Monthly Archives: August 2010

The Pacific Festival

It’s always been a dream of ours to see an electronic music festival come to Los Angeles that catered more towards the music we cover here. As a counterpoint to the HARD festivals that are basically an extension of the Hollywood electro scene that has dominated LA for five years, we thought something a little more eclectic could be amazing. Finally, along comes Pacific Festival. Put together by Mike Tunney and his company Collaborative Media, Pacific Festival is the start of the realization of those dreams. We’ll be seeing 2 performances that we’ve been aching for for a long time (Miami Horror LIVE, and the living legend Lifelike), and a host of other DJs and performers (Classixx, Alan Braxe, Human Life, and The Sounds) that are getting their first chances at a SoCal festival.

So, Los Angeles, stand up on Saturday and make the drive down to Orange County. Saturday its going down in Costa Mesa and everyone would be silly not to try and make it.

You can head over here to buy tickets, and hopefully we’ll all see you out at the Pacific Festival this weekend!

Our friends in Human Life are playing the show on Saturday, and so as a nice lil bonus, here’s their very Binary B side, Italo Crimewave.

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Human Life – Italo Crimewave

Koobra – Thrills + Question

I’m hardly ever surprised anymore by just how well I can size up a track from a few moments of its intro. It might seem akin to judging a book by its cover, but the batting average for songs with solid intros is too good to ignore.  I was sold on both these tracks pretty much instantly. Koobra is a Finnish producer who recently began a solo career releasing the Thrills EP on Top Billin Music late last May. He is still most popularly known as half of the electro outfit Helsinki 78-82, but judging from his solo work that won’t be true for long. Helsinki 78-82 just isn’t quite as accessible for me; Koobra’s tracks are a little catchier. They’ve got this brilliant soothing quality that’s made all the more precious in it’s ability to synthesize a palpable disco energy with groovy hypnotic melodies.

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Koobra – Thrills

I pride myself on my ability to guess where producers are from based on the influences and qualities at work in their music.  With Koobra’s ‘Thrills’ I would have been dead wrong. You can understand why; it seems so obviously French. It reminds me a lot of the Maethelvin remix of ‘Another Cool Feeling‘ by The Outrunners. Both songs manage to insert subtle traces of trance into what might have ordinarily been another ’80sd out electro banger, something like throwing cold water on a hot engine. The steamy result is strikingly melancholic. The timbre of the synths gives an intentionally chilly track  a very human sense of angst. I don’t know that I’ve ever been able to pinpoint what it is exactly that gives some songs that brooding quality, but I know that I absolutely love it. Not to wax poetic, but it’s almost as though one part of the melody struggles to go on while another part drives forward endlessly.

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Koobra – Question

‘Question’ is a more upbeat track. It’s rooted a little more in Italo disco than French house and its got everything a song like this should have: chopped and filtered female vocals echoing over a mix of guitar riffs and disco beats. I end up comparing a lot of this kind of music to Russ Chimes so I try to avoid it when I can, but the similarities here are too overwhelming not to mention. The hook that comes in at about 3:39 sounds EXACTLY like something he would have come out with a couple years ago. To Koobra’s credit, Russ hasn’t released anything this good since his remix of Fabian’s ‘Heatwave.’ By the way, that’s not self-promotion it’s just true.

We Were Lovers – People Talk

I love finding new music on blogs and from friends, but my favorite way to discover a new band is by just happening to see them live. Watching a band tells you almost everything you need to know about them, in my opinion, and it can really define how you perceive them. This was the case with the indie, pop duo We Were Lovers from Canada. I was in San Diego at Beauty Bar to see LexiconDon play and Fabian’s DJ set and lucky for me WWL hit the stage right before. Ash and Elsa have this sweet pop sound with a rough rock edge and they put on a great show. They had a fun energy, even though it is just the two of them; Ash on the guitar and Elsa on lead vocals, keys and synths. WWL were grooving together and looked like they were having the best time and that made me wanna be up there jamin’ with them. Maybe if I learned to play the drums they would add me to the band…I know, a girl can dream though.

