I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. DJ Karmakanik is one of the first DJs who ever really just exploded my face. I’m talking like, that kind of night that takes you on a journey that you’re not the same afterwards. One of the mystical forces behind the fabled PSI events in the Pine Barrens forests, this guy knows exactly what he’s doing. I know times have changed because he is in my mind, a psytrance DJ of legendary proportions, and I just spent the last hour grooving to a dope selection of electro, progressive & tech house. The track selection is impressive & I am definitely hoping this kind of musical output becomes a regular thing. And he wants to drop some 6 am psytrance as well, I certainly won’t complain. Picture is from BM 2006, you know it’s a good party when Jesus spins psy-trance. Tracklist below the tunes because he’s a gentleman like that, and it’s a Free Download to boot. He literally couldn’t give you anymore, so show him some love.
dataworx – flight 1605 (manuel de le mare intro rmx)
mason – exceeder (umek and mike vale rmx)
andrea bertolini and motel connection – allegro
weekend heroes – killer bitch dj dealer
alter breed – panther
ido ophir and miki litvak – shnorkel (dousk rmx)
piatto and luigi rocca – higher feeling
umek – cvile mi jaja
phunk investigation – u know
shiloh – cafe del mariachi
perfect stranger and captain hook – perfect hook (riktam and bansi rmx)
easy riders – easy dubsteps (captain hook rmx)
sideform – personal jesus (rmx)
Ah, August, the kids are going back to school. And in this case, also making awesome progressive remixes of a hot Cazzette track. Not exactly the standard story you expect when someone tells you about their Summer vacation. The shimmering chopped up beat is playful and shows that Steve James isn’t slacking. There’s a chic vibe to the tune but it still pushes into the anthemic territory and rides around up there. The track is easy to like and I’d be surprised if I didn’t hear this in the sets chasing the summer sunset. The original Cazzette mix is potent and this gives it even more festival recognition and viability. I’m hoping this results in greater exposure for both Steve James and Cazzette. There’s a lot to like about this progression in sound and I for one am delighted it’s happening. Big Room is dead, long live Progressive.
If I’ve not made myself clear in the past, I’m a huge fan of the up & coming talent here on the blerg. And Steve James, the upstart from outside Pittsburgh, is definitely at the bleeding edge of that new wave of talent. The kid has pushed out one euphoric remix after another, and this new one is no exception. Clean Bandit & Jess Glynne put together a winner of a track in “Rather Be” and the rework by Steve James is exactly what the last few weeks of festival season need. If you’re in Pittsburgh, check out him out opening for The Chainsmokers Motivational Mondays continue with this potent, positive & progressive track that is a must listen if you’re into that end of the house universe.
Ok, the kids are getting younger and younger, while I’m just sitting here grooving on it. OLWIK is exploding out of the gate after killing it with this Pendulum remix earlier this month, he’s pushing some massive tunes out from his home in Gothenburg, Sweden. There is a complexity to the sound that I’ve been missing for the entirety of the big room fad. This combination of a big room sound with a progressive vibe has been in short supply since the disappearance of the Swedish Fish Mafia, and it looks like it’s up to the younglings to bring it back. Alexa Lusader provides some glittering vocal support that makes the track scream “PLAY THIS ON THE MAINSTAGE FUCKERS!” No Copyright Sounds has made a great draft pick getting this kid on their roster. Can’t wait to see him live in NYC! Hit him up on soundcloud here.
The producers are getting younger and younger. For this week’s motivational midnight music, get a load of this 17 year old out of Sweden. The reworking of the amazing Pendulum track “The Island” is a masterful, driving progressive house anthem that I’m kicking myself for not discovering sooner. The euphoria is strong with this kid and I’m hoping that nothing gets in his way. Because seriously, I’ve been waiting for the pendulum (you see what I did there?) to swing away from the big room electro crapola into some potent melodic. And this guy’s got the chops to lead the charge.
(I was really lucky to be given this opportunity. The DJs are getting younger and younger, with the talent continuing to skyrocket. A friend hooked me up with this shooting star coming out of PA. A progressive gem, this kid has tunes that are going to find ways into your ears at festivals soon enough. Just like Seven Lions, you heard it here first. Check out my conversation with Steve James below.)
1. What are your friends listening to these days? What is it like being a DJ in high school?
Haha, starting off strong! It’s definitely an interesting dynamic, that’s for sure. My area is fairly dominated by top 40 music, plus some country and hip hop. My friends are well aware of what I do, and a lot of them have grown to appreciate EDM – and have been super supportive – but in the end I don’t think too many are listening to much dance music outside of Steve James, truthfully. Being a DJ in high school has certainly been interesting though. I actually DJ’d my high school’s homecoming dance before I was old enough to attend. I did last year’s as well (with my homemade booth!), and the seniors loved it, but most of the underclassman didn’t appreciate all the EDM. I actually was unanimously voted out of this coming years, haha! No requests + no country + no hip hop will do that for you around here, I suppose.
2. What kind of music theory & piano training have you had? Are you planning on studying music/production after you graduate High School?
My musical background is primarily in piano. I’ve taken lessons for as long as I can remember from a close family friend. I still see him often, and even though he’s 100% classically trained, he’s grown to enjoy a lot of the stuff I show him – especially music by artists like Zedd, who use such complex writing. He’s even helped me several times by rounding out a chord progression or livening up something with some more suspensions or accidentals. I dabbled in viola for 4 years as well, but I feel like almost everything I draw from was part of my classical piano training. As for my plans with school, that’s something I’m not really concerned with yet. I started school late, so I’m a 16-year-old going into sophomore year of high school – the oldest of 120-some kids in my class. I’ll be 18 before I finish junior year. With the résumé I’m building and keeping my grades up, I know there will be options, but in a perfect world I won’t need further education if I keep working hard the next 2-3 years.
I’ve kept seeing this guy on my radar, and this latest track proves that the Force is strong with him. With the slow death of Big Room House finally upon us, the melodic, progressive end of the House spectrum is on the rise. The festival sets are already starting to reflect this trend, and I bet Animals has been played 1/20th of the times it was played by this time last Summer. The remix is slick with some excellent progressive & positive anthemic vibes. Monday is over, you made it, relax and gear up, the week’s gonna be awesome. Steve James is someone to watch, you heard it here first. He’s 16 but he’s going to do some great things, just you watch.
MrSuicideSheep is the best part of YouTube. One of the purely music-based channels, track after track shows up and it is always quality. Whether it’s electro, drum & bass, dubstep, ambient/chillout, experimental, indie rock and even progressive house, it’s good. The gorgeous art used in backgrounds adds to the presentation as well. Really cool person, with a great story & they deserve all the success. Mixes get added from time to time, like the chill-out one I’ve linked below. Glide into your Friday. And show that channel some love.
I’m not sure how Monday is treating you, but just in case you’re getting your ass kicked by the beginning of the work week, check out this track. It’s been on repeat for me since it dropped on October 11th. The tune is an instant classic that I assume will be put into such wide rotation/use over the next 3 months that I’ll be seeing it advertising an SUV before too long. There is a triumphant feel to every moment of the tune. At 2:30, the track pulls back into an oft-used vocal line that gives the song this hopeful feeling as it builds slowly but gradually. The pressure and anthem feeling is undeniable, and the track just screams serotonin when it pushes out into the breakdown. It’s quick, with everything over and done with by five minutes, thirty seconds, and it’s a free download. With all of this hype, I’m not sure why you’re still reading this. Put the track into your earholes and keep a look out for We Are Mako, because you’ll be hearing about them soon enough.
For many of our electronica-related neophytes, the sheer volume of genres is mind-boggling. Whether you’ve spent years hitting up parties or if this is your first weekend out of doors, it’s easy to have no idea what you’re listening to. Thankfully, there are amazingly talented DJs who are here to help. Ayesha Adamo is a multi-talented beat Goddess who I’ve had the pleasure of working with a few times in the past and has been cleverly picked up by Alternet to create a run-down of the 11 most popular genres that are happening right now. House, Techno, Breaks, Dubstep, Nu Disco/Indie Dance, Electro (House), Prog House, Trance, Tech House, Trip-Hop & Witch House. I’m not sure the last one should be on the list but I’ll give it to her because she knows her shit.
Check it out, and the next time some fool is all “zomg wut r dubstepz?” you can just forward them this and get back to listening to your psy-trap-core compilations. Check out more of her cool stuff right here:
(Image property of Ayesha Adamo)