Over the past week or so, Mikey Lion & Bengal‘s The Big Cats EP has been a go-to release to keep the good vibes strong. Each of the three tracks on the EP offer unique elements, but the refined, stripped-down grooves are a common thread throughout it, and they pack a mean punch. Both Mikey and Bengal are ambassadors of tech-house, and they continue to cement their standing amongst the top up-and-coming acts in the underground. Whether or not you’re heading out to Desert Hearts this weekend, this EP should satisfy your need to get down. Enjoy and download above.
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With a busy touring schedule, Desert Hearts figurehead, Mikey Lion, has remained a bit quiet on the release front, but he recently announced his third EP, The Big Cats, which he created with fellow Desert Heart and Berkeley native, Bengal. Just in time for Mikey’s upcoming Cityfox LA performance this weekend, and the Desert Hearts 3rd year anniversary, the first taste of this forthcoming offering comes with “Like That.” It’s a stripped down tech-house heater with full-bodied low end to drive the groove that punches through in between vocal samples, which give the track its character. Listen/download here. The Big Cats EP is out on October 27th.
Today, Desert Hearts finally announced their highly-anticipated three year anniversary festival that will be taking place in Southern California from November 5th-9th. For this special edition of their House, Techno, & Love-driven event, they’ve upped the ante with 100 non-stop hours of music, growing out of their previous 72-hour affair. With their Funktion-One stacks being active for an additional 24-hours, this means that more world-class artists, like M.A.N.D.Y., Blond:ish, DJ T., and Fur Coat, will be able to fill the air, and maintain the Desert Hearts vibe that has become known worldwide. In addition to their on-point bookings that have yet to be announced, the Desert Hearts crew, including Mikey Lion, Lee Reynolds, Deep Jesus, Porkchop, and Marbs, will also be throwing down as per usual.
For 2015 thus far, Desert Hearts has been enjoying their best year yet, as they’ve delivered several outstanding releases on their label, in the midst of throwing a wildly successful Spring festival, and their first full-fledged City Hearts tour that is being talked about by many from coast to coast. This upcoming Fall festival will be a perfect way to cap off the year, and you know they’re going to pull all the stops to make it one for the ages. Trust.
Tickets are on sale September 14th, so if you haven’t already, have a listen to Sabo’s live set from Desert Hearts to get you in the mood for what’s to come.
In true Desert Hearts fashion, San Diego’s tech-house specialist, Mikey Lion, has brought us a brilliant, emotionally-charged mix dedicated to Love. This vibe-heavy one hour offering shows him drifting off of his path of signature party-starting selections to deliver something a little different from what you’ve come to expect. Mikey Lion drops the tempo just a tad, and keeps it smooth, groovy, and thought-provoking as he guides you through mellower jams from Monkey Safari, Dusky, Super Flu, new Desert Hearts Records signee, Ché, and more. Press play, read on for some words from Mr. Lion himself, and take a peek at the tracklist after the jump.
“For my latest mix, I really wanted to go in a different direction from what you’d usually hear from me. With Valentine’s Day and City Hearts LA coming up this Saturday, I wanted to dedicate a mix entirely to what I think is the most important thing in the world, Love. There’s a reason Love is the main theme that drives our festivals and Desert Hearts Records. Our community has been able to open the hearts and minds of so many incredible people and our goal is to ultimately share that message of love with the rest of the world.
So this mix is dedicated to all of you lovers out there. Whether you’re single or in a relationship, if you have love to give I believe the universe will return that love to you. Some of these songs are new and some are old, but they’ve all had a profound impact on my life over the years and I wanted to put something together that really makes you feel. Hope you enjoy the mix. Make sure to hug your loved ones a little bit tighter today.” – Mikey Lion
Desert Hearts Festival & Desert Hearts Records founder, Mikey Lion, is a man of many hats, but there is only one instantly recognizable, feather-laden hat that the cultivator of vibes wears himself as a producer/DJ. In between throwing some of the finest house & techno events like the upcoming second edition of City Hearts SF on December 14th, this San Diego-based up-and-comer has kept dance floors happy & healthy with the release of his collaborative single, “Set Me Free,” on Kevin Anderson‘s You’re Mine EP, as well as his Voltron/The Defendant EP with Jonjo Williams, which launched Desert Hearts Records in proper fashion.
Now Mikey Lion brings us his debut solo EP, Drum Formulas, that puts his own individual studio work and musical roots as a young turntablist in the spotlight. On the opening title track, he pairs addictive percussive grooves with appropriate Gang Starr samples for a tribaly tech-house number accented by a hip-hop flare. Channeling inspiration from experiences at Burning Man, Mikey blends layered melody work, thought-provoking samples, and thick basslines for a mesmerizing, spiritually charged second track dubbed “Playa Dreams.” Rounding out the EP, Mr. Lion kicks up the vibe on “Tribute” and does away with straight four-on-the-floor rhythms for a pumping, kick-drum heavy tune with just a touch of psychedelia. Overall, the Drum Formulas EP is a stand out release that deserves attention from both DJs and other dance music enthusiasts, especially since it’s already seeing support from underground luminaries like Lee Burridge, DJ T., and more.
Buy the EP on Beatport.
After paying their dues behind-the-scenes in the underground, the impassioned and well-intentioned Desert Hearts (DH) crew has recently been gaining the clout that they deserve, yet they still remain as humble and focused as ever. Known for their vibe-heavy, community-oriented gatherings where the House, Techno, and love doesn’t stop, Desert Hearts is now widening its musical footprint as a record label with its first successful release from one of the DH masterminds, Mikey Lion, and his friend, Jonjo Williams. The pair have offered up a funky, groove-driven 2-track EP that highlights Wu-Tang Clan and James Brown influences in a modern dance floor-ready manner. Enjoy below and the EP can be purchased on Beatport.
Check out the official video after the jump as a bonus!
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One of Southern California’s finest producer/DJs, Mikey Lion, had early beginnings scratching hip-hop records at the age of 13, but since then, he’s moved on to dance music, cultivating his career through productions and DJ residencies at renowned parties such as Lovelife. Additionally, this San Diego-based artist is also a co-founder and resident of the underground festival, Desert Hearts, that is quickly building a strong community of likeminded House and Techno aficionados, while receiving critical acclaim from respected media outlets like Resident Advisor.
In celebration of the upcoming Desert Hearts festival (Tickets) being held in Apple Valley, CA from April 25-27th, Mikey Lion has delivered an excellent mix of his refined brand of “Tribal Gangster Tech-House” that’ll keep you coming back for more deep grooves. Enjoy the mix below, then head after the jump for Mikey’s upcoming tour dates (including Coachella this weekend), more info on Desert Hearts, and the tracklist for the mix.
A collaboration between Christopher Kristoff and the San Diego-based DJs Mikey Lion, Lee Reynolds, Marbs, and Porkchop, along with the recent member, Andy Crane, has yielded the stand-out festival known as Desert Hearts, which has been heralded as “One of the best electronic music experiences in America” by Resident Advisor. Desert Hearts was established as a community-oriented house and techno gathering with the goal of achieving a memorable energetic ambiance, while maintaining high musical integrity – and from what I’ve heard, they do just that + more.
After a massively successful 1 year anniversary, they return for their Spring festival that features world-class headline artists like Tim Green, DJ T, Matthew Dekay, Droog, Christian Martin, and a plethora of the finest local talent including Tara Brooks, Eduardo Castillo, Jon Dadon, Kevin Anderson, and of course, the Desert Hearts DJs, amongst others (listed above). With this fantastic group of artists behind the decks, one can be sure that there will be proper house and techno bumping through Funktion-One sound systems all weekend long. Check out the video after the jump to get a visual for the Desert Hearts vibe, and be sure to grab your tickets here to experience this intimate gathering first hand. We’ll see you there!