Jai Paul – Crush

Image

A good cover can be hard to pull off, always tight-roping the smarmy/douchebag border. Rap songs into acoustic guitar. Backstreet Boys song → acoustic guitar. Most of them follow this pattern. There are a lot of covers out there, but type in ukelele cover in Youtube and prepare to take a hand full of SSRIs. Jai Paul avoids the tongue-in-cheek, self-aware, wink wink nod nod, and instead takes the 90’s track “Crush”–by one hit wonder, Jennifer Paige — and makes this version as much his, as her’s (or whatever fat white guy wrote it for her).

Paul’s hush tone voice is pushed back and forth, overlapping with the distended bassline, then being smothered under it like a pillow over an inmate’s face. Paige makes “Crush” sound flirty, with her enunciated presence clear and upfront, whereas Paul has salt on his tongue, fighting to be picked out from all the percussive layers. Paul’s trick is not switching genre, slowing the tempo, turning it into a dance track, but instead adding and adding until the song is a gorged monster, lying docile enough to see, slipped into an idle food coma.

Cashmere Cat – With Me

cashmere-cat-with-me-firstup.se

Hello! and welcome the year 2014! We are almost 2 weeks into the new year and so far It’s pretty similar to 2013 so far except for probably a bit colder. I’m sure you’ve already broken your New Year’s resolution but that’s okay, so has everybody else. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my short time of existing it’s to always keep your resolutions within the realm of reason. That’s why in 2014 I pledge to listen to good music, eat, and sleep more (probably). Time permitting, I also hope to write a bit more but we will see as the first three will probably take the lion’s share of my time.

My newest obsession in 2014 is the Norwegian electronic producer Cashmere Cat. His latest single ‘With Me’ came out a month ago and I’ve been listening to it on repeat for the last week. I’d like to compare it to Dubstep but I feel like that would cheapen it; mostly because there is only one bass’centric’ breakdown, and the rest are synth.  however I think there are some stylistic similarities. The largest being the balance between grainy lo-fi breaks and the sweeter melody.

What really endears me to this song is the timing. Cashmere Cat is loose and playful with it. At first it might seem like everything is just a bit ‘off,’ but I think the reality is a purposeful experimentation. I think the most obvious and best example of this is right off the bat when he drops the very first crunchy synth riff. When listening closely you can hear the bells start to lag behind. 99% I think that this would come off as a rookie mistake. Cashmere Cat somehow makes it work and makes it work well.

If you want more from this artist be sure to check out his last EP Mirror Maru as well as his guest set on Diplo & Friends BBCR1.

Cashmere Cat – With Me

Cashmere Cat – Mirror Maru EP

Cashmere Cat – Diplo and Friends BBCR1

Majical Cloudz – Impersonator

Majical-Cloudz-Impersonator1

The world goes in cycles, whether it’s bikes, washing machines, decomposition, or water traveling through the atmosphere/topsoil/aquifer/tap, as everything can be traced to have derived somewhere else–if anything can truly derive from one point inside a cycle. Music is no exception. It is a cycle: Influences, Verse/Chorus/Verse/Chorus. Majical Cloudz is fueled by this.

“Turns Turns Turns” is one of the most haunting, genuine songs to come out of 2013. The truncated keys set into Chugging drumbeats and swirls Welsh’s voice into a nihilistic smoke. How inevitable life can be we think. But how calming would it be to be at peace the fatal.

Impersonator is an album of  hymnal song writing with a touch of the future and how from now until that future, we’ll all essentially stay the same. Devon Welsh’s voice is both this chanting warmth and human element to the almost-organic synths of Matthew Otto. These two bring death to the forefront with the voice of someone who’s not so sure there is any divide between living and dying. If anyone will notice in the end. If there is an end.

It would have been easy for the lyrics “Our Fate, it is sealed/At birth we made a deal” (“Childhood’s End”) to come across like the comic book interpretation of a Hot Topic employee, but delivering these lines is less a performance from Welsh, and more like walking in on him as Syri transcribes his pacing diary entries.

The album ends with “Bugs Don’t Buzz”: a reminder that everything dies  “when their time approaches,”  but an end is a means to another beginning. Then “Notebook” closes with Welsh accepting that truth; that even though  “…sooner or later you’ll be dead/I want you to know I got respect”.

Team Supreme Volume #60 [Free Download]

artworks-000049732906-6m778f-t500x500

This last month or two I’ve been on a Team Supreme binge. There weekly mixes are timed perfectly so that once I start getting tired of last weeks mix they drop another one. Also there’s about 30 weeks of backlogged mixes I’ve been sifting through. I’ve also self proclaimed myself Midwest’s Official Unofficial Team Supreme  Spokesperson. That being said, if your not down with the Team Supreme than you’re fucking up. For real though, check out week 60 here.

Team Supreme Vol. 60 – Free Download

 

Djemba Djemba – Oh Ok Yeah That’s Cool

djemba

It’s been a little bit since I posted and I’m going to blame it on the weather. If anyone has been to Milwaukee in the Winter then you know that things tend to slow down. Everybody hunkers down and goes into a  winter induced coma. So it’s geography’s fault not mine. But it’s a balmy 30 degrees out today and it seems like spring is beginning to break.

One artist that I found while sleeping away my Saturdays was LA producer Djemba Djemba. His new EP is coming off of Diplo’s MAD Decent label so it’s already got that going for it. The “Trap” genre seems to be blowing up right now. While Djemba Djemba is definitely a trap artist, but he’s got a very different take on it. It probably helps that he samples one of my favorite SNES video games in one of his mixes. Regardless, it would definitely be worthwhile to check out his EP, and a mix or two if you like what you hear.

