THE ULTIMATE SUMMER SONGS FROM LA DJs

Backyard barbecues, afternoons by the pool, and car rides with the windows rolled down would not be complete without nostalgic summer tunes. But, not just any old songs will do. The perfect soundtrack can take these situations and turn them into truly memorable moments.

In search of that ideal playlist, we tapped eight of LA’s raddest DJs to share their favorite, iconic summertime tracks for the hot months ahead. (And, given our perennial sunshine, you know they know their hot-weather melodies better than most.) Prepare to revamp that pool-party track list and update your road-trip mixtape with these mix-master-approved jams. Click through to tune in.

[Via Refinery 29]


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 GOLDROOM

Josh Legg — a.k.a. Goldroom — first caught our attention with his always-on-repeat track “Embrace.” Now, he’s putting the final touches on his first full-length album (a venture three years in the making), and is set to hit up many of the electronic summer festivals around the U.S.

Favorite Summer Jams:
“‘[Sittin’ On] The Dock Of The Bay’ by Otis Redding and ‘Runnin’ by Pharcyde.”

What do these songs bring to mind when you hear them?
“There’s just something hot and sticky about both of these songs. I love the emotive quality of both of them. ‘Runnin’ is like foreplay on a hot summer evening, and Otis Redding is like the afterglow of a perfect summer night, when everything is still and thick and full of life.”

How would you describe your sound?
“Tropical, euphoric, or nostalgic. Music has always been escapist for me, so I think that’s my goal in creating songs as well.”


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IMMIGRÉ 

Jasmine and Val Fleury make up the on-the-rise female DJ duo Immigré, who mix live like no other. (We’ve also been known to stalk their perfectly curated Spotify playlists.) This year, the two have collaborated with the likes of Kiven and Cobra Starship and will be putting it down at hot-ticket pool parties for the next few months.

Favorite Summer Jams:
Val: “’Big Fun’ by Inner City.”
Jasmine: “’0-100′ by Drake.”

What do these songs bring to mind when you hear them?
Val: “This song is just an all-around feel-good house classic that makes everyone hit the dance floor. It’s also undeniable that Paris Grey is a goddess. We do our best to pay homage as well as to help inspire other strong, positive, and creative females. The lyrics also speak for themselves. You don’t really need a crowd to have a party. Be your own party!”
Jasmine: “If Drake is an option, nothing else exists.”

What is your favorite thing about playing sets in the summer?
“We’re both most comfortable in hot weather, and we love that summer puts everyone in good spirits. Most importantly, this season brings us a constant stream of festivals, tours, and pool parties. We love them all, but pool parties are probably our favorite type of event to DJ. Can’t get enough of the carefree vibes!”


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TOKIMONSTA

Tokimonsta started her musical exploration as an unfocused pupil of classical piano. The Southern California native allowed her background to form her appreciation for live instruments and textural landscapes, shown in her self-produced heavy-beat tracks. With a new song featuring Anderson Paak set to be released this month, she continues to stay on point while advancing the genre of digitally created jams.

Favorite Summer Jams:
“Dove Shack’s ‘Summertime In The LBC.’ Growing up in L.A., this was a summer anthem for all of Southern California. Also, Smashing Pumpkins’ ‘1979.’ The song has that mellow, summertime feeling.”

How would you describe your sound?
“My music is hip-hop and soul, but yet very much electronic. I believe it is a culmination and interpretation of all the music I grew up listening to.”

What is your favorite thing about summer tours and shows?
“Summer tours are nice because the weather tends to be better. When the weather is better, the people are happier, and the shows just seem a little brighter overall.”


image-2KASTLE

Putting the words soulful and smooth into the realm of electronic reworks and original content, Kastle creates songs that will have you in a groove. Besides topping iTunes charts and mastering remixes, the man will be on the road for all the major festival stops this season.

Favorite Summer Jams:
“‘Inside My Head ft. Meleka’ by Riton and ‘Good Love’ by Klymaxx.”

What do these songs bring to mind when you hear them?
“I’ve been really inspired by ‘80s freestyle lately, and it appears I’m not the only one. Riton’s new track sounds like it is straight out of the freestyle era, and it’s been going off in my sets. The Klymaxx classic has similar vibes, but with a slower trip-hop beat.”

