DecibelCast Vol. 23 – “L.A.-ted”

dB23

It’s been a minute we realize since we last posted a DecibelCast mix (or anything else for that matter). We’ve all been pretty busy doing adult stuff in our respective lives and, unfortunately, this blog has suffered for it. We have of course continued to discover and enjoy lots of different music, we just haven’t made the time to write about it. But, I digress…

This here is a mix I made specifically for a recent trip to Los Angeles (hence the title)—it starts with a bunch of West Coast G funk-inspired stuff and then works its way into some slick summery electronic pop. All tracks are new (with one obvious exception) and all are ideal for the warm weather. It’s a damn fine collection of songs, and I’ve been rinsing it steadily for the past few weeks. And so I figured “Why not share it with all of you?”

Hope you’re enjoying the summer
Jay Autom@tticus

Download: “L.A.-ted”.zip 

Tracklist:
STS & RJD2  – “Doing it Right”
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – “Can’t Keep Checking my Phone”
Thundercat – “Them Changes” (feat. Flying Lotus & Kamasi Washington)
NxWorries – “Suede”
Kendrick Lamar – “Momma”
Knxwledge – “Komestostai.Aintreallynootherwaytoputitro”
213 – “So Fly”
The Hood Internet – “Try Out” (Spoon x Dej Loaf Mashup)
The Internet – “Just Sayin/I tried”
A$AP Rocky – “Everyday” feat. Rod Stewart & Miguel
Hudson Mohawke – “Very First Breathe” (feat. Irfane)
Shamir – “Demon”
Jamie xx – “Good Times” feat. Popcaan & Young Thug
Hudson Mohawke – “Ryderz”
Dam-Funk – “Free”
Tuxedo – “Do It”
Hot Chip – “Love is the Future”
LA Priest – “Party Zute / Learning to Love”
Chromatics – “I Can Never Be Myself When You’re Around
Tame Impala – “Let It Happen”
Young Fathers – “Sirens”

FKA Twigs – “LP1”

At this point there probably isn’t a lot left to be added regarding this—it’s even been reviewed by Gawker for fuck’s sake. It is, however, a masterpiece and will most certainly make it to our end-of-list, so it feels kind of necessary to acknowlege.

The backstory behind Tahliah Debrett Barnett, the artist Formerly Known As Twigs or FKA Twigs is that she is a gymnast who apparently used to work as a backup dancer in music videos. Then in 2012 she self-released an EP, EP1, via Bandcamp. The release caught the ear of the A&R guys at Young Turks (home to Jamie xx, SBTRK and many more), who promptly signed her and released a second EP in 2013, the excellent EP2 (featured on DecibelCast Vol. 18), which was a collaborative effort with formidable Venezuelan bass experimentalist Arca. The EP and its leading single “Water Me” generated a ton of internet hype, which set the stage for a year of hype. When it did finally drop earlier this month, LP1 lived up to the hype and then some.

Stretching and contorting the pop music ethos to the edge of what seems possible, LP1 is as daring a pop record as you’re likely to find anywhere. Twigs’ ferbile vocal delivery comes wrapped in an icy veneer, which eventually melts giving way to a vulnerability as fragile as the newly fallen snow. And while her voice is definitely the distinguishing feature which binds the record together, it’s the music crafted around her, and how she interfaces with it that makes for such a rich and singular sonic experience.

Absorbing bits and pieces of various mainstream pop and much of cutting edge, underground electronic music, the studio wizards behind LP1 run these disparate elements through a complicated chain of effects processing and spit out some post-modern cubist approximation of R&B/club music—a synth-heavy juggernaut, densely atmospheric, with huge oscillating low end and multifaceted rhythms that splay outward with skittering trap-like percussion that seems to materialize and fall to pieces. The processing extends to her vocals as well, which are doubled, and pitched and twisted and warped until they become just another strange feature of the alien landscape.

Essential listening for 2014.

“Two Weeks” from LP1

“Pendulum” from LP1

“Water Me” from EP2

Twigs is also, apparently, an accomplished video director and producer. Here are some videos she’s been involved in:

Jamie XX – “Far Nearer”

The XX blew up like a thin water balloon awhile ago and since then they havent done much as a collective, but Jamie XX has been quite f-ing busy. In the past few months he has released a Collabo/Remix album with the recently deceased and greatly missed Gil Scott-Heron called We’re New Here (mentioned and reviewed in a great post on our blog awhile ago) . He did an amazing remix of the Adele song Rolling in the Deep which has gotten tons of playbacks, recognition from all over the place, and even a few pretty good remixes on top of his remix (You can get these below). And now this week this guy has released more music!

Late last year when word of Jamie XX‘s solo efforts were getting passed around so was the song Far Nearer but it was never officially put out until now. The label Numbers released the 7″ single this week with the tracks Far Nearer and Beat For.

Far Nearer is definitely the stand out of the two and with good reason. The echo-y, steel drums that take hold of you throughout the song get nicely backed up by the distorted, chopped-up sample of the phrase “I feel better when I have you near me” (from possibly a Janet Jackson song?). Simple sounding yes, but most catchy songs are simple, and this one might be one of the catchier tunes of the summer.

Beat For is great as well with it’s dark Burialesque dubstepy feel. It fits this new style well with abstract arrangements of filtered vocal samples and awkwardly open and dark feelings contrasting the chopped up bouncy bass beats. Although great for the style it is, it’s not as accessible as the flip side of the single.

You can peep them both below and pay to get them over here if you so desire.

You can at least get the Adele remixes for free below:

Adele – Rolling in the Deep (Jamie XX remix)

Adele – Rolling in the Deep (Jamie XX + Heatwave Remix)