Opinions and thoughts of an expert ranter and raver

Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Artist Review: Norin & Rad

I can’t say that I have a long standing history with Norin & Rad, becauseNorin__Rad_PromoShot-1-1024x576 I really don’t, but on this particular night I was in the mood to see what this trouse duo could do on the decks.  I’m surprised to say, that it really wasn’t anything a nerd with a laptop couldn’t do.  Norin & Rad overall gave a very confusing and disappointing performance, completely lacking of any genre and personality, and was very unmemorable to say the least.  Seeing as they are really only getting started in their music career, I wasn’t expecting a big crowd.  It was nice to finally be in a nightclub where drunk morons weren’t spilling 70% of their drinks onto my clothing and I thought it would be a more intimate experience with a smaller crowd.  I was wrong.  Norin & Rad almost seemed like first time DJs, they had no experience with building any type of vibe in the crowd, and the songs they played seemed like a clusterfuck of monotony.  They seriously played the worst songs, and on top of that, skipped out on picking anything with vocals.  Their set was honestly so boring, that I left before their performance was over.  Rather than playing trance, trouse, progressive house, or even electro house, it really just felt like I was listening to boring transition music and there was really no point to their set.  A dj that has his shit together can tell a story in two hours through their set.  Norin & Rad just made me feel like I was listening to a hastily put together playlist of songs that could possibly bore you to death rather than a performance.  I wouldn’t recommend seeing them live.  They’re nothing special at all, didn’t build a vibe with the crowd, and definitely didn’t play any good music.  A bit disappointing for sure.  They’ve made a couple of good songs and remixes, but as DJs you can skip them and know that you didn’t miss anything truly legendary.

Artist Review: Sander Van Doorn

Once again, I was forced to go to my least favorite night club to enjoy some more great talent that I’ve never gotten to see before: sander vSander Van Doorn.  Sander made a splash in the music soon in 2004 with his hit ‘Loaded’ and his since continued climbing the ladder to success in the EDM world.  Before going to his show, I wasn’t really sure what to expect.  I had tuned into his podcasts before, and to be honest, I wasn’t really feeling it.  The music was a bit boring and it felt more like easy listening than something that truly made me want to get up and dance (which isn’t always a bad thing).  I got talked into going to his show, rather than going by my own free will (thats what friends are for, right?).  To be honest, I wasn’t completely blown away by his set, but it was still enjoyable.  If you are a Sander fan, I would definitely recommend going and seeing him! Even if you aren’t familiar with him but you like progressive house, I would say go check him out.  He spins trance and progressive house, and I appreciated the song selection in his set.  I find that when I go to shows where this is the genre of the DJ, it all has the same trousey sound and for the most part, its just a countdown of the current top 40 trouse hits.  I liked that Sander WASN’T trouse and was just really good and original progressive house.  He played a lot of his own tracks in all the right places and overall I liked the flow of his set.  I definitely don’t think Sander is for everybody, there’s wasn’t much electro in his set (which is currently trending in all DJ sets I’ve noticed), and that was actually a nice change of pace.  I think he has a very unique sound.  Going into his show, I knew what to expect and he met my expectations (but didn’t really succeed them).  I guess from the gist of this article, you can tell I’m not all to impressed with him, but keep in mind this review is from someone that would not consider herself a Sander fan, just an outsider taking a peep inside.  If he comes to your town, I would say go see him because he plays a unique set in comparison to all the other trance/ progressive house DJs out there, but if you miss him, I assure you you won’t be shedding any tears.

