[Electronic] Louie Lastic – Close2u

Louie Lastic

Fans of Goldlink will likely recognize the name Louie Lastic for his production credits on three consecutive songs on The God Complex–“Bedtime Story” being our personal favorite. Even as Goldlink has continued to ascend, Lastic’s chosen to keep a low profile, with relatively blank slates on social media and no solo releases of his own. As a fellow DMV-native, it’s somewhat safe to assume that Lastic is an in-house producer of sorts for Goldlink and, therefore, at least partially, albeit quietly, responsible for the “future bounce” movement.

Yesterday, Lastic, who seems to have a similar affiliation to Soulection as Goldlink, released his debut solo track and, it’s everything you’d hope from him and much more. “Close2u” carries the signature bounce that can be found in Goldlink’s music with soulful undertones that will have your head-nodding from the get. Although there’s certainly a “future” aesthetic going on, Lastic simultaneously gives a nod to classic hip-hop production utilizing a masterfully chopped Maxi Priest sample and a perfectly placed backing string section. Without a single dull moment, this dynamic production is hopefully the first of many from the talented producer.

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[Hip-Hop] Ethereal – Final Fantasy (Album)


To call Atlanta’s Awful Records prolific would be an understatement. The team of outlandish emcees and producers have been releasing music at a ridiculous pace while pushing the boundaries of DIY artistry in the most delightfully bizarre ways. With artists like Father and Slug Christ, regulars in our Hip-Hop Dojos who’ve both garnered substantial followings, and an array of connections through out Atlanta’s booming hip-hop scene, the label’s poised to continue its ascent. There’s still a lot of people out there, from the hip-hop purists to the “it’s not really music” snobs, who just don’t get the appeal of the style of music Awful Records puts out–often lo-fi, disorienting, highly experimental and at times superficially narcissistic (see Slug Christ’s NSFW album art as an example). What those people are missing, though, is the raw creativity and talent that this crew has as well as the camp-y, avant-garde tone of their lyrics and style.

Last week, Ethereal, a member of the Awful Recs crew, put out his latest album, Final FantasySelf-described as a ‘megalomaniac’–someone obsessed with their own power–Ethereal’s album is a culmination of its title and that introspective diagnosis. 

With airy, other-worldly production from Ethereal himself accompanied by charmingly lackadaisical, yet impressively imaginative, flows, it’s also one of the most accessible projects for those just getting familiar with the up ‘n coming crew.

Spanning from wavey, lo-fi vibes on “Fantasy!,” the Slug Christ-featuring “Ultima” and “I Can’t Feel,” which includes a cleverly placed Rick & Morty sample, to oddball bangers like “Bump” and “Come Here,” the album never loses site of its core escapist aesthetic. As a result, it’s the type of album you can just hit play on and zone out, but if you do choose to listen closer, you’ll find some lyrical gems. Stream and cop the album below. Also, make sure to follow Awful Records on Soundcloud and do your best to keep up with their near-daily releases.

Buy Final Fantasy by Ethereal

I Cant Feel
Bump (Bounce)(feat. Lord Narf)
Agoraphobia (feat. Alexandria & Archibald SLIM)
Ultima (feat. Slug Christ)
RPG (Circles) (feat. Micah Freeman)
Come Here! (feat. Playboi Carti)
Free Your Mind (feat. Stalin Majesty And Archibald SLIM)
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[Hip-Hop] Toro y Moi – Pitch Black (feat. Rome Fortune)

Toro y Moi
Pitch Black (Ft. Rome Fortune)

A few months back, we wrote a piece about Toro y Moi titled “5 Faces of Chaz” exploring the broad-ranging styles and experimentations he’s taken with his music thus far, which really just scratches the surface of his creative scope. Chaz Bundick, the enigma behind Toro, has dabbled in hip-hop in the past (Tyler, the Creator loves him and they’ve got a song together called “Hey You”) and, shortly after releasing a stellar indie-rock leaning album in What for?, he seems to be re-opening that facet of his style. Through his Soundcloud page, he’s released a couple unique trap and hip-hop inspired productions including “2Late,” a collab with former Das Racist member Kool A.D., as well as an epic instrumental titled “That Instead of This,” which we can only really describe as “trapwave.”

Yesterday, he released a collaboration with TMN-favorite, Atlanta emcee Rome Fortune, who couldn’t be a better partner-in-crime for a producer as adventurous as Chaz. In some ways similar to Toro y Moi, albeit much earlier in his career, Fortune has been consistently ahead of the curve proving audacious when it comes to stepping out of any genre constraints. His work with Four Tet, most recently on “Leaders,” is the perfect example of how Rome Fortune can be a chameleon of sorts shaping his delivery to match an unconventional instrumental.

