Author Archives: lakos

Underground at a glance (Austin, TX)

I don’t know about you, but I find one of the best ways to discover underground music is to follow the breadcrumbs between artists, collectives, and independent labels, and sometimes this starts with a physical place. Back in April I spent a week in Austin with some of the people that make up the underground music scene there, and I’ve been eager to share my findings since. From metaphysical meanderings and Brainfeeder-esque experiments to lo-fi easy listening and, of course, no shortage of hip hop beats, there’s an endless variety to enjoy. This post barely scratches the surface! So, without further ado, here are some choice cuts to help you get acquainted.

lungfulls has been on my radar since I first heard “finite time here”: minimal, meditative, nature-inspired, like trickling water. Wake up with the sun and let your mind wander to his latest EP, “Palo Santo.”

With lungfulls comprising one of four in Azimuth Records, it should come as no surprise that the other three are producing equally-captivating music. Check em out!

Throwback to altura’s “waiting,” since we are still waiting on that EP… I’m joking. (Sort of.) But this one I’m very excited for, because it’s altura’s meticulous attention to detail that’s behind the hold-up. Pulling influences from Lapalux and FlyLo, upcoming “Light Leaks” will experiment with outdated technology as if to create the sound equivalent for its name (“A Color Map of the Sun”, anyone? Pretty Lights earned a Grammy nomination for that ground-breaking contribution. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, go listen. Go listen right now!)

Here’s one with The Deli, whose most recent EP “Encounters” will make you melt like butter under the hot Texas sun. Smooth as guacamole and fresher than pico de gallo… I ate a lot of TexMex okay?

For laid-back mixes, I recommend listening through JuiceLand Radio, which posts DJ sets for JuiceLand’s record store, Exploded Records. Of course, if you’re ever in Austin, hit up JuiceLand, too, because where else can you peruse a curated selection of beats, bass & jazz while shooting back shots of wheatgrass and yerba mate?! (I mean… LA, probably. But you get the gist.)

emune’s is a good place to start. Not be confused with his Radio Juicy mix, which is another one to put on for an evening bean bag chair sesh. Just me…?

emune heads up the ALWAYS PROPER crew with masterfully-spun lo-fi jazz & hip hop journeys to let you kick back and forget the bullshit for a while. I’ve listened to a lot of emune and I gotta say, his EP “Retaliate” is still my favourite. Lots of thought-provoking samples sprinkled throughout. Link takes you to Bandcamp where it’s free for download.

I’m gonna leave off here because this post is getting hella long and the June sun is calling to me. Butactuallyonelastthing–

Shouts out to Amarillo-based SVNSET WAVES for hosting an endless stream of experimental gold on their Soundcloud. Been on this page for daaaays.

Don’t forget to follow the artists, y’all!

Cosmo’s Midnight and Tibe at Newspeak Montreal

Saturday night’s party at Newspeak was exactly what I was looking for after a slow, meandering week of bad news and playing catch up. House DJ Cerise opened the show when a last minute hitch-up forced Whereisalex to cancel his appearance. Crowds remained sparse till 11:30/12, as is the standard at Newspeak. Not sure if it’s the venue or the city, but maybe all y’all used to Vancouver shows ending at 1 am can sympathize with me. This grandma had to drink two cups of coffee and take a power nap just to keep up.


Montreal’s Tibe came on with a set to rattle your teeth from start to finish, mixing his original trap with some of Whereisalex’s remixes & hip hop crowd-pleasers (raindrop, droptop, smokin on the blahblahblah). Really though, is there anything better than a set of dark, dirty bass music on a Saturday night? I’m sure you’re all with me on that. The guy was focused, and not for nothing. Definitely someone to check out if you’re looking to get better acquainted with Montreal’s underground bass scene.

I was a little sad to see only half of Aussie duo Cosmo’s Midnight make it out, especially after spotting Tibe’s twin brother & fellow producer brtrnd on stage with them. How novel would it have been to see two pairs of talented producer twins in one place? But it was a bangin’ set anyways, mostly because Cosmo’s Midnight has released a lot of killer singles over the last few years that I’ve vibed with yet never listened to all in close succession before. Very high energy, perfect for dancing.

Remember “Goodnight”? Fun fact: this was the first song I ever posted on FC.

Wish I could post a date for a Vancouver appearance, but unfortunately its all USA from here. Peeps in Quebec can catch Tibe live in Quebec City on March 30th.  Huge thanks to Newspeak for hosting the show, even if they do always try to bully me into checking my coat (nevar!)


Tibe – Discovery

Montreal’s Tibe is killin’ it with the trap singles these days, blending atmospheric synths with bouncy beats to get your vertebrae vibrating. Yow!

