Tag: house music

 

 

 

 

 

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New Audio: Diplo and Mark Ronson Team Up For Soulful and Slickly Produced House Music

Born Thomas Wesley Pentz, Diplo is a prolific and acclaimed Los Angeles-based producer, DJ and electronic music artist. As a solo artist, he’s managed to see a fair degree of commercial success with 2013’s Revolution EP, which debuted at #68 on the US Billboard 200 — and the EP’s title track was later featured in a Hyundai ad campaign and on the WWE 2K16 soundtrack. Diplo is also known as the co-founder and lead member of the electronic dancehall project Major Lazer, and one-half of electronic music production and artist duo Jack U with Skrillex. And as a producer, the Los Angeles-based producer, DJ and electronic music artist has collaborated with M.I.A., Gwen Stefani, Die Antwoord, Britney Spears, Madonna, Shakira, Beyonce, No Doubt, Justin Bieber, Usher, Snoop Dogg, Tripe Redd, Chris Brown, CL. G-Dragon and Madonna. 

Mark Ronson is a London-born and-based multi-instrumentalist, DJ, singer/songwriter and producer and although his debut effort, 2003’s Here Comes the Fuzz failed to make the charts, his sophomore effort, 2007’s Version landed at number 2 on the UK charts, thanks to the fact that the album had three Top 10 singles — and as a result, he won a Brit Award for Best British Male Solo Artist. Building upon a growing profile, 2010’s Record Collection peaked at #2 on the UK Charts.

Ronson also won Grammy Awards for Producer of the Year, Non Classical, Best Pop Album and Record of the Year for his work on Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab” and Back to Black. He also produced “Cold Shoulder,” off Adele’s critically applauded and commercially successful debut 19. Now, unless you’ve been living in a remote Tibetan monastery in the Himalayas, Ronson’s first UK and US #1 single was his collaboration with Bruno Mars “Uptown Funk,” and as a result of the single’s massive commercial success, Ronson won the Brit Award for British Single of the Year, and Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. The London-born and-based producer, DJ, multi-instrumetanlist and singer/songwriter’s fourth full-length album Uptown Special was his first #1 album in the UK and peaked at #5. 

Ronson’s and Diplo’s collaboration together Silk City can trace its origins to the duo’s long-time friendship, a friendship that dates back to the early 2000s. Their debut single “Only Can Get Better,” featuring Daniel Merriweather was released earlier this year, ahead of their Governor’s Ball set, and they’ll be making several other appearances across the international festival circuit with sets at Bestival and Treasure Island Music Festival among others.  The duo’s second single “Feel About You,” which features Mapei is a slickly produced and soulful track with arpeggiated synths that subtly nods at Robin S’s “Show Me Love” — but with a clean, hyper modern sheen. 

Slated for an August 3, 2018 release through Phantasy SoundPhysical is the full-length solo debut from Factory Floor‘s co-founder Gabe Gurnsey, and from “Eyes Out,” the album’s first single, the album’s material is a decided change in sonic direction and approach from his work with Factory Floor; instead of the icy, no wave electronica and industrial techno he’s best known for, Physical’s first single was sensual Chicago-styled house music-inspired sound centered around layers of arpeggiated synths, tweeter and woofer rocking beats and enormous crowd pleasing hooks. Arguably, it’s among the most straightforward and club-friendly material Gurnsey has ever written or recorded — while sonically bearing a resemblance to Octo Octa’s impressive Between Two Selves. “What I wanted to get into with Physical had to do with exploring songwriting and structure,” Gurnsey explains in press notes. “The album is very escapist in one sense even though I don’t want to escape from Factory Floor but what I do on my own has to be separate and it has to explore new avenues.”  As for the new single, Gurnsey says “I wanted to use the vehicle of a 4/4 track to set up a simulated night club. To communicate the feeling that comes when we are losing ourselves in that love/lust- filled situation.

