England’s @Barbudoband spin disco-flavoured pop in “Sunshine”

 

BARBUDO, “Sunshine”

British duo Barbudo are making some pleasing inroads from when I first heard them last year with their new single “Sunshine”. Barbudo are brothers Ben and Harry Stanworth, who hail from the south of England. Although the production is fairly basic, sometimes more is less when it suits the moment and the song. Taking their cue from the pandemic and spinning that on its head, the lads came up with “Sunshine” as part of the musical antidotes we’re all hearing now as much of the world transitions out of the pandemic. It doesn’t say anything new, but the presentation is alternately chill and snappy, full of 80’s sounding British-European jazzy disco flavours that help turn it into a bit of a singalong. Although it’s too long for what it has to say, “Sunshine” is made up of all the right stuff to turn listeners’ heads.

Published in: on September 2, 2021 at 9:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Nonchalant” is the latest deep house treat by @DuckSauceNYC featuring a fun, prominent sample from the 80’s

DUCK SAUCE, “Nonchalant”

After a long hiatus, A-Trak and Armand Van Helden reunited on record as Duck Sauce last year with two delightfully quirky singles in “Captain Duck” (which prominently sampled Captain Sensible’s “Wot”) and “Mesmerize” (which has one of the strangest animated videos).  “Nonchalant” isn’t as much of a novelty as either “Barbra Streisand” or “Captain Duck”, as it builds an extremely catchy, soulful vocal chorus around a retro-sounding Latin melody that is lifted from British group Modern Romance’s 1981 disco/dance release “Queen of The Rapping Scene (Nothing Ever Goes The Way You Planned)”, a minor but memorable dance record (I still am proud to have my original 12″ import of it!!).  That makes it a sure dance floor draw, with the slick-sounding sample in direct contrast to the fierce vocal. “Nonchalant” is a pretty irresistible, highly creative slice of fun.  You can peruse the ‘duck takeover’ in the odd video above, or check out the track below. Quack!

Get down to Canadian dance producers Boogie Hill Faders @boogie_hill with “The Spot”

BOOGIE HILL FADERS, “The Spot”

Veteran Canadian producers Boogie Hill Faders are off on a 70’s disco tip with their latest single “The Spot”, which is from their forthcoming debut album The Formula.  They also operate separately as Nitro and Big D and they seem to come from the same place musically as fellow Canadians A-Trak and Chromeo.  “The Spot” is a tight production, guaranteed to make you groove, and if it samples a song or two of the past then it’s well-disguised.  Otherwise its feel-good rhythm is totally infectious, and, as clubs come back to life, “The Spot” is one to spin in a set to help get the crowd moving.

Published in: on August 15, 2021 at 9:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Canadian dance producer @RyShepherdmusic has your end of summer dance anthem with “All The Way Down” with Black Gatsby @BLKGATZ

RYAN SHEPHERD and BLACK GATSBY, “All The Way Down”

Who better to offer up a smashing end of summer dance anthem with a lot of house-meets-disco flourishes than Canadian producer Ryan Shepherd?  He does so in tandem with L.A.-based pop/R&B singer/songwriter Black Gatsby, who has recorded with Zed’s Dead and Chris Lake among others.  “All The Way Down” follows up Ryan’s recent success with “Hello Sunday”, a grower which was given new life through online Sunday performances by Ryan during the pandemic.  “All The Way Down” is about being your best ‘you’ and celebrating that in style.  It’s an obvious dance floor filler that will have fists pumping and people cheering on as we begin to take back our lives for some much needed fun times.

Ryan plays a “Hello Sunday Day Party” at Toronto’s Love Child Social House from 4 to 9 pm on Sunday August 29

Published in: on August 11, 2021 at 10:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Dance diva and Broadway star @MOYAangela collaborates again with UK/Canadian producers @realFutureKings on “Peace”

MOYA x FUTURE KINGS, “Peace”

“Peace” is a celebratory anthem for everything that is good in the world, that I’m counting on the dance community to embrace.  Reteaming for this banger are dance diva and Broadway star MOYA and UK/Canadian producers Future Kings, who kicked off 2021 with the memorable “Laser Beams” with Moguai for Spinnin’.  The only other belters to come along this decade that I can think of who hold their own with MOYA’s fierce voice are fellow Broadway star LaChanze (from “The Donna Summer Musical”) and Glee’s Alex Newell (currently blowing the house down with “The Feels” with Cash Cash).  “Peace” is bouncy and jubilant and bubbling with old school disco flavours, with everything that you need in a magnificent summer anthem.

Published in: on July 4, 2021 at 9:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Producer @YungBae pairs up with rapper @Channel_Tres for disco and hip hop flavoured electronica of “Wonder”

YUNG BAE and CHANNEL TRES, “Wonder”

Yung Bae’s recent single with UPSAHL called “Woman On The Moon” had its lens on alternative flavoured pop, and his latest release “Wonder” couldn’t be anything more different.  This time with Compton rapper Channel Tres taking the vocal reins, the Portland, Oregon native has opted for a semi-sung hip hop song that charges right in with disco lights and mirror ball ablaze! I could be wrong but I think there is a sample in there too that helps drive the song with its orchestral melody.  “Wonder” is very well crafted, with interesting lyrics and vocal that don’t come off too heavy.  I guess the best thing to bear in mind with the music of Yung Bae is to expect the unexpected and ride those cool grooves.

Published in: on June 18, 2021 at 11:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #607 – February 15/21

Change is afoot at the top of the chart, as new songs make inroads, and recent favourites start to run their course.  My chart is totally based on my opinion, there is no science or method to the chart – what I currently enjoy most is at the top, and I’ve been pleased to share my list with you online for 23 years.  The only rule I’ve had in place is that songs drop off after 10 appearances (20 weeks), to help keep the chart fresh, unless the song starts climbing back upward, which has only happened once (Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep” managed 11 appearances and peaked at #2).

Swedish production duo NOTD get their first #1 with vocalist Catello with “Nobody”, which also recently topped the US dance airplay charts for 5 weeks.  Also contributing to the songwriting were Sandro Cavazzo, noted for his work with Avicii, and Victor Thell of Smith & Thell.  NOTD is the first Swedish act to top my chart in over 8 years, since Swedish House Mafia did it in 2012 with “Don’t You Worry Child”!

Swiftly moving up to second place is “Like Gold” by Loud Luxury & Frank Walker featuring vocalist/co-writer Stephen Puth.  Loud Luxury have two #1’s to date on my chart – their rework of Craig David’s “Fill Me In” with Ryan Shepherd, and “Show Me” with fellow Canadian group Nikki’s Wives, while their greatest overall success, “Body” (featuring brando) also got to #2. Will “Like Gold” become their third #1?

Charging into the Top 5 is Japanese-British sensation Rina Sawayama with the Lady Gaga-inspired “Lucid”, moving up 9-4.  Will “Lucid” become her first chart topper?

UK dance legends Faithless obtain their first Top 10 on my chart just shy of 22 years, since “God Is A DJ” (which bowed on this chart in March 1999), with “Synthesizer”, featuring vocalist Nathan Ball, which climbs 11-7.  It’s from their recently released album All Blessed.

Any of the songs ranking 11-14 could find their way into the Top 10 in two weeks.

Rising 14-11 is the dark and mysterious “Sinnerman” (above) by veteran UK producer Hot Since 82 featuring singer/songwriter Ed Graves, from the album Recovery.  The joy of finding synergy and harmony with someone is reflected in “All About You” (also above) by The Knocks and Foster The People, which moves up 15-12.  The dazzling collaboration of Illenium, Toronto’s Dabin, and fellow Canadian Lights is hard at work in “Hearts On Fire” (below), which climbs 18-14.  But the Fastest Riser on the chart belongs to UK producer Bobby Harvey with fellow UK vocalist Danny Dearden for the intense and emotional deep house track “Tell Me” (also below), which soars 21-13.

Out of the songs that debuted two weeks ago, two move up seven places on the chart.  Mahalo’s US dance hit “Not Watching Anymore” (above) rises 28-21, while SoCal electronic dance producer Jay Bird’s personal best to date called “Escape” (featuring Chrxstal Sarah, below) climbs 30-23.

The first of four debuts belongs to Victor Perry, in collaboration with German producers Cal1 and l’essay for the soft and lovely “Stories”, which arrives at #27.  Victor is just finishing off a long run on the chart with “Fantasy” (#25), which peaked at #3.  “Stories” is also a very welcome follow up to last year’s “What I Deserve”, which got to #2 behind Joel Corry & MNEK’s “Head & Heart”.

Next up at #28 is the quirky delight “Space Melody” by Germany’s VIZE and Sweden’s Alan Walker, partnering this time with fellow producer Edward Artemyev and vocalist Leony.  VIZE reached #2 last year with the infectious “Never Let Me Down”, while Alan Walker gets his third appearance on the chart, one of which of course was “Faded”, which peaked at #3.

Also making his third appearance on the chart is NYC indie pop-dance-soul singer/songwriter Reigen with the dark and dreamy “blue” at #29.  Both of Reigen’s other songs have reached the Top 10, with “Come Back To Me” climbing to #2 and his cover of The Cranberries’ “Dreams” peaking at #10.

Making his debut on the chart is Toronto R&B/pop singer/dancer D!XON with “Arms Around Me” at #30.  Be sure to check out its diverse and well-choreographed video above, which totally suits the bold and sexy vibe of the song.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the online radio station The New Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more 🙂  You can start by joining Radio GTA’s new interactive Facebook group too!!

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 🙂

 

 

 

Is 90’s house music in comeback mode? Are new releases by @InnerCitydet & @IdrisElba @officialTenCity @Ritontime and @ChrisLake, @ArmandvanHelden and @ArthurhBaker starting a welcome trend?

IDRIS ELBA & INNER CITY and STEFFANIE CHRISTI’AN, “No More Looking Back”

RITON & NIGHTCRAWLERS and MUFASA & HYPEMAN, “Friday” (Dopamine re-edit)

TEN CITY, “Be Free” (Emmaculate and Shannon Chambers mix)

CHRIS LAKE & ARMAND VAN HELDEN and ARTHUR BAKER & VICTOR SIMONELLI, “The Answer”

Are we in store for a big 90’s House Music Party that we don’t quite know about yet?  All signs are pointing to a lot of fun ahead if these four new songs and even the resurgence of Crystal Waters’ classic “100% Pure Love” in recent weeks on RuPaul’s Drag Race are any indication.  So enjoy this digression from my usual blog posts!

Kevin Saunderson and his revamped Inner City project team up again with Idris Elba for “No More Looking Back” in follow up to the Inner City album release We All Move Together.  Using the stellar vocals of Steffanie Christi’an once again, “No More Looking Back” is an amazing marriage of classic house and disco styles with a dash of early 70’s soul meshed with today’s technology and sounds.  Once clubs are back, if they aren’t blasting this one, then they are missing out big time.

“Friday” by veteran British producer Riton reinvents The Nightcrawlers’ smash “Push The Feeling On” as a new theme for the weekend, with fun interjections from Mufasa and Hypeman, making it an easy sell to today’s audiences while still soaking in its 90’s house roots.  Dance music radio is all over it in the US and deservedly so.

Ten City, the always dynamic duo of Marshall Jefferson and Byron Stingily, returns for the first time in 25 years with “Be Free”.  Not to sidestep Byron’s own solo successes, it’s like the pair parachuted in right out of the 90’s and comfortably into today’s slicker sounds to capture exactly what they were best at with sophisticated classics like “That’s The Way Love Is” and “My Piece Of Heaven”.  “Be Free” is breezy, soulful fun that should not be missed by house music fans.

Like the Inner City track, “The Answer” by Chris Lake and Armand Van Helden with Arthur Baker and Victor Simonelli emphasizes a soulful early 70’s-inspired vocal over 90’s house-flavoured rhythms.  Longtime club veteran Chris, surprisingly, is the novice producer, if you will, among the other three heavy hitters, and this collaboration just flows so beautifully. There’s just so much to enjoy about this song and it’s no wonder that it’s bubbling at US dance radio.

I think there will be a lot of happy house music lovers and club DJ’s if these tastes of 90’s house develop into more of a trend.  I also hope these releases serve as inspiration for producers looking for a creative jumping off point in dance music!

Check out “Sugar”, the catchy, teasing pop/dance release from Dance Yourself Clean @DYCtonight and Michael Medrano @stachepapi

DANCE YOURSELF CLEAN x MICHAEL MEDRANO, “Sugar”

“Sugar” sparkles like all of the glitz and glamour we imagine when we think of the warm fantasyland that is Los Angeles.  It’s a fun, teasing pop confection brought to you by Seattle producers Dance Yourself Clean and SoCal vocalist/songwriter Michael Medrano.  We’ve heard Michael move from style to style pretty effortlessly over the past few years, and “Sugar” is a winner that would be played in clubs if they were open. The production draws from 70’s disco flavours and Michael’s falsetto gives it a huge lift. 

Published in: on January 29, 2021 at 10:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #603, December 21/20

Many of us are having to make the most of what’s going on in our municipalities.  I can’t be more grateful that we have an overabundance of music to keep us company.  I can’t imagine my life without it.  There’s a lot of activity brewing in the new chart, with two additions joining in all the activity.  I wish everyone a safe, restful and happy holiday and a Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it with me.

Closing out the year at the top is “Diamonds” by Sam Smith from their excellent third album Love Goes.  Even the best singers have to admit that Sam’s performance here is pretty unbeatable.  I think the public-at-large associates Sam with sad songs, which they also sing so well, and which make up most of the album.

Soaring from 9-2, in a tie as the Fastest Mover on the chart, is “Give It Back”, a new dancefloor banger that requires your attention!  It’s brought to you by The Disco Fries and Giiants with vocals by Allison Park.  It’s the highest that The Disco Fries and Giiants have reached on the chart, though two thirds of Giiants reached #1 three times as DATABOY in 2011-13.

Cover songs rarely appear on this chart, and I must say one by The Blue Nile is a great choice by producers Matt Mancid and Color Theory.  It’s “Tinseltown In The Rain”, which originally appeared on The Blue Nile’s 1984 album A Walk Across The Rooftops.  The “Big Rhythm” mix climbs 5-3, with vocals by Color Theory (Brian Hazard).

Climbing 7-4 is “Fantasy” by the dynamic collaboration of Saxity, Victor Perry and Robbie Rosen.  It’s Saxity’s second Top 5 entry following #3 “Brothers”, and Victor’s fourth, most recently reaching #2 with “What I Deserve”.

Tying for the Fastest Riser is another danceable favourite, “Nobody” by Sweden’s NOTD with vocals by Catello, rising 14-7.  “Nobody” also reached #1 this week on Mediabase’s national dance airplay chart.

Toronto’s Francesco Yates obtains his third Top 10 on this chart with the steamy “Late Night Love” (13-9) from his EP Bad Decisions.  It’s been amazing to hear his growth as an artist on this enjoyable EP.

“Good At Goodbyes” by Bright Light Bright Light and Erasure’s Andy Bell closes in on the Top 10 as this multi-faceted track from the Fun City album moves up 18-12.

The fun and energetic “Too Hot To Touch” by Toronto’s Crash Adams rises 16-13 and gives you another reason to check out their ‘in office’ video.

L.A. quintet Why Don’t We have a new album coming in January called The Good Times & The Bad Ones, which will include their current rollicking pop hit “Fallin’ (Adrenaline)”, which moves up 21-16.  The band also made available a hologram of sorts of themselves on Snapchat, where you can place them virtually in your room with you.

I’m fond of the messaging in “Fake” by Lauv and Conan Gray as much as I am of its cool music track and its colourful video.  It climbs 25-19.

The highest debut belongs to Japanese-British singer/songwriter Rina Sawayama with her first entry, “Lucid” at #26.  This Lady Gaga influenced track should be her big breakthrough.  It’s the lead track from her recent album called Sawayama.

The second entry is the latest collaboration between NYC producers The Knocks and rock group Foster The People with “All About You” at #28.  It’s The Knocks’ 8th song to appear on this chart (they reached #1 in 2016 with “Kiss The Sky” with Wyclef Jean), and it’s Foster The People’s fourth but first since 2012.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the online radio station The New Radio GTA. You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2021 🙂  You can start by joining Radio GTA’s new interactive Facebook group too!!

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 🙂

Want to see what I’ve been listening to and charting for the past 22 years?  Rummage through the BILLCS Top 30 Archive (where you can click on the link within) when you have a chance!!