Listening to 2Symmetry tracks, I am reminded of a photoshoot from America’s Next Top Model where they tried to capture the edgy concept of “ugly pretty,” or as it’s more commonly known, ‘jolie-laide.’ The music of Croatian duo Jakov Domitrek and Tino Grzunov doesn’t exactly capture that, but more a darkly pretty blend of familiar trance sounds with bits of dark progressive elements that are alternatingly soothing and piercing. If we are going to reach back to the ’90s (like everyone else is doing), “Loophole” is the modern fusion of 808 State and an instrumental track from an indie band on 4AD. In all its beauty and familiarity, there is a dark horn noise that pops up by surprise that throws it off and, more importantly, makes it stand out from everything out there. “Nordkapp” goes a bit more mellow, not completely soundscape/soundtracky, but more of a listening experience with the darker element more in the forefront. Finding this rising duo is another sign of one of Paul Oakenfold’s greatest strengths – strong ears to A&R new talent. Go back and take a listen to 2Symmetry’s mix of Paul’s own take of “Barber’s Adagio for Strings,” and you will see/hear exactly what I mean.
It seems as though David Guetta is taking a similar path as Paul Oakenfold with his current project. While Paul is reimagining trance classics like “Toca Me” and “Cafe del Mar” with a 2014 touch, David is using seminal club classics based on samples as his inspiration source. Following up “Shot Me Down,” which reworked the Audio Bullys take of the Cher/Nancy Sinatra classic, on “Blast Off” he mines the same 1978 Van Halen sample of “Ain’t Talkin ’bout Love” that Apollo 440 used for their 1997 top 10 hit “Ain’t Talkin Bout Dub.” The raging electro “Blast Off” harnesses the primal rock energy of the guitar sample with the same aggression and powerful feel of the Apollo 440 drum and bass version. Aussie DJ/singer Kaz James, best known for the rock/dance hybrid classic “I Like the Way You Move” with the Bodyrockers, spits some MC-styled lyrics that will energize the festival kids to bang it out and “Blast Off” all summer long. If David is taking requests for his next JackBack track, I would suggest using Spiller’s “Groovejet” as inspiration and going housey for a new summertime Ibiza poolside anthem.
With the release of Simple Modern Answers, Christian Burns has collaborated with many of EDM’s top producers – Armin van Buuren, Jean Claude Ades, Paul Oakenfold, Paul van Dyk, and Ferry Corsten – just to name a few. It feels like a natural progression for the singer of the band BBMak who went on to be in a rock band before Tiesto discovered him on Myspace and asked him to collaborate on some tracks. The resulting “In the Dark” set him on this new path, and he has since worked with the likes of Benny Benassi, Richard Durand and BT. With this album, he has created a cohesive musical statement showcasing his vocal and songwriting skills while bringing his powerful spirit to brilliant EDM tracks.
RS: So I listened to your album today and the first thing that struck me, aside from how great you are vocally, is that you have so many amazing producers on it. A lot of times producers will want you to sing on their track but they won’t give vocalists a track to work with. How did you swing getting so much top flight talent? Christian Burns: I think it’s just the British charm. It’s great to work with so many great producers, and I do understand what you are saying. I think they just like to work with me and it was really flattering and amazing that I got so many great producers and DJs on the album. Continue reading INTERVIEW: Christian Burns (ADE 2013)