Category Archives: Music

Premiere: Mountain Of Youth – Kilimanjaro

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We break into a new week premiering a new direction being taken for the length of a series by California’s Mountain Of Youth. Most known for lofty House and Indie Dance numbers all of a more appeasing to softer souls variety, MOY will now focus on Downtempo Cinematic pieces for a time. At a BPM of just 75 and accompanied by melodic keys it can easily serve as a more drastic piece to the soundtrack of your travels. ‘Kilimanjaro’ is strongly encouraged for use in Performance Art / Contemporary Dance / Theatre / Film Score / Ballet by Mountain Of Youth. His having composed for names like AAA Game Titles & Independent Films is grounds enough to take heed from.

Mountain Of Youth –

Kilimanjaro is the first release in a new mountain themed series focused on freedom of expression. The series will feature music that engages your intellect and emotions; painting your imagination with vivid colors and textures.

The first story from Kilimanjaro is a tale of earthen dynamics. From adagio piano’s to pizzicato strings; the rise and fall of a land rich with history and secrets…

Mountain Of Youth – Facebook | Instagram | Soundcloud | Twitter

Shambhala 2014 with Joseph Martin

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East Van Digital label head and performer of Shambhala for many years knows better than many the cultural significance held by Salmo’s neighbourhood ranch. Being who he is and how long he has been entrenched in Western Canada’ music he offers up a unique perspective we are fortunate to hear first hand.

If you had a to pick two genres that have echoed throughout the years from the PK systems which would they be?
It’s no secret that a large part of the popularity of the Village at Shambhala is the sound provided by PK. They’ve made a home in the Village for years and their stage is renowned for all things drum & bass and Dubstep. In a sense, you could say that modern North American Dubstep was born there, having both inspired and championed artists like Excision & Datsik who have both had large rolls in bringing that genre to feverish heights.

Why has Shambhala been so successful in being a part of our piece of Western Canada’s music scene?
There are so many elements that come together to make an event like that successful over the span of 17+ years, the base of which is that it evolved from a grassroots music community and retains that ethos…that resonates with people. Next, obviously, is the music. A variety of acts that span across all electronic genres, with a healthy mix of homegrown and international artists, they are always ahead of the curve when it comes to booking talent, as well as providing an incredible stage for locals to showcase on.

What have you seen your artists (EVD) bring from Shambhala to the studio?
For many of our artists, Shambhala is the peak to their festival season, so for many veterans, who both play & stay for the event, we leave inspired, having soaked in a lot of fresh sounds in a short time. It’s also a prime place for artists to meet and discuss collaborations as creativity runs high in that environment.

If you had to narrow it down to one thing that the festival best represents for local artists what would it be?
I think the answer lies within the question: The festival best represents local artists. With regular attendance topping ten thousand people, Shambhala has been instrumental in giving locals centre stage and representation on par with international headliners.

Now that Shambhala Digital has come into play what does this mean for artists of the region?
It’s nice to see them take things a step further, this will provide even more exposure for artists affiliated with the festival, and get their music to a larger audience. They have a huge talent pool to work with, spanning multiple genres, so it should make for a nice representation of what is happening on the ground during the festival.

What were your highlights of 2014?
Playing my Caturday Morning Disco set to a dance floor full of people sporting cat themed attire was the top highlight for me. As an avowed house head, I did also manage to search out some great house music from My Nu Leng, Hannah Wants, Chris Lorenzo, Mark Farina, JGirl & Manousos, and Rich-E-Rich.

What does Shambhala mean to you?
Something different every time I go, all dependent on where I’m at in my life. In the early years, it was about having a blast with my friends. The last few years, with the introduction of the East Van Digital label, I’ve been more business focused. This year, I simply wanted to treat it as a genuine vacation with my girlfriend. Shambhala can be what you make it.


Joseph Martin – Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter | Website

East Van Digital – Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter | Website

Shambhala 2014 with ₵OL!И of Pigeon Hole

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It’s now time for a performers perspective in this interview series. From aspiring to attained our focus remains on the island. ₵OL!И of Pigeon Hole of the Sweatshop union has performed, been featured and appeared on the festivals first digital leg release. Listen, love, learn and motivate.

How does Shambhala stand apart from other festivals?
It’s hugeness…the sound…the stages…the experience. You’re basically on a camping trip with some of the greatest DJ’s you could hope to see, all your friends and thousands of great strangers. It’s amazing. It just breathes life into you.

Performance wise, what’s the vibe you feel from audiences, crowd and performers all round?
The vibe is great. I just feel so comfortable and welcome out there you know. Like you’d think you’d be a little more shook or anxious to play out there but everyone is so happy and you just buzz of that. It’s awesome.

