Sunday 5elect – Vol. 024

Welcome to this week’s edition of Sunday 5elect, where Economix readers get insight into the top five tracks dominating my headphones right now. This week goes really hard. Enjoy below!

1. Kaskade & deadmau5 – Move for Me (Hex Cougar Remix)

Hex Cougar has quickly emerged as my favorite producer in the game right now. Some of his best tracks are hidden away on his remix account Hex Cougar’s Hextras but these are professional-quality remixes that take songs in directions you never though they’d go. His remix of “Move for Me”is the perfect example. The airy vocals slowly fade in and out of the track while the instrumental slowly but surely builds up into an explosion of sound that is grating and powerful. This is a song hand-crafted for an amazing live experience.

2. Pluto – I Won

Aspiring producer Pluto has boosted his astronomical rise in the indie EDM scene with “I Won”, a heavy-hitting remix of the Kanye x Future song of the same name. Iconic lyrics interweave with bass-heavy production to create a party anthem ready to be loved by EDM and pop-rap fans alike.

3. Loud Luxury – Something To Say (AFTER:HRS Mixcut)

I caught this smooth house track in The Magician’s latest Magic Tape and was instantly hooked. The vocals are hypnotic, and when the bass hits on the first drop it’s impossible not to start bouncing. The lyrics are odd but the way they keep moving forward and tell a detailed story is captivating.

4. BIG GIGANTIC – THE LITTLE THINGS (LUCA LUSH REMIX)

When Kasbo remixed this same tune by Big Gigantic into a chill masterpiece, I thought that I had heard the last re-imagining on the song. Then walks in Luca Lush. It would be hard to imagine a remix in a further direction from Kasbo’s, and it’s pretty amazing in its own, fucked-up, overwhelmingly aggressive trap way. In the right setting, at the peak of an amazing set, this song could be the highlight of someone’s night.

5. Vincent – Snowglobe 2016

Future-trap producer Vincent had the chance to strut his stuff on the main stage of Snowglobe this past December and he made the most of it. Full of his own remixes and a few promising IDs, this set perfectly walks the line between trap and melodic future bass music. Energetic, uplifting, and at times aggressive this is one of my favorite mixes I’ve heard in a bit.

FVRY – Exclusive Interview

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Please welcome FVRY, an aspiring electronic producer out of N. Ireland, to The Economix for an exclusive interview focusing on his musical influences, the challenges and rewards of being an indie producer, and what’s in store for the future. He has a unique and moving sound – something that’s difficult to find in this oversaturated electronic world. Keep scrolling down to read our conversation and listen to FVRY’s budding discography. If you like his stuff, please throw him a follow on Soundcloud, Twitter, and Facebook.

Without further ado: FVRY

Let’s start it off simple: who is FVRY?

I’m an 18 year old artist/producer based on the North Coast of Northern Ireland. I’m currently signed to Hope & Fury, and I work out of ZeroHour Studios as well as in various coffee shops that let me hibernate in the corner with headphones and my Macbook…

How did you get into electronic music production?

I had always been pretty interested in electronic music, I really fell in love with Owl City’s Ocean Eyes as a kid (by the way that album still bangs), but probably the turning point for me was in 2011 when I heard the soundtrack to Tron Legacy and thus discovered Daft Punk. I really dove hard into their whole discography and just became obsessed. After that I started making music on an iPad I borrowed from my Dad. I wasn’t very good but I was just experimenting and learning.  I feel like I started getting much better however when my friend and I started to sneak down to the school multi-tracking computers to make music in our free periods against the rules… that’s how I learned to use Logic. Then Zero Hour picked me up, took me under their wing, and with them I learned even more and I’m still learning now.

Your remixes have a very distinct sound that often combines heavily distorted synth chords with driving, bass-heavy beats. This is most pronounced in your “Winterskin” remix but also in your takes on “Parachute” and “Swimming Pools.” Did you begin the FVRY project with this sound in mind?

Well, kinda… I mean, I’ve always loved 1970s/80s cyberpunk and that whole neon future aesthetic. I was majorly influenced by films like ‘The Warriors’, ‘Drive’, ‘Akira’, ‘Bladerunner’ and ‘Ghost in the Shell’ etc. For me music is very visual so I feel like I’m often trying to translate how those films look into music. For me that looks like big sequenced distorted synths and glittery arps fused with more human elements like guitar, choirs and even flute sometimes. That’s ‘cyberpunk’, the fusion of the human and the wholly unhuman… yea I know, it’s pretty nerdy, but I love it.

Your visual, cyberpunk sound is uncommon in the electronic scene right now, and in your Soundcloud bio you mention that you’re “trying to make something a little bit different” – what do you mean by that?

I’m trying to define myself as an artist that doesn’t believe in genre. I’m just trying to be as creative and original as I can. I think this is best expressed in my remix of Callum Stewart’s “Parachute”

It’s also worth nothing that here in Northern Ireland, electronic music is maybe a little bit stuck in the house sound, and not even good house at that, so I suppose I’m slowly trying to break that trend.

In your Fall 2016 FVRY Mix you skillfully transition from future bass anthems to pop-house and trap beats. Forgive my genre-labeling, but are these tracks examples of the type of sounds you aspire to create? You’ve already successfully utilized future bass-style fills in your “Swimming Pools” remix.

I do like future bass quite a bit, I like it cause it’s really ‘pretty’ sounding, so I guess yeah, I want to make ‘pretty’ music…

The main reason that particular mix alternates between so many genres is because I don’t really care about genres too much in a mix… if it sounds beautiful I like it. So I guess the tracks in that mix are an example of the sound I want to create in my own work as well.
What do you find the most challenging parts of being an indie electronic artist?
Waiting for the break really… You try your hardest to make something good, you send off tracks to music promotion sites etc and if they come back saying it’s not what they’re looking for, it can be discouraging.

There’s always that self doubt in your music… you know, ‘Is this sustainable? Will people like this? Do I like this just because I made it? etc’ but I think that’s the case in pretty much every creative endeavour. But I believe you just have to power through and keep making the music and keep honing your own unique sound and expression. Art has value just in and of itself and if other people like it too, it’s even more wonderful… but deep down you have to be driven by some sort of creative passion and not just commercial or critical response alone.

The most rewarding parts?

Honestly, just making the music is the biggest reward for me. Music became the one way I could combat insomnia and spells of depression in some of my darker moments. It’s very therapeutic for me. Plus recently, some guys in the local NI music scene have started to want me to produce, remix and feature on their tracks, which feels good cause they seem to like what I do. And of course, when Hope & Fury signed me and took a chance on me as an artist/producer, that was a big boost for me personally.

While you continue to create rewarding music with Hope & Fury, you’re also an active music commentator via twitter. You recently tweeted out your top ten tracks of 2016 and it included a choice blend of electronica, American hip-hop, and alt-rock. How do you think your taste in music shapes what you create?

Well, I was listening to Electronic Music and alt-rock when I was younger and then discovered hip-hop in high school, plus I grew up in a really musical family so I discovered a wide range of genres through the records my parents played at home all the time. I like to think I picked up my format from electronic music, my melodies from pop-punk and my rhythms and sensibilities from hip-hop. The more music I listen to the better as it all influences my approach as a producer and as an artist.

Besides your family, what artist(s) would you say are your biggest musical influences?

In rank of importance: Daft Punk, Porter Robinson, Green Day, Muse, Deadmau5, Madeon, Kanye West, Skrillex, Childish Gambino, Blank Banshee, EDEN, Kavinsky, Run the Jewels, Nero, Justice.

If you could do an official remix of one song right now, what song would it be?

Probably “Africa” by Toto – for some reason that’s been in my head for a few weeks now. But if we’re going modern, I’d possibly remix “Closer” by the Chainsmokers (although to be honest it seems there isn’t a producer on Soundcloud that hasn’t already done a remix of the Closer official or not) however I’d remove Drew’s vocals and have Halsey sing the first verse as well, cause Halsey deserves better…

Halsey definitely deserves much, much better. Is FVRY a full-time venture?

Right now I’m on a year out and I’m making as much music as I can, so it’s pretty full time. Obviously with Hope & Fury in the mix, they’re really supporting me for as many releases as we can make happen across a wide variety of platforms. When I head off to university next year I’ll keep making music,  but at a slightly slower rate I imagine. As long as music makes me happy I’ll make it and I don’t imagine stopping anytime soon.

Do you play live shows, or have plans to?

I mostly just play DJ sets right now but I plan to start incorporating more live elements into my shows. ‘EDM’ (in its commercial form) is kind of dying, however electronic music and what that can mean for music is more alive than ever. People like Porter Robinson, Madeon and Puppet are pioneering a new way for producers to perform and bring meaning back to the medium and the live experience is a big part of that.

Incorporating “live” elements into an electronic show does add a lot to the experience, and artists tend to live mix their sets once they’ve built up a trove of original tracks. So far you’ve only released remixes – any plans for originals in the near future?

Yes…but that’s all I can say about that right now… I will say that 2017 will be ram packed with releases from not only me but also through Hope and Fury officially as well so I’m excited.

That’s awesome, I’m really looking forward to the releases. Thank you for taking the time to talk with me today and I’m sure we’ll see you back on The Economix in no time.

Hey thanks for having me.

Sunday 5elect – Vol. 023

Welcome to this week’s edition of Sunday 5elect, where Economix readers get insight into the top five tracks dominating my headphones right now.  This week is a fantastic mix of house music, future bass, and trip hop. Enjoy below!

1. Alex the Flipper – Wonder

Alex the Flipper first popped into my headphones with his lighthearted, ODESZA-esque single “Sands” and now he’s back with another track to help get your groove on. “Wonder” has a fun, house vibe that hits a sweet spot between energetic and chill. The bass thumps and filtered synths weave around catchy vocals to create positive vibes while the slow BPM and breaks in the song keep the energy level low enough to be a relaxing experience. Can’t wait for what’s next from Alex.

2. Win and Woo – Killer With A Smile (Feat. Molly Moore)

Chicago-based duo Win and Woo’s second original track “Killer With A Smile” is an upbeat, crisp song with a lot of feel-good energy. Molly Moore provides the catchy vocals while Win and Woo do their magic with the instrumental. Something that I’ve always loved about Win and Woo is their ability to fill a track with loud bass but not let it overwhelm the song. That ability is on full display in “Killer With A Smile”.

3. Mansionair – Easier (Electric Mantis Remix)

Electric Mantis is an artist with his finger on the pulse of EDM. It seems that whatever style is in vogue Electric Mantis can harness its tone and bend it in a way that matches his unique style. In the past he has applied his bit-heavy, futuristic style to house songs, trap, and even some psychedelic funk. “Easier” has a dark tone emphasized by heavy bass hits, sorrowful vocals, and amazing future bass fills that rapidly ascend and descend in a way that conveys feelings of volatility and intense emotion.

4. oshi – #oshicanrap / throne

oshi has had an intense couple of months on social media with repeated calls for help, a brief hiatus, and now a few very dark track releases in a row. Music is a form of self expression and “#oshicanrap / throne” expresses recognition of being in a bad place but determination to keep grinding and take the throne. And damn, this beat slams. oshi mentions that he recorded the rap on his phone and “yes its horribly mixed” so maybe we’ll get a refined version in the future. Until then, this is more than enough for me.

5. Too Future. Guest mix 073 – BLU J

BLU J consistently put out house bangers so when I saw their name on top of a Too Future. mix I was sure I was in for a bumping, clubby time. What I found was very different, and truly an amazing set. BLU J masterfully mixes future bass, house music, deep house, and their own unique brand of house into a fun-filled and very energetic 42 minutes. A must-listen that accurately captures this moment in electronic music.

 

Sunday 5elect – Vol. 022

Welcome to this week’s edition of Sunday 5elect, where Economix readers get insight into the top five tracks dominating my headphones right now. This week’s vibe is upbeat, with contributions from the hip-hop, house, and alt-pop communities. Enjoy below!

1. Jazz Cartier – Tempted

Ever had a girl grinding up on ya in the club and you’re tempted to touch? Well Jazz Cartier has, and he expresses what that’s like in this well-crafted, very danceable hip-hop track. Perfect for parties.

2. STéLOUSE – Lovers

STéLOUSE is on a roll with his latest few originals. This Denver-based artist has displayed the breadth and quality of his songwriting and producing talent with happy, alt-rock style tracks like “Been So Long” and straight future-bass bangers like “Let Go”. “Lovers” is more of a house track with its thumping beats, simple yet sultry vocals, and inherent danceability. It seems that with STéLOUSE you never know what’s coming next, but you know you’ll like it.

3. Flume – Say It (feat. Tove Lo) (SG Lewis Remix)

Yes, that’s right. ANOTHER remix of “Say It”. I wouldn’t be willing to post it if it weren’t a unique take on this modern classic. SG Lewis strips the track of pretty much everything but the vocals and on the “drop” instead of a soaring synth show for the ears he opts for a pure, rumbling bass line. It’s catchy and calming.

4. Ella Vos – Down In Flames

Ella Vos first caught my ear with her bitingly melancholy debut track “White Noise,” and now she’s caught me again with “Down in Flames”. A similar sad tone hovers over this song but its simplicity and Ella’s ethereal voice make it hopeful in a bleak kinda way.

5. KEFF – Warmth

This mix is pretty old but that doesn’t mean it isn’t great. KEFF brings the songs together with the theme of “Warmth,” which creates a positive and happy vibe for the whole 32 minutes. In his own words, “perfect for a walk on a sunny day.”

Sunday 5elect – Vol. 021

Welcome to this week’s edition of Sunday 5elect, where Economix readers get insight into the top five tracks dominating my headphones right now. This week has a diverse mix of future bass, hip-hop and downtempo vibes. Enjoy below!

1. it’s different – Shadows (feat. Miss Mary)

it’s different has been pushing out fantastic remixes for prestigious artists like The Chainsmokers, Illenium and MAX, but his most recent achievement is an original song titled “Shadows”.  Blending a drum-and-bass style beat with more accessible future-bass synths, it’s different succeeds in creating a danceable and moving track.

2. Aryay – Never Gonna Leave (DNMO Remix)

With this remix DNMO spins the already energetic, future-bass “Never Gonna Leave” into a much more danceable and fun version of itself. Reminds me of a 2015 Whethan song.

3. joneses – no1nextoyou

This is the first track I’ve heard from joneses and I gotta say I like his vibe. Very chill, downtempo and slightly haunting “no1nextoyou” is a prime example of how a simple track with clean production can be emotionally powerful.

4. MADEINTYO & 24HRS- MY WORD (PROD BY IZZIE)

MADEINTYO and 24HRS team up for this downtempo, emotional hip-hop track with a positive vibe. A far cry from “Uber Everywhere” or “I Want”, this song is a touching tribute to keeping one’s word to one’s homies and hoes.

5. Louis Futon – Zoned Out Vol. 2

This is one of the most fun mixes I’ve heard in a while. A lighthearted mix of classic party hip-hop and modern indie electronica, Louis Futon hits the spot with some supreme DJing.

Le Boeuf – Waiting For You (Kapre Remix)

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Our friend Kapre has released his 3rd track and it’s a feel-good song with a tropical house flavor. The young producer is rapidly building a strong content base filled with positive vibes and upbeat tempos. This one takes the acoustic vibes and smooth vocals of the original and channels it into a dance-floor tune that chases away the feelings of cold winter. Enjoy below!

Top 10 Tracks of 2016

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Happy New Year! In this special New Years Day edition of the Sunday 5elect I have included my top ten tracks of 2016. These rankings are not based on anything but my subjective experiences with each song over the last year, and are not meant to be rankings of “the best written songs”, “the most talented artists”, “the songs that had the most impact on the EDM scene” or anything else that broad. These are songs that caught my attention when I first heard them and I came to love through experiences that ranged from headphone listening, to pregaming in a London flat, to live at a music festival with hundreds of other fans. The only two hard requirements for this list were that the song be released in 2016, and that it be freely available on Soundcloud. I hope you enjoy these songs as much as I have.

1. Flume – Say It ft. Tove Lo

Flume’s album Skin contained multiple electronica-pop crossovers that earned unparalleled praise and admiration from the electronic community and mainstream listeners alike. This speaks to the track’s flawless, unique, and ultimately very Flume production style and songwriting ability. Grinding, rolling synths form both the percussion and melody of the track while Tove Lo’s sensual vocals fly above and interplay with the rest of the meticulously crafted soundscape. This was an easy pick for #1.

2. Porter Robinson & Madeon – Shelter

This monster, one-time surprise collaboration between legends is like candy to the ears. Unrelentingly energetic and positive, this progressive house masterpiece showcases elements of each artists’ unique style while seamlessly blending them together. The Shelter US tour was said to be one of the best live music experiences ever, and its music video is a miniature cinematic anime experience. I think that what propelled this song to greatness is its exuberant positivity and great vibes.

 

3. Ty Dolla $ign – Blasé (Louis The Child Remix)

For me this song means hilarious pregames with cheap liquor in a London basement flat, and I love it for that. Swag lyrics and rumbling bass get everyone singing along before the drop brings the beat to a screeching halt and you have no choice but to turn up. Louis The Child had a great year with a couple of high-quality original tracks like “Weekend” and “Fire”, but this remix is special to me.

4. Flume – Say It ft. Tove Lo (Illenium Remix)

Illenium is one of the all-around greatest electronic artists out there right now. His 2016 debut LP Ashes was a massive hit with emotionally intense vibes paired with beautiful musicality, his live show I witnessed at Red Rocks was a work of art, and he has put out several massive remixes in the last two years alone. None of those mixes stood out to me as much as his take on “Say It”. Doing ample justice to the vibes of the original, Illenium adds his signature rolling bass touch to the chorus with rapid, hard hitting synth chords intertwined with Tove Lo’s emphatic lyrics and iconic vocal riffs. This track is a perfect upbeat party alternative to the original.

5. RUFUS DU SOL – Innerbloom (What So Not Remix)

“Innerbloom” was a beautifully crafted gem of its own before What So Not came around and turned it into a thumping party track that defined my spring. RUFUS DU SOL’s haunting lyrics and horn-like synths echo in the forefront of the track while What So Not rapidly builds up the energy in the background with a crescendo of bass and percussion that explodes into an iconic chorus. This song dabbles with the best elements of downtempo and uptempo future-bass and pulls it off perfectly.

6. Manila Killa – Youth (feat. Satica)

The artist community surrounding Manila Killa and the label Moving Castle is one of the most heartwarming things in the electronic music scene. Established artists like Jai Wolf interact with up-and comers like Manila Killa or Chet Porter in a way that gives off the vibe of a bunch of best friends hanging out and making fun music together. This song embodies that carefree but get-shit-done attitude. Happy instrumental vibes pair with melancholy, longing lyrics that are sung in a way that gives a dismissive signal to the problems of the past and turns a bright eye toward the future.

7. Dillon Francis & NGHTMRE – Need You

I’ve been to two of Dillon Francis’s shows and both were the most turn-up, fun experiences of my life. I think Dillon’s personal brand and music interact to create this intense but hilarious vibe, and it’s a bit of absurdity that we all need in our life. NGHTMRE is one of the heavier artists on the scene right now and his presence is heavily felt in this track. His touch gives the drop the “oomph” it needs to hit you just right. This song has complemented some of the most rewarding parties and workouts of my 2016.

8. kali uchis – ridin round ft. tory lanez (oshi redo)

Honestly how could I not include this song in my list. Oshi’s vocal filters and unorthodox production style combine to create an unnervingly unique but undeniably catchy tune that you can’t help singing along to while you’re ridin’ around your city with the top down. The beat may always feel like it’s a half-step off, but it’s always right where you need it to be.

9. Speaker of the House – Redwood

Speaker of the House’s melodic vibes speak to my calmer side. This track toes the line between chill and upbeat, and does so perfectly. The bass bounces, the vocal chops soothe, and the guitar riff gives the track a natural vibe that can’t be perfectly replicated by a synth. In this track, it’s the little things. How the vocal chops interplay with the rolling synth riffs. How the bass flits around the lower register of the track but never overwhelms. How there’s the occasional touch of a synth that sounds like it’s emanating from a wooden xylophone. This track puts me in the zone to just relax and enjoy the beauty that life has to offer.

10. FRENSHIP – Capsize

This song does not fit in with the electronica vibe of the rest of the playlist, but believe it or not my musical roots can trace themselves back to poppy alt-rock (shoutout to LIGHTS). When I first heard this song it tapped right into those roots and I felt a rush of euphoria. Smooth production, a fantastic male-female vocal duo and fun guitar riffs combine to make this song a cleverly crafted feel-good track that is perfect for any setting.