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!
It’s not easy to take a What So Not track and turn it up another notch, but the newly formed French collective Slow Hours has pulled it off. Coming together to create a better network of young producers in France, Slow Hours is made up of Kidswaste, Khamsin, Lain, Kultur, Rusty Hook and Astre. I’ve been a big fan of some of these artists for a while now, and I have a feeling I’m about to become a fan of all of them. This track hits hard on the first drop and doesn’t let up. A perfect blend of future bass fills, soaring vocals, and glitchy distortion make the song aggressive but subtly melodic. I’m looking forward to more from Slow Hours. Enjoy below!
Unlike Pluto has released the third track in a series of similarly-named hits (“Waiting For You”, “Searching For You”, and now “Found You”) and it’s a crisply produced, powerful banger. What begins with slow piano chords and sultry female vocals quickly builds up into one of the most clever and musically satisfying drops I’ve heard in a while. Check it out below.
So I stumbled upon this song a week ago but I wasn’t sure what to really make of it. It’s musically fantastic, but so little was known about the anonymous AREA21 that there wouldn’t have been much for me to write about. Now there seems to be a bit of intrigue. Apparently Martin Garrix played this song during his Ultra set, sparking tons of speculation that AREA21 is simply the 19 year old Dutch producer himself. It was the only song in the hourlong set not officially produced by Garrix himself, despite his previous claims that the set would be “100% Martin Garrix.” While Garrix has definitely implicated himself in this mystery, not in the least by releasing the AREA21 debut on his own record label, the fact that there are two aliens in the spaceship indicates a likely partner in crime. Music discussion magazines and blogs seem to be pointing toward either Justin Bieber (who has a manager in common with Garrix), a Detroit-based producer called Maejor (who has produced for the likes of Bieber, Drake and Garrix himself), or Asher Roth (who many believe provided the vocals). Maejor himself mentioned in a recent Instagram caption that Martin Garrix’s studio is “like a spaceship!!!!” which is either a deliberate hint or a weird coincidence. Comments from social media users on Soundcloud and Facebook seem to ignore these leads and suggest Marshmello (substantiated by an Instagram of the two together at Ultra), and fellow Dutch EDM artist Dyro as prime suspects. The discussion on this is as vague as it is feverish, and I think only time will tell who AREA21 is. It seems that in the age of free music streaming the formula for EDM success is: 1. Get famous, 2. Reveal your identity (or don’t). See Slushii and Marshmello for examples. Either way, the music is good, and that’s all that really matters. Enjoy AREA21’s debut track below.
SoCal rapper ANTWON drops some smooth bars on top of a fantastically produced beat in this strong single. Check out this song below and his new EP Double Ecstasy on iTunes and Spotify.
Gryffin has dropped his debut original and it’s a very strong start for a producer that has produced pretty much nothing but indie hits with his remixes. It’s definitely in the Gryffin indie-dance, melodic-trance style, and that’s a good thing. We’ll see if he can keep the momentum going in the future and evolve his style a bit, but let’s enjoy the moment and the tremendous success that this song is bound to be. Enjoy below.
Welcome to the first playlist of the new year. Every artist on this playlist wanted to start out 2016 with a bang – and they succeeded. Electronic and alternative music dominate the scene in this set as usual, but I’ve thrown in a couple of surprises to keep you entertained and avoid the mundane. In past playlists I’ve tried to group together songs that sounded as similar as possible into large genre-blocks designed to keep the flow consistent and enjoyable. This had benefits (songs flowed effortlessly into one another) and drawbacks (sometimes it sounded like you were listening to the same song for fifteen minutes). I’ve decided to move away from that strategy in an effort to keep my playlists dynamic and so you may experience some turbulence during this ride. Don’t worry, life vests are available in the case of an emergency. Enjoy below.