Featured Artist: Um..

Hey everybody! I’m back with another installment to my Featured Artist series, however this time I wanted to change things up a bit. It’s not secret I love house music, but what a lot of people don’t know is that I actually still am pretty into trap, bass and other non-124 bpm related genres. And so, today I wanted to present to you an artist from a different genre and expose my readers to music they might otherwise not listen to.

Some of you may know who they are already, but in case you don’t I’d like to welcome Um..! Unlike other artists I’ve presented to you, I actually met one of the members, Ben, of Um.. before Um.. was formed. Ben and I met after a show at Boston’s House of Blues right outside the venue. It was my 19th birthday and the headliner was Nero with an opener set by Dillon Francis haha. Ben is actually a hometown native to San Francisco and oddly enough, we both went to high school not too far from each other. Dylan is from Los Angeles.

Anyway let’s just on into this interview with the two gents, shall we?

What does music mean to you? Or how does it make you feel?

If you ever get a chance to watch a movie with the music taken out of it you’ll understand how important it is.

How did you guys meet?

We were classmates at Icon Collective Production School in LA.

Ben, I remember meeting you in Boston in 2012 at a Dillon Francis & Nero show. Can you tell me how it feels to have come so far and what it’s like for both of you to be able to play all these festivals?

It’s pretty crazy to be honest. It’s hard to keep a good perspective on things when you’re actually doing it. It’s definitely not exactly how I expected it to be. Side note, I really want to play at the House of Blues in Boston where we saw Nero because I used to be a bus boy at the restaurant there when I was attending Berklee College of Music. It would be cool to come full circle on something like that.

What has been your favorite event or festival you have played thus far?

Definitely Shambhala. Not only is it a really awesome festival, but that opportunity was a huge turning point for our career.

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Speaking of which, you two have both been announced on the lineup for Destructo’s new ship “Friendship”. How did that come about?

Our booking agent kills the game. Shoutout chad at UTA! We are excited for that one though. Will be a crazy experience for sure.

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What’s one of the most difficult aspects about being in this scene?

The travel really wears on you. Getting pretty tired of not being able to sleep on planes let me tell you.

At this point in your careers do you feel like nowadays you can’t experience the music the same as you did when you were just a listener?

The project um.. spawned out of me (Ben) being tired of what was happening in the scene so I guess I’m sort of unique in that way. Though I do think electronic music is headed in a good direction now. I’m excited to see what happens with it all.

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What are each of your favorite kinds of food?

PB&J and tacos.

How do you decide which one of you plays the first track?

We usually just make the call right before we start. We aren’t too concerned about that.

If you could collaborate with any artist of any genre, who would it be?

Skrillex.

Stat connected with Um..

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Mixed Mondays w/ Aries presents: Tech Hau5

It’s Monday again! Another work week means another Aries mix to get you through it! For this week’s Mixed Mondays, Corey and I are bringing you a pure tech house mix.

Moving forward we wanted to know what you guys wanted to hear! Whether it’s certain tracks, artists, labels, or genres give us your feedback! Drop a comment at the bottom of the page or via SoundCloud / Facebook!

Enjoy!

Love,

Aries

Stay connected with us.

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Featured Artist: GAWP

Hey everybody! Can you believe it’s nearly September? Moreover, can you believe we’re nearly 75% through the year?

Anyway, today I’m happy to present to you an artist that goes by the name GAWP. GAWP and I initially started chatting through Twitter in the last few months of last year and we have kept in touch ever since.

I first heard of him through This Ain’t Bristol from an EP he released called “Clownbite.” It was a serious heater and I immediately followed him and perused through his discography.

We officially met at East Coast campout just this year in St. Cloud, Florida. We had been trying to meet up all weekend, but the reception was so poor and honestly, it’s so hard to meet up with someone at a festival, haha. Luckily for me, GAWP being the amicable person he is, hit me up on the last day when everyone was packing up and getting ready to head home to meet up. He’s currently on another US Tour and he’s killing it!

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What does music mean to you? Or how does it make you feel?

Music is life to me. It’s the only thing I’ve ever truly believed in, wanted to do and never given up on, apart from the saxophone after a year.

