DJ MIRKO B and GRETA, “Let Me In 2020”
It’s not often that DJ/producers look back into their own repertoires with a view to making one of their older songs sound fresh and new. Italy’s DJ Mirko B chose “Let Me In” (featuring vocalist Greta) from 2013 to rework its anthemic, arpeggio-laden backdrop into something a little different. So he’s lifted a lot of the techno flavours from the original to make it the focus of “Let Me In 2020”, giving it enticing early 90’s eurohouse feels. It works like a charm, still full of what I call ‘festival power’ but with wider appeal for pop audiences.
OLIVER HELDENS & PARTY PUPILS and MAX, “Set Me Free”
The music business sometimes finds the unlikeliest people making a collaboration that comes out slicker and better than you might expect. The careers of Oliver Heldens and MAX have been made up of many of such serendipitous events! Within a year of releasing his own music as a teenager, the Dutch producer’s “Gecko (Overdrive)” (featuring Becky Hill) soared to #1 in the UK. And that was a liftoff no one could expect – collaborations with the best of the dance music biz followed, along with numerous electronic dance hits and formidable gigs around the world. MAX’s travels have taken him from modeling and acting, through to being a go-to voice in the dance music world and finding a huge fan base in South Korea (as well as connecting to BTS!), all while making his own music either solo or with his best buddy Ryan in Party Pupils. So, all of these forces converge to make the heavenly and anthemic “Set Me Free”. The energetic Party Pupils vibe and MAX’s resilient voice highlight and compliment Oliver’s snazzy production. “Set Me Free” is one that you will play on repeat and is a great end-of-year anthem through which we can say good riddance to 2020.
MAHALO, DISCO KILLERZ and BRANDYN BURNETTE, “Tongue Tied” (Danny Quest and Frank Pole remixes)
RAT CITY and KIESZA, “Naked (With My Headphones On)” (Tungevaad, VIDA and Blinkie remixes)
I’m a firm believer that in some cases official remixes can improve on a good song’s success. Here we have two cases that clearly support what I believe.
L.A.-based Mahalo is extremely prolific and with a song like “So Cold” becoming such a major dance radio hit last year, it’s important that every release since that one must stand out. Despite the talent in partnership with Disco Killerz and EMAN8 (billed as Brandyn Burnette), two remixes of “Tongue Tied” actually add more to enhance the original song. Florida’s Danny Quest pumps up the rhythm with an arrangement that enhances Brandyn’s vocal (above). And Italy’s Frank Pole lends a Eurohouse vibe that will assuredly draw dancers to the club floor (below).
“Naked (With My Headphones On)” is such a strong song by Norway’s Rat City with my immensely talented fellow Canadian Kiesza singing it, and it has endured through social media since its release last Fall. A trio of remixes is definitely helping to reboot the song’s infectious appeal. Norway’s Tungevaad brings a European trance flavour to the proceedings in a shorter, tighter version of the song (above). London’s Blinkie offers similar sped up trance-y vibes while newcomer ZIDA focuses on Kiesza’s vocal and strengthens the pop appeal of the song (both are below).
If you checked out and loved the originals of “Tongue Tied” and “Naked (With My Headphones On)” then do yourself a favour and listen to the remixes too!
MARTIN VALLÉE & VICTOR PERRY, “Whispers”
Following up their bouncy take on Stevie Wonder’s “Uptight” last Spring, French producer Martin Vallée and US pop/soul singer/songwriter Victor Perry have once again joined forces for “Whispers”. With this song, they head straight into a softer Eurohouse mix that’s best suited either early on in the evening or later at night. There’s an interesting song structure here, with a subtle introduction, that’s followed by the hook within its first minute. This allows Victor to then wax his eloquent voice over the crux of the story, remembering the whispers of a past lover. Queue the hook again and the song bobs its way playfully until it’s time to get closer again… “Whispers” is definitely a pleasing choice atypical of its genre and my compliments to the artists for taking some chances with a gentler shade of house music.
DJ MIRKO B and SELIM, “3omri 3addit”
It may be more common to hear such a mix of languages in music in Europe, but in North America it’s a rarity. I don’t know what the song is all about, but that’s part of what makes “3omri 3addit” by Italy’s DJ Mirko B featuring vocalist Selim such an interesting record that all of you dance music lovers should check out. Besides a classic Eurobeat, what also carries “3omri 3addit” along is the sublime acoustic guitar hook, which is just begging for reaction under the dance floor lights. My preference here is for the extended all Arabic version over the hybrid Italian-Arabic radio edit as it flows better and seems more complete. “3omri 3addit” is a bold release which needs some props outside of Europe, where it will probably simply go over like gangbusters. Add it to your Eurobeat With A Twist playlist using the Spotify link above.
BIG FISH featuring MIKE GOMES, “Moves”
If you like your tropical house with add Euro flair, then you will particularly enjoy “Moves” by Italy’s Big Fish for Tipsy Recordings. Though the artist is new, the song does a great job of selling itself with its totally engaging melody and slick production. It also has this vibrant vocal by Mike Gomes of American duo Xuitcasecity – not an entirely unexpected place for Mike to show up, as you’ll remember Xuitcasecity’s memorable presence last year on “Runaway” by Spirix. “Moves” is an easy add for club DJ’s who want to encourage their audience to strut their stuff rather than simply watch the DJ at work. Check it out at the link above.
SHANE 54 featuring JENNY JORDAN, “Paradise” (original and remixes)
Hungarian producer Shane 54 captures a variety of EDM styles and elements in “Paradise”, featuring an alluring vocal by Jenny Jordan. He kicks up the Eurohouse flavour several notches with progressive big room elements that you might not usually find in a song like this, making it hit hard at times, which club DJ’s will absolutely love. He brings it up and down at all of the right times and it’s a breezy, involving 3 and a half minutes. A number of remixes are available too but Maddix gets a big two thumbs up for playing on the same song structure by revving it up with both progressive and retro techno vibes, highly complimentary to the original. “Paradise” has loads of potential and with Nettwerk Records on board you can bet a lot of activity will be on deck. Check out the original and remixes in the set above.