What are the chances that I would write an Artist Spotlight on Andrew Rayel and then a few days later find out he is playing in a city near me? It’s fate I’m telling you. Considering this is the first time in over a year that I’ve seen a live EDM act (I’ve been living under a rock OK?), I was pretty much jumping out of my skin the second he took the stage. I attended the event at Club Cubic in Macau, China; what an amazing venue and crowd I must say. Everything he did was perfection and I found that his set was actually quite moving and emotional. He paid homage to all the great trance tunes of this decade as well as some of the newer soon-to-be classics. Every aspect of his set was so heartfelt that I was glued to my spot in the front row from the second he got on the decks to the second he got off. Being so young himself, I felt that he easily was able to connect with the crowd and share this experience with us rather than just pose as an entertainer. He most definitely had a memorable set, and you would be out of your mind to miss him. I loved that I felt like I was at a true trance show and didn’t have to listen to any of the mainstream BS I feel that I so often hear. Even though he is still fairly new to the trance scene, I can already tell he is going to be a great staple and he’s on his way to becoming a trance legend.
For some time, I have been meaning to write this raving review about how much I love Andrew Rayel. But just like everything else of mere importance in my life, I had said I would do it “tomorrow”. Before I knew it, “tomorrow” became eternal and 6 months later I still find myself justifying “tomorrow”. Well “tomorrow” is today and I finally have a new review. Andrew Rayel has long been on my list of djs to watch and he has quickly made a name for himself with Armada music and even taking part in the big ASOT festivals (650 and 600). His trance is exactly what I need in my life; exactly what we ALL need in life. Not many of his original tracks are vocal but he tends to remix a lot of vocal tracks (beautifully, I might add). What I love most about his music is I feel that it truly speaks to the heart. As much as I love a song that you can sing along to, his music sings directly to you without the distraction of having to pay attention to lyrics. I can feel the emotion in all of his music and rather than happy, upbeat trance, I like that its a little dark and sometimes sad (but in a beautiful way of course). On top of that, his dark tunes will definitely make you dance your ass off if you are listening to one of his sets. Because of the rise in popularity of all EDM genres and the influx of new DJs and producers, its hard to find originality these days. For the most part, a lot of the stuff sounds the same. All the producers make music that sounds the same and all the DJs seem to use to same songs (I’m basing this off of all the Ultra sets I listened to). However, I feel like Andrew Rayel has stayed original and is truly a legendary trance producer. He doesn’t produce mindless party tunes, he really digs deep and elicits an emotional response with his music. Below are my 3 favorite tracks by him. I hope you enjoy and love hims just as much as I do:
Due to my rising yet still pretty irrelevant blogging “fame” (or infamy), I have decided to revisit an old topic I touched upon because so many people had their panties up in a bunch about my opinion on the Arizona rave scene. The reality of the situation here is that said article was written two years ago. Even more, I haven’t been to Arizona, or the United States, for a year now. Does all this sudden hate make me rethink what I said about Arizona? For about 2.5 seconds, yes. Does the Arizona rave scene still suck? Probably. Sorry I’m not old enough to be considered an old-school raver. In my eyes I am, and since this is my writing and thoughts, I could give a shit who thinks I know tons or know absolutely nothing about the rave scene. “Rave scene” is just something that should cease to be in everybody’s vocabulary, seeing as it is now open to the public and there is no underground, word-of-mouth aspect that used to make it so exciting for me when I was in high school. Everything that I once knew about this culture has died and has been reborn in order to appeal to mass audiences and bring in an insurmountable cash flow. I would like to point out that the production value as well as the talent is out of this world once you venture into the mainstream events that now qualify as “raves”. I mean no disrespect to promoters or production companies that throw these events. I fully understand the amount of money it takes to break even for one of these events, let alone make a sizable profit. I just think that its unfortunate the types of people that attend these events. The vibe and the crowd is totally different than it was when I was just a wee raver. The new crowd and “scene” makes me feel uncomfortable (or at least that’s what I remember from years ago when I began noticing the changes). When I used to go to raves when I was younger, it was in order to escape the high school bullshit I had to go through with a caste system that was designed by teenagers. A caste system is shit, but a caste system designed by teenagers?? Get me the fuck out ASAP. I could finally go to a place where there was no system like that and it felt that I just fit in with everyone. One thing I’ve noticed about life in general, is that all good things truly do come to an end. What I got to experience in my life at underground raves with no headliners was better than anything I could ask for. I think raves in Arizona are shit. Raves in general are not what they used to be and I think being stuck in a venue with drugged up high school kids sucks. So what, big deal. No amount of people telling me I’m stupid, uneducated, or just plain wrong is going to get me to change my mind. If I feel like bitching about something I’ll do it, this is my ‘blog’ and I didn’t ask you to read this. If you wanna read my writing, great. If you want to comment on my writing, even better. If you disagree with me, think I’m the dumbest twat to walk this earth, and I just absolutely repulse you, that’s wonderful, thanks for the feedback. My heart truly aches for what my once treasured scene has turned into. I will never get the same feelings I did from the small more intimate events and in my opinion that has what has made me feel like the scene sucks. Anybody want to take a jab at me? Take your best shot……………..