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We Were Lovers – People Talk

WWL crafts eclectic, fun, melodic tunes and that is the type of music I like to share so I immediatly hit them up hoping for a track to put on the blog. ‘People Talk’ instantly caught my ear when they played it. The guitar rift carries the flowing vocals until the first drop into the chorus where the instrumentals pause and a mini yet intense build takes you by surprise. The lyrics are simple and repetitive making you want to sing along; I can’t get it out of my head. Not to mention the lyrics couldn’t be any more realistic.

“Two can play that game, two can play two can play that game.”

Talking about people and game playing are common themes in everyday life (kinda sad, but true). Everyone plays games nowadays whether it is with work, with friends or with girl/boyfriends. When I listen to this song I always vow to keep it clean and keep the not so nice things to myself…”so keep your lips tied.”

‘Partners In Crime’ is another favorite of mine. It’s a little bit more of an indie track, listen to it on their myspace. CMJ Magazine called WWL “Canada’s sweetest export since Maple Syrup” and I must concur WWL are quite the treat and I can’t wait for them to head back to California.

LexiconDon – Pink + Blue

Two years in the making, LexiconDon’s album Pink + Blue hits the digital shelves today. I’ve been playing versions of this record for over a year and seeing the finished product is something that all of Binary has been waiting on for some time. If you follow this blog, then you understand our love for good songs, regardless of fad, style, or context. We care about music that touches your soul… the kind of music that makes you want to turn the lights off in your room and let your headphones just envelop you in sound. We love music that aims to hit you right in the chest, hitting the kind of emotions everyone can relate to. I can promise you that this record is all of these things.

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LexiconDon – Student Body

While the record runs across the musical spectrum, from heavy electro, to classic synthpop, all the way through R&B ballads, its tied together thematically from front to finish. Pink + Blue is a snapshot of life before ‘real’ adulthood. Told through the eyes of a relationship’s up and downs, the crux of the record deals with what its like to struggle through your teens and twenties. Its a time capsule of life in Los Angeles and everything that comes along with struggling to understand where life is going.

Thematically and sonically, the album struggles with what a lot of us are in life. Its a push and pull between the desire to live life to its fullest while we’re still young, while constantly dealing with the prospects and realities of the future. Songs like Hollywood Sound, Hot Love, and Heart Attack detail the decadence and joy that being young and in Los Angeles can bring. Those songs sound like some of the times we’ve had here in the last three years. But for every sing along party jam, there’s the other side of it. Songs like December Sunset, Boy Vs Girl Pt1, and Set Sail approach things from a different angle, and provide the strongest moments on the record. You can’t have the party without the hangover, and you can’t have the makeup without the breakup. This record gives you the ying and the yang and its that quality that turns the 10 songs into something bigger and better than any of them could be alone.

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LexiconDon – Hollywood Sound

Pink + Blue’s biggest accomplishment is probably its ability to work as one complete thought, something that in today’s single-heavy market, most artists seem to have lost. The strongest songs may be the one’s you haven’t even heard yet. Set Sail, the epic closing track, is arguably their best work. Newer songs like Pink + Blue and the annoyingly catchy Hot Love punch through the fold, feeling fresh and providing new perspectives on LexiconDon’s life here in LA. When taken in as a whole, the individual songs begin to take entire new meanings, which after all is what writing a great record is all about.



In the end this record is the soundtrack to summers in Los Angeles. From the plastic sheen of Hollywood to life spent laughing in dark dive bars in Silverlake, this album paints a picture of a place and time. Its an album full of tracks that are meant for windows down, sing at the top of your lungs moments. So if you trust us at all, go check this album out.

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LexiconDon – December Sunset

You can find the record on iTunes, or on any of your other favorite digital retailers.

Also, if you happen to be in LA this Friday, you can catch LexiconDon performing with Best Coast at Bardot for a very special performance. All you gotta do is RSVP here!

Posted by: Josh

Robots With Rayguns – Electro Isn’t Dead

It’s with great pleasure today that we get to announce the debut full length release from Robots With Rayguns. Lucas Smith is RWR, a Baltimore native recently relocated to the desert landscape of Phoenix, AZ. For those of you that are regular followers of Binary, you surely must have noticed the remixes we got from RWR for ‘Sweet Carrie’ and ‘December Sunset,’ but today we get a taste of RWR’s synth-laden new record Electro Isn’t Dead, which he’s offering entirely for free on his myspace page here, so I suggest after reading this you head over and see what else the record has to offer.

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Robots With Rayguns – Free To Feel

The album opens with what has ended up being one of my favorite tracks on RWR’s first full length effort. Being one of the producers out there that is making pure and authentic dreamwave music, as it has come to be defined, I have been excited to see the progression from RWR’s very signature sound that you can find on his abundance of remixes to the sound he would craft on a full record of original material. As ‘Free To Feel’ opens, I was happy to be injected into a world of swirling atmospheric pulses, curious to see where these dark and mysterious tones would take me. Anyone that writes music or produces has probably found that the music they like most in life is the stuff that follows the same musical decisions they would make. I feel that way about RWR, primarily in the bass progressions he uses, so that’s why I’ve always taken an interest in the material he puts out. This song is certainly no exception, as at :45 seconds into the song, those delayed Kavinsky-esque pulses blend seamlessly into an emotion packed bassline with a punchy kick and a delicious handclap snare. All the tension and curiosity of the intro dissipates with a big sense of resolution as the song gets its meaning. The song doesn’t evolve much past that, other than to add a great sample of some soaring female vocals letting us know that “everybody’s free to feel good.” But that’s ok, I often like songs that set the mood more than songs that try to say too much.

After the opening track is the lead single off the record, ‘Sugarbaby,’ which you may have seen floating around the blogosphere in the past few months. Here’s a video for that track that would make TNUC proud…

There are some pretty epic dance scenes in there and I’m sure it would take a true ’80s aficionado to put all the pieces together. I was pretty amazed the first time I saw this video and how well it works with the song, it almost seemed too good. Did you guys catch the cameo from Ronald McDonald in there? Yeah, he’s getting down to ‘Sugarbaby’ too.

Whoa, look out. It’s ’80s video fest day here at Binary. This is another great danceable track from Electro Isn’t Dead. The video for ‘Change of Heart’ is equally impressive and perhaps more awesome. When I hear this song I am literally transported back in time and can imagine how awesome it would have been to be hitting these clubs back in 1980s LA, hanging out with people that look and movee just like this. I love the freestyle vibe of this track…the groove, along with the pitched vocal sample, makes me think of the sweaty abandoned dance studios that I picture Lisa Lisa and Debbie Deb hanging out in when the freestyle sound was king.

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Robots With Rayguns – The Distance

I’ll leave you with one last track from the album. ‘The Distance’ is a song that progresses from dreamy robo-pop to a desperate and spacey pad driven chorus, featuring a sample of the one and only Survivor’s ‘Eye of the Tiger.’ The whole album is full of vocal samples, some that work better than others, but there are times when RWR really finds a good use for a vocal sample, like the one in the first track, which I really think fits. Here in ‘The Distance,’ some of them are chopped and/or reversed, leaving something that isn’t quite intelligible, but I personally think the point gets across, and musically it works. I like the power of the almost world beat drums that break through the dreamlike pads of this song, and I especially like the arpeggiated sawtooth synth that leads us through the outro on towards the horizon.

Ok, one last goodie…

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Whitney Houston – I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Robots With Rayguns Remix)

This is the first track I had heard of RWR, and I got a reluctant Lucas to allow me to put it up, because I think it’s the tops. I know that he didn’t get to spend as much time as he would’ve liked to really touch it up and make it perfect, but I still think it’s a great starting idea for something that was finished well over a year ago, and it will always be something I remember as my introduction to the signature sounds of Robots With Rayguns. I really love the vocal use in this remix, not only in the ways he was able to really highlight the timid yet exceedingly powerful vocals of Whitney, but the creative way he timed the vocals up in the chorus to turn the song on its head. Melodically I think this song delivers big time on the emotion scale. Enjoy!

And be sure to head over to the Robots With Rayguns Myspace page for more info about RWR and to get your own copy of the record!

