Photo by Shamani Hall
Last night it rained for the first time in a while in LA. I know, big deal Benny, calm your coconuts. The thing is, it was a big deal for me. I’ve been anxiously awaiting a weekend hugging sand under lukewarm sunshine but this unfamiliar smell and sound and wash looked good on the city. I actually missed it and wanted it to stay. There was a comforting feeling to it, like the warm sheets and blankets I wanted to be under while listening to it fall.
Last week the same thing happened, driving home after a long day in the office. I hopped in the car, turned the speakers up full monty to the tune of Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and realized...it was 8:00pm and still gorgeous and sunny out...what was happening. Cue super stoked-summertime is here-dgaf-looking like an idiot-hitting all the high notes-in traffic dance party.
The familiar that seems so unfamiliar can take you aback sometimes and make you see how the little things go a long way. We try, or at least I do, to always have something to look forward to but there are moments, places and people that round the corner on you and just make life a little more startling in its random, raw flow.
Keeping yourself open and present for these spontaneous eruptions is the most important thing to experience life in its most simple naked form. All of us can get overly consumed with the trials and tests, but taking a minute to see how small it all is within the grander beautiful portrait is humbling and just exciting. We only have so much control over what makes us happy so be open to the random acts of awesome that await.
This week on our little trip down the tropical house and chill out highway we have a few familiar throwback tracks done in an unfamiliar way as well as some seductors and starbursts to get you in all the right moods. Enjoy, amigos...
QUICK NOTE: The full playlist can be found at the bottom of this article if you just wanna jam all the way through! Enjoy
"Big Jet Plane (Stern Remix)"
Angus & Julia Stone
Open up the window and let the sun kiss your face. We’re starting off our ride with a beauty from yesteryear that I can never get enough of. The Aussie sibling duo Angus & Julia are two of the finest musicians and people out there and this remix by Stern accentuates their beach folk loving vibe with a bouncy house remix full of no worries and wild horizons. I have this downloaded on every device I own and it always makes the day a little more beautiful.
"America (Ghosts Remix)"
The horsepower on this song leaves treadmarks on your eardrums like true melodic muscle. Ghosts has the ear for incredible singers and knows how to make their vocals pop out the speakers with his simple roving deeper touches. A recently charted remix of Hollow Coves and this simmering romp of XYLO’s love story are two examples of this growing arsenal.
"Bloodstream (LVNDSCAPE Remix)"
Ed Sheeran & Rudimental
First you take an incredible singer songwriter, then you take one of the best producing crews out of the UK and season it with the embers of a beach bonfire. The brand new LVNDSCAPE has chosen a great track to create a freshman breakout rework that rides the Ed Sheeran tropical remix wave that has been so impactful. Now I want an original with Ed at the helm. Help a brotha out.
There’s nothing better than lying in silence with your other half under the hot sun by the beach. The UV rays soak in, the music drifts off and the day becomes a daze watching each other bask in the beauty behind Ray Ban shades. NoMBe’s original is sultry and sexy as the endless summer sun and is setting the tone for what is sure to be a season to remember. His voice is crisp and the light guitar driven beat veers off the road towards the end to something intense.
The tropical jungle is coming alive tonight and Feki has all the primal percussive and piano trappings to make it glow. “Remember” is light and heavy in all the right ways and places and it’s future bass moments shines behind zipping synthscapes and echoing soul vocal clips. Slow Magic, Hudson Mohawke and Odesza come to mind and that ain’t too shabby for an upcoming Aussie producer who is doing this all by ear.
"When U Need Me"
I felt like I was walking into Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory when this song first began to play. This young English stunna is making sounds that vibe off the successes of Kaytranada and the likes but with a little more sense of wonder and beauty. The hip-hop, R&B influences are found throughout his debut EP Someday Somewhere but this track in particular takes you somewhere you haven’t been before and it’s nice to just stop and look around as the song comes to a close. It’s a wild ride and you’ll be glad you took it.
"Wonderwall (Hannes Fischer Remix)l"
I first heard Ryan Adams’ cover watching season one of the television masterpiece “The OC” and I remember how much it captured my new life in LA as a freshman in college in the most comfortably cheesy way possible. Many beach days and a tropical electronic movement later and here we find ourselves once again feeling that delicious cheese vibe. You can’t help but sing along and think of sweet summer (and Summer for that matter). The long days and warm nights await and Berlin’s Hannes Fischer has has the wheel on a chill drive along the hot house coast.
"Clowns feat. Pedestrian"
The groove torches are lit and the dancing shadows cast by this soulful single are hypnotizing and gigantic. Maribou State’s album on the horizon looks even more promising with this first of their kind track featuring the melting vocalist Pedestrian. I haven’t heard anything like this from their selections before and it is a direction I’m quickly becoming a fan of with each and every listen.
Without a label to back and a PR machine to send pulses of content out to the blogosphere it is difficult for an artist to make themselves known in this time of mass consumption and endless flow of lights and sounds. It takes true, unwavering talent to truly stand out and the duo that is Oh Wonder have managed to create a slowly building tidal wave of loving fans and critical acclaim with absolutely phenomenal music. I remember seeing their first post, promising a song a month for a year. Each track connects, each track lives on its own and the harmony between the man and the woman behind the speaker has grown into something that is a treat to listen to with each release.
All of their listeners look forward to the first of every month and with each tune comes an ever growing anticipation to see them strut their wonderful stuff on stage. “Livewire” brings a downtempo synth and piano laden wanderlust approach with a repeating chorus that you will be belting out in the car driving to and from work everyday. I’m so excited to watch them as much as I can at the end of 2015 and into next year. So many big things are silhouetted on the horizon for these two true musicians.
"In The Air Tonight (Panski & John Skyfield Remix)
I’ve been waiting for this moment, all my life...oh lord. My amigo in arms and fellow Magnetic Mag music man Kirk Williams, told me about a year ago that all he wants is to hear a tropical house remix of Phil Collins. My eyes lit up with this genius idea being a giant fan of Phil and frequent lip syncing Snapchatter of his opus “In The Air”. Well folks, the day has finally come.
Our friends at Tropikult brought this incredible throwback thumper to our attention and I couldn’t be happier. Panski & John Skyfield took it somewhere I did not expect, hollowing out the vocals and letting it drift to somewhere remote and expansive. I feel like I’m listening to it echoing over the canopy treetops of the rainforest with spider monkeys groovin and toucans bobbing their beaks to the nostalgic ethereal beat.
Full Chart. Groove on…