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Music Remixes

EMPT Presents — S U M M E R: a n t i – w i n t e r 1 e by Ryan Radler

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Whether we like it or not, a new month approaches like a long lost relative, familiar out of necessity but still foreign with the possibilities that it brings. August is one of my favorite months of the year, and in the summer, because it’s absent of annoying holidays and tedious celebrations that all really commemorate the same things. Not to be cynical or anything, I’m really not, it’s just that my brother is born in August, and Ramadan for the past couple of years has ended in August, which makes it a really spiritually happy month. It also makes the start of September feel like a new year, which puts me in a clear head space, prepared for the remaining months in 2013.

For this month, my musical selection and soundtrack to my everyday routine has been picky. More picky than usual, actually. I want something that speaks to the end of a beautiful nostalgic time, while simultaneously fueling my energetic brain for the ambitious future that lies ahead. Which is why I was pleased to hear this edition of Ryan Radler’s beloved mixtape series. I think something that we like to talk about, and something that I am always aware of, is the power of a well crafted, finely curated mix-tape. While we tend to love mix-tapes that tell a story, I have a vast appreciation for those that successfully transition in and out of songs in a way that matches the flux and wavelike movement of my moods. I think I listen to mix-tapes because I want the feeling of letting go and allowing something else to take hold of my emotions, while not consciously doing so.

What I love about this edition of S U M M E R is the nostalgia and innocence that strings each song together. The vocal samples are what inspire my feelings of nostalgia. Innocent, because the emotion that each selection of song brings is raw and unabashed. It’s telling me to forget about my troubles for an hour and do good by me.

I’m doing just that. Today, just do you. Every day, really. But especially today while you embark on this journey of a mix.

S U M M E R : a n t i – w i n t e r 1E

1. TEEEL & SUMUO – Cosmic Collision (Melancholia Mix)

2. EMPIRE OF THE SUN – Country and Without You (VinnieBeats Remix)

3. LEONARD NIMOY & WILLIAM SHATNER (SPACED OUT) – Music to Watch Space Girls By

4. SHINY TOY GUNS vs. FLEETWOOD MAC – Fading Listening (Ryan Radler Edit)

5. JOSE GONZALEZ – Remain (Fear of Theydon Dub)

6. MILES DAVIS – Cocoa Cigarettes vs. Blue in Green (Lobotomy Remix / Ryan Radler Edit)

7. HIGH HIGHS – Open Season (Dan Spence Remix)

8. MT. OSSA – Love Jam

9. KOOL & THE GANG – Summer Madness (Cicada Edit)

10. XXYYXX – About You (Verby Edit)

11. KISSES – Air Conditioning

12. PET SHOP BOYS – Leaving

13. HAERTS – Wings (Wildcat! Wildcat! Remix)

14. BOMBAY BICYCLE CLUB – Shuffle (Leo Zero Remix)

15. EMPIRE OF THE SUN – Alive

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Categories
Music

Shiny Toy Guns – Fading Listening

fading listening shiny toy guns

The sky is bright and inviting in Brooklyn today. But the air is still bitter cold. Not the kind of place to be taking in a song like this.

Fading Listening is sun-kissed and dappled by the lights of the night in equal measure. It cruises along the boulevard, occupying the space between the low tide waves lapping along the coast to the left and the inviting neon signs of the bars and discotheques to the right. The last embers of the setting sun burn out in the middle distance just ahead.

The rich production adds layers on top of layers to the track; it’s warm, it’s deep, it bumps, and it gently pulls you along. You can tell that I don’t want to be around here while I’m writing this out right now. This is to be cranked while expectantly looking out the window towards the promise of the weekend or the night ahead. Preferably absorbed in the company of good friends and confidants, those with whom you’ve forged comfortable bonds.

It’s that feeling of familiarity that is really what takes this song to the next level. Shiny Toy Guns decided to imbue their track with a Fleetwood Mac vibe and the result is luxurious. The warm bass and the nimbly picked guitars are present while the traded-off vocals from Carah Faye Charnow and Chad Petree outline some half-remembered story. Their voices are in the here and now for only a moment before they decay into memory and the mix.

I’m all about the way
Of fading when I’m listening
Close enough to feel you
Don’t slow down
Don’t slow down.”

I’m a sucker for little production tricks like that, when the story of the lyrics are echoed in the audio? Immense respect for acts like these who realize the emotional oomph they can pack in with a little turn of phrase and a few twisted knobs and slid faders. Amplify a signal, amplify an emotion.

So why is there sadness here? I guess they’re lamenting the times they’ve had that have passed. Or the times they won’t have together.

I can relate. By nature I find myself drawn to “What if?” and “What could have been?” questions, imagining where I could be now and who I might be with if I just done one little thing differently. (Of course, it’s not one little thing, but a host of little things over the years.) But the speculative isn’t worth anything. Memories and personal histories rest in our head and our hearts. They aren’t static; they bend, gather dust, and are worn out as time goes on. As inviting as those pops and hisses might be, only the here and now is real. I’m sure there’s something to make of this chilly day, even if I won’t be feeling any sand between my toes.

Shiny Toy Guns – Fading Listening

Categories
Music

Shiny Toy Guns – Fading Listening

It’s been a while since I’ve seen this band’s name come up anywhere on the internet. I remember listening to their first album straight through while snowboarding in upstate New York and performing a pseudo vogue in front of the mirror to the filthy beat of “Le Disko.” But all that was in 2006 – which seems like ages ago. Where has this LA-based band been? Turns out they’ve released a sophomore album and streamed their newest album, III, this past Monday. Apparently the group’s been playing a game of cat-and-mouse with their audience; teasing tracks, cryptic writing, and references to the movie Inception of all things. Looking up Shiny Toy Guns recent activity made me feel like I’ve been living under a rock. Either way, I am thrilled to hear that they’ve stuck around and are releasing new work on a consistant basis.

“Fading Listening” is their second single off their upcoming release. Their sound seems to be less “alt-dance” than We Are Pilots showcased and more bouncy Fleetwood Mac-y. I’m digging everything about this shift in their sound. Carah Charnow’s voice has matured and she seems utterly comfortable in it. The synths are light and peppy while the guitar melody puts the track on cruise control, allowing us to just on through the song. The title says it all, really. You’re listening but you’re also losing a little touch of reality. The sound envelops you; the key boards resonate just right in your ear. I often hear a track and imagine the remixes to come from it, but I can’t seem to hear any from this one. It already sounds like a RAC track and I’m all for it.

Just as I’ve grown into a more mature being (well I hope), Shiny Toy Guns have matured, too. Take this track with you through the night and into the morning and weekend. It’s a lush world that’ll make you forget about the 2006 persona of the band and have you feelin’ the good vibes easing out of their sounds all day.

Shiny Toy Guns – Fading Listening

Categories
Music

EMPT Classics: Shiny Toy Guns – Starts With One (Classixx Remix)

You know how we said we were going to bring back the EMPT classics?…..Well we weren’t BS-ing, and we are going to keep this going so keep those eyes and ears open. When searching through the archives I didn’t have to search for more then 60 seconds when I stumbled upon Shiny Toy Guns.  Perfection for a Saturday and for the beginning of the month,” Starts With One,” and isn’t that the damn truth….Re-Enjoy!

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Is it me or are we all going through some sort or another of a transitional period? Weather it be global warming, a change in career, or a personal epiphany, I keep meeting people that feel that things as we know them are transcending the norm.

Times are a changin’. ” – Bob Dylan

Well, I’m part of the gang that believes it’s for the better.

I think most of us in the EMPT family would agree to religiously relying on some sound boost to keep our chests popped. Well, this song just set my ass alight. Songs like this one rekindle my faith in the world, people and more importantly, myself. More than rekindling, this song gets me back in ‘Let’s F#$%ckin DO This Sh!t’ mode. Specially during these days I’ve spent with Hec in the city, a tune like this one fits like a bling ring on a finger,

It starts with one … now there’s two… Let’s show them the only way, let’s show them our hearts. Let’s show them the only way, let’s sew up their hearts.”

Any EMPT reader that’s spent more than a month with us is now more than familiar with Classixx and their heart thumping remixes. So here’s another one to set you on superman/superwoman/superpoodle mode. Enjoy

Shiny Toy Guns – Starts With One (Classixx Remix)

Originally posted on December 23rd, 2009

Categories
Music

Shiny Toy Guns – Starts With One (Classixx Remix)

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Is it me or are we all going through some sort or another of a transitional period? Weather it be global warming, a change in career, or a personal epiphany, I keep meeting people that feel that things as we know them are transcending the norm.

Times are a changin’. ” – Bob Dylan

Well, I’m part of the gang that believes it’s for the better.

I think most of us in the EMPT family would agree to religiously relying on some sound boost to keep our chests popped. Well, this song just set my ass alight. Songs like this one rekindle my faith in the world, people and more importantly, myself. More than rekindling, this song gets me back in ‘Let’s F#$%ckin DO This Sh!t’ mode. Specially during these days I’ve spent with Hec in the city, a tune like this one fits like a bling ring on a finger,

It starts with one … now there’s two… Let’s show them the only way, let’s show them our hearts. Let’s show them the only way, let’s sew up their hearts.”

Any EMPT reader that’s spent more than a month with us is now more than familiar with Classixx and their heart thumping remixes. So here’s another one to set you on superman/superwoman/superpoodle mode. Enjoy

Shiny Toy Guns – Starts With One (Classixx Remix)