groundislava – suicide mission ft. baths

We’re nearing the end of the year, and I have to say, some of the collaborations this year has put out has blown my mind away. “Money Makin'” with Dillon Francis and A-Trak; the producer trio Hoodcats (shortcircles and James & Evander); Felix Cartal and K.Flay dropping beats in “Rest Your Mind”; Different Sleep and Mister Lies teaming up for their glorious Mass EP; and so many other have made this a compelling and musically rich year. This is the best time for producers from around the globe to get together and push boundaries in genre blending and putting out experimental music, since listeners are craving for diversity.

Such a fantastic time we live in, seriously.

The other day, Groundislava released his music video for the collaboration he did with Baths (one of my all-time favorite producers) to the tune “Suicide Mission.”

It opens with echoing vocals and a lo-fi drum beat which breaks into Baths distinctive singing style. “Suicide Mission” is an ethereal, spacey song that makes me want to watch videos of the Milky Way and drift through universe. The video game bleeps throughout the track add to the sci-fi vibe Groundislava and Baths have going on in the song. The accompanying music video makes little sense to me, but it fits the atmosphere of the track perfectly. This is probably one of the better collaborations of the year and it makes me want to hear more tracks with the two of them working together. Excellent production and almost comical video style but it works perfectly for Baths and Groundislava.


becoming real – slow memory (damu remix)

This weekend was the first time that I spent the duration of it (with my mama in tow) doing activities special to my campus. I ventured out to our micro-breweries, attended the annual beer and chili-taste-off festival, and even went to one of the largest farmer’s markets to my part of the state. Maybe it’s because I’m a senior and have decided to (finally) show some semblance of school spirit that I indulged in these excursions.

Or, rather, it’s because I feel so left out. Nah, that’s not true, I do plenty of killer things in Chicago and surrounding areas to not feel burdened by my lack of being on campus. Worth it.

An electronic producer who has a real knack for throwing curve balls in songs released a remix the other day which has been playing repeatedly on my music player. Damu, such a love of mine, released his remix for Becoming Real’s song, “Slow Memory.”

The slow, gradual introduction to the song leaves a quickly satiable taste in your ears. It breaks into broken drums and distorted vocals creating a very nighttime-esque mood to the track. It’s got elements of his LP, Unity in it, but also has a Kenton Slash Demon feel to the song as well. The overall atmosphere is like entering an underground, Euro dance venue with off-kilter songs in its midst. The synths and drums are what does it for me in this song with the echoing vocals in the background adding for a sultrier feel to the song. There are tell-tale Damu samples sprinkled throughout the song, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s one of the quieter songs he’s released from his past tracks, but, for me, it is one of the strongest and most dynamic songs he’s had thus far.

Time to night walk, over and out.


thrupence – voyages EP

Does anyone else here judge music by its album covers? As much as I try to avoid doing such a rookie move, it’s kind of hard not to with everyone and their left foot having means to make killer graphic designs. There is an abundance of absolute crap for album covers which can sour a mood to listen to a new artist – what can I say, pretty things are pretty for a reason. Work with it.

This past spring I fell for Thrupence, not just because of his music (though he is a favorite producer of mine these days), but for the cover of his Voyages EP. It feels like the moon destroyed itself with flowers and dripping paint. Oof. It’s a winner. Voyages is a perfect example of a seasonal album meeting the soul of a person to create a masterpiece. The overall vibe of the EP is darker, with interjections of “brighter” songs to balance out the troubled disposition of the release.

1. Voyages

Holy crap. Talk about setting the mood for a depressing EP with the title song having the only lyrics say, “right before I left my mom sent me a text message that said, ‘are you having a good day?’ …that was the last thing I saw.” While spring tends to be a rough season for me in general, I distinctly remember dropping my pencil when I heard that line which leads into such a tangled climax. The synths layered over piano is emotional to the point where you can’t help but tear up.

