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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Aries – The Horoscope 002: Strictly ReciKnows

Hi all! Aries here bringing you your weekly Horoscope of music. This week’s episode features a mix crafted and curated by myself (ReciKnows). Gem City (Corey) was playing Fortnite alongside me so he was there for the moral support haha.

This weekend Corey and I tried to keep it pretty low key since each of us has been feeling more homebody lately so if you didn’t see us out at the club now you know why. Our lovely friends Drew and Anya invited us and some others to their new pad to mix live and catch some insane views from their new place. Check out some of the photos below.

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Pictures are courtesy of Drew aka OpenFire Photography and his nu nu equipment!

Oh and Corey & I weren’t the only ones mixing so don’t be surprised if you see some guest mixes emerge in some of the coming episodes of The Horoscope 😉

Stay connected with us.

Facebook | SoundCloud | Instagram | Twitter

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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

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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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