Archive for July, 2013


Okay, I finally did it! I listened to Above & Beyond’s entire discography, including their productions as Anjunabeats, Dirt Devils, Free State, OceanLab, Rollerball, Tongue of God, Tranquility Base and Zed-X. It took quite a while, but I believe I am ready to present to you my Top 20 Above & Beyond Songs of All-Time! I hope people looking to get into Above & Beyond find this post. I remember scouring the Internet back in 2011 for a list of Above & Beyond’s best songs and the best I could find was this Quora thread.

Now I have to provide a disclaimer for those of you reading this that may not know me. I am 23 years old and only started listening to Above & Beyond around the time Anjunabeats Volume 7 came out in October of 2009. Most of my listening was retrospective rather than listening to the music as it was released. I even featured Above & Beyond on this blog back in February 2012, but have learned so much more about the group, their history and their productions since. My love for Above & Beyond has only grown stronger over the past year and so has my knowledge and insight into the world of Trance. I also want to make it clear that I have been listening to some of these songs for years and others for just a few weeks.

Additionally, if you do not know, Above & Beyond remix themselves A LOT. So I only included my favorite version (usually the Club Mix) of each song.

Nevertheless, the following are my favorite Above & Beyond songs as of July 30, 2013. I tried to provide some historical context for each song, along with my personal discovery and experience with each track. I know several better than others, but you’ll get the gist. The songs are in alphabetical order because I do not feel comfortable ranking them. Enjoy!

Above & Beyond followed up 2004’s A State of Trance Tune of the Year Award with a second-straight award for “Air For Life” in 2005. The first single of off Above & Beyond’s first full-length album Tri-State, is just one of three songs to make my list that has a producer other than Above & Beyond accredited with the track. I love the driving bass in this song and would easily put it up against any other Above & Beyond song at 132 BPM. I wasn’t too fond of “Air For Life” when I first heard it, but know I would go absolutely crazy if they ever brought this back in one of their sets.

“Alone Tonight” is often regarded by fans as the best songs on Tri-State, however I do not feel this way at all. No disrespect to the song, but there are so many other incredible productions on that album. In all honesty, I don’t really like any of Richard Bedford’s vocals on Tri-State compared to those on Group Therapy. But like I said, the order in which I discovered these songs strongly affects my bias and I heard Group Therapy first. Regardless, this song absolutely belongs in my Top 20 and it deserves more of my attention going forward. Also, don’t just take my word for it. I know plenty of Trance fans consider this to be their all-time favorite song.

“Anphonic,” also known as the love child of Trance legends Above & Beyond and Kyau & Albert, is the only song to make the list with no vocals. I have often dubbed this as the best non-vocal Above & Beyond song, but it is so much more than that. Featured on Anjunabeats Volume 8, the first Anjunabeats compilation I listened to on the day of its release, “Anphonic” stood out immediately as a song that could invoke the same emotion as other heartwarming tracks on the album such as “Let Go” and “The Wonder,” yet without lyrics. Ultimately, it sounds more like a Kyau & Albert song than Above & Beyond, but it’s still more than deserving of a spot in my Top 20.

I pretty much love every Above & Beyond Mix on Sirens of the Sea Remixed and that is no more true than with “Breaking Ties (Above & Beyond Analogue Haven Mix).” This is yet another Above & Beyond masterpiece at 138 BPM. Beautiful melody, beautiful vocals – just listen. I absolutely love the acoustic guitar that comes in at 3:01.

“Can’t Sleep” and I have a bit of an odd relationship. It was one of the first Above & Beyond songs I ever listened to, however I did not start LOVING it until just a few months ago. Easily one of the most beautiful tracks Above & Beyond has ever crafted, “Can’t Sleep” is an emotional roller coaster driven by the heart wrenching vocals that I think anyone can relate to. I’d be lying to you if I said this song hasn’t brought me to tears more than a handful of times. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this song features my favorite lyrics of any Above & Beyond production.

“Every Little Beat” is about as far from a banger as you will find on this list, however, it is a staple in my Above & Beyond library because of my personal connection to the song. Now every Above & Beyond song has touched me on some level, but this one always reminds me of a girl. The lyrics are a bit forthright and arrogant, but man did they fit my situation perfectly (and she agreed). “Every little beat of your heart / You get a little closer to me / You’ve never been so happy since I’ve been around / I don’t want to tear your world apart / But that’s how it’s going to be.” “Every Little Beat,” the fourth single off of Group Therapy, has gotten me through some tough times and I’m all the better because of it.

