DJ Sleeptalker – Pegasus (Space Cowboy Mix)

After a long and stressful day in the office, I felt the need to calm down when I returned home. I felt the need to listen to something smooth, something relaxing. Groovy, but not too energetic. “Pegasus” of DJ Sleeptalker did the trick.

With a wide space setting, reverbed synth lines and a guitar track smooth as silk, DJ Sleeptalker manages to relax your soul within the first seconds of this track. Adding more elements over the whole intro, the song finally reaches the groove point, keeping the listener in the flow from there on. The used elements remind me a lot of those typical productions like e. g. Café del Mar tracks. Typical chillout elements used in an intelligent way. Not overloaded, but enough to keep you listening with that curiosity, wondering what will happen next. I found myself slightly grooving to the steady slow beat, and that music was exactly what I wanted to hear tonight.

“Pegasus” is one of the tracks of DJ Sleeptalkers album “Pegasus from Space” which was released already in 2015, alongside 13 other tracks and a mixtrack on it, available on all major distribution labels, distributed by the german based tyranno media group. Those other tracks on the album are sketching a complete picture of what DJ Sleeptalker is all about – dreamy chillout, with the playful usage of electro synth lines, and sometimes picking up the pace by using glitches, swooshes, vocal one-shots and noises. All those elements aren’t new to the genre, I give you that. But, the intelligent arrangement of those are the essence of Sleeptalkers music. Listen for yourself! And be prepared to relax.


To find out more about DJ Sleeptalker, use the following links:

Facebook
MySpace
Tyranno Lounge Records Homepage

Jackie Paladino – Can You Tell Me What Love Is?

When you have the urge to crank up the volume so loud that the neighbors will come knockin’ on your door within minutes…then you are probably listening to this awesome new track of Jackie Paladino. This is what happened to me today. No kidding.

After the talented singer/songwriter Jacqueline Noel, better known as Jackie Paladino, released the tracks “Rescue Me” and “Daddy’s Money” (on which I did a review) back in 2016, I kept an ear on what she was doing in the big world of music out there. Why? You wouldn’t even ask if you knew any songs of her. She’s the total package. Skill, passion, soul, heart, style, drive… you name it, she’s got loads of it.
Carrying an emotional message about the whole concept of love and infatuation within her newest track “Can You Tell Me What Love Is”, she once again uses a perfect combination of oldschool styled music and her seductive voice range to build a great stage for her to shine. With laid back solid mixing work, the vocals are slightly reverbed as if she was standing in that medium-sized club. You know those, the ones with a single light spot on the performer on stage, little small tables placed loosely around the stage, and a intimate atmosphere. Now, normally music like that isn’t part of what I would call my “daily mainstream material”, but she manages to make me listen to this (and other tracks of her) on repeat. As I keep telling you guys out there, it’s all about the special ingredients of a song. If it’s done right, I will listen to practically anything because I’m falling in love with it.
For example, I usually don’t like when artists do covers. Anyone has his/her own style to express, and I think covering songs from others sort of “distorts” one’s unique style. Right? Not this time, folks. I stumbled over “Will You Still Love Me”, a Shirelles’ cover on her soundcloud account. And – to quote the mighty Ron Simmons – DAMN! – even this works for her perfectly. She takes the material, transforms it into her own and there you go. Another Paladino original. Being able to do so is an extraordinary skill in my opinion.

“Special skills: Magician’s Assistant (great at being “sliced in half’!)” (Taken from Paladinos acting resume)

With her following the path of an allrounder, with singing, dancing, acting and whatnot, I guess she still is hunting after her own creativity. She’s got so many aces up her sleeve that she probably just has to shake her arm to come up with something new and unexpected. And that’s what being a true artist is all about, right.


To find out more about Jackie Paladino, use the following links:

Official Homepage
Soundcloud
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

EKS-port – Black mirror

As I checked how things are going with Piotr Krompiewksi, the mastermind behind  the project known as EKS-port, I figured that unfortunately he hasn’t had a new release with EKS-port for a while now since the release of the OST of “Abgrund”. But since there’s a lot of amazing stuff on this Soundtrack, I decided to do a review of one of the tracks which was released back in 2015 called “Black mirror”.

With a minimalistic approach, the track starts with a basic beat and a steady slow paced rhythm. The deep voiced synth line gives the track an instant “dark room feel”, paired with little electronic glitches. Those were the one that hooked me with this track, to be honest. I love being surprised with something unusual when I listen to it. Plus I know a thing or two about the work you have to go through when defining a structure for a track like this. You got to scratch the surface of a soundscape, but you have to be smart enough to reach a “jump point” to a more rhythmic and higher melodic level. The reverbed main synth line adds feeling to all the static machine-beat, and there you have it, an innovative concept that serves to open your mind for wherever it wants to go. I know, the track isn’t that long, and probably Krompiewski should have extended this track to a full-blown 10-minute masterpiece (I think this really would have worked, by the way), but the message he wants to send is crystal clear in my opinion. (Plus, this is a soundtrack piece after all, intended to support pictures. So maybe the sound was “wrapped around” a short theme and not developed before it was used in a soundtrack.)  Anyway, I love the fact that an artist can achieve so much with seemingly so little elements. (But don’t be fooled, there is so much happening in there that regular ears might not catch.)

I’m glad to see (and hear) that Krompiewski is working on many projects, be it with Tomek Grochola from Agressiva 69 for Kings in White or doing remixes for Telekon, and all the stuff that’s happening with his label “Kromproom Records”. Maybe we’ll hear another EKS-port release alongside MC Else in the near future, but until then you should keep an eye (or better: ear) on all of what Krompiewski is doing… just check the links on the bottom.


EKS-port homepage
EKS-port facebook page
Kromproom homepage
Kromproom Records homepage

Chey – She’s Got You

The original track of this song is pure goosebump material. And there are even dance track remixes coming with it. The newest track of welsh singer/songwriter Chey blew me away. And made me write this review.

The atmosphere in this track is gigantic in my opinion. The base backing music was created in a way that everything sounds fragile like a crystal, also it feels like you just entered a room where the temperature dropped a lot. You even feel like you don’t want to breathe out loud or anything because you feel like you could disturb the silence in there. All done with synth piano tracks and reverbed female vocals. I don’t need to say much about the vocals, the voice of beautiful Chey has this huge amount of emotive fragility in the upper octaves, because she holds back in order to create even additional fragility. Over the whole song, there are several percussion and drum effects added, but this is done quite minimalistic. Again, that’s great for the overall atmosphere of the song. I know I’m repeating the same things over and over again in my reviews, folks – but: “She’s Got You” is a perfect example of “less is more”. If you are a producer thinking of the next song – the track of Chey is kind of your homework. Listen. Learn. You don’t need every track to be compressed and fattened just to sound good on every kid’s cellphone speakers. THIS is how it’s done.

The club remixes of the song add a side of the song I didn’t even expect. Backed with genre typical bass and synth lines, all of a sudden you got a danceable track here, with some mallet-like melodies to spice up the whole progression. With this idea developed, I even think a rock track would have been possible as well. Heck, even a rap track. The artist has embraced the whole song concept in a way that does not confine the track to a single genre.
So, if you’re sitting there quietly, just relaxing – this one’s for you. If you’re planning on dancing tonight – this is for you as well.

Fancy Cars – Heart Of Stone Feat. Foy

Being pushed by wide synth lines, and also being lured by soft and emotive vocals. It’s difficult to put the new track of Fancy Cars into any specific genre. So I won’t even try.

Haven’t heard such a great mixture of electro tunes and male vocals in a long time, folks. Packed in a rock solid mixing work, “Heart of Stone” offers a groovy setting where the vocal tracks are falling in place like missing puzzle pieces.

The two skilled producers Alan Notkin and Brandon Paddock, better known as Fancy Cars, somehow found the missing ingredient to mix up danceable yet quite harsh synth lines with a slow and steady beat/percussion. The vocals are placed in a wide reverb setting sometimes which is a great trick to add depth and also feeling with it. The track keeps it’s groove throughout the whole time, because as soon as you’re used to the main theme, there’s always added something more, like a drop or those catchy vocal chops. Though these elements are for sure not a new thing in electro, what’s addictive about them is the blueprint by which all of those tracks are fitting in. I guess this was either accomplished by countless hours of work – or these guys woke up one morning, and BAM! there it was, the ready mix in their heads, right after they had breakfast.

