My 2015 Annual Top 10 List of Big Bass & Breaks Things w/The Crystal Method & YOU

What an amazing year.  The best thing I can say about 2015 is thank YOU for making my life awesome.  And now I have a story to tell.

Event_TCM_Avalon_TCMTroopers, Avalon, Los Angeles, It's Wes Smith Yo, EDM, Rave, Bassmusic, Breaks, Breakbeat

It's late 2014, I'm back stage with The Crystal Method.  They've just blown up Avalon Nightclub to a massive Los Angeles crowd including Storm Troopers to celebrate the occasion.  I had met them earlier in the year and become a bit of a study.  I was lucky enough to open for them that night.

The day before this I had driven back from Burning Man.  Earlier that day I made the trip from San Diego with my good pals Brian Millar of Omega Squad and Adia Break.  6 hours later I had played one of my best sets ever and witnessed first hand how legends rock a party and drop mind altering bass.  Then I found myself back stage about to sink a shot of tequila with Ken Jordan, Scott Kirkland and friends.   Gulp.

People who drink Tequila generally have lots of advice, sometimes even good advice.  I got some great advice from The Crystal Method that night.

This inspired me to get busy planning 2015.  My notes said things like "release album", "go on tour", "stay focused", "get paid", "meet fans", "support others", "collaborate", "be humble", "mutual respect", "create first, talk later" and so on...

So the year began and flew by...on top of a mind blowing album tour [mad props to all the promoters and believers listed here] and releases on so many great labels like Diablo Loco, Tech D, Pooty Club and more....check out the top ten things I can remember that made the bass drop for me!  Thanks to all of YOU, mentioned or not, for making this all possible.  If I missed anyone, kick me in this shins on the 2016 tour;)

Ten...Beatport Positions.  Calendar year #2 breaks artist [link] and label [link], multiple #1's in multiple genres, multiple top slots on the global chart, top releases on the top 5 breaks labels and 8 tracks in the annual top 100 [link].  It's all sales, and all fans that make that happen.  Big ups to everyone that supports music and the people that make it.  It takes money to make quality, original music and without your support there will be no music and that would be bad:)

Charts_2015Artists, It's Wes Smith Yo, Dj Fixx, Beatport Top, Bassmusic, Breaks, breakbeat, Juice Recordings

Nine...Juice Recordings Team.  My man Pauly Fixx laid down some of the best remixes of his career and continues to support and inspire me along with other label mates including Omega Squad, DubAxFace, B-Phreak, Breaking News, F-Word and more.  Kelly Ross was the boss on more interviews, articles and road trips than I can count.  Jen Holmes took the release management and promo next level.  EmDubz, Sumo Fish and Juan Carlos on the marketing genius duties.  Robert, Brad and the Jamvana crew working miracles on the distribution tip.  And to wrap it all up a HUGE Remix album with stellar performances from Colombo, Phatkidz, Omega Squad, and more...Massive shout outs.

Eight...San Diego Family Support.  Contrary to many people's belief, I am based in San Diego, California where things have been heating up for a long time time before I arrived not to mention one of the top spots in the country to visit, party and chill.  Our local/regional scene has given myself and Omega Squad massive support as we have each other.  Big ups to all the Wigglers, Brians and the one and only Skandar, yes that's his real name.

DubPistols_KillaSound_WSGraphicSquare, It's Wes Smith Yo

Seven...Dub Pistols Support.  Capping an already insane year of remixes, the Killa Sound shot, resulted in one of my best remixes to date.  Big ups Barry Ashworth and the Sunday Best crew.  I am forever grateful for the opportunity.

