As summer turns to fall, so does the music spectrum & sonic landscape. Here for you, a couple of the best tracks that I thought transitioned from the shiny, sun-drenched vibe of the last 3 months, to the inevitable harvest & apple picking feels. Don’t worry, no pumpkin spice beats here, I promise.
Jerome Blaze is one of those producers I’d totally miss if it wasn’t for Stoney Roads. These masters of the Australian & NZ scene are crucial and if you’re not following them, you need to. This kind of pick up is one that will change your whole day. Heartbeat is a track that gives people hope for the future. The high energy proglectro is not to be missed. There’s a vibe in him we haven’t heard since before the Swedish Fish Mafia discovered cocaine. Don’t skip this one, it’ll make your day better, in a way we’ve not experienced since early Avicii. Yes, I went there. Hit it.
Someone needs to give Xavier Dunn a fucking medal. This is the best retro/vintage cover ever. I’m serious. In the 2-3 decades of retro covers, this is the best one that’s ever been conceived of and executed. Go ahead and play it for the old ladies in your office, or anyone who has a lady boner for Travolta/hard on for Olivia Newton John. I almost want to drop it on Webster Hall just to see how many of the kids actually recognize what they’re listening to. I say it every time I bring up Fresh New Tracks, but V-Man needs a raise.
Back in the realm of non-ironic covers & remixes, Bonobo continues to absolutely kill it. This rework of a George FitzGerald original continues to drive home the point that you do not fuck with Bonobo. The tune glides along, in a way that you’d only expect from Bonobo. It’s a relaxed but exceptionally well-produced Odyssey that doesn’t rush, but hits every mark it plans for. No beat out of place, or sound that wasn’t specifically put there. It’s these kinds of tracks that give me hope. This is some certified hipster shit, so make sure to push up your glasses while talking about it over non-cheap, locally sourced whiskey.
This one took me by surprise. Tesher comes out of nowhere with this absolutely huge mashup of Florence + The Machine & Drake. You heard me right. Delilah and Back 2 Back fuse in a way I could not have forseen if you described it to me after putting LSD in my drink. This absolutely needs to be heard to be believed because it is larger than life. I had no idea these two tracks could mash together as well as they do, and I heavily recommend it for you hip pop/top 40 DJs out there. On your standard Irish Bar dance floor, this will destroy.
Ending this update out with some new hotness from Global Communication. That’s the first time this moniker has been used since 1997. That’s right, you’re getting music from someone who was in the game just about 20 years ago. This remix has eight minutes of almost any genre you could look for at the moment. With a half dozen genres of music being represented and several breaks/beat builds to speak of, I don’t even want to keep wasting your time with you reading this. Hit play & go about your day citizen!
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 🙂 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.
Tonight, we’re taking it back to the roots with a classic track that I was recently reminded exists. This is that kind of menacing breaks style that hasn’t really filtered into modern EDM. There’s this menacing feel to it that is really only captured by dark D&B and hardstyle. Dubstep tried to get this gangster, but then Skrillex’s hair ruined that for everyone. I mean, sucks to be hard in the UK at Brixton, because a lot of those cats are legit hard, but back to the point. 1:20 is potent breaks. The track has a no nonsense female vocalist that could probably kick my ass. She doesn’t want to, but she could if she had to. This is backing some serious production that, while simplistic to some of our more technically oriented listeners, there’s some solid fundamentals here that we could all do well to remember.
Wavewhore put this in my face, and I really couldn’t be happier he did. This is exactly what I needed my breaks to sound like. While people think the genre can’t keep up, I know Vitamin B proves that incorrectly multiple times a year. Wavewhore’s set at VitB proved that this guy knew what he was doing, so when I got this EP in my inbox, I couldn’t be more pleased. The EP is out as of yesterday, and is a duo of dope breaks tracks. You Got It is super well produced, yet quietly all about what makes the genre classically great. Powerful uses a supremely powerful sample and never oversteps its boundaries. Wavewhore makes for a nice little build and break keeping the energy up the entire way through. Get it on Beatport here if you need this for your sets.
If you need him in a little longer format, here’s a mix he did for Birmingham Mountain Radio. Besides that being one of the best names for a radio station I’ve ever heard, the mix is exactly what you need in your life. Here’s to hoping once people get bored of tropical, breaks gets its time in the sun.
He’s got one more surprise for us, a free DL that dropped last week. A heavy rework of Feel That Ammunition by Farace, so now, you’ve got a new EP, a free DL & a mix to keep you satisfied. If you want more, you’ll have to show his social medias some love. Them’s the breaks!
I don’t say this very often, but this event is truly important. Not only is it going to be a sweet party with some of the best breaks anywhere on the planet at this point. Not only is it going to be at The Paper Box, one of the last semi-retail venues in the area of Brooklyn it’s in. Not only is DanceSafe going to be there (so happy about this), but it’s to help one of my favorite people. Lexi, or as you know her, Illexxandra has been producing some of the most innovative & infectious dance beats Brooklyn has ever seen, and she needs our help. Because Vitamin B has actually created a community over the years, it’s coming together to support her in her time of need. For this reason, above all else, you should support this party. This is what community in dance culture looks like, and we need to lionize it as such. The music will of course be second to none.I won’t go on about Lexi anymore, so just put the bass in your face. Tim The Enchanter continues his global quest to get people to go “omg breaks are dope” that is shaping up quite nicely actually, as his recent work illustrates. There’s always been an accessibility to the genre when Tim gets behind the decks which I think other DJs could take notes from.Tektite is one of my favorite truly real people in Brooklyn. His taste in music, food & design are all second to none, as this perfect set of his illustrates. Shisaa is a recent addition to the team but acquits herself quite nicely. This is some global bass that fits in perfectly with the rest of the Justice League. I wanted to save this for last because it’s gigantic. Parametric’s 2.5hr Vitamin B set from their 6th Anniversary. As I said, this is a group that is a true member of the community. Get tickets here and drop by the DanceSafe booth when you get there. If you’d like to donate to her fund personally, show this link some love. This is what we’ve been fighting for ladies & gentlemen.
