Always Never chaps SLDGHMR & Crywolf made their individual moves out to Los Angeles late last year; when you become roommates with a fellow musician, let alone one you share a label with, beautiful musical babies being created is a sort of inevitable result. If you’re a fan of Le Castle Vania’s electro-based label, of Crywolf’s emotive take on crashing progressions and knack for floaty female vocals, or of SLDGHMR’s powerful techno stabs then you’re gonna love their new collaborative effort.
‘We Could Be Heaven’ is available for free download. You can grab it here and if you dig it be sure to check Crywolf’s new EP, out on Always Never soon.
A couple of weeks ago I met up with Grenier at one of my favorite local spots Forage for a little food and friendly discussion. What I think both of us anticipated was a brief discussion about his upcoming projects, but what ended up happening was a close to hour long conversation about creativity and the state of music. I left feeling the opposite of disappointed… sure I was like 30 minutes late to my next thing but the topics we discussed was something I felt needed to be expressed. So instead of a carefully edited, introspective piece from me that took days to organize and edit down, below you’ll find an honest conversation between myself and a musician who’s very clearly spent a lot of time not only working with others but also thinking about how to work in new ways.
This all came about by the premiere of his stunning music video for “Intentions,” which came out on Symbols last year. You can watch the video below but I highly suggest clicking after the jump to read about Grenier’s multitude of new projects, including ones with Archie Pelago, Eprom & Hejfund, and The Glitch Mob. I’d love to see others’ opinions on the rest of this, perhaps open some insightful discussions.
LD: So [your manager] told me you’re working on a lot of collaborations. I know about your one with Petey Clicks… G: We are … well let me back up. I’ve been this solo artist for over six years now, living in San Francisco. That’s my home. It was a cool but isolated existence, making music up there. There’s a big party scene there, people love to go out. And because of that for me it’s not a city that I felt was really conducive to working. So I decided to move to Los Angeles because I really wanted to work with people. I’m a worker bee. I’m a blue-collar producer. LD: I feel like that’s why a lot of people move here. To work, and to have more access to people that just want to work too. G: It’s like… success and fame and all that are all relative to me… to work. The project with Petey was just one I wanted to work on. We just really get along, even though we’re a very unlikely pairing in a lot of ways musically. We have very different styles but we both really like each other and have a similar taste in some ways. I think those polar opposites lend themselves to creating some kind of weird, cool shit. So we’ve landed on doing an EP together. We’re making stuff that is definitely rooted in different things but it’s just this weird new sound. LD: I did an interview with Petey a while back and he said the same thing. That you guys come from different places and mindsets but when you work together it just clicks. [ed note: CLICKS. ha. good pun.] G: Yeah it’s nice to have that new outlet of creativity. Our friend AC Slater’s working on this project called Night Bass that I’m really excited about too. I love this idea because I’m all about hybrids in genres. I’m not a purist. It’s why I don’t make straight genre music. It sometimes confuses people when my music is being presented to the marketplace, but I love that. That’s another reason I love parties like Lil Death. LD: Well that was the whole premise [the founders] built it on. Kind of like the minute someone called it a certain type of party, they’d show up the next week like “Whoa, what the fuck is going on?” G: Exactly. Which that brings me to my next project… I haven’t talked about it really. Yet. I’ve been working on this project… this album… for two fucking years. I mean, full-time worked on this thing. I did it with this avant-garde, electronic-ish jazz band from New York called Archie Pelago. We wrote all this material together about two years ago, in San Francisco. They came from New York and I borrowed this studio and we just wrote and wrote. I took those 15 sessions and composed this album out of all that. And that’s getting released in April, and again it’s this weird hybrid of styles and vibes. Non-genre music. LD: How’d you link up with these guys in the first place? G: Distal. He hooked us up. I think there was a bit of mutual admiration happening and then I heard this remix that they did of a Distal track. It was so fuckin weird, and so cool. And it blossomed from that. We got in the studio in New York, and in the first 20 minutes we literally wrote two songs. And we were just like, “Whoa. There’s a lot here.” LD: So that’s a full album? Coming out in April? G: Yup, full album. I did all the artwork and everything for it. I got this amazing painter from Australia to do this beautiful painting for the cover. It’s a very home-listening