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.”

POSSO’S LA CANVAS PLAYLIST: 5 POOLSIDE TUNES + TURN UP FOR SPLASH HOUSE 2014

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Yeah, so POSSO just happened. Marylouise Pels and Vanessa Giovacchini are the stylish music gals who bride music, art and design into our universe — and do a killer job at it. Besides spinning us right round at some of the biggest international venues around the globe, these inspiring #ladybosses also host their very own contribution to Style.com, where we gather music tips, fashionable musings, beauty beats and a more in-depth taste of their unique blogger vocals.

We asked POSSO to dish their favorite poolside tunes and create a LA CANVAS poolside playlist since we’re mentally charging for Splash House 2014. They did. They even talk about each track. Ladies, thanks for the TURN UP:

We’re suckers over here for a good vocal chop up…especially when the one and only Diva herself is that vocal. Just enough chop and just enough soaring melody this track is undeniable especially as we listen upon the dawn of her highly anticipated 14th album.. The drop is in that Tchami/Sub Focus-esque middle ground between turning way up but still feeling cool about it.

We over here at POSSO have a sax problem. I’m serious. We actually have a playlist called “I love sax” with all the best sax hits we can get our ears on. This track is unpredictable but holds you real tight. Listen to this when when the sun is coming up in Ibiza or with your morning parfait–somehow both scenarios work.

A really refreshing track all around. The drop is a full on return to “the groove” that dance music has been needing desperately. We will probably be playing this in every set this summer.

This song hits hard and then bounces back at you. Paired with a R&B meets early House vocals. You can see the dancing with your eyes closed — hands up, dance circles forming already!

This track is like you’re traveling down a breakbeat wormhole in musical space and you cross paths with Daft Punk’s Technologic and then reach out and shake hands with some new school acid house sounds. In the words of Robert Palmer this track is “simply irresistible.” Work on those abs, guys, we’ll see you at the pool.

Get all up on POSSO’s Instagram @possouniverse

21 QUESTIONS: MELBOURNE-BRED SINGER CHELA

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Melbourne-based singer, Chelsea Wheatley — or more affectionately known as Chela — has been brandishing about some irresistible electro synth-pop that not only caught our attention recently, but also the folks at Noisey. With singles like “Romanticise,” “Plastic Gun,” and “Full Moon,” Chela might be another Melbourne-ite to make a big international breakthrough. Check out her 21 Questions segment with us below.

So what’s up?
I’m busily getting ready to shoot my next music video this weekend for ‘Zero’ which will be my first single of 2014.

Can we get you something to drink?
Yes please! I’m dreaming of a root beer float.

What are you wearing?
Black leather pants, silver docs, a silver silk sports vest and a gold chain with a dragon holograph pendant which I got from The Cobra Shop a couple weeks ago.

Are you interested in anyone right now?
I’m interested in lots of people.

Do anything last night?
I went to watch a few friends bands play at The Kelvin Club in Melbourne – Citizen Sex & All The Colours. It was a good time.

How late did you stay up?
Til 1, way past my bedtime.

Meals or snacks?
Meals! Big burgers with fries and a shake!

How often do you consume alcohol?
Never unless it’s in dessert, I’m intolerant. I’ve got the AZN flush.

Favorite rapper?
Ninja

Blue or black ink?
Black

Ever sit down in the shower?
Heck no, I’m a ‘germaphobe’.

Who’s on your current playlist?
Too many to list. Arthur Russell, Kindness, Aaliyah, Doobie Brothers, Andrew W. K. Haim, Blood Orange, Arcade Fire, Chairlift, M83, Backstreet Boys to name a few..

Favorite 2000’s pop hits?
Too many to list again! Here’s some – Casanova by Ultimate Kaos, Getting Jiggy With It by Will Smith, Say My Name by Destiny’s Child, Toxic by Britney, Doo Wop That Thing by Lauryn Hill, Hey Ya by Outkast, Pop Ya Collar by Usher, Ride With Me by Nelly, Remix To Ignition by R. Kelly.

Favorite One Direction member?
The only one whose name I know is Harry Styles, is he the one with the hair? :/

Most embarrassing moment?
This is hard! I don’t get embarrassed often. Maybe when I had to wear a plate in my mouth at school (I had fucked teeth), I was pretty embarrassed about that.

If life could resemble any film…
Peter Pan.

Favorite place to go on the weekends?
Wide Open Road in Brunswick for breakfast.

Your dream project?
To make an album next year!

If we gave you $50, what would you buy?
Everyone a round of root beer floats.

What are you doing later?
Going to the opening of my friends new vintage motorcycle store.

Can we come?
Heck yes!

SONG OF THE DAY: CHOICEVAUGHAN – “LOVES BABYFACE”

Music nowadays is on some kind of global takeover — what seemed to start in Canada with the likes of Drake and now Ryan Hemsworth and Kaytranada, has trickled to the lands down under in Australia and New Zealand. I mean, let’s face it, some of the folks that we have on constant rotation right now are straight out of the southwestern hemisphere: Flume, Ta-Ku, Hiatus Kaiyote, Lorde, and The Wyld, are all respectively from from either Australia or New Zealand. And, well, we’re about to add another one to our list.