“Harder Rhythm,” Physical‘s second and latest single is a sensual, primal, lust-filled track centered around layers of arpeggiated synths, thumping beats — but unlike it’s predecessor it finds Gurnsey leaning a bit more towards industrial house, with the track sounding as though it were inspired by Yaz‘s “Situation” and New Order‘s “Blue Monday.” As Gurnsey explains, “When writing ‘Harder Rhythm’ I was drawing from the two very connected basic primal instincts of sexual attraction and our instilled affinity with rhythm. It’s a straight up celebration of both and the associated feelings of euphoria and tension. A love for the very first drum machine beat I ever heard on Michael Jackson‘s ‘Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin” definitely made its way in.”

Unsurprisingly, the album’s material is based around a larger narrative in which the album’s material is meant to evoke a night out from start to finish. “It’s a record about clubbing, even more than it’s a record to played in clubs,” Gurney says. “Getting ready to go out, driving into town, arriving at the club, being on the dance floor, how you get home afterwards, early the next morning . . . even when you step outside to get some air, when you’re outside at 3am having a cigarette . . . even that is represented here.”

Gurnsey will be opening for Nine Inch Nails for three dates, during part of their Midwestern tour. Check out the tour dates below:

Tour Dates:
10/22/2018 – Detroit, MI @ Fox Theater
10/23/2018 – Detroit, MI @ Fox Theater
10/25/2018 – Chicago, IL @ Aragon Ballroom

Slated for an August 3, 2018 release through Phantasy SoundPhysical is the full-length solo debut from Factory Floor‘s co-founder Gabe Gurnsey, and the album will be a decided change in sonic direction and approach from his Factory Floor — instead of the chilly, no wave electronica and industrial techno, he’s best known for, the album’s material, as you’ll hear on album single “Eyes Out”  finds Gurnsey  leaning towards a  sensual, Chicago-styled house music-inspired sound centered around layers of arpeggiated synths, tweeter and woofer rocking beats and enormous crowd pleasing hooks. Arguably, it’s among the most straightforward and club-friendly material Gurnsey has ever written or recorded — while sonically bearing a resemblance to Octo Octa’s impressive Between Two Selves. “What I wanted to get into with Physical had to do with exploring songwriting and structure,” Gurnsey explains in press notes. “The album is very escapist in one sense even though I don’t want to escape from Factory Floor but what I do on my own has to be separate and it has to explore new avenues.”  As for the new single, Gurnsey says “I wanted to use the vehicle of a 4/4 track to set up a simulated night club. To communicate the feeling that comes when we are losing ourselves in that love / lust- filled situation.”

Unsurprisingly, the album’s material is based around a larger narrative in which the album’s material is meant to evoke a night out from start to finish. “It’s a record about clubbing, even more than it’s a record to played in clubs,” Gurney says. “Getting ready to go out, driving into town, arriving at the club, being on the dance floor, how you get home afterwards, early the next morning . . . even when you step outside to get some air, when you’re outside at 3am having a cigarette . . . even that is represented here.”

Gurnsey will be opening for Nine Inch Nails for three dates, during part of their Midwestern tour. Check out the tour dates below:

Tour Dates:
10/22/2018 – Detroit, MI @ Fox Theater
10/23/2018 – Detroit, MI @ Fox Theater
10/25/2018 – Chicago, IL @ Aragon Ballroom

New Video: Introducing the Sensual and Club-Banging House of Up-and-Coming Italian Producer Matthew S.

Matthew S is an up-and-coming Vicenza, Italy-based electronic music producer, sound designer, and electronic music artist, who emerged in the European electronic music scene with his 2006 debut EP with helped him establish a reputation for a genre-defying sound and an wildly experimental approach that includes samples and other manipulated samples, as well as the use of Ableton Push and Livid DS1. As a sound designer, he has collaborated with web magazine like Espresso and thIS, which resulted in the release of an experimental album with fashion designer Von Felthen, Call Me By Your Name an effort that was centered by a mix of downtempo electronic music and ambient music and featured a series of manipulated and sampled sounds; in fact, the effort was so forward-thinking, that in 2016 it caught the attention of MTV Italy’s New Generation, which he won that year. 

