MAGIC BRONSON – “FINE LINE”

We here at Euphoric love the Los Angeles based electronic pop and rock act, Magic Bronson. They’ve played Santa Cruz on several occasions as a touring band and as part of the Santa Cruz Music Festival. Formed in 2012, Magic Bronson began as an electronic duo between producers Matthew Lieberman and Michael Nicastro. In 2014 they dropped their first LP, Wildlife which was named the 14th best Los Angeles record in 2014 by BuzzbandsLA. It has now garnered over 500 thousands plays on Spotify.

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This year saw quite a bit of change and growth for the Bronson. In April they released the Magic Bronson EP and picked up a third member, drummer Michael Brown.

Yesterday the boys posted a new–well, new to us–track on their Soundcloud, “Fine Line.” We say “new to us” because technically it is. As the graphic released with the song says, it’s part of the “Lost Songs 2012-2016” group. An older track for new times and it’s one many of us can relate to. The narrator describes his daily life of waking up “at the crack of noon,” checking texts, and hating the bright sunlight that’s always brighter “when you’re sober.” The chorus is something I know I’ve said many times, “Yeah, I’ve done some wrong/but oooh I’ve done some right/It’s a pretty fine line.” As always, Magic Bronson writes music their audience can identify themselves in but in a clever, upbeat way.

But this leads me to the next question, is this a one-off track they found? Are they releasing an entire album or EP called “The Lost Songs?” According to their Facebook, Magic Bronson is set to push a new album in 2017, but no word as to what it will contain. I’ll keep you posted, Euphorites.

 

HIPPIE SABOTAGE – “OPTIONS”

“My idle hands lead to evil thoughts, that’s what I was told,” begins the latest track from Sacramento hip-hop duo, Hippie Sabotage. “Options” is a slow jam, track with more balls than Hillary Clinton facing indictment. Which makes sense after a video was released two weeks ago of the band fighting security at Portland’s, What The Festival.

The song continues with lines, “So let the demons hang me up, ’cause motherfucker I ain’t dead ’til I say so. Cause I’ve been fighting all my fucking life, so I’m gonna say it til the fucking end.” Abrasive words that speak volumes to anyone who has felt down-and-out, or whoever had someone tell them they’re on the wrong path by following their dreams.

But keep in mind, even if you have options and give the middle finger to the world, that also means having to deal with the fall-out. Hippie Sabotage knows. Yesterday,  the Low End Theory Festival tweeted Hippie Sabotage WILL NOT be playing the Los Angeles music fest, although the tweet failed to divulge the specific reason.

FORGETTING IT WITH TREE ON GETTER’S LATEST VIDEO

It’s Saturday, the weekend is here and we have an EUPHORIC EXCLUSIVE for you!

This week, San Jose native now Los Angelino, Getter, released a video phis tune “Forget It,” on Skrillex’s OWSLA label. The song is heavy-hitting and beat-filled, but also has an eerie thread of melancholy sewn throughout which becomes not-so-subtle in the video. With a budget for production and a song that combines such contradictory elements in a genre that praises optimism to the point of ignorance, it’s easy to see why the video has 152,000 views in under a week.

One of the elements that gives the song such a dark twist, comes from another Bay Area artist and one of our favorite local producers, Tree. While the 22 year old is currently a Los Angelino himself, finishing his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the infamous California Institute of the Arts (pretty much every one of your favorite Disney movies in the past 30 years were created by CalArts grads),  Tree hasn’t forgotten his Cruzan roots.

We met up with Tree on a hot, L.A. day for some cold coffee and deep thoughts on the “Forget It” video, his current projects and embracing pop music as a whole and not  just a genre.

Euphoric: So your Tree concept came about when you were a teenager on acid at Burning Man, right?

Tree: That’s when I had an outlet to pour all that energy into, instead of being reckless and doing/selling drugs. It gave me an opportunity to see that I have a chance to showcase what I do, to a large amount of people. I’m lucky to have found an outlet to do that.

E: And you did it well, too. You were signed right away.

T: For the first year, yeah, but that’s brought about a whole headache of issues, now. Whatever. I’m grateful to still be making art and nothing’s stopping me. I did take a break from music for a while, but I never stopped making art.

E: Let’s talk about the music video with Getter.

T: It should be out on tv–MTV–in America and the UK. I actually got this bowl cut because of the video and wanted to talk about that. It’s a statement for me. Everyone on the mainstream platform really take themselves seriously. They want to be sexy and pretty and all that. I got the bowl cut to make a statement that we should be able to laugh at ourselves. So I wanted to do something that would separate myself from everyone else. I thought, “How can I make myself look as ridiculous as possible?” and I think I accomplished that. We got some good shots of the haircut, too, even though it’s not about me at all. I play a cash register clerk. It’s a story about this guy who gets in a car crash with his wife and she dies. However, he’s a scientist so he tries to recreate her through cloning but he never gets the formula right. So the clones are bleeding and deformed. In the end, he realizes he won’t get her.

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E: You can’t go back

T: Exactly. And it ties in with the theme of the song which is called, “Forget It.” It’s about moving forward and letting go and the guy has that realization over the process. It was awesome to be part of a big production like that. I’ve never had the opportunity to be a part of something where they could flip cars or rent out stores to film. It’s on Skrillex’s label, OWSLA, which Getter is signed too. He recently moved to L.A. because it really is the Mecca of electronic and pop music. If you want to be in the recording industry, you need to be here. When I lived in San Francisco there was no scene anywhere close to this.

E: Will you be collaborating more with Getter?

T: Yeah, we have some work in the process now. I’m not sure if it will be an EP or album. He’s also helping me some new music I’ve been doing. We push each other into genres neither has really done before. Which is what happened with Forget It. If you listen, it’s all heavy-hitting EDM music with my light break in the center to cleanse your pallet. Actually I have a bunch of albums I’m trying to finish and some will be coming out this summer. At least one, called Squirt. It’s all old-school hip hop. It’s a tribute to J-Dilla so everything on it is inspired by him and that era of hip hop: old school and soulful. I’m excited about it. It’s in the middle of being mastered right now, so it’s almost finished.

E: Who’s mastering it?

T: My friend, Clay. Another student at CalArts.

E: Being there, you’re surrounded by so many people doing awesomely creative things. It must be rad being able to help each other out.

T: Totally. I think the biggest thing is knowing what you want to do, when you go to that school. A lot of people know they want to do art, but not in which field, exactly. At least a large percent say, “I know I want to do this, but where do I fit in?” So for me to have an exact idea where I fit in the spectrum and what I need to do, it propels me forward. I only have a very limited time at this school anyways, two years. It’s essential for me. I’m finishing up my BFA because, halfway through, I was offered the job to be a recording artist. I couldn’t skip that opportunity, that’s the dream job.

E: And to do it at such a young age, too.

T: But that allowed me to see where I sat in the spectrum, to find out what I’m good at and what I want to do. Which, in turn, has made my time at CalArts more directed. I’m very grateful for that even if it’s led to some headaches.

E: Well so much of what we do ends up stressing us out, anyway. I think it’s best to be stressed doing something you love than have a job you hate and wonder why you constantly put yourself through shit.

T: You definitely need to set the goals and you’ll reach them when you get there. You know? But you have to set some deadline and who cares if you reach it or not. Be ambitious. Do something that may not be realistic at all.

E: Talk about your last performance in Santa Cruz at the Kuumbwa.

T: I built two trees–one on each side of the stage–and had a 12×8 foot projector in the middle so we could do visuals from behind it. We also had bushes and stuff, it was cool because it was almost like a children’s playset. It was all beautifully painted and put together, but it definitely separates us from other acts. That’s also what I’ll be using with my thesis and touring.

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E: What’s your thesis?

