FI7SEPT

First Impressions: Miley Cyrus, Kelela, Club Cheval And More

FI7SEPT

First Impressions is an interns roundtable review of songs on their first (or second) listen. Each week we review six new songs from the past week, each giving them a score out of five and awarding our pick of the week. This week we pick apart tracks by Kelela, Miley Cyrus, Basenji, Tory Lanez, Club Cheval and Her

Kelela
Rewind

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/kelelam/rewind[/soundcloud]

Michelle: What’s with the high-pitched range? Despite Kelela’s soulful vocals, the high pitch of this song has the unfortunate side effect of transforming an otherwise soulful song into something strangely saccharine. The ebbs and flow in tempo keeps the tune interesting and while the bridge stuns, the echoes are somewhat (entirely) excessive. 2

Annie: Kelela has been showing up everywhere lately, and this song is the perfect example of why I don’t mind. Her vocals remind me of a young Janet Jackson, but rather than overpowering, they work with the beats behind them to create the ideal modern R&B track. 3

Sam: Wow, what a production team on this one - Nugget, Kingdom and then bits by Obey City and Girl Unit. Despite the massive team behind it though Kelela still manages to remain front and centre with her distinctive brand of future R&B translating immediately. I love how she’s gone for a bit of a banger with this one, rather than serving out another slow-burner. In some ways it reminds me of like a pared-back I Wanna Dance With Somebody, probably due to the ‘80s-tinged beat and full-bodied chorus. It feels sexy and joyous which is a rare combination for Kelela but it really works. She’s easily one of the best new artists, if not the best, out there right now and deserves every accolade she gets. 4.5

Miley Cyrus
Do It

Michelle: Coyne, we know how much you love the fuzz pedal but Miley’s voice could have done with a lighter touch on the damn thing. The lead single on her experimental / dancing unicorn / psychadelia record comes  from left field but still manages to pay homage to the dance-heavy hip hop vibe of Bangerz. However, this track is hardly representative of the rest of Dead Petz – it’s quite possibly the most energetic of the 23-track LP that’s all mild guitars and whimsical ballads. The lyrics, meanwhile, sound like she’s trying too hard to cement her position as the biggest happy hippie there ever was. 3.5

Annie: Anyone that knows me, knows how much I love Miley Cyrus. Even through the Robin Thicke debacle I defended her, ‘she’s just expressing herself!’ I said, ‘let her explore!’. But no, this is too far. I am so pissed off at this song and the album that came with it. Firstly, I knew that this musical ‘evolution’ was impending (anyone that follows Miley on instagram would), and yet that still doesn’t soften the blow of this god-awful piece of work. Secondly, it’s just shit. Like, really, really shit. The song itself is boring as fuck, and the lyrics are so embarrassing they bring literal tears to my eyes. Am I being too dramatic, too sensitive? Absolutely. But listen to the rest of My Dead Petz, and I assure you, you will come out of that 24 track monstrosity feeling the exact same way. 1.5

Sam: The Miley album surprisingly has some really beautiful moments - mostly the MikeWillMadeIt-produced tracks. Unfortunately Wayne Coyne really hasn’t done anything of value for a while now and he’s just shat all over this track, not that Miley delivers much either. It’s obnoxious, shouty and try-hard and barely delivers any melody. I understand that she wants to do something different and evolve but this was just a shocking end to the VMAs and a really alienating first single - if that’s what it is. Lighter or Fweaky would’ve been a much better introduction to the album and actually much more indicative of what the album is. This just sucks arse, really. 1

Basenji
Can’t Get Enough

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/futureclassic/basenji-cant-get-enough-1[/soundcloud]

Michelle:  The melody works but I don’t know what’s with the preschool vocals. It could have done without the prepubescent singing because the tune is quality on its own – that is, until the breathy, mismatched vocals come in. Luckily, the horns, backed with hints of jazz piano, save an otherwise average brass-influenced track. 2

Annie: I already liked Basenji on a ‘can listen to, but probably won’t download’ level, but this track may have just made a real fan out of me. The vocals add a certain cuteness to the track that makes it sweet enough, but when the horns start to play it brings it up to a whole new platform. I can’t get enough of this song. 4 Annie’s Pick

Sam: Basenji is just absolutely nailing it right now. He’s taken that cutesy, kawaii sound that has been doing the rounds on Soundcloud and really cleaned it up, adding pop sensibilities at the same time. Petals perfected that formula and this one goes even one better. It’s so euphoric and gives off so many warm and fuzzies while also hitting with a really killer brass-driven instrumental. Right now I think Basenji could be Australia’s answer to SOPHIE and could actually work with mainstream pop artists and give them something really interesting. People are going to have problems with this vocal but that’s a shock to no one, it’s meant to be divisive but if it’s your kind of thing it’s like a brilliant sugar-rush. 4

Tory Lanez
Initiation

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/torylanez/initiation[/soundcloud]

Michelle: Above-average hip hop but Initiation isn’t striking. It’s delicate and well-constructed with cadenced melodies yet unlike Lanez’ past releases, it doesn’t have much built into the track. Slow-moving and unremarkable and, having heard his last few releases, I suspect Lanez can do better. 2

Annie: The introduction to Initation gave me high hopes, but they were quashed pretty quickly. It’s not altogether a bad song, it’s just really forgettable. With that said, I definitely don’t have the finest ear for hip-hop, so that may just be my lacking knowledge of the genre. 2.5

Sam: Tory Lanez is kind of like the new Jeremih. He’s good at the mainstream R&B stuff but he’s also been really open to working with different producers like BenZel (like on this one) and the WeDidIt crew. On Initiation, BenZel really build the production around his style coming into Lanez’s world rather than the other way around. I really like BenZel’s much softer approach to urban production and it means Lanez is left to bring a tougher edge with his voice. The hook really doesn’t grab me too much but it’s a cool song, I’m just not going crazy for it like I was with Say It. 3

Club Cheval
Discipline

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/clubcheval/discipline-original-mix[/soundcloud]

Michelle: While not terribly original, Discipline is another solid, heady club beat from the DJ supergroup. What it lacks in originality, however, it makes up for in melody, and despite its repetitive and unoriginal rhythm, it’ll still do brilliantly in most strobe-filled rooms. 1

Annie: To be honest, I’ve never listened to Club Cheval before this, but knowing that they’ve mixed with the likes of both Brodinski and Gesaffelstein, I had relatively high expectations. Discipline met none of them. It’s not a terrible song, if anything it’s standard EDM, but it doesn’t feel like a solid track. It just feels really lazy. I would hate to hear this in a club, but obviously there’s a huge market for tracks like this so undoubtedly it will be successful. 1.5

Sam: I love that DJ Dodger Stadium and Club Cheval are really championing that hard-hitting brand of nostalgic techno. While DJDS use repetition where Club Cheval have used a more conventional verse, there’s still that really thumping beat and alarm-like synth that really smacks hard on the dancefloor. It’s really cool to hear an R&B type verse amongst a track like this but it’s that synth-line in the chorus that is getting me really excited. It feels like so many styles have been combined here and it just works so well. There’s so much trendy electronica floating around at the moment but this feels detached to any kind of movement. I just bloody love this. 4.5

Her
Five Minutes

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/thebandher/five-minutes[/soundcloud]

Michelle:  I love how stripped back Five Minutes is – it maintains a perfect balance between the lyrics and sparse instrumentals. This is the very definition of minimalism because there’s enough to fill the voids but remains empty enough for the listener to cleanly focus on the groove. Shame it doesn’t make it all the way to five minutes. 4 Michelle’s Pick

Annie: Such a good display of minimalism. Through stripping back this song it allows the listener to pay more attention to the beautiful lyrics that come with. The vocals too, are stellar. They’re so strong in a way that fits superbly with this song. 4

Sam: Her’s debut Quite Like made me take an invested interest in this band immediately with only one track to their name and in some ways that’s been justified after hearing song number two Five Minutes. This one’s a little less sexy and sounds more Jungle than alt-j but it’s another really smoothly-produced track that triple j listeners would just eat up if they added it to heavy rotation. I like it and I think it will probably grow on me even more but it doesn’t really blow me away completely - maybe it’s that the chorus doesn’t hit hard enough. It could’ve probably done with a bit of amping up for the final part - some more vocal layering. 3.5

Now time for your vote: 

[poll id="54"]

10Songs_4Sep

10 Songs You Need To Hear This Week: Basenji, Miley Cyrus, Ryan Hemsworth And More

Pattern: Msrizag

Pattern: Msrizag

This week started off with a blast thanks to the MTV VMAs which seemingly featured more controversy than ever and left us with a new Tay Tay video, a new Bieber video and an entire Miley Cyrus album. With that in mind, we'd like to award every artist who released a track this week off the back of that a bravery award because it takes something really profound to outshine a shit storm like the VMAs. Luckily, there were plenty of tracks this week that did exactly that and to them we say well done and acknowledge them below with a short spiel of sorts.

