Inventive “Frequencies” pairs Montreal’s @OfficialBTSM with @ATLiensofficial

BLACK TIGER SEX MACHINE x ATLiens, “Frequencies”

I’ve got to give Montreal’s BTSM and Atlanta’s ATLiens lots of credit for combining forces and releasing the highly creative “Frequencies”.  You never lose interest in what’s happening within the song even from what sounds like an inauspicious start.  It takes its time to build, and it’s well worth the wait getting through some nifty effects, beats and chanting before one of those essential head-banging drops kicks in.  The rest of “Frequencies” is total progressive dubstep gravy, hardly making the song seem like it’s been 4:10 in length when it ends.  This style of music is slightly outside of my wheelhouse so it’s guaranteed to please fans of both acts and dubstep/electronic dance wizardry.

Published in: on February 22, 2020 at 11:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #581, February 17/20

While former One Direction members don’t have three songs again in the new chart, they are back-to-back in the pole positions.

Zayn’s featured vocal totally makes “Flames” by producers R3HAB and Jungleboi (above) , and it holds at #1 for a second appearance at the top.  But right behind at #2 is “Adore You” by Harry Styles  (below) from Fine Line, so the two songs will battle it out for #1 in two weeks.  And Harry’s “Watermelon Sugar” rises a notch 8-7 too.

Awolnation’s catchy electronic rocker “The Best” (above) climbs 4-3, while Chicago production duo Autograf move up 10-5 with “Ain’t Deep Enough” (below).  That matches featured vocalist Jared Lee’s previous peak appearance on the Midnight Kids’ “Those Were The Days” last year.

Not surprisingly, Famba’s “Storm” (above), featuring fellow Canadian Kyra Mastro, becomes his third Top 10 hit on this chart, advancing 11-9, while yet another Canadian, Ekali acquires his first one in collaboration with Illenium and vocalist Chloe Angelides on “Hard To Say Goodbye” (12-10, below) from the album A World Away.

More Canadians have the fastest riser on the chart.  It belongs to Vancouver producers Young Bombs for their original featuring Aloe Blacc called “Better Day”.  It zips up the chart 22-14 and is on its way to becoming their second Top 20 radio hit in Canada, following last year’s “Starry Eyes”.  It’s also a Top 30 dance radio hit in the U.S.

The debuts from two weeks ago are already making inroads on the chart.  Arty’s “Daydreams” featuring Cimo Fränkel (above) climbs 24-18 in its Sultan + Shepard “echoes of life” remix.  The Russian producer has immediately followed it up with another thoughtful anthem, “You’re Not Alone” with vocalist Griff Clawson, below.

Louis Tomlinson’s touching “Don’t Let It Break Your Heart”, from his debut album Walls, is well on its way up the chart, rising 27-20.

“Better Off Without You” by Becky Hill and Shift K3Y has leapt into the Top 25 in their native UK, and it’s done the same thing on this chart, climbing 28-23.

The highest debut on the chart is the first appearance for Italian producer Gianmaria Sanna, otherwise known as Deep Chills, with a charming pop-flavoured slice of tropical-tinged electronica called “Backfire” featuring L.A. vocalist Not Famous.  It arrives on the chart at #21.  Check out the lyric video featuring both performers above.

Arriving at #24 and continuing his mighty comeback is British producer Gareth Emery with newcomer Nash for “Yesterday”.  The song has a classic 80’s feel which reminds me particularly of Mike Oldfield’s songs with Maggie Reilly, such as “Family Man” or “Moonlight Shadow”.  So thanks to L.A.’s Linney for capturing that vocal style, intentionally or not, which gives the song the gentle, reflective feels that it needs.  Check out the video from Gareth’s recent “Laserface” show in Minneapolis, above.

Following up last year’s snappy and infectious “Don’t Think Twice” (#2) is “Fall-Out” by Netherlands-based Emirati producers Revelries, this time in collaboration with fellow producers Boyboyboy and UK-based German vocalist Will Church.  It bows at #25.

The fourth debut is “Look Into My Eyes” by L.A. singer/songwriter Brando, who you know from his memorable vocal on Loud Luxury’s massive hit “Body”.  He returns to the chart at #27 with this original which also reworks Charles & Eddie’s 1992 hit “Would I Lie To You” into the hook of the song.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are 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!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2020 🙂  You can start by joining our 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 🙂

 

Dance producer @Whethanmusic scores a personal best with clever rocker “All In My Head” featuring Toronto’s @grandson

WHETHAN and GRANDSON, “All In My Head”

Boy, Ethan Snoreck had a few aces up his sleeve when he took a break from touring last year to concentrate on music.  Taking a few risks by pulling in alternative rock influences for his most recent single “Stay Forever” (with STRFKR), they worked so well that Whethan brought in Toronto’s Juno Awards-nominated grandson to co-write and provide the vocal for “All In My Head”.  And quite honestly, Whethan’s production plays a bit of a second fiddle to the insanely unique and memorable vocal that grandson (aka Jordan Benjamin) provides, sounding at times like a hybrid offspring of The Beastie Boys.  While the overall focus ends up on grandson, Whethan keeps the song moving at a frenetic pace with some herky-jerky pit stops along the way.   It’s a dizzy mix of guitars, synths and drums that seem to take a number of cues from early 80’s new wave at times.  “All In My Head” is a personal best for Whethan, and knowing that he can instantly return to electronic dance that has attracted enough of the likes of Dua Lipa, Tom Morello, Louis The Child, and The Knocks to work with him already at 20 years old is just impressive all on its own. 

Published in: on February 16, 2020 at 11:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Dutch producer @CR3ONmusic has a winner with emotional dance pop release “Mr. Lonely” featuring vocalist Gwendolyne

CR3ON and GWENDOLYNE, “Mr. Lonely”

In the past few years, Dutch producer CR3ON has moved away from producing and remixing others in favour of his own electronic dance flavours.  With built-in support from the likes of Tiesto and Don Diablo, as well as labels Spinnin’ and Armada and now Steve Void’s Strange Fruits, CR3ON is out to dazzle the rest of the world.  His latest single is “Mr. Lonely”, which brings back singer Gwendolyne from his earlier releases.  It’s an infectious emotional dance pop number – no relation to the classic Bobby Vinton hit at all – that will certainly cheer you up if you’re down.  The rhythm shifts from a bassy deep house backdrop to brighter and lighter notes that keep the groove pumping.

Published in: on February 16, 2020 at 11:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Techno and video game lovers will be thrilled with “Enter The Grid” by @Kantormusic

KANTOR, “Enter The Grid”

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Gregory Kantor.  Formerly recording under the name 5 And A Dime, the American producer is also a Dance Dance Revolution Extreme World Record holder, and has created a special MIDI controller for the game.  He was hinting at The Grid as a special project a few years back, but it looks to be off to a great start with “Enter The Grid”.  This is a driving, relentless, and riveting instrumental, perfect for a video game or even a movie soundtrack (think “Tron”).  It’s also a match for a pounding techno dance floor set of bangers, or for late summer nights cruising an empty highway.  It’s clear that Kantor has put an awful lot of work into this, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.  Check out the introductory video below, and the full song above.

Published in: on February 9, 2020 at 4:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #580, February 3/20

When One Direction last recorded about 5 years back – and they never appeared on this chart – no one could have told me that three of the members would be on this chart years later at the same time!  And for a second chart in a row, there are three Harry Styles songs in the Top 10.  And there’s a long line up of songs waiting to get into both the Top 10 and the Top 30!

So the second 1D member to reach #1 on this chart after Harry is… Zayn!  I didn’t care for his first solo album at all, but the second, the overlooked Icarus Falls, is really quite intriguing.  I was happy for him to spread his wings and work with a dance dynamo like R3HAB in partnership with fellow producer Jungleboi.  So it’s the stunning “Flames” that is on top, just in time for the arrival of its official video (above)! Although we can pretend that the mystery man in black is Zayn, alas he is not in the video.

And speaking again of Harry, and his supurb Fine Line album, “Adore You” advances 7-3 and seems like it might be the logical choice to succeed “Flames” at the top, fanciful video and all.

And right behind is L.A. alt.rockers Awolnation who climb 8-4 with their latest, with an incredibly infectious hook, “The Best”.

The Weeknd’s retrotastic “Blinding Lights” (above) becomes his 4th Top 10 hit on this chart, moving 11-9, while Autograf’s classy deep house track “Ain’t Deep Enough” (below), featuring singer Jared Lee, climbs 12-10.  It’s Jared’s second recent appearance in the Top 10 after last year’s #5 with Midnight Kids, “Those Were The Days”.

