Music Remixes Writing

Timaya & Electric Bodega – I Like The Way (Electric Bodega Remix)

This track brings me right back to trips I have taken to the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic.  Two places I would love to be taking my daughter this summer if Zika wasn’t such a risk. BUMMER!  Hopefully they get a handle in that shit quick so I can go jetsetting ASAP with the little mini me!  I have been in Seattle the past few months and it’s literally been the rainiest Fall and Winter I have ever experienced.  I grew up here until Junior High and it was never this bad so you all can stop your “all it does is rain in Seattle” eye rolls, ya I see you!!

I cannot stop listening to this track this morning.  Timaya & Electric Bodega transport me to the future, just a couple months from now into Summer, I think we are all ready for it, for rays of sunshine, long weekends, outdoor BBQ’s and pool parties, brunches and rooftop shenanigans.  Ya all that stuff that we long for, well unless you live in Cali, but no offense I don’t want all that stuff year long, I want to be able to miss it because then it’s just that much more special and inviting when it’s all finally here.

All I can do is turn up the heat in my house, take off my clothes and dance carelessly until the evening festivities while I pretend I am somewhere else, do the same, enjoy!

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La Femme – Sur La Planche


Vive l’été!

Quand je suis sur la planche, tout est bon.

Et quand nous sommes sur la planche ensemble, alors…c’est comme nous sommes le monde, et rien d’autre existe.

La Femme – Sur La Planche


John Hancock – Left Me

Want a happy summer jam? Well here you go! Easy peasy.

But seriously, John Hancock has created this upbeat, toe-tappable track, a perfect pairing with your summer shenanigans. He somehow turned “sad” content with accompanying elements that exude pure joy. “Left Me” defies the quintessential love song about separation, adds a tropical groove, and leaves the hook for you to grab hold of.

I tried and tried to move on with my life. You keep returning so I never get it right

I’ve been a witness to this countless times. Whether it’s been friends or firsthand experience. We’ve all been that person not wanting to give up on the relationship. Having hope that maybe one more encounter will reveal one last glimmer of survival for the relationship. Maybe it will, but it could just as easily prolong the heartbreak for both of you!

Anyway, enough of that relationship stuff.. plug in your headphones and jam out to this! The video is worth a look too.

John Hancock- Left Me


Et Musique Pour Tous presents Les Auteurs – Nicky DePaul

Today I am excited to offer the second entry into EMPT’s “Les Auteurs” playlist series, in which our writers share playlists built around a theme of their choosing. The design of the EMPT is not condusive to author recognition, and we devised this series as a way for our loyal (unpaid) writers to put a name to the voices you know and love.

In the first “Les Auteurs” entry, Ashley H. (yes, there are multiple Ashleys!) shared an Indie Shuffle playlist built around the broad theme of love, and constructed to lead listeners through the phases of a romantic relationship. This week will be, well, different.

See, I have a love affair going on in my life. It’s been going on for a while now, and after a few years on and off, I’m glad were finally able to be together again. Whenever I find a spare moment, I’m running in my love’s direction, eager to bury myself in the wetness that awaits.

I admit it: I’m head over heels in love with the beach.

My youth was spent in a coastal community in West Los Angeles abutting Venice, considered the home of modern American skate and surf culture. The beach was a regular presence. My friends and I would bike or skate the few miles to the sand and post all day, surfing, flirting and growing up. Though I was undoubtebly the “Squid” of the group (I never could get the hang of that balance thing…), I found that the beach, and coastal settings in general, became the preferred haven for my soul. I’m a nature guy, an ecologist and climate scientist by training, and am absolute Wild (in the Thoreau-ian sense) addict. Nothing is more wild on this planet than the ocean, and I embrace the mysterious deep as my church. We could dive deep into naturalistic mysticism, but that’s for another day.

My “Les Auteurs” entry is entitled “BYOBeach,” and it’s sculpted to bring the ‘tude and feeling of a summer beach day to your earholes, wherever you may be physically located. Beach culture exists across the world in different forms, and I’m not trying to provide a comprehensive survey. “BOYBeach” mixes the haze and liberation of Australian psychedelic rock, the rebellious voice of long-haired teenagers at war with everyone, the prophetic calls of reggae forebears, and the ebullient promise of a life spent in the salt and sun.

