Monday Music: Clinton Sparks, Monoverse, Overjoy, Robotaki, Kristen Zwicker & James Blake!

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Time for your next dose of tunes! I’m all over the place this week, lots of different stuff to get into. Plus, I had to break my 5 tracks a week rule to make sure to include one off of my dear friend Kristen Zwicker’s new EP. Also known as Dopeshoes, she does some great work in Brooklyn, so you’re getting that plus the other 5 tunes I got into over the last week.

Clinton Sparks did some great work on this song and lyric video. For anyone not in the loop, tunes are frequently given lyric videos before the real music video is released, and they are usually phoned in. Picking up Joey Bandz and pushing the pop indie vibes, we can see Clinton Sparks is really taking a swipe at that LA universe. Honestly, with offerings like this, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be there. This is weapons grade easy listening indie pop that I’d much rather hear on the radio than a lot of other artists. The lyric work stays intelligent, the guitar and synth work halfway through the tune separate it from the middle of the pack where it would be forgotten. Keep going Clinton, they’ll give you your Chainsmokers moment soon.
Monoverse releasing an original on Future Sounds of Egypt? Yes please! Quintessential trance from the NYC native, well executed and impeccably mixed. Monoverse is one of those low-key heroes of the NYC dance music scene that I am really hoping finds all the success he deserves. His mixes are second to none, he graciously opens for the best Trance acts in the world, and produces compelling originals. The break at 2:32 is spectacular and should already be popping up on Trance podcasts all over the world. Play it over something other than Bluetooth.
Overjoy came out of nowhere and shook me. Don’t let the hipster-y opening throw you. Get to 1:45 however you can and enjoy the muddy bass & vocals. This is a deep, deep track that has a crazy video to match. Float along to the groovy indie bass work, drift off and relax. Great work by the trio from LA.
Keeping the “dope video” theme going, Robotaki knocked this track out of the park. I found it in a Gifs With Sound YouTube video, then proceeded to listen to Robotaki for the rest of the day. The fusion between J-pop and potent electro works perfectly, and I want more of it. Like, can we get Robotaki to do some Babymetal remixes with Black Tiger Sex Machine or something?
Oh yea, and James Blake did a new thing. Like, I’m not even sure why you’re reading these words instead of hitting play and letting the 2:47 wash over you. It gets somewhat intense in his smouldering, poetic way, but still shimmers throughout. It’s raw, gets intense and almost dark. Amazing, as always Mr. Blake.

To cool down from some of that heaviness, Drift by Kristen Zwicker is just the thing you need. It’s got a Buddha Bar meets Brooklyn feel to it, which, is both inspired and meditative. Throw this on during the morning after, when you get home, or while you’re trying to not choke someone on the train. Use good headphones that have bass. It might save their lives.

Monday Music: MitiS, Haven, SREYAS, Submotion Orchestra & SeeMore

HouseThe heat accompanying global moistness had given the city a sweaty, rainy feel, but the new week is upon us, so that means new sweltering tunes! A mix of old and new this week, dope trance from MitiS, chilled vibes from haven off the new WaveMob compilation, a surprisingly good tech house banger from SREYAS off an OverClocked Remix compilation, and two gems from Submotion Orchestra. Put this ish in your face, and if you get a chance to see Submotion Orchestra live, DO SO.
#MyBoyMitiS continues his meteoric rise from club kid to headliner, dropping a quietly epic Trance tune on Soundcloud yesterday. His signature attention to detail and innovative production choices shine here. MitiS delivers a trance tune that would find a home at FSOE, ASOT, Pure NRG or a dozen other Trance DJ podcasts or live sets. When you shazam it at Dreamstate later this year, you’ll know where it came from.
I cannot say enough good things about Haven. He’s one of those rare gifts of a producer that make you feel amazing things and never abuses the privilege. His latest off of WaveMob‘s new compilation is a stellar example of what WaveMob is capable of, and I highly recommend checking out the entire playlist. If you can’t get enough of this stuff, check out my interview with Haven & other chill DJs here.
I was jamming on a compilation of video game remixes over the weekend when I came across this remix. SREYAS really blew me away with this one, as I am not used to hearing tech house bangers that make me want to play Super Mario Brothers. This tune slaps honestly, the bass is exceptionally well produced, the original VGM material is used expertly, and the mastering is second to none. We’d expect nothing less from OverClocked Remix, so I encourage you to put the whole playlist on when pre-gaming this week, and show them some love over at www.ocremix.org
For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been obsessed with Submotion Orchestra & their album Alium. The 6 piece organic band manages to fuse elements of jazz, pop, indie, electronica, house and R&B, creating a gorgeous, unique sound that feels exceptionally modern. The complexity of the album allows for a sonic journey that I’ve been missing from traditional electronic releases, while the moody goodness keeps me grounded while playing the album on repeat. Awakening is a triumph, even more so than the rest of the album, so don’t miss it.
SeeMore managed to do an exceptionally difficult thing. Remix another one of my favorites from Submotion Orchestra, giving it some future bass oomph without getting in the way of the original source material. The fusion between old and new is one of the finer remixes on the Submotion Orchestra Spotify page, and has definitely turned me onto SeeMore.

Monday Music: Vassh, floatinurboat, kamandi, sakuraburst & unforseen

1264914448005Now that the warmth has finally arrived and outdoor parties are getting busted for not having a liquor license, here are some sparkling hidden gems from around the internets that you need to know exist. No time to waste, here are the tunes!
Vassh & Haven are fast becoming my favorite post-EDM producers. The total lack of festival anthem stupidity is in full effect here, with a tasty infusion of UK garage into true hip hop vibes coming from across the pond. This is South London rude boy shit, combined with soothing, exotic bass padding that needs to be celebrated. A tune so hard street and soft garage simultaneously is something most Americans have yet to master, while the duo, hailing from MA & SC has knocked it out of the park.

floatinurboat is the kind of artist you’d totally miss for lack of promotion, but spend several hours listening to in the middle of the night if discovered. I know, because that was my Friday night. Future production like this is one of the directions I’m praying indie pop moves into post-diplo/skrillhouse. There’s a stride that this tune hits that gives me hope. The ability to communicate complex emotional landscapes using electronic influences has taken a back seat to fist pumping in recent years, so I’m holding out hope we push back into the territory this 16 year old from Glasgow seems to lord over.

Kamandi is not an artist I saw coming. Honestly, I was swinging from account to soundcloud account, stumbling on this west coast stunner entirely by accident. Burn Them Down seemed like an entirely forgettable tune until the 2 minute mark hit. Then, it transitions into shockingly brutal electronica, to the point where it convinced me there’s a metal band making it happen. More please.

Sakuraburst is one of those low-key stars that Soundcloud & basement producers look up to. Why? This is the year where you find out. Sakuraburst has production skills that are almost unmatched, turning heads like T-Mass, Beardyman & others that have already made it. Their new EP showcases this production prowess, which is why I needed to make sure you didn’t miss anticrystal. Shuddering, throbbing bass fuses with jittery garage elements to make an intimidating but unforgettable original that will be welcome in any ominous game OST.

unforseen is another one of the exquisite Ambient/Chillwave posse on Twitter that need their own music collective and stage at festivals. Unforseen pushed out this 4 track tribute to his favorite chill producers glo, haven (told ya), madi larson and pearl. 4 tunes for 4 producers you should all know about, especially when the sky is gray, or you’ve just been dumped by bae. Check out each of the producers if you have time, but don’t worry, I’ll be bringing you dopeness from each of them over the summer.

Monday Music: WNWD, Autograf, Solstis, Lido & Wolfgang Lohr

8t5YJApril’s grinding along, if you’re flagging, rely on me. Got 5 soulful tunes for your Monday. By the time these are done, it’ll be time for lunch and you’ll deserve a break, so let’s get into it.

V continues to be one of the most important people to follow at Fresh New Tracks. WNWD coming out of Miami, taking me by total surprise. Higher has a number of electronic elements, but it’s quite different than what I expect out of South Beach. Low-key R&B for the win up in this. The vocal work hits all of the marks needed for the bass & production really shine. Great work & they earned the follow with this track, most assuredly.

Autograf has been a sleeper favorite of mine for years now. Really happy they’ve broken out of Soundcloud purgatory and arrived on the festival circuit, hitting Coachella & Euphoria Festival this month alone. This kind of moody bass might be a little chilled out for a Monday morning, but the guitar work makes up for it. It’s got a vintage Ratatat feel to it, which is a high compliment if anyone remembers their early work. Great work, can’t wait to hear basics chatting up this new Autograph band after their set in Indio at the end of the month.

