Featured Artist: Gem City [Editor’s Edition]

Good morning! I just want to thank everyone again for taking the time to peruse my content. I for sure couldn’t do this without you!

Meet the interim editor of my website and the other half of Aries, Gem City otherwise known as Corey Reith to his friends and family.

Corey Reith is more than just a friend to me, he’s become like a brother. Love this dude and he’s the one who took me under his wing to learn how to mix. Without him, this Aries DO project may not have ever seen the light of day.

 

We first met at West Coast DirtyBird Campout 2017 as well as Holy Ship 11.0 ..unknowingly aware of the fact of who we were and not knowing that sooner or later we would be the best of friends and hanging out every weekend haha.

Moving forward with my platform, Corey is now my interim editor due to the fact that I can’t always catch my own mistakes. Thanks Corey!!

 

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Can you tell us what music means to you?

Music becomes an escape from reality for me, whether I’m in my room with my headphones in, riding my bike around the city or at a music show with my friends. The second the beat starts and the bass hits reality, disappears, it doesn’t exist to me anymore. Escaping reality makes me happy, it gives me the strength to achieve what i cant achieve when reality is in place. Therefore music makes me happy, it makes me who I am. Personally music has dragged me all over the country, its showed me the beautiful places this world we live in has to offer. Its also showed me another side of me I didn’t know existed, in good and bad ways. Overall music has brought me to meet my best and closest friends to date, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today if it wasn’t for music.

So what’s your story? What do you do? Where are you from?

My name is Corey Reith, I’m a wide / small format print press operator. Im from Kettering, Ohio, just outside of Dayton, north of Cincinnati. 

 

How’d you decide on DJ and/or Producing? Why?

During my musical journey of traveling the US going to festivals and attending weekend shows, I personally wanted to start playing music for myself and my friends. I wanted to take the music I enjoyed listening too and piece it together in my own way. I wanted to take what was making me so happy and express it to my close friends and the people around me, hoping it would influence them the same way music influenced me. 

How did you end up coming up with your DJ name?

So when my friends asked me.. yo whats your DJ name… I thought long and hard. I wanted to have a name that reflected back on where I came from. Gem City. If you type in Gem City in google… first thing that pops up… Dayton, Ohio. 

What do you think is the hardest thing about being in the music scene?

I’d say the most difficult thing is getting KNOWN. I wanna be known, I wanna be that guy that people enjoy seeing.. I wanna be the guy that opens for the headliner and people come early just to see me. Not because they wanna support me, but because they like hearing what kinda songs ill play for them and what mashups ill come up with while I’m playing. 

As you have transitioned into being more of an artist do you feel that you don’t hear music in the same way?

Not at all, I’m just as into it as I was back when I went to my first show. I would always get over excited and get really bad anxiety. That still happens today sometimes, not as much and as often. Ill always be a listener… but one day I want to be a leader. Till then I will follow the right path.

Favorite Artist or Favorite Track right now?

Damn,,, I knew this one was coming… Ugh lemme think here… I wanna say my favorite artist is Maceo Plex…. I can say so much about him but ill make it short and sweet… The dude is a freaking masterpiece. His tracks are so weird and complex. His live sets are another journey and I simply cant even put that in words, thats something you just need to experience. As for my current Favorite Track… well ill just go with favorite Album… Is Enrico Sangiuliano’s Symbiosis. The whole album is just impressive honestly. Go check it out for yourself.

What are some artists or tracks you want to share with folks?

My homie Jacob Massey ( Mass Appeal) from Indianapolis. From when I first met him in Detroit at movement on a boat party with worthy, the dude HAS BLOWN UPPP. It seems like as if he strapped himself to a firework and just exploded all over the US. He has opened for so many big name artists, played some sick parties and even was on the Shipfam Island lineup. Im honestly surprised he isn’t signed by someone yet. When he comes to SF he’s not one to miss out on. 

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Any mixes/tracks of your we should check out? 

 

Funny story I made this mix around 9 am in the morning after a long fun night with my man himself ^^^ Christian. I was extremely happy and proud how it turned out. If you ever get the chance to see me spin…. that mix will 100% give you an idea of what you will experience. 

Also be sure to check out Corey’s latest mix for our mix series titled “The Horoscope” created by our project Aries. The mix series is dedicated to highlighting bangers that you’d otherwise never come across and of course tracks we all enjoy!

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The Sound of Mew-sic [Box of Cats]

I’m so absolutely thrilled to be able to publish this behind the scenes interview with Box of Cats. This collective and label has been one of my favorites ever and I truly believe in their entire vision.

I first became acquainted with Box of Cats about a year ago via a certain Soundcloud repost by none other than Kyle Watson. That repost was Box of Cat’s 23rd release in one of their series they so cleverly named “Litterbox”. The release can be found here and it’s truly filled with gems.

At the time, I was feeling like I needed something different within the house & tech house scene and just happened to be on Soundcloud when Kyle reposted it and I became so enamored with all these new artists. I was elated and began texting some tracks to my friend’s to share and rejoice in my discovery.

Once I looked at their Soundcloud biography I quickly realized why I loved so much of the music: It was made up of some of my favorite genre-bending artists. Their bio reads “‘Box of Cats’ is the collective mind of Wongo, Jeff Doubleu, Jak Z, Kyle Watson, Tom EQ and Marc Spence“. What more could I have asked for in that moment? It was not only the music created by artists I already liked, but music that was created by artists that they liked.

I knew right then and there that this was a collective that I had to consistently keep my eyes on to discover new groundbreaking music. I try my best to stay up-to-date with Box of Cats and it has not disappointed me. They’ve exposed me to awesome artists such as Malive, Mancodex, Overthinking, Steve Darko, LOthief, MKJAY, Lucati.

Take a listen to their latest compilation series titled “Box of Trax Volume 1”.

 

I am very proud and happy to present to you a little bit of an in-depth look into the Box of Cats crew. I managed to get one of the cats, Tom EQ, to awake from his afternoon cat nap to chat with me.

Alright, so how on earth did Wongo, Jeff Doubleu, Jak Z, Kyle Watson, Marc Spence and yourself all come together to form Box of Cats?

We started from a mutual appreciation of each others music, releasing on the same labels, remixing each other’s tracks and dj’ing at the same parties. Most of us had releases on a label called Jack Union back in the day and we all kinda felt there was something missing from them, so we just all got together and figured we’d start a project to release vibes from ourselves and whoever we think is cool.  It’s like a social club.

What’s the story behind the name?

This was the hardest thing, we wanted something catchy and memorable, we all ended up on a conference call with the specific aim of getting some serious brainstorming done, but we ended up talking shit and telling jokes. Someone said “Box of Cats” and it was like a “yeah, that’s it!” kinda moment.

What sort of plans does Box of Cats have in store for the future that you can share with us?

Well you see we started off as a group of mates, with the aim of having a laugh, and we will continue to do so.  We want to be organic, with no pressure and just have fun working with some of our idols and give a stage to artists that are on the same wavelength. We do have our 50th release at the end of September that we are dropping for free as a thank you for all of the support we have received.

In your opinion, what is one of the most difficult aspects about being a collective/label? 

Being spread around the world can be an issue time zone wise, but the worst thing is managing the release schedule. Quality control is the highest thing on our list.  Every single one of us has to approve a track for it to make it onto the label, having heavy workloads can sometimes makes it slow to review a submission and respond.

As a cat, what’s your opinion on dogs?

We love all animals.

I have been playing out that new Folly EP non-stop. There’s so much depth to both tracks and the EP just blows me away. How do you manage to find these artists? 

The good thing about being a collective is that we have our own links.  Folly approached Wongo and he saw the talent, submitted the tracks to the rest of the group and we were all blown away.

Take a listen to the Folly EP below and make sure to support both him and Box of Cats by purchasing the track here.

 

Being a label, do you feel as though you can’t experience the music the same as you did when you were just a listener? 

Not at all, we love music, this is where are hearts are.  We would hate a day to go by were we don’t have something to listen to.  Yes, we do occasionally get some stinkers sent to us, but reviewing demos’s opens us up to new music we wouldn’t normally hear.

Any upcoming Artists and/or new Tracks we should be aware of?

There’s way too many to choose from, but Mancodex is totally killing it right now, he’s got a new EP we are trying to get our hands on at the moment ;).

Also, Botnek is throwing down some serious heat right now. In addition, we are also massive fans of GAWP (but he hasn’t done an EP for us yet!).

Favorite Artist or Favorite Track right now?

If there is anything we can all agree on, Kyle’s new album “Into the Morning”  out on This Ain’t Bristol is just a work of art.

 

Any mixes/tracks of yours we should check out? 

Check out our Soundcloud, we regularly post mixes and re-post stuff we are into.

How do cats feel about catnip?

Everything in moderation!

 

Last question, could you tell us why cats’ like boxes so much? 

This could get way too deep….

 

Looks like it’s time to let this cat get back to his cat nap!

