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NewVillager – Lighthouse

Keep it up don’t stop, don’t loose your place...

Those lyrics instantly became my new mantra simply because so much in life depends on our ability to keep up a certain momentum. Take New Years resolutions for example, we all get fired up with the prospect of a fresh start and bask in our fantastic goals and expectations. Then January comes and things look good but by the time February settles in that energy and enthusiasm is long gone. Some people learn to break out of the cycle, but most keep doing the same thing year after year and before you know it time’s passed. I think it just comes down to keep those initial feelings close to home which is why I’m adding this song to my morning playlist – we all needs a reminder every so often, why not have it in the form of a song.

The last time we posted about NewVillager was back in ’09 when they released Rich Doors, one of my favorite songs that year. Recently the Brooklyn crew released a new single called Lighthouse and it’s got everything a music lover could ask for. The production somehow manages to be chilled out but totally energetic and inspring at the same time. The lyrics are all about losing the baggage and staying on course. Speaking of which, the weather is beautiful in NYC and I’m going to hit the ground running, enjoy.

NewVillager – Lighthouse

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Luke Rathborne – Dog Years

Remember this name, Luke Rathborne, trust me, it won’t be the last time you hear it. A 22 year old native from Maine, now residing in Brooklyn, Luke brings a sound which heavily resembles the Strokes with a more roots approach. After reading his bio, this guy doesn’t shy away from hardships. At the age of 18, moved to NYC where he couched surfed intermittently and ended up making home in an abandoned theater. I was fortunate to catch him opening for Noah and the Whale at the Troubadour earlier this week as he quickly mesmerized the audience with energetic vocals and crisp guitar licks. I immediately sensed his passion for the music he was playing as he evidently thrives in front of a live audience. The track which stood out from his set the most was Dog Years which puts things in perspective when the hook emerges:

This is the Dog Years, don’t let it go on by.

This is the Dog Years, don’t let it take you down to size.”

The lyrics really put a great outlook on life especially for those who are young at heart. The best moments of your life can happen so quickly within the Dog Years, this track only inspires everyone to make the most of the life you live and never look back. Luke Rathborne will be opening for the Strokes at SXSW, so you know once he’s exposed to the masses in Austin, he will be on everyone’s radar for 2011. Give the rest of his EP a listen as Mr. Rathborne will be a fixture by the end of the year.

– Joel

Luke Rathborne – Dog Years

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Deadmau5 – HR 8938 Cephei

Deadmau5 has been killing it, is killing it and will be killing it for a long time. His record label Mau5trap is home to Skrillex, one of the most technically advanced producers I’ve heard in a long time. His production style is epic, dramatic, sophisticated and flat entertaining. It’s a raining day where I’m at and his latest release HR 8938 Cephei feels like the perfect soundtrack. Unfortuntely, I have to run so can’t talk it up as much as I would like to but hit play and zone out to this epic 10 minute masterpiece, enjoy.

Deadmau5 – HR 8938 Cephei

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Sleigh Bells – Rill Rill (Clique NewTrends Remix)

If you haven’t noticed by now, most things in our lifetimes run in cycles. I’m positive that many of you have since most of our readers are in the fashion, or music, or just art worlds period, and even if you aren’t you have been taught, told, or have come to the realization on your own that trends are cyclical in nearly everything. Bell bottoms come back into fashion much like certain types of sounds or genres are adjusted ever so often into what gets classified as “new” music, but why?

My inclination is that repetition only continues to happen because people are afraid to push the limits to test or find new boundaries.  They are simply afraid to try something new and non-traditional so they practice regurgitation in the name of innovation. These old formulas have a proven track history, so what would be a creative process is downgraded to minor revisions. You now have a product that not only contains familiarity but also bits & pieces of various proven and successful formulas wrapped up and presented as something new. But, every once in blue, someone comes along who decides to test the boundaries, restrictions, and limitations of life, law, textbooks, and every other institution in existence and create something unique. Something that although the world may not be ready for, they are not afraid to showcase…

This is what I find in Sleigh Bells and their sonically rebellious tunes.  I find a group that isn’t afraid to test the sonic restrictions placed upon us by some form of higher authority.  A band that represents revolution in their own form using their own tools to go against the grain and provide an abstract way of expressing and dictating the foundation for a new wave of music, or at least attempting to.  Sleigh Bells represents that for me to the fullest and it wasn’t until a conversation with Hector early this morning that I was able to begin to see that this group and it’s mass appeal are not only well deserved. Whether you understand their sound or not, whether you like it, appreciate it or don’t, you should at least respect the fact that they are not succumbing to the norm.

Fast Forward now to this Club Clique “NewTrends Rill Rill Remix” blasting in my headphones, I find an  extremely enjoyable and incredibly vibrant sounding remix by the Manchester crew of re-mixers, DJ’s, and what appears to be – the absolute musical lawlessness of the Club Clique DJ’s.  I instantaneously get sucked into this crazy energy filled ride and immediately find my body involuntarily moving to the the awesome masterpiece of live sounds and dance-pop flow that the Club Clique mix masters supply us with here.  Filled with shakers that sit well right above ear level, equally airy and strong claps, some super sick ass live guitar and guitar rifts alongside a very well researched, very well formulated, and meticulously executed masterpiece of a remix, I fall in love with the vocals the second they blast off!

Have a heart, have a heart, have a heart
Sixteen six six six and I know the part
You are the river flow
And we can never know
We’re just a weatherman
You make the wind blow…”

Because of the magic that Clique provides on this remix, the same vocals taken from the original piece suddenly seem to take on an entire new life making Lady Krauus seem, to me, like an entirely different entity.  Her vocals sit melodically throughout the entire life span of this remix, showcasing great placement of her vocals by Clique from the amazing job that already stems from the actual original vocals of this song provided by Alexis’s windpipes. They were able to show off her naturally warm and clean vocals by stripping down the original completely and recreating an entirely new vibe and direction for Alexis, which for me provides a higher energy and slightly clearer execution of the emotions within the lyrics themselves, written also by Miller.

So this is it then?
You’re here to win friend
Click click saddle up see you on the moon then
You’re all alone friend?
Pick up the phone then
Rill rill call them up
Tell them about the new trends…”

After a couple of hours of vigorous research on this Brooklyn duo, and listening to the original version of Rill Rill I can unequivocally say that I enjoy this Clique version slightly more than the original. The Clique guys studied a formula, broke it down, and applied it their own way to come out with a winning equation. Their version not only boasts a cleaner and less distorted sound for me, but it also provides some type of natural groove, which the original lacks somewhat, as well as propelling her warm and nicely executed vocals into a space that showcases her unique vocal swag, for me, a little stronger that the original allows.  Having just been introduced myself to Imogen Heap’s masterpiece – Hide and Seek – by a very cool new friend of mine, I can appreciate the build up around Ms. Krauss’s vocals on this remix as quite visionary to say the least, since I honestly feel that listening to the original first would not have made me a total fan of this song.  I get the same vibe from the execution of her “Have a hearts” and “this is it thens” that Imogen Heap refers to as the inspiration for Hide and Seek which she claims is based on dealing with an emotionless former love interest, yet I would have NEVER felt that vibe or feeling on the slightly bland, and at moments, imperceptibly inaudible vocals of the original.

Original aside, this Club Clique remix featuring Alexis Krauss of Sleigh Bells is WINNING in my book off of arrangement and sounds alone and will be featured on several of our future play-lists and events to come!

cp’11

Sleigh Bells – Rill Rill (Clique NewTrends Remix)

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Angus And Julia Stone – Big Jet Plane (Michael Brun Bootleg)

I love remixes, in my book there’s nothing better than the combination of styles and genres to make something new. Take this Michael Brun remix for example, the original is that classic Angus & Julia simple folk perfect for a lazy Sunday morning while the remix is pure late night drinks by the pool goodness. Brun absolutely crushes the production giving us a tasteful yet highly engaging version while staying true to originals brilliant simplicity.

Be my lover, my lady river
Can I take ya, take ya higher…”

Angus sings his love promises with a grace and passion that’s hard to resists. Contrasted by those aggressive drums and synths and you have a winning combination. Alright, much to do on this Monday afternoon but I had to make time to post this gem, enjoy.

Angus And Julia Stone – Big Jet Plane (Michael Brun Bootleg)

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Benjamin Diamond – Little Scare

I remember when Passion Pit released Manners back in ’09, their sound was so interesting and sensational that you couldn’t help but getting lost in that world of feel good. I’m not sure why Benjamin Diamonds latest single Little Scare reminds me of that but within 10 seconds of hearing that synth and bass line interaction and I was drifting off into good thoughts and positive vibes.

All we have is a little scare
We don’t mind, and we don’t care
 
Remember, I thought you died
I hold you now won’t let you cry…”

The song is about a relationship that gets broken up by some tragic event or misunderstanding. Benjamin thinks he lost his sweetheart but they end up being together 7 years strong after the supposed scare. Looking back the two lovers gain perspective of the situation and call it a mere little scare. They say time heals all wounds and it’s easy to look back and fix something after it happens, I mean most people can have perspective after the fact. However, there are times when the consequences of the original event can be so damaging that the effects of what happen linger on forever so I think it’s important to practice perspective on a daily basis and not just as a reactionary method. One way to do that is by listening to beutiful music like this which help eliminate that soup opera tendencies we all seem to have when dealing with life’s challenges. Anyways, my mind runs off when listening to lyrics but this is a great one to put those Monday blues in perspective, enjoy.

Like a new day, Love will bring us back…

Benjamin Diamond – Little Scare

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Benjamin Diamond – Little Scare (Cosmo Vitelli Remix)

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Band Of Horses – The Funeral (Butch Clancy Remix)

I love Dubstep but some of it is so intense that I have to listen in doses, I mean the production style is so technical, compressed and wonderfully robotic that it leaves you yearning for a little human touch. Recently though, the theme with dubstep has been fusion and an eclectic and delightfully interesting array of remixes have been taking over the airways. My latest muse is from Detroit veteran Butch Clancy who takes on Band Of Horses’ The Funeral.

