Here at Conscious Electronic, our goal since day one has been to deliver dance music content in a more ascendant direction. Our driving mission, therefore, is to provide a conscious way to consume “EDM.” Although electronic dance music has plateaued over the past few years, taking a backseat to hip-hop monetarily, the dance music genre still enjoys massive popularity across the globe. With popularity comes influence, and with influence comes the power to culturally shape the world. That’s why, as the old proverb goes, “with great power comes great responsibility.”
Yet, there are still drones of “EDM” artists who feign for the commercial spotlight, who flock to the Big Three record labels, who overlook their voice and platform in search of wealth, fame, and status. This is a blanket generalization, of course. That is not to suggest there’s something wrong with desiring notoriety and financial gain. This is capitalism, after all. So long as one seeks to use these privileges in service of others over the self, with balance and harmony. Someone who, at the very least, has the conscience and ethical know-how to see when they are being one-sided or self-serving.
These are the consciously-attuned attuned who understand their ethical positioning and, yet, still grapple with their own power. Thus, the focus here is on the producers woven from this ethical cloth. Those who enjoy power, influence, and status, and understand their place in the world as both necessary evils and ultimately corruptible forces. Those who use their power in service of leaving the world a better place than they found it.
These are the artists who weave messages of gratitude, love, peace, acceptance, and coexistence into the very fabric of their music. Those who would rather build their own universe over seeking mass-scale commercial fame. Yet, who simultaneously are repulsed at the idea of being the center of their own universe. Those who are uncomfortable with their own celebrity identity, yet understand that the influence associated with the notion of “celebrity” can have lasting, positive effects on the world.
Without further ado, and in no particular order, we present CE‘s Top 25 spiritually-attuned artists who should be on everyone’s conscious music radar.
When thinking about what constitutes “conscious” music or who makes it, there’s a whirlwind of questions that arise. What does consciousness even sound like? Does the artists’ music itself sound conscious? Is it the artist’s musical aesthetic or simply their outlook on life? Or both? Seppa‘s dark line of experimental bass music is a great illustrator for this quandary. Dangerous and demonic sounding on the surface, yet incredibly enlightened and intelligent beneath, he is also an extremely conscious individual himself.
From growing up in the UK rave/dubstep scenes and going to school for music production to founding Slugwife alongside Kursa, Seppa has had quite a fulfilling career. When he’s not making music, the Bristol-based producer enjoys reflecting on philosophy, spirituality, and life. That much is obvious from our exclusive interview with Seppa on the eve of his second full-length album release with Split.
Split is the perfect encapsulation of something we like to call “conscious bass music,” or music that is intelligent, mind-altering, meditative, amorphous, and makes you think. But Seppa challenges this label: “I’m not a huge fan of branding anything ‘Intelligent’ as I think it makes judgments on people who perhaps just don’t like it based on taste, and it also ignores the beauty of simple ideas which are often the hardest to realize.”
Rather, for Seppa, music is about much more than attempting to put it into words. It’s about the feelings it digs up, about presence, about turning inwards and seeing one’s self, and about embracing both catharsis and pain. Seppa says he’s always been inspired by music that becomes part of one’s soul: “like actually part of who you are at a fundamental level, and if I can create that same experience for someone else than I’m very happy,” he told CE.
“[Music] helps you break out of unhealthy patterns and realize what’s you, what’s culturally ingrained and what’s just part of being human,” Seppa elaborates. “There’s so much more going on than our base perception and it’s worth trying to cast the net wider for everyone’s benefit. Anything that promotes that idea is a good thing in my book.”
As the moniker of Bay Area producer and songwriter, Rain, Phutureprimitive‘s music is self-described as “dripping wet love drops of nasty mind melting sonic bliss.” Funny though it may be, for anyone whose ever been to one of Phutureprimitive’s live sets, they always describe it as grounding, intentional, and intensely spiritual. His lush melodies glide effortlessly across his intricate rhythms, groove-heavy beats, and warm, fuzzy bass lines.
Often exploring a dark and dense palette, there is also a profound sense of tranquility and beauty. This is what calls to the light-dark dichotomy prevalent across Phutureprimitive’s catalog: Angelic chords, tribal chanting, didgeridoo samples, all the stuff of the ancients; all carefully layered over complex, undulating basslines, broken beat tempos, glitched-out worldly tones, and heavy electronic influences, all working together to give his music a sense of old world-meets-new world.
