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The Weekly Froth!

  • Published in Columns


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:  ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ by Chromatics

And who says that advertisements can’t lead to something wickedly good? Apparently, the new MANGO clothing line will be accompanied by a Chromatics take on Cindy Lauper’s '80s pop hysteria. The original track was girl power before Spice Girl power even got here, and seemed a sort of call up to all the girls to cut loose sometimes as well, get rid of the restrictions, and just have a bit of fun (as, you know, that is what girls want). In the hands of Chromatics, it turns into a wistful, wispy, wishful endeavour. Not a breaking out moment, but a moment of longing, of hope that, yes, one day you won’t be missing out anymore, but you’ll be running with the young and fool-hearted (in MANGO clothing, no doubt!). Chromatics just get that atmosphere spot on every time again, and surprisingly the lyrics suit it as well, sliding into the slow beat, the sad synths, and the soft percussion sounds with ease. It is also a lovely proof of how a different context can give something a new feel and a new function. Just ace, yet again, by that band.

‘Tall Stories’ by World’s End Press (Bottin remix)

This one starts out with some fast paced synths before the beat comes in to lend a helping hand. Not long after, another rhythm elements enters, followed by the rhythmic vocals. Add some more percussion in there, and you’ve got a track that paces forward, both because of the percussion elements, the beat, the synths, and the on-rhythm voice. Only around 1:40, during the chorus, do they get a different function (as well as that they go an octave higher). After that chorus there is a sort of synth-string section that comes in, after which Bottin strips out a lot, having just a couple of deeper rhythm sounds with the vocals as contrast. And that kind of works, the combination of the forward driving nature of the track along with the vocals and occasional string-like sounds, with the synths being Italian and high-pitched as well. After the four minute mark there’s a prolonged instrumental part, where the strings really get to work, which has a super nice effect. Bottin knows how to do this sort of thing, and here too he delivers, as the strong rhythm section is put into balance nicely by the higher pitched strings and vocals. Lovely work yet again right here.


‘I Couldn’t Fool Around No More’ by The Keeper

The Keeper gets the ol’ soul and R&B vibe going, first with some drums, then with the synths, and when the guitar comes in you know for sure. It’s got a bit of that love making pace going that soul music did so well, and it has all those instruments that befit that air. Then the vocals enter as well, singing that they Couldn’t fool around no more! The vocals are slightly back in the mix, but sometimes they are multi-layered and come through, with some extra emotion in the voice to really get that full effect. The guitar, in the mean time, gets plenty of time to add the right colours in there to complete the atmosphere as it sees fit. Add a dash of piano on occasion as well, and, voila, you’ve got the finished product. Around 3:35 the guitar really is allowed to scorch it all up, giving it some of that steakhouse blues vibe with that smokey sound. In the end the vocals repeat the title of the track, as love and lust still is that what makes the world go.


‘All My Lovers’ by Starchild & The New Romantic

Let’s get nocturnal with this starry-eyed track by Starchild & The New Romantic, giving us this cross of a jazzy soundtrack for Chicago at night and a more electro pop song. It starts out with laying down the feel of the track with some synths before, softly, the drums come in. The drums, however, turn more insistent as the time goes by, and they move this one forward. A floating, jazzy influenced layer gives us the atmosphere in which they sing that All my lovers they, look the same as you (if I hear that correctly). The higher pitched vocals are a nice contrast with the drums, giving the track a dash of emotion as well, with the nocturnal soundtrack having a slightly alienated layer too. The track was released last month on Ghostly International, which is always a lovely label to keep an eye on if you like this sort of thing.


‘Bird Matrix’ by Actress (Kid606 Dub)

Kid606 takes on ‘Bird Matrix’ by Actress, diving deep into the industrial sounds out of which, around the 44 second mark, a nice juxtaposing synth sound comes that, along with the slow beat, tries to fight for its space amongst the machinery and the soul-less. Later they get help as well, some floating synth sounds opening the track up a bit. And more instruments weave in and out of the track, taking the middle path of it and finding a way to put life in the industrial and mechanical sounds. Kind of as you are walking through all that is concrete in the city and there is that bright yellow flower growing, that is kind of what makes this track work so well. At one point Kid606 strips the beat and the percussion out, leaving us with different synths that each have their own function, and around 4:15 he brings it back in to help this song trod forward. It is a beautiful narration of urban life, with undertones of sadness, the mechanical, and beauty, the latter maybe highlighted so well because it’s contrasted in sound so nicely with the former in this slow paced walk through the industrial. I mean, those angelic sounds that suddenly come in around the seven minute mark, those are just the things that work, aren’t they?


‘I Can’t Go For That’ by Hall & Oates (Vito & Xavier No Teeth, No Marks mix)

This one starts surprisingly patient, with a beat that they ride for about forty seconds before some of those more disco sounding synths come in. A little guitar appears in the background as well, as the track really starts to appear through the more house-y vibe that Vito & Xavier go for. The vocals then come in, with at about 1:40 the first verse that is the starting sign to really go with the song from that point on. And obviously, we know this one, with after the verse the higher pitched vocals singing that they would do Almost anything you want me to, but obviously, he can’t quite Go for that. After that moment we get a nice little guitar riff to go with the chorus, after which they put in the horns, which then move away in favour of the bass and beat combo. Those more deep sounds get contrasted nicely by the higher pitched vocals of the Iiiiiii, would do almost anything you want me to, after which they then move to the chorus again. And even more horns! Who doesn’t want that? Don’t expect a major disco edit, but the beat and bass as the bottom layer sure provide some dancing fun on this Hall & Oates classic. We sure can go for some of that (...).



The Weekly Froth!

  • Published in Columns


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: B-Side - Zulu (MPJT edit)

I just love the groove this one starts with! Are you kidding me with all those separate elements. You’ve got the kick, but also the quick wood percussion, the bass sound and synth sound combo, and it just immediately has me hooked. Just before the minute mark another percussion element is added (or two, an extra one a little later), and the two men keep the rhythm high. At the second minute mark you’ve got talking vocals coming in, preaching about one thing or another with a bit of anger. At 3:30 there’s a bit of a change up, breaking up the groove for a minute, just to let it return after about twenty seconds with some more of that bass. When the vocals come in next they do so with an added round of cymbals to add a light sound to the percussion, which can be heard raging in the background. It’s pretty frantic back there, which, when the vocals subside, is dialled back in favor of a cleaner sound. I mean, these guys, let me tell ya, they just know how to do these things. Marc Pinol and John Talabot are experts in this field, and in this remix it shows again. The full-blown change-ups, the subtle alterations, and the mixing and matching of all those percussion elements to keep the rhythm on the go: it is all so fluent, and it certainly works like a madman. Even near the end, at about 6:30, they give the people just another little punch to get themselves in motion again. There’s just so much to love, I mean, really.


‘Gravity’s Angel’ by Laurie Anderson (Bottin Edit)

I love the slight space vibe that Bottin adds to that bass sound which he uses as the canvas for Laurie Anderson to croon over. And crooning it kind of is, with a surpising fragility to it. In the mean time Bottin adds a little bass line, though not as a continuous rhythm element. For that he uses that bass sound plus some synths. At 1:40 Bottin breaks it open with some drums and percussion, which then also form the rhythm elements during the singing, where previously there wasn’t one. So that’s how he adds a bit of pace to it. In the mean time some male vocals come in to help the female vocals out as Bottin adds more and more extra sounds that definitely help to cement the almost alienated feel, which heightens the almost in-the-spotlight loneliness of the singing. Though later she goes for the spoken word, which blends into the sounds quite perfectly. That moment at about 4:07, when she returns to singing, is completely in tune with the change-up in the sound as well. So really cleverly created this, with the kind of vocals that are on display here giving it this bit of extra uniqueness that’s always welcome.


