London based producer Oli Horton, otherwise known as Dreamtrak will be no stranger to readers of this website. Over the past few years this studio wizard has served up a string to top notch tunes and reMixes, as well as some sterling production work for other people. Right now he’s teamed up with singer Alexander Burnett for his latest single, The Tide. Check it out below.
The Tide opens up with coursing, retro arpeggios paired with Burnett’s introspective croon to ease you into the uplifting and cinematic waves of strings and synth leads that soon follow. With a European pulse, The Tide reveals in it’s drama by testing a little cabaret swing amongst it’s SynthPop majesty. Another classy production from Dreamtrak.
Jet setting DiscoPop act AXXE’s ‘Sweet Stuff’ has been knocking around for a while now, as has some of the reMixes, so On The Fruit Records (in their firsts of two big releases this week) have made the smart decision to package them all up in one place, alongside some corking new versions. Won’t you join me for a peek inside?
The original version of the tracks is pure Dance-Pop excellence, with just the right balance between retro sounds and modern dancefloors. Doug’s slick beats and ear for hooks and Stina husky, powerful vocals work together perfectly for some big, but edge, ElectroPop fun. It’s hard to even start on the reMixes with out getting Ride The Universe’s version out the way, we’ve mentioned it before, suffice to say the combination of musicianship, studio skill skill and DJ’s ear amongst the four Riders makes up the perfect production team. If you were in the HR department of a Dreamwave/Nu-Disco corporation then these four skill sets would be the one your would be trying to fill. Dreamtrak is a man with his finger in a lot of ElectroPop pies right now, and his reMix here displays why, with an almost New Order-esque slice of retro SynthPop sprinkled with a hint of Disco. Neon Workout head straight for the dancefloor with their take on the track with a bit of Italo, a bit of EBM and a bit of Disco all finding their way into this rapid-fire mix.
♫ AXXE – Sweet Stuff
♫ AXXE – Sweet Stuff (Ride The Universe reMix)
♫ AXXE – Sweet Stuff (Dreamtrak reMix)
♫ AXXE – Sweet Stuff (Neon Workout reMix)
But that’s not all! But the single and get more reMixes from the likes of Stay Ali, Leon Zane and Arturo!
Here we have a fun slice of late ‘80’s/early ‘90’s inspired ElectroPop in the form of London Bedroom-Pop artist Christianoshi as reMixed by Trademark (including Oil Horton A.K.A. Dreamtrak).
And yes, Trademark is an anagram of Dreamtrak (or the other way round, I believe Trademark came first). Christianoshi has a lot of cool elements to his vocal performance, for example there’s a load of Marc Almond in there, and it all works perfectly with Trademark’s bouncy Pet Shop Boys-esque ElectroPop. ‘Turst’ is a catchy Pop juggernaut with just the right amount of Italo in the mix to make to dancefloor friendly and to justify the amazing amount of cowbell.
Massive Disco tunes are all well and good. They’re what gets out blood pumping, they’re what gets our hearts racing, but sooner or later an artist has got to prove there is more to them than dancefloor euphoria. Queen Of Hearts has just done that.
Her latest track, ‘Spanish Sahara’, is a Dreamtrak produced classic SynthPop song. Powerful, emotional, haunting and passionate but tempered with that feels like a little of that British dry humour that works so well in SynthPop (a le Pet Shop Boys), ‘Spanish Sahara’ is on repeated listenings in incredibly sophisticated song. Just take the narrative advancement from the “I’m the fury in your head” refrain to “choir of furies in your head”, a subtle shift that drives the drama of the song. A drama that Dreamtrak’s production follows with a contemporary take on Depeche Mode epics that is perfectly designed to show off The Queen’s impassioned vocal. ‘Spanish Sahara’ comes from Queen Of Heart’s début record, ‘The Arrival EP’, which we’re starting to get pretty excited about round these parts.
Also, how cool is the imagery of “like a Lilo loosing air”?!
–Edit– Thanks to The Guardian (who apparetly are confused as to the meaning of ‘exclusive’) I now know that this is a cover of a Foals track. *Shrug*. So it seems many of my compliments should be directed at the Foals’ lyricist. Nice job Dude, pity you can’t do anything interesting with your verse. I’ll take digital bass and Queenie over gangly guitars and gut-wrenchingly bland vocals any day.
Queen Of Hearts’ ‘The Arrival EP’ is out soon, until then check out more from Queen Of Hearts On SoundCloud.
Dreamtrak is on a roll, a string on awesome reMixes and production are marking him as a producer to keep an eye on.
Contributing a reMix to the next Monarchy single, Dreamtrak get’s to do what he does best. House up some ElectroPop and make it huge. His take on ‘Maybe I’m Crazy’ has all the right elements for epic ElectroPop, big sweeping synths, a euphoric breakdown, driving bass, but then the whole thing is topped with a burbling 303 line and a massive early 90’s House riff that is as brilliant as it is unexpected. Dreamtrak takes Monarchy to another dimension, via a few warehouse raves.
Dreamtrak’s reMix of ‘Now that I’m Real (How Does It Feel?)’, the lead track from Chad Valley’s ‘Equatorial Ultravox’ EP is a piece of pure electronic euphoria.
ElectroPop heaven is what’s on offer here, making the Chillwave riffs of the original into 80’s-esque gold. Keeping the space and depth of the original’s vocals but reigning the track to make it more dancefloor friendly Dreamtrak delivers a sunrise tune that will make you love the world.