Thank you again to Tom EQ and Wongo of Box of Tracks for connecting with me to write this piece. At some point in the future, I would love to bring some members from Box of Cats to San Francisco and organize a label takeover at a venue.

P.S. Do yourself a favor and cop one of these super awesome nifty Box of Cats shirts! Wongo is pictured on the left absolutely slaying on the decks.

 

Purchase your shirt here.

Stay Connected with Box of Cats.

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Soundcloud

Cheers everyone! I appreciate the feedback I’ve been getting from my friends, peer and people who have stumbled upon my project.

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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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Featured Artist: Ocean Roulette

Happy Friday everyone! It looks like it’s going to be a jam-packed weekend especially with Outside Lands happening. I’ll be laying low, but I will be going out tonight to see the homie Michael Bricker open for Eli Brown & Dateless at Halcyon tonight! Speaking of Outside Lands, Louis Garcia aka Ocean Roulette is in town for the annual San Francisco festival and he was nice enough to do little interview with me!

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Alright, so I love asking people this question as it really allows for artists to talk about music in a spiritual and philosophical way. Can you describe what music means to you?

Music can trigger memories like the first time I went to a rave, the first time I heard house music, etc. I love its ability to activate nostalgia. 

Where are you from anyway? 

I’m from Northridge California.

 How’d you decide on DJ/Mixing and/or Producing? Why?

I decided to begin this project once I decided to quit a rock band I had previously been involved with. My basic reasoning was that although I love indie rock music, the genre of rock had already been around for decades with an insane amount of saturation in the market. Electronic music was really cutting edge and always changing, I figured if I wanted to make a living off of music this would be the appropriate route.

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What sort of style do you like to produce? 

Tech house.

Ocean Roulette is a really cool and interesting name. How’d you come up with it?

The name Ocean Roulette came from my love of the ocean and of casinos. The ocean represents mystery, depth, and overall just a world that most people are unfamiliar with. Casinos however represent risk, addiction, and all of the bad things in life disguised as something good and fun. Something about both of these themes felt like they could be explored through my music.

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This is another one of my favorite questions to ask people that do interviews with me. I find that it really gives the readers and myself an inside look into the music world from the artist perspective. What do you think is one of the most difficult aspects about being in this scene? 

The most difficult thing is matching sounds together (beat matching). Even though two ideas can sound good on their own, they might not always fit well over each other and it is tough having to let something go for this reason. The majority of my music is made by creating a ton of ideas looping over each other then picking out which I like and deleting the rest.

In my opinion, not a lot of people realize that once you make the shift from a listener to an artist there is a fundamental change in how you experience music. You end up being a lot more critical and in a way you end up being way more technical about everything. Do you feel like nowadays you can’t experience the music the same as you did when you were just a listener? 

 Enjoying music can be even better as a DJ because you are often listening with the intention of finding new material for performances. The experience of finding music and testing it out live is an even greater way to appreciate something. On the other hand listening to dozens of tracks with the intention of finding music for a set feels more like a job sometimes than a leisure activity. 

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Favorite Artist or Favorite Track at the moment?

Favorite artist right now might have to be Gorillaz, their new album The Now Now is insane. Favorite track would have to be Lake Zurich. I’m a sucker for tracks that sound instrumental with vocals that come in later on.

 Any artists you think all of us should be aware of?

Upcoming artists on my radar: Sly Turner, Morelia, Sirkea, and Zendlo.

Any mixes/tracks of yours we should check out? 

Checkout my latest EP on Psycho Disco!

Do you have any cool shows or projects in the future?

Performing at Kosmic Gardenz as well as Jackson Tree in the Fall. Both are desert renegade campouts which is my favorite type of party.

Anything more to add?

Last bit – Someone once told me that the music we create does not come from ourselves but rather from the universe. In order to create great art you must be willing to listen and allow ideas to enter and pass through you.

Keep yourself up-to-date with Ocean Roulette by following him on Instagram and Twitter!

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Featured Artist: Middath [Exclusive Interview]

Hey again! So it’s the middle of the week, which for some can be pretty rough. To put some pep into your step today, I would like to present to you one of my all-time favorite artists, Middath.

I first heard of Middath when the Celebrations album came out on This Ain’t Bristol. The album was chock-full of some incredible tracks and one of them happened to be Middath’s “Choppin n’ Cuttin“. I was completely mesmerized and it became one of my favorite tracks to date. I’m honestly never going to get sick of that track (I’m literally listening to it right now as I write this haha).

Middath, what does music represent to you? 

