Watch the haunting, stunning video for “Chess” by @_ANIQO

ANIQO, “Chess”

At the end of last year, I wrote about “New Signs” by German singer/songwriter ANIQO.  She’s followed it up with a haunting, compelling video for “Chess”, also from her upcoming album Birth.  Sounding perhaps most like Sinéad O’Connor with a dash of Björk in this song, “Chess” is a deliberately paced, progressive slice of electronica, also recalling Laurie Anderson’s initial works, which is enhanced greatly by the imaginative visuals in the video.  It’s somewhat reminiscent of the intrigue of changing faces in the classic video for “Cry” by Godley & Creme from back in the 80’s.  Except there’s only one face, or partial face, in the video, and it’s ANIQO.  “Chess” is not for everyone but it’s bold and adventurous to the credit of the singer/songwriter and her video partners.  I would definitely suggest exposure for the video through various competitions such as one I eventually saw at SXSW – potential award calibre material here in my opinion!

Published in: on April 28, 2018 at 11:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Fierce remixing with no compromise: @Vicetone takes on @The_Prodigy’s “Omen”

THE PRODIGY, “Omen” (Vicetone bootleg remix)

No kind of advance warning will prepare you for the big bounce of Vicetone’s bootleg remix of The Prodigy’s 2009 UK Top 5 hit “Omen”.  The Dutch duo already dropped an excellent original in January with “Fix You”, but this updating of “Omen” is something that club DJ’s should be seriously considering for a powerhouse set.  This remix is completely fierce and The Prodigy’s fans should be more than happy with it.  Taking inspiration from the industrial electronics of the 80’s as well as The Prodigy’s mid 90’s heyday (think more of “Breathe” than “Firestarter”) combined with a new instrumental backdrop – those strings sounds are killer! – give Vicetone’s remix of “Omen” the potential for the song’s revival.  It’s a totally wicked surprise that commands your attention.  Vicetone should now be on your ‘watch list’ for anything that comes from them in 2018 🙂

Published in: on March 3, 2018 at 10:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Chicago’s @Snowmassmusic fires up progressive dubstep instrumentals “Breaking” and “Duffle Bag”

SNØWMASS, “Breaking” and “Duffle Bag” (free DL’s)

Keeping us guessing as to what else is under that black hat with the red ribbon and snowman get up, Chicago’s Snøwmass creates a fiery original musical storm with two progressive dubstep instrumentals, “Breaking” and “Duffle Bag”.  They follow up the potent electronic epic “Crossfire” which I wrote about just before the top of the year.  “Duffle Bag” is a party cranker where you’ll just want to get silly and loose as Snøwmass keeps the rhythm and synths in high gear. “Breaking” is perhaps more adventurous and seems to be owing more to 80’s electronic forces like Ryuichi Sakamoto, Jean-Michel Jarre, or even Mike Oldfield as it weaves a more melodic and cinematic soundscape.  The music of Snøwmass is of the highest calibre and is well worth following to see where he takes us next.  After years of infectious remixes, it is definitely his time for more original songs to have their due.  Download “Duffle Bag” and “Breaking” for free at the links up top.

Published in: on March 1, 2018 at 9:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Unconventional “Moan” by @yourVALNTN in a @therealShiShi remix will keep you listening

VALNTN featuring TREVOR DERING, “Moan” (ShiShi remix)

In a progressive remix where some sexy flute sounds marry with the classical repetition of subtle synths, “Moan” by German producer VALNTN (now based out of Boston) will keep your ears transfixed.  We got to know the global sounds of New York-based producer/remixer ShiShi last Fall with his Bollywood/disco fusion of “Aarti”.  There are definitely some south east Asian tones placed nicely within “Moan”, which complement American singer Trevor Dering’s gritty and very committed vocal.  “Moan” could have ended up sounding silly in the wrong hands, but instead it ends up being memorable and quite the perfect song to have been released on February 14, given after all that it is by VALNTN 🙂  Be surprised and check out “Moan” at the link above.

Published in: on February 21, 2018 at 10:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“100” by L.A.-based singer/songwriter @Kaufaudio is edgy, cinematic electronica

KAUF, “100” 

A singer/songwriter who is very passionate about his craft is L.A.-based Ron Kaufman.  His songs would usually appeal to those who enjoy James Blake or Jean-Michel Jarre, with influences back to 80’s new wave and other progressive electronic artists.  The music of Kauf is highly cinematic and begs for accompanying images, but “100”, from his recent album Regrowth, is edgier and more suited for club goers.  Its pulsating melody with sharp guitar riffs and layers of synths is well-suited to Ron’s expressive voice and his songwriting, which tends to remind me a lot of Depeche Mode’s late 80’s and early 90’s heyday.  Kauf can acquit itself nicely in band format – keyboards, guitars, drums – as I witnessed again this past Friday in concert in Toronto.  Check out “100” at the link above, as well as the entire Regrowth album, available on Bandcamp right here.

