It’s @PenguinPrison x 3, with vocals for @Gramercysound on “Unbelievable Love” and remixes for @Arizona_music and @FreedomFrymusic

GRAMERCY featuring PENGUIN PRISON, “Unbelievable Love”

ARIZONA, “Electric Touch” (Penguin Prison remix)

FREEDOM FRY, “Junkie” (Penguin Prison remix)

I definitely enjoy my doses of new music by or featuring Penguin Prison in doses of three like this 🙂  New York’s Chris Glover is back with new music following his second album, 2015’s Lost In New York, featuring on vocals with fellow NYC denizen (but a Canadian in disguise , hehe) Gramercy on “Unbelievable Love” (above) for Spinnin’ Deep no less.  This is particularly fast-paced house that will sound great in clubs at the top of the evening.  And Gramercy, also known as Justin Davey, knows his craft well and who to work with – he’s produced songs by the likes of David Guetta, Jason Derulo and Nicki Minaj.  With fine songs like “Unbelievable Love”, Gramercy is one to watch!

Returning to more familiar territory that sends me back to Penguin Prison’s other remixes, like for Ghost Town’s “Too Young” a few years back, we have French/American duo Freedom Fry with “Junkie” (below).  The catchy song, from an EP of official Remixes, gets a big boost from PP’s funky touches which do all the right things to help make this one a singalong come chorus time.

Penguin Prison also tackles an official remix for on-the-bubble New Jersey group             A R I Z O N A on “Electric Touch” (also below).  With more of a regimental rhythm and lots of high end, PP’s remix captures the magic of instant love at first touch.  This one’s an easy grab for club DJ’s to catch on to Arizona’s growing appeal and Penguin Prison’s effortless way of making his interpretations work so well.

#BILLCSTop86Songsof2016

Trying to find time to write everything I want is always an issue.  I present to you my Top 86 Songs of 2016, with this blog post based on the radio program which aired on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day on http://www.planetradio.ca 🙂  Here’s my commentary on my Top 30 Songs with the complete list following.  Links to my Top 10 Songs are featured further down…

#30:  Brandyn Burnette’s “Made Of Dreams”, the title song from his first EP, and the first of four songs by or featuring him on this year end list. The song was greatly enhanced by a feel-good tropical mix from Chicago remix duo Win & Woo collaborating with Kiso Armic, also from Chicago.

#29 – L.A.-based singer/songwriter Simon Curtis with “Super Psycho Love” from his album Super 8bit Heart, first of two songs from that album in this list. That album was a 2016 reimagining of Simon’s 2010 free online mixtape still available from his website called 8bit Heart, which to me is one of the most endearing recordings of the decade. “Super Psycho Love” benefited most from an update and appeared on my chart for the first time.

#28 – courtesy of Canadian duo Young Bombs, who also have two remixes in my list. They brought the bounce to a fine record out of Norway from a young newcomer named Jesper Jenset called “High”.

#27 – belonging to Canadian brothers Chris and Alex from Orangeville Ontario – DVBBS! They’ve been on this list before (in 2015 and 2014), but this year they included Toronto’s Dante Leon on vocal for the toe-tapper “Angel”.

#26 – a taste of 80’s flavoured funk courtesy of NYC producer/remixer Jenaux with the rollicking original “Get It On”. Jenaux also partnered with Texas duo Tritonal for the song “Broken” (#45), and has another remix in this list.  

#25 – more Canadians 🙂 with a creative and funky remix by Chicago’s Snøwmass of a song by Montreal production duo Sterling Grove who are paired with Toronto pop/jazz vocalist Ellyn Woods for the mysterious “Sound Of Home”.

#24 – one of the most provocative and surprising albums of 2016 was Blue Neighbourhood by South Africa-born, Australia-based singer Troye Sivan, who had a world-wide following on You Tube before making records. It consists of beautifully crafted, poignant songs which meant a lot particularly to many teens, and scored the Top 20 hit “Youth”. I dove deeper into the album for the evocative “Talk Me Down”.  My bigger list also includes “Wild” (#35)  and “Fools” (#40), all BILLCS Top 30 Top 10 songs.

