Playlist: Winter 2017/18

As winter has turned finally to spring, I feel ready to make up for past deficiencies and post to my blog again. It’s been much too long without publishing anything, especially when it comes to my music updates, which were supposed to be monthly! To that end, I am writing this post to cover the new music I encountered from December to the end of February, then a new post for March and I can continue on monthly from there.

Winter music came to be defined by the discovery of a genre of electronic dance music (EDM) I consistently enjoy – Future House, a fantastic Youtube radio station playing future house 24/7 that became my soundtrack as I went, for a period, to the gym five days a week, and a Bach cantata thanks again to Radio 4’s Soul Music.

Without a doubt the headline act is the Future House Radio 24/7 Livestream. I can’t remember how many mindblowing tunes this channel has exposed me to. At least half of all the music in this post. Just turn it on and enjoy.

Future House Radio

 

Clean Bandit – Symphony (Marvin Vogel x Kasp x Feylo Remix)

Symphony is a very popular song in it’s own right, and is a much remixed, but these three DJs add an urgent bassline that propels the piece forward, elevating it to an exceptional level.

 

Demi Lovato – Sorry Not Sorry (Sam Ourt Remix)

Sam Ourt has remixed this to give an upbeat summery, bouncy rhythm, and for a couple of weeks in January I couldn’t get it out of my head. It’s just what you need on a cold, grey winter’s day.

 

Major Lazer ft. Travis Scott, Camila Cabello & Quavo – Know No Better (Ellis Remix)

Unsurpisingly, the melody of the original song is great (I swear Camila Cabello hasn’t lent her vocals to a bad song), and it’s almost unchanged here. What Ellis has done, however, is replace the horrible discordant, flaccid drop of the original which has some weird flute thing going on with an absolutely banging reward. The Know No Better Ellis Remix builds up gradually from a measured, melancholy beginning to deliver a very rewarding future house styled climax.

 

Ellis & Beau Collins ft. joegarratt – Anyway

This is classic future house through and through, with an extended heavily layered, chopped-up but still melodic drop.

 

DJ Snake ft. Justin Bieber – Let Me Love You (Tom Westy Remix)

I feel dirty for including a Justine Bieber song here, but the Tom Westy remix takes it a very long way from the original, with lyrics reduced to samples regularly drowned out by a heavy bassline. There is also a glorious trap-inspired future house drop.

 

Swanky Tunes & Dropgun ft. Raign – One World

The lyrics are a little repetitive, but it’s a positive concept. One World is here for it’s extended, multi layered, syncopated drop. Addictive.

 

San Holo – BWU (Elgus Remix)

San Holo makes music that would broadly be classed as future bass which, for me, 95% of the time is too limp and washed out to carry itself to the end of the track. Adding an urgent bassline and a couple of drops that give space for some improvisation and re-imagination of the original melody then, improves the work dramatically.

 

Roman Blanco & Droploaders – Take Me

I can’t believe this song only has four and a half thousand views at the time of writing. It’s probably because the only vocals are very short nonsense samples of a female voice. People (myself included) tend not to enjoy instrumental songs so much.

 

Jelle Slump – Dreams

Jelle Slump is future house, and this song is Jelle Slump. If you only want to listen to one song and understand the ‘ideal type’ of future house music, this is it. Then go and listen to everything else by Jelle Slump. Genuis musician.

 

Jelle Slump – Wanderlust (ft. Adrian O’Brien)

Having said what I just said above, I prefer this song. Dreams is great but Wanderlust is near-perfection. Jelle Slump deserves to have two songs in one list.

 

Bardos – Fly High

Bardos is like Jelle Slump with the intensity turned up a few notches. In Fly High he uses the sampled vocals a lot more liberally than Jelle Slump does in Dreams, and since they’re so high pitched they can grate after a few listens. The beat is also faster and bouncier. This track would probably be classed as future bounce, but it’s a very subtle difference.

 

Sonny Bass & Chasner – Africa

Africa is heavily inspired by more progressive house elements, with the song one long build-up to a very bassy, invasive drop. It stays melodic though, so it definitely makes the list.

 

Calvo – Vicious Girl

Vicious Girl is even more along the lines of ‘traditional’ house. It’s deeper, with a consistently fast beat and less defined drop. Still excellent music.

 

ROZES – Famous

For a period in early February my tastes transitioned towards chill house, with consistently slower beats and less defined and more melodic drops. After so many songs with chopped-up vocal samples, it is very refreshing to listen to some coherent, sung lyrics over a more focused beat. ROZES keep all of the forward drive of the trap and future house I enjoy, and a decent amount of harmonic variation, but put it all together in a more chilled out, cohesive package. Lovely.

 

Gazzo – Waterfall

The same goes for Gazzo’s Waterfall. A deliciously chill song that still builds up to deliver a satisfying climactic post-chorus drop.

 

Twin Atlantic – Yes, I Was Drunk (Draper Remix)

I first listened to Twin Atlantic many years ago, and this Draper remix on release in 2012, but during my February chill house period I became reacquainted with it. Truly a fantastic chill remix of a song with some of the strongest Scottish vocals ever.

 

Non-EDM Music

She’s My You – Bridges

She’s My You are an almost totally unknown indie band from Australia who have only released a handful of songs. I heard Bridges in a garden centre in rural France whilst on holiday there over Christmas. I just really enjoyed it, so it makes the list.

 

Grouplove – School Boy

I can’t remember how I got onto Grouplove, but they are weird and I only like some of their songs. School Boy is definitely my favourite. I love the fast, punky beat, irreverent lyrics, strong chords and instrumentation and little break downs and riffs.

 

J. S. Bach – Cantata BWV 82 “Ich Habe Genug” (It is enough)

I was introduced to this hauntingly beautiful work of Bach’s by Radio 4’s Soul Music. In it Bach tells the Bible story of Simeon who, after holding Jesus, becomes completely at peace with the world and accepts his mortality and inevitable death. Having held Jesus and knowing this his soul and all the souls of mankind are saved, he can now pass away. Bach’s rendition wraps you up in this embrace of acceptance. Cellos and organ accompany a rich baritone singer in romantic melody. It’s melancholy, as human mortality is, but also comforting. It puts you at peace.

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