MDA Alumni Taking the Stage at EDC Las Vegas 2018

BY: KAGAN RICHARDSON

With Modern Disco Ambassadors celebrating its 10th anniversary in August, it is only natural for us to take a look back at the artists who have taken the stage for MDA over the years. Many of these artists were on the rise when they played an MDA show and some are now international superstars.


With Insomniac’s EDC Las Vegas 2018 in just a few days, we want to highlight the MDA alumni who have played at La Cave and will be taking the stage in Sin City. Without further adieu, here they are in no particular order.

Detlef

Detlef played at La Cave on March 14th, 2018 and it was easily one of the craziest nights of the year so far. This weekend he will be playing a couple of sets kicking off with his 8:00pm-9:10pm set at Neon Garden, hosted by Factory 93, on Saturday night. Later that night he will be going back to back with not just Gorgon City but Green Velvet as well. All three will close out Neon Garden together from 4:30am-5:30am on the same night.

Fantom Freq

Josh Miranda AKA Fantom Freq is currently a resident DJ with Modern Disco Ambassadors and has releases on labels such as 3000 Bass, House of Hustle, OKNF Collective, and Up Club Records. Fantom Freq played at Bass Cave on April 19th and will be going back to back with Eric Mark on Monday morning from 3:00am-4:00am. He will also be supporting BOT at La Cave on June 20th so don’t miss it!

Josh Billings

Josh Billings is a living legend in the Orange County house music scene having founded Focus OC which has been going strong since 2003. Josh is no stranger to La Cave having taken over on October 15th of 2014 with Nonfiction and Wobs of the Focus crew supporting. This Saturday  he will be serving top shelf house music on the Boombox Art Car from 10:00pm-11:00pm.

Morelia

Morelia played as his bass music alter ego, Mannequin, at Bass Cave on May 10th, 2018 and is supporting Wongo on May 16th, 2018 for MDA Wednesdays. His wonky and sub heavy brand of house music has found homes on Box of Cats, My Techno Weighs a Ton, and Perfect Driver. He will be going closing the night on Friday with a back to back set with Sang Froyd from 4:30am-5:30am.

Nonfiction

As part of the original Focus OC crew, Nonfiction has played alongside some of the top names in house music over the years. Most recently, he opened for Doorly and Felix Da Housecat on Tuesday nights at Focus. He headlined on October 4th of 2017 at La Cave and supported Josh Billings in 2015, as previously mentioned. This Sunday night, he will be taking control of the Boombox Art Car from 1:00am-2:00am.

Sinden B2B LO’99

With Sinden and LO’99 releasing the stellar 2-track Burner EP on Tchami’s Confession label, it’s only natural that promoters around the world would consider booking them together. Insomniac did just this as the two will be joining forces with some back to back action from 9:00pm-10:15pm at Stereo Bloom. Sinden played on September 20th, 2017 at La Cave and LO’99 played on January 10th, 2017, and they were both packed nights.

Speaker Honey B2B Roswell

MDA’s own Kirsty Parker AKA Speaker Honey and Kevin Mullen AKA Roswell are leaders in the growing house music scene in Las Vegas. Their commitment to growing the community has earned them support from Insomniac and a back to back set on the Boombox Art Car to kick of EDC at 7:00pm on Friday.

Sage Armstrong

Sage Armstrong’s unique brand of underground beats coupled with his original vocals have been making waves ever since he burst onto the scene in 2015 with What’s Yo Temptcha? on Dirtybird Records. Sage played on April 5th, 2017 at La Cave and recently played at Focus OC. Those who will be under the electric sky this weekend can catch him on Saturday night from 8:00pm-9:15pm at Stereo Bloom.

Thomas Garcia

Thomas Garcia supported Nonfiction at La Cave on October 4th of last year and will be playing the Wide Awake Art Car on Saturday at 7:00pm. He has releases on Deep Sounds, Nite Records, and House of Hustle, to name a few. I recently saw him close out the night at the House of Hustle takeover at Que Sera in Long Beach, CA where he had the crowd in the palm of his hand.

Volac

The boys from Volac have been some of my favorite artists over the past couple of years. Their Volacast mix series curates some of the best underground house music around the world. They have become mainstays on Night Bass with their amazing originals and remixes. They can be found on the decks at Stereo Bloom on Sunday morning from 3:30am-4:30am.

Wongo

Box of Cats label boss, Wongo, is also playing at StereoBloom on Saturday morning from 3:15am-4:15am and headlined at La Cave on May 16th, 2018. He has remixed Beyoncé in the past and has collaborated with the likes of Sinden, Jace Mek, and Billy Kenny. He is known to have a penchant for taking off his clothes during his set, and I would say it’s pretty likely with Vegas being hot even at night. With Box of Cats being supported by DJs around the world, Wongo is definitely on track to do some big things.

Wood Holly

Wood Holly has been a constant figure in the west coast house music scene over the last few years. His steady stream of remixes, bootlegs, and originals keep his sets fresh and exciting, you never know what he’ll throw in! Ass Out, his collaboration with Sage Armstrong, was one of the most popular Dirtybird tracks of 2015. He played in 2012 at La Cave and will be playing on the Boombox Art Car on Friday night from 1:00am-2:00am.

Blackgummy


The mysterious Blackgummy played at La Cave for his Mesophase Tour on February 28th, 2018 and will be closing the night Circuit Grounds on Sunday from 4:15am-5:30am. With personal training from deadmau5 and Steve Duda, he’s sure to impress.

Bijou


Bijou has been releasing a slew of tracks on labels like Night Bass, Fool’s Gold, and Prep School Recordings over the years which has earned him the support of the world’s top DJs. He’ll be lighting up the dancefloor with his unique brand of G House at Stereo Bloom from 9:15pm-10:30pm on Saturday night.

Born Dirty


Born Dirty burst on the scene with a vengeance with songs being released on Dirtybird, featured on BBC Radio 1, and even used in Apple commercials. He destroyed the dancefloor at La Cave on December 6th, 2017 and is sure to do the same thing at Cosmic Meadow on Sunday from 7:00pm-8:00pm.

Bones


Bones is a fixture in the electronic dance music community as the founder of Gotta Dance Dirty and as a part of Night Bass Records with AC Slater. He is set to play the Corona Electric Beach from 10:00pm-12:00am on Friday. If you went to HARD Fest last summer then you probably know how much fun Corona Electric Beach can be!

