Sounds Like: Electronic music taking back some of its long-lost soul and R&B roots
For Fans of: Flume, Cashmere Cat, anyone else into the death of genre
Why You Should Pay Attention: This L.A.-based, OWSLA-signed duo – real names Jared Poythress and Branden Ratcliff – play dance music, but are breaking out via original tracks for rap and R&B like Anderson Paak and Fat Joe and Remy Ma. That's Vindata who laced their recent single "Heartbreak. The pair first got together as producers of more or less straight-ahead hip-hop and R&B, drawing on a love of gospel and soul for deeply groove-based tracks. Then, by chance, they discovered the "French touch," that funky sound en vogue about a decade ago via Justice and the Ed Banger gang. Suddenly, the pair saw a new way to approach their craft.
"They sampled a lot of old-school and disco, and they had this heavier side of rock that they were able to mix in," recalls Poythress.
"There was just a lot more emphasis on sound design," says Ratcliff. "And they were doing weird and funky ways of sampling, and we really liked that."
Finding their way into a new nighttime scene, Vindata started playing shows at dance-music events – where, like so many other lucky new artists in L.A., they met Skrillex. After signing to his label, that has meant plenty of collabs with fellow OWSLA artists like Mija.
They Say: Their publicists have billed them as "the Neptunes of EDM" and the duo doesn't shy away from that comparison at all. "One of the reasons we say that is how fluid they were back in the day," Ratcliff says. "They had really, really hard hip-hop songs, really great R&B ballads, and really radio-friendly pop songs. … We definitely want to wear different hats and do different things, and still have our own sound."
Hear for Yourself: "Right Now," featuring Njomza and Alex & Alex, offers simmering and laid-back post-R&B grooves. Arielle Castillo