It is this sound stamp that entices Phutureprimitive’s audience into hypnotic movement and, more often than not, escalates them into a full-on kinetic, yet out of body experience. Shimmering with cinematic qualities, his music ultimately speaks to the body, mind, and soul, without ever uttering a word or lyric.
Check out Phutureprimitve’s most recent release, Congruence, for an idea of just how powerfully out-of-body his sound can be.
Leading the world of ambient space-rock is San Francisco based producer Scott Hansen, better known as Tycho. The stand-alone producer has a tight knit circle of cocreators who bring life to the live shows, supporting on bass guitar, drums, visuals, and vocals. Hansen intentionally falls on our list of spiritually-attuned artists everyone should listen to because of his overarching artistic abilities that blend conscious music and the earth in which we live.
Every album, instrumental or not, is a seamless continuation of energy from track to track that gives listeners an opportunity to view life through a new lens. Hansen’s all-consuming passion for music bleeds through every piece he releases. From the initial idea to the first release, he never closes the chapter of a track. There is always room to remaster or reinvent what was once something great.
From the very beginning, his original album release Past Is Prologue in 2002, Hansen has mindfully pulled inspiration from nature and history, using unique synths and melodies that take listeners beyond the average ambient track. Using personal recordings from his mother’s old tapes and 90’s tv, Tycho takes creativity to new heights. Dive, from 2011, marks the center of Hansen’s journey as he stepped into the career of full-time creator. Tycho’s inspiration ranges from isolation in the hills of Berkeley, California, to focus on Epoch in 2016, to spending quality time in Japan for several tracks on Weather in 2019. For nearly 20 years, Tycho has been known as the inventor of timeless instrumental work, but as 2019 rolled around Hansen released his first vocal album, Weather featuring Saint Sinner. Tycho has shown time and time again there are no boundaries with music.
Hansen’s unique ability to start with a simple melody with the keyboard or guitar and effortlessly layer the synths and drums and manually chop it up to arrange a one-of-a-kind track is unlike anything anyone has heard before. Often times his tracks never have a traditional buildup and drop, making them embody the ebb and flow of life, simple and free. Tycho has truly created a genre of his own.
The Polish Ambassador
David Sugalski, the man behind The Polish Ambassador sound-art project, has paved the way for EDM/live crossover artists under his Jumpsuit Records label. Beneath the blue and yellow 80s jumpsuit is a charismatic and passionate creator who is well-known within the boutique festival community around the world for living in harmony with the earth. Sugalski is an environmental figurehead with roots running deep in the permaculture principles. It’s safe to say The Polish Ambassador likes to party with a purpose, on and off the stage.
Sugalski has collaborated far and wide with artists across the globe ranging from dancefloor hits to downtempo jazz to breakbeat funk. Ayla Nereo, Sugalski’s partner, appears on several tracks with her soothing vocals and lyrics that drive listeners to delve into a time of introspection, ‘Let the Rhythm Just’ and ‘Twirl Me’ leading the way. The pair also created a side project under the moniker Wildlight that is a beacon of light for all the earth children. Several albums made under both projects feature other highly admired artists such as Matisyahu, Zion I, The Grouch, and Mr. Lif, that brings culture and richness to the already groovy tracks. This spiritually-attuned artist sees no limits.
The Polish Ambassador’s sound is brought to life in his solar-powered recording studio. The Northern California native seeks to create and live as one with nature, making as little disturbance to the land in which he resides and reducing his carbon footprint anyway he can when traveling for music. He no longer sells merchandise as he encourages fans to create-and-trade in their own marketplace. The amount of high-vibration actions The Polish Ambassador takes in his personal and professional life gives him a well-deserved place on this selection of artists.
Emerging from his own distinct corner of the West Coast electronic music scene, Random Rab (real name Rab Clinton) offers a powerful and unique contribution to sonic exploration. CE has had a close eye on Rab since the conception of the blog, with his Mourning Mix capturing our hearts with its dedication to all those who have departed. Often referred to as “The Master of Emotion,” his music is patently beautiful and melodic. With diverse influences ranging from trip-hop, classical and Arabic to bass driven compositions, his songs are considered anthemic and timeless. As a multi-instrumentalist and singer, his tracks are organic, uplifting and stand on their own as a distinct genre. Listeners of all types of music can find something they can relate to in his sound.
There is no doubt that Rab understands a multitude of musical styles. He has been the frontman of a heavy metal band, toured as a classical trumpet player, played bass in a country music band, was a scratch DJ for a jazz fusion project, was the singer for a rock band in Mexico and has collaborated with countless musicians of all styles. From acoustic performances in the Himalayas to rocking packed clubs in New York, Random Rab has found a way to connect with people of all kinds.
With a dedicated fanbase born from the San Francisco underground, Random Rab has become a Burning Man legend known for his sunrise sets that have now become one of his most sought after performances. His current popularity can often be traced to his breakout album, The Elucidation of Sorrow. This album firmly established him as a recognizable force in the electronic music scene. His latest forthcoming album, The Space Between, sees him releasing a new track from the album on every new moon. Sometimes performing solo and at other times featuring collaborative musicians, the live experience is focused on a high-quality translation of sound that is simultaneously sexy and psychedelic.
Australian born and bred, producer Kalya Scintilla is perhaps one of the most consciously driven artists on the music circuit. Deeply influenced by spiritual practices such as mythology, sacred geometry, and reincarnation, his music is a well thought-out and researched method of connecting listeners to their deepest selves through vibrations and energy waves. He uses a variety of different instruments and samples in his music, including tribal instruments like didgeridoos, as well as electronic samples, recorded nature noises, flutes, and stringed instruments. His takeaway is that if a listener hears, for example, a specific style of drum that they’ve heard in a past life, it awakens that part of them and allows them to resonate old lives with the present one.
He’s been creating music for most of his life, whether it be as an adult making electronic songs or as a kid in garage bands with friends. He began recording under Zenon Records in 2009, and his career has led him all over the world since then to a myriad of festivals, from The Untz to Electric Forest to Sonic Bloom, as well as several tours. His original electronic influences were heavily psytrance, but now his music contains elements of funk, downtempo, and psychedelic bass.
Kalya makes a serious effort to be earth friendly in his travels. No matter where he goes, he eats vegan and manages to find organic, local farmers to buy food from. He’s an advocate for spending time in nature as much as possible, and encourages connecting directly to the earth by dancing barefoot. His music reflects his passions and is a true testimony to spiritual living. Listen below, and maybe you’ll find a deeper connection to a past you didn’t know you had.
Vancouver-born and Colorado-based music producer, artist, and DJ ill-esha has crafted a long-standing soundscape of electronic bass music throughout her career, continuously evolving her musical stylings and bridging gaps between hip-hop, dubstep, R&B, and future bass music. ill-esha is recognized as an extremely rare and diverse, burgeoning artist in the EDM scene, as her live set showcases her incredible talent to sing, DJ, and simultaneously rock her keytar. She is one of few electronic artists to blossom throughout the progression of different musical trends while still focusing on her artistic vision and authenticity. Constantly evolving a dynamic stage show, ill-esha is a perfect example of electronic music’s transition towards live instrumentation and indie-pop sensibility.
Stream ill-esha’s recently released EP, titled unleashed.
Bluetech is the experimental bass moniker of Evan Bartholomew. For 20 years, Bartholomew has been releasing on a handful of consciously-attuned independent labels spread out over the west coast. From the blended sounds of IDM, dub, ambient, and downtempo on 2005’s Sines and Singularities to his self-released Space Chronicles Vol. 1 LP in 2014, Bluetech is an IDM veteran, a tastemaker, and a business self-starter.
But before accomplishing any of his career milestones, Bluetech was born into music. Classically trained on the piano, Bartholomew always knew he was destined to be a musician. However, he often found himself deviating from the traditional approaches to music composition he learned in school and began teaching himself to listen to the rhythms that arose naturally from within him. Inspired by Holotropic Breathwork, a mystic practice from which the album derives its name, Bluetech sees the sonic equivalent to this conscious meditative practice as music.
Musically grounded, yet free of music’s conventional restraints, Bartholomew was mostly interested in the electronic interpretation of nature’s expression of being, which he expresses by creating “organic” samples from analog and modular synthesizers. He dove deep into this form of musical expression, which often gets conveyed as IDM, digi-dub, and psychedelic bass. It is in these in-between spaces where Bluetech learned to blend all his favorite elements of genre and form, crafting his own unique production aesthetic.
Check out CE‘s review of Bluetech’s latest full-length, Holotrope, and listen to the album below.
It’s virtually impossible to put Beats Antique, comprised of David Satori, Zoe Jakes, and Tommy Cappel, under a single genre umbrella. Their sound is an incredible, experimental blend of styles including (but not at all limited to) Middle Eastern belly dance, downtempo, electronic, jazz, and more. To add on to their eclectic music, their shows are a kaleidoscopic display featuring a range of costumes, dancers, and instrumental elements that combine into textured performance art that sticks with viewers long after it’s over.
Formed in 2007, the world fusion trio originally planned on just recording one belly dance album and then disbanding. Luckily for fans, though, they enjoyed the project so much that they’ve released numerous albums and mixes since then, and have developed a dedicated following. They’ve performed at renowned festivals all over the world, including Envision, Resonance, Bumbershoot, and Deja Voom; and have toured alongside hit jamtronica acts such as Shpongle and Emancipator. Part of the group’s success can be attributed to their clear dedication to fans and to the arts; on past tours, they’ve heavily encouraged audiences to participate by creating their own themed costumes and masks. They credit this to the need for people to step out of their daily lives and live as someone else for a night, spreading out-of-the box thought and inspiration everywhere they go.
As well as being talented musicians, they’re also naturally attuned. In a previous band, member Satori traveled in a van that ran entirely on recycled vegetable oil, and all three are heavy advocates for CBD as a medicinal product. This, combined with a shared love, passion, and sheer raw talent for what they do cinched them a well-deserved spot on this list.
Dave Tipper, who goes primarily by his last name and hails all the way from London, works closely with visionary artists Alex and Allyson Grey, Android Jones, and many other incredibly transcendental artists of that kind who share a similar goal of unity and ascension. Through music and art, mainly without even using lyrics, Tipper has the power to bring people to places they’ve never been before. Effortlessly taking listeners on incredible and profound sonic journeys, simply through different ambient sounds and frequencies. The production at these shows are absolutely insane – absolutely mind-bending.
In an old interview, Tipper shared hopes of affecting people through his loud yet low frequencies, making them feel “all warm and wobbly and enhance their weirdness receptors as we spin around on this strange ball.” The scratches, in which he is known for, do just that.
Tipper continuously crosses genres and breaks sound norms with an extended discography that began all the way back in 1997. The most recent work on it is the 12-track Jettison Mind Hatch album which was released in 2019. The psychedelic sounds in that project will have people feeling like they are seamlessly floating through time and space with the beautifully mastered soothing tones.
Govinda is the alias of Austin based producer/composer Shane Madden. He began studying violin and composition at the age of eight and went on to study classical violin at the University of Texas where he fell in love with electronic music production. It was in Madden’s pursuit of his gypsy roots that he opened his ears to music from around the world and the current sound of Govinda was born.
Govinda released his latest project, Burning Rings of Helios, on the conscious electronic music label, Gravitas Music. This seven-track album traverses different realms of gypsy violin, world music, and dives into new inspiration stemming from the circus arts. The beats are soft and subtle, yet abrasive, taking listeners to vast, unexplored, and unexpected places. It’s truly an eye-opening listening experience.
Amani Friend and Teavor Moontribe are two music producers from the deserts of New Mexico and California who joined forces under the inventive moniker Desert Dwellers. The two honed their individual crafts long before electronic music hit the mainstream music market, fusing the natural world with chill-out hypnotic beats. Desert Dwellers is honorably mentioned on our spiritually-attuned artists to listen to for their well-known ethos and collaborative efforts to enlighten the world of dance music.
The duo celebrated 20 years of cocreating in by releasing Breath in April of 2019. This staple 10-track masterpiece was completed in collaboration with over 20 musicians and vocalists, shattering all musical constructs leaving love at the center of it all. Their unique style envelopes all genres of electronic music including psytrance, downtempo, and chill-house to name a few. Friend and Moontribe individually pull inspiration from the earth and it’s natural beauty while traveling the world and it shines across all albums, especially their Yoga Dub and Downtemple Dub album series. Desert Dwellers are frequents at Burning Man, Lightning in a Bottle, Symbiosis, and many internationally acclaimed festivals high on our list of conscious gatherings.
Named by BBC Radio as “one of the most brilliant world-fusion producers of our time,” David Starfire is known as the pioneer of the global bass genre. Over the past 12 years, Starfire’s unique world-influenced sound spans his four albums and 7 EPs as well as various singles and remixes. He has performed at prominent festivals such as Symbiosis, Coachella, Shambhala, Burning Man, Eclipse, and Lightning in a Bottle.
Most recently, Starfire even curated and released a charity benefit compilation alongside SOOHAN called Circulate Vol. 1, where 100% of net proceeds went to funding an after-school music education program. It’s not every day when a project with this kind of ethos comes along, we can’t help but leap to the wire in support. The project’s two-pronged mission is to first celebrate the world bass movement with artists from gravitas. Second, to show how beneficial music can be towards cognitive development and self-esteem in children.
“Music is proven to positively increase people’s happiness, learning, and creativity; however, many schools are not able to fund music education,” says Starfire.
It’s this type of drive that makes David Starfire bent on helpful others and what makes him a solid pick on our top 25 conscious artists you need to know. Take a listen.
Swayló is a hotly-rising newcomer to the dance music scene and a true visionary. His world-inspired approach to deep house music seeks to foster universality, oneness, and liberation through the power of music and experiential activations. His productions fit right in line with the stylings of ZHU, Nora En Pure, and CloZee, but there is an intention inherent within Swayló’s compositions that is all his own. At CE, we’re especially drawn to his vision, his work, and his ethic because they comport so nicely with our personal mission.
The deep connection Swayló shares with mother nature is also a driving force of his artistic vision, as he aims to tap into an ancient energy dwelling from within the cosmos. Just look at his latest release, “Angel of Light,” to see how his conscious outlook translates into his music. The song was created with the intention of honoring the peak of the lunar cycle, or the March supermoon. He also released “Mi Amor” as a situation to the new moon.
Swayló’s debut EP on Gravitas Recordings, titled Reflections, is an immersive exploration inspired by music and cultures from around the globe, with all tracks creating a mystical tapestry of ancient and future sounds. The album’s leading song, “Desert Flower,” comes with a powerful music video that doubles as an ode to the beauty of art, landscapes, spirit animals, and the gods and goddesses that walk on Earth.
The Glitch Mob
Starve the ego, feed the soul. Sound familiar? The Glitch Mob is more than a stunning LA-based trio of producers – they make impressionable art that will be ingrained in your brain forever. Sitting on this list for a reason, The Glitch Mob’s motto is made clear throughout their music. When you show up to a live show, your ego will take the back seat so your soul can come to life with their fusion of glitch-electronica-punk madness.
Edward Ma (aka edIT), Justin Boreta (aka Boreta), and Josh Mayer (aka Ooah) are the engineers behind the music project. The Glitch Mob’s first solo EP released in 2015, Piece of the Indestructible, set the bar high for the innovative bass producers of the era as well as their individual standard. The trio has bulldozed through the music scene, touring with the best of the best and leaving an imprint on some of the largest spiritually-attuned festivals in the country. Having just released their latest EP Chemicals, the three gentlemen – bound together by their love of music – celebrate their 10-year anniversary.
Mystic Grizzly (Jordan Hoffman) is a CE favorite among bass producers. One of the youngest artists on the scene at just 22, he’s already begun making waves for himself as a spiritually-attuned musician, and is beginning to inspire a following dedicated to manifestation and higher consciousness. His music is an eclectic mash of psychedelic electronic sounds, glitch hop, and tribal fusion mixed with live instruments, of which he plays guitar, ukulele, harmonica, and more.
Hoffman attributes inspiration to talented bass artists like Tipper, Charlesthefirst, and Supertask among others. These shine through his music, which range from heavier dance tracks to creative downtempo endeavors. His first album, Satellite Work, debuted in 2019, and makes incredible work of spoken word samples about spirituality and the power of thought, love, and gratitude to encourage listeners to think more deeply about those topics while still getting down and groovy. He’s begun circulating the festival and tour industry more and more, from playing on several stops with Mersiv during his Beautiful and Filthy tour to performances at Tipper and Friend’s Suwanee festival and most recently, Gem and Jam in Arizona.
If his musical prowess isn’t enough, he also helped spearhead the Manifest Gang, which is a collective of artists (himself, alongside Invader Zlim, Sylr, and Slaycub) dedicated to helping others manifest and amplify energy to achieve goals. They host renegade stages at festivals, as well as releasing mixes that push towards the evolution of consciousness. You can read our most recent interview with Hoffman here, and listen below to immerse yourself in the power of manifestation and direct thought through music.
Andreilien is the cosmically mind probed artist Andrei Olenev. He first emerged as HEYOKA on the San Francisco underground glitch/bass scene. Soon, he was touring extensively and quickly became a staple sound in the rapidly growing bass music scene of North America. With a constantly evolving, original style, he stood out amongst bass music producers as one who keeps the vibe going strong while venturing to explore new realms of sonic experience.
Playing always live sets of his own original tracks, his music has been described as a journey through fractal soundscapes and alternate realms while riding the waves of fat glitch beats and earth rumbling sub-bass. Andrelien has brought his signature sound to North American festivals, including Symbiosis, Sonic Bloom, Lightning in a bottle, and large Burning Man sound camps such as Nexus, El Circo, Temple of Boom, Entheon Village, Roots Society, and Fractal Nation. He has also played several international electronic music festivals such as Shambhala (Canada), Boom (Portugal), Earthfreq and Winter solstice (Australia), and Luminate(New Zealand). He frequently tours nightclubs and concert venues through the States and Canada, as well as internationally in Australia, New Zealand, and Russia.
In Dub Iteration, Andrei’s first official release as Andreilien, he revisits the dubby vibe of some of the earlier Heyoka releases with a newer fatter twist. Further expanding artistic horizons, Andrei has been continually working to develop a multimedia project with original Visionary and 3D art to create a full sensory fractal journey in a dimension of its own. So, for a sonic journey so thick you can smell it, keep listening to signals from beyond for Andreilien playing in a hemisphere near you.
Stream Andreilien’s Spring 2020 mix for Sub.mission featuring tracks from his Feedback EP, out on Alpha Pup, as well as tracks from previous releases on Muti Music, and some unreleased stuff.
Gladkill (real name: Boris Gladkikh) has been on a meteoric rise in the electronic music scene since he first began playing live in 2009. Through his tremendous work ethic and tireless touring schedule, Gladkill has already played for massive audiences on the stages of large-scale music festivals such as Coachella, Lightning in a Bottle, Earthdance and Burning Man, winning over new fans with every stop.
Originally hailing from NYC, Gladkill now resides in Los Angeles and is part of Headtron, where the versatile young producer’s music fits perfectly alongside the other talented artists that make up the collective. Refusing to stick to the comfort of making one style of music, Gladkill has rewarded audiences through the sheer diversity of his songs, as he deftly moves between dominating dance floors with his sexy, crunked-out club bangers, as well as captivating home stereo speakers with more downtempo and melodic material.
Following up on the success of 2010’s Ghostwork and 2011’s Lovelost, he has continued to hone his production skills by consistently creating fresh original material for his genre-smashing live sets, which will culminate with his debut artist album due in 2012. With a heavier emphasis on songwriting and song structure, Gladkill is aiming to make music that will stand the test of time.
When you listen to Gladkill’s songs or see him perform, you’ll discover an artist set apart between the sheets of cool bass lines and ethereal melodies. In an era where disposable dance music is big business, Gladkill makes anything but.
Tyler Yheti, who goes by just his last name, is an incredibly strange yet beautiful soul. Unapologetically that, he says, “I feel like what stifles a lot of people’s creativity is feeling embarrassed to express themselves. One of the most crucial parts of doing quality art is expressing yourself fully and being honest and embracing your own personality.”
Identifying heavily with that weird experimental bass, Yheti has contributed greatly to that as well as future sounds, and with that reaches out to a very unique, high vibrational, spiritually-attuned crowd who seem to just get it.
As of recently, Yheti has begun messing around with uncharted areas and veering off to other realms. Altering instruments and fine-tunes vocals, hand-crafting musical masterpieces. Using both high and low energy bass, the final products are all so soulful, surreal, and serene. All of the artwork for the albums were hand drawn too, which showcases a few of his many talents.
CharlesTheFirst has such a unique sound that reaches the most consciously accustomed crowd. Based in Lake Tahoe, it is no surprise that a lot of inspiration is drawn from nature. Organic sounds filled with all-natural elements, swimming through water, fire, earth, and air as well as summer, fall, winter, spring can be found in the majority of his tracks.
Those tracks make it easy to take listeners to undiscovered depths of their soul, allowing for personal transcendence, and have quickly become known for bringing fans to a blissful meditative state. It’s hard to put a finger on just what genres CharlesTheFirst crosses between, but downtempo, breakbeat, and experimental are all undoubtedly there.
CharlesTheFirst has such an ethereal, tribal sound that is sensual and euphoric, stemming from the blend of hip-hop and experimental bass. Psychedelic, dream-like states, are where fans often find themselves while listening.
LSDREAM is one of Wakaan’s more spiritual artists. The most recent album fans have seen, Renegades of Light, is super psychedelic and spirituality attuned with a very energetic and upbeat tone in which high vibrational low frequencies are used to get there. Earlier this year, at Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival, LSDREAM’S set was an ambient sound bath. Hundreds of people gathered together to meditate, heal, and transcend throughout it. It was an incredibly uplifting experience for everyone in attendance.
One of his most popular tracks, “Starchild,” has incredible lyrics that have quickly taken over the electronic music world. “Starchild, go wild, feel the energy in your vertebrae,” has people screaming from the top of their lungs. It’s all about allowing the music to move you. The lyrics in this track help listeners free themselves from their egos, bringing them one step closer to a spiritual awakening. It’s all so raw, real, and intentional. You can feel all of the love and positive energy that’s been poured into his work.
A few of the tracks even feature om chanting and sound bowls, which are rung and recorded himself. It helps take listeners on soothing sonic journeys that allow them to tap into other dimensions while simultaneously bringing them deeper into the present moment. The track “Phoenix” states “There is no past, there is no future, only now” which signifies just how important it is to immerse yourself into the present moment. It isn’t always easy, which is why some of these tracks are so helpful in assisting personal transcendence.
Constantly looking for new ways to raise vibrations, LSDREAM has also been doing weekly meditations and “spiritual hangs” which are available to everyone free of cost on his Twitch channel every Monday at 2pm PST.
Canadian producer Tyy Clark, known as ATYYA (Ah-tie-ya), is a visionary creator of ethereal music. With tracks ranging from psychedelic bass, binaural beats, meditative musings, and downtempo journeys, he’s a true jack-of-all-trades among conscious artists. A regular at transformative festivals like Envision, Solasta, and Infrasound, his performances are a designated spot to get deeply in touch with ascended vibrations. Highly influenced by nature, yoga, and a hodgepodge of musical genres, his sound is dedicated to the progression of human evolution, which he believes is taking place largely in our minds.
Clark’s music creates a spiritual, eternal emotion within that’s hard to capture in words, but invokes the need for expression through movement. He’s been making music for fifteen years, and has become a well-honed expert at his craft. In addition to performing and mixing, he gives lessons on Ableton (a commonly used platform for electronic musicians), teaching aspiring producers anything they want to learn to assist them on their journey. He also releases sample packs on occasion, giving a leg up to newcomers in more ways than one. His goals are to create happiness during his sets, inspiring people to feel love and appreciation for the human experience we’re all sharing. After absorbing some of his tunes, it’s easy to open up to those emotions and allow them to flow through you, making him an ideal choice for the soundtrack to deeper introspection.
West Coast bass music creator Nico Luminous draws from a variety of influences to create his melting-pot style of music. Everything from hip-hop to reggae, RnB to dancehall, and more goes into his proprietary blend of smooth bass tunes. As an artist, he focuses on writing original music with organic instruments, playing, and recording them himself as he integrates them with his electronic bass sound.
Part of the reputable Street Ritual crew, Nico Luminous is exemplary of the kind of creativity that the collective is known for. His live sets are rife with on-the-fly adaptations and live instrumentation, featuring everything from beatboxing to live looping to custom effects. As his notoriety grows, so too does his reach, and his music has taken him everywhere along the West Coast as well as overseas.
The title of the mix, “See The Future,” refers to a 6-track EP by the same name. Featuring influences drawing from nature and the urban jungle, as well as ancient and modern music, the mix is meant to inspire a litany of positive vibrations in its listeners. for these reasons, and so many more, Nico Luminous’s mix is the perfect selection for this week’s Midweek Mantra.
Portland, Oregon based downtempo artist Supertask (Kyle Bishoff) has been taking the underground scene by storm as of late, particularly after his notable performance at Tipper and Friend’s Suwanee festival in 2019 and incredibly well-received three hour Bicycle Day 2020 livestream. His music, best categorized as dark and heavy bass, is an experimental and intricate look at subjectivity in art and the personal meaning that can be derived from it. The very name, Supertask, comes from a term in philosophy that can be boiled down to an infinite amount of operations within a finite amount of time, relating back to his music by spotlighting the infinite experiences people can have through any given song.
Self-defined as shy, with a fairly laid back media presence, it’s clear that Bishoff isn’t in it for the fame and fortune. His pure love of downtempo shines through his projects, from his EP works to his first full length albums, Net User and Zero Day, which dropped in 2019. He enjoys working solo and having full control over his art, citing independence as a driving force behind the Supertask project.
