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!
- 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
The end of the year usually comes with a lull in the number of new songs coming out as artists are just finishing up their fall tours and not yet building up hype for their spring adventures. However, this lull usually makes up for itself in the proliferation of new DJ sets that provide a unique insight into how artists have been captivating their crowds for the last few months. These sets are fantastic ways to find new music – after all, these are professional DJs that are deeply embedded into the music scene. On top of all this, there are still plenty of new releases. After all, most musicians can’t help doing the thing they love: creating. The playlist below contains the best indie tracks that have come to my attention this December.
As always, we start with the best of the best. Chill vibes via Kidswaste, Pluto, Pham and Alison Wonderland begin our journey with a positive, playful vibe before we “knock it up a notch” with Bajillionaire. It’ll be a long time before we chill out again. Hex Cougar, Whethan and Krewella keep the energy up with a mix of future bass and moombahton beats until Autograf primes us for some hip-hop jams. After a brief flirtation with rap and trap we return to the familiar realm of future bass remixes of pop songs that provide some much needed ear candy before the heavy beats to come. After we enjoy a few funky house tracks, Eric Prydz’s alter-ego CIREZ D hits us hard with stunningly well-produced techno track. This is the first of several tracks that are extremely hype and would fit in well with a heavy deep house set by SNBRN, Dr. Fresch, or MAALA. Once past this gauntlet, it’s smooth sailing form here on out. Some upbeat, chill house will ease you through the end of the playlist. Here’s a rough map of the tracks for your convenience:
- 1-16: Upbeat indie EDM
- 17-21: Hip-hop and hip-hop influenced electronica
- 22-24: Trap
- 25-27: Progressive and experimental house
- 28-36: Pop-influenced future bass
- 37-42: Funk-influenced EDM
- 43-55: Techno house and trap
- 57-86: Chill melodic house, future bass, and funk
Fall is a time of transition, and in the world of live music that means the end of festivals and the beginning of the autumn touring season. Indoor shows often offer a more intimate experience – you’re closer to the artist and the crowd tends to be more into the music. In this month’s playlist I offer up the best tracks released so far this fall, some of which you’ll hopefully have the chance to enjoy live in the next couple of months.
We start our journey with the biggest hits in the electronic scene right now, songs that are high-energy tributes to the constantly evolving and improving world of music. Future-bass, electro-funk and deep house are all included. Then we take it down a notch and focus on calmer tracks with an emphasis on lyricism and melodic vibes. This primes us for a slow and steady increase in energy that culminates in twenty-song streak of straight deep house and trap music. This is a small glimpse of the deeper, darker side of electronica that is perfect for a dance floor or weight room. To change sounds but maintain high energy levels, we switch to some unique future-bass and then transition to some melodic house. Then the playlist begins to get less structured. The last section is an eclectic mix of alt-rock and indie electronica that is worth showcasing, but hard to classify. These tracks give way to fifteen calm tracks that border on ambient – a perfect way to transition back to the real world. Enjoy below.
This playlist is a lot less chaotic than the title implies. As always, your favorite curator (me) has put hours into making sure that this playlist is jam-packed with the best songs that Soundcloud has to offer, and that they all sound good next to each other. My favorites are at the top of the list, but those who venture further into the set will be rewarded with some fantastic vibes of the deep house, alt-rock, future-bass, alt-rap, and ambient varieties. In order, the tracks flow from high-energy electronica, to lower-energy EDM that borders on deep house, and then immediately into some great alt-rock songs. Alt-rock seamlessly transitions into some poppy-electronica, which then gives way to pure future-bass. The deep house starts off chill, but doesn’t stay that way for long. Apparently these hard-hitting tracks are termed “G-House” because they sample some oldie rap tracks (see “HELLO”) for an added edge. A couple of tracks later, however, we’ve dropped the “G” and begin a long ascent up to the world of normal, chill EDM. The end of the playlist is an interesting mix of alt-rap, ambient electronica, and alt-rock. Enjoy below, each track is unique and worth a listen.
Our playlist today marks the last monthly playlist of 2015, and with it a time to remember all of the sick tracks that have come out this year. At times it is easy to get caught up in the hype of a new song and not linger very long on the ones that you’ve already found and cherished. “New” can easily replace “good.” While these tracks below are all pretty “new,” they’re also very “good” and come from a diverse set of Soundcloud sub-genres. I decide to hit hard with my favorites up front and keep the energy of the playlist pretty high for the first ten or eleven songs before toning it down a bit and introducing a bit of a more positive vibe. The positivity won’t long, however, as we quickly build up to the second turn-up section of the playlist around the twenty-fourth song. We rage for a bit, but then take a slow, twenty song journey down songs of differing energy levels and more diverse genres to end with a couple of alt-rock tracks. I honestly didn’t frontload this playlist as much as I usually do, so I encourage you to explore different sections of the playlist and make sure you get to the last twenty songs (especially if you’re feeling really chill). Also, keep your eye out for some special end-of-year-treats from your favorite purveyor of electronic bangers: The Economix. See you soon.