Midweek Music: Otic, Dylan Reese, EDEN, Scott Bond & Kaskade!

Take It Easy

This sleeper hit from Otic is exactly what your pre-holiday jitters need. This low-key drum & bass is great to travel or prep to. Whether you’re heading out on the town or over to the parental situation. It’s unassuming and definitely not aggressive. Not a whole lot more to say except, let it smooth you out.

Dylan Reese blindsided me with this one. It’s a strong offering, not what I expected, especially given the look and production. Everything clicks together, with Dylan providing good flow and making the right choices about where to go hard, where to tune and where to push the melodic breaks back in. He’s got a tune coming out on Dec. 1st, so here’s to hoping he keeps the hit streak going.

EDEN can do nothing wrong. How many artists do you know that cover Billie Jean without embarrassing themselves? This Future Pop tune does a couple of things correctly. First, EDEN doesn’t try to outsing MJ, which is the dumb thing most artists try. EDEN wins on production here, and secondly, it feels a bit differently melancholy, as opposed to the pop anthem the original will always be. Splendid work, can’t wait to hear about live gigs.

I’ve written about Scott Bond before, but this most recent 138 trance anthem is welcomed during this week of family & traveling great distances. It’s got the energy you don’t hear very often anymore, with the 138 space being crowded by the bro-y end of electro & progressive. This racing build breaks into exactly the pumping, driving trance drop us hard house enthusiasts can’t get enough of.

Kaskade decided to take a walk through some legit house done by Thomas Sagstad ft. Wildo. This Burned remix has the signature positivity Kaskade brings to all of his work, taking great parts of the original and shuffling them around, adding a healthy dollop of anthem. The tune feels sun-drenched, which is definitely needed this Thanksgiving weekend for us Northern Hemisphere residents. Hope it gives you a minor urge to dance around in your chair during Thanksgiving feast. Or afterwards to help work off them calories! See y’all next week!

Midweek Music: SMLE, BANKS, 20syl, Big Grams & Daktyl

Another week, another quick quintet of tracks! Stuff from New York, the UK, France & LA. Lots of great stuff happening as 2015 draws to a close, so don’t sleep on these tunes!
This is a big set folks, all new dopeness spread across a couple of different genres, but it stays decidedly future throughout.
SMLE is getting a bunch of attention, though somewhat quietly. Over the last couple of months they’ve kept showing up on my Soundcloud feed. You always know an artist is legit when multiple producers you respect keep sharing the stuff. SMLE puts together a sound that’s both symphonic, chill and surprisingly forward-looking. It’s got Sunday afternoons all over it.
BANKS is back, and we are all better for it. The soothing single has an amazing music video, which reminds of Gesaffelstein, but with her own flair. She makes you wait until 2:25 of the 3min to really get how bluesy the track actually is. It’s melancholy & massive at the same time.

20syl re-envisions a masterful trumpet piece by Ibrahim Maalouf in ways I’m not sure any of us saw coming. This is a future ballad that needs 100x the attention it’s getting currently. The tune fuses classical trumpet, future bass, the always impressive synth work of 20syl and a distinctly global feel. One of the tracks that I doubt will make it to the blogs, but really does need to.
This next one is huge news for everyone in both the bass music & hip hop universes. Big Boi & Phantogram have decided to team up to start producing under the name Big Grams. The classic Outkast vibe is played to perfectly, and faithfully, while Phantogram has taken the “make beats for Big Boi” mantle & ran with it. It’s a fantastic premiere, so expect to keep hearing from this collaboration. I feel like it’s got cross-pollination potential both at regular hip hop shows but also at Bassnectar, Pretty Lights & other edge acts. Splendidly produced from start to finish, this demands your attention.

Rounding out the post is a surprise posted by This Song Is Sick. This remix of Autograf by Daktyl made me sit up in my chair. It’s got just the amount of re-production, while staying faithful to the original. The bass seems to laze along, but crests properly, giving an almost anthem feel to the future trap.

