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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 theVinCrux 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 withPlumb, 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.