Hey y’all. It’s been a while since my last mixtape but I promise this one is wicked awesome to make up for the past few months. I’ve been busy with final exams and…graduating. So, if you’ve graduated, this is in dedication to you! And if not, it’s in dedication to you anyways! To summer and adventures! Let’s celebrate! In the words of ‘Ye: “Yes, barely pass any and every class, looking at every ass, cheated on every test. I guess this is my dissertation. Homie this shit is basic, so welcome to graduation! Get on down!”
Download | Welcome to Graduation Mixtape
Despite the fact that Yes is Pet Shop Boys 10th studio album, they show no signs of slowing down powering out hits like this one. The entire album is great to listen to and ranks right up with their previous release Fundamental that gave synth pop a new face of minimalism. This track destroys the dance floors and will be Pet Shop Boys’ next single from Yes!
Aaaah how we all love Puffball Mushroom (way to represent in costume Torbjørn)! Junior is an album that slightly moves away from the more downtempo ambient tendencies of Melody A.M. and the Understanding with songs like ‘Happy Up Here’, ‘Tricky Tricky’, ‘Vision One’, and this one, ‘The Girl and the Robot’. Watch the video for the latter below. It totally kicks ass and gets me excited for a potential Röyksopp tour…if the stage set up is anything like the one in the video, I will be so stoked! I love Robyn too, she knows how to shake it.
03 | La Roux – In for the Kill (Lifelike Remix)
La Roux, not through direct French translation, generally stands for “the red-haired one”. It’s easy to see why. While many people may think La Roux is a one woman show, Elly Jackson is accompanied by Ben Langmaid who does most of the production work. La Roux’s sound is like contemporary synth pop. She’s signed to the amazing Kitsuné label which helped her release her first single “Quicksand” but it wasn’t until now with “In For the Kill” until she got seriously noticed. It’s the catchiest of all her songs and shows off Jackson’s voice wonderfully whereas all her other singles end up dulling the song up a bit. There have been so many remixes of “In For the Kill” and the best two IMO are done by electro tech house mastermind Lifelike, and dubstep master, Skream. Check out the latter’s remix here or by buying the In For the Kill EP. They’re both ridiculous. The duo are to release their first LP in June 2009.
04 | Roy Davis Jr. Ft. Erin Martin – I Have A Vision (Fred Falke Remix)
Scion released this track’s EP a while back featuring remixes from Juan Maclean, Todd Edwards, and Fred Falke. Surprise surprise my favorite French producer wins! This is one of three FF remixes in this mixtape. Fred Falke rules.
05 | Neon Indian – Mind, Drips
I don’t have much info on Neon Indian except for the fact that they’re a boy/girl duo, one’s a musician, one’s a video artist, and they make the most psychedelic electronic pop that sounds like MGMT, New Order, and Woods warped into eerie lullabies that you can dance to. Their six track EP, Psychic Chasms, is set to release sometime this year and it is freakin’ amazing. I’ve listened to the EP like fifteen times now. You can listen to most of it on their myspace. “Mind, Drips” is their most technical song and probably my favorite one off the EP.
06 | Healamonster & Tarsier – Sadie
Awesome duo based out of LA/NY that released “Cupcake Cave” this year. They describe it as “an ambient pop album baked with layers of enigmatic soundscapes and intricate melodies. A blissful marriage of melodic whimsy and emotive introspection that transports you to a wonderland of acoustic guitars, zither, vocal harmonies, dog collars, UFO sightings, dubby beats, double rainbows, dirty rainbows and of course the sweet serenity of cupcakes. H&T’s goal for this album was to create a peaceful and abstract soundtrack to everyday meandering. It celebrates the constant search for hidden trails and the ones that eventually lead us to caves”. I wouldn’t change a thing about the description! Fantastic album and you can listen to most of it on their website.
07 | Ocuban – Behave
Another fantastic release this year is Ocuban’s Behave Decently. He’s a Brazilian beatmaker based out of Tennessee. It’s light hearted trip hop and full on experimental. Delicious.
08 | Daft Punk – Something About Us
I hope we don’t have to wait until 2011 to hear new Daft Punk stuff. They’re set to to the soundtrack for the movie Tron, set to be released two years from now! Waaah.
09 | Sébastien Tellier – Divine (Midnight Juggernauts Remix)
I think Tellier gets the award for the most remixed LP of 2008.
