Calling all beat hustlers and bass slingers! California’s Northern Nights Music Festival has teamed up with Monophonics & Earmilk to offer you the chance to join the ranks of their performing artists. And trust us, you want to be on this lineup. NNMF was the breakout festival of 2014 and for good reason; set in the gorgeous Cook’s Valley Campground, the vibes at this gathering were on-point and the music was absolutely stellar. Even with our high expectations, this year’s edition is shaping up to be just as fantastic, if not more. You can get acquainted with the Phase 1 lineup below, Phase 2 is coming very soon!
Now, for the contest itself. You can find all the details on the festival’s website, but here’s the gist of it: surreal soul band, Monophonics, has put their track ‘Promises’ up for remixing and whoever puts the best spin on it will earn themselves a performance at Northern Nights! And that’s not all; a meet & greet with the band themselves and a release for your remix on Earmilk is also on the line. Don’t be intimidated, though, as Monophonics has given you plenty to work with. ‘Promises’ is a funky, feel-good track and inspiration is sure to strike after a couple listens.
We’ve listed our choices for the top 10 remixes below, but there’s still time to get your submission in. Entries will be accepted until May 10th, so download the stems and hop inside your studio. Good luck!
Listed in no particular order…
B1 took the electro-soul/electro-funk approach for his take on ‘Promises’. It’s an especially dynamic remix, with a vibe similar to artists like Marvel Years and Manic Focus. If you listen closely, you can almost hear the energy of Led Zeppelin being channeled through the beats.
We’ll be honest: seeing a name made up of random symbols and accent marks always makes us a bit skeptical of the music to follow. Fortunately, artists like ⍡☪ẖĭḶ⍡ are out there to remind us we can never judge a book by its cover. Sitting somewhere between tech and deep house, his version of promises is laid-back with a downright infectious groove; definitely one of our favorite tracks from the competition so far.
Tech Minds & vocalist Kenz always make a stellar combo. We fully expected them to add a dose of their own flair to ‘Promises’ and they most certainly did not disappoint. Instead of merely sampling the vocals, Kenz croons them herself, her sultry voice perfectly complementing the reggae-influenced production.
Making good use of the bright, brassy horns from the original track and a healthy dose of resonant bass, Shaman takes a more minimal approach than most of the other remixers. Sit back, close your eyes, and let this one wash over you.
Halcyon Habit went old-school for their remix. Vibey, laid-back, tech-house is the name of the game here. This is the kind of music you picture hearing in the depths of an abandoned warehouse somewhere, surrounded by plenty of grooving dancers trying desperately to ignore the fact that the sun will be rising soon.
This is one of the more experimental tunes on our list. IsoTope manages to pull a warmth out of his bass growls that we’ve never experienced before; the sound design here is on point the whole way through, with rich, textured sounds permeating the arrangement. Extra points are awarded for the insanely smooth stylistic switch-up in the middle, that took both talent and guts.
This one is straight up FUNK. Spazm focused on the bass-line and the percussion for this one, making sure both were all sorts of groovy. Prepare to wiggle.
What do you get when you mix a beautifully melodic chord progression with a funky drum pattern and emotional vocals? You get Sebastian Seidl‘s edition of ‘Promises’, of course. We’ve got a good feeling about this kid; his work strongly reminds us of Autograf, but with a dash of style all his own.
Another remix with an OG house-party vibe, MyKill utilizes the vocals and a classic synth bass-line to fantastic effect. Those saxophone riffs and organ-like sweeps make us melt.
Last, but definitely not least, is the Vortex Spaceship Ride. They hail from the Netherlands, but this tune sounds distinctly like something you’d hear in a smoky blues club, stateside, circa 40 years ago. It’s funk, reggae, and soul all wrapped up into one cohesive unit, an impressive feat.
We think these are the 10 best tracks so far, what did you think of them? Let us know below; whatever your opinion, we hope to see your smiling face on the dance floor at this year’s Northern Nights!