What got you into creating music and DJing?
“I have the Internet to thank for that. I grew up in a very small town with absolutely no music culture, so at a very young age I somehow stumbled upon early ‘90s electronic music like Moby, Acen, Aphex Twin, and have devoted my life to it ever since.”


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LE YOUTH

Just when we thought Cassie’s “Me & U” couldn’t be more ingrained in our minds, Le Youth revives the track by exaggerating the hook and creating a whole new appreciation for the jam. But, it all makes sense, as revamping throwbacks seems to be his thing.

Favorite Summer Jams:
“‘Into You’ by Fabolous featuring Ashanti has major summer vibes. This song is a legend. Read the lyrics. Also, ‘What’s Luv?’ by Fat Joe featuring Ashanti and Ja Rule.”

How would you describe your sound/genre?
“I make dance music that I would want to listen to. Typically, it’s house music with a heavy ‘90s influence. It’s sort of like nostalgic dance music, I guess.”

What are you currently working on?
“Right now, I’m making a mixtape of all my favorite ‘90s songs. I think I’ll put it out this summer. I’m playing a rooftop pool party in San Diego, then off to Europe for some festivals. My new single, ‘Feel Your Love’ featuring Javeon, comes out in August.”


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 IO ECHO

This indie-rock band — made up by Leopold Ross and Ioanna Gika — is more than just a mix between the Velvet Underground and Siouxsie and the Banshees. Their DJ sets played around the city are equal parts nostalgic and dance-worthy. Find them in L.A. once they get back from recording their latest album in the U.K.

Favorite Summer Jams:
Ionna: “‘Sail Away (Orinoco Flow)’ by Enya because I love New Age music. When I listen to it, I feel like I’m in a digital ocean with a clear, vinyl sunset.”
Leopold: “‘Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe’ by Kendrick Lamar. The hook is spacey and strong and holds a great summer message. Keep all buzzkills at a safe distance.”

What is your favorite thing about summer tours and shows?
Leopold: “I love summer because it means that it’s only a couple more months until the romance and decay of the fall and winter. But, while it’s summer, I love looking out of the window while traveling on tour and seeing a welcoming, green, and vast landscape.”

What are you currently working on?
Leopold: “Ioanna and I are writing and recording our second album. I also just finished co-composing two films with my brother, Atticus. One is a biopic about Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys entitled Love and Mercy, and the other is the new film from Michael Mann, which is currently untitled.”

ALBUM OF THE DAY: BEST COAST’S FADE AWAY EP

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Best Coast gives us that lo-fi, west coast sound we love, again. They may be criticized for sounding the same, always, but you have to admit it is iconic. Bethany Cosentino and Bobb Bruno make us wish we were drinking beers and sitting on the beach enjoying the duo’s company. While the themes of  their Fade Away EP (released earlier this week) sound like downers – heartbreak and not knowing about life or yourself – the perkiness of every guitar chord and simple drum beats make dancing around in a bathing suit seem not so far-fetched in October.

While we don’t want Best Coast to change, on this EP you won’t find mod-podged cutouts of lolcats, the California coast and bud leaves making an appearance – the two have matured, some what. On the title track, “Fade Away” the lyrics are reminiscent of a so-called bullied, country singer we’d rather not name, ending the song with, “sick of you being mean, I didn’t do anything.” On “Who Have I become?” we realize we have no idea who we are, and we hate it – “I want to be somebody else. Sick of myself and how I feel,” ughh, life. Also, those tug-of-war relationships we try to not think about make the list – “you can have me everyday or we can go our separate ways”- in the 2nd track “I Wanna Know.”

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While we all may be at the age where a “no fucks given” attitude is said to by now be ingrained into our brains and knowing yourself should be a given, we are mistaken – and Best Coast reminds us of that.  Fade Away is a wonderful contradiction – vulnerable and cheerful at the same time – and, well, we wouldn’t want it any other way.

PS. The EP was entirely produced by the band on Cosentino’s new label, Jewel City. She is definitely doing big girl things, and we applaud her.

Take a listen and pay close attention to tracks 1, 3 and 7 – those are our faves.

PLAYLIST: COACHELLA TUNES FOR A RAINY DAY

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It’s raining, it’s pouring, and the Coachella line up is out.

Just when we were getting real comfortable in our day-dream of soaking up the Palm Springs sun and happily wasting brain-cells to determine which feather accessories might be pool party-appropriate, Los Angeles decided to remind us that the much-anticipated weekend of music and mayhem is still a few months off.

