Puja Patel


New York, NY

  • Autre Ne Veut, 'Anxiety' (Mexican Summer / Software)

    Sorting through the feelings behind Autre Ne Veut's Anxiety is a daunting task. The Brooklyn-based producer only recently revealed his actual name (Arthur Ashin) to his fans — he's been studying for a masters degree in psychology, you see, and was fearful of his musical notoriety affecting any future non-musical endeavors. With this knowledge, his second full-length becomes a dissertation on its namesake, a presumably constant existential crisis that's both hurt and helped him: He insists his uneasiness about everyday things helped him write songs about anxiety with both comfort and ease.To describe this simply as "bedroom R&B" would be a disservice. Ashin’s voice isn't as understated and confident as those of Andrew and Daniel Aged from indie R&B duo Inc., his tenuous tenor less angelically emotive than Active Child's Pat Grossi.

  • Tiesto / Photo by Albert Chau/FilmMagic

    Where the Beats Have No Name: Tiesto's Rarefied Air

    Seven glitter-adorned women turned to stare blankly at me when I arrived at Glass, a warehouse that serves as a green room next door to New York City’s Marquee nightclub on Saturday night. Dressed in the kind of alien fantasy get-up that is almost exclusively reserved for sexy sci-fi role play and bottle-service go-go dancers — metallic leotards, studded geometric bras, coned and sequined shoulder pads, scaly stilettos — they, like the rest of us waiting, were anxious for Tiësto to arrive.Once it was revealed that, despite my boots and weather-appropriate jacket, I was a writer who also belonged in this backstage lounge, they resumed primping and chatting in their thick Eastern European accents.

  • Nadastrom / Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Image

    Various Artists, 'Moombahton Forever' (T&A)

    Stream Moombahton Forever right now! Who even thought moombahton would make it to 2013? The great dance-fusion craze that first appeared three years ago was widely dismissed as an Internet-fueled DJ novelty act, launched at the dawn of the SoundCloud Era by the oddball realization that if you slowed down Afrojack's manic "Moombah Remix," you could turn Dutch house music into reggaeton. It didn't help that the burgeoning genre's biggest producer, Munchi, seemed to prefer SoundCloud exclusively. And despite inventor Dave Nada's lovable origin story — he found himself playing a party for his cousin's reggaeton-loving friends, and was forced to improvise using house records — the style seemed destined for the same everything-sounds-the-same subgenre graveyard that claimed "bubbling" (a.k.a., sped up Dutch house) before it.

  • Taylor Swift / Photo by Getty Images

    Jingle Ball 2012 By the Numbers: Screaming Bieber Fans, the Wanted Creeped Out, and... Steven Seagal?

    Friday night once again brought Z100's annual Jingle Ball pop summit to NYC, making Madison Square Garden's sold-out arena a spectacle before the doors even opened. Thousands upon thousands of pre-teens piled onto each other outside of the venue eager to get a glipse of any of the chart-topping heartthrobs that were scheduled to perform inside. Bieber was the name that we heard screamed the most, of course. But the headliner shared the night with Taylor Swift, One Direction, the Wanted, Ne-Yo, Jason Mraz, B.o.B., Cher Lloyd, Ed Sheeran, and Olly Murs as well, making it a ticket that also served as a revue of radio pop circa 2012. As parents chaperoned their wild-eyed, heart-clenching, shrilly screaming kids, we feigned sympathy while embracing the pop glory right alongside 'em.

  • Mala

    Mala, 'Mala in Cuba' (Brownswood)

    Mala is a tourist, but a cautious one. Discussing the self-explanatory Mala in Cuba, his first major release in years, the dubstep savant and member of South London’s Digital Mystikz admitted that he was hesitant to take on the project at all, explaining he had little knowledge of Cuban music and was wary of half-assedly dabbling in such lively regional sounds.

  • The xx / Alexandra Waespi

    The xx, 'Coexist' (Young Turks)

    The xx had a lot to live up to after their gorgeously choreographed 2009 debut; but as quickly as Coexist launches into opening track "Angels," the trio fully delivers the sort of emotionally manipulative cauldron-stirring their fans adore. There's the breathy, surely-about-to-faint whispers of Romy Madley Croft, of course, gently coaxing longing out of lyrics meant for late-night love letters ("You move through the room / Like breathing was easy / If someone believed me / They would be as in love with you as I am"), carefully balanced between honest, gut-wrenching desire and stalker-like idolization, all backed by the familiar echoes of an idly plucked guitar and the barely audible thuds of a drum. The result may be quietly soothing, but it's not exactly easy listening. As a brand, the xx have thrived almost exclusively on peddling the pedestalled idea(l)s of love.

  • Chrissy Murderbot, 'Friendship EP' (Halocyan)

    Chicago jukester chops R'n'B, cues blippy runs, drops on the clap, gives footwork a pop groove.

  • Various Artists, 'Future Disco Presents: Poolside Sounds (Needwant)

    Soft, tinkling disco and calm laidback house ideal for summer rooftops and Xanax use.

  • Digitalism, 'DJ-Kicks' (!K7)

    Bright waves of dance-punk and blurry grunts of electro relive "Pogo;" new production far outshines their last.

  • Maximo Park, 'The National Health' (Warp)

    Tired UK alt-rock for the era when Franz Ferdinand and The Bravery got radio play. Give us some pep!

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