[Ambient] BANKS – Waiting Game (Prod. SOHN)

Waiting Game
BANKS
WAITING GAME (Prod. By SOHN)

BANKS may only have four songs to her name, but the L.A. native has already shown a tremendous amount of versatility in her music. “Waiting Game” might just be the largest departure from what we’ve heard so far from the young crooner. Her sultry, yet graceful vocals trickle over a medley of menacing synths, brooding percussion and balmy piano riffs. Through this combination, the song is able to establish an atmosphere that is altogether haunting, pensive, and evocative, which helps her fit in perfectly with new tourmate, The Weeknd. We’re not sure how much longer we’ll have to play the “Waiting Game” for BANKS’ debut album, but we’re expecting it to drop soon. 

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[Alternative] London Grammar – Feelings

LG - Feelings
London Grammar
Feelings

We haven’t exactly been shy about our “Feelings” regarding London Grammar‘s emergence this year. We’ve already lost track of how many gems the UK collective has bestowed upon us this far, but we do know that they’re presently batting 1.00 (and that’s without the help of PED’s, mind you). “Feelings” is a serene number that seems perfect for those breezy summer afternoons. Don’t let the quaint guitar strums at the beginning fool you however, because once Hannah Reid‘s enthralling vocals seize control of the song, they never let go. The group currently has us itching to hear their ironically titled debut album, If You Wait, due for release next month on September 9th.

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[MP3 Playlist] Indie Dojo (August 2013 Round #1)

indie-dojo-music-ninjaTraffic. A time for self reflection, road rage, steering wheel drumming, all kinds of “other” things you think no one can see you doing…when really we can. We have all found ourselves in the frustrating gridlock at one time or another which is reason #4,507 to have a plethora of free playlists right at your fingertips. For the most part, we all have a smartphone that allows us to stream, cloud, etc. etc..but if you run with the old school crowd..burn that shit on a compact disk. Whatever media you choose, you’ll be thanking us for dissipating the anger that comes with every brake light later…

Ásgeir
King and Cross
B. Hamilton
Gold Tooth (Parentz Remix)
Star Rocker
Kisser
WALLA
Nature
Colours in the Street
Paper Child
Better Man Than He
Sivu
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[Alternative] Lapland – Unwise

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Lapland
Unwise

Brooklyn born singer songwriter Lapland’s UK debut single is a beauty. With gorgeously produced synths, lush yet delicate vocals, and a pop inspired structure, Lapland sets the tone for a lazy Sunday or long car ride to the beach. Influences can be heard left and right in this tune, from synth pioneers of the 60′s and 70′s, French Impressionists like Ravel and Debussy, and modern vocalists like Bon Iver. His sound has tremendous depth and is thoughtfully crafted. Now we just can’t wait to hear some more.

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[Electronic Soul] Thomas Jack ft. Adrian Symes – The Final Speech

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The Final Speech (Original Mix)
Thomas Jack ft. Adrian Symes

20 year old Australian wunderkind Thomas Jack has just gifted us with an electronic track sounding more mature and instrumentally textured than his age would suggest, with “The Final Speech” featuring sax player Adrian Symes. It is a melodically driven effort beginning with a laid back, and slowed up four-to-the-floor drum pattern, before a lovely piano and Symes’ subdued alto saxophone carries “The Final Speech” through a building break and vocal snippet, before shedding a layer and ratcheting up the sexiness tenfold for the second half of the composition. Bolstering “The Final Speech” are a few house and garage elements; and while the song is better as listening music than dance, there is no doubt that if this one found its way onto a floor there would no doubt be more than a few bystanders hypnotically swaying away to the beat. Thomas Jack has a sound and taste which seems like a perfect fit for the current wave of young electronic producers, and like most of them, he is giving away music for the price of… on the house. So listen above to Thomas Jack’s “The Final Speech” and grab a free download while you’re at it.

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[Indie Pop] Wild Combination – Pulses

Wild Combinations1

Boy, I can’t seem to get away from the United Kingdom right now–musically, at least! This new EP from Wild Combination found its way into my in-box, and I continue to be impressed with the collective efforts of musicians in the UK. “Pulses” offers the listener some well done indie pop that won’t leave the music snob (yours truly) wanting for more complexity. With intricate guitar picking, solid top shelf drumming and smoothly delivered, thoughtful lyrics, “Pulses” is an EP you can pop in your ear buds while you’re walking around the city, even if you’re not on the East side of the Atlantic.

“Whole Lotta Truth,” emerges with high energy–a perfect pop tune. The guitar work in the piece is exceptional, but not so much as to be overwhelming: the song retains it’s catchy nature and is something you can sing along to. The down tempo “Kaleidoscope,” is also notable with it’s dreamy electro synth touches. The base and guitar interplay nicely, forming a little tapestry that the listener can enjoy. “Waves,” was another one to catch my attention with it’s sliding bass lines and trickling guitar notes that compliment the title of the song well.

This is a solid little EP for fans of the indie pop and very much worth the purchase. Enjoy the tracks mentioned here and find their entire EP on Soundcloud.

Wild Combination
Whole Lotta Truth
Wild Combination
Waves
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[TMN Exclusive Interview] Digital Farm Animals Sits Down WIth The Music Ninja

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Digital Farm Animals
Adore You Feat. Ofei

Part of the driving force behind The Music Ninja is the ability to discover and break artists before most other mainstream music publications have a chance. While literally boatloads of music are unloaded upon the TMN offices every day, it is more than a treat when a piece of music stops its listener firmly in their tracks. Such was the case with London based, multi-faceted and uber-talented producer Digital Farm Animals. A few weeks back we had the opportunity to debut DFA’s new single “Adore You” along with his lush brand of electronicism; which employs instrumentation elements from 80′s Nu-Wave and Synth-Pop, to House and Future to  good old fashioned Pop structuring. We had the chance to sit down and shoot the… stuff with DFA, talking about everything from future releases, what a live Digital Farm Animals show will look like, to Hanson’s “MMMBop” and Haagen-Dazs. Read the full transcript of our lovely time together below.

