It’s another scorcher here in the city, so I decided to go with it and pour it on. Trademark brings the sun, Elephante smooths along massively, Jaya Prime bristles perfectly, A-Trak lays down the vintage funk and cln pours scintillating indie feels. San Dimas High School Football Rules!
Trademark is a rare treat now that we’ve passed the era of Pop Mashup. As sad as that is, a couple of acts out there keep the fires burning. Trademark throws together Ariana Grande, ZAYN, 3LAU & Kap Slap to great effect. This mashup is exactly what a summer anthem should be. I will continue to hope for the day when Dance Pop & House beats rule the air waves once again.
A massive tune, Elephante continues to prove that his rags-to-riches story is well deserved. The bass dovetails with the soft percussive pad work as Nevve‘s silky vocals stroll along. This has an August Sunset vibe to it, but when you’re about to write it off, the bass drop knocks it out of the park. Sultry while peppy, with just a touch of melancholy.
Bob Moses remixed by A-Trak. No, seriously, what other reason do you need. A-Trak brings the French house feel to the classic by Bob Moses. There’s a strong smell of Daft Punk pushed through the ever present funk filter of the Champion of Fool’s Gold himself. It’s a triumph and it probably flew under everyone’s radar. Here, just to make sure you didn’t miss it too.
cln is a low-key star from down under that I’ve been tracking for a little over a year. His North American tour is eagerly, eagerly anticipated, as is Mist. The fusion of chip, indie and vintage melancholy works perfectly and makes for a staggeringly potent wave of feels. Great work from the Brisbane native, so happy you’re coming to this side of the planet to drop this kind of vibe on Brooklyn.
I told you I’d be shoving the rest of Jaya Prime‘s discography into your face & I’m a man of my word. This inky, morbid chillstep featuring Peter Weyland from Prometheus is exactly what your goth party scene needs. The murky, staccato beat plays off of the exceptionally well used sample to create an atmosphere second to none. Jaya Prime always sticks the dismount, so put it into your face and save it for a day you need to walk with purpose through a crowd in the rain.
You’re going to like what’s up today. Especially if you’re a fan of the more meditative, less bro-infused beats of the chillstep, chilltrap & downtempo universe. Two of my favorite new acquisitions this season, Haven & glo, are here. There’s an original from unforseen, another artist on this tip. This is the opposite of the rampaging armies of EDM out there. Take a minute, sit, relax, breathe & enjoy.
This is my jam right here. Trap Nation picked it up, you know it’s not like me to sing the praises of trap too loudly. This kind of shimmering chilled but massive vibe is where I think that genre needs to go, hard and fast. Haven proves his chops as a producer with impeccable timing and wonderful execution.
There really is so little like this out there. Haven & glo working together on this one, building a soundscape that shines through the clouds. A muzzled backbeat, soaring vocals and a tempo that never rushes. What more could you ask for?
This, actually. Haven teamed up with glo again recently and this track is the softest fire I’ve heard in years. The subtle intensity of the production almost overwhelms the chillness of the tune, but it never quite gets there.
A gorgeous piece in its minimalist build, sweeping vibe and entire lack of a beat. That’s right folks, there’s not one here. “i never meant for it to end like this” with a picture of driving away in the rain tells quite a story, as I bet a lot of these songs do. It’s wistful & never meanders into hatred or love. Just a light, sad grey. Because it’s Wednesday right?
While I’ve been on the glo train for a while, the addition of Trap Lord & the smooth melodic stylings of Madi Larson make for a gigantic trio. The track could find itself in a movie sequence, with Childish Gambino rapping over it, or just the soundtrack of my life as I walk through the hot summer nights.
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.
This week, I’m bringing out this melancholy gorgeousness issued forth by BIXEL BOYS. These guys have been all over the place in 2014, and for this mix they brought things down a little bit. This mix has a lot of chillstep, garage, downtempo, moody breaks and interludes of people sucking at love, which matches the feel completely. There is no track list, so the tunes will remain largely a secret, but I’m hoping I start hearing them elsewhere. I love misty, cold rain mixes like this. In so much EDM there’s this saccharine exposition of love, unity, hope and positivity. That’s not really the case for a lot of people in the scene, and these kinds of vibes, like what Ta-ku does as well, really need some more support. Sometimes we’re in a place where something like this is needed. The hashtag of #Feels is totally on point, and this free download is definitely something that you should grab. This is going on my phone and may not leave. Not all of us get good news during the holidays, so for anyone out there who is hard up this week, this is here for you.
This Sidelines EP is one of the more high quality offerings I’ve heard from the darker ends of the chillstep universe as of late. Circles by Vaun is a smooth, vintage feeling track that makes excellent use of noir trumpet. I didn’t think noir trumpet was a genre, but after this, I may need to reconsider. That moody, retro trumpet seeps into the lush, almost steamy tune, that would be at home in any darkened lounge around 3 AM. Into The Night features seductive vocals by Animai, accompanied by UK bass & step’y beats that I’d definitely prefer to the remaining bastions of Michael Baystep at parties. Kismet solidifies Vaun’s position as maestro of dark, alluring, yet mysterious bass that I really want playing during the scene transitions in the eventual movie that’s going to be made about Gotham underground nightlife. There’s a potent focus to the sounds, without any sense of rushedness or aggressive bro bullshit. One Touch rounds out his solo offerings on the EP & does so in hushed, Burial-like tones, that we’re all better for hearing. The more artists doing this kind of quiet, garage’y bass, the better I think
Knowledge finds Vaun accompanied by Ill Chill, and as expected, the collab adds a layer of spoken word flow to the relaxed, irregular bass. I can’t wait for chillstep to ally with spoken word & hip hop to unseat trip hop as the genre of choice for rhymes that doesn’t involve gold chains & gun violence. The finale is where the EP gets its title, with Sarah Zad adding some ethereal humanity to the broken bass that Vaun lays down. Her stellar voice is a perfect match for the production choices Vaun adds into the mix, especially 90sec in. This tune screams for dance videos & pop/lock demonstrations. So, b-boys & liquid dancers, get on this. Your YouTube page will thank me.
There is so much good work here I don’t know where to begin. My favorite song? Left Behind is my absolute favorite, with Years From Now, Ecosystem and Reborn following behind it. I was super glad to get this as a reward for helping crowd fund his new tech and this work. It felt good to listen to something I knew thousands of people had contributed to making happen. It’s a gorgeous album, with a bunch of styles executed well. I think the triumphant sound that Rameses B creates is something very few people do well. A lot of it is cheesy, some of it is badly sourced, and most people phone it in. Rameses B puts the time in, creating this almost decadent soundscape, that pulls you in and keeps you there. It was also my first LP from the guy, which was a delight, to just put on and forget about. It’s linked on Bandcamp below, but don’t worry, I’ve got one more Rameses B post up my sleeve before the end of his week here on the site. Have a great day!
We’re over the hump! To celebrate, enjoy this classic Rameses B track from 2012. Moonlight was one of the first tunes I’d ever heard from him, it was one of those tunes that got me through a really bad place in 2012. You know those songs that find you in the darkness and remind you there’s still light in the universe? This is one of them. It makes you stop, listen, and remember. The crescendo build reaches a dizzying height at 3:44 and pulls you back into the crushingly beautiful chillstep that we’ve grown to love and expect from Rameses B. Enjoy the tune, grab the EP here, and see everyone tomorrow for more Rameses B week!
This reworking of some Lana Del Rey-style vocals out of MØ by Phazz is freaking great. This is the kind of indie + bass collaborative efforts that I think the ears of Americans should be hearing. The vocal modulations mesh with the lush, bassy soundscape perfectly. This tune has a lot to teach indie artists about arrangement & element usage. Choosing the dozen synthy effects in this track must have been difficult, but the decisions were spot in. Check out Phazz‘s stuff and the artist with the character I can’t type.
I don’t know how he keeps doing it. MitiS knocks another one out of the park, this time, pushing out the first single from his new Oasis EP. This triumphant epicstep carries the lofty standard of quality we’ve come to expect from MitiS forward mightily. The soaring synthy step-y lines accompanied by some almost soulful male vocals by Crywolf make for a wonderful little track. There’s a rambling, almost pop-punk quality to the tune that comes in during the isolated anthemic vocals. The ping-pong beats glitter along, making you feel as if you’d just beaten a Mega Man game for the NES or something. This makes his upcoming tour even more exciting. The full EP drops at the end of the month. Don’t sleep on it.
I’ve been listening to Jaya Prime for years, and if you don’t believe me, go listen to his Dreamstep mix. He’s thrown together an hour of tracks you won’t find anywhere else, and after listening to it, you’ll be mad about that. Inventive, cutting-edge production from Dirtwire, Nick Leon, FUME, Phutureprimitive, JacM, Bluereso, K.Sabroso & more. Seriously. This list isn’t for you weekend warriors, but if you want to hear where some of the sounds you’re hearing at clubs or festivals are going, check this out. And give Jaya Prime all the love, as this guy eats big room for breakfast.