Archive for May, 2013


Morning Hero – N8 ST9

May 31, 2013

N8 ST9, or Nate Stein, self-styles his sound in this song as “electronic Paul Simon” and you can see why. Stein’s voice evokes the soft croons of Simon and the electronic instrumental that he puts together is understated, gentle, and precise. The result is a sweet song, with soft verses and a calmly crescendo-ing chorus. Fitting the song’s name, the mood is that of a gentle awakening. Enjoy it.

Morning Hero – N8 ST9 / Or from SoundCloud

BONUS: Here’s a remix N8 ST9 put together for Donna Lewis’s hit song “I Love You Always Forever”. He easily melds piano with synths, bringing the the song a more modern instrumental hook while preserving the original vocal hook. Give it a listen.

I Love You Always Forever (N8 ST9 Remix) – Donna Lewis / Or from SoundCloud


Acid Rap [Mixtape] – Chance The Rapper

May 30, 2013

A friend passed this mixtape on to me a month ago and it really blew my mind. Chance The Rapper is, as you might expect, a rapper. His style of rap really gets back to the lyrics. “Wordplay” is probably the best way to describe his dancing through puns, meaning, rhyme, and rhythm without seeming to exert much effort at all. This doesn’t mean he neglects his instrumentals. The entire mixtape can be downloaded here.

“Pusha Man” is actually a seven minute track, two songs separated by a bit of silence. While I find the first movement OK, the second one hooked me, and hard. So I cut it down to share the song I’ve come to love. The instrumental sets the stage with a bleak, uneasy, slow progression of distorted treble chords. Stepping to the fore swiftly, Chance The Rapper starts out slow and quiet, introducing the hook before starting the first verse. These verses showcase his syncopated, poetic, and effortlessly rhyming style of rap. His talent is obvious when he conveys a serious idea in entirely conversational rhythm, perfect rhyme, and a dose of humor. Enjoy it.

Pusha Man (ft. Nate Fox & Lili K.) (Prod. by Ceej for Two9) – Chance The Rapper / Or from SoundCloud

This track is an interlude, yet it’s a better song than many out there. It holds more of the great style that Chance The Rapper seems to have trademarked. This song begins with a series of puns built around the message that family and love is better than more individual activities, be it drugs, food, or work. It is incredibly clever and worth listening to several times over until all the lyrics are clear. He follows these puns with a joyous, “that’s love!” Give it a listen or three!

Interlude (That’s Love) (Prod. by Ludwig Gorransen) – Chance The Rapper / Or from SoundCloud

Built upon an instrumental of chiptunes and drums, this track tells the story of smoking and a mother’s love. Hectic verses drive home just how skilled Chance The Rapper is at rhyming while the chorus is enjoyable and entirely sweet. Check it out!

Cocoa Butter Kisses (ft. Vic Mensa & Twista) – Chance The Rapper / Or from SoundCloud



May 23, 2013

BKBROWN calls this genre Future Trap, and I like the label. The song is built from the ground up using 808s and the hood trappings of trap. But BKBROWN uses synths (or analogs) that sound very much like they belong in elevator music, though muted as if from a distance. The effect is neither lounge nor trap, but a lazy-lidded West Coast car stereo track. Worth listening to whether you like trap or not. Enjoy!

♥ – BKBROWN / Or from Facebook

BONUS: “2AM Drive” amps up the lazy car stereo vibe while easing up slightly on the trap trappings. This song emulates waves in the constant wavering of the main synth line. The song is incredibly simple in concept, yet evokes a large response with simple additions. The addition of a sample of rain really grounds the track in a setting, outside, while the pattern of the synth line places the song near a coastline. The simple constant sound fits with the song name, a feeling of solitude and speed. Check it out!

2AM Drive – BKBROWN / Or from SoundCloud


Female Robbery – The Neighbourhood

May 21, 2013

Apparently hailing from “Califournia“, the band named the Neighbourhood burst on to the music scene a year ago with this moody and dramatic debut track. I heard it first on Pigeons and Planes some time ago. The distorted chords and mournfully postmodern lyrics seize the attention and keep it focused. It’s resolute, grungy, alternative rock with electronic influences. A very cool sound. Check it out.

Female Robbery – The Neighbourhood / Or from SoundCloud


A Rapid Burst of EDM

May 20, 2013

Last week was finals, but now that is behind me, it is time to celebrate. I think that dancing and celebrating go together hand in hand, so I thought I’d share a roundup of electronic dance music that got me through finals. Without further ado, here’s the music.

Vonikk and Electrode put together this fun whirlwind of a song a week ago. The large reverberating synths provide a backing to the staccato synths and the more gameboy-sounding ones. On top of that, they add dubstep, electro, progressive house, electric guitar, and some practically eurodance synths together to build an incredibly complex soundscape with a very cheerfully compelling hook. Enjoy it!

Submarine (Original Mix) – Vonikk & Electrode / Or from SoundCloud

edmSpotlight brought together Monstercat, Tasty Network, and Trap and Bass to put out a compilation showcasing up and coming EDM artists from trap to house to more abstract electronica. Remixed by PIXL, Vicetone and Collin McLoughlin are showcased on a beat that edges between electro and dubstep. The vocals are enticing and the instrumental keeps the sound bouncy and edgy. Check it out.

Heartbeat (PIXL Remix) – Vicetone feat. Collin McLoughlin / Or from SpotlightEDM

Mayeda decided to remix Ke$ha’s song “Crazy Kids” because he hated the rapping but really enjoyed the guitar riff. As you might expect, he kept the guitar lines and ditched the rapping. Following the chord progressions that the guitar modeled, Mayeda adds a new prog house hook to the song. It’s danceable and ready to go. Give it a listen.

Crazy Kids [Mayeda Remix] – Ke$ha / Or from SoundCloud

Gent & Jawns were the duo that convinced me that trap was awesome back when they remixed Diplo’s “Express Yourself”. They’re back with an original trap track that holds to the genre’s criteria, yet somehow remains fresh and catchy, without any of the staleness that the formula seems to leave many other artists. Enjoy!

COCO – Gent & Jawns / Or from their Website

Next up, Candyland teamed up with Clark Kent to build an epic dubstep track. Opening with a quiet set of female vocals and an ominous yet muted backing, the song quickly builds in tempo and energy until the bass drops, and atmospheric house synths carry the hook. The dubstep bass is more of a crispy crust surrounding the softer broader sound of the song. Check it out!

On The Shore – Candyland & Clark Kent vs. Slow Skies / Or from SoundCloud

A little known EDM artist from the UK, going by Vails, came out in a huge way with the aid of Fool’s Gold Records. I heard this first on Pigeons and Planes and it hooked me immediately. This hard hitting analog bass techno track starts strong and does not let up. This is a track for a warehouse rave. Give it a listen.

Beaster – Vails / Or from SoundCloud

BONUS: Here’s another one from the EDM Spotlight mix. Elliot Berger features Laura Brehm‘s vocals in this moody, massive track. Backed initially by gentle piano chords, the track builds with a simple dubstep rhythm. The song crescendos beautifully as the vocals begin luxuriously harmonizing. Focusing more on the beautiful house synths than the growling bass, this track flirts with dubstep without committing to its formula. If you feel like supporting the artists of the Spotlight mix, the album is also available on iTunes. Enjoy it folks!

Diamond Sky feat. Laura Brehm – Elliot Berger / Or from SpotlightEDM


Slow Wind (Wick-it DTF Remix) – R. Kelly

May 10, 2013

Wick-It the Instigator decided to remix R. Kelly. My first expectation was exuberant dubstep, but as the “DTF” label suggests, this remix is sultry and deliberate in its pacing. The resulting track blew me away. Wick-It starts with synths that really sound like drips and drops, a sound that R. Kelly has gone for before, in song and out. Soon rippling reggae chords join the heavy drum that forms the beat. Kelly’s powerful vocals fit seamlessly with the sexy slowness of this track. In the last minute, Wick-It joins the production with a fitting guitar solo. It’s hard to argue with a guitar solo. Enjoy this one and have a great weekend.

Slow Wind (Wick-it DTF Remix) – R. Kelly / Or from Topspin


Nova – Vonikk

May 9, 2013

I love it when people show me new music. My friend passed on a mix of complextro that a friend had given them and in it I found one song from Vonikk. I was immediately hooked and looked them up. “Nova” soon became my favorite. Lending meaning to the genre title, Vonikk fills this song with a multitude of synths, from dubstep, to prog house, to electro, to techno sounds. Despite the complexity of the sound, the music comes together with a couple of hooks. This is where EDM should be heading. Check it out!

Nova – Vonikk / Or from SoundCloud

BONUS: And here’s a remix that Vonikk did of Krewella. Keeping the signature vocals, Vonikk enhances the instrumental with new synths and more exciting hook. Enjoy!

Alive (Vonikk Remix) – Krewella / Or from SoundCloud