SONG OF THE DAY: Gabriel & Dresden ft Betsie Larkin – “Play It Back”

Utterly speechless was my first reaction when I heard “Play it Back.” Simply because it doesn’t sound at all like what you would expect from a Gabriel & Dresden track. Yes, it’s cool, credible, and underground but it’s also… how do I say this correctly without mixing labels, Hi-NRG for 2012. Yes, “Play It Back” is a girl-twirl that you might expect from Almighty or Alias, but done with a progressive twist. The kick drum loop in the intro is the first clue that this is going to be something different- but when the instrumental loops start coming in with the swoops, it’s clear that we are headed into major key “hands in the air” territory. Disparate parts like computer bleeps and electro glitches contrast with swooshes and vocoded male background vocals for what is probably the only current record that could get played at the most credible underground clubs in Ibiza as well as G-A-Y and XXL in London. The last time one of the credible producers pulled this off was when Oakenfold and Steve Osbourne were making all those wonderful Grace records in the ’90s. Since Trance 2.0 was the big buzz term at ADE this year, maybe we could look to G&D bring “back” a new flavor of NRG 2.0 by blending classic energy with modern electro. I am definitely anxious to hear what they come up with next.

Image Courtesy of Organized Nature.

COMPILATION PICK: Different Pieces Collected, Volume 1

You probably know Josh Gabriel for his work as part of the production duo Gabriel & Dresden, responsible for the classic “As the Rush Comes” by Motorcycle, as well as groundbreaking remixes (Paul Oakenfold, Depeche Mode, Tiesto, Madonna, Way Out West) and massive DJ sets (winning the IDMA for Best DJ two years in a row and DJ Mag Top 20.) After 7 years together, the duo took a break and Josh Gabriel explored his progressive and techno roots and started the label Different Pieces. Home to his original productions and collaborations (Dave Seaman, Ego Stereo), the label also showcases works by his artist project Winter Kills and influential producers (Francis Preve, James Talk.) ‘Different Pieces Collected’ brings together essential tracks from the label along with a few lost gems worth discovering. Released exclusively through Armada on Beatport, the tracks are worth a listen for lovers of progressive, trance and techno.

SONG OF THE DAY: Andain – “Turn Up the Sound”

Andain, the team of vocalist Mavie Marcos and producer Josh Gabriel, achieved international success with the gorgeous and epic trance track “Beautful Things.” After a hiatus, they reunited last year to release “Promises,” which was nominated for two International Dance Music Awards, and “Much Too Much.” In its original Gabriel and Dresden remix, the new single “Turn Up the Sound” is uplifting and energetic vocal trance bordering on commercial without ever going cheesy. A full on prime time big room club track with gorgeous vocals and epic production, it is reminiscent of the massive G&D mix of “Beautiful Things.” The remix package is solid with a mellower trancey take from Xtigma, a dubstep/electro hybrid from Francis Preve and a more progressive rub from TyDi. If you like your trance with vocals, Andain’s “Turn Up the Sound” should be on the top of your playlist.

Image Courtesy of Black Hole Recordings.