From an artists perspective what does the festivals new label mean?
I mean for me its like getting a stamp of approval from one of the most influential and respected festivals out there. We were definitely honoured to be a part of the first release.

How doe’s the label potentially affect Western Canadian artists reach?
I’m not too sure. I guess we’ll have to wait and see. I know Shambhala itself has a massive reach so hopefully the label will evolve to have that same reach.

Are you confident the label will represent the region accurately?
Absolutely.

If you had to narrow it down to one thing that the festival best represents for local artists what would it be?
The best time you’ll have all year.

If you had a to pick two genres that have echoed throughout the years from the PK systems which would they be?
For me hearing Dubstep on that system a few years back was insane. It made me want to make my tunes LARGER. Drum and Bass too. Some of the best sets I’ve seen at the Village have been drum and bass.

What were your highlights of 2014?
The funk jam for sure. I danced from the first to last track with a shit eating grin on my face haha! So many talented dudes playing.

What does Shambhala mean to you?
Shambhala is a game changer. It changed my whole process of making music. It even changed the way I view day to day life. For me the first time going it was the kind of experience I left feeling like a better, happier person. It actually feels like my life shifted gears after that first time.

Pigeon Hole – Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter

Keepers – One Of My Kind (Original Mix)

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Future Funk is kreeping in from all directions. Very subtly mind you, but there non the less. Be it a Soundcloud binge, your favourite New Disco producers latest, a Mr. Carmack collabo etc. etc. Denver Colorado’s and Night Supply Records Keepers works in a lil hint of Zap & Rodger feel into a dark n’ Housey number. PM them for the WAV.

Keepers – Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter

Junior Mafia – Get Money (Slot-A Remix)

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Two major points to the track before you. One, Slot-A is someone who you should be on board with. The second is that ‘Get Money’ is too seldom taken on by remixers. Perhaps many feel it’s a jem on it’s own enough. So cudo’s out to Slot-A for taking it on and getting that beat ishh intertwined.

Slot-A – Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter

Shambhala 2014 with Whipped Cream

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Being what it is, Shambhala is a landmark career note for producers and DJ’s alike of the local variety. Who would turn down the opportunity to perform before your friends, family, province, your coast? A right of passing even, one many aspire towards. The following words from Vancouver Island based Whipped Cream touch on what Shambhala instills those on the front line scene trenches encircling the festival for the remaining 361 days on the West Coast of Bass.

Which stage speaks most to you, and why?
This year I spent the majority of my time at the The AMPhitheatre stage, in my books it had the best bookings this year. Lot’s of the soul guys that haven’t peaked yet, the future sound, alot of Hip Hop and soul shit, so vibeeeyy. I loved it and danced the hardest and lowest there .

The Village as well, anytime a soul wants to go hard as fuck thats the stage to go too, they had some tight bookings as always as well. Had a great time at that beach stage on Friday Afternoon. Mat The Alien threw down the sickest day time set, FUCK it was good – And Sunday the Pagoda had me in another world, Justin Martin had the best set of the whole weekend (Falcons close behind).

And last but not least I can never leave the Fractal Forest. It’s not always my music of choice thats playing but it’s just the over all everything of it. For layout and vibe that stage is my favourite. Trop Killaz killed it there (we neeed more hip hop vibes up in that stage) ;) ;)

How does Shambhala stand out from the festival pack?
Shambhala creates a different feeling the majority of all festivals world wide. When you are at Shambhala it feels as if you are almost all sharing the same mind space, there are the most caring heartfelt music loving people on the planet at Shambhala. Really there is not words to describe it, it’s just a feeling you feel, a way of life, and an inspiration to keep living that way once your off the ranch. Shambhala creates an inhuman amount of music addicts and its a huge boost to all the artists because when somebody hears a set on a magical ranch in the mountains they are compelled to religiously follow that artist.

Does the festival influence the scene round you during the remainder of the year?
It definitely influences the music direction year round because it opens peoples minds! I remember before going to my first year believing I didn’t like some types of music, I just never listened to them, but after going to this festival I had a huge awakening and am forever grateful that I learned to appreciate every single genre of music. I will always respect the music, because the music is art, and that comes from another humans soul.

Does Shambhala motivate you for the remainder of the year?
MAN! Coming home from a festival is the most exciting thing for me, I must say I am still a raging fire ball of energy. For a week straight on the come down from Shambhala I was in my bed room for 10 hours a day making music… There was no if’s or but’s or want’s to go outside. There still really isn’t. I’m inspired to make music more than ever.

