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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:  ‘Cheer Up, My Brother’ by HNNY

Gosh, I guess I can just fill up an entire column with A) my adoration for HNNY and his music, and B) bad puns on his name (all in good jest, of course). Here he puts that soul in the midst of all those modern electronics again, and of course he nails it (like, you were doubting that?). Just one for that chilling out when the sun is rising, it’s got a lovely, lazy beat, though he is not afraid to turn that one down in favor of the flavor, with those vocals providing a good bunch of that. Just those warm, old school soul vocals, and you can just almost feel the sound of the old vinyls of yore being used. She is singing the title of the track over those lovely, understated drums to which one can still do a little shuffling to. Add some piano in there as well, which is stripped away at about 4:20 for some of that percussion and what sounds to me like a bit of violin/string action, which combines with a soft little bass to bring it all down to a close. Again, he’s got the atmosphere down pat, and he’s so good at mixing the modern sounds and fusing and injecting them with the warmth and feel of either the jazzy/soulful sounds of yesteryear, or the R&B of the 90s. This one is an example of the former, and an ace one at that.


‘The Chase’ by Future Islands

Everyone and their mothers, sisters, and husband’s lovers fancy a bit of Future Islands nowadays, and with good reason. That last album was pretty amazing, and if you haven’t seen them live yet, you’re missing out (and really really not trying, because these guys have been everywhere! Touring animals, rawwrr). Here, again, you have those lovely synths and that kick to give it this catchy, '80s feel, but those vocals are so emotionally charged that it blows the sockets off of the walls, giving it this emotional load that gives this band the edge over those more plastic-y bands from the '80s. With the main question here being, Is this love? (don’t we all wanna know?). Made with Record Store Day in mind, hopefully some lucky people managed to pick this one up, as this is one that would not have been out of place on their last album. And have I already mentioned how ace that album is?


‘Let’s Get Slow’ by Aeroplane feat. Benjamin Diamond

Aeroplane pulls a fast one on us here, because this certainly isn’t one to get slow to. It is, however, a summery, bouncy synth track to do some dancing on. It’s got a cheery, almost retro demeanor to it, with some relatively cheesy chorus action. But, in a good way, as sometimes it helps to get the fun in the party, and this one is definitely made to have some fun to. It’s easy on the ear, with Benjamin Diamond doing the vocals, singing Let it go, we know, that I know, let’s get slow, or something close to it. There are also some female vocals in there, trying to enthuse the crowd like a cheerleader does during the basketball play-offs (Go insert-fav-team). And sure enough, some fun can be had with this one, though it won’t be winning a Pulitzer anytime soon.


‘In the Street’ by Chocki Hookon (Jacques Renault BK Club Mix)

Released earlier this month, Jacques Renault takes it to the club with some percussion action in this one. I love that sound that comes in at about the thirty second mark, gives it this grainy & raw club vibe. Which, shortly after, gets juxtaposed by some of that piano action. In the mean time the percussion is still rolling as the vocals start to come in. The talky female vocals are telling you to Get down on the funky beat, if you happen to be in the street. When the vocals die down, Renault gets the engine running (funnier if you follow Formula 1, I swear) to make sure you get that jolt for dancing, half a minute later coming back with the piano (which is then, again, followed by the vocals). This really is one for the house club, Renault going full throttle here, making this one a track to drop in the middle of the set when the party is going, just to make sure that people keep jacking it up and doing their thing. Some of that nifty house fare by Mr. Renault.


‘Keep on Talking’ by Tensnake

When Tensnake releases something, you know you’ll be dancing, don’t you? This is his new single, and he’s got the beat going first, and then this deep synth comes in, after which he throws some of those drumpad percussion sounds your way. The real deal comes at the minute mark, as he throws out some of those club vibes to go a little bit more soulful, making sure this tune hits on the house-party cylinders. That rhythm sound that comes in at 1:45 is nice and catchy as well, and Tensnake sure knows how to bring new things in to keep the crowd on their feet. At 2:18 he gives them a bit of a rest though, dialling down the rhythm parts, but adding some really high pitched vocals, getting them more and more to the fore of the track before returning to party mode a bit later on. Though a short while later he’s combining both for the full effect, getting there at about the halfway mark. I love that synth line at about 3:45 onwards, that’s a nice little rhythm thing again. Then he goes full on with a big, bad build-up, and when the full-fledged party core gets started again, that synth line is still there, but a bit bulkier to contest all the other party sounds. And those are just those smart little things that make a club tune by Tensnake something to always be watching out for (and, when it’s there, to be dancing to).


‘Be Love’ by Natty Fensie (The Supermen Lovers remix)

When you’re called Supermen Lovers I do expect some attitude and cheekiness in there, and this one certainly starts with some of that sexy action. It’s just got some of that naughtiness, not in the least in the bass. At the 1:20 mark they get the synths involved, upping the pace a bit, throwing in some of those atmosphere sounds for good measure. The real things about this one are the way they use the vocals and the drums/bass, which just make you wanna get sexy with it. Those sounds are nicely contrasted by the synth sections, which give you a bit more of that party atmosphere while keeping the fun in place. Just before the four minute mark they turn it down a bit, slowing it to a crawl with drums/bass/beat all stripped away, obviously coming back with it after a good half minute or so. Brings out the fun and the cheeky, this one, and that’s something I always like on the dancefloor. That ending, also quite cheeky, but definitely not for the same reason as the tone of the bass was in the five minutes prior.