album. A lot of dense music connotation happening in a lot of it, but it’s very much a melody based, hang out type album. LD: Well that’s what I like to listen to, haha. There’s definitely a lot of stuff I enjoy hearing from a club or live perspective, I mean that’s what I work in. But there’s just as much stuff that I just want to vibe out to at home or on a walk. And I’m definitely becoming more appreciative of that split between the two. G: I mean, we all live these very dynamic lives, and I think that there’s a time and a place for everything. The music that has the biggest impact on me and my life is not club music. And I think that informs some of the decisions I make as a producer when I am making club music. But I recognize the difference. LD: When I first got into ‘dance’ music, I was under the impression that if it doesn’t sound awesome hearing it at a festival or a club, then I don’t really care. I didn’t understand it. It was just so new to anything I had liked or cared about before, that I cornered it into that club pocket. It took me a long time to ‘get’ the non-club side of dance music. G: I am exactly the opposite. I would go to the clubs and get excited by club music that reminded me of non-club music. LD: Yeah, I came from the hardcore / ‘scene kid’ scene, so I came from a mindset that if you didn’t want to lose your shit at shows and leave the venue sweaty and possibly bleeding then it wasn’t right. G: I was always able to compartmentalize. I grew up on punk, ska, I went to jungle parties. I was really physically into it. But I had this inner world that this other stuff was the soundtrack too. It was very personal. I love crazy, high-impact music. That shit gets to me on a very deep level. But I grew up on stuff like Brian Eno too. That’s one thing I really love about this YouTube generation. They’re not listening to a radio station that was programmed to play a certain genre. There’s this total freeform openness where kids can draw influences from different styles and ideas because they have immediate access to them. When I was a kid it was like, if you didn’t know about hardcore or acid house, that was it. If you hadn’t bought those records, you didn’t know it. It wasn’t going to influence you. I read this interview with Disclosure, they were talking about Detroit. These two young kids talking about how much Detroit has influenced them. If they were that age when I was, no way would they have said that. They would have been like, “Detroit? What happened there?” It’s amazing. LD: And because of that, the music that’s getting made, by the younger generation especially but beyond that too, is starting to delve into those explorations. Nobody is making one type of thing. And with all of these different influences people are more forced to create their own sound. On the radio you hear the same 10 songs all day. But now with this YouTube generation you have billions of artists to rotate through, it makes it so that no two people have the exact same rotation of artists they listen to from day to day. G: Walls are being broken down. That said, we all know that with any ‘genre’ there’s a middle of the road sound. There’s a style that works better in all situations. As much as I agree that music is more open-minded now, there’s lots of people making stuff that they KNOW has worked and still will. There’s plenty of people that have researched the formulas. But music is still exciting. Speaking of which, another project I have is one with Eprom and a guy called Hejfund. It’s still very much in the embryonic stage. We’re writing music… and it’s weird as fuck. The way I look at it is how can we make fun, high-energy music… but make it weird as fuck. And dark too. That’s all I can really say at this point, only because it’s still being developed. LD: [Your manager] told me about this dualing-DJs thing where you and the guys face each other in the middle of the venue while you’re DJing? G: I basically feel very passionately about two things: One, that I think what happens, amongst many things, when money comes into an equation is that people start playing it safe. Sometimes people stop using their imagination. I’m fed up with not seeing any risk-taking. I’m not seeing people introduce truly new ideas or doing things that are out of the box. Amongst many other things, one of those is the way we experience a DJ set. Just straight up where the DJ is in the room, that makes no sense. There’s no reason why most of these DJs should be UP on a STAGE. That’s not DJing. That’s performing. And fair enough, there’s room for performers. 12th Planet, he’s a great DJ but he’s an electrifying performer. People, including myself, want and should want to watch him. But I think there are ways on how to break down this DJs-on-stage thing, how to rethink ‘why is the person playing the music the farthest away from the sound system, the people dancing… why am I [as the DJ] barely even IN the room, why are these lights on me?’ It’s not about me wanting to be shy or mysterious, it’s about me wanting to be a part of the experience. LD: Yeah it’s weird. When I’m in the crowd at that sort of show it’s strange to me that people all face one direction. And when I’m in the booth watching it’s even weirder that everyone is looking at you. But it’s a Catch 22 because these stages and these touring shows are getting bigger stages with more intricate visual set ups and the shows are filling more and more that makes the experience you’re trying to create more difficult. G: Here’s the thing, if DJs and the dance music world are going to continue to rise, continue to do events at a scale that rock shows do, we need to do something more fucking exciting. I find that these festivals and these clubs get woefully boring after a while because it’s just the same stuff every time. There might be more lights or a slightly different 3D mapping, but it’s the same. There’s gotta be more than that. Kids in this generation aren’t a part of the wild chaos that came with seeing a live band. Why can’t I experience the same edginess, the same risks of something like a punk show? LD: But DJing at its core is so very different form a live band because by definition there is no rawness. You’re not producing live, you’re playing a bunch of mixed and mastered tracks that more or less sound exactly the same every time you or someone else plays them. At a rock show the voice and the guitar and drums …that’s not prerecorded. That sound is being created right there in front of you. There’s no other moment where what you hear at a rock show will sound exactly the same as the next time. G: I think kids are yearning for rawness. I think that’s part of what’s appealing about Skrillex. We all know he’s a talented and able producer, but there’s this chaotic nature to him. Kids love that. That’s what they want. It’s not glossy or perfect. He takes risks. LD: Once you’re thrust into the tour circuit though in any genre it’s like an impossible hamster wheel to get off. Especially in dance music now because that’s sort of the easiest and the most spotlighted way for up-and-comers to blow up. If you make a record that gets big you’re thrust into this tour circuit, these labels getting in your face, and all of a sudden everyone expects something from you, and even if you want to stop and say “Wait, I want off. I want to do something new and crazy!” It’s just hard to get off the wheel. G: Exactly. But that’s why you need to have the balls to put a wrench in the gears. I think that’s what will make [this] music exciting again. There are ways to work this system too and bring something new to the table. And it can just start with rethinking how a DJs decks are set up. LD: Another problem that I’m seeing, it might be just an LA thing, I don’t know, but nobody is fucking dancing at these shows. They’re too cool. G: I’ve talked about this a lot with my friend Chrissy Murderbot. That’s a phenomenon of the coasts. We talk about how DJing on the coasts are the worst gigs for that reason. All of those cities have people that are entirely too consumed with being on their phones and being ‘seen’ or playing politics… or just straight up BORED. Other cities, where people go to fucking lose their shit and sweat and if they leave the club a mess that’s what it’s about. This music is meant to be played loud, it’s meant for people to go crazy to. LD: I’ve seen a few risk-takers here and there, but mostly I just remember them as phenomenal performances. And there’s some people that aren’t necessarily HUGE risk-takers every time but just have really, really good knowledge of how to work a room. Like Jimmy Edgar. That’s probably one of the reason everyone at that Berlin Boiler Room was dancing. Louisahhh!!! too. She’s getting SO good. And it’s because she’s THERE, she’s very present. When she DJs she’s very in tune with where she is, where she wants the room to go. And that’s the important thing to me. G: I couldn’t agree with you more. If you go in and things aren’t the way you want them to be, the club, the sound, the opener, but you still go in with a positive attitude, get in the moment, you’ll have a good show. People will remember it. There’s plenty of DJs that approach it as just a job, they clock in and clock out, just another day type thing. But man, when I was a kid, growing up seeing Nine Inch Nails and people with new weird fucked up ideas that were almost frightening…. I loved it. I loved being challenged as a fan, asking questions and seeking answers. Now I see these clean cut DJs with a logo behind them and I’m just wondering where it all went. LD: Yeah and safe is very boring. I think you don’t need to be raw or edgy to be exciting. Like you can do you and make art and go in and get dark or weird and if you’re into it and people are into it as well it’ll be great. But in that same sense if you’re there to have a grand ol fucking time, to get fun and silly, and people are too, that’s just as thrilling. People like Salva, you watch him and he’s having a fucking blast playing. And if you’re there to have a blast too that’s just as exhilarating and memorable as a good rock show. G: Yeah, yeah you’re right. Skream is the same way. He can play disco for dubstep kids and get them to be into it because he’s having such a fun time. LD: And the best part is he still dances to disco like he did to