album1 by San Holo Review


While I am so thankful for every person, lesson, and opportunity that comes into my life, I can’t help but let certain scenarios get the best of me when I think about things that went wrong in the past; or better yet, ponder the unknown future- my future, and how it is entirely dependent on my daily choices. Sometimes I wish I could go back to rewrite my feelings and apologize for not listening enough, for not loving enough.

But I am an entirely different person today, and sometimes I find it difficult to forgive myself for my actions and the words that I said to others, and also to myself. During the dark hours and mini solitary road trips between Sacramento and my hometown, it’s thoughts like these that invade me from every crevice of my vividly twisted mind.

On one particular drive back home, I had no idea that a simple album could bring me immediate peace and comfort within my own vulnerability.

That particular album was, and still is, album1 by San Holo.

Some might be familiar with some of San Holo’s popular tracks and remixes which include “Light”, “The Next Episode (San Holo Remix)”, “Right Here, Right Now”, and “The Future”.

Don’t get me wrong; I love these songs. I’ve experienced them at beautiful raves where other DJs have snuck a San Holo song or two into their set, and they were completely amazing. But I think what differentiates this project apart from the rest is how it is honest, compelling, dramatic, reassuring, and peaceful all at the same time.

Close my eyes so I can see

All these lights are blinding me

This line from “show me” particularly resonates with me, and I instantly get goosebumps every time the wistful, euphoric melodies flow effortlessly into my ears. I see it as a comment on how the noise of society detracts from genuine and personal human interactions, and trusting your intuition.

Furthermore, I continuously look to find truth and meaning in my own personal life, searching for reality. I think I know what I want and how I want it, but most of the time, I am wrong because I often mistake other voices for my own. And I like to believe that others may experience this as well.

San Holo’s previous lyrics to an older song mirrors this paradigm as well:

Even if it makes me blind

I just wanna see the light

(“Light” | 2016)

Some other personal favorites from album1 include “everything matters (when it comes to you)”, “love (wip)”, “go back in time”, and “surface”.

This album means so much to me, and it reminds me to sit in the present and make peace with each conscious moment. I recognize that my unique path has led me to where I am, who I am, and who I will be tomorrow. Every time I listen to this album, it is as if time stops and melts into one giant channel of beautiful experiences that must be cherished before they escape into the universe once my time on Earth reaches its maximum.

San Holo created an incredible collection of enjoyable pieces with this work of art. I am so happy and thankful that I came across it in the box of CDs for reviews, and I hope you give it a listen as well.

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

GRIMES: Bracing us for Robot Takeover One Song at a Time


https://apis.mail.yahoo.com/ws/v3/mailboxes/@.id==VjN-iWKhVKzShwo683ZeMBHZZSfaKvqcb_bKg0z_6YPNwYxnob8fk7N9kUyRJsa4TzRt4QS589m2ULn4HOf3kMCF_g/messages/@.id==AMTrBMosUnWKXAHErw0H8FsVd4Q/content/parts/@.id==4/thumbnail?appId=YahooMailNeo&downloadWhenThumbnailFails=true&pid=4

Grime’s new single, “We Appreciate Power” is an ode to Artificial Intelligence and how our future might look pretty soon.

In this technological age, progression is happening at turbo speeds, making our measly mortal bodies seem so primitive in comparison to the infinite potential of mechanization. In this track, Grimes seems to be propagating the fatalistic attitude of a future where AI will have unbounded power over us silly little human beings.

Now, I love Grimes and everything she does, but I personally don’t know if I’ll ever want to upload my consciousness onto a computer drive to last for all of eternity. I’m kinda just cool with having my brief human experience and peacing outta here when it’s time for me to go, ykwim? But then again, who knows what we’ll discover if we do choose to stay.

The eeriness of her vocals encouraging us to submit to our robot overlords is amusing in the best of ways. We’re meme-ifying and laughing about it now, but maybe in a few years when the robots finally do take over we’ll be looking back on this track thinking, “Damn, she was right. Oops.”

The industrial sounds on this track have drawn a lot of comparisons to Nine Inch Nails, which is understandable. People are questioning if this is going to be the catalyst of a nu-metal revival, and judging by the responses to the lyric video, they’re not mad about it.

A lot of fans were hesitant to embrace the energetic pop-nature of Grimes’ last album, Art Angels, but this new single was so left-field that you can’t help but be drawn to it. Grimes’ recent media attention with her new boo, Mr. Elon freaking Musk the billionaire certainly had some influence, but longtime fans will know that she has always been one to discuss AI progression and its integration with our own species. Despite the new sounds she’s experimenting with, the Grimes DNA in this track is evident in Claire Boucher’s high-pitched, melodic, alien vocals. The way she layers her tracks in the production process has always been innovative, and she has mentioned that she likes being an engineer more than a singer.

As a forever Grimes stan, this post is obviously biased to a degree. Still, Grimes will always be an artist to be admired as she continues to push new boundaries in her music. I love her so much because she’s never been afraid to explore her creativity in her usual nerdy, quirky, techie ways. If this is gonna be the new age of cybernetic punk rock, there’s really no one better than Grimes to ring it in.

Overall, this is one catchy-ass track and will definitely be on heavy rotation for my gym playlist. Sure, the lyrics might be questionable but I take it as a tongue-in-cheek statement towards our future synthesis with the technology we have created. Or maybe we really are destined to be engulfed by the superior Artificial Intelligence Gods, and in that case, oh well. We had a good run here on earth I guess. ¯\_()_/¯

You can listen to the track down below:

Shoutout to Lucy for encouraging me to write this post! This was my first time writing about a new music release so hopefully it was somewhat palatable lol. Good luck on your finals everyone!

-Ezzie

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.

Lil Wayne adds to his legacy with Tha Carter V


 One of the greatest rappers of our generation, Dwayne Carter, has given us plenty of classic songs, albums and mixtapes. His new album “The Carter V” adds to his legacy. 

The Grammy Award rapper who has been called, “The Greatest Rapper Alive”, now has another number one album on the charts. This isn’t anything new for the legendary spitter who gave us hit like “No Ceilings”, “Carter II”, “Carter III” and “Da Drought 3” to name a few, but some thought the rapper wasn’t capable of delivering good music anymore. 

As a long time Lil Wayne fan, I thought that his good music was behind him. In my opinion, it has been a bad year for older rappers like Nas, Eminem, Kanye and Jay-Z who all gave us mediocre albums.

Carter V isn’t a classic album in my eyes but it is still pretty good and the best rap album of the year in my opinion. I think this album was just as good as J. Cole’s KOD, Nipsey Hustle’s Victory Lap and better than Drake’s Scorpion. 

Lil Wayne doesn’t even write his music, he is basically memorizing his freestyles which is even more impressive when you listen to this album.  This album was packed with 23 songs and features from Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, Nicki Minaj and Snoop Dogg to name a few. 

I think the best song on the album is “Mona Lisa” and features the great Kendrick Lamar. The two Hip-Hop icons do notdisappoint on that track. Kendrick might have stole the show with his verse on that song but Wayne was impressive as well. 

There are plenty of other good songs on this album like “Uproar”, “Dark Side of the Moon”, ‘Let it Fly”, “Hittas” and “Let it all Work Out.” There are gems throughout the album, so if you haven’t listened to it yet, I suggest you do. 

Reason Impresses on Debut Album “There You Have It”


On a September 29, Top Dawg Entertainment’s Reason dropped his debut album “There You Have It” and it did not disappoint.

The Del Amo native showed impressive lyrics on and displayed that he has what it takes to be the next big thing in hip hop. Reason tweeted in regards to the album saying, “This is not a TDE production project, this is a project that Top discovered me off of that he felt was so good, he did not want to rob you guys of this experience of hearing it. Remixed and Remastered, There You Have It.”

Top Dawg Entertainment is the biggest label on the West Coast with Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul and SZA to name a few. In my opinion, adding Reason just makes the roster a bit deeper. 

The album is unique because it gives you a West Coast vibe that you can hear it in the beats and his flow. A lot of rap albums (especially mumble rap) nowadays are starting to sound the same and have little substance. This album talks about all kinds of different topics like relationships, encounters with gang bangers, murder and much more.

This isn’t pop rap or mumble, this is music that will last and that you can connect to. The best songs on “There You Have It” in my opinion are “Kurupt”, “Drive Slow/Taste Like Heaven”, “Situations” and “Summer Up”. 

If you have yet to listen to this lyricist, you need to give him a listen because this is classic rap music flowing over cool beats, storytelling and spitting bars. Jump on the bandwagon now before he blows up. 

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

Lane 8 “Little By Little” Tour Review


As deep house and trance events are few and far between in Sacramento, Lane 8’s Little by Little Tour was a refreshing event to grace Ace of Spades on Sunday, March 25th. The tour instructions told goers to leave their cell phones out of the event, and to simply be in the moment with everyone in attendance. The deep beats and medium sized crowd ensured that possibility. Thus, because of the simplicity of the beats and lack of visual records, it created an atmosphere that is unlike many of the tours going on in 2018.

The ticket to the event rightly read “This never happened”, as an ode to the days when you could go to clubs and completely release yourself to the simple, singular deep beats in front of you without the inane distractions in your pocket. It truly does take a certain level of concentration to release yourself to one moment, and then another, and then another. This does happen however, and to continue dancing to Little by Little was a transcendental experience that was different from other genres of EDM. It beckons you to put all of yourself into one beat at a time and to let it take you somewhere you can let go. In accomplishing this, Little by Little is uncomplicated in its’ production yet entices the viewer to be bathed in its simplicity. The ethereal and ambient additions in his music make it something of a dream world when you catch yourself entranced by every single beat. His set included his newest album Little by Little, along with a cover of Take a Chance by Flume and his album single No Captain (ft. POLICA). However, the crux of the night came when he played his cover of Innerbloom by Rufus Du Sol. In Lane 8’s Cover, the listless and ambient yearning of the original Innerbloom, is made to feel as if there is a happier meaning to the song.

If you see Lane 8’s Tour near you at any point this year: go. If he is playing a set at your next festival, go, because you won’t experience another set like it soon. It will remind you that the power of concentration and release is cleansing in a world where externalities are always infecting our well-being. To take a moment, and forget what it means to be seen by others, reminds us that even the singular moments we experience in everyday life can be enriching, if only we let them.

March Mania | KSSU Picks


Recently, CHVRCHES released a cover of The 1975’s “Somebody Else” BBC Radio 1’s “Live Lounge”! We totally love this cover and it evokes the same kind of emotion that The 1975 have when performing the song. Head on over to BBC 1’s website and skip to about 2:10:25 to hear the track!

Altered Carbon is an ambitious sci-fi, Bladerunner themed movie. It explores the future without the possibility of death and income inequalities in a dramatized way. Many found this series an underwhelming introduction to Netflix’s sci-fi category. Although we see a lot of potential! It starts off very ambiguous and hooks you until you’re obsessed and eventually have to keep watching to find out what happens next. If you have Netflix, you’re in luck!

Beach House’s has been teasing their new album with two new singles! We love their sound and how they always stay super authentic. They’ve been true to their sound and themes since the beginning. We can always count on Beach House to have the dream pop anthems of the year and be consistent with their releases! The track list for their upcoming album 7 has been released along with a full U.S. tour. Make sure to grab your tickets for the 2nd Bay Area show before they sell out! Listen to their new singles “Lemon Glow” and “Dive”, out everywhere now.

Another Round Podcast with Heben & Tracy covers everything in the media, as well gender, race pop culture from the perspective of Black women! They’re hilarious and incredibly vulnerable and sensitive! They talk about the normalization of mental health awareness in Black families and give people a voice that normally wouldn’t have one. Listen on iTunes podcast app or on Buzzfeed now.

Icarus is a documentary about the doping of athletes and the history behind it. Filmmaker and cyclist Bryan Fogel sets out to endure a huge scandal in the cycling world. He goes to great lengths to uncover a story of personal experiments, unexplained deaths and Olympic gold medals. Watch on Netflix now!