Night of the Blue Swan IV: Hail The Sun


Night of the Blue Swan IV is the Swan-Core event of the year.

You have a lineup that has heavy hitters such as The Fall of Troy and Hail The Sun. The lineup features acts such as Royal Coda, Icarus The Owl, Wolf & Bear and Adventurer.

The roster features the many talented bands from Will Swan’s label, Blue Swan Records. You may know Will Swan as the Guitarist for Dance Gavin Dance. Will Swan with the help of Hail The Sun Frontman, Donovan Melero has succeeded in creating the perfect event for those fans of Post-Hardcore and the conveniently coined “SwanCore” sound.

Hail The Sun offer up some of the most refreshing yet thoughtful songs from their latest releases. The title track on their latest album Mental Knife describes the deep understanding of dealing with addiction, insecurity, and “being able to strip away parts of yourself that you wish you could part with” Melero said.

The album deals with looking at the mirror and coping with the problems of recreational substance use. Melero is very open about his obstacles and the path to recovery. Many artists often rely on substances to find creativity. Sometimes they aren’t able to find that creativity again. Mental Knife really showcases that creativity can be achieved without substance abuse.

Hail The Sun has gone on many tours with everyone from the Post-Hardcore scene and it’s interesting to wonder how to have these friendships developed their sound. Beau Burchell, Guitarist of Saosin helped produce Mental Knife and it definitely helped create a more complex and creative album. Songs such as “Glass Half Empty” reflects on the striving to achieve what you don’t have. seeking to attain what you can’t have.

The song “The Stranger in Our Pictures” really goes deep into Melero’s period of addiction and choosing to get clean for his family. Melero speaks on the process of becoming clean and seeing a whole new person in his sobriety. The song touches on the unconditional love from friends and family.

It’s really exciting to see such a success story for Donovan Melero. An artist in multiple bands, record label director, and all around creative person. It’s quick to see why Hail The Sun is such a successful band.

The lineup for Blue Swan will guarantee a night of intense energy and excitement. Many know Fall of Troy. Their major success on Guitar Hero and tons of releases has propelled their band. Personally, the excitement lies with Hail The Sun and the supporting acts from Blue Swan Records.

The night of Blue Swan IV will be happening locally at the Ace of Spades in Sacramento. The Ace of Spade’s event doors will open at 5pm on Saturday, December 15th. Tickets are about $25 and will be well worth it. Make sure to have extra cash on hand for the merchandise.
You can find out more information [HERE] 

Hail The Sun:
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram 

///VICTOR

Travis Scott – Sicko Mode (Skrillex Remix) Review


Skrillex just guaranteed that “Sicko Mode” will be played at every club, festival and party.

Not too long ago, he remixed Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble” and transformed it into heavy rotation-track.  The remix feels more like 4 edits on the drums with a remixed middle part that has more of the Skrillex-sound we know. It feels very minimal and that works in this track’s favour because it will guarantee more plays in the clubs for its lack of experimentation. The best part has to be the Jersey Club section that comes in at 4:25.

The Jersey Club section has me wondering if we’re going to hear some Jersey Club collaborations with Skrillex. It would be a smart move and hopefully, he has something in the works with DJ Sliink or even some other producers from the Club community. Skrillex is definitely smart and obviously will benefit from riding this wave, but it feels much more like one of those shout-outs to the culture of Club sound.

The placement of the Club section of Sicko Mode is placed at the end; ensuring that it got the last attention of the listener. Overall, this track was already good and we all have been playing this song multiple times. Thankfully, you can now add to your party playlist an even more uptempo remix. This song will do well with those people who like to dabble in EDM (there’s a difference) and those who like the Heavy Bass, Jungle Terror, Jersey Club and Dubstep elements.

If you haven’t heard the “Humble” remix yet, well you need to. Skrillex has much success with his Rap remixes, and we saw how successful “Wild for the Night” with A$AP Rocky was, So we can only expect even more of this style to come out.

///Victor M.

