[Denver Event Preview] Project Pabst – RiNo Arts District – 5/21

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Already an established and highly praised festival in Portland, Project Pabst is set to touch down for its first ever stop in Denver, and we’re chomping at the bit for their all-day lineup featuring the likes of TMN Favorites Best Coast, Small Black (who headlined one of our TMN Showcase parties back on Halloween), K. Flay, and local Denverites turned national darlings Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats; along with classic staples including the Violent Femmes, Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires and loads more across seven stages on Saturday, May 21st in Denver’s booming and eclectic RiNo Arts District. We’ve been watching Project Pabst pick up steam as it nears closer and closer, and with the announcement yesterday that all tickets have now been sold out, it’s shaping up to be a beast of a day for music in the Mile High City.

In anticipation of this weekend’s Denver debut of Project Pabst, check out our playlist below featuring some of our favorite tunes from each headliner, start hydrating, and put aside your beer snobbery before loading your system with cheap domestic beer in the greatest craft-brew city in the U.S. We’ll be out in full force all day tomorrow, so keep your eyes peeled for our post-event review, and get in the spirit a little early with our official Project Pabst Preview Playlist (say that five times fast) below.

’Best Coast – The Only Place’
’Small Black – No Stranger’
’Best Coast – Do You Love Me Like You Used To’
’Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
S.O.B.’
’Violent Femmes – Blister In The Sun’
’FIDLAR – No Waves’
’Big KRIT ft Trinidad James – My Trunk’
’Lights – Same Sea (K.Flay Remix)’
’Metz – Can’t Understand’
’Baroness – Shock Me’
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[Event Review] Mura Masa, NAO and Bonzai @ The Independent–SF, 5/12

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’Mura Masa – …Girl’

I can remember pretty distinctly when my enchantment with Mura Masa’s music began—specifically the first time I heard “…Girl.” That piano-driven, trap-influenced beauty served as an ample intro to his intricate production style but it really only scratched the surface of what was to come. His 2014 debut album Soundtrack to a Death, a collection of dynamic beats, cemented his status as one of the most exciting electronic artists out–seamlessly fusing the enormity of trap percussion with fluttering instrumentation and chopped vocal samples.

While that first project captured the bloggers and electronic music enthusiasts, it was Mura Masa’s Someday Somewhere EP that, with the help of a diverse set of collaborators, catapulted his notoriety among casual fans and the biggest producers in the game alike. Since that release, he’s launched Anchor Point Records his own label that’s already brought us fantastic projects from Bonzai and Jadu Heart.

In San Francisco, it’s common to discover an artist on Soundcloud and find them on a show flier within a few months. In the case of Mura Masa, though, the wait for a live performance felt like an eternity—spanning almost three years. Having checked literally hundred of artists off of the must-see list in that time, it would be a massive understatement to say we were excited as we walked into The Independent to see the 20-year-old phenom’s SF debut alongside Bonzai and NAO. So, if you’re wondering why this article is so long it’s probably because we’ve been waiting for so long to write it. Continue reading

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um.. – try harder [tmn premiere]

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try harder

It’s only been a few days since we announced our next Resident Artist, and we’re already bringing you a tasty exclusive from this quirky and inventive duo.

“try harder” is rife with calculated clicks, pops, razor-sharp synths, and booming bass hits, giving you all the delightfully dark vibes you’d hope for while watching a top-notch horror flick. It’s a rarity when artists can craft something that could easily be pictured in a cinematic vision, but these two have most certainly done just that.

Make sure to stay tuned over the next four weeks, because we still have plenty more exclusives to bring your way.

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Our Next Resident Artist is um.. [TMN RESIDENCY]

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You’re probably expecting to read about who our next Resident Artist is in this first paragraph, thinking we got all cutesy with some click bait-style headline. C’mon – you should know us better than that by now. The name of our next Resident Artist is actually in the headline. That’s right – all this month we’re highlighting the delightfully weird, whacky, and dog-loving So-Cal duo um..

These two have had quite the ride since forming at Icon Collective. They first got their feet wet back in December of ’14 with their interpretation of Awe’s “Griffin.” That offering was included in LA powerhouse collective Team Supreme’s Vol. 127, which put them amongst top notch acts like Plastician, King Henry, Yung Orca, and more.

From there, um.. released their debut EP, Pay Attention, which garnered tremendous support from tastemakers, bloggers, and music lovers around the globe. In fact, the three-track collection hit #2 on the Beatport Electronica Album Chart and #12 on the Overall Album Chart. Pretty damn impressive for their first EP.

Our music has a playful feeling, while maintaining top level quality production, that’s refreshing in a time where producers take their music too seriously and sacrifice creativity for commercial sounding tracks. We are not interested in following any other artist’s path. We believe in creation without creative boundaries and we demonstrate that through our music. Without saying anything more, I think the music speaks for itself.

Ben Bruce and Dylan Gold are now looking ahead to their next EP, Do It For the Kids, which will be rolled out over the next few weeks. On top of that, we hope they’re pretty damn stoked to join the ranks of our Residency program.

Stay tuned for some rad, exclusive content throughout the next four weeks, starting on Monday. Until then, enjoy this tasty collection of some of our favorite tracks.

’whos care’
’pay attention’
’thats horrible’
’birds in paradise’
’um.. – skrillex 2’
’we copied us’
’um.. – tictac’
’dotes’
’awe – griffin (um.. short flip)’
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Saturday Selection Vol. 2

Saturday Selection

As we continue to dig deeper throughout the internet for music, we can get blindsided (in a good way) by a sound or voice we’ve never heard before. Maybe it’s a new style of production or a groove you can’t quite figure out the finer details of. It could even be a remix that completely reshapes your initial feelings of a song. Whatever it may entail, that slight bit of confusion or excitement you feel is the exact moment you know when you’re on to something. It’s a wonderful revelation, and that’s what this playlist is all about. Time to explore!


Diveliner

Diveliner – Catwalk

It’s been a little over a year since we covered Diveliner last, and the wait was certainly worth it. Diveliner thrives in almost total anonymity, and his newest effort reflect his ability to cut through saturated sounds and build up his own monumental creation. The jarring and filtered vocals scatter across the shadowy production with a robotic flourish. It would almost be disconcerting if it wasn’t so well-made. If you’re looking for something conventional in Diveliner, you won’t find it. That’s exactly what makes his mystery his own. Luckily, he has an EP on the way, and “Catwalk” is an encouraging second addition to his upcoming project.


Kidswaste

Chet Porter – tbh ily (Kidswaste Remix)

Even as Moving Castle continues to explode in size and popularity, they’ve found their sound and stuck with it for a few years now. Recently, Kidswaste has hopped on board, and his first release with the label is a charming and melodic remix of Chet Porter. It reworks all of the best elements of Chet’s gorgeous original into a slightly more upbeat and orchestral tune, while simultaneously allowing the power and precision of Kidswaste’s talent shine through. It’s really just a nice listen and has an undeniable replay value. If you dig it, be sure to treat yourself to the free download also!


Limbic Void

Limbic Void – Little Boy

Some memories are nice. Other are not. Limbic Void constructs “Little Boy” around the latter. It’s really quite an interesting juxtaposition. Even with boisterous production, the lyrics paint a different picture entirely. He sings about a time he wasn’t proud of. That isn’t easy to do. He encapsulates a past pain into something beautiful, and it’s honestly made us do some reflecting of our own. Be on the lookout for his EP dropping on May 26th.


SiR

SiR – Tricky (Prod. Rascal)

Everything about this tune by SiR is phenomenal. From the slick production of Rascal, to the smooth delivery of every pining line, “Tricky” is a triumph. If you’re in need of an excellent late night song, stop right here and hit play. It’s the kind of track that provides an instant calm. Everything slows down and seems much less complicated. You begin to get caught up in the moment. It’s exceptional. End your day right with “Tricky” and absorb every subtle nuance of this sleek SiR invention.