10 | Dapayk & Padberg feat. Caro – Island (Nôze Remix)
Found in this mix are a few German power-house electronic producers/acts, including Dapayk and Padberg, a husband/wife duo. Dapayk released Black Beauty a few years ago, an album that truly represents minimal electronic techno at its best. Since then they’ve kind of been swept under the rug for me until recently, Fake Blood AKA DJ Touché used this remix in his essential mix for BBC (which totally kicked ass and you should streaaaaaam it). The Fake Blood remix is incredible but I can’t find the Fake Blood redo of this remix anywhere so the original remix will have to do. Settle in, folks!
11 | Zion I feat. Too Short – Don’t Lose Your Head
I was introduced to Zion I by a friend who supported my learning how to c-walk through youtube videos phase and sent me one featuring this song. I was hooked! He just released his new album, The Take Over, which I haven’t had the chance to listen to yet but from what I’ve seen, it’s been getting mixed reviews.
12 | Beyoncé – Diva
This is the only Beyoncé song I have. Minus Destiny’s Child stuff. I’ve just never gotten into her but heard this song and had to have it. This song is so sick. “Diva” is the female version of Rick Ross “Hustlin'” and Lil’ Wayne’s “A Milli”. In other words, an effin’ huge track. The video is so ill. Esp her sunglasses in the beginning.
13 | Rick Ross feat. Nas – Usual Suspects
To be honest, I was never going to listen to Deeper than Rap. Outside of “I’m Bad”, and “Hustlin'”, Rick Ross feels like a two hit wonder to me. Kinda like Three 6 Mafia. I decided to check it out ’cause Kanye said so on his blog. Call me lame but Ye’s blog is awesome and every time he lists music he’s playing in his penthouse apartment (which to him, is the highest honor), they’re agreeably great artists from Sia to Pink Floyd to Q-Tip. So he said Rick Ross’ new album was off the heezy. So I got it, bumped it up on my playlist, and listened to it. And sorry Kanye and hustlers, the album isn’t that great. Just like how 50 Cent’s bases his musical strategy on being shot nine times, Rick Ross uses the whole “I-make-so-much-fucking-money-from-hustling-cocaine” strategy. Heck he even has a song called “Rich Off Cocaine”. I GET IT!!! Lyrically, the album is pretty boring. Production wise, it’s not bad. I think this song is the only one I liked enough to put on repeat. Nas rules.
14 | A Tribe Called Quest – Sucka Nigga
So classic. So concisely, musically we are the herb. So sit back and light me. Inhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaale! My style is kinda fat reminiscent of a whale. My lips is like an ooowop as I start to spray it.
15 | The Cool Kids feat. Tennille – Jump Rope
Don Cannon, the producer you may recognize as having recently worked with Asher Roth on the Greenhouse Mixtape (which isn’t that great), has done it again and collabed with The Cool Kids in producing the Gone Fishing mixtape (which is magnificent). You can download the mixtape for free on their blog.
16 | The Cool Kids – What Up Man
They get to be on this mixtape twice. Just ’cause they’re that cool.
17 | Juiceboxxx – Do U Want 2 Hear It?
This dude has released only one LP, R U There God? It’z Me, Juiceboxxx over a year ago and I haven’t stopped listening to it at least once a week. I never get sick of him ’cause the beats are fresh I never get bored ’cause the lyrics are hilarious in a clever and good way. He’s just trying to save too many kids and rock too many parties. But that’s the way thunder jam kids roll and if you don’t like it, move! For more Juiceboxx go here.
18 | Outkast – B.O.B.
Power Music. Electric Revival.
19 | Dan Deacon – Snookered
The man of the mixtape! The man in the very first photo with the crazy glasses and awesome rainbow taped music making machinery. Dan Deacon took nearly three years to complete Bromst since Spiderman of the Rings–an album so full of ebullient electronic euphoric beats, layering, and rhythm–I knew Bromst, a highly anticipated album for me this year, surely could not disappoint. And I was right. In true Dan Deacon style, listening to Bromst is like getting constant epi-needles to the heart. Life awakening. “Snookered” is the most amazing piece of electronic goodness I have heard in a long long time.
He’s currently on tour with a full 15 piece orchestra. I saw him with just his decks a few years ago and the show was insane. I can only imagine how awesome a live set would be.
