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Symbiosis Gathering 2016

The one thing to bring to a festival

For the second year in a row at Symbiosis I wasn’t prepared.

With camping equipment, the right clothing and food. All the things you should prepare for when your off the grid for a few days. The one thing that makes those problems a lot easier is friends. It’s easy to survive in the city alone, but not out there. Plus, the more friends you have in your own camp, the more connections you have going around Symbiosis.

And isn’t that the point of the festival? Above music, learning, and even eating. Conversations with people is highest priority.

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Heartbroke

Our second anti-Valentine's Day celebration

We anti-Valentined last year with our Hip Hop + Heartbreak, thanks to the help of mimb, and this year we’re covering everything but (hip hop).

Most of heartbroke (as fuck) is some sort of soul music along the electronic scale, leaning heavy on electronic near the end.

If you’re in for a lonely Valentine’s this year, I hope this makes for a good background soundtrack.

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Music of the Year, 2015

Went to way too many festivals

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.

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A Symbiosis Story

Go for the music, stay for everything else

Symbiosis Gathering and festivals like it are an experience everyone should involve themselves in at least a few times in life, especially for the type that aren’t already going. Symbiosis brought together electronic music and other activities for mind growth & body. I went for the music, but I got more out of everything else.

People are picky in what music they’ll listen to, especially me, but other activities for growth are much more universally appreciated. That is, if you’re open to learning. I got a chance to listen to a few panels while dodging the daily scorching heat and every one of ’em gave me at least a little new perspective.

One particular speaker comes to mind was Shylah’s talk on natural birth. She took all of three minutes to flip me from ‘seems like an option some people should look into’ to ‘your child’s birth is pretty much one of the most important moments in your life (and theirs) and of course we’re getting it wrong, like always.’ She went off on a few other like-minded tangents that felt more rooted in emotion than actual urgency, but her zest towards it all was refreshing.

As much as the panels and music were worth the adventure out to Oakdale where the festival was held, all of the brief interactions were what made it so memorable, most memorably my missed connection [see below].

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A Symbiosis Gathering

It's almost completely perfect, except one thing

Doing some digging on the Symbiosis website and social, I noticed that Madelyn Grant had liked their Facebook page – she’s featured on Emancipator’s latest single, Seven Seas. So instantly I thought, Madelyn might be there too! I asked her, she’s not :(

She’s one of the main reasons I keep this thing around, so I gotta at least try to get her out here and play live with Emancipator at Symbiosis. I think it would be their first time playing live together, at least I’m pretty sure it would be. And who cares! She needs to be there!

So what do we gotta do to make this happen? Mind you, I’m well unaware of the logistics of getting her out here. Or if she’s even available. And I’m probably just being selfish and no one wants it that bad. But they should! And I have to try and so do you if you feel so inclined.

Feel inclined!

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Indie Girl

Backed by a band

I found out about a new band with some sweet female vocals from the latest live TuneIn sessions and it inspired me to create a playlist (everything inspires me to create a playlist). Or rather finish up a playlist I had been working on for a while, Indie Girl.

All of the women on here are backed by some amount of instrumentalists. In other words, it’s not just some electronic producer behind the boards. Basically, it’s not the usual electronic shit I post.

It starts off with a more jazz jam band kind of feel and gets into indie rock a few songs in. I even put a little punk in there. At least I think it’s punk. I don’t know punk. It finishes off with more of the mellower stuff.

If you’re someone who manages bands or knows somebody who does, give Cloudsurfing a listen. They’re the band I saw at TuneIn and are in need of a manager, bad.

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Madelyn Grant

How could you not want to work with this woman

The first time I ran into Madelyn Grant’s name was on Odesza’s Sun Models. I had recently uploaded the track to SoundCloud and she had contacted me about including her name in the title. The only reason I hadn’t in the first place was because they really chopped and skewed her vocals, making her voice barely recognizable. But she was real nice about it and it seemed more than fair.

About two months later and I see Madelyn Grant on FKJ’s Waiting. I didn’t remember she was on Odesza’s track at first, but once I did I was all the more in love. Madelyn has a breathtaking voice, but even better she knows how to use it – a much bigger problem with most vocalists.

Since then Madelyn has collaborated with a favorite of mine, Emancipator. I asked her how she got to collaborate with all these legitimate producers and she said, I sent them my demos.

That’s it. In Odesza’s case they were requesting female vocalists, but the other two she just sent them a sample. That’s all it took. How the fuck does that happen? Oh wait, that doesn’t. Minus with Madelyn.

I’ve put together a playlist of my favorite songs of her’s as well as another list for producers she should also send her music to. Although, this time I think they should be doing the reaching out.

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About a Girl

Listen to the lyrics. They tell a better story than I do.

Here’s a special one for ya. It’s the first story I’ve written on here, at least a personal one. And of course it’s accompanied with a playlist, which tells the story much better. My writing only covers the first night and only 95% of that. Ya gotta earn the rest.

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Electro Lady Relaxations

Chillin with the ladies

Our favorite female vocalists of 2014 had a part two and this was going to be it. But so many of them were downtempo electronic, so we decided to make something more specific out of it, and brought in some older tracks.

Our electro relaxations has been our most popular playlist to date, other than the beats to blaze to, and we always wanted to include female vocals over the relaxations. And here it finally is…

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Music of the Year, 2014

Listened to way too much music this year

I’ve listened to way too much music this year, probably around 12,000 new tracks (I tried calculating it). Most of the music was.. unfinished, to say the least, but we found a lot more songs worth keeping than any year before it.

A lot of new music emerged or reemerged over the year. Deep house was the big thing, but many discredit it because of the hype. It had its bad with its good. Our favorite new style goes to what doesn’t seem to have an official name yet. I’ve heard many call it kawaii, but I prefer vapor – this naming shit is more important than you’d think.

We’ve got 30 songs to show off, 11 artists and 20 playlists for you, but if that’s not enough… wait ’til next year.

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