Event_BurningMan_CharlieParty_2015, Camp Charlie, It's Wes Smith Yo, Burning Man 2015, EDM, Breakbeat, Bassmusic, Breaks, Art Car

Six...Burning Man and Desert Things.  Support from Camp Charlie went from 10 to 100.  Thanks to Danielle, Mindy, Sarah, Travis & all the Unis.  They had a massive breaks night @ the burn [Catch the full video of my set here]; Slut Garden let the bass kick, big ups Dot Diggler and team; Dusty Rhino got dirty on the stormiest night ever, props to NUGZ for driving slow; and Dusty Poon Saloon, ya had to be there;) big ups Wheelers.   Last but certainly not least, Space Cowboys off playa support was massive.  So many to mention but Jen "ShOOey" Shu, Keith Deckard and Zach Moore have shined through.  And we smashed Public Works in San Francisco...boom.

Event_PublicWorks, It's Wes Smith Yo, San Francisco, ShOOnanigans, Space Cowboys, Bassmusic, Breaks, Breakbeat

Five...Miami Music Week 2015.  Not only did I make it there but playing prime slots at FSOB, Gimme A Break, and a fun Thump interview with The Crystal Method...bam.  Respect to Glyn Morgan and Geo Lopez.

Article_BreakspollJimmyBreaks_WSCallout, It's Wes Smith Yo, Breakspoll, Manchester, UK, Bassmusic, Breakbeat

Four...My First UK Trip.  I finally made it to Breakspoll, met James "Mixmag" Glenton and the Headset Heroes among so many awesome people.  Thank you Jimmy Brayks and friends.  When in Rome....or Liverpool...meet up with Playrise Digital.  They make cool games for you to play.  I met them in Liverpool and can't wait for the Tabletop Racing World Tour project to drop on PS4. Big shout to Nick Burcombe & team.  Sup Sehyun;)

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Three...Lady Waks & IBWT Support.  Waks gave me a slot on her podcast to promote the album, featured me numerous times in her sets, licensed multiple tracks for her Hot Cakes project with Deekline, Martin Flex & friends...then to top it all brought me to Russia to play IBWT @ Kosmonaut.  Her IBWT crew put my head on a bus, like a public bus driving around St. Petersburg;)  This opened my eyes to a new level of work ethic and unity among crews.  Massive shout to the hardest working lady, no scratch that person, in bass.

Event_IBWT_Crowd, It's Wes Smith Yo, Russia, IBWT, Lady Waks, Bass Music, Breakbeat

[Watch Full Video Here]

Two...Stanton Warriors support.  I got the call from Dom & Mark early in the year and they gave me a shot on Punks Music.  My Cali Cuts EP went to number 1 on Beatport.  I also played King King LA with them and was featured on some mixes and their social empire;).   Big shout to the boys and Olly G for keeping it smooth.  Ding ding ding.

Release_Punks_WS, It's Wes SMith Yo, Mafia Kiss, , Jimmy Le Mac, Skapes, UFO, , Sly-One, BAssmusic, Breaks, Breakbeat, EDM, Punks Music

One...The Crystal Method Support.  These guys are among a unique group of professionals at the top of the EDM game.  Their positive, welcoming, no bullshit attitude is apparent at first and grows on the keen observer as time goes on.  Aside from general advice, inclusion @ Avalon and massive support for Bring Back That Funk, I was given an hour takeover slot to premiere the album on their wildly popular #CommunityService show.

I was then featured on the show 10+ more times throughout the year and also included in their top ten tracks of 2015 along with label mates Omega Squad.  As if that wasn't insane enough, they gave me the opportunity to remix Difference, Grace and Over It.  But wait, their's more...I got to work with vocals from Dia Frampton, Franky Perez and LeAnn Rimes.  Oh, and a Billboard Magazine premiere and Thump interview...and for all that, it's clear why they are #1.

Press_TCM_BestOf2015

What else can I say, but thank YOU!

The Armory Podcast Featuring Agent 137

Taking an intermission from our regular programming...our very own Kelly Ross | Agent 137 has a fresh mix out on Zach Moore's "The Armory Podcast".  The who's who and beyond have been featured on this show and while our favorite Agent is often seen keeping things moving around the double oh Juice HQ,  this time she's dropping bombs behind the decks.

