Prowling the Airwaves and the Underground for the best in EDM

Archive for December, 2013

Track Spotlight:’Razor’ by ASTR

ASTR

astr

Perhaps its the 90’s baby in me, but when I first discovered this little electronic pop gem, I couldn’t help but spotlight this upbeat and sassy track by ASTR. The vocals remind me of one of my favorite feisty 90’s popstar loves paired against a more modern take on pop (post-Gaga of course). What it lacks in depth is makes up in pure fun.

To learn more about ASTR, follow them on social media:

Facebook

Twitter

**All spotlights are selected exclusively by myself, and I am not getting paid to endorse any artists featured**


Track Spotlight: ‘Jaguar’ by What So Not

What So Not

For this week’s spotlight, we’re venturing into trap territory (not bat country) with australian duo What So Not’s track ‘JAGUAR’. What really helped this track make the cut were driving vocals, and a more subtle use of signature ‘trap drops’ which is common for many of their tracks.

I’ll admit, I’m more of a newcomer when it comes to trap and am not as well versed in the finer points of what makes  a distinguished piece of trap…but this I like. Much of the group’s work has a strong use of female vocals and more euphoric-influenced feel. It’s something a little different and I like it.

To learn more about What So Not, follow them on social media:

Facebook

Twitter

**All spotlights are selected exclusively by myself, and I am not getting paid to endorse any artists featured**


Track Spotlight: ‘There Will Be No Rain’ (Kill Paris Remix) by Far East Movement

Kill Paris

For this week’s track spotlight, I decided not only highlight a track but also a powerful movement taking root in EDM. This week’s track will be the Kill Paris remix of ‘There Will Be No Rain’ by Far East Movement.

Before I dive right into why I like this track, I should note that this song is off the Dance (RED) Save Lives album whose proceeds benefit World AIDS Day. The original ‘There Will Be No Rain’ track was not one of my favorites from the LA group. However, Kill Paris’ treatment of the original has rendered what was an annoyance into a bass-heavy (and perhaps festival-ready) mini-anthem. The bass is tangible but not overbearing, and the well accented transitions give depth and body to a track that was a bit flimsy.

To learn more about Kill Paris, follow him on social media:

Facebook

Twitter

**All spotlights are selected exclusively by myself, and I am not getting paid to endorse any artists featured**


Delta Heavy & Sub Focus: Webster Hall & Soundgarden Hall

Delta

This past weekend I spent both Friday and Saturday night experiencing back-to-back aural paradise in the throbbing and emotional soundscapes of Delta Heavy and Sub Focus. While I profess I am a bit new to drum and bass, I had always found peace of mind and soul in artists like Seven  Lions and Pendulum and decided to immerse myself in a double dose of uplifting sound.

First, I went to Webster Hall in the company of some of my favorite New York Twitter family: EDMLounge, Naturday, and Jakee_and_bake*. After spending some time face-to-face we headed in and were met with wave after wave of emotion as the two English men filled the place with the best they had (I say two because only Ben Hall was present). As someone who used to attend shows alone most of the time, I truly feel that it is an immensely better experience to share these nights with people you love and trust. Some shows I had gone to as of late, I went with people I thought I trusted, and the results bordered on unpleasant, to sub-par, all the way to flat-out horrific. However singing along to Endorphins at the top of my lungs amid true friends and family, there was only bliss.

At the end of the night, shuffling in the bitter cold of New York I couldn’t wait to indulge in another night of fresh comforting feelings.

The next day, after a brisk trip down to Philadelphia, I prepared to enter one of my favorite venues to relive the experience all over again in the company of my boyfriend and two of his friends who had never been to an electronic concert. After strapping on some fluffies and positioning my new fangmask securely over my face we made our way in to Soundgarden Hall, to date my absolute favorite venue for EDM in Philadelphia.

mask

Upon entering the venue, I knew immediately I didn’t want any distraction from my surroundings, and promptly dropped my phone into my checked coat and very nearly skipped to the front to catch as much of the opener as I could. Almost immediately Ronnie, or ‘schweet_tits*‘ as he’s known from Twitter, walked over and gave me a hug. Truth be told, we’d been trying to meet for months and had somehow managed to cross paths just on this special night.

As the night wore on and Delta Heavy took to the stage, and I quickly made my way to the front to watch him work. Our friends, wholly impressed by this new experience sought out a glover and giddily received their first light show and traded their first kandi. I began to meet and happily greet excited patrons to my left and right who were on the same level as we were. Everyone we met was jovial, polite….a far cry from what I suppose I’ve come to expect from most New York attendees.

Everyone I was blessed to meet and spend time with were incredibly nice...including Ben Hall of Delta Heavy who decided to hop down out of VIP to take selfies with the front row and say hello!

Everyone I was blessed to meet and spend time with were incredibly nice…including Ben Hall of Delta Heavy who decided to hop down out of VIP to take selfies with the front row and say hello!

As I normally do, I had created kandi for both Sub Focus and Delta Heavy, and as a cheery photographer for Steez Promo walked by I was shocked when she graciously offered to hand both kandis to their respective recipients for me. Ben Hall, after receiving his, hopped down out of VIP and took selfies with the front row. As he came to snap off a quick picture with my boyfriend and I, I leaned in and told him that I’d been at Webster the night before as well. He looked a bit shocked, and managed  “What? Really that’s awesome!” before the clamoring front row became too much and he returned to the comfort of the artist-only area.

delta-ben-hall

As Sub Focus threw on Tidal Wave, myself and those around me seemed to slip into a place of pure euphoria as we all began to belt out the lyrics as one unified family.

Just before Sub Focus began to transition into his last song, I saw Ben motion towards the photographer and take the second kandi I had made for Sub Focus walk right up to him and put it on his wrist. Those around me knew I had made it and began screaming and pointing at me and I may have gotten a thankful nod before all of us began dancing our hearts out in unison.

