Dinner At The Thompsons-Something About You

Genre-bending Franco-American duo Dinner At The Thompsons present their new EP “DATT: digital audio trip together”. The duo have garnered much praise, ranging from their video “It All Began” to the BBC deeming them a “thoughtful, leftfield success” for trip-hop fans, and including them on their yearly “best-of” roundup.

Fun electro-pop from this duo, with a track that should find a home in many libraries with the summer days drawing nearer. The production throws together lusciously thick percussion and a plethora of electronic samples, effects and melodies, with the track heavily driven by the former in the opening third, before the latter’s impact grows into a more contributory factor. It’s certainly a dynamic piece, with the movement of those electro elements being rather unpredictable at times, and hence there’s a lot of energy buzzing through this one that supports the high-pitched yet rather mellow vocals very well. Those vocals are certainly an enjoyable piece of the jigsaw too, with a strong singalong nature that’s also intermittent enough to allow the production room to breathe.

The video is a series of landscapes projected onto a woman’s back, which sounds remarkably uncomplicated, but will definitely feel trippy; that’s largely due to the calming blue tint that masks each scene’s freneticism, whilst also tying them all together. A psychedelic watch and a positive, upbeat listen, look out for DATT on 24th June.

Disclosure-You & Me ft. Eliza Doolittle (Toro y Moi Remix)

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Disclosure’s single from their hotly-anticipated Settle album (due out on 3rd June) undergoes a rework at the hands of Toro, the creator of what is my favourite album of 2013 thus far with Anything In Return.

The original had relatively sombre verses and it’s the comparatively lively hook that reeled the mainstream crowd in, proving a dancefloor favourite with hints of late 90′s electro and garage. Toro strips out those facets and swaps in a more chillout experimental style, and one which works to the softer vibe of the verses rather than the energetic hook: a relatively minimal production is composed of sharp yet understated percussion, gentle touches of synth and rather relies on the vocals to supply the intensity. The latter is important, as it allows the production to amble smoothly through the track without being swept too heavily into the vocal momentum, and hence there’s a mellow consistency that makes this distinct from the back-and-forth style of the original. There’s enough progression here too as the track grows very subtly throughout, in particular the vocals eventually becoming cut and looped quickly to create a slight freneticism, and again it allows the vocals to work the liveliness into the track. A short cool down follows, and finishes off a good remix; it won’t be to everyone’s taste, but it’s a nice accompaniment to the original.

BigBear-Durante

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Prepare to be fully mellowed out. As an ‘a electronic track with an open air feel’, this is unquestionably perfect for those summer evenings, and makes for an excellent introduction to this upcomer.

Built on a platform of atmospheric synths, easygoing percussion and a stuttered vocal effect that creates tons of aura, it’s a well-layered piece of production that does away with long, dragging intros and huge high points to deliver a mesmerisingly consistent listen the full way through. Of course, there are occasional switches and minor momentum changes, and the steady nature of the track as a whole works musically to rather magnified their relatively subtlety, keeping the track interesting and dynamic without removing from its relaxing feel. Certainly worth adding to your playlists, and be on the look out for more from this talented producer.

Star One-Freaky ft. Juliette Ashby

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Buoyed from their month long residency on BBC Radio 1xtra, sibling duo Star One turn their hands back to production with the feel good Garage number ‘Freaky’. Featuring the catchy, distinctive vocals of Juliette Ashby, Freaky takes inspiration from 90′s 2 step whilst still sounding incredibly refreshing.

It’s been a while since we featured homegrown duo Star One over here, but they’ve won me back with this fantastic throwback to the heady days of UK garage. The production is quintessential UKG with a modern coating, throwing together the uptempo electronic percussion characteristic of the genre with sharp, dramatic synth work, whilst the vocal work travels through the track in a dynamic manner, moving through distortions, stutters and regular vocals with good effect. It’s a track that the old school garage heads will go crazy for, and should certainly be added to your summer playlists on its release this Thursday (23rd May), with a remix from Big Voyage in tow too. There’s also a rather psychedlic accompanying video should you require visual treats to work alongside the audio, and whilst it doesn’t feature the full track, it’s a vivid, relatively trippy clip that’s worth a go.

