Why I like David Guetta, Cascade, Ke$ha and the likes

"It's complicated, it always is - that's just the way it goes" - these are the words Kelly Rowland (of former Destiny's Child fame) kicks off her vocal part with in David Guetta's global smash hit "When Love Takes Over". And the meaning of these words also describe one of the main conflicts Dance artists have to face: either make "cool" music for the underground but don't know how to pay your rent or prostitute yourself by making dance music with mass appeal while losing your street credibility at the same time.
Example? I just posted via twitter that I like Cascada's "Evacuate The Dancefloor" and a few minutes later, I had three "friends" less on Facebook.

To tell you honestly, my first touch with electronic music wasn't Tangerine Dream and Kraftwerk, the artists usually quoted in interviews (although I love Kraftwerk!). My first contact with electronic sounds were with what is called Euro Trash: Technotronic, Capella, Corona - to name but a few. If you are too young to remember (or too ashamed of), here's what I mean:

Technotronic - Pump Up The Jam



Capella - U Got 2 Know



Corona - The Rhythm Of The Night



No doubt, my big brother also had a huge impact on me as he was listening to grey imports from the US at that time. Long before these tunes were breaking in Germany (if they ever did), my bro had the 12" vinyls at home and I used to steal them from his locker and listen to Donna Allen, Princess (produced by the infamous Stock/Aitken/Waterman trio who would be writing the tune for the Rickroll meme years later), Todd Terry and many more Black Music/Dance/Funk artists from the USA's east coast or the UK.

Donna Allen - Serious



Royal House (aka Todd Terry) - Can You Party



Princess - Say I'm Your Number One



So when I was 20, back in 1996, I started making music with Len Faki after having tweaked sounds just for myself for a couple of years. I was introduced to illegal Goa parties, listened to Trance (which wasn't pure plastic back then - anyone remember Sven Väth's label Eye-Q?) and then slowly got into Techno by founding the "monoid" imprint together with Len back in 1997.

I felt I needed to move away from the cheesy Eurodance stuff, reduce melodies to a minimum, focus on groove, beats and "crazy" sounds until Len and me developed the "Lexicon" sound on Plastic City. "Lexicon" was a fusion of House and Techno, still not devoted to melodies but more going into a melodic direction as opposed to the sound we released on monoid. "Lexicon" was anticipated as "the german Daft Punk" back then with support from national celebrities such as Markus Kavka of MTV News who sent a raving email to Plastic City, expressing how much he enjoyed our first album "The Lessons".

But it shouldn't be before 2003 when I went back to my roots and discovered "Trance" and melodies again by forming the Soda Inc. project with Babak Shayan. We fused DeepHouse and Trance - never heard before at that time - and there was just one label believing in what we did called Plastic City. At that time, a lot of my buddies wondered if I was crazy because of the Soda Inc. sound just to find out that in 2005 (when the "Full Moon" album was released, it was also featured on a 2004 single on Shayan Music), we were recognized as the german founders of "NeoTrance". As a commenter puts it on below's YT video: "Amazing sound for a track of year 2004. That was a sound of future progressive-tech house we have´╗┐ today IMHO." This comment was made in March 2010, fyi.

Soda Inc. - Full Moon



The following Soda Inc. album titled "Inner Vision" contained our smash hit "Night Fever", a cover version of an old Motown classic with which Kim Wilde proved to be very successful in the 1980ies, too:

Soda Inc. - Night Fever



This is when I discovered that melody and vocal lines aren't cheesy in general. Fuck yeah, people love melodies, people love to sing along (even on cool underground events such as I Love Deep in Budapest, Hungary). Melodies and catchy vocals is what remains in our minds once the music has stopped. Proof? There you go:

Soda Inc. - Night Fever



I Love Deep is surely far from being an event for the broad masses, it's an underground venue with underground people and yet still, they sing along and go crazy as soon as they recognize the tune playing. One could say it's just because we covered a famous tune but it also works with tracks that were 100% from my mind:

Soda Inc. - Cross The Ocean



Soda Inc. - Big Love



So what happened was that I distilled the essence of Pop music and added it to the underground House sound. Soda Inc. lost a lot of fans for doing so, just to gain a whole lotta more fans with the music on "Inner Vision". The very same happened to Hardfloor, kings of Roland's TB-303 when they entered the UK Top10 with an instrumental Acid tune back in the early 1990ies.

