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Mixtape Music

Et Musique Pour Tous Presents: Les Auteurs — Ashley Hefnawy

We love the trials and tribulations of relationships. If you’re a regular reader of EMPT, you probably already know that. We love love. It’s a complex, difficult, struggling aspect of life, and yet, it’s so easy to rant about. I personally appreciate it because I am not currently in love. Because of that, I geekily analyze every song that even mentions love. All of it is intriguing to me, the beginning, the plot line, the plateau, and the eventual decline. In some rare instances, we find ourselves in situations of “everlasting love.” If you’re in one of those situations at the moment, then you have that extra level of faith that it will continue for you, and you know that it will never falter, no matter your circumstances. I believe I’ve experienced a love like that with people in my life, not necessarily intimate, and I cherish that.

So when Indie Shuffle came to us and asked us to build a themed playlist, I relished the notion of creating a themed playlist that could be about anything I wanted. For the record, every fabulous EMPT writer will have the chance to put together and publish a playlist using Indie Shuffle’s “collections” — which is basically, internet technology that allows you to make playlists and share them with others on your blogs. It’s a beautiful thing.

In this first edition, you’ll notice that the song titles are particularly specific to certain levels of a relationship. The beginning, for me at least, is the friendship that you don’t realize, is turning into something more. It’s the surprise, the moment you go to one of your friends and question, “Is it possible that he likes me? He’s been hitting me up a lot more than usual lately, I honestly thought we were just friends…But he’s so sweet.” Without even realizing, things begin to fall into your lap, and all of a sudden, you’re in blissful love. You stare at each other in parks as if there’s no one around; you know every fleck of brown and orange and yellow in their green/blue eyes. Your heart is on the verge of heart attack every time an intimate moment occurs. It’s easyOne day you wake up and your world is dictated by someone else — how did this happen? You’re so New York City independent, you foxy woman, you. You have your own life, your own friends, and your own weekend plans — but all of a sudden, you don’t. You want to know what they’re doing before you even know what you’re doing. And that scares the shit out of you, causing to look at life with a fearful eye — you’re afraid. And you tell them. But they respond with fear, too, and you both embrace it. If you’re going to fall into this hole, you’re going to fall down together. So you bask in this lavish glory, one of you treats the other like a precious diamond and you go out to expensive dinners and wear expensive shoes. Your life is suddenly wild and you have no idea how it happened.

And then one day you wake up next to this person and you don’t even know who they are. Life’s caught up to you and you’re disgusted by yourself. Or, alternatively, they have that realization about you. Either way, you just wish things could stay like they were before. You want to go back to the park on the water, where you both admitted fear and love all at once. Where you cried because it was overwhelming. You want them to stay. And like that, you’re attempting to move on. It’s over and you’re trying to heal your heart, trying to heal the universe that’s been built around you. You want to get better, but you don’t know how. So you numb the pain. And it turns you into this uptight alternate version of yourself. Or sometimes, it doesn’t. Sometimes, it just makes you into this seemingly carefree human, devoid of emotion, wanting to “experience it all.” You’re trying to embody the idea of a twenty-something.

But deep deep down, you know the environment in which your heart belongs. You just don’t know who should hold it.

This mix is for the love-missers. Hell, I know I miss it. Yeah, I love different people in my life. I allow that emotion to embody different moments of my days, and sometimes, I’m so overwhelmed by it, that I cry. But I never cry in the way that I do when I’m in love with just one person in just one way. And that’s what I miss. I think we all miss that.

Without further ado, please enjoy this first edition of Les Auteurs. And thank you, Indie Shuffle, for giving us this awesome opportunity to tell a story with a playlist.

Categories
Music

RAC – Let Go (feat. Kele & MNDR)

I am so excited. This is, what I believe, one of RAC’s first original tracks. And before even listening to it, you can expect loveliness. It’s adorably catchy and predictably thought out, as all of his remixes and covers have been in the past. I reiterate my excitement not only because I want you guys to feel it like I do, but because this is a sign of really incredible things to come for RAC. 

The orchestral build up into a beautiful vocal manipulation of sounds and variations never gets old. I love the lyrics here.

Tell me
Your problems
I’m here for you
Just try to stay sober
It’s eating you
And they say you are a monster
But what I see is a child
Your eyes are glowing red
And your tongue has caught on fire

We’re taken to a familiar place of friendship and loyalty. The idea of letting go of anything is a two part ordeal. We’re in a give and take relationship whenever it comes to letting go. It’s about seeing what’s in front of you and seeing it from another perspective. I love Kele’s soothing and mesmerizing vocals, how he’s not only the voice of reason but the voice of understanding. He’s the loyal friend, the one you never get upset with. And then MNDR comes in as the friend who is a little more blunt, the one who might be more direct and less understanding but definitely right in the end. She comes in with hands and body and physically shows you that you have to just let it go. She’s the harmony and the balance in this song.

Today is probably one of the more gorgeous days I’ve seen in New York this summer. Get out there and let go of something.