‘Disco Fix’ by YSE Saint Laur’Ant

No points for knowing what this name is a punt on (unless you literally know nothing about fashion. Or pop culture. Or cultural memory. Or, well, life). YSE is not concerned about the pace with this one, just bringing you a cheeky bit of disco and soul, but old school, to do some slow twisting to. Primarily on the little bass line, that sounds more '50s than '70s NY. The vocals, especially, have that jazz club call & response thing with the band behind her going on, which give it this sense of fun. She is singing that you need to play that disco beat (which, ironically, is totally absent here), because she needs to get that disco fix. And if not, she is going to scream (she’s that kind of gal). It has this lovely lounge bass going on that primarily takes care of the rhythm, with some percussion in the back to help it out. The vocals, the backing band dynamic, and just how it leisurely trods on makes this an ideal download for some happy summer walks.


‘Bounce’ by Waze & Odyssey

How about some party house from the fellas of Waze & Odyssey eh? They get right into it with this one. They get the kick going, the little bass, the jittery synth line, and once in a while you get a soulfule male voice doing a “yeahhh-ehh-ehh” to just kick the house vibe up a notch. At the one minute mark they get the rhythm parts out, just having the synth there, which later gets some percussion help, primarily from the cymbals. At the two minute mark it gets the beat and bass back there for the dancefloor crowd to dance to. It uses the male voice nicely, not really to sing, but it gives you a good point to add a new instrument in there for instance. At one such point Waze & Odyssey use it as a cue to get some female vocals in there who, on repeat, say “bounce” whilst Waze & Odyssey slowly build the track down a bit. Obviously to come back with a vengeance at about 4:25. A good dancefloor track to keep the party a-rockin’.


‘Grit’ by Kasper Bjorke (Bryan Kessler remix)

Bryan Kessler is just a pitch away from starting this like a slasher B-movie (though the horse galloping in the background helps steer it away from that as well, to be fair, or does that only make it more Victorian Jack-the-Ripper like?). One thing is for sure though, it is a pretty deep&dark take on the Kasper Bjorke song, which is reinforced by all the atmospheric synths that enter the scene. Kessler takes his sweet time to get to the beat in this one, but after a complete break at the two minute mark he puts it in, adding a bass-y synth a bit later on. Still it is pretty deep, those rhythm elements don’t take away from that vibe. I love that sound that comes in at abou 3:02 or something, which unfortunately doesn’t stay for very long, just to come back at 3:38 as the main sound on top of the beat. That, too, gives it this immediacy, as if you are trying to run away from the Hack-n-Slash murderer on the loose somewhere (on horseback, probably). The whole of Kasper Bjorke’s After Forever album gets the remix treatment, with this one getting the deep and grind one. That original album, by the way, has some beautiful tracks on there, with my favorite being ‘Lies’, so if you haven’t had the chance to listen to that one, be sure to give it a whirl.


‘The Owner’ by NTEIBINT feat. Stella (Anoraak remix)

Love the claps at the start, that ‘s a good combination with the synths. The percussion comes in around the twenty second mark, and the piano that comes in at about thirty is absolutely lovely. All the rhythm and synth elements keep the pace up, and because Anoraak strips some down it seemingly lowers its speed when the nice, deep female vocals come in. Though halfway the vocal part the bass comes in to give it a bit of bounce. And slowly but surely more instruments come in again, and when the vocals subside a lovely, slightly aggressive piano enters to give it some punch before the vocals come back with a bit more emotion than before. It is quite amazing how all these layers work together and how smoothly they are being woven in and out of the line-up, with the vocals forming the anchor to an otherwise fairly fast paced affair. Around 3:40 he starts a patient break, where he strips most elements except for the vocals and one synthesizer, but slowly he starts piecing everything back together again, with around 4:50 putting it all in again for one more go around. Pretty nifty stuff again from Anoraak.


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