comment 0

BODYJAM 71 Music Review

bodyjam-71-booklet

Part of my process of learning a BODYJAM release is to listen to the music first before doing anything with the choreography. Considering the Les Mills program directors pick the music first and choreograph later, I’m trying to approach the release in the same way.

Disclaimers:

  1. Some of the tracks on the actual BODYJAM release may be slightly different than the version released by the artist. For example, some are edited to make a track longer. Also there are times when Les Mills can’t obtain the licensing rights and use a cover artist instead. Track timings refer to the specific tracks I was given, which may not coincide with the official versions released by the artists.
  2. The YouTube links to the songs are not under my control; hopefully the links stay live.
  3. When mentioning other releases artists have been in, I’m referring to RPM and BODYJAM tracks that I have. Les Mills usually reuses songs in their other programs.

Overall thoughts

Note: I don’t look at the masterclass or even read the sizzler before writing these notes. I have the track list, my music player, and a nice pair of headphones and listen to each track at least three times.

  • Lots of new artists (from all over the globe)! …and the ones that are repeats are the usual heavy-hitters for EDM
  • Several really good crossfades between tracks
  • Front block is a mix of styles (jazzy house, trap, reggae), so I’m intrigued to see what the choreography is like
  • Back block is a solid house collection with a slower-tempo modern R&B track thrown in
  • Mash It block has some decent stuff too, but it didn’t pull me in as hard as BODYJAM 68 and 69

Warmup

Freak – Steve Aoki, Diplo & Deorro feat. Steve Bays

  • Genre: electro house
  • Key: G
  • Origins:
    • Steve Aoki, Diplo (Thomas Wesley Pentz), and Deorro (Erick Orrosquieta) are based in California
    • Steve Bays is from the rock band Hot Hot Heat, which is based in British Columbia, Canada
  • Released: March 2014
  • Also in:
    • Steve Aoki: BODYJAM 58 (Turbulence in Paris) – Turbulence (cover); BODYJAM 68 (Mash It Block) – Turbulence; BODYJAM 69 (Alors on Danse) – Ladi Dadi
    • Diplo: BODYJAM 52 – Pon de Floor; BODYJAM 57 (Jungle Bounce) – Jump Up; BODYJAM 70 (Straight Up Hip Hop) – Express Yourself, Set It Off
    • Deorro: BODYJAM 70 (Straight Up House) – Flashlight
  • Thoughts
    • Not as familiar with Deorro and Steve Bays, but there are times I can distinctly hear Diplo’s and Aoki’s styles
    • “Let’s get freaky!” <beat drop>
    • At 1:52, I hope the choreography slows down to 1/2 time to match the music
    • The feel, tempo, and style are in the essence of JAM — great intro track

Isolations (1)

Problem – Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea

  • Genre: dance pop
  • Key: a minor
  • Origins:
    • Ariana Grande is from the US and doesn’t seem to be based in any one city
    • Iggy Azalea (Amethyst Amelia Kelly) is from Australia
  • Released: April 2014
  • Iggy has been in other isolations tracks
    • BODYJAM 67 – Bounce
    • BODYJAM 70 – Fancy
  • Thoughts
    • Whisper at 0:38 reminds me of Wait (The Whisper Song) from Ying Yang Twins
    • This track is a short musical intro — no verses until the next track

Isolations (2)

Problem (Kassiano Remix) – Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea

  • Kassiano is Brazilian and is based in New York
  • Thoughts
    • Has a bit of a moombahton beat
    • Trap style at 1:30; the Martin Garrix style is still around

Break on D Floor

Break Free – Ariana Grande feat. Zedd

  • Genre: electropop
  • Key: E-flat major
  • Origins:
    • (Ariana Grande was mentioned in prior tracks)
    • Zedd (Anton Zaslavski) is a Russian-German music producer and DJ
  • Released: July 2014
  • Zedd was also in BODYJAM 60 (Warmup) and RPM 59 – Save the World (Zedd Remix)
  • Thoughts
    • Weird wobbly first 5 seconds
    • Excellent synth mixes, yet it feels like a cookie-cutter EDM track
    • Prediction — this will be a Pace or Mixed Terrain track in RPM
    • The rhythm near the end reminds me of Right Round by Flo Rida

Too Turnt Up (1)

