Friday, December 23, 2016

Top 100 Tracks of 2016: 33 - 1

Continuation of the list started Wednesday: From 100 - 67, which also includes my disclaimer/preamble. The middle third of the list can be found here: From 66 - 34.
Soundcloud playlist can be found at the bottom.

#33: Maduk - Got Me Thinking ft. Veela
(As featured on EFYE) From those first strides of warm synths, and the accompanying bass grooves, the track picks up and continually gets steamier. It almost feels like a real band could play this, although they'd have to be operating at an incredibly high rate of speed. And boy would I love to see it played live. From Veela's strong yet ethereal vocals, through the endless groove, fabulous drum fills and playful progression, this track has everything. It gets me going and makes me hella happy.

#32: LDRU ft. Paige IV - Keeping Score (Cut Snake Remix)
(As featured on EFYE) When I wrote about the remixes of "Keeping Score," I called Oski's my favourite, since then I've changed my mind. Cut Snake have absolutely crushed and perfected the original (which too is brilliant). The foundation laid out by LDRU and Paige IV is beautiful, but the additional piano and fluid movement Cut Snake have injected is simply sublime. It's become the kind of all night party track that takes listeners through the gamut of emotions. It's smart, groovy and enchanting.

#31: A.G. Cook - Superstar
This track is built for lists like this, it literally has everything: beautiful vocals and lyrics, brilliant production, all wrapped together in an epic 5 minute journey of emotions. It's no secret how I feel about PC Music and their aesthetic, so clearly I'm a fan of the sounds their leader A.G. has used in this track, despite not being your typical PC Music track. Leaning more heavily on piano, live instrumentation, and Cook's voice, this track is an ode to true musicianship, that often seems absent in electronic music. Its beauty will have you reaching for the sky, hoping to grab a ride into the cosmos.

#30: Courts - Feel My Love
Right from the groovy pickup, Courts have crafted an absolutely captivating track. While it's a true electronic dance track, it (like many of the others on this list) features a ton of live instrumentation. That live element is so incredibly powerful, it's infectious from the fingers to the toes, and the head to the heart. It's one of the most fun tracks in this list, it has me grabbing for my air guitar and hairbrush microphone just to be a part of the band. It's impossible not to feel the love Courts are sharing.

#29: Stormzy - Scary (Slumberjack Edit)
(As featured on EFYE) This Slumberjack production is light years away from their other track on this list. Where "Open Fire" is kind and insightful, "Scary" is merciless and blunt. It absolutely hammers away at your senses, in the best way possible. It takes Stormzy's grime original and turns it into one of the most fire bangers of the year. It's diabolic is its delivery, leaving you stunned, stupefied and floored.

#28: Vera - Eeva (Sketch)
The beautiful tranquility of the flowing water in the opening, lays the foundation of this fresh and fully alive future bass track. It's at once like nothing I've ever heard before yet also so familiar. What would seem to be a cacophony of sounds couldn't be further from the fact. Vera is able to incorporate so much into one track, crafting unbelievable harmonies. Imagine Lido, Cashmere Cat, Ryan Hemsworth and Tennyson all worked together on a track, even then it might not match "Eeva."

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Top 100 Tracks of 2016: 66 - 34

Continuation of the list started yesterday: From 100 - 67, which also includes my disclaimer/preamble. Soundcloud playlist can be found at the bottom.

#66: Meroshi - Summer Friends
It's hard to believe we made it this far into the list without some drum and bass, but here we are. Meroshi's genius is on full display here. His sound design impeccable, crafting instruments that feel so real, imbuing them with life and passion. The subtle effects and progression he works throughout, give the track an incredible energy. It's horny, groovy and those vocal samples get me every time.

#65: Stephen Walking - It Came From Planet Earth
2015 was the year I discovered and fell in love with Stephen Walking. This year marked a change in his productions, leaving behind the bass of "One Man Moon Band" and "The Difference Between Us And The Aliens," in which he explored different BPMs and styles. However, sticking to his interstellar, future disco/funk disposition, "It Came From Planet Earth" exudes awesomeness.

#64: Cashmere Cat - Trust Nobody (ft. Selena Gomez & Tory Lanez)
The rise of Cashmere Cat over the past two years is a testament to his nearly unrivaled ability, not only to produce around vocalists, but to craft truly divine sounds. While his recent work skews further from the kind of beautiful bangers of Mirror Maru or Wedding Bells, "Trust Nobody" shows off his smooth touch and delightful decorum. This further establishes Cashmere Cat as an paralleled producer.

#63: Jadu Heart - Late Night
Fittingly, I first heard this on a late night coming home from the club. That first flourish hit me like a magic spell, utterly alluring and beautifully breathtaking. And while it worked so magically in that hazy atmosphere, I now use it whenever I need a pick-me-up. It holds a special power in its easy flowing sound, so organic and raw as though it were recorded in one take. Heart rending harmonies through truly insightful and emotionally evocative lyrics, it's always on my mind.

#62: Jameston Thieves - Hypnotic
This certainly doesn't sound like a banger for the first 45 seconds, that is until it dives into a deep house beat. Torquing up the tension Jameston Thieves quickly turn "Hypnotic" in to an all out thrasher, banging the bass with massive strobing throbs, that contrasts so brilliantly with the brighter leads. The sound design of the bass in the drop may be the key to the track's quality, but it truly excels and finds itself in this list because of the drums fills leading into the drop as well as the supporting production.

#61: Justin Jay & Friends - Karma (JJ's Late Nite Dub)
Hearing Justin Jay play this at The Hoxton was one of the highlights of the year; I feel too many DJs are scared to play something out of the ordinary, something that doesn't bang, something not designed for the club. This is the kind of uplifting, yet downtempo, track that I could listen to any time of the day. It's built upon a beautiful premise ("You get what you give") and simple yet sublime instrumentation.

#60: Machinedrum - Angel Speak (ft. MeLo-X)
While I've called Machinedrum's Human Energy my album of the year (in my Grammys post), I decided to include only one track from it in this is (though many are deserving). The problem is the album stands as a cohesive collection, so separating tracks seemed wrong. The exception, and stand out track from it is this, "Angel Speak." For me it encompasses all that makes the album so magical. It it full of life, bringing humanity to the the synthesized sounds, begging listeners to move their feet. Like the album itself it also bounces around from different rhythms, instruments and grooves, truly coming alive.

#59: Torro Torro & Aylen - Designed 4 U
(As featured on EFYE) 2016 blessed us with one of the best collabs the bass community has ever seen. Torro Torro and Aylen are perfect for each other, as clearly evidenced in this track. Everything screams sheer brilliance as the synths never stop moving or progressing, and those vocal riffs, while leading the track they also support and play perfectly into the utterly insane and diverse drops. There really is nothing better than drop by drop progression, and these three take that to the next level, making the first, already awesome drop, pale in comparison to the callous second coming.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Top 100 Tracks of 2016: 100 - 67

Starting today through Friday, I'll be revealing my list of the top 100 tracks of 2016. The following is my disclaimer, as I feel it's important to preface this list with my methodology. I thought long and hard about this list, what and who I should include, where each track should fall, and how to go about doing that. Should I include multiple tracks from one artist? Am I trying to make a point/statement with my placement of each track? How do I deal with the recency bias, and the counter-effect of that on older tracks? The reality is, this blog is mine and mine alone. It is one man's opinions and despite my claims, that these are the "top" or "best" tracks, they are more truthfully my favourite, and what I believe to be tracks/artists that deserve further praise. I did not conduct any surveys, base the ranking on plays or popularity, but rather I went with my heart.

As you'll see I did include multiple tracks from my favourite artists, as they are, at least in my mind, deserving. You'll also notice a hell of a lot of future bass tracks, as is only appropriate for 2016. I also tried to include a variety of other genres, but it will be clear what my tastes, and therefore favourite genres are. However, I certainly feel like this list ended up hosting very little "club" music, despite spending countless hour of 2016 in the clubs. That being said there are dozens of worthy tracks that I either forgot or excluded. Finally, I'll be posting a soundcloud playlist at the bottom of each post, as best I can, assuming each track is still online. So here we go with the first 34 tracks.

#100: Photay - Trophy
(As featured on EFYE) I had to choose one track from Photay's Sadie EP and as I wrote previously, "Trophy" is bold and beautiful. It's the kind of experimental track that I cannot place into a single genre, save for the catch all category of 2016, future bass. The synth work is brilliant and full of feels. And as you'll see, the progression and movement it boasts is the key to many of the tracks on this list.

#99: Cowboy Rhythmbox - Mécanique Sauvage
This techno joint takes be back to the days when the likes of Gesaffelstein, Justice and the classic Boys Noize and Erol Alkan's collabs dominated my playlists, so it's fitting that it was released on Phantasy Sound. The genius of "Mécanique Sauvage" is its raw hammering style, contrasted beautifully by subtle tweaks and progression. This would absolutely destroy a club.

#98: Terror Danjah - All I Need (ft. Dot Rotten)
I got scared for a second when I saw that this song was on soundcloud 3 years ago! However, it still qualifies for this list as it was only released in August of this year. This is one of the deeper more beautiful tracks on this list. Terror lays down a brilliant beat and Dot displays his vocal prowess in more ways that one. His flow is fire and his words will have you wiping away tears.

#97: Bob Moses - Like It Or Not (Joris Voorn Remix)
(As featured on EFYE) Of the Bob Moses remixes that could have fallen on this list, I decided to go with the Voorn version because of its truly epic nature. The journey Joris takes us on is absolutely breathtaking, it gives the feeling of flying with its soaring synths. At the same time it dives to an unknown abyss, with its dark, almost alarming, bass throbs. Buckle up for the brilliance of Joris Voorn.

#96: Solid Groove & Sinden - Din Da Da (Yolanda Be Cool Re-Jiggle)
This is another one of those tracks that take me back to the "good old days," specifically 2006/7 when the original was first released. I first heard this when RYME played it this summer, ushering in one of my most stanky, screw faces. On a proper system you'll be making the same oo's and ah's as the vocalist, thanks to the nonstop bouncy bass. This is a confirmed club killer.

