“Fake A Smile” by Nisus Cede and XHVIL is the 27th installment in the expansive Single Series from New York City’s eclectic Onamazu label. The Onamazu Single Series established a pattern for dark wave anthems and raw electronic experimentalism of the highest quality, but “Fake A Smile” is a more acoustic, sensitive offering that smacks more of Coldplay than Nine Inch Nails.
Netherlands native and Onamazu affiliate Nisus Cede, whose name is Latin for “attempted murder”, combines a most musical mind with a set of production chops that betray his very modest SoundCloud profile. The drum machine percussion he’s put together on “Fake A Smile” could easily be mistaken for the real thing – full of variation, fills, and crisp cymbals. The acoustic timbre of the drums pairs perfectly with the guitar and vocals tracked by Cede’s associate XVHIL, all of which is arranged along with a twangy stand-up bassline. “Fake A Smile” feels like new ground for the growing New York City collective Onamazu, which seems to be diversifying it’s offering with every new release. Hopefully the label’s future includes more of these unique, melancholic pop stylings from the Netherlands.
Fresh from the onomatopoetically named Whump Collective comes a masterfully deep and diverse single, “Death Stroke”, composed by Nocturnal Status and Dillard. “Death Stroke” is highly danceable, with a deceptively smooth and steppin’ beat riding over sub-flexing background bass. There’s innumerable sonic snippets and details in the track. They flutter in and out with varying impact, until becoming more apparent when the sub bass drops out. All elements come together cohesively, which is no easy task. As the track moves along, a vocal sample is choked and manipulated, and some particularly industrial whumps, assumedly from Dillard, take center stage before the act is through.
Clearly some skillful sound design went into this number. Both artists traffic in inordinate amounts of bass and glitch, and can create contemplative chill music as well as chest-thumping bass jams. “Death Stroke” has a great balance of both styles. A free download is available here.
We’ve come to know Samuel Proffitt very well through his steadfast acceptance of the somber. With the recent release of The Grey Notebook, he’s managed to explore it even further. “Depth”, the final song on the EP, beautifully brings together the heavenly voice of Russian vocalist Naadia with a lone piano bestrewn with waves of reverb and a haunting atmosphere layered with intangible emotional weight. Samuel strove for a simple, yet necessary message in this video, and he details it in his premiere with Rolling Stone Russia by stating:
It’s time that we move past this “us versus them” ideology and realize that Russia, and its culture, is beautiful, profound, and full of feeling. The Russian people are the same as we are: loving, compassionate, and imaginative. They create extraordinary works of art, music, and literature, so to write them off because of preconceived notions and a politically charged atmosphere would only serve to further cement this ever-growing close-mindedness.
This sentiment needed now more than ever. Samuel Proffitt’s wish is to unify, and getting the chance to glimpse across the globe in a dazzling display such as this can show us all that we’re much more alike than we think.
As a trailblazer in the field and a posterboy to the new electronic movement, Peder Losnegård is far beyond needing introduction. Abandoning previous musical incarnations, Lidoemerged as a preeminent producer a few years back, co-creating Halsey’s Badlands LP and touring around the country in support of his own works. While also gaining some notoriety for credits on works with Chance the Rapper, Alison Wonderland, and Banks, his star continued to grow brighter by the month. Over the course of 2016, Lido has made major headway in cementing his place among the dominant producers of the era – along with the likes of Flume, Hudson Mohawke, Cashmere Cat, and Jack Garratt.
Bringing his North American fan base a much anticipated step away from reality, the prodigal record producer, songwriter, and occasional rapper embarked on an ambitious 14-date tour in support of last month’s wildly popular sophomore release, Everything.
There’s nothing we love more than kicking off the day armed with a freshly banging premiere for our Ninja faithful. Stel Leo is a genre-skirting, Bermudian artist who has had releases with Team Supreme, Top Cats, TheMOB and Friends with Robots; and also played live alongside STWO and more tastemaking artists. Today the electronic style bender touches down on TMN with brand new single “Opal”, and our fire is glowingly stoked to share it with our lovely readers.
A crisply layed two-step drum beat patterns “Opal” before giving way into a luscious waterfall of thumping low-end, popping snare placement, and a swath of clicky percussive elements which all culminate in a sticky-sweet melody. Although it wields a highly synthetic sonority, “Opal” simultaneously feels very soulfully tactile and personal, while still brandishing a call-to-arms to get to the dancefloor. While we’re sure most of our U.S. Ninjas will be more concerned with the important item on today’s docket -the Presdiential Election or something like that, we heard- but for a little distraction, stream our premiere of Stel Leo’s “Opal” above.
Following the success of the their previous collab “Breath”, Pluto and ye. brought the heat once again with a vocal rendition of the summer dance anthem.
Only 16 and 19 years of age, the two young producers showed production skills way beyond their years. The fiery vocals make a powerful statement in compliments of the synth stabs and the hardhitting Flume-like beat. The progression of track goes towards a suspense and into the last massive drop – a definite crowd pleaser in every way.
Released via PRMD Music, “Feel The Fire” is no doubt the next festival anthem . Cruise over to their page and give Pluto and Ye. a follow if you dig this. They are making waves in their respectively lanes, and we’re sure this won’t be the last time you hear about them.
Fridays and house music were meant for each other from the jump. Which is why any time we can round up a darkly excellent slice of after-hours club music, we get a little bit giddy. London based, Mexcian born producer Betoko has long been an artist with whom this writer has been enamored. That admiration was forged by many a late night, hearing countless Betoko tunes rinsed by some of the world’s most forward thinking house & techno DJ’s. Betoko’s amassed an enormous base of proper house-heads behind polished releases on the likes of Get Physical, Bunny Tiger, Off, Nurvous & Katermukke, and his latest original record aims to move another wave of listeners.
“Crazy Jack”, our track under study today, sees Betoko return to Hedonism Music as part of the excellent Amsterdam Essentials Vol. 1 compilation. An outstandingly groovy club burner fueled by concrete snares, murky bass swells and arpeggiated progressions, “Crazy Jack” is a testament to Betoko’s arcing range of emotive productions, and a tune we’re massively excited to be premiering in the process. Stream “Crazy Jack” above.