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Natural Selection · · Dream of Falling

House that hits the depths of our nature

Odesza’s Above the Middle was my first love of theirs and even though it starts off rocky, as I originally pointed out, once the vocals kick in it’s the sound that inspired this list. Especially hearing it live at Outside Lands in 2015. Ever since hearing it first back in 2013, I’ve found a set of songs just as inspiring.

The whole thing reminds me of a dream I had at least 10 years ago. It’s probably the most vivid dream I’ve ever had. I a woke (in the dream) falling from the sky, but I wasn’t frightened of falling. More fascinated by how enormous the sky and ocean were around me. I remember there was a castle in the distance (yes, like the Disney one). It was like I was falling to get there. It’s also the most beautiful dream I can remember.

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starRo · · cooler than kinda cool

If you can't listen to him live, hear him here

Up until a few days ago, I knew starRo for his relaxing tunes, California & Seduction. I did like House Party when it came out, but the SoundCloud ad in front ruined it for me – and I annoyed the shit out of starRo about it.

Going through his entire SoundCloud catalogue and explore.fm, I see where he’s taking his sound and I love it, every which way. I don’t see many (hardly any) producers do as well with one sound as starRo has done with a few of his […]

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Next to You

The soul side of house music

Finding a name and cover art is the biggest pain in the ass putting these playlists together.

Our “Next to You” playlist is all sexy house beats, but naming it with some variation of Sex & House (ex: House Be Sexy) gets old fast. You do want those keywords for discoverability, but the name of a playlist is its second introduction, the artwork is its first. Both are important to catch the listeners eye initially.

I just fell in love with the Flamingosis track, Next to You. It may not have the same vibe as the rest of the list, but the name couldn’t match it more.

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M*A*S*H

The best in pop vs the best in pop

The popularity of mashups have been quickly dying off since 2012, mostly due to major label pressures on SoundCloud and other music services. I miss ’em, so I finally decided to put together a list of my most favorite ones.

I split mashups into two categories. The first takes samples from many pop songs all compiled into one. The first few on our playlist are good examples. The other is a vocal track mixed in with an instrumental. It might not have as many moving parts as the other, but I bet it’s just as difficult to make it sound right, if not more. Putting two sounds together and making them sound like one is hard for any producer, let alone one working with sounds people are so familiar with.

Judge for yourself, but it’s important to keep in mind that mashups are for fun and don’t always sound the most polished.

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Late Night Beats

Switch on from dusk till dawn

Late Night Jazz was going for new producers’ takes on jazz, but we got some criticism on if they were really jazz songs. I even questioned a few, but all had some form of jazz style in it.

I stretched the style a lot more this time around, so we decided on a word not as narrowly defined. Some beautiful guitar, sax and piano playing on these 20. This kind of music is not getting appreciated enough. Here’s mine.

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A Taste of Minneapolis

What's next for the Twin Cities music scene

I grew up listening to Prince mostly because of my pops, living in a suburb South of St. Paul, but didn’t appreciate the Minneapolis music scene until I got out of it and left for college out West.

There I started to appreciate hip-hop and R&B on a much more personal level, getting in much deeper with Prince & Atmosphere. When I studied abroad I got into other Minnesota acts: Solid Gold, GAYNGS and Mel Gibson & the Pants. Finally, in the Bay Area it was Polica, Tickle Torture, thestand4rd, and most recently, Morly. Well, kinda.

I stayed in Minneapolis for a few years after college and covered Theophilus London at The Loft in early 2012. There I heard one of the openers and I fell in love (with her voice). It belonged to Katy Morley, now Morly. I remember tracking Astronautalis and her down to see if they had any music released. She didn’t, but I remember her telling me something was in the works.

Four years later and I run into her music while researching a post on Minneapolis (this one). Her voice is even more touching and her piano playing stands out more.

It’s good to have such talent sprouting from the Twin Cities. Here’s a dozen or so and their songs.

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Rework the Soul

Remixing Amy Winehouse to Bill Withers

We’re starting to break our remix playlists into genres. Our first was relaxing hip hop remixes and now we’ve got soulful R&B, and some just soulful (we did have a tropical remix list in between).

The list of soul started off as general relaxing remixes, but it was pretty much all some sort of soul so we trimmed it down to that. Apparently I only like hip hop and soul now.

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Women Behind The Boards

for International Women's Day

I’ve never put out a playlist that I felt was incomplete, but trying to get at least an hours worth of female producers was the most difficult list I’ve ever compiled.

About four months back, I started to put together the playlist, but couldn’t get more than six or seven girls I wanted to feature. So like never before, I asked about a dozen friends in music who their favorite female producers were. Well, they had just as hard of a time.

I only managed to get twelve gals in the end, so I thought I’d open it up to a few friends and try to raise a little awareness of how female producers are really lacking. I’d say it’s the worse in any form of art, except directing film probably.

Here are eight lists consisting of over 80 female producers. If you come up with your own playlist, send it over and we’ll add it to the collection!

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Heartbroke

Our second anti-Valentine's Day celebration

We anti-Valentined last year with our Hip Hop + Heartbreak, thanks to the help of mimb, and this year we’re covering everything but (hip hop).

Most of heartbroke (as fuck) is some sort of soul music along the electronic scale, leaning heavy on electronic near the end.

If you’re in for a lonely Valentine’s this year, I hope this makes for a good background soundtrack.

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beats4play

For my Valentine

My dad bought a 2013 Corvette and wanted to get a custom license plate. The guy’s a real charmer, but he couldn’t convince the dmv agent to put ‘4play’ on his license plate.

I thought of beats4play when starting up our YouTube channel – I think Silence Nogood was taken – and I loved how it brought on a few more meanings than my dad’s original line.

Here’s a solid hour and some of music foreplay.

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