#95: FrankJavCee - Pop Song (ft. Marionismagical)
(As featured on EFYE) I couldn't do this list without including this brilliant indictment of pop music, as you'll see there aren't many, if any, pop songs on this list. Not that there's anything wrong with them. And that's exactly what this song is about, how can you hate on pop music when you make an awesome pop song. Music is about enjoyment, and I thoroughly enjoy this and all tracks on this list.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Yvng Jalepeño - Awake (w/ TYNVN)

Every once in a while everything seems to come together perfectly. That's exactly what happened this morning when I opened up soundcloud for the first time. There at the top of my stream was this track, "Awake" from two artists I'd never heard of, Yvng Jalepeño and TYNVN. For some reason I had a feeling this track, tagged "future" and reposted by Holly, was going to something. Just what that something is, I'm still not entirely sure. It certainly is future, or at least what we call future in 2016, but what genre is it? (Note: I don't really care what genre it is, its bloody good regardless) Probably the most likely category would be future bass, but there's elements of trap, dubstep and drum and bass. "Awake" has my head spinning, right from the rainstick aided opening. I just can't get my head around the amount of work Yvng Jalepeño and TYNVN put into the track, each second is so full of flavour, intensity and emotion. So much is packed into this 3:32, from the humid jungle feeling of the intro, to the almost tribal percussion, that in turn leads into the piano led, anthemic sing-a-long. Once the two set us up with the heart-pounding riser, they proceed to flip the track on its head with a brilliant and ballsy drop, that feels both familiar yet brand new. The toms are tuned to perfection, peaking our interest, while sending us spiraling through the unearthly and unholy drop. It flies off the handle, urging listeners to absolutely lose their shit. Dance however you like; "Awake" sparks a fire in the feet that only moving will put out. The use of Annie Lennox's "Little Bird" is genius, it gives "Awake" a kind of RnB/Motown vibe through her warbling woo's. Further, her vocals seem to lend perfectly to the pitch play of Yvng Jalepeño and TYNVN. Re-purposing Lennox's liberating lyrics, "Awake" is the kind of track that inspires awesome waves of emotion. It is full of fun, wickedly wild and 100% free, get it via dropbox here.

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FOLLOW TYNVN: FACEBOOK SOUNDCLOUD TWITTER

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Lazy Rich - Knock Me Out

For years now, Lazy Rich has been one of my favourite producers, releasing some of my most reliable, go-to, fire-me-up productions. Recently those tracks were "Opus," his collabs with Mord Fustang and Felguk "We Are" and "Dance To The Beat" respectively. He's also a master remixer, taking on the likes of Porter Robinson's "Vandalism" and Fatboy Slim's "Weapon Of Choice." But his most recent production first caught my attention when he tweeted "Never thought I'd release a trap track. I think it's trap anyway... is it?" Technically I don't think it is, but it certainly seems to be a variation from the blistering electro house that we usually get from the head of Big Fish Recordings. Rich has been experimenting as of late, departing from the 128 BPM range, most notably with the 114 anthemic stomper, "Give Me Crazy." Now "Knock Me Out," the supposed trap track, which sits at a paltry 104, yet again sees Lazy Rich getting bored with the monotony of 128 bangers. However it still fits well into the Lazy Rich library, delivering the delightful get down that we've come to expect from him.
From the foundation of the piano he lays down in the introduction to the super sexy, and ultra alluring, synthesized saxophone, the track is constructed with the kind of mastery only a seasoned veteran could muster. Like the label it is released on, it truly is Big & Dirty, and although the lyrics say the "lips are paralyzed, before I even got your name" I rather think it's our ears that are paralyzed, in utter disbelief at the sheer magnitude of Rich's production. He truly knocked this one out of the park; regardless of what genre you want to call it, this is a big time production full of fun and frivolity.

I really regret not getting it in last night's extended episode of Bump In The Hump, but will remedy that by including it in my upcoming posts on this blog, as I go through my favourite tracks from this year of Bump In The Hump, and put a cap on the year of music that was 2016.

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Friday, December 16, 2016

My Mixtape featuring Keith Kling

Tracklist
  1. 747 - My Brain Is Melting (Jeremy Stott Remix)
  2. Joee Cons - Things & Strings
  3. Armand Van Helden - The Funk Phenomena (Vincent Caira Remix)
  4. Joee Cons - Down The Drain
  5. Melvin & Klein - Keep On Jacking
  6. Jayforce - Take Me
  7. Del Re - ID
  8. Jeremy Stott - Breach
  9. Calvin Pepper - Reptillian
  10. Budai - Weekend Warriors
  11. D-Unity - Don't Think About Drugs
  12. Reflekt - Need To Feel Loved (Adam K & Soha Vocal Mix)
  13. Donna Summer - I Feel Love (Manzone & Strong vs. Hatiras Mix)
  14. Deko-ze - Sophie's Groove

Bump In The Hump: December 16 (Season 5, Episode 11)

