[MP3 Playlist] Indie Dojo (June 2013 Round #1)

indie-dojo-music-ninjaAttitudes are infectious. If you’re grouchy, you better believe the world around you is gonna be just the same. And when you’re happy, you can easily pass that sunshine on to someone who needs it. So before you walk out the door, if you feel the slightest Oscar the Grouch puppeteering your thoughts, slow your roll for a minute. If you happen to have a hard time stopping your brain from becoming the Magneto of negative thoughts, we seem to find that music can be a real mood booster. And would you look at that….We just happen to have a free bump for you right here..Oh and don’t be afraid to pass it on…..Be the kind of infectious that lights up the world.

Hudson Taylor
Among Savages
A Dark Design
The Struggle
Sleeper Hold
French for Rabbits
Claimed by the Sea
Related items:

[Indie] Wild Combination – Whole Lotta Truth

Wild Combination
Whole Lotta Truth

There’s just something about some gorgeous dreamy coastal rock to really get you in the mood for summer. The echoing guitars, the catchy lyrics, and the fast paced drums seem to create the audible landscape we crave when the bright sunny rays hit our Ray Bans.

Today we’re excited to bring you the musical stylings of Wild Combination. This Essex based three piece speaks a Whole Lotta Truth. Don’t take our word for it though. Press play and see for yourself.

Related items:



Part blues. Part Rock Ballad. Part bass laden dubstep. Yes, MONSTA has a unique sound with their gigantic single, “Messiah”. And it’s one that we’re particularly fond of. After hearing “Messiah” over and over again, we knew that we had to get to know this group better. What does their creative process look like? How do they craft their lyrics? Who are their musical influences?

Luckily we got a chance to have a virtual chat with Rufio of MONSTA, and he answered every question we wanted to know. Check out what he had to say.

TMN: Thanks for answering a couple of questions for us guys! Let’s start off first by asking what your creative process looks like when you’re writing a tune. Does one person excel at a certain aspect? Do you all collaborate on everything together?

MONSTA: You’re welcome! We always write everything together, even though the writing process is a little different for each track. There will always be a point where we are around the piano and just hearing the melodies and harmony together…we always feel that if a song works like that then that is best foundation. There are other times when we might have prepared a track or parts of an instrumental and then Skaar starts singing over it and we all take it from there … but either way we write together because that’s the whole point for us of being in a band and its the most exciting and joyful part.

TMN: Let’s take two steps back now, how did you guys come to meet?

MONSTA: Rocky and I (Rufio) met at Jazz Conservatoire and started playing a lot of gigs and tours together…one thing led to another and we started producing. One day someone played some demos of a singer and we were floored, but we had no idea who they were, where they were from, how old they were and what they did. It transpired that it was Skaar and he was in London, so after a bit of a hunt we got in touch and he came down to the studio. It was all very quiet at first and then we played a couple of tracks and he suddenly started singing and the sound and the melodies were so incredible we knew that we had to work together someway somehow.

TMN: Name the one artist that influenced you the most as an aspiring musician.

MONSTA: It would be different for all of us I guess but collectively some of key artists would be: Otis Reading, Herbie Hancock, Michael McDonald, Sam Cooke, Oscar Peterson, Jeff Porcaro, Nina Simone.

TMN: Back to the present, most of your tracks go crazy on charts like the hype machine. Do you pay attention to things like that when you release a tune?

MONSTA: It’s unbelievable when those things do happen and obviously its great that people are into it and its amazing to see it spreading, however we don’t live and die by it personally…it’s great when it does but if it doesn’t we aren’t put out.

TMN: Do you have any massive collabos in the works right now, if not who are you trying to work with in the near future?

MONSTA: There’s a few people we have started some tracks with, people we massively respect…but nothing is finished just yet. We are always up for collaborating but only if its with someone who we feel we can make something amazing and new with, they have to push us and hopefully we push them, we would never do a collaboration track for someones popularity alone, we would rather collaborate with someone like Chaka Khan then a new star purely because they are having massive success right now.

TMN: Let’s chat about Messiah. The track itself features inspiring lyrics, soulful piano, and gritty basslines. How did the process begin with this track in particular? Did the lyrics come first, or were they stem from the music?

MONSTA: We started with the piano riff and then we layered up some textures and sounds leading towards the chorus. This was the catalyst for the melodies and lyrics in this particular instance…”Higher” felt like the right image on the top of the chorus for us and then the melodies in verses just came about when we were playing it all together … it was cool cos it all came fairly easily and in an organic manor.