What makes Shambhala special?
People call this place home and honestly, yah, it’s really fucking nice to be around all like minded loving people who are there for the music, I mean thats why I do this, to connect with other people. Theres nothing like it.. I get chills thinking about it.

When can we expect #YungHeadliner to perform? Care to call out a year? Me and my close friends all held on hoping that we might get a last minute call on playing till literally the morning of leaving for the farm lol. I really wanted to play this year, but it didn’t happen. Honestly tho being there and having so many beautiful people come up to me asking if I was playing this year, finding out I wasn’t, then have them re-assure me I would be booked next year.. That was humbling enough. So my based gawds 2015 bass lords, 2015v xoxoxoxo x

Whipped Cream – Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter

K-Rec- Third Beach EP

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Something about a beer on a blissed-out summer evening. No, wait- something about a beer on a blissed-out summer evening on the west coast. Those visiting always come around to commenting on the pace, as do those returning home and remembering what they’d missed. What’s the hurry? Those battles between the trees and mountains and the islands and ocean- oh yeah, and then the huge one taking place between the battles themselves- well, they are all taking their time (geologic) and we can only fight against that so much. K-Rec gets this and I would say that his recent “Third Beach” EP is proof of that.

Released last month, I am insistent that the influence of time and place was vital to the final product. Us here on the west coast are just finishing off the most consistently gorgeous/oppressive summer that anyone can remember. Who can think straight in this kind of heavy heat? Certainly not me; the EP’s been out for nearly a month, I knew I had the task of reviewing it, and yet now is the best I could do. Where’s the logic in that? Don’t worry: there is none, so you can just move on.

Thankfully, there are great things to report on. Aside from it being a fitting soundtrack to an exceptional summer, it has reasons to keep you listening well into fall and to give it spins again next year once we do it all over again. Somehow, K-Rec has accomplished that timeless pacing that comes across as both immediate yet patient, simultaneously upfront yet relaxed. It’s like a glacier, albeit a melting one. Moreover, the tracks are actually brief despite their pacing. The sketch-like quality to the instrumental passages leave you wanting more of the place depicted, much in the same way Boards of Canada tease you with mere glimpses into worlds you didn’t know you wanted to be in. In fact, Boards of Canada is a good reference point, given their tendency for field recordings. Blissful surf and beach-going excerpts feature prominently, sometimes appearing to run continuously throughout the entirety of songs. Vinyl cracks and surf blend together so well, you give up trying to discern between them. The end result is that you have no choice but to be “with” the place.

And why wouldn’t you want to, really? From the get-go, environment is key, but it’s always the place to be. “Introduction” pits the beach up against jump-cut soul samples to ease us in yet keep the interest. The dreamy, lazy vocals of Chaplyn cascade all over the first proper track, “Best Foot.” The warm, optimistic R&B vibes feel reminiscent of Blackalicious, with the lax xylophone moments conjuring images of nocturnal pool ripples illuminating on nearby surfaces. She may be speaking actual words in there somewhere, but that hardly seems like the point.

Next comes “My Loves,” the highlight, the keeper, the catchiest of the bunch. At barely 3 minutes, it leaves you longing, like any true moment of bliss. K-rec loops and layers brief soul and orchestral excerpts to create a singular moment that keeps you essentially in a wash. Checkmate delivers verses that complement the vibe, the take-away moment still that detached, semi-obscure line that somehow serves as a chorus- “I’m floatin’ in and out of consciousness and they sayin’ I’m ___…” It has the right amount of “there” and an intriguing amount of “gone.”

As far as instrumentals go, “Jealous” takes even more center stage than the vocal songs. A mish-mash of upbeat soul samples functions like the kind of intermissions that are bent on sustaining and carrying your interest over rather than giving you a break. This somehow carries well into “Confused,” a dual guest vocal track between Heatwave and Lamar Ashe that is noticeably more relaxed. Environment is still key and this is emphasized with a chorus built-up of soothing airy frequencies, be them synth, voice, sample or other. The active ear to the production, that of constant alterations to the beats and samples, is reminiscent of the RZA in earlier Wu-Tang Clan, especially in the way that location becomes a voice itself. It makes me wonder what “Enter the Wu” would have sounded like were it channeling daytime on the rural west coast rather than nighttime in the eastern urban epicenter. Probably not nearly as pissed off and great. Regardless, it’s not actually worth considering. “Happiness” closes the bunch, carrying on in the same vein as the introductory and intermediary instrumentals. “Let the music take your mind” is the soulful mantra that lingers as the tidbit of soul samples and beats fades out into whatever your brain hedonistically wants to do next.

So, the ultimate question: why would I bother to give another click to the little forward-facing arrow button on Soundcloud? Really: with all of that new stimulation available to me, why would I? Well, with that perfect soundtrack vibe, the rich array of soul and r&b sampling, an optimism faithfully consistent with other west coasters Blackalicious, song titles that evoke the basic emotions that someone brain-dead from the heat would be restricted to expressing, a risk-free duration that doesn’t even break 20 minutes, and a song as undeniably catchy and dreamy as “My Loves,”… why… wouldn’t… I?

So, here we go. Cheers.

 

K-Rec – Facebook | Instagram | Soundcloud | Twitter

Shambhala 2014 with Betty of Betty & Kora

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As a pair of festival goers who attend a list of festivals that could ware you out just looking at, Betty & Kora offer up a unique take on BC’s free standing independent fest. The one and only Shambhala. Being known as nurturer or family, community and warmth stands it apart yet again as a leader in what many know as PLUR. One of Electronic music’s defining characteristics. And so we open up the Shambhala 2014 interview series with one of the pair of the best suited judges to describe what Shambhala means the community in which they themselves play a vital role in.

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How much of an inspiration has Shambhala been to.. Betty? Since Kora is at burning man at this point.

Betty: In all honesty, Shambhala Music Festival has changed our lives indefinitely for many reasons. The team over at Shambhala really gave us our ‘start’ in what we’re doing today. Gordon Blunt, Britz Bitz and Corrine were instrumental in giving us one of our first official media passes and were incredibly supportive with the content that we created after our first Shambhala in 2013. Fast forward to 2014, Britz and The Confluence Group along with the stage managers, Gordon Blunt (VJ of the trademarked Fractal Forest) in conjunction with several media outlets (The Festival Guy and Fest300) who we met during Shambhala both in 2013 and 2014 have supported, shared and posted our content. Our motto is that “we all work better together” and the crew at Shambhala really exemplifies that.

On a more personal level we met our friend and current Videographer Jim Vanderhorst who has been such an incredible team member, creating all videos and interviews over the past year. I met my current roommates at Shambhala and most of our new friendship circle met at Camp Moo in 2013. We’ve traveled with/for and are incredibly close with Steve and John from Fort Knox Five, Skiitour, The Funk Hunters, Slynk, GRiZ, Whiskey Chief, Neon Steve, Odesza, Neighbour, Sam Demoe and The Gaff…it’s insane how the artists you love suddenly become your home boys at Shambhala. No festival on earth brings people together like this one.

How does Shambhala stand apart from other festivals?

Betty: The first thing that stands out in my mind is they have zero corporate sponsorship and they own the land. This allows them to build what they want where they want and don’t have to answer to financial backers. It’s incredibly rare to find a festival of this size without corporate backing. Second, they put an insane amount of work into the art and ambiance, creating the most insane staging and infrastructure I have ever seen. The Fractal Forest is trademarked for gods sake!! It’s that good! Third, harm reduction is a top priority for Shambhala and it shows. Water fill-up stations are everywhere, they have a safe zone for women and men, The Sanctuary for those that require individual attention, a massive medical task force, signage everywhere from ‘safe sex and mutual consent’ to ‘have you drank enough water today?’ They take peoples mental, emotional and physical incredibly seriously and work hard to take care of their family.

Why has Shambhala been so successful in being a part of our piece of Western Canada’s music scene?

Betty: In all honesty Shambhala should be commended on keeping it real for the past seventeen years. They’ve never strayed from who they are, even back in the day when electronic music was considered by many as this fringe rave culture – Shambhala embraced it. They are the platform that many electronic artists got their start on and have been instrumental in developing the Canadian and international electronic music scene.

If you had to narrow it down to one thing that the festival best represents for local artists what would it be?

Home, leverage and support. Barnone. For many Western Canadian artists Shambhala is like the original school yard stomping ground for electronic music. It’s been instrumental and supportive and is a homecoming for veterans and newbies alike. Talent buyers not only book huge headliners but actively seek out up-and-coming artists that will blow your mind.

Being as involved in the festivals culture as you are you are sure to have seen what Shambhala has instilled in the music community over the years. Can you list a couple of things in the local scene(s) that are Shambhala that last year round?

Betty: The biggest lasting impression that Shambhala creates year round and worldwide is the sense of family and community that spans out far after the festival closes its gates. In every city there seems to be Shambhala reunion parties and special Shambhala shows featuring artists that have played years past. In Vancouver the new monthly that started in February 2014 called “Home” showcases Shambhala talent and is organized by Sarah and Hoola the managers of The Living Room Stage. People celebrate the festival year round which not only maintains the excitement for the following year but builds the connection between those that go back ‘home’ year after year. I don’t know any other festival that is this celebrated, it’s awesome.

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Have you tried to incorporate favourite aspects of Shambhala into your own festival, Tall Tree?

Betty: Tall Tree Music Festival, although different from Shambhala in many ways exemplifies a similar mandate. Our tag line is “Tall Tree – there are no strangers, just friends that haven’t met yet,” which is most definitely the same vibe as Shambhala. Tall Tree has evolved into its own entity all together based on the hard work and dedication of so many amazing people, but with that said has been influenced by several festivals including Shambhala. We are definitely moving towards creating a stronger visual art presence and have taken a huge step towards implementing a strong harm reduction task force. Gordon Blunt who is one of two masterminds behind the Fractal Forest ™ also works with us at Tall Tree and many of our crew and attendees are also apart of the Shambhala family.

What does Shambhala mean to you?

This is tough because Shambhala exemplifies so many things. It’s a community of like-minded open individuals, a place to freely express yourself with zero judgement. It’s the pillar of a new age pilgrimage in my mind. It’s a visual, emotional and sonic masterpiece and is a place that cares for its people and its people care for it. It’s one of a few ‘homes’ that I have, including Tall Tree, Punta del Diablo in Uruguay, Vancouver Island and my current home in Vancouver. When Kora and I really love something we give it a double high kick…I’d give Shambhala at least ten double high kicks. That’s saying a lot.

What were your highlights of 2014?

Betty: Do you have ten hours to spare? Just kidding…actually not really, so I’ll try and create a top five list:
Blowing up these crazy LED balloons with my friend Cody during Andy C’s set at The Village. The bass was so intense that all of our balloons kept blowing up right in our faces. I wore double earplugs and ended up on Cody’s shoulders most of Andy C’s set since I’m vertically challenged. So good.

Interviewing GRiZ. Not only is Grant incredibly lovely, hilarious and charming, his answers to our questions were moving and very thoughtful. It gave us seriously insight into his world and life in Detroit. What’s better? We had Tucker (The Festival Guy) and Britz (Media Manager) get involved by showcasing our favorite dance moves on camera.
Celebrating our “friendavirserry” during Pumpkins sunrise set at The Living Room Stage. Last year, we met and befriended Steve and John from Fort Knox, Pumpkin and Every Man, Britz and Tucker during Pumpkins set. That morning was so magical…so many hugs, stories and love. Priceless.

Emancipator and Odesza’s set at The Grove. Such incredible music from both artists in a beautiful setting. The Grove upped their sound, lighting and ambience tenfold this year and it really paid off. Oh – and Odesza were rocking their custom shoes. That was pretty dope.
We created these “Official Licenses for Being Cool” that we give out to people who are doing something funny, ridiculous or just look awesome. Several times in the Fractal Forest we would hand out these licenses…peoples faces light up. It’s so rad to make someones moment that much more special with these things. We love spreading the vibe.

See Betty & Kora’s “The Not So Obvious First Timers Guide to Shambhala Music Festival” article and photo album HERE.

*All photos by Betty & Kora

Betty & Kora – Facebook | Twitter | Website

Jeremih – Don’t Tell Em (Pacific Remix)

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On the forefront of a wildly stylish Drum and Bass revival is Vancouver’s Pacific. Modernizing the genre to incorporate the R&B times by way of “DnRnB“, all too fluidly. Simultaneously leading Nightfall Recording into eardrums round the globe. Click buy to like for download yo.

Pacific – Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter

Modfunk – Dlaczego nie lubisz mnie

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Landed upon a super fresh release from Warsaw Poland. Modfunk is crazy new, and crazy funky. They just self released a new four track EP entitled ‘Superclassics 2′ . It’s a laidback blend of New Disco, Future Funk, and just plain Future. ‘Dlaczego nie lubisz mnie’ caught me initially but all are worthy of a listen.


Modfunk – Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter

Sebell – Promiseland (Stint Remix)

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It would be nice to hear people more readily list Stint in their favourite Vancouver based producers. Strong in the production game he is (yoda voice). An important note to take is his regular remixing of bands and other artists in general either based in the city or those who harbour a long standing connection with the city. Sebell for example operates on a BNA / LAX / YVR axis. Stint went in Future Bass on the ‘Pomisland’ , Vancouver style.. turned out real nice.

Stint – Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter

Nadus – Nxwxrk (Moduloktopus Rewxrk)

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Paying hommage to another of his inspirators with a remix, just days after the previous, super producer Moduloktopus aka Wigzen continues to impress. This time with a massive Future Bass x Jersey Hybrid of New Jesrsey’s own Nadus.

Moduloktopus – Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter