Here’s a song that I’ve been meaning to write up for a while. “Blame,” the followup to “Summer” featuring the soulful vocals of John Newman, sounded so familiar but I just couldn’t place what. Then I heard this mashup by DJSkillz and realize that it was quite similar to “I Need Your Love.” Granted the songs aren’t identical, but the similar melodies make the two mash together so well. On its own, “Blame” is quite strong and sounds incredibly full, one of those rare times when a dance music production is more lush and encompassing than a dance production, yet still completely ready for the dance floor. Well, maybe not all dance floors, but leave it Melbourne team Bombs Away to turn it into a bounce track. Even though official remixes should land any minute now, its doubtful that any will exhibit the frolicking energy and joy that the delightful duo serve up as a counterpoint to the dark and almost somber song. After listerning to “Blame,” I pulled up John’s debut album Tribute and can’t help but thinking how amazing a John Newman / Sam Smith duet would be.
Image courtesy of Columbia Records.
Shaolin usually refers to martial arts, specifically kung fu. Dutch duo Mightyfools build a banging electro track, complete with laser sounds that inspire visions of stars (the throwing weapon) flying right past you in the air. Bounce, shake, and battle it out is what the sampled vocal tells you to do, and while the track is aggressive, it’s not nearly as hard as you might expect. It fits in with the recent Bounce tracks by Showtek and TJR while adding a bit of a fresh touch. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not revolutionary or anything, but it freshens up the sound by putting a different spin (excuse the pun) on it.
Image courtesy of Fly Eye Records.
Here are the 2014 Dance Grammy Nominations:
Category 9 – Best Dance Recording
Duke Dumont ft A*M*E & MNEK – “Need U (100%)” – Downtown/WIN
Calvin Harris ft Florence Welch – “Sweet Nothing” – Columbia/Ultra
Kaskade – “Atmosphere” – Ultra
Armin Van Buuren ft Trevor Guthrie – “This is What It Feels Like” – Armada
Zedd ft Foxes – “Clarity” – Interscope
Category 10 – Best Dance/Electronica Album
Daft Punk – Random Access Memories – Columbia
Disclosure – Settle – Cherrytree/Interscope
Calvin Harris – 18 Months – Columbia/Ultra
Kaskade – Atmosphere – Ultra
Pretty Lights – A Color Map of the Sun – 8 Minutes/20 Seconds
Category 79 – Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical
Delerium ft Michael Logen – “Days Turn Into Nights” (Andy Caldwell Remix)
One Republic – “If I Lose Myself” (Alesso vs One Republic)
Bruno Mars – “Locked Out of Heaven” (Sultan + Ned Shepard)
Bob Marley and The Wailers – “One Love / People Get Ready” (Photek)
Lana Del Rey – “Summertime Sadness” (Cedric Gervais Remix)
Looking over the 2014 Dance Grammy Nominations, it is refreshing to see nothing completely embarrassing (Al Wasser, Baha Men), but rather a pretty accurate summary of what DJs played, people danced to, and what we bloggers wrote about. Sure, there are some notable absences: major festival records (Martin Garrix, Hardwell, Showtek, Audien, Cazzette, Passion Pit, Martin Solveig), the pop crossover (Krewella), and the most notable – where is Avicii? On the bright side, there are nominations for independent and import releases (Duke Dumont, Armin van Buuren, Pretty Lights) which shows how the cutting edge dance music scene is changing the sometimes stodgy Grammy mentality. It’s also great to see Cedric Gervais get recognition for a remix that started in the festival scene and crossed over to become a massive pop hit globally. On the bigger scene, Daft Punk also got nominations for Album of the Year and Best Pop/Duo Group (bringing their cumulative lifetime total to 13 nominations).
My predictions – “Sweet Nothing” / Daft Punk / “Summertime Sadness”
My personal favorites – “This Is What it Feels Like” / Disclosure / “If I Lose Myself” and “Locked Out of Heaven”