MidlifeMix – Continental Drift

Say what you want about how terrible 2020 has been, but it has also allowed plenty of people to reinvent themselves in a way that probably wouldn’t have happened in a normal year. Take for example the case of Helen Meissner, who like many others, decided during lockdown to start creating music. Unlike them, she did so at 54; hence her moniker MidlifeMix (MidlifeCrisis was taken!). To make her story even more unusual, her genre is electronic music and did I mention that when the whole pandemic started, she didn’t know much about music production? I particularly love Helen’s slogan: “Old enough to know better, young enough not to care”.

MidlifeMix recently released her eponymous debut EP, which consists of six diverse tracks. Continental Drift is the most chilled one but also my favorite. It feels like drifting away while floating in the air or the sea. However, if you’re looking for something more active, make sure to check the whole EP out. You’ll find what you’re looking for.

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Dreddbeat – In The Name Of Love

Remember Toys In The Attic? I really loved that moniker but, unfortunately, due to legal reasons, Alexander Borczynski had to change his stage name. He chose Dreddbeat, which is a cool name too, and released a brand new EP, which he named Toy Box (perhaps as a homage to his old moniker). Style-wise, it’s really close to mainstream pop/hip-hop, and honestly in terms of production quality, you wouldn’t be able to spot the difference with any of the songs currently featured on any top 10 most popular hits. Alexander really knows what he’s doing.

Granted, the EP’s main genres are not really my cup of tea but that does not mean it doesn’t have songs we could all enjoy over here. One example of that is the opener, In The Name of Love, which has an insanely good hook that stays on your mind long after the song has ended. It showcases Dreddbeat‘s skills as an artist and music producer

Overall, I think this is a nice addition to the Electronic Mixtape and a perfect song for a Saturday evening. Hope you enjoy it!

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The Musical Endeavor – Ray of Light

For those of you who might not know, vaporwave is a relatively new music genre that consists of slowed-down samples of smooth jazz, hip-hop and lounge music. The Musical Endeavor is a musical outlet led by Liam Taylor, who describes his music as instrumental lo-fi hip hop with elements of vaporwave. This act recently released its second EP, Ray of Light, whose title track is our song of the day.

You can certainly perceive the jazz vibe on this track, mainly due to its piano hook, an original composition by Liam. Ray of Light has a soothing effect that makes it an enjoyable piece. Next time you have friends visiting (if that becomes a thing again at some point), you can play this song or even the whole EP as a musical interlude and get props for not recurring to the typical lounge music we’re all tired of hearing at bars or restaurants. Enjoy!

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The Chronicles of Manimal and Samara – Mata Hari

I admit I’m not a big fan of experimental music, but when the result is something this interesting, I’ll listen. The Chronicles of Manimal and Samara, or TCOMAS, are a London-based duo formed in late 2019 by Andrea Papi (Manimal) and Daphne Ang (Samara); and when you have a musical act listing as influences the innovative works of Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, and Tool, and the poetry of Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf and Jim Morrison; you know that the resulting music will be anything but conventional. They want to bring music, literature, art and history together while defying musical genres boundaries, and their fourth and latest single, Mata Hari, is no exception to that. I warn you, this will not suit everyone, but I really dug it.

Mata Hari was an exotic Dutch dancer who was convicted and executed during World War I for being a German spy, but it also means ‘sun‘ in Malay, and that is the meaning it has on this track, which is told through the eyes of an artist who declared his love for somebody through a painting. The song, with its atmospheric soundscapes, mixes poetry and the spoken word with electronic music and rock, aiming to reimagine how 80s music will sound 60 years from now. Trust me, you are extremely unlike to find something else resembling TCOMAS and Mata Hari.

Give a chance to this immensely creative band. Worst-case scenario, you’ll hear something pretty unique; and best-case, you’ll dig it just like me.

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Nox Vahn feat. Mimi Page – Dream Of Love

I don’t know much about either Nox Vahn or Mimi Page, but I heard their collaboration, Dream Of Love, the other day and thought it was pretty good. What I could gather is that Nox Vahn, formerly known as Fairchild, is part of the lineup of Above & Beyond‘s record label, Anjunadeep, whereas Mimi is an American singer/songwriter whose trademark is blending ethereal vocals with atmospheric soundscapes, which is exactly what you will find in today’s tune. I’m keeping it short today, so enjoy this new addition to the Chill Out mixtape.

