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Jess Burgess · Rivers and Roads

A cover of The Head and The Heart original

I don’t know if Jess Burgess will end up as the type of music we cover on Silence, but get this girl the right producer and she’s got just as much potential as anyone on here… well, she already does but more so! At first her ‘Rivers and Roads’ cover sounded like any aspiring singer, but when she hit those highs it hit the heart (then the head).

That said, there’s plenty of sweep throughs this needs in production and mastering before anything goes legit. Particularly the ending sounds out of sync and just plain off. I’m not one to promote unfinished work, in fact that’s usually why I don’t, but Ms Burgess is in need of notice with some producers whom I know roam around here. Vocals like these are not easy to find, especially with the bombardment of producers we’re getting today, and Jess deserves her paid dues.

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Bluford Duck · Shoulder to Cry On

Another Brandy remix with vocals pitched to the low end

Loving these house producers like Bluford Duck doin something deep on 90’s pop sensations like Brandy. So far we’ve had Whitney, Janet and now our second Brandy (first), plus I’m sure there are a few others lying around.

Same old song & dance on this ‘I Wanna Be Down’ remix, vocals pitched to unrecognizable levels with deep house sounds on the back end. Wonder how much longer I’ll be on this pitched vocals fad, love what direction it’s turning.

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Broken Bells · Holding On For Life

"What a lovely day to be lonely." -- he says it so sweet

Finally more Broken Bells. The duo put out one of our favorite albums of 2010, back when we actually featured albums, and we’ve been wondering ever since if they’d come out with another.

Just a week or so back, Broken Bells teased us with a short (below) and now finally we get our first single. ‘Holding On For Life’ is a ghostly tune with Bee Gee like backups, but everything else is all Broken Bells signature. That familiar guitar strum, Mercer’s hauntingly good looking vocals, all with a slight build to keep it uplifting til the end.

Can’t wait to listen to the full album. I’m sure it’ll be good for many go arounds.

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Ben Pearce · What I Might Do

Another of Pete Tong's essentials

I’m not usually one to put out tracks with anything other than the music on it, but a Pete Tong essential is always a special case. For the last few years quite a few of my favorite musicians have been featured on Tong’s show. And never have I ever seen such a prominent music influence like him promote such acts so far away from the mainstream scene. Tong is just as relevant as he was back in the late 80’s at the crack of dawn in house music. I actually just caught him on the Pump Up the Volume documentary // Educate yourself!

In this not so recent Pete Tong essential, Ben Pearce is introduced with his ‘What I Might Do’ track just over a year ago. It may be dated when it comes to houses’ rapid growth, but it is just as relevant as any house on the market today. Still lovin’ those deep chords in house right now.

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Jonas Rathsman · Feel What I Feel

A soulful Swede joins my favorite disco label

I get the pleasure of seeing Mr. Rathsman tonight at Mighty in San Francisco along with the rest of the French Express label. The label houses some of my favorite funk & disco acts, including my very favorite, the headliner Moon Boots. I’ve been all over Moon Boots for a few years now, but this is my first taste of Rathsman with his ‘Feel What I Feel’ track. I’m sure I’ll be feeling whatever they put on tonight.

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Grifta · The Lost

More downtempo'd brass for your ears

I think I’m starting to get the hang of this whole brass classification thing, alright maybe not fully yet. I know this isn’t the sax at least, or at least I’m pretty sure. I should have been a musician so I could have properly learned this musician mumbo jumbo, now I’m just in it purely for the sound.

Grifta’s ‘The Lost’ has got all the emotion I see with any brass infused track with a downtempo Nujabes like find. It’s still puzzling to me how much emotion brass instruments have over all others to me, something only vocals supersede. Can’t wait for Grifta’s next gift.

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The Space Captain · Easier (feat. Maralisa)

with trumpets so smooth I thought it was sax

I can feel jazz creepin up on the electro scene this coming year. I thought it was going to be rap, but a lot more jazz brass has been popping up. And if I have to wait any longer for hip hop’s revival, I don’t mind so much if it’s with jazz.

Space Captain’s ‘Easier’ features vocals by Maralisa and I don’t know who compliments whom better. Space Captain puts on a fine jazzy beat, but these vocals really capture the feeling. I guess what will tell is who can reinterpret their own sound and make it something more beautiful next time. Could happen together again, but it’s much harder the second time.

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Beyond Wonderland 2013

A trip without tripping, that's the plan.

Last year I heard Insomniac was taking its Wonderland festival and bringing it to The Bay. The thing I remember most when looking into Beyond was that Insomniac was trying to create a festival so visually & audibly stimulating there was no need to rely on ecstasy or LSD. As you can imagine, I was pretty eager to find out how well they pulled it off both personally as well as for other attendees. And as much as I can’t speak for them, though some of the pictures can, I will speak a little on my own account.

Visually, everything was pretty enchanting my two nights there, but during the day the drabness of the Shoreline Amphitheater seeped through. Much of the crowd was dressed in full fantasy and really made the scene more than anything. But where as the visuals were decent, the music faltered.

Some of the night acts, namely Zeds Dead & WhiteNoize, were a helluva time, but the music that played most of the day can best be described by one song, the dirty bit version of ‘Time’ by The Black Eyed Peas. In other words, once the beat dropped everything went to shit [...]

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Values · Control

Love when that bass kicks in!

‘Control’ starts off like an MGMT tune with vocals blended in well shortly after. The highs do get pitched up a little too high, but I like ‘em in their quirky little way. The closer these vocals stay with this producer, the more likely both will succeed — keep up the collaboration, however it may have formed.

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Drake · Too Much (Jessie & Jason Burns Remix)

This ain't even a Drake remix, pretty much

I’ve been following Jason Burns for a bit now and when I heard he teamed up with the lovely Jessie Andrews for a Drake retake I knew it had either bad or good written all over it – Drake is usually a big hit or miss for me. Thankfully though Drake has nothing to do with this, except in name and album art. His vocals have been completely removed. However, Sampha’s backup vocals are provided throughout and make this one beautiful deep house melt.

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