Puja Patel

writer

Biography
New York, NY

  • CHVRCHES The Bones of What You Believe

    CHVRCHES' 'The Bones of What You Believe' Delivers Dark Pop With a Smile

    At first listen, Scotland's CHVRCHES could easily fool you into believing that they're champions of wide-eyed, lovelorn electro-pop. Live they've made a ritual of performing "I Would Die 4 V," their stripped-down, spooked-synth rendition of Prince's "I Would Die 4 U," but this homage is probably the most romantic song in the group's repertoire. Their debut, The Bones Of What You Believe, may be speckled with similarly poignant hooks, the kind that made "Lies" and TBOWYB's lead single "The Mother We Share" critical favorites back in the spring.

  • Lorde talks about her 'Royals' success and new album

    Lorde's Different Kind of Buzz: A Chat with the 'Royals' Phenom

    New Zealander Ella Yelich-O'Connor, better known as Lorde, doesn't like being described in terms of her age. But it's hard not to. At 16, the precocious youngster recently broke into the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 with "Royals," a song that coolly eye-rolls at her fellow pop-charters' fascination with blings and things, and instead exalts the greatness of everyday, just-scraping-by teenage life. While she's been signed to Universal since she was discovered four years ago, Lorde has resisted major-label meddling surprisingly well.

  • Zola Jesus / Photo by Matthew Eisman/Getty Images

    Zola Jesus' String-Laden 'Versions' Finds Warmer, Subtler Goth-Opera Catharsis

    Little-known fact about Zola Jesus: She's a soprano. Classically trained in opera, the 24-year-old singer born Nika Roza Danilova exalts in the murky, gothic boom of her songs, with deep swoops that evoke a sort of modern-day Gregorian chant: gorgeously melancholic vocals backed by expansive electronic landscapes, all speckled with bursts of noise and masked in reverb. But listen to the freshly reworked version of "Avalanche (Slow)," a track from her 2011 LP Conatus, and you'll hear the higher end of her spinto soprano cleanly shine through.

  • UZ

    Stream UZ's Starkly Menacing 'TRAP SHIT 14/15' EP

    Despite the mysterious unknown persona lurking behind UZ's moniker, the Internet trap-rave producer has been burning through Soundcloud with his free EP series over the past year. In that relatively short period of time, he's been picked up by Mad Decent, Boysnoize Records, and Smog, and has steadily released his TRAP SHIT series through free EPs. But what makes UZ's touch so irresistible is his restraint when dropping anvils of bass; he's a minimalist that way and knows that making festival-worthy tracks doesn't mean having to be a slave to the drop. He'll instead let sharp, staccato drum samples ping-pong around a song and do the groove-work for him. And with his latest installment of the TRAP SHIT series — TRAP SHIT 14/15 — the producer's crisp production techniques shine through again.

  • Rudimental

    Album of the Week: Stream Rudimental's EDM-Pop Masterstroke, 'Home'

    “Yesterday I met [Chicago house producer] Roy Davis Jr.,” says 27-year-old Rudimental producer Amir Amor from his London studio, beaming about crossing paths with a dance-music pioneer. “Can you imagine? We also got pissed with Disclosure last night. Proper drunk.” These days certainly seem charmed for Amor and his three bandmates — Piers Agget, Kesi Dryden, and DJ Locksmith. They’re currently celebrating hitting No. 1 on the U.K. charts with their debut album, Home, while waiting for its U.S. release next week. The group is part of a wave of similarly minded London-grown acts and have, like their buddies in Disclosure, morphed the city’s long history of underground dance music into a soulful, postmodern strain where drums from drum'n'bass, jungle, and house music are as equipped for easy listening, club-shaking, or pop domination.

  • AraabMuzik / Photo by Chad Kamenshine

    AraabMuzik, 'The Remixes Vol. 1' (Ultra)

    When Providence-raised producer AraabMuzik joined EDM duo Flosstradamus for a free, outdoor NYC show last August, his whirlwind MPC technique was only part of the attraction. For older onlookers, he also helped contextualize the then-blooming trap craze for the mosh pit teeming before him. While the huge audience of neon-clad underagers grinded up on one another to Flosstradamus' rap-heavy set (with the "Damn son, where'd you find this?" sample dropped excessively, of course), the man born Abraham Orellana relied on slightly more sophisticated beat construction, freestyling complicated rhythms and nodding to everything from trance to dubstep to, yes, pop.He'd made a lot of sense on that double bill: After all, AraabMuzik first made a name for himself reintroducing and revitalizing the famed Harlem rap crew Dipset with his electronic screams. And now, on his new The Remixes Vol.

  • Ciara Body Party DJ Sliink Nadus Remix Thread Jersey

    DJ Sliink and Nadus Take Ciara's 'Body Party' to the Club via Jersey Club Remix

    Earlier this year we wrote about DJ Sliink's #THREAD collective, a crew of Newark, New Jersey-based DJs paving the way for the city's frantic Jersey Club party music to hit the mainstream. The group is representative of a newer, younger class of local producers that turn the genre's classic flip of Baltimore breaks, heavy bass, and sampled vocals into ridiculously catchy, awesomely popped, booty-bouncing romps. These are songs that ooze aggressive bass lines, comically chopped hooks, and basically any sort of sexual innuendo they can get away with.That said, it's no surprise that DJ Sliink and fellow #THREAD-head Nadus' latest remix is a smooth reworking of Ciara's come-hither love song "Body Party." This go isn't a slave to bass, though — instead, it's a willing prisoner to the R&B queen's taunts.

  • RP Boo

    RP Boo, 'Legacy' (Planet Mu)

    On "Invisibu Boogie," an early track from RP Boo's long-awaited debut LP, Legacy, the 15-year-veteran footwork producer puts the "work" back into Chicago's unstoppable dance movement. "Invisibu" is mix of deftly curated drum patterns alongside scratches and synth tides jacked from two Boogie Down Productions songs, arranged into a sly Jenga tower piled so high and precariously that it only could've been constructed by a longtime genre architect. It's a slow burn that seamlessly slides into the bleeping intro to "Red Hot," a more frenetic track where barely-there bass provides the heartbeat of a banger meant to serve those with fancy feet. "You hear the song coming like a thief in the night," Boo explained in a recent interview, describing the ideal battle-worthy footwork track. "Keep it quiet in the beginning and feel it coming up through your feet.

  • Charli XCX

    Charli XCX, 'True Romance,' (Asylum)

    The biggest (and accidentally self-perpetuated) misconception about Charli XCX is that she's just another moody Goth princess. True, the 20-year-old singer boasts unruly black hair and kohl-smeared eyes, but read her interviews and the bubbly, starry-eyed, Disney-loving tween shines through. She loves being in love, and talks about her music in terms of synesthesia, describing her personal sonic color palette as being filled with purple, pink, gold, and sparkle. Someone asked her to describe the ideal listening setting for her debut full-length, True Romance, and her reply was as follows: "I reckon it probably would be under the ocean with glittering mermaids and Venus popping out of a shell. But the ocean is in the middle of a jungle and the sky is pink and has stars and unicorns jumping around in the background, things like that.

  • Major Lazer, 'Free the Universe' (Mad Decent/Secretly Canadian)

    Diplo's transformations from underground producer to indie celeb to mainstream EDM pop star have been well-documented and well-orchestrated. The man born Wesley Pentz alternately taunts and charms the press as he treats social media like a new religion, Instagramming star-studded studio hangouts, his kid's fashion choices, and upside-down butts with equal fervor. No surprise, 20th Century Fox just announced the company has bought the rights to a movie about three kids trying to get into a Diplo concert, with Pentz serving as creative director and executive producer. Unquestionably, the guy is a master salesman.So much so, in fact, that you almost forget he still makes music. His Major Lazer project debuted in 2009 with the full-length Guns Don't Kill People... Lazers Do, a joint venture between Diplo and U.K.

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