ON REPEAT: Main Attrakionz – “G.O. Style” (prod. by Friendzone)



ON REPEAT is a feature at Chickens Don’t Clap! that draws special attention to my favorite, faaaavorite tracks. It’s all love here, but these jams are the cream of the crop in my world right now.

It may only be mid-March, but it’s 90 degrees in San Diego right now. As our state plummets further into the throes of a mega-drought and continues to warm along with the rest of the planet, I suppose we’ll have to get used to summer coming a bit earlier and lasting a bit longer here in Southern California. Any good summer needs a soundtrack— before we all slip into the Pacific Ocean, at least. I, for one, plan on keeping this new shimmering, Friendzone-produced Main Attrakionz jawn on repeat until I’m six feet below sea level.

I’m not sure if Friendzone are on that same kinda west coast vibe up in the Bay, but the beat for “G.O. Style” burns like the sunset at the end of some imagined RPG epic. Interlocking arpeggios flitter across reverbed claps, steady trap cymbals and snare flicks, grounded by a chord progression that swells with the kind of triumphant nostalgia and emotional immediacy that feels like the culmination of something that you desperately don’t want to end. Thankfully, “G.O. Style”  is just a taste of a new chapter for Main Attrakionz and Friendzone, two Bay Area cloud rap pioneers who were made to make tracks together. Following their impressive collabs on the landmark 808s & Dark Grapes II mixtape, each duo received a much deserved nod of respect from A$AP Yams (RIP) and his protégé A$AP Rocky. The influence of Main Attrakionz’ and Friendzone’s Bay Area-defined sounds went on to stretch well beyond their respective guest appearances on Live.Love.A$AP and Long.Live.A$AP. Both camps have been relatively quiet over the past couple years, but have now delivered beautifully on “G.O. Style”, taken from the much-anticipated 808s & Dark Grapes III, which we have learned will be produced entirely by Friendzone.

Squadda B and Mondre M.A.N., joined here by their fellow Green Ova affiliates Dope G, Robby Rob, and Lo C4, supply an equally anthemic vocal performance for Friendzone’s soaring production. Emotions pour out of Main Attrakionz and crew on this gem, the hook and its repeating, plaintive cries of “We zone out / That’s a G.O. style” serving as confirmation of their unwavering passion and as a rallying cry for every talented, stoned overachiever to immerse themselves into their own productive haze. Through tales of struggle and determination on their path to inevitable flyness, the Green Ova team assures us that the wait is over. This is their year and they plan on getting it completely on their own terms. A commendable goal, certainly. And with this much blood, sweat, and tears on the track, it’s hard not get completely caught up it in that proclamation yourself. By the second listen, I was ready to join in on Squadda and Mondre’s raw and unadorned vocal work, my own near-caterwaul of “spectacular and debonaaaair~” colliding with their charmingly off-key harmony.

Stream “G.O. Style” below and look for 808s & Dark Grapes III to drop on Neil Young’s Vapor Records (wtf?) on May 12th.

Stream: Main Attrakionz – “G.O. Style” (Feat. Dope G, Robby Rob, Lo C4)

[via Noisey]

ON REPEAT: How To Dress Well – “Repeat Pleasure” (A. G. Cook Remix)

How to Dress Well

How To Dress Well (aka Tom Krell)

ON REPEAT is a feature at Chickens Don’t Clap! that draws special attention to my favorite, faaaavorite tracks. It’s all love here, but these jams are the cream of the crop in my world right now.

PC Music founder A. G. Cook and Numbers producer Sophie (all but an official member of the PC Music crew) are currently leading a revolution of self-aware, warped, club-leaning pop music that is as infectious as it is innovative. Cook continues to prove himself as the most measured and accessible producer of the bunch, capable of the kind of hyped-up, distorted club music that characterizes the collective, but also something far more patient like this slow-burning rework of How To Dress Well‘s “Repeat Pleasure”.

