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Yeasayer – Fingers Never Bleed

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “To be yourself in world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”  Pitting our own decisions against others’ can be a very difficult task. For city dwellers there is an additional level of noise combined with our subconscious trying to make these decisions.  Internal voices of conscience mix with thousands of groaning engines.

Indie electronica band Yeasayer conveys this anxious duality on their latest release, Fragrant World. The opening track, Fingers Never Bleed, ponders surviving the metropolitan madness over an ominously club-driven beat.  Though the themes are not all dark and dreary: there is a great contrast of fear with fearlessness in the lyrics.  Singer Chris Keating triumphs over upturned cars, rattling sidewalks and burning bridges, by making a pronouncement of independence.

I know you think you could do this without me

But I know I could do without you.

Many will tell you it’s important to surround yourself with good people, and they’re right.  But even with good people around, there’s a point when it’s important to adhere to your own influences.  Taking professional and personal risks on your own account is imperative sometimes.  And with that said, are fingers that never bleed a good thing? Maybe not; fingers that never bleed are obviously not trying.

Yeasayer – Fingers Never Bleed


Lifelike & Popular Computer – Getting High (Pyramid Remix)

Initial impression: Stunned. As I slipped the headphones over my ears, the sensations were already pouring out of the stereo, and I felt myself slipping, slowly and generously into Pyramid‘s rendition of what was an electro/funk vortex. The original version feels a little like a scene out of Scarface, somewhere between a leisure suit and a pile of cocaine. It’s awesomely energetic and features an undeniable beat-drop-build-up. Lifelike and Popular Computer each craft their own special blends of electronic and club music. Lifelike is rowdy and bouncy, Popular Computer is old school smooth and Pyramid completes the French trifecta with his fourth dimension spatiality.

Meanwhile what is so fascinating about this remix is the genre jumping that takes place. Pyramid deconstructs Getting High and creates this cavernous experience. Where the original was chaotically enticing, Pyramid invites you to slow down and pass the proverbial dream stick. The result is intoxicating and sensual and will likely make you want to get high if you aren’t already. So I encourage you to find the most comfortable chair nearby, crank the volume and sink into this remix.

Lifelike & Popular Computer – Getting High (Pyramid Remix)


Above & Beyond – On My Way To Heaven (Lenno Remix)

Every now and then, and specifically on Mondays, I require a bigger pick me up than a tall blonde from Starbucks and a few packets of Splenda could provide.  So, I get on my mac, open up my dropbox folder of EMPT goodies, and I almost ALWAYS go on the hunt for that quick pick-me-up type of sound.  Normally, I find something vocally soothing that I fall in love with right away and then most of my posts revolve around love somehow.  Not the case today.

This morning I went on a 4:30 a.m. run, and then started banging out work before the delivery trucks were even filling up the corner stands with the daily newspapers.  I can’t explain how great it felt.  Anyway, as I began playing some of these awesome picks of music, I ran head-on into Lenno‘s Remix of Above & Beyond‘s: ‘On My Way To heaven’ and boy what a perfect pick-me-upper it turned out to be.

Steering on a different path than some of his previous remixes, Lenno went straight progressive house on this one, and I’m loving it!

The energy is amazing but not overdone, the vocals are nothing less than perfect in pitch, volume, tone and placement, and the length of the remix [7:26] allows for you to actually leave the experience with some real, and actual energy.  It’s a great way to begin your work day, get that much needed boost after lunch, or even a great tune to play right after work when you’re about to get started at the gym.

Energy-filled, smooth transitions, pleasant sound choices and dub step like elements, and a bottom that interweaves in gaps of time to not speed up your heart so much, yet leaving it wanting some more!

Enjoy the rush on this beautiful Monday my friends.  This one is quite the Blue’s Smasher!

Above & Beyond – On My Way To Heaven (Lenno Remix)


Sebastien Tellier – Cochon Ville (The Magician Remix)

Prosterne toi!

Danse! Rêve!
Come to us, I could be good
Come to usEnjoy the blue
So, be with us and feel the sound
Come to usUp off the ground
So, be with us I could be yours
Come to us, followers’ fool
So, be with us
So, baby, your money is following
An eternal blue
Danse! Rêve!”

Calling all the neo-disco fans out there and those who have yet to experience it, The Magician has remixed Sebastien Tellier’s mesmerizing call to dance. Turn this track all the way up. You’ll want to feel the drum kick and bass line pulse through your body. There isn’t anything quite like a solid dance track on a Saturday to push you into the night. It’s like having a cup of coffee in the afternoon only the jitters aren’t from the caffeine, they’re your body reacting to the sounds bumping through your ears. And what sounds The Magician has given unto us. Tellier’s original already had a vibe that hypnotized you and set you off, but The Magician amps the disco up another notch. He takes the lyric, “Feel the sound” and immerses us within it. The cult-like chants get inside your brain and seep into your blood stream until the final concluding call and eventual fall into the blue. Why not give yourself over to the sounds, you’re already here – take it one step further.

Sebastien Tellier – Cochon Ville (The Magician Remix)


Eric Prydz vs. Pink Floyd – Proper Education (Original Mix)

What deems something a notable classic? And what does it take to become a classic? These are two fascinating ideas that we study every day of our lives, and they happen to be two ideas that I encounter a lot in my studies as well as in my social life. And it doesn’t bother me that our daily comings and goings are so preoccupied with becoming enigmatic, classic figures. I guess I can only speak for myself, but everything I do in terms of daily living and physical appearance, is not necessarily preoccupied with being unique or different, but more becoming a central figure in my own life and perhaps the others around me. Everything I do is thought about carefully, and then sometimes not so carefully, so as not to disturb the balance of what has been created around me. Somewhere within that picture, we all have to attempt to be something, and I think that it’s fair to say that we all try to be our own lives “classic” or historical figure. That’s all we’re truly capable of controlling.

I talk about this on a Sunday morning as the cool breeze enters my window and begs me for blankets, because I think of this Pink Floyd track (the original alone), as a classic. And as I was listening to it yesterday for the first time, calmly and quietly losing all notions of composure, not only because this original mix is heavenly on the ears, but because I was hearing a classic. Whenever I hear tracks that are universally known and loved from an older time, remixed to today’s standards of excellence (and there are high standards, I would say at least), I get emotional but mostly excited at how a new spin on a classic is being created before our very eyes.

It is safe to say that if this track was dropped (by me? Did I tell you guys that I’m working on my DJ skills? More story later) at a party, all proper amounts of sh*t would be lost. They just would. There’s a grandeur essence of epic quality and proportions going on here. Plug in and enjoy the breeze-y Sunday ya’ll.

Pink Floyd vs. Eric Prydz – Proper Education (Original Mix)


U-Tern – You Don’t Know Me

Vaughn Oliver, is an LA based producer who makes up half of the Electronic Music production duo, Oliver, alongside his partner Oliver Goldstein.  On this one however, the latter was left out and Mr. Vaughn took on the alter ego: U-Tern.  ‘You Don’t Know Me’ is quite simply a sonic serving of disco madness using today’s top notch production styles, techniques, and sounds.  In other words, it rocks!

You Don’t Know Me begins like a beautiful, hip, cool, and very young seductress gearing up to kick some ass somewhere in LA’s night scene.  As she gets her car keys and leather gloves on, the bassline and synths completely take over the ride and transfer it over to some non-stop disco dancing featuring some of LA’s most beautiful bodies as they party up like it’s the last night they will be doing so.

The production features minimal vocals which U-Tern manages to place in just the right spaces throughout the record.  As most of you already know, I’m a sucker for strong claps, and although sometimes the claps here are tucked right underneath the synths, at the times which they do overpower the rest of the record, you get transient heaven, which in turn makes your head and shoulders shake, shake, shake away.  The overall groove keeps your tushy in constant dance mode, and what seems to me to be a great “7 chord progression” allows for the rest of your body to desire joining in on the festivities.

Play this before you’re ready to take off on a night in the town and enjoy it at loud volumes at home, in your car, in the club, or even blaring throughout your headphones.

DANCE!

U-Tern – You Don’t Know Me


Kimbra – Come Into My Head

We call people nuts all the time. It’s something about that notion I was talking about the other day, the one about being afraid of our inner mind’s darkness. It’s funny that the mind is only capable of showing what it contains via distinct behavior that we choose (or sometimes not choose) to display. That is what causes society to deem us as “normal” or “weird” or “insane”. The concept of this song is simple: put yourself in someone else’s shoes. And when you do that, go the next step: enter their mind. Try for a moment, to think the way they think. It’s pretty impossible! Even with the people in my life that I love the most, it’s difficult for me to remove myself from my body and mind for a few moments to try and imagine what they are thinking and how they are reacting to life. It’s because there will always be that underlying hidden thing, that one secret that no one ever knows and will never know, that is so crucial to the way a person behaves. Or maybe it’s not crucial at all — it’s existence, however, deserves to be noticed and the only one who will give it attention, is the keeper of that secret.

I love this video. I found it really bizarre and eery at first, especially with Kimbra all up in our faces, but I also realized that she just couldn’t care less. Maybe she is performing, or maybe she’s just trying to show a tiny bit of her personality that the publicists and media don’t want her to really play up. After all, she is stunning with fantastic talent. And those two parts of her personality, and perhaps even mind, are definitely played up in her public display. But what I really love to see, is the woman whose mouth opens so widely, and whose arms flail so wildly that we start to question her sanity. She’s not insane though, she’s just expressing herself. And there’s something to be said about that.

Credit needs to be given, and she’s got my respect.

Kimbra – Come Into My Head


Grimes – Oblivion (DjSliink Remix)

If you don’t know who Claire Boucher is I only have one question for you: where have you been? I have to confess that I wasn’t all hyped on Grimes when she first popped up on the internet. It’s not that I deplored her music, I just was never in a mood to listen to her. She seemed like an acquired taste. But like all acquired tastes, Grimes became a semi girl crush once my tastebuds adapted to her sound. Her aesthetic kept me interested and watching while over the past few months her music has seeped itself into my system and now I’ve fully digested it. I don’t know what it is about it, but whatever she’s doing I’m digging. The whole electo-elf thing works for me and gets me good. Her 2012 release, Visions, is electro-nymph opulence that makes me bust out an odd dance (imagine Florence Welch voguing and there I am).

