One of our favorite aspects of electronic dance music is its ability to transport us to another world, and our friends at Cool Pony Music understand those feelings as well as anyone.
Having set out to transform the electronic dance music experience, this Texas-based artist collective is doing just that. Founder Mark Stitts set out on a mission to go beyond a traditional record label and has seen his vision ignite over the past year.
A confluence of unprecedented electro house, sensory-stimulating light shows, and breathtaking choreography, Cool Pony has created an event/music production hybrid that is unlike anything witnessed throughout the saturated landscape of electronic dance music.
Label member Strand has been an integral part of chasing that vision.
A professional entertainer since age 10, Strand has choreographed hip-hop conventions around the country, performing with Chris Brown before bringing his energy to the collective. Adding a unique and indispensable element to the Cool Pony experience, Strand has gifted us with a 10-track album that is a masterful electro/progressive house journey.
Wasting no time flipping the switch, Strand maxes out the energy from the first second of the opening track “Come Down”.
Anyone who has been truly enraptured in a blissful, musical moment – whether at an event or through active listening – understands what it means to be taken to new heights by music. This electro-pop masterpiece elevates us, magically narrating the rollercoaster of emotions that we experience along those harmonious journeys.
The second track, “KTBO (Knock The Bottom Out)”, does precisely what the title suggests. Escalating the momentum created in the opener, Strand unfastens the restraints with an intense, trance-like melody that quickly cascades into an all-out electro house onslaught.
“Another World” solidifies the theme of aptly-titled tracks. Haunting masculine vocals waste no time reeling in the listener, as syncopated blips invite the feminine articulations that intertwine for an emotion-inducing auditory experience. While the entire album demonstrates the production prowess of Strand, the progression of “Another World” may be the preeminent exhibition of his skill on the album.
As the story progresses, “Real” snaps us back to reality, demanding your attention before hypnotizing you all over again. This is by far the easiest song to completely get lost in the moment with.
If you need a jolt of energy, take this shot of “Adrenaline” as the remedy you seek. Driving bass kicks and scaled percussion combine like atmospheric instability and wind shear to create the aural equivalent of a Texas twister. If intensity is what you seek, throw on track number 5 and adjust your bass to maximum levels.
Track number 6, “Everybody Bounce”, is a full-blown dance party at the push of the button. Deviating between stank-face inducing dubstep rips, diverse vocal distortions, and the electro house stylings prevalent throughout the entire EP, this one commands your respect. Proceed with caution.
Just when you were ready for a breather, “Wait For You” scales it back for the most melodic composition of “Another World”. The story of love is one we can all relate to and Strand beautifully narrates it.
“Blown” switches up the pace, but only momentarily. Opening with a more rhythmic, sensual advance, this one will capture your attention before slapping you in the face with some of the filthiest sequencing you are guaranteed to have heard in a long time. Blown is a fitting adjective, as that term is precisely what will describe your mind once the final note fades.
Don’t let the delicate name fool you; “Butterfly” packs equal intensity while maintaining a dulcet refrain. Close your eyes, get lost, and feel yourself flying away.
The final tune is a fitting capstone to this acoustic campaign. Imagine yourself enthralled in a main stage experience as you close out an unforgettable festival weekend. “Beautiful” is exactly the kind of anthem you would find bellowing through the speaker stacks.
Another World is out now and can be ordered on iTunes here. Grab your copy, tune in, and turn up.