Music Monday #1

I listen to a lot of music. I like to share the music that I love with my friends in the hopes that they find something that they like, too. Last week, I had an idea that I would start to post some of the music I like on Dave Roberts’ Dive to share this aspect of my life with my readers (who are, by the way, negligible). To this end, I thought I would come up with a series of posts called “Music Mondays” to give people an idea of what I am listening to on a weekly basis (and to hopefully, eventually, introduce some people to music that they find enjoyable). I know that today is Tuesday, but I forgot to share yesterday. So, I guess this is Music Monday Tuesday. Or something like that. Whatever, my blog, my rules. I’m going to start with some FAQ about my music and then share some of the things I’ve been listening to over the past week or so.

What type of music do you listen to?

For the most party, I listen to various types of electronic music: dubstep, trap, DnB, future bass, house, glitch, funk, and lots of stuff in between. If you follow electronic music closely, you know that there are lots of different genres. Sometimes, an artist has his or her own classification for their music and, other times, they prefer that the genre goes unclassified. I also listen to rap, hip-hop, reggae, and rock. If I find a song that I like within these genres, I give it a listen.

How do you find your music?

I have lots of different ways to find music for myself. My two most fruitful and tested methods for finding new music are to subscribe to channels on YouTube and to listen to mixes that my favorite artists put out for individual songs that I like. I also follow artists on Facebook and Soundcloud and wait for new releases. Finally, I love to go to live shows and find the music online that I loved during the set.

When and how do you listen to music?

I listen to music in any format and at all times. At work, I listen to my iPod through my headphones. At home, I usually listen at my computer through a set of headphones (because I can’t listen to loud music through a set of good speakers in my apartment). I now love to drive, because I realized that my car speakers are actually better than my headphones or anything I have in my apartment. But, by far and away, my favorite way to listen to music is to go to live shows and hear songs dropped live. For me, nothing beats feeling the bass in my chest and hearing the energy of the crowd (especially at large festivals).

Can you define what a good song is?

Generally, when I really like a song, I can point to a very specific part of it that draw me to it. For example, five of the more common things that I like are: a.) dark tones that convey a deep and serious vibe; b.) heavy bass that “grinds” or “rumbles”; c.) hip-hop/rap (or any short vocal) samples that flow in well with the over the music and provide a sense of rhythm; d.) coordinated wobbles that give the song an implicit bass line to assist with proper head bobbing; and e.) any upbeat rhythms that convey a reggae-influence. Of course, these are not hard-set rules, but they are certainly aspects of individual tunes that I like. Ultimately, my end-all, be-all of listening to music is to do so at a live concert. Much of what I like on my headphones or in my car will not totally replicate the feeling I have at concerts, but I can tell what the music would sound like if I were listening live. Aside from giving me the opportunity to find new individual songs that I love, I think this is why I love mixes so much: the vibe from that an artist generates from a mix is one that is similar to a live show because all of the songs are strung together. I can almost feel what the DJ is trying to do with the crowd and imagine how this would translate at a venue.

Without further ado, here is some music I have been listening to in the past week:

1.) Jaymes Young – Habits of My Heart (BENTZ remix)

Genre: Future Trap

Why I like it: The melody and the vocals give the tune a beautiful “love-sick” vibe. Also, the bass that drops during the hook shakes my central rearview mirror (this is the threshold that I have set for “good bass”.)

2.) Curren$y – Bottom of the Bottle feat. August Alsina & Lil’ Wayne

Genre: Rap

Why I like it: Curren$y has been one of my favorite rappers since high school. While this isn’t necessarily the “stoner rap” vibe I’m used to from him, he still uses his relaxed and fragmented flow to complement the beat. The vocals on the course are also a great touch.

3.) Styles&Complete – Free (feat. Empress)

Genre: Future Trap

Why I like it: the vibe of the song is serious and heady. Moreover, the use of cut up samples to construct the hook is exceptionally done — the perfectly placed “Ha!” conveys a sense of anticipation and rhythm. Also, the second drop utilizes one of my favorite musical tactics — something I like to call the “phantom beat”. The producer cuts out the hit of the drum and creates an “implied beat” that changes up the listener’s perspective on the song.

4.) Alison Wonderland – Jun 12, 2015 Mixmag Live Mix

Genre: Trap/Future

Why I like it: I first realized that I loved this mix @14:15. The sample (“tell you what I want”), which might be annoying in any other context, is mixed with a couple deep wobbles. @47:20 she mixes in a tropical house tune that absolutely bumps. This is what tropical house is supposed to sound like. I also love the song that drops @51:20. Great future bass. The general trap/future vibe is what I’m really digging right now.

In other news, she’s obviously affiliated with Future Classic. I don’t know if she’s signed or whatever because this is honestly one of the first times I’ve heard about her. TSIS just released a remix she did of Hermitude and she drops Flume a couple times in the excellent mix that I’m posting here.

She said in an interview that she’s from Boston and the YouTube video briefly said she is from Boston, but she’s plays out of Australia so many people assume she’s Aussie. If she actually grew up in Boston, that’s bonus points.