[NEW] Snakehips & Tory Lanez – Dímelo

Dimelo
Snakehips x Tory Lanez
Dímelo #songsfromscratch

Corporate involvement in music often comes under scrutiny, but Adidas Originals’ partnership with Yours Truly for the #SongsFromScratch series has been one of the most important recent endeavors in music. Uniting artists who typically wouldn’t collaborate, the program has churned out some of the most prolific creations in recent memory. The latest entry in the series is an international affair, as we find Canadian extraordinaire Tory Lanez striking up a partnership with the UK’s Snakehips for “Dímelo.”

“Dímelo” is a perfect blending of both Tory’s and Snakehips’ individual styles. “Dímelo” shares much of the whimsical charm of a typical Snakehips production but with an added hip-hop flare. Tory on the other hand abandons his grittier, more lo-fi sound in favor of something a bit more upbeat, though his swagger remains tightly intact.

Listen to the tune above and make sure to watch the process that went behind the single at the official Songs From Scratch website. Also feel free to check out our recent interview with Tory Lanez as well.

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[Future] Beshken – Hiro

HiroArt
Beshken
Hiro

There’s an interesting, almost cinematic approach in this new original Beshken tune. The chopped and panned vocals flutter along beside a cacophony of other sounds until it resolves into a lush and textured rhythm with pounding drums and a blanket of warm synths. Besh’s work is never short of emotive elements, and his shift from futuristic, hip-hop remixes to his own songs has shown quite a bit of growth for him in recent months.

The Next Wave artist is hitting a formative point in his musical journey and “Hiro,” which is defined as “generous and tolerant” in Japanese, is evident of his changing approach to the material he is putting out. This track will hold us over nicely while his upcoming EP is in the works, and it’s even available for free download here. Beshken and Next Wave are setting up a big 2015 so far, and “Hiro” is just the tip of the iceberg.

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Get to Know: Feed Me Jack [TMN Exclusive Interview/Event Preview]

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We’re really excited to be teaming up with the Make It Funky SF collective to put on a series of showcases in California highlighting local talent. Launching this Saturday, February 21st at El Rio in San Francisco, the first installment will feature experimental indie band Feed Me Jack and the folky, electronic vibes of Mosaics with support from acoustic soul duo, The Kakaroaches making for an eclectic mix of styles. As part of the series, we’ll be catching up with some of the performers to shed light on up ‘n coming musicians. RSVP at the link below. 

Feed Me Jack
Knight Fork

Since we were first introduced to Oakland-based Feed Me Jack a couple years back, they’ve quickly become one of our favorite up ‘n coming indie bands. The collective musical talents of the group have allowed them to perfect, and build on, a broad range of musical styles and influences. Their 2012 debut, Chumpfrey, recorded during their time at UC Santa Cruz, embodies their prowess and versatility, but the follow-up Anatolia EP saw FMJ combining their skill set with a seemingly endless amount of creativity for a cohesive, flowing sound all their own. We caught up with Sven Gamsky (guitar/vocals), Cameron Lampert (bass/vocals) and Jake Thornton (keyboard), 3 of the 5 members of Feed Me Jack (Robert Luisi on guitar/vocals and Eric Lawson on drums are the other two), in advance of their upcoming show. Enjoy the interview below, head to FMJ’s website to grab a bunch of great music and catch them at our showcase at El Rio this Saturday, it’s not one you’ll want to miss!

RSVP: Make It Funky & Music Ninja Present: Feed Me Jack, Mosaics and The Kakaroaches

 

TMN: So, you all first met at UC Santa Cruz. Can you talk a bit about how you all got together?

Sven: It was freshman year when I first met Robert. I was just in the quad, around the dorms, and heard some beautiful guitar wafting down from up high. I just kind of followed my ears and found the room where the guitar was coming from. I didn’t know Robert before that but I introduced myself and showed him a song that I had written. He recorded it and wrote a bass line for that song. That later became “Pirate Muse.” Then, we added a friend of ours who was our old drummer. So we had him and two guitar players, but we played one of the guitars out of a bass amp and had a sub-octave pedal to lower it to that range.

