Today’s second entry wrapping up the year of 2012 in dance music covers some of the best songs from the world of Trance and Progressive House. Often as the lines between genres become more and more blurred, these two categories have been grouped together due to similar characteristics. Unlike their Electro-House and Big Room House cousins, Trance and Progressive songs often clock in at six to eight minutes in length and are more complex in construction; you’ll hear more than just a build-up and drop followed by another build-up and drop. I’ve often said Trance producers are the most talented out there in terms of both skills and creativity, writing these intricate and sprawling tunes that contain so many minute details that really take a trained ear to focus in on. The more time I spend listening to dance music, the more I find myself looking for these tunes that make me wonder how these producers are able to induce chills the way they do.
Just like our selections for the Top 20 House songs of 2012, the tracks we’ve chosen for Trance/Progressive are ones we felt made a big impact in the dance world this year. There are most definitely some we’ve left off, but this should be a comprehensive list of how the Trance and Progressive scene looked in 2012 and of course we were partial to some of the tracks that may have snuck by you (“Isla Margarita” and “Aura” for example). Artists like Norin & Rad and W&W have really started to emerge as top-tier talents, while veterans like Above & Beyond and Eric Prydz continue to show us why they’re legends. You may have overlooked a couple tracks here so make sure to dive right in and tell us what you think! In no particular order:
On Monday Arty, Nadia Ali, and BT released the remix package of their monster hit “Must Be the Love” which originally dropped in September on World-#1-DJ-Armin Van Buuren’s label Armind. The song made a big splash all over the world, topping charts and seeing heavy rotation in DJ sets. The remix package features three different takes on “Must Be the Love”, by three up-and-coming producers, two of which are American. The original mix is a Progressive, mellow, and bedroom-y track that sees Nadia Ali shining on the vocals and while it’s a beautiful track, each remix has taken on a life of its own.
The Dannic remix is the heaviest version of “Must Be the Love” and it the only real banger of the package – a real dance floor destroyer. The main drop reminds me of “Greyhound” by Swedish House Mafia, which tells you it has real drive behind it. Ali’s vocals remain intact but they play less of a role than the original mix. The Dutch Dannic is up-and-coming and he is really starting to make a name for himself with his originals and remixes that go hard for days.
Shogun is an American Trance and Progressive producer from California and it should be noted that he is the first Asian signed to Armind. Shogun came in at #68 on the DJ Mag Top 100 this year which shows that it’s probably not a bad thing to have support by the world’s #1 DJ. Around 2:30 of Shogun’s remix there is an elegant break-down where all the listener hears is piano – something I found unique in the middle of a dance song. This might be the “trance-iest” version of the song and shows why Shogun has become a staple of Van Buuren’s label.
Au5 [A-U-Five] is probably the least-known producer on this remix package, but perhaps his presence will help him break further into the scene. Au5 is the EDM solo project of Austin Collins, a 20 year old electronic music producer from New Jersey who began producing when he was just 12 years old. While this version isn’t an incredible deviation from the original mix, it does contain added lead synths which help create a hands-in-the-air festival anthem feel. The last 1:50 of this remix gets pretty epic and eventually ends the same way it began with some cool mallet-sounding effects a la a xylophone or marimba. I’m very interested to see what Au5 puts out in the future so I will make sure to keep my eye on him.
Make sure to head over to Beatport to grab the EP!
Everyone knows that NYE is the biggest night of the year to party. And considering the world is going to end next year, this is the last one we’re gonna have! Or at least we should party like it will be! Promoters and artists alike have taken notice and now epic late-night shows celebrating the tick of the second hand are a dime a dozen. Luckily for you, we’ve done all the legwork of finding THE BEST parties across the countries featuring some of our favorite artists and we hope you’ll be able to join us at one of them.
Colorado’s own producer/DJ Pretty Lights is returning to his home state to celebrate the New Year with the craziest crowd in the US. The last time Derek played in Colorado was this summer at a sold out Red Rocks show where he played for over three hours never willing to let up. This New Year will be no different as he brings in two of electro house’s biggest emerging names in Zedd and Porter Robinson. The shows are already sold out as the fans here are die hard never passing up a chance to see those oh so pretty lights.
Date: Fri/Sat Dec. 30/31, 2011 Time: 8pm – 2am Location: 1st Bank Center, Broomfield, CO Age Restriction: TBA
From the producer of Global Dance Festival comes the debut New Years celebration in our biggest and most extravagant venue yet. With headliners including Flux Pavilion, Doctor P, Feed Me, Bad Boy Bill, BT, and Dirtyphonics this is going to be the party of the year in Colorado. The last time I was in the Convention Center was for the Great American Beer Festival and I couldn’t get over how massive the venue is. Come to Colorado and ski during the day then party the year away!
Date: Sat Dec. 31, 2011 Time: 7pm – 2am Location: Colorado Convention Center, Denver Age Restriction: TBA
[expand title="Dec. 29-31: SnowGlobe Music Festival - South Lake Tahoe, CA"]
In true ski bum form The SnowGlobe Music Festival has gotten a late start to the game, but with epic powder and the headlining acts one can only wish they were lazy enough to not have NYE plans yet. With major headliners booked for awhile we are all patiently awaiting what kind of support SnowGlobe would be able to pull in. They surely didn’t disaapoint with the likes of Porter Robinson, Dillon Francis, Doctor P, Paper Diamond, Emancipator, and even Robotic Pirate Monkey all on the bill. Even if you aren’t a skier, this is an event not to be missed! First off, Lake Tahoe is world renown for its’ powder skiing, something that Epic Pass holders can take advantage all trip. Second, have you ever seen how the kids of Tahoe throw down, this is gonna be blackout central. And finally the quality of acts already announced rivals that of SnowBall’s inaugural event last March. Judging by the artists prior announced NYE events the lineup should look something like this…
Thursday: Pretty Lights Friday: Bassnectar New Years Eve: The Glitch Mob
Date: Thurs – Sat Dec. 29-31, 2011 Time: TBA Location: Bijou Park, Lake Tahoe Community College Age Restriction: TBA
[expand title="Dec. 30-31: Lights All Night - Dallas, TX"]
So far this seems to be the place to be when the ball drops! Over the course of two nights the Dallas Convention Center will play host to many of the worlds greatest DJ’s as well as many up and comers. The idea of spending NYE at a festival seems so appropriate to us, catching so many great acts and meeting people from all over the world. For about double what you would spend on a one name NYE’s show (ex: Avicii, Pretty Lights, Flux) you get over 20 international know stars playing on two stages all night long! Buy tickets now and spend the upcoming months planning your trip down to Texas!
Date: Fri/Sat Dec. 30/31, 2011 Time: 6pm-2am Location: Dallas TX – Dallas Convention Center Age Restriction: 18+
[expand title="Dec. 31: EverAfter w/ Deadmau5 - New York, NY"]
One the biggest Dj’s in the world is coming to the best city in the world for NYE, New York City! Taking over the massive 64,000 sq ft Pier 36 for a night to remeber. All tickets include a four hour premium open bar tab from 8pm till midnight, which will surely get you ready to celebrate the new years. Opening sets are still in the works, but buy now before it sells out!
[expand title="Dec. 31: Avicii @ Pier 94, New York, NY"]
Remember how long it took this event to sell out, something like ten minutes!? Well anyways thought I would include this event for the lucky few attending this gala. I’m sure the crowd will include some of the best looking in all of NYC so I am extremely jealous of missing this one.
[expand title="Dec. 31: Super You & Me w/ Laidback Luke, New York, NY"]
The wealth of talent descending on NYC is as insane as ever with every possible venue being booking by the biggest EDM acts in the world. Pacha NY has deemed Laidback Luke their guy to bring the new year and I couldn’t be happier. Laidback Luke is one of the most dynamic and talented DJ’s around with sets packed full of nonstop bangers. He is a personal favorite of mine and may be my top pick for events in NYC. It doesn’t hurt that Pacha NY is a state of the art venue that has hosted everyone in the game.
Date: Sat, Dec. 31, 2011 Time: 9pm – 4am Location: Pacha, New York City Age Restriction: 21+
[expand title="Dec 31: New Years Eve Ball w/ Nero @ Webster Hall, New York, NY"]
I had the privilege to attend this event last year when Webster Hall played host to the Bloody Beetroots and had an absolutely stellar time. Webster Hall, easily one of my favorite venues of all time, has a night-long party featuring party favors, champagne, and a 6-hour premium top shelf bar (yes, that means Patrón and Hennessy) with the silver ticket for only $150. This and the fact that Nero will be throwing down the late night set makes this a must stop for your night. Drinks will be pouring till 6 I believe as is custom on NYE in NYC so if you already have plans for when the ball drops, you can still show up for the late-night show and keep the party going well into the daytime.
