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GDJB World Tour w/ Markus Schulz is One to Be Replayed

It’s almost time for a new Global Dj Broadcast World Tour episode from dark trance king Markus Schulz, but I cannot help myself from replaying his last installment.

This World Tour is recorded live from the Future Music Festival on March 8th, 2014. And don’t let the past date disinterest you; this is one to be heard. I know I have not been disappointed in my multiple of listens. Unlike last month’s WT (which was a bit more on the deep trance side), this episode is BANGING! And again, don’t let me yell out banging scare you trance fans, it’s not full of bangers and drops and kick drums . . . well it kinda is but it’s the good kind . . . the Markus Schulz kind.

Schulz starts his set off with a remix of Capital Cities (an American pop group) “Safe and Sound.” This remix is done by the man himself (Markus Schulz) and the deep trance duo Grube & Hovsepian. Already setting a hard hitting pace, Schulz keeps this up with dark trance bangers such as Fishermans & Hawkins “Apache” and Beat Service “Arcade.” We get a little sample of big room DJ Hardwell in this first hour as Schulz mashes up thesounds of Fisherman & Hawkins “Virus” with “Apollo.” This first hour is great, giving just the right tunes to a festival crowd desires, ending it with a nice touch with Schulz’s own track “Revolution.” There was defiantly a revolution that night in the name of trance music.

The second hour, recorded at Home Nightclub, is less bangers and more trance, dark, tech, in-your-face-close-your-eyes-rage-your-face-off trance. Of course you’re going to still want to jump around your room, or MUNI train, but it’s a different kind of energy that only a Coldharbour style of trance offers: It makes you want to punch your fist through a wall while loving thy neighbor at the same time. Schulz sets the uplifting tone with his track “Reloaded” into his and Armin van Buuren’s compilation “The Expedition.” A nice surprise of this set a little bit of techno with KhoMha and New World Punx remix of Radio Slave’s “Grindhouse.”

In this episode we have all kinds of EDM genre (seriously, techno!). Markus Schulz does a great job blending all of the genres to give us a fun energetic set; he’s all over the place with the beats and syncs and I don’t mind. My favorite track is the 6th one (about 20 minutes in), an unknown ID, which is rumored to be a new Fishermans & Hawkins track.

So give it a listen, it will rock your world and fuel your gym session over and over again. I know I’m probably going to listen to it a few more times this week.

If you’re in the Bay Area and or Nor Cal, be sure to catch Markus Schulz in Chico April 3rd and in San Francisco at Ruby Skye April 4th and 5th.

Daughter Warms Our (Indie) Hearts with Bear’s Den at the Fillmore in SF Oct. 7th

Daughter playing at the Fillmore in San Francisco Oct 7th

Daughter playing at the Fillmore in San Francisco Oct 7th

Despite Outside Lands music festival being just short of three months ago, Daughter, a London based band, returned to San Francisco and played at the Fillmore last Monday.

I did not know that Daughter was playing in San Francisco so soon since their last appearance; luckily a friend happened to shoot me a Facebook message about their return to the Bay Area. So, last Monday, I put on a plaid shirt and pulled up my slim fit jeans for a night of great indie-rock music.

Bear’s Den, another London based band, opened for Daughter. Until last Monday, this band was unknown to me; so I decided that it wouldn’t be too band if I missed a little bit of their set.

However, that was a big mistake. When I finally arrived to the Fillmore, the crowd and energy was in full swing. Bear’s Den was rocking (in an indie-folk kinda way) the crowd. I’m sure that most of the audience there were for Daughter and was in the same position as I, foreign to this Bear(‘s Den). But that little factor did not matter because they were AWESOME!

Here is a video of their closing song “Hard Life”:

You can feel their powerful encompassing stage presence in this video; their whole sound filling the room.

Bear’s Den made great use of the acoustic guitar; you can hear the lead vocalist, Joey Haynes, strum every cord during “Hard Life”. As they (indie)rocked on, newly acquired groupies are howling their cries of new found love onto the stage. It was an amazing set by this newly discovered band; and I’m sure other people enjoyed it and became new fans as well.

Although Bear’s Den put on a magnificent show, the crowd was still craving more indie-rock action, and Daughter would satisfy our appetite!

When the lights went dim and lead vocalist Elena Tonra took to the mic, the Fillmore erupted with noise. Seeing how I was filled with Lagunitas IPA, which was quite a big amount judging how each beer was about 15 bucks (14+1 dollar for tip), I joined the massive and showed my love for Daughter by screaming out an incomprehensible cry that was swallowed up by other Daughter-loving-cries, telling the three British people in front of us that we were ready to be taken on an emotional journey.

And if you have ever listened to any of Daughter’s music, you will know that it is an EMOtional roller-coaster filled with mix feelings of happiness, sadness, confusion and of course overcoming euphoria.

Daughter opened with “Still”, a song off their new album If You Leave. This song, along with the amazing array of lights, set the tone for the night, proving that this will be an “emo” roller-coaster indeed.

Amsterdam” was their next song. A song which I realized was more powerful and amazing live when compared to its’ studio version. The guitarist, Igor Haefeil, brought a smothering eerie sound to my ears as he strung his electric guitar with a bow. Something which, until tonight, I did not think was possible.

Their next song, one of my favorites, was “Landfill”, a classic off their 2011 album His Young Heart.

As Daughter played with our emotions through their sound, our visual senses also took in a welcoming but depressing stimulus as the stage illuminated a midnight blue light over the band. This was also a crowd favorite as they sang softly along with the chorus: “I want you so much/ but I hate your guts”.

Now don’t leave the drummer, Remi Aguilella, out of this equation of beautiful music. We got to see a lot of his action during the song “Tomorrow”.

You can hear his presence in the video as he bangs on the drums, letting us know that he was back there.

This was a great show; not only because of their incredible music, but also because of their fan interaction. Elena and Igor had a lot of the speaking roles as the fans shouted at them during their set.

One great interaction was when a, presumably drunk, male audience member yelled out “I love you”. Elena graciously replied, “I love you too” in her cute (and a little bit shy) British accent. To be honest, it was hard to hear her at times when she spoke, but I doubt anyone care because of how cute she sounded.

Another fan yelled out that it was someone’s birthday, which was a great segway into another one of their classic, and another favorite of mine, “Candles”.

Again you can hear the crowd softly getting into it as everyone sang along. It was truly beautiful as the music of Daughter reminded us, just-in-case we forgotten, what the joy and suffering of love feels like.

Actually, when “Candles” came on, I subconsciously let out a loud “bro” roar, which caused my friend to shoot me a amused but disapproving look that reminded me that we were at an artistically gifted musicians show and not a frat party.

I was saddened when the show ended. It was an amazing show that surprised me by how much it blew my mind. I even made new friends with a random group of girls who yelled out along side me in hope that Daughter would play “Medicine” as their encore. They didn’t. Instead, they played a cover of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky”.

When I asked my friend, Elle, if she was disappointed that she missed Daughter at Outside Lands, she replied no and was glad to have seen them in a more intimate venue as she expressed her phrase for their usage of the stage lights.

This of course is different than my regular EDM reviews, but it was still an amazing show never-the-less and was just as entrancing as seeing a DJ. And of course this was not my first live indie show nor will it be my last as I plan on attending more.

Now on that note, I will leave you with a video of the first song (and yes another one of my favorites) that I heard from Daughter; which is also the same song that got my friend, who told me about the show, hooked: “Youth”.

Enjoy

PS, I love her accent.

Niko Zografos Released Remix of New World Punx “Romper”

Niko Zografos, a local San Francisco DJ, recently released his remix of New World Punx “Romper” for download on his Soundcloud. The original “Romper” is already a smashing hit that combines the new wave of “trouse” influences with the heavy trance styles of the Unicorn Slayer Markus Schulz and Ferry Corsten. The original “Romper” contains a hard drum-line, accompany with a snare that carries it from the drop to the end, giving the track a feeling of raw energy that one feels before battle! (In this case a dance battle.) The Niko Zografos remix gives this already hit-track a new kind of uplifting feel. In Nikos’ edit, he infuses a big room trance feel in the beginning, giving his version a sound that can fill a whole club. Then shortly after the three minute mark, the drop releases a heavy bass-line which accompanies the big room feel; then ending it with an encompassing uplifting tone that takes you on an epic trance journey. This remix is defiantly one to be heard. And played loudly!

New World Punx, a duo of two trance powerhouses Markus Schulz and Ferry Corsten, first released “Romper” at the legendary Madison Square Garden in New York during the A State of Trance 600 tour. Since then, Schulz and Corsten have been playing this phenomenal track in their set, along with other hard-fist-bumping trance tracks.

