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

Earworm Of The Month: SubVibe – Lemons [Portal Dubstep]

SubVibe - Lemons

SubVibe – Lemons

It’s been a tough month, so I needed something with a little more punch. In this post-dubstep era, the rare tunes that still effectively leverage the wubs earn my respect. This one came out over the weekend and it’s been on repeat. I am going to inflict this on everyone I know, so you might as well get it over with. This has a beginning that evokes the best of Portal. This is the greatest motivationalstep I’ve ever heard. I don’t think that’s a genre, but this anthemic massive vibe that the step & quotes bring forth is really potent. Even just the quote:

Do you know who I am?! I’m the man who’s gonna burn your house down!

With the Lemons.

There’s some great guitar work halfway through, showing that SubVibe aren’t resting on their laurels and keeps you engaged. This is critical with dubstep. It needs to change up or we stop paying attention. 3min in, when the quote comes back, the hardness is in full effect and it crosses into the realm of Seven Lions and the best of the best. This track totally blew me away, and I don’t say that about many things. The energy drops back down after more surprisingly good guitar work, leaving me hoping for more. Alright, I’m into it, let’s bring dubstep back just for Portal.

Earworm Of The Month: Tielsie – Hueboy (DJ Clap Remix) [Chip Footwork]

Tielsie - Hueboy (DJ Clap Remix)Music that makes me sit up in my chair, music that’s different than anything I’ve heard before, that’s what I’m here for.¬†Tielsie does some amazing work in what I can only describe as the future footwork space. This kind of stuff isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’s some of the most inventive post-hardcore sounds I’ve heard in a long time. DJ Clap (aka John Luke) adds his own signature chipcore sound to a tune from Tielsie called Hueboy. It starts off soothing, but then ramps up in energy to the point where it’s essentially vibrating. 1:40 to 2:11 is the future footwork that is unmatched by any. However, 2:11 exceeds even that, giving me the sonic equivalent of running inside of a Mega Man X cartridge. This is so frenetic it’s almost downright soothing. When things got too crazy or frenetic over the past month, I’ve thrown this into my face & drifted away. Everything else melts away. Steel yourself for June!

Bonus! The original track by Tielsie is below! Enjoy them both, but watch out, they bite ūüôā

EP Of The Week: Blood Eagle By Saberpulse – The Remixes

In January, one of my favorite chip artists, Saberpulse, dropped this hard, electro track on the interwebs. Put it in your face for a frame of reference for fantastic, nerdy remix package. The album associated with it was quality, but this single did stand out.

This ¬†remix package appeared in late April but I wasn’t able to put it into my face until recently. So glad I did.¬†The Trey Frey remix keeps the¬†deep electro with amazing VGM frosting. This is what I remember electro sounding like before it was used to pad out crappy progressive sets. The chip breakdown 2:30 in is well executed & makes the genre look great. I think more chip producers should be looking to the technical levels that appear all over this remix EP. These peeps know what they’re doing, showing how far the genres involved can be pushed. ¬†Makeup and Vanity manages to rework Addicted 2 love into a 90’s NYC house tune, except made with synthy goodness instead of analog synths. I suprisingly don’t actually mind and would rock out to this if I heard it at a house music party in Brooklyn. Even though it strangely reminds me of Sonic 3.¬†The Sushi Killer remix of Flux manages to be something I wasn’t sure was possible. Chip + Jersey Club seems like a really amazing concept in theory, but it’s breathtakingly difficult to execute in practice It gives me hope for the future. I feel like this kind of vibe would’ve found a home on Jet Set Radio or The World Ends With You. A kind of J-Club, it really works.¬† Saskrotch is one of my favorite people on the internet. I don’t think there’s anyone that does chip breaks better. His insane speed, nerdcore vibe & fast/slow mastery is second to none. cTrix adds some color & a lush vibe with his remix, pushing out fun, 16bit indie bass. It’s atmospheric, and melds elements of jungle, future bass & chip. Definitely a sleeper hit on the album. Grimecraft shows up massively with his Future Con Club remix of Flux. It manages to be tropical, heavy & footwork’y at the same time. Which is why I’m so glad he knocked Fontana’s around in NYC recently, and I can’t wait for him to come back. Grimecraft, Get on the bandwagon early.¬† The bonus remix of Horizons by Lockyn is a treat. It’s got a sunny disposition, keeping it bouncy and airy at times. Great way to end the remix EP and glad to see styles of electro besides Knife Party still exist. Electric Disco is fantastic and needs to see wider use on le dance floor. You agree? Get at the comments with your favorite or least favorite track ūüôā Pick up the EP too, it’s like under 5 pounds. I have no idea what that is in US dollars, but 4 of something isn’t that many.

