Blisspop Presents: Feedback Friday – August 17th, 2018

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: Alex Rubenstein, Kristina Dandrige, Max Hirsch, Connor McInerney, and Justin Barini-Rivers. This week’s music includes tracks by Floog & Mahony, DJ Lag, Blond:Ish, Steve Hauschildt feat. GABI, and Bleu Clair with Isran and Devarra. Check it out below and send us your suggestions for future Feedback Fridays on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.

Floog & Mahony – “Waiting For The Day”



Alex Rubenstein - I can imagine this being dropped mid-way through a marathon techno set just as the party hits its stride. This isn’t peak-time by any means, but its got a really solid, hypnotic progression to it that carefully moves you in and out of the darkness. Big fan of the bassline in this one. This is quality techno for sure. (7/10)

Kristina Dandridge - It’s as if this song could raise the temperature of the dance floor gradually – one degree at a time. It’s an imperceptible yet steady progression that builds in intensity. I vibe with the rhythm of this track; my favorite parts are that phat bass line and the drop around the five minute mark. The song can seem a little repetitive, but if you listen closely there’s so many interesting details that brings this track to the next level of sound design and arrangement. (7/10)

Max Hirsch - Call it a guilty pleasure, but I like Romanian techno. Mahony is one of the most talented selectors that I listen to, but his production skills are coming into their own as well. When I’m in a techno mood, I look for a lot of action, energy, and precision, and this song has all of that. Mahony definitely vibes with George from Premiesku, and they rep their scene well! (8/10)

Connor McInerney - Floog and Mahoney lay down a seriously atmospheric jam with “Waiting for the Day,” the type of dark romp that is bolstered by being on a release named after an Eastern European city. I’m at a loss for words in describing this track as it contains that necessary minimalistic je ne sais quoit that all solid techno should have – all I’ll say is that the balance of this track and its brooding, deep components all combine to create something that is understated but mighty. (8/10)

Justin Barini-Rivers - I am in love with the dark nature of this track. This track is a creature that develops and really moves for over nine minutes. The base groove is funky but still properly driven for proper club thrashing. Everything has its place in this mix which really allows for subtle modulations of time and popping sound. The synths are able to push through the arrangement creating a lovely wall of diverse frequencies. The track from top to bottom is clean and dialed to perfection. I will be checking out more from them in the future. I just imagine a huge warehouse party sweating through this clean track. (9/10)

Blond:Ish – “Circus”


Alex Rubenstein - I can’t help but think that this is exactly what it would sound like if Shpongle tried their hand at house music. Goa and psytrance are one thing, but the same creepy DMT-tinged vocal samples and worldly instrumentation just aren’t fitting with the 4×4 structure. I still bobbed my head through parts of it so that has to count for something. (4/10)

Kristina Dandridge - This whimsical house track by Blond:ish is tinged with organic tropical vibes perfect for the summer months. This ought to be the soundtrack to an epic lucid dream. The guitar riff is tinged with surfer vibe nostalgia. The production immerses the listener in a curious circus experience. For example, at 1 min 30 seconds, there’s a resonating synth sound that reminds me of an elephant blaring! Occasional voiceovers take this track to a bizarre level. Overall, if you’re down for a trip I highly recommend this track! (7/10) 

Connor McInerney - “Circus” left me feeling incredibly nonplussed, primarily because Blond:ish has thrown together a boring six-minute track that feels like a collection of non-starters. The minor sample repeating ad nauseam in the background recalls some of the worst cringe-worthy trends of the late 2000s to make EDM “scary,” and the whole track vibes like the soundtrack to a Joker spinoff film (the Jared Leto joker though, the one from Hot Topic.) The only saving grace are the more tactile instrumental components of this track’s third act. (3.5/10)

Justin Barini-Rivers - This track is smooth. At the start, the drums remind me of tropical tech house. I have been digging the releases from them recently. The tracks is really par for the course for them. The textures are nice and properly arranged. Blond:sh wont get cheesy with the reverbs or the sound design so it’s always a good ride. (6/10)


DJ Lag – “3 Step Culo”


Alex Rubenstein - This would have worked a lot better if it was 3 minutes long rather than 5 as “3 Step Culo” has a lot going for it, but what makes the track great in the first place is ultimately its undoing. The flute sample becomes grating after a while and the rhythm never switches up or brings in any surprises. I know that isn’t necessarily what gqom is known for yet this one needed more variation. It’s great to see  styles like this from around the world getting the chance to shine so who know else is to come. (5.5/10)

Kristina Dandridge - Please make it stop! A few things that bother me about this track: (1) I don’t like the repetitive sample of the pan flute; it’s making me crazy! (2) I don’t like how the hi-hats are lackluster and thin. (3) Where’s the drop? (4) It bothers me how chopped up the jungle foley is integrated into the track. I just want to stop listening to this track about two minutes in. Hey, to each his own. It seems to have a lot of buzz on Soundcloud either way so maybe I am missing the point. (2/10)

Max Hirsch - Never really got into gqom. Kind of surprises me, since I’m such a fan of club music and rhythm, but the depth is really lacking for me. I’m sure as the genre progresses it will challenge its creators to bring more traditional musical elements into the mix, but for now this track just leaves me wanting something melodic. (3/10)

