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!

Advertisements

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.

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

IMG_4014

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. 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!

 

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

Festival Field Guide: The Ten Essential Items to Have in Your Bag

The Main Stage at Ultra Music Festival 2013

The Main Stage at Ultra Music Festival 2013

When I was on my festival spree in 2013, I made a promise to myself: “I will only go to festivals until I turn 25.

Ha, ha ha.

Now that my quarter-century celebration has come and gone, I’ve obviously thrown that promise my 22-year-old self made to my future self rightfully out the window. I realize now that assigning a cut off point was a ridiculous idea. I love festivals. I love being in a crowd of thousands of people dancing, singing, and enjoying life. There’s a magnetic energy in that kind of atmosphere that can’t be recreated anywhere else, and I’m not ready to give it up yet.

I’m sure that somewhere in the Governor’s Ball crowd this weekend, there will be a group of youngins looking at my friends and me like we’re old farts who don’t belong – because I once gave people my age those exact same looks. But the best part about being 25 and heading to a festival? I now know exactly how to do a festival the right way!

And it begins with packing your bag with all the items you’ll need to ensure you have a safe and fabulous time all day. There’s nothing worse than being stuck in a crowd of 10,000 people and realizing that you forgot something important. Plus, anything sold on the grounds of the festival will be absurdly expensive, so you definitely don’t want to resort to buying items there.

These are the ten essentials I’ll have in my purse when I head to Gov Ball this weekend:

1) Sunscreen

It’s officially summer, so even if the forecast is for overcast skies, the sun’s rays can still have a harmful effect on your body. Pick up a travel-sized bottle of your go-to brand and lather up frequently! You will NOT look sexy on day 2 if you’re red in the face.

2) Sunglasses

I usually take festivals as an opportunity to buy a completely ridiculous pair of cheap sunnies that I wouldn’t otherwise wear – and, most importantly, wouldn’t mind losing. Giant heart shape? 1970s vibe purple aviators? American flag lenses? Yes, yes, and hell yes.

3) Hand Sanitizer

The bathroom situation at these things is always questionable. Also, you never know when you may need to sanitize. What if that guy who looks like Sasquatch grabs your hand while you’re walking through the crowd?

4) Tissues

How many times have you walked into a porta-potty only to realize there is no TP? Follow the Boy Scouts on this one and “always be prepared.”

5) Advil, band aids, and Tums

A mini first aid kit could mean the difference between having an amazing experience and a totally shitty day. If you suddenly get a headache, minor cut, or stomachache you’ll waste so much time seeking out a medic on the grounds. Bring your own for minor emergencies!

6) ZipLoc Bag

Festivals in the rain can be fun – as long as you’re prepared. Umbrellas and ponchos are useless. If it rains hard, you’re going to be soaking wet no matter what, so you may as well embrace it. However, the last thing you want is for your phone to get soaking wet. A high-quality Ziploc bag will protect your phone, cash, cards, and tissues!

7) Portable phone charger

I have a first world problem fear of my phone dying on me at a festival. Between taking photos and video, texting friends to try and meet up, and posting things on Insta, my old iPhone’s battery dies absurdly fast. These handy little portable chargers from Anker are TINY and will help you stay connected throughout your experience.

8) Ear plugs

Yes, I’m old. This really needs no explanation.

9) Lip balm

This is not entirely vain – your lips need to be protected from the sun too! Given how dirty festivals are, you might want to take a lip balm that doesn’t require you to use your finger for application. EOS pods are my favorite!

10) Water bottle

Given the number of health incidents that have occurred at festivals over the past few years, a lot of events will allow you to take an empty water bottle into the venue. DO SO IF YOU CAN. Water bottles are so overpriced at festivals (anywhere from $10-20) and most of these events have designated areas where you can fill your bottle for the price of on the house.

There you have it! If you’re going with a group of people (which I sincerely hope everyone would be) divvy up these essential items between everyone. You really never know when this festival checklist could save the day!

In honor of my upcoming weekend adventure, I made a special playlist featuring my favorite remixes of artists who will be making an appearance at Governor’s Ball. Some of these remixes are very old; others were released just this week. I had a lot of fun putting this mix together and I hope you all like it as much as I do!

 

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

IMG_2469

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…

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.

Turn Up Tuesdays Vol.12

24 days until spring! Counting it down makes me feel like it’s really almost here. It’s been a ridiculously cold winter, I will honestly take any temperature reading above 35 at this point.

But since that’s certainly not in the cards for me (or most of the Northeast) any time this week, I’m gonna wrap myself up in the sounds of these fire tunes.

Happy listening! xx