In Full Effect For The Fall: This Beat Is… @Poptronik ! Volume Two

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THIS BEAT IS… POPTRONIK! VOLUME TWO (Various Artists)

In April 2012, upon release of Volume One of This Beat Is… Poptronik!, I got so excited about the amazing songs within that I said it reinvented and created a template for dance compilations to come.  True to that, Raj Rudolph of EQ Music Blog has once again put together (and this time released independently) an extremely entertaining selection of electronica, Europop, and danceable pop/rock that beckons immediate response.

I was only familiar with six of the songs within which all saw previous release.

  • It’s quite a coup for a song by the abundantly talented FrankMusik to be included – even more special when it’s my favourite from his Between album, “Map”, which got to #1 on my chart.
  • Also we have recent charters Parralox featuring Ryan Adamés (both of whom Raj manages) with their grower of a cover of “Silent Morning”, and Adam Tyler’s sinewy “Fade Into The Light”.
  • Even Mr. Cherry Cherry Boom Boom himself joins in with his Billboard Dance Club Play hit “One and Only” in the bouncy Dave Aude remix.

Of the songs I didn’t know, I have some new faves and others to earmark for multiple listens:

  • You know the name Jennifer Paige, the American singer responsible for the Top 5 1998 hit “Crush” and a dance club hit the next year, “Always You”.  A few years back she formed a band with singer/songwriter/producer Coury Palermo called The Fury.  They have since renamed themselves Paige & Palermo and their song “Belong”, a midtempo pop/dance number, is one of the key attractions on Poptronik!
  • LA singer Kaden James just toppled Pet Shop Boys from #1 on my chart with “Black Light”.  Another song from the same songwriting team is included here, the propulsive and thought-provoking “Fuel For The Machine”.
  • Italy’s Osvaldo Supino just arrived on my chart with “Ma Radio”, and from the same folks we have some lovely and quietly bold danceable pop in the form of “I Have A Name”.
  • “Super DJ” by Smith & Thell, “Cut The Cord” by Aron Scott featuring Glorious Inc., and the titular “This Beat Is Poptronik” by Marc Lime & K. Bastian featuring Little Neve White (up top) could all score in dance clubs because of outstanding vocals and irresistible choruses.
  • A comp that includes songs by Carmen Electra and ex-Pussycat Doll Jessica Sutta??  Save any prospective shudders, these are terrific, sexy choices to inject into the mix with “I Like It Loud” and “Again” (below) respectively.  Very pleasantly surprised at these!
  • Dutch singer Tao Hypah brought the unforgettable “Celeb” to the Volume One party last year, and this year “Night To Remember” helps crank it up.
  • Fans of Dangerous Muse may wish to check out their submission called “I Can’t Help It” among a lot of other really strong songs.
  • Finally, one song that is a ‘sleeper’ that I find particularly noteworthy in a sunny California highway cruising kind of way (even before you watch the video) is “I  Remember” by Nick Pes.  Breezy, wistful dance pop as we head into Autumn.

All in all, 24 songs to keep your summer parties going well into … beyond!  You can’t go wrong with This Beat Is…Poptronik Volume Two.  To throw back to those good ol’ disco days, it just makes you want more, more, more, so just dance, dance, dance 🙂  Ain’t nuthin’ wrong with that!! 🙂

BILLCS Top 30 #404 – May 6/13 – Mapping His Way to the Top Again!

This edition of my personal chart is full of ups and downs with only a handful of songs staying static.

