sebastian-porter_witnessthis_sound

sebastian-porter_witnessthis_sound

Sebastian Porter is yet another DJ from Berlin who has put together a set to kick off the week just right. Porter’s background was finance, but upon discovering his musical genius, he found himself in Berlin producing and playing at local clubs. At 27 years old, he has a long life ahead of him, and we’ll follow his every musical move in hope of the continued release of sets like this one.

Please enjoy this special hour + of music brought to us by Lebensfreude Download the set for free here.

Tracklist:
1. Kadebostan – Love in looxor – Freude Am Tanzen Recordings
2. Sebastian Porter – Geschichten einer blauen Raupe (feat. Thiemo Niggemann) – Lebensfreude Records
3. Paul Kalkbrenner – Sky and sand (Robag’s Borsi Alpakka Rehand) – Paul Kalkbrenner Musik
4. Rafaele Castiglione – Open city – Amselcom
5. Krink – The wilderness (Original Mix) – URSL
6. SeQ – Metropolis (Soukie & Windish Remix) – Frucht
7. Nadja Lind, Paul Loraine – Making a difference – Lucidflow
8. Meggy, Ruederich – Top of the world (Britta Arnold Remix) – Lebensfreude Records
9. Sebastian Porter – Those people (feat. Marie Scherzer) – Lebensfreude Records
10. Rafaele Castiglione feat. John LaMonica – Nature of the universe – Samuel Fach Remix – Amselcom
11. Mihai Popoviciu – Time – Poker Flat Recording
12. Junge & Maedchen – Alter Knochen (David Keno Remix) – BluFin Records

old-paths-lead-to-new-places_witness-this_sound

old-paths-lead-to-new-places_witness-this_sound

This Monday we are bringing you a mixtape from Nick Angelillo. Nicks music taste has always been fresh air at any party, dinner, or car ride and we found it only right to begin to feature his mixtapes on the blog.

Our first “Nix” is called Old Paths Lead to New Places

A playlist for any path with music to set your pace. When this playlist ends so will the path and I’ll meet you there. See you on the other side…. Enjoy. – Nick

vsl_wt-2

vsl_wt-2 Interview and words by Greg Bevis

“Obviously I love Justin [Vernon] and his music, but I feel like the comparisons are generally a result of lazy journalism. ”

I catch Tim Bettinson from Vancouver Sleep Clinic as he’s being driven to a business meeting somewhere in LA. He’s never been there before this year, but since posting one song, “Vapour“, on Souncloud just 10 months ago, he has only spent 3 weeks at home in Australia. His self made EP, Winter, is making its rounds on the internet with its falsetto singing 17-year-old creator being labeled as ‘the next Bon Iver’, a title he finds inaccurate. But such comparisons and hype around this stellar EP landed Tim and his 3 piece band a spot opening for London Grammar on their current North American tour, and although that spot was pulled due to Visa issues – Tim isn’t phased. In fact, he can’t believe people are listening at all…

Listen to a snippet from the interview here:

What did you expect when you put out Vapour?

I put Vapour online then went on a two week camping trip with friends. I came back and all of a sudden it had like 15,000 plays and I had emails in my inbox, it was messed up, I didn’t really understand it. I’d just spent so much time with the song.

So you didn’t know it was good?

At no point in making Vapour or putting it online did I think it was really something. I think it was kind of a fluke. I’d written a lot of other stuff before with my other bands, and it hadn’t been that great. Vapour was a different direction and I wasn’t really sure of it. I hadn’t had that direction until I had other people interested in it.

Did you start VSC out as a band or a solo project?

I didn’t start it out with any specific direction. I’ve been in bands before this one, I think that when you’re playing in bands it’s hard to get everyone in the same headspace and committed, so was like screw it, I’ll write it for myself and put it online.

Did you make the EP by yourself?

I did all of the demos in my bedroom, then I took that to a really close friend who’s a producer and we’d sit there and refine the sound. Really just me and him.

What do you make of the Justin Vernon and Bon Iver references?