The Jet Age of Tomorrow-On

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Jet Age’s Journey to the 5th Echelon remains one of my favourite chillout albums to date, whilst Voyager isn’t to be slept on either, and they’re gearing up for their 3rd release this Friday, The JellyFish Mentality.

In absolute honesty, this particular track won’t rank in their upper levels. Interestingly though, their experimental nature usually has hit-and-miss moments, and yet this one instead falls somewhere in the middle; listenable, but neither excellent nor terrible. The track’s broken into two segments, with the first taking several cues from the hip-hop and alternative genres with slow, bassy percussion delivered in a sharp, crashing fashion that adds a hint of punk to proceedings, whilst the cacophonous synth work only serves to enhance those raw edges. The vocals are as drifty as ever, but in this context they work in a much more menacing manner, and it’s a display of musical progression from their more electronic origins. With that said, they return to that chillout style for the second segment, throwing gentle melodies under a more vibrant vocal layer, and it’s this section that’ll probably win back the original Jet Age fans, whilst also making for a good introduction to their work if you’re previously unfamiliar. A solid track with touches of progression and quality, and I’m looking forward to getting the full project on Friday.

Daft Punk-Random Access Memories (Full Album Stream)

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8 years in the making, and now hungry fans can finally listen to Daft Punk’s entire comeback LP, over a week before its official release. This is, of course, seemingly a response to the fact their album leaked onto them internets just a few hours ago, but it’s pretty good news in any case.

As surprising as it may be, I haven’t managed to listen to the full album yet given that I just read this news around 49 seconds ago, and admittedly I probably won’t until it’s released next week (or I cave and grab a quick fix beforehand). They’re one of very few artists for whom I quite enjoy the novelty of waiting until release day to buy the CD and such (sue me), and hence I’m hoping to do precisely that. For those unaware, features include Pharrell Williams, Nile Rodgers, Giorgio Moroder, Chilly Gonzalez, Todd Edwards, Paul Williams, Julian Casablancas, DJ Falcon and Panda Bear. Enjoy being a few days ahead of dear old me with the free stream courtesy of iTunes below.

Daft Punk-Random Access Memories (Full Album Stream)

Thelonious Martin-Marilia and Sleep Pattern

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Two songs, one post. In recent times, I’ve started to appreciate the underrated Thelo Martin’s beatwork, and this is an example of not only his talent, but also his fantastic eclecticism. Marilia clearly takes influence from the Brazilian style, combining soft guitar strums with what I’m assuming are vocals in Portuguese, with a gentle yet consistent percussion holding the track together as the aforementioned samples sit with a mellow synth, and the whole package gets thrown into a stuttered style. It’s experiemental electronic done well, and will certainly call for attention from fans of Flying Lotus, Exile and so on.

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Sleep Pattern is a much darker, more atmospheric effort, and you can feel that late night influence on the production. The percussion is sharp and dominant, whilst the synths fill the soundscape with a relaxed aura, before additional elements including sporadic vocal samples are thrown in to add final touches to an excellent production, reminiscent again of the works of Flying Lotus, with a touch of J Dilla in there too. As different as day and night, but both tracks are certainly worth a listen. My preference? If I had to choose, Sleep Pattern.

Giraffage-Music Sounds Better With You Remix

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Relatively recently, I gave Giraffage’s Needs album a go and enjoyed large parts of it. Here, the talented producer grabs a favourite of mine from my childhood, with Stardust’s only hit single getting a mini-revival with this remix. Little known fact: Thomas Bangalter of Daft Punk was a member of Stardust.

It’s been mostly forgotten by many, but this song is a staple of my summer playlists, and it’s nice to see it get a refresh here. However, Giraffage swaps out the addictive, buzzing melodies for a more sombre approach, with the primary layer being a slightly stuttered series of synth hits that roll through the track smoothly and comfortably, eventually becoming an anchor of a production that throws additional samples and electronic effects on top of it. It’ll be categorised as an easy-listening remake, with sporadic vocal samples left as the sole connection to the original, and hence it stands aside the lively Stardust effort rather than attempt a replacement, hence it’s definitely fit for use as a mellow, summer evening listen. Free stream and download below, so you’ve got no reason to throw it onto those playlists.

