September Staff Picks: Exploration

Searching for truth in web’s black markets, shopping for kicks in the crowded streets of Tokyo, and chasing down summer’s last golden hours.

September marks the end of summer: when we fall back into routine, settle into shorter days, and start doing basic things like seasonal lattes. Up against all that, it made sense to get the hell out and go somewhere. (Even vicariously.) September’s Staff Picks are all about exploration. Alex Winter took us inside the web’s underground black markets with Deep Web. Future Classic’s 2015 Sampler brought us inside Australia’s emerging electronic scene. Sneakerheads shed light on streetwear’s obsessive subcultures, from Fairfax to Tokyo. If you’re looking to make your escape: here are ten projects to get lost in.

Bond360: Deep Web

In May, Ross Ulbricht, the creator of Silk Road, was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Deep Web, directed by Alex Winter, is Ulbricht’s story: a documentary that sheds light on the dark net’s unknown, un-indexed economies, and examines the human impact of anonymous communities.


GRiZ: Chasing the Golden Hour Part 1

April’s Say It Loud, the third record from Boulder-based producer GRiZ (Grant Kwiecinski), was an early contender for our album of the year: explosive, acid, defiantly un-classifiable. In September, as a thank you to fans, GRiZ shared that record’s follow up, and the start of a new series: Chasing the Golden Hour Part 1.


Future Classic: FC 2015 Sampler

Future Classic is just that: a boundary-bending indie label that’s defining the sound of tomorrow, and reimagining electronic’s pop present. The FC 2015 Sampler is a field guide to Australia’s emerging music scene; featuring unreleased tracks from Touch Sensitive, Chrome Sparks, Charles Murdoch, and Thrupence, plus cuts from Flume, Panama, and more.


Little Simz (Simbi Ajikawo) started rapping at age nine. Flash forward to 2015: the North London native has seven uncompromising, experimental mixtapes to her name, co-signs from Kendrick and Yasiin Bay, and a sound that defies easy categorization. Across these 22 tracks: a window into the artist’s journey to reshape hip hop.


A Color Green Zine: Volume 1

If you missed your chance to get ACG Zine in print (the first edition sold out damn quick), the NYC-based artist and curator put together a digital copy of Volume 1, with original art, plus an exclusive sneak peek at the next installment. Read up.


Wildlight: The Tide

Wildlight is a joint project pairing Ayla Nereo’s delicate vocals with electronic composer David Sugalski’s (The Polish Ambassador) deep bass. Their new album, The Tide, premiered on BitTorrent Bundle with 12 tracks of soulful, syncopated soundscapes.


Jarreau Vandal: Vandalized Edits | Strictly 4 Tha Club

Jarreau Vandal grew up in Amsterdam, surrounded by cassettes; raised on jazz, soul, Jamiroquai and A Tribe Called Quest. At 23, his sound defies easy categorization: a lush, textured exploration of the spaces between dance and hip hop.  


Gravitas Ventures: Sneakerheadz

What would you do for a pair of shoes? In Sneakerheadz, we watch kids hide in trash cans to score a pair of Retro Jordan 11s. We watch people camp out in subzero temperatures for the latest Nike Foamposites. Sneakers aren’t just apparel anymore. They’re art. And for sneakerheads, they’re an obsession. Sneakerheadz explores the influence of sneaker collecting from California to the congested streets of Tokyo, giving viewers a window into the soul of a subculture, and the spread of wearable art.


Experimental indie project TRAD+ spent three years exploring the geography of sound; the relationship between melody and mood, the way in which acoustic and electronic compositions connect. INTERFERENCE is the culmination of this work: a nine-track drift across ambient soundscapes. Your first listen is here.


Ducked Ape: Follow

Ducked Ape is Sjoerd Huissoon and Tim van Doorne: two indie electronic producers whose work explores intimacy, expression, and immersive music experiences. Their debut album, Follow, starts with a short story written by Ducked Ape. Each track reflects a specific chapter; each chapter is brought to life in vivid illustration, and expressive sound. Something, for sure, to get lost in.