After dropping off ”Cole Summer” last night, J. Cole serves up another treat with the sequel to February’s Truly Yours EP. Like the previous installment, the six-track EP is composed of previously unreleased material and songs that were left on the cutting room floor. With features and production from 2 Chainz, Young Jeezy, Bas, JakeOne, and CaneiFinch, this iteration is even better than the last. If this is the material that didn’t make the album, you have to wonder what Cole has in store for us when Born Sinner comes out on June 25th. Grab the free download here.
Last Friday night saw a few of your trusty Music Ninjas catch up with two of our favorite So-Cal groups; Carousel (whom we had the pleasure of interviewing a few months ago; read it here) opening for Mansions on the Moon. Our evening with the laid-back dance-pop gurus was booked at perhaps the most intimate and acoustically appealing live venue in Denver, the Larimer Lounge, and marked the last date as opening tour support for MotM. This was most likely the last time to catch the boys live before they once again lock themselves inside their gorgeous studio for the next few months to record material for another upcoming EP; and let’s just say we were absolutely ecstatic to be a part of such a wonderfully paired show.
Armed with an army of trusty synthesizers, MIDI controllers, Kevin Friedman’s incendiary electric guitar and Jackson Phillips’ angelic but masculine vocals, Carousel took to the stage opening with one of their many viral hits “Know It’s Right”, and a collective crowd feeling began to set in, telling us that we were auspicious witnesses to two extraordinary musicians doing what they love and do best. It was actually a little difficult not to be consumed with a perma-smile from their happy dance sounds as they flitted between their slew of Hype Machine dominating singles including “Let’s Go Home”, “Where Have You Gone”, “Stay Awake” and a few gems from one of 2011’s most noteworthy debuts, the 26 Allston EP, aptly named for their address while attending the coveted Berklee School of Music. While this was our second time catching them live in Denver, we would like to think of this last gig as their real introduction to our music scene as there were almost triple the amount of listeners in attendance this time around, and most of them weren’t as shy to twerk their proverbial stuff a little more freely either. Throughout such an entrancing, emotionally charged set, it also became easy to forget, when my eyes would drift away from the stage, that only two people were creating these sounds, rather than an entire backing band. But that endowment is part of the reason they remain one of our favorite bands here at TMN. Closing out the set was a toast to the crowd as the boys, who at this point were drenched in performance perspiration, downed a few shots of tequila and then perfectly crafted a brooding cover of Robyn’s anthem “Dancing On My Own” which featured full audience participation in belting out the chorus. There is just something strangely satisfying about seeing a good-looking male pair croon the lyric “I’m not the girl you’re taking home” and we’re pretty sure they have figured that out at this point as well. Carousel once again captured our hearts and imaginations in just over an hour, whilst setting the stage for the down-tempo, ambient pop-rock of fellow Californians Mansions on the Moon.
Joe Goddard and Greco-Roman Records have built a solid reputation in part by helping break the music careers of rising electronic trendsetter T-E-E-D and Disclosure. The newest addition to their stable (whom we featured earlier this month), Valentina, already appears to be another clear cut hit for the Berlin to London collective. The sultry pop singer has seen her stock begin to rise amongst tastemakers worldwide with the release of her single “Wolves” two months ago, and while a healthy buzz has been picking up amongst the blogosphere, fans were left in limbo as the April 18 release date of her EP of the same name had been pushed back indefinitely. All has been patched up now as a June 5 date has been handed down by label brass, and in anticipation, Greco-Roman is leaking a few remixes that will surface on the release. Giving the dreary ballad a glitzy deep-house remix today is Scandinavian duo The Svens, and this one had the ol’ rump shaking harder than Wreckx n Effect did in ‘92. Featuring Valentina’s celestial vocals wrapped in a hypnotic house drum kick, The Svens managed to pair their club sound seductively with hers, creating a cut appropriate for peak-hour club sets or more turned down after-party affairs. As an even bigger midweek treat to our ninjas, the track has been offered up as a free download in anticipation of the Wolves EP drop, so do yourself a solid by getting those dance-muscles in shape and picking it up here.
Coming off of his impressive debut EP To the Night, which broke into the top 5 on the Beatport charts, house producer option4 is back as hot as ever with a brand new release; “Do Work”. The tech-house cut, which is being released today as a two track EP featuring a synth-drenched remix from New York based indie-dance mainstay Bit Funk, contains all of option4’s distinctive rhythmic style as well as a glossy and infectious bass line, culminating in a track that can be played out on a club floor or simply serve as auditory stimulation wherever the evening finds you. But we’re pretty sure halfway through the jam, you’ll be unconsciously tapping a foot or two to this one.
