Monday Music: Clinton Sparks, Monoverse, Overjoy, Robotaki, Kristen Zwicker & James Blake!

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Time for your next dose of tunes! I’m all over the place this week, lots of different stuff to get into. Plus, I had to break my 5 tracks a week rule to make sure to include one off of my dear friend Kristen Zwicker’s new EP. Also known as Dopeshoes, she does some great work in Brooklyn, so you’re getting that plus the other 5 tunes I got into over the last week.

Clinton Sparks did some great work on this song and lyric video. For anyone not in the loop, tunes are frequently given lyric videos before the real music video is released, and they are usually phoned in. Picking up Joey Bandz and pushing the pop indie vibes, we can see Clinton Sparks is really taking a swipe at that LA universe. Honestly, with offerings like this, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be there. This is weapons grade easy listening indie pop that I’d much rather hear on the radio than a lot of other artists. The lyric work stays intelligent, the guitar and synth work halfway through the tune separate it from the middle of the pack where it would be forgotten. Keep going Clinton, they’ll give you your Chainsmokers moment soon.
Monoverse releasing an original on Future Sounds of Egypt? Yes please! Quintessential trance from the NYC native, well executed and impeccably mixed. Monoverse is one of those low-key heroes of the NYC dance music scene that I am really hoping finds all the success he deserves. His mixes are second to none, he graciously opens for the best Trance acts in the world, and produces compelling originals. The break at 2:32 is spectacular and should already be popping up on Trance podcasts all over the world. Play it over something other than Bluetooth.
Overjoy came out of nowhere and shook me. Don’t let the hipster-y opening throw you. Get to 1:45 however you can and enjoy the muddy bass & vocals. This is a deep, deep track that has a crazy video to match. Float along to the groovy indie bass work, drift off and relax. Great work by the trio from LA.
Keeping the “dope video” theme going, Robotaki knocked this track out of the park. I found it in a Gifs With Sound YouTube video, then proceeded to listen to Robotaki for the rest of the day. The fusion between J-pop and potent electro works perfectly, and I want more of it. Like, can we get Robotaki to do some Babymetal remixes with Black Tiger Sex Machine or something?
Oh yea, and James Blake did a new thing. Like, I’m not even sure why you’re reading these words instead of hitting play and letting the 2:47 wash over you. It gets somewhat intense in his smouldering, poetic way, but still shimmers throughout. It’s raw, gets intense and almost dark. Amazing, as always Mr. Blake.

To cool down from some of that heaviness, Drift by Kristen Zwicker is just the thing you need. It’s got a Buddha Bar meets Brooklyn feel to it, which, is both inspired and meditative. Throw this on during the morning after, when you get home, or while you’re trying to not choke someone on the train. Use good headphones that have bass. It might save their lives.

Monday Music: Piecey, Madeon, Porter, The Partysquad, Kllo & Delamare!

NIAoydCThe summer is almost over, but the beat doesn’t stop! This week, there’s a bunch of different stuff for you to enjoy, orbiting the Stoney Roads universe, but from all over the dance music spectrum. If you’ve got a favorite, feel free to blow up the comments. And if you absolutely hate one of them, blow up the comments as well!
Off of Stoney Roads Records, this mellow, warm deep house tune is exactly what the bright shining day needs. Piecey delivers a smooth, round, delicious vibe is an exceptional offering from down under. The build is almost imperceptible, with the drop pulling you back into that effortless groove. Great job as always Stoney Roads.
Porter Robinson! Madeon! Together! That’s really the only thing you need to know about this track. For everyone still reading that hasn’t jammed on the play button, it’s a soulful, sonic journey. The kind you wish was associated with a SNES RPG and/or a summer from High School. Gorgeous, rippling indie progressive, washing over you, as only Porter & Madeon can provide. Are they touring back to back yet? Cause that needs to happen.
There’s a lot of generic party jam stuff out there, but I find The Partysquad (yup, that’s their name) actually stuck the landing on this one. While lots of tracks in this tier are gimmicky, this one never fails to innovate and actually makes for an enjoyable grind of a track. It’s sweaty, bass-heavy, pulling into some surprisingly competent syncopated bass. Great pick up off Rebel Yard for anyone still hitting up big festivals for the year.
Delamare really hits it out of the park with this LissA remix. The hopeful, indie bass shines forth as LissA‘s original vocals are celebrated, never drowned out. It’s given a jolly, lilting feel that seems at home with the Piecey from earlier. The bouncey, syrupy bass that slaloms through the piece is a welcome distraction from the “Future House” rumble strip that’s streaked across the dance music community. This Zimt remix rolls along, delivering without overwhelming. Great work.
Kllo rounds out this week, keeping the indie bass train going. This blossoming, gorgeous tune drifts along, bobbing chords and shimmering back beats mixing so effectively. There’s a lot of good stuff going on in this track, and it really rewards obsessive listening. This group most certainly deserve more of your attention, as it’s earned quite a bit of mine.

