Breakdown of Pitchfork’s 100 Best Albums of the Decade so far: An Infographic

So here’s the thing, people like lists. As in, people really like lists. People love lists. Chained to our computer for up to 8 hours a day, it’s almost inevitable some portion of that day, for which I may just remind you, you are demanding a salary for, will be spent scrolling, zombie-mode on, through list upon list upon list, quantifying and categorising everything from the day’s cutest cat imagery to American states ranked according to the size of their zucchini produce.

If nothing else, in a reality where Buzzfeed is not the savior but the surrender, we all indulge in a little list loving come three thirty; a difficult stage of the day for all nine to fivers, where eyes simply glaze over, and we begin to run our callous-tipped index finger down a silken mouse pad as if it were a lover withholding that final shiver. Come three thirty, we abandon responsibility and deadline in favour of scrolling like daft sloths through a list, well listing,15 Mezmerising GIFs That Will Distract You From Reality, or 10 Cronuts You Simply Must Try Before You Die…. at which point death is likely to occur from over-cronut-consumption.

It’s becoming increasingly hard to deny that as our interest in lists sky-rocket, there’s a concurrent decline in well, really giving a discerning fuck or two about what information they might impart. Cueee, Clickbait.

So, in a landscape where it takes mere miracle to shake us from our list stupor, there are only a few that really manage to catch our whole, wide-eyed attention. Anything to do with Forbes’ highest earners or Victoria’s Secret models is a good place to start. A close second however is Pitchfork’s recently released The 100 Best Albums of the Decade so Far. Offering up a trip down memory lane for the musically-inclined and a springboard for debate surrounding exclusions and oversights, Pitchfork’s king of lists is filled with nuanced commentary to testify for each album’s inclusion from a range of witty-come-cynical contributors.

Spanning 5 pages and 100 album titles however we understand it may appear an overwhelming charge for the less seasoned listers tackle so, in order to ensure that everyone has equal opportunity to feign music credibility for the next couple of days, we’ve done the dirty work for you and created an all informative info-graph. Cliff notes Ahoy!




Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake it off’: For & Against

Yesterday, Taylor Swift released her much anticipated new single Shake It Offrom her forthcoming album 1989. While the single has topped the iTunes charts all around the world and amassed almost 10 million YouTube views in just over a day, she is already drawing criticism for being racist and generally annoying. We’ve taken both sides of the argument. Watch the video below and then click to read why Shake It Off is pop brilliance and also why it’s utter shit.



The continuing influence of The xx’s debut 5 years on


2009- a year in which Grizzly Bear, Animal Collective and Dirty Projectors ruled the internet and The Black Eyed Peas and Kings of Leon ruled the charts. It’s always hard to revisit these memories. Boom Boom Pow in your head is never a kind gift and Sex On Fire only reminds us of the time when we ‘almost’ had the next U2. Five years later, The Black Eyed Peas are seemingly over and Kings of Leon are no longer on their rock n’ roll pedestal.

Fortunately there is fonder memories of that year. There’s one release from 2009 that has spread a subtle yet lasting web over the music world. The xx’s self-titled debut. While the band had an auror of hype surrounding them thanks to the blogosphere and NME, the album only reached number 16 on the British charts upon its release. Chart success never felt like the goal for the band, but it seemed like an inevitable byproduct of the minimalist, melodic music that quickly spread its influence by providing the soundtrack to shows like 90210 and Misfits.

While not so much an immediate chart success, it was a critical darling. Pitchfork called it “nuanced, quiet and surprising” while The Guardian said it “will win many friends for its beautifully haunting, understated charms”, further labelling it the best album of 2009. It took a while, but the “many friends” eventually gravitated towards the record. In 2010 it won the prestigious Mercury Prize over records by La Roux, Florence and the Machine and The Horrors.

Following the win, album sales rose by 448% in the UK to take them to a new chart height of number three. When their less critically-lauded second album, Coexist was released in 2012 it shot to number one, much off the merit of the first album, one would presume.

However, the legacy of the xx’s debut five years on is detached from sales. Rather it’s left a prominent impact on the face of music today with many artists making music that is a little more minimalist, has more space and breathes more vocally. Their debut was a record that relied solely on delectable melodies, coated in subtle emotion. When Romy and Oliver flip between telling each other “sometimes I still need you” on Heart Skips A Beat it’s not forced. It’s a statement of sincerity born in the darkness of the early morning when the club music mutes and the lights begin to blur.

The record always sat in the pocket of electronic music but further than that it was difficult to define. Looking on five years later, it shares many qualities with the recent outburst of future RnB. The vocals are placed on top of beats that are given adequate space to breathe. Guitars and synths are left to provide the emotional lacing for the music. In many ways the record championed an RnB revival far before critics and the public alike were talking about its emergence.

It’s a testament to the band’s ability to hold back and Jamie xx’s nuanced beatmaking that even pop remakes of the tracks were unable to make them sound more commercially appealing. Rihanna’s use of Intro fell far short of the xx’s stormy album opener and Shakira’s latin-flavoured version of Islands proved the songs always grew better in darkness than in sunlight.

Below are five artists that have taken a little something from the xx’s debut whether it was intentional or not.

London Grammar

Fellow British-band, London Grammar’s lead-vocalist, Hannah Reid, undoubtedly has more of a booming voice than Romy but there are definite instrumental comparisons between the two. While London Grammar’s brooding debut errs more to alternative-pop that electronic music, the delicate guitar plucks and use of space hark back to the xx’s discovery that melody could be crafted out of little to nothing. Place crescendoing beats and more immediate piano-work on top of the xx’s minimalist soundscape and you’ve got London Grammar’s Wasting My Years.

Reid recently told Gigwise, “I think we’re in a kind of post-xx era where a lot of people are quite influenced by that atmospheric pop vibe.” It’s a pertinent comment that very much reflects the state of alternative pop right now.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/londongrammar/london-grammar-wasting-my[/soundcloud]


Jamie xx held production duties on tracks from Drake’s Take Care record so it makes sense that he would be directly influenced by the xx. The title-track with Rihanna takes Jamie’s remix of Gil Scott-Heron’s I’ll Take Care of U,  with Drake singing and rapping over it. It’s arguably one of the first times Drake truly embraced his singing voice, delicately cooing over the track in a similar way to the xx’s Oliver. While Jamie didn’t have a hand over Drake’s latest effort, Nothing Was The Same, the influences still remain. Own It is hauntingly minimalist and also sees the rapper sing while From Time, has him add Jhene Aiko to the mix with the two flipping back and forth vocally a la Romy and Oliver.

FKA Twigs

Could it be that the most innovative artist of 2014 is in fact influenced by the biggest innovators of 2009? It doesn’t seem Twigs’ notable xx influence is something she is conscious of, but it’s hard to imagine her debut existing without the xx breaking down some walls before it. LP1 is impossibly sparse with Twigs rarely having to raise her voice to convey her point. She said in an interview recently that she didn’t like the RnB genre-label and she’s right, she’s not an RnB artist. But neither were the xx, explicitly. By making music that is so minimal, both artists carefully traverse a line of many genres including RnB, electronica, pop and hip-hop. You can’t really sit comfortably inside a genre and be innovative, can you?

Jessie Ware

Jessie Ware is a product of a time in music when Sampha was toning down SBTRKT’s dance music and RnB and electronica were beginning to combine, partly thanks to the xx’s debut. While she has a huge, booming voice, we never truly heard it on her debut Devotion, which was part of its sophisticated charm. The title-track is perhaps the best indicator of the xx’s influence of the record. Subtle jabs of guitar lay beneath Ware’s breathy vocal. Synths sit underneath simply for substance with not much else used to convey the smokey, lovelorn atmosphere. Tell me that description doesn’t also work to describe the xx’s Infinity.

In fact, only weeks ago Ware released a cut, Share It All, from her upcoming album, Tough Love, written with Romy.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/jessieware/jessiewareshareit-all[/soundcloud]


Beyonce’s latest self-titled effort is very much a thoughtful and educated take on the current wave of future RnB. As we’ve discussed above, the xx have had a part in formulating that genre and the minimalist nature of it. Much of the appeal of Beyonce’s latest album is the way she creates delectable melodies from very little at all. On Superpower with Frank Ocean her only real-backing is vocal harmonies Ghost/Haunted is born from a thumping bass and haunting synths. It’s a far cry from the brass-laden, pop/RnB of her previous albums. As Spin said, Haunted is “Janelle Monaé’s delivery meeting the xx’s reverb-y stare”.

In an example of how meta the world is becoming, the xx covered Beyonce’s Frank Ocean-penned I Miss You which is the first track of hers to show obvious similarities to the xx. I Miss You dims the lights, clears the clutter and sees Beyonce in the most gentle vocal display of her career. When the xx covered it, they barely had to do a thing to bring it into their lane.


the interns’ Saturday Mix #5


The weekend has inevitably rolled around once again and we’re borrowing a line from Vic Mensa as our motto this weekend, “fuck that, get down”. If you’re feeling down on your luck, then the best mixes of the week are sure to get you “down” wherever you may be. Couch-side, club-headed or dance floor-situated, we’ve got all moods covered this week.

AO Beats- The Ripe Guest Mix: Songs to beat lock-out

AO Beats is an American producer to keep a firm eye on. He founded the future bass collective, Moving Castle, whose Soundcloud is filled with skittering, RnB-flavoured gold and AO Beats is responsible for much of that. This mix is made for those that stick around late enough in the night to get your second wind. It’s 3am, drink-service has stopped (if you’re in Sydney :'( ) and the only thing left to do is hit the dance-floor. In it, he throws down his own remixes of Foster The People and Bobby Valentino while also including the GANZ flip of our homegrown girl, Alison Wonderland’s Want U. It’s a schizophrenic affair full of chipmunk vocals and tempo-raising 808s.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200]https://soundcloud.com/theripe/guest-mix-with-ao-beats[/soundcloud]

Diplo and Friends – La Vegas: Music to gamble to

While we do condone the action of  excessive gambling, everyone now and again we all get that little urge to put all of our weekly wages down on red.  Who could blame you – the bright lights, fancy drinks and noticeable lack of time and space -it’s time to suit up, grab your 5 best mates and head to that flashy big building in the centre of the city, the Casino. Diplo, is as suave as it gets, and his recent Las Vegas mega-mix is set to get your blood pumping, your alter-ego throbbing and those casino chips flowing.

Mix available here


Feed Me: Music to trump your gym work-out

Press play and prepare to move. Playing most of their own head-bangers, Feed Me serve up an all original mix which is sure to make you burn off any hamburgers you ate drunkenly last weekend. Screw the gym and there overpriced yearly membership fees, this is all the motivation you need to pump out a solid sweat session.


Mr One Hundred- Hi Tech Soca: Music to Carnival to

Any mix that manages to slot in Jason Derulo and Outkast alongside David Guetta and underground jungle, techno and juke jams is one worth listening to and that’s exactly what London via Chicago producer, Mr One Hundred has delivered. While we’re not the biggest fans of Jason Derulo’s ridiculous track Wiggle, kicking off this mix with a high-energy, dancehall-flavoured bootleg of the track is the perfect mandate for the rest of the mix. From there on it’s relentless, turning the carnival vibes up to 11 with tracks by Gant Man and Kes assisitng. Pick this one when you’ve still got plenty left in the tank and want to go explore the weird and wacky. This ain’t no mix for the faint-hearted.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/top-nice/mr-one-hundred-hi-tech-soca-carnival-2014-mix[/soundcloud]

Ibiza BlaKKout – Episode 2: Music to Disco Stu to

Hey ladiesssss….yeah that’s right, you have been seduced and you didn’t even realise it. Was the flared jeans that caught your eye, or the mad twirl I just pulled on the dance floor? Disco Stu is in the house, and we have to show a little respect to this living dance-floor legend the only way we know how. Dance. D.A.N.C.E.

Shimmy to the left, and shimmy to right. Time to hustle.





