Madi Diaz – Trust Fall (Jensen Sportag Remix)

A close friend of mine works at a radio station. He is sent hundreds of demos, albums and samplers each year. Most of those are summarily retired, but he still listens to a large percentage, if only for a few seconds.

While catching up over Thanksgiving, he commented to me that everything he’s been getting recently is “80s electro-pop.” The horror!

Musical tastes rise and fall, but if that description is accurate, we’re in a serious trough right now. Of all the musical styles to emulate, why choose 80s electro-pop? Anyone?

My guess: It’s easy to make. Flip on a simple beat, run a synthy arpeggiator, filter the likely shoddy vocals…voila! A ready-made knockoff of a genre that’s always been more valuable as an object of mockery than as music. This is symptomatic of the non-existent barriers of entry of our modern age, where anyone and everyone can become a producer

I, for one, will stick with reboots of early 90’s soul funk, like this tasty offering courtesy of Jensen Sportag, the always excellent producer outfit out of Nashville. They remix Madi Diaz, an artist deserving of attention if you haven’t yet tuned in.

Put away the coke. Bust out the scented oil. Press play.

Madi Diaz – Trust Fall (Jensen Sportag Remix)   


Pomrad – Pomslap

Pomrad - This Day EP

Pomrad is the alias of Antwerp based jazz keyboard player, rising producer, and solo performer Adriaan Van De Velde. As Pomrad, he is signed to London art label Earnest Endeavours, and released his “This Day EP” in April. His first release came in 2012, the “Vlotjes EP,” and garnered critical acclaim from the international community. Comparisons to popular producers Hudson Mohawke and Rustie elevated Pomrad’s status as a producer to watch.

“Pomslap,” my favorite song from the “This Day EP” is an absolute stunner of a track, rooted heavily in 80’s funk, 90’s hip-hop, and jazz fusion. What really brings everything together for me are the talk box riffs that are eerily reminiscent of Daft Punk’s early work on “Homework” and “Discovery.” I am an absolute sucker for some funky robot melody.

Pomrad performs live as a one man band using synthesizers, midi controllers, and keyboards. Backing tracks are used only when he decides to kill a talk box or keytar solo. Do your ears a favor and pick up Pomrad’s “This Day EP” now.

Pomrad – Pomslap

Music Remixes

EMPT Premiere: DJ CAM – Uncomfortable (REFLEX Remix)


Situationally speaking, we’ve all been there. Finding ourselves in uncomfortable positions followed by a reassurance that —in the end— we’ll be OK. The not so good reality about that is that sometimes it’s more wishful thinking than an actual foreshadowing with any degree of certainty of a desired outcome.

We’ve been yearning the balearic sea disco avec that sexy touchez français that is REFLEX. That’s why EMPT is proud to bring you the exclusive premiere of their new remix for DJ CAM’s Uncomfortable. The clash between the funky electro-disco personality with the balearic looks is a fusion not found in many places and sonically, we can almost taste the sand, the sea and the blue sky on this one. André and Ludmilla (the duo behind REFLEX) watermark this remix with their signature vintage synth chord progressions and it makes me smile. There’s something very rewarding about a fresh new production with a hint of something you can tell apart and claim as “the REFLEX sound”.

This track will be officially released in exactly one week from today but you can enjoy it and get it starting today by clicking the link after the jump. As you read this they are halfway through their US tour and I couldn’t stress enough the fact that you should catch their show if it’s anywhere near your locale. I’ve been wanting to see them live since I first heard about them.

Here’s a list of the shows left on this leg of the tour:

03/13 : Gold Lounge, Las Vegas, NV
03/14 : The Garden,  El Paso, TX
03/15 : SXSW Geisha Room ( Nubase Showcase )

03/16 : SXSW Nook Amphitheatre – Live

03/22 : The Next Door, Honolulu Hawaii – Live

DJ CAM – Uncomfortable (REFLEX Remix)


Gil Scott Heron – Home Is Where The Hatred Is

What is it about funk music that gets me going? Is it the mixture of soul and R&B? Smooth vocals? Or could it possibly be the long train runnin’ kind of musical beat? I’ve always associated the sounds of funk with the movement of trains; the sounds keep chugging along down the track. They don’t glide, but the way is smooth and the destination is unknown; either way, though, the trip is always feel good. I’m taking the train home today for the first time since March. 8 hours of sitting on an Amtrak train making its way north-west. I’m going home to a house my family moved to after I graduated high school. It’s not my home home, but it’s my family and therefore it’s home.

I woke up this morning, looked at my packed weekender bag and carry-on, and suddenly felt the need to turn this track on. There’s something in Heron’s voice that reminds me of the town I grew up in. Hindsight has taught me that the central New York college town is actually one of the best places to grow up in. I remember, however, itching to get out of there as soon as I could. On Friday nights I’d occasionally make it down to the university campus and see some shows at this underground cafe/art space called Funk n’ Waffles. The space was filled with new art, muted earthy wall colors with pops of orange, and a nice DIY stage covered in blankets and tapestries. They made a mean latte, served delicious waffles and carried one of my favorite teas called Purple Haze (a lavender tea y’all should try). Friday nights, the owner would bring in relatively unknown acts that ended up being incredible artists. A lot of my music pallet was formed here. When there wasn’t a show going on, funk music would be playing and the youth would hang out. Heron was a constant on their sound system and hearing him this morning has brought me back to a place I now consider my home.

Gil Scott Heron – Home Is Where The Hatred Is


Covers Music

Chromeo – When The Night Falls (Mayer Hawthorne Cover)


One of the standout tracks —if that’s even possible when most if not all of the songs in the album are amazing— in Chromeo’s Business Casual is When The Night Falls. And if this track’s original version wasn’t good enough Mayer Hawthorne gives us his amazing version as a gift and part of the When The Night Falls EP.

At first listen one might be tricked by Mayer Hawthorne’s voice and it is his falsettos beautifully merged with this jazz and pop-laden arrangement that take the groove on this musical piece to a very special place in our hearts and our feet. The way I see it it’s like MH stripped naked WTNF and put a slick suit on its body with funky colored socks on its feet.

This remake has all the trademarks of this Michigan native retro man with its funk and soul injection but make no mistake, this does not mean it doesn’t sound as fresh as it came out of the oven. I think between this fact and what MH accomplishes with his voice is the sweet spot of this joint.

If you find yourself surrounded by a group of friends that heard the original one too many times, hit play and prepare yourself to surprise them in the funkiest most glamorous of manners. Go ahead and sing it one more time:


“Well you probably think I’m a fast-talking romantic
With a high-fallutin’ ways
But it’s all about the impression you made
On the first time I met you
That stayed with me for days
And now I want that feeling back
But I’m not sure where to get it
But you have the answer to that

And you say it’s nothing but fun and games
But over the phone it’s not the same
So let’s try to cross paths

There’s something about you, girl
And it’s rather strange
I want come back to you, girl
And rekindle the flame.”

Chromeo – When The Night Falls (Mayer Hawthorne Cover)