#Review: Big Wild – Superdream ūüŹú

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Big Wild is the moniker of American producer, composer and DJ, Jackson Stell. Having been producing music since he was just 14 years old, it wasn’t until 2012 that he began producing music under the name Big Wild. It was in 2015 that the electronic music duo, ODESZA, asked him to support them on a couple of dates of their tour, having discovered him on SoundCloud. Now, 2019 sees the release of his debut album, Superdream. Here’s what we have to say about it…

Big Wild - Superdream.jpg

From the very beginning, Superdream is an album the doesn’t let up for a minute and has some of the most intricately crafted and beautifully delicate production, I’ve ever heard on a record.

‘City Of Sound’ launches straight in, with a funky, disco-like quality and big vocal harmonies that are very reminiscent of Foster The People‘s ‘Pumped Up Kicks’. From there, we’re almost immediately led into single, ‘Joypunks’ – a bouncy, uplifting instrumental track which uses broken-up vocal sounds to create a really unique-sounding, nonsensical hook which you can’t help but try to sing along with.

I could go on because there is just so much to love about this album, however there are four tracks that really stand out above the rest:

‘6’s To 9’s’ is a huge track; the production is truly top-notch – there are these wonderfully understated verse vocals, married with high-pitched harmonies that build from a calm intro and verse into a gargantuan chorus, with sensational, gospel-like elements – it’s a truly epic track with a stunning performance from Rationale. There’s something almost sensual about the song.

‘No Words’ has some serious St Lucia qualities to it, with a big, gang-vocal chorus and some natural, night sounds during the breakdown.

The whole record feels as though there are religious undertones throughout; maybe it’s just because it sets such a high standard for the genre?!

‘Alley-Oop’s infectious beat courses right through you, giving off some reggae-like vibes and features vocals from iDA HAWK. The chorus is huge, which a big instrumental push behind the “Oop” to really emphasise it. There’s something a little Paloma Faith about the vocal, in places.

The last of the four biggest tracks has to be ‘Purple Sand (My Home)’, a song with broken-up pan flute/whistle sounds riding throughout, giving it a real organic feel and tropical flavours. It’s a very reflective song, looking back to a place you miss and long to be.

There’s lots of other things to love about Superdream too – ‘Pale Blue Dot’ is a bizarrely captivating instrumental that weaves together a gritty bass line, retro, horror organ notes and a chopped-up accordion-like sound. ‘Maker’ is truly ethereal and sounds like a modern-day ABBA track, with the vocal melodies and some of the instrumentals. ‘Heaven’ features a big drop and is pretty club-like but with more depth and diversity than most modern club tunes – it’s very refreshing.

The album draws to a close with ‘Awaken’, another instrumental that has large, spacious moments to it and a modern, religious-like style to the big moments. In fact the whole record feels as though there are religious undertones throughout; maybe it’s just because it sets such a high standard for the genre?!

Some of the best things about Big Wild‘s production are the way he takes ordinary sounds and distorts them, to the point they‚Äôre almost unrecognisable, yet become instantly captivating. It’s also quite evident that he loves big bass booms to really hit the listener, but they’re used just the right amount, making for a massive impact!

This is already a contender for album-of-the-year, within the genre, and 2019’s only just begun! Big Wild has set the bar high for himself with this truly electrifying debut and this is surely set to catapult his career to new heights. I just can’t wait to see what he puts out next and watch as he continues to grow and evolve. Superdream is super sensational!

Rating
4-5


‘Superdream’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/superdream/1438818174


Superdream on Spotify

Superdream (Audio Video Playlist)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of this producer’s debut album? Are you as much of a fan as us? What would you rate it out of 5? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or via our social media.


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#Review: Alan Walker – Different World ūüĆć


   

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Alan Walker¬†is a young, Norwegian DJ and record producer who burst onto the scene with his¬†2015 single,¬†‘Faded’ (featuring uncredited vocals by Iselin Solheim) –¬†now platinum certified in over 10 countries and as of December 2018, the music video has received well over 2 billion views! Since then, he has had many successful singles which have received tons of attention online, through countless YouTube views and Spotify streams. Alan has also collaborated with and remixed music for likes of Noah Cyrus, Sia, Bruno Mars, Avicii, Coldplay, Miley Cyrus, Kygo, Charli XCX, Julia Michaels and more. Now, December 2018 sees the release of his debut album,¬†Different World. Here’s what we have to say about it…

Alan Walker - Different World

Alan Walker‘s debut album makes an atmospheric opening with the haunting use of synths and wordless vocal melodies, building continuously, however, just as you think it’s reaching a crescendo that will surely lead into the first track…it goes quiet! Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for atmospheric album tracks that build into the next but the 3 tracks on the album (out of 15), that are intended to prelude something bigger, just drop off like this, leaving a lot to be desired in this respect – they should flow right into the next track, seamlessly!

Some of the best tracks on the record include: ‘I Don‚Äôt Wanna Go’ (featuring Julie Bergan) with its really interesting, low vocals throughout the verses before breaking out into a wonderfully powerful chorus yet it’s obviously very Alan Walker in style, with the almost bubbly synths. Then you’ve got ‘Lily’ (featuring K-391 & Emelie Hollow), an almost story-like track, with a rather dark undertone to it. The high-pitched vocals contrast incredibly with somewhat sinister-sounding electronic elements to the instruments.

‘Do It All For You’ (featuring Trevor Guthrie) begins with a haunting, nursery rhyme vibe to the instrumental; its warbling chime sounds and hip-hop-style beat bring something fresh to the ears. It isn’t an instantly or obviously catchy track yet it’s very well written and you quite easily find yourself singing it several hours later. ‘Sing Me to Sleep’ (also featuring uncredited vocals by Iselin Solheim) is a very powerful song containing shakingly beautiful vocals (somewhat like Ellie Goulding), accompanied by the haunting sounds of children playing throughout the start and verse. Meanwhile, the synths a like a blend of some well-know Chicane and Owl City instrumentals.

However, possibly the best, most commercial-sounding song on the album, is single, ‘All Falls Down’ (featuring Noah Cyrus, Digital Farm Animals & Juliander). It’s just catchy, fun and despite the slightly down-hearted subject matter, is strangely uplifting.

It’s actually an album that depicts a rarely heard, somewhat dark and edgy side of EDM and it’s brilliant!

Both ‘Lost Control’ (featuring Sorana) and ‘Lonely’ (featuring Steve Aoki, IS√ĀK & Omar Noir) have an urban/Indian edge to them, mashed up with a gritty, broken quality to the synth sounds. Whilst, ‘Darkside’ (featuring Au/Ra & Tomine Harket) sounds a lot like ‘I’d Do Anything’ from the musical, Oliver! in the chorus – it has sensational production with a lot of subtle flourishes underlying the main melodies and ‘Diamond Heart’ (featuring Sophia Somajo) makes good use of rain sounds to add to the atmosphere, topped off with a strong vocal like Dua Lipa meets Sia.

Unfortunately, ‘Alone’ is nothing more than a solid album track, that I am certain fans will love, but it’s not the most memorable track, by far, despite the typical Alan Walker-style synth breaks.

Of course, it wouldn’t be right not to mention ‘Faded’; the track that really launched the producer and songwriter into the limelight – as with a couple of my favourite debut albums released by fellow EDM producers this year, it’s a really touching way to end a debut album; bringing it all back round full-circle to where their career began. A great little touch!

It’s clear that Walker likes to use real sounds to enhance the soundscapes he creates, which really add to the ambience throughout the record – it might just be one of the saving graces of the record, making him stand out from so many other EDM producers.

All in all, it’s actually an album that depicts a rarely heard, somewhat dark and edgy side of EDM and it’s brilliant! As I’ve previously stated, if Sigala‘s album was the soundtrack to the party and Jonas Blue‘s was the soundtrack to the after party, then Alan Walker‘s debut album is the soundtrack to the gritty underground club after that!

Whilst I think there are several things lacking in this record, he has certainly spent a long time crafting a production-perfect debut with some interesting sounds or synth choices here and there that add just enough variety to delight your ears and make it stand out.

After the success of ‘Faded’ and the loyal online following he’s built up, I’m sure Alan Walker will have an illustrious career ahead within the genre…it’ll be interesting to see how he develops and grows from here.

Rating


‘Different World’¬†is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/different-world/1445140820


Different World on Spotify

Faded (Official Video)

All Falls Down featuring Noah Cyrus, Digital Farm Animals and Juliander (Official Video)

Darkside featuring Au/Ra and Tomine Harket (Official Video)

Diamond Heart featuring Sophia Somajo (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review of Alan Walker’s debut album, Different World! What do you make of it? Are you as much of a fan as us? What would you rate it out of 5? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or hit us up via our social media.


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#Review: George FitzGerald – All That Must Be


   

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George FitzGerald is an English, electronic musician who previously worked for London label, Black Market Records, but after relocating to Berlin in 2010, began recording and releasing his own music. 2015 saw the release of his debut album, Fading Love, and now in 2018, he’s releasing his second record, All That Must Be. Here’s what we have to say about it…

George FitzGerald - All That Must Be.jpg

The album opens to the sounds of the hustle and bustle outside FitzGerald’s London studio, nicely setting the theme for the rest of the record, which very much echos the thrum of urban life.

In amongst the production, vocals are present, however, save for the tracks with guest vocalists, Lil Silva and Tracey Thorn (Everything But The Girl), they are barely recognisable, through much distortion and production wizardry. This is executed perfectly though, as they blend so well with the instrumentation, that it actually takes a few listens to properly realise they are in fact vocals.

George further explains, “In many of the songs the vocals are disembodied and processed to the point you can‚Äôt make out what they‚Äôre saying. I wanted that to mirror the uncanniness you feel when a massive event happens in your life. Everything looks and sounds the same but it‚Äôs somehow different. Your surroundings are less intelligible.” This is very much reflected in the album’s lead single ‘Burns’, which was also played regularly on Radio 1.

This album is a complete body of artistic work that has a unique story-like quality to it.

All That Must Be is very much an album of music that brilliantly depicts urban life. It is almost a soundtrack to the commotion of a city and represents the rhythm and heartbeat that so many cities often seem to have.

On first listen it’s easy to feel like all the tracks on the album are quite similar and that it stays the same from start to finish. However, it’s only when you listen again that you can truly appreciate just what a remarkable piece George FitzGerald has created, with subtle, intricate variations and changes in atmosphere. This is a complete body of artistic work that has a unique story-like quality to it. It might not be to everyone’s taste but it is astounding how an almost entirely instrumental album, can so clearly illustrate a picture in the mind and audibly represent so many moods. It’s both hypnotic and melancholic in places and there is a real sense of motion about it; it certainly doesn’t stand still.

Some of the most stand-out tracks are ‘Frieda’ for its meditative quality, ‘Burns’, for simply being the monster track that it is and ‘Roll Back’ and ‘Half-Light (Night Version)’ for their collaborations with Lil Silva and Tracey Thorn, respectively.

This is a record that could easily be experienced and enjoyed on a long drive at night, with the warm summer air breezing through the open windows or as something to ultimately sit back, relax and chill out to.

Rating
4


‘All That Must Be’¬†is out now¬†and can be downloaded from iTunes –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/all-that-must-be/1322664114


All That Must Be on Spotify

Roll Back featuring Lil Silva (Official Video)

Burns (Official Audio)

George FitzGerald Tour Dates

All tickets are on general sale now, via www.george-fitzgerald.com.

19 March – Munich, DE – Ampere
20 March – Berlin, DE – Schwuz
21 March – Cologne, DE – Yuca
22 March – Paris, FR – Nouveau Casino
23 March – Brussels, BE – AB Club
24 March – Utrecht, NL – Catch Festival
26 March – Brighton, GB – The Haunt
27 March – London, GB – Islington Assembly Hall
28 March – Glasgow, GB – The Art School
29 March – Manchester, GB – Gorilla
09 May – San Francisco, US – The Independent
10 May – Echo Park, US – The Echo
12 May – Salt Lake City, US – Kilby Court Gallery
13 May – Denver, US – Larimer Lounge
15 May – Chicago, US – Subterranean
16 May – Toronto, CA – Drake Hotel
17 May – Montreal, CA – Bar le Ritz PDB
18 May – Boston, US – Great Scott
19 May РNew York, US РRough Trade


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review of George FitzGerald’s second album,¬†All That Must Be! What do you think of it and what would you rate it? Please let us know your thoughts in a comment or share your feelings about it via our social media.


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#Two4Tuesday: Frankmusik – ‘Going Under’ & Disciples – ‘On My Mind’


   

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Frankmusik – ‘Going Under’

As you probably know by now, we’re¬†big supporters of¬†Frankmusik¬†(check out our interview) and if his latest single (‘Going Under’) is anything to go by, that’s not going to dwindle any time soon.

The electronic artist has been going it alone, without a label, for some time and he’s still producing incredible music, growing and developing his sound with each and every release. The singer’s latest track is very different from his previous releases and has a much for edgy, underground vibe to it, but it’s epic – the instrumental drop is sick beyond belief; I defy anyone not to start skanking out¬†to it!

