Music for the Masses
by DJ Ron Slomowicz
A roundup of great electro, festival, vocal, trance, future house, drum & bass and progressive tracks.
Vato Gonzalez & Mucky - Violet Nights - [BMKLTSCH]
Sometimes the unexpected works. Dirty House master Vato Gonzalez has been unleashing a steady streak of sickening riddims over the past few years (Sushi, B52, Bun Faya), blending electro, grime, and ragga beats with his unique flavor. On first listen, “Violet Nights” sounds like a future house track that any Spinnin producer could have released. Listening closer, the classic piano house line comes into focus as does a hallucinogenic sparkle on some of the effects. That narcotic vibe must be why the lyrics are about the color black when the song is titled violet. A similarly unique vibe can be found on Vato’s brilliant house remix of the drum and bass track “Breathe” by DC Breaks. Taking a d&B vocal to house tempo takes a lot of talent, but making it sound as incredible as it does requires a master producer like Vato.
Landis - Trumped - [LIFTOFF]
As someone who received the Stock Aitken and Waterman boxset as a holiday gift, I’ve been enjoying a steady stream of Hi-NRG the past week. Imagine the sheer delight to hear a cowbell loop in the intro of “Trumped.” Of course, the major focus for Landis is the drop to the trumpet part with the piano house accompaniment. How all that fits in with the glitchy electro track is kind of random, as is the cowbell, but the kitsch-en sink approach really works well. The many different elements make the track unique and stand out quite nicely in any DJ set.
Showtek & Eva Shaw ft Martha Wash - N2U - [SPINNIN]
Junior J - Keep It Comin - [SPINNIN DEEP]
With the resurgence of classic piano house, diva vocals are making a comeback as well. Leading the charge is Spinnin Records which has two legendary divas from the C&C Music Factory stable in the spotlight. Martha Wash sings on the new Showtek & Eva Shaw track “N2U.” A mix of house and big beats with a hip house feel, it sounds nothing like Showtek’s previous bangers. Martha brings not only her classic voice but also some humorous ad libs. She is probably the last person you would expect to hear talking about being “turnt up.” The forthcoming “Keep It Comin” by Junior J is a faithful update of the C&C Music Factory / Deborah Cooper classic. The vocals sound original and the shuffling house groove brings in elements of future and trop to make it sound perfectly of the moment. Watch for this one to explode when it is released mid-January.
LTN & Kokai ft Arielle Marin - Just Believe [Silk Digital]
Deep, pretty, and euphoric - those are words that I use to describe my favorite summer compilation of 2015 - ‘Only Silk 03’ by Shingo Nakamura and Max Flyant. One of the standout tracks, “Just Believe,” gets a full release this week with a nice remix courtesy of the uniquely named Blood Groove & Kikis. The original is melodic and deep with gorgeous soundscape textures layered over subtle house beats. Arielle Marin sounds like the classic trance female singers - beautiful and soft, with an airy voice that just seems to float in from another world. The BGK mix toughens it up with a stronger beat but keeps the prettiness of the track as the focus. There is almost a retro feel, like flashback Perfecto, with the way the keyboards flow. After listening to “Just Believe,” be sure to check out the ‘Only Silk 03’ compilation for one of the best mixed sets of the year.
John Dahlback - Where You Are - [ARMADA]
If you haven’t listened to the previews of John Dahlback’s forthcoming Saga album - you really should. The first three singles have very different sounds. “Raven” was a mix of big beat and piano house while “Atlantic” was an anthemic progressive monster. Then came the quirky pop “Count to Ten,” which sounded like Tegan & Sara as produced by Otto Knows. The new single “Where You Are” feels like the most obvious radio hit. Yes, it is big room anthem ready but it also has hooky synths, cool vocal effects, and a bit of glitch to make it unqiue. With immaculate production that is pop-friendly yet perfect for the dance floor, it is obvious that John is Swedish. Saga drops mid-January and will be one of the big albums of 2016.
follow Clubplanet @