As I begrudgingly sit behind the wheel during the evening rush hour, I often rely on my carefully curated playlists to get me through my daily commute. Thanks to heavy LA traffic, what should only be a 40-minute drive nearly doubles: and like all good things, “chill banger$” must eventually come to an end. Luckily, Spotify fills the silent void by playing recommended artists and songs that share the vibe of my current favorites. It was through the music platform’s magical algorithms that I was first introduced to Montreal-based DJ and producer Preston Chin, perhaps more widely recognized by his stage name, Robotaki.
Initially drawing fans in to the cheery blips and refreshingly groovy beats of original songs like “Ghostboy” and “Monkey Bars”, Robotaki has continued to impress with the creation of his six-track EP entitled Science—which he dropped earlier this year. Collectively, his discography thus far has showcased his versatility as an EDM artist. Chin’s creative exploration of different genres, including jazz and funk inspired melodies mixed with future bass and soulful vocals, make for a genuinely enjoyable listening experience.
Chin has taken this trend a step further with the release of his latest summer bop, “Brooklyn ‘95”. Personally, I like to describe songs based on the mood and the setting it elicits. (Please tell me it’s not just me!) Picture this: You’re cruising up the block with the windows rolled down on a warm summer evening. You’re in the company of your best friends (or maybe even your bae) after enjoying a nice dinner. You’re jamming out in the car together, without a care in the world. This is the moment that “Brooklyn ’95” would soundtrack.
Upon hearing the opening notes, I was immediately overcome with feelings of nostalgia and flashbacks of bumping Westside Connection’s “Gangsta Nation” back in the day. While the laidback track is reminiscent of old school hip hop (sans a rapping Ice Cube), there are subtle hints of electronic elements that are uniquely Robotaki. Singer Mike Clay’s smooth vocals also contribute to the feel-good tune, while the lyrics mirror the essence of the song: striving for the simplicity of love. At one point he sings, “Take me back to simpler times / Love me like 1995 / You don’t know about us when the going gets tough”. Wouldn’t it be nice to be that carefree again?
Time and time again, Robotaki has succeeded in making listeners such as myself feel some type of way–with “Brooklyn ‘95” being no exception.
Robotaki will be kicking off The Experiment- Live Tour on September 22 in Montreal, making stops in major cities around the US and Canada.
Check out “Brooklyn ’95” and other similar songs on our EDM/Electronic playlist.
Special thanks to Clarissa Aben for contributing this article.