Here are my favorite tracks and mixes from May! There’s over 65 hours of music on this one. Sorry I went a little overboard again – I just get too excited sometimes! Just hit shuffle and enjoy.
I’m finally delivering on something a lot of you have asked me for.
Each week here on Cool Breezy, I usually post twelve pieces (sixteen if I’m feeling super motivated). It breaks down to about eight of my favorite tracks and videos and a about four inspirational articles to help you get your life together. Unfortunately that means I’m forced to leave out a lot of great music and often times it feels like a parent trying to pick their favorite child.
But with this playlist, clocking in at over twelve hours (!!!), gives me a chance to showcase not only the tracks that have been included on each issue of Cool Breezy, but also some of the ones that I absolutely loved but had to leave out for issues of space and time. And it also gives you guys the chance to press play, kick your feet up (even if you’re at work – I won’t tell!), and just enjoy the music.
So here are my favorite tracks from March 2015! Enjoy!
If there’s any better time to really see what you’re made of, it’s gotta be when your technology fails you and you’re left to rely on your skills alone. That’s what happened to Cosmo Baker this week when he stopped by Philly radio station, WKDU. His computer was on the fritz so he brought two bags of 45s with him to the radio station and went to work on decks. Because that’s how you fucking do it like a professional.
My homie .rar Kelly of Space is the Place Records in Baltimore describes Kate Boss as “sexy, tough, and downright terrifying” and that’s a woman I can get behind. There’s a certain darkness to her that is absolutely seductive – something Baltimore has been craving for so long. I love how she uses sultry R&B to drive the mix through glitchy, industrial sounds and hyperactive club music.
Indie dance music is the groove when it comes to SAINT WKND‘s guest mix for THUMP. The German producer clearly put the focus on souful vocals, sensual beats, and all around good times when he curated this mix. With tracks from dinnerdate, Flume, and SAINT WKND’s own productions and remixes, this one will be perfect to rock with on your way out for the night.
Tee Vish exposes his favorite underground sounds in his latest mix for The Astral Plane. Showcasing sounds from MA NGUZU, Funkystepz, and Geotheory, this mix is something you’ll wanna listen to when you’re in dire need for fresh, new music.
When the lead singer of a down-tempo indie rock band from Baltimore starts playing DJ sets, you listen. Closely. Such is the case with Jana Hunter of Lower Dens and her latest DJ mix for The Fader. Thumbs down to The Fader for not being able to embed this mix (sharing is caring, yall!), but trust me, it’s worth the click through to their page. Thirty minutes of footwork, club music, and chill hip-hop – you’ll just have to hear it to believe it.
This is one hell of a drum & bass and jungle demonstration right here, yall. London-based DJ, Fracture, takes it over the fucking top here on his RinseFM mix with cuts from Sam Binga, Deft, and Testube (to name a few). Clocking in at two hours, this mix will bounce, wobble, and churn that dark and twisty soul of yours in such a violently good way that you’ll be coming back for more again and again. Good thing it’s posted for a free download!
LA’s DJ Morse Code and (Thee) Mike B have joined forces to become POOLS and if that sounds cool and refreshing, that’s because it is. Case in point: take a listen to their latest mix, “Cold Plunge” in which they expertly stitch together a super chill sonic tapestry of 90s hip-hop instrumentals from artists like Gang Starr, Goodie Mob, and Reflection Eternal. It’s absolutely incredible. Some windows down, summer breeze kinda music. Listen to it now and keep it around until Summer 2015 because you’re gonna need it.
If you liked the mix I posted above from POOLS, you’re gonna love “Nostalgia 1717” by DimNeonSum. Same idea but different coast – here’s an hour’s worth of classic hip-hop and instrumentals that have traveled through time to make you long for the days when the sun stayed up later, nights felt longer, and everything was just a bit more easy breezy. The sounds of A Tribe Called Quest, Slum Village, and Common are gonna get you right. Also, if you’re into turntablism, you wanna keep an eye on Baltimore’s DimNeonSum. Full disclosure – he’s a good friend of mine – but there’s absolutely no bias here. Dude is a beast behind the decks. (In fact, you can check him out locally here in Baltimore on Friday 1/30 at Red Maple for Wave Theory.)
