Friday, September 30, 2011

Crater (Mogwai Remix)

Photo by Vincent Fournier

It's time for another rare installment of "Russ finds an electronic track he absolutely loves," and I can say that it's more along the lines of enamoured and obsessed than it is love. The subject of this week's endearment is a remix of a Laki Mera song called Crater. The Scottish electronica quartet's track was awesomely improved by fellow Glasgowians and one of my personal favorite bands, Mogwai.

The remix of Crater feels a little less spacey and much more haunting than its breezy, poppy predecessor. The song is easier to get transfixed while listening to, the first half's repeating, low, electronic drone sounds like something that would fit nicely on Mogwai's Mr. Beast. Still, the Scottish rockers left the basic feel of the song the same. Synths still bounce like shooting stars, resulting in something that might make M83's Anthony Gonzalez take note. The slowed down tempo works almost too well with Laki Mera's hypnotic female vocals. Mogwai took an impressive electronic pop track and turned it into something of pure bliss. Give it a listen, especially if you're not normally into electronic music. If you like it, make sure to buy Laki Mera's album The Proximity Effect (No, not the Nada Surf album!), which dropped last May on Just Music in the U.K.

Stream the song below, download the MP3 for free on Laki Mera's FACEBOOK.

Laki Mera - Crater (Mogwai Remix) by Just Music label

And here's the original, for reference
Crater by Laki Mera

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

FM (Tensnake Remix)

Let's leave tonight.

Photo by Lina Scheynius

Question: Does it get much sexier than Junior Boys?
Answer: Not really, no.

Junior Boys played in Dallas tonight. If this was the first you've heard, the bad news is you've missed it. The better news is you're in good company because I missed it too. But even better still: It turns out that not only is their music some of the sexiest on the planet (I know I keep dropping that adjective but there's really none better), it also provides a quality studying soundtrack. So while I sit here figurative-balls deep in the philosophical history of 19th-century Europe, at least my ears are enjoying themselves. Yours will too.

Check out this old but killer Tensnake remix of FM. True to form, it's dark and broody like, with more than a dollop of sexual tension. FM is off their 2006 sophomore--and my favorite--Junior Boys album So This Is Goodbye. They've got a new album out though, and are currently on a huge world tour in support of it. Don't repeat my mistakes, be sure to see them when they come through your city; check dates here.

FM (Tensnake Remix) - Junior Boys

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Comedown Sunday: Orange U High?

Painting by Rebecca Bird

It's backkkk.
For those of you new to the blog, welcome to Comedown Sunday. It's a weekly shtick featuring music to help combat your hangover, on the day when you need it most. This week we have the smoky and sultry Orange U High? from Orlando-based experimental hip hop outfit Great People (who are apparently friends of a friend; thanks for the introduction Rachael). The kinda cheesy play on words is forgiven in light of the smooth beats, sexy female chorus, and ever reliable stoner rhymes. As we all [hopefully] know there's no better hangover cure than my girl mary jane, so this song is pretty pertinent.
Orange U High? You should be.

Orange U High? comes from the album Patchouli, which Great People self-released last month. You can download the single below, and buy the album at their bandcamp.

Orange U High? - Great People [MP3]

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Real Green Aisles

I carved our names into a tree, I walked on decomposing leaves,
I walked upon a frozen sea, it's real as far as I can see.

Photo by Algo

I've been sitting on this gem from Real Estate for awhile, quietly reveling in the warm embrace of what is one of my favorite songs of the summer. The New Jersey trio craft just lovely, pastoral rock, and It's Real, the first single off their sophomore release Days, is a prime example. Dreamy weaving guitars, crisp tenor vocals, and a short but shining chorus are bundled together in a tight musical package that, despite its simplicity, feels expansive and transcendent.

It's Real - Real Estate

I finally felt the push to post It's Real in after Real Estate's second single, Green Aisles was released yesterday. If It's Real is a carefree summer revelry , Green Aisles is its wistful autumnal antiphon. Those pedal-enhanced guitars come into play again, this time with a languor that compliments the reflective, longing lyrics. This pristine pair of singles has me immensely excited for the Days release, slated for October 18th on Domino Records. You can pre-order it here.

