“Waitin'” by Finland’s @Samlightmusic and India’s @Trauvmusic with vocalist Morell Brown @officialMBrown puts some big bounce into your summer

SAMLIGHT & TRAUV and MORELL BROWN, “Waitin'”

With the world sometimes feeling so close together, it’s always amazing to see cross-continent collaborations come to successful fruition, and such is the case with “Waitin'” by Samlight and Trauv with vocals from NYC’s Morell Brown.  Finland’s Samlight has seen electronic dance releases flourish through most of the major dance music labels.  Here he’s partnered with Trauv, a rising producer from India whose music has already been supported by the likes of Thomas Gold and Hardwell.  Although there have been a number of successful dance producers from India such as Shaan, I must admit it’s rare to see this kind of collaboration.  Bring in singer/songwriter Morell , who totally nails the vocal, and you have “Waitin'”, a true bop that aims to put some big bounce into your summer.  In between its story, “Waitin'” emphasizes sparkling arpeggios which teleport you back to melodic house of 2012.  We need more feel-good music in 2020 and “Waitin'” certainly has the recipe for just that.

Published in: on August 8, 2020 at 8:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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US electronic production duo @itsCrystalSkies follows up last year’s EP “Constellations” with vocals by @hernameisLuma in touching new single “Lullaby”

CRYSTAL SKIES and LUMA, “Lullaby”

Crystal Skies continues to find a successful, pleasing balance of big synths, drops and melody in their new single “Lullaby”, which once again features the co-writing and vocal talents of the Nashville-based Luma.  It’s a gorgeous, affecting song, awash in lots of synths that you probably won’t be able to wait to hear on big speakers with lasers flashing at a concert venue once they resume safely.  In the meantime, crank up those stereo speakers to obtain the maximum effect of Luma’s soaring voice.  “Lullaby” will not disappoint, even if it isn’t as hard core heavy dubstep as some of Crystal Skies’ previous songs.  As a big bonus, all proceeds for purchase of the song go to the NAACP legal defense fund and Communities United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB).

Published in: on August 3, 2020 at 3:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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New Danish producer Toby Rose arrives with the melodic deep house of “Chance To Run”

TOBY ROSE, “Chance To Run”

Denmark’s Toby Rose is a new name to get to know in the electronic dance world.  “Chance To Run” is his second single, a mid-tempo melodic deep house track with a sexy, lusty undercurrent which will help make the rest of the summer months whirr along.  The uncredited male vocal pleads to the object of his affection as he gets caught up in the complex game of love.  Toby Rose has spent most of the last part of the decade writing and producing for others.  With strong songs like “Chance To Run” now under his own name, you can expect him to find many more new fans itching for that house music fix.

Published in: on August 3, 2020 at 3:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Solid partnerships: Actor/DJ/Producer @IdrisElba creates new music with both @KevinSaunderson & Inner City (“We All Move Together”) and @TheKnocks and @TiggsDaAuthor (“One Fine Day”)

INNER CITY and IDRIS ELBA, “We All Move Together”

IDRIS ELBA & THE KNOCKS and TIGGS DA AUTHOR, “One Fine Day”

After establishing himself as a force in the electronic producer/DJ world over the last decade, actor Idris Elba (after conquering COVID-19 no less) finds himself as part of no less than two new dynamic dance music releases.

The first is “We All Move Together”, the title song from the most recent album by Inner City as led by influential house legend Kevin Saunderson.  Kevin brought back the highly regarded Inner City moniker last year after an almost 30 year absence with the album Inner City Presents Need Your Love, with the new Inner City featuring Kevin’s son Danitez.  “We All Move Together” is a fresh experience, with a two minute spoken-word lead-in from Idris that name-drops every Inner City smash that dance music fans like me adore so much.  It’s this Faithless-like flourish that leads in to a song that blends in classic house and more experimental, techno-styled rhythms that you would hear more on a Chemical Brothers track than one by Inner City.  It works seamlessly, and I’m looking forward to listening to the rest of the album.

NYC dance music mainstay production duo The Knocks bring us “One Fine Day” in conjunction with producer Idris (rather than vocalist Idris – those duties are carried admirably by Tanzania’s Tiggs Da Author).  It’s a complex, rhythmic track that continues where last year’s Summer Series songs by The Knocks like “Awa Ni” left off.  “One Fine Day” is one slamming track and full of positive vibes, about seeing those dreams through until you make your own successes.  All proceeds for “One Fine Day” go to further develop England’s Black Cultural Archives heritage centre.

“All In” is melodic electronica from @DJNittiGritti and vocalist Jimmy Levy

NITTI GRITTY and JIMMY LEVY, “All In”

“All In” is the title song of the latest EP by Miami-based producer/DJ Nitti Gritti (aka Ricky Mears), with an emotional vocal from collaborator Jimmy Levy.  Nitti Gritti has been a discovery for me through online festivals these past few months.  I was totally impressed with a set I saw him spin a few months ago, which led me to listen to the All In EP and zero in on the title song, which is now starting to pick up dance music radio airplay in the US. 

What I didn’t know is that Nitti Gritti has also honed his craft for the last four years producing in the Latin Music genre.  Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull’s “Move To Miami”?  “Hold You Tight” and “Bubble Up” by Diplo?  He co-produced all of them, and remixed “Miami”.  He’s also remixed hits by Bazzi, Ellie Goulding, Dillon Francis, Krewella, and many more.  Last year he received a Latin Grammy for co-producing “200 MPH” by Bad Bunny and Diplo. 

So on another side of the spectrum, Nitti Gritti makes progressive and melodic bass house, and “All In”, with its compelling imagery, is a noteable and accessible song that you’ll be hearing all summer long, appealing to fans of Illenium, Said The Sky and others.

“For What It’s Worth” is crystalline dance/pop from the UK’s @TiggyHawke and @Sondrofficial

TIGGY HAWKE and SONDR, “For What It’s Worth”

Don’t worry, it’s not a dance version of the Buffalo Springfield classic!  The UK’s Tiggy Hawke and producers Sondr (who recently brought us their own unique spin on Eiffel 65’s “Blue” called “So Blue”) pair up for “For What It’s Worth”.  It’s a bright, positive, crystalline-sounding slice of dance/pop that might need a few listens, as it did with me, before it sinks in.  It’s a nice blend of melodic and tropical house vibes carried by Tiggy’s distinct and knowing vocal, which doesn’t sound an awful like other singers from England.  Dance music radio should enjoy this one and it’s clear that its record company Armada definitely believes in this song, which also has the potential to resonate at spring and summer festivals.

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. 

Soon to be a winter festival fave, @ChetPorter scores with jubilant melodic house of “Secrets”

CHET PORTER, “Secrets”

While most of Canadian producer Chet Porter’s releases thus far have focused on outstanding, gorgeous melodies, Chet wraps up his new song “Secrets” with all that and big beats too.  Thus, we have a new winter music festival favourite in our midst.  Between the choir-like vocals, the old school European melodic house styled backdrop, and some truly wicked synth work with futuristic house elements. “Secrets” will reel in not only Chet’s many fans, but club DJ’s and house music fans too.  Don’t let this one slip by – “Secrets” is a winner!

Published in: on December 14, 2019 at 10:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Without You” offers a bright showcase for new Oregon-based singer @AUSTNofficial via Dutch producer @SteveVoidmusic

STEVE VOID & AUSTN, “Without You”

Dutch producer Steve Void is having a great year not only with music from his Strange Fruits label, but also with his own releases.  Continuing the trend is “Without You”, a fine song that could have had a perfectly happy life as a sullen ballad.  But Steve had other things in mind and brought in charming new Oregon-based singer AUSTN, who gives the song a lot of why-is-this-happening-only-to-me personality and dimension.  Sure it’s still a sad song, but it’s also given a lift by a few bars of melodic house, which allows the relationship in the song to achieve full closure (cue another Steve Void song…).  Anyway, “Without You” to me has pop and dance music radio potential in the many ways by which it draws in a listener who will ultimately be quite satisfied in the end.

Published in: on October 24, 2019 at 8:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Walk Alone”, the latest by Dutch producers @TheHim, revels in sharp melodic house recalling earlier in the decade

THE HIM, “Walk Alone”

Easily one of my favourite purveyors of top notch house music, Dutch producers The Him are back with one of their best songs to date in “Walk Alone”.  After critics tried to bury the melodic house genre of the early part of the decade, smart producers like The Him are gradually reviving its influential presence, largely inspired by the late Avicii.  It makes “Walk Alone” a brisk 2:51, where you just wait for those magical melodic drops and hooks.  The uncredited male vocal is also appealing ear candy, and “Walk Alone” should become one of The Him’s big fan favourites in concert.  Side note: If you didn’t know, Jeroen (J) will no longer be performing with Steve in order to focus on production, and we’ll miss J at the shows, but The Him will continue to be a constant force in the house music scene.

Published in: on September 14, 2019 at 2:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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