Music is and has always been an escape for me.  It’s been the only constant thing I’ve had in my life since I was 12 years old.  And to this day, nothing compares to the feeling I get when I create something new in the studio.

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

I am originally from Cape May County, NJ.  Prior to music, I’ve done lots of things and held lots of different jobs from flipping pizza’s to outside sales, worked at a county jail, opened up a commercial recording studio and managed a blockbuster lol.  

What do you do when you aren’t producing?

I’m currently a Warehouse Manager and have been working 9-5 for the same company for 7 years now.   

How’d you decide on pursuing music? 

My fiance actually got me into house music at a time where I almost gave up on music all together.  I definitely needed a change. I was originally a rapper and hip hop producer for almost 10 years at that time and got tired of it.  Creatively I felt “boxed in” as a hip hop artist. The scene was so predominantly focused on image and social media presence in comparison to the house scene which is truly focused on the music, not the DJ, which is how it should be.

How long have you been DJ/Mixing and/or Producing?

I’ve been making music for about 18 years now but have been DJing/Producing dance music since 2013.

How’d you come up with the name “Middath” as your artist name?

Middath was a nickname given to me by two of my best friends back in the day.  Kind of an inside joke. To explain the story in detail as to how I got my name would require a 5 page essay from me so I’ll make it short as possible and break it down for everybody lol.  
1) My middle name is Michael

2) When I was a rapper, my stage name was Mike Middle

3) Joe Namath is a retired NFL quarterback who used to play for the New York Jets

4) Middle + Namath = Middath

LogoFINAL2Black(1)What’s the music scene like out in Florida?

The scene is very prevalent in Florida.  Most people assume Miami is the reigning capital for dance music here but the truth of the matter is that the underground scene has grown exponentially the past few years.  So many of us got sucked into the “Big Room Boom” 5-6 years ago and as we’ve all grown a bit older our taste in music has matured and evolved as well. From there, so many up and coming scenes have sprouted throughout the state.  Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville specifically. But even outside those cities you’ve got areas literally in the middle of nowhere hosting festivals like Distant Dimension and Dirtybird Campout. There’s also Okeechobee Music Festival and you can’t forget about Miami Music Week either.  Music is everywhere down here.

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It must be so surreal traveling around and playing shows. Any clubs, venues, or festivals you have played so far that really stuck out to you? 

Last year, I opened for Claude Vonstroke at the Cuban Club in Tampa, FL.  The reason this show was particularly awesome was not only because of how packed it was but because the venue is said to be one of the most haunted buildings in the world.  After I finished my set and Claude took the stage the sound goes out 30 seconds later. Then it came back on but the bass was off for like 20 minutes. Then the lights began to flicker.  This coincidental concoction of spirit meddling ensued for the remainder of his set.

If you could play anywhere in the world where it would be?

Elrow in Barcelona, Spain.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Any time I get to travel, attend a festival or throw down a killer set almost always leads to me making a bunch of new tunes afterwards.  A change of scenery works wonders for me.

What do you feel is one of the most frustrating aspects about being in this scene? 

For me the most frustrating thing is submitting music to labels and having to wait weeks sometimes months for a reply that usually never comes lol.  Some labels will at least send you an automated “we’re not interested” email. But most won’t respond to you at all unless they want to sign your tracks.  This, in itself, is quite the mind fuck.

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

Yes, this is a constant struggle of mine since my brain has been conditioned to always analyze music.  It’s hard for me to let loose as a listener in the audience at a show or festival when my initial instinct is to figure out how and why something sounds the way it does.             

One of my favorite tracks of yours is called “The Treble”. What exactly were you thinking about when you created that track?

The Treble was one of those rare tracks where everything just fell into place for me very quickly.  Sometimes in the studio I’ll search and search and search for sounds that compliment each other and then I’ll switch things out as the track evolves.  This time around though each sound and instrument I chose happened to work well with everything else the first time around. I think the track took me maybe a day from start to finish.  All I was missing was some type of vocal and I knew I wanted it to be some type of old school hip hop thing. And sure enough, the first acapella I played was “1nce Again” from A Tribe Called Quest and “The Treble” was born 🙂       

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How did you get involved with This Ain’t Bristol?

I sent my first demo submission to TAB back at the end of 2015 and ended up getting a response from Billy Kenny saying my track wasn’t right for the label at that time but he was keen to hear more from me.  My next demo submission I sent them a week later caught their ear and Seb from Maximono reached out to me about signing “Freaky Lookin Trick” to his Maximono Selections Compilation.

Favorite Artist or Favorite Track right now? 

Dateless has been on fire lately! Really loving his stuff at the moment.  

