The emotional torchbearers of today run the gamut of Sad Boys sipping Arizona tea, counting crumpled tissues on a Drake album, indie rock’s supposed and fleeting emo revival, everything Ryan Hemsworth, three LA fuckbois who want to be the sole owners of “Emo Night”, and Soundcloud-famous producers with artwork that remain as vaporous as their music. The last of which best fits the Beverly Hills producer known as Karman, though not entirely.
Karman cannot be dismissed as a Soundcloud phenomenon and Sadboys affiliate with little IRL relevance. Last year he was a runner up in the VFiles DJ Championship, losing to Philly’s Gianni Lee. A year prior his debut 2005Forever rattled hearts with its fixation on news clips of teen suicide stories set to glitchy, ethereal modulation and push notifications as percussion. It spoke for those who grew up on the Internet, understanding it as a refuge and a echo chamber for misery.
2005Forever was dedicated to pain and suffering, but two years later Karman is for lovers. His tweets are a series of inversions of missing a significant other in a playful, butterfly kisses manner. Those sentiments translate to the “I’ve Never Felt So True” mix. The proof is in the selections and most notably in his sampling of a Selena Gomez interview with Ryan Seacrest, in which the young actress repeatedly expresses “I want to keep going… It’s a new chapter in my life. I’m excited.” Karman’s mix arrives in a somber state on the weight of Oliver’s “22”, but by Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” set to Karman’s “Tundra”, the cheering up is in motion and Easyfun’s “Fanta” is a chipmunked sugar buzz of eye-dilating fantasy.
Karman offered the following dedication:
When I made this mix I was thinking about this really pretty girl that I like to kiss a lot and she watched me sometimes while I made this mix.
“I’ve Never Felt So True Mix” tracklisting:
01 Oliver – 22
02 Nights – Journey of Dreams
03 Karman – Tundra
04 Lady Gaga – Paparazzi (Acapella)
05 EasyFun – Fanta
06 Jonsi – Snaerisendar (Karman Refix)
07 Sentinel – Gear
08 Emotional (chipped nails redo)
09 Follow You (Nightcore)
10 Selena Gomez – On Air w/ Ryan Seacrest (2014)
11 TASO – SaxXx
12 Odin – Princess [Tino Remix]
13 Ana Caprix, “Yours”
14 All I’m Dreaming Of (Nightcore)
15 Tokyo Hands, “Rainforest”
16 Team Rockit, “In Love”
17 DJ CASHINOUT x CLVMVTO, “IMMINENT”
18 Where Have U Been (Iceboi Edit)
19 Visionist, “Pain”
20 Keyani, “Can’t Stop (Prod. Cicero On Da Beat)”
21 Rihanna, “Bad (Luval Edit)”
22 Rabit, “So Clean (Drippin’ Remix)”
23 If I Die Young (Nightcore)
24 Ana Caprix, “Perthro”