Hardfloor - Acperience 1



I mean, were they commercial when entering the charts? Hell no, they just did what they always do but at one moment, people just enjoyed what they did. It's a plain, pure Acid track - no more, no less. But indeed, after Hardfloor was breaking in the UK, AcidHouse was known to a way broader audience than it used to be before.

And this insight takes us back to the original intention noted in the headline: why I like David Guetta, Cascade, Ke$ha, Lady Gaga and all the likes.

They're all not reinventing the wheel - it hardly can be done. But what these artists do is the opposite of what I used to do with Soda Inc. or my Jon Silva project, for example: rather than introducing "commercial" or poppy elements to the underground, they're taking underground to the commercial market.

Here's another example of melting (ie "stealing") pop with dance in the underground realm - also available as a Pesto FreeBee (direct MP3 link):



David Guetta introduces sounds to the global Top10s that were reserved for the underground before. He's bringing Dance music to the attention of the masses. When was the last time you heard a proggy synth bass line in a Top10 tune? See? What's the huge difference between a Deadmau5 tune and "When Love Takes Over"? There is none, except the vocals (and a great PR department behind). You could say David stole many ideas of former underground tunes - and it's true. But he makes way for Dance music in our charts by releasing tunes as David Guetta feat. XYZ but also by co-producing tunes for the Black Eyed Peas. Who would have thought that the USA would step back from Black Music with 50Cent or Beyoncé in favour of a European-influenced fusion of Club/Dance music spiced up with RnB elements just three years ago? I wasn't, but I Got A Feeling;)

Or let's take Cascada - they're from just around the corner, former german capital "Bonn" - and they borrow a lot of ideas from Lady Gaga (on their album, they also steal from Pryda aka Eric Prydz BIG time). But rather than releasing their plastic trance sound from the past, they adopt to the "Zeitgeist" because Lady Gaga made way for these synth lines, beats and aesthetics. And while we can argue if "Evacuate The Dancefloor"" is something brand new (it's not), it's still a great pop song. Very well written and very well executed by blondie Natalie Horler. Check out the original single version:

Cascada - Evacuate The Dancefloor



And here's the "unplugged" version as performed on german public TV:



You'll surely notice that they just wrote an AMAZING, catchy Pop song and that Natalie doesn't require all the autotune magic - in fact, she's a great singer (hell, it's 7:50am and the show is live!).

So, while I still prefer the deeper House sounds from my buddies (and would never play stuff like Cascada on my gigs), I'm convinced that these artists do our scene a huge favour by introducing synthetic dance music to a broad audience. Decide for yourself: would you like to hear more Nickelback and Green Day (hey, I'm not against guitars - Gossip rings my bell big time!) or would you like to see more Dance stuff in the charts? I for one am very clear about this.

If you like this post, please do not hesitate to share it with your friends - I'd love to discuss things with you!


In the charts: Cooccer - Driftin'

Darren Holland, master of ceremonies at Baldeelox shows some support for our compilation "2.0 - A Jar Of Fresh Pesto". In his Traxsource hawtness for July 2009 (hey, it's still a few days left!), he's loving "this deep tech track to death", thus putting it on #1 of his charts. Awesome stuff, Darren - thanks bunches!

Here's the full chart on Traxsource.

Jon Silva Charts July 2009

Do you remember the time (no, not quoting Michael Jackson here!) when I used to post my DJ charts every month?

Lazy as I am when it comes to work like this, I've skipped a couple of *cough* months just to let you know that the charts are back! I've realized that people like this Top10 list of things and above all that, it's a good way to support all the friends and partners from labels that send me their music.

What's new: from now on, I will also post my monthly Top10 to my DJ profile on Resident Advisor.

Here are Jon Silva's charts for July 2009:
01. Solid Gold Playaz - Naked Next 2 Me [MindInfluence Music]
02. Fabien Kamp - Rotation [Acryl Music]
03. Damon Hatcher - Synopsis (Jonathan Grossman Remix) [2600 Records]
04. Fady Ferraye - Amman [Pesto Music]
05. GusGus - Add this Song (Gluteus Maximus Remix) [Kompakt]
06. Santos - Hold Home [Moon Harbour]
07. The Quasar & The Pressure Take Me Over [Readymix Records]
08. Mark Duffin - The Man With No Shame [Pesto Music]
09. Poussez - Recurred [Pesto Music]
10. Jon Silva with Djazz - Enjoy This Trip [Pesto Music/USB de luxe]

Don't forget to vote for me on the DJ List. Cheers!

