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

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

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. 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

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…