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Standout Track:No. 1, “No Sleep,” Will Eastman and Micah Vellian’s new single for Plant Music. Here, an Italo feel punctuates a broad landscape of soulful disco house, with Baltimore hip-hop and club performer TT the Artist cooing the hook. The topic? That moment when you “feel like gettin’ freaky” with someone just as the lights come up after the last dance.
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Musical Motivation: For Eastman, the piano-driven melody, damp drums, and sexy, insistent bass line make for a populist turn. He doesn’t seem too concerned, though. “I just make tracks that feel right,” he says. “The thing with recording music is that it’s like Heisenberg’s principle. I don’t want to make something just because it’s popular. It always seems that by the time you’ve sat down to record it, people have moved onto something else.”
Original Synth: For “No Sleep,” Eastman teamed up with Vellian, another local producer and DJ, who’s known for his bass-guitar chops. The two have collaborated occasionally since 2009. “We were going for a more hip-hop-flavored track at 110 bpm, but it was [U Street Music Hall co-owner] Brian Miller who suggested that the track felt more comfortable in the 124 bpm range.” Eastman says the song originally had a Moog-like bass line, but the effect was a bit too prog-rock. “We replaced it with something more traditionally disco, with a Latin style, and it fit perfectly.”