[Event Review] 5 Faces of Chaz: Examining Toro y Moi’s Evolution at The Independent, SF 3/28

DSC_0344Over the last five years, Chaz Bundick, as both Toro y Moi and Les Sins, has repeatedly redefined his style bringing refreshing facets of his reserved, enigmatic persona to light all the while maturing with each album. A true musical chameleon, Chaz has worn many hats but, regardless of genre, he maintains his aesthetic always remaining true to himself. This realization couldn’t have been more evident as I watched Toro Y Moi perform a hometown show at The Independent in San Francisco last weekend in which he intertwined his various musical identities into a cohesive and career-spanning set.

Backed by several talented musicians, including ninja-favorite Astronauts, etc. on the keys, Toro y Moi’s countless jams, from hazy bedroom productions to groovy indie rock, were presented in the most vibrant way possible. Almost signifying transitions between old and new, Chaz swapped between MIDI keyboard and guitar through out without losing a beat. As an avid fan, and music geek, I found myself not only dancing steadily through out, but also hit with a flurry of thoughts and emotions inspired by the diverse, yet unified, setlist. To best capture those feelings, I decided to recount the performance in the context of a career retrospective. Flip through the pages and explore the five faces of Toro that I witnessed last Saturday with photos and songs from the set to match.

Toro y Moi’s upcoming album, What for?, drops on April 7th but can be streamed via NPR Music now. You can pre-order on iTunes here and find upcoming tour dates here.

All photos by Dom Powell

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[Alternative] Trails and Ways – Skeletons

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Trails and Ways
Skeletons

Oakland-based band Trails and Ways first found their way into our hearts a few years back starting with their brilliantly organic and original covers. As if their approach to covers wasn’t indicative enough, their 2013 debut EP, Trilingual, solidified T&W as one of our favorite indie acts out. After a relatively quiet period during which they were performing, practicing and working on new material, Trails and Ways were officially signed to Barsuk Records, the label of Death Cab For Cutie, early last month with a debut full-length album on the horizon.

Today, we get the first single, and opening track, from their anticipated debut and it proves more than worth the wait. “Skeletons,” which we first caught live at their hometown show last year, feels like the perfect next step in the talented group’s sound. Following an intro of atmospheric guitar and emphatic cries, the verses recess into gorgeous, breezy vocals before unleashing one of the most infectious, energetic choruses you will hear all year. Trails and Ways’ aesthetic, influenced by the band members’ international travels and outdoor hobbies, has an enchanting, transformative effect that feels best suited for a dance party in the midst of mother nature. We’ll certainly have this on repeat today and until their debut, Pathology, drops on June 2nd–pre-order here.

P.S. If you like what you hear, check out our exclusive interview with Trails and Ways from last year’s Outside Lands Festival.

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[Electropop] machineheart – snøw (Myles Travitz Remix)

machineheart - snow (Myles Travitz Remix)
machineheart
snøw (Myles Travitz Remix)

Some say music cures the soul, and this track perfectly exemplifies that. Put down whatever you’re doing, and listen to this wonderful tune. We guarantee it’ll brighten your day. Listen as the talented producer from North Carolina, Myles Travitz, put his spin on the hit track “Snow” by LA-based pop group Machineheart. Transforming the beautifully crafted original into a heavier hitting electronic indie pop goodness, Myles Travitz created this incredibly catchy tune you simply can’t get enough of. The crisp vocals fuel the emotionally-driven tune and the bold synth takes the uplifting vibe to a whole ‘nother level.

Make sure to grab a free download here. With numerous remixes in his repertoire, Myles Travitz is somebody you wouldn’t want to miss out on. We are excited to see what else he has to offer.

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[Electronic] The Knocks – Collect My Love (feat. Alex Newell)

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The Knocks
Collect My Love ft Alex Newell

With their EP release around the corner, The Knocks have dropped yet another dance-floor ready single.  Continuing in the spirit of a full retro-revival, “Collect My Love” has a pulsing bassline and melodic piano, which combined with the soulful vocals of Alex Newell bring to mind some of the great vocalists and artists of the disco era. We’ve now heard four of the five tracks from the So Classic EP and it’s safe to say it’ll be one of the strongest indie dance releases of the year. Grab your fro picks and bell bottoms and groove to this gem above. So Classic drops on April 7th and can be pre-ordered here

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Ultra Music Festival 2015 – Must See Acts [TMN EDITORS’ PICKS]

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We’re less than a day away from Ultra Music Festival kicking into full swing, we thought it’d be the perfect time to throw a wrench in your perfectly laid out plans. As we do every year, our team of ninjas have hand-selected a few of their must-see acts, giving you an even bigger scheduling nightmare than you already had before.

With that in mind, we strongly suggest catching even a small portion of sets from these artists below, as they’ve come to be some of the most impressive we’ve caught over the past few years.

Matthew Bloss

DIXON

Dixon
Friday, Resistance Stage, Presented by Link Miami Rebels, 9:00 PM

After nabbing Resident Advisor’s #1 DJ of 2014, Steffen Berkhahn has seen his ‘Dixon‘ project near the top of every house & techno head’s ‘Must-See’ list. Though his signature style has undeniably morphed over the years, he’s stayed remarkably independent and adventurous, and he’s fiercely loyal to his label’s sound no matter how large the stage. For those in need of a massive set not aimed at the ‘EDM’ crowds, ABSOLUTELY do not miss Dixon’s slot.

dixon
in our wilderness

Goldroom

Goldroom

Sunday, Ultra Worldwide, 5:00 PM

The king of tempered down, breeze-along diso melodies, Goldroom hasn’t forgotten the platform which put him on the tip of so many tongues: the DJ booth. Josh Legg’s DJ sets still function as a vital part of the Goldroom experience even after expanding to a live four-piece. Everyone needs a chilled out hour or two during UMF’s absurd three days. Make it with Goldroom.

Goldroom
Till Sunrise

röyksopp

Royksopp

Friday, Live Stage, 11:00 PM

Potentially the Norwegian duo’s last ever run on the festival circuit after announcing an end to albums for their timeless dance-pop project, culminating with an incredible 2014 two-hour opus, fittingly titled The Inevitable End. Just the premise of not having them around in the near future is enough to make us label this as one of our ‘Must-See’ performances of the weekend.

Royksopp
Thank You

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[Event Review] CRSSD Festival – San Diego, 3/14-15

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As festival season is upon us, many festival go-ers are itching to go to Coachella, especially when talking about the perfect California weather. Goldenvoice, hosts of Coachella, and FNGRS CRSSD have teamed up to create CRSSD Festival, a solution for those who can’t make it to the more high-profile festivals but still want to get a taste of the all-around chill California vibe. With that said, CRSSD festival was the perfect portrayal of sunny San Diego and what it represents.

The first ever CRSSD fest took place in the Waterfront Park from March 14 and 15, and featured a lineup with big names like Chromeo, Odesza, Flight Facilities and Empire of the Sun. While these unique electronic acts headlined the main stage a.k.a “Ocean View Live”, what stuck out the most to us was “The Palms” stage, which was decorated to fit a more laid-back and tropical vibe. Ranging from nu-disco to tropical house, the stage features some of the frontrunners of the dance scene, including names like Bakermat, Thomas Jack, Bixel Boys, Giraffage and Kaytranada. The middle stage, which was named “City Steps”, featured some heavyhitting house acts that span from future bass to G-House, notably Amtrac, Tensnake, James Murphy and Simian Mobile Disco.

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MNEK
Wrote A Song About You (Kaytranada Edition)
Giraffage
Hello

Being that it was a debut festival, CRSSD fest did a phenomenal job of planning and set up. With KCRW Music Director Jason Bentley hosting the festival and filling in between sets with the crowd’s favorite music, there was never a dull moment at the park. Unlike some other major festivals, the Waterfront Park was the perfect size venue for CRSSD fest. The three stages were all easily reachable from one end to another, without overshadowing each other.

Now onto the stars of the show. The best acts on Saturday were undoubtedly Kaytranada and Giraffage. With back to back sets at “The Palms” stage, the two talented artists brought the house down with their immensely high energy performances. From the future bounce mastermind to the quirky creative genius, the two spun tune after tune that got the crowd going nuts. Empire of the Sun also put out an epic performance with their signature glamorous set up with stage dancers. There was no better way to close out the night after a long day of sweating and dancing. Continue reading

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[NEW] Jamie xx – Loud Places (feat. Romy of The xx)

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Jamie xx
Loud Places (ft. Romy Croft)

Jamie xx stopped by Annie Mac‘s BBC Radio 1 show earlier this week to premiere a single from his upcoming debut solo album, In Colour, and it truly lives up to the title of “Hottest Record In the World.” Calling on The xx bandmate, Romy Craft, Jamie crafts a beautifully anthemic number with “Loud Places.” Combining Romy’s signature somber vocals and ambient guitar licks with Jamie’s organic percussion and ear for a quality soul-sample, the track builds into an addicting, groovy chorus creating a perfect hybrid between The xx and Jamie’s solo work. In Colour is slated for release on June 1st and the iTunes pre-order comes with 4 instant downloads, including “Loud Places.” UPDATE: Watch Jamie and Romy relive their childhood below as they skate through London in the official video, which elevates the vibes of the track even further.  Continue reading

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