Weekly Mix Vol. 32: Flume, Amtrac, Miguel, and more delicious tunes

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As the mounds of snow and ice slowly melted and DC returned to its mindful hum, there was plenty of time spent snuggling indoors during this week’s post-blizzard apocalypse to find some swell little tunes. Though sipping hot chocolate and watching the snow fall as you stare out the window is a great way to pass the time, I think I speak for everyone in the Northeast when I saw that a sense of cabin fever was REAL in the aftermath of winter storm Jonas.

With that in mind, this week’s mix is heavy on tracks that will make you wanna get up and bust a move, even if it’s just using your living room as your private dance floor. New original tracks from Flume and Amtrac are the standout songs this week, but peppered through the playlist are new offerings from Gryffin, Autograf, oshi, Miguel, and GTA.

Get at it!

Weekly Mix Vol. 31: From Flume to Future

Flume at the 9:30 Club in Washington DC. July 24, 2014.

Flume at the 9:30 Club in Washington DC. July 24, 2014.

The process of finding great new songs can feel pretty daunting at times, especially when a few weeks go by that feel void of anything worthy of sharing. Thankfully, that spell was broken during the past few days, when I discovered so many great new tunes that I actually felt compelled to post about a few of them individually. But, dear friends, I have not forgotten the weekly mix — though it may have seemed like I did, given, you know, my ghostly silence.

This week’s collection of tunes spans the genre scheme quite a bit. The obvious choice to kick things off is Flume’s amazing new track “Never Be Like You” featuring Kai. If you’re a Flume fan, you’ll smile as soon as the track opens; Harley Edward Streten’s unique production work is instantly recognizable. The richly layered collaboration is exactly what fans have come to expect from the Australian producer and it’s glorious to blast in your headphones walking to work (verified by yours truly).

From there, things get deep with a new track from Eats Everything and a fantastic remix from Ben Pearce. Then serious house vibes take over; Lane 8, “Midnight”; Oliver Heldens & Throttle, “Waiting”; EDX, “Missing”; and Manilla Killa, “All That’s Left. Given my love for RAC, I couldn’t let the week go by without throwing his newest remix into the playlist. Though his “Beautiful Heartbeat” re-work isn’t his best effort, it’s still better than the majority of remixes out there, because the dude just knows what he’s doing.

Finally, things wrap up with two hip hop tracks: “Yamborghini High” and “Wicked.” The former is an A$AP Mob track dedicated to A$AP Yams, who passed away just a little over a year ago. It doesn’t feature any of the psychedelic elements that made A$AP Rocky’s last album, “At. Long. Last. A$AP.”,  so interesting, but he does rap about one of my favorite things: “Yeah, I wake up late, ” Rocky raps, “Yeah, I’m out of shape/ Yeah, I’m eatin’ crêpes.” Looks like he and I have something in common after all. “Wicked” is featured on Future’s latest mixtape “Purple Reign.” The track was produced by Metro Boomin and  Southside. It’s dark and moody, like coming out of a haze after a house party that spiraled out of control. It certainly won’t be everybody’s idea of a great hip hop song, but it’s one of my favorites off “Purple Reign,” which you should really do yourself a favor and download in full here.

Happy listening!

If you’re working on MLK Day, cheer up! There’s a new Kanye track to make everything better

Last week I wrote about Kanye West’s incredible single “Real Friends” and Erykah Badu’s badass remix of the track. Like all Kanye fans, I was disappointed when Friday Jan. 15 came and went without a new drop — but thankfully Yeezy hasn’t forgotten us, he was just a little delayed in granting our wish.

This morning Kanye uploaded the full version of “No More Parties in L.A.” featuring Kendrick Lamar, produced by Madlib. This marks the first time Kanye and Kendrick have ever appeared on a track together and it doesn’t disappoint.

Kendrick may have garnered all the critical acclaim in 2015 for his flawless album “To Pimp a Butterfly,” but on “No More Parties in L.A.” Kanye proves he can easily keep up with the best rapper in the game.

Kanye’s new album “Swish” drops Feb. 11.

What’s better than new Kanye? Nothing. But this Erykah Badu remix comes damn close

Though plenty of people might disagree with me, I believe Kanye Wast is the greatest artist putting out new music today. From ambitious projects like “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” to turn-up anthems like “All Day” and sweet ballads like “FourFiveSeconds,” he’s proved himself to be as fearless as he is talented — completely ignoring the boundaries of familiarity. Nothing he does is redundant and it’s certainly never boring. He may be a complete ego-maniac, but he’s earned those bragging rights.

So when Yeezy put out a new track last Friday, his fan base (myself included) went completely batty. “Real Friends & No More Parties in LA” is stunning. It’s actually two songs in one; the former features Ty Dolla $ign, the latter features Kendrick Lamar. I heard the first leak and just left the song playing on repeat, too afraid to refresh the page for fear it would be taken down (which it was). Thankfully the forces of the internet are very powerful when it comes to disseminating a Kanye leak, and the song kept popping up somewhere new every time it was taken down. Eventually Ye put it up himself on Soundcloud and everybody breathed a collective sigh of relief and satisfaction.

Now that we’ve all had time to listen to the original roughly 1,000 times, it’s of course natural for remixes to start pouring in. But only one of those remixes is worthy of attention because it comes from the one and only Erykah Badu. This morning she released “Trill Friends” on her official Soundcloud page, an intriguing rework of Kanye’s latest effort.

It pales in comparison to the original, but it IS Erykah Badu, so I’m gonna go ahead and posit that this is the best remix we’re gonna get.

On the bright side, Kanye’s new album “Swish” is set for release Feb. 11. Bless up.

Eric Prydz does it again with a new track ahead of his album release, “Opus”

If you’ve followed this blog at all previously, you know by now that I fan girl for Eric Prydz, hard. He’s one of my all-time favorite producers who has managed to keep his music fresh, fun, and, most importantly, insulated from the bullshit associated with dance music these days. So when a genius like Prydz teams up with an equally talented producer like Rob Swire, you know to expect something special.

“Breathe” delivers just that, foregoing some of the qualities from Prydz’s anthemic house catalogue in favor of nostalgic, retro vibes. The track is a welcome experiment from these two stellar producers, and I can’t wait to see what else Prydz has to show us when “Opus” drops on Feb. 5.

In other exciting Prydz news, Epic 4.0 is returning this year! Here are the tour dates if you’re interested in buying tickets:

Feb. 12, 13, and 14 — New York City

Feb. 19 and 20 — Los Angeles

Feb. 26 and 27 — San Francisco

 

A new Disciples track just dropped and it’s this week’s must-listen tune

When I first started this blog, I spent a lot of time clicking through artists’ pages on Soundcloud and Hype Machine looking for the freshest tracks every day. But after a while, I realized that sometimes random chance really is the best tool.

I stumbled across this new Disciples track as I let my Soundcloud homepage play through while sitting as my desk. If the name sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’ve heard Calvin Harris’ massive track “How Deep is Your Love,” a collaborative effort with Disciples.

Before you shake your head at me for mentioning such a pop crossover song, hear me out! Disciples’ new track, “Flawless” sounds nothing at all like the catchy Harris-associated radio hit — though, unfortunately, I can pretty much guarantee Gigi Hadid won’t be starring in a music video for this track, if one is ever released.

“Flawless” is all about the dope bassline and it keeps the house grooves flowing throughout. It’s production is, as the title suggests, flawless. It’s chill enough to bump in the background while you’re working, but would work equally well on a dance floor somewhere after 2 a.m.

The London Trio’s new three-track EP “The Following” arrives Oct. 24!

If you like “Flawless,” check out their track “Mastermind” which was released last month:

Weekly Mix Vol. 30: Big Summer Tracks featuring Deorro, Amtrak, and More

RL Grime at 9:30 Club, Washington DC. Not pertinent to this post, but…I really like this pic.

This week’s mix is all about big summer feel good tunes. So let’s jump right into the good stuff…

Deorro’s track with Erin McCarley is a dreamy song that would still fit right in at all the biggest festival stages, plus don’t we all just want “someone to love”? Yeah, we kinda do. It’s the kind of song you might be embarrassed to sing out loud, but you’ll definitely vibe to in your shower/car/kitchen. Do you remember Cedric Gervais‘ monster remix of “Summertime Sadness” back in 2013? Well, he’s done it again. It won’t take over the world like his Lana Del Rey remix, but this rework of ODESZA’s “Say My Name” is musical perfection!

From there, sail into two dope tracks from Madeaux and Blonde. Producer extraordinaire AMTRAC also released a new track last week, another splendidly crafted piece called “Hold On” (it’s been played A LOT on my SoundCloud account in the past 5 days). Obviously no weekly playlist is complete without a future house track — Tom Budin’s “Sizzle” fills that slot this week. Things wrap up with tracks from Raving George, Felix Cartal, Sailors, and more.

Since I haven’t posted a full-length set in a while, I’m also including this absolutely FIRE 45-minute mix for all the fellow trap heads out there. The notoriously mysterious DJ/Producer UZ released this Tuesday afternoon and ohhhhhh man. It’s filled with some of the best trap tracks out there right now and, as always, his execution is flawless.

Happy listening!

Weekly Mix Vol.29: New Gorgon City, ODESZA, and Big Gigantic

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ODESZA at U Street Music Hall in Washington, DC. September, 2014.

Last weekend my girl Gabi pulled me aside and in her gentle way (ahem — grabbing my arm and raising her voice) said to me, “LN, why have I not gotten a blog post in weeks?! Where is my blog post?!” She wasn’t having any of my laziness, which is good because I needed someone to pull me out of my self-imposed hiatus. This is what good friends are for! That being said, this week’s playlist is dedicated to Gabz for nudging me to get back to what I love doing.

Now that August’s quiet tedium has descended upon most of us, I thought it would be a good idea to create a playlist that reminds us all summer isn’t over yet. There are still plenty of weekends left for barbecues, pool parties, and boat days; consider this set of tunes your perfect accoutrement to any of the above day drinking activities.

Things kick off with the new Griz and Big Gigantic collaboration, full of the sax we love so much plus some funky beats. Then, it transitions to three of my favorite new remixes from /ˈlo͞osid/, Hippie Sabotage, and KREAM ( Yes, I do have a favorite: Hippie Sabotage’s remix of “Feels” has been on a loop all afternoon and that will no doubt continue through tomorrow). From there, take a listen to the new Gorgon City track, which will remind you why the duo shot to stardom last year with their debut album “Sirens.” The next three tracks are for the deep house and tech house fans out there: a new Matt Lange track, a fantastic Jody Wisternoff rework by Chicane, and a dope track from an artist I just discovered named AYO ALEX.

The last leg of the playlist transitions to future house and ends with two of my favorite new trap songs from this week. The future house sounds start with the new ODESZA track featuring Little Boots called “Light” from their forthcoming album “In Return” out Sept. 18. Those upbeat, bass-driven future house vibes continue with new tracks from Aevion and Koos. The mix wraps up with two trap bangers that will have you twerking in your chair all day long. The new collaboration between T-Mass and Far East Movement is everything I hoped it would be — aggressive, yet melodic, and totally unique — and Instant Party!’s take on “Lean On” is the trap remix the song of the summer never knew it deserved.

Happy listening, friends!

 

Weekly Mix Vol. 27: Deep House, Future House, and Future Bass

Another week, another set of tunes. For this edit I decided to focus on three genres that are consistently growing in popularity. Just in case Deep House, Future House, and Future Bass all sound like different versions of the same thing to you, these are the primary differences.

Deep House

The genre originated in the ’80s as a subgenre of house music, fusing elements of Chicago house, jazz, and soul often layered over ambient vocals. Tracks are generally between 120 and 125 beats per minute. Examples of deep house artists include Maya Jane Coles, Ben Pearce, Hot Since 82, and Dusky.

Future House

Future house is a direct descendant of deep house. Tracks have a slightly higher bpm but maintain a similar slow, ambient feel of deep house. The genre is essentially a fusion of deep house and drops/bass more typical of festival-style EDM. Examples of Future House artists include Tchami and Oliver Heldens.

Future Bass

Of the three genres, this one is the most up in the air and open for interpretation. Right now, future bass is characterized as any track with emphasis on a hard bass line that can’t be relegated to a single genre. Examples of future house artists include Odesza, Giraffage, and Cashmere Cat.

This playlist features some of all three. With that little lesson out of the way, here’s this week’s playlist!

 

Weekly Mix Vol. 24: Major Lazer, Jeremy Olander, Flume, and More

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Major Lazer at Ultra 2014 in Miami, FL

 

Diplo is at his very best when he’s working on Major Lazer projects. I’ve been saying this for years, but never has it been made more apparent than as I listened to “Peace Is The Mission.”

It’s easy to write the guy off as a total hack. Most of the tracks he’s released solo over the past few years have been complete trash — save his biggest hits like “Revolution” and “Express Yourself,” his astonishingly good remix of “Drunk In Love,” and a handful of remix collabs with Grandtheft — and his festival performances have been fun but uninspired. So when you listen to an album like “PITM” and find yourself totally vibing to the unique mix of sounds that helped launch Diplo to the level of superstardom he’s achieved, there’s an added element of pleasure beyond just listening to great music. There’s the moment of satisfaction when you realize an artist you had started to completely write off has still got the magical quality you first fell in love with. It’s nostalgia. And there’s nothing more powerful than that sentiment.

Several tracks off the album had already been released as singles, namely the (in my opinion) song of the year “Lean On” but I’ve included two tracks off “Peace Is The Mission” in this week’s mix. They’re both unexpected Major Lazer collaborations, one with Wild Belle and the other with Ariana Grande, that feature the distinctive island sound that’s defined Major Lazer since they started making music.

In addition to two great Major Lazer tracks, this week’s playlist is loaded with new music from some of the best producers in the game right now, including Jeremy Olander (Sweden), Flume (Australia), and 20Syl (France) — yes, a very international selection this week!

Put those headphones on and vibe. Happy rest of the week! And stay tuned for a special Governor’s Ball playlist and post coming Friday…