During a recent DJ set at The Porch, someone stepped up to the booth. This is nothing new, and normally, it’s the signal that someone is about to ask for (or, more often than not, obnoxiously try to force) a request. Luckily though, he just said what’s up and told me he was enjoying the mix. I thanked him and went back to focusing on my mix, as DJ’ng requires much more concentration than the average observer realizes, but he kept going with the conversation attempt. Normally I would feign interest or cut things off so I don’t run into a bad conversation situation, but I let it ride that time, and this is how I met Donja and learned about his music. The catalog was prolific, and much like MAIKÉRU, who I also recently met, Donja sounded seasoned, and he was doing genre-blending music that purposefully stood out from the norm in terms of both quality and approach. His latest single, the super catchy Phone Home, serves as a continuation of the vibe that I was picking up when checking out Donja‘s back catalog, and if you’re unfamiliar with him like I once was, then the single serves as a perfect introductory point. Check out the track on your favorite streaming service, and find Donja on your favorite social media site to stay in the release loop!
In the short time that I’ve known Maikéru, I’ve been most impressed by the composure and thought that goes behind his releases. The run of impressive work continues with PASTEL – EP, a collection of varied tracks meant to get everyone in the mood for the first summer post-COVID-19. From the upbeat braggadocio of PHOTOSHOOT to the somber vulnerability of POOLSIDEBLUES, the range that Maikéru is able to provide in such a short amount of time is inspiring. As a bonus, we even get a streamlined version of LEGENDSONLY, one of the signature songs in the Maikéru catalog. Definitely don’t sleep on this one.
The artistic irony of good songwriting is hard to ignore. Take, for example, my recent experience with the discovery of the latest New Druids single, LA’s On Fire (Again). The song, released as a preview of their upcoming album Making Love To Make Music To Make Love To, popped up on to my radar about a day before the news of the most recent California wildfires being caused by a gender reveal party went public. The juxtaposition of this reality in tandem with the nuanced songwriting displayed by the New Druids, which perfectly props up individualistic lives driven by image and impressions set against Los Angeles being on fire (yet again), presents one of those classic ‘art imitating life imitating art’ situations without even trying. If this song catches your attention, drop a pre-order for the mid-October release, or simply share it around, and always support your local creatives.
Many people are finding themselves having to face problems that have always existed while trying to survive in the shadow of COVID-19. For Suzanna Choffel, who self-admittedly knows her problems are lesser compared to those of many out there struggling, found that these times brought up ideas she explored in 2019 while preparing for the birth of her second daughter. During her first pregnancy, the red tape and games of health care opened her eyes to the true nature of the American health system, how politicians give lip service to the industry, and how it impacts women in particular. These ideas manifest as Good Problems, a dual attempt for her to recognize the bigger problems in the world and to inspire those going through them. As if this effort was not enough, $1 from each sale of this track will go towards the ACLU and their efforts to even the playing field and make life a bit easier for everyone. Support if you can, but definitely give this one a listen regardless of whether you can support or not, as Suzanna Choffel‘s immense talent cannot go ignored.
My discovery of YNGLDY has been a fruitful one for sure, as it introduced me to producer DK Thundah and his creative world. Recently, he hooked up with Light Feather for Better Way, a moving mood-setter of a single that combines dream-pop and cloud rap nearly perfectly. Light Feather‘s vocals and lyrics are chill-inducing, and DK Thundah not only produced an extremely strong background track, but added a very solid guest verse as well. DK Thundah even took to the internet later to provide a breakdown of how he created the background track :
Check out the single and the beat breakdown, leave likes and comments if you dig, and share it around for others to do the same!
Holy smokes y’all… I knew that The Vapor Caves were already one of my favorite projects making music these days, but I didn’t know how bad I apparently needed a Yadira Brown rap verse in my life until I heard Bitch to the Boys. Like many of their songs, The Vapor Caves drench this one in an old school aesthetic, employing shades of Neneh Cherry meets Mary Jane Girls for this round. This album doesn’t appear to be a concept album, per se’, but the way that BoomBaptist and Yadira Brown execute their ideas so fully is impressive and inspiring. This one will make some lists at the (rapidly approaching) end of this year… mark my words. Check it out, spread it around, and support your local creatives!
I love putting the spotlight on Electric Mayhem… working as a team is dope. Sometimes, however, I gotta sit back and admire the times when I cut loose. These mixes are moments that I have enjoyed during various DJ gigs, whether they be club, wedding, house party or whatvever… these two mixes are from last week’s Electric Mayhem (Monday nights, Triple Crown).