“My influences would be more like Thriftworks, CharlestheFirst, Potions, Leet, Binkbeats,” he says in an interview. “However, I try to reduce the influence because I feel like that makes me more organic, pure, and more of myself. Being able to be myself and not have those things rub off on me is really important to me.”
His authenticity and humility netted him a well-deserved spot on this list, as well as the transcendental and mystical music he creates that evokes late-night RV set nostalgia. Take a journey with him– we promise you won’t regret it.
Honoring a deep longing to convey a passion that arises from somewhere far beneath a visible reality, Khiva attempts to bring the deeply rooted to the surface.
Finding her true love within sonic sculpture, and nurturing a propensity toward the emotionally fuelled and often dramatic, dubstep and bass-driven 140-centric styles offer a natural focal point, but in no way a limit, for her musical exports. Intricately crafting low frequency soundscapes and charging beats while fervently utilizing contrasts, she to hopes of invoking a true experience in the listener, whatever that may be.
With a current monthly show on London based radio station Subtle FM, praised festival appearances, locking in weighty slots alongside some of dubstep’s finest acts and various international guest mixes, her intentional selections bring forth contagious energy through lively and dynamic mixes, using the decks as a tool to channel the profound, moving and unexplainable in an experience through sound that goes much deeper than the eye can see.
In an ever-evolving universe, the art of maintaining complete and total fluidity is the most necessary key for survival. Renowned for his metamorphic capabilities and expertly crafted sonic adventures, Liquid Stranger (Martin Stääf) has mastered his ability to slip in and out of genres all while honing his own personal style.
Liquid Stranger has earned his reputation for exuding incommensurable talent and taking audiences on a soul-stirring aural journey of genre-bending beats on the dancefloor. Enter: WAKAAN in 2015. Since the label’s humble beginnings, Martin Stääf’s vision for the imprint was strong from infancy. When Stääf booked the label’s very first North American tour, WAKAAN’s message was simple: to spread the left-field bass movement across the world. Little did Stääf know at the time, but Wakaan’s mission would spread rampantly across an electronic community that was thirsty for conscious bass music.
A mere four years later, Stääf’s vision finally culminated with 2019’s sold-out WAKAAN Music Festival, which was considered a huge success on all counts. CE even named it our Top Breakout Festival of 2019. But rather than basque in his accomplishments at the festival, Liquid Stranger announced mid-performance the birth of a new sub-label, SSKWAN.
Liquid Stranger said the following of the two label’s yin-and-yang relationship: “WAKAAN is Native American for ‘Grandmother Earth,’ for the female essence of God. SSKWAN is similar, for ‘Heavenly Father,’ the male essence of God.”
The idea was to house more downtempo, chill bass releases on the new label, while keeping WAKAAN up as the home for all things weird, wonderful, and wonky. The feminine precedes the masculine, in other words, which certainly holds true to real life. After all, no man can exist without his mother’s gift of birth. “So together when we have these two components, I feel we have something pretty unified,” Stääf elaborated during that very same headlining set.
The radical thing about this dichotomy, however, is how it flips the male and the female upside down by way of the label’s distinctive sonic stamps. Grandmother WAKAAN was always hard and heavy from the beginning, for instance, with its weird wubs and beats that always hits you out of left-field. By equating the softer side of bass with SSKWAN—the male essence of God—it seems Stääf and his new roster of artists have set out on a mission to change the way we think not only about music but how we may subconsciously assign gender roles to sounds.
Fast forward through 2020 and Liquid Stranger’s SSKWAN vision has materialized in the form of a soft, serene Alchemy LP from Au5. So it would seem the “weird and wonderful world of WAKAAN,” as Liquid Stranger always liked to refer to his sound movement, is being thrown back into balance by the soft and soothing sounds of SSKWAN.
Those who are unfamiliar with Liquid Stranger’s music often tend to categorize him as only a heavy dubstep artist, which is anything but the truth. The most effervescent quality of Liquid Stranger is his ability to shift from genre to genre all while maintaining a sense of smoothness and consistency, which in turn makes him one of the most unpredictable artists to date. In a sense, he has ended genre barriers for the sake of musical storytelling taking whatever sounds he needs to put forward the intended vibe.
Liquid Stranger’s omnifarious approach to music has led him to stand out amongst a pack of artists desperately trying conform to a commercial demand. Proven to be a timeless staple to the world of electronic dance music by bridging the gap between mellow and heavy, Liquid Stranger has also tethered bass music to consciousness.