Neon Sky Rain – Vector Lovers
Welcome to another EDM Origins post, this time featuring “Neon Sky Rain” one of the standout tracks from independent artist Vector Lovers, an alias for British EDM producer, Martin Wheeler. The song incorporates a very spacey-vibe with futurstic, space-like synths and chords, reminiscent of distant solar systems. The track, released back in 2003, was so far ahead of its time, it isn’t even funny. EDM artists today could take a page from songs and artists like these, who clearly came from a background, foundation and genuine love for electronic music they create. Not like many of these “iMac DJs” or “DJs” who just learned what “Darude – Sandstorm”, or “specialize” in Trap or another fad genre.
Every once and awhile iTunes Music Store will highlight or feature very eclectic, lesser-known music that just simply stands out. Well, back in 2007, several years after the large adoption of EDM (electronic dance music) to American markets, I stumbled across this rare find. Granted, you can still easily find new and unique music on iTunes Music Store, but nowadays the problem is finding where to start. iTunes Music Store has over 43,000,000 songs and counting, so many that you couldn’t even listen to all the music offered in your lifetime (or even if you tried the flip-side, to listen to songs not on iTunes [190 years!]).
Several years after I stumbled across this song (and Wheeler’s album on iTunes) I just so happened to be going on what many people colloquially call “a trip.” During this “trip,” I was with some friends vibing out to music as we enjoyed the night, each taking turns and playing our “Trip Playlists” we had prepared days before. Well, once I ran out of prominent dubstep to play (this would’ve been around 2011 plus or minus a year) I put on this song not sure if my friends would feel the incredibly different vibe of a song so old. They were blown away. While much of the dubstep, house and trance I played earlier didn’t receive so much as a headnod (my friends then were accepting of my music, but also were somehow above it, being the “hipsters” that they were) “Neon Sky Rain” not only commanded and held everyone’s attention, it had my friends asking for the song and artist name after and left us all in a very pensive, contemplating, yet calm mood.
When I ran across this track in 2007, the iTunes Music Library was still pretty large and likely had millions of songs, however, dance music’s recent introduction to the scene meant that many EDM songs found on the site were relatively new or had been hits in Europe and had finally made their way to the US. For example, iTunes offered a “free pack” sampler of free music from all genres every week on their front page (I’m sure they still have it now but it’s not quite the same). What started as a very nice mix of electronic, rap, pop, rock & more slowly devolved into a mediocre blend of alternative rock, indie, emo, pop and country music (at least, the last time I received a free pack).
Don’t get me wrong I’m happy I don’t have to scour the Internet as hard as when I was 18, but there was something inherently magical about logging on to the Internet and spending hours browsing the Dance and Electronic sections of the old iTunes Store. Even before then, finding EDM took some effort but was not impossible. A lot of dance music and techno I found throughout the early to mid-2000s I discovered on websites like Yahoo! Music (the site that featured music videos to play in RealPlayer had a lot of EDM), MTV Hits, like those extra MTV channels that actually play music. In fact, I discovered a lot of EDM from MTV (when they showed videos) and their side channels such as “Rapture” by iiO, “Heaven” by DJ Sammy, “Relax, Take It Easy” by Miko and “Days Go By” by Dirty Vegas.
We have songs such as this one featured and staples of the early 2000s from artists like DJ Tiesto, Paul Van Dyk, Paul Oakenfold, BT, Armin Van Buuren, Above & Beyond, ATB and more to thank for our ever-changing and evolving electronic music scene today.
For more from Martin Wheeler check out his newest release from his Soundcloud and his Soundcloud below: