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Rihanna Goes 80’s Retro

Vaporwave remix of Calvin Harris's This Is What You Came For

I like remixes. Usually if they’re pop songs turned into dance tunes – that’s what they were originally made for. Most pop music to dance to nowadays is EDM meant for a rave rather than a night out. And while their production is usually done by the best, their creativity is stale. Which is usually the exact opposite for remixes.

Saint-Laurent’s remix of This Is What You Came For might not have the highest production value, kinda what they’re going for, but their creativity is refreshing. There’s a lot of 80’s throwback remixes popping up, but not many can compete with Rihanna backing.

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Dance into the Year

2016's dance party playlist

As much as our most relaxing playlists get more attention online, I’m sure our dance ones do better off. Plus they’re much more fun to make (it’s involves a lot of dancing). And if you’re not dancing too, it’s not worth listening to (as much).

Make sure to check out our best of 2015: Loose Control and 2014: Dance Party as well.

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BADBADNOTGOOD

KnowGood jazz, with the help of rap & funk

I went home to Minnesota for the holidays. It was good to get back and talk with family about politics. I tried not to play out the typical democratic/republican shit show. It was good to question their beliefs, but more importantly my own. You learn a lot from seeing other views. Something to take back and reflect on.

And there’s no better music for reflecting right now than with BADBADNOTGOOD. Best taken for Late nights, long travels and going over the year, or just the day.
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Brasstracks

Big band dance party

Instrumentalists are going to save electronic music, especially singers. It’s hard to make a melody that sticks with just a computer and a producer who knows how to play an instrument usually pulls off much better sounds.

Brasstracks is best with the horns. And equally as impressive, knows where and how to team up with some other talented instrumentalists. Mostly singers.

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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 in 2014 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.

If you’re into jazzy, hip hop beats more uplifting than our Late Night Beats & Late Night Jazz, this is for you. All the way through.

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Party with Pomo

Anderson .Paak & Kaytranada on New Years

Pomo will be playing with Kaytranada, Anderson .Paak + The Free Nationals on New Years in San Francisco. We’ve featured the last two artists, but only dipped into Pomo a few times – did not realize whom he’s produced.

People were telling me he did an Anderson .Paak track, but I didn’t realize which one. Then come to find he produced the only Mac Miller song I’ll ever like, which of course has Anderson .Paak featured on it.

He’s also got plenty of good remixes to bring in the New Year. Hope to see you there.

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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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Goldlink: Got Rap Game

Part three of the best MC's

Last year three MCs got me loving rap again. A-1 (Adam Raps) was first, and shortly after Anderson .Paak and Goldlink. I’ve highlighted the first two before, but Goldlink is doing as well now as he did back then, so I thought I’d highlight him now.

Fall in Love is my favorite of his and it’s only been out for a month. Rarely does a song live up to its hype when three great musicians get together on it, but Kaytranada & BadBadNotGood work well together with Goldlink’s style.

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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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