♫♪  Sam O.B. - “Samurai” (feat. Elisa)

Photo by Teddy Fitzhugh

Over the second decade of the naughts, we have waited, fingers crossed and laces tied, for a movement back toward the roller rink as a cultural space. In a time of such fragmentation, our society needs a spot to gather where we can all share in the rituals of bottomless fountain soda, arcade games, and good natured, wheel-bound hijinks.

Listening to his upcoming full-length, Positive Noise, we sense that Brooklyn-based producer Sam O.B. — formerly Obey City — is on a similar wavelength. Rarely have we heard a set of tracks more geared toward a night spent riding in circles under a disco ball. The vibes are so joyously lycra, so snap bracelet, so “Top 20 Countdown with Daisy Fuentes,” and we at Tiny Mix Tapes are fully on board for helping to get this played at the next adult RollerJam.

Until then, we’re pleased to premiere Sam’s new track “Samurai,” featuring a guest spot from vocalist Elisa (and what we’re going to go ahead and call as the *best* unexpected sax break of the year). Mr. O.B. himself shared a little about the track’s origins via e-mail:

Samurai is the last song I finished writing for “Positive Noise.” I set out to make something more upbeat than the rest of the record, but thought it would be unexpected to drop the drums into half-time for the choruses. In general the rhythm of the track is a bit shifty and hard to catch at first…but once you do, it’s really satisfying. It’s a pretty hyper-melodic piece and perhaps the most layered on the entire record.

I had just begun working with Elisa when I finished the instrumental arrangement and thought she would fit perfectly as her tracks are also very idiosyncratic and pop driven at the same time.

Elisa, catching this Nerf ball, followed up with us on the “Samurai” process:

I usually write songs from the ground up so singing over a track that’s already been composed isn’t really my forte. But ‘Samurai’ was different. I knew it was special as soon as I heard it. Similarly to my own music, the arrangement felt more nuanced and intentional than anything I’d previously collaborated on. The song itself is about preserving your energy, dodging negative vibes and tuning out the critics. A useful reminder in a city like New York.

Positive Noise arrives in August from LuckyMe.

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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