Saturday Flashback: Dario G – Cry

“All the positives, really.”

Tim: I said on Wednesday that his new one, Hola, came somewhat of the blue; a little more digging revealed that’s not quite true, actually, as he also brought this out back last September.

Tim: It is, if anything, even more textbook Dario G than Hola was, with the whispering and those operatic vocals, and you know what? I ABSOLUTELY ADORE IT. Yes, it’s 99% plain and simple nostalgia, but damn it’s a good sound.

Tom: I mean, it’s not Sunchyme, and I’d argue that it’s not even quite as good as Hola. But when it gets half way through and you start hearing what’s basically the same extended long-build that was used twenty years ago? Sure, it’ll do.

Tim: It’s nice and pleasant and summery and relaxing and joyful and beachy and wonderful and, well, all the positives, really. Given all that, you may be asking if there’s an album on the way.

Tom: I wasn’t, but sure, for the purposes of this I will.

Tim: Good, because I got in touch and asked him: apparently he’s “toying with the idea”, so that’s nice. In the meantime, you’ve also got Savour The Miracle Of Life from February to enjoy as well.

Dario G – Hola

“IT’S DARIO G AND IT SOUNDS LIKE DARIO G YES I’M GOING TO START BOUNCING AT MY DESK NOW.”

Tim: Yep, Dario G – did Sunmachine, Carnaval de Paris, Dream To Me and maybe a few others way back when we were youngsters.

Tom: Not to mention a really good track on the Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds remix album. Yes, that’s a thing.

Tim: Huh, never knew. Also, now there’s this, somewhat out of the blue, because why not?

Tom: Well, I like that. I like that a lot. Why do I like that so much?

Tim: I mean, potentially because it sounds like it could be straight off an album from the then-trio twenty years ago. Some people might argue, mind, that if you’re coming back after a couple of decades you could maybe update your sound a bit.

Tom: That’s fair. This hits a lot of nostalgic parts of my brain. When I stop to think about it, I’m really not sure about basically the entire middle third of it: that chopping-and-stuttering effect doesn’t work for me. But if I don’t stop to think about it: it’s DARIO G AND IT SOUNDS LIKE DARIO G YES I’M GOING TO START BOUNCING AT MY DESK NOW.

Tim: That absolutely makes sense. After all, Busted updated their sound for the third album and it was garbage, then went back to the normal stuff for the fourth and it was excellent, so what do some people know? This is nice. It is, basically, a tune that could have been released by Dario G twenty years, and we’d all have been very happy with. Good shout, then – why mix with a winning formula?

Stockholm Noir – Glory

“Late ’90s trance synths with a gentle amount of late ’10s tropical hints here and there”

Tim: A Swedish dance act that we haven’t covered anywhere near as much as we should have done, as I think you’ll agree after hearing this.

Tom: I couldn’t tell you what decade that’s from. You’re right, though, it’s a good track.

Tim: Well there it is: we’ve late ’90s trance synths with a gentle amount of late ’10s tropical hints here and there so it doesn’t sound dated. And I for one absolutely love it. A lot of one great genre, a small amount of a fairly good genre, and a lovely vocal on top of it.

Tom: I can’t remember it after listening, but it’s the sort of thing that’d sit happily in the middle of a dance playlist. There’s nothing wrong with it, and by my standards that’s an endorsement.

Tim: I’ve no complaints at all, even at four and a half minutes long. It’s lovely.

Saturday Flashback: Hogland & Vinil feat. AVA – We Don’t Care

“Everyone, I’ve good news!”

Tim: Everyone, I’ve good news! Turns out, the rest of Hogland’s output is at a similar level to that of Letting Go, that brilliant track we featured last week! Here’s one from a couple of years back to demonstrate that.

Tim: You see? As previously, great production, great featured vocals, an absolutely fantastic post-chorus breakdown, and even a good middle eight!

Tom: The introduction and first verse remind me of OneRepublic, and I mean that as a compliment. Of course, it very quickly goes in a different direction. I’m really not sure about those steel-drum-like synths that just repeat one phrase over and over again, though.

Tim: My only question, to be honest, is: why haven’t I heard this guy before? I really don’t know, but I’m very very glad I’ve heard him now.

Lance & Linton – Best Time’s Right Now

“Fancy some nice dancey country pop stuff from two new Swedes?”

Tim: Fancy some nice dancey country pop stuff from two new Swedes?

Tom: The limitations of our format require me to say yes.

Tim: Good, because here it is.

Tim: Voices, yes, music, yes, good melody, yes, good post-chorus, yes – let’s face it, this is a very well-polished track, and there’s not really much else to say about it.

Tom: It’s in the mould of Avicii and all those that came after. There’s some good parts in here, although while I can’t see it being a Big Summer Smash, I’m willing to be proved wrong.

Tim: To be honest, this could work well combined with yesterday’s track – they’re two songs that both shout “yep, look at us, we are Swedish and therefore we make good music”. Sums up the country, the industry and indeed this site, yes?

Hogland feat. KIDDO – Letting Go

“Sod it, we’ve got no idea what to do, let’s just DANCE and GET SMASHED and DEAL WITH IT TOMORROW. DANCE DANCE DANCE.”

Tim: Hogland is, according to the first link that comes up with a search, “a Swedish music producer and DJ whose melodic songs have captured the ears of several million listeners”. Isn’t that nice?

Tom: Unless you’re one of the millions who want their ears back, sure.

Tim: Yep, fair. I must confess I’m not of of those several million listeners, as I’d never heard of him until this came up on a playlist last night, but see what you think.