Some of the tracks are retro classics. No beach playlist would be complete without The Beach Boys (“Catch A Wave”), Bob Marley and the Wailers (an incomparably great early recording of “Lively Up Yourself”) and Toots and the Maytals (“Sweet & Dandy” off the album that brought reggae music out of the Caribbean, “The Harder They Come (OST)”).

Others are brand new and laregely unknown. Howler (“Beach Sluts”), the brainchild of singer/songwriter Jordan Gatesmith is pure beach punk out of distinctly not-beachy Minneapolis. Elliphant (“Music Is Life”) aka Ellinor Olovsdotter, is another rising Swedish pop sensation who pays tribute to dancehall and reggae in her own unique fashion (look for her at the Mad Decent Block Party concert series this summer). And, because I’m obsessed withKevin Parker (of Tame Impala fame), I included tracks from two of this other projects: Melody’s Echo Chamber, where he serves as the producer for the brilliant French singer Melody Prochet, and Pond, where he plays drums.

Rounding out the playlist, we have tracks by The Babies, Superhumanoids (with whom I conducted an EMPT exclusive interview a few months back), Liam Lynch, Pete Rodriguez (you don’t know him, but you know the song), and reggae toaster Anthony B.

I selected “Danca Ma Mi Criola” by Tito Paris, out of Cape Verde. This song was on a random compilation album of music from island communities across the world I listened to as a child. It truly encapsulates what The Beach, for me, is all about: peace, relaxation and mutual communion through a shared love of the miracle of life.

Please listen to the playlist in it’s established order, as if an LP. It is structured to lead you through a full day at the beach, leading off hot and heavy, and letting you down gently as the final grains of sand fall from your towel.


Adam Tensta – My Cool (Al Azif Remix ft. Dr. Alban)

Due to some administrative confusion, my earlier post on Autograf’s “Gust of Wind” remix has been taken down…as the track was written up already yesterday! Ah, the pitfalls of an international remote team sharing a Dropbox account.

So in the interest of keeping all you EMPTers satiated with Sunday summer jams, I offer you this rare example of good dance rap. It’s very Euro, and I never heard a peep out of any of the artists after I initially discovered the track a few years back. But fuck if it isn’t the perfect soundtrack to a sunny day. I’m a major sucker for elated reggae vocals and happy-hardcore synth lines, and this little number has both in excess.

Regular readers know that I’m all about the summer jams, and I advise you to be on the lookout this week for my entry into EMPT’s nascent playlist series, “Les Auteurs.” It will be beachy.

Adam Tensta – My Cool (Al Azif Remix ft. Dr. Alban)



Ponderosa Twins Plus One – Bound

I recently found myself climbing a massive hill that overlooks downtown Edinburgh, Scotland. This was after being invited on a girls weekend which somehow came down to two of us, packing our backpacks and running for trains to make a cheap flight up.

The best kind of last minute trip.

It was a 36-hour stint as a side trip on our one-year venture.  We arrive and almost immediately found ourselves in Cabaret Voltaire with stiff vodkas and attractive locals. A DJ hosted from the centre of the room and the crowd heaved in and out retreating to the smoking area only to emerge moments later on heavy rotation. Music in bars like this are always odd and enchanting. Like a dark music pulse that Europeans engage in on the cobbled streets and after hours.

The rest of the trip consisted of an ambitious pitcher, history lessons broken up by Scotch and rain. We woke up early to climb that hill which was Arthur’s Seat. My friend, clad in leotard and mini skirt and I, gnarly California shirt and hangover, made it to the top. Not before picking up a stray German tourist to take up.

The final destination was a bar directly off the hill and en route to retrieve our bags for the airport. It was the quintessential Scottish bar with dirty crushed velvet on all seats and Scottish sayings framed around the doorways. Blessing, cheers and others. “Whisky is liquid sunshine.” We had a sit and were all talking about bigger things. Apparently mountain hiking brings that out. Talks of bucket lists and where we wanted to go next or sometime or whenever was rotated around the table. These conversations are important to have once in a while. Sort out where you are. And where your mind goes. What you tell strangers over a pint says alot.

