In this column, we cover songs for you to nod your head to in the EDM scene [electronic dance music, not extra dancy music, for those not in the know]. There is enough dance floor pressure here to get you out of the tryptophan malaise with a quickness.
1. Grenier “Here Come The Dark Lights”
If your idea of dubstep is Skrillex–and shame on you if this is the case since Skrillex is brostep, it is time to edumacate yourself. A far cry from the Shrillex sound, dubstep originated in South London, with singles usually landing on the B-sides of garage records [btw, it’s pronounced ga-ra-dj like a proper Brit]. BBC Radio 1 DJs John Peel and Mary Ann Hobbs brought the genre fully into the mainstream, but its hallmark has always been heavy bass lines–in other words, not the kind of “wobble wobble” abuse/overuse in dubstep-by-the-numbers would have you believe.
Grenier, aka DJG, has been toiling in the bass trenches of San Francisco producing quality music for a while now. His show in DC in 2011, brought by the bassxperts of 88DC, was a testament to what good dubstep sounds like–dark and heavy and mercifully free of screeching girls.
2. Lana Del Rey “Ride” [MJ Cole Remix]
Speaking of garage and dubstep, UK producer MJ Cole has churned out a solid catalogue of garage hits, including Sincere. On this latest remix, he takes Lana Del Rey’s languid Ride and makes it shimmer and seethe with the traditional syncopated garage beat. This is one very rideable hot beat.
3. Jodi & Hosta “My Life”
Time to talk about drum’n’bass, my ever-present love. Drum’n’bass has more offshoots than Bob Marley, all with different Moms too. There is liquid d’n’b and its close brethren, chillstep. Some might argue chillstep is more of the dubstep ilk, with producers like Sierra Leone and Mount Kimbie as an example, but this track is just straight up chill drum’n’bass. Lush and pure aural delight.
4. Little Dragon “Sunshine” [Shlohmo Remix]
In the immortal words of Dave Chapelle, everything is better in slo-mo and downtempo purveyor Shlohmo proves this to be the case indeed. Taking Little Dragon’s effervescent Sunshine–oh, and btw, Yukimi Nagano can do *no* wrong in my book–and layering it on top of a wistful and wispy beat produces a shining sonic delight. You will be flying high on this particular lotus.
5. Alexander Spit “A Breathtaking Trip”
I first chanced upon this rapper when I noticed Alchemist appeared on his “Getaway Car” track. When asked who he wants to work with, San Francisco rapper Alexander Spit references Portishead and Kanye. His languid yet sharp delivery is definitely trip-hop-worthy and no less trip-worthy. Psychedelic explorations and phantasmagoria abound. “Bodies feel like costumes after I ate the mushrooms.” This is one hazy breath-taking trip to the other side. “I stay gone, my chick thinking we long distance.”