Stay motivated, and keep at those resolutions. If it helps, use an image: Remember last year? When you were all doughy from amazing holiday food–turkey, ham, candy, all that chocolate goodness… just imagine all that in a huge swimming pool, and picture yourself just… wait, what are we doing again? It’s Friday Favorites 90.
Hip Hop/R&B | Azealia Banks – Wallace
Honestly, I think Azealia Banks’ long-awaited debut album Broke With Expensive Taste was my favorite release of 2014. Her combined rap and singing skills are lightyears ahead of her peers and are perfectly complemented by production that is part hip hop, part Caribbean, part ballroom, part house, and entirely New York. Wallace has become one of my favorite tracks on the album with its Timbaland-esque stutter beats and flows from Azealia that will remind you of the best parts of Lauryn Hill’s troubled history. I cannot recommend this album highly enough–listen to it.
Funk House | Kolombo & Malikk – Myself (Original Mix) [LouLou]
Soul music’s sweater-soft stranglehold on funk house is palpable at this point, and new collab Myself from Kolombo and Malikk rides the “train” like its a second job. Throaty basslines, throwback Motown vocals, and crisp percussion prove however that for Kolombo and Malikk, taking the soul train to Chicago is a full-time gig, and they do it so well. Pick it up along with the equally funky title track on the two-item Ladies EP here, out now on LouLou.
Techno | Recondite – Jaded (Original Mix) [Acid Test]
If you’re looking for some deep, emotional techno, you’ve come to the right place. Similar to Richie Hawtin’s recent Plastikman productions, Recondite’s Jaded is a mellow, minimal, and mesmerizing trip through the abyss. Elaborate and yet simplistic at the same time, the German producer delivers a powerful and poignant production from start to finish. Get it on Beatport.
House | Oliver Heldens – Last All Night (Koala) (Michael Calfan Remix) [Spinnin]|
It’s always good when a hit track gets a decent remix, especially if the track in question is somewhat overplayed and the remix sounds pretty much nothing like the original. That’s exactly what Michael Calfan offers up with his remix of Oliver Heldens‘ recent smash Koala, or rather Last All Night (Koala), the mashed-up vocal edit designed to please the commercial radio crowd. It’s a totally fresh and almost unrecognizable take on the track, with some groovy piano riffs and innovative editing of the vocals–stunning stuff indeed. Grab it now via Beatport.
Garage/House | Lxury – Let Down
After releasing his 2014 Playground EP featuring the captivating single Company, UK producer Lxury quickly established himself as one of the brightest rising producers to watch out for in 2015. Arriving as Annie Mac‘s first Free Music Monday track of the new year, Lxury delivers another spellbinding mix of hypnotic synthscapes and experimental house with Let Down. The track is set to appear on Lxury’s forthcoming EP, but you can download it for free on his SoundCloud page here.
Pop/Dance | Royal – Passenger [Octal Sound]
From the harmonized vocal introduction, to the beautiful metaphorical lyrics, to the smooth accompanying production, this song certainly scores a 10 out of 10 in my book. Royal is a 22-year-old producer/singer/songwriter who initially attracted attention with his sensational beats on Round Two and has just recently revealed his singing talent with Passenger. The young triple threat will be releasing his debut EP Cycles on Jan. 26, and you can pre-order it here. Better yet, you can download Passenger for free here.
Indie/Beats | Ashanti – Rock With U (LeMarquis Remix)
I can’t even begin to recount the number of times I listened to Ashanti’s Chapter II album back in the day, so LeMarquis’ spin on Rock With U grabbed my attention right away. This track has much more going for it than just the nostalgia factor, though–with futuristic beats and a funky, Kaytranada-esque bassline, the latest from French producer LeMarquis is a divine piece of work in every way. Grab your free download here.
Trap/Electro | Galantis – Runaway (U & I) (WILD BOYZ Remix)
Galantis‘ Runaway (U & I) has seen its fair share of high quality remixes, but the WILD BOYZ take has been my favorite. Combining a heavy dose of trap and electro, WILD BOYZ put together a unique remix that stands out from the rest. Grab a free download on WILD BOYZ’ SoundCloud Page.
Pop/Dance | Susanne Sundør – Delirious (Original Mix)
Norwegian-born singer/songwriter Sunsanne Sundfør has sung for M83 and Royksopp, and has made a budding career for herself creating haunting electro-pop music to complement her equally haunting voice. Delirious is a single off her forthcoming album Ten Love Songs and is a cinematic masterpiece. If you listen closely to the beginning, you can hear an ascending tone that resembles THX Ltd.’s iconic movie theater intro before cascading into dark synth notes and percussion. You can find her album next Monday, Jan. 12, here.
Deep House | LO’99 & Marshal F – Take Me Back (Terace Remix)[Medium Rare]
Terace is a promising Australian duo that might take the trending deep house scene by storm in 2015. Check out their remix of LO’99 & Marshal F’s Take Me Back, a vocal tune with smooth underground vibes. They’ve done some quality remix work that you can check out on their SoundCloud, but if you’re interested, head to Beatport to grab your copy of their latest release.