Andrew Rayel

This blog post is based closely on the review I wrote for DJ Mag Australia, which can be found on its website, here.

The worldwide celebration of trance, A State Of Trance 650, rolled into Malaysia on Friday 15 March as part of the Future Music Asia 3-day festival. And with no sign of Armin van Buuren planning to bring his annual party back to Australia, there was a sizeable contingent of Aussies flying in to join in the fun for the second year running in Kuala Lumpur.

Arriving at the Jalat Bilal stadium for A State Of Trance 650 party, we were greeted by the familiar sight of security lines and ID checks but it was a pretty smooth and well-organised entry and we were soon inside the venue. The stage was set up in the large car parking area outside the stadium itself but it was such a large area that there was capacity for tens of thousands. A strange arrangement where you were not allowed to take alcoholic drinks into the front part of the arena seemed hard to fathom, especially given how poorly it was enforced.

The stage production and sound was as good as anywhere in the world and noticeably better than in many countries I have attended festivals in. The light show on the screen behind the DJs was a fantastic 3D affair and even before dusk the lasers were playing across the smoky haze that enveloped Kuala Lumpur from recent nearby bush fires.

After a couple of local DJs got things started, it was time for the Australian, MaRLo, to open up the official ASOT650MY proceedings. After MaRLo’s set there was a fifteen minute interlude for prayers – not something that I’ve come across at a festival before!

A change to the original running order saw Andrew Rayel up next and he delivered a set true to his style, mixing popular tunes such as Zedd – Clarity and One Replublic and Alesso – If I Lose Myself Tonight together with his remixes of classics like Cosmic Gate – Exploration Of Space and Faithless – Insomnia. When he dropped his own tune – How Do I Know?, he was joined on stage by the singer, Jano, to take the crowd’s applause. He also treated us to various recent hits like Armin van Buuren feat. Trevor Guthrie – This Is What It Feels Like, Dash Berlin feat. Emma Hewitt – Waiting and Above & Beyond feat. Richard Bedford – Sun & Moon. He finished with a flourish, dropping Alex M.O.R.P.H. – For The Love Of An Angel and handed over to Omnia.

Omnia took up where Andrew Rayel left off and was soon giving us an extended and re-worked version of Omnia & Ira – The Fusion and he had everyone jumping around to his own track – Infina (but did he play it twice?) as well as a double hit of Gareth Emery, dropping Arrival, from the Northern Lights album and Emery’s new tune, feat. Bo Bruce – U.

Now it was time for Markus Schulz to spin the tunes and give Kuala Lumpur a shot of his Coldharbour style. We were treated to tracks from his new Scream 2 album accompanied by favourites from Scream, like Nothing Without You (feat Ana Diaz), standards from his sets in the last year like Fisherman & Hawkins – Apache and back catalogue classics like Markus Schulz – The New World. He even dropped the old Fat Boy Slim hit, Praise You. This was not my favourite Schulz set of recent times, but he was undoubtedly playing well to the local crowd, who responded enthusiastically.

With the screens dazzling, the lasers playing across the night sky and the sound pulsating, there was an electric atmosphere as the evening drew towards its climax. At 10.45pm, Schulz handed over to the man himself, Armin van Buuren, who gave us a tour de force of trance from his newer tunes from the Intense album, like Forever Is Ours (feat. Emma Hewitt) and The Sound Of The Drums (feat. Laura Jansen) to the latest single, Ping Pong and updated classics like Tiësto – Adagio For Strings (James Dymond Rework), Binary Finary – 1998 (Jordan Suckley Remix) and his own Communication (Faruk Sabanci Remix).

As the clock moved to midnight, he took the microphone to get everyone to stop dancing for a moment and pray or pause in thought for the passengers and crew of the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370. It was a poignant moment before we got back to dancing.

He gave us flavour of Gareth Emery, mashing up Concrete Angel (feat. Christina Novelli) and U (feat. Bo Bruce – Bryan Kearney Remix) and then he ramped up the gears with the Shura Vlasov mashup of Simon Patterson – Brush Strokes and John O’Callaghan – Big Sky. He concluded the set with RAM feat. Susana – Ramelia and Armin van Buuren vs Photographer – Airport Shivers (Armin van Buuren mashup). There was just time for an encore and naturally he chose This Is What It Feels Like, mixing up two remixes – the John Ewbank Classical Remix and the W&W Remix. If you can’t beat them, join them, so I sang along …. ironically, of course!

After two magnificent hours from Armin, it was time for Paul van Dyk to take over and bring the night to a fitting conclusion. With a set full of his own productions, such as Time Of Our Lives, For An Angel and I Don’t Deserve You, PVD kept the tempo high and the crowd dancing to the very end.

This was a magnificent day’s music for trance fans local and international coming together on the day to celebrate as the Malaysian trance family. Undoubtedly Armin himself stole the show, but none of the other DJs let the side down and all played their part in making it a day to remember.

The news broke the following afternoon that six party goers had died as a result of overdosing on methamphetamine – the details are still somewhat sketchy as I write this – and as a consequence the following day’s Future Music Festival Day 3 was abruptly cancelled by the Kuala Lumpur police. Although everyone is undoubtedly shocked and saddened that this should have happened, I can only hope that it doesn’t overshadow a fantastic day enjoyed by so many thousands.

We arrived around 11.30 and the first thing that greeted us was a long line of people waiting to get in. As long as the queue moves quickly, this is a good sign as it means the club will be busy and sure enough, by the time we got in, it was heaving. But we knew where our friends would most likely be – in the spot we all seem to have chosen as the right place to be – and sure enough, despite the packed room, it wasn’t difficult tracking them down.

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We heard Oceanlab – Satellite, Giuseppe Ottaviani with Betsie Larkin – Toys, Giuseppe Ottaviani – Angel, Aly & Fila with Giuseppe Ottaviani – Brilliant People, Motorcycle – As The Rush Comes, Giuseppe Ottaviani feat. Amba Shepherd – Lost For Words, Solarstone & Giuseppe Ottaviani – Falcons, Giuseppe Ottaviani & Ferry Corsten – Magenta. And as a real crowd-pleaser he dropped his remix of Armin van Buuren feat. Trevor Guthrie – This Is What It Feels Like. Those who know me will know that I’m not a huge fan of this tune – but this is undoubtedly the best remix of it. Following that was his remix (surely the definitive one) of Paul van Dyk feat. Plumb – I Don’t Deserve You and he just had time to close with Giuseppe Ottaviani – Love Will Bring It All Around.

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It was another great night – there’s no doubt than when Voodoo pulls in the crowds, there’s a real buzz about Home nightclub. Let’s look forward to more nights like this in 2014.

Many thanks to Luke Davids Photography for the photos.

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Vivalabooks

One choice will define you.

What if your whole world was a lie?

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

Above And Beyond 1

The end has finally arrived. The last book. The end to the ultimate story. All good things must come to an end and unfortunately Divergent is no exception.

Allegiant begins with the community of Divergent in shambles. The Factionless have gained control with Tobais’ mother, Evelyn, as the leader, but there are still many loyal to the factions who want to overthrow the Factionless. And, then, there remains the question of what lies beyond the fence. Tris, Four, and a group (that will probably surprise you) search for an answer and what they find will forever change them.

The plot. The characters. The writing. It was all just unbelievable. I could NOT put down Allegiant even though it was already 1:00 am by the time I reached the middle of the book. It was actually impossible to even begin to imagine putting down Allegiant. The suspense and the intensity were off the charts. Throughout the whole book, I felt as if there was a fist clenching my heart and I swear I’ve never held my breath for so long so many times. There are definitely plenty of surprises, plot twists, and new information placed on a platter for us readers to devour in Allegiant.

The dual POV. It was… *fangirl failing & squealing* One number/word: Four/Tobais. Veronica Roth is seriously amazing for allowing us, the readers, with the opportunity to delve into his mind. It allowed Allegiant to take on a broader perspective than it would have had with just Tris’s POV that I greatly appreciated. It definitely was one of the many factors in making Allegiant such a good final book. Also, it was without a doubt one of the best written and one of my favorite dual POVs ever.

The famous controversial ending. Yes, it was heartbreakingly tragic but beautifully brilliant at the same time. Actually, once I realized what was happening, I skimmed past those pages (tears were already appearing though) to somehow avoid or at least postpone the enevitable. And, as I re-read that scene I broke down with the ugliest of ugly cries. Yep, that was me and I could NOT stop. All these emotions I bottled up throughout Allegiant just exploded into a hurricane of tears. And, I know many of you are angry about the ending, I was too. But, as I recovered from shock, I realized it was weirdly a satisfying ending. It was not your typical YA ending, but one that followed the actual story of the characters instead of what the readers desired. And, I strongly applaud Veronica Roth for staying true to Divergent and its characters. (Read this post by Veronica Roth explaining the thought behind the ending for a better understanding). Yes, the ending tore my heart to shreds and brought to life unknown emotions and possibly scarred me, but it made me proud to have been able to be a part of this incredible journey.

DISCLAIMER: *CONTAINS SPOILERS* (Highlight to read.)

Allegiant is a roller coaster of ups & downs and twists & turns with plenty of mind-blowing moments and scenes that cause one’s heart to drop to his or her stomach. Allegiant was a bittersweet ending to an incredible series and I’m heartbroken the story of Divergent has come to an end. If you haven’t read Divergent, I have no idea what you’ve been doing with your life, but take some time out of your day, week, month, or year and please read this enlightening, life-altering series.

Congratulations Veronica Roth on the creation of an unforgettable story and an astounding finale. Thank you!

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Reso Tangram Remixed Civil Music1St April 2013

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Boys Noize (Alex Ridha) is amongst an elite group of highly respected DJ/Producers to have earned legendary status. Whether producing monster tracks such as “Starwin”, playing to thousands of people around the world, remixing for the likes of David Lynch, Depeche Mode and Daft Punk, working with artists as varied as Skrillex, Snoop Dogg, Santigold and Chilly Gonzales, or as label boss of his own Boysnoize Records, it’s fair to say Boys Noize has never been in more demand or on better form than currently: now iced with the proverbial cherry by being next in line to mix the legendary FABRICLIVEseries. Working two jobs just to buy turntables and satisfy his insatiable appetite for buying house, disco and hip hop records from the age of 14 years old, Hamburg-born Alex Ridha played his first ever gig at the age of 16 and from there – by his own admittance – “everything went pretty crazy.” Happy to just make back the money he’d spent on vinyl, before long his productions were supported by the likes of 2manydjs, Erol Alkan and Laurent Garnier, releasing on Kitsune and Turbo before exclusively releasing on his own label (with Cocoon and Phantasy the only recent exceptions). Renowned as a fast-paced, party DJ, Boys Noize does not disappoint on his FABRICLIVE mix.

“Around 2006-2007 I played together with Justice & crew in Room 2 and I was very excited, because it was really a dream come true to play London’s famous fabric. I remember it was super dark: smoke, sweat and lasers and people everywhere. I thought the club was so massive. I had no orientation, I didn’t know where the exit was or anything.”- Boys Noize

