Machinedrum's haunting Vapor City medley, Can U Dance, Sébastien Tellier's PrivateJam and more in this week's look at music
Majid Jordan: A Place Like This
With prominent vocals and production credits on Drake's heavily rotated (and critically acclaimed) single "Hold On, We're Going Home," Toronto duo Majid Jordan had listeners intrigued. Composed of Majid Al Maskati and Jordan Ullman, the PR-shy group offers up their single "A Place Like This." Featuring a stripped-down beat reminiscent of Jamie xx and the same sleek vocals from Al Maskati that caught Drizzy's ear, the track is a promising cut of downtempo house R&B in the spirit of the early mixtapes from fellow TO-based artist The Weeknd. Keep an eye out for the EP of the same name dropping 22 July 2014.
DJ Jackmaster and DJ Oneman: Can U Dance
DJs Jackmaster and Oneman are challenging gig-goers around Europe this summer with what is clearly a rhetorically named performance, "Can U Dance." As their four-deck set-up at Glastonbury (which was recorded exclusively by BBC Radio 1) proved, these two are serious about mixing up some serious old-school grooves with an electronic twist. Their spin on jams from the likes of INXS, Prince, The Streets, Gorillaz and more are guaranteed to get people off their phones and fully immersed in a mega dance party. Catch them live at festivals this summer, including our favorite, Croatia's Dimensions Festival.
2 Unlimited: No Limit
When we asked the eccentric French singer Sébastien Tellier for his guilty pleasure song, we weren't sure what to expect—as his conceptual discography shows, he shifts from orchestral to electronic pop to space-disco with ease. Revealing his #PrivateJam as 2 Unlimited's "No Limit," the enigmatic artist simply explains, "Open your ears and you will hear it." Americans might be more familiar with their dance track-turned-sports-anthem "Get Ready For This," but for the rest of the world, "No Limit" was the Eurodance group's masterpiece. While Tellier's new album L'Aventura, out 15 July, is more influenced by Brazilian music than club beats, it's nice to know that he can't resist a cheesy '90s banger either.
Resident Advisor Sessions: Machinedrum
When Travis Stewart—the musician best known as Machinedrum—released his concept album Vapor City on Ninja Tune last year, listeners reveled in his versatile music landscape, which is built upon layers of loops and sounds and beautifully punctuated by nuanced details. At SXSW, the Berlin-based electronic artist brought his fantasy to life with drummer Lane Barrington, catching the hearts of everyone and the eye of Resident Advisor, who were so taken they asked Stewart to recreate the scenario for them. The upshot is a hauntingly terrific medley of Stewart's "humid style of footwork and jungle" that makes you dream of living forever in his fictitious world.
The teenage Canadian brother and sister duo behind the tender, futuristic instrumental "Lay-by" want to remind people to take a minute to slow down and take everything in, because "sometimes the dark can be beautiful." This track begins with what sounds like a pitched car door signal and sets off on a dynamic journey with more curious sonic colorings and embellishments—without needing vocals or lyrics to grab the listener's attention. Tennyson's jazz-influenced electronic works have also caught the interest of fellow Canadian and producer Ryan Hemsworth, as he selected their "You're Cute" as the first up in his free music series Secret Songs.
ListenUp is a Cool Hunting series published every Sunday that takes a deeper look at the music we tweeted throughout the week. Often we'll include a musician or notable fan's personal favorite in a song or album dubbed #PrivateJam.