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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Five New Tracks to Help You Ease Into Summer

Posted By on Wed, May 30, 2012 at 8:03 AM

Antwon's latest is a serious summer anthem.
  • Antwon's latest is a serious summer anthem.

With June just around the bend, it's time to start thinking about what you'll be doing during San Francisco's precious two weeks of summer... when they arrive in October. Of course, the long wait means you'll have plenty of time to launder your shorts, pick out a new pair of cheap sunglasses, and research which suntan lotion additives contribute to skin cancer. But since those activities may occupy lots of your time, we've taken the opportunity to compile this short list of summery jams for you to sift through while waiting for the fog to burn off Ocean Beach. So give these a spin -- they might help trick you into thinking you're living in a warmer climate.

"Love Shine Down," by Antwon, Safe, FaTees

As if "Helicopter" wasn't a strong enough beginning, Antwon is back with a summer anthem for the hip-hop heads. "Love Shine Down" is the lead single off the latest mixtape from Sick Sad World, the Oakland party/production collective that's become an increasingly loud voice in Bay Area hip-hop. Produced by FaTees, the track flips Evelyn "Champagne" King's "Love Come Down" to re-imagine the party vibe and sample-based crunch of '92 for the trap-obsessed present.

"Soo Wavey Rhythm Tracks Vol. 1," by 5kinAndBone5 & Vin Sol

In a city with so many DJs and musicians, you'd imagine there would be more labels in San Francisco. And while one new label won't necessarily change that, the arrival of Soo Wavey is more than a step in the right direction. A brand new imprint designed to show off the productions of Vin Sol and 5kinAndBone5, its initial release points the way forward with two muscular rhythm tracks done up in the old school mold. Put the needle to the groove (or the mouse to the play button), and you'll hear expert drum programming complemented by crisp samples ripped from such incongruous places as The Peech Boys and Tarzan. Laid back BBQ music? Not really, but listen closely and you might hear your favorite DJs using these to toughen up lighter fare.

"The Wheel," by Miracles Club

For a long time Miracles Club was the kind of group that always seemed much better in concept than concert. "The Wheel," however, sounds like the Portland-based outfit is finally realizing its aesthetic, with an even balance between sharp, dancefloor-oriented production and dreamy, pop-tinged vocals. That realization couldn't have happened at a better time, as this single heralds the arrival of Ecstasy, a compilation of similarly minded tracks from Miracles Club's own Ecstasy imprint. With a paradoxically moody but bouncy vibe, this one's the perfect complement to another San Francisco summer.

"In the Grace of Your Love (Poolside Remix)," by The Rapture

One of the most unexpected albums of last year, The Rapture's "In the Grace of Your Love" was a return to form that contained a number of tracks still played in clubs today. First came "How Deep is Your Love," and now the titular track has been reworked for a new 12" with dancefloors in mind. Making up half the release, Poolside's remix takes the original cut's tempo to arrive at a mellow vibe that's perfect for pool accompaniment and late-morning dancefloors alike.

"I Travel to You," by Bepu N'Gali

As a rule, South American label International Feel is generally pretty summery, and its coveted releases can be found in the setlists of the world's nouveau Balearic-leaning DJs. "I Travel to You" is the label's latest offering, and it's certainly locked in a bright mood. The artist's name is Bepu N'Gali, and the song merges aspects of conventional house-driven dance music with the funked-up polyrhythms of Afrobeat. Built on a bed of hypnotic guitar licks, it's a ball of accumulating energy propelled by ultra-tight horn blasts and African chanting. Seriously, if this isn't a summer cut, we don't know what is. Also, be sure to check out the solid dubbed-out remixes by Todd Terje and Frisvold & Lindbaek to scratch that late-'80s NY Afro-house itch.

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