Arfus from St. Petersburg, FL is on one. His music is immensely creative and fun while achieving emotional depth. “Dark Forge”, his newest single, is masterful.
A house beat composed entirely of glitches opens the track. The main melody whispers into the mix, simple but profound, almost esoteric. The kick drum then thunders in with shocking volume and depth, coupled with the producer’s characteristically coarse synthesizers. All of the sudden there are three melodies weaving through one another, screeching sounds and a deeply-pitched new lead melody that sounds like it came from Lord of The Rings. From there the music moves even deeper into more complex territory.
It’s typical of Arfus’s mind-boggling production style to pack so much seemingly disparate material into one cohesive, bumping track. He achieves this same queer collage effect on “Dark Forge” but strings it together with a new, quicker tempo because, as he says on his Soundcloud, it’s a “club year”. Name your price and download this cut here.
As we move closer to the end of the year, artists are trying to get one more track out. This rush to wrap up brings out a ton of great records and because it is Christmas time, a lot of those releases are free. Good thing is we have collected some of our favorites for you from this past week. There were so many that we had to include an extra one, so instead of the usual twelve, you’re getting thirteen this week. Party on with works from Sean Turk, SKULS, Venessa Michaels, Reid Speed, Juicy M and many more. Stream them all, download the ones you dig, and enjoy the weekend. Most importantly, #danceirresponsibly.
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.