Notkin and Paddock got themselves a vocalist named Foy, who did an awesome work to add some… soul to this track. Here’s a guy who loves what he is doing, and you just can hear that through the way he sings. So, if you ask me, this trio did an outstanding track here. I found myself grooving to this track on repeat, and even the theme stuck to my head when I was driving home. That’s what I call mainstream material, guys.

Anna Fogel – Breeze

I got to admit, this one hit me without warning. While listening, I found myself staring blank onto my desktop monitor doing nothing. Just sitting there. Delievering raw emotions, carried with vocals your ears are absorbing like a sponge and a melody that carries intense emotions, Anna Fogel once again managed to just stop me from what I was doing.

I heard and reviewed a track of the beautiful singer/songwriter Fogel last year, and since I knew she does make slow, emotional ballads (and I needed that today), I checked if she created something new since she released her EP “Vretstorp Sessions” at the end of 2016. Well, she didn’t, but still I found myself listening to her tracks of said EP. And once again her tracks managed to make me step on the brake for a couple of minutes, so to speak.
“Breeze” has a simple yet very effective concept of female vocal tracks backed by reverbed piano and minimal string and percussion tracks. This leaves the stage and the spotlight on Fogel’s soft thoughtful voice. Holding back to an almost fragile extend, the artist manages to fill the song without being too… aggressive doing so. (Yes, I know, my explanations have been better, but it’s hard to describe only with words.)

Being in an emotional state like today, I could listen to Fogel’s songs for hours. She balances between melancholy and happiness, always reminding you that emotions are key to music. The song isn’t sad, nor is it happy – it’s more like a blend of emotions. The mix of this and the other tracks of the “Vretstorp Sessions” is done carefully, leaving the much needed accents by not overcompressing all the tracks. Someone knew exactly what they were doing here.
If you want to really feel something while listening, if you need something slow, melodic and emotional for this day to close, this one’s for you. I really hope that Fogel is planning something new already. Can’t wait to hear more from this outstanding talent.

Trazer – Dreams of Flight (remix)

Did you ever go crazy in a bar, ordering a cocktail you never had before? The waitress serves it, you take a sip…and you end up ordering the same cocktail throughout the whole night because it’s that freaking good. Well…  to me, Trazers music is a lot like that cocktail, folks.

Today, I found one of the older tracks called “Dreams of Flight” of San Francisco based Anthony Johnson, better known as Trazer, by clicking a link that was posted in one of these chillout facebook groups. As soon as the music started, I got caught in that laid back beat. Soft like a pillow, yet still groovy enough to get your head moving. There are several layered synth tracks happening. Some for the bass, some for the lead synth, some melodic, others steady. The whole thing merges in a soft evolving track that almost scratches the dance surface but is too laid back to actually do so. Once again, there you have that genre-melting effect that I always talk about, an effect necessary to let the song stand out. To showcase the potential of the artist.

“Writing music is the one thing in this world that I was born to do.” (Trazer)

Speaking of potential, as I clicked through the web resources (which are remarkably complete, thank god there are some artists out there who understand the need of putting information out there to find), I found out that Johnson learned to play piano starting at the age of seven years. This surely helped him develop that unique signature sound which usually is slow, rhythmic and melodic, but also can pick up speed and be somewhat trippy, trance-styled and fast paced. Then again, he can go back to the roots and do some wicked piano improv tracks. This versatility keeps you clicking through his arsenal of tracks on Soundcloud. (Don’t believe me? I dare you to try.)

I’m excited about the following tracks of this guy. In every other track I heard tonight there were these little unexpected things happening, be it a tempo change, an unusual arpeggiated synth lead, a wobbly mixed sub bass… the works of Trazer never gets boring for the ears. Can’t wait for the next release. (fm)

 


To find out more about Trazer, use the following links:

> Official Homepage
> Facebook-Account
> Bandcamp-Account
> Youtube-Account