WILD TONIC

Refreshments for the ears

Archive for the ‘Remixes’ Category

Wild Tonic Monthly Mixer: June 2011

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Last time I posted a mixtape, I mentioned that summer was on its way. And as I’m typing, I can say that it has certainly arrived. As soon as July sneaked up on us, the heat returned from its June gloom vacation and rushed back into Los Angeles at full strength. Oh, how I regret bad-mouthing the cool days of June.

Since June’s mixtape is surprisingly even heavier on local artists than April’s mixtape, I’m just going to skip to the good stuff now.

Here’s a quick rundown of the locals who earned a spot on the mixtape:

Computer Magic  – Because Goldfrapp’s latest album was a huge disappointment and Little Boots has been busy working with the Knocks on her new album, Danielle Johnson, aka Danz, aka Computer Magic has been filling the spacey-electronica void for me pretty well lately. Her sound ranges from disco to rock to pop, and you can hear all of this if you just go to her blog. She’s been releasing songs online for free since 2010, and her credibility was boosted in my book when her first physical release came out on White Iris Records during March.

Superhumanoids – This indie dream-pop quartet has been blowing up as of late. I’ve been a fan of this band since I saw them for the first time at an insanely early slot during Waved Out in 2010. I’ve featured them numerous times on Wild Tonic, so they shouldn’t be new to you either. But if they are, just know that Cameron an Sarah’s vocals are pure gold, and this band knows how to keep churning out the hits. The chorus in “Mikelah” is wonderfully addictive.

Vanaprasta - This guitar rock quintet also aren’t strangers to readers of Wild Tonic. I’ve raved about this band too many times, but they just keep getting better every time I see them. (In fact, the last time I saw them play a midnight set, the audience demanded an encore.) I’m not going to lie. I was pretty upset when they scrapped their almost-ready-to-release record to start all over again. However, they have me eating my words with new tunes like “Supernumerary.”

Foster the People – Oh, Foster the People. I’d be surprised if anyone hasn’t heard of these guys by now. Their track, “Pumped Up Kicks,” made the blog rounds for quite some time before it reached the mainstream masses, but as soon as it did, talk about Mark Foster and his band spread like wildfire. They acquired a late night slot at Coachella this year based on a 3-song EP, and their tent was overflowing. They’ve released their debut album “Torches” since then, and they’re still riding on the coat tails of that first single. This Milles remix puts a really great ’80s spin on their track, “Call It What You Want.”

Dawes – Dawes has come a long way from Simon Dawes. After one of their original members split, they decided to drop the first half of the band name and move toward an Americana sound. That was back in 2005. Flash forward six years later, and they’ve successfully released two great albums that have reignited the Laurel Canyon sound. In fact, they’re still doing so well they will be the backing band for Jackson Browne tonight at the Satellite. You can read more about them in my Dawes feature here.

Doom & Gloom - Sorry if I mislead you, but this band isn’t actually an L.A. band. However, if you were a big Castledoor fan, Doom & Gloom should make you very happy despite their ironic band name. Nate Cole and his wife Liska are now Brooklyn residents, but it would just seem wrong not to talk about them since the married couple contributed so much to the Silver Lake music scene during the last five years as members of Castledoor. Now a duo on the East coast, Dloom & Gloom totes those undeniably soaring vocals from Nate and Liska’s soft vocals lay a nice foundation on their new pop gems. “Jenny” showcases both new and old sounds from Nate as a songwriter and pretty much has me hoping Doom & Gloom grows successful enough to come back to L.A. to do a show.

Hanni El Khatib – Back when I still wrote for BeatCrave, I selected Hanni El Khatib as one of the artists to watch out for in 2011. My lists in the past have never been far off from what actually happens, and Hanni is proof that my hunches for this year are also correct. Not only has he gotten attention from label Stones Throw, but his cover of Funkadelics’ “I Got A Thing” is currently featured in the latest Nike campaign on TV. Oh, and his upcoming album, “Will the Guns Come Out,” is killer. Hanni will be performing July 14 at the Hammer Museum as part of the Also I Like To Rock series.

Active Child – Leave it to a former choir boy and harpist to surprise people with some new, heavy, R&B vibes. I always knew Active Child seemed a little out of our world, but as that feeling about Pat Grossi grows stronger, I also grow more excited. I love how his gothic romance is crossing over into a genre that has unfortunately turned out to be quite flat during the last decade.  Sing it, Harp Boy, and save R&B while you’re at it.