Dateless

Dateless’s sound knows no bounds as he has released tracks on Snatch!, Confession, and Toolroom to name a few. His versatility has earned him spots on mainstages as well as underground venues around the world. He will be landing at Corona Electric Beach on Friday night from 2:00am-3:00am.

ETC!ETC!

With productions ranging from moombahton to trap to electro house and everything in between, ETC!ETC! Has proven himself as a very versatile artist. It’s been a big year so far as he joined Valentino Khan on Bro Safari’s Pretty Good Tour, and he will be taking over the Wench Art Car on Friday night from 2:00am-3:00am.

Mister Blaqk


Mister Blaqk supported Wongo alongside Morelia on May 16th, 2018 and will be kicking off EDC at Stereo Bloom on Friday from 7:00pm-8:00pm. The Los Angeles based DJ has been crafting infectious mixes over the years which has caught the eye of Insomniac.

Missy B

Missy B has been making waves in the Orange County electronic dance music scene as one of Disneyland’s resident DJs and as an opening DJ at the legendary House of Blues. On November 2nd, 2016, she supported Eli & Fur at La Cave and will be taking over the Boombox Art Car on Sunday from 9:00pm-10:00pm.

Shiba San

With roots in the French hip-hop scene, Shiba San’s unique take on G House has been taking the world by storm ever since Dirtybird released Okay in 2014. He has since started his own label, Basement Leak, so he is sure to curate a set filled with amazing music. He will be getting some mainstage action in at Cosmic Meadow on Sunday from 9:00pm-10:00pm.

As you can see, some star power has made its way through La Cave over the last decade. If you’ll be attending EDC this weekend, be sure to check some of them out!

I can’t wait to share what we have in store for you in the coming months.

Until next time Ambassadors.

Kagan Richardson

AKA DJ Moose Trax

Lost in Los Angeles Interview

Lost in Los Angeles Re-Imagines Their Sound with In the Dark

EXPERIENCE BY: KAGAN RICHARDSON

Two months ago at MDA's first edition of Summer Home 2018 with Télépopmusik, I had the chance to sit down with Christoph Hetier after his amazing set to ask him some questions. Before his set, however, I met Christoph to discuss the interview and he introduced me to his friends Danny Klein and Tara Zepeda who came along to check out Summer Home.

The pair proceeded to tell me about their band, Lost in Los Angeles, and how they were gearing up for a single release in a couple of months. Well a couple of months have passed and In the Dark, a single marking the re-imagining of LiLA, was released on Friday, May 4th (may the fourth be with you).

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Here’s a little background about Lost in Los Angeles. The group formed in 2006 out of Los Angeles as an indie and alternative band. Their self-titled LP, LiLA, was released in 2010 and was followed with a number of singles and EPs. Over the years, LiLA’s personnel and sound has evolved and arrived at an electronic dreamwave sound with Tara now taking vocal duties. Danny takes on synth, piano, and vocal duties as the pair discovers their true voices through music.

In celebration of the release of In the Dark, I had the opportunity to pick the brains of the Los Angeles based duo. Here is what they had to say:

