11 Colyn Tracks You Should Know
Jan 18, 2023
Ana Monroy Yglesias
6 min read
The buzz around Dutch DJ and producer Colyn began to swell and travel beyond his home city of Amsterdam in 2019 with "Amor," his first release on Afterlife, heard in sets from Tale Of Us, Mind Against, Joris Voorn, and more. He's gone on to release three EPs on Afterlife, and his tracks have continued to get support from big names in melodic house and techno. And while Afterlife has been a significant part of his career success, and the beloved label heads find alignment in his sound with theirs, he pushes the boundaries on the popular subgenre, giving it his own touch and nuanced flair.
If Colyn's name is new, it's time hear what all the buzz is about for yourself! And if you're already a fan, it's always fun to listen back, learn more about your favorite tunes, and find some new ones. Read on to dive into 11 essential Colyn tracks, including two great remixes.
1. Oxygen Levels Low
The title track on Colyn's most recent release on Afterlife, released April 2022, is a strange and enchanting seven-and-half-minutes of tension and release, on which a robotic voice repeatedly, coolly announces "Danger." "Oxygen Levels Low' is definitely a song where I tried to push the boundaries a little bit. Every new work I put out, I want to try to raise the bar, personally. And I think what’s fun about it is it’s a bit more of a rough, clubby track than people are used to for me," Colyn explained in an interview ith Beatport.
2. Wait For You
The second track on the four-tracker, Oxygen Levels Low, follows the title track's dark, brooding, and left-field vibe. It's a driving peak-time heater with a catchy and sharp '80s-leaning synthwave-esque aesthetic. Two-thirds in, the track explodes with a chorus of arpeggiating stabs, swelling strings, and a distorted voice declaring he's done waiting for you. A great track to surrender to the sound and dance off a breakup or unrequited love.
While making his Cercle debut at the stunning Jatayu Earth’s Center in Kerala, India, where he played beside the country's largest bird statue, Colyn unveiled "Jatayu" about halfway through the set. "Waiting for reality to show its face," the track begins, as the camera shows a bird's eye view of the venue, the bird's claws high in the air along with the crowd's hands. Cercle Records dropped the upbeat, synthy record the same day in celebration of his show.
"Resolve" is Colyn's most Shazamed track and is the title track of his first EP on Afterlife, which dropped in 2019, just a few months after "Amor." It's a dark melodic techno banger with a deep, thick bassline. Haunting horns cut in at the two-minute mark as the track continues to build. Stuttering sound design shimmers as an angelic voice floats over wild flute flourishes.
"Eriador," named after a region of the fictional hobbit and elf inhabited Middle Earth, continues the mythic journey that "Resolve" began. There are rolling, sputtering synths and more of that captivating digital, otherworldly flute. The eight-minute journey of a track was a regular in Tale Of Us' sets that year.
As mentioned in the intro, "Amor" was the track that put Colyn on the global map. It was his first release on Afterlife, part of the 2019 Realm Of Consciousness Pt. IV compilation album, a collection of then-new tunes from "artists whose work has shaped [Tale Of Us'] sets in recent times." Here we get a taste of the quintessential Colyn sound: a journey of pristine sonic sorcery led by a driving, deep bassline and tasteful synths, thoughtfully sprinkled with captivating, surprising flourishes.
7. Patterns (feat. Maurits Colijn)
The Patterns EP was his second on Afterlife, released in 2020, and opens with a title track featuring vocals from his older brother Maurits Colijn. In addition to his sonically intricate peak time bangers, Colyn is a master at producing gorgeous, restrained, slower-tempo tracks. "Patterns" is a great example of the latter, a gorgeous, introspective, deep house track with melodic elements and his brother's haunting voice. Colijn sings, "We keep falling back into these patterns, but these patterns are destroying us." As we continue to examine our societal challenges to build a better future this is a fitting anthem to leave an unhealthy relationship, be it with a lover, job, or Instagram.
8. Bridges In The Sky (feat. Maurits Colijn)
Colyn has also found support from the Aussie trio RÜFÜS DU SOL, who've put out two EPs of his on their Rose Avenue label. Two-tracker Bridges In The Sky is his second EP on Rose Ave. and was his first release of 2021. The title track features both echoing synths and reverberating vocals from Colyn's brother. It's a deep and sparkling track to welcome in the night sky.
9. RÜFÜS DU SOL - Wildfire (Colyn Remix)
For their 2022 Surrender remix package, RÜFÜS DU SOL tapped big names in house, techno, and tech house to bring new life and flavor to their emotive 2021 album. Colyn's remix of "Wildfire" is spectacular. A dark synthy, trippy reimagining and expansion of the vulnerable, brooding slow-burner of a track. He adds a killer kick, thick bassline, and moody synth flourishes to bring the "Wildfire" to the dancefloor. Even after the speeding up the BPM, RÜFÜS vocalist Tyrone Lindqvist's voice still shines on the remix.
10. Armin van Buuren, AVIRA, Be No Rain - Hollow (Colyn Remix)
As a teen, Colyn first fell in love with electronic music when he discovered trance around 2001. He still loves those early trance superstars, including Dutch legend Armin van Buuren, so getting tapped by him in 2022 for an official remix must've been a "pinch-me" moment. "Hollow," featuring AVIRA and Be No Rain, already has a deep house feel. Colyn's remix is deft and a bit left field for him, bringing it to a more progressive place, with a winking nod to his love of Buuren's old-school trance euphoria.
11. Editors - Kiss (Colyn & Konstantin Sibold Remix)
In this remix with German producer, Konstantin Sibold, Colyn takes a left turn throwing something different into his catalog. There's still his trademark pulsing synths and dark dancefloor energy, but the Editors are a British rock band that emerged with the post-punk revival of the new millennium. It's a perfect marriage of brooding alt-rock and current club sounds. The original "Kiss" has a new wave, New Order-leaning sound and euphoric energy. Colyn and Sibold bring it later into the night with a darker, deeper, more melodic sound, perhaps like the yang to the yin of the sweet beginning of the night that began with hopes of dancing with a lover.