[420 Mix] DJ AA’s Sets On The Beach in Hawaii

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Well the much-needed long weekend has finally arrived and many of you will be celebrating in different ways. For Chill Dojo resident DJ AA, April 20th signifies a year since hitting the music scene with his first of many downtempo bootlegs, featuring Ziggy Marley’s ‘Beach in Hawaii’. He marks the upcoming occasion and festivities in the most fitting way possible, giving us four 20 minute mixes to mellow out your time in the best way possible. Flowing from deep house to reggae, to the tropical vibes that are the life-force of summer, this mix of chill tunes will serve as the perfect backdrop to your weekend’s activities, whatever they may be.

Peep his Soundcloud for all the tracklists and grab this bundle free on Facebook to fuel the vibes over the next few days, or whenever you require a dose of chill.

Sets On The Beach In Hawaii #1
Sets On The Beach In Hawaii #2
Sets On The Beach In Hawaii #3
Sets On The Beach In Hawaii #4
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[MP3 Playlist] Indie Dojo (April 2014 Round #3)

indie-dojo-music-ninjaSick of hearing about Coachella? We understand. Just press play and you won’t hear another word about it….for now.

Plastic Flowers
Summertime Pop
ZHU
Paradise Awaits.
Arling & Cameron
NY is burning (small speaker_320kb)
Monogem
Wait And See
Jacob Clarke
Oaksome Gust (WIP)
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Exclusive Interview with Vello Virkhaus, Founder of V Squared Labs

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While covering Ultra Music Festival in Miami last weekend, we had the opportunity to catch up with Vello Virkhaus, the founder of V Squared Labs (http://vsquaredlabs.com/project/ultra-worldwide/) and official VJ of Ultra since it’s inception. Mr. Virkhaus was recently named #35 on Rolling Stone’s list of the top 50 people in EDM to date. What followed was a candid discussion about his past, present, and future projects, along with some of the more intimate details of how the amazing visual production at Ultra comes about.

TMN: Vello thank you so much for coming and speaking with us at The Music Ninja. Our readers are really interested to hear about what you’re doing and where you’re at. So first of all, how’d the show go today?

Vello: Everything is running really smoothly and it’s great to see the vortex come to life. I happen to love vortexes, they’re a personal favorite.

TMN: Now what do you mean by Vortex exactly?

Vello: As a visual artist, this stage. The designer who created it made it in kind of a radial array that recedes in space, so it has an effect that’s like a tunnel almost, which we call a vortex, or wormhole, which has a lot of movement. So it’s a really complicated surface and it’s awesome to see it mapped out. I’m really proud of our team this year. On an engineering and deployment level, we’re pretty small scale for a large festival like this, which has been good. We have more room in front of us, which is nice.

TMN: How did V Squared get started up?

Vello: I guess my first big entertainment project was with Korn in California. So Korn got me in to doing more concert visuals for rock bands…EDM actually lead to Korn, and then Korn went back to EDM so we’ve all been spinning in strange circles with people like J Devil coming out with his whole, evil-self, dubstep thing and being progressive. So it’s a nice circle. So we started there and it’s been growing slowly every year.

TMN: You have an art background correct? You went to Kansas City for a while I think?

Vello: One year there, and then I had my little rebellion, and then I moved to Chicago and went to the art institute there. So yeah I did my tenure, climbed the pole to my bachelors and then went in to post-production.

TMN: You had some other projects prior to V Squared as well?

Vello: Well, we really started in Ultra with Rabbit in the Moon. They were our first collaborators, and that brought me to Florida. And through Rabbit in the Moon, and Dave, and all the original people who were in this scene, they brought me to Ultra and brought OVT, our first company, in to do visuals. It’s been a cool growing process. So, from the beach to here, on the yacht, is like a time warp almost.
Continue reading

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[Synth-Pop] Bestfriends – Refine EP

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We had the chance to feature Chicago dance-poppers Bestfriends along with their gorgeous single “The Way I Feel” a few weeks back, and in the time since we’d been salivating like one of Pavlov’s Dobermans for the full release of Refine; the duo’s latest extended play. Well today, our patience was finally rewarded with the full drop, and immediately the five track synth-pop-meets-electronic-R&B fueled journey jumped onto this writer’s short list of favorite albums of 2014 thus far. While listening to their incredibly inviting and sonically textured sound, it’s easy to forget that only a pair of musicians -Gregory Shanahan & Nick Scalise- oversee Bestfriends’ entire artistic process. From the ground floor of writing and composing, to recording and performing, Bestfriends even manage to see their work all the way through to the final mixing and mastering stages, leaving no stone unturned from their vision in the process. It’s clear from the onset of Refine as opening track “When the Lights” bounces into your ears so gracefully behind a rhythmic lead guitar and four-four kick that this artistic attention to detail translates into a wonderfully shapeshifting and fully listenable collection. These two synth savantes’ meticulous crafting of Refine has resulted in an EP which feels deeply rooted in their  emotive brand of dancey, layered pop music while simultaneously playing out as all kinds of accessible to cutthroat music fans and casual listeners alike. Bestfriends’ Refine EP is available for purchase now through iTunes , so if listening a few times here isn’t enough, do like we did and hop on over to add this one to your library permanently. For now though, just stream Refine in its entirety below.

When The Lights
The Way I Feel
Lakeshore
Refine
Lyra
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[Electro-Pop] Racing Glaciers – Moths (Carousel Remix)

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Racing Glaciers
Moths (Carousel Remix)

It’s been a bit since we’ve had the pleasure of featuring our favorite synth-heavy happy-dance duo in the music landscape, L.A. based Carousel, and that is quite a shame as their sophisticated brand of electronica always seems to pull a warm smile from most of our staff here at TMN. This morning, much to our delight, Carousel unveiled their latest addition to the remix pool; molding Brit Racing Glaciers’ slightly folky ballad into a whirlwind of atmospheric MIDI jabs and sunny, playful percussion. The pair’s slick instrumentation jives wonderfully with Tim Monaghan’s original vocal track, inspiring some desirable visions of the impending Spring and Summer seasons. Quite honestly we’ve just been looping this tune on repeat (wishing we were beach side with one of those fruity umbrella drinks) since our first listen and their pristine sound never once let its grasp loosen from our ears. Carousel’s remix comes as part of Racing Glaciers’ forthcoming Moths EP which can be purchased here, but for the stream-only type, do yourself a favor by hitting the play button, slinking back and unwinding after your long day.

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[SXSW2014 EVENT] SexPop SXSW Edition

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Our friends at Lights & Music Entertainment are putting up a SXSW party! Check out details below

Lights & Music Entertainment is proud to present SexPop (SXSW Edition). SexPop is a music series based out of Seattle & Los Angeles that focuses on breaking Synth-Pop, Disco-Pop, Tropical and Indie-Dance acts from around the globe. Our Goal: Merge the two worlds of live events and dance parties together as one. All we ask is that you bring your moves and we’ll bring the tunes.

RSVP Here

2:00pm – Hot Cops
3:00pm – The Pass
4:00pm – Touch Sensitive
5:00pm – Cardiknox
6:00pm – Chela
7:00pm – Thief
8:00pm – Story Of The Running Wolf
9:00pm – Gemini Club
10:00pm – Night Drive
11:00pm – French Horn Rebellion
12:00am – FMLYBND
1:00am – 8th Grader

Wednesday, March 12th
2pm – 2am
The Firehouse Lounge
605 Brazos St,
Austin, TX 78701

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[Gotta Be Fresh] The Music Ninja Tank Tops – Now For Sale

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As you prep yourself for festie season, summer, and your burning desire to shout “Suns out, guns out,” you might be asking, “I wonder if my favorite music blog has a tank top available for sale?”

Well, your curiosity has led you to the right place, as we now have our TMN tank tops on sale at through our good friends at FiXT. At just $20, you’ll have plenty of money left over for $15 Red Bull and vodkas.

Click here to pick one up now!

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