Monday, December 28, 2020

VaNISH-Underground Anthem [Perfecto Records]


One of the artists on the rise in the dance music scene is without a doubt Rezwan Khan, more commonly known under his artist name "VaNISH". Having released a string of hit releases on labels such as "State Control Records", "Redux Recordings", "Appointed Recordings" and "Heaven's Gate" among others he is riding the freight train on his road to success. His latest release brings him to legendary record label "Perfecto Records", owned and curated by none other than dance music superstar and renowned artist "Paul Oakenfold" himself. It is appropriately dubbed "Underground Anthem" and upon only a few seconds of play the we easily discover why. This tracks screams "underground" as it is solely embedded into the very essence of the track itself.

 We are swiftly transported into a dark and murky atmosphere which unfolds gradually with every step we take. As we tread upon the black soil looking up towards the ominous, bleak sky we feel lost and oblivious to all. Eerie voices attempt to frighten us while we search for a path throughout the thick dewy grass and gray mists that surround our every move. Fearless we carry on when lesser mortals would easily have turned back, head bowed in shame. Ravens caw from afar piercing the deep silence, while an ever increasing wind makes its dramatic appearance as if on a vicious pursuit of the gray ominous clouds that have gathered high above. With the shrill howl of the wind in our ears we push on, determined to continue on our quest, seeking what we have come to obtain in this harsh terrain and this desolate, ruined and unwelcome land. We shall emerge victorious!

Painting eloquent imagery such as the one above appears to be Rezwan's forte. Solid basslines balanced amongst dark, ominous grooves wrought with mist and decay play the protagonist role in this tune while mysterious, spooky voices spice things up as daunting synths prepare us for the nefarious leads and clever breakbeat approach which completes this enticingly good scarefest anthem. Perfect for those slots towards the morning hours that call for a soundtrack much like this. 

Mass congrats to Rezwan for this underground masterpiece that blends the best of more than one genres such as techno and progressive. May he continue to prosper and bless us with his musical diversity and not simply vanish into the good night.

Released: 23/10/2020

Label: Perfecto Records

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Monoverse-Everything You Are E.P [FSOE Parallels]


After a brief absence from the spotlight for personal reasons, Santos Torres is back in the action. I am of course referring to DJ/Producer "Monoverse" as most of the dance music populous may know him. Running his own label under the "Future Sound Of Egypt" imprint has been one of the highlights in his ever blossoming career. He continues to offer us some of the most exquisite offerings on the one and only "Parallels". It was only fitting that he would make his imminent return to the label with a fresh E.P giving us a double aural pleasure before this difficult year ends. His new E.P contains two enigmatic tracks, different from what one may be used to by "Monoverse" but fresh and inspiring with a hint of his signature sound embedded deep within. Let us dig deep and uncover those aural gems shall we?

"Everything You Are": Spacious grooves unfold as an ever growing intensity stirs from within the very core of the track itself. A minimalistic approach on the percussion is just what was needed for the subtle progression of this one. Melancholic melodies and deep house oriented pitched down vocal snippets attempt to brighten the mood while building on the emotional atmosphere of this one.Beautiful harmonies spread their wings and glide like the most colorful butterflies amongst intriguing stabs and rolling basslines. Deep, emotional tuneage wrought straight from the depths of the artist's soul itself.

"We Are": Steering away from the course of its elder sibling, this next one has a deeper, curious side to it. Enriched melodies and accentuated dark grooves move forward amongst a sea of female vocal snippets. The break holds an array of beautiful, serene, almost nostalgic melodies as if plucked from a music box, long lost in time. Faster paced, smooth and intriguing this one ticks ticks all the right boxes as its progression is what tells the story, keeping the listener at constant attention.

A slight turn of direction for "Monoverse" as he leans towards the progressive side of things but totally wins the audience over with his story telling through his enriched grooves and fine blend of meticulous melodies. Welcome back! Here's to many more releases in the near future!

Released: 23/10/2020

Label: FSOE Parallels 

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Exclusive Interview with Nat Monday!


If you have been following "Pefecto Records", the label owned and operated by none other than legendary "Paul Oakenfold", you are certainly aware of the artists that have been invited to showcase their sound on the label throughout the years. One of its most defining artists that has remained firmly in the label family throughout the years is the talented UK DJ/Producer "Nat Monday". Nat started his journey into the dance music world early on and has certainly loads of mental souvenirs and accolades to prove it. As a DJ this globe trotter's passion for dance music has zipped him literally all over the world. Boasting world tours under such brands as "Ministry Of Sound", "Gatecrasher", "GodsKitchen" and "Perfecto Records" he has certainly spread his sound and love of dance music, educating the populous throughout his unique DJ sets. 

As a producer he has churned out a trunk load of releases which were instantly snatched up by the who's who of clubland and spun to their heart's content. Many of his creations have gone on to be dubbed ultra classics and have continued on carrying the title to this day. "Waiting" is a prime example. Living life in the fast lane lead him to greatness and instant recognition by his peers and fans alike. 

A few years later he slowed things down easing the pace and sought out other ventures.The years may have passed blissfully but music was never absent from his mind and soul. The craving to produce stirred deep within his being and it was only a matter of time till he took up his craft once more. People blessed with the gift of music, such as Nat, know very well that there is no escaping the need to express themselves via music thus unleashing the melodies confound in the depths of their soul onto the world. His recent productions "Inside/ Outside", "Slider" and "Lights On" has brought Nat back into the public eye, his hardcore fans rejoicing to see him back in the game. 

It was an honor to have had the opportunity to conduct this exclusive interview with Nat for "MusicTalk15" where we discuss his origins, tales from the past and his exciting plans for the future!


Question 1:

What was the key factor that ushered you to fall headfirst into the wondrous world of dance music?

One of the key factors I remember was hearing “The Last Rhythm-Vocal Battle Mix” at University while studying Optometry. It was at a student night and this was the first time I had heard music like it. I kept asking for it to be replayed. One of my good friends, Ian McClay was into dance music and taught me how to mix after taking me to the infamous "Hacienda" in Manchester for a night out.


Question 2:

Every artist draws on inspiration from artists before him which ultimately guide him into finding his own sound in the world. How did you come up with that unique sound that defines your productionsand which artists have inspired you along the way?

Growing up I loved listening to pop like "The Pet Shop Boys" and "Blondie". I remember my sister Celeste playing me the Oakenfold mix of "Deacon Blue- Your Town" and thinking this is amazing!

Later I was inspired hearing an "Essential mix" by "Snap" on "Radio 1" and also "The Goa mix" by "Oakenfold" which were truly groundbreaking at the time. My sound has organically evolved over the years from making music I want to hear, not necessarily by following the sound of the moment. At the start of the scene when I first started producing there was limited sounds and equipment, you had to make it up out of your imagination 


Question 3:

It’s no secret that one of the first artists to discover you and believe in your potential was the one and only dance music legend himself, Paul Oakenfold. Could you please share the story behind being discovered by him and becoming a part of the Perfecto Records family?

I ran a label called "Flammable Records" together with previous "Perfecto" artists, "Angeles". We used to send "Paul Oakenfold" all our vinyl tracks exclusively in the post before anyone else. He always supported our sound and often played more than one track in his mixes on Radio 1 and out at club nights. He has always been gracious with his support over the years and has been a mentor helping me develop as an artist. Becoming part of the Perfecto family started in a big part the night I met Paul’s tour manager, Tariq Ahmed and Paul in person at "GodsKitchen" in Birmingham 15 years ago. We had gone down to see Paul play and I met Tariq at the edge of the DJ box. We chatted most of Paul’s set and became good friends from there. Regularly talking on the phone and sharing music.


Question 4:

It is a solid fact that you have been widely recognized in the scene for your expert remix work, becoming the “go to” artist when needing a fresh and unique perspective on a track. Which remix out of the many you have worked on was your favorite to create and still resonates within you?

Faster Kill Pussycat” was my first big remix that I was really proud of. This was the start of many remixes to come. 

Question 5:

You had gone silent for quite some time. Many Perfecto fans had noted your absence and have been eagerly awaiting your return to the scene and Perfecto family in general. 2020 is what it is but we are all thrilled to see you back in action production wise. Will we see many more productions from you and do you have any special surprises in store for us?

Yes, I took a long break from music, almost retiring, I thought my music career had come to an end. Somehow, I just couldn’t seem to let music go and out of the blue Paul asked me to remix “Junk Project" and "Waterfall". Finally I felt everything was falling into place with timing and my sound and production. I have several big surprises in store for you all next year. I cannot talk about them yet, but I love them and hope you all will too! 


Question 6:

The first lockdown was devastating for the scene in more ways than one. One thing that really has helped artists push their sound and skills while connecting with their fans was performing live on Facebook, Youtube or Twitch. Many of us were overjoyed to see you perform again after all these years and I daresay your sets were flawless and packed with hidden gems. Any plans to make this a regular thing and perhaps we might get to see you performing at events again once all clears up, wowing the crowd as usual?

Thank you, I did a few Facebook live steams and Radio through Lockdown. I played mostly my own productions and enjoyed it. I would like to do more when I have the time and would consider DJing again if the time is right. I would also like to do more producer sets.


Question 7:

Many may not know this but you have a back catalog of unreleased material. Originals, remixes, bootlegs. Seeing as we have witnessed a number of forgotten tracks revived and released at last, is there any hope for any of those gems seeing the light of day?

I hope so, but many of my back catalogue is out of my control. I would like to see my mix of “Waterfall” released as I am asked about it all the time. Only "Oakenfold" and "Armin Van Burren" have a copy of it. I have been thinking about updating and also releasing some of my unheard original music on my new website


Question 8:

Years ago you launched your very own label “Flammable Records”. Are there any plans on reopening those doors once more?

No, "Flammable Records" will not be reopened as I sold that Label years ago. It was a great chapter in my life and lead to where I am now. I even met my wife on one of the Flammable Records “Built to Burn Tour” of America. For now I want to concentrate on the Nat Monday productions and website. 

Question 9:

Aside from music do you have any other interests or hobbies that you are passionate about?

We recently got a Tennis Table for keeping fit in Lockdown. When I was younger, I was ranked number one, in the under twenty-ones age group for Northern Ireland and spent many months in China and Spain training before I got into dance music. 


Question 10:

What software do you use when forging your eclectic tunes and which are your favorite vsts

at the moment?

Currently my main DAW is "Bitwig Studio", but in the past I’ve used "Acid", "Cubase", and "Ableton" to name a few. As regards to VSTs, there are too many to mention but some of my favorites are: "FabFilter Saturn", "FabFilter Pro-Q3", "ValhallaRoom reverb", "Waves plugins", "Spire synth", "Sylenth", and "Xfer plugins".

Question 11:

On many of your vocal productions you play the part of the vocalist as well as the producer. Do you also write your own lyrics and if so are any of them based on real life experiences? Timeless favorite for me is of course “Waiting”.

Thanks, unfortunately I am not a singer. I wish I could take credit for the singing and song writing skills on "Waiting" but they belong to my Flammable partner "Jay Welsh". He wrote and sang the lyrics. "Waiting" started out as the "B" side to my track "Nucleus" with a female vocal before we got Jay to re-sing it. We then released it through "Distinctive Records". Jay wrote all the Flammable lyrics and has a real God given talent for song writing. He is a true poet at heart. 


Question 12:

What would you say was your most special moment throughout your music career and for what reason?

The first time I heard Paul play one of my tracks on his "Radio 1" "Essential Mix World Tour" is a great memory. It was always a dream of mine to be signed to Perfecto. When this finally happened, it was a real-life dream come true. Being asked to remix 6 tracks on Oakenfolds "Lively Mind Album" was amazing. 


Question 13: Do you enjoy traveling and if so which are some of your favorite destinations and where would you like to visit once the world resumes normality?

Yes, I enjoy traveling. I have traveled all over the world with DJing and for pleasure. Luckily right before Lockdown my wife and I snuck in a week in the warm sun of Lanzarote and had a fantastic time visiting volcano, cactus gardens and caves. The world has a lot to offer and I hope to see more of it. 








Wednesday, December 2, 2020

GXD & Elle Vee-Sail [AVA Recordings]


English dance music outfit duo "GXD" are one of the fastest rising stars in the scene today and for good reason. Daley Young and Matt Golledge are the masterminds behind the project and have worked tirelessly over the years with 2020 being one of their most productive and fruitful by far. Having given us a multitude of top notch productions such as "Voices", "Evolution", "Echoes" and "Without You", the duo continue their production frenzy by gaining support left and right along the way. Their newest labor of love is one of the most memorable vocal trance tunes that you will hear this year. Teaming up once more with American singer/songwriter "Elle Vee" they proudly present "Sail", out now on "AVA Recordings". Let your mind take in all that you will witness by pressing the play button on your device of choice. 

 From the very first moment we are thrust into a world populated by grungy basslines and buzzing powered up synths, traversing through a troubled sea while sonic waves wrought with emotion carry us further away from home. In the midst of it all we find ourselves encircled by a surge of cosmic female voices, awakening a certain awe within us all. The voyage is full of peril but wonder as well much like life itself. Like a modern day siren Elle arrives in the break delivering a truly divine performance. Tormented by her inner demons, weaknesses and inabilities she lets her soul bare for all to see while sadness and despair creep over her as things did not work out the way she had quite wished they would. Having being dealt a lousy game of cards at life she recollects her past errors and wishes to obtain her very own place in the sun, living to the fullest, embracing life as a gift. All of this has been portrayed exquisitely through Elle's dark and bitter performance. A beacon of light emanates from within the gloom, beckoning us all to land and faraway from the dark, troubled waters we have been sailing over the years. Redemption and solace can be found for us as we step foot back on dry land.

 Undoubtedly track of the year for "GXD" and "Elle Vee". A magnificent tune that will not depart your mind for months on end.

Released: 23/10/2020

Label: AVA Recordings