Archive for 2013

“We Turn You On, Because You Can’t Turn Us Off.”

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     Happy to read me again? It’s been quite a while since I last posted to this blog, the chief cause being my disdain for the educational institution I currently attend. My seemingly everlasting struggle with CEGEP will soon be coming to an end, although I’d much sooner change program in order to graduate with honours in Science, study analytical physics at McGill, and spend most of my adult life developing a time machine so that I could travel backwards and kill myself in the present. I hope that gives you an adequate appreciation of the scale on with my academic boredom currently registers. In any case, this hatred for tuition has not hindered my love for electronic music in any way. In fact, the only positive I choose to gather from this semester comes from CSKY, the college radio station for which I am obliged to stay sharp in my discovery of new music. That’s its slogan up there. Without further ado, here are a few of the latest tracks I’ve played on the airwaves of the John Abbott radio station.

jac2

     I always make sure that the songs I play on the air are of the highest possible quality, yet the best versions are typically only available on, or shortly after their release dates. I had been looking for this track for a full three weeks before it was released, so impatient was I to have it play second fiddle to the cacophony in Abbott’s cafeteria. According to the release notes of the Requiem EP, “The concept of Ten Walls is simple. A music driven project where the focus is moved away from the personality of the artist so that the music can more directly speak for itself.” Pursuant with this description, I couldn’t find any information about Ten Walls apart from the praise showered upon his/her first production, the amazing Gotham EP. Here is the equally fantastic “Requiem” in all its oratory glory.

Ten Walls – Requiem (Original Mix)

Released through Life and Death on November 4th, 2013

Beatport

 

 

     There are several tunes that I always wished I’d get the opportunity to share with an audience of a certain size, regardless of whether or not they treated the music as background noise and spoke over it. Enter CSKY, with a glowing opportunity for me to play the tracks of LA-based producer DAVI. I first took notice of the Armenian musician back in 2011, with the release of the third volume of Anjunadeep’s yearly mix compilation series. His remix of Underworld’s “Two Months Off” was/is one of my favorites from the entire Anjunadeep catalogue, thus motivating it’s presence in one my weekly tracklists, which in turn made me thirst for more DAVI. Fast-forward to 2013 and the appearance of Anjunadeep 05, which features two of his originals, highlighted by “The Time Has Come.” I like the idea of letting the songs speak for themselves, so just press play below.

Underworld – Two Months Off (DAVI Remix)

Released through Anjunadeep on February 21st, 2011

BeatportiTunes

 

 

DAVI – The Time Has Come (Original Mix)

Released through Anjunadeep on July 22nd, 2013

Beatport

 

 

     Another artist who’s music I had wanted to play for an inordinate amount of time is Celsius. The Englishman’s knack for blending garage, pop and orchestral sounds has resulted in some of the most engaging, danceable, and unique arrangements seen in the electronic music sphere for quite some time. Two of his more recent works found their way into my CSKY sets and were subsequently ignored by virtue of strength of bassline, melodic prowess, and overall sound quality. Most Abbott folks don’t know good music from bad. Here is Celsius with “Incoming” and “Thought As Much.”

Celsius – Incoming (Original Mix)

Released through MadTech on September 23rd, 2013

BeatportiTunes

 

 

Celsius – Thought As Much (Original Mix)

Released through Moda Black on February 18th, 2013

BeatportiTunes

 

 

     No set of mine would be complete without at least some nu disco. Since their collaborative production with Fred Falke back in 2011, The Knocks have acquired an impressive amount of recognition, having shared the stage with artists like Madeon and Chromeo. We hold them in high esteem here at the Hawt, as their bootleg of Of Monsters and Men featured in our top 15 tracks of 2012. The NYC duo is back at it again, retooling a cut from The 1975’s self-titled debut album. What better song is there to be crushed by the faint voices of the 4 students with classes on Fridays than this lively remix of “Girls”?

The 1975 – Girls (The Knocks Remix)

CDR / White Label

FREE DOWNLOAD

 

 

     Last week, French Express executed a takeover of the LA Boiler Room and delivered 4 of the best mixes I’ve seen in the recent past. For this week’s video, watch Perseus admirably bear the opening duties for his label-mates. Let me know if you can identify the edit of “Return of the Mack” he plays at the very beginning; its been stuck in my head for 4 days.

 

 

     If you haven’t deciphered it yet, the moral to this week’s post is: “Barely anyone knows that CSKY exists, let alone actually listen.”

Making your plants feel at home.

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Either I have become a terrible blogger, or I am simply right to state that the electronic scene these days has been a bore to say the least (note that it is probably the former). Now, that is not to say that this fall season has yielded nothing fruitful worthy of a mention, however there has not been an EDM album that really grasped me in a while. This, my friends, is the reason why I have converted to radio rap for the past month, to the great displeasure of my roommate who no longer enjoys my overwhelming audio presence. No lie, Drake has been my main man for quite some time now. There is nothing wrong with a little OVO in your life, although I would completely avoid forehead tattoos as a means to represent your transient love for an old Degrassi cast member.


Nevertheless, let me inform you all on a few of the notable releases over the past month. Nicolas Jaar and David Herrington are doing well for themselves, having released yet another EP under their collective alias 'Darkside'. Entitled "Psychic", and quite a logical extension of their previous collaboration (self-entitled EP), this collaborative effort is riddled with subliminal baselines and static stutter, creating a rather foreign atmosphere, as though belonging to the soundtrack of a movie along the lines of Prometheus.

Rating: 7.5/10



Legowelt has been keeping busy over the past years, and is rapidly becoming a large player in the Holland dance music scene. Taking inspiration from deep detroit house and chicago lo-fi, it is no surprise to hear his sound evolve as a function of the fusion of the aforementioned musical sub-genres. His newest release comes to us through L.I.E.S. records, entitled "Teenage Romance". A 3 track EP, the song displayed below sees subtle variations throughout its duration that maintain the interest of the listener through the relative monotony of it all. Furthermore, this piece harbours additional patience regarding the development of drum kit complexity, causing an atmospheric progression that really creeps up on you.

