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Contributors Writers: Lloyd Cargo, Maud Deitch, Peter Macia, Julianne Escobedo Shepherd Photographers: Shane McCauley, Chris Phelps, Aaron Richter, Josh Sisk, Colin Young-Wolff
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Cover Illustration: MFG Productions
SCION A/V SCHEDULE September Scion A/V Presents: Dam-Funk - September 13
Scion Presents: A Product of Design curated by Gluekit at Installation LA - September 17 to October 8 Scion A/V Presents: Switch - September 27
October Scion A/V Presents: Dam-Funk & Master Blazter Tour Crowbar in Tampa, FL (October 1) Club Downunder at Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL (October 2) One Eyed Jacks in New Orleans, LA (October 4) The Drunken Unicorn in Atlanta, GA (October 5) Lola in St. Louis, MO (October 7) Grinnell College in Grinnell, IA (October 8) Pyramid Cabaret in Winnipeg, MB (October 10) 7th St. Entry in Minneapolis, MN (October 12) The Empty Bottle in Chicago, IL (October 13) Magic Stick in Detroit, MI (October 14) Shadow Lounge in Pittsburgh, PA (October 16) Grog Shop in Cleveland, OH (October 17) Wrongbar in Toronto, ON (October 19) Le Belmont in Montreal, QC (October 20) Highline Ballroom in New York, NY (October 25) Sonar in Baltimore, MD (October 28) Voyeur in Philadelphia, PA (October 29) Rock N Roll Hotel in Washington, D.C. (October 30) Scion A/V Presents: Nadastrom — Moombahton - October 11
Scion Presents: Use Me curated Yuri Psinakis at Installation LA - October 15 to November 5
November Scion Presents: From Here to Eternity curated by Kenton Parker at Installation LA November 19 to December 17
Scion A/V Remix: Sheen Bros. (4th Pyramid & Cosmo Baker ft. Greg Nice), “It’s So Hot”
Scion A/V Presents: Omar S — High School Graffiti
Scion A/V Presents: Midnight Magic
Scion A/V Presents Music Videos The 87 Stick Up Kids, “All the Girls” B.C. x Delivery, “Return to Me” Big Freedia, “Excuse” Cubic Zirconia, “Take Me High” Dan Sena ft. Del the Funky Homosapien, “Song of Siren” The Death Set, “It’s Another Day”
Exclusive interviews & performances from
Moodymann Hype Williams Christian Martin Eddie Fowlkes Jacques Renault Plus free music downloads, event info, Scion Streaming Radio & much more
Story: Lloyd Cargo Photography: Colin Young-Wolff
Omar S is an elusive figure, releasing and distributing his own records exclusively through his FXHE imprint. Still you can hear the soul of Detroit in his music. Below are some of his essential releases.
“Set It Out” from FXHE 002 (2003) FXHE 002 was the record that brought Omar S to the attention of the worldwide electronic music community. Pressed with an etching on one side and “Omar S DETROIT” stamped on the other, the understated DIY packaging captures the same blunt soulfulness as the captivating, Midwaysampling standout track, “Set It Out.” Omar’s productions wouldn’t always be as austere or accessible as this ethereal anthem, but they all follow the blueprint established here. “Day” from FXHE 004 (2004) “Day” snags a snippet of the Supremes’ “Come See About Me” and stretches it out over an assembly line of kicks, hi-hats and snares. This house jam burrows deep into an irrepressible groove while filter cut-offs give the track a semipsychedelic feeling, like body-surfing waves of sinusoidal frequencies while Diana Ross calls out from a faraway beach. “Psychotic Photosynthesis” single (2007) Throughout his career, Omar S has maintained a steadfast refusal to use computers, instead relying on physical hardware for a more tactile sound. “Psychotic Photosynthesis” leans heavily on the Poly Evolver keyboard, giving the track a warm analog veneer that would be impossible to reproduce digitally. Inspired by Bootsy Collins calls of “It’s psychotic, baby,” Omar fills the track with oscillating, multi-timbral vocals blanketing elephantine bass lines. Basically, it sounds like zombie funk.
