Gabriel Garzn-Montano: 6 8 (Lord RAJA Remix)
On his EP Bishoun: Alma del Huila (off NYC imprint Styles Upon Styles), Gabriel Garzn-Montano reminds listeners what instruments, not computers, are capable of doing. The SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music grad sings and plays every single note himself. He encapsulates the mellow soul of early Lauryn Hill but reflects his own personality by keeping his tunes sparse and lyrics relevant. Fans will appreciate Lord RAJA’s (of Ghostly) remix of Garzn-Montano’s ballad “6 8,” which transforms the soulful song into shadowy remnants of the singer’s vocals and piano notes. Catch Garzn-Montano opening for Lenny Kravitz on the Strut World Tour through 14 December 2014.
Swim Team: Clairvoyant
LA label Hit City USA released the first singles for San Diego newcomer Swim Team this week, both of which are the upshot of a broken synthesizer. Accustomed to playing guitar or keyboards in bands, when Swim Team’s Caleb Chial happened upon the synth in his garage, it got his creative energy flowing in a new direction. “It was a completely different approach to making music for me,” he tells Hit City. The freedom it provided him and the “lush landscapes” he could create with the electronic instrument can be heard in “Clairvoyant,” a beautiful tune that’s as melodically ethereal as it is grounded.
The Juan Maclean: Love Stops Here
“We love songs that build, measure after measurebeat after beat. The type of songs you listen to a dozen times in a row to pinpoint the exact turning point from slow burn into a jam. This comes a lot from our years spent as Finger On The Pulse DJs and and now just bleeds over into our favorite songs,” explains Greg Bresnitz of Snacky Tunes, who chose The Juan Maclean’s “Love Stops Here” as this week’s #PrivateJam. The radio show host (who works with his brother Darin) explains, “It starts with that simple syncopation and groove and then builds and builds over the five minutes. This song just stays on repeat these days.”
Redlight: 9TS (90s Baby)
BBC Radio 1 host Annie Mac, known for championing relatively unknown electronic music acts and helping them gain recognition (think Disclosure), has put together her annual compilation of music she’s played this year. This year’s selection includes songs from Duke Dumont, Jessie Ware, Caribou as well as four exclusive tracks from emerging artists. We jammed out to UK producer Redlight’s contagious dance tune “9TS (90s Baby),” with lyrics like “Biggie Smalls, Versace shades / Moschino jeans and Aliz” making us pang for the ’90s. The Annie Mac Presents 2014 compilation (with 19 songs) released in the US this past week and can be purchased via iTunes.
Campos Neto: Dia Benga (Nomads VIP Edit)
As one half of Berlin duo Africaine 808, Nomad has become famous for his Vulkandance parties in the German capital. The DJ (and painter) ventured to NYC this week to treat audiences to his crate-digging style of deep house that draws on rare and obscure tracks from African rock and pop of the ’60s and ’70s. Nomad’s VIP Edit of Campos Neto’s “Dia Benga” typifies Nomad’s style and the energy he brings to his live shows. An obscure track is given a second life when Nomad throws in a few house elements and educates audiences on a new genre and era of tunes to discover.
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. Hear them all in our ListenUp playlist on Spotify.