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BenZel – Fallin’ Love (Alex Young Remix)

Benzel

I left Washington DC at the wrong time.

I grew up in the immediate suburbs of DC. So immediate that many of my peers and myself would say that we were from DC, or the DC area, as a form of geographic shorthand. Most people don’t get it. Bigger city folk see it as cultural re-appropriation. Part of it is. Doesn’t change the connection I have to the area at large. It’s my de facto home city, seeing as my burb wouldn’t exist without it.

So the musical acculturation of the city is a bittersweet thing for me. Used to be that any contemporary music culture was imported. Go-go had been DC’s main musical contribution to the rest of the world. Most people don’t know what the hell go-go is. But now! Now things are absolutely popping off, thanks in part to electronic music’s growth in popularity over the past few years. And I’m not there to enjoy it!

Ah well. Thanks to this miraculous arrangement of cables, fiberoptics, servers, and chips we know as the internet, I can still enjoy the audio products of the city. Like this remix of BenZel’s Fallin’ Love by DC native Alex Young. Alas, DC can’t claim either Umi Takashi or Yoko Watanabe, the principals that comprise BenZel.

Ah well. Can’t win ’em all. Besides, this song is a notch in the W column of life. It starts out sunny and funky before Young takes the reins. Then it turns into a straight clapper. This is the kind of song that puts its charms front and center. The hip-hop heart inspires syncopated head nodding. The bright synths and major key melody gives the one the feeling that your turned towards the sky and your hands are extended upwards, palms outstretched. Chill and uplifting. Not a bad way to be.

BenZel – Fallin’ Love (Alex Young Remix)

Categories
Music Remixes

Cults – Bad Things (Alex Young Remix)

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Well I must say that this track took me by surprise. I don’t know whether it’s this subtle waning hangover or the unexpected trap-shake in this song, but whatever it was it worked. I’ve had this on repeat all morning and I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon. Snow is melting outside my window and the weather is bitterly cold, and I have a considerable amount of laundry to do today, but that can all wait because I want to rock out to this song just a little bit more.

This is a track that snatches you up, grips you, and then slowly but assertively lets you go. At first I thought this was a Lana del Rey song in disguise – the ambient opening is just waiting for her distinctive croon to massage it. Then Alex Young brings in a beat, some clicks, and the track’s original killer piano chord hits. Madeline Follin’s girlish airy spoken-sung vocals melt into the soundscape before Young takes us to space. It’s a magical moment in a song when just a melody can bring you up. The come down is just as magical, if not euphoric. It’s here where the whole trap genre is flipped. Instead of a deep minimalist bass boom and lustful tensions and releases, Young spins the trap through the cosmos by letting the piano do the basses work and the synths bounce through time. It’s not dark nor is it heavy. It’s trap for the light-hearted. Trap for the chill minded. Chill-trap? Chill-trap. I plan on staying in its grips all afternoon.

Cults – Bad Things (Alex Young Remix)