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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German duo @weareSteamPhunk’s “Hometown” featuring @CarrieLanemusic gets a spirited remix by @Uniryde

STEAM PHUNK and CARRIE LANE, “Hometown” (Uniryde remix)

“Hometown” by Germany’s Steam Phunk featuring American singer Carrie Lane was released about a year ago as a mid-tempo dance track that recalls songs like “Closer” by The Chainsmokers.  This spirited remix by new producer Uniryde could definitely reignite interest in the song.  The remix captures the poignancy and reflective appeal of the original, but aims to make you bounce along to a more carefree, fast paced rhythm track.  “Hometown” will definitely grab your ears and your feet, so be sure to check it out at the link above.

 

“We’ll Be Okay” brings a soulful, quiet pause to relationships, courtesy of ZEROBADDAYS @ZBDmusic and Victor Perry @perksofbeingvic

ZEROBADDAYS and VICTOR PERRY, “We’ll Be Okay”

I’ll end my 2018 blog posts with a gentle song that inauspiciously revives a ‘quiet storm’ R&B sound that is missing in today’s music market, in favour of songs being ‘chill’ just for the sake of it.  “We’ll Be Okay” is brought to you by Germany’s ZEROBADDAYS – usually known as one half of the production duo Saxity or remixer Stan Sax – and NYC-based pop/soul singer/songwriter Victor Perry.  Victor’s voice here is positively and convincingly angelic – you hang on his voice to wait to hear what he’ll sing about next – and ZEROBADDAYS’ sax melody throughout is delightfully sublime.  “We’ll Be Okay” allows you to think about those times during a relationship when a simple pause is needed to reflect, and more often than not everything will be just fine in the end.  “We’ll Be Okay” also signals the need for more similarly thoughtful and positive songs that can be reassuring and hopeful in a world that often takes an awful lot for granted.  Well done, gents (and more, please)!

Published in: on December 31, 2018 at 2:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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