funk

[Interview] Gladkill's Foundations, Art and Inspiration

[Interview] Gladkill's Foundations, Art and Inspiration

I met Boris Gladkill in the green room at Aisle 5 to interview him before his set. He is immediately comfortable to be around, laid back and all smiles, he leads me into the room where everyone is playing Pokemon Go.

[Interview] Peace, Love and Harmony to the Nth Degree.

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By Clara Goode

The Brooklyn based super-group, The Nth Power has been spreading peace, love and harmonies since coming together during a late-night jam sesh at the infamous New Orleans Jazz Fest in 2012. The band’s soulful sounds combine genres from across the musical spectrum; including gospel, jazz, folk and blues to name only a few. The hard-hitting quintet is a powerhouse of sound and it’s experienced members have worked together, to not only maintain a rigorous tour schedule, but to also produce multiple albums. Their most recent of which, Abundance, combines poignant lyrics with catchy hooks, plus soulful melodies to take the listener on a journey to the core of their humanity.

Bullet sat down with drummer and Nth Power founder, Nikki Glaspie, for a quick conversation during their tour last week, in preparation for their appearance at Aisle 5 this coming Friday evening.

Tell me what it’s like to work and travel with such a powerhouse group of musicians.

It’s amazing {laughs}. It’s a dream come true to be able to play with people that are as musically proficient as I. I mean, that’s ultimately what anybody wants, who plays in a band. They want the band members to be as strong as they are musically.

You guys have maintained an incredibly demanding tour schedule, on top of putting out a full-length album. How do you keep such positive energy flowing through your relationships and your music while you are under the pressures of the road?

You know, that’s the thing. It’s not really stressful, it’s just busy. It’s quite the opposite of stress because we are doing what we love to do. In terms of me doing this interview right now, it’s not stressful, it’s just that I have to take time to do the things that need to be done and in turn this interview is going to help us do what we love to do. It’s not really stressful, it’s a balancing act.

(On the matter of personal relationships)

Technology is awesome. We typically do a lot of posts while we are touring. Our family and friends, they follow us, and they feel like they know what we are doing. We get to see family quite a bit, more often than people would think, which is really awesome.

The Nth Power prides itself on its diversity, both in its musicians and in the music it produces. Is this diversity always an asset or are there times where it is more of a challenge?

Definitely a challenge, but it’s for sure an asset. It’s a challenge in the sense that we kind of have to figure it out. {Figure out} how it’s all going to work together. It’s definitely an asset because people identify with different things that we do. If you’re a punk rocker, or you love R&B, or you love gospel, or you love folk or blues. I want to have people be able to identify with our music {no matter what}. It doesn’t matter what your background is. I feel like we have something for everybody.

(When asked about the opportunity for conflicts among band members)

It pretty much flows together because we are all versed in various types of music. We all love music, and we all respect things that we are not versed in. It flows pretty nicely, but that’s because we all listen to each other and we all respect each others ideas.

What went into the decision to cross over from festival circuit to radio hits?

We just wanna make good music that has a message. As far as song structure, and stuff like that, we wanted to have pop sensibility just to appeal to the masses because we really want to spread the message and get the word out there.

So, what’s the message?

The message is just love. That’s all it is.

All of your songs are very powerful, but I wanted to ask specifically about the inspiration behind “Holy Rain.”

Oh yeah. That song was inspired by a dream. Nick had a dream about this soldier on the battlefield. The soldier got shot and died, it was really just a conversation that he was having with God in his last moments. That was the inspiration behind the song.

Are many of your songs inspired in such an abstract way?

Some of them are. Some of them are just straight up life experiences. Stuff that we’ve been through, and just trying to get to the other side, trying to get out of it. “Right Now,” for instance, that song was inspired by the book “The Power of Now." It’s a book that talks about spiritual enlightenment and knowing the importance of now, what you’re living in. The past is gone, you can’t do anything to change it and the future is, it’s not here. You have right now. So whatever you do today, right now, that’s what matters the most.

You mention God a lot in your songs. Is your spirituality Christian based?

No, no it’s not. ”God” is just a name. You can call it whatever you want -Mother Earth, Universe, Buddha, Allah. We just say God because that’s just what we call it. A lot of people know what the word “God” represents, so {for us} it’s the easiest way to go about it.

What comes next for you as a band?

