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While nothing in life may be certain, odds are the production in question will emanate some serious mainstream appeal if it bears the Cheat Codes stamp. The electronic trio, comprised of KEVI, Trevor Dahl, and Matthew Russell, have shown their fingers to be planted ever so firmly–and ever so consistently–on the pulse of dynamic dance sound in their series of standalone singles, all of which collaboratively underscore the group’s sonic versatility. While Cheat Codes’ Afrojack feature, “Ferrari,” took the triple-threat entity into trap territory, the Demi Lovato-assisted “No Promises” flaunted Cheat Codes’ acute ear for a smoothly constructed pop-electronic hybrid well suited for radio play.
Cheat Codes turned the tables again on their listeners when they went house alongside Kaskade on “Be The One.” The collaboration was further evidence of Cheat Codes’ ability to work in and across a range of musical styles. Not long thereafter, Cheat Codes forayed further into the house subgenre on “I Feel Ya.” Featuring Ina Wroldsen, the single stepped away from the momentous mounts and descents that have come to be hallmarks of a Cheat Codes, as audible on “Be The One.” The Wroldsen vocalized cut slipped into a smoother, sultrier brand of house as it contrasted the polish of Wroldsen’s voice with deep pops of bass.
Now, Cheat Codes complement the track with an accompanying visual that plays with framing and color to create a distinctive sense of visual flair. The music video cuts from shots of Wroldsen to the members of Cheat Codes themselves, as all parties dance in a carefree fashion that fits the attitude of the tune.
Two mainstays in the pop-electronic crossover world, Nicky Romero and Steve Aoki have decided to swap remixes of two recent hit tracks from each of their respective catalogs. The producers both recently released radio-ready collaborations in Aoki’s “Lie To Me” featuring Ina Wroldsen and Romero’s “Me On You” featuring Taio Cruz. The Protocol and Dim Mak label heads each released not only one, but two remixes of the other’s track, completing an extensive swap resulting in four new remixes.
Nicky Romero reigns in “Lie To Me,” and carries it back to electronic music territory with his two takes on the track. Romero injects a gripping instrumental selection to his first take on Aoki’s groundwork. He adds a euphoric drop that is primed for live play, however he ups the ante considerably on an additional festival edit of the track. In the “Lie To Me” festival edit, electro synths are layered over a heavy, percussive framework.
Aoki’s spin on Romero similarly adds some club appeal to the largely pop-leaning canvas, but the pop elements still shine through the added house stylings. Aoki leaves the vocals untouched, and much of the song’s framework the same, though he does manage to lay his distinct method over the tune. Aoki then released a ‘Double Time Fun Time’ remix of the track, which kicks up the tempo a notch and adds some intriguing effects to Taio Cruz’s vocals.
Song of the week:
Ina Wroldsen — ‘Strongest’
It’s the wroldest trick in the book: write some songs for other people, launch a solo career of your own. Ina’s more than paid her dues though — having made her name as the sixth Saturday, Ina’s since become one of pop’s most prolific songwriters, with recent credits including Calvin Harris, Clean Bandit, Anne-Marie and Jess Glynne. In the past we’ve also written about her duo Ask Embla but with a new major solo deal things are now properly kicking off for Ina as a solo artist, and ‘Strongest’ is her opening shot. It feels instantly familiar — sonically it’s not a million miles away from at least two recent hits — but the song covers unusual lyrical ground and her voice is bursting with personality.
Wrong of the week:
Sam Smith — ‘Burning’
In case you’re wondering that’s an ‘r’ and an ‘n’.
- The Sound Of Arrows‘ new album is extremely special.
- Pitbull and Fifth Harmony‘s ‘Por Favor’ is, in many ways, classic Pitbull: within the first 17 seconds he’s called himself Mr Worldwide, declared that Fifth Harmony are sexy, rhymed ‘TLC’ with, er, ‘TLC’, and used the phrase “if you know what I mean” in relation to a presumed double entendre (but actually no, we do not know what he means).
- We didn’t include the new Stereophonics song in this week’s playlist, sorry if you’ve come here looking for that.
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