Capital Cities  – Need more proof that Cragislist actually works for finding band members? Well, new electro-pop band Capital Cities can testify. Sebu Simonian and Ryan Merchant may have been gotten together to write jingles, but that initial collaboration led to some new music that has just as much pep. “Safe and Sound” is clean, catchy and bubbly, and I find absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Chelsea Wolfe – Is Chelsea Wolfe the Stevie Nicks of our generation? Maybe. Maybe not. She’s got this mysterious, supernatural vibe going on, but this is pop noir without the pretense. Her album “Ἀποκάλυψις” (pronounced Apokalypsis) comes out Aug. 23 and I highly recommend picking it up. This version of “Moses” is off her last album, “The Grime and the Glow,” but the new record will also have a new version of this track.

Grab the latest Wild Tonic mixtape below and enjoy!

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Written by Seraphina L.

July 6, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Wild Tonic Monthly Mixer: May 2011

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Summer is almost here. I can tell. All the tunes I’ve compiled for May’s mixtape have melodies that are as sticky as we will be this coming season. Plus, that electro touch on a handful of these tracks make a nice cool splash in my music library.

Whereas last month’s mixtape was heavy on the indie rock jams, this round of songs are especially for those who enjoy some major synth candy, along with remixes that either touch on chillwave or call out to the people on the dance floor. Of course, I’ve thrown in some great new local tunes in the bunch as well.

Here’s a quick rundown of the locals who earned a spot on the mixtape:

yOya – Alex Pfender and Noah Dietterich are taking a slightly different approach to “folk-tronica” than Ellie Goulding. They’re going for more intricate and less flashy. I’m a sucker for harmonies in falsetto and yOya pushes all the right buttons when it comes to accenting their guitar-centered songs.

Fol Chen – To this day, I still consider Fol Chen to be one of the most eccentric bands from L.A. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: They’ve stuck with me ever since I saw them perform a cover of Mariah Carey’s “Emotions” at the Echo just after they got signed to Asthmatic Kitty. Their songs always have a fun, playful bounce to them and even after recruiting the very shy singer-songwriter Simone White, their take on the Sufjan Stevens song sounds like something Freezepop could have released in 2006.

Big Black Delta – I’m amazed at how different solo projects can sound from a band’s body of work, and Mellowdrone’s Jonathan Bates continues this trend for me. The first two words in his new moniker seem appropriate with songs such as “Huggin & A Kissin,” because his sound is both dark and marvelous. I saw him perform with his two drummers at the Satellite during the holiday weekend, and I was completely blown away by how much star power the guy had. Big Black Delta is highly recommended for those craving a fresh take on electro-rock.

Skull Tape – This group, who first made my radar because of their cover of Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair,” has finally put out some music (along with another fun music video). If the vocals on “Crop Circle” sounds familiar, it’s because this is the new project of The Mae Shi’s Brad Breeck. He’s still spazzing out, but most importantly, he’s still writing great hooks.

Fool’s Gold – The most eclectic supergroup to recently form in L.A. will return with a new album in August. Although they’ve shed a few members and decided to sing all their songs in English this time around, they’ve still maintained that world music flavor with new track “Street Clothes.” It’s a major jam but “Surprise Hotel” will continue to be up there for me in regards to my favorite summer tracks courtesy of Fool’s Gold.

Love Grenades – Elizabeth Wight looks like the model who broke free from a tasteful, vintage, pin-up poster, and started singing electro-pop tunes with a sultry voice to boot. I have nothing but props to give this woman. She’s one gorgeous gal who knows how to throw a dance party.

Walter Meego – Former Chicagoans are back at it with new album “Wondervalley,” and after seeing them headline the Bootleg this past weekend, I’m wondering why they aren’t bigger than they currently are. Justin Sconza’s got a peculiarly distinct bright tone that darts in and out of the heavy synth lines he concocts – and these electronic components are not for the faint of ear either. Some of the riffs in these Walter Meego songs are a bit out of this world – tempo and rhythmic wise. After taking in a show from these guys, you fall deep in to a synth coma from taking in too much of a good thing.

Grab the latest Wild Tonic mixtape below and enjoy!

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Written by Seraphina L.

June 2, 2011 at 11:26 pm

Wild Tonic Monthly Mixer: April 2011

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Ready for the new mixtape? Good, because I sure had a lot of fun making this one.

April’s mixtape is heavy on local artists and I couldn’t be happier about it. Although last month had its Coachella highlights thanks to great sets by Robyn, Suede, Lauryn Hill, The Joy Formidable, Kanye West and more (read our full coverage here), my inbox was especially flooding with new worthy material from Los Angeles bands.

Here’s a quick rundown of the locals who earned a spot on the mixtape:

Milo Greene – The gorgeous track “1957″ basically went viral after Buzz Bands tweeted thoughts on it, and for a brand new group who has only a few shows under their belts, Milo Greene’s folk harmonies and melodies have done wonders. I highly suggest going to their bandcamp page to stream “Don’t You Give Up On Me,” which also made my heart flutter upon first listen.

Superhumanoids – These guys are no strangers to my mixtapes. They’re also no strangers to great remixes. Whereas the remix for “Malta” took on a new wave vibe courtesy of their friends, Lesands, this Captain Cuts remix of “Mirrors” is definitely more of a club banger.

Light FM – Josiah Mazzaschi has been releasing music with his band and producing albums for other local artists (including William Reid of the Jesus and Mary Chain) for a really long time. Considering the fact that his work has spanned across 10 years, it’s nice to hear he’s getting even better with each new project.

Hot As Sun – A duo comprised of  the talented multi-instrumentalist Jamie Jackson and writer Deborah Stoll. Hazy, sexy, and absolutely spellbinding. They’re also a fairly new band but has already wowed crowds at most shows.

Races – Formerly called Black Jesus, this new young band is currently collecting comparisons to Arcade Fire with the amount of members crammed on stage and their melancholic yet sweeping arrangements. The word on the street is that there are some great labels currently paying close attention to them.

Coyol – Two voices (Céleigh Chapman and John Isaac Watters) that couldn’t differ more from each other but work pretty well together for the energetic folk-rock songs they sing. It’s juxtaposition that is wonderfully infectious.

Thurlow – Jacqueline Caruso and Augustus Green are a husband-wife duo who we luckily got here after they moved from the Washington D.C. area. They dabble in a bit of every genre but never sound forceful. Songs on their “Spokes” EP range from light-hearted electro-pop to lush gems with r&b undertones.

White Sea – If you haven’t seen Morgan Kibby (of M83) yet, I am begging you… DO IT. Not only can the girl reach the most angelic notes but she can bust out some mean (fantastic) remixes! Her take on the Naked & the Famous’ “Young Blood” is a case in point.

Soft Pipes – Anthony Polcino, formerly of Low Vs. Diamonds, recently put out “When You’re Done Here You Get to Go Home,” and it stayed in my car for weeks on repeat. It’s dreamy pop music, heavy on the both vocal and guitar melody, and dipped in a little reverb. It’s just lovely and “Golden Grace” is a perfect closer to the track list.

Grab the latest Wild Tonic mixtape below and enjoy!

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Written by Seraphina L.

May 4, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Wild Tonic Monthly Mixer: January/February 2011

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Hi, hi, hi to those of you who are still making your way to this little site of mine. Once again I apologize for the lack of posts but I apologize most for depriving you of not one but two monthly mixtapes! Hopefully, the 15 tracks I’ve selected to represent my new listens during the last two months will more than suffice.

Going back to the topic concerning my sudden silences here on the site, I can explain by telling you about two very great things have happened for me during the last month. The first change was my move from Associate Editor at BeatCrave to staff writer at BuzzBands.LA. Through my gig at BuzzBands.LA (the blog Kevin Bronson started during his time with the Los Angeles Times), I’ve been very fortunate to come across some new and fantastic music in addition to getting some wonderful guidance from a well-respected writer. Wild Tonic is very conversational and a bit informal and I’d like to keep it that way. However, if you’re interested in reading my contributions and some superb music journalism by Bronson, please feel free to bop on over to BuzzBands.LA for premier coverage on the music scene in Los Angeles and beyond.

If you’ve been visiting the site last month, you might have also seen that Wild Tonic presented its first residency featuring L.A.-based band Robotanists. It was such a fun month at Silverlake Lounge and I was flattered by how many people supported the site and the band each week. I also had a blast giving away so many great prizes on behalf of the band! Robotanists album, Plans In Progress, is now officially released so make sure you get your hands on it in addition to their interpretation of Radiohead’s King of Limbs album.