I’m pretty opinionated when it comes to that. Obviously I love Justin and his music, but I feel like the comparisons are generally a result of lazy journalism. I say that because, obviously I’m singing falsetto and that’s something Justin Vernon has been renowned for, but I think that when it comes to reviewing a song and a sound there’s so much more than that. I more take my influences from The xx, James Blake, FKA twigs. I understand where the comparison comes from, he’s an influence, but I think it’s important to look further into the sound. VSC is dreamy, ethereal, ambient, electronic. The Bon Iver reference is a massive compliment because he’s amazing, but when I write I listen to totally different records – I put on a rock record and basically try to stay as far away from what I’m writing.

How do you write?

I guess my songs start with me just jamming on my guitar or piano. I’m not normally the person that is just playing around for fun and gets something. I’ll sit down at home I’ll try to find a part, I’ll play for like an hour and then something good might come from that, and I’ll track that raw idea. Then I have a studio in my bedroom, I’ll track the original idea, get some lyrics to it. Lyrics take a while, sometimes I write them in a day or two but usually I’ll be playing with them for the next couple of weeks. With the new material I’ve been writing lyrics first and then making sure the lyrics fit into the music. There’s something fascinating about exploring the power behind lyrics. I think it’s really exiting to make music with lyrics that are so profound.

It’s amazing how powerful lyrics can be with just three chords, the lyrics can be the whole song. The guts of the song are in the words…

Ya it’s really something exciting to be explored.

And it’s something you can do on the road. How do you write on the road?

Generally, I haven’t much. I’ve probably had 3 or 4 weeks at home this year, in that period I was like “I have to make the most of this”. It gets really busy and hectic and when I’m writing I like to be in a tranquil state and able to focus on what I’m writing, I love to have no distractions and focus entirely on the song. I tried to export a massive batch before we left for America. I’ve been listening to them a lot, tweaking little things, thinking of new parts, I guess the next step is taking a month off and going to track these in a studio.

“Now I’m just writing music that I love…I guess if I can connect with people through music, if people can find some sort of joy or hope or satisfaction, then that makes me so happy.”

Does it scare you that people are gonna be watching you now as you make this next record? You made the Winter EP in relative anonymity.

I love pressure. I get really nervous still before shows though. I freak out. We’ve only played about 15, regardless of the scale of the show I still get nervous. But it’s the same with putting out new music, the EP, the singles, I’m nervous because I’m not sure what to expect. Now I’m just writing music that I love and that means something to me, and that I feel people can connect to. I guess if I can connect with people through music, if people can find some sort of joy or hope or satisfaction, then that makes me so happy.

There’s a sense of loss in your music. This pining for something that is just gone. I’m curious if you’ve experienced something like that in your own life? It’s hard to believe that at such a young age you can capture that feeling so well.

Honestly, I haven’t had the kind of loss that a lot of people have had. I’ve felt a lot of the emotions that I describe in the songs. I’ve been unsure, uncertain, angry, frustrated, and it’s this whole mental journey from that point that I’ve exaggerated because I know that a lot of people out there have been through worse things than I have. It’s how you deal with that journey. I’ve had that happen countless times. That’s why the EP is called Winter, everyone goes through these periods that are cold and bitter, and the six songs are about how you go to resolve that, I guess.

So maybe you haven’t had it as bad as some other people have, but you can still relate to it and express it?

Ya exactly.

It’s universal?

I’ve still had bad things happen, but I know people that have gone through crazy things. We can all be connected in that respect, we all feel the same emotions.

It’s interesting to me that you called the EP Winter, and like you say you haven’t had this loss but can express it so well, and that you’re from Australia where you have never experienced Winter, but can still express Winter so well.

Yeah, it’s kind of weird.

What does your family think of all of this?

I’ve been blessed with a really supportive family. It’s kind of crazy. I just finished school last year and I know a lot of parents would be really hesitant about doing all of this instead of going to college. But they’ve been incredible, not only have they allowed it, but they’ve really been backing this financially, and with their time, which is something really special. A lot of families, this is kind of against their will, my parents love it and love what I’m doing. My siblings are psyched as well, it’s been amazing.

You need a lot of support when you start out.

My mum does all of my accounting. Dad has been working really closely with my manager, If I had to do all of that myself I’d be really overwhelmed.