Niko Zografos “Romper” remix:

New World Punx “Romper”:

Slaying Unicorns with KhoMha and Project 46 at TORQ SF

I can finally scratch off KhoMha from my ColdHarbour DJs-to-see list after attending TORQ last Thursday. This TORQ event was a triple header, or I guess you can say quadruple since the headlining DJs are a duo, with KhoMha opening the decks for Project 46 and The Aston Shuffle closing.

KhoMha, a 21 year old DJ from Colombia, started off with a long but familiar beat, gearing up the crowd for his hit “Mind Gamer”. Trust me, it was a lengthy intro but it did not disappoint. Once “Mind Gamer” was kicked in full gear, so were the club-goers. The crowd just started jumping, not knowing whether to fist-pump or to hold ‘em by their side to keep their balance as they thrust into the air. The next track tugged the heart strings of the crowd as well as their vocal cords as fans sang along to the acapella of Above & Beyonds’ “A Thing Called Love” mashed up with Chris Schweizer “The Kraken”. Then I heard it, the song that will ignite every unicorn slaying, SchulzArmy fans in the club, “Overdrive Zorro”, a Schulz mash-up of songs from Ashley Wallbridge and Tristian Garner. As he spun, behind the decks he waved his arm like a maestro as the crowd embraced the sound of KhoMha. Such high energy came from his set, which composed of hits like “D# Fat” and “The Box” mixed in with his own dark trance hits such as “Dusk Riddles” and “Hydra”. In the end, KhoMha gave what the trance fans wanted, ending his set with his mash-up of a classic: Nadia Ali “Rapture” with his song “Dejavu”. It was (insert another word for exciting here) to finally see this man, whom Mr. Coldharbour talks of so highly, live. Whether the people who packed the club during his set were there for him or for the discounted guest-list, everyone had a great time. I even over heard a girl said “I don’t usually like this kind of music but I really like him”. Needless to say, we were all KhoMhatized and no unicorns were left standing as we bathe in their bright rainbow blood.

The only thing that was weird during KhoMha set was the visuals. At times, they kept going off and the crowd was left with a black screen.

It was weird knowing that Project 46 was after KhoMha since P46 is a progressive house duo while KhoMha is of the trance genre. But still, Project 46 is amazing to see live.

There is a thin line separating trance and progressive house and TORQ is testing it.

Project 46,  composed of Ryan and Thomas, opened with their remix of Linkin Parks’ “Shadow of the Day”. Or course, the entire crowd erupted as they sang along to the lyrics. Being a Linkin Park fan, I joined the sea of bad signing that was weeded out by the music blasting from the speakers. Their next song was a Hardwells’ “Spaceman” mash-up with “Out of My Mind” by Bingo Players. Although I was unsure if this was a mash-up or some quick mixing that these two were conjuring. It might have been the results of some quick mixing because there was a little hiccup in the middle of this song. Despite that, the two went on with the show and “Out of My Mind” went playing in full force. There was defiantly a lot of quick mixing/mash-ups going on during P46 set. One mash up was of their new collaboration with Kaskade “One Last Chance” with W&Ws’ “Liftoff”. This seized the hearts of the club goers as they held someone close or swayed to the song in bliss. (Making me wish I was with my drunk friends in the crowd and not on the side taking notes on my iPod) Another mash-up that fired up the crowd was Swedish House Mafias’ “Save the World”. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, broke into song, forcefully yelling out the words that SHM used to save the world. Some of those words kind of sound like drunken gibberish coming from this crowd after awhile. A surprise from their set was when they played their hit “You and I” 30 minutes in. I thought this would have been saved for last. First, last, who cares; “You and I” is still a great song!

Seeing two (or three) great DJs on the same night while not having to pay festival prices was amazing. All-in-all, hearing trance paired up with progressive house was not bad; the two complimented each other nicely. Even if there was some kind of confliction on a “musical science level”, the crowd did not seem to care. Everyone who was at TORQ was there for one reason, their love of EDM.

Getting to Know Shaina Chambers: Trance Writer and Enthusiast

Electronic Dance Music, or EDM for short, has been grown among this generation of club-goers in America. Of the oldest, and original, genre of EDM is trance. Trance is very big in European countries, a lot of the megastar DJ’s are from the Netherlands. However, here in the United States, trance not the number one genre in EDM. It’s house that takes the mantle. But as house music holds its place at the top, trance is slowly catching up.

