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: La Mar, 2ToneDisco, Cade, Hotel Garuda & Lexy Panterra

34 - c7bGXQeWe’re in the thick of the sauna that is Summer in New York. So to cool off, here’s your regular quintet of tunes, upbeat, yet still relaxed, all from¬†excellent emerging talent. Enjoy with a cold drink and a skip in your step!

Sydney duo La Mar surprised me with this one. A slow, crooning start pushes into a delightful indietronica vibe, complete with the vagaries of Asian influences, soft vocals, and some relaxed bass. Can we please start hearing shit like this on the radio in America please?!

Since everyone & their mother is playing Pokemon Go, I figured this week’s tracks had to include at least 1 tune that screams JAPAN, and 2ToneDisco are happy to provide. The fusion between J-Pop, chip and glitzy West Coast house is bouncy, peppy, but still manages to nail the the breakdown at 2min in. All in all a great effort from 2ToneDisco, so now I’ve gotta find a way to interview these cats, especially after their dope JetSet Radio remix.

Hotel Garuda has been moving up that festival booking ladder steadily. Their sound is exactly what so many people need in their day/week/festival, so I couldn’t be happier for them. This sunny¬†remix of the hit by Kaskade & Felix Cartal takes the scintillating vocals from Ofelia K and puts a solid, fest-ready house backing under it. It won’t blow your mind, just make you relax a touch mid-set.

Lexy Panterra continues the smooth, indietronica vibe in effect this week. The soothing vocals, vaguely garage-esque beats, and a distinct lack of audio modulation/auto-tune makes for a great chill/relaxation tune, or for your super secret playlist for getting down.

CADE is a new arrival on my radar, but has an EDEN/Stephen thing going on, so they’re a welcome addition to my indietronica stable. The sweeping chord shift at 1min in is exceptional, showing that heavy modulation can work, especially if you’ve already got chops. You can feel the West Coast influences on this track, but CADE still holds his own, bringing a unique sound to a field that will be very crowded in a couple of years. Indietronica is the future of pop, you heard it here first.