HOLY SHIP!!!! Interviews: Valentino Khan

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Valentino Khan doesn’t play poker. In fact, he doesn’t even know how he got roped into hosting the Texas Hold Em’ Tournament happening on February’s Holy Ship sailing. His friends may be out exploring the sunny streets of Nassau, enjoying lunch on the water, and practicing the Australian art of taking Shoey’s with Cut Snake (another artist-led event happening that same afternoon) but now that Khan’s committed to the game, he wants to win.

The tournament participants who playfully interrupt our interview to remind him that they are after the $100 bounty on his head aren’t enough to shake him either. “I’ve been suckering them into being a little more aggressive. I convince them that I have a good hand, you know, just baiting them so they’ll throw more fucking money down, and that’s my strategy,” Khan says.  “The only reason I’m in this now is for the human psychology part of the game.” Khans label-mate and homie AC Slater comes by to give him a high five, and the two have a good laugh when he reveals he’s knocked three guys out of the table despite his minimal experience playing Texas Hold Em’.

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REVIEW: TOKiMONSTA Played LPR

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Last weekend offered a packed schedule of high-profile shows in NYC. Those opting for the low key electronic option trekked down to the West Village for TOKiMONSTA’s sold out show at Le Poisson Rouge (Bassnectar, Big Gigantic and Rusko played MSG the same night). And for those who made this choice , let me confirm it was a solid one.

On Saturday, Oct. 4th, West Coast Glitch Hop Artist Jennifer Lee, better known by her stage name TOKiMONSTA, brought her signature energy with a brave new sound. Sporting a high bun and Jersey, Lee had the crowd totally turnt with a trap heavy set list. Fans old and new were appeased by her varied set which included plenty of throwbacks and introduced a number of new songs from her 2014 mini-LP, Desiderium.

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Maxim vs. FREEwilliamsburg – Our Back to Back DJ Sets

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Making a pit stop at Rough Trade isn’t much of a digression from Maxim’s everyday life. “The setup is quite similar to the one at home,” the London-based Singer, DJ and Producer says while browsing through his favorite vinyls, most of which come from the golden eras of reggae and funk. When faced with the task of building his ideal DJ set, Maxim looks to the songs that he enjoys hearing in a gritty club, as well as representing his buddies and collaborators. “I’ve got to include some Massive Attack, so let’s do Protection; they’re good friends of mine,” he says.

The original Prodigy frontman is embarking on a new chapter in his musical career. Coming to the table with a background in electro-rock, it’s not surprising that Maxim is cultivating a following with his own style of Trap. “I want it to be harder, with a more industrial sound,” he says.

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REVIEW: Electric Run 2014

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The Electric Run returned to Floyd Bennett Field over the weekend bringing upbeat music, trippy lights and a fun excuse to work out to the Aviator Sports Center. The annual event attracted nearly 10,000 participants from across the five boroughs, New Jersey and Long Island  over the course of two race days.

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REVIEW: Skrillex Played MoMA PS1 Warm Up Series

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Dreams came true for this fangirl when I got to see Skrillex not once, but twice last week. After a severe thunderstorm caused the cancellation of Jack U’s New York debut at last weekend’s Electric Zoo festival, Skrillex kept true to his promise that he’d come back to drop new tracks from his Diplo collaboration.

Fresh off a string of game changing sets at this year’s Burning Man Festival (where he and Diplo DID NOT get booed off the stage, FYI), Skrillex played a number of intimate shows here in the city, including Chelsea’s Marquee Nightclub as well as a private Sirius Party at popular Burlesque hangout, The Slipper Room. Notorious for dropping bass where it’s least expected, Skrillex appeared as the special guest at Saturday night’s PS1 Warm Up Series finale.

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Electric Zoo DJ to Watch: Zomboy

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Dropping bass, spinning house, laying trap – international artists from all genres of EDM will be making the trek to NYC over labor day weekend for the 6th Annual Electric Zoo Festival. Staff writer Megan Venzin will be highlighting her favorite artists each week leading up to the Zoo, taking place August 29-31st on Randall’s Island.

Who are they?: Zomboy (aka Joshua Mellody) is a 25-year-old British electronic music producer who first hit the scene in 2011 with the release of his track Organ Donor.

What do they sound like?: Zomboy’s tracks feature a unique blend of dubstep and glitch hop. His ethereal melodies and thunderous drops create expansive soundscapes that are deliciously dark and easy to recognize. If you’re a fan of Skrillex or Knife Party, you’ll probably dig what Zomboy is laying down.

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Electric Zoo 2014

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It’s crazy to think that it’s already time to preview Labor Day events, but much like my soul at a dubstep show, this summer is FLYIN’. That means this year’s Electric Zoo is right around the corner, ready to take over Randall’s Island with glitter, furry boots, 0 pants, lollipops and all that EDM SWAG. Will you be there to bare it all?

In case you’re still on the fence about joining this year’s rave farm, 118 artists from dubstep, EDM, house, techno, trap and trance  genres have already confirmed that they will be part of the 6th annual festival, with more to be announced. This year’s festival will feature five stages, and the Sunday School Groove tent is back this year dedicated to the hottest names in techno and underground house.

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REVIEW: Governors Ball 2014

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Three days and at least 19 Red Bulls later, I’m here to give you the rundown on this year’s Governors Ball. The favorable weather forecast was a happy omen for what would inevitably be a fantastic (albeit bro-heavy) weekend. There was something for everyone. Whether you were coming just to see Outkast for the first time in a decade or you’re a total dubslut, Governors Ball delivered. For a festival that’s still under five years old, they’ve established themselves as a major summer staple, and this year’s event carried few snafus from what I could gather. Big thumbs up on food accessibility, clean(ish) portopotties and ample water stations. Sound bleed could use some improvement, but it’s still pretty incredible that any of this can be orchestrated in Manhattan, so bravo to that, and let’s break it down.

FRIDAY

I arrived on Randall’s Island around 2:15 on Friday. The walk from Astoria was lively, as a number of other ambitious music loving day drinkers made their way across the RFK Bridge. I was a little bummed to miss Run the Jewels, but that’s the nature of the beast when you’re juggling a full time job during festival season (MY LAST DAY IS TOMORROW BTW). I wandered over to see Ratking at the Gotham Tent, thinking I’d soak up some local vibes. MC Hak, Patrick “Wiki” Morales and Sporting Life make an impressive trio. The fearless threesome is high energy. They come out swinging with rhymes that smack you in the face and make you forget that you’re watching dudes who aren’t even old enough to share a beer with you. Damn. If these kids are doing this well now, expect the to make a serious splash in the next year or so.

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