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!