A couple of Canadian alt-pop darlings came crashing into our feed this morning, and we couldn’t imagine a better melody to break open our afternoon. HUMANS, the indie-electronic duo made up of musicians Robbie Slade and Peter Ricq just released their single “Tell Me” back in February, quietly delivering their drum-heavy indie-pop single to a decent amount of critical fanfare. But, their stock should certainly continue to keep rising as Toronto duo WMNSTUDIES have teamed up with 1/3 of DiRTY RADiO and 1/2 of BNW, WASPY to deliver an irresistibly danceable synth-pop remix shot at the dancefloor. The trio plays with hip-hop, R&B, house, and of course pop framework to conceive their collective revision, pulling HUMANS’ single away from analog instruments and into effervescent dance-pop. With the weather stateside breaking thermometers, we’ve been gravitating towards those sunshine tinted anthems. We suggest you do the same.
It’s hard to believe that July is right around the corner. It seems like just yesterday we were pulling ourselves out of bed from a two week SXSW/WMC/Ultra slumber, swearing to never go to another festival again. Since then, Coachella, Bonaroo, EDC, and Electric Forest have all come and gone, which leads us into one of our all-time favorites.
Global Dance Festival returns to the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheater once again, bringing three nights of top-notch talent. If you’ve never heard of Red Rocks before, now is the time to google it. If you’ve never been to Red Rocks before, now is the time to pick up some tickets. If you’ve been to Global Dance Festival at Red Rocks, well, you probably already have tickets. If you don’t though, you can pick them up here.
To get you pumped up for this upcoming event, we’ve put together a playlist with amazing tracks from nearly every performing artist. Just don’t blame us if you end up dancing in your seat.
‘Fantasy’ was one of the standout chill tunes of 2014, and just a month after the release of the long-awaited Urban Flora EP, another batch of stellar remixes are set to reinvigorate the passion for the original masterpiece from Alina Baraz and Galimatias. Doing the honors in kicking off Dojo #138 with the first featured remix is a familiar name from Moving Castle in Vices. Representing the innovative brand of future sounds this collective champions, their interpretation is as glorious as you’ve come to expect. In a clever use of space and variation, the imaginative pair combine all the beautiful ambient elements of the original with their signature melodic progression and colorful bursts of delightful bass. For an entirely different spin on the track, TEEMID brings the deep house heat he knows all too well. While energetic dance floor vibes are undoubtedly the intention here, the whimsical sensations of the original are certainly not forgone, resulting in a sultry feel well suited to the later hours of the evening.
Another highlight of last year was Flight Facilities’ massive release ‘Heart Attack’, and to hear a remix from the legendary Snakehips this week could be nothing less than front page news. In perfect sync with the deep emotion in Owl Eyes’ vocals, our beloved UK duo craft impeccably smooth waves of silky groove in ways that only they know how. Adding to the list of stunning vocal treatment for this edition is Chet Porter and his magical rendition of Ember Island’s iconic cover. This is musical wonderment in all its beauty, with percussive builds straying from the path of the generic, and instead leading to soundscapes of hidden forest clearings that cast such vivid scenes in the listener’s mind.
Just one of many surprises you might find as you make your way down this week’s playlist. Peace out.
We’re excited to welcome MondreM.A.N. and Squadda Bambino of Main Attrakionz to our first ever Dojo By the Bay series, a monthly interview feature focused on talented artists from the San Francisco Bay Area.
In 2011, North Oakland’s Main Attrakionz first emerged on the national scene with their Blackberry Ku$h and 808s & Dark Grapes II mixtapes, helping pioneer a style of hip-hop that combines ethereal, lo-fi production with stream-of-conscious flows–a style that rose around the same time as experimentation by Lil B, who Squadda’s produced a number of tracks for, but had an accessibility, positivity and technique all its own.
Dubbed “cloud rap,” their approach on those projects resonated with up ’n coming talent from around the country resulting in collaborations and co-signs from the likes of A$AP Rocky, Danny Brown and Clams Casino. Their ability to combine street lyricism and a distinct Bay Area flavor with atmospheric, hazy instrumentals culminated on their 2012 debut album, Bossalinis & Fooliyones, a polished collection of songs with an array of fitting, top-notch production to match. Over the last three years, Squadda and Mondre have continued to churn out projects under their Green Ova collective while working on their long-anticipated sophomore album, 808s & Dark Grapes III, which is fully produced by Friendzoneand set to drop on June 30th on Neil Young’s Vapor Records.
That breakout year was far from the start for Squadda Bambino (pictured below left) and MondreM.A.N. (right), the emcees behind Main Attrakionz, though. Growing up, the two absorbed anything that was available to them through music videos and radio during a time when rap was flourishing in the mainstream. Their rap careers began at about 12 years old on karaoke machines and any instrumentals they could get their hands on. Squadda and Mondre joined forces in the seventh grade when they entered talent shows together and, their early and shared vision of success, made them quick best friends along with their Green Ova family which solidified not long after.
TMN: What’s one musical memory that stood out to you as kids?
MondreM.A.N.: I’m going to say me buying my first CD. I was like 9 years old. My first CDs I ever bought were B.G.‘sCheckmate and Big Tymers’ I Got That Work. Moms let me buy it, had a cd player. Just, damn, listening to all those lyrics man, that blew my mind away. From there, became a Cash Money fan. I just became a fan of their movement. I realized there was 6 of them, in-house producer, kind of like a family and shit. They were doing their thing back then.