“I’ve been unsure, uncertain, angry, frustrated, and it’s this whole mental journey from that point that I’ve exaggerated because I know that a lot of people out there have been through worse things than I have. It’s how you deal with that journey…everyone goes through these periods that are cold and bitter, and the six songs are about where you go to resolve that…”

Now I’m just writing music that I love and that means something to me, and that I feel people can connect to. I guess if I can connect with people through music, if people can find some sort of joy or hope or satisfaction, then that makes me so happy.

Tim and I exchange goodbyes and I express my sympathy for the gutting blow that the Visa problems gave his band. I mention that I’m in a band and one of our moms does our accounting as well, we both laugh as I feel like I’d blown my cover – busted, I think to myself, my mom helps my band out too – Tim doesn’t mind.

Tim doesn’t seem to over think anything. He’s humble and strikingly self-aware, traits that beguile his age, as he describes how he knows people who have had it much worse than him. A fact that seems irrelevant to the music because he is able to capture and fully express universal emotions that we all feel: fear, anxiety, frustration, so well. What should age or personal experiences matter with such a great ability to empathize?

Tim appears unaffected by any shred of ego in that he places very few, if any, expectations on his next release, or ownership over the whirlwind of acclaim that he’s being swept up in. This is the same simple and honest energy that allowed VSC to capture something truly amazing on the Winter EP. His own relaxed work ethic allows him to cut to the chase in his songs and make music that he connects with, and so others can connect with it too. Not bad for a 17-year-old kid.

Checkout Vancouver Sleep Clinic’s debut album, Winter . Purchase it here. Follow VSC on Facebook, Twitter, and Soundcloud.

david-august_boiler-room_witnessthis_sound

david-august_boiler-room_witnessthis_sound

This is the set of the year so far for me. Live from the Boiler Room Berlin, David August takes us on a journey through deep space. We start with a dreamy building soundscape that quickly develops into a jaw-dropping series of mixes. He plays the synth live, while mixing in everything from a segregation RFK speech on vinyl, to some of the funkiest move-your-fucking-body beats to come across Soundcloud.

Please take the time to watch the set below, as well as listen to it on Soundcloud.

kwabs_sound_witnessthis

kwabs_sound_witnessthis

Kwabs defines new age soul with his gut wrenching vocals and intricately constructed instrumentals. It’s amazing how Kwabs is able to feel so relevant and timeless bridging genres while staying true to quintessential R and B. Camberwell,UK based Kwabs is bigger than love ballads and finds his rightful seat amongst The Weeknd, and Banks of this day and age.

Listen below or head over to his soundcloud to hear more.

professor-possessor-sound_motion_witnessthis

professor-possessor-sound_motion_witnessthis

I don’t know what the fuck these guys are doing but it’s awesome. In their video for Cold Steps they are wearing great clothing and dancing all over suburbia like they don’t care. They are from LA and I don’t know anything about them but I am on the hunt to see them live and do a follow up feature where we do an interview so stay tuned. Check out more from their soundcloud here.

the-colourist_witness-this_sound

the-colourist_witness-this_sound

We haven’t posted many music videos as of lately, but this one caught my eye and ear. It’s more poppy than I usually post but I can’t hate what puts me in a good mood, and although light and fluffy, Adam Castilla and Maya Tuttle’s chorus’s had me smiling and humming, so fuck it, I’m in! The Colourist is Adam Castilla and Maya Tuttle of Paper Thin Walls along with friends Kollin Johannsen and Justin Wagner. They are our neighbors in Orange County and I am looking forward to hopefully catching them around LA soon. Listen to their first single We Won’t Go Home below, and make sure to snag their debut album when it releases here.

The Colourist Tour Dates:

March 19th – The High Watt – Nashville, TN

March 21st – U Street Music Hall – Washington, DC

March 22nd – North Star Bar – Philadelphia, PA

March 24th – Great Scott – Boston, MA

March 25th – Rough Trade – Brooklyn, NY

March 26th – Mercury Lounge – New York, NY

March 28th – The Met – Providence, RI

March 30th – Pike Room – Detroit, MI

March 31st – The Basement – Columbus, OH

April 2nd – Schubas – Chicago, IL

April 4th – 7th St. Entry – Minneapolis, MN

April 7th – Black Sheep – Colorado Springs, CO

April 8th – Marquis Theater – Denver, CO

April 9th – Kilby Court – Salt Lake City, UT

April 11th – Tractor Tavern – Seattle, WA

April 12th – Wonder Ballroom – Portland, OR

April 14th – Harlow’s – Sacramento, CA

April 15th – Bottom of the Hill – San Francisco, CA

darkside_sound_witnessthis

darkside_sound_witnessthis

Amazing set from our favorite musically savant duo. Darkside’s Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington set the bar high with this set recently released on Soundcloud. Not much more to say, enjoy as I know you will.

LukeVanVoorhis-WitnessThis_concentrate-and-ask-again_witness-this-mixtape

LukeVanVoorhis-WitnessThis_concentrate-and-ask-again_witness-this-mixtape

Words and mix by Lindsay Colip photo by Luke Vanvhoorhis

shake it up, shake it down
turn it over, flip around
from left hand, to right hand
in black water, bubbles land
said the pyramid prophet man
concentrate and ask again.

Nick-Harte_witnessthis

Nick-Harte_witnessthis

They Say: New Zealand’s Shocking Pinks, AKA Nick Harte, burst onto the scene in 2004 with the seminal dance pop record Dance the Dance Electric, which shared with the world Harte’s peculiar brand of uncomfortable dance punk intimacy. With dirty lo-fi production, sweet melodies, and unexpected aggression, Harte channels the demons of obsession and emptiness into darkly lyrical art.

We Say: A genre bridging album that breaks any confines of stereotypical low-fi. Tracks like What’s Up With That Girl channel a sort of melancholy Crystal Castles while creating it’s own minimal punk driven soundscape. St. Louis features Gemma Syme and will find it’s way into a film I make someday. It feels as though I’m walking lost through a deserted mall after an eerie break up.

Vice gave it an amazing review and when you hear the rest of the album you will too. Pick it up here. And get a preview of the album here and below.

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words by Dersu Rhodes photos by Dean Bradshaw

I saw Miami Horror as a bunch of Aussie’s that lived to get loose and specialized in fueling the best dance parties on earth. After meeting up with them in Silverlake, Los Angeles for an afternoon photo shoot, I quickly realized that there was much more to these guys then summer festivals, dream synth, and skinny jeans.

We are late for the shoot as it takes us 45 minutes longer than we had planned to get across the city. When we arrive, we see Josh Moriarty sitting on the porch. He’s smoking a cigarette and due to a big one out the night before, he seems thankful that we brought a few beers along. Miami Horror are as close to rock and roll as I’ve ever seen and ironically they don’t play rock and roll. They look like a new-age Led Zeppelin, and they are all living together in a massive house in Silverlake.

As we scramble to set up, I notice there are girls literally sleeping on the floors of their house. They saunter in and out of bedrooms and it’s hard to tell who they are, or where they are from. The house is huge, and beautiful. It’s a furniture mash up of the decades, and punctuated with records from every era; Heart, BeeGees, Yes, and Todd Rundgren. I like to think that the records on display in the house in some way have found themselves, perhaps subconsciously, into Miami Horror’s music. Even Donna Summers watches over the living room, framed in a poster, front and center on the mantle of the fireplace. There is a mint condition Wurlitzer organ in the corner of the room and as the sun creeps in through a pained glass window and dances across the keys, I can imagine Benjamin eyes closed, a harem of young girls surrounding him as he dreams up the newest Horror song.

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Benjamin Plant – Production, Synths, Bass

Benjamin Plant, the originator of Miami Horror, sits outside on the front porch with his laptop out on his lap, he’s watching the first cut of their newest music video for Real Slow. “What do you think?” I ask him, leaning up against the house next to him. Benjamin is a bit shy, he seems a skeptical of who we are and what we are doing in his house, and I find myself questioning if I’m imposing on their world. How many times have they had to hang out with journalists or photographers whom they don’t know or frankly probably don’t give a shit about, they’re rock stars after all, right? “I like it.” he says quietly, “It has a sort of 60′s or 80′ s vibe, with long takes that I’m really feeling.”
I respond, “cool” but feel far from it.

