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


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: Geo, Kaptain, Endemic, Filous, James Blake

It’s Leap Day! This day doesn’t exist, most of the time, so here are a couple of tracks you might not be sure are real until you listen to them again. Genre mixing, ethereal rhythms and a larger than life trance tune in the middle. That one’s not for the faint of heart, but the rest are totally for general consumption. Enjoy the 29th, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to all those Leap Baby mutants out there!

Officially the smoothest Jackson 5 remix I’ve heard in a while. The upbeat tropical vibe would be annoying if it wasn’t almost driving and progressive. The vocal modulations give the track an interesting twist, that keeps me from hating on their presumptuous Jackson 5 choice. I don’t know where this geo came from, but I’m a fan and can’t wait to see where they go next.

Kaptain is a new arrival on the scene, but already making huge waves. With production like this, it’s easy to see why. That Future Funk vibe is melting the cold we’re all currently dealing with. The bassline synth is impeccable, and the tune swings like Uptown Funk. Grant Genske & Willdabeast (great name) add some extra layers of dopeness, giving you a solid six minutes of jazzy wobbly vibes.

Endemic! The off the wall potent hard trance producer that fell off the map a bit back is back. If you’re not into hard dance, run screaming from the room on this one. However, if you’re into punchy bass, heavy trance and old school UK vibes, you’re going to LOVE this track. It’s got a classic drop that’s positively frenetic for 2016. However, if you close your eyes, you can almost hear 2004 in it. Have fun ravers. #PLURLife

Slowing way, way down, filous brings his global bass feel to the Gorillaz classic. LissA joins filous to rework the song entirely, and we’re all better for it. Peaceful guitar chords, positive vibes, and a whole lot of relaxed competence flooding the original. Not a lot to say besides sit back and enjoy.
James Blake continues to be able to do whatever the fuck he wants. This Modern Soul hits all the right notes. Blake’s melancholic vocals fuse with the lilting piano and chord work to great success. But, that’s because it’s James Blake, who could probably make a room weepy with a Kazoo and an 808 if he wanted to. Great work as always, can’t wait for the next collab with Chance The Rapper.