#37 - Mixmason
Following Rob Hall’s stunning pan-genre mix we now find ourselves on the other side of the Atlantic as EPM team up with LA’s Mixmason. With a mix that the Mixmason describes as Grand Theft Auto meets Space Invaders. extraterrestrial ratchet, skrill hex, lunarjuke, ghetto trance, interstellar 8-bit, and theramin funk you know you are in for one helluva ride. From the opening house funk bars of Claude VonStroke’s ‘Who’s Afraid of Detroit?’ to Oktored’s skewed Detroit beats and the electronic shimmer of SBTRKT we also find our selves dipping into hip hop with Notorious BIG, pop with Azealia Banks, Birdy Nam Nam’s musical melting pot and the straight up club beats of Deadmau5 and Everything But The Girl. This is indeed, one bizarre ride to the farside!
Mixmason is an ever-curious, stylistic and enthusiastic DJ who has successfully turned his passion into a career by both day and night. He has been fortunate enough to work on major network television shows as a music supervisor while simultaneously spinning at numerous nightclubs, film premieres and corporate events.
He first started as a local Boston DJ before making the move to Los Angeles to pursue something bigger and better. His Boston roots are founded in hip-hop and reggae, while his travels have expanded his sounds and style into Baltimore club, electro, moombahton, indie rock, trap, and beyond.
This mix is a journey into a unique sub-sector of the exploding EDM-trap movement, which began in the US, but has grown into a worldwide music trend, influenced by the likes of Lex Luger, Flosstradamus and Baauer. The fusion of experimental global sounds with dirty south 808 drums sends the listener on an intergalactic trip, akin to riding in a drop-top '59 Caddy while floating in space....drinkin' champagne on the space plane.
Tracklist EPM Podcast 37 – Mixmason
2. Claude VonStroke : Who's Afraid Of Detroit? (DJ Slink Remix)
3. Mister Tweeks : Addiction
4. 5kinAndBone5 & Robert Jeffrey : Pen15 Power (?Z & LOLGURLZ Remix)
5. Blackwax : Trapped Dub
6. Misk : Wallis Blue
7. :Dface : Trapology
8. Bo$$k : VIP
9. Slim Thug & Mike Jones : Still Tippin (I.D. & Baobinga Remix)
10. TNGHT : Bugg'N
11. Parachute Youth : Awake Now (What So Not Remix)
12. Pigeonfox : Got A Red One
13. Mic Terror & Sizwe : Chief Sampson
14. Dom Kennedy : My Type Of Party
15. OktoRed : Orange Fizz
16. Azealia Banks : Fierce
17. D'Banj : Oliver Twist (Funkystepz Remix)
18. Purity Ring : Lofticries (Ezrakh Remix)
19. Purity Ring : Lofticries (T.Shirt Remix)
20. Lianne La Havas : Forget (Shlomo Remix)
21. Slow Magic : On Yr Side
22. Subp Yao : Chjords
23. Neo Fresco & Korova : Stunt
24. Birdy Nam Nam : Jaded Future (Pelican Fly Remix)
25. DJ Earl : Teklife Or Nolife
26. Fire For Effect : Step Into Liquid (It's A Trap)
27. Notorious BIG & Bone Thugs-N-Harmony : Notorious Thugs (K Theory Remix)
28. SBTRKT : Trials Of The Past (Instrumental)
29. Kendrick Lamar : Swimming Pools (Drank) (Instrumental)
30. Ellie Goulding : High For This (The Weeknd Cover)
31. ???? ?Z ???? : Trap Shit V4
32. Sinjin Hawke & MORRI$ : One Kiss
33. Giraffage : Feels
34. Deadmau5 & Kaskade : Move For Me (Van Toth Remix)
36. Everything But The Girl : Missing (David Heartbreak Remix
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Q&A with Mixmason
1. Please give us a quick run through the mix. Why did you choose these particular tracks?
The underground dance scene in the US is currently wayyyyyyy oversaturated by lots of similar-sounding, formulaic trap remixes. And everyone's sets are starting to sound the same. For my mix, I wanted to try something a bit more experimental – something you can chill out to driving home after a high energy (and exhausting) night in a club. Something to really vibe out to.
I consciously paid very little attention to the name of the artist or remixer, and instead paid very close attention to it's cohesiveness in the vibe I was going for, which I'd have to say was inspired by a SBTRKT beat.
2. What were your first experiences of going out to clubs in Boston?
Back in middle school / high school, my friend Darren and I used to go to every Under 21 club night we could find. We were listening to DJs like Louie Devito, Encore, Skribble, and Bad Boy Joe. This music was probably considered cheesy by European house music standards, but it was simple, fun, catchy and worlds different than the hip-hop we had been growing up with. Those Ultra Dance compilations were on constant repeat in our ghetto-pimped high school rides. Bringing back loads of acne-spotted memories…
And by the time I had started DJing in Boston, the open-format concept was big. We were mixing Swizz Beats with Bob Sinclar and Bel Biv Devoe and the crowds loved it. I had great times in Boston.
