‘Tis the season for #Ultra2020 @Ultramusic, featuring “So Blue” by @Sondrofficial

VARIOUS ARTISTS, Ultra 2020

Compilation albums seem to be coming a thing of the past.  After all, aren’t streaming playlists essentially the same thing?  I’ve long been of the mind that these compilations should be focused on similar styles of dance music to appeal to those who enjoy it.  But for those who want to taste a little bit of everything in the dance music scene and still like to purchase their music, Ultra 2020 is definitely for you, and you’ll almost always find something you really enjoy.  So for me the highlights here are:

  • “So Blue” by British duo Sondr, likely the best of the 22 songs within, which could be a surprising floor filler thanks to the use of some of the lyrics and a pitched down melody from Eiffel 65’s “Blue” (and thankfully minus most of the ‘Da Ba Dee”‘s)
  • Steve Aoki’s second high-powered collaboration with South Korea’s BTS, “Waste It On Me”
  • Sofi Tukker’s playful “Swing”, for fans of songs of theirs like “Batshit”
  • The slick electronic pop of “25 Miles To Vegas” by The Tribe Of Good
  • The deep down and dirty “Tits On A Tricycle” by SNBRN, which reminds me of something Showtek would record
  • The dreamy electropop of Dutchkid’s “Flight”
  • “GOMF” (featuring BRIDGE), which has already become a hit for DVBBS in our native Canada
  • “Pica” by Deorro and Henry Fong, spiced up with an Elvis Crespo vocal
  • And Chet Porter’s beautifully melodic and unique mini-epic “The Longest Day Ever”, which I wrote about a while back

The rest I could take or leave.  But regardless if you’re looking for an enjoyable stocking stuffer for your dance music-loving friend or family member, you can’t go with an Ultra compilation like 2020.

L.A. duo @CosmosNCreature return with experimental and electronic @SteveAoki-produced “The Wonder”

COSMOS & CREATURE, “The Wonder”

It’s a bit of a stretch away from the electronic dance/pop with which we’ve become familiar with L.A. duo Cosmos & Creature through their own releases or their numerous features over the last few years.  This time, Molly Moore and Brandyn Burnette get some huge and intriguing assists from Steve Aoki, who produced and co-wrote “The Wonder”.  It’s an other-worldy, trippy, trappy-sounding effort on which Molly (who also co-wrote) is most showcased this time.  The song seems to use echoes as a device to represent either an overload of emotions or information that leave us caught up in wonder, only to be taken away from it, willingly or not.  “The Wonder” is C&C at their most experimental and creative and fans will definitely dig it.

Published in: on July 16, 2019 at 9:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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NYC’s @ModernMachines shines with brisk remix of “Be Somebody” by @SteveAoki and @NickyRomero with @Kiiara

STEVE AOKI and NICKY ROMERO featuring KIIARA, “Be Somebody” (Modern Machines remix) (free DL)

I like it when a remix adds some pizzazz that was missing or different in the original, which then helps the song move along at a brisk pace for clubland.  Dimitry Mak, aka Modern Machines, has done exactly that with his free download of “Be Somebody” by the fiery collaboration of Steve Aoki, Nicky Romero and vocalist Kiiara.  All you need to hear are the thirty seconds that start just before the first minute and add a wild mix of buzzing synths and other effects combined with huge beats.  The smooth mixing allows it to all happily intersect with the rest of the song and make it shine for the dance floor.  “Be Somebody” doesn’t lose any pacing as it slows down and rebuilds to what ends up as a more anthemic flavour that closes out the fun.  Definitely catch Modern Machines’ remix of “Be Somebody” and have a blast with it while it’s available for free at the link above.  

Published in: on November 5, 2018 at 10:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A few words with huge props to @BTS_twt “DNA” and “Mic Drop” (@SteveAoki remix)

BTS, “DNA”

BTS, “Mic Drop” (Steve Aoki remix)

First off, I’m no expert on K-Pop and really have only had a fleeting interest as millions of fans embrace it around the world.  If PSY didn’t generate the interest 5 years ago with “Gangnam Style” because of that song’s novelty, he certainly paved the road for the right acts to come along to widen its appeal.  And so, with their appearance on the American Music Awards last week, introduced by their friends The Chainsmokers (who produced a song on their recent album Love Yourself: Her), the young septet BTS broke through with their riveting performance of “DNA”. 

Like many other pop music fans, I immediately bought the song.  The choreography and energy were all on-point in that performance (it didn’t even need live vocals), and it became the highlight of that show, which you can watch above.  Then this past week, a Steve Aoki remix of “Mic Drop” appeared, in two versions, one featuring Desiigner which stays more true to the original hip hop flavour.  But just to show that the walls of music genres can be torn apart right in front of you, the Aoki remix (without Desiigner, below) slams hard while keeping most of the original Korean lyrics intact along with some added English verses, if a trifle long at four and a half minutes.  And with dancing that good in the video, Aoki’s remix should have no trouble taking dance clubs by storm, allowing club goers to create their own fun choreography again too. 

I’m not sure how long seven talented guys can survive in one band with such an intense following, but BTS are here and now and will be one of 2018’s biggest draws.

Published in: on November 26, 2017 at 1:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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