Feedback Friday – October 18th, 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: Alex Rubenstein, Justin Barini-Rivers, Aeron Premo, Marshall Stukes, and Katie Bowles. This week’s music includes tracks by Midland, Enequist, Charli XCX remixed by Nina Kraviz, Stace Cadet featuring KLP, and Pusha T. Enjoy and let us know your thoughts on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram.



Midland – “Play It as It Lays”



Aeron Premo – One of Midland’s strongest attributes as a producer is creating incredibly original soundscapes. You could hear it in tracks such as “Final Credits” and “Double Feature,” and you can hear it in his current EP which features this track. While a slow buildup usually sets a lot of tracks back, it works here because of how intricate the production is. You can tell that it is Midland’s intention for the listener to absorb every synth patch, bass line and drum beat. He has absolutely succeeded here. (9/10)


Katie Bowles – Not for me. This is another one that’s just too long for my taste – it took more than two minutes for anything to cause my ears to perk up and more than two more minutes to build up to the part of the song I’d actually want to listen to. I’m all for subtle changes/growth within a song, but this just isn’t enough to keep me interested. Curious about the Joan Didion title reference, though! (2/10)


Justin Barini-Rivers – The stutter and delays on the kick are lovely, I wish I had thought of that. The vocals fill the mix but leave a nice pocket for the low end to shine. The track really develops, continuing to build momentum. The pace and drums develop into a groove that really holds down the track. These drums are big, and the analog aspects of the sound, plus the glitches, really fills out the spectrum. While the drums hold it down, the arpeggio bass is really the star of the show. This arp is just rolling around, supplying the pace on this tune. (8/10)


Alex Rubenstein – Less is certainly more when it comes to “Play It As It Lays.” The bouncy synthy lead, quick drum flourishes and elastic bass keep the energy moving. The siren sound peppered throughout the track keeps things fun and makes me smile every time. These eight minutes went by much more quickly than I expected; definitely a smash here from Midland. (8/10)


Marshall Stukes – I generally like this type of track, but for some reason it didn’t grab me. The overall structure of the song felt drawn out. If it was condensed into a five minute track, I would probably appreciate it a bit more. The mix is great, however, and the percussion and the glitches come out really nicely. (6/10)


Enequist – “Opium”



Aeron Premo – The 90s Euro trance sound is coming back in full force, and the opening keyboard line made it sound like that was the direction the track was going. I felt a bit let down to be honest. It felt like once the vocal sample came in the track’s energy level dropped immensely. Aside from the vocal sample, there were some interesting sounds, but I wish the synth featured more prominently. (4/10)


Katie Bowles – Wasn’t super into this one initially, but the vocals that came in around 1:00 drew me in more. They added a nice mysterious vibe that I wasn’t expecting. However, after that I basically lost interest again; this track is just a bit too repetitive for my taste. (4/10)


Justin Barini-Rivers – The drums and vocal textures are beyond amazing, and the arrangement is clean and leads the listener perfectly. This is a weird and different tune, so having it held together by a clean arrangement really helps it translate. This tune comes in slowly, but once the kicks drop in it’s go time. The looped kick is one of my favorite parts of the tune; it’s loose and floating like a burial track but still driving the tune. Overall, I’m so impressed with this tune and the artist. Instantly hit loop to listen a couple of times. (8.5/10)


Alex Rubenstein – Almost everything Marshall throws our way makes me want to zone out and drive dangerously fast at night time. Maybe not high on opium, but still fast. The percussion elements really bring the whole track together and compliment the psychedelic vibe. The vocal sample feels a little bit too easy, which is really my only complaint here. (7/10)


Marshall Stukes – What I like the most about this song is it’s vibe. It dark, but not so dark where it absorbs you, leaving you room to feel the beat. Its vocal loop gets stuck in my head every time I listen to the track, and it’s kicks are great. The overall mix is great, too. (7.5/10)


Charli XCX and Christine and the Queens – “Gone” (Happy Nina Kraviz Mix)



Aeron Premo – With this track as well as curating an upcoming St. Vincent remix album, Nina Kraviz has been on a roll with pop remixes. This mix is fantastic – the production is incredibly atmospheric, the beats are tight and high energy, and while on first listen they might not sound like they are supposed to work, the vocals mesh well with the arrangement. The beginning and end also provide a nice bookend to the remix and allow the arrangement to build up and close out in an incredibly original way. (8.5/10)


Katie Bowles – I LOVE what Charlie XCX is doing these days. That being said, I think I enjoyed the original version of “Gone,” with its poppy hooks and strong vocals, more than this remix.  This mix seemed to take away from those and break the song down to just a dance beat with Charli and Christine’s vocals occasionally peppered in. Catchy, but if I had a choice I’d always listen to the original instead. (5/10)


