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Trenton’s Playlist: For those cold October nights

Memorial Church at night (Wikimedia Commons, Rao.anirudh).

Late Night on a chilly October night: You stroll into the hall with your friends, cradling laptops, papers and books in your folded arms. You all claim a table in the quiet hall. You queue up and order the food. Small talk abounds: Someone nonchalantly complains about their workload. Finally, food arrives: You all grab your portions and return to the table. No one will take this for a gastronomic masterpiece of haute cuisine, but it more than suffices — it satisfies the soul, you think, as you open your laptop and amble through your work.

You reflect on the day behind you. It is a third of the way, almost exactly, into the first quarter. It is not quite halfway — but it is enough. You have comfortably fallen in step, once more, with the rhythm of life — of work and of play — at Stanford.

This is the soundtrack of such a night.

  1.    Snakehips — All My Friends (ft. Tinashe & Chance the Rapper) [PREP Remix]

London musician PREP’s remix of “All My Friends” successfully maintains the wonderfully laid-back feel of the Snakehips’ original. “All My Friends” comments on party culture but does not glorify it. On the contrary, it’s a complaint about a disappointing Friday night party populated with “vultures” and “cannibals.” PREP is well matched to the tired yet full vocals from Tinashe and Chance the Rapper, adding suave chord progressions and woodwind riffs atop the mix. The acoustic drums impart a live feel to the track. The vocals perfectly complement the soulful, jazzy vibes of the remix, creating a slow-jam smoothness.

  1.    KOLAJ — The Touch (Indiginis Remix)

Veteran remixers Indiginis never fail to please their fans, and their remix of “The Touch” from the LA-based group KOLAJ is no exception. The easygoing beat suits the remix impeccably. Indiginis combines the chill feeling of the original with their characteristically impassioned chord progressions and sounds. Indiginis’ adept control and spacing of cadences evokes a sense of intimacy and fulfillment. The end result is expressive and heartfelt.

  1.    SNBRN — Sometimes (Bee’s Knees Remix)

The Bee’s Knees have long been practitioners of the indie/nu-disco style of electronic music. SNBRN undoubtedly spends no small amount of his musical adventures in the genre of future bass. The combination of these two styles ought to mesh awkwardly, yet Bee’s Knees manages to create an airy, danceable track. Listen for the key change two minutes into the remix — the chord changes are handled deftly, sans hesitation.

  1.    The Knocks — Collect My Love (ft. Alex Newell) [Lenno Remix]

If Finnish producer Lenno’s talent was not already clear from his skillful integration of retro and house influences, his remix of “Collect My Love” will definitively convince the skeptic. The Knocks’ “Collect My Love” is emphatically upbeat, an unequivocal ode to joy — but Lenno’s interpretation takes a slower approach to the music. His remix feels timeless, nostalgic, a refreshing listen in any circumstance.

  1.    Louis La Roche — The Receiver (Blende Remix)

English producer Blende provides his own disco-style take on Louis La Roche’s original in his remix of “The Receiver.” Dominated by swirling piano chords, Blende’s track sits comfortably between retro house and chill house. There’s a definite feel of longing and hesitation that parallels the lyrical theme of the track: a man reaching for the telephone receiver, presumably to call a romantic interest. The chord progression doesn’t quite resolve: It swings tipsily between two chords, back and forth, surprising the listener every so often with edgier chords, as if the man is about to take action — but, just as suddenly, Blende takes the track back to the safety of the two chords. The groovy, twisted plucks add some extra polish.

  1.    Autograf – Dream

Native to Chicago, Autograf has successfully crafted a brand of mixing live sounds with electronic influences. “Dream” is faithful to that Autograf style. The central piano chords define the track, as the tranquil vocals float above the mix. But “Dream” represents much more than just a well-made track — “Dream,” according to Autograf, is also a nod to their artistic aspirations.

  1.    Pat Lok – Your Lips (ft. DiRTY RADiO)

Canadian talent Pat Lok has crafted a disco-funk sound that is distinctly retro, yet powerfully innovative. His sample-heavy beats suggest a wide, dancehall-type sound, all while maintaining a chilled feeling. “Your Lips” is defined by a joyful, catchy chord progression as DiRTY RADiO’s passionate voice tells a story of attraction and romance.  Featuring uplifting, airy vocals and a groovy bassline, “Your Lips” is the choice ballad for an autumn night.

  1.    Fonkynson — Carresse (ft. Le Couleur)

Funk influences and a chill indie house feel define Fonkynson’s style. “Caresse” is one of many wonderful tracks on his new album “#Followme,” and it is an impeccable testament to Fonkynson’s mastery of funky yet harmonious soundscapes, layering the close, lighthearted French vocals gently above the laid-back beat. The spacey chords slide lazily between pitches, creating a soothing experience for the listener.

  1.    Louis the Child — It’s Strange (ft. K.Flay) [Bee’s Knees Remix]

Chicago duo Louis the Child were already a dominant figure in chill dance music when they released “It’s Strange,” featuring singer (and Stanford alum) K.Flay. The Bee’s Knees’ remix of “It’s Strange”  is a timeless future bass jam. The resonant chords and heavy bass mesh with K.Flay’s husky vocals charmingly. The jazzy steel drum licks evoke a tropical sound apropos to Kygo, but this Bee’s Knees remix uncannily fits into any set.

  1. Rhythm District – Impossible (ft. Linford K Hydes)

Rhythm District premiered “Impossible,” the second single from its debut album “Your Loss,” on edm.com at the end of 2015, and the then-obscure Welsh band quickly exploded in popularity to become one of the breakout acts in indie dance of 2015. “Impossible” has the feel of a plaintive swing encapsulated within a modern sound. Linford K Hydes’ accented vocals provide a charming finishing touch to the work.

 

Contact Trenton Chang at tchang97 ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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