At my job that actually pays, we’ve been trying to figure out what relaxing electronic music should be categorized under on our website. It was originally classified as ‘electronica,’ but the name was often confused with electronic, especially with Spanish speakers. Downtempo & trip-hop were other good options, but we decided on chill as it seems to be the most popular term used now.
I thought about naming our Electro Relaxations playlist something similar, but as popular as chill is now I gotta imagine it’ll fall off as fast as it came in. I’m still not too set on Electro Relaxations, but it seems like the best option for now. And who really cares, the music speaks far better than any name could.
Like always, I had no idea what I was getting into with this. All I can remember is listening to this song and thinking how much it sounded like the Coraline soundtrack, the chorus specifically.
What I had no idea on was who this young lady is, Willow Smith (look her up). And despite her young age that’s reflected in her take on The XX’s Your Love, she shows a lot of maturity in how she carries her voice. At least compared to her first hit single.
I never thought Toro y Moi’s side project, Les Sins, would ever top Grind, it was my 2013 groove, but this collaboration with Nate Salman is already there for 2014. Salman has that JT sound on lock, like JMSN & Josh Jakq, but with Toro y Moi and that makes all the difference.
We haven’t had a single on Silence since Embody’s Make A Stand, which was over two months ago. I guess we’re all about the playlists now and singles are even more selective. But Grynpret has something special with his Airplane Food.
I cannot tell you what this style of electro is going to do for dance, though it’ll take a few years to even have a chance mainstream. This vaporware style I can best refer to it as takes from anime & classic video games, I believe Yoshi is on here, and slaps some solid electro funk in. The sound is penetrating, for better or worse, but is exactly the right formula for the progression of dance music, at least for one style.
The same styles of EDM from last year seemed to dominate Beyond Wonderland this year. Mainly progressive house and various forms of bass music. I like a lot of both, but this mainstream shit sounds so manufactured. It’s like old people buying into infomercials, but at least they have an excuse (they’re old).
I know I sound like the typical music blogger bitchin about the mainstream, but I bring it up so someone will help me understand why people settle for this shit. There are just so many better alternatives. And a few were actually on side stages at Beyond. I guess the lack of awareness is the biggest problem.
So every year, since last year, we’ve put together a list of our favorite EDM tracks for Beyond. Since we’ve already covered house this year with our tropical house & deep house playlists, we decided to go for bass.
It does include deep house & electro funk, but we tried to highlight as much glitch & lazers & shit as possible. Just remember, bass is more for the feeling & dance than for the sound.
Like the iPhone every year, this is our best playlist yet! It really is.
House has been my obsession for the past few years and my favorite kind is the mid-tempo, upbeat summertime jams. Which may or may not turn out to be called Tropical House. Or Summer House. Or Horizontal Disco. It’s up in the air really.
A few tracks do stereotypically incorporate the steel drums, but we did cover more ground than that. We also decided this should be more comprehensive than our usual playlists because we wanted to get all the trop house personas in one place. There are quite a few interesting characters.
I had a good talk with a few of my coworkers yesterday about remixing and they brought up a good point. A lot of remixers just don’t add enough to the original to warrant credit.
So many of the remixes I favorite on SoundCloud turn out to be not all that different from its original. Often times this is because dj’s are adding in simple edits, something as simple as a synth, to make the music more danceable.
The point of a remix is to take something from a song, whether it be a vocal or other memorable part, and update it into a more modern sound or flip it into a completely different style, among others I’m sure.
I actually had to get rid of a few that were originally on here because of that very problem. They brought something new to the song, but it’s really the same tune, just an edit. And maybe producers should start labeling it as such.
We still get a lot of hip hop submissions, despite our lack of featuring hip hop these days. We did manage to gather a good bunch to show our appreciation for the style that inspired this blog in the first place, including one of our biggest inspirations, Raw Poetic.
Now this list has as many hip hop influences as influences elsewhere, however, the emcee is our focus. The syntax & phonetics rap has brought to music is why we loved it the most in the past and why we love it the most right now.
Doja Cat wasn’t on our best of last year for the very same reason she will be this year. She’s always had a flow and a way with words, but now she’s teamed up with some legitimate producers to have it all.
I feel like Peter Rosenberg talking about Nicki Minaj, before their whole shit show, but Doja’s got the personality & style I haven’t seen in hip hop since I started this thing. I loved her original Nunchucks this time last year, but this new album has one that might top even that.
I taught a friend a new word this week. I thought it summed up Outside Lands pretty well and most festivals in general. It’s got a negative connotation to it, but a TA at my University once defined himself as a hedonist and at the time it sounded like the most honest look at one’s life I had ever heard. I don’t mean it in its extreme, as it’s often taken, but to some extent it’s what most festivals are in the business for, the senses.