Although the number of true trance lovers is small, in San Francisco it is a tight-knit community of love and respect. Luckily, there is an online publication where trance lovers can unite as a community, even as a family. TranceFamilySF, founded April 2010 by Sony Jacob and Kendra Aker, is an online blog where trance lovers can come together and read show reviews and articles that involve their favorite genre of EDM.

Alongside published articles, TranceFamilySF, or TFSF for short, has an interactive blog where people within this community can communicate with one another. TFSF also host raffle contests to meet DJ’s and prizes, like t-shirts, free CDs, and other merchandise. Another way TFSF unites its community is by hosting their own live music events, showcasing top notch DJs whom are local or international super stars. This past month, TFSF had their 3 year anniversary celebration; showcasing DJs such as local super star John Beaver, Ryan Mendoza, Reverse, and much more. With 5,497 followers on Twitter, and 7,319 fans on Facebook, it’s not a mystery that their 3rd anniversary party sold-out.

I had the pleasure to sit down with Shaina Chambers, a writer for TFSF. Chambers is a journalism and media studies major, with an emphasis on integrated marketing and communications, at University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  Although she is currently going to school in the city of Las Vegas, she started her writing career here in San Francisco.

So how did she turn her love for trance music into a writing career?

“I got into the music, started going to events, and met some people who introduced me to a couple more people,” she explains. “Eventually I introduced myself to the team, talked a little about my goals and ambitions for the future and was brought on shortly thereafter!”

It was her love for trance music that lead her into the right direction. “I love the crowd of people that trance music seems to attract,” she says. “Such amazing, beautiful, pure people with pure hearts that want nothing more than to dance the night away with some familiar (and not so familiar) faces.”

Carefully blending in her passion for trance and amazing journalism skills, she has turned her passion into a career. “I love to write. Being able to combine two of my passions is a dream come true.” This career has privileged her to interview great DJ’s such as Tydi and trance vocalist Bestsie Larkin.

But this dream job does have its difficulties. Passion and professionalism is a hard line to flirt on:

“One challenge that comes along with holding this position is that when I am out, it’s strictly business. I don’t have quite as much freedom as I do on nights when I’m out for leisure. It’s expected of me to be a certain place at a certain time, observe particular things, and create a well-rounded review of the event. If I’m doing an interview the same night, it’s even stricter guidelines. I represent the TFSF name and when dealing with multiple record labels and artists who have a heavy presence in the industry, professionalism is crucial.”

 

Chambers gives us a little tip on how she grounds superstar DJ’s for an interview. “The key is to remember that the artist is human, too,” she says. “They meet so many ‘die hard’ fans at every gig. At the end of the day, usually all they want is someone to level with.”

She adds, “I love hearing someone’s story, knowing their ‘deal’. So I guess it’s never been too difficult for me. Go in with the mentality that you are having a pre-scripted conversation with him or her, it takes the edge off a little and makes the entire thing a bit more natural.”

It is the difficulty of the “fan” barrier that Chamber warns us; it difficulty of separating fan-self from interviewer. “If you can break through the ‘fan’ barrier and get on a more personal level with him or her, the chances of maintaining contact go up tremendously. Which is always cool.”

So if you are a fan, does that mean you will still have a bias for or against the DJ? I ask her.

“I’d say that’s one of the most difficult parts honestly,” Chamber says. “But something I really like about writing for TFSF is that I’m encouraged to add my personal voice in my writing.”
Being in college and working two jobs, I know it’s difficult to balance school time and work time with fun and play time. It’s even difficult for me to write a simple blog post. So how does she do it?

“To be honest, I have to really sit myself down and force myself to write pieces for the site, or pieces in general actually,” she says reminding us that she is also human and a human in her 20’s. “I told myself I would start writing more but between school, work, and finding time to breathe; it’s constantly slipping my mind.”

Alongside with inner-obstacles to her career, I wonder if there were any external difficulties with writing for TFSF. She tells us that there is none. She loves her team at TFSF and only has high words for Kendra and Sony.

“I love my team. Kendra and Sony are such strong leaders and they kind of hold everything together. The rest of the team members each bring something so unique and crucial to the table; it’s just a really great group of people.” This immense love for her team is probably why the word “family” is infused in TranceFamilySF.

In the midst of all of her success, I ask her what she was doing now with her living situation being in Las Vegas?

“Answering these questions,” she jokingly says. “Just kidding. Currently attending UNLV and hopefully graduating soon. I’m also working for an online media marketing firm as a social media assistant. Absolutely love it and I hope to continue in this field.”