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Enter ChoiceVaughan. We caught wind of the Lower Hutt valley native through London DJ/radio host Complexion‘s weekly “Future Beats Show,” and it was love at first bass drop. The featured cut, titled, “Loves BabyFace,” is one off his recently released EP, “The Reveremixes,” a seven track project of favored 90’s R&B reworks with amplified boom-bap production re-sexified for your body-rolling pleasure. We don’t know about you guys, but we think it’s going to be a minute before the whole 90s-R&B-edit trend dies, but you know what.. we’re not complaining. Check out the track below, and check out ChoiceVaughan’s soundcloud here.

INTERVIEW: SOULECTION’S ANDRE POWER

Soulection — if that name doesn’t ring a bell, maybe it’s about time to come out from whatever rock you’re hiding under. The label slash collective has been gaining steady progress since their inception in 2011 under founders Joe Kay and Andre Power, who have stacked the label roster higher than we can stack the empty Red Bull cans in our office. We caught up with one-half of the big dream duo, Andre Power, to talk about being the new kids on the block, why we both dig singers and worldwide takeover. 

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LA CANVAS: You guys started Soulection in 2011 and it just seems like everything surged upward: your popularity, fans’ reception of the music coming from the crew, it all just seemed to escalate in a short amount of time. Can you elaborate on what that’s been like?

We started with an idea, and that idea actually kind of switched once we got things going. We got the first compilation two years ago that drew in a lot of supporters and fans for us, and from then we had a lot of friends that wanted to help us out. I don’t know, everything just seemed to flow together a lot better and faster than we expected it to. I mean, there was no real plan in the beginning but everything that has happened in the last two years has definitely been a blessing. Me and Joe coordinate a lot on ideas and thoughts and we get a lot of help from the team when it comes to proper ways to market, proper ways to promote ourselves and things like that. Every aspect that we’re doing we try to not put a whole bunch of pressure to become somebody else, but just to keep doing what we do and let it flow.

LAC: Have there been any challenges or setbacks along the way?

Probably one of the biggest challenges is the communication between artists – especially because we work with a lot of artists overseas. There is so much coordination that has to go into maintaining those types of relationships because you have to factor in things like time zones and language barriers. I mean, it’s been tough, but this whole thing has been a huge learning experience for all of us.

LAC: At what point did you guys start bringing on the rest of the crew – Sango, IAMNOBODI, Esta – did things just start to fall into place?

Yeah, me and Joe were diggin’ all these crazy beats styles we found on SoundCloud, MixCloud, different blogs and stuff like that. I know we heard of Sango a long time ago, like in the very beginning — it’s funny because a lot of us became friends before we started talking about the business side of things, we were more mainly focused on the music side. So Joe and Sango were talking every day, me and Esta talked like once a week – IAMNOBODI was just making amazing music so we brought him on. We’re kind of really organic in that sense because we find a sound that fits – The Sound of Tomorrow – and we kind of just flow with it. We check out the artist, their past and current work, and see if they have what it takes to help us make what we’re vibin’ for in the future. We just have that keen air for what’s dope.

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LAC: Yeah, we definitely feel that. We follow you guys on Facebook and you’re always posting dope tracks, whether its someone from Soulection or someone else’s.

Yeah, and that’s part of it too, we’re not selfish about if there’s another label out there that’s also making amazing music. We’re not going to tell you to not listen to them and to only listen to us. And the end of it all, it’s about sharing good music and keeping what we’re doing alive. Because there’s a lot of people who don’t like to look back once they get to a certain level; we don’t ever forget about the music, at all.

LAC: Being out in LA, with other crews like HW&W (Recordings) and Team Supreme, is there some kind of… friendly competition of sorts between you guys? I know you’re all homies, but…

As far as competition goes, there isn’t really any (heavy competition) but it’s like a sport. We’re all teammates at the end of the day; we’re all there for the same reason, we can all learn from each other, we can sit down and share ideas, have conversations, share goals and focus on that. But I guess you can say that there is a different kind of friendly competition, nothing too deep like East Coast and West Coast. It’s all love.

LAC: That party on Saturday, though…

I cannot wait for that. I’m performing and doing all the visuals, so all the live projections for the show. So I’ve been working that all week, making sure all the performances flow together; it’s a nice little challenge to have. Just sucks that I hurt my leg this week.

LAC: Yeah, man, what happened?

We were at Kaytranada‘s show at the Pagoda (in San Jose) last week and we were all on the stage partying hard, and I took a step back and missed the stage and sprained my ankle.

LAC: Red Bull Music Academy did a piece on you guys, basically placing you at forefront of LA’s beat scene. What place do you guys think you hold in it? Coming from Low End Theory and that entire beat scene, being named the new kids on the block, that must mean something.

It totally means something. That’s the best way to put it – we look at a lot of movements as being generational things. So we look at ourselves as part of the next generation that’s part of what Brainfeeder has done, what Stones Throw have done – because they’ve paved the way for us, because if it wasn’t for them there may not be a Soulection. We’re here to be the present day of what they have created for us and for LA and the music scene. At the same time, we’re definitely there to help the cats that are coming up behind us, because we know there are guys ready to take our spot already, you know? We just want to keep growing and do what we do and push people to follow what we’re doing.

LAC: I mean, I definitely see that you guys believe that moniker you live behind, “They sleep, we grind.” Via social media, it looks like you guys are constantly working at 3am.

That was so present up in San Francisco. Literally, we were like, drink, party, kick it, work at like 2am, watch (Mr.) Carmack and Ab-Jo work on a beat, take a quick 20-30 minute nap, then back at it. It was rare to have us all together so we were all on that good creative high so when you’re in a zone, you gotta run with it.

LAC: I heard you guys finally found a singer?

I mean, we’re always looking, it’s not like once we find someone, that’s it. We’ve been talking to a few people. But it’s just like with our producers, we’re constantly searching and growing trying to find people that are down to rock with us. One really good reason we were looking for a singer is that a lot of our producers like to sample, do remixes, flip beats and when you do that, a lot of copyright laws come into play and it got to a point where we just don’t want to have to deal with that, you know? Somebody takes a Rihanna song and flips it and blows up, they can’t really go that far from that song. But if we had someone to lay down original vocals, then that shit can be infinite. That was one of the main reasons, but we also want to cover all ground as far as future soul, future beats. We don’t want to just be instrumental or hip-hop. We want to try to reach every aspect of our sound and the future of it.

LAC: So what is 2014 looking like for you guys?

My god… (laughs) For me personally the biggest thing is European tours and touring the entire world really. That’s something we’ve been talking about for the past two years and something that we all want to do. It’s definitely a dream for me because I feel that once we do that our following will definitely probably double. It’s one thing to be on the Internet, but once you make that physical presence and start doing these shows in Europe, Asia, and Australia, that these people start showing that much more love to you. Off the top, 2014 is going to be the worldwide move for us.

Catch Andre, Joe Kay and Esta, along with their HW&W (So Super Sam, Bahwee, Astronautica) and Team Supreme (Lil Texas, Penthouse Penthouse) homies and hella more at the 4th Annual Asylum Halloween Party this Saturday. In conjunction with Assemblyline Collective, UPxUNDR, Swisher Society, Rif and yours truly, this is one for the books. Don’t miss it. Tickets available online only. 

SONG OF THE DAY: TYCHO – “AWAKE”

The music we listen to oftentimes becomes the soundtrack of our lives – they become triggers to jog our memories, to remind us of where we’ve been, who we were with and where we wanted to go.

Graphic artist Scott Hansen – or better known as musician/producer Tycho – has finally released his first single from the follow-up LP to his 2011 release, Dive. The track, titled “Awake,” stays true to Tycho’s signature aesthetic that can be found simultaneously in his artwork and his music: clean, crisp layers that are meticulously strung together, almost to a fault.

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Contrary to his mellowed-out Dive, “Awake” walks along the line of being the total opposite. The track’s stand out guitars and bass are bright, driven by the mid-tempo drums and floating melodies that remind us of warm July nights that we’re not quite ready to let go of yet. Hallelujah for Indian summers.

Check out the rest of Tycho’s tracks and Dive here.

MIX OF THE DAY: TRIPPY TURTLE’S DIPLO & FRIENDS MIX ON BBC RADIO 1

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Saturday mornings was the happiest when I was a kid — no school, a bowl of cereal and Saturday morning cartoons, and I was set. Nowadays Saturday mornings are more or less the same — no work, a bowl of leftover drunchies (usually a half-eaten burrito), and BBC Radio 1’s weekly Diplo & Friends, and you can call me a happy camper, if not a hungover one.


A few weekends back, the Diplo & Friends guest DJ was a reptilian bohemian that goes by the name of Trippy Turtle… and really, that’s all we can tell you. Thanks to the Internet, DJs, artists and producers are popping up like daisies, sometimes with little to no information on who exactly these folks are — and Trippy is one of them.

Based off of his Facebook posts and Tweets, Trippy might reside somewhere in Europe (he recently did a show in Norway with Sinjin Hawke and has a show at the end of November in Paris) and rubs virtual elbows with Cashmere Cat. The two frequently feature each other on their respective mixes, including Cashmere Cat’s own turn on Diplo & Friends and his recent hangout with Gilles Peterson. Many thought Trippy was a Cashmere Cat alias, but he squashed that accusation months ago.

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Trippy’s BBC1 mix is all machine whirrs, withered down syrupy R&B samples and edits, thunderous bass and stutters — a mix of sex trap and Jersey club , if you will. Really, this mix has it all. It’ll have you singing along, while simultaneously doing body rolls and that infamous trap dance that looks like you’re doing some really weird pull-ups all at once. That’s how good it is, but I shouldn’t have to tell you twice. Hit that play button.

Check out more of Trippy Turtle’s tracks and edits at his soundcloud.