of “Granite,” to the infectious vibe of “Grot Bag.” His expertise in using space and sparse layers of sound only call even more attention to the tones and off-key vibes in the tracks.

“I have known Will and Mike (of Mystic State) for some time now through the DNB scene. When I heard they were starting their own label, I thought it would be a good fit for me so I sent them some tracks. Thankfully they liked them so they agreed to release an EP for me!

“I just wanted to keep the tracks a bit different, I try to mix it up a bit with each release I do. It would probably do me more favors if a I found a sound and stuck to it, but I get bored that way. There is rarely a theme with any of my releases; I have so much music on my computer at the moment that I will send a bunch over, and then let the label decide what they think works best together.

Taelimb; press photo

Taelimb; press photo

“In terms of being particularly proud of my music, it’s hard. Generally, by the time I have finished a track and it’s got a release date, I have heard it so many times I no longer like the tunes! To be honest, I’m always left thinking that they are not good enough and all I can hear is what’s wrong with the tunes. I think this is common with a lot of producers though and not just me! Or maybe not.”

Keeping music and the making of it fresh, innovative, and exciting is no easy task. Especially since there is no foolproof method or one solution that works for every person.

“I’m not sure…I try not to let what other people in the scene are doing influence me too much,” analyzes Taelimb. “It’s impossible not to be influenced by what you hear, especially when you think it’s really good. But I try my best to draw these influences from other genres, rather than DNB. I try to listen to a big range of music, see what people are doing in other genres and then bringing that to drum and bass.”

Still a relatively young genre, the state of DNB and its future is a hotly debated issue. As a DNB producer and having toured in the States as well as the UK, Taelimb has a unique vantage point on it.

“I’m not sure, there are some things I love about it at the moment, and some things that wind me up,” he says. “I don’t like the fact that people want everything for free nowadays, but I guess that’s just a problem with how we consume music generally and not specific to DNB.

“I love the fact that it is growing in the States, and that underground dance music in general is starting to take off more in the USA. I remember coming over to America, and all dance music was just referred to as techno. But now there seems to be a much stronger following.”

Taelimb is one producer to definitely keep tabs on! Make sure to grab the Granite EP – out now on The Chikara Project, available on the label’s own Bandcamp, as well as all the other usual streaming sources. And to stay up to date with everything Taelimb, follow his Bandcamp, SoundCloud, and usual social media culprits.
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BBB: Back In DTLA!

Photo: Regal D

Photo: Regal D

“I’m really looking forward to this warehouse party,” says Adrian Herrera, one of the many people behind the group known as Big Booty Bass. “We’ve booked a couple people from out of state, something we haven’t done since we booked Flite for BBB last April. So we booked Bebe Breaks from Miami and Relyt from Denver. It’s gonna have two stages and go all night!”

Big Booty Bass event flyer

Big Booty Bass event flyer

BBB has been operating for almost a decade, and in that time has garnered a solid reputation for their diverse artist lineups as well as the unique vibe of their shows. “I’d say its more a kind of movement; its more than just the music, its like family,” explains Herrera. “I feel like when you come to our shows, you get that kind of a vibe, more of a family thing. It’s about the experience.

“I had just moved back from San Diego, and started going to shows,” describes Herrera of the group’s genesis. “Rene Moreno, of Kronology, and I got the idea, ‘Hey, let’s do a show, throw our own show.’ You go to shows all the time and sometimes you get to a point of ‘I wanna do one myself.’ I DJed, and he DJed, and we kinda knew people who DJed, so we started going from there.

Big Booty Bass event flyer lineup

Big Booty Bass event flyer lineup

“Originally, the shows were by Splat Media and Big Booty Bass was the name of the actual show. But as we started getting bigger, the word Big Booty Bass caught on a little more and we started going with that. A lot of time when things don’t go your way, you just quit. But we started in 2010 and just kept going; around 2016 was when we started getting more of like this following. Now, people know it’s a good party and know you will have a good time.”

