Now that we’ve finally reached summer proper, we can push into the perkier, punchier side of the music spectrum. A bunch of genres are coming your way, so get your office dance party shoes ready! Alexander Popov is one of those gems east of the Danube that the West desperately needs. His masterful use of anthem elements in his hard trance create a post-big room feel that has already found a home in A State of Trance & other trance podcasts. I’ve blogged about him before, and I’ll totally be blogging about him again, so strap in & enjoy the ride. Stamp The Wax coming at you with a low-key stunner of a tune. This slow-building, simmering house track never gets in your face, but delivers, especially if you’re the type of dancer who picks up the beat minutes before the rest of the crowd. It pulls into a delightful, uptempo jam that would feel at home in dozens of venues across the city. Prime DJ material by Makam.
SG Lewis is slowly getting the attention he deserves, and after collabs with people like Gallant, that climb should accelerate significantly. Shimmering vocals support a groovy, upbeat bassline, funky guitar work and strong indie sensibilities. It breaks into a gorgeous, disco-infused indie track that should get quite a lot of love in the coming weeks. You heard it here first!
This retro track got stuck in my head over the weekend, so I had to share it. Renard, now LapFox reworked this with another artist, and I gotta tell you, I can’t get enough of this sound. It’s terrifying to music newbies, but the fusion between chiptune & breakcore will always bring a smile to my face. The nostalgia is in full effect here, but the broken bass & beats give it a totally modern vibe that only the best of the Mega Man X soundtrack came close to approximating.
Norfair comes at us with a nightcore remix of Above & Beyond. Remixing AvB is not easy and if you mess it up, you’ll have their legions of fans howling for blood in between bouts of crying over AvB feels. However, I think this re-work has enough going on with it to earn respect. This uptempo remix celebrates the original AvB elements while pushing it into more rave friendly territory. Which gives all of us without room for a piano on stage next to the decks a chance to get those AvB feels into the crowd without reducing them to a whimpering mess. Great work by Norfair, can’t wait to see what he does next.
Ferry is one of the greatest trance legends still innovating & still climbing. Up there with PVD, Tiesto (before the fall) & Armin, he’s been consistently generating dope trance since before I graduated from high school. This quick 30min mix he did for Above & Beyond is framing his latest EP, of which was my soundtrack for the month if you missed it. The mix is a refreshingly non-anthem trance set, with one unidentified track that I now can’t wait to identify. If it’s snowing where you are, hopefully this helps you warm up a bit.
(This is a repost/expansion of a post I did last year at EDMTunes. Give them some love & help me thank them for giving me the opportunity to yell in long form on the internet about music people don’t listen to anymore)
As fans of Armin Van Buuren, Paul Van Dyk, Tiesto, Ferry Corsten and others can tell you, Trance has been around, but it’s been a while since it’s been at the forefront of the dance music consciousness. But how long has it been around for, and how did it get here? I’d like to take you on a brief trip, from Trance’s humble beginnings, through its boom around the millenium & all the way up to New Years 2014.
This is the stuff that dreams are made of folks. A full hour of AnjunaBeats infused Yoga music from the playa, at Robot Heart, at sunset. Every single Yoga studio in NYC needs to just get Elena Brower’s permission and play the hell out of this. The collective blood pressure of NYC would go down. Not a whole lot to say about music like this, it’s kind of stuff that’s hard to put into words.
1 Jon Hopkins – Abandon Window [DOMINO]
2 Peter Gabriel – The Nest That Sailed The Sky
3 Jon Hopkins – Immunity [DOMINO]
4 Ólafur Arnalds – Only For The Winds (Ryan Davis A Letter From Far Away Variation) [ANJUNADEEP]
5 Ólafur Arnalds – Near Light [ERASED TAPES]
6 Andrew Bayer – Let’s Hear That B Section Again [ANJUNABEATS]
7 Above & Beyond – Small Moments Like These [ANJUNABEATS]
8 Above & Beyond – Sun In Your Eyes [ANJUNABEATS]
I really had no idea how it had happened. The night before Above & Beyond’s sold out Group Therapy 100 at MSG, I found myself hanging out with the producers of my favorite new production team, InDeep, in the coat room of an urban queer friendly funky house music party on the 3rd floor of Slake. We were there celebrating the arrival of InDeep Events to Gotham. After rocking events in LA & Denver, they’ve started making waves here in NYC. While dumb people were nervous about how popular the smooth, meditative vibes that Bender & Matt Lange create, I knew the night was going to be incredible. I love being right.
