[Event Review] Mad Decent Block Party – San Diego

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(PC: Fixation Photography)

Last Sunday, following the recent heat wave that everybody would soon forget about, Mad Decent took their members and friends to sunny San Diego. The venue is located at Park Boulevard and Imperial Avenue near Petco Park and downtown SD. With only one giant stage put in the parking lot area, the artists definitely brought down the house with their high-energy performances and star power. Participating in this year’s lineup, we have artists like Cashmere Cat, Diplo, Flosstradamus, Laidback Luke, STRFKR, Thurz, TJR and Zeds Dead. It was a great mix of music, showing off their roster and connections with diversity.

With Kaytranada‘s set being cancelled due to personal reasons, STRFKR started off the one-day festival with some of their indie psych rock music to get the crowd in the mood. They put on a great show as people were just starting to roll into the venue and vibing their way into the crowd. Their mellow and enjoyable tunes are the epitome of a great band performing at a great festival.

Next up we have Thurz, a member of the underground hip-hop duo U-N-I. It was a smart choice for him to come on after an indie band. His high-energy performance definitely got the crowd going by playing some familiar rap songs and some of his own. At this point there was already a good amount of people in the audience, slowly and reluctantly making their way into the front of the stage even though the immense heat was getting onto everybody. Cashmere Cat, who was the next act, warmed up the crowd even more with his clever remixes of trap and hip hop tracks. His music covers a wide range of genres and sub-genres which take everybody on a fun and exciting joyride of both hype and chill music.

TJR was definitely the dark house of the festival. For those who weren’t familiar with who he is, the crowd referred him as “the mysterious bald guy who stole the show at Mad Decent”. The talented producer from Connecticut showcased his skillset with a variety of turn-up jams spanning the trap, house and funk genres. He incorporated funky drops and fast-paced trap beats into remixes of popular songs, which got the crowd pumped up like no other. His jaw-dropping performance definitely left the crowd in awe.

As the sun set and the heat gradually submerged into the horizon, the crowd was all warmed up and ready to get crazy. From the moment Laidback Luke got on stage, that’s when the real block party started. The Dutch DJ/producer got everybody on their feet and bobbing their head left and right with his incredible electro/deep house goodness. It is difficult as a house DJ to channel the right energy into a crowd at an open stage/venue, but Laidback Luke did just that. With lasers shining at your eyeballs, you just couldn’t help but dance your pants off to these hard-hitting house beats.

One amazing act following another, the artist introduced and welcomed Flosstradamus on stage. This is what the crowd came here to see, and what Floss were the best at doing. Needless to say, the Chicago-based duo delivered and killed it with style. The crowd was super loud and riled up, especially when they dropped a song like “Mosh Pit”, that there were a good amount of moshing going on throughout his set. To bring up the energy even more, the two hype men brought out special guest Waka Flocka, who gave his 110% at pumping up the stage with his anger and aggressiveness.

The headliner of the festival and Mad Decent’s frontman, Diplo, was undoubtedly the best act of the night. With so much energy and creativeness in his performance, Diplo always brings the most entertaining and trendiest electronic music to the stage. Mixing hip-hop with trap and electronica, the 35-year-old veteran never ceases to amaze everyone and never stops the innovation of his music. From taking off his shirt to bringing girls on stage for a twerk contest, Diplo sure knows what the crowd wants to hear and see. There was never a dull moment in the entire duration of Diplo’s set, and the crowd got about as loud and turnt up as they could be.

Amongst the shuffling pits, dance circles, exchange of kandies and fist pumping, the celebration never stopped for the Mad Decent crowd. Ending the night with a bang, Zeds Dead provided everyone with some hardcore drum & bass and dubstep. At this point, the lasers and lights were in full throttle. And with the heavy bass shaking the whole place down, you just couldn’t help but viciously headbang back and forth.

By assembling their roster and inviting friends and fellow artists to perform at their shows, Mad Decent has done it once again. With that said, our Ninja crew will be back for next year’s block party. We can’t wait to see what these talented performers have in store for us in the near future.

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[Experimental] Flying Lotus – Coronus, The Terminator

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Flyinglotus
Coronus, The Terminator

Flying Lotus released yet another peek into his upcoming album today with “Coronus, The Terminator.” While the tracks we’ve heard thus far seem to lean a bit more towards the darkness of his 2010 album, Cosmogramma, the latest glimpse combines those vibes with the aesthetic of his most recent project, Until the Quiet Comes. The result is ominous, yet relaxed and glimmering, making for a laid-back, albeit brief, listening experience. Give this one a spin above–You’re Dead! is out October 7th via Warp Records.

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[Chill] Henry Green – Shipwreck (Lonely Child remix)

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Henry Green
Shipwreck (Lonely Child remix)

If you’re anything like us, you’re slowly winding down a long and arduous day behind a computer. Even further than that, you’re probably right back in front of a computer, hunting down tunes to help you wind down.

Well, you’re in luck. Austin-based artist Lonely Child, who is a regular here on TMN, has taken a crack at Henry Green’s “Shipwreck.” The original is simplistic, raw, and emotional, featuring only an acoustic guitar and forlorn vocals. Crafting a remix out of this would be difficult, to say the least, but Bryan Ray (the man behind Lonely Child) has managed to do so, and do it well.

Expertly sampling sections of the guitars, Ray accentuates the painfully emotion-rich vibes from the original, while giving it an up-tempo facelift with pronounced percussion work. The light addition of electro-style synths add intrigue to Henry Green’s vocals, creating a wavy soundscape worthy of listening to again and again.

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[Event Preview/Ticket Giveaway] Cloak & Dagger Music Festival – Denver, CO – 9/20

C&D

It seems within recent years the Mile High City of Denver, CO has been blessed with an abundance of incredible live music; especially larger scale offerings. So, when we heard our good friends at TheHundred Presents had put together one of the most eclectic and multifarious festival lineups we’d ever seen, we knew we had to get our Ninjas involved. On September 20th, The Cloak & Dagger Music Festival brings a wealth of underground dance talent, including Cashmere Cat, Holy Ghost!, Justin Martin, Thomas Jack, Kidnap KidMartyn, Midland, Moon Boots, Gigamesh, Sango, Pomo, Homework, Golf Clap, Graff as well as a few more lesser known acts championed by TMN in the past including Need & Necessity, Keepers. and Action 52 all in the span of one day. Well with the one day mega event just one business week away from becoming a reality, we wanted to extend our hands and invite our Ninja friends in Colorado (or anyone else who wants to make the trek to Denver for that matter) to try and win a pair of free tickets. As with every one of our contests, entering is streamlined and simple for you savvy readers.  Simply follow these steps below and CHECK YOUR EMAIL. We will draw a winner on Friday, Sept 19th (one day before festival). If you don’t respond in two hours, we’ll go to the next person. You snooze, you lose.

There are a few rules, of course:
- You must be 18 or over to enter.
- You are responsible for transportation.
- You must bring a valid form of ID to pick up your tickets at will call.
-You ABSOLUTELY MUST come correct with your hottest dance moves and put them on display the entire day on behalf of The Music Ninja



 

In anticipation of what seems like a lineup curated just for some of our dance-head Ninja readers, we’ve also put together a nifty little playlist featuring the artists we’re most excited to see at Cloak & Dagger to get us focused up on the long Saturday ahead. Why not let this playlist soundtrack your day, and we’ll see you soon!

With Me
Okay
Henry Krinkle
Stay (Justin Martin Rmx)
Of Monsters and Men
Little Talks (Thomas Jack Remix)
Like You Used To
Martyn & copeland
Love Of Pleasure
Whatever You Need
Wunder Wunder
Coastline (Gigamesh Remix)
One Of My Kind (Original Mix)
This Life (Original Mix)
Ludacris
How Low (Action 52 Remix)

 

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[Hip-Hop Instrumental] Moods – Flashback

Moods - Flashback
Moods
Flashback

We hadn’t really heard from Moods‘ after his one-hit wonder “Love Is Real” was featured on Majestic Casual a while back. His record label Darker Than Wax just released a compilation called 10K to showcase their talented roster and what they’re really about.

This is a special track off the album titled “Flashback.” The hip-hop producer definitely holds it down for all the Dutch hip-hop beatmakers with this one. There’s this killer bassline that drives the whole instrumental, and Moods throws in hip-hop voice samples to make things even more interesting. The synths come in to fill the spot, resembling something from Evil Needle. This beat is so incredibly dope that you just want to bust a freestyle right on the spot.

Make sure to check out the whole compilation on their SoundCloud here.

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[Electronica] Spazzkid – Something About Us (Daft Punk cover)

Spazzkid - Something About Us
spazzkid
Something About Us (Daft Punk Cover)

Attempting to cover a Daft Punk classic is always risky and ballsy, but here we have Spazzkid‘s cover of “Something About Us” and he definitely killed it, keep it original and unique. The LA producer slows it down with this one, mixing tropical synths with electronic beats, and incorporating them nicely with the original vocal samples, building this awesome cover from scratch. It’s truly amazing how this cover differs from the Daft Punk classic in terms of distinctiveness and musical style. The breakdown towards the end comes in with a bang, sealing the deal with that melodic solo.

The key to a cover is to be creative and different but at the same time maintain credibility to the original, and Spazzkid manages to do just that. If you’re into instrumental electronica, go check out Spazzkid’s other stuff. They’re one of a kind and will leave you in awe.

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[Electro] Chromeo – Lost On The Way Home (Shash’U Remix)

Chromeo - Lost On Your Way Home (Shash'U Remix)
CHROMEO
LOST ON THE WAY HOME feat. SOLANGE (SHASH'U PWRFNK REMIX)

Funk powerhouse Chromeo is a popular target for remixes. This time around, Montreal DJ, producer and songwriter Shash’U did a rework of their song “Lost On The Way Home.” Having similar musical style, Shash’U juices up the funk in this tune even more and certainly does his fellow homies justice. The slapping bass drives the whole tune, and when it’s mixed in with David Macklovitch and Solange‘s voices, you can’t help but get up and dance your life away.

Give this gem a listen and be sure to check out Chromeo’s new album White Women!

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