The amount of lazy I am is almost too much to bare. This has driven me to spend hours trolling on the internet instead of getting down to this so-called work thing and actually writing something worth reading for you guys. FEAR NOT. I have gotten enough motivation and momentum to blast out yet another artist spotlight of pure gold. If you haven’t heard of Omnia, you have now. For a while, he has been under my trance radar but I really hadn’t heard enough of him to make me passionate enough to write. Now I have. Audience, meet Omnia. The Ukrainian sensation is barely 26 years old and he has already signed with the biggest trance record label in the world, Armada Music. I first became aware of him after his hit with IRA, “The Fusion”. After that, his melodic tunes took me to a different world. Rather than having vocals take the spotlight in his tracks, I love his focus on the beat and melody of his tunes. His music is so euphoric, I almost feel swept away when I listen to him. He is young and fresh talent and doesn’t seem like he would be influenced like most other EDM artists to head towards the direction of mainstream EDM. I like his unique sound because it reminds me of what trance should sound like, not the bullshit trouse that they throw down in order to please the crowds. The songs are actually very well put together and each song of his is like taking a journey through a trancey wonderland. Have I convinced you enough to go check him out? Good, I thought so. Now run along and get some Omnia into your life.
Before Diplo started making moombahton (basically before 2012), I wasn’t really into him as a dj or a producer because I thought he was unoriginal and his music was bland. However, with the rising popularity of moombahton, trap, dubstep, and other hip-hop inspired EDM genres, Diplo has done a complete 360 and is now amongst one of my favorite producers. With his music, each song just feels like gold after gold after gold. He has progressed so much as an artist that he is now blazing trails for this new wave of music that is hitting the EDM scene. His remixes are just incredible, the way he manages to break down popular hip-hop songs and add some EDM and moombah flavor to it is genius! I am so impressed by what he has done that I literally have just been listening to him non-stop. Originally, from LA, he now routinely travels the globe and has a worldwide following. He runs the label “Mad Decent” which has also become quite influential on the EDM scene and its really great to watch someone with so much talent and innovation make in impact on music. I was lucky enough to see him in concert a few months ago and he is quite the entertainer and crowd-pleaser. At one point he called up as many fans as were able to fit on stage to just uncontrollably twerk to the song “Express Yourself”. If that isn’t fucking original, then I don’t know what is. Diplo is the man and I’m just so excited to see what he has in store for EDM fans everywhere and who his next collaborations are going to be with. As a favor to all of you, I have posted some of his newest and my personal favorite tunes of his, enjoy:
GTA is a duo that has recently come under my radar as producers with actual talent. Their “death to genres” attitude has helped them to produce some great music with influences from the hip-hop, salsa, moombahton, trap, and big room genres. Everything that I’ve heard from them so far is so incredibly dynamic that there is no way to categorize them. They are literally genre-free and dabble beautifully in everything. The Miami-based duo consists of Matthew Van Toth and Julio Mejia and they have been blowing the rooftops off venues around America for the past year. They have managed to get in contact with some of the most popular producers currently in EDM and have produced some wonderful hits. I love them because they will literally work with all producers and djs and the fact they are so open-minded about creating music has just been a huge turn on for me. They have such a different sound, that its refreshing for once to finally get a taste of some talent that doesn’t play by the rules and hasn’t been jaded by critics or EDM snobs. Here are my top 3 favorite tracks from them at the moment:
The Harlem Shake Youtube video trend is finally beginning to fade out, and I’m sure everybody is thanking the heavens that the most overplayed song of 2013 is finally diving back into the depths from which it came from. However, in today’s social media society, once something goes viral, it is simply never the same. Rather than your typical David Guetta, Swedish House Mafia, Avicii, even Skrillex-type music that is often associated with rave culture, the world got to see a subgenre, trap music, and it became a sensation that literally took the world by storm. I swear, never in my life have I seen a Youtube trend so big, and it just makes me realize that I think the world is ready for the next step in music, which is to shy away from all the typical bullshit you hear on the radio. Drum’ n ’bass exists, gabber exists, liquid dubstep exists, epic trance exists, but sometimes I feel like its all lost in translation because the bigger artists making the more popular genres of music hog the spotlight. “Harlem Shake” proved that trap music, which is seriously such an overlooked and underplayed subgenre, can make it big. People who are passionate about EDM get sick of the same genres getting played out. Our world is more than the famous artists I have listed. Its about experimentation with sound and having fun. Many artists put together tracks and corresponding Youtube videos that are all supposed to be in good humor, just a little something I’ve noticed about EDM culture. A lot of people think raving is “bad” or “all about drugs”, but I think that this Harlem Shake takeover just showed the world that as “ravers” we’re just trying to listen to/ make good music, try new things, and have a fun time doing it. Who knows, maybe another obscure subgenre of EDM will make it viral. EDM is here to stay, and I think the more knowledgeable the world is about our culture and what we’re about, the better this not so little EDM world is gonna get.