“Wow” by NYC-based producer @NeilJacksonNY and rapper @Daytonaofficial surprises with infectious fusion of hip hop and bass house

NEIL JACKSON and THE KID DAYTONA, “Wow”

While there are many performers finding an interesting path with mixes of hip hop and electronic music, there are only a few that cut their way through a lot of similar-sounding songs and create some tantalizing fresh vibes.  Such is the case with “Wow” by NYC-based producer Neil Jackson and hip hop artist The Kid Daytona, which I must admit takes a few listens to appreciate where the song is heading.  Just when you think it’s getting comfortable in a contemporary hip hop style at the start, Neil turns the song almost sideways with big bass beats and synths while The Kid Daytona’s flow gets amped up and wraps itself tight around the electronic rhythms.  By the time the song reaches just under the 2 minute mark, there is no turning back, the groove is secured, and the convincing is over.  Bass house is one sub-genre you don’t usually find locking horns with hip hop but Neil Jackson and The Kid Daytona definitely have a winning combination that will appeal to fans of both styles.

Published in: on December 6, 2019 at 11:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #575, November 25, 2019

Edition #575 is the third last chart before the end of 2019, and what a whirlwind of music it has been!  To whit, there is a new #1 and four diverse debuts from performers who have all charted previously.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog will be featured regularly on the new online radio station 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!

It’s definitely “Lights Up”, thumbs up, whatever’s up, for 25 year old Worcestershire, England-born Harry Styles as the first single from his forthcoming album Fine Line grabs #1.  His only other previous entry “Sign Of The Times” reached #7.  “Lights Up” is proving to me that Harry – controversial opinion forthcoming – has the best voice of all of the One Direction members.  His hosting and performing gig on Saturday Night Live on November 16 was excellent – the lad has comedic talent as well!  And his second single “Watermelon Sugar” is a lovely one too.  Not bad at all considering I never charted a single One Direction song! Check out both songs above.

Just in time to stay at #2 for a third appearance (6 weeks), we have a light and fun video for the OKJAMES remix of “Like Like” by UK indie electronic performer Lostchild.  This second video for the catchy song shows off the immense performing appeal of the singer as he makes the most of one lone prop (a bunch of balloons).

“Flicker” by NYC-based producers Anden climbs 9-6.  There’s an extended version of the song available which you can hear above, which also appears on their EP.

Both Ryan Shepherd and The Disco Fries acquire their latest Top 10’s with “Who’s Gonna Love U” (11-8, his third) and “Family Affair” (12-9, their second) respectively, while the Galantis-Dolly Parton-Mr. Probz collaboration of “Faith” (13-10) gets each artist their first.

For now, you can check out the lyric video for “Mad” by L.A.-based singer/songwriter Brandon Colbein, which climbs 19-14.  But an official video is in the works and is coming soon!

Sam Smith’s spot on cover of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” may not tear it up on radio but dance clubs are loving it.  “I Feel Love” rises 22-17.

The fastest riser on the chart belongs to L.A.-based Canadian singer/songwriter and multi-talent Peter Foldy with his optimistic ode to today called “Toxic World”.  It soars 27-19 and is a real grower, so best you latch onto it now!  Check out the new lyric video above with a rare appearance from the singer himself!

“Will We Talk” is also a great introduction to British alt.rocker Sam Fender from his album Hypersonic Missiles.  “Will We Talk” moves up 23-20.

The highest debut on the chart is “Shivohum”, the latest release by Austin producers Tritonal in partnership with Australian producer Henry Dark.  It bows at #21 and is a Sanskrit dance mantra for your head and feet, which will kill it at festivals this coming winter.  Remember where you read about it!  It’s Tritonal’s first chart entry since the #5 “Broken” which featured NYC producer Jenaux and the amazing Adam Lambert, from the Painting With Dreams album.

NYC-based, Slovenia-born producer Gramatik also returns to the chart at #24 with “Don’t Give Up”, featuring singer Ryan Shaw and hip hop artist ProbCause.  It’s from his album Re:Coil, PT II, and his last chart entry, “Native Son Prequel” (featuring Leo Napier) was a #1 for me in 2016, appearing on the the chart at the same time as Tritonal’s “Broken”!  It was also featured in a Jenaux remix!  How coincidental.

Florida-based singer/songwriter John.k returns to the chart with the extremely likeable “if we never met” at #27.  He last appeared two years ago with Ricky Remedy on the #8 “Gold”.  That was an independent release, and he’s now signed to Epic Records!

The final debut is by France’s RetroVision, who hustled his way onto the chart and got to #3 last year with “Get Down” and its dance-floor filling paean to “Lola’s Theme”.  This year he has another fun one for clubs called “Take Off”, which arrives 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 🙂

 

 

 

Electronic duo @itsCrystalSkies emphasize melody over beats in new EP “Constellations”

CRYSTAL SKIES, Constellations (EP)

Although it’s been in the making for about the last five years, I think 2019 will be remembered as the year when heavier dubstep/EDM started focusing heavily on melodies that immediately draw in their audience.  American electronic duo Crystal Skies (Aaron and Britian) are no exception to this and perhaps are leading the way with their recent EP Constellations.  Crystal Skies wraps up the EP with “One More Night” which fools you into thinking it’s more on the quiet side, only to bring in some heart-accelerating vibes in the last 1:30 or so.  The EP shifts gears with  “On My Own” (featuring Satellite Empire) and particularly “Release Me” (with another vocal by Gallie Fisher). Both are much softer, with music that weaves around poignant lyrics.  Fans of emotional bangers get treated at the end to “Feels Right” and “Never Change”, featuring amazing vocals by RUNN and Gallie Fisher respectively, who are both go-to’s in this sub-genre.  But both voices sear through you and the big beats don’t disappoint. Constellations is a consistent effort that successfully blends music for your heart and your feet.

Published in: on November 24, 2019 at 2:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #573 – October 28, 2019

One month into Autumn and some change is afoot on the new chart.  Besides three new entries, some songs make key moves, and there is a new song on top!

I am pleased to announce again that music from my chart and blog will be featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTA.  You can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!

Australia’s Throttle gets his first #1 with the thoughtful and danceable, Billboard-charting “Dreamer”, ending 4 appearances (8 weeks) at the top for Kazaky’s “Push”.  It’s from his new EP of varying styles in the dance music realm called Where U Are, and is meant to be played continuously from beginning to end for best effect.  “Dreamer” is the lead off single and it’s the one that stands out the most for me.  This is also the first #1 on my chart for the Canadian dance label Monstercat, and such a different one for them too!

UK indie singer/songwriter Lostchild climbs 5-2 with the OKJAMES remix of “Like Like”.  It will be neck and neck with “Dreamer” for #1 in two weeks – I’m not even going to speculate on what might prevail!  “Like Like” bests the #5 peak of last year’s “Blacklist”.

With eyes firmly planted on the Top 5, “Breaking Hearts” by Benedict Cork, another UK indie singer/songwriter you need to know, climbs 12-7.  The singer has been opening on tour for EuroVision winner Duncan Laurence in his native Netherlands.

Also new to the Top 10 – kind of a no-brainer given the performers – is “Dreamland” by Pet Shop Boys and Years & Years, moving up 14-9. It’s Years & Years’ 7th Top 10 entry since 2015, following this year’s collaboration with Jax Jones on “Play” (#3).

“Poolside Vibe” by Pretty Sister and MarcLo keeps us thinking of July and August as it moves up 16-12.

I want to see a club DJ take Anden’s “Flicker” up on what’s intended to happen in the magnetic, progressive dance song – a glittering light show after the pause after “baby all of the lights are turned…. off”.  “Flicker”, featuring vocals by the brothers Cuppernull who comprise Anden, climbs 19-13.

“Here U R” is a striking deep house track by Win & Woo featuring vocals by co-writer Sara Skinner, and it rises 17-14.

Led by a pristine vocal by Heather Janssen, “Who’s Gonna Love U” by Canadian producer Ryan Shepherd makes a significant move up the chart, soaring 22-15.

After the #7 success of “Sign Of The Times” two years ago, Harry Styles shifts gears for a short, sweet pop song with one of his best vocals in “Lights Up”.  It’s the Fastest Riser on the chart, rocketing 25-16.

Also busting a big move is “Family Affair” by The Disco Fries, which advances 23-17.  It’s a fun and peppy retooling of the Mary J. Blige classic, which got to #4 on this chart back in 2001.

Making the highest debut is the glorious and unexpected collaboration of Galantis, Dolly Parton and Mr. Probz on one of the most uplifting songs of the year called “Faith”.  It bows at #25 and is the first chart appearance for all involved.  After establishing themselves on the dance music scene for the best part of this decade, the Grammy-nominated Swedish production duo Galantis joins other veterans – Don Diablo, Cedric Gervais, Lost Frequencies, Timmy Trumpet, Sultan + Shepard, Kygo – also debuting on the chart this year.  And Dolly Parton has flirted with dance music before – her pop hit “Baby I’m Burnin'” was also a big club hit in 1979.  She’s also not the oldest person to appear on the chart – that feat belongs to Giorgio Moroder who was 74 when he charted in 2015 with the trio of “Right Here Right Now”, “Deja Vu” and “Wildstar”.