This song started to play behind us but it is not really a song you just talk over. You stop and think about them. A crush. New or old. Lover. Friend.

Heavy talk and lagers and at the end of a trip like that, I found myself flipping over the decisions made in the past day and year and five years. I think I am a romantic for the unexpected. Bound by a heart on the sleeve.

 “Don’t try to resist
Cause you’re bound
Bound to fall in love”

Ponderosa Twins Plus One – Bound

Music Remixes

New Navy – Zimbabwe (Flume Remix)  

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When we last heard from New Navy, the Aussies were covering Telepopmusik’s “Breath.” This time, the boys get a rework from compatriot Flume, who has blown up considerably since I first saw him with twenty other people in the basement of Cake Shop (NYC) last year.

Here, Flume exhibits a lighter touch than usual, turning “Zimbabwe” from sparkling, tight guitar pop to chilled-out comedown soundtrack material. The hazy piano droplets fade into a jazzy bass line and tom-heavy drum track, while manipulated vocals layer atop harps and claps identified with modern nu-disco.

We’ve been trending this way for a few weeks now, but I guess it’s officially the season of the summer jam. I’m not talking the “song of the summer.” That’s a total misnomer dependent on marketing budgets and complicit media. Summer jams are the ever-present soundtrack to the season, memorable not for their merits, but for the memories they accompany.

Show of hands, who remembers the song that was playing during your first kiss? In most cases, I’ll bet it was a summer jam. I imagine it was the case for my dad, all those years ago at camp, to Roy Orbison or The Beach Boys. And it will likely be the case for my grandchildren, to whatever insanoid computer music kids are into a few decades down the road. That’s really my dream as a music blogger: one of you will download this track, throw it on a party playlist, and let it serve as the backdrop for an eternal memory.

And yes, my first kiss was to AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long.”  

New Navy – Zimbabwe (Flume Remix)

Music Remixes

Reflex – Sunset (Club Mix)


I know for many of you summer may still seem far off. Beijing, Toronto and Paris are hovering in the 50s, and sweaters still abound across the northern and southern climbs. But the season has unequivocally arrived in Rio and LA, my current location. And with it, my current musical artifact fixation, the summer jam.

Ready for another?

French synth-pop duo Reflex have popped up on EMPT before, and if you liked them then, you’ll like them now. “Sunset (Club Mix)” is classic Ibiza day-party fare: simple, light beat, a pluck bass that doesn’t take over, staccato synth stabs, shimmering pads, and of course sexy Euro-tinged vocals that receive a full chop’n’sample treatment at the drop.

The band tags all of their tracks as “seadisco.” They’ve apparently coined this subgenre, as I couldn’t find any other references on the entire internetz! EMPT regulars know of my constant crusade against sub-genre proliferation, and I’m going to have to bring the hammer down here, though gently. If seadisco means music with a disco beat that works well at beach parties, I at least get where they’re coming from. But then, isn’t that just about all disco or electro-pop? Reflex gets credit for coining a phrase and pushing it, because it remains true that bands need some sort of differentiator or aspect to which fans can cling to separate them from the pack. As much as I like Reflex, it’s undeniable that there are a ton of bands that sound similar (La Roux and Yelle lead this particular pack). 

Ludmila Cassar’s vocals are the real deal though. Good production is easier to come by than a talented vocalist, and she combines all the pieces you look for: consistent delivery (as in, she has a voice and sticks to it across all tracks), recognition that this isn’t the place for deep lyricism, and sex appeal. Nothing wrong with having a gorgeous French woman fronting your band.

If you dig the Club Mix, check out the original track (it’s much more dance-floor oriented). Scratch that, check out ALL of Reflex’s remixes and original work. The songs all sound similar, but different enough that the similarity is a good thing. Dive into the short video below for an EP preview and an awesome snapshot of Reflex’s Asia tour. SPOILER: it includes an infinity pool on the 40th floor of a skyscraper. Enjoy.

Reflex – Sunset (Club Mix)



Jagwar Ma – Come Save Me

Some days it seems like the world is going to shit. I think people have always felt this way, but damn. Power plays for “strategic” locations (see: Crimea, Senkaku), unceasing government sponsored murder, institutionalized racism (as bad as it gets in the USA, it’s worse oversees)…not to mention the 5th IPCC report detailing the true scope and threat of global climate change.