So lately I’ve been having this urge to go out and just be left alone to dance all night long, which isn’t very much like me as I’m usually a pretty solid wallflower. And sometimes house music can be kind of a snoozefest for me but here Philco made me realize this is the music you can really groove to all night long. The whole vibe on his mix for Blisspop moves so seamlessly that it’s really hard not to get a little groove goin’ here! And with tunes from Cajmere, Marquis Hawkes, and even one of Philco’s own remixes, how could you even resist?!
So as it turns out, the Fade To Mind crew has a slot on RinseFM every second Thursday of the month (6pm EST/3pm PST to be exact) and their mix from earlier this month is finally up for a free download. This month you can hear Kingdom and MA NGUZU (aka July 10) go head-t0-head, flexin’ their signature future club sounds from start to finish. And listen up for their special appreciation for Baltimore club music. As long as these cats are around, club music will never die. <3
We’re less than a month out from Nadastrom’s full-length album debut on Friends of Friends! GET PUMPED, GET PUMPED! Nadastrom drops on 2/23 and you can hear a bunch of cuts from the album on their latest mix for Diplo & Friends, which recently aired on BBC Radio 1. Lately, Nadastrom (Matt Nordstrom & Dave Nada) has been known for pioneering the moombahton movement and while you can hear a bit of that vibe in their new sounds, it’s also got this very sexy, late night house music vibe to it. If you’ve ever stayed late at a Moombahton Massive party in DC or just caught them on an after hours tip, you’ll know this is the music that really gets them groovin’.
So apparently there’s this pretty massive UKGFest poppin’ off in London in April. COLOR ME JEALOUS. I wanna be there! But luckily there’s always this UK Garage mix from Spooky that will get me by, right? And besides, Spooky always comes correct with the best grime and UK garage tracks. Enjoy sounds from DJ Q, Wookie, and Spooky himself for almost an entire hour. You’re gonna love it.
Inspired by seeing girls hula hooping at festivals, the NY-based producer, Brenmar, decided to produce a track around the wildly popular craze. Might as well, right? There’s songs about twerking and vogueing but nothing about hula hooping – until now. Lots of busy horns on “Hula Hoop” and with Jersey club princess, UNiiQU3, on vocals, it’s turned into a pretty major track here! You can hear “Hula Hoop” on Brenmar’s Award EP, which is out now via Fool’s Gold.
After Mad Decent released Blaq Files earlier this year, classic Baltimore club productions from Blaqstarr became smashing hits all over again. File sharing wasn’t running rampant between 2002 and 2006 when these tracks were originally produced and released, so a re-release seemed appropriate this year. “Hands Up Thumbs Down” one of the four tracks on Blaq Files and a classic that is still in heavy rotation here in Baltimore, finally gets proper video treatment from Lofty Nathan. In the video, you’ll see Baltimore’s own ruff ryders, the 12 o’ Clock boys, performing their own dirt bike stunts while high-energy dancers let loose in the streets. Everything is in slow-mo in the video, but we all know how hype it gets in the clubs when this track bumps through the speakers. This video is making me wish I could see a lot of my favorite club classics come to life again!
I didn’t think Dej Loaf‘s “Try Me” could get any more raw than it already is, but Nick Catchdubs came right in and made a great track even better. He has quite an ear for that kind of thing, yes? So if you’ve ever imagined “Try Me” as a Jersey club dance anthem, it’s your lucky day because it’s finally come to fruition. The energetic, pounding bassline supports the looped, threatening hook from the original and transformed “Try Me” into a track that’s actually really fun to dance to.
