“You” is gritty soulful hip hop flavoured pop from Maine artist Shang-High

SHANG-HIGH, “You”

“You” is 3:19 of infectious and gritty soulful pop brought to your attention by Maine hip hop artist Shang-High.  The singer/songwriter has been off to a stellar start these past years with two albums and Spotify streams over one million for his song “What Did We Do”.  Since his last album in 2018, it’s been a steady outpouring of singles, and “You” definitely has all of the chops in place to draw in a variety of listeners.  Shang-High’s singing voice is totally on point, sometimes recalling a Daryl Hall or Jay Kay of Jamiroquai – and then it’s often brought to a raspy edge.  His hip hop break in “You” flows beautifully, and he’s clearly well-versed in that style (since hip hop isn’t my thing, I won’t even try to cite any influences), though to me it’s a secondary attraction in this particular song.  Overall, “You” is an energetic bop that will easily get stuck in your head.

Published in: on July 14, 2020 at 9:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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L.A. producer @PrizmOfficial shows versatility with standout “Her Symphony” and earworm “Baby Do” featuring @RapperJayCee

THE PRIZM “Her Symphony”

THE PRIZM and RAPPERJAYCEE, “Baby Do”

L.A. progressive electronic and dance producer The Prizm recently unveiled his debut self-titled album.  It seems to be a conceptual piece about the search for a mysterious and important woman or entity called “ID”.  I previously wrote about the lead-off single “Hello” featuring pitched up vocals by singer McEwen.  The album will definitely appeal to those who enjoy Illenium in particular but other artists like Ekali, Crystal Skies, and Trivecta, and is tightly packed at only 32 minutes long. But the standout track is “Her Symphony”.  The soothing female vocal honestly just gets stuck in your head and the song has a nuanced, almost classically-based melody.  It’s also not quite like what the other artists I’ve mentioned are creating, so appropriately it really stands out.

Right after the release of the album came an almost instantaneous release of “Baby Do”, featuring Maryland’s RapperJayCee.  It’s completely in a different space than the music in the album.  “Baby Do” is a radio-friendly earworm that draws from late 90’s and early 00’s europop like Alice Deejay and marries it with a likeable rap style that you might hear in releases by Big Sean and definitely Drake.  It’s also got a positive message about ‘just doing you’ – no need for phoniness when you’re trying to attract someone’s attention.  “Baby Do” is a real surprise and well-worth hearing – because you’ll keep playing it!

Dig the 90’s hip hop and jazzy vibes in “Thinking A Lot” by Brooklyn The Kid @thatkidBrooklyn and @ConradoMuluc

BROOKLYN THE KID and CONRADO MULUC, “Thinking A Lot”

I don’t write a lot about hip hop as I’m not an expert in that genre, but I do know a good song when I hear it.  DMV-based rapper with Latin roots Brooklyn The Kid impresses with “Thinking A Lot” featuring fellow rapper Conrado Muluc.  The song takes a well-rounded sampling of hip hop styles post-Lauryn Hill and takes us back on a retro trip to the time of Digable Planets and Arrested Development.  The jazzy-Latin backdrop is incredibly inviting and the verses by Brooklyn and Conrado, a likeable M/F combo, flow freely, stream of consciousness-style.  “Thinking A Lot” certainly deserves your attention for all it has to offer in its loaded 2:41 length.

Published in: on March 5, 2020 at 10:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Is “Bump This” a catch phrase of the winter? Listen to the contagious new hip hop song from @MichaelMedrano @JakeGermain_ and @Michete

MICHAEL MEDRANO, JAKE GERMAIN & MICHETE, “Bump This”

I’m not one to normally feature a song that’s basically about partying and taking drugs, and I’m no hip hop expert BUT the chorus, beat and rhythm made me do it 😛  I remembered L.A.’s Michael Medrano from his heartfelt collaboration with Steve Grand a few years ago called “Heal”, but I certainly didn’t expect the underground pop/hip hop of “Bump This”.  It’s positively contagious in a very retro way – think early 2000’s Dr. Dre or Lil Jon, or even 90’s Snoop Dogg, with a dash of what was once known as ‘whisper rap’.  Michael is joined in this salute to hedonism by two hip hop performers, Chicago’s Jake Germain and Seattle’s Michete.  The production is appropriately minimalist and all three performers acquit themselves well.  But it’s that beat and rhythm and that chorus, “bump this if you wanna get wild”, that will bring the listeners and make it blow up.  A video is much needed!!