Green Aisles - Real Estate

Thursday, September 22, 2011

An Argument With Myself

More of a conversation, really

There has always been something special about Jens Lekman. It feels like I’ve listened to the Swede craft his indie pop masterpieces forever, and it’s hard to believe he’s only released two albums. Lekman’s musical career quickly ignited after his homemade CDRs began floating around at blinding speeds – and I can see why. It’s almost impossible not to find the singer-songwriter’s style endearing. Lekman croons like a wedding singer from the ‘50s, but draws on modern-day vocal icons like Stephin Merritt and Morrissey. Songs unfold through extremely witty lyrics, turning into stories of love in the cold, Swedish winter. His first release, 2004’s When I Said I Wanted to Be Your Dog, continues to keep its place as one of my all-time favorite records. With every song there’s something to be said, and the Swede knows exactly how to say it. Perhaps it’s because he’s got a surprisingly raging inner monologue?

An Argument With Myself, a cut off Lekman’s new similarly titled EP from Secretly Canadian, finds the singer at ends with his greatest critic of all – himself. It’s a schizophrenic, frantic song, but not because of the melody. “Shut up, no you shut up!” exclaims the 30 year old. Just try to not crack a smile as the conflict escalates. It takes a real talent to write a song, but even more so to make one feel so genuine. What Lekman reclaims here in An Argument With Myself is believability. Even though his last record was hailed as his best, 2008’s Night Falls over Kortedala just didn’t do it for me. The music was cool and all but I just didn’t believe anything he said. Fortunately with the new tune, I can truly see our dear friend beating himself up on the side of the street. Listen to An Argument With Myself and see it for yourself. Don’t forget to grab the EP over at Secretly Canadian Records.

An Argument With Myself - Jens Lekman

Hot Thought

Hey White Denim, I'm crushing. You fill that sexy-boys-making-sexy-garage-rock hole in my heart left so empty by the Strokes and all those other mid-naughties bands that are now well past their prime. Secondly, you're from Austin, so I feel some sort of kindred connect. And most importantly, your music is great. It's creative by accessible, the kind that could satisfy the heightened goûts of my snob elitist friends, while being catchy enough for my NPR-indie Dad to like. Hell, I'm even buying him the CD for Christmas. So needless to say I'd be totally ok with bringing you home. What's more, you're impossibly cool in a yeah-we're-trying-but-fuck-if-you-can-tell kind of way. For example, that B-Side you just released, Hot Thought? (It is quite.) It's all so easy breezy. But then what the hell, ya'll throw in some Autotune? I mean who do you think you are, Bon Iver?
But baby, it works.

Hot Thought - White Denim

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Crème de la CREM : Volume 3

Soo it's been a bit more than a month since the epic-ness that was Lollapalooza 2011, and I've been super busy with life.  I'm studying in Paris for the semester, and it hasn't been as easy as I expected.  The whole foreign-culture-different-language thing is quite an experience so far, but I'm making progress.  Anyway, I've been slacking hard on posting, so here are some recent favorites I listen to on the Metro every morning. 

Download All Tracks Via This: Zip Folder

This month is all about relaxed, catchy instrumentals.

Master and Student - Jogger

Kicking off with the LA duo Jogger, Master and Student shows how experimental electronic can still be catchy and quite melodic.  I also really enjoy their application of the guitar in their music, which is more evident in some of their other songs, especially Nephicide.  

Oyster Dreamland - Pogo

Next, let Pogo take you back to your childhood with one my favorite Disney remixes, Oyster Dreamland.  It's really amazing how he can piece together movie dialogue, music and sound effects to make a song truly representative of the film (in this case, Alice in Wonderland).

Ike's Mood I - Visioneers

Visioneers is a self-proclaimed "studio project" that infuses hip-hop and jazz into their songs.  I love the sound of these guys, do yourself a favor and download their album.  Great reworkings of classic hip-hop including The Pharcyde and Nas.

Gravitas - Little People

Little People is one of my favorites I've come across recently.  Defining himself as downtempo electronic, Little People creates appealing, electronic infused hip-hop beats that I can't stop listening to.  Gravitas is my favorite of his tracks, showcasing his sampling, electronic sounds with a killer drum/piano hook.

Blue Bossanova - Bossanova

Blue Bossanova is an overall phenomenal song.  Don't know much about the band Bossanova other than the hail from Vancouver.  Only one release so far to their name, but I love the guitar work.  Simple and repetitive riff with nice layering, it keeps me coming back again and again. 