Cameron: So, the original bass player was not actually a bass player, it was just a pedal.

Sven: From that point on, we were kind of moving around until we found the right sound and group. We added Cameron as a permanent bass player and collaborator along with Eric as our new drummer.

Feed Me Jack
Definitely You

TMN: There are so many different styles infused in your sound—ska/reggae,  jam bands and sometimes even stuff like The Strokes just to name a few. Who are some of the bands and artists that influenced your sound?

Cameron: The Strokes are definitely an influence and Grizzly Bear. But really, music is derivative and we definitely acknowledge that. I think we love listening to all sorts of different stuff and really, I hate to use the classification of World music because all music comes from the world, but all music finds its place in our sound. Especially guitar music, plus The Beatles and classics like that.

Jake: I would say the first album, Chumpfrey, draws on a lot more of the influences that you mentioned first. We all think that was more of an accessible sound, a little more pop influenced, than some of our more recent stuff. We’ve really been striving to come with different sounds and go in more of an experimental direction while maintaining the influences that are still with us.

TMN: How did that process of putting together something as cohesive as Anatolia compare with the experiences behind Chumpfrey? Was that shift a conscious effort? 

Sven: Yeah, I think it was kind of a conscious effort. The Anatolia EP was an attempt to go with a little more of an atmospheric and visceral sound focused more on the composition, which is just writing a song that doesn’t have any recurring parts. It was kind of a journey from beginning to end. We’ve been messing with the idea that we want to have one piece of music as an album with all the songs bleeding into each other. So, we kind of tried to create transitions that connect the songs to make one larger piece of music—basically like a twenty minute song.

Jake: It was definitely more of a concept album for us and it also marked our transition from college, house-party type of music into a more identifiable sound. Continue reading

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Mosaics Talk their Musical Vision, Influences and San Francisco [TMN Exclusive Interview/Event Preview]

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We’re really excited to be teaming up with the Make It Funky SF collective to put on a series of showcases in California highlighting local talent. Launching this Saturday, February 21st at El Rio in San Francisco, the first installment will feature experimental indie band Feed Me Jack and the folky, electronic vibes of Mosaics with support from acoustic soul duo, The Kakaroaches making for an eclectic mix of styles. As part of the series, we’ll be catching up with some of the performers to shed light on up ‘n coming musicians. RSVP at the link below. 

M o s a i c s
GLAM

The emergence of electronic music has created a fascinating rippling effect across genres as more and more artists find creative ways to combine musicianship with the seemingly limitless capabilities of modern studio technology. San Francisco band, Mosaics, have perhaps one of the most novel fusions we’ve heard yet using unconventional, percussive acoustic guitar to create samples that can be manipulated, arranged and layered with unique vocals into brooding, experimental compositions. Their debut LP, Of Colors, helps establish their forward-thinking sound proving refreshingly original without losing accessibility or catchiness. We had a chance to catch up with Mosaics band members Devon Kelts (guitar, vocals), Tyler Hill (production, keys), Grady Lee (vocals, guitar, bass) and Westin Joy (drum machine, bass) about their collective vision, musical influences and experiences as musicians in SF. Get to know Mosaics below and come out to see them this weekend at our first ever Music Ninja show in the Bay Area!

RSVP: Make It Funky & Music Ninja Present: Feed Me Jack, Mosaics and The Kakaroaches

 

TMN: Can you tell us a bit about how you all first met?

Devon: Tyler and I went to Loyola Marymount down in Los Angeles to study music and composition. We were best friends from college and decided to move up to San Francisco to try to make it as musicians. We did a couple musical projects that were kind of just our own thing but we didn’t really put out anything. Mosaics was the final iteration of those projects where we felt like we had a sound that was something we could stand behind. We needed a passionate musician and strong vocalist to get our LP Of Colors finished so we brought on Grady. It ended up working out really well and he made some really strong contributions in helping us finish the record. Then we needed someone to help us play live—Wes and I were already friends and he was pretty excited about the opportunity so we brought him in. He already has experience with production and has similar musical tastes so it worked out quite nicely.