Tracklist
  • Illenium ft. Echos - Afterlife (Dabin Remix)
  • Ch4ins4w - DTH
    • Unreleased
  • Deebs - Providence
  • Thomas White - Safari (w/ WYLN)
  • Jessy Lanza - Could B U (DJ Taye x DJ Spinn Remix)
  • Bridgit Mendler - Do You Miss Me At All (Pusher Remix)
  • Vanic ft. Katy Tiz - Samurai (Pluto Remix)
  • Elevate - Empire
  • Drake - Fake Love (Electric Mantis Remix)
  • Chance The Rapper - Angels (404 Flip)
  • Bishu - Lite
  • The Weeknd - Trust Issues (Dropwizz Remix)
  • Bobby Jay - Mod Ting
  • Emily Warren & Frenship - Capsize (Stint Remix)
  • Gigamesh - History (Robotaki Remix)
  • Kye Munroe - Can't Get Enough (Future Magic Remix)
  • Star Slinger ft. Dawn - We Could Be More (Cyril Hahn Remix)
  • Frustra - Can't Feel You There
    • Unreleased
  • Dzeko - Liberty
  • Dillon Francis ft. Will Heard - Anywhere (A-Trak Remix)
  • Loud Luxury - See It Again
  • Gwen Stefani - What You Waiting For (Overwerk Remix)
  • Vinni Wonka x CYMN - Flip That
  • Ariana Grande ft. The Weeknd - Love Me Harder (DLMT Remix)
  • Pairanoid & Joe Ghost ft. Joya - Up High
  • Danny L Harle ft. Carly Rae Jepsen - Super Natural (Autoerotique Remix)
  • CyniCal - Breakin'
  • Botnek - Pickles
  • Matthew Koma - Kisses Back (CRaymak Remix)
  • Datsik - Just Saiyan
  • Dr. Ozi - Gun Powder

Extended, 2016 Finale, Episode of Bump In The Hump and Final My Mixtape of the Year

Tonight marks the final episodes of both Bump In The Hump and My Mixtape. While My Mixtape features Keith Kling stepping in for Eddie Roy, Bump In The Hump features an extended episode airing right after the 9 PM newscast, leading into My Mixtape at 11 EST. While I toyed with the idea of doing a special, best of/year in review, episode of Bump In The Hump, there was just too much good music released in the last week for that to be an option. I've even got a couple of exclusive premieres from the likes of, friend of the show, Frustra and Ch4ins4w, making his Radio Humber debut. This really is an absolutely massive episode with an unprecedented number of tracks and artists from countless genres. There's new Pusher, Bishu, Robotaki, Future Magic, Cyril Hahn, Loud Luxury, Overwerk, Pairanoid + Joe Ghost, Datsik, and Dr. Ozi. To further whet you appetite, here's the track I'll be opening with. Following Bump In The Hump comes My Mixtape, this week featuring Keith Kling who saved the day after Eddie Roy was struck with unforeseen issues. Keith stepped in, used Eddie's tracklist and delivered an hour's worth of music, highlighting Toronto's underground dance scene. You can hear it live, directly following Bump In The Hump, at 11 PM and grab a download of his mix shortly after it airs, on this very blog. So stay tuned here to catch both tracklists as each episode goes live, and stream the marathon of music via www.radio.humber.ca

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Black Tiger Sex Machine - Futuristic Thriller Mix Part XIV

In case you've been under a rock for the past two plus years (and even then I wouldn't be surprised if Lucasfilm some how marketed to people under rocks), they're making new Star Wars films again. There's just about nothing left that hasn't been used to market/promote these new films. From completely unrelated products like batteries or razors, to sports shows and more, Star Wars has infected the consciousness of seemingly the whole world through militaristic marketing strategies. And listen, I get it, Star Wars was and has been a massive part of people's childhoods and brings back some major nostalgia, member? And who doesn't love the endorphins from a good memory?

So whether paid promotion or loving, free promotion like Black Tiger Sex Machine has just done with their "Futuristic Thriller Mix Part XIV," we're, for good or bad, stuck with Star Wars on the brain. I was a fan, and certainly did enjoy the original three parts when I was young, then parts of the three prequels when I was a little bit older, but I've yet to see The Force Awakens and am not planning to see Rogue One. It's just not for me, but this mix, most certainly is. Black Tiger Sex Machine have delivered a delightfully dark and forceful 44 minute mix, filled with Star Wars soundbites and big time bass tunes.
The captains of Kannibalen, show off their impressive mixing skills and massive library of unreleased productions, including multiple tracks from their forthcoming All I Want For Christmas Is Bass compilation: Karluv Klub's "Love Addicted," YOOKiE's "Subs," and Fed-Up's "Up D Ladda." There's also tracks from Axel Boy "Bun Up N Tun Up," Tommy Trash & Kittens "Nasty," Bare & Riot Ten "Knockout," TWOLOUD's edit of "Front2Back," as well as their own, "Armada" and "Face Down." However, my favourite bit comes when they use Luke's conversation with Obi-Wan as a riser leading into the drop of Deadmau5's "Imaginary Friends." You could say it's perfect because Luke's actually speaking with the ghost/spectral form of his dead friend, Obi-Wan.

