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Music Remixes

JMSN – Alone (Kastle Remix)

When I was in school, I wrote a term paper on the subject of genre: What does the term mean? Has it outlived its utility? The paper focused on the catalogue and philosophy of the now-legendary L.A.-based producer Flying Lotus, an artist whose productions defy easy genre tags.

When The Weeknd burst onto the scene from the cold north, critics and fans rushed to ascribe genre to his at-once lush and austere tracks. Hip-Hop, R&B, Soul, Indie…they were tossed around like so many darts in a dark pool hall. From this misguided attempt arose the term PBR&B, a reference to the alcoholic beverage of choice for the so-called hipster movement, Pabst Blue Ribbon. Because, apparently, only “hipsters” like this type of music.

Personally, I find this term hilarious and completely misguided. It’s the outcome of a human obsession with categorization, partially driven by the music industry and the chart culture that is falling to pieces even as I write. We are at the point where the genre defines the listener: Oh, you like The Weeknd? You must be a hipster. WHAT THE FUCK IS A HIPSTER BTW?

JMSN (pron. Jameson, like the whiskey) may be a new name to the PBR&B crowd, but he certainly is not a newcomer to the music industry. He began his career as the producer/writer/singer of power-pop outfit Love Arcade (LOLing at all the hipsters who, in an effort to prove how with it they were BEFORE he was big, will be forced to play Love Arcade songs for their friends)

Now he’s squarely in the sights of trendsetters everywhere, and any day now he’ll pop up on Pitchfork with a mediocre rating and a review that uses a lot of fancy words.

It’s Kastle’s touch that makes this song worthy of my space age bachelor pad. That garage two-step beat, the digiblips, the…emotive string section? Oh yes. The San Fran man takes the mood that Burial built and updates it for the year of trap in the least bombastic way possible. This remix sounds like an original, which should be the goal of every remixer the Internet spits out.

Go drive somewhere at night and bump this song. No PBR required.

JMSN – Alone (Kastle Remix)

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Music Remixes

The Weeknd – Wicked Games (Mendez Rework)

Wicked Games is probably one of my favorite songs of all-time, let alone, by The Weeknd. A quality piece of music transports me to another place entirely — emotionally, mentally, and physically. Wicked Games brings you to a place of understanding, not necessarily because the lyrics are relative to our lives, but because the idea of the song is such a basic human problem and emotion. After seeing The Weeknd  two weekends ago in the Bronx, I admit that I was in awe of his performance but walked away feeling a little bit sad. Seeing him in front of the hundreds of fans, dancing and singing like a truly charmer, was beautiful. But his words and lyrics come from a real place, it seems, and there’s something about that which makes it hard to say, “I love the Weeknd because his music is sexy.” It is definitely sexy, but it’s also one man pouring his emotions onto a stage for all to judge and hear. And that’s easy to forget when we’re distracted by how the music + lyrical combo makes us feel.

I got my heart right here
I got my scars right here.”

I was taken by how simply the elements of this remix played into the original beauty allowing it to maintain with a little bit of moombah flare. It’s not overpowering by any means, as some moombahton tends to be. It’s more like upgrading from a two-step to a cha-cha-slide.

Mendez has done a couple of other remixes on his soundcloud, which I found to be rather impressive. It’s like someone told him to make slow tracks that people love into sexy dance-floor moombah lovers melts, and that is precisely what he’s done. He has a really mellow way of taking on a track. If you guys can’t tell, I am generally really wary of moombahton because of how similar it can sound. Trust me when I say this has some style to it, definitely worth playing at the next party.

The Weeknd – Wicked Games (Mendez Rework)

*BONUS*

The Weeknd – Rolling Stone (Mendez Moombahsoul Rework)

 

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Music Remixes

Maroon 5 – One More Night (Com Truise Remix)

Who can argue against starting your week off right with an upbeat synth jam worthy of both weekend debauchery and weekday pick-me-ups? Art director turned synth-producer Com Truise fires up Maroon 5’s sophomore single from their fourth studio release, “Hands All Over.” It’s a down-tempo electronic jam that is – in a word – sexy.

Adam Levine’s falsetto exudes sex. He has the vocal ability to simultaneously sound like he’s making love and shallowly hooking-up. Not to mention he’s an alt-pop-rock adonis. The driving guitar line is deep and low and seamlessly blends into Com Truise’s animalistic synth atmosphere. Hints of chopped n’ screwed bits sneak their way into Levine’s performance adding to the track’s dangerous undertones.

Perhaps it’s too early in the week to be thinking about these themes, but this track feels like it’d appropriately fit on a dirty, sensual, libido-fueled playlist; smack between tracks from The Weeknd and Goldfrapp. While it may be Monday, it’s no excuse to not let your mind wander a little bit into fantasy land. Oddly, this track’s got me all inspired to take advantage of the week rather than let the week take advantage of me. May it inspire you in its own way today, too.

Enjoy.

Maroon 5 – One More Night (Com Truise Remix)

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Music

The Knife – Got 2 Let U

I’m constantly faced with the question of what my favorite track of all time is. Sometimes the question is framed differently, perhaps pertaining to what my favorite electronica track is, or new indie artist. The question is often met with uncertainty and fear on my behalf, because there are so many that I don’t want to discredit and so many that I don’t want to forget. Consistently though, I’ve turned to a few artists. The Knife, The Weeknd, Little Dragon, The Black Keys, Radiohead…these are all staples in my musical diet. And this track, is exactly the answer to most questions that I encounter about music. Almost all musical questions directed at me can be directed towards this band and this track in particular. It’s perhaps one of the few tracks that I’ve discussed at great length with others where the reactions are very similar across the board. It’s usually a street reaction, one where the eyes are closed and the head is bobbing in tune with the beat. Sometimes you feel as though you’re invincible, like no matter what people think of you at that moment, you are so much cooler than them.

I’m always thinking about what I would say to The Knife if I met them. I really don’t know what I would say. I would probably hope that I could carry a sane conversation. One that covers many different levels, but mostly hoping that they have a lot to say about human emotions. Their music, while revolutionary in sound and movement, is extremely emotional for me and I’m so curious to know where it comes from. What channels of their brains direct that sort of innovation.

If you’re not immediately lured in by the in your face bass right from the start, then you’ll definitely be attracted to the sneaky introductions of new instrumentation as the song progresses. The deep voice that comes in during the second verse, the horn, the punchy vocals in the background — it all happens at such a sly pace, where you feel like you’re meeting new characters of a novel within the span of four minutes. And it’s remarkable.

This track doesn’t necessarily exude swag in the obvious way that heavy hip-hop beats do, but in its own way, it gives off a certain amount of swag. The kind that inspires swag in its listener. I hate using that word in excess, and for that I’m sorry. But I think you guys are with me on this one.

The Knife – Got 2 Let U

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Music

Ellie Goulding – High For This (The Weeknd Cover)

I don’t know if you guys knew that this happened, but it happened. Ellie Goulding did a cover of the Weeknd. I’m a pretty committed and loving Weeknd fan, so for me to admit that any covers are good is a huge step. But this track is playing right now and from beginning to end, I am in full on shivers mode. My skin won’t even calm down for a second, seriously. I’ve also never had a problem with any of Ellie Goulding’s music, she seems to do no wrong. Her angelic voice works in a different way from the Weeknd. It’s interesting because within each of their genres (Ellie Goulding primarily within the electronic-singer-songwriter realm, The Weeknd within R&B), they have managed to create a unique by melting genres together. The reason I love the Weeknd so much is because of his lyrical no bull-shit attitude. It’s all laid out on the table for us, but in the background, we hear an electronic R&B musical experience. I think that’s the first thing a friend said when I was introduced to the Weeknd It was something like:

You’re going to like him because he taps into that electronic shit you love so much, but with a heart and soul.”

Similarly, Ellie Goulding uses her vocals in a way that most electronic artists use beats. For her, the vocals are the instrument. Yes, the vocals are electronically mixed, but it’s the creativity that counts. It’s coincidental that both musicians are doing such unique things within their own genres, and that one would cover the other.

Music that gives us shivers. That’s why I write about music, I’m trying to translate that feeling into words on a page. Enjoy, lovelies!

Ellie Goulding – High For This (The Weeknd Cover)

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Remixes

The Weeknd – Remixes

2011 has been a good year for The Weeknd: an EP that boomed on the internet, teaming up with a good production team, a large fanbase in a matter of months, and now one of his tracks is headlining the new season of Entourage. When I found out about his House of Balloons EP  in the Spring I was all over those tracks. Some call it ‘hipster R&B’, some call it ‘Swag’, either way i’ve found many people who agree: The Weeknd is great for baby-making or just having a fun (and dirty) night. With Summertime, I’ve been scouring the remixes that started popping up everywhere. Some are kind of uninteresting, adding little to what House Of Balloons already had. But I did find two that just nailed it for me.

The first is a Downpour remix of “High for This”. Yes, being ‘high for this’ won’t hinder your enjoyment of this song. DJ Downpour, from Portland Or., mixes this one and manages to keep faithful to the melody of this song while still throwing in some dubstep during the chorus. The track starts slowly, cranks up, slows down again, and then cranks up again…Kinda like sex. (Did I just say that?).

The second track is a Circle Edit of “Glass Table Girls”

This one is more appropriate for socializing I think, or getting ready to hit the streets. I always think of this track as two separate songs because it’s divided in two parts but one leads up perfectly to the other. The second part of the track has that catchy Siouxsie And The Banshees “Happy House” sample which arrives right at the middle with a steady beat to carry out the rest of it.

Uninhibited, reckless fun and deep, steady beats; that’s what The Weeknd will give you, and these remixes keep you going the same way.

So don’t blame it on me girl

Cause you wanted to have fun

The Weeknd – High For This (Downpour Remix)

The Weeknd – Glass Table Girls (The Circle Edit)

-Julia

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