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.

Łindal – Tonight We Dance

Trevor Innes aka Łindal pulled a big rabbit out of his hat this time: he was able to connect people, to bring them together and to share their love for music. That’s what music is all about, folks.

With an uplifting melody, a slow and steady beat and a somewhat steel drum sounding synth giving the track an almost carribean flair, Vancouver based Łindal made an easy-going, club/bar ready feelgood track that makes you nod your head while listening. The track isn’t overdone with too much effects, one-shots or anything, you’ll find just a great mixture of tension building elements and relaxing elements. The vocals are sung and mixed in soft, but front and center, so to speak.
But here’s what really fascinated me with “Tonight We Dance”: watching the video, I found out that in order to get the song out there, the crew did a project that I consider true art. They put up a set somewhere downtown Vancouver, and invited people to be part of their video by dancing to the tune. And by doing so, they got many random strangers to express their feelings about the music. Or at least have a fun time trying to do so. I’m sure it wasn’t that easy to talk some of these people into it, but the beauty of that project is that it didn’t matter where they came from, who they are, what they do for a living, what race, color, gender, age – they all were connected by a single track made by Innes. Plus his honesty and performance skills to attract and influence with his music and performing. In a time where everbody is constantly concerned about the world and it’s rising tensions, we need people like those guys delivering fun and good times instantly. And involving everybody, all differences aside.
Doing a project like this video is a PR trick as well, because now he instantly has gained a small fan base (anyone in the video of course wants to see the finished clip, right). And to reach a point where people are actually having fun expressing themselves (you can’t teach that, it’s just there. Don’t take my word for it, watch the clip.) is all you need to go big in the industry.

“Tonight We Dance” is a solid dance tune. The idea of the music video is equally as great as the track itself. And with Łindal just releasing another great track called “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head“, I’m not worried at all that the Canadian artist will be a huge impact in the scene throughout 2017.

Plastic Funk – Ever

Too bad the summer is leaving the helm, handing over to autumn. I found a track which easily could make the next summer hit out there. Anyway, this one really made me think about rescheduling my plans for tonight, going to go to a club instead of staying home with my cat. “Ever” is really something that makes you wanna dance, and here’s why that is.

The main concept of the new track of the german duo Rafael Ximenez-Carrillo and Mikio Gruschinske, better known as “Plastic Funk”, is not new – I encountered several elements that belong into the category “been there, heard that”. But, what makes the track stand out from the rest is the intelligent combination of the known elements. The drum/bass combination is taking you steadily throughout the whole track, the vocal chops are pitched and and cut in a manner that’s never boring at all, and the breaks and buildups are done with a level of experience that simply shows that the guys of Plastic Funk knows what they are doing. Of course they do, being very busy with producing and playing big dancefloors for some time now. Producing, DJ-ing, you name it – those guys have an extended skill set, and therefore its only the logical next step they came up with this floor filler anthem which was distributed under the label Armada Deep.

This one’s a track Rafel and Mikio like to put into the genre what they call “bliss house” – for all you out there who serious feel the need to dance. If you think THAT one makes you move, I recommend heading over to Plastic Funk’s soundcloud page, they have a load of other tracks for you to check out. Now excuse me…I’ve got to tell my cat that he has to stay home alone tonight, because I will be searching for a club that plays this song.

Ronin – Fight Club

Besides an irrestistible drive that makes you wanna move your body, this one somehow goes deeper than the usual dance tune.

Yes, this track indeed is related to David Finchers movie “Fight Club” released in 1999 because it’s using audio excerpts out of it. Another similarity in my opinion is the unusual approach to the audience. The idea of the track is quite simple and minimalistic, but the implementation of all the little bits and pieces is done outstandingly.
The intro is a bit long, taking away about a minute for the first buildup. I read in the track description that the track was used as an opener for a outdoor event, keeping that in mind the long intro makes sense. But when I finished hearing the track I immediately was thinking about remixes of this track. I definitely would want that track to be remixed in at least three different versions. It totally see (or better: hear) that happening, but those ideas have just to be developed.
For now, after the intro you are hit with a genius minimal drum/bass combination alongside a crisp synth line. I love when tracks are not overdone in any way, many times the main synth melody is a very complex, arpeggiated track, but in this case Caleb Smith aka Ronin shows how it’s done with sufficient, but still minimal melody usage. For the breaks the mix is stirred up with several pitched vocal layers. Those are helping the track to gain momentum before you’re hit with the next beat section. While you are listening, close your eyes for a second. See that? Main stage, light effects, fog, exstatic people dancing… there’s the magic happening, just like that.

Ronin is not a newbie on the scene. It just shows in his productions that he has experience in producing and spinning the turntables as well. Being resident DJ in several locations over the last years, with producing “Fight Club” he just added another great track to his arsenal. If you have some time on your hands, you should give the tracks on his soundcloud account labeled as “Ronin Radio” a listen. Those are compilations of Ronin the DJ (where he also sneaks in his own productions, of course). But be warned: there’s some serious dancing involved if you do.

Irishjohn – Juno

Until today, I never imagined that the work of the Jupiter polar Orbiter could be peaceful, happy and fun.

Do you even know Juno? Besides originating from greek mythology, that’s the name of an orbiter module packed into the running NASA new frontier program, and it’s mission is to collect data from Jupiter. Dublin based producer Irishjohn now set up a electro/edm track, picking up Juno as a concept for this track. What I first expected to be a dark, uncomfortable environment (after all it’s deep space, right?) turned out to be a very nice and soothing track everybody can enjoy and dance to.
The beat and bass combination is pretty minimalistic and steady which acts like the foundation of the whole track. Due to the fact that it’s a great alternating baseline, combined with an arpeggiated synth for the main melody, this track is just making you move a bit, and with several changes happening there, like a break or a slight change in the arpeggio of the synth, the track brings the last missing piece of the puzzle to the table – that would be creative arrangment.
To compare the track itself to the Juno mission: it’s doing its job steadily and like it’s supposed to be. (I guess it wasn’t that expensive to produce though, haha.) There aren’t too much exciting things going on, but that’s really not necessary. Irishjohn found a main melody that works just fine, and managed to combine it with all the things necessary to make people move. To state the major negative thing in the track, it’s that changing synth sweep done with high tones. In my opinion that happens too often, being too present in the high eq band. Besides that, this one is an all-purpose tune for clubs as well as background music in bars or something like that.

Irishjohn did another track obviously from the same run called “The Cassini Divison” where he used basically the same elements and instruments he did with “Juno”, this one is another track worth checking out. Also, you’ll find a bunch of other tracks on his soundcloud acccount.

Gerjo – Deeper Love (Crowd Version)

A main melody can carry a whole track by itself. Dutch producer Gerjo Hamer shows us how it’s done.

The beat in this track is pretty basic, steady going. When introduced to the main synth melody, I wondered where the artist was going with that, so I went on listening. Gerjo mixed up several synth tracks together along several one shots and effects. I gotta admit that that the overall mix does indeed sound a little too compressed and crisp in my opinion, but what made me recommend this one was the intelligent usage, mix and merge of those synth lines. First you have this somewhat catchy main melody, then you get this dancy chopped tune later on that just makes you wanna dance… at this time I feel like I stumbled over the next late summer blockbuster for the clubs, if there were e.g. some vocal stems in it. I really like the flow of the song. When you got used to that dancy grrove, Gerio mixes in additional percussion elements (in thtis case, sort of conga beats), making the track even more moving than it already is.

Although Gerjo in my opinion is missing that special something to go big on stages right now, I felt like letting you guys know that there’s another producer out there who just tapped into the seriousness of making dance music. Gerjo knows what he’s doing, and I’m sure I’m not the only one being curious with what he’ll come up next. There are a couple of tracks available on his soundcloud account which give you insight of the special ‘musical attire’ Gerjo is working towards.

Allena – Mon Amour

With basic music elements and a beautiful voice it’s possible to attract the ears of many. Magdalena Urumova aka Allena shows with her new track “Mon Amour” that she’s got everything needed to go big on the stages out there.

The song itself is pretty 101, there can be found a calm synth and a basic drum, combined with several one shots and reverb effects along arpeggiated piano stems. The vocal tracks were partly produced with quite excessive use of auto-tune, which can kill a track on the spot – but not this one. Although the singer doesn’t need auto tune effects or pitch correction at all, the track stays interesting with that mixture of original voice track and auto-tuned tracks.
All hardware, pitching and effects aside, what really makes me love this song is the vocal ability of Allena. She has a calm, clear and crisp singing voice which shows that she has a lot of power behind that, but for this track she restrains herself due to the topic of the song.
The belgian singer with russian roots cannot hide a certain accent when singing english – but in my opinion it’s exactly that accent that gives her that special something. We all have heard native singers a lot, but as a listener I just like when you hear someone singing, thinking “I wonder where he/she comes from and what his/her story is”. Mixing the lyrics between english and french in this track, it gets even more interesting, trust me.

Allena proves with this track that she wants to go big out there in the business. In my opinion, she has the tool set to do so, with the right management and producers on board this won’t be the last we heard from this outstanding talent. Browsing through her soundcloud and youtube accounts, you can find additional tracks and clips from the beautiful uprising talent.

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.

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.

Onur Aktemur – Life Goes On

An eyebrow raiser. An eye opener. A moving motor. A dancefloor main anthem. This one will get to you like a double espresso, if you are in need for one. No, forget about the double espresso. It’s a triple one.

Istanbul based EDM producer Onur Aktemur created a track which in my opinion has the potential to go for main stage dance anthem. The track has got a main theme which is played with in a very skilled way. Genre typical the track is done aggressive, there are several build-ups, followed by the all-loved headbangin’ progression with several synth and a relatively strict and simple beat/bass line. The main synth line is done very good, I really like those switches between low and high keys that are used there.
To mention the main negative aspect of the track, that would be the final mix of the bass line in my opinion. Aktemur did some harsh mixing every now and then on one single bass track, emphasizing on several occasions while ducking the other tracks in the process. Although this maybe a wanted effect, it gives you that cracking sound when played loud over a big PA or over headphones. Besides that, everything is where it should be. No glitches, no cracks, no eq flips – just a good solid mix.

So, if you’re looking for some kickin’ EDM, you just found what you were looking for. Aktemur also offers several other tracks on his soundcloud, including Trap, Hardstyle and Melbourne as well as several mixes. DJs out there should be aware that there’s some heavy stuff coming their way from Onur Aktemur.