electronic posts

Pretty Lights

Thursday, March 5th, 2009 by Kyle

electronic // hip-hop // downbeat

Organic, soulful, electronified and good-feeling vibes, freely shared by Colorado producer Derek Vincent Smith. Nearly four hours of this Pretty Lights sound is available for free on his website. It’s a vivid collage of continuity, enriched with robust beats, eloquently laced vocal samples that range from nostalgic to serene, both compelling and entertaining, with a diverse selection of instruments all aimed towards enjoyment.

All about the good vibes.
Pretty Lights – Solamente
Pretty Lights – Maybe Tomorrow
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Una Mas Trio

Saturday, February 14th, 2009 by Julija

urban // equatorial

Una Mas Trio define their irresistible upbeat harmonies as boogaloo, a fusion of Cuban salsa rhythms and American soul. The project was born when a member of the Juju Orchestra teamed up with composer/producer Christian Schilgen. Together with the enigmatic poetess/singer Bajka they fused dancefloor-friendly jazz and contemporary beats. In “Clear As Water”, due to be released in March 10th, Una Mas Trio blend urban grooves, catchy up-tempo energy and world music traditions. Bajka’s tone and phrasing provides perfect vocal flavor to the track.

Modern grooves mixed with world rhythms.
Una Mas Trio – Clear As Water (Mo’Horizons Restyle)

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Fol Chen

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009 by Michelle

electropop // experimental

When asked to describe their sound, Highland Park’s Fol Chen said, “You know that mysterious black object that the creepy family is staring at on the cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Presence” album?” (Yes). “Fol Chen sound like that.” Cryptic descriptions aside, Fol Chen’s recently released Part I: John Shade, Your Fortune’s Made, is a dramatic debut. Their complex layers, which include strings, horns, multiple vocals and the requisite drum machine, are captivating. “Cable TV,” one of the standout tracks on the record, is a pounding, tongue-in-cheek dedication to cheap weekend escapes.

Cryptic, dark and danceable.
Fol Chen – Cable TV
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Monday, January 19th, 2009 by Kyle

hip-hop // experimental

Imagine a soundtrack for the picture accompanying this post. Diego Chavez invents spare time for graphic design when not producing music as Aether, his other alias Otic Angst, with A.M. Architect, or for the hip-hop group Lotus Tribe and rock band The Panic Division. The diversity woven into Artifacts is mesmerizing; fusing grit with vibrance and molding casual, assured flows of conscious tranquility while keeping a youthful essence. Exponential describes this as a lovingly sculpted expression of beauty, love, tragedy, hope, and everything that makes us human.

Human elements of abstract hip-hop.
Aether – Orfeu Negro
Aether – Makeshift Sanctuary
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The Juju Orchestra

Saturday, December 13th, 2008 by Julija

tango // bossa nova

The German-based producers and DJs of the Juju Orchestra make a mean cocktail of styles with great hooks and irresistible beats. As the trio blends live instruments and a variety of samples, “This Is Not A Tango” brings an uptempo Argentine dance interpretation evoking the smoky and passionate sound of Gotan Project. The softly funky Bossa groove of “Nâo Posso Demorar” reflects the influences of such music icons as Caetano Veloso and Stan Getz, while its easy going vibe makes it the perfect lounging tune. (Thanks, Philipp!)

Soulful tropical beats mixed with retro appeal.
The Juju Orchestra – This Is Not A Tango
The Juju Orchestra РN̢o Posso Demorar feat. Katia B (stream only)
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Obi Best

Monday, November 3rd, 2008 by Michelle

electropop // indie pop

Obi Best’s debut album, Capades, is a startling and addicting collection of refined pop songs. Whether it is the more orchestral ballads or synth-driven electropop that make up Capades; the record is equally dreamy, witty and infectious. Alex Lilly’s capricious lyrics are tempered by tight musical arrangements, resulting in a playful and most importantly, fun sound. Lilly’s sweet and pellucid vocals, backed by Bram Inscore (keys), John Wood (keys) and Barbara Gruska (drums), elevate the carefully composed and surprisingly complex songs of Obi Best.

