Posted on

On repeat: Satellite


50-01I find it intriguing to see people’s reactions when they find out I listen to (and love) trance music. Yes, it’s technically rave music, but you’d be surprised how most of these tunes are so chill and *pun-intended* en-trancing. The genre itself is basically a baby, as it only appeared less than 50 years ago, yet it’s evolving quicker than any other genre. Trance today is synonymous with mainstream EDM – it doesn’t even sound the same as it was just 5 years ago, and 5 years ago, it didn’t sound like it did 10 years ago, and so on and so forth. IMO, the golden era was during the whole time Armin van Buuren stayed on top as the world’s #1 DJ (by DJMag‘s annual Top 100 DJ standards) – during those years, the industry’s produced countless records that would go on to become classics. One of the many is OceanLab‘s Satellite, a song no true progressive trance fan will ever get tired of listening.

I was sold the first time I heard the breakdown of the original Above & Beyond Mix (Above & Beyond is the trio DJ who specially collaborated with vocalist Justine Suissa to form OceanLab) – it’s my all-time favorite spins of the tune, but I’m starting to like the Seven Lions Mix over time. Though I’m not a big fan of dubstep, somehow the tranquility of the melody and the breakbeats come together, so much so that these days I keep hitting repeat on my iTunes. It’s such a versatile track sonically, that any DJ can morph it into almost any version he or she likes, hence the many, many remixes out there. This doesn’t mean the original Satellite hasn’t got depth, departing from the famous words of Myon & Shane 54’s Mario Egeto in Not A Lot Left: “If you take away the majority of dance songs, and strip away the dance beat, there’s not a lot left!” So yeah, not a track for the pure movers and shakers, but the Seven Lions Mix is a great tune to have in the background for when you’re trying to seek a little thrill, but also to just chill.

If you’re not yet familiar with OceanLab before this post, I dare you not to obsessively repeat the whole Sirens of the Sea (2008) album wherever you go – it’s perfect for singing, perfect for driving, perfect for when you’re taking a bath, perfect for working out, and perfect for going to sleep as well. And if you must know, yes, I was a huge Above & Beyond fan.



Follow on Bloglovin

or find me on


Posted on

3 jams I can’t get off my head right now



I can still distinctly remember the last time I went clubbing: summer of 2009 – just before my so-called depression era and the year-long absent period.

alex-morph-prime-mover-the-remixes-our-personal-picks-youredmBut for many reasons other than the brazen addictive nature of it, I can’t get trance out of my life.

It’s like therapy even up till now, and I suspect it will last for a very long time. I used to have a really (and I mean, really) wide variety of music on my playlist before trance came along.

Safe to say that I was a totally different person than who I am today. Either that or I’m simply breaking out off the extrovert shell I’ve carefully molded over the years.

But put me on a dancefloor this minute with progressive beats and sync a couple of vocal trance in the background, and I’m off the ultra-tense exterior I now put on every day.

Here are the bombs:


1. Eternal Flame (Solarstone Pure Remix)
– Alex M.O.R.P.H.

BPM: 136
Release Date: July 26, 2013
Record Label: Armada
USD 1.99 @ Beatport

This is my personal pick from the Prime Mover remixes bundle. I think I could last a full night’s loop of the tune. It’s pure bliss – as if you’re in another world. Like when I danced in heels for a straight 4 hours during AvB’s line up at the 2008 LoveFest Afterparty and remained euphoric throughout. Alex M.O.R.P.H. has a got dozens of remixes I’ve loved throughout his decade-long career, particularly nailing it on his B2B remix of DJ Shah & AvB’s “Going Wrong” with Woody van Eyden, as well as the more recent remix of The Thrillseekers’ super old hit (in trance history), “Synaesthesia“.


2. Strangers ft. Tove Lo
– Seven Lions with Myon & Shane 54

BPM: 128
Release Date: August 20, 2013
Record Label: Casablanca Records
USD 1.29 @ iTunes

Guess what, this is the first time I spotted a trance tune on a Hollywood movie soundtrack (“Strangers” appears on the “Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” official soundtrack)! Also my first time listening to the vocals of Tove Lo, and she’s a different breed from MS54’s usual sidekick, Aruna, though equally ethereal. But I’ve been a longtime fan of MS54’s productions and remixes alike – I voted for them as one of the five spinners on DJMag’s annual Top 100 DJ voting for the last couple of years, though AvB’s still off the charts consecutively. I suggest you start educating yourself with their stuff by subscribing to their FREE weekly podcast, International Departures.


