If you’ve never before experienced the collision of trap, hip-hop and bass: you are missing out. This sweat-inducing musical collision is having a moment right now and producers — even whole labels — are devoting themselves to the future of this booty-shaking genre. All things considered, if it weren’t for the efforts of Machinedrum, who knows whether our ears would have ever enjoyed this hodge-podge of beats, bass and drops the way they do now. Ever since encountering one of Machinedrum’s tracks in 2011 I’ve wanted to see him perform live, and in the years that followed I eagerly consumed each new track or collaboration. Two weeks ago at Webster Hall, I finally got to witness him bring the house down.
There’s often a misconception that so-called “laptop producers” don’t know how to put a fresh spin on their music to captivate a live audience, but Machinedrum sure knows how to put on a show. Over the course of 90 or so minutes, he took us on a journey through his new album — complete with live visuals by A/V master Strangeloop — and he even threw in some brand new tracks at the end. Throughout his performance, I was struck by his playfulness, energy and sheer athleticism. It takes a lot to simultaneously manipulate tracks on a laptop and riff beats on drum pad, while pumping up a crowd to keep everyone engaged, but Machinedrum made it all look incredibly easy.
As the music continued to swell around me and I lost myself to the drop of my favorite songs, I began to feel something I hadn’t felt in months: Escape. For me, as with many electronic music aficionados, escapism drew me to the scene. The freedom to leave the world, dance judgement-free on a dark dancefloor and lose myself to the music became my drug, but somewhere along the way life (and the Election) got in the way. There on the dancefloor of Webster Hall, I closed my eyes, welcomed the synergy surrounding me and smiled.
As for Machinedrum’s latest tracks, I’m happy to report that trap and bass lovers will greatly approve (as do I). For a taste of his upcoming releases, check out the video below, and you can listen to Human Energy in full over on Spotify.
(Photos/Videos taken by Mallory Johns)
A lovely tribute to Barack Obama, the best president I’ve ever known. For my generation, Obama’s greatest gift to us was hope. After coming of age under George Bush, we needed something to believe in. And whatever you think about Obama, he believes in this country. He believes in us. And he believes in an America that marches constantly towards progress and inclusiveness. For me, and a lot of people I know, Obama inspired me to believe in my country again, that no matter how dark the days seem ahead, change — and progress — and hope — is always possible. Watching Obama’s farewell speech the other night (which inspired Autograf to make this song), I suddenly felt like I was a teenager again, watching Obama’s 2004 speech, transported back to a time when I felt equally helpless and anguished. And his words came through, and lifted me up — and lifted all of us up. Because it doesn’t matter if you believed in Obama. He believed in you. In all of us. And for eight years, he fought for us.
Burial dropped two new tracks via the Hyperdub label over the weekend! After the 12″ was accidentally sold at a record store in Toronto on Black Friday, they released it a little early.
Burial is the king of “deconstructed club music,” as he likes to call it. He takes the sounds of the UK club scene, goes home, and distills them into gorgeous, ambient, lo-fi music that soothes the soul.
“Young Death” is similar to his more recent stuff, with haunting vocals that drift around and in and out, like snowflakes falling from the sky, thicker and thicker, swirling through the calm.
“Nightmarket” is my personal favorite of the two. It reminds me a little of Daft Punk’s Tron Legacy soundtrack — it’s definitely got that futuristic, galactic vibe with that reverb.
Theo Kottis has been getting a lot of attention this year for his stellar releases on Moda Black and Arjunadeep. And while his stuff can mostly be labeled deep house, he’s not just another guy making deep house. His stuff has a maturity and depth of emotion that keeps me coming back for more.
This mix shows off his ear as a DJ. He weaves through sounds so smoothly, and every move is tight and precise. It’s got a great flow while featuring a diverse set of tracks.