It seems years of sharing stages with the likes of Disclosure, Fred Falke, Classixx and countless others can’t help but manifest itself in the form of crisp production and beautiful taste, and all of that skill is on full display with this release. With the underlying message that “real, hard work bodes real results”, option4 and Bit Funk are staying true to their roots by offering up the EP as a free download to our ninjas. Watch the accompanying music video here, and download “Do Work” with the Bit Funk remix below.
Earlier in the month we hipped you to Viceroy and French Horn Rebellion‘s funky “Friday Nights”, a nu-disco tune so catchy it makes every day feel like a crazed, boozy jumping off point to the weekend. The collaborative pair will soon release a remixes EP, and it’ll include this awesome rework by Jessie Andrews, a Los Angeles DJ and actress. Andrews strips away the funk, instead nicely replacing it with crunchy, spiraling effects that’ll take you on a few dizzying loops and powerful buildups that might leave you more than a little floored. The remix imagines the original as a thrilling house track and gives us yet another reason to scuffle up the dancing shoes. Check it out above.
As the snow is finally melting (or if you live in Colorado, still randomly dropping on a Wednesday afternoon) and the flowers are a blooming, nothing says spring is here quite like a good mix from one of TMN’s favorite bass duos. Zeds Dead recently released their Spring Mix with over 35 heart-pounding songs sure to please any ZD fans. The mix combines fist pumping electronic with down and dirty dubstep mixed in with some fabulous funk and rich vocals. The transitions are quick and clean letting the listeners know it is on to the next awesome jam. Over an hour of some amazing songs by the two ZD mastermind boys themselves, is there any other way to ring in spring? Pull out the bbq and turn this mix up, it’s one for the sunny days and even the still snowy days. Cheers to spring.
Paloma Faith – Just Be (Distance Remix)
Ellie Goulding – Explosion (Gemini Remix)
Eptic – Gutter
The Others – Fallout
Trollphace, Roto – Take It
AraabMuzik – Succubi
Figure – Brown Note
Zeds Dead – Rave (Fendi Ravestep Remix)
Salva – Drop That B
Taiki & Nulight – Take me Up
Zinc – Family Riddim
Mighty Dub Katz – Just Another Groove (Lookback Remix)
Kill The Noise (with Brillz & Minxx) – Saturn (Jay Cosmic Remix)
KW Griff – Bring in the Katz featuring Pork Chop (Original Mix)
Wilkinson – Take You Higher (Foamo Remix)
Posij – Duikbril
Skoop – Baby Papu
Velvetine – The Great Divide (Seven Lions Remix)
12th Planet – Smoked Out
ETC!ETC!, Protohype – Bad Boy Flow
Sander Van Doorn – Joyenergizer
Doorly – Rush ft Soraya Vivian
Gorgon City – Thor
Proxy – Cypher
The Upbeats – Diffused
Thesys – Propulsion
Quentin Hiatus – September Rising
Dead C.A.T Bounce, Emily Underhill – Closer To Me (Dabin Remix)
DJ Marky & S.P.Y – Yellow Shoes (Calibre Remix)
Nina Simone – Don’t Let Me Be Missunderstood (Zeds Dead Remix)
Young Digerati – Next Phase (Leisure Council Remix)
Zomboy – Here to Stay ft. Lady Chann
Major Lazer – Watch Out For This (Bumaye)
Nishin Verdiano & AK9 – Bitch Please (Receptor Remix)
Biggie – Suicidal Thoughts
You have to give it to Lea Luna. She continues to prove time and time again that she knows how to craft party inducing lyrics that carry perfectly over big buzzing beats. We especially love the underlying “Mile High” messaging, as Lea is originally from there, as well as Dragon and Jontron.
“Loud and Proud” is the latest release from this collaboration. In true D&J fashion, it boasts a slow melodic build that let Lea’s vocals really shine. The drop is a big, bass-laden electro house dance floor killer that is smooth yet aggressive. Another familiar face shows up in this joint effort, which is Denver based music videographers, Blurred Pictures. Their crew was once again slated to put the visuals to this monstrous track. They chose the stage at Skylab 2012 this time around, and if you watch carefully, you may catch a ninja in there. Keep your eyes peeled at 2:40. Ha!
Head over to Beatport and grab a copy of “Loud and Proud” out now via Black Hole.