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!

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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.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!

 

Five Trap Artists You Should Be Listening to Right Now

Whenever I tell people I have a blog that focuses primarily on music, I usually get asked the same question: “so, who should I listen to right now?”

It’s simple, yes, but also puts a lot of pressure on the respondent to provide an intriguing answer. You can’t name a popular artist because then you come off as unoriginal, but simultaneously you can’t give too far-fetched an answer because then you run the risk of being labeled a snob. But if you’re me, you completely freeze up under the pressure of providing any answer at all.

I spend most of my day with headphones on, listening to mixes, albums and singles of genres ranging from deep house to new metal (and just about everything in between) but when I’m put on the spot, it’s suddenly difficult to remember those hours spent happily finding new music. The pressure of that question triggers a flood of information to my brain, drowning my ability to pick out any one fact.

So, in an effort to better answer that question, I’ve decided to spend more time writing about great up-and-coming artists I think people should be listening to. This week’s edit is all trap music because I’ve been posting a lot of tracks from this group of musicians. Some of them will definitely sound familiar if you listen to the weekly mixes!

Instant Party!

23-year old “Kenny” is killing the remix game. When I first heard “Hoodrat Anthem” my gut reaction was “Ho-ly shit.” The synth lead is perfection and as it progresses you know you’re in for a banger of a track. In the last six months he’s remixed some of the biggest names in music including Kanye West, Flume, and Tiesto. You can find him on Facebook and Soundcloud.

Krs.

Based out of Toronto, this guy caught my attention with his dope remix of “BBHMM.” Of the many, many, many remixes of Rihanna’s song, the Krs. version is my favorite. Yes, even more than the Flosstradamus remix! Everything I’ve heard from him since has been just as great. He has a unique sound that comes through in everything he does that’s easily recognizable. You can find him on Soundcloud.

T-Mass

Seamlessly blending melody and bass to create his trap sound, T-Mass is a producer/DJ who has clearly mastered his art. His original music has lived up to the hype of his remixes, which isn’t always the case in the EDM world. You can find him on Soundcloud.

K Theory

This San-Francisco based group made up of Malcolm Anthony (vocals), Dylan Lewman (sampling, live conducting), and Dustin Musser (Keys, sampling) has made serious waves in the past year. They define their genre as “electronic hip-hop” but there’s something about their sound that still feels trap heavy. You can find them on Facebook and Soundcloud

Arman Cekin

Hailing from the Netherlands, Cekin frequently collaborates with other artists (including fellow artist from this list, T-Mass!) to release breathtaking tracks. The T-Mass and Arman Cekin remix of AlunaGeorge’s hit song “You Know You Like It” is, no contest, my favorite remix of the year so far. I’m really excited to hear more from him in the future.  You can find him on Facebook and Soundcloud.

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. 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…

Weekly Mix Vol. 23 Plus Eric Prydz sets and Klingande tracks

Eric Prydz at Echostage in DC

Eric Prydz at Echostage in DC

Last Friday night my friends and I went on a musical journey. After weeks of anticipation, we finally got to bask in the glory of a three-hour Eric Prydz set at Echostage in DC. I’m in no way exaggerating when I say that I listened to his ENTIRE Soundcloud musical catalogue, including live sets, leading up to the show. And Prydz did not disappoint. Time seemed to just evaporate as we danced to his perfectly paced set. As my friends continuously pointed out that night, I was “all smiles” throughout the show.

You can’t listen to just one Eric Prydz track to appreciate him as an artist. His sets are where he truly shines. Not that many people can keep you interested and dancing for three hours, but this is a guy who has truly mastered his genre. That being said, here are my two favorite Prydz mixes for your enjoyment:

After spending all day Saturday recovering from Prydz’s amazing set, I geared up to head to the 9:30 club to see Klingande with the same crew as the previous evening. I didn’t think Klingande’s show could rival Prydz’s, but in many ways it was better. Klingande’s tropical vibe and incorporation of live instruments differs immensely from the progressive house Prydz has mastered. Prydz has years and years of experience under his belt, he knows how to control the crowd and can make three notes sound interesting. Klingande isn’t there yet, but his set was pure, joyful fun.

Klingande at the 9:30 Club in DC

Klingande at the 9:30 Club in DC

You can hear the various musical influences that have helped Klingande achieve his unique sound in each of his songs and remixes. The best way that I can describe his vibe is ‘summer beach vacation’ — and who doesn’t like that?

Anyway! Enough of the older material. Let’s get to this week’s tunes. There are plenty more upbeat summer vibes to discover in this week’s playlist. Listen here:

Happy rest of the week!

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.