Another month, another playlist. This time I tried to spend some more time on it and organize this thing to have some sort of flow or fade to it (from soft to heavy), but we’ll see just how well this develops. Let’s do it.
Sima Kim x Ryoge Kotoge are two of the best downtempo beat artists coming out of Asia right now, and this collaboration piece is a really great track for pool-floating, hammock-hanging, or doing almost anything. I can’t get enough of how this track builds on itself and turns into a really complex work. Dawn Golden is next with a remix of “All I Want”–the backing flows beautifully from the previous song, and there’s a lot to love about this track on its own, out of context from Kim and Kotoge. Another remix coming at you, this time from PHANTOGRAM, a personal favorite of mine. This remix rivals the original and it sounds like they lightly kept their thumb on the record just a bit.
BANKS is next, and no, this is not Paul Banks’ side project, but it’s probably just as cool. This song picks up the pace a bit from the previous downtempo dreamy tracks and throws in some beautiful vocal work. If you follow these playlists every month, you might think that I have some unusual picks in these things. It’s true (Maria hates a lot of my music). This next song is one of “those” picks–Cloud Castle Lake drops this uh-may-zing track, “Sync,” which starts off pretty standard dreamy vocals, but then there is this just fantastic mix of funky beats with big band panache, all with vocals slowly reaching a crescendo that makes ya go–OOOOF. I don’t have a lot of hip hop in these playlists, but I couldn’t pass up milo‘s “you are go(o)d,” which is more spoken word than anything else–but with a healthy bit of flow and singing. There’s just something awesome about this track that got into my brain-parts.
Let’s get more analog, shall we? Absolutely Free‘s track “Beneath the Air” has a hypnotic drum beat with vocals that could work just as well in 1967 as 2014. Timely percussion, good balance, and a catchy beat make this song worthy of mention. Seafret is next, and what I love about the start of this track is the faint radio signal beeps right off the start. Okay, there’s more than that (the lyrics, the pickin’ and grinnin’)–just listen to the thing.
Generationals starts off “Gold Silver Diamond” with what sounds “Just a Friend” by Biz Markie but then it takes a different turn. No matter what, I cannot unhear the Biz Markie beat from those keyboards–and that’s an awesome thing. BRONCHO is next with a mild seizure-inducing intro that sounds like a young Arcade Fire or something, but with a more refreshing simplicity. I love this track. Elliot Sumner is next with a hard-starting track that turns into an anthem that fits gorgeously into the previous song’s Arcade Fire thing that BRONCHO had going on. Can’t be sure, but this sounds like a fella from across the pond–keep it up, over there, y’all.
Joanna Gruesome marks the heavy/weird/art rock segment of this playlist–“Jerome (Liar)” is great–chaos and order all wrapped together into a delightful and catchy beat. Cymbals Eat Guitars is next to continue the art-rock or whatever you call this; I’m not sure there’s a specific genre for it other than awesome. Just do your ears a favor and listen to the twisting guitars of these Staten Island guys. Twin Peaks gets straight up punky–grunge, power, screaming. I love “I Found a New Way” so much. Last, but by no means my last favorite, is Meatbodies. OH BABY OH BABY! When it kicks in, you’ll love me, then you’ll love Meatbodies. What you think will turn out to be some 45 second death metal song turns into a house party starting wall of sound that hits you right in the face… then… that solo. Turn. It. Up.