The subtle club beats and sexy, R&B vibes had me listening to this one over and over this week. Bordeaux-based producer, Mincha, totally nailed it on this one. Like, if you plan on making your boo a special mixtape or cooking them a fancy dinner, “Make Me Feel” is an absolute must-have on the soundtrack.
You never really expect international DJs or experimental electronic music to be amongst Alaska’s main exports, but Astronomar bridges the gap between his home state and the rest of the mainland with energizing electricity. With a background in hip-hop and turntablism, Astronomar (aka Marlon Lumba) has proven himself to be one hell of a DJ. So good, in fact, that he was just recruited by AM Only, a highly-respected booking agency with an incredible roster of artists including Disclosure, Craze, and Skrillex. And on top of it all, he’s one of the innovators behind one of the most consistently dope record labels, Main Course.
Astronomar’s remix of Wax Motif and Neoteric’s “Go Deep” sounded gigantic (!!) – enough to fill outer space – but Skrillex found plenty of room for it in his Essential Mix for BBC Radio 1 in 2013, and just like that, labeled Astronomar as a force to be reckoned with. But it was in 2012 he caught my attention with his “H3Y I C U PERCUL8-10”, an insane remix of Cajmere’s “Percolator”, a house track that has been a staple in club music sets here in Baltimore since I was in middle school. Honestly, I didn’t even realize people were still fucking with that song so it was a pretty dope discovery for me and definitely landed him a spot on my radar.
Now, with his friends Bot (from Crookers) and Neoteric, Astronomar runs Main Course, one of the coolest dance music record labels in the game right now. Main Course is hella dope, yall. They’re constantly searching on the fringe of dance music for the world’s most hard-hitting sounds and they’re generous enough to bring them to us for free (for the whole first month after its release)! And in between Main Course releases are small and more frequent releases appropriately called Snacks, which allows them to showcase music more immediately rather than waiting to compile an official release. So, no matter which way it comes, they’re releasing quality music at light speed. (If you think you’ve got what it takes to forge a partnership with Main Course, here’s how to get your demo to their ears.)
Astronomar and the crew at Main Course aim to represent the very best out there in electronic music of all styles and have graciously shown a lot of love to Baltimore club music. As a person who’s grown up listening to club music, it’s so refreshing to see a reputable label feel compelled to release diverse interpretations of Baltimore’s unique sound by other inspired producers from different cities all around the world. Their affinity for the sound extends far back to the classics, as evidenced by their releases, which showcase remixes of legendary Baltimore club music artists like KW Griff, Debonair Samir, and Rod Lee, to name a few.
But now, they’ve ventured far past traditional club music sounds into territory they aptly referred to as “mutant club”. For their Mutant Club EP titled Attack, you’ll see collaborations with artists like Tony Quattro and Dizzy Bell yielding heavy buzzing, terrifying shrieks, and Tetris samples. It’s all over the map but specializing in the weird and abnormal, something that is pretty hard to pigeon-hole into one genre. Hear it for yourself:
Basically, Astronomar is the man. He’s such a positive force in this cannibalistic dance music industry that I swear it’s changed forever for the better because of him. In between touring, listening to demos for Main Course, and producing his own music, he had a moment to talk with me about what’s goin’ down in his life right now! Get to know him before he comes to visit us in Baltimore to play Mutant Club music alongside Bot, Scottie B, Matic 808, The Clown Prince, and Hoss!
It seems like you’ve had one busy year and have traveled everywhere from Italy to LA to DC to Portland and everywhere in between. Which city has been your favorite to visit so far? Who really turns the fuck up?!
I love every city I play in, but some do take the turn up a bit more seriously. I’d have to say Austin was one of the funnest shows I’ve played in a while. I was sharing the bill with my good pal Sinden – we did a short three date tour together last month. But yea, the past four months have been nonstop – I love it.
Do you have any crazy tour stories from this year?
Hmmmm. Nothing too crazy aside from partying into the afternoon and missing flights, haha.