Toro y Moi and Rome Fortune’s inventive styles fuse masterfully on “Pitch Black,” which starts off with an ominous bass-line and disorienting arpeggiated synths before falling into a smooth groove. In Toro’s keys and trickling percussion, you can hear bits of the production style on his 2013 album Anything in Return but with a marked cadence friendlier to an emcee. That being said, it’s not by any means a traditionally structured hip-hop strong with a constantly shifting backdrop. Rome raps accordingly, though, with flows that span slow and spread-out raps, melodic chorus-esque portions and traditional hard-hitting delivery sections. Similarly, the lyrics mirror the juxtaposition created by the instrumental as Rome calls himself the “coolest motherfunker in the planet” all the while talking about a soul-sucking relationship.

Collaborations like this one are important for music and have become increasingly feasible in the digital age. Songs like “Pitch Black” tear down genre walls and, in doing so, push culture forward by bringing together fans of both styles. In short, Rome’s right he really is “the coolest montherfunker on the planet.”

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[Future Hip-Hop] Galimatias & Goldlink – One Step Back (Gravez Remix)

Galimatias & Joppe ft. GoldLink
One Step Back (Gravez Remix)

Future hip-hop is a relatively new genre, engineered with the intent to blend the best components of the music world. Meshing lyrical content and melodic flow of artists with the unparalleled smoothness and texture of future beats is the perfect way to satiate all of the auditory senses in one track.

A couple days ago, Atlanta artist and HW&W collective member Gravez released his version of last year’s popular Soulection track, “One Step Back.” In his latest creation, Gravez has taken the noisy original tune and sparingly injected it with synths, the softly inarticulate crooning of Denmark’s Galimatias, and segments of low-pitched dynamics common in the future genre.

The idiophones and hi-hats dotted through this track add to a uniquely smooth quality that is juxtaposed by the fast rhyming vocals of Goldlink. “One Step Back” is a symbol of how contrasting styles can be combined to create a special tune; it is the divergence of styles creating a peaceful banger.

Gravez is wrapping up a tour with shows in Boston and San Francisco in mid-July. Check out “One Step Back” above and download the track here.

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[4th of July Playlist] The Music Ninja’s July 4[0] Dojo


Do you ever feel like a plastic bag? Drifting through the wind, wanting to start again? Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin? Like a house of cards, one blow from caving in? Do you ever feel already buried deep six feet under? Screams but no one seems to hear a thing. Do you know that there’s still a chance for you ’cause there’s a spark in you? You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine. Just own the night like the 4th of July…

You guys are all Fireworks!!! Enjoy our eclectic 4th of July playlist–fitting for your pre, during and post celebrations (don’t worry there’s no Katy Perry in there).

As a wise Ninja once said, “Fourth me up fam!” Peep below or check it on Soundcloud here.

Phony Ppl
End Of The Night (Louis Futon Remix)
Pharrell ft. Jay Z
Frontin (Disclosure ReWork)
Free n Losh
I Love You So
Time (Lxury Remix)
Trails & Ways
Justin Timberlake
My Luv (Sable Edit)
Get Down (ft. Sunsquabi And Manic Focus)
Dance On Me
Masego x Medasin ~ Sunday Vibes
Lion Babe
Treat Me Like Fire (Snakehips Remix)
Memories That You Call (BLACKBIRD BLACKBIRD Remix)
The Knocks
Modern Hearts ft. St. Lucia
At All
No Maam Feat. Rome Fortune & Rich The Kid
Big Wild
La Brisa X International Players Anthem
Peking Duck
High (Yahtzel Remix)
Chet Faker x SAINT WKND
Stevie Wonder
Superstition (C2C Remix)
Them Changes
Toro Y Moi
Empty Nesters
Daye Jack
Still Barking
Kendrick Lamar
Westside, Right On Time ft. Young Jeezy
Danny Brown
Grown Up
House Party
Big Dope P Hit Da Blokk (Rustie Remix)
Aloe Blacc
I Need A Dollar (Big Gigantic Remix)
Day Wave
Total Zombie
Bob Marley
Jammin (Kungs Remix)
John Denver
Country Roads (Pretty Lights Remix)
Jay Z & Kanye West
Otis feat. Otis Redding
Heaven Only Knows (Ft. Chance The Rapper, Lido & Eryn Allen Kane)
Bombay Bicycle Club
Home By Now (Nicita Remix)
The Watermelons
Best Of You
Bobby Nourmand
Birds (original)
Beautiful Light
Feed Me Jack
Definitely You
Club Cheval
From The Basement To The Roof
Dojo (feat. Wiz Khalifa)
Main Attrakionz
Summa Time
Janet Jackson
Got Til Its Gone (Dr. MaD REMIX)
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[Future Funk/Jazz] Masego x Medasin – The Pink Polo EP


Funk and jazz’s cross-genre transcendence may be more prevalent today than ever. To some degree or another, it can be heard in hip-hop, electronic, indie and just about any other style of music you can think of. If you’re still not convinced in listening to contemporary albums from the likes of Kendrick Lamar, The Social Experiment, Thundercat and Griz, look no further than Masego and Medasin‘s recently released funktasitc Pink Polo EP. On the project, Masego, a native of Kingston, Jamaica, plays sax, sings and produces while Medasin, a master of monster beats, contributes a marked bombastic, atmospheric trap vibe through out.

The resulting combination makes for an incredibly unique and enjoyable listening experience that recalls the greats of both funk and jazz while injecting the sounds of contemporary electronic music. Through out the 8-track project, epic sax solos are mixed in with 808s, heavy drops and James Brown-esque vocals–it’s unlike anything we’ve ever heard before. There’s straight party starters on the project like “Shut up and Groove,” “Bounce,” and “Girls That Dance,” but there’s also supreme jams on songs like “Sunday Vibes” that make us wonder what it might sound like if Thelonius Monk had access to modern day recording equipment.

Masego probably sums up the style of this project best in his Soundcloud description calling it “Traphouse Jazz.” The Pink Polo EP, released through the rapidly rising  Film Noir records, arrives right in time for your sunny 4th of July celebrations. Stream it below and, if you’re digging it as much as us, buy it over at Bandcamp.

Masego x Medasin ~ Shut Up & Groove
Masego x Medasin ~ Bounce
Masego x Medasin ~ TrapScat (Get Loose)
Masego x Medasin ~ Sego Hotline ft. Krs.
Masego x Medasin ~ Throwin Shade
Masego x Medasin ~ Sunday Vibes
Masego x Medasin ~ Girls That Dance
JR Jârris
Love Be Like Ft. Masego (Medasin Remix)
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[Hip-Hop] Daye Jack – Soul Glitch (EP Review)


On his aptly-titled debut mixtape Hello World, Atlanta emcee Daye Jack first showed us that he was special as an emcee. In the year and a half since that release, though, it’s become increasingly evident that rapping was just scratching the surface for the multi-faceted artist. From singing over incredibly jazzy backdrops to delivering quick-hitting raps on future electronic stylings, Jack’s shown us he can do it all and even, at times, seamless fusions of all of the above.

It’s not just the cadence and delivery that are impressive, though, Jack’s nearly always got a perspective and message. Whether it be social injustice, poisonous relationships or life ambitions, the young artist tackles topics with artistry, eloquence and a wisdom beyond his years.

Never have Daye Jack’s range of talents been more apparent than on the Soul Glitch, his latest EP. It’s a completely fluid, yet varied collection of song that solidifies Daye Jack as one of the most progressive artists in hip-hop. The opening track, “First Glitch,” with its future-jazz vibe, sets the tone for the entire project baking in a sprinkle of the project’s surplus of sounds. From there, the project takes a markedly jazzy feel with “Easy” and “Stars Align,” which seem to be inextricably tied through contrast–the former touching on the struggles of a 9 to 5 and the latter on the triumphs of carrying out your dreams. “Choices,” the next song, continues that theme of life decisions but also introduces the more dance-leaning sound that fully manifests on the Yoko Ono-sampling “Bonds” and “Trapped In Love.” The closer of the deluxe edition, “Save My Soul,” may pack the most powerful emotional punch from both its massive future electronic production and the incredibly powerful portrayal of inner turmoil. It’s the type of project that demands a full listen from start to finish and, with its variation in styles, can be made to fit just about any listening atmosphere or mood.

Stream Soul Glitch below. You can grab a free download over at Daye Jack’s website or pick up the deluxe edition over at iTunes

Daye Jack
First Glitch
Daye Jack
Daye Jack
Stars Align
Daye Jack
Daye Jack
Die Today
Daye Jack
Daye Jack
Feed On Love
Daye Jack
Higher / Last Glitch
Daye Jack
Trapped In Love
Daye Jack
Save My Soul
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