[Existential Funk] Goldwash – But U Won’t

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Goldwash
But U Won't

I could spend some time revisiting the works of Sartre and Camus in an effort to beef up the anecdotal part of my post, but that would chew up a lot of my time. To be perfectly honest, it’s been over 15 years since I’ve read The Stranger and I really want to get Goldwash’s new tune to your ears as quickly as possible.

Dubbed as Existential Funk, “But U Won’t” boasts a bevy of influences, starting off with a playful little jazz piano melody. From there, we’re welcomed in by some soulful lyrics, a thick ‘n funky bassline, and some accentuating, pitched-down vocal samples. The production quality is second to none, alluding to the fact that this enigmatic musician is primed for plenty of attention in 2016.

As it stands right now, this 21-year-old classically trained artist is relatively unheard of. I highly recommend following him now, so you can one-up all your friends at the end of 2016 with the old fashioned “Who Heard Them First” game.

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[NEW] Kanye West – Real Friends (Feat. Ty Dolla $ign)

Real Friends
Kanye West
REAL FRIENDS & NO MORE PARTIES IN LA (SNIPPET)

Speculation around the status of Kanye West‘s upcoming album, SWISH, has been swirling pretty constantly since the turn of the new year when Yeezy decided to drop his underwhelming Nike dissing, Jumpman-esque single “Facts”. So when Kim Kardashian West teased the prospect of new Kanye music every Friday late last night, it’s safe to say all his fans had a mini freakout. Comparisons were instantly drawn to Ye’s revolutionary “G.O.O.D. Fridays” series back in 2010 which sent the internet into a frenzy leading up to the release of his much herald album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. While last week’s release seemed more like a throwaway teaser, this brand new single from Kanye seems like the real deal. While Kanye has never been known to mince his words, what makes “Real Friends” special is that it seems to come from an honest and vulnerable place, as he struggles to maintain relationships and questions how many genuinely trustworthy individuals he really has in his life. Packaged with the brand new single also comes a snippet for (what we presume to be) next week’s release, titled “No More Parties In L.A.” which is produced by Madlib and includes a feature from Kendrick Lamar. From the sound of it, things are only about to get better from here.

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[Fresh] RJD2 – Peace Of What

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Peace Of What

If you’re excited that we’re sharing a brand new RJD2 tune, you should probably sit down before continuing onto the next sentence. Not only are you getting an early listen to “Peace of What,” but it also happens to be the lead single from his upcoming sixth album, which drops on March 25th. We know. We’re pretty amped about this too. There’s more though – he’ll be promoting this album with a robust 2016 tour. Now that you’ve let that all sink in, let’s talk about the task at hand.

“Peace of What” is a soulful gem, boasting nostalgic, 90s rap influenced vocals from Jordan Brown. They’re artfully embraced by an array of instruments, including pronounced guitar work, playful percussion, piano, brass, and strings, all expertly crafted into a memorable three and a half minute experience. It’s instantly iconic, adding itself into the ranks of tracks we’ve come to adore from this Ohio-born musician.

The rest of Dame Fortune promises to boast plenty of soul influences, a lot of which came from his stint in Philly.

Living in Philly provided a context for a lot of soul music that I had liked. I didn’t have any cultural context for this music that I liked—it was just music that I had stumbled across as a beat making nerd. Philly was a place where there were enough people who had the same musical vocabulary that I did, which made the music more than something I had just discovered on my own.

If you want to be in the know with more early releases, tour info, and the like, make sure to follow RJD2 on Facebook.

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[15 to End 2015] Ninja Baseer’s Best of the Year

15 To End 15 - Baseer

When evaluating lists like this, it’s always important to remember the subjectivity in music. The songs here are not just what I would say are the “best” of 2015 or even necessarily my favorites, but the ones I had the most attachment to for one reason or another. Music is the closest thing we have to time travel in that it can evoke emotions unlike any other and effortlessly bring us back to moments long forgotten. This compilations of songs serves almost as a walk through memory lane, and choosing just 15 tracks to represent my 2015 proved to be a daunting task. Alas, I was able to finally narrow down my choices, so I hope you all enjoy my picks even if you don’t fully agree with them (which let’s be honest, you won’t). Finally, if you are curious about what didn’t make the cut, I’m going to shamelessly plug this massive Spotify playlist I compiled that includes pretty much all of my favorites from 2015.

Kendrick Lamar
These Walls ft. Bilal, Anna Wise, Thundercat
There’s no question that To Pimp A Butterfly is a classic album, so choosing just one standout single was definitely a challenge, but “These Walls” proves to be equally thought provoking as it is groovy.

Thundercat
Them Changes
Speaking of “Them Changes”, Thundercat played an integral part in 2015’s funk revival, with Flying Lotus laying the groundwork for this tune with the Isley Brothers-sampling instrumental.

Toro Y Moi
Buffalo
“Buffalo” is just about as fun as it gets when Mr. Chaz Bundick is shredding on the guitar.

The Internet
Girl ft. KAYTRANADA

As far as love songs go, we couldn’t ask for more from this hypnotic collaboration between The Internet and Kaytranada.

Alina Baraz & Galimatias
Can I
Alina’s mellifluous voice and incisive lyrics combined with Galimatias’s melodic production will captivate your attention from start to finish.

SG Lewis
No Less Ft Louis Mattrs
Featuring two of the most remarkable talents I discovered in 2015, “No Less” makes for one of the smoothest listens of the year, accomplished through a superb blend of dulcet vocals and acoustic guitar work.

Drake
Hotline Bling
The most meme-worthy tune of the year is also easily one of the most infectious. Shout outs to D.R.A.M.

Jamie XX, Young Thug & Popcaan
I Know (Good Times)
The ultimate party anthem of 2015, “Good Times” are undoubtably to be had whenever this genre defying jam comes on.

Snakehips x Tory Lanez
Dímelo
One of the more unconventional pairings of the year, Snakehips and Tory Lanez found an incredibly creative middle ground between their drastically different sounds.

Mura Masa
Firefly (ft. Nao)
Two of our favorite up-and-comers from the UK, Mura Masa and Nao team up to create one of the catchiest songs we’ve heard in a long time.

Disclosure
Superego (ft. Nao)
It’s no mistake that Nao appears twice on this list, as the British songstress lends her vocal talents to yet another addicting tune.

Skrillex And Diplo
To Ü (Feat. AlunaGeorge)
Sorry JB, but Aluna Francis wins the award for the best Skrillex and Diplo collaboration of the year.

Gallant
Weight In Gold (Louis Futon Remix)
Pro Tip: Gallant’s “Weight In Gold” might have been the most heavily remixed track of the year, but I’ve found no version is more apt for shower acoustics than the Louis Futon remix.

Beach House
PPP

Beach House have a gift for crafting music that’s perfect for those times when you need to just close your eyes and drift away deep into your mind’s abyss.

Tame Impala
Let It Happen
Just as the title implies, it’s best to submerge yourself in the Currents of this psychedelic tune and let them carry you away on a new journey.

Shlohmo
BURIED
Shlohmo’s Dark Red serves as the soundtrack for the most epic space voyage you could ever imagine. Lock yourself in a dark room and let the music take hold.

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[15 To End 2015] Ninja Ash’s Best of the Year

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When you listen to music as much as I do, your song selections and life experiences become inseparable–each impacting the other in both conscious and subconscious ways. That relationship embodies the uniquely subjective nature of music. You can listen to a song ten times and think nothing of it but then hear it in the right context or headspace and everything just clicks. As such, any effort of making an objective “best of” list proves a fruitless task. So rather than attempt that Sisyphean task, my ’15 To End 2015′ captures the songs that meant the most to me this year: ones that soundtracked my best memories, comforted me at my lowest points or simply possessed endless replay value. Peep my favorites of 2015 below. Hopefully they’ll take on a life of their own in your music collection.

Beach House
Space Song

A trip to psychedelic space land–just close your eyes and absorb.

The Internet
Under Control

A fresh and endlessly relatable take on R&B from Syd & co.

Thundercat
Them Changes

Built on the same Isley Brothers drum sample as “Today Was a Good Day,” this funk-injected jam crescendos a year full of nostalgia for the era of Parliament, James Brown & Sly Stone.

Main Attrakionz
Aint No Other Way

Feel good Bay Area hip-hop for and from the soul.

Raury
Forbidden Knowledge (feat. Big K.R.I.T.)

An absolute lyrical gem from a young artist with wisdom well beyond his years.

Kendrick Lamar
These Walls (feat. Thundercat, Bilal & Anna Wise)

My most played song from my favorite album of the year: ‘To Pimp A Butterfly.’

Jamie xx
I Know Theres Gonna Be (Good Times)(feat. Young Thug & Popcaan)
It’s hard to pick a favorite song from Jamie xx’s ‘In Colour’ but this summer anthem flipped pretentious listeners on their heads while showcasing the merits of melodic emcees.

Shamir
In For The Kill

The danciest track from the year’s most pioneering pop vocalist.

Mura Masa
Lovesick Fuck

In 2015 Mura Masa continued to prove his dominance in the realm of emotional future bass. This is easily my most played track of the year.

Big Wild
Aftergold

‘Aftergold’ captures Big Wild’s genuinely organic approach to electronic music–one full of sonic plot twists and playful melodies.

Lane 8
Loving You ft. Lulu James

Lane 8’s compositions shaped my year and “Loving You,” the opener of his debut album, brings to mind feelings of excitement and new beginnings.

Kenton Slash Demon
Harpe

The capacity for emotional power within an instrumental composition should never be underestimated–‘Harpe’ proves that.

Tame Impala
Let It Happen (Soulwax Remix)

The magnificence of Tame Impala and the rare emergence of Soulwax combine for infinite grooves.

Billy Kenny
I Eat Beats (Ardalan Remix)

This song is single-handedly responsible for piquing my interest in tech-house.

Sonny Fodera & Gene Farris
We Work It

I listened to this every time I worked it in 2015.

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[15 to End 2015] Ninja Dom’s Best of the Year

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As a sweeping generalization, 2015 will go down as a year dominated by collectives. Future Classic, Hegemon, Moving Castle, Soulection, HW&W, Wedidit, Monstercat, and French Express pooled their talents together to commandeer the music scene this year. The technical aspects commonly associated with “Future” crept into the DNA of producers, becoming a topical theme across genres from the most obscure to the most mainstream.

In particular, and as one of the most recent additions to the TMN staff, it has been quite a journey both as a contributor and music fan since early April. Without the collaboration of the entire staff – the guidance of editors and advice of my fellow writers – year one as a ninja would not have been possible. Along the way I’ve covered tours, shot music festivals, and met some of my favorite artists, who have graciously exposed me to their own intricate webs of sound. That being said, below is my best effort to reduce thousands of great tracks released this calendar year down to a manageable number. Enjoy the tracks below, in order of release date, and see you all next year!

Oceaán
Veritas (Young & Sick’s Mixed Feelings)
Although it has nearly been removed from all channels of the internet, this remix of Veritas is a fluid tune, incorporating contrasting techniques in a way that set it apart this year.

OBESØN 
Mon Amour
This is both my favorite song ever and the answer to the hypothetical question “if you could only listen to one song for the rest of time…”

San Holo
We Rise
Deserving of a spot on all lists, this has been the de facto party-starter and pregame anthem since it’s release in February.

Alison Wonderland
Run
The title track from AW’s debut album taps into the talents of fellow producers Djemba Djemba and AWE in creating this hooky, electronic masterpiece.

Mura Masa
When U Need Me
For an artist focused on quality over quantity, this is Mura Masa’s greatest creation to date.

DIVERSA
Burning House
Burning House is the most powerful release of Diversa’s, serving as a benchmark for the current wave of Drum & Bass producers to measure up against.

Jamie xx
The Rest is Noise
Jamie XX has been graced with near unanimous approval of his album In Colour; The Rest is Noise incorporates his most polished elements in a lengthy rainbow-colored instrumental.

Tory Lanez
Acting Like (Prod. by Shlohmo)
Another up and coming artist out of the blooming Toronto hip-hop scene, Tory Lanez, enlists the help of Shlohmo in putting together this dark, rhythmic jam.

Golden Vessel
Borrowed Time (ft. Tiana Khasi)
Melbourne locals Golden Vessel and Tiana Khasi teamed up to create one of the most enchanting and soulful pieces of the year, bar none.

Thundercat
Them Changes
As the most groovy track of the summer season, this was also an introduction and revival of the nostalgia-pumping funk genre, which used to dominate the charts.

Tame Impala
The Moment
Parker shows off his adaptability on this one; in cutting the downtrodden lyrical content against a synth-driven bridge full of cheery guitar riffs and rhythmic hand claps, the single is inextricably linked with the bridge in fellow Australian band Pond’s recent release, “Medicine Hat”.

Moi Je
Fais Rien (PETIT BISCUIT Remix)
Although the title literally means ‘do nothing’, it is nearly impossible to hear this remix by Petit Biscuit and not be tempted to move by the upbeat tempo.

Khai
Do You Go Up
This bubbly, minimalist tune is carried on the strength of its hook and the catchy vocals of its creator.

SevnthWonder
Maria Im Drunk (Ft. Deverano) (Travis Scott Cover)
As the most notable track by the best up and comer out of 2015, this remix displays a vision and creativity beyond SevnthWonder’s years.

Finding Hope
Wonder
With roots in the ambient genre, down-tempo is the most calming style of music. The deep, pleasant reverie continues through Wonder and does not end until the close of the song.

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[NEW] The Weeknd – Low Life (Feat. Future) + Pass Dat (Remix) (Feat. Jeremih)

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Low Life
Future + The Weeknd
Pass Dat (The Weeknd Remix)
Jeremih + The Weeknd

Capping off the biggest year of his career, The Weeknd decided to play the part of Santa Clause tonight and drop off a few Christmas gifts for all his loyal fans in the form of two new singles. The first track, “Low Life”, finds the Canadian crooner teaming up with Future, who’s had a pretty memorable year all his own, while the second is a remix of Jeremih‘s “Pass Dat” off his most recent project, Late Nights: The Album. Both tunes fit right in Abel’s wheelhouse, as his vocals sound right at home on the hazy, trapped out instrumental provided by  Metro Boomin on “Low Life”. On the other hand, we couldn’t have asked for a more natural fit for a remix of Jeremih’s laidback stoner anthem. Stream both tracks above and stay tuned for more from The Weeknd as we head into 2016.

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