SIGH.

Well, in the meanwhile, we went ahead and conjured up a playlist of some of the best tunes to fit this unusual grey spell, all plucked straight for this year’s excellent roster of festival performers. Featuring The xx, Shovels & Rope, Tanlines, Stars, and many more, consider this the perfect mix for sipping some coffee and starting a relaxing weekend wherever you find shelter from the harsh drizzle that has suddenly struck our sunny streets.

And just in case you haven’t seen the official beauty of this year’s contenders, we have it here for you.

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LISTEN UP: IMMIGRÉ JANUARY PLAYLIST

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It’s Thursday. A weekday which, thanks to the skyrocketing popularity of fun, freedom and good times, has become almost entirely absorbed into the beloved chronological establishment known as the weekend. In preparation for the ensuing revelry–which starts, let’s say, around 5pm–one of our favorite up-and-coming DJ duos, Immigré,  has thrown up their top tracks of the moment onto a neat sixty-minute Spotify playlist. Power hour, anyone?

In order to beef up this blog post, the lovely Sanni Val Fleury & JSMN agreed to answer some of our questions. Find out whether or not the ladies like to sit in the shower below.

 

So, what’s up?

So excited for the New Year, and to be back in LA! Been doing some traveling, discovering lots of cool artists and styles from across Europe and Africa. It’s important for us because we play all genres, with more focus on female-driven and international tracks – which exemplifies who we are as Immigré. We really can’t wait to share with the masses! We can just tell this will be a great year of music, growth, and lots of dancing for us.

Can we get you something to drink?

Gin & Ginger for Sanni Val Fleury and Whiskey & Ginger for JSMN. Honestly, anything with ginger.

What are you wearing?

Usually, something shiny, in black and gold. And lose the pants, we’re not a fan of wearing pants.

Are you interested in anyone right now?

Definitely interested in anyone creating or sharing great music!

Do anything last night?

Always checking out music & fun events around LA! Catch us at spots like School Night at Bardot, Dim Mak Sundays at Drai’s, Artwalk, Sayers Sessions, Do-Over events or at after-hours spots in DTLA.

How late did you stay up?

Later than late. DJing definitely keeps you a night owl.

Meals or snacks?

Snacks on snacks on snacks.

If life could resemble any film…

Amélie.

The fashion moment you most regret…

Winter. We hate succumbing to the cold and wearing pants!

Who would you invite to your fantasy dinner party?

All of our new favorite artists, which include: AlunaGeorge, Katy B, Niki & The Dove, Rudimentary, Young Magic, Purity Ring, Charli XCX, Icona Pop, Iamamiwhoami, Jessie Ware, Jantsen, Kentö, Mikky Ekko, Bro Safari and Disclosure. Guest of Honor: 2Chainz.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Dirty Chai Tea Lattes with Almond milk, and spending money on music (concerts, tracks, equipment, etc).

Who’s your biggest fan?

Shout out to Brittney Scott, Hana Pestle, and Sad Girls Club.

You kissed a girl and liked it?

Into dudes. Beautiful, beautiful ones.

Who would you hire to write your theme song?

Sia, produced by Jesse Rogg.

Blue or black ink?

Black, obviously – with gold accents.

Ever sit down in the shower?

No, that’s where the water starts to feel cold. Gotta stay up in the heat!

When was the last time you really froke out on someone?

Posi-Mob for life, no time for negativity out here.

What was the first thing you said aloud this morning?

Yawn.

Are you listening to music right now?

Constantly. Actually, just put together a fresh Spotify playlist of songs we’re obsessed with this month. We’ll be putting one out each month, so keep your eyes peeled. Mixes to come as well.

Will you text the person you like today?

Heck yeah, how else would he know?!

If we gave you $50, what would you buy?

Vintage shopping spree – always on the hunt for yet another sequined jacket.

Last three Google searches…

Hair dye, DTLA Sandwich, Lacrimosa.

What are you doing later?

Working on upcoming mixes that we hope to debut on February 1st, each one will have a sweet female name – gotta rep for the ladies! Also, researching up-and-coming artists and independent tracks for a short film we’re music supervising.

Can we come?

You’re always welcome to come dance with us! We’re currently booking upcoming shows around the LA area (contact [email protected] for inquiries) and planning a Euro tour for the end of the year, with stops in France and the UK.