In addition to his work with BBB, Herrera also DJs under the moniker Ekin. “Everyone is always playing drum and bass, and I’m always the guy that wants to be different,” he says. “So I play more dubstep and grime. What really got me into DJing was when I heard Skreams BBC essential mix from 2007. Just these tunes after tunes spinning and I just thought, ‘Damn, this sounds dope. I gotta try this’. That mix really changed everything.”

It doesn’t stop there either, being quite notorious as the MC Pookie P, who has a loyal and devout following.

Photo: Regal D

Photo: Regal D

“I’ve always been into hip-hop ever since I was little,” explains Herrera. “I was the dude who went to school with a Walkman, always recording stuff on radio, and knew every lyric to every rap song. But it wasn’t until a couple years ago that I started performing at BBB shows. At first, I would just do it at small parties or with friends. But then I started doing it at the BBB shows and it just went from there. I started writing lyrics and working on tunes. Nick Kronology and I released a tune about a year and a half ago, and I’m currently working on one with Famburglar for a compilation album coming out in August.”

Photo: Regal D

Photo: Regal D

This dedication and pursuit of diverse interests is a huge part of what makes BBB events so enjoyable. The lineups are always solid, with an inspiring range of genres represented. This upcoming show is no exception. Furious and frenetic, Des Mcmahon, Consouls, Shadowsniper, and Replicant bring their heavy DnB stylings while Gabriel Habit, Zere, and Chief Jesta unleash the hidden potential of the deep and dark side.

Photo: Regal D

Photo: Regal D

The soulful sounds of WHYS should not be missed, nor should the halftimey explorations of no puls or the enigmatic vibes of BeautySchool. MELAY and JK SMILE always bring the best smooth grooves and deep rhythms of House. Bebe Breaks, Mista Maxx, and Ryan Forever will bring us all the creative beat permutations that is Breaks. And make sure to catch the lyrical flow of Pookie P himself throughout the night, along with Jtec, Dino, Landoe, Slim, and Relyt.

You don’t want to miss this BBB show, going down Friday Apr. 12 in DTLA!!

Noise Revolt: A Night Of Future Beats And Infinite Permutations

EWOL; photo Soodyod

EWOL; photo Soodyod

Bass music is booming in LA. One of the most interesting groups exploring the full spectrum of this music is Noise Revolt. According to founding member Chief Jesta, “Noise Revolt is a LA based music label and art production company, which was founded by a group of artists in 2013.

“Since its conception, Noise Revolt has hosted a unique, diverse roster of DJs and musical artists from around the globe; while also curating artistically crafted event experiences that give artists of all mediums a platform to express their emotions.”

Chief Jesta & dela Moon; photo Soodyod

Chief Jesta & dela Moon; photo Soodyod

Elaborating further, “Along the journey, I created Momentive, a Noise Revolt sub-brand with the intention of curating vibrantly powerful drum and bass shows. The name Momentive stands the evolution of perspective within the genre’s momentum and praises the growth in the future of drum and bass culture. Within just two years, Momentive has had the opportunity to debut world renowned artists such as Alix Perez, and artists from the label Flexout Audio: such as Taelimb, Fearful, Conscience, and most recently Ewol (Flexout Audio/Dispatch Recordings/Lifestlye UK/Plasma Audio/BNKR.)”

On February 16th, 2019, they delivered exactly this to all in attendance.

Photo: Soodyod

Photo: Soodyod

PRISM started the night off, with the mutated warpings of all things bass. The hypnotic throbbing beats gradually built in intensity, releasing into grimy rhythms that sucked you into the floor. When the lyrical flow of MC Woes meshed perfectly with the glitchy percussion and monstrous vibrations, it created an energy that suddenly got everyone moving. That only increased when he launched into bursts of drum and bass; giving a preview of the diverse sounds laying ahead.