I won’t deny that I’ve been a bit busy but I haven’t forgotten my purpose here: To highlight my recent favorite songs and hope you all discover something new and enjoyable! With that said, let’s get to the actual mixtape…

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Written by Seraphina L.

March 11, 2011 at 4:56 pm

The Naked and Famous: Young Blood (Dekade Remix)

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If you’ve been keeping up on new bands who are about to explode on US soil, then you already know that New Zealand’s The Naked and Famous is near the top of that list. They were definitely on my Bands To Look Out For in 2011 list I contributed to BeatCrave earlier this month.

After shooting up to #1 in their own country with their album, Passive Me, Aggressive You, their song, “Young Blood” began to infiltrate the blogosphere Stateside. However, “infiltrate” may not be the correct word since it has somewhat of a negative connotation. When the song splashed on our ears over on this side of the world, we were more than willing to welcome this band with open arms.

There is a certain Passion Pit vibe to them with the electronica element being at the forefront of their sound. Yet, there’s definitely some heavier layers with shoegaze and even hints of industrial components in there, too. Recently signed to Universal Music, they’ll most likely just release the album again. When that happens, I most likely won’t be surprised if the album spawns 4 or 5 great singles over here in US.

For now, enjoy “Young Blood” as well as a Dekade remix of it below!

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Written by Seraphina L.

January 24, 2011 at 7:15 pm

Posted in Mp3s, Remixes

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Lykke Li: I Follow Rivers

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When Lykke Li‘s popularity finally landed in the US, we were all pretty much blown away by her adorable eccentricity on Youth Novels. However, it’s personally been a long time since I’ve heard any new material live up to the power of “I’m Good, I’m Gone.” Guest spots on songs such as Royksopp’s “Miss It So Much,” Amanda Blank‘s “Leaving You Behind” and even a track on Twilight’s New Moon soundtrack (“Possibility”) were nice but there hasn’t been a track of hers that has forcefully grabbed me as much as her first single did.

The Swedish singer has maintained her mysteriousness as well as her coy sensuality but even with the bold, “Get Some” off her her upcoming album, Wounded Rhymes, I still wasn’t feeling all of it. The track is loved by many, many music critics I know (Beck even remixed the track), but it wasn’t until I heard “I Follow Rivers” that my hopes were pulled back up to where they belonged.

“I Follow Rivers” contains lyrics which don’t try so hard and manages to please my ears while combining both her old and new songwriting styles. With a thread of tribal beats that pulls the entire song together, the chorus is also incredibly catchy all on its own.

Take a listen to both “I Follow Rivers” and “Get Some” along with a few remixes below!

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Written by Seraphina L.

January 16, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Posted in Mp3s, Remixes, Videos

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Adele Music Video: Rolling in the Deep

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Adele‘s success rode in on the wave which Amy Winehouse started with her infamous Back To Black album. The British invasion which then included Lily Allen, Kate Nash, and Duffy seemed to highlight strong women with lyrics sharp enough to cut down any typical stereotype of females in the pop industry.

Adele, only 19 then (hence the title of her debut album), slid in only to be dubbed the “new Amy Winehouse.” Whether or not that comparison is still completely absurd, both singers did embody soul elements in their music but they both executed their strengths with very different techniques. Although Winehouse’s tabloid stories didn’t seem to help her out in the end, that second album of hers is still legendary for the contemporary pop/soul genre. Adele, on the other hand, managed to keep her head together and stayed classy enough to announce the news of her sophomore effort, 21 (slated for release on February 22, 2011 in the US).

The lead single, “Rolling in the Deep,” should already sound familiar to you as it made my Top 40 Songs of 2010 while the Keljet remix also made my Top 15 Remixes of 2010. However, if you haven’t seen the official video or the behind the scenes footage to the song, I’ve included both clips below. With Adele’s maturity shining even more, “Rolling in the Deep” dives into some contemporary roots and country music, thanks to her influential bus driver who would only play Nashville music on tour. The song still has the expected soul vibe with Adele belting it out in the chorus, but there is also another level of smokiness which she reaches by getting a little rowdier than usual through blues and gospel. If the rest of the album sounds anything like this song, we can predict a few more Grammys to fall into her lap again.

Check out “Rolling in the Deep” below and grab a remix as well!

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Written by Seraphina L.

January 16, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Posted in Mp3s, Remixes, Videos

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