Snapdragon

Ilan Bluestone is at it again. “Snapdragon”, his newest release from his upcoming EP, does not disappoint and has already earned a place alongside the likes of “Big Ben” and “Spheres” in my mind. I try not to take audio of prereleased tracks from the Group Therapy show due to the inclusion of introductions, but I couldn’t resist. This track needs to get out there and publicized ASAP.

This track is nothing like the delicate flower that I played with as a child. For those of you that don’t know, if you squeeze a snapdragon flower at the right point its “mouth” will open and shut. If you haven’t done this then you’ve been missing out. Go buy some for your kids…or yourself. Before I talk about the track let me note that you should skip ahead to 0:40 to avoid the introduction.

I would summarize this track as intricately woven. Its fast but precise at the same time in the way that complex military aerial maneuvers are.The track starts out with some pretty complex percussive aspects and at 1:00 Ilan includes some foreshadowing of the melody to come. It then folds open to reveal a beautiful stretch at 2:00, and the layers are slowly and flawlessly added back in as the track builds to its apex at 3:24.

Oh my… 3:24. The most epic stretch of trance/progressive that I have heard recently. I especially like the lonely echoing piano layered in there. It elevates this hard driving track and gives it a sense of lightness.

 

An Evening Out

These tracks aren’t really the types that you’d tear up a dance floor to, but I think they’d be great in a relaxed setting. I’d really like to listen to these on a beachside bar balcony with a view of the water, crisp cocktail, and the setting sun. A slight salty breeze ruffles my hair as dusk turns to twilight and the warmth of the cocktails and outdoor fireplaces set in…

This first track is a slooooow burn, but I really like it. Be patient with it and enjoy this dude’s wonderful voice.

This next track makes everything in the world feel right. Perfect for enjoying a setting sun as you contemplate things far bigger than yourself and your place in them. Make sure to download it. Its free.

Ok snap out of that existential daze. The sun has set by the time that this track comes on. Its a little more upbeat and would work well as a transition from atmospheric progressive to more upbeat late night tracks. It’d be perfect as a send off from a beachside bar to a club.

Say goodbye to that lovely bar because now you are off to a club to dance. Lets close out the evening with a pop song remix. Here is Audien’s remix of “Pompeii” by Bastille.

 

 

Skin Deep

Let’s keep the BPM level up while introducing a new artist to this blog. I haven’t posted anything from Solis & Sean Truby before, but I clearly have been in error. This track is a solid production with excellent vocals from Audrey Gallagher (1:34 is where she is featured heavily). This track finds a way to successfully repurpose and recombine some classic and admittedly overused effects. The result is a familiar high energy club sound that doesn’t feel too cliche.

Audien’s set at Beyond Wonderland 2014

Want some good study music? Run music? A soundtrack to your next party? Look no further. Audien, one of my favorite producers, put on an incredible show at Beyond Wonderland and he kindly uploaded it to his Soundcloud. The intro to this mix gives me chills each time I listen to it. If my recent deep house posts have put you into a dreamlike trance then here is your remedy. This is an hour of high intensity and high quality mixing. Enjoy!

Cubicolor

I don’t need to introduce this artist because Tony from Above & Beyond gives you an excellent summary at the start. This calming 30 minute stretch of musical perfection is on heavy rotation during my study sessions. Its music that you can actively or passively enjoy. It doesn’t demand your attention, but if you want to give it your focus it will reward you with lovely intricacies. Definitely look into this artist if you like deep house or electronic music.

My Favorite Album. Ever.

This is my favorite album ever. This album has special meaning to me because it was the constant background music to my gap year between undergraduate and medical school. Last year was a trying year because the uncertainty of the medical school admission process can be mentally exhausting. You take the MCAT in the spring and submit your application sometime in June. Most people think that means that you find out about where you will be going relatively soon, but that isn’t the case. Interviews don’t start until around September and they can stretch all the way until April. The endless waiting between interviews is the worst. You refresh your email constantly hoping for an email from an admissions committee. You never know when it will come and the tension is nerve-wracking.

These tracks not only set the tone for the long periods of silence, but the interviews as well. These songs are forever linked with early bleary eyed flights in and out of Indianapolis. I would wake up at 3am (my alarm being “Opening Act” listed below), and make my final preparations and pack delicate things like my tie while I played “Doomsday” on my large speaker. After a breakfast of oatmeal followed by a decent helping of trepidation and thought I would walk out to my car and drive from Bloomington to Indianapolis.

Upbeat tracks like “Farnsworth Court” were my favorites while in the city I was interviewing at. In DC (the home of Andrew Bayer), I listened to “Farnsworth Court” as I took the Metro around town. I listened to “Lose Sight” as I briskly walked around Philly in the early morning light. As expensive as it was to hit the interview trail, I am so glad I did it. I learned so much about different cities, and the culture of different medical schools.

On the return flight, I often felt much better about things and the lighter tunes of the album would set the tone. I loved to wait for flights with the sounds of “A Brief Interlude” in my ears. Sitting in an airport terminal alone and far from home can be isolating or exhilarating. It just depends on your perspective, and I found that my musical context, which massively impacts my emotional state, was the key to modulating my mood. This uplifting track was perfect for reflecting on a job well done and how glad I was that I got to travel and experience new cities. I would usually land in Indianapolis at 12am or 1am and put on “Closing Act” for the drive home. You might think I got tired of these songs, but it was important for me to have a ritual and a sense of familiarity as I embarked on on interview.

No album is as consist or masterfully produced, and I love the experimentation and risks that Andrew Bayer takes. I have posted some club oriented tracks from Andrew Bayer before, and in that post I promised to show you the much more interesting side of Andrew Bayer. I don’t usually post entire albums, but I’ve done so here because I think they are all worth listening to, and I would encourage everyone to buy the album. I think this music has the potential to imbed itself in your own memories as well.

Fall Music

I don’t know where you all grew up, but I grew up in a climate where autumn is the most beautiful time of the year. The trees turn into flame and the air takes on a special smell. There is nothing better than walking through an autumn forest with a hooded sweatshirt on under a jacket. The leaves crunch as you walk through a forest which occasional collectively rustles as a chilly fragrant breeze blows through.  If I could fix the climate at a specific time of year it would be sometime in October.

To celebrate the upcoming season, I have picked a few tracks from Lane 8 that I think fit the mood of the season. Put these track on your music player, and take a walk through a forest when the leaves start to change.