Fabric 45 mix (2009) Omar’s mix for Fabric is his only release on a label other than FXHE. Compiled from special edits of previously released material, the mix works as both an overview of his varied discography and as its own statement on the versatility of his music. From the video-game sampling “Strider’s World” to the rugged deep house of “The Maker” through the eerie robo-funk of “Blade Runner,” Omar proves his idiosyncratic oeuvre is multi-dimensional. “Here’s Your Trance, Now Dance” single (2011) At his best, Omar S is like an architect repurposing materials from a crumbling metropolis to build a more vibrant future. The loping, twelve-minute “Here’s Your Trance, Now Dance” is its own self-contained universe, populated with earthy basslines and heavenly synths.
omarsdetroit.us Listen to Scion A/V Presents: Omar S — High School Graffiti at scionav.com/omar_s
If it sounds complicated, it is. Falty’s proclivities, which are now expanding to include afrobeat influences, thanks to obsessive Fela Kuti consumption, break down genre bounds to let everything flow together. “I’m definitely in a conscious, hyper-aware state when I’m making music,” he says. “I’m thinking a lot about sound—not so much where it’s going to land, or if people are going to like it, or if it’s going to be released, or what kind of music it is. When I’m making music it’s like I can almost hear the whole song in my head. And I have to get it out of my head and onto the computer.” It sounds like transcendental meditation, but Falty’s wide open range has left some wily journos in a pickle, wondering what to call it, thus sparking the perpetual tug-of-war between music writers trying to describe what they’re hearing and producers wanting not to be boxed in. “I think I got sort of labeled as making dubstep, which I didn’t think was accurate but I didn’t really mind that much,” he says. “Wonderful journalists will come up with something new and fresh, but once that conversation starts about what something is, it’s sort of over the moment it starts.” Dance fans have seen it a million times, most recently in dubstep’s inevitable transition to “brostep” and the complicated issue of whether “future garage”—another term Falty DL’s been pegged with—is in fact “future” if it’s being made in the present. And isn’t garage just garage anyway? Music journalists need useful, communicative terms, but in genres that evolve practically nightly and with countless producers trying to push the narrative, how does a guy like Falty DL, who truly traverses styles, keep himself interested? Story: Julianne Escobedo Shepherd For nearly five years, Falty DL has been quietly releasing excellently fine-tuned electronic music from his apartment in Park Slope, Brooklyn. There, he hunkers down with the focus of a perfectionist with an ear for voluminous melody. Though his heart is in New York, planted firmly in hip-hop, his sound usually ventures across the globe, mining British club beats from sources like Aphex Twin and 2-step. It lends an itinerant vibe to carefully produced tracks like “Open Space,” a mind-bender from his latest album, You Stand Uncertain, that parlays tubular bells into impeccable jungle and a classic house bridge overlaid on a clamoring breakbeat.
“I have this insatiable hunger to make music,” he says. “I also just sort of feel like there are tons of producers who make amazing music, but I don’t think anyone can say they’ve heard anything entirely new in a number of years. Sure, dubstep was very different and cool, but it also sounded a little bit like grime, and a little bit like slowed down jungle. There’s nothing that’s just totally foreign and alien that I hear on a day-to-day basis. So I feel like I’m searching for that sound. I don’t even think I’m gonna make it, but I just get sort of bored with everything I hear, so I want to just keep making more and more and more.” A solution we can all agree on. faltydl.tumblr.com To watch a video interview with Falty DL, check out scionav.com
Ill– Studio When Sound Pellegrino began as the French house baby of TTC’s Teki Latex and Orgasmic, it was obvious that the label was going to have a strong, defined sound—those two dudes are party-minded and impeccable curators of everything from the beats for their raps to the clothes on their backs. Slightly less expected was the impact of the label’s visual aesthetic: a clean, zig-zagging logo in tropical yellow stamped atop each sleeve, with bright archival photography splashed across the front, often connecting the music to the most primordial elements in nature (also: kittens). The striking art was the doing of Paris design house Ill-Studio, a collective started in 2007 by former skateboarders Leonard Vernhet and Thomas Subreville, and the scope of their work expands far beyond music. Ill-Studio
“Each project is an occasion to try something different. This is what makes our job exciting.”