Basenji
Can't Get Enough

Basenji is destroying it right now. His last single Petals picked up rotation on triple and is undoubtedly one of the strongest local tracks of the year, now he goes even one better on his new track Can't Get Enough. It's more of his cute poptronica hybrid driven by melodic, high-pitched vocals and a perky brass-line that are headed straight for the heavens. It's taken from his Trackpad EP which will be sold as a USB that looks like an Evian water bottle which is just fantastic news for all involved.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/futureclassic/basenji-cant-get-enough-1[/soundcloud]

Marc E. Bassy
That's Love (Feat. Ty Dolla Sign)

LA singer Marc E. Bassy has enlisted a big name in Ty Dolla Sign for his latest single That's Love. The track is a total throwback to smooth, mid-tempo R&B bangers with Dolla Sign killing it with a much gentler edge than we're used to with him. There's a bit of autotune at play here, but it really works within this aesthetic and somehow smacks you more in the heart than untampered vocals would've. These two are excellent duet partners to, we must say.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/marc_e_bassy/thats-love-ft-ty-dolla-sign[/soundcloud]

Kelela
Rewind

Kelela's A Message was a stunning start to her 2015 and ever since we've waited for the EP is was supposedly off. Well no more supposedly because the EP is definitely coming on 9th October. It's called Hallucinogen and it will feature the aforementioned as well as this new track Rewind. Rewind was produced by Kelela herself with help from Nugget and Kingdom - the latter had a big hand on her excellent mixtape Cut 4 Me. This one's more upbeat than what we're used to from her but she really delivers serving up silky vocals and crisp '90s-tinged production.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/kelelam/rewind[/soundcloud]

Miley Cyrus
Lighter

Miley's surprise album Miley Cyrus And Her Dead Petz is a real mixed bag. A REAL MIXED BAG. But that doesn't mean there isn't some plenty of gold on there. In fact, Mike Will Made It, who had a big hand on Bangerz, delivers most of the good stuff on the LP including this one Lighter. Lighter is a beautiful, lingering ballad driven by big, punching drums and a raw vocal from Miley herself. It essentially uses smoking weed as a metaphor for someone always backing her ("when I need the fire, you're always my lighter") but it's really not as dumb as it sounds.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/mileycyrus/lighter[/soundcloud]

Ryan Hemsworth & Lucas
Angel

Last year Seattle producer Lucas dropped a ridiculously beautiful remix of Ryan Hemsworth's One For Me, then later Hemsworth dropped one of Lucas' originals through his Secret Songs project. It makes total sense that the pair have now come together for a collaborative EP led by this track Angel. It's one of the more emotional Hemsworth tunes we've heard with the chopped vocals really heading straight for the heartstrings. Goosebump-inducing is the general consensus on Soundcloud and we have to agree.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/shhsecretsongs/angel[/soundcloud]

Empress Of
Standard

Empress Of's debut album Me is released next week and we've been given plenty of reason to get excited about it. First there was Water Water then there was Kitty Kat and this week we got How Do You Do It? and this one Standard. And it may just be the best one yet. Built upon industrial, post-pop production, Empress Of howls throughout really lengthening her notes and hitting giddy heights on many. Calling it now - Me will be one of the year's best albums.

Friendships
Pedal To The Medal

Nicholas Brown and Misha Grace are Melbourne duo Friendships who are making really tough, forceful electronic music that demands your attention on first listen. Pedal To The Medal is one half of their new double-sided single that also includes Ded Soun Konduktah and it's a primal, tribal-inspired track with heavy-hitting bass and a grinding, repetitive vocal sample. It may sound like audible murder but it's one hell of a thrilling listen - one that feels like your simultaneously listening to dancehall and heavy metal.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/friendships/sets/p2m-dsk[/soundcloud]

World Champion
Avocado

Future Classic have become known for signing some of the finest electronic acts in the country but there's something slightly different about Julian Sudek and Will Campion's World Champion. Their debut track Avocado definitely has electronic stylings but it also has a dreamstate, indie-rock vibe - one that we haven't heard any Future Classic artists dabble in until now. It feels sleek and sexy bound for intergalactic travel. If we had to make a comparison we'd say there a definite nods to Jagwar Ma (probably because it was co-produced by Jono Ma) but even then this feels more bare-boned.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/futureclassic/world-champion-avocado-galaxy[/soundcloud]

Florence + The Machine
Queen Of Peace (Hot Chip Remix)

Florence + The Machine's Queen Of Peace centres around it's massive chorus which on the original is elevated by huge stabs of brass. But in many ways it was crying out for a dance remix where the brass was replaced by climatic synths and that immense amount of energy was translated into euphoria. That's exactly what Hot Chip have done, rebuilding the song on a minimal beat that just continues to build and build until we get that chorus blanketed by dense synths. It sounds just as triumphant as the original but in a completely different way.

Janet Jackson
Unbreakable

Janet Jackson is well and truly back, gearing up for the release of her first album since 2008, Unbreakable. We've already heard the excellent first single No Sleeep and now we have the title track. It's definitely not as modern and forward-thinking as its predecessor but there's a certain charm to Janet singing about undying love over a vintage-sounding beat. The album is out 2nd October via her own label Rhythm Nation.

FI_16June

First Impressions: The Weeknd, Basenji, Pitbull And More

FI_16JuneFirst Impressions is an interns roundtable review of songs on their first (or second) listen. Each week we review six new songs from the past week, each giving them a score out of five and awarding our pick of the week. This week we pick apart tracks by The Weeknd, Prince Royce, Basenji and more.

The Weeknd
Can’t Feel My Face

Sam: It was only a matter of time before The Weeknd traded in pussy and drugs for a more radio-friendly sound. Well, the moment is here and it’s come in the form of a Max Martin-produced pop masterpiece. The best thing about it is that it doesn’t lost any of The Weeknd’s identity. His vocals are still as soulful as they always are and it’s made denser by a dirty bassline which acts as the replacement for the sex-orientated lyrics that usually feature. It would be good if he could find a way to make both this style and his much more explicit style work on his forthcoming album because on the last one he failed. 4 Sam’s Pick

Zanda: This is kind of unexpectedly up-beat and bass-heavy for The Weeknd. He doesn’t sacrifice any of his typical smoothness though, and the heavy bass really compliments some of those acapella-esque harmonies midway through the track. Definitely a radio-friendly track that, at the same time keeps the core elements of his style. 3.5

Annie: I can usually take or leave The Weeknd, I haven’t been able to understand the hype surrounding him. However, this song has left a vastly good impression on me. Radio-friendly is a good descriptor of this track, but I don’t feel as though that’s an altogether bad thing. Undoubtedly, this will be stuck in my head for the next week, but it’s sweet sounding enough that I probably won’t even care. 4 Annie's Pick 

Basenji
Petals (Feat. Scenic)

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/officialbasenji/basenji-petals-featuring-scenic[/soundcloud]

Sam: I love this wave of glassy, angelic electronic music and Basenji just gets it oh-so-right with first track for 2015. Petals is quite literally a daydream where you’re walking through a park full of majestic basenji’s, where the flowers are baby pink and the sun has the glassiest tint you’ve ever seen. It’s just do damn beautiful and captures the very essence of escapism. Of course, it’s kitsch but that’s purposeful and it works in this context. 4

Zanda: Basenji is one of a group of young Sydney producers whose production worth and skills seem to be on an exponential bend upwards. Finally we’ve got a new track from him and euphoric doesn’t even begin to describe it. It’s a bit more chiller than some of his early stuff but its smooth as silk, and Scenic’s vocals compliment the washy vibe synths happily. Worth the wait for this bad boy. 4.5 Zanda’s Pick

Annie: This was such a lovely song to wake up to this morning. The track floats by leaving you with immense feelings of exultation and joy, I’m romanticising again, but it honestly sounds gorgeous. This is the first time I’ve listened to Basenji, and what a good introduction it was. 3

Prince Royce
Back It Up (Feat. Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull)

Sam: You see Pitbull and J.Lo on the same song and you run for the hills - that’s the general rule isn’t it? Unfortunately in this scenario we’re forced to listen to the song and as such I’ve heard “Mr. Worldwide” for the first and last time this year. I’m not quite sure who Prince Royce is but it’s not the smartest move to put these two on his track and basically take all the attention away. And he should be ashamed of himself for bringing J.Lo and Pitbull back together when J.Lo was doing so well without him. If I have any advice it’s that this song is best consumed on mute where you can truly appreciate that she is 45 years of age and the finest looking woman on the planet. Meanwhile, Pitbull is in his early thirties and looks like an aged scrotum. 1.5

Zanda: I’m not sure whether we are supposed to take the lyrics seriously, being that they suggest some sort of sexual tension or romance between Prince Royce and J-Lo even though he is literally 19 years younger than her and could realistically be her kid. Pitbull isn’t even worth analysing. There isn’t even really enough musical worth here for this to be successful on commercial radio. 1

Annie: The song finished only a few minutes ago and I can’t remember what it sounded like. My only real impression is that Pitbull looks so much like a mole rat in this video it’s unsettling, his dancing is truly something to look out for also. 0

Health
Stonefist

Sam: Now that Crystal Castles are in tatters we need someone to fill the void between electronic music and death metal. Health have returned just in time to fill that spot effortlessly. To be honest I wasn’t really aware of all the work they did for Max Payne 3 until I did a little bit of research but the context really means shit, because this song stands-up by itself. It’s so haunting and yet so present and hard-hitting. The base thuds like a heavy shoe hitting the pavement and the vocals just breathe right down your neck. 3.5 

Zanda: A super intense track with some pretty heavy synths among other sounds. It’s almost like metal rock had a baby with hardcore electronic music. I’m a sucker for melody and melodic development, and unfortunately I don’t get a lot here. I understand that’s not the goal but to be honest it’s a little abrasive to consider a second listen. 2.5

Annie: I feel like I’m missing something here. The track is fine, to say the most. I’ve heard many good things about this band, but I just am not capable of understanding it. The most suiting word I could use to describe my feelings towards this song would be lacklustre, but still, something about the track makes me feel like I’m the problem. Maybe it’s just not my genre. 2

Loren Kramer
My Life

Sam: So this is the unsigned guy that Apple plugged in their Apple Music conference last week that actually turned out to be signed. Whatever. With the internet these days it doesn’t really matter what you are as long as you have the heavy-hitter of a debut single to get people’s attention. Kramer’s voice is definitely the biggest drawcard here. It’s kind of like an old soul twisted up in influences of the modern world. For some reason I keep comparing to Lana Del Rey because their in the same kind of indie singer/songwriter realm. My Life is good but it doesn’t have the same immediate beauty of Video Games. Maybe it’s just skimming the service of what Kramer can do, but we’re going to need to hear a little more from him before he really impresses. 3

Zanda: Loren Kramer’s voice really doesn’t sound like anyone else going around now. It kind of seems like a bridge between modern vocals and some very particular elements of something intensely old school. Unfortunately here, for me at least, the production doesn’t stack up. It just feels clunky and the choice of sounds and effects just doesn’t really add much to Kramer’s already amazing efforts. 3

Annie: Kramer’s voice is so unusual, in a really good way. The track as a whole is a little underwhelming; it feels like something bigger and better could be done with that voice. But Kramer is a new artist, and this is in no way a bad place to start from. I look forward to hearing more from him, hopefully something that will beg its audience to listen again. 3

GoldLink
Dance On Me

[soundcloud width="750" height="415"]https://soundcloud.com/goldlink/dance-on-me[/soundcloud]

Sam: It’s great to see a rapper that is treading a careful line between hip-hop and electronica appear on a list like XXL’s Freshman Class. Dance On Me is the perfect example of how well the two genres can go together. His flow is so good that it effortlessly weaves through rushing beats that wouldn’t sound unfulfilled as purely an instrumental track. GoldLink’s rap just takes it to another level though, colouring it with a certain bounce provided by his outgoing verses. Let’s stay with this type of production. It’s right on the money. 4

Zanda: This is just awesome stuff here from GoldLink. This track strikes an appetising balance between vocals and production, with some lovely smooth melodic synths used to really add some poise to a rising and falling intensity. So many elements; rap, vocals, effects and some fantastic transitions between sections, really come together here in a very cool way. Also, some clever use of melodic space when it comes to building to the key climaxes of the track. 4

Annie: The more crosses between hip hop and electronic the better. I really, really enjoy this.
The production minus Goldlink’s verse would feel lacking, and vice versa. The two genres compliment each other so smoothly, it’s unsurprising that more and more artists are delving into this cross between. 3.5 

Now it's your time for your vote: 

[poll id="44"]

10Songs_12June

10 Songs You Need To Hear This Week: The Weeknd, Hudson Mohawke, Basenji And More

10Songs_12June

This week Apple finally announced its streaming service Apple Music. While in most weeks this would've been the headline-of-the-week they were beaten to the post by a homophobic Ten Walls and the fact that Nicki Minaj's arse was plastered 1,000 times over a Helsinki cathedral. Oh, what a weird world we live in.

In celebration, we've combined all these news items by presenting to you ten songs that you can stream (for free), that aren't homophobic and also feature no mention of Nicki Minaj's derriere.

Basenji
Petals

The top dawg is back with his first single of 2015 and what a cracker it is. Sydney producer Basenji struck gold with his 2014 single Heirloom but it feels like he's even one-upped that track with Petals. Petals is a floating daydream built around glassy beats and airy synths. It's beautifully delicate and helped-along by the gentle, windy vocals of Scenic. This is just begging to be in a baby powder ad just as it is ready to be the most euphoric moment of a night out.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/officialbasenji/basenji-petals-featuring-scenic[/soundcloud]

Hudson Mohawke
Warriors

Ah HudMo just cannot stop going bigger and better with his Lanterns singles. This latest one Warriors featuring Ruckazoid and Devaeux is an absolute monster of a song. It sounds like it's been made for the lighting of the Olympic torch - it just aims to be so damn euphoric and triumphant and it succeeds in every way. Can it really be anything other than huge when your main lyrics are "warriors", "war" and "battle." Them are fighting words.

The Weeknd
I Can't Feel My Face

He's done it. He's gone pop. It's not as big a transformation as country Tay Tay to Kendrick Lamar-featuring Tay Tay but it's a slight departure from The Weeknd's normal material. For one, there's no mention of pussy once in the song. It's a Max Martin-produced hit-in-waiting with a funky baseline and MJ-esque vocals. It's obviously been made for radio but it doesn't mean that it's unenjoyable for previous The Weeknd fans. If anything, it's just an extension of his already large sonic cannon - yes, I understand you could imply other things from that.

Kira Puru
All Dulled Out

Melbourned-based singer Kira Puru used to go by the name Kira Puru & The Bruises but it seems that those bruises have finally cleared-up because she's going it alone this time around. All Dulled Out is her return track and it's a bold statement track that sits somewhere between Megan Washington and Kimbra. Her voice is just far too good to be ignored with jazzy undertones and grand extensions but it's her songwriting on All Dulled Out that really sticks out.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/kirapuru/all-dulled-out[/soundcloud]

Kehlani & Mr. Carmack
All In

Yours Truly and Adidas' Songs From Scratch series has seen How To Dress Well team up with TALA and Jeremih and Shlohmo realise their invaluable musical connection. The latest pair to craft something rad together are US RnB singer Kehlani and all-encompassing producer Mr. Carmack, delivering All In. All In is about that point in a relationship when you either walk away or go for it completely. Alternatively it's about the moment you reach the halfway point of a BBQ Shapes packet and have to decide if you can swallow your pride and finish the packet. Different interpretations aside, it's a beautifully dim, soulful track that makes Kehlani's smokey vocals the star.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/mr_carmack/all-in-with-kehlani[/soundcloud]

Melé
Ambience

If you don't want to get-up and go-hard the minute you hear this then there is something clinically wrong with you. Ambience, the latest track by UK producer Melé is an absolute dancefloor-stomper taking cues from Jersey club tracks. "You can do it baby, c'mon," howls a booming voice as the percussion fires-up and leads into a carnivale-inspired party. This is fierce and it will no doubt make you work your arse off if you're serious about paying it the respect it deserves.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/mixmag-1/premiere-mele-ambience[/soundcloud]

D?WN
Running From Sane

Adult Swim does this thing where they release amazing singles all through summer from an array of artists. This year they have promised tracks by SOPHIE, Chromatics and Run The Jewels but this week they have delivered on the first single of 19. Running From Sane is by D?WN who rose to fame in Diddy's girl-group Danity Kane. She's come along way from that trading pop songs for experimental electronic tracks. This one's a stunner crafting a mind-blowing soundscape alongside D?WN's otherworldly vocals. If you like this, it's worth checking out her brilliant album from this year Blackheart.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/adultswimsingles/dawn-richard[/soundcloud]

Mura Masa & Nao
Thinking Bout You (Frank Ocean cover)

We're big fans of both 18 year-old producer Mura Masa and British songstress Nao so we didn't even need to do the math to figure out that we'd be digging this one. The pair have just collaborated on Mura Masa's Firefly but here they have stripped everything back for a gorgeous cover of Frank Ocean's Thinking Bout You on Radio 1's Live Lounge. There are no bells and whistles, just Nao's voice wafting through the genius melody of the song.

