Electric Feels: Your Weekly Electronic Music Recap
The best of electronic music in the past week, including Sam Gellaitry, George Maple, Jai Wolf and more.
ALBUM / EP OF THE WEEK
Sam Gellaitry - Escapism III
Commonly introduced as a rising force in Scotland’s electronic scene, young XL Recordings signee (and former Soulection member) Sam Gellaitry is a name not new to anyone with their finger on the electronic music pulse. The young Scot, one of many to rise with the ‘Soundcloud explosion’, has been a quickly-growing name since he first began uploading originals and remixes under the alias four years ago, the most recent of which being the third rendition of his Escapism EP. Escapism III is a five-track adventure into Gellaitry’s signature sound, which contrasts bounding orchestral tones with snapping 808s and percussion – as if Hans Zimmer decided a launch a trap side-project ahead of his forthcoming Coachella slot.
The EP-opening Jungle Waters would feel at home in an old-fashioned movie soundtrack, gripping with haunting strings and harps that once only teased in his early productions. Ceremony, a far heavier take on this sound, dazzles with glitching synth and deep kicks of bass, further echoed on the cutting Midnight Racer. The growth of the wunderkind has been unmatched, but with Gellaitry’s twisted, shattering sound – and the way he manages to manipulate and control this sound – it’s unsurprising to figure out why.
SINGLES / REMIXES OF THE WEEK
RAC - This Song feat. Rostam
Celebrating the ten-year celebration of what has recently become a GRAMMY Award-winning career, This Song is the first piece of new music from RAC in over a year, but it's definitely worth the wait. Featuring the familiar vocals of ex-Vampire Weekend member Rostam, This Song is a glistening slice of electro-pop that swirls with this addictive, summery sound - stemming from the single's carefree vocals and driving layers of synthesiser. "This Song is special to me because it falls around the 10 year anniversary of starting RAC in my dorm room," says RAC on the track. "It’s been quite the ride and I never thought I’d be where I am today.” Released as the first single from his forthcoming new album, This Song is one of the most exciting electronic singles to arrive this year, and is making the lengthy wait for his next full-length all the more of an exciting one.
George Maple - Kryptonite
It's really interesting to see how musicians change and adapt to a constantly-changing music scene. Whilst many in the electronic side-of-things eventually branch into radio-friendly pop hits (warranted, as that's what really sells these days), George Maple seems to be doing the opposite. The upbeat and joyful sounds of Foreign Language (produced by Flight Facilities) and Talk Talk (produced by Flume) that once pulsed through Maple's singles are now long gone, replaced with a far more menacing and sensual aural image (Sticks and Horses with Goldlink is the perfect example). Kryptonite sits perfectly between these two sides of Maple, with the easily-accessible vocals of the Future Classic musician met with a bouncy, future-funk-esque production that is lively and thrilling but, with the light touch of heaviness becoming especially evident in the single's driving synth riffs, Kryptonite still has this dark musical take on pop music that Maple has been repping hard of late, and we're digging it.
Jai Wolf - Starlight feat. Mr. Gabriel
Despite only just releasing his commanding Kindred Spirits EP, US-based producer Jai Wolf has already returned, teaming up with Mr. Gabriel for a hazy new single. As per Jai Wolf's previous work, Starlight heavily features the use of these really lush walls of synth, which dominate the single's expansive breakdowns that possess this quite nostalgic, almost M83-like feel around them. Isolated from the production, Mr. Gabriel's mumbling, guest-featuring vocal work doesn't really bring anything on its own, but when paired with the charged production of Jai Wolf, it pulls off very well. Perfectly timed with his slot at Coachella next weekend, 2017 has the potential to be Jai Wolf's biggest break-out year yet and considering the effect of Kindred Spirits and Indian Summer in the past two years, this is quite a feat.
Flume - Numb & Getting Colder (Baauer Remix)
Unexpectedly released on Friday as a part of a gripping remix package (which also included Golden Features' Justice-esque Lose It remix), Baauer's rendition of Flume's Numb & Getting Colder is exactly what the single needed. Taking the original vocals of KUČKA and layering them above an accessible and exciting take on moombahton, Baauer's take on Numb & Getting Colder brings the excitement and energy that the original really needed to shine from the rest of the record, with piercing bass work and clanking percussion being the driving force behind the beat's never-ending energy. Consider us stunned, Baauer.
HWLS - Beta
Speaking of bangers, there's no-one quite as good at 'em in Australian than HWLS. The former Future Classic side-project of Ta-Ku and Kit Pop (now largely dominated by Kit Pop, due to Ta-Ku's constant business with his own projects) has been teasing new music for months now, sneakily adding a variety of unearthed collaborations and DJ edits to their release pile on Soundcloud, but Beta takes this to a whole new level. Released as the first single from HWLS' forthcoming second EP, Beta pulses with this exciting, bass-heavy sound, that unites rolling piano melodies with cut vocal samples and fractures of percussion in the single's opening. Quickly picking up into what is quite an expansive, bass-reliant drop, Beta contrasts light and heavy sounds like nothing else on the heavier-side of electronic music has been able to do so far this year, and it's got us bloody excited to see what he has in store for us for the rest of 2017.