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Archive for the ‘Album/Mixtape/EP Review’ Category:

Review: Kero Kero Bonito and Skylar Spence live at The Echo

October 28th, 2015 by | Album/Mixtape/EP Review, Alternative/Indie, Electropop, synthpop |

12093805 455437994661443 1617156632 n 600x600 Review: Kero Kero Bonito and Skylar Spence live at The EchoLast Thursday, I was in for a wild ride of alternative music as alternative dance pop trio Kero Kero Bonito and indie alternative pop band Skylar Spence performed at The Echo in Los Angeles. Even though the show started late and I couldn’t catch all of Skylar Spence’s set because of work the next morning, I still had a great time and discovered a new band I hadn’t heard before, Kero Kero Bonito.

BtB Episode 9 featuring Tahsan Scott of

March 18th, 2015 by | Album/Mixtape/EP Review, Alternative/Indie, Ambient, Before the Bigs Radio, Dance, Disco, Electronic Rock, Electropop, Hidden Gem, Hip-Hop/Rap, House, Pop, R&B, synthpop |

Screen shot 2012 09 17 at 8.20.33 PM e1349404648655 BtB Episode 9 featuring Tahsan Scott of Groundsounds.comBefore the Bigs Music Podcast episode 9 was a bit shorter (around an hour versus hour and 5 minutes like the other episodes) but it was packed full of great new tunes in hip-hop, dance, alternative and much more variety as Tahsan Scott of came on the show and brought with him a few new tracks from Action Bronson featuring Chance The Rapper and produced by Mark RonsonTimothy Rhyme and Tuxedo.

We also played new releases from Toro Y MoiCape LionSatellite Stories, Von SellArmorsCon Bro Chill and A.W.O.L. featuring Freedom Fry. Also we go in depth with the future of Years and Years and electronica trio from the UK whose crafting a sound similar to fellow UK producers Rudimental and Disclosure combining 90′s R&B elements with house sounds that I’m absolutely loving lately.

Before the Bigs Podcast Episode 9 by Beforebigs.Com on Mixcloud

BtB Podcast Episode 7 ft Griz, Big Data, Galantis, Viceroy, and much much more!

February 26th, 2015 by | Album/Mixtape/EP Review, Alternative/Indie, Ambient, Before the Bigs Radio, Chill/Jam/Reggae, Dance, Disco, Drum & Bass, Electro, Electronic Rock, Electropop, House, Pop, synthpop |

before the bigs logo 600x600 BtB Podcast Episode 7 ft Griz, Big Data, Galantis, Viceroy, and much much more!




















Before the Bigs Podcast 7 is out and it’s a doozy full of 15 tracks as I hosted the show solo but found some great hidden gems to play for you. Included in this episode are new tracks from GRiZBig DataGalantisViceroy featuring K.flayUrban Cone, Great Good Fine OkMax And the MoonPr0filesBad Wave, the black and the whiteA-L-X and Broken Witt Rebels. Didn’t particularly focus on any one artist and played a variety of upbeat music including Coleman Hell whose producing a new kind of alternative dance.

Before The Music Podcast Episode 7 by Beforebigs.Com on Mixcloud

Before the Bigs Podcast Episode 5 with Kosha Dillz + new music from Madeon, Penguin Prison and more!

February 12th, 2015 by | Album/Mixtape/EP Review, Alternative/Indie, Before Bigs Exclusive, Before the Bigs Radio, Chill/Jam/Reggae, Dance, Disco, Electropop, Hip-Hop/Rap, House, Pop, R&B, synthpop |

KoshaFlyer 600x600 Before the Bigs Podcast Episode 5 with Kosha Dillz + new music from Madeon, Penguin Prison and more!On the latest episode of Before the Bigs Music Podcast I got my friend and rapper Kosha Dillz on the show. We talk about his latest song “Tubeshvat Hop”, his upcoming plans including his own showcase at SXSW 2015 and Warped Tour this summer and he even spits a little freestyle for us! For more on Kosha Dillz, visit

Listen to the podcast below!
Before the Bigs Podcast ep 5

I also play tunes from Madeon featuring Passion Pit, new singles from Great Good Fine OK, Penguin Prison, new feature on Flor, Sameblod, That’s Nice featuring vocals from Miami Horror lead singer Josh Moriarty, Coleman Hell, TC4, debut song from Boo Seeka and new new from Remi Miles.

If you don’t want to hear me talk and just want the songs we played on the podcast, stream and download below.

Before the Bigs Podcast Episode 3 with

January 29th, 2015 by | Album/Mixtape/EP Review, Before the Bigs Radio, Concert/Festival Review, Dance, Electro, Electronic Rock, Electropop, Remix, synthpop |

Burning Ear3 300x270 Before the Bigs Podcast Episode 3 with TheBurningEar.comEpisode 3 of the Before the Bigs Podcast Episode 3 is out and this time I got my man Brandon from and Blind Date LA on the show as we discuss the final Blind Date LA show which featured Buffalo indie pop band Royal Tongues, indie rockers Brown Shoe, new indie alternative pop band Saturn City, and psychedelic electronic alternative duo Waterbed (formerly MVSCLES). We also play and discuss new releases from Body LanguageLennoClient LiaisonPHONY PPLWallaFreedom Fry and Toro Y Moi. Also new album releases from Houndmouth and Milo Greene.

Stream and/or Download Podcast below:

Before the Bigs Podcast ep3

If you don’t want to hear me talk about the songs we play on the show, stream the songs played on episode 3 below and stream the Before the Bigs Podcast Playlist on Spotify which features a majority of the songs played on the podcast!

Album review: Strange Talk – Cast Away *Most underrated album of 2014

May 29th, 2014 by | Album/Mixtape/EP Review, Electropop, synthpop |

ST CA FIN 600x600 Album review: Strange Talk   Cast Away *Most underrated album of 2014

I thoroughly enjoy almost every single song from Australian indie electro-pop band Strange Talk‘s debut album, Cast Away. This is a group that has loads of potential and will be a headlining act across the US very soon.

The album starts with the track “Cast Away” which has an excellent beat and a catchy hook that get you pumped for what lies ahead on the album. You will be singing fall to the night shortly after hearing it a couple times and the beat will get your hipster ass actually dancing to the song, no more folding your arms as you enjoy Strange Talk. After “Cast Away”, there’s the club jam “Falling In Love” which really gets you amped and this is when you start looking for someone to dance with. “Picking Up The Pieces” is super upbeat and has great rhythm. Then comes two of my three favorite songs ever from Strange Talk, ”Eskimo Boy”, a 2011 release that got me falling in love with this Aussie band, and “Young Hearts” their latest single that’s getting love from Snapchat! “Eskimo Boy” is that indie electro pop anthem that is super fun while “Young Hearts” is that timeless electro pop summer anthem that gets you reminiscing about past summer love and you will be surely singing along to the catchy chorus, something Strange Talk are experts in creating in almost all their songs!

“Another Day” may have some of the best instrumentation and is a great track following “Young Hearts” because after you’ve sang the chorus to your summer love in “Young Hearts”, then you can pledge your interest in them by seeking to be with them for “Another Day”. Sounds corny hearing me describe it but trust me, it’s an awesome song with great synths. “So So La La” I think is a song that makes fun of poor communication, almost like playing the telephone game and just writing a song about how frustrating it is to accurately carry a message through several people; it’s silly but if your embarrassed to sing along to this jam, I don’t blame you. What I love about the next track “Is It Real” is the catchy part where the harmonies come about with the band singing How Does It Make you Feeeeeeeeeeeeeeellll, very catchy and I enjoy the beat, very 80′s electro pop influenced. My other top 3 favorite songs ever from Strange Talk is “Climbing Walls” which is so awesome, two music videos were released for the song! I absolutely love this song, probably know all the words to this electro pop jam and when it gets to the chorus where the lead singer goes Oh, I Keep Trying To Run Away From What Your Saying, that’s when you really fall in love with this track.

