This is the stuff I've been getting into and getting down to in the recent months. My listening is split between Spotify and new mixtapes on Soundcloud at work and vinyl and some Spotify at home. Here's what's been really grooving in each medium.
Check out what interests you, and let me know what you like, don't like, and what else what you've been listening to lately.
Cobbled together over the last few months, this playlist has my favorites from recently released records and thematically appropriate tracks from the last few years. It's good for hanging around the house and bundling up against the cold. I've been listening to a lot of downtempo house, beat-based music with saxophones, and video game-sounding stuff.
This is probably my favorite album of the last few months. It's a space-jazz freakout from a contemporary beat producer centered around the theme of Death. Wonderfully surprising, energizing, and introspective. Kendrick kills it on Never Catch Me (on the Autumn 2014 playlist with good reason). Lots of fun samples too, look for little snippets of Another One Bites the Dust thrown in playfully.
Very cool producer who makes beats from 80's and 90's VHS soundtracks. These have a nostalgic feeling while seeming futuristic. Check out Let's Cry and Do Pushups At The Same Time. It has all the dreaminess and danger of the Drive soundtrack with a more lo-fi vibe.
On repeat constantly at home. I'm no expert in rock music, especially anything made recently, but this record is engaging and catchy while still being challenging and deep. These dudes just have a magical sound. This is a double album that does not have any soft spots.
DJ Ayres - Perfect Lover Mix
I have an incredibly soft spot for Freestyle. It's so wonderfully over the top and dramatic while still being funky and fun. Every beat is from an 808 or some contemporary drum machine and the synths are infectious. This mix has just about all the major hits mixed exquisitely. Put it on and jam for an hour at work.
DJ Sabo - Robot Heart Live @ Burning Man
This mix is a good blend of deep house, moombahton, and balearic vibes from a veteran of the scene. It gets intense t times, but it is a very great set. It was recorded live at Burning Man, so you can imagine the vibe this was played in.
Dream Chimney - Cosmix 5: Beach Buds/ Cosmix 6: The Final Chapter
I don't know exactly who or what Dream Chimney is, but they're one of my recent finds on Soundcloud. The Cosmix series brings awesome spacey, psychedelic beats together in a longform story. Definitely good for either relaxing at home or getting deep into something at work. Episodes 5 and 6 are particularly amazing, but go back and listen to the whole thing, and check out everything on the Dream Chimney feed.
Funk Flex on Juan Epstein
Hot 97's Peter Rosenberg and Cipha Sounds do a podcast called Juan Epstein where they talk to important figures in hip hop and get the stories behind their work and how they got into the game. This live episode features Funkmaster Flex and helps drive home what a major figure this guy is in New York radio, clubs, and hip hop history. His stories are crazy and he's literally seen everything from the beginning in the Bronx CHeck this out then catch up on all the or Juan Ep's.
David Bowie - Aladdin Sane
Miss Pop and I went to see the David Bowie Is... film showcasing the recent exhibit by the same name at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, and while the actual film was not that spectacular, it did rekindle my love for him. Getting to see the actual artifacts from his videos and performances as well as the process sketches and storyboards he made to envision them helped me understand how a creative genius works. Since then, we've been listening to a ton of Bowie, and this record has been on repeat.
Change the Beat: The Celluloid Records Story
This was a French record label formed right in the moment when post-punk, disco, and hip hop all were really different expressions of the same energy, This compilation has great drum-machine based jams and very fun but odd no-wave tracks. Very cool way to catch up on a different view of the time period. I have to find the digital download code and share it one of these days. I picked this up in Asheville, NC during Moogfest this year after geeking out on synths and drum machines for a week.
Steely Dan - Aja
Doesn't need much explanation. Just an awesome album. Note the "2-" mark on the cover. I picked this up at the Archive of Contemporary Music semi-annual record sale on White Street in Tribeca, and that is how the records are marked. You'll see that a lot of my records are form there (3 of 4 in the post come from there). It's a great, under-the-radar record fair, and there should be one coming up in early December.
Art of Noise - Into Battle With the Art of Noise
The Art of Noise were early electronic pop experimenters who produced a lot of stuff that has crept into the cultural lexicon without being overtly famous. This album has both Moments in Love and Beat Box, which have been sampled extensively and remain super fresh every time you hear them.