Germany’s Jewelz & Scott Sparks return to the release front with a two-track EP containing their newest singles “Hot Rod” and “White Sun.” While the duo have manifested a reputation for devastating, minimally-driven drops, their last release, “NYMSN,” was a progressive house output with a much friendlier disposition. Catering to their strengths, however, Jewelz & Scott Sparks once again evoke the biting minimal flair that previously put them in the spotlight. Though certainly less vicious than the force of “Toxic Rush,” both “Hot Rod” and “White Sun” channel a familiar, simplified charisma. While the former boasts a distinctive highway-outlaw riff, the latter takes a more melodic and layered approach. Check out both tracks past the break, released today on Flaming Records.
What do we know about Nicolas Jaar? He was born in New York, lived in Chile, studied comparative literature at Brown, he’s the label owner of Clown & Sunset and, oh yeah, he won Radio 1′s Essential Mix of the Year in 2012. While he’s earned recognition in Europe for his masterful album and famed performance from Barcelona’s Sonar Festival, the American music scene is slowly catching on.
The Red Bull Music Academy hosted Jaar and his Clown & Sunsetlabel two months back for Jaar’s Boiler Room debut, and the results were stunning. Jaar’s headlining set included tantalizing deep house and minimal, while he creatively tinkered around with a MIDI controller and stereo radio. Watch the 45 minute set above.
No one could have expected the “Harlem Shake” to blow up to the prodigious scale it did — from YouTube virility to the top of the charts. The success of Baauer’s ubiquitous single not only spawned a thousand internet spinoffs, it also incurred a lawsuit for copyrighted samples against Mad Decent. Both Hector Delgado and Jayson Musson pressed the label for compensation over the track’s use of unlicensed samples. Diplo, as the head of Mad Decent, has come to aid of the label’s blossoming trap star, settling the legal dispute with Delgado and Musson and clearing the “Harlem Shake” samples.
Dillon Francis, Taco Bell-enthusiast and alleged Tiësto doppelgänger, has released his delightful moombahton remix to “Carried Away” as a free download, just as he did with his recent trap remix to Justin Timberlake’s ”Suit & Tie.“ Reworking Passion Pit’s summer anthem, Francis splices and transposes the vocals, accentuating the carefree vibe of the original with charismatic chords. The ensuing drop employs a feisty torrent of barking acid synths, and might just be one of the first (and best) well-known cases of acid moombahton. In regards to the tune, Francis remarked: “this and my suit and tie remix might be my favorites to date!”
While the Pryda camp has unquestionably aided Jeremy Olander in his rise to progressive house prominence, his next output marks his debut on Hernan Cattaneo’s Sudbeat label. While it will be hard to top the enchanting allure of “Let Me Feel,” ”Factures” is no tune to sleep on. With its minimally-driven structure and emphatic groove, Olander’s latest takes on a delectable tech house flavor, one that goes down smooth and satisfying. The track will be released May 6th on Sudbeats, the South American label’s first ever compilation.
Though Barrett Richards has been releasing forward-thinking music under the moniker of Kastle for over three years now, Tuesday marked the release of his self-titled debut album Kastle – a 15-track odyssey of warping, vocal-driven bass music. With countless tempos represented, Kastle oscillates between slower 2-step jams and more upbeat, garage-centric productions. The culmination is an awe-inspiring first album playing off the sonic signatures of the past with a futuristic vision in mind.
As if their debut album Welcome Reality wasn’t cinematic enough, Nero have concocted a haunting, orchestral composition for Baz Luhrmann’s film adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic, The Great Gatsby. “Into The Past” is a gorgeously dark production, making use of foreboding reverb, sparsely placed kicks and snares, and ethereal vocals from Alana Watson to craft quite the visceral experience. When combined with the emotional absorption of a full-feature blockbuster, the power of Nero’s “Into the Past” on the big screen will undoubtedly be cathartic. The official soundtrack for The Great Gatsby is due out May 7th on Interscope Records, including “Into The Past” and unreleased material from Florence + the Machine, Jay-Z and more.
Two of the finest Dutch talents in the industry, Hardwell and Laidback Luke have welded their big room-savvy abilities to craft “Dynamo,” a riot-inducing electro production complete with a palatable melody, marching drum percussion, and a fire alarm. With its semi-innocuous chord-laden buildup, the real fun in “Dynamo” starts with its teetering, brassy drop — a boisterous festival-pleaser brimming with Dutch house influence. Anyone who has seen Laidback Luke or Hardwell recently can attest, the live appeal of “Dynamo” is undeniable. The track is out today on LBL’s Mixmash Records.
While Tim Bergling has been heavily associated with his more melody-friendly productions as Avicii, some of his best work has come under the guise of Tim Berg. “Alcoholic” is one such track, dating all the way to 2009. Despite its antiquated nature, its dark and hedonistic sample still pervades dance music to this day. Working off the notorious sample and sinister melody, Cazzette have transformed “Alcoholic” into a delightful, thumping trap remix — undoubtedly a laudable effort for their first stab at the genre (their remix of “Harlem Shake” being dubstep, not trap).
There’s a sort of magic evoked when Bassnectar steps up behind the decks. With his bristling, Dumbledore-like hairstyle, bony limps, and spiritually-infused voice, one could easily mistake Lorin Ashton for a new age shaman. When considering his vast catalogue of mystical bass productions and the accompanying ethereal experience they entail, perhaps the label isn’t too far off. His Friday night set from Coachella’s Sahara Tent was a testament to both his remarkable mixing abilities as well as the more awe-inspiring elements of his live production. Read past the break for a full set review from his recent Coachella performance.