[Electronica/Chill] Laura Marling – Divine (Olugbenga Remix)

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Laura Marling
Divine [OLUGBENGA REMIX]

While most of us are probably familiar with U.K. alt-pop troupe Metronomy, we’re pretty sure most of our Ninjas out there may not be as familiar with their bass player Olugbenga and his incredibly textured solo electronic project. Just last week Olugbenga dropped a luscious mixtape, Olu’s Omniverse #2, which featured a number of unreleased tunes including a brand new remix of UK folk singer Laura Marling and her single “Divine”. After having to settle on listening to this breezy revision as part of Olugbenga’s aforementioned mixtape, today we had the pleasure of receiving the single in its entirety and couldn’t have asked for a better way to start our Thursday. Certainly the eclectic beatsmith (as so many bass players seem to be), Olugbenga dips “Divine” in multiple pools of influence from world beat to chill-step and dance behind crisply laid toplines, thumping drums which hearken the raw emotion of Chicago footwork and of course Laura Marlings inimitable vocal track. Just go ahead and wrap yourself in this one, you’ll be happy you did.

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Outside Lands 2015: 40+ Songs to Prepare [Festival Preview]

OL15_Website_AdMat_SeeYouInAugust (1)It’s that time of the year in San Francisco when everyone’s either scrambling to find a ticket or stressing schedule overlaps for Outside Lands Music Festival. Hosted in the heart of Golden Gate Park’s picturesque forest, OSL has quickly become the Bay Area’s most sought-after festival ticket since its inception 7 years ago. In the last couple years particularly, though, the demand has exploded with tickets selling out faster than ever and a ravenous (and frankly obnoxious) secondhand ticket market. That’s all with good reason, though, considering Another Planet Entertainment raises the stakes every year and 2015 is looking to be no different with one of the strongest lineups in the festival’s history.

As always, the Outside Lands bill combines local acts, up ‘n coming bands from around the world and established contemporary stars with a few legends sprinkled on top. There’s a marked depth to the lineup this year including the Heineken House, which will serve as the designated non-stop dance tent for the weekend. As Ninjas, and senseis in the art of festival-ing, we’ll always vouch for at least one stop a day at these stages. We’ve crafted a playlist, including our favorites from the Heineken House, in chronological order of performance that we hope helps get you prepared for OSL 2015. For all of you who won’t be able to make it, you can live stream performances from the Outside Lands website. Continue reading

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[MP3 Playlist] Indie Dojo (August 2015 Round #1)

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Sometimes it’s hard to finish what you started. Some of you might not even make it through this playlist before you get the urge to get up and start something else. But, hey, we won’t hold it against you. There is some overachiever out there that will finish it just because we mentioned the possibility of not being able to. And you, the un-finsher, we know you’ll be back. And we’ll be right here waiting with a whole other list of songs to finish or not to finish listening to. ‘Cause that’s just what we do.

Júníus Meyvant
Color Decay
Jimi Charles Moody
Other Man
Stolen Jars
Kept
Owen Rabbit
Holy Holy
Lewis Del Mar
Memories
Rainy Day Women
Are You Coming Home?
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[NEW] Kid Cudi – Confused

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Kid Cudi
Confused

After a few weeks of teasing on social media, Kid Cudi‘s returns late at night with the first single from his forthcoming album, Speedin Bullet to Heaven. As promised, “Confused” features all live instrumentation carrying a distinct grunge vibe bringing to mind his cover of Nirvana‘s “Where Did You Sleep Last Night,” one of the strongest tracks from his WZRD album. However, it feels like Cudi’s improved in adopting the style with more polished instrumentation than ever (he plays all the guitar and bass himself) resulting in an interesting combination that falls somewhere between 90s rock, psychedelia and Cudi’s one-of-a-kind vocals. As its name suggest, the release is a song about inner turmoil, conflict and torment. It’s Cudi at his most vulnerable, which for loyal fans at least, always feels like his best. It’ll be interesting to see how the general public responds but we’re definitely digging this.

Although there’s no set release date for the album, it seems highly likely that it’s just around the corner. While you wait, give this a late night or early morning listen and let us know what you think.

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Rose Quartz Sits Down With TMN To Discuss New Album, Record Stores & More [Exclusive Interview]

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Denver based Rose Quartz has long been a staple in many of The Music Ninja staff’s music diets. Back in December, the now four-piece released their re-tooled, textured and evolved debut EP as a full four-piece, Leaving Now, which we fell head over heels for and most recently dropped a collaborative ‘TMN Premiere’ single with Brothertiger, “Pleasure & Pain”. Last weekend we had the chance to take in one of our favorite music festivals, The Underground Music Showcase, in Rose Quartz’s backyard of Denver, which this year featured headliners like DIIV, STRFKR, Tennis and of course, Rose Quartz themselves for one of the busiest three-day stretches we have the pleasure of consuming all year.  After taking in their Saturday performance on the Main Stage, we caught up with Ethan, Alex, Clay and Matt after an intimate and enthralling set on Sunday at the Hi-Dive to discuss the important things in life. Like disco, Schlitz Malt Liquor and loads more. Read our entire interview below.

TMN: First off, thanks guys for sitting down with us, we’ve been huge fans since it was just Ethan & Alex as FLASH/LIGHTS, and then of course to the debut Flashlights EP from Rose Quartz. We’re just going to keep it super casual, so let’s just get right into it.

So, now that you’re a full live quartet with the addition of Clay on bass and Matt on drums, there seems to have been a shift in sonic temperament from the Flashlights EP  to your most recent EP Leaving Now, which we loved. Can you talk a little bit about how that shift has affected the songwriting and recording process for you guys.

Alex: Yeah, we’ve done a lot of different things now that we’re a four-piece. We’ve been writing for the entire band now, and shifting our influences much more to a funky, disco kind of influence. We’ve been listening to a lot of the BeeGee’s, Hall & Oates, and Michael Jackson…

Clay: …The Gap Band

Alex: …Yeah The Gap Band, and a bunch of good 70’s funk and disco. And I think that just that has really helped out, and then having four people, whether it’s on stage or in the studio, just having three other people to smile at has made us want to play I guess, happier and more upbeat in regards to the music.

Ethan: And now that we’re a four-piece band, the writing style has changed. When it was just the two of us we had to write stuff that could be performed by two people and didn’t look shitty. *Laughs from the room* Which limits the kind of writing we could do in terms of our live performances. So now that we can do it as a four-piece we can write much more complex stuff with more layers, and more tasteful ways we could actually recreate live. So that was a big shift for us definitely. Just.. finding the groove.

Read the rest of our interview with Rose Quartz after the jump….

Continue reading

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[Indie-Dance/Nu-Disco] Midnight Pool Party – Disease (Eau Claire Remix)

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Midnight Pool Party
Disease (Eau Claire Remix)

D.C. based indie-dance and disco bender Eau Claire just might be one of the hardest working producers in the dance game right now. It seems like not another week passes without another gem bubbling up from her, and after most recently appearing with us behind a shiny take on Saint Motel’s “Just My Type”, Eau Claire’s back with another window into an ever-evolving production psyche on a remix of Midnight Pool Party’s “Disease”.  While the original fits squarely into that shapeshifting indie-dance niche, Eau Claire showers a glossy revision with ample disco synths, subdued percussion and some mid-track vocal filtering that would make Imogen Heap quiver with delight.  While this writer might be a sucker for sunny dance beats which hearken visions of rooftops, beaches and pools; Eau Claire stands above much of the pack with her tightly wound production and crisply composed dance structures. If Eau Claire keeps rolling on like this, we have a feeling it won’t be long before she’s being mentioned in the same breath as some of the underground dance scene’s biggest names. We’ve already been doing exactly that. Stream Eau Claire’s remix for Midnight Pool Party above and for our friends in the U.S., take a peek at Eau Claire’s next slate of performances below.

Eau Claire Upcoming Shows:

July 31st – Washington, DC @ U Street Music Hall
August 8th-9th – Palm Springs, CA @ Splash House
August 22nd – Brooklyn, NY @ Elements Music Festival
August 29th – Los Angeles, CA @ Skybar at Mondrian

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Surrender the Spirit – Witnesses [TMN PREMIERE]

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SURRENDER THE SPIRIT
Witnesses

There’s a seemingly endless supply of quality music pouring out of Brooklyn on a daily basis. It’s a veritable hotbed of talented musicians from all genres, churning out DJs, popsters, and avant-garde acts alike. Today, we’re bringing you a relatively new act from this musical borough, as we showcase the blogosphere’s first listen of “Witnesses.”

Comprised of Kristin Sonntag and Jonathan Rauberts, Surrender the Spirit brings listeners into an immersive pop experience in this latest release. “Witnesses” calls on associations of acts new and old, blending elements from the 70’s to the 2000’s with ease. It’s driven by a danceable bassline and splashy cymbals, providing an enveloping listen, complete with heart-warming harmonies, layer-upon-layer of sonic styling.

Beyond a musical escape this afternoon, we highly suggest digging in further to Surrender the Spirit. Although they only have a few songs out right now, we’re sure this will change soon.

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