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Sunday, January 3, 2016

Silver Circle: EDM Mix #1

When we think of the memorable musicians of the past it’s very tempting to default to one of two types of individuals; performers and composers. However, technology in the last half of last century changed the focus (mostly with the advent of recorded music and radio). Today, composers are not merely composers – they are technicians as well, relying on software, sample libraries, and enough electronic know-how to be able to produce moving (literally) music in the modern age.

The composer has become the DJ

We’ve touched on electronic music from time to time here at Current Music Thoughts, but it’s never been a primary focus. It is something I’ve been meaning to research and write about more as ever year it is more and more culturally relevant. To that end, I would like to introduce you to Silver Circle, who has released the simple yet profoundly titled “EDM Mix #1.” Clocking in at just over seventeen minutes, it’s packed with thumping bass and enough catchy-synth to lock your attention the whole time.

It’s an original production, to be sure, but there is plenty of familiar stuff there too. Perhaps the first thing listeners will notice is the hook from Macklemore’s “Can’t Hold Us.” Reworked and with a new sheen, it comes through as the anthem we all know it to be. Transitioning through pulsing triplets, Silver Circle then moves into a more primal beat filtered and eq’d in such a way as to remind us “this is dance music!” Moving on to the Calvin Harris/Ellie Goulding song “Outside” there are more lyric/ballad qualities emphasized.

Perhaps what is most interesting about the instrumental aspect of this mix is the use of the kick. It has some very Trap-Like qualities, but unlike the Trap to which we’ve become accustomed, there’s a more regular pulse. Normally we would expect that from the high hats while the snare ripped off dragging beats and the bass came in and out intermittently. With the secure quarter style bass that Silver Circle has used, I found myself thinking “wow, I never thought of doing that, it works so well!”

In the final analysis, if you’re having a party, put this track on – if you’re in the car, do the same. Music like this has a way of boosting our spirits and getting the blood pumping. I, for one, am rather grateful that Silver Circle has shared this remarkable accomplishment with us. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

Ed Roman: Lay One Down

Long time readers of “Current Music Thoughts” will remember some time ago an interview with the singer/songwriter Ed Roman. He was kind enough to share some insights into his creative process, in addition to speaking about the modern art situation for those perusing such endeavors. He demonstrated himself as a man of wisdom and a uniquely introspective individual.

As it turns out, Mr. Roman has released a new single titled “Lay One Down,” and it’s terrific. The song features the quintessential closely miced acoustic guitar picking which makes a wonderfully intimate piece. Ed’s voice is, as always, soothing but demanding of attention at the same time and the background vocals are ethereal, almost like ghost-whispers.

Something noted back when Ed was interviewing here was his connection to folk and college rock artists of previous decades such as REM and even Pete Seeger; it’s nice to note that this style has been well-maintained in “Lay One Down.” The song is available on iTunes where you can hear a preview before you decide to download (and you will).