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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: ‘Nevermind’ by Leonard Cohen (PillowTalk Re-Rub)

How about we start with some of that bass, these lads must’ve thought. I also love that the second sound is this sort of amplified snapping-of-the-fingers. Leonard Cohen is doing his ultimate low voiced, spoken-word growl, which has something ominous about it. It gets balanced out a bit by the female vocals, though Cohen’s voice sure puts a stamp on this one. It goes lovely with that bass though, which keeps on rolling to make sure the boogie vibe is staying right there in the song. As said, PillowTalk makes sure there are some balancing elements, like the strings, like the female vocals, to make sure this one doesn’t slant too much over to the dark side (especially since, with Cohen’s vocals, you’re almost halfway there anyway, not to mention lines like “I could not kill, the way you kill”). I also like the cleanliness of the track. The bass and Cohen’s vocals are the mainstay, one taking care of the narrative, the other taking care of the boogie, and then there are a few elements thrown in there to take care of the balance, but which do not overcrowd it. A sweet combination it surely makes.


‘Combination’ by Woolfy vs. Projections

On the label of Permanent Vacation the people of Woolfy vs. Projections have a go at a slice of Deep House, which PV is kind of a quality stamp for. So here, too, it starts with a nice beat, but soon the rest of the percussion sounds come in, and that’s where the track starts to become fun. There’s this grainy, deep bass sound that gets thrown in there, just to be juxtaposed a little while later with a lighter synth sound. Around 1:40 there’s the space whirl, giving the track some atmosphere on top of the beat and that aforementioned bass. And so the guys add multiple instruments until they dial it down around 2:40, where they turn down the rhythm sounds for a moment, building up non-beat percussion elements up to the point where they slide the beat back in for the dancing crowd. There’s this nice change-up at around 3:45, where one synth sound is swapped for another, which does the trick in altering the tone somewhat. And these changes make sure the track doesn’t outstay it’s welcome, whilst in the mean time keeping the club side of it up so all y’all can do some dancing after midnight.


‘U Make Me Feel’ by Unique (Ilya Santana edit)

Around the mid Eighties there came Unique saying that she feels so good. And Ilya Santana recently felt good too, grabbing this one and putting his own spin on it. Which includes a kick, a nice bassline, and some high-pitched synthesizers to help out Unique, who comes in at about 1:10 to give it this emotional Eighties Funk & R&B slant. Then leave it to Santana to keep mixing all those aforementioned instruments and turn it into something that not only resembles the original, but even moreso resembles his own sound, which usually veers a bit towards the space disco side of the spectrum. This time, though, he freely twists that up a bit because of the main bass sound and the vocals, whilst also having some fun with those crazy synths in there. It’s got some nice Eighties flavour, a nice, funky bassline, and it exhumes some fun because it is, at times, a bit all over, as if someone was smiling when making this, transporting that to the dancefloor a bit with this Unique and Ilya Santana crossover.


‘In Infancy’ by Museum Of Love (Bottin remix)

Bottin really wastes no time laying down the feel of this one with some really specific sounds that he uses, this strumming guitar and this deep, bass like sound. Add another, more tingly, guitar sound, and you really have a particular feel out there which then gets trumped by the tropicana club feel after about forty seconds in, when the track starts to put in the rhythm sounds to give the audience some opportunity to do some dancing. Boy, those starting sounds had me blindsided there pretty good, as this tropical piano I had never seen coming. And it is that feel that really dominates the tone, so you get this cocktail-in-hand feel, but with some grit to it, to make sure no one is taking to the lounge chairs or anything. At about 2:40 the vocals come in, again giving a different flavor to the proceedings. After the vocals Bottin adds a bass to take over balancing duties, making sure the track never becomes just this or just that. At the five minute mark you get this lovely moment where the vocals go in chanting mode and you just have the bass, I really like that, and it is a nice set up for the final run of the track, which mood is a bit lighter again thanks to the guitar sound he throws in there.


‘The Bottle’ by Gil Scott Heron (Mike Simonetti 10:30 Bootleg)

How about a near 11 minute edit of a Gil Scott Heron track eh? One by Mike Simonetti no less, a sir who knows how to get people dancing in front of his DJ booth. With this one he is certain to put a nice bass in the background to make sure there’s something to hang your dance moves on, and other than that there’s loads of Gil Scott Heron and flutes and things. Really making sure that the rack is packed with plenty of vibes connected to the original. And yet, it is strangely party-ish, good natured, very let’s-be-dancing. Not in the least because of that quick bass in the back, which is dialed down around 3:30 where Simonetti lets the vocals and the percussion have a swing at it for a moment (or an afternoon, having a quite lengthy run up towards the moment the beat gets back in again, which is at about 5:24 after a percussion and rhythm solo of proper length). The bass rears its nose back in at about 6:10, and a good twenty seconds later you get the whole band back together, coming around again to this uplifting party feel that this track manages to exhume. Apparently Simonetti sometimes ends his sets with this and I, for one, would not be complaining if that would be bestowed upon to me.


‘Spirit Talkin’ by Dan Beaumont (Spencer Parker workmix)

The pace is set right from the start, going frantic with the beat and the additional percussion elements. So no slouching on this one, that’s for sure. Then again, the title already indicates that you should be working it, so nothing lied about that one there. Just after the minute mark you hear the first additional sound creeping up from behind the curtain of beats and percussion, and at 1:30 we start seeing where this is going. At about 2:10 we also hear the female vocals for the first time, indeed sounding like the Spirit is talking through her, giving it this gospel vibe that, somehow, goes nicely with the fast-paced beat that this track still has going on. A feel, by the way, which gets amplified by some additional piano Spencer Parker throws in there as well. And those two elements (vocals and piano) get their little moment in the sunshine around the halfway mark, where it becomes even more clear that it sure gets its inspiration from the Sunday morning sessions under the Lord’s guidance. After that little moment it also feels more and more like the beat is there to uplift, and not just to go at it hard. And because of how it turns from just hard clubbing at the start to this, it makes sure the track gives you a good nine minutes of feeling it.



