Feedback Friday – November 22nd, 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 Feedback Friday edition features our contributors: Alex Rubenstein, Justin Barini-Rivers, Yvette Bailhache, Marshall Stukes and Will Creason. This week’s music includes tracks by Andy Stott, Lauren Flax, Two Tails, Afar, and Miguel Campbell. Enjoy and let us know your thoughts on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

AFAR – “Urbanist”

Yvette Bailhache – I like the simplicity of this track; it was very relaxing for my mind. It’s something I would play during a Winter yoga session (that’s a compliment!). I’m glad there was no loud and frightening twist hidden in there because I was a little worried about that, but the tempo/mood stayed dark and slow, which I liked. (7/10)

Justin Barini-Rivers – This is why I love electronic music. This song is full of complex textures. It moves and breathes; it almost just exists. This is the artistic beauty that can come with electronic music – it’s not designed to kill the club. Overall, I had to listen to this several times to figure out what was going on. Give it a few listens and see where it takes you. (7.5/10)

Marshall Stukes – I always enjoy a song that puts me into a different vibe and space. The slow-driving kick accompanied by the movement in the pads and bass bring me to a dark, floating place, but in a good way. The production through the guitars add to the ambiance even more, and the vocals are a great cherry on top. (8.5/10)

Alex Rubenstein – Man, this one is bleak. I wasn’t really feeling the slow burn buildup with the spoken word vocals, but once the beat kicks in around 3:45 things got a bit more interesting. This would certainly work in the context of a DJ mix, yet it falls a bit short for me as a standalone track. (5/10)

Will Creason – This tune is deep! I like the slo-mo, chugging arp melody that feels like it just barely pushes the pulse of the tempo forward. The atmospheric elements of this song are what really cement it for me. The heavy use of reverb builds a dense, oppressive fog around the tune. The vocals are well done though, if I’m honest, they aren’t as laser sharp as the rest of this one. All in all, great six am tune. (8/10)

Two Tails – “Infected”

Yvette Bailhache – Not my kind of music but I can appreciate the progression of this track as far as rhythm is concerned. Other than that, I just don’t really know how to review this – it’s a little out of my realm. (4.5/10)

Justin Barini-Rivers – This was my first time coming across Two Tails, but it won’t be the last. “Infected” has a familiar feel but still sounds clean and fresh. This tune is a club killer; it just never stops. The bass is pushing against these heavy drums, the accent synths and fx are sitting perfectly in the mix – this tune is dialed to make you dance. The momentum of your body is beyond your control. Big ups to Two Tails for killing this tune. (9/10)

Marshall Stukes – I’m all for the Halloween atmosphere, but it’s not in your face with it. The build ups of this track are good, dropping to a killer drum progression. The bass, while it does get stuck in your head after a couple of listens, is a bit lacking with its progression. It’s a good track that I’d definitely place on my October party playlist. (7/10)

Alex Rubenstein – This is a really clean sounding production. The mastering is well done and each element sounds great. The track title reflects the tune perfectly as this would fit perfectly soundtracking a club where a flesh-eating virus just went airborne. The energy stays high and the track is varied enough to be continually interesting. This was a fun one! (8/10)

Will Creason – Whew, some really sharp production right here. All of the sounds feel like they are 4K, bursting with color from every imaginable angle. I love the rhythm in the drop; it has a slightly skippy hat pattern that reminds me of Daft Punk’s take on Chicago House, a rhythmic style that somehow producers rarely get right. My only critique is that the spacy breakdowns run a little bit too long and kind of sap the energy out of the first half of the tune. Great, super high energy track! (7/10)

Andy Stott – “Versi”

Yvette Bailhache – Different but dope. Those drums are everything, and I like the hints of vocals spread throughout and the overall structure of the entire track. Had the head nod going hard the whole listen – good stuff. (8/10)

Justin Barini-Rivers – This is what I wish Gesa was making – pure, raw midtempo with class and purpose. This mix is crunchy and the low end bangs around; I love it. The wide bass and thumps from the kick really push this eerie, but uplifting, vibe. This song is dark and raw, and the vocals that come in towards the end fit so perfectly. Reminds me of Burial’s music – dark with a little bit of light. (8/10)

Marshall Stukes – I enjoy tracks that take an unconventional approach to percussion. This track is one of them, using foley and found sounds instead of traditional samples. Each step of the song adds something new to the rhythm, and by the time the bass and vocal samples come in, you’re intune with how the track wants you to move. (8/10)