Date: Sat, Dec. 31, 2011 Time: 8:00PM – 6:00AM Location: Webster Hall, New York, NY Age Restriction: 21+
[expand title="Dec. 30/31: The Rusko Run - Chicago, Il"]
The man who brought dubstep to the mainstage of America is posting up in Chi-town to help bring in the New Year with friends Switch and Sinden. With two chances to catch the high flying circus act that is Rusko, Chicago residents have no excuse not to party like never before. I can only image how wild this guy must get for New Years, I can only speculate how many drinks and drugs I would have attending this shit show.
Date: Fri/Sat, Dec. 30/31, 2011 Time: 8:00 – 2:00 Location: Congress Theater, Chicago Age Restriction: 17+
From the hugely successful promoters who brought you FreakNight (Tiesto, Dada Life, Feed Me) are back at it with Seattle’s largest dance party. Already moving its’ location to a larger venue in the WaMu Theater, USC Eventshas brought in Insomniac Events to make sure this night is epic. The first headliner has been announce and it is the UK powerhouse duo… NERO!
If there was anytime to ever be in Wisconsin, it is now (well actually NYE)! Skrillex along with his two good friends (and insanely talented producers) are headling a six room, three floor massive!With over 50 DJ’s on tap, the music will keep you dancing almost til the sun comes up so be sure and grab tickets soon because wherever Skrillex plays, the venue will sell out.
Date: Sat, Dec. 31, 2011 Time: 8pm – 4am Location: The Rave, Milwaukee, Wi Age Restriction: All Ages
After Insomniac broke away from Go Ventures on their annual New Years Eve event their was speculation that the biggest and most notorious NYE event may be cancelled. Well as you can see by the line up that didn’t happen! In fact this years’ lineup may be the best yet with something for everyone and Diplo for everyone!
[expand title="Dec 31-Jan 1: Insomniac Presents White Wonderland NYE - Anaheim, CA"]
Insomniac, the hands-down kings of throwing parties in and around LA, have just announced their NYE massive and have filled in all the gaps. Headliners announced so far are Kaskade and Steve Angello, complemented by Benny Benassi, Paul Van Dyk, Dada Life, AN21 & Max Vangelli and Thomas Gold. Holy shit what a lineup… and they haven’t even finished yet. Stay tuned for more updates on this ridiculous party.
Date: Sat, Dec. 31, 2011 and Sun, Jan 1, 2012 Time: 7PM Location: Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, CA Age Restriction: 21+
Some of the youngest and biggest starts on the planet are gathering i nSan Diego to help you bring in the new year including teenage phenoms Porter Robinson and Madeon. The craziest part of this event is the ticket price…. $55! Yea, I know it is fucking cheap with VIP tickets starting at $150.
South Beach’s coolest hotel is playing host to Axwell and Deadmau5 this NYE and if you’re anywhere nearby, you should sign up immediately. The price tag of $325 might seem like a lot for general admission but after imbibing from the 3 hour premium open bar, you won’t remember how much you spent on such a killer evening. Axwell performs on NYE and, should you want to keep the party going, Deadmau5 will be throwing down New Years Day for an additional $125. This is sure to be full with some of the most beautiful people imaginable and the winter heat will be setting the mood. Plus, who wouldn’t want to be poolside for the biggest party night of the year?
Date: Sat, Dec. 31, 2011 and Sun, Jan 1, 2012 Time: 7PM-2AM Location: Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami Beach, FL Age Restriction: 21+
Both DJs will be warming up party goers in New York City the night before and will be flying straight down south to bring in 2012. Afrojack brings Bobby Burns and his Jacked party while Alesso will make all of South Florida raise their heads.
There is no doubt this will be a celebration to remember, both superstars are favorites of ours. If you get a chance, hit up both parties, but only few can afford a cabana at every club in South Beach!
How about starting the New Year with a good ‘ol fashion rave! Montreal has lined up the ultimate after party for New Year’s Eve party goers. With Avicii and Axwell playing the main stage starting around midnight and Dash Berlin and Garth Emery taking over the decks starting at 5AM! This party goes until 10AM on Monday, who’s gonna sack up and head north?
Are we missing any? Let us know and we’ll add it to the list.
If you’ve read other posts by me, you know that I don’t discriminate against any one sub-genre of EDM. While my preferences usually align with House and Electro-House, I’m not one to skip out on some Dubstep, Moombahton, Trance, or Drum and Bass. Today I bring you a selection that comes as a combination between Progressive House and Electro-House. BT is known as more of a Trance guy and Adam K typically keeps it mellow with some Progressive House but these two came together to create something unique: a song over nine minutes long that builds up to some crazy Electro wobbles and there’s a reason why it’s been on repeat with me for the past week.
I originally heard “Tomahawk” on the Trance Around the World podcast with Above & Beyond, episode #395, released on October 21, 2011. Don’t overlook these two-hour podcasts, which often go above and beyond (pun intended) the world of Trance. The lines of EDM continue to get blurred and these days Trance means something completely different than the old days of material like cheesy Tiesto Trance tracks. Guys like Arty, Mat Zo, and Kyau and Albert (to name a few) are doing big things that pique my interest when I’m looking for something fresh. “Tomahawk” was released on Halloween of this year and is one you should have in your collection. (For those who get bored with Progressive tracks, jump ahead to the 3:00 mark.)
Wow. Well, I gotta be honest, Triad Dragons put on one hell of a show last night. For those of you that don’t know what Skylab is or were unfortunately unable to attend, this annual Denver rave is a certified mini-festival which has played host to such names as Wolfgang Gartner, Ferry Corsten and more over the past several years. This year, they went bigger and better than ever by booking BT, Fedde LeGrand, Cazzette, Avicii, and Dash Berlin among others and hosting it in the massive Denver Coliseum. When we first walked into the venue, the scene was overwhelming. Everyone seemed to have something glowing on them and, even early on, people were FUCKED up and ready to party. The amount of amazing lasers they had on the spaceship-esque stage was unlike any display I’d ever seen before. I had not been expecting that at all. Even the NRG Fuel Pod stage (where Cazzette played) was simply mind-blowing.
As for the music, we saw part of BT’s set when we came in and I can see why I’ve been hearing so much about how amazing his live shows are. Then Cazzette threw down a great set featuring quite a bit of Swedish house and their originals, bringing their unique electro sound to the crowd. I was also fortunate to catch some of Fedde LeGrand and he surprised me with his really upbeat and engaging set. Moving on, Avicii was definitely the highlight of the night. After seeing him at Identity and being disappointed by his DJing and his track selection, I had low expectations despite his undeniable talent as a producer. However, it was like seeing a whole different animal. He had the crowd so entranced by his entire set and the love was mutual. After that, we caught Dash Berlin wrap up on the main stage which dipped between trance, house, and dubstep and left me very confused. Definitely brought his talent to the stage but the abrupt changes in music styles seemed very dissonant and not appropriate for the crowd or the time but still have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed singing and dancing to his edit of Above and Beyond’s “Sun and Moon”. To wrap it up, I must say that the production value of the entire show/festival was way better than I expected and Triad Dragons certainly have earned their reputation rightfully… I can’t wait to attend their next event.
Now to get into some tracks from this week. First, Dada Life, who can’t seem to stop killing it in everything they do, released the next chapter in their Guerrilla Fart series (don’t ask) which is their take on David Guetta’s newest single of his latest album Nothing But The Beat. Sausage fattener treatment always wins! [Thanks to GDD™ for the track]
Second, Calvin Harris teamed up with Rhianna to produce this pop-house track and its already found its way into the iTunes Top 10 (anything with Rhianna’s name on it probably automatically makes it there). I have always been a hater for Rhianna’s voice but it pairs nicely with this track. Definitely pretty poppy but it’s Calvin Harris, what can you expect?
Next, something completely different for you. Skream comes out with THE most chilling dub remix I’ve heard in a long time. Tell me this shit doesn’t give you goosebumps. To be honest, this song really deserved its own post but I couldn’t wait any longer to share it with you.
Finally, and if you were smart you would’ve picked up on this one in the SHM Essential Selection post, the track that we heard SHM and Knife Party were collaborating on finally previewed this week. Kind of expected it to be a little better but still epic. Knife Party always brings the heat.