ALBUM REVIEW: Dirty South – Speed of Life by Derek Yeung

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After a decade of showcasing his countless singles, collaborations, EPs and remixes, Dragan Roganovic, better known as Dirty South, has finally released his debut album “Speed of Life.”  Coming off an amazing year having just finished his “City of Dreams” tour and producing some of the biggest progressive house tracks 2012 has seen such as Eyes Wide Open and City of Dreams, Dirty South admits that this album was made primarily on the road during his hectic schedule being influenced by different places and people.

The album “Speed of Life” is more melodic and low tempo than what were used to from Dirty South in his singles. You probably won’t hear a lot of the tracks being played live simply due to the arrangements of his sets and the expectations for Dirty South live.   He whole heartedly states “This is a soundtrack to where my music is at the moment, different sounds, different influences, you know I love hip hop, rock, guitars…I love guitars, I love trance, emotional sounds, I love classical music.  This is a reflection of all that and it’s all mashed up in this album.”

Dirty South tells a story on this album which is a reflection of his career and life over the last 10 years.  It should be emphasized that this is a legitimate studio album and not a mix or compilation. I truly admire this perspective from an artist, especially during a time when house music is a genre that has seen a big surge in popularity for only festival-heavy tracks.

With a clean total of only 47 minutes of music, this album has no room for filler tracks and keeps us busy with a nice mix of live instruments such as guitars and pianos for the melodies, mixed in with the use of his own electro-house synth sounds.  The first track of the album, Gods, features Ruben Haze who you may recall as the vocalist for the City of Dreams single.  Gods has an uplifting, mellow feel using guitar chords to start but quickly transitions to the use of big horns and strong synth lines along with Ruben’s light, haunting vocals.

If you are looking for a more upbeat sound, the second track on the album, Super Sounds, is sure to get you moving with thick bass lines, heavy synths, some guitar solo-like breakdowns  and of course a massive drop at the end that finishes things up nicely for this banger of a track.

Next is Until the End featuring the vocals of Joe Gil who is also featured in the track Your Heart on the debut album.  Both tracks are rock influenced and definitely show us the softer more melodic side that Dirty South can be, filled with resilient guitar riffs and chords.

The most exceptional track of the album and my personal favourite is Champions.  Kicking things off with a hefty synth line just like any good electro-house banger the track progresses quickly.  However the most unique part of the tune is the breakdown piece which includes a beautiful orchestral like synth sound followed by a string of claps resulting in an insane buildup.  Justly, a great track all around.

Being one of the more emotional tracks on the album Something Like You features the hypnotic vocals of Rudy that include some nifty guitar riffs along with a very catchy progressive feel to it.

Probably the hardest track of the album is Reset with its progressive synths and hard hitting beats this is the track you don’t just hear, you feel it.  Sure to be a club hit, this is one track definitely to look out for.

As one of the most diverse productions you’ll hear so far from Dirty South is Sunrise and the follow up Sunset tune.  Both tracks offer similar sounds in the sense that we get a more looped groovy synth pattern along with live instruments such as the piano which make for awesome chill out tracks.  One thing to point out is the arrangement of the two tracks on the album which explains part of the journey Dirty South is taking us on with Sunrise being #5 on the album providing a break after the epic Champions and Sunset being #9 slowing things down giving you a image of the beach for the finale self-titled track Speed of Life.

The album titled ‘Speed of Life’ is slow-building and has you thinking the entire track will be mellow right until the three and half minute point, where a huge drop takes place which encompasses some of the signature Dirty South sounds from piano chords and powerful synth stabs that we’ve come to know him for, ending the album with flare.

Overall, this album truly reflects the diverse talent that Dirty South holds. To think that the album was put together during his most hectic times really shows the passion and inspiration that he has for delivering such incredible music.

Dirty South’s debut album “Speed of Life” is now available on iTunes.

On April 2nd,2013, extended versions of four tracks from the album will be released on Beatport with one track being released every two weeks.

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Derek Yeung EDM 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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