Le Youth

90s sounds refracted through a thoroughly modern aesthetic. Tracks that are serious about moving a dance floor full of people without coming on too strong. Breezy California vibes touched by a twist of European flair and an air of mystery. This is what Le Youth is about.

Wes James is the slightly enigmatic Angeleno behind Le Youth, a producer without a past whose music is steeped in it. His signature sound is a blend of Clinton-era R&B and the house music that was lighting up dancefloors and radio stations around the globe during the same period, and the leisurely grooves, airy synthesizers, and pop hooks of a song like his debut single “C O O L” that can easily pull a listener back to the pre-millennial, pre-Internet days when dance music offered a transcendentally blissful brand of hedonism that’s considerably harder to find on today’s macho-tinged EDM landscape.

Viewers of the video for “C O O L” (directed by Renata Raksha) who know their 90s music will likely pick up on the influence of a number of cultural touchstones from the time: chart-topping crossover club acts like Technotronic and Black Box, house divas like Robin S. and CeCe Peniston, and R&B icons like Aaliyah and Ginuwine, as well as a visual sensibility that evokes Herb Ritts in his role as video director to the decade’s biggest pop superstars. It’s got retro style while maintaining completely contemporary feel that’s free from gimmicks and offers stylishly relaxed relief from the ongoing onslaught of dayglo-tinged bass music and big room EDM.

Le Youth’s already attracted the attention of taste-making dance music bloggers and DJ’s the world over, and his music has continued to impress with each successive release including “Dance With Me,” “Feel Your Love,” “Girl,” and well-received remixes for the likes of Disclosure, Sam Smith, RAC, Jess Glynne, Tensnake, and Chromeo. Having already debuted his latest singles “R E A L” and “T O U C H,” and with remixes on the way for Alina Baraz & Galimatias, Seinabo Sey, and Digital Farm Animals, Le Youth is continuing his hot streak in 2015 with no signs of stopping.

Chrome Canyon (DJ Set)

The future never came. The year 2000 arrived, a new millennium was born, and yet we were not greeted with hover-boards. Our computers did not sprout legs and profess to love us. Enter Chrome Canyon. If we can indeed recover yesterday’s fantasy of what tomorrow would (should) be, then Chrome Canyon is the temporal technician for the job. The solo project of New York artist Morgan Z, Chrome Canyon creates analog synth-powered epics that move between eras past and ages imagined to create the perfect score for an alternate now.

Morgan’s formative music memories were beamed in through the living room TV set — Vangelis’ Blade Runner score, Wendy Carlos via Tron, Giorgio Moroder’s work on Cat People. He spent his youth on the outskirts of southern California’s San Fernando Valley. His folks had him on piano by 6. At 16, he moved into that same living room and gave his bedroom over to housing his collected gear.

Somewhere between the avant-garde compositions he wrote while studying jazz at NYC’s New School, a college job selling keyboards at Sam Ash in Times Square, and the satirical sex-funk band he founded on the side, his destiny was taking shape. For three years, Morgan played in the glammy electro outfit Apes & Androids, but when that ended, he retreated to his private Brooklyn studio where he began to amass analog synthesizers at an obsessive rate.

Then the remixes began pouring forth. Phoenix, Passion Pit, and a commissioned remix for Foster the People — their hits reemerging with a healthy dusting of metallic sheen, glowing neon pink and alarm clock green. Then came deranged disco edits of soul-jazz master George Benson and synthpop pioneers Yellow Magic Orchestra, Chrome Canyon’s profile growing as Morgan further blurred past, present and future.

Now, Stones Throw is set to release Chrome Canyon’s debut album,Elemental Themes. The inaugural set is blessed with solid circuitry and an organic core: not only those analog synths, but live drums, bass, guitar and Theremin run through hand-built compressors, composed and arranged into a living, breathing whole. Elemental Themes was one of the last works mastered by Nilesh Patel, the engineer behind classic albums by the likes of Air, Bjork, and Daft Punk. The end result is something wondrously both in and out of time, and a cinematic experience without the cinema.

Less than a year after moving to Brooklyn, Air Zaire (aka Adam Santucci) has earned a spot among the who's who of upcoming producers following the success of his infectious original releases "All For You" and "Play."

Instant hits on the decks and off, the singles prove the South Florida native's worth as a musician outside of the DJ booth. With support from Zimmer, Satin Jackets, Le Youth and outlets such as Time Out (NY), Brooklyn Exposed, Indie Shuffle and LaGaSta, his tropical-infused beats show great promise for 2013. In addition to playing alongside game changers such as The Martinez Brothers, Footprintz and Justin Miller in 2012, Air Zaire also released a slew of mixtapes along the way, all of which have received utmost praise by listeners worldwide.


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