[Chill] Nick Leng – Playing With Fire

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Nick Leng
Playing With Fire

It’s been almost a year since we’ve heard new original material from producer and vocalist Nick Leng but his Tunnels and Planes EP remains a go to for laid-back listening. Earlier this week, the LA-based producer and vocalist announced the release of an upcoming EP and unleashed the first single.

“Playing With Fire” truly engulfs the listener with a pretty piano melody layered with ambient electronic elements. Leng’s vocals are mixed flawlessly managing to avoid overpowering their gorgeous accompanying elements. Just as his voice serves as an instrument, so do the lyrics about being on the verge of an argument as they give way to the head-nodding chorus. Leng’s Drivers EP is due out just in time for summer on June 3rd via B3SCI Records–pre-order it now here.

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[Indie] MOSAICS – Year of Valor

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MOSAICS
Year Of Valor

Longtime Ninja readers may recall San Francisco’s MOSAICS from our 2015 interview shortly following the release of their debut, Of Colors–an impressive fusion of creative electronic production and acoustic guitar licks. Last week, the 3-piece returned announcing a new EP and unveiling its title track.

“Year of Valor” shows a clear evolution of the MOSAICS sound, in part with the help of new lead vocalist Maryam Sadeghian. The song opens with an infectious guitar loop that blends with syncopated hi-hat percussion making way for Sadeghian’s voice, which leaves an immediate impression. The production, even with its constant progression, gives just enough room to draw light to compelling songwriting regarding the world’s constant struggle with superficiality. During the chorus, the backdrop takes a psychedelic turn as the guitar reverses before an almost EDM-esque drop back into the verse.

Given that I’ve been listening to Moderat’s album on repeat recently, there’s definitely some comparison to be made in MOSAICS intersection of soul, indie and experimental electronic elements. However, the SF trio possess a more accessible, pop-leaning sensibility making Year of Valor, which drops May 20th, a likely summer breakout project. Keep your eye out and, in the meantime, vibe above.

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Cracking The Code: Delving Into Blue Electronica & Understanding The Mystery Behind The Duo [TMN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]

Blue Electronica

When we first introduced them as our resident artists for this month, we challenged you to see if you could crack The Code. That’s proven even more difficult with the release of their Blue Electronica EP, as the genre bending duo have continued to defy expectations since their emergence on the scene two years ago. The minute you think you’ve got them all figured out, the pair manage to throw a curveball your way that completely changes the way you view their music. We sat down with them recently to understand their recording process and the inspiration behind their music. See what they had to say about Blue Electronica, and listen to the entire project below. If you like what you hear, make sure you pre-order the album here.

’The Code – Launch’

TMN: It’s crazy to think that you’ve been able to amass such a large following without anyone learning your identity. These days there’s a lot of pressure for artists to open up and engage their fans via social media, but at the same time there’s been a growing contingent of reclusive artists trying to keep the focus exclusively on their music. Can you guys discuss some of the reasons why you decided to pursue this path, and some of the challenges that come along with it?

The Code: Well just like you said to focus on the music. At this stage nothing else is important. There are challenges in everything, so by choosing whatever path you should prepare and accept them, positive or negative.

’The Code – Electronica’

TMN: Like we said, no one’s quite been able to crack The Code just yet, and we’re interested in learning a bit about the significance behind your name: what does it mean to you and what does it represent?

The Code: It’s more what we are, not who we are. It represents the music, and our visual compass.

’The Code – Loving You (ft. P Reign)’

TMN: You guys have basically created your own signature sound, blending elements of electronica with R&B rhythms and hazy melodies. Can you talk to us a bit about your inspiration and how you came to develop this style?

The Code: Organically. Just creating what makes sense to the mood at the time, whether that be something energetic or chilled. Inspired by everything, not just music. In this day there is so much going on in the world its hard not to be inspired by everything.

’The Code – F**K’

TMN: You recently released your Blue Electronica EP, and the color seems to be a pervasive theme in both your music and artwork. What is it about the color blue that makes it so prominent in your aesthetic?

The Code: Blue is a calming color which can be dark, light, soothing and irate. It can also represent so many different things and the contrast between our interpretation of the color “blue” and “electronica” really fits.

’The Code – Azure’

TMN: In 2014 you introduced yourself to the world with the release of your debut mixtape, 1|11. This last project though, was much smaller in scope. Were there any changes in your approach when it came time to record Blue Electronica?

The Code: Not really, it all comes down to timing, both were made at different times in different moments.

’The Code – Mood (Find You)/Time’

TMN: There’s a lot of exciting talent emerging on the UK music scene lately. It seems like every time we turn our heads we find someone new. Are there any names you guys are keeping your eyes on, or anyone specific you’d like to collaborate with?

The Code: Anyone who wants to make music, any who is positive. If the time is right then anything is possible.

’The Code – Wolf (ft. KasFlow)’

TMN: Now that you have two projects under your belt, what else is on the horizon for The Code? Do you guys plan on doing any touring?

The Code: More of everything. It’s all been absolutely amazing so far.

’The Code – Breath’

TMN: Is there anything you’d like to say to someone who’s just hearing your music for the first time?

The Code: We appreciate your ears.

’The Code – Sedative’

TMN: The biggest misconception people have about the UK is ______

The Code: Not really sure, every area has stigma’s and stereotypes, good and bad.

’The Code – 16th Element’

TMN: If you could teach a robot to feel emotion through music, what album would you show them?

The Code: Daft Punk – Discovery

’The Code – IIIII’

TMN: If your music was a drug, how would it make people feel?

The Code: You’d have to ask the listeners that one.

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[Indie Electronic] Edward Vanzet – Everyday

Edward Vanzet
Everyday

Starting off the week slow can be a necessary plan of action in some regards, and Edward Vanzet recently provided us with a subdued and tranquil tune to do exactly that. “Everyday” is the title track off of his EP that is due out on Friday of this week, and it traverses the familiar, warm soundscapes of electronica and synthwave as fluttering vocals pan and stutter across the hazy atmosphere dotted with a soothing lead and minimal percussion.

There’s something inherently sublime about all five and a half minutes of “Everyday.” It’s an intangible center of calm that can almost instantly melt away stress. This is sunset music. This is lazy summer music. This is good, good stuff. Keep your ears open for the rest of the Everyday EP getting released on March 18th, and find some bliss today with this outstanding single.

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Matt Millz – Follow You Home (MELT & NYG Remix) [TMN PREMIERE]

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Matt Millz
Follow You Home (MELT & NYG Remix)

Back in 2014, we fell in love with the powerful, emotive, and enchanting vocals of Canadian folk artist Matt Millz. His debut song, “Follow You Home” was premiered here on TMN, and we had it in our regular rotation for quite some time. Today, we’re seeing it reimagined into a lush soundscape that pairs perfectly with the original’s surreal and captivating vibe. And, we’re lucky enough to premiere it, as well.

This hauntingly beautiful composition comes by way of two remixers. The first, MELT, is a 19-year-old producer from Molde, Norway. The second, NYG, actually played a part in the original work, as a co-writer and co-producer. Together, these two crafted an artful homage to “Follow You Home,” complete with rich, textural atmosphere, delicate piano melody, and well-treated vocals. It works on every level, providing the perfect soundtrack to get you through the middle of your week.

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[Dream Pop] Summer Heart – The Forbidden

SUMMER HEART
The Forbidden

As we begin to finally shake the last remaining traces of winter, Summer Heart comes in the clutch with a brand new single to complement the shifting seasons. “The Forbidden” is the type of tune that will perfectly soundtrack your first beach trip of the season with a wave of warm synths coupled with an inherently hopeful tone throughout. Summer Heart delivers a sound that exhibits a sense of escapism defined by the warm weather ahead and shows just how much a little bit of sunshine, whether from his music or the sun itself, can instantly improve your day.

There’s not shortage of solace to be obtained in this Swedish native’s discography so far, and “The Forbidden” builds upon his strong foundation in a calm and collected manner. With an EP on the way and performances at SXSW scheduled, Summer Heart shows no signs of slowing down his prolific nature any time soon. Give yourself some time to lounge and enjoy his latest effort above.

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Noise Pop 2016: 7 Acts We Loved–SF, 2/19-2/28 [Festival Review + Playlist]

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All photos by Dom Powell except for photos of DIIV, which are by Ash. 

Over the last few years, San Francisco’s Noise Pop Festival has grown into our favorite week for music in the Bay Area. Taking place at venues across the city, the logistics can get tricky, but the venue hopping and set-time speculation is completely worth the broad variety of music the lineup offers. As is true for any festival. there’s no way to catch everything and there was plenty of FOMO to go around between the surprise guest filled late night Cafe Du Nord shows to the various events at Noise Pop’s home base, Swedish American Music Hall. With a couple years of experience under our belt, we definitely feel like this was both our best go-around thus far as well as the festival’s. The one great thing about the staggering number of events is that every publications experience is slightly different, each choosing different favorite takeaways based on their schedule. Take a trip back with some of our favorite sets, songs and moments from the week below. Continue reading

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