Enjoy, I'll be coming back next month with a playlist Francais.   
Au revoir mes amis.

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Monday, September 19, 2011

So Free (Jensen Sportag Remix)

Hey Paula.

There's nothing to brighten the Monday blues quite like some Balearic beats1. Thank goodness for Jensen Sportag, who have recently provided us with a beautiful, rousing remix of Shine 2009's So Free, which features vocals by the one and only Paula Abdul. Two weeks ago darling Cascine celebrated their one-year birthday, and gave away this track as a reverse birthday present. A nice gesture from the nicest label ever. (Stop drooling, Mikayla.) The remix is killer, but little else can be expected from the Sportag boys, who are quickly rising to the top of my ones-to-watch heap.

So Free feat. Paula Abdul (Jensen Sportag Remix) - Shine 2009

And while we're on the subject of Cascine, be sure to get this remix signee Chad Valley did of Active Child's (feat. How To Dress Well) Playing House. It strips down the original, focusing on the inimitable vocals of Pat Grossi, which really didn't need all that bass-heavy accompaniment present in the original.

Playing House (Chad Valley Remix) - Active Child ft. How To Dress Well

1If you found the alliteration in that sentence to be so over-the-top you wanted to vomit, let it be known that you're in good company. I hate myself.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Collage by Ariel Chiesa

A new Twin Shadow track dropped on Thursday. Hallelujah. There's nothing in modern music quite like George Lewis Jr's croon. (That is, at least, until Bowie makes a comeback album.) Lewis' latest endeavor is a cover of the 80's Experimental Italo-Disco group Bagarre. Chris at Gorilla vs Bear was cool enough to forward along a Bagarre EP so I had something to compare the cover with, and all I can say is: wow. That Bagarre album is something else. Bordering the line between "this is really cool" and "I really need to be on drugs", its genius may be debatable but it's a total trip nonetheless. The Twin Shadow covers seem all the more brilliant having heard the originals; his ability to turn experimental disco dissonance into a timely, lively pop gem deserves some serious accolades.

Despite the out-there-nature, do make sure to check out Bagarre's Dirt Love 4'51. It may be a bit dated, but boy does it groove.

Changes - Twin Shadow

Dirty Love 4'51 - Bagarre

[via GvB]

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Same Mistake

Photo by Hannah Davis

I've definitely had my ups and downs with Brooklyn's Clap Your Hands Say Yeah over the years. I disagreed with the harsh critics of the band's sophomore effort, Some Loud Thunder, finding the album a fresh, new, good-sounding direction for the band. I'm sure it was hard being heralded as the "greatest unsigned indie rock band EVER." All that hype for CYHSY's second record was more of a shot in the foot for the band. Still, it was a great record with a lot of tracks that fell into more of a stripped down feel than the poppy, indie-rock gold the band shredded on '05's self-titled debut. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's third album, Hysterical, hit airwaves earlier this week (next week for us in the States), and I'd say four years has been kind to the Brooklynites. Well, at least for one song.

Album opener Same Mistake will quiet the Some Loud Thunder Negative Nancies - the uptempo, head-nodding riffs and snare hits are back. The band definitely taps into what threw them into the Internet music spotlight, and it ultimately works. The track is reminiscent of older songs such as In This Home on Ice. It's a nice way to wrap up the summer months as the blistering temperatures start to recede. Same Mistake is a breezy jam that complements the band's influences more than ever before. Alec Ousworth's vocals still sound like a mix of Dan Bejar and David Byrnem yodeling after a quick breath of helium. But in the case of this jam, I wouldn't want it any other way.

Listen to Same Mistake and make sure to buy the album if you like it!

[MP3] Same Mistake - Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah "Same Mistake" by GrillMarketing

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fire Fire Fire

Photo by Coley Brown

It's here.

It's here.

It's here.

To say that I have been waiting for this day would be an understatement.
Truth is, I've been biding my time since March, when I first heard two excerpts from Monsieur Adi's forthcoming Fire Fire Fire EP, to be released on Technofavrik, September 19th. The title track, Fire Fire Fire, is perhaps the most powerful, well-executed, and exciting French House track I've heard, well, since Daft Punk. I've said it then and I'll say it now : this song is fucking incredible. Those scaling, harmonized guitars. That commanding kick. The gorgeous, cascading string bridge two minutes in. Adi wears his influences on his sleeve but he does it so well that if I were Daft Punk, I would be proud; if not a bit nervous at the unrealized potential of this wunderkind.

