As we wrap up the intense, monumental year of 2012 in the world of EDM, I had the arduous task of trying to compound everything that I have experienced first hand, whether it be live or in the studio. I surround myself with trance all the time (which doesn’t mean I don’t like other music, mind you). As YourEDM‘s Trance Liason, I had to really dig deep in order to find the current trends, hit songs and quality producers that are going to blow up on the scene. So without further ado, I’ll present the best of for me and hopefully you can keep a lookout for these tracks/festivals/artists in the future, because each hand picked selection is chosen after much thought and deliberation. Hopefully I’ll try to keep this short and to the point, because there was so much good material to choose from that I had to broaden my amount of choices. (Also note that these picks are not in any order, just equal in weight).
TOP 3 FESTIVALS/SHOW SERIES
1. Sensation America Interspace 2012
I couldn’t tell you how excited that I was that this series was heading over into America. This is one of the festivals that does it right. Even though it seems a little gimmicky at times, (all those white shirts), it truly gives a visceral experience like no other. It also gives lots of love to those Tech House artists that deserve more attention that they get. The perfect choice of artists, such as Fedde le Grand and Mark Knight, as well as Joris Voorn and Nic Fanciulli not only give a wide variety of music to choose from, but a nice progression of artists from early evening, to peak night to late night hours.
2. Juicy NYC 2012
While not a festival per se, Robbie Rivera decided to bring up his Juicy series up to Governor’s Island in NY and it was one of the most fun I have ever had at a show. From the great food to the man-made sandy beach to the perfect-sized stage for the crowd, it was a shining example of an event achieving everything on point. Not to mention that the venue was perfect. Seeing an artist play while the sun setting on the New York Riverline is an amazing sight to see. Additionally, the lineup was great and featured lesser known artists in the US, such as Stefano Noferini, Manuel de le Mare, and Sultan & Ned Sheppard. And having dance titans, EDX and Robbie Rivera himself gave us a night of non-identifiable music and great vibes with a great fanbase.
3. CNTRL: Beyond EDM
This was probably the most exciting event this year, simply because it was so much more than just a dance series. Richie Hawton, Loco Dice and others held Master Classes at local universities and would talk shop to aspiring producers, often discussing the thorny and difficult questions such as running a label, the current trends in dance music and their feelings on the future, both music and production wise. It gave people an intimate, in-depth view of very accomplished artists and it made me appreciate the music so much more than I already did. Not to mention the fact that I was dancing in a warehouse with people who had actually came for the music and not for the crowd, which was a great change of pace.
TOP 5 UPCOMING PRODUCERS
1. Timur Shafiev
One of the most exciting producers that is still relatively unknown, there are going to be big things that will push him into more fantastic music. His own unique blend of electro, progressive and trance is completely unique to any sound on the circuit right now and his many aliases shows just how many directions he wants to pursue his career. Not to mention a slew of unreleased material that could find the light of day in 2013.
One of the most promising Trance 2.0 producers right now, jjoo came up seemingly out of nowhere and has been producing big tracks near the end of this year. With major influences from Arty, he has still kept to his trance roots and has been blending a more modern take of Progressive Trance to produce inovative sounds and a very bright future ahead.
His tracks completely defy genre, but all of them can be considered as masterpieces all their own. While taking a wildly different approach from everyone else in the EDM spectrum, he has been constantly pushing the envelope on new timbrel possibilities and boldly taking music on surreal and wildly unknown areas not even thought possible. Plus, his charity for his tracks, not to mention the exciting work that he has accomplished from his Breakfast alias has made him a new producer to definitely keep an eye out for.
4. The M Machine
Again, we have a group of artists that push the boundaries of what we call music. The M Machine is not limited to a single genre, as they encompass Dubstep, Electro and even Indie Music, and they excel in all three categories. Their productions use fascinating synths and unorthodox rhythms and concepts to produce incredibly different and eccentric works of art. Seeing them live over the summer was incredible as they would have a high energy set before pulling back on some downtempo music and back up again. It was as close to a musical journey that I have ever felt and their productions have just been getting better and better throughout the year.
