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Currently Browsing: Soul

Beats by Day

Influenced by Dre & Trent Reznor, but not their music

Beats Music, previously MOG, now Apple Music, played a huge role in getting us switched from posting singles to primarily playlists. Trent Reznor, head of creative at the time, created a video introducing Beats Music and its promise to find the best song to come next.

I’m still not sure if Beats ever fulfilled that promise, or if Apple does now, but I’ve been trying to do it for myself ever since. And hopefully (sometimes) for you too.

This one if you’re into jazzy, hip hop beats more uplifting than our Late Night Beats & Late Night Jazz.

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Robots Can’t Dance

How to Cope with Madness

It’s been a mess this last week. When the bombshell of an election result dropped, I landed on one of Robots Can’t Dance’s songs and rolled through the rest of his music. It helped.

Here are 10 of his best (my favorites). Let it get you through any madness you’re going through.

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Sex is Mmm

Don't say it fast, three times

So the title. I was listening to some standup on SoundCloud talking about how sexism sounds too close to “sex is mmm,” and how confusing that can be. May not sound that funny, I know, but like a singer that can make cheesy lyrics sound good, so can a comic. Unfortunately I can’t find the bit again. If you have any idea of what I’m talking about, let me know.

And that’s how I come up with these important, but clearly not that thought out titles. Musicians learn from my failues, the package [artist – title, album art] is everything when it comes to introducing your song.

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I love Tom Misch

I've got to see him live

Tom Misch will be playing his first show in San Francisco, November 11 at the Rickshaw Stop. I sure as hell will be there, even though I have no ticket and it’s sold out. Help me.

I love Misch so much for his guitar playing, producing, singing and podcast Are We Live, co-hosted with Jordan Rakei, Barney Artist and Alfa Mist. I’ve listened to every damn episode.

In one of the episodes, Misch talks about how he’s more known now for his singing than anything else. He’s a good singer, but how he plays guitar and puts a song together is far more amazing to me. I do understand why people attach him to his voice though.

Our voice is the most human sound in music. It’s got greater dexterity than any instrument and we connect to it more than any other sound. It’s often what completes a song to me. The beat has a much harder time resonating deep without it.

And when you’ve got a good one, people will be drawn to it. Even if your guitarin’ is just as good (better).

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Lip Service

The best guys singing soul, because Frank

A few days ago I had the bright idea of making this list to hold us over until Frank Ocean dropped his album. That day it did.

The reason I love Frank so much, and why I’m overshadowing all these other artists for him, is because there’s a difference between him and them, for me. All of these singers have at least one good song, but it’s the song, not their singing, that I love. With Frank it’s different. I just love hearing his voice. On anything. Few other singers do that for me.

Not to discredit any of these artists. All of them have that potential, especially Breezy Lovejoy. Now known as Anderson .Paak. It took me two years to come out with another list of favorite male singers. Still got a lot of catching up to do compared to my favorite females.

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Flamingosis · Old Soul Brought Back

The hardest thing was to cut the good stuff

My first recollection of Flamingosis is not a good one. For me his name is tied to the reshare scheme [trading reshares] I saw a bunch of decent, and better, producers doing on SoundCloud sometime back, even if I’m not 100% he was doing exaxtly that.

Recently I caught his song Next To You and gradually fell in love. I love how he plays with the vocals on it. It always feels like a surprise.

So naturally I went through all of his SoundCloud and found plenty more music to speak about. His music is like that Late Night vibe I love, but with good old soul singers on top.

In the over 100 tracks I listened to, the hardest thing to do was to cut some of the good ones. That’s always the hardest thing to do in making a mix. Cut the fat, as good as it is.

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An OTHERtone Tribute to Prince

Minneapolis is in mourning all over the world

Prince won’t be known for how good of a sound he created, but how many different styles he did it in. I see so many of his predecessors show a glimpse of his depth, only to keep sticking on the same track. It’s hard to get one sound down in this life, let alone two (don’t even get me started on three), but fuck the fans and go off on your own. It’s all yours until you make it theirs.

Here’s a good glimpse at Prince’s legacy from one of my favorite shows in music, Pharrell & Scott Vener’s OTHERtone on Beats1. — We’ll have a list up tomorrow of today’s Minneapolis sound —

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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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SO:DF · I Do Love You (It’s Alright)

Changes key more times than we change our undies

I Do Love You (It’s Alright) reminds me of Forest Gump. It’s like three movies in one. Going from trap to soul to disco, SO:DF changes up the key more times in one song than techno has in its 30 years plus.

I gotta figure out who they sampled on here, specifically in the disco interlude. 2:37 hits on all sorts of sexy.

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Zhu · Automatic

featuring AlunaGeorge

I sent a friend Zhu’s Automatic yesterday. She seemed to like it.

Lauren on Zhu

I sent a friend Zhu’s Automatic yesterday. She seemed to like it.

Lauren on Zhu

It didn’t show the artist & title though, so she wanted to know who it was, but I thought why not keep it a mystery. That’s what Zhu would do. Hopefully she reads this post and gets her answer.

Automatic is the start to Zhu’s next project, Genesis Series. It’s just as mysterious as his first, but that whole no-persona persona seems like a gimmick compared to the sounds he’s creating. Automatic is a small progression from his earlier work, but it’s still a hit meant for mainstream. Or ideally for mass consumption. Just not as redefining as his first EP, Nightday.

The string work at the start and the deep toned piano three verses in were definitely a step up in sound. He makes sounds out of instruments with clarity I’ve never heard before. The high hat trap at the end was a nice touch, along with the sax solo, but that could have been hinted at towards the beginning. Would have tied it all together better.

AlunaGeorge’s vocals fit into Zhu’s sound almost better than Zhu himself, but his ghostly vocals make for a good backdrop. Wonder what other collaborations are in store for Zhu’s Genesis Series. I’m sure it’ll be top talent.

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