This is it, guys. This is the future.

Monsieur Adi - Fire Fire Fire (Radio Edit) by Monsieur Adi

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

RIP DJ Mehdi

Photo by Karl Hab

News broke this morning that DJ Mehdi, the immensely talented French (via Tunisia) DJ/Producer responsible for some of the most rousing electronic music of our day, not to mention greatest DJ sets, passed away in an accident. Mehdi was one of my favorite musicians and one of the greatest DJ's I've ever had the pleasure of seeing live. He was full of energy, always with a goofy smile plastered on his face, and seems to have been--according to the outpouring by acquaintances in the wake of his death--a stand-up gentleman as well.
Mehdi, you will be missed.

Signatune (Thomas Bangalter Edit) - DJ Mehdi

Our hearts and thoughts go out to Medhi's family and friends, including his label, Ed Banger Records. Ed Banger embodies a musical 'family' perhaps more so than any collective I've ever come across, and this is no doubt a devastating loss for them. While living in Paris, I couldn't go to a single party or show featuring an Ed Banger artist without seeing the entire crew there to support. They are their own biggest fans, and most importantly each-others' biggest support group, as I'm sure anyone who knows or has seen them live can attest. Our best wishes go out to the label/family who, with last week's release of their Fall 2011 Delivery sampler, looked poised to dominate the dance music scene in the upcoming months. It's regrettable that their impending success be overshadowed by this tragedy, and we wish them strength and the best of luck.

ED REC FALL 2011 DELIVERY by edbangerrecords

P.S. Less than 5 days ago Mehdi released his 'Tunisian Summer Mix' via his blog on Cool Cats. Be sure to download what is regrettably his final mix.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Swimmhaus Johannesburg (Star Slinger Remix)

isn't she precious?

Some facts:
- Swimmhaus Johannesburg is a song by Fixers. (Buy the original here.)
- Fixers are an Oxford-based psychedelic rock band.
- I initially wrote off Fixers based on singer Jack Goldstein's voice.
- It is one those nasal and high-pitched BIlly Corgan/whichever Gallagher sang-esque voices.
- Many people dig that kind of voice. I find it rather grating.
- I do, however, really dig Star Slinger.
- Star Slinger is essentially the MasterChef of remixes.
- Star Slinger remixed Swimmhaus Johannesburg.
- The remix has lots of swirling synths, plucky pseudo-strings, and deeeeep, warm bass.
- It is my new favorite thing.

So much for first impressions.

Swimmhaus Johannesburg (Star Slinger Remix) - Fixers

Friday, September 9, 2011

Between the Concrete & the Clouds

Photo by Werner Amann

Brooklyn's Kevin Devine has never quite gotten the credit he deserves. He's been churning out superb solo records since 2002, not to mention his work as frontman of the now-defunct Miracle of '86. The singer-songwriter's foray into a solo career has covered a lot of ground with a lot to sing about - including the death of his father and the ultimate demise of his band. Now, almost a decade later and six full-length records under his belt, Devine still isn't the household name he should be.

Next week's release finds Devine at the top of his game, resulting in some of his best songs to date. Between the Concrete & the Clouds, which happens to be the title track, is in contention for my favorite song of the summer. Devine has once again melded his brooding style of lyrics and verses with poppy, crescendo-laden choruses and bridges. The result is something that feels like you're being ripped apart while listening. As he's often likened to Elliott Smith, although a more upbeat version - I think it's an unfair comparison. Devine himself may cite the late indie-folk legend as a chief influence to his music, but tracks like this are proof the New Yorker is in a world of his own. Listen to Between the Concrete & Clouds and make sure to pre-order the album over at Favorite Gentlemen Recordings.

Between The Concrete & The Clouds - Kevin Devine

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Get Lost

Photo by Jeff Luker

I'm not usually one to post something after hearing it only once. Actually, I can't think of a single time I've done it. But I've got to make an exception with the latest output from Mark McGuire, the Cleveland based guitarist better known as one-third of the ambient rock trio Emeralds. He's preparing a new solo LP to be released September 27th, and the first excerpt from it, the title track Get Lost is as perfect as I could have hoped. A trepidatious start gives way to a swarm of fuzzy loops that swirl around each other until pointed strumming grabs the ambience by its shoulders and pulls it to standing attention, building to a swelling, swirling, resonating head before settling down to a twinkling end. If this is what getting lost feels like, I don't want to be found.

