Whoever said white men can't crunk? Eerie-based Aaron Holstein is a walking argument to the contrary. Better known as VibeSquad, Holstein has been not-so-quietly churning out crunkadelic, bass-heavy beats in his hole-in-the-wall home studio for over a decade now. The VibeSquad sound is catching on too. Ever since laptop artists like Bassnectar and The Glitch Mob invaded Jamlandia after-hours events, more and more opportunities have been popping up for similarly inspired producers to follow suit. 303 Magazine recently rendezvoused with Holstein for a cup of virtual Yerba Mate.
I can't pinpoint the specific moment Beats Antique appeared on my radar, but I can guarantee Bassnectar is to blame. Several years ago, he added his signature whomp to their tune â€œRoustaboutâ€, then invited them to join his traveling circus for a Left Coast jaunt or two. Burn night with Suze Q was definitely my first time experiencing their â€œliveâ€ act, normally consisting of two producers/DJs--one of which who peppers sets with both violin and sitar-sounding guitar--and a tribal belly dancer named Zoe Jakes.
Winter Music Conference may seem like a misnomer to many, due to its Sunshine State stomping grounds, but Colorado Conference goers were nearly cock blocked by Old Man Winter for the second year in a row. Denver was blanketed in a solid foot of snow when I left; Miami's umpteenth annual mixologist mixer was on fire when I arrived. Beat dieters from around the world rendezvoused en masse for seven days in heaven. Superstar DJs were in abundant supply. Supermodels came out of the woodwork. And dancefloors were demolished left and right.
Living up to his Pixies heyday is a perpetual challenge for man of many names Black Francis. Even his most rabid fans are constantly judging new work against classic, time-tested Pixies' platters. That's not to say his post-Pixies output hasn't produced occasional gems. Svn Fngrs, a Cooking Vinyl EP he cooked up in 2008, is an excellent example. NonStopErotik drops today.
I will never forget the first time Bright Eyes blew my mind. Several of us, including VailPM.com founders Ryan and Nevada, were in Park City, Utah for Robert Redford's annual Sundance Film Festival. I had helped book Bassnectar at a club event called Mind Bender that also featured lucid dream guru Stephen LaBerge and author Daniel Pinchbeck.
Austin is music industry magnetic zero this week. Bands, brands, managers, bloggers, photographers, label reps, DJs, journalists, hipsters, musicians, assistants, publicists, groupies, roadies, street teams, retailers, talent scouts and publishing houses are all represented by themselves or someone else in the Lone Star city.
If you thought Bassnectar was some sort of ceviche recipe, consider yourself officially out of touch with the underground. Lorin Ashton, long eclipsed by his strikingly accurate moniker, is an extremely versatile DJ, capable of juggling a plethora of genres within a single, continuously-mixed set. His sublime sunrise sets at Burning Man have soundtracked some of the finest, most memorable moments of my entire life.