#MakeItNew Mix Series #3: Lychee

Having recently joined the #MakeItNew fray with an opening set in front of Objekt,
Lychee has a party all their own: Visceral.

With a partner-in-crime (and Mmmmaven grad!) Manv: “VISCERAL is a dance night that takes the audience on a journey through the sensuous and daring sounds of techno and beyond, to release inner impulses and desires into the void.”

Their mission?

Explore the audiovisual and experiential sides of VISCERAL by including mediums of expression that allow artists and creatives to display their work translated in primitive, raw and impulsive ways.

Sounds like fun. Literally.

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Visceral also made Together 2017 waves playing with Kim Ann Foxman and Matrixxman. Lychee recorded this special set just for you. GET INTO IT:

Worldwide FM Live from Mmmmaven

Anyone who knows our Co-Founders Alex and David know they are massive fans of the legendary DJ, label-owner, and champion aesthete Gilles Peterson. Mr. Peterson has led a movement in the UK and around the world for tasteful and eloquent disco, chill-out, afro-beat, grime and who knows what. His taste exceeds many.

Mr. Peterson, in contrast, is a huge fan of Somerville-based label Cultures of Soul. Their latest 12″ includes, in a full-circle, a red-hot remix from Boston’s own Soul Clap.

So when Cultures of Soul head honcho Deano Sounds (who also happens to be a regular at Soulelujah) needed a studio to record a special Boston installment for Worldwide FM, Peterson’s exceedingly tasteful internet radio show, we were more than happy to oblige. Here is the result: four hours of deep African rock, lost Boston jazz, Japanese disco, Gospel, you name it. For more on Deano, Uchenna, and Andre, and the labyrinthine tracklisting, visit the Worldwide website.

Support Cultures of Soul at Bandcamp:

Ready to start your journey as a DJ, selector, and crate-digger? Want to learn how to discover and mix music no one else has? (That’s the trick).

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Music:)ally Talks to Roli Boss Roland Lamb about Blocks

“If the Seaboard is an evolution of the piano, let Blocks be an evolution of the drum.”

Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?

British music-hardware startup ROLI has just launched its latest product, Seaboard Block, which the company hopes will help it attract more customers who are mainstream, amateur musicians rather than just professionals.

The new device, a £280 ‘super powered keyboard’, is effectively a hybrid of ROLI’s existing products: the Seaboard keyboard which first launched in early 2014, and the Blocks modular music-making devices that debuted in late 2016.

Interested? We sure are! Click right here and head to Music:)ally for the fascinating interview with Roli inventor Roland Lamb.

Want to know more about synthesis, Ableton, and the future of music? Sign up for next week’s FREE seminar:

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Rex Mac: ABLOOM, live performances, and other projects

Not long ago Rex Mac was an intern at Mmmmaven and was navigating his way through the basics of music production. Since he has left he has been an active member in Boston’s creative community and has put a large focus on his own musical career. He just released a 10-track project titled ABLOOM, which he self-produced using Reason. He describes the sound of the album as

Amorphous production that manages to blend hip-hop subgenres seamlessly – from 90s era West Coast G Funk, to Yeezus-esque industrial minimalism, to trap

ABLOOM’s album cover

We asked Mac a few questions about the process of making this project, his live performances, and his other current endeavors.

What was the process like for creating ABLOOM?

It was dynamic. Initially, I approached the project as an introvert – meaning I worked on it in secret, gathered little feedback from friends on its direction, and did not do enough living outside my home studio to inspire honest content.

There’s a glamorous mystique I’ve always found fascinating about artists who disappear off the face of the earth for years to re-emerge with groundbreaking, left field albums. You know, leave the country to record an album in a cave or castle far away, or something. Over time, I realized that wasn’t how I operate. I discovered how imperative it was to get outside.

But on a music tech note, I made the album’s beats in Reason 5 with an Akai MIDI keyboard, recorded its vocals through Garageband, and mixed all songs at Sanctum Sound, Cyber Sound, and Hink Creations – all located in Boston.

In addition to producing music, Mac has announced several dates of live performances around the Boston area in support of his recent release of ABLOOM.

Rex Mac’s upcoming live performance dates

What is performing like for you? 

Generally, it’s the most cleansing, cathartic high I have ever experienced and will ever experience. I tend to suck at one on one communication.

I tongue tie my words often. And small crowds bug me out. I still cringe at the thought of classroom presentations. But in absolute contrast, bigger crowds liberate me. It’s the one situation I can jump out of shy skin and rock my superhero cape proudly. Metaphorically, of course.

Mac’s work doesn’t stop at his own musical career. He is now a writer for Boston’s Creative Arts blog Know Your Scene. He says that most of his recent pieces have been artist profiles that focus on exploring what influences an artist’s sound and attempts to learn more about their messaging behind the music.

While it may seem like his schedule is completely full, Mac has found time to give back to the hip-hop community by organizing a monthly showcase of artists in Cambridge Central Square’s Out of the Blue Too Art Gallery. Mac recruits acts from all tiers, usually six to seven per show. He has designed this event with the sole purpose of having artists gather and network.

“It’s [Sonic Bloom] a bit selfish on my part though. I can’t afford to attend concerts on the regular, so I just invite homies and acquaintances to throw me some every now and then. I’m a fan of my competitors in the local rap scene at the end of the day”
We asked Mac if Mmmmaven had helped him in any of his current projects, and he said that it kept reminding him of music technology’s value in the current musical climate, or as he puts it

I’ve seen a 6 year old boy walk into a DJing class. I’ve seen a woman in her 50s spend hours in the production lab to perfect a song. The art is not age discriminatory.

I believe, in order for content to have value, it cannot be unidirectional. I should not always be bragging about myself, despite how ego-filled and competitive the culture of hip hop demands me to be. I told myself that my work needs to be seamless and accessible, much like how Mmmmaven has positioned itself in Boston’s educational system. It’s a beautiful, open thing – like a flower.

We wish Mac the best in all of his current and future projects and hope that you check him out!