Author Archives: Ash El Gamal

[Electronic] Disclosure – Holding On (feat. Gregory Porter)

Holding On (feat. Gregory Porter)

It’s been a while since Disclosure‘s groundbreaking album Settle dropped back in 2013. Even with the extended hiatus, during which they toured extensively and put out a few loose tracks, their relevance in dance music hasn’t receded one bit. Their tracks can be heard in DJ sets rocking dance floors around the world. Finally, though, fans have some new exciting news from the unstoppable UK duo–a new album set to drop later this year. The first single arrived a couple days ago and it’s the perfect continuation from their flawless debut. “Holding On” carries an incredible amount of soul courtesy Gregory Porter‘s vocals all the while maintaining the club-ready future house and garage sound that Disclosure has pioneered. As we await more news on their highly anticipated upcoming sophomore project, this one should do just fine in holding us over.

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[TMN Exclusive Interview] Maribou State Talk their Musical Evolution and the Making of ‘Portraits’

Maribou State

UK production duo Maribou State have had a fascinating musical journey starting as a high school band who evolved into accomplished DJs and, more recently, coming full circle with their newly revealed fully live setup. Building on countless influences along the way, they have undoubtedly established a lane all their own as they prepare for the release of their debut album. It’s no accident that Maribou State have hit their stride lately–they’ve, quite literally, been building and fine-tuning for years. Recorded and engineered in a home studio that they assembled themselves, their output thus far, “Wallflower” being the most recent, balances electronic and live instrumentation blurring lines between dance and easy, trippy listening.

We had a chance to chat with Chris Davids and Liam Ivory, the long-time collaborators behind Maribou State, over the phone while they were on tour in Berlin and they went in-depth about their roots and the making of their upcoming debut, Portraits. Read it in their own words below. Portraits drops on June 2nd and can be pre-ordered here. You can also keep track of their upcoming tour dates at their website.

TMN: You guys have been on tour for a while now. How’s it going? 

Chris: Yeah, on and off. We’ve always kept the dates pretty regular. Good thing about DJing is you can go there on the weekends and play a set then come back and get in the studio. Now that the live band’s coming together and touring, it’s going to be more of a thing where we actually have to block out time. We’ve always played gigs most weekends since doing this. 

TMN: Have you unveiled the full live set in front of a crowd yet? 

Chris: We’ve only actually had two shows as a live act at the minute. One was in London and one was in Holland and we had that BBC performance. When we come back from Berlin in a few weeks, we’ve got some festival dates across Europe up until September. Then hopefully we should have a full tour come November.

TMN: So, backing up a bit, how did you first get into music? You both grow up outside of London, right?

Liam:  Yeah, we grew up in a place called Hartforshire which is about 25 minutes north of London. It’s close enough for us to get into the city but it’s really rural and excluded. I got into music, on the production side of things, when I was 16 or 17. I took music as a GSCE at school and one of the modules was to produce a piece of music. It kind of stemmed from there and I ended up doing it in college and further. 

TMN: And you both also played in bands prior to getting into production? 

Chris: Yeah, we both played in separate bands when we were like 15 in school. We eventually joined the same band that was originally full on guitar, bass and drums—there was no electronics involved in it. By the time I joined, we started using laptops and keyboards. From that up until what we’re doing now, we’ve stayed working with the same band. We moved in together and then carried on with that. We kept condensing it until it was just a laptop.

Liam: Now the band’s back!  Continue reading

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[NEW] Jamie xx – I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times) (feat. Young Thug & Popcaan)

Jamie xx
There's Gonna Be (Good Times) (feat. Young Thug & Popcaan)

When looking over the tracklist for Jamie xx‘s upcoming album, the Young Thug  and Popcaan feature was by far the most intriguing, unexpected inclusion. A little over a week ago, a leak of the far-out collab, featuring only Thug’s contribution, hit the Interwebs and it had all the makings of a summer anthem. The leak was swiftly removed from most major websites, but today we’re blessed with the final version of the song.

Jamie xx crafts an incredibly bright, and uncharacteristic, backdrop for Young Thug and Popcaan utilizing his signature steel drums and yet another masterfully placed soul sample echoing “I know there’s gonna be good times.” Popcaan’s perfected dancehall crooning opens things before Thugger’s playful, melodic flow takes over flawlessly, matching the instrumental’s overwhelmingly positive, bright energy.  Popcaan seamlessly takes back over between Thug’s verses and handles the outro before it fades into the infectious sample. This is, in our minds, one of the best songs to come out this year and we’ll be jamming out to it as we wait for the release of In Colour on June 2nd–pre order here.

Although this collaboration might come as a surprise to many, Jamie alluded to becoming a big fan of Young Thug while he was living in New York in a recent interview with XXL and, based on how perfect the combo sounds, he seems to have a true grasp of exactly what it is that makes Thug’s music so strangely addicting. It’s yet another testament not only to Jamie xx’s production abilities, but also his keen ear as a DJ developed through his immense, diverse musical knowledge.

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[TMN Premiere] Shameboy – Trippin (Mickey Remix)

Trippin (Mickey Remix)

Belgian producer Shameboy has been around through generations of electronic music maintaining his own unique, yet evolving, style through out. Last month, he unleashed “Trippin,” a gorgeous piece of slowly-developing, chilled-out electronic pop with stunning vocals from Max Marshall. The single has become a favorite in the blogosphere, and for good reason–it’s as intricate as it is catchy.

This morning, we’re excited to be bringing you the premiere of an equally intriguing house remix from fellow Belgian Mickey. Cutting the vocals and flipping the cadence, Mickey’s rendition draws the listener in with a 4×4, head-nodding tempo that, despite speeding things up, maintains the smooth, somber elements of the original. Once again, Marshall’s voice remains a vital component hypnotizing when combined with Mickey’s production. This one’s equally suited for a club dance floor or a sunny summer day. Give it a listen above and also make sure to check out the original here.

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[Festival Preview + Playlist] 25 Songs to Prepare for Sasquatch! 2015


Sasquatch! Music Festival has become an absolute staple of the Pacific Northwest since its inception in 2002. After selling out in 2013, Sasquatch’s founder, Adam Zacks, tried expanding to the two weekend format last year. The second weekend ended up being canceled, though, with the unfortunate consequence of the festival, which had been 4 days previously, being shrunk down to three days. Luckily, Sasquatch! is back in full 4-day form this Memorial Day Weekend and we couldn’t be more excited for what we already know will be the best weekend of the year.

With the rise in popularity of music festivals, differentiation in the space has become increasingly difficult but the Squatch possesses an unrivaled vibe. The endless beauty of the Columbia River Gorge, a spectacle all its own, truly captivates just as much as the music that plays in front of it. With that flawless, picturesque backdrop, everything else just falls into place melting away the normal stresses of music festivals. The campsites are bubbling with inspired energy and the remoteness of Eastern Washington makes for a laid back community of genuine music fans. Even with occasional rain, the weather’s far more favorable than the scorching heat of many summer events.

Atmosphere aside, Sasquatch! has always done a great job of curating a diverse lineup spanning indie rock, hip-hop, EDM and more. On this year’s lineup, you’ll notice many of the typical acts making the festival rounds, but there’s also a plethora of local talent from the Pacific Northwest offering a unique opportunity to catch some exciting up ‘n comers. We’ve rounded up 25 songs, ordered by set times, to help all you ninjas prepare and it’s a playlist as eclectic as the lineup. If you’re looking to make a spontaneous decision this weekend, Sasquatch! will be the best you’ve ever made–you can still grab tickets here.

The Heat
Bishop Nehru
You Stressin (Produced by. Disclosure)
GoldLink & Falcons
Of Monsters & Men
Yellow Light
Little Dragon
Pretty Girls
Sleepless feat. Jezzabell Doran
The War on Drugs
Red Eyes
Sylvan Esso
Glass Animals
Black Mambo
Slow Magic
Waited 4 U (ODESZA Remix)
Rent I Pay
Shakey Graves
The Perfect Parts
Milky Chance
Shelter Song
The Knocks
Dancing With Myself
Jose Gonzalez
This Is How We Walk On the Moon
James Blake
Life Round Here
Temporary View (feat. Sampha)
Hanni El Khatib
Courtney Barnett
Pedestrian At Best
Ab Soul
Mixed Emotions
Tame Impala
Apocalypse Dreams

Red In The Grey
Kendrick Lamar
These Walls (feat. Bilal, Anna Wise & Thundercat)
Hot Chip
Huarache Lights
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[TMN Premiere] Native People – Tapes (The Citrus Clouds Remix)

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Native People
Tapes (The Citrus Clouds Remix)

UK four-piece Native People have a fascinating sound that combines indie rock and pop guitar licks with synths and a distinct sensibility for dance percussion. Unsurprisingly, their winning style has been picking up some serious steam over the last year. As they prepare for the release of their debut EP, Native People have shared a remix of “Tapes,” the title track, courtesy London’s The Citrus Clouds and we’re excited to be bringing you the premiere.

The original track is an upbeat indie pop hit layered with groovy drums and an addicting guitar lick perfectly accentuated by the accompanying vocals. The Citrus Clouds’ rendition proves equally stunning replacing the rock instrumentation with steel drums and lush synths for an incredibly smooth electronic journey. Even with a tempo change and a shift to tropical elements, the original’s infectious melody reigns supreme on this remix.

Get your summer on with this sunny, uplifting tune above. Native People’s Tapes EP, which will include this remix, drops May 25th and can be pre-ordered on iTunes here. For all the UK ninjas out there, you can grab tickets to their EP launch show on May 21st here.

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[TMN Premiere] Terrell Morris – Book of Benny (prod. Gat)

Terrell Morris.
Book Of Benny (prod Gat)

Followers of our Hip-Hop Dojo have probably already noticed this, but we’re really excited about Toronto’s burgeoning hip-hop scene. Today, we’ve got a premiere from yet another unique emcee from the 6, Terrell Morris, who’s been bubbling in his hometown for a while now, previously going by the name T-City. His latest single, “Book of Benny,” carries a hazy, minimalistic vibe thanks to Gat‘s smooth production. Using the stripped-down backdrop to his advantage, Morris employs an addicting, melodic flow that makes the song play out like an extended melancholic chorus. Lyrically, there’s an introspective depth to Morris’s rhymes that reflect his own experiences as an aspiring artist. This sentiment is further accentuated by interwoven audio clips from the character Benny in the film Basquiat, which tells the story of the legendary painter and graffiti artist.

“Book of Benny” is the first single from Terrell Morris’s upcoming project, which is due out later this year. As we await more news on that front, we’ll have this atmospheric cut in heavy rotation. If you’re digging it as much as us, make sure to also check out his last mixtape, On Y Va.  

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