Just Drunk

It seems like just yesterday that my friends and I drank four to five times a week. Your tolerance goes through the roof when you’re “force fed” alcohol that often and it can be difficult for me to remove myself from that tolerance I once had. Two years has passed since then and I’ve really toned down my alcohol consumption, including a little over six months of not drinking at all. As such the past month has been an interesting return to form. Other than getting into a bar fight nearly a month ago, Saturday night was a hefty reminder of my lack of resilience to alcohol. Thankfully I was in my own home surrounded by those who I care most about so I was comfortably uncomfortable. For myself when I’m that far gone I tend to connect with music that much more, similar to going through an emotional trauma. Even though physically I was in tatters, mentally I was rediscovering myself. Thus there was a slew of tracks that night, and the painful morning after that brought up a range of emotion. I was considering making a Take a Minute volume out of this but seen as most of these are already very, very well known we’ll leave it as is.

The song that stuck out most is one some of my friends disgraced for being so old: Dum Dee Dum by Keys N Krates. This song has many layers of meaning for me and thus regardless of how old it may be I will always have a special place for it in my heart. Having just seen Keys N Krates with David and my new friend Jacob the previous weekend, reliving the magic of it performed live is something special. I think there’s a point where things shift from acquaintances to friends in every friendship and in my mind getting wild to this with Jacob is that point. Parliament Funk and PLUR Police by Knife Party are a couple more of the feel good vibes I received throughout the night. Knife Party has been a staple in my life, though I’m yet to see them live, and the way their music produces energy in me is incredible. I don’t listen to much Drake lately, not that I haven’t tried, I just don’t seem to enjoy his flow. However with the amount of times I’ve heard One Dance at clubs it really just embodies a feeling of letting go and being free within me. Alternatively I Feel It Coming has some lyrics that really fuck me up. I’m a fairly closed off person and the material in that track really can make me face that head on. There’s so many great tracks on The Weeknd’s newest album that I could literally list off most of them for inducing different emotions but I’ll leave it at two. The second being Secrets. Between the killer beat and amazing vocals on display this track has been on repeat all day. Alright. Time for some Eminem rapid fire. Just Lose It, Without Me, The Real Slim Shady, and Shake That all take me back to my teen angst days. Almost Famous, W.T.P., and Won’t Back Down got me right fired up, well as much as somebody who could pass out at any moment can get fired up. Cinderella Man and Lose Yourself created a feeling of hopefulness for the future and finally Rap God always reminds me of Conner. I guess that’s because he loved it from day one and I did not. I came around eventually though. Love you bud. Travis Scott’s goosebumps is my favorite chill beat since Antidote, another Travis Scott track. I can’t say I listen to much of his music outside of these two songs but both give me a nice mellow vibe. Speaking of mellow Imagine Dragons-Believer, though not necessarily a laid back beat, reminds me of all the times I used to smoke listening to Radioactive. Whenever I wanted to shut off the world Radioactive would be my go to. The majority of my smoking days are all but behind me yet whenever I hear Imagine Dragons I’m transported back to those high school days. Then there was my hangover music and who better to serenade away a headache than Justin Timberlake. My love for JT is mainly thanks to my older brother Justin who I actually called JT for a fair portion of my life. Why? Perhaps because I love them both equally. In all seriousness though Justin Timberlake was a cornerstone of my musical taste. My Love is still probably one of my favorite songs ever. Then there’s Like I Love You, Rock Your Body, Cry Me a River, and Señorita all off his Justified album that are classics. I wish I lived in a world where I could search ‘Justin’ on Spotify and have Timberlake be the top artist but alas, Bieber. Anyway that’s a look into how comforting music is for me, even when wasted my mind is constantly making connections. Not connections with my friends however, they could barely get two words out of me passed about 10pm. Life of the party over here.

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You Better Work Bitch

Tomorrow is 10 x 3 bench day at 85% of my 1RM. With the big day looming just a few hours of sleep away my mind can’t help but ponder what tracks I’ll select to push me through to a PR. For myself music during these workouts is just as important as a good nights sleep and a system shocking pre-workout. On lighter days I don’t always consume pre-workout, nor do I hand pick my playlist. However, on days where I’m focused on being better than I’ve ever been before I find both to be necessities. The right songs can help me forget everyone around me, allow me to focus on my pre-lift checks, and motivate me through sticking points. When I first enter the gym I’ll play songs like Dum Dee Dum-Keys N Krates, Little Bit of This-GTA & Vince Staples, Collard Greens-ScHoolboy Q & Kendrick Lamar or even Work Bitch-Britney Spears. Yes, Britney Spears. All these songs in one way or another remind me to focus on myself and put the work in if you want to see the result, bitch. I’m usually through my stretches and am beginning to warm up with the specific movement for the day when I’m through with these tracks and it’s time to really get down to business. I’ll pull out some Centipede or Boss Mode by Knife Party or maybe Break Your Neck by GTA & Valentino Khan to really get the blood flowing. Next Contestant by Nickelback is a staple and easily one of my favorite tracks. Yeah I said it, I like Nickelback. Or at least this jealous boyfriend themed song anyway. If you know my taste in music you’d have to assume that my go to tracks for my lifts would be largely EDM tunes; and on days where I’m just letting shuffle dictate my pace you’d be right. But when I’m in charge I’ll go back to junior high and high school. Three Days Grace, KoRn, Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach (well Last Resort) and Disturbed are all I listen to. There’s just something special about the way these bands transport me back to those days and invigorate me to best myself. Whether it’s Down With the Sickness, Animal I Have Become, Coming Undone, or any of the ear splitting Limp Bizkit tracks I can feel my teenage self getting ready for a lacrosse game and that sense of competition within myself is a great motivator. This PR is mine.

Take a Minute Vol 7

Since falling out of updating this series so too has my music discovery. Not surprising, considering it was the driving force in my listening habits. I went from listening to SoundCloud every day for at least an hour or two to maybe once a week. This doesn’t bode well for me as I consume music like a binge drinker consumes alcohol. I don’t just play a song and then move on to something different, it’s replayed over and over and over and over and over and…

Thus finding Copter Boy, Apashe’s debut album, has really breathed life back to my lifting playlist. Although my roommate is probably extremely tired of hearing Day Dream and Puttin On the Ritz at this point. Winning by Destructo & Problem is the only song she’s heard more frequently. Anyway, having not really listened to Apashe other than No Twerk and Battle Royal before this I am super impressed, this dude kills it. By the way Apashe, if you ever see this you should definitely come through Kelowna BC. Definitely not going to see this but worth a shot. Other than Fire Inside, which doesn’t do much for me, I think each track is great. Whether it be deadlifting to Unsafe, singing to Fuck Boy, or dancing to Touch Down I’ve loved it all. Take a minute and check it out. Uncalled for name drop +10 points.

Take a Minute Vol 6

There aren’t many artists I feel a closer connection to than Macklemore. That really says something seen as I’ve never met him nor do I know anything about his life other than the subject matter of his music. I remember when the Wenzel brothers introduced me to him in 2011. The first songs I listened to were Irish Celebration, And We Danced, and Otherside. I enjoyed all three but the latter really struck a cord with me and another fan was born. Going into our senior year of high school three of my friends and I listened to Macklemore almost exclusively. With Mike a country boy, Lyndon and I bassheads in the making, and Chris somewhere in the middle it was hard to find something we all could agree on. That quickly become Mack. The Heist still means the world to me and is maybe the only album I’ve ever really lost myself in. It also evoked an immense pride and excitement for what he and Ryan had accomplished, winning best rap album of the year (and other awards) while staying independent. Even as I say it out loud it sounds weird, feeling proud for a couple guys who have millions of fans now but I think that’s what happens when you connect with someones art so strongly. To have songs like Wing$, Same Love, Jimmy Iovine  that all focus on a story or message on the same album as Thrift Shop or Can’t Hold Us that are goofy and satirical is creative genius. This past summer Macklemore released Downtown (probably the funniest song from the duo) and my excitement for This Unruly Mess I’ve Made peaked. Well this past Friday it came out and I’m going to share some of my thoughts on it. My favourite aspect about music as an art form is how different my interpretations and connections can be when compared to the artist’s. That’s really what makes it special so if you haven’t yet listened to it please go do that before continuing. Not that I think I’m a persuasive writer, rather that going in with a blank slate will yield a more enjoyable experience and you’ll be able to form your own opinion without comparing to mine. Anyway, let’s jump in.

First off, as a whole I really love it. It has more of their satirical nature in conjunction with societal and industrial commentaries that hit better than ever before. Subjectivity. It’s why Justin Bieber and Megadeth can both be successful. These two created a hip hop album out of topics like The Grammy’s, the pharmaceutical industry, and being a father. Not what you would usually picture when you think of rap music. My experience with the genre has always been with guys such as Eminem, Wiz Khalifa, Drake, and Kid Cudi. They obviously all went through times of coming up through the industry but I wasn’t around to see it. By the time I was a fan they were all household names in the music industry. As such I think when guys are on top of the world their content can become repetitive. In contrast, when Drake and Meek Mill were experiencing some creative differences Drake released Charged Up and Back To Back which was some of his best work. It was fuelled by emotion and personal investment. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis bring that emotion into everything they create, they are some of the most genuine artists that I know of. They sure make it easy to support them when they cover topics others are so hesitant to touch on. Now besides all that good stuff I have an interesting recommendation when experiencing the album. Listen to it backwards. I’ve probably listened to it back to front five times and front to back three. I don’t know how to explain it, I just get a very different vibe listening in the reverse order and think it’s more enjoyable that way. As such I’m going to touch on each track in reverse order because why not.

13. White Privilege II – The most direct societal message on the whole album with multiple issues crammed into a nearly nine minute song. Displaying emotions of empathy, anger, and confusion you can hear interviews and news clips playing throughout portions. The premise is a protest that Macklemore has seemingly joined and is unsure of how to show his support and sympathy. It also visits the issues of police brutality and double standards of the law. He then rips on twitter warriors who believe starting a hashtag is making a difference and implores us all to look deeper at the music, clothing, and lifestyle we have adopted from black culture. Without spoiling much of the rest I think it’s a great wake up call for anyone that believes these aren’t issues we all have a part in seeing end. Saying nothing can be just as bad as being involved. It enables racism to persist in 2016. I’m sure it will have it’s critics just as Same Love did but that makes it even more important.

12. The Train – This song hit me in the face like a sack of bricks. It’s all about struggling to stay in touch with family, friends, and loved ones. Having lost my grandfather about a week before it hit a nerve as I was and am still feeling some pretty big regrets in regards to staying in contact. It’s a beautiful collaboration with Carla Morrison that has brought me to tears a few times now and will always be a tough one to get through. Unfortunately it’s something we all experience to a degree. Relationships take work so appreciate the people that make the effort.

11. Bolo Tie – I really applaud Ryan, the beat is beautifully crafted. It maintains a chill vibe while feeding into the emotion of YG and Macklemore’s vocals. When listening to the album this way I think it acts as a perfect ramp up into the next couple tracks. Therefore you’d think it should work just as well in the actual order, and for most people it probably does. I just prefer this way.

10. Let’s Eat – A good introduction into these guys humour. Doesn’t take itself too seriously, or at all for that matter. I’m not crazy about it but it’s nice to see their lightheartedness.

9. Dance Off – Or should I say Thriller. That’s the vibe I get right off the bat anyway. It sets the stage for what might be most fun on the whole collection. It’s equipped with goofy lyrics and background clapping and chanting that helps paint a vision of any dance circle you’ve ever been apart of. There’s always that one guy that’s a little too confident in his abilities, gets shown up, and goes back for more. Props to that guy I wish I had your blind confidence.

8. Need To Know – What’s that age old saying? “Mo’ money, mo’ problems”? Well I think this is perfect insight into the meaning behind it. The temptations that come with fame aren’t always worth it. Definitely one of my favourite tracks on the album with the funky vibe of the saxophone and piano combination. Again, the transitions are done perfectly, going from Dance Off to St. Ides which have two very different sounds isn’t easy to do and they nail it.

7. St. Ides – I think there’s going to be many different interpretations of this one. For me it brings about memories of being immature, making poor choices, and having a carefree lifestyle. For someone that has lived in their hometown their whole life and experienced the changes between adolescence, young adulthood, and parenthood the connection may be deeper. Regardless, it conjures up some very nostalgic thoughts and feelings for simpler times.

6. Kevin – Drug abuse and addiction are topics Macklemore has worked hard to raise awareness of. If you haven’t heard Otherside he tells a sad story of his own experience with addiction and makes mention of three lives taken by oxycontin. Kevin is another dive into the pharmaceutical companies and how society has been tricked into believing in their methods. I personally have and know many others who have abused prescription drugs. It is not uncommon, and is incredibly dangerous. It’s a cautionary tale and one I connect with having brushes with addiction. I woke up one day and realized that wasn’t how I wanted to live my life. Not everyone is so lucky. If you’re struggling with addiction talk to someone you trust, it really does help.

5. Growing Up – I can’t imagine being a father. I can barely take care of myself never mind another little being. Whereas the idea of always growing and trying to be a better person is something I’ve really tried to implement in my life. Never quit learning, everybody has an opinion or viewpoint you can learn from, good or bad.

4. Buckshot – A story of Mack as a younger man tagging anything in sight. Graffiti is something that I always wondered how people accomplished and even applauded some of the areas these guys got up to. There’s this one bridge on the highway in Calgary that every time I saw would imagine these guys holding another dudes feet while he hangs upside-down in the middle of the night. I’m sure that’s not actually how it happened but what if.

3. Brad Pitt’s Cousin – If Need To Know is my favourite this one is a close second. First of all his cat makes an appearance which is just hilarious then, “Bradley, he’s cuzo.” Point is it’s  just a fun, lighthearted song. Making mention of herbal tea and chicken wings in the same line is recipe for a banger. Throw in a text conversation with God himself and nothing’s going to top this one. Ever.

2. Downtown – I just… What do you even say about this. If you haven’t seen the video do yourself a favour and go watch it. It’s so ridiculous I love it. My favourite line has got to be “Neighbours yelling at me like ‘You need to slow down.’ Going thirty-eight, Dan, chill the fuck out, mow your damn lawn and sit the hell down.” Pay special attention to the video during that, Mack’s face kills me every damn time. It’s a song about mopeds and going downtownobviously. What’s not to love.

1. Light Tunnels – The only song I’m really split on. It’s a great song, that’s not what it is. What has me considering both sides is his/their interpretation of celebrities and more specifically the music industry. While he is absolutely correct each and every award show is a business that survives on clicks, mentions, and views, ripping on an industry that allows you to put food on the table seems a little odd to me. I would also venture to guess that the two of them aren’t the only ones that feel the spectacle of it all is obnoxious. I appreciate the candour though, not many would have the balls to win best rap album and then write a song about the whole awkward experience. Plus there’s a name drop, and we all know how much I love those. That’s another reason why I think it’s better to end with this song rather than White Privilege II. Both being very strong statements this one just being more of a finale in my mind, ending with “this unruly mess I’ve made.”

I’m sure most of you had already heard of the genius combination that is Macklemore and Ryan Lewis but if you hadn’t I hope listening to This Unruly Mess I’ve Made gave you the desire to go back and listen to some of their earlier work. I’m a big fan, clearly, and have a deep respect for their honesty and creativity. Using their fame to bring attention to issues that effect us all is a very powerful statement to their character.

Take a Minute Vol 5

When I began this series my biggest fear was that I would have a hard time finding new producers to feature and keep the content fresh. Nobody wants to hear me rant about Deadmau5 over and over. Unfortunately, I’m still going to. This time in the form of Mau5trap, his label. I recently stumbled upon REZZ, Mord Fustang, and Matt Lange; all currently working with Mau5trap. The first, REZZ, is a twenty year old producer out of Niagara Falls with a very distinct, dark sound. Her passion and youth is expressed in her mixes and I love that. The Silence Is Deafening EP is incredible but I would actually recommend listening to her promo mix first. The bleak, harsh ambiance paired with captivating mix downs is what makes it my preferred way to experience it. Personally I hear elements of Joel in her music. In fact to my extremely untrained, out of tune ear almost every producer featured on Mau5trap seemingly shares traces of his style. Listen to Mord Fustang’s Flip The Bacon and tell me there’s no inspiration there. It’s kind of cool, like their own little cult. Next thing you know they’re all wearing animal heads. Anyway, I think Mau5trap has some great established talent as well as exciting new faces like REZZ. Seriously go check out REZZ.

Speaking of cults, OWSLA has been posting some great tracks as of late! Skrillex and MUST DIE! teamed up to create VIP’s, a funky change of pace for the latter. Pretty Bye Bye is another Skrillex product, this time sharing credit with Team EZY and NJOMZA, boasting a beautiful melody and soothing vocals. Perhaps my favourite Yellow Claw song ever, Alright, with San Holo is a fantastic song to keep in mind for when you just need to be alone. I find most San Holo’s work to be fairly uplifting and this one is no different. Then rounding out my favourites, 666! by Getter and Ghastly as well as Bang by WAVEDASH. These are just a few of the sixteen tracks released as a compilation by OWSLA titled Worldwide Broadcast.

If you’ve ever heard a Crichy Crich song and thought something similar to “this song is so stupid but I love it” I’m right there with you. That’s mainly due to the amazing producers this guy has worked with. Tincup, Riot Ten, NoxiK, and QUIX just to name a few. B.T.F.R.D. with Riot Ten is still one of my favourite songs to rage to. A few days ago Crichy Crich posted a track with King Tutt produced by Tincup: SIN$. I find his and Riff Raff’s style to be comparable(if Riff Raff worked with better producers) and you’re either going to love or hate him. Normally I only present people I want to support and see grow; not really the case here. He comes off as an asshole in most of his work and this track is no exception. But sometimes douche bags make good music, just look at Justin Bieber with Where Are Ü Now

Back when I was playing hockey we listened to bands like Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach and Drowning Pool in the dressing rooms before games. Well a few days ago Drezo posted his remix of Bodies and naturally I love it. And him. Then again if you’re looking for something with a bit more kick Baauer’s got you covered with Day Ones. This is a very different sounding Baauer when compared to tracks like Infinite Daps and Higher. Last entry I brought up Zack the Lad as he had just recently posted Fam. This time he’s back in a big way with Black Sheep; a four track EP. Make Me Move really showcasing a soulful vibe while I Want It instantly transports me to the beaches of Hawaii with it’s groovy baseline and calming melody. Debroka is another return from last volume, pairing up with graves (who’s based out of Hawaii) to bring us Silver Fox as well as flying solo on Marathon. Two fantastic, chill trap songs. I’m telling you it’s those Hawaiian vibes, man.

Lately I’ve been a sucker for a beat that can make me emotional without any lyrics. High Tide by Tim Gunter and Burn Out by NGHTMRE are two perfect examples of this. Burn Out has been the intro to many of his sets this year and I remember hearing it when NGHTMRE was on BBC1 Radio a while back. Then we’ve got Mysto and Pizzi’s remix of The Chainsmokers’ NYC which is the most beautiful version I’ve heard thus far. The Chainsmokers posted Don’t Let Me Down to continue what has been an extremely interesting past few years. For a couple guys who made arguably one of the biggest tracks of 2014 they have continued to be true to themselves, exploring different genres and make absolutely amazing music together. It’s awesome. Additionally, Young Bombs remixed Rozes track Burn Wild and while the vocals are really what drives this one home for me their uplifting spin is an enjoyable addition.

Vibes are something I often discuss in relation to music and these last three tracks are the ones I connected with the most, all for different reasons. They might strike a similar nerve in you or just turn out to be three great tunes to add to your playlist. Either way first is Do You Don’t You off Haywyre’s most recent EP titled Two Fold Part 2. Next is Smoke and Retribution by Flume, Vince Staples and Kucka. Finally is NINE LIVES’ remix of MICHL’s track Kill Our Way To Heaven. That’s it. I’m not telling you anything about them. Go experience them for yourself. Kind of anticlimactic isn’t it? Although, I don’t know what you expected. I told you to listen to REZZ at the very beginning. It’s all been filler since then!

Take a Minute Vol 4

One of the last times my Dad was here we talked a little about music and how he rarely listens to any now. In his teens he was similar to me in that any time there was silence in his personal life it was filled with music. Though as he’s gotten older he finds it to be unnecessary and would rather fill his time reading or in silent meditation. It’s what he finds enjoyable, allowing him to clear his head better than most other activities. Music is exactly that for me. I regularly lose myself dancing around my place like a fool, forgetting all about my roommate who I’m sure thinks I’m a psychopath. It’s my way of unwinding and having fun. Whether it’s singing along to The Weeknd or head banging to Barely Alive these past few weeks have easily been the most fun I’ve had outside of live shows. Best part is I don’t think I found any music on my own, it was all reposts and suggestions from friends. I got to explore styles I normally have no interest in and found tons of great songs. Therefore I have to give a little shout out to Jordan, Chad, Julia, and Eryk who all unknowingly had a hand in crafting this post and probably many more to come. They are all super active on Soundcloud and each have their own unique taste. Besides simply streaming I don’t post many tracks so It’s nice to follow people who do. There’s always somebody you haven’t heard, and in my case a great deal of somebodies.

Normally I believe in saving the best for last but not this time. Three nights ago Eryk sent me the link to Flume’s song with Kai; Never Be Like You. I then continued to play it on repeat for the next two hours. To me it perfectly blends a carefree, uplifting beat with beautiful, soulful lyrics. I’m now incredibly excited to hear the rest of the LP but I think we might be waiting a little while, summer time maybe. Continuing with the uplifting vibe is the Deorro and RAC remixes of Beautiful Heartbeat by Morten (my man crush) and Frida Sundemo. I prefer Deorro’s but both are excellent. I’m a little late to the party on Elaphante’s remix of Smoke Filled Room but it’s a song that could make even the most curmudgeon individual crack a smile. The drums in Fam by Zack The Lad are nicely put together but it’s that nasty synth that steals the show. Then there’s one of the most unique songs I’ve heard: Whiplash by X&G with Josh Pan. It starts with some sporadic drums and slow lyrics but changes tones multiple times. I’m not doing it any justice so just go listen to it. Anomaly is another track by the trio that pushes the boundaries of genres. This is Drugs by Ryan Collins and Freak That by Yerboi are two that I’ll leave for you to experience without any suggestion as to what they are. I think you’ll enjoy both more that way!

On the other hand I want to talk a bit about Breathe by Eric Prydz and Rob Swire. If this is your first time here, I am a Rob Swire fanboy so everything I am about to say is going to be completely bias. I loved it. It’s exactly what I expected from this pair. I especially love the vocals though, go figure. Since seeing Prydz at Northern Lights I’ve had immense interest in him and tracks like this just continue to peak that interest. Now all we need is a Deadmau5 and Prydz collaboration. Or even better a Deadmau5, Prydz, Swire collaboration.

Swire has always been a fan of troll songs. In fact Knife Party might have a very different look to them if it wasn’t for the success of Internet Friends. Without that support the two may have never went on to make EDM Trend Machine, Micropenis or the most recent PLUR Police. Some people think songs that are actually good can’t be classified as ‘troll.’ In my opinion anything that has an ironic tone to it earns the classification, good or not. To show the flip side though go watch Deadmau5 at Ultra Music Festival in 2014 filling in for Avicii. Those songs(remixes) suck but they prove a point. I always enjoy the social commentary wrapped in and thus Industry by Debroka is a favourite of mine right now. A little while ago on Twitter, and I’m sure again in the future, there was a lot of ‘EDM industry’ bashing going on amongst different DJs and producers. I think this is a song telling everybody to chill out, each and every producer makes up this industry so hold off on the shit talking. But your interpretation could be very different so I recommend checking it out! Side note; I really hate that ‘it’s lit fam’ is still a thing.

To wrap up I have a few instant classics to tell you about. I’ll start with Rae Sremmurd. If you somehow don’t recognize these legends they’re the brilliant minds who brought us No Type. Jokes aside By Chance stays true to the care free living image they so often portray. Another classic is Señorita by Justin Timberlake and Taisun’s remix breathes life into it again, speeding up the tempo and adding a funky bass line. Back To You by Omar LinX has been a favoured workout song for me lately, plus the guy is Canadian and I love supporting home grown talent. It’s already gotten a facelift from Lumberjvck as well, so if you haven’t had enough chainsaw noises in your life lately there’s that. Bare posted a song I hope drew inspiration from The Walking Dead; Terminus. It was one half of a two part collection he posted, the other being Nameless. Finally, Barely Alive released an album. Poison Dart easily my choice for shaking my brain loose to but all fourteen songs are definitely worth a listen. If the first few weeks of 2016 have been any indication of what is to come I’m stoked to see what the rest of the year has to offer!

 

 

Take a Minute Vol 3

The holidays are a time when many people reflect on the previous year as a whole. DJ’s are no exception, many releasing a year end mix via Soundcloud. Although this being a young series I feel a look back at the year in music, the way I experienced it, is a great way to showcase a variety of different sounds and styles. These are my top ten producers I began listening to in 2015. Needless to say I recommend you listen to everything and hopefully enjoy some.

I tend to be a little bit hypocritical at times; prime example. I was extremely against Borgore two, three years ago. To me he (along with Diplo and others) embodies the over sexualization that is so prevalent in dance music culture. I’m all for people doing whatever they please but for some reason his image bugged me enough to veer clear of him. Well that was until this year. I loved everything. Keep It Sexy EP was unbelievably diverse with Forbes (G-Eazy) being the hit success although Squad was my personal favourite. Throw in his remix of Clouds earlier in the year and his most recent upload Tomahawk with Caked Up and it’s been an easy time winning me over.

My first introduction to Drezo was Guap, one of my favourite songs this year. A couple others, Pump This and Animal Style, were both given a nice facelift by Drezo. Plus Heaven is just plain fun! Listening to some of his older songs I really enjoy his sound. With some more support as of late it would seem he’s primed for an amazing 2016. I sure hope to hear more soon!

Suh dude. Oh Getter. He released two EP’s this year along with a ton of remixes. Couldn’t tell you how he eluded me to this point but he did. Since learning of Getter through a buddy he has pumped out some great stuff. Collaborations like World with Ookay, EDM with Bear Grillz and Squad with Borgore and Dahn Farro. On the other side of the coin I didn’t really connect with either of his EP’s. His podcasts/radioshows are amazing for working out though. One hour of fast paced, heart pounding dubstep. Similar to Snails. Plus he’s another genuine guy not putting up a facade.

So we’ve covered I’m a hypocrite. Let’s move onto cheating. I actually began listening to Snails when Dirty Raxxx with Panther came out back in 2014 but he has had such an incredible year I can’t omit him. 2015 started off with a bang(er). Teaming up with Brillz to drop their bootleg of Crazy. A fitting foreshadow of the year to follow. Over fifteen uploads ranging from originals, VIP mixes, remixes, and full sets. The EDC Las Vegas set he posted is easily one of my most listened to. Holla Out with Jack Ü and Taranchyia was my go to song of the summer and then I encountered that sweet, sweet Frogbass. If I was some prestigious outlet and I could give away awards my ‘Producer of the Year’ would go to Snails. I’m stoked to see what the future has in store.

Lana Del Rey is stunningly beautiful with an amazing voice. High By The Beach served as a gateway to Yultron. Lana got dropped there unfortunately. Yultron likes sushi, he wins, sorry. Clouds and Aftershock are two good places to start! I bounce around my kitchen to multiple versions of Clouds but his remix is my preferred.

There’s tons of The Weeknd fans online that tear the new age fans apart. They argue this new style isn’t true to who he is as an artist. Well I’m a new age fan, and I love him. I’m sure it’s a vocal minority but look at some YouTube comments next time you’re watching a video of his. Bet there’s at least two or three comments about it. It’s interesting to watch from the outside anyway. The Hills and Drunk In Love are my recommendation. That’s mainly because you’ve already heard Can’t Feel My Face. If you’re looking for a great chill beat Pass Dat remix is perfect.

Valentino Khan. An interesting selection for me as I don’t really love his solo work; Deep Down Low being the huge exception. Whereas there’s multiple songs he’s part of a collaboration and it turns out great. Break Your Neck with GTA, MFU with Flosstradamus, and his remix of Set Me Free are some key points of the year that I enjoyed. 2016 Should be fun for seeing who he works with next! Perhaps Diplo?

I remember wanting black hair with pink tips in junior high. I was convinced that wasn’t a great idea, probably for the best. Jackal on the other hand wasn’t convinced. He’s living my dream, only he went full pink. He’s been touring with Brillz and a few others lately. Animal Style is a great song and what’s even better is that Getter and Drezo both tried their hand at remixing it. I always love hearing different takes on the same song especially from two of my favourites.

My first summer in the Okanogan definitely had a hand in shaping what I was listening to. I remember a friend asking for song suggestions at one point and I recommended Gud Vibrations by Nghtmre and Slander. Well Sullivan King takes that chill, feel good vibe and throws a filthy riff overtop and creates a remix I’ve not stopped lifting to since. I brought up King last time as well. He’s not for everyone and I understand that but if it’s your style I think you’ll love him too. Check out Psycho for a good introduction…

Finally comes Herobust. Another guy I talked about a bit last entry. Sometimes you just have to bounce. For some it’s a rare occurrence, for others like myself it’s an every day routine. I’m Aloud EP has been perfect for that. Now technically it doesn’t officially drop until the 22nd of January, but he’s been uploading the tracks to Soundcloud in intervals over the past seven months. They’re all good, Smother Shit specifically.

So there they are. Unfortunately my own fake rules couldn’t allow Jack Ü or Ephwurd because I’ve been listening to those guys in some form before 2015; both groups had amazing years. There was also tons of great music from some of my long time favourites this year. Knife Party, Kill The Noise and Flosstradamus to name a few. Here’s to 2016, the year of the mau5!