Blancos

The Blancos – Wild Child

The Blancos are a wild bunch, as clearly stated by the name of their most recent release. Having premiered with Pigeons & Planes earlier this week, this duo continues the wonderful blurring of lines between genres that more and more artists have taken to applying. With a little bit of rock, alternative, and even a tinge of blues, The Blancos swagger can’t and won’t be stopped. “Wild Child” explores the feelings of an outcast with a grit that is oddly welcoming, and most people catch themselves relating to this sort of thought process at some point in their life. Why not enjoy a great song to soundtrack it with while you’re at it?


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[Experimental] um.. – whos care

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whos care

It’s just about impossible to pinpoint a specific sound to um... They really do put the mental in experimental. Even with their absurd sound design abilities and ridiculous choice of samples, something about their unbridled insanity is magnetic. “whos care” makes no sense, and none of their previous work has either, but you find yourself losing your mind in the best manner every time they concoct another tune. Are they considered bass music? Possibly. Are they as confusing as they are talented? That’s a fact. No matter the questions asked when this song plays, just know you’re witnessing something truly new, innovative, and a little unhinged. In short, don’t overthink it, just smash that play button and go wild.

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Saturday Selection Vol. 1

Saturday Selection

We are VERY excited to be introducing a brand new segment here at The Music Ninja! Saturday Selection was created for multiple purposes. From hitting the high points of the releases from the week prior, to exploring an artist or label more in depth, we’re looking to fill your weekend with even more great music than before. There’s no genre hindrances. There’s no boundaries. It all starts with five songs. You won’t want to miss this. Let’s dive in!


NVDES – The Other Side

NVDES showed up out of nowhere about ten months ago, and it’s a great thing that they did. Incredibly upbeat indie can somewhat seem like a saturated sound, but this LA-based band keeps it just weird enough to find and own their unique voice. It’s about that time to enjoy the nice weather again, and you’ll want to have the newest by NVDES in your playlist rotation.


Midoca – Tell Me Your Lies (Feat. Dark Waves)

It’s such a relief to have Midoca back. He’s crafted his own sort of electronic pop that doesn’t shy away from brooding topics or heavy and dramatic production. There’s an understanding within his writing and music that resonates on an intangible level when dealing with the fact that everything isn’t meant to be super happy all of the time. And that’s a good thing. He capitalizes on emotion, and Dark Waves is a perfect complement for “Tell Me Your Lies” when it comes to demonstrating gravity in electronic music.


PUSHER – Clear (ft. Mothica)

With an upcoming EP on the way, PUSHER decided to grace us the first single off of the project that features the heavenly voice of Mothica along with his infectious and bright production. His history of remixes speaks for itself, and his originals reflect several influences from some of the best new names in bass music. “Clear” is quite the first taste of his new project, as he trades in some of his larger sounds for a tightened down creation that shows he can bend his novel approach into whatever he pleases.


Atlas Bound – Softer Still

These two are so ridiculously smooth. Atlas Bound‘s second helping off their debut EP continues their winning streak of laidback electronic soul that just feels good every time you hit play. “Softer Still” relies on a sublime balance of live instruments and electronic production chops that is slowly but surely becoming more common as many artists began to expand their sound. And that is a GREAT thing. Keep yours ear open for their EP and enjoy this slick new tune for a nice break during your afternoon.


Moon Bounce – Wingman

The latest addition to the Activia Benz Singles Club comes to us courtesy of Moon Bounce, and it is an absolute trip. There’s something addicting about this tune as it bounces all over the place with a jovial and carefree attitude, thumping drums, and an absurdly catchy groove that punches right through your speakers. It may be short, but it’s certainly sweet. The London-based Activia Benz never fails to show that they enjoy every song they release, and Moon Bounce certainly added more fun to their particularly boisterous mesh of club and pop music.


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