“London” will leave you kinda sorta breathless from Nashville’s @thisisMokita

MOKITA, “London”

If you’re not entirely familiar with Nashville vocalist Mokita, the name may be ringing a recent bell or two thanks to his stellar tones on R3HAB’s latest and very memorable “All Into Nothing”, which I wrote about last month.  Mokita’s latest solo work, “London” is a straight-forward travelogue about missing the one you love.  BUT it suddenly leaves you tongue-tied and kinda sorta breathless with a *deep sigh* that should say it all by the 35 second point when Mokita sings acapella “you would die if you knew I was here”.   And after that, there’s no turning back, you’re swept up and transported to London and engaged in a delightful love story that maybe ends a bit too soon.  “London” is delicious but lighter electronic dance pop than usual (and kudos to Armada for going with it), and strangely enough it uses a lot of the same tricks of more hardcore tracks – like pauses that could be otherwise be drops – that make you want more.  “London” could be a dark horse radio-hit-in-waiting to watch.

Published in: on January 14, 2019 at 11:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Get this Banger, with no mash: It’s “Tea Time” with @WinandWoo

WIN & WOO, “Tea Time” (free DL)

Despite the headline, “Tea Time”, the latest from Chicago’s Win & Woo, has absolutely nothing to do with anything to do with England unless you want to have tea.  But unlike the alternately fanciful or emotional dance pop they’ve released over the last year or so, “Tea Time” is most certainly a Banger (capitalized)!!  It’s a brisk, fun song that’s probably going to be sampled by others to incorporate into festival or radio mixes, but it gets on quite well on its own, thank you.  For the last number of years, Win and Woo have been go-to remixers for many and have grown in their craft.  You can hear the finesse and sophistication in the mix of “Tea Time”, despite the lack of lyrics this time.  So it’s definitely a trade off with its memorable “it’s time for tea” drop, but “Tea Time” serves as a kick off to what looks like a super fun 2019 for Win & Woo!  Get it for free while it lasts at the link above.

Published in: on January 14, 2019 at 11:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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NYC’s @AndyxSuzuki @andtheMethod crank up a bluesy jam with “Medicine”

ANDY SUZUKI & THE METHOD, “Medicine”

As an introduction to their third album “Alibi”, NYC’s Andy Suzuki & The Method – singer/songwriter/guitarist Andy Suzuki and hand-percussionist/co-writer Kozza Babumba – offer up a bluesy, rhythmic jam with “Medicine”.  This is the kick-ass, guitar-heavy kind of rock music that the duo creates to floor their concert audiences on a regular basis, so you can expect nothing less than similar quality in the rest of the album.  They’ve enlisted producer Juny Mag as a co-writer as well, and if “Medicine” is any indication, their overall sound has been honed tighter than ever.  Kozza’s unique hand-percussion is something rarely heard in pop music these days, and this talent partnered with Andy’s top notch voice should find more new fans and reacquaint older ones – like from their performances on “The Rock Boat” cruises – with songs like “Medicine”.  

Published in: on January 14, 2019 at 11:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Heaven” returns as a bigger bolder dance anthem courtesy of @Dzekomusic & @RiggiandPiros and @beingVeronica

DZEKO and RIGGI & PIROS and VERONICA, “Heaven”

Indeed, the 80’s #1 by Bryan Adams that originally started life as a ballad in a film called “A Night In Heaven” with Christopher Atkins and Lesley-Ann Warren has been reinvented and transformed many times, but none more successfully than DJ Sammy’s Europop version that became a worldwide smash in 2003.  As readers know, I’m particularly selective about what cover versions I enjoy.  And while some may think that 15 years may not have been long enough to welcome a new version to clubland, Toronto’s Dzeko and New Jersey’s Riggi & Piros fire it up and set it ablaze, aided by a winning vocal by another Torontonian, Veronica, who did well in Europe (and particularly Belgium with a #1) last year with “In The Mood”.  So this new version is definitely less pre-fab and more anthemic than the DJ Sammy version, from which it still draws inspiration.  And does it work?  Yep it sure does, for both clubs and radio. I’ll put money on radio stations – particularly in Canada, to support homegrown talent of Dzeko and Veronica – playing it to follow up Dzeko’s collaboration with Tiësto on “Jackie Chan”.  And I’d love to hear some remixers share their new takes on this pop classic to help broaden its appeal to receptive club DJ’s.

Published in: on January 14, 2019 at 11:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Add sparks to your “Sunday Morning” by @Matomaofficial and @JosieDunnemusic in an @iamAlyxAnder remix

MATOMA and JOSIE DUNNE, “Sunday Morning” (Alyx Ander remix)

An acclaimed debut album of 2018 that still seemed to fall somewhat under the radar was Matoma’s One In A Million.  With four stellar singles recorded with Becky Hill (“False Alarm”, #6 on my personal chart), MAX (“Lonely”, #10), Enrique Iglesias, (“I Don’t Dance (Without You), #20), and The Vamps (“All Night”), the multi-talented Norwegian musician and producer proved beyond a shadow of the doubt that he could flourish in dance, electronic, and pop genres.  Single #5 from the album is “Sunday Morning”, featuring Nashville-based vocalist Josie Dunne.  It gets a sparkling remix by Miami’s Alyx Ander that will make you want to put on your dancing shoes instead of stumbling out of bed for your coffee on a Sunday.  When the song isn’t full throttle in pick-you-up mode, it beautifully focuses on the soulful edges in Josie’s voice, making there plenty of reasons to enjoy the song.  It also happens to make a perfect companion to mix into Avicii’s “Wake Me Up!”, so your Sundays really may never be the same again!  

Published in: on January 12, 2019 at 9:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#Pandamagic “This Time” by #JaydenPanda with @CelineFarach and @Matluckmusic is cheerful, empowering EDM

JAYDEN with CELINE FARACH and MATLUCK, “This Time”

In pop music, there are no rules.  Joining Deadmau5, Marshmello, and a host of other masked dance music musicians and producers, we welcome Jayden into the electronic dance music genre.  The mystery man dresses in a panda outfit with an oversized head, which is equally goofy as the rest.  But where the difference here is the branding – a magical panda DJ/producer who can turn you into a kid for a few moments and then back again, making anything seem possible.  So is the basis of the story behind the video for “This Time”, Jayden’s first single, which has already amassed 1.6 views on You Tube in two weeks of release.  He’s already got a huge following of over 250K on Instagram too.  So establishing the visual presence was important, but so of course is the song.  “This Time” is cheerful and empowering, with a solid, memorable melody, and thank goodness for the infectious presence of two US singers, Céline Farach and Matluck (who you already know from some dance releases with Nicky Romero, Mike Williams, and Dzeko).  These two, with their voices, smiles, and attitude, all help bring the song to the next level.  Like with Marshmello, there will be an upward battle to break through, but don’t be surprised to see Jayden make some magical waves by mid-year.

Published in: on January 12, 2019 at 9:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Meet British folk singer @KateyBrooksOFCL with the compelling and heartfelt “In Your Arms”

KATEY BROOKS, “In Your Arms”

Folk music is hardly what I would call a genre that I actively listen to a lot, but much of today’s pop music was founded on what we would now call the music of folk singers who long preceded the pop and rock era (say, before 1955).  And when a voice is as commanding as that of British singer and guitarist Katey Brooks, then I want you to know about it!  You may hear, as I did, potential influences from classic singers like Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins or Stevie Nicks in “In Your Arms”.  The song starts off so quietly as if to not really want to grab your attention.  But once you start hearing the story, her voice becomes an expressive charmer – duly compared to Florence Welch for power – and there is no turning back.  And then, a bit more than 3 minutes later, the song just stops tidily, leaving you to ponder.  Even though she is British, Katey’s music reminds me of how the songs and poetry of Patti Smith somewhat symbiotically connected with the rock audience of the late 70’s.  In today’s alt-pop and alt-rock, which includes folk music, you’ll find other talented women, and Katey Brooks can certainly compete with the best of them.

Published in: on January 12, 2019 at 9:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #552, January 7/19

This is the 21st year of the BILLCS Top 30!!  The new year kicks off with its first chart and a shorter chart blog format.  

The Top 5 was excessively played over the holidays and stays exactly the same, with A-Trak and Todd Terry’s house music truth of “DJ’s Gotta Dance More” staying on top.  There’s nothing to challenge it immediately so it will likely be up top two weeks from now as well.

Jessie Ware’s “Overtime” and Hellberg & Leona Lewis’ “Headlights” each reach new peaks of #6 and #7 respectively.  L.A.’s Mahalo gets his 4th Top 10 entry paired with producer Le:Blanc for “In My Arms” (13-8).  The other new entry is the fastest riser on the chart, “God Damnit” by Illenium featuring the song’s writer, Call Me Karizma on vocals.  It climbs 15-9.  The song gives Illenium concurrent songs in the Top 10 (at #4 with the PatrickReza remix of “Crawl Outta Love”), and it matches the peak of Karizma’s previous Top 10 entry “u suck” from 2016.

A lot of songs get caught with small moves in a tight area of the chart that will likely loosen up in two weeks.  “Play”, the infectious new song by Jax Jones and Years & Years, moves up 20-15.  As “This Feeling” peaks at #8, “Siren” by The Chainsmokers and Aazar climbs 23-18.  Steve Void’s “Closure”, featuring a winning vocal by Andy Marsh, rises 24-19.  The rest of last week’s debuts make smaller moves:  “Flying Away” by NYC-based singer/songwriter Ryan Gibeau moves 25-22, and right behind it is the rollicking new song by The Him called “Look At Us Now”, up 26-23.  Check out the duo’s even more recent release, “Unstoppable”, below.  Molly Moore’s heartfelt “Be Here Now” rises 29-25.

Two debuts grace the chart by new performers.  Australia’s Sam Bluer has a catchy and danceable winner with “Bite My Tongue” at #27, which has a Troye Sivan “My My My!” vibe about it (they just happen to be label mates too) and is an even better follow up to last year’s fine “Body High”.  And there’s another Puth about to find his way onto your playlists.  Younger brother Stephen has a grittier, sparse sound with, guitar-spiced 60’s flavoured production on “Sexual Vibe” at #28.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here!  Click on the hyperlink on the song titles to hear the songs or watch the videos!

Listen to the BILLCS Top 30 Songs on Spotify! Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify: BILLCS Top 30 Songs

Check out and ‘like’ the BILLCS Music Projects Facebook page 🙂

“Take Me Away” by UK producer @MaffBoothroyd is a riveting bass thumper with lots of classic house inspiration

MAFF BOOTHROYD, “Take Me Away”

Maff Boothroyd is known in the UK as a club and event promoter, as well as a producer and DJ.  And while his previous music has also found enough traction from some Asian audiences, it’s a diverse song like “Take Me Away” that could open doors in other major markets.  It’s a riveting bass thumper that is set in motion from its first note, and doesn’t let up.  No hidden agendas here, “Take Me Away” is a bona fide club jam that will add sizzle in the momentum of a deep house set.  You can hear many familiar classic house influences particularly from the 90’s which give the arrangement a lot of welcome warmth.  Don’t be surprised to hear “Take Me Away” creep into sets throughout festival season.

maffboothroyd

Published in: on January 5, 2019 at 10:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“The Wall” is tough, stirring alt.electro from @PatrickReza

PATRICKREZA, “The Wall”

I’m thoroughly enjoying the evolution of L.A. producer PatrickReza’s alt.electro sound with his originals.  While “Tip Toe” was a less than 2 minute taste, “The Wall” is much more fleshed out and personal.  Heavy on the beats and electric guitar, the arrangement has a psychedelic quality which intensifies the emotion.  And by the end, you’re certainly wondering where the protagonist is heading after being torn apart by a relationship.  So no, this one isn’t really for the dance floor, but those interested in progressive rock-oriented electronic music with lots of retro vibes will certainly have a blast with it.

Published in: on January 5, 2019 at 10:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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