I’ve Converted to Azaleaism

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It was around this time last year when my small mind was first introduced to the controversial musical act that is Iggy Azalea, around that time when teenage girls everywhere were uploading side profiles of themselves to Instagram with captioned lyrics from ‘Work’ (because middle-class, suburban kids naturally know all about ‘head over heels’) . Anyway, I immediately dismissed Iggy as a one-hit wonder who couldn’t rap and just another talentless hipster craze that would pass.  Yet here I am a year later, scouring the internet for Iggy related articles so I can get to know the Aussie rapper just that little bit better. Continue reading

The Hood Internet – Higher Greens (Schoolboy Q x Just Blaze & Baauer)

The Hood Internet have been conjuring up some great new remixes recently, and this combination of ‘Collared Greens’ from Schoolboy Q and ‘Higher’, by Just Blaze, Baauer and Jay Z, is no exception. Taking the understated and subtle ‘Collared Greens’, featuring Kendrick Lamar, and turning it into a trap-rave style track, complete with ridiculously heavy synths and builds, in a trademark Just Blaze style, The Hood Internet manage to combine the two tracks perfectly, with the drops matching exactly to pauses in the verses, and the bass scrubbing over the hook emphasizing different parts of the track to the original. A much heavier version than the one featured on the recently released ‘Oxymoron’, but one that still highlights Schoolboy Q’s talent, never letting the production overshadow him.

8.5/10

Tinashe ft Schoolboy Q – 2 On (TOKiMONSTA remix)

The original version of ’2 On’ is stripped back and focuses mainly on Tinashe’s vocals with a minimalistic beat and subtle violin accents, while the TOKiMONSTA remix twists the track into something thicker and more energised. The vocals remain the main element of the track, but these are complemented brilliantly by drums and piano riffs, as well as synths and a bassline which works brilliantly with the slicing up of the vocals at the chorus. Apart from this, the vocals are pretty much left alone (Schoolboy Q’s verse remains untouched, just with some added synths). The layering of the whole track is so spot on – building throughout and serving to morph the track into something which still sounds as sultry and polished as the original, but with a more uplifting twist.

9.5/10

Darius – Hot Hands

‘Hot Hands’ is taken from Darius’ EP “Romance” which came out in February of this year. The most notable thing about the track is the initial beat, which is simple enough that its not overpowering, but effective enough that its the driving force behind the track for its duration. The simple yet smouldering hook is repeated throughout the song, and seeing as the majority of it is made up of only two words, Darius manages to keep the track engaging by mixing up the synths, with moments which effectively break off the beat completely, combining just the ethreal vocals and the bassline. The entire track is understated and it never pushes the boundaries too far, instead remaining minimalistic and slick, but never at all boring.

9.5/10

Stromae- Merci

It’s not commonly known that our beloved Stromae was a rapper before becoming famous for his EDM-fuelled hip-hop tracks. However this one, as one of our favourite tracks, just goes to show the evolution of an artist. This track has an astonishing French House beat that can be compared to those of Kavinsky and Daft Punk, showing this 29 year old rapper has made a journey through rap, into rap with Eurodance influences and now admirable French House tracks. We love these little instrumentals in albums that just go to show the broad range of the artist’s abilities. The track sells itself and we don’t need to say much about it other than he perfects the fusion of Eurodance, French House and Ethereal Wave. He is truly the maeStro…

8.5/10

Tycho (ft. Kanye West & Lupe Fiasco) – Awake

‘Awake’ by Tycho is reminiscent of the XX, with its melancholic, repetitive riffs and beats, and it’s been circulating recently in the form of many different remixes (although the original is just as commendable). One of the best is this mashup, showing off Tycho aka Scott Hansen’s ambient track, complimenting “Touch the Sky” brilliantly in an understated way. Reminds us of the XX meets Kanye version which is similar but not as poignant. Worth a listen.

9/10

Tove Lo – Stay High (Habits Remix)

With so many waves in this track as it builds layer by layer and then drops, it’s hard to get bored listening to it, even though its repetitive nature would usually ensure you would. With ethereal vocals and a steady beat, the chorus is basic and catchy, making the track an easy listen, which is simple enough not to take itself too seriously. At a first listen its a pretty uplifting, albeit melancholic song, but it’s only on a second listen that the lyrics: and “you’re gone / and I gotta stay high all the time / to keep you off my mind” start sounding pretty depressing and darker than the track initially leads you to believe.

8/10