drwex: (Troll)
I'm starting this on Monday after a week away during which I knew I wasn't going to get time to write up music. I logged 51 hours for work last week, so I'm still kind of zonked and I've got a ton of things I should be doing at work, not least of which is filling out my damned expense reports so I can get, you know PAID BACK for these trips. But I digress. This is about the open tabs, of which only a couple are typical for me. Given the length of time involved this might be a longer post than usual. We'll see when it's done.

The Claptone remix of Roisin (damned if I can do those accent characters) Murphy's "Evil Eyes" is a hot hot bouncy track. Murphy's musical work is hard to characterize since Moloko split up. This track is minor-key and kind of quirky in the original. Claptone turns it into some high-energy dance with her vocals mixed in, but the remix is large his work.

From a set played by DJ Purple, a Mashup Germany track I don't recall hearing before. This isn't precisely the edit she played but it's the closest I could find online. I wish there was a track list because I'm not sure what the source material is and since it's in German I'm pretty hopeless on identifying sources. Still, it's a fun mix of energy.

I confess I first clicked on this track because I misread "gosh-pith" as "goth-pit" then was very surprised at how non-goth this track is. The original (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WlzWbMrbjQ) didn't attract my attention when it came out a few months ago. It's sort of minimalist electronica. Like a lot of remixes, this one takes out the vocal track and general feel of the song and then builds something entirely new around it. It's still electronica, but much more upbeat and happy-bouncy. I quite like it and will be looking for more Gosh Pith listening.

This is a wonderful and brilliant combination of two things - a soulful Motown feeling and the striving urgency of Seven Nation Army, one of the best drum anthems of the past couple decades. Alex Guesta handles the mix with a deft touch, keeping the track out of the range of simplistic dance bangers but still leaving me rockin' along.

An atypical mash-up for me - a light, dancey, summer mix with lots of electro-woo and simple house rhythms. But Raven#ouse (yes, that's actually how they label themselves) has done a good job of mixing the three source tracks together. I thought I knew what the sources were but Raven#ouse's response to me on Soundcloud proved me wrong. Shows how much I know about pop music I guess.

(And since it's taken me three days to get five tracks minimally written up I'm hitting post on this damned thing lest it drag on forever. There are more tabs, but not for now.)
drwex: (Troll)
As I write this, SoundCloud has changed its logo to a cloud on a rainbow background. I grin every time I glance over at it. Here, have some tracks to dance with, a set that begins and ends in beauty. ETA: I've been told that some of these may be "private" tracks, which means that even with the URL you'll need to be logged into SoundCloud to hear them. Since I leave myself logged in all the time I don't notice; if this is a problem for anyone please let me know.

I play this again and again because it's so beautiful and so unlike what I expect. It's Beats Antique remixing Major Lazer/Wild Belle's "Be Together". B.A. has a 'sound' that I expect and so does M.L. And this isn't either of those things. It's trance-y and it makes me want to grab a partner and dance.

Following the Major Lazer thread I found this - a DJEnergy bootleg of Lazer/DJ Snake/M0 doing "Lean On" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqeW9_5kURI). I really like the original - the strong snap rhythms and floating vocals - and the bootleg presents a sped-up version with added house dance tropes. I just wish they'd done a little more careful job with the vocals. The speed-up doesn't do M0's voice a lot of favors.

I think I found this via Mashup Radio - it's a Canadian DJ who goes by Hirshee giving the Police classic "Message in a Bottle" a very modern treatment. It's dirty house dancing music mixed with a large helping of nostalgia.

Another Tove Lo mash-up, this time an A|B against Vonikk's 2013 electro-house stomper "Blaze" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHKz3r-jGMc). The DJ goes as The Mashup Wyvern - yes, really. The Blaze track is hard and heavy, so it has to be toned down quite a bit and moved into the background so it doesn't overwhelm Tove Lo's vocals. It's an interesting idea but not a combination I would inherently have picked. However, finding "Blaze" makes it all worthwhile.

Mashup Germany builds what can only be called a "samba style" mash. It's got nine tracks, several of which are well-known dance tunes themselves, but the core is a German samba track that's adapted to club rhythms. Gotta love those moves and fast-paced vocals.

Normally I'd go out on a Mashup German track, but this one is so different it deserves the encore spot. This is so-called "slow house", which is almost downtempo, not quite minor-key dominated. It's definitely the sort of thing you end a set with, letting people wind down and filter off the floor. I found this by following a set of links from Class Actress, so it's no surprise that Felicia Douglass - the featured vocalist here - has a similar-sounding voice. Baile builds a more complex soundscape around the voice than I'm used to, with complex tempos and timing changes throughout.
drwex: (Troll)
LJ says it's only been about three weeks since I posted music but it has felt like longer. Right now it's on my mind a lot because the latest round of sound driver updates to my home Realtek sound engine hosed the speakers. I can get sound via headphones but I can't use my PC to play music to the room anymore. Grr. Still, I have tabs and will share them.

Divide & Kreate remixes the extremely popular indie pop hit "Cool Kids" from a couple years ago. D&K has spiced it up a little and made it beat faster but it still has the essential spare sound of the original.

Following on [livejournal.com profile] mizarchivist's original pointer I continue to find Tove Lo mixes. This one is Flipboitamidies doing an A|B with clean bandit, a rather unusual UK duo (http://cleanbandit.co.uk/). The mix is OK - better than most of the Tove Lo mashes I'm coming across - but I'm actually more intrested in the discovery of clean bandit. I love you, so I share.

This one keeps coming up in my stream and I'm still not entirely sure if I like it, but it's an interestingly original idea. Fissunix is A|B mashing Mano Negra and The Prodigy. Most Prodigy mixes tend to use things I don't like - this one is "Wall of Death" which I think has the best sort of energy that Prodigy produces. And Mano Negra gets mashed up approximately never, so here you go.

Mashup Germany again, with a really nice five-way mix of tracks I'm not familiar with. It fronts Timmy Trumpet and I loves me some brass horns so that's nice. I think the vocals work less well than they might, but perhaps I have too high an expectation of what M.G. can do. From anyone else this would be an excellent track - for him it's just average but the track radiates a kind of fun joy that makes it infectious.

--- We now enter the Ummet Ozcan zone ---

Someone going by djPhase has mashed up an Ummet Ozcan track that I think is his super-popular "Daftizer" (https://soundcloud.com/ummetozcan/daftizerfree) with Zedd's "I Want You to Know", which features the vocals and (ahem) appearance of Selena Gomez. Yes, THAT Selena Gomez, who is now all growed up (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X46t8ZFqUB4) and who's doing a respectable job of turning her childhood Nickelodeon image into an adult singing/acting career. Of the three tracks I think I like the Zedd original best, but that might be influenced by watching the video.

Msystem's remix of Double Exposure's "My Love is Free". It's definitely an electro-dance track, but it draws on soul and disco roots heavily. I picked it out because it features Double Exposure's all-male vocals in a genre that often fronts female vocalists.

Another episode of Ozcan's "Innerstate" pod/setcast. This one has a lot of really nice tracks in it, of which I picked two to feature because they spoke to me particularly.

Nathan C and Feliz Leiter do a trance track that starts out mostly instrumental and then brings in "This Is Our Night" by Sander Kleinberg (http://www.vevo.com/watch/sander-kleinenberg/TION-(This-is-Our-Night)/NLL331100021). This is a track I heard many years ago and had almost completely forgotten about. Then it showed up this rework and I was like, "wait, I know that..." This version is much more high energy, higher BPM and more electro than the original but it's really nice to hear an old favorite getting some new life.

Saving the best for last, here's some truly superb vocal trance from Killogy. "Awake" is a showcase for singer-songwriter Angelika Vee (http://angelikavee.com/) whose vocals absolutely soar in this track. My only complaint is that it's too short, but it's definitely got me following Ms Vee to see what else she's doing. It's been a while since I heard a new voice that really got my attention and this track is a great way to finish out a set.
drwex: (VNV)
Been a while since I did a music post. There are a few open tabs - mostly different kinds of house tracks - but the real reason for doing this post now is the last item on the list. Yes, I'm making you wait, or encouraging you to jump ahead, as you wish.

Audio Bastardz serve up a thumping electro-house track.with hip-hop vocals over high-energy dance rhythms. It's been a while since I was motivated to blog a straight-up house tune but this banger caught my ears at the right time.

The Homogenic Chaos (yes, that's what he calls himself) offers up a California-themed mash. I can't count the number of tracks in this short mix but all have some connection to the state of CA, either by lyric, song theme, or identification of the artist with the state. It's an interesting conceit and a fun mash.

Another new name - deejaytrademark from Chicago - offers up a very smooth four-way mash. I like this particularly because it's built around "Anchor" from Tritonal (https://soundcloud.com/tritonalmusic/anchor) a nice prog-house/vocal track from last fall that gets sampled a lot but not really well used in most of the mashes I've heard so far. This track uses a lot of the Anchor vocals and mixes them up and down through the other three tracks. It ends up with a really uplifting feel.

Dem Slackers contribute something they call a "tropical house" dance track version of Sia's "Elastic Heart". THe original is much more electro-pop and sparser. Dem Slackers have filled in the spaces and though the track still respects Sia's vocals it doesn't ride solely on them.

After I posted the Beats Antique cover last time, MizA sent me a list of related tracks that included this gem. It's B.A. remixing The Glitch Mob's "We Swarm" which is from their debut album. It's interesting to listen to it now and hear again how the Mob's style has evolved. Meanwhile, this track has those luscious horn sounds and dance beats that I love from Beats Antique. Two great tastes that taste great together.

If there was anyone among you who still doesn't know why I think Mashup Germany is the best, most underrated mashup artist playing today, give this a list. This is nothing less than a 100-minute flying, swirling mixing mash set. Like any set it has stronger and weaker moments but I'm amazed Mashup Germany is able to keep the transitions and mixes going for that long. I can't imagine trying to do something like this in real time and I wonder how long it takes him to plan it out. It's utterly brilliant.
drwex: (VNV)
Oh holy cow have I got music for you. I'll break it up into more consumable chunks. Some new things from known names, and I've been unpacking the Dzeko & Torres EDM mega-sampler I linked to a few weeks ago. Let's start with the new and the unusual.

It's been a while since I linked to anything from steampunk music idols Abney Park. The band has gone through a couple of minor line-up changes and their material has wandered through sea shanties and more circus styling both of which were OK but I didn't think they were really noteworthy. They've started releasing singles from their latest CD, titled "Nomad" and I think this is my favorite. It's got some of the good dark energy that got me into their music years ago and whoever did the production here really knows how to make Captain Robert's voice sound its best.

Francesca Belmonte's first solo single is gorgeous. Those who recognize the production style will go "wait, doesn't she sound like..." and the answer is "yes." Belmonte has been collaborating with Tricky and he's helping produce this, her first solo effort. It's an interesting mix of minimalist sound and harmonies with a kind of chop-cut style.

Benny Benassi is another artist I haven't talked about in a while and I sort of backed into this one by accident, when I was looking for more Eelke Kleijn music after noting his track in the Bootie end-of-year best. So, back in 2013 Benassi did a track with Grammy-winning American John Legend. It's an interesting mix of Legend's powered vocals (listen for the two-octave jumps) and Benassi's signature nu disco-influenced Italian beats. Then in 2014 Eelke Kleijn picked up the baton and produced the remix at the second link. It downplays Legend's vocals in favor of a more electronica style. I'm hard-pressed to say one is better than the other; both are interesting interpretations of the material.

Fissunix's mixes are notable for having clever, non-standard elements. At least the ones I choose to blog. Here he's taken Placebo's breathy and minor-key cover of the Kate Bush anthem "Runnin' Up That Hill" and woven in some of the best of London Grammar's "Hey Now" vocals. If this doesn't give you chills then you might be reading the wrong music blog entries. It's like part of the score for a post-apocalyptic love story.

I want to close out this entry with two excellent big mash-ups from two of the best: DJ Schmolli and Mashup Germany. The Schmolli entry is a nine (or 10 if you allow for the vocal segments)-way mix promoting love and revolution. There are some of Schmolli's trademark metal accents but the track mostly rides on the rock energy of P.O.D's "Youth of the Nation".

Mashup Germany continued his reign in 2014 of being the best and most underrated masher I know. This track is his top-of-the-pops for 2014, touching 70 different hits from the past year. It's a virtuoso effort, not simply a layering of a lot of sounds over a standard dance beat. The track weaves from orchestral to dance to electronic to pop.
drwex: (Troll)
*expletive deleted* open office plan is *expletive deleted* noisy. I'm getting new high-quality noise-cancelling headphones ASAP. Much better sounds below:

InanimateMashups, an anonymous Soundcloud-based mashup artist, has a thing for mashing pop with pop and coming up with interesting new combinations. This is a fun combination of Maroon 5's "Animals" (a disturbingly creepy stalker tune if ever I heard one) and Fall Out Boy's "Centuries" (which itself has the recognizable sample from "Tom's Diner").

I do not recall ever hearing a John Lee Hooker mash, which is a shame. His tracks, including the "Boom Boom" that is used here, have been widely sampled. DRA'man has used the Black Keys' "Lonely Boy" vocals as fronting, but kept a fair amount of Hooker's vocals. This track works because the original track is so strong - one of the best early blues-influenced rock tunes.

Since I've decided to wander back into remixes of tunes that I had burned out on, I found this Titanium mash by DJ Paolo Monti. It's using Michael Hutchence's vocals from "Need You Tonight" and at first I wasn't that happy with how it sounds sped up and given the nu-disco touch, but it's an interesting choice, and very different from either original.

This one is mostly for Elton John fans - I note it as another artist who is rarely mashed up. DJ Paulo Monti again, doing John's "Your Song" with the instrumentals from Passenger's "Let Her Go." This is a bit of nostalgia for me and it's fun to hear how the strings are mixed in.

Coyote Kisses are an electronica duo that were pointed out to me by Pygment. The track she found was a little too heavy wub for my taste, but that sent me off to find more. The first track, "Black Cat" is a pretty straight-up electro-dance track for most of it, but the middle has interesting aural/ambient interludes before dropping back down to standard beats.

The second one is "Six Shooter", which is a more standard heavy pop tune, with a decent helping of dub and electro sounds on top of the expected drums-guitar-vocals mixing. Nothing really exceptional going on here, but fun to listen to.

Saving the best for last, here is 75 minutes of Mashup Germany's "Deep Exception", a collection of deep house tracks from the mash-up master himself. It's delightful and like a lot of deep house, it's laden with interesting vocal samples. Unfortunately there's no tracklist yet so it's hard for me to pick out particular favorites to recommend to you. Just listen.
drwex: (Troll)
Looking back in LJ it seems like I only managed one music post in September. I lost a week to travel and have been catching up on my podcasts so there aren't a lot of open tabs to work with. Let me see what I can share with you.

How this avoids being an epic trainwreck mix is beyond me, but Luckyexplorer pulls it off. It feels mostly like a Genesis remix because the consistent vocal is "Land of Confusion" but in fact the music is all other samples, including a brilliant in-mix of "Last Night a DJ".

Bob Mould's new album shows he's still got it. Here's this bald, gray-bearded man rocking hard on stage with guys half his age, sweat soaking his shirt just like it did 20 years ago. I still love his voice and the drive of his music. When he sings, "Listen to my voice - it's the only weapon I kept from the war" I get chills. I heard that Mould absolutely killed it as a dance club DJ; I'm just glad he's found a way back to his roots as well.

DJ Steveboy's "Spacebreaks" is psy-trance based but infused with funk, breakbeats and some lovely vocal bits. It also has a couple of surprises at the end that I didn't think would work but he pulls it together nicely.

Digging through links I found this from three years ago. Mashup Germany taking a P!nk track and laying it over 9 other elements, including a favorite Daft Punk.

Another oldie that I just found: two years ago DeeM & Mister Nono did a nice three-way mash-up based on the music Tomoyasu Hotei did for the Kill Bill movies. I loved those movies and the soundtracks were excellent so it's fun to hear the music being used for other things.

Blogging this almost entirely for the novelty. Kate Bush remixes are rare; mash-ups nearly un-heard-of. I'm not sure this one entirely works, but it's not awful either. Johnny Mashits is working with one of Bush's best-known and most pop-friendly tracks and he seems to understand how her voice works - the mash preserves that. Waddaya think?
drwex: (Troll)
Had to leave work early on Friday to pick the kids up from camp. Thus, music today. Two fantastic long-form listens and a couple favorites.

Beats Antique are going on tour again. (This fall in Boston with Shpongle at House of Blues - I have my tickets, do you?) This is the first single from what I expect will be their new album and it's classic Beats. Strong percussive Middle Eastern-influenced dance sounds with a good dash of crunk thrown in for variety.

Mashup Germany did this excellent complex mash about a year ago but I just found it. This one feels largely like a "Men at Work" mash even though the vocals are primarily P. Diddy/Skylar Gray's "Coming Home" (with a nice appearance from Sting). It's low-bpm and relaxed - feels like an end-of-summer thing to me.

Two very similar remixes by Rey & Kjavic of Katermukke tracks. Both are heavy electronica, with a slinky twang throughout. I like the "Black Cat" one better because the sound really reminds me of a black cat prowling. Yes, really, this is how my brain works.

OK, time to get your SERIOUS NERDGASM on. Here is a set of nerd-themed, nerd-inspired, geek-tastic remixes from DJ BC's Dragoncon set. It includes favorites DJs from Mars, Deadmau5, DJ Schmolli, G3RST, and Party Ben. Ben's "Dr Who on Holiday" is hilarious fun but for sheer nerdy goodness "We No Speak Cantina" from G3RST takes the prize. I also have to mention "Haunted Bela" by DJ Fnord because I love "Bella Lugosi's Dead" so much.

Saving the best for last, here is Bootzilla Volume Two from DJs from Mars. Nineteen tracks of absolutely fantastic electronic dance fun from the Martians and friends. I'm on my fourth listen through of this and I can't pick one favorite. The lead track is an AC/DC mashup that rocks SO HARD and it keeps on giving from there. I suspect people will like various tracks based on the source material; for example, I love the "Depeche Doors for Fears" (track 4) because I'm a big "Personal Jesus" lover - I've always thought that was a song about phone sex. Anyway, let it play and tell me what rocks your world.
drwex: (Troll)
Busy is as busy does. Managed to fit this set of mash-up gems in between meetings.

DJ Schmolli's latest Pirate Nation collection is a return to what he does best - take modern and well-known pop and mash it up with hard rock and metal classics. I've only listened to it twice so I don't have a specific favorite to point to, yet. I will say that it is NOT my fault if you get earwormed by Bon Jovi after you listen to this.

I was not exactly looking for a Eurythmics mash-up but they're rare enough that seeing one in another search caught my eyes and I gave this a whirl. Roxy Emotions is the DJ name of a Greek producer I've not heard before. I plan to check out more of their stuff. This track doesn't knock my socks off, but it's a fine house interpretation of the classic.

Another side-effect of that same search was this mash. Supermode's "Tell Me Why" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTDeEJyCmNA) was one of my favorite night-driving tracks for a long time. Here Jack the Video Ripper has blended the dancy elements of that tune with some soulful Usher and I like the combination. It still feels like summer night music, but that's probably my preconceptions at play again.

A double-shot of "top of the pops 2013" mash-ups. One by the new-to-me DJ Dreamport, and one by the fantastic Mashup Germany. Yes, I know I'm a bit late with these things, but that's the way it goes. As you'd expect, these are mega-mashes that jump around in barely controlled fashion. The Dreamport version seems to be more dance-centric and comes across as its own dance tune. The M.G. version is hilariously head-spinning - listen up to 0:50 to see what I mean if you don't want to take the whole thing. Both are quite good, though I remain convinced that Mashup Germany is the true master of this art form. It's also interesting to compare their source lists side-by-side. I'd guess there's about 60% overlap, which is much smaller than I'd've guessed.

Finally, I'll leave you with this remix of Tritonal's Colors, which I blogged about a month ago. This remix is a fun and relaxed, almost trance-y, take on the tune. I'm hard-pressed to say that it's "better" than the original; I think I'd go with "interestingly different" which is often enough if the original is this good.
drwex: (pogo)
Meeting cancelled, can I sneak in a music post? With the business of work lately I haven't had time to listen to a lot of things, but still there are some tabs. Several of these tracks are

I'm hoping to see London Grammar this Friday and I'm stoked for the show, so let me share with you a cover they posted a few weeks ago of my favorite INXS tune, "Devil Inside". This is so different from the original it's startling. But beautiful. What made INXS work for me was Michael Hutchence's voice, and here Hannah Reid takes it on beautifully. The music is mostly transposed to piano, as you'd expect from London Grammar and if I have any quibble it's that they wait too late (3:30 or so) to bring in the full orchestration.

Another brilliant track from Mashup Germany. Seven tracks, largely built around Mark Morrison's "I am what I am". It's smooth and gentle, as befits the component tracks. He even manages to throw in some Ke$ha without it spoiling things.

DJ Schmolli starts off with a fairly basic "Rock the Casbah" mix and then starts pulling in other things. Around 2:00 he grabs some Ofra Haza to float over the bongos, which works surprisingly well. Unfortunately it then swaps back to Beyonce, which doesn't do her much credit in the comparison.

Scottscottscott pulls together five tracks in a mix that I kept thinking was going to go off the rails as a trainwreck but he manages it brilliantly. It's got good energy but never goes off into frenetic.

Sebwax - a French DJ I had not heard before - does something awesome here. He's taken Beth Ditto's vocals from "Perfect World" - which I really like - and laid them over a the instrumental track from French rockers Indochine's "College Boy" (I was going to link to the video, but it's pretty disturbing; find it if you must).

DJ Mighty Mauz turns in a fully respectable house dance mash-up, using one of the few Christina Aguilera tracks I like and the Avicii standard "Blessed". As with most of these mash-ups the question is "has the mix improved things?" and in this case I think the mix is an improvement on both the originals. This is my kind of "dance around the room when I need to get stuff done" music.

You call something "The Funk Mash-up" and you know I'm there. This is labeled "ghetto funk" which as far as I can tell involves mixing up classing funk tracks with some of the more contemporary rap/hip-hop tracks that were inspired by the original funk masters. This mix ends up being a little more disjointed than some of the smooth mixes I've linked to here, but it's a good effort using some of my favorite music.

I mentioned Thomas Jack a few months ago - back then for a beautiful symphonic house track. Here he's got a huge winner of a remix. The original is Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's famous ukelele rendition of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World". This track has been used in at least half a dozen movies and it's hard to see how it could be improved on. What Jack does is something he calls "Tropical House" and that's just the right fit. It keeps Iz's gentle vocals and uke work but gives it an up-tempo feel and house touches. Gorgeous.
drwex: (VNV)
First, I must note that VNV are going on tour again. I already have tix for their show in my town. Check out their site and get yours. Just sayin'. Lots of tabs open; let's do the first five now and see when I can get to the rest.

I don't usually blog previews as they're often too short to get a sense for what the track does. This previwe is 6 minutes long and well worth your time. This is Cash Cash doing an "official" remix of Hardwell's "Dare You". The original (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clRjbYa4UWQ) is very much a teen-rebellion anthem, a modern pop confection. Still, it's got good female vocals over dance beats so OK. What Cash Cash has done is made the song richer. There are synth complexities and vocal layering in the remix that the original lacks. And while the original is danceable, this is dance, with a jumped-up BPM and the sort of drops and pops a good house dance track tends to have.

I've gone back to CHVRCHES a couple times since their "Bella Lugosi's Dead" reignited my interest. Most of their stuff has been OK, but this one stood out for me. It's actually a Kingdom remix of their "Recover" and it's got an interesting contrast going on. There's still the high poppy vocals, but there's an undercurrent of dark creepy snap-pop electronica that reminds me of the Bauhaus cover. I don't think I'm going to turn into a huge CHVRCHES fan but I will keep looking for good remixes to blog.

Both MizA and Cthulhia thumbs-downed my previous blog of a Mumford & Sons remix, but I carry on anyway. Here we have Mashup Germany picking up two M&S tunes along with nine other tracks for a bouncy banjo-rich mix. Props to M.G. for the use of Louis Armstrong and Starship in the same mix; that's just flat-out hilarious. And yes, [livejournal.com profile] cthulhia, it has the Mumford vocals, at least sampled.

Florrie's new EP should be out any day now, and it's apparently being labeled as "pop" but this isn't like most pop I'm used to. It's got a simple vocal line, true, but that's laid over some very nice non-traditional rhythms, which I mark as Indian-influenced (Goa?). It's up-tempo and urgent without being too frenetic. I'd like it more if the vocals matched the music for complexity and novelty but it's a start.

Buraka Som Sistema give us a new zouk bass track, "Sente". If you've never heard BSS or zouk this is as good a place to start as any. It's a sound that's evolving as it goes, and I like that. This variant still has the minor-key Rom roots in there, but it blends in some (surprisingly muted) stomp bits, and chop electronica that you don't hear in BSS's tracks from a year ago. It's toned down in a way that gives space for more complexity and experimentation than you get in your typical club track.
drwex: (pogo)
Mashup Radio has become my go-to source of sounds for the moment and a lot of these come from there. Looks like they have a high signal:noise ratio for the sounds I like. (OK it took me three days to get this much put down; I'll do the rest in a post next week but I want to hit send now.)

Luca Rubino gives us a nice mix of Aloe Blacc's "I need a dollar" with two versions of Within Temptation's "Shot In The Dark". It's hard to pin down the style here - I'd call it simply mashed pop as the track still has the standard drums/guitars/vocals of rock but with two songs played A|B against each other.

It's not obvious from the intro (which I think is a little overlong and tedious) but Todd Terje is reviving an ancient classic. One-hit wonder M's 1979 effort "Pop Muzik" was at the same time a parody of the genre, an attempt to do something all-electronic, and a statement on the intended universality of pop. I'm not sure this track will appeal to anyone who didn't grow up with this track on frequent repeat but I did and it's nice to see it getting some love after all this time.

Mashup Germany is at it again. Two versions of "Sail", a track I like very much, and some pop and you get something really good. I really like the pace changes and drops in the middle section of the mash. It's like several different mashes all at once, but all "Sail".

Laura B (http://www.last.fm/music/Laura+B) has been making music for over two decades - how the hell have I remained ignorant? Here she's reworking one of Andain's classics, "Mirage" a staple of trance, with Andain's "Beautiful Things" which has been done and redone more times than I can count. Her track is energetic almost to the point of frenetic but still does a great job of floating the vocals.

Henry Fong is a US-based electro-house producer/DJ. Here he's doing a floor-clearing track with a stomp beat. It didn't surprise me much when I looked at his FB page to see him giving a shout out to Ini Kamoze.

Cosmic Dawn megamash. Unfortunately there's no track listing, so it's guess-a-mole with most of it. Some of the components are obvious from the vocals (who could mistake the single ladies?) but mostly it's just a fun stew of sounds.
drwex: (pogo)
I had planned to post this earlier this week, but had other things to say instead. A couple of good original tracks in this list as well as a couple of great covers.

Ini Kamoze's "Here Comes the Hotstepper" is one of the most often sampled and remixed tunes I know. Most of them are fun and I try to note a few. Here DJ Surda has mixed Kamoze with Lykke Li's I Follow Rivers (The Magician Remix), which you can watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oS6wfWu0JvA I am not a huge Lykke Li fan, and the various mixes of "I Follow Rivers" I've heard have been OK but nothing to blog about. Adding in the Kamoze track kicks it up a notch.

Dance Rebels are, among other things, a new SoundCloud channel devoted to dance mixes. They're a bit unusual as mixers go in that they only use authorized material. This track is a mix done for them about 8 months ago by David Puentex of the Yeah Yeah Yeah's "Heads Will Roll." It's an electro-chop mix and is definitely not going to be for everyone. It ventures into some minor-key and high-pitched terrain but I ended up liking it because it's just sufficiently different from the original and yet recognizably the original. I've been meaning to check out more Dance Rebels stuff, so stay tuned.

The idea of someone being "Secretly Canadian" amuses me. Apparently they're a releasing company and responsible for this track, "Pulsing" by Tomas Barfod. The track is pretty standard house but the fronting vocals from someone identified as Nina K (no idea who she is) lift this above the run-of-the-mill. It's not exactly vocal trance but it has some of those tropes going on. Give it a try.

DJ MAKJ brings us a hard-edged electro-house banger called "MAD MAX". As you'd expect from the name it has a dark and gritty driving sound with occasional bonus car engine noises. If someone was to make a 21st-Century Mad Max movie this kind of thing should be part of the soundtrack. Just please no more Mel Gibson.

Shaun Frank turns in a pleasant house dance take on "Sweater Weather" by The Neighborhood (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCdwKhTtNNw). The original is fairly typical boy-band dance rock; this cover feels more mature and varied than the original, but I like both.

Mashup Germany slams no fewer than eight tracks into a short mix (2:45). I love all of his source tracks and it's a nod to his skill that he can keep this from sliding into a trainwreck. The transitions are almost all smooth and nearly seamless, and really "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" doesn't get enough attention, in my estimate.

DJ Purple pointed CHVRCHES out to me some weeks ago but I wasn't that fond of the track she sent. Here they are covering my all-time favorite Bauhaus song for the upcoming Vampire Academy movie soundtrack. Based on this I'm going to have to give them another listen.
drwex: (pogo)
Closing down the tabs as a form of holiday cleaning, including a double-shot of Mashup Germany. Here we go:

Dem Slackers turns in a nice electro-house mix (please do NOT go claiming that 4 minutes is "extended") of his own "Rocks n Stones". I wish I could identify the vocalist; she sounds vaguely Katy Perry-ish, but MizA disagrees. If you listen to the vocal sustains that start around 2:40 you can hear she's got some potential but it's still too heavily autotuned to be sure.

Loo & Placido do a kind of strong electro slam-mix that can be a lot of fun when it works, and this one works. It's a five-way mash that is scheduled to appear on their New Year's release bootleg pack. I'll try to blog more of the tracks once it's released. Meanwhile this is some highly danceable stuff.

This is Live City (https://www.facebook.com/LiveCityMusic) remixing London Grammar's summer blue-collar ballad "Strong" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6drfp_3823I). I have to say that even though it's a bit cliche' I love her idea that 'strong' for a man is tenderly caring for a child. Also, fireworks. Take that Katy Perry. OK, where was I? Right, this remix - it's labeled prog-house but it feels more like standard vocal house. Hannah Reid (the singer for London Grammar) still carries this track the way she does the original. Vocals + piano + dance beats = beautiful, what can I say?

Just Fine and Atik did an electro-stomping remix of Sandro Silva & Quintino's "Epic". The original (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQKsLOPK_ls) is a high-BPM summer dance vibe that's pretty heavy on the thump. The bootleg use a slightly slower tempo and more orchestration, but it's still instrumental thumpy dance. The best part is definitely starting around 2:15 where the track drops to almost slinky riddim styles before speeding back up again.

OK you've been very patient to get this far so here's your reward. Mashup Germany has been really prolific of late, but much of it has been German-language things that haven't really grabbed me. Rammstein, however, is a horse of another color altogether. This is a four-way mash built around their classic "Du Hast" which is a song I simply cannot play at less than volume 11. I also laughed out loud at the transition at 1:45 - it's the sort of "he did NOT..." transition I love in Mashup Germany's work.

The second one is listed as Mashup-Germany vs. DJ Schmolli because M.G. started with a Schmolli mash and then added his own touch. This is great work, though I think it's a little slow to start - the track doesn't really kick into high gear until almost 1:30. I've been sort of disappointed by Schmolli's efforts lately - he's doing a mash-a-day thing - and it's nice to be reminded that he did great work in the past and it can be made even better.
drwex: (pogo)
...if you're me, at least. I'm seriously jonesin' for a source of new sounds that I can get at work. Meanwhile, up in the cloud...

Foxes. I keep thinking I've heard her voice before, but can't figure out where. A little net.surfing tells me she's been fairly hot in the UK for a year or so. She's being officially "introduced" to the American market with this track, "Youth", that she put out last year. It's got a fantastic set of drum bits and I like how they work with her voice. Most of the rest of the track is not-terribly-interesting standard electronica, but she appears to have real potential. The Vevo link is actually the start of a playlist that'll run you through most of her commercial stuff.

The second link is Disco Fries' remix of "Youth". It's a sharper-edged production that I think does a better job of featuring her than the official track. You have the same vocals and drums but instead of standard electronica there's a lot of variation, ranging from simple piano up through house sounds.

A Mashup Germany double-shot. The first one is an interesting exercise - it's using three different versions of the same track, two versions of a supporting track, and a little more this-and-that from three other tracks. If you're a serious music nerd like me you can track down the individual items and listen to the differences to see what M.G. is picking up. Or you can just kick back and enjoy the result.

The second track is another of M.G.'s 10-track assemblies. It seems unfair to call this a "Men At Work" mash but that's sort of the dominant sound/beat throughout. There are a ton of vocal bits throughout, but he's looped that signature bit... well, just listen and tell me if you disagree.

Last time I noted Phaeleh it was for trip-hop and this long-form set definitely has some of those elements though he labeled it "dubstep." There's no wub to speak of in here. Instead, it's largely quiet, moody, and cinematic sounds. Vocals tend to be muted in favor of orchestral sweeps and gentle beats. The tracks are all listed (one of the best parts of SoundCloud, imo) and you can explore at your leisure.

Sia more or less burst into pop consciousness with "Titanium" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRfuAukYTKg). The tune gets credited to David Guetta most of the time but Sia wrote it and Guetta ended up picking her to do the vocals in part because of the demo of the track she recorded. Her stuff since then has been largely electro-pop (this track is not hillbilly nor really much soul, despite what the labels on it say). It's strongly voiced, richly layered vocal electronic pop. I particularly like middle part, starting around 1:40, which features more of her voice with only light accompaniment.
drwex: (VNV)
AudioPorn Central and Mashup-Industries are both down for the count (though M.I. may be back again) so I'm using SoundCloud more for new sounds. However, this post is brought to you by two words:


Let's get right into it. These here are the preview stream and first single off the upcoming VNV Nation album, called "Transnational." It drops in the US Nov 19, but the earliest we're likely to see them over here is Spring, since their posted tour has them in the UK/EU through February. So yay, and boo.

The single and preview sound like much the same as we've heard from them, with strong vocals, rock- and metal-infused electronica, and intense emotional/political lyrics. What makes VNV, though, is the live experience which I've tried to describe before and mostly failed. If they do come around I'll be there and be looking for people who want to go see them with me.

It's always a risk trying to remix a beloved classic, but I think Gigamesh pulls this one off. It's his take on the Talking Heads' "Once in a Lifetime" (sometimes referred to as "Letting the Days Go By"). The remix keeps the surreal feel of the original, with Byrne's vocal assertions featured prominently, which is what made the original so good. It's a little more electronica, a little bit sped up, but overall a wonderful homage.

Goldroom (http://goldroom.la/) is a new-to-me producer of lush electronica. This piece is really evocative of end-of-summer to me, and features great vocal work by Ariela Jacobs (http://www.triplejunearthed.com.au/ArielaJacobs) another new name to me.

Mashup Germany continues to give me the best kind of whiplash. I start playing one of his mixes and find my head snapping around, going "he did NOT just..." Here he's mashing four main tracks, all of which I need to check out on their own. The whole thing makes a great track, so it seems a shame to pick one or two of the transitions or drops, but check out how he changes up the tunes and if you like it check out the extended mix (second link).

DJs from Mars. Extended mash-up set. What more do you need to know? Features some of the Mars's own mixes but mostly it's other peoples' original tracks, mash-ups, and remixes in a delicious hour-long set. Go listen; I can't possibly do it justice in a few sentences.
drwex: (pogo)
I'm sitting around waiting for the guy who is only in the office today to follow through on his email saying we should meet. This is Important, and I started it, so I'm going to wait. And meanwhile I'm going to talk about music. I realize I've blogged a lot of musical things lately but I'm off for a bit starting tomorrow and I've had some amazing stuff cross my path recently. I care, so I share. Two excellent mashes, two good covers, and something new from a name I haven't mentioned in a long time.

First, up (courtesy of DJ Purple) a fantastic metal-meets-metal-meets-metal mashup from Mashup Germany. Oh, yeah, theres's some Robyn and Blink 182 in there, but if you don't start grinning hugely around 2:40 then I'll be surprised. It's a brilliant cut.

Speaking of brilliant, DJs from Mars are BACK! The first is a Soundcloud lift of one of the tracks you can get at the second link. It's the DJs doing Zedd vs U2. The build through the first minute of the track is outstanding. On first listen I thought they were doing a transition, but when I re-listened with headphones I realize the tracks are all laid in from the start, and it's building up slowly enough at first you don't realize what's coming until BAM there it is.

And then you can go to the second link and get an entire new album, Bootzilla, with the DJs and a lot of talented friends. I'll probably have more to say about that after I've had time to listen.

This is an edit by Jamie xx (http://jamiexx.com/) of the band's tune "Sunset" (nice live version here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2JrAhmZmpM). To call The xx spare, haunting, and eerily melodic is sort of definitional and this track captures all of that. The edit is a little more drum-heavy and plays down the electronics and guitars a bit. It also has some extra pauses added, which I guess are for a purpose but I don't think they enhance the base track.

Royksopp covers the Depeche Mode b-side "Ice Machine". I've read the track was popular in Europe but its minor-key electronica never caught on much in America. The original has some odd harmonies, too. Royksopp updates all of this, giving the track a dark throbbing Euro-underground feel and lots of extra instrumental bits as well as cleaning up and strengthening the vocals. It's still recognizably the D.M. tune, but it's also very much its own thing.

Finally, if you're tired of all that modern electronica, take a trip back in time to a steampunked Victorian era with Abney Park. This is the first single, "The Circus At The End Of The World", off their new production. They've teamed up with a talented set of circus performers from the Wanderlust Circus (http://www.wanderlustcircus.com/) to create an atmosphere and show I would love to see.

I was not that enthralled with Abney Park's previous sea shanty-themed creation. This, however, seems to be a return to their roots and a leveling up of what they do best. The album (same name as the single) will be on sale first week of September.
drwex: (pogo)
Trying to keep my stress at a reasonable level, music helps. It helps if you can dance to this stuff.

Doing something he said he'd never do, and with a large helping of sarcasm, DJ Steveboy has finally put out a trance mix on Groovelectric. His subscriber newsletter was more snark-full than the Web page, so I can't resist posting this one bit:
Trance became the elfie sword-and-sorcery fantasy of dance music. The Stevie Nicks of electronica. It could be downright embarrassing. Then came Tiesto, and, well, let's move on, shall we?

Well, with all that said, he did find some trance music he liked and put together a highly listenable, relaxing, and yes "feel-good" set. Check it out.

I was surprised that these two items appeared almost back-to-back in my stream. Both are reworks of older, popular tracks and both infuse new life into the older items.

The first one is by the excellent Mashup Germany, putting Peter Fox's "Schüttel deinen Speck" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTmf11OxOYc) a bebop-inspired dance-hop tune against MC Fitti's "Whatsapper" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rxb2A4uASqc), which is in turn based on the Ini Kamoze reggae fusion classic "Here Comes the Hotstepper". It's a brilliant combo, executed with Mashup Germany's flair and brilliance.

The second one is SPL (https://www.facebook.com/TheSPL) touching what has to be one of the classics of trance, Underworld's "Born Slippy NUXX" (Wikipedia has an excellent discussion of the two versions of the track and why they're often confused.) SPL borrows tropes from dubstep and d&b for this rework, but does a decent job of staying true to the original.

Kavinsky, a French electro-synth producer, is at it again. This is his latest EP, with three mixes of the same track. The styles are so different, though, that if they didn't come labeled you'd be hard-pressed to tell they're the same. The first one features The Weeknd and it's a very disco styled Michael Jackson-esque vocal piece. The second is A-Trak with some deep dub house sounds and breaks, and I think I like this one best. The third is a hand-clapping/feet-stomping fast remix from Surkin, which sounds the most like the movie soundtracks Kavinsky is known for.

Divide and Kreate has been working hard putting pop sounds into dance shapes. Here he's got Christina Aguilera's 2012 vamp-trash track "Your Body" and he makes it so much better than the original. He's cleaned up the sound, tightened up the vocals, and build a comfortable electro-pop backing for it. C.A. clearly needs a good producer and when she gets one she can sound really good.

This is utterly brilliant, even if it's Lenny Kravitz. DJ Schmolli did a mash-up called "Are You Gonna Change The Way You Kiss Me" for the second Pirate Nation compilation. Then DJ's from Mars got ahold of it and put their signature heavy stomping production touches on it. Pure gold.

Speaking of DJs remixing DJs, here's Dan Mei mashing up Armen van Buuren's "This is What It Feels Like". The original is a feel-good bit of vocal trance, which Dan Mei slams up against Zedd's "Clarity." The mash is tricky because both tracks feature high-quality strong vocals. AVB is featuring Trevor Guthrie and Zedd has Foxes doing the signature female voice for his track. The result is something of a vocal duet/duel and I really like it.
drwex: (pogo)
Too much serious stuff and not enough time to post music links leaves a lot of open tabs. Some really great stuff in here for all kinds of different sounds. Let's do two familiar names returning, two fantastic remixes, two pure mash-up delights, and close with two long-form pieces.

First familiar artist: the mix man is back. This was released around the 4th of July and I just heard it this week, which tells you how busy I've been. DJ Earworm produces another finely tuned megamix, this being his Summer 2013 mash. I've been lukewarm on his last couple of efforts, which I think have suffered from the restricted starting material. Here he's working with pop hits as usual but rather than trying to produce a dance-floor banger he's come up with a lighter summer tune. Yes, it's got some dance moments and will no doubt get club play but the feel of the track is different and better. Of course, if you don't like current pop hits you probably won't like this either, but such is life.

Shifting gears: Morcheeba is back. I haven't heard anything new from them in a couple years and that's sad. This is the first single off their upcoming album, set to drop this fall. Skye is in her usual fine form, and the band's sound builds complex and interesting layers around her - everything from vocal trancey to jazz-swing.

I am absolutely floored by this remix. Jesper Samuelsson, a Swedish house producer, has taken J. Lo's recent self-promotional electro-pop confection "Live It Up" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BofL1AaiTjo). I don't actually dislike the original, and rather like Ms Lopez. This is such a complete re-imagining of the tune that I'm not even sure you could recognize the original in it. It's house, it's smooth, it's got a little funky edge - really a fine work by a new name.

In our second remix entry, Skyphos (who I think is Ben Sanders of the Netherlands, and not the d&b artist who records as "DJ Skyphos") has produced a melodious, beautiful, ambient soulful remix of Nina Simone's "Feeling Good" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5Y11hwjMNs&feature=youtube_gdata). Simone's original is bare, clearly gospel-inspired, and big-band sounding. Skyphos has taken out the big band and given us modern electronica, a lovely update of a classic.

This first mashup comes from Mashup Germany, who I think is still the most underrated masher working today. Here he's working with "only" six main tracks, plus lots of cool supporting snips, and weaves them together artfully. It's definitely got dance sensability but it's mostly a feature for smooth transitions. I swear if you don't look at the track list you really can't tell where he's blending one track into another. This is off the "Mash of the Titans" compilation, from which I'll have more later.

For the second remix I wanted to show a different style. Hot Couture (https://myspace.com/hotcouturefr) a French remix team have put together two of my favorite dance tracks: Stromae's "Alors on Danse" and Indeep's "Last Night a DJ Saved My Life". Of course, there are some additional samples laid in, which I'm sure you'll recognize. I really like Hot Couture's style here - the sounds bounce back and forth but the whole holds together remarkably well.

I thought I had blogged Riva Starr before, but it appears not. Starr is a UK-based house DJ and this is (as far as I know) his first full-length album. Every track features a different guest performer and the styles change accordingly. The whole thing is superb and it's hard to pick out just one favorite track. Maybe "We Got This Ting" (https://soundcloud.com/rivastarr/9-riva-starr-feat-roots-manuva) his collaboration with Roots Manuva. The fact that the track features some hot-stepping Caribbean-style horns is purely coincidental, I assure you.

It's been a long time since I've blogged a full-length set, but this one is a winnner. It's Hardwell (http://www.djhardwell.com/) doing a nearly hour-long prog-house set at Electric Daisy Carnival earlier this year. If you need a track for your high-energy workout, or you think this is the kind of thing to get you moving (which I do) then give this a listen. Sadly there doesn't appear to be a download link. Like any full set there are a couple of weak spots, but the majority of the set is high-energy good listening and I love how he just drops in clear vocal bridges.
drwex: (pogo)
(anyone but me know the Subject line reference?)

I'm still sort of poking around new sounds and finding myself encountering a variant on Sturgeon's Law. To wit, if I listen to ten songs, I'm likely going to hate nine of them, but that tenth one, well listen along:

Glitch-funk. It's a thing, apparently, and if this is it, I like it. Cadien (http://soundcloud.com/cadien) have a track here called "Expression of Self" that has a deep funk soul, but sped up and fed through some glitch filters. This sounds like something out of the soundtrack to a 21st-century blaxsploitation flick.

Trip-hop is alive and well in the hands of Phaeleh (https://soundcloud.com/phaeleh), a UK producer who has previously been known for more dubstep-ish things. This "Here Comes the Sun" is from his upcoming album and features vocals by Soundmouse (https://soundcloud.com/soundmouse) a vocalist/pianist who has worked with Phaeleh in the past. This is gorgeous sound, artfully produced.

G3rst put out a fun little A|B mash-up called "Hollabeck Girl" that puts Beck up against Gwen Stefani. He does a good job of pulling out what's best in each: Stefani's vocals over Beck's drums and guitars.

Speaking of mashups, Mashup Germany has done a clever thing: two mash-ups of the same track, giving very different sounds. They're both built on Avicii's "Wake Me Up". The first uses Eagle Eye Cherry and the second uses Daft Punk. The contrast of jangly guitars versus electronica is fun.

Pegboard Nerds turn in a funky electro remix of J.Viewz' "Far Too Close" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTauZ7UVwRY). The original is highly produced track from a couple years ago that tries to combine poppy male vocals with electro-dub sounds and is sort of OK. The remix speeds things up, smooths them out and adds some serious dub/glitch drops. The build-drop from about 1:00 to 1:15 is fantastic. And the Alvin & the Chipmunks bit is hilarious.

A four-way original track - a collaboration between 3LAU (http://3lau.com/music/) a totally bomb-tastic prog-house DJ; Paris & Simo (http://parisandsimo.com/) a Montreal-based DJ duo; and Bright Lights, a Spanish vocalist. The overall sound is prog-house, but the trancey vocals fit nicely.


drwex: (Default)

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