 

 

DVTV Arrives & We’re All Better For It. [Album Of The Week]

DVTV¬†is a triumph, I’m writing a note here, huge success. DVS, one of the few authentic, real people I graduated HS with, and this isn’t even his final form. VICE, Complex, Stereogum & plenty of other spots have given DVS love, and I’ve gotta jump on the big love fest because this is legit. It’s got talent, execution, production, excellent guest spots & collabs, the whole 9 yards, the whole enchilada, the full monte and other outdated phrases the kids don’t use anymore. This album is one of the few I’ve actually listened to more than once in 2015, and I’m pretty confident I’ll be bumping this until I’m long in the tooth. While it’s all incredible, and yes, you should both listen to it and give DVS many dollars, here are my favorites off the album.¬† Money Train gets a million points for using Subway announcements as refrains. DVS has the tightest flow you’ve heard in a minute and Money Train is just a warm up. Anyone that can use the closing door sound & take the piss out of the more gangsta end of local hip hop without breaking a sweat, gets respect. Do It To Death is a stupendous solo work that reminds me that DVS is everything Rehab could never be, in addition to being better solo than most crews I’ve been stuck watching in bars across the city. The tight production & continually inventive flow do not disappoint.¬† This will get replayed over and over. Rhymes + the Darkwing Duck theme needs to get leaked to someone at Buzzfeed with the quickness so this can get blasted in their offices over and over until they make a video about how ridiculous it is.¬† Just What Happens is a high water mark for the Album & for DVS.¬†Just What Happens needs to be on your Kendrick Lamar playlist. It needs to be on your Wu playlist. It needs to be on your playlists, is what I’m saying. More real than you’re probably aware of, and there’s a pile of references I know I’m missing. The crucial, vintage & excellent sample ensured this is an instant classic. The words are amazing, but 2min in to the end is lyrical mad genius that needs as wide of an audience as possible. DVTV lives up to expectations as a single, and almost a victory lap for DVS. I’m at the combination loosey spot & crack hotel¬†is damn near close to perfection for anyone who grew up in the city before & during the Giulianification of the city.

The other singles on this album have already been covered by VICE & plenty of other blogs way more important than mine, so I wanted to mention some of the new pieces and ones I’ve not…already yelled at you¬†about. The whole thing is on a playlist below, so jam on that as needed, but definitely buy this album. Also, tell your friends.

Earworm Of The Month: Foy Vance – Be The Song (Epatage Soul Edit)

Foy Vance - Be The Soul (Epatage Soul Edit)If you want a good idea of what the inside of my mind has sounded like for the last couple of weeks, just put this on repeat. This duo, made up of Alex Toni and Rodion De Charme out of St. Petersburg has created some amazing tracks, but this one is a fantastic stand out. The combination of soulful lyrics, soothing beats & perfect production is the reason why it’s been on daily repeat. They recently came out with a new track, which can be listened to here. They are able to capture a smooth, almost hopeful melancholy that you don’t hear in dance music much these days. Listen to this in the sun, or while walking in the light.

