Love and desperation lay the groundwork for the energetic and soulful “Shine A Light” by French producers 2 Thunders and L.A. vocalist OMZ

2 THUNDERS and OMZ, “Shine A Light”

“Shine A Light” is a deep house track that has it all – a sensitive, meaningful story; a precise and frenetic melody; and outstanding production that brings out a soulful side and trance influences.  It’s brought to you by French production duo 2 Thunders, who have been building a European radio following and have remixed David Guetta among others, and prolific L.A.-based vocalist OMZ, whose songs have been featured by the likes of Hardwell.  “Shine A Light” easily beckons the audience to dance to its heartfelt lovelorn story with an emotional, pleading vocal, with intentions on comforting the dancefloor crowd and keeping them there with a steady light show of its own – and we can continue to fantasize about those club nights yet to come!

Published in: on March 22, 2021 at 10:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Any Other Way” is compelling melodic future house from Moroccan electronic dance producers @Choujaa_music and Mariline

CHOUJAA & MARILINE and MARIE FONT, “Any Other Way”

“Any Other Way” examines when you’re deep in love and willing to stick it out through the good and bad.  It’s brought to you by two relatively new and promising names in the electronic dance world from Morocco who have previously recorded together, specializing in future house music, Choujaa and Mariline.  Choujaa’s releases have seen support from Dash Berlin, Sander van Doorn, and Lucas & Steve among others, while Mariline had a hot release last year with Florida singer/songwriter Lauren Mayhew in “We Are Home”, which reached #6 on my personal chart.  Rounding out their techno-influenced melodies is the passionate and sincere vocal by Marie Font – actually a better known ‘mystery singer’ taking a pseudonym for this release.  “Any Other Way” is engaging and melodic house music, the kind of which that continues to make you relive the good times that will one day return in clubs and on dance floors.

Published in: on February 20, 2021 at 10:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Enjoy the frenetic techno-flavoured pace of “Love Is Never Ever Wrong” by Italy’s @DJMirkoB

DJ MIRKO B, “Love Is Never Ever Wrong”

The frenetic pace of “Love Is Never Ever Wrong” will be absolute gold to rave lovers, who are missing their regular electronic music fix.  It’s another offering from the prolific Italian producer DJ Mirko B, who follows up his recent techno rework of his own song “Let Me In”.  “Love Is Never Ever Wrong”, featuring a captivating uncredited female vocal, is a crazy fusion of Italohouse and techno, and it will leave you breathless, particularly if you’re used to a little headbanging at electronic dance shows.  With “Love Is Never Ever Wrong”, you won’t be sitting still for long!

#BILLCSTop30 #604, January 4, 2021

Happy 2021! Let’s hope the worst of everything is over, and that 2021 can be used as a year of healing and revitalization. For the music industry, however, I expect things will take longer before it gets back on its feet in most of the world.  Edition #604 marks the 23rd official online anniversary of this chart, though I did post it in various forms in late 1997 on message boards, etc.

2021 starts with a new number one on my chart, and a first for all three performers.  The efforts of NYC producers The Disco Fries, L.A. producers Giiants, and vocalist Allison Park have paid off as “Give It Back” reaches the top position.  Only two of the members of Giiants have been at #1 before in their previous incarnation as DATABOY.  “Give It Back” is one helluva banger of a house track to start of 2021!

Songs #2 and #3 both fared well on my Top Songs of 2020, in fact they were back-to-back at #33 and #34.  “Tinseltown In The Rain” (Big Rhythm mix) (above) by Matt Mancid and Color Theory moves 3-2, and “Fantasy” (below) by Saxity, Victor Perry and Robbie Rosen advances 4-3. Both songs will also carry over to my Top Songs of 2021 at the end of the year.

Another house banger, “Chasing Feelings” by Jerome Price and Cally Rhodes, leaps into the Top 10, moving up 14-8, with its sights set on the Top 5.

I was very pleased to see Tyler Shaw sing “Remember” on the CBC’s New Year’s Eve telecast, he’s always on his game.  “Remember” climbs 11-9 becoming his second Top 10 on my chart after 2015’s “Dizzy” (#6).

“Good At Goodbyes” from the Fun City album becomes chart regular Bright Light Bright Light’s 18th Top 10 on my chart since 2010 as it moves up 12-10.  Featured vocalist Andy Bell also previously reached the Top 10 as a solo artist outside of Erasure with “Crazy” in 2005 (#7).

It may have charted somewhat belatedly, but I’m still grooving to James Bay’s “Chew On My Heart”, and it moves up 18-12.

The fastest riser on the chart belongs to the triple whammy of Canadian dance producers – duo Loud Luxury and Frank Walker – as “Like Gold” (featuring vocals by Stephen Puth) soars 23-14.

Scotland’s Illyus & Barrientos paired with UK singer Karen Harding is a dream team for the sophisticated deep house of “Let’s Get Together” (24-17).

“Lucid” by Japanese-British pop/dance singer Rina Sawayama makes its presence known on the chart, advancing 26-19.

The carefree and breezy sound of “All About You” moves up 28-21 for the second teaming of The Knocks and Foster The People after 2018’s “Ride Or Die”.

“Synthesizer” marks the fourth chart entry for seminal UK progressive dance group Faithless from their first album since 2004 called All Blessed.  It’s their first chart entry since 2009’s “Sun To Me” and features singer Nathan Ball.  “Synthesizer”‘s retro techno flavours matched with interesting lyrics help it become the highest debut at #24.  Although this chart wasn’t around for 1997’s “Insomnia” (which would have been a #1 for me), Faithless did reach #3 in 1998 with “God Is A DJ”.

Also in a progressive-techno vein is “Bridged By A Lightwave”, the startling single by an unlikely Canadian duo – Deadmau5 and Kiesza!  It arrives at #25, and appears in an EP along with a few remixes.  It’s Deadmau5’s first appearance on this chart, and Kiesza’s second, following 2017’s delightfully wacked out #1 “Phantom Of The Dancefloor”.

Like Deadmau5, another veteran dance music act appearing for the first time on this chart is UK legend Hot Since 82.  His album Recovery has attracted performances by the likes of Boy George and Rudimental, but it’s the intrigue of “Sinnerman”, featuring singer/songwriter Ed Graves, which helps it arrive at #27.

Making his 17th appearance on this chart since 2014, including three as featured artists, is L.A.-based singer/songwriter Brandyn Burnette.  He’s back as a solo singer with “Airplane Mode”, the title track from his enjoyable new EP, which bows at #28.  Brandyn has also appeared on the chart as EMAN8 and in one-half of Cosmos & Creature.

A reminder that the music from my chart and blog are featured regularly on the online radio station The New Radio GTA. You 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 2021 🙂  You can start by joining Radio GTA’s 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 🙂

Want to see what I’ve been listening to and charting for the past 23 years?  Rummage through the BILLCS Top 30 Archive (where you can click on the link within) when you have a chance!! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Italy’s @DJMirkoB reworks his own “Let Me In” for a 2020 techno-inspired eurohouse rave up

DJ MIRKO B and GRETA, “Let Me In 2020”

It’s not often that DJ/producers look back into their own repertoires with a view to making one of their older songs sound fresh and new. Italy’s DJ Mirko B chose “Let Me In” (featuring vocalist Greta) from 2013 to rework its anthemic, arpeggio-laden backdrop into something a little different. So he’s lifted a lot of the techno flavours from the original to make it the focus of “Let Me In 2020”, giving it enticing early 90’s eurohouse feels.  It works like a charm, still full of what I call ‘festival power’ but with wider appeal for pop audiences.

Published in: on December 28, 2020 at 10:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Seminal UK electronic music group @Faithless returns with “Synthesizer” featuring @NathanBallHQ in a @cometoButch remix

FAITHLESS and NATHAN BALL, “Synthesizer” (original and Butch remix)

Their music has lived on in dance clubs for over 20 years, but British electronic music legends Faithless hadn’t released an album of new songs for 13 years until All Blessed surfaced this year.  It’s an adventurous and atypical record which, like Inner City, brings back strong techno flavours to the 2020 music scene.  l had to go back to “Synthesizer” (original mix and video edit, both above) a few times before I realized it was the highlight of the album.  Led by a wicked vocal by British singer Nathan Ball, it’s accompanied by a droll sense of humour in its lyrics, an unconventional arrangement, and luminous synths that show that Faithless continue to be electronic wizards of the best order.  Its recent remix by Butch (below) strips away some of its unconventional layers in favour perhaps of a tight, fluid mix more suited to dance music radio.  Both versions stand on their own merits and are most worth of dance music fans’ attention.

Published in: on December 23, 2020 at 10:54 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.

It’s 10/10 #08: @GarethEmery @WinandWoo @KyanPalmer @ChetPorter @AWonderland @JessieReyez @Dzekomusic @Kiesza @MattFaxmusic @TheHim @SuperDuper808 @MadisonMalonem @JerinJamesmusic @iamDeverano

For the first time since January, I bring you my 10/10 feature!!

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.  In fact my recent #1 “Shivohum” by Tritonal & Henry Dark, was included in a previous 10/10!

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

  • GARETH EMERY and ANNABEL, “You’ll Be OK”

British electronic dance producer Gareth Emery says “You’ll Be OK” is the best song he’s released to date.  And he has many reasons to say that, for it’s a gorgeous song with trance-drenched synths and some big, frenetic beats.  It’s also actually a personal story about being on a plane he thought would crash, and based on a letter he was writing to his wife at the time.  Its video above has an emotional ‘life flashing before your eyes’ story as a result.  “You’ll Be OK” has many soft and peaceful moments, which hit home a little more knowing this information.  Vocalist Annabel personifies it all with her rich and gentle voice, and it’s extremely appropriate as a backdrop to what’s going on in the world right now.  “You’ll Be OK” is an amazing follow up to Gareth’s current hit “Yesterday” and is culled from his forthcoming album called The Lasers.

  • WIN & WOO and KYAN PALMER, “Sleepwalking”

American dance producers Win & Woo continue with a series of songs released through Armada that portray how much better they keep getting at their craft.  “Sleepwalking” features Arizona-born, L.A. based singer Kyan Palmer, who has been gracing other electronic dance records over the past few years with his R&B-influenced style.  “Sleepwalking” is a big, bouncy, fun record that can easily ignite a set at a key point in the evening at a dance club.  It also has big potential for dance music radio airplay.

  • CHET PORTER and ALISON WONDERLAND, “Bummed”

We’re all “Bummed” that his upcoming club tour was cancelled, but we’ll just get more time to enjoy the unconventional sound of “Bummed”, Torontonian Chet Porter’s collaboration with Australian electronic producer Alison Wonderland.  “Bummed” has an early 80’s DIY new wave vibe about it that’s utterly charming, complete with old school drum machine sound.  Chet and Alison collaborated on a song that suits their voices and has plenty interesting that’s going on within.  Go deeper and you’ll find all of those delightful melodic flourishes that you get inside every Chet Porter song.  “Bummed” is a both a refreshing surprise and a winner.  Definitely play it alongside Porter Robinson’s new music for starters.

  • THE HIM, “Freestyle Scientist”

It looks like Dutch producers The Him have been immersed in late 90’s techno-house, if “Freestyle Scientist” is any indication.  It’s an extremely playful departure from the duo’s pop-leaning deep house tracks which have graced these blog pages (and my personal chart) many times in the last four years.  Brace yourself this one.  Add some early Chainsmokers-flavoured synth vibes into the mix and it looks like “Freestyle Scientist” could be the start of a new musical era for The Him. Check out the trippy video above.

  • JESSIE REYEZ, “Love In The Dark” (Dzeko remix)

Award-winning Canadian singer/songwriter Jessie Reyez has a Canadian radio hit with her latest single “Love In The Dark”.  And with her recognition earlier this year as a Grammy nominee, you can bet that the song will garner attention stateside as well.  It’s amped up for clubs by fellow Canadian and esteemed electronic dance producer Dzeko.  He puts just the right kind of propulsion behind the deep house rhythms, and you’ll wonder why it wasn’t a dance track in the first place.  Club DJ’s will want to showcase this remix of “Love In The Dark” in a mid-evening set for immediate reaction.

  • SUPER DUPER, “All On You”

Hailing from Nashville’s vibrant music scene, which includes a lot of electronic dance music, is Super Duper (aka Josh Hawkins) who definitely pushes some interesting boundaries in “All On You”.  The song honestly starts out like nothing special, with a distorted vocal and a rather uneventful lead in.  But Super Duper totally shifts the rhythm and feel of the song just after the first minute, and “All On You” grabs you with a sudden WTF magnetic force.  The beats kick in and you immediately start having flashbacks to songs like M83’s “Midnight City”.  “All On You” now has you completely under its spell and so it succeeds rather well in a roundabout way.  Super Duper’s latest is released by the Fader label and is currently being featured on every major streaming platform. Remixes could help push “All On You” further.

