Tag Archives: review

Review: Kick Start By Nicky romero

Here’s an interesting piece of plug-in from the guys at Cable Guy called Nicky Romero “Kick Start”. As for Nicky Romero, this plug-in is the second one to bare his name. His first plug-in “KICK” was a simple plug-in that does what the name implied really well. You want slamming house kick? Use Nicky Romero’s KICK and your problem is solved. It’s that easy.

Now on his 2nd plug-in is another simple and specialized plug-in that emulate sidechain compression. Sidechain compression is essential in today’s EDM to get that pumping sound and you can’t live without it. On certain DAW such as Logic Pro and Ableton Live, the process of setting up sidechain compression is pretty straight forward. But Even if the the setup process is easy, you still need to have basic knowledge on how to use compressor to achieve the desired effect. “Kick Start” completely bypass that process. All you need is to put “Kick Start” as insert and you chose the curve of the effect and decide how much pump you want by adjusting the wet/dry button. Yes, it’s that simple. It’s crazy how simple and effective this plug-in work. Purist will hate it and consider this cheating. Then again, purist hates anything that is not traditional. As for me, anything that will speed up my production process will become part of my studio arsenal.

Nicky Romero Kickstart is out now for PC/MAC, 32/64-bit, VST/AU for $15/€10
get them at http://www.kickstart-plugin.com/

Best of 2013: Albums

Everyone is doing their own top 10 album of the year and to be honest most of them are pretty similar. Instead of doing the same thing, I’m gonna do my own top 10 of album that I personally really enjoy this year. I’m gonna overlook genres since this is my personal chart and I personally love any music. So, without further a do, here are my top 10.

Continue reading Best of 2013: Albums

Review: Hybrid Minds – Mountains

Over the last 2 years, Hybrid Minds (aka Josh White & Matt Lowe) have quickly established a following for their own cinematic, musical and uplifting brand of d&b. With tracks like Lost, Fade, Meant To Be and I’m Through clocking up in-excess of 2 million views between them, the demand for an album has been evident. Spearhead boss, Steve BCee, quickly caught on to this and, since signing them to his Spearhead Records imprint in 2012, has had them locked away honing their sound and crafting their finest work to-date.

Mountains features guest appearances from Ad-Apt, Charlie P, Philippa Hanna, Rocky Nti, BCee, Grimm, Holly Drummond, Mike Romeo, Laurence Baker, Linguistics, Tempza, Jasmine Spence and Mimi Page who each bring an extra little piece of magic. As tracks Trauma and Forest showcase, this is an album packed full of real music and some of the finest song-writing you will hear at 174 bpm. For those that like things a little slower now and again, Josh & Matt relax the tempo and take us deep with tracks like Broken and Ascent.

Hybrid Minds’ Mountains is out now on Spearhead Records and available at all major digital stores.


For those who don’t know, Photek is one of the pioneer of Bass music. He made his name back in the days with releases in drum & bass legendary label Metalheadz. After over 15 years of career, Photek has evolutionized his sound from the bass heavy tune of his Metalheadz day to his current sound today. One thing remains consistent though. He still creates that same moody atmosphere in his music.

KU:PALM is Photek’s first original material album in the past 12 years since his last critically acclaimed album ‘Solaris’. In ‘Solaris’ he started to dabble in music styles other than drum & bass and in KU:PALM, his shift is complete. There are still elements of drum & bass that is reminiscent of his trade mark sound in track such as ‘Shape Charge” where he uses an almost metallic percussive bass sound which is layered together with moody synths and occasional drum & bass style drum edits. This is definitely a trade mark sound similar to his classic tune such as ‘Ni Ten Ichi Ryi’. In ‘Munich’ he pays homage to the minimalist German techno sound yet, he never tried to carbon copy them. The atmosphere of this tune is definitely more fitting in a movie score as opposed to the dance floor.

In ‘Quevedo’ he slowed down the beat considerably. The beat is still in the 4/4 teritory but the bass line will make this tune fit into any chill step set. Once again it’s apparent that Photek loves to create moods and atmosphere in this tune. ‘Mistral’ is an acid laced beat that combines the classic Roland 303 and 808 snare, bringing that total old skool vibe in a very modern yet not trendy production. ‘Oshun’ is one of the more uptempo tune in this album. It never tried to fit into any specific genre and its definitely not a club banger.