Tweet Middath to let him know what your favorite track is!

Can we hope to see you play in San Francisco sometime soon?

I sure hope so!  I’ll be playing at Vanguard in Sacramento, CA August 24th though.

Last question, why haven’t we seen you on a Dirtybird Campout lineup yet?!

I was originally supposed to play Dirtybird Campout East Coast this past year but couldn’t make it happen due to radius clauses and all 😦 Hopefully next year though!

Be sure to follow Middath on Facebook and Instagram! You can take a sneak peek at what he’s been cooking up lately in the studio ;).

Thanks everyone and stay tuned to see what other artists I’ll interview!

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The Truth about “FunEmployment” & Existential Crises

It’s weird, it only dawned on me just this week that I have been working pretty much consistently since the age of 16 (so nearly a decade, whoa). I mean, granted I did take a gap year abroad in Paris, but I was still technically working. As an Au Pair, I still had the responsibility of taking care of children and having to be a pseudo-parent.

At the same time though, I had the liberty to do what I wanted whilst still being paid. Not only that, but I was in a different country and the world was truly my playground. I had no idea what I wanted to do after high school and my French teacher suggested I become an Au Pair. Since I’d already been working at a daycare it seemed totally doable and the next thing I knew during the summer of 2011 I was flying off to Paris.

 

 

Anyway why am I talking about being an Au Pair in 2011? So I’ve spent the last  month or so “FunEmployed” and while it’s been a pretty difficult time in terms of career prospects… I’ve also never felt this free & alive since that time I went off to Paris. Although, there are some days where I wake up and ask myself, “Wtf am I doing with my life?” and spend a good chunk of the day feeling depressed/sorry for myself, but overall I think I’m actually happier as a whole.

In essence, the concept behind “FunEmployment” is the same as a “Gap Year”. How many of you actually took the time to give yourself room to breathe after graduating high school? We all need breaks. Now obviously this doesn’t apply to everyone, but a lot of the world is questioning the direction of their career, relationships, and overall meaning in life—don’t worry it’s called a quarter-life crisis and it’s normal.

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Now, I don’t want anyone to think my job was bad per se, I was a nanny and restaurant manager previously. As far as nannying is concerned, I truly do love it. I love taking care of kids, they are so innocent, honest and curious. The world hasn’t yet deprived them of their inherent joy of everything around them. I think the reason I wasn’t happy was because I never really stopped again (since Paris) to think about where my life was headed. I worked, went out, went to school, maybe took a trip somewhere for a festival or somewhere else… but more or less, this was my schedule that repeated itself. Maybe I can toss in there that I was working out too and had other hobbies, but that’s beside the point. When you’re in this cycle you don’t really take the time to stop and take a look at the bigger picture.

One of the points I am trying to make is that despite your distinguished degree, you still find yourself despondent on the daily with the thought of having to go work, go to school, etc, or maybe you did land that dream job of yours, but discover that it’s strangling your creativity. You’ve just spent the last four years in college or past few years working this job, but now what? What the hell are you even doing?

Simply put, a quarter-life/existential crisis is a time of intense soul searching and stress. Typically, we feel this way for a number of reasons some of which include  feeling that we aren’t achieving our fullest potential or are “falling behind”. So many of us are unhappy in our career/job/life choices and it really wears on us. We lose sleep, our diet suffers, we’re upset and we feel stuck. Take the time to take a step back and reassess your life.

All of us are unique, highly driven, intellectual individuals and the takeaway for those of you reading this is that you need to take control of your life. Do something for yourself, seek out your friends for companionship, don’t let your degree/career define and tell yourself this is all normal – because it is! It’s also super important to have someone who you can be completely honest with and just open up to. So seeking out and talking to those close to you is key to feeling better.

There’s this lock bridge (well, a few) in Paris right above La Seine that has a plethora of locks on it from people leaving little tokens of themselves there. When I was in Paris, I always used to think about how every lock represented something so much more than the love notes on them. To me, they were a representation of the struggle of values. There’s so many different roles we can assume in life, just like there are so many locks we can choose to look at/potentially unlock. “Am I a nurse? Am I an entrepreneur? Oh, but wait, I also want to become an artist. Who am I?”

I know that I want to become a nurse practitioner, but until then I’d like to explore the different avenues that are possible for me. Such as, this very blog that you are reading right now. That’s why my blog will realistically probably not be centered around just music because I also am super into writing streams of consciousness like this that can potentially be beneficial towards someone. As well as art, fashion and health.

If you’re unhappy or questioning the nature of your reality, make a change.

