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RPM 69 Review

rpm69-booklet

I’m trying something different for the Q1 2016 release of RPM by combining the music and release review into a single post. This comes not only as a simplification so that I only have one post to create, but because I’m trying a different program-learning strategy of getting to the masterclass before immersing myself in the music. The goal is to see if this helps me learn the program more efficiently.

Track-by-track Breakdown

Pack Ride

Stronger – Clean Bandit

  • Genre: synthpop
  • Key: F# major
  • Origin: Clean Bandit (Jack Patterson, Luke Patterson, Grace Chatto, and Neil Amin-Smith) is from Cambridge, England
  • Released: February 2015
  • Other releases
    • RPM 64 (Outro) – Rather Be
    • BODYJAM 70 (Groovedown) – Rather Be
  • Thoughts
    • This track sounds very similar to Rather Be, namely because that song is also by the same group.
    • Once again, in the masterclass Glen just wants to go, and is riding at Medium-pace when we should be at Half-pace.
    • An uplifting way to start the class, covering different intensities and speeds.
    • Point of difference: the track ends with 15 seconds of Medium pace instead of just finishing out a sprint.
  • Good lyric cues
    • “If I could be stronger…”
    • “If only you could promise that you will try too”

Pace

That’s What I Like – Flo Rida feat. Fitz

  • Genre: hip house / dance pop
  • Key: G major
  • Origins:
    • Flo Rida (Tramar Lacel Dillard) is from Florida
    • Michael Sean “Fitz” Fitzpatrick is from Los Angeles
  • Released: April 2015
  • Other releases
    • Flo Rida
      • BODYJAM 47 – In the Ayer (feat. Will.I.Am)
      • BODYJAM 47 – Low (feat. T-Pain) (Travis Barker Remix)
      • BODYJAM 54 – Jump (Jump Smokers Remix)
      • BODYJAM 57 (Afro-Caribbean Street Party) – Turn Around (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)
      • BODYJAM 57 (Afro-Caribbean Street Party) – Turn Around (5, 4, 3, 2, 1) (John De Sohn Remix)
      • RPM 51 (Mixed Terrain) – Turn Around (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)
      • RPM 55 (Mixed Terrain) – Good Feeling
      • RPM 58 (Mixed Terrain) – Let It Roll
    • Fitz is new to RPM and BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • Point of difference: It feels really awkward to be at Building pace (3/4+) right after the build in the music; I want to be sprinting! The idea is that you be deliberate about controlling your speed. (Of course, Glen sprints on-pace for the whole section.)
    • How can you not sing along with the chorus?
    • I may steal that idea of clapping along with the music in Block 6 during the recovery — that’s a good way to bring the room together and build some shared energy.
  • Good lyric cues
    • “Your way, drop down, I’m chasin'”

Hills

Boom Boom Boom – Nick Skitz

  • Genre: electro-house
  • Key: g minor
  • Origin: Nick Skitz (Nicholas Agamalis) is from Australia
  • Released: March 2015
  • Other releases
    • RPM 63 (Mountain Climb) – Toca’s Miracle (Original Mix)
    • RPM 65 (Hills) – Anthem #2 (Nick Skitz & Technoposse Remix)
    • RPM 66 (Alternate Hills) – Classical Gas (Extended)
  • Thoughts
    • The masterclass presenter, Dallas Blacklaw, did really well when he cued 1000hp (Intervals) for RPM 66.
    • Point of difference: This Hills track has more Power Climb transitions (three, instead of the usual two).
    • Something about this part of the song reminds me of Sexy Bitch by David Guetta feat. Akon (especially here).
    • I’m stealing the lyric cue “with that look upon your face” just before the last Standing Climb.

Mixed Terrain

White Lines – Six60

  • Genre: alternative rock
  • Key: E-flat major
  • Origin: Six60 (Eli Paewai, Chris Mac, Ji Fraser, Marlon Gerbes, Matiu Walters) are from New Zealand
  • Released: February 2015
  • This group is new to RPM and BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • We finally get to hear a song from the eponymous group that brought the “Six60” move to BODYJAM 66.
    • This track continues the trend of really fast Mixed Terrains (this one is 146 bpm).
    • No major points of difference here; it’s a standard Mixed Terrain track with a few climbs and five fast sprints.
  • Good lyric cues
    • “Who told you that we can’t fly”
    • “This ain’t no temporary high”

Intervals

Gravity – DJ Fresh feat. Ella Eyre

  • Genre: drum and bass
  • Key: b-flat minor
  • Origins:
    • DJ Fresh (Daniel Stein) is from the United Kingdom
    • Ella Eyre (Ella McMahon) is from London
  • Released: February 2015
  • DJ Fresh was in BODYJAM 70 (Straight Up Hip Hop) – Dibby Dibby Sound (The Partysquad Remix); Ella Eyre is new to RPM and BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • Glen likes to use drum and bass songs for Intervals.
    • Point of difference: We have the option to be on-pace or above the beat for the Standing Attack phases.
    • This reminds me of when they did High Intensity options, which started in RPM 60 and were effectively discontinued by RPM 65.
    • Good coaching will be needed here, as the music itself gets repetitive, and the last three blocks are identical
  • Good lyric cues
    • “You’re a place that I can go to”
    • “Not even gravity can hold us down”

Speed Work

Runaway (U & I) (Kaskade Remix) – Galantis

  • Genre: progressive house
  • Key: b-flat minor
  • Origins:
    • Galantis (Christian Karlsson and Linus Eklöw) are from Sweden
    • Kaskade (Ryan Gary Raddon) is from Chicago
  • Released: October 2014
  • Other releases
    • Galantis
      • BODYJAM 73 (Isolations) – Runaway (U & I) (Dillon Francis Remix)
      • BODYJAM 73 (Jam in Love) – Runaway (U & I)
    • Kaskade
      • BODYJAM 58 (Turbulence in Paris) – Only You (Ken Loi Remix)
      • BODYJAM 59 (We Run This Mutha) – Run the World (Girls) (Kaskade Club Remix)
      • BODYJAM 66 (Jammin’ for the Rest of My Life) – Call Your Girlfriend (Kaskade Remix)
  • Thoughts
    • This remix sounds heavy for a Speed Work track; I would have cast it as a Mountain Climb.
    • Point of difference: The first block starts with a decently long section of climbing (at various speeds).
    • At least in this Speed Work track, we always start the sprint above Racing load, which makes it easier to remember the choreography. (Sometimes we have one sprint preceded by heavy load, then the others we build up to it.)
  • Good lyric cues
    • “Chase the morning sun when I’m with you”

Mountain Climb

Generate – Eric Prydz

  • Genre: tech house
  • Key: f# minor
  • Origins: Prydz is Swedish and is based in Los Angeles
  • Released: March 2015
  • Eric Prydz is new to RPM and BODYJAM
  • Thoughts
    • This is the first time I’ve heard a masterclass presenter (Glen, in this case) mention body image as a motivation for exercise (which Les Mills trainers have told instructors to avoid): “Long time under tension gives us the training result: tone, shape, get fit, look great.”
    • I love this track as a way to end the class; a solid tech-house track with a steady, driving beat and some great lyrics to use as well.
    • Point of difference: There’s an opportunity to accelerate in Standing Attack phase before the beat drops in the last two blocks.
    • Glen rides way too fast in the acceleration parts of the last block; he’s almost at 2x speed, which means he likely doesn’t have enough load on.
  • Good lyric cues
    • “There’s nothing we need that it can’t create”
    • Missed opportunity in the masterclass: “All of the force we generate”

Ride Home / Stretch

Lonely Town – Brandon Flowers

  • Genre: new wave
  • Key: F# major
  • Origins: Flowers is from Las Vegas
  • Released: April 2015
  • Although Flowers hasn’t been featured as a soloist, his band The Killers has been in RPM
    • RPM 63 (Ride Home / Stretch) – Shot at the Night
    • RPM 68 (Mixed Terrain) – Mr. Brightside
  • Thoughts
    • This upbeat song is a nice way to end the class.
    • Point of difference: There’s only one sprint/flush.

Outro

Gemini – What So Not feat. George Maple

  • Genre: trip hop
  • Key: g minor
  • Origins:
    • What So Not is an electronic music project by Australian producer Emoh Instead (Chris Emerson)
    • George Maple is from Australia
  • Released: April 2015
  • What So Not was in BODYJAM 71 (Mash It) – Jaguar
  • Thoughts
    • This should be a Groovedown track for BODYJAM; I love the soulful, electronic groove.
    • I sometimes wonder what intended feel is for these Outro tracks. They were introduced in RPM 63, and seem to alternate in style between upbeat and soulful; this one is probably the most musically progressive outro track we’ve had.

General Thoughts

RPM 69 continues the trend that we’ve seen in previous releases as far as track formats are concerned; in other words, there weren’t any major changes. That said, the music selections are pretty good and keep things interesting and fun; not every track is my favorite, but as has been the case with other releases, the more I teach a song, the more it grows on me. As with RPM 68, the Mixed Terrain track is quite fast, so I’ll be sure to cue lots of options for riders that can’t match that pace.

The education section for this quarter focuses on connection with participants, which each of the masterclass presenters demonstrated very effectively. It’s always a balance when teaching RPM to focus on challenging people that need the encouragement, yet not taking yourself too seriously and smiling every now and then.

I realize that I pick on the masterclass presenters a bit. I can only imagine what the energy is like on filming day; however, considering the rigors of the selection process to even get to that level, I expect world-class delivery, as these presenters are setting the standard. I’m particularly tough on Glen because he is the program director for RPM and is thus the “face” of the program. Despite my criticism, there is plenty of good to go around as well; I certainly wouldn’t be the instructor I am today without their examples of coaching and delivery.

See you next time for RPM 70!

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