In the final 10 minutes or so they go full steam ahead with a number of fire unreleased tunes, capping the mix with what we can only hope are tracks set to be released in the near future. I'm not sure there are any DJs more fitting for a Star Wars themed mix, as Black Tiger Sex Machine's sounds are full of lasers and space-aged effects, imitating explosions and warp speed propulsion. Despite sounding like the dark side this trio are truly rebels, as powerful as the likes of Luke, Leia and Han. But I suppose since their all male, you could sub out Leia for Chewy. Anyway, If you want to enjoy this mix again, they've made it available for free download via hive, here.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Prodigy - Smack My Bitch Up (Bloodtone Remix)

The Prodigy (which in retrospect is an incredibly fitting name) and their legendary track "Smack My Bitch Up" just got a face-melting, face-lift from LA based producer, Bloodtone. The original, big, break-beat laden, electro track has been converted into a dark, hard house number, that is as filthy and foul as the controversial title. Bloodtone said the original "embodies everything that I think dance music should be," and I fully agree. Furthermore, I believe this rework is perfectly suited for the version of house that is most prevalent today; I can easily envision the likes of Drezo, Hunter Siegel, Dr. Fresch or AC Slater, dropping this to great avail. The bass transforms the subwoofer into a giant's stomping footsteps, ominously tromping towards you. This imagery is only intensified, as the vocals in the middle section scream satanic ritual, calling upon the abhorrent monster to rise and wreak havok. Like the ant in the artwork, Bloodtone's remix easily crawls under the skin, irritating and shaking listeners to the very core. He succeeds at the difficult task of remixing a classic; he does not render it unrecognizable nor does he make mere tweaks. It is original. A thoughtful, carefully done rework of a track that you can clearly tell is close to his heart. This dark house remix can be yours for free, via the artist union here. FOLLOW BLOODTONE: FACEBOOK SOUNDCLOUD TWITTER
FOLLOW THE PRODIGY: FACEBOOK SOUNDCLOUD TWITTER

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

FrankJavCee - Pop Song (ft. Marionismagical)

I've written before about soundclowns, and meme music, yet have failed to address perhaps the greatest, tongue-in-cheek, talent, FrankJavCee. I first came across Frank when I was going through my vaporwave discovery phase, particularly spurred by Krystal Rodriguez's article on Thump "Is Simpsonswave a Real Thing?" This led me to find, and enjoy, much of his album vol 1.999, released on 4/20. I was particularly struck by "Clams Casino" which is a remix of Frou Frou's "Let Go," but that's basically just because I'm a sucker for Garden State. However, if you're into vaporwave at all, I imagine you'll enjoy "Simpsonswave 1995," Marge Krump Beat," and "Earth Bound Trap" as well. But back to the reason behind this post.

Yesterday, the world was gifted with the massive 30 track, FrankJavCee Volume Two, and while the majority of tracks are mere simplistic drivel (and purposefully so) there is at least one poignant production. "Pop Song" featuring frequent collaborator Marionismagical is a slice of sharp satire. It is tracks like this that have propelled Frank from internet obscurity to internet fame. He is no slouch when it comes to music production, and uses that skill to lampoon the masses who both create and consume the mindless tripe that is pop music. The poignant lines of lyrics are so utterly disarming; "What makes popular music so popular / Are you living vicariously through all the stars / Is it the money and fame and all the fancy cars / If you say it's tragic, you don't really got it."

"Pop Song" is actually a smartly produced piece of music, utilizing all of the hallmarks of its namesake, making it easily consumed. And I'm proof of that easy consumption, I've listened to it at least two dozen times in the past 24 hours. It sounds so clearly like a 2016 production; a year in which electronic and pop music have become more intertwined then ever. It's kind of kawaii, it's kind of trap, it's kind of future bass, but in the end, it's almost impossible to identify its genre. It's pure pop, pure 2016. Frank ingeniously puts a mirror in the face of the music industry, which rightly or wrong has evolved into this amorphous blob. Pop music has forever been a lighter, more accessible version of what was seen to be cool, whether it be rock, rap or hip-hop, but now it seems to have enveloped all of those and more, becoming the ultimate crossover. Yet again, I've let this post get off track and become a philosophical treatise, my apologies, unless you enjoy it, then you're welcome.

But back to the song at hand. The real quality of "Pop Song" comes in the lyrical/vocal content. Marionismagical delivers a believable performance, easily fitting into the song as any would any of the seemingly infinite number of utterly replaceable vocalists out there. This is not meant to be an attack on her quality, rather it's perfect for this production. The current state of pop music does not allow for personality and/or nuance in vocals, and even if it is there, it is easily wiped away through automation such as auto-tune. The dry delivery of Frank's voice in the "rap" bit, is yet another slice of his genius that overflows in this production.

As a cherry on top, Frank addresses perhaps the biggest problem I have with music, and more specifically the music industry, through the lyric "Are we really honest / when we say we're artists." What is art and at what point does art become business? I'll leave you to mull this over while you listen to "Pop Song" below. If you enjoy it, I urge you to dig a little deeper into FrankJavCee's online presence, and check out more of his, at times brilliant, album, Volume Two.
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Bastion - Opale

Powerful Parisian duo, Bastion, have just dropped the awe-inspiring fire funk of "Opale." It is a slice throwback disco/funk that harkens back to the time when Daft Punk and Justice were the hottest thing in dance music. There's just enough electro stylings that also give it a distinct Boys Noize feel. It's absolutely fire, the guitar and bass riffs rip, alongside the plethora of old school DJ effects, subtle scratching and talk-box vocals. "Opale" is extremely cool, groovy and heartening. It gives me faith that there's still music out there that, while being entirely electronically synthesized, can be recreated live, and still boasts a true human flavour. Bastion have delivered a highly dance-able, playful and progressive production. Being a fan of all the artists mentioned above, and Chromeo, who for some reason I'm only reminded of with the 6th replay, I find "Opale" and Bastion to be a perfect combination of. I'm sad that I've only found them today, but am also overjoyed that I've got a new band to check out. "Opale" is the lead single from Sexy Brut's compilation, Vol. 1.

