What is a party without the DJ? Even the live performing artist needs their go to DJ in between setups and songs to keep an audience amused. The radio DJ can make or break an artist. The best of them can traverse genres, no matter who is listening and make their body move. Some can even influence music cultures with their sound and style.
Many times in our publications we recognize the vocal or spotlight artist. Tonight however we highlight the DJ’s role in music through DJ Squadooble. Albeit a young artist she made her way into the nightlife industry with ease. To personal friends and acquaintances she is the life of the party, to her associates in music she is the controller of the party.
Introduced into house parties, she quickly becomes popular with local promoters. Her diverse genre base welcomed her to spin at popular local clubs and lounges such as Debonair, Lokal, Simones, Harbees and even made her way to local neighborhood festivals over a short period of time. With a variety of genres from latin influences to hip hop and dance music, if you are in the vicinity of her sound she will make your body move! Making a return to Simones in Pilsen this third weekend of September she will be a judge for a twerk contest under the Ever Evolved banner spinning alongside DJ Hunt, rocking the crowd and backing up features artists like ESSSE, T.Z. Duhh, I C Y and more.
The mix below is old news but the magic is in the present. Follow her pages below and get in tune with DJ Squadooble and catcher her spinnin live.
Chicago’s Sonic Illusionist, the elusive traveler of recording artists. A jester of mystery, formerly known to some as Flynn. Tyler James Logsdon has re-branded himself and dropped a record reminiscent of 80’s super synth pop. There are a lot on this record that can remind you of, depending on which track we look at from his 14 song LP New Policy, artists such as A-Ha, Depeche Mode, Daft Punk, Robert Smith from The Cure, Interpol, Pulp, Chrome Sparks, Explosions in the Sky, Chicago’s The Drum, Royksopp, TRVST, Chris Isaak, Nick Cave, Kavinsky, Imogen Heap, and even one of my personal favorites, Brian Molko of Placebo.
Now that’s a lot of artists to compare the likes of him to but I guarantee that if you listen to this record from front to back it will feel like a lush bright mixture of all of those sounds, feelings, voices and progressions creating this all new, all too unique experience from Tyler James Logsdon. What I appreciate the most about this album is that its not only conceptual but its made to be listened to from top to bottom. It is an experience to be absorbed, not to just pick a couple songs from the record that were more popular or did better as singles.
That being said, TJL does have major single power potential on a lot of the songs on the record such as my personal favorite PLASTIC, and then STARDUST, REQUISITE, BLIND, BY MYSELF, and REFLECTION definitely can stand alone, but paired with each other on a full length project they do even better. Not every track has vocals, a few of the numbers on the record are just a great composition of instrumental. These instrumental numbers offer a dynamic texture to the album. You get 2-3 songs of TJL smooth crooning’s and falsettos for every one uptempo 80’s instrumental.
You can hear and feel so many different influences when consuming this project and what is more impressive is that everything is entirely produced and engineered by Tyler James Logsdon himself! He seems to channel Kavinsky, Daft Punk, and TRVST on the record STARDUST. STARDUST is a roller coaster ride of a song that makes you feel like you are playing the Rainbow Road level of Mario Kart or you are Garrett Hedlund driving a futuristic motorcycle in the film Tron: Legacy. The song Plastic sounds as though the Norwegian pop band A-Ha and the Swedish artist Royksopp fused into one for that record to come to life.
TJL uses strong memorable sounds for his melodies that bring you back to that 80’s era while also progressively bringing you further into our time with epic electronic dance pop. It cannot be quite explain it; but his sound is both new and old, progressive and retro, archaic and cutting edge. It is as though he is taken the timelessness of what we miss and loved about the 80’s and combined that with new pop composing techniques of today. Back to the Future, or Forward to the Past? Nostalgia and hope seem to be these ethereal feelings he exudes in his album. That is how I interpret the name, New Policy. TJL has created a newer type of sound by pulling from esteemed golden eras of music history.
Epic: A humble word to describe the music by Tyler James Logsdon. He can program drums in the manner that I have seen Chrome Sparks play live and sing deeply in the style Nick Cave or Leonard Cohen on the record Reflection. He sounds like Robert Smith from The Cure on the record Blind. And some records Tyler’s layering of his vocals remind me of James Blake or Lana Del Rey songs. The talented Mr. Logsdon capable of palpable tunes that present themselves as a blend of some of your favorite most inspiring Swedish dance pop records.
The replay value of this LP, NEW POLICY by Tyler James Logsdon is extremely high for a few reasons. It is a sonic and compositional variety that seems to draw from a plethora of artists. Its production value is pioneering what you remember and love about 80s synth pop. It’s genuinely a record that will have you singing, dancing, laughing and even crying (just wait till you get to song number 13 with Take My Hand)!
Tyler James Logsdon is chosen as Artist of the Week because I believe what he has done with his full length record, NEW POLICY, deserves spotlight and praise. His fused style of progressive and retro offers a listener an amazing sonic time. Tyler James Logsdon will be playing shows in the near future around the city of Chicago. I hope you are lucky enough to see his records performed live. Here is to growth and better futures, here is to A NEW POLICY.
It is not untrue, Love does often have us running around in circles; what is uncertain is the outcome. With a new release Win & Woo go over these woes in HERE U R. “This is not the way that loves supposed to be, a broken record on repeat“, sings Sara Skinner about hopeful feelings in a doubtful situation. Really about going through the emotions in that kind of scenario, the Chicago producers add an uplifting deep house bass line to keep you dancing away from any of those kinds of doubts and negativity. Following the even more uplifting RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME, TEA TIME and a couple of impressive remixes, HERE U R is a wonderful addition to their playlist and yours.
Summer is still vibin strong and Whethan is back with a new releases to keep the party goin. You know he can rock a hit summer single too working with artist like, Louis the Child and Flux Pavilion. With key remixes succeeding his network, this Chicago natives reputation opens the doors for himself to work with just about anybody at this point. Staying busy following the release of his Life of a Wallflower LP, Whethan has been releasing singles collabs and remixes to our pleasure.
Looks like his flip of SickoMode by Travis Scott and Skrillex got the right attention as Whethan comes back around with an original piece with Travis and Metro Boomin called Overdue. We know he has remixes on Post Malone and Justin Bieber, Lorde and Elohim that would make for interesting artist combinations. This follows collabs with Jeremih and Bearson with Saok and an original piece titled Going Up. Each stand alone works of art, only strengthening his playlist for whats to come!
Back again is frequent collaborator and friend Oliver Tree with the track Do You Feel Me. The two experiment on with thos one giving off a Killers laced Justice vibe. Not long after Whethan releases Summer Luv with the Knocks and thr Crystal Fighters. Two big names to collab wit, Whethan reach is stretching farther than ever before! Exciting to see what he comes up with next.
Notorious for anthemic songs and sing along tunes Louis The Child seems to have an endless supply of hits! They have a natural ability to connect with their audience through their music and control crowds. They set the vibe and people follow. They just know what people want to feel and hear and transmute it to uplifting energetically intoxicating music! The proof is in songs like LAST TO LEAVE & RIGHT TO IT, ALL NIGHT with Chance the Rapper, WEEKEND with Icona Pop, BETTER NOT from their KIDS AT PLAY EP and so much more.
Hard enough to choose a favorite among their playlist and they just made it harder with a few new additions! The beauty of Louis the Child song is that they cover a range of genres, energy and emotion. As much as they have anthemic tunes they have just as much tracks to lay back to and day dream to. Tracks like GO, SLOW DOWN LOVE, SAVE ME FROM MYSELF with Big Gigantic and their recent remix of Elohim‘s THE WAVE can get you in a zone of your own.
Among Louis the Childs recent releases you can get a mix of both the excitement and the impassioned. Earlier they released another remix, this time they chose Death Cab For A Cutie to remix, taking I DREAMT WE SPOKE AGAIN and turned it into a dreamy future bass track. More recently they pop out another original to move your feet and jump to. BIG TIME is another one of those anthemic beats; blaring sounds, melodic synth basslines and uplifting energy. Leaving the vocals aside for this one, it is a perfect song to dance and enjoy the moment to; As are many of Louis the Child’s tracks!
You cannot talk about Chicago house music without mentioning Green Velvet. Also known as Cajmere, among other aliases, this living legend has been spinning the most hypnotizing techno music since the early 90’s. Good portion of electronic dance music fans today were just in diapers and had no idea the impact this genre would make on generations of dance music lovers. Green Velvet already deep into early rave culture graced the clubs with hits like LA LA LAND, ANSWERING MACHINE and SHAKE & POP to name a few. Most recent recognizable song to be sampled multiple times after its release is LAZER BEAMS with Harvard Bass.
Recent months Green Velvet has been on a spree releasing, collaborating with popular house and techno artists. Working on a remix EP with Adam Beyer, Layton Giordani and two seprate tracks, SHARE NOW and COMPLEX, with Mauro Venti and Eats Everything. Keeping true to his techno roots this grooves will keep you vibing on a dancefloor. In classic style, Green velvet adds vocals lyrics and commentary to add to the hypnotizing beats giving a surreal and underground atmosphere.
