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Music

Miguel – …All (Kastle Remix)

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I just wanna/have fun and make money”

Don’t we all.

Since bursting onto the burgeoning nu-R&B scene with 2012’s “Kaleidoscope Dream” and its ubiquitous hit “Adorn,” Miguel has established himself as the top honey-rap singer in the game.

Honey Rap: a sub-genre combining hip-hop, R&B and soul, usually focused lyrically on illicit complementation of the female body and delivered in a sexy, nonaggressive manner (see Mario – “Let Me Love You.” I made up that definition, because apparently honey rap isn’t an accepted term. My friends and I have been using it for years…what gives, Internet? COINED.

A hallmark of Miguel’s songs is lush production: layer upon layer of  synth pads, reverb’d beats, duplicated vocal tracks. It works, but can get old. Which is why Kastle’s treatment of “…All” is so refreshing. The American producer’s work makes expert use of space, never oversoaking a track and always mastered to make every click and snap crisp and audible.

This isn’t one of Kastle’s dance tracks, per se. Rather, it begs to gush from your headphones and offer an escape. It’s a pick-me-up when you need moment of calm.

Miguel – …All (Kastle Remix)

Categories
Music Remixes

Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival – Kastle

Unable to attend the full weekend of music, I made sure to catch the final night of the Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival. After last year’s performances, which included the likes of Nicolas Jaar and Baths, I knew this event was not to be missed. Let it be known that to this day, Nicolas Jaar was one of the best live DJ performances I’ve ever seen.

That said, I was expecting a lot from the festival this year.

BEMF is structured in what I like to call a “new school” festival sort of way — you’ve got a concentrated area of Brooklyn with multiple venues and multiple nights of shows. At any given point, five different artists can be performing all over Williamsburg, at the same time. It’s exciting and hectic, jumping from place to place. But it’s mostly exciting. I was thrilled to know that both Kastle and Star Slinger would be performing on the same night, but I was disappointed to learn that Star Slinger wouldn’t be performing until 2am. Unfortunately, on a Sunday, I was unable to swing it. But I stayed for the entirety of Kastle’s performance, and was thoroughly impressed by his energy and excitement. I observed the crowd, which was more of a club scene for a Sunday night than a show, and immediately noticed how humbled Kastle was to be playing at such a venue (Output, in Williamsburg for those who haven’t heard/said it already, has a phenomenal soundsystem.)

He played an eclectic collection of his housier tracks, which was fitting for the time of night and the sort of crowd, but he closed out his performance with this track — a chopped up remix of Drake’s, “Hold On, We’re Going Home” which got everyone feeling sexy and amped up for the acts to follow. I’ve kind of loved this song for a while now, having heard it a couple of months ago when it was still summery in my head and outside. It’s sexy like the original but with that added element of trap mystery. It’s a little dirtier, a little sexier, a little less safe. Add it to your Friday playlists immediately, because you’ll be playing it all weekend. You might even accidentally find yourself mouthing the words, to the beat of the remix itself, on the street.

Not like that’s ever happened to me while accidentally making eye contact with strangers. Nope. Not me.

Enjoy!

Drake – Hold On, We’re Going Home (Kastle Remix)

Categories
Music Remixes

JMSN – Alone (Kastle Remix)

When I was in school, I wrote a term paper on the subject of genre: What does the term mean? Has it outlived its utility? The paper focused on the catalogue and philosophy of the now-legendary L.A.-based producer Flying Lotus, an artist whose productions defy easy genre tags.

When The Weeknd burst onto the scene from the cold north, critics and fans rushed to ascribe genre to his at-once lush and austere tracks. Hip-Hop, R&B, Soul, Indie…they were tossed around like so many darts in a dark pool hall. From this misguided attempt arose the term PBR&B, a reference to the alcoholic beverage of choice for the so-called hipster movement, Pabst Blue Ribbon. Because, apparently, only “hipsters” like this type of music.

Personally, I find this term hilarious and completely misguided. It’s the outcome of a human obsession with categorization, partially driven by the music industry and the chart culture that is falling to pieces even as I write. We are at the point where the genre defines the listener: Oh, you like The Weeknd? You must be a hipster. WHAT THE FUCK IS A HIPSTER BTW?

JMSN (pron. Jameson, like the whiskey) may be a new name to the PBR&B crowd, but he certainly is not a newcomer to the music industry. He began his career as the producer/writer/singer of power-pop outfit Love Arcade (LOLing at all the hipsters who, in an effort to prove how with it they were BEFORE he was big, will be forced to play Love Arcade songs for their friends)

Now he’s squarely in the sights of trendsetters everywhere, and any day now he’ll pop up on Pitchfork with a mediocre rating and a review that uses a lot of fancy words.

It’s Kastle’s touch that makes this song worthy of my space age bachelor pad. That garage two-step beat, the digiblips, the…emotive string section? Oh yes. The San Fran man takes the mood that Burial built and updates it for the year of trap in the least bombastic way possible. This remix sounds like an original, which should be the goal of every remixer the Internet spits out.

Go drive somewhere at night and bump this song. No PBR required.

JMSN – Alone (Kastle Remix)