Sunday 5elect – Vol. 029

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 has a little bit of everything – from chill, to future, to trap and R&B. Enjoy below!

1. PINES – Tell Me (feat. Water Park)

It’s been a minute since I’ve heard from my Aussie buddies PINES so I was very excited when I saw them pop up in my inbox the other day with a new song. “Tell Me” is a perfect example of what makes this Adelaide-based duo so appealing: chill vibes, crisp production, and an artful blend of melodic synths and calm vocals. In addition to all that, PINES will be playing at SXSW in Austin on March 16th and 17th so if you’re gonna be in the area go and support them!

2. Kill Paris – Good Love

Kill Paris has followed up the success of his fresh remix of The Chainsmokers’ “Paris” with an even fresher original track titled “Good Love”. He doesn’t waste any time getting to the drop, which is a light, yet powerful future bass vibe that’s cleansing to the ears. I’m excited for what’s next.

3. Lane 8 and Kidnap Kid – Aba

Lane 8 is the master of the chill deep house song, and he’s teamed up with Kidnap Kid to produce this magnificently relaxing original track. As always, Lane 8 eases you into it slow and steady, allowing you to really feel each layer as it’s added to the track. Put this on in your room, light a candle, and let the stress melt away.

4. Kanye West – BED YEEZY SEASON 5 (FEAT. THE DREAM)

So Kanye West and The Dream done gone and made an 18 minute remix of the R&B hit “Bed” and it’s a beautiful musical experience. Don’t expect Kanye to drop any heat verses (or any at all), he’s on this track solely as a producer. Apparently this is the song that was playing as he debuted YEEZY SEASON 5, and I’d be willing to bet it’s also the song that was playing last time he put Kim to bed.

5. EKALI – Awakening – Mix.1

One of my all-time favorite electronic artists EKALI has started a mix series titled Awakening in which we get a taste of what’s been going through the artist’s headphones as he flits around the world playing shows and producing tracks – and the first edition is amazing. It goes hard, but EKALI makes it a point to creatively transition between songs in ways that blend even the most abrasive of sounds without a problem.

Kidswaste – Spleen EP

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Kidswaste’s debut Spleen EP is out today and it’s a beautiful soundscape of chill beats and playful instrumentals peppered with ambient samples that give a feeling of serenity. The three new tracks on it are Time,” Alone” and “Friends,” and each one is a different take on Kidswaste’s core sound. “Time” evokes feelings of calm nostalgia with a simple guitar riff accompanied by the tweeting of birds, a light percussion, and vocals that are light to the ear. “Alone” is a mostly instrumental track that’s heavier on the percussion than its siblings. It has a strong sense of movement without progress, kind of a listlessness that may be explained by Kidswaste’s self-proclaimed emphasis on “pensive sadness or melancholy” in this EP. “Friends” is my personal favorite new song, and it breaks through its self-imposed melancholy vibe into a celebration of longing for friendship, and the happiness that it brings.

All around, this is an extremely strong debut for Kidswaste, and I look forward to a long and successful career from the young French producer. Enjoy below!

Sunday 5elect – Vol. 026

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 fun, chiller vibe. Enjoy below!

1. Kidswaste – Wild (feat. Khai)

One of my favorite rising stars, Kidswaste, is back with one more single before his debut EP titled Spleen comes out on February 24th. If music is truly self-expression, then this young producer must be one of the most happy, chill people in the world. Acoustic guitar riffs, gentle snares, and Khai’s soothing voice come together to create an atmosphere of calm joy. I’m looking forward to the EP.

2. Deadmau5 ft. Grabbitz – Let Go (FVRY Remix)

Just a couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to interview FVRY, an aspiring producer out of N. Ireland with a unique synthwave sound, and yesterday he released a dark, genre defying remix of Deadmau5’s “Let Go.” Infused with sci-fi movie dialogue and glittering synth breaks, this new remix starts off haunting and descends into hard, rolling beats that leave the listener feeling intense and focused. A huge addition to FVRY’s discography.

3. Tchami – Adieu

Tchami’s new track is a chill deep house masterpiece that hits the sweet spot in between bumping and relaxing. Slow build-ups and rewarding doses of bass make this a track that ebbs between anticipation and release.

4. FRND – Substitute

FRND has a passive-aggressive, smooth pop vibe that seems to focus on dysfunctional relationships within friend groups, and I find his tracks strangely addicting. It’s probably the immaculate production combined with pure catchiness that makes each of these songs sound like candy to the ears.

5. Defunk – All Good Radio Ep. 08

When introducing me to this mix, a friend introduced Defunk’s sound as “like GRiZ, but trappier.” I think that this is a pretty accurate description – imagine a more future-bass Big Gigantic. This is one of the best sets I’ve heard in a while. It’s so smooth, funky, and the perfect balance of turn-up and chill. I strongly recommend it.

 

Death Team – Work

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Swedish duo Death Team caught my ear last year with their catchy single “Messed Up,” an energetic and poppy electronic production with an addicting sound. “Work” is a solid follow-up that explores their sound with less of a party feel but just as much replay-ability. Electronic chords bounce around the background while Icona Pop-esque vocals lament the necessity of work and question the meaning of life – an intense theme set against a happy instrumental in an ironic dichotomy. Enjoy below!

Sunday 5elect – Vol. 025

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 darker vibe. Enjoy below!

1. REZZ X K?D – FOURTH IMPACT

REZZ and K?D is a dream collab for those on the heavier, techier side of the electronic spectrum. Both artists are known for powerful, four-to-the-floor bangers that fill the entire sonic range when they blast out of speakers. “FOURTH IMPACT” is a techno house composition with both of the artist’s styles imprinted on the track. The first half of the song sounds like a pure REZZ tune, while the second drop (my personal favorite) sounds like a dark take on a K?D production. Only listen to this track loud and with bass-infused speakers.

2. tails. – YAYO

tails. channels his signature trap sound into a hip hop-influenced party track titled “YAYO”. Rap samples and trap beats have always gone well together, and tails. focuses the attention of the listener on his high-quality production by keeping the track simple. A bouncing bass, rolling snares and powerful fills are all he needs to whip up a banger.

3. Billie Eilish – Six Feet Under (BLU J Remix)

Wherever there is a smooth female vocal sample to be found, you can bet that a talented deep house producer will find it and work it into a bumping remix. BLU J teased this track in his recent Too Future. mix and the full version exceeds expectations. Rather than just using the vocals to prime us for the drop, BLU J made an effort to edit Billie Eilish’s soothing voice into the beat itself, bring the track closer to the feeling of an original than a remix.

4. whereisalex – we’re going down

I always appreciate this type of downtempo trap production because it needs to be so crisp, clean, and meticulously put together to be good. These tracks feel like minimalist interpretations of music that focus on how individual sounds can interact in a clean space to produce a unique vibe. They also bump hard. It seems like whereisalex only uses each sound once or twice to create a sort of journey as you progress through the song. Give it a thoughtful listen.

5. Dom Dolla – Selected Deep House 850k Mix

It’s been a while since I’ve featured some deep house on here – so here’s an hour of it. Dom Dolla is a pretty chill producer and this mix is a calm, driving exploration of bass and low-key vibes. It’s never over the top, sometimes borderline ambient, and always pleasant. Check it out for lots of nice house instrumentals.

 

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

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.