Monday Music: Trivecta, Flosstradamus, Rameses B, Kilter & Steven Tyler!

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This week we’ve got a quintet of sweltering tunes to match the heat. Epicstep returns in expert fashion, some potent vibes present themselves & Steven Tyler’s new song! Because we all apparently missed the fact that Aerosmith’s frontman released a new track last month.

I freaking love this. Trivecta‘s Labyrinth needs to open for Seven Lions immediately. This vocal epicstep fuses worldbeat and dubstep with elements of metal, producing a soaring, spectacular refresh of the cinematic dubstep genre. This is an instant classic for me, and I hope you as well. Trivecta totally sticks their dismount, with Miyoki providing vocals so good you might confuse her for a Valkyrie.
Flosstradamus has redeemed himself in my eyes, pivoting away from the rage-filled vibes of the last couple of years, deploying a soulful track that FKi 1st & graves add additional layers of dopeness. It’s both massive and melancholy. This kind of post-step can get super bro’y, but Flosstradamus has found a very happy medium that seems to fuse the best elements of Future-inspired hip hop, dubstep and R&B. Great work all around and I eagerly anticipage a collab between Floss & Desiigner.
New Rameses B! And it’s No Man’s Sky themed! I mean, that really should be everything you need to know, but it’s up to his usual standard of dreamy, impeccably orchestrated vibes. Everything Rameses B touches turns to gold, and now I want to play the game even more.
Kilter pushed themselves onto my radar with this dope ass introduction. They Don’t Know Us hits the sweet spot between Indie & House, creating a fest ready tune that doesn’t slack on the vocals. The supporting bass is surprisingly massive and probably sounds great on big speakers. But, unlike a lot of its competitors, the big bass doesn’t drown out Kilter’s vocal work, which is a lovely entry into the world of indietronica. The Aussie will be on your radar in a couple of months, I guarantee it.
Some of you are probably wondering whether I got hit in the head this weekend, but trust me, give the tune a listen. It’s got a little more folk & indie influences than I expected, and if this is the direction Tyler can push Aerosmith, it’ll be a great way to reintroduce the band to a new generation of listeners. Surprisingly contemplative, which I think is a great move for Steven Tyler at this point in his career. It may not cause headbanging, but it does rock.

Monday Music: Trademark, Elephante, A-Trak, cln & Jaya Prime!

FGxq4It’s another scorcher here in the city, so I decided to go with it and pour it on. Trademark brings the sun, Elephante smooths along massively, Jaya Prime bristles perfectly, A-Trak lays down the vintage funk and cln pours scintillating indie feels. San Dimas High School Football Rules!


Trademark is a rare treat now that we’ve passed the era of Pop Mashup. As sad as that is, a couple of acts out there keep the fires burning. Trademark throws together Ariana Grande, ZAYN, 3LAU & Kap Slap to great effect. This mashup is exactly what a summer anthem should be. I will continue to hope for the day when Dance Pop & House beats rule the air waves once again.

A massive tune, Elephante continues to prove that his rags-to-riches story is well deserved. The bass dovetails with the soft percussive pad work as Nevve‘s silky vocals stroll along. This has an August Sunset vibe to it, but when you’re about to write it off, the bass drop knocks it out of the park. Sultry while peppy, with just a touch of melancholy.

Bob Moses remixed by A-Trak. No, seriously, what other reason do you need. A-Trak brings the French house feel to the classic by Bob Moses. There’s a strong smell of Daft Punk pushed through the ever present funk filter of the Champion of Fool’s Gold himself. It’s a triumph and it probably flew under everyone’s radar. Here, just to make sure you didn’t miss it too.

cln is a low-key star from down under that I’ve been tracking for a little over a year. His North American tour is eagerly, eagerly anticipated, as is Mist. The fusion of chip, indie and vintage melancholy works perfectly and makes for a staggeringly potent wave of feels. Great work from the Brisbane native, so happy you’re coming to this side of the planet to drop this kind of vibe on Brooklyn.
I told you I’d be shoving the rest of Jaya Prime‘s discography into your face & I’m a man of my word. This inky, morbid chillstep featuring Peter Weyland from Prometheus is exactly what your goth party scene needs. The murky, staccato beat plays off of the exceptionally well used sample to create an atmosphere second to none. Jaya Prime always sticks the dismount, so put it into your face and save it for a day you need to walk with purpose through a crowd in the rain.

Monday Music: Alexander Popov, Makam, SG Lewis, Renard & Norfair!

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Now that we’ve finally reached summer proper, we can push into the perkier, punchier side of the music spectrum. A bunch of genres are coming your way, so get your office dance party shoes ready!
Alexander Popov is one of those gems east of the Danube that the West desperately needs. His masterful use of anthem elements in his hard trance create a post-big room feel that has already found a home in A State of Trance & other trance podcasts. I’ve blogged about him before, and I’ll totally be blogging about him again, so strap in & enjoy the ride.
Stamp The Wax coming at you with a low-key stunner of a tune. This slow-building, simmering house track never gets in your face, but delivers, especially if you’re the type of dancer who picks up the beat minutes before the rest of the crowd. It pulls into a delightful, uptempo jam that would feel at home in dozens of venues across the city. Prime DJ material by Makam.

SG Lewis is slowly getting the attention he deserves, and after collabs with people like Gallant, that climb should accelerate significantly. Shimmering vocals support a groovy, upbeat bassline, funky guitar work and strong indie sensibilities. It breaks into a gorgeous, disco-infused indie track that should get quite a lot of love in the coming weeks. You heard it here first!

This retro track got stuck in my head over the weekend, so I had to share it. Renard, now LapFox reworked this with another artist, and I gotta tell you, I can’t get enough of this sound. It’s terrifying to music newbies, but the fusion between chiptune & breakcore will always bring a smile to my face. The nostalgia is in full effect here, but the broken bass & beats give it a totally modern vibe that only the best of the Mega Man X soundtrack came close to approximating.

Norfair comes at us with a nightcore remix of Above & Beyond. Remixing AvB is not easy and if you mess it up, you’ll have their legions of fans howling for blood in between bouts of crying over AvB feels. However, I think this re-work has enough going on with it to earn respect. This uptempo remix celebrates the original AvB elements while pushing it into more rave friendly territory. Which gives all of us without room for a piano on stage next to the decks a chance to get those AvB feels into the crowd without reducing them to a whimpering mess. Great work by Norfair, can’t wait to see what he does next.

Monday Music: SWRVN, Cruel Youth, Robokid, Jon Bellion & PrototypeRaptor!

36 - 27a8uK3Spring is in full swing! To celebrate, here’s another 5 tunes you can bomp. Hope you got some time in the sun this weekend. If not, consider it added to your “to do” list for the week.
SWRVN & Razz teamed up for this punchy, uptempo festival-friendly jam. This is one of those modern, EDM-infused hits that might make the oldsters in your crew cringe, but for the rest of you exhausted from Coachella, enjoy the energy!

