Sunday 5elect – Vol. 041

I’m back, and this week is full of music that will blow your mind. Enjoy below.

1. PETIT BISCUIT – Sunset Lover (Slow Hours Remix)

Slow Hours turns PETIT BISCUIT’s chill, atmospheric track “Sunset Lover” into an absolute banger with a retro vibe in their latest release. The French collective does their countryman justice with this hard-hitting wall of sound bookended by orchestral suites. If for some ungodly reason you’re not satisfied by the first drop just give Slow Hours a chance to convince you with the second.

2. blackbear – do re mi (Y2K Remix)

blackbear is a very talented vocalist and musician – and for that reason electronic producers have found creative and beautiful ways to fit his voice into genre-bending tracks that, above all, sound great. This song goes like “do re mi” and I’m digging it hard. Y2K keeps blackbear in the spotlight and as soon as his voice gives out he fills the space with powerful synth fills and guitar riffs dripping in reverb. An absolute jam.

3. Mura Masa – WAVE

First off, I’m so hyped for Mura Masa’s upcoming album in July. Even though he lost me a bit with “1 Night” his unexpected decision to release two free tracks on Soundcloud showed me an evolved version of the producer whose sound I fell in love with on his last two EPs. This track is spacey, minimalist, and captivating. I want to be on a boat in Paris on a wave…

4. louis the child – love is alive (girardot flip)

We’re all about the up-and-comers on the 5elect and girardot won his spot on my watch list with this remix of LtC’s heartwarming hit “Love Is Alive”. He does just enough. Vocal chops flit across your headphones echoing the original melody while the underlying electronic instruments get scrambled. One of my favorite things about this flip is that it’s hard for me to describe it. I can’t generically label it a “future bass” track, or a “tropical flip”. It’s just girardot’s sound and I’m digging it.

5. DROELOE – Diplo & Friends Mix

DROELOE are on that bitbird train and it’s an absolute pleasure to watch and hear their ascent. This mix is beautiful, bumping, and honestly one of the best sets I’ve heard on Diplo and Friends. An artist that knows how to showcase their own sound while bringing others into the spotlight – all the while never breaking the overall “vibe” – is a true DJ.

Sunday 5elect – Vol. 040

Postgrad travels have taken me across the western US over the last few days in an LTE-deprived adventure filled with friendship. Here are my top 5 tracks that i’ve been listening to when I manage to control the AUX. Sorry for the lack of write-ups again – I hope you enjoy the music.

1. Autograf – Simple (ft. Victoria Zaro)

2. Win and Woo x Bryce Fox – Chicago

3. No Mana & Zashanell – Clear (REZZ Remix)

4. Jerry Folk – Money

5. Solé Fixtape Vol. 37 | Louis the Child + Splash House

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

Top 10 Tracks of 2016

top-10

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.

Sunday 5elect – Vol. 010

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 edition has a great mix of artists at different stages in their careers – from blowing up to just getting some momentum. Enjoy below!

1. Virtual Riot – In My Head (Ft. PRXZM)

I’d heard a bit from Virtual Riot before but nothing that captured my attention so quickly. What begins as a quietly catchy indie EDM tune quickly and seamlessly escalates to a total jam with bouncing synths and crisp vocal chops. One of my favorite tracks this fall.

2. STéLOUSE – Let Go (ft. Andrew Paley)

STéLOUSE (pronounced “stay loose”) has been known to produce some bangers and “Let Go” is a great example of how he’s taking that to the next level. The track starts out sounding very experimental with oscillations that slowly crescendo and fade away. Then, unexpectedly, the track becomes a bit more structured and melodic. This abrupt transition has a happy feel to it and instantly grabs the listener’s attention and energy. A really great song all the way through.

3. Jai Wolf – Like It’s Over feat. MNDR

I’ve been a fan of Jai Wolf for over two years now and have had the opportunity to see him live a couple of times. It’s been awesome to watch his style and sound develop and I’m beyond excited for his debut EP Kindred Spirits coming out on November 18th. “Like It’s Over” is the first track off the EP and it’s chill, uplifting, and intricate. Jai Wolf relies on the soft melodies to tell the tale rather than an attention-grabbing beat or sick drop. Give it a thoughtful listen.

4. Point Point – Au Revoir (Kidswaste Remix)

Kidswaste is the master of chill remixes. This time around he turns fantastic source material from Point Point into a downtempo, borderline ambient, track dotted with trumpet riffs, guitar twangs, and soft synths. Use this song to clear your head.

5. Louis the Child – Diplo and Friends Mix

Louis the Child are blowing up right now with their latest single “Fire” getting millions of plays within a couple of weeks of its release, and a slew of hits under their belts already. This mix could be a rough approximation of my favorite songs from the last few months. Full of jams, and more LTC than you can handle, this is a great mix to have on repeat during a chill session with friends.

 

Creaky Jackals – Take It Low

This is some Mura Masa level stuff right here. “Take It Low” is the first I’ve heard from Creaky Jackals but I really hope it’s not the last. Louis the Child made the smart move of including this track on their (fire) Hard Summer mix and when it dropped I knew my life had changed for the better. The track is pretty mellow until the drop, when the song is reduced to nothing but a high whistle and pounding bass. It’s great to hear this style of trap popping up on Soundcloud. Enjoy below.

Louis the Child – It’s Strange ft. K.Flay (Win & Woo Remix)

Chicago-based house duo Win & Woo have decided to take on the behemoth that is Louis the Child’s “It’s Strange” and they’ve definitely done it justice. Adding their own bass-heavy house sound and expertly utilizing K.Flay’s iconic vocals, these two have started off 2016 right. In their own words, this song is “like that movie when you walk into a room michael jackson slow mo style and just shuffle your way through the party and then start dancing on the pool table while never breaking eye contact with the 10 at the bar.” Can’t say I knew the feeling until now, but I like it. Enjoy below.