My fondest memory of “Good For Me (Above & Beyond Cub Mix)” came at the end of TATW 450/ABGT 01. In what seemed like the end of an era. Above & Beyond decided to change the name of their podcast from Trance Around The World to Above & Beyond Group Therapy. The whole thing kind of made me feel uneasy and seemed like the finite moment when Above & Beyond parted ways with their old sound and embraced Trance 2.0 (although I think TATW 350 was the actual turning point). I’ve seen Above & Beyond live five times now and never have they ever played a song of theirs from before 2011 in my presence. Never. Oh how I have longed to hear any of the songs you see mentioned in this list live, which predate Group Therapy. Closing their set and TATW with “Good For Me” seemed like a fitting end to the show’s run, and so with it went a large part of the Above & Beyond I fell in love with. The original “Good For Me” was also voted Tune of the Year in 2006.

I don’t actually have any substantial memories associated with “Home (Above & Beyond Club Mix).” It’s another phenomenal 138 BPM track off of the Tri-State Remixed album that strongly resonates with me because of its pulsing bass line and strong vocals. “Home” also won Best Underground Dance Track of 2008.

“Love Is Not Enough (Above & Beyond Club Mix)” is the only “new” Above & Beyond song to make my Top 20. I’m not even really sure what to consider “new” Above & Beyond, but I am considering anything made one year after the release of Group Therapy as new. After all, this is the fifth single off that album and they still followed it with two others! Much like many of the “new” Above & Beyond songs, I did not like “Love Is Not Enough” at first. However, it slowly grew on me and I have learned to love it. The turning point for me actually occurred when I played it for a friend in my car while he was high out of his mind. He loved the song and I began to look at it differently as well. Other “new” songs just missing the cut are the Club Mixes of “On My Way To Heaven” and “Alchemy.”

A song that I believe is about saving the environment; ultimately has a very similar feel to the later mentioned “Satellite.” It starts out pretty hard, but then drops off into a very minimal build with excellent vocals from Justine Suissa. It’s definitely one of those songs that you would just stand at a show with your eyes closed while you belt out the lyrics in anticipation of the drop. Even though this track is 138 BPM, I still find it rather calming.

Above & Beyond’s award-winning 2004 Essential Mix is one of the most highly touted Trance mixes of the past decade. Filled with Trance classics, no song sticks out more to me than “No One On Earth.” This is partly because the mix lacks the amount of vocals you would find in an Above & Beyond set today, but nevertheless, this is the standout track on the mix for me. “No One On Earth” also began the wondrous relationship between Above & Beyond and vocalist Zoe Johnston. She later went on to provide all of the female vocals for Group Therapy. This was the second single ever produced by Above & Beyond under that name and still holds up as one of the best Above & Beyond songs ever made.

If I had to pick three songs to get someone new into Trance, “On A Good Day (Metropolis)” would without a doubt be one of them. I might go as far as saying that “On A Good Day” was the most iconic and recognizable Above & Beyond song, but then came along “Sun & Moon.” I have a special place in my heart for this song because it was the standout track from Anjunabeats Volume 8, which was one of the first albums to get me hooked on Trance. It features so many songs that I would now consider classics, but none made me bang my head and dance around my room like “On A Good Day (Metropolis).” I’m sure many of you feel the same way. The Acoustic Mix gave it a run for its money as far as making the list, but I had to go with this version because of its raw power and energy. Interestingly, a Redditor told me that this song was in fact a mashup put together by Myon & Shane 54 before it was released by Above & Beyond.

Hearing “Prelude” always brings me back to EDC Las Vegas 2011. Having somehow gotten separated from my friends, I found myself lost in a sea of 100,000 people at the mainstage for Above & Beyond. However, it was not that bad because I soon found comfort in a new female friend who had a similar admiration for the Trance trio. Embarrassingly, by the time EDC rolled around I still had not found time to listen to Group Therapy in its entirety and only recognized the songs I had heard on Trance Around the World. I’ll never forget the first time I heard “Prelude” because the girl I was with flipped out and I had to know the name of the song. I love its opening hard-hitting bass line that over time evolves into the classic Above & Beyond build that I have come to expect in all of their music. The track even made my Top 10 EDM Songs of 2011, however, I would definitely replace it with “Thing Called Love (Above & Beyond 2011 Club Mix)” today.

