Mike Gao is one smart guy; the LA-based producer has developed his own inventive music-making iPad app, Polyplayground, and is currently a professional music technologist and a PhD candidate. Given that, it’s east to imagine that the man’s intelligence just can’t help but seep through into his beats, such as on the soul-burnt “Just Do You,” one of 14 tracks set to appear on his forthcoming Migamo LP for Alpha Pup (out on January 20). A dexterous production, “Just Do You” moves in such a fashion that Gao always seems two steps ahead of the listener—while we’re focused on the tune’s squiggly lead synths, Gao has an assemblage of warped chords waiting in the wings; while we get wrapped up in the track’s bluesy swoon, Gao has a stuttered breakdown ready just around the corner. Thankfully, the producer’s musical intelligence never gets in the way of “Just Do You,” ultimately making the fast-evolving, thoughtfully crafted track just a downright enjoyable listen.

Just Do You