Justin Barini-Rivers – Honestly, I don’t listen to Nina Kraviz enough, and I had no idea what to expect, but I love the ethereal vocal opening. Once the kick comes in it’s feeling a bit like PC Music, but I am down. There just isn’t enough going on in this track for me. The timing on the arrangement is a bit odd, and I feel like a bit of momentum was lost when the kick was introduced to the bass. The sound design is amazing, though, and big ups to the fact it’s not a cookie cutter remix. (7/10)


Alex Rubenstein – It’s no secret that I’m a big Charli XCX fan, so having Nina Kraviz jump on remix duty for one of the year’s best singles lands directly in my alley. Nina manages to keep all of the infectious energy of the original and turn it into a hypnotic dancefloor weapon. The crystalline synths really emphasize the “Happy” part of this remix, and coupled with the techno kick and snare, we have ourselves a winner. I hope to hear this one played out when Nina comes through D.C. next week. (8.4/10)


Marshall Stukes – The back half of this song is the best part, but I couldn’t get into the first. Overall, I would have liked this track a lot more without most of the vocal chops, but as it stands, I’m not a fan. (5/10)


Stace Cadet – Get on It (feat. KLP)



Aeron Premo – This track was revealed as incredibly generic EDM from the first note. KLP has featured on better tracks. Next. (0/10)


Katie Bowles – This is my kind of electronic – completely unsubtle, in your face and over within three minutes. Ideal for a run, the club or a blacked-out party scene in a Harmony Korine movie…anything where energy is required. Not my favorite kind of music, but definitely not my least favorite. I’d listen to this one multiple times. (7/10)


Justin Barini-Rivers – I have been waiting for this tune. When I saw Club Sweat had a tune coming with them both, I freaked out. KLP has a way of writing hooks that make you want to be on the dancefloor. She is a beast of a music producer and DJ in her own right. Pair that with Stace Cadet and you have a certified hit. This tune is a banger. The bass is rolling and big, only contained by some of the crispiest drums on the scene. KLP saying “I get on it” is just floating around as you prepare yourself for the full force that’s to be expected. Stace Cadet and KLP put a proper dancefloor monster into the world. (9.5/10)


Alex Rubenstein – Can I get bottle service to my couch? This has a certain hype quality to it where it pairs nicely with getting drunk in a packed room of people. Other than that though, this really does nothing for me early on a Wednesday evening in my home. (3/10)


Marshall Stukes – I like the rhythm, though it’s not anything too special. It’s a simple, danceable groove. I think the KLP feature is under utilized as we’ve heard some better tracks from her on Feedback Friday before. This song is a nice tune, but not something I’d be excited to hear. (6.5/10)


Pusha T – “Puppets” (Succession Remix)



Aeron Premo – This remix has a nice trip hop feel to it. Pusha T’s strong rap voice fits incredibly well with the arrangement. I especially love the twinkling keyboard samples and strings, and the production is crisp and clean which lets the rap take center stage, as it should. More hip hop, rap songs and remixes like this should be recorded. Nice work! (7/10)


Katie Bowles – I will eat up anything Succession related I can find, so of course I started listening to this on repeat as soon as it was released. It’s not an amazing song on Pusha T’s part (he has plenty that are better), but GOD I love the piano theme Britell created for the show – it’s so, so perfect and begging for a remix (or even a mashup…I could see it going well with Kanye’s “Power”). Again, this isn’t a perfect song in the least, but it’s keeping my Succession obsession fed after the season finale, so I’m okay with it. (8/10)


Justin Barini-Rivers – This is my favorite style of hip hop drums; reminds of Ricky Reed with his big hip hop arrangements but using live drum sounds and lots of post production. This is truly a hip-hop banger. The low end is pushing so hard, and with these piano runs, this tune is built to be a hit. At just a little over two minutes, I love it. It comes in, bangs, and it’s out before you are even acclimated to what’s happening. Pusha T is flawless as always. This is a real gem of a tune. (9/10)


Alex Rubenstein – I can’t get myself to watch Succession as it just seems like a look at the problems of the 1%, which doesn’t seem likable or relatable in any way. I do, however, love me some Pusha T. With that being said, the only word that comes to mind here is ‘boring’. There’s not one coke rap to be found anywhere in sight. The track falls way short of banger status. I had high hopes for this one, but this just isn’t G.O.O.D. (3/10)


Marshall Stukes – Short, sub two-minute tracks are the trend these days with rap and hip hop songs. Had I not known this was a remix to the theme song of the show Succession, I would have lumped it into that trend. I wish this wasn’t the case because I really like this beat, and King Push’s lyrics, though repetitive, hits the nail on the head with the theme of the show. Might start watching it now. (7.5/10)



Pusha T – “Puppets” (Succession Remix) – 6.9/10

Charli XCX and Christine and The Queens – “Gone” (Happy Nina Kraviz Mix) – 6.8/10

Midland – “Play It as It Lays” – 6.6/10

Enequist – “Opium” – 6.2/10

Stace Cadet – “Get on It” (feat. KLP) – 5.2/10