RECENT POSTS: Bonzai Progressive
Belgian DJ and producer garners legendary status wherever he performs. Eric has been at the forefront of the EDM scene for a long time and has held residency in some of Belgium’s top clubs. He has also produced many tracks under various guises and across many labels. In 2013 Eric’s status continues bare truth as he churns out tracks like this latest offering on BP entitled “Sunshine”, this release features four top quality remixes alongside dub and instrumental mixes.
The Original sets up a scene of true deep techy progressive house, perfect for those late night terraces. Nice beefy kicks against cool, crisp hats are set beside a throbbing, deep rising and falling modulated bassline. The big hitter on this will be the vocals which come from a very popular and legendary artist. The vocal sits beautifully within this sound and the extra FX added give it a robust feel, great stuff!
Hailing from Texas, USA, John Rivera steps up on the mix with his Sexy Summer Remix. John is well travelled on the DJ scene and has a multitude of productions under his belt across many labels including the might Slip n Slide. John has also performed at many top fashion events including the likes of Armani and Calvin Klein and his ability to play guitar is the driving force behind his productions. The track is a much more upbeat affair with that scorching summer beach party in mind as the name remix title suggests. From the off the sound makes you move as the kicks are combined with a cool piano riff and rhythmic percussions. The vocal makes an early appearance and sets the scene for the remainder of an excellent house vibe.
Mindgamers, who really need no introduction, are up next with their sublime remix. The guys are busy as always and here they deliver the goods yet again in their own unique style. A higher tempo pulls this track towards the progressive end of the scale while retaining the ever present house roots. Tight drum arrangements are married brilliantly to a rolling groovy bassline while house styled strings ebb and flow throughout the track. Subtle melodies creep in while the minimal use of the vocal create an urge for more, another stunner from Zas and Sanze!
Belgian DJ and producer Ecco makes a welcome return to remix duties with his own brand of tripped out progressive tech influenced vibes. From the get go the beats are locked into a strong steady groove with a deep pulsating bassline which dominates the track. Fantastic percussion arrangements keeps the rhythm flowing while the synths lie in wait in the background. Ecco has used the vocal here superbly, he adds multiple FX and creates an ethereal sound that captivates, great remix and one for the darker rooms!
deepAlexander returns to the Bonzai stable after his track “Timeloop” went out on Green Martian and was well received. Here his attention turns to hypnotically driven progressive beats as a brilliantly crafted drum arrangement carves out a mesmerizing groove. A nice chunky bassline delivers a punch while arpeggiated synths provide a contrasting melodic sequence. Again we see the vocal applied perfectly over the sound which will put this one on many playlists all over.
Thomas Genchev has become a firm favourite in a very short time as he is in big demand for remix duty. His latest outing “Noise & Silence” is a testament to the quality on offer from this talented producer. The remix takes things deeper with a sublime progressive workout, big focus is placed on a throbbing bassline and a subtle yet infectious and stealthy synth that gets right into the sound. The vocals come through very well indeed fitting into the groove without hesitation, another fine slice from Thomas!
Also included is a Dub Mix for the Dub heads and an instrumental version for those who want to lose the vocal.
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7th installment in the My House Is Your House series, this time with original tracks and remixes from Shades Of Gray, Rogerio Martins, In2Deep & Fultone, Accatone, Dimitry Liss, Ed Lee, Oushanmete, DJ Mishakov, Fauvrelle, Project KF, Oliver Maier, Rick Wade, Sebastien Desay, Sensoreal, JR From Dallas, Lurob, Daniel Ray, Victor Maximiliano, Luis Bravo, Michael Berklin and Chanelle Pearl.
Thomas is back again with another round of quality progressive house vibes with “Noise & Silence”. His last outing “Cough Drops” performed very well on the circuit and no doubt this two tracker will follow suit.
The title track starts off with an almost tribal vibe, tough kicks over a classic percussion arrangement and a very subtle bassline. As the track progresses a hypnotic vocal sample fades in and quickly becomes the forefront of the sound before retreating. Intensity builds with quality synths and on the break a heavily FX’d vocal peeks through before getting right back into this true solid progressive house groove.
“From The Beginning” delves back into the prog house arena but with a slightly more upbeat vibe. Again we see quality beats and arrangements applied expertly. Thomas has a knack of bringing in sounds in a very subtle way yet they have a major impact overall, this ability is manifested here beautifully. On the break those sounds combine well and will have you keeping this tune on repeat as there are new things to hear on each listen, superb stuff.
Ukranian producer Yaroslav returns to Bonzai Progressive after his last instalment under his Pozitive moniker. The two track release “Panorama” comes backed up with two top class remixes. His last track “Colibri” was well received with support coming from all quarters.
The Original mix on “Panorama” serves up a tasty tech house offering with a cool and steady flowing rhythm and a nice deep bass on the lower end. Sharp, crisp hats keep the flow and some nifty acid type sounds give off a raw edge. The break gives us very well crafted pads which seem in total contrast with the sound but blend in perfectly, a nice round of prog to get the party started.
Popular remixer and producer Kevin Vega drops by for a remix and he delivers the goods yet again. Kicking off with a tougher more gritty feel he blends the sounds in his usual unique fashion. The percussions lead to a hypnotic state and the bass sits nicely on the arrangement. A bit of epicness comes through on the sound with the addition of huge soundscapes and very subtle melodies which create tension brilliantly. A top notch remix that would be a welcome addition to any deeper prog set.
Yaroslav’s next track “Tech Clips” brings out the techy side of prog, big chunky kicks are accompanied with some wonderfully arranged percussions and a bassline that reverberates throughout the sound. Tech fuelled synth stabs light up the groove while on the break a fantastic guitar type sound takes over, great stuff!
Purveyor of fine deep grooves Diego Alvez makes a welcome return to the Bonzai stable with his superb remix. Great intro with a shuffled groove that blends effortlessly into a steady four to the floor kick and hat combo. A short melodic arp sequence then dominates the sound and creates a cool progressive charged atmosphere. On the break Diego applies a very cool and strange metallic type synth that captivates and adds intensity, brilliant stuff from Diego!
Gai Barone is back after a very successful remix on Manu & Nico’s “Reborn” with a fresh twist on progressive house. Gai has been hard at work fine tuning his productions and with results like this we sure are happy to have a great guy like this on board. “Lullaby” comes with two fantastic remixes that will blow your mind for sure.
The Original Mix is quite simply stunning, deep, hypnotic grooves that draw you right in and take control of your senses. Superb arrangement all round with tight drum patterns and rhythmic percussion keeping the flow. The bassline alone is enough to get right into your head as it ebbs and flows alongside top notch FX. On the break a huge sub bass takes control and some awesome synth work adds intensity before crashing back into this solid groover.
Airwave is up first on the remix, this artist has such a hectic schedule at the moment with festivals and parties taking his time alongside his studio work which in itself is epic! Here we see Airwave get into his breaks mode with stunning results. The track intros with calm serenity contrasted with underlying tension and builds up to a powerful thumping kick in breaks style. Melodies are abundant as they weave in and around the track while the bassline springs out of nowhere and adds true progressive depth to the vibe. The break offers up what Airwave does best and that is real intense melodic pads that allow the mind to wander and get lost in the realm of music, amazing.
The hugely talented Manu Riga is up next with his Ethnotic Mix. Manu is another of those artists that puts every effort into his projects to get maximum effect out of his sounds. Much much more to come from Manu in the future so stay tuned. Here he delivers yet again as the track intros with subtle kicks that come out in breaks style before blending into traditional four four beat. An arped bassline rules supreme as it modulates and filters through many different phases then settles into a full on pulsating and hypnotic rhythm. All the while a multitude of FX are going off in the back ground and these add perfectly layered texture to the sound, another fine example of progressive vibes that will most certainly be a feature on many playlists.
Electric Bastards are back with more of their brand of progressive house vibes on the two tracker “Flames EP”.
First up is “Flames” which intros with a cool and steady kick and perc combination, this groove builds up to a stunning deep rooted bassline that takes charge of proceedings. Retro fuelled chords fade through and give the track it’s progressive edge. Getting right down to basics on the break as a sinister vocal sample rattles through the vibe before taking us right back into this full on prog stomper.
“Shake It” provides wonderful rhythms as it focuses in on the percussion side of things. Lots of different generic influences are evident and these combine perfectly to give off a true prog house vibe we all know and love from this talented duo. Quality vocal samples make a showing throughout as this track drives on relentlessly, top stuff!
Just before the new single release out this week on Bonzai Progressive we sat down with Chantola for a few words about him and his work.
Hi Henrik, thanks a lot for talking with us, how are you today?
C: Fine thanks! very good! Enjoying the busy summer here in Finland with lots of gigs and hanging around with my friends.
What kind of things do you like to do when you’re not producing?
C: I have always spent my summers at our summer cottage when I was younger. I still love spending some time in the beautiful Finnish nature. Of course the music takes up most of my time but I love to go fishing every once in a while and hang around with my family and relatives also.
How did you first get into music production?
C: Really hard to say what drove me into producing, but the love for the electronic music comes from my years spent in Germany when I was younger. I used to live in Dusseldorf and that time the German MTV and other music channels where constantly playing stuff by ATB, Cosmic Gate, Blank & Jones etc. When I was first introduced to electronic music it was all about trance at the time, then I slowly discovered great techno acts like Sven Väth, Richie Hawtin, Ellen Allien etc. At the age of 14 I got my first synthesiser as a Christmas present, it was Yamaha RS-7000 groove box. I still have it and will never ever sell it. I love all things analog. I’ve always been interested in everything electronic, computers, gadgets and naturally instruments and synths. I think that’s the biggest reason I ever thought I wanted to do some sounds and loops by myself.
Who or what would be your biggest inspirations for making music and in life generally?
C: Of course there are lots of artists that I admire and follow but it is impossible to name every one of them. The biggest thing that really opened my eyes was my first visit to the legendary party Island of Ibiza back in 2003. I remember walking into Pacha as a 17 year old teenager and hearing that enormous sound system pumping out some quality house music. That was the moment I realised I want make some tracks and play records in places like this. The whole electronic music scene is full of things that inspire me. Everything from fashion, new technology, parties, tracks and live shows to the most underground clubs and places.
You have a very warm and lush vibe in your sound but how would you describe your sound?
C: I always try to add some soul and depth to my own productions. Sometimes it’s great to play banging danceable straight forward club music but I prefer containing as much emotion as I can in my own tracks and sets.
You’re currently working on your third studio album, can you tell us a little bit about that?
C: Yes! That is 100% true and its coming together really nicely. Not gonna reveal too much but It will be different. It will be a little bit slower that many may expect and it will contain more “organic” sounds like guitar, vocals, sax and even some trumpet action.
With a very impressive back catalogue, mainly through Bonzai, how did you get signed to Bonzai and what does it feel like being part of a close knit family of artists?
C: I’ve always enjoyed working with you guys. Only positive things to say and of course it feels good to be in the “family”. Let’s do great things together in the future!
Describe a typical day in the life of Chantola?
C: Ah. Depends so much but mainly I’m working on my other projects beside music. I’m a freelance graphic designer and have my own web shop that sells speakers, gadgets and everything electronic. I also run a label with my friend and that keeps my busy too. If I’m not working or hanging around with my friends you will find me in my studio working on my new tracks, remixing or doing mixtapes for radioshows or searching new music to play at my gigs.
Some of your tracks have been remixed by great producers, who would be your favourite remixer and on what track?
C: It has to be the Airwave remix of my track called “Another Day At The Dream Factory” released through Bonzai earlier this year. That guy is one of my favourite producers of all time and getting to release my own track with his remix is like a dream come true.
You’ve also collaborated with great producers, which project would be your favourite and why?
C: I have produced music with my good friend and mentor Jussi Vuorivirta for almost a decade now. The most memorable thing has to be our “Shanghai Story” track that was released through Black Hole Recordings in 2009. Mr. Sam contacted me personally and wanted a track similar to our “Passion” track that had been our first release ever. The deadline was very very strict because the track was gonna be released on Mr. Sam’s Opus compilation and at that time Jussi was located in Shanghai. Jussi made some chord variations and sent them over. I recorded some guitars and stuff and when Jussi came back to Finland a couple of days before the deadline we went to the studio, spent hours there and came out with a track called “Shanghai Story” and it was signed straight away. They liked it so much that they even wanted another track from us also and we delivered.
Apart from the studio album what other things do you have planned for the future?
C: I’m working on new singles and remixes also but I’m hoping and really looking forward to playing outside Finland in the near future. That would be another dream come true.
Finally if you could be anywhere else in the world right now, where would it be and why?
C: It’s such a cliché but I think I would like to be in Ibiza, enjoying everything the Island has to offer.
Well Henrik, thanks so much for chatting with us, it’s been a pleasure, take care.
C: Thank you so much! It’s been a pleasure indeed. Till next time.