RAC – Let Go feat. Kele & MNDR

Categories
Music Remixes

Daft Punk x MNDR — Motherboard (Kings & Others Remix)

Happy Friday. You’ve made it through another week, and if your’s was anything like mine, you, my friends, are in desperate need of libations. It might not yet be 7:30 AM here in New York, but I decided not to keep it chill this morning as I went about my daily ritual of coffee, shower, breakfast. I wholeheartedly believe that what you listen to in the morning as you get ready forecasts the hours before you. Press play on this puppy, and I’m pretty sure your day will go from a joyous moment realizing it’s Friday to a permanent elation.

I stumbled across this track randomly crawling through the Internet a couple of weeks back. This summer has been about a couple things; one of which is Daft Punk. Their Random Access Memories LP is a solid fall back when I’ve had it playing iPod roulette. And MNDR’s “Feed Me Diamonds” has basically become a semi-precious anthem of mine. Layer the two together, and well, we’ve got ourselves one hell of a track. There’s nothing dramatic about this song at all. It’s honest electronic dance music that comes without the headache. MNDR’s raspy vocals hover over the spinning production as the strings swell beneath her. It’s one of those track’s you can listen to from day-to-night — it easily picks you up, and can easily trip you up. I respect a track that’s as ambiguous as it is grounded. I hope you do, too, because it’s the weekend; welcome it with open, diamond filled arms.

Daft Punk x MNDR — Motherboard (Kings & Others Remix)

Categories
Music Remixes

Metric – Breathing Underwater (MNDR Remix)

What does it feel like when two worlds that seem so different suddenly weld together to create one brain crushing world that doesn’t feel like your own at all? I can only imagine that it feels similar to the strangeness of breathing underwater. Not only the surreal idea itself, but the weirdness of actually being able to do it with your nose, sans gils. Sometimes, you encounter this feeling after a serious life event: death, end of love, a sudden move to a new place. The reality is that the brain despises change. That, and our brains try to multi-task all the time, but if we’re being true to presence and remaining in that, we’re probably going to get really narrow-minded and hone in on one specific thing. That’s just what happens, no matter how hard we try to stay true to today.

Recently, I’ve experienced this feeling. I apologize if it feels like I’m vaguely dancing around the whole situation that this actually stems from. But I’m not going to address anything besides the message in this post. All of a sudden your world, which is comprised of several different experiences and interactions, comes crashing down to let you check in with reality. It can happen all at once, making it a totally overwhelming experience. But I think what’s important to realize, is the root of that crash. The cause. Was it something that made you happy at one point in your life? Then, the most important part is to acknowledge that first. If it made you happy and you are no longer happy from it, then happiness is suddenly absent — and your brain hates that. Because how is it even humanly possible to be happy when you’ve only had to focus on one thing for so long?

Honestly, you guys are incredible readers and true life livers. I probably don’t even have to divulge into a real explanation of what I’m trying to say but I will. Happiness exists in your life in more ways than one. It’s so easy to focus on just one thing, especially if you’re the type that gives it your all. But when that thing is suddenly taken away, you’re forced to check in not only with yourself, but with everything else around you. You’ll realize that there are so many other things that are just as good, if not better, that contribute to your happiness. It’s your job to seek those out and allow them to surround you at all times.

 Is this my life?
Am I breathing underwater?

I haven’t been able to stop playing this song since I first heard it. It’s also just so epic at the chorus. With that powerful foot stomping beat, you feel like pounding your heel into the ground and pumping your fist into the air. But not in that cheesy annoying bro fist pumping way. Feel me? I love the way the vocals mesh with the electronic sounds — subtle yet present, waiting for your attention.

Here’s to taking hold of our happiness and being in charge.

 Metric – Breathing Underwater (MNDR Remix)

Categories
Music

MNDR – Feed Me Diamonds (RAC Remix)

It’s snowing outside and I haven’t forgotten what I promised you guys this past summer. I save my favorite tracks of the week for Thursdays, and while I am passionately driven by sound, emotionally moved by each track that I write about, Thursdays are a special day in my life. I wish I could explain it better, I’ll try. For some reason, there’s one number in everyone’s life that continues to come up for no reason whatsoever. No matter how hard one tries to escape it, that number just shows up. Whether it’s a lucky number, house number, number of past lovers (when you decide to stop and take count…), it’s constant. And it puts you in place, sometimes, just to let you know that you’re not alone. That there are other forces working around you.

For me, Thursday is that number. It just creeps up on me, drops a dose of reality and either allows me to take a breath and get excited about what I’ve accomplished during the week, or slap me on the back of the head and remind me to get working if I haven’t finished everything I set out to do on Monday. I associate a lot of positivity with Thursday, and I take my weekends very seriously. School certainly sets off my philosophy, but during the summers I like to use the weekends as serious me time. Work is omitted and life living is a first priority. Thursday plays such a key role in helping set that tone.

Enter RAC. I’ve written about them before, but in all honesty, I never tire of praising these lovely lads. Paired with the attention they seem to give to their enthusiastic fan-base, and their knack for funk and imagination, it’s hard not to love what they do as musicians and artists. With this track, MNDR’s voice whirls us through a twisted but classy tale of poetry. RAC’s remixing plays with the poetry perfectly, bouncing along each verse with enthusiasm and passion.

A look, a glance, a gesture
Can mean everything and nothing
A sediment adrift in crystal blackness
I won’t pursue, I want you, but I can’t stop
I’ll let the world make it’s decision
No matter the consequences
What’s the good in being good?”

What is the good in being good? Perhaps this is a question for another day. Maybe it’s a question that will linger in the dark spaces of your mind through the end of 2012, into 2013. And as you allow it to linger, perhaps you will casually place this song on a New Years Eve playlist, since you’ve been put in charge of that task. And when it comes on while you’re with all your loved ones (because yes, some believe that it’s cool maybe to go to some swanky underground club that directs you towards a massive scale adventure in the city on the night that lasts longer than most of your days, the reality is that you’ll probably ring it in nice and debatably classy with your favorite people at someone’s apartment or house), you’ll look around and notice head bobs and body movement. Hopefully it’s that time of the night where everyone’s in that kind of mood. And you will be cool, pretending that this song isn’t your jam, that your heart sings for it just as much as everything else on that playlist…

But I’ll know the truth. Think of me when that happens.

Happy Thursday!

MNDR – Feed Me Diamonds (RAC Remix)

Categories
Music

MNDR – I Go Away (The Oos & Ahhs Dubstep Remix)

This is my anthem…

I’m hyped about this track, not only because the lyrics pretty much explain my philosophy on life, but also because I’ve been vibing with the The Oos & Ahhs to bring you this exclusive remix. Ya know, giving you that new new is what we’re all about.

MNDR’s I Go Away is a song about thinking, acting, speaking, creating and living freely. In life one is bound to encounter know-it-all’s who are deeply in love with their ideals and convictions and will stop at anything to impose them on you. We’re also exposed to endless customs, traditions and conventions that try to define our behavior and approach to living. It’s easy to follow such blueprints because little thought is required.

Orthodoxy means not thinking—not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.” – 1984

Though there’s a romantic simplicity to living by convention, the world is in constant change and keeping a flexible and open mind is pretty much the only way to not be left behind. Creativity doesn’t extend to just art and we have the power to imagine and cultivate any life we wish to lead. The world is filled with many examples of successful rebels who do so.

The original version of I Go Away nailed this point beautifully, but left you craving more energy due to it’s slower pace and atmospheric production. That’s exactly what this remix is about – a passionate and energetic interpretation that gives serious life to the message of independence…

Stay true, see it through they say.
Tick tock, time just slips away.
And when the air is clear
The way I go is the way I feel…”

Many times we question our intuition because it is not in accordance with what others want or what is generally accepted. Bottom line, you can never be afraid to be yourself or try something new. Living by someone else’s standards can create a serious dependency and can lead you on a path that takes you further and further away from yourself – Stay true…

I know some people are on auto-hate when they see the word Dubstep in a song title, but like all things it can be crackalicious when used tastefully. I’ll be rockin’ with The Oos & Ahhs so expect more heat in the near future, enjoy.

MNDR – I Go Away

MNDR – I Go Away (The Oos & Ahhs Dubstep Remix)

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Categories
Music

MNDR – Cut Me Out

I was up till 6 am last night working on the music for a restaurant and at some point in the night I got an email about this new MNDR song and it goes a little something like this…

Green Label Sound today release their latest single “Cut Me Out” by electronic-pop songstress MNDR a.k.a. Amanda Warner and co-producer/co-writer Peter Wade. Starting tomorrow, MNDR will join Chromeo on the road for a coast-to-coast North American tour presented by Green Label Sound.

MNDR’s music has been infiltrating the web since early 2010 and already garnered fans at NY Times, The FADER, Pitchfork, Interview and Nylon among others, but Warner and Wade first came together one year ago when Warner moved to New York from Oakland, CA. Warner’s melodic sense and underground noise/art influences coupled with Wade’s interest in merging non-traditional sounds with polished songs has proven to be a perfect marriage of minds. In less than six months, MNDR has toured the world opening for acts including Miike Snow, and Massive Attack. MNDR continues to be a band member with Mark Ronson and The Business INTL.

I’m not exactly sure whose the A&R over there at Green Label but it seems like they make a lot of effort into selections because whenever they drop a record it’s usually worth the listen. I’ve been following MDNR for a while but I really became a fan when I heard I Go Away, the rebel anthem about following your heart and staying away from all that is dull and lifeless…

And when the air is clear
The way I go is the way I feel.
I’ll go away, I’ll go away, I’ll go my own way…

Then she was featured on Mark Ronsons underground smash Bang Bang Bang and she officially became one of my favorite new acts. Amanda has an amazing voice and a flawless delivery to go along with it. Her production is usually too overpowering but this new track does a good job of banging without masking the charm of her voice. Alright, I continue to be sleepless in New York and theres a million things to do so peace out homies, enjoy.

MNDR – Cut Me Out

MNDR – I Go Away

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