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Blure – Amor Fati

When you visit Blure’s Soundcloud page, you quickly notice two things: that his real name is Luis Vegas, and that he was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. That’s about all the background information you can easily find online about this talented electronic music artist. He started in 2013 and since then he has released a high number of singles and EPs, garnering kind of an underground cult following among fans of ambient/chillstep music.

Amor Fati, which is a Latin phrase meaning “love of one’s fate”, is Blure‘s latest single. It represents very well the gorgeous and ethereal music that he makes. A lo-fi electronic soundscape that casts a spell on you for the duration of the track. I really don’t know if Blure wants to become a mainstream artist or not, but in terms of talent alone, he certainly deserves it. Listen to his work and you’ll agree with me.

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Vapour Mind – Embers

I can’t remember if I found Vapour Mind or he found me, what I know is that we follow each other on Instagram and I like the music he produces. This is the musical project of Stefan Oreščanin, who lives in Sweden and got a bachelor’s degree in music and sound production. He creates ambient/chill-out/electronic music, and recently released his latest EP, The Climb, which is a metaphor for reaching the peak of your abilities after emerging victorious from a fight with your inner demons.

Embers is the second track on this EP and it is a charming piece of chilled electronic music. What I like about it is that it has its own identity. It doesn’t sound like the generic chill-out songs you may find as background music in bars or shopping malls. Do you know what I mean? Listen to this great tune here and support this independent musician on your favourite streaming platform (including Bandcamp and Soundcloud).

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Monkey Safari – Safe

I must warn you, this track from German producers and DJs: Monkey Safari is extremely addictive. It became a musical crush of mine as soon as I heard the first beat. Deceptively simple, this tune consists of layers of sweeping sounds and beats that get perfectly matched with an enthralling sample of spoken words. It’s really difficult to describe in writing. You will have to listen to this track to see what I mean.

I can’t say I’m an expert on Monkey Safari‘s discography, all I know is that the outfit is formed by a couple of brothers who have been producing successful tracks since 2016. With Safe, they wanted to transmit emotions in a time when the world feels empty. I think it’s safe to say that they succeeded.

Enjoy this wonderful track!

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Toys In The Attic – Where Giants Sleep

There’s no much background info I can give you on Toys in the Attic. All I know is that this project consists of one person, based in Rhode Island and that he is pretty active on Twitter. According to his songs’ writing credits on Spotify, his name seems to be Alexander, but the fact that really matters here is that this artist is really passionate about making music of all genres, but mostly alternative and synth-based tunes. His catalogue is small but varied, with some songs flirting closely with dance music while others, like Where Giants Sleep, are mellower.

Where Giants Sleep is a catchy track that takes you on an auditive journey. It’s easy to imagine that you are driving through a scenic route when listening to this tune, and the destination is your happy place. By all means, check Toys in the Attic out and you can start right here, right now with this addictive track.

Update: Due to legal reasons, Alexander has had to change his stage name. While old songs will remain under the Toys in the Attic moniker on streaming platforms, new music will be released as Dreddbeat.

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Gib – Daylight

Some artists are so passionate about their art that they have to be constantly creating something. Otherwise, they feel empty. Lost.

When it comes to music, these artists can take inspiration from anything and cannot be restrained by any single genre or style. When they receive inspiration from a muse goddess, they just need to work on it. They don’t dream about massive stardom. Just being able to do what they love for a living would be enough.

Gib is such an artist. After playing bass in several projects for a good while, he decided to give it a try on his own, following his imagination without worrying about bandmates or genres. It’s a hard task to count how many tracks he has published on Spotify since 2018 but it wasn’t until recently that he decided to start promoting himself. He doesn’t have a website or even a Facebook page yet. Just a Twitter account (he’s pretty active there) as far as social media goes (of course, he got Bandcamp and Soundcloud accounts). His total focus has been on creating music, not on the business side of that.

And here’s the thing: Gib‘s music is actually pretty good. Even though it is mostly instrumental music, the styles are very diverse. His bio on Spotify lists the following genres: rock, indie, soundtrack, chill, pop, and dance. In other words, pretty much everything. The song I’m recommending today is an ambient track from his latest EP, Lights, and it was an automatic add to the Chill Out mixtape. I strongly suggest you check it out and then listen to other tracks from this UK-based multi-instrumentalist. With so many genres, you’re guaranteed to find more songs you’ll like.

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