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Vanic X Zella Day – Hypnotic

When’s the last time you listened to a song and were immediately hooked? Well this might be the next. There’s something captivating Zella Day’s voice and the echoey horn-infusions of Vanic’s production. As if to prove a point, the song comes to a energetic tease at :53 and just builds from there, until we hover until the explosion at 1:41.

There have been several occasions lately where I’ve listened to this song on repeat to keep up my momentum. One time was in the gym after not being there a while. It was right after Christmas and I was trying to burn off the hangover. Bad idea first of all, but this song helped me push through the pain. It helped me put a little bit more aggression into the punching bag. It urged me to do one more pull up. Isn’t that crazy? Artists I didn’t know existed until a couple weeks ago, living in a cities thousands of miles away from me, somehow transferred energy to me, and now I’m passing it onto you in hopes that it will have the same positive effect; in some way or another.

Next time you’re having trouble grasping that motivation from within, blast this and drown the rest of the world out. Power through! To me, it’s something special and I foresee it being on my iPods’s “Top 25 Most Played” fairly soon. Enjoy!


Los Árboles — Nobody Cares

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Something chill. Something smooth. Something Jazzy and Electronic. Something a little different. Something out of this world yet sitting right within it.

Released a few days ago by Argentinian label Discos Robar, Nobody Cares is an extra mellow almost chillwave-like intro that sets off the latest EP by Los Árboles. It’s a funky psychedelic trip through a Space Age Jazz Club set that meshes Dance music, Latin Jazz vibes and Electronic sounds to give us a few minutes of galactic escape.

Sometimes the only way to clear our heads and get away from it all is to listen to and do the things that we could never have imagined ourselves doing. Sometimes it’s those same set of unfamiliar chords and sounds pieced together that spark the parts of our brains that we didn’t even know laid dormant. Sometimes, it’s just simply fun to hit play and see where the ride takes you.

Enjoy it on the late night tip as you scour the net for your next trip.

 


Rodrigo Amarante — Nada Em Vão

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Rainy NYC Sundays are made for whispers. They are made for quiet walks through an empty Central Park. They are made for hot chocolate by a fireplace or hot toddies behind your laptop screens. Rainy, New York City Sundays, are made for quiet hums and secret reminisces of melancholia that we have somehow already found peace with. Sundays like these are made for quiet runs with music like this plugged into your ears so that the calm of the city can be appreciated and all the unnecessary noises and sounds of it phased out.

nada em vão,
no espaço entre eu e você,
no silêncio um grito,
o som e o não “
[english] nothing in vain,
in the space between you and me,
in the silence a scream,
the yes and no.”

Rodrigo Amarante’s “Nada Em Vão” is a taste of the NYC that I speak of. It is a reminder to me that as much as I am intrigued by beautiful and perfect smiles, that from time to time I am also fascinated by the way eyes hold back tears, and faces look lost in deep thought.

It’s an NYC that is perfectly perfect in all of its imperfections with multiple layers in spaces that go unseen and under-appreciated. Nada Em Vão is similar this way when you listen to it. A smooth piano tapping softly set over a gentle guitar, bass string plucking that follows similar suit and an angelic choir that eerily whispers throughout the tune with a saxophone that gets lost somewhere between all of the pretty music.

For me, it’s simply another reminder that sadness can be as beautiful as happiness, and that sharing sounds like these is what can make that same sadness just as beautiful as all of our happinesses combined.

Enjoy the rain.


Warren G & Nate Dogg ft. Sebu of Capital Cities — Regulate

If you know like I know
You don’t wanna step to this
It’s the G-Funk era
Funked out with a gangsta twist”

Searching for something quirky and fun for this beautiful Friday morning, I came across the perfect wacky tune to give all of us a smile. This rework of the classic “Regulate” by O.G.’s: Warren G & Nate Dogg (R.I.P.) formulated by Sebu of Capital Cities and featuring his vocals on the hook will make your heads bop, fingers snap and shoulders groove. It’s a fun, “nu-disco twist”  to a great representation from Hip Hop’s Golden Era.

Maybe it’s the fact that more and more major market radio stations across the United States are suddenly switching their formats to Classic Hip Hop of the 70’s,80’s and 90’s. Or, maybe it’s the fact that most of the newer Hip Hop songs these days contain lyrics that are barely audible without deciphering them via online searches, or that they fail to connect with the audience in any deeper manner than the surface materialisms they spew, or that they simply don’t paint bright enough pictures to merit the stamp of true artistry that has maestros like Sebu rewinding time to add their splashes of color to the sonic masterpieces of Hip Hop that mostly anyone can connect with. It’s those masterpieces that told the stories of our ghettos, allowed us to escape from our ghettos and provided a new lane out of our ghettos that the entire planet at every corner of the world soon came to connect with.

Monumental moments like these captured in time and reworked by the sound masters of today are still able to provide us with the visions from what America came from, seeing it from where it is today. We are still able to close our eyes, listen and hear Warren G as he tells us a tale all the while perfectly envisioning exactly what he sees and feels. Thanks to Sebu we are able to experience it as a distant memory that we can groove to rather than something of a sad reality in dire need of sociopolitical change.

Enjoy the REAL new classic:


Ars-Nova — Ear Play Ting

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Aida noticed the similarities right away. I knew that she would because very few people have met or known the old one, and even less know about the new. I noticed the similarities after the second or third date. It was the energy that led me to it.

My mind is so busy that at times I get bored trying to keep it entertained. I’ll listen to hours of new music just to quench the insatiable thirst that my mind has, and even then it isn’t enough. I find myself attracted to similar minds that way too. Beautiful smiles, pretty eyes and gorgeous hair have become less of important factors than when I was eight. These days, a pretty smile and nice hair do a lot less for me than a beautiful mind.

But new music does have a way of soothing me from time to time. Maybe it’s because for the entire year of 2014 I vowed to not listen to the same old songs again and not watch movies or shows that I have already seen. And every once in a while I come across a song that forces itself on me and makes me listen to it more than once. I’m not sure if it’s the remnants of a The Weeknd track somewhere in the background of Ars-Nova’s Ear Play Ting, or if it’s the silly 2 Chainz style adlibs that entertain me here, but, the mere fact that I am entertained is enough to write and post about.

As we celebrate the holidays with everything that is familiar to us, and as we prepare for another new year to come, let’s try harder to embrace the unknown. Let’s try harder to not listen to the same old songs, over and over, or to watch the same old Christmas movies, or any movies for that matter. Let’s try harder to find hidden gems within new faces and voices and spread them across the web. Let’s try harder to share with the world the masterpieces that may never quite be. Let’s forget about the similarities in things and find what makes each piece unique, instead.

If I looked at her as a similar song then I would be missing out on all the unique beauty that she brings.


Zhu Paradise Awaits

I’m born with this mighty sin”

Years ago I had to make a choice in a version of the Garden of Eden that seems was designed for just me. Before that decision, I had asked the highest-power to grant me my innermost and deepest desires. He did, and I had everything. Suddenly one day, a little devil came over with a big apple for me, and that Big Apple was this city of sin that I have called home since birth. The decision was: stay with everything that I had just asked God for a few years earlier, or take a bite of the apple and chase whatever highs this city could provide. At the time, the decision for me was too easy because my mind was not ready to settle.

Chasing highs is the addiction that most people succumb to. Whether it’s a high from heroin, a simple runners high, the chase for the next adrenaline rush, or the rush to the next lover, highs are something that this city seems to have an endless supply of, and somehow I find myself in the middle of it all.

I’m born with this mighty sin
Thinking about the naked women in my bed

I’m born with this mighty sin
Walking around just talking my shit
Conversation based around just sex”

My highs come in the form of moments. Just like other addicts I find these highs wearing off faster and faster with me chasing right away after the next one. But in between come the moments of loneliness that leave me wondering if that apple I chose to bite was all worth it, and I think that this is what we all have to one day come to realize. Do we want to keep chasing highs all over the planet, or do we really want to give up the chase for that one energy that can provide everything that we could ever need?

Paradise Awaits by Zhu is the kind of high most of today’s youth chases. As Hip Hop ages and EDM rises and rises with no peak in sight, the sonic dish of variety is as appealing to the audience as that apple once presented to me. On one hand you have music that starts to become stale and redundant, and on the other you have tunes like this that provide excitement at every 4th bar with constant changes and transitions that truly leave us waiting for where the music is going because we cannot tell. It is that excitement of the unknown that once put me out in these streets to become the social omnivore that I am today. But it is that same volatile and unpredictable set of properties to this kind of life that have me questioning my decision.

I can’t tell you if I will settle some day. I don’t know that I will ever stop chasing the highs from the unknown energies of the world that it has to offer, but, I do know that more and more, as the chase starts to become redundant to me, I think to myself: ‘Is there anything out there that won’t bore me?’. 

For now, this song right here will keep you from boredom.

Kiss me in my dreams
And tell me paradise is what we see”


Shuggie Otis — Strawberry Letter 23

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Ashley Hefnawy is like a cool comic book crusader to me. The few times that I have seen her in the flesh, it has been as if I myself am just another part of her comic book world. Even in my environment she managed to make me feel that way. Her passion and love for music are nearly unmatched, and her ability to share it with us is a gift to our very own world. She put me on to Shuggie Otis last night, somewhere high above the clouds staring at Gotham from a short distance in the backdrop. Ashley‘s world is immediately more colorful than any I have encountered. All the colors to everything somehow become enhanced; it’s trippy, and dope at the same time. Look at the artwork alone for Shuggie‘s 1971 album: “Freedom Fight”, and take notice of how rich the purple filtering to it is; how vibrant it appears, and then you might be able to see what I do.

Anyway, Strawberry Letter 23 is the definition of a sonic masterpiece.

I’ve figured out within the past few weeks that I am a complete music snob, and an audiophile. Basically, I only want the good shit.

In order to grasp the best feel for how vibrant this song is you will need a few things:

  1. A sound system that consists of the music not coming out of your laptop speaker, but that you can plug your laptop into.
  2. Speakers, and a decent subwoofer that isn’t too “crunk”. So basically, lower the intensity of your sub, if you have one, to about 2 on a 10 scale, and your treble to about 6 on a 10.
  3. A good pair of headphones for listening later on again because some of the instruments like the live triangle that are used can only be heard properly with headphones. The surround sound effects are much better. NOTE: HEADPHONES SHOULD NOT BE BEATS by DRE. Those distort the highs in order to give music more umph on the bottom ends.

Now, you are ready to listen. What you are about to experience is how live-orchestras sound, and hopefully it will allow you to miss some of things that made music so warm to begin with.

Somewhere down the line we started compensating great sonic recordings of live-instrument production with the digital, and we lost things. We lost the ability to feel what a beautiful bassline feels like. We lost some of the warmth to it. At 1:13, when the triangle comes in, panned left, we forgot what the echoing “tings” of it sound like in the room. Listen to how they move away like the peak of a yodel getting lost in the canyons. 

I guess it helps when your dad is a legendary composer because in this day and age the same process would cost millions, but isn’t it so worth it?


Jessie Ware – Keep On Lying (TOKiMONSTA Remix)

I’d quite like to talk about dancing really quickly. Now, this isn’t a dance song, but I’m currently tapping my feet along to the good-ness that is TOKiMONSTA’s style. She (yes, SHE) first captured my attention with “Drive” (do your ears a favor and search our site for this post), so I was happy to hear her style translate over to a remix. She couldn’t have picked a better artist than Jessie Ware. OK.. I’m a little (lot) biased, having been a fan of Jessie’s for a few years. Simply put, this is a badass song.

Back to dancing… I never felt hindered from dancing until moving to Oklahoma. It’s not a bad state overall, but it’s the little things that get me. One thing being the lack of dance floors (excluding two-stepping bars of course). The fact that the majority of bar-hoppers would rather sit and talk allll night, than to get up and get a little jiggy, confuses me. It became apparent to me last weekend when I was in a college town; it was the “Big Game”- two Oklahoma colleges playing each other. So, a girlfriend and I were hopping around, having fun, all the while looking for a place to “end” the night. Somewhere to dance! This was how it was for me in college.. go out and find somewhere to let loose. It shouldn’t be as hard as it was last weekend! We ended up creating our OWN dance floor!! When I woke up the next morning and was revisiting the memories, the thought hit me- why were we the ONLY ones dancing?? I felt like an anomaly, with everyone looking at us strangely. Maybe I’ve just been spoiled by Austin’s abundant nightlife, filled with bars accompanied by energetic people and dance floors, not just bar stools.

So it’s just kinda been on my mind lately. I’m not asking for a giant dance party.. just some SPACE to move around, and for the general atmosphere to be open to body movement. Let’s bring some free-thinking into these Southern towns! Who’s with me?

Make sure to give Jessie Ware’s new album a listen, and keep your ears pricked for more of TOKiMONSTA’s work.


Camp Claude — Trap

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She thought that I sent her this song as some sort of subliminal message to our lives. I found it funny when I realized it. I also found my twitter feed on her phone pretty funny considering the fact that she does not have, nor own a twitter account.

I’ve know for years that whether people follow our social media feeds, or pretend not to, that they ALWAYS do.

Trap by Camp Claude is sonic masterpiece of simplicity with vocals that sit higher and overpower the crisp claps and all of its beautiful transient sounds of which make our shoulders shrug up and in towards our ears. The shakers help us follow the groovy rhythm, and the soft echoes in form of technical reverb make sure that we never stray too far away from her swaggy vocals.

To call this tune “sexy”, is to be a basic ass writer, and, a basic ass thinker, and I am tired of basic. People that believe that love is owed to them. Guys that think they are God’s gift to women, and girls that truly believe that cheating in the name of “love” is not cheating. (see the film titled: The Notebook).

We are living in a world where photoshop is the norm and where exaggerating numbers or reported stories can easily be fact-checked. Basically, it is harder and harder, by the minute, to fool the masses. So, no. I won’t fall into your trap because if this isn’t real then I will soon come to find out, and if so, then maybe, just maybe, I WAS! talking to you when I send this…

 I won’t fall into your trap
You don’t get me just like that


jr. hi — C – A-R – A-M – E-L

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I exist in a life that feels all too surreal for me. A life where the women I desire appear in front of me, and where the places I want to go and the people that I wish to meet somehow find themselves raveled and intertwined within it, intoxicated by a mind that moves much too fast for anyone’s own good. I exist in a life where I can travel into and out of different dimensions. A life where one friend is the total opposite of another. A life where one lover is the total opposite of the last.

C – A-R – A-M – E-L by Jr. HI plays in the background as I write away. It used to be that the music inspired me to write, and that my own broken up heartbeats inspired me to breathe a soul into that writing, but then something magical happened. I began controlling my dreams and finding my most inspiring moments right there; a place where there are no distractions from the daily routine, unaware minds, or the foolish chases of keeping up with the Joneses.

In my dreams life is what I need it to be. I say the things that I have always wanted to say to people, and I learn more about others and this world than I have done so being awake. Sometimes I think that the dreams are the real awakening, and that when we are here in this world we are really just all dreaming and interacting, getting by until the next episode of “Who Wants To Be Something or the other”.

I like this tune. I dig it a ton because it’s mellow and chill. Its calm and cool aura allow me to write with ease. It contains none of that superfluous instrumentation and cluttered arrangement that more and more music seems to delve into these days. It simply contains cool harmonies, soft synths and a very chill heartbeat, reminding me that the only things I truly need in this life are to breathe slowly, kiss passionately and sip wine.

Happy Friday.