T: This latest was a lot more psychedelic/hip hop and dance oriented. The next one will be more pop oriented but it will still be geared towards getting people to dance. This one was more live drumming and beats, but it was really big because I had to overcome the technical stuff.  I have two laptops set up, one with audio and the other with visuals. I run them through one MIDI and then send that into a patch so I can trigger audio and visuals at the same time. So I was really in control. Having the freedom to overcome the technical aspects was really essential, so I can take the show in different directions each night and I don’t have to play the exact same set.

E: So it’s not a pre-recorded video. You’re actually creating the visuals as you go along?

T: The videos were all pre-edited. A lot of the music I was working with had samples from the 1940’s and 50’s but merged with a modern spin. I found old school footage of people dancing and made it–it was almost like an old-school hip hop video, but from the 1950’s. So it had an older feel but still very modern. It wasn’t hip hop at all, but what I’m saying is, when you sync it with modern beats it creates the feel.

E: It shows that if it’s hip hop, big band, jazz or whatever. That’s the music of the time and ultimately it boils down to people enjoying life and having a good time.

T: Exactly. Especially with having samples, from the original source, in the music. It  syncs up and you think, “Oh, this makes sense.” It’s all part of one, consistent thing. It’s everyone contributing to an ongoing conversation.

E: It really is.

T: My goal is to take the mainstream platforms and inject them with art that inspires others. I want to breakthrough the mainstream and still put out work that I think is filled with art, love and passion. No matter what time frame we’re looking at, there’s always 5-10% of that mainstream that is incredible. Amazing things are happening but it’s hard to see that when there’s so much garbage. People always say, “Mainstream music sucks” but there’s always incredible stuff happening. It’s about being open to the idea that pop CAN be great. It’s not a genre, it’s literally just making something for the masses.

The intention behind your work has a really big part of this. Why are you doing this? Are you trying to make a bunch of money or are you trying to inspire people? That’s what makes the difference between the 5% and the other 95% of pop music that’s watered down. But there IS a time and place for all music. You don’t need to work your brain out 24/7 and you can listen to bad, fun music to relax. But you can also tell when the music has passion behind it.

E: Like punk rock. Half of the originators couldn’t play, but they had the passion.

T: People latch onto confidence. Be your biggest fan and your biggest critic. That’s the key.

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OLIVER TREE – SOULMOTHER, I LOVE YOU (FEAT. GETTER)

H-O-L-Y SHIT. Oliver Tree–the Santa Cruz artist formerly known just as Tree– is K-I-L-L-I-N-G it!!!! A homegrown musician who expanded his creativity on darkly dreamy lyrics and odd sounds found in the strangest of places is fresh off a song collaboration and video–“Forget It”–with Bay Area DJ, Getter. Then, two days ago, the college-age, now Los Angelino, artist drops another introspective and banging track. “Soulmother, I Love You,” of course, featuring Getter.

The track features familiar Tree sounds–distant voices, introspective lyrics–combined with faster beats and more layers than he has stacked in the past. It’s a return to his electronic roots with the age and experience of someone who knows what their doing. Don’t believe me? Give it a couple of plays and try picking out all the different sounds. At under 3 minutes, Tree keeps the punk ethic while growing within his art.

We can’t wait to see what he does next.

 

PROPHETS OF RAGE

Look, let’s be real. Shit’s getting bad out there in 2016. Global Warming, racial violence, terrorism, Donald Trump, all signs of our times and probably the Apocalypse. America, and the world, needs to hear more voices speaking up and shouting out. We need. . .the Prophets of Rage!

By now you might have heard the rumors that Rage Against the Machine members Tom Morello, Brad Wilk, and Tim Commerford will be regrouping. But wait, it gets better. They’ll be joined by Public Enemy’s own prophet of power, Chuck D., and the one-and-only B. Real of Cypress Hill.

A clock on the Prophetsofrage.com counting down to May 31, it appears the rumors are true. This week Chuck D tweeted teasers to his fans. Factmag.com is also reporting the band will make their live debut on June 3rd at the historic Hollywood Palladium, with a Whisky A-Go Go show to follow.