Discover & Download


This segment is a special article on new music and artists to check out. I will feature submissions and artists that we have on circulation at Sacramento State’s student-run radio KSSU.com. This post will focus on Acid Dad, Fine China, and The Rubens.

Acid Dad:

Acid Dad consists of Kevin Walker (Drums), Sean Fahey (Guitar/Vox), JP Basileo (Bass) and Vaughn Hunt (Guitar/Vox). The upstate New York quartet delivers a Psychedelic Indie Rock sound with Punk elements in their music. Acid Dad’s self-titled release features some amazing music with conflicting sounds. The music starts out aggressive and changes style halfway through. It almost feels as if there were two EPs combined together. Overall the music is great and songs like 2Ci show the indie mellow vibe, while songs like Mistress show that indie punk aggressive sound. Some similar artist styles include Las Rosas, Ty Segal, Tame Impala, and King Tuff.

Fine China:

Fine China offers a nice indie rock sound that uses elements of 80’s pop and modern indie sound. The band is comprised of three members Thom Walsh (Drummer), Greg Markov (Bassist), and Rob Withem (Keyboardist/Vocals). The band originates from Phoenix, AZ. Songs like The Hymnal 1982 offer elements of dreamy synths and aggressive chords that work well together. Then you have songs such as Iron is Your Love, which showcases their 80’s indie rock tendencies.

The Rubens: 

The Rubens is comprised of band members Sam Margin (lead vocals), Elliot Margin (Keyboards), Izaak Margin(Guitar), Scott Baldwin( Drums), and William Zeglis (Bass). Yes, they are brothers and close friends hailing from Australia. The Million Man EP features previously released tracks such as the hit My Gun which has that alternative rock sound that features many elements of aggressive bass and guitar with soft pop vocals. The band plans to continue on their successful momentum to release a full-length album following the Million Man EP. Songs like Hoops give a good taste of the Rubens band we love and enjoy. The songs have that bass and keyboard synth that give emotion to the vocals. If you’re a fan of  The Black Keys and Cage the Elephant, then you will enjoy this band very much.

///RaspadoPapi

The Weeknd: My Dear Melancholy,


The Weeknd just dropped his latest musical project titled My Dear Melancholy, which comes out just in time for his headlining performance at Coachella weekend. The EP’s title shows a possible message towards Tesfaye’s former lover Selena Gomez, with whom Tesfaye had a tumultuous relationship. There are many points being made that the title of songs, the lyrics, and the timing of the release refer to Selena Gomez.

This latest release shows a change from the more pop-centric sounds that we are known to hear from The Weeknd, yet keeps the style seen on Starboy. The sound, in general, keeps a darker R & B sound while keeping a similar style to the Daft Punk produced tracks.

The opening song Call Out My Name sets the tone with lyrics such as “I helped you out of a broken place,” which is possibly a reference to former girlfriend Gomez dealing with a breakup and dealing with Lupus. Then goes on to say “Falling for you was my mistake” which reflects the hurt that The Weeknd felt. The song is currently number 4 on the Billboards top 100.

Tracks like Hurt You have a similar sound to Starboys’ I Feel It Coming and it makes sense. Gessalfelstein and Daft Punk are often collaborators in music, we noticed this in the production credits for YEEZUS album. The sound seems like a transition from The latest album and Tesfaye’s first mixtape.

Every track from the EP is charting on the Billboard top 100 and there is no doubt as to why. Every song delivers a hit with a range of emotions such as regret, anger, sadness, and acceptance.  The production speaks as much as Tesfaye’s words and the credits on this EP include Mike Will Made it, Skrillex, Guy Manuel (Daft Punk), Nicolas Jaar, Frank Dukes, and Gesalfellstein.

 

///BIGTAPATIO

Bay Nite: Event Review


The new Bay Area rave Bay Nites recently occurred on March 31st in San Francisco’s famous Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. The event had a bit of everything from Rap to Electronic Dance Music. The venue lacked any real parking structures and San Francisco offered little to nothing of available street parking, but going into San Francisco I wasn’t expecting much in terms of parking. As I entered the venue and scoped out my surroundings, I noticed the mixture of attendees from Hip Hop heads to full on Rave goers. The diversity in demographics showed that these events thrown by Insomniac have something for everyone and inclusive of all people. This is something that Insomniac productions have done across the board from Electric Daisy Carnival to all smaller events.

YEHME2 went up and just killed his set. Formerly a member of the famous Flosstradamus duo, YEHME2 played new music and some classics from his earlier Flosstradamus days such as Roll Up and the many rare remixes that many don’t know about. The set featured a lot of Rap, Trap style EDM, and even The Beatles.

The next set was JOYRYDE who brought that European sound of Garage House, Bass House, RIDDIM (Fancy word for Dubstep) and even some classic Electro. His performance definitely woke everyone up and we even got some explosions that were synchronized with the music’ bass drops.

Lil Yachty took awhile to come out but that didn’t matter because Lil Yachtys’ DJ was dropping a mini set that got the crowd going crazy by playing songs by tons of currently trending songs. Lil Yachty performed all his hits and new songs off his new album Lil Boat 2 and the crowd went crazy. Lil Yachty then had his entourage throw over a hundred water bottles in the crowd and when the Bass Dropped, instructed everyone to toss the water in the air. It was literally one of the most “LIT” moments of the night and showed us how great a performer Lil Yachty and his DJ are.

The performance I was most excited for was NAV, who is a member of the XOXO label headed by The Weeknd. The performance was amazing because NAV played his songs and songs he was featured on. At one moment Nav asked if anyone was a fan from the beginning and then went to play one of his first songs titled Fell In Love, which is a love song about California and particularly Los Angeles and The San Francisco Bay.

The last performance was by Los Angeles native DJ SAYMYNAME and he brought that heavy hardstyle music mixed in with Rap and Trap. The performance was the last one of the night but it showed no sign of stopping. The crowd was still there until the end of his set and it was one of the most aggressive sets the whole night. A memorable moment is when SAYMYNAME dropped A$AP Ferg’s Work remix.

Overall the night was epic with a great lineup. I went in with an open mind and the performances I was least excited for were probably the ones I enjoyed the most. Till next time…

 

///BIGTAPATIO

CUCO @ Sacramento State


Unique Programs really stepped up their game with their recently announced show with CUCO at Sacramento State on Thursday, April 26. The artist known as CUCO is from a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood in Los Angeles known as Hawthorne. His upbringing in Los Angeles has led to major influences in his style of music. CUCO is an artist that blends Future R&B, Indie Rock, and Spanish lyrics all in one style unique (no pun intended) to his upbringing. These influences seem like they would clash but actually compliment his style. The use of Ableton production software and bilingual lyrics help him to create these amazing songs of love, sadness, and infatuation that clearly reflect a style of the Indie culture associated with Los Angeles.

 

CUCO is probably most famous for his hit song Lo Que Siento, a bilingual love ballad that is a gaze of a daydream of young love and infatuation with a special girl he’s in love with. The song features elements of very dazed out synths and sing-a-long lyrics that everyone can get down with singing. Lyrics such as “Oye Carino solo pienso en ti” its hard not to dedicate this to that special someone in your life just for the well thought out and contemplative lyrics.

 

CUCO has other follow up hits such as Lover Is a Day and One and Only, which show his range in different sounds, but consistently staying his own style. Again, the lyrics are deeply reflective of friendship and pursuance of love and happiness. We see through his lyrics that ultimately the message is playful and youthful love and affection of another.

With over millions of plays on his SoundCloud and his Spotify profiles, we see that CUCO is fastly rising in success and popularity and it will only continue to grow as CUCO makes appearances on many youtube and radio outlets across the coast.

Make sure to pick up your tickets as they become available and check out the Facebook page [Here].

 

///VICTOR

Introducing: Metropolis Festival


Sacramento isn’t known as the haven for electronic music, but times have been changing. San Francisco isn’t the only place in Northern California for forward-thinking Electronic Dance Music. The events production company Torque has been expanding its reach and is producing the highly anticipated event, Metropolis. The lineup includes Funtcase, Gentlemen’s Club, Ray Volpe, and many more supporting acts. The sound of the nights will be bass music driven and offer an immersive electronic music festival experience. The Metropolis music festival will be taking place March 9-10 at Sacramento’s CWH Center, which features free water stations, full bars, and 21+ VIP sections. Make sure you buy tickets [here]

 

Check out some of the music you can expect to here below:

The lineup is extremely bass driven and the sound will be heavy. One can definitely expect dancing but also a good amount of mosh pits. Funtcase, a UK producer will be leading the assault of bass on your ears and we can even expect to hear Drum N’ Bass and possibly a heavy rock song thrown into the mix. MUST DIE! is another act that has heavy dubstep with the heavy screeches and even heavier bass drops. MUST DIE! isn’t just all dubstep but has been known to drop some bouncy and fun bass house tracks that get the floor dancing. Even the supporting acts have quality tracks and mixes, that this lineup is so stacked and will be an amazing lineup from start to finish.

Thanks to events like this, we will see a prospering music scene in Sacramento that wasn’t here a few years ago. We can expect to see more events by Torque and others that are sure to make Sacramento a powerhouse for not just music, but more specifically Electronic music such as Riddim, Dubstep, House, and future bass. I look forward to being a part of this growing scene and I hope you do as well! See you there in March!

 

///VICTOR

Insomniac presents: Bay Nites


Insomniac is no stranger to throwing the most insane shows to ever happen. Just as reference, Insomniac produces Electronic Daisy Carnival, Escape from Wonderland, and even Nocturnal. Insomniac is predominantly based in Los Angeles and has been producing club night events for years. San Francisco has seen an increase in events by Insomniac and this new event, Bay Nites, is no weakling to its sister events. The Bay Nites lineup is just stacked.

As we see the direction of Electronic Dance Music move towards more of a hip-hop influence, it only made sense for this lineup to feature rappers as well as heavy trap DJs. Lil Yachty of “Broccoli” fame and NAV, who is a member of XOXO record label headed by The Weeknd. Then the supporting DJs include YEHME2, a former member of Flosstradamus, who without a doubt had a huge influence on bringing trap to the forefront. He’s the godfather of trap music or trap-father.

Then you have SAYMYNAME, the self-proclaimed godfather of hard-trap, a hybrid of hardstyle and trap music. The event takes place Saturday, March 31st at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. The event is 18+ and tickets are selling fast. You can buy tickets  [here]

Check out some of the tunes you can expect to hear:

 

 

This event really does have everything and I even bought my own tickets because this is a must-attend event. The amount of trap, bass, and vibes that will be experienced will be unique. My top picks include NAV, who has produced many of your favorite rap songs and is having a skyrocketing career with hit songs with LIL UZI VERT. Then you have YEHME2, who I believed always kept Flosstradamus raw in their sound and now that he’s on his own production wise, it’s hard to not be excited for his releases which have been fire.

 

///VICTOR

Majid Jordan : The Space Between [Album Review]


Majid_jordan_the_space_between

Majid Jordan is one of the rising acts from Octobers Very Own music label. The label is headed by Drake, Noah “40” Shebib and Oliver El-Khatib. The roster includes such names as PARTYNEXTDOOR and Roy Woods. The roster is full of heavy hitters who specialized mostly in Hip-Hop and RnB. Majid Jordan is compromised of Majid Al-Maskati and Jordan Ullman. The duo was known for their atmospheric and darker tones of RnB. The basslines and smooth vocals usually float really well and have given Majid Jordan a unique sound.

Their sophomore album The Space Between features a more pop and spatial sound than their previous releases. The album features mostly productions by Jordan Ullman with a track featuring in-house producer nineteen85 but also features PARTYNEXTDOOR and DVSN. The sound is very spacious with deep percussions and smooth basslines.

Tracks like “Gave your love away” was featured on OVO’s radio station previous to the release and it was a much-needed hype to the album release. The smooth melodic vocals, deep rhythms, and smooth sounds make this a standout on the album. Then you have songs like “Body Talk” that features a Dembow percussive rhythm heard in reggeaton or dancehall. The song itself creates a slow and intimate vibe that increases pace as the song progresses. The perfect song for a slow dance with a lover. There is no doubt that “One I Want” featuring PARTYNEXTDOOR is the single that will be a commercial success. The song features a slow bounce synth and soft bass kicks; then you have PARTYNEXTDOOR singing the chorus and opening verse. Majid eventually compliments the first verse with his and amplifies the song with his ability to hit high notes. A clear love song that has everything for a pop RnB song.

Support from label mate DVSN on “My Imagination” give a simplified and yet complex song of spatial synths and bouncy percussions that compliment the singers’ smooth vocals throughout the song. Overall the album is an evolution of Majid Jordans’ sound and shows some growth. The lack of features from labelmates suggests that Majid Jordan is ready to make their own way out of the shadows of Drake and Noah Shebib. They create their own unique sound that complimentary reflects OVO’s sad boy RnB sound.  There is much growth in their latest project, but could their sound maintain this continuous evolution that reflects spatial sound and lyrics that reflect introverted thoughts? The album is not a party anthem album; it’s not even really a single loaded album. It’s an album with a theme that correlates to each continuous track that could stand alone on its own accord, but you wouldn’t want to do that. You want to start from beginning to end and go through this journey of emotions, thoughts, and reflections that are present throughout the album.

 

 

///Victor

Young Thug: Young Martha [EP Review]


carnage-young-thug-1-800x600Young thug and EDM DJ Carnage deliver not just another banger collaborative track, but a whole EP titled Young Martha. The EP has some really standout tracks. The EP is titled after Martha Stewart, who is respected amongst many rappers and those in the Hip-Hop community because Martha Stewart made millions and even did jail time. The first track features Meek Mills and delivers a nice flow and an original sound to Rap music. You even get alternate vocal tone shifts by Young Thug himself. Songs like Liger has more of a traditional party track sound by Thugger, but what makes it an interesting song is the mention of buying a Liger, a much rarer animal than even Tigers. This is a reference to his style and rap skills being unique and one of a kind. Then you close up with a club-friendly, EDM track titled Don’t Call Me and it has a bass house vibe. The EP is well constructed with party anthems for the House Party and even the club. It’s a must download/stream
https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/1uPwwIkzsCOanBsLExFitZ
The direction Carnage has taken as a producer has gone more of a Hip Hop-friendly EDM sound which has helped to close the gap between contemporary pop rap and EDM. This sound is heavily prevalent in the percussion and synths with this EP. We can expect to hear more of Carnage collaborating with many rap artists because it has become clear its a winning formula. This formula is often most popularized by major EDM producers like Diplo and Brodinski. The former having worked with everyone from M.I.A. to Travis Scott, while Brodinski brought that Atlanta Trap and Techno EDM fusion with such rappers as 21 savage and has pushed the barrier of the sound.

Young Thug is pushed lyrically and presents a picture of growth and reflection with mentions of growing up due to his parental responsibilities as a teen. Mentions of surrounding himself with “Homies” who have his back in not just physical confrontations, but with regards to snitchin’, financially, and supportively.

This whole collaboration between Carnage and Young Thug came forth because of a year old track called Don’t Call Me featured on Carnage’s Soundcloud account and culminated with this EP. This EP is stylized after a similar project of Young Thugs to create a trilogy of releases that culminate with an album. So we can anticipate much more from the two pushing the pop rap and EDM scenes into a head-on collision; Which shall push the boundaries of the two respective music cultures. Young Martha barely scratches the surface of what we can expect to hear from both collaborators.

The first single released for the EP is Homie which showcases a visual illusion that rolls through an infinite series of ceiling and floor with no real distinguished ceiling. The video is ultimately weird but reflects the eeriness of the music itself by the two collaborators.