Featured Picks For New Music This Week Are In! Read The Full Feature While You Listen To New Tunes
This week at SharedViews we have created a superbly eclectic playlist. I spoke to and incorporated artists that represent the local flavor of Denver’s electronic music scene, as well as artists who use their music to “create a sense of novelty” from their hometowns, spanning across the country. Spring is the season of rebirth, or what many consider to be a time for new beginnings. I wanted to take that idea and turn it into the theme for this playlist. All of the following artists have been busy making sure the new year embodies springs seasonal expectations by putting out new releases, booking lots of shows, and setting the stage for new opportunities. As the saying goes, “out with the old, and in with the new.”
TruFeelz aka Matt Thorton is one of our current Denver-based highlights: having established a unique sound in the community due to his elaborate compositions layered with thick bass, pumping synths, and original vocal lines. 2019 has been an exceptionally busy year for Matt in terms of music and exposure. Friday, April 26th, marked the release of his new single “Peaks”, which we also featured on this weeks playlist. “Peaks” is a follow-up track to a single he released back in February titled “Mysteries and Memories.” On top of his two singles, TruFeelz also released a four-track EP during the first week of the new year called “Cycles.” With the support of his management team, Mammoth Music Group, and hype generated by his new songs, TruFeelz is booked for some of the most booming festivals this summer. I was unfortunate to miss the sold-out show that TruFeelz headlined in November of last year at The Black Box, but was able to see his set at Cervantes’ Other Side last week. After laying witness to his live performance, I can say that TruFeelz’ shows are truly a testament to his persona. The crowd continuously fed off his (seemingly endless) energy and danced to an insatiable rhythm. TruFeelz is on the lineup for two unmissable festivals this summer, Sonic Bloom and Electric Forest. My advice: buy your tickets now and make your budget plan later.
Next up, a relatively new artist from Oklahoma City who goes by the name SAF. Short for Safiyah, SAF is a female producer who is redefining the OKC music scene with her futuristic techno music in a state that has predominantly been defined by genres like country and folk. In our interview, SAF explained that Oklahoma City is rampant with what she calls, “clicky behaviors” meaning the lack of venues has led to a rotation of artists/DJs that is nearly impossible to work your way into. However, she has been able to find support from like-minded artists who are also seeking to diversify the styles of music that bloom from their hometown. On April 15th, SAF released her third album, titled “Mercury” which is in a series of albums she calls “Music 4 Interstellar Travel.” She attributes space as being one of her biggest inspirations because of how vast and mysterious it is, giving her ample opportunity to use her imagination. Talking to SAF, it felt as though she were a musical engineer; putting each piece together according to an ingenious blueprint that only she could see. When I asked about her creative process, she said, “I’m planning on having a tape for each of the planets. My ultimate goal is to have my beats be on commercials for actual interstellar travel once we get there in the future. But I really want my tapes to simulate interstellar travel. So when a person puts on headphones and listens to all my tapes front to back, they really feel like they’re flying through space.”
Michael Rosa is what I would call, the dark knight of the underground electronic music scene here in Denver. Rosa began playing at a select few venues around Denver in 2014, quickly realizing how underrated the scene was compared to cities like New York City and Los Angeles. He realized just how much Denver was already flourishing, as well as how much potential there still was for the industry to grow. Rosa moved to Denver two years ago and has been an active component in the effort to reinvigorate the cities after-hours music and dance culture. Underground venues and empty warehouses are what Rosa considers, “essential to the education and growth of any house or techno scene in America.” Currently, Michael Rosa in the midst of a three-week tour which included some amazing venues in Puerto Rico, Miami, and Orlando. Rosa has quite a few projects in the works but his most recent release is a collab with Lee Reynolds of Desert Hearts called “Raw Dog Acid”, which they created for Superfreq labels compilation mix, FreqTraxx. At the end of this month, on the 26th, Rosa and Superfreq are hosting an event at Battery621, here in Denver, that will showcase the new EP...keep an eye out for more details!
Our featured artist this week is California-based producer AHEE. Chris Adams originally created his identity, AHEE, as an acronym which stands for A Human Expressing Experience. Although he eventually diverted away from using that title publicly, he took the essence of the phrase and incorporated it into AHEE’s musical style and performance aesthetic. April 19th was the release of “Ghost Angel”, AHEE’s new EP which he estimates to be his 70th compilation since he started making music in 2001. Just days after Ghost Angel was released, AHEE played his debut show in Denver, at Spectra Art Space. Attendees were treated to an intimate setting that implemented the sound quality of a large venue, having access to a brand new sound system. Speakers projected AHEE’s bass induced beats, delivering punk-style electronics that bring about a connectedness within the crowd. The music enveloped one’s senses without overwhelming the eardrums. His set was largely dedicated to tracks from Ghost Angel, which was inspired by what AHEE describes as, “living in a futuristic hyper-mediated world.” The song, “Too Much Facebook” is a direct reaction to AHEE’s observations of unhealthy behaviors on social media. AHEE noted that dance music is not usually paired with a message, but he is determined to break that trend and address issues that are important to him. Amazingly, the album has already had a positive impact among AHEE’S listeners. Chris Adams has been able to become the human expressing experience that he first set out to create, and now that experience is affecting others in ways that allow them to think about what’s truly important in life.