Fancy Cars – Heart of Stone ft. Foy

Being pushed by wide synth lines, and also being lured by soft and emotive vocals. It’s difficult to put the new track of Fancy Cars into any specific genre. So I won’t even try.

Haven’t heard such a great mixture of electro tunes and male vocals in a long time, folks. Packed in a rock solid mixing work, “Heart of Stone” offers a groovy setting where the vocal tracks are falling in place like missing puzzle pieces. The two skilled producers Alan Notkin and Brandon Paddock, better known as Fancy Cars, somehow found the missing ingredient to mix up danceable yet quite harsh synth lines with a slow and steady beat/percussion. The vocals are placed in a wide reverb setting sometimes which is a great trick to add depth and also feeling with it. The track keeps it’s groove throughout the whole time, because as soon as you’re used to the main theme, there’s always added something more, like a drop or those catchy vocal chops. Though these elements are for sure not a new thing in electro, what’s addictive about them is the blueprint by which all of those tracks are fitting in. I guess this was either accomplished by countless hours of work – or these guys woke up one morning, and BAM! there it was, the ready mix in their heads, right after they had breakfast.

Notkin and Paddock got themselves a vocalist named Foy, who did an awesome work to add some …soul to this track. Here’s a guy who loves what he is doing, and you just can hear that through the way he sings.
So, if you ask me, this trio did an outstanding track here. I found myself grooving to this track on repeat, and even the theme stuck to my head when I was driving home. That’s what I call mainstream material, guys.

Severin feat. Rama Duke – Too Good

So the new year started, and I’m still behind with my writing schedule. This year seems very promising for an awesome amount of talent in the dance/edm scene, and while digging through all those submissions on my desk, the newest track of Severin and Rama Duke instantly stuck to my head. So, without wasting more time, let’s have a look on some outstanding dance material, shall we folks?

Singer/songwriter Rama Duke came up with the song and did those seductive vocals. Teaming with amazing producer Emil Severin they created a dance track full of surprises you wouldn’t necessarily expect. For instance, there are some elements used that are reminding me very much of chiptune, the vocals are blended into the whole track perfectly, and the melbourne-typical changes are done in an outstanding manner. Severin did an awesome job in using many tricks he has up his sleeve without overloading the whole track, my personal favorite being those complete cuts except for single tracks, like vocal one-shots or something. Goosebump guarantee when heard on a main stage.
“Too Good” delivers a very fast-paced, raw high energy along with the music. You feel like having to move even when sitting at your desk while listening. Although there’s a ton of real good female vocalists out there, I think Rama Duke stands out of the rest and brings something special to the table. It’s not easy to describe, but it’s a perfect mix of seduction and sassiness in those vocals. Those vocals are topping this piece of cake with some icing, so to speak.

Both of the involved artists have some accomplishments on their resumee so far, but that’s really not important to me. My focus always lies on if or if not the music triggers something in me. Accomplishments don’t mean squat if your music isn’t kicking, right. And, “Too Good” does the job, ladies and gentleman. This is a great dance track made for getting people moving, and I can see that big dancefloor filled with boys and girls going crazy on this one.

Emmit Fenn – Blinded

With the new year just starting, here’s a soft chillout tune to actually feel, to relax to, to ease your mind and to move to with closed eyes.

After all those party days during the christmas season and new years eve, I just felt like taking some time off. Relax. Let the thoughts go wherever they want to go. The new track “Blinded” created by Berkeley based Emmit Fenn helped me doing exactly that.
Introduced by a soft synth line and something that could be identified as the sound of waves hitting the shore, the song picks up the main theme right away with down pitched vocals. At first I thought the pitching wasn’t necessary, but later I realized that this actually helps the downtempo intention of the song a lot. I guess normal pitched vocals would have brought some unwanted extra drive with them.
As the track progresses, there are several synth tracks added, creating some space and working perfectly with the vocals to make you just close your eyes, to actually feel the music and to relax while grooving slowly to the very defensive beat of the song. You can’t put “Blinded” in the minimal genre, although there weren’t many doubled or tripled tracks used, which in my opinon is very refreshing. The less tracks are used, the more you can concentrate on the essence of the track, and Fenn did put a lot of thought and effort in creating a very intelligent mixture of synth, vocals and percussion. The final mix is ground solid, I couldn’t locate any glitches or anything.