2.0 - A Jar Of Fresh Pesto enters album charts on Traxsource

Our current compilation "2.0 - A Jar Of Fresh Pesto" on Pesto LP005 has just been released a few days ago and is already entering the album sales charts on Traxsource. Currently on #45, we're convinced Pesto LP005 will make up more chart positions over the weekend.

We have set up a dedicated micropage for "2.0 - A Jar Of Fresh Pesto" with direct links to Traxsource and other download stores such as Beatport or Juno Download. If you would like to forward the link to your friends, feel free to use the short URL: http://bit.ly/2point0

In the charts: Seroton - You Make It Strong

Saint Petersburg's AMDJS from the radio show with the same name show their support, too:

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Soul T - What A Day (Original Mix)
Nacho Marco - Estefania (Original Mix)
Atnarko, Jevne - Get On Down (Replika Remix)
MKL, Johanna Saint-Pierre - En Jaguar Beige (MKL Vocal Mix)
Seroton - You Make It Strong (Original Mix)
Dubnova, Urban Absolutes - Strandbar (Original Mix)
Glender - Tribal Is So Beautiful (Original Mix)
Latenta Project - Endeavor (Original Mix)
Kelvin K - Faze 1 (Original Mix)
Tiga - Shoes (Green Velvet Remix)

Spasibo, guys!:)

PestoTV on YouTube in Top 100 of "most viewed musicians" [update: now on #34]

Yessss - we have just been awarded by YouTube: PestoTV, our YouTube channel made it on #87 #44 #34 of the most viewed music profiles in Germany! Thank you for viewing and your support!

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In the charts: Jon Silva - AcidHouse

James Harcourt of Twisted Frequency/T-Freq UK has Jon Silva's AcidHouse in his May charts on Beatport:

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1. James Harcourt - Proton (Original Mix)
2. Alter Breed - Aladdin (Original Mix)
3. Quivver - Is There Anybody There (Original Mix)
4. D.Ramirez - Wired feat. LDV (Original Mix)
5. Beckers, D-Nox - Left Behind (Daniel Marques Remix)
6. Jamie McHugh - H20 (Raudive Mix)
7. Paul Woolford - Pandemonium (Original Mix)
8. Jon Silva - AcidHouse (Original Mix)
9. Boris Brejcha - The Mask (Original Mix)
10. Muzikjunki - Fashiondance (Veerus & Maxie Devine Remix)

Thanks for your support!

Pesto best sellers: the Top 10 of 2008

It's this time of the year when you find "The 10 best/crappiest/whatever..." lists all around.

We won't stay behind and proudly present our best selling tunes in 2008. Please note that not all sales are fully accounted yet. So, for example, the remixes of Sandra Lima's "Higher" on Pesto 011R are not showing up for that reason. We will update this list once we have all sales details for 2008. Here we go:

01. Rucyl - Love In War (Pete Gust KID Remix)
02. Jon Silva - Aegean (Original)
03. From P60 feat. Virág - New Way (Jon Silva's New Dub)
04. From P60 feat. Virág - New Way (The Mulder's Light's On Dub)
05. Tina Valen - Discotime (Original)
06. Phonic Funk - On Top (Original)
07. Khaan - Pegasos (The Mulder's XX-File Remixx)
08. Replika - Loveletter (Original)
09. Sandra Lima - Higher (Jay-J's Shifted Remix)
10. Cloudsteppers - Make Me Shine (Original)

As you can see, most of the tunes are from our last "2.0 - The Next Generation Of Pesto Artists" compilation, but also our singles performed quite well. You can get these tunes (and all the other great music on Pesto and Traxx) in your favourite online store.

PestoLP 003: Various Artists - Ten charting on Juno and Beatport, gets featured [update]

PestoLP003_cover_web_150px
Great news for our Pesto LP003 release: while we already hit the compilation charts on Traxsource after the exclusive release there, "Ten" is now also making up charts positions on other outlets.

So far we detected Pesto LP003 on #60 on Juno's DeepHouse list (#66 this morning). A couple of tunes entered the DeepHouse charts on Beatport, too. Jon Silva's Sunshine enters at #94, Just Want U 2 Dance #80, I Want U #74 and Nikola Gala's Cum Remix of From P60's New Way currently makes it up to # 41.

[update: Pesto LP003 makes up chart positions and currently resides on #45 on Juno's DeepHouse list. The tracks on the DeepHouse charts on Beatport are climbing, too. Jon Silva's Sunshine is now at #84, Just Want U 2 Dance #70, I Want U #27 and Nikola Gala's Cum Remix of From P60's New Way currently makes it up to # 31!]

The people at Beatport are so nice and feature our release in the DeepHouse section as one of the few non-exclusives:

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A guy called Silky JacK adds a lovely review of John Dahlback feat. Jon Silva's "Warm Breeze" on beatdigital.com:
"Here's a deep house track that feels like honey to your ears and puts a smile on your face. Can music get any more positive then this? The vocal floats on the track like the smoothest ocean breeze pushes the waves on the shore."

Read the full review (and buy the release) here: Pesto "Ten" on beatsdigital.com

Pesto LP003: Various Artists - Ten is available on Traxsource for only 12,99US$ per bundle!
Pesto LP003: Various Artists - Ten is available on Juno Download from only 5,99£ per bundle!
Pesto LP003: Various Artists - Ten is available on Beatport.

PestoLP 003: climbing the charts on Traxsource

PestoLP003_cover_web_150px
Just a couple of days have passed since the release of our latest compilation and "Ten" is already making up chart positions on Traxsource's compilation charts. As of now, we're on #13 and it's no secret why the deep DJs out there are putting PestoLP 003 into their carts. First off, there's the track list, covering mind-blowing mixes of our first ten singles:

01. Jon Silva - Sunshine (Sunset)
02. Basil feat. Digital Divide - Another Way (Not So Pesto Dub)
03. John Dahlback feat. Jon Silva - Warm Breeze (John Dahlback Remix)
04. Bioground - Dizzy Love (Basil Remix)
05. Babak Shayan - Azadi (Jon Silva's Club Mix)
06. Jon Silva - Just Want U 2 Dance (Original)
07. Simone De Nauw - Luv
08. Jon Silva - I Want U (Deeper & Deeper Mix)
09. From P60 feat. Virag - New Way (Nikola Gala's Cum Remix)
10. From P60 feat. Virag - New Way (The Mulder's Lights On Dub)

And the second point surely is our nice price for the whole bundle. Complete your collection of timeless must-haves from Pesto Music by clicking the link below!

Pesto LP003: Various Artists - Ten is available exclusively on Traxsource for only 12,99US$ per bundle!

"2.0 - The Next Generation Of Pesto Artists" goes Platinum in german album charts

2_0TNG
Earlier this year, you could read about the amazing success of our compilation "2.0". A lot of the tunes entered the charts on countless MP3 stores and found their way into the collection of many DJs.

Today, we're proud to announce that after entering the german album charts on #3 last week, we already sold so many copies that the release was awarded with "Platinum" status. This equals to 500.000 sold copies. As digital downloads are accounted for the official german charts since not so long ago, we're particularly happy to be the first independent label that reached this status!

"2.0 - The Next Generation Of Pesto Artists"
is available on your favourite online store:

Beatport
Juno Download
Traxsource
Trackitdown
Play It Tonight
DJDownload
iTunes store
1st a PR ill

Jon Silva Charts March 2008

Here are Jon Silva's charts for March 2008:

01. Vas Floyd - Louie Love (Spirit Catcher's Back To The Roots Mix) [Escada]
02. Jeff Bennett - Instant Need (Paul Hazendonk Remix) [Kung Fu Dub]
03. Stan Kolev - Flashback (Side Chain Mix) [ReadyMix Records]
04. Scope - Lost On Collins [Glideslope]
05. Soda Inc. - Big Love [Klik Records]
06. Pedro Cali - Wet Soul (Tina Valen Remix) [Elevation]
07. Sandra Lima - Higher (Justin Michael Remix) [Pesto 011]
08. Spiritchaser - In My Dreams [Guess]
09. Andy Sant - Escapizm (Jon Silva's ESC Remix) [Kolour]
10. Aki-Tek - Get Fresh (Jon Silva's Freshhh Remix) [CDR]

Have you already voted for me on the DJ List in March?