Super Melody – Worker Bee

Fresh off the release of their debut album, Destination Unknown, Melbourne’s Super Melody is poised for a big year. The brainchild of producer James Cecil, Super Melody combines elements of french pop with a hint of hip-hop sensibility for tracks that belong as much on the dance floor as they do in your bedroom. The debut Super Melody EP, Life Is Like Glass, will be released by Love + Mercy Records on November 20th so be sure to peep that this fall.

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Super Melody – Worker Bee

‘Worker Bee’ is easily my favorite track off the new album. It reminds me a lot of what a Keenhouse + Hey Champ collab might sound like. If that doesn’t get your attention I don’t know what will. I’ve got the song on repeat right now and it’s actually proving a little tricky to tie to one genre or another. As soon as I start thinking it sounds like French Horn Rebellion, I start getting more of a Michael Jackson feel. Or maybe the Bee Gees? Or the Cool Kids? What I can say objectively is that the track thoroughly rocks. Emotionally charged guitar riffs cry out over smooth synths for a sound rooted in the retro and nourished by the modern. The lyrics are playful and the vocals are some of the best I’ve heard in recent memory. Like everything we post here at Binary this song just oozes musicality. Cecil has clearly called upon a vast array of talented musicians to give his track a sense of warmth, soul, and dynamism.

It’s songs like this that make me want to throw parties, if only to show off my unparalleled taste, towering sophistication, and unsurpassed humility. I actually just moved into my new apartment and this song has been playing so much it’s almost become a permanent fixture; I swear my place looks better when it’s playing, like Patrick Bateman’s when ‘Sussudio’ comes on. Great, great song.

Young Empires – White Doves

Recently I’ve been on an indie rock kick.  It’s not that I love electronica any less, I’ve just been rediscovering my guitar-based roots. So when I got a heads up on Young Empires and their new demo ‘White Doves,’ it felt like a godsend. Here is a perfect synthesis of my two favorite genres, charged with emotion and powered by guitars, synths, and bell chimes. I’m in love.

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Young Empires – White Doves

Before this song I’d never heard of Young Empires. You can’t blame me; they’re very new. They’re three guys hailing from Toronto, Canada who formed a band and started sending out demos back around May. They immediately became blog darlings, and since then have only experienced increased reception. While their Myspace says they’re unsigned, the fervor of Young Empires adoration has reached such a level that it’s just a matter of time before they get snatched up by a label, and deservedly so. I can’t believe the songs they’ve been sending around are just demos. Their production quality and sense of melody puts many other signed artists to shame. Young Empires not only have the potential to be huge, they quite possibly could be your new favorite band.

The song ‘White Doves’ is a perfect Binary-esque electronica/indie hybrid. It’s rock that incorporates the “dream” elements along with longing lyrics about starry skies and making all your wishes come true. Most of Young Empire’s other demos are bouncy and dancefloor ready, whereas this mid-tempo pseudo ballad showcases their musical range and emotional capability. It’s magically ambient in that it causes your mind to wander to visions of the universe, childhood dreams, and your sense of belonging. This song is best described in one word: beautiful. It’s music like this that makes me feel invincible.

Cassette Club

Hello blog world!!

It’s been a long time since I’ve had the chance to write something up for the blog. As I’m sure you guys know there are a lot of big things we’re working on here at Binary, so I’ve been a little preoccupied, but there are a few posts I wanted to write, so expect to hear from me again soon.

Today I wanted to bring you some remixes for London duo Cassette Club’s track ’4 Me’. Yeah, they’re a bit old (in blog years), but cut me some slack ’cause I’ve been out of town for like a month. Way too long to be missing LA!

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Cassette Club – 4 Me (Bestrack Remix)

Our good friends at Eye Industries sent these remixes over to me in support of the debut single release from Cassette Club for this track. The original version of this song is a bit more French house sounding, with a sweet lounge-y feel to it. One thing I noticed about all the remixes I got is that they all sort of have the same feel…a similar chord progression and all of them are nice bouncey, yet chill tracks. I think that’s probably a testament to the original track which has a solid foundation driving through the whole song, with some great vocals riding over the top. It’s a lot easier to create a great remix when you’re starting out with a great original, and I think this is a good example of that.

