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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:  ‘Coastal Love’ by HONNE

The lads of HONNE will be releasing a new EP in May, and this is a cut off of that. I like the start, catchy enough, but not obtrusive. And that is a good quality here, as the melancholic vocals talk about him being a dreamer, and he is convinced (oh the foolishness of youth!) that this long distance thing is going to work with his loved one. And the synths and percussion, as said, it does have a slight catchiness to it, but it is exactly the right tone to go with the vocals and subject matter. And I do love the vocals, and in the chorus it even gets some help from a little guitar riff that they put in, which is a nice touch. The synths lay down the right atmosphere as well, and this is one of those dream-away thing whilst road tripping and the sun shines through that car window and lets you bathe in its light. Something to look forward to in May, I reckon.


‘Love Myself’ by Ebony vs. Bicep

Ebony and Bicep cross the continents to do some work together, and apparently that should mean we have to "Be happy", as the female vocals repeat those two words at the start, even before the song gets going. Then the synths build it up and up and up, and then it’s just waiting for that bubble to burst. That, it does at about 1:30, when the house beat comes in, with some fast talking vocals, and some strong synth lines. The track definitely has some attitude to it, with the pace of the beat, but especially the way the synths are used. That deep, short little synth line just pounces through, it definitely gives the thing some oomph. At about 2:45 we get some drums in, for the people who know how to dance to that fast percussion kind of thing. The vocals have returned to the “be happy” singing of the start, though it is a layer below the percussion, though still pretty much audible. Then those starting synths come back as well, building it up once more before the collaborative group of Ebony vs. Bicep brings back the beat to ride the last few minutes out. Definitely a punchy affair, for if you’re not in that soft kind of mood.


‘Falling In Love With A Memory’ by Monarchy

The boys from Monarchy are back, and the start with the synth and piano already indicates this sort of pop bigness. The track gets a little extra oomph from the drums and the vocals, which then slides into a more soft synth-pop sound when the vocals pace it up a bit. At this point, you just get this happy dancing vibe from the instrumentals, really catchy and fun, and the vocals are a slight counterweight to that as you do have the idea that the narrative story isn’t quite as happy-dancey as the track itself. It’s been a while since I interviewed them for this site when they were getting ready to release their first album, and this song is a good example of why we did that. It’s just got this lovely pop vibe to it, giving you some strong vocals and some catchy synths, but then there is also, for instance, that more subdued piano to end it with. Their new album is, I believe, almost ready to go, so if you like those synths that make you dance (and who doesn’t), this is one to have a listen to when it arrives.


‘System 90’ by Holy Ghost!

So what do you get when you put two hardware nuts in a room with two synthesizers (new System 55 and System 35 modulars, apparently), and you give them roughly five hours to play with them? Apparently, this synth ditty-jam. First you put the kind of bass rhythm in, and then you start piling layer upon layer. It is just fun to hear all the different synth sounds, and how they are floating ideas around on top of the base rhythm After the two minute mark they do seem to mix that base layer up a bit as well, even getting rid of it completely for a moment to get some of that jazz improvisation going (but, synth style, obviously), and then it is cool to see how they fizzle this thing out. It is definitely a jam, and not a perfect piece of song that they always do manage to get when creating an album. But it is cool to see two guys trying new stuff out and finding a way to create a four minute piece that, surprisingly, actually has quite a bit of structure (In just a few hours yours truly probably wouldn’t have stumbled upon such a thing, I’m sure).


‘Believe in Me’ by Jamie Lidell

I must admit that I do have a soft spot for that voice that Jamie Lidell has. In this track you’ve got the understated, slightly haunting synth line that is on loop, and then you immediately get his vocals in there. And these are so powerful that it adds some instant strength and emotion to the track, and he does know how to play with them a bit as well. In the mean time, the synth is still going, and it gets some help from both a bit of percussion as well as some aerial sounds, as they relieve each other from duty every once in a while. As said, the vocals, he does know how to make them work. Sometimes they’re bolstered a bit, sometimes you’ve got some overlapping layers, and sometimes he adds a little humming there for good measure. And then, suddenly, something like after the three minute mark, where the main vocals really go for it comes in, even to the point they can ditch the synth line as, really, the vocals are near enough to hold the track afloat. I saw him live once when he was doing his ‘Multiply’ thing (guess my age now, eh), and although I do have to admit that I haven’t religiously followed his every step, I am always happily surprised when I get the chance to hear that voice doing something again.


‘It Looks Like Love’ (Rayko Super Extended Love Re-Work)

Because there’s always a need for your dosis of disco eh, and you know you can get it here weekly, right? This time thought I’d slide some Rayko in for you, doing his thing by putting the disco and the dancefloor in this old son-of-a-tune. You’ve got all those original sounds right in there from the get go, really laying down the vibe from it’s very moment of birth. But, obviously, you’ve got some beats to bolster the whole thing up as well. Add the little guitar riff, the violins at about 2:20, and you know the vocals are going to be coming in at any minute now. He’s a big tease though, and he rides those sounds out for a while, even doing one more change-up before getting there. And then, he gets there, the whispery vocals first, and the rest later. In the mean time, the disco groove is still going full throttle, as the vocals, by this time, are telling you that, yes, It looks like love. At this point, we’re just halfway of this nine minute disco monster, by the way, so better get your dancing shoes out for this one (and always, really). Just happy he did ditch that flute-from-Marocco thingy of the otherwise superb original.