If you haven’t acquired the Grimes taste yet, I’m here tonight with New Jersey producer DjSliink’s bass heavy remix to “Oblivion”. I recently came across Sliink while perusing the internet for casual remixes. One click led to another and here I am spreading the sounds to you. He slows down the track’s main melody and explodes the syncopation. Boucher’s vocals hover in and out of the Herbie Hancock inspired record scratches as layers of Boucher’s original production build and build into a mellow drop. It’s a smooth dark beat that leaves you coasting for a while when the track ends.

If Grimes isn’t your thing, the remixes that have come from her work are dope. I have this odd sense that people either love her or hate her. It’s always a “Hold on! I have an opinion about Grimes!” Rarely do I meet someone who simply appreciates her work. Her tracks, like this one, are layered with youthful recklessness and an odd sense of consciousness. She’s intelligent, no doubt and hides it behind her production forcing us – the listener – to really listen to what she’s saying. I didn’t realize this until I began listening to the remixes and questioning why the producer decided to keep this verse and remove that one, etc. etc. Before I was merely hearing Grimes, I’m here encouraging y’all to listen. Like her or not, this track’ll get your Friday started off right. Heavy mellow beats that’ll keep you up and gliding into the night.

Cheers.

Grimes – Oblivion (DjSliink Remix)


EMPT Presents Indaba Music Weekly: Foxkit – Could Be Wrong

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012 is a glorious time for fans of warm, reverb-y washes of falsetto and pulsing synth layers. Within this setting, Foxkit (the alias of one Chris Upton) makes music that shines. His electronic productions are at once fun party jams and intimate headphone experiences. We’re excited to follow the creative paths of this young LA artist as his audience and ideas grow.

Chris is currently touring as a member of Mr. Little Jeans, sharing the stage with heavyweights like Fool’s Gold and Mayer Hawthorne. As thoroughly awesome as that gig sounds, we can’t wait for him to get back to producing his compelling solo material.

Foxkit – Could Be Wrong

^^See what I mean? We leave you this week with his remix of the LIGHTS track “Siberia”:

LIGHTS – Siberia (Foxkit Remix)

 

Check out Foxkit on Indaba Music and SoundCloud


Clubfeet Feat. Chela – Heartbreak

I don’t support the Jets, but, like Clubfeet, I support Wonder Years.

Let’s take a trip to “Heartbreak Hotel” where even the winners aren’t getting laid. Clubfeet describe their newest single (part of an upcoming album) as “that fleeting moment of happiness before things begin to slide” and that pretty sums up their entire sound, and this song, very well. Cause Clubfeet make what I can only describe as intertwined, bittersweet electropop for star-crossed lovers. Couple that with the angelic voice of Chela and you get a post-summer anthem that eases us into the fall: another pearl has sprung from the shores of Melbourne.

It’s a shit ton of emotions wrapped into a really tight, melifluos package. It’s a song that is beautifully sad, and would be right at home on a recent list I stumbled upon (that can be summed up by Radiohead). Like “Baba O’Riley” (a prime example), these types of songs have a painfully nostalgic  sound.

Songs with this trait essentially simultaneously embody pessimism and optimism–there’s something totally fulfilling and painful about listening to them. They come from a dark place and touch upon sad subjects. But beneath the angst and pain, springs some feeling of hope. And of course, all the right chords are struck that pluck away at your soul.

It’s not the Melbourne based band’s first foray into this type of sound, but this one is on an even higher pedestal, and just pushes all the right buttons. For the uninitiated, Clubfeet are like a diet Miami Horror, a little more downtempo, a little less disco-infused, but just as painstakingly awesome.

But Chela’s voice, which was also the driving force on Fifteen, truly propels the song. Just as Kimbra (before she sang with that pale dude) was the magical key to one of Miami Horror’s breakthrough tracks, Chela seems to have that exact same touch. Like Kimbra, Chela has just simply got the “it” factor–and in Goldroom and now Clubfeet, was featured on the perfect tracks. I don’t know if her musical/songwriting chops match her vocals, but she sounds like the next star in the making from down under.

While I’ve never been to Melbourne–or anywhere in Australia for that matter–the vibe constantly coming out of there is just unparalleled. Between acts like Cut Copy, Midnight Juggernauts, and ze Horror, it’s an oasis of promised land for G.O.O.D. music.

“I just want your tears to drown out my sorrow, I don’t want to start again tomorrow.”

From heartbreak–and really, any major disappointment–the only way to recover is to keep fighting for what you love. If getting your heart shatters feels anything like this song, then I’m clearly missing out.

Clubfeet feat. Chela – Heartbreak

Equally lush:

Clubfeet – BrightLightsBigCity (Mercury Remix)