20 | Basement Jaxx – Raindrops
UK haus duo Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe AKA Basement Jaxx are finally back!!! This is their first single off Scars, an album to be released sometime in September. BJaxx delivers, as always. They’re doing a ridiculous amount of festivals to warm up for their…potential tour? *Crosses fingers*
21 | VEGA – No Reason
Alan Palomo AKA VEGA got a bit of blog loving last year with his release of “All Too Vivid’, which you can stream on his myspace. He’s back and ready to attack with his first EP Well Known Pleasures this month featuring this MASSIVE hit “No Reasons”. According to my mediaplayer I’ve had this on repeat 47 times. YEYE. “No Reasons” is so easy to love with its killer pop hook and the smoothest of synths. It’s gonna be a huge hit this summer. The video–which you can watch below–is set to Thrashin’, an 80s skate movie. It’s pretty awesome. Also, Josh Brolin looks great!
In more recent VEGA news, there was some drama between VEGA and Crystal Castles at the Dallas show a few weeks ago where they were supposed to open for Toronto’s Crystal Castles at the Granada.. You can get up to date with the story here. Basically, Crystal Castles are giving more reasons for people to believe they’re total douches while the Granada MGMT and VEGA are still pretty great. CC didn’t give me a very good impression at the Starlite in Edmonton either…wait, oh yeah they didn’t show up and broke their promise of coming back for a redo. Lame.
22 | Annie – Anthonio (Fred Falke Remix)
Best known for her infectious pop songs “Chewing Gum”, and “Heartbeat” back in 2004 with her release of Anniemal, the Norwegian pop star, Annie, has been working on her newest album Don’t Stop set to be released in September. Last year, “I Know UR Girlfriend Hates Me”, and “Two Hearts” were released as teasers for this highly anticipated album that, from the sounds of it, is sure to be like Anniemal in all its strange pop eccentric glory. Recently, Annie released “Anthonio” which comes with remixes by Designer Drugs, Vaughn E, and Fred Falke. Of course, the best of these is Fred Falke and I think this is my favorite remix this year! TURN IT UP!
23 | Sia – Buttons (CSS Remix)
Dance floor killer.
24 | Death from Above 1979 – Sexy Results (MSTRKRFT Remix)
Long live DFA…and DFA 1979. Tee hee.
25 | Hot Chip – Colours (Fred Falke Remix)
Fred Falke Strikes Again! Also, Hot Chip just released A Bugged Out Mix that is two discs worth of awesomeness ranging from Pig & Dan, Mark Romboy, to the Doobie Brothers (love love love!) and Fleetwood Mac. If you liked DJ Kicks you will like this. Also, it features a new Hot Chip track “Take It In” which you can check out here. It’s not bad.
26 | The Field – Everybody’s Got to Learn Sometime
Sweden’s Axel Willner AKA The Field is about to release his second LP Yesterday and Today on May 18th. Kompakt, the label home to some of techno’s greatest artists such as Gui Boratto, Gas, and the Orb, describes the Field’s new album as being more organic than it’s predecessor. Yesterday and Today is 6 tracks spanning just over 60 minutes. Monster songs like “Yesterday and Today” and “Leave It” are over 10 minutes long with the longest song being “Sequence” a mesmerizing 15 minutes. What is more organic in comparison to From Here We Go Sublime (2007), I think, is the process of music production. Instead of cutting out the build up, this LP is an extended version of every song. You can really hear all the calculations involved in the rise and fall of waves, the insertions, deletions, and manipulations of beats. The Field, like Gui Boratto, views music as an art. With each metaphorical brush stroke, the Field paints an electronic soundscape that will remain timeless in our eyes, a soundscape not necessarily meant to be danced to but merely appreciated, enjoyed and analyzed in all its abstraction. This entire LP is simply amazing and since his first single and easily his best, “The More That I Do”, has been blogged about to no end, I decided to share a different track, “Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime”, a Beck cover. Absolutely brilliant.
27 | Modeselektor – Hasir
Modeselektor, Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary, is my favorite German minimal electronic act. They killed the Sahara at C’hella last year opening up the night for SMD, Chromeo, and Justice. But, IMO, they were the best act of the entire night. They have put all Modeselektor work on hold because they’re collabing with Apparat for their new project called Moderat. It’s pretty sweet and a song from them is further down on the playlist.
Anyways, Modeselektor was recently featured in Speaking in Code which premiered at the 2009 Boston Independent Film Festival and got great reviews! It’s a verité account of the characters behind electronic music. The result is an intimate, inspiring and sometimes heartbreaking look into a world where people get lost in music. This is a lot better than the Soulwax/Justice documentaries. The preview is pretty great and you can watch it below. I have no idea when the public actually can get a hold of this. If anyone knows, hollaback.
28 | Junior Boys – Work
I recently saw JB at the Starlite Room (Edmonton’s best music venue!) in April and I was completely blown away. Before seeing the show, I was super curious as to how their music would transform on stage. On record, JB wouldn’t really categorize as “danceable” music, but live, Junior Boys transcribe their music so well! Greenspan’s voice is even MORE magical live and Didemus, well, he just gave off an effortlessly pretentious vibe and so I didn’t really have my eyes on him that much throughout the night. The crowd and I were totally dancing up a storm. The best performed song of the night was “Under the Sun” off of Last Exit. It’s one of the best JB songs and hearing it live is incredible!!! Seven minutes of pure bliss. The second best song of the night, IMO, was “Work, a song I completely overlooked on Begone Dull Care but now, it’s a song that I put on repeat more often than my previous favorites like “Hazel” and “The Animator”.
29 | Deadmau5 – I Remember (Caspa Remix)
Caspa is one of the dopest dubstep producer out there. He recently released his new album Everybody’s Talking, Nobody’s Listening. I haven’t had the chance to listen to it yet but have been hearing and reading pretty mixed reviews. This Deadmau5 remix dropped a few months ago on Annie Mac and it has been on high demand and high rotation ever since. It’s categorized under “Balearic dubstep”. Since none of the DJ’s who introduce this song actually explain what this is–probsies ’cause they themselves don’t really know, I looked it up on wiki. The name Belearic beat originated from the place of discovery, the Belearic Islands of Ibiza (no surprises here). Balearic beat is an eclectic blend of music which is a relatively heavy, slow, R&B influenced beat consisting of bass drum, snare, and is programmed in swing-beat patterns; plus soul, Latin, African, funk, and dub affectations. Sounds pretty awesome, huh? I don’t think this song is the wiki definition but nothing ever is. Regardless, the original mix by Deadmau5 kicks ass and Caspa does it some good dubstep justice.
30 | Moderat – Rusty Nails
Apparat (Sascha Ring) is a German electronic musician that’s good friends with German electronic musicians, Modeselektor and Ellen Allien (founder of BPitch Control). At first, Ring was making music that was like Modeselektor’s, super minimal and techy but with more of a dance floor flare. Later, he resorted to a more Telefon Tel Aviv approach, becoming more interested in making sounds than beats. Apparat and Modeselektor worked on an EP together back in 2002 but it never really went anywhere and their communications trailed off. One fateful day in 2008 at a swimming pool in Berlin, Szary and Bronsert and Ring ran into each other. Yada yada yada. Blah blah blah. Moderat was formed!!! They released their self titled album in April. If this equation, Modeselektor+Apparat=Moderat, doesn’t already explain how great this LP is, then have a listen to this track, which alongside “A New Error”, are defs the best on Moderat.
31 | Burial – Ghost Hardware
After hearing Burial’s and Four Tet’s collab, I quickly dished out Untrue and happily revisited a great album.
32 | Michael Jackson – Ghosts
The King of Pop is back!!! As if y’all don’t know, MJ is doing 50+ shows this summer at the O2 arena in London. So stoked. Best part is that he’s letting fans request/vote for a potential set list! One of my votes was “Ghosts”. I hope Janet shows up and they perform “Scream” together. How great would that be.
33 | Little Boots – Rich Boys (The Virgins Cover)
As I’ve confessed before, I’m in love with Little Boots. Her debut album, Hands, featuring already released power pop singles like “Stuck on Repeat”, “New in Town”, and “Meddle” is set to release next month. In case you’re all wondering what that fun LED musical instrument that Little Boots (Victoria Hesketh) uses in her live shows is, it’s called a Tenori-on. It’s pretty cool.
34 | The Boy Least Likely To – When Life Gives Me Lemons I Make Lemonade
What music would sound like if all your stuffed animal pets got together and started a band.
35 | K’naan feat. Adam Levine – Bang Bang
K’naan released Troubadour this year and is it’s quickly growing to be a favorite in the hip hop community. Even though it’s more “radio-friendly” when compared to his last album, Troubadour still traces K’naan’s Somalian origins, the heartache and hardships of his people in a civil war while remaining positive and hopeful in Somalia’s future and the optimism that is ubiquitous despite unrelenting tyranny. I also saw K’naan live a couple of months ago and his live show is amazing! His live sets are filled with heartfelt spoken word pieces. He reminds me of Saul Williams.
36 | Janet Jackson – Runaway
Old school Janet is the best. You just know you’ll have a good time.