Puja Patel


New York, NY

  • Puja Patel's 25 Best Albums of 2013

    Puja Patel's 25 Best Albums of 2013

    To finish out the year, we'll be offering the top 25 albums from various SPIN staffers. Today, as a matter of introduction, SPIN's new Associate Editor Puja Patel.My favorite albums each year tend to be the ones that drive me the craziest. The denser the music, the better the head-trip — psychoanalyzation, daydreaming, and sonic nitpicking is key when you’re listening to the same music on repeat as frequently as I do. Eventually abandoning all that scrutiny later, especially with regards to dance music, makes the actual dancing part that much more freeing. It’s an approach that allows me to either dramaticize the regular and/or whittle down overblown trends to their particularly endearing quirks.

  • Miley Cyrus at Z100's Jingle Ball, Madison Square Garden, New York City, December 13, 2013 / Photo by Taso Hountas

    Miley Cyrus and a Grinding Santa Claus Steal the Show at Z100's Jingle Ball in NYC

  • M.I.A. Stares Down Superfans and VIPs Alike at Swank 'Satellite Nights' NYC Show

    M.I.A. Stares Down Superfans and VIPs Alike at Swank 'Satellite Nights' NYC Show

  • 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.

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