Released as a single from the late Hyperion, Gesaffelstein‘s first album since 2014, “Blast Off” is a testament to the sleek, high profile nature of the project. Featuring Pharrell Williams, the track’s clean bassline and airy synths drum up images of an oddly familiar, though far off futuristic world–and now there’s a music video to match.
The video jumps back and forth between close-up shots of Pharrell’s emotive singing and Gesaffelstein’s light-laced outfit. Fitting the track’s dark but effortlessly glossy style, the video takes a sudden turn, with Matrix-like sceneries growing more frightful and intense with every frame.
With only a week remaining until the release of his duly anticipated Hyperion LP, Gesaffelstein has released its third single. Presumably the final song to be released before the full record is available, “Blast Off” is also its highest profile one. Featuring retro-inspired synthesis and the vocalizations of Pharrell Williams, the collaboration continues the French producer’s recent pop-leaning trend seen in “Lost in Fire.”
Though the track is more melodic and mainstream-appealing than Michel Lévy’s standard fare, it also retains more common ground with his signature industrial style than his collaboration with The Weeknd. Indeed, even his darker, broken-beat instrumental, “Reset” veers further away from the Gesaffelstein of yore.
Beneath Williams’ suave vocals, Lévy lays a framework of slick, mid-tempo bass that echoes the skeletons of his best work. And, at a time when it seems that dance music’s darkest artist may be heading toward the light, reminders of this nature serve to provide hope for his longtime fans that such is not the case.
“Frontin’” by Pharrell goes down as one of the most timeless records in modern hip-hop. Now, the legendary producer reveals the 2003 hit single featuring JAY-Z, was in fact originally written for another monolithic persona — Prince.
In a recent interview with Clash Music, the Virginia Beach-native states, “All of my biggest songs were songs that I did with or for other people. Collaboration has always been part of my DNA. And, to be clear and to be honest, songs that I ended up putting out by myself were always songs that I wrote for other people. I made ‘Frontin” for Prince, and even ‘Happy,’ I wrote that for CeeLo.”
“Frontin’” peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, claiming the top spot on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs that same year. While Pharrell and HOV made a classic pairing on ‘Frontin,’ one can only imagine what that track would have sounded like with The Purple One. Seems like as good a reason as any to revisit this one, given some new perspective.
Beyoncé and JAY-Z finally released their collaborative album under their new alias, The Carters, titled Everything Is Love. The full album is available on Tidal, while a number of singles are on YouTube. JAY mentioned the two were working together when producing 4:44 and Lemonade. He told the The New York Timeshim and his wife use music as therapy, and from the sound of the new album, therapy is working.
The power couple also released two music videos for “APESHIT” and SALUD!” The former was directed by Ricky Saiz and shot at the Louvre in Paris; the latter is co-produced by Cool & Dre and exclusively on Tidal.
Some standout lines on “APESHIT” include Queen B bringing the hype with “Gimme my check//Put some respect on my check//Or pay me in equity//Watch me reverse out of debt.” Or when Hova concludes his first verse with “Tell the Grammy’s fuck that 0 for 8 shit//Have you ever seen the crowd goin’ apeshit?” Alluding to getting shut out at this year’s Grammys. Migos and Pharrell are also on the track, further certifying its heat.
Throughout the album, a blend of old-school hip-hop and new school trap tropes combine with soul, blues, gospel, jazz, and other acoustically treated music. Beyoncé’s masterful vocal arrangements along with dynamic voice distortions and Jay’s contrasted voice, flow effortlessly together.
The dynamic duo calls reference to the Super Bowl, Spotify, Meek Mills with odes to Dr. Dre and The Notorious B.I.G. There’s some dialogue between the two on “LOVEHAPPY,” vulnerably expressing some tension in their relationship. They seem like they’re collectively confident on most of the album, giving zero cares about any other noise around them. Turn up the bass on “HEARD ABOUT US,” “BLACK EFFECT,” and “BOSS.”
They slow it down on the intro track, “Summer,” with a downtempo, love vibe. Bee’s soulful, soft voice glides along acoustic elements with jazzy fills for extra color. Jay’s contrast with his wife’s voice is just as natural as their personal connection.
Everything Is Love is everything fans love about these icons. They’re currently on their co-headlining On The Run II tour. The last time the two of them toured together was On The Run in 2014.
Earlier in November, Pharrell Williams ripped through the majority of the looming N.E.R.D record. For the group’s enormous comeback — their first single in seven years — N.E.R.D teamed up with Rihanna on the fervent “Lemons.” Keeping in mind N.E.R.D’s cultural longevity, as their debut dates back to the early nineties, Williams soon made it known that he had other monumental collaborations in store.
Now, Williams, Chad Hugo, and Shay Haley have unveiled the complete tracklist and release date for their new album, No_One Ever Really Dies. The record serves as a follow up to N.E.R.D’s last studio album, Nothing, which came out in 2010.
No_One Ever Really Dies will be released on December 15.
N.E.R.D. No_One Ever Really Dies tracklist:
1. “Everybody Hurts” 2. “Lemon” f. Rihanna 3. “Voíla” f. Wale and Gucci Mane 4. “1000” f. Future 5. “Don’t Don’t Do It” f. Kendrick Lamar 6. “Kites” f. M.I.A. and Kendrick Lamar 7. “ESP” 8. “Lightning Fire Magic Prayer” 9. ‘Rollinem 7s” f. Andre 3000 10. “Lifting” you f. Ed Sheeran 11. “Secret Life Of Tigers”
There are certain songs out there that seem to just beg for quality remixes right from the get-go –– most recently, N.E.R.D.’s comeback single with Rihanna “Lemon,” comes to mind. The original track is pristine working ground for a class rework effort, so Mr. Carmack and Vindata saw fit to bless the world with their joint take on the legendary funk rock/hip-hop outfit’s new product with “More Lemons.” Keeping the original mix largely intact, Carmack and Vindata up the ante on their version with some dance floor-ready modifications.
Not entirely a “lemonade out of lemons” situation, the rework avoids watering down or sugar coating where it’s inspiration came from. It merely builds on the original, simply offering “More Lemons,” if you will. The LA-based OWSLA pair and Mr. Carmack’s complementary production styles mesh into a single souped-up take on Rihanna and Pharrell‘s already certified rump-shaker, adding a welcomed dose of added hype to one of the year’s highlight marquee pop collaborations.
In a crossover that is sure to capture the attention of dance music fans, Pharrell Williams is putting music on pause as he begins work on a new horror movie about “being trapped in a rave on Halloween.”
The new thriller is based off of Danielle Vega’s novel, Survive The Night. Williams has already begun work on the forthcoming film, joining forces with the writer of Girl’s Trip, Tracy Oliver. The production will follow a group of female college students as they attend an “underground warehouse music festival.” The film’s suspense will build as the girls realize that they must elude a “mysterious attacker who hunts them down” at the event.
Williams’ recent experience as a music supervisor on Hidden Figures, an Oscar-nominated film, will translate into the horror film — newly acquired by Warner Bros. Williams will be joined by his partner at I Am Other Entertainment, Mimi Valdes. Leslie Morgenstein and Elysa Dutton of Alloy Entertainment will further assist Williams in the film’s development
Dutch DJ and Producer Julian Jordan started touring the world at the age of 15 and has not stopped since. Now 22 years old, Jordan has expanded beyond the DJ booth and started his own record label called GOLDKID Records in addition to launching a fashion line. It takes many artists a lifetime to achieve what Jordan has done in seven short years, however, the producer has an energetic and optimistic disposition despite an admittedly heavy workload.
We got to speak to Julian about growing up in the spotlight, his friendship with Martin Garrix, and his foray into fashion, among other things. While he is currently touring in Europe, he will be taking his #Playon tour to the US starting with a headlining show at Las Vegas’s Omnia Nightclub on September 26. We learned that one of Julian’s favorite things about touring is playing new music so that he can get a real time reaction to what fans think of the songs. Be sure to get your tickets to his upcoming show where he will be previewing multiple new IDs, and read our full interview with him below.
You started touring at 15. Do you ever feel like you missed out on being a normal teenager?
Yeah. It was crazy because when I started touring it was all international, so I was traveling all over really quickly. I definitely missed out on some of the time with friends most people have growing up. It’s funny now though because I am booking a lot more shows close to home, so I am actually getting to see friends more now and live more of that life that I missed out on earlier.
You once said that you like to think outside of the box, and that what inspires you are other artists who do that as well. Who are some of the artists who inspire you?
I would have to say Pharrell. I love his music and he is incredibly innovative. I really love his stuff, and he has always been a huge inspiration for me.
Of all of your collaborations, do you have a favorite person that you have worked with?
I would have to say Martin Garrix. We are just really on the same wave length as artists and kind of approach things the same way. A lot of the time you get in the studio with someone and they just want to do things their way, but with Martin we work really well together and bounce ideas off of each other.
You guys grew up friends right?
Yeah it’s funny– we met each other online as we were getting into music, and I would brag to him about this music school I was in. Then he eventually actually joined my class at school, and we went to school together for a few years. He’s one of my good friends
Is there someone you haven’t worked with yet that you would really like to?
I would say Tiesto. He was one of my biggest inspirations growing up and still is to this day. When I was 5,6, and 7 years old listening to music, he was already spinning, and he brought a lot of attention to our country in terms of the music scene. He is definitely a big inspiration for me.
If you weren’t a DJ, what would you be doing?
I don’t know… I mean I always wanted to be an entertainer and be in the spotlight. In school, I would rap on the playground and loved entertaining people. When I found music, that fell into place where I could do something that I love and entertain those around me. But I always like trying new things and I think musically I would like to do something unexpected moving forward, like work with a rock band or something different like that.
Is fashion something you have always been interested in? Or did you learn you were interested in it once you started working on your Chasin’ collaboration?
I have always been interested in it because fashion is an important part of being an entertainer. This isn’t a collaboration where we sat down and had a meeting and did the collaboration. I was just hanging out with them and we were throwing out ideas, and that is where the collaboration was born.
When you aren’t touring or in the studio, what are you doing with your time?
Well that’s hard to answer because I feel like touring and being in the studio is already a really hard thing to balance. I would say I’m usually on my couch and spending time with my family if I am not in the studio. It’s really hard being able to see them and spend time with them, so I use every moment I can get outside of work to be with friends and family.
We got a little sneak peak at some of the new music and remixes you have coming out. They are epic. Will fans at your upcoming Omnia show be lucky enough to get a sneak peak as well?
Of course! I always play new music at my shows, and I will definitely be previewing the tracks at Omnia. I always like to play what I have been working on the studio live in front of fans because that is the best way to gauge whether people will like the music or not. Everyone at Omnia is lucky because I am in the studio for a few days right now so I will have a bunch of new stuff to play for them.