Words By: Sean Moffatt
The leading force in today’s trance scene and reigning DJ Mag #1 Armin van Buuren has returned with his first album since 2010. The follow up to Mirage titled Intense is in every sense of the word, an album. Of course the LP has a strong trance presence, but it is the exploration of different musical genres that makes this album a stand out. Looking to classical, rock, and of course progressive and trance, Armin once again proves his artistic value to the dance music world.
“It’s been an intense 2 years in the making. Being a perfectionist, some of these tracks have taken me months to finish. I’ve tried to incorporate as many real instruments as possible, including a live orchestra and the rock band of my brother Eller, Bagga Bownz. It’s been an honour to work with such talented artists, singers and songwriters.”
Intense features 15 cuts that appeal to the masses without loosing the van Buuren influence many were worried would be lost after hearing the first single. I’ll admit, after hearing This Is What It Feels Like, I wasn’t confident I was going to enjoy the album, but I do. The standout track for me Turn This Love Around, sees Armin collaborate with Drowning vocalist Laura V and Australian twins NERVO. The meshing of the record’s soft melody and Laura V’s vocals is magic and a song I expect to resonate with a lot of people.
Top 5 Records:
1. Turn This Love Around (Feat. NERVO, Laura V)
2. Forever Is Ours (feat. Emma Hewitt)
3. Won’t Let You Go (feat. Aruna)
4. In 10 Years From Now
5. Beautiful Life (feat. Cindy Alma)
Intense continues the 2013 trend of EDM artists creating albums properly, staying true to their artistic identity. An album is about the journey, not how many sick drops it has. Dirty South shocked a lot of people with his album earlier this year, and Armin has followed suit. I really enjoyed listening to this album, and I’m excited to see how it translates into a live DJ set.
Armin returns to Toronto this Saturday inside Sound Academy for his official Intense tour stop.
Intense (feat. Miri Ben-Ari)
This Is What It Feels Like (feat. Trevor Guthrie)
Beautiful Life (feat. Cindy Alma)
Waiting For The Night (feat. Fiora)
Sound Of The Drums (feat. Laura Jansen)
Alone (feat. Lauren Evans)
Turn This Love Around (vs. NERVO feat. Laura V.)
Won’t Let You Go (feat. Aruna)
In 10 Years From Now
Last Stop Before Heaven
Forever Is Ours (feat. Emma Hewitt)
Love Never Came (feat. Richard Bedford)
Who’s Afraid of 138?!
Humming The Lights (iTunes Bonus Track)
Words By: Sean Moffatt
With millions across the globe glued to their computers for one of the most anticipated Ultra Music Festival performances on 2013, Swedish producer Avicii used his time on stage to once again shock the world of dance music. The established star had been actively sharing his excitement for the set via social media and fan expectation had never been higher. What fans didn’t expect however, was the diverse spectrum of music that highlighted a short UMF TV broadcast on YouTube. Almost immediately following the performance fans went on the attack. The aggressive complaining picked away at the live performers, ‘country & folk’ sounds, and some even went as far as claiming Avicii’s career was over.
My honest opinion is that the emergence of EDM as a popular genre and alluring culture has made many of its new fans expect heavy club records with every release. The reality is that dance music a genre where producers are more likely to release a slew of independent singles than an actual album. While albums are built to tap into human emotion and take you on a journey through music, singles are one offs. Australian producer Dirty South recently released his first artist album Speed of Life following a different formula then he had ever used to produce previously. The 10 track album isn’t made up of 10 heavy hitting club tracks and that’s what makes it solid as an LP. Avicii appears to have taken a similar approach to his album but by showcasing them as a set, fans were left confused.
Hey CANADA! What do YOU think about the new album songs? I would love to hear YOUR thoughts specifically! (via Avicii’s Facebook Page)
To address the criticism and set the record straight Avicii let his music do the talking and released a CDQ mix featuring the criticized songs. All it takes is one listen to realize that the upcoming album will have something for everybody. The April Promo Mix showcases powerful progressive instrumentals and multiple A-list features (Chris Martin, Lana Del Rey, Aloe Blacc), but most importantly Avicii takes risks that in my opinion pay off.
Take a listen to the mix and let us know what you think!
2. Avicii feat. Lana Del Rey – ID (Wildboy) (Working Title)
3. Avicii & Nicky Romero – I Could Be The One (Nicktim) (Vocal Mix) w/ Avicii & Nicky Romero – I Could Be The One (Nicktim) (DubVision Remix)
4. ID – ID w/ Dave Armstrong – Make Your Move
5. Avicii & Sebastien Drums – My Feelings For You
6. Avicii feat. Audra Mae – ID
7. Adrian Lux – Teenage Crime (Axwell & Henrik B Remode)
8. Avicii feat. Aloe Blacc – Wake Me Up (Working Title)
9. Pryda – Shadows Sean Miller & Daniel Dubb – Sinnerman w/ ID – ID
10. Avicii – ID
11. Avicii feat. Aloe Blacc & Mac Davis – ID (Black And Blue) (Working Title) w/ Avicii feat. Joakim Berg – Stars
12. ASH – Let Me Show You Love (ASH & Avicii Hype Machine Mix)
13. Avicii – ID – Avicii ft. Salem al fakir – Someone like you
14. Avicii feat. Audra Mae – ID2 (Working Title)
15. Avicii – ID
16. Ivan Gough & Feenixpawl feat. Georgi Kay – In My Mind (Axwell Remix) w/ Avicii – ID Avicii feat. Dan Tyminski – ID
At the young age of just 15 years old, Toronto’s newest production talent Maxum has already surpassed the successes of many of his peers. It has been mere months since his first official release yet the producer/DJ has already garnered support from the likes of Thomas Gold and Eddie Halliwell. The young talent just recently experienced his first Miami Music Week and returned home to play his first ever show in Toronto. With so much success in a short period of time, the future is nothing but bright for this crafty, emerging artist.
There is a lot on the horizon for this rising star and with whispers of big connections coming out of Miami, it seems like only a matter of time before Maxum is the next big name to emerge from Toronto.
It’s time for the entire dance music collective to rejoice, Daft Punk is back. After 8 long years since their last album, the French duo consisting of Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter has officially released the lead single for the highly anticipated Random Access Memories. While much has happened in dance music during the duo’s noticeable absence, the French icons have returned at the perfect time to remind the growing scene not to forget about the foundation the genre was built on.
Dance music was destined to breakout and evolve and yet the legend that is Daft Punk has always managed to be a relevant part of the conversation, even in their absence. The progression of EDM has seen heavier samples and synth work become extremely redundant and the formula for hit records in serious need of a refresh. Daft Punk wanted to make the album as human as possible so except for one snippet of an Australian rock song, the album is unaltered or synthesized.
The album’s lead single Get Lucky which features famed guitarist Nile Rodgers and music pioneer Pharell is the antidote to the current EDM formula and is refreshing beyond words. The disco feel compliments Pharrell’s unique vocals, but most importantly the record has personality. The final product is everything we would hope for in a Daft Punk single. Too often artists return from hiatus with mediocre material and thankfully that’s not the case here.
Random Access Memories is out May 20, 2013
Words By: Sean Moffatt
Since its inception in 2003, Steve Angello’s Size Records has grown into a recognized source for some of the industry’s most addictive house music. Angello’s ability to find up-and-coming stars has served the label well, consistently developing a roster of top-notch talent. The label’s influence has helped mature the sound of AN21 & Max Vangeli into the successful People of the Night album of this year, and it continues to do so for each member of the Size family. Included in that mix is a young duo from Essex, U.K. Jonnie Macaire and Harry Bass who together make up melodic progressive duo Third Party.
The pair’s Size Records debut Release screams Miami anthem, and their follow-up Duel saw them build off that initial momentum with support from several DJ peers. Even after such a successful introduction to the world of dance music, the duo made significant gains with the release of their avidly supported track Feel. Max Vangeli played this record in his sets for months before anyone could even identify who had made it. The sampled vocal from Cicada’s Don’t Stare At The Sun is beyond addictive, oozing with passion and raw emotion. The duo has since released powerful remixes and originals, most recently a collaborative effort titled Lights with Size honcho Angello.
Tonight the pair will make their debut inside Uniun Nightclub alongside residents Manzone & Strong. Make sure to grab your tickets, this one is going to be crazy!
Fuck Me (Third Party Remix) – Stooshe
Feel (Original Mix) – Third Party vs. Cicada
Duel (Original Mix) – Third Party
Lights (Original Mix) – Third Party & Steve Angello
Release (Original Mix) – Third Party
Otherside (Third Party Remix) – Red Hot Chili Peppers
After last year’s inaugural Veld Music Festival, the men and women at INK Entertainment must have been thrilled at the initial success of Toronto’s largest dance music event. With well over 30,000 people attending both days, the city’s EDM family came together for one of the biggest events Downsview Park had seen since the Stars 4 SARS concert back in 2003. It didn’t matter that it was 40 degrees or that it rained, the talent that the festival offered had fans going absolutely insane on back to back days during the August long weekend. I personally wasn’t sure if they could top last year’s lineup this time around, but as per usual, INK once again will be bringing the world’s best DJ’s to perform in Toronto.
Not only will the festival feature top notch talent once again, but the featured artists have changed substantially. There are over 30 acts performing at this year’s festival over the two days and with such variation there is something for everyone. Minor production changes and adjustments will be sure to make performances from Joel Zimmerman, better known as Deadmau5, that much better then it was last year. You can just feel the anticipation building already, early bird tickets sold out for the event in a matter of minutes once sales opened to the general public. Big ups to the promotion team at VELD as well, I don’t know about you but I was constantly checking my twitter daily to see who was being announced. INK is always making their events bigger and better then they have in the past and we expect this years VELD party to be no different.
Veld 2012 Official Aftermovie
My only disappointment with the festival is that I wont be able to see everyone perform. There is just to much quality talent at both stages to see everyone you want to. Running back and forth between the Tent and Main Stage trying to catch my favorite sets will for surely be the biggest challenge of the weekend, but if that’s the worst thing that can happen, we’re all pretty lucky. On paper The VELD lineup hit a home run, and if its anything like it was last year it is going to be one of the highlights of the summer for all dance music enthusiasts.
Words by: Danny Moody