“Take Me Away” by UK producer @MaffBoothroyd is a riveting bass thumper with lots of classic house inspiration

MAFF BOOTHROYD, “Take Me Away”

Maff Boothroyd is known in the UK as a club and event promoter, as well as a producer and DJ.  And while his previous music has also found enough traction from some Asian audiences, it’s a diverse song like “Take Me Away” that could open doors in other major markets.  It’s a riveting bass thumper that is set in motion from its first note, and doesn’t let up.  No hidden agendas here, “Take Me Away” is a bona fide club jam that will add sizzle in the momentum of a deep house set.  You can hear many familiar classic house influences particularly from the 90’s which give the arrangement a lot of welcome warmth.  Don’t be surprised to hear “Take Me Away” creep into sets throughout festival season.

maffboothroyd

Published in: on January 5, 2019 at 10:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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French producer @ValyMo slams hard with future bass of “Dimension”

VALY MO, “Dimension”

I’ll say it again – there was no shortage of fantastic dance music coming from France in 2018 and I expect it to continue in 2019.  That will allow progressive-minded producers like Valy Mo to acquire an even bigger worldwide following if songs like “Dimension” can help take him there.  Normally, using a relentless and linear vocal sample would drive me crackers, but there’s so much that’s huge that’s going on in “Dimension”.  It slams hard and shakes you up well enough for just shy of three minutes and the vocal ends up being highly complimentary.  “Dimension” is destined for worldwide club and festival play.  The dance music world needs more bass bumpers like this one!

Published in: on December 31, 2018 at 2:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop88of2018

As we head into 2019, 2018 set the foundation for dance music to evolve in a big way – to make people want to dance together again, and to create festive, fun music which moves away from a lot of mid-tempo songs over the past few years. 

Unfortunately it may have taken the death of Avicii to realize how much many of us miss the frenetic synths and arpeggios of dance music of the early part of this decade.  It also made many of us look back in time to soak in what dance and disco music of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s brought us, and how it all made us feel great.  

While dance music is the main genre I listen to, there are other pop, alternative, and R&B/soul songs in my year end list.  These are simply my favourites, in an order that could change at any time in the near future, so for now it’s a snapshot in time. 

Songs that were on the BILLCS Top 30 at year’s end appear on this list if they had 4 appearances or more and may appear on next year’s list too if they end up ranking higher than this year. 

You’ll see some of my favourite performers multiple times – The Chainsmokers, The Him, Miguel, and Bobby Nourmand all have three entries – while there are less remixes on the chart than in recent years. 

And a tip of the hat to the many performers that continue to release excellent music on their own, represented here by the UK’s Sam Dickinson and Lostchild, Florida’s Adam Foster, Philadelphia duo NiGHTS, Germany’s Saxity, US sensation-on-the-rise YEBBA, NYC’s Squired, and even Australia-born actor Keiynan Lonsdale.

I’m in the process of entering all of my year end lists from 2009 to present in a Google Docs spreadsheet, and you’ll find these listings with tabs for each year at this link:

https://tinyurl.com/BILLCSTop88of2018

Spotify playlist – listen to all of the songs! 

BILLCS Top 88 of 2018 

88 BIG FISH featuring MIKE GOMES Moves
87 JYYE Somewhere Else
86 CHICO ROSE featuring DJ AFROJACK 2012
85 TWO FRIENDS featuring KEVIN WRITER Just A Kid
84 ROZES & NICKY ROMERO Where Would We Be
83 SQUIRED Peace Out
82 FELIX CARTAL featuring VICTORIA ZARO Worry
81 BTS DNA
80 SAN HOLO featuring BIPOLAR SUNSHINE Brighter Days
79 SAM SMITH featuring YEBBA No Peace
78 REVELRIES featuring THE BEAMISH BOYS Infinitum
77 LABROSE Gravity
76 EKALI & ZHU Blame
75 RYAN SHEPHERD featuring DIRTY HARY Right Now
74 REIGEN Dreams
73 ARIANA GRANDE Breathin
72 MATOMA featuring MAX Lonely
71 YEARS & YEARS Sanctify
70 MIKA It’S My House
69 BOBBY NOURMAND featuring ADAM ENGLE The Sun
68 BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT How I Feel
67 FRANK PIERCE featuring MILES B. Do Me
66 SHAWN MENDES Lost In Japan
65 TIESTO & DZEKO featuring PREME & POST MALONE Jackie Chan
64 CADEN JESTER featuring BLAKE ROSE Vacant Love
63 BOBBY NOURMAND featuring LAURENT JOHN Prisoner
62 IDEO featuring J. PAULISHED Multiply
61 HELLBERG & LEONA LEWIS Headlights

60 WHETHAN featuring BROODS Be Like You
59 MADISON MARS Back The Funk
58 SAINT WKND & MAX Survive (PLS&TY Remix)
57 JAMES POOLE Perfectly Me
56 TROYE SIVAN Bloom
55 JESSIE WARE Overtime
54 ADAM FOSTER  Time
53 THE CHAINSMOKERS featuring KELSEA BALLERINI This Feeling
52 THE HIM White Lies
51 SAXITY featuring VICTOR PERRY You Found Me
50 THE KNOCKS featuring METHOD MAN Goodbyes
49 JONAS BLUE featuring JACK & JACK Rise
48 KEIYNAN LONSDALE Preach
47 ROBOTAKI featuring JAMIE FINE & FALCXNE Butterscotch
46 AXEL MANSOOR Talk To Me
45 YEARS & YEARS All For You
44 BOTNEK Days Of Disco
43 WAITWHAT featuring RIELLE Alive
42 JESSE McCARTNEY Better With You
41 MARTIN GARRIX  featuring BONN High On Life
40 PLS&TY Down For Me (Morgan Page Extended Remix)
39 SAM DICKINSON  Wild Sun
38 GROMEE featuring JESPER JENSET One Last Time
37 NORA EN PURE Tears In My Eyes
36 ALYX ANDER & REDONDO featuring MARIA Z Casually
35 NiGHTS Eyes
34 BRANDYN BURNETTE Run
33 SOFI TUKKER Baby I’m A Queen
32 ILLENIUM featuring ANNIKA WELLS Crawl Outta Love (PatrickReza Remix)
31 YEBBA Evergreen

30 LOSTCHILD Blacklist
29 MIGUEL Told You So
28 THE HIM featuring IVY ADARA Everybody Hurts
27 MERCER Fireworks
26 RETROVISION Get Down
25 DAVE EDWARDS featuring MARK ASARI What We’Re Made Of
24 MIGUEL featuring TRAVIS SCOTT Sky Walker
23 GIIANTS Small Talk
22 ARTY Tim
21 DZEKO Crazy (Tiësto’s Big Room Mix)
20 PETER WILSON & SEAN SMITH Verona
19 MK 17
18 TONY MORAN featuring JASON WALKER I’m In Love With You (Victor Dinaire/Bissen Remix)
17 RUFUS DU SOL No Place
16 ROBOTAKI & MANILA KILLA featuring MATTHEW JOHN KURZ I Want You (Spirix Remix)
15 THE CHAINSMOKERS Sick Boy
14 MAKO Breathe
13 BENNY BENASSI & SOFI TUKKER Everybody Needs A Kiss
12 THE CHAINSMOKERS Everybody Hates Me
11 KIESZA featuring PHILIPPE SLY Phantom Of The Dance Floor
10 JAMES BAY Pink Lemonade
09 A-TRAK featuring TODD TERRY DJ’S Gotta Dance More
08 BOBBY NOURMAND Subterranean/Estranged
07 ODESZA Loyal
06 LOUD LUXURY featuring BRANDO Body
05 TROYE SIVAN My My My!
04 DYRISK featuring NIK ERNST Smile
03 MERCER featuring RON CARROLL Satisfy
02 THE HIM featuring PARSON JAMES Broken Love
01 MIGUEL Pineapple Skies

“Paradise” by @Parralox featuring @MarcellaDetroit is reinvented as a chic deep house track by remixer @EricKupper

PARRALOX featuring MARCELLA DETROIT, “Paradise” (Eric Kupper remix)

Sometimes you can’t just let go of a great song with a fantastic vocal.  Such is the case with Parralox’s “Paradise”, originally a mid-tempo pop/dance track for the Aussie production project featuring the fabulous Marcella Detroit, who most of you know as one half of 90’s duo Shakespear’s Sister (1992’s “Stay”) but has an otherwise storied pop music career.  The song arrived on Parralox’s 2017 album Subculture, but John von Ahlen is wise to make the song into much, much more, this time through release on Energise Recordings.  So almost two years later, we have a package of several remixes, which is led by chart-meister Eric Kupper’s chic deep house remix.  “Paradise” simply sounds like it was intended to be a strutting house thumper like this, with the refrain of “the time has come to let you go” resonating much bolder this time around for dance club goers.  With Eric coming off of yet another Billboard #1 remix of Ariana Grande’s “Breathin”, his remix of “Paradise” spells great things for Parralox and hopefully another opportunity to partner with Marcella on a future track.  Mix this one in with Jessie Ware’s “Overtime”, another of my current favourites, and watch dance floor bliss in motion!

Published in: on December 28, 2018 at 9:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #551 – December 24/18

It’s the last chart of 2018 for me, and the new entries continue to be bountiful as 4 more songs are added to the chart.  It’s been a busy, fun-filled year for pop music and 2019 doesn’t look like it will let up.  There’s far too much talent out there and not enough forums in which it can be showcased en masse.

