Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Judas Puppets

You think you're in control but you don't know me, babe.

Photo by Eliot Lee Hazel

Röyksopp can do no wrong. As far as I'm concerned this is is a fact; so don't fight me on it. For starters, they're Norwegian. By now you should all know my Scandophilia (obsession with all things Scandinavian--but especially people), and so by default the duo are virtually infallible in my eyes. But nevermind their ethnicity, the most obvious example of their prowess is in their flawless productions--both original and remixes. These guys can do anything; delicate and whimsical love songs, experimental ambient tracks, melodic slow burners, and glittering disco powerhouses. They're so good at their game that they managed to take what might just be my least favorite track of 2011--Lady Gaga's Judas--and turned it into a staple of all my summer playlists. With the Röyksopp touch, Judas isn't just bearable, it's almost incredible.

Judas - Lady Gaga

Also on my speakers for the past few months has been their remix of Depeche Mode's classic 1981 song, Puppets. The song is a cut off Depeche Mode's new Remixes 2 album, which was released June 6. Royksopp's reworking of the dark 80s new wave sound is masterful, the end product is a shimmering, striding electronic pop, unsettling in its lyrical content while proving to be so crazy catchy you can't help but sing along. I can't recommend this tune enough. Like I said, Röyksopp are it. If you aren't convinced by now...well...godspeed.

Puppets (Röyksopp Remix) - Depeche Mode

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Comedown Sunday : Morgan's Bay

Photo by Drew Innis

Goldroom is Josh Legg, one-half of the Binary Records/Management company, the fabulous LA band NightWaves, and a good friend. Over the past year Josh found himself recording a good deal of material that didn't quite 'fit' with the NightWaves vibe. Wanting to give the songs their time in the sun, the side project Goldroom was born. His timing couldn't be more perfect, as his beachy electro tracks are the perfect accompaniment to lazy hazy summer days with a drink in your hand and a girl (or guy) on your mind. It's so tropical I almost want to venture to say it reminds me of Jimmy Buffet… but without the campiness. Jimmy Buffet is annoying; Goldroom is very very good. Morgan's Bay in particular is the perfect Comedown Sunday tune, with breezy guitars and a jiving drums. And if you're really in the mood for some chillout tunes, check out Goldroom's first Mixtape. It's entitled Verano, which apparently means summer in Spanish (thank you anonymous commenter!), but I think it really translates best to "put this on, pop a xanax, get a mojito, and ruminate a bit."

Download Morgan's Bay and the Mixtape below, and be sure to Like Goldroom on Facebook to stay updated on future releases and shows.

Morgan's Bay - Goldroom

Goldroom - Verano Mix 2011 by Goldroom

Friday, June 24, 2011

Figure 8 (Discotech Remix)

It never stops...

Anybody remember me? I’m that guy that wrote a blog about a hip hop artist two weeks ago, then proceeded to drop off the face of the earth. Sorry about that. I’ll blame it on the fact that up until a couple days ago, I’d been living without the internet for the first time since the mid-nineties. Not having the internet leaves you with a lot of spare time that you have no idea what to do with. For me, that meant a lot of bad TV (think Auction Hunters, Lady Cops of Broward County, etc.). But I’m back!!!! One of the first emails I checked when I got back into my hotmail was from one of my favourite hip hop artists of the past 6 months who goes by the name Outasight. A NY native, Outasight is a one-man musical army. Although his music is technically hip hop, it tends to bridge a few different genres as he draws heavily from other musical genres, namely classic rock, blues and soul. He also has the rare ability to sing his own hooks, something that I find to be a huge asset for any MC.

The song that I’m posting is an official remix of the title track off of his recent Figure 8 EP. The original is a great song with a catchy piano beat providing a nice canvas for Outasight’s smooth flow and catchy vocals. The remixed version gets a little bit of tender lovin care from Discotech as they flip the piano chords and add in a few touches of their own. The result is a more upbeat, danceable track that can (and should) be thrown on at your next jam.

Figure 8 (Discotech Remix) - Outasight

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Suicide Dream 3

Photo by Narelle Autio

I'll have to say, it took me awhile to get into How To Dress Well’s 2010 debut, Love Remains. Lo-fi R&B is not really something I’m all that versed in, but HTDW’s main man Tom Krell certainly is. At first I had trouble wading through all the layers of effects, the super minimalistic production and the blown-speaker vocals. It just wasn’t coming together like it should. All the passion and emotion was there in Krell’s crooning, but it was like the rest of the music was holding it all back. Regardless of what I think about the album now (totally rules, go buy it), my initial reaction was that Krell had tremendous potential, but was wasting a lot of it with his execution. I was just a little unsure if the guy was really any good, or just some sort of shtick. Oh, how I was wrong. Enter How To Dress Well’s newest EP, Just Once.

The EP is a reimagining of Krell’s work, and it’s absolutely stunning. The songs are stripped down, performed in an orchestral setting, and void of the endless layers of effects and samples. On Suicide Dream 3, the vocals are front and center in the mix, with Krell exuding an almost Antony-like persona at times. The song is absolutely gorgeous and is terribly heart wrenching, stemming from both the music and the subject matter – it’s a tribute to Krell’s late friend. Stream Suicide Dream 3 and pre-order the release over at Love Letter Ink's Bandcamp.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Bay

It feels so good.

Photo by Sandy Nicholson

British pop band Metronomy released the sunny, shiny, sexy video for The Bay a week ago, and that warrants some celebration. Or at least a post. Don't know who Metronomy is? Lucky for you I'm here to help you out with that. Metronomy are a band from London, who went through a series of roster changes before settling on their current incarnation, comprised of four members. It seems like they've finally hit the nail on the head, as their latest album, The English Riviera, is nothing short of spectacular. On the European side of things, these guys are definitely a 'hype' band. When The English Riviera came out in the middle of April I couldn't spend 5 minutes perusing a French or British website/blog/magazine/other artist's Twitter feed/etc. without some sort of glowing mention of the band. Stateside everyone's been a bit slower to catch on (what else is fucking new), but I can say with full conviction that these guys are worth all the hype they can get.

Check out The Bay, a glittering, bouncing, purely genius pop tune, watch the sexy video, and if you're still looking for the perfect 'Summer Album', go buy The English Riviera immediately.

The Bay - Metronomy

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Raise Your Weapon (Madeon Remix)

I used to have so many rules for this blog about what I 'could' and 'could not' post. The longer it's been around (technically we had our year anniversary the other day though I really only consider it about 6 months old), and the more I do this whole 'running a music blog' thing, the more I find myself adopting a "whateva whateva, I'll do what I want" attitude. For example, bangers. Perhaps better known as Bang0rz. I used to have a strict no-banger policy. But you know what? Bangers can be awesome. In fact they can be life-changing. (That is, if you're on enough ecstasy.) And recently, I've been pressing 'repeat' on my fair share. So here's me saying "fuck it;" rules were made to be broken.

Raise Your Weapon (Madeon Remix) - Deadmau5

I've had this on repeat for the past week. I used to be really into Deadmau5, but then abandoned my prog roots for disco leanings. Now I'm being entranced back via the exciting remix work of Madeon, a 16 (maybe 17 now?) year-old wunderkind from France, who has been absolutely blowing up every song he's put his froggy fingers to over the past six months. This is especially thrilling because his sound and style remind me a LOT of Phonat, an Italian and perhaps one of the worlds greatest (and most underrated) house producers. They share a unique ability to craft house music that is progressive without being obnoxious, with a penchant for choppy, glitching treble and stomping bass. After flying under the radar for the past year, Phonat recently released a remix of Skrillex's Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites. I was hoping it would be the thing to prove me wrong about Skrillex, but unfortunately the piece fell exceptionally flat. It seems then that Madeon is now doing Phonat better than Phonat himself.
Oh well, at least one of them is.

If you don't have the Madeon remix of Deadmau5' Raise Your Weapon yet (it was all over the internet so you might), be sure to get it now, and check out one of Phonat's older (also banging) masterpieces, Set Me Free.

Set Me Free (Extended Mix) - Phonat

Monday, June 13, 2011


She's been telling her lies again,
Running around with other men.

You know how I like to give little anecdotes in my posts to make them more personal and relatable? Well with the song Rapture, an oldie from 2008, the lyrics speak for themselves.

I've been walking in the rain again
Too bad for the record we were never friends
I want you with your back up against the wall
I want you in the hallways of the shopping mall
She said "Baby, we could never be friends."

The stupendously synthy, over-the-top 80s-throwback-cum-house jam is by French Touch prince DatA, who is busy preparing new material after a pretty quiet last couple years. Vocals are provided by Sebastien Grainger, who you should I know I worship by now, and there's even a great, dramatic remix by Englishman Edwin Van Cleef. An oldie but a goodie, and a pretty kickass soundtrack for sexual frustration.

Rapture - DatA

Rapture (Edwin Van Cleef Remix) - DatA

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Thursday, June 9, 2011


Photo by Jeff Luker

I can't get enough of this one. I'v'e been playing it on repeat, I've been singing it to myself as I do chores, I've been pretending I know how to drum and endlessly beating out the rhythm section on my steering wheel. Colours are an Australian band who I can't find much information about. I was tipped off to their song Sundown via Twitter via Solar Bears. Sundown is a slightly psychedelic, fuzzed out piece of driving indie rock. You know I'm all about summer jams, and this is no exception. More importantly though, this song shows serious promise from a fresh new crop of Australian rock talent (Can't let Tame Impala have all the fun, right?). It's appropriate.

Sundown is currently available for free download as part of a single package from Beko DSL. Grab it there and be on the lookout for more info about the band as I hear it. I've got my eye on these guys.

Sundown - Colours

Be sure to check out the wonderfully weird video for the single.
There's a twist at the end - wait for it.

COLOURS - Sundown from kohnkepik on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Private Caller

You always covered my eyes when you undressed, but I see you

Photo by Carles Rodrigo

Norweigan crooner Sondre Lerche is back with a new self-titled album, out today in the U.S. on Mona Records. It's hard to believe the guy hasn't lost any steam since putting out his major-label debut at only 19. There's been a lot of experimenting with his sound since 2002's Faces Down, but it's safe to say Lerche has only perfected his craftsmanship of indie-pop. The bottom line is: this dude knows how to write a song, and hasn’t put out anything eliciting disappointment. Whether it's the absolutely breathtaking, heavily jazz-inspired Duper Sessions (seriously, one of my favorite albums ever), or the faster-paced indie rock of Phantom Punch, it always works.

Private Caller, a track from the new release, is a perfect example of how Lerche has consolidated his neurotic genre leaping. It’s the pop we’ve come to expect from him, but the truth is – I wouldn’t consider Lerche predictable. Yes, the witty lyrics and trademark voice are there, as is the meticulous instrumentation. What I like about Private Caller in particular, though, is that it seems like Lerche really took his time with this one, rather than just churning out another cookie-cutter jam. Also, it doesn’t hurt that the song is super catchy and I can’t get it out of my head, which is kind of a rarity with Lerche’s work. It's is a lighthearted jam just in time for pool season.

Stream the single below, and be sure to buy it or the entire album.
Private Caller by sondrelerche

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Comedown Sunday : Rough Patch

Photo by Jonathan Allen

I've been meaning to post this song forever, all the while somewhat expecting it to blow up as the hot new thing on the blogosphere while I was biding my time. However this hasn't happened, and today, nearly three months after its release, Rough Patch remains a criminally under-appreciated jem of an electronic slow jam. I'm trying to remedy this regrettable lack of appreciation with this post, the return of regular Comedown Sundays, and the declaration that this is definitely one of my favorite songs of 2011 thus far.

Rough Patch is by New York producer Slow Hands. Slow Hands was my least favorite Interpol song of all time (and considering Interpol was my favorite band for almost a decade I think that says a lot), whereas Slow Hands the producer is anything but a letdown. In fact, he's fantastic. Not to mention extremely attractive. Rough Patch is comprised of a number of elements that shouldn't work together--tropical steel guitars offset by haunting, deep vocal samples; percussive snaps overlaid by synthetic strings; a mournful mood propelled along by a striding 112 bpm--but end up being gloriously symbiotic. With all its contradictions, its a song equally suited for solitary reflection or intimate moments. One thing is certain: it's possibly the sexiest seven minutes you'll hear all year.

Rough Patch is available the Wolf + Lamb vs. Soul Clap DJ-Kicks compilation EP, available on !K7 here.

Rough Patch - Slow Hands

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I Can Hear the Trains Coming

I can't speak for the other parts of the country (or world. hi internationals.), but man it is beautiful down south right now. Yeah, at a 95-degree-Fareinheit-avegerage Dallas might be a more than a little hot, but when there's a bit of a breeze, coupled with that endless blue sky, it's just perfect summer weather. Perfect summer weather needs a perfect summer song, and Mathieu Santos' I Can Hear The Trains Coming fits the bill quite nicely. Otherwise known as the bassist for band Ra Ra Riot, Mathieu has been preparing a debut solo album, to be released this summer on the ever-fabulous Barsuk. Download the breezy single for free below, and look for Masachusetts 2010 in the upcoming months.

I Can Hear The Trains Coming - Mathieu Santos