First of all, fuck yeah 140 BPM! I’m really into Trance songs that sort of desensitize you with really strong bass in the beginning, only to come back with an unbelievably beautiful, drawn-out build. Another great example of this is “Rebound” by Arty and Mat Zo. But I have to say this version of Satellite may take the cake. When the opening Psy Trance part drops out and all you have is mostly the bass line, I get fucking pumped – immediate head banging. The Floris de Haan Remix must also be mentioned.

The title track on the original album; “Sirens of the Sea (Above & Beyond Club Mix)” features what I think are the best vocals on the album. Beginning with the breakdown at about the 3:45 mark, this song always pulls at my heartstrings. I’m also a sucker for songs about sirens, including one of my non-EDM favorites “There There” by Radiohead. I’m certain that if Above & Beyond ever played this in one of their live sets these days, which they won’t, I would definitely choke up.

You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who can write something that’s not cliché or already been said about “Sun & Moon,” but I’m going to give it my best shot. I vividly remember the first time hearing what is now one of the most-played Trance songs of all-time. I was listening to BBC Radio 1 on my walk to work when I heard that a new Above & Beyond song was going to be added to the channel’s playlist. Naturally, I was stoked and also intrigued because BBC Radio 1 hardly ever took an interest in Trance. The rest is history… so I will fast forward nine months to TATW 400. By this point, “Sun & Moon” was easily the biggest Trance song in the world, but I did not know its full impact until I heard it live streaming from Beruit. The crowd screamed so loud (song starts at 69:28) that it gave me goose bumps all the way across the world. That’s when I know the true power of Trance and what it meant to be a part of #TranceFamily.

My biggest mistake as a writer and tastemaker to this date was not including “Thing Called Love (Above & Beyond 2011 Club Mix)” in my Top 10 EDM Songs of 2011. That’s just preposterous considering that the song would easily make my Top 10 favorite songs of all-time now. I’m pretty sure this song falls into the same category as “Sun & Moon” these days. Above & Beyond plays it in every set still and many would consider it played out. But not me! I truly think that the final drop in “Thing Called Love” is my favorite ever. Above & Beyond spend the first four and a half minutes building up this anthem until it all comes crashing down in one massive crescendo. I get so pumped every time I listen to this song, whether it be live, in my car or wherever. I don’t know, it just has that effect on me. I know I’m not the only one.

For the longest time, “Tonight (Above & Beyond Remix)” was the only Above & Beyond song I had on my iPod. When I look back at their discography now, I find it so bizarre that this was the first song that got me hooked on the group. Selected as the International Music Summit (IMS) Anthem of 2009, this song serves as the slowest Above & Beyond Mix to make my Top 20 and is the only true Progressive song on the list.

“What It Feels Like For A Girl (Above & Beyond 12” Club Mix)” is widely regarded as the song that put Above & Beyond on the map. In fact, Madonna liked it so much that she used Above & Beyond’s version in her music video rather than her own. I think it’s pretty safe to say that when the “Queen of Pop” likes your version better than hers, you’ve made it. Honestly, this is my least listened to song to make the list, but I am learning to love it more and more with every listen. This is the epitome of a Trance classic.

It would appear to me that Above & Beyond don’t even like their version of this song because they always play the Kyau & Albert Remix in all of their sets. Nevertheless, I am a big fan of “You Got To Go (Above & Beyond Club Mix)” and particularly the initial bass line. I very nearly included the Original Mix in my Top 20, but as is true with most Above & Beyond Club Mixes, this version just adds that little something that was missing from the original production. Zoe Johnston’s vocal are beautiful and I’ll never forget belting them out at EDC Vegas 2011 with tens of thousands of Above & Beyond’s adoring fans.

In today’s Featured Artist post I am featuring one of my absolute favorite Trance DJs, Orange County-native Shogun. Unlike many of the other Trance artists that I listen to on a regular basis, I have only been listening to Shogun for just over a year. I can’t remember exactly when I discovered him, but I think it was some time last winter when my friend Andrew showed me an insane lineup for a rave in LA that he was included on.

I don’t know Shogun that well, nor have I really explored his library very deeply, but I love everything that I have heard from the guy that I voted No. 4 in this year’s DJ Mag Top 100 DJs Poll. Although, his Trance is much slower than most of what I listen to. I find his sound to be so complex and uplifting, yet sometimes find myself thinking that much if it sounds the same. I also like his remixes as a whole better than his original productions.

However, I would consider several of his songs to be among my favorite Trance songs of all-time. His original track “Save Me” holds a special place in my heart, while his remix of “Must Be Love” was the first new Trance song I heard in over a year that made me start checking out new music. My former co-worker Eric sent me the “Must Be Love (Shogun Remix)” and I was blown away after the first listen. That doesn’t happen very often to me with songs these days, and there was a long period of time where I would only listen to Trance from 2009-2011.

Like I said, I don’t know too much about the guy so I apologize for the lack of editorial included in this post. Nonetheless, his music is amazing and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! The following songs are roughly in order of how much I like them. There are many more so follow me on Spotify!

  1. Shogun – Save Me [132 BPM]
  2. Arty, BT – Must Be Love (Shogun Remix) [130 BPM]
  3. Ferry Corsten – Live Forever (Shogun Remix) [130 BPM]
  4. Tritonal – Broken Down (Shogun Remix) [132 BPM]
  5. Nadia Ali – Ride With Me (Shogun Remix) [128 BPM]
  6. W&W – Nowhere To Go (Shogun Remix) [132 BPM]

Bonus uplifting remix of one of of my all-time favorite songs: Shogun – Save Me (Ilya Soloviev Remix) [138]

It’s that time of year again when all of your favorite DJs continually harass you to vote for them in the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs Poll. I believe this is my fourth year voting and wow have my picks changed over time.

I know there are a lot of haters out there who think this poll is meaningless and now skewed towards the American perspective, but I think there is a lot to take away from this poll. I find it very interesting to see genre trends from year to year, as well as big jumps in DJs’ fame in just 365 days.

I am particularly interested to see how the genres pan out this year. In the 2012 poll, Hardstyle DJs took a huge step into the limelight with double digit DJs representing their genre just in the Top 50. Of course leading the way was bald-headed Dutch producer Headhunterz at No. 10. I am hoping to see Trap break the top 30 this year with the likes of Baauer and RL Grime, but admittedly think that is a HUGE stretch.

The DJ Mag Top 100 DJs Poll is also a fascinating case study in terms of a popularity contest. Anyone who was paying attention to EDM in 2011 knew Hardwell was going places. The guy was releasing amazing track after amazing track, while the previous year Avicii toured the shit out of America and produced fewer songs and made an even more astronomical jump. Nevertheless, they both made giant leaps into the top 10 and still stand as two of the biggest DJs in the world. In 2011, Avicii went from No. 39 to No. 6. While in 2012, Hardwell jumped from No. 24 to No. 6.

I’ll also be curious to see where Daft Punk ends up this year after producing an album for the first time since 2007. For as long as I can remember, Daft Punk always made the Top 50 even though they hadn’t toured or made music in half a decade.

So as goes many things in my life, I have a formula for voting for my Top 5. I’ve been using this method for the last three years and am a fan of voting for people for various reasons rather than just straight up who the top DJs in the world are.

Also, remember that the title of “Top DJ” is an insane marketing tool that DJs can leverage to pull in more money for their performances. That’s why they hound you to vote for them. Because everything is a business when it comes down to it.

If I had to predict who I think will be the Top 5 this year, I would say:

  1. Armin Van Buuren
  2. Tiesto
  3. Hardwell
  4. Above & Beyond
  5. Headhunterz

But anyway, back to my formula. So DJ Mag takes fans’ votes and weights them in order with 1 having the most weight and 5 having the least. Because of this, I devised a way, in my opinion, to give credit where credit is due. Here it is:

  1. Which DJ(s) had the biggest impact on EDM this year? I took this away from a friend of mine after I voted in my first poll. I think when picking your top DJ it is important to think of them as an entity who had an impact on EDM in general. Do they own a label? Have they made other artist’s careers? Are they leading the way in a genre? How many songs did they produce this year? All things which I consider in my No. 1 DJ.
  2. Which DJ(s) had the best productions this year? A very important question and one that I said earlier think led to Hardwell’s monster jump from 2011 to 2012. This has to do with both quality and quantity, which include Originals, Remixes and Mashups.
  3. Emerging Star: This is pretty self-explanatory, but I save this spot for a DJ that I think has made huge strides in a year and has strongly impacted their genre for the better. Avicii in 2011, Hardwell in 2012.
  4. Favorite DJ not picked yet: Every year I know that some of my favorite DJs will not break the Top 5, let alone the Top 30, but I always make a plug for someone that I think deserves more recognition at No. 4.
  5. Best live set this year: I like to save my last slot for the best live DJ performance I saw in a given year. Swedish House Mafia took the cake with this one at EDC Vegas 2011 (still the best live DJ set ever IMO), and the category has stuck with me since.
  6. Bonus:  This year DJ Mag decided to add a bonus pick for the best DJ of the last 20 years. I don’t think most people voting have the wherewithal to make a pick (myself included), but I tried to pick the DJ(s) who had the biggest impact on EDM and what it has become today. I was also very biased with this one.

So now to my picks!

  1. Above & Beyond – My favorite DJs (yadi yadi yada)… Above & Beyond have a HUGE impact on not just the world of Trance, but EDM as a whole. Their label Ajunabeats and sub-label Anjunadeep have a tremendous impact on EDM in general and have launched the careers of so many DJs year in and year out. I am biased, but I really can’t believe these guys have not broken the Top 5 since 2010. This is their year! The same could be said for Armin, but I don’t really like Armin.
  2. Myon & Shane 54 – They made so many sick tracks this year and in my opinion are the kings of mashups. It’s just stupid that they are so low on this list every year.
  3. Baauer – The guy is almost singlehandedly clearing the way for Trap. Harlem Shake is an EDM phenomenon like no other and the guy has some serious talent. I saw him live twice this year and could not have had more fun. I don’t know if a Trap Dj will make the Top 100, but I’m putting my money on Baauer if so. I HIGHLY doubt this will happen.
  4. Shogun – Orange County-native Trance producer Shogun is easily in my Top 5 favorites. I will be writing a post about him this week, so I won’t get into too much detail here. I hope he makes the Top 50!
  5. Markus Schulz – EDC Vegas + this guy + the sunrise = best set I saw this year. Wow. Go see him if you ever get a chance. He also does nine-hour long sets, which is just insane and a true testament to his commitment to his art.
  6. Above & Beyond – They have made the best 138 BPM Trance, the best 134 BPM Trance and are all around my favorite DJs. Also, Trance > all other EDM genres. I think Armin will win though.

I’d love to hear what people think of my method and others’ Top 5 this year. Leave a comment or write me on Facebook!

EDMozer Around the World

World EDMozerAnyone who knows me in the slightest is aware of my passion for statistics and analytics. This is no more apparent than when it comes to my blog. I have gathered up some interesting insights about the geographic locations of my visitors, which I thought you all might enjoy. It’s true that EDM is a global movement! (The following analytics represent data since February 25, 2012)

 

  1. EDMozer has been visited almost 9,000 times (75.7% of all visitors are from the United States)
  2. At least one person from 95 different countries visited EDMozer (37 from Europe, 25 from Asia, 15 from North America [including Central America], eight from South America, eight from Africa and three from Australia)
  3. The only continent that has not visited EDMozer is Antarctica
  4. There are four countries with populations smaller than 100,000 people that visited EDMozer, including Anguilla, Cayman Islands, Guernsey and Northern Mariana Islands (Anguilla has a population of 13,600 people)
  5. Of the top 10 countries ranked by total visitors, four speak English as a primary language
  6. Surprising countries that visited EDMozer (number of visitors): Philippines (71), Trinidad and Tobago (23), and Kenya (22)
  7. 23 different countries have had just one person visit EDMozer

Fun Facts:

  1. I am aware of 17 countries on the list that have a major DJ
  2. I have flat-out never heard of five countries that visited EDMozer
  3. I have been to 15 countries that visited EDMozer
  4. I am older than 11 countries that visited EDMozer

I’ve been writing about a lot of Trance lately, so let me get back to my other genre of interest at the moment – Trap. I’ve been able to convert a fair amount of people into Trap fans already, but I know some of you are still skeptical.

I didn’t include this in my last post, but one of the wildest concert moments I’ve ever experienced was when Porter Robinson dropped “Satisfaction (RL Grime Remix)” on New Year’s this year. As I’ve said before, I was pretty behind on the Trap game so I had never heard this song before, but clearly no one else had either. I was kind of expecting the J.Rabbit Remix (so filthy) when I heard “Satisfaction” coming in, but what happened on the drop was unlike anything I’d ever seen at an EDM show. People were getting fucking down. Like BUCK (Sidenote: I love the song “Get Buck in Here” and heard it for the first time when the Jabbawockeez threw down on MTV at 2:33). It was wild and even stood out for me among so many other phenomenal “Satisfaction” remixes.

Also, HARD Summer is coming up in just under a month and I can’t wait! The lineup is insane and I don’t think HARD has ever put together a more highly anticipated event. Literally every Trap DJ you would want to see is playing, mixed in with some solid Electro. I also can’t wait to finally see French producer Gesaffelstein, but I don’t really know how to classify his music. It’s not Trap.

I don’t have much else to say, but the songs I included below are my second rendition of Trap songs you should know. They are definitely not regarded by the community as the best, but I dig them and find them to be pretty accessible for the casual EDM fan. They are all worth a listen and this will provide you a much larger pool of the Trap that is out there.

  1. RL Grime – Pockets
  2. Mr. Carmack – Pay (For What)
  3. Jay Z – Dirt Off Your Shoulder (Brillz & Z Trip Remix)
  4. Gents & Jawns – Turn Up
  5. Seven Lions – Days To Come (Slander, 7DS & Direwolfe Remix)
  6. Baauer – Slip
  7. Chief Keef – Love Sosa (RL Grime Remix)
  8. Tommy Trash – All My Friends (Oh Snap!! Remix)
  9. Knife Party – Internet Friends (heRobust’s Run Da Trap Bootleg)
  10. Deadmau5 – I Remember (Zubah’s Trap Edit)
  11. Yo Majesty – Club Action (Smookie Illson Boot)
  12. Showtek – F.T.S. (Say My Name Remix)
  13. Nicky Romero – Symphonica (BARE Remix)

So I was looking over my featured artist post about Above & Beyond (my favorite DJs in the world) from last year and was just appalled. The list is atrocious. Not that any of the songs are bad, some are sub-par (i.e. “Formula Rossa”), but it’s missing so many of their masterpieces. Honestly, it just shows my former naiveté of Trance in general and Above & Beyond’s library at that time.

Which leads me to this Random Playlist featuring Sirens of the Sea Remixed, originally by OceanLab. For those of you that do not know, OceanLab was a Vocal Trance side project by Above & Beyond and vocalist Justine Suissa. Sirens of the Sea is one of my all-time favorite albums, but fits more into the Downtempo genre. Then came Sirens of the Sea Remixed, an album which hearkens back to the harder (and sometimes 138 BPM) Trance that I fell in love with. Remixed was released almost a year after the original.

The reason I decided to feature this album as a random playlist is because for a good five or six months it was exclusively the only thing I listened to. I mean I stopped finding new music and just played it on repeat all-day, every day. Often times, I still do.

Now I didn’t come by each of these songs because of the album. Many I discovered earlier on as I browsed through Above & Beyond’s library, such as “Lonely Girl (Gareth Emery Remix)” and “Miracle (Above & Beyond Club Mix).” But everything really came together when I listened to it the whole way through. Because some of these songs are so amazing, I am going to provide a little description of some of my favorites. I don’t actually know which one is my favorite because I have about five, but here goes nothing.

  1. “Sirens of the Sea (Above & Beyond Club Mix)” [138 BPM] – The title track on the original album; this remix features what I think are the best vocals on the album. Beginning with the breakdown at about the 3:45 mark, this song gets real deep. I’m also a sucker for songs about sirens, including one of my non-EDM favorites “There There” by Radiohead. I’m certain if Above & Beyond ever played this in one of their live sets these days, which they won’t, I would definitely choke up.
  2. “Satellite (Original Above & Beyond Mix)” [140 BPM] – First of all, fuck yeah 140 BPM! I’m really into Trance songs that sort of desensitize you with really strong bass in the beginning, only to come back with an unbelievably beautiful, drawn-out build. Another great example of this is “Rebound” by Arty and Mat Zo. But I have to say this version of Satellite may take the cake. When the opening Psy Trance part drops out and all you have is mostly the bass line I get fucking pumped – immediate head banging. The Floris de Haan Remix must also be mentioned.
  3. “Miracle (Above & Beyond Club Mix)” [138 BPM] – A song that I think is about saving the environment (?); ultimately has a very similar feel to “Satellite.” It starts out pretty hard, but then drops off into a very minimal build with excellent vocals from Justine. It’s definitely one of those songs that you just sort of stand at a show, close your eyes and belt out the lyrics in anticipation of the drop. Even though this track is 138 BPM, I still find it rather calming.
  4. “Breaking Ties (Above & Beyond Analogue Haven Mix)” [138 BPM] – I’m running out of things to say, but this is another Above & Beyond remix masterpiece at 138 BPM. Beautiful melody, beautiful vocals – just listen. Love the acoustic guitar at 3:01.
  5. “Sky Falls Down (Armin Van Buuren Remix)” [138 BPM] – I’ve said before that I am not the biggest Armin fan, but this song stands out above the rest for me. It’s probably because it’s on an album I’ve listened to over and over again, but nonetheless, this is my favorite Armin song (remix or otherwise). Maybe because it’s Vocal Trance, but who knows.
  6. “Lonely Girl (Gareth Emery Remix)” [134 BMP] – So I’m not sure why, but this song was definitely one of the first 10 Trance songs I ever heard. I love it, it’s great. But I want to include it on this list because I just wanted to proclaim: WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU GARETH?! “Come back because I’m…” missing your old sound!
  7. “On A Good Day (Metropolis)” [134 BPM] – Well it’s not on the album, but make sure you listen to one of the most iconic Trance songs ever in my opinion.

I’ll leave the list at that, but absolutely suggest you check out the rest of the remixes as well as the original album.

DashI received a lot of Internet love for my post about Myon & Shane 54 yesterday, so I decided to feature my second favorite DJ Dash Berlin in today’s “Featured Artist” post.

It’s hard to even begin writing about Dash Berlin because of his huge impact on my taste in music, as well as my life in general. Just to get this out of the way, Dash Berlin is a group of three producers, but I am still unclear about whether they all still make music or if it is just one guy. Maybe someone can comment below and fill me in.

Anyway, my love affair with Dash Berlin began after the first time I heard “Man On The Run.” I can’t remember where I was or when I heard it, but let me tell you, this is the PERFECT Trance song. It pretty much set the tone for my interest in Trance and I have been hooked ever since. “Man On The Run” is in contention for my favorite Trance song, which will eventually be decided in the post I have been waiting to write since I began blogging – my top 10 Trance songs of all-time. Also, you HAVE to listen to the nine minute version. You have to.

The thing that makes Dash the shit is that his music goes so hard at times, yet still pulls on your emotions with his beautiful breakdowns and angelic vocals. And there is no better case for this than “Man On The Run.” Other Trance producers implement a similar style, but Dash has his own unique, raw sound that I’ve never heard anyone replicate. Take for example any of his 4AM remixes. He takes incredibly beautiful songs in their own right and recreates them with his own darker spin. My favorite example of this is “Not Giving Up On Love (Dash Berlin 4AM Remix).” Now I’m not the biggest Armin fan, but you can tell that the original was seriously missing something. So what does Dash do? He comes in and crushes it!

Another thing that I want to add to this conversation is my progression of Dash Berlin listening. After I fell in love with “Man On The Run,” I eagerly pursued his entire library. At the time, his two most popular songs were “Waiting” and “Till The Sky Falls Down,” however I became strangely attracted to the lesser-known “Never Cry Again” and “The Night Time.” Anyone who went to college with me might remember me banging my head away at College Library while you were slaving away studying. If you do, there’s a good chance it was to one of those two songs because I was obsessed!

I’ve been fortunate enough to see Dash Berlin live twice. Once at EDC Vegas 2011 and then a few weeks ago at EDC again. The guy is a really goofy showman who brings out an iPad and types stuff like “Music is Life” or other cliché stuff. But I buy into his shtick and so do most of his crowds because that is what Trance is about. #TranceFamily is no joke and there’s really nothing more enjoyable to me than belting out the lyrics to a Dash Berlin classic surrounded by his other diehard fans. As you can imagine, I was incredibly disappointed when he had seven minutes left at sunrise two weeks ago and didn’t clothes with “Man On The Run.”