“Storm” by Famba and Kyra Mastro climbs 14-11 and is the current #1 dance song in the USA.  Check out his new EP Wishes Vol. 1, which features his other two big Canadian radio hits “Swear To God” and “Wish You Well”, plus three more new songs.

Ekali is only playing one Canadian date on his upcoming tour, but I’m sure more will follow as the producer has a flair for remembering to make up previously cancelled shows (like in Toronto).  From his new album A World Away comes his collaboration with Illenium, “Hard To Say Goodbye”, featuring the voice of Chloe Angelides, which moves up 17-12.

“Starlight” is a quiet, sweetly soulful winner for producer ZEROBADDAYS and singer/songwriter Victor Perry, as it glides up the chart from 19-14.

The Fastest Riser is the previous chart’s highest debut, “Mirage (Don’t Stop)” by the immensely talented Jessie Ware, which advances 23-17.  Don’t this silky slice of UK soul slip through the cracks!  And if some of the melody sounds slight familiar, and perhaps may have been an unintended source of inspiration, you might catch yourself singing parts of Shannon’s “Let The Music Play”…

Also holding its own amid a busy chart featuring a lot of power players is Toronto area duo Homestead, from their debut EP Beacon, with the danceable rocker “Lifeline” climbing 28-23.  Joël and Liam will be performing the entire EP and some new songs this coming Thursday in Toronto at the Northern Maverick Brewing Company, and I’ll be there to check it out!

The Highest Debut at #24 belongs to Russian producer Arty with vocalist Cimo Fränkel on the delightful “Daydreams”, soon to be a festival favourite in its Sultan + Shepard Echoes of Life remix, which sounds like a Coldplay song that’s taken a dive into melodic house.  It follows Arty’s 2018 instrumental tribute to Avicii called “Tim” which got to #3.  Official video of “Daydreams” is above, the Sultan + Shepard remix is below.

A third One Directioner arrives on the chart for the first time – it’s Louis Tomlinson with his captivating and incredibly sincere ballad “Don’t Let It Break Your Heart” at #27. He co-wrote it with the likes of James Newman, singer Wrabel, producer Stuart Crichton, and Cole Citrenbaum from the duo Opia, so lots of fine hands were in the mix.  It’s also from Louis’ debut album Walls, after over 3 years of singles-only releases.  And the 1D fans are incredibly happy about that.  Watch the video for a rather unbelievable ending!

The third debut is “Better Off Without You” by chart returnees Becky Hill and Shift K3Y at #28.  These Brits have both been in the Top 10 before.  Becky was the voice on Matoma’s “False Alarm” which got to #6 in 2016, while producer Shift K3Y got to #7 in 2015 with one of his early releases, “I Know”.  A bit of trivia for you: Shift K3Y’s real name is Louis Jankel, and he is the son of singer, songwriter and producer Chaz Jankel, who not only was a key member/songwriter with Ian Dury & The Blockheads (“Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick”) but also was prominent on the US dance charts in the early 80’s with the funky “Glad to Know You” and “Ai No Corrida” (later covered by Quincy Jones).

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are 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!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2020 🙂  You can start by joining our 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 🙂

 

 

 

“Hold Me Down” is a fresh and danceable anthem from NYC’s Deerock and Wyle featuring Connecticut singer Ian Matthew @Ianupnorth

DEEROCK, WYLE and IAN MATTHEW, “Hold Me Down”

“Hold Me Down” is a pleasing mix of electronic dance and alt.rock from NYC producers Deerock and Wyle with vocal by Connecticut singer Ian Matthew.  Deerock and Wyle have remixed tracks by Sam Feldt and Two Friends, and hold their own as producers bringing out the rebellious, anthemic qualities of “Hold Me Down”.  Ian Matthew’s voice has some of the sneer of a Billie Joe Armstrong but the pop tones of a Ross Lynch (of R5 and The Driver Era), so comes out somewhere in-between with a friendly vocal that’s off to lead the charge.  The beats will work well on the dance floor while the other instrumentation amply covers the pop and rock bases.

Published in: on February 2, 2020 at 11:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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It’s 10/10 #07: @Hunternoneon @saxity @francescoyates @revelriesmusic @mahalo_dj @shuhandz @brendanreilly @mattfaxmusic @listentoTrove @spencerbarnett @deepchillsmusic @wearefury @micahthezealot @garethemery @nashmakesmusic @linneyofficial

10/10 #07

The 10/10 feature is back!! In 10/10 (or tenoutoften) ,  I write about 10 hot and fresh songs in no particular order, for your kind consideration and attention.

I continue to write individual blog posts about certain songs.  That does not mean that songs in the 10/10 lists are any less than those featured individually. 

Writing 10/10 features means I can cover more songs in one shot.  So you get to learn about more new music that I hear but don’t always get a chance to write about. 

tenoutoften

tenoutoften 07

  • HUNTER and ROSHIN, “I Don’t Forget” (extended mix)

Toronto’s Hunter Siegel is known for his many No Neon club shows and for being a respected producer, DJ and remixer.    2020 brings us his latest EP I Might Forgive, I Don’t Forget, and its lead track “I Don’t Forget”, in partnership with newcomer and fellow Canadian Roshin, is a memorable, pounding, gritty deep house club banger.  It’s dark and haunting and is an easy centrepiece around which club DJ’s can build a set.  If you like music by Faithless, The Chemical Brothers, and Bobby Nourmand then “I Don’t Forget” is for you, particularly in its extended mix above.

  • SAXITY, “Forget Me Nots”

The German production duo Saxity returns and brings some long lost Patrice Rushen back to “Forget Me Nots”.  That’s because the melody of the song is long associated with its smash sample in Will Smith’s “Men In Black”.  But that was 1997 and 23 years later an uncredited female vocal in classic R&B style gives this great song new life amid the usual classy Saxity production including the requisite spiffy sax solo.  “Forget Me Nots” is a great and overdue cover choice!

  • FRANCESCO YATES, “I Got You”

My fellow Scarborough, Ontario native singer/songwriter/guitarist Francesco Yates offers a silky smooth retro-flavoured ballad in “I Got You”.  As I’ve seen several times in concert, Francesco can rock it out with the best of them but also kills it with a soft, romantic song, which we haven’t really heard since his 2014 debut on “Honey I’m Home”. And there’s a brilliant soulful falsetto as well that brings shades of Justin Timberlake at his best.  Like “Honey”, “I Got You” is tender and sincere and may be a welcome throwback to the Francesco Yates sound that most people got acquainted with in the first place.  Don’t let this one slip through the cracks.

  • REVELRIES, BOYBOYBOY and WILL CHURCH, “Fall-Out”

2019 brought us my favourite Revelries release thus far with the infectious “Don’t Think Twice” (featuring Oktavian) reaching #2 on my chart and finishing at #11 for the year.  Spicing it up with some funky touches and a staccato kind of rhythm, “Fall-Out” is a bit softer but a grower alongside other songs by the Netherlands-based Emirati production duo like “Naked” or “Handle”.  “Fall-Out” is a collaboration with production trio Boyboyboy and England-based German-born singer Will Church.  There’s a lot of instrumentation in the mix and with the mystique of Will’s vocal and a compelling melody, it all gels together nicely.

  • MAHALO & SHUHANDZ and BRENDAN REILLY, “Sweet Spot”

Coming off of his biggest record to date last year called “So Cold”, L.A.-based producer Mahalo continues to be busy making great music like his new one “Sweet Spot”.  Never one to get fixed with similar melodies and beats, “Sweet Spot” has an airy, jazzy quality about it in partnership with fellow L.A. based producer Shuhandz and a dreamy vocal by England-based American singer Brendan Reilly.  If you recognize Brendan’s voice then you’re a fan of Disclosure’s Grammy-nominated Caracal album, where he was featured in “Moving Mountains”.  “Sweet Spot” is a tidy mix that ends before you know it in just under three minutes.  Club DJ’s with a soft spot for jazzy vibes will take to this one.

  • MATT FAX and TROVE, “Animal”

“Animal” is an atmospheric release by French producer Matt Fax with vocals by one of Australia’s favourite go-to voices for dance music, Trove, known most recently for his work on Famba’s Canadian radio hit “Wish You Well”.  “Animal” has seductive, dark qualities about it, that keep getting richer until Trove’s vocal stops entirely.  And that’s when an extended coda takes over, which DJ’s will absolutely love for mixing purposes.  Though only just into his 20’s, Matt Fax has been working with all of the best labels for European house so 2020 could be the year where we hear much more original music from him.  “Animal” definitely amps up the intrigue and Trove’s vocal glides beautifully through it all.

  • SPENCER BARNETT, “I’m Fine”

Spencer Barnett is a talented L.A. teen with massive pop appeal if his latest single “I’m Fine” is any indication.  It’s the title track of his latest EP in which Spencer sings to justify why he’s okay, whereas the sullen melody may convince you otherwise.  Its moodiness captures the complex sentiments of today’s teens who were too young when One Direction peaked about 6 years ago, which makes him an instant draw for the lovelorn and heartsick among them.  His indie charm is proving successful so far though with a club date coming up in February in NYC.  So I think we’ll be hearing more from young Mr. Barnett in the coming year.

  • DEEP CHILLS and NOT FAMOUS, “Backfire”

Italy’s Deep Chills spreads his tropical vibes into the winter months for us with the savvy mix of pop and dance genres in “Backfire”.  The song features a delightful vocal by L.A. singer/songwriter Not Famous and a memorable bridge and chorus that will waste no time turning into a singalong.  Deep Chills doesn’t make you forget that the song at its production roots is a dance record so you can waste no time busting a few moves as well.  “Backfire” is a playful and bright release that deserves your attention.

  • WE ARE FURY and MICAH MARTIN, “Echoes”

“Echoes” is the hard-hitting recent single from Vancouver production duo We Are Fury from their two-song EP called Dusk, which also features the compelling instrumental, “Resistance”.  Taking cues from Illenium and Seven Lions and other progressive-minded producers, Stuart and Joachim bring Iowa singer Micah Martin on board for alt.rock atmospherics that will transport you back to the mid-2000’s heydays of My Chemical Romance and Linkin Park.  “Echoes” will be a force unto itself in a live set in the same way that Illenium’s “Blood” (from Ascend) leaves audiences spellbound.  We Are Fury definitely brings all of the goods with “Echoes”.

  • GARETH EMERY & NASH and LINNEY, “Yesterday”

Melodic dance music has a fascinating way to draw you in, and through its various iterations in the sub-genres of dance music, I hope that it will always be present.  After his return with Ashley Wallbridge for last year’s album Kingdom United, UK producer Gareth Emery continues in 2020 with the beautiful “Yesterday”.  Working with newcomer and fellow UK denizen NASH, they take a few cues from early 80’s electronic music by employing the lovely voice of American singer Linney, who is no stranger to dance music and recalls vocalists like Maggie Reilly and Annie Haslam.  “Yesterday” flows and pours out a positive message about leaving behind what should stay in the past.  It keeps you locked in for its just over 3 minutes, and then of course wanting more. 

Australia’s @Parralox gets it oh so right with reverent cover of Propaganda’s 1985 electronic classic “Duel”

PARRALOX, “Duel”

When not creating innovative original music, Australia’s John von Ahlen and his project Parralox can also create cover versions of classics and lesser known songs from the 80’s and 90’s that come within a few steps of the originals.  On Parralox’s latest album Holiday ’19, along with especially faithful covers of The Human League’s hits “Human” (a #1 in 1986) and “Heart Like A Wheel” (Top 30 in 1988), Parralox tackles “Duel”.  It’s much respected (and often thought to be untouchable) electronic classic from 1985 by the German duo Propaganda and their album A Secret Wish, still heralded to this day, and originally released by Trevor Horn’s ZTT label, which also brought us Frankie Goes To Hollywood.  The vocal for the song by Louise Love is spot-on, and John and team keep the utter essence of the song intact, down to the Fairlight synths and harmonies.  There are a few friendly digressions, and hearing “Duel” receive such a delightful update is simply a treat. 

Published in: on January 12, 2020 at 11:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Colorado-based producer/DJ Disco Lines has an earworm in store for you with “Alive” with vocals by @LillyCorsi

DISCO LINES and LILLY CORSI, “Alive”

“Alive” is guaranteed to get stuck in your head while your swaying and making your best moves on the dance floor.  It’s brought to you by Colorado-based producer/DJ Disco Lines, who has frequently appeared on the American festival circuit over the past few years.  Accompanied by an unflappable and sultry vocal by Lilly Corsi, you’ll be wanting to add “Alive” to your regular dance workout playlists.  To me it’s about 30 seconds too long but I’d also like to see how some clever remixes might add to the song’s versatile, timeless appeal.

Published in: on January 12, 2020 at 11:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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