Tracks worth the penny #1

Bam. I do not often purchase single tracks digitally. Partially because I like complete physical albums, partially because I know that close to none of the spent money go directly into the pockets of artist. That is, of course, if we’re talking about the iTunes store – Apple takes like 33% of the revenue per track. Which is why I prefer to buy the music directly from the artist. However, this is apparently not always possible – some artists distribute their digital material exclusively through iTunes – what a shame! Anyway, this post is not about the iTunes store or the music industry, I’ll save this topic for a later post.

I will on the contrary devote this post to the recent digital purchases I have made. There is a total 3 of them, and these tracks have totally been worth the penny.

 

Track #1 – Professor Green – Remedy (featuring Ruth Anne)

OUCH. What a track! This one hits really hard. Professor Green is a rapper from England, who has just released his second album which features this song. The album is entitled At Your Inconvenience, and I might just listen to the whole thing at a later point.

Speaking in terms of genres, the instrumental of the track is definitely some hard-hitting drum and bass of the finest kind, combined with the wicked rhymes of Green. His rhymes are accompanied by the vocals of Ruth Anne, which fit really well into the song and make the chorus insanely addictive. Together, they deliver a remedy for the ordinary weekday: make no mistake, this is a real weekend tune.

Fun fact: i first heard this song on YouTube, and I kept coming back to it – which eventually made me buy it. However, the bought version sounded not quite like the youtube version – the mixing was completely different! So I’ve been sticking with the YouTube version.

Listen below:

 

Track #2 Sub Focus – Out The Blue (featuring Alice Gold)

This tune was a pleasant reunion with UK-based musician Nick Douwma aka Sub Focus. So far, Sub Focus has only released a self-titled debut album back in 2009, and now recently a few new tracks. Maybe this means that there is a new album in the making, which would be awesome news, because I really like what I am hearing. Sub Focus plays electronic music which can be categorized as mainly drum and bass, yet there is also some dubstep here and there.

The track in question is without doubt a real ear hanger. I’ve had it on repeat ever since I bought it, and I’m enjoying every bit of it. The melody, the rhythm, the beautiful vocals of Gold – everything plays so well together. While the aforementioned song was more of a weekend type a’thing, I actually think I would categorize this more as being a festival tune – I can totally see Sub Focus setting up an awesome atmosphere on the Arena stage at Roskilde Festival.

Listen below:

 

Track #3: Spose – Gee Willikers

While the first two tracks were from the electronic/drum and bass department, this one’s from a rather different part of the music spectre. Spose is a rapper from Maine, USA, and his song Gee Willikers comes off his third studio album, The Audacity!. In the song we get the idea that Spose is a laid back, unpretentious and honest guy; not trying to be the hardest dude, while also making a bit fun of himself. This turns out to be persistent with his style if we look at his other songs (for example the song I’m Awesome, which appears to actually be more or less a parody of himself).

The song is therefore delivered with a sense of humor, which makes the lyrics even more memorable and enjoyable to listen to. The accompanying music video emphasizes this fact, as we see Spose doing some business with the Easter Bunny and Santa.

Listen below:

The Grand Survivor

Music trends come and go. Artists come and go, too. Some stay for a while, some stay for months. And some stay… well, for a very long time. I recently had to ask myself which self-discovered artist I had kept in my music library for the longest period. By self-discovered, I exclude artists which have been following me since forever, artists such as Pink Floyd and Rammstein.
So, speaking of an artist that is indisputably the best survivor of my self-discovered artists thus far; the only one who is still holding the fort, I can only think of one man.

Grand survivor, dweller of cells; I present to you, the multi-instrumentalist, genre-crosser, kick ass musician: Klayton aka Celldweller.

Detroit-based musician Klayton has been making music since the nineties and adopted the Celldweller moniker at the end of the previous century. He has a self-titled debut album out, and just recently released his sophomore record, entitled “Wish Upon A Blackstar” – which I am blasting out of my speakers in this very moment. Other than that, he has tonnes of remix albums and two collection albums consisting of short, instrumental tracks.

Klayton is the only member of the multi-genre project Celldweller.

But how long has it been since I first fell in love with Klaytons sound?
It was back then when I was playing the Most Wanted installment of the Need for Speed series (Amazing soundtrack in that game overall). As I remember, Klayton had two songs featured in that game, these being Shapeshifter and One Good Reason. These songs were real headbangers, and I went on the internet to see if I could find more. I found, to my great delight, the track Switchback. Those of you who know the song will probably know why this cemented me as a new fan of Celldweller. And now, 7 years later, Klayton still maintains a high position on my own charts which has seen the rise and fall of countless artists.

How to describe Klaytons sound? Well, since Klayton incorporates so many different styles and instruments into his music, I wouldn’t say that there is a specific sound attached to his music. There is, however, another thing to note about his music: his passion for details. I would say that this is strongly connected to his style in the big picture, because Klayton certainly has the characteristics of a perfectionist. While writing this I am listening to a song from his newly released album, and it has probably been in the making for at least a year. At least I could imagine so, since he dropped the first track off Wish Upon A Blackstar back in 2009. Hell, I was only starting in high school back then, now I am a few weeks from graduation!
Klayton could definitely be labeled as a fine digital craftsman with a sense for beautiful details. Moreover, I also really enjoy the energetic feel to his music, and at times it can also appeal catchy. A pre-Blackstar track of his that I was going nuts about was actually a remix of Morgan Page’s The Longest Road, which was featured in his “Klash-Up” (full title is “Klash-Up Cinco de Mayo 2009 – Cellmate Mix”). Another great track was actually not by Klayton, but by the artist Drop and his remix of Celldweller’s track Eon, featured on the Groupees Exclusive Unreleased EP. That track is a real bone crusher!

But Celldweller also has more calm and down tempo tracks, and among these I have an all-time favourite. The song is the closing track from his debut album, entitled Welcome to the End. It is without doubt one of the best down tempo/ambient/calm/relaxing songs I have heard. This also proves that Klayton can do both killer tracks loaded with energy, but also turn to the more smooth and relaxing styles. Variety is an attribute that I value a lot in a musician. An attribute that Klayton possesses, no doubt.

I am getting towards the end of the new album, and so far I like what I am hearing. I might write a post about the album if I feel like, if I can find the time and creativity.