[Remix] Phoenix – Trying To Be Cool (Feat. R. Kelly)

R.Kelly - Phoenix
Phoenix
Trying To Be Cool feat. R Kelly

After joining forces together at Coachella, we knew it was only time before something substantial came out of a pairing between R. Kelly and Phoenix. While we would have settled for an official recording of their mashup of “1901” and “Ignition (Remix),” this might be an even better prize. The Bankrupt! single makes the transformation from a song that was “Trying To Be Cool” to one that truly is with Kels now featured on the track. It’s not like the original was a slouch, but anytime you add R. Kelly into the mix, you automatically bump yourself up a few notches on the “coolness” meter. Just ask Aziz Ansari. Stream the single above, and make sure to grab yourself a copy. This one’s definitely a must have.

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[NEW] Eminem – Survival (Feat. Liz Rodrigues)

Eminem - Survival
Eminem
Survival

It has been a minute since we were last graced with some new words from the Detroit spitter, Eminem. Although there has been a feature here and there, Em has not dropped any new solo material-until today. After teasing a new track via a commercial for the upcoming Call of Duty: Ghosts video game earlier today, a full version of his latest cut, “Survival,” was released shortly after. The DJ Khalil produced single finds the legend dropping some aggressive rhymes over a heavy guitar-ripped beat. Complete with Liz Rodrigues on vocals and the hook, this rock anthem about fighting back compliments the gritty vibe of the highly-anticipated game. The track is not an official single from Em’s upcoming full length, dropping later this year.

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[Indie] Malpas – Charlemagne

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MALPAS
Charlemagne

Where beauty meets the beats, this sparkling new track from Malpas is the love child of a lustful honeyed vocal set upon a heavily textured backdrop of mechanical beats, synth-laden pop and a myriad of dreamy nu-gaze soundscapes. There’s no collision in this seemingly effortless collaboration, cultivated by songwriter Ali Forbes and producer Andy Savours (My Bloody Valentine fans insert nod here).

“Charlemagne” fuses acoustic electronica and mechanical drum beats with a contemplative and melodic vocal. Their roles interchange throughout: the voice being both the spine and heart of this track, carrying waves of regretful nostalgia, whilst remaining sincere in its sentiments. Meanwhile the versatile backdrop acts as an industrial support and a sound-shifting chameleon whose composition alters. The product is a beautifully reliant and seamlessly blended structure, in which one can’t exist as strongly without the other component.

Charlemagne has a wide frame of reference in regard to its influences, and its output is demonstrative of clearly competent and fresh composers. It’d be reductive to continue outlining the attributes that produced this triumph, but let’s just say the outcome is impeccable.

Charlemagne is first in line for release from the EP Promise. 23rd September- Killing Moon.

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[Hip-Hop] Lupe Fiasco – #DopeFrancis (American Trap)

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Lupe Fiasco
#DopeFrancis (American Trap)

We knew it was only a matter of time before Kendrick Lamar‘s verse from “Control” elicited some responses. After calling out just about every emcee in the game, it made sense that other rappers would take offense to Kendrick’s words. One such artist who wasn’t mentioned, garnered some attention late last night through his Twitter account. That artist would be Lupe Fiasco (his tweets have become private, but the backlash is just as widespread as before). After going on quite the tirade, and impersonating a few rappers by ghostwriting their responses along the way, fans were clamoring for Lupe to pen a comeback of his own. Finally, it seems as if he listened…well, sort of.

While “#DopeFrancis” (seriously, hashtagged song titles need to die) isn’t exactly a direct response, it does allow Lupe to put his skills on display. If we’re assuming this was conceived over the past 24 hours, then it’s a pretty impressive track, coupling themes of drug abuse with religion almost seamlessly. The song does sound fairly raw overall however, and I think it’s safe to say this is just a throwaway meant to prove that Lupe isn’t one to be slept on in the rap game.

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[TMN EXCLUSIVE] EDX Interview

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EDX
Live My Life (Extended Vocal Mix)

It’s not everyday that you get to sit down with a producer who’s had a long and storied career as EDX. It’s not everyday that you get to see a DJ of this magnitude at your local club. It’s not everyday that you get to talk about your favorite country with an international star.

Fortunately for this blogger, that day came a few weeks back at Beta Nightclub, with a sit down conversation from EDM journeyman, EDX. Check out what he had to say about his favorite venues, collaborators, and cured meats from Italy.

TMN: I’m sitting here with EDX at Beta Nightclub, which was recently ranked the best nightclub in America by Rolling Stone magazine. How does it feel to be back?

EDX: Actually, it’s always something very special to be back in Denver, Colorado. Beta was one of the first clubs I ever played in the US, a couple of years back, so it’s always kind of special. I’m super pumped and excited to be back again.

TMN: While Beta is a great spot to play, you’ve played all over the world. Miami, LA, Vegas, Sao Paolo, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney….well, you get the idea. What are some of your favorite venues and festivals that you’ve played?

EDX: I’ve played nearly every festival in the US, and a lot in Europe as well, Australia some…so there’s a lot of favorites. Last year I played Freedom Festival in the Philippines, Manilla, which was very good. I played around Carinvale in Brazil, I was absolutely impressed by the amazing set up and the amazing crowd, a lot of music lovers. There’s also a lot of clubs all over the world.

I don’t want to pick out one. I think at the end of the day, everywhere where you can find people that love your music, it’s one of your favorite clubs in the world. So, there’s so many!

TMN: Aside from playing some of the best venues in the world, you’ve also had the pleasure of working with some of the biggest names in music. One of the most intriguing listed in your bio is Kool and the Gang. We can’t seem to find any information out there on it though, do you care to fill us in?

EDX: Whoa! This goes back more than a decade. There was a couple of remixes under the EDX brand back in the 90′s. I think it was one I did for Kool and the Gang featuring Lauren Hill, which the track was called…I don’t remember. I have to go back and look. I remember it was an amazing vocal oriented track, we were able to pitch it up to 126, and this was like in ’98. Something like that. It was funny because we released it under EDX at first, we released it under the brand B2B, which was my project with another artist from Switzerland.

It was very well welcomed because it was very funky house which matched with Lauren Hills vocals and the happy vibe of Kool and the Gang’s music. It was a very interesting album. I’m still very proud of that. I’m still trying to find out the title though…haha. I can text the title to you.

TMN: Out of the lengthy list of people that you’ve collaborated with, who was the most interesting to work with?

EDX: Whew! There’s so many different aspects to what is interesting and what isn’t. Actually, I really like to work with vocals. I try to build some new vibe around vocals, especially when they have a special meaning. So, it’s really hard to say which one is a favorite. I was definitely really happy to work with dance vocalist Nadia Ali, who was always one of my favorite singers, and still is. But, I wouldn’t say there’s other vocal performers that I didn’t like as much.

Definitely, Sam Obernick, Tamra Keenan, Hadley…but it’s very hard to pick one out because every one was like very interesting to work with. There was always a very different process with each individual artist. I don’t want to pick any particular one.

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[Hip Hop] Jaymes Young – Dark Star (Jez Dior/SmarterChild Remix)

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Jaymes Young
Dark Star (Jez Dior/SmarterChild Remix)

It’s always a great day when we get another release from one of our favorites in the game, Jez Dior. This emotionally charged lyricist has graced the pages of TMN before with his artfully crafted lyrics, provoking reflection with the snap of his tongue, which is why we’re always excited to hear new work from him.

Two weeks ago Jez and SmarterChild released their most recent project, which consisted of playing around with the arrangement of Jaymes Young’s blogosphere hit, “Dark Star”. This remix has a slightly more beat centric tempo, which gives the perfect cadence for Jez to lay some lyrics over. Once again we’re left feeling something, as we always do with Jez’s lyrics. This is one thing that we’ve come to expect from him, and he once again makes sure we’re not disappointed.

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[TMN Resident Artist] Showtek Showing What is Up

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Showtek Feat We Are Loud! & Sonny Wilson
Booyah (Original Mix)

Any artist who loves sushi is good in my book.

Our resident brothers for August, Showtek, sat down to chat with us about their musical history, Jay-Z and why Salt Lake City is one place they will always visit.

TMN: Hey fellas. Thank you so much for taking a few moments to sit down with us and for taking over TMN for the month of August! Let’s start off talking about you guys as brothers. How did you both decide that you wanted to play music together?

Showtek: We never had the dream of becoming DJs, it really just happened, but not out of the blue of course. We started producing music as a hobby. We both loved music when we were young – Wouter played piano and Sjoerd worked on beats on his computer. When our parents got divorced we needed a way to express ourselves! We hooked up as a team and locked ourselves up in our little room and just made music, straight from the heart. We had no background in music, no schooling, no one who taught us how to work music programs, we just discovered everything by ourselves.
When we released our music in 2001, we immediately scored. We reached the charts in Belgium and our tracks were played by other big DJs. So within a year our name started to grow in our own country and some parts of Europe. We were asked to play in a club in our hometown as residents DJs, and from there on we started to really DJ. We love DJing and traveling the world, don’t get us wrong, but it started with producing music.

TMN: Did you start off by learning traditional instruments? Did you guys have sibling arguments over who got to play what?

Showtek: Wouter played piano when he was a teenager and still does. He also plays guitar, so he is definitely the musical Mozart out of the two of us. Lots of melodies are created on the piano at home, and from there we start making most of our music. We never really argue about producing or DJing. Sometimes we agree to disagree, haha.

TMN: Were your musical aspirations something your parents encouraged growing up? How do they feel about you guys being together all the time doing what you love, and experiencing tremendous success while doing it?

Showtek: Well our father has only seen us twice on stage, once at Sensation and once a local festival near his house. He is really proud now, but if our parents stayed together our career might have never happened. After the divorce we both skipped a lot of classes at school, and Sjoerd was even kicked out three times because he always skipped the first few hours. We always worked until 4 in the morning, freaking on beats and stuff. Our dad would never allow us to do that, but we took advantage of our mum who worked all day to feed four kids. She didn’t really notice! The fact that our parents got divorced brought us more together.

TMN: Speaking of tremendous success..”Cannonball”. Holy shit. That song took the EDM world by storm and was seemingly around every corner. Between Ultra, WMC, and Coachella, we heard it dozens of time by all kinds of different DJs. What was it like experiencing that?

Showtek: Yeah it became a big bomb! It was received really well and was supported by big DJs. We were at Ultra and our tracks were played 34 times! Haha.. Yeah it’s always cool to hear that people like our music. That song brought us to another level in the dance industry. It was in the top 40 for 24 weeks in Holland, got a golden record, and it was the same story in Belgium and France. So far it’s been our biggest achievement in music!

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