Monthly Archives: August 2009

Baxter – Proof (Lifelike Remix)

100% pure dreamwave right here. This remix of Baxter by Lifelike is just off the charts good. Sort of like when Fred Falke came roaring back with his soaring smooth take on Annie’s Anthonio, this seems like a true return to form for Lifelike. I’m sure if you’re banging out 2-3 remixes a month for all sorts of clients it takes its toll on an artists ability to stay creative and innovative, but here’s an example of a great artist getting inspired and making just a great song.

Close your eyes and let the intro wash over you.

Baxter – Proof (Lifelike Remix)

Haven’t we all felt this way? The slow death of a relationship. A first love gone wrong. Something once so full of promise and happiness left hanging by a string.

‘I have to believe there’s only one’

And you want to so badly. You’ll fight for it to the death, but in the back of your mind you know its inevitable. You want so badly to believe that this is ‘THE PERSON’ that you choke it to death.

Have you been there? Maybe you’ve been on both sides? Either way, this song encapsulates the sleepless nights, love letters, and pleading phone calls that come with the territory.

‘I want to believe there’s only one’

takes the subject and injects it with a mountain of emotion that only he can. The chords in the chorus, pouring through your ears, calling out to memories and feelings you thought were gone. This is why we fell in love with dreamwave, and its why we keep coming back for more.

Big thanks to Hyperbole for beating us to the punch and throwing out this fantastic track.

Kudos to OMG Recording on this great release. Go buy it at beatport! Link below.

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Keenhouse – Civic Transit (Anoraak LAX Remix)

It seemed inevitable that at some point Binary would link up with the Valerie guys. Comparisons between the two collectives have popped up often during the past year, even as people were learning that the artists, sounds, and songwriting of the two factions are actually quite different. Despite these differences however, there seemed no doubt in many way we were on the same path, a world apart. When Kyle and I finally met David and Frederic (College and Anoraak) early this year, it was clear that those guys were nothing short of our brothers from another life. We’re fighting the same wars and believe the same things about music and life. If I have one constant belief about the music we are all making, its that the people who seem to love dreamwave are true music fans, unconcerned about agenda or what is cool. After throwing a great show and spending some great times here in LA with the guys, it seemed that a musical collaboration was something that was just going to have to happen.

This brings me to today’s song. We’ve got Keenhouse’s title song from his record ‘Civic Transit’ remixed by Valerie’s star, Anoraak. We thought that incorporating Anoraak into our favorite dreamwave record of 2008 would be a great way to bring the collectives together, and what has emerged is a great track. It found its way onto NightWaves Dreamwave Hour 2 mix, and has been the object of a lot of curious emails with people looking for the elusive track.

A quick word about Civic Transit. I won’t go into a long tirade about it, but in short, Keenhouse’s record ‘Civic Transit’ is one of the most grossly overlooked albums of 2008. It remains as one of my favorite records of the year, and it is certainly reason #1 why we fought hard to bring him into the Binary family. The fact is that you are seriously missing out if you don’t buy this record. Its the kind of universal record that works for children and adults alike, its for driving, for the dancefloor, and its for lazy afternoons. I’m a bit biased, so don’t take my word for it.

Buy it on iTunes

Which brings us to the remix. It’s just what you would hope for, a dreamwave anthem, emerging from a collaboration between two of the genre’s brightest stars. Enjoy.

Keenhouse – Civic Transit (Anoraak LAX Remix)

I almost don’t even need to describe the sound. Within 5 seconds of the opening of the track, its like a wash of cool ocean water over you on a hot day. It’s straight dreamwave, nothing else. Just a beautiful set of melodies and chords all the while making your body move just enough.

Like floating into a dreamworld, Anoraak takes Ken’s off kilter lyrics and places them within a white world of clouds and mystique. Keenhouse’s tale of travel in a futuristic world gets taken to a new place through Anoraak’s italo flavored production. This feels like the kind of track Moroder would be happy with.

I can’t help but imagine trains traveling through forests and over mountains, a slow trek to the inevitable coast. Snow capped peeks and raging rivers flow by. There’s something quite mesmerizing about this remix. The dreaminess of it, mixed with the almost robotic delivery of the lyrics gives the song a metallic sheen placed over a soft pillow. Music is supposed to deliver you to another place and time, and this song delivers on that promise with every listen.

Like the song?

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Alfa – LA Passion

It’s been about a year since Alfa joined the Binary Family. When we set out to find a group of like-minded producers who could represent the best of LA, we said we were looking to represent everything about our city, from the grit, spit, and neon of the city, to the sun kissed waves of the Pacific. Alfa was one of the last members to be added to the group of 7, and although his tunes are melodic and often dreamy, he definitely represents the grit and the underbelly of the City of Angels.

Today we celebrate his first release, first with this post, and then tonight at The Dragonfly. LA Passion was our first love of Alfa’s, so it comes as no surprise that the great System Recordings heard it as well and wanted to release it. Months of polishing and planning has lead to the release, and I must say the completed vision, complete with 2 great remixes, is something that everyone should want to own. Its a brief look into late nights and fast cars. Its a song that gives you the taste of polished chrome, but does it without getting rid of the dirt from under your fingernails. In a way, LA Passion represents both sides of our mission statement. It is the grit of the city and the sun soaked coast. It’s still my favorite Alfa track, so I urge you guys to support him, support Binary, and go out and buy this release.

The track had an advance release on Beatport (buy it on Beatport), and will be coming out on iTunes tomorrow, August 25th, (buy it on iTunes). If you’re in the city tonight, come out to The Dragonfly to celebrate with the whole family. Alfa will be throwing down a special DJ set on the patio, and Short Circuit will be playing a live set inside!

OK, we don’t want to leave you empty handed, so I’d like to pass along the track that started us on our path to emailing Zak last September and asking him to be a part of Binary. Back before blog house was bloghaus, the Crytonites had themselves a remix competition for their blog hit “Cant Give you Up”. A young, gnarly looking kid from LA burst onto the scene with his remix, which won the competition. Alfa’s remix for this track ended up getting played in our newly acquired Binary headquarters, and within a day we had found every track that Alfa had ever released. In all truthfulness his productions have done nothing but get better since this remix, but it’s still a testament to the fact that Alfa is one of the best producers in Los Angeles. He was making dreamwave before anyone in had even begun to decide that it might be cool. Anyway, here’s the classic.

Crypotonites – Can’t Give You Up (Alfa Remix)

Alfa’s signature is probably his ability to merge really delicate, beautiful chords with hard, dirty basslines and drums. In a way he is the ideal LA producer. His productions conjure images of neon lights, late nights filled with drugs, fast cars, heartbreak, but all set to an urban landscape full of dark alleys and shady people. After knowing Zak for quite some time now, those adjectives start to describe him as a person as well. This remix fits all of those adjectives as well.

The song kicks off with dark, beautiful chords, an almost warning alarm for the song to come. Its like an air-raid siren is calling out to the city, yearning for something to happen. And then as the verse starts, Alfa brings out all of his dreamwave tendencies. To this day it the arpeggiated riff that dances over the lyrics gives me shivers. Zak has a real talent for melody, and in this remix he’s at his best.

The remix brings out thoughts of late nights gone by. Hazy memories of nights and decisions lost in the past. Dark streets devoid of street lights. LA is the kind of city where you can find the brightest lights and biggest stars on one corner, and the darkest kind of people just a block away. This song captures just that. There’s a level of sadness and darkness that covers the whole track, but a feeling of hope and promise never leaves.

This track is a great introduction to his tunes, but you should all head to his myspace so that you can get a better taste. Alfa just keeps getting better. He’s got 2 brand new tracks coming out on our compilation, Binary Presents: LA Lights, which is coming out worldwide on October 13th. The new tracks are his best yet and the whole record is killer. Cant wait!

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Washed Out – Feel It All Around

Buzzworthy is a funny term to describe people within the ‘indie music’ circle, but lets face it, if Pitchfork and GvB have covered you, then chances are people within the community will know you. Washed Out however, is just that good for Binary not to post it. Its like his music was made to fit on this blog. Fittingly from the humid coast of South Carolina, Washed Out brings us spaced out electronic beach tunes that wash sun and warmth over you and keep you wrapped up in a blanket of noisey, thick air.

I just couldn’t ignore how good his latest song was. ‘Feel It All Around’ is like a hop skip and a jump away from being full on dreamwave. Staying more on the side of Neon Indian’s tripped out sampling rather than outright synth work, Washed Out does nail the VIBE of dreamwave on the head. Songs that sound like they should be the soundtrack to the end of a Night Rider episode, with Kit driving off into the sunset with a trail of dust whipping away in the wind.

Washed Out – Feel It All Around

I actually opened a DJ set that I played recently with this track. Mostly to make people stop and be like ‘uh woah, what is this?’. It’s got such a good vibe that its hard to ignore it. The tempo is down at about 80bpm, so at first listen its hard to hear that a dance producer is probably behind this track. The drums are straight Valerie, and much of the production reminds me of the psychedelic disco that Classixx has been making of late.

In any case, I can’t stop listening to this song because it reminds me so clearly of summers on the east coast growing up. The dog days of summer, filled with air so thick you could slice through it. The kind of days when your clothes never completely dry out, and you dont really mind.

Whether its driving around, windows down, half asleep in the passenger seat, or jumping off of bridges to beat the heat. This song captures the lazy days when you sleep for 15 hours a day, and you spend the nights with good people just looking for a good time.

The ever present vocal sample that permeates the entire vibe of the track gives it this feeling of thickness. Almost like a hot breeze blowing over you, the guts of this song just give such a great feeling of warmth that its hard to ignore it. Washed Out’s vocals do a great job complimenting the feeling, leaving the song stuck in a 4pm haze of lemonade, sandy feet, and the sound of waves crashing in the distance. Even the lyrics say it, “You feel it all around yourself”.

Really great track, and I really don’t care if GvB posted it a month ago, its that good. Go check out the rest of his songs, they’re on the same path and it makes me pretty excited for the future of this lo-fi offshoot of dreamwave.

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Fitz And The Tantrums – Breakin’ The Chains Of Love (Keenhouse Remix)

Special treat today. Fresh from Keenhouse’s keyboard comes his new remix for Fitz And The Tantrums. Keenhouse’s productions speak for themselves (yes… this is why he’s on Binary) and we really believe that at the top of his game he’s as good as anyone in the business. This remix right here is the perfect example of just what he can do when he’s working with some great vocals.

I imagine that Ken knew this would be a funloving summer track from the moment he heard those throwback crooning vocals. What emerged is a signature Keenhouse remix that’ll leave you with a smile on your face and a jump in your step. Check it out.

Fitz And The Tantrums – Breakin’ The Chains Of Love (Keenhouse Remix)

“Oh what a lovely day. Breakin the chains of love.” Sort of sounds like something Braxe and Falke would have tackled a few years back. Ken does this summer synth house track good. It reminds me of sitting in the office with Kyle, just diving as deep into the internet abyss as we could, just HUNTING for music like this. And with every new gem we discovered, big smiles on our faces as we remarked at how GREAT this kind of music is.

Sometimes its hard for people to understand how we can equate this kind of dance music with the sun, beaches, and chilled out good times. They must be missing something. You’re telling me you can picture pulling into a beach parking lot, this song blasting? Your hand is already halfway into the cooler, ready to pull out that first Tecate.

Breakin the chains of love… Yup. Summer romances. Drinking during the day with friends.

This song really gets cranking when the big female vocals come in near the bridge. Its as if the remix was asking for them all along and when they arrive its one long tension release. Great stuff. The outro, with her improvised riffing just sounds so organic, like she sang it for this remix, not the original. If you haven’t been nodding your head yet, you should be now.

Unfortunately summers on its slow decent back into fall (lets not kid ourselves though. Its 75% and sunny in October here). Either way, this track has enough heat packed into the outro to warm up anyone the world over.

Give Keenhouse and Fitz some love on myspace, they both deserve it!

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Luther Vandross – Never Too Much (ODahls K-Love Remix)

Today we’ve got a track from Swedish producer Odahl. I love when we’re sifting through myspace friend requests and all of sudden we come across an artist that really catches our ear. It’s a very fulfilling way of finding an artist. Anyway, we’ve been meaning to post this track for a few weeks now, and while it’s been on deck, the CD I burned with this track on it hasn’t left my car stereo.

The song is a remix of Luther Vandross’ “Never Too Much”. Luther is the shit, and his silky vocals are always great, but Odahl really builds upon them here with mellow arpeggiated bell tones and lush synth pads, all riding on top of a funky bass groove and very danceable beat. This song probably sets the best atmosphere I’ve heard in awhile.

Luther Vandross – Never Too Much (ODahls K-Love Remix)

When I was 17 I went on a cruise with my parents and my brother to the Caribbean. It was a typical family vacation, and being from Chicago, it was always nice to get out of the dead cold of winter. The first night aboard the ship, I met a girl from LA. She was 17, she was beautiful, and she was the California girl I always dreamed I’d find. Have you ever had a vacation romance?

This song makes me think of those moments…the way two people come together in such a sweet and delicate way. Just like the bell synth tones that beep through this whole song, our time together is limited, and always ticking away. I love the feeling of desperation where you meet this person that you know you probably won’t see ever again, but you’re so drawn together in this moment and this moment only that it’s hard to rationalize everything in a normal way. You know that it’s not quite love, but it’s something so bittersweet that it might as well be…at least for tonight.

My California girl and I spent the whole week together…laying in the Caribbean sun all day, sneaking alcohol onto the dancefloor of the club at night, and running off to the empty top deck of the ship to kiss under the bright stars in the darkest night sky you’ve ever seen. Eventually the last day of the cruise approached and it was New Years Day. On the night of New Years Eve I remember celebrating with my family until right before midnight. I had to find her. I ran around the ship looking for my California girl and found her right as the clock was striking midnight. We kissed to bring in the new year and danced the night away…and that was it. I never saw her after that night. All my love…

A thousand kisses from you is never too much…

I just don’t want to stop…

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Human Life – To Forever

Human Life is in LA. Right here in our city. They write great pop tunes that are firmly rooted in electro and synthpop. Their myspace player is like a nice little album you can listen to 4 or 5 times through and enjoy each time for new reasons. The production is spot on, and both the male and female vocals are great. They’re tied with Alan Braxe too… sooooo well, you don’t need to hear anything else to know that that was enough to get our Binary juices flowing.

This brings me to the second point. Binary artist Short Circuit had his laptop stolen a few weeks ago at a gig in North Hollywood. IT WAS STOLEN FROM ON STAGE. Ridiculous. Really just a bad situation, and to rectify it, we’re throwing a party! Binary is hosting a benefit show at The Dragonfly, this Friday night. We’ve got 13 great acts performing, plus a special set to close the night on the main stage. I’m really excited to announce that Human Life will be joining us for a DJ set to help support the cause!

Ok, lets move to the song now. This is a new song that you won’t find on their myspace player. ‘To Forever’ is a dreamy journey into a different time and place. The rest of their songs are a bit more straightforward. I’m having some trouble getting a grip on how this song makes me feel, but I suspect that thats exactly why they chose to send us this song. Check it out.

Human Life – To Forever

Right from the get-go, the dance roots are present. A DJ friendly intro launches into an uptempo disco pop track. The first verse, sparse and driving, is lead by a punching bass synth. The female vocals really carry the track through the chorus. The synths keep building on each other and the track really evolves into a pretty epic, reverb filled, big dance jam.

I think I’m having trouble figuring out what this song does to me because of the contradictions. I love the vibe of the song. It makes me feel lost and lonely (well I dont enjoy those feelings I guess, but I love that the song can MAKE me feel that way). Its a love song, and for the most part it sounds like a declaration of requited love. I think this is the contradiction to me. The production, as well as the melancholy vocals just make me think of sleepless nights and empty promises.

This makes me think the song is really about broken ties, lonely nights, dreams, and wishes. The vocals aren’t so much full of energy and passion, but they are just as melancholy as the song as a whole is. I LOVE that! Its the kind of song I want to listen to while taking a long walk late at night. Just walking for the sake of thinking.

The thoughts of someone running through your head. Flashes and images of their eyes, their face, their body. This song just makes me think about having my heart broken, and wanting things to get better. I know some of the content of the song may contradict this, but the song has this overtone of sadness that just can’t be ignored. Listen to that huge, slow crooning synth lead that overpowers the whole track after the chorus… “Never let me goooooo”. Its GREAT!

There’s a breakdown near the end of the track. Its my favorite part. At about 3:55 in the song this amazing chord progression comes in. Heavily delayed, it meanders into the vocals again. It sounds like something Keenhouse might play, which is probably why I like it so much.

Great stuff from these guys here. Go check out Human Life on myspace, they have a lot more to offer!

We’re really looking forward to hearing their DJ set tomorrow night at the Dragonfly. Please come out and support. Andrew could really use the money (there will be a $10 donation at the door), and I think its going to be a great time.

Doors are at 10, and we’ve got music ready to blast all night long. Did I mention 13 DJs are signed up to help out, including a live performance from Short Circuit himself? The whole fam will be out, so come out and have a good time with us!


What will happen at 1am on the mainstage?????

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Short Circuit: Live at YTC Presents August 5th

This Wednesday, a rare chance to see Binary artist Short Circuit perform live. He’s playing You Tell Concerts new event, Something Cool, at Jimmy’s Lounge. The YTC guys are really cool and have even covered a couple of our shows before, but now they’re taking on the challenge of throwing shows worthy of the You Tell Concerts name. I’m always excited when new show promoters want to get Binary artists involved, but this is a bit special because these guys think far outside the electronic genre.

Being a traditional live music act is something that we’re constantly pushing for from our artists here at Binary. There is something undeniably cooler about seeing a music act play a show live. Short Circuit has developed one of the most interesting, ingenious live sets that you’ll see from an electronic musician. Drums, live synths, vocoding, and live vocals drive a set that whirls and turns through different soundscapes and moods. It’s something all of the Binary guys make a point to get out and see. So, come out on Wednesday to Jimmy’s Lounge to check out a rad night of music, headlined by a killer live set by Short Circuit.

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To celebrate, we’ll pull out a track from the vaults. The first time Kyle and I ever met Andrew (Short Circuit), he passed us over a CD, sort of as a show of faith, with a new remix he had just finished for NightWaves – She’s Electric. It was the very first remix we had ever received for a NightWaves track. It was a cool moment, and that meeting has lead to a lot of great things. Check out Short Circuit’s remix of NightWaves, She’s Electric.

NightWaves – She’s Electric (Short Circuit Remix)

The best part about Short Circuit’s productions are that he can go two routes and do them both really well. He can channel his dreamwave side, as he did with his Keenhouse remix, pushing into sunny pastures. He’s got a heavy dose of darkness in him too, and he can move towards his Digitalism/The Presets sort of sound. He goes this way with this remix. Hearing it reminds me of The Presets set at Coachella, a driving, pulasting set of dark melodies and strong vocals placed over punching drums.

Its a dark track for girls that are in their element at 4am, long before the sun rises. Foggy rooms and dark makeup. Packed dancefloors and dark corners.

This remix takes NightWaves’ original track and flips it upside down. Andrew turns it into a dark club track, ready for basement parties and 4am sweatfests. It’s easy enough to draw on the strengths of the original when remixing, but the great thing about this remix was Short Circuit’s ability to actually twist the entire song into a new kind of beast.

Enjoy, and see ya’ll Wednesday.

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