“Jamurai” from Nick Richards, also known as Starchasr, is one of the latest releases from Austin-based label Brawla Records for the DJ arsenal, guaranteed to start a mosh pit. If hard-hitting and reverberating bass is your thing, then “Jamurai” is the track to scoop up. You can preview the track below on Soundcloud or stream it on Spotify. “Jamurai” is the first track to be released from Starchasr’s Magnata EP and it is quite the introduction. Nick Richards started off as a musical maverick at 15 years old, choosing to experiment with bass music and craft his own sound on his laptop. A lot has taken place since Nick began to toy and tinker with beats in Garage Band. The name Starchasr is a moniker Richards used for video games. Now he is part of The Dirty Collective in Houston, Texas and is signed with Brawla Records, an Austin Texas based label that describes itself as “a music label with a curated point of view.” Brawla Records is where you will find Nick Richards’s upcoming Mangata EP, a mix of dubstep, trap, and experimental, future bass tracks. There are two sides of the musical coin in this EP. “Skwish” and “The Witch” make up the dubstep/trap side of the EP. Big Cats, Dot Matrix Demo, and Shoreline are on the future bass/experimental side of the EP.”Big Cat” is one of my favorite joints on the EP. It’s solid future bass. I love how the vocal hooks fit into the track and are made into part of the beat. The artwork for “Big Cat” is fitting. A woman blends into the night sky and out of the corner of her left eye is what appears to be some sort of aura or spirit soaring up into the cosmos. The track does have a spacey feel. “Shoreline” is one of those put-your-top down songs you play on the way to the beach. The song is stripped down and accented with finger snaps. The melody drops in this one are on point. “Skwish uses expertly timed hi-hats and atmospheric sounds like gunshots to deliver a nice hip swaying trap beat. There’s a little something for every bass music head on this EP. Look out for it on Brawla Records in the fall. Purchase “Jamurai” on Apple Music and Beatport. You can check out Starchasr’s other tracks here. Follow Starchasr on Facebook and Twitter.
DJ Carl Gasbo aka Kasbo doesn’t listen to much electronic music. If you saw his set at this past Decadence New Year’s Eve electronic music festival, you’re more than aware of the talent this guy from Sweden has. “I feel distanced from that ‘EDM’ term,” he says. Preferring hip-hop and indie that inspire him to create a modern and approachable sound. “It sounds tacky, but I try not to think in genres,” said Kasbo, who is making what he loves. “I believe the music is a product of what you listen to.” It showed at Decadence when he mixed trance, hip-hop, indie, dance and house music. He does recognize Flume and Odesza for setting a path that helps DJs like himself to steer away from tired electro-pop hits and embrace diverse influences. In Sweden, Kasbo believes electronic music is dying out and pop music is on the rise. “We definitely have Swedish House Mafia and Avicii… but I feel like it’s kind of dying down.”Last March Tim Bergling, aka Avicii, announced that his 2016 tour would be his last.
Being at a festival and looking for party favors (drugs) is incredibly tricky. Or so I’ve heard. Turning on that bloodhound sense of smell, sniffing out who’s holding a beer and who’s chugging water by the liter; observing who’s dancing quite hard and who seems to be sitting down in a trance with just as much devotion. It’s a skill… I’ve been told. On the other hand, getting asked for drugs while you’re out getting lit with the fam is markedly less annoying than typing “getting lit with the fam”. A simple “sorry, man, I got nothing, ” and that’s all it takes to shoo away the asker. It’s a normal occurrence at a festival. Until you realize the guy asking seems to stick out for some reason. You can’t put your finger on it. Maybe it’s the fact that he’s wearing clean leather shoes better suited for dinner than for Dim Mak. He’s also staring into your eyes a bit too deeply as if measuring the dilation of your pupils. Then you remember the guy called them “rollies” when he asked, whatever the hell those are. Not unlike grandma trying to use your lingo and failing, the guy standing in front of you asking for illicit drugs does not belong here. Such has been the situation for those of us who have encountered undercover police at festivals. The aim of course is to target dealers, but in some states, a person can be targeted just for being under the influence of drugs (not so in my dearly beloved home state of Florida). Surprisingly, searching the internet will not help you figure out definitively which shows will have more undercover police (although it will remind you to use incognito mode on the work computer.) The size of the festival does not necessarily parallel how much undercover police will be on site either, but in my research, I have noted that the location will portend to that figure. Ultra Music Festival in Miami which houses 165,000 ravers only saw about 65 arrests in 2016. In stark comparison, California’s Nocturnal Wonderland which services about 60,000 reached 428 arrests, averaging about 142 per day. In Las Vegas, Electric Daisy Carnival (with roughly 400,000 attendees) saw about 101 arrests. Meanwhile in California, police arrested 300 people at Hard Summer this year out of a total of 146,000 participants. See the pattern there, Cali? Most of the arrests made in California are for public intoxication, but it seems asinine that this much effort goes towards enforcing this legislation. As my fellow festi-heads will know, using drugs at a festival is the norm. Even if you’re a straight edge individual, you understand and accept this is normal at a large gathering of people getting ready to shuffle poorly in public. Hiring droves of undercover police to arrest people for doing drugs at shows is in the same line of thinking as scolding a horny teenager for having sex (and just as ineffective, if we’re being honest). Safe practices should be taught, but one can’t expect drugs to disappear from the scene. It’s normal; it’s inevitable and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. (Or so I’ve been told.)