Blisspop Presents: Feedback Friday – August 9th, 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, Aeron Premo, and Marshall Stukes. This week’s music includes tracks by Dagfest, Yoshi Flower, Flame 2, Lodewijk Werle, and Lone. Enjoy and let us know your thoughts on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.




Dagfest – “Baby, I Don’t Know”



Aeron Premo – Any track that brings back that classic, 80s-house energy is worth checking out, and I’m definitely here for this one. The bass tones are so juicy and, combined with those synth pads… oh my gosh, this screams balmy summer evenings at the pool right when it’s about to close. Usually, I like the vocals to come in sooner, but bringing the sample in at about three minutes works. The production is very relaxed yet upbeat at the same time. Put this track on your end-of-summer playlist, stat! (9/10)


Justin Barini-Rivers – This is truly an analog jam. The drums are hitting hard and have a really nice bounce and groove to them. This song is designed for you to dance. I love how as the song gets deeper the drums and fx develop, creating a really unique loop. The bass and accompanying synths are all so fat and lush and the pads are truly ethereal. They sit there as if they are on another plane, yet I can hear them perfectly in the mix. Give this song some time and you’ll be dancing to this house jam. (7/10)


Marshall Stukes – This track didn’t grab me. I like the classic drum machine sounds, but the bassline just wasn’t doing it for me. I didn’t particularly like the use of the sample, either. It’s a song that I wouldn’t mind dancing to in the middle of a disco set, but on it’s own it doesn’t stand out. (6/10)


Alex Rubenstein – Right off the bat this one hits you with that elastic bassline practically begging you to move on the dancefloor. “Baby, I Don’t Know” is the perfect ‘suns out, buns out’ type of vibe you’d expect to find at an outdoor festival. The synths are bright and summery, and the vintage, drum machine sounds make for a nice cohesive package. My only gripe is the vocals, they feel a bit tacked on and don’t really add any feeling to the track. (7/10)


Yoshi Flower – “Rolling Thunder”



Aeron Premo – The intro to the track reminded me of “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas, and right away I knew that wasn’t a good thing. Regardless, I tried to give it a chance. I just didn’t enjoy this song. The singer’s vocal tone wasn’t compelling, the melody was generic and the beat uninspired. That’s all I really have to say. (1/10)


Justin Barini-Rivers – What I love about Yoshi Flower is that everything is so good; there isn’t a part of this project I hope gets better. This song just rocks my body in the right way. Honestly, the drums are amazing, the guitars are amazing, the addition of the sample really got me; this track is perfect. Take a listen and get caught up in the guitars. (9/10)


Marshall Stukes – Not a fan of the guitars. The layering in the mix wasn’t to my taste with highs a bit too high. The classic, “Take Me to the Mardi Gras,” sample doesn’t work for me in the chorus. I just think of the other times it’s been used before and I can’t focus on the rest of the song. The vocals and lyrics are good – I think they are the best part of the song. (5/10)


Alex Rubenstein – Are we still in the Chainsmokers, pastiche era of cheesy lyrics, EDM-lite instrumentals and truly bland vocals? I thought not, but “Rolling Thunder” has me thinking differently. Not much to like here unless maybe you want to crush a 6-pack of Truly’s with the boys and get white-girl wasted on a Wednesday evening. No thanks. (1/10)


Flame 2 – “Dive”



Aeron Premo – This track sounds like it belongs on the soundtrack to “Dark” as the citizens of Winden are going on their various time traveling journeys. There are some nice samples and sounds here. I am liking the bass tones and drum claps, and the synths do a great job of bringing the darkness. While this is not something I’d regularly listen to, I would play it if I was in the mood for film scores or similar soundscapes. (6/10)


Justin Barini-Rivers – Burial and The Bug made some witch house, and it’s impeccably produced. (If there’s any crackle or hiss in the intro I know I’ll enjoy the song.) It takes some time to build up, but believe me, it’s worth it. The kicks are almost subterranean, and the claps reverberations makes it feel as though you’re in a huge chamber. The most impressive part for me is how the combination of textures match with that powerful reese bass. I am really impressed. (10/10)


Marshall Stukes – I love atmospheric tracks, so “Dive” is right up my alley. The intro sets up the mood of the track nicely and the use of reverb is superb. I wish there was slightly more high end, but managing so much reverb to where it’s not a mess is a feat in and of itself. I love the haunting vibe – there’s a bee like drone in one ear and a heavy synth in the other. It sets a mood, making it easy to zone out in the atmosphere. (8.5/10)


Alex Rubenstein – Flame 2 is the continuation of the The Bug and Burial’s collaborative efforts, and they have once again treated us to a new two-tracker on The Bug’s, PRESSURE, label. And ‘pressure’ is exactly the word that comes to mind when listening to “Dive.” Cavernous bass weight and ominous drones may sound like it would be played out, yet with the Flame 2 project it feels refreshing, almost like cleansing your palate with a steamroller. The hallmarks of both producers are there; they seem to bring out the best in each other when they work together. (8.5/10)


Lodewijk Werle – “Perpetual”



Aeron Premo – This seemed to start out as deep house, but it then moved into deep-house-meets-trance fusion, which was an interesting combination. While the synth and bass tones, along with the production, were of a quality standard, it felt like there were too many drops to really enjoy this track. People whose tastes lean towards the trance-y side will enjoy this, but I don’t see myself revisiting this one. (4/10)


Justin Barini-Rivers – This song is really good, top-of-the-line, house music. The drums hit hard, the chord progression is contagious, and the main section is BIG. Beyond the obvious, there is a style and flow to this song. Its arrangement is special and brings unique qualities to each section. I especially love the details placed in the transitional moments to keep you present. This song has the perfect amount of momentum and tension – when it’s released, all you can do is dance. (7.5/10)


Marshall Stukes – This is a great track. The build up is nice, and the mix lets every element, from the background percussions and effects to the shakers and cymbals, stand out well. I thought the song was over around the five minute mark, only to have another three minutes to go. Thankfully the next three minutes were just as great as the last, with some added elements that felt like a natural progression. The only thing I didn’t like is when the low frequencies were cut as a transition effect; it was jarring and it threw off the song for a bit. (8/10)


Alex Rubenstein – It’s impressive to hear the exact soundtrack that plays in my head when I’m completely zoned out behind the wheel of a car, but that’s what “Perpetual” is for me. Driving bass and arpeggios make for a smooth ridge. There is nothing fancy here, but I believe that is the intention. This is a good tune to get lost in. (6.5/10)


Lone – “Abraxas”



Aeron Premo – I’ve always loved Lone – his productions have a strikingly original style and fantastic atmosphere to them. You can listen and tell he’s trying to evolve his sound, adding new elements. The drum track is a bit on the long side and could be shortened, but the synths and samples are shining throughout, as always. But for this one, he lets the percussion samples have their moment. While I personally prefer his tracks that lean towards the synth end, this one is very nice and will do well. (7/10)


Justin Barini-Rivers – Abraxas has a live feel that’s hard to describe, but if I had to use one word it would be, ‘immersive.’ This tune is a roller. The drums just keep going and going; they are panned and rolling all around the listener. When they break, I almost don’t know what to do with myself, while the last main section leaves me wanting more. Make sure to keep an eye out for the flute sample because it does so much with so little. Lone did an amazing job on this tune. (8/10)


Marshall Stukes – The best part of “Abraxas,” in my opinion, is the drum layering, adding in every element at a good pace. You get a sense of everything before a dreamy breakdown that’s supplemented with a highpassed beat, which is mixed in the background so you don’t lose sense of the tempo, which is a great touch. I have a feeling this song will be on the edge of too repetitive or too long, but the new elements picked out from each iteration of the beat make it a song worth while. (8/10)


Alex Rubenstein – This is not the classic Lone sound I was expecting, but it’s definitely an exciting new chapter in his discography. The heavy hitting breakbeats of “Abraxas” bring to mind jungle and DnB for a new generation. We do get moments of serenity in between the drum explosions, which is a welcome respite. Bonus points for the incredible art that accompanies the EP. (8.3/10)


The Results:


Flame 2 – “Dive” – 8.3/10

Lone – “Abraxas” – 7.8/10

Dagfest – “Baby, I Don’t Know” – 7.3/10

Lodewijk Werle – “Perpetual” – 6.5/10

Yoshi Flower – “Rolling Thunder” – 4/10