A self-taught musician who picked up his first guitar at the tender age of three, Josh Kumra is a young new artist brimming with unimaginable talent. Based out of Swindon, a small town in the UK, he borrows from indie, acoustic and blues for music that’s impressively delicate, while still emotionally gripping. The highlight of his songs is his amazing voice. Smokey, rough and with a little tremble, it carries so much weight, conveys so much feeling — as though he’s holding up the world’s pain in every note. Here, Kumra takes on Jessie Ware‘s phenomenal power ballad “Wildest Moments,” stripping it down to a very basic, but very soulful and moving acoustic rendition.
Portland’s electronica outfit STRFKR (or if you don’t mind the explicit expletive, Starfucker) will release a new album next year. Entitled Miracle Mile, it’s the follow-up to 2011′s Reptilians. Today, we get a taste of the LP in the form of “While I’m Still Alive,” a kooky, funk-splashed electro pop tune that’s groovy and addictive all the way to the last drop. Check it out below, and if you dig, the new single is available for purchase via iTunes.
Although not as popular as their other Odd Future affiliates, The Internet graced the interwebs with a fresh new remix to the UK pop sensation Charli XCX’s hit “You’re The One”. Taking the already infectious single, the group members reworked the pop-heavy beat, infusing it with more funk and soul. Using heavy staccato key rips and synth bass tunes, the melodic and atmospheric vibe coupled with Charli’s soft and haunting vocals definitely make this an impressively addictive remix. Be sure to check it out below.
Nashville born Wick-It the Instagator has been no stranger to appearing on TMN since his eclecticism matches ours in many ways. Earlier this year we featured his metal/rock/dubstep remix fusing together wobbles with the iconic Motley Crue original ‘Shout at the Devil’. Today, Wick-It shows us a much more mellow side of his going full dub with a reggae blessed melody. The result is a completely warm and chill track to relax you for the coming winter.
Coming fresh off his first full-length, self-titled debut album, Harley Streten — or Flume as he’s better known — has experienced a meteoric rise catalyzed, largely in part, by his catchy, international viral hit, “Sleepless” (featured below). Although his popularity continued to blossom as a result of a variety of remixes and infectious live performances, Flume has minted himself as a composer with a vast breadth of ingenuity and an eclectic array of sound and style at his disposal.
The Music Ninja had the honor of interviewing him, learning more about the Aussie artist’s influences, songwriting process and thoughts on dance music in general. Check it out below:
TMN: For many, music is a way to invoke nostalgia and is the accompaniment for memories of a time and place in which the listener forms memories. With the release of your debut album, a very diverse compilation of sound and style, how and where did you envision this LP to be heard?
What I wanted is to create an album that could be played at clubs/bars and also at home as something to relax to. I come from a Dance music background and it’s important for me that people are able to dance to my music. Especially at shows, I can’t imagine gigs being nearly as fun if everyone just sat down and listened instead of dancing.
TMN: What are some of the inspirations behind your sound? Is there a theme you find yourself abiding by in your style of music?
I drew a lot of inspiration from travelling round Europe for the first time, soaking up my surroundings and being amongst different cultures. Genre-wise, I’ve been influenced by early 90s Trance music, The ED Banger French Electro movement and then guys like J-Dilla Flying Lotus, M83, Moby.
TMN: Which element, from a sample to an entire genre, do you feel you own as a producer and can be remembered for?
I think I bridge that gap between the underground beatsy electronica scene and mainstream music. I like to think of myself as someone who writes experimental pop music, something thats unique, yet still appeals to a wide audience.
TMN: What is your routine for composing a song and its original elements? With what type of equipment?
I usually start with a beat or a chord progression and then I’ll write a melody over the top of that. Everything’s written on my laptop with a copy of Ableton Live, some synthesizers and a dope set of speakers. I just invested a bit of money into my set up, before it was really basic but now I’m getting some toys for the studio.
TMN: Were you always considered “Flume”? If you had other projects, what aspects of them (personal/creative) have carried into your current music?
Yes, my other project is called What So Not. My roots are in Dance Music and this is my creative outlet for that. I couldn’t do one without the other, I need to write a variety of music to stay sane and keep the creative energy high.
The Philly-based rock band Free Energy, who previously dropped that infectious 2010 hit “Bang Pop,” is prepped to release their sophomore album Love Sign. The second single off it, “Hangin,” is a great little funky-rock song with a sound that’s reminiscent of the 90’s. It is almost impossible for me to listen to “Hangin” without thinking about bands like Spin Doctors. Even if it’s not “magical,” I got to say that the track is a great preview of their new material. Pop-Rock fans, you can now hold on to your chairs, Free Energy are poised to release something good, something real good.
Another huge release for Seven Lions, the Santa Barbara producer that is becoming bigger by the minute. Taking one step back from the constant “the louder the better” approach currently in the dubstep scene, Seven Lion remixes Delerium’s ‘Days Turn Into Nights’ with its soothing vocals and inspiring crescendos oozing with a distinctive electro progressive sound. The track is being sold exclusively on beatport and you can stream it below.
Delerium Days Turn Into Nights (Seven Lions Remix)