Flashlights and Explosions

M83 - Midnight City

This song is straight up gorgeous. It comes off the upcoming release of Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, which should be a very solid album if he keeps his quality at this level.

Foster the People - Houdini (RAC Remix)

Get ready to smile. Then check out their song “Pumped Up Kicks”.

Wolfgang Gartner ft. Will.I.Am - Forever

"Are you serious - Will.I.Am?" I hear you say. Yes, like you and everyone else who has written about this track, the talentless solo "artist" / leader of The Black Eyed Peas (who I similarly despise) has somehow finagled his way onto a track with the soon-to-be-legendary Wolfgang Gartner. Honestly, that Gartner could produce such an amazing song with the "excessive vocals of an ego-seeking diva", to paraphrase one reviewer, really speaks to his skills as an artist.

Is Tropical - The Greeks

Up-and-coming young guns from London Is Tropical released this bass-laden track recently. In addition to the bass, the trio’s lyrical style and synth use remind me of Crystal Castles, although I’d caution that they are less experimental. It’s a captivating song and lots of fun.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention that Is Tropical never shows their faces; they’re always wearing masks. Not quite sure what to make of that, but I’ll leave it up to you to figure out.

Avicii - ID + Vocal

Tim Bergling, best known as Avicii, is a 21 year old Swede who has been making music since the tender age of 18. The talented young man also goes by the moniker Tim Berg.

I’m just gonna skip to the fun part, which drops in around 1:15. I just love the uptempo beats that Avicii fills out until 2:45 where he takes it down a notch (a very well executed notch) with a sample of Etta James’ “Something’s Got a Hold of Me”. It’s a recognizable tune - I’d like to think because of the job Pretty Lights did with his song “Finally Moving” - although, in all likelihood, because of Christina Aguilera’s cover. (I am proud to say that Christina was not my introduction to the song, nor have I listened to her version. I also promise to never reference her or any of her contemporaries ever again, and I apologize for this one transgression.)

At any rate, Avicii has put together a fun dance tune that I’m sure had the crowds at Ultra going crazy. See for yourself, it’s hard not to get caught up in this one. If you enjoy it, I recommend looking into his other songs, including “Penguin” and “Bromance”.

PANTyRAID - Get the Money

I can’t recall how I came across PANTyRAID, which as I type I realize is a pretty outrageous name for anyone to producer under, but I’m glad I did. “Get the Money” is an experiment in dubstep and electronica that I find very soothing, but still very engaging. If you believe that is an oxymoron, well you’re probably right, but that’s just how the song comes across. You can’t help put pay attention to the intricate weave of the dubstep which so seamlessly flows over the electronic soundscape ambling along in the background (although it does occassionaly come to the fore quite nicely).

PANTyRAID is the collaborative effort between MartyParty and The Glitch Mob’s Josh Mayer, better known as Ooah. If I had to compare the sound generated by the duo, I’d say that Pretty Lights comes to mind, although there’s definitely more of a dubstep and fidget element to the music.

Anita Tijoux - 1977

“1977” showed up in Hype Machine’s list the other day while I was working away and I wasn’t really paying attention to anything else after it came on. I had been on a roll and Anita Tijoux just knocked my socks off. I’ve never really gotten into rap or hip-hop that’s been conducted in a foreign language, but I couldn’t help but be intrigued by the rhythm and flow of this French-Chilean MC. The sound is raw and for me at least, is evocative of the hip-hop scene of the early ‘90s – there is a lack of pretense or polish that is very appealing.

I used to speak Spanish quite well, but even then it was difficult for me to tell if she was laying down her lines in that language or Portuguese. Fortunately the interweb came to the rescue, revealing that while this track is in Spanish, Anita is equally capable of delivering hard-hitting soundbites in French and Spanish.

Nancy Sinatra - Bang Bang (White Noise Remix)

This song has been on repeat for about a week now. I just can’t stop listening to it. I was even pleasantly surprised when some of my friends (who don’t share my impeccable music taste) got into it.

Nancy Sinatra’s classic song (which happens to be a cover of a Sonny and Cher tune) has been transformed by 22 year old wizard White Noise (Emanuel Bender – great last name for a DJ!). He did a wonderful job emphasizing the lyrics, which gained so much fame with Kill Bill, with some solid dubstep build ups. The beauty is, though, that he doesn’t overwhelm the original like so many of his contemporaries. I do enjoy my dubstep, but far too often I find overzealous producers and DJs flood their mixes with wobble and basslines that are incompatible with the song they’re working with or just overhwlem the listener. In this case, the result is a tasteful, upbeat thriller that I’d love to see ripping up dancefloors.

TV on the Radio - Will Do

TV on the Radio is a band that I’ve been listening to a while now (and again, should need no introduction), ever since I heard “Wolf Like Me” and “Staring at the Sun”. Hailing from Brooklyn like so many of their contemporaries, this five piece band has created a beautiful, haunting and melodic song in “Will Do” that reflects on the push and pull of relationships and love. It’s all about finding balance, that most elusive state of being.

Phantogram - When I’m Small

Phantogram is composed of two friends, a guitarist and a keyboardist from Saratoga Springs, NY. After helping raise the profile of a local label, Sub-Bombin Records, they went on to perform with the likes of Metric, The xx and Yeasayer. I’ve seen the first two of those listed, and I gotta say, both are great live and adding this duo to the mix must have made for some interesting, fun shows.

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