The Weekly Froth - November #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:  ‘Changing Of The Guard’ by Holy Ghost! (Andre Bratten remix)

If you know the original (off of that awesome sophomore album by the lads from Holy Ghost!), then you know it certainly wasn’t a deep house slow grind. Which, obviously, this one very much is. You have the deep bass beat going on, there are even some of those industrial sounds haunting around in there, and at 1:07 Andre Bratten ups the pace just a tiny tad before adding a bit more of those original synths. I like the change up at 1:40, where he brings in a melancholic piano (which I assume is from the original, but it’s used so out of context here I can’t quite remember if that’s actually the case). I mean, as far as a remix doing something different goes, this one ticks all the boxes for sure. The original basically has to fight its way through all the deep house layers, which gives it this interesting interplay between an original and that what it then becomes. So for that alone I’d recommend people to actually listen to both tracks. As a stand alone, this is a nice deep house track that especially gets its kicks from the fact that you’ve got those lighter elements that now and again try and rear their heads. The build-up after the break is a nice addition as well.


‘One Night Only’ by Krystal Klear feat. Yasmin

This one starts out with some percussion, but when Yasmin and the synths come in you get the full feel that this track wants to convey. It’s got this kind of R&B vibe, also thanks to that vocals style, with the backing vocals topping that off. You’ve got this bassy, deeper synth dictating the rhythm, with the percussion underneath also helping out in that R&B department. It’s got this catchy pop vibe going on, with that sensual club vibe which gets an extra oomph as Yasmin pleads “give me love”. That interlude at 2:30 followed by the backing vocals is also very genre I think, and Krystal Klear really managed to get this smooth track out there that ticks all those boxes. Yasmin’s vocals fit that atmosphere really well, and it’s lovely easy on the ear. For all those players out there!


‘In Command’ by LeSale feat. Mavin (Jacques Renault remix)

Oh man, just love the percussion groove this one starts with, are you kidding me? Immediately makes you want to take a stab at it on the dancefloor. After about thirty seconds in you get a nifty little bass line as, in the mean time, you can also hear some of those sultry, talky vocals as well. Jacques Renault is definitely riding that bass, adding some percussion to get the rhythm nice and tight, and at the 1:20 mark he adds the synth to inject the track with some extra atmosphere. After that you get multiple synth lines in there, all with a different function and purpose, but also all adding to the track because of that. And because he keeps on adding one line after another it does give you this feel of momentum building, which gets capped off by the vocals coming in just before the three minute mark. And as they whisper in your ear that you’re In command, Renault moves it back to the more beat and percussion heavy side, taking away those synths. The atmospherics are now being added by first the vocals, than the piano. It’s just a delicious track this one, with all those different elements being added and subtracted at exactly the same time. And with those vocals he’s got this little ace up his sleeve which he uses just enough to satisfy us without going for the overkill. Another doozy from Renault.


‘A Simple Design’ by The Juan MacLean (Magic Touch remix)

‘A Simple Design’, in it’s original form, is a behemoth of a track, the dancey, catchy single on the new (and quite fantastic) album of The Juan MacLean. Here, Magic Touch dials it down a notch or two in terms of pace. He seems focus on some of the more organic elements and moves them a bit to the front, which is especially notable at the start. Still, there’s plenty of room for the original, with those sounds still at the core and with Nancy Whang still in a prominent role. But if you take the change-up at about 1:40 for instance, that’s where you see the difference, and in the stretch thereafter you have this combination of the original track and a layer underneath which has been added. The original is still very much recognizable, but tweaks like that give it a different kind of twang. The major change is set in at about 2:50, where you get this bass synth sound that runs away with it at first, and after that some tingly piano that reins it in a tad. So Magic Touch kind of keeps the core of the track intact, but with the pace slightly dialled down and with these new elements smoothly being mixed in he does offer a different perspective on that awesome original dancefloor extravaganza.


‘Do It Do It Disco’  by Myron & E (Tom Noble remix)

Welcome says that funky little bass sound that dictates the rhythm at the start. I like that, especially when those higher and lighter piano sounds come over the top of it. Combine this with those funky vocals and you have this old school boogie track to get some of that thing going on on that dancefloor. It’s one for the dancing together, with the pace being on the lower side, and the vocals do add to that, definitely indicating some kind of Getting it on. It’s a lovely boogie of a track, with plenty of those old school vibes. That ohh-hoo-ahhhh vocal line for example, as well as the backing vocals singing “dance the night away” in that silky smooth kind of manner, with the boogie bass coming in just after them so the ladies can indeed strut their stuff and showcase what it’s all about. Keep on dancing indeed.


‘Love In C Minor’ by Cerrone (Dimitri From Paris remix)

How about some of that woodwork percussion to get things going, eh? Leave that to Dimitri From Paris, who knows how to get the disco and the funk into things. Add to the rhythm a bit of moaning and other sounds and whispers that have a certain sexual connotation, and you know we’ve got some of that naughty disco going on here. But, also, some of that deliciously catchy bass after about a minute or so. The good man even adds some strings for the full effect, after which the horns soon make their entree as well. So it’s got all those genre sounds that you know, and it definitely has that sexy dancefloor vibe as well. There’s a lovely stop-and-go moment at about 2:35, just to make sure you’re not coasting out there on the dancefloor, though that only lasts for a second or two after which he turns it all on again. At about 3:20 you get some piano in there, after which a lot of horns come in. This all over a parade of sexual innuendo with the lady on vocals saying things like “Don’t stop” and “Go on”, though when she starts singing it kind of sounds like the theme of Love Boat as she simply sings “Loooovve innnn...”. Sure, it may be a fairly bit of kitsch at times, but personally I like that on the dancefloor, it adds to the fun for me. As long as, obviously, it keeps you dancing, and that’s something Dimitri from Paris never has a problem with achieving.


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