3. Go It Alone (Andrew Rayel Remix)
– Dash Berlin ft. Sarah Howells

BPM: 132
Release Date: September 2, 2013
Record Label: Aropa Recordings
USD 2.49 @ Beatport

I’ve been in love with Sarah Howells’ voice since Lange’s epic 2008 record, “Out of the Sky”. The Kyau & Albert-remixed version still gives me the chills. Though trance is starting to become mainstream today and I’m all nostalgic about the classics, this is one of the tunes that caught my attention throughout the build-up.

What about you? What have you been listening to lately?



Posted on

Fitness Journal: 2 common terms often used in sports

3.03 mi run in 29:35 min (pace: 9’47″ / mi)

Music: International Departures with Myon & Shane 54 Episode 137




Andain’s “Promises” (Myon & Shane 54 Summer Of Love mix), playing at 132 bpm (beats per minute), always pumps me up. Every once in a while, the beat triggers an unexpected energy, and I can suddenly dash from all the heavy huffing and puffing.


Honestly, I enjoy running longer better than faster but in intervals of walking/sprinting. I used to run a well-worth of mileage per week a couple of years ago, and I’m slowly remembering those memories I keep to myself when I wake up to greet the morning sunrise along the San Francisco bay.

Since I’ve decided to shift my focus from building a strong body to a performance that lasts longer, I decided to focus on never stopping to walk until I reach my goal distance. This builds endurance, not speed. I think speed will eventually follow once my body is used to running greater distances. I want to focus on increasing mileage volume per week now instead of being a watchdog of my pace at each workout.

Just 2 workouts and I’ve already built this much mileage:

2.01 + 3.03 = 5.04 miles 

I think, previously, I couldn’t even go as far as 2 miles in a single workout. I pushed the idea of immediate gratification (to unleash my inner moxie) away, and instead save it for later to push me at the last mile of a workout. It is desperate to run faster at the first mile after my warmup, but I said to it: “Calm down, my dear. You’ll be able to run for me in a minute.” And another minute, and another minute. From the outside, it might seem crazy to talk to yourself like that, but as human beings we need to tame our ego so that we’ll be able to run better for long-term success (though in this case, long-distance).

So, for the sake of persevering, I should’ve been more realistic… -_- Last week right after I finished my 10k race, I set a goal to run a weekly mileage of 13.25 miles. This week is also my first week being hired post graduation. I no longer hold 100% control of my time and it didn’t occur to me that I’m going to have to set more achievable goals as of right now.

The weekly mileage I ran 2 weeks before was a good 6.93 miles. I think I can make time for another 2 miles tomorrow to add up to a total of 7.05 miles this week.

This is what I’ve crossed off from my plan so far:

In addition to the 3 miles I ran today, I also added a 24-minute cross-training workout on the elliptical machine for my resistance training.

I know I’ve mentioned the term resistance training for quite a while now, but most non-runners are not very familiar with the concept. Same goes with the term cross-training.

Let me explain.

Resistance training is a form of strength training. That said, the goal is to build muscle strength on the targeted spots in which you perform your resistance exercise. An important component of resistance training is pushing against added force, or as most would say, “carrying a load”. This is completely different from running, where you completely rely on your body weight to move forward against the air.

Because I am shy at the gym (though it doesn’t seem so), I don’t like to perform my resistance training in the weight room (i.e. using dumbbells to perform certain moves for 24 minutes while L-men models are wondering what the heck is this little girl doing in the same room as they are), and I always use the exercise machines that are closest to the corner.

Anyway, that’s irrelevant.

The point is, there are many ways to perform resistance training besides on a single exercise machine. But I find that the elliptical machines especially work from your toes all the way up to your lower abs. Those are the muscle areas most women are weakest at, and it was effective for me to activate the dead muscles I have on my butt whenever I sit down for hours (or sleep) and read too much novels.