The Weekly Froth! - July #2

  • 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: ‘Love Don’t Wait’ by Ron Basejam

That start, just freaking love it. Just starts out with all the funk it can muster, and when the vocals come in after about eighteen seconds so comes the beat. Thirty seconds in you get all those disco funk sounds of the '70s in their full glory. The vocals go “love don’t wait”, and neither does that bass, which together with the drums and that little guitar riff steal the show here. After the little drop at about 1:20 we get the female vocals starting to sing the verse, and she gets some help from those classic horn and string sounds that are just so characteristic to the genre. After the verse she sassily says that love just don’t wait for nobody (so honey, if you want to hop on, hop on, ‘cause I’m leaving thats whut aim sayin’, hmmm-hmmm). There’s a nice drum build-up in the fourth minute of this track, where Basejam just adds all those percussion sounds on top of each other until there’s no more percussion left, after which he adds a bit of piano to balance it out a bit. He rides this full sound out for a long while, though when he nears the very end he kind of tones it down a bit, though he keeps the drums up high in the mix until about 20 seconds before the very very end. It’s got all the goodness of the genre, and he just knows how to get the most out of things like this. Another ace tune here.


‘All For One’ by Bottin feat. Rodion

I like the cheeky way this one starts, with those synths and that talky voice. There’s just something a bit naughty to it, I feel. And spacey, especially when it enters the second minute and it gets that higher spaced out synth sound going. At 1:30 there’s the first real change-up, basically taking the rhythm synth out of there. After that period Bottin throws in a faster paced synth with a bit more of an italo vibe, though despite the change of pace he makes sure that the original sounds and vibes keep oozing out of there. Next time up there’s a bit of a change with a nice little bass, after which he ups the pace again to keep that dancefloor going. Throughout the song you have that mysterious, deep voice whispering in your ear, which I love. Just a really nice track that’s huge in its spaceness.


‘Take Me’ by Buzz Compass

This one starts out nice and deep, and within that deep core he starts to build-up some lighter sounds to get the tune more in balance. The deep rhythm is the heart of the track though, and within those city limits he plays around with some sounds that never veer away too much from that deep center. Just before the second minute mark there’s a nice, slight change, though at 2:30 he really changes it up for a moment. The track instantly steers away a bit from the deep rhythm (to return to that at around 3:20), and starts exploring the jazz clubs a bit with some more experimental sounds. As said, after that Buzz Compass returns to that deep rhythm again, which has been the heart of this track from the start. He then rides that one out until the very end.


‘You’ by Monsoon Season feat. Evelyn Joyce

I love the vocals that come in at about the forty second mark. Just full of strong, sensual femininity. Those vocals sound really full and solid, but still have this womanness that cannot be denied. In the mean time, since the start, there’s this disco loop going on in the background that is catchy and that one cannot sit still too. It is this nice marriage of that disco sound and those strong female vocals that are so very classic. What makes it stand out a bit is that, to me, the vocals aren’t necessarily very disco diva like, but more like someone whose been doing the rounds in Parisian nightclubs. It kind of has that jazz like quality to it, as she croons that she “never ever thought I would have something to lose”. In the mean time, that disco line is being looped silly, and that surely is the way that everyone likes it, with some minor changes on top of the main instrumental sound to keep it all interesting enough until the very end.


 ‘Conscious’ by Soul Clap

Right from the start it is abundantly clear that Soul Clap is aiming for the dancefloor with this one, with that dubby beat getting the full work-out here from the get go. The track really starts at about 35 seconds in, when Soul Clap starts putting the flavour of the original in a bit (mostly thanks to that bass sound, which isn’t really used as rhythm here as it is so low in the mix compared to the beat). They make you very, very aware that this is an edit, as they put the  bass on loop and make it very clear when they add in other sounds (and they sure make you know they don’t put these things in in their natural order). At about 2:50 they smoothen things out a bit, as they loosen the chain on the vocals somewhat. So if the artificiality hadn’t tipped you off enough, yes, this is an edit, and yes, it’s from that Womack & Womack track. I love the middle part of this tune, as Soul Clap has this rhythm thing with the percussion and bass going now, and it lets you enjoy way more of the original at this point in. By now, it has turned into a delicious groover with loads of the original elements to give you the full punch out. So suddenly, now no one is minding its near ten minute running time anymore. Just before the seven minute mark they break up the groove for a minute, coming back with a more looping, modern part to put this one to an end.



‘Consolation’ by The Helen Hollins Singers (Nicolas Jaar edit)

So the World Cup soccer, at the time of writing, is still in full swing, and by now loads of fans have already been in need of some serious consolation. And wunderkind (writing this just minutes after the 7-1 whopping Germany gave the Brasilian side) Nicolas Jaar was so kind to release an old edit of his after his home country was knocked out. There’s something thrilling about the win-or-go-home format, and though sports and disco have sometimes been on opposite sides of each other (who doesn’t remember the burning of disco records during a baseball game, sports fans showing off all of their masculinity and burning the effeminate side of “man” ), it is nice to know that in 2014 we can enjoy sports and, when your team has lost, you can grab this disco tinged edit someone made specifically for this purpose. You get the full 80s soul goodness from the Helen Hollins Singers with some extra rhythm, percussion and haunty synths to make this edit a worthwhile addition to sit next to the original track.


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