Music for the Masses
by DJ Ron Slomowicz
A roundup of great techno, electro, drum & bass, house, progressive and indie dance tracks.
Sub Focus - Love Divine - [VIRGIN/EMI]
The '90s house resurgence of the past few years is finally starting to open up and include genres outside its original, narrow focus. “Love Divine” is a perfect example - mixing classic rave and jungle sounds from the early '90s (like the Suburban Base classics) with speed garage beats from the late '90s. With those elements combined, it’s surprising that the overall tone is pretty and euphoric rather than harsh and aggressive. You can hear this contrast in Sub Focus’ last track “Nobody Knows” where the full-on drums and beats are juxtaposed with pretty synths and pads. “Love Divine” is a truly brilliant track that will likely end up on quite a few movie soundtracks.
Wolfgang Gartner - Devotion - [SPINNIN]
From personal experience, I can tell you that when you perform or live as a created character, eventually it affects your personality (and your personality affects your alter ego). “Devotion” is that blending, or mashup, of electro prodigy Wolfgang Gartner and his original being, Joey Youngman. The mix of old school funky house with electro elements merges his two sounds into a cohesive track that is both of the moment and classic-sounding. The vocals feel like a sample from an old R&B record, yet they are original. Wolfgang’s signature has always been bringing in something off-kilter and unexpected into the mix (classical music, grating noises, etc.), and for “Devotion” there are elements of gaming music sprinkled throughout. On first listen, “Devotion” might come off as a typical future house track, but when you scratch the surface you will notice a lot more to it.
Geordo & Febration - Boom - [BIGSMILE]
One person’s trap is another person’s moombahton. Whatever genre you place “Boom” in, it’s a fun and danceable party track that has the potential to be so much more than what it is now. Rather than dropping to a real aggressive harsh trap/dubstep beat, it goes to a much more playful moombahton groove. It sounds like a track that Enrique Iglesias, Marc Anthony, or dare I say it, Justin Bieber could have an international hit with. Pass the word onto the producers to drop the trite “get your f*cking hand” vocal sample and shop it for a pop topline. This is the kind of track that lives up to the name of the record label - because it will put a “big smile” on your face.
Fox Stevenson & Curbi - Hoohah [VIP Edit] [Spinnin]
When Hoohah was released last year, it almost felt like a chess game between the two young producers. "It’s your move, now it’s my move" must have been the dialogue of how they worked on the collaboration. Similar to Curbi’s track with Bougenvilla, “Butterfly Effect,” you can clearly parse who did what based on their trademark sounds. This new drum and bass version was clearly done by Fox Stevenson as that’s his wheelhouse, but we just wonder why it took a full year for this wonderful mix to surface.
Nora en Pure - Diving With Whales - [ENORMOUS TUNES]
If you follow Nora en Pure, as your hopefully do, when you see the title “Diving With Whales" you can already hear the track in your head. It’s deep and groovy with gorgeous keyboards and her trademark mellow feel. There are whale noises interspersed, but it doesn’t sound gimmicky or cheesy, it just sounds cool and trippy. An even more impressive element is the piano line in the break which sounds like an '80s-era Kate Bush record. It’s also great to see Nora en Pure continuing to make deeper underground tracks along with her excursions into the pop word (“Tell My Heart”). In a perfect world, there would be a forthcoming collaboration with Enya in the very near future.
Lost Kings ft Emily Warren - Phone Down - [RCA]
There’s a meme going around which says “I finally realized it... People are prisoners of their phones. That’s why they are called Cell Phones.” With the way people are so addicted to their phones and ignore real life interactions, it was only a matter of time until a pop-dance song came along with the proper response. We’ve been big fans of the Lost Kings (having written up both of their singles,“Bad” and “You,” over the past year) so we are quite excited to see them step up to the plate. “Phone Down” is just what you expect, with singer Emily Warren demanding her partner pay attention to her. Emil is quickly becoming the voice of choice, what with her recent buzz hit with Frenship (“Capsize”) and the international club smash “Until You Were Gone.” Her lyrics and her tone express the sentiment perfectly. In case your partner doesn’t get the idea, send him a link to watch the video. If they don’t get it, they never will (lich).
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