Felix Cartal – Skeleton EP

Felix Cartal

At the risk of forever being labeled as a complete fool, I’m going to be 100% honest and say that prior to the release of Felix Cartal‘s Skeleton EP, my expectations for the Canadian boy could barely be lifted off the ground. I’m not quite sure why, however, I feel it’s safe to say that my insensitive assumption could not have been entirely my fault; Up until quite recently, his tour fliers have depicted him as “opener material” by consistently placing him second to artists like MSTRKFT, Steve Aoki, and LA Riots, a spot that would likely have otherwise been filled by Them Jeans or Dan Oh and the like. Not that I have anything against the guys; It’s just that they’ve all been supporting each other as remix artists for such an extensive amount of time, that it has become unusual to regard any of them as an actual recording artist, capable of releasing a fully fledged and independent album.

Felix Cartal

Needless to say, every one of my assumptions was shattered and surpassed on levels that I didn’t even have a clue existed. Not only has the young wrecka created an EP that embraces and fully displays the sounds of modern dance music, but he’s also made the art of innovation stylish once again. That is, where I expected to hear a collection of four songs that all resembled his (and everyone else’s) past work, I was startled to experience the charitable use of complex rhythms, character of sound ranging from his trademarked banger synth to lighter, poppier noises not dissimilar to that of Simian Mobile Disco, and elegant eight bar chord progressions that work hard to draw every last piece of energy possible out of those 24 bits. Long story short, it took Felix less than a minute to establish himself in my mind as far more than just a Reason remixer. Skeleton EP is wonderful. Felix is wonderful. Dancing is wonderful. Group hug.

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Felix Cartal – Redheads

Considering the poor boy put so much time and energy into this EP, I can’t bring myself to post more than a single song. If you’ve fallen as deeply in love as I have, spend the four dollars to grab a copy, and of course, don’t forget to make your way out to Cinespace tonight for the Dim Mak Tuesdays “Skeleton” Release Party!

Ratatat – What a Pleasant Surprise

Despite the fact that the genre consisting of all the electronic and electro music has assembled much of it’s popularity due to the hype around “new and original sounds”, it would be foolish to deny the appearance of more than just a few styles that could easily be called generic. Artists like The Bloody Beetroots and Crookers have, since the time of their conception stood fast on top of the sounds and styles that they created for themselves, and though I cannot say that I do not enjoy those particular sounds, they certainly do become a bit tiresome after an extended run. Now, please don’t attack me with your feelings on how a group without a definite style is a is a forgettable one; I couldn’t agree more. But when it gets to the point where you almost don’t have to listen to a track before you know what it’s going to sound like, one cannot deny that it does become considerably less interesting.

Ratatat

It’s because of these “ruts”, into which so many artists have begun to fall, that I was, and still am, so thoroughly impressed by the latest album from the likes of Ratatat, entitled LP3: In all actuality, the odds were totally against them. Think about it. A year or two ago, they had a bit of a following, but we all know they didn’t truly emerge until about the time they made a world tour with Daft Punk. (Who would have thought?) In the months that followed, they gathered popularity exponentially, to the point where your red neck friend, who only bought an iPod just last year when he realized that he was among the 3% of people that still didn’t own one, actually came up to you and told you to listen to “Wildcat”, acting like you’d never heard it before. And a few months after that? “Ratatat? Yeah, whatever.” To make things worse, a few underwhelming tracks surfaced on the blogs not long after, which gave people the impression that Ratatat had nothing left to offer. Their path was that of a one hit wonder, and so many people have made premature assumptions, I guarantee that the world is not prepared for what’s about to gush from its noise-making machines:

Ratatat‘s LP3 is gorgeous, in the true sense of the word. Unlike the artists that follow the pattern in the aforementioned paragraph, Ratatat has managed to fulfill just about every request that one could ask for in a follow-up album. It has character, class, and depth, but most of all, they’ve evolved their style to the point that it’s completely fresh, while somehow managing to stay entirely the same. As a whole, the album is considerably lighter and more universally enjoyable, frequently substituting piano (and even an occasional clavichord) and strange and funky noises for some of the drums and extremely rich guitar sounds of their previous works. Nonetheless, you’ll never have to question who you’re listening to. It’s completely different, and it’s exactly the same. Commendable indeed.

Here’s a few tracks to tease, but I must inform you that the entire album is quite lovely. Do them kids a favor!

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MP3: Ratatat – Dura

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MP3: Ratatat – Mirando

LA Riots

And here’s a little toss in. For those of you who aren’t aware, a remix contest was staged a while back for “Lo Sforzo”, a querky electro track originally produced by IHEARTCOMIX‘s Ocelot (who has coined what’s probably close to my favorite phrase, ever: “All the fun of trance without all that trance”). While many of the resulting creations were quite entertaining, one of them, which happened to be produced by the now-well-known remix team LA Riots, proved itself to be a particularly floor shaking brick of synthesizer-goodness. Unfortunately, that track has all but disappeared from the internet, and for a while I worried that I’d be forever doomed to living without it. My luck did turn, however, and I figure I should repay the spirits of karma (and the delightful LA Riots) by posting it up here. Be careful… this one bites.

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MP3: Ocelot – Lo Sforzo (LA Riots remix)

You can remix that!?

One of the greatest things that modern electro has done for the music world in the few short years that it’s been around is open one massive door to a whole new realm of remixing potential. I mean, yeah, there have always been remixes in the past, but what they usually boiled down to was just some new rapper covering some older guy’s track, and needless to say, we all got sick of that pretty fast. And then there were (God help my soul for bringing this up… what am I thinking?) those cult-status metal remixes of Britney Spears songs. I’m not even gonna go there. The point is, that up until recently, the entire concept of “the remix” has been largely limited. With this new remix culture, however, a great song is released, and then you get to hear it forty-three more times as every other producer in the world takes their shot at crafting it to their liking. Who could complain about that? The reason I’m getting all nostalgic on you is because remixes have been getting even crazier. People are starting to rip it up with tracks that have never before been considered; They’re pulling from nearly every genre, from hip-hop to pop to the truest So-Cal rock, and as such, they’re allowing Disco to consume everything in it’s path. Survival of the fittest I suppose. ūüėõ

Crookers

First things first: The Busy P remix I did a post on a week or two back has finally busted out of it’s cage, foaming rabies gums and everything. There isn’t much information on when, if ever, it is scheduled to be officially released, but until then, we’ve got the full length, 192 kbps leak at our disposal. Do with it what you will… just keep it clean ūüėČ [As a side note, it’s been confirmed a Crookers remix–it was not done by The Bloody Beetroots]

Busy P – To Protect and Entertain (Crookers Remix)

On top of that, there have been some rather impressive genre-bending releases from the likes of LA Riots, VNDLSM, LAZRtag, Man Eat DJ, and Jizm. Who’d have thought we’d hear Kelis remixed? I guess her Milkshake brings all the boys to the club, as well.

Weezer – Automatic (la Riots Remix)

Kelis – Milkshake (Man Eat Dj & Jizm Remix)

Rhianna – Umbrella (VNDLSM Remix)

Rhianna – Don\’t Stop the Music (LAZRtag club remix)

And finally, Oh SNAP! (the guys who brought us the infamous “Bill Cosby Sweater” track) did a little edit of MSTRKRFT’s “Bounce” for those turntable savvy kids out there. A few added vocals and some edited synths make it an absolute wonder to dj with, so if you’re planning on throwing down, make sure you pick this one up.

MSTRKRFT – Bounce (Oh Snap Bootleg Vocal Remix)

The next generation of fresh

Whether it be due to the fact that her younger brother is Chicago’s J2K, a talented dj better known as one half of the Flosstradomus duo, or simply because her relentless flow is an¬†irresistible¬†piece of ear candy, Kid Sister is (and has been for quite some time now) where it’s at. ¬†And see the crazy thing is, it just won’t stop. ¬†She’s created a kind of mix between hip hop and electro house that I feel is safe to say has never been done before, and it’s destroying the walls that separate the two genres, and getting her attention all across the musical spectrum. ¬†Naturally, the remixes are dropping all over the place. ¬†Who would have known that the release of Royal Rumble‘s remix of “Damn Girl” was only the beginning? It’s been nearly nine months since that release, and the tracks are still coming strong. Give her two weeks and she’ll have scored a remix with every legitimate producer on the face of the earth. I personally cannot wait for the release of “Harder Better Faster Sister”, but while we wait for that, we’ve got remixes by TEPR, Bag Raiders, LA Riots, and A-Trak to keep us entertained.

LA Riots have done a particularly solid job on this one:
kid-sister_control-la-riots-remix

If you’re one of those guys that’s laughing at the fact that it’s taken me this long to throw up a Kid Sister post, you’re clearly already a fan, in which case you might want to check out this summer’s HARD Festival. Yes, it is the same guys that put on the NYE show, and yes, it’s going to be just as epic. Of course, Kid Sister will be there, but that’s not the half of it. Here’s the full lineup:

  • Kid Sister
  • MSTRKRFT
  • N*E*R*D
  • A-Trak
  • Spank Rock
  • Steve Aoki
  • The Bloody Beetroots
  • LA Riots
  • Jason Bentley
  • Destructo
  • Miles Dyson
  • Squeak E Clean
  • DJ MomJeans
  • Mr. White

Tickets are on sale now, so check out HardFest.com and grab ’em while they’re still around!

What’s that? ¬†You want more delicious electro meets hip hop tracks? ¬†Well I’m sure you’ve heard MSTRKRFT‘s “Bounce”? ¬†You haven’t? ¬†Child, you’re in for a treat.

Killing it as usual:

Bounce (feat. N.O.R.E.) [Extended Version]