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Old 02-13-2015, 07:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Aux-In's Collection: [The Electronic Continuum]

First, hello and welcome to my journal.

Before I start, I would like to say that while this journal will be style-specific in a sense, there will not be a dedicated structure to what I post here. This journal is intended to be a free-forming, free-flowing, adaptive, ongoing and transformative collection and discussion of everything I enjoy in modern electronic music.

I have been listening to various forms of electronic music for most of my life, with much of it being 8- and 16-bit instrumentals. I listen to rock and some metal as well, but these days it seems that I have shifted almost exclusively to electronic music. A typical week for me consists of sifting through about 100 songs or more, from past releases to the latest, greatest, and freshest releases.

Note: This will be a video-intensive thread.

Sub-note: I am also in the process of compiling a master list in text-based form which I can make available when I get it completed.

How you can decide if this journal is for you:


Time Period: Selections will be from about 2009-Present, with a few being from the early 2000s.

Genres: Dubstep, Progressive House, Electro House, Trance, Drum & Bass, Glitch Hop, Future Bass, and many other genres. Of mention here is that as much as I enjoy exploring and trying to understand the genre breakdowns, I find that there isn't always consensus--sometimes not even between what the artist lists a song as and what the distribution/download service (the kind you buy stuff from) lists it as. I will try to answer genre questions if anyone is curious about what’s what, and I'm sure we have some other knowledgeable members here on MusicBanter.

Vocals: 90% of the tracks will be vocal tracks. Vocals are not everyone’s cup of tea when it comes to Electronica, but I prefer them.

Female vocals: 85% of the tracks overall will likely contain female vocals. I like male vocals almost exclusively in my rock selections, but here, I find that female vocals are the best for this type of music.

Style(s): Generally, I am into the style that lifts me into the air and then throws me to the ground. Tracks will consist of high-pitched vocals and beats. They will be high-energy, fast-paced, loud and sometimes distorted. Other elements include an ambient, melodic, uplifting and ethereal tone. At other times, tracks will have a combination of all of the above, while simultaneously displaying an undercurrent of darker themes. I prefer the uplifting stuff, but that’s just how it works out sometimes.

DJ Intros/Outros: A lot of tracks will start off with what’s known as a DJ intro. The intro is for transition time between songs so DJs can properly mix tracks together. However, a lot of official YouTube uploads are the radio edits which cut out the intro. In some cases, this helps the song. In others, it detracts from the entirety of the song.

Quality: Most of what I will post here is stuff that sounds good to me. Simply put, aye? While I know the difference between a quality track and a more generic track--and I will be bantering about the music too--there will be other times where I will simply post the video and let the listener come to his/her own conclusion. Essentially, while I will be focusing on quality stuff, I also want to add less well-produced material as I feel it’s important to have these in your mixes from time to time to add variation. Just because it is simple, that doesn’t mean it doesn't stand out amongst a thousand tracks which are even more generic. Not everything needs a polish, either. Ain’t no shame!

Cheers.

As of 1.17.2016, I have added an index to this journal, which you can find here:


Last edited by Aux-In; 04-21-2016 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 02-13-2015, 09:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My first video will be something from Skrux, a producer who has developed a following with this sweeping, melodic productions.

Skrux (ft. Anna Yvette) - "Infinite"


^^ The only thing I would like to see in this type of song is a second verse with different lyrics. With that said, I'm continually impressed by the work of this young talent.

A quote from an interview Skrux did:

Quote:
Skrux: Ha! Nothing like that. Honestly what inspires me most is the fact that people say electronic music has no emotion and that it’s just a bunch of noise. I want to show people that there’s more to it than “who can make the nastiest growl.” I also love music that has a melody, I can’t stand when a track has one note throughout the entire thing, there at least has to be some movement.
Read more: The Anti-DJ: Interview with Skrux


Andy Moor - "Fade To Light" [Original Mix]


^^ This isn't technically an instrumental, but it might as well be. I think this is an instance where the vocal edits are unnecessary, but at least they don't completely ruin the track. I'm guessing these are Andy's vocals to which he added that pitched-vocal effect.

Pyramid Scheme (ft. Jesse Cochran) - "Microphones"


^^ Here is a case where I hadn't heard of the artists before. Almost passed on this one on first listen, but after more listens, I realized how amazing these vocals are. The long version of this song has a decent intro as well that isn't in the video.

Namaste - "Signs" [Radio Edit]


^^ This is a song where the radio edit helps it. The original mix is five minutes long with vocals that repeat the same line ("all the times that you save me") too often for my tastes. The radio is just right.
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Old 02-14-2015, 05:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Cool! Not my kind of music but I do like some electronica (lighter stuff like Air, JMJ, Vangelis, CBL, Solar Fields etc); great to see you taking the plunge so early and I think this will be interesting.

One piece of advice: if as you say this is going to feature a lot of videos make sure to spoiler them. A ton of YouTubes slows down most computers and you won't get any love from mods who are trying to approve your entries either. Believe me, I know!

Other than that, welcome! Expect a mensch on the Update Thread tomorrow.
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Old 02-14-2015, 03:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trollheart View Post
Cool! Not my kind of music but I do like some electronica (lighter stuff like Air, JMJ, Vangelis, CBL, Solar Fields etc)
Sounds good. I haven't heard of any of those. I like and listen to slow music from time to time, but after awhile, I find that it doesn't have the staying power without a bit of an edge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trollheart View Post
great to see you taking the plunge so early and I think this will be interesting.
I have tried some of this before in other places and it can be a headache trying to figure out what goes in what thread as far as genres are concerned. I thought it might be best to keep these selections all in one place and not get so caught up in the whole genre thing. A lot of this stuff is cross-genre as well; it's a really exciting time for Electronica. Hopefully I can make it interesting .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trollheart View Post
One piece of advice: if as you say this is going to feature a lot of videos make sure to spoiler them. A ton of YouTubes slows down most computers and you won't get any love from mods who are trying to approve your entries either. Believe me, I know!
OK, good to know. Thanks.

-----

I forgot to mention in my OP that I have always liked the female singer/songwriter thing, so to me, some of the tracks are a fusion between rock and that, as well as a number of other influences (pop, orchestral, metal, etc.) mixed with electronic techniques. I would say for the time period in this thread, I have discovered about 300 songs. After that, it has slowed down some. Not every one of those needs detailed discussion or videos, so I will try to compile my list and pick out which tracks need to be here and/or others where a simple track title mention will suffice. This review process will be good as I can go back and eliminate a few that shouldn't be there.
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Old 02-23-2015, 12:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Some background on how I got into this type of music...

For various reasons, I put music on the back-burner for much of the 2000s. Outside of my already existing collection--the kind you play over, and over, and over again--it got increasingly difficult for me to find music on the radio that appealed to me. In order to keep things fresh, one of the ways I found "new music" was to seek out as many live versions of the stuff I already liked. With each live performance, I could always find something different and unique in it. The other way I went about things was to buy albums I didn’t already have from my favorite artists and/or their side projects. This worked for a while, until, of course, it didn’t. I hadn’t allocated much time to seeking out new music outside of the aforementioned, or to watch TV, either. Time for music? Didn’t have it. TV? Didn’t care.

Now, I love my gritty grunge music (that’s dad rock to some of you) and my Alice In Chains, but I have liked electronic music ever since the 8- and 16-bit days. I did have some exposure to other types of electronic music as well. The extent of my trance exposure was Robert Miles’s “Children” (referred to as dream trance). My techno/electronica exposure came in the form of the Wipeout video-game soundtrack and groups such as The Prodigy, The Crystal Method (“BusyChild”), or alternative-sounding crossovers like Sneaker Pimps's "6 Underground." When it comes to house music, I liked Todd Terry's remix of Everything But The Girl's "Missing," although I wouldn’t have known at the time that it was considered house music. My ‘90s dance and Eurodance exposure were acts such as Haddaway, La Bouche, Snap!, The Real McCoy, and a few others. Outside of that, I never found a lot of popular dance music to be particularly appealing.

Fast-forwarding to the latter part of the 2000s and into the 2010s, I would come to find out that a different kind of electronic-based music had emerged in popular culture. The specific date escapes me, but one day in 2012 or so, I turned on the television and proceeded to flip through the channels, going beyond my pre-sets and into the nexus that is the digital sub-channels: the 5-1s, 5-2s and 5-3s. That’s when I discovered an awesome music channel called TheCoolTV. It was refreshing to finally have a music channel again. Like any other type of music outlet, not everything in TheCoolTV's rotation was great, but I was definitely digging the ambient vibe of what I was hearing. A few examples include Nero’s “Me And You”(2011), La Roux’s “Bulletproof” (2009), John Butler Trio’s “Revolution” (2011), an alternative rock/roots-rock song, as well as a bunch of other selections that I don’t recall. At this point, I was still at the stage where this stuff was wafting in the background; music wasn’t a central focus.

Unfortunately, not soon after my discovery of TheCoolTV, the channel went off the air with no warning, and no replacement. It's always frustrating when you find something you really like, and then poof, it’s gone. Disappointing, but the seed was already planted.

With TheCoolTV gone from over-the-air television, I didn't know where to look for new music. Local radio hadn't been interesting in years. Given that, I didn't have a good reference point for what was happening in the modern music scene, let alone with electronica. All I knew at this point was that I wanted to seek out that ambient sound I found on TheCoolTV.

A few months later, I was at a get-together and one of guys started playing Skrillex’s remix of Benny Benassi's “Cinema." This was done via his iPhone which was then hooked up to a large speaker system.



Okay, “Cinema” not being so ambient here, but it had a good melody and enough crunchy bass to make me say, “What iiiiiiis this?” And sure, I had now heard “Cinema,” but I still didn’t know what a filthy drop was, or anything about dubstep for that matter.

That same guy was also a proponent of Pandora. I knew about Pandora back during its early days and had used it briefly here and there, but when you’re using a dial-up connection--and that's all that we could get--services such as Pandora don’t do you any favors. After much maligning on my part, I decided to give Pandora a try and signed up for the service.

My first manual entry and subsequent thumbed-up track on Pandora occurred on 8/7/2013. It is something from John O’Callaghan, and it was a track I had found while watching a random YouTube video:

John O'Callaghan (ft. Sarah Howells) –“ Find Yourself” [Original Mix]



I would prefer the remix by Cosmic Gate if it didn't spend the first three minutes meandering on about nothing.

The first artist I ever inserted as a station seed is a producer named 501:

501 - “Feel For You”



501 quote via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/501dubz/pos...53124317452953
Quote:
501: major part of the allure of hearing amazing new music is not knowing how it was accomplished - you dont hear the technique, just the music...technically you can learn to mimic a certain feeling or someone's sound (just like a reverb puts a naked sound into a space) but humans = not robots. producing music, to me, is closer to art than engineering.
Five other songs received a thumbs up on 8/7/2013 and 8/8/2013, respectively:

Calvertron (ft. Melleefresh) - “8Bit Dreamz”



"8Bit Dreamz" is a crunchy banger with a silky smooth lead-in to the drop.

Two remixes from Skrillex:

Nero - “Promises” [Skrillex and Nero Remix]



Benny Benassi (ft. Gary Go) - “Cinema” [Skrillex Remix]



Arty & Mat Zo – “Rebound” [Original Mix]



"Rebound" is a rolling, thunderous track that carries the right amount of bass throughout without losing its ambient sound. It has two major parts, and it is a track that is perfect for long drives.

Emma Hewitt – “Foolish Boy” [Ivan Gough & Luke Chable Remix]



An entry from popular trance artist Emma Hewitt, remixed by Ivan Gough and Luke Chable.

Emma Hewitt quote:

Quote:
Emma: I didn’t have any formal training as a singer. I did learn classical piano for a few years and did all my exams. I do believe it is important for musicians to learn about the theory side of music, just to at least get a basic knowledge of keys and which notes work in which scales etc. But on the other hand it is a fine line, as I also think that sometimes lessons will beat the creativity out of someone and teach them not to improvise.
Read more: Emma Hewitt interview.

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Last edited by Aux-In; 02-28-2015 at 08:16 AM. Reason: Fixed broken image link
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Old 02-28-2015, 06:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Starting where I left off...

At this point, I was slowly gaining experience in teaching myself a new system of finding music, but it wasn't until the last week of August, 2013, that things really started to ramp up.

I made a plan earlier in the year to take a road trip to Arizona, a destination I had always wanted to visit. I’m not much of a traveler, so I had never taken an extended trip like this before, save a few outings when I was younger. Road trips are fun, sure, it's just that I would rather be doing other things. In trying to put this trip together, I asked several people I knew if they wanted to go with me. They all declined. Looking back now, this turned out to be a good thing. Instead of cancelling the trip, I went by myself. This lone trip allowed me to spend a lot of time listening to Pandora on my cell phone, which I had never done before in this capacity. And this was a very long trip. Coverage was spotty in a few areas, but most of the time my connection was fine. Technical note: I hooked my cell phone into my head unit using an auxiliary cable.

The decision to explore new music again was a complete experiment; I never intended or set out to find anything specific. I stated before that I listened to a lot of gaming music in the past, and I guess that would be fairly underground for the time period when compared to the general population, as none of that music was ever on the radio, nor was it designed to be. Generally, my music tastes are somewhere between not too mainstream and not too indie. To my surprise, as I got further into the trip, I found that not only did I like the music I was hearing, I also liked the fact that the discovery process on Pandora was organic and free-flowing in nature. That is to say, as organic as an algorithm can be, I suppose. This, as opposed to a more traditional, fixed-radio format that shoves the same songs down your throat on a daily basis. I am mentioning Pandora because that's what I used, although I'm sure other apps would have provided a similar-but-different experience.

I was accompanied by several memorable tracks:

Lilly Wolf – “Disaster”



^^ This catchy song is one of the earliest tracks to appear, and it's a total sleeper. "Disaster" starts off as a pseudo art-pop song, but from the opening verse, we also get a sense that it is a song about relationship troubles:

Verse 1:
Disaster disaster,
Chase after a little bit faster.
You don’t want to end it,
Treading water as you try to defend it.
I let you go freely,
Cause I want somebody to incomplete me.
You say it’s not fair, that’s true but,
Smoke and mirrors on the battlefield out here.


By the time we get to the third leg of the track (the bridge), it unexpectedly turns to fast-paced, dirty, driving synths. This kind of song is a prime example of the type of material I mentioned in my opening post: it feels uplifting in its construction and vocals, but when we examine the lyrics, it's the opposite. This is not an intentional thing I seek out. This will also be one of the more well-written songs in this journal. Wolf describes her music as "pop music for pop-music snobs," although I think she's just having a good row--her work is a little more accessible than that. You can find the rest of the lyrics to "Disaster" and a free download on her Soundcloud, found here.

W&W - “Invasion” [ASOT 550 Club Mix]



“Invasion” is a spacey instrumental that sets you up with a slow build before turning into an energetic power anthem. It was chosen as the official anthem for A State of Trance 550. This is the radio edit. The track is much better in its full version, as the radio edit cuts out the slow-build intro. If full versions are your thing, it's worth a look.

