Get Refreshed: Inside Curiosity Shop’s “Hidden Meadow”

“Get Refreshed” is a weekly column by Billy Bugara covering all things digital in the music world. Refresh yourself here

Cover by 5outho (For Curiosity Shop)

Fresh Reflection: Curiosity Shop’s “Hidden Meadow” Event

Curiosity Shop, one of the most premier progressive electronic music collectives on the rise today, celebrated its first anniversary this weekend by hosting its Hidden Meadow event on Twitch. The event – organized by Curiosity Shop’s founder and leading artist Cole Longanecker alongside other members of the collective – showcased a number of strung-together mixes of all things dance and electronica, past and present alike, both through the sounds of their mixes and the visuals that were artfully paired with them.

All of these performances followed Curiosity Shop’s primitive 3D-graphic centered ethos through aesthetics, sounds, and styles all the same — altogether creating an unforgettable experience not just for its remarkable content and sheer quality of the performances themselves, but also for their equally masterful visual cues that were either made by the artists in their own right, or done by any number of the fantastic designers that lent their work to the show.

The simple fact that the collective was able to showcase such telling artistic experiences just as effectively from a visual sense as they were through a strictly musical one truly says a lot about this collective’s current place and future potential, for one, but it also says so much about the space places like Twitch provide for these outstanding events to take place. But for these events to have the type of impact that Hidden Meadow exuded this weekend, the people behind them need to be the absolute best purveyors of the concepts of modern artistry and event conceptualizing alike. To say that Curiosity Shop does indeed foster members of this caliber would be stating the obvious, and because of this fact’s clear-as-day-validity that this event was such a resounding success and genuinely astonishing collective moment in all regards. 

Rosesleeves, or “Pop’s Next Breathtaker”

I can only think of one type of person who’d be turned off by the music of UK pop phenom Rosesleeves: people who enjoy breathing normally. Because it doesn’t matter if you’re listening to their remarkable full-length offering 9920DEADLINE that dropped earlier this year, or certainly their first drop since that very project in “Growing Pains,” each and every track from this magnificent talent will take your breath away and leave you in a state of shock and awe. 

That project will unquestionably go down as among this year’s best when it’s all said and done, but that does not mean they are even close to finished with their consistently sublime output. “Growing Pains” is a single that thrusts their artistry even further up its seemingly limitless latter of improvement; with a structure akin to a subdued art-rock offering and an emotionally-packed cast of lyrics and ambient tones alike, it represents the fullest picture of their consistently developing sound in its current state. 

And what a state that is, as Rosesleeves is easily one of the most fascinatingly gifted acts to grace the Internet music landscape this year and beyond. The acclaim that their aforementioned album received was only a necessary gateway for an even more promising future to blossom in full effect, and no better track could represent that full, breath-stealing demeanor than what they just came through with this week.   

wubz: “mania”

If you asked me to name an act worth admiring for their natural talent on a level higher than wubz, I’d have no answer for you in the slightest. Each and every wubz track is an exercise in the art of jaw-dropping — in that, each track finds a new way to leave us all speechless for just how remarkable they display their talents through pure creativity, passionate performances, and the type of genuine artistry only seen in music’s most one-of-a-kind enigmas.

“mania” is just another track in a long line of impressive offerings, but in considering the fact that wubz continues to improve in one way or another with each successive drop, this track lands as among their best yet, by extension. It toes the line between blissful serenity and passion-latent aggression better than any single track before it, which is truly saying a lot given how signature this facet has been to the entirety of their output thus far. 

No single act has a more promising future than wubz when it comes to standing alone as an utter musical enigma; tracks like this cement this fact more and more into the ground as their coming superstardom inches closer.

world on lockdown [Feat. Vasto + 3DS]: “CADENCE”

Imagine if my only job was to talk about the influence that collectives play in the grand scheme of digicore as a functioning scene… I’d have a damn good living on my hands. Yes, I’ve hampered on this subject far too many times now, but honestly, it bears repeating time in and time out simply for how integral this concept is for the burgeoning scene.

With that out of the way, enter world on lockdown — arguably the scene’s most underlooked collective from a perceptual standpoint. This group of talents has settled in as digicore’s resident experimenters; each of their acts has some sort of obscure, outlandish, yet always outstanding feature about them, based on their sounds and styles all the same. Their output is almost always magnificent for this fact alone, and their influence is only heightening more and more by each day’s end. 

Despite being around for an extended period of time as of this writing, two of their most notable acts – Vasto and 3DS – have dropped what can only be considered the collective’s signature single offering with “CADENCE.” Vasto’s sporadic vocal tendencies and overall confoundingly charming mic presence pair exceptionally well with the abrasive yet melodic tones of 3DS — both tied together by an S1NINJA-provided instrumental that serves both of their styles in an equal regard. The track essentially spells out what this collective represents in one small package, which is really all one can ask for in producing a track with these intentions in mind.

senses + mental: “honest”

An all-too-unique chemistry is shared by luvcompound’s remarkable lineup of artists; it’s a creative connection that exists on a different plane than the work done by these acts in other scene-based contexts. Two of the collective’s defining acts – senses and mental – serve as a pairing that could quite possibly illustrate this concept better than any other combination involving their contemporaries. 

They’ve already done so in the past on offerings like the outstanding “delete,” and they’ve repeated this feat yet again with their newest cut together entitled “honest.” This nearly-unexplainable yet fully realized chemistry surges through this bizarius-produced track’s makeup better than any single one before it in regards to the collective; both acts here exude blissfulness and dense atmospheric weight with their performances, all while playing off of each other’s exclusive artistries in an atypical pop sense. Balancing these two aspects has become a tried and true facet of luvcompound’s output over time, and it may have seen its most exemplary display with this track in particular. 

A Real-Life Popstar’s Love For Pop Music

Words by Fraxiom

Everyone loves popstars! Ever since I was young, I have wanted to be a popstar because they can do whatever they want. Pop music forces everyone to pay attention to you. Being a good pop writer means that you find ways to plant your own silly things that make life special to you into a poem that forces everybody to relate to it; doing this successfully lets you control and eventually decide what’s cool. 

TLDR: to write pop music is to shape the world into your own taste. 

I’m obsessed with “fantasize” by ericdoa — I think this might be the most recent example we have of this phenomenon. Eric sits at such a fine balance of music that you can play for your family. but also freak out to by yourself because you’re a fucking freak. I’m really excited that the next generation – artists like angelus, dltzk, juno, etc. –  is coming up all self-made while understanding pop.