Album Review: Flexy the Artist – Route 63

Route 63

 

A few weeks ago I got my hands on the new Flexy album, Route 63, and at first I wasn’t sure what to think.  I first came across Flexy when he sent me an email about a year and half ago, while performing as 3oNe3 alongside DJ Merf, asking us to take a look at one of their tracks. I gave it listen and I was digging the party sound this Midwest college kid with dreads was delivering.  Since then Flexy has gone solo, shed the mainly party sound (and the dreads), and matured his sound greatly.  Since going solo, Flexy has teamed up with fellow University of Missouri artist, Gramattyk, and started the record label Knew Habits.  In January, Knew Habits started dropping bi-weekly tracks, the Worst Behavior Wednesday series, leading up to the release of EP’s from both Flexy and Gramattyk. If you followed the WBW’s you know that while Flexy’s sound has gone more vocal, he can drop some serious bars when he wants to.

After listening to Route 63 fully through I was blown away. While I started listening to Flexy for the party sound, I’m now listening for the R&B sound.  The album is named for the direct route between Columbia and Baton Rouge which is where Flexy traveled this past summer for an internship. It was there, being away from everyone he knew, that he came up with the concept for this EP.

The album starts off with “Strange Coast” ft. Shea which immediately sets the tone for the album. “Strange Coast” has a very pop/Justin Timberlake chorus feel but also incorporates Flexy’s lyrical ability in the verses.  Next up is my personal favorite, “Gabby”. “Gabby” has a very 80′s style MJ beat, however, it’s very catchy.  I’ve been digging this track since Flexy released it as a single a few weeks ago. “That Was Easy (Interlude)” follows next, which incorporates a nice chorus with some skit like antics (complete with and iPhone ringer).  The Interlude is followed up by “Missed Calls”, which has an almost Pharrell feel, “M(II)y Escape”, and “Is It Worth It”. After these three tracks, you’re sucked right back into the album with an a Capella intro to “Beachhouse”. “Beachhouse” has a very laid back R&B sound and is a perfect lead in to the final track on the album, also one of my favorites, “Taxi Cab”.  ”Taxi Cab” is a great track to end the album with.  It’s got a great chorus, catchy sound, and sick guitar riffs.  This track was actually dropped last September and was the start of Flexy’s transition. It represented all the change and maturity he went through musically throughout the summer and was the starting point for Route 63.

Flexy’s come a long way since sending us “Guide Me Home” back in September 2012. This album is a big step in the right direction and I can’t wait to see what Flexy and Knew Habits come up with next. You can stream the album below but make sure you go out and grab this EP on iTunes!

Highlight Tracks: “Gabby”, “Taxi Cab”, “Beach House”, “Strange Coast”, and “That Was Easy (Interlude)”

iTunes Download

WhatupFlex.com

 

Eargasm

Soundremedy

I’m not a huge Lana Del Rey fan–yeah, Summertime Sadness is addicting in a sort of cheap, let’s-play-what-the-drunk-bitches-want-to-hear way. But this remix of Young and Beautiful by Sound Remedy is epic. A homeboy from Chicago, Sound Remedy is now reaping his success in Venice Beach at just 26. Beginning with a brief but pointed almost video game esque electronic intro, this track then assumes a more relaxed, pop feel. It feels like a water fall–you can just imagine what the hypothetical music video for this would look like. When you get to the drop, the influence of trap is clear but calculated. All of Sound Remedy’s music is available for free on soundcloud. It builds like an orgasm, slow at first and then, well, you get the idea.

Elli’s Justice

elli ingram
This is absolutely lovely. I was shown this by a friend last year who has unfortunately since departed campus, and given the tentative September release of Kendrick Lamar’s next album, it seems appropriate to weave a couple posts about his music until that long awaited day. A cross of genres, Elli Ingram instantaneously becomes the coolest big blonde lady ever when she covers Kendrick Lamar’s “Poetic Justice”. Hearing the lyrics from a woman’s perspective is fascinating, and the melding of genres is sublime. It’s graceful but purposeful, glacial in auditory quality and smooth in delivery. Give it a shot.

Music in Heat

 

Northern Lights

A lot of music that I write about is music that I have never heard before. Often times, it’s music that assumes a genre of which I have no preconceived genre-association with. Like I don’t even know what to call it until I wash down an inspirational cocktail or brew or three. This is no exception–there are no words in this song, and there are few that can describe what it sounds like. It’s hip hop with no words, a sauntering beat purveying funk as it meanders from nebula to nebula, synesthetic in nature. It’s what the aurora borealis would sound like if it made noise. The artist is Matt Castle, preforming under the name Lone, a young mixer from Nottingham, England. His discography is extensive and prolific–he has released a combination of 14 albums and EP’s since 2007. Let’s get back to the lack of words in “2 is 8″, and more importantly the title of this post. Someone needs to spit over this track. Without lyrics, especially given the length of the beat, something intangible is left to be desired. It’s horny. It is begging for someone to come make love to it–it is incomplete, or it seems that way to me. Chance the Rapper? That’d be a delight. Anyway, this sample of space funk is Castle’s single release from his upcoming fifth full length album Reality Testing.

 

 

Electric Friday: San Diego Announcement (Skrillex vs. Jay Z)

Hirsch

 

A few weeks ago I introduced you guys to Hirsch and brought you guys his Pool Party Mix. Today, Hirsch is back with “San Diego Announcement” which is a Skrillex and Jay Z mixup. The build up and drop into Jay Z’s intro is phenomenal.  I’ve been listening to this track since coming across it a few days ago. Roll up, pour some shots, and start off your Friday pregame with this track.

 

Mixcloud Soundcloud Livestream

 

WBW: “Gabby” and “The Worth” Lyric Videos

Knew Habits

Happy Thursday Neptunes! One day closer to the weekend. This week for WBW Flexy and Gramattyk drop lyric videos to last weeks’ releases. Don’t brush these off as one of those white word, blackground Youtube videos thrown together by some 11yr old in his basement. Flexy and Gramattyk bring you some entertainment in these pieces. If you enjoyed last week’s tracks (I’m not sure who didn’t), then give these a watch.  These are the first singles off Flexy and Gramattyk’s forthcoming EP’s which drop at the end of the month.

Flexy (Route 63) and Gramattyk (Efficiency) have announced that their albums will drop on iTunes on April 30th.

Gramattyk.com

Whatupflex.com

 

 

 

The Ballroom Has Been Stolen By Three Hipsters

Good evening young Americans. Last Saturday night, we ventured to Assumption College up in Worcester to check out a band we’ve been eyeing for the last couple months. They’re called The Ballroom Thieves, and when they were first described to me, they were likened to a sort of Mumford & Sons sound. Which I personally found discouraging because I never fell in love with the generic pseudo-folk Irish effort. So I started listening with skepticism and ended up finding my new favorite contemporary folk set in The Ballroom Thieves. Exceptionally crafted, high energy folk-rock, coupled with emotional, allegorical lyricism is what these fellows and lady fella produce. A 3 piece set with a drummer, a guitarist, and a cello player, the energy they produce equates to that of a 5 piece punk band. You hear them, and you’ll think to yourself “Have I heard this somewhere?” and the answer is in 99% of cases no, but give it some time and you will. We did an interview with them and I transcribed some of the more interesting points below. Martin is the main singer and guitarist, Devin is the drummer (as well as vocalist), and the lovely Calin is the cello player as well as vocalist. The venue is small, as is the crowd. It’s a very intimate setting, not what we expected, but it allowed us the front row.

The track here is my personal favorite by The Ballroom Thieves. Watch it live all the way through, it’s sublime.

(Dylan) When did you guys start playing together?

Martin: Well, Devin and I have been playing since college, so about three years. At that time we had hired a cello player for a couple months. With the addition of Calin, we’ve been playing the past 7 or 8 months.

(Zack) What do you guys see in the way of influences on your music?

Devin: A lot of similarly sized bands that we meet when we’re on the road. Bands that work hard travel hard, and play hard.

Martin: A lot of local Boston bands like Darling Side and Tall Heights, I don’t know if you guys have heard of them. Let’s see, all sorts of stuff, The Ghost of Paul Revere, Bob Dylan, Phil Collins, The Eagles, even hip hop–you know, like Action Bronson, etc.

(Dylan) Where are you guys from?

Martin: Well I grew up in Switzerland but moved to Boston when I was 14.

Devin: I grew up in Red Hook, New York.

Calin: I’m from Franklin, Mass. We’re all from out East.

(Zack) What has been your guys’ favorite show to play?

Martin: Ah, that’s hard. A couple weeks ago we played at the Sinclair in Harvard Square for a record release, and that place sold out. It was surreal.

Calin: Definitely a different environment than tonight’s show, way more energy and people, it was more like a rock and roll show.

(Dylan) Well, we still thoroughly enjoyed tonight’s set. How old are y’all?

Martin: I’m 26 and so is Devin

Calin: I’m 27

(Dylan) Jesus, you guys make me feel so young. I’m 19.

Calin: That’s a good thing!

(Dylan) Zack here is like 40 anyway.

Calin: Well, he looks great.

(Zack stealthily hides his erection) Do you guys have anything that you’re working on now?

Martin: We’re working on a new EP

(Dylan) I noticed that a lot of my favorite tracks from the Audiotree sesh, like Bullet and Archers, are not available anywhere else. Will these be on the new EP?

Martin: Yeah, we’ve got about 15 tracks that are either on Audiotree or just not available to the public ’cause some of them aren’t finished. We don’t really have a release date set because we have so much left to do but when it’s finished it’ll have a lot on it.

(Dylan) My favorite track is Bullet.

Calin: Mine too.

Devin: I noticed you mouthing along to it, I appreciate that.

(Zack) Where are you guys playing next?

Devin: We’ll be spending our time working our way west, like your area (gestures toward Dylan) in Chicago and Evanston, and eventually into California.

(Zack) Have you guys ever done a rock contest? Like a contest where the winner gets a production package and a leg up with their work?

Martin: We haven’t, we’ve heard of those before, and they’re a great help for the right kinds of bands, especially since all this shit is expensive, but we’re trying to keep everything original.

Calin: We want it all to happen organically, you know?

(Dylan) More power to you for doing it the right way. I know it’s difficult, but to end this, if you guys had to pick a favorite band?

Devin: Frightened Rabbit, there a Scottish rock band that I’ve been really into lately.

Martin: It’s a cop out answer, but Bob Dylan. So much different music, for all kinds of situations, and his lyricism is just perfect.

Calin: This is another cop out, but I’d have to say Feist. She’s very inspiring and I’ll just be able to listen to her anytime.

Neptune Friday: Electric Weekend – StarchilD – “Crowd Control”

Star

 

It’s fucking Friday Neptunes! Who’s ready for the weekend!? Keeping with the recent trend, today’s Neptune Friday is showcasing some electric talent.  Back, with yet another mix, is a Neptune Favorite; StarchilD. A few weeks ago we brought you his “Everything & More” mix alongside one of my personal favorites, his “Voice of Charlie Chaplin” track. This week he drops “Crowd Control”. StarchilD tried some new techniques in this mix and I’m really diggin em. He gets better and more polished with each track.  Can’t wait to hear what kind of Summer bangers he’s cookin up! Below the mix you can check a few of the tracks he used in the mix…

StarchilD on Soundcloud

 

Crowd Control by Childstar on Mixcloud

 

1. Far East Movement – There will be no rain (Kill Paris Remix)
2. Juicy J Feat. Project Pat – Still Hustlin (Kennedy Jones Hustle Harder Remix)
3. SlumberJack Feat. Sable – Sprinter
4. Sikdope – Suspect (Original Mix)
5. UZ – No Stripes 6. Roniks – THRWN MNY 7. Krewella – Alive (Cash Cash & DJ Kalkutta Remix) 8. Krewella – Alive (Pegboard Nerds Remix)
9. Star Machines – Intelligent Idiots
10. Adventure Club – Wait (Culture Code Remix)
11. Zedd Feat. Matthew Koma & Miriam Bryant – Find You (Moiez Remix)
12. Excision & Datsik – Deviance (Dirtyphonics Remix)
13. Lil Flip – Way we ball (Crizzly Remix)
14. Driicky Graham – Snapbacks and tattoos (Big Gigantic Remix)
15. Excision & Datsik – Swagga (Datsik Trap VIP)
16. Kill Paris – Tender Love
17. Marc Lawrence – Beautiful (Electocisum Remix)
18. Seven Lions – Days to come (Nesian Remix)
19. Royksopp – Running to the sea (Seven Lions Remix)
20. What So Not – Jaguar (Original Mix)

TBT: David Heartbreak – Elmo (Valentino Khan Remix)

 

For this week’s Throw Back Thursday I bring you one of the hottest dubstep bangers to ever hit the EDM scene. I find myself leaving it on repeat because it has a very unique sound that I have never heard before and may I say it’s so FuNkY.  And oh man when the beat drops it  just blows your mind and you just want to get up and rage to this. Valentino Khan is a DJ coming out of Los Angeles, CA who has produced for Hip-Hop icon T.I and is starting to push towards making more electronic music in the upcoming year. Be on the look out for this guy because 2012 is going to be a huge year for Valentino.

 

 

Double Dose WBW: The Worth (Single) & Gabby (Single)

Knew Habits

It’s that time of the week again Neptunes! Worst Behavior Wednesdays are back with a double dose.  This week we’re excited to bring you the first single, “The Worth” from Gramattyk’s album Efficiency and “Gabby”, the first single off Flexy’s Route 63.  With both of their albums dropping on iTunes at the end of this month, Flexy and Gramattyk have stepped up their game and have been dropping some quality tracks the last few weeks. Both of these singles will be available for download until May 1st, the day after their albums drop.

Flexy (Route 63) and Gramattyk (Efficiency) have announced that their albums will drop on iTunes on April 30th.

Gramattyk.com

Whatupflex.com