So Josh and I spent a couple weeks in Boston working on some new NightWaves material in a very peaceful and isolated setting and then I went to Chicago for a week to see my family and my new baby niece, so this past month has been a pretty long emotional ride. And man, did it feel great to get back to LA! Isn’t it awesome how every place has its own feeling? Chicago is where I’m from, but it wasn’t until I got back to LA and was standing at the airport surrounded by the palm trees and breathing the not so fresh LA air that I really felt at home. These remixes really feel like LA summers to me. I’m sure every place is nicer in the summertime (especially places like Boston and Chicago), but I just realized how summers in LA are an equally special time. Most people think that we get the same weather year round in LA, but that’s not the case…summers really are more fun everywhere.

I love how this Bestrack remix feels like an LA summer to me. Big golden synths like the sun, a bouncing rhythm for all those nights that don’t stop, a few sweeping noise pads that hang over the song like the mist in the city night, and a great use of the vocals which fill the song with the emotional desperation of all of us LA kids sitting back and feeling like we really are living the good life. Cap it all off with a sick guitar solo and you’ve got the LA sound right there.

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Cassette Club – 4 Me (Beaumont Remix)

And here’s Beaumont’s version of the same track…let it be known that I’m a big fan of Beaumont. His remix of ‘Sweet Carrie’ is definitely one of my favorites, and I’ve really enjoyed all his production work…I think he really gets it. He always does a good job of structuring and building the song the way that it is really meant to be. All the things I said about Bestrack’s remix and the LA sound could apply to this remix as well, except that Beaumont’s remix has a lot more tension built in which leads to some more epic buildups, and I will never argue with that.

“TV screens and limousines/The other side of shattered dreams/I’m standing here on my own again/but I keep on playing it out…”

Sounds like how I felt getting back to LA. I guess there are a lot of ways you can interpret “the other side of shattered dreams”…maybe it’s like the opposite of shattered dreams, soooo fully intact dreams? But I don’t think so. In my mind, it’s about the progression of time, and while one day our dreams may shatter, tomorrow is a new day, and the only thing we can do is keep on playing it out. While I can’t say that I’ve ever had shattered dreams (or at least I haven’t slowed down enough to realize it), LA is definitely the city of dreams. And whether your dreams have been shattered or just unrealized, LA is a place where you can start anew, or just plain start. I think that’s something all of us in Binary believe it…just doing what we can to keep moving forward, and every little step we’re taking is one step closer to the other side of shattered dreams. Life is about the journey and we’re having one hell of a journey, so that no matter what happens, it is all worth it. I can’t think of a better place to follow your dreams than LA…the summertime energy is flowing, the lights of Hollywood light up the sky, every weekend marks a new milestone, and “for me it’s gotta be like this till Saturday night”.

As a bonus here’s another ’4 Me’ remix by our friend Quinten 909

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Cassette Club – 4 Me (Quinten 909 and Livian Remix)

Be sure to head over to iTunes to check out Cassette Club’s ’4 Me’ release here, and show some love to all the remixers that did a great job!

Passion Pit – Little Secrets (Penguin Prison Remix)


Intelligent pop: best defined by musical acts such as Penguin Prison. Penguin Prison is Chris Glover from NYC. His music oozes seemingly effortless talent, but his road was a bumpy one. After performing arts school Penguin Prison’s style bounced around until he settled on high-fi synth pop and he is one of the artists on the forefront of the low-fi rebellion. Low-fi was born by musicians recording on at-home, cheap equipment and eventually it became cool to recreate the rough, vintage sound on purpose. Don’t get me wrong, the do it yourself sound is great, but I am pretty amped the movement towards clear, crisp production with understandable lyrics is well underway thanks to Hey Champ, Bright Light Bright Light, Binary’s LexiconDon and of course Penguin Prison. I’m a fan of everything Glover pumps out because any track with the Penguin Prison stamp is nothing less than a polished dance jam about real life-the good, the bad and the ugly.

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Passion Pit – Little Secrets (Penguin Prison Remix)


I can’t think of anything better than a Passion Pit track, unless Penguin Prison does a stellar remix of it…case and point ‘Little Secrets.’ The hard synth layers of the original are peeled back and scaled down to reveal a piano melody laden with bits of drums, symbols and strings throughout. Listening to the soft, gentle vocals is sweet ear candy and they make the sound more approachable for the average listener. The last 55 seconds are my favorite as each individual sound disappears and I am released from the spell I was under.

“Let this be our little secret, no one needs to know we’re feeling…higher and higher and higher.”

This tastes like a late night to me. Dancing until you get kicked out and never wanting the night to end, but that is when beers, friends and some really good drunk conversation comes in. I love watching the sun come up, but I’m not THAT much of an early riser, however on one particularly late night after listening to some particularly good tunes I did just that. I remember walking into a diner at 430am and it was still dark, but as I ate my grilled cheese and drank my chocolate milk (yes, I am 5) I couldn’t stop thinking about how I was literally watching the sun rise. It is a surreal feeling when you know that the rest of the world is sleeping and they are missing everything you are experiencing right at this moment. The silence feels good…in an eerie way. The night made me think of life experience and not in the job sense, but simply in life. Doing some crazy things to say you did em’ and then just sitting back…living life and getting high off it. I wonder what stories I would have if I stopped thinking and let life just happen…

Posted by: Kim

The Dream – Yamaha (Fiero Double Rainbow Bootleg)

The Dream’s new album Love King has been getting a lot of chitter chatter around me lately, and when I heard that our friends in Fiero were gonna re-work ‘Yamaha’ I got pretty giddy. The Fiero boys hit us with this outstanding bootleg remix a few weeks back, and upon first listen I got a raging ear boner. The guys were then awesome enough to let us debut the song here on Binary, which gave me a huge face boner. If you’re not familiar with Fiero, they’re a really rad SoCal producer/DJ group made up of Nicky Savage, Sam Aftermath, and Jeremy Giovinazzo. We became familiar with them earlier this year, and the love affair has been alive ever since. All super cool dudes that make some real top notch chunes… which you can see from listening to this little gem.

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The Dream – Yamaha (Fiero Double Rainbow Bootleg)

The track kicks off with a beautiful, glittery build-up and the repeated line, “I miss ya”.  Right off the bat I’m thrown on the runway at LAX, possibly heading to New York… maybe Hawaii. It’s actually the intro to the song after ‘Yamaha’ on the album, ‘Nikki Part 2’. Then, at around 30 seconds in, we get lifted into a delightful world of mystical R&B that straddles the line between inner city and beach… somewhere between Malibu and downtown LA. The uplifting qualities of this song sorta blow me away… I could be having the worst day ever, listen to this, and all is right. Aural delight in true form. It’s like Prince, Usher, and Sébastien Tellier had a musical orgy with Janet Jackson, and this was the result.

The lyrics in ‘Yamaha’ are probably one of my favorite parts. The words just seem to hit me really hard… in that giggly gangster sort of way. Dirty R&B lines like “If you let me in that body Imma turn that motha fucka out” and “Still gotcha name tattooed on my back” have been getting stuck in my head for days and days after listening. I actually think I had a dream recently where I was walking around in a coffee shop repeating those lyrics to strangers. It was awkward. And on top of the lyrics being super catchy and awesome, the name of this remix is perfect… ‘Double Rainbow Bootleg’?!? How perfect is that? (If somehow missed it, as I did, do yourself a favor and check out the Double Rainbow Guy / Yosemite Bear video).

To be honest, the original of this song isn’t my favorite. I really like the Love King album as a whole, but ‘Yamaha’ doesn’t really knock my socks off. It’s a little boring to me I suppose… but Fiero fixes that with this fiery bootleg. Everything about this song  just makes me smile. Makes me want to trade in my crappy little Shanghai Shenke motorcycle (scooter) and get a Yamaha.

Stay tuned for more lovely tunes from Fiero. And definitely stay tuned for some Binary/Fiero magic that should be available for our listening pleasure in the coming weeks.

Posted by: Dillon