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Music Remixes

Daft Punk x MNDR — Motherboard (Kings & Others Remix)

Happy Friday. You’ve made it through another week, and if your’s was anything like mine, you, my friends, are in desperate need of libations. It might not yet be 7:30 AM here in New York, but I decided not to keep it chill this morning as I went about my daily ritual of coffee, shower, breakfast. I wholeheartedly believe that what you listen to in the morning as you get ready forecasts the hours before you. Press play on this puppy, and I’m pretty sure your day will go from a joyous moment realizing it’s Friday to a permanent elation.

I stumbled across this track randomly crawling through the Internet a couple of weeks back. This summer has been about a couple things; one of which is Daft Punk. Their Random Access Memories LP is a solid fall back when I’ve had it playing iPod roulette. And MNDR’s “Feed Me Diamonds” has basically become a semi-precious anthem of mine. Layer the two together, and well, we’ve got ourselves one hell of a track. There’s nothing dramatic about this song at all. It’s honest electronic dance music that comes without the headache. MNDR’s raspy vocals hover over the spinning production as the strings swell beneath her. It’s one of those track’s you can listen to from day-to-night — it easily picks you up, and can easily trip you up. I respect a track that’s as ambiguous as it is grounded. I hope you do, too, because it’s the weekend; welcome it with open, diamond filled arms.

Daft Punk x MNDR — Motherboard (Kings & Others Remix)

Categories
Music Remixes

London Grammar – Strong (High Contrast Remix)

There comes a time every Sunday where everything seems to click. Perhaps your second cup of coffee does the trick, or it’s the quiet realization a new week is beginning, it’s Sunday, and you’ve a few hours before you that are completely your’s for the taking. It’s that time where you feel inspired, centered, and honestly believe you can become anything. The anxiety over Monday’s looming shadow is far, far away. That Cure song got it wrong. They should have really said “It’s Sunday and I’m in love.”

What you do with this moment when it hits, I believe, forecasts your week ahead. Do you latch on to it and soak up every bit of information and subtle personal epiphany you can? Or do you sit back, turn on Netflix, and let the hours pass? I’d hope the latter. The moment just struck me, and I’m feeling like an extroverted introspective. It’s that feeling of connection with whatever it is around you. Your thoughts line up, they make sense, and wallowing in whatever guilt or previous night rendezvous seems completely ridiculous. You turn to images, quotes, literature, and music to help enhance and further seal the newfound connections.

This morning, I turned to one of my recent favorite track “Strong” remixed by High Contrast. London Grammar has been a joy to listen to over the past couple weeks. This might sound silly, but I appreciate they don’t lose their accents in song. It adds a sense of validity to their sound. Aside from that, this track is poppy enough to get you excited, and mellow enough to get your thoughts churning. It makes you want to embrace the day — that go out and actually do something kind of feeling. It’s one of those songs you can dance to and have feelings during.

I’ve heard about sound remedies before, but not until this track did I believe in them. If it’s possible for a song to reinvigorate your whole outlook on life, this is one of them. Your soundtrack is all set, go out and do something.

London Grammar – Strong (High Contrast Remix)

Categories
Covers Music

Ellie Goulding — Tessellate (Alt-J Cover)

The dog days of summer are here, and New York City is literally a melting pot drenched in sweat, watery air conditioning units, and the chances of having a good hair day are slim to none. It’s not even 9 AM as I sit in my little house 34 stories up sipping the life out of my morning cup of coffee, and the haze has already begun to accumulate around the buildings I share the sky with. “Happy Monday,” I imagine the weather saying, “I’m going to try my best to make you as sluggish as possible — pack an extra shirt before you leave for work.” Cue to me pouring myself another cup of joe, and turning this track up.

When it comes to actually taking the time to evaluate every decision you’ve yet to make in the 24 hours ahead of you, or the ones you have made in the hours that have passed, I tend to lean heavily on the mind-over-matter method of thinking. If you imagine something (albeit worldly plausible), it can come into fruition — or at least seem like it. If a song like Goulding’s richly raw cover of Alt-J’s “Tessellate” awakens some kind of belief in you, then I say go for it — it certainly helps me.

A couple weeks back, while I was home for a weekend escaping the city, I decided to revisit Ellie’s soundcloud page. I hadn’t been in a while (which felt like a sin being such a massive fan of her’s). I, of course, played her newest single “Burn” over and over again, and when I finally decided to move down the selections, I came across this gem. Only Ellie could take a track that’s been stripped down, and strip it down some more. Her delivery is spot on: sexy, sultry, and there’s a veil of knowing innocence in the lightness of her voice. I love what she does with the electronic productions on her albums; she’s one of the few artists who use auto-tune and synths as instruments over enhancers (if you doubt that I urge you to watch any live performance she’s done, you’ll hear why). But it’s tracks like this that add a little brava to her oeuvre. Ellie can do sexy, and this is her calling card. That sax? I mean, please. It’s on point, and it deserves every bit of your sweltering Monday blues. Get lost in it, and return a little more chilled out than you were before you pressed play.

Here’s to a new week.

Ellie Goulding — Tessellate (Alt-J Cover)

 

Categories
Music

Empire of The Sun – I’ll Be Around

I think I’ve finally realized why New York City is called The City That Never Sleeps. We’re always searching for the next big thing, the next break, the next trend; one foot in the door, and even when we’re out to dinner with friends, we’re constantly watching out the window because something in you believes that something more exciting might pass by and can’t possibly miss it. Living in New York City is like living in Twitter — even instant coffee isn’t instant enough. Those of us who went to school here have hardly had a break in over four years: college, internships, part-time jobs, find an apartment, more college,  land a full-time job before graduation, graduate, and then what? Continue moving forward with that job because it’s all you know how to do, move. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love this city and can’t imagine living anywhere else, but if you’re not careful, you’ll lose your head. The word “break” stresses you out more than a deadline because deep down you know you’re going to have to deal with yourself for once and not some silly 9-5 business and manic boss. You learn to think for yourself here, but you don’t really know how to confront yourself. It’s a paradox, really, and one that I’ve chosen to avoid.

This is only a recent decision, though. You know when you sense that something’s going a little haywire, but you’re too busy to address it? The smart person slows down, the New Yorker masks it with more things to do — “bettering” themselves when really, we’re running on a track destined to crash into ourselves in due time. So, I left — for a weekend. Returned home, and getting my head back on. I hesitate to use the word “roots” because of it’s cliche and wannabe romantic sound, but it’s kind of like that. One thing that this track does is bring together the vibes of my musical roots and mixes it with the future and the now. I’m not particularly keen on Empire of The Sun, but when I like a track of their’s, I tend to love it. “I’ll Be Around” is a mellow, summer jam without the haze. There isn’t a sense of laziness to it; the beat is light and floats through time and space, gets under your skin and invigorates your drive. It grounds you but keeps your head in the clouds — which is, the best place I think one can ever be, especially in a town like New York.

Empire Of The Sun – I’ll Be Around

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Music

Disclosure – Help Me Lose My Mind (feat. London Grammar)

What an insane, roller coaster of a month I’ve had. Between moving apartments, beginning a new job, and adding a diploma to my slew of things to get framed, I found time to sit, recollect myself, and beging again.

I’ve learned that anthropologists have made a term for the twenty-somethings of the 21st century. The real word escapes me, but it’s something along the lines of “in-between-ers.” All those twee articles of 90s nostalgia, and lists of what to do with yourself in your twenties aren’t just for entertainment purposes; they’re genuine reflections of this weird phase of discovery. And I’m now realizing how real they are. It’s nothing to shy away from, though. Everything these days feels like it’s in-between. There aren’t strictly Thai restaurants or French restaurants — it’s French-Thai fusion. A gym isn’t just a gym, it’s a sauna, yoga studio, juice bar, and apparel shop. And thanks to the internet, music has become a blissful melody of genres that make the 2010’s (in my humble opinion) incredibly influential.

Disclosure is leading the EDM pack. They’re version of EDM isn’t headache inducing; rather, the only side-effect of their sound is an uncontrollable urge to dance. After teasing us with singles sprinkled here and there, their debut Settle is here. “Help Me Lose My Mind” is one of the shining gems of the album. Disclosure’s lush, ethereal dance beat skims under London Grammar’s HAIM like vocals. It’s disco, it’s electronic, it’s soul, and it’s pop. The soundscape is hypnotic, it spins you around without dizzying you up. To be honest, I’m going to turn this track up while I walk through my new neighborhood this afternoon — it has this endless afternoon type of feel to it that’s lends itself to a “anything can happen” kind of mentality. What more could you ask for on a Sunday afternoon?

Disclosure – Help Me Lose My Mind (feat. London Grammar)

Categories
Music Remixes

Ciara – Goodies (BORGEOUS Remix)

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A whirlwind of a week is ending with a whirlwind of a weekend. My 9-5 has me covering the New York City leg of Electric Daisy Carnival and last night’s stages were fire, and tonight’s lineup is even more impressive. Calvin Harris, Thomas Gold, and Afrojack are capping off the festival and I feel so honored that it’s apart of my job to experience this.

Today’s track is a lil’ bit out of the EMPT norm, but it’s so appropriate for this weekend. Think what you want about EDM, but it’s not going anywhere. The electronic festivals are filled with some crazies, but the DJ’s get it. They know a good drop goes down best with lights and pyrotechnics  I talk a lot about soundscapes and the worlds music takes you to, and the DJ’s at these kinds of events make those dreams realities. Walking through the Day-Glo masses and neon rides, you know you’re in New York City but you’re not at the same time. You’ve left the city behind for a day and entered a musical Oz that’s just as colorful with just as many oddities only there’s no yellow brick road. The spirit of the space is alive. It’s throbbing, and it doesn’t discriminate. Bros mix with uptown girls; Texans dance alongside kids from Vermont; democrats and republicans cheers their glowing drinks. Okay, so maybe the latter is hopeful thinking but you get what I’m going for.

Anyway, Ciara. Yes, Ciara. She’s been gone for a minute, but she’s coming back (fingers crossed — I’m a major CC fan). Way back in 2004, C dropped “Goodies” and brought her raspy soprano and killer dance moves to the music scene then suddenly disappeared. “Ride” and “Like A Boy” were fantastic, but never received the praise they deserved. “Goodies,” is her gem, though and BORGEOUS straight kills it with this remix. Turn this mix WAY up. The bass will floor you, and the whistle will get into your body and have you doing moves you never thought you had. This is a jam. It’s a filthy sexed-up Diplo-esque beat that will leave you fiending for more when it’s over.

It’s Sunday after all, and you probably have things to do, but let go today. Tomorrow you’ll be productive, but today you’re going to live. Press play and thank us later.

Ciara – Goodies (BORGEOUS Remix)

Categories
Music

MGMT – Alien Days

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The rain today is a blessing. It’s a welcome dreary day that makes staying inside and getting everything on your to-do list done seem like a good use of your hours. It’s been blissfully spring here in New York, but I’ve been stuck behind my desk fashioning together models of a performance space I’ve been working on for my final exhibition this week staring out at the people in chilling on the steps of Union Square, eating Mister Softee, sipping iced coffee, and generally enjoying the city. I’ve never been more envious of Union Square than I have been this week. No matter, though. Once this week is over I will be done with one of biggest and most influential chapters of my life, and beginning my next one in the coming weeks. I’ve landed a full time job and it’s scary. My roommate and I are packing up our East Village apartment of two years and making the trek to the quieter tip of Manhattan  and setting up home in the Financial District. Things that I’ve imagined and dreamed are actually happening and it feels odd; it feels great; it makes me nauseous  it feels — for lack of a better word — alien.

Today, find infinite ways it could be plenty worse.
It’s a blessing but it’s also a curse.”

MGMT’s first single from their third LP slated for a June release (hopefully maybe) is exactly what you’d expect from the duo. It’s a psychedelic mellow soundscape with a lyrical story Lewis Carroll would be proud of. The sounds swirl through space and for five minutes, time ceases to exist. It’s just you and the music. MGMT’s created yet another alien territory that I wouldn’t mind being beamed up into more often. Lyrically, “Alien Days” sounds like the duo is reflecting on their first single, “Time To Pretend.” They’re talking about the crazy days, the hazy and foreign hours that have ultimately shaped them into the band we know today. They’ve made it past the sophomore slump and are just doing themselves.

Those days taught me everything I know;
how to catch a feeling,
and when to let it go.”

MGMT – Alien Days

Categories
Music

Mayer Hawthorne – Designer Drug

Mayer+Hawthorne

Last night I tried a little Adderall.
It was working for a while
until I thought about your smile.
I got that fire Cali medical,
but it never gets me high.
Baby only you know why,
‘Cause darling
You, you are
my designer drug,
and only you
aan help me,
and I can’t get enough.”

The first time I heard Hawthorne spit out the first lyrics to this track in his effortless falsetto, I clapped my hands and yelled, “Yes!” The frankness of this whole track is infectious. Everything from the funky soul beat to the running bass line, and of course Hawthorne’s tongue and cheek story. There’s some seriously good vibes pulsing through this track. It’s like the music is getting lifted by its own sound, and we’re just getting contact high. Tracks with as much groove as this often rely on nostalgia for that extra oomph, but Hawthorne uses his inspiration wisely. He doesn’t appropriate or rip-off his musings, he takes their precedent and makes something completely his own. He’s a creator in the truest sense.

