The Weekly Froth! A weekly take on six tracks, most of which have recently popped up somewhere in the blogosphere. Bit of a mixed bag with a slight leaning towards house, disco, and remixes, but generally just anything that for some reason tickled the writer’s fancy.
Track of the week: ‘Down To Earth’ by Flight Facilities (Sean Glass remix)
Sean Glass comes in with a little beat here, but as the synths appear soon the tone starts to become apparent. The synths are relatively slow, relatively melancholic, which gets relatively counterbalanced by the sound that comes out from underneath. At about the minute mark you can hear the build-up nearing it’s climax, but instead of a major beat being dropped they shift up the synths. And for the second possibly climactic moment at about 1:30, again, they don’t go in all-out party mode, but instead they kind of strip the synths away for the percussion to take center stage, and with them Glass gives us the first taste of vocals. In the mean time he keeps working those big synth sounds, adding some layers underneath to give the track its rhythm. I love that strip down cue-the-bass moment at about 3:30, though the deep bass is quickly traded in for two layers of synths again (the big bold synth, and the happier, quicker one). The vocals now really start to enter the equation, logically being followed by the full fledged sound of the track, combining both of them. That’s a nice build-up, as you’ve already heard the big sounds before, and now they come back in again, but this time they get paired up with these soulful vocals. I like that he does return to that bass sound that got a brief moment of fame a couple of minutes before, I find it quite soothing when things go neatly round like that. It’s like all is well in the world when that happens, innit? It’s just a nice, accomplished track that does have some big sounds, but still has some restraint in its tone, instead of being just another full-on party track.
‘Make U Mine’ by Late Nite Tuff Guy
LNTG will try to get you on the dancefloor again, this time taking on ‘Gonna Make You Mine’, an Eighties track by Loose Ends. So he gets all those funky rhythm sounds in there, including that bass sound at about the 40 second mark, to make sure that the dancefloor certainly is an option. At the 1:30 mark you get some lighter instrumentals that come in, and just before the two minute mark those nice R&B vocals enter the fray as well. Those female vocals are getting some help from the boys at the back, before the honeyed male vocals come in to make it a duet, two people circling each other trying to make the other theirs (some people are going to feel lucky tonight!). I like the vocal shift at about 3:40, with the male vocals going deep, cheekily whispering “I’m gonna, gonna make you mine”, and I swear I already hear someone panting in the background (some people just cannot behave!). In the mean time, LNTG keeps this one throdding forward with, especially, the bass, which gets its moment in the spotlight around 4:40. Some nice R&B and soul flavors in this track to do some of that love dancing to.
‘Friends Of Mine’ by Ben Browning
You know that when any of the Cut Copy guys take the stage, it’s going to be catchy and fun. This one starts nice and light, then you get some of that percussion in, after which a deeper, lazier synth balances the track out. But when the bass enters at about the fifty second mark and the happier synthesizer line is the second main sound, that is the point where the track really shifts it’s focus to having fun and getting some dancing done. The vocals come in shortly after, singing about when he takes a step back instead of going gung-ho forward, he will find Friends of Mine (well, his, obviously) still there. And that’s worth some celebrating, I reckon. Again, the happy synth line and the bass make this so catchy and easy to have a little party to, and it is one of those tracks where I can see myself at some sort of beach party dancing as the sun goes down.
‘Celeste’ by Bicep
The duo of Bicep starts this one off with some percussion (and some ominous, dark sounds in the background. Don’t think I don’t notice you, shadows of the damned! *waves fist in the air*). Shortly after this deep beat comes in, really taking the tone into the depths of middle earth. Then an equally deep bass comes in, but also these atmospherical, haunted vocals arrive, which gives it this ethereal quality. So these vocals are moved more up front, and start to transmorph into genuine female vocals, whilst all these deep rhythm sounds keep going at it in the background. They get counterbalanced at one point by a lighter piano sound, though that doesn’t take away from the fact that this is one to play at 04:00 at a Berlin club somewhere, one of those where you need to descent a stair to get there. The piano does, at one point, move more up front in the mix, making a nice combo with the distant vocals. In the mean time, the percussion has never lead up, and will guide you towards the end of this nice deep dance track with some of that atmosphere to boot.
‘Ain’t No Mountain’ by LeSale
LeSale goes for the homerun here, editing one of those iconic songs that everyone can sing along to. His intent is clear right from the start, with the drums, percussion, and the synths that swell up to epic proportions even before the first minute is over. The minute mark sees the addition of even more booming sounds, including a bass, and he keeps building it to, obviously, the point that the vocals are going to come in. This happens just after the second minute mark, in as dramatic a fashion as you’d expect. The track has attitude and flair, and LeSale makes sure that doesn’t go lost when the girls enter the stage. He reels them back in, going for a stretch of percussion and bass before the synths start to swell up again to build towards the second round of vocals, which arrive just before four minutes are over. I love the transition from the chorus to the “ohh-hoo-ho-hoo-ho” vocal lines that have the bass and beat under it (and later, the percussion), it gives the chorus a nice bit of extra padding that he didn’t bring the first time around, making sure it isn’t just the same thing twice. This is the kind of thing that is go bold or go home, and LeSale keeps it fun and knows to enter the vocal parts with a punch, because everyone wants to scream along with that at the top of their lungs. Because, you know, There ain’t no mountain high enough! Ain’t no valley low enough! Ain’t no river wide enough! To keep me from getting to you babe! So you better know I’m coming sweet cheeks.
‘Listen To My Music’ by DJ Pupo
How about some of those tribal drums to get this one deep and going? I love the big, bad beat just throbbing forward, but the small percussion elements to keep it on its toes. At the 45 second mark you get some of those African rhythms in, helped also by a vocal line. The bell starts ringing as the male vocals do their talking in a language I’ve got no idea about (and this time, I’m fairly confident a reasonable bunch of you won’t either, so no blaming my education here!). Then both male and female vocals implore you to Listen, though probably you will be feeling all those drums and percussion elements as well, as the track really lays down this nice rhythm you’ve just got to be jacking your body to. At about the three minute mark he dials it down for just a moment, taking the big beat away, obviously building back to another strong rhythm element to take over again. That’s probably the greatest thing about this one, it’s got the big rhythm element he knows to ride, but he has all these amazing auxiliary sounds to give it some edge and to keep it fresh. Especially since they really add and not distract to the feel of the track. Which is, by the way, very body oriented. Its just got all those rhythm vibes that are there to feel, so no wonder it gets a release via the Boiler Room.