Jobs in music for the non-musical

jobsfornonmusical Unfortunately we are not all born with musical talent. While some may claim their voice sounds like Mariah (thanks Mum) and their beat-matching or guitar riffs rival that of the Coachella main stage – others, like myself are tragically musically challenged. And now, with the government breathing down our neck to apply for 40+ jobs a month and weekly Centrelink payments looking to be something of the past, those who live and die for the music industry yet (to put it bluntly) suck at playing music need that little bit of inspiration to keep themselves in the industry. Do not fret! Here are some non-musical alternatives which will sure to keep you off the dole for a few months.

The Manager

We all want to tell our friends “I’m with the band” and here is your perfect non-musical solution, The Manager. Whether it is a DJ, a band, a pop-star or an unknown indie gem, the artist manager is in charge of all things business. Very often the artists are all good and well at the creative music making, but utterly hopeless at getting themselves to gigs, promoting their awesome music, booking live gigs and negotiating all the deals, aka. the money. The Manager represents the talent, tours with the talent and practically is the talent, minus the rehab stints.

The Promoter

If you like late nights and live music, and are a keen bean for social media and getting your mates into to the hottest clubs in town, then The Promoter or press agent is your set career path. You could even put on shows yourself! All you have to do is start by promoting a regular “gig night” at your favourite venue, or when bands or DJs tour through your area, and generate as much hype as possible. The key to success? Find the missing link in your area, the gap in music genre that desperately needs to be filled and make it yours! Scout for young local talent, cool venues and make sure you network your way to success. If networking is your jam, a promoter is persuasive, optimistic, persistent and loves chatting to people and listening to good music. Just aim to meet as many people in the industry as possible and it will pan out for the best in the long run.

pete-tong-the-essential-selection-bbc-radio120 (1)

The Radio Host

Some our biggest names in music have sprouted from behind the microphones of radio. Pete Tong for BBC Radio 1 in the UK, and even home-grown hero Nina Las Vegas have now become the welcoming voice of partying in our nation. Do you like to talk? Do you like music? Do you have a unique seductive voice? It seems like this is the dream job for you and the perfect way to show your love and devotion to artists new and old. Plus, you don’t have to get dressed up for work!

The Publicist

All musicians need a little, actually they need A LOT of help getting there name out. If you are as passionate about their music as the artist is, than this is the job for you. The publicist role involves doing everything and anything you can to get your musician(s) into the media. You want to see them on the front cover of Rolling Stone, blasting on the radio, published on websites like the interns and draping off the should of gorgeous models at the hottest parties in town (if that’s their kinda thing). In a saturated world of technology and social media, your role is now more important than ever – to spread the word and give your artist the extra push they need to succeed.


The Photographer

If you’ve got an eye for a great photo, whether it’s at a gig , festival or a secret exclusive house party, then it’s time to start snapping.We are not talking about those dodgy selfies you take in the girls bathrooms, you need to be able to make it look like you are at the best party in the world and induce serious FOMO. This is a career of true commitment…commitment to late nights, partying, rubbing shoulders with artists, touring and getting the best shot no matter what. You should probably bow down to people like Rukes, he knows what he is doing.

The Online Journo

Those who can’t do teach. Well, they write at least. Your aim is to spread your in-depth knowledge of music as far and wide, and the message that music is awesome. Set up a blog and you’re pretty much up and running: now you just need to fill it with some words. Write about whatever moves you most. Do you secretly love your little sister’s pop music? Does the newest Kasabian album make you want to throw something at the wall? It doesn’t matter, just try and be creative as possible, your audience will appreciate it. And the added bonus, you can get free tickets to gigs!

The Sound Engineer

You want access all areas, The Sound Engineer will give you that. Those who see themselves to be that little bit techy, a live sound engineer is in charge of setting up all the sound equipment, the running the sound board during the show in a club or a concert hall, sound checks included. Imagine handing the microphone to your favourite artists! Hot tip: if you want to be a sound engineer, consider some vocational training, or hang out with some other sound engineers to learn or the tech aspects.


The Cover Art Designer

If we all take note of the beauty of SBTRKT’s newest album cover, or any of Caribou’s delightful artwork you may come to realise that music can be that little bit arty. A cover art designer is really simply a graphic designer who happens to focus on music related projects. Very often they dabble in designing posters, merch, t-shirts, you name it! You have the ability to make an iconic piece of art which could stick in the minds of music lovers for life.


Why there is still life left in Sydney after-dark


In January, the NSW State Government passed laws in Sydney that enforced a 1.30am lock-out and 3am last drinks in a zone that stretches from Walsh Bay to Kings Cross and everywhere in between. Many at the time hailed it as the end of Sydney’s night life with a burgeoning electronic scene seemingly stopped in its tracks and in its golden age. As expected the lock-out has sucked some of the life out of Sydney after-dark with the question bandied around, ‘where is everybody?’ Well, while many are at home watching Harry Potter repeats (no judgement), there are still plenty of people hitting up some of the many events Sydney has to offer.

The State Government has opened its inquiry into the laws requesting comment from the public about the effectiveness of the new laws. You can submit your submission here. In the interest of looking at the glass half-full, here are the reasons why we should still be positive about Sydney after-dark.

Illegal warehouse parties

There’s a certain romanticism to the recent news that illegal warehouse parties are popping up around Sydney. While we don’t condone the poor safety regulations, it shows that people are still keen for nights out with great music. Last week, Murat Kilic, the owner of Spice Cellar nightclub, which has been deeply affected by the laws, revealed to the Sydney Morning Herald that warehouse parties were occurring every weekend. Kilic told SMH of the parties, ““We’re talking BYO parties where people are bringing their own booze, there are no cameras, there is grossly inadequate security, there are hazards everywhere. It’s exactly what the authorities don’t want.”

Mark Gerber, the owner of Oxford Arts Factory also weighed in on the conversation saying “You need rebellion to create change…It’s never going to end and it’s a good thing. Local councils should support it and not fight it.” Music promoter Sasha Skalrud added that there are about 15 of these parties happening every weekend, with 800-900 attendees. So, when there are tumbleweeds running through the Cross of a Saturday night, you now know where everyone is.

Upcoming events

Given that it’s the middle of Winter, it’s a positive sign that great electronic artists are still gracing our shores. This year already we’ve seen the likes of Ryan Hemsworth, Cashmere Cat and Jamie xx post lock-out laws, all receiving great turn-outs. Nina Las Vegas’ shows saw Goodgod packed earlier in the year with a line-up that included LDRU, Cosmo’s Midnight, Indian Summer and more. Still to come we’re going to see some tours likely to entice electronic fans.