Connor McInerney - I can dig the rudeboy inspired two-step GQOMking is laying down here, but “3 Step Culo” is a track that plateaus within its first minute, leaving a wide soundscape that could be built upon tremendously but remains unexplored. It’s a shame, as DJ LAG has hinted at a vibe I could definitely roll with. (5/10)

Justin Barini-Rivers - I find that gqom is best served as a series of tracks as opposed to one, but I won’t hold this against DJ Lag. The sound design and drums are what I would expect. The drums looped are almost chaotic but danceable. The textures built out in this track are nice. This is some gqom I can handle because it isn’t too aggressive. The woodwind instrument is what has me. This melody mixed with wind is a nice smooth vibe that I can hold on to. The King of gqom will make many people happy with this track. (6.5/10)


Steve Hauschildt feat. GABI – “Syncope”

Alex Rubenstein - This has been a particularly interesting week due to being previously unaware about anything 4/5 of the artists we featured have put out. This is one of those that has me wondering how I knew nothing about Steve Hauschildt or GABI. These 7 minutes flew by in a hazy, dreamlike way while I was captivated by the airy arpeggios and featherweight drums. GABI’s vocals were a perfect addition to this wonderful tune. (9/10)

Kristina Dandridge - Lovely serene vibes from this piece by Steve Hauschildt. I love the vocal processing; it’s so transcendent. It’s an absolute a joy to listen to this track! I feel like I am in a more peaceful place just with one listen. The bass synth lays the foundation to the whole track. This music is like a refreshing drink of water on this unbearably hot summer day. (7.5/10)

Max Hirsch - I really love the way this track evolves and thickens up. Ambient music is so tough to make sure you have the right number of elements inside of it, but Steve Hauschildt does a great job of including just enough to provide an atmosphere without muddying it up. The vocal chant in the climax gave me some chills. I would be super interested to see this live, so that gets bonus points from me. (7.8/10)

Connor McInerney - The entirety of Steve Hauschildt’s Dissolvi is a lush, rich record that washes over you – one you could, as the title infers, dissolve within (sorry.) “Syncope” is the best example of these green soundscapes, with GABI’s ethereal vocals fitting perfectly with Hauschildt’s post-industrial arpeggios and soundscapes, creating this rare type of track that feels familiar yet alienating; simultaneously warm and frigidly distant. Such an exercise in diametric sounds is hard to pull off, but “Syncope” feels inherently confident and easy. (9/10)

Justin Barini-Rivers - This track opens perfectly using a glitched yet dreamy arpeggio. The round deep bassline and kick really fill out the track well. It reminds me of the organic house coming from Christian Löffler. Dreamlike textures, deep basslines and smooth reverberated vocals make this a strong release with the perfect vibe for closing sets. I want this on the beach waiting for the sunset. (7/10)


Bleu Clair & Irsan & Devara – “Phone Call”


Alex Rubenstein - There’s usually a moment in every really good show I’ve been to where I start laughing like a psycho because I can’t believe what I am hearing nor how good it fucking is. This entire track encapsulates that vibe. This is a banger, a slapper, a true heater. I love the hook, the wicked bassline, the overall weirdness, and pretty much every thing else about this song. We have a winner! (10/10)

Kristina Dandridge - Another song with repetitive pan flute sampling! What a coincidence! The difference between this and “3 Step Culo” is that the bassline is perfect! The sound design is also pretty random, but I can tolerate it because I actually dig the drop about :51 seconds in. After the first minute this track really opens up. I appreciate that the track isn’t too long.  It packs a punch at 3 minutes 10 seconds. (5/10)

Max Hirsch - This song excites me. It has a mix of so many popular and underground sounds and vibes that strike me in just the right way – some chord stabs from EDM, house rhythms, dancehall vocals, and hip-hop horns! Not much to say about this one other than fucking heat. That breakdown though! Whoever these people are, you have a new fan. (9/10)

Connor McInerney - Not to sound like a broken record from my past contributions to Feedback Friday, but I’m really glad we live in a time in which the PC Music / SOPHIE sonic zeitgeist has reached its absolute peak, inspiring producers to make the most head-scratchingly weird shit they can muster. “Phone Call” hits all the right notes with me – its eerie flute sample paired with the repeating phrase of “Don’t pick up the phone” creates a spectre of digital surveillance that is unsettling and almost ‘too real,’ while still being a window-shaking banger. (8.5/10)

Justin Barini-Rivers - This is a club heater. “Don’t pick up the phone” is my new favorite hook. This track has layering claves, claps, and a flute intro that is infectious. It is a ball of energy that keeps the momentum rolling. The label Noir Sur Blanc has been on my radar recently for tracks just like this. This track is as playful as it is powerful. In most tracks I would say the halftime drop is forced, but this is the exception. It slides right into the arrangement without killing the momentum. This is a gem that will be in my sets to bring the energy up at a party. (10/10)


The Winners and Losers:

Bleu Clair & Irsan & Devara – “Phone Call” – 8.5/10

Steve Hauschildt feat. GABI – “Syncope” – 8/10

Floog and Mahony – “Waiting for the Day” – 7.8/10

Blond:ish – “Circus” – 5.1/10

DJ Lag – “3 Step Culo” – 4.4/10