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Music

BADBADNOTGOOD – Kaleidoscope (Kaytranada’s Flip)

BBNG2

Badbadnotgood just keeps getting better and better. Notorious for their boundary-pushing and genre-fucking ways, these guys are are absolutely killing it these days. Not your typical jazz conservatory grads, this Toronto-based trio (Matthew Tavares on keys, Chester Hansen on bass, and Alexander Sowinski on drums) initially garnered attention with their bad-ass jazz interpretative stylings of some popular hip-hop tracks and they’ve gone on to collaborate with artists such as Ghostface Killah, Tyler the Creator and Frank Ocean just to name a few. They released their third album III earlier this year– their studio work is pretty damn spectacular, but let it be known that their live set is where the real alchemical shit goes down (improvisation, yo)…

BBNG’s sound is impossible to define (duh) but my best attempt right here right now is something along the lines of ‘jazz-informed harmonic bliss infused with experimental hip-hop-y beats with a dash of post-bop electronica and some punk-ass virtuosic fusion vibes’. In other words, there are no words. Only listening to be done.

On that note, BBNG + Kaytranada = magic. Not a remix, but a flip. Pretty aptly named in my opinion.

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Music

Kaytranada – Leave Me Alone ft. Shay Lia

Foggy city from Bernal Heights

He’s been hot for a minute already, but if you haven’t yet booked your ticket on the overnight bus to the netherworld that is the Kaytranada bandwagon, step right up. It isn’t that the songs are downers – in fact, they all feature an inignorable positivity – but rather that they are down. They don’t take you soaring through the clouds, blasting towards the stars in blinding flashed of energy; they slither you through the settled fog, close to the wet, living earth. The bass is organic, the samples (his music is heavily sample centric) soulful. It’s as if an ancient griot stumbled across RZA’s EPS16+.

One thing Kaytranada is not, at least in my eyes, is an EDM artist. EDM has come to connote a specific type of electronic music, and in many ways has become a super-subgenre that no one applies correctly. I’m not saying I know what it is, but this isn’t it. In interviews, Kaytranada cites Flying Lotus as a contemporary influence, and you can really hear it: the jazzy undertones, unsyncopated drums and late-nite vocals. If he’d been performing in the 30’s, Kevin would have been one cool cat.

And not only because of his music. This guy is clearly very cool and original. Born in Haiti and raised in Montreal, he had this to say about living in Canada: “I usually chill around at the part or I’ll just go to bars because I don’t really go to clubs. The bars play the best music. I see finer girls in there. Clubs aren’t that cool but bars are awesome.” And this to say on “trap music”: “I think it’s kinda corny…all of that kind of cliché trap stuff is so annoying. But, I ain’t gonna lie, I was hot on that shit before, but now it’s turned out to be corny.” (both quotes from an interview with Noisey)

Voice of a generation? I’m kidding, but seriously, who doesn’t agree with both of those statements.

“Leave Me Alone” is a fair representation of his music. It is both dense and spatial, allowing the listener to breath but not catch a breath. As we transition into the autumn, it’s songs like this that begin to take hold, leading us away from the sunny skies and into a contemplative realm.

 

Kaytranada – Leave Me Alone ft. Shay Lia

 

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Music

Disclosure – January (Kaytranada Edition)

This has been quite a year for these two forces, which really made waves in the 2013 electric music scene. Disclosure and Kaytranada have each contributed some of the top tracks of the year in their respective areas and also pushed the envelope in sound and collaborations bridging genres of music in a very successful, forward way.

I am excited to be able to write about Kaytranada once more time (I believe this is the 3rd or 4th time). And each time, I fall in love with his style again and again. Here he adds in his nearly eery sounds to the Disclosure number with the vocals of Jamie Woon. Something to kick-off the new year too.

And under that dance-riddled façade, are lyrics dripping with soul.

“And we cannot regret
The aesthetical feel
We had our brighter day
Was it synthetic or real?”

Disclosure – January (Kaytranada Edition)

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Music

Kaytranada – At All

Kaytranada

Kaytranada is one of my favorite producers. His creates sounds that are both sexy and complex, smooth and danceable. In At All, he finds a way of manipulating vocal tracks and laying them over his beats to create this tune which doesn’t feel like it comfortably fits into a specific time or genre. But would comfortably fit in to any dance hall.

One thing I love about music and artists today is the closeness you feel with them. We can see what they “like“, what they listen to, what they pack, what are their music essentials (Not a link to Kaytranada‘s but still interesting to see Ta-ku‘s). I think this is a newer bond we get to experience with musicians and producers now. We can see where their inspiration comes from. Where they are spending their time.  We can relate to their interests. We see them, in some cases, as clearly as we see our friends. This is the second article I have gotten to write about Kaytranada and it always allows me to do research on him, explore him a bit. Thankfully he is as interesting as he is talented in producing. Have a listen to this new song and then do some lurking. You will have have a crush or want to be bros with him, guaranteed.

Kaytranada- At All

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Music

American Royalty – Mariah (Kaytranada Edition)

I am currently working out of London. With this has come countless pubs, many an order of fish and chips, and the inevitable lost journeys through the back alleys and cobblestone streets which make up East London. What has tied all of this together is a walking mix which compliments the crux of  Shoreditch area  and the impetus of people and moving pieces of the city.

This recent addition to said mix does just that. At this point, we are all becoming pretty friendly with Canadian-based, Haitian born Kaytranada. In the past few months he has set the bar for remixing and creating tunes which take already great songs and creating quintessential compilations giving each a new life in his mastered métier.  This recent release is one that is for the books though. The original sample from American Royalty lends dark, fluid vocals which bring to mind this past year’s breakthrough male lead Alex Clare. But this NYC band also adds another element of haunting lyrics and a tone which makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. What Kaytranada did with this was make it a tune that hits your core and also makes you want to move with the heavy base and resonance giving it a consistent hitting sound.

Taking advantage of this, I am excited to see Kaytranada here in London tonight and watch him deliver his songs that are perfect for between the sheets or crossing streets.  It’s good a good day for great tunes in London town.

Mariah – American Royalty (Kaytranada Edition)

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Music

Janet Jackson – If (Kaytranada Remix)

janet jackson if kaytranda remix

Yes, we’ve covered the work of trill wunderkind Kaytranada here at EMPT not too long ago. But this young man has a treasure trove of scintillating productions just waiting to be dredged up. So, would you leave a diamond mine you knew was still full of that glittering good stuff? All done with the oil well after you’ve filled up your gas tank? Hell no!

Now I’m not gonna front; I’m not familiar with the original cut. My exposure to Janet Jackson’s body of work has been extremely limited to say the least. I mean, I do have memories of her and her brother Michael floating through my consciousness in black and white, looking really cool (but also really angry!) in the video for Scream.

Not that it matters much. I’m absolutely enamored with If (Kaytranada Remix), total lack of context be damned.

First, he starts off with the track with that reverb trick that makes it sound as though Jackson is singing from a room just down the hall and right behind a door. God, I’m a sucker for that. The images those little technique can conjure! Maybe Janet’s warming up in the booth with the backing track before she lays down the vocal cut. When the throb of the bass drum comes in, though, it sounds more like you’re walking down a dank, steamy hallway, with the warm embrace of the club and all its decadent promises just ahead. Then the hi-hat comes in and it establishes this glow-disco glitch groove that Kaytranada could ride out for the rest of the damn track and not much else would matter as I get caught up in the sound. That bounce in the bass tones has just the perfect amount of rump-bumping elasticism too. Right as it sounds likes he’s about to settle in, the cut shifts into straight shimmer mode as Janet’s vocals come into high relief.

This is fog machine R&B, a track that hangs in the air and sets a canvas for the shining, colorful lights as it floats around and overtakes the listener. Lovely.

Janet Jackson – If (Kaytranada Remix)