That of course means a new #1 song.  It’s very fitting that FrankMusik’s “Map” should grab the top spot (his third time, following “The Fear Inside” and “No ID”) with the imminent arrival of his album Between, and another of acoustic songs, Between Us.  In a case of great timing, Vince posted his acoustic version of “Map” (below) on Soundcloud last night, and it’s a lot more raw and cutting (and I mean, ouch!) than the original version.  The frenetic “Captain” also climbs to #4, and new single and video “Chasing Shadows” is on deck.  There’s so much happening with FrankMusik that it seems absolutely crazy, but I’m happy to be along for the ride 🙂

You can view the full Top 30 using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right hereYou can hear all of the songs on the chart or watch their videos by clicking on the pics on the chart page.  Any free downloads that are identified are sanctioned by the performer.  There’s always a tiny place at the bottom of the blog post with tags and the statement “Leave A Comment” – please feel free to do so :)

This means that “Lifted by Kwik Fiks & Bongiovanni surrenders to second place after 3 charts (6 weeks) at #1.  Gentlemen Hall’s “Sail Into The Sun” holds steady at #3 – I hear some radio stations are now playing it, probably wise since it’s been all over TV for the last two months!  I can’t wait to hear more new music from the Boston sextet.  Willy Moon’s highly contagious “My Girl” (video below) soars to #5, and thank goodness it’s available as a single here since Universal Canada has not got around to releasing the Here’s Willy Moon album…

The Top 10 got turned inside out, with James William’s “Lay Your Love On Me” and “The Way” by Ariana Grande & Mac Miller each advancing one position.  They had to contend with the soon-to-be unstoppable force that is Travis Garland, whose stunning and direct blue-eyed soul ballad “Blue Electric Roses” is the fastest riser again, this time vaulting 18 to 6.  And right behind is “Your Touch”, whose song and groove are embedded in my head now, courtesy of Blake Lewis, climbing 16-7.  Then there’s also the irresistible dance fest that is “Outta My Mind” by young Dutch singer Matt Blue (video below), already advancing to #10 in its second appearance.

Also on the rise and likely headed for the Top 10 are “Pompeii” by UK sensations Bastille, Semi-Precious Weapons’ “Aviation High”, “One Night” by current travelling man Matthew Koma, “Heart Attack” by Demi Lovato (loving the remixes, video and remix below), plus huge movers “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk (27-16), “This Is What It Feels Like” by Armin van Buuren & Trevor Guthrie (25-18) which has become a massive radio hit in Canada, and the thoughtful ode about being stuck in a “9 2 5” (28-20) world by the new R&B singer with the amazing voice, Jarell Perry.

While “On My Way” by Charlie Brown and “Kiss My Lipstick Off” by Georgia Haege may seem stuck below #20, they will still likely move up in two weeks and attempt to hang around amid fierce competition, which includes three new entries, about which I’ve already written.

I love how DJ/producers like Eli Escobar are re-inventing Disco in the NuDisco format, deep house music mixed with old school disco, techno and trance at times.  His collaboration with Jessica 6’s Nomi Ruiz is a stunner, and “Somebody To Love Me” arrives at #23.  It appears on Eli’s EP Feel It.

Like Eli Escobar and Nomi Ruiz, the guys (Josh Ocean and Eric “Doc” Mendelsohn) who comprise NYC duo Ghost Beach seem to mesh the past with the present with ease.  To think they were in town a couple of weeks ago, when I had just found out about the Penguin Prison remix of “Too Young”, which bows at #25.  What makes this record are the vocals which remind me of late 70’s Joe Jackson meeting Justin Tranter of Semi-Precious Weapons about halfway.  Listen below and pick up the remix as part of the duo’s EP Modern Tongues Remixed.

Lastly, it’s been a big week for Aussie duo Parralox and rising US singer Ryan Adamés and their wonderful team.  Parralox’s John Von Ahlen has unleashed an eye-popping animated lyric video (below) for their rendition of Noel’s seminal 1987 freestyle classic “Silent Morning”.  And as I wrote about earlier in the week, Cherrytree Records prez and Interscope Records VP Martin Kierszenbaum, aka Cherry Cherry Boom Boom, remixed the song to give it a punchier alternate identity (also below).  In either version, the song is a huge grower and I hope that dance clubs fawn all over it in the coming months.  It debuts on my chart at #26.

Remixes! Covers! Action!

