German born Feras Kabbara, known in the electronic music world by his stage name Talul, is a newcomer who dares to break genre molds. And he accomplishes just that with his rework of “Boy,” a soulful track from Emma Louise’s debut album. Talul maintains the Aussie singer/songwriter’s silky vocals, while also layering in a series of synths and chilled-out baselines. Molding a slow, acoustic ballad into a low end growling remix, he adds some vibrancy to the otherwise peaceful, slow melody.
It’s often difficult to pinpoint exactly when you’ve started to acquire a taste for something. The early 2000s were a crucial trial period for pop and dance music that set the stage for dance music’s eventual explosion. Some time between 2002 and 2003, a radio hit that won the Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording also became synonymous with a certain Mitsubishi commercial.
Dirty Vegas’s “Days Go By” was one of the very early discoveries that led to my dance music fandom. This was a time when there was essentially no verbal differentiation between style, and everything was naively labeled “techno” by the ill-informed. “Days Go By” builds on a groovy bassline and hypnotic, love-stricken vocals that can only be overshadowed by it’s iconic music video. The video features an older man in a suit b-boying outside a sandwich shop in California. A group of observers narrate the legend behind the man’s display, and learn that he had lost the love of his life because he couldn’t stop dancing. He dances in the same spot, during the same time every year, from sunrise to sunset in hopes of finding her again. A simple yet touching story appropriately conjures nostalgic feelings, reminding us why this song was so successful in so many dimensions.
Who doesn’t enjoy driving music? What if you could create music while you drove as well? You may be able to soon, thanks to Underworld and Volkswagen’s innovative “Play the Road” project. The eye-opening app derives RPM and speed data from a Golf GTI’s onboard computer, combines it with accelerometer, gyroscope and GPS data from the iPhone and uses musical programming language Pure Data to compose real-time music and effects based upon the movements of the car. Check out the video above showing the app in action, and forget you ever heard the term “satellite radio.” More details and additional videos are available here.
Hardwell and Amba Shepherd previewed the acoustic version of their collaboration “Apollo” less than 2 weeks ago to critical acclaim. By stripping out Hardwell’s tried-and-true big room electro signature, “Apollo’s” subdued rendition brings Amba Shepherd’s vocals to the front of the mix, giving the talented singer the attention she rightly deserves. Melancholic piano keys replace twisted synthwork here, delivering another charming acoustic rework of a dance music anthem.
Purchase: Apollo (feat. Amba Shepherd) [Acoustic Version] – I Am Hardwell (Original Soundtrack)
Swedish nu disco advocates Drop Out Orchestra have long been the instrumental crux in the genre’s ongoing prevalence. They may have soared below the radar more recently, but behind the wheel of Nine Love’s “All This Love” the well-oiled duo sparks some serious tension for the nostalgic sub-handle. Where the two-man orchestra’s wielding of live bass licks and thick-skinned grooves has proven a unique selling point for the duo to date, their nod towards the soulful sound of 90’s R&B is an amalgamation that on paper shouldn’t work, but on records ticks a wealth of essential boxes for the modern dance floor. Their matching the tension of heyday disco mixed with the modern indie dance nuances makes this not only one of the most integral tracks to bless the genre for 2013, but by far one of Drop out Orchestra’s most illuminating move towards the universal spotlight to date.
Release date: December 16
If what’s cooler than being cool is indeed ice cold, then A-Trak and Oliver have earned that distinction with their latest track, “Zamboni.” Named after that delightful ice cleaner of hockey lore, the tune is positioned to sweep floors with its throwback vibe. Equal parts funk and acid, the collab combines the unconventional edge of the Oliver boys with the Duck Sauce DJ’s dance sensibility and serves it up with 80s-flavored flare. A welcome studio reunion for the Fools Gold acts, their “Zamboni” will be available to ride on December 10th.
In October, Above & Beyond filled every seat of L.A.’s iconic Greek Theater for two nights in a row of their one-of-a-kind acoustic performance. The concert was an elegant evening filled with crisp, resounding vocals and evocative string renditions of some of the trio’s most celebrated hits. The U.S. debut of Above & Beyond’s live acoustic show confirmed an upcoming Above and Beyond Acoustic album, scheduled for a January 28th release.