KEEKZ; photo Soodyod

KEEKZ; photo Soodyod

KEEKZ took over the decks, launching straight into high octane DnB. As deep bass tones enveloped the room, everyone’s attention was pulled center stage. This set was a tour de force of drum and bass, as he employed nearly every style and subgenre: the crack of the snare during jungle chop ups, the otherworldly synths present in neurofunk, soothing warm basslines found in liquid, the technical explorations of minimal, etc. This deft play between hard hitting anthemic buildups and smooth driving vibes created a buzz in the atmosphere of the room, driving everyone to dance even harder.

AIRGLO; photo Soodyod

AIRGLO; photo Soodyod

We knew we were in for a treat next, as a metal sign towering at the back of the stage was set on fire, displaying the name, AIRGLO. Delivering a concise and focused set, this one was as heavy as it was complex. Layering the energy of technical drum patterns with razor sharp bass lines, the crowd rabidly fed off it, growing rowdier by the minute. Airglo employed an impeccable sense of flow throughout his set, leaving everyone guessing what would come next. He provided a unique twist as well, playing keyboard compositions live over the tracks. It demonstrated precise timing and brought a layer of spontaneity not usually associated with electronic music.

Photo: Soodyod

Photo: Soodyod

Three DJs in, and the night was going strong. Up next were the heavy vibes of EWOL. Just a few minutes into his set, and the growling sub bass coming from the speakers was melting my ears. Combining that low end with hypnotic grooves, he delivered the bass explorations we all were craving. Known for a rolling minimal sound, he used a diverse assortment of tracks displaying it. What caught my ear the most was how fluid the set was, despite the use of a large number of angular, jagged, and/or “off-key” tracks. As the twitchy insect-like high end and deep vibrations came to a climax at the end of the set, it created a fever pitch right at the peak of the party.

TAELIMB; photo Soodyod

TAELIMB; photo Soodyod

After that fiery set came the next dose, at the hands of TAELIMB. Almost instantly, you could hear him dial in his unique sound, as he kept the deep and dark vibes rolling. Scuzzy stabs of fuzz, subterranean bass lines, and expertly crafted beats defined his set. One of the best surprises for me came when he dropped “The Jackal” by Kodo. A throbbing deep track, and a personal favorite, it was one I never expected to hear live. It exemplified what we love about live DJ sets: hearing the favorites and hits while also being exposed to the forgotten and/or unknown ones. Taelimb demonstrated his gift for creating dense atmospheres as well, through layering enticing melodies among challenging rhythms and harsh sounds.

Photo: Soodyod

Photo: Soodyod

DELA MOON and CHIEF JESTA stepped up next, ready to deliver their unique combination of intense grooves, high energy drum patterns, and pulsating grooves. The two DJs easily kept the momentum going when you would suspect it might dissipate. Using everything from industrial techy “rollers” to stripped back moody steppers, they took us on an exploration of everything deep and dark. The manner in which these two musicians fed off of each other was magical, showcasing all the frenzied fun of a b2b set. By the end, there was no doubt this pair were masters at creating dance floor vibes in ways nobody expected.

BRANDON VASQUEZ closed the night out with his mix of breaks. It was the perfect outro for the party; the steady beats and continuous bass kept people dancing, but subtly prepared us for the inevitable end as well.

Overall, it was an amazing show. A standout feature was the way each DJ carried the theme of deep and dark bass music yet created vastly different sets from each other. This created a feeling and energy which was unpredictable and exciting. Whether it was the live art being sprayed on the walls, to the lasers darting across the venue, or the sounds bouncing around the room, there was a sense of dedication and community present that was amazing to be a part of. This was definitely a show I am glad I did not miss.

Dimension Tears Up L.A.

DIMENSION; photo Killahurtz

DIMENSION; photo Killahurtz

Dimension’s only stop on the West Coast for his world tour took place at Catch One on Dec. 15, brought to us by none other than Killahurtz. “Started in 2016, it is a Los Angeles based drum and bass event production company,“ explains founder Sebastian Bordigoni, better known as Seebass.

“We specialize in bringing out some of the best talent there is to offer to produce nighttime lifestyle music events,” Bordigoni said. “Going to events and being a fan of the music for a long time, I saw the need to focus on talent that wasn’t really being represented. I believe we bring out some of the freshest and more cutting edge producers and DJ’s in the scene right now.”

