80’s Industrial Vibe

Jean-Michel Jarre and Tangerine Dream are two legendary electro artists who have teamed up and will be releasing new music on June 19th. Above & Beyond lends their contribution by remixing this track, “Zero Gravity”. They have infused the track with an old school and underground 80s-90s vibe. This sounds like it would be played at a rave located in an abandoned shipping yard or factory. At first, I found 4:10 a bit unpleasant, but the more I listen to it the more it grows on me. It reminds me of some deserted factory that is revived, slowly starts up, and eventually reaches a bustling peak of production. You hear all of the parts slowly layered in classic progressive trance style.

A must have for your workout playlist

Check out this amazing remix of Above & Beyond’s “Hello”. Jerome-Isma Ae made this gym friendly track into my essential running and workout song. The epic build-up and subsequent driving bassline are perfect for when you are hitting the wall in the gym. Take a breather as this song builds then hit the weights or kick up the intensity on the treadmill when this song shifts into overdrive

Also check out the teaser compilation from the Anjunabeats Worldwide 05 album right here. This is the album that the “Hello” remix was released on. You can buy the full album on iTunes.

Along with Ilan Bluestone, Myon & Shane 54 stand out as having a knack for remixing Above & Beyond tracks. They take the basic uplifting vibe of many A&B tracks and make them even more inspirational sounding with the infusion their own upbeat and summery sound. 2:37 is a great example.

Finally, here is a bonus track from Markus Schulz. This is another unofficial video from Inspiron Trance, but the track is exceptional. Schulz is one of the artists who has stuck to his trance roots more fiercely than most. Those German DJs are certainly loyal to the genre.

Terrible Track: Waiting For Love- Avicii

There have been many ignominious entries into my blog’s “Terrible Tracks” category, and this new track from Avicii hangs with the worst of them.  Honestly, its hard to criticize a music video about the love between a soldier and his loyal dog, and maybe that is why Avicii used that relationship as the focus of the song. Perhaps wrapping this nonsense in those sentiments will deflect criticism and fool casual EDM fans into thinking that the music is good.

1:31 is warbly, video game sounding poison for your ears.

3:20 will puncture your eardrums. Such awful shrillness.

Watch this and recall the days when Avicii made real music.

May I suggest these feel-good tracks instead? This is my brand of feel-good music. They are realistic, sober, and honest songs about love and friendship. The first one really starts at between 2:50 and 3:15.

That Summer Sound

These first two summer sounding tracks take you to the Caribbean. While not exactly the same, the percussive elements in these tracks remind me of Caribbean steel drums.

The name of this track tells you that the artist knew precisely what sound he was aiming to produce. I’d say he succeeded. This track is built for sand, sun, and boats.

New deadmau5 and thoughts on the progressive genre

deadmau5 is a progressive genius. I think some of his best work is his slowly building progressive tracks, and I am glad to see him revert to this style with his new release. I was recently reading about the differences between EDM subgenres, and I found a great summary that described progressive as trance minus the anthemic elements. Progressive builds intensity not from drops or aggressive baselines but from layering. The tension and surprise is generated through addition and subtraction of elements from a core theme.

Below is an old deadmau5 favorite of mine that exhibits this layering effect quite nicely.

“Strobe” is also excellent.

While the previous two are great, I think that they veer into other subgenres at times. “Right This Second” becomes quite aggressive and almost trance-like while “Strobe” wanders into ambient territory at times. “October” is one of the best examples of pure progressive.

Speaking of pure progressive, Anjunabeats just released a new track that epitomizes the subgenre. Check it out.

All of these songs require patience and an attentive ear in order to catch the some of the subtleties. Progressive doesn’t always hold people’s attention, and I completely understand that. It isn’t for everyone, and it definitely isn’t meant for loud parties or bad headphones that interfere with one’s ability to detect and savor the musical shifts.

Now for the main attraction. Here is deadmau5’s new single which features a collaborating vocalist, Grabbtiz, that he met on Twitter. As with any good deadmau5 track this is quite the slow burn, but give it a try.

Even more exciting is deadmau5’s upcoming track with Kaskade and Skylar Grey. deadmau5 and Kaskade produced one of the best tracks of all time in “I Remember”. Check out my original post on that track. Their upcoming collaboration is certain to be out of this world, and the painfully short teaser lends strong support to that thought.

We’re All We Need (Ilan Bluestone remix)

This is one of the best remixes of an Above & Beyond track. Ever. The original track is one of my top 3 favorite A&B tracks ever, so I was ecstatic to hear it get the Ilan Bluestone treatment. He has a knack for remixing A&B’s work. See below for his remix of “Satellite”.

Let’s not waste anymore time! Turn your speakers or headphones up and let me guide you through the high points of this epic track. This version is taken from a compilation album, so there is an unnecessary intro for the first minute.

1:00- That characteristic Bluestone bassline. It is so massive and powerful, but it is just a taste of what is to come.

2:15- This stretch isolates Zoe’s amazing vocals.

3:45- I told you there was bigger and better bass to come. Oh and lets fold in those beautiful vocals at 4:15.

Here is Bluestone’s previous remix of “Satellite”. No intro here so be prepared to be have your mind blown from the outset. It is all excellent, but 2:46 onward might be some of the best trance that could ever tickle your tympanic membrane.

Vocal Chops

I have effusively proclaimed my love for female vocals in trance and especially the chopped up and altered version that some producers implement. I am a long-time trance listener, but since I am relatively new to writing about and analyzing the genre I was at a loss for words when I first tried to describe the effect on my blog. In one of my first posts I described the effect which I called the “vocal strobe”. Check out that post for some excellent examples.

I recently came across a great track by Andy Moor, and one of the first things that I noticed was my favorite effect on prominent display. In scrolling through the comments I discovered that the correct term is called a “vocal chop”. Hey, my homemade term wasn’t too far off!

Anyway, I think you should give this track your full attention, because it is nearly perfect. It has a rich instrumental fullness which is balanced by a breathy vocalist adding in an element of detachment and emptiness. That combination is one of my favorites. I think a good trance track should remain slightly aloof while still managing to surround you with full bass. This song does that very well and uses the vocal chop perfectly. Absolute ear candy.

Here is an old Above & Beyond track featuring Andy Moore. Check out 2:00 onward. This track is a trance classic, and I am always on the lookout for modern tracks that embrace this old school vibe. If you find any feel free to send them my way.

Here is the modern update/refresher to the above track. That is another thing that I love about trance. When songs start to sound dated, which they all inevitably do, then you give it a modern makeover.