2004-12-28 06:58:52 ET|
What do you think about her Top Picks?
I obviously have too much time on my hands.. BUT here we go.. PLUS I have to post this early cause I am leaving the country.
As a DJ I am completely biased (I am sure all DJ's are). My tastes are as 1) a DJ: I want pople to dance.. and more than likely I want them to dance to stuff that: a) has never been played much OR b) that is so new, only a few of us have the guts to play it so far.., OR, 2) a FAN.. I like what I like..and after years of listening to many different bands in the darker and synthpop genres I hope I have developed (at least) a sense of the difference between overdone steak and a well done piece of meat.. if you catch my drift.. (what the heck did that mean?)
so PLEASE take my top releases in light of the above.
ALSO I have included my top 5 clubs to party/DJ/get down in, and my top 7 DJ's to do that to.
FINALLY, yes this list is like a book (what's new?), but I feel just listing top albums/singles/comps with no description might be a bit too pretentious. The goal in creating this list is to help promote the artists and labels that make the music and put it out there, so I do describe the reason behind each choice. feel free to delete..
as I head to Germany.. here are my top pics..
Top 5 Newcomers synth/EBM/trance-pop
NOVEMBER PROCESS: Newspeak (Sonic-X) First release of EBM/dark synthpop act from Germany. Sweet and angry all at once. Very emotional and well produced. Plenty of stuff for the dancefloor. Keep an eye!
PARALLEL PROCESS: Fusion (Sector 9) Better known as Alex from Negative Format.. this is a first (and maybe a one-shot) project in the lines of acts like Virtual Server.. one guy writes all songs and well-known guests write lyrics or only sing. This album is best for it's electronics. Alex is a master of the dancefloor.
FAKE: Los Angeles Synthetic (Static Sky Records) Project of Clint Carney (Sector 9). Fake is lyrically one of the most thought provoking albums since Snog was in the spotlight. There are a couple great dance tracks on the album, but it is simply just an intelligent and dark masterpiece.
TRISTRAUM: Shiver /EP/single/ (Intrapop Records) Tristraum brings to mind acts Claire Voyant, Conjure One, and Seize. The first single was amazing and includes a ton of great remixes. We will see the album, I guess, this coming year. An act to watch.
PHENOTRACT: Within A Second (Tinman Records). Eric Shans (Cesium: 137) Great to hear Phenotract finally come to complete their first album. This album is completely filled with house, techno, and trance composition.. but still dark electro with a very intelligent classical feel. The next album promises more of the same, but further exploring the melding of classical theme composition, soundtrack composition, and current electronic percussive elements.
WTII: Resurrection 2. WTII keeps putting Chicago back in the light it created more than twenty years ago. Amazing compilation.. well worth your bucks.. let the track listing speak for itself..
01 HMB - The Metro
02 cut.rate.box - Aperture (Slither Mix)
03 Stromkern - Night Riders (part III bOOl3 mix)
04 La Floa Maldita - Secrets and Dreams
05 State of the Union - Makina Mata
06 Trigger10d - You Complicate Things (look the other way)
07 Beborn Beton - Vorbei (FAP7 Remix)
08 Deceptio Mentis - Divina
09 Monstrum Sepsis - Pecking Order
10 PTI - Alysium (PTII Mix)
11 Regenerator - Blink
ARTOFFACT RECORDS: U-Turn "Dark Side of the Beat" YES this is dance floor hysteria.. we have Blank.. Artoffact's own dark dance wizards.. and Sebastian from Icon of Coil.. with Moonitor.. AND U-Turn prevails! Another great U-Turn release.. this is 3.. if you are going to start.. you must get ALL three!
A DIFFERENT DRUM: Club Anthems 3. Once again ADD puts itself directly on the dance floor. For those of you not familiar with ADD's amazing roster of remixers.. please spend $10 and buy this compilation.. this is the best stuff for the energetic dance floor.. fine-tuned by some of the biggest remixing names in the business.
SPV: Advanced Electronics 3. Latest installment of what is prolly the premier alternative electronic compilation in the world. This one does not fail either. Even the biggest expert in the genres will not be completely lost with purchasing this CD.. it is a *taste* of the best of everything alternative and electronic.. available everywhere.. A Different Drum.. Metropolis Distribution.. Music Non Stop.. Amazon.. Storming the Base..
TOP 10 Singles:
Not gonna get into lenghty explanation about the remix artists involved in these singles.. but, just be sure.. there are GREAT remix artists involved in these singles.. this is, of all the lists.. the most important to me as a DJ.. these are dancey singles.. and so what?
ECHOING GREEN: Story (A Different Drum). If our crowd loved "Annie" from Iris.. you MUST pick up Story.. Echoing Green is our American Wolfsheim and Beborn Beton type stuff.. wonderful synthpop..
PROVISION: Could've Had It All (A Different Drum): Another great.. GREAT.. synthpop act from Texas. This act is extremely driven, and I foresee.. if they can get past the deer on the road.. great success.. in the lines of old school 80's meets new school.. fun and energetic electronic pop music.
CESUIM 137: Luminous (Metropilis Records) I know Issac/Vince/Eric from our "Tonedeaf" days.. and for all Mark did to create relationships and a vision for all of his acts.. I must thank him. This EP by Cesium REALLY breaks them out. Every mix is amazing and different.. this is intelligent and yet melodic dance music.. a "must have in your collection"
NEUROTICFISH: The Bomb (Dancing Ferret Discs) I was waiting.. wiating. waiting.. for Neuroticfish to return.. and NO the Bomb is not all of the old Neuroticfish tracks put together.. it is fresh.. and maybe the most energetic track to date.. BUT still you KNOW it is Neuroticfish.. dance floor anthem stamp of approval.
SYRIAN: Space Overdrive AND Cosmic Gate (A Different Drum) OK, for fans of more dancey.. perhaps more edgey alternative dance music, I implore you to check out Syrian from Italy. This is one dance floor anthem after another.. the Blank and Jones of Synthpop. You cannot go wrong with Syrian. I couldn't even decide which single to put on this list.. both are too good and CHEAP at a A Different Drum.
REAL LIFE: Oblivion (A Different Drum).. notice how ADD gets alot of slots here.. well, ADD still releases singles for every artist on the label.. with multiple remixes.. and that is what is so amazing.. once again; Real Life.. old fav's from the 80's return with "Oblivion".. not to be missed new trance remixer/producer from Norway: Nevarakka.. a constant favorite on many ADD singles these days.
ROTERSAND: Electronic World Transmision (Dependent/Metropolis.. SOLD OUT)
Glad I burned myself a copy of this baby. When I got this EP in the mail.. I just could not believe it. I instantly became I giant Rotersand fan. I can't say much more.. ton's of great remixes.. particulary "Soical Distortion" (darkflow mix).. more to come in my best album catagory.
SEABOUND: Poisonous Friend (Metropolis Records) Seabound released Beyond Flatline to eager fans this year and from that album comes the fantastic single "Poisonous Friend" So many mixes you only have to switch it up every two or three months. I am a big fan for the club mix and the Iris mix.
NEIKKA RPM: Here's Your Revolution (Alfa-Matrix) Neikka RPM is another one of Alafa-Matrix hard electronic blockbuster artists. This single just blows the dance floor away. I am a HUGE fan of the Delobbo mix.. but, heh.. you know I love Delobbo. May be sold out.
EPSILON MINUS: Pre-Initialized (Alfa-Matrix). Epsilon Minus returns recharged and revamped. Great single.. lots of guest vocals.. almost all tracks (regardless of whether they are remixes) stand alone. Fabulous for the dance floor. Love the packaging. ;)
Top 10 synthpop albums in the Synthpop/"Future" Pop/ "Trance" pop genres:
ENDANGER: Addicted to the Masses (Nilaihah Records). WOW! is all I can say about Endanger.. pure infectious synthpop. No doubt this is certainly one of my personal favorite releases of the year. Still, the release has an edge, and is not too sweet.. but really it is pretty sweet. :-) plus the remixes are killer.. especially my hero's Massiv In Mensch, and another great Nilaihah act NamNamBulu.
MONOFADER: Frost (Metropolis Records) Here comes Sebastian from Icon of Coil and Richard from Spectralized (both from Norway) and we have Monofader. Monofader is the most "real" synthpop release this year on Metrop. Although this album is ballad heavy, there are enough dance tracks to even the release out.. also this release is a creeper.. you got to listen to it like three times, and then you are addicted. This is a very well produced album, and I am quite fond of spinning the opening dance track "Mimic"
THE AZOIC: Illuminate (Nilaihah Records). Follow-up to last years smash single "Conflict" The Azoic releases their full length album. The album offers strong variety of influences, but still an aim to get your body moving, heart beating, and your temperature rising. (OK that was corny.. I'm leaving it anyway) My favorite track is the title track Illuminate. Great music to pick up your mood or keep you from falling asleep at the wheel.
