Sep 172016
 

Another mix from the archives. I played the opening set in a room full of bass music lovers at a local underground LA party series called Another Ridiculous Party in 2015. It’s been a challenge for me to find enough bass music (and resulting tangential genres) to populate a set, which I’m aware is really popular in some circles.  I usually like to switch up my genres quite a bit, but took it as a personal challenge to see if I could put together a set of almost entirely bass music etc. This was that set, recorded live that night and then taken into the studio for additional massaging. It’s pretty energetic as my sets go. I sat with it for more than 6 months, and then had another listen. I danced, as did my husband, so I decided to release it.

I reached out to my buddy Dennis Bunton for mastering and loved what he did with it.

Tracklist:

1. Anchor Hill – Giridhar
2. Quanta – Create Culture
3. Supersillyus – The Proof is in the Pudding (ft. Adam Psybe)
4. Mote – Lamentation
5. Plantrae – Enter the Seed
6. Tipper – Table Flipping
7. Somatoast – Microportal
8. Bwoy De Bhajan – Mubar Camel Liquor
9. Auma – The Old Magick
10. Bluetech – 667 (Kalya Scintilla Mix)
11. Akasha – Liquid Grip
12. Moon Frog – Spirit Animal
13. Kodomo – Concept 1
14. Kalya Scintilla – Way of the Tarot
15. Kaya Project – Nightflower (Kaya Project rmx)
16. KiloWatts – Mother of Thousands

Sep 172016
 

I’ve been sitting on an archive of mixes in the past year, mostly because I could feel my creative flow changing and I wasn’t sure my output was aligned with my input. One of the biggest changes for me is that I’ve crossed over into using Traktor for playing out live most of the time and then mostly use Ableton Live for studio-prepared mixes. I had found my creativity stagnating when using Ableton for DJing, as there’s less room for spontaneous inspiration when perusing one’s music library on the fly. As the activity level of our downtempo crew Floasis has increased in the recent year, I found a camaraderie with my crewmates who almost all use Traktor primarily. It felt like a good time to make the switch and after some deep learning, I began playing out with it this past summer. Things were a little rough at first, but I feel like I’m finding my groove now and have even surpassed my previous records for the longest sets ever. (Latest record: somewhere around 8 hours)

As my confidence stepped up with my tools for playing out, I was finally able to have another listen to these mixes that had been languishing during my growing pains, and this is one of the mixes that came to light and wanted to be published. I’ve stayed away from a lot of bass music in my sets, as I find a lot of it to sound very similar; however, there is a growing amount of this style of music that hits the right notes for me melodically, energetically and tonally. The recorded set this came from was almost twice as long, but as I sat with it I found I much preferred the first half/two-thirds, so that is what is represented here. I took my live recording (via Ableton) and enhanced it further in the studio, including adding a different ending track that was more in line with the flow.

Tracklist:

1. Utero – Entrance
2. Omnimotion – Inner Dub
3. Deep Forest Warrior – To Be With You (ft. Marilyn Fox)
4. Expedizion – Listen to the Deepness
5. Eukarya – Reaching for Light
6. Frederic Robinson – So Close To Being Human
7. Tipper – Life Raft For a Death Trip
8. AtYya – Altar Form
9. Sixis & Shwex – Continuity Field
10. Aligning Minds – In the Wake of Forever
11. Kiyoto – Shinagawa
12. Aes Dana – Jetlag Corporation

Aug 062016
 

I’ve been hibernating lately, as if you hadn’t noticed. A necessary side effect of switching gears. A few months back I started using Traktor to play out instead of Ableton Live, which has been my tool of choice since 2007. I wanted to be more spontaneous in my track selection, like I used to be when I started playing in 2005, and since most of my Floasis crew uses Traktor, it just made sense.

It’s been a bit of a learning curve, and so while I’ve been recording most of my sets lately (as reference points for later to understand where I need to improve), this one stood out to me as enjoyable just as it is. I hope you’ll enjoy it too.

This summer I was invited to submit a mix to the music team of a small-ish underground campout music festival called Friends and Family Campout, or FNF. I played in an amazing indoor space called the Heart Lodge, which was decked out not only with amazing decor, but also a couple dozen large mats adorned with fuzzy blankets a lots of pillows. The theme of the music I chose was “cuddle”.

Tracklist:

1. Ocoeur – Timeless
2. Electricwest – Bruises
3. Hinkstep – Sno (Instrumental)
4. M-Seven – Observatory
5. Nicolas Jaar – Colomb
6. Lab’s Cloud – Hypnotes
7. Kuba – Amber
8. Occam – La Dolce Vita
9. Rocket Empire – Red Room (feat. Chuck Love)
10. Occam – Midnight Taper
11. Module – Fragments of You (feat. Rhian Sheehan + Tom Firth)
12. Desolate – Pain
13. Circular – 3 Moons
14. il:lo – Var (Rework Bonus)
15. Scann-Tec – Phaeton Remains

Jan 262016
 

This week brings not one, but two new mixes into the world. First up – a new trip hop/downtempo mix called Electric Hullabaloo. It’s a studio mix of a set I designed for New Year’s Eve 2014, but due to technical difficulties I didn’t get to play it through or record it. This past Fall I had another opportunity to play with it for a friend’s 40th birthday cocktail party, so I recorded it and then played with it some more in the studio. I’ve got it uploaded to SoundCloud, Mixcloud and Hearthis. Stream and/or download at any of these locations. Enjoy!

In addition, I was asked to donate a mix to the Healing Temple, a new community-based collective dedicated to sharing music of a positive and healing nature. The mix is up for streaming and downloading at SoundCloud. Here’s the link.

Aug 022015
 

Stream from link above, or download Mp3 here.

I was commissioned by yoga instructor Jessica Annand to craft two one-hour mixes for a yoga retreat taking place in July 2015 at Stewart Mineral Springs Retreat Center near Mt. Shasta, California. While I’ve played live during yoga sets before, this was the first time I’d created any in the studio. This is the first of the two. The word “Yitha” means “One” in the Karuk tribal language, indigenous to the region. There are gentle beats and expansive spaces in this mix, as per her request.

Mastered by David Sonoform.

Tracklist:

1. Modcam – Sonic Zen (Album Mix)
2. Makyo – Soar Angelic
3. Samorost – You
4. Xerxes – Longyaard
5. The Sushi Club – Mujo
6. Union Jack – Water Drums
7. String Theories – White Dragon
8. Coppice Halifax – Greensea
9. Snakestyle (feat. Minnie Rogers) – A Rainy Night in London
10. Electricwest – Bruises
11. Keston and Westdal – Spring in December
12. Krusseldorf – Creation
13. Rhian Sheehan – Standing in Silence Pt. 4

Jun 102015
 

In May 2015 I was invited to take some pictures of my good friend Dennis Bunton, aka Ion Driver, who was opening for one of my favorite electronic music producers, Tipper, in a show at the incredible venue called Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado. After connecting with the show’s producer, he decided to offer me one of only three all-access photography passes so I could shoot the entire show – and I had a blast! The venue is on a hill so there was a lot of ground to cover, but I was on the move most of the time and had the time of my life.

Check out the set here.

2015_Red_Rocks_Tipper-Etc-Final-20

 

Jun 072015
 

Another Fine Day - A Good Place to Be (Remixes)

This new EP of remixes from Interchill’s company of downtempo talents is full of beauty, an enjoyable ride through ambient and rhythmic interpretations of the well-received original release. Every single track here is a keeper.

1. And Dream of Seals (Alucidnation Remix) – Lush piano intro calls softly to have a listen as more varied sounds are introduced. Bass line and soft percussion merge perfectly with piano, beginning a hint of a journey toward dub. As percussion and bass disappear, we are submerged into a bubbly dubbly soundscape, ever wending its way through like a droplet of water falling through leaves on a tree.

2. And Dream of Seals (Another Fine Day Chaos Theory Remix) – Forestlike sounds greet our ears before the piano, beautifully stuttered, begins its tale. Right on cue, the rhythm begins. By the time the tabla and mild glitch appear, a theme has been set and we are on a gentle, wandering tour through staccato percussiveness, all the while the thread of the xylophonic melody keeping us on track. The track slowly, very slowly, makes its way to silence, never losing its itinerary.

3. And Dream of Seals (Ishq remix) – A prayer in sonic form which allows our brains and ears a narrative while offering plenty of space for exploration. As with other remixes in this collection, the piano is an integral part of the story, introduced almost immediately and remaining present like a buoy in the sea. At just under 9 minutes, this remix has the time and space to define itself. While the progression toward the center – where the crux lives – rolls along slowly, it is also as sure as the sky is blue. When the bass appears, it wraps up the elements nicely. These sounds play well together. The latter third of the track withdraws most forms of rhythm from before, yet remains familiar to us; a natural completion to a beautiful journey.

4. Spanish Blues (Greg Hunter Remix) – The strings of a Greg Hunter track are a welcome signature, an announcement that the world is at our door, ready to tell a dubby tale. The structure is set up almost immediately, and so the framework allows us to move to the rhythm while still maintaining a spacious vibe in our brains. This kind of rhythm can be interpreted with movement of the body or simply in the mind, making it a versatile accompaniment for a wide spectrum of activities one might do while listening. Keep this one close at hand.

5. Spanish Blues (Hibernation) – Smoky jazzy orchestral sounds make the initial case for this interpretation, but when the dance begins, you might not want to remain seated (if you even were to begin with). I found some part of my body wanted to be moving with the rhythm of this the entire track, and yet the slightly jazzy psychill environment kept my brain occupied with the perfect blend that Seb Taylor (Hibernation) is known for. The center of the track glides gracefully into a film soundtrack feel, the jazz and trippy accents singing in harmony. There is a good reason why Seb’s music is so central to my listening and DJing playlists – his expressions just simply resonate with my aesthetic so succinctly that it’s like welcoming an old friend in for a cup of tea (and often a dance).

May 202015
 

Photography has been an essential part of my self-expression for over a decade. It brings me joy and a sense of purpose like nothing else. It’s been such a wonderful way to connect with this planet we call home. I firmly believe in the importance of remembering the beauty we’re surrounded with, whether it’s in the mundane or the sublime. This is my intention with my photography.

I’m delighted to announce that I will be exhibiting some of my work soon here in Los Angeles. The space is just perfect and I’m looking forward to welcoming friends and family to join us for the opening night. I hope you can come!

Groundwork Indie Garage ~ Hollywood
1501 N. Cahuenga Blvd. in Hollywood

Moments of Beauty: Photography of Maggie Houtz

Gallery Opening and Artist Reception
Friday, June 12th 6:30pm – 9:30pm

Lens Flare Over Malibu

Mar 072015
 

Stream from link above, or download MP3 here.

This was a set I created for Tropical’s 16th anniversary campout held at a yoga retreat center in California. Most of the weekend’s music was house music, but there was a block of ambient-into-downtempo on Saturday morning. Starts off ambient and rises into danceable trip hop & downtempo.

The recording of my set had technical issues, so this is a recreation in my studio. Mastered by Brian Saitzyk.

Tracklist:

1. Erothyme – Sunshine Through Speakers (feat. Madelion Moondrop)

2. Giyo – Astro (Give You All I Can)
3. Orchid Star – Wildflower Feat. Myo & Samanta Ray (Pete Ardron Remix)
4. Fresh Moods – Decisions I Made
5. Romo – Awakening
6. Bomb the Bass & Lali Puna – Clearcut (Arovane’s Amx)
7. Bronx Dogs – Cosmos
8. Govinda – City of Pleasure
9. Kaleidoscope Jukebox – Flame Thrower
10. Mr. Squatch – To and Fro
11. Nightmares on Wax – 70s 80s
12. The Eff Word – TBC (Crustation Mix)
13. Backini – Electro Industry
14. Parov Stelar – If I Had You
15. Ugress – Fields of Thieves (2000)
16. Backini – Champagne Flute
17. 40 Winks – Kodak Moment (Long Arm Remix)
18. D-Echo Project – Wind Trails
19. Govinda – Two Become One

Nov 292014
 

I was invited recently to give feedback on the latest comp release from Interchill, one of my favorite labels for choice downtempo. It’s a real winner in my book, so I wanted to share my thoughts here and encourage you to check this out for yourself.

With a comp like this, this is where Interchill and I see eye to eye.  Andrew Ross Collins has come up with a treat for the senses, with an ode to the more melodic side of chill and downtempo, while still maintaining an edge with elements of glitch and bold rhythms. The way I felt when I’d finished listening to Waypoint reminds me of the aftermath of listening to Interchill’s comp releases from a decade ago, which is to say feeling thoroughly satisfied with the journey. Due to the way I tend to process music for review and consideration into my permanent library, I hardly ever tend to listen to a release all together in sequence, but this one works quite well for that. A wonderful compilation, assembled in a defining flow that just works.

Interchill's Latest Compilation

Interchill’s Latest Compilation

01. Grouch – Indifference (Hibernation Remix)

My ears lit up with the last collaboration between these two talents (Grouch remixing  Kaya Project, another of Seb Taylor’s artist projects) and once again I’m digging the melding of their two sounds. Both artists are laser-precise in their mastery of sound manipulation and design, which ensures that even though there’s a lot going on in the track, it never tips over into a crowded soundscape.

02. Drift – Invisible Spirit

Overtones of bossanova start things off and then are switched up by a glitchier palette. It’s a mixture that doesn’t always blend well together for my tastes, but the track weaves back and forth between the two palettes and eventually the more classical palette wins out, which is a win in my book. (Not that I have anything against the glitchy palette – just that it can be challenging to blend it well with more classic sounds and phrasing)

03. Guru Shishya – Rich in Loss

It’s been many years since a new Guru Shishya track has graced my speakers, and I quite liked the one from 9 years ago, Cagian 3 (also released by Interchill). I’m not sure what this artist has been up to in the ensuing time period, but I’m very happy that a new track is upon us. Beautiful acoustic guitar with whispers of angelic voices singing, and an acoustic drum accompaniment that feels like it would be a treat to see this one performed live. A heart-melter for sure.

04. Gaudi – Solaris Vision

Gaudi is one of the most authentic dub-into-dubstep artists I know, remaining entrenched in the crossover between the genres. His sound design is unparalleled. The genre itself is one I can only listen to small amounts of at a time, as I find it all a little too similar; Gaudi’s composition here, however, creates a soundscape that is hypnotic and delivers through to the end.

05. Kaya Project – Dust Devil (Hibernation Remix)

Seb Taylor has a permanent place at my musical table, let me just get that out of the way. Of all his projects, I started out loving him as Kaya Project and then found Hibernation, the perfect mixture of fresh modern sound design and classical, jazzy tones. So a remix of one by the other was bound to perk up my ears. The rhythm here is hypnotic, the sounds varied, and it all blends together into something quite wonderful.

06. Variant Field – Dulcet Dalliance

Wonderful catchy rhythm and sound design from one of my favorite artists, Amani Friend, with his co-creator Alex DeYoung. I’ve previously only known Amani’s work with Treavor Moontribe as Desert Dwellers, and while there are definitive markers in this track to alert you to Amani’s same sensibilities, there is a devotion to a more cinematic, jazzy spectrum that I find irresistible. It’s the kind of track that sounds at home in either a jazzy/loungy playlist or a more modern one.

07. Another Fine Day – Walk Tall (Throwback Dub)

Wonderful, sultry jazz tones with swirls of psychedelia, perfect for a lazy sunday afternoon.

08. Austero – Fuerza Brutal

Lovely mix of electronic and acoustic elements. The bass line is prominently the backbone of the track, and yet somehow doesn’t manage to oversaturate it. Skilled guitar work by Austero.

09. Fredrik Ohr – In Orbit

I was a fan of Ohr’s early eponymous release and have tracked his evolution ever since. As it is with almost any artist and me, not everything hits the nail on the head, but In Orbit is definitely a keeper in my book. It has a laidback rhythm that is only suggested at throughout the first half of the track, but the musicality and the hints of bleepy accents are enough to carry it through, when the rhythm fully reveals itself and drives it home.

10. Liquid Stranger – Flipside

I love it when Liquid Stranger ventures far into the realm of emotion with his unique brand of soundscape. It rarely disappoints, and this track is a wonderful expression of that emotion. It manages to be spacious and cozy all at the same time. I see Flipside being a trusty companion for those delicious afternoons in the desert.

11. Sinepearl – Cosmic Center

I was deeply touched by the release earlier this year of Cycles Within Cycles Within, as it came to my inbox just as I was learning of the death of a dear friend’s family member. While that release was gorgeous in a more ambient way, this track retains much of that lush sensibility while inhabiting more of a rhythmic space. I have not yet been disappointed by what I’ve heard coming out of his studio.

12. Spiral System – Mondays

I was a fan of last year’s release Be, so I looked forward to hearing this new track, and I was not disappointed. A gentle rhythm that invites swaying with eyes closed, delicate vocals with a touch of psychedelia, and a gorgeous melody welcome you in to the world of this track. Salve for the soul.

13. Alucidnation – Prefer to Stay In

Lush, pastoral ambience with just a hint of beats. The piano lends a delicate narrative. A perfect end to the Waypoint journey.

Waypoint can be reviewed and purchased at the following places:

BandcampBeatportAmazoniTunesJuno

Or check it out here: