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House + Heartbreak

· · · · Dance it off · · · ·

This is our third year celebrating anti-Valentine’s day 2015 | 2016. We didn’t plan on doing one this year, but the house we have is always soulful, which at least half the time is about heartbreak. There were so many classics stored up we had to throw this together.

We also got another house head to whip up her own. Lauren helped me with the first heartbreak playlist about hip hop and has created her own list for house, a few of which I so badly wanted to steal for myself.

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The Last Ever Treasure Island Music Festival

The rain couldn't hold down most the performers and crowd

The 10th and final Treasure Island Music Festival was a rainy one. I’ve been to festivals with some showers before, but the rain got many crammed in tents for hours a day, if they could find one, and a few sets were cancelled. People were pissed.

By the second day I saw a long list of people’s complaints on Treasure Island’s Facebook & Twitter. They were selling their tickets for $20 and a hug or bitching about how unprepared the festival was for the storm. The Tunnel stage could barely handle the rain and the grounds should’ve been more accommodating to the conditions. Even the fans knew the rain was coming a week before.

The festival was still something to remember. People concentrate too much on the music and the creature comforts, but forget why we’re really there. To experience something together. If the music gets delayed, all the better to find people to share some stories with.

Let me know if you’ll be at Treasure Island this year. Close it out with us :)

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TH3RD BRAIN | Accelerator

with a nothing but NoMBe playlist

Last month I gave a quick tip to musicians pitching blogs. To treat it as much of an art as they did their music. But most need some help and it can be a bitch to find someone who knows how.

Two years ago I found out about Jake Udell and his TH3RD BRAIN artist management at SF MusicTech. What intrigued me was that he managed Zhu. I’m as impressed with Zhu’s rollout of NightDay as the actual music. Since then the team has signed Gallant and most recently NoMBe with their new Accelerator program. When you see a management group develop multiple artists so well that it makes their name as reputable as their artists, you want to send people their way.

TH3RD BRAIN’s Accelerator program opens the doors for musicians and their management to learn from experts of the emerging music industry. Treating the program like a traditional accelerator found in startups might sound like a gimmick at first, but their approach sounds promising, which you can take a glipse at.

I do think they should expose a lot more of what they do there. Opening the doors to TH3RD BRAIN’s knowledge and expertise to everyone could help out a lot of musicians. Because, trust me, they need it. More importantly for TH3RD BRAIN, it will attract the artists they want next. As much as they’ve channelled some of the best so far, it never guarantees what’s next.

— In other words, Jake needs to bring back his podcast

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Next to You

The soul side of house music

Finding a name and cover art is the biggest pain in the ass putting these playlists together.

Our “Next to You” playlist is all sexy house beats, but naming it with some variation of Sex & House (ex: House Be Sexy) gets old fast. You do want those keywords for discoverability, but the name of a playlist is its second introduction, the artwork is its first. Both are important to catch the listeners eye initially.

I just fell in love with the Flamingosis track, Next to You. It may not have the same vibe as the rest of the list, but the name couldn’t match it more.

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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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Mimb’s Top 5 for the Past 5

And how she fell in love with electronic music

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 […]

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CRSSD Festival

I can't believe this lineup exists

I only heard about CRSSD fest for the first time last week (actually second, long story) and booking a hotel in San Diego isn’t cheap. Plus flights are ungodly now, so Road Trip! I would’ve given up on this much hassle a long time ago (a week), but look at this lineup.

I’ve gone to a half dozen festivals this year and all of ’em combined don’t add up to what CRSSD has got. Zhu and Bonobo right there makes me there. It’s not really an option after that.

But if you’re not convinced of the lineup yet, check out the playlist we put together. That’s a lot of artists to see in two days. And I usually don’t go to festivals for the music.

I’ll be driving down from San Francisco Friday afternoon, so if anyone needs a ride hit me up!

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Zhu · Automatic

featuring AlunaGeorge

I sent a friend Zhu’s Automatic yesterday. She seemed to like it.

Lauren on Zhu

I sent a friend Zhu’s Automatic yesterday. She seemed to like it.

Lauren on Zhu

It didn’t show the artist & title though, so she wanted to know who it was, but I thought why not keep it a mystery. That’s what Zhu would do. Hopefully she reads this post and gets her answer.

Automatic is the start to Zhu’s next project, Genesis Series. It’s just as mysterious as his first, but that whole no-persona persona seems like a gimmick compared to the sounds he’s creating. Automatic is a small progression from his earlier work, but it’s still a hit meant for mainstream. Or ideally for mass consumption. Just not as redefining as his first EP, Nightday.

The string work at the start and the deep toned piano three verses in were definitely a step up in sound. He makes sounds out of instruments with clarity I’ve never heard before. The high hat trap at the end was a nice touch, along with the sax solo, but that could have been hinted at towards the beginning. Would have tied it all together better.

AlunaGeorge’s vocals fit into Zhu’s sound almost better than Zhu himself, but his ghostly vocals make for a good backdrop. Wonder what other collaborations are in store for Zhu’s Genesis Series. I’m sure it’ll be top talent.

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Tropicali

Summertime songs

This is mostly tropical house music, but since the term has gone to shit since we put out our first trop house list, we simplified it with a little shout out to Cali.

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Cover Your Tracks

Most acoustics couldn't cover it ;)

We stopped featuring & playlisting remixes for the most part, bigger plans in the works, and cover songs have been even more scarce. Over the last few years we’ve collected a few dozen and finally we get to share our favorites with you! (it’s been a long time coming)

There were quite a few acoustic covers initially, but we wittled ’em down. Like remixes and dubstep, the world of acoustic covers is super saturated and with that comes us & our super powers to filter the shit out of ’em.

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