2015 was the year of live music for us. We covered eight festivals. I don’t think I’ve been to that many before in my life.
Hip hop seemed to make a return on here. That’s what we started on, but hit a major dip from 2010 to 2013. It started back up in 2014 with Kendrick Lamar, and predecessors have been poppin’ up all over the place since. Some with possibly more potential than Kendrick himself. One at the top of this list.
Other genres in electronic dominated the year even more. We got out a good amount of Kawaii in the first half, but future & trap took over the second. And of course house has been most dominate. Going from the deeper, heavier side and splitting into future & chill house near the end, as well as the funkier side of house music to jack to.
The amount of new singers seems to have dipped compared to past years, but the quality hasn’t. Anderson Paak, Madelyn Grant, Liz Vice & Joey Dosik to name out of the dozen others with clear personalities in their voices.
We’ve collected 29 tracks in total and a list of our 12 musicians with the most potential. Plus our biggest accomplishments of the year below that, the playlists. We put together 35 in total! That’s up from 25 last year.
I first met Lauren in 2011 on Twitter because of a Facebook Ad I was running about a SoundCloud initiative I was doing for Silence at the time (I love how convoluted that sounds). As many people as I’ve talked to on Twitter over the years, I’ve never met someone so honest about her love for music. Someone without another agenda. And I see her dedication every day.
I usually don’t start my daily SoundCloud listening until later on in the day, but this girl is up at the butt crack of dawn listening to the shit out of it (she seriously wakes up too early) and she always gets in the comment or reshare before I do. The one thing I’ve given her shit about is what she’s doing to contribute in music, but she’s been doing something about it […]
One of the first times I heard the term “four on the floor” was in a favorite documentary of mine on house music, but I didn’t get the meaning right at first. Initially I thought it meant the type of laid back house for relaxing – or really for fuckin. Think of it in sexual terms. However, it actually means a consistent drum bass on the fourth beat, which is one of disco and more so house’s key ingredients.
To honor my creative thinking in what four on the floor meant, I give you a playlist of sexy house music. Plus it’s got a lot of what the original definition meant, that consistent drum beat.
The great thing about running your own site is that you get to do whatever you want with it. The problem with it is you do whatever you want and that means you overlook somethings some of the time, letting stupid shit slip through without getting someone else’s opinion first.
JaFunk once again starts out our list of groove music, the first being Groovewit. We decided to call this one Groovetits because sometimes it feels like no one is reading these things. So I thought I’d try to get some kind of reaction. And it was refreshing to know I could post whatever the hell I want. Even though this’ll probably be one of those things that I should have gotten a second opinion on.
Fuck it, at least the music will last.
I’ve been to a handful of music festivals this year, but rarely did I dance. A lot of the house & techno at these festivals were more for raving than dancing and I prefer the midtempo soul anyway. Something you find in a lot of hip-hop and trap these days.
This playlist is all about what I love dancing to most right now and if you really love to dance you will too. I guess most of this would fall under trap music, but like every other style it seems ruined by mainstream.
It may sound funny at first, but this is what the future of dance music sounds like. It’ll at least be up there with house. I’m tellin ya!
Hieroglyphics is a hip hop group out of Northern California. Each year they celebrate new hip hop talent with their own festival in Oakland on Labor Day. I got the chance to cover their show this year and even though there were over a dozen quality performers to see on each stage, I was there for one.
It took me over three hours to get to Hiero Day, public transit wasn’t doing so well. When I got there the temp had to be hitting on 90 and everyone was looking for shade to sit in. But I had to find Anderson .Paak. The main reason I was there.
I caught him right before his performance on the Third Eye stage. I ran up to him like a giddy fool and blathered about my love for his music. When I realized how foolish I was sounding, his manager assured me that they all felt the same way too. We talked a bit longer about other LA emcees, I actually told him the only other one that could compete with him was Doja Cat. He got a kick out of it.
His performance on stage had just as much character as his music, along with the short time I talked to him. The day was a highlight I’ll be holding on to at least until next Labor Day.
Back in high school a friend of mine invited me to a show at First Avenue in Minneapolis where Prince recorded Purple Rain. One of the side stages was playing all house music and when I stepped in I thought, I am the only white dude here, except one other guy we’ll get to in a second.
I’ve been to clubs in London, San Francisco, Tel Aviv, where ever, but I never saw anything like this. Guys were thrusting their pelvises into women. Women were thrusting women. Men thrusting walls and anything else they could their hands and waists on. It seemed like a comic over embellishment. Some were thrusting so hard they knocked the other person over.
The other white dude I was just talking about thrusted a girl so hard she fell off the stage. When she got back up she thought I was the guy and started bitching me out, but quickly realized I wasn’t him.
I was introduced to The 13th Grade by way of One T. I don’t know how I picked up on his Audible, but I never would’ve guessed the treasures I’d dig up because of it. Shortly after looking into him I looked into his collaborators. Most notably Josh J the freakin guitar wonderist and the rest of the honeypot collectively known as The 13th Grade.
The supergroup is based out of LA and houses 14 musicians, though a few are based in San Diego, Vegas or London. Not only do they have incomparably talented producers, DJs, instrumentals and vocalists, but their music ranges greatly. And they’re well on their way to making a label as sexy as any of their musicians.
So in good fashion we did what we try to do best, made a playlist out of ’em. Unfortunately we couldn’t get all 14 on here for one reason or another, but managed to get most. The list starts off with some funk n soul into jazz and half way through gets into the harder stuff. We end it where we started off, ’cause there was way too much soulful shit to only feature one from each artist. Like I’ve said already enough, there’s a lot of talent in The 13th Grade.
Outside Lands begins my favorite time of the year. It’s good weather in San Francisco, except in Golden Gate Park where it’s held, and there are plenty of fun things right around the corner. Treasure Island Music Festival, Beyond Wonderland & SF MusicTech to name three.
This year’s lineup for OSL is looking to be one of its best. I’ve compiled 12 of my favorites, not including Elton, D’Angelo, St. Vincent, Leon Bridges & Toro y Moi. Their SoundCloud presence is lacking and 8tracks doesn’t give us enough numbers to give a damn about dat.
Below the playlist we have two highlights from the festival, Odesza’s set and meeting Toro y Moi.