Blisspop Presents: Feedback Friday – May 31st, 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: Katie Bowles, Justin Barini-Rivers, Marshall Stukes, and Kristina Dandridge. This week’s music includes tracks by Dser, MXMS,  Shaed remixed by Jauz, ZAMILSKA, and Gila.



Dser – “Microcosm”


Justin Barini-Rivers – This is a gem of a track; I could listen to this song on repeat for days. The guitar and drums really sucked me into the vibe immediately. The little fx and glitches in the drums are perfectly placed, and the tambourine is so lovely it just floats through the mix. There is so much depth in the background sounds as well. This song is full of awesome textures and sounds, it’s my new go to summer jam for the car. (9.5/10)


Marshall Stukes – This track has a good vibe to it. The percussions and foley sounds are good, however to me, it doesn’t have enough movement in the beat and the sample. I would like to hear some more variation outside of the only breakdown in the song. (6/10)


Kristina Dandridge – I appreciate this track because 1) the music is dope and reminds me of Blockhead and 2) who doesn’t like a montage of leopard geckos?! This music hits all the right notes from my perspective. It’s a serious trip hop track, complete with downtempo beats, ambiance and a shuffling beat. (8/10)


Katie Bowles – I like the ambience of this one (particularly when paired with the calm nature shots in the video), but the occasionally offbeat/syncopated drums kind of took me out of it. I really enjoyed the pause, and subsequent drop, right before 3:00 – probably my favorite part of this song. I probably wouldn’t listen to this one on its own a ton, but I love it when paired with other media/stimulation; I could see it fitting well on a movie soundtrack. (6.5/10)


MXMS – “Timebomb”



Justin Barini-Rivers – Kristina found this on submithub and sent it to me and I had to cover it. This songs comes in so hard and I love it. She is all over this track with her style and delivery. Her vibe is so hard to place, but it feels familiar. The cadence of her voice has me right in the groove of this tune. The harder styles of electronic music are being highlighted in the production, though I would say this is almost a pop track in the mix and master. This is the music I want to be seeing on the charts. (8.5/10)


Marshall Stukes – As soon as this song started, I was hoping it was going in a certain direction – it did. I like its grittiness and how it’s in your face. I like the production and the touches added based on the lyrics. The best part of the song, in my opinion, is when the vocals take a step back and the beat goes to work. Shout out Stranger Things. (7.5/10)


Kristina Dandridge – Thanks to the creative sampling, this track definitely starts off with a bang. The sampling is vivid and paints a picture for listeners. Overall, this song is intense. It’s got grit, from the pulsating production to the hypnotic vocals. (10/10)


Katie Bowles – I really like the warehouse feel of this one, but the vocals almost border on cheese. I immediately pictured this song being used in a scene of a female-driven comedy where the most swagless characters are doing something ridiculous (I’m picturing Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig clumsily fighting crime). Basically, this track would be perfect for the next Ghostbusters. That’s not to say that I don’t like it, but part of me just can’t get into the overconfidence of it. (6/10)


SHAED – “Trampoline” (Jauz Remix)



Justin Barini-Rivers – Wow, I am blown away; I didn’t expect this. This is my favorite Jauz track to date. It takes me back to the sound Zeds Dead came with in the beginning. The sound is more open and less chaotic from what you would hear on main stages these days; this track really bangs in a way I miss from electronic music. Imagine that lovely composition with some bigger drums, bigger synths and some proper subs. They use simplicity and silence to really get their point across with the most class. Be sure to check out the other remixes on the EP. (8/10)


Marshall Stukes – That bass is killer. I love its movement, and the multiple layers really make it stand out. The parts taken from the original song were used well. I liked the vocal delay, the subtle touches here and there and the added bass, but I wanted something more. (7/10)


Kristina Dandridge – While the original isn’t my jam, I can definitely appreciate the remix. Jauz is a seriously talented producer who does decent EDM, dubstep-styled electronica. My favorite part is the satisfying drop at around 2:41. (5/10)


Katie Bowles – No surprise here, this track is great. The original version of “Trampoline” was a huge earworm to begin with, and Jauz’ edits make it his own without taking away any of what made the original song work. Chelsea’s vocals still take center stage, and the acapella feel until the drop at 1:07 was such a good call. And after the drop, well, it’s just so dirty and perfect for festival season; this is definitely the right time of year for this remix. Love it! And just like with Goldlink last week, I love to see a D.C. band doing it big. (10/10)


ZAMILSKA – “Hollow”



Justin Barini-Rivers – From the big kick drums to the depth of the drums, this song is a full on experience. With her voice and this gabber style kickm, the intro is perfect. The eerie vocals that come in later, too, are perfect. The arrangement has me locked into this groove. Even on the most simple level, the kick drum and the cymbals are working so well together. The class and style remind me a lot of Mike Levy aka Gesa. (7.5/10)


Marshall Stukes – I love songs that establish atmosphere, and this track does that really well. The haunting vocals, the deep kick and the pads all culminate in a great ambiance. I love the way the track evolves, bringing in percussions and sound effects at the right times. It feels natural, and it makes me want to take the journey over and over again. (9/10)


Kristina Dandridge – This track is intense! That kick is present and perfectly balanced with the other percussive elements. The vocals are akin to ASMR whispers. (7.8/10)


Katie Bowles – After watching the videos for this one and “Microcosm,” I’m starting to realize that I’ll love any song that has a Planet Earth-esque music video. There’s definitely something very hypnotic about this one, though. The driving beat kept me really engaged and wondering what was next, and the vocals complement the backing music without overshadowing it. I’m already listening to it a second time. (9/10)


GILA – “Throw This Away”



Justin Barini-Rivers – The melody is really clean and I’m in love with its progression. The drums have the perfect amount of crunch on them; they are crisp and clean in this bed of lazy melodies. The momentum of the song is managed so well, and when the song is over I’m just sad. This song is simple and clean. Enjoy this nice trap track and freestyle with your friends. (7/10)


Marshall Stukes – The textures in this track really do it for me, from the intertwined sample to what sounds like a modular system. The use of effects are great too, adding a phaser and reverb to the main riff in the intro, but taking it out for the rest of the song was a great way to establish the track but not make it feel repetitive. (8/10)


Kristina Dandridge – GILA is a repeat offender on our Blisspop weekly, Feedback Friday. The reason is because this producer is so damn original. I know a GILA track when I hear it. The uniqueness in the sampling and production is unparalleled. (8.2/10)


Katie Bowles – I like this one, especially after the guitar comes in at 1:15 – wasn’t expecting that. The ambient noise and laughter is a little much for me, but it does feel like it needs something on top of the melody/beat, so I can understand the rationale behind placing those elements in the track. (7/10)





The Results:

ZAMILSKA – “Hollow” – 8.3/10

MXMS – “Timebomb” – 8/10

GILA – “Throw This Away” – 7.5/10

SHAED – “Trampoline” (Jauz Remix) – 7.5/10

Dser – “Microcosm” – 7.5/10