Living in Nashville is both a curse and a blessing for people making dance music. The curse is, of course, the overwhelming focus on country music and the traditions associated with it. The blessing is a plethora of singers and songwriters looking for a break and willing to experiment. Nashville is a songwriting town, so if you are a producer who makes a great track, finding a singer to write a topline is just an ad on a bulletin board away. Sylvane is the more upfront/aggressive pseudonym of Lenny B, who is better known for making commercial remixes. On “Light Me Up,” he flips the focus of progressive house. Whereas tracks by Zedd and Avicii are normally passive, meaning they that play in the background with a mellow energy, this track uses a lot of the familiar stadium/progressive sounds but transforms them into something energetic and aggressive with electro, but not a standard soundalike festival banger track. While you can hear a hint of country in Sweet Melissa’s strong vocals (especially in the last syllable of each line), the lyrics take the track from club to radio-friendly pop. Both remixes are similar to the original but manage to focus on a different flavor (or influence of another producer). If you are wondering what an Arty remix would sound like, check out Dennis Pederson’s mix, and if you are a fan of Walden, then Jus Jack & Oza’s will be your mix of choice.
Image Courtesy of Cloudland Music.
Singer/songwriter Jewel is no stranger to dancefloors having had three consecutive singles (“Serve the Ego,” “Intuition,” and “Stand”) top the club chart. So it comes as little surprise that her Greatest Hits Remixed CD would feature club interpretations of her new single “Two Hearts Breaking.” Originally a country-tinged guitar-based song with dance-pop elements (like a more mature Taylor Swift), the lyrics translate well for the dancefloor in the hands of Timothy Allen & Mark Loverush (energetic progressive and electro hybrid), Andi Durrant & Steve More (Avicii-esque stadium house floorfiller), and Bimbo Jones (a modern take on Hi-NRG). With such strong remixes, could “Two Hearts Breaking” be her fourth record to top the club chart?
Image Courtesy of Rhino/Atlantic.
In a world where uncredited engineers do the work of others who buy the credit, it’s great to see a real musician/producer stay true to himself. Lenny B has produced remixes for everyone from Rihanna and Britney Spears to Faithless and Armand van Helden, always managing to engage the sounds of big room club music with a commercial feel. His recent remix of One Direction “What Makes Your Beautiful” gained massive club play by taking the boy band into the electro realm while keeping the hooks and melodies perfectly in line. “Catch My Breath” is not the first song of Kelly Clarkson that Lenny has remixed, he also did “The Trouble With Love” a few years back which she then chose as her tour version. It’s always a challenge for a producer to rework a song with a powerful vocal – the vibrato and tone don’t always fit when the tempo changes for club play. In Lenny’s masterful hands, the mid tempo pop ballad transforms into a powerful club anthem as electro/stadium house hybrid. The vocals are so perfect, it sounds like she sang this version as the original take. Lenny’s mix would perfectly in a credible club set by someone like Swedish House Mafia or David Guetta just as easily as it would in a commercial club by your local resident dj. That kind of universal sound is what Lenny B is really known for – taking pop records and giving them a modern club feel. Now, let’s just see if the label is smart enough to realize that this is the perfect mix for radio and gives it the push it deserves.