Alex Rubenstein – Andy Stott is back with his first new music since the release of his 2016 LP, Too Many Voices. This new EP is billed as a continuation of his 2011 EP series, Passed Me By / We Stay Together. I’m loving the return to club-focused primordial ooze. You can almost feel the track slowly jerking to life and gaining sentience. The crunchy drums still pack a punch and the vocal sample adds a bit of levity to the overall vibe. This is one for the head nodders. (9/10)

Will Creason – Stott is back with probably the best ugly rhythm I’ve heard this year. The percussion that leads the track sounds like paint being sanded off of a wall with metal-filling, rattling tones that sound like a bad MP3 encoding. Of course Stott ties it all together wonderfully with a fantastic melodic motif with a hoover-y bass and a hollow wood sounding synth line. For me, this is easily his best work since Passed Me By. I’m looking forward to hearing the rest of this album! (9/10)

Phuture – “Acid Track” (Lauren Flax Remix)

Yvette Bailhache – Eight minutes can feel like a long time for a song, especially when I’m not really feeling the production, and I’m not really feeling this, unfortunately. However,  I’m more than down for the vocal message behind the production (“I control my body”), and although it doesn’t come through often, it’s still loud and clear. (5/10)

Justin Barini-Rivers – This remix is rolling from the start. I am truly in love with the texture and sound of the vocals; they pair so well with the rolling 303 bass. The arrangement of the drums is superb – the drums are subtle but they bang, and the toms rolls are big. Everything in this track just keep the momentum rolling, only slowing down to build up more momentum to release on the crowd. (7/10)

Marshall Stukes – I like the simplicity of this track, a good example of how to get energy out of a minimal acid techno using a 303, a drum machine and a vocal sample. But for me, it’s lacking that extra something. And at eight minutes, it’s quite a long track – I can see someone getting bored with it after minute five. (6/10)

Alex Rubenstein – I’m really liking this very clean, acid lead. The vocal sample is simple and effective. Unfortunately, the track sounds like a mix of individual parts and not really a sum of their whole. It feels more like synth plus drums plus bass plus sample rather than a cohesive mix. This is also much more suited to the club than at home listening. (6/10)

Will Creason – I really appreciate the mastery Lauren Flax has over the 909 and 303 in this one. She has precision control here, downshifting and opening up the elements like a Formula 1 race. Creating something this hype out of a limited amount of elements is a feat. Her vocals are a great addition, but it is the ebbing hats toppling onto each other and the acid line that switches from simple bassline to double time squall in the blink of an eye. (8/10)

Miguel Campbell – “Let Me Show You”

Yvette Bailhache – Once the bass kicked in, I was hooked. This gave me all the feels for a cold winter night. Initially, I wasn’t too keen on the opening vocal arrangements, they felt slightly flat, but by the time the hook arrived all was forgotten. So sexy – this will be on repeat for a while. (9/10)

Justin Barini-Rivers – This is dark, funky and full of disco vibes. The hi hats especially, but the drums overall give a real dark disco style of sound. The bass line and arrangement is simple, but the vocals and some breaks keep it interesting. The vocals play around with the timing and delivery as the song just rolls along in the back. Although the pads are pretty low in the mix, they are one of my favorite parts. (6/10)

Marshall Stukes – In the same vein as “Acid Track,” this is a pretty minimal song. However, it doesn’t work for me. I don’t feel movement in the drums, and the bass is uninspiring. The energy in the vocals is great, but it doesn’t match the rest of the song. Six minutes is a long time with this production, and truth be told, I repeatedly checked out of the song before minute one. (4/10)

Alex Rubenstein – This one is a bit too tame for my tastes. I like the deep, resonant bass, but everything else falls a bit flat. The vocals are ineffective and overtop of the otherwise generic instrumental nothing seems to take hold. This just isn’t for me. (4/10)

Will Creason – I’m surprised by how sparse this one seems. Up to the first minute it doesn’t feel like there is the heft I’d expect out of a Campbell production. I can’t say that I’m a fan of the vocal tone or delivery here, but the hook is good, and it works for the track. To me, this feels like a really stripped back dub mix of a more full track that must exist somewhere. It feels primed for a great future remix but the tune as is feels like all bones and no flesh. (5/10)

Andy Stott – “Versi” – 8.4/10

AFAR – “Urbanist” – 7.2/10

Two Tails – “Infected” – 7.1/10

Phuture – “Acid Track” (Lauren Flax Remix) – 6.4/10

Miguel Campbell – “Let Me Show You” – 5.6/10