[Funk/Disco/Pop] Equal – Shakedown

shakedown
Equal
Shakedown (feat. Seja)

We’re always privy to pacing our Mondays around TMN with loads of feelgood, funkified listening vibes. After our tastefully programmed Monday morning Chill Dojo playlist, it’s time to keep scooting forward with some wiggle-inducing sounds. Urging the needle along on our Monday afternoon is Equal, a New York City DJ/producer originally from Asheville, NC who’s been making plenty of ripples in our music pond since the release of his single “Lost in the Evening” featuring the inimitable Gary Jules. Today, Equal’s dropped another slice of rarefied pop infused with plenty of proper funk and disco cadence, “Shakedown”, which features the vocal talents of Seja (ex-lead singer of Brisbane synth-punk trio Sekiden). “Shakedown” plays as the premiere offering from a debut, self-titled EP due out later this Fall, and it’s got us simultaneously waxing nostalgic for those old funky rolling guitar licks and looking to the future for more tunes riding the kind of neoteric-past edge that Equal has been.

About his latest single, Equal shared: “‘Shakedown’ was created when a group of friends from all over the globe got together for a night -Seja, Stella Mozgawa (Warpaint) and Johnny Mackay (Fascinator).  A round robin of instruments, singing, and a bottle of whiskey later, ‘Shakedown’ was born. ‘Shakedown’ is the product of good friends getting loose on a hot Summer’s night. There was no end product in mind, only to have fun, hang out, and make music together.” Well if this is the result of simply having fun, we’d love to see what occurs when Equal really gets behind something in the studio. Shakedown” sees release on The Knocks’ fledgling HeavyRoc Music imprint, which is already carving out a special place in our Ninja hearts, so get with it and stream “Shakedown” above.
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Bassically – Know This Land [TMN Video Premiere]

Bassically press picture main
Bassically
Know This Land (Original Mix)

More often than not, house music is not a tangible concept. From its earliest incarnations, being warped and pushed through 909 & 808 machines, to its most current iterations which mostly come to fruition through the utilization of programs like Ableton, Logic or Reason; dance sounds tend to carry with them a distinction of being “computer” or “machine” music. Save for a selective smattering of live acts like Disclosure, KiNK, Hot Natured, Bob Moses and more; most sectors of club music are generally produced under the same formula. So whenever we’re tipped to a new live house music act we tend to perk up and take notice.

The latest apple to our eyes err… ears comes to us from the London Borough of Hackney, and they’ve got us entranced like few other live electronic staples ever have. Dubbed Bassically, the five piece ensemble are a live house music collective led by award winning, multi platinum producer and Fossil Studios founder Raz Olsher and craft sophisticated techno and compulsive house music through purely live and analog instrumentation. From a purely musical standpoint, Bassically takes their aural cues from the early electronic sounds of Chicago House & Detroit Techno with the contemporary touch of Berlin and London. If we didn’t see it ourselves, we’d think they were just another producer with how seamlessly and clean their sound plays, but Basically is so much more than that. To put you on our level, we’ve got the exclusive first play of Basically’s latest music video for their single “Know This Land”, which offers a unique look at the five-piece’s utterly unique and wholly captivating live aesthetic.

Check out the entire video below, and keep your ears to the streets for all things Bassically, as we have a feeling they might just be at the tip of every dance writer’s tongue to round out 2015.

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[Video] Digital Farm Animals – True

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Back in April we had a chance to feature a piece of the club-ready sound evolution of London based electronic savant Digital Farm Animals on his single “True”, and judging from our review, we’ve been completely enamored with the savvy producer’s directional shift. Today, Digital Farm Animals has released a debut visual piece in the form of “True”‘s official music video, and its visual aesthetic works just brilliantly with his synthetic sonority. From the video’s protagonists pulling heists in pig masks (see DFA’s above logo) to the actual levity portrayed through wolf-cops; there’s a certain playfulness underlying a very serious tonality that echoes DFA’s simple, yet layered and complex instrumentation. Nick Gale’s DFA project has certainly come a long way since its earliest rumblings, and seeing everything come full circle and begin to take shape in the form of a complete concept is like a music writer’s dream. But, as we can’t do the video justice with words, we’ll go ahead and leave it right here for our Ninjas to enjoy.

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[Indie-Pop] Memoryy – Feeling Sinister [TMN Premiere]

memoryy
Memoryy
Feeling Sinister

Last landing on our pages in February with effervescent synth-pop single “Eternal Sunshine”, Brooklyn based Memoryy has once again set his wings down behind another slice of indie-tinged alt-pop. “Feeling Sinister” is the latest from Memoryy, and just one listen to the 80’s dipped synth work, subdued horn section and fleeting hooks had us falling all over again. Memoryy effortlessly rolls on midtempo pop structures injected with a contemporary blast of tasteful shoegaze and dream-pop; which has us dialing up comparisons to artists as current as Tanlines & Twin Shadow to as far back as New Order and even Peter Gabriel’s art-housiest expressions. “Feeling Sinister” doesn’t end just instrumentally either, featuring a soaring refrain played off of subtle pop backing harmonies, acting as the glue drawing all of “Feeling Sinister” together as a single movement. With Summer temperatures rising stateside, Memoryy’s dropped a perfect addition to all of our roof, pool and beachside parties, and it’s be more than wise to follow suit.

About the tune, Memoryy shared with us: Feeling Sinister is a song that just reminds me of hot summer nights. It’s also the first Memoryy song to have a horn section on it – an inspiration I’m not ashamed to chalk up to one of my fave guilty pleasure pop songs, Go West’s ‘The King of Wishful Thinking’…. Although they used synth horns & co-producer Brothertiger got his trumpeter buddy Dave Levy from Bombrasstico to come into the studio…  Every time I hear the song now I’m transported back to the feeling of hearing that solo for the first time – breathless & magical.” It certainly is. Stream “Feeling Sinister” above ahead of an official August 14th digital release through iTunes (preorder link here) and before anyone else in the form of a shiny ‘TMN Premiere’.

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Ardency & Luca Chesney – Prayers [TMN Premiere]

Ardency - Prayers (feat. Luca Chesney)
Ardency & Luca Chesney
Prayers

Ardency strikes again! This time the duo collaborates with the wonderful Luca Chesney from New York for another hit single titled “Prayers”. Ardency fuses their neon 80’s dance vibe with Luca’s songwriting genius, creating a stunning track that excels in its own character.

The tune starts off with Luca’s beautiful vocals that soothes its way into your head. The dreamy touch will hit you with endless feels in the buildup. The hardhitting bassline steals the spotlight in the beat drop, together with the synth melody that will tenfold your adrenaline level. If that isn’t enough, the second drop will get you vibing even harder. The lo-fi synth works to perfection together with the lovely melody.

If you dig this, make sure to grab a free download via Toneden. These guys never ceases to amaze.

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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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[Festival Preview + Playlist] HARD Summer – 8/1-2 – Fairplex Pomona

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Talk about a stacked lineup! Before we get to the good stuff, we hope you’ve grabbed your ticket already because tickets have long been sold out. Hard Summer Music Festival is probably one of the biggest and most popular summertime music festivals in California. It’s a must-go for electronic music enthusiasts and festival goers, considering how incredibly awesome the lineup is this year. HARD has moved their festival from Whittier Narrows to the Fairplex Southern California this year, which is great for the two-day fest because of its big capacity.

TMN is proud to be participating Hard Summer for the first time ever and we can’t tell you how excited we are. To get you mentally prepared and hyped up for this, we have compiled two playlists for each day. They feature memorable hits from electronic powerhouses like What So NotThe Glitch Mob, Ratatat, Porter Robinson, future acts including TchamiShiba San, Jai Wolf, and other rising artists like HermitudeSlow Magic, Big Gigantic and many more.

Too much dopeness, yet so little time. We hope you’ve figured out your schedule because it’ll be a tough time for all the music fans to watch all your favorite artists. We suggest downloading the Hard Summer app to take a look at the set times so you don’t get lost in the middle of the five stages.

Vibe away to these tracks and we hope see you ninjas and ninjettes there!

SATURDAY PLAYLIST:

OVERWERK
Toccata (Original Mix)
A Trak
Push feat. Andrew Wyatt (GANZ Remix)
Royal
Queen Of France
Daktyl
Salters (feat. Jennifer Akerman)
Alesso feat. Roy English
Cool (CRNKN Remix)
Elijah Blake
I Just Wanna Feat. Dej Loaf (Prod. by Djemba & CZ)
Mark Johns
All Day (Prod. Sweater Beats)
Madcon feat. Ray Dalton
Don´t Worry (Matoma Remix)
Porter Robinson
Lionhearted (Giraffage Remix)
Years and Years
Memo
Drake
Started From The Bottom (Shiba San Remix)
Lido
I Love You
Big Gigantic
Get On Up
GRiZ
For The Love (feat. Talib Kweli)
Tchami & AC Slater feat. Kaleem Taylor
Missing You
Metallica
Lords Of Summer (The Glitch Mob Remix)
Hayden James
Something About You (ODESZA Remix)
Nero
The Thrill (Porter Robinson Remix)
Dillon Francis
Bruk Bruk (I Need Your Lovin)

SUNDAY PLAYLIST:

Jai Wolf
Indian Summer
Peking Duk
Take Me Over ft. SAFIA
Kid Ink ft. Dej Loaf
Be Real (Wax Motif & Gladiator Remix)
Kodak To Graph
IAMANTHEM (Slow Magic Remix)
Hermitude
The Buzz feat. Mataya & Young Tapz
Mr. Carmack
All In with Kehlani
Bakermat
Teach Me (Original Mix)
Riff Raff
Tip Toe Wing In My Jawwdinz (Jauz Remix)
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs x Anna Lunoe
Feels Like
What So Not
Gemini Ft. George Maple
GTA Ft. Sam Bruno
Red Lips
Hudson Mohawke
Very First Breath ft Irfane
Princess Chelsea
When The World Turns Grey (Robin Schulz & HEYHEY BOOTLEG)
RL Grime
Kingpin (feat. Big Sean)
Zeds Dead & LOUDPVCK
Flies
Ratatat
Cream On Chrome
Skrillex And Diplo
To Ü (Feat. AlunaGeorge)
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