Super 8 & Tab’s new album “Unified”

Super 8 & Tab finally has a new album. This Finnish duo produces some of the best trance and progressive out there, but they mix things up a little bit in their new album. Lets start out with an example of a track deviating from their traditional trance sound. Below is the wonderfully downtempo and electronic sounding “Say U Luv”.

I have already posted one early release from their album called “No Frontiers”, and the following song is a very similar sounding track. Its a traditional sounding vocal track that I absolutely love.

Finally, “Code Red” is a techy sounding collaboration with Jaytech. This track has been out for months and has been making its rounds in DJ sets, but I haven’t gotten around to posting it yet. 2:32 makes me want to take a drive with my windows down on a sunny Saturday.

If you like the cumulative sound of these 3 representative tracks then I suggest that you take a look at the entire album. Especially “Rubicon” and “Sonata”, which have not been released as singles, so I can’t share them with you very easily.

 

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Aurora and Atlantis

Ilan Bluestone often takes videos of his production sessions and posts snippets on Facebook for people to see and hear. He has been teasing his fans with parts of these two tracks for awhile now, and they have finally been released.

Atlantis

2:30 and 4:40 are just great! I love female vocals, and I especially like vocals when they aren’t singing lyrics. Lyrics can restrict a song’s meaning and your experience with it, and when lyrics are bad then the song is unsalvageable. What I love about the style here is that you are free to take that primal and raw singing/wailing and allow your thoughts and emotions to define its tone. From sadness to elation and everything in-between. These two stretches alternate and work nicely with extremely energetic stretches at 3:45 and 5:15.

Aurora

I love the breakdown in this around 2:20. The track starts off pretty mildly so the drop off in intensity isn’t too jarring. The build up certainly gets tense, and Ilan faked me out pretty hard at 3:39. I thought for sure the drop was coming. Don’t worry though because you won’t have to wait long. After a few seconds this track drops and you realize its full potential. Honestly, the start of this track is underwhelming, but this beat is worth waiting for. Its so crisp and I love how the synth comes in to perfectly fill in the gaps and smooth things out resulting in a full-bodied sound. Sprinkle in some hints of piano and you find yourself with another Bluestone classic.

Which do you like? I’ll keep my favorite a secret…

Push the Button: The Coolest Tradition in EDM

This is definitely the coolest traditions in EDM and I can’t think of anything else like it in music. Watch below. One of the members of A&B picks someone out of the crowd and they get to push a button on the decks to initiate the drop. I’m embarrassed by how much I’d honestly pay to be able to do this…

Also, I should note that “Blue Sky Action” is much better when presented in its club mix/live form.

Slow Acid: Quality Calvin Harris

Calvin Harris has a new single called “Slow Acid”. It is a darkly aggressive underground sounding experience that is very well portrayed in the music video. If this track doesn’t get your head swaying then I don’t know what will. This track mentally abducts you at 1:45. Combine it with the strange and surreal video and you will be completely in a trance.

This is quality Calvin Harris reminiscent of old tunes like “Flashback”. I know I have bashed Calvin Harris as of late, but with the tracks he was putting out I think it was valid criticism. Now, if he continues to produces tracks sounding like this then you will hear me singing quite a different tune about him. Lets hope he does.

Unfortunately, this track is by far his most down voted of recent videos on YouTube. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather feel the beat of this song at 3am in Vegas than the vocals of John Newman in “Blame”. This song is meant for the early morning stretches in the club.

Terrible Track: The Days- Acivii

If you just turned on the radio at 0:53 you would seriously think that you were listening to a pop station. The guitar strumming, lyrical patterns, and lyrics themselves sound like all the other boring pseudo-uplifting track across all genres has been averaged and homogenized. EDM shouldn’t sound like this.

3:25 is extremely shrill and busy. I just can’t stand it. I could barely listen to this track long enough to find these two points and point them out to you.

We’re All We Need

Shortly before their sold-out appearance at Madison Square Garden, Above & Beyond announced that their newest studio album “We Are All We Need” will be released on January 20th. Time can’t pass quickly enough! To ease the painful wait, the group release an absolutely amazing track featuring the vocals of Zoe Johnston. She was featured heavily on the Group Therapy album, and I am thrilled to see her return. This track has been getting me through a rough patch of studying for exams, and I thought I’d share it with you all.

I am absolutely blown away by this track, and I’m not just blinded by my love for A&B. Zoe’s voice is like crystal clear water (see 0:29) and its a fact that she is on another level when it comes to imbuing her vocals with emotion (see “Alchemy”). Some have said that this song lacks kick and spunk, but I think thats the point. A&B is composed of musicians, and they create music with staying power and meaning. This is beautiful meditation on taking solace in the comfort of others and the permanence of true friendship or love. A permanence to which no material possession can compare.

2:16 is my favorite part of the song, and oddly enough its a build-up. Zoe’s voice combines with soaring synth and delicate piano notes of this build-up. However, this stretch doesn’t seem to function in the traditional way. Many songs build tension for the sole purpose of creating enjoyment from the subsequent contrast and relief, but this build-up is a flawless and purposeful part of the song that augments with and morphs into the “drop” rather than simply providing contrast.

Below is the track and the official music video and the live debut at Madison Square Garden.

 

Musical Refresher

To celebrate the new look of the blog, I thought I’d post a track that I think is as minimalistic and refreshing as the mint colored accents on this page. For me, this track is like a cool drink of cucumber water on a hot day. Its crisp and fresh, but the subtle flavor is not overwhelming.

2:08 is the best part of this track. Enjoy!