Tag: remixes

Tracing their origins back to 2009, when the project was started as Sister Crayon, the acclaimed Los Angeles, CA-based electro pop duo Rituals of Mine — singer/songwriter Terra Lopez and percussionist Adam Pierce — have received attention for crafting a sound that features elements of 90s trip hop, footwork and downtempo R&B through the release of their critically applauded first two albums, 2011’s Bellow and 2013’s Cynic. Building upon a growing profile, the act had spent several years relentlessly touring up and down the West Coast and elsewhere, playing house shows, DIY venues and basements before, eventually landing tours with The Album Leaf, Built to Spill, Antemasque, Le Butcherettes, Maps & Atlases, Doomtree, and others.

2015 was a harrowing and difficult year for Lopez: her father committed suicide and several months later, her best friend Lucas Johnson tragically died in an accident. Reeling from the grief of such profoundly unexpected and inconsolable loss, Lopez went through a period of deep reflection. During that time, Lopez felt the need to reassess life and her work with Sister Crayon, eventually deciding that she needed to put the name to rest and move forward with a new chapter and new moniker  — Rituals of Mine. ““It was a mantra that I repeated under my breath on a daily basis when the loss I was experiencing felt too heavy at times,” Lopez wrote at the time. “Music, the act of creating, performing, touring, writing, singing, experimenting – all the rituals we have created to get through life.”

Rituals of Mine is a bold and decided step forward for Lopez: after years of obscuring her own story and emotions through metaphorical lyrics, Lopez felt both a sudden confidence and need to write more directly about her experiences and life as a queer woman of color. Lopez with the assistance of her longtime collaborator and producer Wes Jones began to flesh out material centered around heartfelt observations and writing on her traumas by pairing her lyrics with pulsating and forceful electronic tracks. Lopez then recruited Adam Pierce to play drums — with understanding that Pierce’s background in metal would provide an intensity that could match her own and fit the material.

Back in 2018, I wrote about “No Time To Go Numb”  a defiant anti-Trump anthem centered around a tweeter and woofer rocking production of trap-like beats and chopped up and distorted vocal samples paired with Lopez’s impassioned vocal delivery, which sees her sing and spit fiery bars. Thematically, the song reminds the listener that while it may be natural to want to slink back from the horrors of an crooked and dictatorial Trump Administration, that things are too desperate, too urgent; that now is the time to be fueled by anger and fear of what could happen next, and fight like hell for those who are most vulnerable.

Much like countless artists across the globe, Rituals of Mine’s Terra Lopez has turned our period of quarantines and social distancing into an opportunity to reach out to fans while helping give to those in need through a weekly Twitch streamed DJ Series titled LOCKDOWN LOPEZ. Lopez takes over her girlfriend’s bedroom and turns into the club. This past Tuesday’s LOCKDOWN LOPEZ saw the Rituals of Mine frontwoman raise money for 174 meals for Border Kindness — and every week, she’ll be raising money to a new charity. Since we’re on the DJ and club vibe, their longtime producer and collaborator Wes jones recently created a deep house remix of “No Time to Go Numb,” for LOCKDOWN LOPEZ that’s centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, a chopped up and distorted Lopez vocal sample and a dance floor friendly groove, turning the furious anthem into a club banger.

 

New Audio: French DJ and Producer The Wooden Cross Remixes Deleo’s “Unfair”

With the release of “Unfair,” the emerging, Montpelier, France-based indie act Deleo — Emy Eris, Romain Viguier, Nicholas Gaeremynck, and Robin Olivier — quickly established their sound: a trip hop-inspired sound with elements of pop, electro pop and rock within a slow-burning and anthemic single. 

The Wooden Cross, is a French DJ, electronic music artist and producer, who spent several years as a resident DJ for the PACHA Group, a collection of ten well-regarded nightclubs around the world. He was able to spin records at clubs around the world and introduce listeners to his own original work: some of that work wound up being released as singles through PACHA Recordings and other labels, including “Rendez-Vous,” which became the closing anthem of PACHA Ibiza. The enigmatic and highly-regarded DJ recently remixed Deleo’s “Unfair,” turning the slow-burning single into a sultry and summery club banger, centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, atmospheric vocal samples and electronics and skittering beats — while retaining Emy Eris’ pop belter vocals and the original’s enormous hooks. 

Last year, I wrote quite a bit about the Asheville, NC-based goth/post-punk act Secret Shame over the past year. The act, which is currently comprised of Lena (vocals), Nathan (drums), Matthew (bass) and Billie (guitar), formed in 2016, and can trace its origins to the desperate need that its members felt to create. “If I couldn’t sing or play music, I would tear my skin off.” the band’s front person Lena explains in press notes. Shortly after their formation, the band released their self-titled debut EP, which quickly established the band’s dark and atmospheric sound paired with lyrics that thematically touch upon issues of domestic abuse, mental health, political and social dissatisfaction and frustration. 

The band’s full-length debut Dark Synthetics was released last year to critical acclaim, while further establishing their sound an enormous, reverb heavy sound seemingly influenced by Siouxsie and the Banshees and 4AD Records. Building upon the growing momentum the band has received since the release of their full-length debut, the members of the band went on a short tour to support the album, which included an apt Friday the 13th stop at The Broadway and a Halloween set that featured Joy Division covers. Along with that, the rapidly rising post punk act recently announced a series of remixes of Dark Synthetics material they’ll be releasing while they return to the studio to record new music slated for release later this year.

Now, as you may recall I wrote about two of the singles in the growing remix series: XOR‘s icy, industrial take on the guitar-led “Calm,” which retained the song’s intensity, vulnerability and ache, along with Lena’s powerhouse vocals — and Skinquarter‘s early Depeche Mode-like remix of the Siouxsie and the Banshees-like “Haunter.”   The latest remix of the series finds None of Your Concern turning the aforementioned “Haunter” into a propulsive club-banger centered around layers of arpeggiated synths, tweeter and woofer rocking beats while retaining Lena’s vocals. Sonically, the remix — to my ears at least — reminds me a of a slickly produced synthesis of KraftwerkFrom Here to Eternity and From Here to Eternity . . . And Back-era Giorgio Moroder and of course, the aforementioned Siouxsie and the Banshees.

The members of Secret Shame will be hitting the road to support the vinyl release of Dark Synthetics. After a handful of North Carolina dates in February, Secret Shame will embark on an East Coast and Midwest run throughout March and April that will include an April 2, 2020 stop at Saint Vitus Bar. Check out the tour dates below.

 

Tour Dates
1/26 – Asheville, NC – The Lazy Diamond
2/07 – Winston-Salem, NC – Monstercade
2/08 – Chapel Hill, NC – Nightlight
2/09 – Wilmington, NC – Reggies
2/12 – Asheville, NC – Static Age
3/28 – Charlotte, NC – TBD
3/29 – Raleigh, NC – Slims
3/30 – Richmond, VA – TBD
4/01 – Philadelphia, PA – TBD
4/02 – Brooklyn, NY – St. Vitus %
4/03 – Saratoga Springs, NY – Skidmore College
4/04 – Boston, MA – Dark Spring Boston
4/06 – Pittsburgh, PA – TBD %
4/07 – Columbus, OH – TBD %
4/08 – Louisville, KY – TBD %

 

New Audio: JOVM Mainstay Rhythm Scholar Takes on a Beloved Motown Classic

Throughout the course of this site’s nine-plus year history, I’ve spilled quite a bit of virtual ink covering the ridiculous prolific New York-based producer, DJ, remixer and longtime JOVM mainstay Rhythm Scholar. During that same period, the JOVM mainstay has developed a reputation for crafting slickly produced, funky as hell, crowd-pleasing mashups and remixes of classic soul, funk, hip-hop, New Wave and a growing list of  other genres and styles. 

Rhythm Scholar’s latest remix finds him tackling the beloved and classic Temptations tune “Just My Imagination.” Perhaps unlike his other remixes, this particular one reveals a subtle yet deft touch: while retaining the original’s memorable and gorgeous melody and the legendary soul act’s impeccable harmonies, the JOVM mainstay’s take manages to gently push the song up about a decade by adding some lush Rhodes, a soulful horn line, some conga and a soaring string arrangement — all of which gives the material a dreamy, gossamer-like air. 

 

Earlier this year, I wrote about the up-and-coming Northern Ireland-born, Dublin, Ireland-based duo Saint Sister. And as you may recall, the act which is comprised of Gemma Doherty and Morgan MacIntrye can trace their origins to when they met while studying at the University of Dublin. They bonded over their mutual desire to create music that represented both their friendship and their “us against the world” mentality. Building upon a growing national and international profile, the duo’s Alex Ryan-produced full-length debut Shape of Silence was released earlier this year, and from album single “Steady,” the duo showcased their ability to craft an atmospheric Portishead-inspired sound centered around the duo’s gorgeous and ethereal yet heartfelt vocals.

Recently, two of Dublin’s up-and-coming underground artistrs Irish DJ and producer Kormac along with Dublin-based emcee Jafaris collaborated with the members of Saint Sister on a subtle remix/reworking of “Causing Trouble” that’s centered around the same shimmering and looped harp sample; however, while the original features big, thumping beats, the remix relies on hi-hat and shuffling beats, which puts a greater emphasis on Doherty and MacIntyre’s gorgeous vocals and Jafaris’ swaggering yet sensitive verses. And it’s done in a way in which all three vocalists sit side by side without interference — and in a way that feels natural and unhurried.  As a result, the remix finds the collaborators pushing Saint Sister’s sound more towards the direction of Tricky and Massive Attack. Interestingly, the collaboration can came about when Three Ireland invited each artist to create visually stunning music videos for one of their songs for their #MadebyMusic initiative.

“It’s good to get out of your own head and collaborate with other people, and it’s something we really enjoy doing. This one felt like it really clicked, each individual voice brought something so different,” the members of Saint Sister say in press notes. “When Kormac first sent through the remix it was like hearing it in a new context with a new lease of life. Hearing Jafaris’ verses for the first time was another brilliant moment. And playing it live is the best part. They bring so much energy to every performance, it’s always a joy to stand beside them on stage.”

“I love the idea of blending two really different artists tonality together to create something a bit different.  Producing this one was a lovely challenge as it was all about creating a space where Saint Sister’s gorgeous melodies and harmonies and Jafaris’ vocals, his delivery could sit side by side,” Kormac says of the remix in press note. “The initial idea just came from playing my piano to a glitchy loop created from one of Gemma’s harp lines. From there, it was all about bringing the sub bass to the fore and creating a couple of drops to really announce Jafaris’ vocals when they came in.”

Throughout this site’s eight plus year history I’ve written a lot about the ridiculously prolific New York-based producer, DJ, remixer and longtime JOVM mainstay Rhythm Scholar, and as you’ll likely recall he has received attention for slickly produced, funky as hell, crowd-pleasing mashups and remixes of classic soul, funk, soul hip-hop, New Wave and others.  Interestingly, over the past year or so, the longtime JOVM mainstay has increasingly employed the use of live instrumentation to his remixes; in fact, his latest remix finds him taking on the Depeche Mode classic “Never Let Me Down Again.”

Featuring Jason Spillman (bass), Angus Mashgyver (guitar) and samples of Heavenly Music Corporation and Cliff Martinez, the remix retains Dave Gahan‘s imitable vocal but places it within a slightly more up-tempo setting with layers upon layers of arpeggiated synths, thumping beats, a dance floor friendly break, and ambient flute and other instrumentation to bolster the song’s melody in the song’s quieter moments. Live bass and guitar give the song a muscular and funky heft. But while pushing the song from ambient and industrial electro pop to thumping, industrial-inspired house, Rhythm Scholar manages to retain the most important quality of the song — it’s brooding, emotional quality.

Over the past few years, I’ve written quite a bit about the Los Angeles-based, indie electro pop duo and JOVM mainstays Pr0files, and as you may recall, while becoming mainstays of this site, the duo simultaneously developed a national reputation for a slickly produced sound that possesses elements of R&B, contemporary electro pop and electronic dance music as you would have heard on the duo’s debut Jurassic Technologie, which included the sultry, shimmering and show-burning “Get It Up.”

Interestingly enough, the Washington, DC-based electronic production and artist duo Aurean have received attention with remixes of Tommie Sunshine and The Disco Fries’ Cool Without You,” as well as remixes of Lostboycrow, Linney and Ella on the Run. Along with those remixes, the duo have either opened for or performed with Above and Beyond, Dirty South, ATB and Morgan Page — and in fact, building upon a growing profile, the duo have a number of remixes set for release this year, as well as their debut EP slated for release later this year. But in the meantime, the members of the Los Angeles-based JOVM mainstays enlisted Aurean to remix “Get It Up,” and while retaining the shimmering and sensual quality of the original, Aurean picks up the pace, turning the song into a propulsive, house music-inspired club banger.