SNDCLSH (Lupe Fiasco + DJ Sky Gellatly)-Thieves

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Whilst I’m still not a fan of the vowel-less naming convention, it’s good to get a second release from this side project of Lupe, the first since their debut track last year.

Unlike that release, this one’s an original piece, and interestingly features Lupe delivering Autotuned vocals the whole way through. It sounds like it shouldn’t work, but when you consider this is intended as an electro-pop release rather than a typical Lupe effort, it certainly operates effectively in that role and could be a contender for some club play time this summer. The production is built on interweaving synths that buzz through the soundscape, with support from sharp yet relatively understated percussion and a couple of nice key changes that segregate the verses and hook smoothly. Lupe’s vocals are efficient throughout, opting against packing each section too heavily and instead allowing gaps between each line for the production to breathe, and it’s a smart move that allows you to properly appreciate the slow growth of the beat, resulting in an explosive electro finale. An energetic bit of mainstream-friendly work that might not blow anyone away, but will make for an easy addition to several uptempo playlists.

Flying Lotus-SDS Instrumental

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A short while back, it was mentioned that Mac Miller had enlisted FlyLo to produce his upcoming single. The prospect sounded interesting, and when the audio did drop, there was mentioned of a video following very soon. So, I figured I’d wait for the video before posting. However, when the video did land, it was simultaneously mentioned that the instrumental would be liberated shortly afterward. So, here we are.

It’s a production that you’d probably instantly recognise as a Flying Lotus piece too: from the scratchy, grainy samples through to the unexpected moments of offbeat momentum dips, it’s a production that typically blends electronic, experimental and alternative in together, and packs them into a coherent sound. It’s eventual hip-hop usage is actually a brave move from Mac, as its the sort of production that’s so well-rounded it dominates the soundscape, filling almost all available gaps and leaving little room for vocals. That’s not to disrespect Mac’s work at all, but as with all of FlyLo’s work, it’s a piece that requires no vocal layer for depth or quality; it’s got that in abundance, and this is a production worth several replays, whether that’s this instrumental version or the original.

Crystal Castles-Affection (Video)

The last track I posted from their (III) album late last year is now the first video I’ve managed to give a go, with this arguably being my favourite song of the bunch (I’ve heard so far).

In comparison with their other works, it feels much more relaxed, assured and less frenetic; simply put, it doesn’t require a lot of brainpower to process. The same can probably be said for the video too. The clip is part-show footage, part-roaming around in the wilderness, with the former a nice blend of dark surroundings and bright light pulses, and the latter a more uneasy watch, particularly the unsettling character hanging around in the mask. It’s a good representation of the audio in that sense, capturing elements of its positivity in with the slightly darker, more atmospheric side of the production, whilst the video ties the whole package together with a grainy, CCTV-like filter, much like Alice’s vocals bind the audio’s distinct styles.

If you haven’t already, grab that (III) album now.

A-Trak-Tuna Melt ft. Tommy Trash (Video)

You can always count on A-Trak for some badassery on the electro side of things, and once again he delivers with not only an excellent track, but a very likeable video.

So, let’s deal with the audio first. It’s once that wastes very little time in getting going, with chunky synths lines and thumping percussion paired together and thrown underneath a glitchy vocal sample that heightens the energy of the audio, before the track transitions into a more frenetic, stuttered bridge, and down into a set of sharp, jagged synths. It’s undoubtedly a dynamic production, and given the number of stages the track seems to go through, the sporadic use of the aforementioned vocal sample makes for a nice anchoring element to add some relative structure.

Remember Honda’s now-iconic Cog advert around 10 years ago? Prepare to have those memories come flooding back. A-Trak’s gone for a similar domino-style clip here, and though several artists have done similar videos in the intervening years, it’s been a while since it’s been done with as much colour and ingenuity as this. At the heart of its watchable nature is the fact it takes place throughout a normal house, using a good combination of items you’d probably find lying around and additional colourful pieces, and hence there’s something admirably ‘DIY’ about it. It’s fun for sure, and hence a good accompaniment to the track, which you can grab on iTunes now.

