For this week, I wanted to spotlight two mixes friends I don’t get to see very often released in the last couple of days. These two are interesting ghost talents in their respective cities, and I couldn’t choose between them, so you’re getting them both. Don’t ever say I don’t give you things. First up is Existential Frequencies by D:[JR]. He’s one of the most technically skilled & thoughtful DJs I’ve ever encountered. The first time I saw him spin live, it was the kind of night that involved watching very fucked up people attempt to fix a gas leak. All things were ok, and he spun a set I’ll never forget. This one is ridiculously well mixed, with seamless transitions & track choices that make me go and spend many dollary doos on things from his track list. It’s soothing, if not a bit dark. I’ve always thought that this guy was just as competent of a selectro as most of the talent working in NYC. He’s got a dope day job and living the life, so I can’t blame him for not showing up on more billings. This is another understated talent here that keeps me grooving as much as I would in the lounges & bars I orbit. The mix is uptempo but takes its time getting there. It’s almost as if he’s not trying to impress anyone, and just building for the listener who is in it for the long hall. An admiral goal, and one that he pulls off. It’s the slow builds that do it for me in this kind of house, and he doesn’t disappoint. It stays techy, but has spasms of soul & funk that are most welcome. Great work by the former president.
(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.
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.
This is Terry Gotham, see you on the dance floor.