Trust us, we know this year has been packed full of unwarranted surprises, (COVID-19 we’re looking at you!) Although not all arrivals have been bad, especially when it comes to Calvin Harris’s new acid house alias, Love Regenerator. For those who don’t know, Calvin Harris is the first stage moniker of Adam Wiles, one he’s worn for over 12 years. During this time, the Calvin Harris alias took on a life of its own, enlightening the globe with DJ superstardom. Yet its wake rendered personal negative connotations for Wiles, as Calvin Harris’ fame grew so did his worries of how it would be perceived by outside forces.
Looking back on Wiles’ discography, the first signs of a musical redirection show after the release of his 2014 album Motion. Slowly but surely we hear a shift from pop-friendly hits held to slick, digital standard and find a more vibrant, enthusiastic vibe. A vibe well demonstrated in Calvin Harris’ 2017 album, Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1.; a flawless, versatile production packed fulled of funky and infectious tunes.
Undoubtedly still feel-good “pop”, it hosted a fantastic list of collaborations, possibly first sparking Wiles’ own musical rediscovery. A rediscovery that has long been brewing, as Wiles revealed in an interview with BBC Radio 1’s Annie Mac:
“I am now solely in the business, and have been for the last four years, of making music to make me feel good in the hope that it makes other people feel as good, or even just a little bit as good and improves their day.”
Music made to make us feel good? Now that sounds like something we can all get on board with! Yet it doesn’t mean that we’ve seen the last of Calvin Harris; the proof being his recent single Over Now with The Weekend, released last month. Surprisingly enough, Over Now is Calvin Harris’ first release since his early 2019 single Giant with Rag’n’Bone Man. It’s now apparent that this gap of silence held the genesis of Wiles’ alias Love Regenerator.
The rebranding launch of Love Regenerator
In early 2020 Wiles unveiled his newly fathomed project Love Regenerator, tapping into the sound and feel of his debut I Created Disco days. Feeling less pressure has payed off, as Love Regenerator’s creative processes are absolutely thriving in this new experimental zone. Since DMNW first covered the arrival of Love Regenerator eight months ago we’ve received an incredible amount of new music, four EP’s and a single in total. Either feeling fueled by the freedom or just finally ready to share, we’ll take it! If you’ve missed these gems don’t worry, we’ll jump into that next!
Kicking off the start of the Love Regenerator era begins with the first EP of the series, Love Regenerator 1. Carrying both Hypnagogic (I Can’t Wait) and CP-1 it dosed heavily with 90’s rave nostalgia. With trippy, twisting synths Hypnagogic (I Can’t Wait) soars, reaching new heights when the piano sample hits. On CP-1 it’s pure austere techno, simple yet effectively hard hitting with an underground feel. Give a listen to both of these tracks here!
Three weeks after Love Regenerator sent our heads spinning with his first EP, the second arrived, carrying his heart on its album sleeve. Not literally, however Love Regenerator 2 did invoke a strong ‘love’ theme within the track titles The Power of Love II and Regenerate Love, arriving on Valentine’s Day didn’t hurt either! With minimal disco elements and a groove-provoking bassline, The Power of Love shines as a bright, uplifting house single. Switching over to Regenerate Love steers us right back to techno, yet more melodic than before with some pretty saucy synths that’ll make you want to move! Check out both of these tracks here!
By mid-March, Love Regenerator’s third EP appeared, Love Regenerator 3. This time holding three new tracks: Give Me Strength, Peace Love Happiness, and Peace Love Happiness – Acid Reprise. Pure energy courses through Give Me Strength, delving out techno percussive elements that complement its darker, kinetic feel. In Peace Love Happiness affirmation outpours from a rich, male voice echoing the track’s title, smoothly building time and again with each euphoric drop. As for Peace Love Happiness – Acid Reprise Love Regenerator lessens the BPMs and rearranges the track’s atmosphere by fluidly dropping it through it an acidic mirrored lens, resulting in a modified texture. Give a listen to all three right here!
Finishing out Love Regenerator’s current discography ends with his fourth EP, Moving as well as his phenomenal single Live Without Your Love with Steve Lacy. Moving features UK house DJ Eli Brown in collaboration on both tracks, Moving and Don’t You Want Me. Together these two artists reworked 90’s releases Music Is Moving from Italian artist Fargetta and Don’t You Want Me by NY’s Finest. Doing so pays homage to their early roots, although each remake dives deeper and darker than their originals. Tailored with distorted synths and imploring bass lines it’s a must listen, found right here!
Last but certainly not least is Live Without Your Love featuring Californian singer Steve Lacy. Keeping the deep club ambiance this track pulses with a sensual bass line, sweetened by Steve Lacy’s soft, sultry vocals. Leaning towards a more approachable pop and R&B feel this single is ready to do damage on the dance floor. Released on house label Defected Records, the single already has over 10 million plays on Spotify alone. There’s even four official remixes available, from the likes of Mark Broom, Honey Dijon, MK, and Solardo, you’ll have to choose your own favorite!
The best is still yet to come
One of the greatest aspects of a passion project is just that, the passion involved. As in each of Love Regenerator’s EPs we witness a significant transferral to techno and breakbeat, genres that first sparked Wiles’ interest in electronic music. Within a press release on Love Regenerator 1 Wiles spoke on his ambitions and new direction:
“I wanted to rediscover the way I originally began producing music 22 years ago before I ever thought about how it might be perceived by outside forces. Just pure fun and experimentation with what sounded good to me. The records are inspired by early rave, breaks, techno and house, the music I was obsessed with growing up. In fact, I’ve done everything I can to make them sound like they’ve come from a 1991 time capsule. Every synth and sound used is from that time period.”
We’re sure that the best is still yet to come from Adam Wiles; no matter the alias he uses, we’ll be listening!
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