The Buzz – New World Sound & Timmy Trumpet

  • Genre: main room house
  • Key: g minor
  • Origins:
    • New World Sound is an Australian DJ and production duo (Tyrone James and Jesse Taylor)
    • Timmy Trumpet (Tim Smith) is a musician, main room house DJ, and producer based in Sydney
  • Released: April 2014
  • Both artists are new to BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • Sing, Sing, Sing-style drums at the beginning
    • “You wanna dance? Let’s go. You wanna rock?”
    • 1:26 – big brass beat drop; interesting musical texture I’ve not heard before in EDM
    • Jazzy feel at times, then switching to a heavy driving house beat
    • Tempo picks up at the end (128 to 153 bpm)

Too Turnt Up (2)

Dance (A*$) Remix – Big Sean feat. Nicki Minaj

  • Genre: pop rap
  • Key: N/A
  • Origins:
    • Big Sean (Sean Michael Leonard Anderson) is from Detroit
    • Nicki Minaj (Onika Tanya Maraj) is from New York
  • Released: September 2011
  • Minaj has also been in other BODYJAM releases
    • BODYJAM 66 (Isolations) – Roman in Moscow
    • BODYJAM 66 (Recovery) – Freaks
    • BODYJAM 68 (Isolations) – The Boys
  • Thoughts
    • Hip-hop feel, clap-style; some sections more lyrical
    • MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This” is sampled
    • Excellent cross-fade to the next track
    • Minaj doesn’t really have a part in this particular mix
    • (Obviously we’re using the clean edit; here’s the explicit version)

Too Turnt Up (3)

TTU (Too Turnt Up) – Flosstradamus feat. Waka Flocka Flame

  • Genre: trap
  • Key: g minor
  • Origins:
    • Flosstradamus is the stage name of Chicago-based DJs J2K (Josh Young) and Autobot (Curt Cameruci)
    • Waka Flocka Flame (Juaquin Malphurs) is a rapper from Atlanta
  • Released: June 2014
  • These artists are new to BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • I like the blurry reverb with the bandstop filter at the beginning
    • Heavy feel; slow, driving groove; feels a bit gritty and rough around the edges
    • The drop at 0:51 sounds stylistically similar to the one in The Buzz
    • 2:35 — jarring switch to jump-style, then back to the original style at 3:00
    • Apparently this song is on the new 22 Jump Street soundtrack (source)

Too Turnt Up (4)

Double Bubble Trouble – M.I.A.

  • Genre: reggae, worldbeat
  • Key: d minor
  • Origin: M.I.A. (Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam) is from London
  • Released: May 2014
  • M.I.A. is new to BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • Switching style to reggae, then it transitions to trap
    • 1:58 — double-time, with more of a moombahton beat
    • Fade to the next track is more of a traditional reggae beat
    • This track was produced with The Partysquad, which has been BODYJAM 69 (Pantsdown), and BODYJAM 70 (Dibby Dibby Sound)

Too Turnt Up (5)

Jah No Partial – Crossing Void

  • Genre: dance hall, post-dubstep, jungle
  • Key: g minor
  • Origin: (Crossing Void is a cover band)
    • Major Lazer is a music project by Diplo
    • Flux Pavilion (Joshua Kierkegaard G. Steele) is English
  • Released: October 2012
  • Also in:
    • Major Lazer: BODYJAM 52 – Pon de Floor; BODYJAM 57 (Jungle Bounce) – Jump Up; BODYJAM 60 (Moombahton) – Horsey
    • Flux Pavilion: BODYJAM 67 (Death Jam) – Blow the Roof; RPM 59 (Intervals) – Daydreamer
  • Thoughts
    • Initial part of the track is less reggae, more on-the-beat emphasis
    • Interesting blend of styles — reggae with big room house
    • “Jah No Partial” contains excerpts of the Johnny Osbourne song “Mr. Marshall” (from his 1980s reggae album Folly Ranking)
    • Apparently the title translates from Patois as “God isn’t partial” (source)

Recovery

Good Kisser – Usher

  • Genre: R&B
  • Key: G
  • Origin: Usher (Usher Terry Raymond IV) is from Atlanta
  • Released: May 2014
  • Usher has been it tons of other releases
    • BODYJAM 47 – This Ain’t Sex
    • BODYJAM 55 – DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love
    • BODYJAM 56 (Warmup) – Somebody to Love; (NY Hotness) Hot Tottie
    • BODYJAM 62 (Groovedown) – Climax
    • BODYJAM 63 (Warmup) and RPM 59 (Pace) – Numb
    • BODYJAM 63 (Thunder Kicks Ninja Styles) – Euphoria
    • BODYJAM 64 (D.R.E.A.M One) – Scream (R3hab Mix)
    • BODYJAM 66 (Jammin’ for the Rest of My Life) – Rest of My Life
    • BODYJAM 67 (Get Loose When the Beat Drops) – Without You (R3hab’s XS Mix)
    • BODYJAM 69 (Alternate Recovery) – OMG
  • Thoughts
    • Very minimal instrumentation until 0:51
    • Classic smooth vocal blend for Usher in the chorus
    • Nice groove and style for a recovery track

Bounce Generation (1)

You (Extended Mix) – Galantis

  • Genre: progressive house
  • Key: a minor
  • Origin: Galantis is a Swedish producer/songwriter duo (Christian Karlsson and Linus Eklöw)
  • Released: May 2014
  • Galantis is new to BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • Simple loops at the beginning sound like a great place to set up the first few moves of the routine
    • Interesting piano loop starting at 1-min mark
    • Almost thought the drop would be at 2:04, but actually doesn’t happen until 2:23
    • The layers of this song will probably be more apparent as I learn the choreography

Bounce Generation (2)

Bounce Generation – TJR & VINAI

  • Genre: Melbourne bounce
  • Key: a minor
  • Origins:
    • TJR (TJ Rozdilsky) is a DJ based in Los Angeles
    • VINAI is comprised of Italian producers Andrea and Alessandro Vinai
  • Released: May 2014
  • Both artists are new to BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • This is more of a typical back-half house track
    • Great build up to the drop at 0:43 (“everybody, make it bounce!”)
    • 1:16 — nice instrumentation change
    • Several dance-based lyrics to hook into: “Everybody, everybody, make it bounce!”; “bass keep thumpin'”; “Just bounce to this!”
    • I can see why G made this the titular track for the block

Bounce Generation (3)

Ping Pong (Hardwell Remix) – Armin van Buuren

  • Genre: progressive trance / progressive house
  • Key: g minor and a minor
  • Armin van Buuren and Hardwell (Robbert van de Corput) are Dutch DJs
  • Released: March 2014
  • Also in:
    • Armin van Buuren: RPM 55 (Speed Work) – Drowning (Avicii Remix); RPM 61 (Speed Work) – Forever Is Ours; RPM 62 (Speed Work) – This Is What It Feels Like (W&W Remix)
    • Hardwell: BODYJAM 64 (D.R.E.A.M Two) – How We Do (Original Mix); BODYJAM 67 (The Dark Block 2013) – Dynamo (Original) and Dynamo (Sven Kirchhof Remix); BODYJAM 68 (Ilovebooyah) – Where Have You Been (Hardwell Remix); BODYJAM 69 (Warmup) – Jumper (Original Mix); BODYJAM 70 (Straight Up House) – Everybody Is in the Place (Original Mix); BODYJAM 70 (Mash It Block) – Dare You (Cash Cash Remix) and Dare You (Tiësto vs Twoloud Remix)
  • Thoughts
    • Very quiet intro, just a bass synth tone, followed by that palatal click sound Martin Garrix uses
    • The intro of this song keeps you guessing
    • 1:49 — solid beat drop
    • 2:33 — more layered synth (almost sounds a bit Showtek-y)
    • 3:40 — key change from g-minor to a-minor, then a fade-out (which is not common in JAM)
    • (Here’s the original Armin van Buuren video, which actually incorporates ping pong players.)

Bounce Generation (4)

The Worst – Jhené Aiko

  • Genre: PBR&B / indie R&B
  • Key: c# minor
  • Origin: Jhené Aiko (Jhené Aiko Efuru Chilombo) is from Los Angeles; (pronunciation: juh-NAY ah-EE-ko)
  • Released: January 2014
  • Jhené Aiko is new to BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • Like several of the recent JAM releases, we get a slower track right before the finale
    • Interesting syncopated vocal rhythms over a steady beat
    • Has kind of a sultry feel, with the music and the lyrics; parts of it somehow remind me of Frank Ocean’s Swim Good

Bounce Generation (5)

Payback – Dimitri Vangelis, Wyman, Steve Angello

  • Genre: progressive house
  • Key: g minor
  • Origins:
    • Dimitri Vangelis & Wyman are from Stockholm (couldn’t really find much background info on these guys)
    • Steve Angello is Greek/Swedish; he was formerly with Swedish House Mafia
  • Released: April 2014
  • As individual artists, they are new to BODYJAM; although Swedish House Mafia has been in several releases before they split up
  • Thoughts
    • BAM! Right up to tempo from the start (kind of like the finale track of BODYJAM 67)
    • 1:00 – reminds me a bit of Reload from BODYJAM 65 (Maximal Jam Crazy block)
    • Driving house beat; great for a finale track
    • Cool pause at 1:57
    • Although it’s a solid track, it gets a bit repetitive at times, so I think the choreography will help expose some nuances I don’t initially notice

Groovedown

What Is Love – Janelle Monáe

  • Genre: R&B
  • Key: d minor
  • Origin: Janelle Monáe (Janelle Monáe Robinson) is from Atlanta
  • Released: March 2014
  • Janelle Monáe is new to BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • Little bit of a Latin feel; upbeat
    • Kind of a marching band drum style near the end
    • “Can’t imagine dancin’ without you”
    • This was on the Rio 2 soundtrack

Mash It Block (1)

Knock You Out (Hardwell Remix) – Bingo Players

  • Genre: progressive house
  • Key: F major
  • Origin: Bingo Players (Maarten Hoogstraten) is Dutch
  • Released: May 2014
  • This artist is new to BODYJAM; Hardwell was mentioned above
  • Thoughts
    • About what I would expect from a progressive house track; nothing really grabbed my attention

Mash It Block (2)

Dechorro – Deorro

  • Genre: progressive house
  • Key: A major
  • Origin: (see the warmup track)
  • Released: May 2014
  • Thoughts
    • Switching to major key
    • Nice drop at 0:47 with heavy bass synths, and then quickly quiet at 0:58
    • Sounds very similar to Flashlight from JAM 70 (yes, I know he did that track); “One two three…”
    • Nice transition to the next track with the vocals “It’s a trap!”

Mash It Block (3)

Jaguar – What So Not

  • Genre: trap
  • Key: b minor
  • Origin: What So Not is an Australian duo comprised of Emoh Instead (not sure what the real name is) and Flume (Harley Edward Streten)
  • Released: December 2013
  • This artist/duo is new to BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • Slow trap style with low brass synths, then shifting to more upbeat tempo at 0:43 to crossfade to the next track
    • I really like the first part of this song, and I wish it wasn’t so quick to jump into the next track

Mash It Block (4)

E.T. (Tiësto Remix) – Katy Perry

  • Genre: big room / Dutch house
  • Key: f# minor
  • Origin:
    • Tiësto (Tijs Michiel Verwest) is Dutch
    • Katy Perry (Katheryn Elizabeth “Katy” Hudson) is from Los Angeles
  • Released: March 2011
  • Katy Perry is new to BODYJAM, but Tiësto has been in tons of other releases
    • BODYJAM 58 (Turbulence in Paris) – Only You (Ken Loi Remix)
    • BODYJAM 61 (Work Hard, Dance Hard, Play Hard) – Work Hard, Play Hard (Original Mix)
    • BODYJAM 63 (Hardcore Screaming) – What Can We Do (A Deeper Love) (Extended Remix and Third Party Remix)
    • BODYJAM 65 (Maximal Jam Crazy) – Maximal Crazy (Original Mix)
    • BODYJAM 67 (Get Loose When the Beat Drops) – Get Loose (Tiësto Remix)
    • BODYJAM 70 (Mash It Block) – Dare You (Tiësto vs Twoloud Remix)
    • RPM 51 (Speed Work) – Break My Fall (Original Mix)
    • RPM 54 (Speed Work) – Just Be (Antillas Club Mix)
    • RPM 58 (Speed Work) – Can’t Stop Me (Tiësto Remix)
    • RPM 59 (Speed Work) – Pair of Dice (Original Mix)
    • RPM 62 (Mountain Climb) – Adagio for Strings (Blasterjaxx Remix)
  • Thoughts
    • Excellent blend of the Katy Perry song with driving house from Tiësto
    • I believe this is the first time G has used a Katy Perry track, which is a bit unusual because I consider her stuff more in line with SH’BAM than BODYJAM
    • Again, I think with the the choreography in place, I’ll have a better sense for the layers of this track

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *