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Music

Nicolas Jaar – Boiler Room NYC DJ Set 2013

There’s not much to say here, because there’s a lot to hear. 46 minutes, specifically, of pure blissful listening. When my friend sent this to me, I cleared out 46 minutes just to allow this to happen in my ears, and when I sent it to Hec, he said the same. So, you know it’s a very serious and important journey that will require headphones.

A couple of notes: Nicolas Jaar gets more and more adorable every time he dances. Also, maybe this is a really silly thing to ask, but where do these Boiler Room shows take place? Not at the Boiler Room in the East Village, obviously. Can someone cue me in on this? It looks like sexy times.

Without further ado, enjoy!

Categories
Music

Extraordinary Magnitude Vs. Blackstreet – No Diggity 2013

You’ve gotta have a grip of confidence if you think you can take on one of the great, enduring anthems of the 90s and actually elevate the proceedings, let along do it justice. I mean, come on! Outside of its chart and critical success, the legacy of No Diggity is largely a product of its crossover appeal. Doesn’t really matter what you’re into. Musically speaking, the track has something for you. Hard-nosed thuggery? Hey Dre. Deft lyricism? Queen Pen’s pretty nimble on the mic. Charm out the ying yang?

I like the way you work it
Trumped tight, all day, every day
You’re blowing my mind, maybe in time
Baby, I can get you in my ride.”

You tell me.

Which makes me a bit incredulous about how this mashup came to be. The way Extraordinary Magnitude, or Exmag depending on which URL corner you’re poking around, tells it, it was a happy accident. See, Exmag is a freshfaced young group who were hard at work on their upcoming album Proportions when they realized one of their instrumental tracks just so happened to mesh well with acapella track for the 90s R&B standard by Blackstreet. Convenient! Did I mention that Extraordinary Magnitude is the new side project from producer Gramatik and a few of his musically adept buddies?

No surprise then that this piece of audio populism works as well as it does. It sounds less like a “mashup” in the traditional sense and more like a jam session, where the original vocals are used as a frame upon which Exmag drape they funk fineries. The musicianship on display here is a bit staggering; every time I run though the track I catch another lick or bass line that I latch onto and nod along with, little marvels they are. And whenever the track reaches a bridge (or is it a second chorus?), the whole thing opens up in a full on funk explosion. Especially under Pen’s verse, that interplay between the clav and the guitar is butter smooth. A quick run up the keys here, a little nimble noodling there, light touches that make for quick counters and ripostes. That’s right. Real instruments, interacting with each other as though they were being played together live in the same room. Can you imagine?

Extraordinary Magnitude Vs. Blackstreet – No Diggity 2013

Categories
Music

Major Lazer – Watch Out For This (Bumaye) feat. Busy Signal, The Flexican & FS Green

No surprise here that the newest Major Lazer track is the embodiment of perfection. There’s a lot going on here and all of it is loveworthy. The work that Major Lazer is just as hard as their live shows — 100% with nothing to hold back. I remember the first time I saw them at one of the HARD shows in New York City. As soon as I arrived at Terminal 5, my phone was stolen. My sadness was fleeting and totally forgotten as soon as I stepped into the masses. The show was unforgettableLadders and ladies with barely any clothes on, a lot of humping the ground, fans on stage, fans off stage, scary faces, exciting light shows…it’s always really impressive to me when a musical act can channel exactly the same energy they give out in their music, on stage during a live show. It’s a whole other level of creativity that I can definitely appreciate. It’s like taking a painting and transforming into a piece of poetry.

Have you guys noticed that February is just the worst month? I used to feel pretty indifferent towards February, but this year it has been nothing but a nagging pain. And I know it’s the year of the snake and everything, so maybe it’s time to just take February for what it is — a month for realizations in the harshest way. Hopefully this track will not only make you want to dance, but lift your spirits as it has done for me. I especially like playing it at the gym when I’m trying to channel any sort of anger or sadness into my workout. It’s a really fun song to run to, with the beat being so intense, demanding attention and fervor. Enjoy!

Major Lazer – Watch Out For This (Bumaye) feat. Busy Signal, The Flexican & FS Green

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Music Remixes

Amerie – One Thing (Jetlag Remix)

In my internet travels, I’m so thankful that I accidentally came across this sexy remix. Amerie’s vocals in this playful remix reminds us that this track came out in 2005, although the original has one of those qualities that I like to think make it timeless. That is, it feels like the club goers were bumpin’ and grindin’ to this tune way before 2005. I’m sure you guys agree. The snappy beats make for a renewed dance-floor hit, so get ready to get down with it.

Jetlag is the tag team effort of Miguel Fernandez & Renato Marquez. Together, they’ve produced sublime house beats partnered with some fave R&B tracks from the younger years, including I’m Every Woman by Whitney Houston. It’s dance music that is catered to a dancing audience, while still allowing for artistic creativity on the DJs parts. That’s always something I think about, a defining characteristic of good and bad DJs. If I’m at a bar and the DJ takes over with some space-age experimental trance or noise that doesn’t match to any beat, I’m pissed off. Have you no regard for the crowd you’re working with? I can find a way to appreciate those talents outside, but not in the context of a dance-floor. I think Jetlag and a few other house-like DJs today have the perfect balance of showing their skills off, while simultaneously producing something people want to hear. Especially, when they’ve got the need to groove.

As 2013 approaches, I’ve got my mind set on playlists for the evening. It’s just something I like doing, because regardless as to how many glasses of champagne you’ve had, or how many parties you’ve hopped, it’s always nice to have a soundtrack at the place you finally decide to chill at. This song definitely makes it on the playlist — it’s a 2005 hit catered to 2013’s standards.

Without further ado, enjoy!

Amerie – One Thing (Jetlag Remix)