Djemba Djemba – Oh Ok Yeah That’s Cool

Djemba Djemba – I Just Go

Djemba Djemba – Summer Fantasies Mixtape [Free Download] link

 

Torro Torro – Fall Mix ’12 [Free Download]

Torro Torro

 

What’s up ya’ll. It’s been a bit slow this month as far as posting comes along, but hopefully after the holidays things will get more consistent.

Any ways, I’m just dropping off a little holiday cheer in the form of some brain boiling moombahton. I’ve been going on a total moombahton binge these last couple weeks, which has probably been making my roomates/neighbors contemplate suicide more than once. The main culprit for all this would be the Canadian Producer Torro Torro. This guys makes some top notch stuff and has been edging onto the electronic music scene recently. If you’ve got a bit of time you you’ll want give a listen to his latest Fall 2012 mix, but if you’re a bit strapped for time then check out his mini-mix from the Kissy Sell Out Show on BBC Radio 1xtra from a year ago. I’m fucking in love with this guy so I’d highly recommend you give him the at least the 10 minutes of ear time.

Torro Torro – Fall Mix ’12 [Free Download]

Torro Torro – Kissy Sell Out Show Mini-Mix

Kill The Noise – My World (Torro Torro Remix)

Klassik – In The Making

3491731617-1“Wisconsin sucks.”

“There is nothing in Milwaukee.”

“This state is so boring”

Whether you agree with these statements or not, when someone brings it up you should roll your eyes. Beyond Da’ Packers or cheese or that big body of water on our east coast, the number of exciting things that have come from this state would surprise most. Frank Lloyd Wright spent much time in his early years in Madison; Chris Farley was born in Madtown, too; the Violent Femmes grew up in Milwaukee; and the newest reason Wisconsin has got something to be interested in is MKE’s own Klassik.

In the Making, Klassik’s first full length album, is a sonic boom of turtle waxed production value (done by Klassik himself), and hip-hop with lyrical complexity. The album starts off with “Grand Scheme of Things”, an intro bursting with plucked strings, pianos, and theremin syth-pitch bending, setting a spacy mood while sending across the message that Klassik is going to blend his own melange of old organic sounds and the new some cosmonaut-altitude hip hop. It’s so hard not to perk up at lyrics like “Getting rid of all negative dispositions/ that’s the attitude that got me here in this position” as it seemingly floats in front of all those past and present instrumentals. And the music runs from jazz lounge keys (“All day”), to cymbals that crash like lit TNT in front of a pixelated harp (“Enemy/Inner Me”), to the Morse code bumping trunk-thumper “MoonRock.”

Lyrics too, beside his skill of word play like “No time for all that jazz/ have you ever seen a girl with all that aspirin?”  on “Ur Next Move”, is quick and infectious while having a deeper level of consciousness and skill. Listeners will find themselves humming the chorus from “Escape”, or finding themselves walking to class singing  “Whatcha doing Klassik?/ Coolin’ out now” from “Oh Yeah…Ntro” ad nauseum.

So, looking for Wisconsin pride? No worries, it’s all here, and with talent and flow that will only grow better with time, In the Making is bound to be a Klassik.

Mark Foster, Kimbra, A-trak – Warrior (What So Not Remix) [Free Download]

Remixes don’t get much funkier than this. What So Not is a duo out of Sydney Australia (Down Undah! Shrimp on the Bahbie! Fostahs!) and they’ve been dropping some funky as fuck remixes. I first heard of them back when they released their remix of Major Lazer’s ‘Get Free.’ I may have posted about it before but I’m posting it again because seriously, it’s just that sick. Any ways, you can keep up with these guys via their soundcloud. I recommend you do because these guys are dropping some of my favorite remixes of late.

Mark Foster, Kimbra, A-trak – Warrior (What So Not Remix) [Free Download]

Major Lazer feat. Amber – Get Free  (What So Not Remix) [Free Download]

What So Not – Live DJ Sets / Mixtapes

How to Destroy Angels – “Keep it Together”

Trent Reznor has always been a major influence on industrial music, rock, etcetera. he got off heroin in the early 2000s (don’t do drugs), got married, had a child, won an Oscar and dumped his long standing 20 year-old band Nine Inch Nails.

How to Destroy Angels has a mixed history of quality. Some of the tracks from their self titled EP were excellent, but ultimately came across as a promising early meddling of a young collaboration–maybe a byproduct of the internet’s ability of instant release– but “Keep it Together” is the hardest, most quiet, black tar brooding that the band has done yet. Mariqueen Maandig–Trent’s wife and lead singer of HTDA–raw whispers through the track, and sends goosebumps up any soul-having mortal’s arms with lines like, “I am disassembling/I could disappear” in front industrial strength guitar distortion, and leaky drum machines. Three minutes in, Trent joins the vocals to form a duet suited for a 3rd shift factory line. The song builds and builds but never pops, just to see if you’ll come back for more.

Paper Diamond – Night Vision Tour Mix 2012 [Free Download]

Recently Paper Diamond dropped his new EP ‘Wavesight’ off of Diplo’s Mad Decent  label. For some reason this EP managed to escape my attention until he played his show last Thursday at the Turner Hall Ballroom. I honestly heard songs for the first time, which generally never happens cause usually I’m on top of my shit.  Especially when that shit is somebody like Paper Diamond and especially when that shit is the hot fire that is his ‘Wavesight’ EP. Also you can check out his Night Vision Tour 2012 Mixtape and download it for free from his soundcloud.

I was also lucky enough to get to talk with Paper Diamond after his show on Thursday. You can check out the interview over at Crowdnoize MKE.

Paper Diamond – Night Vision Tour Mix 2012 [Free Download]

Paper Diamond – Wavesight EP

Paper Diamond – Night Vision Tour 2012 – LED / Video Rig Debut