Get Lost - Mark McGuire

[via Pitchfork]

Previously: Mark McGuire's Brain Storm

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Cameo Lover

You've got two arms baby, they're all tangled in ladies

Photo by Werner Amann

Kimbra is everywhere right now, isn't she? Between last year's flawless guest spot on Miami Horror's I Look To You and her recent, perfectly-emotive-without-being-over-the-top collaboration with Gotye on Somebody That I Used to Know, and now the impending release of her debut album, Vows, the girl seems intent on taking the pop music world by storm. Given her voice, look, and unique musical style--an infectious blend of soul, R&B, jazz, and shimmy shiny pop--I'd guess it's only a matter of time before she does just that. Not to make easy comparisons, but from the strong vocals to that black bob, big eyes, and taste for quirky colorful outfits, Kimbra could easily be seen as the Australian answer to Katy Perry. BUT BETTER. For example? Her first single, Cameo Lover comes complete with a sing-along chorus, a big-band breakdown, and an over the top music video, all without feeling the least bit manufactured. It sounds great, it looks great, and it makes you feel great too. Pure gold.

Cameo Lover - Kimbra

To say that Kimbra is my new girl crush would definitely be an understatement. Let's hope the rest of the world feels the same way once they hear her album; it's out now exclusively in Australia and New Zealand. If you live in one of those places, buy it here you lucky dog. If not, follow LL on Facebook or Twitter and we'll keep you updated as to an official international release date.

Bonus:If you're looking for an equally enthralling version of the song with a bit of boogie in, look no further than this remix by fellow Aussie GLOVES.
Cameo Lover (GLOVES Remix) - Kimbra

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I Don't Know What To Do

Some days I can't get up, I just feel so alone

There's not much left to say about the Magician that I haven't already, but here's some news. His debut official single, I Don't Know What to Do is to be released October 3rd on Kitsuné. The song features vocals by Danish singer Jeppe, of Classixx' I'll Get You fame. (Do you like bass, do you do you like bass?) As a debut single it's a bit safe, but really stupid catchy, so I'm considering this another Magical victory. Be sure to grab the entire EP when it comes out a month from now; as it features a club remix, one by Plastic Plates, and a criminally great Fabian rendition.

The Magician Feat. Jeppe "I Don't Know What To Do" (Original) by TheMagician

Do you like bass, do you do you like bass?
I'll Get You feat. Jeppe (Gigamesh Remix) - CLASSIXX

Friday, September 2, 2011

I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You

Photo by Barbara Crane

Remember this song? I've been lucky enough to catch The Twelves live twice in the past month, and this track always seems to find its way into their sets. It's nothing new, and yet sounds every bit as fresh and fun as it did back in 2008. And while the Black Kids original was sure to get you smiling, the remix is going to get your body moving--I've yet to see a single person able to resist its dancefloor call-to-arms.

I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You
(The Twelves Remix) - Black Kids

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Last Flight

Photo by Ryan McGinley

Are you ready for September 5th? For your mind to be blown in a flurry of synthy, poppy, dancy, groovy, crazy amazingness? Yes? Great; because in five days, Binary Records' Fabian drops his debut album, Say Goodbye. The Guardian hails it as the album most likely to "Put the "oh" in Studio 54", and while I'm way too young to have ever been to the place, on principle I have to agree. Serving as a testament to that is the album's first single, Last Flight. You know that certain type of disco-influenced feel-good pop music I'm absolutely crazy about? Well this is it exemplified; tenfold. I just started school back up a week ago, and every morning on my commute, when I'm tired and hating the world, I put this song on blast. During the duration I'm guaranteed a total 180 mood swing, complete with handclaps and a serious I CAN DO THIS attitude. That is at least, until it ends.

Stream Last Flight below, and buy the single (with a formidable lineup of remixes to boot) HERE.

Also be sure to check out the remix by Justin Faust; so shimmery it can only be called a gem. Justin is currently on a US tour with Fabian as support, check out either of their Facebook pages for date-- you don't want to miss this duo.

And for good measure (and because it's crazy good), here's a free download of the club-ready RESET! remix.

Last Flight (RESET! Remix) - Fabian