These crises don’t feel as immediate as when my father’s grade school teacher said goodbye to her class during the Cuban Missile Crisis. But, in some ways, they are more onerous and frightening than ever, a constant presence on screens reminding you that all is not well in the globalized world we share.

All global citizens should feel pressure to “make the world a better place.” Whether that’s through donating international aid money, advocating for local issues, or helping out a friend in need, the action is what counts.

In times like these, the most valuable services can seem trivial and trifling. What’s another song from another band when compared to the death rattle of yet another rhinoceros, cruelly slaughtered so some guy thousands of miles away can feel better about his hard on?

Art is a saving grace. No matter the destruction or extinction, artistic production will prevail as a beacon of individualism and emotion. Isn’t history just a long stream of artistic accomplishments, reminding us that no matter how bad it got, we, humans, always prevailed, and with a glimmer in our eyes to boot.

Jagwar Ma’s “Come Save Me” (the band’s first ever song) is that resilient glimmer embodied: The lyrics aren’t groundbreaking, the instrumentation is repetitive, but it expresses unbounded emotion in a moment when the audience needs it. “I don’t want a love like this,” sings Gabriel Winterfield, “come and save me.” No, Jagwar, you save us. Save us with your collaborative mentality (the band met through an open music and art collective that called itself a “band with no members”) and your sweet summer croonage.

It’s too simple to avert our eyes from the tragic. But if we come to understand that the tragic is an eternal partner to the comic, perhaps we can find some solace aboard our tiny bobbing boats that balance atop the crashing breakers of time. 

Jagwar Ma – Come Save Me


tUnE-yArDs – Water Fountain

This song. Is. ALIVE.

I am physically charged, up to my max every time I play this song. Since yesterday, I haven’t been able to stop. I have so many thoughts and feelings about Merrill Garbus, her music, her beauty, the sounds that she and her band mates are capable of creating. So many thoughts. But I can’t really formulate them at the moment because I can’t stop swaying and shaking my head, thrashing my hair in every direction, and above all else, smiling.

I hate to say that I called this, but I did. If you remember, in 2011 I wrote a post (as a writer, I’m allowed to be critical of my work and I’m going to be critical when I say, that post was so excited about everything that I may have used the word “amazing” one too many times. I regret nothing.) about seeing tUnE-yArDs live on the Hudson Pier. There was a full moon and the air was thick with New York City summer, but I remember thinking, “These guys are going to be huge.” And secretly, I didn’t want to think that. I didn’t want them to get huge. I had a selfish moment, and even considered not writing about them, even though I said I would. I wanted to keep them in my pocket, a secret dance and hop-scotch band inspired by sounds from all over the world.

So here’s my attempt. tUnE-yArDs comes to us after a near freezing season of cold hearts and grayness, here in New York, and this track is a beating heart that lives on outside of its body. Notice how bright and full of life the music is in this song (and most of the group’s songs in general). And then there’s this duality in the wordplay and lyrics. Two different messages going on at once, hoping to provoke not only mindless movement but analysis and attention to detail.

So listen to the words I say, baby
Say give me your head
I’ll barely going round and round and round
Now I’m in your bed
How did I get ahead?
Your, your finger through my hair
Finger through my hair
Give me your chest
Give me oppress
I’ll give a thing to caress
Wouldya wouldya wouldya listen to the words I say?

Over a Diwali Riddim beat, this song demands your attention because of how summertime-playing-double-dutch-in-the-park happy and full of bounce it is. It shields the subject matter darkness of violence with a mask of color and flavor. This is a song you can taste. Bubble-gum, kiwis, mangoes, a clementine that you share with your best friend on the stoop outside your house in the middle of a hot day in July. It’s waking up numb after a night of giggles and bubbles, not speaking, and breaking out into a dance party at noon when you have a never ending list of work to do. It’s honest and uninhibited movement that you can’t explain; your brain takes a backseat and you just move.


Feel it in your bones and hit repeat, unashamed.

tUnE-yArDs – Water Fountain