Kay Wilder is a DJ and Producer from the Netherlands with an unusually expansive take on music, and he's just launched a new weekly mix show called Electronication that puts his wide-ranging view of the EDM scene into a really innovative, hour long mix. Electronication launched on New Years Day, and its first two episodes, besides being great musical rides, launched an exciting new appearance in the world of weekly mix shows.
Wilder has deep roots in Trance; DJ's and Producers from the Netherlands have been hugely instrumental in shaping the international Trance scene since it started, and his original releases find their way into the sets of many of Trance's most influential artists. Yet although Electronication, like all of Wilders releases at sites like Beatport and Juno, would most often be called "Trance", the secret of Electronication's fresh and driving appeal is Wilder's trademark ability to put songs together like a magician who can make boundaries disappear. Electronication is a synthesis, almost a reinvention, of the dream-like and vocal sides of Trance that Wilder makes happen by relighting the Trance tracks in his mix with releases that bang out the rowdier side of the EDM scene. "My Kay Wilder releases have tended to be more on the trance side since that sound is such a big part of my musical roots," he explains, "but I do feel it's important to bring a diverse sound to my sets, just to create that high-energy experience for people. That's why I really love the crossover of the dreamy and raw sounds."
Even after you've listened to Andy Moor's new album Zero Point One a bunch of times, it's still hard to get used to how strong these tracks are. There are eighteen of them, and even if you keep going back to listen to the whole album, track after track through the musical light show of its many different voyages, it still won't matter. Although you may think that on just one more listen they can't all seem so rich or so well put together, it doesn't matter; they still do.
Andy Moor is one of the really respected producer DJs in Electronic Dance Music, and on the Trance Nation side of EDM he's been known for years for the quality of his productions. Still, this is something new. As successful as his hit tracks and remixes have been, Zero Point One is an album, a rich, musical album full of different songs, different textures, and different moods.
There's a major new world taking shape in Trance music, as the producers who built the many faceted sound of Trance out of monstrously melodic tracks, layered through and through with the lush atmospheres that make trance music its own art, have started to make really careful, complete albums. The artist album isn't new in EDM, but because trance has always been such an independent world, huge and global but always its own unique country, it's been a gradual, step-by-step process. It's been a complicated challenge, because trance artists don't fit easily into the world's expectation of what a recording artist is; for the most part they're touring DJs, software-based composers and producers who almost all came up putting out one track at a time, usually with its main purpose being to tear up a dancefloor when somebody played it in a set with a lot of other tracks.
It wasn't hard at all deciding to do a story about Tritonal --- their single "Everafter" featuring Cristina Soto is at the top of the Beatport trance chart (just like several of their releases last year), they're one of the most active and successful new DJ/producer teams on the scene, and they're playing at Enclave in Chicago this Saturday, June 2. What made it hard was that I've been meaning to get their album "Piercing the Quiet" for a while, so I went to eMusic and bought it as I started to write the article. The trouble with that idea was that the album turns out to be just outstanding, and now I don't have the vaguest idea how to focus this story. Not only that, they've just released an album with extended mixes of the tracks, and it's probably even better, but I'm still loving this one so I'll get to that in a few days.
Kay Wilder and Ernesto vs Bastian's new single "Forgotten Summer" is out at Beatport, and it's a great way to start getting ready for a really good summer. We got the original mix when it came out yesterday, and went back today to get the Julian Wess and Mike Carey Remix. The Wess and Carey Remix is dreamier, with a lot of cool instrumentation woven into the still-driving track. We've been listening to the original at Soundcloud for a couple of weeks, and it's a really strong, straight-up Trance track, bangin' and well arranged.
There are a lot of different worlds in the galaxy of Electronic / Dance Music, and more appearing all the time as DJ/producers find new sounds and new ways to put them together. It's a universe of many voices, but among all of the creative and energetic artists that keep the beat-driven grooves changing all of the time, UK Producer / DJ / Artist Matt Darey has always managed to be one of the most forward-looking, one of the most resilient, and one of the most dependable when it comes to just bringing it.
Trance music is melodic, beat-driven music with its own standards and its own stars, which is not surprising, because in many ways, trance music is its own world. Almost all of it is made by DJ/Producers, for the trance-aware to find at places like junodownload.com or beatport.com, and especially for other DJs to find and play for their audiences (and the trance audience is global and immense).
It's a world full of energy and imagination, and there might not be anybody more energetic or imaginative when it comes to making and finding great trance music than the UK based DJ trio Above & Beyond. It's a strangely separate set of realities; if you know trance music, you're wondering why in the world anybody would explain who Above & Beyond is, and if you don't know trance music, you're wondering who in the world Above & Beyond is. Just to give you some idea, one of their recent San Francisco shows sold out in two minutes.
It seems like they tour non-stop, but every week they also put together one of the best podcast radio shows on the web, at trancearoundtheworld.com. All of the weekly shows are archived there (they've done more than four hundred), and there's a link to a free download of each show in the upper left part of the page, or you can get there by clicking here.
Above & Beyond will be in Chicago at the Congress Theater on Saturday, May 12. They're playing with Cosmic Gate and Matt Zo, both of whom regularly show up on Trance Around the World with killer tracks and remixes. We're going.