I’m a huge fan of OG rap tracks on upbeat, house beats and this track is a testament to that entire sound (this isn’t just some shitty mashup). Collision of funkiness and musical generations, check out this awesome hybrid.
It is that time of year again, when everyone is proclaiming their songs of the summer. There are some amazing contenders – RAC/Matthew Koma & Kiesza I am looking at you. They both have nearly all the elements the song of the summer needs, warm beats, irresistible rhythms, and hooks big enough to land Moby Dick, but they lack that reckless joie de vie that a summer song MUST have.
Thankfully MAUSI, Newcastle bred foursome of brother/sister duo Daisy and Thomas and their friends Ben & Benji, are here with their newest single “My Friend Has A Swimming Pool”. It blends nu-disco, rivera-pop, and house to make a song worthy of summer.
Hometown favorites, Brett, have been on the road for the past few days, teaming up with groups like Goldroom and The Black and The White to make the country swoon with their patented blend of indie pop wrapped up in dreamy 80s flavors. Lucky enough for us, the tour is coming through DC tonight at U Street Music Hall, bringing a grade A lineup with it of Brett, Goldroom, and local disco duo Man & Woman. If you’ve never seen Brett live, we really encourage not to miss your chance. They bring endless amounts of charm and energy to the stage that very few bands manage to accomplish. They’re also multi-faceted and were nice enough to make a mix of old and new favorites for the next installment of the Blisspop Mix Series. Take a listen below and grab tickets HERE if you haven’t yet:
01 Sabrina – Boys Boys Boys
02 Shannon – Let The Music Play
03 Hercules & Love Affair – Release Me (Andrew Butler & Mark Pistel Remix)
04 Prince – The Future
05 MOTM – Aracari (feat. Jane)
06 New Look – Teen Need (Hunter Game Re-Edit)
07 David Bowie – Fashion
08 Talking Heads – Found A Job
09 Brett – Chalon (Lemonade Remix)
10 Brett – Glass Hearts
Tomorrow night U Street Music Hall is yet again hosting one of Blisspop’s favorite acts. None other than L.A.’s very own Goldroom. We had a quick chat with Goldroom himself, he even let us bother him while taking some time down in Boston. We got the scoop on the new 4 piece band, that now includes the ridiculously talented Chela, why 90′s electronic music doesn’t matter, and the future of electronic music!
You’ve played DC a lot over the years, and have developed a strong fan base here. How does it feel to be coming back?
This is so exciting. I think this is the 5th time I’ve played in D.C.. I mean I’ve played New York and L.A. a lot and that’s one thing, but I have this bond with D.C.. I’ve played it more than any other city besides New York and L.A.. It’s feels like home for me even though it’s far from my basecamp.
What can fans that have seen you go from DJ sets to live shows expect for this show?
Every time I’ve brought the show back its always gotten a little bit bigger and certainly better. Last year we were on the road just with three people total. I was running sound and doing all the logistical stuff, just the three of us in a car. We did are best on stage, I think those shows were great and I loved doing that, but now things have changed.
Now we’ve been able to go from a bare bones situation where we were just trying to survive to a place where we have more freedom and ability to go bigger with stuff. We have a 4th member on stage that can play keys, bass and sing. He has a beautiful voice, so we can do three part harmonies now, which is something I have always wanted to do vocally. We can do so much more musically than we could ever do on the last tour. That’s what’s so exciting to me.
We’re playing dance music that our fans are most used to seeing in a DJ setting. What I am really trying to do as much as possible is retain everything that people love about that type of music and maybe give them something they haven’t see before. Adding another person has totally been allowed us to do that.
So how do you translate that electro heavy, lush sound to a live touring show?
I think that really comes down to me as a producer and not really being willing to sacrifice sonic quality for the sake of playing live. Some bands make a really important point to say that the only thing you hear at the venue is the live instruments on stage. In that case you lose some of the quality that you hear during a DJ set.
For me if I am used seeing a DJ every weekend and then I go see a live band and the drummer hits the kick drum and it doesn’t punch me in the chest the same way it did the night before that’s a real problem, especially if you are playing dance music. We have a live drummer, and bassists and keyboard on stage, but there is an electronic element here with triggered samples. It’s really important to me that the live show replicates the studio setting as much as possible, while still bringing a completely new live and improvised element. Balancing those two is very difficult. The more people you have on stage the harder it is to maintain the integrity of the studio recording, but it’s exciting. It’s very important for me to do that.
I build out a live set the same way I build out a mixtape. I think that is what ties everything together. We play sort of mini sets, where songs run into each other. There is sort of DJ style transitions, but better, I can cut down parts more and we can play the transitions. It’s like a DJ set or mixtape, but we are actually playing it live. I think that is so exciting and can bring people into a live show.
So that was the perfect transition (see what I did there). So what does the live instruments add during a live set that a DJ rig can’t?
I love DJ sets so this is always a very hard question to answer, because the things I could say would be interpreted as speaking ill of DJng. I do not feel that way at all. I love DJing and I feel very strongly that it is an art form and there is a huge level of improvisation that is required to DJ well. I love hearing that.
That said, what sets it apart and why I love playing live is that I don’t think any DJ could argue that they can connect as closely with fans as I can when I am singing a song that I wrote to them. When I am playing the guitar on a song and singing a song that I wrote at them and they are hearing my voice live, there is a level of connection and emotion there that is just not present in the DJ set up.
That is a big part of it, and certainly every DJ set is different and requires the talent to improvise each set, but every night we play the show there is so much potential to play it different than we did the night before. I have sections where I do guitar solos and every night that’s different and the imperfections in the voices that come through. I think all of this makes a completely unique experience.
It’s funny to even be talking about this. This is the nature of live music and what it is. I know there are a huge group of music fans that make up a significant chunk of the Goldroom fan base that aren’t used to seeing this kind of music or even seeing live music at all. That’s where it gets interesting.
I love having interesting musicians with me on stage that doing things that surprise me every night. As much as I love DJing, its not as if when I am playing, let’s say, a LE YOUTH remix that in the middle a new part I have never heard before is gonna pop up. When I am DJing all of the improvisation is coming from me and mistakes I might be making, but when I am on stage with four people we are like a living breathing entity that night.
You fit into an interesting and fairly unique place in music; you’re a producer, DJ, & live-instrument wielding musician. Do you think music fans, or most people in general think of DJing as live music?
I do think there is a huge percentage of people who do right now. I am acutely aware that they all might, overnight, decide that it’s not. I do feel like over time people may get warn out over seeing DJ’s to some extent. I want to keep doing it and I really love it. And there will always be a great group of people that are excited to see a DJ set. I do think there is some over-inflation right now of fans that love this world, but I think I some point they are going to want the human connection from something that is played and sung to them live.
So you think the DJ bubble is gonna burst sometime soon and you are looking ahead to diversify?
I am choosing my words carefully, because I think that concept of an “EDM bubble” being something that exists is overstated. Even in the 90’s electronic music wasn’t all the way there, it didn’t permeate all of mainstream culture. It wasn’t the popular form of music for teenagers like electronic music is now. We have reached a point where everyone’s ear have become completely and unequivocally accustomed to hearing electronic sounds. So while I believe going to see big DJ’s is the most popular form of music for kids right now, I think anyone who thinks this is going to keep going on forever is fooling themselves.
At the same time I think that even when we shift away from that, I do think that electronic music as a whole is going to continue to be the predominate form of music, or at the very least electronic themes in music.
What is going to keep electronic music interesting?
In the end this is why song writing is so important, because everything that goes around that is just window dressing, whether that’s an acoustic guitar, a brass band, or complex electronic instrumentation. At the end of the day the only that matters is the song and whether or not you can sing that song or play those melodies and they connect with people. I try not to worry too much about that stuff, I think about the cycle of music a lot, but I don’t think electronic music is going anywhere
So music always changes and evolves and has a base on what came before, do you think its acceptance and wide mainstream appeal had a lot to do with the rise of electronic music in the 90’s?
I don’t think what happened in the 90’s with electronic music contributed with what is happening with music right now at all. I think influenced a lot of musicians to make the music they are right now. But it’s sort of a blip on the radar in the sense of scope and scale of how popular electronic music got. The groups were never ubiquitous. What is crazy to me is that if you are 15 this is the most popular, this is what everyone wants, and this is what everybody is doing. It’s amazing.
I hope a lot of these kids decide to look around and beyond mainstream EDM to find music that is like it, but maybe has a little more substance to it.
But do you think that just a product of age and being able to grow as a music consumer?
Absolutely. Now I love Skrillex, so don’t take this the wrong way, but if someone is listening to him now, that same human being if they were transported back fifteen years they probably would have been listening to Rage Against The Machine, or five years before that Metallica, or something like that. There is always going to be an aggressive, testosterone filled thirteen year old that wants to rage out to that kind of stuff, and yeah, usually they get older and their tastes grow. And I hope for a lot of these fans this happens and they don’t just decide as whole that dance music is lame. I hope that they fall in love with elements of it and want to find stuff that means more to them.
Do you see the music you are making as a result of that hope?
Actually, I think it is sort of the other way around. I am making what I am making and now contextualizing it in that way. I think I happen to just be in the middle of this long process of discovering electronic music. I might be late to the game, but maybe not really. I wasn’t turned on to electronic music, in a very clichéd way, until I saw Daft Punk’s Pyramids show in 2006. It really changed my mind about what electronic music was capable on an emotional level.
Very slowly from that moment on I have been experimenting more and more on electronic sounds and that has lead me down this long path to where I’m at now. I don’t know what really going to happen from here on, but what I do know is when I sit down to write a song it’s the same as when I was 15 with an acoustic guitar. In fact in recent months I’ve found myself on my acoustic guitar more and more. I then adapt them into a more Goldroom place.
It’s interesting that you think of yourself as a new comer to electronic music, do you think coming at it from a different perspective has added to the sound you’re able to make and help you make something that stands out?
I don’t mean to come back to the song-writing thing, but I think I have to. The song-writing aspect is so important to me and I think is what separates what I am doing from what other people, even people in my specific, little narrow slice of dance music.
We are all producers and at the end of the day we are all starting our songs in Logic, we start by making a loop. Everything starts with an 8 bar loop. Finding the sonics that we’re really excited by and making something really punky that’s bigger and fuller than anything we have heard before. Is really the crux of what or day-to-day life is about. It is really easy to go from there and see how a song fits within that new sonic. Where I am really making an effort, especially the further and further I go along, to approach it more from the point of lets write some meaningful melodies and words, that really say something about how I am feeling, or some one is feeling, or about the world.
Then come back and make it exist in a bed of something I believe in and that I think is beautiful. I’m trying to reverse things. Most dance producers are looking for exciting sounds and that is great and I am as well. To be honest when you are writing songs from that perspective you can create really new and exciting stuff.
I mean the best music producers in the world are dance music producers; because they are constantly pushing each other create new sounds. That inspires me as a producer, but at the end of the day I always come back to song writing.
The Lawrence brothers are at it again, this time kicking out a funked up rework of Pharrell and Jay Z’s “Frontin’.” As much as I keep expecting Disclosure to get old or trip up, they have yet failed to do so, turning out gem after gem. This remix sticks to their formula of pop song driven house, but has a lot more of a funky edge to it. It sounds sort of like Pomo meets Kaytranada meets, well, Disclosure and is a ton of fun. Take a listen below and make sure to hit the like, as they’re giving it up as a free DL when it reaches 1 million likes: