Music Monday: Latest Dance Mix from NYCAngela

Happy Monday everyone! Just because it’s raining in NYC, doesn’t mean you should feel gloomy. Listen & download my latest dance demo to brighten up your day! The tracks played through out the set include:

  • Chromeo- Don’t Turn the Lights On (Christian Martin Remix)
  • Afrojack vs. Way Out West feat. Tricia Lee Kelshall -Replica of Mindcircus (Dave Dresden Mashup)
  • Sultan & Ned Shepard feat. Nadia Ali – Call My Name (Kaskade Remix)
  • Adam K & Soha – Circadian Rhythm (Original Mix)
  • Florence & The Machine – Cosmic Love (Morgan Page Bootleg Remix)
  • Kaskade – Dynasty (Dave Martin Remix)

Click here to listen & download! 🙂

Created by: Angela Samartano

HAUTE NYC © 2011


Haute Music: VIA Presents Onra

720 Records is situated on Butler St. in Lawrenceville,  the burgeoning creative neighborhood of Pittsburgh increasingly becoming composite of galleries, quirky eateries, studio spaces and bars with good draft lists and great music.  Perusing 720’s vinyl offerings, it was easy to see why the VIA Presents crew chose this little record store to stage an Onra show. The music in the racks was all Chuck Chillout, Graffiti Rock alum, Erykah Badu, and miscellaneous Dilla projects.  The store offers vinyl geeks a palette of thoughtfully selected tunes, and threw off those music geek vibes that went along with a crowd of creative dance-aholics. Some were there to dance, others to be inspired, but everyone got what they came for.

Pittsburgh based audio artist, Discuss started off the evening with his sometimes languorous, and sometimes fast paced sonic bravado.  His set came in waves of tempo pushing ups and ethereal ambiance that built tension, exploding into blankets of beats and glitches and wa-wa’s.  The complex tempo changes eased the crowd from social gabbery into focused dancing and set the mood for the rest of the night. There were moments of piano prominence, a warm glittering homage to the classical amidst the electronic sound scape. The moments that put the ‘I’ in the oh-so reductive label IDM, which should be avoided in a discussion of Discuss, whose very name denotes all-inclusiveness.  The undulations of his set propagated a sort of think-motion. He’d momentarily unwind the crowd to the point of near sedation, and then gradually work the collective body movement back up with a distinctly techno backdrop to complex layers of throbbing melody; at once peaceful and serene and simultaneously dance inducing.

The V component of VIA, the visual accompanying the audio, was provided by yet more local talent.  For Discuss’s set we got the video art of Laurie Trok whose visuals were more than complimentary to the languid, enveloping sound scape.  She worked primarily in black and white as well as shades of grey; not to say that the sounds lacked color, if we can even relate sounds to colors, though trying to do so is kind of what VIA is all about.  Her shades of gray video art complimented the note of seriousness in the music. If bright color had been prevalent, the mood might have gone towards kitsch but she kept it subdued and slightly vintage with soft, blur-tinged shapes, a dada-esque geometric montage.



After a brief interlude with music provided by DJ’s Nicerec and Harry Lurker, the electro-pop/chillwave quartet Golden Ages took the stage and as a multi-member act brought a lot more noise, sometimes raucous and sometimes beautifully chill.  Their sound has been compared to the likes of Fuck Buttons and Animal Collective but also holds a certain touch of the 70’s electronic sound spread by Neu! Think Nagativ, rock ‘n’ roll strings poking through a wash of cacophonous synth but also picking up the pop and living up to that Animal Collective comparison.  Artist Di-ay Battad took over the visuals for Golden Ages and her set was a little more playful than Trok’s as she reached for organic and curvilinear shapes, the images were reminiscent of strange plant life and water droplets, which worked well with the pop tones emanating from Golden Ages’ amps.


Golden Ages


Finally, in the stifling heat of the back room at 720 Records, Onra and sonic cohort Buddy Sativa began their set with My Comet, a synth-drenched, throbbing ode to vintage funk and smooth R&B.  It declares from the beginning in a robotic sort of way, “I want to hear future funk,” and then breaks open into the smooth waves of Onra’s hip-hop, funk, and electronic blend, keepin’ it futuristic but still old school kind of funky.  His set was mostly the instant crowd pleasers, tracks that pay tons of homage to Dilla; songs like Send Me Your Love, which has all kinds of cheesy R&B flavor, note the repetitive use of the word ‘baby,’ but the cheesiness is all part of the fun.  It’s still irresistibly sexy and the packed crowd danced all the way up to the track that he played off of Chinoiseries, and then some weren’t sure what to do.  It definitely still grooved though, just in a slightly globe-trotting RZA sorta way, a quilt of Chinese and Vietnamese pop music mixed with modern dance beats, an example of Onra as some kind of dance inducing musicologist.


The party relocated to the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern where the second part of the double feature was held.  Having fallen on a Wednesday, the night of Pittsburgh’s decade old weekly drum and bass show – FUZZ! gave Onra’s deejay set a storied local significance, Polish Party House meets Vietnamese Parisian producer – globalization at it’s finest.  His deejay set proved his massive range of musical tastes that goes from weird to vintage to pop and while he dropped the poppiest song a bass lover would want, Big Boi’s Shutterbug, he backed it up and framed it with tribal bass keeping Shutterbug still very Onra-like.




As an evening of blended together art forms, the audio with the visual, VIA succeeded in creating an experience like no other. It was a smart, thoughtfully produced party that emphasized local talent, and simultaneously introduced music fans to an amazing international producer.  Getting Onra as both an accomplished beat maker, as he demonstrated with his set at 720 Records, and also as a crowd pleasing deejay at the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern, was kind of the best way to experience him, both polished and freewheeling.  There was no doubt that the crowd loved him as they clung to the dance floor, blissfully unaware that the bartenders had stopped serving.  No doubt he would’ve had the BBT rocking for at least three more hours.



Article By: Kate Magoc

Photos by: Lindsay Mullen

HAUTE NYC © 2011

Music Monday: NYCAngela March Mix

In the midst of my choatic schedule, I have been studying how to become a dj. As I continue learning how to mix music, I would like to share my very own compilation with my readers. This Music Monday, take a listen to my latest March mix featuring songs by Kaskade, Morgan Page, The Killers, and more. Please feel free to leave comments & show love. Enjoy!


Article by: Angela Samartano

HAUTE NYC © 2011



Music Monday: DJ Joe Zagame February Mix

Need a President’s Day pick me up? Check out the latest mix by DJ Joe Zagame of MarkJoseph DJs that will give you a reason to dance today. The New York native currently is one half of the Mark Joseph DJs collaboration. You can catch their music featured on the weekly online radio show, Utopic Sessions, which airs every Thursday through Listen and comment on DJ Joe Zagame’s February 2011 mix. The track list includes the following songs, enjoy!

01. Cliff Coenraad – Booty Slam (Original Mix)
02. Orjan Nilsen – Agnus (Original Mix)
03. Conjure One Feat. Jaren – Like Ice (Marcus Schossow Remix)
04. Everything But The Girl – Missing (Greg Downey Remix)
05. Markus Schulz Feat. Dauby – Perfect (Funabashi Remix)

Article by: Angela Samartano


Haute Music: Paul van Dyk Returns to NYC

The highly anticipated return of Grammy nominated Paul Van Dyk awaits us fellow New Yorkers this weekend. A highly respectable musician who was voted #1 DJ in the world by DJMag Top 100 DJ Poll in both 2005 and 2006, Dyk has exactly what it takes to keep the crowd moving until sunrise. The Electronic DJ/Producer is scheduled to perform a DJ set this Saturday February 19,2011. Formerly Exit Nightclub, the now Terminal 5 will host Van Dyk as he once again captivates over 3000 of his New York fans with a few new tunes as well as some familiar classics. Known for his productions “Time Of Our Lives” with vocalist 4 Vega, “For An Angel” and “Nothing But You”. Van Dyk pays homage to NYC with production “Home” featuring Johnny McDaid and his record alongside Starkillers and Austin Leeds with vocals from Ashley Tomberlin, “New York City”. These two are surely hopefuls.

This will mark Paul Van Dyk’s first time playing in New York since his New Years Eve 2010 Celebration at The Roseland Ballroom, hosted by Made Event. Van Dyk, whose name originally appeared on the Electric Zoo Festival 2010 lineup, canceled his gig slated for September 2010 at Randall’s Island Park. PVD’s absence from NYC has been felt throughout the local club community, leaving much anticipation and even higher expectations with his return to the city that never sleeps. Pre-Sale tickets began at $25 for general admission, Limited Advance Tickets priced at $30, both of which sold out leaving a limited number of $40 tickets available the day of the event.


Article by: Mark Mancino


Music Monday : Aruna

Los Angeles born, Aruna has been serenading the ears of listeners all across international dance music charts. This singer and songwriter has had success in the electronic dance music world with songs such as Ashley, (Safe) Wherever You Are, and her latest single, “Let Go”. Angela of HAUTE NYC chats with Aruna in the latest Music Monday feature to discuss her latest endeavors.

HAUTE NYC: What is your musical background? Was there a defining moment that made you want to pursue a career in music? Why?

Aruna: My journey started in pop music. Growing up I listened to a lot of 70s and 80s: Fleetwood Mac, Journey, Heart, Foreigner, Stevie Nicks, Tom Petty, Duran Duran. But once I got older my tastes started diversifying. I got into hair metal in my pre-teens, and then thrash and death metal as a teen…yes I guess I had some anger issues back then, haha! In college I went through the requisite Lilith phase, listening to lots of Tori, Paula Cole, Shawn Colvin, Sarah McLaughlin, which is where the more recent influences on my writing came from, as it was around that time that I really began consciously honing my craft. On top of all that I was studying classical piano from the time I was 10 and then jazz piano for 10 years after that. So you could say its quite a hodgepodge up there in my head.

Pursuing a career in music was never a conscious choice for me. I feel like it chose me more than me choosing it. I honestly can’t even remember a time where I DIDN”T feel like music was my future. Ok, for a few seconds I toyed with the idea of becoming a marine biologist because of my early obsession with sharks, but I was always scared of the ocean ever since seeing Jaws, so that kind of ruled that out.

HAUTE NYC: Your newest single, “Let Go” has taken over dance floors world wide and is currently #4 on Beatport charts. What were your influences behind this song?

Aruna: Lyrically the song was inspired by the recent demise of a two and a half year relationship, which unfortunately ended pretty badly. On a musical level, I knew that this would be my first artist single, and so I wanted something that would mark a return to my pop roots, keeping the dance elements as well, of course. I had been writing a ton of trance singles the past few years, which are great and I love them, but at the same time I was starting to feel very limited by their structure, and also the imagery that they impose from a lyrical perspective. Since the tracks and the sounds in trance are so big and lush and epic, the lyrics kinda have to follow suit, so they end up being somewhat abstract. I was missing the intimacy of pop lyric writing and arrangements, which allow the melody and the story of the song to be the main focus, not the kick drum and the lead lines.

HAUTE NYC: The remix pack of Let Go was just released and is available for download. What artists have been your favorite to work with at this point in your career? What DJs do you hope to collaborate with in the future?

Aruna: Working with The Thrillseekers was a great first step into the EDM world. Steve is so talented, and he really pushed me to my limits with that song, both in terms of the writing and the performance. So it set my bar very high very early on, and I’ve continued to work at maintaining that standard of excellence ever since. More recently though, I’ve really enjoyed working with Myon & Shane 54. The three of us felt an instant chemistry from day one, on all levels, which of course was why we ended up forming Velvetine together. The thing I love most about working with them is how consistently good everything coming out of their studio sounds, especially the vocals. I also get the sense that they really respect me, not just as a singer and writer, but as a composer and arranger too. They’re the first producers I’ve worked with that actually ‘let’ me contribute ideas regarding the track itself: chord changes, piano parts etc. And lastly they’re just so much damn fun, sometimes I forget were actually working!

I would love to continue working with them in the future, in fact I’ll be leaving for Hungary in 10 days to do exactly that!  But additionally I would really love to work with Kaskade, BT and Morgan Page…and possibly Gabriel & Dresden too (if they end up reuniting as it seems they may). All of them have a great instinct for pop arrangements and song structure, and have managed to find a really beautiful balance between those elements and the more traditional electronic aspects of EDM. Plus they’re musicians, in the truest sense of the word…so it would be great to be able to speak the same language.

HAUTE NYC: Many of your fans commend you on your beautiful choice of lyrics. Do you write your own music? Do you contribute to the creative process behind your songs?

Aruna: Yes and yes. Writing my own lyrics and melodies is and has always been a non-negotiable for any collaboration I consider doing. I just can’t sell a song I didn’t write in the quite same way.

HAUTE NYC: My two personal favorite songs of yours are Under Your Spell and Everywhere You Are. Which of your songs would you consider to hold closest to your heart and why?

Aruna: Wow, thats a tough one. All of Mommy’s babies are precious! If I had to answer that question honestly though, it would be a track I just finished, which is a potential follow-up single to “Let Go”.  It sort of picks up where “Let Go” left off, talking about releasing yourself from old energy and the freedom and space that that creates for something new and beautiful to emerge. In addition there’s a forthcoming Velvetine track inspired by my new relationship with Myon that’s particularly close to my heart for obvious reasons. Lastly the forthcoming track I did with Boom Jinx called “LIght As A Feather” seems to never get old for me. Can’t wait until that’s released!

HAUTE NYC: What was your most memorable experience in your career? Why?

Aruna: Well the most memorable experience in my career overall was landing a song on the Hannah Montana Season 1 Soundtrack, and specifically the first time I ever heard her sing it, which was on YouTube at the Radio Disney 10th Anniversary Concert to a crowd of 15,000 screaming fans. I was in such shock that I almost fell off my chair. I was in tears. In that moment I knew my life would never be the same. It was the first real success I experienced, as that album went on to sell 2,000,000 copies in its first two months, and as such I’ll never forget it.

Specific to my career as a dance artist however, I would say one of the most memorable moments was the first time I ever did a live PA. It was in Da Nang, Vietnam in 2008. The club was so packed you could barely walk. I had four security escorts around me at all times, even just to go to the restroom. Coming from playing little LA coffeehouses and clubs to 35-75 people, this was quite a shock, in the best possible way. Since then I’ve had a handful of amazing and unforgettable live experiences: Pacha Buenos Aires, Cairo last New Years Eve and the 2 recent shows I did in Canada at the top of the list. The love from the fans was so palpable, it blows me away every time.

HAUTE NYC: Looking into 2011, what can listeners expect from Aruna in the new year?

Aruna: It seems 2011 could be a pretty significant year for me, a year of a lot of changes, ideas that I began sowing the past several months that could begin to fully blossom. I can’t yet reveal a lot of what that entails but I will say this: expect new singles from both Aruna and Velvetine, expect the first original releases from my new house project with Myon called Starfarmers, expect to see me working a lot more behind the scenes as writer on tracks you might not even know I had a hand in, and of course, expect lots more live shows!

Check out more Aruna on her website or:





To book Aruna contact:

Article by: Angela Samartano