Exclusive Q&A: Break Science on how Brooklyn influenced their sound, working with Pretty Lights, and their newest LP, ‘Grid of Souls’

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grid of souls-break science

Raised in the cultural hotbed of New York City, Break Science‘s Adam Deitch and Borahm Lee have long brought their city’s rich musical history in jazz, funk, and soul directly into their catalog. As two essential members of Pretty Lights Live, Deitch (also of Lettuce) comes armed with his thunderous breakbeat style on the drums, while Lee brings a seasoned trip-hop/dub aesthetic on keyboards and laptop. As Break Science, the Denver-based electronic duo combine their respective styles into a perfectly interwoven sonic treatise of thought-provoking, highly-textured, bass-pumping songs.

The C3-represented artists do not release new projects often, given their busy schedules with touring and their other acts. So when they do, it’s an easy bet that the project is fresh and soulful, expertly polished, and, above all else, extremely danceable. Break Science’s debut EP, Further Than Our Eyes Can See, for instance, included verses from some of today’s most conscious vocalists — including Brooklyn’s Talib Kweli and Jahdan Blakkamoore, Sierra Leone’s Bajah, and India’s Falu. Now in the midst of their 5-date US tour, the electro-soul duo is releasing their first LP in almost five years, Grid of Souls. The eclectic 10-track album showcases their diverse sonic range and deeply rooted beliefs in interconnectedness and consciousness in such a way that is bound to make a mark on the modern musical landscape.

Kicking off the album with powerful vocals of Raquel Rodriguez on the synth-driven “Cruise Control,” Break Science fuse generations of New York’s rich musical legacy with their own deep-rooted connection to hip-hop heritage. Other highlights include “Guiding Light,” where the duo puts their heavier bass and trap vibes on full display, along with a more rhythmic offering on “Light Shine Down,” a track tinged by influences from 80s electronica and synthwave sounds.

Deitch and Lee took time out of their busy touring schedule to answer a few questions with Dancing Astronaut on Grid of Souls, speaking to the album’s underlying messages and driving stylistic components, along with their time in Pretty Lights, how working with Derek Vincent Smith has influenced their own individual sounds, and their US tour with the groundbreaking lighting talents of Lazer Shark.

 


It’s been five years since your last LP release. Why have you waited so long?

B: Shit it’s been 5 years? I thought it was only 4.. I guess we were waiting till we we had something good to say. Well we got a few things we wanna talk about now and we plan on releasing more music this year.

A: To get it right! To get all the fine tuning, mixing, mastering takes time, especially with our touring schedules. Glad we waited until it was right!

What do you feel the album is attempting to say?

A: The album is a musically psychedelic trip into interconnectivity that is undeniably danceable and also can make one think.

B: Understanding the beauty in the diversity of life and seeing the unbreakable wires which bond us all together.

Stylistically, the LP is a beautiful blend of melodic and glitchy synth-laden funk, soul, and jazz. How do you feel your musical styles have evolved since your Seven Bridges LP in 2013 and what does Grid of Souls bring to the table that’s fresh and new?

B: We like bringing different styles together to create something new, but also like to stay anchored in the music that we came from. We continue to push this concept on this record.

A: The technology has evolved, our musical minds have evolved, our lives and musical styles/tastes as well. Borahm and I have met in the middle with our musical influences and styles to create a unique piece of art that will hopefully stand the test of time.

Tell us about working with Lazer Shark on the new music video. Will he be joining you guys on tour?

B: Its always incredible to work with our friend Lazer Shark. He has already joined us for some dates this year with more on the horizon. He never ceases to inspire us and furthers his extension of expression with his video for our single.

A: As one of the most profound, creative and risk taking lighting and content designers in the modern era, Lazer Shark has taken our visual game to the next level with his video for “Cruise Control” and our live show.

Both of you are essential members of Pretty Lights, and it seems the album’s major theme embodies some of the beliefs that run deep in the PLF: interconnectedness, consciousness raising, new age spiritualism. How has that influenced the new LP? In subtle or overt ways?

B: D is a long time friend and collaborator and we all work together because there’s a likemindedness there, which shows in many ways.

A: As we move closer to a collective consciousness as a species, every piece of art that directs people’s energies in that direction is extremely needed and necessary. We are inspired by artists of all genres and mediums from Alex Grey to Kamasi Washington that have deeply spiritual vibes embedded in their art.

Describe the album in just a few words.

B: An extrasensory musical excursion thru emotionally charged atmospheres

A: A journey into the future of electronic/analog music that can lift the spirit, move your body and spark one’s mind. 

 

KSHMR – House of Cards

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KSHMR

KSHMR is expanding his sound in a more mellowed, yet equally attention-grabbing way. The former Cataracs member has paired with vocalist Sidnie Tipton for a dynamic, pop-infused number titled “House Of Cards.”

Similar to the famed Radiohead song of the same name, “House Of Cards” works a subdued romantic angle, in which Tipton’s warm, soulful lyrics of intimacy and risk-taking flow over catchy guitar riffs and powerful horns. Notably lacking in the big room elements that led to KSHMR’s fame in the mainstream, this new piece signals not just a potential change in direction for the iconic artist, but it also displays his productive range.

 

Notaker Too Smooth feat. Grey MTTR

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Notaker has dropped Too Smooth featuring Grey MTTR on Monstercat today. This song is not your average Notaker track, and that excites me. As much as I love an artist’s signature sound, what I love to see more is for them to go out of their comfort zone and try something new. That being said

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Panda Funk Releases New Soulful Track “Infected” by Garabatto & Charlee Muse

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Recently, Deorro’s record label, “Panda Funk” has released a new single produced by Garabatto titled “Infected.” The new track is very soothing yet relaxing, providing an essence of true vibes. Charlee Muse’s vocals complement that track, adding some soulful melodies to the new work. Garabatto’s bassline truly morphed into the vocals phenomenally, perfecting an eccentric

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Inverted Silence – Fusion

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Jazz has enjoyed one of the smoother forays into the electronic production spectrum. With soulful catalogs from the likes of Gramatik, GRiZ, and Haywyre gaining popular traction year after year, the crossovers between jazz and soul’s inherent room for improvisation and rhythm continue to be explored in exciting new ways. One such explorer, Netherlands-based producer Inverted Silence has dropped off a playful new electro-soul cut titled “Fusion” that wraps together funky bass licks, swelling drum kicks, and impressive key work. Proctoring a multi-layered DJ tool perfect for live settings, Inverted Silence delivers one of his most impressive singles to date on “Fusion.”

The emerging artist, real name Midas Klare, grew up with a background in both computers and music, making his production style a natural extension of his comfortable strong suits. Evident inspiration from 8-bit game culture, matched with a fine-tuned ear bring about Inverted Silence’s latest “Fusion,” available via Tasty.

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Katdrop – Holding On

Dillastrate – the new downunder summer sound has arrived.

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Dillastrate has arrived. Real World – the new single from their forthcoming EP, Black Diamond is in all good online stores from today and is accompanied by a ripping video. The duo combines modern digital sounds with analog soul, bringing you the best of both worlds. With an intimidating range of styles – from delicate soul

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Purple Disco Machine presents debut album ‘Soulmatic,’ talks timelessness of disco [Interview + Album Review]

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Disco remains at the forefront of dance music four decades after its genesis, thanks in part to the genius and innovation of Dresden-born artist Purple Disco Machine (PDM). With his debut album Soulmatic, Purple Disco Machine — also known as Tino Piontek — challenges the notion that the aforementioned genre was laid to rest with the bell bottoms and tie dye of yesteryear.

“To me, disco is such a fantastic musical style [in] that it transcends nostalgia. A genre which has musicality and musicianship at its heart should be celebrated, and I think, like many others, that those values are still relevant in today’s electronic scene” 

Soulmatic celebrates disco’s timelessness by blurring boundaries of genre, interpolating classic disco with funk and deep house elements in classic PDM form. This kaleidoscopic aspect of his new project both appeals to dance music fans from all corners, and allows the artist to stay true to his disco roots while keeping a foot in modern times.

On Soulmatic, I tried to make it so that every track touches upon some aspect of the ‘Disco’ genre. From the classic stylings of the 1970’s & 80’s, through Soul, Boogie, Funk into classic House, Filter Disco and Nu Disco,” he explains.

Crucial to the pervasiveness of disco in today’s dance culture is the art of sampling, and Soulmatic‘s first single “Body Funk” is no exception. The track nods to disco legend Sylvester by sampling the drums and bass-line of his hit “Do You Wanna Funk” and combining them with vocal samples from Hot Streak’s “Body Funk” over a classic Moroder-esque Italo-disco beat.

Purple Disco Machine comments,“‘Body Funk’ has been a key track for me since I first recorded it back in early 2017. I play it every set and it is a proper crowd anthem every time. It is crazy to know that it has spread across many different types of DJs, from Black Madonna to Dimitri Vegas who both play it!”

Soulmatic‘s second single “Devil In Me” is equally as unifying as “Body Funk” in that it showcases a melting pot of decades subgenres and tastes. On “Devil In Me,” PDM reimagines his own 2013 hit “My House” with a new vocal top line, and the result is a euphoric nod to dance music of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Not only does “Devil In Me” thrive on a late night Ibiza dance floor, but its sensual vocal courtesy of Joe Killington introduces the track to a wider audience. Killington’s beckoning voice gives a modern flair to the track’s classic disco roots, laying nicely over the original sample from William Bell’s “Private Number.”

The producer shares, “I always felt that the sample in ‘My House’ was so strong [and] that the record could go a lot further than just the club. To do that, it would need a vocal top line. So when it got signed the record company hooked it up. I think it really works, and now I have two different yet complementary records in my catalog.”

“Devil In Me” is representative of Soulmatic at large, using Joe Killington’s intoxicating vocals to transform a classic soul groove into a modern club anthem. Immediately after “Devil In Me,” Soulmatic‘s fifth track “Pray For Me” calls on contemporary R&B talent CeeLo Green to bring PDM’s Daft Punk-esque beat from a soulful loop into a late night heater.

In the form of vocoded vocals and keyboard notes, Daft Punk flavors also pop up on the album’s opener “Music In You” featuring Lorenz Rhode. Additionally,  Piontek pays homage to earlier musical eras on “Memphis Jam” by enlisting New York‘s Golden Age of rap icon Kool Keith for a luxurious overlapping of off kilter rap and soulful grooves.

From whichever decade, genre or taste he draws, Purple Disco Machine succeeds in shifting happiness and togetherness back into dance culture’s center focus with Soulmatic. His debut album upholds the integrity of traditional disco while reaching a mainstream dance audience, cementing it as one of today’s most innovative releases.

 

 

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A-Trak’s ‘Music Heals’ Mix remains a comforting way of processing current events

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A-Trak outlined a sentiment felt among many when releasing his “Music Heals” mix on November 9, the day after Donald Trump’s election; in the DJ’s words, “Music helps me process these emotions.” A-Trak artfully stitches together a melange of classic R&B and soul pieces across thirty minutes that provide a sense of hope and nostalgic comfort to the listeners with songs like Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” as messages of love and unity are sung over a background of timeless soundscapes.

Meanwhile, songs like Solange’s “Cranes In The Sky” and the Larry Levan edit of “Stand On The World” add a relatable touch to the mix, emulating ardor to stand up against the system tinged with a hint of sadness which is certainly present in a good deal of people who are concerned over the new executive branch’s stance on certain issues.

A-Trak’s “Music Heals” mix is a well-compiled effort to alleviate the sense of uneasiness that many currently feel in the presently divisive political climate. We feel it warrants being shared, given the strong reactions on both sides of the fence following President Trump’s inauguration.

Stream the mix below:

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Deadmau5 pledges to co-produce unknown “natural talent’s” album if SoundCloud gets 1 million plays

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Deadmau5 wants to surge a “natural talent” to success, but only if his SoundCloud account can reach 1 million plays in total. BoMason caught Joel’s eye on Twitter when he saw his post about moving to LA to fulfill his dreams of making it big. He saw his young dreams through another unknown talent and

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Carneyval & Jackson Breit – It Ain’t Love

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The duo that brought you the slow jam hit cover “Tell Me Something Good feat. Sophia,” are back at it again. Carneyval and Jackson Breit have created a new soulful, funky, infectiously fantastic tune. The track, “It Ain’t Love,” was released today on Gramatik’s impression Lowtemp, and is nothing shy of an instant classic.

When asked what the track was about, Breit said,

“It Ain’t Love” is about the hustle and struggles that come along with pursuing your dreams, particularly in the entertainment industry. The song conveys the message that doing what you love is not enough to gain success in your field. It is the continuous grind and ability to ride the wave of highs and lows that define your career.”

Breit delivers a great performance, showcasing his ability to harmonize, create textures with his voice, and put the final touches to a song that make it a hit. He also did a phenomenal job playing trumpet on this track. This guy is a true renaissance man. Carneyval’s talent as a producer really bleeds through in this track as he mixes Breit’s trumpet and vocals, some live drums, and undeniably funky fills  effortlessly into the new track, “It Ain’t Love.” When asked about the track, he said,

“People will tell you to do what makes you happy, but a lot of this industry is hard work. I don’t think you should do what always just makes you happy, I think you should do what makes you great.”

This track demonstrates exactly what makes this duo a great combination. They have more exciting news too. There will be a video that accompanies this tune very soon. Check back here to see the video and take a listen to the track below:

This article was first published on Your EDM.
Source: Carneyval & Jackson Breit – It Ain’t Love