Author Archives: Ash El Gamal

40 Songs to Prepare for Sasquatch! 2016 [Festival Preview + Playlist]

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Over the last few years, Memorial Day Weekend for us has become synonymous with Washington’s Sasquatch! Music Festival–you can take a look back at our review from last year to get a sense of just how much we love it. The 4-day event separates itself from other major festivals by offering a one-of-a-kind backdrop overlooking the Columbia River Gorge and being just far enough in the boonies that all attendees camp together. That combination makes for a more communal experience while offering some relief from common festival-goer complaints.

In its second year back to a 4-day bill, Sasquatch! presents one of its most unique lineups to date shedding light on local Seattle musicians early in the day while bringing the headliners everyone has come to expect (aside from The Cure!) to take on the evening performances. While late sets from the likes of Jamie xx, Disclosure and Major Lazer jump out as major electronic acts, the daytime seems more focused on indie rock / pop and hip-hop, which should fit a sunny day in the Gorge perfectly.

To help all our Sasquatch Ninjas prepare, we’ve put together a 40-song playlist highlighting 10 acts for each day of the festival. Whether or not you’ll be at the Gorge this year, we hope you discover some new artists in here–we certainly did in putting it together. If you do make it out, look for the dude with the most colorful shorts and come say what’s up!

Day 1

Lion Babe – Treat Me Like Fire (feat. Snakehips Remix)
Oh Wonder – Body Gold
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Can’t Keep Checking My Phone
Marcus Marr – Peacemakers
Flume – Smoke and Retribution (feat. Vince Staples)
Alina Baraz & Galimatias – Pretty Thoughts
Yeasayer – Silly Me
Todd Terje – Strandbar (disko)
Disclosure – Jaded
Chet Faker & Marcus Marr – The Trouble With Us

Continue reading

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[Event Review] Mura Masa, NAO and Bonzai @ The Independent–SF, 5/12

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’Mura Masa – …Girl’

I can remember pretty distinctly when my enchantment with Mura Masa’s music began—specifically the first time I heard “…Girl.” That piano-driven, trap-influenced beauty served as an ample intro to his intricate production style but it really only scratched the surface of what was to come. His 2014 debut album Soundtrack to a Death, a collection of dynamic beats, cemented his status as one of the most exciting electronic artists out–seamlessly fusing the enormity of trap percussion with fluttering instrumentation and chopped vocal samples.

While that first project captured the bloggers and electronic music enthusiasts, it was Mura Masa’s Someday Somewhere EP that, with the help of a diverse set of collaborators, catapulted his notoriety among casual fans and the biggest producers in the game alike. Since that release, he’s launched Anchor Point Records his own label that’s already brought us fantastic projects from Bonzai and Jadu Heart.

In San Francisco, it’s common to discover an artist on Soundcloud and find them on a show flier within a few months. In the case of Mura Masa, though, the wait for a live performance felt like an eternity—spanning almost three years. Having checked literally hundred of artists off of the must-see list in that time, it would be a massive understatement to say we were excited as we walked into The Independent to see the 20-year-old phenom’s SF debut alongside Bonzai and NAO. So, if you’re wondering why this article is so long it’s probably because we’ve been waiting for so long to write it. Continue reading

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[Hip-Hop] Kid Cudi – All In (prod. Mike Will Made It)

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Kid Cudi
All In

It’s been a tumultuous last couple years for Kid Cudi‘s followers. While some fans, such as myself (an admitted Cudder Stan), rocked out (all puns intended) to his latest material, the majority seemed to absolutely hate it. Like, really really hate it. To the point where comment sections on any new Cudi were pretty much exclusively riddled with “I WANT THE OLD CUDI” or “SPEEDIN BULLET 2 THE TRASH CAN”–I won’t lie I laughed out loud at the latter.

Anyways, recently it appears Cudi has linked back up with Kanye, making a brief but extremely impactful appearance on TLOP, and the rest of his old, beloved crew. A few weeks ago, we got “The Frequency,” a collab with Plain Pat, executive producer of Cudi’s debut mixtape, and it received glowing reviews even from those who despised his new direction. Just a few minutes ago we get yet another new tune from the man on the moon and it’s likely to reignite the fandom that seemed to be dwindling for many.

Produced by 808-master Mike Will Made It, “All In” has booming percussion but doesn’t losing site of Cudi’s spaced out sound. Cudi delivers some seriously amazing vocals reminiscing on past regrets and pouring his heart out as he always does. Even though some may see this as just a return to the Cudi of the past, it’s actually more of a step forward for him. For those who actually did take the time to listen to his more recent projects, you’ll recognize how much they cultivated him as a vocalist.

Kid Cudi returns at an interesting time when artists like Future and Young Thug have developed a crooning of their own. Even though Cudi’s style is completely different, it seems like it might just be the perfect time for him to re-emerge as a superstar.

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[House] Rambo V – Clementine (feat. Lex Famous)

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RAMBO V
Clementine Ft. Lex Famous

Often times the music that requires multiple listens to sink in ends up being the best. We first stumbled on SoCal producer Rambo V when he transformed Jamie xx’s “Sleep Sound” into a disorienting, yet absolutely beautiful, house tune (which has since been taken down unfortunately). Given the already amazing production on that track, his ability to rearrange it into something that impressive proved a sign of a rising talent. He’s continued to pour out bold, experimental remixes on his Soundcloud page since but his latest original may be our favorite work to date.

Unlike the Jamie xx remix, “Clementine” won’t take multiple listens to make you a fan but it certainly improves with each spin. The self-described ‘soul house’ track features smooth vocals from Lex Famous perfect to soundtrack a chilled-out dancefloor even as the sonic scenery continually morphs. It’s really the arrangement of this tune’s countless facets that makes it so special–organic drums, plucking synths, warping pads and deep bass-lines weave in and out without a hitch. Grab a free download above and save this one for the summertime.

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[Chill] Nick Leng – Playing With Fire

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Nick Leng
Playing With Fire

It’s been almost a year since we’ve heard new original material from producer and vocalist Nick Leng but his Tunnels and Planes EP remains a go to for laid-back listening. Earlier this week, the LA-based producer and vocalist announced the release of an upcoming EP and unleashed the first single.

“Playing With Fire” truly engulfs the listener with a pretty piano melody layered with ambient electronic elements. Leng’s vocals are mixed flawlessly managing to avoid overpowering their gorgeous accompanying elements. Just as his voice serves as an instrument, so do the lyrics about being on the verge of an argument as they give way to the head-nodding chorus. Leng’s Drivers EP is due out just in time for summer on June 3rd via B3SCI Records–pre-order it now here.

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[Hip-Hop] Tunji Ige – Missed Calls (EP)

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After bursting onto the scene in 2014 with his self-produced debut mixtape, The Love Project, Philly emcee Tunji Ige spent 2015 slowly rolling out a slew of impressive genre-bending tunes including collaboration with What So Not and Oshi. Fellow Philly rep Noah Breakfast, formerly known as Xaphoon Jones, has become his go-to producer and rightfully so–their styles could not be more complimentary. Breakfast’s inventive, electronic landscapes blend with Ige’s own atmospheric production chops and melodic flows.

Today, the duo dropped Missed Calls, Ige’s first official project since his debut taking the musical exploration to new heights. While the EP still possess a hip-hop flavor, the influence of dance music is felt on each track. “Change That,” the opener sets the tone with banging, forward-thinking production and a characteristically addicting hook from Tunji. As the project progresses, each track presents a distinct facet–subtle house elements can be felt on the smooth “War,” heavier electro-trap prevails “On My Grind” and “Bring Yo Friends” and “22,” the final track, carries dreary future R&B stylings. Missed Calls proves that Tunji Ige has the talent to become a cross over star with a sound that’s both refreshing and accessible. Give it a peep below–you can grab on iTunes now.

’Tunji Ige – Change That (Prod. Tunji Ige)’
’Tunji Ige – War (Prod. By Noah Breakfast)’
’Tunji Ige – Fired Up (Prod. Tunji Ige + Addtl Prod. Noah Breakfast)’
’Tunji Ige – On My Grind (Prod. Tunji Ige + Noah Breakfast)’
’Tunji Ige – Bring Yo Friends ( Prod. Tunji Ige + Addtl Prod. Noah Breakfast)’
’Tunji Ige – All Night (Prod. Tunji Ige + Noah Breakfast)’
’Tunji Ige – 22 (Prod. Tunji Ige + Addtl Prod. Noah Breakfast)’
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[Chill] Snakehips – Money On Me (feat. Anderson .Paak)

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SNAKEHIPS
Money On Me ft. Anderson .Paak

Snakehips and Anderson .Paak are two artists who have seemingly worked with everyone. Last year saw the UK production duo of Snakehips making hits with artists from Chance the Rapper to Syd (of The Internet), while everything-man Anderson .Paak teamed up with countless rappers and producers on his way to signing with Dr. Dre. So, when a collab between the two popped up in our Soundcloud feeds, we can’t say we were surprised but that didn’t make us any less excited. On “Money On Me,” Snakehips craft a smooth, low-end atmosphere over which .Paak delivers one of his most chilled-out vocal performances. Even as the production fills out, the song doesn’t lose its smooth, summery vibe. Warm up with this tune above and make sure to check out Anderson .Paak’s Malibu if you haven’t yet.

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