April 29, 2013

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The Wanted - Walks Like Rihanna

The British boyband is back with a song that is an ode to red hot Barbadian singer Rihanna. After "I Found You" failed to launch in the U.S., they are trying something a little different. Co-written and produced by Dr. Luke, this song is tailor made for radio even though the production recalls his earlier work with other artists. Aside from the obvious gimmick of the song, it is extremely catchy and is perfect for the Summer.

-Listen to the radio rip here (YouTube)

Grade: B

April 25, 2013

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Oscar Loya - Learn Something New (Remixes)

The singer and stage performer's latest single was released late last year though the remixes have just been serviced. Oscar represented Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest as part of the act Alex Swings Oscar Sings in 2009 with the song "Miss Kiss Bang Bang." The song's lyrics are based on the old proverb of how one can learn something new each day of their life. The lyrics are a little trite as much of them are clichés. Oscar's vocals are pleasant. The vibraphone instrumental hook is nice as well. Of the remixes by +36, Automatic Panic, and Eddie Amador, the Electro-oriented +36 mix manages to make the song even better.

-Listen to the original here (Soundcloud)
-Buy the original here (iTunes)

Grade: B+
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Hurts - Blind

This is the second single from their new Exile album. The Electro midtempo has an epic feel to it. In many ways it is a throwback to the Stadium Rock work U2 did nearly 20 years back, yet it sounds very contemporary. The vocals are absolutely amazing. There is a club remix by Frankie Knuckles. He has transformed this midtempo into a gorgeous slice of classic House recalling the glory days of the early 90s.

-Watch the music video for the original here (VEVO)

Listen to the Frankie Knuckles mix here:

Grade: A

April 24, 2013

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Official Hank - Gonna Get Better (Remixes)

The remixes for this song released nearly 2 years ago have just come out. Official Hank is a singer-songwriter releasing his brand of positive music. "Gonna Get Better" is a straightforward, uplifting song. Though the lyrics are quite simple, given all that is happening in the world at the moment, one could always use some encouragement that it will get better soon. The original is a string-drenched Dance/Pop track. The autotuned vocals give the song a robotic feel which does work quite well here.

House luminary Mark Picchiotti provides the remixes. His main version takes the original up several notches with added piano elements and layers of synths. The dub bears only some resemblance to the main mix in certain sections. This works as a great tease to the main version. Overall, the remixes are wonderful.

Listen to the original here:

Listen to the Mark's vocal mix

Listen to the Mark's dub

Grade: A-

April 22, 2013

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Janelle Monáe feat Erykah Badu - Q.U.E.E.N.

R&B chanteuse Janelle Monáe teams up with Soulful diva Erykah Badu on this rousing funky R&B track. The two singers complement each other perfectly from the verses to the ad-libs. This song is a nice fusion of classic, old school R&B and contemporary R&B/Pop. The sweet production is absolutely hypnotic. This should be a big radio and club hit.

Listen to the song here:

Grade: A

April 18, 2013

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Daft Punk - Get Lucky (feat Pharrell Williams)

The French duo's first studio album in almost 8 years, entitled Random Access Memories will be released in a few weeks. The first single is a collaboration with the legendary Nile Rogers (formerly of Chic) and singer/producer Pharrell Williams (of N.E.R.D. and The Neptunes). "Get Lucky" is a funky Disco-flavored number with Pharrell singing in falsetto for much of it. He is a perfect match for the smooth, soulful production. The song sounds like it could have been made during the Disco heyday of the 70s, but it sounds fresh. With Dance music being ubiquitous on Pop radio right now, it would be an excellent opportunity to send this song to that format. Only the Radio Edit is available right now. The full album version that is 2 minutes longer will be released later on, probably when the album is.

-Purchase the song here (iTunes)
-Purchase the song here (Amazon)

Grade: A
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Freemasons feat Joel Edwards - Dirty Organ

The British House duo is back with another new vocal track hot on the heels of the dubby "Bring It Back". They fused their usual Disco goodness with some of the Electro sounds popular right now. The title of the song is for the twisted, swirling piano elements on the track. Singer Joel Edwards (of Deepest Blue) provides vocals. It's mostly just a few sung lines and a single "there's something about you, girl" loop repeated throughout the track. In addition to the main club mix, there's a shorter club mix, a radio edit, and an instrumental. This one is quite the grower.

-Listen to clips and purchase here (Beatport)

Grade: A-

April 17, 2013

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DJ/Remixer/Producer Peter Rauhofer Diagnosed With Brain Tumor

The Grammy award-winning remixer, producer, DJ, and record label owner's manager Angelo Russo announced today on his Facebook fanpage that Peter was just diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Dear Friends and Loyal Fans,  
As Peter Rauhofer's manager and dear friend for many years, it is my sad duty to announce that Peter was rushed to the emergency room several weeks ago. After confirming that Peter had a seizure, further testing has revealed a large brain tumor, something that has gone undiagnosed for quite some time.
At this time, Peter's family is working closely with a team of talented Neurologists to determine the overall best treatment option. Please be assured that he is getting the absolute finest care possible, twenty-four hours a day.
I know Peter would appreciate your kind consideration and positive energy during this extremely difficult period. We will post any updates and progress reports as they become available.
Feel free to post your condolences as well as check into this page for updates.
Sincerely, Angelo
If you want to send him your support and good wishes for a speedy recovery, here is his Facebook fanpage: https://www.facebook.com/PeterRauhoferOfficial/posts/10151562837765042

Peter will be in our thoughts and prayers.

April 16, 2013

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Official Preview Of "The Great Gatsby" soundtrack

The highly anticipated soundtrack to Baz Luhrman's upcoming movie musical The Great Gatsby is now available to preview. Beyoncé and Andre 3000's cover of "Back To Black" (originally by Amy Winehouse) which was heard in the movie trailer wasn't made available as part of the preview. The soundtrack will be released on May 7.

1. "Bang Bang" – Will.i.am
2. "A Little Party Never Killed Nobody (All We Got)" – Fergie, Q Tip and GoonRock
3. "Young and Beautiful" – Lana Del Rey
4. "Love Is the Drug" – Bryan Ferry with the Bryan Ferry Orchestra
5. "Over the Love" – Florence and the Machine
6. "Where the Wind Blows" – Coco O. of Quadron
7. "Crazy in Love" – Emeli Sandé and the Bryan Ferry Orchestra
8. "Together" – the xx
9. "Hearts a Mess" – Gotye
10. "Love Is Blindness" – Jack White
11. "Into the Past" – Nero
12. "Kill and Run" – Sia

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Basement Jaxx - Back 2 The Wild

The Brixton-based duo is back with a new single. The campy, addictive tribal-influenced song is an ode to the beauty and fun of the jungle, from the animals to the plants. The rapid-fire spoken/rapped female vocals with the tribal chants in the background recall the frenetic sample-heavy "Theme From S'Express". The tempos of the two tracks are very similar as well. This song will make for some fun remixes as there is so much that can be done with all the different elements of the track.

-Watch the music video here (YouTube)
-Buy the song here (iTunes)

Grade: A
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Jason Derulo - The Other Side

This is the lead single from his upcoming 3rd album. Produced by DJ Ammo and Dr. Luke, this Dance/Pop track is reminiscent of Kelly Clarkson's recent hit "Catch My Breath" and Lady Gaga's "The Edge Of Glory", in terms of the production. The lyrics especially recall the latter. It is a return to form for the singer after most of the singles from his last album underperformed considerably despite being radio-friendly. This should help put him back on top.

-Buy the song here (iTunes)

Grade: A-
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Wayne G feat. Brian Kent - With Or Without You

This is indeed a remake of the 1987 number one hit by U2. This song is perfect for a remix treatment and Wayne G steps up to the plate while listing  the vocals talents of Brian Kent. Brian manages to deliver a great vocal, coming extremely close to re-creating the magic of Bono's original vocal, which is a very tough thing to do.

There is a massive package of remixes by Wayne G & LFB, Twisted Dee, Andy Allder, Sean Mac, Julian Marsh, Matt Effect with LFB, Radboy, and Club Junkies. Nearly all of the mixes are in a big room and circuit style with the Club Junkies one being more mainstream and the Sean Mac one being more underground. In addition to the main version, Twisted Dee, Matt Effect with LFB, and Julian Marsh's mixes are the best of the bunch, though every version is quite good.

-Listen to clips and purchase the digital single here (iTunes)

Grade: A
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Emblem3 - Chloe (You're The One I Want)

The boyband made an immediate impression on the audience and judges during their stint on the most recent season of X-Factor. Simon Cowell had said that he envisioned big things for the trio during and after the show. Their first proper single premiered a few hours ago. "Chloe" is supposed to be some young woman they fancy, but the song's lyrics could be interpreted as being about Khloe Kardashian (and her famous sister Kim Kardashian is the hotter sister). Regardless of who it is about, the song  is catchy, though the chorus sounds extremely creepy ("I know your sister turns everyone on
But oh baby, I have no doubt you’re the one that I want"). The vocals are solid, but the lyrics and dated production just don't help this one at all. Fans of the boyband should check it out anyway to form their own opinion.

-Listen to the song here (Ryan Seacrest)
-Purchase the song here (iTunes)

Grade: C

April 14, 2013

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Psy - Gentleman

After the massive international success of "Gangnam Style" comes the proper followup. "Gentleman" doesn't deviate much from the formula of the former hit with a similar synth and catchy vocal hook. Even the music video has a similar type of humorous theme and there's a choreographed dance. Though the song is mostly in Korean, the translation indicates this song is a social commentary on how men are typically supposed to be gentlemen. The music video is rather hilarious showing the singer engaging in un-gentlemanly behavior. While this one isn't quite as exciting as his breakthrough hit, this will probably do fine.

-Watch the music video for the song here (YouTube)

Grade: B

April 13, 2013

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Kelly Clarkson - People Like Us

This is the second new song from her first greatest hits album released a few months ago. This song had immediately struck a chord with fans as it is an empowerment anthem that can be embraced by virtually anyone. Kelly's uplifting words are needed now more than at any other time. The Dance/Pop song will be massive on radio when it is released.

There is an official remix package, but the best version is the Show & Tell remix as it makes the song into a hands-in-the-air anthem, retaining the melody and much of the chord progression of the original.

Listen to the Show & Tell club mix here:
Listen to the Show & Tell radio mix here: Grade: A

April 11, 2013

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Donna De Lory - My Sweet Lord

She rose to prominence in the late 80s as a backing vocalist for Madonna on several of her albums and accompanying her on tours for nearly two decades. She also worked with many other artists. Donna has recorded a number of albums including one containing Sanskrit mantras. Her latest single is a cover of the spiritual George Harrison song. She interprets it in a contemporary style. The laidback production calls to mind Natalie Merchant's dreamy "Carnival". Donna's voice is amazing and mesmerizing as can be expected. The message of the song is just as relevant as it was when it was originally recorded.

-Listen to a clip and purchase the song here (CDBaby)

Grade: A

April 10, 2013

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Zedd feat. Foxes - Clarity

This gorgeous slice of Electopop has begun to gain traction on U.S. CHR/Pop radio in recent weeks. In the midst of all the generic Dance/Pop, there is this really exciting song with a stellar vocal. There are plenty of official remixes for the song, but the best one of all is this uncommissioned mix by DJ Taj & DJ Marcel. They opt for a circuit-oriented mix retaining much of the flavor of the original. It is extremely well-done.

-Watch the music video for the original here (YouTube)

-Listen to DJ Taj & DJ Marcel's mix:

Grade: A
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Keenan Cahill and Electrovamp - Hands Up (Remixes)

This was released in the middle of the Summer last year, though the remixes have just come out in time for Spring break. This song is very Ke$ha-esque (the chorus calls to mind her breakthrough hit "Tik Tok"). While it is nothing groundbreaking, it is pleasant and fun. DJ Escape and longtime production partner Tony Coluccio deliver a banging, peakhour mix. The heavily autotuned vocals work better on this mix than on the original.

Listen to the original:

Listen to the DJ Escape & Tony Coluccio mix:

Purchase the original version here (iTunes)

Grade: B+
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Nick Skitz - You Got The Love

After the massive international success of Tim Berg's "Seek Bromance" and Rihanna & Calvin Harris' "We Found Love", there have been a number of new songs in that same vein. This however is more than just another imitation as it goes above and beyond those tracks. The vocals are impeccable.

There are some additional mixes by Basslouder, Maison & Dragen, Royaal & Audiophreakz, and Starkillers. The Basslouder mix is a thumping one in a Jump Up Trance style (think mid 2000s Cascada). The emotional aspect of the song gets lost on this one. The Maison & Dragen and Royaal & Audiophreakz mixes are very similar. They are basically tougher versions of the original. The Starkillers one is the most aggressive of the bunch. Overall, the original and Maison & Dragen mixes are the best.

-Listen to clips and purchase the single here (Beatport)

Grade: A

April 8, 2013

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Nikki Williams - Glowing (Remixes)

This is the current single from the South African singer/songwriter. After the midtempo "Kill, Fuck, Marry" comes this Dance/Pop song. In the midst of all the generic Dance/Pop singles that are all over radio, Nikki's song is in a league of its own as the lyrics are not just about dancing and drinking, and the vocals are absolutely amazing. This song could easily be a power ballad if the Electronic elements were removed.

Though quite Dance-oriented in its original version, there are remixes by Cazzette, Danny Verde, and Fedde Le Grand. Cazzette's hard electro/tribal mix pumps up the energy of the song while Danny Verde's mixes are in the same vein as the original, making it just a little harder. Danny's mixes are very pretty. Fedde Le Grand dirties things up with his synthy electro mix. Overall, Danny Verde's are the best of the bunch.

-Listen to a preview and buy the original here (iTunes)
-Listen to a preview and buy the remixes here (iTunes)

Grade: A
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The Cube Guys & Barbara Tucker - I Wanna Dance With Somebody

This club classic was one of Whitney Houston's signature hits. It had been remixed, remade, and covered countless times. This remake could be thought of as a tribute to the singer who passed away last year. The tribal, electro/house production by the Cube Guys is hard and driving. House legend Barbara Tucker does a fantastic job on the vocals, capturing the essence and spirit of what made so many love Whitney all those years ago. There have been many covers of Whitney songs, but few could do what Barbara did with this one. The only downside of the remake is that it isn't full vocal, with just a bit of the verses and mostly the chorus with a few powerful adlibs. Hopefully the radio edit will have all the verses. This is a great remake.

-Listen to a preview and buy the song here (Beatport)

Grade: A-

April 6, 2013

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Sebastian Ingrosso & Tommy Trash feat John Martin - Reload

Sebastian Ingrosso was one of the members of Swedish House Mafia which recently disbanded. He teams up with producer Tommy Trash and vocalist John Martin (he sang on the SHM hits "Save The World" and "Don't You Worry Child"). This song was previously an instrumental, but now a new vocal mix has been premiered on Radio1's Essential Selection. This song is in a similar vein as earlier SHM vocal tracks, however, it is all the more poignant in light of SHM disbanding. The vocals have the urgency and emotion in them that Bono and Chris Martin did on their work with U2 and Coldplay respectively. An edit of this could help this one do as well as "Don't You Worry Child."

Listen to the song here:

Grade: A
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Selena Gomez - Come & Get It

The Disney starlet is back with a brand new sound and new single. Traditional Indian and Middle Eastern instruments coupled with contemporary Electro/Pop sensibilities make for a fun track. Vocally, Selena sounds confident and much better than on her recent singles. The song is catchy, though it just doesn't seem like something Selena would do. It has the feel of a Rihanna single. This should be another hit for her.

-Listen to the song here (YouTube)

Grade: A-
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Army Of Lovers - Rockin' The Ride (Remixes)

The Swedish Dance/Pop group were very successful during their heyday of the early 90s with their brand of high camp song and over-the-top videos and performances. After several reunions since they parted ways, they reunited for Melodifestivalen in their original configuration in the hopes of representing Sweden at Eurovision this year, unfortunately, they didn't make it through. The new song is in the style of their older songs, though it lacks the flair and excitement of their earlier hits. Some contemporary Electro sounds are in there too. There are additional remixes by SoundFactory, NORD, and Madax. SoundFactory's mix is what one would expect--it does improve upon the original. The dub is far more enjoyable. NORD's mix is is trancey and has good energy, but the campy feel of the song doesn't mesh that well with it. The Madax mix is a warped Dubstep style mix with pitch shifting and everything. Overall, the SoundFactory dub is the best of the bunch.

-Listen to clips of the song and purchase the mixes here (iTunes)

Grade: B
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Chris Brown - Fine China

After dabbling in Dance/Electronic music for the last couple of years with some Hip Hop thrown in for good measure, Chris Brown returns to his R&B roots with this smooth new single. It manages to straddle that fine line between R&B and Dance/Pop, remaining closer to R&B. It has the feel of something Michael Jackson would have done towards the earlier part of his solo career. With pure R&B coming back in a major way during the last year or so, Chris is on the right track with this one.

-Watch the music video here (YouTube)

Grade: A

April 4, 2013

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Tony Moran vs Deborah Cooper - Heartbeat

This song was released under the name Diva Convention last year. In addition to the main mix, there are some more remixes by The Degenerates, Eddie Baez, Gustavo Scorpio, Sted-E & Hybrid Heights, and Todd Terry. The Degenerates' mixes are bassline-driven room shakers. The dub ends up being far more exciting with the various loops and builds. Eddie Baez and Gustavo Scorpio's Circuit-oriented treatments toughen things up. Eddie's is harder. The Sted-E & Hybrid Heights Electro mix may work for some DJ, but the vocals just don't seem to mesh that well with the production. Veteran producer Todd Terry's mix with its blips and beeps and laidback beats is fun too. The main version and the Eddie Baez ones are the best of the bunch.

Grade: A
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Salme Dahlstrom - Sexy Punk

After the club successes that were "C'mon Y'all" and "So Delicious", Salme Dahlstrom is back with the lead single from her new album POP PROPAGANDA PART 1. "Sexy Punk" is a quirky, addictive Electro/Pop song with a hint of Dubstep. While the song is in her signature style, the production also calls to mind Daft Punk and Stuart Price's earlier work. With the right promotional push, this song could potentially cross over to Pop radio. This is a great song.

-Listen to the song here (official website)
-Purchase the song on iTunes or Amazon

Stay up to date the latest news and releases on Salme's Facebook page

Grade: A
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Warren Nomi needs your help!

If you like singer Warren Nomi's music, you might be able to help him. He is trying to raise funds for his new album on IndieGoGo. There is a video with some background and footage of Warren. There is some other written info too explaining in details what the funds will be used for. Warren's IndieGoGo campaign can be found here.

Warren's new music video for "The Rush" can be viewed here (YouTube)

April 2, 2013

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Barona & Bouvier feat Abigail - Surrender

This is a new collaboration of Peter Barona and Bill Bouvier with the ethereal vocals of Abigail (of "Let The Joy Rise", "If It Don't Fit", "You Set Me Free", and "Lay Down" fame). The main version has a Circuit meets Trance feel, complementing Abigail's soaring vocals and the great lyrics. The song has a melancholy feel that immediately calls to mind Talk Talk's classic "Such A Shame."

There are additional remixes by Manny Lehman, Matt Consola & LFB, Oliver Watts, Rafael M & Mr. Anderson, and Sted-E & Hybrid Heights. Manny Lehman's mix continues in a similar direction as the original, and plays up the Trance elements. Matt Consola & LFB's isn't as hard, but has an uplifting hi nrg feel. Oliver Watts also brings a Trance flavor with his mix. It calls to mind some of Valentin's work from the mid 2000s. Rafael M & Mr. Anderon's hi nrg/tribal mix is also quite pretty with the subtle piano elements. Sted-E & Hybrid Heights' mix is the most contemporary of the bunch with its aggressive Electro sound, though it works well.

Overall, every single remix is great. It's hard to pick a favorite as all are really so well done!

-Listen to clips and purchase the digital single here (iTunes)

Grade: A+
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Jewel - The Greatest Hits Remixed

Singer/songwriter Jewel is no stranger to clubland as a number of her singles have been remixed for dancefloor consumption, and she even dabbled in some Electronic-influenced music with her 0304 album.
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OneRepublic - If I Lose Myself

This is the lead single from their latest album Native which was released last week. The song is an uptempo with Rock and Dance elements, but it doesn't deviate from their usual style. Ryan Tedder's vocals are amazing as can be expected.

The Alesso vs. OneRepublic remix is in an uplifting Electro House style and it contains several drops with the verses and chorus. Those drops resemble the original version minus the beats. This version may help the song on radio as Dance/Electronic-influenced songs are still getting a lot of airtime.
  • Watch the music video for the original version here (YouTube)
  • Listen to the Alesso vs. OneRepublic remix here (YouTube)
  • Buy the original version here (Amazon)
  • Buy the Alesso vs. OneRepublic remix here (Beatport)
  • Buy the Alesso vs. OneRepublic remix edit here (Amazon)

Grade: A-
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Shirley Clamp - Step By Step (Remixes)

Released earlier this year, this is the comeback single from the Swedish popstar. It is a lovely inspirational Dance/Pop song. This is a bit of a departure from her usual work, though fans of her other songs that had remixes will appreciate this. Shirley is an amazing singer and sounds great on a variety of productions.

SoundFactory provides remixes for this. The Radio Remix version is in a similar vein as the original though it makes it a little more uptempo. The Club Remix is harder hitting. These are great mixes for a great song.

Listen to the song here (YouTube)

Grade: A

April 1, 2013

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Artist Feature: Crystal Waters

Known for her soulful and sultry vocal performances, singer-songwriter Crystal Waters has been a major force in Dance music for almost a quarter of a century.

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