MDA Wednesdays

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.

OMNOM Working the Crowd at MDA Wednesdays.jpg

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.

Magda Halina With Her Fan at La Cave.jpg

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.
OMNOM in the Zone at La Cave.jpg
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.
Dark Shot of OMNOM at La Cave.jpg
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.
Cody Lee AKA OMNOM in the Mix.jpg

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.

The Crowd at MDA Wednesdays.jpg

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.

Eli & Fur Grooving During Their Set at La Cave.jpg

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.

Shot of Eli & Fur From Behind the Decks.jpg

 

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


 

 

YOUtopia 2017

YOUtopia 2017

Space Camp

EXPERIENCE BY JARIN LOVE

From its hand-crafted car, stage and structure art, to its costume-adorned throngs, to its earth-shaking sets… YOUtopia stood its ground this year as the most sought after regional Burner event in Southern California.

Arriving on Saturday, day three of the four day festival, parking and entry were easy.  I was immediately greeted with warmth, hospitality and an undeniably welcoming spirit. Having attended countless events over the years, I can say enthusiastically that YOUtopia’s vibe greets you at the door. Almost like some virtual hug sending you off like a mother waving her child into to the first day of school. Backpack, food, gear in tote.

While casually waiting at the shuttle stop, a YOUtopia Waldo member provided me with not only my location, camp information, and volunteer awareness resources, but even better… infectiously pleasant company. Shuttles loaded to full capacity kept passing us by and even though I was open to walking, I knew Space was a solid hour-plus hike with gear. Just as I was preparing to step off, a veteran DJ and YOUtopia headliner introduced himself as he was exiting the event and asked if I needed assistance. Before I could blink, he flagged down a golf cart, said farewell, and off I went.

Stephanie, the sweet soul who golf-carted my ass to the farthest camp away, Space Command, couldn’t have set the tone any better. The culture of the event was instantly apparent; we stopped every 50 feet to hug friends, chat with volunteers… it truly felt like a family. Even though I was new to the community, I never felt like an outsider. I was welcomed with open arms. Stephanie was a true light, setting a shining example for others to emulate. She stopped to help everyone, whether for a lift, a water or just to have a real, heartfelt conversation. Our ride together was one of the highlights of my YOUtopia experience. Thank you for showing the way, angel.

Landing at Space Command is a feeling that’s hard to forget. A sensation so new, yet so close to home. Overwhelming and inviting at the same time. Like stepping into another dimension.

Eric Anderson, one of Space’s founders, said, “YOUtopia is a place of individualization through participation.  Individually, you must participate to get the full experience. 2016 is when I got my first taste and that is all I needed, its absolutely addictive.”

I had a few hours before my set that night with DeepAura, so I did what any rational person would do in a place like this: went exploring. As I made my way around a few of the stages, one thing quickly struck me: DJ’s seemed to play with more creativity and originality than what you tend to see at a typical house venue, or even other festivals. Rare music was everywhere. And it was good. Really good.

Unconstrained by the restrictions applied by some of the bigger venues and promoters, artists were free to truly express themselves. This created something so different, so special—it was in the air. Something vibrant, ethereal. Contagious. Felt by everyone there. And it didn’t stop at the stages. It swirled throughout the festival, peaking its crafty little head at you around every corner: live art exhibitions, body painting, art cars, art bars, tents, lounges, costumes and skin. A true journey for the senses.

But YOUtopia really came alive once the sun went down. The music shifted gears and the place set fire. Became tribal. Got louder.

Space Command’s founders, Eric Anderson, and Josh and Heather Scott, invited DeepAura to take the Saturday evening performances, and I had the pleasure of opening. It was an honor to represent my esteemed colleagues at DeepAura and set the mood for the evening (listen to my full set: HERE)

Micheal Veigh, Space Command’s operations chief and right-hand man, had this to say about DeepAura’s performance:

"But then when the DeepAura crew took over the night at 10 p.m., something amazing happened. The subtlety and beauty of the music was overwhelming. A 'great party' turned into spiritual experience. When Crescendoll got into her set at midnight, I stood behind her on stage, and watched dozens of people of both sexes cry tears of joy as they danced. The music and the moment was THAT beautiful. That was a unicorn. That moment was the reason I became a DJ in the first place, and that’s what I’ve been hoping for at the parties I’ve promoted and attended. You can’t force, fake, predict or manufacture those moments. They just happen.”

A moment in time, in a world full of uncertainty and turmoil, a place where people can put aside their differences and remember that we are all truly one family sharing this cosmic gift of a planet we call home… it’s a pretty special thing. Maybe we need it. Maybe it serves as a reminder of why we’re still here, in spite of ourselves. Solidarity and compassion are not just important for human evolution, they are vital to our very survival as a species. To our future. To our children’s future. They are what makes us human. To YOUtopia and my new friends at Space, you embody this. Thank you. You have my heart.

Relive our sacred moment at La Cave in Orange County on November 29 as DeepAura and Space Camp reunite once again for MDA Wednesdays. More details can be found on the FB event page.

I was able to catch up with Holliday, founder of DeepAura Music and Eric Anderson, founder of Space Command and asked them about their upcoming show with MDA.

“DeepAura has had some incredible memories every time we've been booked with our MDA family. MDA is truly special in OC, as they really do support the local artists and also bring all sides of the musical spectrum together. 11/29 is furthermore going to be special, we're revisiting the fun energies from YOUtopia, two members from each DeepAura & SPACE will be uniting in the musical travels of the night! It's going to be a cosmic experience of the underground sounds and gatherings vibes, balanced in motion for the night!” - Holliday, DeepAura
“MDA and playing La Cave is a DJ bucket list for me.  I love what MDA does for the scene, I'm truly honored to be able to play in the Rave Cave with our closest collaborators DeepAura. 11/29/17 will be a night to love and cherish.” - Eric Anderson, Space

 

Check out photos from our friends HERE and HERE.

LA CAVE: SPLATTERHOUSE HALLOWEEN

Thanks for a killer Halloween, Ambassadors!

Check out photos from our 8-bit throwback party below. 

More photos available HERE