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:  ‘Double Talk’ by Jaakko Eino Kalevi

Jaakko Eino Kalevi is back, and here he starts with a little bit of guitar, some forward moving drums, and some melancholic snare instrumentals to accompany the ditto vocals. Which, by the way, get a bit help from some female vocals as well, doubling the lyrics. In the mean time the rhythm lines keep throdding this one forward, giving the thing a nice sense of pace. The synths take care of the atmosphere part, with the vocals singing that I like the words you use, and You think you’re in control. The funny thing is, that when he starts using “we”, the female vocals come in to do the Double Talk (getting that title now, eh?), which is a smart touch. It’s really the kind of track I like, with the dreamy, somewhat distant vocals, but still this sense of pace because of that bass and all that. Definitely a release to keep an eye on, I reckon.


‘Yes It Is’ by B-Jam

All that drums sure lay down the funk, especially when the guitar line comes in, that immediately lays down the law. Add to that those vocals, which sound lovely dancey and soulful, and you’ve got a nice dancefloor track going on. The fragmented, loop-y feel gives it this nice discotheque vibe, with the vocals doing that '80s pop-funk thing a la Janet Jackson. Not that it is her, mind you, as this is a rework of ‘Cest Toi (It’s You)’  by Angela Winbush, which was released in 1987. And B-Jam sure knows how to handle that one, giving it some extra attitude whilst keeping those vocals doing their thing. I love a good rework like this, and I love how he handles that combination of the repetition of the instrumentals and the layered continuity of the vocals. B-Jam also knows how to keep that soul alive in a rework, definitely showcasing that ability here yet again.


‘Solsidan’ by HNNY

HNNY immediately tries to build in some vibe by flipping the channels at the start, eventually settling for some of that percussion to get the funky going. The way he slides into this new sound, with the airy vocals doing a day-dreaming “tu-du-du-du-de” line, that’s awesome. Especially if, moments later, he does the old switcheroo, adding an understated little bassline to it all when the vocals are taken away for a moment. In the mean time, still, the percussion doing its thing, making sure this one keeps moving forward. The great thing about HNNY is that he always manages to infuse his tracks with some of that soft, warm flavour, and here he definitely does that as well. There are some jazz vibes in there too, and I just love how it has this breezy quality, but still with this funky undertone. Did I already mention that this has been released on one of my fav labels, Let’s Play House? That’s two marks of quality, right there.


‘Lights Down’ by The New Sins (Waze & Odyssey Remix)

Certainly, nothing breathes club music more than this cut. It already starts with the robotic, female vocals saying “Me and you, in the club”, you’ve got some old school house synth sounds coming in at about the 45 second mark, and the title is “Lights Down”. I mean, really. Something like at 1:10, when it strips away all the instrumentals and you only have those vocals saying “lights down” in ever more robotic fashion, that’s dance music 101 as well. Not so much that, as the fact that obviously you need to get back to the beat and bass and stuff, and that’s a momentum moment right there. Living alongside the robotic hypnotic vocals is a more soulful male voice, though even that has some production on top of it. It’s easy on the ear this one, very accessible, and if you want to make a wider kind of crowd do some dancing, this has all the tools to achieve just that.


‘Heartbeat Speed’ by Cyclist feat. Jocelyn Alice

Cyclist has enlisted Jocelyn Alice to do some of that talking, feeling that her beau has a lover that she wants to be. That is established before Cyclist contrasts all those emotions by doing a nice, bouncy synth and beat combo that has a bit of that piano house vibe to it. At 1:45 he ups the volume a bit, adding some guitar in for the punch-and-a-half. When the guitar fades, Jocelyn comes back in with her rhythmic vocals, though also featuring a hint of emotional heartbreak. Just before the big three:00 mark Cyclist kills the percussion for a minute, using a short synth stint to work its way back to the beat. Cyclist then combines the guitar and the vocals, giving the end this sense of going-all-out, which he has build up to nicely. Lovely track, and very easy-on-the-ear to boot.


‘Baby I Just Wanna Love You’ by Jonelle Allen (Alan Mooney’s Edit)

How about some of that slow burning disco, eh? This one starts with a nice & slow bassline to get that groove going, with Mooney upping the pace a bit after the minute mark as he brings the vocals in first, and the beat in second. The lines of the vocals succeed each other in rapid succession, singing that they Wanna love ya, over and over, with no time being spared. Alan slows it down a tad  againat about the three minute mark, dialing the vocals down so you’ve only got those slow grooving elements again, though he does add some of them drum beats in there to give it a bit of a body, and to make sure the people can do a little slow dance to it. Obviously he works his way up again, and give it a minute or two (and enjoy that little guitar line while you’re at it), and sure enough those vocals come right back in. If you like that old school disco feel and you love a sloooow burning groove, this is one to bring some of that lovin’ to the discotheque.


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