One of Scandinavia’s most intriguing exports at the moment comes by way of Copenhagen — the experimental pop artist known as Kill J. The songstress, aka Julie Aagard composes her music, plays the piano and does much of her own production which is probably what makes her such a unique entity. Although the artist has been on the scene for a few years, she’s had a good buzz surrounding her in 2015, and released her debut EP Quasi last month. Listen to the accompanying single to the EP “Coda” to hear her signature tremolo and striking, eclectic sound, which as stated in a press release “morphs effortlessly between drone-like beats, Bollywood-inspired refrains and bubblegum sweetness.” Her other hit track, “You’re Good But I’m Better” also has a great remix by LA producer Sad Money so scope it out below.
All hail Queen RiRi. We were big fans of her No. 1 hit “Work” and collab with Drake, so we’ve got a special treat for you today. Although we personally feel the official remixes of the single let us down by not capturing the energy of the original, there’s no denying that the addictive track has spurred a profusion of creativity — so today we’re rounding up the most innovative of the “re-works” in this exclusive edition of
Remix RiRi Roundup.
First up is a bootleg by DJDS (formerly known as DJ Dodger Stadium), the LA duo comprised of Jerome LOL and Samo Sound Boy who recently lent their production chops to Kanye‘s The Life of Pablo. The mix flips the original by replacing the dancehall rhythm with aerial piano lines and deep house production. The only thing missing in this rendition is Drizzy, but it’s still an inspired reinterpretation that you can pick up for free on Soundcloud.
Another unauthorized remix comes by way of Rihanna collaborators, R. City or Rock City. The Caribbean-born brothers Theron and Timothy Thomas stay closer to the original on their revision, leaving the island influences intact but adding their own verses to the beginning. We dig the lyrical addition on this cut — which is also available for free download.
Last but not least, future-funk artist Brayton Bowman serves up an immaculate mashup of Rihanna and *NSYNC with “It’s Gonna Be RIH.” I mean, does it get any better? Produced by MNEK, the result is what would happen if NSYNC and Rihanna were to have a love child. Brayton Bowman, you win.
Today we’ve got a supersized edition of Remix Roundup — a segment in which we bring you the latest and greatest mixes and electro jams on the market. To begin we have Australian artist Pikachunes‘ rework of Alpine‘s “Crunches” from their prized 2015 LP Yuck. On this extended official remix, Pikachunes reconstructs the sonic soundscape and injects some intricate textures, adding some serious dimension to the original.
It should come as no surprise that we’re digging Classixx‘s cover of Natalie Prass’ “Bird Of Prey,” one of our favorite tracks of 2015. Joe Keefe lent his vocals to the track, who joins the ranks of Ryan Adams (under the sobriquet Natalie Sass) doing a male rendition of the nu classic.
It was also somewhat of a happy accident (haha) that we came across this Happy Accidents revision of Alison Wonderland‘s hit song “Run.” The bicoastal producers did a nice job infusing their signature nu-disco sounds and driving synths into the original. Pick up a free download of this one on Soundcloud.
Autograf captured our attention with their exquisite rendition of Stevie Wonder‘s “Superstition,” and just yesterday they dropped the new EP Future Soup. The lead single “Heartbeat” below features a soulful vocal sample from what sounds like an old song that we failed to uncover. In any case, check it out below and if you have any idea as to the original sample help us out in the comments below.
With only three tracks to their name, NYC indie dance duo SOFI TUKKER has already set the blogosphere ablaze with their bossa nova and house inspired sounds. Leading up to the release of their forthcoming EP Soft Animals, this week they dropped latest effort and EP opener “Hey Lion.”
Formed by Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern in 2014, SOFI TUKKER has established their aural presence in the animal kingdom through their entrancing South American and Afrobeat rhythms — sort of a cross between Francis Bebey, Glass Animals and Jungle sonically, but with female vocals. According to singer Hawley-Weld, “‘Hey Lion’ is like the opening chant to Soft Animals. We want to welcome people into our version of this animal-world, where strength is soft and nobody is boss.”
Stay tuned for their EP, and check out their showcases at SXSW if you’re so lucky as to be going. Stream “Hey Lion” along with a rad ADDAL remix of previous dizzying hit and Portuguese-sung track “Drinkee.”
Semi last-minute edition of Remix Roundup this weekend, because why not. Empress Of produced one of our favorite records this past year, and now her tourmate, ABRA the darkwave duchess has reworked her single “Standard.” While the original is excellent in its own right, ABRA’s edit adds a frenetic, skittering element with a characteristic dark-pop edge that fans of Empress Of are sure to appreciate.
Next is the recent RAC remix of Minneapolis’ trio ON AND ON‘s early 2015 track “Drifting.” Elevated by RAC’s graceful electronic beats, André Anjos twists the track into a fuller, more dynamic recast using the original acoustic-leaning cut as a framework. Notable is Nate Eiesland’s vocals, which even when while yowling “I gotta get out” during the chorus still sound exquisite.
And last but not least is a reinterpretation of a song by newcomer Delaire from purveyors of dreamy electronic music, Delorean. As usual, the Spanish quartet made an outstanding choice by borrowing the beautiful debut track, “Belief” from the UK chanteuse and bringing it into the limelight with their stunning, diffuse and synth-injected rendition.