The following songs are roughly in order of which I like most. There are a lot of other good ones that I did not include in this post, so follow me on Spotify or look them up yourself.

  1. Dash Berlin, Jaren, Mitiska, Cerf – Man On The Run (135 BPM)
  2. Jaren, Mitiska, Cerf – You Never Said (Dash Berlin Remix) (132 BPM)
  3. Dash Berlin – Till The Sky Falls (Dash Berlin 4AM Mix) (135 BPM)
  4. Ferry Corsten – Not Coming Down (Dash Berlin 4AM Remix) (130 BPM)
  5. Armin Van Buuren – Not Giving Up On Love (Dash Berlin 4AM Mix) (135 BPM)
  6. Dash Berlin – Never Cry Again (135 BPM)
  7. Dash Berlin – The Night Time (128 BPM)
  8. Dash Berlin & ATB – Apollo Road (Club Version) (133 BPM)

Also, check out this SICK video mix Dash did:

First of all, FOLLOW ME ON SPOTIFY: 

It seems most of the big EDM blogs are obsessed with cranking out post after post with new music. And believe me I’ve been there. I used to spend HOURS scouring the Internet for new releases. Not for my blogs’ sake, but because I was addicted to being caught up on the latest and greatest in EDM. But now that I spend most of my time working, playing video games or grabbing drinks with friends, I think this blog serves as a great vehicle to expose people to awesome EDM that’s already out there. Which brings me to my next “Featured Artist” post about my #3 favorite Trance DJs in the world, Myon & Shane 54 (MS54).

Fun fact: Myon & Shane 54 are Hungarian. I don’t even think I can name another Hungarian DJ and seeing as I am ¼ Hungarian I think their nationality makes them pretty cool and unique.

My relationship with MS54 is interesting, well at least to me. I’ve been listening to them for years, but for the longest time I did not realize that I liked them as much as I do. I first heard about MS54 from Above & Beyond’s podcast formerly known as Trance Around the World. MS54 used to be on A&B’s label Anjunabeats so it was pretty common to hear their songs on TATW. However, it wasn’t until I heard the Myon & Shane 54 Refill of a remix by Cosmic Gate’s Nic Chagall called “Let Go” that I was hooked (I honestly have no idea what a “Refill” even is). The singer on the track is also arguably my favorite Trance vocalist, Aruna.

Story time – about a month after the release of the above mentioned song, Above & Beyond held their TATW 350 episode live from the Hollywood Palladium. Naturally, I stayed in on a Friday night to listen in live from my bed! I’ve pretty much whored him out on this blog since my return, but I was texting my friend Scott who was there about how jealous I was when all of a sudden, Above & Beyond opened with “Let Go.” I was so pissed, yet so happy. And thus began my interest in the duo. If you have not, and I am sure you haven’t, listened to Trance Around the World 350, you NEED to. It really symbolizes the period in which I got into Trance and where my interest in Above & Beyond was at its peak. People also accredit 350 with being the last set A&B played before becoming the 2.0 version of themselves. I will go into more detail about this some other time.

I think I’ve written enough anecdotes already, but I’ll just add that I spent an entire month driving around Europe last summer listening to pretty much the same four songs on my phone. Those songs were “Promises (Myon & Shane 54 Summer of Love Mix),” “Our Way Home” by Lange (OMG the build at 4:15 O_o), “Miracle (Above & Beyond Club Mix)” and “Satellite (Floris de Haan Mix).”

To conclude, I’ve never heard a song I didn’t like by MS54. Their sound is so uplifting and melodic. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! The following songs are in the order by which I like most.

  1. Andain – Promises (Myon & Shane Summer of Love Mix) [132 BPM]
  2. Mark Eteson – Let Go (Nic Chagall Remix) [Myon & Shane 54 Refill] [131 BPM]
  3. Cosmic Gate, Myon & Shane 54 – All Around You [134 BPM]
  4. Myon & Shane 54 – Lights (Club Mix) [134 BPM]
  5. Velvetine – The Great Divide (Myon & Shane 54 Summer of Love Mix) [132 BPM]
  6. Above & Beyond – Every Little Beat (Myon & Shane 54 Summer of Love Mix) [134 BPM]
  7. Above & Beyond – Alchemy (Myon & Shane 54 Redemption Mix) [132 BPM]

Also, check out their podcast (their mashups are sick): International Departures