Top Tune: Refracture vs. Yenn: Sunset (Free Download)

When was the last time you got something for free at a music festival? My guess is you were lucky to come out of there with just one black eye!

Well, now you can get the the official theme song of the 2010  e-Lake Festival for the price of an Internet connection.

And you didn’t even have to go.

It’s rich, it’s creamy, it tastes sublime, and I simply can’t believe it’s not butter!

Refracture vs. Yenn: Sunset (Free Download)

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Production Diary: From Blastoid To Welcome 2 The World

Collaborations are a magical thing. A transatlantic sowing of seeds to create the perfect musical baby.

That’s what happened here. More or less.

Luxembourg’s Yenn has been on quite a roll of late, with the brilliant Forward, Symphony (with Refracture), and the Mau5-ey Monzen. Mr. Y sent me a couple of ideas he had sitting around, and my favorite was the melodic and haunting mini song ‘Hemorrhoid,’ I mean ‘Blastoid’.

Right away, I could hear the progressive electro anthem it would become. The vocal was especially interesting. You see, Yenn had just become a baby daddy for the first time and another friend, Scott Willis, was expecting his second. Well not directly, but you get the idea.

Maybe it was all the baby talk, because the first time I heard Blastoid, I also heard the vocal line in my head. It was quite the hook, and rare for a dance track in that it was about a father welcoming his kid, as opposed to the usual ‘Do You Like Bass’, ‘Set Me Free’, ‘Dance To It’, ‘Love Your Booty Movin’ etc.

With that, I got to work. From Blastoid, I already had the key of the song, the stabby pads, the arpeggio, and the square lead. I needed a bassline that was muy musculoso. Heck, I needed two basslines. One to drive the groove, and one to add a little wap at the back end. Sort of a smack to the bum, if you will.

If you’ve heard any of my music, you’ll know my basslines are usually also the hooks of my tracks (I call it Electro Bass, as discussed here), so this one had to be special. The whole song, as it turns out, ended up being a bit special, as it’s about something.

The bass went through several revisions until finally, at 4 am on a Saturday morning, it happened and two became one.

Now I needed a vocal. The lyrics took me about as long as the basslines, and while they ain’t Wordsworth, they are effective. I always knew I was going to sing it myself. Why? First laziness, and second, why not? I’m no American Idol, but I’ve got better teeth than Justin Bieber.

Breakdowns can be tricky. Almost everything has been done already, so they require some serious thought. Ultimately, I decided not to go for a ‘mental’ Apes From Space type mindf@ck (it is about a baby remember), and pulled back on the gas. It actually served the track well. Finally, a mix and a rough radio edit and here we are.

I love it. Just the right amount of melodic ecstasy and dirt, with all the ingredients to be a summer smash!

Labels, are you listening to this?

Top Tune: Maurice Noah-Shivering Channel

Just what exactly is a ‘shivering channel’ and why doesn’t somebody cover it with a blanket? Never mind the lyrics, this is a glorious little progressive number from Dirty House Music founder Maurice ‘Hey Bob’ Noah that leaves you feeling refreshed and smelling delightful.

Electro Of The Week: Yamb! by 5tereophone

I have no idea what a Yamb! is (yam and cassava?), or why St. Petersburg based producers 5tereophone choose to spell their name with a number (perhaps channeling a certain rodent producer), but this is one of my favorite tracks right now. Taken off the duo’s debut Africa EP, its cheeky, energetic, contagious and highly musical (a bit like that chick from high school), with chords that will haunt you for days.

Tis a good ‘un ladies.

Preview and support at Trackitdown. And please promote legal MP3 downloads!

Forgotten Classic: Dropping Hard by Elektroluxx!

I am willing to put money on the fact that not even the most ardent House/Electro addict is familiar with this week’s choice cut. I think I had close to a religious experience when I first heard this bad boy pumping out of the speakers of my Japanese sub compact.

How is it that this tune didn’t change the world? It certainly changed mine! That kick, that bass, that devastating breakdown, that climactic ending? Mercy!

Happy 2010!

Too many House music genres? What would Jesus Do?

A quick preview of House music categories on dance music download site Trackitdown reveals a gut busting 21.

Interestingly enough, there is no mention of 90s mainstays such as Hip House, Dream House, Stadium House, Handbag House, Hard House (perhaps some Cialis would help?), Amyl House, Scouse House or even Stupid House (no not making it up). Which just goes to show us how enduring these ‘styles’ really are.

They’re really not.

At least our old friends Progressive and Funky are still rocking. Any bets on whether ‘Fidget’ will still be around 5 years from now?

I think there should only be 3 categories of house music:

Electro should include the obvious Electro House but also ‘cool’ i.e. vanity genres like Fidget and Nu Disco (cringe), as well as Synth Poppy stuff and any synthesizer driven house music that is fun and interesting. It all comes from the same place people! Read my Great Moments in Electro series if you don’t believe me!

Classic (can’t we just call it House without the hyphen?) should include Funky House (I don’t even really know what this is-isn’t House supposed to be funky? But sure, have your pointless little sub-genre), Soulful House (aka big black voice singing about love and redemption), Disco House, Chicago style, and anything that isn’t Electro or Progressive. And yes that includes Tribal!

Progressive: I have been listening to dance music for 25 years and still have no idea what the Donald Duck this is supposed to be. So much of it sounds like Electro House nowadays, what with that genre’s all conquering ways. It’s still being clung to by its adherents though, mostly 90s producers who were so close to being the next Leftfield. Or Digweed. Never stop believing.

So what is Progressive House? Well produced, trance-ish, epics that facilitate longer mixes. An element comes in, stays there for 7 or so minutes, and undergoes a series of subtle ‘progressions’. Or not. Or you just drink a lot and then everything sounds good…!*

Ahem! Anything that isn’t Classic or Electro should be chucked into this category. Let’s stick Deep House in there (aka I’m high, it doesn’t matter what you play). And while you’re at it, shove those wanton siblings Micro and Tech house in there too.

There, is that too hard journalists? Please avoid the temptation to birth a new genre every time you hear something fresh and unique. Anyone remember Car Boot Techno Disco and/or Getthefuckouttamy House?. And I am only making one of those up. The former was used to describe now forgotten Bentley Rhythm Ace while the less said about the latter the better…

Lincoln reminds us that “a House divided against itself cannot stand”, which actually paraphrases Jesus Christ Himself from the New Testament. That’s right folks. The Lord himself ordains that ye not create a new House music genre every time Deadmau5 takes a dump. What would Jesus do?

Electro/Progressive/House Of The Week: Seduction by DJ Macro

This week’s pick (and pic) comes courtesy of Serbia’s DJ Macro.

It’s a brand new track called Seduction and it’s dark, mysterious, and highly infectious. Sorta like DJ Macro himself (except for the infectious part). Perfect 2 AM fodder! Do check it out!

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