Recent posts: Placid Larry
Daniel Ray Van Zyl aka Placid Larry returns to Bonzai Elemental after a bit of a hiatus with this fantastic two tracker entitled, Trapeze. We last saw this master of all things downtempo back in 2013 with Everything Is Connected which gained a lot of support on the chillout circuit. Great to see him back once again and we hope to see much more in the future.
First up we have the title track Trapeze which intros with a cool mid range note that leads into a much more lush and deep bassy vibe. In the background we hear subtle more brighter elements that offer a very cool contrast to the sound. A smooth drum section keeps the vibe ticking nicely as the track begins to dissolve into a sweet melodic flowing groove. A beautiful and contemplative track for those quiet evenings.
Everywhere takes on a nice and smooth almost R n B groove with those lush bass tones and organ chords and melodies. The addition of the pounding kicks derives a stark contrast to the more softer edged sounds on offer, which results in a perfectly harmonious sound. Such a sweet, sexy and melodic number that will be the perfect addition for those lazy days or romantic evenings by the fire.
Daniel Ray Van Zyl better known as Placid Larry and other guises returns to Elemental after the well received “Yesteryear”. He delivers another fine example of his skills within the world of downtempo and chill with this stunning 3 tracker.
“Everything Is Connected” has a strong, deep and melancholic feel to it with the heavy kicks and detuned piano. Wonderfully subtle basses add contrast and the half spoken, half sung vocals add great effect.
“Safe House” comes through as more melodic with an urban, street vibe focusing on the well crafted drums and percussion arrangement. Lots of beautiful sounds fill the waves and it’s the diversity in the sounds that give this an edge.
“Mechanize” takes us way into downtempo territory with a truly laidback groove. Intriguing piano melodies will keep attention and the beats are pure sublime backed up with a myriad of FX that tie the track together beautifully.
New installment in the Pure Chillz series comes with original tracks and remixes from Magitman, Placid Larry, Michele Cecchi, Twins In Mind, Alexander Dancaless, Suburban Dreams, Aiemo, Miika Kuisma, Jane Maximova, Fushe, Ed Lee, Corrado Bucci, Parafernalia, LaboRoss, Eddie M, Manu Riga, Suburban Dream, Red Avenue, Graphite and Morpheus 7 vs Nale.
Placid Larry aka Daniel Ray Van Zyl has been a DJ since 1999 holding residencies in South Africa before moving to the UK with gigs in London and Southampton. Daniel has also held a prestigious spot at Bahrain’s top lounge ZOE’s. During this time Daniel had been honing his skills as a producer in various styles of music.
After several popular releases and remixes on Bonzai Elemental, Placid Larry returns with his unique take on the world of ambient, downtempo and chill filled with beautiful melodies.
Yesteryear is a smooth collection of works oozing with relaxation and impressive arrangement.
We kick off with the title track, Yesteryear, coming in with a vocal hit and deep bass sound the track meanders on building up on a cool downtempo breakbeat kick with cool FX and subtle piano along the way.
Curtain Raiser brings in a laid back vibe with sweet melodies and an almost melancholic sound which hypnotises the mind.
The Distant Sea is a cool arrangement of sounds with a well arranged kick, strangely sublime yet totally gets you hooked in.
Laidback darker sound on Our Outlets with a very quiet softly spoken female vocal and kind of detuned piano, this adds an eerie feel that creates a bit of positive tension.
As The Day Slips Away is an unwinding type of track with a gritty vibe and cool FX, excellent percussions and sweet synths.
Carefree is full of piano melodies and has a chest throbbing bass with a more upbeat rhythm, short, sharp and to the point. Immemorial takes on a drum n bass vibe with a familiar drum signature, very nice synth work ties together a well constructed sound.
Already released in July as a single, Compactor is a nice chilled out vibe with subtle melodies and a really cool kick backed up with a deep bassline.
Fresh kicks and percussion opens up the next track, Wonderland, Placid Larry’s unique signature shines through with piano, deep bass and very cool FX work.
For Peace is a totally chilled out slice of music with a nice sitar sounding instrument and melodic vox sound.
Finally for this album we have Memories Of Us which is a fitting end to a truly amazing gathering of tracks. Beautiful melody and sweeping FX is definitely one for ending a day at the office or a day at the beach.
Second best selling Chillout release in 2008 on Beatport, with over 3000 downloads, get a remix treatment release with works from Jane Maximova, Michele Cecchi, Placid Larry , Suburban Dream, Twins In Mind, and Raymond Wave.
Miika Kuisma is a finnish musician, artist, philosopher, futurist and inventor who’s passion is to understand fundamental nature of the reality by exploring spirituality, science, history and technology.
In early 90′s he got big revelation in a small house club and walked out as a new person. From that moment he knew dance music was ‘for him’. His first electronic records which influenced him the most include works by Jarre, Cosmic Baby, Moby, Prodigy, Faithless and early Eye-Q releases. After falling in love with so many electronic styles by now, also his own productions have become somewhat unpredictable.
His tracks are usually somewhere between progressive and melodic, while not being not ‘too deep’ or ‘too cheesy’. On the DJ’ing side Miika was known for his perfectionistic approach to build his sets in certain way. Especially his “Intelligent Design” radio mixes were trips across different moods and genres.
Miika has spent most of his life playing around with technical gear but also loved to draw and play instruments from very early age. After getting his degree in electricity he turned around and took career paths in graphic design, programming, animation and user-interface design.
Besides music production and performances he played key role in the concept and interface-design with EKS in the development of the MIDI controller EKS Otus. He played his last DJ gig in April of 2009, sold his record label “Subtraxx Recordings” for Bonzai Music and relocated into South-East Asia. Currently he is involved in designing new types of creative applications, media formats and business models.
New installment in the Pure Chillz compilation series, with original tracks by Jane Maximova, Red Avenue, New Place, Fushe, Placid Larry, Suburban Dream, Tokyo Boulevard, Parafernalia featuring Ace Vincent, Twins In Mind, Michele Cecchi, Aiemo featuring Miki Flores, Father, Auratune, Aerium presents Me3dian, Les Sabotages, Ishek and Thian featuring Mika Technika, Solarsoul, Jones & Stephenson, Rumle and Arthur L Gram.
EPISODE 117: Nancy Burrello & Digital Angel – Blue Heart (Bonzai Progressive)
New release in Bonzai Progressive, this time with Nancy Burello & Digital Angel, together for a stunning progressive stormer titled Blue Heart. The single comes with the original track plus two remixes from Manu Riga and Jake Shelton.
EPISODE 118: BrightLight – Offbeat Elite (Eyepatch Recordings)
New release in Eyepatch Recordings from BrightLight. The release comes with three original tracks, Offbeat Elite, Highscore Avenue and Something Else.
EPISODE 119: Placid Larry – The Mulberry Tree (Bonzai Elemental)
Daniel Ray van Zyl aka Placid Larry has been DJing since 1999. Beginning his career in his native South Africa, Daniel has held residencies in Jo’Burg — better known as Johannesburg — and in Tshwane — better known as Pretoria — before setting his sights on the UK club scene, where he held residencies in London, Brixton and Southampton.
After a brief stint home, he moved to Bahrain where he has held a residency in premier restaurant and lounge “Zoe” for the past two and a half years.
For the past five years, Daniel has been honing his skills as a producer. His unique chilled house and down tempo electronica and chill out sound has seen his tracks being released on the renowned Lemon Grass Music label. Daniel continues to produce deep melodic soundscapes filled with thought and emotion, stemming straight from his heart.
EPISODE 120: Various Artists – Progrez EP – Volume 5 (Progrez)
Fifth volume of the Progrez EP series, this time with four original tracks and remixes from Blue Foundation, Jim Rivers, Tali Freaks vs Nagarrius, MetronomeS and Smart Wave.
EPISODE 121: Birkenmeier – Android (Bonzai Basiks)
Birkenmeier was born in France in 1987
Since his childhood he has been lulled by music thanks to his musical family.
In 2000 he discovered the arrival of Minimal Techno in Europe and then in France, which for him, was a real revelation.
So he obtained basic production software and began to created his first tracks having fun with samples.
The rapid progression of the Minimal Techno movement incited him to master his musical technique and invest in efficient material.
Today his home studio in Nimes in the south of France is well equipped with an Ableton Suite 8 , an APC80, a Kaossilator Pro, and multiple controllers which enables him to create quality tracks and to sign with many labels around the world such as:
-Truth Underground Recordings (Hollywood)
-Stellar Phonics Recordings (Liban)
-Bonzai Records (Belgique)
-Beat Tech Records (Colombie)
-Phäntom Records (France)
-Beat Control Records (Brésil)
Winner of the Remix Contest organized by Phantom Records (a growing label of Avignon France) he know producing just as well as remixing artists such as
– Alvaro Bacchi – Que cara esta la cebolla
– Patrice W. – Stop Talking
-Tom Almex – Monodeck
– Liv Stone – Kill you DJ
He is currently preparing a live Minimal Techno with which he intends to make a lasting impression and kick-start his DJ career.
EPISODE 122: Sajed – RPS (Green Martian)
New Green Martian release from Sajed, a Iranian EDM producer/remixer and DJ.
The release comes with two original tracks, RPS and Nights.
EPISODE 123: Airwave – Atlas Winds (L*C*D Recordings)
A true activist in Electronic music of all kinds for well over 15 years, Belgian Airwave’s discography counts more than 250 records and dozens of remixes, many of them being supported by the biggest names of the industry. Genius Composer and Performer, the man’s imprint on the scene is remarkable.
Hit by surprise by a virus called Electronic Dance music, Laurent developed his knowledge of music and technology in Parallel until his first demos saw the light of day in may of 1995. 1996 saw him release his first tracks on the infamous Bonzai imprint, but that is 1998 that saw him grow up and become the progressive trance artist we know today, with the release of his first Airwave record, I want to Believe, immediately picked up by UK’s own Sasha and Oakenfold, and later on by up and coming youngster Tiesto, gaining popularity as much as he was playing Laurent’s records. The same can be said about the whole dutch trance scene, in which Laurent’s records were and still are omnipresent.
That is how Laurent developed his DJ and performing career from back then, having several gigs worldwide, from Tokyo to San Francisco, from Auckland, NZ to Toronto, and from Manchester to Athens. Hundreds of gigs saw him perform at the world’s biggest clubs of those times, Slinky, Gatecrasher, Godskitchen, The Gallery, 1015, Dopler in Bratislava, and many others, all of them had the chance to welcome Laurent Airwave one day, if not several times, which proves that you do not need to over-commercialize your music to get rewarded all around the world.
«Everyday is full of new challenges, and limits only exist into the human brain» are Airwave’s words of wisdom for every single day. Do not limit the man to a single genre, as his 15 years in the business gave him the ability to execute any style of music with a true sense of perfection and achievements.
EPISODE 124: Fab Code – Never Give Up (MInt & Mustard Recordings)
At an early age Fab was bewitched by music. At age 6 he was attracted by the sounds of soul, funk and disco playing from his parents jukebox. Rocked to the sounds of Tamla Motown, James Brown, Barry White, KC & The Sunshine Band and later Kraftwerk. All this built up in him to a music culture dominated by rhythm and groove.
In the early 80s he began his DJ career (as DJ Fab) and became resident in a trendy club in Brussels called -Disco Steve-. Residencies and bookings would follow one another until 1988, playing in many local clubs, always quality venues, such as Le Veaudeville, Le Garage, Le Variete, La Pergola, Le Disque Rouge (Fuse), Las Vegas, and many others. The musical styles he spins with finesse and technique are funk, disco and new wave, the hype music for this era.
After hanging up his DJ gloves to explore new musical fields, music production, we see him reappear in 1989 with the release of his debut single -Warbeat- under the pseudonym Bassline Boys. The success was immediate following the mini scandal triggered by this title when it was broadcasted in Chistophe Dechavanne’s -ciel mon mardi- (TF1 – French TV), and the musical response entitled -On se calme (Mr. Dechavanne)- turned into a massive hit in France, selling over 400,000 copies and awarded with a gold record. New Beat, Acid House, Techno and Hardcore releases will succeed during the following years under various monickers, such as Fax Yourself, BSR, Defcon, DSK, Hydrowave, Speed Limit, etc.
In 1994 he decided to return to the turntables, and when he met Claude El Divino (City Parade) he joined the -Underground Energy- team, which allowed him play in one of the most prestigious clubs of Belgium, the Extreme. After a series of bookings with Energy Underground he became a resident at Extreme. Other residencies and bookings followed, including La Raza, Planet Hardcore, Cocoon, Illusion, Zenith, Pavarotti and so on.
