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!

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

 

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!

The Moment I Realized I Might Be Too Old for This Shit or, My Night at a DJ Snake Concert

DJ Snake at Echostage in Washington, DC. August, 2015.

There have been few moments in my life where I’ve been made to feel old… and it’s because, well, I’m not. At 25, the world is still my oyster. Though it may not be as indulgent as during those precious college years, I can still live impulsively and free of major responsibilities like a mortgage, kids, and a hubby at home. But the progression of my evening at Echostage last Saturday night lead me to conclude that I’m inching further away from that carefree lifestyle…voluntarily.

DJ Snake was supposed to be another epic night at Echostage, but it turned out to be an eye-opening experience into the subtle ways your tastes change  as you grow into adulthood.

I present to you the timeline of my epiphany:

9:30 p.m.

Anita and I have just left our place, we’re ready to take on the night. Sneakers on our feet, pep in our step. We continuously gush about how much fun we’re going to have tonight. “OMG WHEN ‘LEAN ON’ COMES ON.”

9:45 p.m.

While walking down 14th street, I pause in front of a small corner store and turn to Anita, “should we get some turn up juice?” It’s mutually agreed that yes, we must acquire turn up juice.

9:50 p.m.

Chugging Red Bulls as we walk down the street. Feeling invincible.

10:30 p.m.

After spending 20 minutes on our feet at a pregame, we need to find somewhere to sit.

10:40 p.m.

“Oh man, this couch is comfortable!”

11:00 p.m.

We’re in an Uber XL heading to Echostage. The one person with us who has never been before is baffled by how long we’ve been in the car.

11:05 p.m.

My crew discovers that DJ Snake isn’t taking the stage until 1 a.m. A hot flash of panic hits my body.

11:20 p.m.

Echostage is the most packed I’ve ever seen it in the three years it’s been open. There is nowhere to place yourself where you can avoid people that are a) still in their teens b) ambassadors for ratchet or c) worst case scenario, both.

11:45 p.m.

Anita and I go outside for air. As we look around, we notice that we’re truly in terrible company. We’re approached by a boy wearing a terrifying pig mask who tells us he’s part of ISIS. His horrified friend rushes over, trying to drag him away, apologizing for this fool’s absurdities.

12:00 a.m.

WE STILL HAVE AN HOUR BEFORE DJ SNAKE COMES ON.

12:15 a.m.

Anita and I relocate to the back of the venue, as it’s the only spot where we can breathe and dance freely. Unfortunately, no matter how hard we try to get into it, the opener (some guy named Wuki) is absolute shit.

12:25 a.m.

The topic of leaving Echostage is surfaced. Maybe we should go to a neighborhood bar on U street instead? My thought is interrupted by a shirtless man squeezing past me to get to the bar — however, he leaves his sweat behind…on my face.

12:35 a.m.

A guy who’s half my height and probably half my age asks me if I “want to chill.” Does that line work on anyone? Even teens deserve better than that.

12:45 a.m.

“We only need to last 15 more minutes let’s wait until he comes out.”

1:00 a.m.

Fireball shots.

1:05 a.m.

Sweet baby Jesus. We never thought we’d make it but we did. DJ Snake has taken the stage and it is ABSOLUTELY FIRE.

DJ Snake at Echostage in Washington, DC. August, 2015.


1:30 a.m.

TURN DOWN FOR WHAT!

2:10 a.m.

Everything. Just say yes to turning down.

2:15 a.m.

I turn to Anita and say the magic words “I’m ready if you are…” She grabs my arm in sweet relief and the two of us summon an Uber to liberate us from the sweaty prison we should have known better than to walk into.

2:30 a.m.

Sitting in the back of our Uber, slowly making our way toward the coziness of home, I turn to Anita. “We’re too old for that shit.”

The time we spent dancing to DJ Snake was a blast and he was just as incredible as I remembered him being at Ultra 2014. Unlike the opener, DJ Snake didn’t just follow a pattern of predictable drop followed by boring drop followed by predictable drop. He seamlessly blended his hit tracks with older, hugely-popular songs and he even brought out Swizz Beatz! But it was the first time I felt so annoyed by circumstances outside of my control at a rave that it affected my ability to have a good time.

And that, friends, is how you know you might be getting too old for that shit.

Weekly Mix Vol. 28: Good Vibes with Moullinex, Major Lazer, and JayKode

Last Thursday, I danced the night away at Ultrabar. With my bestie by my side, I was swept away by Jeremy Olander’s meticulously crafted 2-hour set. To top off an already incredible evening, my girl Nicole and I even got to meet Jeremy thanks to a little help from some new friends. Just in case you were wondering, he’s a super nice, friendly guy!

I woke up Friday morning feeling wildly energized about this blog. There are so many exciting producers making a name for themselves that it’s hard to simply choose a handful to assemble into a weekly mix. This week, however, wasn’t difficult to edit. As soon as I heard each of these tracks, I knew they were exactly what needed to be part of this playlist.

I hope you love these tunes as much as I do. Happy listening!

 

Jeremy Olander: Progressive House’s New King

 

Nicole and I with Jeremy Olander after his set at Ultrabar in Washington,DC on July 16, 2015.

Just like any other genre, dance music is cyclical. Artists rise like a wave, propelled both by talent and the momentum of specific cultural needs they fill for an audience; that wave eventually breaks, forcing them to slowly dissipate back into the vast body of unknowns where they were formed. Some artists manage to extend the break, but most rise and fall swiftly. The turnover, however, often feels like it’s especially accelerated within dance music.

Thanks in large part to how frequently producers release music — and that most of it can be found for free on platforms like YouTube, Soundcloud, and Last.fm — there always seems to be a great, new up-and-coming DJ making a name for him/herself in the dance music community. So, within this notoriously saturated sphere, which artists are poised to be a part of the next cycle of success? Though I can’t answer that question definitively or comprehensively, I think one of those people is Jeremy Olander.

Olander is by no means a newbie on the dance music scene. He’s been releasing EPs since 2009.

Since 2011, Olander has been a part of the exclusive Pryda Records roster, spearheaded by progressive house guru Eric Prydz. He’s released hits like “Fairfax,” “Riots,” and “Let Me Feel” through the label, though he also continued to work with other dance music labels throughout the years as well.

But it feels like the wind is picking up for Olander, and I think it’s due in large part to the U.S. deepening its relationship with more ambient-sounding progressive house music. For a long time, it felt like Americans — specifically, young people new to the dance music scene — were only interested in festival-style EDM complete with big drops, huge venues, and insane laser shows. Though that genre is still wildly popular, there’s a growing segment of the dance community here that thirsts for a sound that’s more melodic and emotional. Olander perfectly fills that need.

Jeremy Olander at Ultrabar, Washington, DC

Last night, I went on a journey. Anyone who reads this blog knows that I go to a lot of shows. I love dancing like a maniac at a trap show as much as I like swaying to the slower rhythms of a deep house set. But Jeremy Olander’s set at Ultrabar transported me to a place of pure joy. Time suddenly warped and suspended like a dream as I closed my eyes and tapped into a euphoric state that isn’t always achievable at a show. Sometimes it’s because you’re not in the right mood but more often than not it’s because the artist turns out to have no connection with the crowd whatsoever.

Olander is one of those artists who knows how to deliver. He’s fully attuned to his audience at all times, carefully controlling his pace to guide you through a steady exploration of musical ups and downs. The 2h15min set was captivating, electric, and, most importantly, varied. I was lucky enough to briefly meet Olander after the set, so I can also attest to the fact that he’s a very nice person; he even posed for a photo with my friend Nicole and I!

Olander’s career may not be breaking just yet, but its momentum is building rapidly. It’s only a matter of time before he feels the swelling energy of that wave propelling him to the forefront of his genre. And I can’t wait for it.

 

 

Weekly Mix Vol. 26: The Week’s Best Remixes featuring DJ Snake, Flume, and T-Mass

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

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

If you’re still floating in a post- Fourth of July fog, you’re certainly not alone. After a weekend of too much of, well, everything, going back to work on Monday was both physically and mentally taxing. If you’ve done nothing but head straight home to be one with your couch at 6 p.m. every day, you’ll find absolutely no judgement here.

Thankfully, another weekend now feels within reach! Whether you’re gathering the strength to rally for another round of booze-fueled festivity or planning a low-key escape at home, you’ll still need some new music to help you slug through the work week en route to two days of bliss.

This week’s playlist is essentially all remixes, but that’s only because there were too many standout tracks to choose from! I couldn’t just pick two or three, so I decided to include them all. On Monday, Thump premiered a new batch of remixes of Tchami’s track “After Life.” All of them brought something new and unique to the song, but the DJ Snake and Mercer remix was far and away the best of the bunch. Also on top of the remix game is Aussie star producer Flume. He put his signature spin on the Collarbones track “Turning,” transforming the tune into an unpredictable journey of musical sounds.

I’ve been posting a lot of music from T-Mass lately and this is largely because I’m convinced he’s going to be a big, big name in trap soon — more on him in an upcoming post on Friday! His latest effort is what can only be described as a super-remix. Sampling tracks from Jack U, Porter Robinson, Kaskade, and Deadmau5, “Language for Now” is the perfect summer mash-up song. It’s trap that isn’t too heavy on the bass drops, meaning even people who hate sounds typically characterized as “EDM Trap” can get into this tune.

In addition to fantastic remixes from Grum, Chris Lake, Ale Mora, and Krs., this mix also includes new original tracks from Pryda, ATTLAS, DIMMI & Goldfish, and Little Boots.

 

Finally, not included in the mix but absolutely necessary as a part of your life, here is the new Migos track. There’s nothing like some Migos to put a smile on my face, no matter how absurd the lyrical value of the song. “Pipe It Up” will appear on the group’s new album, “Y.R.N.: Tha Album” set for release July 31.


 

*Special note to DC-based friends: DJ Snake will be at Echostage on August 18! I saw him at Ultra Music Festival 2014 and his show was a raucous, high-energy dance party. If you’re into his music, he’s worth seeing live.

 

Booze and Beats: Your 4th of July Playlist for a Perfect Weekend of Festivities

Happy 4th of July from the nation's capital!

Happy 4th of July from the nation’s capital!

The smell of juicy burgers sizzling on the grill, cheerful bursts of laughter as friends catch up, and buzzed feeling of joy from a few too many beers — ah, yes, it’s the annual celebration of America’s birthday! A day of partying and indulgence that should only be fueled by the best summer tunes.

Though I’m still not entirely sure how I’ll be celebrating over the holiday weekend (hopefully by a pool sipping an endless supply of mojitos) I expect to be happy, buzzed, and listening to great tunes. And since it’s ALWAYS a bad idea to assume the music will be good at a party, I’ve created a nifty little Fourth of July mix that I will stealthily be trying to play anywhere I go — and you should too.

This party playlist starts out with some upbeat tropical/funk house/future house vibes and gets more progressive as it unravels. There are some definitive songs of summer on this mix as well as some lesser-known tracks. No matter what you vibe, there’s something for everyone here!

Have a happy, safe, and vibin’ Fourth of July, everyone! xx

Weekly Mix Vol. 22: Tensnake, Gigamesh, Oliver Nelson, and Flosstradamus

Summer is here! It’s 90 degrees in DC and jeans have finally been swapped out for sundresses. Frolicking season is finally upon us, so don’t you need some good tunes to accompany you on all those warm walks this week?

Yes, you do. So here’s this week’s edit. It’s got plenty of upbeat summer remix action and a few new original tracks — from Tensnake, Sam Gellaitry, Oliver Nelson, and Gigamesh.

With so many “BBHMM” remixes surfacing in the past few weeks, it was really only a matter of time before the original trap dons, Flosstradamus, reworked Rihanna’s amazing track. It’s everything a Floss fan could possibly want. They stay loyal to the song’s original vibe and add their signature insanity-laced drops throughout. It’s not the best remix the duo has ever released, but it’s still fresh as hell.