401K Music, Inc.
The once sleepy side project named Drug Cabin is (at once) a band and a family of sorts that has endured the vagaries of a fickle music business and life itself. Following a self-titled e.p. in 2012, Nathan Thelen (Pretty Girls Make Graves, Moonrats) and Marcus Congleton (Ambulance Ltd) combined to write 22 new songs. With the talented support of Brandon "Eugene" Owens on bass, Sheridan Reily on drums, and Frankie Palmer on pedal steel, the songs were recorded to analog 8-track at Gaucho Electronics in Downtown Los Angeles. Engineered by F. Bermudez , produced and mixed by Nick DeWitt (Pretty Girls Make Graves, Liars) the result is 2 albums , Yard Work and Wiggle Room. Together both records contain a vast collection of harmonious sweeping deep groove folk-ish indie pop with deceptively addictive hooks. The shape shifting tone of the compositions can feel very much like 70's garden rock imagined by Brian Wilson as it feels so down to earth yet so dreamy.
401K Music, Inc.
The New York based Spires seemingly came out of nowhere last year, the rock band burst onto the scene last Summer with a Residency at Pianos on the Lower East Side. After winning over audiences and media alike with this stunning entrance and highly praised live sets at the Northside Festival and CMJ they followed it up with shows with Temples, The Horrors, Toy, Noah and the Whale, Allah-Las, Widowspeak, Caveman and Hookworms.
Their debut single "Candy Flip"(b/w "Comic Book) was released by 401K Music in the US and on the Too Pure Singles Club in the UK to great critical acclaim from both sides of the Atlantic. BBC 6 Music made it their single of the week, KEXP championed the band and featured them in session, the NME, The New York Times, Brooklyn Vegan, all raved about the band and the single which was produced by Connor Hanwick of The Drums and mixed by Claudius Mittendorfer (Muse, Johnny Marr, Alberta Cross, Temples).
8D Industries, LLC
Eric McGauley, better known as Eros, is an American electronic music artist based out of Orlando, Florida. Eros began writing and producing electronic music in high school, followed by releases on a multitude of Florida based labels, including his own D'funkt records. In the 90s, Eric first had success with a few of his songs being played in regular rotation on local commercial FM radio. This got the attention of Robins Entertainment and Tommy Boy record scouts, both who contacted him after the release of "What's that Sound," a single that featured a sample of rapper Skee Lo. During this time Eric played frequently at popular events such as Zen Festival in Los Angeles, Ultra Music Festival in Miami, and many other venues and clubs throughout the U.S. Eric currently has 6 full length albums, 15 vinyl releases and over a dozen appearances on compilations such as Koch's Beatles Re-grooved series. Eric has recently branched out, working on styles outside of the breakbeat dance realm, creating solid productions in the genres of trip hop, dubstep, and electronic rock/pop. This experimentation has paid off (literally!) with newer tracks being licensed to ads for Quicksilver sportswear and Burton Snowboards, as well as a track appearing in NBC's hit show Smash and the feature film Bachelorette. This year also marked the collaboration between Eros and DJ Magic Mike, a childhood hero, best known as one of the pioneers of the Miami bass sound. This creative combination helped to launch Magic Mike's album to number one on Beatport.com. Along with recent tracks being released on Caffeine, Zone, Bad Baby and EA Records, Eric is working on several remixes for heavy hitters in the electronic music scene and finishing up the next full length album, scheduled to be released in the near future.
8D Industries, LLC
Monta At Odds
Formed by Dedric and Delaney Moore, the brothers took their dream of Italian Cinema soundtracks, 60's Bollywood, and Pink Floyd and stirred in a mixture of space-rock, dub, electronica and psychedelica to create the sound of Monta At Odds. Previously known as Monta on the world-wide acclaimed Unsuspecting album, the name was expanded along with the band members. Next followed Gringo as their homage to western-influenced Italian Cinema. In 2009, Outono was released on limited edition clear vinyl to great acclaim. Next followed Fuoco Infernale (translation Hellfire) released world-wide on Upstairs Recordings in 2010 and then the expanded edition of Unsuspecting on Upstairs this past summer. Monta At Odds' seven-piece ensemble has shared the stage with greats like The Flaming Lips, Shiny Toy Guns, Larkin Grimm, Scout Niblett, Our Brother The Native, Cave, The Roman Numerals, and The Octopus Project. Monta At Odds have had their music in several feature films, short films and television adverts. Monta At Odds are currently working with nationally-respected visual artist Barry Anderson to compose music for his art installation project showing in Los Angeles at the end of summer.
"It's somewhere between cliché and painfully appropriate to call Cardboard Lamb's debut their Singles Going Steady, but like the Buzzcocks collection, Don't Forget to Die never lets up with pop hooks and infectious riffs, almost taunting us with its effortless charm and refusal to let us take a seat. The LA-based quartet makes it sound so easy. Their debt to post-punk foundation stones like Wire, Mission of Burma, and The Sound are obvious seconds into opening track "Bedside Manner" but unlike their influences, they've hit us with a debut that comes on like slapstick black comedy, almost asking us to grin through a series of misfortunes and heartbreaking tales. The man most obviously responsible for this quality, guitarist, vocalist, lyricist, and masochist Colin Ambulance, pens lyrics that betray the tears of a clown or maybe a court jester who realizes the punch line of his next joke is his head in a guillotine basket. So how does a man with such biting wit find his perfect foil in a band that sounds so refreshingly upbeat? Cardboard Lamb rarely lose a sense of optimism, whether subtle or overblown, but always facilitating an undercurrent of simplicity, like listlessly kicking rocks while discovering the silver lining in a horizon out of Something Wicked This Way Comes. It saturates "Bedside Manner", soaking into the space between the erratic melodies criss-crossing and weaving though each other. The messy charm permeates the album and oddly runs on a faithful sense of organization within the design of Cardboard Lamb. The members of Cardboard Lamb strongly adhere to their predestined roles from song to song, never straying far from their purpose, but when it works this well, why would they ever need to? "German Judge", sounding like Joy Division on uppers, features all of the hallmarks of the band's high energy post-punk. The schizophrenic frenzy of Ambulance's serrated guitars swing between controlled tantrums of shredding and unpredictable projectile riffing while Jared Keller's bass lines anchor with a tight rhythm and guttural tone. Of course, this wouldn't be a Colin Ambulance production if the anchor provided much restraint, so Don't Forget to Die often finds Keller bouncing along beside Ambulance, like two hummingbirds on tethers, moving faster than we can process, touching down but never landing. Michelle Reeves is heavily relied on to blanket the jittery melodies in swathes of synth, never compromising the energy, rather defining the soul at the theme of the song while Tom Ackerman's instinctual beats frantically drive the song further beyond its own limit than the song itself realizes, though Cardboard Lamb doesn't keep us around for the inevitable collapse. We only get the energy. Meanwhile, Ambulance narrates the whole affair like a cartoon aghast at his own soul and even more aghast at the lack of soul in those surrounding him. Everyone is sure to have their favorite moment on Cardboard Lamb's debut, with the others not far behind. Of course, this leaves this brilliantly energetic group the unenviable task of creating a follow-up so incredible as to not immortalize Don't Forget to Die as their greatest hits." -Seth Styles
African Dope Records and African Dope Publishing
The music of Sean Ou Tim, aka Mr Sakitumi, takes its cue from the likes of Ninja Tune, DJ Krush, Bonobo, RJD2 and DJ Shadow, featuring live sampling, fx, turntable scratching and upright electric bass and bass guitar. Sakitumi's shows are fun and full of passionate performance, making him a great entertainer for audiences., which have included Oprah Winfrey, Nelson Mandela and Miriam Makebe. Other appearances include festivals such as Pukkelpop (Belgium), Lowlands (Netherlands), Face Fest (Finland), Oppikoppi (South Africa), Ramfest (South Africa), Sakifo (Reunion), and Popkomm (Germany), as well as venues like the Havana Club and the Capitol Theatre in Pretoria.
Alpha Pup Records
Born and bred in Weston, Massachussetts, Edward Ma, now known to the world as edIT, began his music career as "The Con Artist" just before the turn of the millennium. As a resident DJ at the now defunct Konkrete Jungle Los Angeles, he shared the stage with Hive, Daddy Kev, James Tai and mic rockers Busdriver, P.E.A.C.E. and Mikah 9. Konkrete Jungle marked the golden age of indie hip-hop in Los Angeles, and was the bridge between the jungle and b-boy massives. During this time, he also held a residency at Dublab Radio. He was one of the very first Dublab DJs and broadcasted two weekly shows from the legendary Melrose Avenue studio. Far ahead of its time, Dublab operated as an internet radio station and served as a unifying force for the melting pot of L.A.Õs intellectual DJ culture. During this musical renaissance, edIT used "The Con Artist" name to produce and engineer for the likes of Sole (Anticon), Busdriver (Epitaph), Aloe Blacc (Stones Throw), Emanon (Shaman Work), and Dr. Oop (Black Love).