Rating: 7/10


Charles Murdoch has been an artist that I have vaguely followed over the course of the year. The reasoning behind my utilization of the word 'vaguely' is related to my varying musical phases, and my subsequent interest in what I believe to be considered 'mass appeal house'. Nevertheless, although I might have been sleeping on his releases, the Australian producer has definitely been making noise through labels such as FutureClassic. Having divulging an EP 2 short months ago (Weathered Straight), Mr. Murdoch is back at it with a remix of Bodhi's "No More". The chord progression is properly curated and everything seems to work towards what can be considered as a 'cookie-cutter' house song with slight alterations. However, this does not make it unpleasant to the ear, simply generic and highly comparable.

Rating: 6.5/10



The Melt is a record label based out of Los Angeles that hosts an array of 2-step, chillstep, footwork, garage, and house artists. More importantly, one of their forthcomings, "From the Ghetto" comes from a musician by the name of Snorlax. For the most part, if you aren't into juke/footwork, then the original pieces are not for you; the remixes, contrarily, are wonderfully composed (from the small sample available on Soundcloud). More precisely, the introduction of Colta's remix gives way to my curiosity pertaining to the continuation of that piece, and will most probably be the most well received of the 4 tracks comprising this EP. Unfortunately, The Melt has not released any stream for this (to my knowledge), and as such I will be demonstrating a different release from the label as an amuse-bouche of some sort, along the lines of chill step.

Rating: 7/10



Through much introspection, I have determined that I would very much enjoy the presence of plants in my room. In other words, I wish to create a living, breathing ecosystem along the lines of a jungle. Now, I am well aware that they take much care and are an added responsibility. However, I was completely oblivious to their musical tastes. Thankfully, the folks from Estonia are capable of providing music for your plants. Saturated with samples derived from the depths of the Amazon, coupled with tribal chants, your plants will feel right at home, providing them with optimal conditions in order for them to thrive.  Give them the treatment they deserve below.

Rating: 8.5/10



Dat (B)ass

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About a month ago I got peer pressured into buying a ticket for this year’s Kill Halloween, without really knowing if I’d actually go, since I have been very good at finding excuses not to go at events lately. I have to admit that this semester is a fucking pain in the ass and that it affects my global motivation/energy, but that’s not a good enough reason to miss good shows. This year again, Saintwoods did not disappoint. The show featured Boys Noize, Oliver, Tommy Kruise and High Klass. Our pre-drink lasted a little longer than expected and we *kind of* missed almost everyone but Boys Noize (which to be completely honest felt okay before getting there, but even the last five minutes of Oliver’s set was fucking great, so now I regret it a little). I’ve also been told that Tommy Kruise gave quite a show and I’m guessing that since Saintwoods rarely invites bad performers, High Klass might have been pretty fun too.

I wanted to see Boys Noize for a while now, but I could never attend his shows. I wish I could’ve seen him when he was doing his Oi Oi Oi tour, since it was such a good album, but I was too stupid and I missed him in 2007. Also, his album after that (Power) was so shitty that it made me stop following what he was doing until a few months ago when I found out he was teaming up with Skrillex to try to drop some bombs. And bombs they dropped, holy shit.

During his performance last Friday at L’Olympia, he mainly played his newer solo stuff as well as his releases under the alias Dogblood (with Skrillex), but he also dropped some good ol’ slowed down Ghettotech (think Work this Motherfucker by Dj Puff & Deeon…). I have to admit, his stuff is better live than at home or in your car, but it’s definitely worth a listen. Here are a few tracks he played:





I'm really not sure if he played the original or this remix from the great Jacques Lu Cont, my alcohol level was quite high during that night, but both tracks are good. If you want to listen to more of his stuff, make sure you check Dogblood’s Soundcloud and Boys Noize’s Soundcloud as well.

I still have to listen to more of Oliver’s stuff, but I have to say that from what I’ve listened to, these guys are really great. Like I said earlier, we pretty much missed all of their set, but we were lucky enough to be there when they played their track Move Your Body. Great release:


What a night… Quite the hangover the next day too though, but totally worth it. Have a great week ladies and gents (see, my “class” is slowly increasing with every post) and don’t forget to say hi to your mother for me (whoops).

Embodying the Kenyan Spirit (Part 2)

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"How are you feeling?" I asked as he inhaled the combustion of raw plant material, with the hopes to rid himself of sobriety and subsequently alter his consciousness in order to gain a different perspective on the world we are surrounded by. "I don't feel anything", answered my friend with the innocence of a child pertaining to the events to come. "Give it a few minutes, let it creep up on you", I replied, knowing that within the span of a few moments, he would not be the same for the next 3 hours.


Right after having said that, I took out my earphones to listen to some music, for we were on a mission to gather food at the nearest Harvey's, which was 20 minutes away. I was in the mood for the Kink (Strahil Velchev) remix of Jimpster's "Porchlight and Rocking Chairs" that just so happens to kick off the second instalment of my set!


As it turned out, only mere minutes following my retort, my friend was holding his head, apologizing in advance for the stupidities that would ensue on his behalf; "Whatever I do, please take care of me."  I only realized the pertinence of his statement after looking behind me to see him falling very much behind, with his eyes closed - quite a common reoccurrence throughout the night -, shooting lasers out of his hands (onomatopoeias included for hilarity);

- Nikhil?
- Yeah?
- Could you teach me to be calm?
- Well, for starters, I don't shoot lasers out of my hands, and I prefer keeping my eyes open when I cross streets.
- Oh, yeah, that's definitely a start.

As Kink's remix was coming to an end, hints of the following tune began to mesh into the final bars; Sello's alternating drums became more pronounced on every hit. As the new piece constructs itself over time, soft, muted synths make their appearance along with a diverse vocal repertoire that really makes you wonder about the structure of the Sello's "Praise Him" in particular, for the buildup constitutes more than half of the entire song. Nevertheless, if you have the patience for it, this piece is definitely worth a listen.


My attention has now drifted from my earphones to the orange neon sign in front of me. We have made it to Harvey's, and with an e-coupon ready to go on my phone, nothing was going to stop me from enjoying a two can dine for $9.99. Unsurprisingly, it was delicious, and after all was said and done, we wandered back towards campus for Oktoberfest. As we stepped foot in the bar, the sounds of Kyodai reverberated throughout, indicating that this was a good place to be. To be more precise, it was their remix of Claptone's "No Eyes" featuring Jaw. In traditional Kyodai fashion, the brothers input a ubiquitous presence of piano stabs within the edit (tastefully inserted, of course). Funnily enough, this was the closing song to my set. 


