Blisspop Presents: Feedback Friday – August 2nd, 2019

Feedback Friday is Blisspop’s weekly exploration of the latest tunes being released both in the mainstream and underground electronic scenes. Our dedicated team of virtual crate diggers rotates each week to offer their unique takes on the newest house rollers, techno stompers, experimental cuts, bass rattlers, disco hits and beyond. No matter if the track has 6 plays or 6 million, breaks new ground or retreads the same tired tropes, is an instant add to the playlist or the catalyst for inventing time travel to be able to un-hear it – Blisspop is on it.

We are back at it again and this edition features our contributors: Justin Barini-Rivers, Alex Rubenstein, Katie Bowles, and Marshall Stukes. This week’s music includes tracks by Rufus Du Sol remixed by Lastlings, Charli XCX & Christine and the Queens, Chance the Rapper featuring Ben Gibbard, Shigeto, and Black Milk featuring Sam Austin. Enjoy and let us know your thoughts on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.




RÜFÜS DU SOL – “Solace” (Lastlings Remix)



Justin Barini–Rivers – This remix caught me off guard. There is so much class – it’s minimal but not simple. The vocals work so well, instantly using control to create emotion and tension. This song is always doing something, but the instruments pretty much stay the same. Once the break hits, all I want is to follow the lyrics word for word. This song is a magical journey and by six minutes this track is really rolling. (8.5/10)


Alex Rubenstein – Lastlings have brought a great sense of ebb and flow to their remix of “Solace” with no one element taking too much prominence. The bassline is driving and head nod inducing, and the vocal refrain is catchy enough to worm its way into your brain. This is a bit atypical for what I normally listen to, but Lastlings have really made this track their own and it shows in the production. (8.2/10)


Katie Bowles – This track is so spooky and awesome. It actually kept me guessing throughout the nearly six minutes it spans. I particularly liked the quiet break starting at 2:55 – that built up to the drop, so good. A great track for late summer nights. (8/10)


Marshall Stukes – I like the minimal techno take on “Solace,” but I found the majority of this track kind of plain. It was three minutes of intro to a nice build up with an ok drop. I also found that the bass wasn’t the most inspiring. My favorite part is definitely at 4:30, which I wish was a bit longer. I do like the texture added via the reverb in the earlier parts of the song, but it was used sparingly so I missed it later on in the track. (7/10)


Charli XCX & Christine and The Queens – “Gone”



Justin Barini–Rivers – This is everything I want from Charli XCX. I wasn’t familiar with Christine and The Queens but was pleasantly surprised they worked well as a unit. What caught me immediately was the lyrics; they are amazing. This song’s drums hit these almost stadium rock sounding fills which, paired with the electronic drums, is sexy. This is a high-caliber pop track with clean production. (7.5/10)


Alex Rubenstein – Charli is back! Once again proving why she is at the vanguard of modern pop music, she comes through with another banger aided by the fantastic vocal chemistry between herself and Christine and the Queens. The lyrics are particularly affecting, especially the “I feel so unstable, fucking hate these people” lead into the chorus. The production is super clean, as to be expected from her recent output. The glitched out breakdown towards the end continues to keep things exciting and ties the whole track together. (8.5/10)


Katie Bowles – Charli XCX continues to pleasantly surprise me. This collab is just pop-y enough without being sugary, it almost gives me old-school Micheal Jackson vibes. Christine is a nice choice for the second vocals, I’d love to hear more from the two of them together. (9/10)


Marshall Stukes – This track is wonderfully produced and mixed. The lead is sick and felt right in place in the song. Though I appreciate the track trying to do something more than just a key change, I’m not a fan of the breakdown and the last minute. To me it felt a bit forced. The first three minutes more than made up for it, though. (8/10)


Chance the Rapper – “Do You Remember”



Justin Barini–Rivers – I really love the detail in the production as well as the vocal timing. The pocket on this song is pushing, yet the song is quite minimal. The contributions from Ben Gibbard are lovely. I love when the vocals switch from sporadic to smooth and wavy. Chance is always in a tight pocket, but they play with all the vocals in the pocket in such cool ways. Chance hasn’t lost a step. (8/10)


Alex Rubenstein – Somehow, Chance’s projects have always escaped my rotation, yet anytime I hear him I’m reminded of how supremely talented he is. I’m loving the flow and lyrics here, especially “Now I’m turning 27, wanna make it to the 2070 club / Put the 27s down, Lord, give me a clean lung.” The production is extra soulful and the chorus contribution from Ben Gibbard feels oh so appropriate. This track also reminds me of “Growing Pains” by Ludacris off of Word of Mouf, which takes me back in the best way. Nicely done, little Chano. (9/10)


Katie Bowles – YES Chance and Ben Gibbard together! This song makes me so sad and happy at the same time (insert Don Draper line about nostalgia here). Another great summer track, and it sounds like a lazy summer too, all hazy sunsets and humidity. Content-wise, this track reminds me a lot of one of my favorite songs, “Pinch Me” by the Barenaked Ladies. So, so good. (10/10)


Marshall Stukes – The storytelling in this song is fantastic. It paints a picture of remembering the past while reflecting on the present and hoping for a long and healthy future. I enjoyed the production, but it didn’t stand out to me as much since it was pretty simple and safe in terms of a beat Chance would rap on. (7.5/10)


Shigeto – “Pusher”



Justin Barini–Rivers – Shigeto is laying out some really smooth grooves. Building the song off of some piano chords and rolling drums, it develops into a symphony of textures and sounds. I love how the chords hold things in place with the drums to create a nice base. Once the other melodic pieces come into play, this song really takes shape. Even the background percussion is moving and rolling around. Shigeto really laid some drums down because this song is infectious (almost trance like) when you start getting deeper into it. (7/10)


Alex Rubenstein – I’ve always liked Shigeto – really anyone that releases on Ghostly is worth listening to. This latest track still has some of those jazzy, downtempo elements while still keeping things a bit more upbeat. The piano chords are refreshing and the drums have this airy quality to them that gives the whole track a sense of buoyancy. This definitely makes me want to check out the rest of the EP. (7.9/10)


Katie Bowles – This one is interesting – it almost has a coffeehouse vibe from the keys, but the different rhythms keep me into it (it’s almost jam band-y in that way). However, I can’t say that this is one I’d listen to a lot. It’s definitely a cool track, but it feels more like background music to me. (5/10)


Marshall Stukes – One thing I love about Shigeto tracks is the percussion, but the real gem in “Pusher” is the beautiful piano. I love the way the different types of keys, each with their own riffs, interact with each other and at different timings. I just lose myself in a calm vibe that leaves me listening to this track on repeat. (9/10)


Black Milk – “Black NASA” (feat. Sam Austins)



Justin Barini–Rivers – Black Milk destroyed this production. What is astonishing to me is the versatility. Black Milk switches styles as if he’s changing clothes. I wouldn’t know how to describe his style other than amazing, high level productions. The hooks and lines are awesome. The lyrics are genuine and really work with the beat. This is a bumping track regardless of the vocals, but once those are in this turns another corner. This should be enjoyed everywhere at high volumes. (9.5/10)


Alex Rubenstein – This is excellent. The production on this knocks so hard and still manages to be uplifting. Black Milk’s lyrics and flows are operating on an expert level; this is true, 2019 hip-hop. Sam Austins is a new name to me, but he handles the hook duties well. His performance isn’t a standout, but it gets the job done (and is my only real issue here). Otherwise, this one should rattle out of car speakers worldwide. (8.4/10)


Katie Bowles – A catchy tune for sure, the hook and the backing track have a dreamy quality that lends itself well to the lyrics. I probably won’t listen to this one over and over again, but it did get me interested in Black Milk whom I hadn’t heard before. (6.5/10)


Marshall Stukes – I really dig the production in this track. The use of the vocals in combination with the reverb adds just enough touch. The lyrics are great too; they’re really inspirational. The flow is smooth. Although there’s nothing flashy about this track, it’s an above average piece that should be a welcomed change of pace to most Top 100 hip hop. (7.5/10)




The Results:


Chance the Rapper – “Do You Remember” – 8.6/10

Charli XCX & Christine and The Queens – “Gone” – 8.3/10

Black Milk – “Black NASA” (feat. Sam Austins) – 8/10

RÃœFÃœS DU SOL – “Solace” (Lastlings Remix) – 7.9/10

Shigeto – “Pusher” – 7.2/10