Story: Julianne Escobedo Shepherd translate their playful, Dada-inspired aesthetic to typography, graphic design, video work and, notably, large scale installations that have included a huge geodesic dome crafted in homage to Buckminster Fuller and a geometric reimagining of a half-pipe. “We consider ourselves art directors more than artists, which means that we need to adapt our aesthetic depending on the project we work on and the parameters that we have to deal with,” says IllStudio, collectively via email. “Each project is an occasion to try something different. This is what makes our job exciting.” Still, there is an underlying sense of unity in Ill-Studio’s work that reaches beyond their proclivities for bright colors and geometry—you could call it a sense of hope mixed in with a fondness for the absurd. For Sound Pellegrino, they were looking to mine the disconnect between the label’s sophisticated keyboard fantasia and their own interests. “We tried to imagine what would be the exact opposite of ‘club music’ in term of image,” Ill-Studio says. “We really wanted to come up with something unexpected, so we decided to play around with the classic Deutsche Grammophon logo and with old science books images. The rupture between the artwork and their music works quite well.”
ill-studio.com Ill-Studio’s work has been featured in several shows at Scion’s Installation LA gallery, including the recent The Big Idea exhibit curated by Monsieur L’Agent. For more information, go to scionav.com/space. Ill-Studio also created the album art for Scion A/V Presents: Sound Pellegrino — Straight From the Spring, available at scionav.com
dillon francis Story: Julianne Escobedo Shepherd Photography: Shane McCauley
As moombahton’s marriage of Dutch house twerks and reggaeton-inspired badonkadonk infects Soundcloud streams throughout the globe, there are still only a few producers who are consistently doing it right. Built on an easy concept, the genre took hold in less than a year, but as producer/DJ Skinny Friedman recently wrote on the Facebook group MOOMBAHTON & MOOMBAHCORE!, “Y’all need to stop putting ‘half-finished’ tracks and ‘rough sketches’ in here. If it’s not done, don’t share it.” Touché. Beyond moombahton’s top purveyors—including Dave Nada, the genre’s hapless inventor; Dominican Dutch wunderkind Munchi; and American Southerner David Heartbreak—there haven’t been too many producers who primarily make moombahton and have risen to the creativity that sparked its accidental invention. Enter Dillon Francis, the kind of dude who doesn’t upload first drafts of tracks. A bright-eyed 23-year-old from Los Angeles, he’s only been producing for two years, but his hype melodies and tidy sense of production have already landed him a coveted spot with Diplo’s crew (alongside Francis’ mega idol, Rusko). The Mad Decentreleased Westside EP is like moombahton concentrate: packed-in rave synths escalate to little explosions over loping syncopation, yet the
parts are pieced together so well you’re tempted to think of them as clean lines. “What really got me into moombahton was Munchi,” says Francis. “When I first heard his stuff, I was completely confused, like, How is this person making me feel like it’s 140 BPM when it’s at 110? That’s what really drew me to it.” Now on the docket are remixes for Gym Class Heroes, Calvin Harris and Bassnectar, plus an EP on Chase & Status’ label, MTA. The latter duo usually specializes in drum & bass and dubstep, Francis’ first love, which lends a sense of where he wants to take moombahton and its beefier homeboy, moombahcore. “I love what Skrillex is doing with it,” he says, “and that’s what I’m trying to do—make it more of like a jump-up type thing and experimenting with different BPMs. I was talking to Diplo about my new stuff and he said, ‘This doesn’t sound like moombahton anymore, it’s like you’re making another genre.’”
