The second week into this month, and I gotta say: November has “LIV”ed up to the expectations. Well regrettable puns aside, we have a bunch of new music to talk about in the 44th roundup!
Afrojack, James Arthur – Lose You
High-profile studio collaborations are real eye-catchers. So is the newest teamwork between the Dutch giant Afrojack and noteworthy British singer-songwriter James Arthur. Sticking to recent trends, the production strictly remains a smooth, polished synth-pop that reminded me of recent hits from kid LAROI and Harry Styles. The production deserves merit, especially knowing that Afrojack has delivered several hits in the last decades as a prolific pop producer for bigwigs such as Ne-yo and Beyonce.
For the moment, we can expect a festival-friendly VIP edit right around the corner, as the song is partially released by Wall Recordings as well.
Kaskade, Justus – Dance With Me
The uprising alias Justus has pioneered the future rave genre as much as its progenitors, as the talented youngster has caught the attention of various heavyweights. It was only time that a major act would sign onto a collaborative deal with him, but perhaps rare few could have thought it could be someone as renowned as Kaskade. “Dance With Me” is his coordinated efforts with the American progressive/electro house trailblazer.
Bringing onboard a crew of tribal percussions and slugging techno kickdrums, the pair has formulated a dancefloor slammer. The “Lightning Strikes” producer shines here the most, with a recognizable big-room techno signature noticeable outright. Around the breakdown, there are synths that are a tad analogous to Kx5‘s sound (Kaskade’s synergy with Deadmau5), lending a more atmospheric quality to the already throbbing record!
Kx5, James French – Avalanche
Kaskade‘s production prowess has been further extended and amplified with the “Strobe” creator Deadmau5, and after revealing the scintillating “Alive” (which frankly is the tune of the year in the melodic techno realm), the magnificent duo has given us “Avalanche“. True to its title, the tune begins on a somber note thanks to the magnetic vocals from James French, only to be overpowered by gigantic 909 acid squelches and a sturdy bassline. The creative procedure here is refreshing to hear, something unusual and alluring!
Feather, 44hydra – Dusk [Herflex & Porth Nole Remix]
Long-time colleagues Porth Nole and Herflex had formulated various ideas for their first-ever collaboration, manifesting it years later on an official remix duty for Feather and 44hydra.
Their take on “Dusk” is a garage, breakbeat-infused creation that is laden with distorted and grungy elements, notwithstanding the airy and lofty synths that provide a melodic context to the cadent, abrupt drumbeat. A pleasant and featherweight summery tune in short!
Rory Powers – Stories
There is an intriguing and personal backstory behind this production- years back, during the havoc-wreaked days of the pandemic in 2020, I was addicted to various podcasts. Among my absolute favorites was “The Paranormal Life”, held by a comical Irish duo covering various supernatural matters. So imagine my surprise at receiving a debut song from one of the hosts while going through our regular promo submissions, nearly two years later! Rory Powers, after having enamored various listeners in his podcast, has tried his hands on music production, and is equally capable at that too!
Using a trendy dance-pop format of instrumental, Rory’s already recognizable vocals radiate through with a catchy autotune processing, while snappy, upbeat post-punk rock features carry the tune efficaciously.
Aspyer – DNA
STMPD had once heralded its own amalgam of Bass and Electro House, and while the label thrives with ear-catching releases now and then, it is acts such as Aspyer that are pushing boundaries. The mentioned producer has already made his reputation solid with dynamic productions such as “Don’t Tell Me”, heavily focusing on adhering to quality. “DNA” isn’t an outcast to that detail, swinging with orchestral violins modified to fit a vigorous bass house casing that is meticulously crafted.
GRAVEDGR, Hekler, Lit Lords – HARD HEADZ
The bass music community is up to snuff, thanks to masterful producers such as GRAVEDGR, Hekler, and Lit Lords. “HARD HEADZ” is nothing short of a live dynamite, laced with various oddities and surprises ranging from hardstyle kickdrums, and grimy 808s to shrieking synths oozing with distortion that only made me wonder about the avant-garde sound-selection ongoing here. An absolute pleasure to get swamped by the bone-rattling bunch here!
Danny Olson feat. Becca Krueger – Waking Up
Creating something unique in Future Bass is rather challenging after all the impressive experiments we have heard during the year, but Danny Olson just broke our hearts with “Waking Up“. Dedicated to his dad and with a touching vocal from Becca Krueger, the track fuses sweet breakdown with explosive, emotional drops in a composition of passion and melancholy. It’s difficult to explain the different feelings that we got while listening to this release, it’s something that you have to try yourself.