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.

Monday Music: Mickey Kojak, Mochipet, OLWIK, Jerome Blaze & Houses in Motion!

New year, new tunes! For this first Monday Music of 2016, I added a Bonus EP from a cool indie label from Melbourne. Lots of good stuff this week, and if you’re hungry for more, don’t forget to check out my 2015 Gems playlist on Soundcloud for my favorite sleeper tracks of the last year.

This Mickey Kojak came out of nowhere but hit me like a ton of bricks. The uptempo, nu  house vibe hits the ground running and doesn’t stop. The drop at 1:10 is a wobbly delight that I didn’t anticipate. It’s got an electric disco groove that is super danceable and the vocals keep the energy from barreling out of control. Lots to like from this upstart from Sydney native.

Mochipet has done some great work, so I gave this mashup time to breathe before passing judgment. You should do so as well. It’s a murky, almost sullen reworking, bringing the best elements of both Tool & Kendrick Lamar to prominence. Inventive and well executed, it’s a breath of fresh air considering how chock full of pop and house mash ups tend to be. Free as well, so what’s not to like?

I’ve talked about OLWIK before, and you better get used to it, because you’re going to be hearing a lot more from him. His progressive wings continue to grow, and this track soars because of it. He’s walking a very fine line between progressive and pop, which is a huge step forward. This kind of sound is going to continue to be crucial to the integration between the EDM & pop/commercial markets, even with the final collapse of Big Room in 2015. The light, airy & bubbly sound that OWLIK absolutely nails with this is where it’s going, and he’ll be at the front of the pack.

Jerome Blazé is a name I’m hoping gets a lot of attention in 2016. The track and some of his earlier work have a very Porter Robinson feel to them, and that’s as a huge fan. It’s high praise, but I think if Jerome stays the course, in a year or so, he’ll be making waves at festivals way above what he’s doing now. The build up is well-executed, and the crescendo into major chords awash in synthy keyboard work is excellent. It’s a positive tune that should get signed to a label as soon as possible.

Stoney Roads made sure I didn’t miss the “For The Heat” EP, the second issuance from the Houses in Motion label. This fam is super under the radar at the moment, but the EP is a DJ delight. The first tune is a slow simmer, meditative track that would find itself at home in a CityFox or Robot Heart set in a second. The 2nd track is a remix by Sweetland, another Melbourne producer, and as almost a high fashion vibe, blending a quick tempo with some vintage house elements. It’s a clean, clubby tune that deserves some love on this side of the Pacific.