Author Archives: Alisha Wieckmann

Kai Straw – Hurricane (Music Video) [TMN Premiere]

Back in 2016 we had the pleasure of sharing with you an amazing album, Toothpick, from the San Francisco artist Kai Straw. One of the songs off the LP, “Hurricane” was overwhelmingly the #1 hit on the album, something that came as a bit of a surprise given the album’s more upbeat, radio-friendly songs. However, we and fans fell in love with it and to signify the end of the Toothpick era, Kai is delivering a music video for the single in this Music Ninja Premiere.

After this comes another album, but we’ll focus on the music video at hand. Directed by Kai Straw himself, the video for “Hurricane” is a tasteful, minimalist set of images that really connect well, as it seems Kai is singing directly to you in a 1-on-1 session. In getting up close and personal, Kai opens himself up to the audience in a way he has rarely done before, which goes to show just how far he has come as an artist and person. Check out the video below and if you haven’t checked out the full EP, do so and grab a copy to support! Like we said before, get ready for another album coming in the next few months…

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[Music Video] Lektrique – Shred

Fans of Lektrique may already know this, but the Belgian producer is quite the talented skateboarder. His social media has several videos of him doing some really cool tricks in various places, including inside his mom’s house! Although she probably didn’t appreciate that, what we appreciated was the skate-influenced music video for his single “Shred.”

Created as an homage to his pastime, the song was just calling for a music video. Instead of showing off his skills by doing some combo lines, Lektrique built an Excalibur-esque story around an intriguing looking deck. The short video is a fun addition to a song that is still getting love from his fans, as well as producers like Far Too Loud and DJ BL3ND. Check out the video below and make sure to get a copy of “Shred” if you haven’t yet! PS, fans of Kannibalen Records label mates BTSM may recognize a few faces in the video 😉

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[Multi-Genre] Kai Wachi – Demons Remixes EP

It’s not easy taking on official remix duties for Kai Wachi. As one of bass music’s most promising producers, his works are remarkable. However, the people over at Kannibalen Records did a good job of finding some talent that could take on such a challenge. Those talents include Black Tiger Sex Machine, Liquid Stranger, SQUNTO and NuKid.

Let’s break it down nice and simple to get through each remix. First, Black Tiger Sex Machine bring their hard and heavy electro sound to a song deserving of their dark energy. Next comes the veteran Liquid Stranger whose booming basslines will blow your speakers up if you’re not too careful. SQUNTO continues with the halftime count, bringing forth his riddim-centric take on Kai’s original. Lastly, NuKid kicks up a cool house remix that’s got a whole lot of groove. Enjoy them all and make sure to get a copy of the EP!

’Kai Wachi – Demons (Black Tiger Sex Machine Remix)’
’Kai Wachi – Demons (Liquid Stranger Remix)’
’Kai Wachi – Demons (SQUNTO RMX)’
’Kai Wachi – Demons (NuKid Remix)’
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[Electronic] Dabin – Two Hearts LP

It’s been a long time coming, but Dabin‘s full length album is finally here. Two Hearts was released today through Kannibalen Records, so the LP is currently available on digital platforms for you to stream or download. I’m going to tell you now that you are going to be adding this to your library; it’s well worth the price.

Two Hearts features eleven singles with collaborations from Mree, Jenni Potts, Lexi Norton, Koda, Madi, label mate Apashe and one of Youtube’s finest stars in Daniela Andrade. This project is more than an album, as it expresses a familiar tale of love and loss that many, if not all, of us have gone through. Dabin reaches deep, bringing out strong emotions, both happy and otherwise to bring this album to life. Favorite singles off the LP include “Lilith” and “Hazy” but that doesn’t take anything away from the other incredible records like the highly successful singles “Hold” and “You & I.” Don’t skip a beat as you check out the full album below and make sure not to forget to get a copy!

’Dabin – Two Hearts (feat. Mree)’
’Dabin – Hold (feat. Daniela Andrade)’
’Dabin – Sanctuary (feat. Mree)’
’Dabin – Hazy’
’Dabin – What It Was (feat. Jenni Potts)’
’Dabin – Helium (feat. Lexi Norton)’
’Dabin – The Fall’
’Dabin – Lilith (feat. Apashe & Madi)’
’Dabin – Worries ft. Koda’
’Dabin – I Still Feel You’
’Dabin – You & I (feat. Jenna Pemkowski)’
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Delving Into The Mind Behind JNTHN STEIN’s “Changes” EP [TMN Interview]

JNTHN STEIN
Changes EP

Ableton Push spokesperson and Team Supreme co-founder JNTHN STEIN recently released his latest EP Changes, also remixed by fellow Team Supreme artists Mr. Carmack, Djemba Djemba, and Penthouse Penthouse, featuring a melding symphony of electric guitar, bass riffs, innovative production, synths, delicate jazz piano and vocals. His abilities created a layering masterpiece that exposes the intimate workings behind a mind capable of exposing sounds and textures that we didn’t even know existed. We got the chance to talk to Stein more about the EP and the beginnings of his musical career, check out his detailed insight below and be sure to stream or download here.

TMN: You attended the Manhattan School of Music which is awesome, so many great producers have come out of that school, before this though when did you pick up your first instrument and which one was it?

JNTHN STEIN: My first instrument was actually clarinet, and I started playing it when I was 12 so as to meet my middle school band requirement at the time. However, the first instrument that began my obsessive and passionate relationship with music was the electric bass, which I started at age 14.

TMN: Were you self taught or given lessons when you first started?

JS: I taught myself as much as I could for about a year before taking instruction. I enjoyed learning my favorite rock basslines at the time by listening to records and just being patient. I’m incredibly grateful for all my time spent with great teachers however, they kept me focused on the most universal and versatile applications of music through the respective instrument, and on the path of taking care of my body most importantly. Musical instruments can be very physical, and the most valuable thing I’ve taken from them was playing with as little labor and ergonomic stress as possible, so that I can keep playing them for the rest of my life with comfort and happiness.

TMN: How do you think MSM shaped you into the producer you are today?

JS: My studies and experiences at MSM gave me a broad vantage point on the history and trajectory of music over the span of 1000 years, and helped me understand that, not only is change and evolution incredibly important to the development of art and the society it reflects, but simply inevitable. Everything that has been, from when man first struck a rock with a stick and called it a drum to the hyper-eclectic world of digital/electronic recorded music of today, has been one linear trajectory, and it will keep changing drastically for all of our time. No matter how much tradition and pretense you study and observe, the end result always points to a path of perpetual and sometimes chaotically arbitrary forward progress and constant cultural imaginative innovation, based on understanding the established rules, and then breaking all of them.

TMN: At what point in your studies did you think to start branching out from classical music?

JS: I had always been pretty all over the place aesthetically since I started making music, from growing up in the hiphop/funk-rich city of Oakland to my parents taking me to see the living jazz greats play live whenever possible. However, while at MSM I was taking the seemingly tried-and-true path of the orchestral musician, despite me knowing that it would be at the expense of my creativity and spiritual freedom deep in my heart. By my third year in school, I had reached a personal unprecedented cynicism on the musician’s life and morbidity of life altogether. I felt that, despite all my efforts and passion, my voice was so small and would never be heard from this small bubble inside the big picture of music, let alone would I ever get to say what I truly wished to express. So, I started to casually make beats on Garage Band for the sake of escapism, and then Ableton upon getting my first cracked copy. It didn’t take long after for me to see the limitless creative possibilities with this medium, and connect the dots to its already established and blooming accessibility. That summer I realized that this would change everything, for myself and my music making, and for music as a whole.

TMN: You play each instrument yourself in your EP – Which ones can listeners find if they listen closely? Any hidden ones?

JS: It’s no secret that I use a lot of organ and rhodes in my music. I suppose the catch is, both of these are instruments I designed in Ableton, and perform on Push, along with the rest of the EP’s synth and drum work. I also use a lot of guitar, and the fun fact there is that all of these parts are played on the higher strings of my 7 string bass.

TMN: What was your introduction to the electronic side of music?

JS: Sophomore year at MSM, my ears started to wander to the nuances of programmed drum loops, particularly J Dilla. There was a soothing constance and cyclic rigidity, yet the feel was still so dangly and reclined while simultaneously being snappy and forward-pushing, it was an awesome combination to me that created a bounce that swung your body back and forth like a gelatinous stick figure. From here I grew to appreciate the production of popular music such as Timbaland and Pharrell through their simple yet sultry, smooth and seductive use of harmony, and soon after the brilliant timbral range of synthesizers through artists like Kaskade and Skrillex, and the raw boundless textural atmospheric possibilities through Flying Lotus and Toro Y Moi.

