Categories
Music

Calvin Harris – Merrymaking At My Place

C_HARRIS_Disco

You may have heard of Calvin Harris. The Scottish singer/songwriter/producer/DJ (born Adam Richard Wiles) made close to $50 million last year on the back of chart-busting singles, world tours and an auto-tune machine singer named Rihanna, for whom he wrote “We Found Love.”

If you just tuned in during 2013, you probably think Calvin is just another pop-douche EDM DJ, pressing play and waving his hands a lot while the kids beg for “the drop.” You and your hipster friends rag on him while you smoke American Spirits outside that bar no one’s even reviewed on Yelp yet, even though you think that one song with the singer of Florence and the Machine is pretty good.

Does that paragraph describe your opinion of Mr. Wiles? This post is for you.

I remember first coming across Calvin Harris, back in ’07, while scrolling through new music on Acquisition, an OSX Limewire clone. I was coming out of my “Only Led Zeppelin and Woodstock bands” phase and digging into underground and older electronic music, from Tune Up to Stanton Warriors. Harris’ first album “I Created Disco,” was already a hit in the UK (surprise), but was nowhere to be found in the states. My friends and I fell for it immediately, from the irreverent “Neon Rocks” to the loopy “Vegas” to the perennially underrated “Love Souvenir.” Not to mention the hits: “Acceptable in the 80s,” “The Girls” and today’s track, “Merrymaking At My Place.”

The album was an instant classic that presaged the move towards the knockoff 80s electropop that dominates the blogosphere today. It was totally raw and flippant, a kid fiddling with a computer, imbued with a real-life case of Julian Casablancas’ laconic ambivalence. It also launched Harris into the next-level, tearing him from the underground before he got settled.

He started writing, producing and remixing for a bunch of other artists, while working on his breakout follow up, “Ready for the Weekend” (2009). Standouts include Kylie Minogue’s “Heart Beat Rock,” Dizzee Rascal’s “Dance Wiv Me” and “Holiday” (from his fantastic album “Tongue in Cheek”), and The Ting Ting’s “Hands.”

In ’09, he issued this quote – “If you look at music it’s a frightening stranglehold that Simon Cowell has got over the entire music chart in the UK at the moment” – after trolling Cowell’s feel-good masterpiece of commercial dominance “The X Factor” by walking on stage unannounced while balancing a pineapple on his head. His apology: “At the end of the day, I had a pineapple on my head.”

I was lucky enough to see Harris perform live, with a full band, at Coachella in ’08. I’ll admit to leaving early (Prince was playing…) but remember thinking “Oh, this is real. He’s really good.”

Sadly, he hasn’t performed with a band since 2010, preferring to rake in the cash with solo DJ sets and a steady stream of cheeseball electro-pop offerings that show none of the range that made him such an exciting young artist. I guess $50 million can do that to you.

But this is a celebratory post, in honor of the artist that was. The artist that created a human synthesizer, aka the “Humanthesizer,” out of bikinied models (Google it). The artist that launched a web series called “JAM TV,” in which celebrities tried to open jars of jam (now unavailable on the regular internet. And if you’re like, huh, regular internet? Good, keep it that way.) The artist who “Created Disco” for a new generation of record-heads, from Dumfries to Santa Monica.

Thanks Calvin. Can’t wait to have you back.

Calvin Harris – Merrymaking At My Place

Categories
Music Remixes

Calvin Harris feat. Florence Welch – Sweet Nothing (Diplo & Grandtheft Remix)

So I’ll put my faith in something unknown
I’m living on such sweet nothing
But I’m tired of hope with nothing to hold
I’m living on such sweet nothing.”

Sometimes a musical pairing comes along that makes you go, “what?” When I first heard the rumor that Florence Welch was teaming up with Calvin Harris on his new album I was skeptical. I first wondered why Florence was dipping her foot into the EDM scene, then I wondered if she’s selling out. Sure, the dance remixes of her tracks (especially Calvin Harris’ re-do of “Spectrum”) are fire. Her beyond powerful vocals soar over synths and drops like it ain’t no thang, but this would be her first – for lack of a better word – intentional venture into a whole new sonic world. So when the official single dropped in late summer I was prepared for the worst. I don’t know why I even doubted Welch’s artistic and musical choices. The single was an dance-fused emotional explosion. Harris’ now trademarked bloop-bloops take the backseat while Welch wails her love woes. The track left me speechless and ready to blast it again.

Rumors again started circling the internet and between a couple of my friends that Diplo was going to release his take on the track. Other EDM DJ’s have already tackled the song, but I had a feeling that Diplo was going to trick this one out with something thats equal parts chill and filthy. Teaming up with Montreal’s go-to party-rock DJ, Grandtheft – who brings out his suave groove, the remix that officially dropped this week is dripping in Diplo.

Thankfully, the remix shifts the focus to Welch’s vocal performance. Harris’ sounds are chopped, slowed down, and twerked up beneath her. The verses are minimal and loaded with a bass line that’ll pound through your bones. Your ears will thank you when the beat builds and drops into a sexed up production with descending kick-drums, deep bass, and a synth melody that amps up Welch’s desperation.

I’m all about this track despite it being a Sunday – a day where I prefer relaxing music over hype, but this track is doing a balancing act that’s working today. If anything, it’s refreshed my ears to the incredible versatility of sound and music artistry. Worlds collide here that seem unexpected. Often, though, it’s the things that are unexpected and the things that make you slightly uncomfortable that are the most rewarding and exciting.

Here’s to Sunday. Here’s to a solid week ahead.

Calvin Harris feat. Florence Welch – Sweet Nothing (Diplo & Grandtheft Remix)

Categories
Music

Calvin Harris – Flashback / Bounce (Alfonse Remix)

On my way to Vegas I finally got around to checking our Soundcloud submissions and the first thing I came across was two remixes from a new British dude named Alfonse, it was love at first listen. Every now and then the universe randomly brings EMPT these great new talents that deserve much more credit then they’re getting, Alfonse is one of them. His sound is mature and refined so I’m not sure how new he is to the scene but if you didn’t know him by now get ready to start seeing a lot more from this guy…

A mild-mannered electronic-noise-maker by day, with nightfall Alfonse becomes a towering musical marauder wielding an array of synths. His sound fuses infectious electro hooks and dancefloor-friendly grooves with something darker and grungier. Live, he mixes musicianship with electronic trickery to create a huge sound, with help from a drummer and guest vocalists.”

I took that straight from his site and usually I don’t do that but I really couldn’t have said it better myself. The Calvin Harris remix is what originally caught my attention but then I dug deeper into his catalogue and quickly realized home boy was the real deal, I recommend you do the same. Subtract for example is a track he performed entirely on an iPad, check out the YouTube video, it’s quite fresh.

On another note, Vegas was up to it’s usual trickery. We got in early to take a bunch of meetings and then all of a sudden a restaurant owner is telling us about how great his mixology program is and offers us “the best vodka in the world.” I hate Vodka but he was right. Anyways, on to the next meeting, somehow more amazing drinks, the most ridiculously beautiful bodied girls and then our last meeting is was José Andres’ Jaleo which is easily one of the top 3 tapas places I’ve ever been to. Aside from Le Bernadin in NYC, I haven’t seen many other chefs mix flavors so fearlessly and use food so creatively. If you ever make it out to the city of sin go to the Cosmopolitan and eat there, you won’t regret it. The next day I made a conscious effort to avoid the Vegas lure but did go see Foster the People at Marquee which I must say was pretty damn good. Now if you haven’t been there yet, look out for your favorite DJ and go asap. The sound system is from a company called Funktion-One and it will literally change your life. I’ve been to many clubs around the world but this one bangs like no other, it’s a music heads dream. Anyways, I went from the city of sin to the city of angels and it’s back to business.

Spend sometime with these Alfonse tracks because the dude is on point, enjoy.

Calvin Harris – Flashback / Bounce (Alfonse Remix)

Bonus: Had to post this Gotye remix, Alfonse killed it and of course that Gotye is so hot right now…

Gotye – Somebody That I Used To Know (Alfonse Remix)

 


Categories
Music Remixes

Calvin Harris – Feel So Close

Quick post for your Monday. When I stumbled on this new track by Calvin Harris last week, I was reluctantly starting to cringe. Reason being is the new direction Calvin had been taking as of late was straying way too much off the deep end in the EDM scene. Tracks like Awooga are great for any other EDM DJ but he has so much more talent as an artist to be producing tracks of that caliber. Bounce steered back in the direction of his disco feeling beats, however, the track still wasn’t really registering with the old Calvin tunes I grew to love.

That’s why when I heard Feel So Close, it was more of a sigh of relief. His sound may not bring additional EDM crazed fans to see him spin at clubs but as long as Mr. Harris continues down this path, his distinct sound will last way beyond the fads of the short-lived electro sounds he had been producing. The readers which feel this track lacks the extra umph, check out the remix from dubstep masters, Nero, as they put together a remix which has the blog world buzzing. Enjoy.

Calvin Harris – Feel So Close

Calvin Harris – Feel So Close (Nero Remix)

– Joel

Subscribe to our newsletter

Categories
Music

Calvin Harris – I’m Not Alone (MYNC’s Payback Mix Remix)

The Whiskey Bar last night was mayhem and pure inspiration in equal portions. Richie Rich walked into the bar, went straight to the mic and let the fashion world know that Kristine Elezaj is coming. Kristine then got on the bar and lit up the room to the point that we all got emotional thinking about how hard she’s been working to get to this point and how much love there was in the room for her during the performance, it was quite fresh.

Live and correct I will  we bring it to your set
I  We got now, I We don’t care who got next…” – Jay-Z (Hovi Baby)

Alright I have about 5 minutes of spare time today in between meetings and after last night I’m having a hard time sitting still and talking, time to do. I still had get on EMPT and give ya’ll something for the weekend and MYNC’s Payback Mix Remix of I’m Not Alone couldn’t be more appropriate. This song is bliss and dance at the same time. When those chords come in 44 seconds into the song you can help but escape and then the drums kick in and you can’t help to want to move. On top of that the trick still has a very relaxed overall feeling so you can sit at work and brainwash yourself to feel better about the next few hours before freedom. Anyways, time to go but enjoy this weekend anthem, peace.

Calvin Harris – I’m Not Alone (MYNC’s Payback Mix Remix)

Categories
Music

Calvin Harris – Stars Come Out

When Calvin Harris was recording his second LP, Ready For The Weekend, he was trying to buy time from his record label so he made up a story about his luggage being stolen along with his laptop which contained the only existing copy of his upcoming work. I’m assuming the label fell for this deception because the album would be released a year later and go on to reach number 1 on the UK charts. Well played Mr. Harris, well played.

I can not explain something in your chemistry.”

The album went on to cause a stir on the internet but like most music these days it was in one ear, out the other. I was out causing trouble last night and Stars Come Out randomly came on and reminded me just how good some of that album was. The production is simple but not predictable, the album feels good and extremely accessible. I guess it’s no wonder why so many refer to Calvin as the king of electropop, enjoy.

Calvin Harris – Stars Come Out

Categories
Music

Le Miel du Mois by Steph Lund: The Lost Tape

With high expectations, rebel citizens of the millennial generation leave the tired and corporate ruled world of radio to begin a new life in music blogs…

Raid the radio!
Cause we’re tired of hearing the same old song.
We’re gonna change the dial to something new.
Bring some truth to this town.” – General Electriks

However, the Recording Industry of America gains great military powers and soon ceases control of one music blog after another, in the name of justice and peace.

The year is 2009, the space age. In a move to counter The Industries tyranny, rebel citizens of the Et Musique Pour Tous faction scheme to bring new arsenals to the earth disguising them as mixtapes. Made to introduce innovative and traditionally oppressed styles of art and music to the world, these tapes created a problem for The Industry taking away radio spins from the likes of elemental pawns Justin Timberlake and Timbaland. However, leaders of the powerful and corrupt hosting giant Gisol Incorporated catch on to this operation and in a merciless act to maintain power destroy EMPT and any traces of these mixtapes. Once again forced into the underground, EMPT forges an alliance with a small but powerful hosting company to rebuild and continue distribution of the mixtapes. As the revolution continues the tapes have gained great popularity around the world with more and more oppressed citizens finding new ways of expression and artistic appreciation. On 1.18.2010, EMPT released The Lost Tape, the first of the series destroyed by The Industry. The release is meant to symbolize the struggle and success of the continuing revolution. The second act has just begun, we’ll be busy…

Let’s see which course the future will take. It’s up to the people whether our plans to reform will succeed, that’ll decide the future…”

Le Miel du Mois at work? That’s much better than work at work! Download

Tracklisting:

  1. Metric – Help I’m Alive (The Twelves Remix)
  2. Air France – Collapsing at your Doorstep
  3. Passion Pit – The Reeling (Calvin Harris Remix)
  4. White Rabbits – Percussion Gun
  5. Bad Veins – The Lie
  6. Royksopp – What Else is There (Ministry of Sound Remix)
  7. The Golden Filter – Solid Gold
  8. Chairlift – Planet Health
  9. Amadou & Mariam – Sabali
  10. Moby – Shot in the Back of the Head
  11. Friendly Fires – Skeleton Boy (Air France Remix)
Categories
Music

Le Miel du Mois by Steph Lund: Decembre

That’s right fool, it’s December 1st and that means a new version of your favorite mixtape maker’s favorite mixtape: Steph Lund’s Le Miel du Mois: Decembre edition. I haven’t told Steph yet but she’s outdone herself yet again. There are so many different spices, seasonings and flavors in this that I think Raekwon is going to have to share the Chef nickname with someone from the new generation, enjoy.

Le Miel du Mois: Decembre

Le Miel du Mois: Decembre features some of my favorite artists, some I have loved a long time (Bloc Party, Sebastien Tellier, Phoenix) and some new favorites (Telepathe, Delorean, Neon Indian). Four artists featured are French, in anticipation for my trip to Paris this month, enjoy and ecoutez: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Sebastien Tellier, Phoenix and Soko. Soko is a French model/actress. I included her song “I’ll Kill Her” which first debuted in 2007, but came back in my life recently when listening to DJ AM’s “Elton John Part 3,” I can’t stop listening to it and wanted to include it on this month’s mix, because, well the lyrics are just kind of amazing: s’amuser.”

Le Miel du Mois at work? That’s much better than work at work! Download

1.    Telepathe – Chrome’s On It (Gold Panda Remix)
2.    Charlotte Gainsbourg – Heaven Can Wait (Feat. Beck)
3.    Sébastien Tellier – Divine (Danger Remix)
4.    Mystery Jets – Half  in Love with Elizabeth (Delorean Remix)
5.    Glasser – Apply (Tanlines Remix)
6.    Phoenix – Lisztomania (Alex Metric Remix)
7.    Calvin Harris – I’m Not Alone (Three Fingers Remix)
8.    Soko – I’ll Kill Her (JD7’s Killer Mix)
9.    Neon Indian – 6669 (I Don’t Know If You Know)
10.    Fool’s Gold – Nadine (Memory Tapes Version)
11.    Holly Miranda – Waves
12.    Kasper Bjørke – Young Again (Edit)
13.    Bloc Party – Hunting For Witches (Crystal Castles Remix)
14.    Freelance Whales – Starring
15.    Glass Candy – Computer Love
16.    Natureboy – Heart to Fool

Categories
Music

Calvin Harris – Yeah Yeah Yeah La La La

Calvin Harris’ latest album Ready For The Weekend is pretty good. I didn’t review it or release any of the songs because of a label request but now that they hype calming down I think we’re in the clear.  I find a lot of people criticizing this album for not having enough depth and poor lyrical value. This isn’t a Cat Power LP people, it’s a dance album! I mean the one of the biggest hits in ’07 was Justice’s D.A.N.C.E., a song whose lyrics consisted of the alphabet and counting from 1 to 5, get the picture. Anyway, I’m off to wrap up one of the busiest weeks in my life as I myself get ready for the weekend, enjoy.

Calvin Harris – Yeah Yeah Yeah La La La

MP3

Categories
Music Remixes

Le Miel du Mois by Steph Lund: Aout

New month – new Le Miel du Mois mixtape on EMPT. I would write more but it’s Saturday and I need to back out in the sun asap, enjoy.

Le Miel du Mois: Aout:  Last month, one of the fans of the monthly mix, “kiki,” commented on how Le Miel du Mois: Juillet makes her feel: “like dancing around the edge of a pool late night with a drink and a cigarette and oversized t-shirts and sometimes getting pushed in and you never remember the photos that get taken but you laugh the whole time,” Le Miel du Mois: Aout, aims to invoke the same exact feeling, but with a few minor alterations: sans pants, and add in flashing, flashing, lights lights lightssss.”

Le Miel du Mois at work? That’s much better than work at work! Download

Wale – Chillin Ft. Lady Gaga (The Knocks Remix)

Phantogram – Mouthful Of Diamonds

Sufjan Stevens – Chicago

PNAU – Embrace ft. Ladyhawke (Fred Falke Remix)

M83 – We Own The Sky

1. Little Boots – New In Town (Fred Falke Remix)

2. Ellie Goulding – Starry Eyed (Jakwod Remix)

3. Wale – Chillin Ft. Lady Gaga (The Knocks Remix)
4.
Phantogram – Mouthful Of Diamon
5. Boys Noize – Jeffer
6. Calvin Harris – Ready For The Weekend
7.
Sufjan Stevens – Chicago
8.
PNAU – Embrace ft. Ladyhawke (Fred Falke Remix)
9. Goth Star – Pictureplane
10. French Kicks – Cloche
11. Miike Snow – Animal
12. Chester French – She Loves Everybody (Pance Party Remix)
13.
M83 – We Own The Sky
14. Ra Ra Riot – Ghost Under Rocks
15. Warpaint – Stars