Wary

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In the depths of winter, people look toward the warmer times ahead. Tickets are going on sale for Coachella, Firefly, Gov Ball, Paradiso, (insert every other festival here) as we speak and as the Festival Bubble continues to inflate the lineups continue to get more ridiculously packed with great artists. It’s not the worst thing, you can see many of your favorite artists for a (usually) reasonable price and devote a whole day to nothing but enjoying music and friends. However, as I’ve begun to enjoy intimate, $10 concerts in underground venues or club-based events the sheen with which festivals used to shine in my eyes has faded to a dull luster. There’s another up-side to the phenomenon, though, at least for consumers of music: artists time up some of their best releases with the sale of the tickets to grab people’s attention and thus the depths of winter are full of songs that may well become summer jams. I’ve collected some of those for you below.

We start off with the energetic, happy electronica that I (and hopefully you) have come to love. Louis the Child has graciously presented us with another hit, Griz and Gramatik teamed up for a funky banger, and Pluto continues his journey to the stars with a hard-hitting remix of Yeezy and Future. We briefly flirt with some high-BPM bass of the “future” and “drum and” varieties before settling into some poppy, yet crisp house music and light trap. Trap music’s low BPM provides a smooth transition into some chill electronica and alt-rock – the focus here is on the calming bass and the emotional vocals that make this my favorite part of the playlist. The calm vibes eventually give way to house, and then rap, and then, inevitably, bass house, techno house, and full-on disgusting trap music. You know this part of the playlist, insanely aggressive but fantastic in the right context. The last part of the playlist is less eclectic than usual – you can think of it as a toned-down version of the start of the playlist. These songs aren’t any worse, they’re just a bit less energetic and more scattered across the vibe spectrum. To go out with a flourish, I have some funky house and alt-rock for you in the last couple of songs. Be sure to like and repost on Soundcloud if you’re feeling the set. Enjoy!

Vibe Guide:

  • 1-15: Energetic electronica
  • 16-19: Pop house
  • 20-24: Chill trap
  • 25-40: Chill electronica and alternative
  • 41-44: Electronica with rap
  • 45-47: Bass house
  • 48-51: Techno house
  • 52-58: Trap
  • 59-74: Electronica
  • 75-86: Funky house
  • 87-95: Ambient electronica and alt-rock

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.”

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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!