In the latter half of this year, BBE are bringing US producer Com Truise to Goodgod Small Club along with the Ryan Hemsworth endorsed, UV Boi, while also presenting LA duo Gladiator at Chinese Laundry. Objekt, Jam City and Laurel Halo are set to deliver triple the fun at Civic Underground with all three of them earning titles as some of the best electronic producers around at the moment. One part of Major Lazer, Jillionaire, is also bringing his high-energy show to Pacha at the Ivy. Just moments ago, BBE also announced that Samo Sound Boy and Jerome LOL will be heading to Australia in September as DJ Dodger Stadium.

There’s plenty of local talent to get excited about too with Motez, BanoffeeMammals and Young Franco amongst a handful of great acts ready to breathe life into the city. Alison Wonderland, who is coming off the back off sold-out warehouse shows, will also play the Metro Theatre at the end of the month. Fast-rising Sydney producer, Kilter is also playing Oxford Arts Factory and judging by his mammoth Splendour In The Grass set, it will be one not to miss.

On the festival side of things, Listen Out Festival is set to bring Zhu, Four Tet, Shlohmo, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and more to Sydney and around the country. While Beyond The Valley on New Years Eve will see Alunageorge, Kaytranada, Dillon Francis and more in the country with sideshows surely to be announced soon.


When one door closes, another one opens, quite literally. Newtown has benefited the most from the lock-out laws because of its non-inclusion in the zone. Straight off the back of the laws, night owls began to flock to the Imperial off King St in search of some after 1.30am fun. Maker agency picked up on this and started Meanwhile, a club night on Fridays at the Imperial. Meanwhile lasts from “11.59pm until forever” and has so far has hosted DJ sets from Rufus and Silversix with Wordlife and Linda Marigliano still to play before August is out. By all accounts, it’s provided some sweaty nights already. Sometimes innovation is the most powerful way of responding to a poorly dealt card.

Astral People

Astral People are basically responsible for pulling everybody out of bed this year. Reaching their third year of existence, they’ve put on some of the best events in the city. This year already, they’ve presented Chrome Sparks’ Splendour In The Grass sideshow and hosted a stellar Vivid Live Studio party which featured Chicago acid-house act, Phuture, alongside L-Vis 1990 and rising producer, Bok Bok. Still to come this year they will celebrate their 3rd Birthday at Goodgod with Collarbones, Dro Carey, Rainbow Chan and more and present a joint Collarbones and Black Vanilla tour.

The most exciting thing to come is the return of their boutique festival, Outsidein. This year it will take place at Manning House in Sydney Uni and features their best line-up yet. On the said line-up is hip-hop group The Pharcyde, Seekae, Panthu Du Prince, Giraffage plus many more. I just fainted.

Clubs are changing things up

It’s not an easy task to convince patrons to enter a venue that they’re going to be stuck in after 1.30am and not allowed to drink after 3am but many have risen to the task. Spice Cellar offers a mocktail and juice bar between 3am and 5am to keep clubgoers hydrated while it also has an after-hours event that kicks off at 5am for those with a bit of stamina.

Goodgod Small Club has been hosting some interesting nights to get people in before 1.30am and out in the Winter cold. Their ‘90s night a few weeks ago had queues around the corner at 11pm to get in, with many of those people staying until the music stopped at 4am. There’s still plenty of treats to come from Goodgod (and we’re not just talking about their new Jamaican Canteen). At the end of the month, they’ll host Haters Club for those with a penchant for RnB. Bad Ezzy, Joyride, Shantan and Nacho Pop will be on the decks dropping beats that will most likely command all to get low. Real low.

Chinese Laundry relaunched in July with a Friday night bass-party called BASSIC and house and electro night LNDRY on a Saturday. While it reflects changing music tastes it’s also no doubt an attempt to get more patrons through the door given Chinese Laundry’s reputation as an all-night venue. So far they’ve hosted the likes of Motez and Indian Summer with a KLP party coming up in September.


What Now?

Now for the serious part. Despite there still being plenty of reasons to don your dancing shoes and head out, it’s important for Sydney’s long-term nightlife culture that these laws be dealt with in a conversational manner. The inquiry is the first chance for the public to have their first recorded say about the laws. Goodgod’s feature on FasterLouder said it best when it called music “the main currency” and alcohol “the support act”. It’s the responsible side of the clubbing community that needs to submit to the Government with a well-thought out submission that considers safety, culture and practicality. This inquiry doesn’t necessarily mean that anything will happen, but it’s the first chance to offer a formal submission en masse.

Finally, If you’ve been to Newtown of late, you’d have noticed the queues around the corner to bars after 1.30am. Newtown has never been designed for large crowds of those ready to club, rather it has always been regarded as having a bar culture. There will come a time when accommodating the crowds in Newtown will become an impossible task. If the Government is concerned about safety first and foremost it should look at some of the bi-products of the lock-out and consider it’s main reasons for installing the law. Many of which are tainted by the fact The Star Casino precinct is exempt from the law.

Once again, you can submit your inquiry here. Until then, don’t get angry, get even. There’s plenty in Sydney to do, even if you can’t wander the streets after 1.30am.


The best Beyonce remixes and covers of 2014


Every year is the year of Beyonce, but 2014 seems to have been a notably spectacular year for her. Apart from being caught up in a heated elevator argument, she’s gone about her business in the best way possible- drawing press by just being Beyonce. Just being Beyonce includes releasing remixes with Kanye and Nicki Minaj, going on a joint tour with her husband Mr. Carter and dispelling break-up rumours with said husband in the most graceful way possible. Oh and there was also that smoking Grammy performance. Next month, she’ll turn 32 and while she’s well away from her 20s there are certainly no signs of her reign ending.

“You can say what you what I’m the shit”, she sings on a remix of Flawless and she really does have a point. She certainly is the shit, but there are also some remixes and covers of Beyonce this year that also are, kind of, the shit. From twerk remixes to M.I.A led re-works, here are 10 of the best Beyonce covers and remixes of tracks from Beyonce’s surprise fifth album, Beyonce.

No Angel- Tei Shi Cover

No Angel, thanks to its writer Caroline Polachek, was always the most alternative sounding of Beyonce and so it makes sense for Tei Shi to take it on. The Brooklyn artist curls her soft vocals around the already breezy tune giving a slightly more gentle skew than Beyonce.

[soundcloud width=”750” height=”200”]https://soundcloud.com/tei-shi/no-angel-beyonce[/soundcloud]

Flawless- Beyonce and Nicki Minaj Remix

Beyonce herself is involved in this remix and it sees her add Nicki Minaj to the mix. “I woke up like this” has become one of the biggest catch phrases of the year and this remix adds even more sass and ferocity than the original. Beyonce sings “Of course sometimes shit goes down when there’s a billion dollars on an elevator”, referring to that Solange/Jay Z incident while also sampling Outkast’s SpottieOttieDopaliscious. As for Nicki, she’s “curvalicious, pussy-served delicious”.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/sitebeyoncedown/beyonce-flawless-remix-feat-nicki-minaj[/soundcloud]

Mine- Ryan Hemsworth Twist N Shout Remix

Keeping the Drake hook intact and chopping up the rest, Hemsworth makes a tribal, bass-heavy masterpiece out of Mine. He alters the Beyonce’s pitch ever so slightly so that she’s on her way to chipmunk but not there yet (thank goodness). Hemsworth knows that Bey’s the queen and treats her suitably by making Mine that bit more heavy-hitting. He knows what’s up. Bow down.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/dope-music-blog/beyonce-mine-ryan-hemsworth[/soundcloud]

Drunk In Love- Angel Haze Cover

Angel Haze did a Beyonce around the same time Beyonce did a Beyonce by leaking her whole album at once. The only difference is Beyonce attached a price tag and it worked out a little better for her. It didn’t stop Haze taking on a cover of Drunk In Love which eclipses a lot of the stuff on her debut album. She adds a few of her own raps, shows of her smokey vocal prowess and slurs a few lines just so we know she’s doing it properly- drunk.

Drunk In Love- The Weeknd Remix

At one point it felt as if we were never going to hear the end of Drunk In Love remixes. At that point, The Weeknd dropped one laying down his smooth vocals with some very questionable lines. “I’ll call you back if that head right”, is one of them, “I won’t love you unless that pussy got some superpowers” is another. I’m sure the feminist in Beyonce would be thrilled.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”415″]https://soundcloud.com/theweekndxo/drunk-in-love-the-weeknd-remix[/soundcloud]

Flawless- M.I.A Baddygirl 2 Remix

Apparently M.I.A waited to get a response from Beyonce’s ‘people’ before just dropping this without permission because she’s an independent woman. We’re glad she did because this popping, gun-shot bass-driven take on Flawless captures the exact confidence of the original in a totally different way. It even samples Diva at the end giving us two Beyonce moments for the price of one.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/miauk/baddygirl-2-mia-party-squad-beyonce-flawless-remix[/soundcloud]

XO- HAIM Cover

LA sisters HAIM are basically just like three Beyonce’s, so it makes sense that their cover of XO is a sizzler. Este takes lead vocals and delivers a warm, sunset-inspired version of the track. It stays pretty true to the original, injecting just a slight alternative-flair. A collaboration between Beyonce and HAIM would break the girl-power scale, wherever that may be.

No Angel- Nire Remix

Nire is a beatmaker from New York who, earlier this year, released a collection of remixes with everyone from Ellie Goulding to M.I.A given a makeover. No Angel was one of the tracks she took on, giving it a club-ready aesthetic with deep beats and ambient synths. She keeps the vocal melody intact with just a few tweaks needed to make this special.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/nire/no-angel-nire-bootleg?in=nire/sets/plurallure-1[/embed]

Partition- Dave Aude Remix

When you name a track ‘the Twerk Remix’ you better deliver and deliver, Dave Aude does on his remix of Partition. He’s added horns and cascading beats making sure there’s plenty of room to pop a booty or two. Partition was the sexiest song on Beyonce and Aude loses none of that steam by ramping the tempo up a bit.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/daveaude/beyonce-partition-dave-aude[/soundcloud]

Drunk In Love- James Blake Remix

James Blake’s unreleased remix of Drunk In Love is probably the most chopped and sliced one yet. His trademark skittering beats and mournful vocal coos are joined by a pitch-altered Beyonce sample to create an ambient, otherworldly take on the track. It’s certainly not going to please avid fans of the original but it’s a masterful reinterpretation of a track that’s become iconic in a year.


What does your song namesake say about you?


Who needs horoscopes when you’ve got songs. A simple song has the ability to identify personality traits of a name and sometimes predict the future of that name. While I’ve been disadvantaged by not having a song named after myself, many of you are lucky enough to. Below we’ve dissected songs to find out what songs say about your name. Not happy with what you hear? Don’t hate on us, contact the artist instead.



Al’s a guy you can call on any time of the day. If you call him by his name, he’ll be sure to call you a name* in retort.

*Name may or may not be Betty.

[soundcloud width=”700″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/flightfacilities/you-can-call-me-al-flight[/soundcloud]


Alisa is one to make any grown man cry. She’s loveable and is the archetype of unrequited love.

[soundcloud width=”700″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/modularpeople/cut-copy-alisa[/soundcloud]


A writer, keen music-lover and a voyager, anyone with the name Andy strives for the best and is determined to reach their goals. Taking everything in their stride, Andy don’t change for no one.

[soundcloud width=”700″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/lastdinosaurs/last-dinosaurs-andy[/soundcloud]


Arabella is a fashion trendsetter. Always wearing something daring and unique, from interstellar-gator skin boots to a Barbarella silver swimsuit, she has a knack of twisting men around her little finger. ‘70s stylin’ and easy-on-the-eye, Arabella is a modern lover with lips like the galaxy’s edge. While being every man’s addiction, she is also prone to addictions; with smoking and caffeinated liquids high on her food pyramid.


A man of few words, ol’ Arnie is a fitness nut. He may not have an extensive vocabulary but he certainly has the ability to get you moving with the little words he has. You’ll be inspired to turn up the energy while simultaneously going up, down, up, down, up, down.

[soundcloud width=”700″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/futureclassic/a-luke-millon-arnold?in=futureclassic/sets/luke-million-arnold-sun-splash[/soundcloud]


Oo-oo who-oo-oo, what a gal! You’ll be sure to be saying old Barbs’ name, and not much else, all night long.

[soundcloud width=”700″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/ducksaucenyc/barbra-streisand-original-mix[/soundcloud]


A poor man’s Arthur Baker, Ben is a lying, trash-talking, fat trucker who hasn’t been satisfied in a very, very long time.

[soundcloud width=”700″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/djsmileyadelaide/the-rapture-no-sex-for-ben[/soundcloud]


Bronte is a girl (or pet) who will be your best friend straight off the bat, leaving a path of devastation upon her parting from your life.

[soundcloud width=”700″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/gotye/12-bronte[/soundcloud]


Guys would describe a girl like Caroline as “mighty fine” and, due to her hotty body, this can’t be denied. Her looks don’t get her anywhere though with boys instead opting for girls a bit more “down to Mars”, as opposed to Caroline’s gold-digging tendencies. Always on her high horse, she is never one to take the blame for the lingering stench in the bathroom left in her wake. She’s also the inspiration for Oxford Dictionary’s definition of the word ‘bitch’ (see also “crazy bitch”, “stupid ass bitch”, “old punk ass bitch” & “old dumb ass bitch”).


Chloe is a reckless lover. She can go where she wants to go and say what she wants to say without any permission. She’s also led on easily by boys entice her to go flying and pretty much go where the wind goes.

[soundcloud width=”700″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/atlanticrecords/9-chloe[/soundcloud]


Bring in the clowns. Poor Cyril is a “tender heart” and has had a difficult upbringing but he’s ready to love.


To be honest, Debbie’s a bit of a downer. She has the tendency to be a bit antisocial, is a stretcher of truth and partial to the odd hibernation. She’ll most likely strike your attention due to her blue-toned hair.


Diane is a hard one to figure out. She lives life to the fullest yet not in the safest, most wholesome of ways. She’ll torch cars and run into trouble with the Government but she’s got one thing going for her- she’s always on time.


Dory is slightly forgetful and has more fun in water than on land. She’s known for being endlessly entertaining and most that cross her path end up having a riot.


Despite all the lies that Emma may tell, she’s still very loveable. She also has the tendency to get cold knees.


Ezra’s an instrumentalist.

[soundcloud width=”700″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/flume/ezra-1[/soundcloud]


Hannah is an interesting character who likes to spend her time visiting beaches in the Winter and watching plants grow. She has her own sense of time and can tend to become emotional and uncomfortable when away from home. The New York Times crossword puzzle always proves a frustrating challenge for her.


Helena is a bit of a mess. She parties too hard, makes poor decisions and struggles to even pay her rent. Despite all this, she is strong-willed and will keep moving forward and keep holding on tight.

[soundcloud width=”700″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/fosterthepeoplemusic/helenabeat[/soundcloud]


You can recognise Henrietta for her blood-red nails. And also her immortality.

[soundcloud width=”700″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/secretlycanadian/yeasayer-henrietta[/soundcloud]


Jackson is always after someone’s game. He is tough-skinned, determined to reach the top and these qualities shine through in his rowing prowess.

[soundcloud width=”700″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/vagelisvgls/ou-est-le-swimming-pool[/soundcloud]

If you are a Ms of the same name, however, you’ll bear a daughter whose heart is bound to be broken. Ms Jackson is a tough woman, who will want to rip up and start a custody war with anyone who treats her children badly. She also has a penchant for fish fries and cookouts.


With moves like an old gypsy woman but insistence of her girly youth, Jade is a bit of a mutton dressed as lamb. This doesn’t stop her from being the woman of the hour, though. People in town set their morning alarms purely to catch a glimpse of Jade; her smile radiating its power into people’s hearts.

[soundcloud width=”700″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/liveletters/edward-sharpe-and-the-4[/soundcloud]


If your name is Joan, the people that hate you now will eventually warm to your ways. They may spit on you, they may put you down, but you have a vision and will eventually be the muse to many.

[soundcloud width=”700″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/thomas-huston/arcade-fire-joan-of-arc-2[/soundcloud]


Johnny is someone who’s a keen runner; you’ll see him aiming for first place at every local marathon. He strives to find certainty and looks to his peers to confirm that he isn’t a loner, being prone to tiring of things easily and changing his mind at the drop of a hat.

[soundcloud width=”700″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/toddterje/johnny-and-mary[/soundcloud]


Julia may be an enigma, but eventually people will realise she is the only girl that anybody could ever need.


Jozi’s a pyromaniac.


Laura’s a girl that you used to be friends with but now pretend not to see when passing in the street.

[soundcloud width=”700″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/artsandcraftsmx/girls-laura[/soundcloud]


A girl like Lorelai can be compared to glue, attaching herself to whomever comes close to her.


Possessing kaleidoscope eyes and always with the sun shining in said eyes, Lucy is a gal who tends to keep her head in the clouds. Is she preoccupied? Perhaps she’s just a bit whimsical? Or maybe someone needs to lay off the drugs.

[soundcloud width=”700″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/mitchie-way/lucy-in-the-sky-with-5[/soundcloud]


Not one to easily forgive and forget, Mary is the type of girl that will break a guy’s heart, with an allurement and potency to stay in his mind and make him question what he may have done wrong, over and over again.

[soundcloud width=”700″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/sparkadia/mary[/soundcloud]


Everything that may seem so wrong will seem so right to a guy like Micky. With a shining star status, he can freeze people in time by simply entering a room. I guess he’s also damn fine. So damn fine he’ll blow your mind.

[soundcloud width=”700″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/alsatian-music/when-micky-came-in[/soundcloud]


Odessa is a bit of a delicate gal and needs to be careful that she’s not used as a doormat by those closest to her. She can say how she feels when the time calls for it but when it comes down to it, who knows what she’s gonna say?

