Easily one of the most influential architects thriving around the edges of dance & electronic music today, Joe Goddard seems to carry a certain gravitas whenever his name is attached to anything. Known by most casuals as one of the chief patrons behind almighty indie-tronica troupe Hot Chip, and co-founder of Greco-Roman Records (the same label which helmed debut releases from the likes of Disclosure, Roosevelt & TEED), Goddard has also quietly carved out quite the tastemaking assemblage of admirers over the course of 20 years worth of high profile remix work as a solo artist. Goddard’s latest single to come from the aforementioned Greco-Roman camp, “Lose Your Love”, received its visual counterpart today, and quite honestly, it’s one of the more polished and funnier music videos we’ve seen over the year.
So High (feat. Wiktoria Kolosowa)
I.Y.F.F.E makes his return to Uprise Music, this time with the Brazilian producer Thai. Not only does he kick it into high gear with the South American, but the two enlist Wiktoria Kolosowa to hop on the vocals for the exceptionally engaging record.
“So High” will make you feel just that. It’s an uplifting future bass record, but it’s not just a simple, straightforward rendition of the genre. I.Y.F.F.E and Thai really make it their own, while Wiktoria’s performance on the song adds a whole other dimension of beauty on top of what the producers have created together. It’s not the world’s longest record, as it comes in at just barely over three minutes, but that three minutes feels like a lifetime as “So High” intoxicates your soul. It’s a dope one and it’s out now as a free download.
Fake A Smile
“Fake A Smile” by Nisus Cede and XHVIL is the 27th installment in the expansive Single Series from New York City’s eclectic Onamazu label. The Onamazu Single Series established a pattern for dark wave anthems and raw electronic experimentalism of the highest quality, but “Fake A Smile” is a more acoustic, sensitive offering that smacks more of Coldplay than Nine Inch Nails.
Netherlands native and Onamazu affiliate Nisus Cede, whose name is Latin for “attempted murder”, combines a most musical mind with a set of production chops that betray his very modest SoundCloud profile. The drum machine percussion he’s put together on “Fake A Smile” could easily be mistaken for the real thing – full of variation, fills, and crisp cymbals. The acoustic timbre of the drums pairs perfectly with the guitar and vocals tracked by Cede’s associate XVHIL, all of which is arranged along with a twangy stand-up bassline. “Fake A Smile” feels like new ground for the growing New York City collective Onamazu, which seems to be diversifying it’s offering with every new release. Hopefully the label’s future includes more of these unique, melancholic pop stylings from the Netherlands.
The interplanetary bass music producer Au5 and the terrestrial vocal star Cristina Soto have come together to create a riveting and original four-song EP, Freefall, released through the Austin imprint Gravitas Recordings. Au5 has produced music at a prolific pace for years now, from neuro drum and bass to more melodic dubstep similar to the music of Seven Lions. Cristina Soto dropped her own debut album earlier in 2016 on Gravitas. Bass music junkies were introduced to her silky strong voice after Bassnectar remixed “One Thing”, produced by Gravitas label head Psymbionic and Maine’s own Of The Trees.
Soto’s powerful voice lends itself well to powerful bass music. Each song on “Freefall” would be a gem without vocals on account of Au5’s brilliant musical ideas and well-executed production. Bringing the human voice into the mix, and such an expressive voice at that, gives the robotic, space-age sounding EP a human tether, not to mention crossover appeal. She sings of emotional expression itself. “I need my occasional howling at the moon” wails Cristina on “Shock Diamond”, as the song crescendos into fluid drum and bass. “I’m only alive in the freefall” she cries on the title track. I’ve never been skydiving, well outside of a dream, anyway, but to listen to this EP with its abundant energy and beautiful scenery can give one the sensation of plummeting through colorful skies.
We’ve come to expect only the best in production from Au5, and he exceeds those expectations here. He weaves together the emotive note relationships of a grand piano or electronic keyboard with the subtle beauty of deep sub bass, and pairs soaring ethereal synth chords with the wet, dirty crashing lead melodies. The dichotomy between beautiful and ugly noise enraptures the listener on “Emergence”. One moment you’re flying through space on a rainbow super highway, and the next minute your space ship is being shredded molecule by molecule at the event horizon of a black hole.
An Au5 remix of “Emergence”, a variation on his own original, provides an epic closing for the EP, the equivalent of a rock power ballad minus the cheese and plus the 21st century. “Gravitas” means “weighty” in Latin, and there is nothing here which does not live up to that description, from the breadth of Au5’s massive productions to the deeply-felt freedom of Cristina Soto’s vocals.
Heat of the Moment (feat. GIIA & Hoosh)
“Heat of the Moment” is a special one. MEMBA was working some next level magic when they were in the studio conjuring this masterpiece with GIIA and Hoosh. Elysian Records put this one out this week, so it is currently available on digital services.
There’s nothing remotely off about this record. It is perfection in every way; every single little tone is right where it needs to be, from the vocals down to the minute parts of the instrumental. Buying this one is a no brainer. Even if you’re not the type of person that buys/downloads music anymore, you just got to have this one. It’s a unique track that we know we’re going to be playing for a long, long time. “Heat of the Moment” doesn’t lose any of its magic, even if you try to play it out. There’s just no stopping this one.
Earlier this month we had the pleasure of asking a newcomer to the dance music arena some questions. That man was Jetset. The Youtuber-gone-producer gave us a sneak peak into his EP, Flight, with a single, but now the full project is here at last.
With four songs, Jetset cements himself as a creator that needs to be taken seriously. He’s not jumping on any bandwagon, and if he was, dubstep probably wouldn’t be his style of choice, despite it making waves back to the forefront of EDM. Now, this EP isn’t entirely dubstep, as the single “BLOW YA MIND” kicks things up with its electro meets breakbeat sound. In speaking of sound, one has to mention just how good of a sound designer Jetset is already. Each song is packed with vibrant samples; Jetset came out swinging hard with some aggressive, tactical hits. If you’re a fan of guys like Spag Heddy and Ray Volpe, then add Jetset to your list of priorities, because he’s got a lot more coming. I mean, this is only his first project ever… Did we also mention it’s free?
San Holo has been smashing it. There’s no doubt about that, even if you, for some crazy reason, don’t call yourself a fan of his music. That’s highly unlikely, as this dude puts out quality track after track.
Take for instance the latest creation he has freed upon the world. “Light” is just that, a bright beacon of what great music is. San Holo’s style is always expressive; he manages to infuse as much emotion as he can in his music, which has connected deeply with audiences worldwide. He is one of the hottest attractions in dance music right now, for good reason. He’s just been killing it with no sign of slowing down. Get your free copy of “Light” today to celebrate just how good SH is.