Categories
Music Remixes

Bleachers – I Wanna Get Better (RAC Remix)

This mix doesn’t differ very drastically from the original, but RAC tones it down by adding a catchy upbeat guitar and bass. It’s interesting to hear layers manipulated and moved to different parts of the song. You’ll notice the elements of the initial 5 seconds were moved from the background of the first verse of the original. I’ve been a fan of RAC (Remix Artist Collective) for a few years, and have vivid memories of riding my bike around campus jamming to their remix of “Carrie” by SPEAK and “Boy” by Ra Ra Riot. Coincidentally these are two of the first bands I’ve seen live. Luckily I went to a college (Hook ’em Horns) in a city that prides itself on being the “Music Capital of the World”. It turned me onto music in the best possible way. I suddenly had access to countless concerts, from $5 backyard shows, to huge music fests like Austin City Limits; I was in music heaven. My eyes were opened to the wonderful world of live music- music in its natural state.

After listening to this song a few times, it was stuck. Not the whole song though.. just one line: “I wanna get better!” I even found myself singing it aloud as I was waiting for the elevator at the end of the work day. It was somewhat uncontrollable, and only after the words left my mouth did I realize my actions. Catchy! But it also made me think.. What makes us better? How long can we stay stagnant before realizing it’s time for change? I grew up with a childhood of constant change. We moved around a lot, so I had to get used to being uprooted. Now that i’m independent, and in a stable environment, it’s on me to motivate myself to change, to get better, and evolve as a human being. Learning about other cultures is valuable to me, and it’s one way I’m getting better at living in this crazily diverse world. What motivates you to get better?

Bleachers is made up of the lead guitarist from Fun., and you’ll recognize those prevalent happy beats. “I Wanna Get Better” should be perfect for summer road trips, you singing loudly with your best friends…or not. In which case you can blast this through your headphones and drown out your fellow passengers. RAC does a great job of turning any track into a danceable jam you’re bouncing on your heels along to.

Bleachers – I Wanna Get Better (RAC Remix)

Categories
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
Mixtape Music Remixes

Le Miel du Mois by Steph Lund: Mars 2014

I can’t waste any more time doing things I don’t want to do…” – La Grande Belleza

I haven’t seen that movie but that didn’t stop me from being taken by such profound words. Since the day you’re born, your parents have an idea of who they want you to be. Marketers know how they want you to think so you buy, bankers want you to spend so you’re in debt, politicians want to influence your beliefs to vote, lovers want  to see you in their own image and on and on. We come into this world trying to find ourselves in the face of such powerful external influences that you can’t help but wonder when you’re truly being yourself. You can waste a lifetime trying to find purpose in someone else’s story…

A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.” – WarGames

Are you willing to disappoint, are you willing to be selfish, are you prepared to be an individual, perhaps even an outcast? It seems the path to the self is full of negative connotations but are you willing to do what it takes, are you willing to be Howard Roark to make your name?

For me it’s music. Some people call it an escape but to me it’s more like tuning in, it’s not fading away it’s more real than our commonly accepted reality…

You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” – Lennon 

I’ve been listening to LMDM Mars while writing this and that’s what it makes me feel, it makes me want to make a greater effort to be me. It makes me want to be around people who are themselves, express themselves without inhibition and not in the childish loud phony way either.

And it took so long to be on my own, when the morning comes I hope your ready for it… – RAC

This version of LMDM moves like a seasoned marathon runner, pacing him/herself with masterful precision. Like a kid who read The Tortoise and The Hare and decided you could be both and win. LMDM break all the rules, follows no guidelines and sets no precedents. No two tapes have ever been the same and the adventure will be an evolving, ever-growing limitless form of expression that inspires me and so many to create in the same way. We’re going to be making a big push here, with some new things coming in the near future but today we’re saying thanks again to Steph for continuing to put together one of the most consistently dope and unique mixtapes out, we’re grateful to bring it to ya’ll, enjoy.

