NYC based electronic duo The Knocks brought much needed sunshine and summertime to rainy SF last night. The disco-funk duo engineered an epic dance party, ushering wallflowers to the center of the dance floor via their latest EP Testify.
As a first time Knocks-goer, the only thing I knew to expect for certain was dancing and good vibes. To my surprise, I truly feel like I witnessed happiness materialized. One of my favorite things about live music is that it’s created this shared outlet for people to feel or escape or reflect- something we could all use a bit more of given the current state of the world. JPatt and B-Roc have clearly made it their mission to unite their fans and enable them to (feel good) feel great, albeit for just a night.
The show itself delivered a steady dose of energy throughout, taking fans through songs off of Comfortable, 55 and their new EP Testify, which dropped on February 3rd. My personal highlights (outside of picking up one or two new dance moves) all came from their new EP, where I feel the duo has really established their sound and allowed unique, up and coming artists to complement it. New songs ”Heat,” ”Trouble” and “Worship” show a clear evolution of the duo’s sound to more dreamy & seductive compositions, while still maintaining their signature positivity and upbeat nature throughout. Witnessing the crowd’s response these jams makes me excited to see what’s next for both the duo and the artists featured on these tracks.
Dust off those dancing shoes & check out the full EP below!
Sometimes a track can sound like an automatic hit and you find yourself wondering, “how is this not invading the radio?!”. This time around it’s an electric pop number from Ryder, a Los Angeles based artist. “Nirvana” is a dreamy, catchy tune that’ll perfectly sit itself into your head for hours because of its undeniably addictive chorus. So what more can we really ask for? Check out the fresh pop track below.
Some tracks are so easy to get into within seconds because they reel you in with a mesmerizing, catchy beat. You turn it on and like that your mind is twisting and your head is bobbing like nobody’s business. “Savage” is no exception and we can thank Paces and Nyne for that. This team-up is a match made in addictive sounds heaven and will likely control your brain for the rest of the night. Get your dose of pop-electronic goodness below.
“Caught Up” is a palatial banger, complete with waves of electrifying synths and airtight percussion. But it’s more than just another mammoth party song, even if it does manage to check that box perfectly, and the song’s lyrics allude to the dangers of surface-level preoccupation. Best Night Ever is the brainchild of Tyler Armes, who is using the project to benefit mental health charities The Trevor Project and Kids Help Phone in Canada.
Proceeds from streams and downloads go towards these organizations, which is particularly smart because “Caught Up” is the kind of narcotizing track tailor made for throwing on repeat.
New York City producer and DJ David Johnson, better known as DeModa, has taken the EDM and electronica world by storm with is innovative and unique take on production. Unlike that of a traditional DJ, DeModa incorporates live instrumentation into his work, such as keyboards, guitar and drums; manipulating them with virtuosic flair. He produces his own material and crafts remixes for popular artists such as M83 and Porter Robinson, enhancing their material while retaining his unmistakable originality. On his most recent project, DeModa takes on “Friend” by FRND. Embellished with wobbly bass lines and Eastern-influenced guitar lines, the remix adds charisma and animation to the track while preserving the intimacy of the lyrics and vocals. With his inventive melodic approach, DeModa is one of a handful of new producers pushing remix standards to new levels.
Anna Straker, a London-based artist, is only 19 years old (feel like a geezer, yet?). Although she’s a fresh face, she’s already making her mark with a hypnotizing electronic-pop sound. Straker recently released her short, but sweet EP Serious and each track sparkles with dance-worthy tunes (seriously, every song will get stuck in your head for days). One of its shining tracks is “Desert Floor”, but it’s only a taste of what Anna Straker is capable of. If you want good vibes all around, take a dive into the whole release because it’ll hit that electro-pop spot. For now, check out “Desert Floor” below.
Sydney-based Goldielocks has released his Luminous EP, featuring stand-out track “Liquify”. The whole EP is filled with top-notch material, but “Liquify” uniquely combines the producer’s unique ability to combine downtempo electronic textures with melodic, pitch-shifted vocals. This track starts with a catchy percussive beat before settling into a dreamy, bass-heavy journey. At times it sparkles, at times it gets dark – but never does “Liquify” stop being beautiful. Check it out below and, if you like what you hear, the Luminous EP here.
Night Tempo and Le Real have teamed up to make the smooth, future-funky “Home”. This tune combines slapping bass with snappy drums and a lyrical flow that features such gems as “Going up not only on a Tuesday but the whole weekend”. Throw “Home” on while you’re driving slow on a Saturday afternoon, soaking up the sunshine around you. Fans of Dallas Cotton should find some familiar sounds here, and get excited for further work from these two.
Party Pupils is at it again with a rework of Ginuwine’s classic “Pony”. A few weeks after dropping their fantastic remix of Outkast’s “Ms. Jackson”, the Los Angeles duo is back with their second release. This track sports tasteful synth stabs, occasionally pitch-shifted vocals, and a bassline bouncy enough to keep you dancing throughout. With this track, the group puts their own spin on another R&B classic – I can’t wait to hear these guys’ original work.
I recently finished Ashlee Vance’s authorized biography of Elon Musk, CEO/founder of Tesla and SpaceX. The book paints a detailed portrait of an extremely smart and determined man, who cares less about making money and more about impacting the world in a positive way. His driving motivator, the one that causes him to work most hours of the day, is to make humankind a multi-planetary species and to give us the tools to shift our energy consumption to clean energy. The idea of working toward a larger goal, such as Elon’s, is fascinating to me: not working to live, not working to make as much money as possible, but, rather, working to improve the universe. And it is not about winning some make-believe competition of who can be the noblest lad in all the land; there’s a fundamentality to it.
We have “x” number of years to live and reproduce →
Our planet has a laundry list of unresolved problems, and our species is confined to it →
So, let’s improve Earth for future generations, while reducing our dependence on Earth (for future generations).
Ironically, I also learned that, with hard work and proper execution, big money often follows such ambitious purpose. There is not a shortage of big thinkers, there is not a shortage of money, but there is a shortage of people willing to assume large risk for an abstract but basic idea.
NOTE: The SoundCloud mix is missing track 12 (“O&D” by Louis Val). Original image by Spencer Tunick.
NY based act, Computer Magic aka Danielle Johnson, produces shadowy synth pop in the vein of New Young Pony Club, YACHT and other early bloghouse pioneers. Danielle’s music is a fixture in Japanese advertisements and has also caught on stateside with taste-makers like Rookie, NOISEY and Wonderland. “Gone For The Weekend” is a fanciful taste of what you can expect to hear on her forthcoming release, “Obscure But Visible” – due out October 7th.