After making our way downstairs from the dope party happening in the Red Room, we found ourselves floating in the delightful multi-genre set by Cameron Kush, one of the resident warriors here in the NYC local scene. He, Alex English & DJ Dali are the best DJs you never notice on the fliers for shows you go to. They are the ones warming you up, keeping you going, and putting music into your face that you’d never come across. Nothing but love for these Bass Sentinels. Cameron Kush pulled in electro, progressive, jacking house, and fluidly switched into UK bass that smelled strongly of Future Garage to some of the more international listeners. A gorgeous set front to back, I could do nothing but congratulate him when he finished. After turning the decks over to Bender, my crew and I were exceptionally excited. The place had filled out nicely with Slake attendees that had shown up to other parties were slowly migrating over to the mainstage just because it sounded like a dope party. Bender’s set ensured anyone in the room that didn’t think so changed their minds immediately. There was a mastery & comfort behind the decks that I didn’t expect, but was a welcome sight. The effortless & almost hypnotic deep house vibes that he was pushing out started to attract people from the hip hop party happening in the next room, which is always a good sign.
You couldn’t see any drunk bros in the crowd, and I can’t say I’d seen any obnoxious hitting on/asshattery either. The vibe was reverent, especailly as Matt Lange took the stage. The AnjunaBeats Lieutenant gave us hope for the future. I’ve always been a particular fan of Matt Lange’s approach to deep house, as it feels very respectful of the artists & sounds that have come before him. The mix was a soulful journey that included some NYC specific tracks that some of the more seasoned vets in the crowd tipped our hats to. The bar was mobbed, the dance floor was packed, and you could see that even people on the 3rd floor had started to filter down into the space. The slow consumption of other dance floors is a hallmark of the NYC club era, with multiple floors & scenes in a single place. Sometimes however, quality is recognized and people flock. The track below is one of my favorite and the one below that is a mix that shows what the guy is capable of.
A great time was had by all. Amazing effort by InDeep Events on their first East Coast event. Here’s to hoping it’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship. (Photos by Kat Gallagher with permission from InDeep Events)
I have been waiting for something like this to happen for years. Slake is such a fantastic venue for showcasting the best in different genres of music, with Above & Beyond coming in, I know what I’m doing the night before. ANJUNABEATS HO!
Matt Lange has been one of the AnjunaBeats institutions I’ve tracked for years. The smooth complexity of his beats have a depth & lush richness that is hard to describe until you’re surrounded by it. The AnjunaBeats vibe is one I’ve been hoping would come to NYC since I discovered the label after being young and stupid and mistaking them for Armada in a YouTube search years ago. Best mistake ever. Slake has been on fire lately, bringing the best artists out before they blow up. To get my euphoric AnjunaDeep feel down at a club a couple of blocks from the Empire State building? Yes please.
The local fire that is Bender will be holding it down in support as well. There’s a playful, almost Loki-esque vibe with the house coming out of this guy. Don’t let it fool you though, there’s a deep iceberg of quality selection, mixing skills and crowd reading under the seemingly youthful exterior. Bringing a local DJ on to support Matt Lange is the right move, especially considering the terrible habit of headliners bringing their own support acts. While I’m always glad to see new talent from different places, there are piles of local DJs who deserve the spotlight and Bender is at the top of this Tri-State area list.
Cameron Kush has become synonymous with Slake, More Fridays & Tech Noir Saturdays in the same way Alex English is now a household name in households that love dubstep, electro, UK bass & future garage. The dude’s command of bass, trap, electrostep and whatever else he ‘s rocking out to that week will bring us in right. The resident is definitely a name to watch here in the city, and if you don’t believe me, check out the mix above from Slake. This looks to be a great night and a wonderful overture to Above & Beyond Group Therapy 100.
Super glad that I can bring this out to share for y’all. A bunch of my peeps at EDMTunes put together this fantastic 90min of dance music for you. New illness from The Chainsmokers, deep gorgeousness from Matt Lange off Anjunabeats, Bassnectar’s summer jam & 17 more tunes. From trap bangers to progressive anthems, if you want to know what Electric Zoo sounds like right now, you’d be hard pressed to find a better sampling of tunes that are big right now. Strong by Arno Cost & Shadow of the Sun’s Mako remix are highlights as well. Hit up EDMTunes and thank them for making this happen with Spinnin’ Records. Don’t worry, I’ll make sure you know when the next one comes out as well.
Over on Soundcloud, there’s the next session of InDeep. These cats are quickly becoming my go to source for deep, future, tech & “insert sub-genre of house here” house. The list comes in at a manageable 72min and with new Hot Since 82, Amtrac, a fun little snippet from Marcapasos, a FANTASTIC deep house remix of Bittersweet Symphony (must listen), a joint from Mixmag featuring Jody Wisternoff & a whole lot more. If the EDMTunes playlist is your Turn Down For What list, this is your grooving, deep dark set that happens later in the night. Or now while you’re walking around cleaning the house on the long weekend before shenanigans later. Or yachting, elephant polo’ing or jousting, whatever you’re into. The tunes are quality so enjoy the almost 3 hours of music between these two playlists and rock out your weekend!
Last week, Above & Beyond really turned it up when it came to song choice, overall vibe and guest mix choice. I cannot emphasize enough how impressed I am with this. I’ve only caught the new weekly that Above & Beyond did after changing the name to Group Therapy almost a year ago, and it seems I’ve got a lot of catching up to do. The mixing is tight, the tracks are some of the best I’ve heard from the genre as of late, and the energy keeps building.
I’m a big fan of the structure of the show, starting kind of sparkly, but then getting strong quickly. The amount of talking is minimal, and well done when it happens. The section switch over at the hour mark is fantastic, and allows for the mixes to remain a manageable size. Especially for those of us who listen on the go, allowing me to listen in segments makes it much more likely I’ll listen to all of it. Highlights of the first hour include Mord Fustang’s Something Right Meow off Plasmapool, BT & Fractal’s City Life and a gorgeous instrumental mix of Armin’s new track Beautiful Life.
Push The Button allows some fan to turn up the energy on the mix. It’s a great crowd builder and I’d love to be able to choose one track for a mix of one of my favorite groups. Especially one as competent as Above & Beyond. The Madeon track that follows is triumphant and by 8min in there’s this massive feel to the mix, before it pulls wonderfully back into Way You Know by Matt Lange. And before you know it, Seven Lions has arrived. And there was much rejoicing.
Not only does he start out with his remix of Above & Beyond’s “On My Way To Heaven” but he follows it up with stellar track after stellar track. This 30min set has both his most recent track “Strangers” but even drops a few non-SL tracks down which make for a sweet round out to the mix. Listen to it loud.
I would like to say that I’ve been able to listen to dozens of mixes and tunes in the last few weeks, but since a young fella from New Jersey dropped a mix of his favorite Seven Lions tracks, it has been on exceptionally heavy rotation. Seven Lions is probably one of the most unique sounding musical acts I have heard in years. The brain behind it, Jeff Montalvo, started as a drummer and, after going to his first rave in 2007, immediately began percolating on how his sound would change. Seven Lions first break out hit, a remix of “You Got To Go” by Above & Beyond, was a stunning success, sitting at #2 (under Skrillex of course) for weeks on the Beatport charts. The track features prominently in the mix, sliding into your awareness at 4:40ish in, giving you a healthy dose of trancey dub.
I want to emphasize that Trance + Dubstep isn’t a combination I’ve ever heard before, anywhere. There are only a handful of domestic artists that are producing trance non-ironically these days. To ask one of them to also be competent when it comes to the wobble that the kids are listening to these days seems almost selfish. But, Seven Lions proves capable in both of these domains. His remixes of “Still With Me” (by Tritonal featuring the wonderful vocal stylings of Cristina Soto) & “On My Way to Heaven” (another transcendent tune by Above & Beyond) add a layer of massive & ethereal beats and chords to already insanely popular tracks. At about 15:45 into the mix, one of Seven Lions’ signature breakdowns explodes into your mind, producing this absurdly good beat pushing you to get off your ass and move.
It is so bizarre to feel the “must dance” feeling one gets from uplifting trance in the middle of a dubstep breakdown. I could yammer on for paragraphs about how each track was chosen carefully, the transitions are fluid and the emotion/energy is maintained throughout, but that would be you reading and not listening to it. So get over to Synovia Futurism‘s page, put the mix into your ears and then go whore yourself out to make sure you’ve got the money to buy Seven Lions’ EP here. I certainly did.