Monday Music: Alex H, Elephante, Virtual Riot, Fred V & Graffix, Jarreau Vandal

This week is off to a rough start, so hug your loved ones, and sink into Monday’s new music. Got some choice uplifting cuts from the best in the business for you.

Kaskade’s not an easy guy to remix, but every once and a while someone manages to knock it out of the park. Alex H is a Zimbabwean producer who made it to Manchester, where he’s pushing out some of the smoothest, positivity-infusing tunes that I’ve heard in months. His remix glides along for nine minutes, a sonic odyssey that never clashes with Kaskade’s vocals. It freshly uses the original elements in a way that would find a home among many of NYC’s rooftop DJ events. I hope to hear it at a couple before fall.

Elephante has successfully transformed from Soundcloud superstart to emerging headline contender. After a string of dope remixes and originals, he’s taken the next step, remixing his own ish. This is a somewhat advanced move, usually only attempted by Daft Punk tier artists, but considering his success at reworking Closer, I can’t wait to see him drop live sets using an Elephant-infused pyramid. It’s a heavier electro remix than anything he’s done for a while, but it works perfectly. After hearing this track, I really want to see Elephante & TheFatRat tour together, because this could be the birth of a new style of electro-pop that could take LA by storm. This is top down, driving up the Cali coast music, so hop to it.

Virtual Riot has been a source of quality on the heavier side of electro, dubstep and almost-chip for years, but I have to say, I’m really digging this shift. The FutureLectro debuted by This Song Is Sick (Big Ups to Rishty) is an expertly executed example of the sweet spot forward looking production, anthem vibes and broken beat syncopated rhythmic work can be. The stuttering vocals compliment the bass perfectly, so rock this at high volume.

Fred V & Graffix continue to amaze me. While producing some of the best drum & bass found anywhere in the world, their new album shows a breadth of talent that even us die hard fans didn’t anticipate. Can someone classify this tune for me? Is it Pop & Bass? Indie DB? I don’t know how to label this, except as triumphant, euphoric and hopeful for a better tomorrow. Given the events of the weekend, it’s more needed than ever.

My girl numichuu made sure I didn’t miss this deep cut, and I’m so glad she’s keeping an eye out and yelling into the internet about dope tunes like this. Jarreau Vandal has an exceptional sense when it comes to understated deep house. It’s a subtle, funkily crafted tune with a lot of inventive tonality and sample use. Mr. Vandal is on my “to watch” list for 2016, and numichuu needs to be on your TL.

Daft Labeouf – Harder, Better, Faster, DO IT! (Best HBFS Remix Ever!)

Welp, we can all close the door on the Shia Labeouf meme. Put it to rest, this is the best use of the video We’ve ever seen. If you get to 1:11, you’ll see a stupendous rendition of the best part of Harder, Better, Faster Stronger. The pitch bending with the vocals are 100% on point and I would love to hear this remix pushed into a random funky house set. Bomp this loudly if you need some motivational love! It’s short, sweet and well produced. Annoy your co-workers with it on Monday. They’ll only hate you slightly for getting it stuck in their heads.

Master Class: Chilly Gonzales Talking Daft Punk.

This quick little video is something I think a lot of music commentary is lacking pretty severely. 1Live hosts an explanation of why Discovery is one of the best albums created in the last 2 decades. Aerodynamic is one of the better tracks on the album, and this explanation as to why. Baroque technical proficiency, added to disco beats and gesturing, instead of telling. Actual examples of musical concepts right there on the presentation, moving through time. This is tremendously useful for up & coming artists, especially those who haven’t had so much classical or theory training. Also, giving you a way to prove to your friends that Daft Punk is better than their favorite band of course.

Dope Vintage Get Lucky Cover By The Flash Mob Jazz

This delightful little cover by Flash Mob Jazz is exactly what we need more of these days. Someone should call Puddles and make a full compilation of vintage’d dance hits. The frontman kinda looks like Boy George, but he’s got the chops where it counts. The trumpet & sax solos are on point and the drum & bass (upright bass that is) work bring it all together. It’s Monday afternoon, you’ve made it through the hardest part of the week. (via Laughing Squid)

Daft Punk + Guitars = Liberal Amounts Of Win.

Welp, this is kind of wonderful. If you wanted to know what Get Lucky would sound like if Steve Vai or Kurt Cobain played it, here you go. This 3 min vid gets you everything you need in your afteroon, if of course, the only things you need are quality guitar work & Daft Punk’s later work. Andre Antunes is a burgeoning artist that might deserve a second look from y’all. The video should help you skid into the 5 o’clock whistle on your Monday if you’ve not been able to take snow day #2 for 2015.(via Stoney Roads)

Two Daft Punk Remixes Worthy Of The Name.

It’s rare that I find a Daft Punk remix that stands. Daft Punk really does amazing work, so it’s really hard to remix their tracks and come up with anything better than the original. In addition to that, their rabid fan-base will obliterate any sub-par or disrespectful attempts. However, I have been lucky enough to stumble across a couple of remixes that even I cannot deny are legit. Interestingly, they’re both remixes of Voyager, one of the most underrated tracks not only on Discovery but of their entire library of work (in my opinion /hipster).

The first, a remix by someone only known as Revolte, starts out like you think it will disappoint you, but then adds enough crunchy electro, confident organic synth work & massively Daft-sounding auto-tuning to earn the full listen. I have no idea where to find anything else by this artist, so all I can do is enjoy the interludes and hope they yell at me through the internet.

Thankfully, I was able to track down the artist behind the second remix. Domenico Torti’s Wild Style edit features the best beat-remixing work I’ve heard from anyone who has attempted to use Daft Punk source material. Period. This is incredible, and borders on DMC championship level turntablism. The remix lets you breathe, pulling you back into familiar territory, then plays with you for the rest of the time. It’s a hip, upbeat, sophisticated remix that I expect to see attractive people drinking & wearing expensive things dancing to. In that “this is too well tailored, I really not trying to move” way. Dope vibe, so kudos, to both of our remixers, and will the first one please show themselves so I can thank you for being dope?

Midnight Music: Stromae – Ta Fête (J.A.C.K Remix) [Astonishing French House]

Fresh New Tracks has been killing it lately with stuff I’ve not heard anywhere else, and this tune rounds out the week in a jaw-dropping way. I don’t know where this came from, but if it didn’t actually come straight from the minds of Daft Punk, I’ll be shocked. The track has all of the trappings of French House and it manages to never end up sucking, something that 100% of the DP posers out there can’t do. Put it into your face. That’s the only thing I’m going to say. The nu disco vibe combined with a dollop of proper synth & some compelling French lyrical work needs your attention, and it needs it right now. Who the hell is J.A.C.K. and why the hell haven’t they been touring in the USA for the last decade?

Midnight Music: Daft Punk & Jay-Z – Computerized. Not Kidding!

Leaked Daft Punky + Jay-Z collaboration from around the Tron era it looks like. Confirmed by Pitchfork, but who knows, Jay-Z could show up tomorrow and make me look like a dick. But check it out, and feel that unique DP vocoder analog synth wash over you & decide for yourself. “Computerized” is currently sweeping across the blogs, so I expect a dozen of your “with-it” friends will post about it tomorrow. Smile & know you’ve heard it already. Also, the tune seems to be from “Son of Flynn” from the Tron Soundtrack. (via Pitchfork & EDMTunes).

I got an iTouch, but I can’t feel. ~Jay-Z

Squarepusher Is Now Making Music With Robots (No, Not Daft Punk, Actual Robots)

Just in case you haven’t gotten your fill of robots, Squarepusher is coming to the rescue. Instead of wearing helmets or suits or using robotic sounding music, Squarepusher is just giving instruments to robots and playing with them. You heard me. Get at the video below and hit up FACT for more info & some of Squarepusher’s thoughts behind it. I’m just going to sit back and fantsize about a Daft Punk/Squarepusher collaboration. Mmmmm, inorganic music.