PROVISION: Visualize (A Different Drum) To pick out ADD's best synthpop releases was a tough one for me.. but Todd knows I lean toward the trancey-pop stuff.. Provision offers pure "retro-style" synth energy with all the modern electronic aspects.. euro-synth-dance.. Tons of great songs on this album, all possibly good for the dancefloor. Also, this band is amazing live, and can persuade the most downtrodden spirit to engage in a furry of dance.
DAYBEHAVIOR: Have You Ever Touched a Dream (A Different Drum). My #1 ADD release. This album combines elements of synthpop, trip-hop, trance, and ethereal. I'd call it "dream-pop" The female vocals are so unbelievably polished and emotional, that it biases you against any other female vocalist out there (well, not really.. but kinda). each track stands out as truly remarkable compared to the rest. From Sweden. A must own for fans of good music. simple.
REAL LIFE: Imperfection (A Different Drum) Cassic synthpop band from Austrailia that was quite popular in the early 80's "came back" last year with this massive release. Again, this is pure synthpop, but combines downtempo, jazz, trance, and house influences. The vocals are crisp, and the production is top notch. Every track is excellent. This is great synthpop. The remix bonus disc takes Real Life to the dancefloor, and also gives one a taste of just how superb all of the acts on the A Different Drum label are.
P.T.I.: Blackout (WTII Records) Man, I didn't know where to stick P.T.I. They have an edgey electro element, and can be downright dark and growly.. but the boys have such wonderfully sincere vocals, and generally this is pop music. So here it is. What do I love about P.T.I.? This is such a unique release. The dueling vocals.. the harmonizing.. it has been a while since two boys have complimented each other so well vocally. The song structures.. switch.. then switch.. then back.. each track has this flavor (songs within songs).. and the builds. I love this album. This is the utimate "Boy Band" for our genre.. both of them are just 22 years old.. rarely do you see such a great release from such young artists.
ROTERSAND: Truth is Fanatic (Metropolis Records) Rotersand is simply my favorite act right now. I own everything.. even the limited vinyl. I am such a huge fan.. I have turned geek over it. I did not know where to put Rotersand.. easily this album could go in the EBM catagory, but overall it is too complex for any catagory. For sure Rotersand is aimed for the dancefloor, but also contains haunting ballads, and an amazing classical overtone, that I call it genius. Move over VNV Nation (I had to say that.. hehe.. shoot me), Rotersand is the big bad band on the block now. A must have for any fan of synthpop, trance-pop, EBM, and industrial.. it crosses all ground. BTW they just moved over to Dependent in Europe.
MIND.IN.A.BOX.: Lost Alone (Metropolis Records) Well here comes an act that could have made my newcomer list.. but this release is too good not to included with the established acts. I have tried to describe this act and simply do a terrible job everytime. It uses processed vocals.. sometimes clean vocals.. haunting melody lines, but electrostyle synth structure, to establish melancholy ballads manufactured artificially, and intentionally that way. Even without the lyrics.. the music makes you think. Mind.in.a.box. is not dancefloor filler stuff, but I often throw in a track since I feel very strongly this release should be heard.
ICON OF COIL: Machines Are Us (Metropolis Records) Icon of Coil Returns with their latest fulllength album. I will not say this is my favorite release of theirs, but still they must included in my top ten. Icon of Coil are just the dancefloor killers and fillers. Maybe it was Sebastian and Andy's side projects this past year that pre-occupied them a bit, but still this release is solid. Any fan of massive EBM and trance-pop style club anthems should pick up this CD today.
Top 10 harsher EBM and more industrial albums (but still dancey) for 2004 (to me):
DAS ICH: Lava (Metropolis) Amazing agro electronic-industrial madness.. LOVE.. LOVE!
PUNTO OMEGA: Punto Omega (Metropolis) You like Hocico?? You will love this too.
CRUCIFORM INJECTION: Epilogue (NegativeGain) Harsh and melodic.. dark and often dancey bliss. amazing remixes.
MINDLESS FAITH: Momentum (Metropolis) Amazing dark and dancey dancefloor maniacs.. great listening.. truely brilliant album. Title track makes me cry.. it's so good.
BATTERY CAGE: World Wide Wasteland (Metropolis) From Informatik (Tyler Newman) come Battery Cage.. very melodic and yet disturbing dark electronic materpiece. extra mixes by stromkern and headscan.
MASSIVE IN MENSCH: Menschdefekt (Artoffact) MiM defines "techno-industrial".. brilliant dance floor hysteria.
FEKTION FEKLER: Into the Sun (Static Sky Records) Here is the odd ball in my pics.. not really a dance album, but there are some tracks that might work, this is just quite frankly a dark and melancholy journey. The production is top-notch.. this is a "play over and over again" album.
INTERLACE: Imago (Artoffact) Congrats to Yolk for this amazing addition to his fine roster. Interlace's new release can find you dancing, but more often finds you pondering..
HOCICO: Wrack and Ruin (Metropolis) Masterpiece by Hocico. I (of course) spin Born To Be (Hated)
FLESH FIELD: Strain (Metropolis records) I love this album.. ANGRY guitar driven techno-industrial.. finally a modern "nine inch nails".. unbelievable release. best so far.
RAMMSTEIN: Reise, Reise (Motor Music) ya,ya.. whatever.. this is just great German agro industrialized pop music.. the pet shop boys even remixed these guys this year!
BEST 5 CLUBS to get your groove on to alternative dance music and BEST 7 DJ's to make it happen..
NEO in Chicago.. 25 years now.. maybe the only original alternative music dance music venue with the same name.. same formats.. and still open today..
SLIMELIGHT in London, UK.. this is really like a warehouse.. ya, admitedly the formating could be a little more diverse on the mainfloor, still, this is a big venue, and an original..
DARK AWAKENINGS in Mainz, Germany.. only two times a month.. prolly 800 to 1,000 Germans and a dance floor with as many as 400 at any given time.
ALCHEMY in Washington DC, at the Nation. One of the most famous "rave" style venues in the country. So many rooms it's like Alice in Wonderland. Venue holds up to 2,000 people. Alchemy uses half the facility and regularly draws up to 700 weekly.. talk about energy, and they love to dance.
DARK RAVE in Toronto, Ontario: a real RAVE! monthly. over four years now. formed by the guy who did "synthpop goes the world" (DJ Lazarus).. you will hear it all.. dancey synthpop, "futurepop", trance, dnb, noise, industrial, techno.. if it has beats, and people can go crazy to it, they will. They see up to 800 monthly.
These are all clubs I have been too.. I am sure there are other greats..
best alternative dance DJ's (other than me.. j/k.. really)..
DJ RAM: Moscow.. dude is really a DJ.. can throw down the beats with seamless and fluid mixes (and he looks so cute up there doing it).. spins EBM, trance, and synthpop when he spins live. Spins at almost every major festival and event in Moscow.
DJ ADDAM BOMBB: Boston.. guy has been DJing for like 15 years.. started on vinyl. You can hand him a song, and without even hearing it before, he can easlily beatmatch by ear and has perfect tonal coordination. Never seen him not filla floor. Spins electro, synthpop, 80's, and trance. resides in Boston and Northampton, MA
DJ $#&@! (Censored): Chicago.. Geoff is by far the best DJ for alternative dance music in the windy city.. plays it all.. can go slow and melodic and then back to bangin' beats.. beatmatching and mixing are simple tasks for Geoff. resides at Neo on Saturdays. spins synthpop, EBM, and industrial.
DJ RiB (Romell from Razed in Black): Jacksonville, Florida: man-o-man.. guy is ex-rave DJ. spins vinyl and CD's. spins EBM, "future" synthpop, and ALOT of trance live.. never misses.. fluid.. perfect breakdowns too.. amazing. only spins special events.
DJ UWE: London: Lately Uwe is getting into noisey stuff, but is also known for his seamless mixes of the more trancey synthpop, ebm, and hard bangin' trance. Guy blew me away. has played all over the world. A favorite at the UK's premier festival: Infest. resides at Slimelight.
DJ HELLRAVER: New York City: regardless of whether you like Terrorfakt, Ben is certainly one, if not the most, famous alternative music DJ's in this country, and has played all over the world. He spins EBM, really hard trancey crossover "future"pop stuff, industrial, techno, and noise-beat. Guy is completely fluid.. quite pretentious.. and deservedly so.. he is simply one of the best ever for alternative dance. resides at Batcave.
DJ JOHN GILL: Philadelphia: I am not as familiar with John's actual resume.. or live gigs.. but he sent me live mixes a couple weeks ago.. and I am blown away.. if there is ever one guy who could completely come out of left field.. John is the guy.. spins electro, synthpop. 80's, EBM, trance, and a lil' industrial.. resides at Nocturne at Shampoo in Philadelphia.
and now for something completely different:
best cat: mine; his name is Azrael (the smurf kiity). I call him boo.
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