ALBUMS: A review of John O’Callaghan’s “Subculture” by Sean Meiliunas

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Favoured for its continuous flow of outstanding and quality releases, starting the Subculture label has turned out to be one of the best decisions in John O’Callaghan’s impressive career. The Irishman, winner of three ‘Best DJ’ and two ‘Best Producer’ trophies by the Irish Dance Music Awards as well as #55 on the critically acclaimed DJ Mag Top 100, looks back on a successful 2012. Next to remixing the likes of Armin van Buuren, Gareth Emery, Emma Hewitt and Solarstone, John stood out with originals Boban, Mess of a Machine and Heatbeat collab Las Lilas. He welcomes 2013, with an insatiable appetite for fresh music, as he takes you on a journey into the sound of tomorrow, with Subculture 2013!

For this review, I will only be reviewing select songs.

The album kicks off with something pretty. Something euphoric. The radio edit for Bella Monaco. With guitar plucks carrying us through jubilation and progressive sub basses vibrating our hearts. I feel like this track was perfect to start with due to it’s progressive nature. It’s an all around soft track. It starts slow and easy, and progresses to foot riser. It almost has a house feel to it. Trance-house? I guess so!

The choice in tracks that John used transitioned so smoothly. Although it’s essential for a DJ to mix nicely, John really shines on this one. As it should be, you don’t always know when a track is changing (unless you know the track by heart).

One track that stood out to me was John’s album edit of Foolish Boy with Emma Hewitt. I’ve listened to Emma Hewitt before and fell in love. Without a beat behind her, she is truly amazing. So, take an incredible, luscious vocalist and add a dark trance beat, you get something sensual. John really knew what to do with her voice and knew how to compliment it which made this track really stand out to me.

Skipping ahead, we hear our loved track, Photographer by Airport. This one is the radio edit. To me, this is classic trance. Almost epic trance. Like a battle is about to happen. Think Lord Of The Rings, trance remix. Oh yeah. With the bass so thick and synths so sharp, this track surely gets you going. I can’t get enough of this one. However, it’s the kind of track I can only hear a couple times before my head will start to hurt. The kick drum is very powerful. Some people might really like that, but some people may not. I personally, do not.

Before I wrote this review, I of course listened to the entire album, and when I came across Gareth Emery’s Concrete Angel (John O’Callaghan remix) I lost my mind. Such a great original track, I could only imagine what John would do to it. My heart starting speeding up. And it surely was not disappointing. He really changed the mood of the track. Using typical arpeggiated pluck synths, he really brings your mood up. Don’t get me wrong, the original does too, but the remix brings you that much higher in life.

Very well done John.

Like many people, I didn’t know much about this Irish boy. This album was such a pleasure to listen to cause it gave me a perfect understanding as to who John O’Callaghan is and what he is all about, and also what he sounds like. It’s a name I’ll never forget, and a name I will look out for. The album mixes so well, it’s perfect to throw on if you’re having some friends over, or a house party, or even if you’re just hanging out, getting work done. It’s continuous and carries a steady mood throughout.

Available NOW online!

Armada Shop: bit.ly/V9SAXS, Beatport: http://btprt.dj/WMkbwo and iTunes: bit.ly/Subc2013IT

Tracklist:

CD1
01 Rex Mundi – Bella Monaco (Intro Mix)
02 MaRLo – Lightning
03 Full Tilt feat. Katrina Noorbergen – Letting Go (Jorn van Deynhoven Remix)
04 Solarstone with Aly & Fila – Fireisland (Aly & Fila Uplifting Mix)
05 Emma Hewitt – Foolish Boy (John O’Callaghan Remix)
06 Luke Terry – No Control (James Dymond Remix)
07 Jase Thirlwall – Gobstopper (Indecent Noise Remix)
08 John O’Callaghan – Boban
09 Mark Leanings vs Space Rockerz & Tania Zygar – Whatever Happened To Puzzle Piece (John O’Callaghan Mashup)
10 Solarstone with Giuseppe Ottaviani – Falcons (John O’Callaghan Remix)
11 Alex M.O.R.P.H. with Hannah – When I Close My Eyes (Aly & Fila Remix)
12 Sneijder – Jackknife
13 Paul van Dyk feat. Plumb – I Don’t Deserve You (John O’Callaghan Remix)
14 Photographer – Airport

CD2
01 Solarstone – Pure (MaRLo Intro Mix)
02 Orjan Nilsen & John O’Callaghan – Crispy Duck
03 Protoculture – Perpetual Motion
04 Armin van Buuren feat. Ana Criado – I’ll Listen (John O’Callaghan Dark Mix)
05 Giuseppe Ottaviani – Earthbeat
06 John O’Callaghan – Earth2Self
07 Aeris feat. Jess Morgan – What Do You Feel? (Re:Locate vs Robert Nickson Banging Remix)
08 Chris Metcalfe – Power Trip
09 Bryan Kearney – Get The Edge
10 The Thrillseekers feat. Stine Grove – Everything (John O’Callaghan Remix)
11 Aly & Fila vs John O’Callaghan – Vaporize
12 Akira Kayosa & Hugh Tolland – Muriwai
13 John O’Callaghan & Kathryn Gallagher – Mess Of A Machine (Bryan Kearney Remix)
14 Jorn van Deynhoven – Headliner
15 Gareth Emery feat. Christina Novelli – Concrete Angel (John O’Callaghan Remix)

Sean MeiliunasEDM TOR

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Adele Desloges

Adele is the owner of Tranceported. She also heads up the social media as well as the photo and video teams, and was a promoter of events across the Toronto area for years. She has been a fan of Trance music since the mid-90s and has been shooting Trance events since 2011..

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