Valtos – Lapwyng: Pretty Girl Remix

Artist: Valtos

Song: Lapwyng – Pretty Girl Remix

Genres: Electronic, Scottish music

Location: Scotland

Release date: April, 2021.

Influences: Odesza, Jon Hopkins

Comment: Valtos (Martyn MacDonald and Daniel Docherty) are two electronic music producers whose current project consists of remixing songs from local bands from Scotland, such as Lapwyng. The result is pretty unique and interesting.

WOLFNUNN feat. CLOUDE – Make Me Feel Bad

WOLFNUNN is the electronic/dance project of London-based multi-instrumentalist, writer and producer Joshua Nunn. He draws inspiration for writing songs from watching movies, imagining wherein the movie his tracks would fit in. Case in point, he wrote Make Me Feel Bad, his first original release, right after watching The Matrix and his intention was to create an atmospheric track for the end credits. The ethereal vocals in the song are from Spain-based artist CLOUDE, who attends the same university in London Joshua goes to (he studies Music Technology), and they couldn’t fit the tune any better.

Listening to the track, it’s hard to believe that it was recorded remotely (thanks to the first lockdown) and mixed and produced with home equipment. You really cannot notice anything odd with the recording. All in all, it is pretty clear that Joshua is really talented as a music writer and producer and he could get really far with WOLFNUNN. Hopefully, he will make more collaborations with CLOUDE as well. The future is bright for them.

VinCrux – Within

Raosaheb Ramteke is an IT professional from India with a passion for music production. After struggling for a while to find the right balance between his day job and spending time making music, he finally self-released his first single in 2020 under the VinCrux moniker. He has since dropped a few other singles, including today’s featured song, Within, earlier this year. While he’s still trying to establish himself as a music artist, the quality of his work is generating some buzz already not only in his home country but all over the world as well.

Unfortunately, Vincrux lost his dear sister due to cancer in 2019, but the silver lining of that terrible experience is that it sparked a flame within Raosaheb for pursuing his dream. Most of his songs are inspired by conversations and memories he had with his sister and Within is no exception. With this tune, Vincrux wants to express that the solution to most, if not all, of our troubles lies within ourselves. Listen to this excellent track below and get lost in its enchanting melody. You will also find it hard to believe that everything related to making this song, even the music video below, was made by himself: an artist who is just getting started. Impressive.

Sultan + Shepard – Assassin

I stumbled upon Sultan + Shepard (not the Australian band Sheppard) when Youtube decided to play this song, Assassin, automatically after it had finished playing another video and I was too busy to stop it. The tune was so good that it grabbed my attention almost immediately even though I was focused on work. It is a charming electronic offering with a synth line you simply cannot get enough of.

Sultan + Shepard are a Canadian duo with several EPs under their names and even collaborations with artists such as Tiësto. They have just released their first full-length album Something, Everything, which includes today’s featured track. Sultan, born Ossama Al Sarraf, lived in Kuwait, Cyprus and Egypt before moving to Montreal in 1996 to study mechanical engineering, where he met Ned Shepard and almost immediately started producing music together.

If you like good, melodic electronic music, you really cannot miss Assassin. You are going to love it.

Steve Kroeger & Skye Holland – Home

Steve Kroeger is an electronic music composer and producer who has had 5 singles on the Billboard Dance charts. He often teams up with singer-songwriter Skye Holland, as was the case in Home, a chill spellbinding tune that feels like summer. Skye, who got Japanese, Dutch and Canadian roots, started her music career at 10 when she joined a Japanese teen pop group. Her sweet voice shimmers all over this track and complements Steve’s smooth production really well.

Home is the perfect track to listen to when you want to lighten your mood. It’s fun and catchy as hell. As far as house/pop songs go, it cannot get any better than this. Enjoy!

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Country Club – Temporary

Country Club is the moniker used by 23-year-old Liverpool resident Leon Holmes. Influenced by the likes of Gorillaz, The Strokes, Massive Attack and Portishead; his music is eclectic without being way too experimental. His goal is to blend nostalgic and contemporary genres in an ingenious way. Temporary is an example of that.

As is the case with all his songs, Leon performed, produced and mixed Temporary on his own using just a couple of instruments and a laptop. He did a great job at making it seem like he got plenty of help from other musicians. The tune is captivating without being too on-your-nose. You can really sense the impact Gorillaz had over Leon on Temporary but he still gave it his own twist. In fact, you might like this song even if you aren’t a big fan of Damon Albarn’s virtual band. I’m proof of that.

