Blisspop Presents: Feedback Friday – April 12th, 2019

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. We’re back at it again with the latest edition of our series, Feedback Friday. This edition features our contributors: Alex Rubenstein, Katie Bowles, Marshall Stukes, and Alvaro Hernandez. This week’s music includes tracks by Daniel Avery remixed by Jon Hopkins, Nathan Melja, Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus, Too Free, and LOFT.



Daniel Avery – “Glitter” (Jon Hopkins Remix)



Alex Rubenstein – Jon Hopkins has turned “Glitter” into a masterclass in buildup and release. The bass is deep and resonant and continually builds momentum until the track fully explodes about half way in. I’m a big fan of the hypnotic rhythm used here; it lures you into dancing whether you want to or not. Now that’s what I call a remix, Vol. 69!  (8.8/10)


Katie Bowles – I was hoping for a little more out of this track. It’s definitely not bad, but it kind of faded into the background for me as it went on. I’d listen to it just to have ambient noise while I’m doing something else (maybe running or writing), but I don’t think I’d put this one on just for the song. (4/10)


Marshall Stukes – Movement and texture are what Jon Hopkins does best. Even though this track is over seven minutes long, it seems like a shorter journey. I didn’t like the lead that was faded in, but I think it’s because it’s mixed a bit loud for me. (8.5/10)


Alvaro Hernandez – This slow-burner remix from Jon Hopkins adds a bit of a tribal flavor to the original from Daniel Avery. Soft synths floating dreamily in the background with a pulsating kick drum maintain a steady tempo before fading and bringing in that peak-time magic. A fantastic cut from two of techno’s most creative minds. (9/10)



Nathan Melja – “Deadrums”



Alex Rubenstein – I love it when techno can be both atmospheric and fiercely visceral, and Nathan Melja has managed to accomplish both with this recent A-Side, “Deadrums.” That whistle, those laser-like synths, the deep kick and the claps all come together perfectly. This could get any dancefloor around the world heaving and shaking in an instant. Great stuff. (9/10)


Katie Bowles – I like the energy in this one, and I like that it kept me guessing as to where the track would go. (In comparison, the “Glitter” remix also had good energy but seemed not to take it anywhere.) It incorporates enough extra effects to keep me interested but not so many that it felt all over the place. This is another track that I’d be more likely to listen to while doing something else simply because of how long it is, but it still very much catches my attention. (7/10)


Marshall Stukes – The percussions are on point and the varied rhythms really keep the whole song fresh. I really like the pad – simple yet effective. I didn’t like the delayed kick; it was out of context with the rest of the song, and for me, it seemed a bit flat. In context, it worked well with the rest of the mix. Speaking of mix, this track did a good job of balancing the different tones of the percussions going on. (7.5/10)


Alvaro Hernandez – An incredibly impressive creation from this Parisian producer. After catching my ears on the interwebs, Nathan Melja has blended elements from numerous shades of the electronic spectrum to create a track that will feel right at home during a funky house session or hypnotic techno takeover. (9/10)



Lil Nas X – “Old Town Road” (feat. Billy Ray Cyrus) [Remix]



Alex Rubenstein – Yee-hop, Hip-haw, Billboard scandals, who cares! Somehow this tracks worms its way into your head and you catch yourself singing it in the shower, walking to the store or when listening to other music. Most of my score comes from one of the best lines in recent memory: “Bullridin’ and Boobies / Cowboy hat from Gucci / Wrangler on my booty.” Then we have Billy Ray Cyrus hopping on this, and honestly, it sounds like the two of them had a lot of fun making this and isn’t that what music is all about? Say what you will, but count me in for this one. (8/10)