2. Folds

Thrupence follows “Voyages” with a less distressed, downtempo track focusing on glitchy drums and surrealistic vocals with flutes. It carries on the sadder vibes of the first song by making it suitable for a rainy spring afternoon. A strong track to follow the previous one, though on its own it may not hold as much character.

3. Winston

Initially, this song didn’t really cut it for me. It was a song I zoned out to quite a lot but it had one great advantage – it serves as a transition song in the most perfect way possible. “Voyages” and “Folds” are so overwrought with emotion that Thrupence, in a brilliantly subtle way, introduces brighter elements to “Winston” with a faster pace and tighter drums. There are fewer drawn out synth lines which segue ways seamlessly into the following track.

4. Synchronous Bloom

This was the song that put me on the Thrupence kick in the first place, after tammyszu posted it on her YouTube channel (you gotta check out her playlists, she’s one of my secret arsenals for music hunting). This is, by far, the loudest and most upbeat track on Voyages. I couldn’t help but bounce to classes and through the city to this song on a sunnier, yet cold day.

5. Parlay

The upbeat vibes don’t last for long since Thrupence takes us back to a very eerie place, almost like an ethereal ocean. It’s water drifting music, where if I could physically do it, I’d be floating around on an ocean and losing myself in mermaid voices. The bass line is pure sex. Diggin’ it.

6. Swashbuckle (Seabed Stroll Redo)

This is the song I include in the mixes I made for spring. As the title suggests, it’s a strolling song, especially in a city park. People watching to this little number is a gorgeous experience, because it makes everyone (even the grossest of the gross) have a bit of a glow to them. It’s dreamscape music and I’m absolutely in love.

7. Everforever

Another favorite of mine. It’s the “hopeful” song of the EP with a promise for something “good” to come. In a life sense I couldn’t stop listening to this on my bed with a cup of tea. It pairs well with an early morning and a lot of time on your hands to mill about.

8. Kickshaw (Bonus Track)

This is a very sweet song – it’s the kind that you ride around on a bicycle dreaming of someone you’re interested in. It’s short, to the point, and clean. There’s also a head bobbing, knee drumming quality to this track which makes me grin a lot. Nerding out a bit, don’t mind me.

9. This House is Full of Water (Bonus Track)

This is one of the glitchiest songs off the EP and is addictive in the spaciness of the synths. It’s got a similar dark undertone that nods to production similar to “Winston” and “Folds.” It’s another favorite of mine and despite it being a bonus track, it fits in well with the overall vibe of Voyages.



I’d strongly encourage anyone to buy this EP due to the sheer amount of ace tracks Thrupence put out. It’s depressing, for sure, but the production is so on point and clean that it’s bound to impress anyone who’s a fan of downtempo. Buy it. Support the guy.

As a bonus, you guys need to listen to a song off his mixtape Unfinished Business. There’s a track called “Ducky” that, if you grew up watching Land Before Time you will be instantly drawn into nostalgia overload.



lasers – lasers EP

There are two different “LASERS” I listen to – one is made of three people and the other is a solo, Portuguese beat-maker living in the Netherlands. His name, which I have no hopes in pronouncing, is João Lobato and holy damn, is he a wizard at mood music. His debut EP, released two weeks, ago is a solid 4-track release, followed by seven remixes from various artists, with each title being a city in Europe. Based on the little research I’ve done on the guy, these cities hold a close place to the guy’s heart – “Amsterdam” and “Porto,” are cities where, one he’s basing his life out of and the latter being part of his motherland, makes for a very personal EP. You can find a link to download his free EP from the label itself.


1. Amsterdam

<blank stare> This made my jaw drop. Maybe it’s because I’m slightly obsessed with glitch, electronica, and dark melodies in general, but I was floored with this opening track. Amsterdam as a city has always seemed to me to be a place of disillusioned dreams. That’s most likely due to its drug-ridden stereotype, but this is a song that describes the city from an outsider’s perspective. You can he loves it there, feels a deeper connection to the place, but it’s still not quite home. The drum lines, haunting vocals over synths… oofoo. I can’t get enough of it.

2. Paris

I’ve spent a fair amount of time traveling in Paris when I was younger and this song makes you want to grab a pain au chocolat from a patisserie and stroll down the River Seine while listening to it. “Paris” is what you want Paris to be – sweet, bubbly, and everyone wearing fashionable hats with long jackets in the fall. I just see colors listening to this, with the bouncing piano break, and giggle-worthy synths.

3. Porto

This makes me homesick. I know nothing of Porto, but listening to this makes me want to drive around my own hometown and quietly go through memories of living there. You can feelhow much he loves the city just on the pace of the song. The distorted vocals are what does it for me. Pretty beautiful overall.

4. Berlin

“Berlin” did not stand out to me as strongly as the first three tracks. I zoned out until I heard the droney, pseudo-sitar like line he has going about two minutes into the song. It’s has the most “live” sounds to it, which suits the bustling, urban aspects of Berlin. It felt the most cityish out of the entire EP, but didn’t cut it for me.

5. Amsterdam (Blac Koyote remix)

Creepy. So creepy, haunting, and ghost-like that it’s absolute perfection. Definitely play this late at night with the lights off. It’s an out of body experience. The bass lines alone are jarring as all hell.

6. Amsterdam (Ruddyp remix)

This feels very Star Slinger esque, with the more “in your face” production of the drum beats, synths, and layers overall. I have nothing against it. This particular remix makes me want to be yelling off a bridge and maybe have a breakdown. If I had to put it in a movie, it would be when the main character is driving through a dark tunnel and the movie suddenly cuts out into credits. I dunno why, it’s just an instinct.

7. Amsterdam (Sun Glitters remix)

This particular remix is reminiscent of HEALTH production. It keeps the overall melody of LASERS’ original track, adds old-school synth lines, and creates a new, slightly disturbing song instead. It’s cool in its own right, and stands out beautifully among the three “Amsterdam” remixes.

8. Paris (Elite Athlete remix)

“Am I in a video game?” was the initial reaction. It felt like I was playing a hip version of Midnight Club II, which I have nothing against – it put Felix da Housecat on my radar back when I was a tween. It keeps true to the upbeat feel LASERS pushed towards in the original version. Kind of reminds me of Postal Service in its punchy delivery of drum beats. Recommend it for a late summer drive.

9. Paris (Stereoboy remix)

More video games. Lasers! PEW PEW PEW. Then we get a fade away into a very broken down remix. It’s the kind of song you’d listen to on a bench and stare out at the River rather than walk down it. I want to smile and cry at the same time when it’s on. The lack of drums will do that to ya. The intricate layering Stereoboy puts into the various piano lines is so interesting to hear. After multiple listens I’m still finding new parts to enjoy.

10. Porto (Daily Misconceptions remix)

Such a sweet remix, and I mean that in the sugary way. I want to fall asleep to this sound due to it’s lullaby qualities. I love the revs up and down in distortions throughout. It sounds like Wall-E looking through his collection of human treasures. The ending is so cool ’cause the song seems like it’s going to fall apart, but doesn’t.

11. Berlin (Sam A La Bamalot vocal remix)

Obviously this remix, and track for that matter, stands out the most since it’s the only one with legitimate vocals and lyrics. The vocals themselves don’t do it for me, but I like the ideas presented. I feel like it’s missing something despite all the added goods to it. Dunno, not a huge favorite – too disjointed but not in the right way.


The LASERS only portion of the EP is addictive. “Amsterdam” is still my number one off of it, with “Porto” and “Paris” being tied for second. Listening to the latter makes me feel happier, whereas Amsterdam satisfies that darker sound I’m always seeking. “Berlin” finally started doing it for me after listening to it through a few times. Overall, it’s a great debut EP for LASERS. Well executed, gorgeous artwork for the cover, and with excellent supporting remixes.

Having a nightcap and reading Game of Thrones now. Cheers, good people,