Sometimes it really is all about the remix. Egyptian trance duo Aly & Fila are set to release their Quiet Storm album, which has been preceded by the grungy/alternative rock-feeling “Running Out of Time,” featuring the vocals of Chris Jones. Going in the opposite direction, “Mysteries Unfold” is pretty, almost soothing trance aimed for the swaying end-of-night feel. Sue Mclaren’s vocals are lush and flowing, with a slight husky tone, grooving like a lullaby on edge. On first listen, it sounds good and will work well in a club set and on the radio, but there is something missing. Then comes the Uplifting mix and all bets are off. Wow, the energy and BPM are increased exponentially, with a powerful kick loop reminiscent of Tiesto “Flight 643” (or for the euro/hardcore fans – the infamous CYT Remix of Erika “I Don’t Know”). A seemingly random male robotic voice adds some dissonance, giving it a bit of added quirk. Sue’s vocals sound completely different – while still pretty, they are more powerful and anthemic (like one of Sarah McLachlan’s better electronic remixes). With the new album coming, let’s hope they follow this inspiration and do a remix album of Uplifting mixes. That would be a clubslayer.
If there’s one common theme for 2013, it seems to be the ’90s revival. Over the past few months, tracks inspired by (and even sounding like) ’90s techno, europop, and underground house have made their way into clubland. Leave it to Egyptian trance duo Aly & Fila to follow a different muse- Seattle-based grunge/alternative rock. Imagine Pearl Jam doing stadium house and you got the basic idea of “Running Out of Time.” Enlisting British vocalist Chris Jones adds grit and texture to the dark and driving track. Is that real guitar I hear? Are those tape rewind transitions inspired by the infamous Kicks Like a Mule mix of Awesome 3 “Don’t Go?” One thing for sure, this track is a departure for the trance duo as it sounds unlike anything they’ve done in the past. As the lead track to their forthcoming artist album, it sets the course for some unique future sounds.