Archive for October 2012

YMCMB speaks to the soul.

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     Music can serve many purposes. If you belong to YMCMB, you are probably divulging your overpaid salary, and the luxuries you can consequently afford. If you aren't writing about women, cars, money and other concepts which demonstrate the depth of your being, chances are you haven't made it in the contemporary hip-hop industry. For those of you who stray away from hip-hop, and, for the sake of this blog, take pleasure in the electronic nature of music, there are many who use music with righteous reason.

     Matter of fact is, genres such as trance, house and all its sub-genres, and everything else within the entirety of the electronic sphere seem to differ from the other genres. Excluding those indie songs that describe your feelings in a bizarrely accurate method, the melodic aspects regarding most of the material released these days seem to lack the mental affiliation we feel to certain musical compositions. This is because very few are able to speak to a generation and give them a better understanding of themselves and their surroundings. 

     Attempt to speak your mind in a sentence. How are you feeling? What is rage, sorrow, happiness? My point being that it is almost impossible to describe how one feels within themselves. However, no need to fear, since there are many musicians who specialize in this grey area, and will aid you in the quest of emotional description and exploration. 

     If you are in need of some depressively passionate music, look no further than Cyril Hahn. The Vancouver native is acclaimed for his remix of Destiny's Child hit single Say My Name, released at the start of the year. However, his recent material has been rather solid. A remix of Solange's Losing You has proven that he still has the ability to convey emotions like a champ. Additionally, he released a mix from GottaDanceDirty. These are both worth checking out, and will provide you with emotional support in the unfortunate case of a breakup, or whatever troubles your heart.

    Another artist with the same tendency for emotional expression is none other than Ryan Hemsworth. His recent EP entitled Last Words, which released earlier this year, is without a doubt a great piece of work. Every song seems to tell a story, which is a rare feat in the musical industry. Not only is he able to put together amazing tunes, but his ear for music is on point as well. A recent release from FACT magazine draws many influences, from grimy hip-hop reworks and some heavy trap (courtesy of Baauer) to the ambient musical scenery of Sigur Ros. He also seemed to have emitted many of his very own creations into the mix as well. Take a listen through the link below:

     In other news, Flume seems to be releasing some consistently good stuff this past month or so. The Sydney radical seems to push the limits as to genre definition. In a track released on his Soundcloud the other day, he blends a vocal sample from Odis Redding, simple cymbal percussions and some harmonious synthesizer usage to create something that belongs in our eardrums.

     Musically inclined Berlin duo Nod One's Head (Charlotte Buhler and Bommert Moritz) have seen a track off their EP (Eponym) rise to the forefront of the blogosphere, and with good reason. This minimal track really seems to get us nodding our head. Hilarious, I know.

     For those of you wondering where I have been the past two weeks, I have been faced with many exams and a few too many nights out. However the seas have settled, and you should be expecting more from me in the near future. Before I leave, I am going to link you to a few songs that have caught my eye over the past while. Firstly, a groovy house tune from Tom Shorterz. Secondly, a seriously dark tech-house from Aimless Audio. Thirdly, a preview of what is to come from a deep house producer by the name of Ore. Lastly, Steaming Waterfalls: need I say more? Who needs introductions anyways? "No room for introduction", as I always say.

     For those of you fortunate enough to have inhaled the vapors of any mind-altering substance prior to this reading, prepare yourselves for the music video below. Although it does not pertain to electronic music, it is most definitely noteworthy. True Vulture is the lovechild of alternative rapper Death Grips and Director Galen Pehrson, and it will blow your mind. Take note of the Nietzsche-quoting crow.

A Festivus for the Rest of Us


     I’m not really sure what to write for this week’s introduction, but for some reason, I feel the holiday spirit. So allow me to air my grievances towards my position as a division manager for a youth basketball league and my ridiculously boring job, responsibilities that have prevented me from talking trance with a friend of mine. Ben Gold would’ve been there too. Enjoy the pole below.

     Finally, a preview for this track! The Estiva remix of “Love is Strong” achieved moderate success on Enhanced’s 5th instalment of the Digitally Enhanced mix compilation series, but I can only wonder what kind of attention would have been drawn if C-Systems, Jo Micali and Hanna Finsen’s original mix had been featured instead. Built upon the solid foundation of Mrs. Finsen’s voice is a tune that is as delicate as it is energetic. The emotion-filled synth work layers nicely with the breakdown’s piano and the chorus’ subtle claps, all  feeding the buzzing lead that comes full circle to give more importance to the song’s lovely vocals. A definite purchase for all progressive trance fans.
C-Systems & Jo Micali ft. Hanna Finsen – Love is Strong (Original Mix)
Released on October 22nd on Enhanced Progressive