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Oh and last thing, whether or not you’re still in school, working a 9-5 job, working late nights at a restaurant, or doing who knows what we’re all in this together. This isn’t a competition, this is real life. Stop comparing yourself to others and basing your own progress in life off of others. Everyone has their own path in life, own it. Run it. Do you

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Featured Artist: Tim Baresko [Exclusive Interiew]

 

Tim Baresko is the epitome of tech house. He is an up and coming artist that is definitely underrated. He has quickly been climbing the ranks in the tech/house scene. The guy is an absolute weapon and is a rare act to see. It’s going to be his very first time in San Francisco at the beautiful and enticing all-female run club, Halcyon

He played on Groove Cruise this past year amongst his fellow Frenchman Shiba San. Most recently he has been announced as part of the lineup for Destructo’s new ship experience, beautifully called “Friendship”. Tim joins other artists: Doorly, Shiba San, Motez, Phlegmatic Dogs, Nora en Pure, Golf Clap, Anna Lunoe, J.Worre and legend Giorgio Mordoer, + many more what’s set to be the best ship experience to date.

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Tim Baresko’s tech house prowess will surely make for another unforgettable night at Halcyon. With support from artists like Shiba San, Claude Von Stroke, Sonny Fodera, Tim Baresko has been carving out his own path in the house/tech music scene. His collaboration EP titled “The Connection” with Shiba San is still something I constantly play out on a day-to-day basis.

Check out his other tracks too! I am actually currently listening to “Another” by Tim Baresko & Clyde P

Tim, first of all, thank you for allowing me to interview you and for taking the time to do this for all of us! 

In general, what does music do for you?

Music makes me feel in a good mood, it helps to escape from everything, It gives you emotions. That’s what I’m trying to do when I produce.

Where are you from?

I’m from Lille, north of France

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(Congratulations to France on winning the World Cup 2018!)

How’d you decide on DJ/Mixing and/or Producing? Why?

The resident DJ of the club I used to go when I was younger made me want to be DJ. This guy had a ridiculous amount of skill, playing 3 vinyl’s at the same time. I watched him play for hours, then after a few years of DJ’ing, I wanted to make my own tracks. I wanted to create something, put my touch.. 

How long have you been DJ/Mixing and/or Producing?

I would probably say about nine years of DJ’ing and five years producing.

How did you come up with your artist name?

I went to a music school in Paris, and we had to find an artist name, which is actually difficult. It seemed easy but I wasn’t at all. I couldn’t find anything I liked, but then one day I was watching a documentary with a friend about Pablo Escobar and suddenly my friend sait to me, “Baresko”. Of course, I responded saying “Whaaat??”. He kept going on about how Baresko sounded so cool and boom that was it haha

What has been your most memorable experience so far?

 Probably Tribe Festival in Brazil. A big stage with more than 10K people at the sunrise. The energy was surreal, one of my favorite set ever.

Any clubs, venues, or festivals you have played that really stuck out to you?

Ministry of Sound in London, legendary club and probably one of the best sound system in the world. Also when we had the residency at Sankeys Ibiza with CUFF, the ibiza vibe was utteraly and completely unreal…

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One of the most difficult aspects about being in this scene?

The most difficult thing for me is the eternal questioning about your overall production. It’s not easy to be really objective with your own work. The most frustrating thing is having wait before the release of your track, sometimes it can take a year..

This is something I have been asking lots of artist lately, but do you feel like nowadays you can’t experience the music the same as you did when you were just a listener?

Yeah pretty much.. I mean, for example, sometimes I am chilling listening to music with some friends (who are not into music all that much) and I say some thing like “Wo,  the kick bass relation is perfect on this one” and of course my friends don’t understand and say I’m not normal. Or when I’m in studio making beats, sometimes they say im kind of autistic lol.

Perhaps what they mean to say is Tim’s a wizard ha!

Favorite Artist or Favorite Track right now?

 I would say Camelphat, these guys are incredible. They’re able to produce super underground tracks and more accessible stuff. Their overall sound design is incredible.

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

Lucati, a producer from California, you will hear about him soon, this guy makes only bangers and has a special touch. I love to play his productions! His next EP is coming on Basement Leak later this month 😉

Any mixes/tracks of yours we should check out?

My new track with Clyde P and the amazing voice of Jinadu just came out on Sonny Fodera’s Label, he also did an Edit : Check It 🙂

Tim Baresko’s newest track with Clyde P called “Wanna Know” is actually superrrr smooth. The track lends itself to a groovy after hours setting (perfect for Halcyon’s dusk till dawn mission)

You’re coming to play Halcyon on Friday, July 20! First time in San Francisco, right? What can we expect to hear from you?