facebook.com/dillonfrancismusic To watch a video interview with Dillon Francis, check out scionav.com
Story: Peter Macia Photography: Aaron Richter
COM TRUISE One might expect the man behind spoonerist pseudonym Com Truise to be a joker, but Seth Haley is serious business. Sitting in the back of a bustling Italian restaurant in Manhattan’s East Village, the former pharmaceutical ad man pitches his latest project as if it were just the newest cog in his complex media machine. Branding, product design and partnerships are as frequently the topic of discussion as the music itself. And all of it is done by Haley, right down to the banner ads that appear on blogs. It’s surprising to hear the amount of forethought and rigor Haley puts into Com Truise, considering the music’s most frequent descriptor is “chillwave,” a genre known for its devotion to apathy. While Com Truise’s debut LP, Galactic Melt, does bear some of chillwave’s touchstones—retro synths, leisurely melodies, languid tempo— Haley openly admits that he hadn’t even heard of the genre until a friend played him a Neon Indian album, and he doesn’t appear too attached to the tag. The most notable difference, though,
between Haley and chillwave is in Haley’s obvious dedication to technique and craft, borne from a natural affinity for getting inside the machine. “Way back before I was even writing music, I stole my sister’s keyboard and completely destroyed it,” he says, before detailing his current construction of a custom modular synth unit for future music. If anything, Galactic Melt sounds like chillwave torn apart and rebuilt into something more ambitious. It ostensibly tells the tale of the first robot astronaut and his journey to space, but its songs are just as apt for a nighttime blast up the Pacific Coast Highway. “We test every song in the car first,” Haley says. “If it doesn’t work there, it’s not going to work.” Spoken like a man who knows his target audience. comtruise.com To watch a video interview with Com Truise, check out scionav.com
l ia n w: Ju
do S sc ob e
Tiombe Lockhart is best known as the enigmatic and bodaciously talented vocalist in New York future-funk band Cubic Zirconia. She’s a mesmerizing frontwoman who bends the jazz styles she studied in school into seductive, hip-hop influenced power runs. But lately she’s been stretching her creative wings behind the scenes, developing her vision for the band through a series of videos she’s conceived, directed and—now that she’s taught herself Final Cut—edited. Her first, “Hoes Come Out at Night,” was a Toni Morrisoninspired birth narrative; the second, for “Night or Day,” captured the isolation city girls sometimes go through; and the latest clip, for “Take Me High,” is a sultry homage to classy 1980s black nightclub culture, with self-possessed dancing, white gloves and fancy furs. As she begins her foray into directing other people’s videos—ones for rapper Yak Ballz and jazz drummer Jemire are on deck—we discussed her process thus far. Your Cubic Zirconia videos seem like a trilogy. I didn’t think of them as a trilogy when I first started, but I did kind of think of them as three connected things. With “Hoes,” I went from being born to being a gluttonous teenager to being a woman. And then “Night or Day” was kind of like going into the woods, I wanted it to be where I come out of Central Park and I’m living this life in the city and have it be this throwback to Sade and 9 ½ Weeks, like all these great, weird, mysterious women. And with “Take Me High,” I wanted it to be about ladies. In all those videos, there’s a certain representation of sexuality, I feel like it’s subversive in a way that you’re almost challenging. It’s not a typical “I’m a hot girl” performance. The women that are hot to me are women like PJ Harvey or Toni Morrison. That is power. It’s strong and so alive. Here’s how I feel about this: If you have a whole bunch of people that are just loud in a room, you should be the quietest. Because there’s weight in words. I feel like I took this road that is less traveled, and I understand my worth and my power and I don’t need to fake it. So, “Take Me High.” I feel like I’m giving birth to a baby with every video, but with this one definitely more. [Cubic Zirconia bandmates] Daud [Sturdivant] and Nick [Hook] are cool, they just let me do what I want, which is amazing. I feel like with every video I’m learning crazy lessons and I’m being challenged, like I’m supposed to be here and I’m supposed to be doing this, but...who thought I could edit? What was the initial concept? Black musical theater. It was just like, Why is nobody doing this?
It seems to reference School Daze, the scene with Tisha Campbell doing the torch song. Spike Lee has a lot of influence, being the only black filmmaker in like, 98 years. Well, Tyler Perry’s cool when you’re with your family, but I wanted it to be a throwback to black musical theater, church plays, that type of feeling. I wanted it to be this soulfulness, not downplaying anything and just being like, This is what we are. This auntie vibe, ladies. Like, I’m gonna put an outfit on right now and we’re gonna go out. This whole type that doesn’t really understand the concept of selfdeprecation at all. It’s like, I just got off work, gonna go home and take a shower, come over to my house and we’re gonna drink some champagne, we’re about to go to a club, ’80s-style. With gentlemen. And we’re gonna dance, but we’re not gonna pop it. With the furs and stuff, I kind of felt weird, because I don’t really believe in that, but I was like, I’m trying to represent this era of black people. Do you love movies? When I was younger I did some acting and when I went to college at the New School I wanted to be a music engineer or some other behind-the-scenes thing. I always wanted to be a part of the “boy’s” thing and have that respect. But I never did film. I always loved women like Millie Jackson and Teena Marie who were very allowed to wear their sexuality and talk s***, but at the same time they were women and they were songwriters and doing very masculine jobs. I mean, Toni Morrison was a beauty pageant winner! You can still be feminine and be in control with what you’re doing and roll with the men and have people respect you. cubiczirconia.tumblr.com Watch the Scion A/V video for Cubic Zirconia’s “Take Me High“ at scionav.com/musicvideos
g n i m swim with S to r y : Deitch Mau d
During daylight hours, high above Downtown Los Angeles on the rooftop of the Standard hotel, you can usually find the city’s young and fabulous languidly sunning themselves, glasses filled with exotically colored cocktails. But on Saturdays during the summer, the scene is taken over by water gun spraying masses, courtesy of Matt Goldman and James Outlaw, two kings of the city’s music scene and masters of the art of throwing great parties, and their event, Swimming With Sharks. Goldman and Outlaw started Swimming With Sharks to break up the monotony of overly cool L.A. nightlife with some daylight water fighting and chilled out, low-BPM disco. It’s a sound many of their friends were playing and what they think, is the sound of L.A. itself. This music has started to catch on nationally, and this year Swimming With Sharks has brought its West Coast vibe to the Standard’s northeast home in New York. Swimming With Sharks is also the party embodiment of Matt Goldman’s design skill and taste. Goldman, though perhaps best known around the city for the weekly parties he promotes—Dance Right and School Night!—is first and foremost a graphic designer, and his visual direction has steered the ship of Swimming With Sharks’ aesthetic since the party’s inception. Also essential to understanding the Swimming With Sharks concept is the way the parties are booked. Rather than piling together a bunch of DJs without much connection to one another, Goldman and Outlaw decided to partner with artists and record labels that they knew could handle the type of party that they wanted to throw. They call each participant a “curator” and their selected DJs “teams.” So far they have hosted the likes of IAMSOUND Records, Trouble & Bass and DJ/jewelry designer Han Cholo. Of Cholo’s team, Outlaw says, “A lot of these people aren’t in music specifically, but music is such a huge part of who they are. Han Cholo is a team we’ve had almost every year. He has a jewelry line but he’s also a DJ and will come and play metal and it’s awesome.” For their recent EP, released through Scion A/V, Goldman and Outlaw looked to some of their favorite DJs and collaborators from past Swimming With Sharks. They had a larger goal in mind as well: to make it known that although many of the artists who play the party are constantly touring all over the world, “they represent Los Angeles in something that isn’t
just them, but that is more of a community of DJs and a musical style that’s a part of our culture here,” says Outlaw. Goldman and Outlaw broke down the songs on the compilation and explain why they chose each artist. Poolside, “Do You Believe (Amen Brother Remix)” James Outlaw: I guess the idea [for the compilation] started initially when I approached Filip Nikolic from Poolside. He’s a really incredible bass player and producer, and Poolside is his project with Jeffrey Paradise from San Francisco, the guy behind the Blow Up party. I approached him initially because they released a single in the last year called “Do You Believe.” The whole identity behind Poolside is to do California cool summertime disco music, and that’s verbatim what we want this comp to be about. Also they’re called Poolside, which is a perfect match. Superhumanoids, “Mirrors (Cosmic Kids Remix)” Outlaw: We’ve known the Cosmic Kids since before they were called the Cosmic Kids, and they’ve been becoming my favorite DJs to come to the pool. Their selection is so good for it, and they’ve recently started doing remixes and making their own tracks with Filip [from Poolside] as the overseer and producer for most of their work. They submitted a Superhumanoids remix that was actually perfect. Matt Goldman: Superhumanoids are a cool L.A.based band. I went to high school with Max [St. John] in the band and they’re a part of the same scene. But they’re definitely a band and so they don’t usually play the same kind of parties. Pools, “Mervin’s Emerging Urgency” Outlaw: Coachella weekend, our friends (thee) Mike B and Morse Code put out a mixtape called Pools. The mixtape was downloaded like 2,000 times in the days before Coachella. It was being promoted as music for your drive to the festival, and I guess it worked. It’s a two-and-a-half-hour mix in that same kind of slowed-down tempo disco sound, with a couple of originals. So I called them and asked if they were going to have stuff they would be interested in releasing for the compilation. This was all kind of serendipitous. LOL Boys, “Porteils” Goldman: LOL Boys just put out an EP that I thought was very fitting. Out of all the artists, it’s the most out-there. It has a different audience, a different kind of sound, but it still works with
this. I also really like the aesthetic from a design standpoint. Not just the music, but the graphics and the website and brand that supports the music. Outlaw: The music is slightly different because it’s a little more uptempo, a little more tropical. It’s a little cumbia-based or samba-based, so it’s just a little busier and gives a little more diversity. It’s not like a mixtape, it’s more like a bunch of songs. Cosmic Kids, “Reginald’s Grove (M/B Remix)” Outlaw: M/B is the new embodiment of Acid Girls. They’re changing their sound and happen to be moving closer to what we’re doing. Cosmic Kids were really eager to get this M/B remix of their record out. Cosmic Kids did an EP with Throne of Blood and the M/B remix didn’t make it on that EP but they thought it was really good so they came to us and asked if it could make it on the comp. It was perfect. Greg and Jamie have been playing our party as Acid Girls for years, so we were really stoked to have them on board. swimmingwithsharks.com Hear the Swimming With Sharks compilation, Scion A/V Presents: Swimming With Sharks, at scionav.com/swimmingwithsharks
Throughout 2011, Southern California label Dim Mak is celebrating their fifteenth birthday. Even though Dim Mak started as a punk label with the modest ambition to just release music made by founder Steve Aoki’s friends, it has grown into a trusted purveyor of new and ambitious sounds. To commemorate their recent milestone, Dim Mak has collected some of its notable and unfairly overlooked releases for a series of digital, genre-themed Vault compilations. Aoki, whose DJ career has blossomed alongside the success of his label, led us through some of Dim Mak’s key dance music releases.
Bloc Party, “Helicopter” single (2006) This has a Weird Science remix, which is the very first remix I ever did, and the other side has Diplo’s remix. We started talking to Bloc Party in 2003, then in 2004 we released a bunch of their music and in 2005 I did a deal with Vice. We had a Dim Mak imprint on their album, Silent Alarm. That record went on to sell like 350,000 albums with our logo on there.
MSTRKRFT, Fist of God (2009) It’s really rare to find dance artists that release albums. But we came from the rock and punk rock worlds, and those worlds are based on EPs and albums, not singles. So we came into the dance community guns blazing. MSTRKRFT’s Fist of God was a really big deal for us. There are a couple singles on there that crossed over, one of which was “Heartbreaker,” featuring John Legend, that did really well for us.
Bloody Beetroots, Romborama (2009) Before we are even in talks with artists for signing album deals, I always want to get a clear picture of the vision and direction. Romborama is a 17 song anthemic album. It’s like 70 minutes of music. That was a big crossover global success for us. As far as their live shows, it was like underground artists took over globally. That defined Dim Mak for a period of time.
Various Artists, Dim Mak Records Electronic Vault: Volume 1 (2011) It’s a compilation the covers the inception of Dim Mak’s involvement in dance music. It is a pretty great compilation. It features remixes from guys like A-Trak, DJ AM, LA Riots, Laidback Luke, Mixhell, Congorock and Don Diablo. It is all pretty strong names on there. It’s a good retrospective of the past decade.
Dirtyphonics, Tarantino (2011) Dirtyphonics are the only artists that have been OKed by Bloody Beetroots to remix “Warp.” Bloody Beetroots don’t let anybody remix their music. They loved it and just let it happen. We gave it away on RCRD LBL. Then I talked to Dirtyphonics and we decided to put out their EP. It’s Dim Mak’s first dubstep release. dimmakrecs.com
THE SOUND TABLE Story: Maud Deitch
“I should probably begin, ‘I was born…’” says Karl Injex. The DJ and owner of Atlanta’s club/restaurant the Sound Table is joking, but he’s not, really. He’s been on this journey for a long time. After moving from Atlanta to New York after art school, Injex didn’t know what to do with himself. “I couldn’t really find the right creative outlet,” he says, “but all the while I was searching, I was collecting records.” Partially inspired by his then-roommate, LCD Soundsystem’s Pat Mahoney, Injex decided to put his record collection to good use and became a DJ. This led to the monthly party Rude Movements at tastemaking New York venue APT, and then national and international tours. “When I started to travel oversees for the music, I started to learn about and appreciate food, wine and spirits,” Injex says. “The music was a gateway for experiences that I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to have.” After returning from tour, Injex and Jeff Meyers, his friend and fellow DJ, decided to combine their loves of food and music and dive head-first into the dark and twisting maze that is owning a club. Looking to do something extraordinary, they pulled from what they knew from playing their favorite venue, APT: the size (“big enough to throw a proper party”), the sound (“excellent”) and the design (“clean”). From there, they built the Sound Table. In the year it’s been open, the Sound Table has hosted such legendary and innovative DJs as Dam-Funk, Moodymann, Cosmo Baker and Eric Duncan, to name a few. Many of them have been drawn back more than once, thanks to Injex and Meyers’ understanding of what DJs want and need out of a venue, and their dedication to making the experience of playing the Sound Table as pleasant as possible. “Over the past year, I’ve probably learned more and lost more moments of my life from stress, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Injex says. “When you actually do something, you gain a profound respect for the process.” With this in mind, the Sound Table is going to keep growing, and will keep sounding better and better. thesoundtable.com The Sound Table is part of the Scion Partners network. To learn about deals and discounts available to Scion Partners members, go to scionav.com/partners
WASHINGTON D.C. Scene Report
It’s not often that you can equivocally say that someone invented an entire genre, but in the case of Dave Nada, you can. Stemming from a slowed-down version of the Afrojack remix of Silvio Ecomo & DJ Chuckie’s song “Moombah” he played for a group of high schoolers, moombahton has been steadily growing over the past year into a major force in the dance music landscape, in Nada’s hometown of Washington, DC and beyond. And though he recently relocated to Los Angeles with his producer/DJ project Nadastrom, Nada still knows what’s up back home. The State of the City DC is going through a renaissance. It used to have so many thriving music scenes from the late 1990s to early 2000s—it had a great hip-hop scene, a great punk and hardcore scene and a huge rave scene—but due to venue closings and economic realities, those scenes started having a really hard time. DC music had a good couple of years of struggle. But the opening of the U Street Music Hall last spring made DC a destination point for a lot of acts, both big and small. Moombahton I spent a whole summer doing a weekly called Moombahton Mondays and that kind of planted the seeds for it. Now the commercial radio in DC has started playing it, and it’s grown a lot. Moombahton is a DC sound. It was born in DC, bred worldwide and there’s a pride in that. U Street Music Hall Basically it’s this 300-capacity basement room, with a couple of booths and two huge bars—but it’s all about the sound system and all about the vibe. No matter if you go in and are a punk rock kid or a downtown baller executive dude, you can have a good time and feel comfortable. I remember Will Eastman and Tittsworth, who run the club, were really focused on making it comfortable for everybody and having the best sound system in the country. The music really cuts through, and not just because of who’s playing but because of how the music translates onto the dance floor. Other clubs in DC are really taking notice. When U Street opened in the spring of 2010, it was a really crucial moment for DC because it allowed a lot of artists to stop by and expose the city to tons of great new sounds in a great environment. It also gave a lot of local DJs and promoters a chance to throw events in their own backyard. Everything grew stronger and stronger throughout the summer and the year. U Street Music Hall is bar none the best venue in DC right now.
Record Stores There are a couple cool shops in DC, like Smash, which is a legendary punk rock record shop. They sell vinyl there. There’s also Crooked Beat, which is all vinyl, new and used, for the heads who want to get their fingers dirty. Besides that, there are the flea markets. Billy the Gent & Cam Jus They do a party called Tropixxx and they’re kind of holding the torch for the moombahton movement in DC, since me and Matt [Nordstrom, Nada’s partner in Nadastrom] are based in L.A. now. They DJ and produce moombahton and they do it right. They don’t just play the music, but they mix it with dancehall, they mix it with cumbia, they mix it with hip-hop, and they throw their Tropixxx party once a month. It’s become the biggest moombahton party in DC. As told to Maud Deitch moombahton.tumblr.com Hear Nadastrom’s new EP, Scion A/V Presents: Nadastrom, at scionav.com/nadastrom
Interview: Maud Deitch
Jonah Berry started Gotta Dance Dirty as a way to share music with his friends, but it has rapidly grown into one of the premier destinations for dance music on the internet. The GDD brand has also expanded to include party promotions and will soon take on a micro-label project in collaboration with Nitrus records. We spoke with Berry about the past, present and future of the site. What was the initial inspiration to start a dance music site? The blog started as a hobby. I was working in a retail store and decided to start a music blog, and then I decided to bring on more writers and friends, and then it progressed into a collective of DJs and event promoters. It’s blossomed into a whole lifestyle brand now. How did you get involved in the nightlife scene in Los Angeles? A year after we started the blog, we would drive down to L.A. from Santa Barbara a lot and go to one of the best club nights in the city, which is called Control at the Avalon. They ended up bringing us on to help promote the night, and that was our first experience promoting a weekly. From that we decided to start a party on the west side of L.A. called Versus, and we do that every Thursday now at a great little hole in the wall called the Central in Santa Monica.
How do you keep on top of what’s happening in the vast world of dance music? A mix of everything. I get 300 to 400 emails a day from artists and labels and publicists, but it’s also word of mouth from friends. I’m not a DJ, but we have a bunch of DJs working on the site and they’re always talking to artists and visiting different sites. We also just look at artists that we like and look through their mixes. We have a very curious mindset towards this music and if we like it, we’re going to delve into it more. What’s next for Gotta Dance Dirty? We’re really concentrating on continuing to build our traffic on the website and starting a forum, emulating what the Erol Alkan forum is doing— just a place for music fans to come and chat about new sounds and production techniques, really whatever interests them. gottadancedirty.com
SCION STREAMING RADIO TOP PICKS
In 2011, it’s hard to imagine Los Angeles without a dubstep scene. With regular parties, local DJs and relocated sound legends, it can feel like it’s always been this way. Drew Best, founding member of SMOG, remembers a bass-less time in the city and how he and his cohorts went about changing that. SMOG now has an impressive roster of DJs, puts out records and hosts legendary dubstep events on the regular. We caught up with Best, host of a monthly show on Scion Streaming Radio, to find out what music has been rattling his bones recently.
Emalkay, Eclipse Emalkay’s debut album just came out on Dub Police Records, and I think it’s probably one of the best things I’ve heard, dubstep-wise, this year. It’s a very current sound, all later dubstep, although he’s got a couple tracks that have an older, jungle vibe as well. The whole thing’s got a lot of guest artists who are vocalists, so there’s a lot of house-y tunes. It’s a great album, and we’ve played a couple of those tracks on the radio show already. Noah D SMOG’s hopefully doing an album with Noah D. He’s also got a lot of guest vocalists, everyone from people like P-Money—who’s a grime artist in the U.K.—to the Grouch and Eligh from the Living Legends, who are West Coast rappers. He also worked with people like Anti Serum. The whole record is real funky and it goes from being aggressive dubstep to really kind of out there, spacey, what they call the “purple sound.” Egyptrixx, Bible Eyes I love the new Egyptrixx album, Bible Eyes. It’s kinda house-y, but it’s got that dubstep bass influence. I’m a huge fan of his stuff, and that whole record label Night Slugs in general. It’s run by Bok Bok, and those guys have been making some really great records. It’s house and techno music, but it’s all dubstep and grime influenced, and it’s a fresh sound.
12th Planet and SPL, “Lootin’ 92” We just did a single with 12th Planet and SPL, who’s a new member of our team. He’s from Portland, but we signed him to our label. They just did a single that’s been well received, a lot of DJs are playing it. It’s called “Lootin’ 92” and knowing 12th Planet, I’m guessing it’s an L.A. riots reference. smogla.com Listen to SMOG Radio every month on Scion Streaming Radio at scionav.com/radio/channel7
Guests at The Big Idea opening at Installation LA
House of House at Scion A/V Presents: A Club Called Rhonda in Chicago, IL
Teppei Kaneuji at the Pacific opening at Installation LA
A guest at the Pacific opening at Installation LA
Megumi Matsubara at the Pacific opening at Installation LA
Ill-Studio at The Big Idea opening at Installation LA
Guests at the Pacific opening at Installation LA
ABOUT TOWN Kid Color at Scion A/V Presents: A Club Called Rhonda in Chicago, IL
Yuri Suzuki at the Pacific opening at Installation LA
GODDOLLARS at Scion A/V Presents: A Club Called Rhonda
Guests at The Big Idea opening at Installation LA
Metro Area at Scion A/V Presents: A Club Called Rhonda in Chicago, IL
Inside the fourth edition of the Scion Dance Zine, we go into the deep end with Swimming With Sharks and the Los Angeles' pool music scene,...
Published on Sep 23, 2011
Inside the fourth edition of the Scion Dance Zine, we go into the deep end with Swimming With Sharks and the Los Angeles' pool music scene,...