Happy May Day! I’m in disbelief of how quickly this year has passed. I’ve been consistently busy for what seems like the past few months, which means it’s high time for another installment of the Electro Chronicles. Since I wrote Part 5 of the series, my music tastes have changed somewhat. I’ve been growing more receptive to funky house and minimal sounds, which means this playlist is a little less predominantly electro house. But as always, I’ve been pretty judicious in putting this compilation together, and I hope it helps you make it through the upcoming slew of final exams and papers. Hit the “play” button and bounce around, kids.
1. Redline – Wolfgang Gartner. Wolfgang Gartner, an LA-based American electro house producer, is one of my favorite artists. “Redline” dropped today, and I’m listening to it on repeat as I write this. Another flawless production by Wolfgang.
2. Make It Bun Dem – Skrillex + Damian Marley. This unlikely dubstep / reggae collaboration between notorious dance music producer and Bob Marley’s son – slaps hard.
4. I Know This (Can’t Be Love) – xxxy. This production, by another UK-based funky electro solo act, combines happy vocals with bold percussive elements.
5. The Veldt – Deadmau5 ft. Chris James. Deadmau5’s brand new release marks a return to his coveted signature house sound. The soothing male vocals are a plus.
6. Sprawl II (Soulwax Remix) – Arcade Fire. Chances are, you’ve heard the original Arcade Fire record. Soulwax, a Belgian indie electronic group, works their magic on “Sprawl II” to render it a slightly heavier, groovy sound.
7. Cold as Ice (A.Skillz + Nick Thayer Bootleg) – Foreigner. A.Skillz and Nick Thayer, both English breakbeat/dance producers, turn Foreigner’s original rock record into a bass-heavy, moombahton bootleg with Nick Thayer’s contribution to OWSLA’s (Skrillex’s record label) free mix
8. Language – Porter Robinson. Porter, a 19-year old (predominantly) electro house producer from North Carolina, is one of the newcomers to the EDM scene who has enjoyed meteoric success (he’s already toured with Tiësto). “Language,” which dropped only several weeks ago, demonstrates the evolution of his sound: it’s got a trance-y buildup and hook, but the drop hits heavy.
9. Climax (Kaskade Remix) – Usher. Kaskade, one of the most prominent American house producers, remixes Usher’s “Climax,” turning it into a highly enjoyable banger.
10. When I See You Again (Duke Dumont Rain On Kilimanjaro Mix) – Canyons. Props to my friend Matteo who showed me this track. I don’t even know what the original record sounds like, but UK-based Duke Dumont’s remix is simply magical: it’s wistful yet happy, and buoyant yet chill. Definitely one of my favorite tracks this year.
11. Concrete Angel – Gareth Emery ft. Christina Novelli. Gareth Emery, a renowned British progressive trance / house producer, released this track earlier this year, and I’ve fallen hard for it. The buildup might feel a little slow, but I guarantee it’s well worth the wait. Christina Novelli’s dulcet voice perfectly complements this track.
12. Mad Dash (Bingo Players Edit) – Carl Tricks. Dutch house duo Bingo Players have only recently risen to fame, but they’ve produced some of my favorite tracks like “Rattle,” “Mode,” and “Cry (Just a Little).” Their take on another Dutch house producer Carl Tricks’ record hits really, really hard.
13. Cott’s Face – Feed Me. This track by Feed Me, a British electro house producer (formerly drum and bass producer under the moniker “Spor”), contains one of the craziest synths I’ve ever heard. Watch the time stamp and prepare yourself for 1:45. Insane.
14. A Shadow in the Rose Garden – The M Machine. The title is a reference to a D. H. Lawrence short story, which tickles me. Anyway, this track by an electronic duo from San Francisco who are signed to Skrillex’s label OWSLA, layers fresh drums and bass under haunting vocals.
15. Friendly City – Milo + Otis. This American duo have just come onto the scene, but this track takes vocal samples from Justice’s “We Are Your Friends” and puts a moombah spin on them. Watch out for these guys.
16. Egyptic – Beats Antique. Beats Antique are a group of crazies who play with elements of electronic and world fusion music; their live shows are legendary. “Egyptic” is one of my favorite tracks of theirs – I think it does their sound justice.
17. Bay Area – Claude VonStroke. Claude VonStroke, a SF-based tech house producer, is a veteran of the scene. If you’re not too familiar with minimal (and I admit I’m pretty new to the genre – my friend Jesse, half of BC DJ duo COASTCONNECT, turned me onto this track), “Bay Area” might seem a little slow, but it’s a great track to kick it to.
18. California Soul (A.Skillz Remix) – Marlena Shaw. A.Skillz (see track #7) remixes the crap out of Shaw’s classic, to achieve a spectacular sound that’ll have you bouncing.