Agent 137’s Armory Podcast is a mission of seduction and beauty, entwined with double agent deception and murder. Sound killa, shots fired..., #ArmoryPodcast, #ZachMoore, #BurningMan, #MusicofBurningMan, #DnB, #DnBnChill, #DrumAndBass, #Jungle, #Neuro, #Liquid, #JumpUp, #Djane, #ChicksWithDecks, #FemaleDJ, #Spy, #Agent137, #DoubleAgentStatus, #Mission137, #JuiceRecordings, #IWSY, #WesSmith, #TheNumbersStation, #KonkreteJungle, #Calibre, #Hydro, #DLR, #Riya, #Halogenix, #Spectrasoul, #SoulIntent, #Cutworks, #DJmix, #Lynx, #Hellrazor, #Podcast, #BCee, #SPYDNB, #LegionANDLogam, #Break, #Frankee, #DocumentOne, #NeedForMirrors, #SativaDub, #SilentType, #Jaybee, #Zere, #NC17, #Jaydan, #Upfront, #ArtificialIntelligence, #DubPistols, #BarryAshworth, #DonovanKingjay, #SeanieTee, #Jubei, #Phace, #Mefjus, #Karton, #NumaCrew, #Lynx, #KillaSound, #ArmoryPodcast #ZachMoore #BurningMan #MusicofBurningMan #DnB #DnBnChill, #DrumAndBass #DJane #ChicksWithDecks #FemaleDJ #SPY #Agent137 #DoubleAgentStatus, #Mission137 #JuiceRecordings #WesSmith #TheNumbersStation #KillaSound,Word on the street is Agent 137’s Armory Podcast is a mission of seduction and beauty entwined with double agent deception and murder. Sound killa, shots fired... That's no joke kidz.  Check out the mix and her crafty bio below.

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Agent 137 Bio

We all lead double lives of some sort, what we do for pleasure behind closed doors is where alter egos are born and the spy within becomes to take shape...

Agent 137 began her musical mission by playing breaks, glitch, tech/g/bassline house, and trap under the guise of Agent 137, but also quickly developed an alter ego for her very first love of D&B. Her alias (double)Agent 137 is her drum & bass moniker and that has earned her double agent status in what has once again become a thriving dnb scene.

Since her debut she has been able to perfect her spy craft and travel all over the US. Her different styles of multi genre bending, crowd reading abilities and creative use of word play/themes have helped create many successful dance floor nights. In addition to a robust travel/dj schedule, Miss 137 runs a weekly podcast/internet radio show called “The Numbers Station” on Friday nights on www.unsaturated-radio.com.

As a producer she has both original work and several remixes under her belt.

Under the cloak of day she masquerades as a digital content provider, writer and social strategist for Juice Recordings based in California.

The Discos of Tron Release by Justin Johnson (Remixes by Wes Smith, discObeta, Fire-Beat and DJ Loryn)

"The Discos of Tron" is the new release by Justin Johnson (with remixes by Wes Smith, discObeta, Fire-Beat and DJ Loryn). I sat down with the owner of the distributor label Barely Legal Records, Justin Johnson, to see what the heck a Disco of Tron was anyway and what led him up to this release.

Tell me a little background on Barely Legal Records:

I started in late 1990’s working at Satellite Records in NYC.  I had always played all styles but I was known for breaks and needed an outlet to put my music out.  I had a good resell perspective, knew many contacts and had good info on how it all worked, so I brought my skills to the table and my Dad funded the 1st two releases on vinyl.

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How do you pick your label artists? 

The thought behind all of them is to put out my own music but also for friends of mine in a casual low-key way. We are not trying to be a big label, I enjoy doing my own thing by supporting the music of friends and family as well as some artists where we have built up good relationships. If I get a demo from someone I don’t know well then I might have someone I know do a remix and package the whole thing.

What is a Disco of Tron?