3. You mention the new ‘trap’ movement. What is that and where does it come from?
I'm a big fan of this new sound, which is the same concept as moombahton - slowing a 128bpm+ house track down drastically and adding new backing drum loops. But instead of 105bpm/reggaeton-riddims (for moombahton), songs are now slowed to 60-70bpm, chopped, and fused with frenetic, southern rap 808-drum patterns. Actual 'trap' hip-hop has been around for at least 10+ years now with guys like TI, Young Jeezy and DJ Screw - but now, it's being cross-blended with EDM and creating an entirely new sound.
4. OK the big question. Why after 30+ years is America finally getting dance music?
HAHA I often wonder the same thing. Those clubs I went to back in the late 90s that played house music were very niche. And of course we loved those huge hits like 'Show Me Love' and 'Gypsy Woman'. But I think the turning point for mainstream success was when a few stateside urban artists (Akon, Kid Cudi, Wale, Kelly Rowland, etc) started collaborating with European house producers (David Guetta, Mark Ronson, Calvin Harris, etc). Simultaneously, respected, tastemaker urban producers like A-Trak, Diplo and Lil Jon kept pushing tastes & trends forward. I'm sure the internet helped too. EDM's in a bit of a boom time right now in America with huge festivals, corporate branding and top-40 radio airplay. Perhaps a crash of the bubble soon? It's possible.
5. Growing up, what was on the radio that caught your attention? Did the airwaves have a big impact on your musical upbringing?
Whether or not tastemaker-types want to admit it, the radio still has a huge affect on the tastes for many. Not coming from a particularly music-based family upbringing, the radio (and music videos) certainly had an affect on my early tastes. I loved rap from the likes of DMX, Eminem, Jay-Z, T.I. & Sean Paul but also the catchy melodies from pop rock bands like Linkin Park, Hoobastank and Limp Bizkit. It was college (with the help of Napster) where I really devoted all breathing hours to exploring new (and old) genres and broadening my knowledge.
6. When you first moved from the East Coast to LA how big a culture and lifestyle shock was the move?
The stereotypes of Los Angeles are all pretty much true: gorgeous weather, gorgeous women, horrific traffic, shocking amounts of smog, extreme wealth bordered by large patches of poverty, and heaps of innovative, creative startup businesses.
7. Which TV shows have you worked on as a music supervisor? And what would be your No.1 tip to anyone trying to get their music placed in film or on TV?
In some capacity as assistant, music coordinator or music supervisor, I've worked on: CSI, CSI:NY, Everybody Hates Chris, Nikita, Ringer, The Cleaner, Eleventh Hour, Dark Blue, The Forgotten, Kath & Kim, Three Rivers, plus over a half-dozen films & pilots.
When approaching a music supervisor for the first time (whether in person or via email), make sure to focus on what you do BEST. A common mistake is to claim you're equally talented in all genres. We want to know the unique qualities of your music - what sets your music apart from the rest. Also, make sure to send 320kbps mp3s as private Soundcloud links to stream and direct ZIP links to download.
8. What’s the best party you have ever played at?
Wow. That's a hard question to answer. But one that will always stand out since my move to California:
It was my first gig in LA, acquired by a chance meeting with a random Hollywood promoter I met at a dive bar. He had a gig open up 3 days later and gave me a shot, never hearing me spin before. I showed up to the venue, which I recognized from an episode of Entourage, and despite it being a non-holiday, non-promoted Wednesday night, that small room got CRACKIN'! Girls dancing on tables, a line outside the entire night, and every single person I'd met so far in LA showed up to support. It was a great start to my new city.
9. Which new artists are currently catching your ear?
I'm constantly inspired by the great new sounds coming out. A few favorites, some of which are featured on this mix:
Producers: Foamo, Tommy Trash, Anna Lunoe, Maya Vanya, TJR, DJ Dahi, Clicks & Whistles, Audrey Napolean, What So Not, Pimpsoul, Yung Skeeter, Star Slinger, and some new guy I heard about named "Skrillex"?
MCs: T.Shirt, THURZ, Joey Bada$$, Meek Mill, Dom Kennedy, G-Eazy
10. Please give us your all-time top 10 favourite hip hop tracks:
Also a very hard question! Here are the first ones that come to mind, many simply due of a fantastic memory attached, not necessarily technical strength in lyricism. I'm no music snob!
Kanye West - Flashing Lights
Black Star - Definition
Lupe Fiasco - Kick, Push
Tupac & Dr. Dre - California Love
Notorious BIG - Juicy
Eric B & Rakim - Paid In Full (Coldcut Remix)
Dr Dre & Eminem - Forgot About Dre
King Fantastic - Why? Where? What?
Drake - Best I Ever Had
Will Smith - Fresh Prince Of Bel Air Theme Song (I dare you to try and find one American young person who doesn't know every word to this)