This is ‘The Spotlight.’ Many artists pass through D.C. on a weekly basis, but this column highlights one specific artist who happens to be playing in the district during the week. That way, you may join their journey in influencing the house music landscape.
Moombahton is partially responsible for the resurgent, diverse dance music community we see today in Washington, D.C. and no act can lay stake to that claim as much as Nadastrom. The duo, comprised of DJs Dave Nada and Matt Nordstrom, has been on the forefront of the scene since its inception: at a party in 2009, Nada made the career defining choice to blend house and club tracks with dancehall. And while he wasn’t the first artist to manipulate club music with Latin and reggaeton influences, it didn’t take long for the mash of genres to spread throughout the underground community in Washington. Fast forward to 2015, Nadastrom is easily one of the biggest electronic acts to arise out of D.C. having played all over the world including dates at Electric Daisy Carnival, Fabric, and Electric Zoo as well as featured spots by the reigning Queen of BBC Radio One, Annie Mac.
The group, along with frequent collaborator Sabo, is also a driving force behind the Moombahton Massive parties thrown regularly at D.C.’s crown jewel of the underground dance movement, U Street Music Hall. These parties, which have also lead to the group’s involvement in curating stages for HARD, are notable for bringing in some of the hottest talent from all over the world – such as Toddla T and Munchi – as well as consistently being on the cutting edge of the subgenre often employing unique visuals and killer audio to complement the freshest sounds in the movement. These parties continue to sell out venues worldwide as well further proving that Nadastrom’s imprint on tropical bass is becoming deeper as time rolls forward.
But while they’re presence moombahton is still incredibly strong, their 2015 self-titled release on Friends of Friends sang a very different tune as it featuring soundscapes and character from a wholly different sonic catalog; an album which saw the duo experiment with what was already considered, by them, as an act of experimentation. This shift in direction marked a breakthrough for the group, and moombahton, as it allowed for a new ebb and flow showcasing a welcome branching out that connected the subgenre to many of the other molds featured in the canon of house music. In regards to their self-titled LP, Nada described it as a project where he and Nordstrom wanted “people to get lost in the tunes.”
Nadastrom’s mentality and overall approach as a group towards music has always been one about inclusivity and allowing the positive energy in a room to grow to its furthest, and most instinctual, potential; they have always seemed to find that balance between going full-on rager and blissed out commune which is not only a testament to their talent as tastemakers, but also as individuals who understand music is an experience which requires feeling. And as they begin to tread new ground as their sound evolves alongside the very subgenre they helped christen, the only thing we have left to say is, “Rock on.”
We slept on this for a while, but it keeps creeping back up on us. Our good friend Brennan Bryarly, better known as Colorado’s option4, put together a phenomenal track with underground tastemakers TNERTLE that bumps, breaks, and rattles the dancefloor. The track, “All On the Floor,” makes fantastic use of a vocal sample that has a gritty, G-house swagger reminiscent of what artists like Hannah Wants and Preditah have been cooking up recently while containing a crucial, expert level balance through the use of horns, a stellar sub bass, and a pitter-pattering percussion combo that adds a funky Latin beat vibe.
The best part of the track, however, is it was produced with giving back in mind: for every download, a donation will be made to Cadence & Cause which will provide clean drinking water to those in need. Bryarly, who is easily one of the house game’s biggest team players, believes that music should be used to connect each other and improve the lives of those around us and by putting out this track, he’s making an effort to give resources to those less fortunate. A killer track for a killer cause.
Stream “All On the Floor” below and visit Cadence & Cause for more details.
Last year, NYC indie-dance collective Holy Ghost surprised us with their eccentric, vibrant edit of Katy Perry’s “Birthday“: a treat that was both unexpected and pure dancefloor cheese. Following in that vein, the group has now tackled Perry’s pop ballad, “Unconditionally,” and reworked it into a space odyssey of synths, pads, and overflowing positivity. It’s the kind of psychedelic, electronic pop that cries out for tangerine trees and marmalade skies or, at the very least, going out into an evening cityscape with only a childlike sense of wonder to keep you company.
With that mentality in mind, the Holy Ghost rendition of “Unconditionally” plays out in many ways like a soundtrack of sorts for a night out with friends, drinks, laughs, and the hope that you’ll all still be awake as the sun comes up. Built upon a foundation of layers which peel back exposing rich harmonies that coalesce with Perry’s vocals in the latter half, the DFA rockers have outdone themselves with this remix; it beautifully captures the essence of trying to keep the inner, youthful flame ignited and lit.
Stream Holy Ghost’s remix of Katy Perry’s “Unconditionally” below and pick up their remix album, Work For Hire, via digital music retailers.
April showers bring May….fire. This week’s Too Funk Tuesday brings some serious jamz to liven up the rest of your week! Check it out:
Saint Wknd x Saint Motel — My Type
Incredibly incredible…this track is the total package. Complete with sensual vocals, dramatic bass breakdowns, crescendoed melodies and one awesome synth bar, this will blow your mind. Kick it off with this!
Nero — The Thrill (TCTS Remix)
If you’ve never heard of TCTS before, now is the time to do so. This remix is the hype track of the week, with its energetic BPM and seriously groovy touch up on one awesome Nero track. The drop in this song is a head-banging monstrosity with according dance moves like the shuffle and potential tecktonik arm movements.
Veens — You
Seriously…how to explain this one? An experimental instrumental with trippy synths and driving basslines is one way to put it but I really don’t think I give it justice. It’s as if Flume and The Alchemist had a baby… and if you make it to 1:20, you’re in for a real treat…Enjoy!
Ray Fields — All That Matters (Ray Fields’ Love Edit)
This is probably the only way I can listen to Justin Bieber, if its completely filtered and surrounded by melodic french touch and serious piano house. Ray Fields does it nice with the track, ripping the sample for a smooth and sexy edit that could make anyone on the dance floor get a little closer.
MIX OF THE WEEK: Beautiful Buzzz Presents Louis La Roche — Buzzzmix Vol. 15
Now before you begin this mix…I will tell you its one of the more…different…sounds Louis La Roche has put together. The songs are a lot harder in the beginning and hits the sweet disco later but he’s a master mixer so this is well worth the time to hear his craft. Fun stuff, with awesome great tracks thrown in there. Take a listen!
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5. Public Service Broadcasting – Gagarin (Psychemagik Remix)
6. September – Are You Free Tonight (Ghosts Of Venice Remix)
7. Marcus Marr – Brown Sauce
8. Louis La Roche – The Receiver (The Young Punx Remix)
9. Sam Gellaitry – Waiting So Long
Beshken doesn’t mess around. Positivity flows through his incomparable soundscapes like water comes out of a tap and while many of his indie/future bass peers strike a common path, the Santa Monica based producer goes out of his way to venture into the woods without a map. This mentality strikes a chord as each remix and original he’s released to date has had a magnetic quality based on the element of surprise; a trait often seen from his choices to suddenly drop into detours that sample from an eclectic array of sub genres.
His newest remix, a hang-gliding, carefree take on Marvin Gaye’s “Ain’t That Peculiar,” is a triumph that punctures and blips as much as the floating synths raise the track much like yeast rises in freshly baked bread. The remix is soft and pillowy allowing listeners to allow themselves to feel warm and cozy as the ambient pads envelop the interstitial space between dreams and reality. It’s as chill as summer vibes go, perfecting the fine balance between indie electronica and fratboy house, and it pairs well with a mojito. Surprising, lusty, and spirited, Beshken’s version of “Ain’t That Peculiar” goes above and beyond straight for the clouds.
You can stream the track below and visit Beshken’s SoundCloud page for a free download.