I’m diggin’ the slow lead-up and smooth descent in Tantivity. The intricacy and well-timed switch-ups are seriously refreshing in a city as dominated by techno and progressive house as Montreal. Makes me wanna gro0ove, how bout you?

Tibe’s been stacking up with some big names as of late, doing a show with Whatsonot last summer and opening for Baauer on multiple occasions. If you’re dying to get down and dirty to this guy’s smoke-and-sparks sound, look no further than Saturday, February 25th at Newspeak. Should pair nicely with Cosmo’s Midnight’s bubbly, feel-good music and the hip hop remixes Whereisalex has been making a name for himself with. Actually though, I would love to give a flying high five to whoever organized this line up. Thank you, Newspeak.

Like what you hear? Show your support for the artist on social media!

Soundcloud / Facebook / Instagram

Noer the Boy – Modulate


Been streaming Noer the Boy’s Soundcloud nonstop since I got my new speaker system and I feel like I’m hearing his stuff for the first time.  So many layers of intricate beat weaving. I’d say his music borders on sound art for the way it experiments with timing, switch-ups, and futuristic sounds. Never heard anything quite like it.

Noer the Boy’s got a hand in some really sweet collectives throughout the States, namely Noh Life of Milwaukee (Strehlow, harris cole) and California’s Courteous Family (Tsuruda, Woolymammoth) where the bar is high and output is even higher. If you’re not already acquainted… damn son, you are in for a treat.

I love it when I discover a dope artist on Soundcloud who’s actively touring and luckily this is one of those times. You can catch Noer the Boy with DJ Shadow at the Commodore on October 2nd (tomorrow!), and in major cities across North America over the next few months, including Montreal & Toronto.

Filed under music to float in the void to.

Noer the Boy
Soundcloud / Facebook / Tour dates


blake scowron – when

Chicago’s blake scowron is churning out gold these days, and let me tell you, he ain’t no one trick pony.

I love it when I stumble upon an artist who releases sweet, warm summer evening tracks like this one and then the next song plays and I’m just like… holy shit. He’s putting it DOWN.

Makes sense, since this is also the guy that produced one of my favorite trap singles…

As one of many talented up & coming artists in Milwaukee-based music collective Noh Life (harris cole, Noer the Boy), I think it’s safe to say we can expect the quality to continue.

blake scowron
Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter


altura – waiting

Altura is Taylor White from Dallas, Texas. Having spent some time in BC and WA, he’s now headed to Austin to focus on music full-time with artist collective Azimuth Records, so my sense is that we can expect to see some more mindblowing music coming from him in not too long at all. In the meantime, enjoy this dreamy, layered track as a preview for his upcoming album, which will probably be full of intricate, Fly-Lo-inspired electronica (with a metaphysical twist).

Soundcloud / Facebook

Kermode – Between Mountain And Moon

Kermode is one of the Vancity bass scene’s treasures IMHO. He has been steadily raising the bar with his detailed productions for the last 3 or 4 years, and last month was the release of his first full-length album, full of bouncy, upbeat, glitchy goodness. Best part about Kermode being local is that you can find him playing his bubbly bass live in Vancouver now and then if you like his page on Facebook. Some of us were even lucky enough to catch his first Shambhala set at Living Room this year, a sure sign of big things to come. Anyway, give it a listen and name your price because this baby is by donation.

Soundcloud / Facebook / Twitter

Stay Gold, Bass Coast (2016 review)

Credit: Neil McElmon

The Main Stage. Photo (c) Neil McElmon

Another year, another fantastic show of talent by some of BC’s finest new media artists over at Bass Coast Project. After a week of the usual 9-5 desk work I couldn’t wait to get back to Nicola Valley, where the sun was shining despite the insane rainstorm we drove through to get there. (Anyone wishing to get caught up can read last year’s review here.)

I had to leave early on Sunday for a funeral, so unfortunately I can’t offer any insight into the final acts, but read on for a tour of the festival and the first two days’ highlights.

This year’s celebration was sold out months in advance (including early entry!), but with a capped attendance of 3000 people, things never felt too crowded. One of my favourite things about Bass Coast is the size. Getting in and out is a breeze, and so is carving out some room next to your friends if they happen to arrive early. Nobody pays extra to camp with their car which is also a huge plus.

So many hot people... Photo (c) Pollinator

So many hot people… Photo (c) Pollinator

The theme this summer was black and gold, which turned all the festivalgoers into literal eye candy. As if people who attend Babe Coast weren’t sexy enough… that shit had me questioning my sexuality!

La Cantina, Bass Coast’s least stage-y stage, was actually bumping some pretty sweet acts on Friday night with Dubconscious keeping things light in the evening and Goopsteppa‘s deep, bass-heavy set of spacey minimalism closer to dawn.