[soundcloud width=”700″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/cityslang/caribou-odessa[/soundcloud]


A girl with the name Ruby is a bit flakey and doesn’t really know the effect this has on the people who count on her. Her peers often suffer from her lack of interest and she takes joy in ignoring others repeatedly calling out her name.

[soundcloud width=”700″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/elizabethsilv/ruby-kaiser-chiefs[/soundcloud]


Once she finally tells you her name, you’ll soon realise that Sarah is a shy type who doesn’t understand the degree of her attractiveness. Boys will form lines to get a chance to speak to her but she won’t see this past her own insecurity.


Stan is a crazy, possessive kinda guy and a keen lyricist who finds solace in his idols. He’s also quite the potty mouth.

[soundcloud width=”700″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/user1787560/eminem-feat-dido-stan-lyrics[/soundcloud]


T.O.N.Y aka. The Other Night, Oh Why? Tony is a man who takes you out, wines and dines you, only to coerce you into bed. The next morning he’s nowhere to be seen. He’s a sly, charming fox but a cunning one at that.

Did I miss your name? Tweet me your song namesake at @bianca_interns and I will provide you with a personal bio in 140 characters or less.

Feeling inspired? Please write a song called ‘Bianca’. Thanks.  


the interns’ Saturday Mix #5


If we could just divert your attention away from The Bachelor for one moment, you might actually realise it’s the freakin’ weekend and it’s time for mummy and daddy to come out to play. Remember kids, you don’t make friends with salad and with people with shitty music taste. Always come musically prepared for the weekend.

Promnite – Triple J Mix Up Exclusive: Music to get your freak on

Twerk baby twerk. Before you have time to scream “I.G.G.Y”, you will grinding up against your boyfriend, your best friend or any intimate object which will let you make that booty clap. Prepare your thighs for a work out, cause tonight you are going to freak out harder than Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda.


Motez – Splash House Mix: Music to shop to

You’ve just been paid and you deserve to treat yourself. What you do not deserve however, is to have annoying retail assistants and weekend shoppers cramping your style. Pop this baby in your ears and wonder down the high street with ease, with a spring in your step even. Motez will give you the retail therapy you need.


Twonk Team – Mixtape: Music to cause mayhem

It’s time to hit the streets and make yourself look and sound so much cooler than you really are. You ain’t no SuperBad drop-out any more, prepare to turn it up – if you wake up with an unknown tattoo on your forearm do not be surprised, you are a badArse now.


Richie Hawtin – Essential Mix Live, Ibiza: Ain’t nobody listen to techno

It seems like everyone is in Ibiza right now. The Kardashian clan, Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Leo Di Caprio, Linsday, Beiber – you name it, the gang is all there fresh out of their recent rehab stints! It then seems fitting that we brought a bit of that sun-kissed party vibe to remedy your Winter blues. Don’t shy away from the techno, it’s just a harmless bit of fun, just don’t expect to surface for a few hours…or days cause this mix is set to pack more of a punch than Orlando Bloom on a dinner date. “What’s up bitch?”


Sophie et al – Dismagazine on Rinse: Music to turbo charge

Everybody loves a bit of life admin, but when you have a million jobs to do and half a day to complete them – everybody needs a little energiser bunny to help them on their memory way. [Cue Sophie Et Al]. If your head doesn’t explode from this glorious PC Music mix, then you are in the clear and hopefully able to clean your room, do the washing, call your mother, wash the car and file your tax return in 20 minutes flat.





How Ariana Grande became a Pop Princess and an Alternative Darling


Last month when Pitchfork awarded Ariana Grande her second ‘Best New Music’ stamp for Break Free, there were a lot of people left confused. The Best New Music award on Pitchfork is usually reserved for Sufjan Stevens and Vampire Weekend types, rarely gifted to Nickelodeon child stars turned popstars.  While many have their theories, it seems regardless Ariana Grande has won over alternative media everywhere. Not just Pitchfork, but the blogosphere in general has decided to turn a blind eye to her status as a pop princess and hail the second coming of Mariah Carey.

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 10.19.13 pm Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 10.19.22 pm Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 10.17.29 pm

Grande first found fame on Nickelodeon’s Victorious as Cat Valentine. Last year, she made her ascent to pop royalty, releasing her first album Yours Truly. The album went to number one in the US and spawned a top ten single with The Way. The album received lukewarm reviews with many hailing it more for its promise than its present merit. With pipes like a young Mariah Carey and a ‘90s RnB sheen, the 21 year-old had most impressed.

This year she’s poised to release her sophomore album, My Everything, off the back of her US number two single, Problem with Iggy Azalea. The CEO of her label, Republic Records, Monte Lipman said of Grande, “she has this wildly successful fan base on the Internet unlike anything we’ve seen in some time”. And it’s being seen. On Twitter she’s got 17.1 million followers and the video for Problem has received 110 million views in just over two months. From Pitchfork-reading hipsters to delirious teen fans, it seems Grande has everyone a little starry eyed.

Below are a number of reasons why we think she’s managing to crack the mainstream and alternative markets:

RnB is kind of in right now ICYMI and Ariana knows it

Following a golden-age in which Janet, Mariah, Ciara, Ashanti and more prospered, RnB has took a back seat for much of the late 00s. It’s revival has been bubbling away on blogs for the better part of two years but this year it seems to be back in the mainstream. Pharrell has had a big part in that, as has Beyonce’s self-titled record and a few big RnB voice, one of them being Ariana.

Her first record and Problem were unapologetic throwbacks to the golden days of Mariah Carey and have, as such, put her on the radar of alternative media championing the 90s RnB revival and on the charts. With critics, in particular, RnB has become a very flavoursome genre. According to Any Decent Music, Pitchfork gave the most positive review of the latest Mariah Carey album, Me. I Am Mariah, saying “she’s rarely sounded as comfortable”. The fact that Ariana arrived with an RnB debut Yours Truly puts her right in the centre of RnB’s renaissance without having to change her sound at all.

She’s working with interesting producers

The RnB renaissance has been made particularly interesting by the prevalence of the genre within electronica. Kaytranada, Ryan Hemsworth and Shlohmo have made a name through sleek, mid-tempo originals and skittering remixes of tracks by Janet, Jeremih and Beyonce.

How does this have anything to do with Ariana? Be My Baby off her forthcoming record was produced by Norwegian producer Cashmere Cat. It’s a distinctly forward thinking move by Grande’s team who have clearly recognised what less mainstream producers like Two Inch Punch, Shlohmo and Dev Hynes have done for popstars (namely Sam Smith, Jeremih and Solange). Cashmere Cat’s remix of Miguel’s Do You Like Drugs? demonstrated how will his trap-inspired beat work meshed with soulful voices.

Elsewhere on the album she’s worked with Benny Blanco who’s done a seamless job of giving artists like Jessie Ware and Sia. Zedd has also produced the second single, Break Free, and David Guetta has produced a song, One Last Time which should satisfy America’s EDM cravings. The Weeknd also has production credits as does Ryan Tedder which seems to automatically mean massive hit.

[soundcloud width=”700″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/waveleaks/ariana-grande-feat-zedd-break-free[/soundcloud]

It’s an eclectic bunch of producers, distinctly different from Yours Truly which was predominantly built by Veteran producer Babyface and The Rascals. It’s a collection of current and future hitmakers which shows that she and her team are aware of what’s going on in all facets of the music scene right now.

Max Martin is on board for the new album

There’s one more name that wasn’t mentioned above, because it’s probably the most important addition to the album. Swedish producer Max Martin has won the prestigious ASCAP songwriting prize consecutively for the last four years, writing for artists like Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and Kelly Clarkson. His hand on the album is not a guarantee of success but it’s a pretty good push in the right direction.

Proof of that is Problem produced by Martin. It’s a delectable, RnB-inspired pop song that twists the proven formula to deliver an all-guns-blazing verse with a hushed chorus. Despite its unpredictability, the song 438,000 copies in the US in its first week and topped the iTunes charts in more than 50 countries. Martin apparently came up with the pre-chorus melody and the horns which have become the songs defining feature.

Martin pops up on three more songs on the new album (including Break Free) which pretty much means there are three more songs with definite hit potential.

She’s taken a different path from TV star to popstar

It’s a well-trodden path that from children’s television to mature popstar. Many have tried and failed to break out of their mould and set the charts on fire. Demi Lovato and Miley Cyrus are perhaps the two most successful but even they struggled. Lovato did a stint in rehab and Cyrus’ career was all but over following her mildly received, adult album Can’t Be Tamed. She’s gotten over that hurdle with 2013’s Bangerz.

Coming into the music scene as a Nickelodeon star, Grande’s first release was a boppy, sunshine-filled track called Put Your Hearts Up which received very little love from her fans and from Grande herself. She told Rolling Stones, “”It was geared toward kids and felt so inauthentic and fake. That was the worst moment of my life. For the video, they gave me a bad spray tan and put me in a princess dress and had me frolic around the street.”

In 2013 she returned with The Way featuring rapper Mac Miller and scored a number two hit in America and a number one album with Yours Truly. The video for The Way features Grande fully clad, mucking around with Miller in a way that reflected her age. She wasn’t explicitly presenting herself as a grown-up popstar, rather she was placing herself cleverly in-between her Nickelodeon roots and her desired popstar destination.

The album also cleverly oscillated between RnB throwbacks featuring rappers like Big Sean and pleasing piano ballads. As such, the conversation Grande growing too quickly or being risque has never really arisen. The process has been seemingly organic and as a result very much unpublicised.

The guests on My Everything are not your average pop features

There are seven featured artists on the forthcoming My Everything and while Pitchfork has labelled Iggy Azalea and Big Sean “no-talent stars” and Zedd is an EDM star, there are four which are very much of a more alternative taste. The aforementioned Cashmere Cat is one of those as well as Childish Gambino, A$AP Ferg and The Weeknd.

It looks like a move on her and her teams behalf to channel a current RnB sound with less-mainstream collaborators. Neither of those three have had a big chart hit and are much more likely to appeal to alternative blogs than mainstream fans. At this stage, Grande’s fame is enough to carry the album without big name guests. It’s a smart move that will once again see her coverage spread further than MTV. It should also be hoped that these names have been added for the benefit of the songs rather than for publicity.

There is one more name that has nearly been forgotten. None other than Harry Styles of One Direction fame (need it be said?) has co-written a track called Just A Little Bit of Your Heart. Just adorable. Truly adorable.

She’s paying Pitchfork

According to this Reddit post, Grande and her team have been paying alternative media for their coverage. The speculation is all kicked off by one user who asks in reaction to Pitchfork’s coverage, “I like a good pop song as much as the next guy but this shit is trash. Is anyone seeing something deeper here? Brings their credibility into question in my eyes, might be those radio $$ talkin.”

31 users have weighed in on the debate with some arguing that her team is paying the website because “long term critical praise is more effective than a quick hit”. There are a lot of $$$ signs thrown around but others dispel the rumour saying that the site is covering her because of “Decent voice – decent transitions – decently catchy – decent production”. One user writes it’s “because she’s a qt”. Sounds like they may be onto something.

She’s nailing nostalgia

Nostalgia is one of the most powerful emotions and often one of the most effective tools of marketing. Grande and her team have done an excellent job of touching on a number of nostalgic decades through her videos and music.

The video for Problem takes us straight back to the ‘70s with knee-high white boots, big hair and a general Austin Powers psychedelia. In the video for Baby I she’s firmly in the ‘90s with fluro coloured jackets and street-side hangs like those crazy kids from the ‘90s used to do. The track itself also heralds back to Mariah Carey’s golden days of Honey or Dreamlover. The ‘90s is the decade that Grande references the most frequently which is smart given that it is very much in vogue at the moment.

She has an Instagram full of dogs

There has been a lot of talk above about good taste but nothing solidifies Ariana’s good taste like her choice of dogs over cats. Her Instagram is full of pictures of her three dogs Coco, Toulouse and Ophelia who, of course, have their own Wikipedia pages. The dogs can do everything, as documented by her Instagram, from lying down to staring lovingly to sitting. It’s really quite a sight to see.

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I am now wondering why I bothered with the other reasons when this is all we really need. Ariana Grande is a committed Instagram dog fan and that is why she is adored by all, just like the loveable species themselves.


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