Coming at you with some new (to me) talent out of Honolulu & Chicago, Solstis. Three minutes forty moves by quickly, straddling the line between Chip, Trap and Future, but never getting too big for its britches. The chorus shimmers and the underlying bass is one of the more soothing I’ve heard in a minute. It’s got an almost West Coast vibe, but it feels like it came from the dorm rooms at a tech school in Cali, if that makes sense.

Lido has hit his stride and we are all better for it. This video is a perfect indication that he’s embracing his rising star position & digging in. The signature viscous rhythm & bass vibe that we love him for is here, with lovely vocals and a surprisingly good video. This has anthem all over it, but not in a big room way. If we can get Future Bass & Chilltrap to the mainstage this year, I’ll be a very happy man.

Rounding out the tunes today is an edit by one German electroswing DJ, of an original tune by another German electroswing DJ. I had no idea the stuff ran so deep in Germany, but this is jolly dope. The hustle is warm, the piano on-point, and the progression really lends itself to some infectious booty shaking. It’s hard to resist this one, and it’s good for all ages. The German vocals are oddly relaxing, while the pacing doesn’t let up. Drop this into a wedding reception & watch people of all ages jump up and down. Great work Wolfgang, keep it up!

Monday Music: Greyhat, Ghostchant, Mickey Kojak, SBTRKT & Bobina

Freeman KittyThe last Monday in March will be celebrated with Morgan Freeman, a black cat & 5 of the most legit things I heard last week!

Greyhat coming at you from Maine, with some soothing, almost vaporwave chillout. I say almost because there’s an indie punch to the track that’s much appreciated. It’s got a Blockheads classic psychedelic rock feel to it. Never too overpowering, but most certainly guitar-focused and liquid. Speaking of liquid, it pulls into a breaking, almost d&b tempo, before melting back into this lush indietronica that deserves roaring congratulations. It feels like driving through one of those rainbow 80’s videogame .gifs.

Ghostchant is one of my favorite UK artists. His fusion of garage, ambient, downtempo, trap & ethereal beats is second to none, and this kind of remix needs to keep coming. Pulling even more echo & melancholy into The Weeknd, this six minute rework is a giant made of clouds. So much work went into creating the atmosphere that The Weeknd’s vocals soar through, I hope he sees in. Ghostchant is one of the best producers in the game, and totally needs to do some work for huge pop artists. Bieber remix next perhaps?

I mentioned Mickey Kojak a little while ago, and when I said I’d keep my eye on him, I meant it. This one is hard to classify but makes me happy, a track that gives me hope for the future. Forward looking, while almost paying homage to Disclosure, this funky house track hits all the right notes. On point vocals, a surprisingly round & well produced bassline, decidedly non-tropical sounding pad work, and melancholy come together wonderfully. As it fades away, I’m left wondering, just like the last time I wrote about him, what’s coming next from this guy.
 Hadn’t anticipated new SBTRKT, but it’s always welcome. THE-DREAM shows up to provide some euphoric hip hop fusion with potent indie bass. It’s a frenetic, tense build, but that makes the drop/chorus even more gratifying. Well put together, with all of the elements playing their position, as it were. The auto-tune is minimal if used at all, and the almost euphoric break rounds out the 3:48 nicely. Quick fun & unassuming.
 This is dope. While it’s the most festival ready shit I’ve ever posted on this blog, I have my reasons, those being, Trainspotting. Any track that uses samples from Trainspotting doesn’t get turned off immediately. And I’m glad I didn’t. The first build is EDM as fuck, but the 2nd, real build is euphoric trance that we need more of. The samples remain useful throughout, and the music video is well edited. The build puts you in a crazy, serotonin filled place, which I hope to hear more of as the US festival season warms up. Bomp this ish loud, your music junkie friends will thank you. Big ups to Bobina for making this happen.

Bonus! A friend’s tune that he only hinted at existing, one of my tracks of 2015, is finally seeing official release! Yellow@TheLight has been killing it in the whispered quiet spaces of the Lower East Side and Bali, strangely enough. His vibe can’t really be described, so I’ll just let the track speak for itself. Metal drums, deep vibes, and a techno back bone come together to feel like a beach party from the X-Files. Half deep, half almost metallic, it really shows off the breadth & depth of the production competence Yellow@TheLight brings to the table. So hopefully you & I can convince him to do it more often. If you’re feeling this, he’s got a new mix out of similar depth.

Monday Music: Aether, CHVRN, Ray LaMontagne, neftone & Sekai Selects!