Bring on the new music and the first of 2 EPs this year, SS17, on June 17th 2017!


‘Going Under’¬†is¬†on¬†iTunes for downloading now! –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/going-under-single/id1220779282



Disciples – ‘On My Mind’

Our second track today is¬†‘On My Mind’ by London-based trio,¬†Disciples¬†(consisting of¬†Nathan Vincent Duvall, Gavin Koolmon, and Luke McDermott).

The trio’s deep house song, is somehow relaxing yet at the same time, danceable. It’s got a late-night summer feel to it. It’s the kind of track that would keep you going well into the early hours especially with the combination of harmonised vocals, repeating,¬†“On my mind”¬†– it’s truly quite entrancing.

This is a fantastic song; one I could quite happily listen to on repeat, for hours!


‘On My Mind’¬†can also be downloaded from iTunes now! –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/on-my-mind/id1203282773?i=1203283073


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#SundayFunday: Lady Gaga – ‘The Cure’


   

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It’s come as a complete surprise, but Lady Gaga has literally just dropped her latest¬†single,¬†The Cure’, today.

After performing it for the first time at this year’s Coachella (2017), the singer has also released the track¬†via iTunes and Spotify.

It is the first new music from the singer since last year’s album,¬†Joanne. It’s unclear, as yet, what she plans to do with the song – could it be the sign of a new album? Or is it just a present to her adoring fans? No one knows yet.

The song itself is more of a step in the direction of her earlier music (The Fame) and is a far cry from 2016’s¬†Joanne but it certainly is catchy. However, it does feel a little safe from the singer as it’s definitely got vibes of the current Tropical House trend but she’s definitely put¬†her mark on it – undoubtedly it’ll chart well! I do like it though – a good¬†track.

Unfortunately no music video has been released as yet, but of course I’m sure one will follow. Until then, see the fan-recorded debut performance at 2017’s Coachella.

What are your thoughts of the singer’s latest, surprise¬†single? Please leave your thoughts or your own #SundayFunday song suggestion in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘The Cure’¬†can also be downloaded via iTunes, now –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-cure/id1227018130?i=1227018435


#ThrowbackThursday / #ThrowbackThreesday: Deepest Blue


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Deepest Blue were an electronic music duo, comprised of Matt Schwartz and Joel Edwards, who were active from 2002-2005.

Their first single, the self-titled¬†‘Deepest Blue’, was released in 2003. The song was originally recorded as a different version, but did not gain any interest, but when it was re-recorded and released, it reached Number 7 in the UK charts. It was due to the song’s progressive house feel that the song gained interest, as the genre was popular at the time.

Deepest Blue – ‘Deepest Blue’


In February 2004, the pair released their second single,¬†‘Give It Away’. The song is a catchy, deep house song,¬†which provided the duo with another¬†Top 10 hit, reaching Number 9 in the UK Charts, and it’s probably my favourite song they’ve released.


Deepest Blue – ‘Give It Away’


Although their fourth single,¬†‘Shooting Star’, failed to reach the UK Top 40, it’s a great song due to the fantastic string arrangement; it’s powerful and instantly recognisable.

Released in August 2004, it was the fourth single taken from their debut album,¬†Late September, but it was prominent for its use on Sky Sports News and Soccer Saturday from 2004 to 2007. It’s still used by¬†Sky Sports as incidental music during UK football matches.

This song is epic as it showed just how diverse this duo were and it’s such a shame that they are no longer about – maybe a reunion should be put on the cards!


Deepest Blue – ‘Shooting Star’


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#WildCardWednesday: Alan Walker – ‘Faded’ featuring Iselin Solheim


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Alan Walker first gained attention by releasing an instrumental version of this song, called ‘Fade’, via¬†NoCopyrightSounds¬†(NCS) back in 2015.

He has since signed to MER Musikk under¬†Sony Music Sweden, to re-release the song, re-titled as¬†‘Faded’ and features the uncredited vocalist¬†Iselin Solheim.

Since then, the 18-year-old’s track has reached Number 7 in the UK charts and gained him a lot of recognition: not bad going at such a young age!

What do you think of this awesome House track? Have you heard much of his other music? Looking forward to hearing new releases from him? Please share your #WildCardWednesday choice in a comment below or via our social media accounts.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Faded’¬†can be downloaded off¬†iTunes now –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/faded/id1058093269?i=1058093278