Genre Archives: Electronic
For fans of Big Wild, NGHTMRE, NoMBe, Whats So Not, Alison Wonderland
just wanna make u cry.
For fans of TroyBoi, Louis Futon, Jai Wolf, Boombox Cartel, Mr. Carmack
I make music and travel the world playing it.
It is no exaggeration to say that Nightmares on Wax’s work is synonymous with a place in time. It is a place individual to those who have savoured his popular brand of sun-drenched dubbed out soul, where fragments of hazy memories, halcyon days and past snapshots encapsulate a generation’s sofa sojourning.
For George Eveyln, the man behind Nightmares on Wax, did indeed create some defining moments in the 90’s. Firstly there was his involvement in writing two of the U.K.’s early rave classics Dexterous and Aftermath (with then writing partner Kevin Harper from the Nightmares A Word of Science album). George then went alone and in ’95 bought us Smoker’s Delight, a downbeat opus and the archetype 90’s stoner album (not surprisingly, he was a one time high judge of the Cannibus Cup in Amsterdam). The effect of Smokers Delight was palpable as it is considered one of the main catalysts in the explosion of the chill out / down tempo genre today.
Following Smokers, in 1999, Carboot Soul was delivered. A sublime languid success, it solidified George’s reputation as the patriarch of this very popular genre. Regardless of the connotations now associated with chill out / ambient / down tempo, both Smokers and Carboot remain untainted zeitgeists, still viewed as soundscapes of good times past, music that a cross section of people enjoyed, often whilst languishing post clubbing. Zeitgeists of an era, these albums have sold over 150,000 copies and continue to, ten years and six years respectively after release.
However, the Nightmares success story doesn’t end there. Having been away for nearly four years (like a fine wine, the maturation of his work is crucial to its production process!), George honed a more polished production technique, and in doing so, in 2002 presented the addictive brew of pop, dancehall and old-soul that was Mind Elevation. Conquering the unknown, two hits on the album Know my Name and 70’s/80’s were embraced by the radio fraternity, infecting our airwaves that following summer with their sweet vocals, lush melodies and lolloping hip hop beats.
Spring 2006 sees the drop of another one of George’s musical gems, in the form of In A Space Outta Sound. It is a contemporary and varied album of many textures, tempos and tones, with harmonic inflections from cultures beyond these shores. Whilst this is an album deconstructing George’s musical make up, by inviting you down a personal retrospective journey, In A Space… also unwittingly reflects the urban multi-cultural landscape we live in today. This mish-mash of geographically distinct sounds are heard whilst treading the streets of London, or Leeds where George is from, or any other big city in Britain. The society we live in is a racially heterogeneous one and this album is as diverse in its influences. Tellingly, this pastiche of styles has for many years also been reflected in his DJ-ing output (under his DJ name EASE).
It is a sonic palette taken from each continent; each track presents a facet whether it be the infectious repetitive African percussion sounds of African Pirates, the recurring Caribbean reggae riddims as heard in Sweetest and Flip Ya Lid, the seduction of the Persian snake charmer’s harpsichord entwined around Damn!, or Mo-town’s soul-laid-bare in I Am You. Sometimes it is a blend of all of the above.
Once again, Nightmare’s trademark stamp is evident; rhythms infectious in their simplicity, blues infused time signatures overlaid by Quincy Jones-esque synth lines and the inherent fusion of relaxed dub, hallucinogenic hip hop and Balearic melodies. And there is another factor in George’s formula, the intangible touch of glowing warmth that infects his music. As the Times newspaper once commented, “George Evelyn is one of those people who can bottle sunshine”. This blissful quality is perhaps the x-factor in his success as a musician and it is one that George consciously and liberally mixes in. He takes from the essence of soul where emotion is its driving force. However, it is apparent that his emotions veer on the lighter side. As he says “I want to share my positivity in life, in music.”
Like many fortunate music enthusiasts, his love of music was passed down from his parents. The Evelyn household was one often enveloped in the indignant funk of Curtis Mayfield and the smooth melody lines of Quincy Jones (where George’s devotion began). The sweet, cloying lullabies of Sarah Vaughn were as often heard coming out of Mr. Evelyn’s precious mahogany 78 players as Duke Ellington’s lively compositions. Having come over from the West Indies as a young man, George’s father also passed on to his children musical legacies of his birthplace, frequently playing staple classics of Soca, or Calypso as it’s now called, found too at the local dancehall he frequented.
However, like many, George’s musical epiphany was most keenly felt through self-discovery. When only a pre-teen, he joined a local break dance crew, having immersed himself in the first wave of hip hop filtering through to Britain in the form of Rappers Delight and Buffalo Gals. It was here that he also found an early allegiance to soul where the sampled voices of the OJ’s, Isley Brothers and James Brown were used over and over again as scratches on such records.
However pre-dating his initiation into hip-hop came the pivotal moment when he discovered bass. It was inevitable that he would stumble upon local sound systems that mates’ older brothers were involved in, but the effect the heavy, reverberating dub breaks that each collective tried to out do the other with, would be long lasting. In George’s young mind, the louder those bass lines were, the bigger the impact it had on him hence his lifelong love for those heavy, rolling beats, integral to his sound. In fact, on his next tour, promoting In A Space… he will be performing as part of a sound system from a local Leeds collective.
Naturally, it was also a great privilege to meet and collaborate with personal heroes like Scientist and De La Soul but his interests certainly don’t end here, also citing rare groove, ska and 80’s electro. A compliment to his taste, he has had not one, but two established music compilers (!K7 and Another Late Night) approach him for a personal selection of favourite songs for release, and within 3 years of each other. An endorsement of his popularity if ever there was one.
George’s success is enduring, and he has often been praised for his polished production work. Indeed with a state of the art studio, no one can fault the craft he has been honing for fifteen years. The subtle complexities and layers to his music is also what makes it so accessible. However this is certainly not the sole result of one man and a mixing desk. He works with a varied group of local musicians; a range of percussionists, classically trained keyboardists, guitarists etc., and evidence of this was found on his last tour to promote Mind Elevation, doing a string of dates with a thirteen piece band. Live musicianship is also quite apparent on In A Space…. where much of the ideas came from impromptu studio ‘jams’.
Producing the genuine article and constantly evolving and progressing is the prime motivation behind Nightmares’ music. It is about taking the sounds of soul and reggae and hip-hop and more to a new plateaux. “Today’s music is inspired by what’s gone on before and that is what fascinates me. Following on in that tradition I am inspired by the old and want to evolve it into something new. I see it as a never ending cycle and that is where I want to be.”
For fans of: Borgeous, Gareth Emery, Elephante
Check out our Audien: Upcoming Artist Spotlight playlist on Spotify and find your new favorite song!
Over the next two years a slew of renowned labels came calling, gravitating to Audien’s stunning melodies & innovative sonic landscapes. Audien worked meticulously, but prolifically, churning out anthems & remixes for labels including Armada, Spinnin, and Anjunabeats, with tracks routinely charting on Beatport. Audien’s tracks also began to appear on compilations assembled by some of the genre’s giants, including Tiesto’s Club Life, Above & Beyond’s Trance Around The World, and Armin Van Buuren’s A State of Trance. A particularly exciting opportunity presented itself in May of 2011, when Audien had the opportunity to open for Van Buuren at New York’s Roseland. In just 3 years, Audien had gone from idolizing Van Buuren to sharing a stage with him.
As Audien has continued to release tracks into 2012, his music has evolved to include elements of Progressive House. The monster 2012 release These Are The Days was lauded by influential blog Dancing Astronaut as a “catchy summer anthem,” while The Top Sound noted “the combination of flawless evolution, beautiful piano chords, & trance-y plucks makes this an absolutely brilliant track.” Never straying far from his roots, Audien released his highly acclaimed song Eventide on Anjunabeats in August of 2012. Audien’s relationship with Above & Beyond continued to blossom through the fall; in November, A&B premiered Audien’s track Wayfarer as the first ever song played on their new radio show, Above & Beyond Group Therapy.
Elsewhere in November 2012, Audien released the incendiary progressive house track SUP, via Trice Recordings. SUP was featured by Dutch icon Hardwell on episode 87 of Hardwell On Air. Commenting on the track, Elektro magazine declared, “… this production takes its listeners on a roller coaster ride of uplifting synth progressions, chaotic builds, and hard, bouncing drops that holds the ability to move crowds wherever this banger is played.” Shortly after the track’s release, Audien joined Hardwell on tour for dates in New York & Boston.
With his ability to create fresh tracks in auto-pilot, Audien has turned his attention to performing live, a craft he takes just as seriously as his production. Audien recently performed at some of the hottest clubs in the US including L.A.’s Exchange & Lure, San Francisco’s Ruby Skye & Harlot, New York’s Pacha, XS in Las Vegas, and Miami’s LIV. With more big shows forthcoming, Audien is ready to continue his rapid rise out of Mystic, and around the world.
For fans of Cashmere Cat, MØ, AlunaGeorge, Louis The Child, Whethan
Since forming only 18 months ago, Snakehips have made their name with Hype Machine chart-topping remixes for Banks, The Weeknd, Bondax and Wild Belle, which between them have notched up more than 30 million plays on Soundcloud and YouTube. Last May, the mysterious production duo built on their early acclaim with On & On, a Radio 1-championed debut single that set out their signature sound, a sensual up-to-date take on old school R&B and hip hop.
In time to usher in another summer and ahead of appearances at major festivals across the UK and abroad, Snakehips are ready to release their glorious, second single, Days With U, featuring Disclosure and Rudimental vocalist Sinead Harnett. With the vibe of long, hot, hazy days coursing through its veins, Days With U sounds both retro and fresh and as dreamily laid-back as it is dancefloor-friendly. Driven as much by melody as by hip hop beats and shimmering synths, it’s a song about heartbreak that, somehow, sounds resolutely life-affirming.
With a debut album well underway and due out early next year, Snakehips have decided it’s time to reveal themselves as 24 year old Londoners Oliver Lee and James Carter. Despite a shared home city, the pair met on separate business trips to Hong Kong, where they bonded over shared musical interests. They shared a flight to L.A., began talking music and booked a studio in which to work on a track. It went so well that within days of returning to London they nudged their laptops together and Snakehips was born.
The pair’s first release was a remix of Chicago band Wild Belle’s It’s Too Late; their next a remix of Gold by electronic duo Bondax. Both used only the original vocal, topped the Hype Machine chart and revealed Snakehips’ love of ‘90s hip hop, disco and vintage soul.
The reaction to their own music, however, was in a different league. The steamy, sultry, lushly-produced On & On, featuring up-and-coming, Australian singer George Maple, sent blogs in to a frenzy, reached the Top 10 of the iTunes electronic charts on both sides of the Atlantic and caught the attention of Radio 1’s Zane Lowe, Annie Mac, Mistajam and Monki, for whom Snakehips recorded a guest mix. Like Days With U, On & On was a song about heartbreak that sounded like summer. Or as Ollie outs it: “It’s about a bloke George was in love with who didn’t love her back.” On & On’s soulful blend of retro and modern became Snakehips’ trademark.
“We love the vibe of 90s music – Hi-Tek, Pete Rock, that golden era of R&B with singers like Aaliyah and SWV,” says James. “We’re suckers for anything with cool soul samples and old drum beats. But we’re also influenced by living in London. We borrow from the past to make music for the future.”
Last year, Snakehips heard the Banks’ song Warm Water and loved it so much they contacted Banks, asking to remix it. She sent the acapella, they added funky disco music, had another blog hit on their hands and were rewarded by being asked to rework The Weeknd’s Wanderlust. After The Weeknd tweeted his praise for their version, it received a million and a half plays in less than a month.
In between official singles, Snakehips have put out a handful of sample-based tracks, among them the Annie Mac-premiered Make It and Miss U Always, a love song posted for fans on Valentine’s Day. They sold out a tour of Australia, shows across the UK and were in demand to play clubs and festivals everywhere from Paris, Vienna, Warsaw and Berlin to the Netherlands. The pair’s debut London date, this May, at Village Underground, sold out so quickly a second show had to be added.
Most of 2014 so far has been spent working on their as-yet-untitled debut album, which will be preceded by a third single, Falling, featuring Meleka. All releases are on Snakehips’ own label Hoffman West, named after a fictional character Ollie created to get in to clubs for free.
“Put the name Hoffman West, plus five, on a guest list and no one asks questions when you get to the door,” he explains. “There’s something about that name that sounds so important that you’re always ushered straight in.”
It’s a busy summer ahead for Snakehips with appearances lined up at festivals such as Glastonbury, Reading & Leeds, Love Saves The Day as well as European jaunts at Outlook in Croatia and Pitch in Amsterdam. With a debut album also in the pipeline, there’s certainly a lot more of exciting things in store from the London based production duo.
Redefining the possibilities of modern music, The Russ Liquid Test fuses the raw vitality of classic funk and the inventive sound design of electronic production. Songwriter/producer and renowned brass specialist Russell Scott heads up the New Orleans-based band. Guitarist Andrew Block and drummer Deven Trusclair round things out, with each providing a distinct musical background deeply rooted in the New Orleans jazz scene. Their debut EP 1984 featured an eclectic array of guest collaborators such as Mr. Lif and Ivan Neville—successfully creating an auditory canvas to forge The Russ Liquid Test’s irresistibly soulful future-vintage stylings.
A kinetic energy infuses each track on 1984. Giving way to a mixture of funk/jazz/electro, The Russ Liquid Test evokes a kaleidoscope of textures, senses, and moods. Featuring Ivan Neville on keyboards and the Funky Meters’ Russell Batiste Jr. on drums, the effervescent and synth-heavy title track “speaks about the current state of America from the perspective of an outsider,” as described by Scott. Lead single “Honesty,” meanwhile, finds The Russ Liquid Test slipping into a woozy psychedelia, offset by a brilliantly structured dichotomy introduced in its second-line-inspired groove.
At the heart of The Russ Liquid Test is an improv-driven musicality that began with Scott’s taking up classical piano. After spending several years playing in a jazz quintet on cruise ships and touring with psychedelic ska band Uprite Dub Orchestra, his one-of-a-kind artistry was unveiled in the genre-busting musical performance group MarchFourth Marching Band. Capable of playing the trumpet and saxophone, Scott quickly began experimenting with electronic music, eventually adopting the moniker of Russ Liquid. As his full-length debut, 2013’s Foreign Frequency showcased a forward-thinking mentality and fearless vision, anchored by an incomparable knowledge of music as a whole. “I wanted new colors to paint with,” says Scott of his foray into electronic music. “I kind of look at the electronic world as this whole other color palette, compared to the traditional sounds we’ve been working with for the past however many years.”
While on tour with Gramatik in 2014, Scott crossed paths with Block and discovered the duo’s shared musical tastes and philosophies. A South Florida native, Block grew playing guitar in his local Pentecostal church. “I wasn’t religious, I just wanted to play at that church because the music there was amazing,” says Block. He later relocated to New Orleans, pursuing his dream of becoming a full-time musician. The guitarist’s legendary endeavors reached fellow purveyors of soul/funk/R&B, ranging from Pretty Lights to New Orleans icon Dr. John. Capable of collaborating and working as a solo artist without missing a beat, Block released his 2014 debut You Can Only Go Up From Here on Gramatik’s independent label Lowtemp.
In the making of 1984, The Russ Liquid Test compounded their potent chemistry by bringing in a lineup of equally impassioned musicians. “Coming from a background of playing in bands and then getting into electronic music, I’d really missed having that interaction with other musicians,” says Scott. “The most rewarding thing for me is being able to bounce ideas off other people, so that the music ends up having more than just one person’s vibe to it. Ultimately it lets you give the audience even more to connect with.”
The studio workhorses have already begun working on a sophomore EP. The Russ Liquid Test also presents a joyful sense of synergy in their high-powered live shows, with recent appearances including Shambhala Music Festival, Lightning in a Bottle, Summer Camp, and Sonic Bloom, among others. No matter the setting, a clear multidimensionality can always be heard in The Russ Liquid Test’s projects. “We want to make people feel good but also give them something to reflect with,” says Scott. “It’s not about just making party music or music that’s more introspective—it’s for the full gamut of human expression, and we want it to be just as dynamic as life itself.”
For fans of Black Tiger Sex Machine, Zeds Dead, Kill The Noise, Feed Me, ATTLAS
Though young at 22 years of age, REZZ is anything but an amateur as a producer of genre bending works, striking a sharp balance between bass heavy and minimal tech composition. With less than a handful of EPs under her belt, she just returned from her first solo headlining tour which saw sold out shows across the board.
Having gotten her start in music as a local DJ in her hometown of Niagara Falls, she was still a teen when she decided that production was the path she would take. After studying sound design extensively at home and psychology as an aid to her creative process, her experimentation, dedication and hard work have paid off in paving a way for a long career ahead as a producer of downtempo soundscapes.
With a strong vision and no two ways about it, REZZ’s headstrong decisiveness is arguably the key to her success so far. She began to build a following on SoundCloud with a series of free releases which in a short time inevitably caught the ears of EDM golden boys Skrillex and Deadmau5, who helped bring her out to the masses with near back-to-back releases of a three-track Insurrection EP on OWSLA’s The Nest imprint in 2015, followed by the Serenity EP via Mau5trap in 2016.
Since running laps through festival circuits around the world and the release of the Something Wrong HereEP in October 2016 on Mau5trap, her ever-evolving and idiosyncratic electro sound is only getting stronger. With a full-length album scheduled to drop in the fall and billings on a slew of major festival lineups including Tomorrowland, Ultra, EDC, Electric Forest, Shambhala, Electric Zoo, Mysteryland, and HolyShip! amongst others, REZZ is on track and gearing full steam ahead for another big year.
For fans of Ookay, Slushii, Alison Wonderland, Slander, Odesza
Whethan is the moniker of the 18-year-old Chicago-bred fast rising producer Ethan Snoreck, who first made a name for himself as a SoundCloud producer, remixing tracks for Louis The Child (“It’s Strange”), ZAYN (“Pillow Talk”) and Ty Dolla $ign (“Blasé feat. Future & Rae Sremmurd”) which all surpassed 2.5 million plays; before releasing a groundbreaking original cut – “Savage” (feat. Flux Pavilion & MAX)”- having amassed over 25 million streams worldwide. “love gang” (feat. Charli XCX) was the next chapter in Whethan’s already ground-breaking discography. The track kicks off with clanging, discordant synths transposed with Charli XCX’s dazzling vocals, before exploding into an ethereal, hook-laden chorus – LISTEN HERE.
Whethan recently opened for The Chainsmokers on their “Memories Do Not Open” US arena tour, on top of many major festival performances including Coachella, with appearances at DoLab & Heineken House, and will also be performing at Lollapalooza, HARD Music Festival, and Electric Forest.
Gaining early attention from the likes of Skrillex and Flux Pavilion, Whethan continued to rise through the ranks building a loyal fan-base into 2017.
For fans of Louis Futon, LOUDPVCK, RL Grime, Ookay
One of South East London’s most closely guarded secrets has recently emerged from the shadows and is set to take the music industry by storm. Known only as TroyBoi, this multi-talented musician recently signed to Timbaland’s right-hand man and US Super Producer, Jim Beanz, things are heating up faster than ever! Producing a wide variety of genres, but specializing in extraordinarily unique, versatile, and highly musical trap beats, TroyBoi is without a doubt one of the top up-and-coming producers in the game right now and it’s quite clear from his composition that his influences are vast indeed. He is also one half of the Producer/DJ duo SoundSnobz with one of his best friends, icekream and together they craft the most creative and daring audio paintings you’ll ever listen to. Buckle up and get ready to be taken into the world of TroyBoi because once you are in, you will never want to get out.