Yeah, I cannot wait for Halcyon, some of friends told me this venue is incredible, you can expect some bumpin’ beats from deep house to techno, I love to mix the genres.. I can’t wait to see San Francisco as well!

What’s your favorite food?

I’m a food addict. I love everything 😍🙈

Tweet Tim Baresko to let him know what your favorite food is!

Anything else you want to say Tim?

This American tour has been incredible, you American know how to party! I met a lot of amazing people and I can’t wait to come back in August for some gigs with Shiba San!

Once again, thank you Tim for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk to me! I really do appreciate you.

Okay everybody, so the stage has been set for this Friday at Halcyon. I’m going to be there, will you?

Did I mention the ladies #pinkezup Ney x Miss Mak are doing a takeover to set the mood for this incredible night?

Buy tickets here! RSVP for the event on Facebook too! There’s a free guest list before 11pm.

Be sure to follow Tim Baresko on Facebook and IG

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Featured Artist: Wei

Tonight’s Featured Artist is probably one of the most modest and kind-hearted individuals I’ve come across that DJ’s, too. I’m sure a lot of you have gotten Weivy with him (no pun intended). He goes by the name Wei his real name being Wei-Sean. Meeting Wei-Sean happened over a series of run-in’s at clubs and events. Eventually, I think we got to that point where you see someone so often you might as well strike up a conversations. Been homies ever since..

Pinkezup Weivy.pngIn your own words, can you describe how you feel about music?

Music has always been a way to express myself. To connect everyone into that particular feeling you’re trying to achieve during that moment of a song or the journey through a set. Its a nostalgic feeling to revert back into our primitive nature of chanting and dancing around the fire pits.

Who are you? What do you do? Where are you from? 

I was born in China but am originally from Los Angeles and grew up in parts of Malaysia, Florida, Philippines, Texas, and Arkansas. I grew up in all of those places for a minimum of 3-4 years each. Currently I’ve been in the bay for almost 4 years. I used to be an Aircraft Mechanic in the US Air Force, competed & coached in MMA & Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, played in metal/post-hard core bands in the Philippines, and currently work as an Analyst at Facebook. I also have an Etsy for my “DirtyHeart” design!

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How’d you decide on DJ/Mixing and/or Producing? Why?

Music was always a detrimental part of my life, an escape of reality, a way to express myself. I used to have a heavy influence of Metal/Post-Hard Core music when I was still doing the band stuff in the Philippines, but that was easily 10 years ago. After getting out of the military in 2014 and moving back to Los Angeles, I was immediately sucked back into the music scene. Shortly after moving to the bay, everything just grew from then!

 

How long have you been DJ/Mixing and/or Producing?

Surprisingly, I began learning how to DJ at the very beginning of 2017 and later on that year I played at my first underground afterhours. I know I had to play catch-up with all the amazing Producers in the scene, thus I started to dive into producing at the beginning of this year.

How’d you form your moniker? 

I play off my name more than I should, Weivy, WeiKreative, Digital AirWeivs, etc. So branding “Wei” was easily a no-brainer. Wei to leave a legacy lol.

One of the most difficult aspects about doing this scene?

As you can tell by now, I’m still pretty fresh in the scene. I’ve been blessed to have the network I have and to be booked at the places that I have been. I can definitely tell you we don’t do it all for the money. Currently trying to juggle my “9 to 5” on top of DJ’ing and keeping up on fresh tracks, supporting the homies (because that how we roll), and working on production, my most difficult aspect has been trying to set times for certain priorities. You still have to take care of yourself..

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

My music taste has changed and evolved significantly but I still enjoy music to its fullest. Yes, the producing aspect does favors more attention to every single instruments arrangement being played, but I’ve always been hearing sounds inside my head.

Favorite Artist or Favorite Track right now? (Or one of your favorite artists? Serves as a way to connect the artist w/audience by showing what they are into)

As of right now I have to give it up to Chris Lake. The amount of material he has being released that are all A+ bangers is just insane. Theres so much you can learn by breaking down and dissecting its musical components.

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

San Francisco’s House & Techno community has been a huge influence in my evolving taste in music, so definitely keep an eye on that. I know a lot of local collectives are making big things happen this year.
#pinkezup, Admit One Records, Pizza & Techno, just to name a few…

Any mixes/tracks of your we should check out? 

Posted a recent mix on Soundcloud for the recent celebration of Independence Day

 

Do you have any cool shows or prospects in the future?