Flinch (ft. Heather Bright) - “Light It Up”



Not too much to say on this one. A club-oriented dubstep banger with a good melody. Production from Flinch (Adam Glassco) and vocals from Heather Bright. Released on the label SMOG.

Singularity (ft. Steffi Nguyen) - "The Tide" [TheFatRat Remix]



^^ A selection from Singularity. Remixed by TheFatRat with his signature, fun, bouncy style.

------------------------------------

Other notable songs I heard on my road trip. Some of them are more commercial in nature, so these will be links and not embeds:

Adam F – “When The Rain Is Gone”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQj4kuhjWZk

Zedd (ft. Foxes) - “Clarity” : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxxstCcJlsc

Zedd (ft. Matthew Koma) - "Spectrum": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsuVMdnF8A0

Calvin Harris (ft. Ellie Goulding) - “I Need Your Love”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtKZKl7Bgu0

------------------------------------

My focus on the trip is not to give "the trip" more credence than its worth, but it was a pivotal moment and the catalyst for what will become the remainder of the material in this journal, musically speaking. The juxtaposition of manufactured music playing through my car-stereo system as I traversed miles of natural desert (on man-made roads) could not have been more ironic, nor more fulfilling.

(will have more on next entry, including aux-in's Desert Driving Mix)
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Last edited by Aux-In; 02-28-2015 at 08:15 AM. Reason: spelling, as always
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Old 03-02-2015, 06:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Having reached the midway point already, we're now getting to the meat and potatoes of things.

I'm going to start this one off strong with a production from Morgan Page.

MORGAN PAGE


This track is called "Carry Me" and it is from Page's In The Air album. What really makes this track is the vocal performance by Nadia Ali, singer-songwriter and former member of the band iiO. She is a veteran of the electronic music scene who co-writes a lot of material, making her more than just a featured singer on a lot of tracks. Dyro is on remixing duties here to give the song the proper edge that it needs.

Morgan Page & Nadia Ali - "Carry Me" [Dyro Remix]



Page has one of the unfortunate distinctions of being the type of producer where I prefer the remixes over his originals, and that's the case here. That's not to take anything away from his effort, for without him, the remixes aren't even possible. Back in these early days, I would have called this track dubstep. It's actually electro house. Just one of the many reasons I stopped trying to classify these types of hybrid sounds . Page is set to release new material this year with several tracks featuring vocals from singer-songwriter Lissie. I will have more from Morgan Page and most of the artists already mentioned, at a later date.

Moving on to NERVO, an Australian outfit that isn't just a duo--they're actually twins. They are also one of the few female producers that I've come across.

NERVO - "Hold On"



I am posting the original here, but the one I was listening to, and subsequently prefer, is the extended mix (not to be confused with the Vicetone remix). Still, the video carries an important message in dealing with the loss of a loved one. Not something I would've picked up on without spending more time with the lyrics or seeing the video, quite frankly.

Something from Rogue...

Rogue (ft. Laura Brehm) - "Dreams"



Rogue is from the Midlands, UK. Not a lot of text info to go on outside of social media, although he has several vlogs and other related material on his YouTube. I did catch one of them where he stated he wasn't that good at some types of computer work, although you wouldn't know that by listening to his music. The vocals here are provided by Laura Brehm, an indie artist from Denver, CO. I have seen interviews with her and she seems like a good person who keeps herself open to working with producers. She at one point opened up for the band Heart. Read more: Laura Brehm article

Not a ton of info on this next one, but it has that hard-ambient, ethereal thing going for it. From the Anymore EP.

Eddie K & Statix (ft. Astronaut) - "Anymore"



Same as the previous:

Kill The Noise (ft. Ultraviolet & Emily Hudson) - "Dying"



And I will cap things off with what I consider one of the best melodic dubstep tunes of all time. It is a selection from Xilent, a producer from Warsaw, Poland.

Xilent (ft. Shaz Sparks) - "Universe"



There is a fan-made video done under the YouTube account worldofmycreativity that really captures the essence of this song. The video takes us through roaming fields throughout the country, as well as space scenes.

Xilent is one of my favorite producers and I will have more from him in future entries, with possibly a more in-depth breakdown of "Universe."

----

Without further adieu, here is aux-in's Desert Driving Mix...for all those times you catch yourself in the middle of nowhere without a single shred of civilization for miles on end...just you and your electronic music

aux-in's Desert Driving Mix
(in no particular order)

Morgan Page & Nadia Ali - "Carry Me" [Dyro Remix]
NERVO - "Hold On" [Extended Mix]
Eddie K & Statix - "Anymore"
W&W - "Invasion"
Arty & Mat Zo - "Rebound"
Kill The Noise (ft. Ultraviolet & Emily Hudson) - "Dying"
Xilent - "Universe"
(OPTIONAL)
Rogue (ft. Laura Brehm) - "Dreams"
Flinch (ft. Heather Bright) - "Light It Up"


--------------------------------


Taken somewhere in Arizona


Stewart's Petrified Wood
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Old 03-05-2015, 12:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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aux-in's Uplifting Mix: Pure Euphoria


Mako (ft. Angel Taylor) - "Beam" [Skrux Remix]
Protohype (ft. Alina Renae) - "Fly" [Killabyte Remix]
Above & Beyond & Gareth Emery pres. OceanLab - "On A Good Day (Metropolis)"
Armin van Buuren (ft. Cindy Alma) - "Beautiful Life" [Full Version]
Cazzette - "Beam Me Up"
Felix Cartal & Clockwork (ft. Madame Buttons) - "The Fire" [Skrux Remix]
George Acosta (ft. Fisher) - "Beautiful" [Original Mix]
Morgan Page (ft. Angela McCluskey) - "In The Air" [LectroNatic Remix]
Morgan Page (ft. Angela McCluskey) - "In The Air" [Mord Fustang Remix]
Static Revenger & Miss Palmer - "Bullet Train" [Kezwik Radio Edit]
Dennis Sheperd - "Edge Of The World"
Stephen Swartz (ft. Joni Fatora) - "Bullet Train"

Videos first. Yes, all 12 of 'em. My reviews will be at the bottom.

Mako (ft. Angel Taylor) - "Beam" [Skrux Remix]



Protohype (ft. Alina Renae) - "Fly" [Killabyte Remix]



Above & Beyond & Gareth Emery pres. OceanLab - "On A Good Day (Metropolis)"



Armin van Buuren (ft. Cindy Alma) - "Beautiful Life" [Full Version]



Cazzette - "Beam Me Up"



Felix Cartal & Clockwork (ft. Madame Buttons) - "The Fire" [Skrux Remix]



George Acosta (ft. Fisher) - "Beautiful" [Original Mix]



Morgan Page (ft. Angela McCluskey) - "In The Air" [LectroNatic Remix]



Morgan Page (ft. Angela McCluskey) - "In The Air" [Mord Fustang Remix]



Static Revenger & Miss Palmer - "Bullet Train" [Kezwik Radio Edit]



Dennis Sheperd - "Edge Of The World"



Stephen Swartz (ft. Joni Fatora) - "Bullet Train"



------------------------

1) Mako (ft. Angel Taylor) - "Beam" [Skrux Remix]

Another entry from Skrux, an Arlington, Texas native. Pure euphoria with this one, as my title indicates. This was one of Skrux's earlier remixes, and he does a great job here. The instrumental feels to me like it follows the same pattern as if you were skipping rocks in a river. There isn't much in the way of lyrics, however, I see this as using vocals as an instrument, which I consider to be an important concept when taking in this type of music. The effect here is that the high-pitched vocals bring an energy and an uplifting feel that you probably wouldn't be able to get with unfiltered vocals.

2) Protohype (ft. Alina Renae) - "Fly" [Killabyte Remix]

The original version has a more downbeat instrumental during the chorus/drops. This remix just works better and it has a more unique style to it. Lyrically, it seems to me that it is about moving on from a bad relationship, with lines such as "now that you're gone, I can finally fly." These types of lyrics don't speak to me personally as I'm more into abstract-type concepts. Human emotions? *pfft* With that said, the lyrics give the song more meaning than your standard-issue electronic song that just says "drop the bass" or "put your hands up."

3) Above & Beyond & Gareth Emery pres. OceanLab - "On A Good Day (Metropolis)"

For me, this one is more about personal redemption and looking within one's self for strength, and the song is able to pull this off without being hokey.

Some of the lyrics:

Little bit lost and
A little bit lonely
Little bit cold here
A little bit feared

But I hold on
And I
Feel strong
And I
Know that I can


I have liked most of what I've come across from OceanLab's album Sirens of the Sea; I have been meaning to give a full listen to that album...some day I'll get to that. The vocalist for OceanLab is Justine Suissa. I have read reviews where people say she sings somewhat flat, but I think it works for her and that style of singing brings a sense of calm to the music. I am not sure who was more involved in producing the instrumental parts in the Metropolis version of the song, whether it be Above & Beyond, Gareth Emery, or the other members of OceanLab themselves.

I posted the Anjunabeats upload because it's the full version (my preference). However, as you can hear the broadcaster speaking about before the song starts, the official video (radio edit) for "On A Good Day (Metropolis)" takes a more socially-conscious bend. It is a video that they shot in Detroit, seen here. The theme in the video is rebuilding a community from its previous abandonment. Not quite how I imagine things when I hear the audio, but that's their take on it. There's a write-up in the description about the inspiration on what led them to make that video.

4) Armin van Buuren (ft. Cindy Alma) - "Beautiful Life" [Full Version]

A more danceable track from Armin van Buuren, a renowned progressive trance artist. Not the biggest fan of talking about music in the music, such as "let the music guide you to me" and "dance tonight forever" as heard in the lyrics. Still, it's a decent track. Good vibes. Armin's taken some heat recently for moving in a more mainstream EDM direction, although he still puts out trance under his Gaia and Rising Star aliases. "Beautiful Life" is a progressive house tune.

5) Cazzette - "Beam Me Up"

Fun party song from Swedish duo Cazzette. Very "Vegas-like" in its sound. I like the vocals on this one. One of the better videos as well, more movie-like.

