Opinions and thoughts of an expert ranter and raver

Posts tagged ‘progressive house’

Artist Spotlight: Omnia

site_bg2The 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.

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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: Mat Zo

6110Mat-ZoGoing into Mat Zo’s set, I already knew what I was in store for.  I know his reputation and I know his style, so my expectations for his set weren’t super high. I was expecting generic trouse (which is a guilty pleasure of mine) and I wasn’t expecting Mixmaster Mike-type skills. I was definitely surprised by Zo’s set and that he stuck to what he knew.  Although he is signed to Anjunabeats record label, that label no longer represents the best in trance, but rather the best in progressive house.  What I liked most about Zo’s set was that he stuck to some really great trouse songs instead of venturing into mainstream progressive house hits, which I was expecting.  He vibed with the crowd and I was lucky enough to be front row so I could watch his every move (creepy I know).  I wouldn’t say he was an absolutely amazing dj, because I was not overly impressed with his mixing skills.  However, he kept the crowd engaged formatzo autograph the entire duration of his set, which delighted me.  He was extremely into the music and I loved his friendliness and his interaction with the crowd.  Being the total groupies we are, me and my friends stayed until the show ended and got autographs from him.  Totally friendly and normal looking guy, which I think definitely helped with his stage presence and connecting to his fans.  I had an awesome time and would definitely recommend seeing him if you like progressive house.  If you are expecting a trancier set though, look somewhere else, Zo is not a trance DJ.

Rant: Trouse

1302274944_1this-is-trouse“Trouse”, the newest trend in EDM since dubstep is beginning to take over many of my favorite DJs, and I’m not happy.  It started with Tiesto, progressed to Above & Beyond, Arty, Gareth Emery, and Marcus Schossow, and now has claimed a new victim: Tritonal.    Each of these DJs started with strong roots in trance.  However, because of the rising popularity of EDM and the transition into mainstream, a lot of artists are beginning to make their sounds more mainstream to appeal to bigger audiences.  Many of my favorites, I’ve noticed, have changed their sounds and are beginning to sound more alike instead of maintaining the individuality that made me fall in love with them in the first place.  “Trouse”, if you haven’t figured out the meaning of the word, is a combination of the words “trance” and “house”.  To me, trouse sounds more like a progressive house set with bits and pieces of electro and trance, which is not what I want to hear when I see my favorite trance producers.  As of late, I feel there are not many true trance acts out there, as many of them are following the new trend and abandoning their old sounds.  As much as I don’t want to say it, I feel like Dash Berlin is next.  I’m not sure who else will be hopping on the “trend train”, but I have a feeling many trance producers are going to begin selling out.  I began losing my faith in trance culture when Above & Beyond made the transition; if Armin or Markus ever go trouse, I am giving up faith in humanity.

Artist Spotlight: Ken Loi

kenloiKen Loi has easily become one of my favorite producers of 2012 with all of the crazy mashups he has come up with this year.  Although I find that some of his tracks are hit or miss, the ones that hit, hit HARD.  He has done a beautiful job at blending together this years hottest tracks to make a superb, kickass song.  The way the songs are sliced and diced and then put back together is impressive.  I’ll admit, yes there are artists out there that do way better jobs at actually mashing the songs up, but I think my main interest in Loi as a producer lies in the songs that he chooses to put together.  The whole mash-up of “By The Way”, “Sex on Fire”, and “Somebody That I Used to Know” was beginning to get a bit old and its nice to see him mashing up songs that typical don’t get mashed up.  I love the originality of his finished productions and I have decided to share 3 of my favorites:

The Aston Shuffle vs. Tommy Trash – Sunrise (Won’t Get Lost) (Tommy Trash Version)

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.

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