My stereo and iPod Touch are currently being flooded with supurb male R&B voices and remixes, and as I mentioned in a previous blog post, I’m wondering if these are all signposts for a disco comeback?  The vibe is definitely out there and people are in such need of true feel good music.  So I have for you today some remarks on some choice remixes and cover versions (and y’all know I’m selective about the latter…).

Remixes

ARMIN VAN BUUREN featuring TREVOR GUTHRIE “This Is What It Feels Like” (W&W remix)

While this has quickly become a song that I can foresee being played way past the summer months, the W&W remix gives the song a really deep trance drop right at the two minute mark that is repeated later on.  These guys clearly know how to take an already great song and make it go boom on the dance floor.  If you’re not grooving to it, shame on you!

PARRALOX featuring RYAN ADAMES  “Silent Morning” (Cherry Cherry Boom Boom remix)

I’m actually loving this remix, and while it kind of abandons the freestyle origins of the song itself, it adds a different bunch of punches. They include Ryan’s hard hitting vocal at the beginning, as well as the influx of some crunchy rock guitar in the midst of a lot of fancy razzle dazzle that doesn’t overwhelm the song at all.  Not what you’d expect, and that’s a good thing for such a recognizable dance song done in style by Australian duo Parralox and American guy-on-the-rise Ryan, as I wrote about a while back.

FAITH EVANS “Love Like This” (Kwik Fiks Can’t 2-Step Remix)

Not sure if this garage house flavoured remix is designed to make you want to attempt the 2-step or not 😉 but Canadian producer/remix Kwik Fiks (still comfortably sitting atop my Top 30 with “Lifted”) has messed with Faith Evans’ 1998 smash by giving it a new set of grooves. What it might just do is make you forget what Fatman Scoop did to the song about 10 years ago, right?  This is the kind of inventive remixing that will keep ears on Kwik Fiks.  Free download, to boot 🙂

GHOST BEACH “Too Young” (Penguin Prison remix)

Penguin Prison (Chris Glover) is definitely on a roll, recently with a fine remix of Churchill’s “Change” and now with something much rockier, New York band Ghost Beach’s “Too Young”.  The rock basis of the song is kept along with the terrific almost punk-ish vocals amid disco synths that will send your mind into a bit of a time trip.  It’s a really playful remix for clubs to try.

VAGUE-A-BONDE “Our Love” (Camache remix)

The original version of “Our Love”, from the Minnesota-based singer’s recently released (and reviewed) EP 222 is transformed from an other-worldly synth-laden ballad into another club mix that leans heavily on a harder rock sound along with some deliberate distortion near the end.  It’s definitely got crunch that stands out from the rest in a set.

Covers

SAM SPARRO vs DAFT PUNK “Get Lucky”

The Nile Rodgers connection thing is a-happening with what is actually such a deft alternate version of the new hit featuring Pharrell Williams on vocals.  Sam’s slick voice seduces the lyrics and those disco guitar riffs that offers its own experience which some may like better than the hit version.  Official release, pretty please?

CHRIS WALLACE “I Knew You Were Trouble”

I’ve watched this video many times over the last few weeks, and Indiana-born Chris Wallace absolutely kills this Taylor Swift cover in a live House of Blues performance that really makes you want to be a fly on the club’s wall.  The success of “Remember When (Push Rewind)” on US radio has set the stage for huge things to happen for this multi-talent, and performances like this only seal the deal.

CHROMATONE  “Fine China” and “Justin Jackson”

Chromatone is hard at work on new songs for an upcoming release, and in the meantime we are being treated to some choice cover versions.  I already wrote about the version of Emeli Sande’s “My Kind Of Love”, and now we have two videos to keep us going while we’re waiting.  “Justin Jackson” is a supurb medley of Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake songs (including JT’s recent “Suit & Tie”) with a raw vocal, that is designed to be a crowd pleaser and succeeds (gotta like his British accent amid the songs too 🙂 ).   “Fine China” is transformed in an amusing video and with a really potent vocal from him that might just make you leave Chris Brown’s original in the dust.  Watch both highly entertaining videos below.