Ms. Mancrack some love.
Got this from a friend and I’ve gotta say, I can’t wait to see what else she posts up for us. I am always a fan of people breaking out the classic dopeness for me, and she’s given us a delightful present. A vintage re-edit of The Crystal Method, using a 7″ of I’m Your Pusher, a 12″ copy of Busy Child & a whole bunch of Fender action. This getting pushed into a DJM909, with a whole lot of Jupiter 6 work. For anyone under the age of 35, all of those words and numbers probably made no sense. But suffice it to say, two different kinds of physical media and a closet full of hardware was needed to make this. I know, that doesn’t make any sense, since you could just bomp it all on a laptop now, but this was before laptops. When DJs who wanted to make beats had to walk 10 miles in the snow, up hill both ways to the record shop. This kind of breakbeat sound isn’t something you hear outside of Vitamin B here in NYC, but boy oh boy is it wonderful. Get at it and show
We’ve been blessed with a full track from the magical, musical mind of Burial. This time coming off of Keysound Recordings, it takes all of 5 seconds to become perfectly apparent that Burial is back and doing what we all love him for. The moody bass, straddling the lines between breaks, real dubstep (pay attention kids), UK garage comes on strong, with his signature ethereal vocals shimmering into existence a little over a minute in. It’s not new ground, but I could not be happier this is out, to remind people that stuff can actually sound like this. It rambles along, pulling the feeling of loss & almost confusion into the vibe of the track, and before you know it, it’s gone. A 2:41 track is tiny compared to most of his work, but at the same time, it’s still manna from the heavens. Even though it is always raining in Burial tracks, so don’t look up unless you want to get bass rain in your eyes.
Something like this doesn’t come back very often. My boy Agent Orange found this & it’s crazy good. This was recorded at one of the dopest places to exist in NYC. Twilo will never come again, and with the current legal infrastructure in NYC, there is very little any of us can do to change that. However, we can enjoy two hours of some of the best music spun on the island of Manhattan, ever. This mix spans easily a dozen subgenres, with some great gems that will bring you back. If you’re a geezer like me, this mix is going to bring you back to a simpler time. And if you’re a youngling, this is what music sounded like when people could still acquire MDMA in pill form. It was still cut with stuff, but that stuff was like, Stacker 2 & Dexatrim, not Methylone & Face Eating Salts.
via Agent Orange
For Throwback Thursday, I wanted to give some love to the now defunct Volor Flex. Alex Frolov of Syktyvkar, Komi Republic, Russia does so much work in the future bass, dark chill, and menacing drum & bass spheres. Volor Flex produced 4 albums and Sabo, the one this track came from, was his last. The bass progression & production value on this song is without equal. Make sure to listen to this garage breaks track on a system that has great low end & sub bass response, because most of the awesome shit going on in this tune is in the basement. This track is so much like Burial you’ll probably ask why he stopped producing under this moniker. He’s going some very interesting work under the new alias of Trampique. A recent album by Trampique was a moody chromatic triumph, which you can listen to here. Huge fan of Alex, can’t wait to hear what he does next.
Flexstyle, a little known OCRemix DJ/contributor, was let loose at Saboten Con a little bit ago, and we’re all better for it. Opening the live party mix with a PrototypeRaptor electrohouse banger, this guy immediately declared he was not fucking around. Mixing into a remix of my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE level music ever, really could not win more points in my book. The Ben Briggs remix does the Flying Battery Zone (Sonic & Knuckles was a damn triumph) justice and then, there’s Bloody Beetroots! I don’t know where this kid came from, but this is the first time I’ve been convinced I wanted to go to a con in years. If the tunes sounded like this? I’d be 100% down. A particularly wonderful Green Day remix helps transition the mix into original music (but not without dropping a sweet Chemical Zone Remix, with a taunting DDR sample if I’m not mistaken) half of the mix. This is another area where Flexstyle shines. The tunes are expertly produced and pushed together. I can’t wait to hear when he starts integrating his trance & bass tracks into his live mix.
Bonus set! They let him back on the decks, which is a decision I couldn’t support more. I’m not sure how to describe this. This is Nerd Rave music. This is what I wished every chiptune show was ever. Frankly, I’d just listen to 4 hours of electro, deep house, trance & glitch remixes of video game music. If you want to play synthed out West Coast bootlegs of Sonic 3 music, I really would pay you money to do that. Is that possible? This mix even brings in electro swing, which is wonderful. I think this kind of stuff can bring a lot of introverts out of their shell. It’s easy to hear something you recognize and it’s complicated enough that it’s not doofy big room anthem shit. If Big Room is the frat in the EDM scene, this is the Anime club. And man, they look like they’re having a lot of fun.