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. 

“Another Dimension” mixes old school trance with contemporary progressive house, courtesy of German’s @MartenHorger

MARTEN HØRGER, “Another Dimension”

If you’re looking for music mixed with old school trance by the likes of The Chemical Brothers or early BT, but mixed with contemporary progressive house that you’d hear on a Fisher release, then Marten Hørger’s “Another Dimension’ will have no problem winning you over.  It’s familiar but incredibly playful, as you’ll find when you reach the halfway mark and this remarkable, attention-grabbing pause occurs and then rebuilds over 40 seconds, reminding me a lot actually of the mid-section of “Setting Sun”.  Club DJ’s will enjoy how the song will keep their crowd on the dance floor not knowing what to expect next.  “Another Dimension” is the kind of song that will gain traction over the coming months and into winter festival season.

Published in: on January 3, 2020 at 10:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Germany’s @_Aniqo has an alt.pop breakthrough with the feel-good video of “LoveLife”

ANIQO, “LoveLife”

In quite a contrast to other recent and often darker releases, Germany’s ANIQO – singer, songwriter, producer, and film-maker – returns with “LoveLife”.  The song is an alt.pop celebration of freedom, people, and of course love of life.  And what better way to convey a message with a smile and a hug, just for no reason at all?  As the video shows, most people are receptive to a few moments of unbridled joy, while others still resist.  And in Europe, a 30 year celebration of the fall of the Berlin Wall shouldn’t go unrecognized, so “LoveLife” captures the anniversary of a triumph of freedom and democracy too.  The video is well shot with many humorous moments and ANIQO shows off her video-making skills as well as creating her most positive and diverse song to date.  Be sure to check out “LoveLife” above.

Published in: on December 8, 2019 at 10:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Starlight” is a smooth and silky R&B ballad from Germany’s ZEROBADDAYS @ZBDmusic and NYC-based singer/songwriter Victor Perry @wallflowerperry

ZEROBADDAYS and VICTOR PERRY, “Starlight”

In their second collaboration together, German producer ZEROBADDAYS (also known as Mr. Stan Sax from the duo Saxity) and New York-based singer/songwriter Victor Perry have concocted a smooth and silky retrotastic R&B ballad with the original “Starlight”.  This one has many shades of 80’s R&B/pop present recalling songs like Smokey Robinson’s “Just To See Her” and Anita Baker’s “Sweet Love”.  Perhaps “Starlight” is a sign of a mini-revival of those delightful songs, which in turn were succeeded by the styles of Toni Braxton and Mary J. Blige, and many other less popular singers in the 90’s.  I could go on naming names, but Victor’s golden voice hanging on to every note under the lovely lyrics is so suited to the sparse arrangement with ZEROBADDAYS’ saxophone of course holding court.  Create your own private quiet storm with “Starlight”.

Published in: on December 6, 2019 at 11:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Always listen to those voices: “Sounds Like An Anthem” comes from Canadian-German synth duo @LolaDutronic

LOLA DUTRONIC, “Sounds Like An Anthem”

It’s been a while since Richard Citroen and Stephanie B. have graced us with new music as Lola Dutronic, but they return with the engaging “Sounds Like An Anthem”.  They encourage us to listen to the voices in our heads because they could certainly mean something important to either ourselves or someone else.  The duo continue to provide chic 60’s style and sensibility paired with contemporary dance rhythms which seem to be influenced by 80’s artists like Talk Talk or OMD.  While I think “Sounds Like An Anthem” is infectious, if a little long, it might benefit from a remix or two which might help it find its way deservedly into clubland where I would hear it as an anthem for the nightlife.

Published in: on August 11, 2019 at 10:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Out Of Love” (with @AC15music and @theSamuelKnight) and “Love Like This” (with @Svrcinasongs) are two top notch dance releases from @KoniOfficial

KONI & AC15 and SAM KNIGHT, “Out Of Love”

KONI and SVRCINA, “Love Like This”

It’s always a treat to keep up with the latest in high quality independent dance music releases from German producer and guitarist Koni, whether his solo projects or those of his other production group Saxity.  Every release from Koni sounds fresh and is almost always undertaken with a variety of collaborations that span around the world.

“Out Of Love” is emotional dance pop that wouldn’t sound out of place on pop radio, even next to, perhaps, the latest by Midnight Kids and Jared Lee called “Those Were The Days”.  “Out Of Love” pairs Koni with new Dominican Republic producer AC15 and the singer is Sam Knight, a Minneapolis born talent-on-the-rise.  The result is a tightly woven and affecting song deserving of your attention, which you can hear above.

Equally of note is “Love Like This”, more of a deep house effort, this time featuring Nashville vocalist Svrcina (sur-cee-na).  Her fine, consistent vocal is offset by a potent tropical-flavoured deep house rhythm that slows down with a change up to a more celebratory, carnival kind of vibe, before the key beats return.  Check it out at the above link.

Germany’s @BlindedHearts brings a contemporary take on “Just The Two Of Us” in another collaboration with Sweden’s @LouiseCSmusic

BLINDED HEARTS and LOUISE CS, “Just The Two Of Us”

After a number of highly listenable and danceable recent releases, it was a pleasant surprise to find Germany’s Blinded Hearts (aka Andi Jelitsch) pairing once again with Sweden’s Louise CS for their take on “Just The Two Of Us”, the 1981 Grover Washington Jr./Bill Withers hit.  You’ll recall their collaboration on “Brand New”, some emotional electronica from about a year ago, and taking on “Just The Two Of Us” sounds, well, very comfortable.  Louise’s sultry vocal with a hint of a rasp suits the song well, and the song’s transformation into a downtempo deep house track will work well on the dance floor.  Considering the last time “Just The Two Of Us” was reworked into a hit – by Will Smith – this rendition by Blinded Hearts and Louise CS is satisfying and refreshing.

Published in: on May 20, 2019 at 11:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Alt.Soul Variations featuring Victor Perry @perksofbeingvic: “Eve” with @ZBDmusic and “Boomerang” with @Labrosemusic

ZEROBADDAYS and VICTOR PERRY, “Eve”

LABROSE, “Boomerang”

For the last few years you’ve read fairly frequently in these blog pages about NYC-based, Georgia-bred singer/songwriter Victor Perry.  Victor has one of the most distinct, consistent, engaging (and unsigned!) male voices around – and other than when producers choose to mess with it a bit, it doesn’t hurt that his voice is almost perfectly on key every time 🙂 Victor has two recent releases, a second partnership with Germany’s ZEROBADDAYS (aka Mr. Stan Sax of Saxity) and a new one from his side project with British producer Ficci called Labrose.  “Eve” is lyrical retrotastic Michael Jackson-inspired alt.soul – it reminds me of those fine deeper songs you’d often find on a late 70’s Jacksons album that still resonate today.  It’s quite a different record from the first ZEROBADDAYS collaboration, the gentle “We’ll Be Okay”.  “Eve” is lovely and a real grower.  “Boomerang” is more pop flavoured and follows up last year’s catchy “Gravity”.  It’s more of a late night “quiet storm” track with Victor’s voice gliding over the lilting electronic backdrop.  Add “Eve” and “Boomerang” to your favourite playlists where pop and R&B converge ASAP!

Published in: on April 15, 2019 at 9:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Is it summer yet? So the effervescent “Don’t Let Me Go” by @konimusic, Tom Bailey and Ane might have us believe

KONI, TOM BAILEY and ANE, “Don’t Let Me Go”

It’s been a while since we heard from German producer Koni – one half of Saxity – so here he’s back with his first 2019 release, “Don’t Let Me Go” with British producer/singer Tom Bailey (not he of The Thompson Twins) and vocalist Ane.  Ever-reliable, Koni and friends have concocted a pristine production which will instantly transport you somewhere warm and relaxing for some romance.  “Don’t Let Me Go” is unassuming but immensely appealing and effervescent deep house, a song that definitely deserves a wider audience.  Bring on the summer – “Don’t Let Me Go” definitely has me as an early believer!

Published in: on February 22, 2019 at 11:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Introducing Germany’s @PYNGUparty and UK singer @thisisLoveday with “Breathless (Like This)”

PYNGU x LOVEDAY, “Breathless (Like This)”

“Breathless (Like This)” is an intriguing collaboration between German producer PYNGU and British vocalist Loveday.  Though the name is new to the scene, PYNGU is really not!  Until recently known as Kyco, he scored 16 million streams for his remix of “Oasis” by The Him, and has been supported by Martin Garrix and Tiesto for his own original songs such as “Little Bit Closer”.  This collaboration shifts PYNGU’s sounds to something more exotic and enticing, with Loveday’s vocal sometimes evoking the vulnerable qualities of Lana Del Rey, Elohim, or Sky Ferreira, alternately sounding detached or dreamy.  Overall, PYNGU and Loveday have partnered for a song that is both elegant and mysterious, with some unique synth sounds giving it both a steady bass groove and minimalist high end melodies.  

Published in: on January 27, 2019 at 11:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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