“Wow” by NYC-based producer @NeilJacksonNY and rapper @Daytonaofficial surprises with infectious fusion of hip hop and bass house

NEIL JACKSON and THE KID DAYTONA, “Wow”

While there are many performers finding an interesting path with mixes of hip hop and electronic music, there are only a few that cut their way through a lot of similar-sounding songs and create some tantalizing fresh vibes.  Such is the case with “Wow” by NYC-based producer Neil Jackson and hip hop artist The Kid Daytona, which I must admit takes a few listens to appreciate where the song is heading.  Just when you think it’s getting comfortable in a contemporary hip hop style at the start, Neil turns the song almost sideways with big bass beats and synths while The Kid Daytona’s flow gets amped up and wraps itself tight around the electronic rhythms.  By the time the song reaches just under the 2 minute mark, there is no turning back, the groove is secured, and the convincing is over.  Bass house is one sub-genre you don’t usually find locking horns with hip hop but Neil Jackson and The Kid Daytona definitely have a winning combination that will appeal to fans of both styles.

Published in: on December 6, 2019 at 11:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Australia’s @YvngJalapeno reinvents “Not At All” by @Jayceeoh @StaffordBros and @Waka_Flocka_F

JAYCEEOH, STAFFORD BROTHERS and WAKA FLOCKA FLAME, “Not At All” (Yvng Jalapeño remix)

Australian producer Yvng Jalapeño goes all out to impress this time with his reinvention of “Not At All” by veteran producers and fellow Aussies the Stafford Brothers and L.A.’s Jayceeoh, along with Atlanta rapper Waka Flocka Flame.  He takes a pretty slamming hip hop/electro track and turns it inside out and sideways.  Oh the song still goes really hard but in a Matrix kind of way 🙂 it’s kind of like anti-gravity trap and dubstep rolled all into one.  Waka Flocka Flame’s potent vocal in the original is now used as a startling and haunting effect.  “Not At All” is a busy track and not for everyone.  I have heard remixes before by Jvng Jalapeño but this one truly brings it and is meant to be played really loud.  Club DJ’s who want to keep their audience guessing will have fun with this one.  “Not At All” is also available in three other remixes should you wish to compare.

“Recycled Youth” is the compelling latest release from Minnesota’s @CallMeKarizma

CALL ME KARIZMA, “Recycled Youth”

After a brief break, Minnesota’s Call Me Karizma returns stronger than ever with “Recycled Youth”.  In a bit of stylistic departure, “Recycled Youth” goes for a more alt.rock/hip hop sound that recalls the early days of Beck and the post-punk music of the late street poet Jim Carroll.  Keeping his dedicated audience close to his heart, “Recycled Youth” puts ‘Riz in among many young people with complex issues in their lives and lets them know they are not alone.  And part of that dedicated audience also consists of other young people who can help just by being there for the rest.  “Recycled Youth” also seems to straddle different decades for parts of the song that even recall artists like T. Rex and Blink 182.  “Recycled Youth” is Call Me Karizma’s third release for the Sony-revised Arista label following “Serotonin” and the Billboard-charting “Monster (Under My Bed)”.

Published in: on May 23, 2019 at 10:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Grateful” is a winning reggae/hip hop/R&B preview of the upcoming album by @EMAN8

EMAN8, “Grateful”

When Brandyn Burnette announced last year that he would be recording solo as EMAN8 going forward, we knew that he was definitely going to spread his wings stylistically.  To date, singles such as “Amen” and “Inspired” have seen the L.A.-based singer/songwriter go back to his St. Louis blues and soul roots without losing any pop elements.  “Grateful” is possibly the best preview yet of EMAN8’s upcoming album.  It’s a song that simply makes you smile, drenched mainly in Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff reggae rhythms which connect with the soul and hip hop inspiration that have been integral parts of Brandyn’s previous releases.  One thing we have all learned from his music is that EMAN8 wears his feelings on his skin – what you see is always what you get.  “Grateful” is perfect soul food for feel-good sunny days where we can chill and enjoy and be thankful for one other.

Published in: on May 5, 2019 at 5:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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It’s 10/10 #02: New songs from @pete80s, #EricZava @DJMirkoB & @GorashDaniel, @finis_mundi_, @Iliramusic, @Boye_Sigvardt, @JeanorJuan & @FoxandCharm, @EleriAngharad92, @BLRofficial, @TimmyTrumpet @BlissNEso & @LeeFields12, and @Showtek & @LeonSherman in an @ATrak remix

10/10 #02

10/10 (or tenoutoften) is my new feature where I write about 10 hot and fresh songs in no particular order, for your kind consideration and attention.

I will also continue to write individual blog posts about certain songs.  That does not mean that songs in the 10/10 lists are any less than those featured individually. 

Writing 10/10 features means I will be able to cover more songs in one shot than I’ve been able to do recently.  So you get to learn about more new music that I hear but don’t always get a chance to write about. 

tenoutoften

tenoutoften 02

  • PETER WILSON, “Like Dynamite”

The Australian singer who so aptly brought us a different kind of “Verona” with UK singer Sean Smith returns with a two song EP, the better of which is “Like Dynamite”.  It’s a complete throwback to mid-80’s danceable modern rock, with particular and welcome reference to New Order’s “Bizarre Love Triangle”.  Peter’s voice really flourishes in this setting and it’s a lot of fun!

  • ERIC ZAVA, DJ MIRKO B and DANIEL GORASH, “Even In Confusion”

Another song that might take some of its cues from 80’s new wave is “Even In Confusion” by Italian producers Eric Zava and DJ Mirko B with singer Daniel Gorash on vocal.  Don’t even think Italodisco with this one.  It’s delightful melodic house music that could be a real surprise to club DJ’s.  The echoey vocal reminds me of early 00’s ATB records and totally suits the song.  “Even In Confusion” is memorable and will definitely get you dancing!

  • FINIS MUNDI, “Right Now?”

Accompanying his recent album release Everything After is the single “Right Now?” by Swedish producer Finis Mundi.  This is sophisticated deep house for the late night time which could happily accompany songs by Bobby Nourmand or Faithless into the wee hours.  It’s definitely atypical of the dance music from Sweden and taps much more into UK or Chicago/New York house rhythms for deep, dark effect.

  • ILIRA, “Do It Yourself”

Breaking out of Germany is the effusive pop sound of Switzerland-raised Kosovo-Albanian singer Ilira with “Do It Yourself”.  The production for this song is a hybrid US/UK bounce back to about six years ago – think Miley Cyrus meets Icona Pop.  Like songs from that time by both artists, “Do It Yourself” is a potent anthem for young women.  It’s very distinct and has the potential to cut through a lot of other samey-sounding pop of today with its splash of a few years ago.

  • BOYE & SIGVARDT, “Ganja Fiyah”

You’ll recall the unique song “Astronauts” by Danish producers Boye & Sigvardt (with MAGNÜSand UHRE) which I wrote about a few years back.  After a few releases with American label Big Beat, the lads (Christian and Christian) have been trying out a variety of dance styles, and “Ganja Fiyah” is an unexpected trip into fun deep house with striking bass beats and explosive synths.  Fans of Don Diablo, Afrojack and Armin van Buuren will definitely dig this one.

  • JEAN JUAN and FOX & CHARM, “Strangers”

Dutch producer and Soave label head Jean Juan unleashes his second single under his new moniker called “Strangers”, this time in collaboration with Mexico-based Turkish producers Fox & Charm.  It’s exotic-sounding deep house that will cause instant reaction when dropped mid-set.  “Strangers” is full of propulsive rhythms and an appealing vocal that go down pretty easy.  Jean Juan says he’s just getting started and I’ll look forward to what’s next!

  • ELERI ANGHARAD, “Earthbound” (acoustic)

Although she classifies herself as a Country artist but hails from Wales, Eleri Angharad has a lot of pop potential if the acoustic version of the title track from her recent album is any indication.  She could easily ride the wave of popularity created by the likes of Kacey Musgraves and Maren Morris, though she definitely has her own take on her craft.  In fact the vocal on “Earthbound” reminds me a lot of California duo Bahari’s contribution to electronic sensation Illenium’s “Crashing”, so I could visualize her in that setting as well.  Recording acoustically is not recommended unless you can really prove yourself and Eleri has no problem instilling her appealing personality into this performance.

  • BLR, “Méduse”

Dutch producer BLR returns to Tiesto’s AFTR:HRS label – he was the first artist signed back in 2016 – with the enchanting “Méduse” and its seductive French vocal.  You can definitely expect a dark, hypnotic trip that has late 70’s/early 80’s retro appeal that will recall music from the likes of Cerrone or Patrick Juvet.  “Méduse” will definitely be a force on the dance floor with the clock strikes 12!

  • TIMMY TRUMPET, BLISS N ESO, and LEE FIELDS, “High”

You may have already heard, but Australian producer/DJ Timmy Trumpet is set to be part of the European Space Agency that’s linking dance music with space travel!  You can hear all about that right here, but in conjunction with that announcement is the release of Timmy’s latest single “High”.  While “Freaks” continues to be played everywhere at events and on dance music radio worldwide, “High” goes back to Timmy’s jazz and R&B roots, featuring veteran US soul singer Lee Fields as well as reknown Aussie/American hip hop trio Bliss N Eso.  The blend of influences remind me of early 90’s mixes that incorporated all of those styles as well as house music, and Timmy and team successfully update that sound with “High”.

  • SHOWTEK and LEON SHERMAN, “Listen To Your Momma” (A-Trak remix)

You can’t keep a good song down and I’m a big believer of remixes to help good songs reach greater heights.  “Listen To Your Momma” by Showtek and Leon Sherman was actually released in 2015, but it’s such a fun song with an inspired vocal that a bevy of remixes have now surfaced.  The best of the bunch is from A-Trak, who recently woke us all up with the praise to to the house music gods and stern advice for DJ’s with Todd Terry in “DJ’s Gotta Dance More”, which was #1 for several weeks on my personal chart.  With it’s big bounce and plenty of vinyl scratching, A-Trak’s remix of “Listen To Your Momma” should make headway to clubs and festivals all over the world this year.

 

 

 

 

 

Mixing it up with two recent duets with Florida’s @3letterznuk – “I Wonder” with NYC’s @MarcoFoster_, and a reboot of “Fool’s Gold” with @AaronCarter

3LETTERZNUK and MARCO FOSTER, “I Wonder”

AARON CARTER and 3LETTERZNUK, “Fool’s Gold” (remix)

I’m one for connecting the dots with music, and sometimes it takes me to interesting places whether in person or with the songs themselves. 

So I had got word that NYC’s rising and talented singer/songwriter Marco Foster – always on my radar – had a new song out called “I Wonder”.  It offers a sweeter-than-usual vocal by Marco that works in beautiful contrast to a fun rap by Florida’s 3letterznuk, newly signed to Sony.  Both styles come together to make the song really gel memorably. 

And in discovering this winning pairing, I found that 3letterznuk’s re-emergence on an earlier single this past summer latched on to another performer’s own re-branding  – fellow Floridian, Aaron Carter.  “Fool’s Gold” was initially released a few years ago and was included on Aaron’s first album in 16 years (and first as an adult!) called LØVË, released earlier this year.  A remix was an awfully good idea, letting 3letterznuk’s verses flow freely over the beginning of the song, allowing a segue for the lush production and a sincerely restrained and bright vocal by Aaron that has a lot of delightful breathy qualities about it too.  

Both “I Wonder” and the remix of “Fool’s Gold” happen to have 3letterznuk in common, but they’re true 2018 sleepers waiting for you to discover them.

Published in: on December 28, 2018 at 9:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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