dubstep. G: Hahaha, yeah. You can tell the difference, it changes the air when someone is like that. LD: The DJs that do it right are the ones that make you feel it on your skin. They’re the ones that when you leave the club you know that every opportunity you have to see them you will take. G: The truth is everyone has a bad show every now and then. But what it comes down to is I’m just looking for new ways to take risks. It’ll take a lot of work. But that’s what I want to do. I came here to build and create. And actually another thing I’ve been working on is creative work with The Glitch Mob. They needed all this new stuff for their new album, artwork, style, art direction, you know. They came to me asking for help and I was able to bring a new, cool and edgy vibe to what is really just a BIG band. Big. Playing Coachella big. It’s a big stage to stand on but it’s nice to bring the sensibility I have, it makes things exciting and mysterious and fun and weird. That’s another thing that makes me appreciate all the sort of collaborative work I’m doing, just really developing a creative community. I love it, that’s why I am here. LD: Whoa, that’s really cool. I’ve noticed a lot of their little aesthetic popping around. G: We worked with this guy Aerosyn Lex, he’s crazy talented. I just really helped implement his work. The vinyls, the final products. LD: So jeez, you’ve got quite the workload. Am I missing anything? G: Yeah, you know I still make music on my own and I’m doing a few remixes here and there but most of my time and energy is spent on this collaborative work. Honestly, I think unless you are a certain personality type, I think it’s difficult to put themselves in a position to come up and execute big projects by yourself. Working with other people lends itself to bigger and better ideas and risks. Unless you really want the spotlight on just you, it’s hard to do it by yourself. LD: What’s happening with this music video? G: The music video was made by this guy DJ Dials, out of San Francisco. He’s a bit legendary. He’s a really talented visual artist, he’s a crazy dude. He made this really beautiful video, with these sort of shapes hitting the water all rhythmically timed to the song I released on an EP that came out on Kastle’s label Symbols. A track called ‘Intentions.’ The video is beautiful, it’s rad. It’s cool. LD: I love Symbols. I’m so happy [Kastle] really found his niche. G: Yeah. He’s got a good vision, and he’s executing it well. LD: He’s one of the people who’s introduced me to a lot of what I am into today. G: He’s how we met! LD: Yeah!!! Well dude, it’s been a real fucking pleasure. This is going to be a long ass editorial but I am excited about this. G: Likewise. See you on the internet. Haha.
B-B-B-B-Biiiiiixel! Seems like the LA duo have flames trailing behind their Nike shoes, with things heating up on the musical and show fronts. Having just announced their first North American tour, Bixel Boys look to be making strong appearances at places like SXSW and WMC, along with major clubs like Lure in Los Angeles and Cielo in New York.
The latest on the BB production front is their remix of Crystal Method’s ‘Over It’. Praised by many in the Bixel following to be their greatest production as of yet, the remix is definitely a high-spirited remix with a catchy melody… lots of posi #feels. Not over it. Oh ps free download because like I said before Bixel Boys knows bitches love a free download.
After a year long hiatus, it seems French producer/DJ Mustard Pimp is back. And not only is the hard-stepping musician making a return, he’s doing so with a new sound and a new mixtape with which to show it off. Having coined the term ‘neo-gabber’, Mustard Pimp has developed what is best described as an ode to 90′s 160 BPM gabber records – by flipping them on their heads and spinning them into 125 BPM techno gremlins.
Read our exclusive interview about his return to music after the jump, and as a bonus here’s a first look at his brand new mixtape Isometrix 2, which includes a brand new track entitled Kick Back somewhere inside. Where? Well you’ll just have to find out.
Gotta Dance Dirty(GDD):Hi! How are you, what are you doing? Mustard Pimp (MP): Hi, I’ve been good. Nothing.
GDD: What’s happened the past year with Mustard Pimp? It seems 2013 was an empty void for you. MP: I went on a spiritual journey, traveling across the Netherlands. It was quite rewarding. I also invested all of my money in a record label that makes music for deaf people. Needless to say, I lost all of my money on that one.
GDD: What inspired you to breathe a different light to the project? MP: I took one glance at the Beatport Top 10 charts last year, had a seizure, and stayed in hospital for 2 months. It was enough to know somebody needed to try something different.
GDD: You seem to not only avoid trends in music but actively kick against them. Why? MP: Personally, I just feel I wouldn’t be satisfied with myself if I did things exactly the same way everybody else did. I might be passing up a shit-pile of money in doing so, but whatever. Pride can’t be bought, and with my mom still being alive, the threat of “shame” is always there.
GDD: What’s with the term neo-gabber? Did you create it? Were you a big gabber person back in the day? Neo (new) + Gabber = Neo-Gabber. Didn’t go too much further than that in my thinking, other than that I really wanted to renew this genre that I love that’s essentially been dead for years. I’m still experimenting with different sounds right now but I like the idea of taking new inspiration from the original hardcore scene in the 90s, which I was definitely a part of as a kid.
GDD: So is this mix just all slowed down old gabber records? Or are you making it yourself? Is anyone else doing something similar? Do you make it at 160 BPM and slow it down or just roll 120 BPM from the start? MP: There’s a lot of different styles in this mix actually, I mixed in a few of “slowed-down” gabber tunes, tunes that I used to love back in the day, just to see how people respond to it now. But I’ve also included some brand tunes in the mix, some exclusives from newer artists, classic gabber tunes, as well as some new exclusive Mustard Pimp tracks, including “KickBack” which we’ll be releasing her very soon. If there’s anyone else doing something similar? I don’t know, I pretty much delete most of the promos I receive and explore for myself on Soundcloud.
GDD: What other music are you excited about this year? Is the dance and overall musical spectrum moving in a direction you enjoy? Why or why not? What are you trying to do to aid / prevent things happening? MP: Electro is dead in my opinion, I have a particular distaste for all these new electronic music trends that pop up, In that way its hard to say I’m excited about anything new that’s coming out, maybe that’s why I’m reaching back for inspiration. Techno is here to stay though, creativity is still alive and well in that scene. And no, I’m not really trying to aid or prevent anything specifically, just focusing on doing my own thing.
GDD: Is the aesthetic of Neo-Gabber purely just the BPM and hardstylings? Is there a visual or other creative aesthetic you hope to develop? MP: Nah, differences in BPM aren’t really a big deal anymore. I’m finding inspiration in the old analog synth sounds. Sounds that have been forgotten in this time of laptops, software, and home studio shortcuts. And yes, I’m pulling a lot of visual inspiration from not only gabber but from the 90s in general, and I’m thinking this will be expressed in a lot of ways, not just in the music but in the graphics, and music videos I put out with the music.
GDD: If you could trade lives for a day with anyone, alive or dead, who would it be? What would you want to see / do? MP: With a guy who won at least 100 million in the lottery. I’d buy a house in the boonies and tune the world out. Sounds like a good plan. I’ll probably try to make friends with Kurt Russell too. Kurt Russell really is on another level.
GDD: What’s next for Mustard Pimp? MP: New tracks, new remixes, more mixtapes, and eventually new shows.
Wax Motif really just knows how to work with music. Whether it’s deep or energetic, mainstream or underground, seems like the native Australian has his ears to the ground with how to make things work. With two identities, one as the more mainstream Wax Motif, and the other as the deeply underground Playmode, it comes as no surprise that he’s been putting in some serious studio time. Most notably through the twittersphere we’ve seen that a lot of it has been with Destructo… and some rappers… so I can’t wait to see what officially comes from all that.
He just dropped his mega remix of the brand new Tinashe track, ’2 On’ with an amazing feature from Schoolboy Q. Totally club ready and indubitably made for girls and guys to get down to (or get really down to… hehe) I’m hoping this energetic fusion of club / R&B / house is a sign of things to come from Wax Motif.
Crywolf and Ianborg partner up for a second time to release a massive free download upon the world. After the viral success of “Oceans” in 2013, the duo have gotten back together to successful effect once more. Their new track ‘Stay’ is an eloquent and emotional track, slow but heavy on the bass and distortion. With heavy kicks tactfully strewn across the track and piano melodies throughout, the track is carried by the crisp male vocals which cry out about love and loss. Crywolf is notably good at making tracks that build, crash, and melt like waves, and this one is far from an exception.
You can download the track from the pair below, and keep an eye out for Crywolf’s second EP on Le Castle Vania’s Always Never label which comes out later this year.