Artist Review: Z-Trip

 

Out of all the times I have seen Z-Trip live, this is the first time I have seen him on his own instead of at an EDM event.  Seeing as I z-tripam a total EDM junkie, I was hoping for some EDM in his set but not really expecting it.  Good thing I didn’t set my expectations for that, because what I got was a lot better.  At the beginning of Z-Trip’s set he said, “Whoever said hip-hop was dead, fuck you”.  And that basically sums up his performance.  He killed it with everything he brought to the table and even for a moment I couldn’t stop dancing.  I can’t even elaborate on how much Z-Trip is the shit.  One of the only white guys out there that I have witnessed successfully scratching and doing vinyl the right way.  If you want a real dj, this is your man.  Z-Trip is as real as it gets and for the life of me, I would never miss one of his live performances.  Just the way he mixes, I would have to say he is one of the best DJs out there.  Although he doesn’t have that many original productions, he can make you faint with what he does on turntables.  Throwing out classic after classic, wild card after wild card, you just don’t know what to expect when he’s on the decks.  He interacts with the crowd and looks like he’s having an awesome time.  On top of that, you don’t have to worry about everyone in the crowd being a total douche, because for the most part those are not the type of people he attracts.  I have been following him for years and have not missed him a single time he has been in my hometown.  He truly knows so much about music and how to wow a crowd that I can’t resist when I know he’s going to be spinning somewhere near me.  Like I said, he is not really an EDM dj, but there were bits of moombahton and dubstep tucked in there.  He’s all hip hop, he’s all old school, he’s all original, and he’s all about not giving a fuck about whats popular in music and instead does what he wants to do, which results in a huge smile on my face.  Seeing as everyone and their mama, and their mama’s cousin, and their mama’s cousin’s cousin are djs now-a-days, it is a breath of fresh air seeing someone murdering vinyls and scratching instead of using CDJs and laptops.  Z-trip is always down for his audience and I was so happy to get to see him again.  If you are really into turntablism, Z-Trip is a must-see.

Artist Review: W&W

wandwSeeing as W&W has been rising to fame fast quite recently, I was expecting a generic trouse set from them.  On top of that, they were playing at my least favorite nightclub (Wild Knight in Scottsdale) and I was expecting the whole thing to be a clusterfuck.  For the sake of people that read my blog though (or glance at my “articles” for 5 seconds at a time), I figured I would attend this show since I’ve never seen W&W live before and you guys might like to know if they are worth seeing live or not.  The answer is yes. Yes, go see them live, yes they are amazing, yes they put on a wonderful performance.  Rather than the same old melodic trance I am used to hearing from trance acts, it was more of a darker tech trance sound, and I loved it! The song selection was great and it was definitely a different type of trance experience for me, as most of the tracks they chose were non-vocal.  They had a few classics tucked in there, but for the most part they played a lot of their own productions and had a really original-sounding set that I loved! The one complaint that I had (because I always have to complain about something) was their live mixing skills.  Their interaction with the crowd was awesome, I really felt like they were paying attention to the audience and dancing along with us, but I don’t necessarily feel like their music reflected it.  The build-ups and the break-downs weren’t all that intense and overall I felt like their set was really consistent, instead of making the crowd really go crazy and wowing us.  The tracks they played were great, like I said earlier, but I felt like they didn’t do anything to change the energy of the crowd and rather than choosing drops that would make everyone go nuts, there weren’t many of those moments at all.  I really love tech trance, and they killed it in that aspect, so I would definitely recommend seeing them live no matter what genre you’re into.  They don’t get into the really trancey stuff and they also don’t get really into the electro stuff.  They played a good mixture of both which resulted in a totally unique and darker sound.  If this seems like something that would interest you, definitely do not hesitate buying your ticket if they’re ever in your city!

