Prowling the Airwaves and the Underground for the best in EDM

Posts tagged “review

Festival Essentials: 2014 – The Basics

Now a while back I did a little list of clothes and makeup essentials for festival season. Now, here are the basics:

1. Deodorant. Shocker right? You’re going to dance, and you’re going to sweat. Sweat happens. My top pick for this would be Dove’s Advanced Care line. Personally, I’d vote opt for an unscented stick, as the scented sticks from Dove tend to develop a bizarre and unpleasant smell when they’ve reached max capacity. Especially avoid the flower-scents and they smell worst after usage. The unscented lasts a pretty good while (I was able to go a solid 8 hours before I had to throw in the towel) and doesn’t ruin black shirts.  This should be the first festival purchase you make after tickets and hotel fees.

2. Sunscreen. The biggest mistake anyone makes at festivals  be it rock, edm, or what have you is forgetting the SPF. No matter how conservative or creatively scant your outfit, you will want to avoid the ‘lobster look’ on day 2 & 3. Do yourself a favor and set aside the Hawaiian Tropics oil, and get something more robust and sweat-proof. My top pick for this is my swear-by Coppertone Water Babies. It’s hyp0-allergenic, it’s not going to break your bank in price, and it’s tear-free (because let’s face all sunscreens  WILL melt into your eyes eventually). It’s not going to make you a bronze demi god, but at least you won’t be taking aloe vera baths later.

3. Chapstick. I know it may seem painfully simple, but yes you will need chapstick, and what you will discover is among festival goers, chapstick-losing seems to be a collective habit. The solution I’ve found is chapstick that clips on to stuff. This makes it a hell of a lot harder to lose. You’ll notice that few companies offer these (as it actually benefits them if you lose your chapstick and have to buy another). One company that offers a clip-on chapstick is Aloe Gator, whose little lipstick has SPF 30 and a ‘not nauseating’ mint flavor.

4. Non-Abrasive Face Wash. As much as you might want to scrub off your festival makeup, sunscreen, and other layers of grime…always make sure your scrubbing agent won’t irritate your skin. Wearing glue-on crystals, fake lashes, face paint, eye makeup, and the like will already irritate your skin. The best thing to use after a long day of sweating off makeup and sunscreen isn’t a ‘salt scrub’, instead try Olay Foaming Face Wash. It’s gentle and foams up so that you don’t need to scrub like a crazy person to lather up. Also, no matter what you use DO NOT USE SCENTED. This will absolutely make your skin burn.

From here on out, shampoo and body wash and the like should be whatever you use normally. I would suggest those for you, but since we are all unique little unicorns with different hair and skin, that would just be silly.

Anyways, as you get your tuts fluffed, your fluffies combed out, and your mega-packs of pony beads, don’t forget to cover your basics for festival season!

-The Hound

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Track Review: Serpent of Old – Seven Lions

Ok, ok…I said I wasn’t going to review tracks.

The gorgeously creepy cover is just begging me to review it. So I am.

The gorgeously creepy cover is just begging me to review it. So I am.

But for a few unique sounds that sometimes thrust themselves into the limelight, sometimes I just can’t keep mum. Serpent of Old is one of those unique sounds.

 

Seven Lions’ latest original track ‘Serpent of Old’, featuring OWSLA vocalist Ciscandra from Nostalghia, is a nostalgic departure from what his fans have come to expect. Labeled initially as ‘moombahgoth’ on Soundcloud, the track seems to nod back to Jeff Montalvo’s personal favorites such as Opeth and a darker ominous sound. Instead of the familiar peaks and valleys of Jeff’s more familiar drum and bass hits, this track relies more starkly on gentle progressions coupled with incredibly creepy vocals.

Image courtesy of her linked last.fm page

Image courtesy of her linked last.fm page

Speaking to those vocals, the choice of Nostalghia’s Ciscandra was perhaps the perfect accent to what is already a dark track: her voice on this piece is truly is the stuff of nightmares. Fans of more industrial sound and experimental acts such as Grimes may be right at home, whereas drum and bass are advised to brace themselves accordingly.


EDM and Religion: Why I Won’t Write A Track Review

Here is a snippet from an exclusive piece i did for EDMNewsUpdates:

I’ve been asked often why I very rarely write track reviews. As a younger blogger in the field, I feel that in each piece I write, I subconsciously leave a small trace of myself. Music to me is very much akin to religion: people unite behind it, defend it, and decry it just as often as any gospel verse. In religion, you are taught a strict regimen and core ideology which enable you to make informed decisions. Certain religions offer varying leeway in the way you are expected to interpret scripture and doctrine. There are atheists who dispose these teachings on the whole, and varying degrees of faithful who either interpret for themselves or follow faithfully to the verbatim interpretations fed to them by authority.

~
Music is not so different: ‘experts’ analyze tracks piece by piece and offer their opinion as bloggers, as musicians, or as tastemakers (some of whom have little to no music experience). As someone who isn’t a DJ, isn’t a recognized singer (though I do sing), and does not produce, I often feel discomfort assuming the role of ‘expert’. I can’t walk up to a set of equipment and produce what I’ve just heard, nor can I imagine the specific choreographed patterns uniquely designed into each individual layer of a track. I am of the school of thought that music is a personal experience, and that how we analyze music should come from within. One set of ears may hear the beautiful melodic warbling in an Above & Beyond track, where another may find the experience dissatisfying and gravitate more towards the brute aggression of Destroid.

~
I personally cannot stand Avicii’s new track, ‘Wake Me Up’, and I recognize that my sole opinion is unfairly coloring another’s perception of an otherwise solidly produced piece of music. Similarly, some of the music I love may appear ‘under produced’ or ‘too commercial’ for others. No matter what genre takes you on an emotional journey, what I will have to say about it will inevitably be meaningless: it is your experience, not mine.

To read the full piece, visit EDMNewsUpdates and stuff.


Skrillex’s ‘Leaving’ EP: One Opinion

I recently gave Skrillex’s new EP a full 24 hours to marinate: I listened to it various times throughout the day, spent time focusing on each track on its own, and I’ll be honest I’m still not sure when I’m hearing.

  • The first track, ‘The Reason’ is somewhat promising…but unlike most of Skrillex’s work which I can clearly recognize…this track struck me as a bit murky for an otherwise highly recognizable DJ.
  • ‘Scary Bolly Dub’ appeared to just be a hyped Scary Monsters edit with some odd transitions.
  • The final track (and most vexing) was Leaving, a ‘future grunge’ offering which while a good ‘come down’ track for my rolling puppies…was the murkiest of the three…and left me feeling very confused. What I’m hoping, is if this is Skrillex’s next step to forging a new identity I can only hope he commits to it fully to help these track out of their muddled beginnings into the club-bangers his current set of hits have.

See what you think: