On this week’s Unsung Heroes, we set our sights towards the future as we experience one of the most sophisticated and refined pieces to exist on the EDM spectrum. If you have been following Unsung Heroes on a regular basis, you would know that one of the core attributes to this weekly series is finding music that pushes boundaries and allows us to explore new avenues of the infinite void of timbral possibilities. Too often, we find tracks that are made with a formula that fully embrace the computerized aspect of production: cold, emotionless and existing purely to drive festivals and make money. Regardless of how you look at it, it is tailor made for large groups of people. But as we turn the page towards 2014, more and more artists are taking the easy way out and are sticking with what is popular rather than what they enjoy creating. Signature sounds are slowly starting to evolve into a commodity and it is feeding into one singular sound that controls most of the American market. But where is the emotion; the passion; the drive to create and to innovate? On a subconscious level, we hear certain pieces of music that was made for the art; music that strikes a deep and intimate chord within oneself and was handcrafted with love, beauty and a desire to add their mark to musical history. Rather than creating something that is new and will help drive this scene forward, we are instead constantly bombarded with what the industry thinks is popular combined with a sense of laziness, boredom or even self preservation.
Of course, the general argument would be to search in the underground where all sorts of innovations are taking place. However, most people aren’t willing to take that step and instead cling onto what is familiar with their friends and acquaintances. Many cannot take their personal journey to brand new genres and scenes. Your EDM has over 50,000 readers who actively participate on our site and we have an opportunity to showcase amazing tracks and artists to start you on that journey. And as someone who truly cares about the music and of the art that is quickly whittling away, it is my duty to open your minds and to discover, because music is all about that moment of discovery when you hear something you like, even if it something drastically different and foreign. Nothing in the world can beat the rush of chemicals and endorphins that pulses through your spine and explodes in your head when you experience something truly amazing and innovative. And the best part is that that same feeling can be felt across the board in a variety of genres. From Deep House to Electro and to Trance to Techno, that same childlike sense of wonder and spark still exists within the leaders of music that make it their goal to propel all music towards the future. And while there are many distractions that plague the mainstream of EDM, they won’t be able to take that wonder that exists in the heart and souls of each and every one of us, as long as we are still hungry for music that has a purpose on this Earth.
With that being said, we turn to two heroes of True Progressive that continuously and aggressively seek to drill into fresh material and focus on sounds that breaks into new genres and styles. The first is the legendary Kobana, who is a highly respected musician that’s been mentoring up and coming producers with his vast knowledge of production chops and visionary thoughts. He is known for his blistering combination of atmospheric Progressive with influences of tech, or as he puts it: “all sounds create a fantastic harmony that engages the listener and ideally transfers Kobana’s emotions.” On the flip side, we have Ben Coda, (who has been alongside Kobana throughout their respective careers), that is also known for his staggering level of sound production and supreme mastery in layering and orchestration. Most importantly though, both of these artists do away with conventionality and instead create entire landscapes of music that only exists within their own vision. They seek no compromises and they don’t take the easy way out. Instead, they look deep within themselves and let their souls communicate in a way that words could never comprehend. A spoken vocabulary has its limits, but the only limits that sounds have are the human imagination. In 2010, both of these artists teamed up to an incredibly rich and satisfying release with Kobana and his single of Frisky, with Ben Coda on remix duties.
As we stated above, the clear indication of quality control has to come from the unbelievably crisp and gleaming sound design. Everything from the melody to the harmonies and even from the percussion to the pads all have a cool and confident feel towards it while effortlessly chugging along at a consistent, steady speed. Both have embraced some elements from minimalism, as the bassline seems to only be sixteenth notes with a couple of notes changed for melodic variety. But that is the beauty behind it. Much like Psy Trance, the continuous drone of the basslines, (which is also coupled with the main synth line), forces us to drown the important parts and instead let our minds drift towards the intricacies that they have snuck into the waterworks. It is a beautiful cycle in which the futuristic sounds initially keeps us interested but ultimately drowns them out for the more nuanced sounds, further immersing us in a world of spectacular sounds that seems to resonate within our very cores. And if you listen even further, beyond those sounds, you can hear even more examples. You can hear the passion of the artists and the long nights that it took to create this track with no outside help. This is to test their abilities and to push them along in their own musical journey to grow as both a musician and ultimately as a person as well. And ultimately you can hear the very magic that resides within the music because it is a self journey into discovery and realization for each and every one of us; two important, long forgotten facets that there producers certainly have not forgotten.
Ben Coda‘s remix of Kobana‘s single, Frisky is out now on Silk Digital via Beatport, so make sure you pick up a copy today. Also, make sure to check out the sublime Original Mix, as well as the B-side entitled Antidotum with the Monojoke mix in tow!
Keep the music alive. -Q
Unsung Heroes is a weekly segment where we take a look back at an amazing production and bring it back into the light for older and newer fans alike. These tracks were often overlooked, overshadowed by a huge release or are just not that well known to the public here in America. Here, you can find all the hidden gems in many genres and find a new favorite track (or another tool/weapon for aspiring DJ’s).