Always Never chaps SLDGHMR & Crywolf made their individual moves out to Los Angeles late last year; when you become roommates with a fellow musician, let alone one you share a label with, beautiful musical babies being created is a sort of inevitable result. If you’re a fan of Le Castle Vania’s electro-based label, of Crywolf’s emotive take on crashing progressions and knack for floaty female vocals, or of SLDGHMR’s powerful techno stabs then you’re gonna love their new collaborative effort.
Author Archives: Laura.
A couple of weeks ago I met up with Grenier at one of my favorite local spots Forage for a little food and friendly discussion. What I think both of us anticipated was a brief discussion about his upcoming projects, but what ended up happening was a close to hour long conversation about creativity and the state of music. I left feeling the opposite of disappointed… sure I was like 30 minutes late to my next thing but the topics we discussed was something I felt needed to be expressed. So instead of a carefully edited, introspective piece from me that took days to organize and edit down, below you’ll find an honest conversation between myself and a musician who’s very clearly spent a lot of time not only working with others but also thinking about how to work in new ways.
This all came about by the premiere of his stunning music video for “Intentions,” which came out on Symbols last year. You can watch the video below but I highly suggest clicking after the jump to read about Grenier’s multitude of new projects, including ones with Archie Pelago, Eprom & Hejfund, and The Glitch Mob. I’d love to see others’ opinions on the rest of this, perhaps open some insightful discussions.
B-B-B-B-Biiiiiixel! Seems like the LA duo have flames trailing behind their Nike shoes, with things heating up on the musical and show fronts. Having just announced their first North American tour, Bixel Boys look to be making strong appearances at places like SXSW and WMC, along with major clubs like Lure in Los Angeles and Cielo in New York.
The latest on the BB production front is their remix of Crystal Method’s ‘Over It’. Praised by many in the Bixel following to be their greatest production as of yet, the remix is definitely a high-spirited remix with a catchy melody… lots of posi #feels. Not over it. Oh ps free download because like I said before Bixel Boys knows bitches love a free download.
After a year long hiatus, it seems French producer/DJ Mustard Pimp is back. And not only is the hard-stepping musician making a return, he’s doing so with a new sound and a new mixtape with which to show it off. Having coined the term ‘neo-gabber’, Mustard Pimp has developed what is best described as an ode to 90′s 160 BPM gabber records – by flipping them on their heads and spinning them into 125 BPM techno gremlins.
Read our exclusive interview about his return to music after the jump, and as a bonus here’s a first look at his brand new mixtape Isometrix 2, which includes a brand new track entitled Kick Back somewhere inside. Where? Well you’ll just have to find out.
Wax Motif really just knows how to work with music. Whether it’s deep or energetic, mainstream or underground, seems like the native Australian has his ears to the ground with how to make things work. With two identities, one as the more mainstream Wax Motif, and the other as the deeply underground Playmode, it comes as no surprise that he’s been putting in some serious studio time. Most notably through the twittersphere we’ve seen that a lot of it has been with Destructo… and some rappers… so I can’t wait to see what officially comes from all that.
He just dropped his mega remix of the brand new Tinashe track, ’2 On’ with an amazing feature from Schoolboy Q. Totally club ready and indubitably made for girls and guys to get down to (or get really down to… hehe) I’m hoping this energetic fusion of club / R&B / house is a sign of things to come from Wax Motif.
Crywolf and Ianborg partner up for a second time to release a massive free download upon the world. After the viral success of “Oceans” in 2013, the duo have gotten back together to successful effect once more. Their new track ‘Stay’ is an eloquent and emotional track, slow but heavy on the bass and distortion. With heavy kicks tactfully strewn across the track and piano melodies throughout, the track is carried by the crisp male vocals which cry out about love and loss. Crywolf is notably good at making tracks that build, crash, and melt like waves, and this one is far from an exception.
You can download the track from the pair below, and keep an eye out for Crywolf’s second EP on Le Castle Vania’s Always Never label which comes out later this year.
On Tuesday Los Angeles based creative genius Jerome LOL released his Deleted/Fool EP on home label Friends of Friends. Having previously released an album on FoF as the now defunct LOL Boys, Jerome’s new EP is his first official solo release. I could throw words around about Jerome being a sort of avant-garde musical and visual curator, or how his aesthetic bleeds originality in its cheeky complexities and colorful simplicities – but that would be selling him short, and missing the point. My lack of ability to really envelop Jerome LOL as an entity is precisely his appeal. The off-kilter balance of this ‘tumblr-era x internet 1.0 x 90′s branding’ visual mish-mash with the delicateness and deeper meaning of Jerome LOLs musical endeavors is in my humble opinion so cleverly curated that I am just consistently in awe. Jerome’s filtering and curating of a dizzying amount of visual and audio influences from everywhere across the spectrum into a concise and branded look and sound is something I’ve always respected. His DJ sets are interesting and fun, his label Body High is a wonderful homage to LA and dance music origins while keeping releases and artists fresh and cool, and his music videos are insanely unique and some of my favorites:
The four-track EP begins with “Deleted,” starts with Jerome’s signature swinging drums, in true-to-form fashion created by an antiquated and distorted piece, the DJX-2. The claps and swing fade as Sara Z’s cool and sensitive vocals come in, with clear cut changes in the cord progressions between each verse carrying the mood. It’s these subtleties in the undertones that reveal the emotional complexities of the track – doubling computer jargon with the destruction of a relationship (“we’re offline, no course of action” “control, escape, command, delete, it’s all in our hands”). The track evolves and grows in almost pop-song format with repeated choruses and verses, a bridge and an outro, which shuts off all the drums just before Sara utters her last line- printing the track in your head.
“Always” continues with the cymbal-heavy, swinging drum patterns, this time lighter in feeling given the faster pattern & more effervescent vocals. The keys in the chorus are touching and warm, and the various inflexions of Sara’s voice on the word “Always” is captivating and soulful. The heavy distortion on the bassline and clanging drums on “Fool” flip the EP from pop-leanings to a much more club/warehouse mindset, until Angelina Lucero’s melancholy and poignant vocals rip you off your shuffling feet and onto the floor. But as the heavy bassline fades, a glockenspiel-sounding bridge comes in before Angelina’s chorus comes in, aided by incredibly pitched-up echoes of her voice carrying each line. The clanging drums and garage moodiness are met by the pitch shifts and “this instrument can never sound sad” use of the glockenspiel – it’s this touch of color in an otherwise entirely depressing track that is a common theme in Jerome’s work. The EP closes with “True”, another considerably moody song from Angelina Lucero’s teethy and slow vocals and sort of rain-down-your-windowpane piano chords that rain so heavily on the track it nearly drowns out her vocals until the very end.
Like with all artists that have developed their own signature patterns and sounds, I see the argument from both sides on Jerome’s heavy use of jazzy/swing drums and pop-oriented progressions: on one side it doesn’t have an grand sense of variety, but on the other it’s clearly a sound and vibe that nobody else is really doing. You can identify a Jerome LOL track from just a few seconds of listening, but because of that the tracks can be considered to start sounding the same. I’m personally more drawn to the ‘Deleted’ half of the EP, which to me is an example of the vibe of work I enjoy most from Jerome; the ‘Fool’ half dives much deeper into a darker side of his music which I simply do not grasp as well – I think that’s a side he’s still sonically developing. But I do have to give props to Jerome for really nailing the structure of his tracks.
Laura D and Three Wise team up yet again to bring this weeks top picks for the Dirt! Check out some chill vibes from Patchrik, King Thing, Marvin Gaye and Duncan Murray a lil bit of hip-hop from Childish Gambino, Nosaj Thing x Chance The Rapper and uplifting deep cuts from Kill Them With Colour, Kenny Gray and Autograf.
Symbols artists ATLAS are back with their second official release on Symbols, appropriately titled the “Sophomore Sessions EP.” The atmospheres provided by Atlas are always warm and beautiful, like the soft feeling of spring sun on your skin. Opening with Ashycan, a sweeping tune with an off-kilter drum beat – Atlas sets the mood for the EP but surprises the listener with very different drums and structural patterns on each track. The drums on Monday Beats orient themselves in a more garage direction, and the essence of the earliest moments of a Monday are captured wonderfully, caressed with softness & the ambience of your mind before stress and alertness sets in. California is dripping, aided heavily by the lightest touch of keys, a heavy sprinkle of blips and bloops, and the lovely vocals of Emily Harris. The final track, Glow, drifts the EP off perfectly, with a simple 4/4 pattern and soft melodies.
Overall it’s an EP that’s hard to be mad at, a meditative and tender delve into the softer end of garage and house. I’ve always appreciated Symbols for their ambiance and close connection with the sensual and exciting feelings aroused by oxytocin and seratonin in the brain, and the Sophomore Sessions EP is very true to form for the label.
The music video for “California” off the new EP was released on Atlas’ YouTube yesterday. It’s a beautifully colored and lighthearted video chock full of carefree or internal-thought behaviors, skating, taking in the environment, walking along the beach. Lots of rain & puddles which with this drought is a rarity here in California but a beautiful touch nonetheless. Kinda want to head to Venice Beach and vibe out now….
One of the first tracks I discovered from Le Castle Vania was his exceptional remix of Walter Meego’s ‘Through A Keyhole,’ and ever since then I’ve always respected his skill at really flipping tracks into energetic remixes. I didn’t really vibe the original track from Meego but best believe the Le Castle Vania remix had me singing (and dancing) to a different tune, metaphorically and literally.
Well it’s 2014 and Le Castle Vania’s been having some fun downtime in the studio re-working some of his older remixes. My guess is there’s some other updated remixes in his arsenal (let’s hope one of them is ‘Rave Is King’ cuz that was a frigging T U N E) but obviously the first one to drop is his fresh new look at the ‘Through A Keyhole’ remix. Although the general feel of the remix remains the same, the slight adjustment to the chord progressions and melodies and CLEAR tightening of the mixing make all the difference. Like buying a great outfit and getting it properly tailored. Plus he’s giving it up for download so really it’s just a no brainer here.
Stay tuned for likely more re-works for Le Castle Vania, the remixes to his Prophication EP drop soon on mau5trap too.