Where are you from? What were you doing prior to music?

Originally from Scarborough not too far from Leeds, I’ve always been involved in music from DJ’ing my youth club discos at 16, but career wise I left school and did women’s hairdressing since at the time there was no further education from my school into music. Also, the government forced you to sign up for further education. I continued to do hairdressing while playing open format clubs each weekend. I’ve always had a passion in electronic and sound tech, hence my studio gear addiction”.

What’s the music scene like in Leeds?

Amazing, it’s such a creative city with 5 universities and the majority of the students stay here once graduated. The scene and creative culture is thriving.

So, I recall being in contact with you via twitter to try to meet up during East Coast Campout this past year and if I’m not mistaken that was your first time in the US, correct? How was it coming to the states for the first time and into this really unique, weird and quirky festival?

Yeah, it was great to be over in the states especially after having spoke to so many people online whether it was releasing records with label A&Rs, talking to other producers,  and fans. There’s so many house heads. The festival was very different compared to the UK especially because it was a very unique sound and Dirtybird’s label following is full of die hards. So like in the UK, festivals are usually very mixed from various music cultures and acts so it was nice to have a group of people all there for the same interest. I guess it’s similar to going to a concert where everyone is there to see a specific headline act.

Speaking of which, you’ve recently been traveling a lot for another US Tour, congrats on that! What has been your favorite stop so far?

So far, I don’t have a favourite, but I love LA, Seattle, San Fran, Chicago. They all have their own unique memories and identity to me. Ohh and Miami, the This Ain’t Bristol event for MMW was a sheer throw down.

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How’d you come up with the name “GAWP”?

I made a track with some crazy sounds called drainer on Main Course and my friend Gawped at me I said “What you Gawping at?” he said “Gawping?” I said yes “GAWP?” the name was born.. I believe in the states it’s called “Gawk / Gawking”

What’s one of the most difficult aspects about being in this scene?

The most frustrating thing is there’s not enough time. For example, I would love to have more time to spend making music with other people and hanging with them, but unfortunately when you do tours it’s usually a case of play an event then hop on a plane to another etc..

Do you feel like nowadays you can’t experience the music the same as you did when you were just a listener?

I feel it’s more exciting to hear music and experiencing it as an artist. The passion for music is intensified when you hear a piece of music. It inspires you to create rather than concentrating on your shuffle (jokes). In all seriousness, when you’re just on the dance floor you can just simply enjoy others’ selections and productions and chill. There’s no pressure about performing!

What’s your favorite kind of food?

Medium rare chicken skewers.

Favorite Artist or Favorite Track right now?

I love Kyle Watson‘s productions and he’s a top lad too!

Any other upcoming Artists and/or new Tracks we should know?

Morelia – Vibrate is a tune! Keep your ears peeled for that one. Also, Hood Rich is on my radar after doing a collab with him… but there’s so many to mention! I usually mention Steve Darko, but he’s on fire now so he needs water.. also if you’re into music, check out Berlocca for some more twisted techno edged stuff.

Any mixes/tracks of your we should check out?

It’s been a huge honour to do a guest mix for Claude Vonstroke’s Birdhouse Radio Show, this is 30 minutes of all my own material. It’s exclusive content never heard and also a way to express the real GAWP. Stay tuned for the release on August 24th!

Also, I do a monthly radio show which can be heard on my website gawpmusic.co.uk. Or, you can grab it on iTunes and there’s some exclusive live sets on there. Evermix.com has a channel of my live sets, too.

One last thing, I’m sure you travel a lot doing what you do. What’s your favorite place you’ve been to so far?

This is correct, I have so many luggage inspection leaflets in my luggage to prove it! My favourite place would have to be either Seattle or In-n-Out.

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Anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you for reading this interview. I guess i just want to thank everyone who has made it possible for me to come this far with my music! If artists, like myself, didn’t have such amazing fans, fans wouldn’t have amazing artists. Don’t forget to follow that GAWP guy on your socials especially Instagram where my world is easier to understand in pictures.

Stay connected with GAWP

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Thanks again everyone, I truly hope you’re all doing well.

