OUT Push - Scope (Artist Album) [Push Forward]

Artist name(s)
Push
Release title
Scope
Label name
Push Forward
Release date
Nov 28, 2022
Release type
Artist album
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My honest opinion: Those productions sound so extremely basic ... Thats not "Mike" for me, thats just basic a*s techno and thats about it. Very disappointing. Wouldn't wonder if literally every single track is a ghost production and just a money grab ...

Edit: After listening to this I really have a "Melodic Trauma" ;)
 
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Redrot

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The sad truth is: You gotta live from something and from nothing comes nothing. I get the idea behind creating "modern music" to reach most people and making money through this ... and thats reality. If im honest: I would produce commercial stuff to (to make money) but never would I put my real name or whatever stamp on there. Art =/= Money
Yeah, that's a good point, though producing "commercial" trance isn't exactly lucrative except for a handful of people. I doubt he's doing it purely for the money alone.

A lot of producers do this, though - Cold Blue, JOOF (and for former trancers, James Holden, JXL, Neil Cowley, and I'm sure plenty others) for example do music scoring or produce nonlicensed music for commercial purposes. (for a good chuckle check out JOOF's - it's very similar to his usual stuff but in bite-sized form) Some guys like JXL and Neil release their soundtracks publicly because those soundtracks are damn good and worthy of being added to their artist resumes. Most modern trance producers however don't really mention it for some reason...

Other guys like Shugz and Sam Jones for example do music production lessons and mastering services (and for others, i.e. Dave Parkinson and Darren Porter I suspect a lot more) and I imagine as well that endeavors like that are much more profitable. It's kind of like in Jazz, the music I was initially trained in, how almost any horn player who isn't big enough to tour full time or at least land gigs on a near-nightly basis is also a private instructor.
 
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Hensmon

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Mike needs to stop destroying his legacy and retire already (and maybe wipe his last 10 years + his label from humanity's collective memory). It's like watching a star athlete play 20 years past his prime and getting absolutely humiliated.

Quite harsh. Can't fault a man who wants to continue to create the thing he loves. I don't know if the athlete analogy is fair either, as they would probably play for a decade or more longer too if they could, they just get replaced due to competition.

I've always wondered if age has a role to play though with creativity, both neurologically and contextually in life. Young people can come into music with no experience, no training, and make the best music world has ever seen. Despite more practice and knowledge the trajectory is always downwards. There's an inner fire linked to creativity, energy and innovation that you loose as you get older (I think).
 

Redrot

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Fair - he's another human too. And if it's at the point where it's genuinely just a passion project, then I guess it's not in my right to be mad. (I guess I could ask if I have any right to be mad at any musician ever for what they release then, but I feel like some anger is still justified at what Armin's done to ASOT and by extension, the trance scene)

I just have a hard time believing this is purely out of love for the music when the entire album is essentially Drumcode and Afterlife-style techno, which has really been cashing it in the past few years.
 
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Fair - he's another human too. And if it's at the point where it's genuinely just a passion project, then I guess it's not in my right to be mad. (I guess I could ask if I have any right to be mad at any musician ever for what they release then, but I feel like some anger is still justified at what Armin's done to ASOT and by extension, the trance scene)

I just have a hard time believing this is purely out of love for the music when the entire album is essentially Drumcode and Afterlife-style techno, which has really been cashing it in the past few years.
I bet its not purely out of love for music but thats always the question. If we think back to older productions: Was this purely out of love for music or is it just our interpretation of it in the year 2022? I think trance always had this kind of "commerical touch", so money was always a thing. Its a hard topic to be honest.
 
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Gagi

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I bet its not purely out of love for music but thats always the question. If we think back to older productions: Was this purely out of love for music or is it just our interpretation of it in the year 2022? I think trance always had this kind of "commerical touch", so money was always a thing. Its a hard topic to be honest.
At one point it was exploration, experimentation and enjoyment.
 

Redrot

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I bet its not purely out of love for music but thats always the question. If we think back to older productions: Was this purely out of love for music or is it just our interpretation of it in the year 2022? I think trance always had this kind of "commerical touch", so money was always a thing. Its a hard topic to be honest.
It's true, his stuff (and basically the same could be said about most 2000s-era producers who are considered legends by most, besides e.g. Lieb) were on the forefront of the commercial end of trance. Though I don't think we'd be too wrong in saying that Mike was ahead of his time with his anthemey sound then.
 
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It's true, his stuff (and basically the same could be said about most 2000s-era producers who are considered legends by most, besides e.g. Lieb) were on the forefront of the commercial end of trance. Though I don't think we'd be too wrong in saying that Mike was ahead of his time with his anthemey sound then.
No absolutly correct. I respect this artist and his work a lot. For me the "commercial" factor in trance isnt even a bad thing (and I dont know why it is often considerd as bad). Many people I show my music too like it, I think thats a good thing. Even if they dont normally listen to electronic music.
 
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Redrot

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I'm totally fine with commercialism (I think, that's probably not 100% true lol) until it starts affecting the level of idk, sophistication and maturity that's present in the music. (???, for lack of better terms, I know I'm sounding like a complete ass using these terms) It's 100% possible to make a more accessible sound without compromise. To take an example outside of trance, Jon Hopkins is widely acclaimed, and yet the level of detail and depth in his work only increases album after album. Not to say that work has to be incredibly detailed and complex to be good, you can (and should) do a lot with a little as well, and it's great practice. I guess it's a matter of finding a balance of the two.

IMO the first popular wave of anthem trance was a natural fusion of what trance was before and eurodance or pop in general, but it didn't compromise the quality or level of detail present in the music. Sure, there were some people mad about it but there's a reason pretty much all the most popular styles of trance nowadays have it in its roots and why 20 years later, we still look upon it fondly. On the other hand, whatever happened around 2012 with the rise of mainstage fest trance was a few steps backward, and you can see the producers who were championing that sound retracing their steps nowadays.

Though I'm biased ofc, and it takes a lot of effort sometimes to hear something catchy and poppy and not immediately go "eh pop garbo" :p
 
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I'm totally fine with commercialism (I think, that's probably not 100% true lol) until it starts affecting the level of idk, sophistication and maturity that's present in the music. (???, for lack of better terms, I know I'm sounding like a complete ass using these terms) It's 100% possible to make a more accessible sound without compromise. To take an example outside of trance, Jon Hopkins is widely acclaimed, and yet the level of detail and depth in his work only increases album after album. Not to say that work has to be incredibly detailed and complex to be good, you can (and should) do a lot with a little as well, and it's great practice. I guess it's a matter of finding a balance of the two.
Yeah I feel that. I keep questioning myself a lot. I produce 90s trance and I guess (and hope) it sounds like the 90s. Heck, I even downsample my samples (buildups, impacts etc) to reach that "90s akai sampler sound" but is this really creative? I mean im not reinventing trance new right here. Im just doing the stuff people arround the world used to do for 30 years or so. Is this already creative work or is it just creative because this kind of music is not here anymore? I think that the main problem is most likely creativity but its also the way music is produced. There is no space for creative work anymore because most people hit up YouTube and Type "How to produce Trance FL Studio", watch a couple of vids and boom "I can hit one note and say Hey im a Trance DJ" (to quote Joel Zimmermann). You needed to push the boundaries back in the day to get unique sound while nowadays stuff is already ready for you to easily work with which leads to the "commercial type sound". There is nearly no work behind electronic music anymore because there is no need to! Why learn something on your own when there are others to lead your way? I guess this is a big problem too. People just copy what works out there and the general mindset is: Popular = Good and Creative. I dont wanna talk too much about myself but I never ever learned how to produce trance, I just did it. Booted up Ableton tried out and tried again and again till I found MY WAY to produce this kind of stuff. And "MY WAY" is the part which is missing in many productions because its more "YOUTUBE WAY" or "ARMIN VAN BURREN MASTERCLASS WAY" because Hey this dude is succesfull so if I do it just like him my stuff will be good too. I hope it is understandable what Im trying to communicate here, would be easier for me to explain in german.

IMO the first popular wave of anthem trance was a natural fusion of what trance was before and eurodance or pop in general, but it didn't compromise the quality or level of detail present in the music. Sure, there were some people mad about it but there's a reason pretty much all the most popular styles of trance nowadays have it in its roots and why 20 years later, we still look upon it fondly. On the other hand, whatever happened around 2012 with the rise of mainstage fest trance was a few steps backward, and you can see the producers who were championing that sound retracing their steps nowadays.
After all its all about money. People produce stuff which can be turned into money, not what applies to literally 2% or so of the community. This stuff is only produced by some people here on the forum which live and love trance (and music generally). Others live from it and this alos eliminates a lot of the creative process.
 
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Tievb21

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I am sorry, but 28 euros for the CD?.... Wait, 28 euros also for the digital album on Bandcamp? Come on people.

Will stream it tomorrow and take a good listen of it. Btw I am a huge fan of well mixed album artist albums, like what Activa did on Origins and many others. I prefer a whole well mixed journey. Shame that isn't one of them. Just saying...
 
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I am sorry, but 28 euros for the CD?.... Wait, 28 euros also for the digital album on Bandcamp? Come on people.

Will stream it tomorrow and take a good listen of it. Btw I am a huge fan of well mixed album artist albums, like what Activa did on Origins and many others. I prefer a whole well mixed journey. Shame that isn't one of them. Just saying...
Honestly I think this pricing is horendous too. How could you charge the same for both CD and digital? This makes no sense what so ever! 😑
 

Freezer

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Too harsh guys!
No need to retire, I still DO think he is doing pretty good...the only thing he is doing totally wrong is the aliases selection for his tracks. Its like a total randomizer!!
Im not sure if MIKE decide on his own on which alias he would pick for his tracks, but probably yes. I mean, I would help him, if he would hire me :D But, he does not like me so much, despite me being probably one of his top 3 fans in the world. I was so critial about some of his post 2008 releases and he told me few times, that Im stuck in the past (he actually acuesed me of being Daysleeper :D )

Well after a few more listens, I think there are some tracks which could be Push, like Drifting In The Zone with that cool gated synth melody in the middle...or Formality which sounds like Till We Meet Again part 2 (I would just drop of that car alarm sound in the middle).

I would kick those drumcode-like techno tracks out of this album and add some more trancy ones (like the last track on FSOE, which is more Push than any track of the album) or tracks like Remind or In The Dark You Shine and it would be pretty good album.