Author Archives: Ash El Gamal

[Electronic] Moderat – Reminder


With sub-genres constantly rising and falling, the electronic music landscape sees a constant influx of producers with names exiting the limelight as quickly as they entered. The artists with true longevity are those who make themselves trend-resistant by displaying a musicianship above the rest. Berlin supergroup Moderat‘s debut and sophomore albums, which came out 6 and 3 years ago respectively, have aged phenomenally for exactly that reason. Right on time with that release schedule, the Berlin supergroup (ApparatModeselektor) officially announced their upcoming album III today along with the first single.

“Reminder” presents fans with a new evolution in the Moderat project without losing sight of the minimalist techno vibes that make their music so potent. The track leads with an entrancing percussive loop and the equally hypnotizing vocals of Apparat. Even as additional textures fill out the backdrop, the lyrics remain at the forefront–representing a new exploration for the trio. The emotional and personal nature of the songwriting, dealing with inner turmoil and finding change within oneself, adds a unique depth that crescendos into an eruption of sonic euphoria in the final minute. Vibe out to this one above. Moderat’s III is due out on April 1st via Mute/Monkeytown and is available for pre-order here.

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[Electronic] Jamie xx, Romy & Four Tet – Seesaw (Club Version)

Jamie xx + Four Tet + Romy
Seesaw (club version)

Jamie xx‘s 2015 album In Colour hasn’t even been out for a year yet and it’s already clear that it’ll have some serious staying power. I don’t think a week has passed since it’s release that I haven’t given it a cover-to-cover listen. Although it’s impossible to pick a favorite, “Seesaw,” one of two songs featuring The xx-collaborator Romy Croft, possesses a particularly hypnotizing aesthetic. The combination of a house sensibility, UK garage-influenced percussion and Romy’s soaring vocals creates a texture signature to Jamie xx.

Unsurprisingly, Four Tet, a pioneer in his own right, also contributed to the production of “Seesaw,” which apparently stemmed from sessions all the way back in 2013. This year, Four Tet slightly re-tooled the song with, in his own words, “different drums and mix and arrangement.” The result, as its suffix suggests, is a dance floor-ready version of the track released today that manages to bring a new energy without losing a touch of the original’s magic. This one will definitely be a regular in the weekend mix. It’s also rumored that Justin Martin has a remix of “Seesaw” in the works. We won’t hold our breathe but this should do just fine to hold us over regardless.

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[Future Bass] Point Point – F + L (“Flashing Lights” Cover)

Point Point

You’d be hard-pressed to find any artist pushing the boundaries of electronic music as much as Point Point. Although often playful in style, the French production duo’s dynamic compositions ooze emotion creating sonic narratives along the way. Today, they presented their fans with “F + L,” an absolutely stunning future bass rendition of Kanye West’“Flashing Lights.” Opening with a bolstered version of the original’s string section, the song quickly erupts into an irresistible bounce.

The song’s description reads “K, if you read this, please reply to our mail.” Given the quality of their work thus far, maybe Yeezy should consider giving Point Point a ring–much stranger things have happened. This is the type of track you’ve just got to hear for yourself. Give it a spin above.

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[Hip-Hop] Rome Fortune – Love

Rome Fortune

It’s always a dope feeling to see an artist you’ve been following for a while gain momentum and truly hit their stride. What proves even more rewarding, though, is those moments when an artist effectively paints that story from their perspective. Rome Fortune‘s “Love,” the second single off his upcoming Fool’s Gold debut, does just that while embodying the ultra-personal and experimental style that has brought him to this point.

Backed by airy production from oft-collaborator Cubby, Fortune serves up a detailed account of his struggles and triumphs over the last few years. Delving into the realities of making ends meet, being around for his kids and succeeding as a musician, “Love” provides an honest glimpse behind the curtains of an emerging talent. Around the 2:20 mark, Fortune’s vocals erupt into a celebratory auto-tuned croon. For some emcees that risk might not have panned out, but Rome’s comfort out of the norm makes for an endearing and emphatic conclusion. Peep this uplifting tune above–Jerome Raheem Fortune drops on February 26th and is available for pre-order here.

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Three Years of Make It Funky: An Oral History [Event Preview + Interview]

mifPosterAs we kick off 2016, San Francisco’s local music scene finds itself in an interesting and exciting place. While the city is a guaranteed stop on any tour, the shifting culture and demographics have made homegrown music movements somewhat rare. Thankfully, though, there are a number of local promoters, brands and general music enthusiasts dedicated to maintaining and evolving SF’s distinct nightlife. The Make It Funky collective are one of several such culture drivers who we’ve had the pleasure of working with over the last year–SF Ninjas may remember our two collaborative showcases in 2015 at El Rio and Brick & Mortar Music Hall or our appearances on their radio show, which led to one of our own!

For the last three years, the collection of DJs and promoters have been bringing house, disco and funk vibes to San Francisco through their own sets and numerous renowned bookings from around the world.This Saturday (January 16th), the Make It Funky crew are celebrating their 3-year anniversary at Monarch with the help of UK-based disco connoisseur Ray Mang. To help you all prepare we’ve decided to revisit some of the most memorable moments of their run thus far. To get the scoop, we caught up with co-founders Michael Fortune (aka Fortune) and Mohit Kohli (OneMoHit). Flip through some epic and, at times hilarious, peaces of Make It Funky history and grab tickets for their upcoming show here.

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[TMN Premiere] Feed Me Jack – Emergency

Ultra Ego Cover Art 1
Feed Me Jack

Oakland’s Feed Me Jack became TMN regulars in 2015–headlining our first ever San Francisco showcase and dropping a fantastic collection of covers. With the release of their latest EP around the corner, we’re excited to be bringing you the premiere of its first single. In typical FMJ fashion, “Emergency” showcases the up ‘n comers’ impressive musicianship while encapsulating their continually evolving sound. One of their more ambitious sonic undertaking to date, the single spans five minutes growing out of a lush, synth-backed opening. That intro recesses into an airy bridge which gives way to an unexpected twist around the 2:25 mark with the emergence of a heavier guitar progression. The sonic journey only gets more compelling in the second half proving a welcome and bold departure from the traditional verse/chorus structure–a common characteristic through out Feed Me Jack’s catalogue.

With its adventurous composition, “Emergency” is the type of track that you can truly get lost in forgetting what you were even listening to in the first place. Having seen the five-piece perform before, we can imagine this being a monster in FMJ’s live set providing opportunities for improvisation at each turn. Feed Me Jack’s Ultra Ego is due out on January 14th. In the meantime, give this a few spins and let it sink in.

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[15 To End 2015] Ninja Ash’s Best of the Year


When you listen to music as much as I do, your song selections and life experiences become inseparable–each impacting the other in both conscious and subconscious ways. That relationship embodies the uniquely subjective nature of music. You can listen to a song ten times and think nothing of it but then hear it in the right context or headspace and everything just clicks. As such, any effort of making an objective “best of” list proves a fruitless task. So rather than attempt that Sisyphean task, my ’15 To End 2015′ captures the songs that meant the most to me this year: ones that soundtracked my best memories, comforted me at my lowest points or simply possessed endless replay value. Peep my favorites of 2015 below. Hopefully they’ll take on a life of their own in your music collection.

Beach House
Space Song

A trip to psychedelic space land–just close your eyes and absorb.

The Internet
Under Control

A fresh and endlessly relatable take on R&B from Syd & co.

Them Changes

Built on the same Isley Brothers drum sample as “Today Was a Good Day,” this funk-injected jam crescendos a year full of nostalgia for the era of Parliament, James Brown & Sly Stone.

Main Attrakionz
Aint No Other Way

Feel good Bay Area hip-hop for and from the soul.

Forbidden Knowledge (feat. Big K.R.I.T.)

An absolute lyrical gem from a young artist with wisdom well beyond his years.

Kendrick Lamar
These Walls (feat. Thundercat, Bilal & Anna Wise)

My most played song from my favorite album of the year: ‘To Pimp A Butterfly.’

Jamie xx
I Know Theres Gonna Be (Good Times)(feat. Young Thug & Popcaan)
It’s hard to pick a favorite song from Jamie xx’s ‘In Colour’ but this summer anthem flipped pretentious listeners on their heads while showcasing the merits of melodic emcees.

In For The Kill

The danciest track from the year’s most pioneering pop vocalist.

Mura Masa
Lovesick Fuck

In 2015 Mura Masa continued to prove his dominance in the realm of emotional future bass. This is easily my most played track of the year.

Big Wild

‘Aftergold’ captures Big Wild’s genuinely organic approach to electronic music–one full of sonic plot twists and playful melodies.

Lane 8
Loving You ft. Lulu James

Lane 8’s compositions shaped my year and “Loving You,” the opener of his debut album, brings to mind feelings of excitement and new beginnings.

Kenton Slash Demon

The capacity for emotional power within an instrumental composition should never be underestimated–‘Harpe’ proves that.

Tame Impala
Let It Happen (Soulwax Remix)

The magnificence of Tame Impala and the rare emergence of Soulwax combine for infinite grooves.

Billy Kenny
I Eat Beats (Ardalan Remix)

This song is single-handedly responsible for piquing my interest in tech-house.

Sonny Fodera & Gene Farris
We Work It

I listened to this every time I worked it in 2015.

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