It was 2003 when "The Con Artist" adopted the edIT moniker, while finishing his debut solo album Crying Over Pros for No Reason. The album was released by µ-Ziq's Planet-Mu imprint a year later in 2004. The album was a downtempo love-maker's epic about opportunities lost. Shortly thereafter, he shifted gears towards the dance floor and remixed Daedelus's "Dumbfound" for Plug Research, which became a party rockin' classic, and further established edIT as a force to be reckoned with in the IDM and electronic worlds.
Antenna Farm Records
Social Studies crafts intricate songs that combine angular indie rock and classic twee-pop. What distingishes the San Francsico-based group is their ecclectic, complex song writing: unusual structures and mathy beats are tempered by soft edges and danceable casio hooks. Moody, defiant and hopeful, the lyrics celebrate duality through themes of discontent, violence, innocence, renewal, nostalgia, regret and joy. All these elements take shape in unpredictable, catchy songs that burrow into your consciousness and demand repeat listening and a critical reading between the lines. Combine this imaginative songwriting with a consistently high energy live show, and it is no surprise that Social Studies has generated a loyal fanbase and strong buzz in the SF Bay Area and beyond.
ARTS & CRAFTS MUSIC
Zeus was born from the musical friendship of Mike O'Brien and Carlin Nicholson. The two Toronto-based musicians have been living on the road for the past few years as the backing band for singer/songwriter and Broken Social Scene member Jason Collett. With a lineup rounded out by longtime friends and musical compatriots Rob Drake and Neil Quin, Zeus draws upon classic influences to craft timeless songs, complete with fuzzed out guitars and shimmering three-part harmonies; classic rock n'roll with a touch of twang. An EP, entitled Sounds Like Zeus, was released this past summer to widespread critical acclaim, garnering near-perfect reviews and creating a stir with the band's brilliant recreation of the Genesis hit, "That's All." Say Us expands upon the ideas put forth with Sounds Like Zeus, showing even greater range and diversity. The first single, "Marching Through Your Head" has already been declared "a strong contender for pop song of the year" by Exclaim Magazine. Say Us was recorded and produced by Mike O'Brien and Carlin Nicholson in their Toronto studio and mixed by Robbie Lackritz (Feist). As astute students of the history of rock n' roll and purveyors of a sound that cross-references the British Invasion with '70s southern U.S. rock, Zeus' debut album demonstrates a band with an innate ability to create powerful and infectious music and do so as though it's an entirely natural process. Say Us is an album for the ages.
Auction For The Promise Club
Auction for the Promise Club
"Their best to date." ~ Tom Robinson, BBC 6 Music
“This is great, one of those songs that builds into something of a crescendo, it's really good.” ~ Charlie Ashcroft, Amazing Radio
“Dynamic, punchy and all the things that make you want to pogo around your living room.” ~ Pete Donaldson, Absolute Radio
"Their debut EP, recorded at London's famed Abbey Road Studios, received recognition across the country and now, Auction For The Promise Club return with their latest release 'This May Hurt' - a single that expects to get a very similar response. Musically inspired by the likes of Bjork, Radiohead and Muse; the Cornwall three piece wear their influences on their sleeves with this offering, if not through sound, through context. Zoe White Chambers (singer/guitarist), Toby White Chambers (drums) and Perran Tremewan (guitars/keys) make up this indie-rock three piece and straight off the bat, the trio began garnering support in all the right places. BBC and 6Music, NME Radio, XFM, Absolute and Amazing Radio have all backed the band's past pursuits while Rolling Stone, Classic Rock, Loaded and MTV Hive have all featured them on their sites. Auction For The Promise Club have already graced the stages of Bestival, Boardmasters, Y Not, Lodestar, Leopallooza, headlined theEmerging Icons stage in the Olympic Park on the opening day of London 2012 and were subsequently asked back to play again the following week. The band intend to cover just as much ground in 2015 (The Great Escape and the BBC Introducing stage at the Looe Music Festival) but this time off the back of their new material and what is arguably their best to date." ~ Wareen Morris, The Playground