Midweek Music: Sorsari, ZHU, Lido, Campuskit, Enschway

I am so glad I this track exists. It’s a superb remix of a melody that is near & dear to my heart. This theme from Chrono Trigger (from the Realm of Magic I believe) was an ethereal, lofty, tease that so many of us loved growing up. This chilled trap rework adds an atmospheric quality that could never have exist on the SNES. The source material is used honorably, going places I only dreamed about after playing the damn game for 8hrs at a time. Great for a Sunday morning or the last tune of the night.

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony hung out with ZHU. I’m a little late on this tip but if you haven’t heard this, it’s crossover with the boys from Cleveland. They pull in Trombone Shorty for a surprisingly uptempo jazzy tune for the Bone Thugs. It works well and I’m happy to hear them out of retirement. If ZHU is bringing rappers back from the dead I think he needs to hang out with Biggie & Tupac’s holograms next.

Lido & Santell may have created the Mambo #5 of the 10’s. For anyone who doesn’t know who Louie Vega is and/or didn’t listen to pop radio in the late 90’s, this tune oozes sexy. To the point where it may make you or other people listening uncomfortable. Or possibly accelerate Netflix & Chill. Your mileage may vary. Use with caution.

Another release from the always excellent Stoney Roads Soundcloud, Campuskit is a fresh sound from down under. The synth powers are strong with this one, and he definitely earned my attention with this remix. It’s got a shimmering, almost chippy future bass tune. Great work, and it’s novel artists like this that keep me loving what I do.

Enschway  takes it away on this last remix. Another gem from Stoney Roads, this Future Trap anthem bursts with emotion and doesn’t let up. It’s got a Madeon, or dare I say even a Porter Robinson feel to it. The composition & production seems effortless and the soulful work put into the vocals makes the track pop in your ears. It’s a real feast for the senses and makes me excited for everything this kid from Sydney has in store for us. Honestly, this is so good, I’ve gotta share a bonus track. It’s a bit more recent, so put it and the previous one into your face!

Midweek Music: SG Lewis, Armin Van Buuren, Ferry Corsten, Farzam & Joman

Another week, another set of reasons to get up and dance. There’s a big range here, but each track definitely gives you a unique vibe and reason to groove. Without further ado, grab your volume control and dive in with me!

SG Lewis tugs at the heartstrings with this one. This future garage triumph takes the recently released Magnets, off Caracal by Disclosure ft. Lorde, adds its own delicious spin and some powerfully relaxed vibes. It’s takes a lot to fuck with Disclosure if your name isn’t Flume, but this is executed well. The break at 1:50 is unexpected but totally welcome. Drift away on this one.
There are things I never thought I’d say when I started writing, and “Here is the new Armin Van Buuren & Cosmic Gate collab” is certainly not one of them. This kind of stab at a classic trance vibe, Armin-ified is packed with shimmering nostalgia. The punch and ethereal feel is a throw back to trance that we listened to a decade ago. While it’s definitely more of a festival banger than anything from that era, that’s really only because we’ve actually got festivals outside of Amsterdam now. A huge tune I expect to hear in sets for months, blast this. Annoy coworkers & significant others with it, this one is worth it folks.
Continuing the classic trance vibe, Ferry Corsten released his remix of Ayla’s Ayla from 1999 on Soundcloud. Ninety fucking nine! The world was entirely different back then. Anyone who knows Ferry can tell just how long ago this collab with Vincent de Moor took place. The two break structure, the restrained production, the deep Northern Europe feel, it’s all there. If people want to know what dance music sounded like a generation ago that filled stadiums, you play them this.