“Come Back Home” is the slow jam that you slow dance to with your dance partner but your dancing will probably get interrupted by the chorus because Come Back Home, ‘Cause I’ve Been Waiting, Waiting for You is so god damn sexy to sing to someone you truly care about! “Morning Sun” is that fun synth pop jam where I love how the singer saying “Morning Sun” gets louder and louder as the track begins and it’s a song about post-hooking up/love making/getting it on. It’s a bit corny but to play this song after sex to remind your lover that you both should wake up early enough to catch sunrise is a great way to be romantic or creepy, however you pull it off is your thing but next time I have some sweet love making, don’t be surprised if I tell my lover “If we make it through the night, let’s watch the morning sun” “Wanted (Dead Or Alive)” is that 80′s synth jam with once again a super catchy chorus. The last song, “Take Me As I Am”, is one of the more forgettable songs but that doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy it; it’s about being yourself and asking those to accept you for who you are, unless you have no soul, there’s no reason not to enjoy that message!

I absolutely love this album, love this band and hope everybody reading this becomes a larger fan of Strange Talk. Stream Cast Away (iTunes) below which includes 12 of the 14 tracks from the album.

Video: Kosha Dillz – Where My Homies Be ft Gangsta Boo and Murs

December 18th, 2013 by | Album/Mixtape/EP Review, Hip-Hop/Rap, Music Video |

gangsta boo 2013 yeah hoe1 600x402 Video: Kosha Dillz   Where My Homies Be ft Gangsta Boo and MursMy favorite Jewish rapper, Kosha Dillz, released a trippy alternative hip-hop music video several weeks ago and after watching it a couple times, I’m a big fan!

The spontaneous and eclectic Kosha Dillz has no borders when it comes to his music and “Where My Homies Be” is proof of his always appealing nature. Equipped with stimulating visuals full of kaleidoscope’esque images akin to an acid trip, courtesy of Director Robbie Barclay, the video will definitely leave a lasting impression on the listener. Adding Gangsta Boo & Murs to the equation only adds to the insanity on the track, as each emcee is able to effortlessly flow over Belief’s infectious instrumental. “Where My Homies Be” is featured on Kosha Dillz’ sophomore album Awkward In a Good Way, which is now available on iTunes and you can stream below. (more…)

Thank you Thursday #1 | Gabe & Sunny

November 7th, 2013 by | Album/Mixtape/EP Review, Alternative/Indie, Hidden Gem, R&B |

tumblr inline mvuc77fXfs1qmn07l Thank you Thursday #1 | Gabe & Sunny


Thank You Thursday is a random Thursday (ie; whenever I feel inspired to write) note to just thank an artist for creating something. That could be a song, an album, a video, poetry, or even visual art.  It’s just a “hey thanks for doing something cool and contributing to the artistic society. I really appreciate it”. There will be no hate or negative criticism from me in these notes.  There will also be no “coulda woulda shoulda” from me. I feel as though art gets judged too much like a test.  Especially independent music by mostly unknown artists.  It’s hard enough being a nobody artist :cough: ME :cough: and to have your friends, family, and music associates tell you that you need to do this that and the third doesn’t help.  How about we just celebrate artists for doing some cool ass shit and say THANKS!


I have always wanted to review albums but felt that since I was a musician it was “Wrong”. Yup, got over that shit quick.  I love listening to music and dissecting it just as I do creating and producing it.  I especially love when music is interesting, creative, and original. I really don’t care what genre it is as long as it has “BALLZ”. What are “Ballz” you may ask? BALLZ are kind of this x-factor that a song, artist, or album has. It’s what seperates it from the norm. There are certain pop songs and pop artists that have BALLZ too.  An example of an album with BALLZ (just my opinion y’all) would be Kanye West – Yeezus.  You have either heard it or heard about it. You either love it, hate it or give zero fucks. But, this album has some serious juevos. It just really doesn’t care at all.  An example of a pop song with BALLZ (just my opinion y’all) that came out this year would be Taylor Swift – Trouble. Extremely damn well done. I mean from the production to the lyrics, to the composition to the arrangement. It’s just has this edge to it even though it’s catchy as fuck and straight up pop (can you get anymore pop than Taylor Swift?!). tumblr inline mvuc7xCDUQ1qmn07l Thank you Thursday #1 | Gabe & Sunny

But those are mainstream artists. This note is exclusively for the BEFOREBIGS blog which means that they have to still have some underground cred to their names and well… be unknown to most people.  So with that I’m going to give a huge thank you to GABE & SUNNY’s album “FREE CANDY”. This album has some serious BALLZ. Gabriel Niles (who is a long time music friend and collaborator) freaked the shit out of this project. He somehow combined dream pop, indie shoe gaze, hip hop, and electronic music into this pretty much genreless (or too many genres?!) work of art.  I think I’m on listen 10 or 11 of the whole album but as with most thing, this shit ages with time.  The creativity lies within how you don’t know what is a sample and what was played.  The originality factor is within the lack of a defined genre but you can hear every genre that he is pulling from, and the interesting credit goes to how well he utilizes Sunny’s vocals. They are sparse at times, and very in your face at other times. This is one of those albums where you can actually hear and feel the producers executive reach and power.  This is the type of album that I strive to make when collaborating with other like minded artists.  I wouldn’t say I’m jealous but I’m quick to say that this album is a huge inspiration and wake up call to me that anything can be done. Stream Free Candy below.

So again, THANK YOU mr. Gabriel Niles and Mrs. Sunny Gicz (and a secret shout out to Ced Hughes) for blessing the interwebz with your creation.  I could have written another 5 pages and broken down each song but you know what… I’ll let the cool people that read this do that for themselves.

Til the next Thursday that I feel like being Thankful

-Daren | DLake

Sunny & Gabe Free download 

Sunny & Gabe FB


Show & Album Review: Basic Vacation at It’s A School Night & their debut EP

November 4th, 2013 by | Album/Mixtape/EP Review, Alternative/Indie, Concert/Festival Review, Electronic Rock, Electropop, Rock |

IMG 3627 600x450 Show & Album Review: Basic Vacation at Its A School Night & their debut EPA week and a half ago I saw emerging electronic pop/rock act Basic Vacation. Based on what I heard in their 5-track debut EP and their intimate performance at Bardot for the KCRW curated It’s a School Night, they will become a huge mainstream act in the realm of Imagine Dragons mixed with Fun. I repeat, this group will become a huge mainstream act!

I actually dug almost everything they performed including their hit, “I Believe”, “It’s All Happening” (probably their next single), “You’re In My Head” and “Worlds Collide”. These 4 tracks are on their 5 track EP which I highly recommend listening to below. Their live set was fun alternative pop rock with many people singing the oohs and other words that are easy to sing along to. I also enjoyed when Basic Vacation covered “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” by Tears For Fears, thanks @JakeCraney for the reminder of that classic gem getting cover treatment.

Actually Bardot didn’t do this band justice, they deserve to play in front of way larger crowds and I feel very lucky to get to see them free on a Monday night in Hollywood at a venue that holds no more than 200 people. Stream the Basic Vacation EP (iTunes) below and watch their video for “I Believe”.

I highly recommend attending It’s A School Night, it was my first time there and I had a nice time getting to see a band that wouldn’t normally be free to see. They usually curate shows getting artists before they blow up, I wish I had KCRW’s resources to do something like that.

Hidden Gem: Story of the Running Wolf *LA Electro duo

January 3rd, 2013 by | Album/Mixtape/EP Review, Electro, Electropop, Hidden Gem, synthpop |

WOLF TRIAGLE 586x600 Hidden Gem: Story of the Running Wolf *LA Electro duoStory of the Running Wolf is an electro duo based out of Los Angeles, CA. A little bit retro, a little bit future, they blend 80′s influences like Depeche Mode and Duran Duran with modern electro-dance elements, creating an infectious sound that’s all their own. After playing their first show at a rooftop party in early 2012, the band began developing a live show experience which has been described as a “John Hughes party on Neptune”, replete with neon lasers, make-up, fog and feathers. Their new self-titled EP is available for free download at

They just dropped their first song/video from their debut EP, “Stratospheric”. Stream and download their EP below.

Watch the video to “Stratospheric” below. (more…)

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