Keeping his way of creating soft chillout with a certain style and signature sound, and being present on Spotify and other music distribution platforms, I guess this by far wasn’t the last time we heard about Emmit Fenn. In a time where everybody wants just to release the next pumping, over-compressed dance hit, we urgently need “counterparts” like Fenn who bring back those intricacies and details into music. Who are able to make us dream, who trigger emotions while not rushing anything.

Shy Luv – Joyrider

This felt light and soft on my mind. With drive and flavour, the new track “Joyrider” from Sam Knowles and Jake Norman, also known as “Shy Luv”, lights up your day.

With an intelligent bassline and a beat that feels like leisure jogging at the beach, the new electro track of the Manchester-based duo takes the groove right to your brain. There’s something to this track that makes me want to order cocktails while I’m slightly grooving. The vocals are sung and mixed mid-to upper eq band, which adds up perfectly to the beat, the added female one-shots and the percussion. But, the secret ingredient to this track in my opinion is the bass which is created with a perfect mixture of disco bass and up-to-date electro pop bass. Whenever you think the main synth is too linear, the bass comes to save the day.
Another highlight are the vocals, lightweight and flanked by several vocal effect layers. They’re going great with those female vocal one-shots and the shimmering synth tracks. This track is a no-brainer for dancefloors, if you ask me. I guess you have to be deaf if you’re not starting to move to “Joyrider”.

Knowles and Norman have been working on their new EP “Shock Horror” which will be released in 2017. If the other tracks are similar to this one, I can imagine the sales numbers going straight up from the start. These guys certainly found their way to create a unique dance sound.

Victor Perry – Nostalgia

Chances are that you haven’t heard from Victor Perry until now. Chances are you will hear a lot more from him from now on. Damn, this guy can sing.

Usually I’m not the kind of girl that likes downtempo emotional r&b/pop tracks. Those who know me will probably say I’m sort of a party girl who likes her music loud, fast and danceable. But tonight I stopped by on the soundcloud account of Victor Perry, giving one of his latest tracks “Nostalgia” a listen. Do you know that feeling when time seems to slow down? This track created that feeling. Imagine that lights-out stage, with only a spotlight on a piano and its player. There you have him, the guy from a small town named Thomasville, Georgia, who manages to set free waves of emotion with just his voice, a piano and minimal strings backing tracks. Boy, he’s got an awesome voice! They say the world’s a stage and each must play a part – I guess Perry already found out what his part is. With his vocal range and the ability to transmit feelings with his singing (which isn’t the easiest thing to do for men in my opinion), he’s capable of letting your mind focus on just what he’s doing. And although the lyrics of “Nostalgia” are deep and meaningful, he’s got the gift of reaching you without even the lyrics. Heck, he could even sing a whole scientific research about the mating habits of unicellular organisms – as long as he’s singing, everything feels warm and bright. Giving the other tracks of his EP “4 A.M. Nostalgia” (already released in June by Phillias Records) a listen, this statement is final. Filled with warm atmospheres, doubled vocal tracks, fresh ideas and just the emotion that everything somehow will be okay, his music is working like a remedy for a stressed mind.

Being only 22 years old, Perry’s musical journey just started, but this is a rocket start with releases over all the major online distributors like Spotify, iTunes, GooglePlay and Soundcloud. This comes as no surprise with a talent like him. Check out what he’s about on his accounts, and let him convince you in about 5 seconds that he’s gonna make it big out there.