UPDATE: LMDM Mars is streaming live @  WynwoodRadio.com. Tune in quick fast.

Download

Tracklist:

  1. Millionyoung – Hammock
  2. Deorro – Five Hours
  3. RAC – Ready For It (Feat. St. Lucia)
  4. Black Atlass – Blossom
  5. Faul – Happy Endings
  6. Ricoshëi – Perfect Like You (Stereotronique Bootleg Remix)
  7. Yacht – Psychic City (Clasixx Remix)
  8. Roosevelt – Around You
  9. We Were Evergreen – Daughters
  10. London Grammar – Hey Now (Tensnake Remix)
  11. Black Atlass – Paris
  12. Still Corners – The Trip

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

Moullinex – To Be Clear (RAC Mix)

The men of RAC seem to be having a fantastic summer because the tunes just keep cranking out. I’m personally happy that their creative juices are flowing because I highly benefit from this stroke of brilliance. This track breathes a new life of its own, completely separate from the original. Moullinex’s seductive voice and lyrics make for a hard to miss summer tune that keeps your ears happy with a solid beat. I also love when vocal samples are messed with in a way that makes them sound like an extension of the synth’s work.

I listened to this song yesterday on my new walk home (I discovered an easier way to get home by taking a train that now goes over a bridge and directly to my hood…why I didn’t discover it sooner, I’m not sure) and I felt really happy about a couple of things. After a conversation with my mom, where we talked for about half an hour despite my insistence on “not having any news to share”, I was content with the knowledge that no news can really be good news. And honestly, when we’re hustling the way that we do, working every single day to make our lives the best that we possibly can, there always is news. It’s just that none of it is worth sharing, because it is only news for you and no one else. I guess I was happy to know that I seemed to be doing okay by not only myself, but by others (in this case my mom). I also felt happy because I knew that this upcoming month would be a time of self-reflection and clarity for me, due to a couple of personal things. I look forward to it and welcome it, but know that it’s going to mean a lot of emotions, with ultimately, a lot of learning.

Moullinex – To Be Clear (RAC Mix)

Categories
Music Remixes

Foster The People – Houdini (RAC Remix)

What makes Foster The People such a solid band is their unabashed approach to pop-rock. If they want to use a piano, they use a damn piano and slam out the chords. If they want to bring in a horn section and have them blare out notes over synths and their infectious falsettos, they do and it works. In everything you do, confidence is key (so cliche, but ride it out with me). Foster The People’s confidence in their sound is what makes their sound believable. They make it #werk. On top of that, they’re brilliant lyricists spinning youthful tales that aren’t contrived and far from being preachy. I guess it’s all in the name.

“Houdini” dropped early summer 2012. If anyone wants to know what this band is all about, all they have to do is listen to the original track. This track is like the bands resume and cover letter all packaged into a neat contagious three and a half minutes. RAC, however, tones down the poppy elements and chills the sound out over atmospheric chimes, a deep disco bass line, and chopped vocals. The elusive quality of the magician himself is captured in RAC’s remix. “Sometimes I wanna disappear” drops into a soundscape that’s both light and completely grounded. It’s a track that embodies the whole “have your cake and eat it, too” mentality. RAC’s serving us the best of both sounds. It’s ear candy at it’s finest.

Focus on your ability
Gain again what they want to steal.”

I’ve found that the more you begin to feel something good, the more the world tries to bring you down. I don’t think it’s a negative thing; rather, it’s a test to see how invested you are in the feeling — how willing are you to fight for it? The easy thing to do is throw your hands up and let the world win. It’s settling and I don’t believe in that…not anymore that is. Good things are worth the ugly, slightly torturous battles with your own ego. Focus on your ability.

Cheers to Sunday. Cheers to getting what you want.

Foster The People – Houdini (RAC Remix)

Categories
Music Remixes

Beta Love – Ra Ra Riot (RAC Remix)

How rare it is that I find an RAC remix that I don’t like. Upon first listen, thanks to the recommendation of my brother, I was taken by the attention to detail and sound, not to mention the delicate intro that plummets into an adorable bubbly anthem. This has RAC written all over it.

