[Deep/Tech-House] D4L – Laffy Taffy (Justin Jay’s Halloween Edit)

JustinJay
D4L
Laffy Taffy (Justin Jay's Halloween Edit)

It’s Friday Ninja Nation, you’ve made it through another grinding work week. And since we feel like letting loose, why not express that feeling by posting another absurdly amazing underground house cut from the Dirtybird camp’s resident wunderkind, Justin Jay. Today Mr. Jay’s got us feeling all kinds of middle-school dancey with an appropriate edit of D4L’s “Laffy Taffy” to commemorate this Halloween season, and we’ve been doing our best “Miley Cyrus at the VMA’s” impression to keep up with the tune’s addictive nature. Justin Jay crafts his revision on the back of some analog sounding 808 bass and rolling drum work which kicks up into a hypnotic melody before D4L’s rudimentary lyricism -which works like gangbusters on this record- comes blasting through to create one of the young gun’s most consumable tracks yet. When pressed on the tune Justin stated: “Dirtybird’s 10-year anniversary is creeping up, which is crazy.” Justin says, “Can’t believe the label’s been doing its thing for 10-years. I wish I’d been in on it since I was 11, but I was getting down to jamz like this at the time so I can’t really complain. With Halloween coming up, this just had to happen…”. To keep up with the Halloween spirit, and to celebrate their 10th anniversary, Dirtybird Records are giving this one away on the house, so snag it here and roll out your dance moves… because it’s Friday.

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[Album Stream] Mansions On The Moon – Mansions on the Moon

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There’s no hiding the fact that we’ve become just a little bit enamored with alt-pop Casanovas Mansions on the Moon. And on that note, we’ve been waiting ever so patiently for their debut long-player like good little ninjas for just slightly over four years now. Yesterday, the So-Cal ensemble finally released their self-titled album and truthfully, some of us have been looping it for just over 24 hours straight. We’ve previously covered a handful of singles -“Radio”, “The Truth”, “Don’t Tell”, “Somewhere Else Tonight”, “Heart Of The Moment”- but our ears have obviously been a bit more glued to the cuts in which we had never previously consumed including “Take A Ride”, “Notice Me” and “All There Is”. We got lead vocalist Ted Wendler to say a few words about each of the ten tracks contained within Mansions On The Moon, and here’s what one of our favorite indie-pop crooners graced us with:

1. “Radio” was written in response to growing pressure for the band to write a breakout radio pop single.  We set out to create a poppy track that ironically spoke of the growing lack of unoriginality in radio pop music today.

2. We wrote “Don’t Tell” while we were stranded in Scranton, Pennsylvania because our northeast coast dates were cancelled due to super storm Sandy.  We set up a studio in the hotel and made lemonade out of lemons.
3. “Somewhere Else Tonight” has been with the band for a very long time.  We’ve been playing it live for two years while we not so patiently waited for the completion of our first full length album.
4. “Where You Are” started with an instrumental foundation laid down by TRAKGIRL. Ted used a TC Helicon processor to achieve the robotic sound of the vocals.  Then we went hambodian in the studio to take it to where it is now.
5.  The lyrics for “Take A Ride” were written in Missoula Montana in 2006, the instrumental was completed with Paper Diamond in Boulder Colorado and the vocals were finally recorded in a closet in Los Feliz.
6. Ted first recorded the vocals for “Notice Me” over an acoustic arrangement.  The band, along with Sunny Norway and David Ott, used the original acapellas and took the song to a completely different space.  Maybe someday we will release the original acoustic version.
7. “The Truth” was the last song we wrote for the album.  Lane was insistent that it needed to be included in the release.  After Baby Jeff laid down the P-Funk the deal was sealed.
8. “Heart Of The Moment”  was written by our bassist Jeff and inspired by a spiritual revelation. We played the track for Zee Avi while hanging out at a friend’s apartment in downtown LA. She graciously accepted our request to sing on the song.  The version appearing on the album is remixed, re-arranged and remastered from its original release.
9. On “All There Is” Ben wrote the instrumental foundation for his mom as a birthday present.  Then Ted used this to write the lyrics.  We hope to inspire people to revisit forgotten dreams and goals they had in their youth, no matter how impossible they may seem.

10. Ted wrote “Time” while house sitting in the mountain town of Roanoke Virginia.  He spent that month prolifically writing and recording while a English bulldog named Oscar snored in the  background.

And there you have it. Now that you’ve got a bit of insight into the psyche of Mansions as they wrote their first album, take just under forty minutes and listen to their worthy entry into the LP format in its entirety below.

Radio
Dont Tell
Somewhere Else Tonight
Where You Are
Take A Ride
Notice Me
The Truth
Heart Of The Moment (ft. Zee Avi)
All There Is
Time (ft. Codi Caraco)
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[TMN Exclusive Interview] A Conversation with Ásgeir at Treasure Island Music Festival

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Ásgeir
Dýrð í dauðaþögn

At this point, it’s far from a secret that Iceland produces some of the most uniquely talented musicians in the world. Acts like Sigur Ros, Bjork and, more recently, Of Monsters and Men have solidified the international awareness of Iceland’s magical music scene. Although each artist brings something vastly different to the table, there does seem to be a sort of ethereal, mythological nature that ties them all together.

In 2012, Icelandic folktronica artist Ásgeir emerged in his home country with his debut album, Dýrð í dauðaþögn, which broke the record for best-selling debut in Iceland surpassing some of his immensely successful predecessors. The ten-track project features Ásgeir’s phenomenal oft-falsetto Icelandic vocals over folky guitar and subtle electronic elements, most notably employed in the bouncy ”Leyndarmál” (later adopted in English as “King and Cross”). With his album owned by nearly 1 in 10 people in Iceland, Ásgeir took to spreading his music to a broader audience by releasing a fully English-translated version titled In the Silence earlier this year taking him around the world touring.

We had a chance to catch up with Ásgeir’s after his incredible set at this year’s Treasure Island Festival to discuss his musical background, home country and plans for the future. Give the conversation a read below and make sure to keep Ásgeir on your radar.

TMN: Tell us a bit about your first experiences with music and how you got started.

Ásgeir: I started playing guitar when I was about 6. My first guitar was a classical guitar and my parents are classically educated so I went to school pretty early playing classical guitar. Pretty soon after that, I started having an interest in writing songs. Then, I started listening to rock and grunge music. I eventually wanted to play electric guitar and started forming different bands. It pretty much started with my family who had a lot to do with encouraging me.

 TMN: What were some of the artists that you were listening to a lot growing up?

Ásgeir: I went through different periods. From 6 to 11, it was all Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Metallica and that kind of stuff. At the same time, I was playing classical guitar and I didn’t really feel connected to the instrument until I grew up more at 13 or 14. At that time, I started listening to more folk artists. I got my first acoustic guitar with steel strings and that’s where I kind of found country music. Johnny Cash was one of my favorites and an Icelandic artist Mugison. Sigur Ros was always one of my favorites as well as Sufjan Stevens and Kelly Joe Phelps.

 TMN: Icelandic artists tend to have a very distinct, unified sound. How has that played into your music and why do you think that is?

Ásgeir: A lot has to do with just the music in Iceland and what we grow up listening to, which inspires us. I grew up in the northwest side of Iceland in a really isolated small town and I was always really close to my environment as well. I can’t really put my finger on what it is that connects us and makes the music how it is. But there’s definitely an Icelandic vibe and sound that comes from our unity. I think its just how small of a nation we are, how few people live there and everything like that.
Continue reading

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[Electronic] MAZDE – Shifted Thoughts ft. La Mar

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Mazde
Shifted Thoughts (feat La Mar)

The artistic musical project of genre bending German electronic producer Matthias Dierkes, Mazde, is back with a rock solid original recording, “Shifted Thoughts”. After first being featured here on TMN with a sterling remix of S O H N’s “The Wheel”, the enlightened 20 year old has come through with a promising and dynamic EP, fittingly titled Shifted Thoughts, which is the first release out on Australian tastemaker dance giants Stoney Roads’ new imprint. The title track from Mazde’s aforementioned extended play, “Shifted Thoughts” is a thinking listener’s take on an accessible glitched out two-step infused electronic record. Mazde’s newest single rides a hauntingly gorgeous vocal track from La Mar and like much of the incredible electronic music being pushed by our Aussie amigos, it’s an astutely wound soundscape dripping in texture. We’re certainly excited to see what else is coming down the pipe from Mazde as his work grows more mature and finely tuned with every passing release. Stream “Shifted Thoughts” above and check out the B-Side “Forest Of Gold” here.

 

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[Trap] Lookas – Loko (NGHTMRE Remix)

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Lookas
Loko (NGHTMRE Remix)

As Halloween quickly approaches, it appears that many producers have been attempting to reveal their inner dark side to get into the spirit of things. Los Angeles’, NGHTMRE, surely justifies his name with his most recent remix of Lookas’, “Loko”. Filled with heaps of heavy bass, dark wubs, and hair-raising 808′s, NGHTMRE gives us a massive trap anthem to go loko over. So prepare to sleep with one eye open tonight because you won’t be able to escape the darkness that lingers in your bedroom closet.

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[TMN Premiere] Parra For Cuva ft. Anna Naklab – Wicked Games (Kid Arkade Remix)

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Parra For Cuva ft. Anna Naklab
Wicked Games (Kid Arkade Remix)

Kid Arkade- the anonymous collective recently snapped up by Ultra Music- who first graced the pages of TMN with their energetic big-room original “Atlas Run” have returned to unveil yet another premiere to the Ninja Nation. This time, Kid Arkade takes on Parra For Cuva‘s “Wicked Games” (which itself is a pseudo-cover of the ultra sexy Chris Isaak single) and rolls the tune directly into the heart of frenetic stadium sized dancefloors.  The remix kicks off almost instantaneously with an utterly fattened kick-drum, energy fueling pads and dynamically powerful synth progression before unleashing a gargantuan bassline which is sure to work the boogie out of its listeners. If you’re in need of a id-week pick-me-up, Kid Arkade more than hits the spot with this revision. Strap on your sweatbands and let’s add a little wiggle to your Wednesday.

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[Deep House] Nick Jonas – Jealous (Ugo Remix)

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Having only dropped his sensual and funky track “Jealous,” which is rapidly gaining momentum, this past September, Nick Jonas’ solo career seems to be off to a pretty nice start. Seeing as he’s signed to Universal Music Group’s Island Records, we are all very excited to see what he has in store for us with his forthcoming album. While we anticipate its release, we have been fortunate to receive some pretty outstanding remixes of what is to be included on the album. Thus far, one of our favorites is Ugo’s rendition of “Jealous.” He takes on a much darker perspective, cranking up the sex-factor with hypnotic percussion and going heavy on the harmony. To put it simply, Ugo transforms the catchy tune into a night club anthem guaranteed to turn a venue into a sauna.

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