TMN: You worked closely with Ableton Push as a spokesperson, which resulted in your Berlin EP – how did that collaboration come about and what was the best part about it?

JS: I was first introduced to Push the summer of 2013, and immediately connected with it because of its guitar/bass-inspired keyboard layout. I took the risk of using it in a show with Team Supreme in LA, and there happened to be an Ableton artist rep in the audience whom I’ve become great friends with and was nice enough to offer me a Push in exchange for feedback. The next year and a half was spent getting to know Push as closely as possible through my music production. Finally after this period of study, I had the pleasure of meeting the creator of Push itself, and had the chance to show him how I used it. Our afternoon together ended with him inviting me to film a video of me making music with Push for Ableton. The video was filmed in Berlin some time later, for which we did three takes of me making a song from scratch for two hours each. The third take became the video they published, but additionally I thought it would be fun to release all three of the songs created as an EP and simply name it after where it was made, a city that I loved for its raw outspoken stand on social and artistic freedom, good coffee and food.

TMN: Do you think producers that have classical training or are able to play an instrument have an advantage over producers who don’t? Why or why not?

JS: The most wild imaginative sounds I’ve heard have come from some of my friends who’ve never touched a physical instrument before. The new instrument is the laptop and the DAW, and it already has its own virtuosos. But, while you can be an incredible beatmaker with this instrument and knowledge alone, to truly tap into the whole cultural amalgam that has been built from day one and led to the musical idioms we have today and project the ones to come and use this to try and make the songs that might change the world for the better, I like to think it helps to have experienced how music was made before the computer. While timbre is very much at the front of recorded music today, it functions on top of the foundation of rhythm, melody, harmony, and the iconic nostalgia-inducing sounds of strings, horns, drums, guitars, keyboards and piano of older times, that will never ever fade and become irrelevant because of how acoustically unique and imprinting they are. Nothing excludes anything else, I’d like to see how far we can go with computers, instruments, and of course humans working together endlessly.

TMN: As a member of the Team Supreme collective, how does it feel to have such amazing artists that you know personally remixing your EP?

There’s truly nothing better than your best friends being awesome musicians that inspire and awe you with their diversity and unique imagination in the downtime of you goonin and just being perpetual kids with them.

TMN: Where did your inspiration and ideas for your Changes EP come from? Are you someone that comes up with melodies in your head before you lay them down? Do they come from sounds you hear, or certain influences etc…?

JS: I consider myself an empty jar when the music process begins, the moment I form preconceptions I become anxious and feel restricted. I like to push record, turn Push on or put my bass in my lap, and just follow wherever my fingers take me in real time, and then edit it all into cohesiveness afterwards. I suppose the sounds of my muscle memory and subconscious come from everything I’ve ever heard, jumbled into a tasty music stew in my brain.

TMN: Lastly, what can we expect from you in the future, maybe an album or a tour?

JS: You can absolutely expect more EP’s as well as an album, a North-American tour starting in mid April, more music to come for a long long time, and most importantly, you can expect me to always go through ‘Changes’ 😉

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[Electronic] Dabin – Lilith feat. APASHE & Madi

Dabin
Lilith (feat. Apashe & Madi)

What do you get when you mix Dabin, APASHE, and Madi into one beautifully written track? A melodic and mind bending sensory overload capable of tearing us in three different, but very welcome, directions. Released as the second single off of Kannibalen Records artist Dabin’s album, Two Hearts, the triad of sounds that is “Lilith” melds together the sweet vocals of Madi, Dabin’s delectable instrumental melodies and the well-known hard hitting bass of APASHE. While the track starts out smooth we’re soon catapulted into a heavy drop of synthy bass giving “Lilith” a pleasant and unexpected twist. Two Hearts is set for release on March 31st, however pre-order is currently available on iTunes. If you go ahead and pre-order, you get the single early!

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[Electronic] Afrojack – Used to Have it All (Dirty Audio Remix)

We may have already featured this in our new Spotify playlist, Back that Bass Up, but Dirty Audio’s sock game isn’t the only thing that strong. His recent releases have been straight fire and his official remix to Afrojack’s “Used To Have It All” is no exception. This groovy house vibe gets a signature make-over from the LA producer known for indulging in lots of coffee, stabbing synths, and hard drops. The elegant vocals are still present, but this flip gives the track a whole new club and festival ready vibe that we’re sure to see all summer. You can buy and stream this latest release here.

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