What was it like growing up in Alaska? I’m sure it’s been nice to get away and see the rest of the world!
Alaska is great! It’s less densely populated than most areas, the tap water is amazing, my family is there, and it’s a bit culturally disconnected from the rest of the world, which are all the reasons [why] I love it. It’s home. But it is definitely a privilege to get to travel and do what I love.
Have you ever been to Baltimore? If not, do you have any expectations?
Yeah I played there a couple months ago at a rave called Temple of Boom – it was really great! They took great care of us (Neoteric, with whom i run Main Course played also) and we really had a blast. A handful of homies from DC came down, so that was really sick. Scottie B & Vjuan Allure came through also and kicked it for a bit – legends!
I hear a lot of influences from club music in the sounds coming from the Main Course camp, be it in your own productions or in remixes selected for your releases. I always forget how far of a reach club music has had historically. How did you first become interested in club music?
I’d have to say my introduction to club music was the early Blaqstarr stuff while I was still living in Alaska, maybe around 2006-2007. Shortly thereafter I was looking up heaps of the dance videos on YouTube and learning about all the tracks. I guess one of the things I was attracted to was the rawness of the sound. I grew up loving lots of underground hip hop and club felt like a manifestation of that energy in dance music form.
How would you describe “Mutant Club”? This is totally new to me!
Mutant Club is the name of an EP of mine that came out earlier this year on Main Course, and it’s the name of a new project coming soon also on Main Course, which has a rotating cast; Bot & myself sort of being the residents and Neoteric being the mastermind. Mutant Club is wild and fucked up club music. Neo, Bot & myself all have wide, genre spanning tastes, but we all still love the mind bending club shit.
Record labels seem to be a dime-a-dozen lately, but I’m a HUGE fan of Main Course because I can always trust that whatever sounds you guys co-sign will likely be something I’d be into as well. What do you think sets Main Course apart from the other dance music labels out there?
Thanks! I’m happy you dig the label! I’d have to say what sets us apart from our peers is our composition. Bot left Crookers in 2012, Neoteric has been doing lots of important behind the scenes work in the game for many years, and I was a bit of a student of both of their work and began following suit. Now we are a trifecta that is open-minded, but still implies a high level of scrutiny. And we all come from different angles and apply those values to everything we do.
Who are some other DJs, producers, and musicians that really inspire you to step your game up?
I literally (like… LITERALLY) cannot stop listening to ILoveMakonnen’s new EP right now, and for dance music I’m currently fucking with Massacooraman, Bot, Sona Vabos, Poolboy92, WildLife!, and Torro Torro. Damn there’s so many people that inspire me – so hard to name them all here!
I see your taco game is real strong over in LA! What’s your ideal taco setup look like?
Two Asada and two AL Pastor, corn tortilla, limes, radish, red and green sauce mixed with a mandarin Jarritos from a truck ideally in a neighborhood where Spanish is the first language.
Keep it movin’ with this dope mix from Chicago’s Starfoxxx! If you get down with juke, footwork, and all varieties of east coast club music, this one’s for you. As an affiliate of Feeltrip Records and Donky Pitch of the UK, Starfoxxx generally goes fucking hard in life and I fully support that. And maybe with his mix for THUMP, you can channel a bit of his party vibes and turn the fuck up.
