Play it cool, hotshots

One of the great things about music in the modern age is that there’s so much of it, it’s impossible to stay on top of it all, which also happens to be one of the most frustrating things about music in the modern age. It was with much delight and simultaneous chagrin that I came across North Carolina producer L’Orange and Chicago rapper Jeremiah Jae’s new album, The Night Took Us in Like Family. Apparently L’Orange has been around for some time and seriously how the fuck am I just finding out about his work?

Without fear of exaggeration I am happy to say this is some of the best hip hop I’ve heard in some time. They somehow manage to stay true to the roots of hip hop without falling into the trap of backpack rap, which is what happens far too often in less talented and innovative hands. The flows are quick, nimble and raw and at times I swear Jeremiah Jae sounds like Q-Tip on a Tribe track. That alone is reason enough to share, L’Orange’s incredible beats aside. The whole album is solid but for now get a fresh taste of this:

EMBRZ ft. Amy Rose -

This is neither EMBRZ nor Amy Rose, but I’m sure she has a lot of deep feelings.

Just when I was about to give up all hope that EMBRZ wouldn’t release any more music, here he comes along with a brand new original track. He gained plenty of notoriety about a year ago off just a small handful of originals and remixes, doing wistful, atmospheric electronic at a level that no one else quite reaches. You could make the case for Burial, but that’s more experimental, and Lane 8 is great too but more firmly planted in house. If you wanted to sit at home drinking wine and being moody, EMBRZ was your go-to. Now, that “was” is back to an “is” with this beautiful song featuring singer Amy Rose (not to be confused with the Sonic the Hedgehog character). Here’s to hoping we’ll be seeing more of this in the near future, it will be a welcome return.

Featured vocalists always get lead photo priority, duh

Let’s face it, house is one of the more abused forms of electronic music these days. It’s relatively easy to put together something that isn’t offensive to listen to, but as a result you get an excessive amount of throwaway tracks in the genre. It’s sort of like the Wii U of music, you know what I mean? But every “Ninjabread Man” requires a “Legend of Zelda” to counter, and D.C. producer Ryon Lawford’s output is keeping some balance in the house music universe. House can’t really get by on just the fundamentals, but Lawford adds plenty of oomph to “Been There Before” to make it an instant smash for a dance party. He displays an impressive range of sounds on his SoundCloud page, so it’s no wonder he’s able to reach that extra mile (with a little assistance from Brooklyn vocalist Julia Lauren, of course).

“Don’t look at me. DON’T FUCKING LOOK AT ME.”

While there is certainly a cult of personality around Alice Glass, it would appear that the Crystal Castles we all know and love may still have a shot at life. Band lead Ethan Kath is back with a new track featuring a singer he only refers to as “Edith.” She sure sounds a lot like Alice Glass but when you warp and distort vocals as much as Kath does in his music there’s bound to be some similarity, I guess, though this whole thing reeks of conspiracy. If this is indeed a new singer it remains to be seen if she can truly replace Glass, who brought way more than just her voice to the outfit. That said, “Frail” is an exciting and promising track that shows a lot of potential for the future.

Awwww look at that face don’t you just want to pinch his cheeks?

18 year old producer (okay so this seems to be more the standard than the exception these days) Mura Masa has just released an EP that covers a wide variety of sounds and includes various collaborators, including Nao and Jay Prince. Someday Somewhere has a lot of meat to it and it’s worth exploring every track, but I have a particular fondness for this one. Maybe that has something to do with it having an exceptionally fantastic title, but it’s backed up well with its soft sounds and delicate vocals.

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