In The Mix: Baltra in The Lab
The last two weeks have been filled with new music coming from an array of different genres. Post Malone’s new album was expected to drop before the new year, however, fans have only received two singles from the new project. With additions from several R&B and rap, EDM, and Latin artists this week has given fans plenty to listen to.
Single of the Week: Post Malone and Ty Dolla $ign -"Psycho": Adding to the suspense of his new album, Beerbongs and Bentleys, Post Malone released a single this past weekend in which he teamed up with fellow hip-hop artist Ty Dolla $ign. The single, titled “Psycho”, follows Post’s previous single “Rockstar” featuring 21 Savage which gives fans hope that the album will be filled with features to accompany the rhythmic vocals of Post Malone. The song reiterates what we’ve heard in Post Malone’s previous work, detailing his lavish lifestyle after leaving Texas. The relaxed instrumental coupled with Post and Ty Dolla $ign’s soothing vocals make this single another classic from Post Malone.
Music Videos of the Week
Drake - "God's Plan": Sticking in the genre of rap and hip-hop, Canadian artist Drake has followed up his hit single “God’s Plan” with a stunning music video. Set both in the streets of Miami and at city’s university, Drake is seen handing out money to ordinary citizens. Making it clear from the start, the budget for the video was $996,631.90. After announcing the video’s budget, Drake makes it clear that he and the label gave the entirety of the budget out which is seen throughout the video. The video for “God’s Plan” has gained a significant amount of media attention for its purpose of giving back to the community and showing that he can enjoy himself without all this money. Incorporating both the people and students in Miami, Drake has created a video matching the catchy hook and positive feel of the song.
Zedd, Maren Morris, Grey - "The Middle": The next track comes from EDM superstar Zedd who teams up with country singer Maren Morris and pop group Grey to give fans “The Middle”. Although Morris’ vocals dominate the song, they are complimented perfectly by the collaborative electronic beat of Zedd and Grey. The video is a live action performance of the track, with Morris remaining in the middle of the stage for the duration of the song. Occasionally we get a glimpse of Zedd working his magic with a large group of dancers around Morris making the beat come alive. The video is simple yet captures the energetic tone of the song and Morris’ singing beautifully compliments the work of Zedd and Grey.
Bad Bunny, Prince Royce and J Balvin - "Sensualidad": Coming from Peurto Rico, Bad Bunny has been gaining popularity in the United States and abroad since his emergence in 2017. At the end of 2017, he teamed up with Bronx singer Prince Royce and Columbian reggae artist J Balvin to produce “Sensualidad”. The song details the three artist’s desire for their dream girl. In the song’s video, the trio team up to show us a day in their lavish life, vibing in private jets and on prestigious golf courses surrounded by a group of beautiful women. The feel of the video matches the upbeat positive tempo of the track depicting the artist's enjoyment being with these women. The track found itself at number one on the Hot Latin Songs chart soon after its release, adding to the booming success of rising artist Bad Bunny.
DJ and producer Michael Baltra, or BALTRA, took to the “The Lab” nightclub for Mixmag to showcase his skills for a crowd of eager listeners. Baltra, a native of New York City has been making music since 2009, and for the most part, has created independent tracks despite a few team-ups with fellow DJs like DJ Seinfeld and Slav. Baltra has showcased his talents before in EDM and dance destinations such as The Boiler Room to play tracks in a setting similar to his set for Mixmag.
Baltra begins his set for Mixmag sampling a variety of different tracks based around drum beats with a heavy emphasis on the cymbals and bass of the drums. The tunes follow his traditional house/EDM style, staying with a very upbeat tempo to get the crowd moving. The samples in which he lays these drum beats over are all consistently tranquil, opposing the fast-paced nature of the beat. However, this contradiction of beat and rhythm creates a pop-like dance tune that keeps the crowd engaged and dancing.
As the set progresses, the samples Baltra uses become increasingly higher tempo, eventually matching that same tempo of the drum beats. Consistently through the opening and middle parts of his set, Baltra sticks with samples that contain very little vocals. As the set moves on, there are samples that feature looped vocals, but still nothing full of true lyrics. Keeping to the mood of the club he performs at, Baltra’s sound throughout the middle portion of the set has the crowd vibing to the dance music he regularly produces.
As the set moves from the middle portion to the latter half, Baltra’s sound becomes more and more electronic with each sample he utilizes. Keeping the crowd dancing, Baltra switches to use more samples that incorporate primarily female vocals. Alternating between house and EDM style beats, Baltra increases the crowd’s involvement by speeding up the tempo of his songs by speeding up the pace of his drum beats. By mixing traditional house and EDM type samples with fast-paced drum beats dominated by their use of bass and cymbals, Baltra keeps everyone dancing for the entirety of his set.
Since breaking into the house and EDM scene, Baltra has made a big splash in the world of underground dance clubs. A large portion of his music involves samples very similar to the ones he uses in the opening part of his set for The Lab. Through soothing samples matched with high tempo drum beats, Balta is able to infect the audience with a desire to move which has made him one of the top aspiring artists in the industry.