Monday Music: WNWD, Autograf, Solstis, Lido & Wolfgang Lohr

8t5YJApril’s grinding along, if you’re flagging, rely on me. Got 5 soulful tunes for your Monday. By the time these are done, it’ll be time for lunch and you’ll deserve a break, so let’s get into it.

V continues to be one of the most important people to follow at Fresh New Tracks. WNWD coming out of Miami, taking me by total surprise. Higher has a number of electronic elements, but it’s quite different than what I expect out of South Beach. Low-key R&B for the win up in this. The vocal work hits all of the marks needed for the bass & production really shine. Great work & they earned the follow with this track, most assuredly.

Autograf has been a sleeper favorite of mine for years now. Really happy they’ve broken out of Soundcloud purgatory and arrived on the festival circuit, hitting Coachella & Euphoria Festival this month alone. This kind of moody bass might be a little chilled out for a Monday morning, but the guitar work makes up for it. It’s got a vintage Ratatat feel to it, which is a high compliment if anyone remembers their early work. Great work, can’t wait to hear basics chatting up this new Autograph band after their set in Indio at the end of the month.

Coming at you with some new (to me) talent out of Honolulu & Chicago, Solstis. Three minutes forty moves by quickly, straddling the line between Chip, Trap and Future, but never getting too big for its britches. The chorus shimmers and the underlying bass is one of the more soothing I’ve heard in a minute. It’s got an almost West Coast vibe, but it feels like it came from the dorm rooms at a tech school in Cali, if that makes sense.

Lido has hit his stride and we are all better for it. This video is a perfect indication that he’s embracing his rising star position & digging in. The signature viscous rhythm & bass vibe that we love him for is here, with lovely vocals and a surprisingly good video. This has anthem all over it, but not in a big room way. If we can get Future Bass & Chilltrap to the mainstage this year, I’ll be a very happy man.

Rounding out the tunes today is an edit by one German electroswing DJ, of an original tune by another German electroswing DJ. I had no idea the stuff ran so deep in Germany, but this is jolly dope. The hustle is warm, the piano on-point, and the progression really lends itself to some infectious booty shaking. It’s hard to resist this one, and it’s good for all ages. The German vocals are oddly relaxing, while the pacing doesn’t let up. Drop this into a wedding reception & watch people of all ages jump up and down. Great work Wolfgang, keep it up!

Monday Music: The Code, New Phynix, Dream Beach, Soy Sauce, Feki & ROIS!

Monday Monday (so good to me)! Another balmy week is before us Gothamites! To celebrate, here’s your usual 5pack of dope tunes & a bonus EP slapped on the end! One oldie from Dream Beach, but mostly new hotness. Let’s dig in!

Kicking things off is a peppy, moody How Deep Is Your Love future remix. Calvin Harris usually doesn’t leave a lot of room to improve on his signature sound, but the way the track almost waves in the breeze works perfectly. The Future Trap vibe can be over done, but no bed squeak noises, quality production and a couple of satisfying drops make it great for an office chair dance party. Great work by The Code, can’t wait to see what they do next.

I’d not heard of New Phynix, but this original got my attention. It’s a great example of where Progressive is going now that the Big Room trend has been dead & buried. This is very much still a mainstage/anthem track, but the abrasive electro sounds from 2 years ago are all gone. Instead, we’ve got a driving bassline & rounded synth stabs, making for an impeccable “get hype” tune.

Switching gears entirely, Dream Beach has been killing it for a while. It’s hard to describe the sounds he creates, but it definitely needs way more attention. His occasionally melancholy, occasionally euphoric, always dope vision has made for a bunch of great releases. Faintly Jersey Club, faintly future dreamwave, the track is everything I want from a 90’s hip hop remix. The mix completely re-envisions the song & brings us a triumphant new look at the classic Biggie track.

Not everyone may remember “Suga Suga” but, if you do, you remember how it was on every dance floor for months back in 2003. Soy Sauce brings us all the way back with this syrupy dope remix of the original. Winking future elements, soft chill vibes & his own excellent vocal work. If you’re a fan of his vocal stylings, check out Imad Royal while his beatwork will be featured on Soy Sauce. Delightfully relaxed and sexy, it might deserve a spot on your Valentine’s Day playlist.

Feki, the young star from of down under, brings his A-game once again for a sweet reworking of Anna of The North‘s soulful tune “The Dreamer.” It’s got an almost Lana Del Rey/London Grammar vibe to it, which is high praise to someone I’m not sure anyone outside of AUS/NZ knows of yet. The Future vibe is in full effect, and the fusion between organic & synthetic couldn’t work better if we handed it to Flume himself.

Bonus!

I usually only do 5 tunes a week, but I had to make an exception for this EP from ROIS. A duo out of LA so far below the radar they don’t have 100 Soundcloud followers yet, so you know it’s a juicy find. It’s a light, forward thinking take R&B that we’re not hearing much these days. While most are pushing towards the Jersey Club sexiness, Vincent Coleman & Nick Hughston make a strong case for your attention using a more vintage style. Is Future Soul a thing yet?

Jae Jin’s Album “Kairos” Is A Stunning Soulful Success!

