Monthly Archives: January 2012

Stereo Monday: #1

One of the principal reason why we started this blog is so that we can have a space to share our love of Electronic Dance Music and Dance Music gigs to everyone who comes to this little space. One of my favorite past time is to hunt for new tracks and sound and I frequently share my findings on my personal twitter page but they usually get lost in between other non-dance music related tweets.

Then we thought, we should compile our findings and post them up here on a weekly basis so that people can skip the step where they have to hunt and (hopefully) find their weekly dosage of Dance Music right here!

For a start, this week my playlist will include my hunts over the past 7 days as well as my current addictions (both old and new tracks). I hope you guys will enjoy this so here goes…

Stereo Monday: Playlist #1

1. Basto – Again And Again

2. Mark Mendes, Paris & Simo – Aura (Original Mix)

3. Swedish House Mafia Vs. Tim Mason – One Moment (Romain G vs Nick Svenson Bootleg)

4. Michael Calfan – Resurrection (Axwells Recut Club Version)

5. Florence + The Machine – Shake It Out (Benny Benassi Remix)

6. Sandro Silva & Quintino – Epic (Original Mix)

7. Pier Poropat – Tubular (Extended Mix)

8. Tony Sylla & Yves Larock – Viva Las Vegas (Original Mix)

9. Dúné – Heiress of Valentina (Alesso Remix)

10. Arty – Kate

Have a good week ahead!

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Zoukout 2011: Armin van Buuren

Honestly, I’m not a big fan of instrumental Trance but Armin managed to get me movin’ ! It was definitely worth the wait (and perseverance) at the front row. For the first half of his set, he played what he is known for – Progressive Trance. But it just gets better for me as it transcends to Vocal Trance which is what I like to believe, that is what he is trying to major in as well. Famous tracks like “Not Giving Up On Love” as well as “In And Out Of Love” were part of his playlist.

His set flowed really smoothly and seamlessly and before you know it, you are lost in his music. It’s like taking a car ride on a smooth gradual up slope and then a down slope. Your body and mind just follows the ride, it’s almost as if you are on drugs except that you are just sucked into his world.

Armin van Buuren has probably the strongest stage presence out of all the DJs playing that night. His eyes were constantly looking at all of us and without fail, with a smile on his face. Although he was being crowned number 1 DJ for 4 consecutive years, there was not a hint of arrogance found in him. You can see him enjoying himself as he groove to his own beats. There were also lots of interaction between the crowd and him such as him returning heart shape signs and him nodding his head in acknowledgement of the crowds’ passion for his music.

As for the stage visuals, Armin van Buuren was one of the DJs that provided his own visuals. The visuals created the whole atmosphere and brought us to his world of music, but I must say that there were too much hearts going on. During the later part of his set, when he was playing his vocal trance tracks, he used his music videos for his backdrop visual which took us to a more laid back and chill atmosphere. Especially when “Not Giving Up On Love” was playing with the music video, together with the sun rising at the same time, the feeling was amazing.

Armin van Burren’s Sunrise Set definitely live up to its name. Despite 13 hours of non stop music and dance, you can still see people dancing with loads of energy, even us who were there since 6pm the day before can’t help but move our bodies to the beat.

It was truly A State of Trance.

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ZoukOut 2011: Avicii

, aka Tim Bergling is a house music producer that rose to superstardom within two years and took the electronic dance music world by storm with his signature melodious tunes that’s soothing and comfortable for long hours of listening. These soft, melodic tunes are usually paired with beats that’s enough to keep the adrenalin going but not causing any form of massive headaches.

This 22 year-old Swedish prodigy was first known for his hit instrumental single “bromance” which was later released under Ministry of Sound as “Seek Bromance” which features the vocals of Amanda Wilson. Later on, the legendary track “Levels” which features a sample of Etta James’ “Something’s got a hold on me” was also released and is now played and recognized worldwide by most Djs and fans. Many times, the track “Levels” is also being noted as “The sound of 2011″… and possibly even 2012.

Despite touring for only about two years, Avicii immediately became a headliner act alongside Armin Van Buuren on this debut trip to Singapore and Zoukout 2011. This talented and young Swedish is no doubt the soul behind what many defined as the “sound of now” (he is also the sole reason for my participation in ZoukOut 2011 as well as my frenzied act of standing in the front row for 9 hours awaiting for his set).

The man came out at exactly 3am after a welcoming introduction by Chuckie (who became the MC for the night). Chuckie hyped up the entire crowd who were in anticipation of Avicii‘s arrival but to be honest, Avicii needed no warming up at all. Once onstage, he started the show with a short intro that led to a remix version of “Fade Into Darkness” by Albin Myers which was incredible because Albin Myers’ remix has a distinctly different sound which was highly energetic (and is exactly the twist to make the crowd scream as opposed to the original version of “Fade Into Darkness” which was softer). Not that the original track needed any help to drive the crowd mad but that remix was a good twist into pumping more energy into the audience.

Throughout the night, Avicii dropped plenty of tracks of his own, which was exactly why I enjoyed his set so much because I feel that having the original tracks played by the original artistes instead of hearing the same “at the moment” or definitive, timeless tracks that’s played all over by different people is what distinguishes a good music producer-Dj from a mediocre one. As an added bonus, it’ll probably be even more awesome if the original artistes presents their own tracks in a more refreshing way that is previously different from the released versions. That’s bonus marks for elements of surprises!

Going back to the topic, tracks like Raise Your Head & David Guetta’s Titanium’s remix both by Alesso as well as Dada Life’s Kick out the epic mother f**ker among others were dropped. The choice of tracks that Avicii picked (which weren’t his) were generally of higher energy and these tracks were kind of like the contrast to Avicii‘s originals and that made the entire set even more marvelous because the set consisted of an amazing blend of high-energy tunes (to keep the audience pumping) and softer melodic tunes that were so good for the ears!

Throughout the set, Avicii showed enthusiasm by singing/humming to every single track (with or without vocals) although there were instances where he seemed pretty preoccupied. Truth to be told, in the case of Avicii, I am willing to be easy on critiquing his stage presence because he has defined a music style so distinct and addictive that his music on its own is able to send everybody into a state of euphoria.

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ZoukOut 2011: Chuckie

Chuckie, a house music producer who is famous for his unique style of Dirty Dutch house music and have produced superbly catchy tunes hit-singles such as “What happens in Vegas” and not forgetting his latest single “Who’s ready to jump”, took over the stage at 1am with incredible energy and enthusiasm. This guy even wore his very own “Who’s ready to jump” tshirt to the show.

By the time Chuckie came out, it was almost impossible to breathe properly (due to the sudden surge of people all over trying to squeeze to the front) but that did not deter the audiences’ mood because Chuckie was constantly engaging with the audience and that totally help the crowd to forgo the huge mess (insanely packed situation) and just let their hair down and party away. By the time he dropped “What happens in Vegas”, everyone was in hyperactive mode and it was actually still early (probably 15mins past 1am).

Throughout the two hour set, there was never one second where I don’t feel the energetic vibe. Chuckie was constantly multi-tasking between tuning his tracks, engaging the audience with his upbeat moves and voice (he was constantly on the mic shouting out to the crowd). By the way, this guy makes an incredible MC and has an amazingly outgoing and fun personality which shines through because his enthusiasm is simply impossible to mimic.

Chuckie also has the ability to play only the important tunes (even to the extend of forgoing more than half the track). He knows which are the exact seconds of the tracks that’s enough to make the crowd go crazy and it totally worked because his set was just what that the audience needed – a nonstop flow of upbeat sound.

To conclude, this guy’s set was worth my every second. His energy level was magnificent and I think that’s really important since gigs are pretty much a two way thing. On the Dj’s hand, their job is to provide the ultimate experience for us (the audience) and we provide the feedback. Thus, with Chuckie‘s enthusiasm, it’s impossible to not remember this man and his gigs.

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