As much as I love the music at Bass Coast, I think I like the art even more, if only because it’s so rare — a sandbox of pure novelty, perfect for exploring between sets. The forest at the center of the three main stages serves as an interactive playground of multimedia installations. As expected, this year’s crop did not fail to amaze. There was a giant rotating, colour-changing kaleidoscope that you could stick your face into so it encompassed your entire field of vision, and a gumball machine that spat out little capsules containing missions! There was also a cozy black-lit platform painted with intricate patterns, ideal for midnight chillin’, upon which I encountered a HUGE beetle that shimmered like a gasoline puddle! (At least… I think that happened?)

“The Registroid”. Photo (c) Khaos Photos

Artist duo Monkey C Interactive deserves a special shout-out for creating two of the most engaging pieces at this year’s incarnation. The Registroid is an antique cash-register-turned-DJ controller that always had a crowd of people surrounding it. Anyone who played with the Registroid for long enough was rewarded when the drawer popped open to reveal a hidden trading post full of treasures to choose from.


“Remix Railings”. Photo (c) Joe Flow

Monkey C also turned the railings of the bridge leading to the campground into a DJ controller, with touch-sensitive points triggering beats courtesy of longtime Bass Coast performer Longwalkshortdock. It was always a pleasure passing over the bridge to see people running their fingers along the railings and discovering that even the bridge was interactive.

Aside from La Cantina, Bass Coast has three stages: Slay Bay, Pirate Radio, and the Main Stage. I caught SkiiTour at Pirate Radio on Saturday Night, who are known for filling the air at their shows with fake snow (bubbles and foam!).

Combined with the light show and the incredible dance music SkiiTour was feeding us, I was completely overwhelmed by the mastery of it all. Pirate Radio has a huge net suspended between trees for partiers to relax in (a blessing). In the morning, it offered back-to-back yoga classes.

Slay Bay was done up like a steampunk distillery for DJs to cook up beats behind. Situated right by the water with a newly established bar next door, Slay Bay is the place to be in the daytime. Lighta! Sound hosted the annual reggae jam here on Saturday afternoon.

The main stage provides a platform for some of the more eccentric acts at the festival (I’m looking at you, Blondtron), including those that need the extra space to move, like female dance group Luciterra. My favourite set here definitely had to be Ekali’s on Friday night, a gritty, hip-hop inspired mix that saw even the spacious main stage packed with people.

Bass Coast also hosts a series of thought-provoking workshops throughout the day. Class subjects ranged from tea to music production to how-to’s for successful threesomes ;)

I won’t ramble on too much about logistics, but there are a few things that I feel really set Bass Coast apart when it comes to how it is run. No corporate sponsorship, no price gouging, and no cutting corners around artist compensation. Visual artists receive grants to complete projects for the event. Everyone gets paid. Considering how small Bass Coast is (and how often organizers offer artists “exposure” as compensation), this is significant. They’ve also got a kickass team of people in charge of harm reduction over at the festival’s Sanctuary, ensuring 24-hour access to a wide scope of safety-centric resources.

While I was attending the media orientation I ran into a delightful gentleman, Eamon Armstrong, who was covering Bass Coast for Fest300. Eamon passed on an interesting piece of advice about festival writing: he suggested writing not about the music or schedule of events, but the human condition within the context of that environment. His words reminded me of last year, when I dropped my wallet and collected it 10 minutes later from the lost and found with all $200 cash untouched. Then I thought back to my first year, where I fell into a funk on the last day and reenergized by collecting hugs from strangers until I no longer felt out of place.

Music festivals can be overwhelming at times, but I always feel empowered by the knowledge that everyone is looking out for each other, contributing to a communal good vibe that fuels the individual each time they glance around. There is something that changes in people when they’re given the chance to get out of the rat race and celebrate life at an event dedicated entirely to the beauty of human expression; a kind of fullness that overflows into a desire to give rather than take. Bass Coast is a perfect example of that.

Thank you Bass Coast Project! Until next time!

Jade Cicada / Wonky Llama – Noms EP

Wuuuaaaaaahuuuuhhhhaaaabbbaaaddaaa this dub track by Massachusetts producer Jade Cicada wants to stretch my brain through space and time… probably the best Rick & Morty inspired track I’ve heard to date (and I’ve heard a lot). Generalizing his own style as a combination of garage, 8 bit, ambient, glitch, neuro, drum and bass, and hip hop, Jade Cicada’s music seems to emulate a controlled explosion, bursting with layers of intricate details. If wubb got your attention, his collabs are not to be missed! The track below is even free for download!

On repeat as of late is his EP Noms (co-produced with Houston’s schmoop under the name Wonky Llama). Seriously. Listen.


Jade Cicada
Facebook | Soundcloud | Official