     Until recently, I had never heard of Danny Chen or Statement! Recordings. However, the aptly named label has made a statement, releasing a magnificent production from a relatively new member of the trance family. Putting a capital ‘U’ in Uplifting, Chen easily communicates a happy feeling throughout the tune, staggering rising sounds with a quiet wandering synth in the intro and a reverberating bassline that follows the lead of the 5-note piano sequences that drive the chorus. With “Sunny Days” being reviewed in DJMag Italy, it’s clear that Danny Chen is a name to look out for in the future.
Danny Chen – Sunny Days (Original Mix) Statement! Recordings.
Released on July 16th on Statement!
Danny Chen - Sunny Days [Statement!] by Danny Chen

     If had a record of the week, this would be it. Apart from featuring the best bassline I’ve heard a long while and a vocalist who seems to change gender mid-song, Disclosure’s latest single is filled to the brim with clips that could run a track on their own. Whether it’s the quick succession of notes forming the afternoon delightful melody (see what I did there), the  separate vocals that yelp every now and then, the sublime kicks, claps and stabbing cymbals (attack, decay, sustain and release are so short, this element sounds more like chopsticks hitting together) that congregate to form the percussions, the aforementioned incredible bassline or the perfect isolation and/or interweaving of these layers, there’s something in this song for everyone. Having reached the 22nd spot on the UK singles chart, I’m obviously not the only one to think this song is amazing and I hope you join me in supporting Disclosure by purchasing this future classic.
Disclosure ft. Sam Smith – Latch (Original Mix)
Released on October 8th on PMR

     Getting it’s first play during Pete Tong’s Essential Selection on October 12th, the Larse remix of “Love is All I Got” is a deep house tune that is sure to attract a different kind of audience than mau5trap is used to. Originally a collaborative effort between electronica/folk band Crystal Fighters and electro wunderkind Feed Me, the track gets a calmer and groovier take with the help of another fantastic bassline and somewhat minimalistic percussion sounds. It’s hard to downplay how wonderfully the German producer has used the vocals in this track as it seems that he himself recorded the lyrics to specifically go with his instrumental. Along with identifying the track’s mood, the singing gives life to certain parts that would have otherwise seemed endlessly repetitive. Another vote of confidence for German engineering, the Larse remix of “Love is All I Got” is a mandatory buy for all those interested in the softer styles of house.
Feed Me & Crystal Fighters – Love is All I Got (Larse Remix)
Released on November 18th on mau5trap
iTunes Pre-Order
Feed Me & Crystal Fighters - "Love Is All I Got" (Larse Remix) by Larse

     It’s no secret that I have a broner for Eric Prydz and by proxy, anyone he makes music with. Andre Sobota is a producer who falls into this category, having released a 2-track EP on Pryda Friends in July of this year. His Prydz-like music is not what attracts my attention this week, however. Hiding in the rough of the Brasilian’s SoundCloud page was this diamond, a remake of Sasha and Krister Linder’s “Cut Me Down.” Under Sobota’s tutelage, 2011’s IMS anthem transforms from melodic tech house to acoustic electronica and it sounds absolutely fantastic. While musicians like to take listeners on a journey through their albums and productions of longer length, Sobota possesses the rare capability of doing this within the span of a single track, inserting slightly downtempo d&b percussions and elongating Linder’s vocals to serve his purposes. Transitioning his reconstruction to Sasha’s original lead at the end beautifies the production even more and makes this song well worth a listen.
Sasha ft. Krister Linder – Cut Me Down (Andre Sobota Remake) Acoustic, Electronica.
Sasha - Cut Me Down (Andre Sobota Remake) by andresobota

In terms of shows, the next 2 weeks are booked solid. On October 19th, Raneem will be playing an extended 7-hour set at Circus for a live episode of Drop Zone, his radio show, while Calvin Harris plays his unique crossover style at New City Gas (sold out). The most overused showroom in Montreal opens itself up once again on the 20th to host veteran Bob Sinclar. Let’s fast forward to the 24th, when dubstep supergroup Nero take over Telus Theater for a bizarre Wednesday night show. Friday the 26th begins with Ferry Corsten and Gabriel & Dresden at New City Gas and ends with Ben Gold and Dennis Sheperd at Stereo. The following night is another doubleheader, with Tim Mason at New City Gas (best costume wins $5000), spinning a solid opener for James Zabiela, who pays a rare visit to Circus. On All Hallows’ Eve, New City Gas opens it’s doors yet again, this time for a costumed night with legend Erick Morillo and Third Party.
Finally, I’d like to introduce the new end of post segment that will be featured from now on. Every Thursday, posts will be capped off with a video related to music. It could be a music video, a documentary, an intervew: anything really. This section has nothing to do with songs and artists we like (we don’t necessarily dislike them either), but rather the actual video. This week, the video for Ben Gold’s next single, “Fall With Me.”

Boy, that escalated quickly. I will not apologize for that.

No need for introduction.

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Let's get right into it. Digital Society resident Paul Pearson is releasing a two track EP in the following week, and it has quite a prominent support group. In fact, his debut has seen the light of day from the likes of Above&Beyond as well as Cycles Radio. Of no importance, what matters is that this release is quite simply a brilliant start to Paul Pearson's career. Eternally features a structured approach to traditional trance bass lines and a melodic composition which seems to speak to the soul. However, this moment of bliss is short lived, as we plunge into the intensity of the following song, entitled Always With Me. Although contrasting in style, we never seem to lose the connection established at the very beginning of the first song, giving this EP a certain fluidity. Briefly said, this is worth a listen.

Due to the electronic nature of this blog, I feel like deadmau5's new album is in need of at least a brief review. The return to his original style is much appreciated, since it was one that he did with quite success. Songs of the likes of I remember spring to mind, one to which my spine would shiver whenever the harmonious breakdowns came into effect. This being said, it's good to see Joel going back to his roots when he began all these years ago. 

Additionally, another well known artist has released his long awaited album. Zedd's Clarity features an array of electro/progressive house with collaborations from the likes of Ellie Goulding, Ryan Tedder, Mathew Coma and others. This album is a clear demonstration of Zedd's classical background, as well as his prowess in the industry. There are not many artists in the electronic scene that come to release full length albums in which the songs flow into each other. However, Anton Zaslavski has created a rather unified piece of work.

For the old-school house lovers out there, NY Stomp, more publicly known as Gerd-Jan Bijl, has exactly what you need. The dutch producer released an EP at the beginning of this year, entitled Can You Feel It, and it is amazing, with good reason of course. Gerd has been producing radical electronic music for the past two decades, and has quite a diverse musical foliage. Associated to labels ranging from Clone all the way to Virgin and EMI, the dutchman is well travelled. Consequently, it is of no surprise to discover that he has worked under myriads of aliases in many musical genres (liquid ambient, abstract techno, deep house, etc.).

Lastly, I would like to steer your ears to an artist that a friend of mine discovered many weeks ago by the name of Leon Vynehall. A native UK producer with a passion for all things eclectic, he released an EP in May entitled Mauve. Whereas Mauve and Homage bounce along the stereotypical synth stabs and bass lines of underground house music, Picture Frame slows everything down, and is completely stripped of the dark atmosphere which was omnipresent in the two previous tunes.

While we're at it, it would be important to note that his most recent EP released a few months ago, and although the mood is relatively more industrial, it still maintains a certain signature element of Leon Vynehall's music. This being said, Gold Language is definitely worth a listen.

Until next week!

Retro Raving, Part 1: Sweden Wins at Life

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File:Flag of Sweden.svg
      Dynamite, the Nobel Prize, Vikings, Minecraft, the Pirate Bay, the Millennium Trilogy, Swedish meatballs, and of course, Swedish women. These are only a few elements that make Sweden awesome, music being the important one missing from this short list. Here are a few old tracks from Swedish producers that I’ve been avidly listening to these past few weeks:

Faithless ft. Cass Fox – Music Matters (Axwell Remix)

     Originally released on Sony BMG back in 2007, re-released alongside Rollo & Sister Bliss, Peter Heller and Mark Knight remixes on Toolroom in 2010. I have a soft spot for anything remotely Faithless.

Dada Life – We Meow, You Roar (Original Mix)

     Also from 2007, back when Dada Life wasn’t popular enough to occupy both faces of a vinyl. The A-side of this record is a Rob Mooney track with “We Meow, You Roar” taking the B-side. Sidenote: Dada Life recently announced their new studio album, “Rules of Dada.” Pre-order it here.

Carl B – Social Suicide (Original Mix)

     Profuse records gave life to this old-school big room trance track back in 2006, only Carl’s second release to date. This guy is quite inspiring to young producers, because he was able to break into the dance music scene without any prior music education whatsoever.

Axwell & Sebastian Ingrosso – Together (Original Mix)

     The first release on the now famous Axtone record label, Axwell and Ingrosso’s 2005 collaboration was and is an amazing one. It was subsequently featured on many house compilations, including the soundtrack/compilation to SHM’s documentary, “Take One.”

Eric Prydz – Slammin’ (Extended Mix)

     One of my favorite tracks of all-time is this Eric Prydz classic. Is came out on Feel the Rhythm in 2003 and it was one of the gems that propelled him into the house music spotlight. It still sounds amazing today. Sidenote: He recently did an edit of Adrian Lux’s “Teenage Crime” that I can’t get enough of.

     This Friday, Armin van Buuren and Jochen Miller play a sold-out show at New City Gas which continues into the early hours of Saturday morning, as Miller heads over to Circus Afterhours. On Saturday, you can catch Etienne Ozborne at Circus after you’ve gone to see Sultan & Ned Sheperd play at New City Gas. Sunday is a big one, as the Palais des Congres plays host to another installement of the annual Black & Blue festival. You can also go check out Felix Da Housecat at La Mouche on Sunday. A week later, on Saturday October 13th, it’s Tommy Trash’s turn to play New City Gas and Mr. Jean Louis spins another set at Circus Afterhours. Enjoy your weekend!