Various Blonde – Smoke [TMN PREMIERE]

Brought to life by multi-instrumentalist Joshua Allen and drummer Mark Lomas, Various Blonde is Kansas City’s best kept secret. Cooked up in 2009, this outfit has taken on many forms, working with a revolving cast of musicians and producers. Most recently, the pair has teamed up with LA-based producer and bassist Brandon Eugene Owens, who has performed with acts like Stevie Wonder and Lauryn Hill.

My first experience with “Smoke” brought up associations of one of my all-time favorites, Absofacto, another uber talented multi-instrumentalist. Personally, that was all I needed. From there, I spent more time with it, digging into the complex soundscape and subtle nuances. It’s a dark and cosmic ride, spun up with so many rich textures and layers. The heavy bassline, dark and haunting synths, quick-hitting hi-hats, and Allen’s alluring vocals, all come together to create an enveloping experience.

Have a listen below, and then head over to Various Blonde’s channels and support.

Facebook | Soundcloud | Spotify.

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[lo-Funk] daste. – Sober

daste.
SOBER

Hot damn. Within a few seconds of “Sober,” I was hooked. The smooth bassline, the cool-as-James-Dean vocals, and the funky lo-fi synths create an undeniably addicting soundscape.

“We don’t follow any specific recipe approaching each track. It all evolves from a hive mind of ideas and refining them into the mood we’re feeling. ‘SOBER’ came about quite quickly. Pretty much within a day of writing the basis of the songwas done, and we then started doing our thing on the production which is often when we like to take our time focusing on the smaller details. As Tyler likes to say “The ‘d’ in daste. stands for detail.

This is just the second release from this brand-spanking-new act, and what a doozy. We’ll high-key have it on repeat until we get the next sampling. Hopefully, that happens sooner than later.

In the meantime, make sure to follow these guys on Facebook, so you can keep up.

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[Pop] Manila Killa – ALL 2 U (feat. Sara Skinner)

The new year brought a fair amount of change for Manila Killa (Chris Gavino), as he embarked on his first year as a solo artist. Aside from a shift in his career path, he’s also showcasing a glimpse at a shift in his musical style. Maybe this is the true Chris? Whatever it is, we’re all about it.

“All 2 U,” which features Sara Skinner, is the last single from his upcoming EP. A through-and-through pop gem, this track exudes pure authenticity. It’s catchy as hell, not overdone, and extremely well put together, complete with organic guitars, playful percussion, and approachable vocals. Simply put–you won’t be hard-pressed to put this one on repeat.

If you’d like to catch this tune live, make sure to pick up tickets to the 1993 tour, which makes 11 stops across April and May. Tour dates are posted below, for your convenience.

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[Music Ninja Radio] Episode 132: No Words Allowed Pt. 2

Music Ninja Radio is a weekly podcast recorded and broadcast live on San Francisco’s BFF.fm  from 4-6PM PST every Friday. 

Music Ninja Radio
Episode #132: No Words Allowed Pt. 2

Soundcloud || iTunes Podcast || Spotify Playlist  || BFF.fm Archive & Tracklist

As end of year lists are continuing to come together, I decided to bring back the No Words Allowed theme that Dom & I explored all the way back on Episode 15. To that end, enjoy 2 hours of instrumental music spanning vibey guitar-driven gems, weirdo experimental electronic, smooth hip-hop beats and left-field house. – ash

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[Festival Preview] Mayan Heart Festival -Tikal, Guatamala – 12/20 – 12/23

The first annual Mayan Heart Festival is set to take place this December (20th-23rd) for the Winter Solstice at the Tikal Pyramids at Guatemala, with artists ranging from Desert Dwellers and Kaminanda to soothing sounds from the likes of Deya Dova and Liquid Bloom.

I couldn’t think of a better reason to pack up for Christmas and spend it abroad, enjoying a soulfully curated line up, hotel after parties, workshops, yoga, and a fire ceremony with the local Mayan natives that have been practicing it for millennia. Ahead of our trip, I sat down with Amaya, the founder of this one-of-a-kind festival.

TMN: Amaya, so happy to be talking with you about this unique festival I have heard so much about. I would like to dive into the obvious question, what will people expect for a festival experience at such a unique location as the Tikal Pyramids in Guatemala? Where will the stage production and musicians be?

A: IT IS HARD TO DESCRIBE MAGIC! We are working on creating an experience for the Main Event On the Solstice/Full Moon of December 21st which is the Maya Fire Ceremony. There, you will NOT see multi-million dollar technology, million watt sound systems or robotic lights!! People who are present on December 21st in Tikal will experience the highest of all technologies, the technologies which built the pyramids which “modern” science can’t figure out to this day how it was done!! You will experience The MAYA technology. On December 21st we have a very special alignment which is the Solstice with a full Moon and an alignment of the Star System Pleyades with the Earth. This combination along with our open hearts and intention will open the door for anyone to significantly affect their future and that of the planet.

TMN: With so much intention behind an event like this, what type of audience do you expect? Will there be a large electronic music crowd, or more of a yogi and Burning Man-centric audience?

A: This event will bring the Bird Tribes, the Rainbow Warriors and as we will see, these are peoples from every corner of the planet and all walks of life. We have already people coming from Austria, Brazil, France, Colombia, Costa Rica, Portugal, Australia, Canada, Africa, among other places.

Continue reading

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[Music Ninja Radio] Episode 131: Return of the Barb!

Music Ninja Radio is a weekly podcast recorded and broadcast live on San Francisco’s BFF.fm  from 4-6PM PST every Friday. 

Music Ninja Radio
Episode #131: Return of the Barb!

Soundcloud || iTunes Podcast || Spotify Playlist  || BFF.fm Archive & Tracklist

We welcomed back DJ & Producer Barbara to this week’s episode of TMN Radio. Before getting into her quirky thumping live mix, though, we opened the show with a set of eerie electronic cuts and indie pop gems. Highlights from half 1 include Still Woozy‘s latest single, a selection Rejoicer‘s infinitely groovy album and a fantastic single from Saba. Barbara’s live mix kicks off with her first original production which you can check out here.

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[Music Ninja Radio] Episode 130: Earl & J.I.D

Music Ninja Radio is a weekly podcast recorded and broadcast live on San Francisco’s BFF.fm  from 4-6PM PST every Friday. 

Music Ninja Radio
Episode #130: Earl & JID

Soundcloud || iTunes Podcast || Spotify Playlist  || BFF.fm Archive & Tracklist

This week’s episode was heavily focused on two amazing hip-hop albums that dropped last week: Earl Sweatshirt‘s lo-fi and emotionally devastating Some Rap Songs and J.I.D‘s cinematic flow clinic DiCaprio 2. Other highlights include a chillwave-tinted jam from Mk.gee, Chance the Rapper‘s best song in a long time, an entrancing cut from Overmono and Loods delivering his signature dreamy sound for Shall Not Fade‘s 3 Years of Service compilation.

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