Gravez & ELHAE
Call Me Back

Allow us to introduce you to Atlanta artists Gravez and ELHAE. Gravez is the beatmaker while ELHAE is the vocalist and together they have made one fine RnB scorcher. ELHAE switches between signing and rapping, with both modes as strong as each other. As such, he's able to deliver a stellar hook and then bring a sharp edge to the track simultaneously. That alongside Gravez sparse but hard-hitting beats is a match made in heaven.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/gravez/call-me-back-with-elhae[/soundcloud]

GoldLink
Dance On Me

US rapper GoldLink is tipped to do big things in 2015. He was included on XXL's iconic 2015 Freshman Class alongside Fetty Wap, Dej Loaf and OG Maco and now he's dropped his first track since. Goldlink differs to the rest of the artists on the list because he seems to be more open to more electronic, Kaytranada-esque beats and it's really working in his favour. Dance On Me is energetic, vibrant and in parts sensual making the perfect soundtrack for love-making and dancing - simultaneously or separately, it's up to you.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/goldlink/dance-on-me[/soundcloud]

Basenji

Basenji New Track 'Petals' Is The Soundtrack To Your Daydream

Basenji

Last year's Heirloom felt like a breakthrough for Sydney producer Basenji, not only making him one to watch but solidifying a trademark sound of glassy beats and ferocious tempos. His first song of 2015 Petals dropped today and while it may be less ferocious than Heirloom, it makes up for it with a dream-state melody and lovely vocals courtesy of Scenic. Basenji's music lives in a dog-run hyper-reality that's not far from PC Music's output (albeit slightly more human).

This is really his first endeavour to include vocals in the song and the result is his most accessible track yet. As such it will likely find a home on triple j and be a festival favourite by the time summer rolls around. It's great to see Aussie producers trying different things and the fact that Basenji has held off releasing anything this year until now makes us think he's been loading up his canon with great stuff ready to fire. Consider this cannon ball one.

thebuzz

Hermitude Drop Second Single From Forthcoming LP

Hermitude’s latest LP ‘Dark Night Sweet Light’ is set to be released on May 15th via long time label Elefant Traks. They’ve just premiered the second single from it; a massive, synth-heavy track called The Buzz, just in time for the start of a huge Aussie tour that kicks off this Saturday with the Oakbank leg of Groovin’ The Moo.

Featuring some tasty vocals from Mataya and Young Tapz, Hermitude have shown again that they are the kings of Aussie production, leaving our mouths watering for the full release of ‘Dark Night Sweet Light’, and their subsequent national tour with support Basenji as support.

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OutsideIn Festival Report Card

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Now in its third year, Astral People’s OutsideIn Festival has quietly become one of Sydney’s best festivals. As curators of electronic music they don’t come much smarter than Astral People and as such OutsideIn always has a lineup that sparks plenty of interest.

2014 delivered another stellar lineup that brought together both international and local acts, young and old to celebrate electronica, RnB, hip-hop and everything in between. Its new venue of Manning House in Sydney Uni was a perfect spot for its compact crowd, providing two outdoor stages and the indoor mainstage.

Holding it on the same week as Stereosonic made for an interesting sight on the streets of Sydney as fluoro-clad shredders walked next to kimono-wearing, hipsters. Choosing OutsideIn was a great choice for the interns- not just because we didn’t have to back-up for #2days but because the Festival grinned with a pleasant, happy-go-lucky crowd and plenty of stellar music.

Our only complaint? Stocking Red Bull as the only mixer for Vodka. For non-beer drinkers, that equals a very unhappy heart by the end of the day. It also evokes nightmarish dreams of Schoolies at 4am in the morning when you’re trying to settle your heart down because of said Red Bull.

On a lighter note, as it was set in Sydney Uni, we thought we’d take the scholastic connection very literally and write a report card of who we caught at OutsideIn.

Collarbones (A)

With their new album, Return, only released the day before OutsideIn, there were concerns that the boys may be unprepared for their debut. Those fears were quickly squashed, however. Collarbones are fast learners and they effortlessly melded the old with the new during their set. Marcus Whale is an unbelievably charismatic frontman and he thrashes his body around along with the pulsating beats of Travis Cook. Of the new album, Emoticon and Turning were clear standouts. The latter’s explosion into a bass-heavy, triumphant finish has to be one of the finest moments in Australian electronica this year. They may have begun early, but Collarbones took advantage of some mid-afternoon tipsiness.

Performance: Outstanding

Crowd Response: Good

Overall: Good

Brenmar (A+)

Chicago-born, New York-living producer Brenmar is a crowd-pleaser if ever we’ve seen one. Working with buzz label, Fools Gold, the producer churns out a set of high-BPM, bass-heavy tunes that oscillate between Jersey club, RnB and trap. As well as including his own original tunes he dropped a perfect cocktail of tracks at times drawing heavy on the nostalgia. His spin of Daniel Bedingfield’s Gotta Get Through This, deserves a special mention as the crowd went absolutely bonkers, as they did also for Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda. He gauged the crowd’s vibe immediately and followed it through the peaks and troughs.

Performance: Good

Crowd Response: Outstanding

Overall: Outstanding

Basenji (B)

Young Aussie producer, Basenji, is on many people’s hype list right now and for good reason. He’s has a pretty spectacular year, topping it off with his track Heirloom which has become a staple for any fan of Aussie electronica this year. His OutsideIn set also doubled as a birthday celebration for the producer and as such he was ready to get #turnt. Looking like he could’ve also taken to Rod Laver Arena for a hit of tennis, Basenji served up a refreshing, cohesive set of future-bass. It all culminated in Heirloom - a track that just drips with sunshine-induced beats and icy synths.

Performance: Good

Crowd Response: Satisfactory

Overall: Good

Giraffage (A-)

San-Francisco producer Giraffage was one of the main drawcards on the lineup and drew one of the biggest crowds of the day on the mainstage. His sound may be far more down-tempo than fellow Fools Gold signee, Brenmar, but it was no less effective. His own original material like Feels and Tell Me went down an absolute treat with skittering percussion and cloud-like synths. Things really kicked into gear when he dropped his remix of Janet Jackson’s Someone To Call My Lover which had an excitable crowd in ecstasy. There was only one thing that could top that and while we never would've expected it, his spin of Darude’s Sandstorm was the greatest moment of the day, if not our lives.

Performance: Good

Crowd Response: Good

Overall: Good

Pantha Du Prince (C+)

Introspective acts often don’t work in festival environments, particularly when the sun is still shining. There is no doubt that Pantha Du Prince is a marvel live but his OutsideIn set felt somewhat uncomfortable given the time of day and the mood of the crowd. Wearing a hood and covered in-part by smoke he gave off the same kind of mysterious vibe that his music complimented but it felt a little bizarre. With the amount of DJs at OutsideIn relying solely on their decks it was nice to see a producer with an interesting set-up but Pantha Du Prince is definitely an act to be enjoyed in the intimacy of a solo gig. He needs closed-in walls, a midnight set and a devoted audience. OutsideIn could deliver none of these.

Performance: Satisfactory

Crowd Response: Fair

Overall: Satisfactory

Cut/Copy DJs (A-)

Cut/Copy were the eleventh hour saviours of OutsideIn after Swedish producer HNNY pulled out. In hindsight it made a lot of sense that Cut/Copy should be on the bill, given that they’ve just released their Oceans Apart mixtape which celebrates Melbourne electronica. Their DJ set at OutsideIn saw frontman Dan Whitford take to the decks to showcase many of the artists featured on Oceans Apart. The set stayed at a steady, twilight-ready tempo for the most part, detouring at the end to bring it home strong. Whitford dropped SBTRKT’s New Dorp New York (a somewhat confusing choice in a set dedicated to Melbourne electronica) to an elated crowd and followed it up with the centrepiece of Oceans Apart, Brenda by Ara Koufax. It was a triumphant, hands-in-the-air moment, that made us pretty proud to be witnessing Aussie electronica right now, as we glanced around at hefty, joyful crowd.

Performance: Good

Crowd Response: Good

Overall: Good

Black Vanilla (A+)

Black Vanilla’s set was the second of the day for both Collarbones’ Marcus Whale and Guerre’s Guerre but there was no drop in energy from either. Black Vanilla have embraced this abrasive RnB/electronica crossover that requires full commitment and maximum crowd participation for it to work. Luckily for them, both those things were in order for their brilliant OutsideIn set. They layed down a set of new songs and songs from their Cloaks EP that would have made Kanye West proud. Cassius Selects beats are industrial, gritty and bass-heavy, with the crowd chests pummeled by the onslaught of music. Meanwhile Whale and Guerre stand out front working the crowd into a frenzy. The two of them go back and forth at each other with the same kind of energy as an act like The Prodigy. Whales' final dance-break in a circle he’d created in the crowd was pretty breathtaking. As compact as the crowd may have been, Black Vanilla garnered the best response of the day.

Performance: Outstanding

Crowd Response: Outstanding

Overall: Outstanding

Check out our OutsideIn photo gallery below. 

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