Since then, the Vicenza-based producer, sound engineer and electronic music artist has been very busy: he’s currently, a Production Professor of Ableton Live at the Instituto Musicale Veneto of Thiene — and he’s been building up a fanbase, while further developing and refining his sound. “Touch” the sinuous and sensual first single off his much-anticipated full-length debut is the result of several years working on his sound and its centered around pulsating and arpeggiated synths, tweeter and woofer rocking beats and Leiner Riflessi’s sultry vocals. It’s big, club-rocking house with a sensual thump reminiscent of Giorgio Moroder and Octo Octa’s Between Two Selves. 

Edited by Daniele Sciolla, the recently released video features alternating light colors, dark colors and shadows with each person taking a variety of colored pills, and the result is a video that emphasizes the song’s sensual and undulating textures. 

I’ve written quite a bit about the acclaimed, New York-based electro pop duo Sofi Tukker over the past handful of years, and as you may recall with the release of their debut EP Soft Animals and a lengthy list of blogosphere dominating singles, including “Awoo,” a mischievous collaboration with vocalist Betta Lemme; as well as recently released singles “Energia,” “Fuck They,” international smash hit “Best Friend,” which received a Grammy nomination and was featured in an ad campaign for the iPhone X; and Baby I’m a Queen,” which they performed on Conan

Building on a growing internationally recognized profile, the duo comprised of  Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern will be releasing their highly-anticipated full-length debut, Treehouse next week, and interestingly the album’s latest single “Batshit” finds Halpern taking up lead vocal duties within a swaggering house music production, which features tweeter and woofer rocking beats, blasts of disco-tinged guitar, subtle hints of tribal percussion and heavily arpeggiated synths — and while the song is a sinuous and seductive, it furthers the duo’s reputation for mischievous club bangers; but at the same time, the track finds Halpern introducing himself to the world as being absolutely out of his gourd. 

Along with the release of the album’s latest single, the duo announced the first part of their world tour to support their full-length debut, and the tour includes a sold out April 21, 2018 stop at Brooklyn Steel. Check out the rest of the tour dates below.

Tour Dates:
4/18: Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
4/19: Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
4/21: Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel (SOLD OUT)
4/21: Brooklyn, NY @ Schimanski (DJ SET)
4/23: Providence, RI @ The Met
4/25: Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair (SOLD OUT)
4/26: Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair (SOLD OUT)
4/27: Montreal, QC @ Théâtre Corona (SOLD OUT)
4/27: Montreal, QC @ Newspeak (DJ SET)
4/28: Toronto, ON @ The Danforth Music Hall (SOLD OUT)
4/30: Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop
5/1: Detroit, MI @ El Club
5/2: Chicago, IL @ Metro
5/4: Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line Music Café
5/5: Kansas City, MO @ The Riot Room
5/7: Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall (Upstairs)
5/8: Dallas, TX @ House of Blues (SOLD OUT)
5/9: Austin, TX @ Vulcan Gas Co
5/11: Denver, CO @ Gothic Theatre
5/12: Santa Fe, NM @ Meow Wolf
5/14: Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
5/16: Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda Theatre (SOLD OUT)
5/17: Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda Theatre
5/18: Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater
5/20: Seattle, WA @ The Showbox
5/21: Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
5/22: Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom
5/23-5/28: Bradley, CA @ Lightning in a Bottle Festival
5/26 Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl
5/27: San Diego, CA @ Observatory North Park
6/7: Tel Aviv, Israel @ Hangar 11
6/8-6/9: Kaltenberg, Germany @ PULS Open Air
6/29: St. Gallen, Switzerland @ OpenAir Festival
7/11-7/14: Bern, Switzerland @ Gurtenfestival
7/13: Madrid, Spain @ Mad Cool Festival
7/27: Moscow, Russia @ Park Live Festival
8/11: Budapest, Hungary @Sziget Festival
8/11-8/12: Buftea, Romania @ Summerwell Festival
8/17: Kiewet, Belgium @ Pukkelpop Festival
8/17-8/19: Biddinghuizen, Netherlands @ Lowlands Festival
9/8: Berlin, Germany @ Lollapalooza
9/21-9/22: Ithaca, NY @ Cayuga Sound Festival