Show Flyer

Show Flyer

With Dimension headlining along with support from 1991, Culture Shock, and Seebass, it was bound to be a massive event. Upon arriving, there was a huge line right as the doors opened. Being such a limited engagement, this was expected with people driving and flying from all over to attend. It was also one of the most highly anticipated shows of the last few months.

“The best part is really just being able to see all the fans have such a good time,” Bordigoni relates about putting on shows such as this one. “There is no better feeling than being able to bring together so many people from all over the country to an intimate venue with some of their favorite artists. When you see everyone smiling and they thank you for making everything happen, it is very humbling. At the end of the day, I’m a fan as well. I’m just one of them trying to have a good night out with good friends and make some great memories.”

SEEBASS; photo Killahurtz

SEEBASS; photo Killahurtz

Opening the show was Seebass. Using a diverse mix of material to warm the crowd up as everyone trickled in, he deftly established the vibe of the night; one that was full of anxious energy and rabid excitement. Laying down hard and heavy beats while slipping in some unexpectedly smooth tones, it gave us all a sneak preview of what the night would hold. As his set was nearing its close, you could feel the rambunctious energy coming to a full head.

Then 1991 took the stage. At this point, things only became more intense with this enigmatic producer’s set. Known for an extremely diverse style, he effortlessly flowed between a myriad of genres. The new track “Anything 4 U” with Netsky was brought in early in his set, and was an instant crowd favorite. The fluctuation between lush stadium liquid and heavier aggressive vibes really got the crowd going; looking across the room, the dance floor was packed with bodies gyrating in every direction. The warm, heavy bass vibrations enveloped my body and transported me to a realm of pure music. Hearing the buildup of S.P.Y’s “Rock Da House”, it cemented the thought that this night would be seared into my memory. Throughout the set, he dropped breakdowns at just the right time, including the dubplate remix of The Beatles “Come Together” by Urbandawn: when the bass dropped on this tune, the crowd flew into such a frenzy it was nearly as if everyone melded into one person in the process.

The lights went out, the strobes started flashing, and at last Dimension took the stage. The feeling at that moment was of almost pure chaos, where you have no idea what could happen and the ensuing excitement becomes almost unbearable. Opening with his rapid fire mixing style, the crowd exploded to the aural and visual feast before our eyes. Dimension masterfully shot waves of tension and release through the crowd with songs like the pounding banger “Raver”, the grimy textures of “Techno”, and the hypnotic “Generator”: all this kept the crowd raving at full force. With songs such as “UK”, it was almost impossible to tell the vocal track from the audience’s singing. Near the end of his set, Dimension finally dropped his immensely popular track “Desire”: as the atmospherics built up and up and then released, I realized we were all an extension of Dimension’s hands. Through expert use of driving beats and choppy basslines, he could instantly change the tempo and style of the dancing taking place in the audience.

CULTURE SHOCK; photo Killahurtz

CULTURE SHOCK; photo Killahurtz

Culture Shock closed the night out. I was instantly struck in the gut with some fat blasts of bass. The soundscapes now had a more experimental edge to them than the previous DJ’s, and was the perfect sort of sounds for keeping a party going forever. This was definitely a harder edged and technical based set, with deep rolling basslines paired with experimental soundscapes that resonated with the audience, getting everyone to dance harder than was thought possible. The high energy attack of “Get Physical” vibrated the entire building, reminding everyone this party was far from over. When the bubbly synth blasts of “Bunker” blared through the speakers, the anxious energy of everyone waiting for the vocal refrain (and the drop which follows it) was almost thick enough to cut with a knife. Never once in the Culture Shock set did the energy let up, employing the consistent vibe and otherworldly tones that has led to the popularity of current electronic music.

Killahurtz managed to throw an amazingly successful show, bringing some amazing talent to L.A. It was a night full of intense raving, demonstrating the power and diversity in modern music; and will live in everyone’s memory for quite some time.