Two mighty acts of the Progressive Trance world just came together for a very interesting collaboration. Read to find the songs, plus a word from the artists themselves.
TGIF, innit! Happy Friday, with “F” of “Finally Out”! For those who have followed either Norwegian duo The Blizzard or Chilean mastermind Paul Arcane (or both), it was as surprising as it was exciting to find out these two acts had a conjoint song in the works. After some weeks of teasing back and forth, the time has come for us to see what the fuzz was all about. They made sure to live up to the expectations!
A little insight on the minds behind ‘First Snow’
The Blizzard are a Progressive Trance duo comprised of Lars and Tore, two guys who’ve struck the world on numerous occasions with their moving chord progressions, sustained plucks, cube arpeggios, and infectious percussion. Out of the many songs they’ve produced over the years, the ones which have rocked the charts the most are ‘Kalopsia‘ and ‘Piercing The Fog‘. They recently released a version of Samuel Barber‘s ‘Adagio For Strings‘ — read our note about it right here.
Paul Arcane, on the other hand, is a Progressive Trance and Progressive House producer from Chile. He’s among the south American country’s best acts, having signed some of his records on top-notch labels such as Anjunabeats, Enhanced, and Euphonic. Not long ago, he formed the Organic and Progressive House duo oniricus alongside Roberto Legovini.
Lars, Tore, and Paul’s first song together ended up being not one, but two tracks making up the EP, but not the way you might think: there are two mixes of the same ‘First Snow’, one is mainly driven by The Blizzard, and the other is led by Paul. As straightforward as it may seem, the first one is called the ‘The Blizzard Mix‘, and the second one the ‘Paul Arcane Mix‘.
The Blizzard Mix
The Blizzard’s version of ‘First Snow’ is packed with signature Progressive Trance goodness, treating you to the sound of unmistakable Blizzard percussion, galloping with a simple, yet groovy, pluck bassline, and the melody and chord progression which rise together giving the song a trancier direction. The break is as trancy as you’re going to get: plucks slowly opening, along with pads, chords and textures. A continuous hike in tension is finally resolved by the drop, which, after 16 bars of one-note treats, brings the melody and the chords to their fullest, even adding a second melody behind.
Paul Arcane Mix
Paul’s take evokes the same feelings that The Blizzard do with their Trance, but with different elements: this version also makes you fly away and loses you in the eternal progressiveness of the beat. Rolling elements over a linear warm bass makes for a mouthwatering recipe. This ‘First Snow’ mix is also a tad more serious — call it, less bright — since the main melody is written a full octave lower, which adds for an even more impressive contrast between both versions. This song though, unlike the Norwegians’ take, never lets you go: once we transition to the break, some percussion stays, and so you’re never put to rest, which makes for a great track to play in a Progressive House set.
Interview: the artists’ words on working together
Despite coming from fairly cold countries (forget the Chilean summers, I’m trying to prove a point here), these guys are super friendly and warm. So much so, that they opened up to a mini interview about ‘First Snow’. Read on to dive into the collaboration, in their own words.
1. How did you guys meet?
The Blizzard: “We always loved Paul Arcane since the first time we heard his music. So Lars decided to reach out to him via Facebook.“
Paul Arcane: “Yes I remember we started chatting around the time I did my Group Therapy guest-mix, back in 2018! They liked my track ‘Synergy’, and I was truly honored because I pretty much love all The Blizzards stuff, they have so many great classics.“
2. How did you decide to collaborate on a song together?
The Blizzard: “After talking a bit we sent some parts from an unfinished song to Paul, which he liked. And here we are!“
Paul Arcane: “Yeah it took some time to come to fruition, months of revisions and back & forth but it was definitely worth it.“
3. Why go down the path of making two remixes out of a common idea, instead of the standard way of making only one song?
The Blizzard: “We thought it would be cool to have two different sounding mixes, one more trancy and one with that deep and organic sound.
We need to mention that Paul Arcane did help us quite a bit on The Blizzard Mix of the track. Having two mixes provides two different perspectives on the same song, and can be played in different settings. Sometimes you want high energy, sometimes you want flow.“
Paul Arcane: “Exactly. At the time we were working on this song, I was transitioning into a new sound too – from progressive trance to more deeper progressive hypnotic music. So it made sense to have 2 different flavours for ‘First Snow’.“
4. How do you see the future of Trance, is it making a comeback to the masses, is it shifting towards Progressive and Techno? What’s your point of view with respect to where Trance is heading?
The Blizzard: “Our perspective on the future of trance is that trance is like a chameleon in disguise. It’s ever-evolving and adapts and influences music genres in different ways. Just listen to some melodic house and you’ll hear it. In that regard we think the future of trance music is bright.“
Paul Arcane: “Good question, we’d have to define what Trance is nowadays haha! Because everyone might have a different definition, however I don’t like to think about music in genres or styles but in emotions and feelings. If my music can emotionally impact other people, then my mission is accomplished 🙂“
It’s always nice to see artists of the calibre of Lars, Tore, and Paul being so down-to-earth. Thanks so much for your contribution to Trance for all these years. I’m a great fan of the music written with love, and you three tick the boxes perfectly.
Their collab EP is out today on Andrew Rayel‘s Deeper Harmonies. Have a listen to both versions of ‘First Snow’ down below. Also, keep track of The Blizzard and Paul Arcane by following their Instagram accounts by clicking on the respective links.