Kairos - Jae Jin

Jae Jin – Kairos

I spoke to Jae Jin a little while back, during his last stint of NYC performances. Easily one of the most electrifying new voices of my generation, I think there’s a certain explosive potential in this kid. He’s put it all on the line and if you were one of the chosen few who helped him crowdfund (with a hefty chunk going to charity no less) his debut album, you have not been disappointed. For everyone who wasn’t smart enough to get in on that action, you can grab it here, which I highly recommend.

When It Finds You is one of the best vocal tracks I’ve heard in years. This has pop/rock anthem written all over it. It delivers with hints of gospel, a heaping dose of soul & just a dash of euphoria. The call & answer section is a wonderful throwback & the tune reels you in and doesn’t let you go. Expertly arranged, it busts the door down for the album.

Running pulls a little more in the indie direction, showcasing Jae’s range and ability. The mastering & additional elements added in to support his buttery vocals are the right choices, with the track gliding along. I’m surprised I haven’t already heard it on the radio. Ain’t About Love brings it back down to almost a blues vibe, but the ditty uses piano & snaps to emphasize just how good Jae Jin is at this.

Don’t Fall Too Late is a rambling, relaxed soulful meditation, but by this point, you should be expecting that. It harmonizes & blends well, giving Jae Jin another chance to knock it out of the park. Which he of course does. The guitar & piano are front and center, but neither dominates. Everything is necessary and it all works. Moon & Stars modernizes that soulful vibe, centering on some soaring chords. It has almost a country vibe, feeling like it could be played at an indie show or even a NASCAR race. It feels very American, if that means anything anymore.

Honestly, I could keep going on, listing each track and telling you how good they are, but that’s just taking time away from you listening to & buying the album. Each track is expertly arranged and continues to show new sides of Jae, ones I didn’t even know he had, and I knew the guy years ago.

I want to wrap this up by saying that this guy’s sound is screaming to get paired up with DJs & producers here in NYC. This guy’s vocal work is beyond compare and any producer or label that picks him up will be lucky. He’s pulling his weight in gold, to quote Gallant, and Ed Sheeran has nothing on this kid. Pick the album up here and enjoy!

Jae Jin

What Lies Beneath: Jae Jin @ The Bitter End

Jae Jin This was one of those impromptu, week night shows that I rarely make it out to anymore. I say that, but these up & comers are making it harder and harder to stay home. Jae Jin is a friend of mine. Since we last hung out, a lot has changed. Not only did he beat cancer (again. No, seriously, again. This dude is a fucking champion), but he left behind a career as a MD/MBA candidate to pursue a life of music. As someone who has seen how much those guys make, I can tell you he’s earned my respect, and that was before opened his mouth.  It’s hard to describe, but Jae has stage presence. He’s able to control an audience and kept the weeknight crowd excited and into it. We all go to shows with the “if it’s boring I’m out in the first 15min” in the back of our minds but he earned our asses in seats for hours. This guy not only had the chops needed to keep our attention, he was kind, aware & attuned to the crowd when it came to being real on the mic.
Jae switching from guitar to piano in the middle of the show was a strong move that I think solidified  just how much skill, talent & drive he has. He knocked out a bunch of tunes on the piano with his backing duo & solo, ending the show on a high note. Which he hit. Because he can. All in all, I was tremendously pleased to see just how far my man has come.  Make sure to take some time to dig and give to Jae’s PledgeMusic drive. Not only does it get this crucial album made, but it’s connected with Johns Hopkins Pediatric Oncology. The rest of his NYC performance dates are below. If you can make one of these, don’t sleep on it. As I said before, you want to get in on the ground floor with Jae Jin. He’s going places.

May 15 – Lovecraft – 7pm
May 26 – Rockwood Music Hall – 6pm
June 11 – The Bitter End – 8pm

 

Midnight Music: Usher – Yeah (Pat Lok Rework) [Future House]

Usher - Yeah (Pat Lok ReworkTwo min 30 sec in really speaks for itself. This kind of deep push and potent vibe that Pat Lok is making sure happens, really can’t be replaced, and I think that needs to be noted. This remix is amazing, in ways that neither Usher or anyone associated with the original could have predicted. This reworking has the elements that you need in a 2015 mix, that you don’t know you need until they’re not here. Pat Lok puts all the correct pieces into the puzzle the right way. The vocals are brought back in exactly the way they need to while the breakdown at three minutes in can still remain the dope break it is. (via FreshNewTracks)

Midnight Music: Willow Smith ft. SZA – 9 (LMC Remix)

WillowWillow has done slightly better creatively than Jaden as of late. While The Karate Kid remake remains wonderful, Jaden’s twitterstream is…messy, to say the least. Willow seems to have done a little bit better, with her soulful, respectful music career getting off to a great start. This remix from a young kiwi by the name of Liam Mcalister. This is a smooth remix that definitely makes me want to listen to both Willow and Liam. What a proper remix should inspire of course. Let it swish around and see that you can use trap for the forces of good as well as evil.  (via Fresh New Tracks)

Midnight Music: Mayo – Rock With You [House-Infused R&B]

I don’t know who got on this idea, but they need to stay on it. The infusion of uptempo house beats to some of the smooth lyrical work that I’ve not found anywhere. It either comes off trappy or kitch. This gets away with fantastic audio modulation because the beat doesn’t quit and the lyrics are mature and on point. I’m looking forward to this blend of R&B, hip hop and house come together as production costs come down. A few beat makers, a vocalist & one engineer with a laptop and you’ve got your self a new clan.