Katie Bowles – I saw a tweet that said something along the lines of, “The ‘Old Town Road’ remix is both hilariously ridiculous and an amazing song at the same time,” and I couldn’t agree more. When the track first premiered, I got sucked into its grasp because I like country (shrug), and I was very interested in the ensuing Billboard drama. Then the remix came out and holy hell, they really killed it. I’m so happy for Lil Nas X. To me, “Old Town Road” was just as country (if not more so) than a lot of the bro-country songs out there, and it’s great that Billy Ray Cyrus recognized that and jumped in to support it. It’s a fun track that really seems to have something for everyone, everywhere. I’ll be blasting all summer, whether I’m in the rural Southern town where I grew up, or in my current home of Los Angeles. (10/10)


Marshall Stukes – “Old Town Road” is one of those songs that just takes over the summer. It doesn’t do anything particularly original, and Lil Nas X’s vocals in the verse kind of sound like a parody, but once you get over those things, the song it really fun and catchy. I mean, it’s Billy Ray Cyrus singing about Fenty sports bras over a trap beat. Who doesn’t want to hear that? (7/10)


Alvaro Hernandez – Hmm…….. (2/10)



Too Free – “ATM”



Alex Rubenstein – Damn son, where’d you find this? This track is hot! I love the way Too Free have taken elements of both disco and deep house yet made the track entirely unique. “ATM” has a very primal feel to it, which I love.  It’s like a secret ritual is being conducted somewhere every time someone plays this song. The vocals are quite seductive as well. These guys are definitely ones to look out for! (9/10)


Katie Bowles – This is a great, summery track. I love the distorted vocals and supporting effects (particularly, that quick descending four-note pattern that repeats throughout the song). I like that the vocals are the main focus; the backing music complements them without being overpowering, relying mainly on the strong vocal melody to keep the track going. Would listen again! (7/10)


Marshall Stukes – I like the groove “ATM” has going. They vocals are great, and I like the reverb applied. Production wise, this song is pretty good and makes great use of vocal one shots. The track does get a tad repetitive, with the addition of an extra chorus, but it’s nice to keep that groove going on the dancefloor. (7.5/10)


Alvaro Hernandez – Although this track has the bump necessary to get bodies moving, I felt the vocals only added so much color to be able to fill the void remaining within the bass and trippy percussion. (5/10)



LOFT – “That Hyde Trakk”


Alex Rubenstein – Tri Angle Records continues its streak of boundary pushing releases by genre defying artists with the upcoming debut of LOFT’s and departt from mono games. The first single, “That Hyde Trakk,” is a warp speed urban rollercoaster filled with twists and turns, madness inducing drum and bass, beautiful ambience and absolutely meticulous programming. The label “deconstructed club” gets thrown around a lot, yet this somehow manages to transcend that, becoming more of a reconstructed club track. LOFT is definitely one to watch this year. (9/10)


Katie Bowles – This one is so different from the others submitted this week, and I like it because of that. Listening to all these Feedback Friday tracks in a row made this one feel like a palate cleanser. I didn’t know what to expect when listening, particularly after the sudden change at 0:50. All the different parts of this track and changes within it set a cool atmosphere. While I definitely didn’t like every section (though I really loved some, such as the section beginning at 4:28), the fact that the song’s parts were so varied made me want to keep listening to see what happened next. (7/10)


Marshall Stukes – I normally like noiser, more chaotic songs, but I gravitated towards the more slower paced, pad rich portions of this song. I do like the production that went into the song, as it keeps the track interesting in the second half. (7/10)


Alvaro Hernandez – Right off the bat, it’s like picturing a clock that’s about to blow up. Then, 48 seconds in, you enter an alternate universe full of velvety synths followed by an all-out jungle rhythm that will knock you down. A gnarly twist that seriously has me hooked. (8/10)



The Results:

Nathan Melja – “Deadrums” – 8.1/10

LOFT – “That Hyde Trakk” – 7.75/10

Daniel Avery – “Glitter” (Jon Hopkins Remix) – 7.5/10

Too Free – “ATM” – 7.1/10

Lil Nas X feat. Billy Ray Cyrus – “Old Town Road” [Remix] – 6.75/10