Dancing Astronaut’s 5 Under 5k: Vol. 16
5 Under 5k is a feature on Dancing Astronaut dedicated to spotlighting talented upcoming and undiscovered artists who we believe deserve more exposure. Each edition of 5 Under 5k will highlight five artists from a wide variety of genres with under 5,000 followers on SoundCloud (at the time of writing).
A SoundCloud playlist of the tracks featured can be found at the end of the article.
His first all-original track, “Last Train Home,” does a great deal of foreshadowing for Citylights (4,225). All of the producer’s previous tracks are covers of well-established artists such as deadmau5, Madeon, and Porter Robinson – though not exactly the kind of cover that the term normally brings to mind. Citylights’ covers are instrumental remakes of the songs that expertly utilize the originals’ chord progressions and melodies while giving the tracks a healthy dose of his quickly-developing sonic signature.
Citylights has a laid-back, yet contagiously groovy sound that will surely go over well with a large portion of listeners, from indie lovers to future bass enthusiasts and even those more on the side of hip-hop. “Last Train Home,” is a tad more upbeat and cinematic than his covers, proving his productions are not going to be stagnant going forward. He plays around with some phenomenal poly-rhythms that allow him to do something with which many musicians and producers struggle: he completely changes up the rhythm without losing the overall theme of the track.
As Elon Musk’s SpaceX project endeavors to help billionaires to reach outer space, two fellows from Burnaby, British Columbia, Moonmelt (375) have already flown over the radar, and have since been hanging out up there crafting productions stellar enough make Buzz Aldrin proud. The artists’ cosmic style of house has not yet generated the gravitational waves that they easily deserve, but tracks such as their latest single, “The Other Side,” go to show that Moonmelt won’t have to wait long to achieve galactic recognition.
The side of the moon that humans never see while looking up at it from Earth has always had dark connotation. However, it is true that the side of the moon in question is not always dark, just unknown. “The Other Side” is an easy-going jaunt that perfectly encapsulates their name and style, putting forth a perspective on the unknown side of things not as something to be afraid of but as something to be explored.
A talented pianist, vocalist, and songwriter, the young Luke Cusato (2,350) not only has some incredible solo tracks under his belt, but also boasts numerous spectacular collaborations with those specializing in more electronically-oriented productions. Thusly, Cusato has developed a skill set which could lead to ubiquitous appeal. Furthermore, Cusato also takes advantage of the ever-deepening pool of aspiring producers to put out remixes of his originals and collaborations, adding even more breadth to his potential audience.
The artist’s latest track, a collaboration with indie-influenced future bass producer Dooqu, does a spectacular job showcasing the talents of both artists. Cusato knows his way around a vocal top-line, as can be deduced by the infectious verses that skirt overtop the winsome piano in the intro and breaks. Out of the verses comes a good-natured chorus during which Dooqu subtly shows off his production skills by backing up the benevolent vocals with sophisticated staccato synths and percussion that make great use of negative space.
Mullaha (2,650) possess level of skill may baffle listeners, who could likely be beguiled by the group’s small number of followers. The quality that the outfit’s songwriting and production talent has reached while just over halfway to the 5,000 follower mark is telling of the fact that, when Mullaha inevitably blow up, they will have the core skills to back up that growth.
The act’s latest single is perhaps their highest quality output to date. “When I See You” has all the characteristics of outstanding disco house, and gives some of the greats – Madeon, in particular, comes to mind – a run for their money without sounding too much alike to anyone else in the space. Quick, funky guitar licks and an appropriate retro-style vocal part draw the listener in, and although the main beat doesn’t resolve into a normal four-on-the-floor pattern, the feeling of disco house is prominent throughout.
New York-based producer Nick AM (1,084) isn’t afraid to try his hand at tastefully remixing tracks that may not be normally considered suitable for a remix or edit. One of the most rewarding aspects of searching out artists that have yet to “blow up” is watching, in real time, as they work on defining themselves creatively with each new track. Nick AM’s style can be said to have prominent house influences, but an examination of his SoundCloud will soon prove to the listener that he enjoys switching things up – a quality that will make the artist’s ascension all the more fascinating to watch.
Nick AM’s latest is an edit of A Tribe Called Quest‘s “Electric Relaxation,” and could easily be considered the most refined piece of work he has released thus far. The edit achieves the difficult balance of keeping the feeling and overall tone of the original song while injecting a certain amount of personal flair. The track is sped up a bit to fit into a comfortable four-on-the-floor beat, and subtle percussion is added along with a simple, groovy bass line that provides the personal flair without being overbearing.