Squadda B: Yeah, Cash Money, was definitely influential. Also, Onyx “Slam” back in the day. I’ve seen a video of me rapping Onyx back in the day.
TMN: You guys first started rapping together at Carter Middle School. Can you take us back to your mindset during those days?
Squadda: Just a thirst to make it happen–a thirst and a fantasy. Really wanting that shit but it not really seeming like reality yet.
TMN: In general, you seem to really rap about what you live but, as kids, what did you rap about?
Squadda: I used to rap about see-through PS2s and shit. Fantasy raps. You know, our visions.
Mondre: We had the imagination, man. [We rapped about] shit niggas ain’t have.
TMN: You started rapping on Karaoke machines and whatever instrumentals you could find. What were some of the ones that stood out to you back then?
Squadda: All the traditional shit—that’s what was presented to us. You get your 50 cent instrumentals, you could find that. You could get the down south ones real then but you couldn’t really get a lot of beats back then, and nobody was giving us them. So, we were on a lot of instrumentals, products of the music and what was going on. We rapped on David Banner & Lil Flip, “Like A Pimp.” We rapped on Lil Flip “Game Over” and “Blood Hound,” 50 Cent back in middle school.
TMN: Did you listen to anything outside of hip-hop growing up?
Squadda: It’s funny because whatever was on the TV or radio was what was making it happen back then. You’re watching TV, see what comes on, top 20 hits—all that shit had influence on us. It’s just evolving to the point where we’re like just making whatever we like to hear now to replace that shit. Songs still come to me to this day from the 90’s or early 2000s—just life has a big influence on everybody. We just re-do it and re-create.
TMN: Can you talk a bit about the formation of Green Ova?
Squadda: We always had families. In middle school we were part of a squad but in high school there was just too many people. There’s only 6 of us now and if you listen to 808s & Dark Grapes III songs we got all of them on there–Robbie Rob, Dope G, Lo Da Kid and Shady Blaze. It just evolved and came to where it is now but we always kind of rapped with a lot of people and moved with big numbers.
TMN: Squadda, as a producer yourself, you always use some really interesting samples. Where do you usually look for those?
Squadda: It’s evolved. Always trying to recreate what influenced us. I would always hear about producers with vinyls and shit but I always grew up with hella CDs so I kind of wanted to make it a thing and create my own culture out of what really touched on me. It’s always different but that’s why I like working with Friendzone because they kind of have a culture of their own too of how they find samples.
TMN: With the Internet being such an integral role in your careers thus far, what are your thoughts on its role in the music industry in this era?
Squadda: Shit, if you got your head on straight, it can only be a good thing. I love it. I remember hearing about other artists really talking about us. It’s a good thing to have so many people have other ways to find your music other than going to a store. Yeah, the money changes and things change, but I think it’s great.
TMN: Mondre, what’s your favorite thing about working with Squadda? And visa versa?
Mondre: I mean, shit, everything man. Watching him grow, you know what I’m saying? With the beats, the music and everything. Shit, I say everything man. We came in this together and we still here. Better than ever. Wiser and everything.
Squadda: Just bringing the flavor, man. When he come with the effort, it’s real nice. The flows that he comes with every time, you can definitely count on it—it’s consistent. From when I first rapped with him, you know Mondre’s gonna come with it. Makes you think about your shit even more. It’s fun working with him because you know he’s going come with something. It’s kind of rare for me to feel like that too. I don’t really get that feeling rapping with other people—no disrespect. But it’s always been like that since we were kids with Mondre.
After weeks of eager anticipation, we finally have our hands on the latest project from Tory Lanez, as he teams up with the WeDidIt Collective for this brand new 5 track EP. As expected, most of the production is handled by heavyweights from the WeDidIt roster, including Shlohmo, RL Grime and D33J along with additional production from Baauer and frequent collaborator Play Picasso, who Tory once told us was his 40. At this point, we feel like we’ve said just about everything we can about Tory’s tremendous talent, but it still amazes us to see how much growth he’s shown in just the past couple of years. Cruel Intentions serves as an incredibly polished follow-up to last year’s Lost Cause mixtape, building on the same moody aesthetic that the Toronto native has established in much of his previous work. Tory’s ability to alternate seamlessly between rapping and singing has almost become second nature at this point, so it should be no surprise that he’s basically got the formula down to a science on Cruel Intentions.
Stream the full project below, and simply enter your email address at the following link to snag a FREE copy for yourself.
Friday, party time. Get crunk, hyphy, bananas; whatever your preference. We’ve compiled yet another collection of tracks for you to take with you into the weekend. If you’re not at a festival, create your own with this playlist, plus more that you have downloaded this week. Tisoki, Buku, Hype Turner, Charlie Darker and more bring the fun, the bass, and the uplifting vibes that you need after a long week. Download them all for free, and share with your friends and family. Most importantly, #danceirresponsibly.
As we wind down our Friday afternoon, slowly scanning through our inbox, with drink in hand, we’re happily coming across tracks we missed earlier this week. Let’s be honest here, if we don’t catch them today, they’ll surely be buried by hundreds more come Monday morning.
Released earlier this week, I’lls’ “Keep” is a luscious, ambient, and emotive song from this inventive trio. It leaves an everlasting remembrance of acts like Burial and Aphex Twin, yet stands tall on its own. Listeners can expect a well-crated, thoughtful, and enveloping soundscape which is coupled with gorgeous, subdued lead vocals, and haunting monastery-esque backup vocals, all of which provide a wonderfully inescapable retreat.
This is the second track released off of Can I Go With You To Go Back To my Country. We highly recommend grabbing it by clicking here.