When A Boy & A Girl Remix Krewella’s “TH2C” (Free Download)

“I’m too high to care,” the voice proclaims. Its conviction carries through filtered vocals, passes punchy percussion and settles deep in your belly.

I remember how heavy A Boy & A Girl’s latest song hit me the first time I listened to it. Though they remixed Krewella’s “TH2C,” this duo deviates from the original in unexpected ways. Gone are the southeast-asian strings and melodic musings which contribute to Krewella’s laid-back summer tune. In its place stand rhythmic synths and crisp hi-hats that culminate into hard drops. The result? A distortion of the leading lyric from a silly remark into an ominous declaration. That purpose makes all the difference for me.

A Boy & A Girl write on their Soundcloud page that they “felt inspired by Yasmine and Jahan’s beautiful melodies and flipped them upside down into a brooding trap jungle.” A transformation in tone indubitably occurs. However, I’d argue that the remix mutates Krewella’s utopia into an epic dystopia. And in this realm, A Boy & A Girl come out on top as A King & A Queen.

But I’ll let you come to your own conclusions. Check out their song below and make sure to share the love!

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And make sure to follow them on social media!
A Boy & A Girl – Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud | Instagram

Getting Punked: The Night PunkPhunk Changed My Life

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Welcome to the fourth installment of Talk Tuesdays, in which I post a conversation with an artist or someone affiliated with the electronic music industry for your viewing pleasure.

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You never know which moment will alter your life forever.

Of course, a feeling might overcome you during major life milestones – walking to the podium on graduation day, perhaps; seeing your college dorm for the first time, maybe. But other moments may not be so obvious- you might stumble into them, at the right place, at the right time. That’s how it was for me when I met Miguel Maldonado. Continue reading

Nhan Solo, Jedi Dj?: SAFARI EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

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Welcome to the third installment of Talk Tuesdays, in which I post a conversation with an artist or someone affiliated with the electronic music industry for your viewing pleasure.

When I first stumbled upon Nhan Solo’s hour-long mix for Amsterdam’s Boom Room, I thought, “You gotta be kidding me.” Both the music and the name had me intrigued- energetic, deep house sounds dished out by an obviously Star Wars-obsessed fan? Underground meets outer space? Count me in – I quickly delved into the artist and his label, Mother Recordings, scooping up as much music as I could to inspire my own mixes with fresh heat.

Fast forward a few months, and things got even weirder. As it turned out, Nhan Solo was embarking on a tour of the Americas, and he was coming to San Francisco! Thanks to a dear friend of mine who so kindly introduced us, I was afforded the opportunity to sit down with this elusive character. The following pages consist of my conversation with him on a rooftop in SoMa, SF, as he meticulously cut a watermelon and I sipped on some cider.

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Reunited with my Daddies: Jack Ü at 1015 Folsom

Cute rendition of my daddies

Oh, Wednesdays. Halfway through a dreary work week for most, they serve as a beacon of hope that better days are in store (namely, Friday and Saturday). Society embraces and cherishes Wednesdays- more for what they symbolize as “hump days,” rather than for what they actually entail. Perhaps that means a cozy night-in with Modern Family playing familiarly in the background, maybe some Chinese takeout in a half-satisfied belly.

But can this include a wild rager in San Francisco, speakers blaring a mix of bass-heavy music, extending into the wee hours of a Thursday? With none other than Jack Ü? Preposterous! Or… is it?

Let me break it to you, my sweet readers. No, this is not a wet dream I fabricated to inspire jealousy within the hearts of the responsible, who diligently set their alarm clocks as they tucked into bed at a reasonable hour this past Wednesday night. Instead, I want to share with you my weeknight reality at 1015 Folsom. A countdown, pretty pictures, and a dancing Skrillex included.

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DONUTS & DRIPMOB: A Day with Charlie Davis

Welcome to the second installment of Talk Tuesdays, where I post a conversation with an artist or someone affiliated with the electronic music industry for your viewing pleasure. 

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A crisp breeze drifts through the bustling streets of Berkeley, California. Its path, meandering along the boulevards lined with souvenir stores and sushi restaurants, makes its way to us through the door of the donut shop. “It’s kinda cold, do you wanna dip?” asks the deep voice across from me.

“In a bit,” I respond. I had just been enjoying an afternoon snack with Charlie Davis. Known to many as one half of Dripmob, a duo of local, up-and-coming music producers represented by Way Less Effort, his identity as a college student is clear to me. He certainly looks the part: he leans back, revealing the extent of his shiny, emerald green zip-up, tan chinos, and a black baseball cap. In between bites of his freshly glazed pastry, he shares his experience at the University of California.

