Saturday Selection Vol. 4

Saturday Selection

Hopefully the April showers are finally over, because we’re desperately in need of some nice spring weather. A lot of the time, music shifts with the seasons, and we’ve got a few tunes for you this week to mark the change that’s underway. Enjoy!


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Pat Lok – You Street

Pat Lok straight up rocks. He’s been an ace producer of infectious house tunes for a while now, and his collection of remixes speaks volumes with its success so far. The latest tune he’s dropped on us is a funky original, teeming with smooth synths and rocking percussion that could easily become a staple in your poolside playlist during the months ahead. There’s no shortage of grooving with Pat Lok, and “You Street” is a great example of that.


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Klangstof – Island

It’s a moot point by now, but Mind of a Genius continues to push some of the best music. Their most recent signing, Klangstof, has finally followed up their debut tune with the ethereal beauty of “Island.” Something about this group is inherently magical, and their tunes help you to escape to a better place. The entire six and a half minutes of this song is absolutely immersive and spectacular. Don’t miss out their other recent release, “Amansworld,” either.


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Kultur – White Door (Ft. Khary)

Shifting from his normal ambience, Kultur delivers a slick hip-hop tune featuring vocals from Khary. Hopefully there’s more of this in store from Kultur, because it works for him. Whether you’re entirely familiar with his normal material or not, “White Door” already is a standout for the French producer. He prides himself on mainly emotional pieces of work, but this new tune just feels fun and is an intriguing switch-up. It’s no secret that there’s a large amount of talented producers hailing from France, and Kultur is upholding his end of the deal big time.


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Elohim – Sensations

Every new Elohim tune gets us more and more excited for her debut EP due out on May 20th. Even with an abundance of synth-pop artists out there, Elohim has continued to make her mark over the last year with stunning songs and an alluring, mysterious presence. “Sensations” feels more jubilant than most of her previous tunes, and it’s easy to see how she has been able to garner her popularity with ditties like this. She’s captivating, and we’re fidgeting in our seats just thinking about her debut project on the way.


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pools – summer sunday (sisasa remix)

SISASA is in no hurry to be anywhere based on the relaxing tunes we’ve heard. Each of the three songs released so far is wrapped in a tranquil and simple atmosphere, and, somehow, SISASA has managed to transform pools into an an even more serene invention. Complexity and technicality is always appreciated, but constructing a minimal melody and altering a sample in such a way that SISASA has takes a specific and careful type of production that can easily be disregarded. This works though. And it works well. End your day right with this one.


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[TMN Exclusive Interview] TMN Talks ‘Life of Pause’, Time Traveling & More with Wild Nothing’s Jack Tatum

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Wild Nothing
TMN Exclusive Interview + A Woman's WIsdom (Official SIngle)

Few people are able to conjure up such a visceral response through their artistic medium as multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and chief architect behind one of the most lauded music projects over the last decade as has the L.A. via Blacksburg, VA (and a few cities in between) Wild Nothing frontman Jack Tatum. Clearly a pensive and grounded artiste, Tatum’s abundant knowledge of music pours throug Wild Nothing’s pop-structured, but genre-eschewing catalog. Tatum and Wild Nothing’s sound has always toyed between abstract and direct, which has resulted in some of the most velvety, lush indie-pop tunes we’ve ever exposed our cochlear cavities to.

Last week, jut ahead of the start of Wild Nothing’s current international tour, we had the chance to catch up with Jack and see what’s been going on since the release of Life of Pause and ahead of yet another hefty jaunt across the world. Check out our show preview for Wild Nothing’s upcoming Red Bull Sound Select Showcase in Denver this Saturday with Inner Oceans & Flaural at the Bluebird Theater, and be sure to read our entire transcript below.

The Music Ninja (TMN): First off, let’s just take a second to thank you for taking the time to let us pick your brain and answer a couple of questions.

JT: Absolutely.

TMN: I’ve been a very vocal Wild Nothing consumer since your excellent 2010 debut, Gemini, and this past February you added another worthy addition to the Wild Nothing long-player catalog with Life of Pause which was the follow-up to perhaps my favorite album in the last 5 years, Nocturne. So, another thanks is in order for consistently creating some of the most tasteful sounds we’ve consumed in the past decade. So let’s get into it.

Jack Tatum (JT): Wow, yeah, thank you, for those very kind words.