Dubstep is aggressive, energetic, exiting and flat out banging. I wouldn’t use any of those adjectives to describe The Funeral and it’s how Clancy captures that beautiful contrast that makes this song so good. I’d love talk this up a little more but I have a dinner to go to but maybe I’ll revisit it when I get back home, enjoy.

Band Of Horses – The Funeral (Butch Clancy Remix)

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Little Comets – Joanna (AMTRAC Remix)

First and foremost, wanted to give a Casey Kasem-like dedication, to a good friend of mine, Joanna (fittingly) a fellow music junkie, who was just released after an enduring stint in the hospital. We all know music can act as an elixir to any problems one might face in life as I hope this track is a testament to her speedy recovery.

From the UK’s Little Comets, Joanna is a solid original track but when AMTRAC put his touch on the song, he soared it to new heights. This remix feels seasonal and should remind everyone that spring and summer are right around the corner, especially for those are currently putting up with this relentless winter weather. The track has a celebratory feel to it which makes you just want to kick back and simply enjoy what life has to offer.

AMTRAC, from the bluegrass state of Kentucky, has released plenty of remixes which are equally as good, so dig deeper on his songs if you enjoyed this track. Hope the remix puts a smile on your face and gets your groovin on a good note.

Little Comets – Joanna (AMTRAC Remix)

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The Strokes – Machu Picchu et Take For A Fool

After five years apart, The Strokes have returned. The New Yorkers’ careers have been marked by many of the pitfalls that hamstring so many of their ilk- drug problems, rehab, etc. It’s all part of being a rockstar, and somehow one feels that the art would suffer without the lifestyle to inform and inspire it.

Now that three of the five Strokes are married with kids, it wouldn’t be that surprising if their music began to reflect their new-found stability; a safer, edgeless, sound, more at home in Westchester than Downtown Manhattan. Thankfully, with each new leak from their upcoming album, Angles (set for a March 22 release), that possibility seems less and less likely.

Yesterday, The Strokes released two more tracks from Angles. “Machu Picchu” and “Taken For A Fool” are markedly different from the earlier leaks, giving us further insight into the New York group’s new sound.

At first, “Taken For A Fool” almost sounds like Gorillaz cover. The bass line and back beat screams “Feel Good, Inc,” until the chorus washes it all away in a garage-rock wave of distorted power chords and grungy vocals. The contrast between the different sections of the song is wonderful- the shoulder tightening tension of the verses building perfectly into the anguished release of the hook.

“Machu Picchu” has more of a ska feel- the jangly guitars, the driving beat, Julian Casablanca’s narcotic vocals. It’s reminiscent of The Clash, in the best way possible.

Both tracks are up-beat and danceable, but this is rainy day dance music, perfect for long, grey Thursdays when the sky opens up and seems like it won’t ever close. Get off the couch, plug in your speakers, and shake off some of those early spring blues.

The Strokes – Taken For A Fool

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The Strokes – Machu Picchu

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Like Diamonds – In This Together (Exclusive Premiere)

As many of you know, we like to go out of our way to find that new inspiring flavor for our readership. Today however, we didn’t have to go far because the band you are about to hear is part of the EMPT extended family and many of you are actually quite familiar with one its members…

Two months ago we premiered a concept album called Nights in Cuba by our good friend Dub Sonata. During our interview in his Mount Vernon studio Dub played me some rough tracks of his next project – Like Diamonds. They were rough to him but there was nothing undone about lead singer Luka Tacon’s delivery and the bands masterful blend of pretty much every style I’ve ever loved. If EMPT was signing artists, I would have signed them on the spot. I told Dub to keep me in the loop and make sure EMPT got the exclusive when they were ready to release and here we are with an amazing track your friend that’s heard everything has never heard.

In the night as I dream while she sleeps, could it be she’s dreaming in a fantasy that we made on our own where there’s nothing no distractions, we’re just in this together…

In This Together is a smooth late night banger about the blind sided nature of being in love. You ever think about your love interest and get lost in your admiration, indulging in all the details of your romance and basking in the feelings that come with it. If you’ve done that then almost by law you’ve stopped right in your tracks to wonder if that person feels the same way about you…

Is it something that she’s feeling too? Am I making an assumption or are we -
In this together?

No one likes the feeling of uncertainty but in my book that’s part of the excitement and romance of it all. Some people like to interrogate their partner about every single detail and before you know it all the magic is gone, I prefer the Like Diamonds approach which is quite simply – Do you feel that too? I like love through love songs and this song quickly became on of my favorites in that category.

You’ll be hearing a lot more from these guys in the months to come and it’s only a matter of time before the internet catches on. Check them out on Myspace, Twitter… you know the drill. Video after jump, enjoy.

Like Diamonds – In This Together


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