Dreamy, whimsical electropop.
Obi Best – Nothing Can Come Between Us
Obi Best – Swedish Boy
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Tuesday, October 14th, 2008 by Julija

electro-jazz // electronica

Viennese chanteuse and songwriter Madita musical debut came as she lent her soulful vocals to dZihan and Kamien’s critically acclaimed album Gran Riserva back in 2002. Produced and co-written by Vlado dZihan, Madita’s second album Too (2008) offers richly textured electro-jazz. Madita’s standout track “Because” delivers a mixture of eccentric piano-tingled beats, spectacular vocals and the glitter glamour of Goldfrapp, while the seductive quality and retro lounge vibe of “Deep Down” brings to mind the playful elegance of Bitter:Sweet.

Disarming charm.
Madita – Because
Madita – Deep Down
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RF & Lili De La Mora

Thursday, October 9th, 2008 by Kyle

acoustic // dreamtempo

Ethereal beauty preciously sewn from misty morning drops of dew; each wee sound held secret inside. New life, new day – blessed spell of flowers’ bloom; so hush their reverent chanting. Friendly trees begin to whisper in serene approach of Sun’s affection. Soft wings flutter above why and through clouds of gathered wisdom – adoring gazes abound. The bumble of bees a mere murmur as nestled hearts awake to unfettered confessions in Earth’s exhale.

Keys to a secret garden.
RF and Lili De La Mora – Fences
RF and Lili De La Mora – Eleven Continents
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Track N Field

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008 by Paul Irish

lounge // exotic // downtempo // trip-hop

Some downtempo elicits a strong atmosphere: you’re with friends around a beachfire at 5am, you’re on a roofdeck swaying with the sunset, you’re lips-distance intimate. The stellar downtempo from the Finnish duo of Roberto Rodriguez and Jukka Kaartinen feels appropriate for all of these; it doesn’t serve a single setting. Wide arrangements full of mallet percussion, rich string bass, rhodes piano, balanced against a classy smattering of synths. These songs’ seductive quality completely snuck up on me.

A cinematic balance of strength and beauty.
Track N Field – Marathon
Track N Field – Nobody Waits

Attention my readers in Japan: My lady and I will be coming your way on October 3rd and I’d love to get your tips on what to do, visit, grab a drink, do karaoke, whatever! Holler at me with a comment here and I’ll follow up with you. :)
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Thursday, August 14th, 2008 by Kyle

electronica // swanky lounge

Oozing with provocative charm, Bitter:Sweet‘s music is a s’mores of sexy melodies and chocolate-covered lyrics – each bite more delicious and mocking an endless craving. Turntables seduce a harp; strings and drums beckon basslines; while Shana’s voice is smoldering and sly, always teasing and pleasing, gently kindling before it ignites. Their tantalizing tendencies explore your innermost desires by fashioning sound as comely exotic dancing fire that casually mellows then miraculously rages.

It’s no surprise they’ve highlighted numerous tv shows and movies since their debut, and seeing them live is a sensuous delight. Supported by a full band, they arouse shagadelic sincerities luring souls to dance with a touch of mystery emanating from their presence. Clearly, they’ve mastered their craft of making music that’s playful and seductive while translating this to a fantastic lounge experience.

Be sure to say hello afterward; they’re some of the nicest folks I’ve met. And get there early for a warm-up by DJ L.C. mixing the likes of Rod Stewart, Genesis, and The Doors over danceable hip-hop beats that would make the RZA smile. Outstanding. Here’s photos I took during their show at Revolution Hall last week, and two aurgasmic songs from their latest album, Drama.

Bitter:Sweet – The Bomb
Bitter:Sweet – Drama

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