“Desert (Shuzhen’s Oasis Reword)” by ARVAN & Shuzhen

"Desert (Shuzhen's Oasis Reword)" by Arvan & Shuzhen
"Desert (Shuzhen's Oasis Reword)" by Arvan & Shuzhen

ArtistShuzhen & ARVAN

Song: Desert (Shuzhen’s Oasis Rework)

Genres: #electronicmusic

Location: Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Release date: August, 2023

Comment: Shuzhen is a neo-classical pianist and multifaceted producer from Malaysia. She has has taken the emo rock hit “Desert” by ARVAN, a band that has won the “Best Band” award at the 2020 Malaysia AIM Chinese Music Awards and performed at various festivals in Malaysia and Taiwan, and turned it into a sleek and classy deep house gem. The remix, aptly titled “Desert (Shuzhen’s Oasis Rework)”, is part of the musical project “ARVAN’s Rework”, curated by the independent music label mü-nest.

I had never heard of ARVAN before, which is a shame because they seem really talented. But when you contrast the original version of “Desert” with Shuzhen’s version, you can really appreciate her talent as well. Shuzhen transforms the dark and emotive original into a warm and vibrant sonic atmosphere that invites listeners to dance in harmony with the music. The pairing of Aki’s soulful vocals (ARVAN’s lead singer) with Shuzhen’s electronic soundscapes fits like a glove.

With this stylish remix, Shuzhen demonstrates her ability to blend the fluidity and contemporary appeal of electronic music with the distinctive emotional essence of emo rock. People in America and Europe should take a closer look at what’s happening in Southeast Asia’s music scene, starting with this collaboration between ARVAN and Shuzhen, and exploring Shuzhen‘s small yet impressive back catalogue.

Jon Hopkins, Kelly Lee Owens, Sultan + Shepard & Jerro – To Feel Again / Trois

ArtistJon Hopkins, Kelly Lee OwensSultan + Shepard & Jerro

Song: To Feel Again / Trois

Genres: #electronicmusic

Location: Canada, United Kingdom & Belgium

Release date: September, 2022.

Comment: Out of all the entries in this website, the one with the highest number of Google Search hits is by far the entry for Sultan + Shepard‘s flawless track: Assassin. I’m now going to make things a bit more confusing to those visitors by adding another track involving the same duo, along with Belgian producer Jerro, and British producers Jon Hopkins and Kelly Lee Owens.

I’ll let Sultan + Shepard explain the story behind this track: “One day, we happened to be on Reddit, and saw that someone had tagged us in a video of Jon Hopkins playing our collaboration with Jerro, ‘Trois’. We were very flattered because we’ve been a big fan of Jon ever since we heard Light Through The Veins many years ago. We reached out on Twitter to say thanks for supporting the track, and he wrote back saying he had an idea he wanted to discuss. Turns out he had discovered the song in a car after a gig in Milan and Shazam’d it and started playing it in his sets. He then made a special edit of Trois using the vocals and synths from his song ‘Luminous Spaces’ with Kelly Lee Owens. He sent us the rough draft and we quickly sent over stems and before we knew it a new piece of music had been born out of our two songs. ‘Luminous Spaces’ was one of our favorite tunes of the past couple years so we were extremely excited. We’re such fans of both Kelly and Jon, so being able to connect and collaborate with them through this song that we started with Jerro in our studio last year feels very special to us.” Enjoy!

Jonquev – Technicolor Dreams

Artist: Jonquev

Song: Technicolor Dreams

Genres: #electronicmusic

Location: New Delhi, India

Release date: May, 2021.

Comment: Some outstanding electronic music is being produced in India today and Jonquev is the latest example of that. Technicolor Dreams is a mesmerizing track full of immersive soundscapes and hypnotic beats. It’s hard to believe this is just his debut single. I cannot even imagine what his first EP, Electric Heart, Magnetic Soul, is going to sound like. Let’s just say he’s just set our expectations pretty high. I’m looking forward to it.

TZEJAX & Suhasini – Love To Go

Artist: TZEJAX featuring Suhasini

Song: Love To Go

Genres: #electronicmusic

Location: New Delhi, India

Release date: April, 2021.

Comment: Love To Go is an extremely catchy and uplifting song with a positive message about accepting all kinds of love (as shown by the video below). TZEJAX is a music producer and professional DJ from New Delhi, India, and for this track he got help from fellow Indian artist Suhasini Khattar. Check this tune out. It will light up your weekend.

Valtos – Lapwyng: Pretty Girl Remix

Artist: Valtos

Song: Lapwyng – Pretty Girl Remix

Genres: Electronic, Scottish music

Location: Scotland

Release date: April, 2021.

Influences: Odesza, Jon Hopkins

Comment: Valtos (Martyn MacDonald and Daniel Docherty) are two electronic music producers whose current project consists of remixing songs from local bands from Scotland, such as Lapwyng. The result is pretty unique and interesting.

VinCrux – Within

Raosaheb Ramteke is an IT professional from India with a passion for music production. After struggling for a while to find the right balance between his day job and spending time making music, he finally self-released his first single in 2020 under the VinCrux moniker. He has since dropped a few other singles, including today’s featured song, Within, earlier this year. While he’s still trying to establish himself as a music artist, the quality of his work is generating some buzz already not only in his home country but all over the world as well.

Unfortunately, Vincrux lost his dear sister due to cancer in 2019, but the silver lining of that terrible experience is that it sparked a flame within Raosaheb for pursuing his dream. Most of his songs are inspired by conversations and memories he had with his sister and Within is no exception. With this tune, Vincrux wants to express that the solution to most, if not all, of our troubles lies within ourselves. Listen to this excellent track below and get lost in its enchanting melody. You will also find it hard to believe that everything related to making this song, even the music video below, was made by himself: an artist who is just getting started. Impressive.

Sultan + Shepard – Assassin

Sultan + Shepard - Assassin

I stumbled upon Sultan + Shepard (not the Australian band Sheppard) when Youtube decided to play this song, Assassin, automatically after it had finished playing another video and I was too busy to stop it. The tune was so good that it grabbed my attention almost immediately even though I was focused on work. It is a charming electronic offering with a synth line you simply cannot get enough of.

Sultan + Shepard are a Canadian duo with several EPs under their names and even collaborations with artists such as Tiësto. They have just released their first full-length album Something, Everything, which includes today’s featured track. Sultan, born Ossama Al Sarraf, lived in Kuwait, Cyprus and Egypt before moving to Montreal in 1996 to study mechanical engineering, where he met Ned Shepard and almost immediately started producing music together.

If you like good, melodic electronic music, you really cannot miss Assassin. You are going to love it.

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Steve Kroeger & Skye Holland – Home

Steve Kroeger is an electronic music composer and producer who has had 5 singles on the Billboard Dance charts. He often teams up with singer-songwriter Skye Holland, as was the case in Home, a chill spellbinding tune that feels like summer. Skye, who got Japanese, Dutch and Canadian roots, started her music career at 10 when she joined a Japanese teen pop group. Her sweet voice shimmers all over this track and complements Steve’s smooth production really well.

Home is the perfect track to listen to when you want to lighten your mood. It’s fun and catchy as hell. As far as house/pop songs go, it cannot get any better than this. Enjoy!

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Thomas Gold feat. Eagle-Eye Cherry – Get Up

Thomas Gold feat. Eagle-Eye Cherry

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!

Featured on the following mixtapes:

Lane 8 & Yotto – I/Y

Lane 8 & Yotto

This gorgeous track is the result of blending atmospheric melodies with elements of house music. Daniel Goldstein, known as Lane 8, is an American musician and DJ active since 2012, while Otto Yliperttula, aka Yotto, is a Finnish DJ who emerged in 2014. Both renowned for their progressive house sound, this marks their first collaboration.

I/Y may not be brand new, but its beauty is undeniable, capturing listeners with its gradual progression from delicate atmospheric sounds to euphoric heights. Take a listen to this captivating addition to the Electronic Mixtape.

Featured on the following mixtapes: