Album of the Month: Trance Essentials 2013, Volume 1

Armada Music has been an institution for a decade now, bringing the best in trance, tech trance & progressive to the people. While keeping up with the 20+ hours of podcasts your favorite DJs put out each week can be exhausting, there are a number of tracks in these sets that always stand out. Armada took 50 of the best trance tracks from late last year, early this year and fired them off, ready to land in your lap and explode in an orgy of sparkle, vocals, chromatic chords, uplifting, massive & progressive bass. The first CD launches with huge tracks, with Nehalennia, The Spiritual Gateway, Kudawudashuda &  the MaRLo edit of “Perfectly” hitting your ears one after another. The Love Comes again remix, the Pure Mix edit of Seven Cities by Solarstone & the radio edit of Andrew Rayel’s Musa are gorgeous mixes of recent crowd favorites that have blown up dance floors from Dublin to Dubai & Sao Paulo to Shanghai. They keep the energy going along with a half a dozen tracks in between that you’ve probably not heard but probably should. Superfly by Jorn van Deynhoven is a spectacular hard trance track that pushes the party to a higher level, buy anyone that’s a fan of my writing can tell you that Jorn van Deynhoven can do no wrong in my eyes. The tune is one of 2 dozen that are exactly what trance needs to be right now. Anthemic, big room and explosive with the energy to push back against the forces of trouse and top 40 infused commercial chomp-back that true trance fanatics shake their heads at. New York City by Alex M.O.R.P.H. is of course a favorite and the mix that’s offered at the end of the CD is a great choice for just putting on and leaving on while you dance around in your underwear in your bedroom before hitting the town.

Continue reading

A State of Trance Triumphs at Madison Square Garden

“You see this guy, this is the smartest motherf*cker in this whole building, out of all y’all.” 

The ticket taker was pointing at my ear-plugs and reminding the younger, hipper crowd that ears were not invincible things. As I plan on going to shows like these for decades to come, I chuckled and moved along. There was an over-priced beer and a seat with my name on it. Alex M.O.R.P.H was cutting loose on the decks and while I didn’t catch his whole set, it was quite enjoyable.

Continue reading

A First Hand Account of how Hipsters came to be & reviled.

For all of our Brooklyn-ites & curious internationals, the hipster has come to embody a lot of what urban America/Gotham City is known for now. A random cool person breaks it down on Reddit for ya. It’s one of those gigantic posts that really puts things in perspective. For people that aren’t into reading, the tl;dr is

“There’s no one thing that defines a hipster. It came out of the punk/DIY movement, but has become a commercialized subculture that many of us who were part of the earlier counter-culture don’t recognize.”

Coming out of the anti-capitalist/DIY/post-punk movement, a lot of heads eventually got recognized as unique/authentic, and then the fashion got stole’d by richies, diluting the entire construct and making it totally against what it was started for. Now, instead of looking retro/vintage because you spent 5hrs thrifting because you reject capitalism/materialism, you spend 2 grand and look the same. Interestingly this was lampooned in both Gangnam Style (for those of us who bothered looking up the translated lyrics) and more accessibly, in Thrift Shop by Macklemore & Lewis, posted below for the approximately 4.7 people in America who still have not heard this song.

So, check it out, and next time you see em, remember, authenticity is forever and douches will always find a way to get ripped off trying to be authentic. See you on that dance floor, wear something that helps you express yourself, not some bullshit that some style-guide told you was in.