Travel Through The Multiverse with Helicopter Showdown: EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

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On November 25th, the dub and the wubs were with us at the B-side Complex in Philly for Adventures Through The Multiverse. Based off the hit show, Rick and Morty, the line-up consisted of many big names in the dubstep and bass music industry. Four different stages, all different themes, had music going for hours. The main stage was on the second floor and provided a small club feel- although there was 3 other stages downstairs. Two of the stages were in rooms across from each other, and the other one downstairs was outside.

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Malaysian Safari got to interview Helicopter Showdown. Their set was definitely a refreshing change and easily was one of my favorite for the night. Walking around the main stage room, there were many fans wearing merchandise and pushing their way to the front to experience the music. Regardless of your location during the set, people were headbanging and having a great time. Towards the end of the night, I asked some attendees who some of their favorite sets were, most included Helicopter Showdown’s set. Keep reading below for the Interview and listen to one of their newest songs.

Interview

Q: What inspired the creation of Helicopter Showdown and where did the name come from?

A:       We all grew up in the same circles of music and in the close proximity in the bay area. We had been all doing our own things musically and at the same time we were promoting our own shows in the bay area and northern California. Once we sat down and produced our first release with Point.Blank ( Whistle Tips ) it was clear we had a good dynamic working together. The originated friend of ours that had a metal band he was jotting down names for and it was one they had crossed of the list. We liked it so much we jumped on it with his permission of course.

Q: What is it like to work as a team compared to just yourself? Positives/negatives?

A:        We all have Our own Ideas and strengths a weaknesses when it comes to production. Over the years we have found a very nice sweet spot and middle ground to what we do that is some what unconventional for this type of music. At this point it is all positive. In the end we are all friends that feel blessed to have had the opportunities we have had and we love what we do together!

Q: Any artist, from any genre, specifically influenced your music the most?

A:       Man that is tough question because there are so many great artists out there in this bass music scene. We have always had mentors and people who have helped us do what we do better. We tend to look for unknown producers that we feel deserve to shine and play out their tunes and help in anyway we can. As far as what we listen to outside of bass music we all have very diverse tastes and listen to all kinda of genres. If we were asked to shout out some of our favorites right now to name a few, YAKZ, Al Ross, Codd Dubz, CHMST, Oolacile, Curro, Xaebor, Mantis, Dack Janiels, Virtual Riot and Barely Alive. I could keep going but there are too many to name.

Q: Do you have hobbies/passions other than music? What might you be doing if you weren’t a producer?

A:        We all have great jobs outside of music and love what we do. Blake is an excellent graphic designer. Devan is a jack of trades and a mountain of fun to be around. Josh is one of the most intelligent and kind people with knowledge of all things that really knows no boundaries. I myself ( Ryan ) have an 11 year old daughter that is my world and a deep passion for wine and food.

Q: Who are some artists/producers you would like to collaborate with and why? Any future plans?

A:        We have a ton of stuff in the works which we would prefer not to mention until the tunes are done, but stay tuned cause 2017 is gonna be big!!

Q: What inspires you to create music? Describe how you create it start to finish.

A:        Music is what inspires us or any emotion that one might feel. Happy, Sad, the whole spectrum. Most importantly our fans which we would prefer to call our fam cause we could not do what we do with out your support. Every time we step on stage it’s like the first time and we give it our all. As far as production there is no rhyme or reason to how we produce. We all start project on our own but always make sure everyone gets a chance to put in their 2 cents so to speak before the tune is finished. HS is acolaborative effort and we have huge respect for each others ideas.

Q: How do you believe dubstep has changed?

A:        All music is ever changing, but iin the electronic realm it seems to happen faster. There are many trends, things that come and go and a lot of incestuous sound design and strutures that seem to play to the cliche term ” it all sounds the same ” we have always tried to stay on the outside of that. In return a lot of our tunes are a bit crazy and a.d.d. so to speak but thats us and we embrace that.

Q: Lastly, is there anything else you believe your fans would like to know?

A: Anything our fans would care to know feel free to message us on Facebook we respond quick and love that interaction. We would more like to thank anyone who has ever supported us because we could not do this with out you and we owe this all to you. You are our drive and if there was time we would hug each and everyone of you!!

Helicopter Showdown | Soundcloud | Facebook | Instagram

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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Kaytranada Talks New Album 99.9% and Drops New Single ‘Bus Ride’

I’ve been keeping my eye on Kaytranada since last year – he has consistently released bootlegs, remixes, and great originals on his Soundcloud. Just yesterday he announced his debut album, 99.9%, on BBC Radio 1. He discusses basic inspirations for the album, including collaborations with Bad Bad Not Good, Syd, and Karriem Riggins. 99.9% will be available on May 5th and will be up for pre-streaming on BBC Radio 1 on April 27th. Until then, hold yourself over with his new song ‘Bus Ride’ on Soundcloud.

