GallantTaKu

Ta-Ku Remixes Gallant's 'Weight In Gold'

GallantTaKu

Perth producer Ta-Ku has been a busy man lately. He release his EP Songs To Make Up To and has been remixing and putting together mixes. His latest remix is of Gallant's Weight In Gold - an epic, hearty R&B track. Ta-Ku chops and screws the track in his usual manner adding an industrial rawness to the original. Still he keeps Gallant's gospel-influenced hook which takes the track straight to the heavens. It's a pretty stunning remix and will no doubt introduce a few more listeners to Gallant which is always a good thing.

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First Impressions: Britney Spears, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Lido + More

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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 Britney Spears, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Lido + More. 

Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Can’t Keep Checking My Phone

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/jagjaguwar/unknown-mortal-orchestra-cant-keep-checking-my-phone?in=the-in-terns/sets/10-songs-you-need-to-hear-10[/soundcloud]

Sam: I love that UMO have really expanded their sound. I loved II but at times it felt a little insular and restricted. Both this and Multi-Love have been a huge step forward and the album will most likely also continue this way. Can’t Keep Checking My Phone sounds like it would be right at home on a Blood Orange record - It’s got that minimal percussion loop with the funky guitars on top. As always though it’s the textured falsetto of Ruban Nielson that wins me over. 4

Bianca: The beginning transports me to a ‘70s crime detective TV show, which usually isn’t a good place to be, but in this circumstance sets the scene for a funky, hip-shaking, joyous tune. UMO keep offering multi-layered, instantaneously-enjoyable experiences and judging by Multi-Love and now Can’t Keep Checking My Phone, no detective work is required to realise that their upcoming album is going to deliver the goods. 4.5 Bianca's Pick 

Zanda: So much to unpack here that it’s hard to know where to start. The catchy vocal melodies are complimented superbly by that bass riff which sounds it has its origins in some seriously old school funk, and the sparing use of synth throughout is tasteful. The best aspect for me though, has to be that crazy percussion line; some sort of weird and wonderful mixture of clapping, sound effects, tambourine, and so much more. An absolute cracker. 4.5 Zanda’s Pick

Ta-Ku
Love Again

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/takugotbeats/love-again-feat-jmsn-sango?in=the-in-terns/sets/10-songs-you-need-to-hear-10[/soundcloud]

Sam: Ta-Ku has always had a few gospel flavours in his tracks but on this one he’s really gone all out and it works. JMSN’s vocal is an absolute killer throughout and Ta-Ku’s minimal production creates plenty of space for JMSN to work his magic. Personally, I would’ve enjoyed if Ta-Ku built the climax a little more, perhaps worked in some chords on an organ, Lido-style but there’s also a certain subtlety in not doing that which feels dignified. With or without, it’s a beautiful, flourishing production. 3

Bianca: *prayer hands emoji* The choir, combined with the piano and strings appearances, gives Love Again a gospel quality without being garish and over-the-top. The instrumental outro really makes it for me; the thumping kicks giving a taste of what was possibly missing from the rest of the song. Reading through Soundcloud, I found the comment: “This is cool just sent it to my ex who I miss alot (sic)”. Usually I wouldn’t recommend that but maybe this track might just give him a shot at redemption. 3

Zanda: I find myself pondering how Ta-Ku hasn’t really skyrocketed in popularity in the last few years. I guess part of the charm of his music it’s exactly what he wants to make and doesn’t cater to the masses. This is an incredibly soulful tune featuring some incredible acapella-esque vocals. Tasteful production underpins it, and it’s the sort of minimal but necessary style of production that Ta-Ku is known for. 3.5

Major Lazer
Powerful (Feat. Ellie Goulding/Tarrus Riley)

Sam: I have to preface this with I am going to be bias because I love Ellie Goulding’s voice so much that I would bathe in even her weakest songs. It goes without saying that the my favourite parts of this track is Goulding’s verses. It’s nice to hear her over a reggae-styled beat rather than Calvin Harris’ usual onslaught of synths. For me, this sounds like Major Lazer really trying to slip into the mainstream. First there was the politeness of Lean On and now this and good on them for trying to get on radio while still maintaining their signature aesthetic. Powerful is their strongest to date and the star-power of Goulding along with Riley’s catchy chorus will serve them well. 3.5

Bianca: Gamble on Major Lazer and you’re sure to win. They always manage to make the featured artist shine (hell, they even made me like a song that features Ariana Grande) and this time round is no exception; Ellie’s voice is delightfully chirrupy as usual and Tarrus’ contribution balances it with a bit of grunt. It’s not the most complex of tracks but it is Powerful enough to make you sit up and listen. 3.5

Zanda: Diplo has come out recently and said that he is planning on doing less work as ‘Diplo’, and with a host of other projects under his direction including Major Lazer it’s not too hard to see why. With the recent release of Lean On, and now with this new track, it’s clear that the master producer and collaborator is taking this venture outside the realms of banging dance anthems exclusively and venturing into new areas. Ellie Goulding is typically and undoubtedly brilliant as usual. 3.5

Gosh Pith
Child

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/gosh-pith/child[/soundcloud]

Sam: After hearing so much clean electronic, RnB music in recent years I’m very into the idea of reverb-soaked melodies slipping back into fashion. Gosh Pith are just the start of what I think will be a very big movement of music that sounds like this. As always the original purveyor is the best and Child is excellent. It kind of doesn’t go anywhere but it has this subtle appeal which revolves around the soulful vocal. It’s a vocal that you wouldn’t expect to slot into an instrumental like this. At first I was expecting something more skewed towards Sleigh Bells but was pleasantly surprised. I’m charmed by this. 4

Bianca: Totally read their name as ‘Goth Pit’ at first glance so was expecting a very different song to come out of my headphones. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to be serenaded by this lullaby-eque, ambling track. It’s subdued though still holds an unfinished grittiness that prevents it from being tedious. The vocal-run, “I said I got out of there sooner now” also shakes things up, almost tripping over itself and waking the track up from its cozy slumber. 4

Zanda: A very relaxed and guitar-riff happy tune from the Detroit-based group. I actually really enjoy the refreshing use of triple time in kind of a shuffle feel, as a nice break from all other music at the moment being in 4/4. Echoey vocals add to this relaxed feel… a great track for a chiller weekend. 3

Jeremih
Planes (Lido and The Social Experiment Remix)

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/chancetherapper/jeremih-planes-remix-lido-the-social-experiment[/soundcloud]

Sam: Another week, another Chance The Rapper feature or remix that isn’t actually a Chance The Rapper song 🙁 Based off this I would love to see Lido and The Social Experiment working together more often.

Lido’s instrumentals always oscillate between the minimal and the dense and Chance’s vocal always sounds best when it’s given plenty of space to exist in. Together it’s an interesting combination. Anyway, I’m not ignoring the fact that this is actually a Jeremih remix.

The original of Planes was good but this is just so much more interesting. In fact I actually completely forgot Planes existed until now. I have a feeling I won’t be forgetting this one though. 4

Bianca: This version makes for a much more exciting event in comparison to the original. You can immediately hear Lido's contribution to the track, in all of its flickering, blossoming goodness. Chance's appearance, with all his Willy Wonka references, is almost humorous and kinda strange, but after listening to it a couple of times I understand its necessity. 3.75 

Zanda: Jeremih and Chance The Rapper are typically smooth in this, but the real star for me is Lido and his unique style of production. He brings his own brand of melodic synths to everything he does, and this track has that typical Lido polish to it. He uses space and sparse textures to captivate his audience and leave you wondering what’s coming next after moments of almost complete silence. 4

Giorgio Moroder 
Tom’s Diner (Feat. Britney Spears)

Sam: I actually think Britney Spears can be really brilliant when she strays away from regular pop. There was a song on her Circus record called Unusual You which I still listen to know because it was so irregular for her but also had some really interesting production on her voice. Tom’s Diner sounds nothing like that but it does go with something more interesting than your regular Britney. The production here brings out the best in her usually paper-thin voice.

The whole idea of Giorgio Moroder and Britney Spears doing a Suzanne Vega cover is utterly ridiculous but for some equally ridiculous reason it works. The Sia song was just way too cheesy. This one is cheesy but it’s also got a sleek quality in the way it carefully treads between disco and the club. Who would have thought that a 70-something year-old could bring out the best in Brit. I can’t get enough of this. Ditch Iggy Azalea and create a whole album with Moroder please Britney. 4.5 Sam’s Pick

Bianca: This track oscillates delightfully between 'lol' and head bopping acceptance. At first listen, the 'doo doo' intro was almost laughable, but soon Giorgio's brilliant production shined through and Britney-fuelled nostalgia took over, making me kinda...like it. The lyrics are so damn literal, by no fault of Britney or Giorgio, but I suppose that adds to its charm. It's all very odd that this was the song of choice for their collaboration but I'm glad they did it. 

Zanda: It’s weird how Giorgio Moroder’s work as part of Daft Punk’s latest LP seems to have thrust him back into the spotlight, or at least reclaimed the attention of popular music’s biggest stars. This track doesn’t do much for me to be honest, although the production value is undoubtedly high. I can’t quite pinpoint what aspects of it I don’t particularly like, maybe if Britney attempted less pronounced humming and there was more actual lyrical material. 1.5

Now time for your vote: 

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If you feel the need to abuse us for our opinions, you can reach some of this week’s writers below:

Content Director: Sam
Managing Director: Bianca
Contributor: Zanda

10Songs_24April

10 Songs You Need To Hear This Week: Major Lazer, Ta-Ku, Wet + More

10Songs_24April
Another week dominated by Kanye West. When he's not jumping in lakes in Armenia, he's stealing The Weeknd's limelight at Coachella and inducting himself into the TIME Power 100. In honour of another week in which Kanye nabbed a headline a day, we present to you a 10 Songs You Need To Hear This Week with no mention of Kanye. Apart from this bit where we've mentioned his name three times. Seems we can stop travelling West. Time to head South and explore the best songs from the week below.

Wet
Deadwater

Brooklyn three-piece Wet are set to be one of the most talked about acts of the year. Their debut EP Dreams, released last year, was brilliant and we're hoping that their debut album, revealed to be called Don't You, will be even better. The first single off that record is Deadwater and it's one of their strongest tracks to date. Vocalist Kelly Zutrau sounds unbelievable over a washy, subtle instrumental. She hooks you in from the first second and after that the song just glides past, time seemingly standing still.

Ta-Ku
Love Again (Feat. JMSN and Sango)

Ta-Ku has quietly become one of the best Australian producers doing the rounds but it feels like this latest EP, set to be released via Future Classic, will really propel him to the front of people's mind. That said EP is called Songs To Make Up To and the first single is called Love Again. Love Again is Ta-Ku taking it to church with a piano instrumental complimented beautifully by JMSN's soulful vocal. It's without a doubt the most uplifting thing that Ta-Ku has done and while it's not traditionally designed for the club, we can imagine this really being a moment if someone snuck it into a set.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/takugotbeats/love-again-feat-jmsn-sango[/soundcloud]

Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Can't Keep Checking My Phone

Unknown Mortal Orchestra have made great albums in the past but it feels like he's really making a conscious effort in the lead-up to LP3 to appeal to a wider-audience. First single and title track Multi-Love was his most accessible pop track to date and the follow-up Can't Keep Checking My Phone is just as immediately likeable. It's a densely melodic, funky number that even manages to slip in synths in the bridge. It's the closest thing we're going to get to a euphoric UMO pop number and we'll happily take it.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/jagjaguwar/unknown-mortal-orchestra-cant-keep-checking-my-phone[/soundcloud]

cln.
Hold Me

Brisbane producer cln. put out a few excellent tracks last year but it really feels like he's hit his stride with this latest one Hold Me. Not only do we get to hear him sing but we also get to hear him take on a more melancholic aesthetic. As sad as the melody may be, the synths and the lyrics are basically like a warm, electronic hug. If he continues to head in this direction we have every bit of confidence that he will be one of Australia's best electronic producers.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/callanalexander/cln-hold-me[/soundcloud]

Jordan Bratton
Prisoner (Feat. Chance The Rapper)

Chance The Rapper is a great drawcard. Every track he features on gets an immediate listen from us but in this case New York vocalist Jordan Bratton completely holds his own against Chance. Prisoner is a soulful, spacious track with some beautiful harmonies. Chance jumps on the track in the second half for a half-sung, half-rapped verse that is inline with a lot of the stuff he's been doing with The Social Experiment. Prisoner is taken off Bratton's forthcoming EP Youth.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/jordanbratton/prisoner-ft-chance-the-rapper[/soundcloud]

Major Lazer
Powerful (Feat. Ellie Goulding & Tarrus Riley)

Major Lazer have always had a cult following but this time around it seems that they are reaching for the mainstream. First was their collaboration with Mo which has shot up the charts here in Australia and now their collaboration with Ellie Goulding has surfaced. It's undoubtedly the most radio-friendly thing they have ever produced but that doesn't mean they have sold out. It still has the heavy-bass Major Lazer aesthetic that Diplo and co have mastered over the years. Reportedly Diplo is leaving behind his solo work to focus on Major Lazer and it may be a good decision considering the gold they have been churning out of late.

RKDA
Meta

Melbourne via Brisbane producer RKDA, is a newcomer to the Australian electronic scene. Meta is her debut tracks and it's a dark, experimental piece that pegs her as an artist not shy to get a little introspective. This is the kind of music that is born in the early hours of the morning. It's haunting and unsettling but also expansive in the way that it layers up instrumentally in the latter parts of the song. We'll take some more of this please, RKDA, don't make us wait too long.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/rkdamusic/meta[/soundcloud]

VÉRITÉ
Colors

We waxed lyrical about VÉRITÉ's last single Wasteland and we're going to do it yet again with this one, Colors. There's so much electronic, singer/songwriter music floating around at the moment but what makes VÉRITÉ different is her full-bodied voice which makes you sit up and listen immediately. It's not wispy and gentle, it's the type that needs dense instrumentals and sturdy melodies to give it wings. Colors does exactly that with a bolstered chorus that really allows VÉRITÉ to show of her killer voice.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/veritemusic/colors[/soundcloud]

Dej Loaf
U Me & Hennessy (Feat. Lil Wayne)

When Lil Wayne jumps on your track you better believe that you're something special. We pegged Dej Loaf as an artist to watch in 2015 and we've been consistently proved right. Me U & Hennessy is a downbeat masterpiece with Loaf slurring from one line to the other with an enviable effortlessness. At first Lil Wayne doesn't seem like the right fit for Loaf's brand of rap but he actually delivers one of his best verses in a few years, his scratchy voice perfectly complimenting Loaf's serene tones.

Lianne La Havas
Unstoppable

Lianne La Havas' debut album was so good that she made friends with Prince. That statement alone should make it well-worth looking forward to her sophomore album but we'll let her music do the speaking for now. Unstoppable is the first taste of new album Blood which will grace us with its presence in July. It's a cruisy, Erykah Badu-style number which beautifully showcases La Havas' coffee-soaked tones. She's one of the only artists that could easily occupy a five minute space without any big tricks. Her voice just wraps around the melody and carries you with it.

[soundcloud width="750" height="200"]https://soundcloud.com/liannelahavas/unstoppable[/soundcloud]

...of course we're joking about Kanye. Here's Good Life. What a #banger.

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Ta-Ku Drops Soulful New Track 'Love Again'

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It seems that soul and gospel music are continuing to infiltrate electronic music. Lido has been doing it for a while and it's also a massive influence on Aussie producer Ta-Ku's new single Love Again. The track is the first to be lifted from his new EP titled Songs To Make Up To and features the soulful vocals of JMSN as well as production by Soulection member Sango. Ta-Ku's work on the track is minimal allowing for the subtle warmth of the song to work its magic organically.

[soundcloud]http://soundcloud.com/takugotbeats/love-again-feat-jmsn-sango[/soundcloud]

Songs To Make Up To is out 12th June via Future Classic.

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The American Electronic Music Scene & Australia’s Growing Influence

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America’s music scene is in a constant and blissful state of evolution. One of the fastest growing trends across the country is electronic music, and with hundreds of big-name and underground artists producing every style and subgenre you can name, its growth doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon. In recent years, the skyrocketing popularity of large-scale music festivals has noticeably changed electronic producers’ experience in the creation and performance of their sound. Not only do the crowds expect to see acts they already know, the gigantic line-ups have also allowed artists from around the world to showcase themselves in an entirely new setting, leaving behind a growing influence on American artists and the scene itself. Acts like Flume, Emoh Instead (and their collaborative outfit, What So Not), Ta-ku, Chet Faker, and Wave Racer are only a few examples of Australians who are beginning to make huge waves over in the States, and it’s about time.

Flume_USA

My own introduction to Australia’s electronic scene came a couple years ago, on a lazy day while scrolling through Spotify. After an endless train of searches, I ended up on Flume’s page and listened to his most popular hits, Holdin' On and Insane (feat. Moon Holiday). This quickly led me to check out the rest of his album and then go back to the top and start again three more times. I had no idea that years later, I would still be bothering my friends and family by insisting on hearing the album again and again, trying to breakdown each song and instrument for them, hoping to convert them to the Australian sound. I had never heard anything like it, nor been so affected by a series of strange, broken sounds and haunting, tribal melodies, and I wasn’t the only one.

While at a small show in northern California about a year ago, one of the openers played Flume’s remix of Disclosure’s You and Me. It was the first time I’d heard one of his songs played live, and naturally I made a commotion. After it ended and the crowd was able to take a breath, all I was able to hear were the people around me asking each other what song they had just heard, and who the artist was. It was a clear standout in the rest of the set. You would’ve thought I was working for Future Classic by the way I was shelling Flume’s name out to everyone. Getting to witness an entire venue’s first introduction to a piece of Australia’s sound was magical, and our immediate, frantic embrace only grew as the months went on.

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The mainstream electronic music scene in America nowadays, specifically trap music, follows several trends that are worth noting when comparing it to the stuff migrating from Australia. Hear me out. First, you won’t find much trap in the States without a snare on the 2’s and 4’s and a rolling hi hat coming in after the first half of the “drop”. These are givens. To go a little broader though, the underlying vibe of the songs often seems to be the same as well. The rhythms hit the off beats hard, inspiring you to throw your body around and pump your fists in the air. The vocal samples used are very provocative, usually short phrases or words meant to stimulate the crowd, make them feel in control of the song, and offend the older generations. Basically, America likes grime. We judge the success of our raves by the number of frowning ‘stank’ faces and the music’s level of aggression or badassery. This is where Australia’s recent assimilation has really opened our eyes.

stankface

An example of a 'stank face'

[soundcloud width="750" heigh="200]https://soundcloud.com/wave-racer/wave-racer-streamers[/soundcloud]

The musical formulas I described still hold true with many artists such as Yahtzel, L D R U, Sable, Basenji, and even Flume, but the big difference lies in their creation of melodies and overall intentions for their songs. They are able to match the high level of energy without a sense of anger or inflated ego found in so much of America’s electronic sound, but instead replace it with an uplifting feeling of celebration and joy. For lack of better words, Australia’s music is optimistic. Just listen to any one of Wave Racer’s tracks and you’ll know what I mean. The melodies within the songs are complex and beautiful. It feels like listening to actual music, rather than just a cool beat. Even though the colossal scale of some popular American music may shadow it at times, it fully compensates with its vast, musical detail and melodic styling.

[soundcloud width="750" heigh="200]https://soundcloud.com/whatsonot/sets/tell-me-rl-grime-x-what-so-not[/soundcloud]

A perfect comparison of the two styles comes in the form of an actual collaboration between our countries: RL Grime and What So Not’s Tell Me. The build up, created by What So Not, features warped vocal samples and tribal instruments layered over each other. It creates an ominous and yet elevating vibe, which sharply contrasts with RL’s drop. Only using one leading synth and three notes, he completely changes the vibe to be very minimal and hard-hitting. This collaboration shows the difference in technique and musical atmosphere of our countries’ sounds, and as you can tell from listening to Tell Me, they go quite well together.

What So Not’s ever-growing number of collaborations with American artists such as Dillon Francis and Skrillex, Flume’s wildly successful North American tour, and Ta-ku’s heavy involvement with LA-based label HW&W are only a few examples of the major moves Australians are making in the States. With their unique and refreshing approach to electronic music, they’re blowing the dust off America’s EDM book.

 American music often feels like a one night stand.

Australian music feels like your soul mate.

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Chet Faker - Talk is Cheap (Ta-ku Remix)

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New Zealand beatsmith Ta-Ku and Aussie crooner Chet Faker have both scaled the heights of the industry at around the same time. Ta-Ku has provided stellar remixes for artists like Flume, BANKS and Childish Gambino while Chet Faker has released a number one album, Built on Glass. It makes complete sense that they find themselves strewn together with Ta-Ku remixing Chet's single Talk Is Cheap. Needless to say, it's great.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/takugotbeats/chet-faker-talk-is-cheap-ta-ku-remix[/soundcloud]

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