Contemporary makeover: “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” by @Saxity featuring Victor Perry @perksofbeingvic

SAXITY featuring VICTOR PERRY, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” (free DL)

Collaborations are often amazing as they can bring out the best in both talents.  And two that I didn’t know before 2016 dazzle with their updating of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”.  Germany’s Saxity of course has had many original, cover, and remix zingers this year including the most recent “Brothers”.  And Georgia’s Victor Perry graces us with his beautiful voice again just after his gorgeous cover of Everything But The Girl’s “Missing”.  Together, their rendition of this classic is the perfect holiday song to set the tone for your party and get people into a great mood.  It’s an uptempo version packaged with everything you might want – guitar, sax, rhythm and assured vocal – how can you go wrong?  You can’t – go and download it for free at the link above🙂

“#Bomber!” by @DJMirkoB and #BeatmartHz is an epic #Italohouse blast

DJ MIRKO B & BEATMARTHZ, “#Bomber!”

Italy’s DJ Mirko B is on a roll with massive-sounding progressive Italohouse records that have a touch of 90’s flavour to them, such as his recent collaboration with Alexandrius on “Balmung”.  “#Bomber!” pairs him up this time with another fellow Italian, BeatmartHz, in this release for Digital Complex, and come that critical time in the evening when a DJ wants everyone on the dance floor, “#Bomber!” is one of those songs that will fill it – sports teams looking for theme music should also take note!  It’s simply sheer epic fun – don’t think, just let loose.  You can pick up “#Bomber!” on Beatport.

Published in: on December 6, 2016 at 12:10 am  Leave a Comment  
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Edgy and bold, check out “Tail Lights” by Australia’s @WasteLandmusic featuring #MelinaCortez

WASTELAND featuring MELINA CORTEZ, “Tail Lights”

We in the rest of the world often forget how much Australian performers continue to contribute to the dance music scene, witness the huge success of Flume in 2016.  With an accessible yet edgy and bold sound, WasteLand is another new Aussie name to know, with support already from BBC Radio.  “Tail Lights” has all of the right traits to rattle you – sharp trap beats, sharp effects, and a resonating vocal by American singer Melina Cortez. It’s also off to a great start debuting on the ARIA club chart. WasteLand has no formula here, just absorbing pieces of the best of the best and concocting his own sound.  There’s also an intriguing video for “Tail Lights” shot in Perth’s Murray Street Mall, in one take guerrilla-style starring Aussie drag queen Scarlet Adams, which you can watch below.

With UK duo @YESBABEZ ! it’s all about the vocals with fun Bluegrass-flavoured “Round Around”

YES BABEZ!, “Round Around”

You first encountered UK duo Lily and Mick, aka YES BABEZ!, in these blog pages in June with their smile-worthy doo wop-meets-Scandinavian-styled electronica in “Madame Beaujolais”.  The pair returns with the even more decidedly different crowd-pleaser “Round Around”, and hey if Avicii and others can add Country elements to dance music, then YES BABEZ! can flirt with Bluegrass-flavoured indie pop.  The showcase here again is on the effortless vocals, which are imperfectly unpolished and totally suited to the raw Bluegrass and Country tones of “Round Around”.  It’s a brisk 3:25 blast that will win you over like a crisp breeze of morning air.  Check it out at the above link.

Published in: on December 6, 2016 at 12:09 am  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #497 – November 28, 2016

Only three more charts until 2016 is over, and some favourites will depart in the next few weeks, making room for a lot of new music that’s been waiting patiently to get into the higher reaches of my chart.  As a result, there are only two debuts this week, but a changeover at the top…

The New Number One

  • The power of a fantastic melody and amazing production is what gives The Weeknd his first #1 on this chart with “Starboy”, featuring Daft Punk, who also get their first #1, after having three previous Top 10 entries (“One More Time” in 2001; “Stronger” with Kanye West in 2007, and “Get Lucky” in 2013).  It’s so great seeing someone from my neck of the woods – Abel grew up near my neighbourhood in Scarborough, Ontario (east Toronto) – knock it out of the park and I look forward to hearing the entire album.  “False Alarm” (below) also moves up 27-21.  And part of what has helped the appeal of “Starboy” for me is the cover also below by producer/remixer Koni featuring vocalist Johannes Weber, the best one I’ve heard to date (and a free download).  “Starboy” replaces Gramatik & Leo Napier’s “Native Son Prequel” (Jenaux remix) after three appearances at the top (now down to #4), which will depart the chart after the maximum 10 appearances.

The Top 10

  • Elephante’s “Plans”, featuring Brandyn Burnette, advances to #2, one of the top songs from the I Am The Elephante EP.  Brandyn also figures prominently in the Top 10 with his gal Molly Moore at #6 with “Just A Dream” (below) and at #7 in a Sean Turk remix of his own “Closer”.
  • “High” (Young Bombs remix) by Norway’s Jesper Jenset remains at a strong #3, and has been followed up by his great new single “Lies”, which I wrote about recently.
  • “In My Head” by Steve James featuring vocal duo RKCB, continues to move up 6-5.  Check out the recently released remix with Australia’s Joe Mason below, which is a free download🙂
  • “Luminary” by NYC trio Liquid Diet from their Double Life album (below) grabs #8 on the new chart, while Rihanna’s retro-flavoured “Love On The Brain” advances to #9, and Bright Light Bright Light’s disco-tastic “I Only Want To Please You” (featuring Scissor Sisters’ Ana Matronic) climbs to #10.

Movin’ On Up

While a continuing log-jam below the Top 10 results in new peaks by songs by Fabian Luttenberger, Satchmode, Cole Plante, and Stefan Alexander, most of the bigger moves are from our debuts two weeks ago (such as the aforementioned “False Alarm” by The Weeknd).

  • “Right Here Right Now” is a fun EDM track with a cool narration by Halifax native Famba, which rises 20-16.
  • “D E E P in NY” by Bobby Nourmand featuring DOC & Goodmorning is Bobby’s hip hop reinvention of his infectious instrumental “D E E P”, which advances 22-17.  It recently received release on The Magician’s Potion label🙂

  • The fastest riser on the chart is “Burn” by Pet Shop Boys from their album Super, musically a throwback to their 1987 hit “It’s A Sin”.  It climbs 26-18.
  • Despite its title, “The Thirst” by Eric Sharp featuring vocalist Kenny Zhao is a more seductive and memorable house track rather than an aggressive one.  It moves up 25-20.
  • NYC singer/songwriter Ayer mixes emotional pop with lighter EDM for “My Hands” which moves up 28-22.

Two Debuts

  • “Brothers” by German producers/DJs/musicians Saxity and featuring Norwegian vocalist Strøm arrives at #25.  It’s a charming, warm song that I wrote about a while back, and I was the one who instigated the connection between the Saxity lads and the songwriters, which led to the birth of “Brothers”🙂
  • I wrote about “All The Way” by Sweden’s Hellberg late in the summer, but it has stuck with me so much that I had to add it to the chart.  It’s a potent feel-good EDM instrumental from this talented producer who brought us “Synchronize” and “Care For Me” (with Toronto’s Dzeko & Torres) earlier this year.  “All The Way” bounces on to the chart at #26.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here, and be sure to click on the photos to hear all of the songs.

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

Listen for me with my Pick of the Week at 2:20/6:20/10:20 AM/PM EST on http://www.planetradio.ca most days Monday through Sunday, and my flashbacks to a Toronto Top 10 of yesteryear Tuesdays at 9pm EST! :)

 

“Say Yes” brings joy to the dance floor by @Moranmusic & @divaJasonWalker

TONY MORAN featuring JASON WALKER, “Say Yes”

You’d be hard pressed to find someone in the dance community who wouldn’t say that “So Happy” by Tony Moran featuring Jason Walker isn’t one of their favourite songs of 2016.  Like with that song, a throwback to festive disco/dance of yesteryear, the pair are back to bring joy to the dance floor with “Say Yes”, which is currently gracing the Billboard Club Play chart and headed for the top.  The video provides all kinds of fashionable razzle dazzle as Jason cavorts in the subway and in downtown Manhattan with golden balloons in tow.  “Say Yes” is one of those songs where you just need to let go and forget about everything for less than four minutes, and the result, like with “So Happy”, will be a big smile on your face.  

Published in: on November 26, 2016 at 10:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Guilty” by @iamChrisJamison is full of catchy R&B-influenced bounce

CHRIS JAMISON, “Guilty”

With his easy-going, effortless R&B-influenced style, it’s easy to see why Pittsburgh’s 22 year old Chris Jamison has been a fan favourite from TV’s The Voice (Season 7, finishing third).  “Guilty” is culled from his independent self-titled EP, and it’s got a recognizable bass-filled bounce to carry it along with Chris’ seamless vocal.  The song deserves a better video treatment but nonetheless, you could dress his voice up in glitz and synths all you want, and it still suits the singer’s no frills approach.  If you want to have Chris sing on The Voice again soon, then you can vote for him right here.  Watch the video for “Guilty” above.

Published in: on November 26, 2016 at 10:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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More bass please: @AnggerDimas & @itsApocalypto give us “Out My Mind” featuring Louise LaBelle @LaBellemusic

ANGGER DIMAS & APOCALYPTO featuring LOUISE LABELLE, “Out My Mind”

“Out My Mind” is indeed a cross-continental collaboration by the rising Indonesian DJ/producer Angger Dimas and Australia’s Apocalypto featuring powerhouse vox by British singer Louise LaBelle.  “Out My Mind” is the best of two EDM worlds – a riveting ear-catching singalong in a dirty, progressive, futuristic mix full of bass to slay you in your boots on the dance floor.  It doesn’t let up with intents on leaving you breathless in a nasty kind of way😛  Check it out above; it’s culled from the four song EP Angger Dimas & Friends.

“Fight” is an energetic, promising new song by Andy Suzuki @andtheMethod (@AndyxSuzuki and @Kozza)

ANDY SUZUKI & THE METHOD, “Fight”

Can it be four or five years now since I first heard “Fairytale” by NYC’s Andy Suzuki & The Method?  Riding high on devout fandom from the Malaysian country of Brunei, the duo of singer/songwriter/guitarist Andy Suzuki and songwriter/percussionist Kozza Babumba (grandon of Grammy-winning Nigerian drummer Babatunde Olatunji) returned to their city, playing club gigs around the USA to support their EP Ghost Stories.  Come 2014 they issued a top notch mix of country, folk, rock, and pop in their album Born Out Of Mischief, and I caught the hella-nice pair performing in NYC on one of my visits.  Up next, after touring on rock music cruises as well as with Joshua Radin, Marc Broussard, Amanda Palmer, and others, is a brand new album in early ’17 called The Glass Hour.  In advance of the album we have post-USA election encouragement with “Fight”, sure to be a crowd-pleaser.  I particularly enjoy the arrangement, which sends the bass in and out of the mix to focus on the high end of the song.  This is definitely not the diverse kind of rock music you’ll hear on the radio, but it has everything it needs to attract more new fans, and maybe even get them back to Brunei🙂  Check out “Fight” at the link above. 

Published in: on November 26, 2016 at 10:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Revel in the epic heartbreaker “Windswept” by @runCryWolf

CRYWOLF, “Windswept”

After the complex but captivating “Quantum Immortality” comes “Windswept” by California EDM performer Crywolf (aka Justin Phillips).  It’s an epic heartbreaker that returns to the same ground set by “Slow Burn” earlier this year.  Both songs are connected by stories of relationships that went so sour that they resulted in being emotionally trapped.  “Windswept” is full of torrents of ups and downs that would be perfectly suited to be acted out in front of us on stage, much in the way that Jim Steinman wrote for rocker Meat Loaf.  The quiet moments of anguish will have you tearing up, while the majestic rebounds will have you leading the charge to abandon all thoughts of that relationship once and for all, but by then there is nothing left but the existential question asked at the end.  Crywolf’s “Windswept” is powerful stuff, long at 6:27 but worth every second at the link above.

Published in: on November 22, 2016 at 9:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
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