Check out the propulsive collaboration of Russia’s @Proxxxy and @sashaDZA in “Hater”

PROXY and DZA, “Hater”

Russian producer Proxy steps back a few steps from his usually very aggressive and hard hitting electronica with “Hater”, a collaboration with fellow Russian producer and performer DZA. The relentless and bleak spoken vocal sometimes recalls early Ministry from the 80’s, while the flashy synth work can easily set “Hater” alongside music by Fisher among others. It’s a propulsive, dynamic dance track that’s meant for late nights when clubs are jumping. I’m sure club DJ’s will remember to play this one once clubland resumes again.

Published in: on September 7, 2020 at 10:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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It’s “10/10” #14!: @brightlightx2 & @caveboymusic @weareApolloLTD #Calvo @egzodmusic @HVNNIBVL @KidBloomusa @KiNGMALAmusic @Pawl_official & #Discrete @SteveVoidmusic #KaiStevens & @EmilyMcsings

It’s 10/10 – Edition 14!! 

This is the first 10/10 post since June.

In 10/10,  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, and they are not listed in any particular order.  Songs by Yello and Jazz Mino that were featured in edition #13 are currently moving up on my personal chart 🙂

Writing 10/10 posts 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. 

  • BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT and CAVEBOY, “It’s Alright, It’s OK”

“It’s Alright, It’s OK” is the fourth preview from Bright Light Bright Light’s upcoming fourth album called Fun City. This time collaborating with the noted all-women Canadian trio Caveboy, the song is a reassurance for anyone who is having trouble with their identity that everything will work out in the end if you just be yourself. It’s another joyous delight from NYC-based Wales-born Rod Thomas, more of a pop/house workout like the initial single “This Was My House”, full of great synth work and vocals that truly compliment each other. “It’s Alright, It’s OK” is also available on an EP chock full of remixes.

  • APOLLO LTD, “Patient”

The Nashville duo of Jordan and Adam produced one of my favourite albums of 2019 called Out Of Sight, which demonstrated a range of different styles, from ballads to anthems. Apollo LTD are back with “Patient”, more anthem-styled power pop as a plea to the singer’s partner to help him be patient to get through whatever troubles are ailing him. It’s a logical successor to songs from Out Of Sight like “On The Way Up 2.0” which dazzle your ears with seamless production and vocals. Why a major label has not yet snatched up Apollo LTD for their roster is a mystery. The duo consistently provides well-written, quality songs that deserve radio exposure. Check out the new lyric video for “Patient” above.

  • HVNNIBVL, “Worth It”

Now based out of Los Angeles, Buffalo NY singer/songwriter HVNNIBVL quickly follows up his cheery slice-of-life single “Who’s Gotcha” with “Worth It”. Like “Who’s Gotcha”, “Worth It” sends positive vibes in your direction, particularly aimed at people with depression or anxiety whose condition constantly makes them ask themselves if they are good enough. Everyone has their moments in life, so it’s time to step out and shine. “Worth It” is self-produced and showcases HVNNIBVL’s great voice to the max. Sometimes the synth effects are too razzle dazzle to me for this kind of song, and less can often be more. But “Worth It” will certainly move HVNNIBVL more steps forward and I’ll happily be listening for the next one.

  • KID BLOOM, “Blood Sugar”

The L.A.-based singer/songwriter follows up “Wounded/Surrounded” (featured in my 13th “10/10” blog post) with “Blood Sugar”, which is also the title of his recently released EP. After a long relationship, thoughts and feelings always linger, and in Kid Bloom’s take, it’s like being inside your blood. So he sings about emotional entrapment set to a bass synth rhythm which pulsates like whatever is stuck inside his head. His invested vocal and an arrangement that shakes the mix loose of its dark trappings from time to time all make “Blood Sugar” a captivating listen.

  • CALVO, “Broke In Amsterdam”

German producer/DJ Calvo’s latest single “Broke In Amsterdam” has caught my ear with its shiny production that creates a delightful pop/dance confection. Co-written with the always amazing Daniel Volpe, “Broke” is a happy slice-of-life story reminiscing about younger days where life seemed more carefree. It’s just the kind of tonic we need to help us continue to get through these strange times. Calvo has numerous listeners in Europe, who have brought his song stream tally into the 50 million range. Perhaps “Broke In Amsterdam” will expand that audience further into North America.

  • EGZOD, “Ride The Wave”

“Ride The Wave” continues the evolution of Florida-based electronic dance producer EGZOD, about whom I’ve written several times since he arrived on the scene in 2016. More than around 20 million streams later, EGZOD – otherwise known as Carlos Carvalho-Martins – can shift flawlessly between the heaviest trap/dub step and much lighter fare, the latter applying to “Ride The Wave”, which I would call ‘mid-summer beach pop’. The spry uncredited female vocal is appealing and distinct, while EGZOD weaves more harmonies into this song than usual. “Ride The Wave” has some bold singalong moments and washes down as easy as gliding into shore from one of those waves. Watch for EGZOD’s new EP The Revolution next month!

  • KAI STEVENS and EMILY McNALLY, “Hero”

As Summer-themed tunes ride out the last sunsets of the next month, the arrival of a softer song or two for Autumn is always becoming the new season. Kai Stevens is a 17 year old producer and multi-instrumentalist from NYC who has emerged over the last year with songs that keep getting better and better. While this release is nowhere in the league of big productions by Illenium or other similar artists, “Hero” strikes the emotional chords that you would find in the progressive ‘sad boi’ electronica sub-genre. It’s sung by another young New Yorker, Emily McNally, whose graceful and delicate voice is compelling and convincing amid the bigger synth breaks within. “Hero” is a promising song most deserving of electronic dance music fans’ attention.

  • FETS, FORMAL CHICKEN & STEVE VOID, “Pushing On”

Don’t let the billing fool you – I think that “Pushing On” is entirely a Steve Void production. The talented young Dutchman has produced quite a variety of house and dance/pop releases on his Strange Fruits label over the past few years, and he has even opened his own restaurant! While he’s been mainly dabbling in covers of late, “Pushing On” is a brisk, deep house update of a more obscure 2014 track by Germany’s Oliver $ & Jimi Jules. It’s slick and goes down easy, with pitched-down vocals giving it qualities you’d normally find in a soulful UK house track.

  • PAWL & DISCRETE, “Type Like That”

“Type Like That” is a snappy, tautly-produced house single in a partnership between two Swedish producers, Pawl and Discrete. In tandem with direct support from LoudKult Records owner Lucas Estrada, with whom he has also recorded, Pawl’s music has acquired over 20 million streams across platforms since he emerged five years ago. Discrete is newer to the genre, having released an EP and a few singles thus far. But the guys have released one super-catchy, sultry song in “Type Like That”, which is a good bookend with last year’s release by Revelries and Oktavian called “Don’t Think Twice”. The song-writing here is spot on, calling out a long line of so-and-so’s who all behave the same, hence “you’re just a type like that”. This one will stick with you with repeated listens, so don’t say you weren’t warned!

  • KiNG MALA, “sugarblind”

KiNG MALA is the moniker for L.A.-based singer/songwriter Areli Castro, and her music will appeal to fans of Ashe, Bishop Briggs and Maty Noyes. It’s complex alt.rock with a tough exterior (“Mala” means ‘bad bitch’ in Spanish, hence “King Bad Bitch”), underneath which you will find infectious hooks and melodies that will take older fans back to the time of heyday of Kate Bush and Siouxsie Sioux. KiNG MALA is relatively new on the scene, with “sugarblind” her third single release and most streamed one to date. Great talent takes time to develop, so she is definitely one to watch in the coming years, and alt.rock radio should welcome her unique style.

#BILLCSTop30 #584, March 30/20

First of all, I hope that everyone is staying well and safe.  It’s so important to self-enforce social distancing, as difficult as it may be.  Fortunately for me, I have a day job that continues to be busy working from home, and a music hobby that also keeps me busy outside of work hours.  And that’s why there’s only been one – albeit larger than usual – blog post these past few weeks.  I’ve been jumping on every opportunity to watch performers online I’ve never seen in concert and enjoy very much.  This weekend was chock full with Beatport’s electronic online dance festival, Melissa Manchester, Charlie Puth, and Brandyn Burnette!  Music is a tremendous distraction that can cheer you up in minutes, so lean on it if you have to!!

There’s so much wonderful music on the chart that I wish I could write about all of it, but I have to be selective.  There’s a new #1 and four debuts.  So what succeeded “Adore You” by Harry Styles at the top?

Moving up from #11 two weeks ago,  the Fastest Riser on the chart belongs to Chicago’s Whethan, who acquires his first #1 here with the dance/alt.rock of “All In My Head” and its distinct, ear-grabbing vocal by Toronto’s own grandson.  I’m hoping other young producers will look to this song as an outside-of-the-box effort that really gets underneath your skin.  It’s from Whethan’s upcoming album called Fantasy.

Italy’s Deep Chills wrote “Backfire” on an airplane trip to L.A. where he was to meet up with vocalist and songwriter Not Famous.  By the time he got there, all of the music was written and they came up with such an inviting story.  “Backfire” moves up 4-2.  You can see both artists in the video above.

UK producer Gareth Emery with fellow producer Nash soars 12-5 with the pensive “Yesterday” (above) featuring vocals by L.A.’s Linney.  Last week, Gareth announced his upcoming album The Lasers, which I assume will be accompanied by a tour.  He also makes another entry into the chart, with “You’ll Be OK” (featuring Annabel, video below) arriving at #29.  The man is on a roll with great, thoughtful songs with engaging melodies!

The third new song in the Top 10 moves 13-10 and it’s “Fall-Out” by Emirati producers Revelries with fellow producers Boyboyboy and vocalist Will Church.  It’s Revelries second Top 10 on this chart, following last year’s #2 “Don’t Think Twice” (featuring Oktavian).

Quick! Check out and engage yourself in Porter Robinson’s amazing new site to support his upcoming album http://nurtu.re!  “Get Your Wish” climbs 17-11.

One of the performers in this past weekend’s Beatport online festival was A-Trak.  My fellow Canadian performed an amazing, interactive set – complete with his masterful scratching – from his NYC apartment.  His release “Blaze”, with UK’s Friend Within, rises 14-12.

The Highest Debut of the week belongs to new L.A. producer The Prizm with “I Don’t Wanna Go Home” at #13, featuring co-producer/songwriter and vocalist ARTFCAL.  This is a joyous pop/dance song with some underlying vulnerability that totally works.  Plus it’s carried by a heavy beat throughout which is guaranteed to make you move.  Self-isolating be damned, just dance!!

Toronto electronic-rock duo Homestead continues to inch its way up the chart with the potent “Lifeline” rising 15-14.

UK singer/songwriter Sam Dickinson dropped his faithful and soulful cover of Everything But The Girl’s classic “Missing” (below) recently, to accompany his recent single “Diamond Skin” (above), which climbs 21-18.  “Diamond Skin” is from his forthcoming album Off Script, due in the Fall but available for pre-order on all platforms.

Watch for L.A.’s Mahalo online for some shows too!  He’s back on the chart with his 8th entry “Tongue Tied” at #25 in its Danny Quest remix.  Mahalo created this song with fellow producers Disco Killerz and vocalist/songwriter Brandyn Burnette (aka EMAN8).  This is Brandyn’s 15th appearance on the chart as a lead artist, whether it’s under his name or EMAN8.  Then there are his other entries as featured artist or as one half of Cosmos & Creature too!

The fourth debut on the chart is “Lost Boy” by German producer Levi featuring NYC-based singer/songwriter Victor Perry.  Victor’s recent entry with ZEROBADDAYS called “Starlight” slides to #21, but look for the earnest, winning “Lost Boy” to take off in the coming weeks.  It’s Levi and Victor’s second charting collaboration, following 2017’s #3 “Sail”.

The BILLCS Viral Weekly is back 🙂 and will indeed be a weekly feature despite not appearing last week.  Some of the songs will change every week, particularly those by bigger name artists, and it will always include a mix of newer and independent artists with those who are more popular.  Check it out below!

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the new online radio station Radio GTAYou can hear their Big 20 on Wednesday evenings with ‘The Musicman’ James Rogers and listen for songs from the chart too 🙂 Scroll down the station’s main page to listen to lots of variety from across the decades!  I’m the new music consultant for the station so you can expect even more in 2020 🙂  You can start by joining our new interactive Facebook group too!!

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 🙂

 

 

L.A. producer @PrizmOfficial shows versatility with standout “Her Symphony” and earworm “Baby Do” featuring @RapperJayCee

THE PRIZM “Her Symphony”

THE PRIZM and RAPPERJAYCEE, “Baby Do”

L.A. progressive electronic and dance producer The Prizm recently unveiled his debut self-titled album.  It seems to be a conceptual piece about the search for a mysterious and important woman or entity called “ID”.  I previously wrote about the lead-off single “Hello” featuring pitched up vocals by singer McEwen.  The album will definitely appeal to those who enjoy Illenium in particular but other artists like Ekali, Crystal Skies, and Trivecta, and is tightly packed at only 32 minutes long. But the standout track is “Her Symphony”.  The soothing female vocal honestly just gets stuck in your head and the song has a nuanced, almost classically-based melody.  It’s also not quite like what the other artists I’ve mentioned are creating, so appropriately it really stands out.

Right after the release of the album came an almost instantaneous release of “Baby Do”, featuring Maryland’s RapperJayCee.  It’s completely in a different space than the music in the album.  “Baby Do” is a radio-friendly earworm that draws from late 90’s and early 00’s europop like Alice Deejay and marries it with a likeable rap style that you might hear in releases by Big Sean and definitely Drake.  It’s also got a positive message about ‘just doing you’ – no need for phoniness when you’re trying to attract someone’s attention.  “Baby Do” is a real surprise and well-worth hearing – because you’ll keep playing it!

Progressive electronic producer @Kantormusic tantalizes with “Concrete Jungle” and new live #DDR Launchpad video

KANTOR, “Concrete Jungle”

Following up the intriguing “Enter The Grid” is the equally tantalizing “Concrete Jungle” by progressive electronic producer Kantor.  He’s also created a new launchpad for DanceDanceRevolution which you can witness in the above video.  I really enjoy how this song builds and then lets loose with its frenzy of synths and effects.  I can’t comment on DDR, because I know little about it, but know that its fans will find the video of great interest.  “Concrete Jungle” could also use another video perhaps that depicts nightlife in the big city.  Its future bass style isn’t as heavy as that of someone like Wooli and favours progressive electronics instead.  Fans of that sub-genre will undoubtedly be completely satisfied.

Published in: on March 14, 2020 at 9:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Australia’s @Parralox gets it oh so right with reverent cover of Propaganda’s 1985 electronic classic “Duel”

PARRALOX, “Duel”

When not creating innovative original music, Australia’s John von Ahlen and his project Parralox can also create cover versions of classics and lesser known songs from the 80’s and 90’s that come within a few steps of the originals.  On Parralox’s latest album Holiday ’19, along with especially faithful covers of The Human League’s hits “Human” (a #1 in 1986) and “Heart Like A Wheel” (Top 30 in 1988), Parralox tackles “Duel”.  It’s much respected (and often thought to be untouchable) electronic classic from 1985 by the German duo Propaganda and their album A Secret Wish, still heralded to this day, and originally released by Trevor Horn’s ZTT label, which also brought us Frankie Goes To Hollywood.  The vocal for the song by Louise Love is spot-on, and John and team keep the utter essence of the song intact, down to the Fairlight synths and harmonies.  There are a few friendly digressions, and hearing “Duel” receive such a delightful update is simply a treat. 

Published in: on January 12, 2020 at 11:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Hello” is the first taste of the new progressive electronic project by L.A. producer @Prizmofficial with vocals by @McEwenofficial

THE PRIZM and McEWEN, “Hello”

Last year I previewed some songs by L.A. mystery electronic producer The Prizm which showed a lot of interesting potential while he figured out where this new project was heading.  So I’m now pleased to introduce you to the first single from his upcoming untitled release, which is “Hello”.  It’s a rather uncomplicated first taste of what’s to come, with a straight forward melody which finds its way through some complex synths and heavier beats.  The pitched up, unrecognizable vocal belongs to McEwen, otherwise known as Adam Tyler, a long-time favourite in these blog pages.  The Prizm uses McEwen’s appearance to unlock the door to the rest of his release, which fans of Illenium or Seven Lions will want to hear.  So say “Hello” to The Prizm, with much more to come in 2020.

Published in: on January 12, 2020 at 11:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Canada’s @DrOziofficial takes you on a wild electronic ride with “Youth In Asia”

DR. OZI, “Youth In Asia”

India-born, Toronto-based electronic producer Dr. Ozi will push your limits with “Youth In Asia”.  It’s a colourful, herky-jerky track that will keep your attention and impress you with how deftly he moves between rhythms and styles, all in one song!  It’s more apt to please folks who like their electronic dance music on the heavy side, with lots of familiar dubstep moments to ride along the way.  It’s also incredibly melodic and detailed, so it’s no wonder he’s attracted attention from the likes of Zomboy (for whom he opened on a recent tour).  “Youth In Asia” is a feast for your ears if you like your dance music on the progressive side and your electronic music riddled with all kinds of sounds.

“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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Canada’s @itsVincent_ and Australia’s @itsNaderi are out to dazzle with progressive and dubsteppy “Wasted Time”

VINCENT and NADERI, “Wasted Time”

There is plenty of room for more progressive house sounds next to people like Illenium, ZHU, Dabin, Ekali and Said The Sky, and “Wasted Time” by Winnipeg’s Vincent and Sydney’s Naderi.  It’s an inspired collaboration, with pristine production. Once upon a time, Vincent was known as XVII, and since then has remixed the likes of Bazzi and Alessia Cara, while steadily releasing original songs over the past few years.  And you’ll remember that Naderi not only has numerous A-list remixes under his belt, but worked on the Grammy-winning Skin album by his countrymate Flume.  The song sometimes stays in one place too long with emphasis on an ear-ringing, echoey vocal.  But it more than makes the most of its 2:36 when it shifts gears and heads into some infectious dubstep territory.  “Wasted Time” is quite an earful for the progressive-oriented and will throw down well in the midst of a heavier set of songs.

Published in: on October 24, 2019 at 8:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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