Howl – Sports Challenge

This track is bristling with character from start to finish. Bookended by vinyl pops, chimes, and deep-blue 7th chords, the heart of the song centers around a few strong synth-and-kick hits and some busy but tasteful drum interplay that quickly moves the piece forward against a backdrop of cascading white noise. The computerized flute line, just on the border of sounding cheesy but honestly too damn catchy to hate on, is what makes the song for me (especially when Howl bends the pitch up and uses it as a riser). With this being his first original release, Howl is another brand new producer to watch.

Check out Howl here.

The Magician – Sunlight feat. Years and Years (Blonde Remix)

The Magician’s Sunlight, another beach-ready hit from this season, is set to see three official remixes (from Watermät, Blonde, and Darius) and an extended mix released on the 28th of this month. Just this week the Blonde remix was leaked, sporting a deeper vibe than the original and an infectious hook layered with clean major 3rd harmonies. The Bristol boys Adam and Jake did well with this one. Keep your ears open for the ducked vocal loops in the background as they oscillate left to right or you might miss the detail.

Check out Blonde here, and The Magician here.

Basenji – Heirloom

Future Classic is an Australian label and touring agency that has managed the likes of Flume, Flight Facilities, Chet Faker, What So Not, Cashmere Cat, Wave Racer, Panama . . . too many to mention. Long story short, they’ve just added Sydney bass producer Basenji to their ranks, announcing his first release for the label, Heirloom, along with a launch party to kick off a debut Future Classic tour. Really looking forward to upcoming tracks like Heirloom–Basenji’s coming out swinging.

Check out Basenji here, and Future Classic here.

Baytek – Be The One

This tune has seen a lot of reworks since Duke Dumont released Need U (100%) last year, but Baytek’s new take on it stands out. It’s the follow up track for his Nobody EP, and a good intro to Baytek house if your ears haven’t come across him before.

Check out Baytek here.

Mura Masa – Miss You

Another young gun that’s been gaining speed lately. Producer Alex Crossan, at 18 years old, has only been making music for 3 years but already signed to Jakarta Records out of Germany. The label released a compilation, Summer In Jakarta, at the start of the season, and Mura Masa filled his slot with Miss You. This song will not leave you alone. From music-box chimes to synth plucks and arps, it’s packed with too many different flavors to taste in one play, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself leaving this one on repeat for awhile.

Check out Mura Masa here.

Get a free copy of Summer In Jakarta here.

Dawn Golden – All I Want (Manila Killa Remix)

Manila Killa is killing it. The now DC-based electronic producer from the Philippines absolutely lit up after releasing his recent remix of Dawn Golden’s All I Want, which gave that somber downtempo vibe a unique twist into future house gold. At the time I’m writing this, it’s boasting well over half a million plays, and once you give it a listen you’ll hear why. Manila’s been gaining popularity ever since he hit #3 on HypeM with a remix of Mike Posner’s Please Don’t Go, and with all the buzz around his latest he won’t be stopping any time soon.

Check out Manila Killa here.

News: SoundCloud Introducing Ads


Well, we saw this one coming. This morning, CEO and founder Alex Ljung announced the launch of On SoundCloud, a new advertisement platform that will slowly bring audio and graphical ads to SoundCloud tracks and profiles. Yeah, I know–we’ll get through this together. Although SoundCloud is keeping the program in the US for now, Ljung talked of plans to eventually introduce a subscription premium for users to get rid of the ads. But, thank god, they will only play on SoundCloud’s native website and apps, which means that bloggers like Black Sheep can keep giving you free music uninterrupted. I know that by now you’ve already let loose a few expletives (trust me, right there with you), but before you destroy anything around you in anger, hear me out. I’ll include a few personal SoundCloud favorites along the way.

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Artist Spotlight: Galimatias

23 year old Galimatias just got his cap and gown. Studying sound design in Denmark and producing since he was 15, his sound ranges from psychedelic hip hop to electro house. But in the last year, he’s started carving out his own unique downtempo style, and inevitably sneaking into my R&R mixtapes often. Galimatias has a talent for creating atmospheres and setting moods. Keeping with the summer vibes, this week saw the release of Ocean Floor Kisses, a chill but playful 6/8 track that sounds exactly like its title.

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Michael Bublé – Feeling Good (SMLE Remix)

A new one for the late-night-drive playlist. Swelling strings, a riffing rhodes piano, and deep blue vocals retain the theatrics and jazzy, curled-upper-lip attitude of the original … but god damn is that synth smooth. What makes the song for me are those pockets of silent tension, swiped away as quick as they came with huge filtered chords. A really clever take on a classic standard, and for being newcomer SMLE’s second-ever release, I’ve got to hand it to them. Looking forward to more.

Check out SMLE here.

LP Spotlight: Porter Robinson – Worlds

Back in February, Porter Robinson revealed the title of his new full-length album, Worlds, with a 10-hour long promo video. Resembling some alien transmission sequence, the footage got everyone very interested, fans and critics alike. Yesterday the album was officially released, and in his own words: “It’s the hardest I’ve ever worked on anything, and without question it’s my favorite music I’ve ever made.”

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Autograf – Future Summer

Chicago trio Autograf has been around for less than a year, but in that time they’ve been jumping up charts and crafting a veteran sound–smooth, intricate, and textured. Making a name for themselves in future house, a small but growing niche corner of the dance world, every remix they’ve released so far is unique enough to be mistaken for an original. When the sun came out they started their Future Summer series, where one new track is pressed every month, on top of a few beach-ready mixtapes.

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The Knocks – Classic (feat. Powers)

The Knocks just released this instant summer classic today. The boys B-Roc and JPatt have proven time and again that they have some serious chops when it comes to capturing a feeling, but this nu-disco-inspired track is something different. Soaked in sun, shining with glossy guitars, and driven forward by a smart, fresh bassline, I’d even venture to say that this is their best yet.

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Stevie Wonder – Superstition (C2C Remix)

Speaking of 20syl, turntable legends C2C just released the fuunkiest remix of Superstition. A group of 4 French DJs (Atom, pFeL, Greem, and 20syl), they’ll rip any song to shreds, and then piece it back together into a masterpiece. Stevie’s vocals bounce around this track over a steady talking clav and rocking synth beat while scratch fills, one after another, fly right into the pocket. I’ve always wanted to see these guys spin live—as if watching their technical skill wasn’t enough, they’ve also got this massive LED display that syncs up with each of their individual decks. The more the merrier.

Check out C2C here.

Video: 20syl – Kodama

French producer 20syl (a member of C2C, the 4-man scratch music collab) recently released this video for Kodama, and it’s a trip. Shot at home in his garage over a four day period, 20syl’s hands bring the song together piece by piece, playing instruments, making tea, and solving a rubik’s cube all at once. For a song with so much texture, the video definitely did it justice. Like with each new listen, new textures and details seem to appear out of nowhere—every time, you’ll find something you didn’t see or here before.

Check out 20syl here.

Remixes: You Know You Like It – AlunaGeorge

Bondax Remix:

You know that you’ve come across a good track when, no matter how you spin it (or how many times you spin it), it keeps bumping. A couple months ago, London electro-pop duo AlunaGeorge released Body Music (Remixed), a follow-up to their debut LP that dropped last year. While the whole record is filled to the brim with ear candy, featuring trending names like Cosmo’s Midnight, B-15, and Shadow Child, I wanted to focus on the one song that’s been stuck in my head nonstop since I first heard them, aptly named You Know You Like It.

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