SONG OF THE DAY: Lange – “Hold That Sucker Down”

If any producer could be considered the grandfather of stadium house, it would be Rollo Armstrong. Known for epic big room production as part of the remix/production team Rollo and Sister Bliss as well as a founding member of electronic supergroup Faithless, his experimentation with religious keyboards and epic sounds are the clear precursor to the current stadium house sound. As with the recent update of hard house classic “Joy Energizer,” it seems the right time to start reworking the Rollo classics. British DJ/producer dusts off the club/UK QAF classic “Hold That Sucker Down” by OT Quartet (the production team of Rollo and Rob Dougan) and wisely stays true to the original instrumentation, adding some modern electro sounds. Close your eyes and it’s 1994 again with those classic Rollo keyboards lifting you to euphoric heights. While it is quite straightforward, when the original is so masterful – moving away or distorting it would ruin the impact. The only minor quibble is the decision to not include the original version or at least do a separate vocal version, yet the “Hold That Sucker Down” track is so iconic and recognizable maybe the vocals aren’t so necessary (something the original’s vocal versions proved as well). This is one of those WTF tracks that instantly catches a dancer’s attention – they will either recognize it or hold up their phone to shazam it.

Image Courtesy of Lange Records.

SONG OF THE DAY: Dash Berlin ft Kate Walsh – “When You Were Around”

Living in Nashville, Tennessee, I have to say that I am loving this new trend of international trance superstars filming their videos here. A few months ago, Paul van Dyk flew in to film the video for “I Don’t Deserve You” with Plumb. If you watch the video for “When You Were Around,” you can see several elements of the Nashville skyline, like the batman building and the pedestrian bridge across the river flowing through downtown. Totally digressing, I have a personal connection because as a college intern, my summer project was the offering package with the Department of Transportation to convert the bridge to a pedestrian way. Back to “When You Were Around” – British folk singer Kate Walsh is an inspired choice for vocalist on Dash Berlin’s energetic yet pretty trance anthem, one of the standout tracks from their #musicislife album released earlier this year (of course along with “Better Half Of Me,” “Casllisto” and “Apollo Road” – actually the album whole is pretty incredible). While both remixes are quite strong (Ferry Corsten goes trancey and Lange goes proggy), the original version is the one I am most likely to reach for in my club sets.

Image Courtesy of Aropa/Armada.

SONG OF THE DAY: Betsie Larkin and Lange – “Obvious”

With the focus on DJs and producers as artists, singers are often relegated to the featured spot if they are even mentioned at all. Some of EDM’s favorite voices are breaking through, though, and releasing artist albums of their own — Jes, Emma Hewitt and, Betsie Larkin. Known for collaborations with Ferry Corsten, ATB, Starkillers/Austin Leeds, Andy Moor, and Gabriel & Dresden, Betsie’s voice is distinctive – powerful and a bit gruff at times, peppered with pretty and emotional tones. Teaming with Lange, “Obvious” is another strong single, blending her pop-leaning songwriting over rock-edged electro and progressive production. The chorus is quite memorable and the song strikes me as what Pat Benetar would be singing if she was doing club tracks today. “Obvious” would sound as good on the radio as it does in the club. For club play, remixes by George Acosta and Wezz Devall go more electro while Serhio Vegas’s take is quite random- yet interesting- in its mix of big beat, electro, and rock which works on an unexpectedly higher level. If you haven’t listened to Betsie’s debut album “All We Have is Now,” you are definitely missing out on high calibre vocal EDM.

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