Cruel Youth returns after her explosive debut in Mr. Watson. The new track is uptempo, less opiate related, and almost whimsical at times. Hopefully this means our protagonist is feeling better and we’ve got some sunny EP tracks to look forward to. Deeply compelling vocals anchor this sound splendidly, so enjoy it with some white wine walking through the park.

Moving Castle speeds towards the horizon, bringing some of the best forward-looking tunes around to us. Robokid pushes the ball up hill with this shimmering Future Bass tune. Inventive synth work, indie vibes, and just a drop of auto-tune attached to the vocals leads to a great hit that will most certainly perk up your afternoon.
Jon Bellion came out of nowhere with this single last week, but I assume this has Spotify Discover or Apple Music hit written all over it. This indietronica has some of the best lyrics I’ve heard in months. “There’s bones in my closet but you hang stuff anyway” is perfect for the NYC dating life if I’ve ever heard one.

This last one slaps folks, with PrototypeRaptor proving once again why he needs to be taken seriously. If you’re not into throbbing electro, bordering on dubstep, steer clear. But if you’re looking for something pounding & exceptionally well produced, I got you. I want to hear the Flying Batter Zone from Sonic & Knuckles re-done in this style, because it goes hard.

Monday Music: Adam Tell, Jaya Prime, Kove, Kaskade & Pantyraid!

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First non-tease warm weekday in NYC brings some bigger, happier, uptempo tunes for you. Carpe that fucking diem y’all!

Can’t say I’ve heard of Adam Tell, but this got recommended, and I’m so glad it was. Strong male vocals & oddly well-produced electro underpinnings give this an almost bohemian vibe. It’s plucky, chippy, almost indie. This fresh sound is what I’m hoping 2016 keeps pushing out, as fusion of genres like this is rare, and needs to happen way more often.

This is an older track, but I have been listening to it on repeat all week. Fusing the Ghost In The Shell theme with Nine Inch Nails, it’s massive, confrontational, heavy & dark. Motivating, while never pulling into abrasive territory. If you ever had a boss battle, or a training montage in Neo-Tokyo, this is the soundtrack to it. It’s one of my all-time favorites, produced by the fallen angel, Jaya Prime. While he no longer mixes/produces after an injury to his ear, his taste remains impeccable & he’s started producing visual art now that his audible art career is over. He releases a playlist of the best tracks of the quarter on his Soundcloud page, and you can bet your ass that’s gonna be my listening for the day.

Regular readers will know my love for Kove goes hard, and this is a great example of why. The D&B turned House sensation, this kaleidoscopic summer tune is deep, with a vintage feel, that wouldn’t feel out of place at Movement. It’s something to wear black to out of doors. Perfect for warehouse parties in Brooklyn and Sunday loft events. Enjoy the shimmering mid-tune build three minutes in, it’s one of the better ones I’ve heard this year.

Martyparty & Ooah don’t come together very often, but I’ve gotta make sure you know when they do. Pantyraid is an old school project showcasing the sexier side of the West Coast bass vibe that The Glitch Mob evolved from. This breezy, meandering bright tune has Bobby Saint hitting all the right notes in the half-R&B, half-bass track. Great tune for letting the coffee sink in. Ooah has always had a personal touch on social media, so definitely give him some love. Another tune from the upcoming pantyraid EP is up as well, and you can pre-order it here.

This is what you’ve been waiting for folks. Kaskade + deadmau5, and it may be so new deadmau5 didn’t even know it was coming out. This track is proof that the two of them could just tour by themselves and instantly sell out any venue in the world. The scintillating production chops we’ve come to expect from the both of them compliment Skylar Grey’s perfect vocals. Atmospheric, progressive, and apparently still a work in progress. If this ever sees festival play, people are going to lose their minds.