On Tuesday Los Angeles based creative genius Jerome LOL released his Deleted/Fool EP on home label Friends of Friends. Having previously released an album on FoF as the now defunct LOL Boys, Jerome’s new EP is his first official solo release. I could throw words around about Jerome being a sort of avant-garde musical and visual curator, or how his aesthetic bleeds originality in its cheeky complexities and colorful simplicities – but that would be selling him short, and missing the point. My lack of ability to really envelop Jerome LOL as an entity is precisely his appeal. The off-kilter balance of this ‘tumblr-era x internet 1.0 x 90′s branding’ visual mish-mash with the delicateness and deeper meaning of Jerome LOLs musical endeavors is in my humble opinion so cleverly curated that I am just consistently in awe. Jerome’s filtering and curating of a dizzying amount of visual and audio influences from everywhere across the spectrum into a concise and branded look and sound is something I’ve always respected. His DJ sets are interesting and fun, his label Body High is a wonderful homage to LA and dance music origins while keeping releases and artists fresh and cool, and his music videos are insanely unique and some of my favorites:
The four-track EP begins with “Deleted,” starts with Jerome’s signature swinging drums, in true-to-form fashion created by an antiquated and distorted piece, the DJX-2. The claps and swing fade as Sara Z’s cool and sensitive vocals come in, with clear cut changes in the cord progressions between each verse carrying the mood. It’s these subtleties in the undertones that reveal the emotional complexities of the track – doubling computer jargon with the destruction of a relationship (“we’re offline, no course of action” “control, escape, command, delete, it’s all in our hands”). The track evolves and grows in almost pop-song format with repeated choruses and verses, a bridge and an outro, which shuts off all the drums just before Sara utters her last line- printing the track in your head.
“Always” continues with the cymbal-heavy, swinging drum patterns, this time lighter in feeling given the faster pattern & more effervescent vocals. The keys in the chorus are touching and warm, and the various inflexions of Sara’s voice on the word “Always” is captivating and soulful. The heavy distortion on the bassline and clanging drums on “Fool” flip the EP from pop-leanings to a much more club/warehouse mindset, until Angelina Lucero’s melancholy and poignant vocals rip you off your shuffling feet and onto the floor. But as the heavy bassline fades, a glockenspiel-sounding bridge comes in before Angelina’s chorus comes in, aided by incredibly pitched-up echoes of her voice carrying each line. The clanging drums and garage moodiness are met by the pitch shifts and “this instrument can never sound sad” use of the glockenspiel – it’s this touch of color in an otherwise entirely depressing track that is a common theme in Jerome’s work. The EP closes with “True”, another considerably moody song from Angelina Lucero’s teethy and slow vocals and sort of rain-down-your-windowpane piano chords that rain so heavily on the track it nearly drowns out her vocals until the very end.
Like with all artists that have developed their own signature patterns and sounds, I see the argument from both sides on Jerome’s heavy use of jazzy/swing drums and pop-oriented progressions: on one side it doesn’t have an grand sense of variety, but on the other it’s clearly a sound and vibe that nobody else is really doing. You can identify a Jerome LOL track from just a few seconds of listening, but because of that the tracks can be considered to start sounding the same. I’m personally more drawn to the ‘Deleted’ half of the EP, which to me is an example of the vibe of work I enjoy most from Jerome; the ‘Fool’ half dives much deeper into a darker side of his music which I simply do not grasp as well – I think that’s a side he’s still sonically developing. But I do have to give props to Jerome for really nailing the structure of his tracks.
You can purchase the EP on Bandcamp HERE or on iTunes HERE:
Shlohmo is king of making me excited to listen to sad shit. He hasn’t failed me yet.
Patchrik – Cool Down
Part of the free EP from Patchrik on Live For The Funk… check out the interactive visuals that come with it too.
King Thing – Glissement
I guess this guy has moved on to another project and sort of left everything in his figurative house out in a “FREE” pile on the figurative lawn of the internet. Surprisingly all nine tracks are really fucking cool. If these are the leftovers from his old project, I’m expecting some really awesome stuff from his new one.
Phazz – Sights (Shake It Maschine & Mr.Pigman Remix)
Big Footwork remix of one of my favorite upcoming producers. The whole remix EP is free.
Jerome LOL – Always (Bondax DJ Tool)
Man Jerome’s new Deleted/Fool EP is so fucking good. Been listening to it nonstop. Bondax puts their classic touch on “Always” for a lil free giveaway.
Drake – Come Thru (James Blake Version)
I mean, come on. Do I need to explain myself here? (I don’t) Sidenote: The new James Blake Radio1 Takeover is the best thing ever. Tune in when it’s on.
Childish Gambino – Melrose
This was an in the cut track that Gambino tweeted to Jhene Aiko a while back. It’s dope.
Nosaj Thing x Chance The Rapper – Paranoia
Another rapper’s ‘in the cut’ track, this was a secret track on Chance’s legendary Acid Raps mixtape from last year. I guess it was part of the awesome “Songs From Scratch” series, which also saw to the Shlohmo x Jerimih and Ryan Hemsworth x Tinashe collabs.
Three Wise’s Picks:
French Horn Rebellion & Savoir Adore – The Fire (Autograf Remix)
This remix is what is currently warming me up in my frigid New York apartment.
Kenny Gray - Speak Easy (Original Mix)
The homie Kenny Grey drops this downtempo rocktronica ballad featuring great vocals and his signature swagger.
Mos Def – Ms. Fat Booty (Louis Futon Remix)
I can’t stop shaking my ass to this song. Ms. Fat Booty for real. It sounds like sippin’ champagne in a private plane.
Jonah McGowan – Stronger (Kill Them With Colour Remix)
Jonah McGowan’s vocals make me want to melt, add Kill Them With Colour’s deep house bass and the result is this fantastic club anthem. Go Deep. Always.
Marvin Gaye – Let’s Get It On (Jimmy Q Remix)
I don’t really think much needs to be said besides let’s get it on. This track has “sex playlist” written all over it.
Imaginary Friends - Love & Groove (feat. Sedric Perry)
Sedric Perry has GOT IT. Just try not to dance to this jam. I would buy a car so I could groove on the road to this.
Little May – Hide (Duncan Murray Remix)
Slow and sad, this remix is the melancholy musical equivalent of deep thoughts staring out the window of a bus driving through the rain.
Symbols artists ATLAS are back with their second official release on Symbols, appropriately titled the “Sophomore Sessions EP.” The atmospheres provided by Atlas are always warm and beautiful, like the soft feeling of spring sun on your skin. Opening with Ashycan, a sweeping tune with an off-kilter drum beat – Atlas sets the mood for the EP but surprises the listener with very different drums and structural patterns on each track. The drums on Monday Beats orient themselves in a more garage direction, and the essence of the earliest moments of a Monday are captured wonderfully, caressed with softness & the ambience of your mind before stress and alertness sets in. California is dripping, aided heavily by the lightest touch of keys, a heavy sprinkle of blips and bloops, and the lovely vocals of Emily Harris. The final track, Glow, drifts the EP off perfectly, with a simple 4/4 pattern and soft melodies.
Overall it’s an EP that’s hard to be mad at, a meditative and tender delve into the softer end of garage and house. I’ve always appreciated Symbols for their ambiance and close connection with the sensual and exciting feelings aroused by oxytocin and seratonin in the brain, and the Sophomore Sessions EP is very true to form for the label.
The music video for “California” off the new EP was released on Atlas’ YouTube yesterday. It’s a beautifully colored and lighthearted video chock full of carefree or internal-thought behaviors, skating, taking in the environment, walking along the beach. Lots of rain & puddles which with this drought is a rarity here in California but a beautiful touch nonetheless. Kinda want to head to Venice Beach and vibe out now….
One of the first tracks I discovered from Le Castle Vania was his exceptional remix of Walter Meego’s ‘Through A Keyhole,’ and ever since then I’ve always respected his skill at really flipping tracks into energetic remixes. I didn’t really vibe the original track from Meego but best believe the Le Castle Vania remix had me singing (and dancing) to a different tune, metaphorically and literally.
Well it’s 2014 and Le Castle Vania’s been having some fun downtime in the studio re-working some of his older remixes. My guess is there’s some other updated remixes in his arsenal (let’s hope one of them is ‘Rave Is King’ cuz that was a frigging T U N E) but obviously the first one to drop is his fresh new look at the ‘Through A Keyhole’ remix. Although the general feel of the remix remains the same, the slight adjustment to the chord progressions and melodies and CLEAR tightening of the mixing make all the difference. Like buying a great outfit and getting it properly tailored. Plus he’s giving it up for download so really it’s just a no brainer here.
Stay tuned for likely more re-works for Le Castle Vania, the remixes to his Prophication EP drop soon on mau5trap too.