The Music Ninja: A lot of people have been referring to Digital Farm Animals as a “they”, “group” or “band” when in reality, you’re just a single producer, can you set the record straight and give us the rundown as to how you began producing, and how you were led to your artist name?

Digital Farm Animals: Ha…Well I get asked this quite a lot and yeah Digital Farm Animals is just me when it comes to writing and producing music. But there’s also a DJ / live programmer who is part of DFA when we perform . So I guess it’s okay to keep calling us ‘they’? Confused yet?!

As it happens the main reason I got into producing music is because the DJ in Digital Farm Animals handed me a copy of FL Studio when I was about 12… I just became obsessed with it.

TMN: On that note; as a relatively new artist without libraries of published music, are your live shows right now mainly DJ sets, or is there a complete live setup? If so, what kind of equipment do you play on?

DFA: We’ve played at some really cool gigs over the last year which have been DJ sets. It’s a huge buzz when you drop a big track and you feel the energy from the dance-floor but we’d always planned for something much bigger and more creative and it feels like the right time now to start working towards that. It’s an ongoing creative process and we don’t know how it will end up exactly but what we do know is that it will involve pigs, lots of pigs.

As for equipment, we’ve been using Ableton packed with a load of synths, samples and drum racks alongside NI’s Maschine, a Midi Fighter, iPads and an Akai MPK49. We’re also going to bring live vocals into the mix.

TMN: You have a new EP coming our way on August 26 and just dropped another single “Adore You”, which we assume is also a part of said EP. Can you tell us a little about what the process has been like for recording Bugged Out? Have you collaborated with anyone, or has it been mostly a solo effort?

DFA: Yeah, “Adore You” is the first track from Bugged Out. Its actually been a bit of a strange one.  I went away last year for about 4 months and spent quite a bit of time in Australia —where I produced most of the EP and a bunch of other tracks.  The scene over there is amazing…they are really ahead of the game when it comes to synth driven music and I definitely gained a lot of influence.  When I got back I was on the case to find the right singer for each track and we just got really lucky. Working with Ofei was awesome – he’s a really talented guy and we just threw out loads ideas in the studio, almost like a jamming session, and then went with what felt best. It’s been really great fun working with real musicians too – I’m a big advocate of combining electronic music with live elements. There are two more tracks to come, both with features from UK artists.

TMN: There is not a ton of information about your music out there in the blogosphere. Can you enlighten The Music Ninja readers on any impending releases from Digital Farm Animals scheduled besides Bugged Out, and the easiest place to listen to Digital Farm Animals music?

DFA: This will be the first official thing from Digital Farm Animals but there are a bunch of tracks we’ve put online over the last year or so. We actually did a track called ‘Home’ quite a while back that was basically just us mucking around with some pretty dark /2-steppy sounds and it got quite a big buzz. We then got approached by an artist from the states called Khat – who did his own edit of that track called ‘Homeless’ and that got a really great response. It massively opened my eyes to the power of the Internet and collaborations.

Musically we’re in a very different place now – I think all that was a great part of our learning process but our sound has really evolved, and im sure it will continue to do so.  I’m just really enjoying experimenting in this synth-pop/80’s kind of space. As for other releases at the moment…I’m working on the follow up EP now and also have another really exciting collaboration that will go out as a single following that EP.

The best place to listen to our music is on Soundcloud. (Check it out here!)

TMN: Digital Farm Animals’ sound seems to draw on a number of varying influences from Radiohead to Nicolas Jaar to more poppy electronic like the Future Classic sounds coming out of Australia. What was your musical background and upbringing which led to the creation of such sonically textured music?

DFA: I’ve been really fortunate to have grown up listening to a really diverse selection of music – and most of that was originally not out of choice. My father has always been a massive music lover and was into a lot of progressive music, electronic/synth music and generally just abstract, alternative stuff- so I grew up listening to a lot of bands like Porcupine Tree, Genesis, Pink Floyd on the one hand, but then also guys like Art Of Noise, Duran Duran and a lot of Depeche Mode’s earlier stuff. As I started to discover more music for myself I got really into electronic music & there are just too many influential artists to mention really. I would definitely say guys like Thom Yorke, Four-tet, Fly-lo have really inspired me. Recently i’ve been revisiting a load of old 80’s records.

I think one of the hardest things for me has been trying to find my own sound. I’ve spent lots of different periods of my life trying to re-create music from all of those genre’s mentioned above, but I think that’s also been one of the most beneficial things for me as a producer. I think now its about reaching into all of those different sounds and putting them together in new ways.

TMN: What label will you be releasing on, or do you think for now DFA will be a self released project?

DFA: At the moment it’s planned to be self released.

TMN: Alright, let’s change the pace up a little bit. What is one song or record that you love, but are perhaps embarrassed to share with other people? 

DFA: That’s easy: Hanson – “MMMBOP”

TMN: What are three things in your life that you simply cannot live without right now?

DFA:

1.    Haagen-Dazs Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

2.    My Razor – I can grow a beard in like 2 hours.

3.    Iphone Voice Recorder.

TMN: If your music was one Digital Farm Animal, what would it be and why?

DFA: A gigantic electric Wild male hog – I like my pigs big and manly. ;-)

TMN: Well, thank you for taking some time to chat with us. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for Digital Farm Animals.

Big thanks for having us! Appreciated.

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