Photo by Tyler Haft
I think we can all agree on one thing: No matter what walk of life we are from - the weekend is awesome. And hey, it's a three-day weekend for a lot of us! Time to do some adventuring. Stretch out those hammies, put on these tropical, chill jammies and get out into that big, beautiful world.
I’m going to a place that's a little salty, wet and wonderful along the CA coastline. Some of my favorite wild things and I are exploring the magical place where the rocky cliffs and sandy shores meet the redwood trees - Big Sur. It's going to be a grand adventure and we are going to do whatever we damn well please, stopping to soak it all in and enjoy the calm, tranquil vibes. If you’ve never been, put it on your list of things to do in 2015.
I’ll be honest with you, I made this chart for my friends and I to jam to this weekend. Write what you know, so they say, so hopefully this will give you a little sense of who I am and what I dig. I even have my brother Will, who is a fantastic guitarist and writer for the Eureka Times Standard, guest star in this week’s chart with a little something different that I think you’ll enjoy a lot.
The grooves are for real and we have a rowdy mix of tropical, melodic, chill and even some finger-style guitar to compliment whatever adventure you choose. Now, get on out there and start giving strangers high fives. The world needs more random high fives.
QUICK NOTE: The full playlist can be found at the bottom of this article if you just wanna jam all the way through! Enjoy.
1. “We’re All We Need feat. Zoë (Spada Remix)” - Above & Beyond
Let’s get a little rowdy from the get go. Last week I mentioned that the melodic/tropical undertones are creeping into all genres of electronic now, and this melodic, deep house space voyage through the trancy galaxy of Above & Beyond is the perfect example. I am stoked to check A&B out for the first time ever at the Forum in LA next month, but until then, this kickin' remix by one of my favorite up-and-comers, Spada, is quenching my thirst. Check out his new mix Spadalicious #3 on Soundcloud for more.
2. “Waves (Alex Schulz Remix)” - Dotan
Am I hearing a little Gnarls Barkley “Crazy” xylophone cover sample in this? Maybe I’m crazy, you tell me. Whether or not it’s intentional, it's a nice touch in the midst of a beautifully crafted rework of Dotan’s original sultry song. His voice reminds me a lot of José González with a little more pop behind the music. Germany’s Alex Schulz has a slate of strong originals behind him and his musician’s touch shines in his melodic house remix composition.
3. “Love Me Harder (LYAR Remix)” - Ariana Grande feat. The Weeknd
I’m just a sucker for this song, to be honest. This bouncing version has been on repeat all week and the original causes me to hit some high notes that no grown man should. The bae Ariana’s siren sounds and angelic voice of The Weeknd ring out over the tranquil tropical oasis that German duo LYAR has brought to us. Dance, party and dance party to this Trop 20 radio remix.
4. “Need U 100% (N2N Remix)” - Duke Dumont
I’m loving the massive energy! It consumes you like a rogue wave and spits you out with a big old grin on your face once you come up for air. N2N’s tropical stylings hit the pedal to the floor with a firework show that flies past the more mellow trop remixes he’s pulled off so far. But beyond his own portfolio of sand-stepping work, this is the first time I’ve heard Duke Dumont reworked like this. It feels big, it makes you wanna fly and it's got the perfect balance of progressive, deep and tropical stylings in its arsenal. Turn the speakers two sizes too loud and bass-jump with N2N.
5. “Cranes (Kölsch Remix)” - Monkey Safari
First off, Kölsch is a delicious beer from Cologne, Germany that I highly recommend you get your hands on immediately. Second, Kölsch is a bitchin' producer with many aliases out of Denmark. He’s been touring around the US, dropping into clubs with high octane melodic rumbles and deep house rompings. The man has style, he’s a seasoned veteran of the game and his experience and taste allows him to take you on this ten-minute digital cruise party. Grab one of those tasty beers, find a nice step that you like and get the body in motion with this heavenly ocean of lush light and enrapturing instrumentals.
GUEST CONTRIBUTOR: Will Houston
6. “Please Don’t” - Leo Stannard
What do you get when you blend some string-slapping magic, a rolling electric guitar riff, punching percussive hits and an English man? Leo Stannard, that's who, and he's here to show you how it's done. While the guitar slapping can be a pony trick in some acts, Stannard knows how to keep it grooving but also when to settle down with some light finger-picking caress. By mixing in both electric and recorded drums along with ethereal backing tones, Stannard accents the instruments and his own voice so they stand out exactly when you want them to be there. (Please) Don't let the pretty tones fool you though. Stannard's got something to say and wants you to feel it.
7. “Rehab (Tom Misch Remix)” - Amy Winehouse
If the late, great Amy Winehouse could choose an artist to remix her work I think it actually might be Tom Misch. I imagine the fellow Brit would even be homies with her. I’ve said it before, again and I’ll say it again again - Tom Misch is the top new artist of the last year. I don’t even think he’s hit his prime yet and he already has a mature palette for tight, jazzy guitar, blues-infused crooning and a producer's ear that would make another too-early gone artist, J Dilla, very proud. He plays the instruments, he blossoms the beats, and check out all his other work to discover his smooth-as-silk voice.
8. “Falling Short (JackLNDN)” - Lapsley
What a babe. Long melodic legs, synthy curves in all the right places, piercing big bass, beautiful eyes and a deep house gaze that will leave you thunderstruck. JackLNDN sends in these seductive songs to do his bidding and they’re coming back with waves of fans, both listeners and critics alike. Touted as one of the hottest young acts to check out in 2015, he is throwing down big from the get go and we are all at his and his babelicious track's mercy. I love Lapsley’s original for chill listening but the London lad has taken all the right pieces out (mainly her sweet vocals) and built a jam worthy of both cruising and laying down some fancy footwork.
9. “The Sweetest Sin” - RAEVE
I’m hoping this is the first of many originals from the French maestro RAEVE because this is that hot fire that’s an early Valentine's Day present for all the lovers out there. He’s had some solid remixes reach the masses, but this should really catapult him to the upper levels of the melodic house game. As tropical house can sometimes get repetitive in stylings and effects, melodic house, I believe, has the most room to grow and create a true signature for oneself. RAEVE is bringing some solid emotion to his work and I’m in love with the love.
10. “I Will Never Let You Down (Lulleaux Remix)” - Rita Ora
We are dancing out the building after work tonight. The Netherlands must be a paradise of the north because Lulleaux is firing off sun bursts from the speakers with every single remix. His “Little by Little” and “When The Beat Drops Out” reduxes last year were some of my favorite tracks by far and this one again feels like aloe vera on a sunburn. Cool, refreshing, and pulsing with a vibrant energy, I am feeling that Indian Summer vibe down here in SoCal.
Full Chart. Groove on…