Monthly Mix 028 || April 2017

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Oooh baby. April was a fantastic month of music. If you took all of my favorite electronic artists and put their names back to back it would look pretty DAMN. close to this month’s playlist. Per usual, artists start putting out work as soon all of the festival tickets go on sale and I’m not complaining. Recently locked in going to Bonnaroo myself and I’m beyond hyped. Almost every one of these songs is conducive to some sort of party, get-together, or happy time with friends – whether it’s raging at a concert, bouncing at a club, bumping at a house party, or vibing with your close friends.

We start off with the best of the best. A new release from ODESZA, a banging remix from Win & Woo, a stunning take on Wall Fuck by Gramatik and Ramzoid. After a brief venture into indie pop thx to SAKIMA and kiiara we experiment with some chiller indie electronica full of pleasant melodies and warm chords. Enjoy it while it lasts – the more energetic the songs become the closer we are to a massive house, deep house, trap section of the playlist that gets continually more experimental and (sometimes) absurd. This section is the cutting edge of sound experimentation in electronic music, and when it hits you in new ways it’s hitting right.

Once you pass through the gauntlet you’re in for some nice hip-hop courtesy of Frank Ocean, D.R.A.M., Goldlink and AMINÉ that blends seamlessly into a brief bit of funky electronica. The home stretch is a great selection of upbeat and happy future bass and general electronica that gently slows down to a quiet end with acoustic vibes. Enjoy below!

Vibe guide:

  • 1-26: Energetic electronica
  • 27-43: Increasingly aggressive deep house music
  • 44-62: Trap
  • 63-70: Hip-hop
  • 71-95: Energetic future bass
  • 96-99: Chill electronica and acoustic vibes

Sunday 5elect – Vol. 032

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Sunday 5elect, where Economix readers get insight into the top five tracks dominating my headphones right now. This week has a mix of very different vibes – from chill indie electronica covers to intense deep house. Enjoy below!

1. ye. – noteven

Yea, ye. is on the 5elect again. Recently I’ve felt like new future releases have slowed to a trickle, but ye. is just getting started. His always masterful use of vocal chops is complemented this time by a new, sparkling synth vibe that echoes above the track at each of its peaks. It’s a great, innovative sound that takes this track to the next level.

2. SAKIMA – What I Know Now (feat. AOBeats)

Moving Castle’s latest release is a chill, vibe-filled indie pop song sung by SAKIMA and produced by AOBeats and it’s catchy af. Great for a hangout with friends or driving on a highway at night.

3. Phlegmatic Dogs – Keepmastik

Night Bass consistently pumps out hype bass music, and damn am I glad they put “Keepmastik” on my feed. It’s hard to define what makes this track “better” than so much of the deep house music that’s out there. Is it the insanely crisp sidechaining? Is it the fact that it doesn’t try to overdo it? Is it that i’m somewhat addicted to large quantities of bass being blasted into my ears for hours a day? The world may never know.

4  Lido – Solsbury Hill

Lido decided to release us his emotional, downtempo cover of Peter Gabriel’s 1977 rock song “Solsbury Hill” and it’s a touching showcase of his production and vocal talents. There is barely an instrumental – for most of the song there’s just an oscillating vocal chop that allows for long periods of silence underneath vocals that slowly crescendo with emotion. Then, because why not, Lido breaks up the song with a dissonant adventure into chill trap production before finishing it up with more beautiful vibes. It’s a minimalist track for a quiet moment.

5. Lane 8 – Spring 2017 Mixtape

Looking for calm energy to fill your ears while you sit down to grind out some work? Looking to fill the ambient space in your room with beautiful, relaxing harmonies while you read? Well look no further. Lane 8’s Spring 2017 Mixtape is three and a half hours of delightfully chill and pleasantly energetic deep house. Start it from the beginning and let the vibes take you away.

Sunday 5elect – Vol. 027

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 healthy mix of chill future sounds and intense bass music. Enjoy below!

1. smle – By My Side

Zed’s Dead new label – cleverly named Deadbeats – has released its first compilation EP and it features some of the best rising stars in the electronic scene – smle, Kid Froopy, and REZZ being my personal favorites. “By My Side” is a downtempo example of what made people start listening to future bass in the first place: pleasant synth chords that bounce with the beat and pack a punch of their own. You can hear how each swing of the chord brings with it a little rumble of bass that adds considerable depth to the track.

2. Tennyson x Mr. Carmack – Tuesday

So apparently Red Bull hired Tennyson and Mr. Carmack to produce three songs in three days, and Red Bull is releasing them for free on Soundcloud. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me, and out of the three songs (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday), Tuesday is definitely my favorite. This genre-bending track mixes flitting fills and full, lingering bass to create a relaxed, almost jazzy atmosphere. It’s the ideal chill electronic track.

3. Shawn Wasabi – SPICY BOYFRIEND

In the Valentines day spirit, Shawn Wasabi released an absurdly happy and almost unbearably cute track titled “SPICY BOYFRIEND.” It’s a futuristic sound that wouldn’t be out of place on a Moving Castle release, with light horns, organic sounds, and heavily filtered vocals that come together to create a feeling of carefree joy.

4. WHAT SO NOT – JAGUAR (LUCA LUSH LIFT)

Luca Lush pumps out music at a prodigious rate, and each of his songs always seems to have at least three different drops, so every new release is a 3-for-1 deal. Taking on What So Not’s legendary bass tune “Jaguar,” Luca Lush does what he’s best at – he traps it the fuck out. What’s most impressive, however, is how well he keeps the feel of the original underneath the distortion and heavy synthwork.

5. josh pan – djing on acid ep. 1 ft. gta & getter on holy ship

This set somehow made me want to go to Holy Ship! even more than I already did. Josh Pan puts on an intense bass house set with GTA and Getter (not to mention, Oshi, Herobust, and Party Favor) all while tripping balls on acid. Before uploading it to Soundcloud, Josh added in some hilarious commentary where he explains how he was feeling at various points during the set (and how he fucked up the set because he was tripping too hard). All in all – the set is an amazing journey into the harder side of EDM, and I can’t even imagine how lit it would have been live.

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.

Robokid – 23

Moving Castle’s latest release comes to us via the artistic talent of Robokid. I’d first heard Robokid on “Helix 2.0” his infectious collaboration with AOBeats and Manila Killa that was continually gracing my speakers this past winter. Here he’s back with the same melodic, chill, and bass heavy vibes that made “Helix 2.0” such a hit, but with a bit of an 8-bit retro feel mixed in. Enjoy the vibes below.

Kiiara – Feels (Jai Wolf Remix)

My boy Jai Wolf is finally back in the remix game after taking a break to tour the country (it’s not over, go see him live!) and this is a damn strong return. I mean, Feels has had the living hell remixed out of it but it’s kinda different when someone like Jai Wolf takes it on. Jai frames the iconic vocals with a synth buildup that brings energy and complexity. Enjoy below.