Hear the interview from Kaytranada here  and listen to ‘Bus Ride’ on Soundcloud now:

Kaytranada: Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud Continue reading

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)

Ta-ku Announces ‘Songs to Make Up To’ and New Single

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I loved Songs to Break Up To – it’s what got me into Ta-ku. After that EP I discovered his 50 Days for Dilla spiel as well as some of Ta-ku’s most amazing radio mixes and remixes. In his new follow up EP, this time we’re making up in the aptly named Songs to Make Up To. To tease the EP, Ta-ku has released a single, which features JMSN and Sango.

Hear the new single, ‘Love Again’:

Ta-ku: Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud

I wasn’t particularly moved by the new song – I thought it was underwhelming, a bit distant from the cool beats off Songs to Break Up to. The vocals seemed disinteresting and generic. Surely I’ll have to go back later and listen to this tune again, I’m in a very non-chill mood today. Mood affects the way people hear music; Ta-ku definitely sits on the calmer side of music. I like to listen to Ta-ku on my way to class or while doing homework.

I’m more excited about what this new EP will sound like as a whole rather than ‘Love Again’ as a standalone song. I’m not predicting a ‘Songs to Break Up To 2’ from a self-proclaimed genre-killer such as Ta-ku, and we can definitely be ready to listen to some decent music. Ta-ku seems to pour a large amount of soul into his productions, and I expect Songs to Make Up To to be on the same page.

Listen to this Ta-ku interview fousing on Songs to Break Up To:

Blacksburg, Va Has Officially Been Destroid- Exclusive Interview with KJ Sawka

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Photo taken by DJ ERiX

B.A.D.A.S.S Raves has taken over the EDM scene in Blacksburg, Va and college students are stoked to expand the rave community here in the New River Valley area.  Last Tuesday, B.A.D.A.S.S. put on a show at Sycamore Deli with talented drummer and producer, KJ Sawka headling.  The show was unreal to say the least.  The combination of the advanced light show by Fantasy Lighting and Staging and sounds by Deep Roots Production really stepped up the rave scene for a small college town. Those who came out to the show last Tuesday made the right decision; Sycamore Deli had an incredible turnout and was by far the biggest St. Patrick’s Day party of Blacksburg.

The show opened with local DJ K. Flo, who held the floor until 10pm when Riza took the stage.  Pyrite was the last opener for KJ.  Pyrite hyped up the crowd with a heavy trap set giving Blacksburg the energy it needed for KJ Sawka’s loud bass.  If you haven’t already, read out interview with Pyrite!

Photo taken by DJ ERiX

Photo taken by DJ ERiX

Finally, KJ Sawka, the drummer from Pendulum and Destroid, came on at midnight. KJ played a laptop set with electronic drumming pads and it was a phenomenal set.  Personally, one of the best parts about the show was the closely knit feeling the venue gave off.  Having KJ throw such heavy bass in our faces at a small venue gave the crowd a more personal show.  Additionally, the small venue feel gave the crowd an opportunity to actually watch KJ perform.  The difference between seeing KJ at Sycamore Deli compared to at a festival environment allowed short ravers such as myself to appreciate actually being able to see KJ’s drumming.  Watching KJ drum on the electronic drum pads was a whole other experience. KJ has been drumming for over 25 years and is by far the most talented drummer I have seen live.  At the end of KJ’s set, the drum & bass legend dropped some Pendulum songs and his unreleased song “Wild Fire.

KJ Sawka tore Blacksburg apart last Tuesday and if you weren’t there, you missed out.  Don’t be too disappointed you missed out last week though because B.A.D.A.S.S. Raves will be putting on another legendary show tonight, so be sure to come!

In addition, the show also donated some of their profits for Cameron Smook, a Virginia Tech student who has just recently passed.  It is amazing to be a part of such a close community, really setting an example of what Hokie Nation is all about. Read what B.A.D.A.S.S. has to say about the donations:

“A portion of the profits will be donated to causes related to Cameron Smook, a Hokie and friend to many members of our team and extended music family. As in the tradition of Blacksburg, we will rally together to help each other and remain strong. Our prayers go out to Cameron and his family in this difficult time. We hope that this party can bring his friends together and put some positive energy back into the world.”

Continue reading for exclusive Malaysian Safari Interview:

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KAOS Discusses New EP “Theory” in Exclusive Malaysian Safari Interview

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Flux Pavilion’s Protege, KAOS, Releases Theory EP!

