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.
The Blinkhorn Batch is a deliberate and meticulous selection of new dark, deep, and occasionally sinister sounds followed by a classic production of the same style. This ongoing series of posts is curated by Blisspop author Patrick Blinkhorn.
Hunter/Game’s rolling bass driven remix of Weval’s “Gimme Some” sets the stage for this post. Italian producers Hunter/Game add elements in a deliberate manner over the course of the remix. The result: an appropriate edition to the Kompakt Total 15 release that is perfect for building tension on the dance floor.
Bremen, Germany based artist Stephan Bodzin gave us his take on fellow German producer Marc Romboy’s track, “Hypernova.” Bodzin’s remix is full of dark timbres and builds in intensity as the track progresses. The track is out on Systematic Recordings on 8/28/15.
Next up is the Tallmen 785′s new Stead Fast EP on the elusive label, Rhythm Nation Records. Kansas born but now Berlin based, Tallmen 785 has more than twenty years of musical training. His productions are essentially techno, but they have a distinct Tallmen 785 flair to them. All four tracks on this EP are well done and one (“Frog Maschine”) was premiered on Boiler Room’s SoundCloud, but my favorite of the bunch is the earth shaking “Stead Fast Drum Machine.”
Swiss producer Bastian Bux gave us some deep house fire with “Tempus Fugit (Original Mix)” on Suara. The synths along with the melodic and rhythmic statements in this track will drive fans of the Cityfox / Adriatique / Tale of Us sound to dance.
Closing out the “fresh” section of this first edition of The Blinkhorn Batch, Brazilian artist Alex Justino gives us his take on deep take on Radiohead’s “Everything In It’s Right Place.” Justino uses vocal effects and synth design to a spectacular effect in what he is calling a Re-edit of the original.
Hold on to your seats, because this classic is a doozy. Max Cooper’s Remix of Pig & Dan’s “Tears of a Clown” is one of my all time favorite remixes. The track in its entirety is over ten minutes long, but Cooper still manages to captivate the listener’s attention for the duration. Perhaps the most impressive feat Cooper pulls off in this remix is the restraint he shows in the track structure. Cooper designed a face-melting bass synth and he uses a captivating distorted electric guitar sample, but he somehow manages to wait three and a half minutes to bring the bass in and then five and a half minutes to bring the electric guitar in. Cooper’s purposeful track design gives the listener an exquisite aural experience. Here’s a clip of the original remix, but I highly recommend you stream or purchase the remix via another medium for the full effect:
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.
Showing a new voice can be difficult. The Jane Doze, however, given their background in music production and chops in the recording industry, doesn’t seem to falter with this concept in their more recent work; a remix of Lauv‘s “The Other,” showcases a deeper and more emotive side to the duo.
Their experimentation with richer, more tender soundscapes was on display in their recent bootleg of “Grow,” but here it’s matured into a poppy, light, sensual touch perfect for the dog days of summer. Plenty of reverb layered over the vocals and soft percussion give an otherworldly impact as grand piano provides gravitas. These aspects demonstrate the pair’s attention to detail and expert analysis of pop structure which in unsurprising given how on point their productions have been in the past. The duo has built a reputation on being able to capture the musical current at the time and, given the popularity of artists like Sam Feldt, Robin Schulz, and Kygo in recent months, it appears that the gals have nailed it once again – a testament to their versatility and dynamite track record thus far.
You can stream The Jane Doze remix below. Plus: it’s a free download!
Our boys from the Great White North, Smalltown DJs, are crushing the game. The Canadian duo have been lighting up forums and charts with their frenetic, bass driven tastemaking skills which have reworked some of the dance music world’s most prominent voices into absolute slammers. Their latest remix tackles Jamie XX: a producer that’s on top of the world right now after stellar showings on XL Recordings such as his Gil-Scott Heron concept album, We’re New Here, and his work with the atmospheric electronica outfit, The XX.
The song in question is Jamie XX’s summer time, backyard moodsetter “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)” which, in the hands of Smalltown DJs, gets flipped into a future-house inspired flamethrower of an edit that accentuates the bopping sensibility of the original while giving it a bass-heavy twist. This amps the danceability of the track to an all-time high, but not without sacrificing the breeziness of Jamie XX’s original. Instead, this remix reaches out, throwing punches, going for an edge that pushes into a harder, more rave oriented mentality made all the more apparent with each subsequent drop and stab of the bass.
Stream the Smalltown DJs remix of “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)” below and go to their SoundCloud page for a free download.