The Journey Tour Live At the Catalyst

I only first heard the name Seven Lions a month ago when I agreed to work the up-coming (now past) The Journey Tour  show at the Catalyst Club. In all honesty, I didn’t even hear his–aka Jeff Montalvo’s–music until I wrote that last article about him the day of the show. Shit, I was missing out. But of course, you all probably already know that .

Seven Lions
Seven Lions

The 28 year old producer and DJ is one of the most talented on the scene today. Much like his hometown of Santa Barbara, Montalvo blends a concoction of different influences into a sound that’s glaringly rare and undeniably catchy. Since he hit the scene in 2010, the DJ who once told YourEDM.com “I’m too weird for the mainstream,” has torched his way through the underground by drawing from all aspects of the Electronic arena: trance, house, bass, dubstep, trap and many, many more. He might not be mainstream in the sense of Drake or Kanye, but he’s a big raft on a different stream altogether. And after all, isn’t one of the attractive aspects of this culture the fact that it’s something entirely on it’s own, unattached to the shit shoved down our ears on the radio?

Seven Lions Throwing Down
Seven Lions Throwing Down

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Anyway, I digress.

Needless to say, I was amped going to work last Tuesday (10/18/16). Even after I heard it was sold out–which usually means a shit show–I was still amped. Surprisingly, it wasn’t a shit show at all because–not surprisingly–everyone there was looking for a good time of dancing, tripping and fun.

 

Scottish musician, GRUM, opened the night with a striking set, followed up by Unlike Pluto. Danish and Norwegian duo, Pegboard Nerds, rounded up third with their poppy and chaotic, video game sounds. Even after hours of solid dancing, the 800 person crowd went nuts as Seven Lions took over the deck. For an hour and a half he flowed a solid set in his signature style and busted out many crowd pleasing remixes. The Journey Tour  continues until Dec. 2, so treat yo self to a ticket if it passes through your town. After all, don’t you think you deserve it?

 

 

 

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Hopsin Live at the Catalyst

If you don’t know Hopsin, you apparently don’t listen to hip hop. No, not that shit the radio, television and the clubs force down your throat. I’m talking about real hip hop, raw and straight from the underground. The type of rap that calls out the bullshit, questions reality and tells it like it is.

Anyone who is familiar with the Los Angeles artist knows that Hopsin tells it like it is. From  his critical “Ill Mind of Hopsin” tracks to his “Kill Her” track–about Eazy-E’s widow after Hopsin’s falling out with former record label, Ruthless Records–, he holds no punches and says whatever the fuck he wants. And afterall, isn’t that what hip hop is supposed to be?

 

Birthed in the run-down streets of New York and Los Angeles, it emerged 30 years ago as a public awareness announcement about how life really was for millions of people in this country. After decades of mainstream co-opting, the genre has turned into a glorified commercial, promoting alcohol, partying and acquiring material possessions most Americans will never be able to afford. Thankfully, Hopsin rejects all of it. This is the same dude that once tweeted, “I can’t stand Hollywood bitches. Show your worth through your mind not your jewelry, fake friends and your fake tits.”

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On October 7, 2016, Hopsin played a killer show at the Catalyst Club in Santa Cruz to fans excitement. This was my second time seeing him live and once again, he did not disappoint. His energy and anger was in full form and he blazed through a set of fan–and his own–favorites throughout his career. He’s easily one of the best rappers performing today, even if the radio won’t play his tracks. Shit, that just makes him more credible.

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SEVEN LIONS X ILLENIUM X SAID THE SKY – “RUSH OVER ME” FEAT. HALIENE

Sometimes a song is perfectly named and “Rush Over Me” by Seven Lions,  IlleniumSaid The Sky and featuring Haliene is just that: a rush of melodic beauty.

I find it an interesting track because normally you don’t see that many producers on one song. The old saying, “too many cooks spoils the soup” easily translates to music as the medium is filled with collaborations that look good on paper but make your ears want to commit hari kari (Metallica and Lou Reed, anyone?).

However, “Rush Over Me” is different.

It flows softly, building up to a powerful rush guided by the producers and captured with Haliene’s voice. Even the image chosen for the track encompasses the song nicely. It would be the perfect track to play at a fest under the Northern Lights.

Seven Lions–aka Jeff Montalvo from Santa Barbara–has built his career blending trance and dubstep for a personal style that resonates with listeners. His second EP, Days To Come made it to number 10 on the Billboard Electronic Chart and he was named “America’s Best DJ” in 2014 by DJ Times.

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It makes sense that he would work well with Illenium (aka Nick Miller), a bass producer from Colorado who got his start after seeing once Santa Cruz DJ, Bassnectar, at Red Rocks in 2012. Earlier this year, Illenium dropped his debut album, Ashes, which received critical acclaim from Rolling Stone, Billboard and others.

While not much could be found about Said the Sky (aka Trevor Christensen), I was able to find out he is also a Colorado native (maybe that’s how Illenium knows him?). It seems he’s still coming up in the scene  but has already released a grip of remixes and original tracks on his soundcloud.

Haliene is an amazingly powerful and seductive singer who made her break with Seven Lions, last year. Since then she has gone on to work with Illenium (separately from this track), Breathe Carolina and other award-winning artists. Definitely someone we will be seeing more of in the very, very near future. Especially if “Rush Over Me” is just a taste of her talent.

But wait, there’s more! If you’re in Santa Cruz, Seven Lions will be playing at the Catalyst Club TONIGHT for you to get your trance on. See you there!

Peaches – Live at the Catalyst Club 10/4/16

After being a fan for years, I finally had a chance to learn the teaches of Peaches in person. Friends, let me tell you, it was everything I’d hoped for and more.

For those of you who haven’t listened to new music in twenty years, Peaches was born in Canada and cut her teeth in the underground electronic scene before moving to Germany where she was signed to Kitty-Yo. It was here that she released her iconic second album, The Teaches of Peaches. 

Brash, unapologetically sexual, catchy and smart, Peaches music decimates boundaries and questions everything. Since writing such hits like “Fuck the Pain Away,” she has gone on to take the world by storm. This year she released her sixth album, Rub and set off on a world tour.

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Peaches opened up with the title track off her new album, complete with a giant fury suit that could’ve been a second-hand Sesame Street costume and it only got more fun from there. Throughout the show a male and female dancer would accompany her through outfit changes of giant vaginas, multiple breasts, leather harnesses and then full-blown on-stage masturbation at the end. For the first encore, opener Christeene–with her own sexually charged and envelope-pushing ways–joined Peaches before she closed the show with “Light in Places” complete with the house lights off and laser-flashing buttplugs inside all three performers.

Throughout the entire show the audience was wildly dancing and free, celebrating themselves and the gift of being alive. Liberation is a wonderful thing, my friends. Never be afraid to push your boundaries or else you’ll never know if your unbreakable. Peaches is a testament to that. If you can catch her on the remaining part of her tour, we euphorically suggest you do so.

 

 

BASSNECTAR & G. JONES – “MIND TRICKS” FEAT. LAFA TAYLOR

As Santa Cruz bass producer, G. Jones, gets ready for his What The Festival performance in Oregon tonight, we’re give YOU  a listen to his latest banger, “Mind Tricks.”  This four minute track finds Jones teaming up with two other NorCal alumni, Bassnectar and Lafa Taylor for an existential dive down the rabbit hole–well, earholes really. With piercing whistles and drugged-out, tripped-out loop vocals, it’s easy to see why this badboy already had over 40,000 listens in 72 hours.

This all begs the question: is “Mind Tricks” an indication of more tasty collaborations to come? With the festival season in full-swing there are a lot of chances for artists to meet-up over a few beers and discuss upcoming tracks. So, we’ll just have to keep our ears to the ground and eyes peeled because 2016 is only half-way done and a lot of our favorite artists are just getting started.

Make sure to check out our FREE, LAFA TAYLOR show at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz on July 2nd before he rocks the Northern Nights festival 7/15-17.

 

 

 

LAFA TAYLOR – LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE 2016 RECAP VIDEO

In case you haven’t noticed, Los Angeles based producer and rapper, Lafa Taylor, has been murdering the music scene lately. Earlier this month he dropped not one, but TWO collaborations he’s featured on. One with major acts Beats Antique (“Killer Bee”)  and the other with a producer who got his start in Santa Cruz,  Bassnectar (“Speakerbox”). This comes after a string of constant touring and playing some of the year’s biggest festivals, like Serenity Gathering, Envision and Lightning In a Bottle.

For those who might’ve missed it due to poor decision making, Lafa just dropped a LIB 2016 Recap video, produced by Michael Daniel. Featuring the Starro remix of his and Aabo’s song, “Run To Me,” the two minute feature transcends the festival’s feelings of community and love.

Wide, aerial drone footage sweeps across the screen, landing on Taylor’s set that’s clearly a party for the audience and performers. Dancers, back-up singers and a stage full of fans, Lafa’s energy is clearly contagious as slow-motion shots capture the sea of smiles. Look closely and you might even see a familiar face or three.

Make sure to catch Lafa Taylor in July at the Catalyst Club in Santa Cruz and at the Northern Nights Music Festival in Cooks Valley between Humboldt and Mendocino Counties.