Switching gears entirely, coming back into the future to a track released two days ago by a producer from Germany with Arabic vocals. This kind of melodic dubstep is really easy to screw up, but FARZAM does spectacular work on this tune. He seems to be a producer of cinematic, trance-y, stepp-y tracks and a gifted one at that. It’s a wonderful effort and I really want to hear more like what’s happening at 2:14. It’s a gorgeous sound that the world needs to hear. Enjoy it & thank him for making it.
Last but certainly not least, I’ve gotta give it up for Joman. Ever since he made the greatest dubstep remix that has ever been and ever will be made in the history of dubstep remixes, I’ve kept a close eye on this guy, occasionally being a somewhat creepy cheerleader. But, he continues to hit his stride and pushing the edge of his skills. This new tune is no exception. It’s a wobbly electro feeling tune with a hard driving progressive edge. This is usually a genre and a toolset I can’t take seriously, but like TheFatRat and Madeon, he’s using the shimmering chords and the vocals appropriately, while backing them up with a well derived punchy beat. The dubby breakdown at 2:30 reminds everyone that Joman can produce with the best of them and deserves your attention. I’m gonna keep repping this dude, and not just because he’s a Master of Karate & Friendship.Beneath a Neon Sky is a certified banger that is going to get picked up.

Jae Jin’s Album “Kairos” Is A Stunning Soulful Success!

Kairos - Jae Jin

Jae Jin – Kairos

I spoke to Jae Jin a little while back, during his last stint of NYC performances. Easily one of the most electrifying new voices of my generation, I think there’s a certain explosive potential in this kid. He’s put it all on the line and if you were one of the chosen few who helped him crowdfund (with a hefty chunk going to charity no less) his debut album, you have not been disappointed. For everyone who wasn’t smart enough to get in on that action, you can grab it here, which I highly recommend.

When It Finds You is one of the best vocal tracks I’ve heard in years. This has pop/rock anthem written all over it. It delivers with hints of gospel, a heaping dose of soul & just a dash of euphoria. The call & answer section is a wonderful throwback & the tune reels you in and doesn’t let you go. Expertly arranged, it busts the door down for the album.

Running pulls a little more in the indie direction, showcasing Jae’s range and ability. The mastering & additional elements added in to support his buttery vocals are the right choices, with the track gliding along. I’m surprised I haven’t already heard it on the radio. Ain’t About Love brings it back down to almost a blues vibe, but the ditty uses piano & snaps to emphasize just how good Jae Jin is at this.

Don’t Fall Too Late is a rambling, relaxed soulful meditation, but by this point, you should be expecting that. It harmonizes & blends well, giving Jae Jin another chance to knock it out of the park. Which he of course does. The guitar & piano are front and center, but neither dominates. Everything is necessary and it all works. Moon & Stars modernizes that soulful vibe, centering on some soaring chords. It has almost a country vibe, feeling like it could be played at an indie show or even a NASCAR race. It feels very American, if that means anything anymore.

Honestly, I could keep going on, listing each track and telling you how good they are, but that’s just taking time away from you listening to & buying the album. Each track is expertly arranged and continues to show new sides of Jae, ones I didn’t even know he had, and I knew the guy years ago.

I want to wrap this up by saying that this guy’s sound is screaming to get paired up with DJs & producers here in NYC. This guy’s vocal work is beyond compare and any producer or label that picks him up will be lucky. He’s pulling his weight in gold, to quote Gallant, and Ed Sheeran has nothing on this kid. Pick the album up here and enjoy!

Jae Jin

Someone Figured Out That Drake Works Perfectly with N64 Music


I’m not even sure how you figure this out. Someone decided to overlay Drake on N64 games and the synergy is stunning, if not a bit terrifying. For serious, the combination of Drake & Mario Kart 64 is one of the more shockingly perfect tunes I’ve heard this month.

Music Video With Kitty On Speaker. What Are You Waiting For?

I’m stunned no one has thought of this before. Also, I have no idea how they got the cat to stay still for the entirety of this shoot. Lernert & Sander are two high concept artists out of Amsterdam, and did this great little video for De Jeugd Van Tegenwoordig for their song “Manon.” I have no idea how to pronounce this group’s name but I really don’t care. It’s a great little video and I now want all the gifs made of it. Get on that internets. The cats command it.