At approximately 3 AM we all headed up the mountain towards the city observatory. Thankfully, I had downloaded Lontalius's album of shorts entitled "The World Will Never Know About Us", which is saturated with feelings of longing, loneliness and what have you. The replay button came in very handy.


As we reached the summit of the mountain, an encumbering sentiment of happiness purveyed throughout the group, for who doesn't like to peer into the city lights in the middle of the night, the moon caressing every building ever so lightly. It was a good ending to a fun night.

It was approximately 5 AM when I stumbled into my apartment with one thing in mind. Riff Raff. In fact, he recently collaborated with A$AP Rocky for Noisey's segment entitled "Back and Forth". Watch the first part in it's entirety below.







Deep and Disco, Disco and Deep; Remixes to Make Your Ears Weep

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     Ear tears, a term popularized by the Hawt’s own Nikhi as a clever way to equate visual representation of emotion with sound, is what I’m using this week for lack of inspiration. Lately, my brain seems to fart more often than that of the average human being and in writing this post, I was unable to find a word other than ”weep” to rhyme with “deep.” I deem it sad that I had such a difficult time searching for a rhyme for a word so often heard, although my ego after this sentence finds confidence in my ability to remedy my lack of a knack for rhyming. As always, my introduction is completely independent from whatever it is I write about, so fast forward to the music.

     He calls it a remix, but he’s giving the song away for free and something tells me the label wouldn't approve, so I’m inclined to call it a bootleg. Moon Boots’ skewed categorization aside, the rework of CHVRCHES’ “The Mother We Share” that he recently posted to his SoundCloud page is marked with an indelible nu disco stamp, yet interestingly features a genre ambiguous house/deep house/disco bassline that keeps me puzzled. It’s stuff like this that makes him my favorite French Express artist.

CHVRCHES – The Mother We Share (Moon Boots Remix)

FREE download via Facebook

     In my opinion, Bondax’s “Giving It All” received far too much praise around the time of it’s release. It’s undeserved hype of this sort that overshadowed the subsequent release of Giving It All (Remixes) EP and the nu disco treasure buried within. Not to be outdone by the equally undervalued remixes of Joe Goddard and Friend Within, French Kiwi Juice separates himself with one of the most summer-suited songs in a long time, with brightness emerging from every single clip that comprises this piece. While the timing may have been off by a few months, this one is sure to help keep warm in the harshest of climates.

Bondax – Giving It All (French Kiwi Juice Remix)

iTunes

 

     The third track this week is one of two from Konstantin Sibold, a young producer hailing from Stuttgart, Germany. What I love about this remix is its simplicity. Instead of weaving the deep and acid house from “No One Gets Left Behind” into a web of convoluted cacophony, Sibold mixes the subgenres in the most explicit way possible, keeping the whole of the track intact as deep house and isolating an acid house element as a hook. The result is stunning; the contrast of these two opposites takes center stage and makes this remix as danceable as is it relaxable. I realize that “relaxable” isn’t a word, but if you read the introduction, you’ve learned about how I deal with rhymes.

DJ Yellow & Flowers and Sea Creatures – No One Gets Left Behind (Konstantin Sibold Remix)

Beatport

 

     Get Physical may be my favorite label at the moment. Its Poésie Musik sub-label has released some of my most cherished tracks of late, like the Martin Roth remix of “Balloons” and the Gui Borrato remix of “My Head is a Jungle.” In Poésie’s latest offering, a drab and lifeless production is saved by the magic of Konstantin Sibold. While Sibold’s “disco” remix of “Into You” may be the most popular from the release, it’s his “years ago” mix that best captures the essence of the track in my opinion. With deep, stabbing, synth sounds acting as both hook and bassline and the strength of some relatively bare percussion sounds, the song turns into a track  more than worthy of Get Physical.

Jonas Woehl ft. Fabian Reichelt – Into You (Konstantin Sibold Years Ago Remix)

BeatportiTunes

 

     The video of the week is another interview with RiFF RaFF, because I’m lazy and the guy is just funny.

 

     Have a great week!

Embodying the Kenyan Spirit (Part 1)

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The completion of my weekly quiz marks the beginning of the weekend. In other words, it's time to drink beer upon beer upon beer until one passes out in the comfort of a warm, welcoming floor. As the sunlight dawns the following morning, a headache seeps itself into one's consciousness, as a symbol of your sins of the previous night; no need for worries, multiple glasses of water and ample rest is all one needs to restart the cycle Saturday night.


Personally, my Friday was fairly anti-climactic. Following a brief game of ultimate frisbee with friends, we all headed to the bars for happy hour. Before I proceed, I must inform you all that I was relatively new to the concept of drinking at approximately 5PM, my only prior experience being at frosh. I am a night owl, and normally have my first beer by midnight or so. Amazed by the incredible concept of dollar beers, within the first hour I was already 5 drinks in, and feeling pretty drunk at that point, although that did not stop me from dishing out some loonies for a few more beers. Fast forward to about 9PM, when I decided to drop off my bag (containing my laptop) at my apartment to continue the night. As it so happens, there was no continuation. From what I can remember, I stumbled into my place, took off my bag, and passed the fuck out (apparently it was for "power nap" purposes). Peace homie, as in "I am never going to wake up from this eternal boozy slumber". Not even multiple slaps from my sister could bring me back from the depths of my sleep. 

                                      

I woke up at approximately 5AM to a multitude of texts and missed calls, all of them to which I replied at that very time. They immediately called back to inform me of the epic night that I had missed out on. If there is something that I can draw from this entire situation, it is that when you start drinking before the sun sets, it becomes a marathon rather than a race. You must embody the Kenyan spirit to stay awake and functional (optional) throughout the night. Furthermore, my bed is too comfortable for my own good; consequently, I will opt for a floor the next time I consider taking power naps. 

The music I will be providing for you today comes directly from my Ravenight set, so each and every song has been expertly curated by yours truly. 

After having seen Dusky at piknik only short weeks prior, I most definitely was including them in my set. As it so turns out, they are releasing an EP on the 23rd of September. That being said, I was unable to play their new material, although I did play an old (2011) song of theirs entitled "Stick by this". Differing from the current direction of their music, this tune is very melodic and euphoric. 




Following the melodic and emotion-grasping song above, I decided to keep those emo vibes rolling. Kilter is the man for the job. Having remixed a well known song by Ben Pearce, "What I might do", Kilter provides the right amount of tempo for the melody, conveying a piece that I classify as "ear tear" material.


Lost Scripts is a duo comprised of John Talabot and Pional. This pretty much sums up their sound, as it is exactly as one would imagine. The tones used in this piece mesh really well together, employing slightly dampened vocals with pronounced synths that are omnipresent throughout the chorus. The verses come with low notes and a percussive kit that does not overpower the other comprising elements of the song. Taken from a label collective release, "Young Turks 2013", Lost Scripts debuts their song entitled "I'll be watching you".


I will continue my Ravenight set playlist in the following instalment of "Embodying the Kenyan Spirit". You see, I separated my set into two different segments, the first being very emotional, while the other half would be dance inducing. The aforementioned songs represent the emotional segment. I hope you enjoyed listening to these tunes as much as I had fun playing them. 

The rather smokey video of the week comes from Alex Smoke. See what I did there. Of course not. Hailing from R&S records, this tune is entitled "Dust". Speaking of R&S, Tessela released an absolute percussive masterpiece called "Nancy's Pantry", for those of you who are into minimal UK bass.  



Have a good weekend! 

Introductory Implosion

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     I really liked not having to write an introduction for my last post, so I’m going to do the same with this one. I think this could be considered an introduction, seeing as it’s a block of text that precedes the body of the post, but it completely avoids the responsibility of an introduction. In layman’s terms, not that a non-layman wouldn’t know what an introduction is considering it’s self-explanatory name, an introduction introduces the subject matter that is to follow. Since what is contained in this “introduction” doesn’t mention what’s featured below, it can’t be thought of as an introduction at all. In essence, this introduction is a group of words that is simply filling space. As I’ve mentioned many times before, I don’t think any of you read anything that we write, so long as the block of text is long enough. If it’s an introduction, which on this website is usually reserved for personal anecdotes and laziness-related apologies, I’m assuming that the odds that anyone reads said introductions are even slimmer. In fact, I could write just about anything at this juncture of the introduction and pair it with a completely unrelated image, since I’ve just about reached the paragraph size necessary for dismissal. Therefore, to properly conclude this introduction, I’d like to congratulate myself in achieving my goal of using the word introduction more times than there are lines in this introduction. Onto the music.

wild yeti

     Fantastic Armada-sounding drop and a lovely bunch of vocals from one of the best independent trance labels out there.

Arman Bahrami ft. Alisa Villegas – Beat Of My Heart (Uplifting Mix)

Released through Neuroscience Recordings on August 19th, 2013

BeatportiTunes

     French Express keeps on getting better and it’s easy to see why when they’ve got a guy like Chris Malinchak on their roster. Also worth a mention is Isaac Tichauer’s full-length album “Devotion,” which will be taken down from SoundCloud shortly, so grab it for free while you still can.

Chris Malinchak – So Into You (Original Mix)

Free download via SoundCloud

     Ignore the Hardwell remix of the Mark Knight and Funkagenda remake. Laurent Garnier never would have accepted his song be re-interpreted if he had known it would be edited by one of the faces on the Mount Rushmore of mainstream EDM. ATFC’s on the other hand… just listen.

Mark Knight & Funkagenda – Man With The Red Face (ATFC’s “When The Lights Go On” Remix)

Released through Toolroom Records on September 2nd, 2013

Beatport

     My brother used one word to describe Dusky’s performance at Piknic Electronik: vibe-inducing. I’d use the same one to describe their upcoming release on Aus Music.

Dusky – Carefree (Original Mix)

Released through Aus Music on September 23rd, 2013

 

     This week’s clip is BY FAR the worst DJ Mag video this year.

    

     Don’t forget to buy your tickets for the Above & Beyond afterparty at Circus Afterhours on September 21st, when Rob Naylor will make his debut as a professional DJ. Also, have a great weekend!

post travel blues

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Honestly, it’s really hard for me to find any kind of general motivation whatsoever since I got back from travelling/living in Europe. They call it “post vacation blues” or something, another fancy phrasing to basically say that when you go from something "awesome” to something “normal”, you find “normal” quite boring. At least there’s an advantage that comes from my lack of motivation (and new(re)found love for sleep) and that would be that instead of being all serious about school and stuff I’ve just been wandering on the web and digging around some new (and old) music.

IMG_2081

A few months back I wrote a rant on how I thought that new music sucked: well, to be honest, I think I was just digging at the wrong places and listening to the wrong tracks and genres. I guess I’m a little over commercial Trance and such (although I can still confirm that Throuse fucking sucks) and that even if I don’t enjoy certain genres as much anymore, it doesn’t mean everyone should think like me. Music has to evolve (for better or for worse) and you can’t do much about it, beside trying to find stuff you like somewhere else if that particular genre you liked went to shit (in your opinion).

Lately, I’ve been looking into the debut albums of well-known rap artists (50 Cents, Eminem, …) and found out that before most of them went all YOUNG MONEY CA$H MONEY BUSINESS, they actually had a lot of talent and deserve their fame. One of the most surprising album I have found was Infinite, by Eminem. That album was released in 1996 and most of the world never heard of it because Eminem only got popular after The Slim Shady LP. The whole album is great, but the track entitled Infinite (like the album title) is definitely my favorite. It’s quite nice to hear Eminem kicking it old school. Check it out below, it’s definitely worth your time.



 

Most of my time has been spent finding nice indie and underground music though. It is unbelievable how much music goes by unnoticed and how much the ones we hear all the time are not always the best; I guess marketing is that powerful. I’ll start by posting another rap song since you probably are already in that vibe if you took the time to listen to the previous track. It is called “Slicker Than Average” and was made by The Mouse Outfit (featuring Sparkz and Dubbul O). Not going to lie, I have no freaking idea who these guys are and let’s thank the Hypemachine for this one (although from their accent we know they’re not form the US and they sound weirdly familiar to the Foreign Beggars). Very very chill track: some piano and quite minimal and standard bass line and drums. Great track to listen to after a long day. FREE DOWNLOAD!



 

Next is a track from a guy from Sydney that loves Paint (oh, and that makes good beats too). Very happy track (woo hoo!) with some kind of trappy feel from the hit hat, clap, snare and samples. I’ve heard this guy was rocking it lately, so make sure to check his stuff out. FREE DOWNLOAD AGAIN!



Finally, the most random find of the week for me is definitely Vondelpark. Vondelpark, beside being the park of Amsterdam, is a music group from London (UK) formed in 2010. They use many different instruments and seem to turn every song they touch into the chillest track ever. Their last “victim” (or winner) was a track from Pale named Fearing Faces. Here is the dub mix that Vondelpark did:



Also, Vondelpark released in album earlier this year, called Seabed, that is really worth the listen if you enjoyed the track above. Check out their Soundcloud HERE.

The video of the week is the unrated version of Blurred Lines, just because… Woooooooo. PS: Pharrell Williams is a fucking boss. PS 2: Hope you’re not standing or/and in a public place.


 

Have a great week people!

Conditioning your roommate.

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As of the following day, I will become completely self-reliant, studious, responsible adult who inhabits his very own apartment. In other words, I am leaving the nest. A good portion of me thinks that this will be a positive change, where I will grow older and become much more self-sufficient than I currently am. However, the other portion of my psyche is worried about the simple necessities that comprise this independence.


That being said, I have never been much of a cook. Although I attended a culinary school for the duration of a summer in my youth, I have yet make more than the simple breakfast amenities that bring joy to all (i.e. eggs and bacon). In order to survive in the concrete jungle, I have brought with me a very useful tool. They are called roommates, and will cook and do your laundry whenever you ask them to. I guess it is safe to say that if you can successfully condition your living partner to become a slave to your will, your life will become much easier to maintain.

All joking aside, if one does not learn due to curiosity, one must learn out of necessity. Consequently, I might not become the next master chef, but I will be able to make a wide variety of meals that all include ready made foods.

An artist I recently discovered is one by the name of DevonWho. The California-based producer seems to draw inspiration from all wakes of life, for his music sways through genres without a definite linearity. However unpredictable, his signature usage of of undulating, prolonged, comatose-like synths are made apparent throughout his productions. My words are not enough to fully inform you, so here is an old production of his, entitled "Cabbages".


Everyone seemed to be remixing Ciara this year, whether it be through the lens of Cyril Hahn or Ryan Hemsworth. A few days ago, another artist, Jacques Greene (who I accidentally met at an Actress show), has lent his talent to two of her most celebrated singles, 'Body Party' and 'Sorry'. Available as a free download on his webpage, they are remixed in his emotionally saturated style, driving the vocals with sombre tonalities that contrast the jovial nature of the originals in such a way that captivates the ear. Hear them below. 



Jacques Greene is not the only Montreal native who has been stirring up the music scene in the last few weeks. Tommy Kruise has collaborated with skateboard company Dime for a mix tape entitled "Porn for the Blind". The artist dubs this compilation of tracks as "wavy". Available for download through an alternate link found on Soundcloud, the content lives up to its title.



For those not in the loop with Earl Sweatshirt's new album 'Doris', it released short days ago to critical acclaim. With Pitchfork backing it as best new music, Earl Sweatshirt has truly returned to prominence despite his disappearance the previous year. Collaborating with the likes of RZA and BadBadNotGood, the production supported the young prodigy as he evolved from the provocative indifference that comprised his bars towards a leniency for lyrics with purpose. Listen to a song off the album below (Hoarse - Earl Sweatshirt (Produced by BBNG))


There is another rapper that has been getting some attention these past few months; southern hip-hop oddity Lil Ugly Mane has disproved those who believed he had left his career behind him, releasing a compilation of unreleased tracks on two occasions throughout the month. Entitled the "Three Sided Tape" , it contains sludgy, gutted southern hip-hop that remains experimental at very same time. Enjoy!




I will warn you beforehand, the video of the week has the possibility to cause seizures. However, if you see behind this, you will find quite a visually stimulating musical 'experience'. This a light show taken from a set played during the SAT Fest from Baillat Cardell & Fils.

Untitled

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     I didn’t feel like expending the necessary time and energy involved in brainstorming a snazzy title, so instead, here’s a solid Paul Woolford track by the same name.

 

     I find it odd that I didn’t notice the following track during Matt Fax’s ABGT guestmix, considering how great I deem the song to be. I was playing Xbox at the time, which might provide a clue as to why, but I usually pause the gameplay whenever a new tune peaks my interest, so the jury’s still out. Regardless, the young Frenchman’s latest release on Arrival is a mysterious one, as I’m unable to decide whether it’s an homage to old-school trance, a return to the transitory period between the latter and trance 2.0, or an overly synthed progressive trance piece. Either way, the beautifully spaced wind sounds, the bright, sweeping synths and seamless transitions from piano to digital pad have me sold on “Point 9.” With all the buzz surrounding this artist and the strength of his productions, 16-year old Matt Fax is definitely one to look out for in the future.

Matt Fax – Point 9 (Original Mix)

Released through Arrival on August 12th, 2013

Beatport

 

     Back in February of this year, my one-sided bromance partner, Eric Prydz, brightened a Friday night with a special Essential Mix on the airwaves of the BBC. The two-hour radio show will forever be known as the Pryda Essential Mix, since most of the tracks chosen to be played were produced under his Pryda alias and approached the progressive sound the moniker espouses. In a surprising move, Mr. Prydz recently decided to offer a second Essential Mix in 2013; this time, a live performance, slightly more Cirez D-oriented (his techno pseudonym), broadcast from the Privilege Nightclub in Ibiza. The 82 minute set featured myriad unidentifiable tunes, as is wont with any of his live shows, an up to date edit of his “Personal Jesus” remix, and a tweaking of “Petroleum” by Jeremy Olander and Kent, among many others. Check it out below to decide whether or not he bested his performance in February.

 

     As much as I adore Eric Prydz, I think it may be in his students’ best interest to fly the coop. Take for example Andre Sobota who, since leaving Prydz’s Pryda Friends, has become one the most beloved names in progressive house. By toying with the tendencies of techno, minimal, and proghouse, he’s lured label bosses with the promise of chart-topping hits, such as his Futura EP for Konstrukt Records, his Jody Wisternoff remix for Anjunadeep and his Surrounded By Time EP for microCastle. In fact, the latter was such a immense success, from both a monetary and artistic standpoint, that microCastle head Mitch Alexander recently asked Sobota back for another go. Out of this partnership came Pulsatilla EP, a crowning achievement in the Brazilian's young career.

pulsatilla

     Of the 6 tracks included, title-track “Pulsatilla” easily distinguishes itself with it’s eerily comforting synths, an intricate network of percussion with precisely selected velocities, and its deep, gurgling bassline. It’s greatest success comes from it’s melody, who’s ability to make itself seem far more complex than it is-aided by the ear’s natural attention to the whole of the track, as opposed to individual layers-is the core of “Pulsatilla’s” expressive faculty. I can only speak for myself in writing that I believe Sobota is applauding individuality, while giving equal importance to the role of the private citizen in modern society. Stripped down, this piece of audible art is a wonder to experience, and is equally as lauded as a simple dance number, as evidenced by its stark ascension of the Beatport charts. One of the best tracks of 2013 thus far, “Pulsatilla” gets the seldom-used, very fawking hawt label from yours truly.

Andre Sobota – Pulsatilla (Original Mix) [very fawking hawt]

Released through microCastle on July 22nd, 2013

Beatport

 

     This week’s video and final track are one in the same. Ahead of their début LP, Different Sides of the Sun, due in September, UK super group Hot Natured plans to release a fourth single, of which a music video appeared a short time ago. A group of friends embark on a bizarre, hallucinatory trip after a night out in the moving pictures for “Isis (Magic Carpet Ride).” Featuring the vocals of Egyptian Lover, along with the familiar Ali Love, the new single is poised to stand out from the others on the album. In complete contrast with their usual clear-cut house productions, the British quartet have created a deep house so light-hearted that it borders on disco house. You’ll understand what I mean from the first listen; “Isis (Magic Carpet Ride)” devolves into a spell-binding bout of synth-pop at the very end, as if to compare old-school disco to Hot Natured’s own modern spin on the genre. I can’t wait to see how they incorporate this tune into Different Sides of the Sun’s continuous mix.

 

     Have a great weekend!

How to alienate white people.

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In China, even the tourists are Chinese. How does this translate to your average white fellow travelling abroad? For every 100 people you cross in almost any city, whether it be Beijing or Hong Kong, there will only be a 10% chance that you will spot a visible minority. In other words, succumbing to the alienation of a month-long trip to China is anything but impossible. For the first few weeks, I felt there was a certain need that this trip was not fulfilling; all racism aside, that need just so happened to be the comforting presence of multiculturalism. Due to the fact that Montreal is a melting pot, it is a commonality to cover the globe, racially speaking, in a matter of blocks. Furthermore, nobody speaks English, creating a language barrier so strong that one is considered lucky to receive a retort following a  mere salutation.


Although a truthful generalization of the Chinese population, the primary cosmopolitan areas are filled with young business men and women who are fluent in English. Consequently, if you happen to stumble into the bars at night, a drunken conversation is not an option that is entirely out the window. Speaking of the nightlife, from personal experience, the youth do not seem to possess more than a surface appreciation of the world's Top 40 and local pop sensations. Nevertheless, they are heavy drinkers and tobacco smokers, since marijuana is strictly prohibited under sanction of imprisonment. Also, the bars/clubs never close in cities like Shanghai, yielding much truth to the youth and limitlessness of night. This equation makes for a group of hard partygoers and second-hand smoke galore, and they wouldn't have it any other way.


Lastly, something must be said about the generosity of the people. The first night I landed in Hong Kong, my sibling and I were shown the scene by a friend of ours who resides in the city. Armed with all but 100$ for our night, the drink menus blew us away, with shots and cocktails starting at 10$. In other words, it is an extremely expensive city. Never fear, Kevin (our friend) is here! He and his friends spent approximately 200$ on us, which speaks for itself regarding their hospitality towards foreigners.


On to the recent musical accomplishments of the talented artists of the world, shall we? Coni, a french techno producer, has released his first EP with Parisian label ClekClekBoom that has been a favourite of mine as of recent. Entitled "My Secret Diving E.P.", this Gallic style of techno, which takes inspiration of garage as well as adhering to the minimal ideology of progression, has created a niche for ClekClekBoom that causes them to stand aside and pave their own way through the vast midst of techno music. Although not revolutionary, and drawing comparison to the likes of Darling Farah, much can be said of Coni's new EP which has evolved from his sound the previous year. Hear the difference below:

Coni - Sunday (Released on Youngunz last year)

Coni - Feel like home (Released on CCB last month)

Omnipresent vocalist on Mount Kimbie's "Cold Spring Faultless Youth", King Krule, the multi-talented 18-year-old, is releasing his debut LP (6 Feet Beneath the Moon) on the 27th of August. Earlier in July, he released the single 'Easy Easy' off the upcoming album, and the video, which has seen a release short days ago, is up to par with the piece. Displaying his day to day life in south-east London, it is filled with the quirks of teenage angst and has a certain charm which cannot be stated, but rather observed. 


J. Tijn is releasing a 4 track EP through WNCL Recordings. For any Blawan lovers, J. Tijn seems to possess the very same industrial sound and upbeat tempo that flared up the dance floor when 'Peaches' would drop. With prior releases on labels such as Turbo and PennyRoyal, the U.K. producer seems to possess ample promise in his respective domain of music, which can be considered a fusion of industrial house and 2-step garage. While the A side is more melodious and soft to the ear, the B side is ment to destroy rave settings at the late hours of the night, with ample bass driven hi-hats and longing synths that give one a feeling of utter euphoria. Set to release this month, here is a preview of the entirety.



The following artist is somewhat of a mystery to me, mainly because I am not even certain of his name. From what I am aware, Jimmy Edgar and Machinedrum have recently founded their very own label, called 'Ultramajic'. The first EP to release from this label was from Jimmy himself, entitled 'Hot Inside'. From hereon, it is all quite hazy. All that I can tell you is there is a upcoming release from the label in the month of September named as follows: "METAPHISIX 1: MENTALISM". Another thing I can tell you is that it is quite the 4 track compilation, featuring two new additions to the label's roster, Aden and Creepy Autograph. Hear the preview of one of the tracks below.


The video of the week comes to you from one of the founders himself, Machinedrum. According to him, eyes don't lie, and we here at the Hawt do not believe he could have made himself any clearer. This song has a hybrid nature to it; notice that at the 3:00 minute mark the tonality shifts from upbeat and jovial to something much darker and sinister, as though conveying the message in a much more pessimistic view.



Behind Schedule

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     With this being the third of it’s kind this year, I think I can finally crown the mix post as the official I’m-tired-and-don’t-have-much-time cop out. Keeping my phrases concise and offering mixes instead of new releases significantly reduces the time I spend composing. This week, I’m justifying my use of this template not with the fatigue clause, but rather the falling behind one. Having just returned from a trip to the US during which Internet was avoided, I am unable to properly report my electronic music findings. Typically, I give my impressions time to marinate before I make my mind up about music; the tracks I’ve soaked in sauce since my return to Montreal haven’t absorbed enough flavor for my taste. In the interest of quality control, here are some of my favorite mixes from the past few [ambiguous time period].

finish-line-wallpaper-18

     Inspired by this week’s release of Anjunadeep 05, I figured I could write an entry about the history of the mix compilation. As I gathered my ideas, two names stood out from the pack: Sasha and John Digweed. Of the pair, one has had his most recent mix stuck in my headphones for at least the past two months. Close the curtains, dim the lights, drumroll… it’s Sasha. Adding to the challenge of selecting roughly 20 compatible songs, the famous English DJ/producer personally remixes every track included in his beloved Involver compilation series. Here’s the continuous mix of the 3rd instalment, named Involv3r.

 

     Mix 2 comes from a UK-based bass music producer called Kiri. It’s bass, it’s garage, it’s house, it’s experimental; it’s great. An important highlight comes at 14:16, when Kiri mixes in his fellow countrymen Icarus’s house and garage crossover, “Like I Do.”

 

     The third of the mixes comes from legendary British duo Groove Armada. They recently took Mixmag’s mix of the week spot with a collection of tunes from the likes of Jimpster, Hot Since 82 and themselves. The hour-long piece contains many different strands of house. Acid, deep, tech, all are welcome.

 

     Last up is Jody Wisternoff’s preview mix for the aforementioned Anjunadeep 05. I’ve listened both to his and to James Grant’s and I can state that without a doubt, Wisternoff’s is much more entertaining. A new track from himself, the much awaited “Alchemy” remix and the amazing “Kuza” from Alfred Taylor. Check it out and make sure to do the same for the entirety of the compilation. After all the reviews I’ve read and the few cuts I’ve previewed, I’m certain this is going to be quite a memorable volume.

 

     The video this week is a short documentary produced by Resident Advisor. Their “Real Scenes” YouTube series has received lots of praise for accurately depicting underground electronic music happenings. Their most recent episode takes place in the record shops, house parties, personal studios and streets of New York.

    

     Have a great weekend!

To Say Hi in Czech You Say...

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...Ahoy! 
It is always hard to find a lot of new music while traveling. The main reasons is usually that the combination of a working wifi and enough time is almost impossible. After a big lack of new good records in my ears I was in need and had to do something about it, then one thing happened
Berlin

I can't say how much I loved that city (especially Kreuzberg). East Berlin is pretty much a fuck fest of culture and awesomeness. Their motto is "we're poor but we're sexy" and it is a very very good summary of the life and people there. Few examples come to mind. First, however the fuck you're dressed or tattooed or whatever, no one will ever judge you. The people are extremely open minded and just want to enjoy life (and their beer, that you can drink in the streets by the way). Second, the street art there is amazing and doesn't consist of only annoying tags and such. Third, there are some beach clubs in the middle of the city with some real sand, real weed and real tam tams (awesome right?). Fourth, there are EDM shows every second in that city, making it possible for me to finally quench my thirst for underground sounds.


The show I went to was dubbed Factory Berlin and was at Gretchen Club, which is an old stable that got renovated with a really chill interior. After looking at the set list I thought the night would be amazing, and I was right (look at it on the left). One memorable moment during the night was definitely when Gold Panda played his most popular song "You". And by play, I mean really play it, like an instrument (sample machine, drum machine, effects, etc. etc.). The track is very chill and unique, it's a little bit hard to describe with words, but hey you can make your own mind about it. Here is the original track:




Also, before Gold Panda, a DJ I've never heard of also "performed" (same thing as Gold Panda or almost, but less intense). His name is Hannes Rasmus and I am not going to lie, it was one of the best set I've listened to in a while. It was a very cool "free your mind" type of set and everyone in the crowd was just in their head enjoying the music. I love underground EDM. Listen to these tracks and if you want more, please visit his soundcloud here:





After a great night of music and partying, the next day was very chill at the hostel and they actually played very good music in the chilling room, including Six Days by DJ Shadow, a track that I haven't heard in a while (and that was released in 2002). As I previously stated, it was a Chilling Room, so don't expect some crazy party sounds, expect awesomeness and very good vibes.



Video of the week goes to Duke Dumont with his track Need U 100%. It is quite funny and a good song. I think they guy in the video is very lucky Duke Dumont changed his style (see this track after watching Need U 100%). Check it out:



For all the people who maybe care where I am right now, I'm in Gdansk (Poland) making my way to Ukraine, where I will be in less than a week. Have a nice week people and remember to take it easy!

來自中國的問候

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     Within the next 24 hours, I will be on a plane departing for the people's republic of China, also known as the land of internet censorship and lack of free will. In other words, I will be unable to write for you for the remainder of the month. Nevertheless, this country is home to a great human civilization. China has shaped the global economic frontier, and redefined the mental and physical limitations of our species. Furthermore, along with any old civilization, there is amazing culinary knowledge of great individuality, curated through centuries of isolation and lack of outside influence.


     For obvious reasons mentioned above, I thought it to be smart if I did all my research beforehand. For starters, I was thrilled to see that their drinking age is identical to ours. Consequently, when the sun sets on the east coast of China, I will be ingesting sake bombs at an ever alarming rate worthy of the so-called "Shanghai Nights". Also, I discovered to what extent China is a capitalism mecca, despite their communistic affiliations. It turns out that Hong Kong has the most expensive retail rental costs in the world, surpassing those of New York.

     More importantly, I was inhabited with curiosity pertaining to their music scene; with such a large population, one would expect much diversity from this oriental country. Although it is hard to delve into the scene without stepping foot in it, some digging has led me to believe there is hope. Much like Montreal, most of the clubs would prefer to blast top 40 crowd pleasers, blind to the slightest trace of quality and talent. Not only that, but in the entirety of the country, there is only one EDM record label, Acupuncture records. I thought I was doomed until I was led to an organization called Void. Void hosts shows from the likes of Rrose and what have you not. After listening to the RA podcast he put on, I was quite impressed to know that dark/ambient house has a spot in Shanghai's musical palette.


     A few hours away, and the situation is completely different. While China prefers a traditional take on modern culture, Japan lives as though they were years ahead of their western neighbours, exploring the frontiers of music, art, style and design alike. German based producers Kyodai immediately come to mind, which take inspiration from the culture through not only through their moniker, but through the progressive nature of their sound as well. Only short months ago, they released their second 2-track EP entitled 'Moving'. While one song is the continuation of the much loved 'Breaking' from their first EP, 'Moving' opens with a standard piano riff which sees much repeat throughout, along with a vocal samples, that although redundant, seem to fill out the song appropriately. Listen to the song below.


     A brief canoe ride across the Pacific brings us full circle back to the Americas, where the scene is abundant and, quite frankly, over saturated. Straight out of Flatbush, the homie Joey Bada$$ has released yet another mix tape to his name, entitled 'Summer Knights'. Cyphering over beats from Kirk Knight, DJ Premier, The Alchemist, and many others, this young prodigy does not seem to be stopping anytime soon. He has quite a knack for filling musical pockets, and does so effortlessly. The only complaint people seem to have towards his delivery is that it is monotonous, and subsequently boring. Although I would disagree, you be the judge.


     In the same genre, El-P and Killer Mike have always intended on making an album at the very end of the previous year as a victory lap of a celebratory 365 days of musicality. This was never intended on becoming a commercial release, and was deemed as "cool-down" production and a fun project. As it turns out, Run The Jewels was a triumphant success, soaring over any musical achievement that came their way the previous year. Critically acclaimed by many to be one of the best LPs (in the genre) released in 2013, this is definitely worth a listen. It is important to note, however, that this delves into the experimental fringe of rap, and might not be for everyone.


     Our video of the week comes from Blondes, a Brooklyn based duo that have recently released an album entitled 'Swisher' through RVNG. This album contains everything a new-wave house album should contain, all while displaying their prowess through the ever evolving and complex melodies that seem ubiquitous. Blondes displays their ability to convey emotion through music, for this album is capable of uplifting even the most sorrowed individuals. Take a trip through the lens of 'Elise', the final song off their album.


     That is all for this week, and I will be seeing you all in the following month! 

Bashar al-Assad, Grape Jell-O and Jimmy Buffett

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daydreaming

     Recently, I’ve been taking lots of long walks. Podcasts are usually a great companion, but when you’re trying to lose yourself in thought, radio host chatter acts like a firewall. It’s pretty difficult, once you’ve been pulled back into reality after poking around in the deepest recesses of your brain, to find your way back to where you went astray in the first place. It’s sort of like waking up before getting to the really good part of a naughty dream: you struggle with going back to sleep, but you’re too focused on your fun bits, you forget what he or she looks like and you end up solving the Syrian crisis by feeding homemade grape Jell-O to beloved singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett instead. The point is, I rather listen to straight tunes relatively devoid of speech that aid in entrancing than Podcasts. Enter the mix compilation, a brilliant form of LP which has the artists sift through the bad music for you, compile the gems that are left and organize those into a mix that sends the listener on a voyage through his/her grey matter. Here are a few of the tracks from mix compilations that have enamored me the most over the past years.

anjunadeep 03

     Featured on the 3rd installement of Anjunadeep’s yearly compilation, all attention was directed towards the heavyweights’ productions: Stephen J. Kroos’s “Micrsh,” Martin Roth’s “Deep Style” and Maro Levi’s “Devotion.” But when you first pressed play on Electrobios, Liluca and Interplay’s “Depends On You,” the wayward support synths and bold bassline hooks let you know it was something more than the veterans had done.

Electrobios & Liluca ft. Interplay – Depends On You (Original Mix)

BeatportiTunes

Released through Anjunadeep on October 25th, 2011

Electrobios & Liluca feat. Interplay - Depends On You (Original Mix) by edgarbanuelos

 

     Today, when I sat in front of my computer to finish this post, the area in which I live was hit with a power outage. Everything before this was already written so even if I hadn’t provided this information, you’d still have ease in distinguishing the difference in quality between all previous and the rest. What I’m trying to say is I’d like to stick to our schedule and get this post out to you on Thursday, so the rest of this is scribbled down somewhat hastily. Feel free to ignore the weakness of the script and turn you focus to the music, which is what I’m sure most of you do anyways, in which case, HERE’S ANOTHER BLOCK OF TEXT IN CAPITAL LETTERS THAT’S YOUR NOT GOING TO READ.

rielism

     One of the strongest exclusives featured on Sied van Riel’s Rielism compilation from two years ago, here’s the tyDi remix that propelled the Australian DJ/producer to the next level.

BT ft. JES – The Light In Things (tyDi Remix)

BeatportiTunes

Released through Black Hole Recordings on May 9th, 2011

BT (Feat. Jes) - The Light in Things (tyDi Remix) by tyDi Music

 

     One of my first everlasting loves in electronic music was this track from the 8th volume of Anjunabeats’s yearly compilation, a truly amazing straddling of the line between trance and progressive.

Boom Jinx & Andrew Bayer – Keyboard Cowboys (Original Mix)

BeatportiTunes

Released though Anjunabeats on July 19, 2010

 

     I didn’t even listen to this kind of music back in 2006. I simply figured that since they’re known as two of the greatest mix compilation-ers, I should probably include a track from both John Digweed and Sasha. First up is Digweed and to my surprise, I found one of my all-time favorite uncategorizables on the first of his Renaissance compilations: “On Spec” by Knights of Columbus.

On Spec – Knights Of Columbus (Original Mix)

BeatportiTunes

Released though Renaissance on June 5th, 2006

 

      This track is from the most recent edition of Sasha’s Involv3r series. Everyone has already heard of his Ultraista, Little Dragon and The XX remixes, so I thought I’d include one of my favorites from the non-obvious bunch. Here’s his Involv3r remix of his own “Shoot You Down” with vocalist Kicki Halmos.

Sasha ft. Kicki Halmos – Shoot You Down (Sasha Invovl3r Remix)

BeatportiTunes

Released through Ministry of Sound on March 17th, 2013

Sasha feat Kicki Halmos - Shoot You Down by Mixmag

 

Here’s wishing you a happy what’s left of Independence Day and a great weekend!