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Blisspop Presents: Feedback Friday

Here at Blisspop, we aim to show our audience who’s making their mark upon electronic music culture today. We sort through the good and the bad, bringing you the latest sounds. Back at it again with the latest edition of our series, Feedback Friday. This week, our group of Blisspop contributors includes: Patrick Blinkhorn, Alex Rubenstein, Yvette Bailhache, Justin-Barini Rivers, and Kristina Westernik. This week’s music includes tracks by Nitemoves, M. Vaughan, Simian Mobile Disco, Winston Surfshirt remixed by Sampology, and Compa. Check it out below and send us your suggestions for future Feedback Fridays on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.


Nitemoves – “Theme from ‘Diego Garcia'”


Patrick Blinkhorn - This track was conundrum for me — I loved all the elements in here … each one had a sexy groove, good melody, and good sound. The instrumentals even worked well together. But something about the track still didn’t click. Maybe it’s because I wanted to hear some vocals overtop … maybe it’s because the drums were fairly bland — I wasn’t into the shaker or that rim shot’s rhythm. So yea, solid track, but it didn’t hit home for me. (7/10)

Alex Rubenstein - This is smooth for sure, it feels like a late night ride, but entirely on auto-pilot. There isn’t much in the way of excitement here, but that’s not to say it’s a bad track by any means. Nitemoves synth choices are a safe bet, it just sounds like a b-side to the Drive soundtrack. Can’t be mad at this one. (5/10)

Yvette Bailhache - The opening of this song reminded me of an old 80’s sitcom theme song, like the one from ‘Who’s the Boss’ or something. I wasn’t quite sure what was to come after that but I liked that the vibes were chill. It’s very nice background music while I work and this would be awesome to hear on an elevator or while I’m on hold waiting for a Sprint or Comcast representative to pick up. And while there’s nothing super spectacular happening here that would make me want to play this song again, I didn’t mind the first couple of listens at all. (4.5/10)

Justin Barini-Rivers - This is my first foray into Nitemoves. I love the drums they have me dancing around throughout the arrangement. That rim shot could have been snatched straight from the 70’s. The hi hat work is impeccable. I only wish there was more of the uptempo vibe that the song opened with. I love this half disco half jazz vibe. It just feels like the momentum is pulled down after the intro as all the instruments begin to blend. (7.5/10)

Kristina Westernik - Way to break it down! This track grooves. Only gripe is the theme repeats a lot in the song, but it’s an earworm for sure. (6/10)



M. Vaughan – “Moon River”


Patrick Blinkhorn - Full-disclosure: M. Vaughan (a.k.a. Michael Vaughan) was a member of the Blisspop team for a hot second in 2016 — check out his interview with Jacques Renault here.

Now on to “Moon River” — what a fucking track!! The percussion in here is cold —M. Vaughan has a terrific rhythmic sense. I love how he introduces the “Moon River” vocal sample before it plays out at the 1:04 break. The bassline is subtle, grooving in an ebb and flow fashion … kind of like a river, so fantastic sound imagery there. My favorite part in this track is the 2:41 break — M. Vaughan puts some spectacular pitch bending on that synth lead. The second break with that pitched vocal sample at the end is also brilliant. Way to go M. Vaughan — you knocked this one out of the park!! Can’t wait to get my hands on the digital release so I can play this at DJ gigs this summer. (9.8/10)

Alex Rubenstein - “Moon River”- There is definitely a sense of intimacy with this one here. It’s soulful grooves seem carefully constructed and really pull you in over the course of 7+ minutes. For me at least, no single element is really the standout here as it all blends together to create an inviting atmosphere. The vocals are a nice touch as well. (8/10)

Yvette Bailhache - ​Yay, I’m always happy to hear new beats from the Super Tuff  label and “Moon River” doesn’t disappoint. There’s some laid back soul vibes here that pair nicely with the deepness of this house track. So perfect for late nights on the dancefloor. It’s a 7 minute plus track, but I would not have been mad if it played even longer. What’s crazy is that I caught the movie ​Breakfast at Tiffany’s again last weekend​ and the original “Moon River” was stuck in my head the entire next day and then bam, here comes M. Vaughan with a sick edit that will probably stay in my head for​ another day or two and I’m totally ok with that. (8/10)

Justin Barini-Rivers - I am new to Super Tuff Records as well as M. Vaughan, but this track will keep me coming back for more. The vocal cuts are so smooth it has you just sitting happily listening to it on loop waiting for the disco drums to return. This will get plenty of rinses as it just seems to keep on going without a care in the world. I am carefree disco fan as a listen to this cut over and over again. (9/10)

Kristina Westernik - I love the disco house vibes! Not a fan of pitched vocal sample. It creeps me out sometimes. (4/10)



Simian Mobile Disco – “Caught In A Wave”

Patrick Blinkhorn - There are very nice vocals in here, both lead and choral. The drums are another one of the track’s strengths. The video is cool, but there a bit too many WTF moments for my taste. I also lost interest in the track at times. (7/10)

Alex Rubenstein - Admittedly, this is my first time properly listening to a Simian Mobile Disco tune, but from the percussive bass line and eerie vocals alone, I’m a fan. The video didn’t really click with me either, but I can move past it. (7/10)

Yvette Bailhache - I like the eeriness of this track especially in the vocals, there’s something rebellious and forthcoming about them. For some very odd reason while listening to this I suddenly had the urge to hop on an elliptical machine and workout like really fast,  or to take up a kickboxing class or something. It’s a good song to let out some frustration to. This would’ve went great with my mood last week but now that the sun is shining and the temps are hotter, this only puts me in a dark zone that I don’t really want to be in right now. (4/10)

Justin Barini-Rivers - Simian Mobile Disco’s Attack Sustain Delay Release remains one of my favorite albums to listen and play. This release off of their next album is haunting and infectious. The sound design is clean, but not sterile. The mix of the clean low end and the soul of the top end pushes this track into unique territory. This is a good sign for things to come. This song will tease you into listening to the album. (10/10)

Kristina Westernik - For the patient listener, this track really opens up nicely! I’d love to hear this in a late night club set I enjoy the anthemic style. (6.5/10)



Winston Surfshirt – “Same Same” (Sampology Remix)

Patrick Blinkhorn - We’ve got a very trippy, psychedelic track right here, no doubt about that. It took at least one listen for me to get used to the drum rhythm here — it’s unconventional for dance music … at times it sounds like it’s in a different time signature, which is rarely done in the dance music I normally listen to. Once I acquired a taste for the unconventional drums in here, they became one of the track’s greatest strengths for me — it gives the track a very unique flavor.

Besides the drums, the vocals are very easy-going yet catchy and compelling. The bassline is super sexy. I love the synth sounds too — great use of resonance with those. Really great work with this track — I couldn’t imagine playing it in a DJ set, but it makes for great listening music. (9/10)

Alex Rubenstein - Is it too late in life to change my name to Winston Surfshirt? Probably… Anyways, Sampology has delivered a really tasteful boogie mix of this track that could definitely do some damage on the dance floor in the right DJ’s hands. The vocals are catchy as hell and the synth work is pure fun. High marks for this guy. (9/10)

Yvette Bailhache - This was my first intro to Winston Surfshirt and after listening to “Same Same” I was surprised to learn these were six Aussie dudes (so much flavor comes from Down Under!). I liked this remix from Brisbane’s Sampology straight from the jump, the intro reminded me of music from an old blaxplotation flick (a sample from Sampology, perhaps?). There’s an addictive and somewhat nostalgic heavy bassline throughout the song that I really love and I also dig the light house elements heard behind the soul and funk. I do feel like the vocals are too similar to the dude Anderson .Paak’s though, making this feel like a slight rip off, but I’m gonna add this to my summer cookout playlist anyway. (8.5/10)

Justin Barini-Rivers - From the beginning the drum programming is top notch. It somehow has that tight crisp timing with some swing to spare. This track completely took me off guard. It’s got just enough live bass and the perfect amount of that synth arpeggio. “I hope I never change” will be looped in my mind for days. The drums and the ease at which this track slides into your ears makes it a must listen. (9/10)

Kristina Westernik - Admittedly never listened to the original but I enjoyed the arrangement of this track. Also really dig the vocals! It’s so casual and conversational. Love the groovy bass lines and acid synth arps popping off in this track. (7/10)



Compa – “Not a Kick”

Patrick Blinkhorn - I love banging on pots and pans as much as the next person, but I wish there was more going on in this track than what sounds like sugar-high eight year old going to town in the kitchen. I definitely see how this track might strike someone’s fancy — it’s got that big ol’ kick drum and uses about as many drum hits as you’ll find in a Vengeance sample pack. But overall, it’s a bit too minimal and esoteric for me. (5/10)

Alex Rubenstein - After four relatively light and summery house and disco tunes, Compa comes in to destroy the dance. The title track from his latest release on Deep MEDI comes in heavy as fuck and stays that way for the entire duration. Really great use of the metallic sounding lead to create a menacing atmosphere when coupled with the typical bassweight. Big tune here proving that Deep MEDI is still killing it over a hundred releases later. (9/10)

Yvette Bailhache - There’s something kind of tight about all the elements being heard here. And that hard bass beat is also nice. I hear some light trap’ish grooves hidden in there that makes this easy to nod to thanks to the 808. Hmmmm… I don’t really know what else to say about this song,  just that I liked it more than I thought I would even with all that banging in the background. I’m glad the song is only a little over 3 minutes long so it’s not too much to take in at once and I’m able to appreciate it for what it is. (5/10)

Justin Barini-Rivers - Love the use of every element to create drum fills instead of bringing out every drum sound. Compa stays to a few simple tracks and continues to creatively arrange just enough to keep the groove going. I am hearing some sophie-esque fx pop and sweeps instead of the tired snare rolls and panned hi hats seen these days.Clean, simple, and to the point. This is a lovely banger. (7/10)

Kristina Westernik - Compress and distort the shit out of the kick and you’ve got yerself a baaanger! I like the creative percussion, sounds like he’s tapping beer bottles. Creative automation and sampling going on here. This isn’t my usual cup of tea genre-wise, but nonetheless I appreciate. (5.5/10)


The Winners and Losers:

Winston Surfshirt – “Same Same” (Sampology Remix) – 8.5/10

M. Vaughan – “Moon River” – 7.8/10

Simian Mobile Disco – “Caught In A Wave” – 6.9/10

Compa – “Not a Kick” – 6.3/10

Nitemoves – “Theme from Diego Garcia” – 6/10