REVIEW :: Arty Debut Album “Glorious”

4

Before we begin, start by playing Arty’s album.

Ahead of our show with Arty September 28 at Ruby Skye in San Francisco, we have finally received the highly anticipated debut album from producing stud, Arty. His album, Glorious, gives us 14 tracks that offer a diverse collection of progressive house beats, many of which include killer vocals as well. Not to give any spoilers, but we at Adrenalin Room just wanted to give you a hint of what you can expect this holiday season, and tell you about a few of our favorites.

arty glorious ruby skye insomniac lento sir up all night records

The album’s title track is a wonderful mix of gray melancholy and sunny optimism. With beautiful vocal contributions from LA based indie pop group Blondfire, Glorious comes from a place of sadness or vulnerability, but only stays there for a quick moment. Just as the sun rises quicker than you realize, the track takes us to a place of warmth and encouragement, somewhere we can be free to frolic and dance. “Shine, you know the world is beautiful.”

3 tracks later, we are hit yet again by a slower and quiet intro, but this time it starts out just as strong and powerful as it finishes. Stronger hits with heavy and soulful vocals from Ray Dalton, backed by both acoustic and electric sounds that combine for a picker-me-up that I can only imagine would be a blast to play out for any DJ.

Arty Ruby Skye

The last song I’ll brag about before I let you listen to this wonderful record for yourself is feel your love. Again, with great vocals and an acoustic track accompanying the songs house vibes, it produces a sound that is unique to Arty within this album, and meshes very well with most, if not all, dance music enthusiasts.

One of our favorite things on this album is that it has the Forest Gump effect: it’s a box of chocolates. Every track has its own sound, its own individualized feel and instrumentation and voice. Each one reflects a little part of the dedication and precision that Arty put into this record, and make no mistake. That time was well worth it.

dj_arty_by_drew_ressler_rukes.com_WEB

 

You can catch Arty with us in the Adrenalin Room on Saturday November 28 with us at Ruby Skye in San Francisco. Click here for event details and tickets.

It’s OK to be Different: Seven Lions on making the music he wants

ll

      It is so easy to get lost in the shuffle, and even easier to get lost in the shuffle of trying not to get lost in the shuffle. Everyone wants to be different, but fit in all at once. You want your cake to be better than everyone else’s, but for everyone to smile and laugh while they watch you eat it. There’s a myth that a fine line exists, but let’s be real. You can’t have both.

      What’s truly rare is when someone comes to terms with that fact, and they settle for either eating their regular cake and making everyone happy, or baking a completely bodacious cake that others get confused and intimidated by. It’s not what they’re used to, and they can’t label it, so they chastise it and call it weird, maybe even throw it on the ground.

      I’d be highly surprised if this has actually happened with a cake, but you see what’s going on here. If you’ve made it this far as well as read the title, hopefully you’re starting to realize that Seven Lions is the baker who made the really awesome cake that people are sometimes afraid to eat.

      Jeff Montalvo, better known as Seven Lions, has put himself galaxies away from what any other current electronic music maker is branding themselves as, and he’s gotten there on the back of one big lesson that he learned early on as a producer and musician.

“I’m doing whatever I want, and I know it will make people upset.”

GrSXjVKD

      When I first saw Jeff play, he was opening for Above and Beyond at the Bill Graham Civic Center in San Francisco. My friends and I were in awe of how he flowed from genre to genre so seamlessly and so effectively, keeping the crowds full attention from start to finish. I recently had the privilege of sitting down with Jeff and talking to him about where he sits in the realm of electronic music, and how he deals with the constant criticism of not staying with one type of cake (genre… you get it).

 

“I think it’s been like that from the beginning. Mixing trance with dubstep was something that pissed off people, and I just got used to the fact that immediately, no matter what you do, you’re going to make people angry. I think it’s really weird because it’s just music, and I feel like people shouldn’t get so upset about what styles of music you’re making. If you don’t like it, move on. But people are really nasty, and I learned that very quickly, so I got used to it early on.”

      It comes as an utter shock to me that he is ridiculed for conquering such an enormous musical spectrum, having released with OWLSA, Ultra, Anjunabeats, and most recently Who’s Afraid of 138?!, among others. That’s essentially the biggest labels in every major genre of dance music right now, an accomplishment that I doubt anyone else in the game can boast, and this guys getting his parade rained on for not just sticking to one.


“I knew Serpent of Old would piss off a lot of people, but nobody ever sees their Facebook numbers actually go down. But I put that song up and Bloop Bloop Bloop (sound of Facebook numbers actually going down).”

SO555x555

      Just to add to the list, because why not, Jeff is also a self admitted metal head, having been in several metal and punk bands in the past. This influence can be seen in part through his collaboration with AFI front man Davey Havok, December.

“A lot of the stuff I like metal wise is very melodic, just like the music that I make, so it kind of transfers. It’s also powerful and heavy, and I like making music that is both powerful and heavy as well as melodic, which I think is where metal meets electronic music.”

      Personally, I don’t like labels. I believe we should give art the freedom to be what it is, and not have to put it into categories and sub categories to feel comfortable about it. I realize that it makes talking about it or selling it easier, having the ability to reach a larger audience if you label a song as “trance” rather than simply “new song by artist”, but this also limits the creative capacity to what an artist can make, or what we think an artist should make. We always want new and better music but we are afraid of, and quite often reject, new or better sounds.

      I love that Jeff has the courage to do what he does best, and make music the way he wants to make music. He has gotten used to the fact that he doesn’t have to please everybody, and it has become glaringly obvious that he WON’T please everybody, but he still has the confidence in himself to release the music that he finds to be enjoyable.

      Seven Lions is the antithesis of a “sellout”, which is absolutely a blistering path to lead, and we as the audience make it that way. We criticize artists for exploring new musical paths because we have grown so fond of their old sounds. But we, as the audience, can change. Instead of saying, “wow, this doesn’t sound like your last song, you are a terrible artist”, we could keep an open mind and say “it’s not my favorite, but I respect you for trying something else. Maybe I’ll really connect with your next record”. Without this mindset of growing musically as an audience, we can’t allow the ones who make the records we like to grow musically as artists.

Jeff-Montalvo-Seven-Lions

      You probably won’t enjoy every song Seven Lions puts out, but I can guarantee you that if you like electronic music, or metal for that matter, you can find something in his bakery that satisfies your sweet tooth.

And if not, take his advice. “It’s just music, move on.” Find a new cake.

 

Be sure to catch Seven Lions in San Francisco this Halloween for Bill Graham Civic Center’s Boo!

The Godfather of Progressive House: EDX [Exclusive Adrenalinroom.com Interview]

1

 For those of you who have been listening to house music within, oh I don’t know, the last 20 years or so, you probably recognize Italian talent Maurizio Colella’s surname, EDX. He’s been a staple of the scene for as long as it’s been around, being widely recognized as one of the fathers of progressive house. As his sound and productions have progressed (pun intended), the genre follows, and it’s not the other way around. He is consistently coming out with fresh new music, or fresh new takes on old music; his remixes are just as popular as his singles are, and for a good reason. So, sit back and let the man himself give you a little fresh perspective on his current state of being.

1. Adrenalin Room, Ruby Skye, and San Francisco are excited to have you back; what’s one thing you look forward to when you play a show in The Bay Area that you can’t find anywhere else?

I’m freaking in love with the bay area. I’ve always received so much love and the crowd is very dedicated, especially in SF. I am really looking forward to coming back and it’s been exactly one year since my last Ruby Skye play.

2. You have been lumped in with artists such as Deadmau5 and Eric Prydz as forerunners of progressive house. What’s it like being in the ranks with names such as those?

This was from many years back, during the early days of the Progressive House renaissance in 2008. It was a great journey. My music was able to evolve a lot – even the EDM generation came in a few years ago, and that mixed up a little of all genres for a few months. Now, I really feel that I’m able to make my music like I always have, just with a fresher and much more sexy EDX twist. There are so many great talents around these days, and it’s always great to be playing shows alongside excellent musicians and DJs.

3. With the phrase “No Xcuses,” you have put out an album, a podcast, and numerous witty puns, just to name a few items. How important do you feel it is for an artist to have their own original brand or feature that makes them stand out aside from their music?

No Xcuses is a simple statement that really stands for my way of doing things. Especially these days where there are all these great talents and DJs popping up from every single part of this world. It’s becoming much more important for each of us to have our own brand that sticks out and somehow shares a lifestyle connected to an artist and the music. Today, I’m really proud to be able to share music once a week in our 40 countries on my weekly NoXcuses show, it always keeps me on the cutting-edge with fresh new music.

edx-2

4. Being active for nearly 2 decades, how do you stay motivated to keep making amazing original and forward-thinking sounds? Any tricks you’ve learned along the way that you’d care to share on staying innovative in a musical world that is constantly changing?

Just be yourself and do what you feel the most. I always was one of those guys that wanted to share a feel-good vibe with music and while DJing, creating a nightlife journey for that someone who is looking forward to it all week. Being able to travel the world is another thing. Meeting all of these great fans and seeing different cultures really inspires me a lot. Let’s keep our fingers crossed so this vibe in me stays there forever. :-)

5. Your recent track with Spada “Catchfire” incorporates beautiful vocals; how does working with a vocal track differ from a purely instrumental one?

I love to work around a vocal and composition from someone by adding my own twist, a new chord progression to make it complete. I’m kind of returning to my early days as a remixer. When I remixed Kaskade’s “Angel On My Shoulder” or Dubfire’s “Roadkill,” it was always important for me to add not only my own twist but also something that makes the track have some sort of a magic feeling. I love to work on instrumentals as well. This can sometimes be much more diverse, but I love to work with vocals. Check out my remix for Deadmau5’s “Arguru” or Nora En Pure’s “Uruguay.”


As a man of principles, experience, and most of all originality, EDX is in for the long haul. My favorite answer here was his statement about No Xcuses, for a couple reasons. 1) I love podcasts. They give you a chance to get to know an artist via listening to their handpicked songs while also broadening your horizons by bringing you great tracks to rock out to. 2) his view on the industry is very simple: you just keep making new, original music no matter what. Find creativity, find artistic inspiration, and make something beautiful. Because if you don’t, these days someone else will. And trust us: EDX will.

Learn more about EDX: http://edx.ch

Check out our interview with Ilan Bluestone: http://adrenalinroom.com/ilan-bluestone-interview/

Learn More About The Adrenalin Room Co-Founders: http://adrenalinroom.com/interview-with-swapneel-and-ryan-the-founders-of-adrenalin-room/