Deconstructing The Perfect Dance Song: Kaoma’s Lambada

If you asked me to name the best dance song of all time, off the top of my head, it would be none other than Lambada, Kaoma’s interpretation.

Even though the song never quite took off in the US as it did in Europe, I feel many see this breezy summer tune as the quintessential dance song.

There were 15 other variations of the Lambada tune before Kaoma finally nailed it and created an international fever.

It’s no surprise that the track hit number one on many music charts, but… why? Do yourself a favor and press play on the video below, and then read on as you listen. Continue reading “Deconstructing The Perfect Dance Song: Kaoma’s Lambada”

Music Review: Aaalyssa DeBoer – Genesis EP

Genesis, the debut EP from Aaalyssa Deboer, is a somewhat disappointing listening experience. Despite the British Columbia-based musician and model’s obvious enthusiasm for pioneering and leftfield music, her designs end up poorly-executed and underwhelming.

final-1

The EP opens with ‘Genesis’, which begins with a promising introduction of swirling synths. The sudden string section which immediately follows is fairly startling, and the basic sequence being played is then passed to different instruments for no apparent reason.

Despite an appealing bass rhythm which finds its way in and out of the track, the main problem here is a lack of continuity. Another imposing factor is the lack of composition knowledge, and rather than the track evolving into any kind of interesting climax or point of interest, it just kind of switches between sequences before suddenly ending. All in all, the track sounds like a collection of initial synth sketches rather than a cohesive product.

The second track on the release, Aurora Trailing, features many of the same shortsighted mistakes as Genesis. A stab sequence, which would probably have sounded pretty cool with the right accompaniment, instead just plays over a switching and disjointed background of basic programmed loops. Intermittently, a bass pattern pulsates in between these sections, and once again there is no coherence with regards to the track’s flow or any particular moment within it.

This Is Not Reality, the third song, is definitely an improvement over the two earlier efforts. While I still feel that DeBoer needs to focus heavily on improving her sense of composition, this one does manage to pass for a kind of experimental/minimal techno track and the piano sequence sits well on top of the pulsating bass pattern. There’s even some nice use of filters here, and the subsequent sense of development – slight though it may be – manages to make the track a much more interesting listen than its predecessors.

The EP’s closing track, Blue Jets and Red Sprites, shows some further promise despite some fairly cheap sounding synth choices. The track centers around a few violin sequences played on top of the same 4/4 rhythms found elsewhere in the release; the bass carrying the track along manages to nicely bring together the classical and techno influences, and the use of LFOs during the bridge sections shows definite promise for DeBoer’s future efforts.

In summary, my main problem with the Genesis EP is the arbitrary instrumentation; there’s a lot here that exists only to break up the sections which DeBoer is actually focusing on, and this sense of filler means that those parts never really get to shine.

The artist’s aspirations to blend vastly different musical influences (such as classical and techno) are apparent, but much of the execution ends up sounding like a tribute to Kraftwerk. This is obviously not a bad thing, but I get the distinct feeling that this was not her intention.

It’s all well and good to produce experimental and minimal music, but the standards for doing something impressive in those fields is typically even higher than those found elsewhere. I hope that, as her artistic voice continues to develop, DeBoer can fulfill her ambitions and hopefully become a trailblazer within the experimental techno genre.

You can listen to Genesis on Soundcloud, and it’s also available to buy on iTunes.

Why I Never Force Music Production

I’ve been on a bit of a break lately. I’m still posting stuff on Soundcloud but not quite as frequently. Part of it is life stuff, like working a new full time job, part of it a burn-out, part is a lack of recent inspiration – musically, anyway.

But, that’s all OK.

You see, my best music has always come naturally, and it comes and goes. Sometimes I just feel it. That’s the beauty of having left music mainly as a “hobby” – I prefer passion – of sorts, I don’t really have to do anything I don’t want to.

For a while I found myself getting hung up on producing music for licensing, which was fun at first and actually pays money, but it started feeling a like a job – especially after creating multiple variations of the same 60 second cue for someone who doesn’t know what they want, and then ultimately having them pass on it because 20 other producers bid on the same project.

Anyway, I think that frustration is well known to many, and is certainly not anything totally new.

I did just do a remix of mitch murder’s breaking waves, as a gift for my wife, which mitch was super kind to let me do.

Right now I am playing around with the idea of launching a music-related business – so perhaps more on that to come, pending the outcome of the business plan.

As always thanks for all the love and support. I have been getting a bunch of demos recently, through the site, which is encouraging. I listened to all of them so far and reached out to couple of producers about releases. Keep those demos coming.

I don’t force production because it winds up sounding manufactured, formulaic and lacks any sort of identity. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – this is the golden age of music because producers no longer have to crank out bad records to survive. It all takes less time, the promotion is easier, and the music sounds better than ever.

New Year, New Label, New Journey

New Label

For those who are familiar with my releases, many might know that I’ve traditionally released 90% of my music with label Addictive Vibe Records, which my friend Alex Biagi started almost 10 years ago. Unfortunately, Alex was no longer able to run AVR, for personal reasons, and thus the label dissolved.

Out of loss sometimes comes opportunity. I was in a good position to launch my own label, Sonaris Music, with the support of a number of artists from AVR, including Alex. This new step is a natural move for myself and a logical next step in my musical journey.

The new label is still focused on emerging artists, first and foremost. The biggest difference between AVR and Sonaris Music is I am adding a number of electronic, and non-electronic genres to the mix – such as trap, rap and hip-hop. While SM will still primarily focus on releasing electronic music – which is what our awesome distributor Label Worx focuses on – we have the opportunity to sell on Amazon and iTunes, so there’s no reason not to include non-electronic genres.

Looking for New Talent

Because I now have the reigns to a brand new label, I am looking for emerging electronic talent. The cool thing about Sonaris Music is, the label is laid back, non-exclusive, but most importantly – we’re a community. A lot of big decisions we make as a group, which means we typically vote on new artists we add to the label. We hand pick all artists who release with us and that’s what makes Sonaris Music cool – I personally (at least digitally) know every one of the 50+ artists who released music through AVR and I plan to continue this tradition with SM.

No Music Reviews – For Now

In other news, I’ve clearly not had the time to do the music reviews on this site, as I had initially planned. Because I don’t like to half-ass anything I do, that means I won’t be doing music reviews at the rate I had been doing them previously.

My apologies to the many people who submitted music for review and didn’t hear back from me. I admit that’s not very professional and not the way I like to do things.

For now, please do not send in any music for review, unless you want me to listen to a demo you’d like to release with Sonaris Music.


That all said, the new year is off to a great start, with several releases already scheduled through Sonaris Music – and more to come. I look forward to hearing from you.

S.

I have not been good about doing reviews, for which I apologize.

Life takes unexpected turns, and lately I have been totally swamped with work and other life events. Because of this, I have neglected to review some of the great music which people have been sending my way. My hope is that I will find the time in the near future, but for now you’ll have to accept my apologies.

That said, if you’re interested in reviewing some original music, have good writing skills and a good ear – drop me a note.

The good news is, as you may or may not have noticed – I spent some time, recently, completely redoing this website with the goal of making it faster, smoother and providing a better overall experience.

I am still actively working on music, with a release in the works in the very near future, so stay tuned. I am also hoping to put together another licensing or sample pack. If you want to contribute some samples, I can include them with credit to you.

Destiny is Upon Us. Well, The EP Anyway.

If you got on InternetDJ.com about six months ago, it was hard to miss the annual remix comeptition which InternetDJ.com hosted with my label Addictive Vibe Records. The remix competition centered around my original progressive house track Destiny.

The track peaked at #1 on InternetDJ.com charts in the summer of 2014 – which was onviously exciting for me as it was the first time I’d had an original hit the #1 spot (I’d done it a few times with remixes). Out of the 17 total entries in the running one track stood out in the crowd with solid production value. Andy Line approached the competition with a light, summer dance beat, incorporating a few major elements from the original track.

After a few months of figuring things out with Andy (read: I forgot to send him the distribution agreement), and perfecting both mixes in the studio, we released a joint, two-track EP titled “Destiny” on Beatport, Amazon and iTunes and a bunch of other online shops.

Destiny was inspired in part by the progressive house sounds of 2009, my days of riding my Honda VFR750 in the Colorado Mountains, the movie Drive, and Birdy Nam Nam’s amazing tune and video – Defiant Order.

The idea was to create something flowing, with a steady build and a driving melody. I wanted to write something I could listen to on a highway drive in the rain.

The track has been positively received overall on iDJ and on Soundcloud, getting over 20,000 plays in a period of a couple of months with an aggregated review score of 8.5/10 on InternetDJ. Destiny is my first commercial release in over a year, while I worked on trying new production techniques in 2014 – I did release a bunch of free music on Soundcloud.

I’ve got a number of new electronic music releases in the works for this year – it will be an exciting one to be sure! Stay tuned and catch up with me on Soundcloud, Facebook or Twitter!

I am also planning on redesigning my website here again relatively soon, so please excuse the mess while I work on it. Stay cool.