The Gaslamp Killer, Free The Robots, Valida, Phil Nisco, No MSG, Roam

The Gaslamp Killer

The Gaslamp Killer is the assassin and the antidote. His nickname wasn't conceived out of thin air. William Bensussen is entitlement's worst nightmare. His DJ sets bludgeon the basic shit, restoring music to a sacred place: shamanistic, visceral, honest, leaving pupils dilated and heads rolling. If you're searching for sound as pure voltage, the GLK is the generator.

Chris Alfaro always has a new story to tell with his ever-evolving solo project Free the Robots. The next chapter, titled 'The Balance', is exactly that. The sound resonates somewhere between chaos and solitude, where Alfaro has literally found balance. As a musician, beat maker, DJ, and owner of the iconic restaurant / bar, The Crosby, he has always had the ability to jump in and out of other worlds inspiring a unique signature sound that hints at jazz, psych, electronic, and hip hop, while remaining un-genre-fiable. His open-ended imagination and tendency to break free from any boundaries keeps a steady flow of ideas running through his head, constantly moving him forward; away from robotic monotony, ultimately freeing the robots.

Rooted in Santa Ana, CA, Free the Robots has spent over a decade taking his craft to audiences around the globe. Known as one of the pioneering artists to come out of LA's beat movement, he continues on building his line up of original recordings in directions still unknown. The energy and technical skill behind his live performances have landed him among the greats, sharing stages with the likes of Dj Shadow, Prefuse 73, Flying Lotus, to Afrika Bambaataa.

With the recent release of 'The Balance', Alfaro continues to demonstrate a consistent flow of freedom and diversity with his sound. From beginning to end, listening to 'The Balance' will take you on a cerebral journey through your inner world. While you're there, let go of your surroundings and let your imagination run free.

After years of struggling to explain her artist vision to producers in the past, KCRW DJ Valida took charge of her sound by building a studio in her adorable Venice Beach home from scratch, complete with a Novation controller, a vocal booth and a gang of world percussion instruments (quijada anyone?). With the studio ready in 2011, her next step was to actually learn how to use the gear, so Valida took Logic classes from the school-of-J Dilla Detroit hip-hop producer J-Thrill, until she felt confident she could bring to life the music she was envisioning. Her Twin Peaks-influenced debut Mine To Take (2012) landed syncs on CW and ABC shows, and she has produced remixes for Foster The People, Jenny O., Milo Greene and St. Motel to name a few. Her Balearic cover of Stevie Nicks’ “Wild Heart” (2015) featuring Justine Bennett on vocals, landed a video premiere on LA’s coveted Buzzbands.

On her new single Stars, a shimmery “80s-influenced pop anthem” she teamed up with producers Timalayo and Joseph August (Kauf) to create a cheery dance song, which, she admits was a challenge as she admittedly prefers to create in the sphere of melancholia and was once quoted saying “I couldn’t write a happy song even if I tried…well, maybe if I tried really hard.” Mission accomplished.




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