 

KAOS is on the rise in the electronic music industry and Malaysian Safari had the great opportunity to ask him a few questions about his production style and the release of his new EP, Theory.  If you haven’t already heard Theory EP, listen now!

Theory EP is available on Circus Records: http://bit.ly/KaosTheoryEP

Continue reading for exclusive interview!

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Malaysian Safari Gets to Know DATSIK Before His Big “Ninja Nation Tour”

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A couple days ago I got the opportunity to talk to Troy Beetles or DATSIK, as most of you have come to know him. He was a really nice guy who was fully invested in his music, and the heavy, hard-hitting persona that DATSIK has evolved into. DATSIK was cool enough to do this interview in hopes that it will help promote his upcoming Ninja Nation Tour, a tour which I think anyone who loves electronic music can enjoy. Read more about the tour after the interview! For now see what the man behind DATSIK is all about.

Full name and age?

You’re speaking with Troy Beetles aka DATSIK and I’m 26 years old.

Where are you from/currently based out of?

I’m currently walking around outside of my studio and I am in sunny, Los Angeles California.

Are you planning on putting out any new music in the near future?

I’m basically on the grind the right now. I’m trying to get all my shit done before     this big tour coming up. I just wrote this new track, that I’m working on right now; it’s called Capital K. It’s like trap combined with wompy rythym shit. It’s pretty heavy. It’s different; it’s combining a lot of different things. I think you guys are gonna like it.

How do you try to stand out as a live performer and an artist?

Let me see, I try to stand out by making really intricate sets that you can’t really do with CDJs. I play on CDJs when I’m doing like after parties and stuff, but when it comes to a Datsik show I try to make really technical sets. I try to cover all genres. People usually assume I’m gonna play all 140 or dubstep, I play pretty much everything right now. I play quite a bit of dubstep, but then I push to drum and base, and drumstep, a bit of electro. You know, I just try to do everything because for me, it keeps it a lot more interesting. For example, you know breakfast? We all love breakfast, but that doesn’t mean we want to eat only breakfast all day, every day. No one wants to eat the same type of food all the time. I feel the same about music; you have to switch it up a bit.

What inspired your artist name?

I used to play a lot of Halo. Halo 2 was the shit! I got up pretty high in level. I was like 45 in Team Slayer and 43 in Team Snipers. DATSIK was my gamertag.

How is the Ninja Nation Tour compared to the Digital Assassins Tour last year?

This one is different, we’re rolling with a bit more sound, and we got a different lineup that’s coming with me. It’s gonna be pretty awesome man. Basically this is my longest tour yet, this one we’re doing is 60 days, which is insane. That’s a lot of shows consecutively. It’s gonna be fucking awesome, I’m really excited. I’m really stoked to have a few guys on tour as well, let’s see we got: Truth, Bear Grillz, Fox Stevenson, Twine, Barely Alive, ETC!ETC!, Kennedy Jones, Trolley Snatcha. A couple shows we also got LOUDPVCK, as well. There’s a lot of good people.

How do you feel about playing in Oakdale? How see the culture here?

Honestly, last time I was there it was one of the sickest shows on the tour. It was packed out! I love that venue a lot. It’s a really nice venue. I think it was the third time I’ve played that room, and it was awesome man. You guys go hard as fuck! We are rolling out with a new-and-improved version of the Vortex. It’s bigger, it has a different lighting package with it, it’s gonna be awesome.

What inspires you to create music? Describe how you create a song get from start to finish.

I basically got into music when I was younger, like 15 years old or so. I was making beats on Frooty Loops. I was doing that and snowboarding a lot, it was basically going hand in hand with me. From there, I went to audio school and there I switched to Logic Pro Tools, and now I’m in Ableton. As far as the process goes for making a song for me, it really doesn’t start from any specific point. Every song is different. Sometimes I find a really cool sample, I’ll start building drums around that cool sample, or I’ll make really cool bass line, make a loop and try to get a groovy going, then I’ll build drums on that. Every song is made a different way, and that’s the beauty of it. You don’t have to make it any specific way. Continue reading

Watch Zedd’s Hilarious Interview with Nardwuar

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Nardwuar is famous for his extremely in-depth research into his interviewee’s personal and musical backgrounds. Nardwuar has interviewed famous DJs such as Skrillex, Diplo, Flosstradamus, Dillon Francis, and loads more. One of my favorite Nardwuar interivews is the one with Diplo, which confirms Diplo’s extreme knowledge of the vinyl game as well as delves into a bit of his background with M.I.A. and his Florida roots. Anyways, this interview focuses on the superstar Zedd, and it’s hilarious watching him get showered in random vinyls, CDs, and books.

Watch the interview here:

Zedd: Facebook | Twitter | Soundcloud