I will find my beta love
When I find my beta love

You will be my beta love
My beta love
Now we’re getting closer.”

I like the idea of robot experimental “beta” love. After all, what is love but an entire experimentation of human emotion? It is never the same from person to person. We’re all familiar with that feeling of new love, how it feels authentic and unique to not only any other experience you’ve had, but any experience anyone else in the world is having at the same exact moment. We have to tell ourselves that, don’t we? Otherwise, it isn’t special. And all love is truly special, particularly in the romantic sense. Perhaps it is this song’s job to remind us that this emotion is about constantly taking risks, holding nothing back. Paired with a cute and catchy beat, it embodies the sonic interpretation of the lovable subject matter.

Love is probably the most common subject you’ll find on EMPT, but that’s only because it’s the most prevalent inspiration for so much of art that we are surrounded by. Writing, music, fine arts, film, etc. all draw inspiration from a beta love in some shape or form. The way Ra Ra Riot annunciates “beta” in this song also makes it sound like they’re saying “better” with a British accent. Just something to think and smile about.

Beta Love – Ra Ra Riot (RAC 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 Remixes

RAC – Hollywood [feat. Penguin Prison] (Escort Remix)

The grooves! The grooves of it all! This jam is everything to me right now as I finalize my luggage for my trip this afternoon. Sometimes you need a little dance music to amp up your mood just a little bit – like a night cap…only it’s daytime…a day cap, maybe? Anyway, this track has me feelin all kinds of good. Escort has added this pinch of late 80’s vibes that have me imagining myself dancing around my apartment in underwear and a dress shirt Risky Business style. The horns are infectious and pulse through your bones. Mix in a groovy piano bit and smooth bass line and you’ve got yourself a 3 and a half minute joyous, let-it-all-hang-out party.

While the original version of this track is great, I’m really digging this remix because of how shameless it is in making noise. Yes, it’s a bit loud and a tad over the top, but that’s the whole point. Why create a dance tune that’s reserved? If you want your listeners to dance and let go, you make music that sounds like letting go. This track practically forces you to throw your hands up saying “Screw it I just want to dance.” The time for being reserved is over- it’s Saturday after all. If your week has been anything like mine, this weekend is a major blessing. So turn this track way up and live a little. You and I both deserve it.

RAC – Hollywood [feat. Penguin Prison] (Escort Remix)

Categories
Music Remixes

Mayer Hawthorne – No Strings (RAC Remix)

The men of RAC are capable once again of putting us in a happy place. With a some funk infused melodies thanks to Mayer Hawthorne, we have ourselves a tune that keeps up with a constant smile. The subject matter of this song and the melodic elements of funk swim together in an ocean of realness, as we wrap our minds around the idea of Mayer Hawthorne having a one night stand.

I saw you lookin’ at me girl
When I first set foot into the room
You didn’t want me to see girl
You didn’t wanna lay your cards so soon
I see you rollin’ it over
You wonder what your friends might think of you
Angel on your shoulder, but you know just you wanna do

Well I don’t need to know a thing about your past
No I just want one night with you no strings attached
And I know that we might not be a perfect match
I just want one night with you no strings attached.”

While I did not receive this song from a friend, today happened to be a really fantastic day for song sharing. I have to credit my friends and family for most of the stuff that I post about on here (okay, maybe not most of it but a lot), and it’s all because of song-sharing. I believe it was Hayden who once wrote about how much thought goes into sharing a song with another person. I feel really similarly. Not everyone will enjoy the music that I have to share, and I certainly won’t enjoy every song that is sent my way. But for the people who are able to tune into my taste of music and see past the gal who loves to dance to anything that will get her body moving, I am truly grateful. Without the special connection of understanding one another’s musical landscapes and languages, we would be short one significant mode of communication.

Enjoy!

Mayer Hawthorne – No Strings (RAC Remix)