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: A-Trak, Jaya Prime, Panda Eyes, Kuren & DJ Fucking Shadow

Doggie GogglesYou gearing up for summer? Let’s push the envelope with 3 new tunes, some 2014 quality & another one of my favorites from Jaya Prime. You best get comfy with Mr. Prime, because I’m probably going to force feed you highlights from his entire discography by the time Labor Day rolls around.


My boy Rishty is fast becoming another “must follow on Twitter.” Debuting on Zane Lowe’s World Record on Apple Music, this is going to permeate your aural landscape over the summer. Lush, uptempo & masterfully mixed by Brooklyn’s own A-Trak, there’s very little to dislike here. While hipsters may decry the simplistic progression, sometimes a summer beat is just a summer beat. Enjoy it! (Via This Song Is Sick)

Jaya Prime remains my favorite producer, so whenever I spiral into one of his earworms, y’all gonna hear about it. When you’re feeling happy and the NIN/GitS mashup isn’t appropriate, but you’re not exactly bubbling, his Massive Attack x Portishead mashup is exactly what the doctor ordered. He takes two of the biggest trip hop hits ever released and smashes them together, resulting in a tune overwhelming with feels. Scintillating production values, perfect awareness of the source material & a total lack of ego in the mix. What else could you ask for?

This one pushed itself into my head over the weekend. It was the soundtrack to some random YouTube video I watched, but I needed to pause that & find the original track immediately once it broke. It’s some of the hardest chip-electro that I’ve heard in quite a while. I’m a huge fan of what Panda Eyes is doing in the electro space. If you’re trying to DJ at ComicCon afterparties, SciFi conventions and anime raves, this is what your set needs to sound like. Intersperse some Sonic, Final Fantasy & Smash Brothers remixes and you’ll have the little nerds flying around the dance floor.


I mentioned Kuren back in February and now you can see why I’ve kept my eye on him, even though his tunes get taken down occasionally. This collab between him & Ben Alessi is where the indietronica & indie pop field is heading. You’re gonna hear a lot of stuff that sounds like this over the next year or two, but very few of the producers will be able to create such a gorgeous soundscape. Kuren is a head and shoulders above his competition, so I hope he makes it out of the AU/NZ bubble to bless some Western festivals with his dopeness!

DJ Fucking Shadow. While that’s the only thing I should have to say, some of my youngling readers may not know who that is. One of the luminaries that first reminded the world that DJs actually DJ, he’s back, with the first new hotness since 2011. With the tracks dribbling out slowly as we build to the release, I’ve got 2 for you. The first is an M83 styled introduction to the album, while Nobody Speak features Run The Jewels, the preeminent modern hip hop duo. There’s not much to say other than listen, enjoy & get excited for the June release & accompanying mixes.

Monday Music: Hayden James, Slushii, Kinkajous, Prince Fox & Jai Wolf

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EDC NY is next weekend, so to celebrate, I looked for the least retail, non-EDM I could find. It took me on a journey that I think you’ll love, so dig in!

About a year ago, SAFIA’s Embracing Me hit my filters and I needed to immediately yell about it. To his credit, Hayden James has taken a spectacular track and given it a similar, although strikingly different feel. It’s got a surprisingly peppy house beat under it. The source material is used splendidly, while the chord work remains euphoric without approaching tropical. The breakdown during the 2nd half of the tune has a summery sunset vibe to it, as the vocals flutter above. It breaks back into what would’ve been an anthem two years ago, but is totally devoid of those elements now. Hayden James does some really good work, so don’t sleep on his ish.

I totally missed the pop tune this remix is based on, and I don’t actually recommend going to look for it, as this is vastly superior to the original. Slushii‘s  Future Pop style melds with an almost Chibi sensibility, and glides along like a Porter Robinson mix when he’s in a good mood. Great sound, strong lyrics that honestly make me think That Poppy needs to be a dance music vocalist. That kind of almost spunky style is sorely lacking. Also “you’re the highlight of my lowlife” is a smart as fuck lyric that needs to be in more party people’s minds. (via Fresh New Tracks)

I don’t usually post jazz on this blog, but I had to make an exception when I heard this. It’s moody, exceptional, forward looking and perfectly mastered. When lots of high art snobs complain about the decline of the classical & jazz listening markets, I’m just going to point them at Kinkajous. This 5 piece live-act is frankly something I could listen to every day. Their previous EP is a big helping of this, so if you’re into this kind of stuff, there’s lots more for you. Thanks to Stamp The Wax for this one.

