What’s What on SoundCloud

Hello friends. Welcome back to “What’s What on SoundCloud”! The following are some of the noteworthy tracks I’ve been listening to recently and feel that you should be listening to as well.

This week’s artist spotlight: Sam Gellaitry and KAYTRANADA

Sam Gellaitry is an electronic music producer out of Scotland who found his success on Soundcloud thanks in part to the underground music conglomerate, Soulection Radio. With goofy synth leads, quirky jazz chord progressions, and an overarching cinematic feel that invokes a sense of nostalgia, Sam G is one of my favorite artists to date.  After he tweeted “gonna release all this stuff I’ve been sitting on in the next couple of days” last week, I knew we were in for a treat.

If you listen to only one song from this blog post, “want u 2” should be the one. The instrumentation on this track is incredibly well executed. Gellaitry knows how to create compelling syncopated melodies that leave you with no option but to nod along with the beat in satisfaction. Whether you’re at a huge party or listening on your own in your room, this groovy track is sure to please your ears and your soul.

“Pyrotechnic” is a little more quirky. Sam is super liberal with the chops, creating a sense of anticipation as you wait for the beat to come back in after it cuts out. He slaps this track in the face with his distinct eccentric style. If you haven’t given Gellaitry’s discography a listen, I highly recommend it.

To conclude this week’s discovery, I’m throwing it back to 2014. “At All” is, without a doubt, my favorite Kaytranada track of all time. This funk-house banger is the perfect thing to listen to on a late night drive around town, or really any time you just want to dance. Kaytranada’s distinct bass lines and combination of bump and groove give this track the perfect balance between the funk of yesterday and the house music of today.

Die Antwoord – Mount Ninji and Da Nice Time Kid

The first time listening to a song by the South African rap-rave group, Die Antwoord, I was appalled, shocked, and even offended. Apparently I wasn’t the only one considering the mostly negative reviews of Die Antwoord’s fourth studio album Mount Ninji and Da Nice Time Kid. However, while it’s easy to dismiss the group for their crude and audacious persona’s, there’s much more to Die Antwoord than meets the eye.

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The group’s aesthetic stems from the South African counter-culture movement called “zef” which roughly translates to “common” in English. For Die Antwoord, the style is most often characterized by bold colors, gaudy outfits, and flashy jewelry. However, in an interview, Yo-landi Visser says “Zef’s kind of like you don’t give a f*ck and you have your own flavor and you’re on your own mission”; a mentality that’s ingrained in all of Die Antwoord’s work, especially in their newest album Mount Ninji and Da Nice Time Kid. 

The opening track “We Have Candy” is a surreal and theatrical invitation to the rest of the album. A combination of comedic dialogue and soaring operatics leaves the listener confused yet wanting more; a description that can be applied to most songs from Die Antwoord. “We Have Candy” was the group’s original name for the album because of it’s random and playful tracks, but the name was soon changed to Mount Ninji and Da Nice Time Kid once the group added more dark and vulnerable songs to the album.

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The song “Banana Brain” is a perfect example of the more random and playful songs Die Antwoord began writing the album with. The track begins with Yo-landi’s high-pitched and eerie vocals which then lead into a roller coaster of pulsing beats and EDM rhythms. The music video for “Banana Brain” depicts a crazy house party with fast cars, psychedelics, and neon lights; a setting most appropriate for the song’s wild/rave attitude.

Even though Die Antwoord’s music shouldn’t be taken too seriously, some of the songs take it too far to the point where they become immature and no longer amusing. The songs “Wings on my Penis” and “U Like Boobies?” are just as cringe-worthy as they sound. The songs feature an unknown six year old named Lil Tommy Terror rapping about exactly what the song’s names suggest. Along with being inappropriate in nature, the songs also lack musical substance and make me question why they were considered official tracks on the album in the first place.

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While most of the songs from Mount Ninji contain a similar sentiment, it’s clear that the group tried to balance the album out with more vulnerable and stripped down songs like “Alien,” “Darkling,” and “I Don’t Care.” The songs discuss what it’s like to be considered an outsider and not caring what others think. Even though the message of these tracks are more heartfelt and genuine, their stripped down nature makes the songs dull and repetitive.

Mount Ninji and Da Nice Time Kid may not be the most musically substantial album out there, but it’s certainly exciting and different. It also contains bizarre guest appearances like “Rats Rule” featuring Jack Black and “Gucci Coochie” featuring Dita Von Teese. Overall, the album’s avant-garde character and catchy rave beats definitely makes it an album worth listening to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earth Tiger

“I had a vision I could fly around the world with a girl with blonde curls who swapped energy for pearls.” To anyone who visits Earth Tiger’s Soundcloud page, this will be the first thing you hear if you play their first track “Holiday.” Earth Tiger is a duo from New Zealand that doesn’t’ sound like your typical hip hop output—combining the flows of traditional rap with beats intertwining pop, rock, and electronic dance music. Their song’s infectious—the melodies will get stuck in your head until you have no choice but to play the songs again. While they only have two tunes available on their Soundcloud it’s more than enough to satisfy for the time being.

Earth Tiger was conceived on Christmas Eve around a campfire by friends Cruz Mathews and Tom Taylor who had a mutual love of old school hip hop. After collaborating with producer Alex Wildwood in a series of week-long recording sessions, the duo set up a home studio in a swamp house in the rainforest of Byron Bay. The natural surroundings of the rainforest invoked songs inspired by the energy it gave off. In their makeshift studio, they funneled their collection of earthly hip hop into an EP entitled Holiday set for release hopefully later this year. It is now in the mixing and mastering process via Nathan Sowter of La Petite Maison Studios.

The title track of the EP alone is an accurate representation of their music with its soothing beats with Mathews’ and Taylor’s smooth flows emulate the feeling of trekking through wilderness of the Down Under. The second track on their soundcloud that was released some months prior to recording the music of Holiday is the song “King Like Jordan.” While it doesn’t contain the same style of earthly ambience that “Holiday” does, it’s still just as catchy and laidback with a hook that goes “This my jam. This my jam. This, right here, my favorite jam.” The rest of the song consists of lyrics that express its listeners to stay motivated in exercising the mind, body, and soul.

To put it blatantly, Earth Tiger is straight up feel good music and as the first hip hop group I’ve heard out of New Zealand I pretty much got what I expected and then some. They may find themselves on the playlist of any outdoorsy types who go on nature hikes and attend the gym regularly.

[The Midday Mixes #1] Featured Artist Mix: Karma Fields

Since their debut on Monstercat in mid-2015, Karma Fields has been one of the most hyped artists of the label, boasting several more teaser videos than some of Monstercat’s founders. Why? Well, concepts. Karma Fields is really good at concepts. That and one more thing, Karma Fields has some of the COOLEST videos in the history of EDM. The best one?

The mix starts with the teased song from their newest LP: Edge of the World. With one of the catchiest glitched-out melodies I’ve ever heard, this song made the mix on pure bounciness alone. The track starts with calm choral music, which is definitely odd, to say the least. A good odd of course.

The mix then slowly starts into Stickup. This song is genius! Take somebody’s story of a robbery and put it to music. Again, their concepts are amazing. The original is explicit, but the mix has been censored. That’s what the extra weird voice glitches are.

My favorite of the mix is actually the acoustic mix of Skyline. As a light version of Skyline (the music video posted above), the track has been featured on multiple shows on K-UTE.

Check out the mix here:

Mixes are posted a week after they air live on our SoundCloud, and two weeks after they air live here. Tune in live Friday nights, 7-11pm

[The EDM Underground] Featured Artist Mix: Montee

Montee is a special kind of house artist: niche. If you’re into glorious synth melodies, wonderful harmony, and vibrant, bouncy, festival music, he’s the man for you. I couldn’t find his real name anywhere, but the Ukrainian based artist has been turning heads with his music for years. If you want something you can really jam to, get out those headphones. You’ll want them.

The mix starts with one of his softer songs (don’t want to jump straight into partying) entitled Sirius. The song, true to its name, sounds as if you’re floating around the sky like a cloud. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share this one. The melody is clearly present in the first drop, and though the melody is amazing, that’s not the best part of the song. The melody only slightly lingers in the second drop, enough to remind you of it, but not enough to actually be there.

The middle of the mix contains a song that I was excited to hear in its entirety. Having never been posted to SoundCloud, I’d never heard the full version of Royal Taste until I was doing this mix. The melody! The melody is the best part. Give it a listen. It starts at 8:40-ish. That’s all I can say. Go listen to it.

I cheated. There’s a song in the mix that isn’t by Montee. It’s a remix of Royal Taste. I’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader/listener to find it.

The mix ends with my all time favorite: Quasar Journey. This drumstep song features EVERYTHING that makes Montee, well, Montee: vibrant, bouncy, fast, and full of more energy than even Rob Gasser has managed to create. That’s saying something.

Check out the mix here:

Mixes are uploaded to SoundCloud one week after they air live. Tune into the EDM Underground Fridays from 7-11pm (MDT) (mixes typically play at 8:30 and 10:30.)

[The EDM Underground] Artist of the Week: Haywyre

To celebrate the beginnings of Haywyre’s Two Fold Pt. 2 Tour, the EDM Underground has mixed together the best tracks by the musical genius. The Minnesota based Martin Vogt’s style is based primarily upon piano improvisation. Much like Zedd, Haywyre is classically trained, and it shows in everything he does.

The mix starts with the first two tracks off his latest album, Two Fold Pt. 2, entitled “I Am Me” and “I Am You.” These two tracks were literally made for each-other. Haywyre opens his concerts with these two songs played one after the other; therefore, my mix does too.

Immediately following is my favorite track Vogt has ever made: Dichotomy (Soft Mix) from his Two Fold Pt. 1 album. Surprisingly hard for something labeled a soft mix, this track blew my socks off the first time I’d heard it and I HAD to share it.

Near the end of the mix come a few more of my favorite tracks: Endlessly and Insight. Showcasing the best of his piano improvisation skills in a wobbly synth melody, Haywyre’s talent is most apparent in these songs. With several classical jazz elements on top of a gritty bass line, these tracks earned a permanent part of my personal library after just the first few seconds of their drops.

Listen to it here:

 

Mixes are uploaded to SoundCloud one week after they air live. Tune into the EDM Underground Fridays from 7-11pm (MDT) (mixes typically play at 8:30 and 10:30.)

[The EDM Underground] Artist of the Week: Astronaut.


Ever since their introduction to the EDM scene in a release alongside Statix and Eddie K, Astronaut has become a prominent face in house music. The duo, consisting of Ross Burr and Dan Goudie are from Bristol, UK, has since released through Monstercat and Disciple Records. They’ve collaborated with many different artists, from the likes of Eyes, Far Too Loud, and Black Tiger Sex Machine; even having released an entire EP (as the soundtrack for a game) with Barely Alive.
This mix features some of their best tracks. The mix starts with Pinball, their first track I ever heard, and I’d never heard a song like it. It’s like a track ripped straight from a game like Monkey Ball or Sonic Pinball.
Following that, we mix Witchcraft and Lunar from their most recent EP, “Dark Arts.” As the newest music to come out of the duo, it’s some of the dirtiest, grittiest, hardest house they’ve ever released. With beats and growls this heavy, one can begin to hear the influences of Barely Alive.
In the middle of the mix is the hardest track: Rockers. As a collab with Black Tiger Sex Machine, the two of them managed to create some of the hardest house in existence.
The last song of note is Astronaut’s remix of Collide by Hellberg featuring Splitbreed. This song was actually the song that made me follow them on SoundCloud, so this one holds a special place in my heart. I definitely wouldn’t have been able to forgive myself for not playing it.
Follow the link below to hear the mix:
https://soundcloud.com/kuteedm/astronaut-aotw-mix-xenophile-mix-4
Want to hear the mixes before they get posted to SoundCloud? Tune in to The EDM Underground 7-11pm!