They say you shouldn’t meet your idols, that they’ll only disappoint you -- but what if meeting your idol is what makes your whole career? All Rezz fans know their “Space Mom” was inspired to produce after seeing deadmau5 play at Hard Day of the Dead 2013. Eight years later, the two drop their first collaboration, a dark dream called “Hypnocurrency.” It’s a beautiful, brooding electronic soundscape, an exploratory gem that shines like a rainbow in an empty void.
“I feel like my collab with deadmau5 is an exact split of his sounds and mine, which is a high standard I set before ever sending him an idea,” Rezz tweeted. “Deadmau5 is the main reason I started creating music THANK U, this is such a full circle thing - life goes craaaaaazyyyyyyy. I’m drinking a beer to celebrate.”
“Hypnocurrency” is also the soundtrack to an NFT collaboration of the same name. The window of purchase opportunity for this drop may be closed, but you can jam to the new track any time you want. -- KAT BEIN
Porter Robinson, "Trying to Feel Alive"
If you need space to have the cathartic cry after all the trauma of 2020 and early '21, Porter Robinson’s new album Nurture will unlock those tears. The story behind these 14 songs is widely publicized, and the artist’s own legendary tale is well-understood. But as a refresher, Robinson is the boy-wonder breakout turned influential genius who already changed the dance scene with his debut LP Worlds and Grammy-nominated Virtual Self alias. Today’s sophomore album will surely do the same, but it’s almost criminal to call it a dance record. It’s an electronic record, but it’s also a pop record, and more honestly, a folk record for the internet generation.
Nurture is soft, gentle, sweet and painfully-honest. These lyrics are daringly raw, tying the freedom of love with the cage of mortality, exploring the inherent pain of soulfulness, and the awkward dichotomy of insecurity and explosion that makes the act of creation so pure. It’s vulnerable yet powerful, but it’s never overwhelming. Even the harshest textures on these songs feel like cotton.
You should listen to all the tracks on this album, but if we have to pick one to highlight, we’re picking the album closer, because it sums up the whole experience in this beautiful truth: that the things that make us second-guess ourselves the most are usually our truest and most unique strengths; that who we are as beings is complex; and that an artist who can capture all those facets into a sweet four minutes and 40 seconds is probably the voice of a generation -- or at least a piece of it -- and it’s really comforting to know that he loses his voice sometimes, too. -- K. Bein
The sun is out here in Los Angeles, and the time seems ripe for hopping in the car, cranking the windows down and feeling the cool breeze on your face. Enter your soundtrack: DāM-FunK’s “Grow.” The track is a warm slice of metallic funk, its low-riding bassline rolling at just the right speed for cruising down the boulevard with nowhere, really, to go. Its lead synth line is bright and pulsing yet distorted, almost dissipating in some parts, while angelic chords in the background initiate ascension. “Grow” comes from DāM-FunK’s Architecture III EP, the third installment of his instrumental collections, out now on his Glydezone label. -- KRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ
Richy Ahmed & Jamie Jones, “I Need It”
UK-based producers Richy Ahmed and Jamie Jones share a rich history. Ahmed was a key member of Jones’ Hot Creations label from its 2010 launch not just as an artist but as its A&R, a position which would serve him well as he started his own Four Thirty Two label in 2016. Back-to-back sets in Ibiza aside, they had yet to team up on an official collaborative release -- until now. Ahmed and Jones’ "More Energy / I Need It" delivers the groovy White Isle flavor that finally feels like it’s within reach. “I Need It” is our pick of the bunch, playing a bright, uplifting piano house melody set against a naughty bassline while female vocals are chopped and stacked in a way that makes them sound like shrieks of ecstasy. Throw in some sweaty maracas, crashing cymbals and some swelling strings and you might find yourself thinking “I need it,” too -- even if you’re not quite sure what “it” is. -- K.R.
Booka Shade & Sohmi, “Small Talk (Okay)”
Listening to Booka Shade and Sohmi’s new collaboration, “Small Talk (Okay),” feels like being a fly on the wall of a couple teetering on the gravelly brink of a will-they-or-won’t-they breakup moment. “Are we okay?” Sohmi asks throughout the song. Another oft-repeated phrase, “I just feel like…” echoes into eventual silence, as if each person’s point of view gets lost somewhere in communication, never quite reaching its destination. Sohmi’s voice, a sultry force on previous songs like “Sparks” and “Want U 2 Love Me,” on here sounds vulnerable; her R&B-influenced songwriting meshes well with Booka Shade’s melodic, melancholic production. “‘Small Talk’... is about the ups and downs of being in a relationship,” Sohmi wrote on Twitter. “It’s hard sometimes!” -- K.R.
Saweetie feat. Doja Cat, "Best Friend" (Kito Remix)
In terms of hype tracks, this year it hasn't really been possible to do better than Saweetie and Doja Cat's January ode to female camaraderie, "Best Friend." Now, the pair is welcoming a third BFF to the party, with Australian-born, L.A.-based producer Kito today dropping an official remix of the track. Kito -- who's signed to Astralwerks and has previously collab'd with artists including Zhu, Channel Tres and Jorja Smith -- shifts the vibe from deliciously grimy to decisively ethereal, with building synths giving way to a shuffling chorus over which Saweetie and Doja's contemplations on being "a real bad b--ch" sound right at home. While the original track is perfect, this remix is also a definitive glow-up and comes amidst another house-oriented rework of the track from duo Party Pupils. -- KATIE BAIN
Amtrac & The Juan Maclean, "Grit"
Psychologists define "grit" as "the passion and perseverance for very long term goals" that's cultivated by having courage, conscientious, perseverance and passion. If you're just trying to persevere to the end of the work week, use "Grit" -- a thick slice of progressive house from Amtrac and The Juan Maclean -- to muster that final burst of courage necessary to get on into Friday night. Eight minutes of kickdrum, layered synths, builds and releases and a few well-placed moments of screaming, "Grit" is the first song on a two-track collaborative release out via Amtrac's own label, Openers. -- K. Bain
The White Stripes, "Seven Nation Army" (The Glitch Mob Remix)
If you were going out circa at 2011 and also a fan of The White Stripes and bass music, you probably have The Glitch Mob's heavy as hell edit of the "Seven Nation Army" permanently encoded in your brain's memory centers. (We certainly do.) A cool ten years later, the former bootleg has transformed into an official release out today via Jack White's own Third Man Records. “In 2011, we released an unofficial remix of one of our favorite songs of all time, ‘Seven Nation Army’ by The White Stripes,” The Glitch Mob’s Justin Boreta says in a statement. “It is a surreal honor to have something that started as an homage transform into an official release.”
The accompanying video isn't just some janky old visualizer, either, with the now official remix getting a full on visual treatment that features the protagonist hurtling through space in a technicolor wormhole -- which is actually kind of how it felt to hear that original remix back in 2011. The clip was directed by Stripmall, who's previously worked with YoungBoy Never Broke Again & Lil Baby and Lil Skies. -- K. Bain