Monday Music: AlunaGeorge, Shlohmo, Brig, Mall Grab, Hight

truck-secured

This week, like the truck hauling the truck, I’m bringing you a quintet of sleeper hits. Some from artists you know, some from those you’ve never heard of, all quality. Let’s get this show on the road!

AlunaGeorge is one of those eternal talents that you’re glad you’re alive to experience. The swaggering, effective bass saunters along, making room for the soaring vocals that take center stage early on. The tune lurches into some Future R&B that is liberal with notes of hip hop, big beat swing, and some vintage jazz that I’m really digging. This tune speaks for itself as it walks across the dance floor. Enjoy it!
I’m so pleased to be able to bring this to your ears. An unreleased Shlohmo track from 2010 has been uploaded by the maestro himself, and it is a masterpiece. It’s stunning in its dreary beauty and I’m so happy it’s been released. The sloping, syncopated indie bass is something only Shlohmo could make and frankly, your day will be better for it. It’s a B-side to Bad Vibes, an old hit of his, and I can’t wait to know what he called it.
I don’t know where Brig came from, but they’re perky as fuck. Since many corners of the music internet are up to their necks in synthwave, Brig brings a fresh push forward from those decidedly 80’s roots. Extreme is dancey, scintillating bubblegum electro pop, with a little Outrun and space lasers feel. The synth  twangs and slaps are effective, while being fun as hell. Not the most cerebral tune, but honestly, it’ll wake you up better than that oppressively bubbly co-worker. Someone called this Pirate Bass, and I’m kind of ok with that.
Switching gears entirely, Mall Grab slaps. That’s it, in a nutshell really. This is one of those white label records both old school & noob DJs will like. Honestly, if you’re spinning House, you need this track. The classic rhythms roll over the impressive, potent House bass beat so well I had to check to see if I had grown an afro. This is likely to turn a lot of heads on the dance floor, no matter how many people are dancing. It’s a supremely effective mid-set tune, with a bunch of in/out mixing points to ensure you showcase your favorite part of the song. I’m a huge fan, and it takes a lot for me to throw out something so simple on this here blog. Get down to it.
Yo, Hight, is tight. Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, this sunny, almost-too-late single by Hight is my favorite of their first releases. The dance pop vibe is nothing revolutionary, but it has fun with itself, and does quite well at what it sets out to do. The odd tonal shifts in the chord progressions kind of make it feel like I’m walking along Venice Beach on cough syrup or something. And oddly, that’s not a bad thing. Vocals piercing through as I push forward…sounds like not the worst day. Enjoy the tune and big ups to VMan for the looks on this.

Monday Music: Saiph, GANZ, Wasted Penguinz, Soular Order & Leon Vynehall

CbwrB1eW4AE26NcIt’s May! It’s Monday! Time for the music! This week, I went all out, looking hard for tunes you won’t hear anywhere else. A couple of new hits, a couple of old treasures I just dug up, all quality. Break on through to the other side with this quintet!
I stumbled across Saiph when I went searching for new drum & bass I’d never heard before. This Japanese starlet creates some of the most frenetic yet controlled tunage I’ve heard in years. There’s a “Porter Robinson on Adderall” feel to Ultramarine, one step away from being part of the Sonic & Knuckles vg soundtrack.
Hermitude & Flume, reimagined by GANZ. The Amsterdam stunner has an EP coming, but to keep us satisfied while we wait, we’ve been provided with a quiet flip. The sunny, shimmering bass is a great example of what’s coming from the Future Bass scene with the Aussie summer over, while ours has yet to start. Trust that the festival season is going to see quite a bit of this stuff, so get your Aviator sunglasses ready.
 This one is a bit out there, so if you’re not a fan of the harder end of the spectrum, you may want to skip it. For everyone who is a fan of euphoric hard trance & hardstyle, you’re gonna eat this shit up. It’s so positive & hopeful it almost qualifies as Christian praise music. Wasted Penguinz are not only in the running for best producer name of 2016, but also the track that goes the hardest without getting prickly. Hardstyle is almost impossible to do gently, yet, here we are. This is a track drenched with high production values & oxytocin, great work from the Swedish duo. Send this to your loved ones who can’t sit still.

Soular Order can do no wrong, having been repped here repeatedly over the years. His new hotness is nothing short of breath-taking. A voyage of ambient, bass-driven delight, the sonic perfection that Soular Order delivers is simply awesome, and I do mean that in the traditional sense of the word. Throw it into some expensive headphones and take it on a nature hike. Your tears of joy will thank me.  There’s even an additional alternate tape rework on a separate 2 track EP & it’s pay-what-you-want, so don’t stop, get it, get it.  Leon Vynehall has hit my radar a couple of times in the last couple of months, with this track really solidifying my opinion of him. The lush, jazzy tune called Kiburu comes at you with an expansive vision of what funky house can be. Guitar riffs, brass support, bass & some wacky percussion really fill out the vibe. Gotta give the credit to Stamp The Wax on this one. They’ve continually pushed the fresh sound into my face, so go show them some love.

Monday Music: Greyhat, Ghostchant, Mickey Kojak, SBTRKT & Bobina

Freeman KittyThe last Monday in March will be celebrated with Morgan Freeman, a black cat & 5 of the most legit things I heard last week!

Greyhat coming at you from Maine, with some soothing, almost vaporwave chillout. I say almost because there’s an indie punch to the track that’s much appreciated. It’s got a Blockheads classic psychedelic rock feel to it. Never too overpowering, but most certainly guitar-focused and liquid. Speaking of liquid, it pulls into a breaking, almost d&b tempo, before melting back into this lush indietronica that deserves roaring congratulations. It feels like driving through one of those rainbow 80’s videogame .gifs.

Ghostchant is one of my favorite UK artists. His fusion of garage, ambient, downtempo, trap & ethereal beats is second to none, and this kind of remix needs to keep coming. Pulling even more echo & melancholy into The Weeknd, this six minute rework is a giant made of clouds. So much work went into creating the atmosphere that The Weeknd’s vocals soar through, I hope he sees in. Ghostchant is one of the best producers in the game, and totally needs to do some work for huge pop artists. Bieber remix next perhaps?

I mentioned Mickey Kojak a little while ago, and when I said I’d keep my eye on him, I meant it. This one is hard to classify but makes me happy, a track that gives me hope for the future. Forward looking, while almost paying homage to Disclosure, this funky house track hits all the right notes. On point vocals, a surprisingly round & well produced bassline, decidedly non-tropical sounding pad work, and melancholy come together wonderfully. As it fades away, I’m left wondering, just like the last time I wrote about him, what’s coming next from this guy.
 Hadn’t anticipated new SBTRKT, but it’s always welcome. THE-DREAM shows up to provide some euphoric hip hop fusion with potent indie bass. It’s a frenetic, tense build, but that makes the drop/chorus even more gratifying. Well put together, with all of the elements playing their position, as it were. The auto-tune is minimal if used at all, and the almost euphoric break rounds out the 3:48 nicely. Quick fun & unassuming.
 This is dope. While it’s the most festival ready shit I’ve ever posted on this blog, I have my reasons, those being, Trainspotting. Any track that uses samples from Trainspotting doesn’t get turned off immediately. And I’m glad I didn’t. The first build is EDM as fuck, but the 2nd, real build is euphoric trance that we need more of. The samples remain useful throughout, and the music video is well edited. The build puts you in a crazy, serotonin filled place, which I hope to hear more of as the US festival season warms up. Bomp this ish loud, your music junkie friends will thank you. Big ups to Bobina for making this happen.

Bonus! A friend’s tune that he only hinted at existing, one of my tracks of 2015, is finally seeing official release! Yellow@TheLight has been killing it in the whispered quiet spaces of the Lower East Side and Bali, strangely enough. His vibe can’t really be described, so I’ll just let the track speak for itself. Metal drums, deep vibes, and a techno back bone come together to feel like a beach party from the X-Files. Half deep, half almost metallic, it really shows off the breadth & depth of the production competence Yellow@TheLight brings to the table. So hopefully you & I can convince him to do it more often. If you’re feeling this, he’s got a new mix out of similar depth.