My Christmas #1 though is new to the top and it’s “DJ’s Gotta Dance More” by my fellow Canadian A-Trak and legendary house producer and remixer Todd Terry.  Did you know that Todd was behind the innovative classic mid-80’s slammer “Can You Party” under the name Royal House?  I’m predicting more classic dance music vibes will seep into the mainstream in 2019 to make people feel so good.

The Rest of the Top 10

  • France’s Mercer made some of my most favourite house music of 2018, and “Fireworks” (above), currently #3, is right up there.  The prolific producer just dropped a new one for Armada with ATFC called “Twisted” (below).

 

  • PatrickReza’s heavy remix of Illenium’s “Crawl Outta Love” is perfectly in sync with the intent of the original song (and Illenium-approved) so it advances 5-4.  Also, in a similar alt.dance mode and with a heavy rock flavour is Patrick’s brief (1:50!) and eerie “Tip Toe”, below.
  • Sam Dickinson scores his biggest chart entry to date with “Wild Sun” in its Handbag House radio edit, climbing 9-5 from his EP From The Glass House: Part One.  Check out the remix up top and the video below.

  • Two very different songs featuring great UK women vocalist move up into the Top 10.  Jessie Ware’s “Overtime” (above) is very Lisa Stansfield-ish with a lot of 80’s funk elements, and it climbs 11-9.  Leona Lewis packs a punch with her vocal on Hellberg’s “Headlights” (below) which jumps 12-10.  It’s Hellberg’s 4th Top 10 entry and Leona’s 3rd.

Movin’ On Up

  • Mahalo and Le:Blanc’s insanely catchy 2:28 ear candy “In My Arms” is on the move and climbs 18-13.

  • Ending 2018 with rave reviews for his live shows, San Holo rises 17-14 with “Brighter Days” from album1 featuring the distinct voice of Bipolar Sunshine.
  • The fastest riser on the chart is the disco-tastic “Mister Love” from Luxembourgeois producer White Chocolate, which soars 25-16.

  • When she’s not providing vocals from many top dance music producers, Anna Yvette is writing and producing her own, and the uplifting “Shining Star” advances 22-18.

  • I’m looking forward to what Brandyn Burnette, now known as EMAN8, has up his sleeve for his debut album in 2019.  “Amen” is a soulful, psychedelic, diverse slice of pop music that climbs 23-19.  Check out the attention-grabbing video above.

  • UK producer Jax Jones turns back the clock a bit to what Years & Years sounded like at the time of their debut almost 4 years ago with the joyous pop/dance vibes of their collaboration “Play”, which rises 24-20.

Four Debuts

  • “Closure” by Steve Void and Andy Marsh, is a hard one to get out of your head, and a song to which so many of us can relate, and to which we can dance away our troubles.  It arrives on the chart at #24 and is talented Dutchman Steve’s 4th chart entry as a performer.
  • A voice to listen for in 2019 is NYC-based singer/songwriter Ryan Gibeau.  His gorgeous voice shows off his lower octaves in “Flying High”, an emotional song written on a plane after a relationship ended.  It’s from Ryan’s new album Quiet Fall and bows at #25.

  • Dutch duo The Him return to the chart after a successful 2018 releasing songs for Spinnin’ and getting to #1 on this chart with “Broken Love”.  Steven and J are at #26 with “Look At Us Now”, with some big synth riffs designed for festivals, their 7th entry since 2016.
  • Molly Moore also makes a welcome return to the chart with “Be Here Now”, which is one of her most passionate and compelling songs in the aftermath of personal tragedy.  It arrives at #29 and is her 5th solo chart entry.  Of course Molly is one half of Cosmos N Creature with EMAN8 and her songs feature prominently with them as well.

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 🙂

 

 

Portugal’s #MrGroove (aka @_luis_telo_) has a slick house track with “Time To Go”

MR. GROOVE, “Time To Go”

“Time To Go” is the kind of European house track that goes down like a shot of brandy – slick with a kick!  It’s brought to you by Portugal’s Luis Telo, who records under a variety of names, including Mr. Groove.  The song slams in all the right places, and has a taut uncredited female vocal that smoothly offsets the big beats to share the melodic chorus, which is repeated later in the song without the vocal.  “Time To Go” is a tidy, effortless-sounding dance song that audiences will relate to, and it’s greatly deserving of club DJs’ attention.

Published in: on December 22, 2018 at 11:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Rise up: “Party Through The Pain” and dance it all away from Italy’s @GilSandersdj

GIL SANDERS, “Party Through The Pain”

Sometimes it may seem to hard, but eventually one does break through the pain of a breakup or loss, and music is the appropriate outlet!  Dapper Italian DJ/producer Gil Sanders, who began his fine work in the 00’s as a teenager, has your handle on it with “Party Through The Pain”.  It’s a spirited, anthemic house number that’s destined to give you a good time and lift you up, up, up!  Dance music often becomes great friends with melancholy and “Party Through The Pain” works exceptionally well.  Add it to your Feeling Great playlist using the Spotify link above.  

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Published in: on December 16, 2018 at 11:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #550 – December 10/18

The Top 10 of this edition of the chart is a dancin’ fool’s dream, just chock full of classic house, disco, trap, and of course what would be more likely labelled as pop/dance. But there are many soulful and hip hip influences embedded, along with the presence of a singer normally associated with the country genre.

The Top 10

  • Odesza’s “Loyal” crushes it again at the top, with a feverishly paced song that just makes your heart race and leaves you with an incredible rush at the end. How many other songs could do that this year?

  • The presence of A-Trak and Todd Terry in “DJ’s Gotta Dance More” (3-2) is an inspired collaboration which honours classic house and helps to make that style of dance music even better, by inspiring those who play it!
  • Mercer’s 70’s flavoured house of “Fireworks” (above) races 7-3 to join the dance festivities as he releases another new single called “Boss” (below).
  • PatrickReza’s taut remix of Illenium and Annika Wells’ “Crawl Outta Love” soars 10-5 to give presence to this fine song.
  • These are hardly the last “Days Of Disco” but Canadian duo Botnek definitely have catchy business happening with this song which moves up 8-7.
  • Soulful UK singer/songwriter Sam Dickinson scores his third Top 10 here with “Wild Sun”, which in its Handbag House radio edit should by all rights be played in any club, anywhere that has great taste!  It climbs 13-9.

  • Of course it’s The Chainsmokers who paired with country singer Kelsea Ballerini for another treat for us this year with “This Feeling” rising 12-10.

Movin’ On Up

  • From a great go-to EP called Tough Love, Bright Light Bright Light’s “How I Feel” climbs 19-13.
  • If there’s such a thing as alt.soul.pop then singer Victor Perry and producer Ficci may have coined it in their project called Labrose with “Gravity”, up 20-15.

  • The good-natured vibes of San Holo’s “Brighter Days” definitely creep under your skin and stay there thanks to a totally in sync vocal by Bipolar Sunshine.  The song is from San’s release called Album1 and moves up 21-17.
  • Possibly the tightest and most irresistible song on the chart at only 2:28 is “In My Arms” by L.A.-based producer Mahalo in partnership with newcomer Le:Blanc.  It’s the fastest riser on the chart, soaring 26-18.
  • Illenium entry #2, “God Damnit” as written and sung by Call Me Karizma, wastes no time landing in the Top 20, up 24-19.

4 Debuts

  • As “All For You” exits the chart, Years & Years maintain a presence, this time courtesy of UK producer Jax Jones on “Play” at #24.  “Play” is featured on Jax’s compilation EP called Snacks.
  • Another disco-tastic track to grace the chart is “Mister Love”, by Luxembourg-born producer White Chocolate, which arrives at #25.
  • And as the long-lasting “Infinitum” leaves the chart, so “Naked” by Revelries featuring Romanian vocalist Jeoko arrives to take its place.  The exotic song, tapping into Revelries Emerati roots, lands at #26 out of the gate.

  • More Chainsmokers anyone?  Yes, please!  The guys know when to let loose and show their progressive side, and “Siren”, featuring Aazar is a shining example.  “Siren” debuts at #27.

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 🙂

 

A wicked keyboard melody fuels “Paradigm” by @JayHardway

JAY HARDWAY, “Paradigm”

Dutch producer Jay Hardway is pretty consistent with a steady stream of dance floor and festival favourites to draw from in his repertoire.  Add up high on that list, his latest instrumental “Paradigm”.  I’m not sure if it’s intended, but there’s an incredible late 70s/early 80’s vibe about the song, and it rests in the keyboard hook.  While I can definitely hear a classical melody at its core, I immediately think of some of the instrumental work in Giorgio Moroder’s seminal “From Here To Eternity” as well as some of the synth lushness that’s identified with European hits like FR David’s “Words”. And while I might be totally wrong about all of that, dance music fans will still be hanging on that synth hook while the song shifts into lower gear and then revs back up, similar to what you’ll hear that worked so well in recent songs by Arty and Martin Garrix.  In any case, “Paradigm” is a winner that will sound fabulous through monstrous festival speakers.

Published in: on December 3, 2018 at 11:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Whispers” is a softer Eurohouse delight from France’s Martin Vallée and US singer/songwriter Victor Perry @perksofbeingvic

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.

Published in: on December 3, 2018 at 11:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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