Kagan: How did you and Tara first start working together?
Danny: We were working on an album a few years ago and we were looking for an amazing female vocalist. Tara and I had connected through some other stuff so she came in and started laying down some vocals. The producer at the time and I looked at each other and were like wow this woman is special. We had several people come through and I knew right away when I heard her voice that it was the voice I was looking for I feel like all my life. That production lasted quite a while and Tara came into the fold and helped with a ton of writing. We started writing and singing together, and it all came toward what we’re doing today which is a fresh re-imagined version of Lost in Los Angeles. It’s the version I’ve been trying to get to for so long and finally with Tara it makes sense.
Kagan: How would you say Lost in Los Angeles’s sound has evolved over the years?
Tara: When I first joined the band it was an alternative pop rock synth band and then about a year and a half ago we left that producer and some band members decided to leave so Danny had the opportunity to write on his own. He started writing all this electronic stuff and like he said before he’s wanted to do it for a long time but with other band members and producers in the mix it was kind of discouraging and not working. I came in and would collaborate on it. It kind of went from one genre to a whole different one, but to the one that he’s been wanting to do.
Danny: I personally had always been a fan of beats and electronic beats versus live drums. We had incorporated a lot of that in our prior stuff so it had electronic hints and shadows here and there. It wasn’t until we were able to isolate ourselves that the true sound came out. We owe a lot to our new producer, Vaski. He takes the tracks that we feel are pretty good tracks, we do a lot of production on our side, and he polishes them into diamonds. He’s really amazing, it’s a good collaboration.
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Kagan: What was it like to work with Vaski on this project?
Danny: It came about through our manager, Kyle Emerson-Brown. Vaski had been working with one of our management mates, Ninth Child, who’s an amazing DJ in Los Angeles. Tara and I had been looking at a lot of electronic music producers and Vaski stood out, he just had the best vibe.
Tara: We really liked one of his tracks and we thought it fit with our sound. We didn’t want to see another producer that would take our music and change it to another genre. We had done that before and it was devastating. It was like someone taking your painting that you just finished and then painting over it. A big part of collaborating with someone is everyone has to vibe well and get along. He’s really great.
Kagan: Can you tell us about In the Dark’s meaning to both of you?
Tara: Danny and I work a lot at night because it’s quiet and we’re just night owls. Sometimes it’s the best time to work because you’re not being texted or called or on social media as much. It’s great to be able to focus at night. “We’re only alive in the dark” is also a reflection of society. During the day we work and do boring stuff, at night is when we really come alive in the dark.
Danny: This song is a great symbol of the collaboration between Tara and I. We kinda went from an instrumental track then to her chorus and I hopped back in and I was super inspired by her lyrics and her melody too. When I was writing my vocal parts and my lyrics, it was great because I used her as the inspiration. It was a metaphor for me because we finally found this place where we can create what we wanted to create. It’s one thing to hear something in your head but it’s next level to get it into the computer and out someone’s speakers. The lyric that stands out for me is “the universe is ours and it never ends”. It makes total sense as to where that’s all coming from.
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Kagan: What was the original inspiration behind the name Lost in Los Angeles?
Danny: It came from an unreleased EP from a former project. There was something about it, the alliteration of it and the feel of it kinda stuck. For me personally it stand for the concept of never giving up and persevering. The name has travelled through some periods but when Tara got here she was able to put meaning to it. The name has always represented something deeper in getting lost in something bigger than yourself.
Tara: When I first started collaborating with the band four years ago, I was kinda taking a leap of faith. I never really put myself out there, I never really shared with people that I did music. I was also going through a huge transition in my life, I was breaking up with someone I was married to. I came from Simi Valley and ended up in Los Angeles and was kind of lost in a way so the irony is funny. I felt like I had no friends and that I was committing some terrible crime by leaving my husband. Escaping and being able to be in the studio with Danny at that time was really cool because he opened up this whole word and gave me a huge confidence boost, the producer at the time as well.
It took me a while to get used to the name and I thought about wanting to change it. The shortened acronym of our band name is LiLA so people pronounce it as ‘Lyla’ but a month ago I was visiting my friend in Oakland and she called us ‘leela’. She said it means something in Hinduism and means the energetic play between one person and someone else or the absolute. That is how Danny and I are when we write music, we have this energetic play and it exudes happiness. Now that I have this new meaning that I relate to more, I feel good about it. I didn’t come up with it but I can make it my own in some ways. I was waiting for the light bulb to turn on and my friend did that.
Kagan: If you could spend a day with any musician in the world, past or present, who would it be and why?
Tara: Bianca Casady from Coco Rosie. I have no idea what her personality is like but I really like her poetry and her lyrics. Her sister as well, they’re a band. I’d love to sit there and watch them write a song.
Danny: I could easily insert a million bands and artists but I guess I’ll go with one of my favorites called Boards of Canada. It’s two guys, no vocals, it’s all just beats and atmospherics. The way they construct their albums is one track to the twelfth or however many are on there, it feels like one complete journey. It would be somewhere in the desert and it would be perfect.
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Kagan: Could you see yourselves ever playing a DJ set?
Tara: Our set right now is pretty much that. Danny has a controller and his keyboard and I have a mic. I may or may not be contributing instrumentally as far as drums when we play live. Maybe I’ll have a drum pad and do some beats but I’m thinking for live I just want to focus on singing. If we get asked to DJ we would definitely jump on it because we love music and we love performing for people. If it means us DJing and not actually performing our songs, that’s cool too. It’s definitely a route I would love to do because I love showing people songs and playing music for people when we’re talking about music.
Danny: It’s weird, it’s kind of come full circle. I’ve always had vinyl at home and spun vinyl. I played a few parties with vinyl but haven’t gotten into using CDJ’s. Recently we decided to consolidate our live rig. We were collaborating with Kyle and some other people and said let’s just get a DJ controller and have our tracks run through that. In the process I’ve been diving into how to best interact with CDJs. I think what’s gonna make it fun for us doing DJ stuff in the future is incorporating stuff that we’re writing. We’ll probably have a keyboard or a synth or two around so it might not be the traditional loading tracks and mixing them with effects onboard but rather doing that with stuff that we’ve already written. We’re looking forward to that because any opportunity to get in front of people and share our passion with fans, we’re all about it. We realize that sometimes just bring a USB and a keyboard is much easier than bringing the whole rig so we see that in the future.
Kagan: What is your favorite synth in your studio?
Danny: I’ll go one analog and one digital. I’m kind of a synth and keyboard freak, I have a collection that I love. We have an ARP Omni 2 which was used in a lot of the 80s new wave stuff like Pet Shop Boys. You can enter into these different synthesizer sections. One is more bass and one is more strings and you can blend them. It just has this sound when you press the keys, the world is in another place.
That’s on the analog side and then on the digital side it was always a struggle because I didn’t want to leave behind the Juno-60 which is a legendary Roland. I came across Revealed Sound who makes a soft synth called Spire. The cool thing about it is it’s somewhat open-sourced so that other developers and contributors can create different voicings for it. Through Spire, I’ve been able to amass a great library of sounds from basses to plucks to leads to effects to beats, you name it we’re able to develop it in Spire. That’s our go-to regarding sound design.
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Kagan: Do you have plans for upcoming shows or perhaps a tour?
Danny: We’re still working on more collaborations and more tracks but next week we’re having our rehearsal studio back out of the form it was in before which was more about writing and now we’re gonna start rehearsing. I’d say give us about 60 days and we’ll be ready for prime time and ready to share the new music. Tours? Absolutely.
Tara: Over the next month we’ll be rehearsing. Once we start getting our set dialed in, we’re gonna have some people over because we want to playing mini-rehearsal shows here. I’m gonna try to incorporate some performance art and/or art installations into our show. I don’t want to be on stage and have us just play and sing, we’re gonna be giving more in a way. It’s another way for us to express ourselves so we’ll gonna be testing ideas on people here and getting feedback. Sooner than 60 days, I feel like we just need to get stuff dialed in for about a month.

It definitely sounds like a lucky group of people close to Tara and Danny will have the opportunity to see the duo displaying their passion before they hit the road on tour. Make sure to pay attention for new LiLA releases and shows coming to a city near you.

Until next time Ambassadors.

Kagan Richardson

AKA DJ Moose Trax

Fritz Carlton Interview @ MDA Wednesdays

Fritz Carlton Turned La Cave Upside Down!

EXPERIENCE BY: KAGAN RICHARDSON

It has been an amazing year so far at MDA Wednesday’s and we are thankful for all of our Ambassadors. So far we’ve seen the likes of Eli & Fur, Detlef, Chus & Ceballos, to name a few, and we can look forward to hosting amazing DJs such as Maximono, Wongo, and Amtrac.

This past week continued the trend of excellence with Fritz Carlton taking over the night. Coming from Desert Hearts the weekend before, Max Huseby AKA Fritz Carlton had nearly lost his voice but that didn’t stop him from yelling and screaming along with the crowd. He worked the crowd to a fervor the moment he stepped behind the decks and curated his self-proclaimed “weirdo house” sounds. Credit is definitely due to Z_Ro and Mary Droppinz who took opening duties and played some stellar sets. Mary Droppinz also took the opportunity to honor MDA’s Jarin Love during her set which directly supported Fritz.

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Shazam failed me throughout the night but especially during Fritz’s set, so I am left to believe that he featured unreleased tracks from both Fritz Carlton and his altar ego, Houseboy. Just before he started, I had the opportunity to sit down with the mastermind behind the two identities.

Here is what he had to say:

Kagan: What is it like to be a part of the Desert Hearts family?
Max: Dude, it’s incredible. I’m from Seattle originally so I’m a transplant to the whole Southern California house and techno scene. I didn’t really have any sort of inclination as to what the whole desert party vibe was before I started going to Burning Man when I went to college a while back in SoCal.
Desert Hearts opened up my mind to an entirely different platform that I didn’t even conceive as being a possibility. The whole one family, one stage, one vibe, one love, it’s everything I loved about Burning Man. I’m eternally grateful for what they’ve provided to me.
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Kagan: When did you first get into DJing and producing?
Max: It was my freshman year of college, so I was 18. I discovered VirtualDJ and moombahton and Calvin Harris and all of that. I was a metal drummer from Seattle so I didn’t know about electronic music, it wasn’t my thing. So then when I discovered all of that in college and people weren’t down with me playing screamo in my dorm room, I had to switch it up. Then it was sophomore year when I dropped out of college and moved to San Francisco and I paved my own way teaching myself on Youtube.
Kagan: Can you tell us more about your background as a drummer?
Max: Since I was in third or fourth grade, I had been playing the drums. I loved rock n roll, I loved metal, and I played in multiple bands growing up. I did a couple supporting shows and tours up in the city when I was younger. At the end of the day, the first electronic music I ever fell in love with was Skrillex and that half-time vibe because it’s similar to metal.
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Kagan: How does it feel to have one of the best mustaches in dance music?
Max: I’ll tell you this, I don’t know what it feels like to have the best mustache in dance music, but this mustache on my face hasn’t been shaved in over 10 years. It’s been varied in shape and form, but I haven’t been clean shaven fully in over a decade. If you really want to see an amazing stache though, check out Joe Kleinman. Shout out Joe!
Kagan: What can you tell us about Houseboy?
Max: Oh man, Houseboy is my love. My last name is actually Huseby, a lot of people think that it’s McGee but that’s my middle name and I prefer to let people know that’s my last name for some reason. My real last name is Huseby and if you just add two o’s it makes Houseboy.
It’s what I love to make because when I started Fritz Carlton it was unabashed sonic exploration and now Fritz Carlton has an expected sound. Houseboy doesn’t, it’s all fair game. I sample vinyl, I get weird, disco, funky, it’s me. I’ve got an album in the works right now and I’m working on when I’m gonna release it, but it’s gonna be really special.
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Kagan: If you weren’t a DJ and producer, what do you think you would be doing today?
Max: Professional video gamer for sure. Twitch streaming, World of Warcraft, Counterstrike, all of those computer games. I wanted to be a video gamer, I mean, that’s all I had going for me before I discovered music. Straight up.

Max is certainly one of the most down-to-earth DJ’s I’ve met to date. You can tell just by being around him that his love for music and creativity knows no bounds. It was a pleasure to sit down with him and pick his brain!

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We have a lot to look forward to from Fritz Carlton and Houseboy, so stay tuned Ambassadors.

Until next time.

Kagan Richardson

AKA DJ Moose Trax

Thanks to Modern Paparazzo Photography for the photos. 

RECAP: OMNOM @ MDA WEDNESDAYS

OMNOM Gives it Up Fo Free at MDA Wednesdays

EXPERIENCE BY: KAGAN RICHARDSON

On April 25, we had the pleasure of hosting OMNOM, a rising star in the scene right now - at our lovely home of La Cave. He is known for tearing up dance floors and his tracks are supported by heavyweight DJs including Claude Vonstroke, Ardalan and Walker & Royce. His biggest track to date is Fo Free, which was released on Dirtybird Records on March 30.

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Cody Lee, AKA OMNOM, chose to host his single release party at MDA Wednesday to the pure elation of the cave dwellers. Fo Free entry until 10:30pm resonated with the crowd as the place was packed from when the doors first opened.

Diamond Heist and Magda Halina slayed their sets and warmed up the night perfectly. Throughout their sets, I was constantly out Shazaming the tracks they were curating. OMNOM took the stage at midnight and kept the energetic vibe with quality house and techno.

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Near the end of the night, OMNOM dropped Fo Free and the crowd absolutely ate it up. The place had been going off the entire night, but this brought the energy even higher than thought possible. He then unleashed a barrage of unreleased remixes of Fo Free, all capping off with a dubstep remix which was a delightful surprise.

Before his set, I caught up with Cody and asked him some questions. Here is what he had to say:

Kagan: How long have you been producing music? Have you been DJing that entire time?
Cody: It was three years in March, so just over three years. I’ve been writing music since fifth or sixth grade just because I’ve always been involved with music school and stuff like that. I’ve gotten into production later especially with house music but I never actually DJ’d any events until after I was already putting out tracks. I was just messing around with DJing in my free time.
Kagan: What inspired you to become a producer?
Cody: I always wanted to do something with music, and when you’re performing in an academic setting you’re never really performing stuff that you make. The more and more I listened to electronic music in high school and college I was kinda like you know what, I might be able to try my hand at this and be a producer rather than just listening to other people’s stuff all the time.
One of the toughest things is it takes so long for your ability to match with your taste. You’re gonna hate what you make for years. I still kinda hate the music I make, but when I started getting good feedback on tracks like Fo Free it really boosted my confidence enough to keep doing it.
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Kagan: How does it feel to have your first release on Dirtybird Records?
Cody: When I search for music theory and concepts of classical music in electronic music, Ardalan, Justin Martin, Walker & Royce, they’re the best. Those guys are ridiculously musically talented. For them to start get my track and start playing my track out across their Self Help Tour, it was a really big reality check. I mean that album is the only one on my phone. If I was playing guitar or something like that, that would be like Led Zeppelin playing my track. It is really hard to comprehend.
Everything after that too. Getting signed to Dirtybird, Claude Vonstroke playing it, seeing Justin Martin play it, Ardalan, all these guys I’ve been listening to for the past few years especially when I was living in San Francisco. You start to look at those guys as these huge icons and then to have them messaging you on Twitter asking for unreleased tracks, its insane.
Kagan: What was that process like when Dirtybird signed Fo Free?
Cody: I had met Gavin Royce of Walker & Royce at a party in Costa Mesa. It just so happened that they wanted everybody to come up and play a few tracks for this big back to back to back family-style set at the end of this night at some random party our friend VNSSA was playing.
I played a track and Gavin came up and was like, "Is this you?" I said yeah and he asked me to send him some stuff. I actually finished Fo Free between then so I sent it to him as well. A few days later people were like hey check out Walker & Royce’s Snapchat. They tagged me in their story and it showed them playing my track. It happened again the next day, and again in New York at a back to back with Ardalan. It kept happening again and again and became a part of their touring set. I was blown away.
Eventually they said they were going to send the track to Claude in the next few weeks or so. Claude’s big thing is he’ll only sign something if he plays it out and gets a good response. He won’t just listen to something and sign it. He said that he liked the track but hadn’t gotten to play it yet. East Coast Dirtybird Campout comes along and it just so happens they cancelled the first day of the festival so they moved Walker & Royce’s set to being a back to back with Claude Vonstroke. They played it then and Claude looked at Elevator Musik, his A&R, and was like I get it now.
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Who knows if he would’ve ever played it but it just so happens the stars aligned and they turned Walker & Royce’s set into a back to back with Claude, and the rest is history I guess. It was chaos on Instagram and Facebook pages, people were like what’s this track so there was this hype around it. Dirtybird saw this and signed it a few weeks after.
It’s kinda like what happened with Ryan Forever’s track Nasty. After the family set at West Coast Campout, that’s what everyone was looking for. I feel like it was kinda the same deal because he then got an official single on Dirtybird. I thought this was unheard of at the time because who does singles on Dirtybird? Claude Vonstroke, Fisher, it was crazy for them to bring this guy in but they ended up doing it with my track. It was crazy how it all happened.
There was such a hype around it already that people knew it was my track before they even knew who I was. It has been chaotic how everything started going down. People were like oh you have a track on Dirtybird lets get you playing here here and here. It’s all been happening really fast.
Kagan: What is next for OMNOM?
Cody: I just got announced for Hard Summer in August. I’m bottom line, like the smallest font, but at that point, it’s more about getting on the lineup with those names. The ultimate goal is to end up at Dirtybird Campout but right now we’re trying to back it up with some solid shows and other releases when I start sending more tracks out. We basically don’t want to sit there and ride the wave of Fo Free for very long.
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Kagan: What is the inspiration behind your name?

Cody: I wanted something kinda silly. I didn’t want it to be my name or any iteration of my name or anything like that. OMNOM was just a cool sound like eating, like the cookie monster or something. Then when I thought of that I thought of the face and the letters in the mouth. It just seemed like it would work. Being able to make it all capital letters is something I was kinda looking for too. The face was just something I drew in class when I was bored. I actually haven’t changed it since day one.

Kagan: When producing what is your favorite piece of hardware?

Cody: My Novation Bass Station 2. Prior to that my first hardware synthesizer was an Arturia Microbrute. That was cool, you could get some really gritty sounds out of there but it seemed more meant for the G Jones, Eprom, and Bleep Bloop type stuff. I got the Bass Station because I had seen other producers I liked using it on Instagram and Snapchat. Come to find out that’s what Walker & Royce uses so when I listen to their stuff or other people I know who use it, I can pick it out. That’s my go to for bass lines in a lot of my tracks.

Kagan: What is your favorite piece of software?

Cody: I use Ableton and pitch shifting is something I have in pretty much all of my tracks, it’s all my own voice. If I want to do something more than just pitch bending in Ableton though, I’ll use a plugin called Manipulator by Infected Mushroom. It’s a really really sick plugin. You get a lot of crazy effects. You can make it sound like a robot and you can make it sound really gritty, it’s really cool. If you get familiar with that plugin you’ll hear it in all my tracks.

Kagan: You said you do all of the vocals on your tracks? So that’s all you on Fo Free?

Cody: Yeah actually one of the biggest responses I got was that people could recognize my voice on the track because it was the least that I’ve had to pitch down my vocals to get that “I’m gonna give it up for free”. Everybody I sent it to, like my sister and roommate, were like I can totally tell that’s you, that’s the way you talk even though it’s pitched down.

Kagan: What do you think of the electronic music scene out here in Orange County?

Cody: I think it’s a lot better for up and coming artists than pretty much anywhere in the world. I started producing house music in 2015 up in San Francisco. My stuff was getting no traction up there just because I wasn’t playing anywhere and I didn’t know anyone who was. I was just making stuff and throwing it up on Soundcloud. Then I moved back to Orange County where where it was a lot easier to get things heard. Why it still blows my mind that so many people are into my stuff is because I was making it for so long without getting any response. One of the first tracks I ever made in San Francisco in 2015, Magda just said she plays it every set. It’s Bromosapiens and that’s my voice too.

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Kagan: Do you have any advice for producers trying to get their first release on a major label?

Cody: Just keep at it and always put the music first. I didn’t make an Instagram until I had already been making music for about two and a half years. I know so many people who’s whole hype is their Instagram or their Twitter. It’s like I have 3000 followers on Twitter I get 1000 retweets but you go on Soundcloud and they have like 10 followers. Put the music first and everything else will follow. Once people start playing your music and start realizing your music is the shit, they’ll care about what you’re doing on Twitter or Instagram or something like that but don’t let that be the gateway to your music.

It’s gonna take time. If you’re not willing to put the time in in the studio, it’s gonna hurt you in the long run. Walker & Royce have only been blowing up in the past three years and now they’re at the top of the top in terms of Dirtybird and house music, but they’ve been making music for a decade prior to that. It takes X amount of years to make an overnight success.  

Those are some very wise words from a rising star at Dirtybird and in the dance music scene as a whole. I think we have a lot to look forward to from Cody as he progresses in his budding career as a DJ and producer. Be sure to follow him on Soundcloud and other social media channels so you don’t miss a bit.

Until next time, Ambassadors.

Kagan

AKA DJ Moose Trax

RECAP: ELI & FUR @ MDA WEDNESDAYS

Eli & Fur Crossed the Pond to Play at La Cave

EXPERIENCE BY: KAGAN RICHARDSON

MDA had the pleasure of hosting a lineup of beautiful and talented DJs took the stage at La Cave, dishing out the tasty beats to a hungry crowd all night long. MDA DJs Rachel and Speaker Honey had warmup duties, with London-natives Eli & Fur crossing the pond from Australia to headline the night.

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Eliza Noble and Jennifer Skillman first broke into the scene as Eli & Fur in 2012 and quickly made a name for themselves. They both have backgrounds in songwriting, and it shows in their music, as they write songs with mesmerizing lyrics over dance melodies and beats. The pair is even known to sing on some of their tracks.

I personally first heard of Eli & Fur with their debut track, You’re so High. It reached the number three spot on Hype Machine and has racked up tens of millions of plays since. Their first EP, "Illusions" was then released in 2013 by NYX Records. Since then they’ve released tracks on labels like Defected and Anjunabeats, and they’ve collaborated with Erick Morillo, Shadow Child, and Tâches, to name a few.

Their early success earned them Best Breakthrough Artist at the 2016 International Dance Music Awards (IDMA) and support from legendary BBC Radio 1 tastemaker, Pete Tong. Their self-made video, California Love, chronicles their 13-city North American tour in 2015 and is definitely worth checking out.

It was an absolute honor to have the dynamic duo grace the decks in our underground home.

Rachel took the stage to start off the night and warmed up the cave perfectly. Speaker Honey then took over the decks for the second week in a row. She displayed her versatility and ability to adapt to the crowd by playing more of a techo heavy set this time around.

Eli & Fur closed out the night and kept the energy through the end of the show. The pair work so well together during a set and truly know how to work a crowd as the cave was going off! This is not too surprising as they’ve been working together since they were teens.

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Eli & Fur have played big festivals like Coachella in the past, but they will not be taking the stage in Indio this year. Instead they will be playing around the world in countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, and Bulgaria. Their posted tour dates cap off with an appearance at Bestival in the United Kingdom in August.

Until next time Ambassadors.

Kagan Richardson

AKA DJ Moose Trax


 

 

Coachella Artists You Might Not Know Now, But You Will Regret Missing

5 Lesser Known Artists to See at Coachella in 2018

BY: KAGAN RICHARDSON

With Coachella kicking off today, I felt obligated to post something about the legendary festival. I’m sure we all know at least a little bit about The Weeknd, Beyoncé, Eminem, Odesza, Kygo, and many of the other headliners, but what about the artists near the bottom of the lineup? In no particular order, here are my top 5 artists to check out at Coachella in 2018:

Peggy Gou

Berlin-based Peggy Gou has been turning heads ever since she first came on the scene. Her unique blend of house and techno is intoxicating as shown on her track, It Makes You Forget (Itgehane). In an interview with Dummy Mag in early 2016 Peggy stated, “I would like to be the first Korean female DJ that plays in Berghain.” Well she accomplished that goal by playing there in June 2016. Having played popular house and techno festival, CRSSD, in San Diego last spring, she will be playing at Coachella this year. If her Radio 1 Essential Mix is any indication, she is sure to impress.

Elohim

Translating to “God” in Hebrew, Elohim first came onto the scene with her 2015 single, Xanax, and she released her Elohim EP the following year. Her mysterious performances has been gaining a cult following over the years, and she is poised to tear up the stage at Coachella this year. She is based in Los Angeles and has collaborated with Louis the Child on Love is Alive, and even toured with Alison Wonderland in 2017.

KITTENS

Our third lady on this list is Lauren Abidini, AKA KITTENS. She is a product of the underground music scene in Los Angeles and it shows in her original productions such as Cute and Nasty. As she progressed through the scene, KITTENS noticed the lack of a significant feminine presence in DJing. Since then she has made it her mission to empower women in the DJing community by partnering with Serato and Scratch DJ Academy to host female-only DJ workshops. Having worked with Kid Cudi, Hoodboi, and Usher, the 20-something year old will be taking the stage at Coachella and it is sure to be pure insanity!
 

Detroit Love

Detroit Love is the brainchild of three legendary DJs: Carl Craig, Kyle Hall, and Moodymann. In years past, J.E.S.u.S (Jackmaster, Eats Everything, Skream, and Seth Troxler) and The Bellville Three (Juan Atkins, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson) have taken the stage at Coachella, so the festival is no stranger to DJ supergroups. The group first started at ADE 2014 when Carl Craig invited Moodymann to join him on stage for a dynamic house and techno set. You won’t want to miss their performance in the Yuma Tent this year. You never know when and if you’ll be able to see this trio again!

Slow Magic

Having remained anonymous since first coming on the scene in 2011, Slow Magic is certainly one of the biggest mysteries in electronic music today. He wears probably the most interesting mask I’ve ever seen an artist wear on stage but still be able to perform. In several interviews, he has stated that the purpose of the mask is so that people focus on the music and nothing else. It’s definitely easy to get lost in his dreamlike blend of sounds as displayed on his album, How to Run Away. He has toured with Odesza in the past, and will be making his first appearance at Coachella this year. He released his Away EP today in celebration of his performance!

Shout Out: Flatbush Zombies

If you like hip hop, you absolutely should not miss Flatbush Zombies. The trio is comprised of Meechy Darko, Zombie Juice, and Erick Arc Elliott and grew up in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn. The group has close ties with the ASAP Mob who is just a short ways away in Harlem, New York. Erick Arc Elliott takes on the producing duties for the group, but sometimes helps out Meech and Zombie Juice with the vocals. Erick’s episode of Record Roulette is definitely worth checking out. Riding off the release of the AMAZING new album, Vacation in Hell, Flatbush Zombies is sure to work the crowd into a frenzy at Coachella.

Well there you have it, my artist picks for Coachella 2018! If you are going to Coachella, first off I’m super jealous as I will not be there this year… But if you see any of these artists, please comment on this post or reach out to me at djmoosetrax@gmail.com and let me know what you thought!

Until next time Ambassadors.

Kagan Richardson

AKA DJ Moose Trax

Télépopmusik Interview

Summer Home is Back with Télépopmusik!

EXPERIENCE BY: KAGAN RICHARDSON

Let me tell you, the first edition of Summer Home 2018 with Télépopmusik was an absolute blast. The music, the people, the atmosphere, the food, the drinks, everything was perfect.

A lot of this is thanks to Back Bay Bistro for providing the perfect venue for the day. It sits right on the water in Newport Beach (you can dock your boat and walk right in) and provides its guests with unparalleled waterfront dining in a huge open space that was just begging for some quality music.

Rozco, Bubblewrappe, Mogli, and Daniel Minaya kicked things off in that order and served the crowd a delicious serving of underground beats that paired quite nicely with Back Bay Bistro’s street taco and brunch buffet. Daniel Minaya in particular unleashed an onslaught of classic tracks, such as Show Me Love by Robyn S and One More Time by Daft Punk, alongside the trademark underground sounds of MDA.

Then, Télépopmusik took over, but before we get into the stellar performance... here is a bit about their career so far.

The core trio of Fabrice Dumont, Stephan Haeri, and Christophe Hetier first came together in 1997 after playing with other projects. Dumont founded the dream pop group Autour de Lucie, Hetier DJ’d as Antipop, and Haetri was a member of Planet Zen and also produced as 2Square.

The three created a fresh electronic sound that first culminated with Sonic 75 which was released on the SourceLab 3 compilation album in 1997. They refined their sound over the next few years and eventually released their debut album, Genetic World, on Capitol Records in 2002.

The album was a commercial success especially its lead single, Breathe, which became a smash hit in the mainstream. Breathe has been featured in countless movies, TV shows, and commercials around the world. You might recognize it from television ads for the Mitsubishi Outlander that aired nationally in 2003.

The group toured all over the world following this success and released their second album, Angel Milk, in 2005 also on Capitol Record. The single off the album, Into Everything, also received mainstream success and a stop-motion music video was subsequently released.

Since then, Télépopmusik has been relatively silent as they only released the Try Me Anyway/Fever EP in 2013 which earned a great selection of remixes from the likes of Dirty Channels, Zombie Disco Squad (ZDS), Populette, Pit Spector, and Pino Rastovitch. I highly recommend checking it out!

Christophe Hetier of Télépopmusik took the DJ duties for the group and held the crowd in a state of pure elation from start to finish. Christophe is a master on the decks as he showed off his technical mastery and vast musical library that spans the decades. I personally never thought I would see anyone throw Burnin’ by Daft Punk (one of my personal favorites off their debut album Homework) into a DJ set, but he did so without batting an eyelash and the crowd ate it up.

After the show, I had the chance to sit down with Christophe and ask him a few questions. Here’s what he had to say...

Kagan: Can you give us some insight into how you prepare for your DJ sets?
Christophe: Well to prepare for playing as a DJ, I try to capture the new sounds and music that people are listening to. I have fun mixing the new music with the music I’ve added collected over the years.
Kagan: When you finished Breathe years ago, did you expect all of the mainstream success?
Christophe: Oh no, we did not expect all of that success. We made a song we liked and it sort of happened.
Kagan: Télépopmusik tracks have received a slew of remixes. What is the process like when picking the remixers?
Christophe: Most of the time they actually approach us about remixing our tracks. Especially recently with the younger of generation of artist wanting to remix our tracks, Breathe for example.
Kagan: How does it feel to be considered one of the bands who pioneered the concept of multiple vocalist collaborations on one album?
Christophe: I don’t think too much of it to be honest. We did what we felt was right for the album and it worked out in a nice way.
Kagan: Who are some of your biggest influences as a musician?
Christophe: We all come from backgrounds in pop bands so a lot of pop music. The Pixies would be one of the biggest for me in particular.
Kagan: Can we hope for new music from Telepopmusik in the near future?
Christophe: We are in the studio now putting the finishing touches on our next album. You could probably expect to see that in a few months, maybe around September or later this year.

It was an absolute pleasure having Télépopmusik out for Summer Home. The party was such a  great time all around that it was extended to 8pm rather than ending at 7pm! It gave Christophe extra time to direct the soundtracks to our lives, and he did not disappoint.

Here’s to the next one Ambassadors.

Kagan Richardson

AKA DJ Moose Trax

Thank you to Joseph Paparazzo for the pictures.

Bad Boy Bill Brought Chicago House to Orange County

Bad Boy Bill Brought Chicago House to OC

EXPERIENCE BY: KAGAN RICHARDSON

MDA had the honor of hosting an absolute legend and pioneer, Bad Boy Bill. BBB grew up in Chicago during the house music movement of the mid to late 80s with his DJ career starting in 1985 when he was only a teenager. He built his popularity by hosting his own parties and opening for the legendary Hot Mix 5.

Success as a remixer came early for Bad Boy Bill, as he earned a Top Five Billboard Dance Chart hit at the ripe age of 19 with his remix of Dada Nada’s Deep Love. He had some tough competition as the other remixers for Deep Love included Frankie Knuckles, David Morales, and Steve Wight. As a DJ, he proved his skills by winning the DMC Midwest Finals and placing in the top three of the US championships in 1988. He is known for using up to six turntables in competitions!

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Perhaps Bad Boy Bill’s most interesting accomplishment is helping to bring the concept of commercial DJ mixes to the world. Before commercial DJ mixes, music publishing houses were not paid any royalties on copyrighted music in the mixes DJs would produce and sell. This means that the artists who made the songs were not paid if their songs were featured as part of a mix.

In 1995, Bad Boy Bill launched Mix Connection Multimedia (MCM) and became the first Chicago DJ to produce legally-licensed DJ mixes. He went on to release mix series such as Bangin’ the Box and The House Connection with Richard Vission.

BBB has countless singles and remixes credited to his name, but in 2009 he released his first full-length album which is appropriately named, The Album. I highly recommend checking it out.

Bad Boy Bill merges genres throughout the album like I’ve never heard before, but everything still has his electronic signature. He also shows how well-respected he is in the music world as his list of collaborators include JJ Flores, Steve Smooth, Alyssa Palmer, Alex Peace, and even John Taylor from Duran Duran.

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His set on Friday was very reminiscent of the album, as he blended many different genres, eras, and sounds from start to finish. No matter what everything had the Bad Boy Bill feel to it. He played some of my personal favorite tracks right now, Hood Girl by Billy Kenny and Cola by Camelphat and Elderbrook, and also mixed in some of his newest original tracks like Hustling for Horns with Ghettoblaster.

Bad Boy Bill is one of those rare DJs that has managed to stay relevant for decades, especially in today’s world when DJs are a dime a dozen. I don’t think he will be going anywhere any time soon. I just hope he keeps coming back to Orange County to play!

Until next time Ambassadors!  

Kagan Richardson

AKA DJ Moose Trax

 

RECAP: MAT ZO & MDA DJs @ EXCHANGE LA

Mat Zo Took Exchange LA on a 5-Hour Musical Journey

EXPERIENCE BY: KAGAN RICHARDSON

I swear I had never heard so many people cheer between songs, and I had never seen so many people weep cheers of joy at a DJ set. Mat Zo managed to bring all of the emotions out of the crowd from start to finish of his five hour set at Exchange LA.

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Before getting into the show, here's a little background on Mat Zo. Matan Zohar was born in London to an artistic family with his father being a painter, and his mother and uncle professional musicians. He fell in love with music at a young age, and it didn’t take long for him to shift his focus to electronic music with acts like Daft Punk, Chemical Brothers, and The Prodigy ruling the day in Europe. He was soon DJing around London and working on his own material.

When he was just 16 years old, he released his first single titled Exodus on a:LOUD Recordings. His trance and progressive house styles soon earned him the attention of Above & Beyond and their label, Anjunabeats. He released countless singles and remixes on Anjunabeats, Astralwerks, and other labels, as well as mixing the ever classic Anjunabeats Worldwide 02. I highly recommend checking it out as well as all the other Anjunabeats and Anjunadeep mix CDs. I also recommend Mat Zo’s compilation album, Anjunbeats pres. Mat Zo 01, if you want a taste of Mat Zo’s style early on in his career.

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In addition to all of the singles, remixes, and compilations, Mat Zo also has two full-length albums and an EP to his name. Damage Control was released in 2013 to critical acclaim. It reached number one on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Dance/Electronic Album. One of the singles, Easy, was a collaboration with Porter Robinson and reached the coveted number one spot on Beatport in 2012. The hit of a track samples vocals from Nothing Better by Colourblind.

Self Assemble followed just three years later and was released on his own record label, Mad Zoo, and had countless features spanning from Chuck D of Public Enemy to Linnea Schossow, Marcus Shossow’s very talented sister. The second album didn’t contain as many features as the first, but it did feature collaborations with I See MONSTAS and Sinéad. His three song EP, the Mad EP, followed just three weeks after that also under his own label.

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With such an impressive track record and vast array of productions to his name, Mat Zo had us in for a wild ride of a night. I had never seen a DJ play a five hour set, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. In the past, Mat Zo has produced drum n bass tracks under the name MRSA so I could only guess that his set would span many different styles.

Well, this was only kind of right. Mat Zo not only played samplings of his entire discography, he did so while taking us on a musical journey over the decades. He played classic electronic dance tracks right alongside his own masterpieces, and he did so all night long. His original tracks such as Pyramid Scheme, Rebound, and Get Up 2 Get Down blended perfectly with classic tracks like My Friend by Groove Armada, Axwell’s remix of In the Air by TV Rock, and No Good by The Prodigy.

 

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The highlight of the night for me was when Mat Zo dropped one of his collaborations with Arty, Mozart, to the pure elation of the crowd. Mozart is my personal favorite Mat Zo track, and it is the track the encouraged me to explore the sounds of trance and progressive house more.

While Mat Zo destroyed the dancefloor at the main stage upstairs, Modern Disco Ambassador residents Chef Boyarbeats, Fantom Freq, and yours truly, DJ Moose Trax, had the pleasure of bringing The Gallery Room a fresh supply of underground sounds. I swear the dance floor was on fire by the end of the night with the amount of dancing that was taking place.

 

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It was certainly a night that no one in attendance will forget any time soon. If you get the chance to see Mat Zo at a venue near you, especially at a club like Exchange, take it and thank me later.

Until next time Ambassadors.

RECAP: BLACKGUMMY @ MDA WEDNESDAYS

BlackGummy Made La Cave His Lair for a Night

Experience By: Kagan Richardson

Mau5trap’s own BlackGummy visited our home at La Cave on February 28, for the fourth stop on his Mesophase Tour. I was chomping at the bit to have an opportunity to see BlackGummy -who played EDC Mexico just a few days before, play in such an intimate venue. His heavy-hitting progressive style was sure to tear up the dance floor. For those who are unfamiliar with the artist, here’s a little background about BlackGummy - no ordinary DJ/producer.

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California native, Iman Marouf took a trip abroad in 2013 to the Middle East and Asia where he discovered the idol, BlackGummy. Next to BlackGummy was the Latin quote, “In perpetuum, salutem in omnibus locis; in omni loco, in omni tempore,” which translates to: “To be perpetually, a prey in all places. Are in every place, at all times.”

The idol and quote struck a chord with Iman as according to the story, he instantly formed a bond with BlackGummy and the two fused into one, becoming inseparable. The idol itself became the symbol which can be seen across all of BlackGummy’s content.

BlackGummy attended Icon Collective music production school in Los Angeles, known for educating and inspiring renown artists such as Jauz and Kayzo. There he was mentored by Steve Duda and became a beta tester for his VST, Serum. He is listed in the credits along with deadmau5.

From then on his obsession with production flourished and he devoted his time to improving his craft. His work paid off in 2015 when mau5trap, deadmau5’s record label, discovered BlackGummy and released his first song, Lullaby, and the We Are Friends compilation. Since then he has released three EPs and several singles and remixes, including SuperHuman featuring Colleen D’agostino.

In 2017 BlackGummy took that stage for his Monolith Tour. 2018 BlackGummy is back at it with  the Mesophase Tour. Other artists at mau5trap are set to support BlackGummy on different legs of the tour. They include Attlas, electrocado, monstergetdown, Notaker and Rinzen.

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On February 28, Orange County DJ duo, Double D’s, took the stage when doors opened and warmed up the dance floor perfectly with their progressive house beats. Rinzen, who had opening duties for the night, built off of their energy for an hour and a half set before BlackGummy took control at 12:30 p.m.

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BlackGummy mostly showcased his taste in music during the first hour and a half, then unleashed an onslaught of originals and remixes until the end of the night. The highlight for me was when he mixed in Iconoclast off his most recent EP, Monolith. The crowd went absolutely nuts and kept begging for more and more. BlackGummy obliged!

 

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BlackGummy was one of the first of many amazing artists joining us at La Cave this year. Check out the lineup for upcoming shows.

Until next time Ambassadors.

Kagan Richardson

AKA DJ Moose Trax

Photos courtesy of Joseph Paparazzo and Modern Disco Ambassadors.