 

 

 

New Video: Benin City Returns with a Thumping, House Music-Inspired, Club Banger

Comprised of Joshua Idehen (vocals, spoken word), Shanaz Dorsett (vocals) and multi-instrumentalist Tom Leaper, the London-based trio Benin City have received both national and international attention for a sound that meshes Afro-pop, hip-hop, spoken word and electronica in a seamless, club banging fashion. The trio’s forthcoming sophomore effort Last Night is slated for a April 6, 2018 release through Moshi Moshi Records, and the album reportedly is an ode to London’s nightlife and club scenes with the trio commenting on what their hometown’s nightlife scene has meant to them while expressing anger, frustration and weariness over a rapidly disappearing scene.

For countless people across the world, especially those in a city like New York, the disappearance of beloved clubs, bars and music venues create much larger, universal questions: What does it mean for your town and its culture? What does it mean socioeconomically? With nightlife being both an escape from the soulsucking horrors of the daily grind and a way for weird kids passionate about dance, music, art and fashion to find a supportive loving alternate family, where do these kids go to find that kind of support and love? What happens to them if they never find the support and love they needed? Where do they find a sense of belonging and purpose? And if they have found all of that in a beloved club or bar, what happens when that spot closes?

Interestingly, each individual member of Benin City has spent the past decade in London’s nightlife scene in a variety of roles including artists, ravers, bartenders, bouncers, bar backs, scenesters, drinkers, partiers and weekend warriors, and as a result the album’s material emphasizes a deep, inconsolable sense of loss. As the trio’s Joshua Idehen explains, “London nightlife has been our way out, our release, our daily escape. We’ve been clubbers, barmen, part / full-time drinkers. We’ve served cocktails and downed shots. We’ve found ourselves on dancefloors and lost our dinners on nightbusses. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve engaged in dumb drunken squabbles and we’ve found ourselves in strangers’ houses. We’ve danced to songs we didn’t know the name of. We made landmarks out of hidden corners of London: Passing Clouds, Ghetto, Trash Palace, Plastic People, Vibe Bar, Cable, Crucifix Lane. Those places, and the stories they held are gone for good as London becomes pricier and ever more grey. On this album are some of those stories: this is an ode to London’s nightlife.”

Towards the end of last year, I wrote about album single “All Smoke, No Fire” a track that featured a minimalist yet propulsive and club rocking production consisting of stuttering beats, an eerily repetitive and chiming synth line and an enormous yet sinuous hook over which Idehen and Dorsett rhyme about prototypical club situations — while noting that those who engage in and love nightlife culture need it to survive with their dignity and sanity intact, even if the bouncer is a no-neck having asshole or if someone spilled their drink over that dope new outfit you brought just for that one night of freedom; but underneath it all is a subtle and undeniable sense of loss and unease over your personal headquarters disappearing — forever.

Last Night’s latest single “Final Form” is a thumping and sinuous house track production featuring arpeggiated synths, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, chiming percussion paired with a rousing and anthemic hook — and in some way,  the song strikes me as a swaggering and modern synthesis of Snap!’s “Rhythm is a Dancer,” and Stardust’s club classic “Music Sounds Better With You” but with an ecstatic yet deeply personal bent. As the British act’s Joshua Idehen explains, the song was inspired by a night at Zoo Bar, “I once went to Zoo Bar in the West End with a poet I really fancied. It was a Saturday night, and neither of us drank but we felt like dancing. They were playing soulful house (this was back in the noughties). Spurring and daring each other on, we started with the running man and ended up at last orders, dripping in the worst sweat, making up entirely new dance moves, downing large glasses of tap water. She, a Dragonball Z fan, kept saying ‘nah, you haven’t seen my Final Form. Next song I will be over 9000.’ Obviously, that stuck with me.”

As for the video treatment, Idehen explains, “Our last video for “All Smoke, No Fire” was in memory of all the clubs that have shut in the last five years, so we wanted our next video to celebrate the mainstream and alternative scenes still thriving in London. Working with George Bushaway, we crafted a narrative of two clubbers working up the courage to lose themselves in three very different dancefloors: Lindy hopping with Swing Patrol in Holborn, Jungle/Garage raving in Fire down [in] Vauxhall, and a soca night at Ruby Blue, Leicester Square.” The video focuses on these two lonely men, feeling self-conscious, awkward and as though they couldn’t possible belong — that is until they figure out a way to let go, and embrace the moment, absorbing the joy, ecstasy and community of the room they’re in, while being authentic to themselves.

Rohan Newman is a a Melbourne, Australia-based producer and electronic music artist, best known in electronic music circles as Roland Tings, and back in 2012, as a relative newcomer, the Australian producer and electronic music artist caught the attention of renowned electronic dance music label, 100% Silk Records, who released his debut EP.  And unsurprisingly, thanks to the cosign from the renowned Southern California-based label and the international attention he received, Newman quickly became one of Melbourne’s go-to producers and DJs, performing at some of the city’s most raucous house parties and basement jams. With an even larger profile, Newman quickly signed to renowned Norwegian electronic music label Internasjonal, founded by alt-disco, electronic music star Prins Thomas, and the label released Newman’s 2015 full-length debut, an album that Triple J named their Feature Album of the year.

Newman’s sophomore Roland Tings effort, Each Moment a Diamond was released earlier this year, and the material revealed a subtle yet decided change in his songwriting approach: Newman rented a studio located in Melbourne’s industrial backstreets and treated the entire songwriting and production process, much like a 9-5 job in which he deliberately developed a routine around a repetitive and dependable schedule — every morning, Newman ate the same breakfast, rode his bike along the same route to the studio, spent hours writing and revising and when finished, he’d hang out with the same group of friends at the same places. Being at the studio all day every day was psychologically demanding. For each good idea I had, there were maybe 30 bad ones, which is hard to face when you look back on months of work and realize the majority of the material will never make the record. Eventually though I was able to see each ‘failure’ as a crucial contribution to overall whole,” Newman reflected in press notes.  “The routine also allowed me to grasp good ideas when they surfaced -– when something was different, when something sounded great, I quickly noticed and was able to follow each thread. Another valuable realization from this process was knowing when to stop, when to let go of an idea, power down the studio, get on my bike and head home.”

Now if you were following this site earlier this year, you may recall that I wrote about two of Each Moment a Diamond’s singles — the Zonoscope-era Cut Copy inspired house music track “Higher Ground” and the Larry Levan-era house meets Octo Octa‘s Between Two Selves-like track “Garden Piano.”  Interestingly, Newman has managed to make 2017 an extraordinarily busy year, as he just released follow up single “Eyes Close,” a song  inspired by his recent relocation from Melbourne to New South Wales’ Central Coast, and the song which features layers of shimmering arpeggiated synths,thumping, tweeter and woofer rocking beats and twinkling, cosmic ray-like electronics will further cement his reputation for crafting sleek, assertive yet chilly house music; however, unlike his previously released material, this particular single manages to swoon with a sense of exhilaration and freedom, as though a weight as been slowly lifted — or of closing your eyes on a sunny day, craning your head towards the sun to feel its warmth on you, and then opening your eyes to bursts of light.

As Newman explains in press notes, “I wanted to make a song that would capture what I could only describe as cold euphoria. The exhilaration of being feeling untethered after a long time in the same routine. The intoxicating smell of eucalyptus after a long time in the city.” He continues,  “I wanted to make something that captured the beauty of that coastal landscape in winter. The way the trees on the windward side of the headland grow with twisted branches, braced against the southerly storms. I wanted to make something that sounded like total release, coming out of a dark place into somewhere filled with light.”

TÂCHES (pronounced TASH) is an electronic music artist and producer, who has released material through a number of renowned electronic music labels such as Desert Hearts, Different Recordings, CRD, Nervous, Kitsune and Majestic Casual — and in fact, that material won him attention across electronic music circles for a sound and approach that’s been described as romantic, exotic and flamboyant; however, with his latest EP Move Mountains TÂCHES the producer and artist reportedly moving towards a much more accessible sound and approach, partially influenced by a relocation from Los Angeles, CA to Spain, as well as moving towards his new label home, Glitter Cowboy Records.

“I Still Think About You,” the EP’s opening track is reportedly influenced by a holiday camp teen crush and the track features a swooning yet minimalist-leaning production consisting of shimmering, arpeggio synths, soulful vocal samples, propulsive beats and brief bursts of Spanish-styled guitar to create a song that manages to be club rocking while being genre mashing as the song nods at breezy Tropicalia and house music.

 

New Video: The Classic House Inspired Sounds and Visuals of Moon King’s “Ordinary Lover”

Initially begun as a solo recording project of its Toronto, ON-born creative mastermind, primary songwriter, multi-insrumentalist and producer Daniel Benjamin, Moon King may arguably be best known for the several year period in which Benjamin collaborated with Maddy Wilde (vocals, guitar); but with Wilde’s departure last year, Benjamin has returned to his roots — recording as a solo project. Coincidentally, Benjamin also relocated to Detroit, MI around the same time as Wilde’s departure, and spent that year working and living in the Detroit neighborhood of Hamtramck. .

Benjamin’s stint in Hamtramck inspired a new batch of material, Hamtramck 16, a mixtape that not only documents his arrival into a new, unfamiliar place, it also is a radical change in sonic direction and songwriting approach, as the material on the mixtape captures the Canadian producer, singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist’s growing obsession with electronic dance music. And while in Detroit, Benjamin began collaborating with local artists and musicians, until he formed a new band — with the intention of crafting a sound that currently draws from disco, classic, Detroit house, synth pop — and even pop.  Mixtape single “In & Out” found Benjamin pairing his dreamy falsetto with a dance floor-friendly production that channels Nile Rodgers-era Madonna (i.e.,  “Lucky Star” and “Holiday“), Tom Tom Club (i.e., “Genius of Love“) and Larry Levan-era house as a driving groove is paired with fluttering, shimmering and cascading layers of synths, a sinuous bass line, four-on-the-floor-like beats and a razor sharp hook. And much like the sound and period, Benjamin is drawing from, the song manages to be incredibly accessible; in fact, if it wasn’t for the subtly modern production, the listener may have been tricked into believing that the song may have been released in 1983.

The mixtape’s second and latest single “Ordinary Love” is a much more straightforward production and song as arpeggio bursts of keys, tweeter and woofer rocking 808s and swirling electronics are paired with Benjamin’s falsetto vocals — and while seemingly influenced by Nu Shooz’s “I Can’t Wait” and classic house, the song manages to reveal a subtly modern production sheen that nods at Octo Octa‘s Between Two Selves and the 100% Silk Records roster. 

Directed by Bronwyn Ford, the recently released music video manages to be a spot on ode to late 80s and early 90s dance music videos, as the video features a diverse and eclectic array of club-goers dancing to the club-baning track; and it’s shot on similar grainy video that will briefly trick some viewers into thinking that they’ve stumbled on to some rarely played house music gem.