From its bizarrely bent intro on through its climactic finish, this remix is nothing short of ingenious. Cook dismantles the entire composition and restructures it to his liking, twisting the first verse into a jagged mess of pitch shifts and light sprinklings of synth in a reimagined introduction for the track. The second verse of the song is cut completely, as are the soft and warm acoustic sounds of the original. Instead, Cook relishes the refrains of “Repeat Pleasure” and allows Tom Krell’s vocals to soar over cold, otherworldly walls of synth. The sharp falsetto of “broken my heart will go on” is looped and layered with backup vocals to brilliant effect, helping to create incredible levels of tension in conjunction with Cook’s crescendos of heart-wrenching chords. Finally, as the power of that moment builds upon itself exponentially, the tension snaps and this rework collapses into a subtly unresolved ending that subconsciously drives me to want to play the song again. Intentional or not, this little detail feels reflective of the song’s subject matter— the search for closure amongst anxiety and pain, driven by a nagging pull of chronic dissatisfaction and longing.

For me, this masterful rework from the King Midas of PC Music markedly improves upon the original. Or, at least, turns it into something far more powerful and affecting. An impressive feat, but I’m pretty convinced I shouldn’t expect any less from A. G. Cook  or his affiliates at this point.

Pick up How To Dress Well’s acclaimed new LP, “What Is This Heart?”, over here and peruse the latest releases from PC Music right here.

ON REPEAT: Flying Lotus – “Never Catch Me” (feat. Kendrick Lamar)

Flying Lotus - "You're Dead!"

ON REPEAT is a feature at Chickens Don’t Clap! that draws special attention to my favorite, faaaavorite tracks. It’s all love here, but these jams are the cream of the crop in my world right now.

To be honest, Flying Lotus‘ latest LP, Until the Quiet Comes, felt like a bit of a step back from the ball of frantic and uncompromising energy that was 2010’s Cosmogramma. But that’s probably an unfair comparison in the first place given that, in my opinion, Cosmogramma is Steven Ellison’s masterpiece, unlikely to be surpassed by any of the man’s subsequent works, no matter their quality. At least, that was my opinion before I heard the two new tracks that Ellison has revealed— “Moment of Hesitation” and “Never Catch Me”— from his upcoming LP You’re Dead!, due out Oct. 7th on Warp Records.

Both tracks solidify that not only has FlyLo returned to the ambitious jazz-influenced textures of his 2010 masterwork, but he appears to be pushing those sounds into incredible new territory. In particular, his much anticipated collaboration with the young God Kendrick Lamar showcases the best of all artists involved. Flying Lotus and Thundercat have created the kind of spastic and layered composition that completely melts all expectations. Only a handful of other MCs besides Kendrick could capably navigate this dense soundscape, but I doubt any could do so as gracefully and powerfully. “Never Catch Me” is nearly smothered by the complexity of it all, yet remains anchored by the strongest of grooves and is peppered with the perfect moments of respite. No one oversteps and steals any of the limelight— all shine equally, each a virtuoso in their own right, balanced against one another perfectly.

It might be a bit premature to start chanting “album of the year!”, but take a listen to “Moment of Hesitation” (featuring the old God Herbie Hancock) and try to tell me you don’t want to start making proclamations too. Oh, this LP preview doesn’t hurt either. Brace yourselves, kiddos.

Pre-order You’re Dead! over at Bleep right now.

ON REPEAT: AWE – “Crystals”

AWE - "Crystals"

ON REPEAT is a new feature at Chickens Don’t Clap! that draws special attention to my favorite, faaaavorite tracks. It’s all love here, but these jams are the cream of the crop in my world right now.

Young Los Angeles producer AWE has been compiling notable accolades since his debut EP Eagle Soul dropped on Terrorhythm last May. Though that release dipped a little too far into the hardstyle-trap set for my tastes, it remains an impressive collection of massive, genre-blending tracks that run the gamut from ice cold festival bro-bangers to warm, melody-driven vibe-out anthems.

More recently, AWE’s following has been losing its collective shit over his latest offering, “Crystals”, ever since Plastician premiered the track on his Rinse FM show last year. It’s been a long wait for its release in this Internet-defined epoch, but this bit of triumphant future-bass wizardry finally arrived in full 320kbps non-radio rip form this week. “Crystals” unquestionably finds AWE at his most Rustie; the builds, drops, breakdowns, layers of excellent melodies, serious low-end grooves, and then that lead synth that rides in at 4:17? Jeeeeeeez. It’s over.

It might’ve been best to strike when the iron was hottest, but this track is killer enough that AWE should find himself with legions of new fans. As an added bonus, we now also get Djemba Djemba‘s hyped up chipmunk-Jpop DnB remix as a companion piece. Well worth the wait, I’d say.