Tesselate (Ben De Vries Remix)
Alt-J - Tesselate (Ben De Vries Remix)
Last year Alt-J launched into the public consciousness with their edgy and innovative sound. While Breezeblocks earned them widespread acclaim, the track’s popularity somewhat overshadowed the other amazing songs on their debut effort, An Awesome Wave.
There have been some remixes of Alt-J but none that I thought were worthy of sharing, until now. Ben De Vries has capitalised on the track’s deep bassline riff and explosive drum beats and percussion. He has added some glitchy sound effects and paved out the soundscape.
It goes down smooth like a tubby child on a waterslide.
Koreless - Lost in Tokyo
Koreless is definitely at the forefront of progressive downtempo in my books. I even have a sneaking suspicion that prominent DJ Bonobo took inspiration from the brooding soundscapes of Koreless' work when making his latest album, The North Borders.
Despite just breaking out of teenagerhood, Koreless can craft a meanly minimalist track in a seemingly effortless fashion.
It is a pretty ominous introspective song, but on a Monday night, who feels like conversating anyhow?
Wild Cub - Wishing Well
WIld Cub are a five piece band from Portland, Oregon. They came to our attention last year with their release of their stellar tune Thunder Clatter.
The group released their debut album Youth and aside from a few sleepy numbers, it packs a punch with surprising fervour for funk. This is perhaps most obvious on track 5, Wishing Well, where the bass and rhythm play in between one another. Keegan DeWitt’s vocals complement the whole interplay, rounding off the memorable melody with a catchy chorus that will resonate with the listener long after the four minutes have finished.
thE KindeR - Fliegen (Unifono Remix)
There really is something mystical about this track. Filegen (or the English translation Fly), is a dance track that takes haunting samples and recurring chimes to frame a watertight trance composition.
The way this song evolves is transfixing and listening with quality headphones is a surefire headtrip. The song builds gradually until about the 2:45 point when a harmonised but unintelligible vocal sample breaks the mould and things really get interesting from 3:20 onward.
The chime samples remind me of Pogo's Disney sample song from the Secret Garden, Mary’s Magic, spliced with a Blair Witch Project inspired rave in Germany’s Black Forest. I may not be too far off the mark there, considering Unifono is based out of Austria.
Parra For Cuva - Wicked Games (Chris Isaac Cover)
The song has been around longer than the the careers of Hanson and Justin Bieber. It is virtually a walking dinosaur among the social networking giants Twitter and Facebook. It has been covered by countless artists, including Scandinavian goth-rockers HIM and r&b dude Weeknd, yet it still seems to find relevance today since it’s original 1989 incarnation. This time, Wicked Games has a reworking by Geman DJ and singer combination Parra For Cuva.
The track contains shakers, bongos and a distorted guitar looping. Clocking in at 5:58, there are times when this track borders on repetition and the attention deficient listener may grown weary very quickly. Most people will be familiar with Chris Isaac's original lyrics and melody, so it is really up to the subtle changes employed by DJ Nicolas Demuth that hold Wicked Games together, especially considering that vocalist Anna Naklab is unfortunately absent for large sections of the tune.
On my fifth listen, I can safely say that the progressive nature of Wicked Games is a strength. Patience will reward your listening experience with this downtempo gem.
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ScHoolboy Q - Sacrilegious
This dark narrative is told from the perspective of someone with the inability to break from their misguided habits. Taken from ScHoolboy Q's second LP Habits and Contradictions, Sacrilegious introduces the listener to a world populated by bad choices and self-destruction.
ScHoolboy Q is a part of the Black Hippy collective along with fellow West Coast rappers Ab Soul and Kendrick Lamar. ScHoolboy Q's debut major label effort is due out later this year and according to the former Crip member, he has 'no choice' but to release a 'classic' album.
As long as he can continue to write and deliver unconventional rhymes, his hardcore fanbase won’t likely be disappointed.
Kydd - Missing Elements
Rapper Kydd really taps into the subconscious regions of the brain with this tune. The hypnotic beat is best enjoyed with headphones on or submerged in a bath (but not both for obvious reasons!). The unorthodox offbeat bassline and percussion add to the mysterious feel of the track.
The video is also incredible. The concept clip depicts life and death while flirting with mystic symbolism.
Download - Missing Elements
I Saw the Sky
The Flashbulb - I Saw The Sky
The prolifically gifted musician The Flashbulb (aka Benn Jordan) is a man of many talents. He is a master drummer, drum programmer, pianist, guitarist and accomplished producer. The man is so musically gifted he has also opened up a music studio in his home city of Chicago.
I Saw The Sky is from Hardscrabble, Benn’s 13th album under his Flashbulb moniker (and third album he released last year).
Whether it is the bipolar disorder that fuels his creative drive, or his highly attuned senses, Benn’s artistic works are engrossing and immersive. His unique brand of downtempo, often orchestral breakbeat music is what I like to consider (at the risk of being called a musical snob) high art escapism.
Check out the beautifully filmed video for I Saw The Sky here.
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