Monday Music: Ed Thomas, Free-N-Losh, Black Tiger Sex Machine, Strife II & Kidnap Kid

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Welcome to February! New Monday, same dope offering! Let’s get right into it!

Can’t say I’ve heard of EdThomas before, but the UK seems to be able to do no wrong these days. The moody vocal driven soulful delight impresses, but never overperforms.
Free n Losh are not your run of the mill production outfit. Hailing from Toronto, the syncopated, low-key track pushes into a melancholy indietronica crooner. These neo-soul & indietronica entries get better by the month. Great work from a group I’d only heard whispers about on the internets.

Kidnap Kid is one of those rare, precious artists that you are forever changed after listening to. His most recent release, Birds That Fly, is the first release on his new label of the same name. The smooth UK house vibe is perfectly produced. The ebb & flow of the energy allows for an alternating intensity that is so difficult to do well. Jamie XX & Submotion Orchestra are two of the only other artists I can think of that hang in this tier of understated dopeness.
If you were at Black Tiger Sex Machine‘s Webster Hall appearance this Friday, you probably got a better performance of this track than most. But even just the studio version is exquisite. The heavy electrostep is definitely not my usual cup of tea, but BTSM go out of their way to produce their way into excellence. The breakdown almost feels chippy, while the build is transcendent & crisp to the point of being progressive. The drop is grinding electro that I’ve not heard in months. Great work, and watch out, Black Tiger Sex Machine is going to take the 2016 festival season by storm. You’ll see.

Rounding out this week’s post is the new EP from Strife II. Strife II is one of my most favorite artists, so every time anything new from him gets released, I absolutely have to mention it. He’s my favorite liquid drum & bass producer by far. He pairs with a bunch of dope talent on the EP, featuring Identified & vocals from Rachel Jones. The trio of tracks feature his signature euphoric and symphonic vibe. The classical meets liquid meets euphoria is a feel I think the rest of the planet needs way more of. Only Truth has an almost-Rameses B thing going on, and Collide is an exceptional example of how smooth, rounded & flowing liquid can be. Infinity Saws, a clear inside joke to his own style of production, finishes out wonderful release on Subsphere Records.

Monday Music: The Code, New Phynix, Dream Beach, Soy Sauce, Feki & ROIS!

Monday Monday (so good to me)! Another balmy week is before us Gothamites! To celebrate, here’s your usual 5pack of dope tunes & a bonus EP slapped on the end! One oldie from Dream Beach, but mostly new hotness. Let’s dig in!

Kicking things off is a peppy, moody How Deep Is Your Love future remix. Calvin Harris usually doesn’t leave a lot of room to improve on his signature sound, but the way the track almost waves in the breeze works perfectly. The Future Trap vibe can be over done, but no bed squeak noises, quality production and a couple of satisfying drops make it great for an office chair dance party. Great work by The Code, can’t wait to see what they do next.

I’d not heard of New Phynix, but this original got my attention. It’s a great example of where Progressive is going now that the Big Room trend has been dead & buried. This is very much still a mainstage/anthem track, but the abrasive electro sounds from 2 years ago are all gone. Instead, we’ve got a driving bassline & rounded synth stabs, making for an impeccable “get hype” tune.

Switching gears entirely, Dream Beach has been killing it for a while. It’s hard to describe the sounds he creates, but it definitely needs way more attention. His occasionally melancholy, occasionally euphoric, always dope vision has made for a bunch of great releases. Faintly Jersey Club, faintly future dreamwave, the track is everything I want from a 90’s hip hop remix. The mix completely re-envisions the song & brings us a triumphant new look at the classic Biggie track.

Not everyone may remember “Suga Suga” but, if you do, you remember how it was on every dance floor for months back in 2003. Soy Sauce brings us all the way back with this syrupy dope remix of the original. Winking future elements, soft chill vibes & his own excellent vocal work. If you’re a fan of his vocal stylings, check out Imad Royal while his beatwork will be featured on Soy Sauce. Delightfully relaxed and sexy, it might deserve a spot on your Valentine’s Day playlist.

Feki, the young star from of down under, brings his A-game once again for a sweet reworking of Anna of The North‘s soulful tune “The Dreamer.” It’s got an almost Lana Del Rey/London Grammar vibe to it, which is high praise to someone I’m not sure anyone outside of AUS/NZ knows of yet. The Future vibe is in full effect, and the fusion between organic & synthetic couldn’t work better if we handed it to Flume himself.

Bonus!

I usually only do 5 tunes a week, but I had to make an exception for this EP from ROIS. A duo out of LA so far below the radar they don’t have 100 Soundcloud followers yet, so you know it’s a juicy find. It’s a light, forward thinking take R&B that we’re not hearing much these days. While most are pushing towards the Jersey Club sexiness, Vincent Coleman & Nick Hughston make a strong case for your attention using a more vintage style. Is Future Soul a thing yet?

