drwex (drwex) wrote,

Alien Invasion - a different sort of music post

Going to try something different this time - a post just based off one set list. If you want things in the order they were originally arranged, start here:

This month's "Alien Selection" mix from DJs from Mars ranges from OK to excellent, as do most of their mixes. There are one or two skippable bits and the DJs have provided a handy timestamp-encoded track list to let you do just that. That said, I didn't find a lot to dislike in this mix. It has a great deal of the DJs' trademark stompy house going for it and a lot of variation. Some of the tracks used are mixed and updated versions so the links below won't be 100% accurate to the full set but they're the best I could find.

In case you're new to this, the "Alien Selection" podcast is their monthly best-of, with a heavy dose of their own work thrown in.

If you want (what I consider) the highlights first, try these:

Ah, Annie. For a while one could hear remixes and mashes of Annie Lennox or Eurythmics tracks all over. But it's been a while since I heard such and now we get not a use, but a straight-on updating of the iconic "Sweet Dreams" into CALVO's deep house style. The song has always had a strong electronica element to it, but this is pushed up several notches into house tempos. The kick-bass is also amped up, giving it a bit of chest impact. I agree with one commenter on Soundcloud who objected to the initial drop but other than that one bit I think it's an excellent take on the original.

Ed Sheeran's "Photograph" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSDgHBxUbVQ) is another lovely tune that's been mixed a lot the last few months. This is Angemi's mix, and it's a gorgeous EDM love song. It's got Sheeran's vocals front-and-center but the core melody is backed with some electronica. What makes this work, I think, is that it's almost a duet between the original and the remix, which you can see about 2 minutes into the track when the electronica really kicks into high gear. As with so many of these things, if you don't like "Photograph" to begin with you're not likely to enjoy this mix, but I like it a lot.

A mostly instrumental drum-heavy dance remix from Massivedrum. The style is pretty standard house but I like the banging essence of the track. This is one of those that was remixed a bit differently in the DJ's set and I think their version is better but this is still pretty good. My main complaint is that the track's interesting complexity doesn't come out until about 3:20 in. I would've liked it more if the whole track had that much variation and layering.

Finally, I want to close with two entries from the DJs themselves, one new and one old but both holding strong in this set.

The first one is a heavy Nicki Minaj mix. I'm not all that fond of the scratch-mixing in the middle of this track, but I adore the second half where Minaj is fronting for Run DMC. The second one is something the DJs did back in 2011 that I'd somehow missed (at least, I think I missed it. As I write this, the LJ tag pages are broken so I can't quite check). The remix uses Evanescence, and it's totally a reminder of why I loved their flash in the music pan. "Bring Me To Life" was played and overplayed to death in part because it was a damned good track with amazing vocals and a haunting air. The DJs take that and speed it up to 11. The result still soars, but it also proves it can dance.
Tags: angemi, calvo, djs from mars, massivedrum, music
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