Mix Of The Week: Memories by Liquicity, Mixed by Maduk

Too many Drum & Bass artists to name on this week’s Mix. Maduk of Liquicity fame has served up a fantastic trip down memory lane for us liquid fantatics. There’s a lot to love here, with tracks from Stan SB, Feint, Rameses B & like a dozen other artists. This is to celebrate their new compilation “Memories.” A good idea, as this allows them to get all of your (and my) favorite tracks from years of listening in one place. 30 of the best liquid tracks in years, and the compilation comes with a big 76min mix as well. The preview mix that’s posted here is just a taste to whet the appetite and honestly, it does exactly that. Tracks I’ve not heard in years, and others I’ve never heard, flow smoothly together as Maduk does work getting the word out about this compilation. ¬†So I want to¬†give them money for it¬†all. Which, you should do as well.

Mix Of The Week: Deuce Returns. Rejoice & Be Glad.

Deuce - SoundcloudLike a crazy masked avenger, The Deuce Cake himself has reappeared on the scene. A new mix of significance has been dropped for us, so all you tech house & garage heads take note. My boy Deuce is one of the most talented sleeper agents¬†in NYC. He was my first Hometown Fire for a reason. The first 10 minutes are some of the most crucial tech house I’ve heard in months. But the hits keep coming with clutch remixes and some stupendous transitions. I’ve watched this guy spin and even I don’t know when he starts some of these. He’s one of those DJs that will give you a taste of something and forget about it for 5 minutes. Making you think you lost your damn mind placing that sample incorrectly, then bam, it’s in your face, re-worked and grooving. I need the names of the tracks 36min in & just over an hour, as those are some of the high watermarks for me when it comes to the vibe that the combo between house & garage can be. By the time I was done with this mix I was even more sad I didn’t have Disclosure’s home phone number. This sound needs to get way bigger.

EP Of The Week: CMA – Dreams [Chill]

CMA - DreamsThis week, drift away with CMA. This tight little EP is made of clouds. The excessive talent of CMA is on display as this sextet of relaxing sonic snowflakes float down upon you. Dream Away gets us off to a winking, almost uptempo start, before Caught In Out Thoughts pulls us back into that chillstep vibe. Don’t Look Back brings in some atmosphere that you wouldn’t find out of place in a Rameses B track, which given how much I love that dude, is high praise. The arpeggio work is solid and it never gets too intense. Moving Forward manages to both be heavy & soaring, while still keeping in the feel of the EP. So, an oppressive giant made of clouds. Or someone screaming but the only thing coming out is sparkles? Not sure if that metaphor is decidedly positive enough. Without You showcases CMA’s piano skill, which is on point. I am glad to see more and more producers coming from strong piano backgrounds, as I find it to be tremendously helpful to production. This gives a flexibility that we see throughout the EP, that other producers should take note of. Friends brings it back to the chillstep vibe we all showed up for. Great work by CMA & it’s a Creative Commons licensed EP, so go put it into your student film so people discover CMA.

 

 

MOTW: Just Dan’s Throwback Hospitality & Lucid Dreaming 2 By Steve James

This week ladies & gentlemen, I’m happy to bring you two more dope mixes by people I’ve actually had conversations with. We’ll see how long I can keep this streak going, but starting us off, Steve James! I’ve talked about this wunderkind excessively, but please hit play if you’re still one of the 4 people that don’t think kids learning how to produce their own music on laptops won’t get you farther than learning how to play the bassoon. Not only is the mix done right, but there are definitely tracks on it I’ve never heard and need in my life. Imagine that, the younger ones finding it faster and serving it up nicer than I could. Almost the way of things, huh? If you’re in Miami get at his sets here, you won’t be disappointed. Switching gears to my always favorite, liquid drum & bass, my boy Just Dan delivers. This set of impressively vintage Hospital records hits shows what the guy can do when he wakes up with an idea in his head. He’s also doing a mix experiment which I’m super into. He’s going to do a series of “One Takes,” which will be one off-recordings, authentic, however it goes, it goes. This kind of risk taking is something we only hear from the DJs that do live shows, at regular intervals and it’s the same sound week-to-week. This series, spanning genres & styles, is definitely not something our press-play DJs do. Respect.