Starfoxxx – Keys
Matrixxman and Dick Van Dick – kanekalon (extensions)
Krueger – Dark Walk
Crucial Conflict – Hay (Starfoxxx Juke)
Chi Boogie – Pop, Shake, Jit
DJ Assault – I Say Uuuah
DJ Funk – Pump That Ass Down
DJ T-Why – 5,4,3,2
DJ Earl – Lookin 4 Me [CJMilli Hood Edit]
DJ Chip – Bang Bang Bang, Skeet Skeet Skeet
Dj K Millz – Tap Dat Donk
DJ Deeon – Point Em Out
DJ Yolo Bear – Bring That Ass To The Table (VIP MIXXX)
K Ci & Jo Jo – Tell Me It’s Real (Club Asylum Steppers Mix)
Craig David – Fill Me In
Brenmar – Hey Ladies feat. Uniique (Neana Remix)
Umbertron – Big Ol Booty
Cajmere feat Dajae – Brighter Days (Mercury Edit)
Starfoxxx – No Text No Call
Johnny Dangerous – Beat That Bitch (Problem #13)
Cajmere ? – I Just Wanna Fuck
Krueger – Turnin VIP
Nicki Minaj ft. Divoli S’vere – Pussy Playtime
DJ Rashad – Fuck Me in My Face
Chrissy Murderbot f. DJ Gant-Man – I Nutted In You
Big Dope P – Trinaz Geto Trak
Starfoxxx – Slow Jams
Umbertron – That’s My Shit
DJ Booman – Ha Ha
KW Griff x Baha Men – Bring In the Dogs (Tony Hawk Pro DJ 360 Flip)
Starfoxxx – Bae HD
Mala – Changes (Krueger Club Bootleg)
Dance System – RZ1 (Original Mix)
False Witness – Makina (Duro Mix)
DJ Solo – Let Me See Ya Bounce
DJ Spinn & DJ Rashad – Shawty Off Tha Chain
Bobby Shurda ft Mike G & Sharawi – Shmurda Bootleg (Hot Nigga)
Chi Boogie – Move Back
Ludacris ft. Shawnna – What’s Your Fantasy
Benga – Crunked Up
Starfoxxx – Ice Cream
Soft Tigers – Mr Ice Cream (Waxmaster Juke Mix)
Umbertron – Crunch Time
Chicago Traxmen – 96 U Got 2 Chicago
DJ Deeon – Da Dik Suk
Bleaker – Jam (#2)
Wax Master – Shaky Trax
Dungeon Meat – The Fuck Off Track
813 – Crying Flute
Both Baltimore-based artists, Abdu Ali and Schwarz are out of this fucking world. And I mean that in the best way possible. Neither artist prefers to follow in the footsteps of anyone else, opting to pave their own path instead. Creatively, these two seem so compatible that I’m convinced they’d still find each other even if they were blindfolded in a dark room. So it only makes sense they’d collaborate for this high energy ode to Baltimore, Already. And with remixes from Blaqstarr, DJ Dizzy, and Kilbourne, Already pays homage to Baltimore’s past, present, and future.
Ali recently packed his bags and headed North to Brooklyn, but Baltimore still holds a huge piece of his heart. In a recent interview with the Baltimore Sun, he admits, “I feel like you don’t realize what you have until it’s gone. I know that’s a cliché but it is kind of real. It made me realize that Baltimore is a really nice space for artists, and you can do a lot here and still be in the East Coast and still be between all these great cities.” And Schwarz has definitely experienced this homegrown success first-hand with his productions. The best part about him is that he’s totally unpredictable – you never really know where he’s gonna take the sound, and that’s exactly what we need with Baltimore club right now as we strive to take it from the underground and into the ears of the masses.
So if you’re new to the Baltimore sound or a long-time lover (like me!), Already is a must-have on your hard-drive. Aggressive and certainly not lacking in energy, Already is Baltimore personified. To me, this is exactly what this city feels like when the sun goes down and you finally find that good time you’ve been looking for. This is that party you stumble upon in that hole-in-the-wall club where all your best friends are already having the time of their lives.
YO. This shit right here?! It’s really intense and like, low key sexual (we’re all adults here right). The entire track is so textural and stimulating that I almost feel like I’m hyperventilating at times. But fuck, I love it. This one’s called “Public Love” by Jacques Gaspard Biberkopf for Astral Plane‘s forthcoming compilation, Heterotopia. With the rapid breathing and whispering in the distnace, “Public Love” boasts a very minimal Jersey club feel to it that’s curiously disorienting.
Heterotopia will be out on 10/21.