Part of it came from when the second Tron movie came out and Daft Punk was djing in the club reminded me of the old stand up game from the 80's... The Discs of Tron. It was a nod to something I loved as a kid growing up - contemporary but with an old school flavor. You can hear that crunchy hip hop inspired breaks on the discObeta version you can hear the East Coast similarities that you would hear back at Limelight back in the day. Wes Fire-Beat and DJ Loren provided completely different flavors and spins with their contributions to the release.

discos of Tron

How did you choose Wes Smith for his remix contribution?

Wes and I knew of each other being involved in breaks on the East Coast and both living in NYC. For me it was awesome to see someone from back in the day holding it down and becoming successful. It’s on a whole other amazing level, I couldn’t be happier for him. He played one of our Faultline parties (actually the same one you and I played with DJ 138) and we started to build a friendship at that point. He played another Faultline event recently and from there we started talking about a remix option for BLR. It’s hard to get the artists involved after they have been paid, Wes is adding additional value to his product, which is something artists should learn from. I was really excited when you contacted me because I knew that another dimension to the release would be coming in the future.

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Any advice to producers out there wanting to submit to labels? Yours or others?

Spend a lot of time making your track sound as good as you possibly can in your chosen DAW. Whatever your friends tell you - don’t listen to them unless they have at least a somewhat professional perspective. It's because no matter what you make they will be positive because they love you and want to give positive feedback. The reality is that there is SO much noise (literally thousands of releases every week) you really have to figure a way to stand out musically. Not just key changes, but also how good the whole package is and it has got to sound original - it’s not easy. Also, no one is really making money producing tracks so don’t put a down payment on the mansion on your first release. Add value to your production skills by realizing that as an artist you are in the public eye. Basic social media maintenance shows you are active and that you care. Unless you are insanely talented and you do none of that, no one will know about you. Find an artist you respect and admire, follow their model and adjust it with your own voice and have it come from your heart. What works for them?
Ask yourself: What is it you think you have done to make you deserve the attention out of the 1000’s of tracks that are put out each day/week/month? Justin_Johnson_washed_out

You are living a lifetime of passion for music, are there any other words you want to say to all the music lovers and breakers out there?

Yes! Be kind to animals and be funky as fuck people! Those who truly love breaks need to continue to get the word out and preach the breakbeat gospel. It's a genre that ebbs and flows in popularity but it is well back on the rise, which is great to see. I would like to see it maintain a certain plateau and it is  up to all of us involved whatever level to bring it to the masses. If you are a dancer tell your friends about it... share a link, drag a friend out, don't assume they won't like it. Same for DJs, producers, everyone whatever your level/involvement. Start a monthly - do something! Back when we started "Faultline" [breakbeat monthly with DJ 138 and Eric Riggsbee] we knew there were fans out there and we were right the fans do exist. You just have to hustle and find them!

Also we just finished up our 2nd installation of "Foundation", [drum & bass and breaks monthly we do with the Dystopia crew] with Submorphics. We are building a following in broken beats on all levels.  It's a small venue with good sound and an indoor/outdoor space with breakbeats under the stars. The food is actually really good and the staff is great...we couldn't ask for more.

This coming Saturday (Sept. 19, 2015) we're doing a special SF edition of Faultline at Underground SF (the old Top on lower Haight) with guests ShOOey and BENN BA$$. No cover. 21+. 9pm-2am.

Rob Analyze of Jamvana hits Wiggle 9/19 with Wes Smith, Omega Squad and SpeakerGhost

BOOM! Thought it was over after Burning Man? Nope, Agent 137 continues her missions to talk with industry leaders to gather important intelligence. This intelligence is meant to bridge Wes Smith's audiences together with knowledge of what other promoters/labels/artists are doing in other parts of the country and around the world. This particular mission was to speak with Robert E. Leigh (Rob Analyze), owner of Jamvana, to hear what he is doing with this project and hype up this weekend's Wiggle in San Diego: Wiggle - Analyze

Who is Rob Analyze?

analyze

What is Jamvana?

Jamvana started as a music retailer in 2008 and in 2011 we began to focus on becoming a content platform to deliver content to music retailers. We have about 400 labels and 1000 artists that we do artist & label branding focus. Our focus is on marketing in motion and revenue and we are always going toward the cutting edge of what is next.

What is next for Jamvana?

We are focusing on development, creating apps, VST Plugins and also becoming a leader in the sample pack world.

jamvana3Tell me why streaming is the future:

It's changed from 10 years ago. You used to be able to throw a tune on Beatport and sell 1000 units. It's become over saturated with producers and it's just not as easy to find good music as it was before plus attention spans are shorter so the life of a tune is much shorter. Also apps like Spotify and being able to DJ off a stream has changed the game. We want to push good artists on a quality stream to both monetize for us/them and give the music consumer a better product. We can also then move to app growth, license it out and then offer quality customer support.

Jamvana

 

How did Jamvana and Wes start working together?

We love what Wes is doing and want to help him succeed. Juice Recordings is one of our first labels and Wes as an artist that is on point with every aspect of his game right now. Juice is doing everything a label should be doing and more . It's hard for an artist to accomplish what he has (and continues to do so) and it's what we look for as a company and ally in the industry.

Robert is the owner of Jamvana and is also known as the artist Rob Analyze. He has been a part of the scene for years and is heavily involved in several projects in addition to Jamvana. You can check him out at Wiggle this weekend in San Diego and if you are not in the area, click below and check out his Soundcloud.

analyze2

 

Thank you for your input, Robert- we appreciate what you do for our scene to make it better and look forward to what you bring to is in the future.

Related links:  [Wiggle Facebook Event] [Soundcloud: Rob Analyze]  [Juice Recordings Website: Free Stuff] [Jamvana Website] [Facebook: Jamvana]

It's Wes Smith Yo! Tour Burning Man 2015 @ Camp Charlie

Unicorns are not an illusive myth at Burning Man, this one is real and if you look out into the distance and see the magical Charlie horn blowing fire you will find it. You just have to believe the fugu is real. My last (but definitely not least) interviews are with our fearless leader of our camp, DivaDanielle and Sarah S. a long time unicorn and co-organizer (also with Travis Payne) of Wes Smith's Thursday event, Noodlecorns. Charlie 4

Tell me a little about Camp Charlie and the fabulous unicorn art car:

Danielle: This is Charlie's 5th trek to the playa. We pride ourselves on having top-notch music with a silly vibe. We like house and breaks - always with a funky twist. Charlie was originally built in 2011 and we've made some major upgrades this year including a Danley sound system (provided by ChinoSound), all new fabrics, a ton of structural upgrades and a brand spankin' new fire system.

Sarah: I was a HUGE fan of the cartoon already. When two of my best friends and roommates Adam & Niles (of Fleetwood Smack) told me that someone was bringing a Charlie the Unicorn Art Car to the playa, I just went nuts! I knew I HAD to be involved.

Charlie 3

What is a Noodlecorn?

Sarah: Our good friends Tasty Noodles have a really fun event out in the Mojave desert a couple of times each year. So many of the Camp Charlie Unicorns go or have gone, that the lines between Unicorn and Noodler have become quite blurred. We've started referring to ourselves as NoodleCorns if we identify with both groups. Additionally, quite a few Noodlers have joined Camp Charlie, and vice versa. Both camps are now part of the Sunset Trip village on playa, so we're all quite close, literally and figuratively.

Charlie Noodlecorn

Tell me about the Noodlecorn event: 

We're starting off our Thursday Night (September 3rd) on Charlie with a bit of house from SomeKindaWeirdo (Jake Dempsey), then comes our Breakbeat Smackdown with Co-Host Friskie Business (Travis Payne), Wes Smith, and Lou E. Bagels. The NoodleCorn Sunrise kicks off before dawn with NoodleCorn favorites Liquorbox, Leo Altmann, and Juneau. Rounding things off and taking us fully into the light of day are Erik Nelson and John Kurtz & Reavis, with extended morning sets.