She also tells us to “stay tuned” for the future with TFSF. “We’re actually working on something new,” she eagerly says. “Even bigger than TFSF!”

Although her passion now is marriage with obligations, she still reassures us that she still has fun: “Of course when I go out, I am out to have a good time.”

Was it a stroke of luck or pure coincidence of being at the right place and at the right time that lead Chambers to turn her passion of trance into a career? She herself does not really know. “I did not originally plan to get involved,” she says, “some things just work out.”

 

 

Unleash the UrbanBeast

Jacky Ko, the founder of UrbanBeast, representing the unique style that keeps his fashion fresh.
Jacky Ko, the founder of UrbanBeast, representing the unique style that keeps his fashion fresh.

“This is a learning experience for me,” said Jacky Ko, the founder of UrbanBeast. “An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.”

Those words resonated with me when I sat down with Jacky to talk about his up-and-coming hype-fashion company.

Jacky Ko is a 22 year old international student from Taiwan, majoring in business economic at Skyline College. After being in America for three years, Jacky decided that it was time to manifest his dream into reality.

“This was kind of a bazinga kind of idea,” he said. “I thought why not give it a try? When I put this together I actually put a lot of heart into it.”

But the idea for UrbanBeast was not born in America; Jacky had the idea of creating his hype company since he was in Taiwan. It wasn’t until after taking a few business classes at Skyline that he felt comfortable taking the necessary steps to creating the beast.

So what is this urban beast of Jacky’s dream?

UrbanBeast is Jacky’s vehicle to expose the new its it in Taiwan. “There are a lot of talents in Taiwan ranging from break dancing, BMX, and other things,” Jacky stated. “And I thought why not start a company that incorporated all of these talents.”

Just like that, Jackys’ beast started growing; manifesting into something much more tangible than just a hype company.

With an underground taste of Taiwan, UrbanBeast was able to promote unknown and up-and-coming talents in a “fashion sort of way,” featuring its own line of fashion: which includes t-shirts and hats.

The company’s main demographic is in Taiwan. All the fashion inspired for UrbanBeast is from the minds of young Taiwanese talents that have Western influences. The products are designed by Taiwanese for Taiwanese. It’s no wonder that a lot of UrbanBeast promotional pictures are shot in San Francisco.

Since the birth of UrbanBeast, Jacky has tasted success. But it wasn’t advertisement that sparked the success, he believed it was hype that made his products flourish: “It was through word of mouth that our name was know that made people want to be a part of us.”

But the beasts’ success did not come without any criticisms. Jacky explained that they’re always going to be “haters,” as he calls them. “They are always going to be people doubting you because they think you’re not serious or because they are jealous.”

Despite doubling their profits since the launch of their fashion line, making money is not Jacky top priority. “Learning a lesson right now is more important,” he said. “Seeing people enjoy your product is more enjoyable than making money right now.”

Aside from learning lessons, Jacky hopes to expand his company in the future. But for right now, time is an enemy for him. With school, all of his focus cannot be on the company.

Jacky believes the size of the company is perfect for the target demographic. “It can only grow bigger,” Jacky said. “We inspire to be what Redbull has become.”

Jacky hopes that in the future, UrbanBeast can sponsor big events, showcasing talents ranging from sports to “anything interesting,” that are fun and enjoyable for everyone.

After sitting down with Jacky, I asked him “how an international student from Taiwan gets to be successful?”

“It’s really all about time and luck,” Jacky replied. “It’s actually more timing than luck and I guess I timed it right.”

A Bros Quick Tips to Working Out for Festivals

just a reblog from my other humor site for this personal one

Inside the Dark Minds of Koko and Airec

Alright Bros, with festival season quickly approaching us, or here with EDC just a few hours away, we have to kick our asses in high gear and whip it in shape!

Let’s look at this, so you wanna get girls like her:

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So you realize that you need to look like this:

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However, you look like this 😦

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But have no fear, here are some simple things that you can either do at the gym or around your house to get into that ripped, sweaty abs showing, buff-fist-pumping shape to get the “Bytches.”

First workout that I recommend is the pushup. Every bro out there loves chest, which is why every testosterone-pump-jockey hounds the bench. But you don’t need a bench to have a nice chest; all you need is the ground and your body.

The great thing about pushups is that it doesn’t only work out your…

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Inside the Dark Minds of Koko and Airec

we danced, we blogged, we conquered

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