That said, you can actually get creative when planning to do a resistance training workout. Another term normally used in sports terminology is something called circuit training, which I’ll explain next time. But that is the creative part of designing how you want to do your workout. Ideally, it should be challenging enough, but the most important something is that you enjoy doing it.

My resistance training today is, simply, playing up the resistance levels on the elliptical machine. Let me give you a clearer picture of my workout just now:

00:00 – 05:00 – Level 7
05:00-06:00 – Level 14
06:00 – 07:00 – Level 7
07:00 – 08:00 – Level 14
08:00 – 09:00 – Level 7
10:00 – 11:00 – Level 16
11:00 – 12:00 – Level 8
12:00 – 13:00 – Level 16
13:00 – 14:00 – Level 8
15:00 – 16:00 – Level 18
16:00 – 17:00 – Level 19
17:00 – 18:00 – Level 9
18:00 – 19:00 – Level 25
19:00 – 20:00 – Level 24
20:00 – 21:00 – Level 23
21:00 – 22:00 – Level 22
22:00 – 23:00 – Level 21
23:00 – 24:00 – Level 20

It’s proven an effective way to build and maintain muscle strength for my lower-body. By adding this weight-loading exercise into my routine, I enhanced my overall running performance through working out the weakest parts of my body.

Working different muscle groups from the ones that you normally work is the most basic concept of cross-training. For swimmers who normally swim, it is beneficial for them to run once or twice a week, which will further improve their swimming performance by working more muscle groups than the ones they routinely use when swimming. Same goes for biking and hiking, golf and soccer, yoga and dancing, and many more combination of activities.

I believe every single person in this world loves a certain kind of activity. Be it for relieving work stress, giving you confidence, spicing up your sex life, or just making you feel good, I always encourage the people around me to go out and do it.

For me, it’s running – It’s a means to enjoy my time, to discipline myself, to clear my head, to liberate my mind, and free my soul.

I believe most hobbies and activities do the same for every one, and I sincerely urge you to get up from your desk and do it now, for health’s sake.


Posted on

My A|X Music Series collection

Hey everyone. I just found out today that the full compilations of A|X Music Series are available for purchase on iTunes store!

I may be late to find out about this, but as you may have already know that I’m clearing up my stuff here in San Francisco to go back to Jakarta for good in less than 2 months! 10 August 2012!! So excited and I can’t wait for my summer semester to begin next week, and that I have to go through 3 major classes in less then  8 weeks. So psyched.

So, as I was clearing up my wardrobe, I found my old CD collections that I’ve consistently purchased at the retail store whenever I go shopping at Armani Exchange.

According to iTunes, the only ones I’m missing right now are Vols. 11 and 16, mixes done by Robbie Rivera and Fedde Le Grand respectively. Honestly, I’m a so-so fan for these DJs because they’re mostly doing house stuff, whereas these 4 volumes I have in my hand are straight progressive and trance tunes. But, for the sake of collection, I’m having a dilemma whether I should purchase the physical album for volumes 11 and 16 (through Amazon, or whatever way I can find) or just purchase the digital tunes on iTunes store.

Apparently, Vol. 17 is just out and you can download them from the A|X LIFE website. This time it’s 3 CDs, which is more than any other volumes from the series. I guess Tiesto’s working hard again to support his new family (He just got married a couple of years ago and has a daughter now :D).

I know I may not sound like a party girl or whatever, but dance music has just been like a drug for me (Check out my music page). I used to be that kind of girl back then in the late 2007s till at the end of 2009, I think. But, coming out of the nightlife scenes and events like EDC or LoveFest, the only thing that left behind in my life is solely the music, not the lifestyle.

I won’t touch anymore on that subject. I just want to share this wonderful collection to anyone who wants to know what classic trance sounds like, before David Guetta took over the spot as the #1 DJ on the DJMAG’s annual Top 100 DJ list last year and transformed trance into mainstream pop music.

I used to love David Guetta very much, though. I could never stop listening to this:


Some of the old tunes that I still listen in these 4 volumes are the following:


Maybe it seems hard to believe, but listening to 120 bpm (beats-per-minute) tunes actually calms me down instead of making my adrenaline rush. It’s like bittersweet dark chocolate for the brain, I think. Without the calories of course.