 

 

Hymns To The Night, the attention-grabbing full-length debut from post-punk duo Lea Porcelain was written and recorded over a two year period in Berlin, Germany‘s famed Funkhaus, a broadcast house created under Soviet supervision that now houses one of the world’s biggest recording studios. Interestingly enough, while the duo describes their sound as being “atmospheric, cinematic and melancholic,” the material on their debut reportedly finds the band subtly bending and playing with genre boundaries; however, album single “Warsaw Street” manages to be a decidedly post-punk single, nodding at Turn On The Bright Lights and Antics-era Interpol.

Recently, the acclaimed British DJ, producer and owner of Hotflush Recordings Paul Rose, best known as Scuba remixed the song adding thumping beats, clave and layers of undulating synths and a dance floor-friendly motorik-like groove and although he retains some of the original’s atmospheric vibe, the remix manages to focus primarily on mood and groove, creating an altogether new song with a completely different feel.

 

 

 

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this over the past few years, you’ve come across several posts featuring JOVM mainstay artist Rhythm Scholar, who has developed a reputation for being both incredibly prolific and for a series of genre-mashing remixes stuffed to the gills with both obscure and recognizable samples that are reminiscent of  Paul’s Boutique-era Beastie Boys and Girl Talk. He’s also developed reputation for releasing a series of more straightforward and traditional-leaning remixes, including a breezy and jazzy remix of A Tribe Called Quest’s “Can I Kick It?” consisting of cascading organs, strummed guitar, double bass, warm blasts of funky horn and swirling electronics and a breezy, lounge funk/lounge jazz leaning remix of Tribe’s “Bonita Applebum.” 

Rhythm Scholar returns with a remix of DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince’s 1991 smash-hit “Summertime” and while retaining Will Smith‘s cool delivery and the song’s overall nostalgia-tinged Roy Ayers-like vibe the remix adds bits and snippets of samples from Kool and The Gang, Dexter Wansel, James Brown, Dave Grusin, The Eagles and a few other hidden gems, including some soulfully meandering keys and boom-bap beats.

 

 

If you had been frequenting this site over the past three years or so, you would have come across a handful of posts on the Austin TX/Houston, TX-based electro pop act  Night Drive. Comprised of primary songwriting and production duo Rodney Connell and Bradley Duhon, the Texan electro pop act can trace their origins to some rather unusual, soap opera-like yet very true circumstances — they met and bonded after they had discovered that the woman that they had both unwittingly been dating at the same time died in a tragic car accident. Since the project’s formation, the duo has received attention both on this site and elsewhere for a moody, slickly produced New Wave and synth pop sound that draws from Joy DivisionCut CopyBrian Enothe Knifethe DrumsLCD SoundsystemDepeche Mode and others. However, interestingly enough, the duo’s propulsive synth pop single “Rise and Fall” manages to sound as though it were inspired by A Flock of Seagulls “I Ran (So Far Away)” and Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart” while thematically the song focuses on a the slow dissolution of a relationship in which the song’s narrator knows that the end is inevitable and coming soon — and yet, there’s the realization that walking away from a relationship is difficult, even when it’s absolutely necessary; in fact, you can sense the narrator’s deep seated fears of what his life would be like, if the relationship ends. And thanks to an aching and rousing hook, the song manages to be a break up anthem that should feel intimately and uncomfortably familiar.

Recently, the renowned Los Angeles-based production and DJ duo Classixx remixed the song, turning the moody, synth-based torch song into a breezy, funky, summery, club banger along the lines of Tuxedo, Dam-Funk, 7 Days of Funk and others, as the duo pairs the original vocal track with twinkling electric piano, a sinuous bass line and thumping beats — and as a result, the heartbreak at the core of the song is reduced to the dull throb of having time pass by. As Connell and Duhon explained to the folks at Billboard “Classixx reinterprets the song through the lens of that same person reminiscing about the incident many years later while chilling on a beach and sipping a martini. Sure it was sad and heartbreaking, but it’s hard to stay sad while in the Cayman Islands.”

As Classixx’s Michael David and Tyler Blake explained to Billboard, their remix of Night Drive’s “Rise and Fall” involved them pulling out electric piano and bass and recording one long take jamming over the vocal track. “We were feeling the groove and liked some of the imperfections, so we left them in. Our initial pass was more abstract, but the band [Night Drive] helped us bring it back a little closer to the original material. It was a pretty collaborative effort through email. I like how it still sounds a little rough around the edges though. Sometimes that’s where the charm lies,” the duo’s Tyler Blake added in an emailed statement to Billboard.