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Old 05-31-2009, 11:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I'll update it regularly with pretty much anything that tickles my fancy! Whether it be electro, electro house, trance, or hardstyle.. maybe even techstyle! Which is a new fangled genre that has a few gems. Since this is my first post I'll put a few songs in to get started. I'll post either new upcoming songs, or older songs I have rediscovered.

Trance:
Alex M.O.R.P.H. feat. Ana Criado - Sunset Boulevard
Label : Vandit
Release : June 1st, 2009
Versions : Original, Paul van Dyk Remix




Original : On first hearing it's a pretty decent track. In the buildup there is a spacey sort of melody I'm not too fond of. It sounds a bit outdated. The vocals are fantastic, ethereal, and fit quite nicely. Unfortunately it's not unlike anything else I've heard from Alex. His style hasn't changed much for quite a few years, but if it's not broke don't fix it! Overall I'd say around a 7/10

Paul van Dyk Remix : I'm a bigger fan of this one I will have to admit. Then again Paul is a legend who's been in the scene since the word "trance" was even used. His buildup is quite nice complete with a really nice and simple piano melody. His break is also nice and the vocals fit well, but then there is a fundamental change. Instead of the epic route that Alex has taken, Paul decides to switch it up with a hard techy edge. It is quite unexpected but has another breakdown and ends that one with the epic sound he had in the buildup. For this reason, it sounds much more dynamic than Alex's version. I give this one an 8+/10



Electro House :
Plugg'd - The Sequence E.P.
Label : Airport Route Recordings
Release : November 24th, 2008



An amazing release from an extremely talented Icelandic duo. Barswin is the opening track with a really catchy bassline and techy rhythm complete with hard hitting electro melodies and rhythms. It's why I love electro.. which is also it's flaw.. nothing out of the ordinary. That being said it is still a relatively enjoyable track. Modular Fun is the next song up. In the buildup it has a sound that almost seems like it's off key but adds a certain element of catchiness and groove that makes it damn near impossible to stay still while listening to. Unfortunately it loses this and ends up fading to a rather simplistic melody that doesn't do much of anything for me. Tw@ is probably one of my favorite if not my absolute favorite out of the bunch. A song that for me, has a certain brashness that I love. It's hard hitting, techy, cheeky, and amazing. The one downside is that when I'm out in public and listening to it.. it takes me over and I start moving around and dancing without realizing it. R U Ready is another banging track that has an infectious melody and an epitomical electronic voice saying "are you ready". Although it does sound kinda neat at first, I feel it's a bit overused not just in the song, but in all electronic music. There's more songs.. but as you can see I'm a bit garrulous. For the whole release : 7+/10



Hardstyle :
DJ Thera - Again and Again/In Between
Label : Theracords
Release : June 24th, 2009



Again and Again : Not exactly my cup of tea. In the buildup it has a rather childish and annoying voice saying "do it again and again".. or something or rather. The bass was of the usual aggressive nature that DJ Thera usually always has. Ever since him and Fabian Bohn broke up their Brennan & Heart duo Fabian has a rather commercial sound, whereas DJ Thera more enjoys the aggressive older sounds. I usually enjoy that kind of thing, but the bass just isn't my thing. The epic sounding break doesn't really fit either, at least in my opinion. Overall.. not a great track : 5/10

In Between : This one really caught me off guard. It has the usual aggressive guise that Thera always wears.. but brings something else to the party. A really simplistic and melodic, almost techy sound. This may even fit into the new fangled Techstyle category. The enormous bass and simple melody make the song an absolute puncher and one of my current favorites. I can't wait to get my hands on this one. Overall : 8+/10

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Old 06-01-2009, 01:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Trance:
OceanLab - Lonely Girl
Label : Anjunabeats
Release : June 15th, 2009
Versions : Original, Gareth Emery Remix, Ronski Speed Remix



Original : In their usual style, Above & Beyond (Above & Beyond [producers] + Justine Suissa [vocals] = OceanLab), come with a progressive and simple style. The pop oriented vocals give the song most of its melodic quality along with a bit of piano work and subtle synths. I do think it's a fantastic song however almost all Above & Beyond songs end up being huge tunes. For this reason, I think they could do much better. Having said that it is my favorite version due to it's simplicity and it's general sound. Perfect for lounging at the beach. Overall, a pretty good song but I think they could do better : 7+/10

Gareth Emery Remix : In the buildup I got all kinds of excited, it sounds just as trance should. Melodic, atmospheric, and the fantastic vocals from Justine only make it better. The break, however, introduces a very familiar spacey trance melody that I mentioned in the review of Alex M.O.R.P.H.'s Sunset Boulevard. I hear it quite often and it just takes me out of the song completely. It just sounds horrible. Although if it's used so much then the majority of people like it. This song is one of the more popular versions so it's just a personal thing. IF that had been left out then probably an 8+/10.. but since it is, 7/10.

Ronski Speed Remix : This one offers quite a different sound to the release. Out of all three versions, Ronski goes with an aggressive tech edge. It sounds fantastic! It's a nice change from the other 2 epic progressive tunes. However the main issue is since it's quite brash, Justine's beautiful oneiric voice seems out of place. Everything else though is quite nice. A really well made remix: 8/10

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Old 06-01-2009, 07:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Dance/House/Electro House:
R.I.O. - After the Love
Label : Tiger Records
Release : TBA
Versions : Original, PH's Elektro Remix, Ortega & Forest Remix

Original : If anything else I would say this song was strictly made for the summer. Complete with reggae singer, acoustic guitar and flamboyantly optimistic lyrics, it's damn near impossible to think of anything else. However that's the whole point of R.I.O. Their last song had steel drums, as if they couldn't shove the concept of "tropical" down your throat any further. They may not sound familiar but if you've heard of Cascada.. you know them. In essence R.I.O. is Cascada without the annoying blonde singer.. and a vast difference in sound. I digress. It's a downtempo house tune with enough optimism to make you either punch yourself in the face, or smile. That's up to you. When all is said and done, it's a pretty enjoyable song : 7/10

PH Elektro Remix : This version is most definitely my favorite out of the bunch. It starts out just as the original does, the breakdown is the same, and then it comes in with an electro bassline and melody that's reminiscent of Heiko & Maiko's Verruckte Welt. Seeing as that song is amazing, this one is too! It still has the enjoyable reggae and tropical elements but gives it more vivaciousness. It's suited up for a peak time party and wears it well. 9/10

Ortega & Forest Remix : This one just doesn't do much for me. Like the other remix, it keeps the same elements but seems to try and do the same thing as the PH Remix.. and just doesn't work out. It has an emptiness about it after each of the breaks and just overall sounds sloppy. Not my cup of tea : 5/10

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Old 06-02-2009, 07:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I really like Trance (and associated) but I don't follow it as such. I just pick up Trance mixes along the way so my knowledge of individual artists is virtually nil however it's great to hear some names to check out and we don't get many journals dealing with electronic Dance music so kudos for that.
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks! That's exactly what I was trying to do, get trance more popular.. well at least on here haha. On to another review!!

Today I will do 2 releases! Some of my all time favorites

Trance:
Robert Nickson feat. Elsa Hill - Never Again
Label : A State of Trance
Release : May 19th, 2008
Versions : Original, Nitrous Oxide Remix



Original : Pure progressive. An absolute lush tune with a gorgeous melody made using a vocal sample from the amazing Elsa Hill. Her voice couldn't fit the song any better. Airy and soft yet dynamic as well. Every time I hear it, it makes me think of last summer and brings back so many good memories. The only bad thing is that it can get a bit repetitive but it's so calm and soft that you don't really notice. You're too busy being awashed by the mellifluous melodies. 9/10

Nitrous Oxide Remix : This one, luckily, is also amazing. Krzysztof Prętkiewicz didn't change the original elements. He simply sped up the tempo and made it much more powerful and epic. A perfect peak time tune that maintains it's beauty and emotion. It's hard to say which one is better simply because they are different styles. It all depends on what mood you're in! If you want progressive then the original, if you want something more energetic and then the remix. They're so similar.. and that's a VERY good thing. A gorgeous yet powerful tune : 9/10



Sundriver - Feel
Label : Red Force Recordings
Release : June 23rd, 2008
Versions : Original, Nitrous Oxide Remix, Robert Burian Remix, Underwater Remix



Original : From the very beginning you can tell the song is packed with emotion. A light pad synth accompanies a relatively punchy kick and instantly entrances you.. no pun intended. As the song progresses the melody becomes more and more fervent and euphoric. Just as it reaches its max, it hushes itself back to subtlety. The song has so much dynamic and beauty, it's a classic indeed. 8+/10

Nitrous Oxide Remix : It's Krzysztof again! One of Poland's most talented producers. In his usual style it packs a lot of punch while preserving the beautiful melody and euphoria. This is my favorite out of the bunch for this reason. The original is very good but I find it a bit too simple. Every time I hear this version I get goosebumps. He uses the break as an advantage to create a huge level of euphoria. The melody in the original song shifts in the buildup but he decides to put the buildup in the break. This way you get this subtle caged melody that slowly gets louder and louder and then shifts which just makes it so unbelievably uplifting. The payoff, which rarely happens, is when the bass comes in where he adds a thick pad synth to the melody and maintains it's euphoric sense even after the buildup. Then before the second time the melody gets introduced he puts in a simple piano melody that works so well. Although I never heard a piano sound bad in a trance song. Just undoubtedly gorgeous. 9/10

Robert Burian Remix : Unfortunately Robert manages to give the song .. a rather heavy dose of cheese. The break has a really outdated sounding pad with a pretty neat payoff. However the original was euphoric and this one is just.. mediocre and maybe danceable at best. The techy melody IS very neat and all but it gets old rather quickly. The first 10 seconds you think it's catchy and pretty damn awesome.. but by the time the damn near 4 minutes that the melody plays for is over, you change your mind. 6+/10

Underwater Remix : Yet another amazing Polish Trance producer! Maybe there's so many Polish remixes on it because Sundriver himself is Polish. What a coincidence! However the label has a very interesting story.. it's ran by Redstar, a US trance producer located in Bryn Mawr Pennsylvania! Amazing isn't it? This tune was huge as well so it's surprising.. as always.. I digress. This one travels a different route from Nitrous' version. Łukasz Stankiewicz decides to keep it like the original.. a very wise choice indeed! He packs a little more punch which is always nice. He also has a big buildup like the Nitrous Remix which is another great choice indeed. The biggest flaw however is that the main melody is a bit too chopped up so it's more of a dance feel and loses the euphoria he might have gained if he'd kept it more simple. That's not as bad as it sounds though because having a good hook is never bad! Overall a pretty good song that's well produced.. but rather forgettable. 7/10

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Old 06-05-2009, 12:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Progressive House:

Mango - Kayra
Label : Morphosis Records
Release : October 10th, 2008
Versions : Original, Solarity Remix, Dave Horne Remix



Original : Алексей Голованов does it again! This amazing Russian producer has never disappointed. Always coming with smooth, uplifting, and emotional tunes. He's somewhere in between Progressive House and Neo Trance. Although this tune is amazing in it's own right, he's done better.. but I'll save that for a later review. This song is gentle, danceable, and beautiful.. unfortunately one of the remixers did just what Mango did.. but even better. 7+/10

Solarity Remix : This is that remix. He maintains all of the great things that Mango did and makes them better. The melodies are more clear and concise and help the song to be a lot more memorable. Mango's version is a bit too gentle and fades into the background. Having said that it would probably be a lot better if you're in a more progressive mood.. this one is just a tad harder. Overall, just an amazing tune : 9/10

Dave Horne Remix : This one is almost a mix of the two! It's a bit harder and techier than the original but not as loud as the Solarity Remix. It does it's own thing of course, but it's nothing drastically different. It also has this bubbly melody that goes throughout the whole thing that sounds nice at first.. but gets old pretty quickly. A good song and all, but it just sounds like a slightly different, watered down version of the Solarity Remix. Although that remix is amazing so this song is pretty damn good : 8/10

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Old 06-08-2009, 02:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hard Trance/Hardstyle (Classic):

A.S.Y.S. - Cheers
Label : Tracid Traxxx
Release : February 8th, 2007
Versions : Original, DJ Zany Remix, Kamui Remix



Original : What a tune! A.S.Y.S. comes with another hard hitting acid/tech trance song that was a "good bye" to the label Tracid Traxxx. It's in his usual style.. although nowadays he's drastically changed his sound to progressive techno along with Patrick Scheidt (a.k.a. Patrick Plaice - half of Kamui). Although that's under his name Frank Ellrich.. but I digress. This song is dark and acidic as anything he's ever made. With an artist name of Acid Save Your Soul I guess that's something to be expected. Regardless, Frank is one hell of a producer who never fails to make something so twisted yet melodic and accessible. 8+/10

DJ Zany Remix : THIS is what hardstyle sounds like. It's another reason why I think hardstyle was at it's best in 2005-2007. It doesn't sound anything like the original but then again they're 2 different genres. The bass is so immense and punchy and powerful.. it's both euphoric and sad. Long story short, hardstyle sounds nothing like this anymore.. I won't go into detail. It's complete with short and curt melodies that fit so well with Zany's speaker breaking kicks. The break introduces a melody that's dark and simple with a hint of acid for good measure. He then adds even more power to the kick which is just such a beautiful thing. If only music like this was still being created. 9/10



Kamui Remix : I enjoyed this version so much it was until a year after I heard it that I bothered listening to the other 2 versions. The buildup just has so many melodies and hooks that you find yourself getting lost in. The break has one of the coolest entrances into the B melody that I've ever heard. Just building and building and gives way to this techy and catchy riff that works so well. Unfortunately.. like Zany.. Kamui have drastically changed their sound. They went from making tech trance and hard trance to having a guest mix on Tiesto's Clublife. I guess everything good must come to an end. 9/10

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Old 06-14-2009, 07:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Sorry I've been gone! I'm trying to keep it original and had an issue picking which song/release to review. Instead of having to review full albums, I can release single songs! So here's a random one

Trance:

Calvin Harris - I'm Not Alone (TiŽsto Remix)
Label : None
Release : Beatport Exclusive May 6th, 2009



TiŽsto, don't get me wrong, is one hell of a remixer/producer/DJ.. but he is really getting too pop oriented. Not his sound but more that he keeps remixing such popular songs. I've lost count of how many he's done. You don't have to look far.. trust me. I guess there's nothing wrong with it if he's so sought after when it comes to wanting remixes done. His remix of Justin Timberlake's Lovestoned is MINT! He takes that last emotional bit and only uses that.. it's amazing. I digress. The song starts off with his usual simplistic bass and cymbal. The melody builds and whatnot but he does something with Calvin's vocals that sounds so damn awesome. He definitely made them sound electronic but not too over the top. Then the melody! He uses the same one in the original but makes it sound much more trancey and harks back to the 2001-2003 days of Rank 1. The golden days of trance as they're called. Most of them have gone electro or house.. or electro house.. maybe even dance. It's a shame but this one sounds so classic! I just had a listen to the original and uhh.. yeah I don't like it at all. It reminds me of house and disco.. then again his youtube name is "icreatedisco" so it's definitely not an accident. Check out this remix and the Deadmau5 remix is pretty good.. but a tad minimal. Overall : 7+/10

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Old 06-21-2009, 03:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Trance:

DJ Shah feat. Inger Hansen - Don't Wake Me Up
Label : Armada Music
Release : June 23rd, 2008
Versions : Original, Dub Mix



Original : Ahh a so called "emo trance" song! This was a short lived fad where trance producers would create songs that were a mix of alternative rock and trance with emotionally driven lyrics. Some were more rock oriented and some were more trance oriented.. this one was slightly more on the rock side. The first time I heard it I was disappointed because I thought trance was starting to turn into rock.. luckily this was all a fad. Inger's voice is pretty good but seems so opposite the sound of most trance vocalists. Jaren, Justine Suissa, Jahala, Tiff Lacey, Zoe Johnston, etc. They're all so delicate and beautiful but his isn't. I guess that also plays into the "rock" vibe. It sounds a bit outdated to me, I'm not sure why. Something about it makes me think of the late 80s.. at least the chorus. It's a pretty good song, but I listen to trance for trance! I'll listen to alternative if I want alternative. If you want a few good examples from this stint try out Nic Chagall - What you Need, Paul van Dyk - Let Go, ATB - Wrong Medication, and Ben Gold - Say the Words (the tranciest one out of the bunch). Overall.. 6/10

San Antonio Harbour Dub Mix : HERE we go! This is trance. He took out the vocals and put in a gorgeous uplifting melody. He also put in the guitar melody for just a little bit so that it's not so differentiated from the original mix. I enjoy it too, it's quite nice and calming and fits well with the euphoric and beautiful pad melody. It's uplifting and progressive and gorgeous and just what I love in a trance song! It's no wonder DJ Shah made it, with 17 aliases (5 of which he uses relatively often), he routinely makes uplifting and beautiful trance tunes. Many of which are classified as what's called "Balearic trance" from the term "Balearic beat" which is known for it's heavy beach influence. Seeing as I love the beach, I'm bound to enjoy his productions. If it sounds like something that would be interesting check out his 2CD producer album "Sunny Tales" he made under his alias "Sunlounger". 8+/10

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Old 06-26-2009, 11:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I've done a lot of epic trance.. so I'll switch it up

Progressive House:

Kid Massive - 4K (Moonbeam Remix)
Label : Avanti
Release : June 8th, 2009
Versions : Original, Kid Massive Rework, Moonbeam Remix, Homm & Popoviciu Remix, Hugo Barritt Remix



They did it again! Moonbeam is one of the most talented duos in the electronic scene right now.. and maybe one of the weirdest looking. Nothing against them though I'm just putting it out there. They go by the names of Pavel Khvaleyev and Vitaliy Khvaleyev.. and yes they are brothers. This song contains a riff they have become to be kind of known for. They have experienced a recent and explosive increase in popularity from their remix of Rachael Starr's To Forever appearing on Tiesto's In Search of Sunrise 7 Asia.. containing that same riff. It's hard to explain but I can liken it to being underwater. Either that or breathing in air on a rather brisk day.. whatever you choose it's a very smooth and pulsating sound that is incredible. After this melody fades out, the song switches up with a break that introduces a techy melody that helps make the song a little more danceable and lively. After the melody fades away and the riff in the beginning gets reintroduced it's like being washed over with water after being outside on a hot day. It just goes from danceable to this soft and oneiric melody that's so beautiful and haunting. One of the better songs I've heard in some time. Check out this song and the To Forever remix to see why they've rose to popularity so quickly. 8+/10



Progressive Trance:

Robert Vadney - Black Clown (off of his album/EP Shadowlove Anthems)
Label : Perfecto Records
Release : May 26th, 2009
Songs : Intro, Tonight I Died (In Your Arms), Funeral For My Valentine, Unison Decay, Hopeless Romantic, Black Clown, Sandman



He doesn't look like the conventional trance producer does he? Exactly! He's all about being controversial and going against the grain. This entire release is filled with a whole dark, romantic kind of feel that reminds me of HIM. Not that they're the same.. because this is unlike anything ever made. He combines really heart-wrenching classical elements such as piano and violin(esque) melodies. This song to me sums up the release best. It is complete with rather lugubrious lyrics and subtle, sad melodies. It may sound a bit downlifting but that's kind of the idea. It's a really gorgeous piece of music that captures the essence of dark, tragic, romance that I feel he's going for. I suggest you try his gorgeous track A Day In Heaven, Second Sky, and his techy remix of Mariola's Music Travel. 8+/10



Electro House:

Spencer & Hill - Cool / Heads Off
Label : Tiger Records
Release : June 1st 2009, June 22nd 2009
Versions : Cool (Original, Cool Mix) Heads Off (Original, Bastian van Shield Remix)



Cool : Well they're commercial for a reason! They can sure as hell produce a catchy, electro, grooving song that is perfect for the dance floor. They might not sound familiar but Manuel Reuter (a.k.a. Josh Hill) is one of the producers behind Cascada. Whether that's good or bad, it's pretty impressive he can go from hard dance to electro house and be popular both ways. Manuel Schleis is also in a lot of groups but produces quite a bit with Mr. Reuter. This song contains the usual vocals from a girl who's name I don't know. She has the perfect voice though, it's rather monotone but it has dynamic as well. The same lyrics get repeated over and over through the song "What you think that we think is cool" and become a melody that attaches itself to my brain and won't let go. The main melody sounds like a dizzying riff that, to me, oozes sex. Then again electro house is known for it's rather indelible sexual influence. Songs like Hey Baby by Deadmau5 & Mellefresh don't shy away from this and rather embrace it. The lyrics have nothing to do with sex, but it just has that feeling of ignorance and it just works. 9/10



Heads Off : This song is a much more fun, dancey song than Cool. "We gonna dance our heads off" are the main lyrics and are accompanied with a really light and happy subtle pad synth that reminds me of trance. Then again both Reuter & Schleis have produced in the trance scene so they know all about it and without a doubt include some influences. The main melody reminds me a lot of 90s commercial trance so it gives me a heavy dose of nostalgia which is really nice. It has that uplifting break but the melody is free of that feeling and just goes straight into a hard hitting riff. There's something about it that just seems rather choppy.. but a fantastic tune nonetheless. 8/10

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