We arrived at Webster Hall hours earlier than I’d ever been there on a Friday night. Elohim & EDEN had the 8-10pm time slot on the main floor, so I thought I’d be settling into an intimate show for the select few people in NYC that had heard of my underground favorites. I couldn’t have been more wrong, Gotham was out in force. The dance floor was full at 8pm. All you party producers struggling to get butts on the floor at 10:30pm, know that they pulled almost full capacity at 8:02. If you were in the crowd, you know how palpable the excitement was.
Elohim was on stage, striking the perfect balance between mysterious, alluring, distant, and smoldering. She was also doing everything her fucking self while she struck said balance. I’m not sure how to describe this, but when you see exceptional indietronica being performed, you expect there is more than one person making the stuff live. Elohim thinks that’s adorable. She did vocals, synth, chord, percussion, lighting and visual media…herself. And it was good. Not like “oh wow, jack of all trades” good. Good like “Why isn’t she working in a giant record studio out in LA?” Her effortless moody, synth future pop chill rolled around the main room at Webster Hall, bringing teen conversations to a halt and forcing all eyes (and ears) on her. The cover work, the transitions, the curated visual art that accompanied her songs, all orchestrated hauntingly well. In all honesty, I’ve never been transfixed or enraptured by a live performer before. DJs don’t do it that way for me, and I never got to see Michael Jackson perform live. I’ve been going to live music for 18 years, and she’s the first.
This sleeper hit from Otic is exactly what your pre-holiday jitters need. This low-key drum & bass is great to travel or prep to. Whether you’re heading out on the town or over to the parental situation. It’s unassuming and definitely not aggressive. Not a whole lot more to say except, let it smooth you out.
Dylan Reese blindsided me with this one. It’s a strong offering, not what I expected, especially given the look and production. Everything clicks together, with Dylan providing good flow and making the right choices about where to go hard, where to tune and where to push the melodic breaks back in. He’s got a tune coming out on Dec. 1st, so here’s to hoping he keeps the hit streak going.
EDEN can do nothing wrong. How many artists do you know that cover Billie Jean without embarrassing themselves? This Future Pop tune does a couple of things correctly. First, EDEN doesn’t try to outsing MJ, which is the dumb thing most artists try. EDEN wins on production here, and secondly, it feels a bit differently melancholy, as opposed to the pop anthem the original will always be. Splendid work, can’t wait to hear about live gigs.
I’ve written about Scott Bondbefore, but this most recent 138 trance anthem is welcomed during this week of family & traveling great distances. It’s got the energy you don’t hear very often anymore, with the 138 space being crowded by the bro-y end of electro & progressive. This racing build breaks into exactly the pumping, driving trance drop us hard house enthusiasts can’t get enough of.
Kaskade decided to take a walk through some legit house done by Thomas Sagstad ft. Wildo. This Burned remix has the signature positivity Kaskade brings to all of his work, taking great parts of the original and shuffling them around, adding a healthy dollop of anthem. The tune feels sun-drenched, which is definitely needed this Thanksgiving weekend for us Northern Hemisphere residents. Hope it gives you a minor urge to dance around in your chair during Thanksgiving feast. Or afterwards to help work off them calories! See y’all next week!
Labor Day is Sunday ladies & gentlemen. How’s it feeling? Any last adventures? Crazy nights to spend out? Here’s five tracks to bomp as September rises. SAFIA is so good. This trio makes some of the most beautiful music I’ve ever heard, and I am terribly mad they are thousands of miles from my shores. This soothing, soulful indietronica track does work and makes me think of that 40min just before the sunset. Great job SAFIA, you’ve got so much more to show us. EDEN hit it out of the park on this one. The vocals on this are stupendous, with Leah Kelly joining in to push it to the next level. This is track 2 on a 9 track EP that’s surprisingly good from someone I’d never heard from until they showed up on my feed. I highly recommend Nocturne by him as well. HIGHLY. GRiZ has become the institution that we all knew he could be. Feelin’ High is quintessential electro soul that proves just how established the genre has become. When you’ve got so many haters you drop a track reminding people to leave em behind, you know you’ve done something right. Lemaitre takes a tune from Madeon and cranks it up a couple of notches. The Bubblegum electro feel here is the quick pick me up we all need on this September Wednesday. The energy is infectious, with the vocal work from Passion Pit adding to the delight. It’s a great remix, taken from Madeon’s excellent source material. Definitely dance around in your chair kind of stuff!
Last, but certainly not least, the new hotness from Mos Def. He’s rapping under his old name, giving all the upstarts a reminder why he’s one of the undisputed kings of flow. There is a lot to dive into here, so I’m just going to say that you probably need to listen to it multiple times to pick up on all the lyrical genius he’s crammed into the 3:40. This is his first in years, so don’t miss this, your hip hop brain will thank you.