Returning to the chart for the first time since 2016 is Brandon Colbein, formerly known as Brandon Skeie, with the heart-felt ballad “Mad”.  Brandon’s “So Bad” reached the top of the chart so “Mad” has its work cut out!

Sam Fender is an intriguing new British rocker who will appeal to those who enjoy singer/songwriters like James Bay and groups like Keane.  “Will We Talk”, from his album Hypersonic Missiles, arrives at #29.

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 🙂

 

 

 

 

Atlanta’s @Popeska goes for simple, positive vibes with “Got It All”

POPESKA, “Got It All”

After taking an extended break, Ralf Popescu is back not only solo as Popeska, but branched out in a duo called Vedado, whose debut single called “Messing Around” I wrote about not long ago.  But solo-wise, Popeska keeps his dance/pop a touch on the progressive side with “Got It All”.  It’s one of those songs out of which the golden light just pours bountifully, and therefore one that will keep dance club goers glued to the music and the dance floor.  It’s extremely straight-forward with a pitched-up vocal that will grow on you.  “Got It All” maybe could have been about 30 seconds shorter, but the other part of me now wants an amped up extended remix.  Anyway, with songs like “Got It All”, Popeska isn’t going anywhere except to build on his repertoire… so his story continues!

Published in: on October 24, 2019 at 8:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Florida electronic music producer @Trivectamusic makes Toronto club debut, new song with @Woolimusic @Excision @JulianneHope “Oxygen”

trivecta20190913

EXCISION, WOOLI, TRIVECTA and JULIANNE HOPE, “Oxygen”

Tampa, Florida electronic music producer Trivecta (aka Sam Dobkin) easily won over Toronto dubstep fans with his alternately hard hitting and melodic style at Revival Bar last night, where he opened for dubstep master Wooli.  His set slammed super-hard at times – in anticipation of the headliner of course – but transitioned quite well and often into more melodic tones that he has been known for through some of his originals as well as his remixes.  Trivecta, like many other producers in the genre these days, is also a musician, and whipped out his guitar a few times to the utter delight of the invested audience.  Among the highlights in his set were a remixes of songs by “his buddy Gavin” Dabin with “Alive”, “Without You My Love” by Seven Lions, and the song that easily received the best crowd reaction, “Fractures” by another of his pals, Illenium (listen below).  The club was also worked up when he played Above & Beyond’s “Sun & Moon”, and when he brought out his guitar again to his own “Break Me”.  All in all, Trivecta was definitely pumped up by the audience’s warm embrace and it was an entertaining set.

trivecta_2_20190913

Trivecta also is part of a new release on Excision and Wooli’s EP “Evolution”, which arrived yesterday.  “Oxygen” is a heartwarming slice of emotional electronica that definitely plays to the style of Illenium’s recent Ascend album.  Featuring a touching vocal by co-writer Julianne Hope, the song alternates dramatic synths with softer moments that will appeal to fans who enjoy Illenium’s “Crashing” and other similar songs.  Check it out above.

 

Duo #RØGUENETHVN team up with Canadian producer @EQRIC_music and vocalist #Jessia for “Take You Away”

RØGUENETHVN and EQRIC with JESSIA, “Take You Away”

“Take You Away” is mainly a deep house track that relies on a lot of crunchy production and  a bold vocal by singer Jessia to hold its own.  Production duo RØGUENETHVN pair up with Canadian EQRIC to keep the beats heavy and consistent, but there are a few steps into trap, trance, and drum ‘n bass that create a clever mix.  Brought to you by the Strange Fruits family, “Take You Away” is definitely a banger that will definitely make you bounce, and a follow up from RØGUENETHVN and EQRIC would be most welcome.

Published in: on August 22, 2019 at 11:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Can’t go wrong with a dance record called “Get Funky”, courtesy of @Krydermusic and @djFastEddie

KRYDER & FAST EDDIE, “Get Funky”

Cue up the late 80’s hip hop rhythm and vibes and you should likely find “Get Funky” in your favourite club DJ’s playlist sometime soon.  It’s already supported by just about every big producer/DJ – Hardwell, Cedric Gervais, and the list goes on – which is great news for this collaboration between UK producer Kryder and Chicago’s Fast Eddie.  “Get Funky” milks that famous Bobby Byrd and James Brown sample from “It Takes Two” but amps up the pace, which should create some interesting dance moves from club patrons.  And at festivals, “Get Funky” will definitely make those big crowds bounce.  The song is simply a lot of fun, but with substance and creativity to set it above the average.

Published in: on August 9, 2019 at 10:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #567 – August 5/19

As a bunch of Spring favourites are now on their way to departing from the chart, the big question is: Which song will succeed Illenium & Jon Bellion’s “Good Things Fall Apart” at #1?  The emotional electronic song of summer nails its 4th appearance (8th week) at the top, making it the longest running song at #1 since A-Trak & Todd Terry’s “DJ’s Gotta Dance More” at the start of the year.  And with his tour on deck, Illenium’s released two songs within the last two weeks which warrant your ears – “Takeaway” with The Chainsmokers and Canadian singer Lennon Stella, and “Blood”, with vocalist Foy Vance.  Both are below.  Illenium’s third album “Ascend” arrives on August 16.

With all songs ranking 4-11 on the rise, there are many current challengers for #1 in two weeks.  Most obviously, Timmy Trumpet’s “World At Our Feet” (above) stays at #2, while Halifax’s Famba also remains at #3 with “Swear To God” (below).

“Higher Love”, Kygo’s retake of Whitney Houston’s 1990 cover of the Steve Winwood hit that was not released in most of the world, glides 9-4, as it becomes a UK Top 10 hit as well as a dance club hit in North America.

Then, we go out of order to look at the Fastest Riser on the chart which is very #1 worthy indeed.  “Push” by Ukrainian dance music group Kazaky soars 21-8 and will appeal to anyone who enjoyed the dark electronic music of the early 90’s by the likes of Depeche Mode.

Three other songs rise into the Top 10:  Eric Sharp & Zhao’s “Monday Blues” (above) climbs 12-7 to match the peak of their song “The Thirst” about two and a half years ago.  Manila Killa’s “Atypical” (also above) steps into the #9 spot, while Showtek have their first Top 10 since 2013’s #1 “Cannonball (Earthquake)” with the A-Trak remix of “Listen To Your Momma” (14-10, below), featuring British singer Leon Sherman.

It’s easily relateable to anyone who hears it, and EMAN8’s “Time” breaks through the middle of the chart to climb 18-11, from the multi-talented singer/songwriter’s album Emanate.

Also well on their way toward the Top 10 are Italy’s Eric Zava & DJ Mirko B with singer Daniel Gorash on “Even In Confusion” (above) up 19-13, as well as Sam Dickinson’s winning and thoughtful “All We Are” (also above) climbing 20-14, and Avicii’s “Tough Love” (below), from the posthumous TIM album, rising 27-19 and featuring vocalists Agnes and Vargas & Lagola.

The three debuts are earmarked for much play throughout the rest of the summer.

Canada’s Loud Luxury returns to the chart, this time bringing fun singer Bryce Vine with them, for “I’m Not Alright”, which arrives at #26.  It’s the first appearance for Andrew and Joe since their last entry “Body” got to #2 in early 2018, and their 4th entry overall.

L.A.-based Simon Curtis follows up the #6 “Love” with more music for your heart and head, “Graduate”, which bows at #27.  It’s Simon’s SEVENTEENTH song to appear on the chart since “Delusional” (which reached #1) arrived at the end of 2009.

And at #28 is the debut entry for both producers/remixers Midnight Kids and vocalist Jared Lee with “Those Were The Days”.  Midnight Kids are Kyle Girard and Dylan Lee (son of Tommy Lee and my fellow Canadian, Pamela Anderson).

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 🙂

“Flicker” and “Escalus” are a winning pair of progressive, dark deep house songs from NYC-based brothers @weareAnden

ANDEN, “Flicker” and “Escalus”

When I heard Anden’s tight DJ set mainly consisting of dark and progressive dance music back in March in Miami, I knew that any upcoming releases would likely be career bests from their output over nearly the last three years.  The talented brothers Cuppernull (Pete and Tom) have definitely found a unique niche which will endear them to fans of 90’s and 00’s artists like Delirium and BT, but their influences go back much further.  “Flicker” could easily be both a club and festival favourite with its driving rhythm, nuanced uncredited vocal, and bright synth work.  Club DJ’s could definitely have fun with their lighting system to jibe with the the tone and of course title of the song.  “Escalus” is an even more progressive deep house effort that recalls the late Robert Miles’ 90’s work.  It’s also a throwback to the mid-80’s in its use of a sample of a Robert F. Kennedy speech that recalls a similar impact of Paul Hardcastle’s 1985 hit “19”.  All in all, “Flicker” and “Escalus” are two of Anden’s more attractive and creative works, and they are best heard in their extended versions up top.

Published in: on August 3, 2019 at 10:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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