What’s up? There are so many tracks showing up on Beatport every week that it takes a lot to stand out. Following up his vocal tracks with Ruby Prophet (“These Are the Days”) and Databoy (“Just Once”), producer Audien aka Nate Rathbun goes right for the jugular and unleashes the massive big room “Sup.” The track starts off like any other with a building, structured beat until
it cuts to an 80s influenced power ballad instrumental. Then it hits, the second time the musical line is played–the massive electrotrance synth that pierces your soul. The hand clap-feeling kick drum comes in and increases the energy to an explosion. A sudden drop to a quick, Middle Eastern rhythm and a sampled female vocal “Hey” (reminiscent of Lords of Acid-era Techno) shakes things up before the full electro madness kicks in. The second breakdown midway through the track is a bit extended yet even more powerful, with an electric guitar highlighted in the buildup that further elevates the energy. DJs looking for an unexpected surprise mid-set should throw “Sup” at their crowd. The results will be mind-blowing.
Chess for girls… Now that Ellie has a pop hit here in the states, the hipsters are already talking smack about her. I overheard one of them referring to “Figure 8” as “dubstep for girls,” a la the infamous Saturday Night Live sketch commercial for “Chess for Girls.” Needless to say, I completely disagree. Yes, the song is quite similar in structure and tone to Alex Clare’s crossover/advertising jingle “Too Close,” but that same critique will be thrown at any artist who utilizes dubstep rhythms with emotional storytelling (though both songs do share the same coproducer, Mike Spencer.) “Figure 8” is quite darker than her current single “Anything Could Happen,” with moodier and sparser verse production and harder dubstep chorus beats acting as a background for Ellie’s story of heartbreak. It’s easy to see why Ellie Goulding was embraced as a true songwriting talent in the UK in the same way that they embraced Adele. The two remixes couldn’t be more different. Drop Lamond’s take is hard to describe – an interesting and odd fusion of breakbeat and brokenbeat, with an electro groove throughout. The stop-and-stutter feel would make for a nice change in vibe for any ballsy DJ willing to take a risk at a WTF moment. If you like their mix, you should also check out their single “Kerosene.” For mainstream dance floors, The Alias continues their streak of hands-in-the-air Hi-NRG mixes (Girls Aloud, Little Mix, Kelly Clarkson) with another galloping floorfiller. I find it quite impressive that the label is commissioning commercial remixes like this (and the Almighty remix of “Anything Could Happen”) in addition to the edgier, “credible” mixes. It just shows that a strong song can translate for any audience.
“Die Young” is a total guilty pleasure. Yes, it sounds like every other Ke$ha song, but with the track at 128 bpm if you strip out the vocals (and the Illuminati/New World Order nonsense) it could easily be a Swedish House Mafia or Calvin Harris pop record. British producer Seamus Haji has been on quite a roll lately, turning in solid club mixes from artists as varied as The Gossip, Elton John vs Pnau, Maroon 5, Ne-Yo, and Rita Ora. In his deft hands, “Die Young” is elevated to primetime commercial club monster- with harder electro buildups, a more dramatic dropout, and even sicker vocal effects. It would be interesting to see what would happen if one of the big-name DJs dropped an instrumental of Seamus’ mix, because I bet if it was circulated without the vocal it would be quite a massive club record on its own.