Published in: on January 21, 2018 at 10:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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New Seattle production duo @weareSolstis bring on the crunchy, progressive instrumental “Open Your Eyes”

SOLSTIS, “Open Your Eyes” (free DL)

Seattle producers Solstis are out to convincingly make their mark with “Open Your Eyes”, their latest original song from their upcoming album Nowhere.  It’s a busy, crunchy instrumental that fuses trap with old school industrial electronic dance music.  You can hear classical influences as well as 80’s inspiration that alternately recalls The Art Of Noise and Ministry, not quite what you would expect in one song.  “Open Your Eyes” is indeed an aggressive dance track, not suited for every club.  But its complex and unpredictable arrangement will compel you to listen, and at the end of its 3:26 length you will want to hear more.  Download “Open Your Eyes” by Solstis for free at the link above.

Published in: on January 19, 2018 at 9:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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French producer @Khamsinmusic goes huge future bass with “Second Guess” featuring @Anukamusic

KHAMSIN featuring ANUKA, “Second Guess”

At times sometimes sounding a bit contrary to its lyrics, “Second Guess” comes confidently from French producer Khamsin, who, along with Kidswaste and Rusty Hook, is another member of the collective Slow Hours.  With a major bonus, it features vocalist Anuka, who you’ll remember from her persuasive singing in last year’s “Heavy Hearted” by Murky.  When the song is quiet, the arrangement surrounds Anuka’s voice like a velvet envelope.  But when it’s loud, it’s almost a future bass battle cry complete with knights, catapults, and castles all a rage in your head.  “Second Guess” has a big movie soundtrack with a fairy tale love story of uncertainty.  It will make you shiver and then want to cheer.  Khamsin isn’t about to leave any stone unturned in in this majestic production.  He is definitely one to watch with “Second Guess”.  Add it to your big and loud electronic playlist using the Spotify link above.

Published in: on January 15, 2018 at 9:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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NYC-based duo @weareAnden return with progressive electronica of “Retrograde”

ANDEN, “Retrograde” (extended mix)

NYC-based producers/remixers Anden (aka brothers Pete and Tom) follow up the originals they released in 2017 with possibly their most dynamic song yet with the progressive-sounding”Retrograde”, which is featured on the EP Unified Vol. 7 jointly with songs with Max Ruby.  Definitely go with the 7 minute extended mix of “Retrograde”, which starts with a slow-burn tribal introduction but proceeds to show off a lot of inspiration from 80’s electronic music that would stand comfortably beside songs of that era by Duran Duran, Thomas Dolby or Jean-Michel Jarre.  There is an abundance of contemporary flash with a barrage of flowing synths and minimalist-styled vocals that will keep you entertained.  Add “Retrograde” (extended mix) to your playlist of electronic wizards at the Spotify link above.

Published in: on January 13, 2018 at 8:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Chicago’s @iamSnowmass returns with stunning, progressive original “Crossfire” featuring L.A.-based @MonaMoua

SNØWMASS featuring MONA MOUA, “Crossfire” (free DL)

Regular readers of this blog know about my admiration for Chicago producer/remixer Snøwmass through his fascinating, mysterious, and sometimes pretty down ‘n dirty remixes of songs by the likes of Canadians Sterling Grove and Ellyn Woods (“Sound Of Home”), as well as Cut Snake (“Echo”) and Convex & Titus (“Bad Kids”). 

For the last several months, Snøwmass has been off social media and hard at work on a full album which he will release soon with the strange title of Amongst An Acid Wolfpack, and the first taste from it is “Crossfire”, featuring L.A.-based singer Mona Moua. 

“Crossfire”, simply said, is like none of Snøwmass’ remixes.  I would pitch it more to fans of fellow producer Crywolf’s originals as progressive electronic music with classic rock music at its base, perhaps with some classical melodic influence added.  The song is full of different moods and movements, with the beginning of “Crossfire” not leading to a place that you think you’d be at the end.  What throws the song into play big time is what sounds like an awkward transition at around 1:20 that ends up as one of the most memorable parts of the song.  Mona Moua’s vocal is perfect for “Crossfire”, soothing in the quiet that surrounds the dramatic, aggressive instrumental segments.  

“Crossfire” is definitely a huge, dynamic introduction to the next phase of Snøwmass which may catch listeners off guard.  It requires close listens and multiple plays, and will certainly prepare you for what Snøwmass has to offer next.  At the link above, you can dive in and get it as a free download while you can.

 

Published in: on November 8, 2017 at 11:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“ZULU” is large and in charge trap-style from @FarandFewmusic and @Dreamerkta

DREAMER and FAR & FEW, “ZULU”

It’s loud, busy, large and in charge, but what might you expect when with a title like “ZULU”?  Austin duo Far & Few pair up with New Zealand’s Dreamer via Tribal Trap for a song that will put your speakers to a great test.  Chunky bass drips with distorted synths and percussion nicknacks, following a ponderous rhythm interspersed with well-placed chants.  Yeah “ZULU” is pretty much for adventurous dance/EDM fans but it’s a fun three minutes where you can put your head and feet into a different space.  Check it out above and show your support by picking it up at one of the many online digital stores.

Published in: on April 25, 2017 at 8:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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