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Romare – Down The Line (It Takes a Number)

down the line

There’s no denying the gravitational sway of this track. Irresistible in every sense of the word, this throbbing bass line will arrest you. As I always say, there’s nothing like a voluptuous beat paired with some primal grunting to get you in the mood for … well, the weekend.

This track oozes a certain savoir faire reminiscent of the spirit of *jazz.* Romare is a brilliant British beat-maker whose work (see album: Mediations on Afrocentrism) emulates a sort of rare feeling of release, echoic of the true nature of jazz as a historically experimental art form. He samples unique excerpts from speeches, interviews, and film recordings— all in all, it’s a melange of sultry brilliance that screams liberation.

Many thanks to Bonobo for including Romare on his Late Night Tales album. This is pure innovation equipped with a magnitude of resonance that may render you in a state of perpetual (subconsious?) gyration for the rest of your day. Dig.

Romare – Down The Line (It Takes a Number)

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Jamie XX – Sleep Sound

Ca fait depuis septembre que j’ai déménagé à la ville de Mexico DF. Depuis Juin 2012 on est au quatrième déménagement.

Ca fait quatre pays, quatre villes et deux continents en deux ans. C’est quoi ce bordel ? Et après on dit qu’on devrait jamais oublier ces racines.

Ce n’est pas donne, c’est sure. Nonobstant, s’il existe un moyen dont je retrouve mon enfance, de recréer mon début: la douceur du sommeil.

Quand je dors, je pense à rien et je pense à tout.
Je mange sans le besoin de chier.
Je baise des femmes fatales sans visage.
J’écoute de la musique de cosmonaute et je me balance dans les étoiles.

Certes, je ne sais plus d’où je proviens. Certes, je n’arrive pas à préciser mes racines. Mais au contraire à ce qu’on pense, ceci ne me limite guerre ; j’ai la liberté de rêver avec les yeux ouverts.

Jamie XX – Sleep Sound

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Möwe – Call You Home (Kelvin Jones Bootleg)

Home (həʊm/noun) - a place where something flourishes.

This is a dedicated to the lovers. To the grinders. To those of you writhing to the beat of this tune as you shuffle through the tracks here. Whether it is the pounding base that starts the song off, giving your body the tempo to work off of or just your general mid-week slump you are pulling through.

What makes a song special? A song that you listen to and immediately you feel connected. Like a welcomed “Killing Me Softly” feeling that you actually crave as you feel what they feel. Their words are your words. Your empathy takes hold and you start to mutter the words under the vocals until about one minute in when you just get in to it. I had that moment as I was listening to this song in a coffee shop. Mind you the seats around are filled with suits and power skirts and large rain jackets draped over the back of the wooden set-ups. But sometimes you cannot help but let it out. Which is what Kelvin Jones did beautifully.

This remix of Kelvin Jone‘s original has given this song legs, and these legs are moving. After listening to his acoustic original, and then this remix, you will find a home in his words. Each verse drenched in emotion and sung as it were a plea to a lover. A shot in the dark. A search for his light.

Möwe produced this very delicious remix for us to enjoy. Cheers, lovers.

You got those eyes (that) stare into my soul
You get that smile when I’m giving you my all
You’re the brighter side of things
You’re the lighter side of life
And all the joy that you bring
Is why I need you in my life

(But) Can I call you home
You’ll be mine and I’ll be yours
I just wanna let you know
In my mind I call you home”

Möwe – Call You Home (Kelvin Jones Bootleg)

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Metal Mother – Mind_Off

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According to Metal Mother’s Facebook page, band interests include “Transdimentional pursuits, psychic collaboration, risky business, nature, machines, mutant lyfe.”

Her (Oakland-based Taara Tati) video for “Mind_Off” will help you picture exactly what those interests entail. Disintegrating baby sumo wrestlers? Check. A cracked out Jell-O feast? Also in there.The track is off Metal Mother’s debut album, IONIKA, which sounds like Grimes at Burning Man. Tati’s high-pitched voice, commanding yet friendly, preaches alien sermons over a variety of convoluted, beat driven instrumental tracks.

Metal Mother is part of the “Post Primal Collective,” a bay area group of artists who seem intent on exploring every fucked up and awesome corner of the human consciousness. Their output doesn’t seem aimed at making it big at all, and rather at collaborating and performing for arts sake. I can only imagine what one of their parties would be like.

As a generation of jobless intellectuals and artists collide with the reality of urban rent, I expect many such experimental collectives to gain prominence in the coming years. Thank god. Often, these groups produce the most cutting edge work and truly drive cultural narritaves without meaning to. They are wellsprings of inspiration, affecting every person who stumbles across their work. Whether you like Japanese wood block-style S&M portraits or not, they’re likely to stick in your brain for a while.

I feel the same way about “Mind_Off.” Nothing groundbreaking here, but rather an extension on a theme, a successor to Fever Ray in some ways. This song finds its way to the back of your brain, and flickers to life as the lights dim, its haunting drums leading you into a darker dream than you may have expected.

Metal Mother – Mind_Off

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Vindata – All I Really Need (Feat. Kenzie May) (Regulated Edition)

Want vs need.

Those words often find themselves in the same conversation yet couldn’t be further apart. In the social and economic order of consumerism the lines between the two are purposely blurred to subjectively encourage us to buy more, more often. But have you ever wondered how much of what you want is the result of purposeful targeting? Amazon is said to have extremely accurate algorithms that can predict what you want and when you’re going to want it. So how much of our desires are truly ours anymore?

Now more than ever it’s important to step away from things every now and then. Step away from the tech, from the friends, from the lovers and take time to hone in on who you are, what makes you unique and what you truly need to cultivate that person. I’ve been lucky enough in my life to experience life from all the perspectives. From being a kid in a third world country to performing for the President, hopping the 1 train to hopping on private planes. It’s a vantage point I’m very grateful for and when I reflect on all that I can tell you that no fabricated desire, no material thing can make you happy. Doing what you love living true to yourself is where the fulfillment lies. If you like those things get them the right way, by doing what you love, otherwise you’ll get them and still find yourself searching. Life is beautiful and life is simple. The things that make us happy have little to do with the things we’re told will make us happy. The Regulators caught that vibe perfectly with this remix. The zone where you can’t be bothered with the matrix, their attempts at endless selling are useless because everything you need you’ve found within. All I really need is some bass, my drum machines and a bag to go, enjoy…

Vindata – All I Really Need (Feat. Kenzie May) (Regulated Edition)

 

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Serge Gainsbourg — Melody

To this question, when we were young, my friends used to answer always the same way: “Pussy”. I instead used to answer: “The smell of old people’s houses”. The question was: “What do you really like in life?”. I was destined to sensibility. I was destined to become a writer. La Grande Bellezza

There are two kinds of people in this world: Creators (gods) and consumers (zombies).

For over a decade now, Hector and I have been responsible for more trends that you follow in music, fashion, art, slang, and even what you drink than you could ever imagine. From record deals to brand activations to being the puppeteers behind the scenes for several notable artists, we have strategically dictated what the next big things are going to be, and continue to do so, not just through here, on this elegant platform that you all love, but in the zombie world too. Most importantly, we don’t do it from below 14th street or Brooklyn, we’ve done it from that Uptown, fly-shit lifestyle that we’ve lived first hand, point-of-view, and although this city, and yours have been our playground, we have lived our lives as if all this world happens to be is an elongated dream that we happen to wake in-and-out of from time to time.

Just a week ago, a few of my fellow colleagues in the music industry gave light to the fact that I am considered part of the personification of Hip Hop for my role in it over the span of my career. That doesn’t come without my shortcomings, of which, I might add, I don’t necessarily perceive them as such, but they are there, and although to some of you they may seem like awful sins, I must say that I don’t mind sharing them with two of the greatest gods of all time: Hemingway and Serge Gainsbourg. Oh, and if you care to know what they are, I’m not ashamed. I happen to have what the zombies consider a voracious appetite for women and booze, the latter of which I can normally do without these days.

Any man claimin’ his game’s tighter is a goddamn liar”

Melody is from Serge Ganisbourg‘s “most influential and accomplished” album. Melody, is a Lolita-esque pseudo-autobiographical story that involves the middle-aged Gainsbourg unintentionally colliding his Rolls Royce Silver Ghost into teenage nymphet Melody Nelson‘s bicycle, and the subsequent seduction and romance that ensues.[1]

Mr. Gainsbourg, considered the dirty old man of popular music, vilified himself with this song, but its sonic greatness could not be ignored. The musical masterpiece composed by Jean-Claude Vannier, in collaboration with Serge, mixed its orchestrated string arrangements in accord with the silky spoken word vocals Serge provided. The funky style and bass guitars used gave it life, as they accentuate every intense thought of his effervescent story. It’s a psychedelic audio seduction about just another one of his many brief affairs meant to provoke modern culture, and effective in its notoriety.

What’s your name?”
“Melody”
“Melody what?”
“Melody Nelson”

Serge Gainsbourg — Melody 

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Kleerup Ft. Titiyo – Longing For Lullabies (John Dahlback Remix)

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The 29th annual Winter Music Conference started on Friday in Miami. Often overshadowed by the affiliated Ultra Music Festival, the conference is a deep dive into the world of electronic music, featuring the usual spread of panels, demos, and expos. And lots of clubbing.

Since the conference’s launch, electronic music has exploded from the underground and become a commercial force. The entry cost has dropped to the point that anyone can make a beat and post it online. This has, in some ways, cheapened the electronic experience, which once connected a true international indie community. The outsider quality is still present in certain cities and venues, but you wouldn’t know it in the heat of a Miami night. Imagine: the cavernous room packed wall to wall with bros raised on Likin Park, who wouldn’t have been caught dead listening to techno in their teens, fist pumping and taking selfies with scantly clad women who know one song by that one DJ.

I’ll go out on a limb and say the single worst musical experience one can have today is listening to said bros sing along to soaring female trance vocals. If you don’t know the lyrics, and can’t hit the high notes, save it for the ride home when your tired friends just want you to shut up but you’re still rolling and THIS IS THE BEST NIGHT OF YOUR LIFE. Thus, authenticity is deformed into an image-driven, commercialized and commoditized fad fest.

In this scenario, the music comes second. The attraction springs from the idea that electronic music has replaced rock and roll in the “sex, drugs,…” hierarchy. But now, instead of a rebellion, engagement is a neon sign screaming “Look at me, I’m at a rave,” a symbol of conformity. Where rockers were wasted all the time because they were diseased alcoholics, ravers are wasted because that’s what it’s all about.

But of course, that isn’t what it’s about at all. Electronic music began as the domain of computer nerds and loners, who found solace through each other during a heartless era of rapacious globilization. The “cool kids” wouldn’t be caught dead at some shady warehouse on the outskirts of town back then. But as we know, the “cool kids” are always catching up.

Now they have, and it’s time to move on. I’m not saying it isn’t fun or worthwhile to go to big electronic concerts. There are many brilliant producers out there who deserve our attention and will get your body moving. Consider John Dahlback, a Swedish producer who is somehow only 28. He may have crossed over to the dark side already, but before EDM went viral, he was churning out minimalist synapse-snappers like this remix of “Longing for Lullabies” and his standout track, “Blink.” His shows are, I’m sure, wild, loud, and heavy on new production.

Hey bro, you can keep the drop and the tropical drinks. Keep your molly (who knows what you just ingested). You can find me at WMC checking out the newest production tech. The computers that make all the bleep-bloop-bangs you love so much. Then men and women behind the strobes. I’ll stick with the piercings, the weirdos, the crate-diggers and the hoodies in the dark corners.

Kleerup Ft. Titiyo – Longing For Lullabies (John Dahlback Remix)

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Vigilance – Cars Passing

Maintaining order rather than correcting disorder is the ultimate principle of wisdom.” – Nei Jing

That’s crucial right there and what it implies is knowledge as old as time. It means being constantly engaged in life, active, aware and involved. Patience is a virtue but that is not to be confused with indifference which is a curse. We live in the third dimension which is governed by simple rules of cause and effect. If you take a job that you don’t love, you’ll be unhappy. If you eat cheeseburgers everyday you’ll gain weight. If you date someone you don’t really like you’ll be unhappy. The truth is that life is not a mystery, it is a discipline. Free will gives us the ultimate power to create but it requires constant effort. There’s a formula you have to follow to get what you want and if you stray you’ll make it that much harder. Which brings me to the subject of today’s post.

Vigilance – the action or state of keeping careful watch for possible danger or difficulties.

The choices you make, the people you surround yourself with, the girls or guys you sleep with, the job you have, the food you eat, all those things combine to make up your lifestyle. If you’re not vigilant against the things that disrupt your disposition your lifestyle will never be defined, your self never discovered. We want to get the most out of our time on earth, we don’t want to stagnate simply because we don’t yet fully know the reason why we’re here.

As I listen to this track I see myself and everyone around me as cars on a road. When I think about recent years I see cars around me driving 200 miles an hour as mine just went slower and slower. When I think of myself at this very moment I can only see the light my car leaves behind as I fly through the traffic. I’m not thinking about them anymore, I just ride. This track sounds like focus, the arrangement bass line and progressions are in state of constant motion, gracefully but relentlessly pushing forward. It hits hard with out offense, it dominates you with so much beauty you can only admire in the way opponents would look Michael Jordan while he defeated them. That’s the feeling I want for the weekend, enjoy.

Vigilance – Cars Passing

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Clean Bandit – Rather Be (Feat. Jess Glynne)

A song becomes more powerful when you can relate to it on multiple levels. The first time I heard this song, I was in my new office, at my new desk, 5,000 miles away from where I was living a week earlier. Thankfully this office is now in England which is where the group Clean Bandit came to be formed. And this is where I heard this song for the first time.

The first time I heard this, aside from just freezing as any song which opens with a stringy instrument  playing already has my heart, I thought this song was about just being with the one you love. I recently read an interesting statistic that 70% of all songs created are love songs.

But then the song grew legs. Like my own personal anthem. Being exactly where you need to be. Not just about love, but about the place. Or more accurate even serendipity, or ”fortuitous happenstance”. Which until now I thought meant more along the lines of right-place-right-time, but really means an accidental encounter with something you were not searching for. One of my favourite words in the dictionary.

I guess the two often go hand in hand. Many of our sayings we say go along the lines of “whatever will be will be”  or “if its meant to happen it will” or I guess more abstractly “a watched pot never boils” – which could be taken as meaning change doesn’t come when you are looking for it. We are told these things just happen. But I think serendipity is another thing all together. It is accidental but you wanted it all along. You didn’t know what you were missing until you had it and realised you cannot live without it. Whether the song is about a place or a person or a the feeling of being right where you belong, this song is meant to be an anthem. Something to be sung. Something to be danced to.

Clean Bandit has put a lot of love in to this, undoubtably, summer banger for us all. So hopefully you will happen upon this little treasure and it can remind you you are just where you are supposed to be. They are sure to have a few more treats for us on the expected May 2014 release of their album from Atlantic Records. For now, live in this moment and play this tune.

Clean Bandit – Rather Be (Feat. Jess Glynne)

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tUnE-yArDs – Water Fountain

This song. Is. ALIVE.

I am physically charged, up to my max every time I play this song. Since yesterday, I haven’t been able to stop. I have so many thoughts and feelings about Merrill Garbus, her music, her beauty, the sounds that she and her band mates are capable of creating. So many thoughts. But I can’t really formulate them at the moment because I can’t stop swaying and shaking my head, thrashing my hair in every direction, and above all else, smiling.

I hate to say that I called this, but I did. If you remember, in 2011 I wrote a post (as a writer, I’m allowed to be critical of my work and I’m going to be critical when I say, that post was so excited about everything that I may have used the word “amazing” one too many times. I regret nothing.) about seeing tUnE-yArDs live on the Hudson Pier. There was a full moon and the air was thick with New York City summer, but I remember thinking, “These guys are going to be huge.” And secretly, I didn’t want to think that. I didn’t want them to get huge. I had a selfish moment, and even considered not writing about them, even though I said I would. I wanted to keep them in my pocket, a secret dance and hop-scotch band inspired by sounds from all over the world.

So here’s my attempt. tUnE-yArDs comes to us after a near freezing season of cold hearts and grayness, here in New York, and this track is a beating heart that lives on outside of its body. Notice how bright and full of life the music is in this song (and most of the group’s songs in general). And then there’s this duality in the wordplay and lyrics. Two different messages going on at once, hoping to provoke not only mindless movement but analysis and attention to detail.

So listen to the words I say, baby
Say give me your head
I’ll barely going round and round and round
Now I’m in your bed
How did I get ahead?
Whoop!
Your, your finger through my hair
Finger through my hair
Give me your chest
Give me oppress
I’ll give a thing to caress
Wouldya wouldya wouldya listen to the words I say?

Over a Diwali Riddim beat, this song demands your attention because of how summertime-playing-double-dutch-in-the-park happy and full of bounce it is. It shields the subject matter darkness of violence with a mask of color and flavor. This is a song you can taste. Bubble-gum, kiwis, mangoes, a clementine that you share with your best friend on the stoop outside your house in the middle of a hot day in July. It’s waking up numb after a night of giggles and bubbles, not speaking, and breaking out into a dance party at noon when you have a never ending list of work to do. It’s honest and uninhibited movement that you can’t explain; your brain takes a backseat and you just move.

Tactile.

Feel it in your bones and hit repeat, unashamed.

tUnE-yArDs – Water Fountain

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