It’s been some time since we posted a Remix Roundup, a segment in which we bring you the latest and greatest mixes on the webs. We got inspired though when we heard this new one from Shy Girls and had to share. The Portland producer has taken the lo-fi track “One Too Far” from NYC duo Jack + Eliza and suffused it with his own brand of bright electronics and synth-based instrumentals. Shy Girls’ rendition illuminates the harmonies of the original, and the finished product is a gorgeous demonstration of a rework done right.
Next is an edit of our favorite Australian crooner (none other than Chet Faker) by a St. Petersburg-based band called D-Pulse. “Bend” was a previously unreleased track from Faker, recorded during sessions for his 2014 debut LP Built on Glass. While the original has a definite minimalist reverb-immersed feel, D-Pulse fleshes out the dramatic elements of the cut with their slinky and top-notch production. It’s a stunning, magnetic mix and you can get it for free on Soundcloud.
This past September, Youth Lagoon released his third studio album, Savage Hills Ballroom — an effort he’s touted as his most introspective yet. YL, the project of Idaho-born artist Trevor Powers is well known for his boundless creativity and idiosyncratic sound, but the LP’s lead single “The Knower” indeed appears to indicate some kind of evolution from Powers, having recently dealt with loss of a loved one and other major life changes.
The threnody definitely has a dark thread, as Powers reflects on the human capacity for self-deception and self-destructive behaviors: “Oh, everybody wants to think that they’re good at heart, when they’re full of hate,” he sings. The arrangement starts out as with muted keys and skittering percussion, eventually introducing illustrious trumpets, a triumphant horn section and a bevy of synths for a majestic sort of effect. Watch the fiery video for “The Knower” — and for a slightly different mood hear Noah Hyde‘s enchanted remix of YL’s earlier effort “Daydream” below.
I’ve been underneath the canopy, lost in a spell
I shut up every time you look at me, but you can’t tell
In skin, the psyche has a tendency to trust what’s untrue
I’ve been underneath the canopy, wasting for you
This coming Saturday, October 10 marks the District’s second annual Fall Classic hosted by All Things Go and they’ve got one fine lineup. Thus in lieu of our usual weekend Remix Roundup, we thought to do a preview of some of the notable artists that will be playing at the all-day festival at Union Market. The inaugural festival brought together the talents of Future Islands, Haerts, Tove Lo, and Young Summer and this year ATG has assembled another electric lineup with eminent producer Kygo headlining.
Listen to a remix from the Norwegian producer, along with some cuts from featured artists Chelsea Lankes, Penguin Prison, The Knocks, and Vampire Weekend‘s Baio below. Additional talents you’ll find at the fest are Powers, Tigertown, and DC’s own The Walking Sticks. The fest will also curate some of the city’s top culinary talents so round up your friends and get your tickets today, as they’ll go up 25% in price the day of the show.
A lot of end-of-summer remixes have surfaced as of late, which means it’s time for another Remix Roundup. To start, we wanted to share the Star Slinger rendition of swim good‘s “Since U Asked.” The original was a nostalgic gem of a track, and the UK producer takes it to the next level with his stellar upbeat spin. While leaving Merival‘s vocals at the forefront, Star Slinger shakes up the tempo and brings out the beat, ensuring the danceability factor. Stream below.
Next is the new mix of filous‘ first original track, “How Hard I Try” by prolific Portland producer RAC. The original track, by rising Austrian artist and music prodigy filous (the french word for “Rascal”) features vocals from James Hershey and has an inherently tropical tone. RAC takes it in a different direction with a more muted approach to the synths and haunting echoey instrumentation, which is apt given the subject matter.
In related news, RAC is actually going on tour with filous, Big Data and Pink Feathers this fall so be sure to check out their tour dates. For those in the District, they’ll be at DC’s 9:30 Club November 10 so get your tickets now!
Last but not least, we’re loving the fresh Four Tet take on the new CHVRCHES single “Leave A Trace.” CHVRCHES — everyone’s favorite Scottish synthpop outfit — caused a stir on the internet with the announcement of their sophomore album, Every Open Eye, due out September 25 on Glassnote Records. The English electronic artist strips down the poppiness of the original and instead supplies an underlying tension, building the track around the hook: “I know I need to feel relief.” It’s a masterful case of the production mimicking the message of the song, as only Four Tet is capable. Listen below.
It’s the dead of summer, and we’ve got another Remix Roundup for you to help keep you cool. This time we’re throwing down with some modern twists on old classics. First up is a mix of Marvin Gaye‘s “How Sweet It Is” by rising star and local DC producer, Eau Claire. Adding a tropical overlay and healthy helping of nu-disco to the original, this one has “feel-good” written all over it.
Eau Claire will be spinning at the BangOn!NYC Elements Music & Arts Festival August 22 in Brooklyn with the likes of XXYYXX, Amtrac and Autograf. Be sure to keep up with her on the interwebs as she plays a lot of local shows as well.
In keeping with the summery Marvin Gaye vibes, enjoy this edit of “Sunny” by Danish producer Notize. When the beat drops about 30 seconds in you can’t help but get into this golden groove.
And finally, shifting ahead a couple decades later we have Tracy Chapman‘s classic 1988 hit “Fast Car,” remixed by the Dutch producer known as Bauke Top. Upbeat and appropriately true to the original vocal line, Bauke Top allows you to enjoy this tune all over again with his contemporary rendition.
All three of these tracks are available for a free download, so visit the artists’ respective Soundcloud pages to snag ’em for your summer playlists.