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Mixed Mondays w/ Aries presents: “The Playground” [Loco LDN Radio Show]

Hey everyone! Busy day for me I nearly missed writing a post for this weeks Mixed Mondays w/ Aries ;)!This week’s mix is just me holding it down since Corey was partying in the Dominic Republic celebrating the birthday of a dear friend of ours. Corey and I kept in touch and he was telling me about this crazy sick underground rave cave (pun intended) he stumbled upon that was rinsing some killer house & techno.

While Corey was off doing all that, I was recording a mix for a UK radio show called “The Playground” hosted by my friend Carlos Montalvo. The mix I made was probably one of the best mixes I’ve made so far and I’m pretty proud of it despite some technical flaws.

Without further ado, I’m super pumped to premiere my newest installment of my The Essence of House series.

Check it out!

 

Enjoy! I hope you all have a great week too.

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Creator’s Spotlight w/ Christian ReciKnows: Carlos Montalvo

Damn did anyone else feel like this week went  by super fast? I’m not complaining, but I swear it was JUST Monday not too long ago haha.

Today, I’m bringing you a friend of mine named Carlos! Carlos and I met through the Bay Area DirtyBird page I moderate and we’ve seen each other at shows and other events. He’s got a knack for finding some real good tunes and all-around chill guy. We recently started hanging out more because he’s been kickin’ it with Corey a lot. Carlos had been listening to some of my mixes lately and was kind enough to offer me a slot on his radio show called “LocoLDN” that’s based in the UK.

To be perfectly honest, I was super intimidated and I had asked Corey to go b2b with me so I could have someone to get my back in case I messed up. Corey and Carlos eventually pushed me and told me to just do it and they said they believed in me so that was super sweet and I’m actually super proud of the finished product! It’ll be airing in the UK this Saturday at 2PM (6AM PST btw, but I’ll post it next Monday 😉 )

Anyway let’s jump right in on this Q&A with Carlos!

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First of all, welcome! I love being able to showcase different sides of the music scene so I appreciate you doing this interview with me. Alright so the first question I love to ask is what does music mean to you? 

Music makes me happy. It’s always been a part of my life ever since I was a little kid to beginning of my young raver life to where I am right now and even now to seeing the joy and happiness of seeing friends and strangers around me listening to the same genre I love at a concert or show. Every time I’m out or at a show, concert, festival, or even in front of a dj set up, you can always catch me smiling and dancing throughout my whole set and I always feel like my mind just lifts up with my body and takes control. Music just brings complete happiness to my soul that’s unexplainable unless you feel the same way as well.

 

 Alright so where are you from? What do you do in your “regular” life? 

Born and raised in the LBC aka Long Beach city just a little south of Los Angeles. Currently I am a server and bartender at a small restaurant/brewery in downtown San Francisco. Aside from the busy work life, I dj and produce music and enjoying my two kittens wrestling each other all over my apartment to keep me distracted.

Walk us through a day in the life of Carlos.

A little boring at the moment to be honest due to my work hours haha but I always wake up early in the am for work, get back home to take care of my 2 kittens before they start destroying more stuff around the house, then while they’re having their wrestling matches when I’m home; I’ll either get on my laptop or put on my headphones, and start either working on music or on my controller and just enjoy practicing and mixing.

 

So you’ve been hosting your own radio show on LocoLDN called “The Playground”? Can you tell us what it’s about?

Of course! “The Playground” is a show that I created to pretty much show everyone what I can bring to the decks and show everyone what I love to do. Also, even though, I am the host of the show, I always have a guest to throw down a set to help someone get some exposure as well.

 

How did this idea come to be? Have you always wanted to become a radio host?

The idea came from where I live. There used to be a big playground in the backyard and I even threw a couple parties there which were so much fun. I thought it was a fun (no so safe) idea to put the dj set up on the playground on top of the slide and just loved how it happened every time. Having the opportunity to have a time slot that is being aired outside of the United States is a huge opportunity for me and I took it regardless of the little to none experience to being a radio host, I decided to give it a shot and so far I been liking it ever since.

How’d you get connected with LocoLDN?

