MidlifeMix – Continental Drift

Say what you want about how terrible 2020 has been, but it has also allowed plenty of people to reinvent themselves in a way that probably wouldn’t have happened in a normal year. Take for example the case of Helen Meissner, who like many others, decided during lockdown to start creating music. Unlike them, she did so at 54; hence her moniker MidlifeMix (MidlifeCrisis was taken!). To make her story even more unusual, her genre is electronic music and did I mention that when the whole pandemic started, she didn’t know much about music production? I particularly love Helen’s slogan: “Old enough to know better, young enough not to care”.

MidlifeMix recently released her eponymous debut EP, which consists of six diverse tracks. Continental Drift is the most chilled one but also my favorite. It feels like drifting away while floating in the air or the sea. However, if you’re looking for something more active, make sure to check the whole EP out. You’ll find what you’re looking for.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Dreddbeat – In The Name Of Love

Remember Toys In The Attic? I really loved that moniker but, unfortunately, due to legal reasons, Alexander Borczynski had to change his stage name. He chose Dreddbeat, which is a cool name too, and released a brand new EP, which he named Toy Box (perhaps as a homage to his old moniker). Style-wise, it’s really close to mainstream pop/hip-hop, and honestly in terms of production quality, you wouldn’t be able to spot the difference with any of the songs currently featured on any top 10 most popular hits. Alexander really knows what he’s doing.

Granted, the EP’s main genres are not really my cup of tea but that does not mean it doesn’t have songs we could all enjoy over here. One example of that is the opener, In The Name of Love, which has an insanely good hook that stays on your mind long after the song has ended. It showcases Dreddbeat‘s skills as an artist and music producer

Overall, I think this is a nice addition to the Electronic Mixtape and a perfect song for a Saturday evening. Hope you enjoy it!

Featured on the following mixtapes:

The Chronicles of Manimal and Samara – Mata Hari

I admit I’m not a big fan of experimental music, but when the result is something this interesting, I’ll listen. The Chronicles of Manimal and Samara, or TCOMAS, are a London-based duo formed in late 2019 by Andrea Papi (Manimal) and Daphne Ang (Samara); and when you have a musical act listing as influences the innovative works of Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, and Tool, and the poetry of Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf and Jim Morrison; you know that the resulting music will be anything but conventional. They want to bring music, literature, art and history together while defying musical genres boundaries, and their fourth and latest single, Mata Hari, is no exception to that. I warn you, this will not suit everyone, but I really dug it.

Mata Hari was an exotic Dutch dancer who was convicted and executed during World War I for being a German spy, but it also means ‘sun‘ in Malay, and that is the meaning it has on this track, which is told through the eyes of an artist who declared his love for somebody through a painting. The song, with its atmospheric soundscapes, mixes poetry and the spoken word with electronic music and rock, aiming to reimagine how 80s music will sound 60 years from now. Trust me, you are extremely unlike to find something else resembling TCOMAS and Mata Hari.

Give a chance to this immensely creative band. Worst-case scenario, you’ll hear something pretty unique; and best-case, you’ll dig it just like me.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Chicane – Poppiholla

Last week, we featured Sigur Ros‘ classic, Hoppipolla, as the #throwbackthursday entry. Naturally, the turn this week is for a great tune that was based on the Icelandic band’s song. It is not a remix per se, hence the slighly different name, but more like a tribute to the original song. I’m talking, of course, of Chicane‘s Poppiholla.

Nicholas Bracegirdle, aka Chicane, is a legendary British musician and producer with a wide number of top ten hit singles across Europe and Australia, and I’m not referring only to electronic music charts. This lists includes Poppiholla as well, which peaked at number 7 when it was released in 2009. It is hard not to feel better or even euphoric just by listening to it. Sadly, the music video, which you can watch below, is also fitting nowadays despite being 11 years old.

Enjoy this great tune.

Paul van Dyk ft. Sue McLaren – Guiding Light

I didn’t know Paul van Dyk was about to release a new album when I featured him here back in June, but he did just that last week with Guiding Light. Its lead single is also the title track, a collaboration with Sue McLaren, and I have to say that it is pretty good. McLaren is an UK-based vocalist, DJ and songwriter who started as an indie rock artist but eventually and almost by chance ended up focusing on electronic music.

This track, Guiding Light, is a typical uplifting trance tune from PVD, but there is nothing wrong with that. Its enthralling melody and sweet vocals will draw you in and make you have a blast for the duration of the song. If you are looking for music that can cheer you up this weekend, this is a good start.

Toys In The Attic – Where Giants Sleep

There’s no much background info I can give you on Toys in the Attic. All I know is that this project consists of one person, based in Rhode Island and that he is pretty active on Twitter. According to his songs’ writing credits on Spotify, his name seems to be Alexander, but the fact that really matters here is that this artist is really passionate about making music of all genres, but mostly alternative and synth-based tunes. His catalogue is small but varied, with some songs flirting closely with dance music while others, like Where Giants Sleep, are mellower.

Where Giants Sleep is a catchy track that takes you on an auditive journey. It’s easy to imagine that you are driving through a scenic route when listening to this tune, and the destination is your happy place. By all means, check Toys in the Attic out and you can start right here, right now with this addictive track.

Update: Due to legal reasons, Alexander has had to change his stage name. While old songs will remain under the Toys in the Attic moniker on streaming platforms, new music will be released as Dreddbeat.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Thomas Gold feat. Eagle-Eye Cherry – Get Up

Remember Eagle-Eye Cherry? He had a couple of massive hits circa 1997/98 with Save Tonight and Falling In Love Again (in fact, he deserves his own Throwback Thursday entry), but wasn’t able to replicate that level of success with his subsequent singles. If you thought he had retired just because you hadn’t heard from him again, that would have been a perfectly logical conclusion. It would also have been wrong because Eagle-Eye (his actual name but I’ll leave that for another post) has actually remained pretty active all these years except for the period of time between 2003 and 2010. Recently (2019), he collaborated with German DJ Thomas Gold on the extremely catchy tune: Get Up.

It is an EDM track, which is not my forte, but this one is really good, with a nice melody and a great chorus. Eagle-Eye‘s vocals blend gorgeously with Thomas Gold‘s production style. The result is a great tune that is perfect for a party, a long drive or just improving your mood when you need a pick-me-up. The positive lyrics don’t hurt either. Enjoy!

Lane 8 & Yotto – I/Y

This gorgeous track is what you get when you take an atmospheric tune and give it elements of house music. Daniel Goldstein, better known as Lane 8, is an American musician and DJ who has been active since 2012, whereas Otto Yliperttula, aka Yotto, is a Finnish DJ who has been around since 2014. Both DJs are considered bright representatives of the progressive house genre and and this was their first collaboration together.

I/Y is not really a new track, but it’s recent enough (one year) for me to ignore that fact. It is a beautiful track that starts shyly with atmospheric sounds and then little by little starts building up in euphoria. Give a listen below to this new member of the Electronic Mixtape.

Flotron – Local Symmetry

Eletronic music is a very broad genre, with more subgenres than I can be aware of. So, I have no idea how Flotron‘s exact subgenre is called, all I know is that it is emotional instrumental electronic music and that I like it. Particularly, Local Symmetry, which belongs to Flotron‘s Antinormal album, and I’ve been playing on repeat for a while now. I just find it soothing.

There is not much personal information about Flotron online, other than the fact that he’s based out of Austin, Texas. I understand this might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but if you happen to like this kind of music, please make sure to give Flotron a try.

Paul van Dyk ft. Plumb – Music Rescues Me

I don’t think Paul van Dyk needs any kind of intro. Matthias Paul, his real name, is one of the most renowned DJs in the world. However, from the moment I decided to include trance tracks on this website, I knew I had to feature Music Rescues Me. This tune from 2018 was a collaboration with Plumb, who is an American Christian artist who has sold more than 500,000 albums and two million singles worldwide. The song was also co-written by Johnny McDaid, who you might know as Snow Patrol‘s guitarist and lead singer of the extinct band Vega4 (and also as Courteney Cox’s boyfriend).

Music Rescues Me is a gorgeous and uplifting trance anthem that is impossible to get out of your head. It’s the perfect earworm for a Saturday night. Don’t believe me? Try it now and let me know how it goes.