Gracing the tightrope that extends between bumping G-house and pop electronica, Ape Drums’ remix of Steven A. Clark’s “Can’t Have,” out now on Secretly Canadian, is a supernova of glittering sound that flows beautifully like champagne in Paris. Tiptoeing around a series of bubbly drops punctuated with a floating array of chopped vocals, the remix finds the perfect balance of niche satisfaction and radio play sentimentality through its ability to follow an emotive pop structure without sacrificing the identity of the remix artist. In this case, the dancehall approach followed by Houston producer Ape Drums is what elevates the track from standard remix fare to exceptional banger – a commendable feat considering the original edit by Clark is remarkably catchy and an unorthodox alternative R&B track in its own right. Overall, the remix is a symphonic daydream that somersaults and sways with confident swagger.
And it deserves to be pumped in your car when you roll around town.
Listen to the Ape Drums remix of Steven A. Clark’s “Can’t Have” below.
Gospel vocals are firmly rooted in house music thanks to the genres deep connective tissue to the black community. Much of the genre’s emphasis on theatricality stems from this feature and has allowed for many young producers in the game to elevate their work by finding the right vocal to instill a sense of uplifting spirituality in their work.
This is the key ingredient to Keylow and Lean Quatifah‘s edit of Leven Keli’s sensational “Bruce Lee” from earlier this year. The Proper Vibes’ residents’ edit reworks the original into a thematic, masterfully crafted orchestration of southern roots and trill electronica that reaches high and doesn’t miss any of the paces. With each subsequent departure into snare and clapped breakdowns, the collaboration puts the soul front and center; as the choir sings “You’re lifting me up / to a higher ground / You’re lifting me up / I can’t come down,” the sense of the remix’s weightlessness overwhelms and calms. It’s soothing and cajoling and goes hard.
It’s a lot like watching Bruce Lee in action.
Stream Keylow and Lean Quatifah’s edit below and hit them up for the free download.
Not quite future bass. Not quite future trap. Not quite future. Rooted in the sounds that make us swirl with intense pleasure, Giraffage and Slow Magic‘s new collaboration, the emoji screaming “So Cute,” is a leap into magnetic ecstasy. The track moves like a spoon through Jell-O as it bounces, gleans, and sways through significantly tasty movements that lift and drop and echo.
Both Slow Magic and Giraffage have dabbled in this level of production in the past: “Close 2 Me” and “On Yr Side” respectively demonstrate the kind of balance necessary to pull off a genre bending, subtle exercise in tastemaking. “So Cute” is like their victory lap. It’s the track that says, “Yeah. We’re here. And we want you to move.” It’s an energetic war cry into the heavens layered with synths, samples, and snares. It’s the past, the present, and future as it takes expectations and pulls the rug out from underneath them exposing a new terrain where each shift is a pleasant, unexpected sigh of glee.
Hate to say it, but it’s time to move over, Flume.
Stream Giraffage and Slow Magic’s “So Cute” below and make sure you catch them on tour this fall; they’re making a stop at the 9:30 Club.
My Body is a new band to come out of Brooklyn’s bustling music scene. Challenging the status quo of electronic-alternative music, My Body works to inject their sound with the effervescent quality that reminds us of the ephemeral nature of youth, dreams, and love similar to their contemporaries Phantogram, Purity Ring, and Braids. Their indie sensibility brings a gossamery sheen to the subgenre that is more than welcome and opens up the floor to countless possibilities in the future ahead.
With such a lush array of sounds to pull from, their music feels custom made for the remix and dance music crowd especially considering how unique and emotive many of their cues are. Pete Fonda’s take on “Explode,” for example, aims for supernal, celestial feels whereas the original is much more in line with a pop-electro/80′s identity. Fonda’s remix, which brings to mind work from other atmospheric house artists such as John Talabot or Karl x Johan, is the winding, loopy experience one would expect when they take ecstasy: it’s thumping like a baseball bat on an oil drum, it’s ambient like a starry landscape, and it works beyond measure as an exercise in capturing what it feels like to live through a state of lucid dreaming.
Be sure to follow My Body on Facebook and download Pete Fonda’s remix of “Explode” below.
Fairfax’s hometown heroes, RDGLDGRN, have become quite the hot commodity as of late with their intricate blend of go-go, alt rock, and pop punk. In addition to working with fellow DMV legends Dave Grohl and Pharrell Williams, the trio has kept themselves busy going on tour with the likes of Sublime & Rome while maintaining a steady recording schedule and packing out clubs throughout the U.S. (including an off the wall show at the 9:30 Club this past October).
In looking to add some additional local flavor, fellow DMV native JDVBBS has arrived with a future bass flip of RDGLDGRN’s crowd pleasing track, “Doing the Most.” It opens with a staccato of claps and synth stabs before billowing out into a lush pad groove that complements King Green’s vocals: a move that serves as proper comfort before the track goes into overdrive as the beats become trill and the vibe gets real. By the time the conga groove bounces in and the kicks begin to take the wheel, and your headspace begins to swirl while you’re being convinced, “You should do less/ ‘Cause you’re doing the most,” it’s too late. The 2-step, a victory dance normally reserved for champions, will be occurring below your waist and there’s no way around it. The remix is a flirtation with the thought of just doing you, treating yourself, and having a good time without a rhyme or reason or fuck to give.
This is old fashioned, party rock, hype music at it’s cheesiest and most delicious; it has no qualms or self-conscious afterthoughts and it services the original work while injecting a fresh perspective. JDVBBS nailed it.
You can stream JDVBBS’ remix of RDGLDGRN’s “Doing the Most” below and download it for free.