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Monday, December 12, 2016

ValyMo & Broady - Get Funky

As part of Gold Digger's We Are Bass House year end compilation, ValyMo and Broady have teamed up to drop French bass track "Get Funky." As part of the explosion of both bass house and French artists (Malaa, Slowbody, Dombresky, LH4L, etc), we've seen a surplus of copycat producers trying to live up to the likes of those mentioned above. But there's really no questioning the quality of ValyMo or Broady; ValyMo can boast productions for OWSLA, UKF and Ultra, while Broady cannot match that list, he's released numerous quality tracks ranging from "Hunnid For The Quarter," "Go The Farthest," "Kush World," and "Never Say Never." Considering his account is only 8 months old, Broady is a fast rising talent, and this collab with ValyMo will only hasten that. "Get Funky" stands out from the aforementioned surplus of bass house tracks, with well thought out layers of production working together brilliantly. From the vocal samples, through the ratcheted bass synth and throbbing subs, the overall design of "Get Funky" leaves little to be desired. The fills are fire, its atmosphere intoxicating and the continuous progression ensures it never gets stale. If this track turns your crank, you'll likely enjoy the other 14 tracks in the compilation, but first, get "Get Funky" for yourself free, here. FOLLOW BROADY: FACEBOOK SOUNDCLOUD TWITTER
FOLLOW VALYMO: FACEBOOK SOUNDCLOUD TWITTER

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Two videos showing why Cosella is so great

My love for Cosella is well established, I've written a number of posts on this blog about his tracks, and DJ sets, as well as premiering his latest production "No Boundaries" with FromDropTillDawn on Bump In The Hump. Last night I caught another set of his, while he opened for AC Slater, and I was also able to capture a couple moments that perfectly encapsulate why I love him and his sets so much. First of all he's a genuine dude, never passing up the opportunity to chat with me before/after his sets, always answering my questions, as to what he played etc. He's warm and funny, even jumping on stage early to do a pre-set stretching routine. Second, as I've mentioned many times before, his networking skills are nearly unparalleled, giving him truly unique tracklists every time he hits the decks. He's got a keen ear, always selecting the perfect tracks to get the crowd going. Whether it's Riton's "Rinse & Repeat," Noise Frenzy's "Pon De Floor" remix, the latest from Chris Lake "Operator (Ring Ring)" or Metroplane's "Bahp" below, he's always able command the crowd like a master.
This next video, I tweeted about at the time, saying I "captured the dopest three minutes of life," which he then followed with his remix of Destructo and Wax Motif's "Catching Plays." For some reason it sounded better than ever, causing me to wonder whether he made a VIP version. He said it was just the original remix, but in any case, it crushed again, making the killer three minutes into a fire five or so. Watch him mix Black Beatles with SwaggleRock's "Next Hellifornia Shake" below, and be sure to check him out next time he's got a set, you won't regret it.
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Saturday, December 10, 2016

Sampling of some of the fire Ekali and Electric Mantis dropped last night

It's safe to say I was incredibly excited to see Ekali and Electric Mantis last night, and not only did they live up to, and exceed my expectations, they delivered easily one of the best shows I can ever remember seeing. From the start I was treated to Chet Porter's remix of Hitmane's "Over U" as soon as I walked into Velvet Underground, which was a harbinger for things to come. As I expected Electric Mantis' set played perfectly into Ekali's moving from future bass, and trap flawlessly, all while getting heavier and more intense as the night went on. Both played a number of their own records, which is truly why people go to the club in the first place, but they also dropped of an awesome assortment of the hottest new tracks and some older gold records. In true Ekali form (despite saying he had the worst, "technically speaking," set ever), he delivered an unstoppable flurry of fire tracks one after another, almost always mashing up multiple elements. A quick scroll of my twitter feed paints the picture fairly well; I don't think I've ever heard a set that I knew so many tracks. In honour of incredible sets, I've compiled as many of the tracks I as could, as close to the order I remember them in. Enjoy!
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Friday, December 09, 2016

My Mixtape Featuring Rob James

 Tracklist

  1. Best Night Ever - Caught Up
  2. The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey - Closer (Shaun Frank Remix)
  3. Eva Simons & Sidney Samson - Escape From Love (Rob James Remix)
  4. Markus Schulz ft. Brooke Tomlinson - In The Night (Rob James Remix)
  5. Love Thy Brother ft. Ariel Beesley - Love Me Better (Frank Walker Remix)
  6. DLMT & RAWD ft. Stevyn - Forbidden Dreams
  7. Rob James & Lexy Panterra - Deep End
  8. Steve Aoki & Shaun Frank - Dope Girlz
  9. Kayliox & CastNowski - Bleu Nuit
  10. Dan Lypher ft. Megagone - Squad Goals (KRFW & Rob James Remix)
  11. DVBBS & Shaun Frank ft. Delaney Jane - La La Land (Mahalo Remix)
  12. Alok & Fractal System ft. Bea Jourdan - Don't Ya (Rob James Remix)
  13. Drake ft. Rihanna - Take Care (Gamper & Dadoni Remix)
  14. DJ Snake ft. Justin Bieber - Let Me Love You (Tiesto's AFTR:HRS Remix)
  15. Kayliox & A-Sho - Take Your Time

6 reasons to see Ekali, Electric Mantis & Riggadale tonight at Velvet Underground

Ekali is set to bring his "Autumn" tour to Velvet Underground tonight. Electric Mantis, on his second leg of the tour, and local, Riggadale will be playing the opening sets. I've had this date earmarked as soon as I saw it announced. The inclusion of the openers has only got me more excited. In honour of brevity, as I've already written about my love of Ekali (post here), I'm opting to make a short list of reasons why I expect tonight to rival any other in recent memory.

1. Ekali's Original Productions: He's made massive trap bangers, while also designing some of the most delirium-inducing, emotionally aware, heart pounding, tracks in the last two calendar years.


2. Ekali's Remixes: Apply the same qualities of the originals above, then add this list of names: Aaliyah, Big Shaun, Ciara, Drake, Denzel Curry, Diplo, Flume, Flux Pavilion, Gallant, Kanye, Pat Lok, Skrillex, Ta-ku, Tinashe, and What So Not. If that doesn't excite you, I don't know why you're reading this.

3. Ekali's DJ Sets: If you've been following Ekali's twitter lately, you're aware of the true live and quality nature of Ekali's DJ sets. As seemingly nearly every DJ who's played a major festival for thousands of people, and therefore some exceedingly drugged up people, he was accused of using a pre-recorded set. His tweets in response, including countless video from him and others, show otherwise. People are still begging for him to release his Hard Summer Green Stage set, I'm sure in part because his other set at HARD, in the The Lab, was so killer. Some people say his Coachella set is best, others Shambhala, but its hard to argue with the quality and range of the Triple J Mixup, Too Future, and Get Cozy.

4. Ekali, the person: He's known to be a man of the people; often, if not always making himself available after his set for an impromptu meet and greet, even if the venue closes. When I was younger I idolized some DJs and got lucky enough to meet some of them afterward, which no doubt inspired my love for, and longevity in, the scene. It's open and inviting, yet lovingly tight. So if you enjoyed his set, and want to tell him without screaming or grabbing at him, now you can.

5. Electric Mantis: He is perhaps the perfect opener, complimenting Ekali's sound and style perfectly. I'm not sure why, but I have the urge to describe his sound as organic, and not only alive, but life giving. How that can be true, with purely electronic synthesized music, I'm not sure. But that's always the magic of electronic music: imbuing the inanimate with feeling. And that's exactly what Electric Mantis does with his number of exceptional originals and remixes.

6. Riggadale: This isn't the first time I've written about Riggadale either, see here. While we haven't heard from him for months, his soundcloud was busy leading up to this apparent hiatus. He's clearly a proficient DJ who knows his stuff, as evidenced in his own mix series, Cuddle Season. While his list of productions is short, each is quality, and fits the mood of the night. Instead of making my own playlists, Riggadale already has his whole library divided up the way I would have, so here's his instead.

Tickets were still available at last check, but might sell out pre-show, as has been happening often during Ekali's tour. More of the specific details on the facebook event page, here.

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Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Bump In The Hump: December 7 (Season 5, Episode 10)

Tracklist

Bump In The Hump Sneak Peek: Shaun Frank ft. Ashe - Let You Get Away (Selva & Krayysh Remix)

A couple weeks ago Sevla teased us on Twitter, saying he was working on a remix to Shaun Frank's most recent, prolific production "Let You Get Away." In a quick turnaround, it dropped this Monday as a free download. Now tonight, the collaborative remix with fellow Torontonian, Krayysh will air on Bump In The Hump. These two have flipped the incredibly popular original on its head, transforming it into an super charged, subwoofer throbbing, dubstep banger, overflowing with energy and apolocalyptic vibes. It's only fitting that we get a Shaun Frank production on tonight's episode of Bump In The Hump, as this week's guest DJ, Rob James, cites Frank as his musical inspiration as you'll hear in our interview, ahead of his hour selection for My Mixtape, Friday at 11. Hear the interview, "Let You Get Away," and a number of new tracks, including my favourites from Adventure Club and Deadmau5's albums, all live tonight from 6-7 PM EST on Radio Humber. Furthermore, I've got one of the final Dzeko & Torres tracks, the return of the XVII sound from Vincent, and one of the most fire Botnek productions ever.

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Tuesday, December 06, 2016

2017 Grammy Nominations

Every year, when The Grammy nominations come out, I debate whether a post about them is worth my time, or whether I'll just be promoting the garbage pop that does not need, nor deserve, any more promotion. I eventually come to the conclusion that there are enough deserving artists nominated to warrant a post. So here I go, I'll list the nominees from each category relevant to this blog, give my two cents, then write in my own nomination. I'll also place my bets on who should win from those nominations, and who I think will actually win, but I'm almost always wrong, cause you know, I'm obviously not on the same level as those in charge of the Grammys. See last year's predictions post.

Song Of The Year

  • Beyonce - Formation
  • Adele - Hello
  • Mike Posner - I Took A Pill In Ibiza
  • Justin Bieber - Love Yourself
  • Lukas Graham - 7 Years
Why is "I Took A Pill In Ibiza" on this list? Isn't it too old to be included? I definitely remember Benzi playing it in his Get Right Radio 2015 mix. Anyway, it'd be hard to argue with any of these tracks being nominated for this category. Must say I'm not sure I've ever heard "7 Years," but there's always at least one track per category that I'm clueless about.
Who Should Win: Formation
Who Will Win: Hello
My Write In Nomination: Flume - Never Be Like You

Best New Artist
  • Anderson .Paak
  • Chance The Rapper
  • Maren Morris
  • The Chainsmokers
  • Kelsea Ballerini
What constitutes a new artist? While I'm not sure who Morris or Ballerini are, the other three have been on my radar for at least at least two years. This is a group of heavy hitters, and perhaps one of the best/most deserving list of nominees, despite my disdain for anything Chainsmokers. But that's why this is the Grammys, and that's why I write a blog about underappreciated art, not pop refuse.
Who Should Win: Anderson .Paak
Who Will Win: The Chainsmokers
My Write In Nomination: Flume

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
  • The Chainsmokers - Closer (ft. Halsey)
  • Lukas Graham - 7 Years
  • Rihanna - Work (ft. Drake)
  • Sia - Cheap Thrills (ft. Sean Paul)
  • Twenty One Pilots - Stressed Out
Best? This is really the best? Or most poppy... How about we call a spade a spade? I've never heard a track more widely hated than "Closer" and "Work," what's with all the mumbling? I can at least stomach, and understand its appeal. No question Sia had a massive year, and I like Sean Paul so I get that.
Who Should Win: Cheap Thrills
Who Will Win: Closer
My Write In Nomination: Flume - Never Be Like You

Best Dance Recording
Okay, we're really starting to get into the good stuff here. I've got huge love for Bob Moses, and their nomination is perhaps the best thing the Grammys did with this years nomination. Again, with the Chainsmokers though, yet another track that I just don't get; it's rather awful, but not as bad as "Closer." Here's where I'll also address the reasoning behind Flume being my write in for each of the previous categories. I feel Flume is perfectly suited for music award shows, specifically the Grammys. His productions are poppy and easily accessible, yet far from mindless drivel. His near clean sweep of the ARIA Music Awards were well deserved, as Skin is a true work of art. Rounding out the category I'm blown away by the last two nominees, for different reasons. I absolutely love "Rinse & Repeat," but had never heard Drinkee until today.
Who Should Win: Rinse & Repeat
Who Will Win: Never Be Like You
My Write In Nomination: Pusher - Clear (ft. Mothica)

Best Dance/Electronic Album

Why is this category dance/electronic while the above is only dance? The Grammys usually do a good job with the album category, and this year is no exception. That is to say there's usually one odd ball, and it certainly seems to be Louie Vega. There's no questioning Flume's inclusion here, nor the triumphant return of Jean-Michel Jarre and Underworld, but it seems like the Grammys are leaning a little bit too hard on prior accomplishments and name recognition. Apart from the inclusion of Bob Moses above, Tycho's appearance in this category is the Grammys greatest success.
Who Should Win: Tycho
Who Will Win: Flume
My Write In Nomination: Machinedrum - Human Energy

Best Remixed Recording
This category is almost always way out there. Sometimes it's full of popular mixes and other times it's like this, littered with mixes and artists I've never heard of. Once again we see the Grammys going for name recognition, with the obligatory inclusion of Kaskade and RAC. The Paul McCartney track is really weird, seems like voters just went "Oh that guy was from The Beatles, he can do not wrong," WRONG! The Psionics remix has 159 views on soundcloud, seriously. SERIOUSLY, what is up with this category? At least Bob Moses, Chemical Brothers and Joe Goddard got nods, but I'm basically at a loss for this one.
Who Should Win: Joe Goddard
Who Will Win: RAC

Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical
  • Benny Blanco
  • Greg Kurstin
  • Max Martin
  • Nineteen85
  • Ricky Reed
This is always a funny category for me, because it's always a bunch of names basically nobody knows, with the exception of Diplo, who for some reason was not nominated this year, despite being a perennial contender. So now, I'll give a little backstory for each unknown. Blanco's credits this year include "Love Yourself," "Cold Water" among various productions for Vance Joy, Selena Gomez and Passion Pit. Kurstin was responsible for many Adele, Sia, Ellie Goulding, and Tegan & Sara tracks, including "Hello" and "Cheap Thrills." Max Martin may even be more prolific than Kurstin, authoring tracks from Starboy, and Dangerous Woman, as well as the likes of "Can't Feel My Face," "Hands To Myself," "Love Me Like You Do," "Into You" and "Can't Stop The Feeling!" Nineteen85 is best known for his work with Drake, producing "One Dance," "Hotline Bling," and DJ Khaled's "For Free" with of course, Drake. Ricky Reed's credits include productions for Meghan Trainor, Robin Thicke and Twenty One Pilots.
Who Should Win: Max Martin
Who Will Win: Greg Kurstin
My Write In Nomination: Shaun Frank

Winners will be announced February 12th on CBS, but most of these categories will be announced earlier in the day with little to no fanfare, because as is likely obvious by now, The Grammys still have disdain for electronic music and clearly do not consider it that highly. But the question then is, do electronic music fans even care about the Grammys? And therefore does it matter what they do?