shortcircles – remember me EP

My sister recently asked me if I considered myself ahead of the curve when it comes to finding music to listen to. It made me quiet for a moment and I told her it was kind of difficult these days to be truly ahead of the curve with music, what with social media and the easiness of sharing songs. As a rule, I try not to think about those kinds of things because it makes for a more narrow-minded music listener. Even three years ago I would have labeled myself as a music elitist – the moment anyone listened to an artist who had been around for ages I’d be quick to call them out on it and say, “I listened to this way before you knew who they were.”

In the last couple of years, though, I’ve made a concerted effort to listen to, literally, all types of music. Even the genres and artists that I usually can’t stand, I will give every song a chance. I’ve noticed that with my most music obsessed friends, only two or three of them have overcome the dismissing-music-genres phase and have instead worked to listen to everything. It’s a hard move to make, but I think that’s what has made me a better music listener. Now I don’t care about being ahead of the curve – at the end of the day it’s about the songs themselves, amirite?

That being said, I still feel so much joy when I find an artist or song very few people have listened to – how can I not? All of us get that giddy feeling over finding gems.

This ties in perfectly to my love for the Oakland producer, shortcircles, who is a master at genre blending. He released a brand new EP just under a week ago called Remember Me.

FIRST LISTEN

1. Remember Me (feat. Miss Kia from Parentz)

It opens with a trip into space and distorted vocals repeating “remember me” with Miss Kia adding her actual lyrics. The initial vibes of the song reminded me of Rimar and an overall nostalgic element to it. The best songs are the ones which are most familiar to you, and this was an instant pleaser. There are some truly dirty synths on this track creating a very rich sound.

2. Take Flight (feat. Tiana Vallan) 

At first the song reminds me of an elevator, well, a very sexy elevator. The drum lines and bass are sensual beyond belief. This is a perfect late summer jam – makes me want to DJ so badly. It’s not dancey by any means, but for those who have DJ’d before, you’d understand what kind of gig this would be perfect for.

No, it is not lounge, stop saying that.

3. Find You (feat. Tiana Vallan)

This has some serious Asian vibes to it. The opening guitar and subsequent strings make me feel like I’m in a salon in old Kyoto. Gorgeous. Vallan’s vocals pair so well with the instrumental and makes it a stand out track.

4. Love My Man (feat. Miss Kia from Parentz)

From the get go, this feels the most like a traditional shortcircles track with the bassline and drums. It’s got a glitchier feel to it mixed with his penchant for melodic buildups. This was easily my favorite track off the EP because of it’s quieter, humbling elements to it. I love nighttime, and this was the first song that made me want it to be dark out. It’s got a similar Asian feel to it tying it well into the previous track. There’s a definite flow to the EP as a whole which makes me love this song even more.

5. Searching for a Reason (Glenn Jackson remix)

HOLY CRAP. In the first twenty seconds I fell for this song, hard. It’s sexy, glitchy, and has undertones of a darker melody. It’s a perfect late-August, summer drive kind of song. Damn. This is going on repeat for awhile.

SAS

Like I mentioned before, “Searching for a Reason” is still going strong on repeat. After putting the EP on shuffle, I noticed that “Remember Me” reminds me of the LASERS song, “3027” (this is a different LASERS than the one I blogged about before). In general, I have to say that all of these songs can stand on their own and work well in context. In most EPs and albums, that I’ve noticed at least, it’s hard to get every song to work cohesively and still be okay on their own. shortcircles once again proves himself as a competent and diversified producer. Keep this guy on your radars, please.

-jo.

hoodcats – hoodcats EP

You will quickly come to realize that by following this blog, I will be posting on James & Evander and shortcircles. A lot. It’s inevitable, seeing as they’re a couple of my new, favorite producers. I go through phases, but over the last six months I’ve consistently loved everything both have released.

You can only imagine my excitement when I found out about Hoodcats which is a collaboration between the two. Every track on its own, and as an overall EP, is absolutely perfection. Ugh. I twitch every time one of the songs comes on – it’s impossible to skip a Hoodcats track. It’s also a good sign if I continue to play an EP on most playlists, at parties, and any lengthy drive for five straight months. A sign from the heavens, actually.

Even better is all the vocal samples from the 90s. Brandy or Christina Aguilera, anyone?

1. Streed Fung

The opening track starts us off with a catchy drum beat going, with layering vocals of various “hey’s” and “boy” going along. When I listen to this I always want to drive around LA, on side streets, and groove. That’s the overall sentiment with this whole EP. Initially, this song wasn’t as strong to me as “One Pacifico Swing” or “Jeans Colliding,” but in the overall flow, it makes sense. It’s definitely a favorite of mine now, though no one Hoodcats song stands out over the other for  me. Each one is sexy in its own right.

2. One Pacifico Swing

Juuuuuke. God. These drums. The vocals. The friggin’ horn samples. How can you not fall in love to this song? It’s so sexy with lyrics like, “even though you know I’d die for you/ yes I’d die,” and then glitched up to make for such a charming song. This is that absolutely perfect summer jam to surprise friends with. And for more surprises, read below for “Jeans Colliding” where I will nerd out for quite awhile.

3. Jeans Colliding

It’s a really slow buildup. Pianos, synths, and snippets of vocals. It’s a “comfort” track because of how recognizable everything is in the makeup of the song. From the get go, I was entranced by the sounds. It’s a six minute song and, honestly, I wouldn’t have it at any other length. The first time through listening I did the standard head bobbing along while practicing kanji. Then, you have the break. Oh my god, what a surprise! You hear the vocal samples for the first time and instantly think, MY 90s CHILDHOOD! Come on, who else couldn’t resist turning up the volume when you caught the “Genie in a Bottle” vocal sampling? Hm? HM?

The accelerated pace of the song, with jukin’ drums, and an absolute sex-dominated beat makes me drool. I’m also looking up photos of cupcakes so that doesn’t really help the situation. This song is on my Top 10 Songs of 2012 and we’re only halfway through. It’s that good.

James & Evander and shortcircles released their EP for free off their bandcamp page. If this doesn’t make you a fan of the producers I don’t know what will.

Always remember, dear readers, to never toss a dwarf.
-jo.