TMN: Your music falls at this really interesting intersection of folk/acoustic, experimental and electronic. Can you talk a bit about the vision behind Mosaics?

Tyler: I think that the vision essentially started with Devon and I painting sonic landscapes on the computer. We wanted to create a sound that could be considered pop but still is drawing all of this original material in from things we’ve created. When we did our first EP, we had a concept where all the songs heard were coming from the guitar. So, basically we made an album all from samples created from hitting the guitar for drums, creating pads out of the guitar using production techniques and obviously writing melodies with lyrics. Our goal is to make something that is very authentic and artistic, but can still have that pop catchiness and drive.

Devon: We wanted to unite things. Often times really unique ways of playing the acoustic guitar are kept in a purist category. Meaning that they just play the instrument and nothing else. It’s very seldom that you see people with unique approaches to acoustic guitar uniting with the world of electronic production. Our goal was to find a way to unite the two in a tasteful manner and maybe, in that unification, to create something that’s new and novel.
Continue reading

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[Experimental Hip-Hop] Conrad Clifton – Skyliight

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Conrad Clifton
Skyliight

Not too much slips past our radar here, but somehow this dude Conrad Clifton almost made his way through the cracks. Having contributed on Eminem’s SHADYXV compilation for Yelawolf’s track “Down”, it’s a bit weird how low-key this Brooklyn-based producer is. After being heavily involved in hip-hop production, Conrad’s decided to give dance music a shot – we’re not mad about it.

Mad is actually the complete opposite of how this track makes us feel. In fact, if you’re feeling a bit disgruntled, this may be the perfect track for you. The spacey, atmospheric vibes on this tune will relieve those feelings of stress, and replace them with an uplifting energy.

Don’t get mad, get glad and grab the free download of “Skyliight.”

 

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[Chill] Mura Masa – The Way I Want U

Masa
Mura Masa
The Way I Want U
Aquilo
Losing You (Mura Masa Remix)
Ed Sheeran
Thinking Out Loud (Mura Masa Remix)

UK producer Mura Masa put out one of our favorite albums of 2014 with Soundtrack to a Death, a complete and diverse collection of emotional, experimental electronic music. The latest original from Mura Masa, which will be a part of Jakarta Records‘s upcoming compilation, feels like it could easily have been a part of his phenomenal debut. “The Way I Want U” has a shimmering sound to it contrasted by a heavy bassline and 808s giving it a cloud-trap feel. Mura Masa’s use of the vocal sample adds a certain depth to the track and his composition remains on-point, which makes listening a dynamic journey. Enjoy this one above along with two recent remixes from Mura Masa of Ed Sheeran and Aquilo, which will give you a sense of the young artist’s impressive versatility. Jakarta Records’ Winter in Jakarta will be free to download on February 9th–you can stream several of the tracks already at their Soundcloud page.

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[Chill] Coyote Kisses – Sunny Day

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coyote kisses
sunny day

After their last single “Revive”, which made an appearance in the 116th edition of our excellent weekly playlist The Chill Dojo, L.A.’s Coyote Kisses again touch down on the hallowed grounds of TMN with a brand new original “Sunny Day”. This one comes just before festival season kicks off, speaking wonderfully to that vibrant energy which tends to accompany such a time of the year. Coyote Kisses deftly fold an effervescent, arpeggiated synth progression in with crisp, rolling drums and fractured hi-hats, creating their own taste of impending warm weather through the scope of composed instrumentation. We think they summed it up much better than us however, stating: “We dragged all our equipment onto a dock in Florida and channeled the energy of the passing pelicans and seagulls.  Somewhere along the line, seagulls turned into skittle-shooting automatic lasers.  We hope it brings people some sunshine.” Well for the staff in Denver under the current blizzard cloud, we thank you for the musical glow. Grab a free download of “Sunny Day” here.

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