I read an article yesterday about that very idea and it’s presence in pop music today. The article focused on Beyoncé, a polarizing artist if there ever was any, and how she’s more of a canvas than creator. It made some solid points and references the blatant inspiration rip-off’s she’s done for videos like “Countdown,” “Single Ladies,” and “Get Me Bodied.” Now, don’t get me wrong here. I’m apart of the Beyhive, my friends and I sat at our computers each morning of the Mrs. Carter World Tour presale tickets (only to find they sold out in seconds each time), and I’m living for her latest track snippets. Artistry and entertainment are two different fields, though, and Bey falls into the latter. Which is fine. It’s great, in fact. We need personalities and performers like her to showcase brilliant choreography and imagery that would have otherwise gone unknown in the underground. That’s what pop is for. We also need to consider musicians like Mayer Hawthorne, too. They’re work is the original stuff that will undoubtedly provide the ballast for future pop.  You just so happen to be in the know and can point out his influence when you hear something on the radio in the months ahead. You’re here because you’re a creator in your own right and believe in taking what’s been done and spinning it all your own. You get high off of making things, learning, and listening. The mainstream isn’t a bad thing, to be appropriated isn’t a bad thing. It’s an honor, in my opinion.

Anyway, I could go on but this track sums up what I’m trying to say. The lyrics might not, but the sounds and vibrations it’ll send through your body do. That’s the sign of true music artistry, really.

Mayer Hawthorne – Designer Drug

Categories
Music Remixes

Lana Del Rey – Young and Beautiful (Kulkid Remix)

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I used to believe that I understood Lana Del Rey, but I was sadly mistaken. That is until her contribution to the steller Great Gatsby soundtrack, “Young and Beautiful,” premiered a little over a week ago. The full OST and movie for the matter haven’t even been released yet and I’m already obsessed. I blame much of who I am today on Baz Luhrmann. Romeo + Juliet blew me away and Moulin Rouge! was the first movie to ever make me cry (I’m not ashamed to say I’ve got a soft spot for doomed love set to an ostentatious plot and musical score). The latter continues to inspire me today, and I’ve a strong feeling his vision for Gatsby will do the same. Anyway! I digress. Back to the music.

Like I said, I thought I was on board the Lana train, but I wasn’t. After I heard this track, I just nodded my head and said, “I get it now.” This is her auto-biography. This is her message, look, and ethos all packed into one of the grandest musical moments of the 2010’s. I was hesitant when a friend sent me this remix because of how powerful the original is, but Kulkid has done it — he’s managed to make a grand macabre ballad into a grand macabre dance track that makes it okay to feel something on the dance floor.

It’s a simple synth melody and drum beat, really, but it’s enough to transport you to space. Lana embodies the story this track tells. The fear that we’re only attractive and wanted when we’re in our youth is as strong as the fear that your lover may wake up tomorrow and suddenly, for whatever reason, be out of love with you. Themes of west coast opulence and rock n’ roll grunge melt together in a way that really only Lana can do, and none of that is lost in Kulkid’s vision. He’s kept the remix minimal so that we focus on the words of the track. It’s a bold move, in my opinion, but it works.

Lana Del Rey – Young and Beautiful (Kulkid Remix)

Categories
Music

PLOY – VRDSNT

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New York City has been on a roller coaster of spring weather over the past two weeks or so, and today it finally feels like spring. I know the season’s changing when I can cuff my skinny jeans and throw on a white t and not worry about anything else. The streets are buzzing with weekenders doing weekend things, some are clearly hungover, some are too full from brunch, and others are just trying to get from A to B without pushing people out of their way and yelling at strangers. I’m usually the latter when it comes to commuting, but today I took the long way from my apartment to my studio and eased my way to my desk. I blame the sudden sense of carelessness on this track from DC duo PLOY.

There are some songs that scream summer, and this isn’t one of them. It’s a spring track. It’s got lighthearted feet, but a deep soul. The synths bounce up and down with the bass and the vocals are funk infused — and interestingly sexy. PLOY takes you to some sea-punk cosmos that’s giving off some cali-cool vibes with a brooklyn edge. “VRDSNT” will make you feel good. The cheeky confidence of the track is infectious. It’s pure electro-pop that’s as refreshing as champagne with brunch, and goes down just as smooth.

Sunday funday, meet your musical lover.

PLOY – VRDSNT