"Silence is the potential from which music can arise." —Keith Jarrett
I came up as a guitarist wanting to learn every style possible…classical, jazz, bluegrass, funk, latin, Pink Floyd, Hendrix, metal…no stone unturned. When I entered the world of electronic music, I quickly discovered that this trait is sometimes seen as a set back, like an overly wandering spirit with no sense of identity. "Where's your brand, I don't know where to put you," is something that I've heard a lot.
If you've ever wondered about what the * (asterisk) in D.V.S* means, well, it's my dedication to the joyful wandering of sound. I envision myself as an artist that could DJ at a festival one night, and then play acoustic guitar with a celtic band the next.
With all of this in mind, I've been on a funky nu disco kick over the past year. I find it very warm and welcoming for my guitar playing in live settings.
However, yesterday I broke the mold and dropped a new original tune called "Burst." It's laced with sitar, violins, harmony guitars and some trap beats from outer space, all at a new and different tempo for me. Stream the tune at the below, and download it as part of the new amazing 'Virtus in Sonus III' compilation by my home label Gravitas Recordings.
Stayed tuned to my FACEBOOK PAGE or YOU TUBE CHANNEL over the next month. I'm going to start posting videos of Ableton tutorials as well as "Lick of the Week." ***Aw yeah***
March 18 SXSW- Gravitas Showcase- Austin, TX RSVP
March 20 SXSW-The Air Up There- Austin, TX RSVP
April 12 Euphoria Festival- Austin, TX
May 20-21 Lightening in a Bottle- Bradley CA
TICKET INFO AT TOURDATES PAGE
Back out on the road this month for a series of headlining, co-headlining and festival type shows!!!
I’m exciting to be returning to COSM, the home of Alex grey for the Equinox. I’ll also be visiting D.C. for a night with some folks from Thievery Corp, and hit 3 Festivals: FOE, Great North and Basecamp.
Sept 11 Taxi’s- San Marcos, TX w/ Dr Fameus 10P
Sept 19- Princeton University- Princeton, NJ 11P
Sept 20- Tropicalia DC- Wash, D.C. w/ members of Theivery Corp 11P
Sept 21- COSM- Wappingers Falls, NY w/ Skytree, SpaceJesus, Alex Grey & more 12:30a
Sept 22- F.O.E. Fest- Queensbury, NY w/ ETC ETC and more 1:30a
Sept 25- Wonderbar- Allston, MA W/ Dark City Agent and Benny Loco 12a
Sept 27-28 Great North Festival- Norridgewock ME (at large)
Sept 29 Basecamp Festival- Ardmore, MD w/ Govinda, Lucient Dossier and more 2P
Hit the Dates page for links to tickets, locations etc…
A while back I asked for you to send me your mixes so I could help out with some #plurtips. Then I moved 1500 miles away, got asked to do a bunch of remixes, set up a new studio, etc. Word got out, and tracks not only popped up on the FB feed, but my soundcloud, email and twitter inboxes.
If any of you truly resonate with my tips, know that I make myself available for private skype lessons. Check out more info on that at the E.D.U* tab where you can drop me an email.
Food for thought: Every humble producer/ musician feels like they are continually at the bottom of a mountain. With that in mind, my tips aren’t the be all end all, but some feedback on lessons I’ve learned myself.
Jayce- Outta Tune
Ladies first right? I might pan your vox just a touch more since they are doubled more or less. then group them, eq, compress and throw a chorus on them. I think you could run with the backwards musical idea you have at 1:05. Checkout Cashmere Cat Miguel Remix, or even Bjork Post era for the pushing and pulling backwards kind of feel. Also I might reference a little more MiTis or Candyland for your snare sound at this tempo. It’s a snare with a tom under it and then a clap or crash on top of it. Love your direction though! Also maybe check out Kill Paris for some dope mid bass sounds.
Malakai- ..and imagination grew in the dark
Nice emanc kind of vibe. You should hit him up for a Loci release in a year or so. I think the hammered duclimer could eventually fade in volume after a while, or do a reverb/ delay wash. Also use backwards dynamics more for forward motion. Around 4:15 work on some more sound design to keep interest.
B!unt Force- The Walls
More pop on the kick! Double it with a snappy kick. Take out 250 and 400hz by about 3-6 db on the existing kick as well. Go into the hat sample and shorten it so it doesn’t have so much sustain. Nice drop at 1:24. Work on the eq of that mellow piano. Maybe double it an octave higher to give it more sizzle. Work on general compression to glue it all together more. Those crashes at 2:00 are a dated sound. Look for more impact type sounds. Google vengeance impact for a starting point. Nice groove on the drops tho. word!
Fluid Motion- A Welling Dream
Compress that glitch.Maybe go in and do a slight fade on those attacks. Make those drums pop! Vintage warmer, glue compressor, sausage fattener etc..Saturate your mid bass a bit more. Overall work on more mixing compression and cutting edge sounds.
XANEISNOTHING- DAT GREEN
Nice development throughout. Around 1 minute you got too much low end. it’s that new siren bass that comes in, conflicts with the 808 a bit. Same thing happen around 1:50. Pull out under 200hz in your mid bass, or at least sidechain a hp filter on your bass channel with that frequency to the 808 kick. I dig the diff vox glitches. I might double that final lead synth with a second sound in the second half of the section to create development!
Diggin the vocal flips. Work on boosting your mids and highs. This has a bit of that emancipator/ dj shadow eq, which is great for strictly chill out, but I think your mix would pop more if it had more brilliance. Check out this thread…
Nice dude. Soundz really good. Just mainly continue to compare your mixes to your heroes. Try the EQ snapshot on Izotope and see what’s up. Try sidechaining your samples in the mids to the kick a little more so it’s not so lost at times.
Crunkwork orange- Ho Hey Rmx
First off, nice name and remix choice. At :45 careful of to much bass on those fast builds. Cut some low for that section. The LFO sound you used is a bit dated. Take that idea and update your sound design. Same bass issue at 2:00 work on boosting those mids and highs a bit too.
Dexstrumental- Celtic Pirate
Nice idea. Celtic music and bass doesn’t get fused often enough IMO. Work on your low end mgmt. The mix needs to pop more. Try compressing both the drum and bass group for this. All in all there’s a bit too much dynamic range for electronic music. Put some verb on that fiddle too yo. EQ compression, repeat…
Lumidium- Ask the Lonely
Nice sound design. I like how you left room for the drum set. keep it goin yo! Vocal sample is in a different key, just in case you didn’t know. Maybe a touch more sub bass.
Blunt Force- Purple Stuff
Nice filter intro..straight to the point drops in before :30 I dig the one drops (mutes on beat one)
Nice glitch on second drop, filter out some low end on your wobbles and they’ll cut through a touch more.. even just like 100hz will help the guitar part could be re-amped on applied with something like vintage warmer to make it a bit more fuller. Dig the chillout section too.
DabEat Sleep- ASpace Mason
Cool guitar stereo delay on the top- careful of the chorus sound on the guitar in the next part…. for some reason this tone has been accepted in edm, but every other genre thinks it sucks. kinda wierd.
Try messing with taking a guitar part and then duplicating it, and then pitching it up an octave and tucking it in the back. All in all cool ideas. Study some Marc Ribot Los Postizos for your solo and way way tones. You’re really close to dialing this in.
Creative Commons- OFTB
All in all you got solid idea. Work on your level matching. Like, when the beat hits at :30 it could’ve felt a little more powerful. I’d also do some sound design study to work on your synth leads so they don’t always come off as nasal am radio style. Cool gating and glitch ideas, keep referencing folks like Telefon Tel Aviv to get your sounds top notch.
Your drums could be polished a bit more here. Like, add a touch a verb on the intro. Add a second snare underneath that is more of a low end thang. Maybe even use a pitched up kick drum for this. Pull some low end out of your hats and saturate them a bit more. I like your glitch ideas, continue to check out other glitch masters to A/B your work.
Forward Thinking Sounds- UTR90
I like how unconventional this is. Work on beefing up your drum kit sounds. Reference Bonobo here. You can double them with other edm sounds and tuck them back and it will fill it out. I’d also love to hear you commit to sections for a bit longer, but that’s just me. I like the Deadmau5-y ending.
Operation Dankstar- Zedd- Clarity
I’m a sucker for this tune. I like the tempo here. Cool and musical here. Dig the vocal changes with eq and such. Guitar solo has great tone here, especially for edm. Cool to see you did this for such a good cause. On your kick drums, when your doing builds take a touch of low out so you don’t clip the master buss…too much bass does that. You’re one the right track… nice bass stuff in the second half. Keep referencing the masters here to continue to cleanup your mixes.
Cliffy Tokes- We will not forget you
Nice tempo tease. I could use more bass here if you’re gonna rock the mid-range lead bass tone. Other-wise make it a sub sine type bass and keep it tucked.
Also start adding more variations to the synth melody to create interest. Maybe get some vocals or some other melody over this. Put some verb on that open hat yo. keep it up, but not too high!
Foxxy- Moving Forward
I like what you did with the guitar phrase flip in the intro. As i said above, try duplicated your guitar and pitching it up or down an octave or 2 to create texture. Run your drums through a group and then use something like the sausage fattener to bring them to ether even more. They sound good, but could pop a touch more IMO. Nice yo.
The Jeff Blair- Moonrise
I almost wanna hear that guitar part without way wah to be honest. Dunno if you’ve noticed, but I only use the way once or twice a night, cuz i feel like it’s so overused. When the guitar drops in at 2:00 without it.. that’s what up. I would even orchestrate a bit more, like the second half of the riff at 2:30. Also, these drums could pop more… reference Bonobo for this sound. EQ Compress, Saturate. Study more sound design too for cool synth tones. Nice stuff.
Lidsky- Beg For it
Make those toms pop on the intro yo. Refrence Candyland with Clark Kent here. Work on your acoustic guitar tone too. When you get it right it can really change a mix cuz it’s such a diff tone than vest’s and such. Nice bass work, that’s your forte for sure.
Past This Galaxy- Fast AsleepCut
Like many above, work on making you drums pops. Eq individual sounds, group them, then compress and saturate the croup. With there gospel thing, I might tease it early chopped up so that it doesn’t come out of no where. Try sidechaining your pads to your kick at times to make the whole mix more rhythmic sounding.
Tech_Side- Love SickHeart
I like this gliding bass line. Your snare could be fatter and more present IMO. Sometimes I think dance tracks are too long. I could’ve done without the second drop since it’s fairly identical to the first, and gone right to the variation. You tune still woulda been 4 minutes, which is plenty long for live anyway. I like your ideas in the final section here. You might be able to filter out some low end from your bass so that there’s more room for your kick. Fuck the new sound cloud BTW. It didn’t have a widget code for your track.
Just Press Play- Conscious Minds….
Long titles, what you think you’re Ozric tentacles? for real tho.. Work on more compression. Electronic music is soooo compressed and kids don’t realize that. Almost everything is compressed so that things can be heard at the same time. I would also work on sneaking your way into new sections, cuz 2:48 was a bit sudden. Or, create a drum breakdown 4 bars before it with some kinda of build to let us know there’s change coming. It’s all about fwd motion.
I like the minimal aspects of your drops at points. You’re def on the right track with his tune. Continue to reference folks like Heyoka and even Rusko for your bass tones and eq’s. Maybe some verb on the snare, and bring dem drums up a touch cuz this is dance music yo! Just a touch tho. This track should have more plays. wtf? Yo what does Trollout mean BTW?
Kruza Kid- Bless
Work on your sound design. That bass needs more sub sine wave below it. I think you could fine a better tone for your mid bass too. Something that phases so it morphs over the measure. I like the beat tho. Cool and wide. Take some low end outta the glitch at 2:30 and it’ll clean it up a bit. keep it up yo!
MrBskR- Elephant dance Music
I like your drop at 2:20. Work on eq and saturation to make everything pop a bit more. Every instrument could use various shades of said treatments.
Wet Paint- Virtus IN Sonus II
Like the pad at the top. Good vibe here.! I might side chain things to the kickslightly less, but that’s me. keep it up.
You know Fourtet doesn’t master his tracks either. It’s all about how close you can get it on your own. That being said, kicks could be fuller. I could also use more melodic development. Use impacts like crashes at the top of new sections. Nice rhythmic stick stuff in your beat yo.
Align Inside- we will find a way
Cool, so your mix drags on a bit, and then gets to busy at 1:45. Introduce more things earlier and then get rid of them. Also work on that guitar tone. it’s not easy/ Take low end out of all the box samples.. they don’t need it. Group those drums and compress them.. make em pop. All find as few more bass tones to mix up the lfo sound.
Onnen- Just get By
Nice bass control bro. Maybe just a touch more highs in your guitar. Around 1:51 careful of things getting too busy, you don’t wanna clear the dance floor. Solid at 3:00 and 3:30 though.
Ab Strkt- DTI
Nice snare hit yo. I like the arps at :42. Cool idea with the Biggie Panning. Use some ambient sweeps and sounds to make the tweener sections move fwd. Maybe add a harmony to the lead synth line after the 2nd time. Wpork on the guitar tone. Maybe double it with a second fatter sound and tuck it back.
Lumidium- Ask the Lonely
Nice work on this. This piece is in its own world. My only advice would be cop some ideas from Shigeto and Flylo about the vinyl static crackle effects that they use in their mixes.
Dope, a video! Good work! Nice a dissonant as always Josh! Het your synth player to throw some raps and sweeps in there to create some electronic type interest. ENice second half as well.
Ethan Glass- PL- Finally Moving remix
Glitch up the vox, this is an old hat! PL, Florida, Avicci, Odesza, etc…Sounds like PL on cough syrup. If that’s what you were going for then check out someone like Cashmere Cat or Herobust’s remix for Candyland as a reference for the real push and pull at this tempo! Streeeeeeetch those mid bass sounds out at this tempo
Fluid Motion- A Welling dream
Work on your sound design and low end management. Compress your mixes more too so the quitter interesting parts to get lost. less is more btw.
Gnome Fire- Divine Love
Sup dude! Dig this intro pad. Group your drums to a master channel and comptess them mate! All, side chain your ambient pad long tone stuff to your kick. it’ll make the whole thing pop more.
VDubz- This Head
Clean up that intro a bit.. muddy. Nice drop though for reals. Sidechain your bass to the kick and remove belwo 60Hz on your bass line, then you won’t be crushing the master buss so hard yo.
Angry Elephant- Oct 2012
Big ups to anyone attempting live electronic. It’s the hardest thing to pull off next to classical music. Cut some low end off your vox, and work on the ole’ side chain game so that it’s more of a band/ rhythmic dance hybrid.
Local Color Looking for Something
Nice. You def are a PLM fan? Take the low end below 200Hz outta that Andre3000 h and it’ll cut. Even apply the mid range fatten preset on ableton’s saturator if that’s your DAW. I can’t tell if your Bass is side chain to your kick cuz sometimes it get’s lost on the downbeat of some measures. Solid work here, continue to find your own voice within this style. Study some more real funk too.
Syne Wav- Deloriean
More bass yo. Check out Kavinsky for some synth tone ideas. A bit more compression on your leads. That kick could use more sub too.
Frozen waffles- Connection
Nice ideas here. Continue to work on your eq and compression game and you’ll do just fine. Turn that crash down though yo.
This is a good tune at the core. Overall do some tutorials on ddm drum sounds and getting the mix to pop. Also listen to someone like SevenLions to work on vocal reverb and echo tricks.
Lex Vulgar- Nocturnal Emissions
work on your vox eq and use glitch to create interest
Riordan- Carcinogenic Daily
California based Producer Minnesota has become one of my favorite artists in the electronic scene over the past year or so. His “Eternal Frequencies” ep dropped earlier this year, and the 2 song masterpiece has been on repeat for me regularly.
Fast forward to mid-July. Gravitas Recordings hit me up to do an official remix, but the timing couldn’t have been more awkward. I was in the process of moving out of our Brooklyn apt (on the 3rd story nonetheless), and was spending a lot of time with my new baby girl Xyla. Well 3 weeks after my move, they hit me up and said we are releasing the Minnesota remix ep this next week, you want in?
I was about to hit the road again, so I had exactly one day to make something happen. “Why not?” I said. “Nothing like a quick deadline to help make some magic happen.”
So here you go. Nothing quite like a deadline. Pick up the full ep via Gravitas too via the DL button. It’s got a full spectrum of remixes from a lot of great artists like Ill-Esha, Psymbionic, CryWolf and more.
“D.V.S* is one of those producers that can dip into a genre that I don’t usually touch and make me like it. This starts off as a heady house record, then drops to halftime and loops in some trap hats. It’s an incredibly fun record, and pulls emotion from a tempo that I don’t often look to for inspiration.
The musical ability of D.V.S* is absolutely mind-blowing. SImilar to his live performance, you will be met with unique tunes backed with live guitar in a form that very few producers can effectively pull off. ”Bloom” fits this ever-evolving mold perfectly. It’s a bit different, and we love it.”
Remixing The Beatles is serious business. Their music has an unspoken “Do Not Enter Sign” around it.
If you just add some 808′s, claps, and lasers, you’ll (hopefully) be burned at the stake. You really have to go for it, and attempt to make the song fresh again, knowing that the original is unbeatable in the first place.
As a guitarist, “Because” has always been a bullseye track for me. The chord progression is like dark chocolate, and the vocals are like a fine red wine, making it perfect inspiration for a melodic dubstep remix.
“Hit the Clouds Running” is out today. It features 10 new songs, written by yours truly, with special guests Cherub, Govinda, Chantel, Psymbionic and Supersillyus.
Early reviews say:
“This is all-around an eclectic and potent collection of tunes, very refreshing and original! Sounds like the playa lovechild of Ratatat and Lunice. “ -Slayers Club/ Public Works SF
“There are moments where you need to be prepared to lay it down smooth and mellow for a crowd that has been raging all evening and the sun is just starting to warm up. You know where I’m going with this.” -Hive Collective
From classic electric guitars to gritty dubstep wobbles, this album is packed with a variety of flavors capable of pleasing any music-lover. -Less than 3
Friday, 4/05/2013 at 8:00 PM
Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
Friday, 4/12/2013 at 8:00 PM
1904 Music Hall
Saturday, 4/13/2013 at 11:00 PM
Side Bar Theatre
Wednesday, 4/17/2013 at 8:00 PM
Thursday, 4/25/2013 at 9:00 PM
Los Angeles, California – map
Friday, 4/26/2013 at 8:00 PM
Flagstaff, Arizona – map
Dearest Friends, Fans, and Musical Family,
It is with great pleasure that I present to you the D.V.S* 2009-2012 Discography, in a single place, FOR FREE. It feels fitting to hand this over as a Holiday present to you all.
This compilation is over 100 songs deep so enjoy it thoroughly, and please COME AND SEE ME LIVE.
Lastly, PLEASE share with your friends via the buttons below. Let’s blow this page up!!
So we’ve broken it into 3 links to make your life a little easier.
THESE LINKS ARE NOW CLOSED, THANKS FOR ALL THE INTEREST ON THIS!!!! (WE BROKE 2 SERVERS!!!) LOOK FOR A NEW FULL LENGTH ALBUM THIS SPRING.
P.S. Most of my discog ison Bandcamp and iTunes if you’d like to support me in the future.
Last week I dropped my dubstep/chillstep rendition of Pink Floyd’s “Us and Them.” It’s clocked in around 4,000 plays in the first week. Thanks for the love!
After 5 weeks of touring the northeast and south, I’m chilin’ in NYC for a bit. On Thurs Nov 1st, I’ll be participating in an Ableton seminar at Tekserve. It will be streaming live on the net. For more info visit: http://shocklee.com/2012/09/nyc-save-the-date-next-ableton-advanced-users-meetup-is-thursday-november-1st/