Tim: For me, you see, my ear is well and truly captured, because that’s flipping brilliant.

Tom: You’re not wrong.

Tim: Right from that start, that guitar line promises a lot, but even with the piano tinkling, the occasional booming drums and the silence that comes along in the build up, you never really get an idea of the enormity of what’s to come until it hits, and you’re left being whacked round the head with a fantastic breakdown, the likes of which you’ve not heard in a long, long time. It’s just brilliant.

Tom: It seems to takes a very, very long time to get there: objectively, it doesn’t, but I expected the drop to hit much earlier. That’s not really a complaint: it’s decent, and the anticipation’s mostly worth it.

Tim: I’ve not been so excited on hearing an artist for the first time since Alan Walker did Faded, and I am hugely looking forward to checking out the rest of his work. I don’t even mind that the lyrics offer no resolution at all – just a “we can try, but, you know…” – because that’s followed immediately by that enormous dance breakdown.

Tom: Hmm. I’m not quite as convinced as you. There’s some really good stuff in here — but when it gets to the actual breakdown and instrumental chorus, it feels a bit generic and a-few-years-ago to me. There is, I’ll grant you, a huge amount of potential in here: if they can make a song that builds this well and also that sticks the landing, I think it’ll be spectacular. Until then, well, yes, I can see why you’re excited.

Tim: Right? So as the lyrics effectively end up being: sod it, we’ve got no idea what to do, let’s just DANCE and GET SMASHED and DEAL WITH IT TOMORROW. DANCE DANCE DANCE.

Galantis & Yellow Claw – We Can Get High

“True to form, that is entirely not garbage.”

Tim: Just a few days on from their last one, here’s a new collaboration, hurrah!

Tom: They’ve found themselves a pretty good niche: find a good collaborator, work with them on a track, make a good dance tune. I don’t think there are many artists who work like that — DJ Khalid aside. But there’s a chance that this could be by-the-numbers: they’re not all hits, particularly when there’s such a short release schedule between them.

Tim: A fair possibility, but we’ve not had anything that’s complete garbage for quite a long time. Let’s try this one.

Tim: And, true to form, that is entirely not garbage.

Tom: Like the Kygo track yesterday, I wasn’t convinced about this until that build to the chorus.

Tim: Admittedly, the vocal styling might not be fully appreciated by some, as in the wrong place I wouldn’t like them. On the other hand, this is very much the right place for them – stuck just in front of a properly banging post-chorus with a great melody.

Tom: I was surprised by that post-chorus itself, though: on first listen, I thought it seemed a bit spartan and harsh. But by the end of the track: yes, I think this works. I suspect you’ll have the same problem as me, though: no middle eight.

Tim: Well, yes: obviously my usual moan about a lack of middle eight applies here, but I’m increasingly convinced that may be a lost cause, so I’ll just appreciate what I’ve got, simply because it’s very good. Very good indeed.

Kygo, Chelsea Cutler – Not OK

“Standard Kygo. Perhaps, even, above average Kygo.”

Tim: Advance warning for you, Tom: I’m in beautiful sunny Majorca right now, so there’s a strong chance (alright, a certainty) that most of the music this week will be summery dance tunes.

Tom: There’s a chance of rain here, Tim. Every day this week.

Tim: Well, with this you can pretend otherwise.

Tim: Standard Kygo. Perhaps, even, above average Kygo. A good vocal feature, a good chorus, a good theme running through it, and most importantly of all a good breakdown after it.

Tom: I wasn’t convinced until that build towards the chorus — and then, yes, I think “standard Kygo” fits it well. It’s a pretty good standard, though, isn’t it?

Tim: It really is. And who cares if you’re not okay, as long as you can dance all over the place? I had, for some reason, got it into my head that Kygo was in a bit of a funk right now, releasing disappointing tunes. But no – as this shows, that’s not even slightly the case.

Saturday Flashback: DJ Vibes – Hey Jude

“Not because it’s good. Just because it’s memorable.“

Tom: I know that we’re ostensibly doing music reviews here, as opposed to just keeping in touch by sending music to each other. But sometimes I don’t want to do that: I just want to say “Tim, listen to this.”

Tim: Fine by me. What have you got?

Tom: Please enjoy this ridiculous, terrible, awful, happy hardcore track, off the Ravers Choice label. Not because it’s good. Just because it’s memorable.

Tim: That…that is certainly a track that exists, and turns one of the most terrible songs ever into something, well, differently terrible. Thank you Tom.

Saturday Flashback: Harris & Ford – Drop Me Amadeus

“I never knew I needed a rave tribute to a prolific 18th century composer with an added Lonely Island style explanatory rap.”

Tim: I’ve been intrigued by this act since we featured them with Scooter the other day, not least because of their truly brilliant name.

Tom: They’re on Kontor records, same as Scooter, which does make some sort of sense.

Tim: Checking out their back catalogue, a large amount of it is somewhat unlistenable for me, being way too hardcore rave for my liking. This almost fell into that grouping, but then I kept listening.

Tim: Up until now, I never knew I needed a rave tribute to a prolific 18th century composer with an added Lonely Island style explanatory rap, but who’d have thought it?

Tom: Lonely Island-style is about right. I’m genuinely not sure whether this is tongue-in-cheek or not: there’s precedent for this sort of thing being serious but I can’t be sure. It, er, it certainly leaves an impression.

Tim: Turns out, that’s exactly what I need. It’s ridiculous, it got me giggling a bit, and it got me raving. Top stuff.