TMN: Who came up with the vision for the music video? Talk to us about the location, the crew, and what that experience was like for you.

MONSTA: The experience was amazing for us…we’ve all been so affected by music from the American South and so to get the chance to go to Savannah, Georgia (where we shot the video) felt very humbling. We always had these visual references for the track and one day Alabama (the directing team) got in touch with us and presented a remarkably similar vision. they also saw a more supernatural element to the song which was exactly what we had pictured when we wrote the lyrics so it felt like the most amazing fit. The locations (even when derelict), were stunning and the people we met from the South were amazingly kind, charming and open. Although there was one guy who spent 3 days telling us he had a disembodied ghost cat that floated around is apartment …that concept should probably be our next video really.

TMN: What’s one artist you would be embarrassed to admit you listen too?

MONSTA: If you like an artist you shouldn’t really be embarrassed by liking them, sometimes a song comes along that you love by an artist you don’t particularly think much of i guess. People always seem to think Toto is a guilty pleasure-but we don’t see why there would be any guilt involved?

The Messiah EP is out now in itunes. Pick up your copy today!

Related items:

[TMN EXCLUSIVE] Interview with John Digweed

Bedrock Records
Vinyl 4 Soundcloud all tracks mixed

There are a few household names in the EDM world that have been around for over a decade. There are even fewer that are still relevant in the current scene. Even further down the way is the amount of DJs that are experiencing the same popularity as they had years prior. John Digweed is one of those names.

Believe it or not, there are still people who don’t know that Digweed was producing tracks in the early 90′s. He was releasing tracks before some of his fans at his shows today were even a glimmer in their Daddy’s eye. Way before cracked versions of Ableton floated around the internet, giving every kid an opportunity to make his own beats. With such a long and impressive career, it’s easy to understand why we were so excited to have this opportunity to chat with him. Of course we wanted to know what it’s been like to transcend trends in EDM, to travel the world playing every significant venue, and to get his thoughts on the scene for today. And, of course we’re excited to share what John Digweed had to say with you.

TMN: Thank you for taking some time to sit down with us. With such a long and illustrious career, we’re obviously really excited to ask you a few questions. Let’s start off by talking about way back when. You first came onto the scene in 1993 with a residence at Renaissance. Talk to us about what the scene was like back then.

JD: The UK had gone through the whole big acid house rave culture and people where looking for something that was more focused on the quality of music putting the experience back into clubs with cool decor and it was mind-blowing attracting like minded people who wanted to hear cool futuristic music without all the rave gimmicks. The scene constantly changes over the years from every new generation and new styles of music that come and go. This is whats so good about the electronic scene just when you think you have seen it all something new happens the changes everything.

TMN: You have some releases that are older than some fans at your shows these days. Do you ever find yourself having to school youngsters on the origins of EDM?

JD: To be honest, the new generation have so much new music to absorb and I prefer to be playing new music rather than looking back to what I produced years ago that I don`t see it as a problem. if they want to research older tracks that’s fine with me, but not important that they know the history of electronic music.

TMN: Do you find that younger EDM fans have a grasp on how the industry came to fruition and the origins of its rich history?

JD: Again it`s great if they take time to look into some of the origins of how we got to this point, but what’s really important is that they enjoy the music and try to keep discovering different genres of music to broadening their tastes.

TMN: Let’s fast forward a few years to the start of Bedrock. At what point did you decide to create your own label?

JD: When I realized that is was better to be in control of how and when my tracks where released as well as being able to sign new and exciting artists from around the world. It`s a lot of work but also very rewarding.

TMN: Your label has included releases from household names in electronic music including Guy Gerber and Morgan Page. What has your strategy been in discovering new talent for Bedrock throughout the years? What kinds of tools on the internet do you leverage to find new talent?

JD: Sometimes it`s just as simple as someone handing me a cd in a club others come from colleagues who pass on tracks that they think might work for the label and a few come from producers who send me links over the internet. I think the label has a good history and has been pretty constant over the years with good and varied release schedule.

TMN: Alright, let’s talk about your most recent release which came out earlier this month, “Live in Slovenia.” What was the significance behind this show? Was there a particular reason you chose to record live at this event?

JD: The idea behind these “live in” album is that I never know where they are going to come from, I record every gig I do and there is always one gig that just seems to pop that little bit more than some of the others so if the tracklistings look like they wont be too much trouble to clear we crack on reaching out to the labels. We live in a era where people expect free live mixes on soundcloud etc but the artists never see any money from those mixes so at least by releasing legit mixes there is some revenue going to the labels, Also I think that people still like to have a physical CD expecially if they went to the party of are fans building their collection. The party in Slovenia was really good and I think you can feel the energy of the room in this mix and that’s why I decided to release it.

TMN: Speaking of large shows, you’ve played at the largest venues in the world. Do you have any that stand out in your mind?

JD: I have played some amazing parties over theyears but the biggest one that stands out is The Big Beach boutique 2 in Brighton with Fatboyslim when over 250,000 people showed up to a free party on the beach it was incredible.

TMN: Do you notice a difference in the crowds from country to country? Do you feel that certain countries have a higher EDM IQ, so to speak?

JD: I think i have always attracted a pretty clued up crowd in terms of their knowledge of music, I mean I don`t really play any biganthems during my sets so you have t be pretty interested in underground music to come to hear me play, in terms of reactions the argentinian are pretty hard to beat in terms of going crazy to my music.

TMN: What are your thoughts about the recent resurgence in popularity of Deep House and Tech House?

JD: It never went away in my eyes it`s just part of the ever changing trends in dance music where a few cool tracks suddenly start putting more of a focus on a particular sound so it`s great that it`s getting some good attention.

TMN: Alright, let’s change the pace up a little bit. There’s a rumour that your brother is 20 time World Clay Shooting Champion George Digweed. Is that true? If so, how good of a shot are you?

JD: Yes it`s true he is pretty much a living legend in that sport, Last time I shot I got 7/10 so I guess it runs in the family

TMN: Alright, back to music. You’re currently on tour right now supporting “Live in Slovenia.” What are some of your favorite venues here in the states that the tour hits?

JD: Well this is only a short tour as I am heading off to Australia and Hong Kong after the weekend. I have just played Beta in Denver which was great and I have vancouver and LA this weekend, LA always shows me a lot of love at clubs such as The Mayan, Avalon or The Exchange. There is a new club in Brooklyn which is amazing called Output which has a no VIP/Table service and best of all no cameras policy, It was fantastic playing there as people are there just for the music and dancing without any distractions. The Vagabond in Miami is also one of my favourite clubs to play.

TMN: Well, we’ll wrap this up and give you an opportunity to tell our readers and your fans anything else you’d like to say. Thank you so much for the opportunity to have this virtual chat. We’ve been longtime fans, and we’re looking forward to many more years of your music.

JD: Thanks for all the support over the years I love the fact I get to play new and exciting music every week to people who want to escape from the commercial sounds that are out there and if you want to find out more about what I am doing check out www.johndigweed.com

Related items:

[Hip-Hop] Rick Ross – Oil Money Gang (Feat. Jadakiss) (Prod. J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League)

Oil Money
Rick Ross
Oil Money Gang ft Jadakiss

It should be pretty evident by now that Maybach Music Group is determined to take over your Monday. As we mentioned earlier today, Rick Ross and company are set to drop the third edition of their Self Made series later this summer. After announcing the new album, Ross has been leaking music from the project throughout the day, with the latest offering being “Oil Money Gang” featuring Jadakiss. While “Poor Decisions” seemed to take Ross out of his comfort zone a bit, this new cut is right up his alley. It’s a silky smooth number that absolutely oozes decadence and luxury. Check out the latest single from Rozay above and be on the lookout for Self Made Vol. 3 when it drops on August 6th.

Related items:

[Hip-Hop] Wale – Bad (Remix) (Feat. Rihanna)

Bad (Remix)
Bad (Remix) feat. Rihanna

Wale wants to make sure you don’t forget his name at all, having already dropped one other single earlier today. His second offering comes in the form of a remix to his hit single, “Bad.” Replacing Tiara Thomas on this updated version is Rihanna, who offers up her talents on the chorus as well as a few bars here and there. Check out the track above and make sure to cop Wale’s The Gifted when it drops on June 25th.

Related items:

[Hip-Hop] J. Cole – Crooked Smile (Feat. TLC)

Crooked Smile
J. Cole
Crooked Smile feat. TLC

J. Cole brings back that old school sound as he links up with TLC (T-Boz and Chilli) for the second single off of Born Sinner. Cole takes this opportunity to flaunt his imperfections, while also encouraging others to embrace their own. It’s great seeing him take a stand against the materialism prevalent throughout this country, while proving you can still be successful and loved without altering your appearance. Look out for more positive messages when J. Cole’s Born Sinner hits shelves on June 18th. R.I.P. Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes.

Related items: