After enduring months of teasers and promos, Anna Lunoe’s All Out EP is finally all out. Fresh, smooth and sophisticated, it’s a standout in a male-dominated industry that seems to be saturated with uninspired, dull content. Anna is an innovator, citing inspiration from “Sheila E, DJ Spindarella, Kim Deal, Frente, Teena Marie . . . and all other innovative babes.” And this EP is a welcome breath of fresh air, boasting four unique and intricate tracks with a powerful and unabashed feminine edge.
More horns! With punchy brass stabs and hi-hat-heavy step beats, a Nebbra edit always seems to stick out. There’s something to be said about the diversity of the artists he’s remixed so far: Lily Allen, Phantogram, Odesza, Cage The Elephant . . . and they all seem to work so well with his signature. Although Nebbra’s rework of Take It Or Leave It throws the song in an entirely new light, Matt Schultz’ vocals sit so naturally in the mix that I’d be hard pressed to tell if it wasn’t an original (except for the fact that Cage’s Melophobia has refused to leave my car stereo since it’s release almost a year ago).
Check out Nebbra here.
As the summer quickly winds down and fall rushes in, we have a great season to look back on. Over the next several days we’ll be sharing a few of our most favorite cuts from this summer, and as we transition, reflecting both on the past and the future, it felt fitting to start with Alexander Lewis’ Seasons. A fusion producer from New York, Lewis brings together a strong electronic blend of jazz and hip-hop. Independent label and music collective Flow-Fi recruited him as their first artist to feature on TapeTracks, a biweekly promotion series that produced a handful of great new sounds this summer. Seasons includes two songs: Life is Sweet, a collaboration with Brooklyn’s loud and proud Brasstracks, and the Seasons single itself.
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’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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.