Who is your team for Thursday Night?

Sarah: Travis (Payne) and I go back about 17 years. We both worked for Buzz in Washington, D.C., I was heading up promotion for Buzz, Fever, and Ultraworld, and Travis was doing design work for Buzz. I lived in Baltimore but came down to Buzz every Friday to run my promotion team and handle anything else that needed doing. Working for such an amazing club with a multi-decade run and working for Scott Henry, one of the best promoters and DJs I know, was an incredible learning experience. Travis and I both threw solo events off the heels of Buzz, and Travis was becoming a pretty amazing DJ. Travis moved to LA 5 years ago, went to burning man, and joined Camp Charlie. Travis and I co-hosted the March 2015 Camp Charlie fundraiser at King King with Adam Rowe of Fleetwood Smack. Travis and I have similar tastes in music, so doing a night on the car together was a natural progression. We're really excited to bring this lineup together on playa. It's just the right amount of funky and driving beats, we think this night is going to be pretty special.

Charlie - Sarah Travis

How did Wes Smith became involved in Camp Charlie?

Sarah: Wes and I go way back from the DC/Baltimore days. At some point I realized he moved to San Diego and messaged him. I'm pretty sure I asked him if he had been to burning man, and he hadn't yet. At that point I think as-per-usual I wouldn't shut up about it and he got really excited. Wes ended up going with us last year and his Tuesday night set on Charlie was for lack of a better word, EPIC. There were people holding their heads in confusion, they couldn't figure out how those breaks just kept coming. Wes proved himself as a valuable member of our work team as well, so we were thrilled he was coming back for 2015.

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What led you to Camp Charlie?

Danielle: Wellllllll, I had this obsession with unicorns. Before Charlie was built, the original creator, Ken Feldman (who is now building the 747) ran a Kickstarter campaign. In one day, about 5 people posted it to my Facebook page. So I emailed him the following:

Hello my name is Diva. I think we need to meet.

1) I love unicorns

2) I am a DJ with loads of shameless self promotion skills.

I think I can help you.

After that, we met and literally then talked everyday for the next 6 months while we built Charlie 1.0 in 2011. Charlie 6

Sarah: The Charlie the Unicorn Art Car of course! Haha, but also the amazing DJ talent we bring each year, and the amazing work ethic of the talented camp organizers and campers. Our camp is built and our Unicorn is improved mostly through the ingenuity and sweat of the amazing people in our camp. We don't do Sparkle Ponies (they're pretty but useless) but we DO sparkle

What keeps you coming back year after year?

Danielle: I keep telling myself I am gonna take a year off but then something comes up and I just am saying to go. Once I got a unicorn to ride around on, I pretty much gave up on taking a year off. I feel like it's not very common that you get complete freedom to do whatever you want on a creative endeavor. I came from a career as a video editor, constantly working with clients. Burning Man and this crazy unicorn, gave me a creative outlet and then the courage and confidence to change my life and my career (now I'm making music and touring as a DJ full-time).

Charlie Danielle

Sarah: The fun, the work, the sense of community. Being part of something greater than yourself and seeing your hard work come to life. This amazing and talented group of people. Being a part of an Art Car, and especially Charlie is just an incredible feeling. Everyone LOVES Charlie. People see him and come running. It just brings a huge smile to my face.  

Charlie 2015 line up

Thank you, Ladies. I look forward to joining you both at Camp Charlie and experiencing all of this first hand. Where can the rest of Burning Man find Charlie?

Camp Charlie is located in the Sunset Trip Village with Tasty Noodles and Dirty Beetles at 8:30 and Ersatz. Nights, Charlie can be found out and about on the open playa, so if you see a really bright unicorn with his head sticking out of Candy Mountain with flames shooting from his horn and some pretty incredible beats being played, you know you're in the right place.  

Related links: [Juice Recordings: Facebook] [Wes Smith : Unicorn Sightings] [Burning Man]

Location: 8:30 & Esplanade