Rain and Flashing Lights is such a visual phrase – a simple pairing of nouns which sounds like the title of a song or poem and conjures a sight most of us have seen, especially urbanites. Fitting, then, that Rain and Flashing Lights is a young producer and Ableton-head from Brooklyn whose latest single “Tunnel” on Onamazu is an audio visual escapade.
Three bright notes anchor the song. They form a simple but attractively familiar melody, the type which would grab your attention at the mysterious but hopeful beginning of a quality movie trailer about AI. If you listen close enough, you may hear the natural sound sample in the back (hint: it’s an integral part of Brooklyn and almost any huge city), just before a raw collage of glitches and unorthodox DnB percussion drops in hard. The melody is riffed and varied upon with a nice, ethereal synthesizer pad, and soon a bassline of the grimier variety peeks in, creating a uniquely pleasant juxtaposition of sound. It’s all rushing to a head until it ends, like leaving a tunnel.
“Tunnel” is the 26th track from the always-expanding Onamazu Single Series. Onamazu always utilizes resplendent visual accompaniment for their releases, and this single features art from Kylie Tseng. Grab a free download here.
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.
Time and time again the word “experimental” gets used incorrectly. However, it’s groups like Meltybrains? that end up somehow eschewing and bolstering that label at the same time with their absolute defiance of coloring inside the lines. “Step” is the latest from this eccentric band, fraught with auto-tuned and veiled vocals bouncing around crashing drums and a nearly impossible to follow rhythm, but it isn’t off-putting in any regard. They’ve developed an entrancing nature that’s reflected throughout their dark and mirrored video, and by the time it ends, you find yourself slightly confused yet more than satisfied.
There are no boundaries or conventions followed by Meltybrains? (which is an apt name, by the way), and their thorough disregard for both is what has created such an intriguing exploration into the farthest reaches of what experimental music can truly accomplish. “Step” is the second offering from their upcoming Kiss Yourself EP, and if you’re digging this strange yet absorbing sound, be on the lookout for the rest of their new project on November 18th.
David Starfire is one of the most distinguishable producers in bass music right now. His out-of-the-box, eclectic style is setting him apart from the rest of the glitch game. Today, he’s releasing his Lapis EP, but we get to premiere his Ragga Twins collaboration “Shock” to you first!
The blending of genres is not new to David. With “Shock” he fuses twerk, hip-hop and eastern sounds with his own unique bass brand. “Shock” is all over the place, in a good way, as its tones and textures bounce back and forth to give the listener an experience that is anything but boring. Ragga Twins add their flavor to the mix, taking the song up a notch as they always do. How David manages to blend all these styles together so seamlessly is beyond us, but we’re glad he is able to bring the world such fresh tunes. Stream “Shock” today and check out the full EP, available on Bandcamp for free!
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.
Let’s get one thing straight. Dubstep isn’t dead, and it never died. It may not be as hype as it once was, but that all can change very quickly. Currently, it’s making somewhat of a comeback, thanks to some veterans as well as some newer artists like Oolacile. This talented bass-head recently came out with his Expansion EP on SMOG Records, and I’m here to tell you, it’s heavy. Like, REALLY heavy.
Althought Oolacile is the mastermind behind the project, the Expansion EP has its features including label head 12th Planet, Jumanji, MurDa, Savory and Boogie T. From start to finish, this EP is jam-packed to the brim with as much low frequency energy as you can handle. Oolacile moves between classic dub, riddim and the newer fashions of the genre with ease, yet he always has his own flavor on it. I’m not surprised in the slightest that SMOG picked this one up, and that its lead man wanted to collaborate with the up and comer. His focus on sound design and rhythm is something that really shines in this project, and will continue to do so as his career progresses. Take note, Oolacile is here to stay. Grab Expansion now!
Awwwww, moombahcore; it’s been a while since I’ve whipped that term out. Thanks to Goja and their single “The Ballad” it was possible. Released on WOLV Records, “The Ballad” is a bass booming midtempo record that features the vocalist Chantelle Paige.
Goja has quickly become a go-to act in the bass music scene. Their past few releases with WOLV Records have been absolutely killer, and they have even more dope tracks beyond that. With “The Ballad” we get a tantalizing original that first lures you in subtly, then drives some heavy low frequencies into your ears and body. The groovy rhythms in the bassline are not only strong, but they are catchy. With school just starting for many of you, “The Ballad” is what is going to be popping into your head when you are spacing out in class. Then once you’re done, you’ll be playing it in your spare time, especially if you are partying during leisure hours. Stream “The Ballad” today, and if you want a copy, several digital stores can oblige.