Daft Punk-Get Lucky ft. Pharrell

The fantastic Daft Punk’s return has been teased, trailered, and generally slowly delivered to a patient fanbase (and yes, that includes those who pretend to be “longtime” fans because they heard Discovery once), and after several fakes, their official ‘comeback’ single was released a couple of days ago.

Fans of The Hood Internet’s recent Justin Timberlake remix will be familiar with the primary melody here, with the funky guitar work providing an easygoing and bright centrepiece, accompanied by fairly unobtrusive and consistent percussion for a great summer soundscape. Pharrell laces that top layer with smooth vocals of his own, with his unique tones being a wonderful compliment to that warm production throughout as he cycles through various deliveries and levels of intensity, not least his highly-addictive hook. Daft Punk and Pharrell are a combination that absolutely makes sense on paper, and it definitely produces the goods here.

It’ll spawn a slew of more club-friendly remixes for sure (for better or worse), but this is one to enjoy laying around in the outdoors with a cold drink in your hand. Available on iTunes right now, and look out for Random Access Memories on 21st May.

Basement Jaxx-Back 2 The Wild (Video)

The sheer energy of this track has dominated my listening for the last few days, and it seems the veteran duo want to carry that assault over to your eyes with this vibrant set of visuals.

Remember that rainforest rave (still working out the logistics) I mentioned in the audio review? Imagine that instead of air, the rave was filled with LSD in gas form. That’s this video. It’s wild, there’s no doubt about that, and throughout it’s got all of the flora and fauna expected of a jungle scene, only they’re rather warped, psychedelic and frighteningly hypnotising. That’s not to mention a veritable bevy of fun and truly leftfield costume choices, and even with the total bizarreness overloading your eyeballs, it still manages to work well enough with the audio, such is the passion, fun and freneticism of the track. It seems they’ve tweaked the production slightly for this version too, with the tribal instrumentation brought out slightly more and the synths scaled back, clearly devised to emphasise the ‘natural’ scenery of the video, and it serves its purpose as this is an audiovisual that’s completely ridiculous and yet congruent with the character and positivity the audio oozes. Head over to iTunes for the download.

Gold Panda-Brazil

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Not only did he recently spend time in Brazil, but he tipped me off about this track. What a guy.

After releasing the Trust EP a few months back, he of bear-like appearance is gearing up for the release of his sophomore LP, Half of Where You Live, set to land on 10th June. Unlike his previous electro-heavy works, this is far more rooted in traditional instrumentation, with the first third almost entirely held together with traditional-style percussion and only a light dash of synth. The track progresses with a hypnotising vocal sample and more prominent electronic influences, as distortions and additional samples make their way in, before a brief lull takes place, and finally the track closes with a shrill melody and wind chime-like effects to end with a touch of positivity.

It’s a warm instrumental that weaves near-tribal sounds into a modern electronic piece, and does so without compromising the inherent charisma and familiarity of using traditional instrumentation. Pre-order that album below.

Jai Paul-Jai Paul LP

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When Jai broke out with BTSTU (known by mainstream heads for being sampled by Drake on Dreams Money Can Buy), most expected it to be a launchpad to continued success. He’s been somewhat elusive and reclusive since then, but finally re-emerges to drop off his debut LP, featuring the above track alongside 15 new pieces.

For many, myself included, this will be the first lengthy exposure to his material. Whilst I’m sure many dedicates have pieced together his loose releases, remixes and so on, I’ve not quite been as committed in seeking out his material, and hence this should make for a great piece of diverse and eclectic listening; a quick listen suggests there are influences and sounds across the spectrum, including club electro, R&B, Asian, pop, experimental electronica, and more. Whilst there will inevitably be tracks that are a little too leftfield for some, it seems like it’ll be quite difficult to dislike entirely if you’re of an open mind musically, and you can stream or buy the album below. Do both.

EDIT: Jai Paul has confirmed this was actually an unofficial leak, as his laptop was stolen.

Basement Jaxx-Back 2 The Wild

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If you’re anything like me (you are), you’ve obviously wondered what it might be like to have a massive rave in the middle of the rainforest. Right? Right. Whilst you ponder that concept, allow me to introduce the soundtrack to that party.

A superheavyweight groove that’s still catchy as hell, incorporating roaring lions, tribal horns recorded in Kenya and vocals by two Korean Seoul Sisters, Miss Emma Lee & Baby Chay, ‘Back 2 The Wild’ is a club monster that sounds like the Tom Tom Club headlining a Hackney Wick warehouse.‘. It’s got the hallmarks of some (not all) of Basement Jaxx’s most recognisable material, in that it’s highly chaotic but packed into a continuity that ensures it remains melodic and rhythmic despite that freneticism, and hence it’s pretty much perfect dance-pop-electro. With generous helpings of bass, the aforementioned traditional samples and those worringly infectious vocal bursts, this is a track that’s a surefire hit across clubs this summer, and I’m sure will need just one play to get you hooked. No confirmation on whether this is the precursor to an upcoming album, but you can buy the single below and ruin your neighbours’ lives.

W.H.I.T.E.-I Wasn't Afraid

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White began in 2008 as a summer-away-from-art-school recording project. Utilizing cheap electronics, loop pedals, and torrented music software, he shaped a sound that was more based in textural soundscapes, and hypno-rhythmic drones than traditional melodies and songwriting.

Somewhere between mid-90s chillout, early-00s electro and the feeling you (probably) get when you go cliffdiving in the summer, this is a wonderfully-layered piece of instrumentation that’s going to be a huge favourite on your sunny day playlists. Whilst most summer tracks of the electronic variety opt for minimal, mellow productions, this instead opts to turn the sun’s brightness up to its maximum setting, packing together cool, easygoing percussion and soft vocal contributions in behind powerful, dominating synths that grow in intensity as the verses transition into the hooks. When combined with general structure of the track, it certainly feels like something from 10-15 years ago, and that nostalgic, reminiscent vibe helps you get lost in the warm weather nature of this track. Break this out in a couple of months on a long drive or plane journey and you’ll thank me for it.

Found Festival @ Haggerston Park, Shoreditch – Saturday 15th June

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On Saturday 15th June FOUND christens summer in London with a unique one-day outdoor showcase. Cutting edge electronic sounds come to Shoreditch’s Haggerston Park.

Born as a series of 15 underground club events almost two years ago, FOUND was amongst those pioneering the melting pot of sub genres that came to define the re-birth of house and techno in the capital and London’s love for all things electronic.

 Pushing this ethos forward, Saturday 15th June sees five of the most discerning club brands in the big smoke fuse their distinct musical roots.

Joining forces to curate a cross-section of the finest talent from across the UK, Europe and further afield, these stellar promoters have programmed their own stages with a diverse pool of artists.

Unified by a love of four-to-the-floor and influenced by musical movements forged in the likes of Berlin, Chicago, Detroit, in New York and here on our own doorstep, this selection of acts promises nothing more than a blend of some truly exciting DJs and producers.

Tickets

Flying Lotus-About That Time/A Glitch Is A Glitch

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You know FlyLo is getting proper appreciation when Cartoon Network commission him to put together a piece for the end tag to of their most popular cartoons, Adventure Time.

Quickfire electronic synths, melodies and percussion combine for a lively and wholly energetic track, and one that’s typical of FlyLo in creating emotion out of experimental electro, something very few artists are capable of. Here, it’s a playful warmth that he builds, with the jagged melodies moving in rhythmic yet wild fashion over the relatively gentle yet rapid percussion, with the positive synths helping fill the void between the two. This is vivid, upbeat work packed with a cheeriness that makes for hugely addictive listening, and is certain to stick around my playlists for the foreseeable future.

Zomby-W I T H L O V E

Sounding somewhere between the soundtrack to underwater exploration and a horror movie (or both?), Zomby serves up a treat of a production for those after something dark and mellow.

Holding this one together are intense, moody synths, washed over by lighter synth work and creepy repeated samples, whilst there are short blasts of quietly intimidating percussion to add an extra layer of depth to proceedings. Despite all of that darkness, it’s not actually negative as such, and instead has a rather relaxing nature courtesy of both its repetitive nature, and good mastering ensuring that no particular element ends up piercing your headphones much more than any other.

The clip isn’t so much a music video in the storytelling sense as much as it is a collection of visual effects. Black and white throughout, it’s essentially two rather ghostly dancers moving at super slow speeds under heavy graphical distortion, before returning to normal. Hypnotising for sure, and as an audiovisual, it’ll probably lull you right into a trance. Be warned. Unique and cinematic instrumental for sure though, and worth a go.

Hudson Mohawke-Pleasure

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A month to go before Pleasure Principle Weekender (pleasureprinciple.net) so here’s a special treat: a 320k download of this ‘Pleasure’ remix from 2011, which until now featured on a rare vinyl only release. Of course we’re ALL looking forward to hearing the NEW shit he’s been working on soon – enjoy this in the meantime.

Hud Mo’s Fuse has made a return to my playlists in recent weeks, and he’s now let loose of the Janet Jackson-sampling track that is supposedly a favourite of his during live shows. It’s easy to see why too, as he’s laced Janet’s gentle vocals with a frenetic, intense production that converts her work into a huge dancefloor filler, thanks to a beat that relentlessly attacks your eardrums. The track builds slowly but positively with bright electronic melodies, before booming percussion and bassy synths enter the fray to amp up the production, with the hook culminating in an excellent piece of board work as the more piercing melodies of the verses are contrasted against the deeper elements brought in for the hook. Another great track from G.O.O.D. Music’s recent signee, and let’s hope more is on its way.

Toro Y Moi-Never Matter (Video)

Anything In Return is comfortably my favourite album of 2013 so far (with Foals’ Holy Fire in second), and this track is a great demonstration of why. Whilst it has endured on my regular playlists, it isn’t one I’d have called a primary highlight from the album, and yet it’s still very good.

The audio’s one of the more upbeat, funk-driven tracks on the LP, combining sprightly synths and lively percussion with playful keys, whilst Toro’s vocals are much more pronounced than usual, adding stronger structure to sway this slightly toward the pop direction. It’s an enjoyable listen, and one that’ll get more playtime as summer draws near.

The video’s concept is admirably simple. A VHS camera is set up in a flea market (car boot sale, for us British folk), and passers-by are invited to listen to this track and have a little dance in front of the camera. Nothing flashy, and in fact quite the opposite: the range of people shown are everyday folk from across the spectrum, with no unrealistically good dancers to suggest planting, and hence it makes it all rather more believable and engaging. The use of actual VHS style footage when showing the dancers is a nice technical touch too, adding a retro, geeky element that allows the video to poke a little fun at itself. There’s a somewhat creepy twist at the end which closes things off, and it’s an audiovisual that should really find favour with most. Album available now.

Sidenote: I have a large crush on the lead girl (are you allowed crushes at 25?). If anyone can give her my number or arrange a date, please do so.

Blurred City Lights-Symbiotic Anxiety Attacks (Feels So High Mix) ft. Rose Berlin

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Leaning heavily on the stark and monochromatic, this record feels like it sounds; dark, forbidding melodic and tuneful with a very firm nod towards Pink Floyd (Circles) and Massive Attack (Symbiotic Anxiety Attacks). This record was made during the first 10 days of March 2013 via email and file share – a product of the internet age. It is a true collaboration of souls and minds.

The record references above is the Neon Glow EP, upon which this excellent effort was found, and whilst I can’t comment on the rest of the EP yet, it’s a must-download if this track is anything to go by. The production combines atmospheric synths with crisp, piercing percussion and incredibly gentle vocals; the result is a dark, mellow and quietly intense production that’s got all the hallmarks of a good night-pop or dark chillwave beat. The delicate infusions of a range of additional samples add good depth, from airy effects to spoken word, and this is a production you’ll happily loop over and over. If you’re a fan, be sure to grab that full EP at the above link.