9kieHIzThis week, I’m back to focusing on the relaxed end of the spectrum. These tunes are great for kicking back, driving slowly up the coast, or even just post-gaming with your friends after a dope night out. But enough from me, let’s get into the music!

Aether features Enzalla, who provides a stellar vocal focus that the chill/ambient feels are layered under. Soothing piano & pad work mesh with the exquisite chord rolls that dot the song. Kick back & relax to enjoy this one.

CHVRN took me by total surprise in the mix that I’ve linked below. This is exactly what we need more of. Massive chilltrap that’s ethereal, bombastic and massive. It’s so rare here in NYC, and frankly, I’d be happy as a pig in shit if someone threw a 6hr event and dropped nothing but this. But, it won’t happen without your help. Show CHVRN some love on this and other dope chilled artists, so we can get them booked on this side of the pond.
Subsets never tries to be anything what it is best at being. Smooth ambient, continuing the padwork and soft bass theme I’ve been digging on recently. Great example of the backbone of any legit Sunday morning chill out set, and really hope inducing when it comes to emerging artists on the downtempo side of things.
neftone wasn’t someone I’d heard of before some sonic exploration this week, but I gotta say, there’s some great work here. It’s more on the old school funky hip hop side of things (imo), rather than instrumental chillwave, but if you get angry that I’m misclassifying this, I think you might be missing the point.

Ray LaMontagne came from a very unlikely source this week. I read a blog written by industry insider & critic Bob Lefsetz, and if you don’t, you really need to. Especially if you’re under the age of 25. This guy’s been watching the game for longer than Martin Garrix has been pooping in toilets. He turned me on to this new, Pink Floyd sounding release by LaMontagne. Not something I usually come across, so I absolutely have to signal boost this.

Closing out is a mix that caught my attention and repeated plays over the last couple of weeks. Sekai Selects dropped this dope Future Chill/Trap compilation, and I’m so glad they did. A particular favorite part is 21 min in, great example of what this aural aesthetic can sound like. When you run a music blog you get a lot of embedded music in emails. Sekai Collective is one of the few that never get deleted. Every single tune gets listened to, and they’re usually the bomb dot com. Drift away with this mix, and may your week be smooth.

Monday Music: Disclosure, Kuren, Miike Snow, Cruel Youth & Mikael Seifu

This week, Monday Music is global once again! From the UK to Australia to Ethiopia, I’ve got a bunch of slickly produced, dope tunes that have been begging for your attention all weekend. Don’t leave them hanging ok?
First up, direct from Disclosure, a new VIP rework of Nocturnal. If you’ve seen them live you might be lucky enough to have heard this version, but it’s definitely a rare play for the rest of us. Not a whole lot to say about the UK Garage House savants that are Disclosure so, enjoy!

Kuren has been on my radar for a minute, steadily producing chill vibes of the highest quality. The wunderkind from down under re-imagined Better by BANKS and his signature style, infusing soulful and melodic elements into Aussie Bass & Future Trap, is in full effect here. Great start to 2016 for Kuren and this will be his year, you watch.
Miike Snow exists on the quieter, eclectic side of indietronica in my opinion. They’ve got an almost Royksopp-sound to them when they want, but are successful enough that they can get away with high concept videos like this. The timelapse creation process of the eventual symbol/animal the band is known for is a meditative, almost soothing experience. Put it on when you need to take a breath but still keep pushing forward.
https://soundcloud.com/igetrvng/mikael-seifu-how-to-save-a-life-vector-of-eternity by
This track hit my feeds care of Stamp The Wax, a cheeky UK music blog I follow. While the first 1:45 may seem a bit pedestrian, skip ahead or stick with it. 1:50 pulls into a surprisingly powerful deep groove using ethnic Ethiopian instruments and some powerful composition. It’s a much better track at that point and stays that way for the rest of the 6 minute odyssey. Very forward looking, while being something I would have literally never come across otherwise. Kudos to RVNG Intl. & Stamp The Wax for making sure I didn’t miss this.

Fresh New Tracks turned me onto Cruel Youth over the weekend, and I couldn’t stop myself from insta-sharing the track. This new sound is spectacular. Cruel Youth made me go look up what drug she’s referring to in the track, and it turns out, (Mr.) Watson is another word for hydrocodone & opiate pills. It’s got a serious Amy Winehouse tragic pop vibe. I really hope we can get to this one before they die of a heroin overdose. She’s going to be a star, and when it happens, you’ll know Fresh New Tracks & I called it.