April 12, 2011

Thank you, radio listeners (+5,000 podcast downloads!!), and goodbyes.

First off I would like to say that my time here at UConn has been some of the best years of my life. Getting into radio programming here at WHUS happened almost by chance, as members from the station came to my Culture Of The College Media class to give a presentation on UConn’s radio station... I was hooked from my very first semester, and have been at the controls for Adrift In The Airwaves for over three years now.

Early on, Adrift started out as a very different show than it is now. I started off playing lots of psychedelic music, such as Pink Floyd and Animal Collective, and branched out into other genres of alternative rock and post-rock, such as Portugal. The Man or Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Since that time, my show has inevitably evolved and transformed as my musical interests shifted as well.

The springtime of 2009 was the first time that I was legitimately exposed to quality hip-hop music, as I started to get into the likes of MF DOOM, Common, Madlib, and Mos Def, and felt the need to start incorporating this into my show as well. I was also becoming more interested in electronic music, specifically that of Derek Vincent Smith, as his productions that he creates under the moniker of Pretty Lights baited me with their incredibly catchy hooks. I felt like my show was taking a turn to a more lively and energizing listening experience.

During the summer of 2010, I moved in to live with a few friends, including fellow DJ Daysix (producer name BEATGOSZIP), and that summer proved to change the nature of my radio show almost completely. Dubstep was the new music genre that I was exploring. After coming across this new form of music many times, it was this period that I lived the true life of a bass head. Going to DJ shows in West Hartford and throwing raves at our apartment only proved to me how fast this genre was catching on. I became hopelessly addicted to the earth-shattering bass.

Adrift In The Airwaves, as it is right now, incorporates all of these different forms of music, blending psychedelia with hip-hop beats, and electronica with dubstep. I am happy to announce that my radio podcast (which I started just over a year ago) has surpassed a whopping 5,000 downloads online! As of right now there are a total of 5,349 podcast downloads from all of you listeners! I could have never expected such a positive response to my show, which I have always put a lot of love into every week. I can only continue to work just as hard to deliver you loyal listeners the best music that I can.

Sadly, I will be retiring Adrift In The Airwaves from UConn’s “Radio for The People” in just a few weeks and Monday May 2nd will most likely be my last show. It is a bittersweet end to the very strong run that I have had as a radio DJ on WHUS, but I will always keep Adrift In The Airwaves alive and will keep the show up and running as often as I can.

Stay a fan of the facebook page, for future updates, and even go back through the podcast to listen to some of your favorite past shows. I really enjoyed my time on WHUS and I hope you did too.

DJ Dark Flow~

December 4, 2010

Easy Star All-Stars - Dubber Side of The Moon Review

Another Dub Side? Easy Star All-Stars, the same guys behind the reggae cover albums for Dark Side of The Moon, Radiohead’s Ok Computer, and Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, unveil a brand new release: Dub Side of The Moon, but remixed and reworked, and inevitably redubbed; Dubber Side of The Moon. These new tracks, redone with a more atmospheric and heavy bass quality, resonate proudly through any good pair of speakers, and you can tell instantly that these songs were meant to surround you, and pull you in. From the very start of “Speak To Me / Breathe,” it is obvious that this is a re-imagining of the classic Pink Floyd album. Synth programming and sound effects add all the more tribute to the intricacies of Pink Floyd’s masterpiece.

But all comparisons aside, was another Dub Side really necessary? As Easy Star All-Stars toured almost maniacally over the course of 2009, bringing their reggae dub music to 25 different countries across the the world, band members noticed the various styles and bass fueled sounds that have taken root in reggae, such as dubstep and the futuristic electronic elements that associate with this emerging musical phenomenon. The All-Stars responded to this new landscape of the electronic music scene by continuing to embrace and explore the heavier bass concepts of music rooted in reggae and dub. Lem Oppenheimer, of Easy Star Records, commented on this musical approach, saying that to hand over the tracks to some of the prominent electronic dub producers, "it seemed like a good way to bring some of this newly developing futurist reggae right into [the] music." Examples of this can be found in one of the most dubstep tracks of the album, “Money,” remixed by The Alchemist.

Every track has such an impressive production quality and tone that it is nearly impossible to not get lost while listening to these newly remixed dub tracks; their music, which explores many universal themes such as money, time and the descent into madness. Enjoy another engaging, space-dub extravaganza, and keep on drifting!

Rating: 9.4/10

Recommended Tracks: Speak To Me / Breathe In The Air, The Great Gig In The Sky, Money (The Alchemist Remix)

November 24, 2010

Teebs - Ardour Review

Teebs, a popular artist on the Brainfeeder record label started by Flying Lotus, releases his debut album and blows all other producers out of the water! His multi-textured compositions come to life in Ardour, arguably one of the best beat albums of 2010. His soft beats and melodic chimes have a fulfilling presence, and I cannot stress it enough that his work bears a therapeutic, healing power for any avid headphones junkie. From the very start, “You’ve Changed” comes in among fluttering flutes and a soft beat. Songs like “Moments,” “Wind Loop,” and “Gordon” are a few of the many standouts in this album, and they all offer something different to listeners looking for something fresh and new. “Long Distance,” the only track Teebs decided to allow vocals on, shows the incredible potential his music has for lyrics, even though every song really speaks for itself. The music he produces works really well as background music, and is even more of a treat for those who choose to actively listen to it, considering the very specific attention to detail. For the most part, it is hard to put into words the feelings that flow out of Ardour. A complex series of thoughts and emotions are captured here, and it is certainly a beautiful experience that shines all throughout. Try to throw on this album and not get lost.

Note: Teebs is also a visual artist, and does all of the artwork that’s attached to his musical releases. You can check out some of his artwork here.

Rating: 9.2/10

Recommended Tracks: Wind Loop, Gordon, Why Like This

MiM0SA - Silver Lining Review

Just two months after his late-night dubstep EP Your Love, MiM0SA comes out with another stunner, his super melodic, big bass release, Silver Lining. This new album, layered with bright melodies and atmospheric textures, sounds like a bright, sunny morning. Airy and vibrant is the feeling that is captured on most of these tracks. “The Higher Consciousness,” a short opener, carries the feel of the album pretty well, as it soars over the spacious skyline of your mind. Some of the middle tracks, such as the title track and “Drippin,” make a heavy, yet emotionally melodic mark on your ears, while some of his later tracks, such as his drum and bass-y “Detour” and “Pushing Little Daisies” drop in to screech electronic bursts of intensity, before settling back down into the final track, “Sideways,” an appropriate finish to a stellar album. Check out Silver Lining if you have not already, and prepare for a beautiful, inspiring musical journey.

Rating: 8.4/10

Recommended Tracks: Silver Lining, Drippin', Pushing Little Daisies

October 15, 2010

Flying Lotus – Pattern+Grid World Review

Brace yourself for a new breed of FlyLo, with a new EP just months after his third full-length space opera, videogame drama, Cosmogramma. There’s more to be heard here, as Steven Ellison, the man behind the mask, takes you somewhere completely different once again. Pattern+Grid World tastes like a whole other dimension, with the otherworldly sounds and patterns that make an indistinguishable texture and quality, and we have to wonder if Ellison is really human. “Clay,” the opening track of Pattern+Grid World, sounds alien to our ears, but takes us to a time and place where music was reinvented, and had taken its own course in synth droning beats. If music really is universal, this EP might as well belong in a whole other universe (did I mention enough space imagery already?). “Kill Your Co-Workers” makes FlyLo’s drum and bass debut, with more arcade elements, as you can hear Ellison shooting for another high score. Although his beats are frenetic, and his synths get hazy, his melody sticks with you. His next track, “Pieface,” starts off with an abstract snare and cymbal, which inevitably builds into another 8-bit crescendo. Whether you are listening to his gurgling space jam, “Time Vampires,” or his synth-driven “Camera Day,” Ellison has something vastly different for your ears. At just over 18 minutes, this EP is short and sweet, and although it may feel like an acquired taste, it is still a welcome addition for any Flying Lotus fan.

Rating: 7.7/10

Recommended Tracks: Time Vampires, Jurassic Notion/M Theory, Camera Day

October 4, 2010

Bassnectar - Timestretch EP Review

For an EP with four new tracks and a presence that will dominate your sound system, Timestretch, a release by dubstep producer Bassnectar, makes no compromises. The explosive opener, “Here We Go,” a popular live track, takes you straight into the mind of Lorin Ashton, the mastermind behind Bassnectar, as the sliced up vocals and sirens build into an eruption of bass beats and roaring synthesizers. If you liked the monstrous build, do not fret, because Ashton brings it back later in the second half of the song. Each track has something different to offer, as “Bass Head” proves to rock your brain back and forth, with its robotic vocals, hip-hop build and timpani hits that drop into your consciousness, where they will probably stay long after hearing the song. Knowing Bassnectar and his insanely loud production, you better get ready for the next track, because there is no time to rest when listening to Timestretch. “Blast Off” crashes right into your ears from the very start, and instantly takes off with a bass that sweeps and resonates through the beat. It builds and keeps going until the epic halfway marker, where a breakdown gives way to the largest part of the song. A crowd of people can be heard counting down to one, where the song will literally “blast off,” through your speakers and your eardrums. The ecstatic moment of this release is pure adrenaline, and the song keeps up the pace as it slowly fades out. This leads listeners to the title track, which is arguably the calmest song on the EP, but don’t let that fool you. Maybe calm is not exactly the right word, because for the dubstep prodigy that Bassnectar is, calm is a relative term. Still, “Timestretch” gives listeners a few minutes to breathe, as the medium tempo hip-hop beat and bass become a little more reserved. Nothing particularly crazy happens during these beats, except for a very solid groove that is still just as addicting as the previous tracks mentioned. Besides these four new original tracks, Ashton is generous with his EP, including four new remixes to take over the second half (two “Bass Head” remixes, a “Timestretch” remix, and a remix of the non-EP song, “Maximum”). The second half echoes the first pretty well, while still offering new sounds to the mix. Check out Bassnectar’s Timestretch EP, and stay tuned for his upcoming EP Wildstyle, due out October 19th.

Rating: 9.0/10

Recommended Tracks: Basshead, Blast Off, Timestretch