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LA Yoga magazine's review of Luminaries' EP Love Music

"Luminaries defies categories but deserves a review here because of the act's consciousness and positive-minded intentions. The music of Luminaries is filled with ideology that is purposeful, and synchronized by the group's commitment to cultivating a positive means of co-existing in a peaceful, loving, and mindful world.
Love Music includes three songs: "Song of Freedom," "Surrender," and "Show the World." The sampler also includes a live DVD presentation to reinforce the message. The rhyming lyrics are rapped to familiar dance beats, and if you are a fan of hip-hop, you might think of The Roots as a reference point. For those who aren't tutored in such urban references, this particular form of hip-hop is performed using real instruments by live musicians, and it is sung with highly emotional and intelligent content.
I can't say enough about the intention of the Luminaries. Each of the songs are (sic) designed to awaken and stir the abundance of love within using pop-song strategies and positive lyrical content. The overall impact of the message is overwhelmed by a certain kind of surrealism that falls short of being extremely fluffy. The music is well performed by many Los Angeles-based musicians who are a big part of the scene in various groups, (including Dave Stringer's chanting ensemble), and it is obvious that each member of this group is doing what he or she can to raise the vibrational levels of the planet to generate some harmony.
I recommend this album to people who like pop music with a positive message. Fans of traditional hip-hop will enjoy the musicianship. Some yogis might find the music here a bit distracting and heady, but they will certainly relate to the sentiments conveyed. To find this CD, visit:"
- Michael Mollura, LA Yoga, September 2008, Volume 7 / No. 8, page 60 - LA YOGA

"Luminaries Shine Some Light On "Conscious Hip Hop""


If you think hip hop is only about bling and babes, think again.

There's a "conscious hip-hop collective" out there called The Luminaries. And they aim to illuminate the musical masses to environmental issues with songs like "Peace," which is available on iTunes and from an upcoming, self-titled CD.

The band's eight members are all environmentally active and some of them live in an "intentional community" or eco-village in Topanga, California.

They're particularly concerned with the massive garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean.

They even have sponsors that make stainless steel bottles and vegan, fair-trade sneakers.

What they sound like

Call it a message backed by soulful and danceable grooves:

"P is for the People / E is for the Essence / A is for the Answers that we get from God's questions / C is for the Conscious / E is for the Earth / So everybody gotta stand up and find their worth!"

So goes the chorus from the first single.

The band has been making the rounds in Los Angeles with a biodiesel tour bus, leaning toward as many eco-themed festivals as possible, says their manager and bassist, Benjamin Davis.

Those include Earth Day LA with Michael Franti, the Peace Jam with Nobel Peace Laureate Desmond Tutu and most recently, Live H20 with Masuro Emoto.

They plan to cap off the summer with a main stage performance at Earthdance, on Sept. 25 at the Black Oak Ranch in Laytonville, California.

How they live

Topanga is about a 45-minute drive from Los Angeles. The Luminaries have a communal living home base in the mountains there, featuring a shared garden, 60 fruit trees, a septic tank watering system, along with gorgeous views and hiking trails, Davis says.

"We compost here direct to garden, and there is a well that provides all the water for the house," he said. "The band hopes to eventually buy the house and do a full solar panel conversion."

Why conscious hip hop?

"The band really didn't decide to go with the message, the message decided to go with the Luminaries," according to Davis.

"Hip-Hop has always expressed the cutting edge of culture, and now the cutting edge is the rise to a higher consciousness, and awareness."

Luminaries is a primarily vegetarian group, advocating organic living foods, and they're regulars at the local farmers market scene.

"We are practitioners of yoga, qi gong, and have group meditations before band rehearsals so we can tap into our creative spirits," Davis says. "During shows we set up our eco-friendly packaged CDs, organic hemp/cotton t-shirts, our own line of re-usable drinking bottles and our vegan fair-trade tennis shoes."
Courtesy Benjamin Davis/Luminaries

What about the bus?

"We all are hyper aware of our choices with relation to the environment, and show this by driving our amazing Biodiesel Tour Bus, painted by the world renowned artist Chase. The bus brings much welcome attention to the band's message as it travels from the Southland to NorCal."
Courtesy Benjamin Davis/Luminaries

Tips for aspiring environmental luminaries

"Go online with your promotion," Davis adds. "The internet saves thousands of trees, through making the flyers less important for promotion.

"Twitter, Facebook and other social networks are the best possible tools for bringing your audience together.

"No more plastic shrink wrap on your disc. Make your covers out of recycled materials, and reduce their size. You can have all the information, and art added to a file on the CD, which can be downloaded. Play locally. Encourage your fans to car pool."

The Luminaries also have a three-song EP called "Love Music," available on MySpace. The video for "Peace" won a best editing award at The 2008 Elevate Film Festival in Los Angeles. - Discovery Channel - Jeff Kart


Produced by Luminaries (Konscious Studios, Santa Monica)

Produced by Daniel Krieger (Konscious Studios, Santa Monica)

Produced by Benjamin Davis (Konscious Studios, Santa Monica)



Lu·mi·nary: noun 1. a body or conduit that gives light 2. a person who is an inspiration to others

Luminaries are a 7 piece conscious hip hop band from Venice, CA that are here to shine the light, and serve the world through their music. They bring such an amazing live show filled with messages of peace, love, and unity that inspire audiences to dance and feel empowered!
They have performed alongside such renowned artist as Michael Franti, India Arie, Matisyahu, K’naan, and always leave the fans motivated to “Be the Change.” With songs titled “Show the World” “Find a Way” “Peace” and “Only Love” it’s no wonder they keep getting booked at some of the biggest festivals in the world!

The group formed in 2006 after MCs J Brave, and Freewill started working together as counselors at a non-profit with homeless & at-risk youth in Hollywood, CA. While doing activism at the South Central Farm, a once thriving urban garden, they connected with fellow MC, Amore One. From this desire to help their community, they began the intention that would guide and shape the mission of the group. Under the tutelage of Freestyle Fellowship founder Myka 9, they would refine their skills, and create their new path of service to the world through music.

After performing shows as a group of vocalist to tracks, they attracted the attention of some of the best local musicians in the vibrant Venice Beach community. With Konscious Krieger on keyboards, Eric SoulLivin’ on guitar, Ben Jammin’ on bass and Ed "Dreams" Dixon on drums, Luminaries have since created a sound that combines the best elements of hip-hop, funk and rock.

Luminaries have toured the West Coast in their colorful bio-diesel powered tour bus, raising smiles and hopes everywhere they go. When returning home, they’ve also set up shop at their own recording facility, Konscious Studios in Santa Monica, where they currently are working on their debut album.

In a time where the world is looking to rise above war, famine, and natural disaster, the Luminaries choose to raise the vibration of people’s hearts with music. When Luminaries come to your town, they welcome you to join the Luminous Movement of unity, love and peace worldwide. Just be prepared to put your "L" in the sky!