I was randomly on facebook one day and I had a friend who I would talk to about events and one day he told me that there was an invite for those who would like to have any exposure in the UK. Of course, I couldn’t say no and was introduced to LocoLDN and House Radio Digital. I started to do my research about it and began talking to the people who were running and hosting the whole website and told me if I was interested to join and be part of it that I would have to be wait for the right time for them to post up their information and signed up. You best believe I was constantly checking their pages and group pages for the information for me to sign up and luckily I was able to get a time slot.

How long have you been doing this?

For about 7 months now. Best decision I have made in a long time. It can be very fun and stressful at the same time but in the end I couldn’t be more proud of it. 

So, you’re a DJ too, right? What’s your artist name? How’d you come up with it?

My artist name is “Nyctea”, pronounced “nick – tea – ah”. Funny how I always get people saying it as “nicetea” or “niktea”, I’ve heard it all. Nyctea came to me out of nowhere one day when I was at my apartment here in San Francisco and wanted to get a new dj name from what I had before (It was eternity by the way and that’s a different story). I started looking up different ways to say owl or night owl in either a different language or something that I haven’t seen before but once that name came out I decided to keep it and been using that name ever since I moved to the bay area.

If you could have any artist on your show who would it be? Why?

That’s a real tough one! There’s so many out there that I would love to have on there but I would have to say Will Clarke. He has always been a cool guy to be around, always fun seeing him at events and I would be so honored to have him throw it down!

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 Do you have any specific artist(s) that you are consistently listening to? (Or one of your favorite artists? Serves as a way to connect the artist w/audience by showing what they are into)

Have too many to say but I would say my favorite artist would be Carl Cox. He’s the main reason what brought me to the scene and has always been a huge motivation to continue working on music. 

Any upcoming Artists and/or new Tracks you’d like to shed some light on?

He’s miles away from me but I would have to give props for my good friend Angel aka “Infamouz”. Even though I love my house and techno, this guy has been getting into some dirty, heavy trap and bass music lately and I am very happy to see a friend from my home town to be moving up from what he used to be.

What’s your favorite food?

Stuck between Mexican and Italian.

 

Anything else you want to say? 

I would have to say that these past 3 years living in the Bay Area has been nothing but life changing. I am very thankful and grateful for meeting everyone I have met now and became my friends. If it wasn’t for any of you, I probably wouldn’t be still working with music and being around in the scene instead of living a boring life so thank you all and hopefully you get to see me perform at any upcoming shows!

Thanks Carlos! Stay tuned for my upcoming mix on his radio show this Saturday that will air live at  2PM UK time / 6AM PST US time. Here’s the link!

Also stay up-to-date with Carlos aka Nyctea on SoundCloud as well as MixCloud

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Music for the Soul

Music, for me, is a way for me to express myself and release a lot of built up emotions and/or tension.

For this mix I wanted to focus on a different kind of style and genre. I don’t want to just solely mix house or techno and be stuck within that realm.

Check it out! This is my first time mixing something other than House/Techno so I’ve definitely still got a long way to go!

Hope you’re all doing well 🙂

 

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Mixed Mondays w/ Aries presents: TechYES

It’s Monday again! Corey aka Gem City and myself are currently watching Godzilla and he’s in love with Elizabeth Olson and won’t let me focus on writing.

How was everyone’s weekend anyway? I managed to go to Outside Lands Saturday and see Jamie XX, Florence and The Machine, Bon Iver. Jamie XX definitely stole my heart and it was the best set I’ve ever seen in my life.

Anyway today, we wanted to change things up a bit so we are presenting you guys with a techno mix! Gem City is practically made of techno so this was his breeding ground… but I was a bit out of my element… though I still managed to surprise him a bit 😉

Check out the mix below!

 

I’m actually going to record a mix for our dear friend Carlos aka Nyctea who runs a radio show in the UK on Saturday’s at 2PM (6AM PST). Check out his SoundCloud or MixCloud for some dope sets!

Also, stay tuned for this Saturday to catch our set on the air!

Cheers guys, hope you all have a great week!

Love,

Aries

Subscribe to my upcoming Newsletter below!

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Don’t worry I won’t spam you, just let me know in the “Details” section what kinds of things you want to hear about whether it’s music, festivals, fashion, art,.. pretty much anything!

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