SURRENDER THE SPIRIT
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.
Together (Beckwith Remix Extended Mix)
Swedish duo Cazzette certainly needs no introduction around these pages. The pair, who helped shape the current landscape of what we’ve grown to know as EDM over the years, first landed on TMN all the way back in 2011 (be forewarned, our writing and genre tagging has become much more desirable in the last 4 years), and most recently touched down last month with an alternate glimpse of their deeper and proper house production prowess on “Together” (a much more solid read, trust us). It didn’t take long for the savory remix package to trickle out either as NYC House slayer Beckwith has warped “Together” beautifully to fit into his refined aesthetic. Beckwith ditches Cazzette’s original major-key tonality, instead bending their original fist-pumping stems around a lucid take on club-house sonority and fleeting sub-bass for a darker, more melodic alternative to Cazzette’s. Not to forget, Beckwith’s exquisitely haunting and wobbly break works wonders inside of the original. Needless to say, we’ve been busily devouring this one since first listen and it was high time we shared that addiction with our readers as well. Stream Beckwith’s “Together” remix above.
Depending on where you are in the world, it’s getting to be that time of night when you should probably be heading to bed. Us Ninjas are still wide awake, though, on the lookout for fresh tunes and we’ve got a perfect one for the occasion with Zola Blood‘s latest release, which nearly flew under our radar. After exploding onto the scene seemingly out of nowhere last year and subsequently revealing some more about themselves in our exclusive interview, the London-based four piece dropped the first single since their 2014 debut EP a couple weeks ago.
On “Play Out,” Zola Blood create a subtle beauty powered by a pulsing bassline and eerie vocals reminiscent of Thom Yorke. Although dark undertones permeate through out the song, a steady guitar groove and addicting chorus make for a stark, yet smooth, contrast that provide a glimpse of light at the end of the sonic tunnel. The combination makes for a powerful listen perfect to soundtrack a sleepless night. Lose yourself in the vibes above.
Jack Nagz, Danny Green
Aquafinity (Original Mix)
A few months back we covered a Hippie Sabotage show in San Francisco put on by Subculture, an up ‘n coming local collective. The crew have been bubbling in the scene here for a while now bringing cross-genre, forward-thinking artists including Kill Frenzy, Jai Wolf and Falcons to SF all the while presenting their own distinct styles as DJs in the process. As of late, the crew have been throwing down at 1015 Folsom, one of our favorite spots in the city, playing support at an upcoming show there this Friday.
Yesterday, Subculture stepped out of their encompassing role as DJs, tastemakers and promoters releasing their first official EP of all original tunes. Featuring productions from Jack Nagz, Danny Green and Justin Waves, Subculture Vol. 1 fits perfectly with the collective’s dedication to progressive electronic music with a focus on bass-driven compositions. The project’s opener “Aquafinity,” sets the tone for the remainder of the project, which you can listen to below, creating a distinct atmospheric, ethereal vibe. As the EP progresses, though, you can hear an array of styles displayed–playful production techniques on “On My Mind” a straight trap banger with “IC$,” and finally a fitting culmination on the far-out, intoxicating closer “Project 1.”
Subculture Vol. 1 feels like a natural next step for the crew, who’ve clearly been paying close attention to the current direction of dance music, while displaying promise by simultaneously introducing a style all their own. If you’re digging the project, make sure to check out Subculture’s Soundcloud page where they also have some great mixes along with interviews with a number of the artists they’ve hosted for shows. You can grab a free download of their debut EP here.
Justin Waves, Danny Green, Jack Nagz
On My Mind (Original Mix)
Danny Green, Justin Waves
IC$ (Original Mix)
Jack Nagz, Justin Waves, Danny Green
Project 1 (Original Mix)
Ferdinand Weber x Shoffy
Lonely Up Here
Time and time again, Ferdinand Weber has showcased his knack for melding soulful vocals and deep vibes into slick house productions made for dance-floor and lounge alike. More than that though, he knows how to capture key lyrical moments throughout a track and use his irresistible blend of beat and groove to create an addictive echo in the listener’s mind. His weapon on this occasion is the enchanting voice of LA based songwriter Shoffy, and it’s one he wields with skillful poise. Together with some clean guitar integration and his trademark pulsating style, ‘Lonely Up Here’ is another solid addition to his growing list of stellar tunes.
Remember The Feeling [FREE DOWNLOAD]
About three years back, we had the chance to fall in love with U.K. house duo Panda; specifically their record “All I Can Give”, which was released on Bondax’s Just Us label (which unfortunately has been defunct for about two years now). In the time since, the London/Plymouth stationed pair have worked with highly notable dance imprints including tastemakers like Toolroom, Kitsune, and Black Butter; while today -with a freshly revitalized moniker, FK Panda, and more streamlined, jackin’ underground house sound- sees their latest single, “Remember The Feeling”, placed as a free download through Love & Other Records. The re-branding as FK Panda seems to have reignited a burning flame within the two, as “Remember The Feeling” carries one of the heavier and most club directed house backbones we’ve heard them ever employ. Their debut single as FK Panda rolls on top of a shuffled hi-hat, rumbling kicks, backing piano stabs as soulful as Marshall Jefferson could have envisioned back in ’86, and one of the catchiest vocal samples the house game will see this entire year; highlighting the twosome’s keen grasp on proper club structures while keeping intact their unique playability. Needless to say we’ve got our full Ninja stamp of approval all over this one, and with past support already coming from the likes of Pete Tong & Annie Mac, we think you’ll have an easy time giving yours as well. Stream FK Panda’s “Remember The Feeling” above, and grab the free download from their Soundcloud here.
Something About You (ODESZA Remix)
Hayden James‘s “Something About You” was undoubtedly one of the best songs to come out in 2014–a gorgeously smooth cut featuring silky vocals from James himself alongside the always amazing, fellow-Future Classic member George Maple. The seemingly, and welcomingly, omni-present ODESZA have been teasing a remix of the jam both on social media and during live sets–today it has officially arrived.
In typical fashion, ODESZA truly make the track their own utilizing the vocals perfectly building into an absolutely beautiful eruption that simultaneously evokes deep emotions and makes you want to frolic in a field of feels. In a way, the talented duo are returning the favor after James’ fantastic 2014 rendition of “Say My Name.” Bask in this glorious tune above and keep your eye out for Hayden James in 2015–we caught him at Audio in San Francisco recently and were blown away by his set.