Artist Review: Adrian Lux

Adrian-Lux-Album_-960x405-700x405For the first time in my life, I can honestly say I didn’t spend the majority of my night thinking about the various ways in which I could kill every asshole spilling drinks while simultaneously grinding on me.  For the first time in my life, Scottsdale’s Wild Knight didn’t piss me off, and instead showed me a hell of a good time with Adrian Lux rocking the decks.  Due to some promotion or other, me and 5 other friends got our hands on some free tickets.  Adrian Lux was simply amazing and I am so glad I got the opportunity to see him for a second time.  Seeing as he is progressive house, I was glad to see that he stuck to what he knows best and played a very beautiful and well put-together progressive house set.  The thing about progressive though, is that its so popular that I felt like there wasn’t very much originality to his set, seeing as I knew every song he was playing and they were considered “top 40” in the EDM world.  I can’t talk shit about progressive house, because I love the genre and I truly did love every song he played.  My issue with him was that I felt like I was listening to a radio show, meaning he only played whats popular now and I didn’t really see a connection between him and the music.  Obviously he was enthusiastic and sent off great vibes to the already awesome crowd, but I didn’t feel like he was playing from his heart.  When djs get up there and play whatever the hell they want regardless of whether its one day old or 10 years old, I like to see them not following the “guidelines” of live sets and only playing whats popular, and thats exactly what Lux did.  I didn’t hear any old school tracks and for the most part I didn’t hear any tracks that I didn’t recognize.  He completely catered to the crowd, which isn’t a bad thing, but I didn’t feel like I got a grasp of his personality or who he is through his set.  I feel like with the best djs, they can show who they are through their selection of music throughout a set. But with Adrian Lux, it was a very generic progressive house set and I’m walking away still being unable to distinguish him from any other progressive house dj.  I would definitely see him again because I love progressive house, but anything more than $10 for a ticket wouldn’t be worth it to me seeing as he didn’t prove himself to me as a “one-of-a-kind” dj that I’m willing to pay big bucks for.

The Arc Tour featuring Tritonal and Super8 & Tab: My review of the night

When tickets went on sale for The Arc Tour, I freaked out because not only were they $15 a pop, I have never seen Tritonal or Super8 & Tab live before.  I listen to both Air Up There and Supertab radio weekly.  Both sets of djs throw down impressive shows and I was ecstatic to finally get the chance to see them live.  Super8 & Tab opened the show and played their tracks so beautifully, I punched every Snooki-lookalike in the face just to get to the front row.  There were even a few throwback, nostalgia-filled moments when they dropped some classic Above & Beyond tracks, like “Can’t Sleep” and “Home”.  As I sang along with Super8 & Tab literally 10 feet in front of me, I realized that they understood trance in the same way that I feel like I understand trance.  The crowd was smaller because the night was just beginning, but I felt that Super8 & Tab really connected with this audience and it felt the way a trance show is supposed to feel.  Even with all these stupid random strangers that I don’t even have to meet to know I already hate them, I could feel the connection to the crowd.  Super8 & Tab’s set and presence made me feel more like I was in a small community, than just a crowd, and it was a great and overwhelming feeling.  Their set was very true to the roots of trance and I honestly feel like they completely stole the show from Tritonal.

From friends that have seen Tritonal live before, I have heard they sucked because rather than playing the trance they’re known for, they opt for more progressive sets when catering to the “new age” night club scene.  My friends were right.  For the first hour or so, Tritonal KILLED it, I mean really, really KILLED it.  All of my drunk friends just wanted a cigarette to go in hand with their next drink, but with each banger Tritonal dropped, my friends simply said “Ok, we’ll go smoke after this song”.  This happened repeatedly until the nicotine fix wasn’t drawing them to the smoking patio, but Tritonal was drawing them onto the stage. I was confused as to why my friends said Tritonal sucked, I was having a blast! Then it happened…… Out of nowhere Tritonal dropped Sebastien Ingrosso’s and Alesso’s big room banger “Calling” and I was suddenly a bit confused, a bit mortified, and even a bit turned on.  “Calling” is one of my favorite tracks and I will never hesitate to go apeshit when the track is dropped on an already enthused crowd.  However, what in the HELL, was Tritonal doing dropping that track?  From then on, the rest of their set was progressive and obviously I was pissed.  I feel very jaded about the new “trouse” trend, and with Tritonal being such talented producers I didn’t understand what the fuck was going on.  As I stood on the second floor balcony of the nightclub and watched all the drunken morons spilling drinks and animalistically grinding on each other on the floor below me, I knew that true trance would never be a big nightclub thing, and I smiled.

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