James Lowe – Shallow

Don’t expect a pop or rock track tonight. I decided to take you guys to a special place. It’s a calm place where you can dive into vast areas of a relaxing moment. Some may call it underseas, some may call it outer space…I call it peace of mind.

This track, set up by Welsh producer James Lowe, is more of a soundscape concept. There is no beat in it (and that’s great because any percussion or beat would instantly destroy the fragile environment), and the track solely uses multiple tracks of synths along effect banks to build up this great piece of art.
You get the impression that you’re diving under water, then in another part it feels more like deep space observation, the whole time the track makes use of a wide space reverb. While listening, I found myself quite lost to the variety of sound happening within those seven minutes of track, but somehow Lowe manages to get you back on track. It’s like trying to find a location without a GPS device. Sometimes you are sure you’re on the right way, other times you feel totally lost. Here, Lowe is functioning as your tourguide to get you where you want. I like how all those small things are blended together – synth lines, bleeps and clicks, ethereal instruments alongside reverb effects (and I’m sure a lot of filter modulation). Some people surely will find that there’s not too much going on in this track, for those I recommend listening closer. There is actually happening A LOT, but for the untrained ear it’s sometimes hard to find out.

What makes me sad is that tracks like these will never make a grand stage. This one is a skilfully mixed and mastered work of art, but it’s hard to categorize – and the listener needs time to fully enjoy it. I can only imagine the array of synths and effects used and how much time it took to create the track with them. You can hear the love and dedication to music and expression in there, but for most of the listeners it’s hard to get it nowadays. In this hectic world, maybe it’s James Lowe’s contribution and a message to all of us to slow down, to hold on, to take a look around.

Klement Vanukki – Night Deeper (Original Mix)

To describe today’s pick in one phrase: smooth thing for summernights’ turntables.
Klement Vanukki is a busy worker out there. The french based DJ started music as a bass guitarist, later switching the bass guitar for turntables which turned out to be a great move. I never heard him playing the bass, but as a producer and DJ he proves to be a forced to be reckoned with.

After the usual intro for DJs to mix in, the track lifts off with a smooth piano-like synth line and a easy going vocal line. The beat is holding steady, there aren’t changes that disturb the ‘head-nod-flow’ within in the song… but what really is the secret ingredient of the track is the used sub bass. The groove the song creates with the bass/drum combination just makes you want to move even while sitting on a chair. Feels like you are taken to one of those Florida beaches during summer. You know, it’s too hot, even at night, but the party never ends, because the temperature is nothing a cold drink and a hot track like “Night Deeper” won’t fix.
One negative point to mention is a high frequency clave and some rise/hit one shots which are somehow placed too dominant in my opinion. (But on the other hand that frequency change does sound great when used over a massive club amplifier.) Other than this, everything is mixed rock solid. It’s fun to listen to the sound, it blends in well to many occasions, even when played silently as a background chillout tune.

If this is one of the first tracks that Vanukki has produced, in my opinon he’s got a great thing going on with producing there, and I’m sure he will lift off soon with future tunes in similar fashion. I was only able to find one other original work (not on his soundcloud page), but there are several mixes available worth checking out.

Rome Alexander – Feeling Good (feat. Rederic)

Lean back. Relax. Enjoy just being there. Follow the simple theme of the track of Rome Alexander – Feel Good. With this track, you’ll be in for a treat, believe me.

I stumbled over this work of art of 23 year-old singer/songwriter/musician Rome Alexander today. I was caught at 0:01 of the track just because of the soothing voice of the artist. Really, although I’m more of a techno girl most of the time, it was just sooo relaxing just listening to hear the singer’s voice, so I took a closer look.
The song somehow does scratch the R&B genre because of the lyrics and vocals, but at the same time uses a more dance/tropical house beat and also several electro synth effects, so after all it’s not that easy to categorize clearly. Come on, now – how great is this? I love it when you just can’t really describe a track with words, you gotta LISTEN to it.
The track is produced and mixed very carefully. The only negative thing I heard is that it’s mixed a bit TOO defensive sometimes. In order to give the voice enough space I think the producer held back a bit on the drum and bass tracks every now and then. Besides that, it’s a real pleasure to hear all of the single tracks mixed together. There always is something happening different with synths, vocal stems, claps, conga drums, builds and drops, swooshes, shakers… you name it. The best part about that is that nothing really feels like it’s overloaded. Working for a small studio I know that you can easily overdo track mixing by using too much single tracks “fighting for supremacy”, but you just hear that the Pittsburgh based producer Rederic, who teamed up with Rome Alexander for this awesome track, knows his craft. No track is put up wrong, and with the added voice (and the voice overlays) it just makes you feel good to listen to the track. I know we state it all the times, but that’s the important thing, guys…it’s about feelings with music.

The website of the young American states that “an artist with the dedication, determination and talent of Rome as a singer, songwriter and entertainer only comes along once in a while.” I can’t say anything about his entertaining skills – but everything else in my opinion is more than true. Here you got a musician who is able to express his love and passion for what he does. Rome Alexander really isn’t another one hit hot-shot but someone with the skill set to make it on the big stages out there. Going through several tracks of his work, I came to think that this guy is truly gifted. He makes everything sound so easy to do, but it’s actually so hard to produce and create tracks like these. Take your time to listen to his other tracks on his soundcloud account, you won’t regret it at all. Look out, world. There’s another big one heading your way.

Kiz Pattison – Machines Building Machines

This one lets you feel the groove beneath. Just the dark pulse of machinery, everybody knows it’s there all the time, but no one can really grasp it. Well…with the track you are about to hear you maybe able to catch a glimpse of this machinery.

Kristian “Kiz” Pattison delivered a handcrafted piece of art here. I’m not that much into minimal techno, but this track kept me listening with fascination. The english producer somehow managed to put together low frequency bass lines with sound effects and a solid drum line in such a fashion that it never gets old, although it seems like the simplest thing at the same time. Working with several reverb/delay effects, the track manages to build the feeling inside your head as if you were standing in an underground cave full of machines. Everthing is working, everything is busy – and as soon as the track is over, you’ll start to miss that deep, warm sound. Additionally, there are several short synth lines mixed into the whole construct, giving everything the right accents. I imagine Kiz Patterson working on the corrrect timing of every track for quite a long time, because all the things happening within the song happen exactly where they are supposed to.

Again, this isn’t my usual genre, but the track just creates feelings with a minimalistic soundscape. And you know me, as soon as this happens no matter what genre, I am off to my laptop recommending you guys the track, because for me music is all about feelings. Oh, for the full experience out of this sounds headphones are mandatory. Trust me, makes a huge difference. Either headphones or take this track to a club right away, it has all the potential to be a underground favorite.

Poolz – Just Keep On Walking

If you need something for your brain to escape, let’s say to a place in the forest, to lean back and just enjoy the sound setting for a few minutes, to see where you are going although you have your eyes closed – then Yorick Sedee aka Poolz can definetly help you with it.

Today’s pick is taken from an self-released EP of Poolz called “All I want is to see you smile” which contains 5 single tracks, the actual track being the final one of the series.
Listening closely to this one, there’s a lot of things happening within the track. Not necessarily big things, but it makes you want to listen closely (or even relisten to it), paying attention to what is happening there. Sedee states that this track was made with only self recorded sounds, and there are quite a lot of different ones used there. Birds chirping, ambient sounds, wooden snaps, keys unlocking doors, human walking sounds, all blended together and hooked up with effects such as reverb in an outstanding manner. The track really creates an image of walking through a forest because it’s been handcrafted with such sense for detail that left me stunned, keeping in mind that the artist is only 20 years old. Understanding that it’s important to actually WORK on a track, Poolz took his ready build forest soundscape and combined it with a calm piano melody and some synths, making it a perfect ambient/chillout piece in total. Only thing I noticed is that sometimes the human sounds and clicks are a bit too “aggressive” mixed in there, they could have been set up with more reverb or been placed more silent as a single track.

Clicking through the 5 track EP, I gotta say that Yorick Sedee really got the point in setting up true ambient/chillout tracks, he even manages to stay true to this genre with several styles, like going more electronic – or even Chillstep. I recommend going through the rest of this ep as well, since they all do one important thing to your mind: they relax.

Skyblast – Dragon (Original Mix)

Finally I found a track for my dancing playlist again. Imagine the floor filled with people, eagerly awaiting some melody and hard hitting bass. That’s where Skyblast’s new track comes into play. Lights, effects…and there you have it, people. Let’s dance.

You probably know me as one of the never-tired dancers, right. The new track of Skyblast, a duo of two promising producers from Szczecin, Poland, feeds my playlist of tracks to dance or workout to.
Starting with beat and a base synth, they take off with the track after the main melody is introduced. One of the used synths there reminds me a bit of those chiptune synths, clear and crisp, and somewhat 8-bit style. Merging everything where it belongs, the main synth is classic dancefloor-based. I like how the track uses a solid baseline and seems to sidechain the synth with the drums there, that gives the track that feeling that every track is connected with one another, everything sort of flows together. Also, these little stops every now and then are putting sort of a trademark into the track – it’s sort of a risk to full stop several tracks without interrupting the feeling going on, but here it does work really well.
But to mention a negative aspect (yay, freedom of speech, hehe), I think that there are several changes made within the track that weren’t really necessary. Like the use of too many build-ups or drops. In my opinion it wouldn’t have hurt the track at all if there had been more linear drum-based sequences with just base and synth. Like the ones you can find on these  extended dancefloor mixes or something. Besides that, the track is done great.

Mateusz Kminikowski and Jakub Wamka, the guys better known as Skyblast, have done a solid work with this one. I can see and hear them on dancefloors down the road if they manage to continue their work within this genre and scene.

Quantum Signals – Ain’t No Ghosts

What you are about to hear is a smooth piece of electronic music. Ever wondered how it would sound to take several guitar styles and “marry” them to synths and effects? You’re about to find out.

What hooked me to listen to this track was the funky guitar tune several seconds after the track starts. Mixed with a minimalistic style of electronic elements, I wanted to know where this was heading. Stephan Gaussiran aka Quantum Signals did a great job of bringing together several styled elements into one song without interrupting the flow. While the track stays true to his initial idea, the elements used within constantly change. You got these funky guitar tunes, then you got distorted synths blended with clean minimal synths perfectly, then again you got those rock riffs playing, followed by another arpeggiated synth. Your ears won’t get bored for a second with this track. Only negative thing to mention is that the final mix seems a bit flat, I miss some accents and volume going on here.

The american producer Gaussiran is quite a busy one out there. Going through his soundcloud account you’ll find loads of electronic tracks. Clicking through, I even found trancy techno tunes in his stack. What’s clearly standing out here is that this artist loves playing with his arsenal. I get the impression that when working on the tracks, he just opens his huge box of hardware/plugins/effects, and then goes like “hmm, let’s see what I can invent today”. And in my opinion he is really successful in doing so. I recommend browsing his portfolio on soundcloud, every track is handcrafted and mixed ready for your speakers. You should always keep an ear open for the next track of Quantum Signals.