  • MATT FAX, “Light On”

French producer Matt Fax eloquently captures the current rise of old-style trance and techno vibes in his latest release, the instrumental “Light On”.  This percolating track will sit nicely next to tracks by Gabriel & Dresden or Above & Beyond in a late night trance set.  Matt keeps the atmospherics working and ever changing which makes “Light On” a synth-filled feast for the ears.

  • KIESZA, “All Of The Feelings”

Calgary’s Juno Award-winning Kiesza has brought us many fine vocals since coming back to the music scene as an independent artist after suffering a life-altering accident.  “All Of The Feelings” is one of those feel-good, vibrant songs that has ‘hit’ written all over it, and many people would hear this as a return to the pop/dance style that brought us “Hideaway” back in the day.  We’ve seen how versatile Kiesza can be with her songs, most of which are original co-writes.  “All Of The Feelings” may skew a more commercial slant but it’s such a well-written and performed release that no one should quibble.  And you can see her perform it in the video above.

  • MADISON MALONE, “Fragile Heart 1”

L.A.-based singer/songwriter Madison Malone dazzles us with her pitch perfect voice on “Fragile Heart 1” from her unique album called I & II (that’s One and Two).  The highly listenable album consists of five songs each recorded in two different versions, all of which work pretty well because the songs themselves are so strong.  But it’s “Fragile Heart 1” that stands out – kind of what could happen if a minimalist Rufus Wainwright song somehow transformed into one with Sarah McLachlan inspiration.  “Fragile Heart 1” is emotional and vulnerable but still very hopeful.  Madison has made herself known at festivals like SXSW and on a recent US tour, so definitely keep your eyes and ears out for her.

  • JERIN JAMES and DEVERANO, “Birds And Bees”

Jerin James is a new name to the dance music biz though he is hardly a newcomer, having previously recorded under another name and had other roles in the industry.  “Birds And Bees” is all about atmospherics and vocals, and even if the song overall to me is a bit familiar and what I would call ‘much ado about nothing’, it works quite well.  The dramatic, sophisticated production is enhanced by Deverano’s stylish and often far-reaching vocal – he’s graced a number of dance records and always gives them a big lift when they need it.  “Birds And Bees” is a compelling start for Jerin James.

A new supplement to the 10/10 feature is my new Spotify playlist called the BILLCS Viral Weekly.  Check it out below as it contains some of the songs in this 10/10 blog post!

 

Techno and video game lovers will be thrilled with “Enter The Grid” by @Kantormusic

KANTOR, “Enter The Grid”

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Gregory Kantor.  Formerly recording under the name 5 And A Dime, the American producer is also a Dance Dance Revolution Extreme World Record holder, and has created a special MIDI controller for the game.  He was hinting at The Grid as a special project a few years back, but it looks to be off to a great start with “Enter The Grid”.  This is a driving, relentless, and riveting instrumental, perfect for a video game or even a movie soundtrack (think “Tron”).  It’s also a match for a pounding techno dance floor set of bangers, or for late summer nights cruising an empty highway.  It’s clear that Kantor has put an awful lot of work into this, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.  Check out the introductory video below, and the full song above.

Published in: on February 9, 2020 at 4:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Italy’s @djPromiseLand and @GLDN take you on a whirl with techno-influenced “Blow Ya Mind”

PROMISE LAND x GLDN, “Blow Ya Mind”

“Blow Ya Mind” takes you on a trip back to the early 90’s when The KLF were all the rage with their techno-fused dance music.  It’s not what you would expect today coming out of Italy with noted producers Promise Land and GLDN, but it’s a lot of fun and will work exceptionally well in clubs whose audiences enjoy songs with retro appeal.  With a cool vocal patter matched with wonky sounding synths “Blow Ya Mind” will keep you wound up well after its effective and brief middle pause.  Promise Land and GLDN definitely create an abundance of fresh vibes out of this techno inspiration, something I think we’ll hear more of from other producers.

Published in: on July 5, 2019 at 10:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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