The “Vocal Strobe”

The track featured in this post is perhaps the best remix of an Above & Beyond track that I have ever heard. The original track is called “Satellite” and was released under Above & Beyond’s OceanLab alias. In the experienced hands of one of their most promising proteges, Ilan Bluestone, this track becomes a refreshing and modern reincarnation of the original.

As I have mentioned, I am a sucker for dreamy female vocals, and this song takes things to a new level by implementing one of my favorite effects. I am not a trance producer and don’t know the technical term, so I will call it the “vocal strobe”. Have you ever seen those seizure inducing strobe lights? I am sure you have, but in case you haven’t suffice it to say that they emit flashes of light at varying rates rather than continuous light. I think that the effect in “Satellite” is the auditory equivalent of a strobe light.

Here is another way to think of this effect. Open your mouth and say (sing if you’d like) “Aaaahhhhh”. As you are doing that, tap your mouth with your hand rapidly so it effectively turns the sound on and of. Ilan does precisely that to the original vocals in this track. Although, I’m guessing he probably used a computer program and not his hand.

Below is the track. I hope you enjoy it!

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The Precipice

Tomorrow I begin orientation for medical school. Everything that I have worked for during the past 6 years culminates starting tomorrow, and I am equal parts excited and nervous. As I stand on the precipice of medical school, I decided that the video for Mat Zo’s “The Sky” was fitting for the occasion. I imagine the folks in this video were at least equal parts excited and nervous although I would venture to bet the ratio favored nervousness. Take a look…

Audien Introduction

Next up from the Anjunabeats label is Audien. Audien is another consistent producer in the same vein as Ilan Bluestone and Andrew Bayer. While sharing much of the same fundamental musical elements such as pronounced bass lines and a driving beat, Audien diverges from the previous two aritsts by managing to imbue his tracks with a sense of lightness. Compared to the previous artists, Audien’s trasks are crisp and refreshing. Basically, Ilan Bluestone’s music reminds me of a packed club at 3:00 am, while Audien’s music reminds me of a mid-afternoon pool DJ show or a day on a boat. Perfect for summer! Hope you enjoy these tracks.

Hindsight

Wayfarer

Eventide

Iris

Terrible Track- Ten Feet Tall

So far I have devoted a lot of my time and effort on this blog to talking about the sounds and tracks that I love and that move me. Occasionally, I think I will post about an especially terrible song. There are many vomit-inducing dance tracks, but I will reserve a post for only the most atrocious.

This brings me to “Ten Feet Tall” by Afrojack. Below is the track. Take a listen, form your own opinion, and then read what I think below.

If you like this track it doesn’t make you a bad person. In fact, I would probably dance to this song if I had consumed enough drinks or I had just won the lottery and was partying the night away. Under those two circumstances, I imagine anything might sound good. I also don’t hold it against you if you like this song because you have some great memory attached to it. Maybe this song came on during a particularly good night out, maybe you met your significant other while dancing to this song at a club, or maybe you were listening to it in the car on an especially beautiful day and you associate it with that. Those are all fine reasons to like a song.

However, none of those things have happened to me, so here is what I think about this song:

Between the straining vocalist and lack of musical texture, this track is like nails on a chalkboard to me. At some points, the vocals and music conspire to sound borderline whiny. If you were to take a bite out of this song it would probably taste and feel like a communion wafer (saltine cracker for those who have never taken communion) rather than a sweet delicious hunk of challah or brioche. What is brioche in music form? Glad you asked! See my previous post about “The Dark” by Boom Jinx.

The song is also completely lazy. This track first assaulted my ears in a Bud Lite commercial, and I thought, “Are you kidding me? Budweiser tried to make a terrible dance song for their commercial to appeal to a young audience?!” Come to find out, this is actually an Afrojack production, but you wouldn’t know it. It actually sounds like it was whipped up by someone in the Bud Lite advertising team with a cheap software program in order to meet a deadline! It takes effort and talent to craft a cohesive theme as an artist, and I don’t see that here. There is nothing to link it thematically with Afrojack’s previous work unless you count soulless and empty sounding as a theme.

This is the type of production that I fear people will link with my musical tastes. Afrojack is laughing all the way to the bank though, so don’t expect tracks like this to go away.

For a pop heavy track that doesn’t sound like it was whipped up with free iPad software see Tiesto’s “Wasted”.

Andrew Bayer Introduction

I mentioned in an earlier post that Ilan Bluestone may be my favorite Ajunabeats artist. It would probably be a certainty if it weren’t for the genius named Andrew Bayer. This DC native is the most versatile member of the Ajunabeats family. He creates everything from aggressive sounding club tracks to dreamy and borderline ambient mood music. The latter will be covered in detail when I write about one of my all time favorite albums “If It Were You, We’d Never Leave“.

The District
 
Once Lydian
England

As a preview of Andrew Bayer’s lighter side I leave you with the chilled out track “Need Your Love”. This track is a musical bridge between the likes of “Once Lydian” and the ambient sounds of “If It Were You, We’d Never Leave”. Take a deeeep breath. Can you smell the pines and forest air in this video?

Need Your Love

Ilan Bluestone Introduction

One of my favorite artists under the Anjunabeats label is Ilan Bluestone. When its time to seriously get your dance and be forcefully captivated by a hard-driving track, then Ilan is the artist you reach for. Characterized by a hard bass line and dreamy mid-song instrumental lulls, the following tracks are sure to please a crowd. Find the best set of speakers you have and turn the volume up!

Spheres
 
Big Ben
 
Waves of L.A.
 
Sinai