Town & Ship – Candle Counter

If you ever wondered how handmade chemistry sounds like – here you go, one of the the newest tracks of the uprising duo named Town & Ship.

The alternative pop track “Candle Counter” was done mostly with well sung male vocals and guitars, backed by percussion. This combination brings a certain melancholy to the table which I guess originates from the vocals but also is somehow “glued together” by the other elements. The guitars make your body wave from left to right, feeling this certain element you normally only get when attending a live show.
I read that the guys of Town & Ship are playing gigs live on a regular basis, with a skill set and a setlist of songs like this, no wonder they are rocking stages everywhere. They have what it takes, and add that chemistry to it which gives them their own signature sound.
Talking about the mixing work, in my opinion the vocals are done too crisp there. They are sort of dominating the whole scene, luckily this doesn’t hurt the song a bit because the vocals are sung rock solid. But, listening to the track using headphones with cranked up volume, the placement of the vocal tracks in the upper eq band does disturb the overall feeeling. (okay, giving that maybe I tend to crank the volume up too much sometimes… maybe THAT might be the problem as well.) Besides that, everything is there in the mix, and additional effects are placed right on spot. (The hall effects for the guitar tracks are my favorite. They remind me a lot of the works of another famous musician – and no, due to our kms policy I can’t say who, you’ll figure it out yourself when listening).

With the upcoming release of their self-entitled EP within this year, they’re shaking up the alternative pop world out there, breaking up static genre borders with their unique mixture of world percussion and the usage of not-everyday instruments and arrangements. I really recommend giving those other tracks on their soundcloud account a listen, it’s worth your time! If they are playing anywhere near your place, I order you to be at the gig. That is just mandatory. (That’s right, it’s not a recommendation. It’s an order.)

Fomo – Missing You (feat. Aybe)

Do you know these times when you’re driving home, hours to go, the endless road in front of you, and all of a sudden the radio’s playing that special song that makes to think hard and rest your head on one palm while driving? Welcome to the world of “Missing You”.

The latest song of producer Fomo is  an electro/downtempo track that has a certain flow attached to it. The music and melody alongside those addictive chops happening every now and then are a solid foundation for the vocals sung by Baltimore based singer/songwriter Aybe. Teaming up for this particular track was a thing of beauty in my opinion. While Fomo understood how to exactly place the vocals in the mix, keeping the music tracks defensive in the background, the beautiful voice of Aybe does the rest. Boy, this girl really can sing! (With a voice like that I guess my neighbors wouldn’t ask me to stop singing under the shower anymore, hehe.) She puts a lot of sensitive feeling and emotion into it, but on several occasions she lets us know that we haven’t heard anything yet and that she’s capable of putting so much more energy behind it. Of course, for this emotive track that wouldn’t be appropriate, but I think it’s a great thing if a vocalist can show what he/she is capable of with just small glitches while singing.

So, Fomo proves with this track that he’s ready to deliver not only solid music, but also feelings with it. “Missing You” never feels like a flat pop track, it’s done with much sense for detail and, I assume, countless hours in the studio to mix that thing the way it came out. Here’s an electro track which at the same time makes you move AND think. Not your everyday combination, right? Another great track for my daily playlist.

North Downs – Nothin’

Feels like dreaming about something. With the newest sound of North Downs, you are taken on a trip, as if you were still sleeping, but grooving to the music of your own mind.

There’s a certain vintage feeling coming along this track. The combination of a sub bass along distortion effects of the vocal tracks, brass-like instruments, and those old school recorded guitar phrases helping the track to evolve into something you don’t hear every day. Also, there’s a vinyl crackle sound effect used, giving the track additional old-school feel. Overall, the intended effect on “Nothin'” really was made with very much sense for detail. For me, this dreamy feeling with a bit of unrest works out perfectly. There’s an outstanding balance between “comfort zone” and “what-the-hell”. I’m looking for that sometimes, it’s not your happy synth pop, nore is it your melancholic slow rock, but a mixture of elements from the both of the genres. In todays mostly black and white/yes or no musical landscape it’s refreshing when a group like North Downs tries to bend the rules and steps over boundaries in the process. We need those pioneers who do that to explore new genres and refreshing tunes for our ears.
Too bad that the first shot on the world out there is a cover of a song but not their own work…I’d be very interested in what those guys can do with original ideas they develop. But I’m sure of the fact that if they continue with this kind of outstandingly moody music, they will make a name for themselves very quickly, creating their own signature sound in the process. I’m eagerly waiting for the next track.

Alpha Minus – Satellites

Taken from the EP “Nightsounds”, the Berlin-based producer Mert Aslantürk aka Alpha Minus is giving your ears what they need – wide spaced analogue sound combined with front-and-center electro awareness.

Tonight I totally got tricked by the intro of a song. Well played, Alpha Minus! Lured by an reverbed, wide open melodic intro with only slightly modified synths and a soft guitar, the main theme of the song emerges to be backed by a dominant and half band-fat synth which goes perfect with that guitar lick. As soon as the rhythm section sets in, you’re into groove mode. The claps and percussion alongside the drums are mixed a bit too crips in the high eq band, but that’s just me. I prefer those to be more background elements. The overall mix of the song is great, even with the full amount of tracks nothing seems too mashed up or anything.
This song creates a certain atmosphere I really like. Ever stepped out a club the last guest? Ever walked an sports arena by yourself? Those moments where the space around you all of a sudden seems to grow and grow? This feeling is what you can expect out of “Satellites”. Headphones are mandatory, folks. And not those cheap in-ear things, we’re talking about closed full-range headphones. It doesn’t get any better, believe me.

Aslantürk likes to create electro-analogue hybrids with his tracks. While listening to the other tracks on his EP, I noticed there’s always a certain human factor to it. Be it a vocal track mixed in, some trumpet chops, guitars, or industrialized vocal one shots – it seems like keeping that human-electro connection is a vital factor for him to create his songs. The range of what I like to call “track feelings” goes from smooth (“Circles”) to unresting (“Nightborn”). For all of you you avid electro/downtempo music listeners out there I recommend to listen to Alpha Minus’ whole well-produced EP. You just can hear that there’s a lot of work and love for the genre coming with it. Trust me.

Coastlwolf – Obsession

Today I learned something about obsession, about drops and breaks and how important fresh ideas within music are. And about how much I like great male vocals.

Okay, I admit it: I love those smooth vocals of Coastlwolf. A girl just listens up when someone with this voice starts to sing. But the vocals weren’t the first thing that raised my interest in one of the newest tracks of Long Island based artist Justin Morrell, better known as Coastlwolf. There’s a very intelligent use of breaks, stops, and stoppage effects happening in the song. It seems that the artist doesn’t like linear patterns or progressions that much. So he just folds his ideas around hotspots of his sound. Okay, that is quite hard to describe, but listening to the sound you’ll know what I mean.
This is another one of these tracks that won’t fit into a certain category or genre unless you create a new one. So I’ll go with “wolfpop” with this one. You can find electro and pop elements in it, but there’s that pressurized element in it as well, making the sound of Coastlwolf unique and memorable. Plus, these sudden breaks sometimes make you feel like “hey, what just happened?”, and this is something you won’t hear very often nowadays. A brave and risky step to take with producing music, in the case of Coastlwolf it works out just perfect.
It’s hard to say something about the mixing work because there are several things that either went wrong with the final mix or they were supposed to sound that way. Since the producer used that much unusual elements within his production, I will go with option two, assuming that everything sounds like it is supposed to sound. Sometimes it’s not that easy to adapt to what your ears are not used to receive, it takes time. In the words of Morrell, the sound is designed to make you set your play mode to repeat. That’s exactly what you should do.