Jeff Montalvo Roars as Seven Lions

Jeff-Montalvo-Seven-Lions

The latest EP from Jeff Montalvo (a.k.a. Seven Lions) embodies a six-track narrative with the full-bodied “Intro” wrapping with the orchestral “Outro” and some blends of introspective, halcyon and spirited in between. He demonstrates his attention to detail, amassing exemplary vocalists and finally delivering new music only when he’s determined that his cultured product is at its prime.

Montalvo is not one to compromise on quality, and his latest release is no exception. “The Throes Of Winter” demonstrates the feel, mood and the distinction that fans will identify while it also manages to pleasingly convey the refined, aesthetic and significant reach of this dynamic artist.

We spoke with the rising star about his influences, relationship with Skrillex and Viking metal (!) before his set at the Beatgasm party during Miami Music Week.

If Wikipedia is correct at age 7 your father came home with a Mac computer and a keyboard. You started out as a metal and punk inspired drummer. Who were your influences early on?

Jeff Montalvo: Early on I guess I just listened to the radio. I listened to Toad The Wet Sprocket and Blues Traveler. The Offspring is when I kind of started getting into punk and Sepultura later on.

In the past you provided production tips. How did you learn to master monitoring, equalization and other points necessary for a good mix? Continue Reading

Miami Music Week 2015: Day 4 Recap

Miami from the bay

We hadn’t planned on venturing into Miami during this entire trip, except going to and from the airport, but with a scattered selection of parties in South Beach and then Option B: the Cosmic Gate Sunset Cruise party staring at us and calling our names, we just couldn’t say ‘no’ to Option B.

Meeting at 1:45pm for sign-in, and setting sail at 3:00pm sharp, we gathered with the growing crowd at the launching point with approximately 200 of our closest friends who were obviously ready for a great day of party cruising.

Cosmic Gate party people

Welcomed onboard by a friendly crew and a table of complimentary “greeting cocktails” of punch and vodka, it was six hours of three artists, light fare for purchase, complimentary top shelf open bar (for all six hours) and a cruise into the most magnificent sunset experience of a lifetime.

Cosmic Gate

Asked a month ago by the Cosmic Gate duo to play along side them on their sunset cruise, and with the support of his family, it was an opportunity Washington D.C.’s own Roberto Gonzalez could not pass.

He opened his set with White Apple Tree “Snowflakes” (Ping Pong remix) that established the perfect atmosphere and mood for the adventure to come. Still on that theme he went on to play Jose Gonzalez “Crosses” (Dinnerdate remix) and a magical remix of Wankelmut & Emma Louise “My Head Is A Jungle.” Cue up those three tracks alone, close your eyes, and imagine you’re on a sunset cruise, or on the beach, or in a tropical setting. In your mind they’ll really whisk you away to that place away from your day-to-day and you’ll practically feel and smell that fresh, ocean air. I don’t know how he managed to fashion a perfectly fitting mix, track after magical track, but it was heaven on earth (on the ocean). Continue Reading

Miami Music Week 2015: Day 3 Recap

Miami Music Week poolside fun

Sometimes boosting up and preparing for another day of partying in the sun, into sundown, then into sunrise means eating a leftover sub sandwich in your hotel fridge from the night before while multi-tasking and getting dressed.

It’s the third and final day at the W Hotel housed party of drinks, dancing and networking. This is possibly one of most stellar events during Miami Music Week for its ambiance, quality amenities and that up close experience with today’s hottest featured artists. Day three’s a-list ranged from Paris & Simo and Dannic to W&W and Hardwell.

The finale day went off without a hitch but held a sentimental surrealism to know this was the closing of such a memorable experience. To have met and networked with Internet radio entrepreneurs, artists, liquor distributors, various PR people and those who are launching promotion companies (this list includes our favorite bartender who remembered us from previous years) is a privileged experience. It’s one that inspires to observe these people who do what they love and love what they do….and do it well in the process and who are all a part of this binding community of music entertainment.
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Miami Music Week 2015: Day 2 Recap

NERVO_Miami Music Week

Fueling up for our second day of Miami Music Week (read our day one recap here) at the Sandia Bar and Grill at the Cardozo Hotel, we were treated to the taste of the true Miami flare. It’s a real bonus for restaurants to extend breakfast service to us late nighters (and all-nighters) during Miami Music Week. The outdoor ambiance of people watching, ocean breezes and the swaying palms offer a visual delight in itself. Add friendly salsa-dancing waiters and streaming salsa music that inspires passersby, including a man and his daughter and a skateboarder, to spontaneously break into dance once they hit the music stream completes the picture. Continue Reading

Miami Music Week 2015: Day 1 Recap [Gallery]

Miami Music Week 2015

Miami and South Beach come decorated in EDM, literally, for the annual Winter Music Conference. It’s embedded in everything, from the mobile billboard announcing the Robin Schulz Pool Party at the Delano on Sunday to “Carnage Loves Miami” on another, to the side of your cab brandishing a vinyl banner of Dada Life.

Riding with the cab windows down, in March, ’cause we can, we head to day 1 of the BMF Media hosted SiriusXM 808, Music Lounge three-day party and media gala at the classy and cool W Hotel Miami Beach, with its wealth of today’s hottest featured artists, special guests, and surprise fanboy sightings.

One half of dance music duo DVBBS mingled with the reverent and unmistakable Tommy Sunshine who schmoozed with up-and-comer Sam Feldt while in the background Chris Malinchak kicked off his housy set with “Happy.”

Rodg, Riggi & Piros, Michael Woods, Jochen Miller, Kygo, David Gravell, Heatbeat, MaRLo, Andrew Rayel and Dash Berlin shared the back-to-back six-hour spotlight leading up to the grand finale of Armada artist, Armin van Buuren, who maintained his perpetual and infectious smile to the delight of the moment and the intimate and adoring crowd.

Oscar G from Murk on the decks at Treehouse

With novelties abound in every direction, the poolside featured a popular beads crafting table to make message bracelets and necklaces. And this year’s party’s beverage of choice was Heineken and Jägermeister served with a variety of specially featured complimentary concoctions including a Mast’s Mule of vanilla with a kick from ginger and sliced jalapeño, an ice sculpture embedded with strategically placed Jäger bottles and a Jäger shots dispenser. When the main Jäger promoter, Cliff, comes up and comments at you ooh-ing and ahh-ing over their innovative party appliance and offers to share a round of shots with him, you can’t say ‘no.’

With the South Beach sundown long behind us the groovy sounds of Dom Donnelly opened Room 2 of Miami Beach’s Treehouse surrounded by its rustic array of fishing nets and dangling sea creatures. For the record, Oscar G from Murk (pictured above) clearly won the first day of Miami Music Week with his Frankie Knuckles heart shirt.

Lane 8 opened Room 1 with its trove of parent’s garage treasures including a hanging house-shaped planter made from a milk carton, an audio cassette recorder and an amber, owl-embossed ashtry. DJ Agoria wound down his electro-house set with the Hot Since 82 remix of “Recluse” before featured duo Dusky took to the decks and blasted their latest “Yoohoo” to an uproarious, packed and steamy crowd.

Not that you need the validation, but you know you’re at a great party when Tony McGuinness of Above & Beyond not only shows up early, but stays for the duration.

Images by Kathy Vitkus (@edmforlife)

5 Amazing Moments from Above & Beyond’s ABGT100 Show at Madison Square Garden

Above-and-Beyond-NYC-MSG

Over the course of their storied career UK trance stalwarts Above & Beyond — Jono Grant, Tony McGuinness and Paavo Siljamäki — have always thought big. To celebrate the 100th episodes of their Group Therapy radio program, they took their show on the road and brought it to Madison Square Garden in New York City. Big Shot‘s Kathy Vitkus, of EDMforLife, was in the thick of the action at the show and recalls five standout moments from A&B’s sold-out shindig. Continue Reading