Skip to content

Flybear – Lies

This is refreshing. I hear a bit of that late 90’s Timabaland and Missy Elliot swag in here, and it makes me miss how much fun music was then. It all seems so serious right now – reflecting the darker times on our planet for sure – but still. Hiphop is so linear, you’re either in or you’re out. Pop music is all drops and guest vocals, and rock music is apparently hibernating for the winter/year/maybe longer.

There’s awesome stuff out there no doubt, but this funky, groovy, fun, free, wide-open track from Flybear is a reminder that everyone needs a little strutting music sometimes. Doesn’t this song make you want to go outside, saunter down the street, nod at on-lookers and basically carry yourself like you’re top dawg of the solar system? I’m gonna make this song my official theme music, just like how Jack Spade required the services of KRS-One and Boogie Down Productions to accompany him on his strolls down the street. Honestly if you haven’t seen “I’m Gonna Get You Sucka” please do so. KRS and co. actually appear in the movie to play the main character’s theme music as he struts his stuff. D-Nice is wearing a full turntable set-up around his neck for f**ks sake. They even wrote an original song for him/the movie called “Jack Of Spades.” CLASSIC.

But I digress, my point here is that Flybear has taken music back to a fun, funky time that is sorely missed, whether we realize it or not. Hopefully this is the beginning of a revival. The Personal Theme Music Era.

SRNO – Stay Sane (Feat. Naaz)

The album cover for SRNO’s “Stay Sane” invokes the strangest mixture of medieval and surrealist vibes. It’s fitting for a track named “Stay Sane,” sure, but the music itself is the virtual opposite of audible insanity. Moving at a slowly plodding pace, keys twinkle with glee as Naaz gives a whole new definition to ethereal, her vocals delivering a wealth of heavenly melodies.

With that being said, it’s funny how album artwork plays such a pivotal role in how music is perceived. Even with the line explicitly drawn between the song and its visual representation, it’s impossible to shake that surrealist bent when listening to “Stay Sane;” nothing feels out of place, yet something in the back of the mind begs to differ.

To be perfectly honest, I couldn’t imagine most of my favorite albums without that visual accompaniment; the abrasive nothingness of Yeezus, the dark tones of Come Now Sleep, or the colorful glee of 6 Kiss, all working hand in hand with the music. It drives their respective natures intended by the artists home, and when it conflicts with the music to a degree like SRNO’s “Stay Sane,” it makes it all the more interesting.

Glassio – Make Me Feel

I’ve travelled a lot in my day, i’ve stared out of a lot of windows. It’s one of my favorite things to do when passing through a new city – whether looking down from an airplane or out of the window of a train or uber – i love trying to understand the rhythm and pulse of the new place. I breeze by, trying to imagine myself grabbing a coffee in the popular downtown shop, or meeting a friend at a beautiful cafe I saw out of the corner of my eye. Every city has it’s own soul and I always wonder whether it’ll click with mine. Some cities look better drenched in sunshine. Some cities make more sense when it’s cloudy. Some need thousands of people marching through for it to feel alive, but some buzz more when it’s empty. To me, there’s nothing more fun than cracking the code of a city.

The music I’m listening to at those moments has to match too. You don’t want to be in a funk when trying to appreciate a new place, it’s two opposing forces that don’t work together. Something about Glassio’s blazing hot new single called “Make Me Feel” makes me want to go explore a new city. It feels nostalgic, yet bright-eyed and excited. It feels rooted in something older, but ready to embrace something newer. Really the exact same feelings one has when they move to a nice place. And also the exact same feelings you can have about relationships – the way you miss certain things about a past love, while being excited and refreshed by your new love. At times it makes no sense to feel both of those things at the same time, but those seemingly opposite feelings are what being human is all about. This whole universe is balanced by opposing forces – light and dark, up and down, yin and yang. It’s just what it is. So the balance is key – it’s ok to feel both ways about anything, in fact that’s probably what’s truest to our nature.

Beyond the lush production of “Make Me Feel” and it’s obvious attempt at leading our asses to the dancefloor, I really appreciate the depth of this song’s soul. You can feel it deeply, and it feels like the type of song that should accompany these types of thoughts. The push and pull that we humans work out on a daily basis. Proud moments, then regrets. Excited times, then fears. You use the balance of it all to propel you forward. That’s why I want to go somewhere new and use this song as my soundtrack. There is a lot of the day still left…people are probably hungover from Halloween parties….maybe i’ll just slip out for a moment…


Justice Skolnik – You Could Be Down

After a long night of debauchery, it’s essential to afford your body and mind some well-deserved rest. Whether that involves buying a greasy breakfast and torching a bowl or chugging water and kicking back outside, it’s surely a better strategy than attempting to hit the ground running for another round of mass alcohol ingestion.

As I lay on my couch after scarfing down a much-needed plate of huevos rancheros – sans torched bowl – I’ve stumbled upon the perfect musical accompaniment to my day of recovery. A brand new joint from Justice Skolnik titled “You Could Be Down,” it finds the producer reimagining vocals from Brandy in a totally new context. As her performance behind the microphone is sped up and chopped up into exhilarating bits, jubilant synths bounce back and forth at a hypnotizing pace that envelops my mind whole.

It *almost* makes me want to take this entire Saturday easy, but alas, it is Halloween weekend; there’s simply too many strange memories ahead to throw in the towel now. Thus, chances are I’ll be repeating this recovery session tomorrow morning, but at least “You Could Be Down” will be there to soothe the soul.

DROELOE – Wake The Warrior

Pure fire from Droeloe. This is one of those joints that just makes you feel cooler for listening to it. It sounds like the theme song to some swagged out parade of dopeness. I’m pretty sure I could play this and amp myself up to to just about anything. And isn’t that what we all constantly need? Something kicking us in our ass a little bit, whether it be an actual boot to the rear, or something a little more nuanced – perhaps a nice reminder to be the best version yourself and go out there and handle business.

For some reason the human mind and psyche just isn’t designed to lock in on a feeling and keep it forever. It’s all fleeting, and it’s hard f**kin work to keep your thoughts and intentions focused on the right things. Everything we see, hear and sense in general reminds us of certain things and if the stimuli doesn’t click, the constant reminders are gonna make you feel depressed, sad, lonely, whatever. So you gotta have good taste and ensure the reminders are cool, good, positive things that make you feel better about yourself and life in general. The things you watch on the computer and TV, the music you listen to, the people you surround yourself with – they should all make you feel like you can conquer the world. If they don’t, than why the hell would you invite them into your life?

You gotta monitor all of this stuff intensely, you just do. We’re fighting against our chemical make-up and DNA, which for some reason likes to default to laziness and carelessness. So fight the good fight and surround yourself with dope sh*t and clear the way for good ideas which will then lead you to a focused, well-intentioned life that means something. See, Droeloe has awoken the warrior, and we need this warrior in us awoken like 50 times a day.

Khruangbin – Master of Life

I think music has had periods of everything; time’s when the virtuoso, complex artist came on top. Other times that call for over-the-top production to make up for a thin performance. But in the best of times, it is always about one small, despicably overlooked thing: the feeling. The groove. That je-ne-sais-quoi that reals you in time and time again. That thing that simply can’t be replicated. That feeling that only comes with personal experience, through introspective even visceral living, through tears and smiles. Feeling Life can be just as powerful as it is beautiful, and many times it can knock us to our knees if we take our eyes off of it. I guess all I’m trying to say is this band made me feel before it made me think. And that’s unusual for someone that’s been working in the music industry for the past decade.

So strip down a band of its vocals, free it of its public’s expectation, And listen to the feeling they lay down for you. That guitar.

The band name, not sure, but I think its pronounced “Smooth-af”.

Sofi Tukker – Deja Vu Affair (Callie Reiff Remix)

Callie Reiff’s remix of the subtly mesmerizing “Deja Vu Affair” is a prime example of a remix done right.

With its newfound extroversion, the track moves from stoned-with-headphones-on territory into the maroon walls an upscale electronic club, glossy coating and all. Bouncing at a body-swaying pace, it’s perfect for champagne-in-hand dancing before it’s eventual drop which might lead to a few bottles popped. Of course, as a last semester senior in college, the only bottles I’ve popped up until this point are of the $4 Andre variety, but I digress. The vibes are all present, ready for your local nightlife to consume.

With that being said, put on your Saturday’s finest and peep Reiff’s Sofi Tukker remix below.

Benjamin Earl Turner – Humble Pi (Prod. by Who Is This Guy)

Damn I don’t know why I just got to this.  Haven’t really been on top of looking through our submissions, it would take me pages and pages to explain Mom and work life to you if you don’t already know what that 24/7 life is.

I really like this dude Benjamin, his vibe, the comedy in his lyrics, the natural improvisation that you hear throughout the track, it’s all very organic and natural the way it flows and I am all about that ORGANIC life these days, don’t give me anything that is fucking processed.

Benjamin seeks to establish himself as a master wordsmith and lyricist within the Hip-Hop genre, as well as expand the current reaches of the musical style. By exploring storytelling, soul music, spoken word influence, lullaby, post-rock instrumentation, electronic alternative, gospel, the capabilities of a loop pedal and ukulele, classic and modern jazz, blues lyric, contemporary funk, folk harmonies, movie scores, as well as studying foreign forms of music and whatever else he can find, Benjamin is seeking to hone in on a new sound.’

I am a sucker for some good Hip-Hop, especially if it doesn’t sound like all the rest, everything just blends together these days where you are like, wait, didn’t I just listen to that? Naw homie, not this track, I’ve been vibin’ to this all morning as my little babe sleeps soundly, probably vibin’ to some hip-hop in her dreams, (insert laughing cry face emoji)..

If you want to hear more from Benjamin Earl Turner, and you should, click here.  I have so much to do, getting some freedom tonight to go out and let my hair down, lookin’ all sexy and fly, ya that’s right I am totally feelin’ myself these days.  Only good vibes, sexy strides, all eyes on me!  Thanks to this track this morning, that line resonates hard.

Happy Saturday my EMPT loves.

Rangleklods – Young and Dumb

Dad, mom told me you used to want to be a rock star when you grew up.

–          You’re mom’s right little dude.

–          So…what happened?

–          I spend a lot of time smoking weed, chasing women, having more fun than my level of productivity deserved. I was young and dumb.

–          Dad, how in the hell did you discover how toturn CO2 into Ethanol?

–          They all thought I was out of my mind. But I kept at it because I was stubborn. Then, it all happened, “accidentally”. I was lucky, I was willing, I took a risky chance. I was young and dumb.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

About the track: It’s an odyssey; crunchy intro leading into an electro indie bass line and beat, falling into a German Techno vibe and culminating in an exquisite drop. Unfortunately, Rangleklods are no more. But this is a work of artistic genius, way ahead of its time.