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The Weekly Froth! - 20161021

  • 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: ‘You’re So Special’ by Chesus (Jacques Renault edit)

From the start this one gets the festive tones in, with a right amount of house as its base and the disco sounds running right on through it all. At about the thirty seconds mark there are the vocals for the first time, though at that point still slightly muffled. The sound cleans up though, getting a clear drum in with some of them horn sounds, and the classical tones of the original that we know so well. Renault keeps it running though, just looping the vocal line mentioning that you are a Very special lady, but not ready to cash in on the big kahuna just yet. Instead, at 2:30, he moves to a deeper beat, with the original sounds hidden deep and far underneath that blanket, giving himself some time to crawl out from under that one again. Which, about a minute later, happens, with the clarity returning in the drum and other instrumentals. Around the five minute mark, near its end, the track goes back to the deeper bass, moving this lovely dance tune to its close.


‘The Spell’ by David August

David August starts this one by providing us with some atmosphere, with the deep synth that comes in at about the twenty second mark doubling in function as both aiding the aforementioned and a working as a sort of riff. Then the drums come in, taking over the role of the deep sound with the synth moving to a more lighter tone. At the 1:30 mark they strip it all out, just putting the atmospheric synths in again and what sounds like some vocal work. Then, a more rhythmic drum line, indicating the start of the second part of this track. If you just listen to something like at 2:40, where basically all the additional sounds also give off a kind of broody vibe whilst not disturbing the momentum of the drums until these are taken out completely yet again, that kind of exemplifies this track nicely. This time around, there’s a long interlude, that first sees some spoken word before it moves to the piano. It’s a track that moves you through a couple of phases, all building blocks to the overall atmosphere, which seems to complement the SoundCloud picture next to the track quite well I’d say.


‘Off The Wall’ by Michael Jackson (Young Pulse rework)

This has just about got to be one of my favorite albums, such an unmitigated joy runs through it. And Young Pulse takes on the title track, giving you the vocals first, then putting a deep bass underneath that becomes more and more prominent before the actual funk comes in just before the minute mark. That funk is driven, amongst others, by the steady pace of the drum, and the little guitar riff running right on through it. And Jackson, in the mean time, sings that Tonight, just enjoy yourself (a sound advise for all y’all across the world, I’d say). In the mean time, all the rhythm parts keep on working, the horns come in to get it going on as well, and Jackson is talking about Boogie down, which one certainly should have the intention of doing when having this song on. It’s a fab track, and the rework keeps all them dancers doing their thang on this ol’ classic.


‘World Turning’ by Fleetwood Mac (Ray Mang edit)

Ray Mang opens with some spoken word about expression through music and stuff, taking about until the thirty second mark before the almost country sounding guitar riff comes in with the piano basically dictating the pace. The minute mark sees the growly male vocals enter, singing about The world turning, and how they need to get their Feet back on the ground. Ray Mang has a nice piano momentum working there, giving you that hypnotic loop but without any of the “normal” rhythm instruments until after the two minute mark, when the drum kick comes in to help out all that country&western that’s going on. At the three minute mark he mixes it up a bit again, and the guitar is let loose some as well, giving you a bit of that solo work on top of a fairly minimal base almost solely consisting of those drums. This until some extra percussion is added after four minutes have gone by, drumming their way to the end of this rework of some old Seventies Fleetwood Mac.


‘Sleepwalkin’’ by Cheryl Lynn (Doctorsoul Wake Me Up Dub Rework)

Doctorsoul is giving you the dancefloor vibes with that kind of drum, adding the deep bassline to put Cheryl Lynn’s tune to. Those are the main elements to get that mid-paced funk moving, really bringing those vibes with the guitar riff and the more Caribbean sounding percussion as the track moves closer and closer to putting those vocals in. In the mean time he keeps running with the deep bass, giving that some extended focus in this dub. Just after the three minute mark Doctorsoul lightens up the mood a bit, moving slightly away from the deeper bass to get the guitar sounds in a bit more, and then finally adding the vocals with Cheryl Lynn singing that she wants you to Wake me up with your love. With, at this point, you getting the full goodness of the 1982 track. And after such patience, Doctorsoul is relishing having her in now, adding the echoes to the vocals to prolong the goodness and savor the flavor of this funky little number.


‘Key To Life’ by Kauf

Kauf starts with some guitar, building a melancholic nighttime sound around it with a bit of a grainy growl in the bass. This is juxtaposed by the relatively higher pitched vocals, which give you that distanced, alienated vibe on top of the more angelic “aaah-haaa” chorus line that sometimes double the main voice. The drum and bass are there to provide the deep canvas, with primarily the guitar that keeps cutting through it, almost as a mediator to the vocals and the rhythm sounds. As soon as Kauf mentions the Key to Life the grainy bass gets back before the drum kicks up the pace a bit and whilst the guitar keeps moving through it, giving you that Darkside feel a bit, that nice mixture of a hypnotic, melancholic dance sound with the guitar lines cutting right on through all of that. Especially nearing the last minute there is a part where the layers build up, though never making it too muddled, but instead creating a unison that fits the atmosphere he has set out from the get go. A lovely cut from the upcoming album (early 2017 it’s saying at the minute).



