The mysterious yet eloquent masqueraded figure known as Claptone releases his LP full of funky techno and deep house tracks recently and does it proper. There is always a very smooth balance between old school house music and contemporary. But when he drops those basslines its over. You will not stop wigglin.
Each song gets progressively better as it goes back and forth between highs and lows. As you get a feel of the album, your soul starts to feel it by the time Heartbeat kicks in with the smooth vocals of Nathan Nicholson. Building energy with Peter, Björn and John on vocals in Puppet Theatre into the groovy Leave Your Light with Young Galaxy. Claptone has picked some unique talent for this album, they work perfectly and there is a bunch more down the tracklist. Jaw, Jay Jay Johnson, Jimi Tenor, Bavanandan to name a few. Yea by the 13th track you will have fallen in love with this, Charmer LP.
This past Friday, The Black Couch Studio and Gallery owner, Mark Narens, hosted an intimate art show at Bang! Salon in Wicker Park. The night starting at 7pm featured live-looping music from Ever Evolved’s own artist, Cameron Broderick. Singing popular songs such as Lights by Ellie Goulding, and So Close by Alex Clare made everyone pay attention to his unique layering and bright talent.
Of course though, the first thing you’ll notice about the salon is how eclectic it is. It’s electric colored walls and friendly staff is definitely something that jumped out at me. Not only that, but at how many salons do you see an empty Jack bottle being used for a sprayer ?
I had the pleasure to talk to many staff members of the night and finally bumped into the owner, Eli. Searching for more about Bang! Salon, I just had to ask him how he opened up shop. Working for 5 months out of his apartment with 2 other stylists from a previous failed business venture, they started to raise money for their salon. Luckily, his building used to be a commercial space, and he was legally able to incorporate Bang! before he even opened up the current location. Saving as he went, having loyal clientele and borrowing just a little money let him open up shop for almost nothing. “Month by month I bought a chair here, a mirror there, to what it is now. I mean we’ve been open for 8 and a half years now, with 8 full time stylists, 2 in training, and a full time front desk manager.”
What’s even more special is that Bang! Salon is in the process of expanding, going from 6 chairs to 16. ” A lot of what is contributed to the success is not only my educational background of the industry [he also teaches], but also in 2012 I won Hair Stylist of the year for North America (North American Hairstyling Awards). I was nominated in 2 categories, and I won the biggest one … that gave us a lot of local recognition in Chicago, because I was the only one to win it here ever! That’s what helped us get to this next level, which is the expansion. ” It was surprising to find out from Eli that there was an awards ceremony dedicated to great hair stylists. It’s something that always will be around as a profession, so its appealing to know that stylists, such as Eli, can and do get recognized for their efforts.
The BIG question I asked though is, what really makes Bang! Salon different from those in the surrounding area? Eli gladly answered, “My goal was to work in an environment where everyone was passionate … they are just as [excited] about what they are doing on their clients as I am. We like that comforting and welcoming environment, [not stuffy and closed in like most salons, Bang! doesn’t even smell like hair products when you walk in]. We’re super diverse, catering from babies to older and elderly people … as artists it keeps us from getting bored and doing the same type of hair all the time. … We’re here to be the best we can be as stylists, cater to our client’s needs as well as we can; [but overall] just get along and respect each other as artists.”
When I asked if Eli had anything else to add, he spoke up about a company he is currently teaming up with, Lock and Loaded,a men’s grooming company. He’s their artistic director. They share a lot of the same values as Eli has with Bang! After developing for 5 years, the duo finally released a product line of 4 men’s styling products, shampoo and a conditioner. Even though it’s Chicago based, it’s quickly blowing up nationally, and starting to move its way across waters. The craziest part about it is the product has only been launched for 4 weeks. “Its fun to see that take off the way it is,” Eli adds.
Coming back to Friday’s event, this was actually Bang!’s first art show. Mark Narens had some wonderful pieces and prints displayed on the walls, and even laid some down on the leather chairs for people to pick up and investigate for themselves. Eli adds, “… just to do an event like this … [supporting] artists, I don’t see enough support in Chicago with complimentary artistic fields as there are … so I’m really happy to help Support The Black Couch.” And The Black Couch supports the salons. They used to support local shops in the neighborhood because they supported art. But since they wanted to get back in it again, they called around to see who would be interested in hosting Mark’s show. Bang! was the first salon they made contact with. “As soon as I walked in for the first time I knew this was it” said mark, “This is the place.”
To book an appointment with Bang! Salon, call : (773)- 276- 9414
Big things in line for Caleb Cornett‘s music career. Also known as Amtrac, the artist has a lot planned for himself and his fans! He just embarked on his first Headlining tour with Hotel Garuda. You know what that means, as a headline Amtrac can produce live to his fullest potential knowing people come specifically for him and his talents. Lucky us as well, Chicago has a tour date for February 18th at theMid. You can check out his facebook for tour dates near you!
Coming as a double whammy announcement, along with his first headlining tour Amtrac releases Darkest Sound. A deep bassline and harmonious synths leading to vocals to start off the first track of Amtrac’s up and coming EP for 2016, Lost In Motion. Hearing this track I can only imagine what unreleased goodies he will be playing on tour that he has not already played during tours with Gorgon City. Amongst the many tracks he has on his playlist already. Have you seen his soundcloud lately?
Caleb has been puttin in some real work in the studio. From remixes to collabs to originals, he has been creating some addicting hip shakin tunes. Lover, released just over two weeks ago, is already at 88k views. Elev8, a collab with notable house artist Alex Metrix, released on OWSLA/Big Beat Records will have you lost in a trance. Finally a remix of Get Your Love by Leo Kalyan will sober you up with deep lyrics and hypnotic bassline that keeps your hips swingin. These are only a few of the tracks Amtrac has released within the last month and a half, give or take. There is 3 singles on Toolroom Records and a piano remix of Kaskade’s Disarm You ft. Ilsey that you are waitin for your listen on soundcloud. Do not snooze on Amtracs sound!
It was a matter of time but eekkoo has broken the bonds between him and mau5trap records to go onto new horizons. Since Joel AKA Deadmau5 has called upon eekkoo to work with him for his skillful production, eekkoo has been releasing some of greatest techno you will hear out of one artist! But with all that knowledge in music production, mau5trap records was only the beginning step to a stairway to great success!
One of his first releases on a new label eekkoo takes ANNA‘s Drum Machines Do Have Soul from Turbo Recording and gives it a darker sound with chopped vocals, downdriving basslines and analog synths. With original mix the Killing, eekkoo keeps the techno on the uptempo side with claps, hihats and choppy vocals. This hypnotizing dance track is out for a free download, sort of a courtesy.
Most recently, eekkoo has made another remix. This time he joins Anjunadeep family for this release. On the 23th of October Lane 8 released a remix album of his house track Undercover featuring Matthew Dear. Including a few deep house tracks remixes by Wankelmut and Yotto, eekkoo’s techno rendition stuck out the most.
Hermitude is set to make an appearance at the Australian Aria Awards on the 26th of November. They duo has gathered up 7 nominations in their country in the areas “Best Album of the Year” “Best Australian Live Act” “Best Group” Best Producer” to name a few! I have had the joy to be able to experience Hermitude live and I have a good feeling they will get that Australian Live Act. The energy they brought to Toyota Park for Freaky Deaky Chicago 2015 was just incredible.
Aside from that news Hermitude presents you fans with new music as well! Xan Young on the vocals for their most recent track. The collab creates a beautiful future classic tune for a chill day. Right after releasing a heavy hitter for fellow Australian producer Alison Wonderland and their latest album Dark Night Sweet Light. Go back and forth between moods with the two tracks.
Lets take it back to the old days, Al Capone is still running Chicago, speak easy’s are thriving off bootleg alcohol and the Jazz was as smooth as that cigar you are poofin on at the bar. The women dancing the Charleston, with their bold lipstick colors and their long dress and fancy head dresses. Then you got Probcause over here stealing the show with his orchestra, Donnie Trumpet, Cofresi on the drums and KSRA serenading the crowd. Coming from his 2014 Waves EP, Prob brings this song back from the past with the new video but he is also coming with new music too.
Fellow white rapper Lil Dicky caught the Chicago locals ear, probably after Dicky got the brilliant idea of making a music video using other peoples resources. Sort of a social experiment. The two jumped on a beat together and here we have The Woods. A real chill and catchy beat that will have you munchin out at the crib next to your bong all day.
So Prob is continuing with his collaborations, so much so that you would wonder where he even gets the time to eat and sleep. Right after releasing a hit with Branx, Exmag and Adrian Lau, and producing his own track with DRO, Prob went back to the homie Drew Mantia and released Same Thing, a track for the fifth compilation album installment by AC3, a highly reputable Hip Hop Festival partnered with iHip Hop Distribution. Prob take 5 man you deserve it.
UPDATE: 11/23/15 4:45pm: Premiering on Mass Appeals Probcause unleashes a creative art music video for his track Same Thing with Drew Mantia. While this is his first video animated video with the help of Elijah Alvarado Prob is no stranger to art and drawing. Having an Art Degree at the Art Institute of Chicago, it definitely helped with a skill explored in early ages. “I grew up drawing and was always attracted to graffiti” Colin explained to Mass Appeals. “I started painting pretty young but got arrested a few too many times… It basically got to a point where I was putting my college scholarship on the line if I got arrested again, so I decided to chill out a little bit in my 20s”.
Well we are glad Prob gets to release his creative angst through a professional medium combining it with his music career! You can bet that this will not be his last animated project. Follow Probcause’s Instagram located below for more of his creative art!
Busy month for A-Trak this month releasing up to 3 originals, collabs and remixes. The man known for his scratching abilities on the deck and multiple championships at DMC World DJ Championship. Feelin extra creative after working with ZHU on a raggae track A-Trak took on Disclosures work with Lorde and made it even more addicting. Also making a collaborative effort with Zookfunktion on Place On Earth, released off Spinnin’ Records. Keep making them house hits A-Trak.
Since the Siren EPand discovering over his Aural Psynapse remix of Deadmau5, Jeff Hartford has shown his versatility as an artist. Better known as ATTLAS, the artist has made a series of originals, remixes and collaborations with some big names like Aphex Twin. Recently he took it upon himself to give Gallant’s Weight In Gold with a beautiful transformation into ATTLAS techno house music.
With Scene EP we learn of his cinematic spell and his ability to carry emotions through sound! Now we got a trilogy goin with ATTLAS’s 3rd EP ‘Sin’. Continuing with his epic sound Jeff is filling up his portfolio with more vibrant and even heavier tunes this time around. Starting with one of his earlier tracks Parallel Lines is a vocal transformation of Taylor from his Siren EP and continues to Burned and darky gritty techno track. This dark pattern of deep basslines and harmonious synths continues to form a magnificent techno EP. Check out the Soundcloud preview of listen to it in full on Spotify.
Zhu is a hit making machine and he is at it again with he latest releases on the Genesis Series. Releasing the songs in an untraditional manner to his fans. Zhu released each track individually on consecutive Fridays through mediums best fitting the track style. Really interesting artist to say the least, mysterious yet out of the box creative in every way.
Zhu has Come a long way since wooing the world with Faded and the NightDay EP. Since then he has remixed top artists to perfection. Now with Genesis he is collaborating with big names old and new. Really pushing the boundaries of electronic dance music and fusing a world of sound into it. Genesis is a melting pot of Funk, Jazz, Raggae, Hip Hop, Garage and House music to name a few! Zhu is staying true to the idea of making it about the music rather than his identity. Anybody got a picture of him yet?
The Genesis Series is packed with artist collabs from AlungaGeorge, Bone Thugs N Harmony, Skrillex, A-Trak, Gallant, to Keznamdi, Daniel Johns, They and few more. Each artist chosen came to the studio and made their music “from scratch, organically respecting the origins of how music was made”. The sounds of our generation in one collaborative effort.
By the looks of her facebook comments they would not now it But! This girl makes actual music and really good music too. They might be too distracted by her gracious look if they cannot find her soundcloud. Coming from Chicago Niykee Heaton is an artist that embraces body,mind and music. Whilst playing the guitar, she also produces and writes her own music! Not even a lot of mainstream artists can say that.
Best Thing Ever is a pretty catchy pop tune, released during her ongoing Bedroom Tour, which btw will be making a stop in Chicago on the 3rd of December at Concord Music Hall. Making a real cool diversity with this next song, KING, leans more on bass. Live shows must be a party. With excellent flow and vocal harmonics on the mic, it is written and produced yet again by the artist herself.
Niykee Heaton is making an excellent name for herself with her music and modeling, showing she is multi-talented. Gaining about a million facebook followers and 100K+ on soundcloud with millions of plays. Niykee is going wherever she is setting her mind to cause like KING, her track, she is KING in her mind. Despite the internet being a horrible place, Niykee the real fans will be at the show!