#23 – belongs to California duo Mako with their dance radio hit “Smoke Filled Room”. As remixed by Elephante, who appears two more times in this list, “Smoke Filled Room” set the stage for a crush of a now-grown up woman.

#22 – on the rise in 2016 was L.A. producer and singer Mi Disguise (aka Louie Garcia), and with his pal Rouse created a wonderful dance mix EP called NGHT LFE for summer clubbing. Their song “Her And Him” is an inspiring song for late night romance.

#21 – the song I liked best on Adele’s album 25 next to last year’s “Hello”, “All I Ask” is another knockout performance and stood out from the rest of the songs on the album.

#20 – if there was any song in 2016 that would instantly make you feel good it’s one by veteran producer Tony Moran and singer Jason Walker and his amazing range. “So Happy” was a deserved #1 Billboard club hit.

#19 – I was wowed by MAX when I saw him perform in October 2015, and since then he has been a steady presence on the BILLCS Top 30. Singer and actor Max Schneider brought us a full album called Hell’s Kitchen Angel. The album contained a sweet ballad called “Lights Down Low”, but it was the smashing uptempo remix by L.A. duo Two Friends that took it to new heights. It’s the first of two in this list by MAX.

#18 – producer/remixer Tim Wu calls himself Elephante and from his EP I Am The Elephante recorded “Plans” featuring BILLCS favourite Brandyn Burnette on vocals, and I hope the pair will repeat this collaboration soon.

#17 – back and as grand as ever in 2016 was the classic dance duo Pet Shop Boys from their album Super with the lead off single “The Pop Kids”, which got club goers out onto the dance floor in the Spring.

#16 – a very distinct song that found its way out of its native Norway to become a worldwide pop and dance club hit. Featuring a unique vocal by a singer named Iselin Solheim, it’s “Faded” by newcomer Alan Walker.

#15 – Dutch duo The Him released an irresistible deep house club hit “Balance”, which features L.A. based Dutch singer/songwriter Oktavian. Watch for more great music from The Him in 2017 as they wrapped up the year opening for The Chainsmokers on their European tour.

#14 – one of the most poignant songs of 2016 is based on a coincidence of real-life events of loss, by Brandyn Burnette called “Lost” from his EP Made Of Dreams. Brandyn auditioned for American Idol at the top of the year and took a risk by performing this original, which the judges loved, though Brandyn chose not to continue on the show. “Lost” is the third of four songs in the Top 30 by or featuring Brandyn.

#13 – preceding Hell’s Kitchen Angel in 2016 was MAX’s EP Wrong. The title song is a hip hop flavoured rave up featuring rapper Lil Uzi Vert who scored with his own album and songs in 2016 as well. A BILLCS Top 30 #1.

#12 – featuring an incredible gritty vocal by American singer Brayton Bowman is “Shy” by Belgian producer The Magician, who released “Shy” and songs by others in 2016 on his own label Potion Records. Watch for more of this incredible music from The Magician and his stable of artists in 2017.  A BILLCS Top 30 #1.

#11 – “Kiss The Sky” by NYC duo The Knocks featuring none other than The Fugees’ Wyclef Jean on vocals. The Knocks created a grand party when I saw their show in January, proving themselves to be slick entertainers as well as producers. Their album 55 continued the dance party, and they found themselves opening for Justin Bieber on his European tour in the latter part of 2016. “Kiss The Sky” is sheer dance music escapism at its best.  A BILLCS Top 30 #1.

#10 – the third entry on the list by Elephante is “Closer”, which became his signature song after being heard in many remixes which included worthy ones by the likes of producers Aash Mehta and Speaker Of The House. The vocalist on “Closer” is Portland, Oregon’s Bishøp and it’s one of the best of 2016. 

#9 – “Dreamin’” by British producer/remixer Embody featuring fellow Brit vocalist Camden Cox. It’s somewhat hard to believe that the song that could transport you most to a hot beach party in 2016 was brought to us from two talented Brits. “Dreamin’” is 2016’s best tropical mix.