Justin Timberlake-Suit and Tie (Four Tet Remix)

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As far as I’m aware, this is the first remix from a major artist of JT’s comeback single, and for many will be rather more listenable. Truthfully, this is about as mixed as the original for me, but nonetheless it’s nice to have a refresh of the rather tiresome track.

Four Tet’s a great producer, and I’ve championed his work on here several times, but this production feels like one long intro. Whilst that’s just about acceptable for the first minute or so, before the brief lull, the sole introduction of a metronome-esque sound after that pause seems a little light on the ground and doesn’t really offer the pay off or depth you’d expect, both from Four Tet and the natural flow of the track. The track mostly continues in this fashion sadly, throwing in a few samples and percussion layers intermittently and in fairness, at around 3.20 things come to life much more. Whilst it still feels too thin on the ground to really close the track out, at least there’s some sense of progression. Not for me, but I’m sure many will enjoy it.

Azealia Banks-Yung Rapunxel

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When Azealia first broke onto the scene, I had all the time in the world for her. She’s multi-talented, a little eccentric, and at the time seemed generally likeable. However, her increasing focus on making stupid statements and releasing types of music that ‘prove’ how different she is have slowly peeled away at that admiration.

This is the lead effort from her upcoming debut LP, Broke With Expensive Taste, and in keeping with her movements over the last year its a more electro-driven effort rather than the slick rapping style she broke out with. Really, it’s a track where the beat dominates; it’s a pulsating one, with thumping bass, frenetic percussion and lashings of deep synth work, but the mastering seems to have actively thrown her own contributions so far into the background that they’re barely audible, not helped by her tired, uneventful delivery. It’s a superb production, there’s no doubt there, but for someone with the gifts she has she shouldn’t really be at the level where she’s adding unnecessary vocals to a beat that comfortably stands alone. Maybe this is what the pop crowd wants, but it isn’t for the rest of us.

Lana Del Rey-Summertime Sadness (Ryan Hemsworth Remix)

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I remember being in touch with Ryan many moons ago, back when he was an upcoming producer working with rappers in the same bracket (specifically, Shady Blaze at the time), and it was clear he had talent. At some point between now and then, he seems to have really developed a stellar reputation as a go-to producer, and has seemingly been commissioned for an official remix of Lana’s rather likeable single.

Often, completely replacing (or near enough) an original’s production for a remix is risky business, and probably fails more than it succeeds. Not here. Ryan’s swapped in a luscious dub-influenced backdrop, throwing together deep, booming bass with synths of both a quick, dynamic nature and a slower, depth-building style that combine to flesh this beat out superbly. The former in particular seem to fizz through the track, adding energy and unpredictability, whilst the final third demonstrates a worthwhile payoff with a few extra elements thrown into the mix. Good rework from a gifted beatsmith.

Baths-Miasma Sky

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My only previous interaction with anything from Baths was his superb remix of Gold Panda’s incredible track Marriage, and as I’ve been meaning to check out his back catalogue, this new release should give both yourselves and I plenty of reason to do so rather more urgently.

Said to be much more sombre than his previous releases, the overall soundscape here is atmospheric, lively, and with a nice dash of softness. The sample of rainfall combined with pulsing melodies in the intro sets the mood well, providing a good contrast of dark, gloomy sounds with more upbeat elements, whilst the sharp percussion and thudding bass that arrive shortly afterward help to elevate the intensity of the track. The delicate vocal work on top provides a consistent container for the production backdrop’s energy, ensuring it doesn’t spiral out of control and retaining the atmospheric vibe and aura of the track as a whole, and cap off a good all-round electronic effort. The album, Obsidian, arrives on 28th May.

Goldroom-Only You Can Show Me

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It’s slightly warmer, we’ve seen flashes of sun, and that can mean only one thing: the summer isn’t that far away. Allow yourself to amplify that warming realisation with this bright electro effort.

It’s not a new formula or a groundbreaking sound, but this is electronic production done well. Opening with striking percussion of a traditional, island-esque origin, the production is slowly built up with the addition of sprightly keys, lively synths and crucially a vocal sample that’s catchy and consistent; the end package is a beat that’s bathing in brightness and positivity, and is fundamentally an easy listen. Definitely one to lift your spirits, and to add to those summer playlists.