This Friday July 20th I will be playing at Halcyon for the first time. Supporting for Tim Baresko show and opening up for the ladies of #pinkezup, Ney X Miss Mak. And then next week Saturday July 28th we are having a burning man fundraiser for our Mudskippers camp at the Cafe in the Castro. As far as bigger events, West Coast Campout with the #pinkezup crew, but if you’d like to keep up, follow me on Facebook or check out my website

How do you know Ney x Miss Mak?

Ever since I moved to the bay at the end of 2014, I was immediately sucked into the EDM community. It was back then when Renee used to DJ with Joe Famularo as “Animal Control”, I knew of her as I was working with the “EDMSF” collective. We all knew each other through mutual DJ/music friends so eventually when House & Techno came into my life, our groups of friends evolved. Pinkezup became a big part of the community that helped me in my growth.

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What can we expect from you this Friday when you open for Ney x Miss Mak + Tim Baresko?

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This is definitely my biggest show yet and we will be bringing the heat. I have been a huge fan of Tim Baresko and his underground house/tech house – DirtyBird/DesertHeart vibes that he has in his productions. This night will be one to remember. And to be able to open with Ney X Miss Mak means even more.

How are you feeling going into this?

Extremely excited and ready for the night’s shenanigans!

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Creator’s Spotlight w Christian ReciKnows: Pableezy

Pablo and I had the pleasure of meeting each other at Lightning in a Bottle 2017. Pablo tells me, “I remember being slightly out of my mind, needing to lay down and I looked over my right shoulder and there you were mirroring me perfectly”. At the time, both of us were baking/frying in the sun trying to stay human. Soon afterwards, we began chatting up and in those moments we realized we would be friends forever.

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In general, what does music do for you?

Music for me is an art form. One that can only really be appreciated by the artist themselves. So for me it’s a glimpse into someone else life, and I appreciate the artist for taking a risk and letting me in. It’s a special kind of relationship really. 

Where are you from? What do you do for a living

I’m from Los Angeles, CA and by day I work in television at NBC in studio city. 

Walk us through a day in the life of Pablo.

I wake up and thank god for another day. I’ve learned that life is short and a blessing. Then head to work and do my thing working with lawyers in contract negotiations. Afterwards I record Dope Shit Only.

Okay so you started your own Podcast series called “dopeshitonly_music”. Can you tell us a little about what it is about?

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Dope Shit Only is about creating an open-minded community that shares other peoples’ creations, & is always looking out for “Dope Shit”. Basically it’s what you’re doing with your platform Chris. Except through my preferred medium, voice.

How did this idea come to be? Have you always wanted to become a “vlogger”, if you will? 

The idea came from a motivation speaker name Gary Vaynerchuk. Please check out his book “Crushing It”. It inspired me to stay creative. He really does a good job explaining the huge impact “Voice” will play in the future and how it’s shaping the media landscape now. 

Where do you ideally hope to take this platform of yours?

I originally started this podcast to just highlight music that I love. Now I’m starting to get a lot of traffic on my site, and also great feedback from the artist that I’m showcasing which is really fun. But as long as I can introduce people to new artist and new sounds, I think I’ve done my job.

Check out the Instagram for “dopeshitonly_music”

Do you have any specific artist(s) that you are consistently listening to

Yeah I can’t name all the artist that I love listening to. That’s the reason I think I have a lot of content on anchor.fm/dopeshitonly but I will say my show centers around Hiphop and RnB mostly. Artist like 6lack, Childish Gambino, Sza, Kendrick etc are really inspirational too me.

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

Yes! Look out for K.forest he is really dropping amazing music. Also Jorja Smith sweet voice is something to listen too. And of course Daniel Caesar had an amazing album that you should really check out. 

A lot of have seen the DirtyBird West Coast campout Instagram video with the Vibe Trib featuring you as MC. Can we expect you to make a return this coming fall? 

Lmao!!! That was very impromptu but I will definitely make my way to any open Mic I can get my hands on. I think my superpower is my voice and I plan to use it. 

Check out the video here!

What’s your favorite food?

Double Pepperoni Pizza, large fam

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Anything more to add? 

Everyone works a 9 to 5… but what are you doing from 5 to midnight? Stay hungry – Pableezy

Also I want to S/O all my tech House heads out there listening to Dope Shit Only! The rave community really embraced me and thought me how to be unapologetically myself. PLUR L-O-L

Be sure to stay up-to-date with Pablo aka Pableezy and his Podcast here.

Also give him a follow on Instagram too 😉

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