The Weekly Froth - October #4

  • 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: ‘Death Jam’ by Frag Maddin vs. Kevin Over

I love the deeper bass sound that this one comes with, that combined with the deep voice that at one point comes in; it all lays down the vibe of that deep underground club where the down and the dirty is happening. The pace of the track is spot on for that as well, not a really pacey club beat, but the exact right kind for this one. Add to that this grainy, dirty synth sound that he adds, and it definitely lays down the right vibe. During the second part of the track the beat kind of slicks out a bit, it becomes a bit more continuous, except for the part that it gets stripped away in favour of a synth and vocal combination. After that break, you get this quick, military like drum pattern which is a nice change-up, and that ups the immediacy of the track a bit. After that, it moves back to the original sound, but a bit more danceable and club like, which, in my mind, is a nice ending to a pretty nifty build-up. Going by the fade out this is not the entire track, but this does make me want to check out a seven minute version (or whatever) of it.


‘Intergalactic Jam’ by Chesus

How about some of that house? This one certainly has that typical beat, and it has got this little quirk going on with the deep male voice constantly saying “thank you”. In the mean time the beat keeps playing on, and around 1:20 you get the change in the main sound with another house staple. That one, a little bit later on, gets combined with that beat again, so now you have the two heavy weights of dancing working together to keep you on the dancefloor. Next to the deep male voice saying "thank you", now another voice walks in on occasion, this one way smoother and singing "whoooaa, darrrling". In the mean time, all the house sounds just keep on coming and coming like a house on fire, with some variety in the beats and percussion to keep it fresh. But all varieties that are thrown in there all make sure that they keep the pace high and they are all there to let you stay in that dancing mood. An ace one for the dancefloor, I reckon, as it seems that everything that’s put in here is geared towards that. And effectively so, I might add.


‘Kavolrak’ by Mr. Top Hat & Art Alfie

This one starts with a lingering, high synth sound which gets juxtaposed by a much deeper beat. The additional sounds are of a more industrial nature, giving you that Berlin warehouse vibe a bit. I like the way they kind of build up momentum, that is nicely done, giving this track more and more urgency and energy, which should translate to the dancefloor. As the song progresses they start throwing in some of those ghostly sounds of the city, which really lay down the vibe of this track and which gives it plenty of atmosphere. Just before the fourth minute mark there is a short drop, which they use to bring back the beat and rhythm in a slightly different way, followed by different kind of sounds to help lay down the law of the land. Mr. Top Hat & Art Alfie are sure to never forgot what this track is all about though, and they keep the beat going so that everyone can keep on dancing. Sometimes they kind of tone it down, like around the six minute mark, which isn’t the song becoming boring, but it’s a sign of the lads being about to mix it up. Nice (deep-ish) House tune with that kind of industrial city vibe that I personally never mind.


‘Your Eyes’ by Majical Cloudz

Majical Cloudz certainly is an intriguing band. With minimal electronics and almost church-like chanting the performance is as bare as it is vulnerable. The way this song starts, again, one couldn’t put himself out there more if they would actively try. A bit later on, though, you get the drums that add some beef to the track, and the singing becomes more ballad-like and musical than it was at the start, spreading the word that he doesn’t need anything. The power behind this project is the fact that the minimal is combined with the outright emotional, giving it such vulnerability it starts to have a real effect on the listener (and if you’ve seen this act live, him on stage epitomizes the feeling a shy kid must have when trying his hand at some high school presentation or cultural event for the very first time. The sheer feeling of loneliness on that stage). The drums make sure that there are moments where the track does give you something extra, which is the variety it needs (if not for one song, certainly for a whole album).


‘J.U.N.E.’ by Nicholas

I just love Nicholas’s tunes, every time I hear this guy I’m thinking, "Yeah, this is House music". This as well, you have this great combination of the house-sounding beat, the slick and smooth vocals, and he throws this light piano sound in there for good measure. That cymbal+kick beat combo is this just so house, and you can definitely be dancing to it in the club. The good use of vocals give it this lovely flavor, exactly hitting my sweet spot. I just love vocal house, and this one definitely fits the bill. In the mean time there are plenty of auxiliary sounds to colour in the blueprint that the rhythm and vocals set, like that lighter piano, but also that kind of bass like sound around 2:15 which, briefly, helps out a bit in the rhythm department. At 4:35 he kinds of mixes it up for a moment, but soon the house beat comes back in for all to enjoy. One I would play in any mix of mine no doubt, it exactly is what I’m looking for, and it is a pretty deft execution of it at that.


‘Rhythm of Auld’ by Julio Bashmore feat. J’Danna

I love that disco like synth sound at the start, that really immediately sets the right tone as far as I’m concerned. The actual song starts at around 35 seconds in, where you get the kind of slower-to-mid paced beat with a slightly melancholic piano line. After a good minute or so you get J’Danna’s vocals, who really provide some punch to this one. Love the rawness of those vocals, which then get juxtaposed by the more slick vocals in the background. It gives the track a soulful feel, especially since it seems that they are asking the Lord. It doesn’t go all out gospel though, as there’s still enough slickness to the beat and rhythm to make it really easy on the ear, almost veering to the pop side a bit. I also like the synth sound that you can hear going right alongside the vocals, it gives the track a nice atmosphere. Definitely something that’s got a wide appeal I reckon, and not in a bad kind of way.


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