The rest of the night was in a word, magical. Being in the company of such caring and compassionate people, performers who genuinely loved and cared for those who had come out to see them, and friends that genuinely cared about me and were kind enough to ensure everyone was having fun (and well-hydrated) two nights in a row really reminded me of why I began to come to shows in the first place.

It may sound cheesy, but it is these nights where you can tangibly feel the love and support of others, that you begin to identify who is really there for you and deserves your respect and support. Many have seen my Twitter account and overall presence transform from an immature nonsense anon account to a home base for meeting and engaging with others. As I’ve changing, developed, and grown as a person (and blogger, and sometimes-photographer) I’ve begun to see the true colors behind some who claim to be what they are not. Whether is was the pure positive energy of the vibes I felt at both venues and in the company of gracious and kind attendees…this past weekend changed my perspective for the better.

*I realize it may seem a bit odd that I refer to most people I know from their twitter handle(s), but when you’ve essentially made your introductions from behind a twitter handle rather than a name, you tend to remember the first name you were introduced to…in my case these were Twitter handles


Track Spotlight: Kiven – ‘The Irony’ (Clinton VanSciver Remix)

Clinton VanSciver

I’ve decided that every so often, I will call out a new track I find particularly interesting as part of a spotlight series. This week, I’ve chosen to call out Clinton VanSciver‘s remix of  ‘The Irony’ by Kiven.

Distinguishing his sound as ‘dirty pop’, VanSciver takes an upbeat approach which feels reminiscent of Sub Focus‘s track ‘Endorphins’ featuring Alex Clare, but a slower pace (and with a markedly more familiar ‘pop’ sound). The track has interesting moments of syncopation, smooth injections of bass (that aren’t overbearing), and gives the modest original an entirely new attitude.

To learn more about Clinton VanSciver, follow him on social media:
facebook.com/ClintonVanSciver
twitter.com/CVanSciver
instagram.com/CVanSciver

**All spotlights are selected exclusively by myself, and I am not getting paid to endorse any artists featured**


Vocal Spotlight: Power Femmes

While many producers do not rely on powerful lyrics to craft their uplifting and transformative creations, successful collaborations have enabled some voices to gain more recognition. Vocalists such as Foxes and Yuna have been put in the public eye with pieces like ‘Clarity‘ (Foxes vocal) and the Adventure Club remix of ‘Gold‘ (Yuna vocal). Trance powerhouse vocalists like Emma Hewitt and Nadia Ali have always been near and dear to my heart, but if it were up to me, here are some lesser-known power-femmes I’d like to be considered for future collaborations:

Ella Eyre

Ella+Eyre

Boasting a soulful sound that feels almost like a Lorde blended with Lana del Ray, Ella‘s track ‘Deeper’ delivers the smooth pop feel that kept us captivated with Lorde’s “Royals” but feels spunkier and younger. While her tracks have be remixed here and there and she has collaborated with Wiz Khalifa and Rudimental in the past, it would be a real treat to see her on a fresh and funky nu disco track.

Pia Mia

pia_mia_perez_pia_mia_instagram_75dtcICv.sized

Breathy and beautiful, Pia Mia has the feel of Rihanna, but with a markedly more laid-back feel. Her track Red Love is like a playground for her impressive vocal tone and range. I could easily see her voice in any genre, and hope I see her voice nestled soundly in a Beatport top 40 track soon.

RES

Res_Promo_Image_800x558

Now RES isn’t a new face in her respective genre; a punchy Brooklynite with a soul-filled vocal playground of a range, her voice has been the heart and soul of the group Idle Warship since the 2000’s. She straddles the vocal quality of a Lady Gaga and a soulful crooner. Her haunting track ‘Say You Will‘ produced by Kanye West has been a favorite of mine for a while. Though her voice has always been the perfect foil to the gritty rhymes of Talib Kweli, it would be a a real treat to hear her in an EDM track. I’d put money on her dominating most subgenres.

Chelsea Ronquillo

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On the other side of the spectrum is Chelsea Ronquillo, a soulful warbler that I discovered on a complete fluke on soundcloud. Her original piece ‘Let Her Go’ feels like a dialed-down Foxes track with more soul. Though I’m not sure where her vocals would fit in an EDM collaboration, it would be cool to see her voice given a stage within an Avicii-esque ‘folk-EDM-crossover’ track.

Who are some interesting vocalists you’d like to see in upcoming collaborations?

Track Review: Serpent of Old – Seven Lions

Ok, ok…I said I wasn’t going to review tracks.

The gorgeously creepy cover is just begging me to review it. So I am.

The gorgeously creepy cover is just begging me to review it. So I am.

But for a few unique sounds that sometimes thrust themselves into the limelight, sometimes I just can’t keep mum. Serpent of Old is one of those unique sounds.

 

Seven Lions’ latest original track ‘Serpent of Old’, featuring OWSLA vocalist Ciscandra from Nostalghia, is a nostalgic departure from what his fans have come to expect. Labeled initially as ‘moombahgoth’ on Soundcloud, the track seems to nod back to Jeff Montalvo’s personal favorites such as Opeth and a darker ominous sound. Instead of the familiar peaks and valleys of Jeff’s more familiar drum and bass hits, this track relies more starkly on gentle progressions coupled with incredibly creepy vocals.

Image courtesy of her linked last.fm page

Image courtesy of her linked last.fm page

Speaking to those vocals, the choice of Nostalghia’s Ciscandra was perhaps the perfect accent to what is already a dark track: her voice on this piece is truly is the stuff of nightmares. Fans of more industrial sound and experimental acts such as Grimes may be right at home, whereas drum and bass are advised to brace themselves accordingly.