We want to go everywhere. Far and wide. I want to be the first band to play on the moon. I want to play Madison Square Garden. I want to play everywhere. I want the band really to just help people, promote healing and understanding, peace and love. That’s pretty much it.

When we asked Nikki if she had anything else she would like to add to the interview she responded with earnest sincerity, “We have to take care of each other. We are the only ones that we have, nobody is going to take care of us but ourselves. We have to take care of each other.”

 
 

The Nth Power plays alongside The Fritz at Aisle 5 on Friday, April 8. 

Buy tickets HERE.

More information HERE.

 

Top 9 Reasons to Attend Fool's Paradise in St. Augustine.

By Annabel Shettel

Are you on the fence about whether to head down to Fool's Paradise?  Your ticket not only ensures the experience of the festival, but a beautiful journey in historic St. Augustine.

1. St. Augustine transforms into Funkytown USA for two days!

Located just hours away from Gainesville, Jacksonville, and Orlando - St. Augustine will experience a flood of people from all over to enjoy warm weather and funk music. The weekend is guaranteed to be full of relaxation and inspiring sounds!

2. Local musicians and artists.

Not only will there be musicians traveling to the fest from other states and countries, but you will have your socks knocked off by local musicians as well. Two local bands include Groove Orient (Orlando) and Herd of Watts (Jacksonville). Not to mention, St. George Street and Flagler College are chock-full of musical talent.

3. ”Chasing the Golden Hour."

St. Augustine Amphitheater is the perfect venue for hosting an event like Fool's Paradise. It's an open-air venue with a view of the city. The sunset from inside of the amphitheater is an unforgettable sight to see.

4. Artist led excursions.

You have the chance to explore St. Augustine by checking out local attractions with musicians. These excursions include miniature golf with Lettuce, sailing with Shady Horns, or crocodile zip lining with Break Science. (Hurry before tickets sell out!)

5. Yoga.

What better place to center oneself than in a beach town? Picture this - the ocean sunrise, coupled with the intracoastal sunset, close to the ocean waves, breathing in the salty air with music echoing from a distance. Namaste indeed.

6. Lettuce is playing twice in one weekend!

Need we say more?

7. Late night shows. 

Friday and Saturday both offer entertainment beyond the festival grounds. Friday, Vulfpeck and Break Science host and then Saturday, Goldfish + Fool's of Funk take their shot at Elk's Lounge. Snag your tickets HERE.

8. Local attractions.

St. Augustine is full of activities! Paddleboarding, kayaking, surfing, parasailing, and scooter rentals are all available. Make sure to check out the museums, graveyard/ghost tours and San Sebastián Winery. Not to mention, there are endless places to dine on the beach or St. George Street.

9. Lettuce and GRiZ collaboration.

The ultimate reason you should be purchasing a ticket! Look no further than a once in a lifetime collaboration that will be a funky, electric, jazzy, and an unforgettable time!

Purchase tickets HERE.

More information HERE.

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The Main Squeeze and Voodoo Visionary let the funk out of Terminal West

By Clara Goode

Photos by Lacey Smith

Atlanta’s nights are growing warmer, and the beginning of spring brings new energy and great talent to the city’s venues. One of those talents this weekend was Indiana based soul band The Main Squeeze. Terminal West hosted the group on Friday night, boasting a packed house on the band’s second stop in Atlanta in the midst of their national All In tour. I arrived at the venue a bit early and wandered. Terminal West is one of my favorite venues. The separate seating areas and roof access provide escape routes if the energy of the show becomes too much while the ground floor offers a full dance space that extends almost to the edge of the stage.

The show starts early with a small, but steadily growing crowd gathering to watch the opener for The Main Squeeze, Atlanta based funk/dance band, Voodoo Visionary. The group is quite talented, featuring a danceable sound they call psychofunk. They are great to listen to with strong vocals, solid basslines and rockin' guitar riffs that show off the self proclaimed influences of bands like the Grateful Dead. Voodoo Visionary is relatively new to the scene. Their debut album, Spirit of the Groove, was released in March of last year. Some of this newness shows in their stage presencing is lacking in a certain energy. They are turned inward, not a bad thing, but does isolate them from their audience a bit. I expect they will become more relaxed as they gain more experience though, and at this point, their talent is easily worth giving their live performance some more time to develop.

By the time The Main Squeeze took the stage the venue was full. The crowd having dissipated between shows, now gathered around the band with an air more of curiosity than excitement. The crowd itself did not lack diversity except in age. Funk appeals to old and young alike and the feel good nature of The Main Squeeze makes it an easy bonding point across generations. Their performance was flawless. The band’s combination of soul, dance and old school rock ‘n roll shine through beautifully. The soaring melodies of vocalist Corey Frye leave little to be desired as far as soul goes. While “Smiley” Silverstein’s masterful manipulation of the keyboard makes you wonder if he is truly playing alone, or if he has a hidden pair of hands helping him along. Meanwhile Newman’s headbang inducing guitar riffs combine with Walker’s bass and Gingrich’s drums to create infectious danceability.

Their talent and passion were evident in both covers and original songs. We heard classic tunes like the soulful cover of “Layla” combined with funk/rock originals like “Dr. Funk.” The band also played one of their most popular hits, “Tank X-ing,” a soulful rock piece that leaves its heart on the dance floor. The Main Squeeze has risen quickly in popularity from their start in Indiana in 2009. They've opened for The Roots and Jane’s Addiction and have released several popular albums. Including their most recent EP, “Mind Your Head,” which came out last year. They have performed at multiple festivals including Bonnaroo and Electric Forest. With such a unique sound and irresistibly positive energy they are promising a bright future.

 

[Interview] Zoogma Shares Their Spirit with ATL

By Clara GracePhotos by Kathryn Lasso

As I walk into the venue, Turbo Suit has already begun their show. To say the house was rocking out would be an understatement. With totally danceable beats and funky sax sounds, the trio creates a diverse and eclectic combination of electronic effects mixed with jam band energy and passion. Dark alien sound effects underlie beautiful minor sax melody that move seamlessly into a hip hop break, layered with a female rap vocals. Throughout their set, Turbo Suit sampled “What I Got” by Sublime as well as rap singles and EDM hits.

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An older man walks up to me all smiles and high fives me, nodding toward the stage. Laughing and bouncing on his toes to the music, “How awesome is this?” he says enthusiastically gesturing at the band. I grin in return. This enthusiasm is the vibe of the evening and is shared by everyone in the audience. There are all types here - hippy punk chicks, guys in button downs and slacks. Two women in Rasta colors receive a shout out by the band for their dance moves. Turbo Suit’s set draws to a close, among cheers from the crowd and as they walk off the set one of the band members upends the bottle he’s been drinking from all night inducing laughter. As I walk between the two rooms, I am struck again by how incredibly happy this crowd is. I don’t think there was a point during the whole evening where people weren’t smiling.

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Zoogma takes the stage and the crowd immediately fills the room again, restless with excitement. They are not disappointed. Zoogma’s performance is flawless from their zydeco influenced opening piece to their soulful blues finale. In the interview before the show, the band members spoke about their musical diversity as a group.

You just released a brand new EP. Tell me about the work that went into it.

Matt: We started work on it probably like a year ago and condensed it all over the fall of 2015. That’s when we spent the most time recording it and writing it.

Brock: {We} took a lot of the stuff that was going on and compiled it down. There’s four songs out of like a couple tracks we had. They all fit together conceptually.

Justin: It was a long process. We have a studio effort since our last record which is called “Anthems for Androids” which was {released} in August of 2013. What we do is a lot of live electronic stuff. So we do a lot of stuff remixed which we did over the last couple of years. Like he said, we started on it about a year or two ago. We had a couple of songs that we liked and we started building on that. It was a lot of work, just being like as an underground sort of artist and trying to make original music. That’s different and also appealing. It’s a lot of work, obviously.

Matt: This is the first record we did that was 100% independent without any outside source. We recorded, engineered and produced all of it on our own.

https://soundcloud.com/zoogma/sets/new-era-ep

Your album art is absolutely stunning, in a digital age this is becoming rare. What was the inspiration behind the art?

Brock: I actually found that guy, he’s a French graphic designer. I liked his stuff on DeviantArt for a long time. I reached out to him and asked if he would be interested in doing something. So that was cool - collaborating with someone halfway across the world to do album art for us.

Talk to me about your origins. How did the four of you come together to form Zoogma? What is the meaning behind the name?

Matt: We formed in college. Justin and I played in another band together and then we split off from that and formed Zoogma. We had two to three other members that were part of the original lineup. The first year it was a fun thing in college to do. Then Brock and Ryan came along and that’s been the lineup ever since.

Justin: The phone just keeps ringing, so I guess we just take this more seriously. The name actually was - I had this English teacher that I couldn’t stand in college but there was this one day where I remember going to class and he handed out a worksheet and it had the word Zoogma at the top. But it was in Greek. It was an old English literature class. We had just started playing and we’re trying to figured out band names and I saw that. We just took out the E U because it was spelled like “ZEUGMA”. Instead of the Greek spelling, we added O’s instead and went with that. Basically it means “to join.”

Your music has been called “refreshingly original.” Tell me what makes your sound so unique.

Justin: I think the biggest thing, honestly, is that we all come from very different backgrounds musically. A lot of times that can be a really good thing or a really bad thing. And obviously a lot of people, bands, probably break up a lot. Different creative inputs, you know, everybody’s kind of pulling different ways. It works with us for whatever reason.

Brock: {We} find stuff we like, and just try to make music that we like.

Matt: We’re taking old genres of music and mixing it with something new and then creating something new altogether.

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Tell me about your musical progression across the years. Did you always know the sound you were trying to create?

Brock: I think we knew how we wanted it to sound, but we didn’t know how to get there.

Justin: It took a long time. There’s not a destination.

Matt: There wasn’t anything we were taking super seriously. We knew we wanted to do an experimental electronic project but we didn’t know exactly where that would take us, or how to do it. Figured a lot of it out as we went. We’re still learning a lot. Our music is always evolving because it’s four people and we’re all always pulling in influences from what we listen to or are listening to. Trying to keep it within the relevance of our sound. It’s always evolving. Always has. It will continue to.

“Anthems 4 Androids” seemed to have some political tones with titles like “War and Other Natural Disasters” and “Classified." Are there specific ideas you are trying to get across with you music?

Matt: Like for “War and Other Natural Disasters” that one was kind of like we were writing it like it was a very kind of epic sounding song. It had these different vibes to it that just seemed fitting for it. It seemed like a battle song. Like someone picking themselves up by the bootstraps and going into battle. Like it’s kind of dark, then has like a happy epic ending. But yeah, I felt like a lot of the songs were kind of that way. In a lot of instrumentals the title kind of caters to the vibe of the song.

https://soundcloud.com/zoogma/sets/zoogma-anthems-4-androids

What do you think the future holds for you as a band?

Matt: With the industry changing so much, just how people are really seeing music and stuff. Now it’s to the point where you need to be doing more than one full length album in a year. I think what people can expect from us is, this was our second EP that we’ve done, and I think that just in the immediacy that people want new music now. We’re going to stick with the EP things and remixes and singles a lot more, and then do big albums once a year or maybe once every two years. It’s just much easier to get music out and have it sound cohesive when there’s only four or five songs. We just released “New Era” and we’re going to release a new EP some time over the summer. We’ll probably do a couple of remixes and then another EP in the fall and a full length album in 2017.

Justin: You can expect too, that a lot of the stuff that you heard on the “New Era” EP, a lot of that vibe continuing. Plus, we’ve also been working with some guest vocalists experimenting with lyrical content, original lyrical content. As well as another thing we’ve been experimenting with lately, being from the south, the Mississippi and Memphis area, experimenting with the blues influence. Taking that and incorporating it into our sound. You can expect to hear some of that coming soon.

Matt: I would also just say never expect to hear the same thing twice.

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The band uses experimental electronic with heavy rock and blues influences to create an energy that is full of passion and guitar riffs that have the crowd screaming for more. There is plenty of old school funky sound, but with a new interpretation. At one point, they sampled Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” playing their own sound over the classic hit.

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They play “Molasses” off of their new EP “New Era,” and the crowd loves it. It is heavier and has a more traditionally electronic sound while still maintaining a full bodied melody. Their sound reminds you of the infinite power of good music. My heart swells as I realize the musical revolution that is happening around us. Collaboration and creativity to an extent which was impossible before. They demonstrate the ability to reach across the globe in a millisecond and draw influence from every culture and generation that has come before us. Their energy makes your belly tickle and your heart laugh. You can’t help but feel the outpouring of passion not only for music, but for life.

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Zoogma’s closing piece (before the encore) is a culmination of the incredible energy that has been rising throughout the evening. A shout out to Mississippi, which is where the band originated, and is full of dirty delta blues riffs that drive the tiredness from your feet and the demons from your soul. Zoogma, and their opening act Turbo Suit, left me with such a profound feeling that I am certain it will have a lasting impact on how I listen to music. Thank you Zoogma for sharing your spirit with us. You are always welcome here.

[Interview] Vinnie Amico Dishes his Love for The Tabernacle

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By Liz Turcotte

Vinnie Amico, the drummer of moe., chatted with us recently about his daughters, Jerry Garcia and how much he loves The Tabernacle. moe. begins their three-night run in Atlanta on Thursday at Terminal West, followed by two nights at the Tabernacle with opening sets from Earphunk and Dumpstaphunk.

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What type of music did your parents listen to growing up?

My father, Sal Amico, was a Jazz musician who played the trumpet and well-known in the Syracuse area so when I was real small there was a lot of Jazz around. My parents divorced and my mom remarried and she used to listen to the worst music. Gordon Lightfoot isn’t that bad now that I look back at it, but Neil diamond, Roger Whittaker, ABBA. It’s all stuff that is stuck in my brain because now when an ABBA tune comes on the radio I can sing every single word.

You have two daughters, are they both pretty big into music as well?

My oldest daughter goes to Drew University. She doesn’t study music but takes vocal classes and is in the choral union. She plays saxophone, she’s actually played with moe. a couple of times. Both of our kids are in musical theater. My youngest daughter is very musical, although she quit playing violin a couple of years ago. She sings all of the time and just loves music.

Is it true you have never taken drum lessons?

That is correct. When I was really young, when I was first introduced to instruments in school, I played drums but it didn’t last very long. I wasn’t in the school band or anything.

How did you learn to play without YouTube?

My parents bought me a drum set my first six months of classes at school. I went home from school every day and put on whatever music I was listening to and memorized all of the songs. I played drums all day every day for about five or six years before I started hanging out with my friends who were playing instruments, and we all started putting music together.

Would you be able to teach someone how to play the drums?

Oh yeah, I had two lessons today actually. I have a guy that I teach FaceTime lessons to down in Florida and I had a guy show up at the house today who I gave a lesson to. I’m trying to do a couple of clinics because I have a whole thing that I teach, it’s very simple but I think it’s very helpful for any drummer. I figured I had to teach myself so I should be able to teach others, right?

You perform in a variety of one off Grateful Dead sets, what makes those performances so special?

The music itself because I used to be a big Dead fan and the songs are just great songs. I played in that kind of style of band in college so I got really good at playing that particular style of music. You could say I studied that style. Also, there’s a couple of really good players. Jerry Garcia was such a great guitar player and there’s some guys who emulate him very well. When I get to play with them it’s like I’m playing with Jerry. Those kind of things really make it fun. When you get close to what the Dead was playing when you’re doing it, it’s just awesome.

What guitar player do you feel like emulates Jerry the most?

There’s a friend of mine who used to play in a band around Albany called Slipknot, and then he was in Buffalo and played in a band with me his name is Adam Czolowski. He’s just about as close to Jerry as I’ve ever heard anybody play. His sound isn’t 100% but its pretty close. It’s his playing, he’s just such a great guitar player. I play with another guy named Zach Nugent who is also really good, a real good Jerry guy. The ones that really studied the music and know the songs the way the way the Dead played them, the different styles and stuff it’s just a blast. If you’re all in tune with the style, the year or whatever kind of jam you’re doing it can be a lot of fun. And the songs, it’s all about the songs.

Do you have a favorite venue or city that you like to play in?

Actually the Tabernacle is definitely one of my favorites. It’s just an amazing, amazing venue. I mean we’ve played all over. We’ve played Red Rocks, Radio City., too many to say but I definitely love the Tab. As far as the energy goes for our performances, it’s one of the best venues we play.

The band is playing a three-night run in Atlanta but with one night at Terminal West and two nights at the Tabernacle, how did that happen?

We’ve been touring in that model for the last year where we’ll play one smaller venue to give people a more intimate setting and then we’ll play two nights at the bigger place in town. It’s kind of cool because it gives the fans a destination to go to where they’re not traveling all over the place. They can just travel to one place, get hotels, roll up and party to have a great time and don’t have to do a whole lot of moving around and what not. It definitely seems to work. I think the fans like it, we definitely like it a lot. I think we’re going to continue doing it for a while into this year. We’ve never played Terminal West so we’re looking forward to that.

When you’re playing and make a mistake how do you handle it?

It happens all of the time. Sometimes I make a face, sometimes I yell. Pretty much when I screw up the whole bands turns around, because it’s very apparent when it happens and I don’t do it that often. So when it happens it’s a big freaking to-do and everyone looks at me. I’m thinking guys, you could cover it up by not turning around and making me look like an idiot, but it’s not the way we roll. We did at one point have a jar and anytime anybody made mistakes they had to pay-in. Whoever made the least would win the jar but it got to be pretty expensive. Some people made lots of mistakes so they were always having to put money in the jar.

Last year was the 25th anniversary for the band, what were some highlights from the year?

Summer Camp was a highlight, I mean it always is it’s such a great festival. We got to do a set with Bruce Hornsby which was a lot of fun. Playing in Chicago when the Dead was there was a lot of fun. They played and then we did some after-show sets there. That was great because we got to see the Fare Thee Well shows and then perform afterwards. At a show like that the energy level is pretty high so you go into it really ready to rock.

Our first Jamaica trip was last winter and have since been back, we just got back a couple of days ago. Hopefully we started a yearly excursion. It’s like we were vacationing with our fans because for the most part people who come to those things are our friends. We have a community of people who are on vacation together and all a bunch of like-minded people. It’s a cool place to be on a beach hanging out with good entertainment.

We did a lot of cool stuff last year and the fact that we were able to celebrate 25 years being a band, most people don’t get to do that. So the fact that we’ve been able to make a career of playing music is awesome.

Random question, what do you think about when you’re alone in the car?

Getting to the next place, listening to Howard Stern on the radio and usually I’m late. Picking up my daughter at school and thinking, “Crap, get out of my way.” It’s not very deep at all.

How long have you been listening to Howard Stern?

I started listening to him in ’92 so I’ve been listening to him a long time. I lived in DC, I guess about 23 years now. Long-time listener.

You’ve probably done a million interviews and have been asked a million questions. What’s something you always hope someone will ask you?

That’s a great question, too bad I can’t remember. I think that might be the question. You know what I don’t have an answer, what a great question that I can’t answer. Maybe if you come backstage at the show next week I’ll have one for you.

Upcoming projects? Plans for 2016?

We’re doing the west coast tour that was just announced. Doing a bunch of shows out west where we haven’t been in a while which will be awesome. My side band Floodwood is doing a bunch of shows coming up in February.

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Grab your tickets for the upcoming shows in Atlanta here

15 Reasons Why Suwannee Hulaween was the Best Festival of 2015

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By Liz Turcotte

Photos by Chris Monaghan

For this year’s Hulaween festivities, we invited our correspondent Liz Turcotte down from Atlanta to experience her first Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park event. Liz is a pro-festy, and can set up a 4-person camp in 30 minutes flat – complete with Halloween decorations and a giving tent. As someone new to the park, but experienced in large attendance festivals, Liz offers a fresh perspective on Suwannee Hulaween. As an added bonus, it was her birthday weekend – and as you can tell from her article below, she had a blast. Welcome to SOSMP & Florida Music Blog!

1. Location, location, location The Spirit of Suwannee Music Park is nestled right off of Interstate 75 in Live Oak, Florida. As soon as you drive onto the property, an almost euphoric feeling takes over and you feel right at home between the Spanish moss and unspoiled forest. SOSMP is home to over 25 music festivals like Suwannee River Jam, Wanee Music Festival and Purple Hatters Ball, just to name a few.

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Continue reading the entire post here.

Next Up with Ralo

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Raul illegally referred to as Ralo is a music producer from Miami, Cuba or Havana, Florida for that matter. Vicing in the South-side of the map, he arranged beats for money, initially in the realm of rap and hip-hop when emerging from the ‘90s bass music movement. Hip-hop wasn’t dead but it certainly felt like it was time to flip the page. For him, it was time to speed up the tempo.

What is your background? Cuban American

How do you think that shaped who you are today? I’m proud of where I come from. I realize how fortunate I am and do my best never to take anything for granted. In this country, we all have the opportunity to be whoever we want. My grandfather came to Miami with nothing but the clothes on his back. He started from the bottom, provided for our family and took the time to remind us that anything you want in life is possible. I lived with my grandparents for a while growing up. My mom and I moved around a lot when I was young. I always hated moving away from the friends I would make. Although no matter where we went it was easy for me to make new friends, probably because I’m outgoing and, unlike everyone else, I enjoy small talk. I constantly got into trouble at school for talking too much.

Click here to read the full story.

[Interview] Ralo Fires Up Alchemy Burn

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It was a chilly and damp Saturday night at Cherokee Farms. The gorgeous property is nestled in the North Georgia mountains and each year during the first weekend in October around 3,500 beautiful souls gather for Alchemy Burn. I was feeling right at home in the midst of the woods, hippies and house music when I sat down by the fire to talk with one of Atlanta's hottest producers, Ralo. He wore a black top hat with steampunk goggles and a grey feather fastened to the strap. His hajj scarf draped over his head (a gift from fellow burner, Ramzi) and the red and blue elephants danced around his retro shirt.

Have you managed to stay dry this weekend? 

Barely, but has anyone?

You're outfit is perfect for the occasion, where did you get all of this?

It's is a combination of pieces from a thrift shop in Little 5 Points, Rag-O-Rama, and Amazon. I've always been into the steampunk look. It's the perfect mixture of mechanical and Victorian style. When I wear this it makes me feel, like me.

What enticed you to experience Alchemy?

I always heard about Alchemy from people I've met along the way of my travels over the last couple of years. Like most people here I hope to attend Burning Man at some point and had to see what this was all about. This is my first burn, I've been to several festivals. The love and energy here is created organically, no money driven productions.

Is there a story from this weekend you can't wait to tell people? 

The group I'm here camping with planned a "birthday flash mob" for an unsuspecting victim who's birthday it wasn't. Long story short, we all sang happy birthday, handed out cupcakes, noisemakers and gave our fellow burner a birthday present and card which he read out loud. Then we all calmly walked away.

Ralo
Ralo

What is one word you would use to describe Alchemy?

Lovely.

Do you have any upcoming shows back in the real world?

Yes. I'm doing a label showcase with Digital Delight owner Sishi Rosch on November 6 at Music Room in Atlanta. It's perfect timing for the release of my upcoming EP on the label.

Are there any other upcoming projects you want your fans to know about?

I recently collaborated with one of my good friends from Miami, Strada, on a three-track EP coming out on Mr. Nice Guy Records. There's no release date just yet

Top 5 Underground DJs at TomorrowWorld

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At TomorrowWorld, you create your own destiny. There are three forces at work to generate an unimaginable festival experience. 1) The vibes of your crew, 2) energy of the crowd, and 3) uncommonly skilled artists.  If you're not looking to spend your weekend at main stage these are the underground shows you don't want to miss.

1. jackLNDN

When you follow jackLNDN on Instagram it's obvious he is one of the most humble dudes in the scene. Although, he has a lot to brag about considering he warmed up Red Rocks for Bassnectar back in May. If you think disco is dead jackLNDN is here to revive your doubts.

Sunday, 27 September

2:30PM-3:30PM

Mythical Frames

2. Shiba San

Music maestro. Get ready for Dirtybird Records' own deep/ghetto house golden child. Shiba San's set is assured to make dat booty pop. Be prepared for some heavy bass and funky, hip hop infused tunes.

Saturday, 26 September

4:15PM-5:45PM

Mythical Frames

3. Alan Fitzpatrick

It's official, the techno crown has been claimed. Producer/DJ Alan Fiztpatrick keeps proving he's unstoppable by releasing tracks on Hotflush Recordings, Drumcode and Figure this past year. If you're looking to get weird, this is the place to do it.

Friday, 25 September

6:30PM-8:00PM

Drumcode

4. Patrick Topping

Hailing from the UK, Patrick Topping is known for his rise to the top under the wing of Hot Creations head honcho Jamie Jones. Miami, New York and San Francisco are just a few of the cities who've recently had the pleasure of hosting one of the most sought after names in dance music. His set will be a cherry on the top of your weekend.

Sunday, 27 September

3:00PM-5:00PM

Paradise

5. Claptone

Hidden under the golden mask stands a true artist eager to captivate audiences. Claptone is an accomplished producer with a recent No.1 remix on Beatport. Dance your worries away with carefree electronic and deep house jams.

Sunday, 27 September

4:30PM-6:00PM

Mythical Frames

Honorable Mention: Bakermat

One reason. This track is the shit.

Sunday, 27 September

7:00PM-8:30PM

Terminal West LIVE