As a teaser for fans eager to hear the anticipated acoustic album, Jono, Tony and Paavo have revealed their “Sun & Moon” acoustic rendition. Paavo explains the process in creating the perfect formula for their most famous song: “‘Sun & Moon’ is one of our best-loved songs and probably the one that evokes the biggest crowd response all over the world, so it was an interesting challenge to try to create an acoustic version that might connect in the same way. To then have the chance to perform it live as part of a band – and eventually experience 6,000 people singing it with us at the Greek Theatre – will go down as one of the greatest thrills of our career.”
Listen to Above & Beyond’s “Sun & Moon” Acoustic here.
Via: Rolling Stone
This year’s Grammy Nominations have just wrapped up and dance music has once again established itself as a real presence in the constantly evolving music landscape. Daft Punk and Pharrell landed a nomination in the Best Pop/Duo Group Performance category for “Get Lucky,” rubbing elbows with Pink, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake and Robin Thicke. The robotic duo are also in the running for the coveted Album of the Year, with Random Access Memories up against Sara Bareilles, Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Taylor Swift. Daft Punk are also in the running for Record of the Year with “Get Lucky,” putting the duo in a position to sweep three separate categories.
Electronic music also broke into the Best New Artist category with James Blake representing the genre against Kendrick Lamar, Kacey Musgraves, Ed Sheeran and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. But the real stand out nomination this year lies with Duke Dumont, whose hit “Need U 100%” earns a place in the Best Dance Recording category alongside “Sweet Nothing,” “Atmosphere,” “This Is What It Feels Like” and “Clarity.”
In the Best Dance/Electronica Album category, UK’s star duo Disclosure stands with Calvin Harris, Kaskade, Pretty Lights and dance icons Daft Punk but Producer of the Year credits fall on the shoulders of the robot’s collaborator, Pharrell, who represents only a sliver of electronic influence in the category. We’re shocked to see that Avicii’s TRUE isn’t included here but competition was extremely steep this year.
Up for Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical are Alesso, Sultan & Ned Shepard, Photek and Cedric Gervais as well as Andy Caldwell – who has earned two Grammy nominations in the past but whose remix you might not recognize; Listen to it here.
Last year’s dance music Grammy nominations called the entire nomination process into question when Al Walser manipulated his way into the awards alongside Avicii, Skrillex, Calvin Harris and Swedish House Mafia. Thankfully, the Grammys list of nominations this year — with Duke Dumont and Pretty Lights earning well-deserved recognition — are a clear step in the right direction for not only dance music, but the Grammys themselves.
You’ve heard it time and time again – “2013 was the
year of dance music.” The end of the year results are rolling in, and to no surprise, several beloved electronic names have climbed the charts for ‘Best of 2013′ lists: Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” ranked as one of the most Shazam’d songs of the year and Daft Punk and Disclosure have received multiple nods for best albums and tracks of the rapidly concluding 2013. As a fun and final ode to the massive electronic successes of the past 365 days, producer Daniel Kim continues an annual YouTube viral video tradition by compiling an unthinkable number of 2013 radio hit tunes into short, but sweet mashups. Kim has assembled the 2013 ‘Pop Danthology’ in a shockingly short five minutes and forty seconds that features 68 chart topping hits, 15 of which include Krewella, Zedd, Calvin Harris, Bingo Players, Martin Garrix, Armin van Buuren and more.
Take a listen, reminisce and see if you can spot the rest of the dance music spotlights.
Following their 40 date Metamorphic tour over the summer and a number of releases, American duo Tritonal is preparing to release their fist Tritonia compilation series. Alongside favorites from the past year and two more unreleased productions, the first Tritonia compilation will be graced by “Satellite”. Originally heard alongside vocals from Aruna on their remix of Armin van Buuren’s “Won’t Let You Go,” the instrumental mix leaves the vocals behind and places the duo’s melodic progressions in the spotlight. If you missed the duo perform live this year, Tritonia Chapter 001 will serve as the perfect way to hold you over until they visit your city again.
Release Date: December 17th