What is love without the pain? Some will believe you cannot have the good with out the bad. For Autograf the good & the bad is what Love & Retrograde comprises of; the highs and their lows of their last couple of years. You can even hear it literally as you go through dark low bass lines and high end synths and vocals between songs.
Starting the EP off with Test the Waters, a down tempo beat setting a heavy tone. In between these hypnotic instrumental breaks echoes, “Go out and Test the Waters the tide will drag you deeper than you know“, like a test of will of some kind. What will come of this darkness and confusion? The EP then jumps into Retrograde, tunneling through minimal bass sounds, giving some life with these bassline grooves, a strong positive transformation!
Getting your energy ready the Casual Love, this track breathes life into Love & Retrograde, a hopeful sound to bounce around to and chant along with. “I’m looking for people of a like mind… I’m looking for love of a casual kind“; another house anthem for Autograf. They Then get funky with Hold Me Back, giving the right attitude for living singing, “the corners no place for me babe“. Turning this EP on its head from dark to energetic sounds with strong notes, Love & Retrograde really paints a story from start to finish.
Letting their fans know it represents growth for them musically and personally, paying close attention you can hear and feel that in this EP. From the dark, minimal sounds and the doubtful lyrics in the beginning with, to vivacious house beats and groovy tunes with strong affirmations. Autograf ends it strong with Night Drive, a mix of high vibes and low techno basslines. Love & Retrograde is the perfect title for the project for what it represents.
It would be cool if a call to 411 would give you information on your favorite music artists. But digital media got us for now where we got our ears on LWKY & Inverse Universe with their latest release titled 411. A lot of talent involved in this collaboration with three heads in LWKY’s band adding two more artists with Inverse. Both compliment each others electro soul style of music.
We are introduced to Inverse Universe with this release, the duo seems to be influenced on hip hop and classic rock music mixing it with electronic bass and soul similarly to Manic Focus. Tyler Thompson and Adam Stephens add to the list of artists consistent with that sound coming out of Chicago. Paired together with LWKY on 411 they make a electro soul beat sounds orchestral. The track is so well put together between you can swear you have heard it before but it is an original, it is just that easy to listen to.
Artists may tend to change up their original style and approach to their creative expression. It is how they survive, It is in an artists nature; they are not one single idea but many out of the box projections. Manic Focus, also known as Jmac, is known to change up styles constatantly. Between hip hop, bass, and some electro funk, even a mixture of all of em may occur, Jmac got plenty of room to express himself any which way he likes. His last two releases are a good example of experimentation between songs!
The older of the two, Never Grew Up, may be what you typically hear come out of Manic sets. Some live instrument samples followed by wonky bass lines, choppy synth work and a dynamic beat pattern to a slow bpm. All creating a groovy and tranquil energy as “we never grew up” echoes repeatedly reminding us, we are in this for the fun! A sound so familiar with Manic it can probably land under its own genre.
Fans of Manic might find his latest release All This Is hard to swallow, with an introduction throwing them off to more of a house bpm structure. Following the build up however Jmac brings it back with dark metallic bass lines and chops exuding a menacing energy that would throw a crowd into a frenzy. Living an industry surrounded by all types of genres it is only right for an artist like Manic Focus to experiment and inject his madness into it all.
Many artists release a genre consistent set of music but that is not how Saladin works. His consistency is in change and most artists typically get the cold shoulder from fans for this but he has his own formula keeping his listeners captivated. From House music to Future Bass, Trap to Dubstep Saladin works it all with no hesitation, though House and Techno are rudimentary. Just within the last couple of months we got to taste his creativity in most of our favorite music styles.
Keeping it different with every release he really shows his versatility as an artist. Since the start of the year Saladin been releasing diverse and note worthy beats, even gaining support from artists like Hardwell, Morgan Page & more with tracks like his House influenced C’mon Now on Revealed Recordings. There is something to learn from every genre in production and the quality of his music shows that. This opens him up to working with diverse set of artists as well. On top of that he can always keep it fresh whether it be on the dance floor or on a playlist, Saladin can control any audience with ease.
Most recently he works with Trap, Future Bass and House music. Starting here with GNGBNGR, Saladin rides a simple melody and beat pattern while a vocal sample chimes in, “I used to be a gang banger… now I’m just a mother f*ckin’ headbanger”, into a smooth bass drop and high frequency synths. Turning that vibe around with ITSALL4U with more ambient melodies and bass-lines for his Future Bass fans. Then finally he comes back to House music with his latest, Fight For Love, featuring EDM vocalist OMZ with the hopeful lyrics, “I can’t even look you in the eye its the darkest night of my life… But baby we can fight for love tonight“. Listening to Saladin music you will feel all kinds of ways, you will catch yourself throwing elbows to jumping and dancing.