I go back and forth on this track. It's dark and heavy to me at times, then other times it feels bright and cheery. Panda Bear's signature echo-y sound is showcased atop Pantha Du Prince's signature big bass beats, a synergy that I could not have imagined on my own. I'm a sucker for the dings of a xylophone as well, which this song has plenty of. Enjoy!
Stick To My Side Feat. Panda Bear - Pantha Du Prince
Pantha Du Prince | Panda Bear
The percussion grabs my attention right away, the bubbly bongos shifting from right to left. I love the twangy middle-eastern sounding strings that meld so well with the dub island vibe of this song. Upon first listen I labeled this song as a decent track -that's when the distortion hit! That powerful move really kicks the song up a notch, and made me fall in love with the track. Enjoy!
Hey Ho - Dub Syndicate
Frank Ocean came out strong last year with Nostalgia, Ultra. There were some seriously good tracks on there. After that mixtape, Ocean's back with a proper album, Channel Orange, and I'm here to tell you that the whole thing is fantastic. I'm having trouble selecting favorites as my taste is changing day by day. It was "Thinkin Bout You" but now it's this track featuring the recently returned Earl Sweatshirt of Odd Future.
Super Rich Kids - Frank Ocean
I think people are attracted to songs begging for one more chance, remembering how things went so wrong, and wishing that the outcome could have been anything besides what it was. We can all relate to regret, and longing for just one more chance. Perhaps this is why there are so many songs with that exact theme. This song has just that theme, while it is not ground breaking in concept, the execution is marvelous. I love the combination of her soft voice and simple strings. I can just see her sitting on a stool stomping a foot while she painfully strums out this song. Enjoy!
Georgia - Emily King
There is a magical synergy between R&B and Electro on this track. Aluna's voice and lyrics are spot on, and George's production brings this track home for me. With the combination of these things there's an attitude created can't be swayed, confidence is sexy and this is a confident song. I can't describe how much I appreciate the production on this track. Enjoy!
You Know You Like It - AlunaGeorge
Summer is the time for not caring. Forget work, school, chores, bills, and all other things that suck. Life and living seem to be more important when the weather is warm and girls are wearing less clothing. The themes that this song explores are my definitions of what summer should be. The Bronze Whale touch adds a great edge to the track, making this track a must bump for your top down ride down Boardwalk. Enjoy!
I Love Summer (Bronze Whale Remix) - Honey Claws
Honey Claws | Bronze Whale
You've heard the song before, everyone has. I love how Anni B Sweet personalizes and cutesy-fies this well known piece. I always focus on her humble warm voice when I hear this song, especially the la la la la at the end, which is also my favorite part of the original. Enjoy!
Take On Me (A-Ha Cover) - Anni B Sweet
Anni B Sweet
In smaller doses I really appreciate these high energy main room anthems, and this is a pretty enjoyable one. Quilla sings some generic inspiring words in tune with tidal wave build ups and breakdowns. It would be a shame for dance floors around the world to miss out banging this track for a while. Enjoy!
Walls Feat. Quilla - Sultan and Ned Shepard
Sultan and Ned Shepard | Quilla
Ever since watching Drive, I've been a sucker for anything synth-y and remotely similar to the songs from the soundtrack. This one struck me immediately and the memory bond is further strengthened because Goldroom is Los Angeles based producer, Josh Legg. (Also, it doesn't hurt that Goldroom has made a few appearances on T.E.S.T already, including this magical Niki & The Dove remix.)
Fifteen - Goldroom
I'm completely mesmerized by the saxophone that stands front and center of this beautiful dance track. There's so much soul oozing out of this track. The sax is surrounded by synthetic sounds and programmed drums, there's a perfect harmony of analog and digital in this song. They both work hand in hand. Enjoy!
Finding Things - Rubberlips
I love an earth shattering dark dance track, which is exactly what this is. The repeating vocal sample of "come on baby" can mean so many things, so your only option is to dance to all of them. The song is lengthy enough, with a slow build and decent amount of ambient laser light sounds. My favorite part is the deep earthquake bass notes shaking the "come on baby" lyrics out of your mouth. Enjoy!
Come On - Chip Chabralle
As a fanatic about background vocals, especially female background vocals, this track is crack mixed with heroin dipped in chocolate and served atop a solid gold brick. I am normally attracted to the faster pace Passion Pit tracks, but I'm really feeling the hipster R&B vibe this reverberates with me. I can also see the potential for amazing remixes that this song presents, and I hope to not play it out before some of those emerge so I'm able to fully appreciate them. Enjoy!
Constant Conversations - Passion Pit
They could have easily named this song "Forever", as that's the most popular word in the song, but I'm sure glad they didn't. Mickey Mantle is a beautiful song that promotes self reflection in a not-overly cheesy way. I love how the song feels striped down, but there's lots going on with the drums, tambourine, piano, and i think an accordion? Enjoy!
Mickey Mantle - Waters
The name won me before even listening, but the song sure does speak for itself. There's emotion dripping from the sad violin strings. The drums attempt to sooth the pain, but it's too tough to hold it in. Enjoy!
The Geshin And The Guga - Dead Rat Orchestra
Dead Rat Orchestra
Side Ways - U-Tern & AJK
U-Tern | AJK
If this song title didn't say "November" in it, I'd blatantly call this a summer jam. You can hear the steel drums in the background, while in the foreground the driving percussion and beautiful voice tumbling in the warm breeze. Enjoy!
November Skies Feat. Nina Kinert - Tomas Barfod
Tomas Barfod | Nina Kinert
I'm really enjoying the summer-night vibe of this song. I also love the simple premise of the line:
"I wear my headphones at the disco, and when the music stops then you hear me singing la la la la"
Carefree and bright this dance floor shaker makes me smile. Enjoy!
Headphones (Moon Boots Remix) - Little Boots
Little Boots | Moon Boots
In an attempt to keep the daily posts fresh on this blog, we try to avoid overlap -but there's always room for exceptions! In December we posted an instrumental Aeroplane remix of Sail Away. I love this Digitalism remix of the same track. The piano, the waves crashing, and the humongous synth build along with vocal samples from Luke fit in seamlessly. The song has dance appeal, beach appeal, driving appeal, basically anytime appeal, so listen plentifully. Enjoy!
Sail Away (Digitalism Remix) - The Rapture
The Rapture | Digitalism
I love the smooth and rounded synth sounds that this track starts off with. The low notes start hitting and that's when my feet feel like moving. The sample fits this track perfectly, even with the bird chirps and water droplets subliminally add so much to the track. Enjoy!
Hold Me - Body II Body
Body II Body
This song sounds like Discovery and a bit of Javelin maybe, both of which has been described to me as "R&B for hipsters." Now I don't know what's rhythm and blues about this type of music but maybe I'm a traditionalist. (I need some soulful crooning with my R&B!) Still, if you can get past the misnomer, this track has charms all its own, especially Megan James' singing.
Fineshrine - Purity Ring
This track isn't as long as you'd think it should be based on how long it takes to get started. Though when it does get started, I can't resist. "I only want to be in your record collection, I'll do anything it takes just to get there" I completely love that line. Enjoy!
Record Collection (Plastic Plates Remix) - Mark Ronson & The Business Intl
Mark Ronson & The Business Intl | Plastic Plates
I love the sound of their voices together. The way they say "I'm a goddamn coward, but then again so are you" sends those tingles down my spine when I hear it. I'm a sucker for a strong female vocal, and these ladies have that. I also enjoy that they snuck a flute into the chorus of this song, not enough bands use the flute these days. Enjoy!
The Lion's Roar - First Aid Kit
First Aid Kit
This song title speaks for the song. Haters are going to hate, especially if you produce a pop-y, fun, bouncy, song that doesn't express deep emotional pain or anguish. This is a fun party song, even with no lyrics or special reason. So go ahead and rock it if you want some upbeat fun, and don't worry about people hating on it because they are going to hate anyhow. Enjoy!
Haters Gonna Hate - Sonaris
My god this track is dirty. It's filthy, and I completely love it. The bass bump and the sample chop is fantastic. But what really stands out is the monotone sample, it's spoken in a 1/2 sleepy 1/2 I-don't-give-a-fuck tone. This song has such attitude. Enjoy!
Ghetto Kraviz - Nina Kraviz
The electric guitar plucking is so great at the beginning of this song. I love the background vocals paired with the soft "nunca nunca". I also enjoy the soft sheen that's blanketed over everything in this track, especially the lead vocals. It's a warm and smooth summer song that will pair delightfully with any summer activity of your choice. Enjoy!
Nunca - Trails and Ways
Trails and Ways
Inspired by an earlier T.E.S.T by Ameer featuring Gil Scott-Heron's "Winter in America," I made an entire playlist with songs having to do with buffalo! Here in all its glory, seventeen tracks of buffalo/bison glory. For the whole story, click on through to jonyang.org. Otherwise, download the tracks and enjoy!
Track list - Zip file
17 songs, 1 hr 6 mins, 93.1 MB