After wrapping up their tour with RAC, DJ B-Roc and JPatt of The Knocks are back at it again with Dancing With Myself. With a dangerously sexy downtempo bassline, mesmerizing sax riffs, and suave vocals, Dancing With Myself boasts a thick groove that is sure to make your head bop into the early morning. 2014 marked a great year for the duo as they rolled out a string of fire remixes (including Haim’s If I Could Change Your Mind and The 1975’s Girls) in addition to releasing their silky summer anthem Classic. Keep an eye out – The Knocks seem ready to strike gold yet again with their upcoming debut album.
Check out The Knocks here.
I came across this new release by chance the other day, and I was floored on first listen. From what I could gather, Imlay is a fresh solo future bass project from Seoul, South Korea, with a heavy trap influence. A lack of presence on the web and language barrier kept me from learning more, but if material like Gaze keeps popping up, we’ll definitely let you know.
Check out Imlay here.
Seattle native Jaymes Young’s ascent began in 2013 after he signed with Atlantic Records and went on tour with London Grammar. September 2014 marked the release of his sophomore EP Habits Of My Heart, which beautifully showcased both his singer-songwriter and production chops. What Should I Do is a standout, laying down funky bass lines, crisp vocals and an irresistible indie rock/R&B-influenced chorus. Listen for the break at 0:56 — you won’t be disappointed.
Check out Jaymes Young here.
The battle over streaming dominance is getting heated, and Apple appears to be making some major power moves. It all started when Apple launched iTunes Radio in 2013 to compete with growing streaming services. After some initial setbacks, Apple then bought Dr. Dre and Jimmy Lovine’s Beats Electronics for a whopping $3 billion last May with plans to incorporate Beats into the larger Cupertino family. With iTunes’ 800+ million registered users and over 1 billion iOS devices sold around the world, Apple’s alleged proposal to pre-install the Beats’ streaming service on Apple products gives CEO Tim Cook a leg up on Pandora (valued at $3.2 billion) and Spotify (valued at $5.7 billion).
Teenage sister-brother duo Tess and Luke Pretty are Tennyson, an instrumental act from Edmonton, Canada. The B-side to their new single With You, Lay-by is a modern-day nocturne that slows the car to the shoulder, kills the engine, slides on the hood, and melts under the stars. Born from that oh so familiar sound of the open car door, the two manage to craft a jaw-droppingly creative and lyrical piece that is anything but monotonous or commonplace. The sample slowly dissolves into the mix, becoming nearly imperceptible as we become more and more absorbed in a deep and warm stereo image painted with broad, dark basslines, and dotted with bright, twinkling synth plucks. Tess and Luke “hope this song reminds you to slow down. Sometimes the dark can be beautiful.”
Definitely a group to keep your eye on, check out Tennyson here.
More Rhodes! AlunaGeorge is out with a new remix compilation for Supernatural, and the last track on the list is a bouncy funk house cut from Poland’s Klaves. Island Records won’t let him post the entire mix on SoundCloud because of copyright contract, but this snippet is enough to get you hooked and give the full song a listen on Spotify.
Check out Klaves here.
UK promoter ENM has a knack for finding the sweet spot between glitch-hop and nu-disco. They’ve enlisted a staggering number of budding artists in their ranks, among them London locals Mullaha with a new single For You Only. Coming from a huge Lemaitre-meets-Jamiroquai influence, this 3-year-old underground group is making moves to break out, opening a show for LeMarquis, Oliver Nelson, and Tobtok just a few days ago. They’re worth a good look — and if that Rhodes solo at at 0:45 doesn’t make you double take, I don’t know what will.
Check out Mullaha here.
Arctic Monkeys’ Do I Wanna Know?: It took the world by storm on AM in 2013, helped make the band the first indie label group to boast five consecutive #1 albums in the UK, gave birth to one of the best music videos we’ve ever seen, and also brought about an onslaught of covers, reinterpretations, and remixes. Bedroom YouTube singer Kim Vallido stripped the tune down to its core with a candlelight interpretation, and experimental producer kuma crafted a downtempo beat to lay underneath her voice and electric piano. Fresh, delicate, tasteful — and, most importantly, a unique reinterpretation — as a cover should be.
Jack Tipper is an electronic producer from Vermont who recently finished his music schooling at Middlebury College. For his senior composition study, he teamed up with classmate Mike McCann to write Caverns, a fittingly deep and dark cut marked by spacious drip synths, a catchy vocal hook and accompanying vocoder, and a level of depth that screams “talent”. Listening, I can’t help but imagine spelunking endless crystal caves and shadowy grottos — the two captured the theme extremely well.
Check out Jack Tipper here.
Real Slow is Dylan Marks, a producer from Port Macquarie, Australia, with a fresh new EP out titled things that remind me of you. Released under label and promoter alaya, it’s his first substantial collection of work. 1990, a short but sweet future bass selection decorated with bright bells and filter sweeps, is our must-hear from the record. Little clips from TLC’s classic No Scrubs manage to slide a few words into the hook, but inevitably command the outro in full with a sing-along nostalgia that made this one worth coming back to.
Check out Real Slow here.
After a long period of silence, the blog is finally back and eager to pick up where we left off. We’ll start with New Orleans native Peter Klingelhofer, 23, who had been making aggressive glitch and step house since 2011 under the title Murder Beach. In 2014 he decided to turn a new leaf, unapologet- ically shifting his influences from the likes of Wolfgang Gartner and Knife Party to alternative electronic artists like Disclosure and What So Not. Now working with a new sound under a new name, Cypress, he caught our ear last month with Fruition. An original, in his words, “inspired by Flume’s Lorde remix and the new Odesza’s new album – this is the result.” You can taste Flume in the hook and What So Not in the build, but there’s a different flavor there in the mix that could, in the future, prove to be distinctly Cypress.
Check out Cypress here.
I wanted to apologize for how quiet the blog has been lately. My band released our first album last month, and I’ve been drowning in the logistics of organizing our release party for this weekend. So, I’ve been putting the blog on the back-burner. That said, I’ve kept my ears open and haven’t stopped hunting in the meantime. I’ve got a lot of great music in the bank that I’m really stoked to share with you soon, and a new interview on the way! So post up for a short while, because we’ll be back next week and hit the ground running again.
Gio & Black Sheep Music
All the rumors and speculation can finally be put to rest — the eclectic 2015 lineup is out. Whispers of Drake had been circling the web over the past few months, and they proved true. Steely Dan will instill us all with a strange sense of nostalgia we genetically received from our parents, Jack White will unapologetically tear his slide guitar to shreds, David Guetta will press the play button on his laptop, and AC/DC will limp around stage, with or without psychopathic drummer Phil Rudd, playing the tunes that made them legends while promoting a new album that, for better or for worse, sounds exactly like all their others.
The Take Ü There official remix album is out, and while I didn’t care for the original much at all, there are a few good creative spins to be heard: future bass from Zeds Dead, drum & bass from Netsky, and our favorite, grime house from Tchami. Trying out a different flavor, the French DJ abandons his usual gritty stab synths for some aggressive filter-play alone. But while the hook keeps you listening with a familiar and catchy flow, it soon becomes painfully obvious that the rest of the remix is just a feeble attempt to support it and fill the time. It feels like Tchami did the bare minimum on everything but the hook: Simple breakdown chords? Check. Copy/paste acapella? Check. Predictable snare build? Check. That said, I love the hook so much that I thought it was worth sharing, and also because I can see it being spliced into a DJ set to great effect.
Check out Tchami here.
Sweater Beats had been dropping this track every night before headliner Chance The Rapper at the Verge Campus tour this fall, and now he’s finally uploaded it for all of us that missed out. A spin on Kimbra’s prog-pop original, it throws an alternate chord progression and beat with an attitude behind her blue quivering vocal line and doo-wop harmonies. Would’ve loved to hear this one live.
Check out Sweater Beats here.