Spoiler for desciption of video contents:
There's humor here, not just hot babes running around. The video opens with a politician giving an interview and trying to figure out what has been making people dance in the streets, seemingly out of nowhere and without cause. It then cuts to scenes of spaceships that are shaped like cassettes. Long story short: basically, aliens are making people dance.


6) Felix Cartal & Clockwork (ft. Madame Buttons) - "The Fire" [Skrux Remix]

Original production from Felix Cartal & Clockwork with remixing from Skrux. Calming tune. Same kind of points I made on #1 and #2. The one issue I have with this track is the distorted effect that's put on the male vocal parts. I normally can't stand that effect, but here it isn't too distracting; it's not something that's all that noticeable anyway.

Since posting this, I went back and listened to the original, and I didn't hear any male vocals. The distorted vocals in the Skrux remix are likely from the same female vocals, but layered on a seperate track and then given said distorted treatment.

7) George Acosta (ft. Fisher) - "Beautiful" [Original Mix]

Geoge Acosta was born in Cuba and raised in Miami. Acosta originally started as a DJ spinning house tunes, later switched to producing trance, and then went in a more progressive house and EDM direction.

George Acosta quotes:

Quote:
George Acosta:

“I guess what makes me special is that I never stay behind the times. I’m constantly evolving, trying to better myself and challenge myself.

"For those who know me on a personal level, I am a man of few words; through the music, I am able to express all my thoughts and emotions."
Read more: George Acosta

I don't have much on Fisher. Why they don't use their last name or a proper stage name is beyond me. I don't want to have to guess and get the name wrong.

For the song itself, it's probably about sex. Doves can be deceiving.

8) Morgan Page (ft. Angela McCluskey) - "In The Air" [LectroNatic Remix]

I am posting two different remixes of Morgan Page's "In the Air" because I like them both, albeit for different reasons. The LectroNatic remix has guitars in it and has a more relaxing vibe, although it's less complex and more repetitive (not in a bad way).

Some of the lyrics:

To Get What You Want
Throw Out Your Troubles
Find Your Song
Cause There's A Change
Change In The Air


McCluskey, of the alternative rock band Wild Colonials, is the guest vocalist on this track. She has a raspy, indie tone to her voice, and I think with a different vocalist this song wouldn't work as effectively as it does--it would be more cheesy.

9) Morgan Page (ft. Angela McCluskey) - "In The Air" [Mord Fustang Remix]

Page's "In The Air" was a collaboration with production input from BT and Sultan + Ned Shepard. BT (Brian Transeau) is a classically-trained artist who is a legend of the electronic scene. BT has gone so far as to develop his own systems for creating music. More on him later on in this journal. The Mord Fustang remix is faster-paced, more energetic and more complex than some of the other remixes. I have seen comments that say the song uses triplets. Not being a creator of music, I will take their word for it.

Note: In the original mix, there is a line that is removed from each of these remixes: "Hallelujah-I Love You." Whether that is intentional or not, I can't say. And whether the song is about God, I can't say, but given the lyrics, I think "Hallelujah" is used with an emotive connotation and not a religious one.

10) Static Revenger & Miss Palmer - "Bullet Train" [Kezwik Radio Edit]

This song makes me want to take a step back from the commotion of life and just think about the universe. Said a different way, it makes me feel relaxed and contemplative about life. If I was on a train or bus ride, this would be one of the songs that I would play while I look out the window and take in the scenery. Kezwik's radio edit does help it, as the original is five minutes long and doesn't quite feel right.

11) Dennis Sheperd - "Edge Of The World"

What I like:

- I just like it. That's it.
- It's nothing too complex, but it gives you a sense of the title when you listen to it.
- It's all about the second half.

What I don't like:

- Not the strongest vocals.
- Lame party/festival video. Yes, it's about the music. And yes, that's what this type of music is geared toward...but it could be something more.
- Yet another radio edit that doesn't allow you to take in the song in its full context. The full version stands at about 7:24 in length, and is recommended. I'm probably going to sound like a broken record harping on this topic throughout my journal.

12) Stephen Swartz (ft. Joni Fatora) - "Bullet Train"

Similar to #10, with a more ethereal/nature vibe. It really takes you to that place where you want to step back and appreciate your surroundings. That's my take.

There is a fan-made video of "Bullet Train" that has some well-shot cinematic photography + time-lapse scenes of nature. It features skiing scenes set to beautiful, panning camera movements of mountains covered in snow. The only hiccup is that it doesn't cover the full song. You can see the video here.

Swartz only put out three major songs that I'm aware of, "Bullet Train" being the most popular. Since then, he's basically fallen off the map. He has more info on his Facebook, and he alludes to other material, although I haven't seen any surface myself. It could be one of those things where he's just not happy enough with the material in order to release it. Even if that's true, it's quite possible he missed the boat a little bit as I think the electronic scene has peaked somewhat, particularly with dubstep.

Bonus song:

Clark Kent & Yinyues - "Cosmos" [Skrux & Complexion Remix] : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mCabqANH-Q
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Old 03-12-2015, 06:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Album Review: Tritonal - Tritonia: Chapter 002

Alright, here is my review of an album I received yesterday.

Tritonal - Tritonia: Chapter 002





This is a mixed CD of various artists that was put together by Tritonal, an Austin, Texas duo comprised of Chad Cisneros and Dave Reed. They started out in trance and have since been producing tracks in multiple genres, seeing their star rise in the electronic scene as a result. There are only three songs from Tritonal on the album, and all of them are remixes (not originals).

Tracklist:


1. Tritonal feat. Skyler Stonestreet – Electric Glow (Arston Remix)
2. Noah Neiman feat. Mike Schmid – Follow (Original Mix)
3. Codeko – Trace (Original Mix)
4. Ryos feat. Allisa Rose – Eclipse (Original Mix)
5. Juventa – Winterborn (Original Mix)
6. Tritonal – Anchor (Club Mix)
7. AeroSoul feat. Christian Ferraro – 6AM (Original Mix)
8. Cuebrick – Demon (Original Mix)
9. Jus Jack & Speed Limits – All Falls Down (Tritonal Edit)
10. Disco Fries – Louder (Original Mix)
11. Years – Diamond (Instrumental Mix)
12. Speed Limits & DVN feat. Adam Duncan – Take My Breath Away (Original Mix)
13. Estiva & Skouners feat. Delaney Jane – Playing With Fire (Original Mix)
14. Jenaux feat. Pia Toscano – Renegades (Original Mix)
15. Mike Shiver & Oen Bearen – Ataraxia (Original Mix)
16. JAKKO, Steerner vs. Klaus & Turino feat. Paul Aiden – Lighthouse (Original Mix)
17. Tritonal feat. Jonathan Mendelsohn – Satellite (Kill The Buzz Remix)
18. Enzo Darren feat. Delaney Jane – Adonis (Original Mix)
20. Thomas Hayes – Alluvion (Original Mix)
19. Uforik – Scorpion (Original Mix)
21. Cuebrick – Save Me (Original Mix)
22. Noah Neiman feat. Anna Yvette – Eyes To The Sky (Original Mix)

*Tracks highlighted in blue are the ones I liked best (see review)

REVIEW

1 - "Electric Glow" does sound like a hit song to me. However, there's something about it that is annoying to me. It's probably the way the vocals are edited; they way it goes "electric gloooow, gloooow, gloooooooow, gloooow." I mean, I just don't need that. It's present in the original, and if I didn't prefer the original to begin with, then I'm not going to care about this remix. I do think, though, that it can be a good track for the casual listener.
2 - One of the stronger tracks on this album. Vocals from Mike Schmid who doesn't strain his voice when hitting the high notes. The drop is decent, but overall, it's not the best banger I've ever heard.
3 - This is a light euphoric track. Something to relax to but that won't make you fall asleep.
4 - This is the best track on the entire album. Great vocals, catchy instrumental. Nothing epic, but see first sentence. Vocalist is Allisa Rose, and she sort of has this accent to her voice that stands out. I've never heard of Ryos or Allisa Rose before, but it's a good start.

Ryos (ft. Allisa Rose) - "Eclipse"


5 - Big sound, but weak and repetitive. Has a few slow ambient breaks in between. More suitable as festival music.
6 - This song is very annoying. I like me some chopped vocals, but not the way they did it here.
7 - Boring. "Baby cause my heart's on fire" are the lyrics here. *shakes head* Nothing original to see here.
8 - Has potential, but I forgot I listened to it when my media player went to the next track. The vocals don't quite grab me.
9 - Big saw sound but very boring and generic. The male vocals just don't do it for me on this one.
10 - A little noisier and abrasive than some of the other tracks. Largely an instrumental with a generic "let's get louder" vocal sample thrown in. Not for me.
11 - What sounds like a progressive house instrumental. Nothing special, but not horrible. Only 1:30 long. Not sure what the point of such a short instrumental is. This isn't a teaser album or anything.
12 - *ugh* Some of the lyrics: "I still get butterflies when I see you start to smile. Every breath we take is the moments that take our breath away." Now, I am not a lyrics person, but come on? Can't we do better than this? Song isn't memorable anyway.
13 - Vocal track that tries to not be generic, but it can't help itself from being so.
14 - Vocal track with lyrics that seem to reference drug use, IMO, with instrumental parts that sound like "oooohoohohohohowowwwwwweeeoeoooooooo." I'll pass.
15 - Finally, our first non-generic track since we were on track #4. It sounds like it wants to be a deep house tune when it starts off, but then it goes all "progressive housey" on ya. Nothing I would go out of my way to play, but at least there's some originality here.
16 - Slow and forgettable. The whole song needs to move, not just the drops. Not feeling the vocals, either.
17 - I hear some hardstyle (an electronic genre) in here. Has some of that distorted vocal effect that I hate in this type of music. I'll pass.
18 - Same 'ol same 'ol. Standard prog house drop. Midway through, skipping to next track now...
19 - An instrumental with some vocal samples thrown in. Sounds like electro house. Still passing...
20 - This one is a bit lighter and chill, but it doesn't speak to me.
21 - A driving choon. Still mediocre, but not as much as some of the others.
22 - Most of the album is festival music, but this one is more of a club/dance track. Anna Yvette as a vocalist is hit or miss for me. Meh on this track.

SUMMATION

There isn't anything here for seasoned electronic-music listeners, and since my compass on other people's tastes may not be all that accurate, it's hard to say how a casual listener would view this album. The only reason I bought it to begin with is because it came signed by Tritonal, direct from purchase (it also came with a bracelet). This makes it my first signed album, now that I think about it. Had it not been for that, the Ryos tune would've been a singles purchase, if anything.


signed album + bracelet
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Old 03-16-2015, 04:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Based on my last entry and review, you might be asking, “Why the hell did you buy a compilation album that you knew you’d probably have no interest in, and then subsequently bash some of the entries from the artist you had bought the CD for to begin with?”

Fair enough, but let’s get to what I do like about Tritonal, other than having a cool, signed album by them. Before their 2011 album Piercing the Quiet, Tritonal released a slew of singles that appeared on various compilation albums or that were released as digital downloads. These singles are noted on Tritonal’s Wikipedia page, found here. In March 2013, they released a three-song EP titled Metamorphic I, with “Bullet That Saved Me” being the notable track. "Bullet That Saved Me" would later receive a festival-friendly remix, and I prefer that mix over the original. Later in November, Tritonal released another three-song EP titled Metamorphic II, with the piercing-vocal track “Now Or Never” and the energetic “Electric Glow” being the main attractions, both of which are progressive house tracks.

"Now Or Never" was my first exposure to Tritonal:

Tritonal (ft. Phoebe Ryan) – “Now Or Never”



This one is geared more toward a festival sound, although I think it’s also suitable for everyday listening. The song is definitely about sex, and more specifically here--a one-night stand. But a meaningful one-night stand? “I’d rather have one night, than nothing forever” are just some of the lyrics. I guess if one wanted, one could find some sort of metaphorical and/or philosophically deep meaning in lyrics like that; about being more care-free and taking opportunities when they present themselves, not just with sex. However, I think that would be stretching things and making things up at that point, rather than what the obvious, true intentions of the song are. Lyrics aside, the beat itself is above average, energetic, and it gives off a positive vibe, although it’s Phoebe Ryan’s vocals that are the main draw.

I do like “Bullet That Saved Me” and “Now Or Never,” although I will note two other songs I like more from Tritonal’s earlier work.

Tritonal (ft. Christina Soto) – “Spellbound” [Original Mix]



Release Year: 2009
Album(s): Armada Sessions (October 2009); Markus Schulz Presents: Coldharbour Selections Part 21



“Spellbound” starts off with the vocalist, Christina Soto, humming the notes “Dah dahda dahdada dahdadha…” or whatever it is.

And then the lyrics come in, such as:

Move up, step down
In a gaze, lock eyes
Trying to look away
I’m spellbound
Your hands, my waist
No thoughts, just taste
‘Cause it’s a very sweet sound


(more lyrics follow after this, see song)

As with “Now Or Never,” this song is about letting go of inhibitions and accepting the moment, which is, I guess, part of the purpose of this type of music. This is a trance track, and the beat is one of the more straight-line, repetitive-but-infectious ones that I have in my collection. For this song, it works, and it works well, although it might take a couple listens to come around on this song if you’re not used to such repetition in your music. Overall, it’s very soothing and relaxing, yet driving at the same time. Smooth vocals too.

Tritonal (ft. Bethany) – “Sometimes I Wish” [Extended Mix]



Release Date: April 9, 2012.
Album: Piercing the Quiet: Extended Mixes

This trance tune is from the Extended Mix album. This is the version I came across first, and if there's a difference in production technique(s) between this version and the one on the 2011 release, I don't know what it is. I only have so much patience to sift through multiple remixes, and I don't find enough wrong with this version to seek out a different mix.

LYRICS:

Only you took me there,
to the place where I live still,
no one else could see me whole,
but this thing you've built with care has been sold,


(more lyrics follow, see song)

[CHORUS]

sometimes I wish I never met you,
sometimes I wish I never met you,
sometimes I wish I never met you (oh oh oh),


Decent lyrics. The meaning of the song is inferred, but it is left open enough to interpretation, from something as benign as a now-former love interest, to something else. I dig the secondary part of the chorus that goes, “I would have my heart still, I would have my mind still, I would have some peace.” The song is clearly about some sort of heartache that's been caused by the actions of another, and it is reflective of the pivot point where the protagonist is permanently done caring about said person. Additionally, she wishes she had never met this person to begin with, and now that they're no longer involved, she can return to her inner peace. The beat has enough variation while still being ambient and driving, which, as should be well-established at this venture in the journal, is basically my favorite type of sound in all of music...at the moment.

Summing up: I am not one of those genre contrarians who gets upset when a band changes their sound, but I prefer Tritonal’s trance offerings over their progressive house stuff. Also, I have not looked into Piercing the Quiet more than what’s mentioned here. Sometime in the future I will get this album (instead of only having the singles), but I would want that album in physical form, and right now I don't feel like ponying-up the exaggerated import price in order to get my hands on a real-life copy.
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