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. 

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  • 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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“Blackout” is a big techno-house speaker-shaker from @ChocolatePuma and @Firebeatz

CHOCOLATE PUMA and FIREBEATZ, “Blackout”

Dutch legends Chocolate Puma and Firebeatz are huge festival and club draws unto themselves, so it makes total sense for them to pair up again on “Blackout”, even if it’s for a brief 2:18 (which can only mean that remixes are much needed!).  If there’s any style that’s made strides in dance music in 2018 it’s the influence of 90’s techno.  “Blackout” is a helluva speaker-shaker meant for big crowd moments in dance clubs, and it only takes two minutes for a song to create defining moments for club goers.  Hence the need for multiple remixes here.  “Blackout” is powerful stuff and sometimes ya just gotta let the masters do it at their best!

Published in: on September 25, 2018 at 10:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Club veteran @SidneySamson crushes it with inspired “Soldier” in collaboration with @iamGwise

SIDNEY SAMSON and GWISE, “Soldier”

“Soldier” is an inspired, rollicking production which sounds like it almost wasn’t meant to be.  It apparently came about while Dutch veteran Sidney Samson was working on an entirely different project with fellow Dutch producer Gwise.  They must have had retro vibes flowing through their veins because “Soldier” is a total throwback to the late 90’s, early 2000’s techno-house and the best work by producers like Fatboy Slim and Fedde LeGrand among others.  It features an irresistible synth riff and familiar shout outs book-ended by slamming beats… and then, boom it’s over!  “Soldier” is a top notch, totally unexpected party spearheaded by a dance music heavyweight who should by all rights break through internationally with this one.  Once “Soldier” takes command it won’t let you go so be prepared to add it to your Fight For Your Right To Dance playlist using the Spotify link above.

Published in: on August 23, 2018 at 10:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Listen to a 90’s inspired breakout from @TobyGreendj with “Ready”

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TOBY GREEN, “Ready”

When you think of music by The Chemical Brothers, The Prodigy and Aphex Twin, you think of the 90’s, and many club DJ’s and producers are returning to the progressive techno sound of that era to spice up their music.  The thing you have to remember is that the end of the 90’s was 20 years ago – so why is a 21 year old Danish producer like Toby Green filling his new song “Ready” with inspiration from that time period?  I’m not sure but it really works well.  “Ready” is a crunchy, aggressive slice of techno-inspired house that also benefits from wonderful guitar work by Toby’s dad.  The song charges forward in a brisk, fun ride just shy of three minutes.  It’s no wonder that you may keep seeing Toby’s name pop up at festivals, or get endorsements from the likes of The Chainsmokers, or create collaborations with Sam Feldt.  Toby’s got an intriguing angle to his sound, one to keep your ears on this year.  Add “Ready” to your Techno House playlist using the Spotify link below.

Published in: on June 28, 2018 at 10:37 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Cold Heart” is a convincing fusion of pop, techno and dubstep from L.A.’s @Prizmofficial

PRIZM, “Cold Heart” (free DL)

Quickly following up the more pop-flavoured “Lifeline”, which I wrote about earlier this month, is “Cold Heart” from L.A. producer Prizm.  It’s the start of learning more of what is indeed up this creative producer’s sleeves, as his new songs have been brewing for a while, having previously recorded under another name.  Here he fuses pop, techno, and dubstep, along with anonymous female vocal, to make a delightfully terse but still quite accessible song for dance fans.  The commanding but alternately irritating/compelling pulse throughout the song is reminiscent of Basement Jaxx’s “Red Light”, ultimately the heartbeat that is the constant for the melody, and everything is built around it.  Drawing from influences like Porter Robinson and K?d, you’ll know from “Cold Heart” that you’ll want to hear more from Prizm, so much that you’ll download the song (under the “More” tab) from the link above while you can!

Published in: on May 27, 2018 at 7:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Premiere: Fresh techno-inspired “Lifeline” is by new L.A.-based producer @PrizmMusic

PRIZM, “Lifeline” (free DL)

“Lifeline” is an enjoyable balance of lilting pop and powerhouse techno-inspired future bass by new L.A.-based producer Prizm.  The melody and effects play on the affecting anonymous male vocal and the emotional resolve of the song, stretching it in a variety of appealing ways that will have dance music fans in a state of bliss. “Lifeline” is heavy without being too far out.  The drops and crunch all act as an envelope for a song inside that will make you want to sing.  And one of the best parts of “Lifeline” is that it easily sustains its over 4 minute length.  Prizm is definitely one to watch, with more to come very soon.  In the meantime, grab “Lifeline” for free (under “More”) at the link above while you can.

Published in: on May 10, 2018 at 8:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Big, fun beats from @WhiteLowreal & @DJMirkoB with “Break It Down”

WHITELOW & DJ MIRKO B, “Break It Down”

“Break It Down” is one of those songs where you just need to clear your mind, and let your body flow with the music to have some fun.  It’s deep house Italian-style courtesy of the collaboration of duo WhiteLow and DJ Mirko B through Balmung Recordings.  The song has this comical kind of rhythm in its chorus which starts the song that would allow it to be set well against clips of black and white silent comedy slapstick.  But there’s a big slamming build up midway that is also perfect as a soundtrack to sports events.  The song doesn’t quite sustain over 3 minutes but is definitely a blast while it lasts.  Check it out at the Spotify link above.

Published in: on September 4, 2017 at 7:03 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Unmade spy movie theme: “Chek!” by Fernando Lopez Piña (@F_L_P__)

FERNANDO LOPEZ PIÑA,  “Chek!”

It only has one lyric – “check this out”, so ubiquitous for the last 30 years in dance music – but Argentinian producer/DJ Fernando Lopez Piña has lots of good stuff brewing in “Chek!” through Balmung Digital Recordings.  It’s a majestic theme to an unmade spy movie where you can visualize the car/boat chase, the attractive couple escaping from danger, and of course the inevitable explosions.  And all of that imagery of course makes “Chek!” an extremely fun song for dance clubs.  It doesn’t have any deadly drops but instead gets under your skin with early 2000’s techno influence which currently seems to be happily in vogue.  Though the middle gets a little repetitive, which means the song likely could have been 30 seconds shorter, you’ll likely find yourself wanting to hear more of “Chek!”.  Hear it in full on Spotify above.