I fucking love Prince Fox so much. Ever since seeing him kill it at BangOn! last summer, he’s been one of the artists I always toss out when people ask who is up & coming in Brooklyn. Plenty of bad producers have produced this kind of sound and it never comes off correctly. Either it sounds like big room, brolectro or some weird LA pop tune. Prince Fox was able to inject some Flume-y Future Bass style vibes into a some Indie Pop that is going to find itself in dozens of sets this summer. You heard it from me first.

Jai Wolf is another one of those Soundcloud success stories that warms my cockles. Why? Tracks like this. A soft, post-EDM tune that pulls some amazing elements from indie, pop, and where the festival circuit will be by the end of the year. The Foreign Family Collective, created by ODESZA, has some amazing music on it, that you won’t hear in a lot of other places. The collective and the track are a great way to glide through your Monday.

 

 

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.

Midweek Music: Yellow@TheLight, Kasbo, Zisotto, Naderi & Soulwax!

As the temperature drops & the hoodies start making an appearance, it’s time for another 5 tracks for your midweek music fix. A mix of up & down, but all future fresh. Enjoy!

Hang Massive is such a gorgeous track. Dropped by the globetrotting surfer/DJ Yellow@TheLight, this is one you want to put on after a long day. Pour a nice glass of red wine, light a cigar and let it just smooth you out.
The only thing better than a Kasbo remix is a Kasbo original. This one features scintillating bass and a heavy dose of feels. Smartly mastered & including a no-bullshit free download, it’s just another example of Kasbo doing exactly what he needs to as he climbs the charts. Watch him get legit festival slots next summer, you heard it here first.
Switching gears, this tune by Zisotto is one to vibe out to. Highly meditative and reminiscent of the most ethereal parts of Chrono Trigger, I’m delighted to be recommending an Overclocked Remix, as this site was crucial to broadening my aural horizons back in the 2000’s. This 9 minute sonata is a lush, complex masterwork of ambient homage. Turn this on and drift away my friends. You won’t regret it.
This Naderi remix of a Keys N Krates banger hits all the right notes. It’s got the Future Bass feel we’ve all been jonesing for recently, highlighting Katy B’s stellar vocal work. It’s dark & gorgeous, with just a touch of the edge that keeps it from getting too cutesy or poppy. Naderi’s made a great first impression on me here, definitely getting added to some playlists.
Soulwax & Tame Impala. I was skeptical at first, but within seconds, my fears were banished. Soulwax slips a funky motif into the mix and we’re all better for it. Soulwax is one of those luminaries in the field, and reworking the masterful Tame Impala was a tall order. But they nailed it.

Midweek Music: Global Edition ft. Stromae, Maitre Gims & Saad Lamjarred!


Been doing a little traveling recently and one of my favorite things to do when I travel is listen to local “Hits.” Sometimes it’s the same crap you hear on every radio station in the USA, but occasionally you come across stuff you would never hear. So here are three of the dopest non-English tunes I’ve heard in a while!

Stromae is incredible. I’ve not been following him as closely as I should have, so this track slipped under my radar. The lyrics are translated, which is super important because they’re absolutely crucial. Stromae tells the story of our lives being carried away by social media, and how followers become more important than connection. The animation is top notch as is the production on the song. Put this into your face ASAP and check his most recent video here!

Maitre Gims is a perfect example of how good a poppy dance track can be with zero lyrical recognition. This is a peppy, summery tune that stands on its own, with the video showing the star balling, but balling in the Middle East. If I had a choice between watching this or another Flo Rida track where he’s stunting on some bullshit for the millionth time, I think you know which one I’d choose.

 Saad Lamjarred is a baller. There is no other way to describe the utterly amazing style, fashion, bass & shot choices in this video. I have no idea what they’re saying, but I can tell that Saad gets all the ladies, his boys can break dance and the old dude got some Beats headphones. This is the perfect example of a culture modernizing and entering the global worldbeat stream. Honestly, this track wouldn’t be out of place in a diplo set. Someone tell Mad Decent, they need to pick this guy up.

Midweek Music: DZZ, Mobil, Win & Woo, The Kairi Collective & Priscilla Sharp

summer New week, more music! One classic, couple newbies, all quality & no bullshit. Wide variety this week, so let’s get into it!  DZZ came out of nowhere on this one. With a premiere on Nest HQ this week, DZZ is going places. This tune is at once chippy, future and melancholy. The production values are off the charts on this & the drippingly synthetic vocals are stupendous. This is my sleeper hit for the week, so get into the whole EP here.

Collectives are so hot right now. The Kairi Collective dropped this release and I couldn’t be happier that they did. This chilled vibe is unmistakeable. The glitchy, dubsteppy sounds work perfectly with the classical violin, piano and shifting chords. Really looking forward to where Pensees, Quok & Jan Amit are going with this as this effort is tremendous.

 I’m so glad Tropical has turned into an element of music production, instead of a genre of music. Just like dubstep before it, people are realizing that steel drums & sexy sax do not a song make. You still need a hook and possibly some catchy lyrics. Win & Woo have a great little ditty here, and have a soaring mainstage career in front of them as long as they do the work.

This one takes a minute to get going, but you want to give it the time it deserves. Like a girl who knows what she wants, this track takes its time and really explores a sound that’s both future & 90’s vintage. I don’t know how to describe this, except maybe if Cyndi Lauper did some K & then took some allergy meds. And I mean that in the best possible way. It’s like if The Eurythmics had a Macbook to produce on. Trust me, you want to hear this. Priscilla Sharp knows what she’s doing so don’t disappoint her.

Classic trance vibe right here, and it’s from 2013. This really doesn’t need any further introduction besides it being euphoric trance that needs to be played on high volume. Mobil does amazing work here, so show it some love. And if someone can clue me into where I can get more full-length mixes of this style of trance, hit up the comments.

Ten Questions With Terry Gotham: Escher Beat

Thrilled to bring you the debut album from a stupendously talented Brooklyn producer. This effort is a departure from his previous work, so I’m delighted he spoke to me first about his new project, that drops TODAY, Escher Beat.1. How did Escher Beat come about? Escher Beat has been this nebulous concept in my head for a long time now. It’s hard to define when it was born- It’s like how some cultures consider the birth of a child to be when they first had the thought of creating one, as opposed to copulation, or the release of it into the real world. A lot of the stuff on the album has been in my head for ages but only now have I had the skill to get it written down and expressed in a somewhat proper form.

The album (and thus project)’s “copulation” began in 2012, when I was shying away from “23” as a project. I made the intro of the opening track (“Inter-Universal Transmission No. 2”), trying to make music that I thought I truly should be making. It was a good start but I found I did not have the skills to keep going forward. I also had a busy life finishing school and starting my career in NYC. But in the 2-3 years since then, I’d practice sound design, practice alternate forms of music, small things to up my skill set.

About 9 months ago, I said “alright, it’s time to actually try this again”. Over the course of 8 months, I wrote the album in a concerted effort. The last thing I wrote was follow up to the intro in the first track, which I thought was a nice conceptual way of completing the circle/journey.

2. What is it like being a closet producer living in Brooklyn right now? Depends what you mean by closet producer! Technically I work in a DIY-level dedicated studio. The room isn’t huge but it is covered in a professional level of bass traps with a properly set up and calibrated monitoring system, instruments, synths, etc. But in the sense that I just sit down and woodshed production for hours on end alone without telling anyone, you could say I’m a closet producer. It’s hard not to talk about what you’re working on. But it’s for the better because the more you talk about it, the less likely you are to complete it, I think. Less talk, more do.

Brooklyn is great because of the sheer number of musicians and artists around. I hope to take advantage of that in future work!

3. You had some success a couple of years ago producing dubstep under the alias 23, why did you decide to switch projects? I’ll try to keep it concise. I think 23 blew up faster than I was ready for. I was a one trick pony, and I painted myself into this dubstep corner. I began to become disillusioned with the progress of dubstep, and came to hate it. What happens when the only music you can reliably make is music you hate? That’s where the track “Fuck You (If You Like This Song)” came from; it was a frustrated irony.

I still consider my name to be the person named 23, but the work associated with it, I no longer identify with. It was a natural progression to make a new project for a more evolved sound.

4. What would be the ideal setting for listening to your music? Any altered state is a good start. The album isn’t just sound. There’s multiple layers of head-fuckery going on. I’ve used psychological setups and traps to influence the effect of sections of music based on the previous sections. There are sounds that bend and morph, and some things are so subtle, you need that altered state to obtain the perspective necessary to perceive it. These are some of my favorite moments in music, realizing the album you’ve been listening to for years had some hidden aspect to it you hadn’t unlocked.

I think a good stereo setup with a sub, with a bed in the center is a nice way. The album has very danceable moments, but they’re never too intense, so I think they’re still relaxation-worthy if you’d like to do home listening.

For dance purposes, I really want to see how it does on a big sound system with people who are really into dancing. There’s some funky grooves and heavy syncopation that, at least from my perspective as a dancer, lends its self to some really fun times dancing.

Without a doubt though, the album is best listened to all the way through. When you take the songs out of context, you begin to lose some of the “magic” so to speak.

5. How do you produce these incredible tracks? Can you give us any peaks into the method to your madness? I constantly have general ideas in my head about stuff I want to try. For example, in the second track (“James Brown…”) there’s this build up to this complete breakdown of the sound all together that then filters up and becomes a completely unique element of a completely unrelated beat. THAT kind of stuff is the essence of an “Escher Beat”. I had that concept in my mind for a long time, and that wasn’t even my first attempt at it.

After a concept is decided on, if any (sometimes things begin with a sound test or a jam) the writing process its self can be very…. automatic. There are times where I feel more like the music is written through me, or that I’m merely writing down what was already supposed to come next. My best music just happens, it becomes obvious to me. Sometimes, especially with long studio sessions, I’ll come back in a week later and forgot I wrote entire sections of music.

I guess that’s expected when you stay up for 24-48 (on rare occasion, 72) hours in a room with no windows. Definitely gets weird by the end of a session.

6. Do you have any preferred medium for performing live or strong opinions on the whole vinyl/laptop/cdj wars? Right now I work off Traktor cause that’s what I’ve always done. For someone who produces music, it can be a bit limiting, but I’m so familiar with the limitations and how to get around them that it’s a good old standby.

In the future I’d like to do Ableton live stuff. But I’m busy as fuck so that learning curve has kept me at bay for now. I’d really love to be able to re-fuck, re-mix, and re-contextualize things on the fly.

As to opinions on live mediums, I don’t think the medium matters at this point. Does the music sound good? That’s all that matters to me. I don’t go to shows to watch guys idly spin knobs or pretend they’re busy looking through a record bag. If the music is good, it’s good.

7. Are there any cool things happening in electronic music that you’re really into at the moment that our readers may not be aware of? A sub-genre or a new party or thing the kids are doing under the cover of darkness that you’re into? Honestly I hear good, new music every damn day. I love some of the more down tempo neuro stuff going on like Aio – Steam Prism, and also a lot of chill wave, and other really trippy beats. People are constantly putting out cool shit and a lot of it gets little to no attention.

I’d like to see this more progressive music at events. You’d think in such a forward city (when it comes to things like art and fashion) you’d see more interesting music at big events, and it certainly exists, but not at a reasonable scale. Like anywhere else, it seems most people in BK and NYC want that familiarity. Few people REALLY get into dance (dance, not dance music) and I think that’s a big reason why. When you have a strong dance vocabulary, new kinds of music means more ways to express yourself, as opposed to non-dancers who want to jam to familiar tunes (typically).

8. If I could wave my magic wand and get you a headlining slot anywhere in the world, where would you like to spin? I’d want to spin somewhere that has both a dancefloor, and places to relax, with lots of interactive and immersive artwork. Maybe something like DJing to people wandering a technological hedge maze/hall of mirrors that leads to different dancefloors with different art installations. I’m not sure it exists, at least all in one event. What I’m trying to say is the idea of me headlining a big crowd isn’t what I’m after. I’m about unique experiences and immersion, which have functional limitations in regards to scalability. I hate the idea of exclusivity, elitism, etc, but practically speaking, immersion isn’t possible when you have too many people. Except immersion in a crowd, but that’s why Big Room House came out. No thanks.

9. Any favorite plug-in’s, programs, pieces of hardware, or other music creation tools that you couldn’t have created the album without? A lot of the edits are by hand, and just layers upon layers of sound, with pretty basic plugins most of the time. When it comes to synths, if I didn’t have one, it’d be another. Most common VST is probably just my EQ. It’s less about the tools and more about the vision.

10. Are there any sonic influences that you couldn’t have arrived at this point without? Favorite producers, musical teachers, life-changing parties, etc? There have been a lot of nights at Burning Man where I heard music that I have never heard again that just blew my mind. I didn’t know how to classify it. But it was groovy. And when the DJs were done, they disappeared. Only recently have I been seeing music *similar* to this hitting the public sphere. Maybe it’s there and I just can’t find it. In a sense, this album is my version/interpretation of that hard to classify, but groovy vibe.

More often than not, people have been comparing the album to people I never listen to. A lot (not all) of my strong musical influences either have little to do with modern electronic music, or aren’t even music related at all. I’ll leave it at that because I want the album to be understood personally, not directed by me. I’ve done enough direction by writing the music its self.

Buy the album here!

Midweek Music: Avicii, Ferry Corsten, Wyclef Jean, Delta Heavy & More!

Between July 4th & Labor Day, people check blogs less, they vacation more & need tunes to move to. For the summer, instead of doing music at night, I’ve decided to try something different. I’m going to try and put together a weekly set of tracks, most new, but the occasional oldie/goodie, for you, my faithful readers. Let me know if it’s a good idea.  Ferry Corsten remains one of my most favorite DJs, though he rarely gets to spin the music I love him for. Even though when he headlines mainstages, he does a lot of electro house & progressive, in my mind, he will always be a pure trance DJ. With this release and his recent new Gouryella track, it’s as if he has been reading my mind. The break at 3:19 is one of the best in the world and has been for years. This is a staple in his sets across Europe, but I’ve definitely been privileged enough to hear it on our shores on more than one occasion.  Mixmag premiered one of the better remixes of Giorgio Moroder’s new track “74 is the new 24.” Yes, that’s actually the name of the track, he’s really getting down and funky at 74. The tune has some interesting little guitars and some “I clearly listen to Daft Punk” vocoding effects which are totally welcome. It’s got a vintage, funky feel, while keeping the energy up in a 90’s dance kind of way. Kris Menace & Lifelike have grabbed my attention with this track, so y’all should keep an eye on them with me.
 Avicii is back, and he brought Wyclef Jean & Matisyahu with him. It’s a strange departure for Avicii and I wonder who wanted this deal to come together most out of the trio. Matisyahu & Wyclef Jean drop perfectly capable/dope rhymes, and the reggae vibes on this are strong. Avicii brings in the bluegrass & country influences from his previous work, as you can hear in the builds and lead up to the chorus. This is definitely a step in a new direction so definitely let me know if it’s something you’re feeling.   Bringing the energy down entirely is Glo. This downtempo/chill artist has studied at the School of Burial and we’re all better for it. I cannot get enough of this kind of sound. Do not play this for people on drugs, but if you’re sad, you just got dumped, or if you’re just walking in the rain, this is your jam. I know it’s mine, and if you want more, check out glo’s album saknad here. The list of tracks is fantastic, and it will get you through.  Last but certainly not least, Delta Heavy‘s got a new jam that’s out July 17th. This is no bullshit Drum & Bass. Classic, perfect Delta Heavy, like only he can be. Delta Heavy is able to use female rock vocals in a way I don’t think anyone else in the space besides Flux Pavilion can touch. And now I want to see a Delta Heavy/Flux Pavilion b2b set.

That’s it folks, leave a comment if you liked this format & want to see it again, or if I should get back to a track a day. I live to serve.