Play it loud. Keep it weird.
Yesterday marked the anniversary of Tame Impala’s 2015 release, Currents. To celebrate, the band announced they’re working on a deluxe edition of Currents and unreleased B-sides. Basically, new music is on its way.
The announcement inspired me to take some old GoPro footage that was collecting dust on my hard-drive and pair it with Tame Impala’s “The Moment”, a loud, somewhat jarring declaration that, it’s getting closer.
For me it is the weekend. And it’s always getting closer.
It’s hard to believe but The Aftermath is over four years old. Four years? That’s surprising considering my attention span rarely lasts more than a few hours. Countless ideas have been dropped, switched out, forgotten. But for whatever reason The Aftermath prevails.
In that four years I’ve started to notice patterns. Which artists consistently pop up on news feeds? Who’s still around four years later effortlessly churning out music?
Whenever I return home I enlist a theme song. Something to guide my youthful meditations as the plane hovers above mountains, tickles the clouds.
Cross-legged, waiting, sipping coffee, the narrative slowly builds and with each listen the song gathers more strength, like a runner silently passing a mile marker – only two more to go.
A tag forms. The song becomes a soundtrack to a grounded ecosystem. Time spent with my phone lost in the grass and thick smoke woven into my shirt.
For Maine, it was Midnight on Rainbow Road, a shy tune from Leon Vynehall. Let it illuminate a rainy street corner, or pave the way for a strange adventure.
Curveball alert! Folk music!
Spotify Discover introduced me to Caamp, and sweet baby jesus am I happy about it. A little folk banjo pickin’ action coming from two Ohio dudes, I’ve been playing their debut album nonstop in the car. There’s not a song on it I don’t like.
“Ohio boys making beautiful noise”…. These guys Tyler and Evan have a bright future.
A few months ago I walked into a Pete Tong DJ set in San Francisco’s SOMA district. The foundation thumped with base. Synesthesia-triggering visuals danced on the wall. We moved to the top level to watch the crowd move – arms waving like an amoeba, tentacles propelling bodies.
DEEP HOUSE! The crowd screamed.
The beat wove in and out, speeding up and slowing down. But soon our knees began to ache. We bent forward and back to keep up with the plodding rhythm. The DJ’s swapped out their mixing boards, equalizers. A new table. But we’d missed the axis road and were left behind, forced to try and catch up with a runaway train.
Maybe this is deep house at its worse. Overdone and burnt. Lots of sound, but little music.
Then there’s Justin Jay. A recent graduate from USC and producer of deep, planetary house.
For Justin Jay it feels like the DEEP is an after thought. He’s not propelling the masses. There’s no manic drug component here. Don’t freak out about keeping up. Two minutes in and you’ll be in the slow current, grooving to the alien environment he creates with synthesizers and glammy guitar riffs.
This is good deep house.