TMN: Obviously an artist can undergo quite a sea-change as far as personal tastes and aesthetic go in a 7-year period; and with every passing release it seems like another piece of your psyche gets revealed both aurally and stylistically. We know you’ve probably answered this more than a few times on this latest round of press obligations, but were there any significant events going on in your life that sparked this burst of creativity and some of the material on Life of Pause, or was the writing and recording process pretty similar compared to your other EP’s & LP’s?

JT: Ummm… I don’t know. Not necessarily. I don’t know, for the sake of not making myself sound too boring…

TMN: Hahaha not at all.

JT: I’ve never really been someone that wrote kind of in response to any one sort of scenario or event in my life. I guess you could kind of say with the first record (Gemini) it definitely was very much a response to the relationship I was in at the time. And it’s, you know, a very mood based record… A very sort… of I don’t know how exactly I would describe it. But, as I’ve continued to write, I’ve found that I don’t necessarily need a spark to start writing. I think especially as I’ve gotten older I have been equally writing from experience as I am just to write and out of interest, or just purely composition, or trying to achieve a certain kind of sound, or something like that. But, yeah, I put out Nocturne in 2012 and then had the Empty Estate EP in 2013. And that EP in a way was kind of a response to Nocturne, just because we had been touring on Nocturne for so long…

Continue reading

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Saturday Selection Vol. 3

Saturday Selection

This has already been a tough year for music lovers, and April is just wrapping up. We’ve lost some major icons who were trailblazers in not only their music, but also social and cultural shifts. We’ll miss them constantly, but there’s a bright side. We’ll always have their legacies through their discography, and, even more luckily, we get new and amazing music to enjoy every day. We can at least smile about that. Let’s explore.


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Monogem – Take It Slow

Monogem holds an inherent magnetism throughout her material. “Take It Slow” certainly is one of those pop songs that will make you want to fall in love under the right circumstances, and, even with the atomospheric production swirling back and forth, her crystal clear voice cuts through with a surprising and engaging strength. Get caught up in mediocre pop music can be easy if you aren’t careful, but there’s no trace of that when it comes to Monogem. Even with only a handful of tracks currently out, she has a little something for everyone.


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Matthew Riley – YEARS

Finding the first track an artist posts on SoundCloud is always exciting, and we’re very glad to have Matthew Riley join up. “YEARS” is awash with reverb and gentle, faint synths that float together with his short verses in simple and serene harmony. He’s crafted a fine balance between ambient, pop, and electronic music that manages to provide feelings of both relaxation and reflection. Sometimes that is exactly what you need on a slow morning, and we definitely hope to hear more Matthew Riley in the near future.


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The Kount – Only Human

There’s no contest here. The Kount is a student of the groove. He might even be a teacher of it after hearing this one. If you aren’t somehow feverishly bobbing your head after 20 seconds into “Only Human,” we’re not exactly sure what to tell you. It’s instrumentals like these that stand on their own. No need for bars, verses, or choruses. There’s enough substance and space that allow the instrumentation to speak for itself in the absence of lyrics. It’s a pretty great thing to find when you need a break from constant narration. His style is constantly shifting, so check out the rest of his material when you can.


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Robokid – 23

Nothing predictable comes to mind when discussing Robokid, and that’s great. Being a co-founder of Moving Castle will have that effect on you. On this new tune, which you may recognize from the Coachella LIVE video, there is an entirely different side of Robokid put on display. Shedding his more upbeat style, he opts for a little more sullen and slow approach on “23.” There’s an air of hope matched with escapism that isn’t weighed down with too many elements. It’s wonderful for a myriad of settings, and might just be one of his best creations yet. That’s a bold statement, but “23” is a force all its own.


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Bo Rocha – Hold My Gaze

We’d like to apologize for Bo Rocha managing to fly under our radar for this long. The London native has an undeniable command of her sound as evident from “Hold My Gaze,” and, as she flips from her mighty chorus to double-time verses, she knows her power. Between songwriting and production, Bo Rocha covers it all, and her hypnotic voice complements the ebbs and flows of this sweltering song perfectly. “Hold My Gaze” is such a strong follow up to her Even Green EP from a year ago, and we absolutely hope another project is the works soon that will build upon this radiant single.


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[Denver Giveaway/Event Preview] The Music Ninja Presents: Day Wave @ Lost Lake – 5/3

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Few acts burst out of the gates with such a far-reaching resonance like what we’ve been witness to with Oakland based troupe Day Wave, and for good reason. Cohesive and developed ensembles like Day Wave come along but once in a while in today’s highly saturated musical climate, so it’s with great excitement that we announce our next ‘The Music Ninja Presents’ concert in Denver, CO, headlined by one of the most exciting bands in any corner of the music industry. Most recently, the Jackson Philips led four-piece released their second EP Hard to Read, and after their earliest singles including “Total Zombie” and “Nothing At All”and of course the Mark Hoppus championed “Drag”, its only solidified their place near the top of countless critics’ ‘Breakout Acts of 2016’ list. On Tuesday, May 3rd at our favorite intimate venue, the Lost Lake Lounge, Day Wave bring their hazy brand of pop structured indie-rock to the Mile High City for the first time, and we’re beyond delighted to help ring them in properly with what will no doubt be a completely packed house. It seems like just yesterday we caught and interviewed Philips & Kevin Friedman’s (who is also an integral part of Day Wave’s touring band), first project Carousel, perform to about 20 people at the Walnut in Denver; so May 3rd also marks something of a sentimental show and reunion of sorts for a few of our TMN mainstays, but let’s save the nostalgia for a few weeks down the line…

Of course, it wouldn’t be a ‘TMN Presents’ night without letting our savvy readers in on the fun, so we’ll be giving away TWO pairs of tickets to this one. Entering our contest is as always, beyond easy. Just “like” The Music Ninja on FB, click on this post header if you’re still on the TMN front page, then comment below with your favorite Day Wave song, and boom, that’s it! (We even provided five below if you need!) And of course, we want as many people as possible to come dance with us, so for our friends looking to secure their spot, advance tickets are only $12.50 and can be purchased using the ticket link here.

There are a few rules, of course:
– The event is 16+ Be sure to tell all of your friends to increase chance of winning!
– You are responsible for your own transportation.
– You must bring a valid form of ID to pick up your tickets at the Lost Lake door.

Check out our preview mini-playlist, start commenting below and best of luck ninjas!

’Day Wave – Stuck’
’Day Wave – Gone’
’Day Wave – Drag’
’Day Wave – Come Home Now’
’Day Wave – We Try But We Don’t Fit In’
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Saturday Selection Vol. 1

Saturday Selection

We are VERY excited to be introducing a brand new segment here at The Music Ninja! Saturday Selection was created for multiple purposes. From hitting the high points of the releases from the week prior, to exploring an artist or label more in depth, we’re looking to fill your weekend with even more great music than before. There’s no genre hindrances. There’s no boundaries. It all starts with five songs. You won’t want to miss this. Let’s dive in!


NVDES – The Other Side

NVDES showed up out of nowhere about ten months ago, and it’s a great thing that they did. Incredibly upbeat indie can somewhat seem like a saturated sound, but this LA-based band keeps it just weird enough to find and own their unique voice. It’s about that time to enjoy the nice weather again, and you’ll want to have the newest by NVDES in your playlist rotation.


Midoca – Tell Me Your Lies (Feat. Dark Waves)

It’s such a relief to have Midoca back. He’s crafted his own sort of electronic pop that doesn’t shy away from brooding topics or heavy and dramatic production. There’s an understanding within his writing and music that resonates on an intangible level when dealing with the fact that everything isn’t meant to be super happy all of the time. And that’s a good thing. He capitalizes on emotion, and Dark Waves is a perfect complement for “Tell Me Your Lies” when it comes to demonstrating gravity in electronic music.


PUSHER – Clear (ft. Mothica)

With an upcoming EP on the way, PUSHER decided to grace us the first single off of the project that features the heavenly voice of Mothica along with his infectious and bright production. His history of remixes speaks for itself, and his originals reflect several influences from some of the best new names in bass music. “Clear” is quite the first taste of his new project, as he trades in some of his larger sounds for a tightened down creation that shows he can bend his novel approach into whatever he pleases.


Atlas Bound – Softer Still

These two are so ridiculously smooth. Atlas Bound‘s second helping off their debut EP continues their winning streak of laidback electronic soul that just feels good every time you hit play. “Softer Still” relies on a sublime balance of live instruments and electronic production chops that is slowly but surely becoming more common as many artists began to expand their sound. And that is a GREAT thing. Keep yours ear open for their EP and enjoy this slick new tune for a nice break during your afternoon.


Moon Bounce – Wingman

The latest addition to the Activia Benz Singles Club comes to us courtesy of Moon Bounce, and it is an absolute trip. There’s something addicting about this tune as it bounces all over the place with a jovial and carefree attitude, thumping drums, and an absurdly catchy groove that punches right through your speakers. It may be short, but it’s certainly sweet. The London-based Activia Benz never fails to show that they enjoy every song they release, and Moon Bounce certainly added more fun to their particularly boisterous mesh of club and pop music.


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[Denver Event Preview] RBSS Presents: Wild Nothing w/ Inner Oceans + Flaural – Bluebird Theatre – 4/30

WildNothing

Good googly-moogly (yeah I said it), have our friends at Red Bull Sound Select been spoiling us in Denver this year. Already in 2016 we’ve been privy to incredible shows from the likes of The Internet, Cloud Nothings & Sango (all for somewhere between free and $3.00 mind you), and on April 30th at one of Denver’s most revered venues, The Bluebird Theatre, they’ve teamed up with beloved Denver music festival The UMS to bring one of our hands-down favorite acts in any corner of music; Jack Tatum’s bedroom recording project turned nationally acclaimed four-piece: Wild Nothing. Flirting with distinctions like ‘dream-pop’, ‘chill-wave’, and in the group’s earlier years ‘post-punk’; Wild Nothing have steadily released an incredibly deep and entrancing string of EP’s & LP’s since their excellent debut Gemini, all the way back in 2010. Most recently, Tatum & Co. released their third full-length, Life of Pause, which is already in the running for this writer’s short ‘Best of 2016’ list, and this marks the first time Denver gets to hear the newest slate of Wild Nothing tunes in their intended live format. Needless to say, we’re getting pretty geared up for an incredible headlining performance, but the fun doesn’t start there.

Holding things down as our Denver representatives are a couple of acts this writer has become quite enamored with throughout our constant trips into the Mile High City’s music underbelly; Inner Oceans and Flaural. If you’ve been a regular at our ‘TMN Presents’ events at Lost Lake or Larimer Lounge, hopefully you’ve gotten an amazing taste of Inner Oceans —who were actually our last party’s headliners— and their slick brand of minimally sensible psych-pop and shoegaze; which will provide a serendipitous segue into the night’s main event. Another assemblage of excellent Denver talent, and self-described ‘New-Wave Psych Pop’ -ers  Flaural opens things up, and after devouring the quartet’s entire Soundcloud over the past few weeks at the adamant suggestion of the most trusted and cherished secondary music opinion in my life, it’s 100% safe to say that RBSS have once again solidified their far-reaching reputation as the tastemaker’s tastemakers and put together another night of top-to-bottom quality.

As with every Red Bull Sound Select showcase, an RSVP (here) will get you on the list for $3.00, but be sure to get there early to guarantee entry and immerse yourself in the fair city of Denver’s always evolving and rapidly burgeoning indie scene. Check out cuts from Wild Nothing, Inner Oceans and Flaural on our mini-playlist below, and we’ll see you on the floor.

’Wild Nothing – Reichpop’
’Wild Nothing – To Know You’
’Wild Nothing – Nocturne’
’Wild Nothing – Paradise’
’Wild Nothing – A Dancing Shell’
’Inner Oceans – These Dreams’
’Inner Oceans – Sunbathe’
’Flaural – Mind Field’
’Flaural – Culture Ghost’
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[Electronic] Braille Face – Glow

Glow
Braille Face
Glow

You may not have heard of Braille Face, but it’s about time that changed. With minimal information available besides a hometown of Melbourne, Australia, Braille Face intends for the music to speak first. We may have seen a myriad of cases like this, but they usually end up delivering some of the most interesting pieces of music we hear. This is no exception.

Braille Face’s debut single, “Glow”, creates a haunting and hypnotic atmosphere as the scarce vocals gently drift among the swirling synths, filtered pads, and robotic percussion. There’s an interesting tension built throughout, and it treads that fine line between unsettling and calm that gives the song its emotive appeal. It draws you in. It’s magnetic. It’s honestly nothing short of magical. Wrap up your week on a sublime note with “Glow” and be sure to support Braille Face and Spirit Level as they continue to grow.

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