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

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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.

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Midnight Music: Fred V & Grafix – Major Happy (Frederic Robinson Remix)

Fred V & Grafix - Major Happy (Frederic Robinson Remix)This delightful re-imagining of Fred V & Grafix’s Major Happy from 2012 could be a master class on how to construct a remix. The rambling beat collects a number of the elements from the original song, and adds them all back in new ways, such that the track can hardly even be called drum & bass anymore. As it shifts into the realm of almost IDM or glitch, there’s a classical or symphonic feel that sticks with you as the violin strings pluck away under the gurgling beat. Just as quickly as it appears, it’s gone, and it leaves me wondering when I get more from this Mr. Robinson kid. Time to start keeping tabs on this one.

5 UK Drum & Bass Tracks That Need To Be In Your Life.

I got bored and decided to piece together a little pack of Drum & Bass tunes that you may not have heard before. If you haven’t, you’re definitely in for a treat, because these liquid, melodic & deep dnb anthems are exactly what you need to get you through the week.

First up, Etherwood reworking a Jakwob piece. Both UK producers & maestros, the smooth, almost Eastern vibe pushes into your awareness slowly. Debuted first on Annie Mac, this silky ethereal vibe

Fred V & Grafix do stellar work out of Hospital Records, but this remix of my favorite Netsky track from 2014 is an absolute gem. Running Low ft. Beath Ditto is a crucial track for any of the distressed party people we all know, with Fred V & Grafix bringing a symphonic feel to the original that I bet even Netsky didn’t see coming.

If you’ve not heard this before, or the words “Strife II” don’t ring a bell, stop what you’re doing and listen to this. Right now. It’s got some of the most powerful composition & production I’ve ever heard from a producer. This kid needs a label to discover him and it needs to happen yesterday. This track is a frisson-inducing tear jerker that would reduce dancefloors to quivering piles of feels. I would pay good money to see this live and I hope it happens

This was on my October 2014 Soundcloud playlist and if you missed it, change that. The heaviness is powerful, but it keeps the energy up surprisingly well.
Keeno is the crown prince of Hospital Records, and with tracks like this, it’s easy to see why. The effortlessness that seeps into every aspect of his production is readily apparent in this track. It’s got the vocal pop that it needs to hopefully even get some radio play in places that actually play drum & bass on the radio. This American is going to go sulk now.