EP Spotlight: Mazde – Shifted Thoughts

Stoney Roads is a passionate and reliable Australian editorial organization that’s been promoting hot dance music since 2007. Today they’ve taken the next step, proudly announcing the launch of Stoney Roads Records along with the newborn label’s first release: Mazde’s Shifted Thoughts EP. Mazde, a 20 year old producer from Germany, got a big break with his remix of Disclosure’s Help Me Lose My Mind (playing off the popularity of Flume’s take on You & Me) climbing to well over a million plays. Tastefully drawing from trip-hop, house and bass influences, Mazde built up a unique and polished sound through a substantial collection of remixes and originals, and Shifted Thoughts is short but sweet proof that he has a lot to offer in the future.

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Authr – Breathe

Couros Sheibani, the man behind London’s Authr, put his first track Breathe online only months ago . . . and it sounds like the work of a seasoned electronic veteran. Mellow yet upbeat, simple but intricate, with a vocal hook that grabs you quickly and won’t let you go until its over. Since Breathe Authr has been turning out new tracks monthly (definitely check out Belief here), with plans for an EP on the horizon.

Check out Authr here.

Lemaitre – Wait feat. LOLO

Norway’s nu-disco duo Lemaitre signed to Astralwerks Records (Swedish House, Chemical Bros, Kooks . . .) earlier this year to release their latest work, Singularity. The four-track EP received mixed reviews, with many claiming the group’s deal with Astralwerks came hand-in-hand with a shift in their sound–departing from the nuanced indie dance instrumentals of earlier releases like The Friendly Sound and the Relativity EPs, and adopting something much more vocal and pop-centered. We’d have to agree, though on its own and taken out of context, Singularity is still a wonderfully easy listen. Our favorite from the album, Wait, holds up to their older style more so than the others, and has been a go-to for a while now. Check out the Elephante remix too: a loud electro flip that manages to retain the funky flavor of the original and build on a few ideas from the bridge. Hopefully we hear more like these in the future from Lemaitre, though it’s probably safe to say that The Friendly Sound days are behind us.

Check out Lemaitre here.

Artist Spotlight: Jakubi

Jakubi just released a new single, Couch Potato, and I didn’t even have to listen to know it was worth sharing. Figured, if it’s anything like the material they’ve put out so far, it’s gold. The Australian quintet gave the music world a great first impression when their first three promo singles — Holiday, Can’t Afford It All, and Feels Like Yesterday — all reached #1 on HypeM, effortlessly blending elements of funk, soul and hip-hop with a unique flair. But even if you hadn’t come across Jakubi then, you probably heard Kygo’s remix of Can’t Afford It All: his tropical spin on the opening talkbox riff of lead singer and keyboardist Jerome Farah went big towards the end of last summer.

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Bondax – All I See (Remixes)

All I See was one of biggest hits of the summer. And today, finally, it was officially released. Accompanied by three worthy remixes featuring TCTS with an uptempo piano-driven edit full of conga and marimba, Darius with a deep and grooving lounge house cut, and Pomo with a funky riffing bassline, it’s worth a revisit now to explore the original in a few new forms (even if you’ve already played it far too many times over). You can find the Pomo remix below–grab a copy of the album for full-length tracks.

Check out TCTS here, Darius here, Pomo here, and of course Bondax here.

Bonobo – Kong/Ketto (Live)

Last year pioneering electronic artist Simon Green, or ‘Bonobo’, produced what many would call his flagship album: The North Borders. It built on the charmingly experimental style that we had come to love over a period of four albums and 15 years of growth. Emotive, complex, transformative, it also saw the introduction of a cast of new vocalists to accompany Bonobo’s arrangements both in the studio and on the stage. Less than a month after the album’s release The North Borders Tour began, a caravan of sound stopping in North America, Germany, France, Russia and more featuring both Bonobo’s solo DJ sets, as well as elaborate performances with his 12-piece live band.

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James Vincent McMorrow – Glacier (Atu Remix)

Singer/songwriter James Vincent McMorrow blew everyone away with his sophomore release of Post Tropical earlier this year. It was an eclectic mix of electronic and folk that drew explosive acclaim, with mandolins and trumpets paired against synthesizers and drum samples, all led by McMorrow’s delicate falsetto. But while Cavalier, the album’s only single, saw remixers chomping at the bit and catapulting it up the charts upon release, the other gems from the album (namely, most all of them) didn’t garner the same attention–until recently. Detroit bass beatmaker Atu managed a very tasteful edit of Glacier, pushing the tempo forward with a steady kit, embellishing the somber piano of the original, and keeping McMorrow’s airy tones rightfully at the focal point.

Check out Atu here, and James Vincent McMorrow here.

RAC – Cheap Sunglasses Ft. Matthew Koma (AMTRAC Remix)

Our personal favorite Cheap Sunglasses remix so far. AMTRAC abandons the bright marimba-led bounce of the original for an expansive house-inspired soundscape of his own. Matthew Koma’s vocals are still prominent, though not at the forefront of the edit, because what really makes this track is its sense of space. While the bassline and kick sit at the center of the mix to keep your feet moving, the background is washed with a wide and airy reverb, as if AMTRAC’s strings and Koma’s voice hit us only after traveling through miles of canyon walls. In comparison with all the other Sunglasses remixes that came out over the past few months, AMTRAC’s take has the most character.

Check out AMTRAC here.

London Grammar – Strong (Manila Killa Remix)

Yep, he’s back again. I don’t like focusing too much on one particular artist when there’s so much amazing new music coming from every corner of the world each day, but I couldn’t resist this one. London Grammar has skyrocketed since the trio’s debut EP last year. They featured on Disclosure’s Help Me Lose My Mind, and just a few months later released Strong, an ambient hit that unleashed an avalanche of remixes. Manila Killa’s new edit, surprisingly atmospheric compared to his other work, stands above most of them.

Check out London Grammar here, and Manila Killa here.

Felix Jaehn – Shine (feat. Freddy Verano & Linying)

Continuing our run of summer favorites, we’ve got Shine. It may be October, but hell, it’s the weekend and from where I sit it’s still golden outside. And if it isn’t sunny where you are, at least this one will brighten up your day. Sundrenched piano, muted guitars, a killer flute solo and a smooth sax–and to top off Jaehn and Verano’s melodic house chops we’ve got Linying’s spellbinding vocals. A collaboration between three incredibly talented musicians, Shine is one of those rare tropic-summer tracks that actually stands out from the rest.

Check out Felix Jaehn here, Freddy Verano here, and Linying here.

James Hersey – Coming Over (Filous Remix)

Here’s a deep breath for your midweek rush. 17 year old Filous (yes, 17) uploaded this edit of fellow Viennese songwriter James Hersey’s Coming Over, a simple but absolutely beautiful piece. Filous takes the original (which features only James and his guitar), ups the tempo, and adds some light reverberated textures over a calm but steady new beat. The guitar echoes and aux percussion brings the song’s atmosphere to a whole new level. While the original is wonderfully minimalist, Filous’ remix has a lot of hidden detail that may only become apparent after a handful of listens.

Check out Filous here.

EP Spotlight: Anna Lunoe – All Out EP

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.

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Cage The Elephant – Take It Or Leave It (Nebbra Remix)

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.

EP Spotlight: Seasons – Alexander Lewis

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.

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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.