I realize quickly that I’m a bit intimidated by this crew. Is it because of their close to 5 million views of I Look to You on Youtube? Or because their massive hit album Illumination was the soundtrack to my summer for so many years, or perhaps it’s because they look like they are famous, with their tight fitted jeans, their ‘I don’t give a fuck’ hair, that I still can’t figure out how to replicate, or maybe it’s because of their accents and the way that everyone in the electronic world knows who they are, or because they look cooler smoking cigarettes than Dennis Hopper?

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Aaron, Ben, Daniel, and Josh at their home in Los Angeles.

Aaron, Ben, Josh, and Daniel sit in the living room of their shared home. Photographer Dean Bradshaw is set up across the room and snaps off shots of the guys. We all laugh as Aaron strikes a pose sitting awkwardly with is legs straddled out in front of him. Dean fires away and it seems the more that he allows them to interact with each other the more powerful the images become. I feel there is something nostalgic about this scene, it’s an image that feels very real. Coming off of three years of touring, and in the new year kicking off their Australian tour, this down time together at home seems to be a special time for the guys as well. They play in an local psychedelic rock band called Wunder Wunder, they are writing songs together as a collaboration in their attic, and Daniel is even attending meditation retreats. “I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time.” Daniel says, “I feel like we are more grounded and centered, more creative. We are more balanced than we were on tour and we are making music that we all love.”

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Daniel Whitechurch – Piano, Synth

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Josh Moriarty – Guitars, Vocals

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Aaron Shanahan – Co- Production, Guitar, Synth, Vocals

We are all sitting on the porch and the sun is deep in the sky, beginning to set behind the hills of Silverlake. It’s the golden hour and the light could not be more beautiful. The cameras have been put away, and I’ve stopped worrying about how to gain credibility with the guys. In fact, I’ve stopped asking them questions and everything feels so different. The random girls sit with us and they aren’t so random anymore, they are just friends, or long time girlfriends, not just groupies from the night before as I had assumed. We talk about life before Miami Horror and getting outside into nature, how the sun of LA has influenced the new album they are working on, and how exciting it is to be an artist in this city at this moment. Nothing had actually changed except for my own perspective.

It’s a wondrous study in the human condition, the way that we tend to project our assumptions into a situation. The guys are cool yes, but they don’t consider themselves rock stars, they are as grounded as they come, and my intimidation wasn’t initiated by the band, instead it is my own idea of how well-known musicians should act. They don’t expect people to be able to list all of their songs or to prove how cool they are, it seems that they are more interested in authenticity and the music rather than impressing people or the scene. The more that I relax and allow myself to listen, the more the conversation comes alive and my appreciation grows for what Miami Horror represents.

It grows quiet for a moment as we glance off towards the last bit of light slipping behind the Los Angeles hills. It’s the calm before the storm. Josh leaves that night to go back to Australia, and the rest of the boys will only be in LA a few more weeks before they start their next tour back in Australia for the first time in years. The welcome home will be massive as will the release of their next album and something tells me that the next time we will see them we’ll be be surrounded by thousands of their fans.

Special thank you to Isabel Secas, Laura Mckellar, Benjamin Plant, Josh Moriarty, Daniel Whitechurch, Aaron Shanahan, and Sam Luna.

Luke-VanVoorhis-strike_anywhere_witnessthis

Luke-VanVoorhis-strike_anywhere_witnessthis

Inspiration is an imaginary coattail, an invisible road map, childlike wonder at the moon, a run through an open field, and the sun beaming down on closed eyelids. It slips in like a cool morning breeze and rushes out with the tide. It’s sand in your hand – all there, then slips away all at once. Fall freely into the crashing waves. Move with intention, be cautious, don’t be deterred by the possibility of a storm up ahead. Use the knowledge you have, the faith within. There’s action in naivity – there’s power in the unknown. Dive deeper into the calm, close your eyes, and embrace the darkness.

“The unreal is more powerful than the real. Because nothing is as perfect as you can imagine it. Because it’s only intangible ideas, concepts, beliefs, fantasies that last. Stone crumbles. Wood rots. People, well, they die. But things as fragile as a thought, a dream, a legend, they can go on and on. If you can change the way people think, the way they see themselves, the way they see the world — you can change the way people live their lives.”

– Chuck Palahniuk

Compilation – Nissa Rhodes
Design – Luke Van Van Voorhis & Dersu Rhodes