FABRICLIVE 72 is a frenetic, fast-paced representation of a typical Boys Noize set, condensed into 70 pulsating, sweaty minutes. Not simply a melting pot of the newest tracks, but an education in crazy techno and hi-energy jackin’ house, it switches up between Boysnoize Records releases – Tracques ‘Motor’ – to Gesaffelstein’s ‘Aufstand’ and Four Tet’s ‘For These Times’ with timeless ease. Its upbeat, happy attitude is clearly in full swing with Ridha focusing on melody for the home listener. Featuring a demo version of new track ‘Anoid’ (a gnarly, industrial slice sewn bang into the middle of the mix), his collab with Skrillex under the Dog Blood moniker (the breakbeat-powered ‘Chella Ride’), and new edits of underground tracks by Aden, DJ Deeon and Anthony Naples, Boys Noize proves time and time again that he is a man fully in control of his craft.bn_londonfabric_2

“I really tried to sum up my two to three hour set in 70 minutes. My sets usually include many styles and at some points I mix pretty fast too. I play some jackin’ house and techno with crazy energy stuff and then go back to reduced dub or even classic electro or breaks. Mygoal was to combine all of the styles I play but also make it listenable. All in all I think this DJ mix is pretty timeless, colourful and happy.” – Boys Noize

BOYS NOIZE TOUR DATES:

Boys Noize free BNR #ERROR iphone app HERE

chase and statusAfter slowly teasing what’s to come from their epic third full-length, Brand New MachineChase and Status have officially unveiled the tracklisting for the album. Featuring guest spots by everyone from Pusha T and Major Lazer to Nile Rodgers and a VIP by Skrillex, it’s truly an event for electronic dance music. Brand New Machine will see a US release on October 7 via Casablanca Records. You can also now stream(below) their track “Machine Gun” (feat. Pusha T) 

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iTunes Edition Bonus Tracks:

Following the sensational response to the album’s debut single “Lost & Not Found” (feat. Louis M^ttrs) which soared into the Official UK Chart Top 10 and wowed audiences across the UK/European festival circuit, Chase (Saul Milton) and Status (Will Kennard) released the astounding dance anthem “Count On Me” (feat. Moko) which is yet another string to their impressively diverse bow. Listen HERE

Brand New Machine comes hot on the heels of the group’s breakthrough previous offering, No More Idols. That last effort yielded the smashes “Blind Faith” featuring Liam Bailey, “Let You Go” featuring Mali, and “Time” featuring Delilah. Chase and Status remain a must see festival favorite, appearing everywhere from Rock The Bells to Coachella, to headlining spots at Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds, and more. Brand New Machine is a powerhouse of dance music that guarantees to blow your mind.

Upcoming Chase and Status US Tour Dates

PRESI ON

What I’ve noticed about Presi On is that most of his tracks have a nice vibe throughout due to the flow that he creates and samples that he spits. His ability allows him to create a sound as smooth as the velvet fabric on a blazer or a dress. Take his track Victor Porfidio Digital Militia Ft Zashanell La La La Presi On Remix for instance, which gave me the feeling of chillin’ on a bench, enjoying the cool summer day. With his skills as a producer, the music he creates comes across in a different light. It’s more clean and clear-cut than most due to the time that he must take during production, making sure his sound relays the hard work and dedication that he puts in at all hours of the day.

If you are a fan of the progressive house genre, Presi On is your artist to listen.

ELECTRONIC MUSIC

I came across today’s new music discovery several weeks ago and I have been waiting for the perfect time to feature it on the blog… and that time is now. Dj Mister K is a Dj formation that delivers songs that are filled with impeccable sounds, driving audio, massive hooks and huge choruses. What I love about Dj Mister K is how this Dj is able to draw upon the many influences to the next level.

See you guys next update!

Bob Sinclar

Model Gisele Bündchen is now a hyphenate, singing Blondie‘s “Heart of Glass” in a new H&M ad:

How Gisele Shattered Blondie’s ‘Heart of Glass’

Gisele Bundchen is hot as fire when promoting almost the complete swimwear collection from H&M that hit stores later this week on May 1st. The stunning supermodel, and mother of two, isn’t only the front face for H&M in this campaign but she’s also singing for the fashion chain, wearing bikini of course. 77 more words

I absolutely love music, so you’ll be seeing a lot of music posts on executive fridays 🙂