As much as we hate to admit it sometimes, the electronic dance music market has become a bit oversaturated during the last few years.
With dance tracks consistently topping the charts, producers left and right have been scrambling to craft the next big dancehall/future bass hit, typically modeling their sound off of Diplo or DJ Snake (or likely, both). While these are certainly exciting times for the EDM scene in some aspects, it has also become harder than ever to keep an eye out for unique, innovative, boundary-pushing artists.
tyDi is one of the few famed EDM artists that has continuously expressed the desire to move forward with his sound and break new ground, even if at the cost of commercial success.
tyDi first emerged in the mid ’00s, but started to really pick up steam in 2009 with the release of his debut album Look Closer, which showcased an unexpectedly mature and fresh take on trance music. In one way or another, each album succeeding tyDi’s debut managed to showcase his songwriting in a totally new light, with his most commercially-accessible LP Redefined releasing in 2014.
This week, tyDi came back with an ever-so-tasteful vengeance when he released his genre-bending album COLLIDE, a self-proclaimed “fusion of orchestral & electronic music” done in collaboration with two-time Grammy award winner Christopher Tin. The end result of this so-called “collision” is simply awe-inspiring, I can guarantee that you’ve never heard an album quite like this.
Fans of BT might be a little skeptical of this, but let’s not forget that Electronic Opus was always intended to be a remix album. COLLIDE – on the other hand – is comprised of 100% original material, built from the ground up by two experts in their respective fields.
COLLIDE does a great job remaining cohesive while spanning across numerous electronic music sub-genres (ranging from trance to electro to future bass), its stylistic variation isn’t even its most impressive feature. The album works in a rather stunning usage of dynamic range in both its vocals and instrumentation (which is not often seen in dance music), and also spends the majority of its length veering away from recognizable dance music formulas.
When tyDi & Christopher Tin put out the lead single from COLLIDE (the dazzling “Closing In” with Dia Frampton) I thought I knew exactly what this album was going to be able to offer, but boy oh boy, I was wrong. It really is amazing that COLLIDE is as cohesive as it is, considering the individual compositions generally don’t even try to stick to a formula.
In another aspect, tyDi & Christopher Tin also displayed the impressive ability to balance COLLIDE between its orchestral and electronic portions. While some songs do end up prioritizing one over the other (“Losing Sight” and “Alive” with orchestral, “Gold Blooded” with electronic), neither half seems to enforce itself as the dominant throughout the album’s running length.
That’s not even mentioning how great the vocals are – across the board – on COLLIDE. I don’t think I’ve ever heard pop vocals fit as nicely over an orchestra as they they on songs like “Fallen Angel” and “You Don’t Love Me.”
In the end, COLLIDE rounds out as a project that showcases some of the best that the electronic music and orchestral worlds have to offer, and blends them together almost seamlessly. Why anyone (including deadmau5) would intentionally miss out on this album is beyond me.
Experience COLLIDE for yourself:
Support on iTunes: apple.co/2tu7mE9