5. Kelly Andrew
Being a classical musician myself, I was deeply impressed in how Andrew was able to infuse Classical music into the electronic genre. The two are about as different as you could possibly imagine, but Andrew has but a pioneering bridge between the two, producing AMAZING results afterwards. His music has been some of the most beautiful pieces that I have ever heard and if continues on his trance path (since he is also an over-arching musical composer), or maybe has some chance collaborations into 2013, we could completely see Kelly Andrew become a complete powerhouse in the Trance scene and will showcase the quality in which all producers must strive for.
TOP 5 TRACKS OF 2012
1. Keyworth- Submerged (Original Mix)
Starting off with the best intro I have ever heard in any EDM piece, his 15 minute track brings us over loops and ties as it transports us to another realm of musical discovery. His utilization of minimalism is fantastic here as the first drop is just a kick with a sub barely deviating from the tone of said drum. Keyworth slowly brings in other elements so that it is more of a living breathing entity that is slowly changing over time. Not to mention the ending is some of the most beautiful instrumental music that I have ever witnessed.
2. Olav Basoski- Puerto Rico (Original Mix)
Disco Guru Olav Basoski decided to head things in a new direction and gave us a little bit of samba fever in our blood. Puerto Rico is probably one of the best Tech House tunes of 2012 and there is really nothing that sounds exactly like it. While utilizing an entirely new vocabulary, he puts some SERIOUS groove into this track and really captures the culture of South and Central America in a dance friendly setting. Definitely a quality tune to pick up.
3. Akira Kayosa & Hugh Tolland- Muriwai (Original Mix)
Arguably the top Uplifting tune of 2012, these two producers came up with an absolutely gorgeous representation of music from the heart. Every time I listen to this track, my heart wells up and I feel myself get misty eyed as I become completely lost in its harmonious, joyous message. This track nails everything perfectly and really showcases the beauty that 140 Trance has to offer. This music is not music to dance to, but to one where you close your eyes and let your natural instincts take over your body. It really is that good.
4. Brian Cameron- Serotonin Syndrome (Eshericks Remix)
If you had to ask me one track that encompassed total madness, I would direct you to this track. Breaks producer Eshericks turned this into a terrifying monster of a tune with raw rock-like synths and mean, unforgiving drive and intent. He takes the reins full off and produces hardcore, unorthodox methods of rhythms and synths to create a huge unknown tune. Even in the second drop, he incorporates ‘Breaks Dubstep’, which is some of the most unique music I have ever heard. Even the recording company, Perfecto Recordings, described it as “the hottest production we’ve heard this year. It is F@*king HUGE!!!!!!!” This hybrid of Electro, Psy, Dubstep and Trance gives us a yummy track to rage to.
5. Kelly Andrew- Across The Sea (Original Mix)
Without a surprise, I have had this particular track in my heart after the first listen. There are no words that accurately describe how beautiful this track is and the places that this track will take you is beyond my grasp. The angelic, stunning orchestral break utilizes some of the best musical theory and chord progressions in any song and utilizes such aspects as suspensions and rule breaking musical voicings that simply is divine to the ear. Without a doubt, the best track of 2012 for me, personally.
And last but not least, I have created a 140 Trance mix that encompasses some of the best Trance that I could possibly find. In here, you will find some of the tracks above, as well as some cool mashups, pieces that were featured in previous posts throughout the year and even some TBA tracks that I will be utilizing in future Unsung Heroes segments. Hope you guys had a great time with YourEDM and I really hope you enjoy this mix I put together. Until next time Trance heads, have a great holiday and look forward to an awesome New Year!
1. Sean Tyas ft. Julie Thompson- What I Am (Magnus Remix)
3. Photographer- Airport (Original Mix)
4. Andy Blueman vs. Christina Novelli- Save Us Sea Tides (Shura Vlasov Mashup)
5. Akira Kayosa & Hugh Tolland- Muriwai (Original Mix)
7. Marc Simz vs. Paul Webster- Forbidden Wavelength (DR Mashup)
8. John O’Callaghan- Stresstest (John Askew Remix)
9. Will Atkinson & Des McMahon vs. Wayde Rafnel & Dave Correa- DeRailed (F-6 Mashup)
10. Falcon- Aquila (Original Mix)
12. Kelly Andrew- Across The Sea (Orchestral Mix)