Listen to Free Country’s infectious tune in the mixtapes below. You might love it but even if you don’t, you will find it refreshing and that’s always a plus.

Frou Frou – Let Go

I mentioned this great song recently in another entry and I think it makes sense to feature it as this week’s #ThrowbackThursday song. Frou Frou was a British electronic duo that released only 1 album, Details, back in 2002. They disbanded in 2004 but Wikipedia claims that they reunited in 2017. I don’t know if that is true or not but Imogen Heap, the lead singer, has had a successful career as a solo artist that predates Frou Frou. Her voice is one of those you can recognize right away.

Anyway, Let Go, which was part of the Details album, gained notoriety in 2004 when Zach Braff chose it as the key track on the award-winning soundtrack of his hit indie movie Garden State. The song was also featured prominently in one of its trailers (which you can watch below). The lush electronic strings and Imogen’s distinct vocals are impossible to resist in what ended up being one of the best tracks of that decade.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

ˈKōdəh feat. KEANA – Swerve

Kōdəh (pronounced as Kodah) is the Slovenian word for codes. Koda, on the other hand, is a Native American term for friend or companion. It makes sense then that Shakthi Prasad, a Spain-based  indie electronic music artist from India, chose ˈKōdəh as his stage name. He’s been active in the music scene since 2008 as the drummer of different progressive rock bands in Bangalore. In 2019, Shakthi decided to pursue a Master of Music in Music Production, Technology, and Innovation at the Berklee College of Music in Valencia, Spain, which started his journey into ambient and experimental electronic music. He is preparing his debut album as a solo artist to be released earlier this year.

His debut single, Swerve, was released already last month. It features Los Angeles-based singer KEANA, who has received training in classical and jazz vocals and met Shakthi at the college mentioned above. The track is a call for humanity to wake up and care more about each other and has been covered by Rolling Stone India. Musically, I’m not sure if it is because of the lush electronic background or Keana‘s vocas but the track reminds me a lot of Let Go from Frou Frou, a song that deserves its own feature as a #ThrowbackThursday post. Anyway, Swerve is a great debut single that flags ˈKōdəh as someone that we should really pay attention to. The best is yet to come.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Michael It’z – Polytechnic Confusion

Michael Caria, from Sardinia, Italy, but living in London, calls himself a designer of melancholic soundscapes. I think that’s description is spot on. His musical project is called Michael It‘z and his music, while deeply experimental, is also very pleasant to the ear. It is electronic music but in a relaxing, ambient-like way. Michael’s objective is to make the listener feel something with his music in the same way a surrealist or abstract painting can do that without knowing what the painter had in mind.

Polytechnic Confusion was released as a single late last year with Cleopatra Records, and it is also included in Michael’s brand new album: Plastika | Music For A Film. The track is a great example of everything I mentioned above and then some. Sure, it is an unusual kind of music but there’s something about it that leaves you thirsty for more. Seriously, give it a try.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

College feat. Electric Youth – A Real Hero

I can’t claim to know much about the work of electronic music composer and producer David Grellier, aka College, because, unfortunately, that’s not the case. His goal is to “synthetize into [his] music the emotions of [his] childhood”, reason for which his music is heavily influenced by ’80s pop culture. If you watched the movie Drive (2011), you should have heard his most widely known song, A Real Hero, co-written with Austin Garrick from Canadian synth-pop duo Electric Youth, duo that also features on the track. If you just listen to this song, you’ll quickly notice two things: a) It certainly has an 80s vibe, and b) It is a mesmerizing track.

Despite getting nominated to an MTV Music Award for ‘Best Music’ and becoming an underground hit, A Real Hero is still relatively unknown to the casual music fan. Even then, it has been covered multiple times by established and not so established artists (and I’m planning to feature one of those covers here soon). In fact, a fun anecdote is that a few years ago, while I was on holiday in Malta, one night there was a really good guitar player performing some music at the hotel we were staying. Near the end, he started playing a song that instantly reminded me of A Real Hero. I quickly dismissed that thought because surely that song wasn’t popular enough to be played randomly by a guitar player in a small island on the Mediterranean Sea. Well, it was A Real Hero and it was one of the highlights of that trip. Enjoy this tune as this week’s #ThrowbackThursday entry.