. . – – – BY SOLARSTONE

The opening months of 2017 brought the release of Solarstone’s . – – – – album. Widely praised as a standalone item, its ultimate purpose was (and is) yet to be fully clarified. With one less dash, but an extra Morse dot, one album becomes two next month, and with it another sizeable clue to its endgame.

From shocking pink, we go into the blue: so what’s changed and what’s maintained between the albums? One constant is that ‘2’ is again made up of eight pieces of music, trading between instrumental compositions and vocal ones. As with all musical series worth their salt, continuity and balance is key. In regard to its overarching feel, ‘2’ interlocks seamlessly with ‘1’. That aspect in fact goes farther still – threads from Solarstone’s wider canon are picked up, with track arcs continued and open single loops resolved.

The mark of a true artist, Rich progresses album matters in many ways, while ring-fencing the core elements of his musical culture. And yes, the ability to surprise and catch the listener unawares is still one of them. Thematic strands are drawn from numerous time periods, influences and disciplines – both musical and otherwise. Each is woven, with differing degrees of presence into the album’s fabric. Some stand totem tall. Others become apparent only over time. Each though provides micro-clues to what is undoubtedly now an album sequence.

Tonally, the release also pushes the needle into what Rich classifies as “the second half of a Solarstone club night”. The tempo receives a kick, prog-trance elements ebb, while uplift – both vocally, musically and spiritually – flows.

The album opens on the promise of ‘Midsummer Nights’. Over nigh-on eight minutes, hovering piano notes, rich pulsating bass and reflective guitars brilliantly set the album in motion. Musically, lyrically and vocally, Rich hits an introspective note on its second track, ‘Shards’. Backed by his classical instrumentation, he reaches deep within. With its love redemption theme, it constitutes a record as personal as anyone from his quarter has ventured.

‘Please’, from 2012’s ‘Pure’ album was always projected to be one of Solarstone’s multipart track arcs. ‘Brighter days ahead’ in feel, forthright in pace and spurred by tactical, yet innate key shifts, it was composed as a final tribute to Rich’s late father. Loosely based around Handel’s ‘Largo’ – a composition with which they shared a considerable mutual appreciation, ‘Thank You’ retains all the emotion and uplift of its six-year-old counterpart. Between its vulnerable lyrics and impassioned, resolute delivery, Thea Riley walks a tightrope-like balance on ‘I Want You Here’. Emotionally laying it on the line, Rich musically reflects each twist of its song through his studio work.
As the album shifts into its second phase, another Solarstone outing receives its sequel. The second coming of ‘Shield’, Rich once again delves into his string section for ‘(Pt II)’. Finding that infinite equilibrium between acoustic guitars and other string family associates, he frames them around an initially filmic intro and latterly, surging, FX-flush trance. Jonathan Mendelsohn’s history in vocal-ling tracks from the electronic music quarter is almost as extensive as that of Solarstone’s in producing them. Together on ‘This Is Where It Starts’, the two have conspired a track so instantly memorable, it’s an instant ‘one more tune’… anthem candidate.

There’s only one of the album’s number that can lay claim to its ‘most epic’ tag though and that’s ‘Motif’. Big of riff, bold of pace & bass, it builds without pause over 5 minutes to deliver a drop that’ll leave clubber gasping and floor reeling. Extraordinarily perhaps, the album’s valedictory track has been in production development for 20 years. Beginning life many a Solar cycle ago, ‘Without You’ has gone through more honing and refinements, than even he can recall. Its critical tipping point though came through Meredith Call’s song – an exceptional tour de force deliverance that – backed by Solarstone’s breaks – is achingly painful in its beauty.

The dots are starting to get joined: one album has become two, 8 tracks, now 16 – a potential magnum opus is afoot. Released on 04/05/18, pre-order purchase . . . – – – here

Tracklist

  1. Midsummer Nights
  2. Shards
  3. Thank You
  4. I Want You Here (with Thea Riley)
  5. Shield (Pt. II)
  6. This Is Where It Starts (with Jonathan Mendelsohn)
  7. Motif
  8. Without You (with Meredith Call)

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WAX WINGS – ‘GRAVEDANCE’ (REMIXES)

CLUB READY ‘GRAVEDANCE’ EP GETS RELOADED WITH FOUR INTENSE REMIXES 

“GRAVEDANCE IS THE DEFINITION OF A PURE CLUB BANGER” – DJ MAG UK

LISTEN TO THE REMIX PACKAGE HERE 

GRAVEDANCE REMIX EP LAUNCH PARTY TICKETS HERE

LABEL: THE WEIRD & THE WONDERFUL X SKINT

 

Wax Wings is an artist in the truest sense of the word from painting, fashion, graffiti, photography, art direction through to music. The young producer/DJ already has some impressive remix credentials under his belt including Maya Jane Coles’ Nocturnal Sunshine, Nimmo, The Presets, Eli & Fur and Vök, and has collaborated with artists such as Skunk Anansie’s Skin and Dead Can Dance’s Lisa Gerrard. 

Holding a residency in London for the newly established, HE.SHE.THEY at Ministry Of Sound who’s mission statement is “A place without prejudice for people to be people”. Wax is allowed to fully express his musical style and lives up to DJ Mag’s ‘Ones To Watch for 2018’ tag, playing alongside acts such as Maya Jane ColesSatoshi Tomiie and Ellen Allien. 2018 is shaping up to be one of his biggest years, having already played at the London Fashion Week Festival in February. Wax is lined up to play the opening party for this year’s IMS: Ibiza at Pacha, Ibiza. As well as dates at the world-famous Watergate, Berlin.

Ending 2017 in style, Wax Wings released his EP ‘Gravedance’ delivering six dancefloor focused weapons. This builds on the remarkable success of his first two EPs ‘System’ and ‘The Love Inside Me’ which gained strong support across the airwaves from the likes of BBC Radio 1’s B.Traits and Monki. He now returns with four intense remixes of the original cuts, reloaded and ready to go again.

Opening the EP Wax Wings leans on the talents of DJ/Producer & long-time friend ABSOLUTE. for the first of two remixes of ‘Gravedance’. Declared by Tiga as a ‘Future Star’, Absolute injects force and power into the original with a modulated bassline rippling throughout. Enlisting cultural provocateur Warboy for the second of those remixes, the underground veteran UK DJ/Producer offers up dominant basslines and theatrical hooks whilst retaining all the originals prominent vocal sample. Having played B2B with Wax Wings at the inaugural HE.SHE.THEY party, Warboy lends his experienced hand to the young producers Remix package.

D-Code & Psylence transform ‘Toxic Love’ from a straight down the line dark and tripped out Techno tool to a breakbeat injected groover, complete with dubby synth tones akin to the original. Completing the remix package is London based producer Venice Calypso, having previously remixed Wax Wings for his ‘The Love Inside Me’ EP. Sebastien is back with a driving remake of ‘Drunk’. Flipping the original and injecting the signature Venice Calypso, his version of ‘Drunk’ is primed for the dancefloor.

To celebrate the release Wax has joined forces with Warboy’s very own Friday nighter Shutdown at SEDITION (formally known as East Bloc) to throw a chaotic basement bash. Showcasing each remix artist and joined by a cast of experimental party makers and radical performers.

Tickets here: https://www.residentadvisor.net/events/1100355

WAX WINGS – ‘GRAVEDANCE’ (REMIXES)

  1. Wax Wings – Gravedance (ABSOLUTE. Remix)
  2. Wax Wings – Gravedance (Warboy Remix)
  3. Wax Wings – Toxic Love (D-Code & Psylence Remix)
  4. Wax Wings – Drunk (Venice Calypso Remix)

MICHAEL CALFAN CONTINUES HIS UNIQUE EVOLUTION OF HOUSE WITH ‘GOT YOU’

LABEL: ONE MORE TUNE / WARNER 
RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

LISTEN TO ‘GOT YOU’ HERE

 

Michael Calfan – the Parisian DJ who is helping close the gap between the mainstream and the underground with his kaleidoscopic house sound further evolves his unique production skills and delivers his second urban infused and beautifully delivered single ‘Got You’ out on all DSP and streaming sites today.

Previous single ‘On You’ was streamed over 2 million times on Spotify alone, topped the Music Week Club Chart at #1 and garnered daytime support from BBC Radio 1 DJs Annie MacDanny HowardPete TongDance AnthemsNick Grimshaw and a Tune of the Week with Greg James.

Michael’s follow up single displays the same unique urban touch and R&B style vocal delivered from London based songstress Malika who has previously worked with SnakehipsCadenzaBearcubs and Bohdi. ‘Got You’ is as sublime as it is smooth and executed with afro-house grooves undoubtedly influenced by the diverse culture and underground sounds of Paris.

‘With ‘Got You’, I tried to push and go deeper into the sound I created for ‘On You’, I worked the beat, the vocal and the feeling around the record to create a genuine original house record’. Michael Calfan

The original now comes fully equipped with an extended version firmly designed for the dance floor. Delivering pace coupled with a hooky vocal and tension building drops that will no doubt be aired on international dance floors across the summer and beyond.

DENIS KENZO, FAHJAH & KATE MILES – Who I Am

Denis Kenzo joins forces with Fahjah & Kate Miles for the release of ‘Who I Am’ on Denis Kenzo recordings.

Huge drums, crunchy basslines and glitchy sounds support the mysterious vocal in the break and a gorgeous melody to complete the drop.

A blistering production from label boss Denis Kenzo, Fahjah and Kate Miles, ‘Who I Am’ offers a slice of flawless vocal trance. Infused with impactful drums, colossal bass, velvet vocals and a gorgeous melody, ‘Who I Am’ proves the sonic embodiment of all things in life we cherish.

LET’S GRAB IT HERE 

 

ALEXANDER POPOV – Magus

 

Alexander Popov delivers another  trance stunner at his Interplay Recordings.

Uplifting chords, fitting melodies and emotional harmonies. ‘Magus’ contains the formula for a potential trance festival banger.

 

Able to conjure up sonic euphoria at the flick of a wrist, Alexander Popov is back on his Interplay label with ‘Magus’. A burst of color that excites and enchants, this cut offers magical melodies and captivating harmonies that will prove irresistible right off the bat.

LET’S GRAB IT HERE 

 

 

LOST FREQUENCIES PARTNERS WITH JAMES BLUNT ON NEW SINGLE ‘MELODY’

After the multi-million-stream success of his previous releases – including the wildly fruitful melodies and raw vocals of ‘Crazy’ – Lost Frequencies has returned with another definite dance music staple. Today, the Belgian superstar took to his own Found Frequencies label to release ‘Melody’, his highly anticipated team-up with U.K. singer-songwriter, chart breaker and Grammy nominee James Blunt.

Listen to Lost Frequencies feat. James Blunt – Melody

 

Drawing on his expansive electronic pallet and rare talent to pull in influence from outside the dance music spectrum, Lost Frequencies pays homage to country sounds by imbuing ‘Melody’ with melodic guitar strums and by twisting Blunt’s soaring vocal into a unique loop come the chorus, which flows around the rhythm like a waterfall.

 

Spotlighting a stellar vocalist-producer fusion in this merger of disparate sounds that has grown into a beautifully individual record, Lost Frequencies said of the release: “I’ve been a really big fan of James Blunt these past years; I love his voice and music. To make a track together is something I wouldn’t have even dreamed of a few years ago, but here we are. James sent me the demo he had of ‘Melody’ and I started working on it immediately. I did a bunch of different versions of the track until the final version was made and everybody loved it. It was a fairly quick process considering we were both gone a lot on tour and doing a lot of other projects, and I’m super happy we found a version of the track where both our worlds are perfectly balanced.”

 

Equally excited with the union and its productive results, James Blunt said: “I’d been in the studio writing with Steve Mac (co-writer/co-producer of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape Of You’) and Ammar Malik (co-writer of Maroon 5’s ‘Move Like Jagger’), and we wrote a song called ‘Hey, Melody’. It didn’t quite fit my album, but I loved it, so when Lost Frequencies approached me asking to work together, I was thrilled – I was already a fan of his and really wanted the song to be heard. He plucked the chorus, worked his magic and made a great summer track out of it.”

OUT NOW: LOUD LUXURY feat. Brando – Body (Orjan Nilsen Remix)

When you are Loud Luxury and your tune ‘Body’ receives such a stunning consent, being blessed with a remix by Norwegian superstar  Orjan Nilsen is just the icing on the cake.

We are madly in love with this remix that just perfectly fits  progressive version, making a great mix between the original and Orjan’s versatile sound.

Turning Loud Luxury’s incredibly groovy summer anthem into a masterpiece fit for mainstages and airwaves alike, Orjan Nilsen shows off every inch of his unparalleled production skill. Built around top-notch chord progressions and a sublime melody, this remix is sure to get even more people in on the Canadian duo’s masterpiece.

LET’S GRAB IT HERE 

 

ARMIN VAN BUUREN STRENGTHENS THE TRANCE EMPIRE WITH ‘A STATE OF TRANCE 2018’ ALBUM

Since the first A State Of Trance mix album shook the very foundations of the electronic music realm in 2004, Armin van Buuren has tasked himself with compiling an even better mix album every year to give the global Trance crowd what they deserve. In line with said progression, Armin van Buuren has once again outdone himself with ‘A State Of Trance 2018’ and delivers a mouth-watering mix album, which includes three brand-new singles from the five-time #1 DJ in the world himself.

Listen to ‘A State Of Trance 2018’ (Mixed by Armin van Buuren)

Offering bite-sized slices of today’s best in Trance, ‘A State Of Trance 2018’ sees Armin van Buuren select and mix a grand total of forty-two top-drawer records, ranging from progressive-flavored cuts to uplifting monster tunes across two parts that prove even more remarkable with each listen. Comprising phenomenal offerings from scene leaders such as David Gravell, DRYM x Omnia, Fatum, KhoMha, Protoculture, Purple Haze, Super8 & Tab and of course Armin van Buuren himself, this brand-new installment of the highly acclaimed mix series once again provides fans and fans-to-be with music of such quality it’d be shameful to pass up on.

The A State Of Trance compilation series, which also includes the annual year mixes and several Ibiza-flavored installments, is rooted in Armin van Buuren’s A State Of Trance brand, as are the globetrotting A State Of Trance event series, the A State Of Trance label and of course the radio show itself. Broadcast every week to an estimated 42 million listeners in more than a hundred different countries around the world, the radio show has proven pivotal in placing Trance music on the map and this amazing mix album cements its position even further.

Tracklist

CD1 (On The Beach)

Armin van Buuren vs Shapov – The Last Dancer
Whiteout & Wilderness – Yalung
Tom Fall – Cyclone
Estiva – Bloom
Maor Levi – Nova
Three Drives – Sunset On Ibiza (BLR Remix)
Seven Lions feat. Rico & Miella – Without You My Love (Myon Definitive Mix)
Alex Sonata – Only One
Denis Kenzo, Fahjah & Kate Miles – Who I Am
Wrechiski – Fervour
The Blizzard – Tind
Alex Sonata feat. Dean Chalmers – Bridges
Purple Haze – Bergen
The Thrillseekers presents Hydra – Affinity 2018
Fatum – Violet
Super8 & Tab feat. Hero Baldwin – Burn
GNX – Empire
Joel Hirsch & HALIENE – Run To You
Protoculture – Sanctuary
Alex Kunnari – Sundown
Airbase – Vermillion

CD2 (In The Club)

Fatum – Mowgli
Kyau & Albert – The Night Sky
Simon Patterson feat. Lucy Pullin – Fall For You
David Gravell – The Future
DRYM x Omnia – Ethereal
Protoculture – Thirty Three South
Davey Asprey – Kaiju
KhoMha – Tierra
Armin van Buuren presents Rising Star feat. Fiora – Just As You Are
Allen Watts – Midnight
Assaf & Nianaro – Chapter Ten
Craig Connelly feat. Roxanne Emery – This Life
Roman Messer feat. Christina Novelli – Fireflies (Jorn van Deynhoven Remix)
Armin van Buuren vs Alexander Popov – Popcorn
Giuseppe Ottaviani – Till The Sunrise
DRYM – Spider
Beatsole & TH3 ONE – Maia
Sunset & Kiran M Sajeev – Just A Dream
Armin van Buuren feat. Conrad Sewell – Sex, Love & Water (DRYM Remix)
Dogzilla – Dogzilla (Alex Di Stefano Remix)
Armin van Buuren – Be In The Moment (ASOT 850 Anthem) [Ben Nicky Remix]

Armin van Buuren x The Backstage Access

Days like this….

It looks like an ordinary day….. I am just sitting at my desk doing my usual tasks, sipping a cup of tea…

But hey, wait….it’s Trance Thursday, a magical day when everything can happen…

And so it does…

I’ve just received this personal message from Armin van Buuren!!! The living legend himself, the artist who inspires me the most, took some time to say thanks for my ongoing support…..pinch me…I must be dreaming!

Armin and his fantastic Armada Music team are the reasons why this blog exists and keeps going,  I could not be more grateful for this sweet thought!!

Days like this…

 The hard work, the challenges…they all make sense!!