“I’ve been here all my life,” the now 21-year-old senior reflects. It’s true- he grew up in the East Bay, attended Berkeley High School with his Dripmob partner Manolis Suega, and transferred to Cal for college. He’s eaten at the best pizza places – Cheeseboard, if you’re curious- and walked all along Shattuck Ave. He goes on, explaining that although the campus is mixed with eclecticism that creates a diverse, booming community, he has visions in mind that go beyond the borders of this historically hippie town. He explains, “I want to check out LA.” Understandably so- the music scene down in Southern California is booming.

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Vindata Wants to Do WHAT with Pharrell? SAFARI EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

Welcome to the first installment of Talk Tuesdays. Every week, I will post a conversation with an artist or someone affiliated with the electronic music industry for your viewing pleasure. 

It’s a Friday, and I’m tired. I’m thinking of calling it a night when suddenly, my phone rings. Turns out some of my good friends are on their way to Audio SF, one of the premier nightclubs in the city, and wanna know if I’m down. I contemplate for a split second, think to myself “why not?” and jump into some clothes. It is perhaps one of the better decisions I’ve made, as later that night I find myself ordering chicken wings with Branden Ratcliffe, one half of Vindata, in a hotel lobby south of Market Street.

Known to many as OWSLA’s up-and-coming duo, bass-heavy Vindata doesn’t hold back on their punches. They’ve toured Europe, worked with some of the top acts in the industry, and released Through Time and Space EP six months ago- anyway, I’ll let them speak for themselves. Check out the interview I had with them after their zealous set, opening for Manila Killa. 

Branden Ratcliff (Vindata, left), Danya Adib (author, middle), and Jared Poythress (Vindata, right)

Branden Ratcliff (Vindata, left), Danya Adib (author, middle), and Jared Poythress (Vindata, right)

TL;DR: Both Branden Ratcliff and Jared Poythress came across as very easy going guys as they elaborated on each question with introspection and passion regarding their music. With each question asked, they bounced off each other’s answers and added onto each layer of thought thrown down.  This interview is broken up into reflections on childhood, musical influences, touring, the music industry, and the past & the future. Make sure to read till the end (or at least skip to the last page), because that’s where we really sort past the fluff.

 

CHILDHOOD

 

DA: Okay let’s get started. First of all, what are your birth names?

BR: Branden Ratcliff

JP: Jared Poythress

DA: Alright let’s get a little bit of background on you guys. Where are you from?

BR: I was born in Los Angeles and I was pretty much raised all over Southern California, so yeah pretty much stayed in California most of my life.

JP: I was born in Okinawa, Japan. I lived there till I was ten- my dad was in the military for about 26 years, so I moved around a lot. I lived in Colorado for about 4 years, Oklahoma for 4 years, and then I moved to California and met this dude. We’ve known each other for about what?

BR: 8 years.

JP: Yeah.

DA: Mm okay. So now did you two play any classical instruments growing up?

BR & JP: Not classical

BR: I mean we both played drums. We grew up in the church, like both of our families are heavily into gospel music and church music. We both played drums for different church functions so that’s kinda like where we started.

 

DA: Does your religious upbringing still influence your career, your music?

BR: Of course. I think there’s a foundation that we learn in religious studies and church but I think for us, we’ve personally built on top of that, we’ve grown from that; not just like keeping it the same way we were taught. We learn more, we’ve been heavily influenced by Eastern philosophies and different religions and belief systems, and we’ve seen universal truths now that we may have not seen before. But we still have that foundation we had with growing up in the church.

JP: It gave us a mentality of being very positive. I have this [tattoo], it’s a saying we go by: positive mental attitude… when I met [Branden], we worked on records, we’d go through our beginnings or our endings and we’d always have a positive mental attitude… at the end of the day, growing up, our main focus was being positive and being – I don’t wanna say hopeful –

DA: Optimistic?

Jp: Optimistic.

BR: Part of our music is supposed to inspire people. It’s not just to have fun. We have fun records, but a big piece of our music is inspiring people to really believe in themselves, stay positive no matter what, take that risk if they really believe in themselves to do it, take that risk and be the person they can be in the end. So with that whole positive mental attitude, you kinda have to keep that in mind while you’re going through your day to day stuff.

 

(Continued on next page- Musical Influences)