Hip Hop: A Genre Infographic

1127_1210388265656145_8482012181554222604_nClick to embiggen, it’s actually an on-point representation of flow style. One thing I especially like about it is the inclusion of old school & new school. Because you totally forgot LL Cool J looked like that didn’t you? Also, I miss Andre 3000. Not sure who created it, so if it’s yours, let me know so I can attribute it properly.

Monday Music: P-Buddy, Sciahri, Flume, Meganeko & Julio Bashmore!

Even though my city continues to dig out from Blusterfuck 2016, I’ve got dope tunes to help you melt the snow away. Strong basslines dominate this quintuplet, so let’s get up and at them!


P-Buddy busts into my awareness with this remix. It’s hard to out-groove Major Lazer, but P-Buddy does a really good job reworking Be Together. This has Groove Cruise written all over it. A solid Future Bass/Trap remix of the original, the touch of tropical on the side that’s added gives it an almost synthetic feel, but it totally works in this track. Also, the last 20 seconds need to be way longer, but the producer only has 29 followers on Soundcloud. So let’s change that.

I don’t usually list full EPs on my music posts, but I had to make an exception in the case for Behind The Line by Sciahri. Attention deep, tech & minimal house DJs, this is needed. It dropped 3 days ago and it’s 2 A & B sides of solid tunes. Eremite is crisp, scintillating while simultaneously murky and driving. Ambiguity oozes classic vibes and is an understated gem. Sublunar & Paranoia are both impressive in their own rights, so I found myself just having this EP on repeat. Sweet dance around your apartment music, but if you’re a DJ in NYC and you drop beats in this space, make sure to pick this up. The dance floor will thank you. Great release by Opal Tapes.

Stoney Roads reminded me there was new Flume. In case you didn’t know, I’m reminding you. There’s new Flume. It’s good, like old Flume. You really could keep reading words about me trying to describe the wonderful that is his Aussie Bass goodness, or you could just listen :D


Switching gears entirely, here’s a ridiculously good dance remix from Super Mario World on the SNES. I’m the coolest music blogger you know right? Posting VGM EDM remixes? All kidding aside, gotta give it to meganeko on this one. It’s an exceptional re-imagining of that Ghostly tune from so far back in the day. I could hear this at all those Anime/SciFi con raves big time. The people at OC Remix continue to hold it down, so, show them some love as well.


Rounding out the list with one of the funkier tracks in recent memory, Julio Bashmore delivers. This disco house stunner of Holding On features Sam Dew on vocals and a magnificently relaxed vibe. It gives me hope for summer. Put it on and lean back. Don’t worry y’all, we’ll get back to the light soon.

Monday Music: SunSquabi, Cignature, C.Z., Chahine & Mark Johns

The first snow of the season in Gotham, and with it, another round of Monday Music. Some funky, future, possibly even fresh tunes for you this week, so let’s get it started!

SunSquabi knows what they’re doing. This seductively funky tune is masterfully produced. Exceptional construction gives the track a Ratatat vibe, which is very high praise. This is a superb addition to GRIZ’s label, as this can find its home in the electro-soul universe that GRIZ has helped to build. There’s almost a touch of Random Access Memories to it, which is not easy to do. Can’t wait to hear this album.

Cignature is out of this world. The production on this side project is spectacular. It takes a singular vision to take Kaskade, Galantis, Fun, Calvin Harris & others and make them even more positive, progressive and euphoric. But that’s what we’ve got going on here. Scintillating vibes, so dive in.

I heard this over the weekend and knew I needed to share it with everyone that had ears. This kind of ambient/chillwave is really getting explored on the lighter side of Soundcloud. Artists like haven, glo, & now, dream beach, and a bunch of others have a newcomer to their ranks I’m a huge fan of. C.Z. creates a fun little soundscape over the first 2:45 then blows into future footwork. It’s not a thing…yet.

I wouldn’t have come across Chahine if it wasn’t for this dope collective I follow called Daruma Sounds. I’ve posted about artists from their stable like Enschway before, and on Vol. 005, a number of the tracks really nailed it. Chahine’s was a standout even among those. This deep, ebb & flow  Future vibe really hit home for me. It’s not wobbly, nor is it electro. The bass is almost syrupy, like molasses, a must listen if you want to hear where ish is heading, and the rest of the compilation is great as well.

Rounding out the pack, a fun vocal ditty by Mark Johns. The vaguely auto-tuned funky, soulful jam has a lot going for it. Flowing words orbit the guitar and seemingly effortless jam that is laid out. It’s not the most cerebral tune, but it hits right in the feels. Groove to it, and if you have off today, relax, kick back and enjoy. If you don’t, throw some headphones on and drift off with these as Monday smooths along.

Monday Music: Shahly, Simon Viklund, Cetana & San Holo

Shahly - Jigglypuff

New Monday, new music! A few fun choices this week, trying to keep the energy up since January can always be a real drag, even though it’s unseasonably balmy this year. I also added a Christmas remix, because I kept seeing the trees out on the street waiting to be picked up by the garbage men. Also, it may or may not be hard as fuck. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

You cannot keep a serious face through this song. I dare you to try. Shahly fused Chiptune & Future Bass. The result is a whipped delight that bounces around with way too much energy. If you’re not a fan of Pokemon this might be a little too sugary for you, but if the vocal FX reminds you of old school TV watching, you’re in for a great time. The smoothness and the screaming chip chords work well with the vaguely future-infused bass. Nothing life-changing, but entertaining as hell nonetheless.

This is an odd one, but it’s going to get favorited and added to your Christmas 2016 playlist. A friend was playing Payday 2 and this came on. I needed to find the thing so I did some digging. If you’re as impressed with the vaguely hardhouse/hardstyle Christmas song remix, get at the Bandcamp for a high quality download. Can’t say I was thinking of buying PayDay, but at the same time, this Simon Viklund does some interesting work.

Every month, Dim Mak Records slides one or two tracks over the plate that really take me by surprise. I’d never been the biggest Aoki guy, but Dim Mak seems to really have an eye for new talent. This CETANA X moistbreezy tune had me dancing in my chair. The Future Bass is a perfectly adequate backing to this half-electro half-chip half-Daft Punk track. It builds into a shimmering success that I am super happy I didn’t miss. It’s a great example of where Future Bass is right now. 2016 is going to a be a great year for the genre, if this track is any indication.

San Holo takes the medal for the best DJ name we all should have come up with, but didn’t. His latest EP, Don’t Touch The Classics, adds a Future Dutch vibe to Blur, Eminem, 50 Cent & Dr. Dre. Most certainly my favorite remix on the EP, it’s got an almost, but not quite tropical vibe to it. Future Sunset, we’ll call it. Excellently reworked, San Holo earned my respect with this one. We don’t take kindly to fucking with Marshall Mathers around here, and San Holo ensured I never started sharpening my pitchfork. Kudos, see you in Episode VIII!

Monday Music: Mickey Kojak, Mochipet, OLWIK, Jerome Blaze & Houses in Motion!

New year, new tunes! For this first Monday Music of 2016, I added a Bonus EP from a cool indie label from Melbourne. Lots of good stuff this week, and if you’re hungry for more, don’t forget to check out my 2015 Gems playlist on Soundcloud for my favorite sleeper tracks of the last year.

This Mickey Kojak came out of nowhere but hit me like a ton of bricks. The uptempo, nu  house vibe hits the ground running and doesn’t stop. The drop at 1:10 is a wobbly delight that I didn’t anticipate. It’s got an electric disco groove that is super danceable and the vocals keep the energy from barreling out of control. Lots to like from this upstart from Sydney native.

Mochipet has done some great work, so I gave this mashup time to breathe before passing judgment. You should do so as well. It’s a murky, almost sullen reworking, bringing the best elements of both Tool & Kendrick Lamar to prominence. Inventive and well executed, it’s a breath of fresh air considering how chock full of pop and house mash ups tend to be. Free as well, so what’s not to like?

I’ve talked about OLWIK before, and you better get used to it, because you’re going to be hearing a lot more from him. His progressive wings continue to grow, and this track soars because of it. He’s walking a very fine line between progressive and pop, which is a huge step forward. This kind of sound is going to continue to be crucial to the integration between the EDM & pop/commercial markets, even with the final collapse of Big Room in 2015. The light, airy & bubbly sound that OWLIK absolutely nails with this is where it’s going, and he’ll be at the front of the pack.

Jerome Blazé is a name I’m hoping gets a lot of attention in 2016. The track and some of his earlier work have a very Porter Robinson feel to them, and that’s as a huge fan. It’s high praise, but I think if Jerome stays the course, in a year or so, he’ll be making waves at festivals way above what he’s doing now. The build up is well-executed, and the crescendo into major chords awash in synthy keyboard work is excellent. It’s a positive tune that should get signed to a label as soon as possible.

Stoney Roads made sure I didn’t miss the “For The Heat” EP, the second issuance from the Houses in Motion label. This fam is super under the radar at the moment, but the EP is a DJ delight. The first tune is a slow simmer, meditative track that would find itself at home in a CityFox or Robot Heart set in a second. The 2nd track is a remix by Sweetland, another Melbourne producer, and as almost a high fashion vibe, blending a quick tempo with some vintage house elements. It’s a clean, clubby tune that deserves some love on this side of the Pacific.