Following a debut single that we still haven’t been able to shake, Bristol production duo Punctual return today with the accompanying B-Side. At nearly 10 minutes, “Fix” solidifies the promise heard on “Eva,” expanding on their gorgeously expressive take on house music. A simple piano chord progression kicks off the track and persists through out changing form with the building elements around it. Just as you start getting lost in the atmosphere, the percussion filters in around the 2 minute mark providing an irresistible groove.
While the first 4 minutes would make a strong track on their own, it’s the second half that sets Punctual apart. As the percussion is stripped back, vocals emerge that recall classic house music in a bridge that beautifully builds back into the song’s addicting repetition. Punctual feel like a breathe of fresh air in the crowd of fad-influenced electronic producers–standing out without sacrificing accessibility or simplicity. We’re excited to see what they come up next but the “Eva”/”Fix” EP should hold us over for quite some time–you can grab it here.
When we finally drove over the Bixby Creek Bridge in Big Sur, we were only riding on a couple of hours of sleep. My business partner and I were already sixteen hours in for the long trek from the Arizona desert to Northern California’s lush Symbiosis Festival. When we finally made it to the gate a few hours later I found myself surrounded by waves of exuberantly dressed people of all shapes and sizes; I couldn’t help but feel like an outsider looking in.
This was my first transformational festival, but definitely not my first transformational experience. Fifteen months earlier I was living and teaching my way through Asia. I’ve meditated with Tibetan monks in Dhramshala, India and trekked through the Himalayas in Nepal. I mean, what could Symbiosis really offer me that was new I found myself wondering.
Yet, when I finally broke through the line and got my wristband, I began to notice; it was like driving into a dream. Not just one dream, but a patchwork of other people’s dreams.
Sladky Pt. 2
To understand Samuel Profitt is to understand sadness. Now you may be wondering, “How is that good?” It’s simple. Samuel’s music maintains a level of genuine emotion that isn’t afraid to touch on complex and difficult events from his past. One example of this in particular is his work with Josh Jacobson on the heartrending Andre. It isn’t frail. It isn’t fearful. It’s accepting what has happened in order to make sense of what will come.
I don’t want things to end this way / You’ve become another part of me / A new horizon here to stay
“Sladky Pt. 2” finds a similar plane while enlisting the always terrific Khai to bolster a message of hope. This pairing of longing lyrics and graceful production already have given us an enticing look into what to expect from Samuel Proffitt’s upcoming EP, The Grey Notebook. There’s a refreshing sense of self awareness throughout Samuel’s projects, and that’s the exact sort of manner that makes for authentic and engaging music.
2016 has been a giant, defining year for both Phantogram -the shape-shifting pop duo comprised of Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter, and Brooklyn based genre-eschewing producer James Hinton, better known as The Range. Both acts have jumped out of the gates with strong album entries to their name: Phantogram’s Three and The Range’s Potential, and on the heels of those worthy LP’s they’ve just kicked off a joint North American to pace the Fall season. Tomorrow night in Denver, at one of the city’s most notable and storied venues, Phantogram and The Range bring their opposing yet suitable sonic aesthetics to the Fillmore Auditorium for the tour’s second stop, and our Ninja feathers are rather ruffled with anticipation.
While Phantogram have for years layed their stamp as perhaps the most notable U.S. electro-pop darlings turned mega stars; it is The Range that has our interest thoroughly piqued. The aforementioned Potential, is a journey in textures and sounds, carefully steeped in history and samples. Relatively new to the landscape of exciting producers, The Range and its LP counterpart Potential carry with them a lush, weighty backbone and the kind of genre splicing usually reserved for more seasoned producers with decades invested in the game. After a couple of listens it starts to become pretty clear why we’ve been hearing terms like “digital archaeologist” get thrown around when describing The Range’s sound. Needless to say, we’re rather prepped for this one tomorrow night, and to get the ball rolling, we’ve put together a mini playlist below highlighting some of our favorite cuts from both artists. Tickets to the show can be found here, and a complete list of Phantogram and The Range’s tour dates can be found here.
’Phantogram – You Dont Get Me High Anymore’
’Phantogram – When I’m Small’
’The Range – Copper Wire’
(PC: Felicia Garcia / CRSSD Fest)
San Diego’s Waterfront Park hosted its fourth CRSSD Fest this weekend, a place that’s become home to lovers of electronic music across the entire Southern Californian region. Maintaining a similar aesthetic to the previous CRSSD festivals at the park, the scene was filled with feelings of a tropical escape, an escape that differs only so slightly from that of the city the event is held in, but it’s the difference that gives patrons a feeling that they’ve left home and arrived at a new one. The lineup, as always, was stacked with legends and exciting up and comers alike. TMN had the opportunity to check out the show, and we’ve got a full run-down below.
The fest kicked off its first day with huge names like MK, Justin Martin, Miike Snow, Cashmere Cat, and Bonobo. As per usual, Dirtybird showed up in big numbers, and Justin Martin’s set and Shiba San’s set were ones to remember. There’s always something so special about the Dirtybird crowd. Knowing that all of your lives were probably touched at one point by Shiba’s track “OKAY” is a strong bond that not many other labels can achieve, and Shiba’s set was filled with all the depth and bass one would imagine. Justin Martin’s headlining set drew crowds that were worthy of his talent, and the set was an hour and a half of pure bliss. And while Justin Martin was taking everyone on a journey at one side of the festival, house music legend Marc Kinchen (aka MK) was giving everyone an education on the other side of the fest. Pioneering house music with tracks like “Always” from the 90s, MK has his finger on the pulse of house music now more than ever. We were ecstatic to see him headlining, getting all of the glory that he deserves.
W I S H I W A S
I WANT TO BELIEVE (Ft. Cameron Walker)
Following the success of “We’re Better Than This” and “Cutting Ties”, LA-based producer Wish I Was is back again with another collaboration with singer Cameron Walker, and this might just be their best work yet.
“I Want To Believe” is like The Postal Service meets EDM. A delightful piano melody starts off the tune together with Cameron’s alt-pop vocals. The chorus features a dance beat and sliced up vocal synths, providing an infectious melody perfect for a love song. A series of robotic Daft Punk-like vocals follows and shows the level of production going into the vocal work.
Wish I Was is hitting a home run with this latest release. If you dig his stuff, make sure to check out his On My Mind album released earlier this year.
Every once in a while I’m sent a submission so different that I’m not quite sure what to do with it. Such was the case when Pure One landed in my inbox over a year ago with her experimental, ambient and stirring sonic landscapes. The more I listened, the more appreciation I gained for its subtleties, intricate arrangement and soft drum patterns. Rather than evoke the standard instant gratification many expect from music, Pure One’s work feels more focused on transporting listeners to an astral plane of reflection, growing in depth with each listen.
“Become,” the first single off her upcoming Deva EP encapsulates that style as she chops her silky vocal chant of “become your truth” adding reverb among other psychedelic accents. That obscuration teamed with expertly placed piano keys and unconventional, soothing percussive elements results in something that truly evokes self reflection if you allow yourself to truly get lost in it.
While it’s difficult to pinpoint clear influences, fans of artists like Bjork, Sigur Ros and Four Tet may enjoy this one. Listen for yourself above and look out for the Deva EP, which is due out on Bandcamp October 16th via Cora Records.