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.
Archive for the ‘Artist Spotlight’ Category
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:
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:
I decided to stray away from my raver roots in the artist review and instead venture into another type of electronic music: experimental. EOTO is a jam band (or at least thats what I like to call it) originating from Boulder, Colorado. The band consists of Michael Travis and Jason Hann. If you haven’t heard of Jason Hann, then you my friend, have probably been living under a rock, as he is one of the members of what I would consider one of the biggest jam bands ever, String Cheese Incident. Whether or not EOTO is your cup of tea, from personal experience I can tell you that seeing a performance by them is like no other thing I have experienced. At your typical EDM show you have your douchebag promoter bombarding you with fliers, half-naked 12-year olds in an absurd amount of beaded “kandie”, and of course you can not forget the juiced up bros fist pumping and simultaneously flaunting their 6-packs. Can you imagine going to an EDM show where NONE of this exists?? Yeah, its called EOTO. The crowd of people and the vibes they bring to their shows are out of this world to say the least. They do attract a crowd that really does care about the music and its more of a feeling of unity rather than “epic raging” like most people do at raves. There are a ton of people doing their own thing and I would have to say its one of the least judgmental crowds I’ve experienced in my concert-attending career (yes I would consider the extravagant amount of shows I’ve attended career-worthy seeing as I am a professional partier). I would classify their music as easy listening and its something you can really take and listen to anywhere. The peaceful and melodic sounds provide quite the safe haven for your ears and just make for a fantastic musical journey. Below I have included a couple of my favorite songs by them:
Although Khomha hasn’t exactly made a huge splash in the trance scene, he has made a splash in the pool that is my heart (so corny I know, just kill me now). As a trance producer, he is one of my new favorites and I LOVE his unique original productions. When you think of trance (or at least when I do), I imagine something melodic and beautiful that just makes me feel at peace. Khomha’s music does all this, but so much more seeing as it is DARK TRANCE (that’s what I like to call it). He doesn’t make your typical, happy, lovey dovey trance tracks. He has a dark sound and puts a new spin on the genre. For all the trance lovers out there, this is definitely a new type of trance experience. I feel like his beats and melodies are so addictive that his tracks literally suck you in. 2012 was definitely his year, he came out with amazing releases and I would love to see him during a DJ set. The thing that I like about his music is that even though I feel it puts you in a trance, as trance music is supposed to do, its not your typical trance listening experience. Its not necessarily upbeat, its kind of techy actually, but it still sends the same vibes. On top of that, it also makes you really want to dance! No vocals, just straight tunes for Khomha. I’ve selected my top 3 favorite tracks from him over this past year. Enjoy and I hope you begin loving him as much as I do, welcome to the dark side of trance!