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: ‘Possess Me’ by Salamanca (Mike Burns edit)
Let the funkiness commence! Mike Burns starts this one with a funky guitar and bass combo before the singers come in, singing Possess me, take me now. So they’re not mincing around, these people are, that’s for sure. In the mean time the guitars do all the work, coming in from different angles at once as the drums and bass keep the rhythm going on top of which the singers sing Take me now. I like how the rhythm shifts on occasion, with sometimes the drums more prominent, and at other times the focus being more on the bass. In the mean time there’s always room for the funky guitars and the dirty dancing vocals. At the three minute mark they strip most aside from the rhythm, with the vocals being exchanged for some spoken word, as someone asks whether or not you like his super boogie woogie (which, dear lord, I hope is not a euphemism for something or another). That gives it kind of a hypnotic quality, especially as all them all so loyally announce that they Like it. As if, indeed, they are possessed by the hoodoo woman. Which is a nice little touch I must admit, and add the funkiness to it, and you’ve got a clever little dance number right here.
‘I Know There’s Something Going On’ by Frida (Lindstrom remix)
Probably you know Frida. Frida once won the Eurovision Song Contest as part of a little group called ABBA. However, what you might or might not know is that she has actually released solo material as well, and Lindstrom decided to take one of those tracks on and give it a little space & house twist. So you’ve got the space synths, the bassy sound and the drums to add rhythm, and loads of auxiliary sounds putting this one firmly on the moon (and you, perhaps, over). At about 1:37 you get some piano which sounds like its from the original, and soon after the vocals come in, which frankly don’t sound really earthly either. She puts her money where her mouth is though, as she sings that If you want to leave, then why don’t you say, you’re love has gone anyway (tell him like it is, hon!). There’s certainly something going on right here, let me tell you. I love the whispers in the background, and they do add to the whole court intrigue vibe of adultery and backstabbing. At about the halfway mark Lindstrom puts a major guitar solo in there, followed by a guitar+vocals combo. The original album was produced by Phil Collins, hence maybe why after the guitar we get some drums, and Lindstrom puts this one in a rocket and lets it fly off. It’s got this completely offbeat quality to it, a tremendous weirdness, which makes this one a different coloured duck in that pond full of swans.
‘Tearing Me Up’ by Bob Moses
Bob Moses first gets the beat and percussion working, and only after those have kicked it off he dives into some of these typical house sounds, using the keyboard to build up some noise before he comes in with a bass. Those vocals, those are spot on, they are spoken-word and deep voiced as they give you the low down on one narrative or another. After the first stretch of spoken word Moses hits the exact right instrument to get into the chorus, which sees more singing, though even that is pushed forward by the same, deep instruments. During the second verse he enlists a bit of help from the guitar, which is a nice little addition. I also just love that beat and bass combo that does the rhythm, sometimes together, though at other times one withdraws in favor of the other. It’s got some of that film noir, Chicago in the Forties style, where the up-tempo jazz band in a smokey pub way late at night is already preluding some hints of house sounds that would only come into play years and years later. Definitely scores high on style, and everything works together real well to keep the vibe consistent. This is a track that’s off of his album Days Gone By, one that might just be worth checking out.
‘The Right Time’ by Tuxedo (M+M '80s Classic Mix)
John Morales gets the proceedings underway with a bit of that bass and percussion action, all in that formidable disco style of course. And when you get that little guitar riff underway, then you know for sure you’re right there again. Then the male vocals enter, nice and soulful, first doing a vocal chord warm-up, and then getting some help from the other guys first as they are singing that they think that it is The right time. Then he starts singing solo, indicating that he’s got you on his mind, and he’s all pretty sure about it, as you are shining like a light in the nighttime, loving everything that you’ve got. In the mean time that bass is still rolling in its mid-pace strut, the percussion still helps out with the rhythm, and the riff and vocals make sure it’s disco in probably its most sugary way. Also note that, despite having plenty of opportunity, no gender is ever specified, which fits the genre quite well probably. Next to the four main elements that have already been mentioned, there are some other instruments helping out obviously, though these all weave in and out of the song on cue. It is some old school lovin’, the sweetest in its kind, and one for the lovers instead of those in lust.
‘Murmur’ by AKASE
AKASE is the duo of Harry Agius and Robbie Redway, combining industrial, cityscape sounds with clear vocals on the always electronical and experimental !K7 label. This song starts with some drumpad percussion, and soon a noise bass synth is added to fill in the empty spaces. On top of that you get the clear voice of Robbie Redway, that sometimes gets doubled by higher pitched vocals (though in the chorus the main voice is a bit higher as well). He asks you to Douce me, and incite me, if there is an undertone of sadness in my memory, that’s all I will see. Cut the corner, cut it now. As if it is a plea for rescue, though whether you are rescuing the narrator from the dark nooks and crannies of his mind/the city or you are rescuing yourself is, for me at least, quite up in the air. The soundscape that is created in the back is, as said, industrial, with dubby percussion filled by the noise of the city industry. !K7 have, yet again, found a wonderful example of this kind of sound, like they are prone to do, to everyone’s delight.
‘The Way She Goes’ by Prince Monaco
Prince Monaco gets gritty with this mixture of punk and industrial that, at one point, slides into dance music (preluded by handclap sounds and the increase in percussion). As one would almost half expect from anything from the Wolf vs. Lamb label. The dance part gets going when the bass comes in (you can rely on that bass to get the people getting it on, ya know). Don’t expect a smooth disco turn though, as even the bass is dirty, and that guitar that comes in later is as industrial as all the rest. But as said, it is not a clean, city kind of industrial, but a down-in-the-lowlife-burrows kind of dirtiness definitely puts its stamp on this song. Not to say that if they slide that bass in there, like around 3:40 for instance, you can’t do a little dance, even a choreographed one you’ve prepared in front of the mirror. Especially towards the end it does have a dash of funk in it as well. The feel definitely sets this one apart from a lot of offerings out there.