Now we moved on to the more radio friendly tunes. ‘Sleep Walking’ featuring vocal from Linche is more radio friendly tune here (and that is by a stretch) by keeping the tune at the standard dubstep tempo and features excellent vocal without going into the brostep territory. The album is closed with an all out dubstep tune ‘This Love’ featuring Ray La Montagne. This track is probably the least interesting tune in the whole album but I do understand that it’s a necessary to have this tune included.

Overall, PHOTEK’s KU:PALM is one of the best album he ever released. His impeccable music taste has enabled him to create a masterpiece. KU:PALM will go down in history as one of electronic music classic. It’s great to have him back in the game.

KU:PALM is out now and available at iTunes

Rating: 5/5

Review: Propellerhead’s Figure

The first time I heard about this little iOS software called Figure I got very excited. First off, it only cost 99c making this a total bargain and encourage us to try it out. The apps it self is pretty simple. It comes with 3 instruments which consist of Drum which is powered by Reason’s Kong Drum Designer, Bass & Lead which is powered by Reason’s Thor. Once you launch it, you’ll see 4 pads that you use to control the drum and when going through the tabs you can change the mode from pattern, tweaks, song & mix. There are also several sound banks to get you started.

Overall is pretty neat but just like every iOS apps out there, It has yet to able to be taken seriously as a music making tools. It lacks the ability to export sound or MIDI note therefore making this more of a toy than the real deal. Nonetheless, its pretty fun and its a good glimpse to the future of what the iOS ecosystem can do plus it’s only 99c.

Rating: 3/5

Review: Photek – DJ-Kicks

One of drum & bass legend that later turned into electronic maestro PHOTEK have just released the latest installment of the now classic DJ-Kicks series. Mixmag magazine is currently streaming the whole CD on their soundcloud page. Diversity is the theme here as PHOTEK expertly blend UK Garage, (proper) dubstep, and techno into one chill out cohesive journey. There are also four brand new tunes from PHOTEK here. It’s incredible guys. Check ’em out.

For more info about this amazing release go to DJ-KICKS site

Rating: 4/5

Review: FILTHY RICH by Yacko ft Lawrence Philip of EGRV

This is what Free! Magazine said about Filthy Rich (It’s in Indonesia and I’ll do my best translation in English)

FILTHY RICH adalah single ke-3 Yacko dengan salah satu dedengkot penggerak Drum ‘n Bass/Dubstep Ibukota Lawrence Philip dari EGRV. Selain itu, Lawrence juga pernah mendapatkan predikat Producer of The Year dari REDMA di tahun 2009.

Filthy Rich is the 3rd single from Yacko, collaborating with Jakarta’s drum’n’bass/dubstep prime mover Lawrence Philip of EGRV. Lawrence was also awarded as Producer of The Year at REDMA 2009.

Eksperimen mungkin merupakan kata yang tepat untuk menggambarkan kolaborasi ini. Sound yang tidak biasa langsung terdengar saat lagu ini diputar dengan suara high-volume ditambah lirik-lirik playful dari Yacko yang setahun belakangan ini aktif di dance scene / club di Indonesia. Terinspirasi dari sebuah kutipan dari Coretta Scott King (istri dari Martin Luther King, Jr), “Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated” lirik dari lagu ini dibangun. Haters bisa bermunculan dari berbagai arah dan yang Yacko ingin sampaikan melalui metafora F I L T H Y adalah “favor and don’t listen to the public” R I C H adalah “Do yourself a huge whether you are a hater or a lover, feel free to jump around with this song because this track will get-you-going with a mix of electro and hip-hop”.

Experimentation is probably the most fitting description for this collaboration. Unusual sounds are immediately heard when you play this tune at high volume added with playful lyrics from Yacko who has been active in the Indonesian dance scene in the past year. The lyrics were inspired by Coretta Scott King (wife’s of the late Martin Luther King, Jr), “Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated”. Haters could sprung out of anywhere and the message that Yacko wants to communicate is “Do your self a favor, don’t listen to the public, whether you’re a hater or a lover feel free to jump around.

Download the original version of FILTHY RICH for FREE & LEGAL HERE

Artist : Yacko feat. Lawrence Philip of EGRV


Written by : Yacko

Produced by : Lawrence Philip of EGRV

Label : 2313

Twitter : @Yacko & @Lawrencerandom