Monday Music: SunSquabi, Cignature, C.Z., Chahine & Mark Johns

The first snow of the season in Gotham, and with it, another round of Monday Music. Some funky, future, possibly even fresh tunes for you this week, so let’s get it started!

SunSquabi knows what they’re doing. This seductively funky tune is masterfully produced. Exceptional construction gives the track a Ratatat vibe, which is very high praise. This is a superb addition to GRIZ’s label, as this can find its home in the electro-soul universe that GRIZ has helped to build. There’s almost a touch of Random Access Memories to it, which is not easy to do. Can’t wait to hear this album.

Cignature is out of this world. The production on this side project is spectacular. It takes a singular vision to take Kaskade, Galantis, Fun, Calvin Harris & others and make them even more positive, progressive and euphoric. But that’s what we’ve got going on here. Scintillating vibes, so dive in.

I heard this over the weekend and knew I needed to share it with everyone that had ears. This kind of ambient/chillwave is really getting explored on the lighter side of Soundcloud. Artists like haven, glo, & now, dream beach, and a bunch of others have a newcomer to their ranks I’m a huge fan of. C.Z. creates a fun little soundscape over the first 2:45 then blows into future footwork. It’s not a thing…yet.

I wouldn’t have come across Chahine if it wasn’t for this dope collective I follow called Daruma Sounds. I’ve posted about artists from their stable like Enschway before, and on Vol. 005, a number of the tracks really nailed it. Chahine’s was a standout even among those. This deep, ebb & flow  Future vibe really hit home for me. It’s not wobbly, nor is it electro. The bass is almost syrupy, like molasses, a must listen if you want to hear where ish is heading, and the rest of the compilation is great as well.

Rounding out the pack, a fun vocal ditty by Mark Johns. The vaguely auto-tuned funky, soulful jam has a lot going for it. Flowing words orbit the guitar and seemingly effortless jam that is laid out. It’s not the most cerebral tune, but it hits right in the feels. Groove to it, and if you have off today, relax, kick back and enjoy. If you don’t, throw some headphones on and drift off with these as Monday smooths along.

Midweek Music: SAFIA, EDEN, GRiZ, Lemaitre & Mos Def!

summerLabor 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.

A Primer on Electro-Soul

http://whiteraverrafting.com/what-is-electro-soul/2013/09/24/

Electro-soul is the name of the sub-genre halfway between trip-hop and UK Garage with heaping spoonfuls of blues, funk, disco, dubstep and bass pushed into it. Pretty Lights is one of the pioneers of this style, and he can be seen describing it 10 seconds into his appearance at Counterpoint Festival here:

This style has started to make it’s way into the public consciousness slowly over the last several years, and White Raver Rafting does a great job discussing its roots and some of its more dedicated players such as GRiZ, Gramatik, Break Science and Artifakts.