Songs 8 through 1 all were BILLCS Top 30 #1’s 🙂

#8 – belonging to my fellow Canadian The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Tesfaye, and Abel grew up not far from where I grew up, but in a community of 90’s Ethiopean immigrants, which makes his success all the more formidable. The Weeknd collaborated with the award-winning French duo Daft Punk for “Starboy”, from the diverse album of the same name, which also gave him his first Billboard #1 hit. 

#7 – Brandyn Burnette has his final song of 4 in the Top 30 (and 8 on the full list, plus one by his duo Cosmos & Creature with his gal Molly Moore) from his special EP Made Of Dreams with “Nothing At All”. It’s a sparse production that brings out the progressive soul vibe of the song, which made the Made Of Dreams EP all the more listenable. Brandyn’s putting finishing touches on his third release due in January.

#6 – one of the most emotional songs of the year, the second one on the list called “Lost”, this one by British Columbia native Connor Phillips. In its original version, the song is a short acoustic ballad, but Canadian remix duo Young Bombs once again gave their redux an extra wow factor by washing it in enough synths to make your eyes wet. If you find yourself wanting to hug someone, blame it on the power of music.

free download:

#5 – the second song from Super 8bit Heart on this list is “8bit Heart”, a personal favourite of mine from 2010 that was redone for 2016. “8bit Heart” is a song like none other to me, it’s a song full of love and heart that totally captivated me 6 years ago in its original version, and was my #4 song of that year. Simon kept it real in 2016 and made the redux of “8bit Heart” the lead companion song for his book Boy Robot. 

#4 – released in late July, it was hard to believe that “Closer” by The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey would become one of the biggest hits of the decade, with 12 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Chainsmokers, who are the NYC duo of Alex Pall and Drew Taggart, appeared on my list last year but more than any act in 2016 outdid themselves with their relentless performing and recording schedules. But the best of it all, is that they remained truly down-to-earth and supportive of other breaking acts in the dance community. “Closer” resonated with me too.

#3 – this song really kicked a funky butt into the proceedings in 2016, being the song that followed The Chainsmokers’ “Closer” at #1 on my regular chart of the BILLCS Top 30. It’s “Native Son Prequel” by producer/remixer Gramatik featuring London-born American vocalist Leo Napier. It’s a song told from the perspective of a pimp, and aside from that odd story angle, NYC remixer Jenaux gave it a spirited 70’s funk flavour that could only make you think of the character Huggy Bear from TV’s Starsky & Hutch 😛 

#2 – Toronto duo Dzeko & Torres collaborated with Sweden’s Hellberg for their free download release of “Care For Me”, which is my #2 song of 2016. While the performers may have considered “Care For Me” to be a great free promotional vehicle for their music in 2016, it was in fact a fabulous arrangement featuring an uncredited vocal, whose lyrics also struck an emotional nerve with me. Dzeko & Torres have since decided to pursue other efforts, with Julian Dzeko continuing to record while Luis Torres ventures into the production side of things, and I’m glad I caught their show in Toronto in April. Jon Hellberg on the other hand featured prominently on the BILLCS Top 30 in 2016 with both “Synchronize” and “All The Way”.

#1 – my favourite song of 2016 was brought to my attention courtesy of an excellent innovative remix, one of the best of the year, by relative newcomers EDWYNN x TIKAL (also known as Swedes Thor Lundberg and Leonard Palmberg) and Spirix (who is American producer/remixer Devain Doolaramini). The song is “So Bad” by L.A. singer/songwriter Brandon Skeie, who didn’t release more than a handful of songs in 2016 but is set out to conquer 2017. A protege of Semi-Precious Weapons frontman and noted songwriter Justin Tranter, who co-wrote Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” and Fall Out Boy’s “Centuries” among others, Brandon has an amazing high register, which helped send “So Bad” into the history books for me. It’s one of the best songs ever about longing for someone who you may or may not get to have in your life. 

Original:

Remix (free download):  

The full list, web version:  BILLCS Top 86 Songs of 2016

Spotify playlist of most of the songs:  BILLCS Top 86 Songs of 2016

Heart’s desire: “Memories Of You” by @iamAlyxAnder featuring @SreyDavihaunts

ALYX ANDER featuring SREY DAVI, “Memories Of You”

It’s one of the more compelling progressive deep house records I’ve heard in a while, and it may might cause races to the dance floor.  Miami-based producer/DJ Alyx Ander brings us “Memories Of You” featuring Seattle-based vocalist Srey Davi.  Unlike so many Dance/EDM records that are about escaping or burying the past, “Memories Of You” is reminiscent of an enticing affair where you can’t get that special person out of your head.  Srey Davi’s vocal commands your attention, turning the emotions up as needed, while Alyx Ander’s mix showcases some terrific build ups to drops that you don’t want to end. It’s great to see Nettwerk Records supporting “Memories Of You” as they have a wealth of electronic music history tracing back to their humble mid-80’s beginnings which launched the likes of Sarah McLachlan.  You can pick up “Memories Of You”, along with a half dozen remixes (below, including a playful Alex Preston remix, Alyx’s own slower “day by the pool” alternative, and Banx’s sizzling, mainly downtempo take) at your favourite digital store.

Published in: on December 18, 2016 at 10:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #495 – October 31/16

The only thing scary about this Hallowe’en edition of the BILLCS Top 30 is that songs 4 to 18 are all bulleted, which means that songs are patiently waiting their turns to rise faster up the chart.  You should also know that the BILLCS Top 30 is strictly my list of favourites and the rankings are purely subjective.  Even better, these 30 songs form part of a regular 60 to 70 song playlist on my iPod – yes I have lots of faves even if they aren’t on the chart!

The Top 10

  • The Top 3 are some of my favourite songs of 2016, all holding steady, with Gramatik and Leo Napier once again holding court at #1 with the Jenaux remix of “Native Son Prequel” from Gramatik’s album Epigram.  But will it stay on top next week or relinquish it to another song?
  • I don’t know when I’ve ever had two songs from Norway in my Top 10, but the first of those is “High” by Jesper Jenset in a punchy Young Bombs remix.  It climbs 8-4 – will it be enough to get the song to the top in two weeks?
  • Songs #5 and #6 have been bookends for weeks and they continue to climb – Tritonal & Jenaux’s “Broken”, featuring Adam Lambert (ab0ve), giving NYC producer/remixer two songs in the Top 5 🙂 and Norwegian #2 Matoma & Becky Hill’s “False Alarm” (below – the Steve Void remix), which is at last making inroads at US Dance Radio.
  • Zipping into the Top 10 13-7 with eyes towards the top is “Plans” by Elephante featuring Brandyn Burnette, neither of whom are strangers to the Top 10 this year.  Elephante’s “Closer” peaked at #3, while Brandyn has visited four times solo and once featured as part of Cosmos & Creature (his side project with Molly Moore), but first time as a featured solo artist!
  • Toronto’s Chet Porter brings his show back to home territory on Tuesday November 8 opening up for Lemaitre at the Velvet Underground.  His current single “Stay”, featuring Chelsea Cutler, continues to move up, 10-8 🙂
  • Also new to the Top 10 are two tremendous slices of EDM:  “In My Head” by Steve James featuring RKCB (above) rises 11-9, while “In The Name Of Love” by Martin Garrix & Bebe Rexha (below) leaps 14-10.  It becomes Martin’s 4th Top Tenner following #1’s “Animals” and “Proxy” and #3 “Gold Skies”.

Movin’ On Up

  • It looks like Brandyn Burnette may land three times in the Top 10 in two weeks – which he has done before solo 🙂 – as “Closer” (from his EP State I’m In, above) glides 15-11 in a crunchy Sean Turk remix.  He also features on Molly Moore’s hypnotic “Just A Dream” (below), which is the chart’s fastest riser, vaulting 20-13.

  • It’ll take a lot for me to get sick of Torontonian The Weeknd’s epic “Starboy”, featuring Daft Punk, which jumps 18-12.
  • Bright Light Bright Light and Scissor Sisters’ Ana Matronic climb 19-16 with “I Only Want To Please You” (above) from BLx2’s album Choreography.  Not to be outdone, BLx2 follows it up with an EP of cover versions called Cinematography, featuring his rendition of Michael Sembello’s #1 song from the film “Flashdance”, “Maniac”, which you can hear below 🙂

  • Cole Plante looks to be headed for another Billboard Club Play #1 with “Teardrops” (featuring Bobi) as it approaches that chart’s Top 5.  “Teardrops” swiftly moves up this chart 27-21 too!
  • The only appropriate Hallowe’en song on the chart is “Skeleton” by  NYC’s Stefan Alexander, and I understand that a video is forthcoming 🙂  “Skeleton” climbs 28-22.

Three Debuts – Fun and Funky, Fun and Wacky, Fun and Dirty

  • L.A.-based producer/DJ Bobby Nourmand has outdone himself with a rework of one of his own songs.  “D E E P  In NY” takes his deep house instrumental “Deep” and adds fantastic fun and funky hip hop rhythm and rhyme courtesy of D.O.C. and Goodmorning.  It’s a striking original all over again and bows on the chart at #25.  Bobby has some fantastic news coming soon as well.  
  • Halifax EDM artist Famba has a fun and wacky debut on this chart with “Right Here, Right Now” at #26.  The extended version is a must hear for Famba’s long, enjoyable patter – point of reference for me is Eric Burdon & War’s “Spill The Wine”,  combined with 90’s house rhythms similar to classics like “Push The Feeling On” and “The Bomb! (These Sounds Fall Into My Mind)”.  It totally sustains its 7 minute length so check it out above!
  • The second song with hip hop sharing space with EDM is Convex & Titus’ “Bad Kids”, which unto itself is a pretty cool track.  But creative Chicago remixer Snøwmass takes it several steps further making it even more fun and dirty.  “Bad Kids” arrives at #27.

View the full BILLCS Top 30 right here, and be sure to click on the photos to hear all of the songs.

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

Listen for me with my Pick of the Week at 2:20/6:20/10:20 AM/PM EST on http://www.planetradio.ca most days Monday through Sunday, and my flashbacks to a Toronto Top 10 of yesteryear Tuesday at 9pm EST! :)

@Bannersmusic’s “Start A Riot” gets fresh EDM makeovers by @itsDaveEdwards and @Thundatraxx

BANNΞRS, “Start A Riot” (Dave Edwards and Thundatraxx remixes)

It’s rare when two remixes of a song that’s been long on the bubble come along, and you can’t really decide which one you like best.  The good news is that both are official remixes of Banners’ “Start A Riot”.  UK singer/songwriter Banners (aka Michael Nelson) has been touring North America recently promoting his highly touted EP released late last year.  And while the original of “Start A Riot” comes off as an enjoyable song that’s the next best thing to acoustic Coldplay, the remixes beg to offer up their own variations.  

NYC native Dave Edwards keeps his remix closer to the original melody as well as the pace of the song, as it gradually segues into charming futuristic deep house that allows a beautiful focus on Banners’ voice at the 2 minute mark.  

Thundatraxx is the (shhh) pseudonym for noted US producer/songwriter Eric Sanicola, who revs up the tempo a tad allowing him to incorporate an anthemic tropical vibe which serves the song nicely, keeping the song’s intention and vocal qualities intact.

So you can’t go wrong with either remix and it will be special indeed if club DJ’s can find a place for them in their playlists, which will help grow Banners’ music to an entirely different crowd.  Listen to both remixes via Spotify below.

 

 

#BILLCSTop30 #483 – May 16/16

Dance music has always been present on my chart but seems to arrive in waves but also in droves.  There is so much great dance music out there, probably as much as there was around 2002-04 when worldwide flavours became more prominent thanks to online exposure.  So in edition #483, there are SIX debuts (about which I’ve already written), all in the EDM/dance vein, remixed or not!

The Top 10

  • “Care For Me” by Toronto’s Dzeko & Torres (currently touring in Europe) and Sweden’s Hellberg, and the emotional Young Bombs remix of “Lost” by B.C.’s Connor Phillips still lead the chart neck-and-neck.  Both songs are two of my most favourites of 2016 thus far.
  • Manse’s “Freeze Time”, featuring fellow Swede Alice Berg on vocals, may have come out in 2015, but MaxR’s progressive remix (available for free download above) has kept it much alive in 2016, as it climbs 6-4.

  • If this were almost any other year, “The Pop Kids” by Pet Shop Boys (7-5) would be #1 on this chart.  But the songs above are preventing that from happening so a lower placing will happen, though it’s one of their best songs in years.  PSB tour North America later this year, and chances are that tickets are already gone for most of those shows (I’m going 🙂 last time I saw the lads perform was in 1991!).

  • Win & Woo and Kiso created such a warm and charming remix of Brandyn Burnette’s “Made Of Dreams” that it continues to climb 10-7.  It’s all in anticipation of more music from Brandyn’s upcoming EP State I’m In.

  • Miguel is touring with label-mate Sia on her upcoming tour to a city near you, and “Waves” lands in the Top 10 this week, rising 12-10.

Movin’ On Up

  • The fastest riser on the chart this week is Elephante’s stunning original “Closer” which grows with each listen thanks to a compelling vocal by Portland, Oregon’s Bishøp.  It vaults 21-14.  Listen to the busy, futuristic remix above for free download by Virtu!

  • Dan Talevski’s “Knock Me Off My Feet” is one of those songs that just stands out when it’s played on the radio, so I hope that movement spreads to the U.S.  It climbs 23-18.

  • It’s one of the most engaging pieces of storytelling of the year, so you’d be best to download “You Fucked Up” by Toronto-based singer/songwriter Joël LeMay before it disappears!  It rises 26-20.

  • It’s as much of an EDM anthem as “Roses”, and not surprisingly “Don’t Let Me Down” (featuring Daya) is cleaning up the pop charts for the ever-busy Chainsmokers.  It moves up 28-22.

SIX DEBUTS

  • Brandon Skeie is a name and voice to watch!  “So Bad” is an immediate singalong to which anyone can connect and a cool video for the song has arrived too.  Brandon has an amazing voice which will make you smile when he uses his high register.  Watch it above and check out the dynamic free remix by EDWYNN x TIKAL and Spirix above too.  “So Bad” arrives halfway up the chart at #15!!

  • Ever since I heard this song last Fall, I was hoping it would see official release (as its singer Camden Cox has reassured me!).  And it has so be sure to pick up “Dreamin'” by Britain’s Embody on iTunes and show your support.  It’s a perfect song for a summer night on the beach, and it bows at #19.

  • It’s very reminiscent in some ways of the bigger Everything But The Girl hits of the 90’s but “Sound Of Home” by Montreal’s Sterling Grove and Ellyn Woods in its remix by Chicago’s Snøwmass has its own mysterious qualities that are likely more rooted in jazz.  The remix kicks up the original quite a bit and makes it irresistible for clubs.  “Sound Of Home” premieres at #21.

  • There are more and more producer/DJ’s showing their talent as performers and songwriters and I think that’s great.  Jenaux’s “Get It On” is totally rooted in 70’s funk and disco via 80’s new wave like Duran Duran and is meant to hit you square between your ears.  It arrives at #23.

  • “Don’t Need You” by Christofi is a gorgeous R&B-influenced house music original at its best, thanks to a fine vocal by L.A.’s J-VEN.  It debuts at #26.

  • It’s been around for a while yet, but “Burn Fast” by Bryce Fox is long-lasting thanks to a spiffy progressive tropical mix by Koni.  “Burn Fast” lands on the chart at #27.

Listen to the songs or watch the videos using the links on the pictures on the pretty and detailed web edition of my chartGo on, have a look and listen/watch :)

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

http://www.planetradio.ca is currently improving its technology and my two features, “Bill’s Top 10” and “Pick Of The Week”, will return soon!

French remixers @Ofenbachmusic transform #PraiseCats “Shined On Me” featuring @theAndreaLove into a dirty house anthem

PRAISE CATS featuring ANDREA LOVE, “Shined On Me” (Ofenbach remix)

In the dance music world, you just can’t keep a good song down – the dance community has an elephantine memory!  So now, a few years after initial release, a bevy of remixes of Praise Cats’ “Shined On Me” are surfacing, and one of the best is by French duo Ofenbach.  They took the house basis of the record and expand it with low distorted vocals and a much more layered sound in stark contrast to Andrea Love’s classic Martha Wash/Simone Denny R&B vocal.  It works like a charm and will breeze by in clubs beckoning patrons to the dance floor.  Ofenbach revive “Shined On Me” with the essence of house with a difference.  Get it for free at the link above.

Published in: on April 17, 2016 at 2:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#Canadian dance master @FelixCartal reimagines Rihanna’s sad “Never Ending” as wistful #EDM ode

RIHANNA, “Never Ending” (Felix Cartal remix)

I’m not so crazy about what I’ve been hearing from Rihanna’s Anti album thus far, but when someone like Vancouver’s Felix Cartal chooses to re-imagine one of the songs, then that’s cause enough for a look-see.  The 2013 Juno Award-nominee is not even 30 but has been producing great dance music for almost 10 years with a focus on often using vocalists who are not a part of the dance music scene.  With remix successes for the likes of Zedd and Dragonette, “Never Ending” should help to raise Felix’s profile even further.  What is a sad ballad in its original form is reshaped into a wistful melodic ode for a reflective drive down the west coast.  It’s such a cool remix that deserves notice – no word from Rihanna’s team but give it a listen and stream/download it using the Soundcloud link above.  Club patrons will also immediately turn their ears for this one!  

 

Published in: on March 12, 2016 at 2:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #478 – March 7, 2016

A scorching new #1 and 4 debuts highlight edition my 478th bi-weekly chart since 1998 🙂

The Top 10

  • MAX Schneider’s “Wrong” hangs in long enough to score an appearance at the top 🙂  I couldn’t let all of those Prince-ly high notes get away just yet!  This is because MAX has already released a video for a song from his upcoming album Hell’s Kitchen Angel, out on April 8.  Check out “Holla” below.

  • Congratulations to The Knocks for their excellent long-awaited album 55, which was released this past Friday.  The Wyclef Jean-led “Kiss The Sky” climbs 4-2 and undoubtedly more songs from 55 will prevail on this chart 🙂

  • Troye Sivan is a vivid force on this chart with three showings:  “Talk Me Down” (below) glides 7-5, while “Wild” climbs 9-6 and “Fools” rises 17-13.  All songs are from his continually impressive Blue Neighbourhood album.  “Youth” is beckoning from outside of the Top 30 too.

  • While Simon Curtis’ redux of “8bit Heart” slips to #4, the Super 8bit Heart version of “Super Psycho Love” continues to climb 10-7 as Simon’s “Boy Robot” novel gets an earlier October release!

  • Fun on the dance floor continues as Craig David & Big Narstie arrive at #9 with “When The Bassline Drops”.  It’s Craig’s first Top Tenner here since “7 Days” in 2002.

  • The fastest riser on the chart has its designs on #1 – soon!  Canadians DVBBS and Dante Leon should be all over dance club charts – and maybe even pop charts too – with the irresistible “Angel”, which soars 23-10.

Movin’ On Up

  • The Voice Season 10 has started up again with some interesting contestants, including Nick Hagelin, who I’ve written about many times and will be writing about soon again.  Clinton Washington gave an excellent showing two seasons ago and has produced some beautiful songs lately.  Despite the emphasis on my chart towards dance music, his gorgeous ballad “Frozen” rises 14-11.

  • The rest of the last chart’s debuts all break into the Top 20.  The joyous and anthemic Cloudchord remix of Jamie xx & Romy’s “Loud Places” bounds 24-17, and right behind it is the Norwegian EDM grace of “Faded” by Alan Walker (featuring the gorgeous voice of Iselim Solheim) up 25-18 (both above), and rising 27-20 is the both truthful and amusing “u suck” by Minnesota’s Call Me Karizma (below), featuring a cool interpolation of “Why Don’t You Do Right” as recorded by Bev Lee Harling.

Premiering

  • It takes a lot for me to enjoy a cover version as much as or even maybe more than the original.  I love the way that Jonas Blue and Dakota have made Tracy Chapman’s  huge 1988 hit “Fast Car” into this introspective song for a highway drive along a beach coast.  And of course you can dance to it too, so I’m looking forward to official remixes!  This Top 5 UK hit should do the same on North American shores.  I particularly enjoy covers when they don’t take anything away from the original.  This one expands on that and runs with it 🙂  “Fast Car” arrives at #23.
  • Another song for warm, late nights and dancing on the beach is “Beat The Sunrise” by SNBRN featuring vocalist Andrew Watt, as remixed by Dutch producer/DJ Steve Void.  It’s all warm and good natured for middle-of-the-night grooving and bows at #24.
  • Sweden’s Hellberg is on a breakthrough with the emotional EDM of “Synchronize” featuring a fine vocal by American singer Aaron Richards.  This is just a taste of great things to come from this talented producer/DJ and debuts at #25.

  • Miguel’s Wildheart naughtiness has caught up with me and I have completely given in.  And it makes me ask, almost belatedly, why “Waves” isn’t all over everywhere yet?  It could still happen with new remixes by the likes of Tame Impala and one featuring Travis $cott.  But I like the sexy original best and it jumps onto the chart at #26.  It’s Miguel’s first appearance here since “Adorn” went to #1 in 2013 in his UK duet version with Jessie Ware.

Listen to the songs or watch the videos using the links on the pictures on the pretty and detailed web edition of my chart. Go on, have a look and listen/watch 🙂

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

You can now hear me online on http://www.planetradio.ca every Tuesday at 9:00 pm EST counting down a Toronto Top 10 chart from yesteryear, and then again every Thursday in a rebroadcast at 7:00 a.m. EST on WROCK http://www.wlor.net!

 

Remixes Galore: The Rise of @MonsieurAdi

MONSIEUR ADI, Remixes and “What’s Going On” (featuring A*M*E)

Beyoncé, “Grown Woman”; Mikky Ekko, “Kids”; Bastille, “Pompeii”; Capital Cities, “Safe & Sound”; Seal, “Crazy”; Jamie N Commons, “Rumble Away”; Say Lou Lou, “Julian”; Swiss Lips, “U Got The Power”; Laura Mvula, “Green Garden”; Lana Del Rey, “Summertime Sadness”; Don Diablo featuring Noonie Bao, “M1 Stinger”; Lana Del Rey, “Born To Die”.

I’m so very pleased to have heard the rise of 26 year old French producteur, remixeur, et magicien des electroniques, Monsieur Adi, over the past three years with his own songs like “We Are The Romans” and the aggressive instrumental “Chariot”, as well as initial remixes like the heavily 80’s flavoured “Situation” by New York singer Javi Silva.

Since that time, le Monsieur has gradually become the go-to-guy for unique and very personalized remixes for the likes of Ellie Goulding, Darren Hayes (who have both lavished praise upon him in social media), and Lana Del Rey among others.  He released his own EP last year called Fire Fire Fire, and it’s all resulting in an hour long A-list of remixes (which you can hear streamed above) as well as enhancing songs by newer performers like Swiss Lips and Say Lou Lou.

In particular, I’m really impressed with his takes on the new Beyoncé song “Grown Woman”, and Mikky Ekko’s solo bid for stardom after being featured in Rihanna’s “Stay”, “Kids”.  His remix of “Pompeii” by Bastille got me into that song, and it looks like the same will happen with the current hit “Safe & Sound” by Capital Cities.  But most outstanding of late has been his collaboration with young UK-based chart topper A*M*E, “What’s Going On”, below, which completely transforms one of my favourite late 80’s smashes, Soul II Soul’s “Back To Life”, with A*M*E amply filling the big shoes of Caron Wheeler.  SMASH.  And more to come, OUI OUI! 🙂