After a break from both the deejaying and studio work during the early 2000s, he comes back in 2006 with a new challenge, creating and running his own DJ Bar, which will be called -bar©ode-. The project took its flight, the parties became famous throughout Belgium and abroad, and renowned DJs lined up behind bar©odes decks. Pole Folder (Bedrock Records), Filterheadz (I Love Techno), CP (Pulse Factory) Ecco (KMB records), Rudy (Fuse), Xian (Cafe dAnvers), Milo (You), Dave Kane, Trap House, to name a few.
Inspired by the name of his latest project -bar©ode- DJ Fab became Fab Code, and after the bar closed late 2007, he resumed the hunt for bookings. He joined the team of DJ Ecco called -United Elektro- and also played at -Dance Machine- and -Acid Or Not- parties until the end of 2009, then Fab decided to move and settle in the United Kingdom.
Freshly landed in Manchester, his new home, he went back to work and returned to the recording studio to relaunch his career as a producer and composer. He released his first tracks in 2010 on Belgian label Kiss My Beat Records (KMB), on the label Bonzai Progressive and on the label Mint & Mustard.
EPISODE 125: Lucio Grandi – Plastic People (Howz Choonz)
Lucio Grandi was born in Cali, Colombia on August 5, 1984, with Colombian, French and Italian roots.
His first contact with electronic music happens a the sweet age of 6 when Dance and House music hit the local radios. Intense happiness filled him listening to these tunes. Not long before he starts experimenting with recording tunes and making his own mixtapes.
Ten years later after learning how to mix properly on turn-tables he starts his carrier as a professional DJ playing Techno and listening to DJs like Marco Carola, Ben Sims, Cristian Varela, Jeff Mills, Samuel L Session. He filled his DJ-bag with the dark sounds of strong Techno.
But only 2 years later he finds himself tired of that sound and starts the search of his very own musical identity. DJs like Danny Tenaglia, Vibe, Victor Calderone, Carlos Manaca, Richie Santana convince him that Tribal is his call.
Still not satisfied he ends up to adapt House and Alternative Music into his sets and this turns out to be his true self. Influenced by names like Silicone Soul, Peace Division, Little Louie Vega, Armand Van Helden, Harry Romero, Alton Miller , Afrika Bambaataa gave him the needed diversification and shades in tones that this genre contains.
Actually, it is that variation, that diversification that House Music offers that marks his identity as a DJ because he can choose between one side or the other, achieving a more intense atmosphere in his sets.
He has played along with DJs like Franco de Mulero, Jose Viscaya, Malambo, Lexx, Chile, Chloe Harris of London and with David Guetta in 2009 after winning the first DJ contest of his hometown.
He has played in Mission Club, Cooseres, La Cantera, Joan of Arc, Central Valley Pacific events, private parties, etc.
Today he finds himself as a DJ and producer to be part of the infamous Bonzai label group. Convinced of their professionalism and way of working he finds his tracks released on Bonzai Basiks.
This is for Lucio the fulfillment of a dream as he always had wanted to be part of this label.
EPISODE 126: Wonji – Lord I’m Still Standing (Eyepatch Recordings)
Juan Gonzalez aka Wonji is born in Brooklyn, New York 1972 is one of four sons in a family of musicians who started his music career playing the trumpet in jr. high band. With these early skills in music he soon started playing other instruments including, guitars, drums, most brass instruments and soon after at the age of 14 discovered turntables. Hip Hop was one of his biggest infuences at that time and encouraged him to think of creative ways to hear and play sounds from the tables. Soon after he started playing private parties, events and such.But there seemed to be something missing…..
At the age of 17 he decided to move to South Florida, Miami and this is where he was introduced to The House Sound. With a past in latin music, disco and R&B, Wonji decided to twist and meld these sounds together in his live sets which led him to move to his next step: Producing.
By 1999 House music had evolved so much with many new and updated sounds Wonji could not resist getting involved in production.
Musical instruments changed so the music changed, the scenes changed so I had to try and keep up with all the new styles, says Wonji.
Fascinated by the past music and sounds of The Hunger, Front 242, and later DJs like John Digweed, Timo Mass and so on, it was only a matter of time till he started producing his own work.
With an ever evolving sound, Wonji will for sure be around in the music scene for a while. Never passing up new musical possibilities and changing the way music is to be played.
Wonji says about himself: Making people move and groove, thats all I want to do.