EMPT Presents Indaba Music Weekly: The Snooze – “Chills”

The Snooze

One of the best things that can happen when you’re combing through troves of music to feature on a blog like this is to come across a new and incredibly talented band, especially one whose music is untouched by the hands of the industry. No management, no publicity, no chorus of voices to taint the obviously precocious songwriting/recording ability of the nascent band. This week I came across French upstart The Snooze, whose talent is present, but whose presence isn’t.

For classification purposes, the Snooze can be blanketed under the now meta-genre of indie rock. And like most who fall under the term, their style is anything but beholden to simple categorization. Their sound is fun, it’s slightly off kilter, and most importantly, it’s catchy. From the front-woman’s understated delivery to the rhythm guitar, each element works with and weaves into the others forming a cogent song. Thinking about how to frame them in a musically way, I settled upon this equation:

(Blonde Redhead – Shoegaze) + (Nurses(surf rock idiosyncracy?)) = The Snooze

But of course, the music itself has more to say than I do.


Check out the Snooze on Facebook and listen to more music on Soundcloud


EMPT Presents Indaba Music Weekly: DJsiah – “Lights Are Getting Closer”


Jesiah, AKA DJsiah, is a busy man. Between his professional music pursuits creating music for commercials and major labels, he finds time to indulge himself in the artistic. His sonic creations are always immaculate, with transparent mixes, effective sounds, and a clear production style.

One of his recent efforts, “Lights Are Getting Closer”, is the perfect mix of EDM maximalism and indie melodic ideas. It’s infections melody is reminiscent of Passion Pit’s hit “The Reeling”, and is just as adept at working it’s way into your mind. Framing the melody are seriously dynamic drums, which ground the whole tune with a hard hitting foundation. Try and sit still while you listen, it’s not that easy.

Lights are getting closer

You can checkout more of DJsiah’s work on Indaba Music Soundcloud and on his website..


EMPT Presents: Indaba Music Weekly – KAASI “Where We Started” (feat. Jessica Sophie)

There really is something special about KAASI’s sound. When you get to the root of what makes a great recording shine above a field of hundreds, it’s usually the combination of sonic quality, texture, and an emotional connection you can’t fake. Each of KAASI’s tunes has that deepness that can’t be explained in necessarily tangible terms—his productions have that singular piercing ability.

His most recent tune, “Where We Started”, which features vocals from Jessica Sophie has already garnered upwards of 26 thousand plays since being uploaded on September 1st. Consistent with his “House&B” aesthetic, it’s a phenomenal sounding foray into noise, lush synthesis and a vocal line dripping with melancholic desperation. Turn the lights down low and immerse yourself in this tune.

Where We Started (Ft. Jessica Sophie)


EMPT Presents: Indaba Music Weekly – Akbo “Petrichords”


Channelling the vibe of his fellow frenchmen Daft Punk and the en vogue “big synth” sound of Kavinsky, Akbo shows us why some of the deepest house music is coming out of l’Hexagone.

With a slowly filtered intro and a storm overlay that helps build the tension, Akbo artfully begins to build the song. “Petrichords” is dark with an immediately catchy bass line. A heavily vocoded and obfuscated voice seems to egg you on to “dance”, but the voice is otherworldly. It’s as if there were hands from the grave protruding through the dance floor moving the occupants feet, pushing them to dance slowly, and in perpetuity. When the build comes to a head, Akbo deftly uses harmony to further the overall feeling of the track, using descending major chords that eventually cycle around to a major tonic. But it’s not the major that music 101 classes would try to classify as “happy”, it’s a spiral toward something else.

Akbo – Petrichords


EMPT Presents Indaba Music Weekly: Venkman – Martial Law

What’s with the British and their impeccable track record of forward thinking bands? From the recent emergence of Alt-J and the XX to the older mainstays of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, it makes me wonder if something’s added to the water by Parliament to foster musical creativity. Whatever the cause Venkman, an upstart from the small town of Lichfield in the UK, has found it.

Venkman – Martial Law

Their debut single “Martial Law” is an incredible show of musicianship. A dance tune at its heart, the rhythm isn’t your standard 4 on the floor fare. As the verse melts into the chorus, the rhythm becomes an over the bar line phrase of 6 while the infectiously catchy “oh well” climbs into a mess of guitars and anticipation.

As treat, check out their cover of the Daft Punk/Panda Bear collaboration “Doin’ It Right” below.

Daft Punk – Doin’ It Right (Venkman Cover)

You can check out more of Venkman’s music at their official website.


EMPT Presents Indaba Music Weekly: Dirare – Anything


If there’s one thing about hip-hop, and really modern music in general, it’s that there’s a paradigm shift every few years. In fact, the cycle gets continually shorter with each large scale release. In recent years, the sound has been getting darker. Whether it’s the lo-fi, violent approach of Odd Future; the sophisticated word-smithery of Kendrick Lamar; or the dreamy, drugged out gangsterism of Juicy J; the constants are new textures and hard hitting beats.

Enter British upstart Dirare. There’s scant information about the producer/singer-songwriter from West London, but what’s apparent is the quality and concept of his music. “Anything” is anything but your run-of-the-mill hip-hop beat. Wrapping unexpected samples around the hip-hop standard 808s, Dirare creates something wholly current. Everything, from the chopped samples to the catchy, pitched-up vocal hook, will have you wanting to listen to the track on repeat.

Dirare – Anything

Check out Dirare on Indaba and Soundcloud.


EMPT Presents: Indaba Music Weekly – KAASI “Showtime”


Oh, the British producer. Something about the electronic music coming out of the English scene always hits a chord with me. Maybe my preference is for the ear for textures that the British folk have assimilated into their common lexicon of sounds, maybe it’s the preference for darker overall sonic image as compared to the pounding and abrasive house music across the pond, or maybe it’s the preference for R&B sampling. Whatever the reason, it’s clear there is a sound and a vibe coming from the other side of the Atlantic the feels like a cohesive scene.

This week we wanted to feature KAASI a young producer from London. His track “Showtime” is deep, thoughtful house music with an R&B twist. The main chordal pattern swirls within a subdued synth patch while carrying the main hook melody of the tune in its upper voice. The R&B vocal samples move in and out, occasionally expanded on by well placed delays and reverbs that blend famously with the white noise elements of the mix. The whole effect is something otherworldly.

KAASI – Showtime

Checkout KAASI’s other work on Soundcloud and Indaba Music.


EMPT Presents Indaba Music Weekly: Kalai – Flare

For some reason, it seems typical to me that software engineers would be avid creators of electronic. Something about the evolution of signal flow from oscillator to amplifier makes that sensical. But, what’s moor impressive to me is an engineer who’s influenced by the analog subtleties that have made Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories the go to electronic music tome of the summer.

Irish producer and software engineer Kalai has those influences in spades. His track “Flare” is a perfect amalgamation of the electronic and the analog. It, like Daft Punk’s most recent work, brings you back to a time where Disco was on the wane and House was on the rise. With strings, synths, and even an early hip-hop inspired bongo sample, “Flare” pushes an atmosphere of other timeliness.

Kalai – Flare

Check out Kalai’s other work on Indaba Music and Soundcloud


EMPT Presents Indaba Music Weekly: 3rrΘR – Signs


3rrΘR’s self describes his music as “progressive house”, and yet his tunes don’t follow the traditional trajectories as his contemporaries in the scene. Sure, there are the occasional white noise risers and trance influenced synths, but his sound slips you into a more brooding, darker mood than a Tiësto track. Raised in Dubai, but living in India, 3rrΘR’s music breathes a certain maturity that many producers never reach.

“Signs” immediately sucks your ear into the track. As the reverb surrounding the initial pops and clicks dissolves, the deep baseline sneaks in, building tension until finally the four on the floor drops. From there, it’s a sonic journey. Synths evolve, different oscillations present themselves, and perhaps most importantly it will have you bobbing up and down in your chair or on the dance floor.

3rrΘR – Signs

Check out 3rrΘR’s other work on Indaba Music and Soundcloud.


EMPT Presents: Indaba Music Weekly – AmYx “Sexy Time!”


It’s not everyday you come across a track that’s so vibrant, so full of the kind of originality that only comes from mature audio theft, that you can’t help but be taken aback. Listening to AmYx’s whimsically titled “Sexy Time!” is an aural trip. With the emergence of trap, there’s been an obvious injection of hip-hop into dance tracks, and generally they follow the tried and true, Baauer tested tradition of repackaged Lex Luger (dare I say, Lil’ John) beats. AmYx injects hip-hop into his track, but that’s where the comparison with trap music begins and ends. “Sexy Time!” is an ever evolving, expertly crafted piece with shuffled future-garage drums, flipped samples, and understated synths.

Sexy Time!

Check out AmYx’s other work on his Soundcloud page.